Marijuana arrests are the engine driving the U.S. war on drugs. Nearly half of all drug arrests each year are for marijuana-related offenses
, the overwhelming majority of which are for personal possession.
These arrests fall disproportionately on blacks and Latinos, even though white people use marijuana at similar rates. Many of those who are arrested are saddled with a criminal conviction that can make it difficult or impossible to vote, obtain educational loans, get a job, secure housing, or even adopt a child. Additionally, the huge number of marijuana arrests each year usurps scarce law enforcement, criminal justice, and treatment resources at enormous cost to U.S. taxpayers.
The Drug Policy Alliance works to reduce the number of marijuana related arrests and associated penalties through crafting and advocating for legislation removing or reducing criminal penalties, initiatives making marijuana arrests the lowest law enforcement priority, and community based policy changes.
DPA also works to expose and reduce rampant, system-wide racial disparities in marijuana arrests. DPA has released reports documenting and detailing chilling disparities in New York City
and across California
and continues to raise awareness about the unique burden U.S. marijuana policy places on black and Latino communities
Marijuana prohibition has also caused incalculable violence and destruction
by fostering an illegal marijuana market. Organized crime, drug cartels, and gangs are the greatest financial beneficiaries of marijuana prohibition. In Mexico, illegal marijuana sales
have contributed to the loss of tens of thousands of lives.
Congressional Interference Comes After D.C. Lawmakers Decriminalize Marijuana to Ease Racial Disparities in the Criminal Justice System
Washington, D.C. – Republicans may offer an amendment to a federal appropriations bill tomorrow morning that would prevent the District of Columbia from implementing the marijuana decriminalization law recently passed by the D.C. City Council and signed into law by the mayor in March. The amendment would prohibit spending federal funds or even its locally raised funds to carry out any law, rule or regulation to legalize or otherwise reduce criminal penalties for marijuana.
Marijuana Reform Gaining Unprecedented Global Momentum
On Friday, Jamaican Minister of Justice Mark Golding released a statement announcing government support for a proposal to decriminalize the possession of up to two ounces of marijuana and the decriminalization of marijuana use for religious, scientific and medical purposes.
Marijuana-infused products, often referred to as “edibles”, are an important part of the burgeoning marijuana market. However, proper regulation is necessary to ensure reliability and safety. DPA believes that marijuana-infused products should be regulated and tested to ensure safety, quality and accuracy of information, that they should be labeled with detailed information to ensure that consumers are informed about what they are consuming and educated on how to safely consume, and that all edibles should be kept away from children.
Drug Policy Alliance, MAPS
This report, co-published by DPA and MAPS, illustrates a decades-long pattern of behavior that demonstrates the Drug Enforcement Administration’s (DEA’s) inability to exercise its responsibilities in a fair and impartial manner or to act in accord with the scientific evidence. The report’s case studies reveal a number of DEA practices that maintain the existing, scientifically unsupported drug scheduling system and obstruct research that might alter current drug schedules.
This is an English translation of the regulations signed on May 6, 2014 to accompany Uruguay’s marijuana legalization law, passed in December 2013, making Uruguay the first country in the world to legalize the production, distribution and sale of marijuana for adults. In the regulations, specifics of the system - beyond what was captured in the bill (Law 19.172) - are fleshed out, providing details on forms of access, restrictions and regulatory specifics.
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.
Political Battle Builds as DEA Faces Growing Scrutiny for Slew of Scandals: Use of NSA Data to Spy on Virtually All Americans, Massacre of Civilians in Honduras, and Systematic Pattern of Fabricating Evidence
DEA Administrator Michele Leonhart Increasingly At Odds With President Obama, Justice Dept., and Congress
Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) has weighed in on the political firestorm that has ensued since the DEA recently seized legal hemp seeds bound for a Kentucky hemp research program that was approved by Congress. McConnell told Politico last night, “It is an outrage that DEA is using finite taxpayer dollars to impound legal industrial hemp seeds.” The Kentucky Agriculture Department is suing the agency.
Extreme Racial Disparities Persist: 86% of arrests are young Black and Latino Men, Even Though Young White Men Use Marijuana At Higher Rates
Analysis: Significant Drop in Stop-and-Frisk Does Not End Marijuana Possession Arrests; Advocates Call for Focused Plan to End Biased Arrests
NEW YORK: Today the Marijuana Arrest Research Project released data showing that racially bias marijuana arrests continue to be one of the leading arrests in New York City, despite the precipitous drop in stop and frisks.
Historic Step Will Reduce Both Racial Disparities and the Number of Brooklynites Unfairly Saddled with Lifelong Arrest Records
Advocates, Community Groups Applaud DA Thompson for His Leadership and Demand Action by City Hall and Albany
NEW YORK: Today, Brooklyn elected officials, community groups, and advocates rallied on the steps of Borough Hall to support District Attorney Ken Thompson’s proposal to stop prosecuting people arrested for possessing small amounts of marijuana.