Last year, in collaboration with our membership, IDPC marked June as #DrugDecrim Month. Throughout the month, the IDPC Secretariat, network members and allies produced over 200 social media posts that reached thousands of people and raised awareness on the urgency of adopting supportive, non-punitive approaches to drug policy.
Emboldened by this response and motivated by the crucial importance of decriminalisation in improving drug policy, we are replicating the initiative this year.
Criminalisation is a major obstacle in achieving the IDPC network's vision of 'drug policies that advance social justice and human rights'. Drug policies' current reliance on punishment and criminalisation exacerbates inequalities, racial and social injustice, and drug-related harm. In many parts of the world, drug laws are a colonial remnant which swell prison populations, widen the criminal legal system's net, and worsen public health and welfare outcomes such as HIV and hepatitis infections, and drug-related deaths.
Across the globe, over 30 countries have adopted legal reforms to remove the criminalisation of certain activities related to drug use. The UN System Common Position on Drugs reinforces multilateral support for this approach.
#DrugDecrim Month showcases the wealth of existing evidence and knowledge on the harmful impacts of criminalisation, and the benefits of decriminalisation to foster safer, healthier and more inclusive communities.
In the coming five weeks, IDPC's social media accounts (Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube) will be sharing publications, interviews and panels, both from the IDPC network and colleagues from civil society and academia at large.
We invite you to join the conversation and share your own thoughts and materials by using the hashtag #DrugDecrim.