This wasn’t your average book selling event. As the title alludes, this event featured both speakers, and soup. The talk focused on getting a grip on the ‘meth problem’.
The whole event looked into treating the drug issue as a health problem, rather than a crime to be punished. Luke attended, as the bookseller, selling Matt Noffs’ new book. Noffs works in Australia, as the CEO of The Noffs Foundation, and his book Breaking the Ice tackles the so-called methamphetamine crisis; the history, the science of addiction, the cultural climate of Australia. He presents an argument that works to focus on harm reduction (harm to the individual, and those around them), rather than punishing it as a crime.
The talk featured Matt Noffs, and Detective Superintendent Virginia Le Bas from the NZ Police. The two talked about strategies, from the world over, that look towards caring for those taking drugs, rather than punishing them for doing so. The whole event worked to shift the paradigm of the drug policy world – seeing it as something people do, not necessarily strictly associated with violence and crime.
This was the first in the The New Zealand Drug Foundation 2016 Speaker & Soup series, where discussions will focus on what public health and social support means for drug policy. The focus will be from one to the other, demand reduction, harm reduction, and supply control.
Other talks are on:
Friday 26 August: Focusing on harm, not judgements
Friday 23 September: Law enforcement that supports more than punishes