When Surgeon General
Joycelyn Elders was run out of town for raising questions about the drug
war, Dave Borden decided it was time to get involved. A Princeton graduate
with a degree from the New England Conservatory of Music, Borden had no
interest in drugs but he was appalled by the social havoc the drug laws
were wreaking. Skillfully working the Internet, he developed a network
of local activists, students, and drug policy critics who began exchanging
ideas and action alerts with a rapidly growing membership list. Borden's
Drug Reform Coordination Network (DRCNet)
quickly became an international clearinghouse.
One of his earliest supporters was Clifford Schaffer,
a California businessman who felt the nexus of the problem was information.
If people knew the facts, said Schaffer, they would demand a change in
course. Schaffer's contribution was a burgeoning electronic library, a
vast searchable database of original drug war documents and statistics
where you can find links to the House Hearings on the Marijuana Tax Act
of 1937 or the Swiss report on Medical Prescription of Narcotics. It would
be impossible to estimate the impact of DRCNet, but these days when a politician
makes a wild statement about the drug war, he s likely to be called out
in print by several well-informed letter writers who probably got their
facts from the Internet. This easy access to scientific and historic data
is beginning to have an impact on the press as well. Now, when headlines
announce the fall of the latest drug lord, the sub-head usually admits
that it's expected to have no impact whatsoever on the flow of drugs.
For those who agree with Borden that it's time
to join the fray, here's a list of organizations on all sides of this issue,
from the Drug Enforcement Administration to the National Organization for
the Reform of Marijuana Laws.
Drug Policy Libraries
Web site of the Drug Reform Coordination Network
(DRCNet). Includes articles on prohibition, harm reduction, needle exchange,
sentencing, asset forfeiture, medical marijuana, chronic pain treatment,
international drug policies, and methadone maintenance, as well a calendar
of events, action alerts and a weekly news bulletin -- subscribe
World's largest online drug policy library, sponsored
by DRCNet. Information on a wide range of drug policy topics, including
the full textof major reports. Front page includes links to a number of
substantial online collections.
Drugtext Europe, web site of the International
Foundation for Drug Policy and Human Rights. One of the largest online
library collections on drug policy. U.S. mirror site at http://www.drugtext.org/.
The Drug Policy Alliance is a NY/DC-based drug policy research institute.
Its site features full-text articles from the academic and popular press focusing on drug policy from economic,
criminal justice, and public health perspectives. Recent "focal point" topics include
drug maintenance programs and medical marijuana.
Web site of DrugSense. Includes a searchable
library of news articles related to all aspects of drug policy. Provides
a weekly newsletter and a daily news reporting service, both for no charge
over the Internet.
National Criminal Justice Reference Service.
Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA).
NCJRS Drugs & Crime Clearinghouse.
Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement
Bureau of Justice Statistics.
National Clearinghouse for Alcohol and Drug Information.
National Institute on Drug Abuse.
National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism.
Food and Drug Administration.
Other Drug Policy Information Sites
The Partnership for Responsible Drug Information
holds public forums on drug policy and provides extensive informational
resources for parents and the media.
Named after an organization of attorneys that
played a critical role in bringing about the repeal of Alcohol Prohibition,
the Voluntary Committee of Lawyers works with lawyers, law professors,
law students and others associated with the legal profession to foster
an open, honest, and constructive discussion about the drug war and what
it is doing for and to our nation and legal system.
The Rand Corporation's Drug Policy Research Center
includes a subject index and abstracts for all publications on their site.
Topics include drug policy and trends, state and local drug policy, national
drug policy, international drug policy, prevention, treatment, enforcement,
data systems and analysis, and modeling and policy gaming. Reports can
be ordered online.
The Sentencing Project, a think tank that researches
the impact of criminal justice policies and advocates alternatives.
National Center on Institutions and Alternatives
(NCIA) web site.
Well-known libertarian think tank.
Forfeiture Endangers American Rights (FEAR),
national organization opposing the rampant abuses of asset forfeiture.
Site features victims' stories and federal and state forfeiture legislation.
Harm Reduction/Needle Exchange
Web site of the Harm Reduction Coalition (HRC),
a national organization promoting strategies for reducing the harm related
to substance abuse and sexual behavior.
"Needle Exchange: A Form of Harm Reduction,"
DRCNet's "topics in depth" page on needle exchange.
North American Syringe Exchange Network (NASEN)
Law Enforcement Perspectives
Drug Enforcement Administration web site.
"The Voice of America's Front-line Drug Warriors"
is sponsored by the American Law Enforcement Electronic Library rather
than the DrugEnforcement Administration (DEA).
"Cops Against the Drug War," from DRCNet's "Topics
in Depth" section, contains materials on the the Hoover Law Enforcement
Summit wriiten by Dr. Joseph McNamara, a former police chief of San Jose
and Kansas City.
Mandatory Minimums and Sentencing
Web site of Families Against Mandatory Minimums
(FAMM), a national organization advocating repeal of mandatory minimum
sentencing and reform of the federal sentencing guidelines. Features victims
cases and links to further information.
The November Coalition, an organization focusing
on drug war prisoners.
Citizens United for the Rehabilitation of Errants
(CURE) home page, national organization advocating for rehabilitation and
alternatives to incarceration.
United States Sentencing Commission (USSC) web
The Federal Judicial Center (FJC) web site.
Medical marijuana master reference, an extensive
directory of medical marijuana information available on the net.
Web site of the San Francisco Cannabis Cultivators'
Club (formerly the Cannabis Buyers' Club).
"The Medical Marijuana Magazine," an interesting
medical marijuana magazine by best-selling author Peter McWilliams.
Home page of the National Alliance of Methadone
Human Rights/Latin America
Washington Office on Latin America.
Colombia Support Network.
Human Rights Watch Drugs and Human Rights project
(international and domestic).
News about Drug Issues
The Media Awareness Project publishes a daily
digest of drug war news items from around the world with links to the full
"News Briefs," the monthly newsletter of the
National Drug Strategy Network (NDSN). News about all aspects of the drug
problem -- American and international -- with detailed coverage going back
to 1993. Non-advocacy.
News web site maintained by former NORML national
director Dick Cowan.
DRCNet bulletins, including "The Week Online"
Prevention and Drug Education
The Partnership for a Drug Free America (PDFA)
is a nonprofit coalition of media and advertising agencies using national
television and print advertising to stigmatize drug users and warn against
"How to Raise Drug-Free Kids" is sponsored by
"A Different Look at DARE" is featured in DRCNet's
"Topics in Depth" section.
Join Together, a national network of prevention
organizations. Includes an extensive directory of links to sites on prevention,
treatment, self-help, and education.
Web site of the Women's Christian Temperance
Union, the organization that won and subsequently lost the fight to prohibit
The National Center on Addiction and Substance
Abuse (CASA) is a nonprofit advocacy organization which produces non-peer-reviewed
reports on the harm to individuals and society caused by drug abuse.
Drug Watch International (DWI) is a nonprofit
coalition advocating much stronger law enforcement.
National Families In Action (NFIA) is a nonprofit
grassroots antidrug organization that works to set up community drug abuse
prevention programs but primarily disseminates anti-legalization literature.
Reform Advocacy Groups
The Drug Policy Foundation (DPF) is the largest
drug policy reform organization, with a major annual conference, grants
program, newsletter, and a wide array of services to policy-makers and
the media who are interested in drug policy issues.
The Criminal Justice Policy Foundation (CJPF)
assists public health,criminal justice, and other public officials in finding
innovativesolutions to criminal justice and drug policy problems.
The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) is
heavily involved inConstitutional law aspects of drug policy reform.
Families and Friends for Drug Law Reform, Australian
organization for people who have lost loved ones to drug abuse.
The Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic
Studies (MAPS) focuses on research into medical uses of marijuana and psychedelics.
Raises funds and helps researchers overcome regulatory obstacles.
The Marijuana Policy Project (MPP) lobbies for
reform of the marijuana laws and is currently focusing on medical marijuana.
The National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana
Laws (NORML) is the oldest and largest marijuana reform organization and
advocates the legalization of marijuana for adults.
Web site of DrugSense. DrugSense and its Media
Awareness Project get reform volunteers working together toward a common
objective of influencing the media through weekly focus alerts and Internet
reports on drug-related news.
Treatment and SelfHelp
Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) pioneered the "twelve-step"
self-treatment program for people with severe drinking problems.
Cocaine Anonymous (CA) is a self-treatment program
for people with cocaine problems, modeled after Alcoholics Anonymous.
Moderation Management (MM) is a moderation-oriented
treatment program which emphasizes self-management, moderation, and a balanced
lifestyle. It is "not intended for alcoholics or those severely dependent
The Stanton Peele Addiction Web Site contains
a library of materials on the addiction experience.
National Center of Alcoholism and Drug Dependence
(NCADD) is a federal drug abuse treatment and prevention advocacy agency
which focuses largely on alcoholism.
The Center for Substance Abuse Treatment (CSAT)
of the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA)
works to expand Federal drug abuse treatment efforts.
Narcotics Anonymous (NA) is a self-treatment
program for people with narcotics problems, modeled after Alcoholics Anonymous.
Updated: 8 Sep 2012 |
Accessed: 33146 times