The Office of the Philadelphia District Attorney Larry Krasner announced the filing of a lawsuit against 10 pharmaceutical companies for their alleged roles in causing the opioid crisis.
The lawsuit, which was filed in Philadelphia's Court of Common Pleas on Feb. 2 according to a press release, seeks financial atonement from multiple pharmaceutical companies for their alleged involvement in creating the opioid crisis.
“The time to act is now, which is why I’ve taken this unprecedented action, in parallel with the City of Philadelphia’s suit, to stop these companies from systematically distracting the public from knowing the true dangers of opioid use as they reap billions of dollars in profits,” Krasner said in the press release.
Krasner announced the lawsuit on Feb. 15, the same day The Philadelphia Inquirer published an op-ed that he and Philadelphia mayor Jim Kenney wrote concerning the failure of the "war on drugs" in the 1980s and 1990s.
Krasner and Kenney argued society failed many people during the crack epidemic by treating it solely as a law enforcement problem rather than a health issue.
“No doubt, criminalizing addiction happened in part because the people affected were mainly African-American, Latino and poor,” they wrote. "These ‘tough on crime’ policies resulted in Philadelphia having the highest incarceration rate of any large jurisdiction in the country.”
According to Philly Magazine, the Krasner also announced that he has advised his staff not to seek charges for those arrested for marijuana possession.
Philadelphia voters elected Krasner, a former civil rights attorney, to the city's chief law enforcement office in November 2017.
With no prior experience as a prosecutor, he ran on a platform of progressive criminal justice reform. He promised to end mass incarceration, replace the cash bail system, and "treat addiction as a medical problem, not a crime."
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