On Monday, Washington DC Mayor Muriel Bowser held a press conference to announce what officials in her office are calling a new “comprehensive drug enforcement strategy” involving a shift in law enforcement priority away from the targeting of low-level drug dealers in order to free up resources for a focus on major suppliers.
According to The Daily Caller, Metropolitan Police Chief Cathy Lanier also participated in the news conference and said, “We will shift away from outdated tactics focused on low-level users and target the suppliers who feed dangerous narcotics into the communities. This new drug enforcement strategy gives law enforcement and regulatory agencies the ability to crack down on the very suppliers that are responsible for these troubling proliferations.”
Mayor Bowser said at the conference, “Far too many of our residents are still impacted by drug usage – whether because of drug sales occurring near their homes or because they or their family members suffer from drug addiction. It is my duty to provide the safest and healthiest environment for our residents and visitors. We will do that by innovating and adapting, and providing our public safety officials with the tools they need to get the job done. We will also make sure healthcare professionals have the resources to help people get the treatment they need to fight and recover from drug usage.”
A statement from Mayor Bowser’s office noted that DC’s Metropolitan Police Department will be consolidating its seven vice units into two components, a “citywide drug unit under the MPD Narcotics and Special Investigations Division” and a new Criminal Interdiction Unit.
At the conference, Mayor Bowser also announced another plan to submit emergency legislation to the Council of the District of Columbia that would crack down on synthetic drugs like “K2, Scooby Snax, Bizzaro and Spice.” The bill, called the Sale of Synthetic Drugs Emergency Amendment Act of 2015, would stiffen penalties on businesses caught selling synthetic marijuana alternatives, which Bowser’s office characterized as forms of a “potent and dangerous hallucinogen that can lead to death.“