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Your Donations Are Doubled Until December 31!

Dear reformer,

I'm pleased to announce that Dr. Bronner's Magic Soaps has pledged $10,000 in matching funds again this year. Donate to either of our nonprofits between now and midnight Dec. 31st, and your gift will be doubled until we reach that goal!

David Borden speaking at a UN Commission on Narcotic Drugs side event, March 2017
Since our founding, StoptheDrugWar.org has sought to end drug prohibition, replacing its punitive policies with positive ones based on health and well-being, while making a positive impact on issues that intersect with drug policy.

As reforms become more real, the last part of that grows in importance. Our newsletter will devote significant space in 2022 to the tensions that success creates for us in areas like marijuana legalization and psychedelics reform, and to the burgeoning efforts people are making around them. We'll also take these questions up through Zoom meetings and on Clubhouse.

Will the industries include people who've been harmed the most by the drug war? Will arrest and conviction records get expunged? Will craft and other small marijuana businesses survive? How will indigenous people's access to plants they've used for generations be assured, when more people become interested in them too? These are just a few of the issues at stake.

At the UN, we'll continue our efforts to modernize the international drug treaties in light of national moves toward marijuana legalization, while asserting the supremacy of human rights obligations over drug control obligations. We'll continue our campaign to stop Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte's drug war slaughter. And we'll take this to the US Congress as well, where appropriations made in the budget every year have a profound effect on drug policies abroad.

We are advancing our strategies and the movement's goals, and are ready to take that into 2022. We need your help to do it. Can you make a generous contribution to our $10,000 matched to $20,000 end-year goal today?

Two kinds of donations count toward our matching funds offer – tax-deductible supporting educational sides of our advocacy, and non-deductible for our legislative lobbying and other costs. Note that, like last year, if you don't itemize your tax-deductions (US taxpayers), for 2021 you can still deduct up to $300 total above-the-line for donations.

If you prefer to donate by check rather than online, those can be sent to us at P.O. Box 9853, Washington, DC 20016. For a tax-deductible donation please make your check payable to DRCNet Foundation. For a non-deductible donation please make it payable to Drug Reform Coordination Network. (There's also information on donating stock shares here.)

Thank you for your support!

Sincerely,

David Borden, Executive Director
StoptheDrugWar.org
P.O. Box 9853, Washington, DC 20016
https://stopthedrugwar.org

P.S. Check back next week for Phil Smith's annual "Top Ten Domestic Drug Policy Stories," to be followed by the annual "Top Ten International Drug Policy Stories."

Celebrate Double Marijuana Wins and Continue Your (Doubled) Support!

Dear supporter,

As you may have read about in our newsletter, last week held historic wins for marijuana reform! The US House of Representatives passed a comprehensive bill -- the MORE Act -- which means marijuana legalization across the US is on the horizon. And in a major win globally, the United Nations removed marijuana from its most restrictive category, recognizing its medical value.

Are you able to contribute today to support our efforts to pass the MORE Act in the US Senate and make it law? Any contribution will be matched and your impact will be doubled!

If you are not able to contribute to our work monetarily, please consider sharing the link to our facebook fundraiser on your personal facebook page so we can connect with more allies.

The Marijuana Opportunity Reinvestment and Expungement (MORE) Act passed the US House last Friday December 4, making it the first ever marijuana legalization legislation to pass in any chamber of Congress. The MORE Act is especially notable for its focus on justice and equity through clearing past marijuana convictions and earmarking funds to reinvest in the communities most harmed by prohibition.

The vote on marijuana as medicine took place at the UN Commission on Narcotic Drugs, where it approved recommendation 5.1 made by the WHO Expert Committee on Drug Dependence. Previously marijuana was in Schedule IV of the 1961 convention, which recommends UN member states use their most strict controls for it.

Contribute to our marijuana legalization and other legislative efforts here. Donate to our UN and other educational and charitable programs (tax-deductible) here.

Learn more about the MORE Act news in our newsletter here. Learn more about the UN Commission on Narcotic Drugs vote here. Read about our work at the UN and other international programs here.

Thank You for your support!

Sincerely,

David Borden, Executive Director
StoptheDrugWar.org
P.O. Box 9853, Washington, DC 20016
https://stopthedrugwar.org

Giving Tuesday: double your impact today!

Dear supporter:

As 2020 comes to a close, the global fight against the war on drugs does not. Your support can make a monumental difference as we advocate to protect human rights and connect drug policy movement organizers from all over the world. Whether you're pushing for change in Latin or North America, in Middle Eastern or African nations, your support is urgently needed this Giving Tuesday. Contributions up to $10,000 will be matched - so double your impact and donate today!

Much of the world is moving toward compassionate drug policy this year as legalization and decriminalization campaigns find success, but human rights and democracy are still at risk. We need your support to fund our work on marijuana and other drug policy at the UN; our Stand with Human Rights and Democracy campaign in partnership with Filipino advocates responding to President Duterte’s drug war killings and President Trump’s support for Duterte; and to continue the Drug War Chronicle newsletter, a critical resource for all drug policy reform issues in the US and abroad.

After a week of eating and online shopping, Giving Tuesday kicks off December with a focus on helping others. Click here to make a tax-deductible donation to our educational activities, or click here to make a non-deductible contribution for our lobbying work.

In a year where help is critically needed, we hope you can give to our cause of fighting for an end to drug war injustice. Thank you!

Photo above: On October 27, 2020, we organized “Autocrat Fair,” an event in Washington, DC launching the Stand for Human Rights and Democracy campaign. Autocrat Fair was co-organized with Movement for a Free Philippines, a group concerned with President Rodrigo Duterte's extrajudicial drug war killings. One of the signs highlighted the 30,000 drug war killings that human rights groups believe the government has perpetrated so far.

Linking Duterte's abuses to larger world problems, demonstrators held signs and wore masks representing ten autocratic world leaders, eight of them holding and pulling the strings of Trump marionettes. Autocrats represented in this photo, from left to right, include Victor Orban of Hungary, Vladimir Putin of Russia, Rodrigo Duterte of the Philippines, Jair Bolsonaro of Brazil, Kim Jong-un of North Korea, Mohammed bin Salman of Saudi Arabia, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan of Turkey, Donald Trump of the United States and Mohammed bin Zayed of Abu Dhabi.

Sincerely,

David Borden, Executive Director
StoptheDrugWar.org
P.O. Box 9853, Washington, DC 20016
https://stopthedrugwar.org

Baltimore & Philadelphia to End Drug Arrests Due to COVID-19, SAMSHA Eases Opioid Treatment Rules, More... (3/23/20)

Baltimore and Philadelphia stop drug arrests in a bid to reduce the spread of the coronavirus, SAMSHA eases opioid maintenance treatment rules for the same reason, and more.

The coronavirus pandemic is having an impact on drug policy issues. (Creative Commons)
Marijuana Policy

Connecticut Poll Has Strong Support for Marijuana Legalization. A new poll from the Hartford Courant and Sacred Heart University has 63.4% of state residents in favor of ending marijuana prohibition. The poll comes as lawmakers push to advance a legalization bill backed by Gov. Ned Lamont (D). The poll found that 34.4% "strongly support" legalization, while 29.9% "somewhat support" it.

Iowa Poll Has First Time Majority Support for Marijuana Legalization. A new Des Moines Register/Mediacom Iowa poll has 53% support for marijuana legalization, the first time the Iowa Poll has registered majority support for the move. As recently as 2013, only 29% supported legalization.

New York Governor Says Marijuana Legalization Still on the Agenda. Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) said Monday that marijuana legalization remained a priority despite the coronavirus crisis. Asked about his legislative priorities during a briefing on the crisis, Cuomo said "I want to do legalizing marijuana," adding that he also wants to achieve a controversial bail reform measure through the budget.

Medical Marijuana

Alabama Senate Approves Medical Marijuana Bill. The state Senate last week approved a medical marijuana bill, Senate Bill 165. The measure would allow people with a doctor's recommendation to use medical marijuana for 15 conditions - including cancer, anxiety and chronic pain. It also would let them purchase cannabis products at one of 34 licensed dispensaries. It now goes to the House.

Hemp

Idaho House Kills Hemp Legalization Bill. Lawmakers in the House State Affairs Committee voted 8-7 to kill Senate Bill 1345, which would have legalized industrial hemp production in the state. Although the bill had passed the Senate, it ran into opposition from anti-cannabis activists and law enforcement, who warned that it could lead to a "hemp-marijuana culture" in the state.

Drug Policy

CDC Reports 4% Decline in Opioid, Heroin Overdose Deaths. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has reported that overall overdose death rates nationwide dropped 4.1% from 2017 to 2018. Deaths from heroin use dropped by 4%, while prescription opioid deaths dropped by 13.5%. "Decreases in overdose deaths involving prescription opioids and heroin reflect the effectiveness of public health efforts to protect Americans and their families," Dr. Robert R. Redfield, director of the CDC, said in a press release. "While we continue work to improve those outcomes, we are also addressing the increase in overdose deaths involving synthetic opioids. We must bring this epidemic to an end," Redfield said. Synthetic opioid deaths were actually up 10%.

Baltimore to End Most Drug Prosecutions Amid Coronavirus Outbreak. In a bid to prevent the spread of coronavirus, Baltimore State's Attorney Marilyn Mosby (D) is moving to dismiss pending charges against most people accused of drug offenses. According to her guidance to staff, things like drug possession, attempted drug distribution, prostitution, traffic offenses and public urination are among the offenses that shouldn't land people being bars at this point. "This policy is in place for now as an attempt to save lives," Mosby said. "We will assess the policy at a later date and time when this global pandemic is over."

Philadelphia Police Halt Drug Arrests During Coronavirus Outbreak. Philadelphia Police Commissioner Danielle Outlaw last week ordered the department to begin delaying arrests for low-level offenses, including drug offenses. Crimes including theft, burglary, prostitution, stolen automobiles, vandalism, and certain economic crimes will no longer automatically result in detention. Instead, officers will temporarily detain suspects to identify them, then release them with an arrest warrant issued at some later date.

Drug Treatment

SAMHSA Eases Opioid Treatment Rules in Response to Coronavirus. The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) has announced policy changes easing the rules for home treatment of opioid use disorder as a response to the coronavirus crisis. The agency issued a directive allowing some patients in opioid treatment programs to take home a 28-day supply of medications such as methadone and buprenorphine. For less stable patients, SAMSHA is authorizing a 14-day take-home supply.

International

Paraguay Issues First Medical Marijuana Licenses. Late last month, the government issued its first medical marijuana licenses. Twelve pharmaceutical companies received licenses to import seeds for the domestic cultivation and sale of medical marijuana, which will be provided free to eligible patients.

APPEAL: Help Us Respond to the Opportunities and the Crises

Dear reader,

https://stopthedrugwar.org/files/borden12.jpg
David Borden
As I wrote last week, this is a good time and a bad time in drug policy. Marijuana reform continues to have 2019 momentum. Presidential candidates are debating criminal justice and drug policy more than ever. But politicians are still ready to file new and bad sentencing bills -- so quickly forgetting lessons they claimed to have learned -- and international human rights in the drug war are in full blown crisis.

We need your help to stay on the move at this important time. Can you make a generous donation for our work at this time? Visit https://stopthedrugwar.org/donate, and click on the tax-deductible donation link or the non-deductible donation link, whichever kind you wish to make. Our donation form accepts credit card, PayPal, and bank ACH.

We especially need help with non-deductible donations to our 501(c)(4) nonprofit. Because our newsletter reports on political candidates, we cover the substantial cost of our web site server and email list service fully with non-deductible funds. This is to protect our tax-deductible 501(c)(3) nonprofit, which can't afford to be implicated, rightly or wrongly, in candidate advocacy. Most of our current funding is of the tax-deductible kind, especially the larger grants and gifts.

Can you make a non-deductible donation to sustain our newsletter through the campaign season? Or a tax-deductible donation for our campaign to stop Duterte's drug war killings in the Philippines? Our web site supports both one-time donations and recurring ones, on cycles including monthly, quarterly, annually, and other options. Visit our Candidates archive page and our Philippines campaign page to see why this is important.

Donations can also be sent by mail. For a non-deductible donation, make your check payable to Drug Reform Coordination Network, and send to P.O. Box 9853, Washington, DC 20016. Tax-deductible donation checks should be payable to DRCNet Foundation, same address.

Visit https://stopthedrugwar.org/about#donations for information on other donation options like stock shares, or to read more about our work. Also visit https://stopthedrugwar.org/global and https://stopthedrugwar.org/philippines for more about what we're doing.

Thank you for your support, and enjoy the rest of your summer.

Sincerely,

David Borden
StoptheDrugWar.org
Washington, DC
"US and UN Drug Policy Reform"
https://stopthedrugwar.org

The Drug War Isn't Waiting, So We Can't Either

Dear friend,

https://stopthedrugwar.org/files/borden-dupont-circle-cropped.jpg
David Borden
The drug war isn't waiting -- so we can't either. That goes for the opportunities and it goes for the crises.

Marijuana reform continues to have 2019 momentum. Presidential candidates are debating criminal justice and drug policy more than ever. Harm reduction measures are progressing, like the overdose antidote naloxone and safer injection sites.

But politicians are still ready to file new and bad sentencing bills – sometimes responding to legitimate concerns, like opioid overdoses, but misguidedly forgetting the mistakes that led to mass incarceration. Mitch McConnell still won't let more marijuana reform bills get Senate votes. And President Duterte's drug war mass killing campaign in the Philippines – an issue on which we are organizing – is getting imitated in countries like Indonesia and Brazil.

We need your help to stay on the move at this important time. Can you make a donation today to help? Visit https://stopthedrugwar.org/donate, and click on the tax-deductible donation link or the non-deductible donation link, whichever kind you wish to make. Our donation form accepts credit card, PayPal, and bank ACH.

We especially need help with non-deductible donations to our 501(c)(4) nonprofit. Because our newsletter reports on political candidates, we cover the substantial cost of our web site server and email list service fully with non-deductible funds. This is to protect our tax-deductible 501(c)(3) nonprofit, which can't afford to be implicated, rightly or wrongly, in candidate advocacy. Most of our current funding is of the tax-deductible kind, especially the larger grants and gifts.

Can you make a non-deductible donation to sustain our newsletter through the campaign season? Our web site supports both one-time donations and recurring ones, on cycles including monthly, quarterly, annually, and other options. Visit our Candidates archive page to see why this is important.

Donations can also be sent by mail. For a non-deductible donation, make your check payable to Drug Reform Coordination Network, and send to P.O. Box 9853, Washington, DC 20016. Tax-deductible donation checks should be payable to DRCNet Foundation, same address.

Visit https://stopthedrugwar.org/about#donations for information on other donation options like stock shares, or to read more about our work. Also visit https://stopthedrugwar.org/global and https://stopthedrugwar.org/philippines for more about what we're doing.

Thank you for your support, and enjoy the rest of your summer.

Sincerely,

David Borden
StoptheDrugWar.org
Washington, DC
"US and UN Drug Policy Reform"
https://stopthedrugwar.org

APPEAL: Help Us Respond to the Opportunities and the Crises

Dear reader,

https://stopthedrugwar.org/files/borden12.jpg
David Borden
As I wrote last week, this is a good time and a bad time in drug policy. Marijuana reform continues to have 2019 momentum. Presidential candidates are debating criminal justice and drug policy more than ever. But politicians are still ready to file new and bad sentencing bills -- so quickly forgetting lessons they claimed to have learned -- and international human rights in the drug war are in full blown crisis.

We need your help to stay on the move at this important time. Can you make a generous donation for our work at this time? Visit https://stopthedrugwar.org/donate, and click on the tax-deductible donation link or the non-deductible donation link, whichever kind you wish to make. Our donation form accepts credit card, PayPal, and bank ACH.

We especially need help with non-deductible donations to our 501(c)(4) nonprofit. Because our newsletter reports on political candidates, we cover the substantial cost of our web site server and email list service fully with non-deductible funds. This is to protect our tax-deductible 501(c)(3) nonprofit, which can't afford to be implicated, rightly or wrongly, in candidate advocacy. Most of our current funding is of the tax-deductible kind, especially the larger grants and gifts.

Can you make a non-deductible donation to sustain our newsletter through the campaign season? Or a tax-deductible donation for our campaign to stop Duterte's drug war killings in the Philippines? Our web site supports both one-time donations and recurring ones, on cycles including monthly, quarterly, annually, and other options. Visit our Candidates archive page and our Philippines campaign page to see why this is important.

Donations can also be sent by mail. For a non-deductible donation, make your check payable to Drug Reform Coordination Network, and send to P.O. Box 9853, Washington, DC 20016. Tax-deductible donation checks should be payable to DRCNet Foundation, same address.

Visit https://stopthedrugwar.org/about#donations for information on other donation options like stock shares, or to read more about our work. Also visit https://stopthedrugwar.org/global and https://stopthedrugwar.org/philippines for more about what we're doing.

Thank you for your support, and enjoy the rest of your summer.

Sincerely,

David Borden
StoptheDrugWar.org
Washington, DC
"US and UN Drug Policy Reform"
https://stopthedrugwar.org

Help Us Stop a Major Human Rights Crisis Caused by the Drug War

While much of the world moves toward compassionate drug policy reform, a populist would-be dictator has led one country cruelly backwards. Since taking office, President Rodrigo Duterte of the Philippines has orchestrated a brutal campaign of extrajudicial killings, mainly as part of his "drug war." Credible estimates for the number of dead range from at least 12,000 to well over 20,000 and rising since mid-2016.

Ominously, a "Duterte effect" in the region has led to extrajudicial drug war killings in Indonesia and Bangladesh, and high-level officials in Malaysia and Turkey have also called for killings or other extrajudicial violence. In a move that has comforted human rights violators everywhere, President Trump has praised Duterte's drug war, twice.

"There are 3 million drug addicts (in the Philippines). I'd be happy to slaughter them. If Germany had Hitler, the Philippines would have..." [points at himself]
- Rodrigo Duterte, September 2016 (source: Reuters)

We at StoptheDrugWar.org ask your help in stopping this drug war tragedy that threatens global human rights:

Watch the powerful video from Senator Risa Hontiveros of the Philippines, sent for our event at the UN in New York last month:

Thank you for your support!

Sincerely,


David Borden, Executive Director
StoptheDrugWar.org
Washington, DC

P.S. Our Philippines campaign flows from work we're doing at the United Nations seeking reform of the UN drug treaties to clear the way more for legalization, while advocating drug policies based on health and human rights. Visit https://stopthedrugwar.org/global to learn more about that side of our work.

One Day Left to Make a Tax-Deductible (or other) Donation in 2017!

Dear Reformer,

There's just one day left to make a tax-deductible (or other) donation in 2017. If you're doing more giving this year, would you include us among the organizations you support?

David Borden opening our March 2017 UN event featuring a video from the Vice President of the Philippines
Your tax-deductible donation for our programs, or your non-deductible donation for our specifically US legislative work, will help us take on the challenges drug policy and reformers face today:

Thanks to contributions from our members, StoptheDrugWar.org has fought this fight for 24 years. Please visit our updated About page, our expanded Reform Global Drug Policy page and our just-published Philippines page to learn about the unique role we play in drug policy.

Click here for Issue 1,000 of our Drug War Chronicle newsletter, including Phil Smith's Biggest Domestic Drug Policy Stories and Biggest International Drug Policy Stories of the Past Twenty Years.

The challenges we're facing today are more urgent than ever, and we need your support to meet those challenges. We need to press supportive members of Congress to stand up, and our opponents to back down. We need to spotlight the administration's actions in the media. And we need to press our case in Washington, in the states and at the UN. Will you donate to StoptheDrugWar.org today to help?

    Visit https://stopthedrugwar.org/donate to give by credit card or PayPal. If you want to donate by mail, send your check or money order to P.O. Box 9853, Washington, DC 20016. Tax-deductible donations should be made payable to DRCNet Foundation, our 501(c)(3) nonprofit; or non-deductible donations should be payable to Drug Reform Coordination Network, our 501(c)(4) lobbying nonprofit. Visit https://stopthedrugwar.org/about to read more about our programs, for info on how to donate stocks, and for other info.

    We couldn't have done this without you, and we need your support to continue it in 2018. I hope you'll take a moment to renew your support or become a new member of our organization at this dangerous and critical, but still promising time in the issue.

    Thank you for your support!

    Sincerely,

    David Borden, Executive Director
    StoptheDrugWar.org
    P.O. Box 9853, Washington, DC 20016
    http://stopthedrugwar.org

    Please Renew Your Support or Become a New Member This Year

    Dear Reformer:

    Last week I warned that hardliners in Washington are trying to undo the progress we've made in stopping the drug war. From prosecutions to asset forfeiture to sentencing to human rights, the president and the attorney general are largely making wrong and wrongful moves. Committee chairs in Congress are blocking good bipartisan bills. Even medical marijuana is at risk now. The president has encouraged human rights violations in other countries' drug wars. And legalization is up in the air.

    David Borden opening our March 2017 UN event featuring a video from the Vice President of the Philippines
    Your support has made our work possible for 24 years. Thanks to contributions from our members, StoptheDrugWar.org has pressed for reform, grown the movement, and advanced the legalization debate. But the challenges we're facing are more urgent today than ever.

    As I've written, our organization continues to play a unique role for drug policy reform, in both the US and international arenas, and our staff make up some of the movement's most experienced human capital. We recently published issue 1000 of our widely-used newsletter, Drug War Chronicle. We are pressing a comprehensive drug policy reform agenda at the United Nations. And we're playing a significant leadership role (info here and here) in the international campaign to stop Rodrigo Duterte's brutal drug war killing campaign in the Philippines.

    Your generous donation will help us advance these programs while holding the line on policy. We can't do this work without your support, and the remaining days this year really count. I hope you'll take a moment to renew your support or become a new member of our organization at this dangerous and critical, but still promising time in the issue.

    Visit https://stopthedrugwar.org/donate to give by credit card or PayPal. If you want to donate by mail, send your check or money order to P.O. Box 9853, Washington, DC 20016. Tax-deductible donations should be made payable to DRCNet Foundation, our 501(c)(3) nonprofit; or non-deductible donations should be payable to Drug Reform Coordination Network, our 501(c)(4) lobbying nonprofit. Visit https://stopthedrugwar.org/about to read more about our programs, for info on how to donate stocks, and for other info.

    Thank you for your support!

    Sincerely,

    David Borden, Executive Director
    StoptheDrugWar.org
    P.O. Box 9853, Washington, DC 20016
    http://stopthedrugwar.org

    Drug War Issues

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