Press Release  | 09/11/2003

First-Ever Report on U.S. Drug Policy Reforms Finds Over 150 New Laws in 46 States Since 1996

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Nationwide, Bipartisan Momentum Building in Favor of Medical Marijuana, Drug Treatment Instead of Incarceration, Sterile Syringes and Racial Justice

A first-of-its-kind report will be released on Tuesday, September 16 detailing the numerous drug policy reforms that have taken place around the country in recent years. The report: State of the States: Drug Policy Reforms, 1996-2002 found more than 150 changes in state legislation on a range of issues, including: advancing alternatives to incarceration, protecting medical marijuana patients and providers, expanding sterile syringe availability, and restoring benefits and voting rights to former drug offenders.

While the federal government continues to spend billions of dollars on the failed, three-decade-old war on drugs, forty-six states have passed drug policy reform legislation, according to the new report. And in 17 of these states, including California, Connecticut, Hawaii, Illinois, Maryland, Nevada, New Mexico, Utah, Vermont and Washington, three or more pieces of drug policy reform legislation have passed since 1996.

The report was researched and written by the Drug Policy Alliance, the nation's leading organization working to end the war on drugs and promote new drug policies based on science, compassion, health and human rights.

WHAT: Release of State of the States: Drug Policy Reforms, 1996-2002 -- A First-Of-Its-Kind Report by the Drug Policy Alliance

WHEN: Tuesday, September 16, 12:30 PM EST (9:30 AM PST)

Tony Newman at 212-613-8026 or Shayna Samuels at 646-523-6961

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