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    Matt 9:20 am on March 2, 2012 Permalink

    The War on Drugs : Versus Debate : 13th March, 7pm GMT 

    Julian Assange and Richard Branson; Russell Brand and Misha Glenny; Geoffrey Robertson and Eliot Spitzer. Experts, orators and celebrities who’ve made this their cause – come and see them lock horns in a new Intelligence2/Google+ debate format. Some of our speakers will be on stage in London, others beamed in from Mexico City or São Paulo or New Orleans, all thanks to the “Hangout” tool on Google+.

    The web will have its say, and so can you at the event in London. Be part of the buzz of the audience, be part of an event beamed across the web to millions. Come and witness the future of the global mind-clash at the first of our Versus debates, live at Kings Place.

  • avatar

    Matt 4:00 pm on February 10, 2012 Permalink  

    Changing the Frame: A New Approach to Drug Policy in Canada 

    Today, members of the Canadian Drug Policy Coalition (CDPC) released their foundational paper on drug policy reform outlining the Coalition’s vision and plans for creating a new drug policy for Canada.

    The paper, Changing the Frame: A New Approach to Drug Policy in Canada, also calls on the Federal Government and the Senate to take a giant step back from Bill C-10, the Safe Streets and Communities Act, and rethink their approach to Canada’s drug policies for the sake of all Canadians.

    “The research is in. It is clear that the ‘war on drugs’ approach of prohibition, criminalization and incarceration does not work to reduce harms associated with substance use in Canada. Bill C-10 will only exacerbate them, taking us further down a failing path. It is time for a principled, evidence-driven, pragmatic and humane reform of our drug laws and policies,” said Donald MacPherson, Director of the Coalition.

    The CDPC is a new national organization of public health officials, researchers, front-line harm reduction and treatment providers, HIV/AIDS service organizations and people who use drugs who are seeking to engage communities to help chart a new direction.

    “We need to acknowledge the limits of the current approach and that the criminal law deflects attention from getting to the heart of why some people use drugs in a way that causes harm to themselves and to their families and communities. The CDPC strives for a more inclusive society,” said Coalition Chair, Lynne Belle-Isle. “We want to engage Canadians in finding new and innovative solutions to a problem that affects us all.”

    The Coalition held its first two of their planned series of cross-country community dialogues in Vancouver and Edmonton in the fall of 2011. The group is urging broad base citizen participation to explore ideas for reform of Canada’s laws and policies on currently illegal drugs.

    Quebec Conservative Senator Pierre Claude Nolin also indicated his support for the work of the Coalition. “The CDPC’s policy paper and leadership on drug policy reform is an important step forward in engaging Canadians in the process of modernizing our drug policies and legislation,” said Nolin. Senator Nolin strongly opposes the passing of the Safe Streets and Communities Act particularly because it supports continued prohibition of cannabis and further criminalization of young cannabis users.

    To read a copy of Changing the Frame: A new approach to drug policy in Canada, please visit our website,, follow our coverage of the Crime Bill C-10 Hearings here: or join the conversation on our Facebook page and follow the latest related news on Twitter @CanDrugPolicy.

  • avatar

    Matt 11:10 am on September 29, 2011 Permalink  

    Prohibition Documentary 

    Premieres October 2nd, 3rd & 4th, 2011 at 8 PM on PBS


    PROHIBITION is a three-part, five-and-a-half-hour documentary film series directed by Ken Burns and Lynn Novick that tells the story of the rise, rule, and fall of the Eighteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution and the entire era it encompassed.

    Prohibition was intended to improve, even to ennoble, the lives of all Americans, to protect individuals, families, and society at large from the devastating effects of alcohol abuse. But the enshrining of a faith-driven moral code in the Constitution paradoxically caused millions of Americans to rethink their definition of morality.

  • avatar

    MaryJane 9:45 pm on August 29, 2011 Permalink  

    Drug War Facts is Drug Policy Facts 

    The URLs <> and <> can both be used to reference Drug War Facts. In other words, both URLs redirect to <>.

    Two new URLs, same great source of reliable, fact-based information on drugs and drug policy — 1,700+ Facts (direct quotes) drawn from over 800 sources.

  • avatar

    Richard Lake 7:26 am on November 1, 2010 Permalink  

    Alan Randell receives the MAP Published Letters Gold Award 

    Pubdate: Sat, 30 Oct 2010
    Source: Burnaby Now, The (CN BC)
    Copyright: 2010 Alan Randell
    Author: Alan Randell
    Award: With this published letter Alan Randell receives the MAP
    Published Letters Gold Award for 500 published letters


    Dear Editor:

    Re: No easy answers to gang violence, Burnaby NOW, Oct. 20.

    Why do we continue to ban certain drugs when it is crystal clear to
    all but the most stubborn drug war warriors that not only prohibition
    doesn’t work but it causes even more harm – including, of course,
    gang violence – than if the users were left alone.

    Here are some of the reasons:

    . Politicians feel they need scapegoats:

    Human beings are suspicious of strangers or those who are different.
    Thousands of years ago, such feelings may have been a necessary
    factor in survival, but in the modern world, vestiges of this feeling
    still remain and we are all susceptible to urgings from our leaders
    that this or that minority is a deadly threat to society.

    The “good” citizens of Salem hanged innocent “witches.” Hitler
    consolidated his power by urging the majority to hate the Jews. Our
    present political leadership is merely goose-stepping in Hitler’s
    path by distracting the majority away from more serious problems by
    demonizing a vulnerable minority, those who use and/or sell certain
    drugs. Another advantage for the politicians in banning drugs of
    course is that such a strategy calls for bigger and more powerful governments.

    . The media needs scapegoats too:

    Aside from a few token articles, the media supports any program that
    results in people being punished by the law because that is what
    (they think) sells newspapers and increases TV ratings.

    And like the politicians, editors and publishers just love a law that
    enables them to work themselves into a rage about how society is
    going to hell in a hand basket because of a few rotten eggs that
    should be thrown into jail forthwith and the key thrown away.

    Prohibition is perfect for this practice because “it is for the children.”

    . Drug users are a minority:

    The prohibition of alcohol both in Canada and in the U.S., like all
    prohibitions, failed to achieve the hoped for results, but, because
    drinkers were the majority, politicians listened and acted to abolish it.

    Because the number of marijuana users is increasing, that drug may
    well be legalized before long, but the users and sellers of other
    illegal drugs such as heroin and cocaine will have to wait a little
    while longer until their drug is legalized.

    Once marijuana is legalized and it no longer possesses the lure of
    the forbidden fruit, you can be sure the popularity of another
    illegal drug will skyrocket until that drug becomes favoured by the
    majority and is legalized and the whole cycle begins again.

    . The police favour prohibition:

    This is a no brainer, of course. Drug prohibition is the greatest
    police employment booster ever.

    Alan Randell, Victoria

  • avatar

    Matt 12:46 pm on October 21, 2010 Permalink  

    Medical Marijuana Advocate Michelle Rainey Dies From Cancer 

    By Ian Mulgrew, Vancouver Sun

    Michelle Rainey

    Prince of Pot Marc Emery’s ex-business partner and blonde bombshell medical marijuana advocate, Michelle Rainey has died from cancer.

    She had lived with Crohn’s Disease since a teenager and in the last years of her life struggled against melanoma and lymphatic cancer.

    Her husband Jef Tek and mother Emilie were at her side, each holding a hand, when she succumbed Wednesday night in spite of last-ditch, high-dosage experimental cannabis treatment.

    The 39-year-old Rainey was the organizational force behind Emery’s pot-based business empire although their relationship deteriorated and they split after being hit with a 2005 U.S. drug-and-money-laundering indictment.

  • avatar

    Richard Lake 7:05 am on October 14, 2010 Permalink  

    #460 Ways You May Support Prop. 19 Now 

    DrugSense FOCUS Alert #460 – Thursday, October 14th, 2010

    Here are some ways you may support Proposition 19 between now and election day:

    Volunteer for Online Phone Bank Training. Watch this video then go to and signed up. It is an easy
    process. You may call from any state.


    Distribute Proposition 19 endorsements

    Your letters in response to the newspaper articles and opinions are
    an important part of educating the voters. Newspaper clippings about
    Proposition 19 are posted at

    Common Sense for Drug Policy has produced a special edition of Drug
    War Facts for Proposition 19. It is called “Marijuana Facts on Drug
    War Facts” and can be found online in the Drug War Facts Marijuana
    chapter at

    DrugSense has endorsed Proposition 19, writing “DrugSense/MAP has
    decided that winning Prop 19 is so crucial that we should take the
    extraordinary step of endorsing it. DrugSense has never endorsed a
    candidate or initiative before. We enjoy our position as being the
    repository of drug policy information and strive to present it in a
    totally non-biased way. We let the facts speak for themselves and
    encourage voters decide their positions based on these facts. But
    upon research and discussion, we agree that Prop 19 is a must win for
    reform; we can’t sit out this election on the sidelines.”

    It’s not what others do – it’s what YOU do.

  • avatar

    MaryJane 3:14 pm on October 10, 2010 Permalink  

    Fact-Based Resource for Media Covering Proposition 19 


    October 7, 2010

    For Further Information:
    Mike Gray, Co-Chair, Common Sense for Drug Policy

    Fact-Based Resource for Media Covering Proposition 19,
    California’s Regulate, Control and Tax Cannabis Act of 2010

    Fact Sheet:

    Los Angeles, CA: Common Sense for Drug Policy has produced a special edition of Drug War Facts for the media covering Proposition 19, the Regulate, Control, and Tax Cannabis Act of 2010 initiative in California. It is called “Marijuana Facts on Drug War Facts” and can be found online in the Drug War Facts Marijuana chapter at

    “The debate on whether to tax and regulate marijuana should be a fact-based one so that California can develop the most effective policy,” said Mike Gray, co-chairman of Common Sense for Drug Policy. “It is too easy when it comes to marijuana for people to lose sight of what is true and what is false, what is myth and what is reality. We are providing this resource to the media to make sure the debate remains elevated to fact-based information.”

    The special edition, edited by Mary Jane Borden, includes sections on: usage rates, the effect of decriminalization on marijuana use, arrest rates, the deterrent effect of criminalization, the cost of enforcement, and potential tax revenues from legalization, among other issues. A few samples include:

    • Do criminal penalties deter marijuana use? Despite a federal ban and criminal penalties that vary among the 50 states, 104 million Americans are estimated to have tried marijuana at least once according to 2009 data, up by +10% from 95 million in 2002. SAMSHA, 2010.
    • Does marijuana increase healthcare costs? “[D]irect alcohol-related health care costs ($3,306.2 million in Canada) are over 45 times higher than the direct health care costs of cannabis ($73 million).” Canadian Centre on Substance Abuse, 2007.
    • Does marijuana cause cancer? “[W]e found no positive associations between marijuana use and lung or UAT cancers … Despite several lines of evidence suggesting the biological plausibility of marijuana use being carcinogenic, it is possible that marijuana use does not increase cancer risk …” Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention, 2006.

    Drug War Facts provides facts, citations, and links to their sources without any rhetoric or argument so that media covering Proposition 19 can do so based on the facts, not on mistaken claims. Produced by Common Sense since 1995, no cited fact has been found to be inaccurate.

    Drug War Facts is consistently updated throughout the year and periodically published. It is available at


    Common Sense for Drug Policy is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to reforming drug policy and expanding harm reduction. CSDP disseminates factual information and comments on existing laws, policies and practices. CSDP provides advice and assistance to individuals and organizations and facilitates coalition building.

  • avatar

    Matt 10:44 am on June 19, 2010 Permalink  

    Job Announcement: Internet Communications Associate, Washington, DC 

    The Drug Policy Alliance has an opening for an Internet Communications Associate, working as a member of the communications team to begin August 2nd, 2010.

    Based in DPA’s Office of National Affairs in Washington, DC, the Internet Communications Associate is part of DPA’s Communications team. This position requires the candidate live in the Washington DC area. Telecommuting will not be considered.

  • avatar

    Matt 12:12 pm on June 14, 2010 Permalink  

    New Directions Conference:A Public Health and Safety Approach to 

    New Directions Conference, June 17 in Washington, DC: A Public Health and Safety Approach to Drugs

    Leaders in Public Health, Law Enforcement, Treatment and Criminal Justice Reform will Meet to Chart a Public Health Course to Address Drug Use

    An unprecedented collection of service providers, law enforcement officials, public health and community advocates will come together to chart a new course in U.S. drug policy at the *New Directions Conference* on Thursday, June 17 in Washington, DC. The event will take place from 8:45 a.m.-5 p.m., in Room B338 of the Rayburn House Office Building.

    Drug policy experts from across the country will address strategies for expanding treatment, coordinating prevention and enforcement, implementing overdose prevention and other harm reduction measures during the day-long conference.

    When asked about the war on drugs on the campaign trail President Barack Obama said, “I believe in shifting the paradigm, shifting the model, so that we focus more on a public health approach [to drugs].” Polls show the American people agree. President Obama’s drug czar, Gil Kerlikowske, told the Wall Street Journal last year that he doesn’t like the term “war on drugs” because “[w]e’re not at war with people in this country.” Yet for the tens of millions of Americans who have been arrested and incarcerated for a drug offense, U.S. drug policy is a war on them—and their families. What exactly is a public health approach to drugs? What might truly ending the war on drugs look like?

    (More …)

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