The momentum right now behind drug policy reorm isunprecedented.It’s not just that we’re nally winning important legislativebattles in Congress, and that we’re more and more successulat the state and local levels. It’s that this issue excites passionsamong a remarkable diversity o people in the U.S. andthroughout the world.This movement is made up o individuals rom across theglobe whose lie experiences vary dramatically. But what weshare is more important than anything that separates us: A yearning to uproot the ears, ignorance and prejudicesthat uel the drug war, and a commitment to nding morecompassionate, just and eective ways o dealing with drugsin our lives and communities. You may have noticed rom the new look and eel o DPA’s website and publications that we have adopted a provocativenew visual identity illustrated by the simple, inclusive state-ment, “We are the Drug Policy Alliance.” This idea conveysthe tremendous scope o our struggle, and underscores ourconviction that drug policy reorm isn’t really about drugs atall – it’s about people.This issue crosses racial, political and ideological lines unlikeany other. It pops up as the top issue when citizens expresstheir opinion online. Demographics are on our side – youngpeople, who bear the brunt o ailed drug war policies, aremore drawn to this issue than any other. We’re witnessing apalpable shit in the way these issues are approached in main-stream politics – these days, you don’t hear many politiciansboasting about their drug war credentials. And the media, at last, seems to be aiding our eorts moreoten than not. Coverage o the mounting support or endingprohibition has been extraordinarily positive – on the rontpages o
USA Today, The New York Times
and most othernational publications, major talk radio stations, the leadingblogs, and all over cable and network television – withDPA sta pitching the stories, shaping the content, andspeaking on air.The accomplishments detailed in this report – which ocuson DPA’s scal year rom June 2009 through May 2010 – would have been unimaginable just a ew years ago. Whethertestiying beore Congress about the drug czar’s budget,ushering crack sentencing reorm through Congress withnear-unanimous consent, passing innovative medical mari- juana laws in New Jersey and Maine, or leading the rstsuccessul eort to reorm a “drug-ree zone” law, DPA sta and members are making this dramatic progress possible. Yet we still have a long way to go. Elected ocials may beadopting new rhetoric and cautiously advocating or gradualreorms, but they have yet to substantially shit the bulk o drug control resources rom a criminal justice approachto a health-based one. The worst drug war policies remainentrenched, as more than three quarters o a million peopleare arrested or marijuana possession every year and more thanhal a million are behind bars tonight or a drug law violation. We’re making progress like never beore, and we currently have the wind at our backs – but all this could change unless we continue to grow stronger, tougher and smarter. It’s upto us – as people who care about science, compassion, healthand human rights – to ensure that real change comes as soonas possible. We are grateul or all you’ve done, and or all that you cando – especially now.
Making Your Voice Heard
Ira GlasserPresidentEthan NadelmannExecutive Director
Letter from the President andExecutive Director