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Episode 75: Copaganda — The Favorite Tool of Drug Warriors with Alec Karakatsanis

No matter what the problem is, whether it’s fentanyl overdoses or mass shootings, the solution to all of our problems is always more money and bigger budgets for police, prosecutors and prisons. Funny how that works, right? If crime goes up we need police, if crime goes down it’s because of the police, so we still need more police. They can’t lose!

One of the main ways public support for police is so insidious has to do with police propaganda (e.g. copaganda) but it can be hard to detect, let alone debunk, these powerful tools of controlling public opinion. Understanding how this works is crucial to any aspect of drug policy reform and holding accountable the journalists who perpetuate copaganda is an important step in undoing the harms of police states.

On this episode of Narcotica, co-hosts Zachary Siegel and Troy Farah talk with Alec Karakatsanis, the founder and executive director of Civil Rights Corps, a non-profit organization dedicated to challenging systemic injustice in the United States’ legal system–a system that is built on white supremacy and economic inequality. Alec has helped challenge the money bail system in California and is the author of the book Usual Cruelty. He is passionate about ending human caging, surveillance, police, the death penalty, immigration laws, war, and inequality, and he has made debunking copaganda into an artform.

Follow Alec on Twitter at: @equalityAlec and read his newsletter here: https://equalityalec.substack.com/

If you liked this episode, here are others you might enjoy:
Episode 58: How Racism Fuels The Drug War with Kassandra Frederique
Episode 47: Can Harm Reduction and Cops Coexist?
Episode 62: Policing Pleasure — The Intersection of Sex Work and Drug Use with Tamika Spellman and Caty Simon

Follow Narcotica on Instagram, FacebookTwitter, YouTube and support us on Patreon. We just opened a shop where you can order Narcotica merch: narcocast.myshopify.com Help keep this podcast ad-free! Your support is appreciated! We’re on Spotify, iTunes, Stitcher and more. Tell your friends about us! Rate us! And thanks for your support!

Producers: Christopher Moraff, Troy Farah, Zachary Siegel
Co-producer: Aaron Ferguson
Music: Glass Boy / Nomad1
Intro voice: Jenny Schaye
Image: The Noun Project edit: Troy Farah

Episode 4: Supervised Consumption Breaks Rod Rosenstein’s Brain

In response to Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein’s outrageous supervised consumption op-ed in the New York Times, the Narcotica team speaks with Laura Thomas, of the Drug Policy Alliance, who broke down the obstacles harm reduction workers face in opening a site in the United States. Thomas, who is deputy state director at DPA, has been championing supervised consumption sites for over a decade, because she knows what the data says: SCS save lives.

But how long until we see a facility in the U.S.? We discuss the status of many projects in Washington, New York, and California, and what kind of fight we can expect from the Department of Justice.

You can follow Laura on Twitter @LThomas and learn more about the Drug Policy Alliance at drugpolicy.org.

Follow Narcotica on Instagram, FacebookTwitter, YouTube and support us on Patreon. Help keep this podcast ad-free! Your support is appreciated! We’re on Spotify, iTunes, Stitcher and more. Tell your friends about us! Rate us! And thanks for your support!

If you liked this episode, here are others you might enjoy:
Episode 26: Housing As Harm Reduction
Episode 42: Supervised Consumption is an Essential Service
Episode 20: The Pitfalls of Mainstream Harm Reduction with Eliza Wheeler

Producers: Christopher Moraff, Troy Farah, Zachary Siegel
Music: Glass Boy
Intro voice: Jenny Schaye
Image: Composite by Troy Farah