Drug Policy Reform

The so-called “War on Drugs” has been an unmitigated disaster for the justice system as a whole, communities of color, low-income communities, and American taxpayers. Courage Campaign organizes in support of state legislation -- The Local Control in Sentencing Act -- that prioritizes rehabilitation and scientifically proven methods for reducing crime, including allowing prosecutors to charge minor, non-violent drug use as a misdemeanor without jail time, helping reduce California's critically overcrowded prisons. We also support the use of medical cannabis and believe the federal government should respect the will of states that choose to legalize it.

Current Actions

Gov. Brown: Don’t veto the California Fair Sentencing Act

This is our LAST CHANCE to rollback California's catastrophic "War on Drugs." Thanks to thousands of Courage members who have been leading the fight for months, the bill to end the racist crack vs. powder cocaine sentencing discrepancy is now sitting on Governor Jerry Brown’s desk! But with the Nov. election around the corner, Gov. Brown might be tempted to veto it. Now more than ever we must join together and speak out as loud as we can to let our governor know where we stand.

End the crack/powder cocaine sentencing disparity in California

Crack and powder cocaine are the same drug, with nearly identical effect on the body. But crack cocaine is punished much more harshly and that doesn’t make any sense. These disparate sentencing guidelines have resulted in a pattern of institutional racism in our prisons. Tell the CA State Senate to pass a historic reform bill that will save taxpayer dollars and make our criminal justice system more fair.

Success Stories

VICTORY: SB 1010 to help end the catastrophic 40 year War on Drugs just passed the CA State Senate!

Thousands of Courage members asked their State Senators to vote YES on SB 1010 by Senator Holly J. Mitchell to end the groundless crack and powder cocaine sentencing disparity in California, and they listened! If this bill becomes law it will help address the institutionalized pattern of racial discrimination in who we send to prison, and will also save tax dollars so they can be spent more wisely on treatment and rehabilitation programs.

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VICTORY: One step away from a major victory against the “War on Drugs”

Because of more than 13,000 Courage Campaign member-activists, the Local Control in Sentencing Act, SB 649, passed the Legislature and is now on Governor Brown’s desk. This historic and bi-partisan drug sentencing reform bill will save taxpayer dollars and reduce overcrowding in our prisons by allowing prosecutors to charge non-violent drug possession as a misdemeanor, rather than as a felony. However, we need your help to push this bill over the finish line.

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VICTORY: One step closer to drug sentencing reform

Thanks to Courage Campaign's work against the so-called "War on Drugs," we're halfway toward passing major drug sentencing reform. Senate Bill 649 passed out of the California Senate. Bill author Sen. Mark Leno brought it to the floor in a surprise move, but everyone in that chamber knew that 10,153 Courage Campaign members were behind it.

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Past Actions

Help us speak truth to power

Governor Brown vetoed a historic, bi-partisan bill that would have begun to rollback California's catastrophic "War on Drugs." In doing so, he confirmed our worst fears that he cares more about appearing "tough on crime" than advancing good solutions for California, as he prepares to run for re-election. The only way we can stand strong and speak truth to power in times like these is if we're financially independent. We can't be beholden to anyone but YOU, our members. Do you have our back?

Gov. Brown: Show your commitment to progressive solutions to prison overcrowding. Sign SB 649.

SB 649 is a historic & bi-partisan drug sentencing reform bill that will save taxpayer dollars and reduce overcrowding in our prisons by allowing prosecutors to charge non-violent drug possession as a misdemeanor, rather than as a felony. Send an email to Gov. Brown urging him to sign SB 649 to help end the so-called “War on Drugs.”

Bring Some Sanity to the "War on Drugs"

Tell Sacramento to pass SB 649 and allow prosecutors to charge non-violent drug possession as a misdemeanor, rather than as a felony. Freeing up taxpayer dollars for drug treatment and reducing prison over-crowding.

Attorney General Eric Holder: Be A Man of Your Word, Stop the Raids!

UPDATE: As of February 2013, the Justice Department continues to raid legal dispensaries. The Justice Department, led by Attorney General Eric Holder, has wasted millions of taxpayer dollars going after dispensaries that are in complete accordance with state law, while Wall Street bankers go free. On June 7th, he testified before Congress: "We limit our enforcement efforts to those individuals, organizations that are acting out of conformity with state law."

Make Sacramento take a step toward ending the War on Drugs

UPDATE: Senate Bill 1506 failed to pass out of the Senate in May of 2012. We will continue to work toward these common sense reforms. Senate Bill 1506 would revise the law to treat the possession of drugs for personal use as a misdemeanor, rather than as a felony.

Bring some sanity to the War on Drugs

The so-called "War on Drugs" has wasted billions of taxpayer dollars, given birth to the prison-industrial complex, and destroyed lives and communities. SB 1506 in Sacramento will begin to reform this corrupt system by making drug possession a misdemeanor rather than a felony. Help pass it!

Build the movement: Pledge to support the cannabis legalization initiative

UPDATE: Proposition 19 failed to pass in November of 2010, but sign this page to receive our updates on state cannibis legislation.