Fact Sheet

Synthetic Cathinones

July 13, 2016

“Bath salts” and "flakka" are names for substances that fall within a broad category of drugs called “synthetic cathinones.” Synthetic cathinones are considered “euphoric stimulants,” meaning they have a short acting duration of physical and psychological effects similar to stimulants like amphetamine. Despite widespread media attention throughout the country over the past few years, relatively few people are using synthetic cathinones compared to other drugs.

Synthetic Cannabinoids

July 13, 2016
“Synthetic marijuana” is a common, but misleading, term that refers to a class of substances more accurately called cannabinoid receptor agonists or synthetic cannabinoids. These substances are generally more harmful than plant-based marijuana. Despite widespread media attention throughout the country over the past few years, relatively few people are using synthetic cannabinoid products compared to other drugs.

The Global Drug War: Fueling Lack of Access to Essential Medicines

July 11, 2016

Millions of people around the world are needlessly dying in pain because of an imbalanced approach to drug policy. Five-and-a-half billion people live in countries with inadequate access to medicines for pain relief. This means that millions of people are suffering from avoidable pain – including 5.5 million terminal cancer patients, one million people with end-stage AIDS, 800,000 victims of accidents and violence, millions of women in labor, and millions more recovering from surgery.

Drug-Induced Homicide Laws: A Misguided Response to Overdose Deaths

April 29, 2016

Policymakers are understandably alarmed at the overdose crisis with which they are now confronted. The public is calling for help and solutions. Elected officials unfamiliar with, or resistant to, harm reduction, prevention, and treatment interventions, however, are introducing punitive, counter-productive legislative measures that allow prosecutors to charge people who provide the drugs that ultimately contribute to an overdose death with homicide.

Your #SaferPartying Checklist

March 30, 2016

You know alcohol and other drugs are part of the music festival and concert scene – and you know that using them carries both pleasures and risks.

We want people to have honest, non-judgmental information about drugs so if they choose to use they’ll stay safe and we can all enjoy the music and have fun. Here are 5 things to keep in mind if you’re thinking about adding alcohol or other drugs to your party.

The Drug War and Mass Deportation (English/Spanish)

February 10, 2016

The drug war has increasingly become a war against migrant communities. It fuels racial profiling, border militarization, violence against immigrants, intrusive government surveillance and, especially, widespread detentions and deportations.

10 Facts About MDMA (English/Spanish)

August 31, 2015

MDMA, often referred to as “ecstasy” or “molly”, is short for 3,4 methylenedioxymethamphetamine, a psychoactive drug derived from safrole oil. MDMA produces effects that resemble both stimulants and psychedelics, as well as its signature effect: a feeling of connectedness.

S. 683 CARERS Act

August 6, 2015

The Drug Policy Alliance supports S. 683 Compassionate Access, Research Expansion, and Respect States (CARERS) Act, which would affirm the right of states to set their own medical marijuana policies, reschedule medical marijuana to Schedule II, enable access to CBD oil, allow banks to provide financial services to marijuana dispensaries, permit VA physicians to recommend medical marijuana to veterans, and eliminate barriers to medical marijuana research.

Racial and Ethnic Impact Statements

July 15, 2015

A Racial and Ethnic Impact Statement (REIS) requires policymakers proposing new legislation or changes to existing legislation to assess the potential impact on racial disparities. Such statements are similar to fiscal or environmental impact statements, which are now widely considered responsible mechanisms of government. The drug war has produced profoundly unequal outcomes across racial and ethnic groups. Racial and Ethnic Impact Statements can help assess disparities at various stages of the criminal justice process to reveal discriminatory outcomes, whether purposeful or not.

Civil Asset Forfeiture

July 14, 2015

Civil asset forfeiture allows the government to seize cash, cars, real estate, or other property suspected of being connected to criminal activity. In civil forfeiture actions the property itself, rather than an individual, is believed to be connected to a crime. In fact, under federal law (as well many state laws) property can be seized and forfeited even when criminal charges are never filed against a property owner, as is the case in a staggering 80% of civil asset forfeitures.

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