Skip to main content

LATEST UPDATES: Tracking COVID-19 (coronavirus)

Drug War Critics Rally On 40th Anniversary

On the 40th anniversary of the War on Drugs, the Obama administration seems to be favoring rehabilitation over prosecution. But at rallies today against the nation’s longest war in San Diego and elsewhere, critics say it’s too little, and far too late.

Gretchen Burns Bergman is founder of A New PATH, an organization promoting a public health approach to drug policy. She sees sending addicts to jail as counterproductive. Her son spent 10 years in and out of jail for marijuana use.

“People don’t really have a very clear picture of what goes on behind bars and what the prison culture is. And it’s certainly nothing you would ever want your children to have a big education in,” said Bergman.

The government spends billions every year to incarcerate drug offenders with relatively little success, according to Bergman. She supports decriminalizing non-violent drug offenses and advocates for policies focusing on rehabilitation and therapy.

A New PATH is hosting a rally to end the War on Drugs in Pioneer Park in Mission Hills this afternoon at 5.

Bergman is not alone in her fight against the Drug War. Multiple events around the country are taking place against the current drug policy.

Other Anti-War On Drugs Events

June 18, 2011

The War on Drugs--Connecting the Dots Fair and Forum

Location: Dallas, Texas

For more information

End The Drug War

Location: Hartford, Connecticut

For more information

Community Solutions - A community response to the 40-year War on Drugs and Mass Incarceration

Location: Inglewood, California

For more information

40 Years of Collateral Damage from the War on Drugs

Location: Honolulu, Hawaii

For more information


San Diego News Matters podcast branding

KPBS' daily news podcast covering local politics, education, health, environment, the border and more. New episodes are ready weekday mornings so you can listen on your morning commute.

  • Don’t have time to keep up on the latest news? We’ve got you covered with a mid-week check-in every Wednesday afternoon.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

Curious San Diego banner

Want more KPBS news?
Find us on Twitter and Facebook, or sign up for our newsletters.

To view PDF documents, Download Acrobat Reader.