JAIL VS. REHAB
Washington State recently passed a law making it easier for drug addicts to access treatment without facing criminal punishment for possession infractions. Yet, unlike similar Oregon legislation passed last year, the Washington law does not legalize drugs or decriminalize possession.
Oregon decriminalized personal-use quantities of drugs in 2020 with the intention that this new law would help drug users go to rehab rather than jail. This has turned out to be a big gamble that the State was possibly not ready for.
A South Carolina prosecutor is using a federal grant to send drug addicts who’ve committed nonviolent crimes into treatment programs, not incarceration. It is becoming more and more common for people addicted to drugs to be directed towards treatment, not jail.
Though the War on Drugs has been waged in the U.S. for 50 years, it has never been effective in curbing drug addiction. In fact, America's drug problem has only gotten worse.
America has been jailing people with drug problems en masse for 40+ years. This has been a widely unworkable approach to this country’s addiction crisis, proven so repeatedly by a wealth of research and study.
The subject of drug addiction and incarceration has been a contentious one for some time. Many people still feel as though drug use is a crime and therefore should be punished as such. But as the years go by and as our understanding of addiction improves, more and more people are starting to see that drug use is indicative of a severe behavioral crisis…