Mexico City, Mexico — On the eve of SSDP’s annual training conference in Washington, DC, students at Mexico City’s National School of Anthropology (ENAH) are preparing to hold their first national congress, from 11 – 14 April. Called “The History and Practice of Drugs: An Anthropological Vision,” the students at the ENAH hope to dispel myths and inform various university communities in the capital about the legitimate study of drugs absent the prohibitionist paradigm.
SSDPs around the world (SSDPUK, SSDP International , Canada SSDP) often put together pathbreaking congresses and conferences. This March and April are no exception: as I write, around 400 students are descending on Washington, DC for a training conference and lobby day; Canada SSDP has just finished a crucial lobby day at Parliament; and SSDPUK is about to meet for its annual conference.
The Mexico City Congress brings a diversity of groups together. It unites SSDP Mexico with other local partners:SEISYC (Applied Visual Anthropology), CuPIHD (The Collective for An Integrated Drug Policy), ZombieNation FM,Espolea (A Civil Society Youth Organization), Biblioteca Cannabica (Cannabis Library), and the Escuela Nacional de Antropologia e Historia (ENAH, the National Anthropological School.) The event is intellectual and practical, as the workshops will help future members of SSDP understand how the organization has worked to reform failing drug policies under a regulationist paradigm. From the Congress, SSDP Mexico hopes to generate interest in forming chapters in universities, schools, centers, and institutes.
Across activities and events for three days, around thirty presenters will discuss issues such as Women and Drugs, Health and Illness, Drug Policy and Politics, Drugs and Human Rights, and Psychodelic Medicine. Espolea will present workshops on drug consumption and harm reduction, a crucial boon to Mexican youth who are often taught the ins and outs of drugs in schools by ideologically-motivated police officers. And there will be a photography exhibit and competition. The Congress begins with a keynote address by Julio Glockner, a renowned anthropologist, enitled “Altered Reality: Spiritual Drugs and Culture.”
The organizers warmly welcome any who read this outside of Mexico to consider coming to the conference. There is no possibility of support save some limited accommodation space, but all interested parties are more than welcome.