Measure #2: End the War on Drugs
i. Keep People Out of Jail for Drug-Related Offenses
Years of experience with ineffective drug laws and the latest medical research on addiction suggest that treating drug use as a public health issue, as opposed to a criminal justice issue, is a more effective approach to reducing harm.
Will you refuse to seek incarceration sentences for defendants charged with simple possession?
Where dismissal is not possible, will you create and expand cite-and-release and diversion programs for low-level drug offenses, including drug possession, possession of drug paraphernalia, and distribution of small amounts of drugs?
Will you refrain from charging defendants with possession with the intent to distribute a controlled substance based solely on drug quantity or packaging?
Will you adopt a policy prohibiting the prosecution of individuals as habitual felons whenever one or more of the underlying charges is for simple possession of a controlled substance?
Will you publicly support legislation that reclassifies all drug possession offenses as misdemeanors?
ii. Treat Opioid Addiction as a Public Health Problem
The opioid crisis claims tens of thousands of lives every year, and has shown few signs of abating. Prohibitionist policies did not win the war on drugs, and they will not end this crisis. Prosecutors can play an important role in ending the crisis, but only if they treat addiction as a public health crisis, rather than a criminal justice concern.
Will you adopt an office-wide policy stating that drug overdoses will not be prosecuted as homicides cases except when there is sufficient evidence of intent to cause death?
Will you publicly support the creation of supervised injection facilities?
Will you adopt an office-wide Good Samaritan policy stating that individuals who call the police in response to an overdose will not be prosecuted?