(Please submit listings of events related to drug policy and related
areas to [email protected].)
February 24, 6:00-7:00pm, Richmond, VA, Drug War Vigil at the city jail, corner of 17th St. and Fairfield Way. Held the last Saturday of every month, e-mail [email protected] for further information.
February 26, 6:00pm, Spirit of ReconsiDer Award Dinner, honoring John Dunne and H. Douglas Barclay. At La Serre, 14 Green St., tickets $125/person, RSVP by Feb. 10 to [email protected].
February 28, noon, Queens, NY, Press Conference/Vigil held by the Queens chapter of "Mothers of the Disappeared," organization opposing the Rockefeller Drug Laws. At the Supreme Court, Queens Blvd., call (212) 539-8441 for further information.
March 5, 5:00pm, Syracuse, NY, "Is the War on Drugs Working?" Debate at SU School of Law with Michael Roona, ReconsiDer and Prof. Levitsky, Maxwell School of Public Policy. For further information e-mail [email protected] .
March 5, 6:00pm, Philadelphia, PA, "The Quagmire in Colombia: Addressing the Drug War Habit." Table Talk with Prof. Ken Sharpe of Swarthmore College, at the White Dog Cafe, 3420 Sansom St., $30 includes three-course dinner and discussion, $25 for full-time students registering in advance. For further information visit http://www.whitedog.com or call (215) 386-9224; students may call between for 4:00 and 5:30pm on event days for standby registration, $15 (dinner) or free (discussion only, 7:30).
March 6, 7:00pm, New York, NY, "Drugs and the Courts: A Debate." Discussing the Report to Judge Kaye by the Commission on Drugs and the Courts. At the House of the Bar Association of New York City, 42 West 44th St. For further info, call (212) 382-6600.
March 7, 10:00am, Philadelphia, PA, Philadelphia Prison System Tour and Lunch. At the Philadelphia Industrial Correctional Center, 8301 State Road, will include discussion with inmates and drug treatment staff. Lunch provided by the Hard Time Cafe, a culinary arts training program for prisoners. Reservations required, call (215) 386-9224, $6/person for lunch and tour, carpooling available.
March 8, 5:00-7:00pm, San Francisco, CA, "Women and the Drug War," forum sponsored by The Lindesmith Center-Drug Policy Foundation. Featuring Amy Ralston (Pofahl), former drug war prisoner granted clemency by President Clinton; as well as Ellen Barry, Legal Services for Women with Children; Barbara Owen, CSU Fresno Dept. of Criminology; and Andrea Shorter of the Center for Juvenile and Criminal Justice. At the San Francisco Medical Society, 1409 Sutter (at Franklin), call (415) 921-4987 or e-mail [email protected] to reserve a space.
March 9-11, New York, NY, Critical Resistance: Beyond the Prison Industrial Complex. Northeast regional conference, following on the large national gathering in 1998, to focus on the impacts of the prison industrial complex in Maine, Vermont, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, and Washington, DC. Visit http://www.criticalresistance.org for further information, or call (212) 561-0912 or e-mail [email protected] .
March 11, 7:30pm, Philadelphia, PA, "The Drug Dilemma: War or Peace," with Walter Cronkite, and "War Zone," film examining police state tactics in the drug war. Movie Night at the White Dog Cafe, 3420 Sansom St., free, seating limited. RSVP to (215) 386-9224 or visit http://www.whitedog.com for further info; restaurant service available before, during and after movie.
March 13, 7:45-9:30am,
Boston, MA, "And Justice for All... Sentencing Guidelines and Public Safety."
Public forum sponsored by the Massachusetts Bar Association, the Boston Bar
Association, the Gardiner Howland Shaw Foundation, and MassINC, at Suffolk
Law School, 120 Tremont Street. Panelists include House Speaker Thomas
Finneran, Massachusetts Sentencing Commission Chairman Robert Mulligan and
others. For further information, contact Neil Mello, (617) 742-6800
ext. 123 or [email protected].
March 14, 7:00pm, New York, NY. Retired police captain Peter Christ, spokesman for ReconsiDer: Forum on Drug Policy, speaks at the Manhattan Libertarian Party meeting. For further information, e-mail [email protected] or visit http://www.geocities.com/lpmanhattan/ on the web.
March 15-18, Miami, FL, "Reason Weekend," sponsored by the Reason Foundation. For information, call Amber Trudgeon at (310) 391-2245 or e-mail [email protected] .
March 16 & 17, 8:00pm, Philadelphia, PA, "Outside the Walls," interdisciplinary dance performance reflecting on the lives of families of prisoners. At the Conwell Theater, 5th floor Conwell Hall, Temple University, corner of Montgomery and Broad Streets. Advance ticket sales available through Temple University box office, (215) 204-1122.
March 18, 10:30am-1:00pm, Winston-Salem, NC, sermon and discussion marking Drug War Awareness Month, at the W-S Unitarian-Universalist Fellowship, displays and information available every Sunday all month. For further information, call (336) 659-0331 or e-mail [email protected].
March 23-24, New York, NY, "Widening Destruction: A Teach-In on the Drug War and Colombia." Four panel, two-day seminar sponsored by NACLA and Colombia Students for Enacting Humane Drug Policies, at Columbia University Law School, 435 West 116th Street (at Amsterdam Avenue). Pre-register online at http://www.nacla.org for $8 through 5:00pm, 3/21, or register on site for $10. Contact Anne Glatz at [email protected] for further information.
March 26, 6:00pm, Philadelphia, PA, Hemp Dinner with Richard Rose, of Hempnut, Inc. and author of "The HempNut Health and Cookbook." Book and the Cook night at the White Dog Cafe, 3420 Sansom St., $45, includes three-course dinner and discussion. Reservations required, RSVP to (215) 386-9224, visit http://www.whitedog.com for further information.
April 1-5, New Delhi, India, 12th International Conference on the Reduction of Drug Related Harm. Sponsored by the International Harm Reduction Coalition, for information visit http://www.ihrc-india2001.org on the web, e-mail [email protected], call 91-11-6237417-18, fax 91-11-6217493 or write to Showtime Events Pvt. Ltd., S-567, Greater Kailash - II, New Delhi 110 048, India.
April 9, 7:30pm, Philadelphia, PA, Storytelling Night with Families Against Mandatory Minimums Communications Director Monica Pratt and members of families affected by mandatory minimum sentencing. At the White Dog Cafe, 3420 Sansom St., optional a la carte dinner at 6:00pm. Call (215) 386-9224 or visit http://www.whitedog.com for further information.
April 19-21, Washington, DC, 2001 NORML Conference. Visit http://www.norml.org/calendar/conf2001intro.shtml to register or for further information, or call (202) 483-5500.
April 20, 10:00am, Oklahoma City, annual marijuana law reform event, at the State Capitol. Visit information table in 1st floor rotunda to prep for meeting your state legislators, speakers and entertainment on the south side steps at noon. For further information contact Norma Sapp at (405) 321-4619 or [email protected].
April 25-28, Minneapolis, MN, North American Syringe Exchange Convention. Sponsored by the North American Syringe Exchange Network, for further information call (253) 272-4857, e-mail [email protected] or visit h ttp://www.nasen.org on the web. At the Marriott City Center Hotel, 30 South Seventh Street.
May 20-27, Amsterdam, The Netherlands, Study Tour of Dutch Drug Policy, organized by the White Dog Cafe. Particularly for persons with a background in health and social services, legislation, activism, drug law or policy. Call (215) 386-9224 or visit http://www.whitedog.com for further information.
May 30-June 2, Albuquerque, NM, "Drug Policies for the New Millennium." First annual conference of The Lindesmith Center-Drug Policy Foundation, following in the footsteps of the 13 years of the International Conference on Drug Policy Reform. For further information, call (202) 537-5005 or visit http://www.drugpolicy.org/conference/ on the web.
12. Editorial: The Peace Process
David Borden, Executive Director, [email protected]
Once again, fragile negotiations to bring a measure of peace to our war-torn world are mired in uncertainty, and time is running out. If the two parties can't come together and work things out in the next few weeks, there might not be another such opportunity this entire year, maybe longer than that.
I'm talking about New Mexico. Unlike the Middle East situation (which you might have thought I was talking about), where the two negotiating parties are locked in a self-defeating cycle of sporadic violence, New Mexico's peace process involves two competing political factions who have both waged a war upon the state's own citizens for decades.
I'm talking about the Drug War, and I'm talking about bills proposed by the Republican Governor and his Task Force that would start to roll it back. Some of them, like syringe deregulatioin and asset forfeiture reform and maybe even medical marijuana appear to have strong chances. But other bills in the package, particularly those enacting marijuana decriminalization and some sentencing reforms, are struggling and might not survive New Mexico's whirlwind legislative session intact.
The primary stumbling block is not what you might have guessed. It's not so much the "law and order" types who are addicted to incarceration and won't stop until they've locked up every man and his neighbor. It's certain prominent Democrats in the state legislature who want Johnson's reforms to be tied to increased spending on drug treatment programs.
Johnson has responded by offering a treatment funding bill that is significantly larger in size than his libertarian, limited government predilections might lead him to prefer. But it's not enough yet for some of the Democrats, particularly Senators McSorley, Romero and House Speaker Lujan, and they are threatening to vote against his other reforms if he doesn't come up with tens of millions of dollars more.
Do the Democrats think that New Mexicans incarcerated during the coming year for marijuana possession or other low-level drug offenses as a result of the continuing drug war will be glad the Democrats held out for more treatment funds? Do they think that paying for such wasteful incarcerations is in the best interest of other New Mexicans?
The Democrats are most unfortunately wrong to tie support for decriminalization and sentencing reform to treatment funds. By all means, it's an ideal time for them to raise the issue of treatment and work to make it available. But to threaten to torpedo New Mexico's fledgling drug war peace process because of it is illogical, cruel and ultimately self-defeating: Every dollar spent incarcerating nonviolent drug offenders in the unwinnable drug war makes New Mexico, and our nation, poorer and less able to bring resources to bear on treatment, education, health care or anything else of value to humanity.
New Mexico's Democratic leadership should stop playing political games with drug policy reform: Too many lives are at stake.