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Published November 21, 2022 Updated November 22, 2022

Better drug laws now

“Better drug laws now” campaign playing cards issued by Release, United Kingdom.

United Kingdom Release Health Political Add to Collection

A campaign pack issued by Release, an organisation which claims to be the UK centre of expertise on drugs and drug law. It campaigns for better drug laws to achieve a more effective legal framework to address drug use in society, and the decriminalisation of possession of an illegal drug for personal drug use. This pack depicts well-known British and international political figures, below which are their comments on drugs / drug use. All appear to have experimented with drugs at some point in their life.

Another pack was issued by Release under the title "Nice people take drugs" with the same figures portrayed, but not necessarily on the same cards as the above edition. See the boxes

“Better drug laws now” campaign playing cards issued by Release, United Kingdom “Better drug laws now” campaign playing cards issued by Release, United Kingdom

Above: “Better drug laws now” campaign playing cards issued by Release, United Kingdom. Undated, c.2012.

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By Peter Burnett

Member since July 27, 2022

I graduated in Russian and East European Studies from Birmingham University in 1969. It was as an undergraduate in Moscow in 1968 that I stumbled upon my first 3 packs of “unusual” playing cards which fired my curiosity and thence my life-long interest. I began researching and collecting cards in the early 1970s, since when I’ve acquired over 3,330 packs of non-standard cards, mainly from North America, UK and Western Europe, and of course from Russia and the former communist countries.

Russian Playing Cards

Following my retirement from the Bodleian Library in Dec. 2007 I took up a new role as Head of Library Development at the International Network for the Availability of Scientific Publications (INASP) to support library development in low-income countries. This work necessitated regular training visits to many sub-Saharan African countries and also further afield, to Vietnam, Nepal and Bangladesh – all of which provided rich opportunities to further expand my playing card collection.

Since 2019 I’ve been working part-time in the Bodleian Library where I’ve been cataloguing the bequest of the late Donald Welsh, founder of the English Playing Card Society.


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