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Web: The 2005 International Drug Policy Reform Conference - A Superb Event!
Newshawk: Our Volunteers Rock!
Pubdate: Fri, 25 Nov 2005
Source: DrugSense Weekly (DSW)
Note: by DrugSense Staff

DrugSense and its major projects, the Media Awareness Project and Drug Policy Central, were well represented at The 2005 International Drug Policy Reform Conference held November 10th through 12th at the Westin Hotel in Long Beach, California.

Philippe Lucas, Director of the Vancouver Island Compassion Society and Canadians for Safe Access, both out of Victoria, British Columbia, moderated a panel titled, "O Cannabis: Cutting-Edge Research in Canada"

Steve Heath, the leader of MAP's Media Activism Facilitator project from Clearwater, Florida, participated on a five person panel, "Making the News: How to Get the Media to Cover your Issue," with the communications staffs of the Marijuana Policy Project and the Drug Policy Alliance

The DrugSense Key Supporters Breakfast, organized by Mary Jane Borden, Fundraising Specialist/Business Manager for DrugSense, recognized DrugSense' 10-year anniversary and welcomed 28 guests. The continuing tight financial situation for DrugSense was reviewed, and guests provided valuable suggestions for improving funding. As a result, the DrugSense Advisory Board has been created to provide input on fundraising, operations, and strategic planning. We thank the funder who covered the cost of this breakfast. Please see to make a tax-deductible donation.

As a result of a generous scholarship program provided by Common Sense for Drug Policy, many people were able to attend this conference who had never been to a similar international event before. MAP volunteers who attended via these scholarships were Greg Francisco, David Michon, Kirk Muse, and Elizabeth Wehrman.

MAP archived news clippings about the conference include from the Salt Lake Tribune announcing that Salt Lake City Mayor Rocky Anderson had received the Richard J. Dennis Drugpeace Award for Outstanding Achievement in the Field of Drug Policy Reform and from Chicago area bimonthly, In These Times, highlighting LEAP's significant presence at the gathering.

The highlight of the conference for DrugSense/MAP staff and volunteers was the award ceremony at which the organization received the Robert C. Randall Award for Achievement in the Field of Citizen Action. This award honors citizens who make democracy work in the difficult area of drug law and policy reform. The award was presented by Jack Cole of Law Enforcement Against Prohibition Accepting the award on behalf of everyone at DrugSense were Executive Director Mark Greer and Webmaster Matt Elrod, who also leads our Technical Support Team. More information about the award and a photo of it can be found on

Audio excerpts from our award acceptance speech can be heard at about 20 minutes into this mp3

Other awards presented at the conference are listed on this webpage:

The Drug Policy Alliance has a collection of conference pictures on this webpage:

DrugSense is organizing it's own collection of conference photos, a work in progress, which can be viewed by registered DrugSense users here:

Finally, we at DrugSense would like to express our sincerest thank you to the funders and supporters who enabled this conference to be a huge success, who helped so many to attend it, and who voted their hearts and minds by awarding us the Robert Randall Award. Let's hope that the next ten years celebrate the institution of sensible and compassionate drug policies worldwide and that efforts toward these policies inspired by this conference are well on their way to fruition by the next Drug Policy Alliance Conference.

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