In 1995, Thornton founded www.Efficacy-online.org, a non-profit organization, to educate the world about drug policy reform. Thornton retired from Southern New England Telephone Corporation, in Connecticut in 1997 where he was a middle-level manager. Thornton ran for Governor of Connecticut in 2006. He was the first African American candidate to appear on the General Election Ballot for Governor of Connecticut. Thornton has spoken to over 400,000 people on drug reform in some 750 venues all over the US, Australia, Canada, Europe, and New Zealand. He is frequently interviewed on radio programs in man states and is described as "America's foremost anti-Drug War African American activist" by Amherst College's online newspaper.