California

For nearly twenty years, the Drug Policy Alliance has sponsored and supported some of the nation’s most progressive drug policy reforms in California. Learn about the work of our California team and how you can help support their efforts to create effective drug policies in the golden state.


Voter Alert!
DPA has endorsed Prop 64, which would control, regulate and tax responsible adult use of marijuana in California.
Learn more about the initiative


Our Campaigns

Marijuana Reform
Unequal application of the law and other harms of marijuana prohibition have affected millions of Californians. DPA is committed to ending marijuana prohibition and protecting patient access to medical marijuana in California.

Harm Reduction
DPA is working to reduce the harms associated with drug use in California. Our priorities include expanding sterile syringe access, preventing overdose, increasing access to effective treatment and establishing supervised injection facilities.

Criminal Justice
Drug arrests have led to unprecedented levels of incarceration in California, especially for people of color. DPA advocates for broad sentencing reform, alternatives to incarceration, protecting immigrants from deportation for drug offenses, reversing the negative impact of past drug-related criminalization and ending civil asset forfeiture.


Did you know you could get the opiate overdose reversal drug, naloxone, in California pharmacies without a prescription?
Find a participating pharmacy


Engaging Latinos

DPA is working to engage Latinos in Southern California on drug policy issues. We are building unprecedented support for drug policy reform by engaging prominent Latino organizations across the state.

Recent efforts

  • Since 2012, we have been an ally of the Caravan for Peace, Life and Justice, a group of activists who travel through Central and North America to spread awareness and generate discussion about the humanitarian crisis caused by the US-funded drug war in Mexico.
  • In 2013 and 2014, 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.
  • In 2015, DPA partnered with immigrant rights advocates to advance “crimigration” legislation, an effort to prevent deportation for immigrants who commit low-level drug law violations.

See our Spanish language materials


The Drug Policy Alliance is proud to support state and local organizations that are working for drug policy reform. Thank you to our allies in California. 

See our list of allies

Sir Richard Branson, LT. Gov. Gavin Newsom, and SF DA George Gascon to Discuss More Humane Approach to the Failed War on Drugs

Event will feature special screening of  Film ‘Breaking the Taboo’

Film Narrated by Morgan Freeman, Features Interviews with Bill Clinton, Jimmy Carter Former Presidents of Brazil, Colombia, Mexico and Sweden, Victims of Drug War, Leading Experts and Advocates

Sundog Pictures announced it will be holding a special screening of its groundbreaking documentary “Breaking the Taboo,” about the failed war on drugs, in San Francisco. The screening will be held at 5.30pm on Tuesday, March 25 at the New People Cinema, 1746 Post Street, San Francisco.

Contact: Laura Thomas 415-283-6366 or Nicolla Hewitt 917-770-3166

Senator Holly Mitchell Introduces Fair Sentencing Act to Eliminate Disparities Between Crack and Powder Cocaine Sentencing in California

A dozen civil rights groups line up as sponsors of this long overdue legislation, including Drug Policy Alliance, ACLU, NAACP, and NCLR

SACRAMENTO, CA —Senator Holly Mitchell (D-Los Angeles) introduced Senate Bill 1010 to equalize the penalties for crack cocaine to the current penalties for powder cocaine.  Senator Mitchell’s bill will correct the groundless disparity in sentencing, probation and asset forfeiture guidelines for possession of crack cocaine for sale versus the same crime involving powder cocaine that has resulted in a pattern of racial discrimination in sentencing and incarceration in California.

Contact: Lynne Lyman (213) 210-1023 or Charles Stewart (213) 745-6656

Assemblymember Richard Bloom Introduces Bill Expanding Pharmacy Access to Lifesaving Overdose Reversal Drug

California Pharmacists Support New Legislation Expanding Access to Overdose Antidote Naloxone
 
Parents and Overdose Prevention Advocates Cheer New Bill Expanding Access to Naloxone in California Pharmacies
SACRAMENTO, CA—In an effort to combat the California’s rising rate of drug overdose fatalities, Assemblymember Richard Bloom (D-Santa Monica) introduced AB 1535, to greatly expand access to the opiate overdose reversal medicine naloxone at pharmacies throughout the state.
 

Contact: Meghan Ralston 323-681-5224

Ethan Nadelmann at the Justice on Trial Film Festival: "Taking Drugs Out of the Criminal Justice System"

October 21, 2013

"Taking Drugs Out of the Criminal Justice System," a keynote talk by Ethan Nadelmann at the Justice on Trial Film Festival at Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles, CA. This two-day Film Festival presented a compilation of films that critically examine America’s highly-racialized mass incarceration system defined by harsh drug sentencing, jailhouse beatings, solitary confinement, stop-and-frisk humiliations, selective prosecutions, and unreasonably long sentences.

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