Press Release  | 03/17/2014

Journalist and Author Mike Power To Discuss New Synthetic Drugs and Future of Drug Control

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Free Seminar Will Address Silk Road, Online Drug Markets, and New Zealand’s First-Of-Its-Kind Law to Regulate New Drugs

On Wednesday, March 19, investigative journalist Mike Power will talk about ‘concierge drug design’ – foreign labs being used by entrepreneurs in the UK, US and EU to custom synthesize drugs that may skirt national and international drug laws.

He’ll also cover the new online drug markets that have emerged in the aftermath of the Silk Road bust – and how the prohibition model is outdated, ineffective and dangerously counterproductive.

Mike Power is a freelance investigative journalist for British newspapers and organizations including the Guardian, the Mail on Sunday, Reuters, Matter, The Sunday Herald, DrugScope, and the Big Issue. He worked as a freelance correspondent in Latin America and the Caribbean, particularly Colombia, exploring the links between the civil conflict, human rights and the drugs trade.

His newly-released first book, Drugs 2.0, is a groundbreaking exploration of the ways in which the internet is changing the development, distribution and consumption of drugs. It documents the emergence of ‘legal highs’ and was the first book to investigate the Silk Road, the billion-dollar online drug bazaar shut down late last year.

The release of Drugs 2.0 comes on the heels of New Zealand’s first-of-its-kind new law to regulate and control – rather than criminalize – “bath salts” and other so-called “legal highs”. The law creates a new government agency within the Ministry of Health, the Psychoactive Substances Regulatory Authority, which is charged with ensuring that synthetic psychoactive products meet adequate safety standards before going to market. The new regulatory body will also implement and administer a licensing system for potential manufacturers, importers, wholesalers, retailers and researchers.

When: 6pm this Wednesday, March 19
Where: Drug Policy Alliance, 131 W. 33rd St., 15th Floor, New York, NY

The event is free and open to the public, but please RSVP to Julie Netherland at (212) 613-8063 or jnetherland [at] drugpolicy [dot] org.

DPA Fact Sheet: Synthetic Drugs and "Legal Highs": Establish Restrictions But Don't Criminalize Them

Contact: Tony Newman 646-335-5384 or Stefanie Jones 323-377-8902

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