“Local police are not serving the community when enforcing drug laws. Funding needs to be taken away from the war on drugs and put into social and educational programs to reduce the need for aggressive, militarized policing and to prevent mass incarceration — under brutal, slavery-like conditions — at great cost to the taxpayer. Portugal has done this successfully through decriminalizing drug use and treating addiction as a public health problem instead of a criminal one.

“Here in the United States, we have a major organization of former law enforcement officials who support ending drug prohibition altogether. Law Enforcement Action Partnership (LEAP) (formerly called Law Enforcement Against Prohibition) has a tree on its website showing ‘the War on Drugs is at the root of a staggering array of problems in today’s society.’ See https://lawenforcementactionpartnership.org/our-issues/drug-policy/. We need to listen to these honest cops.

“In a brilliant article called ‘The war on drugs has made policing more violent’ appearing on the Cato Institute’s website, the author explains how the war on drugs increases the chances of violence and fatal uses of force by incentivizing the police to initiate unnecessary contact with pedestrians and motorists. The author also advocates defunding the unwinnable drug war.

“It’s now well known that President Nixon launched the war on drugs to suppress dissent by youth against the Vietnam war and to target blacks as a strategy to garner votes in the conservative south. See, for example, https://www.forbes.com/sites/eriksherman/2016/03/23/nixons-drug-war-an-excuse-to-lock-up-blacks-and-protesters-continues/#18766c9742c8. It’s time to end this corrupt and unconstitutional policy.”