Thursday: “Victory Walk” and Block Party to Celebrate Groundbreaking Marijuana Legalization, Harm Reduction and Sentencing Reform Victories

Press Release October 20, 2013
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<p>CONTACT: Tony Newman 646-335-5384 or Tommy McDonald 510-338-8827</p>

To celebrate the unprecedented momentum of the drug policy reform movement, hundreds of conference attendees of the International Drug Policy Reform conference will participate in a “victory walk” and block party to celebrate the legalization of marijuana in Colorado and Washington, as well as recent harm reduction and sentencing reform victories in Colorado.

The victory walk and rally will take place on Thursday, October 24 from 1-3 p.m., starting at the 16th Street Mall from the Downtown Sheraton to Skyline Park (between 15th and 16th). At Skyline Park there will be a block party with spoken word performances, music by DJ Musa Bailey and rousing speeches from Colorado and national advocates.

“We have a lot to celebrate both nationally and locally,” said Art Way, Senior Drug Policy Manager for Drug Policy Alliance in Colorado.  “This is an opportunity for all drug policy reformers to come together, enjoy each other’s company, cheer our victories and refuel for the work ahead.”

This event is part of the four-day International Drug Policy Reform Conference, during which over one thousand of the world’s leading drug policy experts will convene in Denver. The Reform Conference will involve speeches and debates with visionaries from the drug policy reform movement, with the intention of advancing the implementation of drug policies based on science, compassion, health and human rights. The Conference will be an opportunity for networking and strategizing, as well as for learning about alternatives to the drug war from both US and international perspectives.

Denver provides a compelling backdrop for the conference – and not just because Colorado made history last year by becoming the first state to legalize marijuana. Colorado is home to a strong base of savvy drug policy reformers advocating for harm reduction policies and sentencing reforms. It is increasingly viewed as a bellwether state in terms of policy and politics, and its national resonance will only increase in years to come. DPA has been deeply involved in the state for more than a decade. In its first foray, DPA spearheaded and managed the campaign that passed the state’s medical marijuana initiative in 2000. After playing a supportive role to our in-state allies for more than a decade, DPA opened an office in Denver in early 2011 to help pass Amendment 64 and advance other policy changes.

The Drug Policy Alliance is co-hosting the 2013 International Drug Policy Reform Conference with the ACLU, the Harm Reduction Coalition, Institute of the Black World, International Drug Policy Consortium, Law Enforcement Against Prohibition, Marijuana Policy Project, Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies, National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws, Open Society Foundations, Samuel DeWitt Proctor Conference, and Students for Sensible Drug Policy. For a full list of partners, more information on the conference, and registration details: Visit

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

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