The Museum of Drug Policy was held in London from 3rd-5th November 2017 to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Release—the UK’s centre of expertise on drugs and drugs law. The Museum’s exhibitions depicted the human suffering caused by current drug policies, and highlighted how drug policy and policing intersect with issues of social control, especially in relation to class and race. The Museum featured over sixty pieces of art from eight different countries and local art including, Dan Giannopoulos’ Collage of Baggies—420 baggies mapped on streets of South East London, and a mixed media piece illustrating the infamous Mangrove Nine trial of 1970. Alongside the Museum, we also celebrated the work that Release has undertaken over the past five decades.
Following its successful launch in New York in April 2016, the Museum of Drug Policy made its first international stop in Montréal in a “pop-up museum” format on 15-17 May 2017, as part of the 25th Harm Reduction International Conference. The museum featured over forty pieces of art from eight different countries as well as art that reflected local drug policy topics in Canada. Ann Lewis, a multidisciplinary activist artist also known as Gilf!, exhibited a unique participatory art piece on the victims of Canada’s ongoing opioid crisis and Québec artists who contributed to L’Injecteur, a magazine published by the Association Québécoise pour la Promotion de la Santé des Personnes Utilisatrices de Drogues, were also on displayed.
Photos from the Museum of Drug Policy in New York City held in parallel with the U.N. General Assembly Special Session on the world drug problem.