Washington, D.C. – In response to the presidential inauguration of Joe Biden and Kamala Harris, Maritza Perez, Director of the Office of National Affairs at the Drug Policy Alliance, released the following statement:
“Today is a beacon of hope for our most neglected communities—including people who use drugs and our incarcerated populations.
As Joe Biden and Kamala Harris take office, our country is dealing with record overdose deaths exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic, where jails and prisons have become the biggest COVID hotspots, and the public is increasingly aware of the racial inequalities that exist within our judicial system and that are largely driven by the war on drugs.
None of these things will be resolved easily or overnight, however, we are confident the Biden-Harris Administration understands their urgency and look forward to working with them to find solutions centered in health over criminalization.
If the most recent election showed us anything, it is that Americans–on both sides of the aisle–want a more compassionate, health-based approach to drugs over the punitive and racist systems of the past.”
In November, DPA released a list of priorities it is urging the Biden-Harris Administration to prioritize, particularly during its first 100 days in office, which can be found here.