changing social and cultural practices

I was on my way back from dog walking and ran into my friend, Donald MacPherson. He is now working with the Canadian Drug Policy Coalition.

I am a full supporter of the legalization of drugs, and decriminalizing addiction. The war on drug is not only an abject failure, the longer it goes on, the stronger the drug cartels get. If we are unable to learn from the emergence of organized crime that came about from the Prohibition era, we can at least see the global destruction of communities, government, economies, and health as a consequence of current policies. Not only that, but we should be asking what would happen if we removed all prisoners who suffer from some form of addiction from the prison system and actually gave them the supports they need to recover from their illness. What would happen to crime statistics? How would such policies impact property crime, gun violence, and the overall health of Canadians? What would happen to communities who suffer from businesses peripheral to the drug trade: sex workers, dealers, crack houses, grow ops, etc.

We were talking about the problem of implementing legalized drug policies is one of learning and unlearning. We are talking about changing social and cultural practices, most particularly public attitudes toward illegal drugs and addiction.

I could see how the qualitative research methodology we used to study change in education associated with the integration of ICT as a parallel problem – both issues have similar dynamics of cognitive, cultural, and technological aspects. It is blessedly difficult to change personal perspectives and practices. Try eliminating something from your diet and sustaining that as an ongoing practice. It is hard to do. Our research methodology shows promise for sustaining change processes through critical inquiry and the formation of efficacious communities of practice.

Let me know if I can help.

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