Welcome! Thanks for visiting! Drug Policy Action is committed to ending the war on drugs and reducing the harms of both drug use and drug prohibition. Drug Policy Action and its related 501(c)3 organization, the Drug Policy Alliance, promote drug policies grounded in science, compassion, health and human rights. This means ending marijuana prohibition and mass incarceration, as well as implementing new health-based and harm reduction policies.
We seek solutions that promote safety while upholding the sovereignty of individuals over their own minds and bodies. And we work to ensure that our nation’s drug policies no longer arrest, incarcerate, disenfranchise and otherwise harm millions – particularly young people and people of color who are disproportionately affected by the war on drugs.
In 2016, we are working hard to end marijuana prohibition in California by supporting the Adult Use of Marijuana Act. Beginning with California in 1996, Drug Policy Action led campaigns that legalized medical marijuana in 11 states, and we are the only organization that played a role in all the legalization victories so far – in Colorado, Washington, Oregon, Alaska, and Washington D.C., as well as in Uruguay, which recently became the first nation to legally regulate marijuana.
Our history in CA
For two decades, Drug Policy Action and Drug Policy Alliance have been involved in reforming drug policies in California, and not just around marijuana.
- In the 90s, we passed reforms and secured pivotal funding for syringe access programs to reduce HIV and AIDS, which become the cornerstone of our ongoing harm reduction work in the state.
- In 1996, we were a major funder and supporter of Prop 215, the first medical marijuana law in the country.
- In 2000, when California’s prison population had been growing for decades, we drafted, filed and won Prop 36 – which has saved the state billions of dollars and spared hundreds of thousands of people from prison by providing them with treatment instead of incarceration.
- In 2010, we invested $1 million in the groundbreaking Prop 19 campaign to end marijuana prohibition for adults, and played a critical role in on-the-ground efforts.
- From 2011 through 2014, DPA won a series of key victories to reduce overdose deaths, included expanding syringe access to every county in the state, passed 911 Good Samaritan legislation, and passed a law allowing pharmacy sales of naloxone without a prescription.
- In 2012, we worked closely with allies in California to pass a historic ballot initiative to reform the state’s “Three Strikes” law with a two-to-one victory at the ballot box.
- In 2014, DPA passed the California Fair Sentencing Act, a ten-year effort to eliminate racially-based sentencing disparities between cocaine base and cocaine powder possession for sale under California law.
Ending marijuana prohibition in 2016
We are committed to playing a leading role in the effort to legalize marijuana in 2016. But it is not just about passing the initiative. That’s why the Drug Policy Alliance will be spearheading the law’s implementation to ensure safe, responsible, ethical and inclusive regulation.
California must do this right. The world is watching.