LEAHN Co-ordinator and former Australian police officer, Greg Denham presented at the South Africa Drug Policy Week 2017 alongside other eminent speakers including Ethan Nadelman, former Director of the Drug Policy Alliance in the USA, Professor David Nutt from Imperial College and Neil Woods, former undercover police operative and author of the book ‘Good Cop, Bad War’ and more.
The aims of the South Africa Drug Policy Week were:
- To expose the key South African drug policy stakeholders, influencers and thought leaders to international experts, data, information and solutions that: reduce the harms related to drug policy and drug use in a punitive & prohibitionist environment, promote public health and ensure the human rights of all South Africans.
- To critically debate current drug policy examining the impact on our communities, economy and stability.
- To reinforce the human rights, health and harm reduction elements that are essential in developing effective drug policy.
- To increase the level of debate and critical thinking around the use of drugs and our responses at individual, community, national and regional level.
- To provide a platform for regional and African representatives to share information with each other and South African counterparts.
- To provide a platform for training and the exchange of ideas between local, regional and international organisations and representatives
During the same week, Greg ran a one-day peer-to-peer dialogue for police offices in Cape Town, South Africa, to enhance the Law Enforcement Response to the impact of drug harms and HIV risk amongst key populations and the broader community and develop a better understanding of the need for a more health and human rights based response by law enforcement toward key populations in responding to HIV and drug harms.
Greg also facilitated a one-day workshop for police officers and CSO harm reduction service providers on 4 August to bring together representatives from Law Enforcement and Civil Society with the aim to develop better understanding and recognize common purposes and to align roles and responsibilities to reduce drug related harms and HIV related risks to individuals and communities.