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The Drug Policy Alliance (DPA) is a New York City-based non-profit organization with the principal goal of ending the American "War on Drugs". Its goals include nationwide availability of medicinal marijuana, the creation of drug-related public health measures, ending abuses of asset forfeiture, repealing non-violent drug sentences, repealing laws that deny public benefits to people convicted of drug crimes, and the advancement of drug education programs by redirecting most government drug control resources from criminal justice and interdiction to public health and education.

The Drug Policy Alliance's executive director is Ethan Nadelmann.

Contents

Overview

The Drug Policy Alliance was formed when the Drug Policy Foundation and the Lindesmith Center merged in 1999.[1]

The organization has seven office locations in the United States, with its administrative and media headquarters being located in New York City, and its national lobbying outfit based in Seattle, Washington. DPA also has offices in California, New Jersey and Mexico.

Veteran journalist Walter Cronkite spoke out against the War on Drugs in support of the DPA, writing a fundraising letter and appearing in advertisements on behalf of the organization.[2] In the letter, Cronkite wrote: "Today, our nation is fighting two wars: one abroad and one at home. While the war in Iraq is in the headlines, the other war is still being fought on our own streets. Its casualties are the wasted lives of our own citizens. I am speaking of the war on drugs. And I cannot help but wonder how many more lives, and how much more money, will be wasted before another Robert McNamara admits what is plain for all to see: the war on drugs is a failure."[2]

Achievements

The DPA was the guiding force behind California's recent law Proposition 36. "Prop 36" and the formation of the Drug Courts gave non-violent drug offenders the opportunity to seek treatment in drug rehabilitation programs rather than serve lengthy jail sentences. The Drug Courts also removed unlicensed drug rehabs as options for fulfilling probation requirements, a bold move as unlicensed rehabs were plentiful in California (like Futures Foundation, Inc., in San Jose, California.)

DPA awards

The DPA gives annual awards to "honor advocates, elected officials and organizations for their courageous work in reforming drug laws."[3]. These include

  • Edward M. Brecher Award for Achievement in the Field of Journalism
  • Richard J. Dennis Drugpeace Award for Outstanding Achievement in the Field of Drug Policy Reform
  • Alfred R. Lindesmith Award for Achievement in the Field of Scholarship
  • Robert C. Randall Award for Achievement in the Field of Citizen Action
  • Norman E. Zinberg Award for Achievement in the Field of Medicine
  • H.B. Spear Award for Achievement in the Field of Control and Enforcement
  • Justice Gerald Le Dain Award for Achievement in the Field of Law
  • Dr. Andrew Weil Award for Achievement in the Field of Drug Education

See also

References

External links








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