Sunday, November 29, 2009

Google Wave for Drug Policy Reform

Google is in the midst of launching a new product called Google Wave. They call it a "real time collaborative communication tool." What the heck does that mean??? As far as I can tell, Google Wave enables people to discuss and edit documents together while online. This is incredibly useful if your group happens to be scattered throughout the world as it allows you to set up a sort of "virtual office."

I have a hunch that Google Wave is going to be a Good Thing for drug policy reform. Various organizations will use it to share information, train new volunteers, develop policy documents and plan complex projects. I haven't used Google Wave very much yet, but my hope is that it will be useful for groups like Law Enforcement Against Prohibition and Students for Sensible Drug Policy.

Right now Google Wave is accessible by invitation only. I have four invites left, so if you want one just send me an email ( and I will send it to you. It's first come, first serve and I'll update this post again once all my invites are gone.


  1. Hey folks, FYI I have Google Wave invites as well. Just drop a comment with an email address if you'd like me to send one along, I'll do my best to check the thread from time to time.

    David, do you know if there are any good public Waves out there for LEAP, or for drug policy reform in general? Like you, I haven't spent a ton of time on it yet, but it does seem interesting.

  2. I also have Google Wave invites. I'll add you to my contacts, David. I'm also curious about Google Wave with drug policy reform. In a way, Google Wave would act like a synchronous Wikipedia page with people commenting and adding suggestions for drug reform.

    At least, that's how I visualize it. It'd be helpful if we didn't just tell everyone that Prohibition doesn't work. I know that LEAP is pretty hands-off when it gets down to the specifics of drug policy, but even if it officially is hands-off, we can still get into groups and discuss how drugs should be legalized and regulated.

    It would be helpful to have Waves dedicated to legalization vs. Prohibition, decriminalization vs. regulation and so forth.

    Finally, I think it would be absolutely awesome to have a Wave dedicated to overarching drug policy. So for example, we've seen that not only does tobacco use decrease with education but also with less advertising. Could we bring alcohol, caffeine and prescription drugs to the table too?

    It really opens up a whole new world of ideas and possibilities. Anyway, I'll try to add you and David, Rhayader. Maybe we can at least start something up.

  3. There's only one reason for me to consider joining a Google Wave group and that would be for the reasons Bear said.
    I dropped out of Facebook, in my mind it's non productive. It may "get the message out" but it's riddled with non drug policy comments and people saying "i'm so high". That comment alone sends me into a lather.
    My entire objective in joining any group is ONLY with a 100% dedication on the subject of ending the drug war. Thanks for hearing me out.

    Rhyader, I'm not going to put my email address on here! And again, I need a guarantee that the Wave site I join will be solely dedicated to ending this insane drug war.

  4. Ok, Please send me a wave at
    I'm the vice president of the Drug Policy Reform Network of Oklahoma and we where actually looking for something like this..It could be a great tool for us thats for sure!!

  5. Hi kmkprophet, I've added you to the invite list. Here is what Google says:

    "Google Wave is more fun when you have others to wave with, so please nominate people you would like to add. Keep in mind that this is a preview so it could be a bit rocky at times. Invitations will not be sent immediately. We have a lot of stamps to lick. Happy waving!"

    My guess is that you will be added to the beta program with the next set of invites. Google is known for gradually staging its product rollouts, so it may take a little while before you get access to Wave.

  6. Rhyader, I'm not going to put my email address on here!

    Haha, uhhh ok, no skin off my nose. Those Google Wave invites can stay happily in my queue as long as they need to, so do what you feel.

    And again, I need a guarantee that the Wave site I join will be solely dedicated to ending this insane drug war.

    A Wave isn't a site, it's a conversation. It's essentially a sort of amalgamation of email, instant messaging, and multimedia sharing. The link David shared in his original post gives a good summary. It would be impossible to create a Wave with wide participation while simultaneously "guaranteeing" that discussion would remain centered around a given topic. A Wave is bottom-up, not top-down, and as such is driven entirely by its participants.

  7. By the way, I posted this iReport in response to this blog post. Please correct me if any talking points stray from yours.


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