Fact Sheet

Marijuana Legalization in Uruguay (English/Spanish)

May 22, 2014

In December 2013, Uruguay became the first country in the world to fully legalize the production, sale and consumption of marijuana for personal use. This document is a summary of the key provisions of the law.

A Comparison of the World's First Three Jurisdictions to Legally Regulate Marijuana: Colorado, Washington and Uruguay

May 15, 2014
Drug Policy Alliance

In 2012, Colorado and Washington State became the first two jurisdictions to legally regulate marijuana, followed by Uruguay becoming the first country to do so in 2013. This table provides a comparison of the main elements of each jurisdiction’s system.

Novel Psychoactive Substances (NPS): Establish Restrictions But Don't Criminalize Them

October 16, 2015

A series of synthetic products have emerged that simulate the effects of prohibited drugs like marijuana, ecstasy (MDMA), opioids, cocaine and methamphetamine. Often called “legal highs” or “research chemicals” and largely unregulated, these drugs may cause considerably more harm than the substances they are designed to mimic. While states and Congress have rushed to prohibit these chemicals, manufacturers have simply invented new variations of the same substances to skirt the bans.

New Zealand's Groundbreaking Regulatory Model for New Synthetic Drugs

February 21, 2014

After first attempting to prohibit various synthetic drugs, New Zealand realized that simply banning these substances was unrealistic and ineffective.  In July 2013, the country’s Parliament enacted an historic new law that will regulate and control – rather than criminalize – so-called “bath salts” and other new synthetic drugs.

Law Enforcement Assisted Diversion (LEAD): Reducing the Role of Criminalization in Local Drug Control (English/Spanish)

February 10, 2016

Many U.S. cities are taking steps to reduce the role of criminalization in their local drug policies. Seattle, Washington has been at the forefront of this effort, pioneering a novel pre-booking diversion program for minor drug law violations known as Law Enforcement Assisted Diversion (LEAD). Santa Fe, New Mexico, Albany, New York, and several other cities have begun exploring this promising new strategy to improve public safety and health.

Drug Decriminalization in Portugal: A Health-Centered Approach (English/Spanish)

February 5, 2015

Portugal enacted one of the most extensive drug law reforms in the world when it decriminalized low-level possession and use of all illicit drugs more than a decade ago.  Results of the Portuguese experience demonstrate that drug decriminalization – alongside a serious investment in treatment and harm reduction services – can significantly improve public safety and health.

Heroin-Assisted Treatment (HAT) (English/Spanish)

February 10, 2016

Under HAT, pharmacological heroin is administered under strict controls in a clinical setting to those who have failed in other treatments like methadone. Every published evaluation of HAT has shown extremely positive outcomes: major reductions in illicit drug use, crime, disease and overdose; and improvements in health, wellbeing, social reintegration and treatment retention. More than a half dozen countries in Europe and Canada have implemented heroin-assisted treatment (HAT) programs.

Stigma and People Who Use Drugs

March 3, 2014

There is an extensive body of literature documenting the stigma associated with alcohol and other drug problems. No physical or psychiatric condition is more associated with social disapproval and discrimination than substance dependence. For people who use drugs, or are recovering from problematic drug use, stigma can be a barrier to a wide range of opportunities and rights.

Benefits for New Jersey Residents with Drug Convictions

January 3, 2014

Getting needed social services and support can be particularly challenging for people with drug convictions.  This fact sheet answers common questions about eligibility for three of the most helpful social support programs: Food Stamps/SNAP, Cash Assistance/GA and Medicaid.

Facts About MDMA ("Ecstasy", "Molly")

May 24, 2013

MDMA (3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine), commonly referred to as ecstasy or molly, is sold either as a pressed pill taken orally, or as a powder that is snorted or swallowed. People who use ecstasy describe themselves as feeling open, accepting, unafraid and connected to people around them. Before MDMA became popular at clubs and raves, it was utilized for therapeutic purposes by psychologists and other mental health practitioners in the 1970s and early 1980s.

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