Bonnie Watson Coleman

From the office of:

Bonnie Watson Coleman

Sending Office: Honorable Bonnie Watson Coleman
Sent By:

        Request for Cosponsor(s)




Endorsements: Drug Policy Alliance, Justice Strategies, NAACP, The Sentencing Project

Original Cosponsors (6): Lee (CA-13), Lewis, Moore, Norton, Schakowsky, Takano


Dear Colleague,

I invite you to join me as an original cosponsor of a resolution to issue an official apology from Congress for its role in the failed War on Drugs.

Over the last few years we have seen lawmakers give greater attention to the opioid epidemic that has ravished the country. As we work to address this epidemic, it is essential that Congress acknowledges that the tactics that we as a body have promulgated
for decades in fighting drugs have not only been ineffective, but also detrimental and counterproductive to the challenges we face today.

As early as 1937, actions of Congress – through laws enacted and funding decisions—have contributed directly to destabilizing communities, setting forth mass incarceration and forsaking Americans struggling with the disease of addiction in the name of the
War on Drugs. The origins of these polices were heavily influenced by racial bias and sought to treat drug users as criminals instead of victims of a public health crisis. The record is clear: the War on Drugs has failed, and the United States Congress played
a prominent role in this failure.

The United States has not simply failed in how we carried out our War on Drugs—the War on Drugs stands as a stain on our national conscience since its very inception. For us to be successful tackling the disease of addiction moving forward, Congress must
atone for our failures up to this point and for the Congresses preceding us. Along with a congressional apology for the War on Drugs, this resolution calls on Congress to reverse the criminal and punitive policies associated with the War on Drugs and replace
them with health-based and evidence-based approaches. The resolution also calls for equity in the treatment of all forms of drug use, beyond just opioids.

People suffering from addiction are not enemy combatants; they are mothers and fathers, sisters and brothers; sons, daughters and grandchildren; friends, neighbors and coworkers. Congress has played a direct role in harming these Americans, their families,
and the communities they live in. This resolution is a modest, but important, step in a better direction.

For more information on the resolution or if you would like to be included as an original cosponsor, please contact Brad Korten ( or call  (202) 225-5801. Thank you for your consideration.







Member of Congress

Related Legislative Issues

Selected legislative information: Civil Rights, HealthCare, Judiciary

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