The Re:Vision Drug Policy Network is committed to engaging young people to speak out against the drug war. That is what we are against. But what are we for?
Re:Vision has two essential principles from which we campaign. Firstly, we argue that drugs should be controlled and regulated, because of the huge social and economic cost of keeping them illegal. Thousands of people die every year from turf wars over drug territory, government crackdown, cross-contamination of drugs equipment and impure drugs. The control and regulation of all drugs, wherever it has been experimented with, has resulted in fewer deaths, fewer health problems, less patient suffering, a boost to tourism, and more cohesive and happy communities.Our second principle is that of democracy, the idea that communities can and should determine their own stances on drugs. If a town doesn’t want a cannabis shop setting up, they should not have to have a cannabis shop there. If Christiania wants to allow carts to sell hash on the street, then that should not be interfered with by central government. Ultimately, this second principle strengthens our argument: it’s hard to disagree that local communities should be able to decide what happens in their own area, a position supported by most major political parties. This principle leads to us being against the UN treaties prohibiting drug possession internationally, and potentially for arguing for things such as planning laws giving people within a certain radius a say in whether a cannabis shop can open, or indeed, other shops. This also leads us to oppose regulatory models that place science and scientific bodies above local democratic control.
What does that look like in practice?
Our vision therefore, is of a world in which someone over the age of sixteen can, depending on local planning laws, obtain ready access to any drug, either from local vendors or from the internet, all from licenced suppliers who have to demonstrate purity and safe production methods. They will be able to look up easily accessible harm reduction information about that drug which is neutral and unbiased, realistic about the potential dangers and with advice about how to use that drug with the least amount of risk. They will be able to walk down the street without being harrassed by the police for being in the wrong area, but to be encouraged to use drugs in their own home instead of in public areas. They will not be stigmatised for choosing one drug, such as alcohol or tobacco, over another, such as ketamine or mephedrone. They will be able to talk about their experiences openly and without fear of stigmatisation, supporting others who may have questions and exchanging safety advice. And if they become a problematic user, they will be able to obtain residential drug treatment speedily and effectively.