legalizing and decriminalizing cannabis
DPA and marijuana cannabis law reform

The Drug Policy Alliance Overview

The Drug Policy Alliance


“The prohibition of marijuana is an utter failure.  The United States wastes billions of dollars enforcing marijuana laws even for low-level offenses, incarcerating and penalizing marijuana users, and denying seriously ill patients access to beneficial treatment.  Prohibitionist laws have led to unprecedented levels of violence and corruption, while marijuana remains widely consumed and almost universally available to young people.  Even as public opinion has shifted in favor of marijuana law reform, arrests for marijuana possession have swollen over the last decade, with disproportionate targeting of blacks and Latinos at the heart of that enforcement surge.”


The Drug Policy Alliance has this vision and mission:  “The Drug Policy Alliance envisions a just society in which the use and regulation of drugs are grounded in science, compassion, health and human rights, in which people are no longer punished for what they put into their own bodies but only for crimes committed against others, and in which the fears, prejudices and punitive prohibitions of today are no more. Our mission is to advance those policies and attitudes that best reduce the harms of both drug use and drug prohibition, and to promote the sovereignty of individuals over their minds and bodies.”


As far as Cannabis law reform is concerned, the DPA has made this an important priority. Though the DPA, as stated above in their mission and vision statement, is focused on the laws and policies surrounding all drugs, they devote a great deal of their resources to Cannabis law reform.


The DPA website has some very interesting features worth noting. One is the “I am…” drop down menu that links to sections pertinent for advocates, students, parents, women and music fans in regards to how current drug policy affects each group.


Another interesting feature is a similar drop down menu for drug policy in every state. To get a sense of the wide gulf between different states’ laws, clicking on the neighboring states of Colorado and Wyoming is particularly educational, showcasing just how far we have come and how far we have yet to go as a nation regarding drug law and policy.