Love Fest in Denver at International Drug Policy Reform Conference
By STEVE COLLETT | Published on SteveCollett.com
There is a love fest going on in Colorado. It is a gathering of diverse people concerned about mass incarceration, public health, public safety, international violence, wasted tax dollars and human dignity.
Attendees of the International Drug Policy Reform Conference in Denver consider failed drug policies to be a major contributor not only to mass incarceration, but of gun violence, gangs, deficits, poverty, discrimination, inequality, violations of rights against search and seizure, higher taxes, joblessness, and endangerment to health and safety of children.
In the words of Drug Policy Alliance Executive Director Ethan Nadelmann, the group includes “those who love drugs, those who hate drugs, and those who don’t give a damn about drugs” but think there must be a better way to deal with drugs in our society.
The solutions include a wide range of alternatives within a spectrum of draconian prohibition and full legalization.
Attendees are from all over the globe, and include a significant contingent from Mexico, led by Javier Sicilia, the great Mexican poet whose son was killed in drug related violence in Mexico, leading to a 20,000 person protest in Mexico City and a 2012 Caravan for Peace across the United States.
Presenters include A New Way of Life Re-entry Project founder Susan Burton, who just days earlier sponsored the successful Justice on Trial Film Festival at Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles.
Attendees include representatives of Law Enforcement Against Prohibition (LEAP), Moms United to End the War on Drugs, harm reduction advocates, health care leaders, opponents of mass incarceration, civil rights advocates, Students for Liberty and Students for Sensible Drug Policy.
Also attending are a growing contingent of fiscal conservatives, who recognize the failure of existing drug policies to curb drug use and the enormous waste of tax dollars that results.
Objectives include compassionate treatment of drug users, consistent with public health and safety, and an end to the criminalization of people for what they choose to do with their own body.
The event is a love fest among health care reformers, libertarians, and human rights advocates.
More information can be found at www.reformconference.org.