More than 1,000 Meet in Denver to Develop Drug War Exit Strategy As Poll Finds 58% of Americans Want Pot Legalized
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- Join high-level government officials from around the world – including the Guatemalan foreign minister, the Czech “drug czar”, and the Chief of Staff for Uruguayan President Jos é Mujica – to learn about drug policy reform innovations such as marijuana legalization and drug decriminalization. What impact will these international innovations have on the U.S.?
View from the Right: Libertarians and Conservatives
- Many libertarians have long been opposed to the war on drugs, and the current climate has increased the opportunities for them to speak out and to be part of coalitions fighting to end the drug war. Some prominent conservatives, coming from a different perspective, have also begun to speak publicly about the need for alternatives to the drug war approach. What are the messages that resonate with these two groups? What are the ways these groups can be most strategic and effective in opposing the drug war, and how do we maximize their impact?
Hip Hop and the War on Drugs
- More and more entertainers and artists are using their art as an instrument for change. While many artists have been deeply affected by the drug war, many of them have yet to fully embrace drug policy reform. How can the drug policy reform movement help entertainers organize their peers and mobilize their fan bases?
Zombies, Mad Scientists, and Legal Highs: Harm Reduction With Emerging Drugs
- What do we know about “new” and “emerging” drugs and how do we know it? When it comes to these drugs – some of which have been around for many years – how do we separate the science from the media panic? Are there better policy options than criminalizing new drugs? Learn about lessons and best practices from people who answer these questions all the time.
Organizing While Criminal: Can We Build Power in the Face of Stigma and Criminalization?
- What does it take for organizers who are labeled as "criminal" to build power when they’ve been deemed powerless by society? How can they develop a shared identity and meaning, when they’ve already been defined? How does one build power to change a system from the margins? And what would it take to move from the margins to the center of advocacy for drug policy reform?
Conscience Verdicts: Using Jury Nullification to Quell the War on Drugs
- Jury nullification is a powerful tool with which to fight the failed policies of the war on drugs. This panel will explore the history of jury nullification, its use in drug cases, how to use jury nullification as an advocacy tool, and strategies for building a jury nullification movement to stem the tide of the drug war.
Can You Hear Me Now? Speaking the Language of Reform to Faith Leaders
- Drug use and criminal conduct are often labeled as moral failures – yet similarly, mass incarceration and the drug war can also be considered immoral and unethical. Is the church doing enough to include people who use drugs and those with criminal convictions in their faith communities? What role can faith leaders play in organizing and mobilizing their congregations to end the drug war?
You Can’t End AIDS Until You End the War on Drugs
- The criminalization of people who use drugs is driving the HIV/AIDS pandemic. Yet in countries where addiction is treated as a health issue, the fight against AIDS is being won. We know how to virtually eliminate new transmissions, so why aren’t we there yet? What are the barriers to ending HIV, and what are researchers and advocates doing to get there?
This year, the Reform Conference will also feature an interactive photography project that will encourage attendees to use compelling imagery, impactful statements and social media to challenge the war on drugs. The images and messages will focus on three themes: criminal justice, health & harm reduction and marijuana legalization. Reform attendees will have an opportunity to personalize their own messages and open the dialogue around drug use and people who use drugs. To see the photos from the conference, go to the Reform Conference’s Facebook Page, or search #NoMoreDrugWar on Facebook and Twitter.