New York, NY – In response to the final FY2020 spending bill that Congress is voting on this week, Maritza Perez, Director of the Drug Policy Alliance’s Office of National Affairs, issued the following statement regarding the packages’ drug policy implications:
“We’re encouraged that Congress has heeded our call to block the extension of the emergency fentanyl ‘class-wide’ ban from getting into the appropriations package, which would have resurrected policies reminiscent of the crack-cocaine era and further enshrined a drug war that continues to fuel large-scale injustice.
But we are deeply concerned that, after House negotiations with the Senate, Congress stripped many provisions that would have protected state-level marijuana regulation, as well as banks that service state-legal marijuana markets. Members of Congress should listen to the majority of Americans who support marijuana legalization, and acknowledge the devastating consequences of prohibition for countless lives, and particularly for the Black and Brown communities that have borne the brunt of marijuana prohibition’s harms.
Congress is also disappointing the public by once again standing in DC’s way, and not allowing the district to spend its own taxpayer funds to regulate marijuana, which was approved by voters in 2014. It’s time Congress recognize prohibition’s failure and stop using the country’s funding as ransom to keep the drug war intact.”