The war on drugs has been one of the most destructive policies in the history of our country, one that has disproportionately harmed communities of color. It has provided an excuse for police officers to systemically abuse the rights of people of color – especially Black people – and low-income people. We must move towards a harm reduction approach, work toward ending drug criminalization, and reduce the consequences for people who have already been caught up in the criminal legal system. 

The ACLU-NJ was instrumental in decriminalizing and legalizing marijuana in the state, and our recommendations helped lead to one of the most forward-looking frameworks for cannabis reform in the country, with a strong emphasis on racial and social justice. 

The ACLU-NJ is a member of the Abolish the Drug War coalition, which works to decriminalize drugs in New Jersey by treating substance use as an issue of public health.