Some of you may have noticed (we hope that some of you noticed) that there was no Week Online last week. That's because Dave and Adam were attending the 11th International Conference on Drug Policy Reform, hosted by the Drug Policy Foundation (DPF). For those of you who aren't familiar with DPF, they are the largest, most prominent Drug Policy Reform organization in the US, and their grants program helps to support a large percentage of the work that is going on in this area (including DRCNet).
The conference was an enormous success. Among the many interesting presentations and the numerous opportunities for activists, scholars and professionals to network and forge alliances, the conference also provided the formal "coming out party" for DPF's new executive director, Sher Horosko. Sher's background includes a stint as Assistant to the Commissioner of Public Health for Substance Abuse for the state of Connecticut, and prior work pushing through Connecticut's initial needle exchange/decriminalization bills when the cause was still unpopular. Attendees were virtually unanimous in their praise for her, and in their confidence that they were witnessing the ascendance of an inspirational and important leader with both interpersonal and political savvy.
Equally exciting was Arnold Trebach's closing speech at the Saturday evening Awards Banquet, in which he bid DPF goodbye but not farewell, having officially stepped down as President of the organization he founded 11 years ago. Arnold issued a call to action to rally around the pain issue, and to pool our influence and abilities to free medical marijuana patient Will Foster.
In the coming weeks, The Week Online will be bringing you the words and insights of some of the important personalities in both the US and the international drug policy reform movement. Our heartfelt appreciation goes out to DPF and their dedicated staff for providing this conference as a forum for the expansion and the coalescence of the movement.
If you are interested in attending next year's DPF conference (tentatively scheduled to be held in Washington, DC), The Week Online will provide you with all the information you will need as soon as it becomes available.
You can learn more about the Drug Policy Foundation by visiting their web site at http://www.dpf.org.