Families

DPA is committed to ending the drug war’s assault on families.  Families throughout the United States have experienced the devastating consequences of failed drug war policies.  One in 28 children in this country have a parent in prison, in large part due to the mass incarceration of people convicted of drug law violations.  Even parents who avoid criminal punishment risk losing custody of their children, regardless of whether their drug use is problematic or not.  Ineffective drug education and student drug testing have chipped away at the bonds of trust between parents and children.  We support policies that treat drug use as a health issue, not a criminal justice issue, and we believe that families should have privacy and autonomy when dealing with drugs and addiction.
 

Greenburger Center for Social and Criminal Justice

The Greenburger Center for Social and Criminal Justice advocates for needed reforms to the criminal justice system.

Riverside County School Districts Letter

March 17, 2014

To highlight the atrocities that have gone on in Riverside County high schools and hopefully prevent future ones, the Drug Policy Alliance sent this letter to 20 school district superintendents in Riverside County urging them not to allow undercover law enforcement operations on their campuses.  Such operations are ineffective at combating drug availability on campus and worse, they inflict irreparable harm on young people struggling with the challenges of adolescence or special needs.  The letter also informed schools about the potential legal liability for allowing such operatio

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.

Parents of Autistic Teen Entrapped by Cops Sue School District

Lawsuit Highlights Cruel Practices and Ineffectiveness of Undercover Narcotics Operations in Schools

TEMECULA, CA – The parents of a 17-year-old special needs student arrested in an undercover police operation announced today they are suing the school district that authorized the operation. The student, who suffers from a range of disabilities, was falsely befriended by a police officer who repeatedly asked the boy to provide him drugs.

Contact: Darby Beck: 415.823.5496; Tony Newman: 646.335.5384 or Catherine and Doug Snodgrass: 951.643.4212

Children of Incarcerated Parents Bear the Weight of the War on Drugs

Growing up with an incarcerated parent can be tough. The feelings of isolation and stigma that I and others like me experienced growing up were a tough burden to bear.

To ignore the impact of incarceration on the family is to ignore how the drug war continues to dismantle black and Latino communities. The United States' prison population -- fueled by the war on drugs -- is increasing, with blacks and Latinos being the majority of those incarcerated.

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.

LGBT Communities and Drug Policy Reform

January 31, 2013

Personal sovereignty informs both the LGBT liberation and drug policy reform movements. Police surveillance and repression, along with stigma and moral panic, have been used to great effect against both LGBT individuals and people who use drugs.

The Drug War, Mass Incarceration and Race

July 21, 2014

With less than 5 percent of the world’s population but nearly 25 percent of its incarcerated population, the United States imprisons more people than any other nation in the world – largely due to the war on drugs. Misguided drug laws and draconian sentencing requirements have produced profoundly unequal outcomes for communities of color. Although rates of drug use and selling are comparable across racial and ethnic lines, blacks and Latinos are far more likely to be criminalized for drug law violations than whites.

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