This week on Century of Lies, drug policy reform moves forward around the world. In the US, Representative Cori Bush (D-MO) and Rep. Bonnie Watson Coleman (D-NJ) introduced the Drug Policy Reform Act on June 15. In Scotland, the Government has introduced a new drugs policy that includes support for supervised consumption facilities. We hear from Angela Constance, Member of the Scottish Parliament and the Scottish Government’s Minister for Drugs Policy, and from Tommy Sheppard, a UK MP for Edinburgh East and member of the Scottish National Party.
The International Network of People Who Use Drugs organized a side event at the recent UN General Assembly High Level Meeting on HIV/AIDS, entitled “The Right to Rights: How do we get there for People who Use Drugs.” On this edition of Century of Lies we hear from two of the speakers: Richard Elliott, Executive Director, HIV Legal Network, and Ernesto Cortes, Secretario, Latin American Network of People who Use Drugs.
This week: Century does psychedelics. We hear from Professor Peter Hendricks, PhD with the School of Public Health at the University of Alabama at Birmingham on special considerations for evaluating psilocybin-facilitated treatments in vulnerable populations; and from Jazmin Pirozek, HBA, MSc on her work developing a traditional medicine strategy for the diabetes epidemic in First Nations communities in Canada.
Harm Reduction International recently organized a panel discussion entitled “Decolonizing drug policy: Dismantling racism and colonialism through drug policy reform.” We hear from some of the speakers including Kojo Koram, a writer, attorney, and lecturer in law at the Birkbeck School of Law; Shaun Shelley, the Policy, Advocacy and Human Rights Manager at TB HIV Care in South Africa; and Tripti Tandon, Deputy Director of the Lawyers Collective.
Australia’s Alcohol and Drug Foundation recently hosted a panel discussion entitled “Impacts of Covid-19 on the drug market: a multi-country multi-study analysis.” On this week’s show we hear from some of the panelists including Dr. Monica Barratt, a social scientist at the Drug Policy Modelling Program, which is part of Australia's National Drug and Alcohol Research Centre at the University of New South Wales; Dr. Laura Garius, a criminologist who is a Policy Lead with the UK nonprofit Release; and Dr. Jack Cunliffe, a Lecturer in Quantitative Methods and Criminology at the University of Kent.
Operation DrugsVote, "Cool Britannia," and organizing people who use drugs: a conversation with Mat Southwell, a UK-based drug policy reform activist who’s a Project Executive with the European Network of People Who Use Drugs (EuroNPUD).
The Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights recently organized a webinar entitled Human Rights In Action: Implementing the International Guidelines on Human Rights and Drug Policy. We hear from two of the speakers: Rodrigo Uprimny, a professor emeritus at the National University of Colombia and Director of the Drug Policy Area for DeJusticia; and Teresa Caeiro, advisor to Portugal’s National Coordinator for the problems of Drugs, Drug Addiction and Alcohol. Plus, Ajeng Larasati, Human Rights Lead at Harm Reduction International, on The Death Penalty for Drug Offenses in the Covid-19 pandemic era.
The Canadian Centre on Substance Use and Addiction hosted a discussion recently entitled Inequities Laid Bare: Responding to Challenges of COVID-19 and Beyond. We hear from some of the speakers including Michael Nurse, a Harm Reduction Outreach Worker with the Black Coalition for AIDS Prevention and the Canadian Association of People who Use Drugs; Mae Katt, a Nurse Practitioner and Addiction Specialist with the Thunderbird Partnership Foundation; and Lisha Di Gioacchino with the Community Addictions Peer Support Association.
On this edition of Century: Addressing the harms of criminalization and policing with criminal justice and drug policy reform. The nation of Norway along with several international NGOs recently held a discussion to to highlight some of the most pressing harms associated with policing and criminalisation, and propose a number of options for criminal justice and drug policy reform grounded in social justice, racial justice and human rights. We hear from panelists Lee Edson P. Yarcia, MD, with NoBox Philippines; and Theshia Naidoo, Managing Director of the Department of Legal Affairs at the Drug Policy Alliance. Plus, Professor Charles Grob, MD, on psilocybin research.
This week on Century of Lies: A discussion about the future of ganja in the Caribbean with Faith Graham, CEO of the Jamaican government’s Cannabis Licensing Authority; Vicki Hanson with the International Center for Cannabis Research, she’s also a PhD candidate in public policy at the University of the West Indies and a member of the board of directors of the International Drug Policy Consortium; and Pien Metaal, Senior Project Officer with the Transnational Institute.
This week on Century: Fentanyl, mandatory minimums, and racism. We hear from Grant Smith, Deputy Director of Drug Policy Alliance Office of National Affairs; Nkechi Taifa, author of a new memoir entitled Black Power, Black Lawyer: My Audacious Quest for Justice, CEO of The Taifa Group, and Convener of the Justice Roundtable; and Hilary Shelton, NAACP senior vice president for advocacy and policy and director of NAACP’s Washington Bureau. Plus the US “Drug Czar,” Regina Labelle, addresses the United Nations Commission on Narcotic Drugs.
Anyone’s Child and the Transform Drug Policy Foundation hosted a webinar recently entitled Take Drugs Seriously: Voices on the ground. On this week’s show we hear from some of the speakers, including Penny McCanny, the mother of Aidan and a campaigner with Anyone’s Child; Peter Krykant, a harm reduction activist from Scotland and the founder of Glasgow’s Safe Injecting Van; and Chris Rintoul, a social worker who works as a drugs and alcohol consultant with Extern, a social justice charity in Ireland. Plus, Vinay Krishnan, national field organizer with the Center for Popular Democracy, on harm reduction, stigma, faith, and public policy.
Katal Center Turns Five The Katal Center for Equity, Health, and Justice turns five this year. To celebrate, they’ve begun hosting a series of public dialogues about the broad themes that drive their work: equity, health, and justice. The first of those dialogues was held March 29. On this edition of Century of Lies we hear from Kenyatta Thompson, Katal Center Director of Organizing; Lorenzo Jones, Co-Founder and Co-Executive Director of the Katal Center; and Kassandra Frederique, Executive Director of the Drug Policy Alliance.
The Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Committee of the UK House of Commons recently held a hearing on The Future of UK Music Festivals. One panel looked at ways to reduce possible drug-related harms, including the possibility of drug safety testing at festivals and other events. This week on Century of Lies we hear from some of the witnesses including Assistant Chief Constable Justin Bibby with the Staffordshire Police, Deputy Chief Constable Jason Harwin with the National Police Chiefs’ Council, and Professor Fiona Measham, PhD, Chair in Criminology at the University of Liverpool and director and co-founder of The Loop.
The state of New Mexico is considering how to authorize and open supervised consumption facilities in that state, we hear from the chief sponsor of House Bill 123, NM State Representative Deborah Armstrong, and Emily Kaltenbach with the Drug Policy Alliance. Plus we hear from Joy Olson, former director of the Washington Office on Latin America, on “Challenges in US/Mexico/Central America Policy at the Beginning of the Biden Administration.”
The Clean Slate NY campaign launched at the end of February. We hear from several members of the coalition including Quintin Cross from the Hudson Catskill Housing Coalition, Zaki Smith from the organization Next 100, the Reverend Kevin Van Hook from Riverside Church in New York City, NY State Senator Jamaal Bailey, Chair of the New York State Senate Codes Committee, and NY State Assembly Member Catalina Cruz, lead sponsor in the Assembly of a bill that would seal and automatically expunge the criminal records of qualifying New Yorkers.
The Association of British Muslims recently held a discussion on drugs policy. On this edition of Century we hear from two of the featured speakers: Neil Woods, formerly an undercover police officer in the UK who is now a leading reform activist and member of the organization Law Enforcement Action Partnership, and Khalid Massud, formerly a police inspector general in Pakistan. Plus, UN Secretary General António Guterres on human rights.
The Washington Legislature is considering House Bill 1499 - Providing behavioral health system responses to individuals with substance use disorder. Their House Public Safety Committee held a hearing on the bill on Feb. 12. On this edition of Century we hear from some of the witnesses who testified, including: Meg Martin, executive director of Interfaith Works in Olympia, Washington; Meta Hogan, program administrator at Gather Church in Centralia, Washington; Adam Cornell, the elected Prosecuting Attorney for Snohomish County, Washington; Dan Satterberg, the elected Prosecuting Attorney for King County, Washington; Ruth Driefuss, former president of Switzerland; Doctor João Goulão, Portuguese Drugs and Alcohol National Coordinator and Director General of the Intervention on Addictive Behaviours and Dependencies General Directorate (SICAD); and Doctor Caitlin Hughes, associate professor of criminology and drug policy at Flinders University in Adelaide, South Australia.
This week on Century: Homelessness and Substance Use. We hear from Geert De Bolle with Housing First LAB in Belgium and Cristiana Merendeiro with Associação Crescer in Portugal. They spoke recently on a webinar held by the European Monitoring Center on Drugs and Drug Addiction entitled “Responding to drugs and homelessness: innovative approaches in Europe.”
This week on Century of Lies: Scotland's First Minister Nicola Sturgeon on harm reduction, supervised consumption facilities, heroin assisted treatment, and the need to end stigma and treat people who use drugs with dignity and respect. Plus, we hear from Dawn Wooten, LPN, a nurse at a detention center in Ocilla, Georgia, who was demoted after raising concerns about inadequate medical care.
This week on Century: Faith, Community, and Harm Reduction. We hear from Naomi Burke-Shyne, Executive Director of Harm Reduction International, about The Global State of Harm Reduction; we hear more about harm reduction from Ricky Bluthenthal, PhD, Associate Dean for Social Justice and a Professor in the Department of Preventive Medicine and the Institute for Prevention Research at the Keck School of Medicine, University of Southern California; plus, some thoughts about recent events from former California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger.
Health Poverty Action recently held a webinar series entitled “A World With Drugs: Legal Regulation Through A Development Lens.” On this edition of Century of Lies we hear a portion of the most recent webinar in that series, which was entitled “Community Participation and Legal Regulation.” Speakers include Ann Fordham, the executive director of the International Drug Policy Consortium, who facilitated the panel; Charan Sharma, a Program Manager with the Drug Use & Harm Reduction Alliance in India; and Emma Campbell, an activist with the Alliance for Choice in Northern Ireland.