It's not just opioids; all illegal drugs, even marijuana in some states, are creating generations of people who will spend the majority of their lives behind bars for even the slightest drug offense. Instead, the ACLU and HRW urge the focus to shift to "prevention and harm reduction."
"Until decriminalization has been achieved," the report states, "we urge officials to take strong measures to minimize and mitigate the harmful consequences of existing laws and policies. The costs of the status quo, as this report shows, are too great to bear."
Why is this a big deal?
The ACLU and HRW aren't some rinky-dink activist groups with names like "Druggies United." They're huge human rights groups with international influence, and they've essentially said that the War on Drugs, declared during the Nixon administration, is backwards and wrong.