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Published on Oct 28, 2013
Closing Plenary: Leading the Way Conference -- Buffalo, NY (May 2-3, 2013) Leading the way on Drug Policy: Towards a Public Health and Safety Approach
New York is uniquely positioned to develop a new, coordinated public health and safety approach to drug policy: the state ended mandatory prison sentences for (most) drug offenses with the 2009 reforms of the Rockefeller Drug Laws; New York has among the largest alternatives to incarceration and reentry systems anywhere in the nation; many of the state's treatment and harm reduction programs are recognized as the best in the country; and communities across New York are calling for a new approach. Additionally, the Affordable Care Act will expand access to healthcare in New York and across the country, likely leading to more integration of drug and mental health treatment into primary care. But reform is never easy, and won't happen on its own. How can we best take advantage of this unique moment to realize effective approaches to drug policy? What lessons can we draw from other cities, states, countries? What are some immediate challenges we face in developing a public health and safety approach? Informed by local, national and international experiences and drawing on the conversation from the day's sessions, speakers will explore how we can realize a vision of a comprehensive drug policy grounded in science and focused on improving the health and safety of all New York communities.
• Moderator: gabriel sayegh, State Director, New York, Drug Policy Alliance • Nuno Capaz, Vice President, Dissuasion Commission of Lisbon, Ministry of Health, Portugal • Robert E. Fullilove, EdD, Associate Dean for Community and Minority Affairs; Professor of Clinical • Sociomedical Sciences; Co-director of the Community Research Group, Columbia University • Jennifer Mecozzi, Director of Community Organizing, PUSH Buffalo • Susan Shepherd, Manager, Toronto Drug Strategy Secretariat, Toronto Public Health • Kima Joy Taylor, MD, MPH, Program Director, National Drug Addiction Treatment and Harm • Reduction, Open Society Foundations • Marsha Weissman, Ph.D., Executive Director, Center for Community Alternatives