Being a police officer, I was supposed to obey and impose the law. Having and using drugs is a felony, so being with my brother, Tom, was always very confusing to me as it forced me to face the contradictions of drug policy. Should I be a policeman first (which you are assumed to be 24 hours a day) or should I be his brother?

I was a coward then. I prioritised my job over my brother. We could never just have a normal relationship because I wanted to be the perfect cop – and he was often a threat to my career.

My family reacted similarly; they were also thinking of my career and would probably have reacted differently towards my brother if I hadn’t been a police officer. Because of my job, I felt as though my hands were tied. I wouldn’t act that way today.

The further you stick your neck out, the more people are ready to chop off your head. That is the case everywhere. But now I’m willing to openly question current drug policy.

If he’d had better access to harm reduction services, and hadn’t been labelled a criminal, Tom might still be here today.

Watch Peter’s story below…