Drug policy reform

Drug policy reform

Drug policy reform

Introduction

Scotland has the highest number of drug-related deaths in Europe – 10 times the average – with almost 60,000 people using drugs problematically. In 2019, there were 1,264 recorded drug-related deaths in Scotland. Yet treatment beds have decreased year on year, and currently more non-violent drug users are in prison than in treatment.

2021 Award

Fiona Gilbertson (CF 2015) is the founder of Recovering Justice, an organisation campaigning for drug policy reform and an end to the criminalisation and stigmatisation of people who use drugs. She has a history of problematic substance use. The organisation grew from and was informed and inspired by the learnings from her Fellowship. Most recently, she has been hosting events highlighting the benefits of psychedelics and cannabis as clinical interventions for addiction. Her events attract a range of people including politicians and policymakers, resulting in policy shifts and increased dialogue between important stakeholders.

Fiona has been awarded one of our Activate grants to expand the work of Recovering Justice, to influence Scottish policy and campaign for drug policy reform. She will use her funding as a personal stipend to allow time for creating large-scale events with global leaders, politicians and grassroots organisations to influence Scottish policy. In addition, she will collaborate with partners to conduct further research into the benefits of psychedelics in treating addiction, with the aim that Scotland will become a world leader in this area. She will work closely with the cannabis community, including the Scottish Cannabis Consortium, to jointly draft a Bill to present to the Scottish Parliament for an equitable cannabis market, allowing small-scale, organic, independent production for medical use, heavily taxed, with money ring-fenced for education and rehabilitation.

Fiona’s Fellowship to the USA explored rehabilitation methods as an alternative to incarceration for people who use drugs.

2021 Award

Fiona Gilbertson (CF 2015) is the founder of Recovering Justice, an organisation campaigning for drug policy reform and an end to the criminalisation and stigmatisation of people who use drugs. She has a history of problematic substance use. The organisation grew from and was informed and inspired by the learnings from her Fellowship. Most recently, she has been hosting events highlighting the benefits of psychedelics and cannabis as clinical interventions for addiction. Her events attract a range of people including politicians and policymakers, resulting in policy shifts and increased dialogue between important stakeholders.

Fiona has been awarded one of our Activate grants to expand the work of Recovering Justice, to influence Scottish policy and campaign for drug policy reform. She will use her funding as a personal stipend to allow time for creating large-scale events with global leaders, politicians and grassroots organisations to influence Scottish policy. In addition, she will collaborate with partners to conduct further research into the benefits of psychedelics in treating addiction, with the aim that Scotland will become a world leader in this area. She will work closely with the cannabis community, including the Scottish Cannabis Consortium, to jointly draft a Bill to present to the Scottish Parliament for an equitable cannabis market, allowing small-scale, organic, independent production for medical use, heavily taxed, with money ring-fenced for education and rehabilitation.

Fiona’s Fellowship to the USA explored rehabilitation methods as an alternative to incarceration for people who use drugs.