<p>Tony Newman 646-335-5384<br />
Sharda Sekaran 347-480-8798</p>
WHAT: On the opening day of the 2016 United Nations General Assembly Special Session (UNGASS) on the World Drug Problem, the Drug Policy Alliance (DPA) is gathering more than 60 performers dressed in costumes from the era of U.S. alcohol prohibition to greet attendees at the entrance to the United Nations and hand them copies of the “Post-Prohibition Times,” a newspaper printout of a letter to UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon urging him to set the stage “for real reform of global drug control policy.”
The unprecedented list of signatories includes a range of people from Senators Elizabeth Warren, Cory Booker and Bernie Sanders to businessmen Warren Buffett, George Soros, Richard Branson, Barry Diller, actors Michael Douglas and Jane Fonda, Super Bowl champion Tom Brady, singers John Legend and Mary J. Blige, activists Reverend Jesse Jackson, Gloria Steinem and Michelle Alexander, as well as distinguished legislators, cabinet ministers, and former UN officials.
WHERE: 45th Street and 1st Ave – at the entrance to the United Nations.
WHEN: April 19, 2016 from 9:00AM EST – 11:00AM EST
WHY: The UN Special Session, which will take place April 19-21, is the first of its kind since 1998, when the UN’s illusory but official slogan was “A drug-free world – we can do it!” The upcoming UNGASS was proposed in late 2012 by the Mexican government, with strong support from other Latin American governments. Last year UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon issued a strong call-to-action, urging governments “to conduct a wide-ranging and open debate that considers all options.” The public letter to him was prompted in part by the obstacles to such debate within the confines of the United Nations.
“The drug control regime that emerged during the last century,” the letter says, “has proven disastrous for global health, security and human rights. Focused overwhelmingly on criminalization and punishment, it created a vast illicit market that has enriched criminal organizations, corrupted governments, triggered explosive violence, distorted economic markets and undermined basic moral values… Humankind cannot afford a 21st century drug policy as ineffective and counter-productive as the last century’s.”
There will be a number of photo opportunities as well as DPA staff available for interviews. See links to three photos of some of the actors who will be there.
ABOUT THE DRUG POLICY ALLIANCE: The Drug Policy Alliance (DPA) is the nation's leading organization of people who believe the war on drugs is doing more harm than good. DPA fights for drug policies grounded in science, compassion, health and human right