Sometimes, when self-destructive behavior has gone on too long and created too much damage, we need people who love us to hold us accountable and provide some level of intervention.

Maine, I love you, so I’m just going to say it.

You have a problem.

You know arresting and jailing your own residents for low-level drug possession is not serving you. You know you are singling out a vulnerable group of people, who already struggle with a chronic, progressive, and often fatal disorder, and saddling them with criminal records that prevent them from finding housing, securing work, and otherwise succeeding in recovering from their illness. You keep arresting and arresting, and yet 2020 was a record-breaking year of overdose deaths.

This is not working.

But don’t worry, help is here!

If passed, L.D. 967 would make low levels of drug possession a civil offense instead of one that sends people to jail. The bill would offer an assessment for substance use disorder, and an appropriate referral to services to everyone who wants it. It’s not a cure for the addiction crisis, but it’s a crucial step.

I love you, Maine, and I want you to make better choices. Admitting you have a problem is the first step and then it’s time to get to work! Let’s pass L.D. 967 and help our people access the treatment services we know work.

Courtney Allen
policy director
Maine Recovery Advocacy Project

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