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 hosted the Museum of Drug Policy in London from 3rd-5th November 2017.

The Museum’s exhibitions depicted the human suffering caused by the drug war, and highlighted how drug policy and drugs policing intersect with issues of social control, especially in relation to class and race. Alongside the Museum, we also celebrated the work that Release has undertaken over the past five decades. For more information on Release's history, click through our interactive timeline.

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.

Panels & Workshops

Release teamed up with partner organisations to design and present numerous panels and interactive workshops alongside the exhibition. Partners included drug policy and harm reduction organisations, sex workers organisations, LGBTI groups, and movements working on issues of race. See the full programme on the event's Facebook page.

Multimedia from the panels and workshops will be posted here soon.


All exhibitions and events took 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.


Videos from the Museum of Drug Policy, including content from the panels and discussions, will be posted soon. For now, enjoy the selection of photos taken by Nigel Brunsdon below:


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