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Mailing Lists

DrugSense hosts a number of mailing lists, also known as listserves, for various international, national, regional and topical focus groups.

What is a mailing list?


A mailing list is simply a single email address which redirects mail to many other email addresses. To be a bit more precise, an automated process accepts mail sent to that address, processes it, and resends it to a list of addresses. Internet mailing lists are most often used for discussion groups centered on a specific topic, in which case every subscriber can post to the list. For newsletter distribution, only the author can post and the subscribers just read.

An Internet mailing list IS NOT a collection of email addresses sold for the purpose of solicitation (as the term is normally used in advertising).

An Internet mailing list IS a group of people who have voluntarily joined together to discuss or receive information on a subject of common interest. The key word is "voluntarily". For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.

How do I subscribe and unsubscribe?

To subscribe to (or unsubscribe from) any DrugSense mailing list, use our handy online form or send a message to containing the command:

subscribe <listname>
unsubscribe <listname>


Subject: doesn't matter

subscribe dpfca

What lists does DrugSense host?

Many of the lists we host are listed here.

What is a "private" list?

Many of the mailing lists hosted by DrugSense are not open to the public. Requests for subscription should usually be sent to the mailing list owner. Most of the lists offer explanatory web pages and a few provide online forms for subscription requests.

What is a "one-way" list?

To reduce list volume, a few of the mailing lists hosted by DrugSense will not accept messages from subscribers. Some are "moderated", meaning, selected messages from subscribers are forwarded to the list by the list owner. Other one-way lists simply provide periodic news and updates from the list owner.

What is a "digest"?

A digest is a periodic compilation of list messages. In the case of the DrugSense lists, the digests are actually separate mailing lists. Email sent to the list is compiled in the list's digest and sent out to digest subscribers in a single email containing between three to ten list messages.
Digests are recommended for people with Email management problems and for "lurkers", subscribers who read more than they write. Digest frequency is a function of list volume. If the list is busy, one or more digests may be sent out per day. If the list is not busy, the digest may go out every few days so digest subscribers risk being a bit behind list subscribers.
If you are on a list and would like to switch to the digest, unsubscribe from the list before subscribing to the digest. Similarly, if you are subscribed to a digest and would like to switch to the list, first unsubscribe from the digest.

Are list messages archived on the website?

Some mailing lists are automatically archived on the DrugSense web site but most are not.

Are there any rules for Subscribers?

Yes. Please see our Terms of Use.

Will DrugSense host my list?

As you can see, we host a number of mailing lists and provide complimentary web space to various groups. We provide these important services free of charge, though we will accept donations.
If you would like to create a regional or topical drug policy forum, please see our order form.

What software do you use?

DrugSense uses Brent Chapman's "Majordomo" mailing list manager, version 1.94.

What commands does Majordomo know?

In the description below items contained in []'s are optional. When providing the item, do not include the []'s around it.

Majordomo understands the following commands:
subscribe <list> [<address>]
Subscribe yourself (or <address> if specified) to the named <list>.
unsubscribe <list> [<address>]
Unsubscribe yourself (or <address> if specified) from the named <list>.
get <list> <filename>
Get a file related to <list>.
index <list>
Return an index of files you can "get" for <list>.
info <list>
Retrieve the general introductory information for the named <list>.
Show the lists served by this Majordomo server.
Retrieve this message.
Stop processing commands (useful if your mailer adds a signature).

What other drug policy organizations provide mailing lists?

The Media Awareness Project provides many topical and regional news lists, and offers a database of other organizations that provide mailing lists.