The Drug Policy Alliance


The Drug Policy Alliance founder Ethan Nadelmann.


Born of a concern that the war on drugs is doing more harm than good, DPA strives to ensure that the use and regulation of drugs are grounded in science, compassion, health, and human rights. Their efforts are focused on people no longer being punished for what they put in their own bodies, but only the crimes they commit against others. They recognize the disproportionate numbers of youth and minorities incarcerated for drug related offenses and work with legislation to instead divert candidates toward treatment facilities. Thus far, their work has been successful in diverting a vast number of people from incarcerated facilities and on to drug treatment programs, while sick and dying patients may safely access medicine without fear of criminal prosecution.


In addition to 5 nationwide state offices and a national affairs office in Washington D.C., DPA also boasts a board of directors varying in experience and mindset, representing all sides of the political spectrum. View the diverse and noteworthy board members.


2000: The merger of The Lindesmith Center with The Drug Policy Foundation formed The Drug Policy Alliance, creating international reach.

2007: DPA has been responsible for helping pass Good Samaritan Laws nationwide, beginning with New Mexico in 2007. These laws provide legal protection to those that witness a drug overdose, allowing them to call for help without fear of possession charges.

2012: DPA was closely involved in the movement legalizing marijuana in Washington and Colorado by raising funds and drafting ballot initiatives.

2012: DPA’s large contribution in opposition to California’s “Three Strike Law” was instrumental in preventing non-violent offenders from spending life in prison for minor offenses.

2013: DPA was also deeply involved in Uruguays legalization of marijuana by meeting with activists, journalists, and even President José Mujica, assisting the country in becoming the first country in the world to legalize marijuana.

2016: DPA has drafted a letter that citizens can send to public officials objecting to Jeff Sessions for Attorney General. They feel that he is a drug war extremist that would be a dangerous choice for our country’s progress.


Check out DPA’s Action Alerts, shop DPA merchandise, grab an activist toolkit, or donate (financials here).


We each have unique perspectives of the world based on our individual experiences. A Duer is someone that feels a personal responsibility to support the world in the most positive ways they know how. That means finding people and organizations that you have come to believe in and feel passionate about, and standing with them however you are capable. Whether your inspiration leads you to a donation or to the steps of the capitol, find the change that you believe is due.

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