Germany OKs Drug Injection Rooms

Germany OKs Drug Injection Rooms
Posted by FoM on February 25, 2000 at 10:44:02 PT
By The Associated Press
Source: New York Times
Parliament on Friday legalized drug injection rooms that have sprouted in German cities to provide addicts with clean needles, reversing a policy upheld by the former conservative government. The upper house approved a compromise law that won crucial support from some conservative-led states by emphasizing that addicts who get the needles also need counseling. The lower house had passed the measure Thursday. 
Germany's move came despite criticism of the concept by U.N. experts in a report this week. The International Narcotics Control Board said governments risked violating international drug control treaties by allowing shooting galleries. German authorities have tolerated 13 so-called ``shooting galleries'' in major German cities for some time, but the rooms have been technically illegal. Germany's governing coalition of Social Democrats and Greens hailed the new law as a ``turnaround toward a humane and progressive drug policy.'' Conservative lawmakers argued it encouraged addiction as well as drug sales outside the rooms. Supporters say the shooting galleries are a way to get heroin users off the street and reduce transmission of diseases, such as AIDS and hepatitis, that can be spread by shared needles. Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder's government says drug-related deaths have declined in German cities that have injection rooms, which also exist in the Netherlands, Switzerland and Spain. BERLIN (AP) Published: February 25, 2000Copyright 2000 The New York Times Company CannabisNews Narcotics Related Topics:
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Comment #3 posted by Tim Stone on February 25, 2000 at 17:41:55 PT
Separating the addict from the doctor
  "Yes, it would be sensible. Rational. The smart thing to do. If only for the reason few people mention,and the one the police can't have any real objection to (since the idea is so near and dear to theirhearts): control. Control of the addict. "(kaptinemo quote from below)Exactly, kaptinemo. As Crosby, Stills & Nash said before, "We have all been here before." The recently late Rufus King has some fascinating historical comments on the subject of the necessity of controlling the addict, which means separating the addict from the medical profession, by force. Interested readers might want to check out Cliff Schaffer's site round about went through the heroin maintenance thing before, in the 20s. The narks killed it then, and are likely to do so again this time. The only way the narks and prohibition can stay in business is if use of disapproved drugs is regarded as as a criminal matter, rather than a medical matter. Briefly put, that's why the drug prohibition international apparatus goes so apoplectic at the very mention of herion maintenance.This issue of deja vu heroin maintenance is central to any understanding of what the drug war is about. Readers, please check out the Rufus King book.
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Comment #2 posted by kaptinemo on February 25, 2000 at 16:12:37 PT
But think of all the unemployed cops!
Yes, it would be sensible. Rational. The smart thing to do. If only for the reason few people mention, and the one the police can't have any real objection to (since the idea is so near and dear to their hearts): control. Control of the addict. An injection station, even one with little or no treatment facilities, would allow for identification of addicts and eventual referral to treatment when it becomes available. It would allow those still able to continue at their jobs. They would only be spending a small amount of their funds (rather than a much larger sum for black-market opiates) on their 'goods'. Such an environment would go a long way to reducing the amount of crime.And put a lot of police out of work. No more overtime spent filling out reports instead of patrolling the streets. No more promotions based on drug busts. No more free political ride for police chiefs and pols who like to sound tough whipping the dead horse issue of drug crimes. Which is why injection rooms won't be done without a lot of kicking and screaming.
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Comment #1 posted by Puritan on February 25, 2000 at 11:22:43 PT
Problem solution
Ultimately, is drug abuse a medical or legal problem? Can these addicts be functional in society if they have low cost and controlled access to their drug of choice? This seems like a more realistic and lower cost solution than trying to arrest our way out of these problems.
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