Raw Opium has TV premiere
Raw Opium, a two-part series about a commodity that has tremendous power, both to ease pain and destroy lives, had its premiere on TV in Ontario on 5 October, 9-10pm EST.
The opium poppy is the raw material for heroin, fueling a vast criminal trade larger than the economies of many countries. See how a flower plays a pivotal role not just in the lives of people who grow, manufacture and use it, but also in the political instability of an increasingly interconnected and turbulent world.
A major story-thread in the film focuses on Derek, an IV drug user on Vancouver's Downtown Eastside and the Insite clinic which has been so central to his life. Insite is a strong throughline in the documentary which takes an international look at the drug trade and harm reduction but begins on the streets of Vancouver and creates a compassionate portrait of Insite and the people who access its services.
The producers, TVO and Kensington TV, feel the film would be a strong tool in the international fight for harm reduction and drug policy reform, and are also hosting an online live chat during the broadcast with Special Guest Richard Elliott, Executive Director, Canadian HIV/AIDS Legal Network.
Richard is a member of the International Advisory Committee of the International Centre for Human Rights and Drug Policy. He has authored numerous reports, papers and articles on a range of legal and human rights issues related to HIV/AIDS, appeared before legislative committees, taught and lectured at several law schools, and presented extensively on HIV-related human rights issues across the country and internationally.
He and the Canadian HIV/AIDS Legal Network defended Insite at the Supreme Court of Canada in May 2011, in the case in which the Conservative government tried to shut Insite clinic down. Raw Opium hopes the online discussion will come from a broad spectrum of opinion about harm reduction and drug policy reform - it's especially timely with the Conservative crime bill currently before the House.
For more information go to www.rawopium.com