U.S. Launch for Landmark Book: After the War on Drugs

Press Release November 11, 2009
Media Contact

Tony Newman at 646-335-5384 or Danny Kushlick at 011 44 7970 174747

Transform Drug Policy Foundation, the UK’s leading organization advocating alternatives to the drug war, is hosting a live press conference and simultaneous teleconference on November 12, 2009 to discuss the implications and logistics of moving from drug war to drug regulation. The teleconference at 11:00am MST (1:00pm EST) will feature the launch of Transform’s internationally groundbreaking book, After the War on Drugs: Blueprint for Regulation, at the International Drug Policy Reform Conference in Albuquerque, New Mexico, co-hosted by the Drug Policy Alliance.

For the first time anywhere, ‘Blueprint’ provides a detailed roadmap showing how to legally regulate all currently prohibited drugs by proposing specific models of regulation for each type, coupled with the principles and rationale for doing so. These include doctors’ prescriptions, pharmacy sales, licensed outlets and off-license sales.

The book, which makes the case for regulation as a normative approach to managing risk taking behavior by adults, will also be launched in the UK Parliament in London, mainland Europe, Central and South Americas, Australia and Asia.

The book launch comes at a time when drug prohibition is in crisis. U.S. prisons are full to overflowing, inner cities are plagued by turf wars and street dealing, the Mexican drug war’s collateral damage spills into the U.S., opium production in Afghanistan continues to undermine the peace and the global economic crisis brings counterproductive expenditure at home and abroad under severe scrutiny.

Over the last decade the U.S. has wasted hundreds of billions of dollars waging a war that is at best futile, and at worst creates the very problems that prohibition is intended to solve. If prohibition continues for another decade those costs could rise to a trillion dollars. In January 2004, Barack Obama described the War on Drugs as “an utter failure.” In 2002 David Cameron, UK Prime Minister in waiting, called for a debate on legalization and regulation. And yet the U.S. drug czar Gil Kerlikowske maintains that legalization “isn’t even on the agenda” and that “legalization would only thwart our efforts and increase the economic and social costs that result from greater drug acceptance and use.” Aside from the fact that no impact assessment comparing prohibition with legalization and regulation has been conducted, this unwillingness to contemplate government control of the drug market is both reckless and irresponsible.

What: Teleconference and Simultaneous Press Conference

When: Thursday, November 12, 2009, 11:00 AM MST (1:00 PM EST)

Call-in Information: 800-311-9402 Passcode: Regulate

Where: Albuquerque Convention Center, 401 2nd Street NW, Laguna Room, Lower Level, West Complex, Albuquerque, New Mexico

Danny Kushlick, Head of Policy, Transform Drug Policy Foundation (Moderator)
Ethan Nadelmann, Executive Director, Drug Policy Alliance
Roger Goodman, State Representative, 45th District, Washington State Legislature
Deborah Small, Executive Director, Break the Chains
Jack Cole, Executive Director, Law Enforcement Against Prohibition
Sanho Tree, Director, Drug Policy Project, Institute for Policy Studies

For embargoed copies of the book and an executive summary (English, Spanish or Portuguese) or for more information, contact:

US: Tony Newman, Drug Policy Alliance – 646-335-5384
UK: Danny Kushlick, Transform Drug Policy Foundation – 011 44 7970 174747

A young woman holds a sign that says "End the Drug War."

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