Pills, Powder, and Smoke: Inside the Bloody War on Drugs – Book Launch and Policy Discussion

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Pills, Powder, and Smoke: Inside the Bloody War on Drugs – Book Launch and Policy Discussion

9 September 2019 @ 6:30 pm - 9:00 pm

$24 – $33

“Is it Time to Legalise or Decriminalise Drugs?”

Drug Policy Australia invites you to hear international bestselling author Antony Loewenstein speak at the Melbourne Town Hall on Monday, 9th September, to launch his new book, Pills, Powder, and Smoke: Inside the Bloody War on Drugs.

He is joined by ABC Radio talkback host Jon Faine and an expert panel of community leaders and public figures, for a roundtable discussion about the future of drug policy.

Limited Tickets Available NOW!

About the Book

The drug war is a multi-billion-dollar industry that won’t go down without a fight. Pills, Powder, and Smoke: Inside the Bloody War on Drugs, explains why.

Travelling through the UK, the US, Australia, South America, the Philippines, and Africa, Loewenstein uncovers the secrets of the drug war, why it’s so hard to end, and who is really profiting from it.

Here’s what Johann Hari, author of Chasing the Scream, has to say:

‘Antony Loewenstein is an amazing journalist. Anyone who cares about the war on drugs should read this book right away.’ 

Panel Guests

  • Julian Burnside AO – QC, human rights lawyer and Greens candidate
  • Laura Turner– A Current Affairs journalist and Odyssey House Ambassador
  • Mick Palmer AO – Former Australian Federal Police Commissioner
  • Fiona Patten – Politician and head of Parliamentary Cannabis Inquiry
  • Greg Barns – Australian barrister, author, political commentator
  • Tania de Jong – Singer, social entrepreneur and director of Mind Medicine Australia

Guest Speaker: Channel Nine senior reporter Laura Turner will tell her personal story of loss due to the war on drugs.

There will also be audience Q&A, book sales, book signing with Antony Loewenstein.

There’ll also be information tables from Australia’s leading Alcohol and Other Drug NGOs, including the Alcohol and Drug Foundation, Family Drug Support, Victoria Street Drug Solutions, Odyssey House, Thorne Harbour Health, SHARC/APSU, Cohealth, Harm Reduction Victoria and others.

Join us at Melbourne Town Hall for a fascinating insight into an urgent issue.

Get your Tickets here

Jon Faine – Host

Radio host and political commentator

Jon Faine is the well-known morning talkback host on ABC radio in Melbourne where he has been an outspoken and articulate political commentator for the last 20 years. Jon’s background is wide-ranging and includes working as a barrister and solicitor with the Victorian Supreme Court. He subsequently went into media and has made a career as a political commentator fearlessly expressing his opinions on many contemporary issues, whether it be politics, law, arts or sport.

Antony Loewenstein

Investigative journalist and bestselling author

Antony Loewenstein is an Australian-German investigative journalist and bestselling author. He has written for the New York Times, Washington Post, Guardian and Sydney Morning Herald, among many others. His forthcoming book, Pills, Powder and Smoke, is a gripping first-hand account from the frontlines of the global war on drugs, arguing for the legalisation of all drugs as an antidote to our current failed policies.

Mick Palmer AO

Former Australian Federal Police Commissioner

Mick Palmer is a retired police officer with 33 years’ experience, a former barrister at law and a former Commissioner of the Federal Police under both the Keating and Howard governments.

He was awarded the Officer of the Order of Australia for his part in battling police corruption. Since retiring from the police force in 2001, Mick has conducted government inquiries into immigration and the prison system. He has an active interest in human rights and been vocal on the issue of drug law reform, recently arguing for a national drug summit to consider all options including the decriminalisation of drugs.

Fiona Patten

Victorian MP heading Parliamentary Cannabis Inquiry

Before running for office, Fiona was a committed champion of sexual freedom, sexual health awareness, censorship reform and the rights of small business owners. Since founding the Australian Sex Party – now called the Reason Party –she has fought for drug law reform, medically supervised injecting centres, voluntary assisted dying and safe access to abortions, leading Jon Faine to call her ‘Australia’s most effective legislator’.

Laura Turner

Award-winning journalist and Odyssey House Ambassador

Laura Turner is a senior reporter for Channel Nine and has covered some of the biggest news stories in the world including the election campaign of Donald Trump and the disappearance of Malaysia Airlines flights MH370 and MH17. Laura is particularly interested in social justice issues. It was the tragic death of her sister from a heroin overdose that stirred her interest in drug policy reform and other harm reduction measures that might have prevented her sister’s senseless death. Laura is a strong supporter of the Medically Supervised Injecting Centre in North Richmond and often participates in forums attempting to educate the public on issues surrounding addiction and the role stigma plays in an addict’s ability to break free from addiction.

Greg Barns

Barrister, politician, author and political commentator

Greg is a practicing barrister and spokesman for the National Lawyers’ Alliance, concerned primarily with human rights and criminal defence issues. He worked for a number of Liberal Party leaders until 2002, when he was unendorsed as a candidate for office, owing to his criticism of the Howard government’s asylum-seeker policies. He has since been outspoken on the plight of Wikileaks’ founder Julian Assange, as well as the issue of drug law reform, which he has argued is blighted by the ‘irrational obsession with prohibition’.

Tania De Jong

Singer, social entrepreneur and director of Mind Medicine Australia



9 September 2019
6:30 pm - 9:00 pm
$24 – $33
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Drug Policy Australia
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Astor Theatre
1 Chapel St, St Kilda VIC 3182
St Kilda, 3182
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