We need to change our drug laws to save lives. Maine recorded its highest number of overdose deaths last year. More than 500 people died. Decades of experience have shown we cannot arrest and punish our way out of drug use and overdose deaths.
Criminal penalties make it harder for people to enter recovery, and a criminal record makes it more difficult for people to access housing, employment, and the essentials they need to lead a healthy life.
Moreover, Maine's harsh drug laws have unequally harmed low-income communities, communities of color, people in recovery, people with substance use disorder, and families.
Ending the war on drugs has been a long-time ACLU of Maine priority. This session, we expect many bills to address this issue. In particular, we support the following: