The International Drug Policy Reform Conference takes place every two years and draws a wide range of participants including students, grassroots activists, scholars and other researchers, city, state and federal elected officials, people in recovery as well as active drug users, law enforcement officers, treatment providers and public health advocates.
For 2011, there are 55 sessions over the course of three days, including three plenary sessions. All sessions are 90 minutes long: usually 60 minutes of presentations or discussion (depending on the format) and 30 minutes of question & answer.
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?
• 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
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?
• 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
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.
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
Substitution and Maintenance Therapy: Confronting Ignorance, Prejudice and Stigma
Although decades of evidence overwhelmingly shows that substitution and maintenance therapies are cost-effective, humane, and beneficial to public health, they are still not widely accepted as legitimate treatments for people struggling with addiction. What will it take to move the acceptance of substitution and maintenance therapies forward?
• Health Care Reform Meets Drug Policy Reform
• The Recovery Movement and Its Role in Ending the Drug War
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
• 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 Trends
The (Drug) War on Young People: Dismantling the School to Prison Pipeline
Youth leaders from diverse communities know firsthand how the drug war and social and
economic disinvestment in young people and draconian education policies are fuelling
the school to prison pipeline. Share in their discussion of how to put a stop to these
• Building a Global Movement for Drug Policy Reform: Can Young People Lead the Way?
• No Child Left Behind? Creating Drug Policies to Include Young People
• Hip Hop and the Drug War: Moving from Reference to Real Talk
• Youth Drug Education: When D.A.R.E. Fails
Know Your Rights: How to Deal with Law Enforcement and NOT Get Arrested
The Bill of Rights provides each of us with certain inalienable rights. Flex Your Rights’ Know Your Rights training incorporates practical scenarios designed for easy application during police encounters. Learn practical methods for retaining and protecting your rights during car stops, street encounters and when the police knock at your door.
• Bad Trips: How to Respond to Unwanted or Dangerous Side Effects of Opiates, Psychedelics
• From Enthusiast to Entrepreneur: How to Make Marijuana Your Business
• Messaging for Change
• More Money, Fewer Problems: Fundraising Tips from the Inside and Outside
• How to Engage and Utilize the Ever-Changing Media World
• Throwing a Monkeywrench in Drug War Strategies: How to Use Their Money and Data to Build and Support Your Anti-Drug War Program
• What Do You Say To That Question? How To Have Conversations About Drug Use And Harm Reduction
Ban the Box: Ending Attacks on Civil Rights in Employment and Beyond
The drug war leads to the criminalization and incarceration of hundreds of thousands of people in the U.S. every year, creating extraordinary obstacles that often prevent full participation in community and civic life – for instance, gaining employment can often be nearly impossible when employers won’t hire people with criminal records. This important discussion will provide conference participants with tools to fight discrimination based on arrest or conviction records. Speakers will highlight numerous successful campaigns, led by formerly incarcerated people, which suggest new strategies and possibilities for removing barriers to employment, housing, and other vital components of community life.
• Detention, Deportation, and the Drug War: The Impact of the War on Drugs on Immigrant Rights in the U.S.
• Sex, Drugs, and Building a Movement
• Think Global, Act Local: Grassroots Engagement to End the Drug War
• Connecting Juvenile Justice and Drug Policy Reform: Opportunities and Challenges Ahead
• Conservatives, Libertarians and Drug Policy Reform
• Elected Officials: Hearing From Our Representatives on Drug Policy Reform
Mexico¹s Crisis and the Bi-national Movement Against the Drug War
The war on drugs has inflicted enormous harms on Mexico in recent years, generating extreme violence, crime, corruption and human rights abuses. What is behind this drug war and what are its national and regional implications?
What effects has it had on border and migrant communities? Can drug legalization change the dynamic? How can people in the US support Mexico¹s national peace and justice movement?
• Innovations in Drug Policies and Strategies in Latin America
• European Roundtable, Special Focus: Portuguese Decriminalization
• Global Roundtable