A Democratic candidate for Illinois governor says he would commute prison sentences for low-level drug offenders.
In a policy speech Tuesday in Chicago’s Bronzeville neighborhood, Chicago Alderman Ameya Pawar put a lot of the blame for today’s violence and criminal justice issues on poverty and the war on drugs.
“The war on drugs was a success because the war on drugs was never actually about drugs,” he said. “It was against black people.”
Pawar says that led to incarceration instead of treatment; his criminal justice policies focus on addressing poverty, as well as reducing punishment for minor drug offenses and legalizing and taxing marijuana.
Other Democratic candidates for governor include Daniel Biss, Bob Daiber, Scott Drury, Chris Kennedy and J.B. Pritzker.