Breaking News:URGENT: Call Congress TODAY to Save DC Marijuana Legalization!

Feedback and Support Sought for Two-Year DRCNet Action Plan

Posted in:
<?php global $user; ?><?php if ($user->uid) { $user = user_load(array('uid'=>$user->uid));} ?><?php print $_GET['pid']; ?>" method="post" name="donate_form" onSubmit="return check_this();">

Click here if you want to skip the two year plan write-up and just donate.

If you don't want to donate, or will be making a pledge for later, please fill out the donation form but select the "check by mail option" (use any amount if you're not donating) and copy and paste the mail-in page into an e-mail to drcnet@drcnet.org to send us your feedback.

To: DRCNet members, subscribers
From: David Borden, Executive Director
Date: December 22, 2006
Re: Feedback and Support Sought for Two-Year Action Plan

Current political circumstances as well as past achievements by DRCNet have created unprecedented opportunities for advancing the cause of ending the war on drugs! This memo lays out why we believe our issue and organization are entering a time of unprecedented opportunity, and what DRCNet intends or is considering doing about it over the next two years.

We are requesting our current donors who are able to consider doubling their financial support for the next two years to make this plan possible. We are also requesting lapsed donors (haven't donated in more than two years); to resume donating and for non-donors to start.

PLEASE CONSIDER INCLUDING DRCNET IN YOUR END-YEAR CHARITABLE GIVING.

TABLE OF CONTENTS:

  1. The Situation
  2. DRCNet's Methods
  3. Why a Two-Year Plan?
  4. The Plan
  5. Proposed Campaigns
  6. Donations

The Situation:

The past decade has seen an increasing openness to drug policy reform, even to ideas like legalization. For example, since DRCNet's founding in late 1993, two US governors, two heads of state (Mexico and Uruguay), and (more circumspectly); several members of Congress have made comments supportive of ending prohibition. Concern and even anger over extremes in current drug policies (such as five- and ten-year mandatory minimum sentences for crack cocaine possession, bans on funding of needle exchange programs, or federal attacks on state medical marijuana laws) have grown substantially. Polling shows that 3/4 of the American public believes the war on drugs has failed.

With the upcoming power transition in Washington, some of the most supportive members of Congress are set to chair important committees. Rep. John Conyers (D-MI) -- keynote speaker at DRCNet's event last March raising money for our John W. Perry scholarship fund that helps would-be students who have lost their financial aid eligibility because of drug convictions -- is the new chairman of the House Judiciary Committee. Rep. Bobby Scott (D-VA) -- a stalwart of sentencing reform who has spoken at several of the press conferences we organized against the financial aid drug penalty under the auspices of the Coalition for Higher Education Act Reform -- will be chairing the subcommittee that deals with crime legislation. On the Senate side, members like Pat Leahy (D-VT); and Ted Kennedy (D-MA) are well placed to play a positive role in drug policy legislation relating to justice, education and health.

DRCNet's work has itself reached a point where the impact we are able to make is greater than ever. Our victory last February, in which the drug provision of the Higher Education Act was significantly scaled back by a Republican-controlled Congress, has gained us respect and access on Capitol Hill and among mainstream advocacy groups. Recent improvements to our web site and an expansion to our content model have caused our traffic to more than double, with further gains anticipated soon. Just this weekend a Drug War Chronicle article made the top news link on the Netscape home page! Current web statistics indicate that DRCNet web sites are attracting visitors at the approximate rate of three million people per year.

DRCNet's Methods:

DRCNet's work since our founding has been based on the following broad approaches:

  • Quality, in-depth, original publishing of educational materials about drug policy (e.g. Drug War Chronicle newsletter, the Drug Library, the Falling Through the Cracks report, daily blogs), materials that educate directly but which are also useful to the work of advocates, policymakers, journalists and others;
  • Supporting and growing all of our partner groups in the drug policy reform movement as a whole and related movements;
  • Coalition-building to build bridges with mainstream organizations and effect social change;
  • Media/advocacy campaigns on selected issues;
  • Raising awareness of the consequences of prohibition itself -- DRCNet is the largest drug policy organization that formally calls for an end to prohibition outright, and the only such "full purpose" drug policy lobbying/general membership group to do so.

Over the next two years, we will be building on this model, using our achievements to date and specific aspects of the national and international political situations to take DRCNet and drug policy reform to new places.

Why a Two Year Plan?

A few reasons:

  • Congress works in two-year cycles, as do many state legislatures. The incoming 110th Congress will begin its business in January '07 and conclude it in December '08.
  • The UN's 10-year anti-drug summit will take place in June 2008, and represents an important opportunity raising awareness of the issue globally while advancing important international organizing. Crafting our plans -- and our budget -- around a two-year time period will allow us to mount an effective effort that takes aim at the summit (which will convene in Vienna) and then continues with crucial follow-up.
  • The new plans we have will take more than one year. In particular, our plans for raising the profile of the legalization debate need at least two years to really sink in.

The Plan:

Over the next two years DRCNet -- if you allow it through your support, and if pending further analysis and accounting for your feedback it still seems like the way to go -- will attempt the following:

  • Press forward with our web site/content redeployment that has already more than doubled our traffic and which is seeing our web activity increase by 20% per month. Reach more people as a result, and thereby grow our e-mail list and the consequent impact of our newsletter and action alerts. Supplement Drug War Chronicle with a monthly newsletter aimed at legislators, legislative staffers and other policy professionals -- in this way establishing contact with thousands of sympathetic policymakers across the country and keeping the contacts warm.
    Your opinion... Excellent -- go for it! Makes sense and/or sounds reasonable. I have no opinion or I'm not sure. I disagree strategically with this idea strategically.
  • Expand the 250-organization coalition we built to take on the drug conviction/college aid law into a network of thousands of organizations around the country helping to chip away at the drug war in all the ways they are individually able and willing. Use that network to achieve concrete, positive legislative results in the 110th Congress and at the state level, and to support the legislative efforts of allied organizations.
    Your opinion... Excellent -- go for it! Makes sense and/or sounds reasonable. I have no opinion or I'm not sure. I disagree with this idea strategically.
  • Carry out a set of high-profile campaigns, which along with hopefully achieving concrete changes, and building bridges with new allies, will also increase our profile in the media. (Some possible "trial balloons" for these are outlined below -- we especially want your feedback in that area.)
    Your opinion... Excellent -- go for it! Makes sense and/or sounds reasonable. I have no opinion or I'm not sure. I disagree with this idea strategically.
  • Expand our coalition model to include individuals -- people of fame or who are respected in their communities -- the kind of people who are capable of attracting attention and making people think when they speak out in favor of ending drug prohibition. (We use the term "opinion leaders" to describe these kinds of allies.)
    Your opinion... Excellent -- go for it! Makes sense and/or sounds reasonable. I have no opinion or I'm not sure. I disagree with this idea strategically. I disagree because I'm not in favor of legalization.
  • Use our media profile, our network of anti-prohibitionist expert spokespersons, and our advocacy achievements, to influence mainstream media outlets as well as online venues to change the way they report on drugs and crime by recognizing and acknowledging the consequences of prohibition as such. In this way take the case for legalization to the general public in a way that has never before been done.
    Your opinion... Excellent -- go for it! Makes sense and/or sounds reasonable. I have no opinion or I'm not sure. I disagree with this idea strategically. I disagree because I'm not in favor of legalization.

Proposed Campaigns:

We would especially like to know what you think about the following "trial balloon" campaign ideas we are floating:

  • Reckless paramilitary policing (e.g. SWAT raids) has claimed the lives of dozens of innocent people or nonviolent offenders -- 88-year old Kathryn Johnston in Atlanta is only the most recent victim -- and has traumatized hundreds of thousands. Our proposed campaign to stop it will begin with an online petition and will continue into the communities directly affected and to the halls of Congress.
    Your opinion... Excellent -- go for it! Makes sense and/or sounds reasonable. I have no opinion or I'm not sure. I disagree strategically with this idea strategically. I disagree strategically with this idea on a policy level.
  • Opium eradication in Afghanistan is disrupting efforts to stabilize and develop the country and is driving poor farmers into the arms of the Taliban. But the impetus for eradication comes not from Kabul but from Washington. But while eradication of the nation's leading income source is a disaster in the offing, the illicit drug trade also threatens the integrity of the government and provides funds to our enemies. Our proposed campaign will make the point about how drug prohibition has created a no-win situation that is undermining our national interests, while pressing for the non-eradication based approaches favored by academics, NGOs as well as UN agencies and the World Bank.
    Your opinion... Excellent -- go for it! Makes sense and/or sounds reasonable. I have no opinion or I'm not sure. I disagree with this idea strategically. I disagree with this on a policy level.
  • Every year the UN holds an "International Anti-Drugs Day" to highlight prevention programs it supports in many nations. Unfortunately, China marks the occasion each year with public executions of dozens of supposed drug offenders -- hundreds of people killed by now, if not thousands, many low-level offenders and with limited due process. We believe that an international campaign by a coalition of organizations and political leaders to have the UN anti-drug day called off -- because of the death penalty killings it is prompting -- can bring in numerous new allies, and shine a spotlight on the cruelty at the heart of the international drug control regime as the UN's 10-year anti-drug summit convenes in summer '08. The goal, along with education and awareness, is to open the UN process for reform of the international drug treaties (which currently disallow real legalization experiments) and to subject UN and national drug enforcement programs to human rights review. Our past international work in the "Out from the Shadows" campaign puts DRCNet in a great position to take this on.
    Your opinion... Excellent -- go for it! Makes sense and/or sounds reasonable. I have no opinion or I'm not sure. I disagree with this idea strategically. I disagree with this on a policy level.
  • This one is less of a trial balloon, because it flows directly from our previous work. Get the Higher Education Act's drug provision, which was already scaled back, repealed completely in the new Congress, and target similar bans in welfare and public housing law. Expand further to take on sentencing reform as well as issues like restoration of voting rights to ex-offenders.
    Your opinion... Excellent -- go for it! Makes sense and/or sounds reasonable. I have no opinion or I'm not sure. I disagree with this idea strategically. I disagree with this on a policy level.
  • Organize an open letter from prominent leaders in media, to media, as part of the Prohibition in the Media campaign. The message would be that media have the responsibility to recognize the consequences of prohibition for what many people think they are, and to incorporate that viewpoint in their reporting along with the rest of the viewpoints they present. Your opinion...
    Excellent -- go for it! Makes sense and/or sounds reasonable. I have no opinion or I'm not sure. I disagree with this idea strategically. I disagree because I'm not in favor of legalization.

Donate:

We hope this overview of DRCNet's plans and strategy has increased your understanding of our work -- and we hope we have persuaded you that now is the time to support that work with the most generous donation you can afford. Please remember that every day the drug war rages is another day of arrests, another day of needless violence and of needless suffering, another day that half a million nonviolent offenders languish in prison and jail cells in the US alone -- another day of senseless injustices and wasted tax dollars. Please help us bring the madness to a stop sooner rather than later. We pledge to make the best possible use of your donation that we can.

If you don't want to donate, or will be making a pledge for later, please fill out the donation form but select the "check by mail option" (use any amount if you're not donating) and copy and paste the mail-in page into an e-mail to drcnet@drcnet.org to send us your feedback.

Please select a contribution type.

Donate Today
Select Amount... $10 $25 $50 $100 $250 $500 $1,000 $5,000 Other

Donate Monthly
Select Amount... $5 $10 $15 $20 $25 $50 $100 Other

<?php if ($_GET['org'] == 'network') { ?>

You are making a contribution to the Drug Reform Coordination Network.

Donations to our lobbying organization, the Drug Reform Coordination Network, are not tax-deductible. Click here for more information.

Select One... Drug Reform Coordination Network (not tax-deductible) DRCNet Foundation (tax-deductible)

<?php } else if ($_GET['org'] == 'foundation') { ?>

You are making a contribution to DRCNet Foundation.

Donations to our educational organization, DRCNet Foundation, are tax-deductible. Click here for more information.

Select One... Drug Reform Coordination Network (not tax-deductible) DRCNet Foundation (tax-deductible)

<?php } else { ?>

Do you wish to fund our educational work or our lobbying efforts?

Donations to our lobbying organization, the Drug Reform Coordination Network, are not tax-deductible. Donations to our educational organization, DRCNet Foundation, are tax-deductible. Click here for more information.

Select One... Drug Reform Coordination Network (not tax-deductible) DRCNet Foundation (tax-deductible)

<?php } ?>

Based on your contribution amount, these membership premiums are available to you. Please select one from the list.

Select One... ----StoptheDrugWar.org button (any size donation, contact for multiple pricing) ----StoptheDrugWar.org coaster (any size donation, contact for multiple pricing) free with donations of $15 or more: ----A Drug War Carol comic ----Law Enforcement Against Prohibition DVD ----Drug War Facts 5th Edition free with donations of $25 or more: ----BUSTED: A Citizen's Guide to Surviving Police Encounters DVD ----LEAP DVD & Drug War Facts combo ----The New Prohibition: Voices of Dissent Challenge the Drug War ----StoptheDrugWar.org mousepad ----StoptheDrugWar.org strobe light free with donations of $30 or more: ----DVD: Waiting to Inhale: Marijuana, Medicine, and the Law ----Drug Crazy: How We Got Into This Mess and How We Can Get Out ----Race to Incarcerate ----StoptheDrugWar.org stamp and red ink pad ----StoptheDrugWar.org travel mug ----StoptheDrugWar.org t-shirt free with donations of $35 or more: ----15 to Life: How I Painted My Way to Freedom ----Breaking Rank: A Top Cop's Expose of the Dark Side of American Policing ----Burning Rainbow Farm, How a Stoner Utopia Went up in Smoke ----Saying Yes: In Defense of Drug Use ----The Great Drug War: And Rational Proposals to Turn the Tide ----Tulia: Race, Cocaine, and Corruption in a Small Texas Town ----Under The Influence: The Disinformation Guide to Drugs free with donations of $45 or more: ----Any Two StoptheDrugWar.org items -- Indicate Choices in Comment Box free with donations of $60 or more: ----Any Two Books -- Indicate Choices in Comment Box free with donations of $75 or more: ----t-shirt, mug, mousepad, strobe light and coaster free with donations of $90 or more: ----Any Three Books -- Indicate Titles in Comment Box free with donations of $120 or more: ----Any Four Books -- Indicate Titles in Comment Box Send me one of everything! ($500 or more) Other Combination -- please specify in the comment box below

...or Don't send any gift -- keep it all for DRCNet's work!

Please select your desired payment method.

Select One... Credit Card PayPal Mail a Check

First Name

profile_first_name; ?>">

Last Name

profile_last_name; ?>">

Billing Address

profile_address1; ?>">

Billing Address 2

profile_address2; ?>">

City, State, Zip

profile_city; ?>">profile_state; ?>">profile_zip; ?>">

Province (Outside of US/Canada)

Email Address

mail; ?>">

Daytime Phone Number

Nighttime Phone/Fax

Any additional messages or instructions?

"> " alt="DVD: Waiting to Inhale: Marijuana, Medicine, and the Law" />
free with donation of $30 or over " alt="DVD: BUSTED: The Citizen's Guide to Surviving Police Encounters" />
free with donation of $25 or over " alt="DVD: Law Enforcement Against Prohibition" />
free with donation of $15 or over " alt="BOOK: Drug Crazy: How We Got Into This Mess and How We Can Get Out" />
free with donation of $30 or over " alt="BOOK: Saying Yes: In Defense of Drug Use" />
free with donation of $35 or over " alt="BOOK: The Great Drug War, and Rational Proposals to Turn the Tide" />
free with donation of $35 or over " alt="StoptheDrugWar.org t-shirts" />
free with donation of $30 or over " alt="StoptheDrugWar.org ink stamps and strobe lights" />
free with donation of $30 or over " alt="BOOK: Race to Incarcerate" />
free with donation of $30 or over " alt="BOOK: Drug War Facts" />
free with donation of $15 or over " alt="StoptheDrugWar.org travel mug" />
free with donation of $30 or over " alt="StoptheDrugWar.org mousepad" />
free with donation of $25 or over " alt="BOOK: 15 To Life: How I Painted My Way to Freedom" />
free with donation of $35 or over " alt="BOOK: Breaking Rank: A Top Cop's Exposé of the Dark Side of American Policing" />
free with donation of $35 or over " alt="BOOK: The New Prohibition: Voices of Dissent Challenge the Drug War" />
free with donation of $25 or over " alt="COMIC BOOK: A Drug War Carol" />
free with donation of $15 or over " alt="BOOK: Tulia: Race, Cocaine, and Corruption in a Small Texas Town" />
free with donation of $35 or over " alt="BOOK: Burning Rainbow Farm: How a Stoner Utopia Went Up in Smoke" />
free with donation of $35 or over " alt="BOOK: Under The Influence: The Disinformation Guide to Drugs" />
free with donation of $35 or over
Looking for the easiest way to join the anti-drug war movement? You've found it!

Drug War Issues

Criminal JusticeAsset Forfeiture, Collateral Sanctions (College Aid, Drug Taxes, Housing, Welfare), Court Rulings, Drug Courts, Due Process, Felony Disenfranchisement, Incarceration, Policing (2011 Drug War Killings, 2012 Drug War Killings, 2013 Drug War Killings, 2014 Drug War Killings, Arrests, Eradication, Informants, Interdiction, Lowest Priority Policies, Police Corruption, Police Raids, Profiling, Search and Seizure, SWAT/Paramilitarization, Task Forces, Undercover Work), Probation or Parole, Prosecution, Reentry/Rehabilitation, Sentencing (Alternatives to Incarceration, Clemency and Pardon, Crack/Powder Cocaine Disparity, Death Penalty, Decriminalization, Defelonization, Drug Free Zones, Mandatory Minimums, Rockefeller Drug Laws, Sentencing Guidelines)CultureArt, Celebrities, Counter-Culture, Music, Poetry/Literature, Television, TheaterDrug UseParaphernalia, ViolenceIntersecting IssuesCollateral Sanctions (College Aid, Drug Taxes, Housing, Welfare), Violence, Border, Budgets/Taxes/Economics, Business, Civil Rights, Driving, Economics, Education (College Aid), Employment, Environment, Families, Free Speech, Gun Policy, Human Rights, Immigration, Militarization, Money Laundering, Pregnancy, Privacy (Search and Seizure, Drug Testing), Race, Religion, Science, Sports, Women's IssuesMarijuana PolicyGateway Theory, Hemp, Marijuana -- Personal Use, Marijuana Industry, Medical MarijuanaMedicineMedical Marijuana, Science of Drugs, Under-treatment of PainPublic HealthAddiction, Addiction Treatment (Science of Drugs), Drug Education, Drug Prevention, Drug-Related AIDS/HIV or Hepatitis C, Harm Reduction (Methadone & Other Opiate Maintenance, Needle Exchange, Overdose Prevention, Safe Injection Sites)Source and Transit CountriesAndean Drug War, Coca, Hashish, Mexican Drug War, Opium ProductionSpecific DrugsAlcohol, Ayahuasca, Cocaine (Crack Cocaine), Ecstasy, Heroin, Ibogaine, ketamine, Khat, Marijuana (Gateway Theory, Marijuana -- Personal Use, Medical Marijuana, Hashish), Methamphetamine, New Synthetic Drugs (Synthetic Cannabinoids, Synthetic Stimulants), Nicotine, Prescription Opiates (Fentanyl, Oxycontin), Psychedelics (LSD, Mescaline, Peyote, Salvia Divinorum)YouthGrade School, Post-Secondary School, Raves, Secondary School