[Ibogaine] CN BC: UN-backed drug conference criticized by some participants for focus on harm reduction

Tim Meehan tmeehan at connect.carleton.ca
Fri Feb 8 16:44:48 EST 2008

Was at this conference, as was Sandra K and many other activists.  The  
prohibitionists seemed VERY disturbed that us uppity legalizers dared  
attend.  Listen to next week's Cultural Baggage for more information.

-Tim Meehan
Research Analyst
Patients Against Ignorance and Discrimination on Cannabis
Ottawa, Ontario

Next - Century of Lies on Tues, Cutural Baggage on Wed:

- Cultural Baggage 12:30 PM ET, 11:30 AM CT, 10:30 AM MT & 9:30 AM PT:  
Philippe Lucas on Vancouver UN/NGO Conf
-  Century of Lies 12:30 PM ET, 11:30 AM CT, 10:30 AM MT & 9:30 AM  
PT:   Dr. Robert Melameade on Cannabinoid Systems

Hundreds of our programs are available online at www.drugtruth.net, www.audioport.org 
  and at www.radio4all.net.


> http://www.straight.com/article-131100/united-nations-backed-drug-conference-criticized-by-participants-for-focus-on-harm-reduction?
> February 5, 2008
>                   UN-backed drug conference criticized by some  
> participants for focus on harm reduction
> By Travis Lupick
> It's easy to imagine the long line of opium that stretches from the  
> vast poppy fields of Afghanistan to the heroin dealers in Vancouver.  
> So the Morris J. Wosk Centre for Dialogue on West Hastings Street  
> was an appropriate venue for a two-day international conference on  
> drug-control policy.
> Hosts of the event hailed it as a success, but other attendees  
> complained of a one-sided show.
> The University of Victoria Centre for Addictions Research of BC  
> cohosted the Vancouver leg of the United Nation's Beyond 2008 forum.  
> Its director of communications, Dan Reist, told the Straight that  
> the event went "very well".
> Speaking from the conference, he maintained that a variety of  
> opinions were represented and that participants focused on working  
> together.
> Keeping the Door Open, a Vancouver-based organization that promotes  
> dialogue on drug use, also cohosted the conference. Chair Gillian  
> Maxwell shared Reist's enthusiasm.
> "It seems the majority of the people in the room think it's  
> impossible to prevent drug use, and, therefore, you get the war on  
> drugs, which is a war on people," Maxwell said.
> She maintained those who can use drugs responsibly should be able to  
> do so without fear of persecution. Money spent on enforcement and  
> punishment could be better spent on prevention and treatment,  
> Maxwell said.
> But Alcohol-Drug Education Service's Judi Lalonde told the Straight  
> that Maxwell's argument of harm reduction was one made too many  
> times at the Vancouver conference.
> "Representation from the groups for legalization are probably about  
> 95 percent, to possibly 5 percent in the area of prevention,"  
> Lalonde claimed, speaking from the conference. "I'm quite  
> disappointed with the whole process of the last few days."
> Lalonde said that she also attended a Beyond 2008 conference in St.  
> Petersburg, Florida, in January, and that it was very different from  
> Vancouver's.
> While Florida's event "allowed for a real dialogue from a balanced  
> perspective", Lalonde continued, Vancouver's "became a forum for  
> lobbyists and activists".
> D.A.R.E. BC Society's delegate at the conference, Brian Whiteford,  
> also told the Straight that there was a disproportionate  
> representation of legalization activists at the conference.
> But, he maintained, the event did a good job of bringing people  
> together for an exchange of perspectives on drug control, and  
> D.A.R.E.'s message of education and prevention was well received.
> Whiteford expressed hope that his organization's message would  
> contribute to the final Beyond 2008 report, which will go to the  
> UN's Office on Drugs and Crime later this year.
> UVic's Reist said he was hopeful that Vancouver's contribution to  
> the Beyond 2008 forum will be a positive one.
> "Will it have a huge impact?" he asked. "I can't say. But I think  
> that it's unprecedented that the UN has asked for and allowed such a  
> consultation to bring its voice into the United Nations."
> The conference wrapped up on February 5 and was initiated by the  
> Vienna NGO Committee on Narcotic Drugs. It was organized in  
> partnership with the UN Office on Drugs and Crime.
> The event was one of 10 held around the world. Beyond 2008 was  
> designed to involve NGOs and civil society in advising the United  
> Nations on international drug control.

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