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Our Mission works for health and justice by seeking to end drug prohibition and its excesses, while positively impacting related issues.

How We Work is a primarily US-based organization that advocates on domestic drug policies and in the international sphere. We pick advocacy issues for which there are unfilled roles in which we and coalition partners can make a difference. One in which we played a leading role for over a decade was a successful effort to repeal a law that denied financial aid for college because of drug convictions.

Since our founding in late 1993, we have also focused on providing information. Under our previous (and still official) name, Drug Reform Coordination Network (DRCNet), we pioneered use of the internet for educating and organizing in drug policy reform. We still do this through Drug War Chronicle, the only online newsletter to comprehensively cover all areas of drug policy and reform, published continuously since 1997. Click here for some examples of how people put our newsletter to use.

At we take an intellectual approach to issues, while acknowledging that our role as advocates sometimes constrains our choices. We seek to recognize and address points in the drug policy discussion on which reasonable and informed people may sometimes disagree with us. We strive to understand and communicate about the complexities of issues, not just recite talking points, as format and the needs of each situation permit.

Our Issues

Some of the issue areas we engage in are criminal justice reform, marijuana legalization, harm reduction / public health programs, medical access to drugs, decriminalization of drugs, human rights and rule of law in drug policy, and reform of international drug treaties.



Our 2018 protest supporting Philippine
Sen. Leila de Lima, jailed for opposing
Pres. Duterte's drug war killings

We also believe big-picture in ending the criminal prohibition of drugs, replacing it with a thoughtful and cautious system of regulation (e.g. some form of legalization) accompanied by health and social programs. (More on this below.)

In recent years we have engaged extensively in drug policy at the United Nations, and in international human rights and democracy advocacy, particularly in relation to the extrajudicial killings that have taken place in the Philippine drug war since 2016. We have most recently engaged a worker safety issue in state-legalized cannabis (marijuana), namely armed robberies of cannabis stores, a problem driven principally by cash reliance in the stores, due to the limitations in financial services available to the still federally-illegal industry.

Our Values

  • We value facts and analysis over talking points.
  • We engage in intelligent and well-informed dialogue, not over-simplification or polemic.
  • We have big visions and goals, and we speak directly about them, but without making the perfect the enemy of the good.
  • We feel a moral obligation in most cases to support partial or incremental changes that help people, even when they may seem to be in tension with larger goals.
  • We seek to work with many different kinds of people.
  • We view media coverage as a means to achieving social justice and policy reform, not an end in itself.
  • We recognize our fallibility as human beings, seek to identify when we fall short of these values and why we fell short, and to learn from that.