Release’s 50th Anniversary: the Museum of Drug Policy

Release - the UK’s centre of expertise on drugs and drugs law - has been providing free and confidential specialist advice to the public, and campaigning for the reform of drug policy, for 50 years. To celebrate our 50th anniversary, we will be hosting the Museum of Drug Policy in London from November 3rd-5th.

The Museum’s exhibitions depict the human suffering caused by the drug war, and highlight how drug policy and drugs policing intersect with issues of social control, especially in relation to class and race. Alongside the Museum, we will also be celebrating the work that Release has undertaken over the past five decades.

Friday 3rd – Sunday 5th November, 2017

47-49 Tanner Street


Save the date, and join our Facebook event here.

The Museum of Drug Policy

The Museum of Drug Policy is a pop-up arts and cultural hub featuring live programming and art from around the world that highlight how drug policies impact and shape our communities. It provides a powerful, emotional experience that illustrates the harms caused by current prohibitionist drug policies and advocates for new approaches rooted in dignity, health, and human rights. The Museum transports audiences across the globe, pushing visitors to think and act outside the box through interactive installations, powerful documentary photos, multimedia displays and more.

The Museum of Drug Policy is supported by the Open Society Foundations and was first launched in New York City in April 2016.

Photos from the Museum of Drug Policy in New York:


UK Art

We will be showcasing some of Release’s archived material – such as posters and materials from the late 60s through to the early 70s. These include promotional art for fundraising gigs featuring David Bowie, and various other materials from our archives.

Release Timeline

View the timeline in fullscreen

Panels & Workshops

Alongside the exhibition, panels and interactive workshops themed under three overarching categories will take place:

  • Gender, sexuality, and criminalisation: particularly focusing upon issues faced by women, the LGBTI community, and sex workers.
  • Policing poverty: addressing the policing of drugs as a form of social control, the racial disparity that exists in stop and search, and the sentencing of drug offences – with a focus on poverty as a driver of surveillance by the State.
  • Creative activism: how do we use art and creativity to push for social change?

Release will be teaming up with partner organisations to design and present these panels. Partners will include drug policy and harm reduction organisations, sex workers organisations, LGBTI groups, and movements working on issues of race.

More information on the events coming soon!


All exhibitions and events will take place in a stunning warehouse space, 47-49 Tanner Street. This venue – provided by Ugly Duck – is a unique and atmospheric three-floor building with exposed brick and wooden beams. It is located between London Bridge and Bermondsey tube stations and offers on-site parking.

If you have any questions about the event, please contact Avinash Tharoor on