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Announcement: New Format for the Reformer's Calendar

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With the launch of our new web site, The Reformer's Calendar no longer appears as part of the Drug War Chronicle newsletter but is instead maintained as a section of our new web site:

The Reformer's Calendar publishes events large and small of interest to drug policy reformers around the world. Whether it's a major international conference, a demonstration bringing together people from around the region or a forum at the local college, we want to know so we can let others know, too.

But we need your help to keep the calendar current, so please make sure to contact us and don't assume that we already know about the event or that we'll hear about it from someone else, because that doesn't always happen.

We look forward to apprising you of more new features of our new web site as they become available.

Forum with Judge Jim Gray of LEAP

Who: Judge Jim Gray What: LEAP Presentation to the San Diego Association for Rational Inquiry http://www.sdari.org When: Sunday September 24, 2006 6:00pm PST Where: Joyce Beers Uptown Community Center, Vermont St., two blocks north of University Ave. in the Hillcrest section of San Diego, CA Contact: LEAP Speakers Bureau Coordinator Mike Smithson, (315) 243-5844, [email protected] The San Diego Association for Rational Inquiry (SDARI) welcomes LEAP Speaker Judge Jim Gray on Sunday, September 24, 2006 to their monthly meeting. Judge Gray’s sober look at the often hyped “War On Drugs” complements SDARI’s stated goal to “supply the public with the scientific facts… thereby providing a critical educational service to our community.” Although Judge Gray has championed many causes, none has been more bold than his work to combat the illegal drug problem in America. Gray continues to mobilize civic leaders, government officials, corporations, nonprofit organizations, the media, and the public around the country to join him in exploring alternate solutions to reduce this chronic problem. LEAP seeks to expose the tragic flaws inherent in the United States’ prohibitionist drug policy by demonstrating the facts. SDARI seeks to gain access to the facts surrounding the many “irrational beliefs and untested claims,” they say “are promulgated in the San Diego, California area.” This event promises to open up engaging discourse and lively debate about the contentious issues surrounding the drug war.
Data: 
Sun, 09/24/2006 - 6:00pm - 9:00pm
Localização: 
1010 Vermont Ave.
San Diego, CA 92103
United States

Luncheon Reception with Anthony Papa

The Open Society Institute - Washington Office hosts a Luncheon Reception and Discussion featuring Anthony Papa, the author of 15 to Life: How I Painted My Way to Freedom Friday, September 29, 2006 Noon-1:30pm 1120 19th Street, NW, 8th Floor Washington, DC 20036 RSVP by Sept. 22 to [email protected] or call (202) 721-5649 Anthony Papa is an acclaimed painter, author, and formerly incarcerated person. He is also the author of the book: 15 to Life: How I Painted My Way to Freedom. Convicted of his first and only criminal offense in a police sting operation, Papa discovered painting while at Sing Sing and, essentially, painted his way to freedom. His 15-year sentence was cut short when one of his works was selected for exhibition at the Whitney Museum, and he was granted clemency by Governor Pataki. Since his release, Papa has become a noted advocate for law and prison reform. Anthony Papa will be in town as the honoree of the first annual Taste of Justice Fair, at the Martin Luther King Library, Saturday, September 30 from 10-5, cosponsored by the Prisons Foundation, along with a host of criminal justice, advocacy, legal, educational, and religious organizations. For more information on Taste of Justice, call (202) 393-1511.
Data: 
Fri, 09/29/2006 - 12:00pm - 1:30pm
Localização: 
1120 19th Street, NW, 8th Floor
Washington, DC 20036
United States

Job Opportunities: Three Positions at Drug Policy Alliance

The Washington, DC office of Drug Policy Alliance is hiring for three positions:

Deputy Director of National Affairs:

The Deputy Director of National Affairs works with the Director of National Affairs to promote drug policy reform in the nation's capitol, influence federal legislation and regulations, and change the national drug policy debate. Job responsibilities include tracking and analyzing federal legislation and executive branch polices; working with the Internet communications and membership departments to mobilize supporters to take action; developing fact sheets, position papers and other lobbying materials; managing the work of office interns; planning Congressional briefings and other events; and communicating the Alliance's positions to Congressional staffers and representatives of other organizations.

Qualifications include: At least 3 years experience in advocacy or public policy; Experience coordinating legislative campaigns (lobbying, media, grassroots mobilization, etc.); Working knowledge of the federal legislative process (hill experience, especially health, judiciary, or appropriations, a plus); Good research, writing and public speaking skills; Strong attention to detail.

Responsibilities include:

Legislative Tracking: Uses CQ, Thomas, and other services to track the status of drug-related federal legislation; Reads, summarizes, and analyzes legislation and executive policies and maintains legislative database; Monitors committee hearings and marks-ups; Maintains Congressional files; Evaluates and recommends various legislative services, such as bill tracking systems, activist tools, and fax broadcasting.

Research and Writing: Writes, develops and disseminates fact sheets, backgrounders, sign-on letters, policy reports, and other lobbying materials; Researches and writes on key policy issues; Speaks on drug policy reform issues at conferences.

Supervision of Interns: Manages internship program, including advertising the program, reading applications, interviewing applicants and hiring and managing interns.

Lobbying and Outreach: Educates Congressional staffers and others on legislation and executive policies; Represents Alliance at conferences, coalition meetings, and networking events, and builds relationships with other organizations; Plans Congressional briefings and other events; Organizes Alliance's coalition meetings, including maintaining invite lists and recruiting new members.

Grassroots: Works with Internet communications department and membership department to mobilize supporters to call/write/fax their representatives; Writes action alerts, web content, and fax texts for Action component of our website; Works with other groups to get them to send out action alerts and put up banner ads on their web sites regarding DPA campaigns.

DPA offers an excellent benefits package, including health, dental, vision, long-term disability and life insurance; a generous 403(b) plan; and four weeks paid vacation.

Position open until filled. Send cover letter describing interest, résumé, and writing sample (unedited by others) to: Bill Piper, Drug Policy Alliance, 925 15th Street NW, 2nd Floor, Washington, DC 20005, fax: (202) 216-0803, e-mail: [email protected]. E-mail submissions are encouraged (please use "Deputy Director" in the subject field) -- no phone calls, please.

Legislative Assistant

The Legislative Assistant is responsible for tracking and analyzing federal legislation and executive branch policies pertaining to the war on drugs, developing lobbying materials, researching issues, planning events, assisting other staff and coordinating special projects.

Qualifications include: Some legislative or advocacy experience; Excellent research and writing skills; Strong attention to detail.

DPA offers an excellent benefits package, including health, dental, vision, long-term disability and life insurance; a generous 403(b) plan; and four weeks paid vacation.

Position open until filled. Send cover letter describing interest, résumé, and writing sample (unedited by others) to: Bill Piper, Drug Policy Alliance, 925 15th Street NW, 2nd Floor, Washington, DC 20005, fax: (202) 216-0803, e-mail: [email protected]. E-mail submissions are encouraged (please use "Legislative Assistant" in the subject field) -- no phone calls, please.

Part-Time Office Manager/Receptionist

The office manager oversees the daily operations of the Alliance's Washington, DC office. Duties include, but are not limited to, answering the telephone, meeting and greeting visitors, tracking and ordering office supplies, processing mail, handling office maintenance issues, and assisting staff. Applicants should be organized, friendly, thoughtful, and have excellent phone skills. Commitment to drug policy reform preferred, but not essential.

The Office Manager position is part-time (25 hours a week) and pays $12 per hour with no benefits.

Position open until filled. Send cover letter describing interest, résumé, and writing sample (unedited by others) to: Bill Piper, Drug Policy Alliance, 925 15th Street NW, 2nd Floor, Washington, DC 20005, fax: (202) 216-0803, e-mail: [email protected]. E-mail submissions are encouraged (please use "Office Manager" in the subject field) -- no phone calls, please.

The core mission of the Drug Policy Alliance (DPA), the nation’s leading drug policy reform organization, is to advance those policies and attitudes that best reduce the harms of both drug abuse and the war on drugs, and to protect the sovereignty of individuals over their minds and bodies. Among other things, the DPA works to end marijuana prohibition; repeal mandatory minimum sentencing; enact alternatives to incarceration for non-violent drug offenders; reduce drug addiction, drug overdoses and the spread of HIV/AIDS and hepatitis; and cut wasteful drug war spending. (For more information on the Drug Policy Alliance, visit http://www.drugpolicy.org.)

DPA is headquartered in New York City and maintains seven other offices in four states and the District of Columbia. DPA retains 46 staff, and is supported by 26,000 dues-paying members and 107,000 online members.

Drug Policy Alliance is an Equal Opportunity Employer. Women, people of color, and people with disabilities are encouraged to apply.

Errata: Will the Real UISCE Please Stand Up?

In our story last week about Law Enforcement Against Prohibition's Jerry Cameron creating a stir when he appeared at a conference in Ireland, we misidentified one of the sponsors of the conference. The UISCE that cosponsored the conference is an Irish drug users' group (whose actual name we still do not know), not the Gaelic language youth development group to whom we linked in the story.

Canadian MP Libby Davies--statement on Insite and NDP Harm Reduction Resolution

Federal NDP Passes Emergency Motion to Protect InSite, Safe Injection Site Dear Friends, The work and action taken at the grass roots level to bring the issue of InSite to national and international attention was remarkable. I really want to thank all of you who took the time to respond to our call for help. It made a huge difference and really demonstrates how, when we work together, it can pay off! There is more work to do to protect and expand harm reduction programs across Canada, and I won’t give up on it. Please find below, an article I wrote for Rabble.ca on September 7 (www.rabble.ca). I’m also pleased to report that a motion to protect InSite, and further expand similar harm reduction programs across the country, was overwhelmingly supported at the federal NDP policy convention in Quebec City this last weekend. Sincerely, Libby INSITE TAKES ON CONSERVATIVES September 7, 2006 Libby Davies, MP Vancouver East and NDP Spokesperson for Drug Policy Last week, in an uncharacteristic move, the Conservative government was forced to bow to public pressure and allow INSITE, North America's first safe injection facility for Intravenous Drug Users, to continue for another 18 months under a special exemption under section 56 of the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act. This is a huge victory, because the Conservative government has, from day one of the struggle to open a safe site for injecting, vociferously opposed such an idea. It clashes with their narrow views that the correct response to drug use is primarily law enforcement, ignoring harm reduction measures where drug users are treated with respect and dignity. INSITE has been open for three years, but it took six long years prior to that, to take what was a seemingly radical idea from Vancouver's Downtown Eastside and turn it into a functioning, publicly-funded, peer-assisted, scientifically-evaluated operation. Located on the much maligned 100 block East Hastings Street, INSITE has been under a media microscope from the beginning and has been scrutinized, poked and batted about and described as everything from the worst evil, to a life-saving centre. This victory to keep INSITE open, at least for now, is worth taking a closer look at. There are some important markers for activists who have been frustrated by the lack of response and accountability of the Conservatives, on so many issues of concern, whether it is child-care funding, housing or safety. What forced them to pay attention this time and apparently change course and make a decision that is contrary to their political direction? During the early days of the last federal election, Stephen Harper blew into Vancouver and threatened a Conservative government would close down INSITE, scaring the pants off everyone. So what changed? The short answer, I believe, is the Conservatives were overwhelmed by a well-planned, well- executed, and multi-layered campaign, that made it politically impossible to just say no. This well-organized community campaign had tremendous impact and included an interactive website. That, in and of itself, set the momentum and direction for INSITE's survival. In my office, we had already written numerous letters, statements, press releases etc, but it was our call for emails and letters to support the community campaign and to write to the federal health Minister that generated the biggest response I have ever seen on any issue I have worked on. The response from many hundreds of people from across Canada was immediate and solid. I attribute this in part, to the growing media coverage that became national, and even international, as the World AIDS Conference, took place in Toronto in August. Certainly the media attention helped focus and direct people who were generally sympathetic to INSITE and wanted to act. But it's important to note that it was the community activists who set the media stage and kept it going with new developments, actions and new support every few days. Two other factors made a key difference: multi-party support, and academic support. For example, INSITE had the backing of three former Vancouver Mayors and the current Mayor, representing support from across the political spectrum. The ongoing scientific/academic comment and validation fuelled the case that INSITE is part of a bigger drug policy strategy that is working and helping people and local communities, were very important. So often, I encounter folks who understandably feel discouraged and hopeless about changing the political course to a progressive outcome in the face of neo-conservative politics. Yet when we take something on, define it, organize, and develop broad and multi-faceted actions, there can be clear victories. In the case of INSITE it ran the gamut from stopping traffic at busy Toronto intersections for a breathtaking minute (so well-organized through the community coalition group, INSITE For Community Safety), to publicizing academics and their papers and evaluations, to masses of emails and letters from ordinary people at all layers of society. But most importantly, it was drug users themselves — so often marginalized and demonized by society, who spoke out about their own lives and experience, and demanded our attention and support. There was a very strong underlying message that came through again and again. It is that, all lives matter. Human dignity matters — whether it's AIDS victims in Africa or poor drug users in the Downtown Eastside. This powerful message, spoken in so many ways, by so many different people, could not be countered by Conservative bafflegab and rhetoric. Now, there is one last piece to this story, for the bigger battle is yet to come. When after months of silence, the Conservatives finally put out their press release giving the reprieve for INSITE on September 1, only 11 days until the deadline, late on a Friday, on the eve of a long weekend, hoping no-one would notice (most of all them!), the biggest part of the story went largely ignored in media coverage. Everyone breathed a sigh of relief — but the Conservatives had a final message: INSITE is okay for now, but by the way, the Conservatives are going to re-write Canada's drug strategy. In his press release, the Health Minister promises more “studies,” more anti-harm reduction, more funds slated to punitive enforcement, and more regressive legislation. “The Minister also noted he will be working with his federal counterparts at Justice and Public Safety, along with the Canadian Centre for Substance Abuse, to accelerate the launch and implementation of a new National Drug Strategy (NDS), which will put greater emphasis on programs that reduce drug and alcohol abuse.” (September 1, 2006, Health Canada.) Interestingly, the media gave little attention and coverage to this part of the announcement, yet it is a clear signal that the Conservatives are gearing up for something bigger. In 2002, a special Parliamentary Committee on the Non-Medical Use of Drugs I was on, supported the so-called 4 Pillar Approach: Harm Reduction, Prevention, Treatment and Enforcement, as a sensible drug policy for Canada, recognizing the need for a health-based strategy that moves from the fundamentally flawed law enforcement framework. These recommendations came after comprehensive hearings and extensive testimony from across Canada. Of course the Conservative members of the Committee were opposed to this approach, and the call in the report for the government of Canada to “...remove any federal regulatory or legislative barriers to the implementation of scientific trials and pilot projects, and assist and encourage the development of protocols to determine the effectiveness of safe injection facilities in reducing the social and health problems related to injection drug use.” So, they appear determined to undo years of research, by the Parliamentary Committee as well as by groups like the Canadian HIV/AIDS Legal Network, VANDU (Vancouver Area Network of Drug Users), BC Centre for Excellence in HIV/AIDS, and endless international research that supports INSITE, harm reduction, and the comprehensive strategy it is part of. All in all, a bigger battle is looming, and it will come soon. Clearly the Conservatives think they have bought themselves some time to undo progressive drug policy reform work. But I am optimistic. The community is well organized on this one, indeed we are already moving far ahead, as groups like Creative Resistance (www.creativeresistance.net), challenge drug prohibition laws and policy as the cause of much pain and misery. There are always lessons and tactics to be learned as we move forward. The Conservatives may think they have this one in the bag but I don't think so. When we organize and get creative, we have a lot of power!
Localização: 
Vancouver, BC
Canada

Iowa Medical Marijuana Forum

Medical Marijuana Forum Saturday, September 23, 2006 1 PM to 4 PM Iowa State Historical Building 600 East Locust Street Des Moines, Iowa 50319 http://www.iowamedicalmarijuana.org
Data: 
Sat, 09/23/2006 - 1:00pm - 4:00pm
Localização: 
600 East Locust Street
Des Moines, IA 50319
United States

Job Opportunities: Marijuana Policy Project, DC & LA

The Marijuana Policy Project has the following new job opportunities: 1. Assistant Director of Communications MPP is hiring an Assistant Director of Communications, to be based in Washington, D.C. The Assistant Director of Communications promotes MPP's message to the news media and writes and edits brochures and other literature for public distribution. This position is an excellent opportunity to work on the front lines of a fast-paced advocacy organization that is regularly featured and cited in the news -- both locally and nationally. Applicants should have excellent oral communications skills, flawless writing, solid editing skills, and an ability to do newspaper and radio interviews (and eventually TV interviews). 2. Director of VIP Relations MPP is also seeking a Director of VIP Relations to increase the network of celebrities who are willing to help MPP end marijuana prohibition in the U.S. (Please visit www.mpp-vip.org to learn more about MPP’s celebrity outreach effort.) The Director of VIP Relations -- who is responsible for coordinating MPP's outreach to celebrities, maintaining relationships with celebrities and other VIPS, and organizing high-profile events -- must be persistent and knowledgeable in the ways of Hollywood, highly organized, and based in Los Angeles. For both positions, please visit http://www.mpp.org/jobs for full job descriptions, salary information, and instructions on how to apply. Thank you!
Localização: 
United States

Job Opportunities: Marijuana Policy Project, DC & LA

The Marijuana Policy Project has the following new job opportunities:

Assistant Director of Communications:

MPP is hiring an Assistant Director of Communications, to be based in Washington, DC. The Assistant Director of Communications promotes MPP's message to the news media and writes and edits brochures and other literature for public distribution. This position is an excellent opportunity to work on the front lines of a fast-paced advocacy organization that is regularly featured and cited in the news -- both locally and nationally.

Applicants should have excellent oral communications skills, flawless writing, solid editing skills, and an ability to do newspaper and radio interviews (and eventually TV interviews).

Director of VIP Relations:

MPP is also seeking a Director of VIP Relations to increase the network of celebrities who are willing to help MPP end marijuana prohibition in the US. (Please visit www.mpp-vip.org to learn more about MPP’s celebrity outreach effort.) The Director of VIP Relations -- who is responsible for coordinating MPP's outreach to celebrities, maintaining relationships with celebrities and other VIPS, and organizing high-profile events -- must be persistent and knowledgeable in the ways of Hollywood, highly organized, and based in Los Angeles.

For both positions, please visit http://www.mpp.org/jobs for full job descriptions, salary information, and instructions on how to apply.

Harm Reduction: Pittsburgh Needle Exchange Wins Health Board Approval for Continued Operation

Prevention Point Pittsburgh, the sole needle exchange provider in the Pittsburgh area, is one step closer to being allowed to continue to operate after the Allegheny County Board of Health Wednesday approved regulations formalizing its operation. The exchange program had come under attack in April, when county council members questioned its legality in what was in large part a bureaucratic spat between the council and the health board.

"We're incredibly pleased," Renee Cox, executive director of Prevention Point Pittsburgh, told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette Thursday. "All in all, it's worked out well. It does grant us a little more permanency now that we have formal regulations."

It was a bumpy ride, though. After county council members complained in April, the health board in May drafted regulations that would have required people exchanging needles to give their names and other identifying information and would have banned "secondary exchanges," where people pick up needles and then distribute them to others not in the program. The board heard those complaints.

"They restored anonymity of exchangers, which is absolutely fundamental to the operation of the needle exchange," Cox said. "They also allowed for secondary exchange, which will expand the reach of this small program."

The new regulations must still be approved by the county council.

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