Who are Re:Vision Drug Policy Manchester?

April 5, 2011

in Articles, Drug Policy

Originally published in Student Direct.

Re:Vision Drug Policy Manchester is a student society that is now in its third year – we were previously known as Manchester Students for Sensible Drug Policy, but are now affiliated to the Re:Vision Drug Policy Network. We campaign for effective drug policy based in human rights and scientific evidence, rather than moralism and political expediency.

Re:Vision march for the alternative

Re:Vision march for the alternative.

Re:Vision Manchester activists believe that the current drug laws are harmful rather than helpful, that drugs should be treated as a health issue rather than a criminal justice matter, and that the drug war criminalises and penalises innocent people, and their communities. In a time of cuts to public services, it is outrageous that the UK spends £13billion a year on trying to prevent people from using drugs. This has had little effect – since heroin was banned in 1971, use has risen by 1000%. Hysterical media reports result in bad laws hastily enacted: mephedrone was banned in 2010 because of tenuous links to the deaths of two teenagers who had taken mephedrone while drinking heavily. The autopsy subsequently deemed that mephedrone had not been responsible for their deaths, and the price of mephedrone has since doubled and is now being primarily sold by criminal gangs instead of recreational users – resulting in another drug in the hands of organised crime whose impurities compromise the health of its users far more than the actual drug itself.

Protesting against racism outside Moss Side Police Station.

Protesting against racism outside Moss Side Police Station.

As young people in whose name the drug war is often waged, and who are most often the targets of unfair, selectively enforced laws which do little to prevent harm from drugs, and in many cases increase it, it is vital that we speak out against this and do what we can to promote effective drug policies free from polical bias. A lot of the effort to bring about meaningful drug laws that are based in evidence rather than media headlines is to change the framework of the debate about drugs and how they should be treated. To this end, we raise awareness of our cause through protests, stalls, film showings, informative talks, social events and anything else we can think of – this term, we are producing a comedic film about drugs and attitudes to drugs, which will be released in September 2011. Because drug law reform can only be achieved nationally, we also support the national organisation by contributing to national projects, such as research, website development, and making publicity materials.

Making a nice banner.

Making a nice banner.

There are many different faces of drug law reform, and so we focus to a large extent on what our membership for that year wishes to do. Because we have a lot of people interested in music, we have held a stall at the last five Pangaeas, and will be at the one in June as well. We have people from virtually every course, including Physics, Theology, Philosophy, Neuroscience, Maths and History. There is no typical Re:Vision Manchester activist, we are men, women, gay, straight, humanities, eps, and everything in between and beyond. You can smoke weed every day or believe that taking drugs is wrong – the important thing is that you believe that our current drug laws harm, rather than help, people.

Re:Vision Drug Policy Manchester activists.

Re:Vision Drug Policy Manchester activists.

There is virtually no group in Manchester that we cannot run a joint event with. We have done stuff with Openmedia, the Film Society, the LGBT Society, the Roscoe Occupation, the Disabled Action Network, Cool Runnings, the Drum and Bass Society, RAG, and Manchester Debating Union. If you don’t believe us, try us. :P

We meet every Thursday at 6pm in the union foyer and have an ace meeting to plan everything that we get up to. If you would like to get involved but aren’t a Manchester student, or shortly won’t be, no fear! Check out our informative website at revisiondrugs.org and contact us to see what you can do for drug law reform.

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{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Zebs October 25, 2011 at 2:49 am

You out of town students need to get productive with your time instead of standing outside police stations with your new found ideas. Manchester people think youre all a pain in the arse anyway. Youre all just kids being influenced and inspired by cowardly uni lecturers who have always hidden away and know nothing about the front line fight and effects of drugs (apart from recreational use). If youre from middle class parents and always have been well funded – standing in the middle of Moss Side doesnt make you a convincing crusader. Moss Side people have a higher IQ than youd care to acknowledge; so not in our name please.

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sarah October 25, 2011 at 9:37 am

I think you are completely right and we’ve actually got a project running to try and do something about the fact that right now we’re mainly middle class students – its a hangover from SSDP and we don’t regard it as a good thing.

I would be most appreciative if you could send me your email so I can write to you further about it. My contact form is here: http://www.sarahmcculloch.com/contact.php

Sarah

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