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

Sen. Mark Leno's Bill, SB 649, to Reduce the Penalty for Simple Drug Possession Clears Public Safety Committee

Proposed Bill Would Help Curb Prison and Jail Overcrowding in California; Heads to a Full Floor Vote in May

SACRAMENTO, CA — Today, the Senate Public Safety Committee approved SB649, which will give prosecutorial and judicial discretion to charge possession of small amounts of illicit drugs for personal use as a felony or a misdemeanor as the case warrants, by a 4-2 margin. The bill, sponsored by Sen. Mark Leno (D-San Francisco) would help reduce prison and jail overcrowding in California.

Contact: Lynne Lyman 213-210-1023 or Tommy McDonald 510-229-5215

CA Lt. Governor Gavin Newsom Calls on California to Lead the Nation in Ending Marijuana Prohibition and Failed Drug War

Newsom Makes Bold Statement in Huffington Post Piece

California Lt. Governor Gavin Newsom, in a piece on the Huffington Post, has called on his state to lead the nation in ending marijuana prohibition and the failed drug war, as it led in adopting the nation’s first medical marijuana law in 1996.

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

New Overdose Prevention Bill Passes with Bipartisan Support in California Assembly Health Committee

Public Health Advocates and Families Urge California Assembly Appropriations Committee to Pass New Overdose Prevention Bill

SACRAMENTO—In a showing of bipartisan support yesterday, the Assembly Health Committee voted in favor of Asm. Richard Bloom’s (D-Santa Monica) AB 831, a bill that would require a temporary state task force of experts to develop a comprehensive plan to address the state’s overdose crisis, as well as establish a modest funding source for groups working to reduce overdose deaths. The bill now moves to the Assembly Appropriations Committee before a floor vote of the full Assembly later this session.

CONTACT: Meghan Ralston 323-681-5224 or Tommy McDonald 510-338-8827

California Must Resolve Racial Disparities in State Sentencing

April 3, 2013

This clip shows Republican congressional members from California along with other national leaders speaking out against the unjust racial disparities in sentencing between powder and crack cocaine during passage of the federal “Fair Sentencing Act of 2010” that narrowed the federal disparity in sentencing from 100:1 to 18:1.

California Assemblymember Richard Bloom Introduces Legislation to Address State's Growing Overdose Crisis

Parent Activists and Overdose Prevention Groups Cheer Groundbreaking State Legislation

SACRAMENTO—Assemblymember Richard Bloom (D-Santa Monica) introduced an overdose prevention bill that many are hailing as the first of its kind in the state.

Contact: Meghan Ralston 323-681-5224 or Tommy McDonald 510-229-5215

Life-Saving Drug for Heroin OD Not Widely Available

March 22, 2013
NBC

NBC Los Angeles reporter Michelle Valles explains the opiate overdose reversal medication naloxone (Narcan) and the efforts to expand access to the lifesaving drug (air date Friday, March 22, 2013)

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. 

Page 8 of 15
Syndicate content