N.Y. Times Ad: Prohibition Is Finally Coming To An End
Full Page New York Times Ad in Thursday Paper: "80 Years After the End of Prohibition, Prohibition is Finally Coming to an End"
Comes on Heels of Obama Response to Marijuana Legalization in Colorado and Washington: "We've Got Bigger Fish to Fry"
In Thursday's New York Times,
a drug policy reform organization is running a full-page ad that thanks
voters in Colorado and Washington and emphasizes the growing support
for drug policy reform among people from across the political spectrum
who are renowned for their leadership in law, health, business, media
and politics. Last month, Colorado and Washington became the first two
states in the country - and the first political jurisdictions anywhere in the world - to approve legally regulating marijuana like alcohol, with both states' initiatives winning by decisive margins.
Even before the votes in Colorado and Washington were counted, 2012
had already been a watershed year for the burgeoning movement to end
the war on drugs. Arguments that were articulated just five years ago
primarily by intellectuals and activists, and three years ago by former
presidents and policymakers, are now being advanced with growing
sophistication and nuance by current presidents in Latin America and a
small but growing number of elected officials in the United States.
Latin America, presidents such as Juan Manuel Santos (Colombia), Otto
Pérez Molina (Guatemala), and José Mujica (Uruguay) are embracing
alternatives to prohibition. In a sign of the shifting political tides,
two U.S. governors from opposite sides of the aisle who are often
mentioned as 2016 presidential candidates - New York's Andrew Cuomo and
New Jersey's Chris Christie - have embraced drug policy reform this
Christie broke ranks with fellow Republicans by calling the Drug War a
failure, while Governor Cuomo committed to ending New York's racially
discriminatory marijuana arrest crusade. Even strange bedfellows like
evangelical leader Pat Robertson and former President Jimmy Carter spoke
out in support of legally regulating marijuana this year.
perhaps most tellingly, President Bill Clinton joined several other
former presidents in sharply criticizing the War On Drugs in the
just-released documentary Breaking the Taboo.
ad appears just one week after President Obama commented on the
marijuana legalization votes in Colorado and Washington - framing the
conflict between federal and state law as a question to be resolved and
stating that people who use marijuana in states that have legalized it
should not be a "top priority" for federal law enforcement.
past year was the best ever for our growing movement to end the war on
drugs," said Ethan Nadelmann, executive director of the Drug Policy Alliance
"Marijuana legalization and broader drug policy reform have moved from
the fringes to the mainstream of U.S. and international politics."
in Washington and Colorado did more than just make history last month
by voting to end their states' marijuana prohibition laws and attempt
instead to regulate marijuana as a legal commodity," Nadelmann said.
"They performed a national service by catapulting the national
conversation about drug policy to a new level of urgency and political
The DPA takes part in the
flourishing movement to end the War On Drugs - in the halls of power,
online, and in the streets. DPA is actively involved in the legislative
process and seeks to roll back the excesses of the drug war, block new,
harmful initiatives, and promote sensible drug policy reforms.
a result of their work, hundreds of thousands of people have been
diverted from incarceration to drug treatment programs, hundreds of
thousands of sick and dying patients can safely access their medicine
without being considered criminals under the law, and states like
California have saved more than $2.5 billion by eliminating wasteful and
ineffective law enforcement, prosecution and prison expenditures.
and its lobbying arm, Drug Policy Action, were deeply involved in the
Colorado and Washington initiatives - providing roughly one-third of the
funding for the Washington initiative, while in Colorado they were
deeply involved in the research, drafting, funding and on-the-ground
Below is the text of the ad running in the New York Times:
80 Years After the End of Prohibition, Prohibition is Finally Coming to an End
in Washington and Colorado made history on Election Day when they voted
to legally regulate and tax marijuana. Their votes signaled the
beginning of the end for the costly and unjust war on drugs.
Thank you to the citizens of Washington and Colorado.
The Drug Policy Alliance is especially proud of this milestone, as we worked for years to make this historic day happen.
also like to thank: President Bill Clinton for acknowledging the drug
war's futility and failure; President Jimmy Carter and Pat Robertson for
saying it's time to legalize marijuana; Governor Christie for calling
the drug war a failure and Governor Cuomo for working to end New York's
racially discriminatory marijuana arrest crusade; Congressmen Ron Paul
and Barney Frank for introducing the first bill to end federal marijuana
prohibition; Presidents Santos (Colombia), Pérez Molina (Guatemala) and
Mujica (Uruguay) for breaking the taboo on alternatives to drug
prohibition; and, most of all, our many allies around the world for
demanding no more drug war.
We strive for the
day when drug policies are no longer motivated by ignorance, fear and
prejudice but rather by science, compassion, fiscal prudence and human
rights, with education and treatment available for everyone. Help us
fight the good fight by making a tax deductible donation.
Drug Policy Alliance Honorary Board
Former Mayor Rocky Anderson
Former Defense Secretary Frank Carlucci
Congressman John Conyers, Jr.
Walter Cronkite [1916-2009]
Dr. Vincent Dole [1913-2006]
Former Surgeon General Joycelyn Elders
U.S. District Court Judge Nancy Gertner (Ret.)
Former Police Chief Penny Harrington
Václav Havel [1936-2011]
Former Governor Gary Johnson
U.S. District Court Judge John Kane
Former Attorney General Nicholas deB. Katzenbach [1922-2012]
Former Police Chief Joseph McNamara
Former Police Commissioner Patrick V. Murphy [1920-2011]
Dr. Beny J. Primm
Former Mayor Kurt Schmoke
Dr. Charles Schuster [1930-2011]
Former Secretary of State George P. Shultz
U.S. District Court Judge Robert Sweet
Former Chairman of the Federal Reserve Paul Volcker