“It sounds strange, but there is a link between medieval studies and drug policy,” says Peter Sarosi, drug policy program director at the Hungarian Civil Liberties Union. “I studied the heretics of the early Christian age. With reformed drug policy, our approach is considered heretic,” he explains. “Orthodox” drug policy advocates criminalization of drug users, just as “orthodox” views banned freedom of religion. “Reformed” drug policy advocates harm reduction and getting help for those suffering from addiction, just as what was called “heretic” in medieval times was a call for religious freedom.
Sarosi, who is Hungarian, says he particularly benefited from CEU’s diversity. “I got the opportunity to know students from Hungary’s neighboring countries and realized we don’t know anything about our neighbors, but have prejudices and fears,” he says. “It was a really crucial year for me. True friendships were born.”