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Two Reasons Why Now's the Time to Step Up

StoptheDrugWar.org is at a critical moment in our work. Our campaign to reform global drug policy is gaining traction; but while grantors are considering major funding for it, those funds are not yet in place. We have stretched things to move the project forward already, and we need your help at this time to do more. Visit http://stopthedrugwar.org/global/ to learn more about this effort and for links you can follow to the press we've gotten.

Our ongoing educational publishing work also continues to play an important role, and is relied on by advocates around the world. There is no other source besides our web site where one can find a comprehensive rundown on all the news stories of interest in all the different areas of drug policy reform. Because there is so much more going on now than there used to be, many of those stories now only get links. But that's our way of getting the this needed job done, and it's a good problem to have. Visit http://stopthedrugwar.org/chronicle to read the latest in our Drug War Chronicle newsletter if you haven't lately.

If you were planning to donate to our organization at some point, but weren't sure when, or if you've been thinking about it but just haven't gotten to it yet, I hope you'll make this the time. June, unfortunately, is a "dry season" for donations to organizations, despite our having had rain here in Washington the last few days. Your gift today or this week -- whether it's a large one, or a small one together with those made by others -- could be what makes the difference in our being able to press forward full speed at this important moment.

Donations to our tax-deductible nonprofit, DRCNet Foundation, and our non-deductible lobbying nonprofit, Drug Reform Coordination Network, both can be put toward these uses that I've described. Visit http://stopthedrugwar.org/donate to donate by credit card or PayPal, or send your check or money order (made out to one of the two names listed above) to P.O. 9853, Washington, DC 20016.

We can also accept donations of stock; the information to give your brokerage is Ameritrade, (800) 669-3900), DTC #0188, and account number 781926492 for tax-deductible gifts to DRCNet Foundation or 864663500 for non-deductible gifts to Drug Reform Coordination Network -- please contact us if you are donating this way.

Thank you for your support and for taking the time to read this message. With your help, we will change things for the better -- time, and the truth, are on our side!

Sincerely,

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

Two Reasons Why Now's the Time to Step Up

StoptheDrugWar.org is at a critical moment in our work. Our campaign to reform global drug policy is gaining traction; but while grantors are considering major funding for it, those funds are not yet in place. We have stretched things to move the project forward already, and we need your help at this time to do more. Visit http://stopthedrugwar.org/global/to learn more about this effort and for links you can follow to the press we've gotten.

Our ongoing educational publishing work also continues to play an important role, and is relied on by advocates around the world. There is no other source besides our web site where one can find a comprehensive rundown on all the news stories of interest in all the different areas of drug policy reform. Because there is so much more going on now than there used to be, many of those stories now only get links. But that's our way of getting the this needed job done, and it's a good problem to have. Visit http://stopthedrugwar.org/chronicle to read the latest in our Drug War Chronicle newsletter if you haven't lately.

If you were planning to donate to our organization at some point, but weren't sure when, or if you've been thinking about it but just haven't gotten to it yet, I hope you'll make this the time. June, unfortunately, is a "dry season" for donations to organizations, despite our having had rain here in Washington the last few days. Your gift today or this week -- whether it's a large one, or a small one together with those made by others -- could be what makes the difference in our being able to press forward full speed at this important moment.

Donations to our tax-deductible nonprofit, DRCNet Foundation, and our non-deductible lobbying nonprofit, Drug Reform Coordination Network, both can be put toward these uses that I've described. Visit http://stopthedrugwar.org/donate to donate by credit card or PayPal, or send your check or money order (made out to one of the two names listed above) to P.O. 9853, Washington, DC 20016.

We can also accept donations of stock; the information to give your brokerage is Ameritrade, (800) 669-3900), DTC #0188, and account number 781926492 for tax-deductible gifts to DRCNet Foundation or 864663500 for non-deductible gifts to Drug Reform Coordination Network -- please contact us if you are donating this way.

Thank you for your support and for taking the time to read this message. With your help, we will change things for the better -- time, and the truth, are on our side!

Sincerely,

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

The First Stage of Our New Campaign Was Successful

Dear reformer,

UN Headquarters, New York
The first stage of our campaign to reform global drug policy has come to successful fruition. Last week, media outlets including WashingtonPost.com, The Hill, Huffington Post Politics and others covered the release of our statement, which was endorsed by more than 100 organizations including major ones, and more coverage this week is likely. Visit http://stopthedrugwar.org/un to learn more.

Will help you us today with a donation to support this work? We need contributions from our readers to let us continue to get more groups onto the statement, to continue to promote the ideas that the statement lays out to media, and to take our message to Congress, the White House and the UN.

As a supporter of drug policy reform, I want you to know that it is crucial this work continue uninterrupted. As I noted in our newsletter, Jamaica's Minister of Justice, Mark Golding, made an historic speech at the UN last week in which he called for the UN to begin the process of revising the three UN drug treaties, by appointing a "Committee of Experts" to study how to do it. You can read Golding's speech online here. Revision of the treaties is needed to fully legitimize legalization of marijuana or other drugs in international law. Our statement calls for treaty reform, but also defends moves toward legalization now on the basis of human rights. This is the first time that any government has publicly called for revising the treaties.

Read my prior emails about our campaign here, here, and here for further information.

Thank you for reading this far and considering a donation to fund this project. Contributions to our tax-deductible nonprofit, DRCNet Foundation, and our non-deductible lobbying nonprofit, Drug Reform Coordination Network, both can be used for that need. Please visit http://stopthedrugwar.org/donate to donate by credit card or PayPal, or send your check or money order (made out to one of the two names listed above) to P.O. 9853, Washington, DC 20016. We also accept donations by stock -- the information to give your brokerage is Ameritrade, (800) 669-3900), DTC #0188, and account number 781926492 for tax-deductible gifts to DRCNet Foundation or 864663500 for non-deductible gifts to Drug Reform Coordination Network -- please contact us if you are donating in this way.

If your organization can endorse our statement (linked above), or you would like to consider it but need more information, please let us know by replying to this email or writing to [email protected]. I would also be happy to speak with potential endorsers or coalition supporters by phone as well.

Thank you for being a part of drug policy reform and for your support of our work. With your help we will succeed -- time, and the truth, are on our side!

Sincerely,

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

A Historic Day at the UN

Last month we sent some emails to our list and posted here about our new campaign to take on international drug policy reform, including but not limited to reform of the UN drug treaties. The first stage of this effort has reached a successful culmination. Two days ago we released a sign-on statement endorsed by more than 100 organizations including some major ones, calling for big changes to how the US and UN do business in drug policy, and for the process of reforming the UN drug treaties to be initiated.

UN headquarters, New York
The statement has been covered so far by several major outlets including WashingtonPost.com and HuffPost Politics, and a second statement on the death penalty for nonviolent drug offenses was covered by HuffPost WorldPost, linked from the Huffington Post home page for almost 24 hours. The broad sign-on statement and links to news articles can be found at http://stopthedrugwar.org/un.

Right now at the UN General Assembly in New York, the "High Level Thematic Debate" on drugs that we've written is unfolding -- a live webcast (and probably an archive later) can be accessed here, and The CND Blog is doing live updates throughout the day here. It has already been historic. Jamaica's minister of justice, Mark Golding, called for a Committee of Experts to be appointed by the UN to study how to accomplish treaty reform, the central ask of our statement, and other countries backed this up with calls for moving to regulation and control instead of drug prohibition and the right of countries to do that.

At 1:30, many of us will gather in front of the UN to protest the recent executions by Indonesia of several people convicted of nonviolent drug crimes. We are wearing black ribbons. Many countries' speakers today have condemned the death penalty for nonviolent and drug offenses as a violation of the human rights treaties. Notably, many countries have also called for the criminalization of drug users to be ended as well.

Our work is making a difference in this hopeful process of change that is now unfolding, and we need your support to continue it. Would you be willing to make a donation now to help us take at least this first step? Donations to our tax-deductible nonprofit, DRCNet Foundation, and our non-deductible lobbying nonprofit, Drug Reform Coordination Network, both can be put toward this project and support the needs of this campaign. Visit http://stopthedrugwar.org/donate to donate by credit card or PayPal, or send your check or money order (made out to one of the two names listed above) to P.O. 9853, Washington, DC 20016.

We can also accept donations of stock; the information to give your brokerage is Ameritrade, (800) 669-3900), DTC #0188, and account number 781926492 for tax-deductible gifts to DRCNet Foundation or 864663500 for non-deductible gifts to Drug Reform Coordination Network -- please contact us if you are donating this way.

We'd also still like to hear from organizations that might like to endorse our sign-on statement or get involved in the campaign in other ways. You can write to us here.

Time Is Running Short...

Dear reformer,

The clock is ticking on the first stage of the crucial new campaign on international drug policy I've written about the last two weeks. We have received generous donations from many members -- thank you if you are one of them. But they're not yet enough to let us to act on the first key budget item, which is help with getting the word out to media. If you haven't donated yet, would you be willing to make a donation now to help us take at least this first step?

UN General Assembly headquarters, New York
Time is of the essence. As I wrote late last month, on May 7 the United Nations in New York will hold a special "Thematic Debate," pressed for by governments that want a venue for open discussion on the changes that need to be made to drug policy. Our coalition, which includes some leading national and global organizations, has an important message that needs to be heard there, and heard loudly. Because this event is just a few weeks away, we need to move now to make the arrangements for the help we need to do that effectively, and that requires at least a few thousand more dollars of funding. Will you step up today to enable us to make these important plans?

There is much more work beyond May 7 that is part of this. You can read about some of it in the last two emails I sent, copies of which are online here and here.

Donations to our tax-deductible nonprofit, DRCNet Foundation, and our non-deductible lobbying nonprofit, Drug Reform Coordination Network, both can be put toward this project and support the needs of this campaign. Visit http://stopthedrugwar.org/donate to donate by credit card or PayPal, or send your check or money order (made out to one of the two names listed above) to P.O. 9853, Washington, DC 20016.

We can also accept donations of stock; the information to give your brokerage is Ameritrade, (800) 669-3900), DTC #0188, and account number 781926492 for tax-deductible gifts to DRCNet Foundation or 864663500 for non-deductible gifts to Drug Reform Coordination Network -- please contact us if you are donating this way.

We'd also like to hear from organizations that might like to endorse our sign-on statement or get involved in the campaign in other ways. If that might be you, please replying to this email or write to [email protected]. I would be happy to speak with potential endorsers or coalition supporters by phone as well.

Thank you for your support and for taking the time to read this message. With your help, we will change things for the better -- time, and the truth, are on our side!

Sincerely,

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

Fwd: APPEAL: Crucial New Campaign Needs Your Support!

A special thanks to those of you who donated last week in response to my appeal for funds for the first US-based coalition taking on broad, international drug policy reform -- as the UN and US prepare for the 2016 UN General Assembly Special Session on Drugs (UNGASS) -- the biggest opportunity since 1998 to advance treaty reform (reconciling the UN drug conventions with the reality of legalization), human rights in the drug war, public-health focused drug policies, development for third world countries instead of crop eradication, global access to controlled substances for medicine, more. A copy of that email is online here.

If you are able to support this campaign but haven't yet done so, I hope you'll consider making a generous donation, providing activist help by involving your own organization, or both.

The reason I'm writing again today is that things are at an important and time-sensitive point. The government of Jamaica has announced they intend to seek drug treaty reform, an historic development to which our work has direct relevance. The coalition's statement launched this month and has 57 organizational signatories, some major. On May 7 another UN session will take place, this time in New York, pressed for by Mexico's UN delegation to have a forum for "open discussion" -- we want to get the total number of signatories of our statement up to 100 by then, to keep the momentum. On June 26 is the global "Support Don't Punish" campaign, coinciding with the UN's annual International Day Against Drug Abuse and release of the World Drug Report -- we need your help to ensure a major US component. And over the next few months, Congress will deal with the annual Foreign Operations Appropriations legislation, a process our coalition should weigh in on, and the last before UNGASS.

To make as forceful a showing as we can, we need media support and additional in-house staff, but at a minimum we need to increase the time spent by current staff on the project. We need to continue building our coalition and organizing to get our message out that the Obama administration's stance on international drug policy is good but not good enough, and that it doesn't make sense to not at least start a discussion of treaty reform at the UN, at a time when legalization is progressing.

Thank you for reading our emails and for your support for drug policy reform. Donations to our tax-deductible nonprofit, DRCNet Foundation, and our non-deductible lobbying nonprofit, Drug Reform Coordination Network, both can be put toward this project and support the needs of this campaign. Visit http://stopthedrugwar.org/donate to donate by credit card or PayPal, or send your check or money order (made out to one of the two names listed above) to P.O. 9853, Washington, DC 20016.

We can also accept donations of stock; the information to give your brokerage is Ameritrade, (800) 669-3900), DTC #0188, and account number 781926492 for tax-deductible gifts to DRCNet Foundation or 864663500 for non-deductible gifts to Drug Reform Coordination Network -- please contact us if you are donating this way.

If your organization can endorse our statement (linked above), or you would like to consider it but need more information, please let us know by replying to this email or writing to [email protected]. I would also be happy to speak with potential endorsers or coalition supporters by phone as well.

Thank you for being a part of drug policy reform and for your support of our work. With your help we will succeed -- time, and the truth, are on our side!

Sincerely,

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

Crucial New Campaign Needs Your Help

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Dear reformer:

We have launched an important and unique new campaign, and I am writing to ask your help -- financial with a donation, activist through the involvement of your own organization, or both.

The campaign is a US-based coalition taking on international drug policy in the US and at the UN. It is the first coalition of its type in drug policy reform. We released our first statement -- a broad and groundbreaking one -- at the UN Commission on Narcotic Drugs Meeting in Vienna last week. The statement was distributed to the 200 national delegations and agencies in attendance. Over 50 organizations have endorsed the statement so far, some of them major.

This project is important for a number of reasons:

  • Marijuana legalization challenges a provision of the UN drug treaties that calls for drugs to be criminalized.
  • The treaties potentially threaten US legalization -- when the states of Oklahoma and Nebraska challenged Colorado's law in court, treaty obligations was one of the points they made. I don't believe that US courts will overturn state legalization or that they'll do so because of the treaties, but we can't be sure.
  • The treaties deter many other countries that might be interested in trying out legalization from doing so. Having fewer countries to point to as examples in turn makes it a longer road for us here.
  • Many other issues are affected by international drug policy as well -- human rights issues, public health issues, economic development, human security, access to medicine.

The reason I'm writing now is that circumstances have lined up to give hope that we can get something done. But those circumstances have also created a need to move further and faster than we can do with our current resources:

  • The State Department has called for countries to have the flexibility to experiment with legalization, of marijuana or other drugs -- a 180 degree reversal from the US's longtime global drug warrior stance. But they have also opposed amending the treaties to match the stance.
  • Last week the first country, Jamaica, announced it will work for reform of the drug treaties, a game-changer if they can get support from other countries. There needs to be a strong voice from the US supporting them.
  • In May the UN in New York will hold a "Thematic Session," on drug policy, pushed for by the government of Mexico against tough resistance, their goal being an "open discussion." Congress is likely to take up its foreign affairs appropriations legislation in June, with hearings before then.
  • In late June the UN will hold its annual "International Day Against Drug Abuse," and release its annual World Drug Report, an important moment in the debate on global drug policy. We need to be prepared to make our case in the media and to take part in global demonstrations being organized by reformers.
  • All of these events lead up to the April 2016 UN General Assembly Special Session on Drugs (UNGASS), the biggest major opportunity to engage drug policy at the UN since 1998. The UNGASS was originally to be held in 2019, but was moved up at the request of Latin American governments who stated they want to see change in drug policy.
  • Last but not least, one of the most egregious human rights violations in the drug war, the death penalty for nonviolent drug offenses, has provoked outrage in several countries whose citizens face execution in Indonesia and has captured the attention of the media. There was passionate discussion of this in Vienna, and it's going to continue in New York. We need to press the UN and the US government to stop using our taxpayer dollars to fund work in these countries that can lead to executions.

For our coalition to take a forceful stand:

  • We need to hire staff for it;
  • We need to increase the amount of time that current staff can spend on it; and
  • We need to contract for media relations help.

Donations to our tax-deductible nonprofit, DRCNet Foundation, and our non-deductible lobbying nonprofit, Drug Reform Coordination Network, both can be put toward this project and support those needs. Please visit http://stopthedrugwar.org/donate to donate by credit card or PayPal, or send your check or money order (made out to one of the two names listed above) to P.O. 9853, Washington, DC 20016. We also accept donations by stock -- the information to give your brokerage is Ameritrade, (800) 669-3900), DTC #0188, and account number 781926492 for tax-deductible gifts to DRCNet Foundation or 864663500 for non-deductible gifts to Drug Reform Coordination Network -- please contact us if you are donating in this way.

If your organization can endorse our statement (linked above), or you would like to consider it but need more information, please let us know by replying to this email or writing to [email protected]. I would also be happy to speak with potential endorsers or coalition supporters by phone as well.

Thank you for being a part of drug policy reform and for your support of our work. With your help we will succeed -- time, and the truth, are on our side!

Sincerely,

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

Help Us Secure Our Victories and Win More

Dear reformer:

Please Make a Generous End-Year (Tax-Deductible) Donation to StoptheDrugWar.org
2014 saw great victories for drug policy reform. Initiatives to tax and regulate marijuana passed in two additional states, bringing the number of legalization states to four. A measure legalizing possession and home growing of marijuana passed in Washington, DC by nearly 70%. And Congress – yes, Congress – has passed historic, long sought legislation blocking the Dept. of Justice from using taxpayer funds to undermine state medical marijuana laws.

But our victories are already under attack. In the same bill that protected medical marijuana, a handful of regressive members of Congress also got language included that may block DC's initiative from taking effect. Of even greater concern is a lawsuit filed this month by Nebraska and Oklahoma – neighbors of Colorado – seeking to overturn legalization in Colorado. They argue that federal marijuana prohibition preempts Colorado's voter-backed legalization measure, and that the US is violating international drug control treaties by permitting it to continue.

StoptheDrugWar.org is launching a coalition to take on international drug policy, including but not limited to reforming the treaties to explicitly allow countries to experiment with legalization systems. The first meeting is taking place in January. We need your financial support to be able to consistently keep our focus on this effort. In 2016 the UN General Assembly will hold a Special Session on Drugs, which makes the work of building and organizing this coalition critical right now.

Because marijuana prohibition is not the only bad drug policy, we also need your support to continue our work of advancing the dialogue on prohibition as a whole, while supporting smaller changes to other drugs' policies such as sentencing reform, medical availability, harm reduction programs like needle exchange, demilitarizing the drug war at home and broad, ending collateral consequences such as denial of college aid or food assistance because of drug convictions, more. Our newsletter, Drug War Chronicle, continues to be a core tool used by organizations, media, policymakers and other concerned parties in the long process of drug policy reform. Read some of their testimonials online here.

We can't continue this fight without you. Donations from our members – large ones and small ones – are an absolutely essential part of our budget, and without them this work will stop. Will you step up during these final days of the year with a generous tax-deductible donation to our educational work, or a non-deductible donation to support our lobbying work?

Donations can be made online by credit card or PayPal at http://stopthedrugwar.org/donate. To donate by mail to our tax-deductible educational arm, please make your check or money order payable to "DRCNet Foundation" and send it to P.O. Box 9853, Washington, DC 20016. To donate by mail to our lobbying organization, please send it to "Drug Reform Coordination Network," same address. We also accept donations by stock -- the information to give your brokerage is Ameritrade, (800) 669-3900), DTC #0188, and account number 781926492 for tax-deductible gifts to DRCNet Foundation or 864663500 for non-deductible gifts to Drug Reform Coordination Network -- please contact us if you are donating in this way.

Thank you for being a part of these historic changes that my organizations and others are working so hard to bring about. With your help, we'll continue to win!

Sincerely,

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

DC Legalization Campaign Needs Registration Drive $$$ NOW

Dear friend,

The DC campaign to legalize marijuana in the District of Columbia needs donations this week, for a voter registration drive that needs to go full speed from now until the early October mail-in deadline. Please visit our web site at http://stopthedrugwar.org/donate and make the most generous donation you can -- please put a note in the comment box saying that it is for the "DC Cannabis Campaign." We will donate 100% of it to the campaign.

(You can also make the donation straight to the campaign if you prefer -- and I hope you'll sign up for their email list. But donating to us for the campaign will help us meet our pledge of raising at least $5,000. If you donate straight to the campaign instead, I hope you'll also send us a note to let us know you did and how much.)

Initiative 71 will legalize possession and home growing of marijuana in DC. (It leaves regulated legalization of sales to the council because that can't be done through an initiative under DC law.) A victory will add to the momentum of battles now underway in Oregon and Alaska, and from legalized marijuana systems being implemented right now in Colorado and Washington. It will advance the credibility of the anti-prohibitionists who want to set our country free and make this a national issue that no one can ignore any longer.

TO DONATE: Visit our donation page to make a generous donation supporting the DC Cannabis Campaign. Please select the option to make a non-deductible donation supporting our lobbying work, and indicate in the notes field that it is for the DC campaign, Initiative 71. If you can afford it, please return to the donation page to make a second gift (tax-deductible or non-deductible) supporting our ongoing work that makes this outreach possible, or indicate in the notes field how much of your gift is meant for the campaign vs. our organization.

IF YOU LIVE HERE YOU CAN VOLUNTEER TOO: If you live in the DC-area, please contact StoptheDrugWar.org and become part of the campaign's volunteer force. Please include "DCMJ volunteer" in the subject line. Campaign organizers will be in touch soon thereafter.

This is an exciting time. We're not a voice in the wilderness anymore. Unprecedented gains are within our reach — even in the nation's capital.

Will you join us?

Sincerely,

David Borden, Executive Director
StoptheDrugWar.org
Washington, DC
http://stopthedrugwar.org

Drug War Chronicle Needs Your Support!

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Dear friend of drug policy reform,

StoptheDrugWar.org needs your support more than ever before to continue our work of getting the word out online for the drug policy reform movement, building the movement, and providing this crucial informational tool -- the Drug War Chronicle newsletter -- that reformers around the world use in their work every day. I ask your support at this time with the most generous donation you can afford to enable this newsletter to continueTo donate -- and to view or order any of the gift items we offer, please use our online donation form at http://stopthedrugwar.org/donate, or scroll down for info on donating by mail.

Note that donations to StoptheDrugWar.org can be tax-deductible, supporting our educational work, or non-deductible, supporting our lobbying work. (Note that selecting any gift items reduces the amount of your donation that is deductible -- which with a smaller gift amount can be most of it.) Donations can be made by credit card or PayPal at http://stopthedrugwar.org/donate, or sent by mail to P.O. Box 9853, Washington, DC 20016. If you are donating by check, please make it payable to DRCNet Foundation (if tax-deductible) or Drug Reform Coordination Network (if not deductible). If you wish to donate stock, the information to give your brokerage is Ameritrade, (800) 669-3900), DTC#0188, and account number 781926492 for tax-deductible gifts or 864663500 for non-deductible gifts -- please make sure to contact us if donating in this way.

Thank you for standing with us to stop the drug war's cruelties and meet the opportunity this time offers to make a brighter future.

Sincerely,

David Borden, Executive Director
StoptheDrugWar.org
Washington, DC
http://stopthedrugwar.org

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