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SA Drug Policy Week

Categories: HEADLINES, Addiction & Substance Abuse
How drugs and drug policy impact health and human rights. Expect controversial, lively and highly informed debate when some of the world’s leading researchers and experts on drugs policies engage in public discussions during SA Drug Policy Week 2017 (31 July - 4 August 2017) in Cape Town.Two open interactive sessions will take place on Tuesday 1 August and Thursday 3 August at UCT’s Kramer Building from 19h00. The topics? Drug policies, perceptions around drugs, drug use and the impact of drugs on society.
Each debate will start with brief presentations and position statements, followed by a facilitated open discussion. The four experts are:
  • Professor David Nutt, director of the Neuropsychopharmacology Unit in the Division of Brain Sciences: Imperial College, London and President of the European Brain Council. He was fired as the UK government senior drugs adviser in 2009 after renewing his criticism of the decision to toughen the law on cannabis.
  • "The (UK) Psychoactive Substances bill is the most oppressive law in terms of controlling moral behaviour since the Act of Supremacy Bill of 1558 that banned the practice of the Catholic faith.”
  • Ethan Nadelmann, widely regarded as the outstanding proponent of drug policy reform in the United States and abroad, is the founder and former executive director of the Drug Policy Alliance, a New York City-based NPO working to end the War on Drugs. He is an advisor to the Global Commission on Drug Policy.  Rolling Stone magazine described him as "the point man" for drug policy reform efforts and “the real drug czar.”
  • “The reason some drugs are legal and others are not has nothing to do with science or health or the risk of drugs, and everything to do with who uses, and is perceived to use, certain drugs.”
  • Neil Woods was a UK undercover policeman for 14 years, posing as a drug user to infiltrate criminal drugs gangs. Now, after deciding that the war on drugs has failed, he works for Law Enforcement Action Partnership (LEAP). His exposé of undercover policing, Good Cop Bad War, was an international best-seller.
  • "Many of the people I was encountering were just problematic drug users in need of help, rather than hardened criminals."
  • Anand Grover is a senior advocate, HIV and human rights activist, former UN Special Rapporteur on the Right to Health, and Director of the Lawyer’s Collective in India. He is famous for having homosexuality decriminalised in India and challenging the patents on essential anti-retroviral medications.
  • “While drugs may have a pernicious effect on individual lives and society, this excessively punitive regime has not achieved its stated public health goals, and has resulted in countless human rights violations."
Cost: R100/person for one evening discussion, or R150 for both sessions.
Dates: 1 August and 3 August 2017 | Address: Kramer Building, UCT Middle Campus. Stanley Road, Rondebosch, Cape Town | Starting time: 19h00 | Participants: 1 August - Professor David Nutt, Ethan Nadelmann, Neil Woods. 3 August - Anand Grover, Neil Woods and Ethan Nadelmann. 


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