Drug Law Reform Overview

Drug Image...”certain low-level, nonviolent drug offenders who have no ties to large-scale organizations, gangs, or cartels will no longer be charged with offenses that impose draconian mandatory minimum sentences.” 

Remarks by Attorney General Holder at the ABA Delegate Meeting August 12, 2013 on new charging policies at the Justice Department for mandatory minimum drug cases.

For too long the United States has been resolute in the war on drugs that has incarcerated untold numbers of people and devastated families and communities. NACDL is encouraged by the remarks of Attorney General on new charging guidelines for the Department of Justice. Please read our press release here.  For more of Attorney General Holder's speech please read here.


The United States has approximately one quarter of the world’s prison population. One large contributing factor is due to stringent drug laws that are putting large amounts of non-violent offenders behind bars for long periods of time, on the tax-payer’s dollar. With growing support for the legalization of medicinal marijuana, drug law reform is a hot button issue for many states. NACDL fights to prevent discriminatory and disproportionate laws often inherent in many drug laws. Instead of individuals addicted to drugs receiving the help they need, they are often thrown into prisons and forgotten about. Reform is needed in order to ensure that access to treatment is by request and not structured within the criminal justice system.

In addition, in November 2000, NACDL passed a Resolution of the Board of Directors of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers Calling for an End to the War on Drugs.  

NACDL’s Drug Law Reform page provides recent news articles, newly released reports and external resources.


Reports, Papers & Factsheets 

Pending Legislation - Marijuana 

2013 International Drug Policy Reform Conference  

Upcoming Programs


For the third year, NACDL will jointly hold its two highest attended programs, during the same dates, at the same location. NACDL & NCDD's 20th Annual "DWI Means Defend With Ingenuity®" and... NACDL's 9th Annual "Defending the Modern Drug Case" Seminars will be held on September 22-24, 2016 at the Bellagio Hotel, Las Vegas, NV. For more information, click here.

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