SPLC: Statewide drug task force is 'misguided'

Updated: Nov. 3, 2017 at 6:17 PM CDT
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BIRMINGHAM, AL (WBRC) - The Southern Poverty Law Center calls formation of a statewide drug task force a misguided idea.

"We've already tried this once," SPLC's deputy legal director Lisa Graybill said, referencing post "get tough" drug policies.

"It's putting good money after bad for a solution we know doesn't work. And it's especially painful when we know what does work is treatment," Graybill said.

The task force, announced by ADECA this week, awards $1.3 million from the U.S. Department of Justice to establish a drug task force that will operate with local and state law enforcement agencies.

The task force will include 25 state narcotics agents from ALEA and officers from more than 40 agencies.

"The illegal manufacturing, trafficking and sale of narcotics in Alabama is a problem for every part of the state and should be dealt with accordingly," Gov. Kay Ivey said in the ADECA release.

"She is ignoring the advice of medical professionals, public health experts and the Alabama Opioid Overdose and Addiction council she herself created by executive order, all of whom agree that treatment and access to anti-overdose drugs, not prosecution, is the most effective response to the devastation caused by the opioid epidemic," Graybill said.

The statewide task force will operate in seven regional offices.

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