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Too often we listen to the voices of the reformed as opposed the voices of those who are actively be

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People who are impacted by a problem are in the best position to find solutions to those problems. This is something I know to be true.

I was reading this article: when I started thinking about this.

“The international organization’s bold move is lauded as a strong first step by those it affects the most—individuals within the sex industry.”

“Too often, the stories of women who are no longer engaged in sex work and who reject sex work gain more attention than the testimony of sex workers who are still in the industry, and whose needs should be primary when it comes to setting policy. “

Is this not the case for drug users and drug policy?  The “recovery movement” is often much louder and much more publicized than the people who are still actively using drugs…..As a society we look for second chance stories, we like to hear things like:  “I used to use drugs, they destroyed my life, then thank god for prison cause it changed my life”.  Stories like this help us lie to ourselves.  We can feel good about societies response to drug use, addiction and mass imprisonment.  Yes, these stories exist, and I am not here to argue with anyone who believes that prison saved their life, or some other broken system that a person has endured and now lives differently.  The thing is this, I believe that we need to make sense of our past and one of the things we do is we tell ourselves we needed the “awful thing” that society forced us to endure.  Are the prisons necessary for change? How much of a persons problems are drug problems and how much of their problems are drug policy problems?  Let me be clear.  The illegality of drugs makes the cost spike sky high, making drugs very expensive.  If we made cigarettes illegal today, people would be on the streets engaged in demoralizing acts to obtain Marlboro’s.  Health, you say?  Well yes, in some ways , but if people had access to real drug education, could go to doctors and talk about the drugs they were using without shame, would things not be different?  If people had access to sterile supplies, they would use them!  Believe that, no one wants to use an old dull syringe, a new sharp one works much better! We turn nonviolent people who have done nothing but possess an illegal substance into felons who are unable to find work, unable to participate in the mainstream economy.  The label of Felon ruins lives, keeps people out of college, prevents them from accessing social services, and so much more. We cannot really know what the damages from drug use are until we separate them from drug policy.  Drug policy is responsible for so much harm…..  Drug Users, Sex Users, and other marginalized groups are full of people that hate themselves, they believe they ruined their lives, their children’s lives, their mother and fathers lives, and the lives of countless others even…..! I say this all the time…”I have never met a drug user who has been inundated with popular culture and 12 step philosophy that feels good about their selves or has a healthy sense of self.  We teach people they are powerless and we teach people they are without morals, they are bad, and wrong.  We teach people they are responsible for their problems, we teach people that they must take responsibility for their own actions and anything less is called denial.  IF we dare blame society, or anything for that matter, popular culture says we are not taking responsibility… and this stands in the way of recovery.  We are not taught the truth…..what is the truth? Well, it would seem that the truth changes depending on the angle you look.

I can speak for myself when I say, that I have always felt terrible about myself, and it was not until I had a very powerful experience that some people would call silly, some would call spiritual in nature, I call it life saving.  I will tell you that the experience was induced by  D. M.T. (a drug).  Whatever you think of this drug is irrelevant.  This experience was powerful for me and real for me.  It matters not where or how I had it.  It was positive and life changing.  For the first time I was able to see how detrimental my self hate was and how corrosive it had been to my soul and my ability to have a trans-formative experience.

I had an experience where for but a few moments I felt a love that I can only equate with the love of GOD, or some loving force, that somehow told me that I was beautiful and perfect  exactly the way I was and that the love of the universe was big enough for me and my struggles.  The shame and guilt I was carrying at the time was huge and weighing me down in ways that are indescribable. I emerged from this experience anew.  Upon having this experience I knew I needed to work with people like myself.  I knew I needed to empower others to see their selves as whole beings with the all the power they needed to change.  I have developed into a person who feels they have purpose and transformed into a person with a desire to live and a passion for life.

We must not forget that life is a mystery, and that none of us know why we are really here, or what our purpose is, or if we have a purpose.  We can’t know everything that is wrong or right, and i think that is what the writer of the article was trying to convey when they said…..“Prostitution is not a human right, but sex workers have human rights,” Amnesty’s Deputy Europe Director Gauri van Gulick replied in the video. “We know that gender inequality and other forms of inequality and discrimination are pushing, forcing people into the sex industry. We believe that you cannot punish those who are there, who are driven to sex work, by criminalizing it and in fact taking away choices. We believe we need to work on gender inequality more broadly and that’s what we stand for.”

Urban Survivor’s Union-  Demanding Human Rights for Everyone!

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