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

Danny Glover and Director, Eugene Jarecki Will Hold a Screening of "The House I Live In," Winner of Grand Jury Prize at Sundance Film Festival in San Francisco on Monday, Sept. 24

Documentary Offers Poignant and Disturbing Look at Devastating Impact of War on Drugs on Families and Communities

Filmmakers Teaming Up with Advocacy Groups, Law Enforcement, Elected Officials across Country to Educate and Mobilize to End Disastrous War on Drugs

Lynne Lyman 213-382-6400 or Will Matthews 415-293-6309

Drug Policy Alliance and Langston Bar Association to host screening of "The House I Live In," Winner of Grand Jury Prize at Sundance Film Festival

Documentary Offers Poignant and Disturbing Look at Devastating Impact of War on Drugs on Families and Communities

Filmmakers Teaming Up with Advocacy Groups, Law Enforcement, Elected Officials across Country to Educate and Mobilize to End Disastrous War on Drugs

Lynne Lyman 213-382-6400

Gov. Jerry Brown Signs 911 Good Samaritan Law to Reduce Drug Overdose Deaths

Thursday Teleconference: Assemblyman Tom Ammiano, Public Health Advocates, and Family Members of Overdose Victims to Discuss New Law and Best Practices to Ensure Effective Implementation

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

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

Gov. Jerry Brown Signs 911 Good Samaritan Law to Reduce Drug Overdose Deaths

Law Encourages People to Call 911 During An Overdose by Providing Limited Immunity for Low-Level Drug Law Violations

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

SACRAMENTO, CA – Today, California Governor Jerry Brown signed legislation seeking to reduce the number of preventable deaths resulting from accidental drug overdoses. The passage of Assemblymember Tom Ammiano’s AB 472, the “911 Good Samaritan bill,”  received bipartisan support and makes California the tenth state in the country to take action to reduce accidental overdose fatalities by removing barriers to accessing emergency health services.

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

Bipartisan Support as California Legislature Passes Bill to Help Prevent Drug Overdose Deaths

California '911 Good Samaritan' Overdose Bill Heads to Governor Brown

SACRAMENTO, CA—Today, by an overwhelming margin (50 Aye – 20 No), the California legislature passed Assemblymember Tom Ammiano’s ‘911 Good Samaritan Overdose Response Act’ (AB 472), which provides limited protection against arrest for minor drug law violations for anyone who summons emergency medical assistance to prevent a fatal overdose. The bill now heads to the Governor’s desk for his decision.

Meghan Ralston 323 -681-5224

CA Supreme Court Decision Allows Localities to Implement Regulatory Programs for Medical Marijuana Dispensaries

Court dismisses Pack v. City of Long Beach

Yesterday, the California Supreme Court dismissed the case of Pack v. City of Long Beach.  The Pack case addresses the issue of whether local regulations governing medical marijuana production and distribution are preempted by the federal law Controlled Substances Act.  The Supreme Court decision to dismiss this case means that localities can move forward enacting and implementing regulatory programs as they have been for many years.

Tamar Todd 510-229-5213 or Amanda Reiman 510-730-2811

Drug Policy Alliance Names Amanda Reiman Policy Manager in California

The Drug Policy Alliance, the nation’s leading organization promoting alternatives to the war on drugs, has appointed Amanda Reiman policy manager. Reiman will provide oversight, strategy and direction for DPA’s California efforts around marijuana law reform.

Tony Newman 646-335-5384 or Amanda Reiman 510-847-9800

DPA Staff Attorney, Theshia Naidoo, appointed to San Francisco Sentencing Commission

Newly created commission tasked to develop innovative, evidence-based sentencing strategies

Theshia Naidoo, a senior staff attorney for the Drug Policy Alliance, has been appointed to the San Francisco Sentencing Commission.  The commission is a newly created body charged with developing criminal sentencing strategies that reduce recidivism, prioritize public safety and victim protection, emphasize fairness, employ evidence-based best practices and efficiently utilize San Francisco’s criminal justice resources.

Tommy McDonald, 510-229-5215

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