Today, Governor Phil Murphy announced the nomination of Matthew Platkin to serve as the next Attorney General for New Jersey. The nomination of Mr. Platkin to be the highest-ranking law enforcement officer in the state comes at a time when New Jersey is perpetuating a punitive and costly drug war as it continues to experience record drug overdose deaths. 

The New Jersey Office of the Attorney General has active directives naming drug war enforcement as a “number one priority” and requiring all overdose deaths to be investigated as homicides, which both run contrary to public health best practices and can be reversed by Attorney General action.
Jenna Mellor, Executive Director of New Jersey Harm Reduction Coalition:
“The appointment of a new Attorney General is an incredible opportunity for New Jersey to emerge as a national leader on issues of drug policy. In his new role, Mr. Platkin has the ability to reverse New Jersey’s long standing commitment to drug war punishments and replace them with policies of healing, harm reduction, and investment in the Black and Hispanic/Latinx communities most harmed by the drug war. This work starts with ending drug war arrests and prosecutions.
“We applaud Governor Murphy’s commitment to harm reduction and look forward to working with him and his Attorney General nominee, Matt Platkin, on treating drug use as a public health issue and not a criminal one.”

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Harm reduction is essential. A harm reduction approach to drug use is the best strategy we have to end the overdose crisis, reduce risks associated with drug use, and affirm the dignity and bodily autonomy of every New Jerseyan.

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