Video: Drug legalization and life post-prohibition

legalize by Ricardo Martins

legalize by Ricardo Martins

There are groups of people advocating for the legalization of drugs, but what would that actually mean? From Hungary to Colombia, from youth to teachers, from cops and clergy, individuals and groups are taking to citizen media to put forth their arguments regarding this potentially controversial subject.

In Hungary, the Hungarian Civil Liberties Union has a broad spectrum of subjects they tackle, and one of them is the legalization of drugs. They've produced in the past year more than 70 short films, and in their words:

2009 has been a busy year of video advocacy work. The vast majority of our films dealt with drug policy issues, within the framework of the European Drug policy Initiative (EDPI) program. We filmed in Vienna at the protest organized by HCLU against the global drug war in front of the UN building, investigated the issue of drug tourism in Dutch border towns, introduced the upcoming heroin program in Denmark, showed the history and failure of strict Swedish prohibitionist drug policies and campaigned for the introduction of a needle exchange program in Stockholm. We successfully helped Russian NGOs who turned to the Global Fund after the Russian government denied the funding of needle exchange, and promoted the successful harm reduction programs that Kyrgyzystan introduced to stop the HIV epidemic.

Following, a video where the HCLU interviews leaders in drug policy reform at the New Mexico International Drug Policy Reform Conference of 2009, discussing about the future of drug control and what would be the implications of dropping prohibition laws:

In Colombia, last May saw the marihuana legalization march in the city, in also the nationwide event to keep the personal dose legal. Prolific Video Blogger Juan David Escobar was at both, and brings us some pictures of the “personal dose of personality” event in Medellin as well as the march for the legalization of marihuana.

He writes:

In Colombia, one of the most important drug production country, and of course a symbol for nearly four decades of war, consumption, violence caused by marijuana, cocaine and heroin trafficking. On March 26 was a call in the main cities and their public places, for people that inhabit this corner of South America, to meet for taking a picture, where all can show and take our personality dose, like a way of individual expression for freedom in a country that offers little liberties.

In Mexico, high-school students in Morelos get the opportunity to debate about the legalization of drugs in a classroom setting in this 6 part series (part 1, part 2, part 3, part 4, part 5, part 6) of the debate by anivdelain. Following is the conclusion, where the moderator wraps up by saying that if the legalization law is passed, that it is up to each individual to inform themselves on whether they will use drugs or not and to make sure they use it for “good”.

LEAP, Law Enforcement Against Prohibition, states on their website that they are against prohibition because it just doesn't work: in spite of incarcerations, strict laws and money spent on the fight against drugs, they are currently cheaper, easier to get and more potent. In the following video, cops join clergy in an unlikely pairing discussing the war on drugs, where they talk about the role of clergy in the fight against drugs, by giving drug users counselling and helping them by giving them hope, instead of taking it away by imprisoning them:

Is your country's law system considering the depenalization or legalization on drugs? What is the citizen's perspective on this and what is your personal opinion? Will continued criminalization of drug users help stop trafficking and drug use, or is there another way out?

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