The first retail sale of recreational marijuana in Colorado has yet to be rung up, but the state is already reaping some convention business as a result of its groundbreaking reforms of drug laws. Next week more than a thousand elected officials, health care professionals, students, drug war veterans and policy wonks from thirty countries will descend on downtown Denver for the International Drug Policy Reform Conference -- four days of panels and analysis of drug policies that will also be a celebration of Colorado's key role in the reform movement.
The biennial conference, slated for October 23-36 at the Sheraton Denver Downtown, is the brainchild of the Drug Policy Alliance, which has been active in marijuana legalization movements around the country -- and was directly involved in the successful effort to pass Amendment 64 last year.
One event attendees can count on: a "victory walk" down the Sixteenth Street Mall on Thursday, October 24, starting at 1 pm, "to celebrate the legalization of marijuana in Colorado, Washington, and Uruguay, as well as recent harm reduction and sentencing reform victories in Colorado." After forty years of failed wars on drugs, an autumnal stroll in support of "harm reduction" strategies might not be a bad idea at all.
Additional information regarding next week's action can be found on the conference website.