Her Work Is Changing The Scope Of Drug Criminalization In America

Silhouette of person smoking
Zain Murdock
April 30, 2021

We need to know Kassandra Frederique’s name. The executive director of the Drug Policy Alliance, she’s responsible for cutting New York marijuana arrests by OVER 99% since 2010. And she hasn’t stopped there.

Because of Frederique, Oregon passed a 2020 bill to decriminalize drug possession of all drugs – the first state to do so! This means that Oregon can NOT send you to jail for possessing drugs. Instead, you can choose between attendance at an addiction recovery center or a $100 fine. 

Here’s why this needed to happen.


When we have a system that treats drug use as a criminal problem, instead of a public health problem, Black people suffer. From torture mechanisms in prisons, families being broken apart, to unemployment and homelessness, the cards are stacked against Black drug users who might need help.

Frederique calls American drug policy “a master class in white supremacy policymaking.” And our taxpayer money funds all of this! We can take more than a few notes from her.

Kassandra Frederique assessed our criminal legal system for what it is, and worked to imagine something greater: a system that provides support and rehabilitation for our people, not criminalization and exploitation. And she refuses to take no for an answer! Moving forward, let’s all do the same.

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