The Drug Policy Alliance, one of Colorado’s most vocal drug-reform organizations over the past decade, is closing the doors of its state office on May 22.
A proponent of drug and marijuana policy reform, the DPA opened a Colorado chapter in 2011. That office played a part in legalizing recreational pot statewide in 2012, and also worked on numerous efforts at the city and state levels, including during the most recent legislative session.
This year alone, the DPA helped push successful bills that would further decriminalize drug possession, expand medical marijuana access for autism patients and those looking for opioid alternatives, and create more diversity in the state’s medical and recreational marijuana industries.
“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 announcing the Colorado chapter’s closure.
“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,” he continues. “This is a nationwide restructuring impacting nearly twenty people, and truly a sad day in more ways than one.”
Outside of marijuana policy reform, the DPA has advocated for progressive drug policies involving harm reduction and criminal-justice reform, such as supervised injection sites and the state’s law enforcement assisted diversion (LEAD) program, a pre-booking diversion initiative intended to end criminal recidivism.
According to Way, the closure came as the organization restructures its budget and resources, which also must cover chapters in California, New Jersey, New Mexico and New York.