NAACAP calls for an end to the War On Drugs

Posted on: Sun, 07/31/2011 - 11:19 By: Tom Swiss

I'm not sure how this slipped by my radar, because it is big news for anyone concerned with drug policy: on Tuesday, the NAACP passed a resolution calling for an end to the War On Drugs.

This is hugely important because the NAACP is such a mainstream, conservative (in the "not radical", not the "in favor of preserving privilege for the wealthy" sense) organization. As Leonard Pitts puts it, "there has always been something determinedly middle class and cautious about the NAACP. This is the group whose then-leader, Roy Wilkins, famously detested Martin Luther King for his street theatrics."

But after 40 years, the failure of Prohibition to curb drug abuse has finally become so clear that even this cautious organization's President and CEO, Benjamin Todd Jealous, has to say that "These flawed drug policies that have been mostly enforced in African American communities must be stopped and replaced with evidenced-based practices that address the root causes of drug use and abuse in America."

And so they have issued "A Call to End the War on Drugs, Allocate Funding to Investigate Substance Abuse Treatment, Education, and Opportunities in Communities of Color for A Better Tomorrow". Once ratified by their Board of Directors, the resolution will encourage more than 1,200 active NAACP units across the country to organize advocacy for drug policy reform.