Later On

A blog written for those whose interests more or less match mine.

Drug Policy Alliance’s 2008 state plans

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Lots to do:

DPA’s work for reform at the state level makes an immediate difference in people’s lives, helping to support the broader vision of a wholesale end to the war on drugs. In 2007, our work brought syringe availability to New Jersey and Los Angeles, passed a medical marijuana law in New Mexico, and protected treatment-instead-of-incarceration in California.

With many state legislatures going into session in January, DPA’s 2008 state work is kicking into high gear. Prominent themes for this year across several of the states we work in include medical marijuana, overdose prevention, effective treatment and sentencing reform.

The passage of medical marijuana legislation in New Mexico last year has helped to create momentum for other states in 2008. We will be educating legislators and advocating for medical marijuana access this year in Alabama, Connecticut, Maryland and New Jersey.

Overdose prevention also has momentum this year thanks to a 2007 law passed in New Mexico. New Mexico’s 911 Good Samaritan law helps protect people who are witnessing an overdose from drug possession charges if they call emergency services. DPA will be working in several other states to pass similar lifesaving legislation.

Treatment, another big issue for DPA in 2008, presents not only opportunities, but a big challenge. In fiscally strapped California, DPA will continue to defend Proposition 36, the state’s successful treatment-instead-of-incarceration program, against funding cuts, and promote expanded access to treatment and rehabilitation throughout the criminal justice system. In other states, such as New Mexico and Connecticut, DPA will be advocating for new treatment-instead-of-incarceration legislation similar to Prop. 36.

Sentencing reform efforts are getting underway in several states as well, with initiatives ranging from school zone reform in Connecticut to correction of the crack/powder cocaine sentencing disparity in California.

To learn about the latest developments in your state, make sure you’re signed up for DPA’s action alerts. To receive alerts specific to your area, be sure to indicate what state you’re in!

Written by Leisureguy

10 January 2008 at 5:32 pm

Posted in Drug laws

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