When it comes to the war on drugs, there’s no need for further research to prove that such criminalization has disproportionately impacted communities of color, a top federal drug official said in a new interview. National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) Director Nora Volkow has on several recent occasions discussed the harms of the drug war and the need to take an alternative approach, in part by decriminalizing substance misuse and promoting treatment through a public health-focused model. Now, the official spoke to the scientific journal publisher Springer Nature about a variety of drug policy issues in an interview and authored a new op-ed for Scientific American. The overarching themes again concern the current criminalization and stigmatizing approach to drugs and the need for a policy change. While there are several possible iterations of decriminalization that could replace the existing system, Volkow said in the interview published last week that one thing is apparent: the war on drugs has had outsized consequences for minority communities, and that alone should be a reason to reevaluate the country’s law enforcement-centric policies on drugs.
Kyle Jaeger, Marijuana Moment, 09/02/2021 08:51:00