The “War on Drugs” began shortly after the beginning of the 1970s. President Richard Nixon coined drug abuse to be “public enemy number one” and launched an extensive campaign. According to PBS, the Nixon era was the only time where funding was directed toward treatment rather than funding.
It was during the Regan administration where mandatory minimums began to incarcerate thousands of individuals for non-violent drug offenses. The increase in mass arrests further promoted racial disparities in the United States justice system.
Drug Policy Alliance
Previously named, “The Drug Policy Foundation”, Drug Policy Alliance was founded in 1987 by professor Arnold Trebach, JD, Ph.D., and attorney Kevin Zeese. Mr. Zeese previously directed the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws.
The mission of the Drug Policy Alliance is to advance policies and attitudes that reduce the harms of drug use and drug prohibition. The Drug Policy Foundation was envisioned by Trebach and Zeese to be the “loyal opposition to the war on drugs.”
Their Work on Ending the War on Drugs
Drug Policy Alliance has played a crucial role in drug policy reform since advocating for California medical marijuana use in 1996. Since then, the DPA has participated in approximately half of the campaigns legalizing medical marijuana in the U.S.
The DPA led the charge in legalizing medical marijuana in:
- New Mexico (2007)
- New Jersey (2011)
- Colorado and Washington (2012)
- Uruguay (2013)
- Oregon, Washington D.C., and Alaska (2014)
- New York (2014)
Along with marijuana policy reform, Drug Policy Alliance also participates in criminal justice reform and harm reduction campaigns. Their Drug Facts page lists extensive knowledge on a number of different drugs to help educate the public on their uses or dangers.
To contribute to the Drug Policy Alliance, click here.