What is the drug problem?
Misinformation, intolerance and fear drive the US War on Drugs, an increasingly
punitive, expensive and futile policy. Drug war supporters have so demonized
drugs, drug users, and drug war opponents that most public figures dare
not raise questions.
We at PRDI seek to enable the democratic process to develop more effective
and humane drug policies. To this end, we promote open, honest, and well-informed
discussion of drug issues among "opinion-leaders"--educated leaders and professionals,
especially in the media. We advocate no particular drug control policy.
Rather, we insist that drug policy must be developed by rational procedures
consistent with American democratic ideals.
PRDI was founded in 1993 by David Crockett and Paul Bennett. They gathered
the initial Board of Directors, largely professionals and academics, and
obtained a 501(c)(3) in 1994. In 1995, Board member Dr. Thomas Haines,
Chair of Biochemistry at CUNY Medical School, took over as Chair of the
Executive Committee. As part of our opinion-leader outreach strategy, we
recruited to PRDI's Board of Advisors major senior leaders known for their
integrity, including the late Hon. Elliot L. Richardson, The Hon. Nicholas
deB. Katzenbach, and the late Hon. A. Leon Higginbotham. More
recently, we recruited Sam Dash, Esq. to our Board.