The Academy has a long and distinguished history in the world of drug policy that began with the publication of our pioneering “Laguardia Report” in 1944. It was the first to challenge a range of negative common assertions and beliefs about the dangers of marijuana.

We continue to do innovative work in substance use policy. In partnership with the Drug Policy Alliance (DPA), the Academy develops and supports new approaches, including those explored in the Academy report, “Blueprint for a Public Health and Safety Approach to Drug Policy.”

The Academy was instrumental in the historic reform of New York State’s Rockefeller Drug Laws which, for more than 35 years, required judges to impose harsh mandatory minimum prison sentences on drug offenders. Building on this successful effort, the Academy and DPA conducted community consultations across the state with stakeholders ranging from community residents and people who use drugs to treatment providers and heads of tenant associations. This research was the basis for the Blueprint. It offers concrete recommendations for implementing a public health and safety approach to drug policy. 

Download the Report