Monday, March 11, 2013

Repost: An Ugly Truth in the War on Drugs

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/03/11/opinion/11iht-edcardoso11.html?smid=pl-share

" it is time for the human rights movement to take a leading role in calling for an end to the war on drugs and the development of drug policies that advance rather than degrade human rights"

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Beyond Harm Reduction: The Drug User Empowerment Movement

     One of the defining characteristics of the term "harm reduction" is that it can subjectively have many multiple meanings to the various groups and individuals involved in it's implementation as a health care strategy. Any treatment center or rehab can claim to be following a "harm reduction policy" despite the mode of treatment they employ being in actuality harmful to drug users including mandatory treatment that is not evidence based (AA/NA), or using psychologically traumatizing "behavior modification" techniques. Fortunately, harm reduction policies and procedures that encourage drug users to be autonomous and advocate for themselves are out there (peer/ drug user run needle exchanges, peer distributed naloxone/Narcan, and peer facilitated support groups for example) and should be encouraged at every level by drug user activists and their allies. The greatest obstacle to the broad implementation of truly helpful to drug users harm reduction policies is of course the systematic persecution of drug users via the enforcement of prohibition. In other words the most effective harm reduction policies will never be put into practice if drug users do not have the right to receive them.
    More to follow....

Monday, January 21, 2013

Call to Action: Free The Half Million Non Violent Drug Offenders In U.S. Prisons Now!

     Go see the film The House I Live In . Once you see the film we hope that you will understand why The Drug User Rights Action Network has determined that the time has come to demand the immediate release of all non-violent drug offenders incarcerated or on probation or parole in the U.S.A. To many this will seem an impossible, even unrealistic goal to even dream of much less speak out loud in this police state for drug users known as the United States of America. On a day of overflowing platitudes about the government taking care of it's citizens there is one very large group of oppressed people who are watching the inauguration (if they are so fortunate to have television) behind bars in cages where they were sent for the sale or possession of plants and chemicals.
     President Obama you are an admitted drug user, you are one of us why do you engage in our persecution? Or is your internalized stigma about the use of drugs so deep that you can ignore the plight of millions of your citizens you are swearing to protect? Is the money from the prison industrial lobby so great it can blind you to the great human tragedy called The Drug War?
Mr. President, if you truly want to be remembered forever as a man of the people, by the people, for the people, legalize drugs and free the half million.

Friday, January 11, 2013

SF Drug Users Union 01/11 by Kenneth Anderson | Blog Talk Radio

SF Drug Users Union 01/11 by Kenneth Anderson | Blog Talk Radio

Our guest is Johnny Lorenz who facilitates the San Francisco Drug Users Union Meetup, where current and former drug users share their successes and failures, and discuss harm reduction strategies they find helpful in moderating their use.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

The Deadly Stigma of Addiction | The Fix

The Deadly Stigma of Addiction | The Fix Fantastic article hits the stigma nail right on the head. Fighting stigma is is one of the primary goals of drug user organizing.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Reality Check for Drug Users and Allies Legal Marijuana Will Not End The Drug War

     Legal marijuana will not end the drug war on users of other substances, not by a long shot. The conditions under which marijuana is defined as legal is also of extreme importance. Until every marijuana conviction currently on record in the U.S.A. is overturned, the prisoners released, and no further arrests are made, or property seized, it's not really legal here. When a marijuana user can face no penalty at all in one state and five years in prison in another for possession of one ounce of dried cannabis flowers there can be no question there is still a great deal of work to be done on behalf of the largest drug user group in america.
     One question that needs to be answered,  is the marijuana legalization movement in favor of the legalization of other substances such as heroin, cocaine and methamphetamine? Their public statements would indicate otherwise. Many times statements have been made that if law enforcement was no longer under pressure to arrest the ever abundant marijuana users they could then concentrate on users and distributors of other substances and that would be considered a benefit to society. By contrast, drug users of other substances who already face barbaric mandatory minimum sentencing, extreme stigmatization, and much less quality control over the substances distributed to them do not consider increased persecution by the criminal justice system to be of any benefit to them at all.
    If marijuana legalization really is to be a stepping stone on the path to ending the drug war then the effects of that legalization on users of other substances need to be considered now. Safe consumption of all drugs including nicotine and alcohol should be a public health priority no matter what is legal and what is not. Drug users and their allies are encouraged by further legalization efforts but see the need to continue to speak as a voice for the users of all substances not just marijuana.