“Don’t let yourself or your property get mixed up in the world of illegal drugs,” US Attorney Ron Parsons of South Dakota said at the January 14, 2020 sentencing of a Native American woman who used a house to sell less than 10 grams of methamphetamine. “It ends badly.”
As the overdose crisis roars on, various stakeholders seek to assign blame for these mostly preventable deaths. Harm reductionists point towards politicians who continue the failed War on Drugs that criminalizes and stigmatizes people who use drugs, preventing them from accessing resources needed to keep themselves safer. Activists like Nan Goldin decry corporations like the Sackler family’s Purdue Pharma. Anti-drug moralizers hold the people using drugs to be responsible.