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INTERVIEW: Lawrence Grandpre – Communal Approaches to Drug Criminalization and Addiction

Lawrence Grandpre is Director of Research for Leaders of a Beautiful Struggle. His focuses include drug policy, criminal justice, police accountability, and community-based economic/educational development. He is the co-author of “The Black Book” and his work has been featured in The Guardian, The Baltimore Sun, Time Magazine and Black Agenda Report. He is also the co-host of the In Search of Black Power Podcast. 

During this episode we discuss the communal impacts and communal responses to drug criminalization, addiction, and harm reduction. We focus on Baltimore and Maryland, but the lessons are applicable beyond that. 

Reparations are a large part of the framework Lawrence advocates, but he has a definition that challenges the typical way that reparations are defined arguing: “The definition of reparations presented by the interview subjects did not center on repairing the divide between oppressed and oppressor by granting the oppressed increased access to existing political and social service infrastructure, but instead on using public investment to build up the infrastructural capacity of the oppressed, so they were no longer dependent on the goodwill of the oppressor for their survival.”

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