In this issue…
Breaking Good: Decriminalizing Drugs Globally
Advocating for Cannabis Legalization
Marijuana: Justice, Equity, Reinvestment Conference
breaking good: decriminalizing drugs globally
Katal is working to decriminalize drug possession in Connecticut and New York, so we were thrilled to attend Breaking Good: How to End the War on Drugs — a discussion as part of Open Society Foundations’ Dialogues on Drug Policy series. The Dialogues series explores the way in which the narrative of drugs as something ‘criminal’ has resulted in poor drug policies that negatively impact human rights, the criminal justice system, public health and more. Panelists included: Ecuador’s Rodrigo Velez, Executive Director of Parametrin; Ghana’s Marica Goretti-Ane Loglo, African consultant for International Drug Policy Consortium; The United Kingdom’s Niamh Eastwood, Executive Director of Release; and Maria McFarland Sanchez-Moreno, Executive Director of Drug Policy Alliance.
Each panelist shared their experiences with and what their organizations are doing to realize their drug reform goals. In Ecuador, the tactic for decriminalization is making the War on Drugs a social issue, human issue, racial issue, behavioral issue — not a crime. In Ghana, “Not Just in Transit” a report released in 2004 that looks at drug use as a health issue instead of a criminal issue has began to shift the overall perspective and there is now legislation being reviewed by parliament. In the UK, Release is working to end criminalization through research. And in the US, there is a push for diversion programs, safe consumption spaces, and the decriminalization of ALL drugs in some states.
Learn more about the drug policy work of Open Society Foundations here.
advocating for cannabis legalization
We are excited to co-sponsor “Race, Gender, and Legalization in New York” alongside Drug Policy Alliance, Cannaclusive, the Start SMART NY coalition (in which Katal is a member), and the Center for Law and Justice, next Tuesday, December 11, in Albany from 7-9 PM at The Linda WAMC’s Performing Arts Studio. The event will feature Wanda James — the first Black woman to open a dispensary in Colorado — speaking with Cannaclusive’s Mary Pryor, discussing considerations around race, gender, and NY’s adult-use program.
Learn more details and RSVP to this event here.
marijuana: justice, equity, reinvestment conference
Please join us next week for the 2-day Marijuana: Justice, Equity, Reinvestment conference as our Director of Health and Harm Reduction, Keith Brown, will be moderating the Economic Opportunities for Upstate NY panel from 1-2:30pm during day one. The conference will be held December 11 and 12 from 9:00am – 5:00pm at the Albany Capital Center (55 Eagle Street, Albany NY 12207).
The conference will explore how marijuana legalization in New York presents a unique and much-needed opportunity to create equity, economic justice, and work to restore communities most damaged by this country’s failed war on drugs.
Sessions featured include: Finance and Banking, Equity in the Industry, Diversified Economic Opportunities, Public Health, Community Reinvestment, Economic Opportunities for Upstate, Restorative Justice/Reparations, Sustainable Production, and Corporate Social Responsibility in the Industry, among many others.
This event is free, but you must register to attend. Free transportation to and from the conference is also available to those who need it. Transportation details below.