AUGUSTA – The ACLU of Maine today called on the legislature to reject Gov. LePage’s latest attempt to ramp up the failed war on drugs.
The governor is seeking to fund 10 new special agents to the Drug Enforcement Agency and to add two new drug prosecutors and two judges, at a cost of $1.5 million, using money from the state’s unclaimed property fund. Under pressure from the legislature, the proposal also includes $750,000 for existing drug treatment programs.
The following can be attributed to Oamshri Amarasingham, policy counsel for the ACLU of Maine:
“The governor continues to push a proposal that would scale up an already-bloated criminal justice system while giving a back seat to more effective treatment programs. Plenty has been said about the need for a balanced approach, but this proposal is nothing of the sort. For the last 40 years we’ve thrown millions at law enforcement while spending on treatment and prevention programs has dwindled. A truly balanced approach would mean scaling back law enforcement while increasing treatment and prevention.”