We Win an Important Change to the Drug Czar Bill

Discussion in 'Legalization and Activism' started by RMJL, Oct 3, 2003.

  1. We Win an Important Change to the Drug Czar Bill
    Weds, October 1, 2003


    The Drug Policy Alliance would like to publicly thank Rep. Maxine Waters (D-35th/CA), the only member of the House of Representatives with the courage to oppose HR 2086, the Office of National Drug Control Reauthorization Act, on the House floor yesterday. Congresswoman Waters called the war on drugs “a joke” and said she rose “in strong opposition both to the process that has brought this bill to the floor under suspension of the rules and to the substance of the underlying bill.”

    In a last-minute effort to keep money and power flowing to the Drug Czar's office, House Republican leadership played political games to push the bill, which would re-authorize funding for failed 'drug war' programs without allowing opponents to voice their alarm. HR 2086 was bought up under a process known as "suspension of the rules," which limited debate to less than an hour and prohibited Representatives from offering amendments to improve the bill. The votes were not recorded so we can't tell you how your Representative voted on HR 2086, but we do know that House Democrats helped us win a victory by pressuring Republicans to overturn a ban on using High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (HIDTA) funding for drug prevention – rather than law enforcement. The Drug Policy Alliance has pushed for this change because it is the first step to shifting millions of dollars from away from arresting non-violent drug offenders and into prevention.

    The Drug Policy Alliance would also like to thank the hundreds of supporters like you who called their Representatives and asked them to vote against the bill. HR 2086 now heads to the Senate, where we hope to improve it further. We have worked with a number of groups to remove some of the more extreme provisions from HR 2086. But the bill still authorizes the White House to spend over a billion dollars on ineffective anti-drug television ads and still contains no protections to ensure that the drug czar cannot use taxpayer money to travel around the country campaigning against state medical marijuana ballot measures just because he personally opposes them.

    WHAT TO DO NEXT

    Are you as outraged about the drug war as Representative Waters? Write your Member of Congress! Tell your U.S. Representative that you are disappointed that he or she did not call for a roll call vote or otherwise oppose the absence of any debate on HR 2086. The drug war – which costs over $40 billion a year and results in over a million and a half arrests a year – is too controversial not to debate.

    Writing a brief letter – or even a postcard – is important because it shows that you care enough to take time to write and because it provides written documentation. However, no matter what you do, make sure that you include your own address. That way your Representative can reply to you. (Please let us know if you receive a reply at ActionFeedback@drugpolicy.org or fax it to us at 202/216-0803 to the attention of Bill Piper.) If you are not already signed up to receive our action alerts, keep up-to-date on our campaigns by subscribing at: http://actioncenter.drugpolicy.org/managesubscription.asp

    You can find out who your U.S. Representative is at http://actioncenter.drugpolicy.org/action/

    Addressing the letter:

    The Honorable Firstname Lastname
    House of Representatives
    Washington, DC 20515

    Dear Rep. Lastname,




    http://www.drugpolicy.org/news/10_01_03drugczar.cfm
     

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