Get Involved

It would be an impossible task to list every honorable non-profit political organization. No organization is solely dedicated to legalizing drugs, gambling, and prostitution. However, many are making an impact in the political process in one way or another. Some of the organizations included in this list have never addressed these issues, but they are battling against the legalized corruption and special interests that are dominating our political system. After researching these groups, you will hopefully find that one or more of these organizations are deserving of your support, time, contributions, and/or membership. Worst case, you may want to sign up for a free newsletter from one of these groups.

 

  • American Civil Liberties Union                      www.aclu.org                                                                                                                                                                                                                        The ACLU was founded nearly 100 years ago.This is a firmly principled organization that is dedicated to upholding our Constitutional rights. The ACLU operates in several capacities, such as lobbying and organizing grassroots activism. However, it is best-known for its staff of attorneys who have filed several lawsuits against the U.S. government to defend against intrusions upon our civil liberties and basic freedoms. The ACLU has also made significant strides in ending the drug war and supports the decriminalization of prostitution.
  • Amnesty International                                                                   www.amnestyusa.org                                                                                                                                                                                                        With over 50 years of experience, Amnesty International is one of the most recognized global activist organizations. Amnesty International often functions as a voice for the voiceless. It is well-known for its efforts to preserve human rights and prevent social injustices, particularly in war-torn nations. In fact, Amnesty International has received the Nobel Peace Prize. Amnesty International made international headlines in 2015 when it officially supported the decriminalization of prostitution.
  • Grassroots Leadership              www.grassrootsleadership.org                                                                                                                                                                                       This organization is dedicated to ending mass incarceration in our country. They provide educational resources, scholarly research, and effectively lobby to disrupt the profit incentives that have created the prison industrial complex.
  • Harm Reduction Coalition                 www.harmreduction.org                                                                                                                                                                                                   Drug addiction needs to be addressed as a public health problem, not as a criminal justice issue. The Harm Reduction Coalition strives to eliminate the stigma associated with drug addiction. They also offer various services to reduce STD's associated with intravenous drug use by providing free needles. In addition, they provide educational training to first responders about the life-saving anti-overdose drug Naloxone. The Harm Reduction Coalition also coordinates with volunteer workers who help sex workers in need of condoms, STD testing, etc.
  • Human Rights Watch                                www.hrw.org                                                                                                                                                                                                                        With nearly 40 years of experience, Human Rights Watch is one of the preeminent social justice organizations. Human Rights Watch has a well-rounded advocacy strategy. That includes publishing several independent reports every year, effective communication with the media, lobbying internationally, and coordinating with local human rights groups. Human Rights Watch has published a variety of reports detailing how drug and prostitution laws have had devastating effects around the world.
  • Institute for Justice                                                                                                                                                                                                         www.ij.org                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   This is a libertarian public-interest law firm. Since its founding in 1991, the Institute for Justice has acted on a pro bono basis for their clients, typically with issues related to economic freedom. Notably, the Institute for Justice has successfully defended their clients from losing their homes in cases where the government abused eminent domain laws. In recent years, this organization has been a leader defending against the corrupt practices of civil asset forfeiture.
  • International Sex Worker Foundation for Art, Culture, and Education                                                                                                                       www.iswface.org                                                                                                                                                                                                                  The founder of this organization, Norma Jean Almodovor, brought many of the related to sex work into the mainstream with her book, Cop to Call Girl. Almodovor has over two decades of experience as a sex worker activist. Notably, her research website, www.policeprostitutionandpolitics.com, is an excellent and fearless source. ISWFACE provide a medium for current, former, and transitioning sex workers to express their voices and artistic talent.
  • Law Enforcement Action Partnership (LEAP)                                                                                                                                      www.lawenforcementactionpartnership.org                                                                                                                                                          LEAP was founded in 2002. This organization consists primarily of current and former law enforcement officers, along with members of the criminal justice system. Members of this organization know the devastating effects of the war on drugs firsthand. In particular, they affirm that the drug war has eroded the public's respect for the rule of law and law enforcement. LEAP provides public awareness and some of their members lobby lawmakers directly.
  • Marijuana Policy Project                        www.mpp.org                                                                                                                                                                                                                      This is the largest organization that is entirely dedicated to ending the prohibition of marijuana. The Marijuana Policy Project (MPP) is the leading lobbying group and has been instrumental in the changes that we've seen at the federal and state level. The MPP even has its own Political Action Committee (PAC), which contributes to like-minded politicians who support the legalization of marijuana. Their contributions help to balance against the overwhelming special interest groups that favor maintaining drug laws.
  • National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML) www.norml.org                                                                                                                                                                                                                          A DC-based attorney, Keith Stroup, founded this organization in 1970 by means of a donation from Hugh Heffner's Playboy Foundation. NORML started as a grassroots organization that eventually developed a groundswell of support among American voters in favor of repealing our marijuana laws. NORML, like the Marijuana Policy Project, also has a Political Action Committee (PAC).
  • Poker Players Alliance                                 www.theppa.org                                                                                                                                                                                                        Congress overreacted to the growing popularity of poker by outlawing Internet gambling in 2006; albeit, this law was passed through extremely deceptive means. Likewise, roughly one out of every two states has laws that ban recreational or social gambling, which involves games among friends with no house edge. Nearly one million members have joined the Poker Players Alliance (PPA) since its founding in 2005 in the quest for common sense reforms. In fact, the first President of the PPA, Michael Bolcerek, joined the organization after finding out that he was conducting illegal activity when he raised thousands of dollars for a local charity with a charity poker tournament. The PPA also has its own Political Action Committee (PAC) and has been at the forefront lobbying for a legal and regulated Internet poker industry. 
  • Public Citizen                                     www.publiccitizen.org                                                                                                                                                                                                         The icon of the Progressive movement, Ralph Nader, founded this consumer rights organization in 1971. Public Citizen hasn't issued specific stances on these three issues (drugs, gambling, and prostitution). In fact, Ralph Nader has lobbied against legal gambling. However, Public Citizen has been the foremost leader battling against the special interests that are dominating our political process. In particular, Public Citizen organizes support for a constitutional amendment to overturn Citizen's United v Federal Election Committee, which allows for unlimited donations from corporations and unions.
  • Red Umbrella Project                 www.redumbrellaproject.org                                                                                                                                                                                            This is a fairly small, regionally-focused, New York-based organization focused entirely on sex worker activism. They act as community organizers and coordinate with volunteer outreach workers. The Red Umbrella Project may be best-known for creating various performance art projects that incorporate sex workers into the acts. In addition, they have published scholarly research on this subject. 
  • Represent.US                                                                                                                                                                                            www.represent.us                                                                                                                                                                                                              This relatively new organization (founded 2011) has over a half million members. Represent.US drafted a model proposal, the American Anti-Corruption Act, to reform our laws for political transparency and campaign financing. Florida became the first state to pass such a measure in 2014 and several states have followed.
  • Sex Workers and Erotic Service Provider Legal, Educational and Research Project eslerp.org                                                                                                                                                                                                                            This is a relatively new sex worker rights organization (founded in 2009), but it has made profound strides in a short period of time. This group filed a lawsuit, ESPLERP VS GASCÓN, against the state of California in the U.S. District Court in San Francisco. Their lawsuit challenges the constitutionality of the state's prostitution laws. 
  • Sex Workers Project at the Urban Justice Center                                                                            www.sexworkersproject.org                                                                                                                                                                                              The Sex Workers Project provides individualized aid for victims of sex trafficking, including housing, legal services, therapy, job services, and more. This organization has a strong advocacy mission that supports the rights of everyone in the sex industry working by choice, circumstance, or coercion. The Sex Workers Project engages in advocacy media campaigns, organizes public support, and trains volunteer workers for harm reduction services. The Sex Worker Project has also published a variety of scholarly research reports.
  • StopTheDrugWar.org (Drug Reform Coordination Network (DRCNet)                                                                           www.StopTheDrugWar.org                                                                                                                                                                                               This organization was founded in 1993 and the name clearly illustrates their ultimate goal. StopTheDrugWar.org is a leader within this social movement, but it is probably best know for its journailistic skills. This organization has published a wealth of scholarly, indepth research over the years and it continues to do so.                     
  • SWOP-USA                                      www.swopusa.org                                                                                                                                                                                                               The first American chapter of this Australian-based organization, SWOP NSW, was formed in 2003 by a tireless activist, Robyn Few. Few had already been a well-known advocate in the San Francisco Bay Area in support of medical marijuana and AIDS patients. Robyn Few, along with other members of SWOP-USA, spearheaded a campaign to add a ballot initiative in Berkley, CA and San Francisco, CA for voters to decide if prostitution should be decriminalized. Both ballot measures were voted down, but these were positive steps in a long journey toward reform. SWOP-USA has expanded nationally with several more chapters and lobbies to increase sex workers' rights and safety.
  • Vote Hemp                                                                                                                                                                                            www.votehemp.com                                                                                                                                                                                                   Common sense is one of the many casualties of the drug war. Hemp contains such low levels of the psychoactive chemical in marijuana, THC, that it is impossible to get high with hemp. Thousands of commercial products can be produced with hemp, but it remains illegal to grow this fantastic natural resource in the U.S. for commercial purposes. Vote Hemp has been the primary advocacy group lobbying to reform these laws, but they're up against an army of special interests, in particular, the DEA. 
  • Wolf PAC                                                                                                                                                                                                                    www.wolf-pac.com                                                                                                                                                                                                                The host of The Young Turks online news website, Cenk Uyger, founded this organization in 2011. The Young Turks is an adamantly Progressive-minded group in which many of their anchors support overturning our drug, gambling, and prostitution laws. However, Wolf Pac is a separate, single-issue organization that is dedicated to removing the corrupting influence of money in politics. Wolf Pac, like Public Citizen, is actively lobbying for a constitutional amendment to end our nation's legalized corruption, including overturning the Citizen's United ruling.
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© Brian Saady