Friday, October 14, 2011

DPA Conference Appears to Again Confine Harm Reduction

& Downplay PLANT MEDICINE by ignoring almost any plant other than Cannabis (Marijuana)

A look at the Drug Policy Alliance program for their upcoming conference this November 2-5 shows a continuing indifference to concepts of 'Harm Reduction' beyond narrow confines.
Harm Reduction
Spotlight Session:

Innovative Policy Responses to Overdose
The number of overdoses has climbed dramatically in the last decade, mostly because of prescription drugs. Drug overdose is now the second leading cause of accidental death in the U.S. Significant federal funding is directed toward preventing HIV/AIDS and homicide, but virtually no federal dollars are designated for overdose prevention – even though overdose kills more people than murder or HIV/AIDS. What effective policy responses are available to stem this easily preventable epidemic?
Other Sessions
• Drug Sellers as Harm Reduction Allies
• Nightlife Harm Reduction: the Next Harm Reduction Frontier?
• Crack Pipes, Cow Wormer, and Controversy: Stimulants and Harm Reduction
• Too High a Cost: HIV and Drug Policy Reform
• Drugs, Criminalization, and Public Health: Social Justice as Harm Reduction
• Supervised Injection Facilities and Other Good Ideas
• Bad Trips: How to Respond to Unwanted or Dangerous Side Effects of Opiates, Psychedelics and Stimulants
Other Sessions

• Innovations in Drug Policies and Strategies in Latin America
• European Roundtable, Special Focus: Portuguese Decriminalization
• Global Roundtable
The remainder of this conference is devoted to Cannabis, and to matters of dealing with the existing prohibition- e.g. How to Deal With Police to Avoid Arrest - and the safeguarding of Rights beyond 4th Amendment (USC freedom from arbitrary searches), such as discrimination matters.

Spotlight Session:
State of the Movement: What’s It Going to Take to Make Marijuana Legal?

Marijuana legalization is the leading edge of drug policy reform in the U.S. mainstream today. So how’re we doing in the fight to end this obstinate and failed prohibition? What can we expect to see on the ballot in 2012 and beyond? Prominent national political consultants help sort out prospects for victory at the state and national level, including insights from the most extensive marijuana reform public opinion research ever conducted.
Other Sessions
span style="font-weight: bold;">State of the Movement: Is Medical Marijuana Still Relevant?

• How Does Money Shape Marijuana Reform?
• Innovative Approaches to Medical Marijuana Distribution and Services
• Marijuana Policing Targets Urban Youth
• Medical Marijuana Science: Latest Advances
• The New, Improved Marijuana Reform Coalition
• How Are We Ever Going to Clarify Medical Marijuana in California?
• Marijuana Reform Hotspots: Colorado and Washington

Criminal Justice
Spotlight Session:
Surveillance vs Incarceration: Reducing Prison Population Isn’t the End

Prison reformers, largely based on a cost savings argument, are turning the tide on prison expansion. However, states are now looking for cheaper ways to exact punishment and to monitor those suspected or convicted of breaking the law. As prison populations shrink, is the expanded criminal justice surveillance of (more) Americans inevitable? And what does this mean for a criminal justice system that is marked by extraordinary, institutionalized racial bias?
Other Sessions

• Making Sense of Drug Testing
• Drug Treatment and the Criminal Justice System: What Should It Look Like?
• Reducing Drug Arrests and Convictions: Strategies to Shift Law Enforcement Funds, Practices and Priorities
• Stigma and Exclusion: How Can We Overcome Consequences of Convictions and Suspicion of Drug Use?
• Sentencing and Prison Reform Is Real: Lessons and Warnings from Recent Successes
To its credit, the DPA program includes psychedelics.


Spotlight Session: Psychedelic Research: What Does the Future Hold?

We are now in the midst of a psychedelic renaissance, with clinical research studies under way at top medical schools and research institutes world-wide. What new directions will the
future hold?
• Psychedelic Science: Cross-Disciplinary Perspectives
• Psychedelic Healing: Can Psychedelics Reinvent Medicine... and Society?
• Psychedelics, Religion and Cultural Translation
• Salvia, Synthetic Marijuana, and Emerging Drug Criminalization TrendsAs well meaning as this may be- much of it is all a set of band aids upon a much larger problem of a 'drug war' that is a racket to protect certain drugs from others (and not, as DPF co-founder Arnold S. Trebach would represent it as a well intended 'progressive' or 'moral' crusade).

This reality of the drug war is indelibly marked by Licit & Illicit Drugs p 230 graph of cigarette production, with each major spike occurring with each successive wave of repressive legislative crime with the 1906 U.S. Food and Drugs Act, the 1914 Harrison Act and the 1937 'Marihuana' Tax Act, and to this very day by the exemption of such cigarettes and of alcoholic beverages from the basic legal requirement of listing a retail products ingredients known for all other consumables.

The 'band-aid' approach increasingly touted by Ethan Nadelmann (who a few years ago mentioned Coca more frequently), along with the behavior of Ira Glasser (stone faced silence at the 1997 DPF conference "Cocaine Roundtable" to hearing my answer of 'Coca' to his question 'how do we address people's fears over cocaine', contrasted with his interest he showed in 1993 upon hearing of Coca's utility at reducing incidences of prolonged labor producing brain damage, plus his known dalliances with cigarette industry monies and influence), all suggest a heavyweight yet hidden hand over drug policy, ensuring that progress is glacial, for the sake of protecting Tobacco and Pharmaceutical markets.

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