P2PH Academy Seminar on Drug Policy
The Global Drug Control System: Has The US Government Moved From Being Architect of the Problem, to Being Part of the Solution?
Monday July 14, 2014 from 4:30 PM – 6:00 PM
John Jay College, New Bldg, 9th floor, Room 9.63 (Anthropology)
Chairman of the International Drug Policy Consortium,
former United Kingdom Drug Czar.
In this presentation, he will describe how the US government has been the main archi-tect and cheerleader for the international system of prohibition, and in particular two of its main articles of faith – aggressive repression of production and distribution of drugs, and mass arrest and harsh punishment of users. Over time, the limited impact of these strategies on the scale and harms associated with drug markets, and the significant negative consequences, have become better understood. Many countries around the world are therefore moving towards more health and human rights based approaches. Within the US itself, policy and strategies are changing rapidly, and Mr. Trace will explore the potential for the USA to become a leader in promoting humane and effective drug policies, and an example of best practice in moving away from punitive and repressive policies.
MIKE TRACE - BIOGRAPHY
Mike Trace has worked for the last 20 years in various roles in the international drug control system – as Deputy UK Drug Czar to Tony Blair, President of the European Union Drugs Agency, briefly a United Nations official, and more recently as an advo-cate for careful reform of the system.
Trace has a wide range of experience in the field of drug treatment and policy, from direct work with problem drug users, to senior positions in national government and international agencies. Following a period of 12 years working in and managing pro-jects that provided treatment to the homeless, drug users and offenders, Mike was offered the post of Deputy UK Anti-Drug Coordinator (National Drug Czar) in 1997, and held this post until 2001. His duties included the creation of the UK National Drug Strategy – Tackling Drugs To Build A Better Britain – and the oversight of the first years of its implementation.
He was the Chairman of the European Union drugs agency, the European Monitor-ing Centre on Drugs and Drug Addiction (EMCDDA) with responsibility for steering the 3 year work plan of the agency on behalf of the EU Member States, which involved the collation and dissemination of research and analysis on drug use, prob-lems and responses across Europe. Mike subsequently the posts of Director of Performance at the UK National Treatment Agency, overseeing the rapid expansion of the drug treatment sector and worked for the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime in Vienna.
He currently combines two leadership roles in the field of drug policy and drug dependence treatment:
- as Chief Executive of RAPT (www.rapt.org.uk), one of the biggest providers of drug treatment services in the UK prison system, and
- as Chairman of the International Drug Policy Consortium (www.idpc.net), a global network of NGOs with an interest in the promotion of humane and effective drug policies.