On May 22, the Drug Policy Alliance (DPA) closed doors at its Denver, Colorado-based office after fighting for drug and cannabis policy reform for several years. The DPA opened its Colorado chapter in 2011, just before voters approved recreational cannabis in the state. DPA members have fought for legislative changes on numerous efforts.
“Since 2011, DPA has been a proud leader in the drug policy reform movement in Colorado. In that time, we have worked hard to ensure that our state’s drug policies are grounded in science, compassion, health and human rights. The drug policy reform conversation has shifted and reached new levels as a result,” DPA Colorado director Art Way said in a statement.
While the reason for closing is unclear, the DPA has refocused efforts in other states with medical or recreational programs that have not matured as Colorado’s industry has. The DPA’s budget also must cover chapters in California, New Jersey, New Mexico and New York.
“It is with great regret that we announce that Drug Policy Alliance has restructured its operations and will be shutting down the Colorado office by the end of the month due to organizational need and budgetary considerations,” Way added. “This is a nationwide restructuring impacting nearly twenty people, and truly a sad day in more ways than one.”
The Drug Policy Alliance was originally founded in 2000 in New York City, New York and is led by executive director Maria McFarland Sánchez-Moreno and funded in part by George Soros. From the beginning, its principal goal is ending the “War on Drugs” in the United States. The organization also promotes responsible drug use through sensible drug policies and promoted diversity within medical and recreational cannabis industries in multiple states. It leaves behind a legacy of grassroots activism and successful drug policy reform.