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.

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

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.

LA County Officials Put on "Probation" for Mismanagement

October 3, 2013

This short video produced by the Beyond Bars campaign demonstrates how LA County officials have mismanaged over $500 million in Realignment dollars and fallen short on supporting formerly incarcerated people who need drug treatment, mental health, and other reentry services.

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.

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