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The Future of Drug War Chronicle

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Dear Drug Policy Reformer:

During the last three weeks, more than 80 supporters helped us meet a deadline by donating to let us keep our legislative system and top-quality email list service. Thank you!

Today we seek your help for a different, especially important part of our web site, the Drug War Chronicle newsletter. The Chronicle reaches over a million people per year, before any reprinting on other web sites or redistribution to other email lists, and it serves the broadest set of purposes for the most of them. If you're not currently subscribed to the Chronicle, you can check it out and read the latest articles from it here.

It's not a secret that the troubled economy has been very hard on nonprofits. Many good organizations have downsized dramatically, and some have even shut down. StoptheDrugWar.org is fortunate to still be here. But we need your help, more perhaps than ever, to keep the most important StoptheDrugWar.org service, Drug War Chronicle, at full strength.

Actually, we want to do more than continue the Chronicle at its current level. We have an amazing expansion plan that includes reaching out to policymakers (nationally and internationally), a major social media effort, continuing the Legislative Center that you've heard of, more. But to credibly approach major funders for those programs, we need to be able to show them that our members are supporting us and that we have a full year's funding lined up for the newsletter itself.

If you haven't donated recently, would you make a donation today for this or other StoptheDrugWar.org programs?

Drug War Chronicle plays a crucial and unique role for individuals and organizations leading the charge with us for reform -- read what a few of them had to say recently about how:

Andrew Livingston, founder of Colgate University Students for Sensible Drug Policy:

Before I started Colgate University's chapter of Students for Sensible Drug Policy, I would stay up to date on issues in drug policy by reading stories in the Drug War Chronicle. The information I gained familiarized me with the growing movement for drug policy reform and stoked my passion to actively change our nation's unjust policies. Today I use StoptheDrugWar.org to keep myself informed and to teach other students in my SSDP chapter about the most up to date drug policy issues both within the United States and abroad.

Even though I am just a student I have already donated to StoptheDrugWar.org. Their work is indispensable to our cause, and I know it will continue to generate passionate young students like myself who want nothing more than to end our failed drug war policies.
 

Dale Gieringer, head of California NORML, recipient of the 2011 Robert C. Randall Award for Achievement in the Field of Citizen Action:

Drug War Chronicle is the single best source for drug war journalism. I can't praise Drug War Chronicle enough. Phil Smith deserves special kudos for his journalism. I regularly re-post your articles to our California lists. Please keep up the good work.
 

Adam Hurter, Massachusetts activist:

I've been drumming up a lot of support for medical marijuana and legalization here in Massachusetts, and StoptheDrugWar.org is my primary source for information that I use in talking to people about current drug policy reform issues. Without it I wouldn't be in the know myself. It's known in my circles as the primary source of drug policy news. In fact, people are pretty dependent on it at this point.
 

There is an incredible amount at stake in the fight to change drug policy right now -- this may truly be the most important moment in the issue we've seen in the entire history of the organization. States and the Congress are considering sentencing reform, and public support for marijuana legalization is finally reaching the 50% mark. Yet the government is conducting its most aggressive crackdown against medical marijuana -- just medical marijuana -- and regressive committee chairmen refuse to give important reform bills the fair hearings and consideration they are due.

We can't let them get away with that. And that's why we need your help to decide whether StoptheDrugWar.org and Drug War Chronicle can enter this historical moment at full strength and looking to grow. Will you step up today in meeting the needs of the times? Please make a generous donation to StoptheDrugWar.org -- non-deductible for our lobbying work, or tax-deductible for our educational work like Drug War Chronicle -- to help us enter the new year right.

Donations to our organization can be made online at http://stopthedrugwar.org/donate, or they can be mailed to: DRCNet Foundation (tax-deductible), P.O. Box 18402, Washington, DC 20036; or Drug Reform Coordination Network (non-deductible for lobbying), same address. (Contact us for information if you wish to make a donation of stock.)

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. And don't get discouraged by the challenges our movement and the cause are currently facing: Time, and the truth, are on our side!

Sincerely,

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

P.S. Reply to this email or use our contact form to send us your Drug War Chronicle testimonial!

Decisions, Decisions...

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Last week we asked StoptheDrugWar.org readers to help us make some important decisions about what our organization can financially afford to do as the fight to stop the drug war enters its most critical moment to date. If you didn't see or would like to review last week's appeal, discussing what we need your support for and why it's so important for drug policy reform right now, you can find a copy here.

Since we sent that letter, more than 40 supporters have donated or pledged more than $6,500 for our work. Thank you!

One of the two specific decisions mentioned was whether we can continue using the high-powered legislative and email list service that has helped us so much the past two years. Along with reliably delivering email to all our subscribers -- a tough job in this time of spam and false spam positives -- this system is what's powered our major new Legislative Center. If you haven't already, please visit this compilation of hundreds of federal and state bills and votes, legislator scorecards, media and voter registration tools and more.

To know that we can responsibly afford this service another year, we need to raise another $3,500 between now and Monday. If you haven't already donated to this campaign, would you make a generous donation today for this or other StoptheDrugWar.org programs?

Some of you may not be familiar with the ways this type of service helps our work -- here are a few of them:

  • It gets thousands of emails on important drug policy issues to members of Congress. While lobbying visits and individually written letters are the most important types of contacts to make, the emails get counted, and if we don't get them there, our opponents will.
  • The letter-writing action alerts get forwarded by our supporters to lots of other people, who sign up to our list through them -- a highly effective way of growing the organization and the movement.
  • It lets us publish federal and state bills and votes -- hundreds of them so far -- categorized by issue, creating a clearinghouse of legislative intelligence gathering on what good trends there are that we can support, what the bad trends are that need to countered and where, who our allies and opponents are.
  • It lets readers like yourself and others look up who your legislators are, how they voted on bills that we've highlighted, who the current candidates are for public office, how things are looking in your and other states. It even lets people look up where to send letters to the editor, and provides help in registering to vote.
  • The system delivers our alerts and newsletters to you reliably, as I mentioned above, a tough job these days.

The fight to stop the drug war has entered its most critical moment to date: Support for marijuana legalization has reached 50 percent. Heads of state including the current presidents of Mexico and Colombia have called for alternatives to drug prohibition to be considered. Leading civil rights groups have called for an end to the war on drugs in its current form. And yet -- and yet -- the federal government under President Obama has escalated its campaign to crush California's medical marijuana industry to its broadest and most aggressive level yet.

We need your help to decide whether StoptheDrugWar.org -- our movement-building work; our organizational coalitions; our leading online publications like the Drug War Chronicle newsletter that keep the movement, journalists, policymakers and countless others informed and empowered -- can enter this historical moment at full strength. Will you step up today in meeting both the crisis and the phenomenal opportunities? Please make a generous donation to StoptheDrugWar.org -- non-deductible for our lobbying work, or tax-deductible for our educational work -- to help us make these decisions the way they should be.

Donations to our organization can be made online at http://stopthedrugwar.org/donate, or they can be mailed to: DRCNet Foundation (tax-deductible), P.O. Box 18402, Washington, DC 20036; or Drug Reform Coordination Network (non-deductible for lobbying), same address. (Contact us for information if you wish to make a donation of stock.)

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. And don't get discouraged by the challenges our movement and the cause are currently facing -- time is on our side!

Help Us Make Some Important Decisions

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Dear friends of StoptheDrugWar.org:

We need your help to make some important decisions. The fight to stop the drug war has entered its most critical moment to date:

  • Support for marijuana legalization has reached 50 percent. (!)
  • Heads of state including the current presidents of Mexico and Colombia have called for alternatives to drug prohibition to be considered.
  • Leading civil rights groups have called for an end to the war on drugs in its current form.
  • And yet -- and yet -- the federal government under President Obama has escalated its campaign to crush California's medical marijuana industry to its broadest and most aggressive level yet. Will the next shoe drop in other medical marijuana states too?

We need your help to decide whether StoptheDrugWar.org -- our movement-building work; our organizational coalitions; our leading online publications like the Drug War Chronicle newsletter that keep the movement, journalists, policymakers and countless others informed and empowered -- can enter this historical moment at full strength. Will you step up today in meeting both the crisis and the phenomenal opportunities? Please make a generous donation to StoptheDrugWar.org -- non-deductible for our lobbying work, or tax-deductible for our educational work -- to help us make this decision the way it should be made.

Along with these needs of the time, there are some specific reasons we need your help now, rather than December when many people make their donations. One of the reasons is that we need to make a decision over the next two weeks as to whether we can continue to use the high-powered legislative and email list service that has helped us so much during the past two years. Along with reliably delivering our email to all our subscribers -- a tough job in this time of spam and false spam positives -- this system is what's enabled us to launch our major new Legislative Center. If you haven't already, please check out our compilation of hundreds of federal and state bills and votes, legislator scorecards, media and voter registration tools and more. We will not be able to continue this program without your donations.

A second specific need right now is that our blogger, Scott Morgan, has recently been able to return after work on other projects, but we need your support to afford his part-time but critical work on a consistent basis. Scott, recently named the High Times Freedom Fighter of the Month, was the leading voice in the blogosphere for marijuana legalization during the months running up to last year's Prop 19 vote, and he is a regularly reach tens of thousands of readers leading online voice highlighting President Obama's refusal to engage in a serious discussion of the marijuana issue. His posts reach many more on sites like Reddit.com and the Huffington post and citations on major issue blogs like the Daily Dish. Our web site traffic took a hit during his absence, and it's grown again since his return. Scott has always done what he could even when funds were short, but we need to let him know sooner rather than later what our situation is.

Donations to our organization can be made online at http://stopthedrugwar.org/donate, or they can be mailed to: DRCNet Foundation (tax-deductible), P.O. Box 18402, Washington, DC 20036; or Drug Reform Coordination Network (non-deductible for lobbying), same address. (Contact us for information if you wish to make a donation of stock.)

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. And don't get discouraged by the challenges our movement and the cause are currently facing -- time is on our side!

Healing & Hope: A Celebration (DC)

Tickets are available for: 


On Tuesday, November 1, 2011, the Campaign for the Fair Sentencing of Youth will honor individuals whose stories of compassion and forgiveness inspire our work to end the practice of sentencing youth to life without parole.    

Please note:  Tickets will not be sold at the door, you must buy your ticket for this event by Friday, October 21st.

 

November 1, 2011

6:30 PM to 8:30 PM 

Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher and Flom

700 14th Street NW

Washington, DC 20005

 

Keynote Speaker:  Bryan Stevenson

Executive Director of the Equal Justice Initiative 

 

Click here for more information.

 

Sponsorships are also available, contact James Puzo at 202-289-4672 or [email protected] for more information.    

Our gracious honorary committee members include:

Charles Dutton, Emmy Award-winning Actor and Director

Peter Edelman, Professor, Georgetown University Law Center

Marian Wright Edelman, Children's Defense Fund 

Wade Henderson, The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights

David Keene, Former chair of the American Conservative Union

Laura Murphy, American Civil Liberties Union

Pat Nolan, Prison Fellowship

Dr. Charles Ogletree, Charles Hamilton Houston Institute for Race & Justice, Harvard Law School

Representative Cedric L. Richmond, Louisiana, 2nd District

Kathleen Kennedy Townsend, former Lt. Governor of Maryland and Board member of the Robert F. Kennedy Center for Justice and Human Rights

Tommy Wells, District of Columbia City Councilman, Ward 6

If you are unable to attend our special reception please consider making a charitable donation to the CFSY.

 

Date: 
Tue, 11/01/2011 - 6:30pm - 8:30pm
Location: 
700 14th Street NW
Washington, DC 20005
United States

Do You Read Drug War Chronicle?

Dear reformer:

Thank you for helping StoptheDrugWar.org publish 700 issues of Drug War Chronicle!

If you value the service that Drug War Chronicle and StoptheDrugWar.org provide, I hope you'll consider supporting us in one or both of two ways:

  1. We are in between newsletter grants, and that makes our need for individual donations more important right now -- Drug War Chronicle is free to read but not to produce! Click here to make a donation by credit card or PayPal, or to print out a form to send in by mail.
  2. Please send quotes and reports on how you put our flow of information to work, for use in upcoming grant proposals and letters to funders or potential funders. Do you use StoptheDrugWar.org as a source for public speaking? For letters to the editor? Helping you talk to friends or associates about the issue? Research? Personal edification? Have you changed your mind about any aspects of drug policy since subscribing, or inspired you to get involved in the cause? Do you reprint or repost portions of our bulletins on other lists or in other newsletters? Do you have any criticisms or complaints, or suggestions? We want to hear those too. Please send your responses -- one or two sentences would be fine; more is great, too -- by email [email protected] or reply to a Chronicle email or use our online comment form. Please let us know if we may reprint your comments, and if so, if we may include your name or if you wish to remain anonymous. IMPORTANT: Even if you have given us this kind of feedback before, we could use your updated feedback now too -- we need to hear from you!

If you prefer to donate by mail, you can send your check or money order to: DRCNet, P.O. Box 18402, Washington, DC 20036. Make your check payable to DRCNet Foundation to make a tax-deductible donation for Drug War Chronicle -- remember if you select one of our member premium gifts that will reduce the portion of your donation that is tax-deductible -- or make a non-deductible donation for our lobbying work -- online or check payable to Drug Reform Coordination Network, same address. We can also accept contributions of stock -- email [email protected] for the necessary info.

Again, thank you for helping us reach this milestone, and for joining us today to celebrate it -- a brighter future lies ahead, with your help.

Sincerely,

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

Do You Read Drug War Chronicle?

Dear reformer:

Thank you for helping StoptheDrugWar.org publish 700 issues of Drug War Chronicle!

If you value the service that Drug War Chronicle and StoptheDrugWar.org provide, I hope you'll consider supporting us in one or both of two ways:

  1. We are in between newsletter grants, and that makes our need for individual donations more important right now -- Drug War Chronicle is free to read but not to produce! Click here to make a donation by credit card or PayPal, or to print out a form to send in by mail.
  2. Please send quotes and reports on how you put our flow of information to work, for use in upcoming grant proposals and letters to funders or potential funders. Do you use StoptheDrugWar.org as a source for public speaking? For letters to the editor? Helping you talk to friends or associates about the issue? Research? Personal edification? Have you changed your mind about any aspects of drug policy since subscribing, or inspired you to get involved in the cause? Do you reprint or repost portions of our bulletins on other lists or in other newsletters? Do you have any criticisms or complaints, or suggestions? We want to hear those too. Please send your responses -- one or two sentences would be fine; more is great, too -- by email [email protected] or reply to a Chronicle email or use our online comment form. Please let us know if we may reprint your comments, and if so, if we may include your name or if you wish to remain anonymous. IMPORTANT: Even if you have given us this kind of feedback before, we could use your updated feedback now too -- we need to hear from you!

If you prefer to donate by mail, you can send your check or money order to: DRCNet, P.O. Box 18402, Washington, DC 20036. Make your check payable to DRCNet Foundation to make a tax-deductible donation for Drug War Chronicle -- remember if you select one of our member premium gifts that will reduce the portion of your donation that is tax-deductible -- or make a non-deductible donation for our lobbying work -- online or check payable to Drug Reform Coordination Network, same address. We can also accept contributions of stock -- email [email protected] for the necessary info.

Again, thank you for helping us reach this milestone, and for joining us today to celebrate it -- a brighter future lies ahead, with your help.

Sincerely,

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

Thank You for Helping Us Reach Issue #700!

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David Borden
Dear reformer:

Thank you for helping StoptheDrugWar.org publish 700 issues of Drug War Chronicle!

We reach this milestone at a time of challenge in drug policy, but also of unprecedented reform opportunity. Phillip Smith's feature story this issue outlines what to look out for in Congress this year and next, and the issue as a whole provides a partial overview of recent trends in the drug war.

There is much more to be said, of course -- stay tuned for more such overviews from Phil -- and for some thoughts from our executive director, David Borden, on the tasks confronting drug policy reformers; why despite the significance of the challenges the opportunities nevertheless exceed them, if we take the long view; and why your efforts as part of the drug policy reform movement are as important as ever if not more.

In the meanwhile, if you value the service that Drug War Chronicle and StoptheDrugWar.org provide, I hope you'll consider supporting us in one or both of two ways:

  1. We are in between newsletter grants, and that makes our need for individual donations more important right now -- Drug War Chronicle is free to read but not to produce! Click here to make a donation by credit card or PayPal, or to print out a form to send in by mail.
  2. Please send quotes and reports on how you put our flow of information to work, for use in upcoming grant proposals and letters to funders or potential funders. Do you use StoptheDrugWar.org as a source for public speaking? For letters to the editor? Helping you talk to friends or associates about the issue? Research? Personal edification? Have you changed your mind about any aspects of drug policy since subscribing, or inspired you to get involved in the cause? Do you reprint or repost portions of our bulletins on other lists or in other newsletters? Do you have any criticisms or complaints, or suggestions? We want to hear those too. Please send your responses -- one or two sentences would be fine; more is great, too -- by email [email protected] or reply to a Chronicle email or use our online comment form. Please let us know if we may reprint your comments, and if so, if we may include your name or if you wish to remain anonymous. IMPORTANT: Even if you have given us this kind of feedback before, we could use your updated feedback now too -- we need to hear from you!

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Phil Smith and David Guard
If you prefer to donate by mail, you can send your check or money order to: DRCNet, P.O. Box 18402, Washington, DC 20036. Make your check payable to DRCNet Foundation to make a tax-deductible donation for Drug War Chronicle -- remember if you select one of our member premium gifts that will reduce the portion of your donation that is tax-deductible -- or make a non-deductible donation for our lobbying work -- online or check payable to Drug Reform Coordination Network, same address. We can also accept contributions of stock -- email [email protected] for the necessary info.

Again, thank you for helping us reach this milestone, and for joining us today to celebrate it -- a brighter future lies ahead, with your help.

Sincerely,

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

Please Support Our New Legislative Center

Dear drug policy reformer:

I am pleased to announce the new StoptheDrugWar.org Legislative Center. The Legislative Center can be accessed online here or by following the "Legislation" link from any page on our web site. The Legislative Center already includes:

  • Info on hundreds of drug policy and related bills in Congress and the state legislatures, organized by issue category.
  • An expanded set of federal action alerts. (State alerts coming next.)
  • Legislative vote tallies and legislator voting records.
  • Additional resources like a media outlet lookup, a basic how to guide for lobbying Congress and a voter registration tool.

Some of the highlights you'll find there:

  • Legalization and decriminalization bills from 18 states and Congress.
  • Zip code lookup of state legislators and US Representatives -- how they voted, their bios and histories, how to contact them.
  • Alerts to take action on marijuana legalization, medical marijuana, sentencing reform, stopping new drug prohibitions and a commission to revamp the criminal justice system.

Please visit http://stopthedrugwar.org/donate to support this new and expanded part of our online publishing. We need your support in these challenging economic times to afford the legislative tracking and advocacy system that makes it possible for us to do this, and to continue to take further steps to expand our advocacy programs. StoptheDrugWar.org offers a range of books, videos and other items in thanks for donations above specified levels.

We also need volunteers. There's a lot of information in our Legislative Center now, but there is more that can be done -- finding any bills we may have missed, spotting new bills as they come out, tracking the legislation we know about, more. Please use our contact form or reply to this email to let us know if you'd like to get involved.

Thank you for being a part of changing drug policy, for the better!


Sincerely,

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

Presenting: The StoptheDrugWar.org Legislative Center

Dear drug policy reformer:

I am pleased to announce the new StoptheDrugWar.org Legislative Center. The Legislative Center can be accessed online here or by following the "Legislation" link from any page on our web site. The Legislative Center already includes:

  • Info on hundreds of drug policy and related bills in Congress and the state legislatures, organized by issue category.
  • An expanded set of federal action alerts. (State alerts coming next.)
  • Legislative vote tallies and legislator voting records.
  • Additional resources like a media outlet lookup, a basic how to guide for lobbying Congress and a voter registration tool.

Some of the highlights you'll find there:

  • Legalization and decriminalization bills from 18 states and Congress.
  • Zip code lookup of state legislators and US Representatives -- how they voted, their bios and histories, how to contact them.
  • Alerts to take action on marijuana legalization, medical marijuana, sentencing reform, stopping new drug prohibitions and a commission to revamp the criminal justice system.

Please visit http://stopthedrugwar.org/donate to support this new and expanded part of our online publishing. We need your support in these challenging economic times to afford the legislative tracking and advocacy system that makes it possible for us to do this, and to continue to take further steps to expand our advocacy programs. StoptheDrugWar.org offers a range of books, videos and other items in thanks for donations above specified levels.

We also need volunteers. There's a lot of information in our Legislative Center now, but there is more that can be done -- finding any bills we may have missed, spotting new bills as they come out, tracking the legislation we know about, more. Please use our contact form or reply to this email to let us know if you'd like to get involved.

Thank you for being a part of changing drug policy, for the better!


Sincerely,

David Borden signature

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

APPEAL: Rising to the Challenge -- Seizing the Opportunity

Dear Drug War Chronicle Reader:

 
 

Drug policy reform faces challenges and opportunities.

  • States continue to enact medical marijuana laws, most recently Delaware, the 16th medical marijuana state; Vermont, a new medical marijuana dispensary state; and Maryland, with a new necessity defense bill that will study medical marijuana dispensaries.
  • Nationwide support for legalizing marijuana is nearing 50 percent, and Congress will take up a legalization bill this year.
  • States including Georgia, Oklahoma, Florida, Kentucky, Delaware, Ohio and many others are reducing drug sentences or considering it.

But the forces of prohibition aren't sitting still.

Please take a moment to support our organization with a generous donation. Your support will enable us to continue our publishing that informs, supports and builds the movement; to continue and expand our work with coalitions lobbying for drug policy reform, sentencing reform and ending collateral consequences of drug convictions; and to put plans in place supporting marijuana legalization initiatives coming up in as many as four states.

It is no exaggeration to say that the future depends on you. As Congressman Jared Polis told reformers at a recent gathering, this is an important battle to fight for the country, but victory is not a foregone conclusion: Which way things will go depends on the actions that you take today.

Thank you for supporting our organization and joining our call to end the failed and unjust drug war.

Sincerely,

David Borden, Executive Director
StoptheDrugWar.org
P.O. Box 18402, Washington, DC 20036
http://stopthedrugwar.org

P.S. We continue to offer a range of books, videos and other gift items as our thanks for your donations. See our online donation form for a current listing.

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