America's current drug policy is a failure. The "War on Drugs" has lead to widespread constitutional and human rights abuses, such as mandatory drug testing, searches based solely on the uncorroborated and often-unreliable testimony of informants, and discriminatory sentencing discrepancies between powder and crack cocaine. It has also resulted in unprecedented levels of incarceration - 1 in 100 American adults are behind bars, largely for drug-related offenses, making the U.S. the world's leading jailer. Meanwhile, drug use, production, and availability have remained steady.
The ACLU supports ending punitive drug policies and replacing them with health-based solutions that prioritize prevention and treatment of negative health consequences of drug misuse over criminal justice responses. Examples of such policies include providing treatment, rather than jail time, to non-violent drug users, implementing needle exchange programs to reduce disease transmission, and legalizing marijuana for medical usage.