Case for Equity
The United States is undergoing a rapid shift in public attitudes regarding controlled substances and our decades-long policy response in addressing them. Sentencing disparities and discriminatory policing practices have combined to bring about the over-incarceration of people of color and have helped to decimate entire communities. We have known for decades that whites and people of color use drugs at equal rates, yet people of color are incarcerated at far greater rates.
The implications of the war on drugs reach far and wide, hampering the employment trajectories and economic mobility of those touched by the system. The economic loss to communities is immeasurable. Across the country, local and state leaders are reforming policies, correcting long-standing inequities, and eliminating failed strategies. Our nation’s current response to the opioid crisis, which largely impacts white communities, is emblematic of the forward-thinking approach needed with respect to other controlled substances.