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Getting Active

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, 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; the Drug Reform Coordination Network at; and the Drug Policy Alliance at, 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 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 Organizing Manual on their website. Also, the November Coalition website has a lot of great materials in their online Guide to Community Activism.
  • 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. Also with 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 teachers.
  • 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 Wooldridge at 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 help:
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Drug War Facts - link to

Common Sense Ad Campaign - link to CSDP PSAs

Get Active! - link to page on becoming active in
drug policy reform

About Common Sense for Drug Policy - link to more info about
CSDP and its leadership

Addict in the Family - link to

Effective Drug Control Strategy -
link to EDCS portion of CSDP website

Top Drug Warrior Distortions -
link to

Recommended Reading - link to page of suggested books
on drug policy reform
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   ~   Accessed: 78478 times

Additional Resources

Drug War Facts

in the Family

The Online Drug Library

Reform Links

Additional Research Resources