The Washington Sessions

2015. december 11.

Watch the most important speeches and sessions from the 2015 Drug Policy Reform Conference, held in Washington D.C.

The Drugreporter was asked to be the official videographer of the conference. We already published our summary movie and the opening speeches. The following are some very interesting sessions and speeches.

Feature Plenary: Drug Policy Reform: A Human Rights Imperative

The inroduction of Ethan Nadelmann
, executive director of the Drug Policy Alliance, to the Feature Plenary: Drug Policy Reform: A Human Rights Imperative.

The speech of Damon Barrett, co-founder and director of the International Centre on Human Rights and Drug Policy based at the Human Rights Centre, University of Essex

The speech of Deborah Peterson-Small, founder and executive director of Break the Chains.

The speech of Mark Golding, Minister of Justice, Jamaica.

The speech of Liz Evans, Fellow, Open Society Foundations, Vancouver, Canada.

Closing Plenary
Speech of Vicki Hanson, PhD Candidate, Department of Government, University of the West Indies, Kingston, Jamaica

Speech of Kurt Schmoke, President of the University of Baltimore & former mayor of Baltimore, Maryland

Speech of Juliana Willars, Anthropologist, Texas State University
Speech of Julie Holland, MD, Psychopharmacologist, Psychiatrist & Author, New York, NY

Speech of T-Dubb-O, Hip Hop Artist, Political Director, Hands Up United, Florissant, MO

Speech of Jeff Mizanskey, sentenced to life without the possibility of parole because of three felony convictions. All were for non-violent, marijuana-related offenses.

The speech of Edo Agustian, national coordinator of the Indonesian Drug Users' Network,'PKNI.’

Closing speech of Ethan Nadelmann.


Connecting the Dots: Where the Drug Policy Reform and the Black Lives Matter Movements Intersect. 
The drug war is a primary source of funding for the tanks in towns like Ferguson, the over-policing in New York City and the unprecedented discretion given to police officers to criminalize Black people.  With the meteoric rise of the Movement for Black Lives and the growing movement for broader drug policy reform, what are the essential questions that drug policy reformers must ask themselves about Black lives? And how can we join forces to course correct and create a world where all our communities can thrive?
Asha Bandele, Director, Advocacy Grants Program, Drug Policy Alliance, New York, NY
T-Dubb-O,Hip Hop Artist, Political Director, Hands Up United, Florissant, MO
Lumumba Bandele, Senior Organizer, NAACP LDF, New York, NY
Patrisse Marie Cullors, Co-Founder, Black Lives Matter, Los Angeles, CA
Kassandra Frederique, Director, New York Policy Office, Drug Policy Alliance, New York, NY
Deborah Small, Founder and ED, Break the Chains, Richmond, CA

Are the Party Kids Any Safer Yet? EDM Festivals, the Music Industry and Harm Reduction
Event producers are in a tough spot: always trying to balance demands for “zero-tolerance” and “drug-free” events while doing what they can to reduce potential harms among attendees who are determined to use drugs. In
the electronic music scene particularly, is the scale finally tipping away from overzealous enforcement and toward practical harm reduction approaches? How are festivals starting to integrate drug education and onsite harm reduction services to keep their attendees safe? What challenges and limitations still remain? Would a national effort to reform the federal RAVE Act clear the path?
Stefanie Jones, Nightlife Community Engagement Manager, Drug Policy Alliance, New York, NY
Kate Becker, Director, Office of Film + Music, Seattle, WA
Dede Flemming, Co-Founder, The Do Lab, Los Angeles, CA
Dede Goldsmith, Founder, Amend the RAVE Act Campaign, Abingdon, VA
Mark Lawrence, CEO, Association for Electronic Music, Brighton, UK
Shannon Clare Petitt, Zendo Project Coordinator, Multidisciplinary Association of Psychedelic Studies (MAPS), San Diego, CA
Missi Wooldridge, Executive Director, DanceSafe, Denver, CO

Drug Policy & Immigration Reform: Bridging the Gap and Keeping Families

Convictions for minor drug offenses result in harsher consequences for non-U.S. citizens, including deportation and permanent separation of families. Hundreds of thousands of people have been deported from the U.S. in recent years for nothing more than a minor drug law violation. California is developing landmark legislation to protect people arrested for minor drug law violations from deportation, as well as from loss of federal housing and educational benefits. How did this model emerge? And how can it be replicated? Spanish interpretation available.
Armando Gudiño, Policy Manager, Drug Policy Alliance, Los Angeles, CA
Angie Junck, Supervising Attorney, Immigrant Legal Resource Center, San Francisco, CA
Joseph Villela, Senior Policy Advocate, Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights of Los Angeles
Grace Meng, Senior Researcher, Human Rights Watch, New York, NY
Jeanette Zanipatin, Staff Attorney, Mexican American Legal Defense and Education Fund, Sacramento, CA

2015 Achievement Award Winners

The Dr. Andrew Weil Award: Charles Ries and Jerome E. Beck

The H.B. Spear Award: Neill Franklin

The Alfred R. Lindesmith Award: Robin Room

The Norman E. Zinberg Award: Dan Bigg

The Edward M. Brecher Award: Eugene Jarecki

The Robert C. Randall Award: Gretchen Burns Bergman

The Robert C. Randall Award: VOCAL-NY

The Richard J. Dennis Drugpeace Award: Ira Glasser