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Organizations

Each of these organizations offers educational materials, resources, and programs as well as activist campaigns and opportunities.

Common Sense for Drug Policy is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to reforming drug policy and expanding harm reduction. CSDP disseminates factual information and comments on existing laws, policies and practices. CSDP advocates the regulation and control of marijuana in a manner similar to alcohol and subject to local option. CSDP favors decriminalizing the use of hard drugs and providing them only through prescription. CSDP also advocates clear federal guidelines for the practice of pain management so that physicians need not fear unwarranted law enforcement scrutiny of medical practices.  CSDP offer this What Can I Do? page.

Drug Policy Alliance (DPA) describes itself as the nation's leading organization promoting alternatives to current drug policy that are grounded in science, compassion, health and human rights.  The DPA’s supporters are individuals who believe the war on drugs is doing more harm than good. The DPA works to advance policies that reduce the harms of both drug use and drug prohibition, and seek solutions that promote safety while upholding the sovereignty of individuals over their own minds and bodies. DPA works 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.

Just Say Now is “a campaign for marijuana legalization, made of a trans-partisan alliance of organizations seeking to improve our nation’s drug laws. Our effort is spearheaded by two groups. Firedoglake is a progressive blog and activist hub dedicated to bringing greater transparency and accountability to government. Students for Sensible Drug Policy (SSDP) is an international grassroots organization of students who recognize the failure that is our war on drugs. Together, our two organizations will work to organize an effective online/offline movement to help pass marijuana legalization in the elections of 2010, 2012 and beyond.”

Marijuana Policy Project.  MPP describes itself as follows: “Marijuana prohibition has failed. It's time for a new approach, and MPP is leading the way. Since our founding in 1995, we've been making real progress in reforming U.S. marijuana laws, by lobbying for legislation and running ballot initiative campaigns to allow seriously ill patients to use medical marijuana with their doctors’ recommendations; lobbying for legislation and sponsoring ballot initiatives to replace marijuana prohibition with a sensible system of regulation; garnering widespread media coverage of the need to change marijuana policies; lobbying Congress to reduce the White House drug czar’s budget for his deceptive ad campaigns; building coalitions of supportive individuals and organizations to advocate on behalf of marijuana policy reform. Because MPP believes that the greatest harm associated with marijuana is prison, we focus on removing criminal penalties for marijuana use, with a particular emphasis on making marijuana medically available to seriously ill people who have the approval of their doctors.

Law Enforcement Against Prohibition. LEAP was “founded on March 16, 2002, (and) is made up of current and former members of the law enforcement and criminal justice communities who are speaking out about the failures of our existing drug policies. Those policies have failed, and continue to fail, to effectively address the problems of drug abuse, especially the problems of juvenile drug use, the problems of addiction, and the problems of crime caused by the existence of a criminal black market in drugs. … By continuing to fight the so-called "War on Drugs", the US government has worsened these problems of society instead of alleviating them. A system of regulation and control of these substances (by the government, replacing the current system of control by the black market) would be a less harmful, less costly, more ethical and more effective public policy.”  LEAP’s stated goals are,”1) to educate the public, the media and policy makers about the failure of current policies, and 2) to restore the public's respect for police, which respect has been greatly diminished by law enforcement's involvement in enforcing drug prohibition.”

NORML (National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws).  NORML describes itself as “A Voice for Responsible Marijuana Smokers. Since its founding in 1970, NORML has provided a voice in the public policy debate for those Americans who oppose marijuana prohibition and favor an end to the practice of arresting marijuana smokers. A nonprofit public-interest advocacy group, NORML represents the interests of the tens of millions of Americans who smoke marijuana responsibly.” 

StopTheDrugWar.org.  Stop the Drug War (DRCNet) “calls for an end to drug prohibition (e.g. some form of legalization), and its replacement with some sensible framework in which drugs can be regulated and controlled instead. Founded in 1993 by executive director David Borden, DRCNet has from the beginning called unambiguously for an end to prohibition; we are the largest "full-purpose" national membership organization with a wide range of programs to hold that position. DRCNet is the acknowledged leader in the field of online educational publishing in drug policy reform. Our educational programs are global in scope; currently the primary ones include the acclaimed weekly online newsletter Drug War Chronicle, and now the "Stop the Drug War Speakeasy" blogosphere network. Drug War Chronicle is a major resource used extensively by activists, media and leaders in a range of relevant professions to empower their work. … DRCNet is an advocacy organization that works for concrete policy reform in the US at both the federal and state level... DRCNet opposes the prison-building frenzy and supports rational policies consistent with the principles of peace, justice, freedom, compassion and truth. Each of these has been compromised in the name of the Drug War.

Students for a Sensible Drug Policy is an “international grassroots network of students” with chapters at campuses across the country which “are concerned about the impact drug abuse has on our communities, but who also know that the War on Drugs is failing our generation and our society. SSDP mobilizes and empowers young people to participate in the political process, pushing for sensible policies to achieve a safer and more just future, while fighting back against counterproductive Drug War policies, particularly those that directly harm students and youth.  Questions about SSDP are answered here including how to start a local chapter.”