Maya Schenwar, Interview “There Is No Good Drug War,” Truthout, 31 July 2013
Twenty years ago, when acclaimed neuroscientist Carl Hart began studying drugs, he was motivated by a desire to help communities like the one in which he grew up: poor communities of color that had been, he believed, ravaged by the crack “epidemic.” The media craze around crack headlines was swirling to a fever pitch at the time – the late ’80s and early ’90s – and, Hart writes, “I became utterly convinced that crack cocaine was the cause of everything that I now saw as wrong with the neighborhood.”
However, nothing is that straightforward, in the world or in High Price, and Hart’s work in the lab called into question some of his most deeply rooted assumptions.
Radley Balko, “Rise of the Warrior Cop,” The Wall Street Journal, July 22, 2013
Since the 1960s, in response to a range of perceived threats, law-enforcement agencies across the U.S., at every level of government, have been blurring the line between police officer and soldier. Driven by martial rhetoric and the availability of military-style equipment—from bayonets and M-16 rifles to armored personnel carriers—American police forces have often adopted a mind-set previously reserved for the battlefield. The war on drugs and, more recently, post-9/11 antiterrorism efforts have created a new figure on the U.S. scene: the warrior cop—armed to the teeth, ready to deal harshly with targeted wrongdoers, and a growing threat to familiar American liberties.
“After the War on Drugs: Blueprint for Regulation,” Transform Drug Policy Foundation, November 2009
There is a growing recognition around the world that the prohibition of drugs is a counterproductive failure. However, a major barrier to drug law reform has been a widespread fear of the unknown – just what could a post-prohibition regime look like?
For the first time, ‘After the War on Drugs: Blueprint for Regulation’ answers that question by proposing specific models of regulation for each main type and preparation of prohibited drug, coupled with the principles and rationale for doing so.
TPNS is working with Martin Drewry and Health Poverty Action to raise awareness on the need for development agencies to more actively engage with the issue of drug reform. This event explores all the key reasons as to why the sector must begin to address the illicit drugs debate and impact on developing countries.
Current drug policy is having devastating consequences for poor people and is deeply damaging to the cause of development. While the development sector, for the most part, has so far failed to address this issue, some groundbreaking work is underway to get it onto the development sector’s agenda.
Tipping Point Film Fund came to this issue through its development support of Australian film-maker Shane Ward and his film DRUG WAR. Together with Shane, TPFF was responsible for facilitating a round-table meeting between some of the UK’s leading drug policy reform experts and some key UK development agencies including Health Poverty Action, now a leading campaign voice on the issue. TPNS remains committed to its role in promoting the effort to galvanise the development sector to join the global movement for drug policy reform – and to play its part in helping that movement build a broad-based and paradigm-shifting coalition for change, as it has previously done itself on issues like debt cancellation and trade reform.
Find our more about Rethink the War on Drugs.