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Event Launching the Colorado Campaign for Safe Access

Please Join Us What: Support Medical Rights: Event Launching the Colorado Campaign for Safe Access When: Thursday, September 21st, 7-9pm Where: Mercury Cafe, 2199 California Street, Denver, CO 80202, (303) 294-9281, directions at http://www.mercurycafe.com/map.html Exciting Guest Speakers to Include: Rebecca Saltzman, Americans for Safe Access Brian Vicente, Executive Director, Sensible Colorado Raffles, music, entertainment, education, hear from patients and other experts. Admission free, RSVP to (720) 890-4247 or [email protected].
Data: 
Thu, 09/21/2006 - 7:00pm - 9:00pm
Localização: 
2199 California Street
Denver, CO 80202
United States

Appeal: Please Support DRCNet's New Web Campaign!

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If you haven't been to the DRCNet web site the last ten days, you haven't seen... our new look, new content, new functionality, new ways to participate... you haven't seen this major upgrade to our critical educational program. When you do, we believe you'll be excited and impressed.

Our site traffic has already more than doubled -- and it's only just gotten started -- more is coming soon.

Please visit http://stopthedrugwar.org/donate to make a generous donation to help us continue to take DRCNet onward and upward to greater heights of visibility and impact. When you're done, click on the "Home" link and explore.

Thank you in advance for your support. Stay tuned for further news...

Sincerely,

David Borden
Executive Director

P.S. DRCNet accepts donations by mail too. Our address is P.O. Box 18402, Washington, DC 20009. Tax-deductible donations to support our educational work should be made payable to DRCNet Foundation. Non-deductible donations supporting our lobbying programs should be payable to Drug Reform Coordination Network, same address. Contact us for information on how to contribute stocks.

Callout: Please Submit Blog Posts, News and Events on New DRCNet Web Site!

Among the features available on DRCNet's new web site are interactive possibilities for you to be a part of the web team. First and foremost are Reader Blogs, a section of the new "Stop the Drug War Speakeasy" blogosphere project. Visit http://stopthedrugwar.org/speakeasy/reader to check it out and start posting! (If you tried already and had trouble, please try again -- we have worked out some of the initial technical issues, though probably not yet all.) We will be devoting an increasing amount of attention over time to the Reader Blogs -- this is just the beginning!

You can now let us know about important or interesting news items of relevance by submitting them directly to our new Latest News section -- visit http://stopthedrugwar.org/node/add/content-recent_news to send your suggested news links to our moderators.

DRCNet continues to publish listings of events large and small that relate to the cause, but now we feature them in a listing that appears on most of the pages on our site and which links to a full calendar. If you are involved with or know of a relevant event, you can post it directly -- not just a short description as we have done previously, but the full announcement -- at our add event page at http://stopthedrugwar.org/node/add/event online.

Drug War Chronicle articles now have comments sections at the bottom of them, another way you can join in the discussion.

Coming soon: syndication feeds you can post on your web site, a substantial drug policy links database, and geographically-targeted content for your personalized web site view. To get that geographically-targeted content, though, you'll need to be logged to our new user accounts (same e-mail address you gave us previously, if you're a subscriber) and provide us with your location if you haven't already. Visit http://stopthedrugwar.org/user to log in or register or update your information. (Please let us know if you experience any error messages or problems with the user accounts -- we have gotten some of the issues fixed but we want to get it as close to perfect as we can.)

Announcement: New Format for the Reformer's Calendar

https://stopthedrugwar.org/files/appointmentbook.jpg
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.

Job Opportunies: Drug Policy Alliance, NYC & Sacramento

The Drug Policy Alliance is seeking applications for two positions, one in New York and one in Sacramento, California:

Director, Public Affairs, New York:

This new position will bear primary responsibility for design and execution of comprehensive communications, marketing, and brand-building strategies to promote DPA and its mission, communicate its policy agenda, and enhance the organization's visibility and image among internal and external stakeholders, including DPA supporters, the media, policymakers, and the public at large. The Director, Public Affairs will have supervisory authority for eight staff comprising all of DPA's communications functions, including: media relations, Internet advocacy and the DPA website, publications, and the Lindesmith Library. The Director will also serve on the DPA management team.

Primary responsibilities include: Ensure that DPA's drug policy reform agenda is persuasively framed for multiple and diverse audiences, advantageously positioned in the context of other social policy issues, and effectively communicated through a wide range of existing and emerging media channels; Ensure consistent messaging and communication of DPA's image and policy positions both internally and to DPA's external stakeholders; Oversee relationships with broadcast, electronic and print media, to build understanding of DPA's work and policy positions, encourage recognition of DPA spokespeople, and promote coverage of DPA activities; Manage the writing, design, and production of all print and electronic publications; maintain systems to process distribution of all publications; Supervise the design of issue-based and other advertisements and coordinate their placement in appropriate media; Coordinate DPA's representation at regional, national and international conferences, symposia and other events; Oversee the design and production of DPA merchandise; Manage and mentor program staff and oversee budgets for all DPA communications functions; Train agency staff on communications strategies, key messages and use of materials.

The ideal candidate will be a collegial, self-motivated advocate who thinks conceptually, creatively, and strategically. Specific qualifications include: Ten years progressively senior experience in advocacy-oriented communications; criminal justice and/or public health experience preferred; Proven track record of designing and implementing sophisticated communications and marketing strategies; Experience managing one or more departments, overseeing budgets, and motivating creative teams; Thorough understanding of drug policy reform issues; Advanced degree in journalism or communications preferred but not required; Strong analytic ability and superior communication skills, including writing and public speaking; Direct experience with drug policy preferred; commitment to harm reduction philosophy essential; Availability to work occasional evenings and weekends and to travel periodically.

Director, California Capital Office, Sacramento:

This position bears primary responsibility for DPA's California legislative advocacy, supervises a small professional office, and serves on the DPA management team.

Primary responsibilities include: Identify opportunities to promote DPA institutional priorities, and respond to policy issues that emerge in the California legislature; Develop and maintain relationships with key legislative allies; educate and lobby legislators and staffers on drug policy issues; Supervise professional lobbyists and manage lobbying contracts; Collaborate with coalition partners on legislative strategies and public messaging; Mobilize statewide grassroots support at key times to communicate with legislators; Serve as DPA spokesperson in the media, and at community events, conferences, and other forums; Contribute to DPA management, oversight, quality control and internal communications through participation in management team; Ensure that California Capital office's programs and practices are consistent with DPA's overall mission and philosophy, strategic approach, goals and objectives; Manage small office, including the supervision and mentoring of staff, student interns, and volunteers; Contribute to DPA fundraising activities, both locally and nationally.

The ideal candidate will be a collegial, self-motivated advocate who thinks conceptually, creatively, and strategically. Specific qualifications include: 7-10 years progressively senior experience in public policy, legislative and/or governmental affairs, political campaigns or ballot initiatives; criminal justice and/or public health experience preferred; Thorough understanding of California legislative and ballot initiative processes; Advanced degree in public policy/administration, public health, law or related field preferred but not required; Strong analytic ability and superior communication skills, including writing and public speaking; Direct experience with drug policy preferred; commitment to harm reduction philosophy essential; Availability to work occasional evenings and weekends and to travel periodically throughout the state and nationally.

These positions are open until filled. Send cover letter describing interest, résumé, and writing sample (unedited by others) to: Derek Hodel, Deputy Director, Drug Policy Alliance, 70 West 36th Street, 16th floor, New York, NY 10018, (212) 613-8021 fax, [email protected]. E-mail submissions are encouraged (please use the position title in the subject field) -- no phone calls, please.

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. Drug Policy Alliance is an Equal Opportunity Employer. Women, people of color, and people with disabilities are encouraged to apply. Visit http://www.drugpolicy.org to learn more about DPA.

Feature: Law Enforcement Against Prohibition Stirs the Waters in Ireland

Retired Florida police chief and Law Enforcement Against Prohibition (LEAP) spokesman Jerry Cameron managed to put the drug debate squarely on the front burner with his appearance in Ireland last week. Cameron's address at the "Rethinking the War on Drugs" conference in Dublin, sponsored by a trio of Irish groups working on prison, drug policy and youth issues sparked numerous newspaper editorials and opinion pieces, filled the airwaves with talk about legalization, and forced the Irish government to respond.

Organized by the Irish Penal Reform Trust, the drug charity Merchant's Quay, and the Union for Improved Services, Communication, and Education (UISCE), a group combining sports and Gaelic language learning, "Rethinking the War on Drugs" brought more than one hundred Irish politicians, government workers, reformers, and activists together on August 28. With Cameron as the keynote speaker, the conference certainly inspired Irish reflection on national drug policy.

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Jerry Cameron at the Dublin conference (courtesy IPRT)
That's just what the IPRT wanted, said executive director Rick Lines. "The IPRT doesn't have any formal policy supporting legalization or decriminalization," he told Drug War Chronicle. "However, we do work from an analysis that drug criminalization is a main driver of growing prison populations in Ireland, and is a main cause of high rates of HIV and Hep C infection in prisons. Therefore, examining alternatives to drug criminalization, and alternatives to prison for people who use drugs, must be a central part of the work done by penal reform organizations. I understand that this might make us a bit unusual among our sister organizations internationally. I am often told by people at harm reduction conferences that the prison reform organizations in their countries don't talk about drug laws at all. Whether this is true or not, I am not sure, but I hope it isn't."

For Lines, the conference and the attention it drew were a huge success. "The event was successful beyond all our expectations," he said. "The crowd was much bigger than anticipated -- standing room only -- as was the press coverage. We counted 26 separate TV, radio, and print outlets covering the event, and we may have missed some. As such, the event was a very successful beginning to reframing the debate on this issue, which was all we really hoped to accomplish."

"This was one of the better conferences I've been to," LEAP's Cameron told DRCNet. "The folks from the Irish Penal Reform Trust did a wonderful job of organizing it, and among those attending were a member of parliament and a member of the European Parliament, the immediate past Irish drug minister, several members of the probation system, a representative from the Garda [Irish police] -- it was a real cross-section of people interested in these issues. I have to say that the people from the Irish government were a lot more open-minded than the politicians I run into in the US."

The media attention was tremendous, Cameron said. "We were in every Irish newspaper the day after the conference. I also did a lot of work with Irish radio and TV stations," he explained. "I even appeared on a radio talk show where the woman arguing me was so crazed we had caller after caller calling in to reject her positions and argue for fundamental reform."

Indeed, the media response was intense and mostly favorable. The Irish Examiner covered the conference and Cameron's remarks the same day with a story titled "US Police Chief's Warning Over Doomed Drug Policy", while the Irish Times published a reaction piece, "Government Considered Legalizing Heroin", and the Examiner came back the next day with another reaction piece, "Legalizing Cannabis 'Would Result in State Being Sued'". But even those reaction pieces featuring government figures explaining why drugs could not possibly ever be legalized kept the discussion of drug prohibition in front of the Irish public.

By the end of last week, the Irish government was forced to respond directly. The man in charge of Irish drug treatment, Minister of State at the Department of Community Noel Ahern, called in reporters to tell them the government was rejecting calls for drug legalization. "We are not going in that direction," he said in remarks reported by Irish wire services. "And if there are moves in the future it would have to be dealt with on a worldwide basis. One country on its own cannot move. Holland tried for a few years ago and they're backing off big time because they realized they were bringing in drug tourism," Ahern added, misrepresenting current Dutch drug policies as he did.

"We wouldn't have expected anything else from the government response," said IPRT's Lines. "But again our main objective was really just to raise debate, and in that sense we were remarkably successful. To paraphrase one of the speakers at the event, if we had held a public forum 20 years ago talking about needle exchange, people would have thought it was a crazy idea, but now it is well established policy."

"The media storm is still going on," Cameron said Tuesday with a mixture of surprise and pleasure. "There have been a couple more columns in the last few days, one of which quoted me extensively. The tack I took went over quite well. I told them I was not there to tell Ireland how to conduct its business, but to tell them US drug policy has been a total failure and ask them to profit from our mistakes. They have a lot of talented people who can come up with Irish solutions for Irish problems. What we've done in the US sure hasn't worked," he said.

An op-ed in the Irish Independent last Sunday titled "The War Isn't Working So Is It Now Time to Consider the Unthinkable and Legalize All Drugs?" was typical of Irish press commentary. "Currently, there is more crime, disease, death and addiction than ever before," wrote the columnist. "He [Cameron] believes, and I share his view, that not one objective or goal of the 'war on drugs' has been met, and that the 'relegalization of drugs' is 'the only way to stop drugs falling
into the hands of our children, to make room for violent offenders to serve their full terms in our prisons, and to return law enforcement to its legitimate function of protecting our citizens.'"

A columnist in the Irish Examiner opined similarly the day before in a piece titled "We Are Losing the War on Drugs and Policy Should Be Stood On Its Head". In that piece, columnist Ryle Dwyer summarized Cameron's argument, added some of his own, and concluded thusly: "Using tried and tested tactics that have failed so dramatically is a cause of, not the answer to, our problems."

"The first step in any effort to promote policy change is to mainstream your perspective, and move it beyond being a 'crazy idea' and make it into a legitimate part of the public discourse," said IPRT's Lines. "One event won't accomplish this, but it is a start. The story continued on in the press in the days after the event, and I think this bodes well for continuing work on this issue, as perhaps we have helped open up safe space for others to make similar arguments themselves."

Conference by conference, op-ed by op-ed, radio show by radio show, the anti-prohibitionist message is spreading, and with the help of groups like LEAP and the IPRT, it is spreading into the mainstream.

Click here to watch the LEAP video online or donate $15 or more to DRCNet to order a copy of the DVD.

An Open Letter to the New Jersey Senate Health, Human Services and Senior Citizens Committee

September 6, 2006 Re: "New Jersey Compassionate Use Medical Marijuana Act" (S88 & A933) Restrictions Opposed New Jersey lawmakers will soon consider whether to pass into law the "New Jersey Compassionate Use Medical Marijuana Act" (S88 and A933). This act would remove the statewide criminal penalties for the use, possession and cultivation of a small amount of marijuana for qualified patients under a program administered by the New Jersey Department of Health and Senior Services (NJDHSS). The Coalition for Medical Marijuana—New Jersey (CMM-NJ) urges lawmakers to support this bill as it is written. We oppose any attempt to restrict the diseases or conditions that would qualify a New Jersey patient for medical marijuana. This is a question that is properly left only to the treating physician. There are, moreover, a number of rare conditions that respond well to medical marijuana. The federal government, in its only existing Investigational New Drug (IND) trial of medical marijuana, recognizes Nail-Patella Syndrome as well as Multiple Congenital Cartilaginous Exostosis as qualifying conditions for medical marijuana. These two conditions respond well to marijuana therapy, as do the more common conditions included in the IND study, Glaucoma and Multiple Sclerosis. The federal government has been treating patients in this study for up to 27 years by giving them marijuana. Each month the patients in this IND study receive from the federal government a cannister that holds about nine ounces of marijuana. The cannisters hold 300 pre-rolled cigarettes, that may be consumed at the rate of 10 or more per day, or about two ounces per week. All of the patients in this study are doing well—their conditions are controlled, side effects are minimal, and marijuana is the only medicine they are using for their conditions. Here in New Jersey, a mother contacted CMM-NJ to beg that her son be allowed medical marijuana for a condition called Friedreich's Ataxia. She said, "There are about 6,000 people in the country who have this disease. There is no cure and marijuana is the only thing that works for the pain. It's not easy watching your child suffer from pain when a simple solution like marijuana can ease the muscle spasms, bone and joint pain, muscle pain and involuntary eye movements that this disease (causes)." Nothing relieves her son's symptoms as safely and as effectively as marijuana. Who could face this mother and say, "We will only allow medical marijuana for cancer and multiple sclerosis, but not for your son's condition?" And what about Roberta—a kindly, New Jersey grandmother who suffers from a very painful condition called Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy? Her condition is progressive (getting worse) and incurable. Roberta plans to commit suicide when the pains get too great and the medical intervention too oppressive. She wants to try medical marijuana as a last ditch measure before suicide. Who could say to Roberta, "No, it is better that you commit suicide than have a trial of medical marijuana?" No one can foresee all of the conditions that might respond to medical marijuana. Qualifying conditions for medical marijuana must only be decided by the patient's own physician, not by a politician, no matter how well intentioned. Restricting conditions for medical marijuana can only be described as arbitrary and capricious. CMM-NJ urges lawmakers to adopt the "New Jersey Compassionate Use Medical Marijuana Act" (S88 & A933) as written. Ken Wolski, RN, MPA Executive Director Coalition for Medical Marijuana--New Jersey 844 Spruce St. Trenton, NJ 08648 (609) 394-2137 www.cmmnj.org [email protected]
Localização: 
NJ
United States

Callout: Please Submit Blog Posts, News and Events on New DRCNet Web Site!

Among the features available on DRCNet's new web site are interactive possibilities for you to be a part of the web team. First and foremost are Reader Blogs, a section of the new "Stop the Drug War Speakeasy" blogosphere project. Visit http://stopthedrugwar.org/speakeasy/reader to check it out and start posting! (If you tried already and had trouble, please try again -- we have worked out some of the initial technical issues, though probably not yet all.) We will be devoting an increasing amount of attention over time to the Reader Blogs -- this is just the beginning!

You can now let us know about important or interesting news items of relevance by submitting them directly to our new Latest News section -- visit http://stopthedrugwar.org/node/add/content-recent_news to send your suggested news links to our moderators.

DRCNet continues to publish listings of events large and small that relate to the cause, but now we feature them in a listing that appears on most of the pages on our site and which links to a full calendar. If you are involved with or know of a relevant event, you can post it directly -- not just a short description as we have done previously, but the full announcement -- at our add event page at http://stopthedrugwar.org/node/add/event online.

Drug War Chronicle articles now have comments sections at the bottom of them, another way you can join in the discussion.

Coming soon: syndication feeds you can post on your web site, a substantial drug policy links database, and geographically-targeted content for your personalized web site view. To get that geographically-targeted content, though, you'll need to be logged to our new user accounts (same e-mail address you gave us previously, if you're a subscriber) and provide us with your location if you haven't already. Visit http://stopthedrugwar.org/user to log in or register or update your information. (Please let us know if you experience any error messages or problems with the user accounts -- we have gotten some of the issues fixed but we want to get it as close to perfect as we can.)

Introducing: The Stop the Drug War Speakeasy

DRCNet is pleased to announce a major upgrade to DRCNet's web site and the launching within it of "The Stop the Drug War Speakeasy." Please visit http://stopthedrugwar.org -- each day -- to check it out and for original writing on a range of tracks dealing with the issue in a blog format.

The Speakeasy, among other things, will serve as the launching point for a campaign, as our slogan expresses it, to raise awareness of the consequences of prohibition. Stay tuned for some calls to action on how you can be involved. The Speakeasy will also serve as our daily soapbox where we briefly address the latest important developments in drug policy (without waiting until Friday morning's in-depth treatments in the Chronicle) and in which we also extend our tradition of supporting the work of all the different groups in the movement. Speaking of the Chronicle, that will continue too, and Chronicle editor Phil Smith will also be blogging, sharing his "inside" insights on the drug war and the process of reporting on it as well as offering observations on the kinds of stories that don't usually make the Chronicle.

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photo of prohibition-era beer raid in the District of Columbia, from the Library of Congress archive
The Speakeasy can also be your daily soapbox, via our new "Reader Blogs" section. Start your own blog on DRCNet to help us preach to the unconverted via the blogosphere -- especially excellent posts will get displayed on the DRCNet home page!

If you take a moment to check out the new site -- again, http://stopthedrugwar.org -- you will see that there are many other new features and reasons to visit daily besides the Speakeasy. An extensive set of topical categories on drug war issues, consequences of prohibition and articles' relation to politics & advocacy; a "Latest News" feed; content in Spanish and Portuguese; links to the most popular articles or to articles that are similar to the one you're reading; pages to watch the important Law Enforcement Against Prohibition and BUSTED videos; a "tracking" page where you can remind yourself of pages you've visited before; an improved Reformer's Calendar; more. And even more coming soon.

Please send us your thoughts and suggestions as we continue to add to this new web site direction. Onward and upward, with your help!

Special thanks to Antinomia Solutions web site design for going above and beyond the call of duty on this project.

Announcement: New Format for the Reformer's Calendar

https://stopthedrugwar.org/files/appointmentbook.jpg
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.

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