Chemsex, Consent and the Law
Wednesday 31st January, 2018
6:00 pm - 7:00 pm
A government’s response to drug use should be one of public health and wellbeing first and foremost. Historically, currently and globally, the role of the criminal justice system in the use of drugs has been unjustly associated with stigma, moral judgements and bigotry toward minority groups and classes.
There has been a worrying increase in chemsex-related crimes in London. There has been an increase in crimes associated with;
- Chem-related sexual assaults
- People being charged with “intent to supply”, just for sharing their G with a friend (the law doesn’t make a distinction between sharing drugs, and dealing drugs)
- Inappropriate behaviour (sexual, or violent) resulting from drug induced paranoia/psychosis that lands someone in the criminal justice system.
- There have been GBL poisonings when friends accidentally give mates too large a dose of G, and fatal overdoses occur rendering the person dispensing the G, criminally responsible; or when an overdose occurs in someones else’s home, rendering the host potentially responsible for that person’s death.
- There has been the virtual sharing of inappropriate images that can place someone, even the unwitting recipient of those images, on the sex offenders register.
Many of these are sexual offences, many others are about complex situations we find ourselves in while in chemsex environments; complex choices we make while under the intoxicating influence of chems. Sometimes chems can compromise our ability to make the best choices, or to give informed consent; and although the chemsex support services can empathise with the vulnerability that leads to these actions, the law is more precise; not always culturally sensitive to the complexities that exist in chemsex environments. Many guys who play with chems are unaware of the legal consequences of what can happen in a chemsex situation.
56 Dean Street are hosting Facebook Live event- Chemsex, Consent and the Law, an opportunity to raise awareness of the laws; a practical, non-alarmist discussion about how the law applies to the chemsex environment. We want everyone to be safe and as well informed as possible. With Stephen Morris and David Stuart. Simply tune in to the 56 Dean Street Facebook page on the night to view/contribute questions, which we’ll answer live.
(Stephen Morris is the Chemsex & Sexual Crime Lead for the NPS London Division of Her Majesty’s Prison and Probation Service. )