In our last INHSU 2021 satellite session, we welcomed a global panel of experts to discuss the decriminalisation of drugs. The lively session gave real-life examples of decriminalisation models and shared valuable insights into how decriminalisation could positively impact the health and wellbeing of people who use drugs globally.

The session was chaired by Professor Alison Ritter from the Drug Policy Modelling Program at the University of New South Wales, Sydney. Alison was joined by Jean-Maxence Granier, Chair of Asud, Dr. Marie Jauffret-Roustide from Inserm, A/Prof Caitlin Hughes from Flinders University, Hon. Fortune Daniel Molokela-Tsiye, Member of Parliament of Zimbabwe and National Assembly Movement for Democratic Change Alliance, Caitlin Shane, Lawyer at Pivot Legal Society and Shaun Shelly, chair of the South African Network of People Who Use Drugs (SANPUD).

“There has been a long history of criminal penalties, discrimination and multiple forms of surveillance against people who use drugs,” Alison said, opening the session. “One solution that is gaining more traction is to remove the penalties for personal drug use.”

As the subject of decriminalisation becomes a hot topic globally, common questions, concerns and considerations have appeared. This session aimed to delve into each of them.