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Government Sources

Office of National Drug Control Policy. (ONDCP)

United Nations Office of Drug Control (UNODC)

  • UNODC mobilizes and promotes regional and transnational cooperation to confront the growing threat to security posed by the convergence of organized crime, drug trafficking, corruption and terrorism. UNODC strengthens the rule of law and institutions of justice in order to improve crime prevention and build safer, more secure societies in which people can live without fear and work towards a more prosperous future for themselves and their families. UNODC also works to educate the world about the angers of drug abuse and to strengthen international action against drug production, trafficking and drug-related crime. In order to achieve this, UNODC carries out a broad range of initiatives, including alternative development projects, illicit crop monitoring and anti-money laundering programmes."
  • The UNODC produces the annual World Drug Report, providing a comprehensive overview of the latest developments in drug markets," covering "production, trafficking, consumption and the related health consequences."

Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA)

  • "The mission of the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) is to enforce the controlled substances laws and regulations of the United States and bring to the criminal and civil justice system of the United States, or any other competent jurisdiction, those organizations and principal members of organizations, involved in the growing, manufacture, or distribution of controlled substances appearing in or destined for illicit traffic in the United States; and to recommend and support non-enforcement programs aimed at reducing the availability of illicit controlled substances on the domestic and international markets."

National Survey on Drug Use and Health

  • “The National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH) provides national and state-level data on the use of tobacco, alcohol, illicit drugs (including non-medical use of prescription drugs) and mental health in the United States. NSDUH is sponsored by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), an agency of the U.S. Public Health Service in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS).”
  • A remarkable source of information, carefully gathered annually for four decades. Unfortunately, U.S. drug policy largely ignores the implications of these data.
  • For latest available data (2012), see

Monitoring the Future

  • "Monitoring the Future is an ongoing study of the behaviors, attitudes, and values of American secondary school students, college students, and young adults. Each year, a total of approximately 50,000 8th, 10th and 12th grade students are surveyed." The surveys are funded by the National Institute on Drug Abuse and the National Institutes of Health and are conducted by the Institute for Social Research at the University of Michigan.

National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA)

  • "NIDA's mission is to lead the Nation in bringing the power of science to bear on drug abuse and addiction. This charge has two critical components. The first is the strategic support and conduct of research across a broad range of disciplines. The second is ensuring the rapid and effective dissemination and use of the results of that research to significantly improve prevention and treatment and to inform policy as it relates to drug abuse and addiction."

National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA)

  • "NIAAA supports and conducts research on the impact of alcohol use on human health and well-being. It is the largest funder of alcohol research in the world."

Non-Government Sources

Drug Policy Alliance (DPA)

  • "The Drug Policy Alliance (DPA) is the nation's leading organization promoting drug policies that are grounded in science, compassion, health and human rights. Our supporters are individuals who believe the war on drugs is doing more harm than good. Together we advance policies that reduce the harms of both drug use and drug prohibition, and seek solutions that promote safety while upholding the sovereignty of individuals over their own minds and bodies. We work to ensure that our nation’s drug policies no longer arrest, incarcerate, disenfranchise and otherwise harm millions – particularly young people and people of color who are disproportionately affected by the war on drugs."

Drug Policy Forum of Texas (DPFT)

  • "The Drug Policy Forum of Texas [DPFT] began with the basic belief that a well informed public will choose rational policies. DPFT was formed because the War On Drugs not only doesn't work, but is also causing a great deal of unintended damage to society. Most politicians are afraid to discuss alternatives, and the one-sided information given to the public is often distorted or simply wrong."

RAND Drug Policy Research Center

  • "Since 1989, the RAND Drug Policy Research Center has conductef research to help community leaders and public officials develop more effective ways of dealing with drug problems. In doing so, the DPRC brings an objective, pragmatic perspective to this often emotional and fractious policy arena. The Center's goal is to provide a firm, empirical foundation on which sound policies ca be built."

SAM: Smart Approaches to Marijuana

  • "We at SAM believe in an approach that neither legalizes, nor demonizes, marijuana; reject dichotomies--such as "incarceration versus legalization--that offer only simplistic solutions to the highly complex problemks stemming from marijuana use and the policies surrounding it; champion smart policies that decrease marijuana use — and do not harm marijuana users and low-level dealers with arrest records that stigmatize them for life and in ways that make it even harder for them to break free from cycles of substance dependence."

Global Commission on Drug Policy

Tranform Drug Policy Foundation (UK)

  • "Transform Drug Policy Foundation is a charitable think tank that seeks to draw public attention to the fact that drug prohibition itself is the major cause of drug-related harm to individuals, communities and nations, and should be replaced by effective,just and humane government control and regulation."

The Beckley Foundation (UK)

  • "The Policy Programme aims to reform national and international drug policies by promoting a rational, empirical approach. The Foundation advocates a move away from the current prohibitionist system– which causes devastating unintended consequences – towards health-oriented, harm-reducing, cost-effective policies that respect human rights."

National Organization to Reform Marijuana Laws (NORML)

  • "NORML's mission is to move public opinion sufficiently to legalize the responsible use of marijuana by adults, and to serve as an advocate for consumers to assure they have access to high quality marijuana that is safe, convenient and affordable."

Marijuana Policy Project (MPP)

  • MPP and MPP Foundation envision a nation where marijuana is legally regulated similarly to alcohol, marijuana education is honest and realistic, and treatment for problem marijuana users is non-coercive and geared toward reducing harm.

Common Sense for Drug Policy

  • "CSDP supports syringe exchanges, the expansion of Methadone and Buprenorphine availability and other public health measures to reduce harm to users and restrict the spread of HIV/AIDS and Hepatitis C. CSDP advocates the regulation and control of marijuana in a manner similar to alcohol and subject to local option. CSDP favors decriminalizing the use of hard drugs and providing them only through prescription. CSDP also advocates clear federal guidelines for the practice of pain management so that physicians need not fear unwarranted law enforcement scrutiny of medical practices."
  • CSDP sponsors Drug War Facts, an online, regularly updated resource featuring documented charts, facts, and figures regarding a wide range of drug-related topics.

Students for a Sensible Drug Policy (SSDP)

  • "Students for Sensible Drug Policy is an international grassroots network of students who are concerned about the impact drug abuse has on our communities, but who also know that the War on Drugs is failing our generation and our society. SSDP mobilizes and empowers young people to participate in the political process, pushing for sensible policies to achieve a safer and more just future, while fighting back against counterproductive Drug War policies, particularly those that directly harm students and youth."

Recommended Books, Videos and Online Resources

  • Edward M. Brecher and the editors of Consumer Reports Magazine, Licit and Illicit Drugs. Originally published in 1972, this bestselling book remains a valuable resource. Still available on Amazon, it can be found online at
  • James P. Gray. Why Our Drug Laws Have Failed and What We Can Do About It: A Judicial Indictment of the War on Drugs(2011)
  • Mark A.R. Kleiman et al., Drugs and Drug Policy: Whatever Everyone Needs to Know. (2011)
  • Michelle Alexander, The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in an Age of Colorblindness.On the New York Timesbestseller list continually since January 2012) For a riveting presentation by Prof. Alexander, see:
  • Movie: "The House I Live In.""From the dealer to the narcotics officer, the inmate to the federal judge, a penetrating look inside America's criminal justice system, revealing the profound human rights implications of U.S. drug policy."
  • Beau Kilmer, et al. Marijuana Legalization: What Everyone Needs to Know (2012).
  • Kevin Sabet, Reefer Sanity: Seven Great Myths About Marijuana(2013). An articulate defense of continued marijuana prohibition by a former senior advisor in the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy.
  • Doug Fine, Too High to Fail: Cannabis and the New Green Economic Revolution(2012).
  • Chasing the Scream: The First and Last Days of the War on Drugs, Johann Hari (Bloomsbury USA, 2015)
  • High Price: A Neuroscientist’s Journey of Self-Discovery That Challenges Everything You Know About Drugs and Society, Carl Hart (Harper Perennial), 2013