What exactly qualifies someone as an expert? Is it academic prowess or experience? Or, perhaps it’s a combination of both…

Does the drug reform sector need to listen more closely to the voice of the drug consumer? This has been a large part of the feedback that we’ve had in our work at LEAP UK. As an organisation of police, MI5, military, the speakers of LEAP UK are uniquely placed to highlight the dangers of a criminalised drug policy. Each LEAP speaker, whether it’s a retired Chief Constable, an undercover operative, or a military officer who policed the poppy fields of Afghanistan, has an inherently powerful reason as to why they oppose our current drug laws. But what about the voice of the other experts, the drug consumer and their immediate circles?

Each year the United Nations holds its International Day Against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking – a day that’s constructed to “raise awareness about the dangers of illicit drugs”. In practice, this day has been used as a reason to carry out executions, all in the sprawling cause of ‘anti drugs’.

To reclaim this day, a movement has sprung up. The Support. Don’t Punish campaign gives a voice to those who have been most impacted by our international drug treaties. This almost celebratory campaign brings together voices and faces from across the globe in an awareness drive for more humane and evidence-based drug policies. On May 30th, LEAP UK, through the Stop and Search podcast, collaborates with Support. Don’t’ Punish to make sure we listen to those who have experience with drugs and the laws.

LEAP UK and Support. Don’t Punish are inviting guests to attend Waterstones Tottenham Court Road where a seat will be reserved for each audience member who wants to have their say. If you’re a drug consumer, someone that’s in recovery, if you’re a family member and have loved ones who have been affected by drugs and the law, then your story and your voice is wanted.

Please do come along to the podcast recording on May 30th with panel members Ann Fordham from the IDPC, and Jennifer Randall, senior lecturer at the University of East London, and we want you to be the third member of the panel – make sure your story is told. June 26th 2017 will be the date that Support. Don’t Punish will take place so that people from across the world can unite to raise awareness to drug law reform – we want to make sure your voice is captured for this global movement.

For details and free tickets, plus details of another panel discussion and book launch, see the Eventbrite link here.

The Stop and Search Podcast is part of Scroobius Pip’s Distraction Pieces Network, brought to you by Acast, in association with LEAP UK.

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