Elected Officials and Celebrities Denounce War On Drugs


Graphic: Emilie_Ann_McGregor

‚Äč40th Anniversary of President Nixon’s Declaration of a ‘War On Drugs’ Will Be Marked By Thursday Press Conference

June 17 will mark 40 years since President Richard Nixon, claiming drug abuse was “public enemy number one,” officially declared a “War On Drugs.” A trillion dollars and millions of ruined lives later, the War On Drugs has proven to be a catastrophic failure, according to the Drug Policy Alliance (DPA).
The DPA, considered one of the nation’s leading organizations promoting drug policies grounded in science, compassion, health and human rights, will host a press conference on Thursday, June 16 with elected officials, celebrities and VIP’s to call attention to the failures of the Drug War and to propose new solutions.
The press conference is intended to raise awareness about the failures of drug prohibition and call for an exit strategy from the failed War On Drugs.
The press conference will also be streamed on the web and can be viewed live at http://www.newseum.org/streaming/index.htm.

The press conference comes on the heels of a Global Commission on Drug Policy, which released a groundbreaking report on June 2 calling for a paradigm shift in how our society deals with drugs, including decriminalization and allowing countries to experiment with models of legal regulation.
The commission is comprised of international dignitaries including Kofi Annan, former Secretary General of the United Nations; Richard Branson, entrepreneur and founder of the Virgin Group; and the former presidents of Brazil, Colombia, Mexico and Switzerland. George P. Shultz and Paul Volcker, who penned a recently Wall Street Journal op-ed opposing the Drug War, are the U.S. commissioners.
The press conference will set the stage for the following national day of action. Dozens of events will be held throughout the country, including major cities like New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, San Francisco and New Orleans. The day of action will be highlighted with a large-scale event with elected officials in Washington, D.C.
In Arms Reach, a nonprofit organization that works with at-risk children and young adults who have incarcerated parent(s), has enlisted the rapper SAIGON to release a song in support of DPA’s “No More Drug War” campaign highlighting the 40-year anniversary of the War On Drugs.
The Drug Policy Alliance is also leading thousands of advocates all across the country in a “Day of Action” to raise awareness about the catastrophic failure of drug prohibition and to call for an exit strategy from the failed War On Drugs.
To see a list of events around the nation, visit: http://nomoredrugwar.org/take-action#events
What: Press conference
When: June 16, 2011, 1 p.m.
Where: The Newseum, 555 Pennsylvania Ave., N.W., Washington, D.C. (Knight Studio A)
Who: Ethan Nadelmann, founder and executive director, Drug Policy Alliance
         John Conyers, member of the U.S. House of Representatives, Michigan’s 14th District
         Jared Polis, member of the U.S. House of Representatives, Colorado’s 2nd District
         Rev. Al Sharpton, founder of the National Action Network (tentatively confirmed)
         Peter Shumlin, Governor of Vermont
         Sonja Sohn, actress from the HBO series “The Wire”
         Maxine Waters, member of the U.S. House of Representatives, California’s 35th District