Monday, November 26, 2012
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.
Monday, November 19, 2012
The idea of developing safer modes of ingestion that drug users will use and appreciate for their own benefit seems to have stopped somewhere with crack cocaine pipes, methamphetamine pipes and intravenous syringes. Harm reduction organizations that distribute these items around the world are welcomed by drug users. Given the health issues that persist for drug users even with brand new clean equipment we have begun to wonder if any funding is being spent on developing new methods of drug delivery? With drug user input?
Friday, November 9, 2012
Find a place to hold a meeting once in awhile. Go to the places where drug users gather and hand out flyers about drug user activism and the time and place of the meeting. Seek allies at social service organizations that cater to drug users, including methadone clinics, needle exchanges, jails and rehabs if possible. Use social networking including the real time face to face kind. Show up at the meeting and see who else does. It might be lonely at first but eventually the group will attract a core group of drug users actively using or not who will be willing to work at changing the status quo.
The rest should be left up to whats fits your individual group and it's circumstances. For example you may have good reason to keep your meetings discreet for members only if you live in a place that has laws against drug users congregating for any reason. As your group grows you will want to have some kind of organizing structure and division of responsibilities. Your groups goals may be very simple at first. Just providing a place where drug users can talk to each other without the shame and guilt machine of abstinence only groups breathing down their necks is a truly helpful and noble endeavor. Get the idea out there any way you can that the stigmatization, discrimination against, and incarceration of drug users is wrong for your community and wrong for humanity. Show the powers that be that we can be a force for good in our communities by promoting positive change in the lives of our fellow drug users.