Drug Policy Alliance

Annual Report 2008

The Drug Policy Alliance envisions a just society in which the use and regulation of drugs are grounded in science, compassion, health and human rights, in which people are no longer punished for what they put into their own bodies, but only for crimes committed against others, and in which the fears, prejudices and punitive prohibitions of today are no more. Our mission is to advance those policies and attitudes that best reduce the harms of both drug misuse and drug prohibition and to promote the sovereignty of individuals over their minds and bodies.
2 6 8 12 16 18 20 21 Table of Contents Alternatives to Incarceration Marijuana: Toward Responsible Regulation Reducing Harm, Promoting Health Just Say Know: Parents and Teens Provoking Debate Building the Movement Conclusion Grants, Donors, Board and Financials The work described herein includes that of the Drug Policy Alliance, a 501(c)(3)(h) organization and DPA Network, a 501(c)(4) organization that have worked with various 501(c)(4) affiliates, including the Center for Policy Reform, the Campaign for New Drug Policies and Americans for Medical Rights.

Letter from the President and Executive Director

For the first time in a long time, we feel the momentum on drug policy shifting in our favor. The political climate is rapidly changing – at the state and local level as well as nationally. The current dialogue on drugs and drug misuse, prevention and enforcement is becoming more sophisticated. The public has grown skeptical of the drug war and politicians are figuring out that “tough on drugs” rhetoric is not a real solution. The Drug Policy Alliance and the growing movement in which we play a leadership role are fast maturing. The many accomplishments detailed in this report certainly point to a shift in tone and tenor. The biggest possibility for change is in California, where voters will have an opportunity in November to enact the biggest prison and sentencing reform in U.S. history. DPA put years of insight and research into drafting this initiative – the Nonviolent Offender Rehabilitation Act or Proposition 5. If we win, the new law will provide a national model for a public health approach to substance abuse and addiction. But California isn’t the only place where reforms are afoot. As you’ll see, we’ve been busy in Congress and in our other target states – Alabama, Connecticut, New Jersey, New Mexico and New York – and in the District of Columbia. New additions to our U.S. Honorary Board also reflect this trend of sane and sensible drug policies entering the political mainstream. One of our newest members, George P. Shultz, served as both U.S. secretary of state and secretary of the treasury in two Republican administrations. He’s now been joined by Russell Simmons, the hip hop impresario, who played an important role in advancing Rockefeller Drug Law reform efforts a few years ago. We’re also in the process of creating an International Honorary Board as we re-engage on international drug control issues. We are proud to tell you that the first two members are Václav Havel, the famous writer, political dissident and former president of the Czech Republic; and Ruth Dreifuss, who played a pivotal role in advancing drug law reform in Switzerland during her presidency of the Swiss Federal Council.

Ira Glasser President Drug Policy Alliance

Ethan Nadelmann Executive Director Drug Policy Alliance

We know that ours is destined to be a multi-generational struggle, just like most other movements that advance individual freedom and social justice. But we feel more energized and optimistic right now than we have in years. As we move into a new phase of our work, one that builds on many of our major state and federal wins, we take pride in the fact that DPA is a stronger organization now than at any time in our history. We hope you enjoy learning about our work over the last year; please don’t hesitate to call or email our staff to discuss any of the report’s contents. Many thanks for your continued support.

Today one in 100 adult Americans is behind bars. DPA is confronting excessive incarceration directly on several key fronts: in California, through a major ballot initiative; nationally, via a campaign to overturn federal mandatory minimum sentencing guidelines; in Connecticut and New Jersey, with legislation and groundbreaking reports; and in New York, where innovative work is moving the state toward a public health approach to drug policy. As the prison and sentencing reform movement gains momentum, DPA is taking full advantage of shifting public and policymaker attitudes.

Alternatives to Incarceration

Prison and Sentencing Reform in California
California has emerged as the central battleground in the fight to replace the ineffective over-reliance on incarceration, probation and other punitive sanctions with policies of compassion, treatment and harm reduction for nonviolent, drug- and addiction-related offenses. The state faces one of the nation’s most severe prison-overcrowding crises. At 175 percent of capacity, this $10-billion-a-year system is largely fueled by excessive incarceration of nonviolent offenders, including many convicted of low-level drug law violations. Acute overcrowding is exacerbated by the failure to provide meaningful programs to reduce recidivism, including addiction treatment and other rehabilitation services. Since 2001, California’s landmark treatment-instead-ofincarceration law, Proposition 36, has been addressing this crisis. DPA and our allies drafted and championed the measure, approved by a resounding majority of voters. According to research by the University of California, Los Angeles, Prop. 36 saves $2.50 to $4 for every dollar invested. Since going into effect, this statewide system of alternatives to incarceration has graduated 84,000 people and saved taxpayers almost $2 billion. In spite of Prop. 36’s overwhelming successes, DPA has consistently needed to defend the program’s $120 million annual budget against proposed cuts. DPA and our fellow advocates fought back hard against this year’s cuts and won a major victory, convincing California’s legislature to maintain current funding levels for this important treatment program. But in the end, despite our hard lobbying efforts, Sacramento slashed this important program by $12 million in 2008. This steep budget cut means that the state will spend an even greater amount of money on incarcerating those who merit treatment rather than prison. Prompted in part by the persistent challenges of defending Prop. 36 against funding cuts and other attacks, DPA introduced a new sentencing reform initiative, unprecedented in scope and magnitude, for California’s November 2008 ballot. If passed as expected, the Nonviolent Offender Rehabilitation Act (Proposition 5) will become a national model for reforming unjust and unnecessary incarceration policies. Within just a few years, the measure will transform California’s costly and dysfunctional prison system, significantly reducing the nonviolent prison population while protecting public safety. Prop. 5 provides a comprehensive model for a public health approach to substance abuse, addiction and crime. Crucially, the measure would expand eligibility for alternatives to incarceration, shift existing resources from corrections to

treatment and rehabilitation, and lock in funding every year. The measure would also save more than $2.5 billion by rendering future prison construction unnecessary. Should it become law, Prop. 5 would essentially supersede Prop. 36, expanding access to effective rehabilitation services to tens of thousands more nonviolent offenders and saving billions in taxpayer dollars through reduced demand for prisons and lower recidivism. Prop. 5 also includes a number of other important provisions. It reduces to an infraction – equivalent to a traffic ticket – the penalty for possessing small amounts of marijuana, effectively eliminating the 40,000 marijuana arrests California police make each year. To help young people struggling with substance abuse, Prop. 5 dedicates about $65 million per year to build a system of treatment – where none now exists – for at-risk youth. Prop. 5 also dramatically expands rehabilitation services for people in prison and on parole and provides for community-based sanctions, rather than prison time, for nonviolent offenders who commit minor parole violations. These programs are proven to reduce crime and recidivism, and their cost will be more than offset by reductions in prison and parole expenditures.

“Providing treatment, rather than conventional sentencing to jail or prison, not only improves the lives of individuals and their loved ones, it also saves taxpayers vast sums.” Margaret Dooley-Sammuli Deputy State Director, Southern California USA Today January 3, 2008


Alternatives to Incarceration
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Striking Down Mandatory Minimums
DPA’s Office of National Affairs is engaged in positive, ongoing work to change “mandatory minimum” sentencing laws in Congress. During the 1970s and 1980s, Congress and many state legislatures passed mandatory minimums, which require judges to imprison those convicted of drug law violations for fixed, multi-year terms without eligibility for parole or reentry programs, regardless of the facts of the case. These laws effectively shifted the power to exercise discretion in sentencing from judges to prosecutors. In December, the U.S. Sentencing Commission voted unanimously to make retroactive a recent amendment reducing recommended sentences for crack cocaine offenses. The practical effect is to make up to 19,500 currently incarcerated individuals eligible for early release. In one of 2008’s most exciting and encouraging moves, Senator Joe Biden (D-Delaware), one of the original architects of the modern drug war, surprised many by introducing legislation to completely eliminate the law that punishes crack cocaine offenses 100 times more severely than those for powder cocaine, leapfrogging more modest reforms put forth by Sens. Kennedy, Hatch, Sessions and others. Sen. Biden’s bill to eliminate this sentencing disparity has a number of prominent co-sponsors and marks a turning point of how politically popular drug policy reform has become among voters.

Moving New York from Punishment to Public Health
Following years of advocacy and pressure, DPA’s long struggle to overturn New York’s draconian Rockefeller Drug Laws – a set of mandatory minimum sentencing guidelines established in 1973 – has made important progress this year. Despite modest reforms in 2004 and 2005, more than 13,000 people – nearly 22 percent of the prison population – remain imprisoned for nonviolent drug-law offenses in New York State. More than 90 percent of these prisoners are African-American and Latino, even though their rates of illegal drug use and sales are roughly similar to rates among whites. State officials now appear to be rethinking the drug problem – and reevaluating the overuse of incarceration – from a health perspective. On the Rockefeller Drug Laws’ 35th anniversary in May, the New York Assembly held unprecedented hearings to explore a public health approach to drug policy. The hearings included six different Assembly committees – three from the field of criminal justice (Codes, Corrections and Judiciary), and three from public health (Health, Alcoholism and Drug Addiction, and Social Services). DPA coordinated the majority of the organizations, elected officials, public health experts and community and religious groups providing testimony. Outside one of the hearings, DPA and our allies held a large rally in support of scrapping the laws altogether. The new governor, David Paterson, is a longtime champion of drug policy reform who was once arrested for engaging in an act of civil disobedience protesting the Rockefeller Drug Laws. We are hopeful that, under his leadership, New York will become a national leader in coordinated, sensible and effective drug policies grounded in public health.

“Congress is dragging its feet over eliminating the disparity it created in 1986 when it assigned a mandatory five-year minimum prison sentence to a person who sells five grams of crack cocaine.” Jasmine Tyler Deputy Director, National Affairs The Economist January 11, 2008

Exposing Incarceration’s Hidden Costs in Connecticut and New Jersey
Two DPA reports, published this year, examined how incarceration is an ineffective and costly waste of public resources that perpetuates the cycles of abuse, addiction and crime. In April 2008, DPA commissioned a hard-hitting report, Diversion Works, from Justice Strategies. With nearly 20,000 people behind bars, Connecticut’s prison population has never been higher. It increasingly includes people with addiction and mental illness problems that would be better handled in alternative, community settings. The report details how Connecticut can downsize prisons, improve public safety and save money with a comprehensive mental-health and substance-abuse approach to drug-related crime. Connecticut media covered the report extensively and favorably. New Jersey leads the nation in the proportion of its prisoners sentenced for nonviolent drug offenses. DPA New Jersey Director Roseanne Scotti co-authored a report entitled, Wasting Money, Wasting Lives. Released in May 2008, the report tallies the price tag for New Jersey’s overuse of incarceration: hundreds of millions of dollars in direct costs plus hidden costs, including lower lifetime wages, tax revenues and child support. Newark Mayor Cory Booker and Assemblyman Joseph Cryan, deputy majority leader and a

member of the Assembly Budget Committee, participated in the report’s release event and press conference, which also launched DPA New Jersey’s new sentencing reform campaign. Cryan praised the report, calling it, “a blueprint of economic and moral balance.” Media coverage was extensive and generated numerous editorials calling for the end to mandatory minimum sentences for nonviolent drug offences.

“The state of New Jersey is wasting, literally, billions. It is all money that would have gone into the larger New Jersey economy.” Roseanne Scotti State Director, New Jersey Asbury Park Press May 29, 2008


Last year, DPA was at the center of a successful campaign that made New Mexico the twelfth state to enact medical marijuana legislation. Today, hundreds of thousands of people suffering from serious and debilitating conditions are no longer criminals under state law. This year, DPA worked with New Mexican officials on implementation, won strong support from Connecticut lawmakers, and fought back against wasteful federal raids in California and elsewhere. Nationwide, the appeal of rational and compassionate medical marijuana laws is growing as the dire predictions of opponents fail to be realized and positive public health impacts are documented.

Marijuana: Toward Responsible Regulation

Devising a Distribution System in New Mexico
Our work in New Mexico entered an important new phase this year as the state’s medical marijuana law took effect on July 1, 2007, prompting a political struggle over implementation. The landmark Lynn and Erin Compassionate Use Act is the first law in the nation to require a state production and distribution system. DPA advocated strongly for a system that would provide a safe and secure supply for patients. During a series of public hearings convened by the Department of Health we gave voice to the concerns of patients, experts and other allies regarding the need for a patient-centered program.

Putting a Stop to Waste in Washington, D.C.
Nearly 40,000 violent drug raids take place each year in the United States, according to a Cato Institute report, Overkill: The Rise of Paramilitary Police Raids in America. Many lives are lost, and many more are ruined, by these paramilitary operations – all in the name of the war on drugs. These SWAT-style raids undermine state laws and further militarize law enforcement. In response to ongoing federal raids on medical cannabis dispensaries and growers in California and other states, DPA stepped up our efforts to advance common-sense cannabis policy in the halls of Congress. DPA fought back against these wasteful federal raids with the Hinchey-RohrabacherFarr-Paul amendment. The law would have prohibited the use of federal tax dollars to pay for Drug Enforcement Administration raids on patients and caregivers in states with medical marijuana laws. Though our legislation ultimately failed, we identified new allies on both sides of the aisle and laid a foundation for our future efforts to get this important bill passed. We are confident next year’s Congress will present a more favorable climate for legislation that brings a needed measure of compassion to our federal marijuana laws.

Redoubling Our Efforts in Connecticut
In Connecticut, this year’s top priority was securing legal access to medical marijuana, and we came extraordinarily close to realizing that goal. Together with the local drug policy reform organization and DPA Advocacy Grants awardee, A Better Way, we assembled a remarkable coalition of patients, doctors and racial justice groups in support of medical marijuana legislation. This coalition won strong support in both the Connecticut House and Senate and the legislation passed by a better than 60/40 margin in both bodies. But, in spite of a concerted effort that included letters and calls from national public health leaders, Governor M. Jodi Rell vetoed the bill. DPA is determining whether the governor will sign a slightly revised bill next year while working to solidify both our coalition and lawmaker support for broader drug policy reform in the coming years.

“[The Connecticut Governor’s veto] guarantees the continued criminalization of people who are trying to relieve pain and suffering.” gabriel sayegh Director, State Organizing and Policy Project The New York Times June 20, 2007


DPA made significant progress on our harm reduction agenda this year. We helped get the ban lifted on D.C. syringe access funding and forged new relationships with the recovery community. In New Jersey, we spearheaded implementation of sterile syringe pilot programs, and we helped expand sterile syringe access programs and pharmacy sales in California. DPA also issued a national report on the methamphetamine problem, and worked with big-city mayors to reformulate drug policies from a public health perspective.

Reducing Harm, Promoting Health

Public Health Prevails in Washington, D.C.
In Washington, D.C., injecting drugs is the leading means of HIV/AIDS transmission among women and the second-leading means among men. Overwhelming scientific evidence indicates that sterile syringe programs – syringe exchange, pharmacy sales and physician prescription – decrease needle sharing without increasing drug use and are highly effective in reducing transmission of HIV/AIDS and hepatitis. These programs also increase the safe disposal of used syringes, significantly reduce the incidence of needle-stick injuries to police officers, and connect people who use drugs to treatment, detoxification, primary health care and other services. Notwithstanding the scientific consensus, in 1998 the Republican-led Congress imposed a ban on syringe exchange funding in Washington, D.C., making it the only jurisdiction in the nation prohibited from investing – even local, nonfederal dollars – in this proven HIV/AIDS-prevention strategy. The District of Columbia has a particularly acute need for advocacy related to treatment and recovery issues. According to the D.C. Department of Health, lost productivity and social services associated with substance abuse cost D.C. $1.2 billion annually. Only 14 percent of the 60,000 people in the city needing drug treatment currently have access to services. Funding for the city’s Addiction Prevention and Recovery Administration has remained flat since the 1980s while D.C.’s jail and re-entry services continue to be logjammed with people addicted to drugs and other low-level, nonviolent drug law offenders.

DPA’s work with Congress resulted in the lifting in June 2007 of the decade-old D.C. ban. In the wake of that important victory, we coordinated with local political leaders, community activists and service providers on renewed efforts to stem the District’s HIV/AIDS crisis. Elimination of the ban clears the way for the District to infuse a planned $1 million into local syringe exchange efforts. DPA was proud to be a part of this campaign, and our success was punctuated by a powerful DPA-authored op-ed on the topic in the Washington Post. A similar Congressional ban that prohibits states from spending federal HIV/AIDS-prevention funds on syringe exchange programs is responsible for tens of thousands of wholly preventable deaths, and DPA is now turning its attention to the repeal of this national ban. In addition, DPA co-founded the D.C. Recovery Community Alliance, a new coalition launched at a public meeting held with D.C. Mayor Adrian Fenty which drew more than 200 attendees. The Alliance also co-sponsored the District’s first-ever commemoration in September of National Recovery Month, an initiative of the federal Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. The event brought together people in recovery, treatment providers, law enforcement agencies and policy advocates. These events helped solidify DPA’s strong ties to the recovery advocacy community in the region, a partnership we intend to pursue in the coming year.

“As many as 300,000 Americans could contract HIV-AIDS or hepatitis C over the next decade because of a lack of access to sterile syringes. This essentially makes the national syringe ban a death sentence for drug users, their parents and children.” Naomi Long Director, D.C. Metro Area and Bill Piper Director, National Affairs The Washington Post January 27, 2008

Reducing Harm, Promoting Health
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New Jersey Implements Syringe Access
New Jersey has the fifth highest rate of HIV among adults, the third highest rate of HIV among children, and the highest estimated proportion of women living with AIDS in the country. Injection drug use is the main cause of these infections: nationally, injection drug use accounts for 25 percent of infections but in New Jersey it accounts for 44 percent of infections. In late 2006, DPA successfully won passage of lifesaving, sterile syringe access legislation in New Jersey – the last state to provide no access whatsoever to sterile syringes to prevent the spread of blood-borne diseases, either through syringe access programs or pharmacy sales. The new law, championed by DPA, authorizes three-year pilot syringe exchange programs in up to six cities. The approved cities began operations this year. Having taken the lead in promoting sterile syringe access legislation, we are now helping New Jersey ensure effective implementation of the law. We created operations and procedures manuals, arranged trainings and provided an array of technical support for four cities: Newark, Paterson, Camden and Atlantic City. We also convened the first-ever statewide gathering of New Jersey syringe access programs, an event that provided program staff and state and local health officials with an opportunity to receive harm reduction training and to network with each other and out-of-state experts. These developments are a major step forward for New Jersey. In addition to our work on syringe exchange pilot programs, DPA will continue to provide input on the state’s mobile methadone and buprenorphine (Suboxone) treatment programs. Mobile medication units circumvent onerous regulations and not-in-my-back-yard politics to make an effective treatment – opioid substitution – more readily available to those who might benefit. This important treatment option became available in Paterson in May 2008 and is gearing up to launch in three more cities.

Expanding HIV-Prevention in California
DPA’s work in California is making tremendous strides on deregulating and expanding effective syringe-availability programs. Governor Schwarzenegger recently signed into law DPA’s bill authorizing local governments to use state HIV-prevention funds to purchase sterile syringes. In addition to serving as an important link to drug treatment and medical care for people who use injection drugs, this law will save lives and money and ensure appropriate local control and oversight of HIV-prevention funds. Since its creation by statewide legislation in 2004, counties throughout California have also implemented a critical state harm-prevention initiative, the Disease Prevention Demonstration Project (DPDP), which allows adults to purchase up to 10 syringes without a prescription from a participating pharmacy. Los Angeles County, where an estimated 135,000 people are infected with hepatitis C, became the latest to initiate a DPDP. With support from the California Endowment, DPA helped enroll approximately 300 L.A. County pharmacies, including all Longs, Rite Aid and Walgreens drugstores, in this effort. As the DPDP nears its review and reauthorization in 2010, DPA will keep working hard to generate the community support and advocacy that are essential to promoting this lifesaving program and ensuring its effective implementation.

Proposing a New National Policy for Methamphetamine
Similar to the widespread anxiety about the rise in and dangers of crack cocaine use in the 1980s and ‘90s, methamphetamine is a source of growing concern for many communities. DPA’s new national report on methamphetamine policy, A FourPillars Approach to Methamphetamine: Policies for Effective Drug Prevention, Treatment, Policing and Harm Reduction, released in March 2008, advances a strategy that embodies the best principles of harm reduction applied to this specific area of drug misuse and enforcement. The report evaluates current state and federal methamphetamine policies, recommends major reforms and is the first in the U.S. to lay out a “four pillars” approach – the Swiss national model – to addressing methamphetamine abuse. Already in use in countries including Australia, Canada and Germany, this approach has resulted in dramatic reductions in street drug use, overdose deaths and HIV/AIDS and hepatitis infection rates. The DPA report was featured at a well-attended forum for congressional staffers and received coverage by major newspapers in California, New Mexico and Utah.


Protecting the Rights of Pregnant and Parenting Women
In 2008, DPA’s Office of Legal Affairs joined with National Advocates for Pregnant Women (NAPW) to defend pregnant and parenting women from criminal charges related to drugs and drug addiction. With our support, NAPW litigated on behalf of Regina McKnight, a South Carolina woman convicted of homicide in 2001 because her baby was stillborn and she had used cocaine during her pregnancy. Friend-of-the-court briefs filed by DPA with the South Carolina Supreme Court helped debunk the junk science used to convict Ms. McKnight. Unlike Fetal Alcohol Syndrome and toxic prenatal exposure to cigarette smoke, which are proven conditions known to harm fetal health, scientific evidence has not demonstrated a substantial link between cocaine exposure and prenatal toxicity. The court ruled in Ms. McKnight’s favor and ordered her release from prison, garnering national news coverage and invigorating the discussion about how best to address drug use among pregnant women.

Charting a New National Course on Drug Policy
Mayors – particularly those of large cities – are taking the lead on drug policy reform in an effort to improve the lives of citizens. At its 75th Annual Meeting held in Los Angeles in June 2007, the U.S. Conference of Mayors (USCM) approved the “New Bottom Line” resolution, which was drafted by DPA and sponsored by Rocky Anderson, former mayor of Salt Lake City and DPA Honorary Board member. In adopting this resolution, the mayors recognize that addiction is a chronic, treatable medical disorder and are advocating a policy change in dealing with drug-related crime from a criminal-justice to a public health approach, informed by harm reduction principles. Specifically, the resolution calls for greater access to drug treatment on demand such as methadone and other maintenance therapies; eliminating the federal ban on funding for sterile syringe access programs; establishing local overdose prevention policies; and directing a greater percentage of drug-war funding toward evaluating the efficacy and accountability of current programs. Adopted resolutions become the official policy of USCM, which boasts more than a thousand mayors of cities with populations of 30,000 or greater and promotes best practices on the most pressing priorities of our nation’s cities.


Despite alarmist prevention programs and zero-tolerance policies, teen use of alcohol and other drugs remains prevalent. Increasingly, the country is taking notice of DPA’s youth policy work, which promotes drug education that moves beyond fear-based messages to focus instead on facts and open dialogue. This year, DPA launched a new, federally funded education program in New Mexico; promoted our Safety First Project; challenged student drug testing in the media and courts; and helped cut federal spending on the drug czar’s ineffective media campaign.


Just Say Know: Parents and Teens

Bringing Quality Prevention Education to New Mexico
In recognition of our honest, effective approach to drug abuse prevention, DPA received its first-ever grant from the U.S. Department of Justice in support of our work to improve methamphetamine prevention efforts aimed at teens in New Mexico. In October 2007, DPA and our partners hosted “Building Positive Communities: A Public Health Approach to Teen Methamphetamine Prevention.” The conference examined methamphetamine outside the context of zero-tolerance and punitive strategies, such as suspension and expulsion – measures that exclude students from the structured school environment – in favor of counseling, treatment and other restorative practices. More than 300 educators, school officials and community members gathered in Albuquerque to examine how communities can better protect and educate young people by emphasizing reality-based education and community-building rather than oversimplified scare tactics and “just say no” approaches. Additional components of DPA’s Meth Project include statewide trainings on effective drug-abuse prevention with teachers, school officials and prevention specialists and a DVD called Just4Teens: Let’s Talk about Meth and Other Drugs, which is being made available with a facilitator’s guide for use with high school students around the state. DPA plans to distribute the materials to teachers and prevention specialists throughout New Mexico in the coming year.

Safety First Keeps Growing
DPA launched a redesigned website for its San Francisco-based Safety First Project, which provides strategies for parents and educators to protect teenagers from drug misuse. The revamped website, www.safety1st.org, connects parents, educators and teenagers to resources like our seminal publication, Safety First: A Reality-Based Approach to Teens and Drugs. To date, more than 200,000 copies of this booklet, revised and re-released this year, have been distributed worldwide in eight languages, most recently Czech. DPA also proudly celebrated a major milestone: five years of working with the California Parent Teacher Association (PTA) as an official allied agency. Our work over the years with the California PTA is a sign of the significant progress we’re making on effective drug-abuse prevention in a critical state.

“For too long we have relied on a ‘just say no’ approach, which oversimplifies the complex lives our teenagers lead. Or worse yet, we have tried to terrify our youth with grotesquely embellished tales of addiction and abuse.” Reena Szczepanski State Director, New Mexico Albuquerque Journal October 31, 2007

Just Say Know: Parents and Teens
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Challenging Student Drug Testing Propaganda
The singular obsession of the Bush administration’s drug czar since 2001 has been to promote and expand random student drug testing, despite the fact that it is invasive, unproven, expensive and counterproductive. Bush’s drug czar annually doles out millions of dollars to school systems for these misguided programs. The drug czar hosted seven summits this year to promote student drug testing in Colorado, Florida, Indiana, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Washington State and Washington, D.C. At every summit, DPA staff and/or supporters showed up to share with educators and the media our concerns that these programs discourage student participation in extracurricular activities and erode relationships of trust at school. We placed op-eds in local papers, distributed literature and posed tough questions challenging the federal government’s propaganda. In March 2008, we reached out to school board members from across the country through our National School Boards Association Convention presentation in Orlando, Florida. Youth Policy Manager Jennifer Kern presented on the potential harms that accompany random student drug testing programs. Her co-presenter, a school board member of the Orange Unified School District in California, spoke about the process her school board underwent as they considered and ultimately rejected a random drug testing proposal.

creates a hostile school environment and evokes oppositional behavior in students, such as trying to “beat” the test, among other concerns. This important ruling sets a strong precedent that right-to-privacy laws are squarely on our side on the student drug testing issue.

Wasteful Federal Media Spending Curtailed
For years, DPA has worked to educate members of Congress about the failure – as documented in evaluations commissioned by the National Institute on Drug Abuse – of the federal National Youth Anti-Drug Media Campaign, which produces ads such as the outlandish Super Bowl commercial calling marijuana users “terrorists.” DPA members and other drug policy reformers have sent thousands of letters to legislators over the last year demanding that their tax dollars be put to better use. This year, the pressure DPA brought to bear on the issue paid off when Congress cut 2008 funding for this program from $100 million to $60 million. The unprecedented magnitude of the cut was an important step in DPA’s ongoing efforts to dismantle this wasteful and counterproductive campaign.

Supreme Court Victory in Washington State
The Washington State Supreme Court ruled unanimously in March 2008 that the Wahkiakum School District’s random drug testing policy is unconstitutional and violates student athletes’ rights under the higher privacy protections of the Washington State Constitution. Working with the ACLU, DPA and the Washington Education Association filed a friend-of-the-court brief in the case, arguing that random student drug testing is unsupported by scientific research, deters students from participating in extracurricular activities,

“Instead of investing in surveillance, we should spend our time and resources educating students through comprehensive, interactive and honest drug education with identification of, and assistance for, students whose lives are disrupted by substance use.” Jennifer Kern Youth Policy Manager Seattle Post-Intelligencer January 16, 2008



Year after year, DPA marshals the mainstream press to spread the word and broaden the debate on common sense drug policy. Our media relations team generates more than a thousand stories every year in the U.S. and international press. Violence connected with drug prohibition along the U.S. southern border and abroad is intensifying and, accordingly, the drug policy debate must encompass a global perspective. Executive Director Ethan Nadelmann also made considerable waves through his influential writings, appearances and presentations in the U.S. and abroad.


Provoking Debate

Reaching Millions through Media
DPA reaches millions in the U.S. and worldwide through quotes in major articles, cover stories, op-eds, letters to the editor and appearances on local and national television news programs. DPA’s website, www.drugpolicy.org, features the latest drug policy news, an action center that enables members to contact government officials, and activist discussion forums. DPA also publishes a monthly e-newsletter and electronic action and advocacy alerts on important drug policy issues. Our New York-based Lindesmith Library contains more than 10,000 books, reports, government documents, periodicals, videos and articles on drugs and drug policy.

known for its conservative perspective, aired a surprisingly sympathetic report, and John McLaughlin recommended the article on his influential talk show, “The McLaughlin Group.” Nadelmann also gave numerous radio interviews, including to National Public Radio. As part of this media blitz, DPA distributed thousands of copies of the article to legislators, columnists and other shapers of public opinion with cover notes from some of our most distinguished allies. Three of the six letters DPA had published in the Wall Street Journal this year were on the topic of drug-related violence in Mexico, which claimed more than a thousand lives last year. The San Francisco Chronicle and the Los Angeles Times ran a piece by Nadelmann in which he offered a reality-check on the likelihood of Mexico turning a corner in its fight against the drug trade. Shortly thereafter, the Los Angeles Times editorial board sat down with Nadelmann and subsequently published on their website a lengthy synopsis of their conversation on the drug war, the collateral damage in the U.S. stemming from drug prohibition and what should be done about it.

Sparking International Debate
This year, a cover story penned by Executive Director Ethan Nadelmann was published in the September-October 2007 issue of Foreign Policy, a highly influential magazine on international affairs, published in many languages that commands a global readership. The piece challenge the notion that the global drug war can be won. The mainstream North American media took notice. The article was subsequently republished in the Chicago Sun-Times and the National Post, one of Canada’s top national dailies. Even FOX News,

“It is shocking to think that more Mexicans died last year due to drug prohibition than did American soldiers in Iraq. There is nothing in the coca or marijuana plant that causes those deaths. Rather, it is prohibition that creates a profit motive that people are willing to kill for.” Tony Newman Director, Media Relations The Wall Street Journal February 28, 2008


This year, DPA launched its presence on Facebook and accessed a variety of other new media to bring our message to younger audiences. We increased our base of foundation support, and our biennial international drug policy conference was the largest and most inclusive gathering of reformers we’ve ever assembled.


Building the Movement

New Orleans Hosts DPA’s Biggest Conference
In December, we brought together our strongest, most diverse coalition of people and issues ever for the 2007 International Drug Policy Reform Conference. Representing almost 20 countries and the full spectrum of our movement, nearly 1,100 activists, researchers, service providers, government officials and others assembled for the single best crash course available on drug policy. Attendees heard from “U.N. Drug Czar” Dr. Antonio Maria Costa who described the modest progress his office has made toward acceptance of harm-reduction principles and later debated an international panel of some of his most prominent critics. We also heard from Libby Davies, a Canadian Member of Parliament from Vancouver and outspoken critic of the drug war, who was there to receive the Justice Gerald Le Dain Award for Achievement in the Field of Law. In all, eight awards were presented in recognition of major achievements in a variety of drug policy reform issue areas. Our next gathering will take place November 11-14, 2009 in Albuquerque, New Mexico. For information contact Event Manager Stefanie Jones at 212.613.8020 or via email at sjones@drugpolicy.org.

Membership: New Technologies, New Audiences
This year, DPA reached out to new audiences in a number of ways. Nearly 26,000 donors contributed financially to DPA this year in response to our direct mail campaign. A highly successful appeal from Walter Cronkite succeeded in attracting more than 7,000 new dues-paying members. Targeted electronic action alerts resulted in significant in-kind contributions made online. More than 57,000 advocacy messages went out from nearly 15,000 of our supporters to elected officials and other decision makers on behalf of a variety of urgent drug policy reform campaigns. And our issue reached millions of new, mostly younger viewers across the United States when Ethan Nadelmann made his second guest appearance on Comedy Central’s (fake) right-wing, news show, “The Colbert Report.” The interview can be seen at www.drugpolicy.org/colbert. Since we launched DPA as a Facebook cause, more than 1,500 people have connected with us there. Our own website, www.drugpolicy.org, boasts an average of more than 100,000 new visitors each month who visit for easy-to-find information, news, opinion and drug policy resources. This year, we launched a new section highlighting the work of the Lindesmith Library featuring new acquisitions and recent trends in drug policy research.

“The people whose quotes we [used in our appeal from Walter Cronkite] included everyone from conservative Republicans to libertarians to progressives. We wanted to show a broad range of support for our issue.” Clovis Thorn Managing Director, Development Inside Direct Mail September 2007


Building the Movement


continued from page 19

Engaging Young Professionals
In May, DPA reached out to young professionals with an unprecedented gathering, “Absinthe Makes the Heart Grow Fonder,” that combined art, activism and absinthe – the only alcohol to be banned in many Western nations in the last century. This event at Gallery 151 in New York drew more than 500 attendees who came to network and taste the donated Le Tourment Vert absinthe. The event was timed to correspond with the re-introduction of absinthe to the U.S. Obvious to all were the parallels between absinthe – once a target of official hysteria – and other drug prohibitions rooted in baseless fear.

The ground has never been more fertile for a change to our nation’s failed drug policies. The folly and waste of the drug war becomes apparent to ever more lawmakers and citizens each day. We are seeing a broader questioning of America’s gulag drug policy that fills our prisons and jails and empties our coffers, that severely punishes the use of certain drugs but tolerates, regulates, taxes and even subsidizes others. Yet even as minds and eyes are opening, the assault on American citizens continues. In 2008, more than 800,000 marijuana arrests were made, nearly 90 percent of those for simple possession. Nationwide, almost a half million people are currently incarcerated for drug law violations. This is why DPA’s work is so vitally important: to expose the daily injustices of this destructive war on our families and communities; to pursue justice in the courts, in state capitols and in the halls of Congress; and to renew hope inside state and federal prisons, on neighborhood streets, and in our schools and houses of worship. DPA is committed to a more just and humane future, and we will not stop until our society and state houses embrace a fundamentally different way of dealing with drugs and the people who buy, sell, make and use them. We’ve never been more hopeful – and we hope you’ll join us in this historic struggle for reason, compassion and justice!

Foundation Support Increasing
Foundations account for an increasing proportion of DPA’s revenue. Most often, grants are dedicated to specific state efforts, from expanding syringe access in New Jersey to advancing sentencing reform in California. This year, 21 local and national funders supported our work: • Alliance Healthcare Foundation • Angelica Foundation • Cafritz Foundation • California Endowment • Consumer Health Foundation • Educational Foundation of America • Herb Block Foundation • Hugh M. Hefner Foundation • JEHT Foundation • Krieger Fund • Levinson Foundation • Libra Foundation • Livingry Fund • MAC AIDS Fund • McGraw Foundation • Meyer Foundation • Open Society Institute • OSI-Latin America • Rockefeller Family Fund • Stewart R. Mott Charitable Trust • Syringe Access Fund Though few of these foundations support drug policy reform per se, they all recognize that DPA’s work is vital to advancing their own missions and goals, whether racial justice and prison reform, human rights and civil liberties, HIV/AIDS prevention and community health, or economic and civil libertarian principles.


2007-2008 Advocacy Grants

The Drug Policy Alliance Advocacy Grants Program seeks to promote policy change and advance drug policy reform at the local, state and national levels by strategically funding smaller, geographically limited or single-issue organizations and projects. Endowed annually at a level of $1.4 million, the Advocacy Grants Program works to raise awareness and promote change through two vehicles: the Promoting Policy Change Program and the Rapid Response Program.

Promoting Policy Change
$150,000 Harm Reduction Coalition $50,000 A Better Way Foundation (CT) DrugSense Harm Reduction Project National Advocates for Pregnant Women North American Syringe Exchange Network Students for Sensible Drug Policy Foundation $20,000 to $49,999 A New Path (CA) Alabamians for Compassionate Care / Alabama Court Watch Benedict Center (WI) Colorado Criminal Justice Reform Coalition Council for Court Excellence Drug Policy Forum of Hawai`i, Inc. Institute for Metropolitan Affairs, Roosevelt University (IL) Interfaith Drug Policy Initiative Justice Strategies Law Enforcement Against Prohibition Legal Services for Prisoners with Children (CA) Prison Families Community Forum (NY) Prison Moratorium Project (NY) Rhode Island Family Life Center Safe Streets / Strong Communities (LA) The Defender Association The Ordinary People Society (AL) UpFront (CA) Voluntary Committee of Lawyers, Inc.

Less than $20,000 American Civil Liberties Union of Mississippi Borderwalk Productions (NC) Direct Action for Rights and Equality (RI) DRCNet Foundation, Inc. Drug Policy Education Group, Inc. (AR) Drug Policy Forum of Kansas, Inc. Flex Your Rights Foundation Harm Reduction Coalition - New Jersey In Arms Reach, Inc. (NY) Institute for Policy Studies, Drug Policy Project Justice Policy Institute Los Angeles Overdose Prevention Task Force Mothers of the New York Disappeared Project New Mexico Women’s Justice Project, Inc. NYC AIDS Housing Network Public Policy and Education Fund (NY)

Rapid Response
$50,000 2007 International Drug Policy Reform Conference scholarship $20,000 to $49,999 Center for Working Families (NY) Critical Resistance New England Policy Advocate Foundation (MA) $10,000 to $19,999 California NORML California Society of Addiction Medicine Insite (Canada) JusticeWorks Community / Seven Neighborhood Action Partnership (NY) Less than $10,000 Harm Reduction Coalition Institute for Metropolitan Affairs, Roosevelt University (IL) Tenderloin Health (CA) Vancouver Island Compassion Society (Canada)

Organizations are national unless otherwise indicated.


Honorary Board of Directors

Rocky Anderson Harry Belafonte Frank C. Carlucci III

Mayor Salt Lake City, Utah (2000-2008). Singer, actor and activist. U.S. Secretary of Defense (1987-1989); Chairman emeritus, Carlyle Group; Deputy Director, CIA (1978-81).

Penny Harrington

Chief of Police, Portland, Oregon (1985-86); Founding Director, National Center for Women and Policing, a division of the Feminist Majority Foundation (1995-present). Record-breaking NFL running back for the Dallas Cowboys (1969-74), the Washington Redskins (1976-77), and the Cleveland Browns (1978-81). Nationally syndicated columnist and author; Founder of the Huffington Post (www.huffpost.com). Governor, New Mexico (1995-2003). U.S. Senior District Judge, Denver, Colorado (1977-present). U.S. Attorney General (1965-66); Under-Secretary of State, (1966-69). Police Chief, Kansas City, Missouri (1973-76) and San Jose, California (1976-91); Research Fellow, Hoover Institute (1991-present). Police Commissioner, New York City (1970-73); Police Chief, Syracuse, Washington, D.C., Detroit; President, Police Foundation (1973-85); Director, Police Policy Board at the U.S. Conference of Mayors (1985-2006). President and founder, The Addiction, Research and Treatment Corporation, Brooklyn, NY (1969-present); Director, Center for Substance Abuse Treatment, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (1989-1993); U.S. representative on issues of drug addiction and AIDS, World Health Organization.

Calvin Hill

Rep. John Conyers, Jr. U.S. Congressman, Michigan (1964present); Chairman, House Committee on Government Operations (1989-94); Dean and a founding member, Congressional Black Caucus; Chairman, Judiciary Committee (2007-present). Walter Cronkite CBS Evening News anchor (1962-1981) known as “The most trusted man in America.” Beloved spiritual teacher; Founder, Hanuman Foundation, which developed the Prison Ashram Project to help inmates grow spiritually, and the Living/Dying Project, a spiritual and educational support for terminally ill people and their care givers. Winner of the Lasker Award (1988) “for postulating the physiological basis of narcotic addition and for developing methadone treatment for heroin addiction.” U.S. Surgeon General (1993-94). U.S. District Court Judge, Boston, Massachusetts.

Arianna Huffington

Gary Johnson Judge John Kane

Ram Dass

Nicholas deB. Katzenbach Joseph McNamara, PhD

Vincent Dole, MD In Memoriam: 1913-2006

Patrick V. Murphy

Joycelyn Elders, MD Judge Nancy Gertner

Beny Primm, MD


Board of Directors

Dennis Rivera

Former President, 1199SEIU United Healthcare Workers East – the largest local union in the world. Mayor, Baltimore (1987-99); Dean, Howard University School of Law (2003-present). Director, National Institute on Drug Abuse (1986-1992); Director, Neuroscience Institute, Loyola University Chicago (2006-present). Pharmacologist, chemist, and psychedelics researcher. U.S. Secretary of Labor (1969-1970); U.S. Secretary of the Treasury (1972-1974); U.S. Secretary of State (1982-1989). Hip-hop pioneer, entrepreneur and philanthropist. U.S. District Judge, New York, New York (1978-present). Chairman, Board of Governors, U.S. Federal Reserve System (1979-1987).

Christine Downton Former Vice Chairman and Founding Partner of Pareto Partners Jodie Evans Co-founder, CODEPINK James E. Ferguson, II Senior Partner, Ferguson, Stein, Chambers Law Offices Jason Flom Chairman/CEO, Capitol Music Group Ira Glasser, DPA Board President Former Executive Director, American Civil Liberties Union James D. Gollin Chair, Rainforest Action Network Director, Angelica Foundation Carl Hart, PhD New York State Psychiatric Institute Kenneth Hertz Senior Partner, Goldring Hertz and Lichtenstein LLP Mathilde Krim, PhD Founding Chair, American Foundation for AIDS Research (amfAR) David C. Lewis, MD Founding Director, Center for Alcohol and Addiction Studies, Brown University Pamela Lichty President, Drug Policy Forum of Hawai`i Ethan Nadelmann, JD, PhD Executive Director Robert Newman, MD Director, Baron Edmond de Rothschild Chemical Dependency Institute at Beth Israel Medical Center Rev. Edwin Sanders, DPA Board Secretary Senior Servant, Metropolitan Interdenominational Church Coordinator, Religious Leaders for a More Just and Compassionate Drug Policy George Soros Chairman, Soros Fund Management John Vasconcellos Former California State Senator Co-Founder, The Politics of Trust Richard B. Wolf, DPA Board Treasurer Chairman of Board, Consolidated Dye 23

Kurt Schmoke

Charles R. Schuster, PhD

Alexander Shulgin, PhD George P. Shultz

Russell Simmons

Judge Robert Sweet

Paul Volcker

DPA Staff

Management Team Ethan Nadelmann, Executive Director Derek Hodel, Deputy Executive Director Ryan Chavez, Managing Director, Finance and Administration DeDe Dunevant, Managing Director, Communications Clovis Thorn, Managing Director, Development Communications DeDe Dunevant, Managing Director, Communications Megan Farrington, Deputy Director, Internet Communications Jeanette Irwin, Director, Internet Communications Stefanie Jones, Event Manager Amanda King, Web Content Developer Ed Kirtz, Librarian Vera Leone, Internet Communications Associate Tommy McDonald, Deputy Director, Media Relations Tony Newman, Director, Media Relations Anthony Papa, Communications Specialist Zak Sherzad, Media Consultant Isaac Skelton, Director, Publications Development Rafael De Arce, Membership Coordinator David Glowka, Manager, Foundation Relations Judh Grandchamps, Gift Entry Associate Clovis Thorn, Managing Director, Development Finance and Administration Teresa Bonomo, Administrative Associate Ryan Chavez, Managing Director, Finance and Administration Rosalyn Fox, Executive Administrative Associate Lina Mingoia, Human Resources Manager Candida Ventimiglia, Controller Malakkar Vohryzek, Office Coordinator Office of Legal Affairs Daniel N. Abrahamson, Director, Legal Affairs Theshia Naidoo, Staff Attorney Daniel Robelo, Research Associate Tamar Todd, Staff Attorney Office of National Affairs Bill Piper, Director, National Affairs Grant Smith, Legislative Associate Jasmine Tyler, Deputy Director, National Affairs

Programs California Steven Alvarez, Administrative Associate, Southern California Gus Collins, Administrative Associate, San Francisco Margaret Dooley-Sammuli, Deputy State Director, Southern California Marisa Garcia, Harm Reduction Associate, Southern California Stephen Gutwillig, State Director, California Lynette Hall, Administrative and Policy Associate, Sacramento Jennifer Kern, Youth Policy Manager Curtis Notsinneh, Deputy State Director, Sacramento Meghan Ralston, Harm Reduction Coordinator, Southern California Marsha Rosenbaum, Director Emerita, DPA San Francisco and Safety First Program Laura Thomas, Deputy State Director, San Francisco Grants asha bandele, Director, Advocacy Grants Program New Mexico Jeanne Block, Methamphetamine Project Coordinator Anissa Medina, Office Management Associate Julie Roberts, Policy Coordinator Reena Szczepanski, State Director, New Mexico New Jersey Meagan Johnson, Policy Coordinator Roseanne Scotti, State Director, New Jersey Rachel Shearer, Administrative Associate State Organizing and Policy Project Evan Goldstein, Policy Associate gabriel sayegh, Director, State Organizing and Policy Project Washington, D.C./Maryland Naomi Long, Director, District of Columbia Metropolitan Area


Financial Statements

Drug Policy Alliance, a 501(c)(3)(h) Nonprofit DPA Statement of Financial Position FY2008 ASSETS Cash and cash equivalents $ Investments $ Grants receivable $ Accounts receivable $ Prepaid expenses $ Property, equipment and leasehold improvements, net $ Deposits $ Total Assets $ LIABILITIES AND NET ASSETS Liabilities Accounts payable & accrued expenses Vacation accrual Health and harm reduction Fundraising Total Liabilities Net Assets Unrestricted Temporarily restricted Total Net Assets Total Liabilities and Net Assets

DPA Network, a 501(c)(4) Lobbying Organization DPA Network Statement of Financial Position FY2008 ASSETS Cash and cash equivalents $ 1,948,394 Promissory note receivable $ 400,000 Accounts receivable $ 61,954 Prepaid expenses $ 2,658 Total Assets $ 2,413,006 LIABILITIES AND NET ASSETS Liabilities Accounts payable & accrued expenses $ Net Assets Unrestricted

4,385,147 384,000 17,421 78,191 55,760 224,750 85,715 5,230,984


$ $

2,283,783 2,413,006

$ $ $ $ $

206,220 46,659 – – 252,879

Total Liabilities and Net Assets

$ $ $ $

1,752,621 3,225,484 4,978,105 5,230,984

DPA Network Statement of Activities FY2008 INCOME Contributions $ Investment income $ Special projects $ Total Income $ EXPENSES Program Expenses Consulting Lobbying expenses incurred by DPA Campaign donations Contribution expense Ballot initiatives Advertising and marketing Travel, insurance and meeting expenses Miscellaneous Support Services Administrative expenses Professional fees Total Expenses CHANGE IN NET ASSETS Net Assets, beginning of year Net Assets, end of year

1,144,153 85,790 125,325 1,355,268

DPA Statement of Activities FY2008* INCOME Contributions unrestricted Contributions temporarily restricted Investment income Conference and other income Total Income EXPENSES Program Expenses Conferences Communications Health and harm reduction Public policy and legal affairs Treatment and prevention Special projects Grants Support Services Management Fundraising Total Expenses CHANGE IN NET ASSETS Net Assets, beginning of year Net Assets, end of year

$ $ $ $ $

8,747,043 3,064,151 74,029 603,911 12,489,134

$ $ $ $ $ $ $ $

165,483 82,923 7,672 41,667 710,000 21,730 13,787 5,622

$ $ $ $ $ $ $

637,497 1,155,351 497,882 2,206,363 395,754 744,902 1,460,510

$ $ $ $ $ $

136,591 96,737 1,282,212 73,056 2,210,727 2,283,783

$ $ $ $ $ $

1,357,938 1,453,942 9,910,139 2,578,995 2,399,110 4,978,105 * At the end of the FY2008, $3,000,000 in temporary restricted income was deferred toward the following fiscal year’s program and administrative expenses.

California DPA Office of Legal Affairs Berkeley, CA legalaffairs@drugpolicy.org DPA Los Angeles Office Los Angeles, CA la@drugpolicy.org DPA California Capital Office Sacramento, CA sacto@drugpolicy.org DPA San Francisco Office San Francisco, CA sf@drugpolicy.org District of Columbia DPA Office of National Affairs Washington, D.C. dc@drugpolicy.org New Jersey DPA New Jersey Trenton, NJ nj@drugpolicy.org New Mexico DPA New Mexico Santa Fe, NM nm@drugpolicy.org New York Drug Policy Alliance Headquarters 70 West 36th Street 16th floor New York, NY 10018 212.613.8020 voice 212.613.8021 fax nyc@drugpolicy.org


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