War on Drugs

Drug Policy

War on Drugs

Our nation’s misguided and costly "War on Drugs" has undermined civil liberties in many ways — eroding protections against unlawful searches and seizures, imposing overly harsh sentences on individuals, disproportionately impacting communities of color. The ACLU of Washington Drug Policy Project works for policies that treat drug use as a public health concern, not a criminal justice matter, through public education, legislative advocacy, and litigation.


Friday, February 3, 2023
Maintaining or increasing penalties for drug possession and relying on jails and prosecution as a pathway to treatment would be repeating the mistakes of the past and continuing the failed legacy and racially inequitable outcomes of the War on Drugs. 
News Release, Published: 
Wednesday, January 11, 2023
The Substance Use Recovery Services Advisory Committee (SURSAC) released its plan to the legislature that includes a number of public-health centered recommendations, including decriminalization of drug possession and the creation of a safe supply work group.
Thursday, December 22, 2022
When the state Legislature convenes on Jan. 9, lawmakers will have the opportunity to address the racially biased practices and devastating consequences of the failed War on Drugs by replacing a system that stigmatizes and criminalizes people with substance use disorders with one that treats drug use with a public health approach. 
Monday, November 7, 2022
Washington legislators should not reignite the War on Drugs in the 2023 session