Today, Director Kerlikowske met with Congressman Steny Hoyer, House Democratic Whip, to co-host a roundtable discussion about drug policy in Maryland’s 5th congressional district. During the roundtable, which included leaders from the Maryland public health and safety systems, the Director emphasized the importance of a balanced approach to drug policy—one that emphasizes drug prevention, treatment, and recovery in conjunction with effective law enforcement.
This roundtable also gave the Director an opportunity to discuss criminal justice reform. We know that we cannot arrest our way out of the Nation’s drug problem, and we must break the cycle of arrest, incarceration, and re-arrest when criminal behavior is driven by an underlying—and treatable—substance abuse problem.
This Administration has an historic record of reforming the criminal justice system’s treatment of drug offenders. Here’s an overview of some of the criminal justice efforts we’re promoting:
The drug problem in Maryland and the U.S. is complex. It requires complex, evidence-based solutions. There’s no silver-bullet solution to reducing illegal drug use in this country, but we’re committed to working with our partners to implement smart, effective solutions that reduce undue burden on our already strained criminal justice system.