One of the biggest medical associations in the country has voted to endorse the decriminalization of all drugs in the country. That’s a huge step that was being called for from drug reform activists for years.
It’s also a very drastic step from where we are today, where marijuana is still considered a Schedule I illegal substance in the same category as heroin and fentanyl.
Last month, the American Pharmacists Association, or APhA, voted to adopt the policy of supporting “decriminalization of the personal possession or personal use of illicit drug substances or paraphernalia.”
The organization represents 62,000 pharmacy professionals and has been around since 1852.
Drug decriminalization is a slowly building policy idea. Portugal is typically pointed to as a success story, a country that has completely decriminalized all drugs. In the US, Colorado voted to decriminalize psychedelics in the last election, and Oregon decriminalized all drugs in the 2020 election. There is some legislation in Washington state and California that would tackle some forms of decriminalization, although there is still a long way for most of the states to dip their hand into these waters. If after a few years, the legislation in Oregon and Colorado prove successful, the conversation may have an easier time across less progressive states.
The Pharmacist organization is framing this as a way to combat overdoses in the country. “We have lost over a million lives to preventable overdose deaths during the overdose crisis, and it is clearer than ever that we must move away from a punitive approach toward one grounded in compassion and public health if we want to save lives,” said Sheila Vakharia, the deputy director of the Drug Policy Alliance.
This news follows the American Society of Addiction Medicine call for illicit drug decriminalization in February.
Read the full story at Marijuana Moment.