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.

Our Campaigns

Marijuana Reform
Unequal application of the law and other harms of marijuana prohibition have affected millions of Californians. DPA played a key role in passing Prop 64, which legalizes the adult use of marijuana in the nation's most populous state and focuses on undoing the most egregious harms of marijuana prohibition.

If you have a criminal conviction for marijuana, you may be eligible to change your record or get resentenced. Find out how to change your record under Prop 64.

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

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. 

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.

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