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FY2020 Spending Bill Blocks ‘Class-Wide’ Fentanyl Ban Reminiscent of Crack-Cocaine Era, But Takes Step Back on Cannabis Provisions

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December 17, 2019 – New York, NY – In response to the final FY2020 spending bill that Congress is voting on this week, Maritza Perez, Director of the Drug Policy Alliance’s Office of National Affairs, issued the following statement regarding the packages drug policy implications:

“We’re encouraged that Congress has heeded our call to block the extension of the emergency fentanyl ‘class-wide’ ban from getting into the appropriations package, which would have resurrected policies reminiscent of the crack-cocaine era and further enshrined a drug war that continues to fuel large-scale injustice.

But we are deeply concerned that, after House negotiations with the Senate, Congress stripped many provisions that would have protected state-level [cannabis] regulation, as well as banks that service state-legal [cannabis] markets. Members of Congress should listen to the majority of Americans who support [cannabis] legalization and acknowledge the devastating consequences of prohibition for countless lives, and particularly for the Black and Brown communities that have borne the brunt of [cannabis] prohibition’s harms.

Congress is also disappointing the public by once again standing in DC’s way, and not allowing the district to spend its own taxpayer funds to regulate [cannabis], which was approved by voters in 2014. It’s time Congress recognize prohibition’s failure and stop using the country’s funding as ransom to keep the drug war intact.”


About Drug Policy Alliance

The Drug Policy Alliance envisions a just society in which the use and regulation of drugs are grounded in science, compassion, health and human rights, in which people are no longer punished for what they put into their own bodies but only for crimes committed against others, and in which the fears, prejudices and punitive prohibitions of today are no more. Our mission is to advance those policies and attitudes that best reduce the harms of both drug use and drug prohibition, and to promote the autonomy of individuals over their minds and bodies. Learn more at

Matt Sutton, 212-613-8026

[email protected]

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