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DOWNTOWN EASTSIDE - More than 300 people came together today for a community dialogue on ending drug prohibition.
The tent event in Oppenheimer Park featured poet Bud Osborn and guest speakers Susan Boyd, Ann Livingston and Deboarah Peterson Small speaking on “Mirroring our Vision of a Post-Prohibition World”.
Following the speeches the community members split up into dialogue circles to plan strategy for how to "open space for popular education and dialogue around prohibition and build momentum toward strategies for social change." The dialogues focused on the impact of the drug War on women, communities of colour, and indigenous people. the drug war on the ground in the Downtown Eastside and a theatre workshop.
The organizers held the event because "It’s time to move beyond prohibition, and towards a framework that recognizes the desire for altered states of consciousness as a normal part of human behaviour, that develops drug policy based on public health and social justice, and that begins to address the social roots of addiction. We need to set drug use within the framework of collective self-determination and social justice not punishment and exclusion."
The War Stops Here was hosted by the Vancouver Area Network of Drug Users (VANDU), Western Aboriginal Harm Reduction Society, the Canadian Drug Policy Coalition and the End Prohibition Project.