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How to Get Involved in Stamping Out the Drug War

Six ways you can take part in ending the war on drugs right now.

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By Victoria Kim

05/23/14

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The consequences of the war on drugs range from social to economic - it touches the lives of millions across the world, whether it’s an innocent little girl killed in police crossfire during a botched drug raid or a father executed in South Asia for marijuana trafficking. Billions of dollars are poured into this ongoing and futile effort to attain a drug-free world.

Earlier this month, hundreds of people gathered in Mexico City for the National Dignity March, most of them having lost family members or friends to drug war violence that has ravaged the country. Over the last eight years, more than 100,000 people have been killed or disappeared because of the drug war, according to the Movement for Peace with Justice and Dignity, the group that organized the march.

The group was founded by poet and activist Javier Sicilia after his son was murdered by drug traffickers. The movement to end the drug war is spreading, and change is happening from local communities to the United Nations.

Here are six ways you could make your mark on stamping out the inhumane and costly drug war, courtesy of Truthout:

1. Inform yourself. Present the facts with the help of resources like the Open Society Foundation’s summary of public initiatives, the Transnational Institute’s primer on drugs and democracy, and the Drug Policy Alliance’s review of the issues.

2. Support local campaigns. There are numerous local campaigns that are challenging traditional marijuana policies. Find out where you can get involved.

3. Contact your representatives. The Drug Policy Alliance makes it easy. Also, adding your voice to the countless online petitions calling for an end to the drug war certainly couldn’t hurt. Start with “End the Drug War in the Americas!” a petition created by Avaaz.

4. Get familiar with the drug policy reform movement. Once you get involved in this network, whether it’s through meeting people in Students for Sensible Drug Policy, NORML, or Law Enforcement Against Prohibition (LEAP), it will open you up to a world filled with way more opportunities to change drug policy than are on this list.

5. Watch The House I Live In. This critically acclaimed documentary about the war on drugs is available for streaming.

6. Go global. In 2016, the United Nations General Assembly will review its policy on currently illicit drugs. Follow this process at the Commission on Narcotics Drugs blog, which is run by London-based organizations International Drug Policy Consortium and YouthRISE. If the U.N. moves toward more progressive drug policies, it will influence national governments around the world to do the same.

Check out the trailer for The House I Live In:

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