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  January 16th, 2013


CDPC Executive Director Heads to Panama to Create Alternative Scenarios for Drug Policy in the Hemisphere

At the April 2012 Summit of the Americas in Cartagena, the members of the Organization of American States commissioned the OAS to analyze the hemisphere's drug policies and to present and explore alternatives to address the issue of illegal drugs and drug use. On Sunday, January 20th, the OAS will formally commence this process in Panama City, Panama.

The CDPC is proud to announce that CDPC Executive Director and SFU Adjunct Professor, Donald MacPherson, will be in attendance as part of the OAS's scenario-building team and representative of Canada.

"There is a real shift taking place in the global drug policy regime and the OAS review process is a good indicator of this. Governments from across the hemisphere are beginning to look for smarter alternatives to the war on drugs that are more effective at addressing both public health harms and public safety issues at the same time," said MacPherson.

"Who knows what will happen when we start imagining different futures in the area of drug policy. The important thing is to get people talking about alternatives - alternatives that have a hope of achieving success. The OAS process will begin to do that - it will bring people with diverse views together to look forward and see what kind of drug policies make more sense than prohibition. And in the end we all have the same goal - improved public health and safety when it comes to drugs and drug use."

The group will meet twice over the next two months and work together for four days each meeting. The meetings are being facilitated by Reos Partners and the Centro de Liderazgo y Gestion and will result in a report that will be used to inform the OAS's position on drug policy.

The Canadian Drug Policy Coalition is a partner project with the Centre for Applied Research in Mental Health and Addiction (CARMHA), a research centre based at the Faculty of Health Sciences at Simon Fraser University's Vancouver campus.  


For interview requests or more information, contact:

Douglas Haddow

Communications Coordinator
Canadian Drug Policy Coalition


  Canadian Drug Policy Coalition
C/O Centre for Applied Research in Mental Health and Addiction
Simon Fraser University
#2400 - 515 West Hastings Street
Vancouver, BC V6B 5K3


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