Drug Policy Reform: Have We Won Yet?

Last month more than 1,000 drug policy reformers gathered in Denver, Colorado, to count their victories.

Activists from Washington and Colorado celebrated the passage of the first marijuana regulatory systems in the world. Public health experts from New Zealand shared a bold new approach to legal highs that is poised to curb the explosion of designer drugs appearing on the market. And a number of public officials described the effects of pioneering programs like safe consumption facilities, peer-based naloxone distribution, and alternatives to incarceration for minor drug offenses.

The victories celebrated in Denver are historic and the key to these successes have been the movement’s rich diversity. Groups who support drug policy reform range from students to scholars, from parents to police, from religious leaders to rap artists.

All of these voices were represented in Denver.

Please watch highlights from the 2013 International Drug Policy Reform Conference prepared by the HCLU’s Drugreporter film team and share with your networks.

We need you to communicate with your networks to help us advance better drug policies. The conference in Denver showed us how far we’ve come. But there’s still a long way to go before we can truly claim the drug war is over.

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i support drug policy reform

the destruction that the moralists have reined upon society is staggering, them along with self serving law enforcement, drug and beer companies, prisons, lawyers, drug testing businesses, the list goes on. these groups are the real terrorists. actually, throw in the bankers, politicians..
god, no wonder we need drugs.

Drug taking and selling should be decriminalised; it is the only way to stop the rampant crime associated with drug dealing and taking; all governments need to realise that criminalise this behaviour just drives it underground and leads to all the terrible things that get done; look what happened when the criminalised alcohol selling and drinking in the USA? They don't appear to have learnt anything from that experiment; let them be sold legally, the government can then collect taxes from their sale which can then be put into rehabilitation services. It's a no brainer.

Thanks Jennifer! I couldn't agree more. Even countries that haven't decriminalized all drugs and have taken a more public health model instead (such as Switzerland) have had way better results than harshly criminalized environments like the US. But regulatory/taxation models are gaining steam! Hopefully some other models for harder drugs, like the Swiss, will attract some scrutiny as well.

Our organization, the Mississippi Immigrants Rights Alliance (MIRA) held our 7th Annual Unity Conference on November: "Crimmigration: the Tragic Consequences of US Drug Policies on Families and Youth." The conference featured Javier Sicilia who is leading the Movement for Peace with Dignity and Justice in Mexico and Michelle Alexander, author of the New Jim Crow, Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness. This is an effort to connect the struggles in the US, Mexico and Central America against the so-called war on drugs and create an understanding in both countries of its devastating effects and engage in unified action. It was held in Jackson, Mississippi and attracted some 250 participants.

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