Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Release (UK) - "Nice People Take Drugs"

Release, the campaigning organisation that specialises in drugs and drugs law, is running an advertising campaign on London buses during June. With the slogan 'Nice People Take Drugs', Release is looking to open up the drugs debate and engage the public in a more sophisticated and honest drugs dialogue.

Explaining why Release was moved to run this campaign, executive director Sebastian Saville said, "the constant association by politicians and the media of drugs with words like evil and shame simply does not reflect most people's experience of drugs. The public is tired of the artificial representation of drugs in society, which is not truthful about the fact that all sorts of people use drugs. If we are to have a fair and effective drug policy, it must be premised on this reality first and foremost."

In this election week, politicians have learnt an important lesson about what is and what is not, tolerated by the public. Outcry over the parliamentary expenses scandal far outstrips any reaction the public has had to previous revelations of drug use by MPs. Their reluctance to engage with the issue of drugs is based on misguided assumptions about the public's perception of them.

The slogan 'Nice People Take Drugs' was especially chosen to illustrate the extent to which drugs are present in many aspects of society and across every generation, culture and class.

Despite this, policy-makers maintain a narrow understanding of drug use and the people who use them. This has resulted in some of the biggest and most expensive policy failures of modern times.

More details about this campaign can be found here.

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