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Gabriel Sayegh
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Gabriel Sayegh is the director of the Drug Policy Alliance’s New York policy office. Sayegh and his team work in New York City and across the state, partnering with community organizing groups, human service agencies, and researchers to advance drug policies that are guided by science, compassion, health, racial justice and human rights. Recent successes include reform of New York’s draconian Rockefeller Drug Laws and the passage of historic legislation to prevent accidental overdose fatalities. Go to the Drug Policy Alliance for more information.

Entries by Gabriel Sayegh

What Health Care Reform Could Mean for Drug Policy and Mass Incarceration

(1) Comments | Posted December 19, 2013 | 5:35 PM

What does the Affordable Care Act (ACA) mean for drug policy? The impact could be transformative, if reformers seize the moment. A new issue brief -- From Handcuffs to Healthcare -- published by DPA and the ACLU outlines how the ACA could help our country end the war...

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Ending the New Jim Crow: Mapping New Drug Policies in NYC

(6) Comments | Posted November 18, 2013 | 4:36 PM

Earlier this month, New Yorkers elected the self-described progressive -- Bill de Blasio -- as mayor. Now, thanks to an innovative collaboration by foundations and community groups, New Yorkers are engaged in shaping the transition process for the new administration. Talking Transition is an "open conversation about the...

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Is Cuomo Still Committed to Fixing New York's Broken Marijuana Possession Law?

(5) Comments | Posted May 21, 2013 | 5:45 PM

In January of this year, during his 2013 State of the State speech, Governor Andrew Cuomo made a bold call to stop discrimination in New York. "We are one New York, and as one New York we will not tolerate discrimination," he said. He noted the "challenge posed by the...

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40 Years Later: Drug Policy in New York After the Rockefeller Drug Laws

(6) Comments | Posted May 8, 2013 | 4:17 PM

The start of the war on drugs, while generally attributed to President Nixon's declaration in 1971, actually took on its present-day form 40 years ago today -- May 8, 1973. That's when Gov. Nelson Rockefeller signed his eponymous drug laws, implementing a policy regime of criminalization and marking the start...

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Marijuana Arrests in NYC Cost One Million Police Hours

(5) Comments | Posted March 20, 2013 | 12:18 PM

A new report released today by the Drug Policy Alliance and the Marijuana Arrest Research Project documents the astonishing number of hours the New York City Police Department has spent arresting and processing hundreds of thousands of people for low-level misdemeanor marijuana possession arrests over the last 11...

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New York Legislators and Community Groups Hold Urgent Rally to Reform State's Broken Marijuana Possession Law

(12) Comments | Posted March 12, 2013 | 11:06 AM

Today, the New York State Black, Puerto Rican, Hispanic, and Asian Legislative Caucus will gather in the state capitol to demand a fix to New York's broken marijuana possession law. They'll be joined by dozens of advocates and impacted people from around the state who are calling on Gov. Cuomo...

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Gov. Cuomo Calls for Reform: Marijuana Arrests That 'Stigmatize and Criminalize... Must End Now'

(52) Comments | Posted January 9, 2013 | 9:59 PM

In his State of the State address on Wednesday, Gov. Andrew Cuomo made a passionate call to reform New York's marijuana possession laws in order to reduce the enormous number of unlawful, biased, and costly arrests. The governor noted the discrepancy in the law between public and private possession of...

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Saving Lives By Calling for Help: Overdose and Bon Jovi's Daughter

(112) Comments | Posted November 14, 2012 | 8:29 PM

Earlier today, Stephanie Bongiovi, daughter of acclaimed rocker Jon Bon Jovi, was arrested in Kirkland, NY after overdosing on heroin. A student at Hamilton College, Bongiovi was found by emergency personnel in her dorm room, unresponsive but alive. When police arrived, they arrested Bongiovi and another Hamilton student,...

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Gov. Cuomo Signs Law to Help Reduce Overdose Deaths

(9) Comments | Posted July 24, 2011 | 3:53 PM

A national crisis has emerged as the number of overdose deaths from both legal and illegal drugs has skyrocketed. Now New York is taking action to stem the crisis.

Last week, Governor Andrew Cuomo signed bipartisan legislation to reduce preventable overdose fatalities, making New York the most...

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Voters Care About Drug Policies, Not Past Drug Use

(6) Comments | Posted August 16, 2010 | 12:29 PM

There's a change occurring in American politics: Candidates are being more open about past drug use -- and not just marijuana. More politicians are coming clean about their past experimentation with other illegal drugs, including cocaine.

Four of the six candidates for New York attorney general confessed to past drug...

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Smart Solutions to Overdose Can Save Lives

(0) Comments | Posted July 30, 2010 | 1:15 PM

A string of high profile celebrity deaths -- including Heath Ledger and Corey Haim -- have focused attention on accidental drug overdose as a national issue, but New Yorkers need little reminder of the crisis. Accidental overdose deaths in communities from Buffalo to Long Island have spurred discussions about how...

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Censored: Ad Criticizing Mayor Bloomberg for Out of Control Marijuana Arrest Policy is "Too Controversial"

(150) Comments | Posted May 4, 2010 | 1:51 PM

Driving along the Brooklyn Queens Expressway (BQE), you'll see advertisements for just about everything, including alcohol, strip clubs and casinos. But there's one ad you won't see: a rejected billboard highlighting Mayor Bloomberg's marijuana arrests policies in New York City.

Most New Yorkers don't know that last year, the...

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New York City's Massive Marijuana Arrests

(6) Comments | Posted August 26, 2009 | 12:23 PM

New York City remains the marijuana arrest capital of the world, according to an upcoming report by Queens College Professor Harry Levine. In 1993, there were only 900 arrests for possession of small amounts of marijuana, while 40,000 people were arrested in 2008--mostly young Black and Latino men. Dr. Levine...

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