California

Tuesday November 4th is Election Day, and there are some VERY important drug policy reform issues to vote for…or against in California.

Most importantly, vote YES on Proposition 47 to end felony sentencing for people charged with simple drug possession in California. This is our opportunity to end felonies for simple drug possession and other petty crimes in California and every vote is needed to achieve victory. From polling, we know that a huge majority of Californians support this reform, so it all comes down to whether we turn out to vote. 

We are also urging you to vote NO on Proposition 46, the “Drug and Alcohol Testing of Doctors, Medical Negligence Lawsuits Initiative Statute.” Of greatest concern is that Prop 46 requires drug and alcohol testing of doctors and reporting of positive test results to the California Medical Board. Additionally it requires the California Medical Board to suspend any doctor that tests positive, pending investigation of the positive test result, and to take disciplinary action if the doctor was impaired while on duty and requires doctors to report any other doctor suspected of alcohol or other drug impairment or medical negligence. Learn more about why DPA says NO on Proposition 46.

Depending on where you live in California, you have the opportunity to vote for one of our drug policy champions in the U.S. Congress, such as Reps Barbara Lee, Dana Rohrabacher, Sam Farr, or Tony Cardenas. For details see the Drug Policy Action 2014 Drug Policy Reform Congressional Voter Guide, which grades members of Congress on how they voted on seven key drug policy reform votes in the U.S. House of Representatives in 2013 and 2014.

What you Need to Know to Vote:

If you have a vote-by-mail ballot, it has to be RECEIVED by your county elections office by 8:00pm on election night, November 4. So if you plan to mail in your ballot, be sure to mail it by Friday October 31 to ensure it is received by the deadline. You can also drop off your vote-by-mail ballot in-person at your county elections office or any polling place in your county before 8:00 pm on Election Day. If you do not have a vote-by-mail ballot, vote in-person at your polling place on November 4 from 7:00am - 8:00pm. Find your polling place here.

Now it’s time to cast your vote to end felony sentencing for simple drug possession, stop baseless drug testing, and support the courageous drug policy reform champions in Congress.

Please make sure your friends, your family, and everyone you know does the same! Share this page to help us spread the word and write or call your friends telling them why you support Proposition 47 and remind them to vote.

Together, we will win on Election Day!

CA State Director, Lynne Lyman Speaks Out Against Zero-Tolerance Drug Policies in Schools

August 12, 2013

California State Director, Lynne Lyman shares her experiences as a mother and discusses the need for reality-based drug education programs in schools.  In addition, Lynne shares the harmful long-term impact zero-tolerance policies have on students by introducing them to the criminal justice system at an early age.  Instead of punitive policies, Lynne calls for schools to use a restorative justice approach with students, as a means of keeping students engaged in ac

Marijuana: Is Obama Administration Softening Stance on Pot?

That alone has produced a love-hate relationship between the cannabis nation and a president who admitted inhaling in his younger days. Eric Holder, Obama's top cop, is ultimately the guy behind those raids, too. But pot proponents are hopeful change is in the wind in Washington:

Uruguay pushes legislation to fully legalize marijuana

Legislation is expected to pass soon in Uruguay to fully legalize marijuana, making the South American nation the first country in the world to create a government-regulated marijuana industry.

The bill could become law as soon as this month, allowing citizens to grow their own as well ask buy from pharmacies. The bill has been opposed by many in the country, but President José Mujica supports the bill, and believes ti would shift focus towards limiting the trafficking of other drugs.

ATF Programs Target Inner City Youths Through Fictional Drug Heists That Border on Entrapment

As the Senate confirmed President Obama’s nominee Todd Jones as head of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives yesterday, one controversial ATF practice was not raised during the hearings.

Jones, who has been working as interim ATF head, was not questioned about a program investigated in a special report by USA Today, that found the government agency had poured significant resources into luring former criminals and low-level drug dealers into large-scale crimes in order to convict them with long prison sentences.

Drugs Happen: Getting Real About Music Festivals

A couple of weeks ago, more than 70 people in Gorge, Washington were sent to area hospitals after what was initially reported to be a mass overdose on the club drug 'molly' (MDMA) at the Paradiso outdoor music festival. One man died from allegedly ingesting it. In keeping with unfortunate tradition, the media didn't ask many -- if any -- hard questions about the event.

City of Berkeley fights U.S. civil action against marijuana dispensary

(CNN) -- The city of Berkeley, California, is trying to stop the U.S. government from closing a medical marijuana dispensary and filed a federal court claim Wednesday, attorneys said.

In the latest strategy against federal attempts to shut down marijuana shops, the city contends the U.S. civil action would harm the city by depriving it of hundreds of thousands of dollars in taxes, paid over a period of years, according to Drug Policy Alliance, a nonprofit group whose attorneys are representing the city.

City of Berkeley Fights Federal Action to Seize Property of City's Largest Medical Marijuana Dispensary

City Files Claim Asserting that Federal Action Harms Berkeley’s  Ability to Control and Regulate Medical Marijuana

Federal Action to Close Berkeley Patients Group will Hurt City’s Tax Revenue and Weaken Medical Marijuana Regulation, City Asserts in in Federal Court Proceeding

BERKELEY, CA - The City of Berkeley filed a claim Wednesday in the action brought by the federal government in May to seize the property used by Berkeley Patients Group at 2366 San Pablo Avenue in Berkeley, California.  Berkeley Patients Group has been providing medical marijuana to patients within the City since 1999.  It is in full compliance with the City of Berkeley’s medical marijuana ordinance, regulations, and zoning laws.

Contact: Tony Newman  646-335-5384 or Tamar Todd 510-593-4908

Recommendations for California Byrne Grant Spending

April 30, 2013

DPA’s specific recommendations are to increase the Byrne Grant funding for substance use treatment, reduce funding for activities that arrest people for low-level drug offenses, and to eliminate the funding for marijuana suppression activities. Historically, Byrne Grants have been used primarily to finance drug task forces, which have a record of racially disproportionate low-level drug arrests and increased local and state costs with no measurable impact on public safety.

California Overdose Prevention Bill, AB 831, Stalled in Assembly Appropriations Committee

Committee Vetoes Overdose Prevention Funding; OD Remains Leading Cause of Accidental Death in State

Last Friday, California’s Assembly Appropriations committee chairman Mike Gatto chose to hold Assemblymember Richard Bloom’s overdose prevention funding bill, AB 831, in committee, effectively killing it for this year. Procedurally the bill remains in committee and could be moved forward in a year.

Contact: Meghan Ralston 323-681-5224

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