A public health approach to policing

“We have a choice: do we want to be a repressive or supportive service? We recognize all people are equal before the law & must be treated as such & those most affected must lead solutions.” - Asst Commissioner of Amsterdam @Politie addressing police from around world #AIDS2018 On the last day of the 2018 International AIDS Conference held in Amsterdam, I was lucky to join 25 police and civil society leaders from several countries across Sub-Saharan Africa and Southeast Asia on a visit and meeting with the Amsterdam police branch of the Dutch National Police. The meeting was held at the Amsterdam police headquarters. The focus was on what it means to embrace a public health approach to policing. Is this possible? What does it mean for police and society?

Police & Harm Reduction: How law enforcement can advance public safety, public health, and public confidence

Happy to share a new guidance document I wrote for law enforcement personnel around the world about steps they can make to advance public safety, public health, and public confidence in the arena of drug enforcement. 4+ decades of the war on drugs has failed to eradicate drug use or production, keep our communities safe, or keep people healthy and alive. There are other options for law enforcement to keep people and communities they serve healthy and safe.

Marielle Franco Has Not Been Silenced

*Originally published by OSF Voices on March 20, 2018. On March 14, 2018, in the center of Brazil’s Rio de Janeiro, two gunmen in a car murdered Municipal Chamber Councilor Marielle Franco and her driver, Anderson Pedro Gomes. Unlike most of the city’s political leaders, Marielle came from Rio’s favelas. And many of the favelas’ millions of marginalized …

Thanks ¡Pacifista! for including me in this list: “Follow those who really know about coca & drugs”

At the start of this year, Colombian news outlet ¡Pacifista! put together a list of 21 people to follow on Twitter to break through the lies and fake news related to drug & coca policy and the drug war in Colombia and internationally. Much to my surprise, my name & bad Twitter photo are included (down at the bottom, rightfully, under 'outsiders' header). Thanks ¡Pacifista! and be sure to follow the 20 other people first!

Moving toward a closed society, not a safer society: our unspoken response to mass shootings in America

The claim that "nothing happens" after mass shootings in America is false. What happens, time and time again, is more securitization, militarization, and surveillance of the sites where the shootings took place: clubs, universities, elementary schools, and now hotels. Meanwhile, we fail to address the one common feature among all these incidents: access to and …

Why Declaring ‘War’ on Mexican Drug Cartels Is a Bad Idea

A recent proposal for US Congress to “declare war” on Mexican cartels in order to curb the growing number of fatal opiate overdoses of Americans is incendiary and dangerous. Not only would it be ineffective in countering cartels or reducing fatal overdoses in the U.S.; it would lead to lead to the murders of thousands more Mexican civilians, not to mention endanger the lives of American soldiers.