Press Release

Colorado New Directions Conference: A Public Safety and Health Approach to Drug Policy

<p>Treatment Providers, Drug Users, Formerly Incarcerated People, Law Enforcement, International Experts and More Gather to Discuss Marijuana Legalization, Overdose Prevention, Safe Injection Sites, Effective Treatment and Best Practices From Around the World</p>
<p>One-day Conference to be Held at Denver&rsquo;s Embassy Suites Convention Center, June 6, 8:30 a.m. &ndash; 5 p.m.</p>

<p>Contact: Art Way 720-288-6924</p>

Denver, CO – Colorado community leaders will join drug policy experts, treatment providers, law enforcement and formerly incarcerated people to deliberate the direction of Colorado’s ground-breaking drug policy reforms at “New Directions Colorado: A Public Safety and Health Approach to Drug Policy,” a statewide conference to be held December 6, at Denver’s Embassy Suites Convention Center. The day-long, public symposium will convene state leaders alongside policy experts to explore a comprehensive, balanced approach to drug policy in Colorado, an approach that recognizes that successful strategies include prevention, harm reduction, treatment, and enforcement in an effort to increase public health and safety.

Recently Colorado became one of the first states to tax and regulate marijuana for adult recreational use. The state also has adopted overdose prevention efforts such as Good Samaritan policies, and immunity for the distribution and administration of the opiate antagonist, naloxone.  In the aftermath of such forward-thinking reforms, the conference will offer answers to many questions, including: how can Colorado ensure proper implementation of these reforms? What can we learn from reformers across the globe?  What new roles can the public health community play in drug policy efforts moving forward?

One hundred fifty to two hundred stakeholders from around the state will come together to listen to and engage with community leaders and experts about:

  • The impact of marijuana legalization on public health
  • The international implications of Amendment 64
  • Emerging health-centered approaches to drug policy
  • The collaboration of law enforcement and harm reductionist

The event is free and lunch will be provided.

Confirmed speakers include:

  • Nuno Capaz, vice president, Dissuasion Commission of Lisbon, Portuguese Ministry of Health
  • Ethan Nadelmann, executive director, Drug Policy Alliance, New York,
  • Donald MacPherson, M.Ed., director, Canadian Drug Policy Coalition
  • Lisa Raville, executive director, Harm Reduction Action Center, Denver
  • Daliah Heller, director of Drug and Alcohol Policy and Research, CUNY, New York
  • Christie Donner, executive director, Colorado Criminal Justice Reform Coalition, Denver
  • Barry Zevin, MD, Tom Waddell Health Center, San Francisco
  • Hong Tran, staff attorney, Racial Disparity Project, Seattle

What: New Directions Conference: A Public Safety and Health Approach to Drug Policy
When: Thursday June 6, 2013  --  8:30 a.m. – 5 p.m., reception to follow
Where: Embassy Suites Convention Center 1420 Stout St., Denver, CO 80202
Contact: or

New Directions: A Public Safety and Health Approach to Drug Policy

Event Registration: