Many people think 2016 was a horrible year. Personally I have to admit that I had one of the most exciting years ever, at least when it comes to my work, which is, put simply, drugs. I traveled to Brussels for instance to learn about medical cannabis and industrial hemp in the EU (originally in Finnish, see also in Dutch). Cocaine research in the Amsterdam business district led me to the dark heart of modern capitalism in London (in Finnish) and I even managed to publish my first peer-reviewed paper (together with my great co-authors) titled Towards the smarter use of smart drugs.
And for the first time in my life I travelled to the USA, first New York City, where I got a glimpse of an anti-Trump protest (in Finnish) before the New York State Presidential Primaries. Little did I know, that less than a year later, as in today 20th of January 2017, the world would tune in to see Donald Trump be inaugurated as the 45th president of United States of America. Epecially as back in NYC, I was deeply inspired by the future world imagined by Bernie Sanders and his supporters. On the day of the presidential election I was in Los Angeles to document the Prop 64 vote, spear-headed among others by Drug Policy Alliance, which ultimately allowed Californians for the first time in over 45 years to use Cannabis without the fear of criminal penalties.
And the main reason I was in New York, was not USA politics, but world politics. The United Nations held a Special Assembly on “the world drug issue”, referred to as UNGASS for short. Now, you may or may not know, but there has been a global drug war going on, by some account over 100 years. War on Drugs is sort of same as War on Terror; it is a rhetoric strategy to justify certain political actions, in this case for instance, the criminalization of citizens who use substances which are for some reason forbidden, like the Cannabis plant. Although based on political rhetoric, so basically words, this of course has real-life concequences for those effected. And I would say WE ARE ALL effected by this, whether you personally use drugs that are deemed illegal or not. If you don´t believe me, and even if you do, I would like to invite you to a journey, adventure around the world, and especially into a world of drugs.
I welcome you to DRUGVENTURES
DRUGVENTURES is an on-going video documentation project over drugs, the policies surrounding them and the science behind them. My aim to is to upload videos that would work independently, but also, as a whole, create a first person perspective to the world of drugs and drug policies. In the first series I focus on drug policy activism in the United States that went on during the UNGASS weekend (19th until the 21st of April, 2016). The upcoming series feature interviews with cannabis and psychedelic researchers and policy experts, not only in the USA, but also in the Netherlands and eventually in Finland (which we call Suomi by the way. Just to let you know).
Why do I do this? I feel I need to do something and this is one of the actions I´ve chosen. I´m also a board member in the Finnish Association for Humane Drug Policy (Humaania Päihdepolitiikaa) which aims to steer drug policy away from criminal policy towards social and health policy in Finland. This of course is not easy in a country so small, unless there is a global policy change. So think global, act local and vice versa.
I also see that if we do not utilize the potential power of psychedelics for instance in a rational and scientific way, this new era that we seem to be entering, and I refer here to the anthroposcene, which has to do more with the human effect on global climate than any head of state election of an individual country, I´m genuinely worried about the future I, and other members of my generation (and future generations) are supposed to live in.
I therefore encourage you to take action and #stopthewarondrugs!
So tune in for Drugventures, turn on the sound, and engage!
Engage for instance by viewing Drugventures…and sharing it…and commenting…and clicking Like…but only if you like it…like, really like it…nah, just click like 🙂
P.S. I have aimed to always ask permission from people who feature on the footage, but that has not always been possible, especially when filming out in the public with a 360 camera. If you happen to be captured on video, but do not want to appear on it, please contact me via firstname.lastname@example.org and I will do my best to respect your privacy.