California

For more than 15 years in California, the Drug Policy Alliance has sponsored and supported some of the nation’s most progressive drug policy reforms, including significant reforms in the arenas of marijuana access, harm reduction and criminal justice.

DPA’s team in California has worked tirelessly to increase sterile syringe access in California to prevent HIV and hepatitis C transmission; sponsored the landmark ballot initiative that legalized medical marijuana; created the largest treatment-instead-of-incarceration program in the country; helped reduce criminal penalties for drug use while dramatically expanding access to drug treatment; expanded access to the lifesaving overdose reversal medication naloxone; and has sought to legally regulate marijuana for adult use in California while leading the nationwide effort to do so.

DPA‘s Harm Reduction Reforms in California

In 2011, DPA won key victories that expanded syringe access to every county in the state. In 2012, with support from allies, we succeeded in getting 911 Good Samaritan legislation signed and enacted into law, providing limited immunity to individuals seeking medical attention for someone experiencing an overdose. In 2014, we victoriously defended and expanded our law allowing for non-prescription sales of syringes with new legislation signed into law. We also achieved victory with a law allowing pharmacy sales of naloxone without a prescription to people who may witness or experience an opiate overdose. In 2015, DPA will focus on the successful implementation of these two laws statewide, along with advancing harm reduction strategies in Los Angeles and San Francisco counties.

DPA‘s Criminal Justice Reforms in California

In 2012, we worked closely with allies in California to pass a historic ballot initiative to reform the state’s “Three Strikes” law with a two-to-one victory at the ballot box.

While Governor Brown vetoed DPA’s bill to reduce the criminal penalty for drug possession from a felony to a misdemeanor in 2013, in 2014 DPA and our allies achieved victory with Prop 47, which applied this reform both prospectively and retroactively,  along with other penalty reductions for low level crimes.. In 2014, DPA achieved victory on a ten-year effort  to eliminate racially-based sentencing disparities between cocaine base and cocaine powder possession for sale through the passage of the California Fair Sentencing Act. In 2015, DPA will seek to reform law enforcement practices related to civil asset forfeiture.

DPA‘s Marijuana Reforms in California

For the past two decades, DPA has been at the forefront of the fight to end marijuana prohibition, both in California and around the country.  DPA is working in coalition to draft and run a 2016 ballot initiative to regulate marijuana for adults in California. Unequal application of the law and other harms of marijuana prohibition have impacted millions of Californians. DPA looks forward to leading the way into a post-prohibition era of sensible regulations, and a redirection of vital law enforcement resources. DPA also continues to be committed to protecting patient access to medical marijuana in California, by working with legislators to develop a regulation system that will best serve patients and their communities.

Latinos and DPA in California

Since 2012 DPA has been working to engage Latinos in Southern California on drug policy reform issues. Our effort launched with the Caravan for Peace and Justice, a bi-national venture led by prominent Mexican poet Javier Sicilia. Since then, we have engaged more than four dozen prominent Latino organizations across California to build unprecedented support for drug policy reform. During the 2013 and 2014 legislative cycles nearly two dozen Latino organizations supported DPA legislation that called for reducing the penalty for  simple drug possession  and equalizing penalties for crack and powder cocaine.  DPA  also partnered with Presente.org to shape Latino opinion on drug policy – illustrating its effects on Latino families in California by using coordinated online, on-the-ground, and social and mainstream media engagement. In 2015, DPA is spearheading an effort to prevent deportation for immigrants who commit low level drug law violations. To learn more about DPA’s Spanish language work, please see http://www.drugpolicy.org/es.

Bring Back Balance: Sentencing Reforms Save Money & Improve Realignment

June 26, 2011
ACLU of California, Drug Policy Alliance, and the Ella Baker Center

It's time to reform California's sentencing laws. Californians are fed up with misguided policies that have packed our prisons & jails, drained our state budget and led to one of the highest rates of recidivism in the country.

US Supreme Court Upholds Order to Reduce California Prison Over-crowding

Advocates Urge California to Focus on Resolving Crisis, Including Ending Prison as Response to Drug Use

9,000 in Prison for Drug Possession at Cost of $450 Million a Year

WASHINGTON, DC – The United States Supreme Court ruled today in Brown, et al. v. Plata, that the unconstitutional conditions of California's prisons were caused primarily by overcrowding and ordered California to reduce its prison population from over 200% of design capacity to 137.5% of capacity within two years.

Theshia Naidoo 510-229-5214 or Tommy McDonald 510-229-5215

Marijuana Legalization in California

May 27, 2010
Jeffrey A. Miron

Should California, or the country, legalize marijuana? Miron says "Yes," and for a multitude of reasons.

Revised Budget Reaffirms Realignment, Leaves Out Sentencing Reform

Advocacy Organizations Point to Simple & Safe Reforms as Key to Realignment's Success

SACRAMENTO – In his revised 2011-12 state budget, Governor Brown today recommitted to his criminal justice realignment plan, but left out safe and simple sentencing reforms that would ensure that the plan is effective and affordable. The governor's plan keeps people convicted of minor felonies at the county level instead of in state prison. Advocates highlighted, however, that a key part of the solution lies in changing minor offenses from felonies to misdemeanors so that the punishment and its associated taxpayer cost fits the crime.

Margaret Dooley-Sammuli 213-291-4190 or Tony Newman 646-335-5384

New Poll Finds Strong Majority of CA Voters Believe Too Many People Imprisoned, Favor Reducing Drug Possession Penalty from a Felony to a Misdemeanor

Voters More Likely to Vote for Candidates Who Support Reducing Drug Possession Penalty

Press Teleconference at 11 A.M. Will Review Survey Findings, Discuss Plans to Achieve Reform

Tony Newman at 646-335-5384 or Abel Haptegeorgis at 510.428.3939

Gov. Brown Signs Bill to Shift Incarceration for Low-Level Felonies to Counties

Advocates Criticize Failure to Address Excessive Sentencing or Fund Drug, Mental Health Treatment and Other Prevention Services

Margaret Dooley-Sammuli at 213-291-4190

California Drug Penalty Poll Analysis

April 11, 2011
Lake Research Partners

A California statewide survey reveals an electorate strongly in favor of reducing from a felony to a misdemeanor the possession of a small amount of illegal drugs for personal use. Support for this reform is both broad, with nearly three-quarters of voters backing the proposed change, and intense.

California Drug Penalty Poll Results

April 11, 2011
Lake Research Partners

A California statewide survey reveals an electorate strongly in favor of reducing from a felony to a misdemeanor the possession of a small amount of illegal drugs for personal use. Support for this reform is both broad, with nearly three-quarters of voters backing the proposed change, and intense.

Center for Medicinal Cannabis Research: Report to the California Legislature (2010)

February 11, 2010
Center for Medicinal Cannabis Research, University of California

This report was submitted in response to the California legislature passing and Governor Gray Davis signing SB847, which commissioned the University of California to establish a scientific research program to expand the public scientific knowledge on purported therapeutic usages of marijuana.

Taxing and Regulating Marijuana in California

California continues to fight a battle it cannot win. Every year, more and more people are arrested for marijuana possession. That enforcement disproportionately targets young people of color, especially African Americans. If California spent only a fraction of what it currently spends on marijuana arrests and prosecutions on drug treatment and education, we would be well on our way to a responsible marijuana policy.

Page 11 of 13
Syndicate content