Why Humanists Should Fight Against the “War on Drugs” @ SECULAR SATURDAY

Why Humanists Should Fight Against the "War on Drugs" @ SECULAR SATURDAY

November 4, 2023
3:00 pm - 5:00 pm

First Unitarian Society

Register on Meetup.com

Most everything you’ve been told that supports the “War on Drugs” is wrong. Come learn the true history and facts about drugs, the users, and legalities, and why, based on humanist principles, we all should be actively fighting against the war on drugs. Some recommended readings and videos are listed below for those who want to delve into the topic ahead of time.

The presentation will be from 3:00—4:30. Afterwards, join other Secular Saturday session attendees in the gallery for refreshments and socializing.

Amy Butani has a degree in Criminology and over 20 years’ experience as a Healthcare Data Scientist. For 30+ years she has been frustrated with the illogical and unreasonable laws and treatment surrounding drugs and hopes this presentation will make you frustrated too.

Kurtis Hanna started two nonprofits—Minnesota NORML and Sensible MN—to educate residents on the follies of the drug war and help patients navigate the state’s medical cannabis program. His lobbying was critical to the addition of raw cannabis flower as a delivery method for patients in addition to non-smokable options. Kurtis’ petitioning was also pivotal in prompting the state’s Board of Pharmacy to remove hemp-derived THC from Schedule 1. Last session he successfully lobbied the Minnesota legislature to create a psychedelic medicine task force and assisted in the push to legalize all drug paraphernalia and adult use cannabis.

Thomas Nealon has a degree in History & Political Science. His professional work has included an internship with a cannabis industry group & local government as a city planner. He has an interest in cannabis policy & advocacy, harm reduction, and promoting humanist values & goals.

Recommended Reading/Viewing/Listening:

  • Dr. Carl Hart is the Chair of the Department of Psychology at Columbia University. He is also the Ziff Professor of Psychology in the Departments of Psychology and Psychiatry. Professor Hart has published numerous scientific and popular articles in the area of neuropsychopharmacology and is co-author of the textbook Drugs, Society and Human Behavior (with Charles Ksir).
    – Book: Drug Use for Grown-Ups
    – Video: “Let’s Quit Abusing Drug Users” https://www.tedmed.com/talks/show?id=309156
    – Video: “Are drugs really frying your brain?” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=90MHZbXrmY0
    – Book: High Price
  • Milton Friedman was an American economist and statistician who received the 1976 Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences for his research on consumption analysis, monetary history and theory and the complexity of stabilization policy.
    – Video: “End the Drug War” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c_49jorGDEw&pp
  • Helena Hansen, an MD, Ph.D. psychiatrist-anthropologist, is the interim chair of the Department of Psychiatry and Biobehavioral Sciences, interim director of the UCLA Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior at the David Geffen School of Medicine (DGSOM) at UCLA, and interim physician-in-chief of the Resnick Neuropsychiatric. Dr. Hansen is professor of psychiatry and co-chair of Research Theme in Translational Social Science and Health Equity at DGSOM, as well as associate director of UCLA’s Center for Social Medicine.
    – NPR Interview: “What’s behind the increase in overdose deaths for Black Americans?” https://www.nprillinois.org/2023-08-16/whats-behind-the-increase-in-overdose-deaths-for-black-americans
    – Book: “Whiteout: How Racial Capitalism Changed the Color of Opioids in America”
  • Christina Dent is a politically conservative Christian who supported criminalizing drugs until she became a foster parent and saw the negative effects up close. She researched why drug-related harm wasn’t decreasing and became convinced it’s because the criminal justice system is the wrong tool for addressing drugs. Founder of “End it for Good”.
    – Video: “End the War on Drugs for Good” https://www.ted.com/talks/christina_dent_end_the_war_on_drugs_for_good

This event is sponsored by HumanistsMN. If you are not yet a member, please consider joining to help us cover our costs and build the humanist movement. Not ready to join? Donations are gratefully accepted! Join or donate at humanistsmn.org.

To register or comment on this event, view listing on Meetup.com.