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 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.

There are over 500 chemicals in the marijuana plant and about 80 of those are cannabinoids, which are the active ingredients. Concentrate producers harvest these from the plant and create a substance made up of only these active ingredients, similar to juicing an orange. Concentrates are usually ingested via inhalation, but can also be ingested orally and are often used as an ingredient in infused edible products.

Proposition 47, officially called The Safe Neighborhoods and Schools Act, is a law passed by voter initiative in California on November 4, 2014. Prop. 47 changed certain low level crimes like drug possession and petty-theft offenses from felonies (or wobblers) to misdemeanors, retroactively and going forward.

This is the first in a series of fact sheets that will address different implementation issues. This fact sheet exlcusivley addresses record reclassification.

Marijuana’s medical efficacy derives largely from more than 70 unique chemicals – called cannabinoids – that each have important therapeutic properties. Currently, 23 states, the District of Columbia, Guam and Puerto Rico have adopted comprehensive medical marijuana laws that provide patients with access to all of marijuana’s beneficial ingredients.

Proposition 46 (Prop 46) is the “Drug and Alcohol Testing of Doctors. Medical Negligence Lawsuits. Initiative Statute.” It is on the California ballot for the November 4, 2014 election. 

The Drug Policy Alliance opposes Prop 46 because of its invasive random drug testing provisions, its ineffective and punitive approach to substance misuse, and its lack of privacy protections for personal health information.

This fact sheet looks at the numbers post-marijuana legalization in Colorado and Washington.

DPA opposes efforts to criminalize and incarcerate people simply for using or possessing prescription drugs for non-medical purposes. Instead, we recommend policies that deal with prescription drug use and misuse from a health-oriented perspective.

These are ten top facts about marijuana policy and effects, with detailed supporting information and citations.

On Thursday, July 17, 2014, the “Marijuana Possession Decriminalization Amendment Act of 2014 (D.C. Act 20-305)” took effect in the District of Columbia, and makes possession of marijuana punishable by a $25 fine instead of jail time. This new law is expected to enhance civil rights in the District of Columbia by reducing racial disparities in arrest rates for marijuana possession.

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