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The safe room

“Despite best efforts…, we have achieved virtually nothing,” says former AFP Commissioner Mick Palmer. “We’ve aggravated harm rather than minimised it. We’ve demonised users… The reality is, people are going to take ice. It’s time to take the risk and trial new options because, as evidence demonstrates elsewhere, it’s working.” […]

The Difference Between Being Happy and Being High

If we want a better 21st century drug policy, we need to grapple with what drug experience means and not simply assume that a drug is a drug is a drug—and that being high is always worthless and inevitably leads to unhappiness in the end. […]

Drug Policy Based On Fear Means Everyone Loses

If evidence-based drug policy is something you want to see in this country and is more important to you than public moralising, misguided beliefs and a fanciful goal of a drug free world, then this is your how-to-vote card to take with you on the 2nd of July. […]

Australia’s DMT Debate Could Reboot Psychedelic Thinking

“DMT should certainly not be in the same class as a drug like methamphetamine and heroin,” Caldecott told Australia’s SBS, an Australian national TV station. “[It’] could be argued, quite vigorously that it has potential through therapy to benefit and therefore doesn’t belong in that class.” […]

The fascinating, strange medical potential of psychedelic drugs

Psychologists and psychiatrists have been studying hallucinogens for decades — as treatment for things like alcoholism and depression. But support for studies dried up in the 1970s, after the federal government listed many psychedelics as Schedule 1 drugs. Now researchers are giving the drugs another look. […]

Can You Get Over an Addiction?

Once we understand that addiction is neither a sin nor a progressive disease, just different brain wiring, we can stop persisting in policies that don’t work, and start teaching recovery. […]

Six of the Worst Failures of the UN’s Latest World Drug Report

The UN Office on Drugs and Crime released its 2016 World Drug Report. According to the Open Society Foundations, the report “reinforces prohibitionist and law enforcement-based strategies that continue to perpetuate violence, instability, and health crises across the world.” […]

Support. Don’t Punish – Day of Action 2016

The harms being caused by the war on drugs can no longer be ignored. It is time to leave behind harmful politics, ideology and prejudice. It is time to prioritise the health and welfare of the affected populations, their families and communities. […]

Now we know what happens to teens when you make pot legal

Rates of marijuana use among Colorado’s teenagers are essentially unchanged in the years since the state’s voters legalized marijuana in 2012, new survey data from the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment shows. […]

Public Health Experts Urge Government to Decriminalise Drugs

The Royal Society for Public Health and the UK Faculty of Public Health, two of the UK’s most highly respected public health bodies, have called for the decriminalisation of possession of all drugs in a bold joint report, Taking A New Line On Drugs. […]

Indonesia planning executions after holiday

Indonesia plans to put 16 convicts to death after next month’s Muslim Eid holiday, an official said Tuesday, June 14, confirming executions were set to resume after a hiatus. […]

Plans to Execute 18 Drug Convicts This Year, 30 in 2017

The budget has been allocated for the death penalty. We still have 58 drug convicts on the death row list, and another 152 death row inmates for crimes such as murder, terrorism and others, said Attorney General H.M. Prasetyo. […]

Newcastle University Introduces Sensible New Drug Policy

We have seen what happens when you take this kind of approach to drug policy. Shambhala Music Festival consistently has one of the best safety rates of any festival in North America when it comes to overdose-related medical transports. […]

Why do humans have an innate desire to get high?

Banning psychedelic drugs is likely to be counterproductive. Just as banning sexual activity does not stop sexual desire, outlawing psychedelic drugs does nothing to change the innate need for transcendent experiences. […]

Banning Everything That Gets People High Is a Terrible Idea

Pleasure is not a poison, and what we need to worry about is addiction, organ damage, disease, behavioral dis-inhibition, impaired driving, and other genuine dangers. Politicians can turn their attention to ending excess joy after they solve actual problems, like inequality, poverty, and pain. […]

It’s Hillary? On Drugs, She’s Barely Better Than Trump

Our only alternative to the nightmare of Donald Trump’s drug policy is depressingly mediocre. So, drug policy reformers, here’s the bad news—no matter who gets elected, we’re headed backwards the next four-to-eight years! […]

Tasmania: testing festival drugs can stop people dying

Police Minister Rene Hidding did himself and the Tasmanian community no good at all last week with his arrogant, dangerous dismissal of a sensible idea by the Greens for pill testing to be available at music festivals. […]

A New Direction on Drugs

“We can’t arrest and incarcerate addiction out of people. Not only do I think it’s really inhumane, but it’s ineffective and it costs us billions upon billions of dollars to keep doing this.” […]

Report Accuses Mexico of Crimes Against Humanity in Drug War

The evidence is “overwhelming,” said James A. Goldston, the executive director of the New York-based Justice Initiative, which will release the report on Tuesday. “In case after case, army actors and federal police have been implicated.” […]

Can An App Detect A Heroin Overdose?

When I asked the developer, Chris Oelerich, if he thought about the counter-arguments against harm-reduction, that it “enables” drug use, he said, “If people are going to keep using heroin, then making it harder isn’t a great strategy.” […]

Secrecy For Sale

If the UN were really serious about bringing drug lords to justice and hitting them where it hurt, it could simply have resolved to end the financial secrecy that criminals use to cover their tracks and hide their money. […]

West Africa: Sustainable Development under threat from drug trafficking

There is a need to shift the objectives of drug policy away from process measures such as crop eradication statistics, arrest rates, seizures and imprisonment statistics. Governments need to explore and focus on solutions that promote public health, human rights and citizen engagement and participation. […]

Is Addiction a Learning Disorder?

For decades, the entire drug policy debate was stalled. Harm reduction was a fringe concept. Now, we have USA Today endorsing safe injection facilities and the New York Times supporting marijuana legalization. It’s increasingly difficult to find someone to quote who favors arresting and jailing users, or who opposes access to the overdose antidote naloxone on moral grounds. […]

14 US states where marijuana legalisation is on ballot

The marijuana legalization movement is in full swing this year, with 14 states currently considering ballot initiatives to legalize for either recreational or medical purposes. While 23 states already have legal marijuana systems in place, public opinion is quickly shifting in favor of cannabis reform and voters in states across the US will have the opportunity to continue the momentum in 2016. […]

High Hopes

The parry and repost from the drug markets may not be entirely predictable, but will undoubtedly continue to back the Government into a corner if it continues to act in the same way. An alternative, better future of drug policy is possible; what is needed is some clear thinking. […]

‘Undetectable’ drugs sweeping Gold Coast and Australia

“We are certainly not wanting to encourage drug use, quite the opposite, but understanding how it works and why it works is vital.Drug testing at festivals overseas has been extremely successful and getting knowledge through this is our best shot at tackling this massive problem.” […]

Students in Wellington Just Want to Be Able to Legally Test Their Drugs

A group of students from Victoria University are joining the push for drug testing to protect them and their friends from taking potentially fatal chemicals in lieu of actual drugs. The Wellington arm of Students for Sensible Drug Policy wants the New Zealand Government to allow drug testing at festivals. […]

It’s time for pharmacists to speak up about the benefits of harm minimisation

Many issues were discussed at the 2 March 2016 Drug Summit organised by the Greens leader Richard Di Natale at Parliament House.To me the two main topics included the decriminalisation of drugs, similar to the Portuguese model.The other key topic for me was giving consideration to introducing more supervised injecting centres in Australia. […]

The Rich Go To Rehab, The Poor Go To Jail

During the ASPI research, discussions with the publicly funded drug treatment facilities identified that annual person-bed costs were in the 32 to 35 thousand dollar range, while a 2015 Business Insider report identified that the average annual cost of a person-bed in a jail was more than $106,000. A conservative cost savings of more than $70,000 per person-bed, not including the other obvious positive aspects of health care managing a health issue. […]

Russia Suddenly, Mysteriously Shuts Down Its Drug Control Agency

The Federal Drug Control Service faced international criticism for claims about the “success” of Russia’s regressive drug policies. Russia has one of the world’s highest rates of heroin consumption, and, following Russia’s invasion of Crimea and blocking of methadone treatment, there have been over 100 overdose deaths on the peninsula. Russia has also been credited with helping to scuttle last month’s UNGASS summit. […]

Di Natale: Time to end the harm caused by illicit drugs

Speaking at a conference in Sydney this afternoon, Australian Greens Leader Dr Richard Di Natale announced a Harm Reduction Innovation Fund to invest in practices that reduce and prevent the harm caused by illicit drugs. […]

Making a fundamental shift in drug policy and harm reduction

Redirecting 7.5 percent of the money spent on the war on drugs could reduce HIV-related deaths by 94 percent, a recent report by U.K.-based NGO Harm Reduction International, “The Case for a Harm Reduction Decade: Progress, Potential and Paradigm Shifts”, found. […]

‘No more money for our needles’

The National Narcotic Board declared that it would rehabilitate 100 000 drug users by the end of 2015. It is not surprising, considering the lack of sufficient infrastructure, resources and qualified staff, that this target was not reached. Moreover, it reflects the government’s continued misunderstanding of the nature of addiction itself, which cannot be adequately addressed while drug users continue to be criminalised. […]

Indonesia Is Preparing to Execute More than a Dozen People for Drug Crimes

Indonesia is quietly preparing to execute 15 death row inmates, including 10 foreigners jailed for drug crimes, according to local media accounts, lawyers and activists. The group reportedly includes Chinese and Pakistani nationals, and inmates from three African countries: Nigeria, Senegal, and Zimbabwe. […]