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

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

Demonstration Safe Injection Facility Launched at the 140th APHA Annual Meeting on Saturday, Oct. 27 in San Francisco

The American Public Health Association (APHA) conference in San Francisco next week showcases a controversial public health intervention for people who inject drugs. Supervised injection facilities (SIFs) are an effective public health intervention where people can inject drugs using sterile equipment and with medical supervision, but none currently operate in the United States because of political and legal barriers. A model SIF will be on display in the APHA Exhibit Hall and will be available for media tours.

Contact: Laura Thomas – 415-283-6366 or Clare Hacksel – 604-618-4074

Obummer (VIDEO)

August 28, 2012

President Obama has broken his promise to roll back the War on Drugs and has punted on the issue until a second term.

Where Are the Bad Guys? Crackdown on Medical Pot Attacks the Sick and Working

August 15, 2012

The feds claim that the only victims in their crackdown on medical cannabis dispensaries are profiteering drug peddlers out to make money off of marijuana-hungry citizens -- but that's far from the truth.

Incrimination Without Representation: The Silence of the Senate on Medical Marijuana

September 4, 2012

It is simply unacceptable to stand on the sidelines while unelected prosecutors put patients at risk, destroy jobs, undermine California's tax base, and hand large parts of the medical marijuana market back over to violent drug traffickers and crime syndicates.

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

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