US President Nixon launched the "war on drugs" in the 1970s. Today, incarceration, social marginalisation and drug-related deaths have led North America to rethink this strategy. However, although positive developments are happening locally in the fields of harm reduction, alternatives to incarceration, new drug law enforcement approaches and cannabis regulation, the US and Canadian federal governments remain resistant to drug policy reform.
The Society of Living Intravenous Drug Users (SOLID) has implemented community programs to assist other drug users in the fight against the opioid crisis through harm reduction programs and advocacy, however in order to continue the work they do, the government must increase its financial support.
The availability of naloxone has served as a successful harm reduction measure in Ontario and other Canadian provinces, laying a groundwork for a similar model in the United States where the opioid crisis continues to surge.
On June 25th, Open Society Foundations will be hosting an event to show support for the International Day Against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking through an artistic platform that illuminates the effects of drug policies on communities all across the world.
While marijuana is not yet legal in Michigan, local lawmaker Sheldon Neeley has proposed a bill that would allow those with misdemeanour marijuana crimes to have their records expunged if cannabis becomes legal.
In addition to collective quantitative data and statistics, researchers in the United States are now multi-disciplinary aspects such as field work in their attempts to solve and eradicate the opioid crisis in the United States.
U.S. Congresswoman Bonnie Watson Coleman put forth a resolution that includes a formal apology from Congress for the failure and destruction the war on drugs has caused, specifically to people of color, and additionally proclaims that future drug policy should be based on health evidence.