|Graphic: Connecticut Citizens for Marijuana Reform
Friday, June 17, 2011, marks 40 years since President Richard Nixon, citing drug abuse as “public enemy number one,” officially declared a “War On Drugs.” A trillion dollars and millions of ruined lives later, the War On Drugs remains a complete failure.
Drug policy reform advocates across the U.S. will mark this date with a coordinated day of action to raise awareness about the failure of drug prohibition and call for an exit strategy to the failed War On Drugs. Events will be held in 15 states, and in major cities like Washington, D.C., New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, San Francisco and New Orleans.
Day of Action events include:
• Chicago: Hundreds of Chicagoans will gather at the State of Illinois James R. Thompson Center to rally against drug policies that have led to injustices such as extreme racial disparity in Illinois’s prisons and jails.
• Los Angeles: Grassroots organizations and students, including Students for Sensible Drug Policy, Pico Youth and Family Center, Mothers United to End the War on Drugs, All Of Us Or None, Homies Unidos and other criminal justice organizations, will stage a Day of Action to call for community solutions to end the 40-year War On Drugs and mass incarceration. Also, the William C. Velasquez Institute will host a forum in Los Angeles with top Latino leaders to discuss the impact of the Drug War on communities of color.
• New York: Advocates, community leaders and elected officials will attend a forum and silent vigil at the Harlem State Office Building to highlight the impacts of the Drug War on New York communities. The event will be organized by Women On the Rise Teller HerStory (WORTH).
• Washington, D.C.: Law enforcement officials, leaders from the African American community and religious leaders will hold a forum at the National Press Club to denounce current Drug War policies. Leaders will call for a new direction and open conversation on the issue of drug prohibition.
• Hartford, Connecticut: In Bushnell Park in Hartford, Connecticut on June 18, a diverse coalition of activists, community members and politicians will gather together in protest to raise a collective voice for an end to the Drug War. A march will precede a rally at the Bushnell Park pavilion, where members from a variety of social justice, civil liberties and harm reduction organizations as well as grassroots lobbyists and legislators will speak.
Forty years of a failed policy is 40 years too long,” Connecticut Citizens for Marijuana Reform said in a statement. “Families are being broken and taxpayer dollars are being wasted.”
What: “No More Drug War” Rally and Speak-Out
When: Saturday, June 18, 11 a.m.-4 p.m.
Where: Bushnell Park, Hartford, Conn.
Who: The Connecticut Citizens for Marijuana Reform. Sponsored by the Drug Policy Alliance, A Better Way Foundation. Co-sponsored by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of CT, the Windham Harm Reduction Coalition, Voices of Women of Color, Students for Sensible Drug Policy of Wesleyan University, Students for Sensible Drug Policy of UConn, the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws CT, Efficacy, Civic Trust Public Lobbying Company, Law Enforcement Against Prohibition (LEAP), Free the Leaf, My Brother’s Keeper, and many more.
By challenging outdated drug laws and working to achieve full marijuana legalization, Connecticut Citizens for Marijuana Reform
is demanding a paradigm shift in our criminal justice policies to bring about a safer, more equitable and compassionate Connecticut.