Drug War Facts
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What Can I Do?
Get Informed -- Get Motivated -- Get Active
The following are ways in which you can start getting
active on drug policy issues.
Get educated -- visit the Common Sense for Drug Policy site at
http://www.csdp.org/, Drug War Facts at
the MAP-DrugSense News archive at
and the Online Drug Library at
Stay informed via e-newsletter -- sign up through DrugSense at
www.DrugSense.org; the Drug Reform Coordination Network at
www.drcnet.org; and the Drug Policy Alliance at
www.drugpolicy.org, among others. There are also
local sources available. A meta-list of reform organizations,
including several state drug policy forums, is available at
Find out which reform organizations are working on issues
about which you care most -- use the form at
http://www.csdp.org/active.htm to get in contact with them.
Find where you can most
effectively spend some time and effort and do it. There is also
a meta-list of reform organizations available at
Get Active on reform issues. We have a number of materials
available online to help, including:
Americans for Safe Access have an
Manual on their website.
Also, the November Coalition website
has a lot of great materials in their
online Guide to Community Activism.
Transform Drug Policy Foundation's
"Tools for the Debate"
This booklet by the UK reform group Transform "is a guide to making the case for drug policy reform. It is designed to: reframe the debate, moving it beyond stale ideological arguments into substantive, rational engagement; and provide the language and analysis to challenge the prohibitionist status quo, and to make the case for evidenced based alternatives."
Getting Started, by Denele Campbell, Alliance for Reform
of Drug Policy in Arkansas
10 Steps to Getting Press: A tip sheet by Tony Newman
and Shayna Samuels, Drug Policy Alliance
Tips On Writing Letters To The Editor,
by Richard Lake, MAPINC
Considerations When Forming A Nonprofit,
by Suzy Wills, Drug Policy Forum of Texas
Twelve Rules of Fundraising
Building A Speakers Bureau, by Mike Smithson,
ReconsiDer Forum on Drug Policy
Legislative Strategies & Coalition Building,
by Kevin Zeese, Common Sense for Drug Policy
Checklist for Successful Event Organizing, by
Robert E. Field, Co-Chair, Common Sense for Drug Policy
Know who your politicians are, their email addresses and phone
numbers. Write to them, call them as often as needed.
Remember, federal officials don't read your mail, their aides do.
federal officials contact them in their district home office as well
as their DC office. Whenever your elected official speaks publicly
attend and ask reform questions. Use zingy one liners, plant ideas
into the heads of the aides and make them think.
Meet with your state representative and state senator. Except when
the legislature is in session, it is not difficult to schedule a 15-30
minute meeting. Even if your representative is a die-hard drug warrior,
meet with him/her and get how you feel off your chest. Medical
marijuana is a great nail to use and drive it with the hammer that
millions of people don't have health insurance, thus they cannot afford
to go to the pharmacy. For more information on working with legislators,
download this piece by CSDP President Kevin Zeese,
"Legislative Strategies & Coalition Building.
Inform your clergy, urge them to devote a sermon to drug use/abuse
and the need to end the war on drugs.
Be alert for local or regional community events. You can set up a
booth and attract attention and support. CSDP maintains a calendar of
upcoming conferences at
. Also be sure to check out the
Drug Policy Alliance
event calendar for more info.
Write letters to the editor.
Download this excellent "how-to" piece by
Richard Lake, Editor at MAPINC,
"Tips On Writing Letters To The Editor".
Send them to your local paper, national
magazines, the student paper of your alma mater, etc. Even if not
published, the editors will continue to get a sense of what is important
to people. If someone outside the organization writes a good letter,
find out their phone number, call them and let them know we exist and
they can join. Get weekly focus alerts on media targets at
Speak up against prohibition/war on drugs. When discussing
other social problems show how they are connected to our failed drug
policy -- e.g., no money for education – the US spends more on prison
building than on college building, and hires more prison guards than
For those who wish to wear their message and engage the public, a
custom t-shirt can be made by any custom shirt shop. Ask Howard
firstname.lastname@example.org for details.
Talk Radio -- know which stations have talk shows, and share that
information with fellow reformers in your area. Let everyone know when
the topic of drugs is coming up so they can call in also. Think of and
distribute great one-liners and sound bites for talk shows, i.e.
A. Prohibition guarantees the existence of drug dealers.
B. Prohibition hasn't worked since Adam & Eve bit on the apple.
C. Studies show that every drug dealer arrested, shot or killed has
been quickly replaced. How can arresting more drug dealers
help keep drug dealers and drugs away from my kids?
Write to the columnists of your local paper. Many now include their
email addresses under their picture or somewhere in the paper. Urge them to do a
piece on Prohibition, tying it to their area of expertise.
Buy an extra copy of an especially good reform book and donate it to
a local public, school or church library. If the
school or library refuses to accept it, alert the media. For a list
of great books on drug policy reform, check out
CSDP's Recommended Reading List.
Start a local reform group, work with others of a like mind and
coordinate your efforts. Download some the materials listed above,
look over the websites, and dive in.
If you want to learn more, contact us and we’ll
copyright © 2002,
Common Sense for Drug Policy,
Kevin B. Zeese, President -- Mike Gray, Chairman --
Robert E. Field, Co-Chairman
Joyce Rivera, Director -- Melvin R. Allen, Director --
Doug McVay, Editor & Research Director
tel 202-299-9780 - fax 202-518-4028 -
Updated: Thursday, 09-Jul-2009 14:50:43 PDT
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