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BACKGROUND

The election of President Barack Obama has opened up opportunities for drug policy reform that haven’t been seen in many years.

On the campaign trail, he voiced support for medical marijuana accessharm reduction programs, and the reform of mandatory minimum drug sentences. He spoke out in favor of marijuana decriminalization during his time in the Illinois Senate (although he backpedaled on the issue during his run for president). His open admission of past marijuana and cocaine use, his work as an inner city community organizer, and the fact that he is of the same race as those who are most affected by drug laws gives him a perspective on the issue that few presidents have had. Finally, Mr. Obama’s favorite TV show is The Wire, an HBO drama that portrays the futility of the Drug War and explores legalization as the answer to much of the harm caused by drug abuse and the drug trade.

WHAT NEEDS TO BE DONE

President Obama appears to understand that drug abuse is ultimately a public health issue and not a criminal justice issue. But it is unlikely that he will put himself on the line for drug policy reform if he thinks that it is risky to do so. It is our job to show President Obama that reforming drug policy is not a political liability — it’s a political opportunity.

80% of Americans support medical marijuana access. 75% think that the War on Drugs has failed and can’t be won (and nearly 90% of Obama voters feel this way). 75% also say that adults should be fined, but not jailed, for using marijuana recreationally. Clearly, drug policy reform is not a fringe issue.

Click the links at the top of the page to take action and let Obama know that Americans support drug policy reform!