Blog Post

Momentum to End the Drug War Rapidly Increases in 2012

Derek Rosenfeld

The movement to end the war on drugs gained its most significant ground ever in 2012. Marijuana was legalized in Colorado and Washington, several groundbreaking films that expose the failures of the war on drugs were released and overdose prevention policies were enacted in states across the country. I was cautiously optimistic about the chances marijuana would actually be legalized this year – now that it’s happened, I’m hopeful we’ll see a domino effect across the nation.

The Drug Policy Alliance took out a full-page ad in The New York Times today calling attention to this year’s biggest successes and thanking the most important people who made it all happen: the people of Colorado and Washington, among others. Also included was President Bill Clinton for acknowledging the failures of the drug war, President Jimmy Carter and Pat Robertson for saying it’s time to legalize marijuana, Latin American presidents for addressing the need for alternatives to prohibition, and our allies across the globe calling for no more drug war.

The ad in the Times is definitely creating a stir. It’s being shared widely on social media platforms and receiving a significant amount of attention in traditional media as well. FOX News will address the issue tonight!

People from all walks of life have been buzzing about marijuana legalization since Election Day, and how the federal government would respond. Just last week, President Obama finally came out and said that he has “bigger fish to fry” than people who use marijuana in states where it is legal. The drug policy reform movement was very happy to hear that, but remains unsatisfied because the president did not say anything about the retail shops that will soon open and distribute marijuana to adults over 21.

Many new faces joined the movement to end the war on drugs in 2012 – Deepak Chopra joined DPA’s prestigious Honorary Board, Brad Pitt produced “The House I Live In,” one of the films released earlier this year, and probably the most surprising of all, Pat Robertson pleaded that we re-consider our prohibition on marijuana given the devastating effect they’re having on communities across the country.

While we had an incredible year reforming drug policies in 2012, this marks just the beginning. We face both unprecedented opportunities and enormous challenges ahead. Implementing the legalization laws in Colorado and Washington — and winning new legalization campaigns in other states – will certainly be a priority. The fight for more reforms will be political, in the courts, in the media, at the state and federal level, in Congress, and even internationally. DPA is the only group fighting this battle on every front, and we’ll need more support to keep moving forward. Now more than ever is the time to join the movement to end the war on drugs. Join us.

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