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  1. source
    View attachment 29313 On Friday November 2 The Drug Policy Alliance (DPA), the nation's leading organization promoting alternatives to the drug war grounded in science, compassion, health and human rights, will host its fifth re:FORM, art auction and cocktail benefit at C24 Gallery in New York City. Contributing artists of this event will include Louise Lawler, Donald Baechler, Swoon and include over 50 other artists.

    re:FORM is inspired by artists who have used art as a vehicle for social change. This is a concept that I strongly believe in as a visual artist who has been using the vehicle of art to fight the war on drugs. Following four successful art events which have featured supporters like Darren Aronofsky, Peter Lewis, George Soros and Elizabeth Sackler, who have served as event leaders for past New York re:FORM auctions, Paulette Cole, CEO and creative director of ABC Home, Richard Branson and Deepak Chopra have joined as co-chairs for this re:FORM art auction.

    Richard Branson, founder of the Virgin Group, who has been an outspoken advocate against the war on drugs, has stepped forward in his ongoing contention that the drug war is a failure and has joined DPA in support of this event. Branson is a member of the Global Commission, a group of world leaders which issued an historic report that maintained that the global war on drugs has failed, with devastating consequences for individuals and societies around the world.

    Branson is joined by Deepak Chopra, who is the author of Spiritual Solutions and more than 60 books translated into over 35 languages, including numerous New York Times bestsellers in both the fiction and nonfiction categories. He is founder of The Chopra Foundation. Time magazine heralds Deepak Chopra as one of the top 100 heroes and icons of the century and credits him as "the poet-prophet of alternative medicine."

    The Drug Policy Alliance is leading the way to advance policies and attitudes that best reduce the harms of both drug use and drug prohibition, and to promote the sovereignty of individuals over their minds and bodies. Few public policies have undermined fundamental civil rights and liberties, social justice and public health to such an extent as the drug war. The U.S. now has the highest incarceration rate in the world -- one adult American out of every 100 is currently behind bars. Representing less than five percent of the world's population, the U.S. holds close to 25 percent of the world's incarcerated population. More than half a million people are behind bars for nothing more than nonviolent drug law violations. Over 750,000 Americans were arrested last year for simple marijuana possession alone. The drug war even targets sick and dying Americans, thousands of whom are regularly denied access to medical marijuana, despite its proven medical benefits for the treatment of a wide range of serious illnesses and conditions.

    Anthony Papa, Manager, Media Relations, Drug Policy Alliance. 29th October 2012.
    Huffington Post.


  1. talltom
    Depak Chopra Joins Movement to End War on Drugs

    Physician, bestselling author and global thought leader Deepak Chopra has joined the Honorary Board of the Drug Policy Alliance, the U.S.-based organization that leads the flourishing movement for drug policies grounded in science, compassion, health and human rights.

    The DPA Honorary Board (see below) includes prominent figures from both the left and the right who are renowned for their leadership in the fields of law, health, business, media and politics – from Richard Branson, Arianna Huffington, and Sting to former U.S. Secretary of State George P. Shultz, U.S. Secretary of Defense Frank Carlucci, and Chairman of the U.S. Federal Reserve Paul Volcker.

    Chopra is an Indian-American physician who has sold more than 20 million books worldwide, including 19 New York Times bestsellers. He is a former chief of staff at New England Memorial Hospital who went on to found the Chopra Foundation, the Chopra Center for Well-Being and the American Association of Ayurvedic Medicine. He currently serves as Senior Scientist at the Gallup Organization and as an Adjunct Professor of Executive Programs at the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University.

    Chopra wrote passionately in the Huffington Post earlier this year about the moral dimensions of the war on drugs and mass incarceration:

    “When was the last time Congress or the states looked at prisons with a moral eye? America leads the world in the number of people incarcerated, more by percentage of population than in Stalin's gulag. A vast disproportion are black. A huge number are nonviolent drug offenders, often condemned to outrageous time behind bars thanks to draconian state and federal laws with mandatory sentencing. A recent New Yorker article [5] that outlined the grim statistics of overcrowding and skyrocketing expense called our prison system America's moral shame.”

    Chopra emphasized the drug war’s vastly disparate effect on communities of color:

    “Then there is the plight of black America. Dry statistics speak of soaring unemployment, crime, and family breakdown. In the African American community, actual community is hard pressed to survive. Poverty is endemic. Seventy-five percent of black babies are born to single mothers. More young black males are in jail than in college. A hugely disproportionate number of black drug users and dealers are arrested and sent to jail compared to their white counterparts, even though actual drug usage is no higher in the black community.”

    Deepak’s passion and thoughtfulness in articulating the moral urgency of drug policy reform provides this burgeoning movement with an ally of enormous significance.

    Something that most people might not know about the drug policy reform movement is the broad range of support it enjoys from people all across the political and cultural spectrums. Its supporters run the gamut from social justice activists, public health officials, progressives, libertarians, and academics, to law enforcement, judges, conservatives, elected officials, and religious leaders, to active drug users, people in recovery, currently and formerly incarcerated people, and the loved ones of victims of HIV/AIDS, fatal drug overdoses, and prohibition-related violence. These people might not agree on much, but they all agree on one thing – that the war on drugs is doing far more harm than good.

    DPA Honorary Board

    Former Mayor Rocky Anderson
    Harry Belafonte
    Richard Branson
    Former Defense Secretary Frank Carlucci
    Deepak Chopra
    Congressman John Conyers, Jr.
    Walter Cronkite [1916-2009]
    Ram Dass
    Dr. Vincent Dole [1913-2006]
    Former President of Switzerland Ruth Dreifuss
    Former Surgeon General Joycelyn Elders
    U.S. District Court Judge Nancy Gertner
    Former Police Chief Penny Harrington
    Former President of the Czech Republic Václav Havel [1936-2011]
    Calvin Hill
    Arianna Huffington
    Former Governor Gary Johnson
    U.S. District Court Judge John Kane
    Former Attorney General Nicholas deB. Katzenbach [1922-2012]
    Former Police Chief Joseph McNamara
    Former Police Commissioner Patrick V. Murphy [1920-2011]
    Dr. Beny J. Primm
    Dennis Rivera
    Former Mayor Kurt Schmoke
    Dr. Charles Schuster [1930-2011]
    Alexander Shulgin
    Former Secretary of State George P. Shultz
    Russell Simmons
    U.S. District Court Judge Robert Sweet
    Former Chairman of the Federal Reserve Paul Volker

    Jag David
    November 29, 2012

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