40th Anniversary of Nixon’s Declaration of a “War on Drugs”

Press Release June 14, 2011

WASHINGTON, DC—June 17 will mark forty years since President Richard Nixon, citing drug abuse as "public enemy No. 1," 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.

The Drug Policy Alliance, the nation's leading organization 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 the 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, founder of the Virgin Group; and the former presidents of Brazil, Colombia, Mexico and Switzerland. George P. Shultz and Paul Volcker are U.S. commissioners (see their recent Wall Street Journal op-ed below).

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, DC.

In Arms Reach, a non-profit 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.

What: Press conference

Where: The Newseum, 555 Pennsylvania Ave., N.W., Washington, DC (Knight Studio A)

When:  Thursday, June 16th, 2011.  1pm – 2pm


*Tentatively confirmed either in person or live via videoconference. List in formation.

A young woman holds a sign that says "End the Drug War."

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