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!

Understanding California's 911 Good Samaritan Law

March 1, 2013

On January 1, 2013, California became the tenth state to implement a 911 Good Samaritan overdose fatality prevention law. This law is designed to encourage people to quickly seek medical care for an overdose victim by providing limited protection from arrest, charge and/or prosecution for low-level drug law violations. DPA and our allies spearheaded the passage of this law – and we are now working throughout the state to ensure its effective implementation.

Senator Mark Leno proposes to make drug possession a 'wobbler'

February 27, 2013

DPA worked directly with Senator Mark Leno's office on a bill that would go a long way toward solving California's mass incarceration crisis. By allowing judges to sentence drug possession as a misdemeanor, defendants can avoid long prison terms and the life-long collateral consequences that follow a felony conviction. 

DPA Staff Presentations at the 2013 California NORML Conference

January 26, 2013

Several DPA staff members spoke as panelists at California NORML's 2013 conference on January 26-27 in San Francisco. The conference explored the history, causes and costs of marijuana prohibition -- and strategies for ending it.

Bringing Down the New Jim Crow Radio Series

June 4, 2013
Series produced by Chris Moore-Backman

Inspired by Michelle Alexander's groundbreaking book THE NEW JIM CROW: MASS INCARCERATION IN THE AGE OF COLORBLINDNESS, this series of radio documentaries explores the intersection of the drug war, mass incarceration, and race in the contemporary U.S.

CA Lt. Governor Gavin Newsom Comes Out in Support of Marijuana Legalization in Front Page NY Times Story

Newsom Adds Voice to Growing List of Prominent U.S. and World Leaders Calling for Alternatives to Failed Drug War

Full-Page DPA NY Times Ad Yesterday: Thanks Colorado and Washington Voters, Pat Robertson, Former U.S. Presidents Bill Clinton and Jimmy Carter, NY Gov. Andrew Cuomo, NJ Gov. Chris Christie, and Presidents of Colombia, Guatemala and Uruguay

Contact: Tony Newman 646-335-5384 or Ethan Nadelmann 646-335-2240

California's New 'Good Samaritan' Overdose Prevention Law Goes into Effect January 1, 2013

California Becomes Largest State in U.S. to Enact Legislation Aimed at Curbing National Overdose Crisis

Contact: Meghan Ralston 323-681-5224

What does marijuana legalization in Colorado and Washington mean for the rest of the country?

December 5, 2012

Amanda Reiman, Policy manager at DPA, talks with Cannabis Consciousness about the fine details of the marijuana regulation and taxation laws in Colorado and Washington, and the impact it will have on drug policy nationally.

California Votes to Reform Draconian "Three Strikes" Mandatory Minimum Law

November 7, 2012
Lynne Lyman

Californians voted to put an end to one of the harshest and least effective sentencing laws in the country. Proposition 36 ensures that no more people are sentenced to life in prison for minor and nonviolent drug law violations. Implementation of the new law will not only bring relief to petty offenders moving forward, but inmates currently serving life sentences for non-serious, non-violent crimes can apply for a new sentence.

California Votes to Reform Draconian "Three Strikes" Mandatory Minimum Law

Proposition 36 Puts End to 25-to-Life Sentences for Minor Drug Law Violations and Other Nonviolent Crimes

Californians voter appear to have voted overwhelmingly to reform their state’s draconian “three strikes” law. The measure, Proposition 36, which enjoyed a huge lead in early returns, will close a controversial loophole in the law so that life sentences can only be imposed when the new felony conviction is “serious or violent.”

Contact: Ethan Nadelmann 646-335-2240 or Lynne Lyman 213-210-1023

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