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California Senator explains next steps for psychedelics and broader drug reform after bill stalls

9/9/10--A bill to legalize the possession of psychedelics in California has been put on pause until next year, but the Senate sponsor, Sen. Scott Wiener (D), says the move is part of the “complicated legislative process” to get reform enacted—and he’s confident it will ultimately prevail. Sen. Wiener said that it took significant compromise both internally and externally to get the bill through the Senate and two Assembly committees before he ultimately decided to temporarily pull it last month to build broader support for passage next year. Read

Towards a more rational and compassionate drug policy

7/21/21--Just as Michael Pollan advises in his New York Times editorial on the drug, Dr. Bronner also openly expresses and reiterates in his article that instead of waging war on the people who use drugs, we should decriminalize personal possession, increase addiction treatment including psychedelic therapy, and crucially also, integrate a safe supply of drugs. Dr. Bronner further states that we need to wage war on poverty and heal trauma instead, the true breeding grounds for addiction in this country. Read

How should we do drugs now?

7/8/21--Michael Pollan, who teaches writing at Harvard and at the University of California, Berkeley, and is the author, most recently, of “This Is Your Mind on Plants,” pens an editorial published in The New York Times covering how much harder it is to envision what the drug peace will look like. Pollan poses the question: How will we fold these powerful substances into our society and our lives so as to minimize their risks and use them most constructively? He makes the point that conversation begins with the recognition that humans like to change consciousness and that cultures have been using psychoactive plants and fungi to do so for as long as there have been cultures. Read

Oregon’s pioneering drug decriminalization experiment is now facing the hard test

6/18/21--Five months since decriminalization went into effect, the voter-mandated experiment is running into the hard realities of implementation. The promise of Measure 110 has sharply divided the recovery community, alienated some in law enforcement, and left big questions about whether the Legislature will fully fund the measure's promised expansion of care. Read

Oregon’s pioneering drug decriminalization experiment is now facing the hard text

6/21/21--Oregon's bold move to decriminalize small amounts of all hard drugs and expand treatment is now meeting the reality of implementation as the treatment community is divided over the way forward. Read

‘Irresponsible’ to decriminalize drugs without comprehensive system of treatment and care: Alberta Addictions Minister

6/6/21--According to Alberta’s associate minister Jason Luan, the key to curbing addictions and overcoming the opioid crisis is to provide addicts with a recovery-oriented system of care instead of supplying them with drugs. Alberta’s strategy, which includes five new addiction recovery centers to be built across the province, challenges the “harm reduction” model of addiction treatment promoted by many of Canada’s top health officials. Read

Washington could become the second state to decriminalize drugs

2/4/21--On Thursday, state lawmakers and advocacy groups in Washington announced a plan to decriminalize possession of small amounts of heroin, cocaine and other drugs. A bill introduced in the state Legislature would make Washington the second state in the nation to legalize the personal use of all drugs, ranging from psychedelic mushrooms to opiates. The measure would also pour state money into treatment and community-based intervention programs. Read

2020 Party Platform | VT Democratic Party Convention

9/27/2020--As a part of the Democratic Party 2020 Platform as adopted by the Vermont Democratic Party Convention, one of the issues the Vermont Democratic Party is committed is to ensure that cannabis is appropriately regulated and taxed in a manner that rights the historic wrongs of the War on Drugs and that recognizes the disproportionate impact prohibition has had on minority communities. Read

Oregon drug treatment and decriminalization measure announces 75 endorsers

8/12/20--Initiative 44 has secured the endorsements of over 75 organizations across the state that represent communities who agree that Oregon needs more access to treatment, and that it’s time to shift away from a criminal approach to drug addiction, to a more humane, effective health-based approach. Read

B.C. premier formally asks federal government to decriminalize illegal drugs

7/21/20--B.C. Premier John Horgan is formally asking the federal government to decriminalize possession of illegal drugs for personal use. In a letter sent to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Monday, Horgan says decriminalization would ‘reduce the systemic stigma associated with illicit drug use and support people to access the services that they need’. Read

Oregon campaigns to legalize silocybin mushrooms and decriminalize drugs team up to qualify for ballot

5/11/20--Two drug policy reform campaigns in Oregon are teaming up as they both work to collect enough signatures to qualify for the state’s November ballot. Activists behind an effort to legalize psilocybin mushrooms for therapeutic use and another to decriminalize all currently illicit drugs and expand substance misuse treatment are partnering to ensure mutual success. Read

Civil society organizations call for drug decriminalization as a necessary response to COVID-19

5/14/20--More than 50 leading human rights, health, and drug policy organizations from across the country, including the Canadian HIV/AIDS Legal Network, Pivot Legal Society, the Canadian Drug Policy Coalition, Canadian Association of People who use Drugs, Amnesty International, the BC Centre on Substance Use, and the Canadian Public Health Association, are calling on key ministers in the federal government to immediately decriminalize the possession of illicit drugs in response to the twin crises of opioid overdoses and the COVID-19 pandemic. Read

Oregon activists collect enough signatures for drug decriminalization and treatment measure

3/5/20--Activists in Oregon have collected more than the required raw number of signatures to qualify a historic initiative to decriminalize drug possession and increase access to treatment for the state’s November ballot. The initiative, which is backed by the national organization Drug Policy Action and other reform groups, would make it so low-level possession of currently illicit drugs would be considered a civil infraction punishable by a maximum $100 fine and no jail time. Read

Commission makes recommendations for tackling opioid crisis in North America

10/2/17--The Global Commission on Drug Policy has issued recommendations on tackling North America's opioid crisis, calling for the immediate expansion of harm-reduction services, the decriminalization and regulation of currently illicit drugs, and an initiative to allow interested cities to de facto decriminalize as federal debates over drug policy continue. Read