The war on drugs, like the war on terror, is proving a dear and dreary struggle against faceless enemies on shifting terrain. […] More illegal substances are produced in the country in which they are consumed, whether cannabis in London or ecstasy and crystal meth in Indonesia. Fast-changing designer drugs are marketed before regulators have figured out whether to outlaw them, and the line between using drugs to combat medical conditions and taking them simply to improve performance—in exams, sports or sex—is increasingly blurred. Against a backdrop of violence in producer countries such as Mexico and Colombia, and mass incarceration in consumer countries including America and Britain, the argument over what to do about drugs is escalating.
This whole thing of the, this ‘war on drugs,’ and the mass incarcerations that have happened pretty much for the last 40 years has just decimated the black male population. It’s slavery, it is just, it’s just slavery through and through, and it’s just the same fear of the black male that existed back in the 1800s.
Nice People Take Drugs | The Huffington Post (January 2011)
There is something simple and powerful about the Nice People Take Drugs campaign. Right off the bat, it challenges people to think about their image of drug users.
[…] We have to learn how to live with drugs, because they aren’t going anywhere. Drugs have been around for thousands of years and will be here for thousands more. We need to educate people about the possible harms of drug use, offer compassion and treatment to people who have problems, and leave in peace the people who are not causing harm. And we need to take action against the incarceration of so many of our brothers and sisters who are suffering behind bars because of the substance that they choose to use.
Nice People Take Drugs. That’s why the war on drugs is a war on us.
Five billboards around New Jersey’s MetLife Stadium will show ads promoting marijuana as safer than either football or alcohol, in time for the Super Bowl on Sunday. The Denver Broncos and Seattle Seahawks will face off in the first “Marijuana Bowl” or “Super Oobie Doobie Bowl" representing the only two states in the nation to have legalized recreational marijuana.
The group behind the billboards, Marijuana Policy Project, was deeply involved in getting pot legalized in Colorado. They also launched a petition calling for the NFL to reduce penalties for players caught using the drug.
Looking for the billboards? Find their locations here.
Riding the Current Evidence
6th Annual Canadian Students for Sensible Drug Policy (CSSDP) National Conference
November 22-24th 2013
SFU Vancouver, Harbour Centre
515 West Hastings
The Canadian Students for Sensible Drug Policy is excited to announce its 6th Annual National Conference, “Riding the Current Evidence”. This year’s conference will be focussed on moving towards an evidence-based and health oriented approach to drug policy reform. Held in the beautiful downtown Vancouver, the conference will feature keynote speakers, panel discussions, interactive workshops, community tours and films exploring post-prohibitionist policies. Hosted by Simon Fraser University, the conference will bring together students, service providers, policy makers, educators and activists alike for an exciting and inspiring weekend!
In spite of overwhelming evidence supporting ending drug prohibition, policy makers in Canada continue to enforce harmful drug policies based on ideology. Our goal is to give youth and students access to information on the best practices and evidence regarding drug policy. We aim to provide support, opportunities for skill building and networking to effectively and meaningfully engage in political processes - whether on a local, provincial or federal level. Conference attendees will also learn about the impact drug policies have on communities across Canada and how these policies intersect with other social issues including housing, the environment, poverty, racism and colonization.
Breakfast and lunch will be provided on both days.
Drug Policy Alliance
Canadian Drug Policy Coalition
Canadian Harm Reduction Network
Friday November 22nd
4pm-6pm Drug Policy Community Tours
Register Free Online: ridingthecurrent.eventbrite.ca
DTES Walking Tour with Donald MacPherson and Liz Evans
Meet at InterUrban 1 E. Hastings by Carrall
SensibleBC Bus Dispensary Tour with Dana Larsen SOLD OUT
The Medical Cannabis Dispensary (880 East Hastings Street)
Meet Downstairs by the SensibleBC Bus
6pm Registration - SFU Harbour Centre
7pm Opening Keynotes:
Jessica Danforth, Native Youth Sexual Health Network
National Youth Coordinator, Canadian Aboriginal AIDS Network (CAAN)
When Drug Policy Reform Isn’t Enough:
Colonialism, Resistance, and Not Being ‘At Risk’ All By Ourselves
Donald MacPherson, Canadian Drug Policy Coalition
Building Alliances: Drug Policy Reform Across the Americas
8pm Social: Talented Tongues YouthCO @ 568 Seymour Street, Vancouver
Saturday November 23rd
9am Insite for Community Safety Tour 47 Cordova St W
9am-10am Registration and Breakfast
10am Morning Keynote:
Liz Evans, ED of PHS Community Services Society
Insite for Community Safety: 10 Years of Resistance
11:30am Concurrent Sessions
1. Workshop: Media Activism and Drug Policy Reform
2. Panel: For Us, By Us: People Who Use Drugs Unite
3. Panel: Indigenizing Harm Reduction
1:00 pm Lunch
2:00pm - Keynote: Dana Larsen, Sensible BC
Moving from Decriminalization to Legalization
3:30pm Concurrent Sessions
1. Workshop: Using Art to Build Harm Reduction - Highlighting Our Relationships to Body, Land, Community and Family as Harm Reduction for Indigenous Youth
2. Panel: What’s next for Cannabis Policy in Canada
3. Panel: Nightlife Harm Reduction
3. Panel: Opiate Substitution Therapy & Human Rights
5pm Closing Reflections
5:30 CSSDP Annual General Meeting
Sunday November 24th
10:00am Opening Panel: What’s next for Drug Policy Reform in Canada?
11:30am Concurrent Sessions:
1. Workshop: Crack is Back: Safer Inhalation 101
2. Panel: Psychedelics and Healing
3. Panel: Youth-led Peer Education
2pm Keynote: Missi Woodridge, Executive Director, DanceSafe
Evidence-based Nightlife Harm Reduction in North America
3:30pm Concurrent Sessions
1. Workshop: Pill Testing 101
2. Harm Reduction: from Research to Practice
3. Supervised Injection: Sanctioned and Unsanctioned
5pm Conference Closing Reflections
The nearest SkyTrain station for SFU’s Vancouver campus is Waterfront Station, which is a brief walk from Harbour Centre, Wosk Centre, Segal Graduate School of Business and the Goldcorp Centre for the Arts.
Waterfront Station is also served daily by SeaBus from North Vancouver. The West Coast Express commuter train travels to downtown Vancouver from Mission, Port Haney, Maple Meadows, Pitt Meadows, Port Coquitlam, Coquitlam Central and Port Moody during peak hours, Monday through Friday. See www.westcoastexpress.com for a complete schedule. Current schedules, route maps and fares for bus, SkyTrain, SeaBus and West Coast Express services are available at TransLink.