Fact Sheet

The Drug War: Fueling the HIV/AIDS Pandemic

February 19, 2014

The global war on drugs is severely jeopardizing the fight against AIDS. Criminalizing drug use drives the HIV pandemic not just among people who use drugs – but also among their families and communities.

Marijuana Arrests in NY: Fiscally Irresponsible, Racially Biased and Unconstitutional

New York’s marijuana arrest crusade undermines fiscal responsibility, racial equity and our constitutional rights.

Opioid Overdose: Addressing a National Crisis of Preventable Deaths

August 8, 2014

Overdose prevention efforts around the nation demonstrate the immense value and efficacy of a public health and safety approach to the problem of drug misuse in society. Proven strategies are available to reduce the harms associated with drug use, treat dependence and addiction, improve immediate overdose responses, enhance public safety and prevent fatalities.

California Law Enforcement and Medical Marijuana

August 1, 2011

Law enforcement attitudes towards medical marijuana in California have been mixed. Generally, many law enforcement officials and associations have been hostile to medical marijuana, since California’s voters legalized it in 1996 and continuing today.

Mandatory Drug Testing for Unemployment Benefits and TANF is Costly and Ineffective

April 1, 2012

The legislation being proposed violates the constitution and imposes needless costs on taxpayers.

New Directions for New York: A Health and Safety Approach to Drug Policy

A public health approach to drug policy is a coordinated, comprehensive effort that balances public health and safety in order to create safer, healthier communities, measuring success by the impact of both drug use and drug policies on the public’s health.

Mandatory Drug Testing for Unemployment Benefits and TANF is Costly and Ineffective

Substance abuse affects families of all income levels and will not be ameliorated by simple drug testing and retaliatory restriction of benefits.

Background on New York's Draconian Rockefeller Drug Laws

Enacted in 1973 under then-Governor Nelson Rockefeller, the Rockefeller Drug Laws mandated extremely harsh prison terms for possession or sale of relatively small amounts of drugs. Although intended to target “kingpins,” most people incarcerated under the laws were convicted of low-level, nonviolent, first-time offenses. The laws marked an unprecedented shift towards addressing drug use and abuse through the criminal justice system instead of through the medical and public health systems.

Federal Byrne Grants: Drug War Funds Available for Drug Treatment

Historically, Byrne Grants have been used primarily to finance drug task forces, which have a record of racially disproportionate lowlevel drug arrests and increased local and state costs with no measurable impact on public safety.

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