Antony Loewenstein, the best-selling Australian author and journalist, reporting from the frontlines of the global war on drugs.
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, Honduras, the Philippines, and Guinea-Bissau, Loewenstein uncovers the secrets of the drug war, why it’s so hard to end, and who is really profiting from it.
'Antony Loewenstein is an amazing journalist. Anyone who cares about the war on drugs should read this book.' JOHANN HARI, AUTHOR OF CHASING THE SCREAM
Antony will join a panel of experts and community leaders at the Melbourne Town Hall for a no-holds-barred discussion of the past, present and future of the drug war.
There will also be audience Q&A, signed book sales and information tables from Australia's leading alcohol and other drugs NGO's.
Join ABC radio talkback host, Jon Faine for a dinner-table style panel discussion about the drug issue.
Panellists, Antony Loewenstein, Derryn Hinch, Julian Burnside, Fiona Patten, Mick Palmer, Laura Turner and Greg Barns. More details about the panellists here.
Join us at the Town Hall for a fascinating insight into an urgent issue.
Get your Tickets Here!
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.
John 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 expressions opinions on many contemporary issues whether it be politics, law, arts or sport. Jon's outstanding communication skills make him the perfect communicator to lead a dinner-table style panel discussion about the drug issue.
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.
Queen's Counsel, author & human rights advocate
Julian is a barrister, author and advocate for human rights and refugees. In the late ‘90s he represented the Maritime Union of Australia in a lengthy and acrimonious dispute, as immortalised in the ABC miniseries Bastard Boys. He has since undertaken much pro bono legal work, acting on behalf Indigenous Australians, refugees and civil liberties organisations, against the government. In the recent federal election, he ran as a Greens candidate for the seat of Kooyong.
Former Australian Federal Police Commissioner
Mick is a retired police officer with 33 years’ experience, a lawyer and former Commissioner of the Federal Police under the Howard government. 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 vigorously debate and consider all drug law reform options including the decriminalisation of drugs.
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’.
Media personality, ex-politician and journalist
Derryn began his career as a newspaper journalist, later becoming a foreign correspondent, US bureau chief and editor. He made the move to TV, eventually hosting his own current affairs show on Sky News Australia. In 2015, he founded the Justice Party and was elected as senator for Victoria, where he fought for criminal justice reform, including tougher sentencing for violent crimes and a public register for sex offenders. Surprisingly to some, he has been vocal in support of cannabis legalisation, arguing that ‘we could get rid of the budget deficit in two minutes’.
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 over a decade for a number of Liberal Party leaders until 2002, when he was disendorsed 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’.