Drug Policy Alliance Expands its Advocacy to Colorado

Press Release May 1, 2011
Media Contact

Art Way 720-579-1265 or Tony Newman 646-335-5384</p>

DENVER — The Drug Policy Alliance, the nation's leading organization promoting alternatives to the war on drugs, has expanded its state-based advocacy to Colorado and has appointed Art Way to its first staff position in the Centennial State. DPA fights for drug policies grounded in science, compassion, health and human rights and seeks to promote dialogue on cutting-edge drug policy issues around the country. Headquartered in New York City, DPA maintains offices in California, New Mexico, New Jersey, and Washington, D.C.

As Drug Policy Manager, Denver-based Way will supervise DPA's legislative agenda, advocacy and program efforts across the state. Building on recent statewide reforms, the organization's Colorado priorities are to minimize the costly and ineffective role of the criminal justice system in addressing drug-related issues, to increase statewide support for proven, health-centered drug policies such as expanded access to sterile syringes, and to help create the climate for a successful voter initiative to legalize marijuana for adults in Colorado as soon as 2012.

"Colorado has emerged as an epicenter of drug policy reform in this country," said Ethan Nadelmann, executive director of the Drug Policy Alliance. "Within the last two years, this state has enacted bold reforms to sentencing, parole, and re-entry into communities, legalized syringe exchange programs, and adopted the most comprehensive medical marijuana regulations in the nation. I can't imagine anyone better able to build on those policy foundations in this crucial state than Art Way."

Art Way brings substantial public policy and criminal justice reform experience to his position at DPA. He most recently served as Racial Justice Director at the Colorado Progressive Coalition where he successfully led a legislative campaign amending state law regarding police duties during searches. As a result, Colorado has the only consent-to-search legislation in the nation that protects pedestrians as well as motorists. Way currently serves on both the Denver Mayor's African American Commission and the Racial and Gender Disparity Committee of the Denver Crime Prevention and Control Commission.

"As DPA's Colorado manager, I'm committed to continue shifting the momentum on public safety and other key issues toward pragmatic, evidence-based solutions," said Art Way. "We must further expand policies that reduce the harms related to drug use and to the punitive and wasteful drug war approach that actually aggravates those harms. It's time to forge an exit strategy from this failed 40-year war."

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

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