From October 11 to 14, the Drug Policy Alliance, a reform-minded advocacy organization and occasional cross-poster to Points, held its biennial International Drug Policy Reform Conference in Washington, D.C. Topics of interest include organizing and educating about drugs under differential prohibitions, mitigating the harms of the drug war and promoting self care for vulnerable populations, and influencing the discursive boundaries of debates over drugs and other substances (one such panel featured Points alum Dr. Ingrid Walker). The full program is found online.
In her keynote, acclaimed legal scholar Michelle Alexander placed race at the center of the reform movement. Noting recent marijuana legalization efforts and a supposed cultural sympathy developing for the largely white population of reported opioid dependent people, Alexander still demurred. “I have my doubts,” she offered, as to whether these circumstances will result in substantive, equitable drug policy reform, so long as the primary advantages remain concentrated among privileged venture capitalists in legal states. Watch the entire rousing keynote below.