Drug Policy Alliance Closes Colorado Office

Keep Westword Free
I Support
  • Local
  • Community
  • Journalism
  • logo

Support the independent voice of Denver and help keep the future of Westword free.

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. 

Keep Westword Free... Since we started Westword, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Denver, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Denver with no paywalls.

We use cookies to collect and analyze information on site performance and usage, and to enhance and customize content and advertisements. By clicking 'X' or continuing to use the site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. To find out more, visit our cookies policy and our privacy policy.


Join the Westword community and help support independent local journalism in Denver.


Join the Westword community and help support independent local journalism in Denver.