International Development Policy Journal
Drug Policies and Development Conflict and Coexistence

"Drug Policies and Development: Conflict and Coexistence" - A Presentation for South Africa

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Description of the event:

International drug control mechanisms are focused on the elimination of drug production, use, and trafficking, through the operationalization of repressive public policies criminalizing these substances and their non-medical use. The implementation of these policies has had a detrimental impact on other global development objectives.

The last five years have seen major changes and intense debates on drug policies in South Africa. These changes have included the introduction of harm reduction services to the decriminalization of cannabis use through a Constitutional Court judgement. During the time there has been dynamic advocacy to address setbacks on the ground against people who use drugs.

In the midst of the South African debate on drug control, this event will present the history and effects of drug policy on health and standing development gaps.

Welcome Remarks:

  • Prof. Jannie Hugo, Head of Family Medicine, University of Pretoria, South Africa
  • Prof. Harry Hausler, CEO TB HIV Care, South Africa


  • Dr. Andrew Scheibe, Technical Advisor for TB HIV Care and researcher at the University of Pretoria’s Department of Family Medicine, South Africa


  • Prof. Julia Buxton, British Academy Global Professor in Criminology at the University of Manchester and Senior Research Associate at the Global Drug Policy Observatory (GDPO), Swansea University, UK
  • Dr. Anna Versfeld, Postdoctoral Fellow, School of African and Gender Studies, Anthropology and Linguistics at the University of Cape Town, South Africa
  • Mr. Shaun Shelly, Researcher at the University of Pretoria and the Policy, Advocacy and Human Rights lead at TB HIV Care, South Africa
  • Mr. Martin Jelsma, Director of the Drugs and Democracy programme at the Transnational Institute (TI), the Netherlands, and Senior Research Associate at the Global Drug Policy Observatory at Swansea University, UK

Concluding Remarks: 

  • Prof. Qurraisha Abdool Karim, the Associate Scientific Director of the Centre for the AIDS Programme of Research in South Africa (CAPRISA)

This event is co-organised by the International Development Policy Journal, TB HIV Care, the Department of Family Medicine at the University of Pretoria, the Centre for the AIDS Programme of Research in South Africa (CAPRISA), the Department of Anthropology at the University of Cape Town, and South African Network of People Who Use Drugs (SANPUD).

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