Editorial: How About a Drug Policy Revolution, Prime Minister?
Around the world, quiet revolutions in drug policy have been taking place. When the War on Drugs was declared by the United States in the 1970s, almost every country in the world got on board with gusto. Twenty years later, with little evidence that a zero tolerance, hard-line approach is effective, a handful of countries decided to pursue their own policies, despite enormous pressure from the US to keep the up status quo.
Recently NUAA’s Sione Crawford attended the International Harm Reduction conference in Liverpool in the UK. A number of drug user activists also attended, including Jørgen Kjær from Denmark. Jørgen is the president of BrugerForeningen in Copenhagen. Like NUAA, BrugerForeningen (BF), which means “user union” in Danish, is one of the longest running drug user organisations in the world.
It was a Thursday night. I had been at Glebe House for three days, having just finished doing a “spin” (that’s five years to those of you who don’t know the prison slang). I was finding it hard adjusting to my new freedom. Yeah, I was institutionalised. Everything seemed small and dirty. People at crowded road crossings would walk straight into you. If you did that in prison you’d a chance of ending up with a piece of steel sticking out of you.