US President Nixon launched the "war on drugs" in the 1970s. Today, incarceration, social marginalisation and drug-related deaths have led North America to rethink this strategy. However, although positive developments are happening locally in the fields of harm reduction, alternatives to incarceration, new drug law enforcement approaches and cannabis regulation, the US and Canadian federal governments remain resistant to drug policy reform.
Due to domestic party disagreement, the Democrats were unable to pass a bill to legalise cannabis and that to many was an 'urgent' civil rights issue and an opportunity to deal with the consequences of the war on drugs on minorities.
The objective of the Conference is to create a global network that works with local partners to support health care workers, policy makers, researchers and people who use drugs to increase hepatitis C prevention and care.