The League of Women Voters strongly supports S.B.1119, which appropriates funding for a state drug policy study in order to provide the legislature with information to develop a comprehensive drug policy.
The League of Women Voters of Hawaii, and other Leagues around the country, question current drug policy. Is it time for a new approach? The League of Women Voters in Seattle is a member of the steering committee of the Kings County Bar Association Drug Project. See their website seattle.wa.lwv.org publications index for a summary of the report - Is It Time to End the War on Drugs.
In Hawaii some of the many questions that need to be addressed are:
- Should drug abuse be viewed as a public health problem and not just a criminal matter?
- To what extent is drug abuse the reason for Hawaii’s prison overcrowding and the need for using mainland prisons?
- Are prevention and treatment programs more effective in reducing drug abuse than expensive criminal sanctions?
- Do current policies take a heavier toll on disadvantaged communities than on others, exacerbating the social conditions that created drug abuse in the first place?
- Do pregnant women with histories of substance use have access to programs and facilities equipped to provide prenatal, deliver, and postpartum care?
- Is violence against women and other circumstances, specific to women’s involvement in drug-related activities, overlooked or ignored?
We urge you to support S.B.1119. Thank you for this opportunity to support this bill.