Know Drugs Update – July 2011

Know Drugs Update – July 2011

Posted On: July 21, 2011
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We’ve published a range of videos now so that people can get an idea of what Know Drugs is about: we want to share the whole spectrum of experience when it comes to use of and attitudes to drugs. Our interviews include people with both positive and negative drug experiences, people who are experts or campaigners in some aspect of drug use and people who choose not to use any kind of drug at all. We think it’s important that a range of stories on this subject is told and the focus is not only on the hysterical or sensationalist.

Another way in which we differ from traditional media outlets is that all Know Drugs’ interviewees approve their interview in full before they are published. We feel this contributes to the integrity of the the project and enables people revealing complex viewpoints or sensitive information about themselves to be fully empowered in this process. Our aim is not to catch interviewees out, but to allow them to express their beliefs and opinions as fully as possible. We occasionally put opposing views to interviewees but we see more value in letting people express their view as fully as possible than in deconstructing a person’s argument on points of detail. We trust you, our viewers to have the judgment to decide for yourselves if you think a person’s viewpoint is flawed and we are always delighted when you post comments challenging others’ views and sharing your own.

‘After the war on drugs: envisioning a post prohibition future’
Know Drugs are co-creating a symposium with Open Democracy and the Exile Nation Project, entitled ‘After the war on drugs: envisioning a post prohibition future’. This will take place on 16th and 17th September 2011 in London. It will comprise interactive art pieces, film screenings and a day of talks with question & answer sessions.

The symposium is a chance to step beyond the “legalise vs ban” debate and to go into more depth on what the options around regulation of ALL drugs might mean. We are inviting speakers who will examine various different aspects of the subject including
*how regulation could be implemented – for example how each drug would be managed differently
*how policing and crime might change if drugs were properly regulated
*whether only possession of drugs should be decriminalised or whether that should extend to sale and beyond
*how drug treatments would be researched and administered in a society where drugs were regulated
*how addicts and those in difficulties with drugs would be affected
*what the likely impact on recreational drug users would be
*how drug education could be handled differently

One of the things Know Drugs keeps on learning is just how much debate there is even among those who agree Prohibition is no longer working. In fact, that’s just the starting point for a whole new set of challenges for society. For this reason, we wanted to be part of a day exploring the theories of those whom ‘drug preventionists’ argue all think the same thing.

Speakers from Transform, Release, The International Drug Policy Consortium and The UK Harm Reduction Alliance will all be taking part – with more to be confirmed in the near future.

Tickets for this event will be on sale soon. Keep an eye on Know Drugs’ Facebook page for information.

Know Drugs are equally as interested in participating in conferences which explore the benefits of Prohibition and anyone thinking of putting together such an event and interested in our involvement should e mail [email protected]

Next week’s Know Drugs’ Interview
Next week, we will be publishing a video interview with Steve Rolles, Senior Policy Analyst at Transform Drug Policy Foundation. Steve is a field leader in how the world might look if drug laws were changed and prohibition removed. If you haven’t had time to read his ‘Blueprint for Regulation’ – watch this interview to get an idea of some of the work he’s done in looking at possible scenarios and outcomes.

The Secret Garden Party
This weekend Know Drugs’ Creative Director Cara Lavan will be speaking at the Secret Garden Party after a screening of the new film ‘Cocaine Unwrapped’.  If you’re at SGP (and feeling remotely capable at that time of day), come along to the Forum Stage on Saturday at 11am to watch the film or at 12.45pm for the discussion.

Film Screenings
From the autumn, we’ll be screening drug related films and hosting discussions in London. If you’d like to do similar wherever you are based, we’d love to help you do that in any way we can.

Finally – thank you so much for your on-going support of and interest in the project. We really appreciate the feedback you send through: it helps us direct the project and keep driving it forward.

Many thanks

Cara and the Know Drugs Team