Public Engagement

The Scottish Drugs Policy – 2015-ongoing

I set up the Scottish Drug Policy Conversations, a deliberative stakeholder group that seeks to engage multiple communities in respectful dialogue on drug policy reform. The group was formed in 2016 and has met 12 times over that period. We have produced reports, held workshops and submitted evidence to the Scottish Government drug policy refresh of 2018. Our next phase is to initiate wider public discussion of drugs policy, and I am currently working on ways to do this by engaging with a broad range of stakeholders.

Medicinal Cannabis Reform Scotland – 2017-present

As convener of SDPC I am helping to create dialogue and engagement between medicinal cannabis consumers represented by MCRS, and policy stakeholders. I chair the cross-stakeholder group with the aim of encouraging multi-stakeholder respectful dialogue through community conversations and public meetings being organised by MCRS.  I am also involved in the Scottish Governments Cross Party on Medicinal Cannabis.

Adult Education workshop/seminars – 2015-2017

I have been involved in an adult education Criminology classes as a specialist in drugs, where I have presented and engaged the participants in discussion of drug use and policy in Scotland.

Beltane Public Engagement Networks’ ‘Cabaret of Dangerous Ideas’ 2017 (Edinburgh Festival event)2017 and 2018

Seminar and public engagement activity entitled ‘Doing Drugs (Policy): stories, songs and a chance to engage’, (2018 is doing MORE drugs). I engaged the public on drug policy by telling stories collected from my research and my own experience, in addition to playing songs I have composed on the topic of drug use. I used these to encourage the audience to share their stories of drugs, and the impact it has had on them and their wider community.

Explorathon – 2016

An EU wide initiative to engage the public in academic research hosted by the Beltane Public Engagement Network. Consisted of a presentation and conversations with the members of the public in a large shopping centre. The topic was ‘Doing drugs policy in Scotland’.

The Edinburgh Active Citizenship Group -2016

Hosted by the Edinburgh City Council, this group meets quarterly to discuss social issues. It involves a presentation and round table discussions with the group. I presented on the topic ‘Highs and Lows: taking drugs policy seriously in Scotland, and facilitated the following round table discussions and feedback.

Crew 20002001-2012

I collaborated in the design and delivery of (drug) harm reduction workshops with participants from a range a backgrounds including young people, public sector worker, the Police, and jobseekers.

Talks and Panels

Recovering Justice: Peaceful Solutions to the War on Drugs. Community event and a Parliamentary meeting – 2018

Birnam Book Festival: Panel in response to call for readings on the ‘War on Drug’s – 2018

Morningside Justice and Peace Group – 2018

Medicinal Cannabis Reform Scotland: Public Conversations – 2018

The Buchanan Institute Drug Reform Initiative Launch: Launch of their new policy 2018

Igem 2015 – The University of Edinburgh