New Drugs Strategy To Focus on Treatment 

New Drugs Strategy To Focus on Treatment 
Posted by CN Staff on December 03, 2002 at 07:27:18 PT
Staff and Agencies
Source: Guardian Unlimited UK
The home secretary, David Blunkett, today unveiled a revamped drugs strategy - after branding targets to reduce substance misuse set four years ago as "not credible".The new government strategy abandons the target set by the former drugs tsar, Keith Hellawell, to slash hard drug use by half by 2004, in favour of getting more heroin and crack cocaine addicts into treatment.
The strategy is "more focused" on education, law enforcement, prevention and treatment services for the most serious drug users, rejecting a definitive reduction in drug use, availability and repeat offending.Mr Blunkett told the BBC: "We are not going to drop the overall drive or outcome targets in terms of a proper appraisal of whether drug use is actually falling or rising. "Yes, we are going to drop the 50% cut in class A drugs by 2008 because we don't think it's a credible target, no one else thinks it's a credible target. He said the government now had experience of what should be done to target hard drugs, the dangers they bring to communities and the best methods of rehabilitating users.Mr Hellawell had also pledged to cut the number of young people using class A drugs, and the level of repeat offending among drug offenders, by 50% in 2008.Only one of his four targets emerged unscathed from today's policy review. His target to increase the number of serious drug users in treatment by 55% by 2004 remains, rising to 100% by 2008.But Mr Hellawell, who resigned in July in protest at the government's decision to downgrade cannabis from a class B to a class C drug, accused the government of encouraging young people to think taking cannabis was acceptable."If they take cannabis out of the equation in one stroke they will then reduce on paper the amount of drug use in this country - and clearly that will be a fiction," he said."To be frank I think the policy on cannabis is a dog's dinner at the moment. He has given the signal to young people in particular that he believes it's all right."That's the signal that police officers are getting on the streets."Mr Blunkett said the government believed cannabis was a dangerous drug, but not as dangerous as crack, heroin or ecstasy."We know perfectly well that cannabis is dangerous, but it does not lead to the kind of total disintegration of people's lives that heroin, crack, and in many incidences cocaine and ecstasy do, and we know that they kill," he said.Giving evidence to MPs earlier this year, ministers and officials conceded belatedly that the drugs strategy was flawed. The drugs minister, Bob Ainsworth, told the Commons home affairs select committee: "Some of the targets were aspirational, and I do not criticise that because there was a necessity to get people focused and to force them to work together." Special Report: Drugs in Britain:,2759,178206,00.html Source: Guardian Unlimited, The (UK)Published: Tuesday, December 3, 2002 Copyright: 2002 Guardian Newspapers LimitedContact: letters Articles & Web Site:U.K. Drug Strategy 2002 Wisdom - Guardian Unlimited Britain's Drug Habit To Be Adult About Drugs
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Comment #18 posted by FoM on December 04, 2002 at 12:10:01 PT
You're right! I agree. I almost thought the Doctor was tired of dealing with Reefer Madness as he called it. That's a good sign. I'm hoping for a good show on O'Reilly tomorrow particularly since the gateway theory has been shown to be wrong. We knew that but maybe now they will start to get it.
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Comment #17 posted by WolfgangWylde on December 04, 2002 at 05:16:00 PT
FoM: Political Energy indeed...
One of the ways you can tell that an issue has reached it societal "boiling point" is the importance it is given by TV news shows. Not necessarily in how they talk about it, but WHEN they talk about it. Remember, first and foremost, TV news shows are about advertising dollars. Did you notice? The marijuana story was the "teaser" of this broadcast, used to hold the viewer until the end of the show. Apparently CNN knows when it has a hot topic on its hands, and what will hook the viewer into sitting through all of the commercials.
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Comment #16 posted by FoM on December 03, 2002 at 14:58:56 PT
He Wasn't Too Bad
He said he is almost glad that some truth is surfacing. He said we have 'political energy!' I liked that! Oh that we do!
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Comment #15 posted by FoM on December 03, 2002 at 14:15:40 PT
Poll: Do You Think Marijuana is a Gateway Drug? 
Current ResultsDo you think marijuana is a "gateway" drug? Yes  -- 25% -- 166 votes No   -- 75% -- 507 votes Total: -- 673 votes Please Vote:
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Comment #14 posted by FoM on December 03, 2002 at 12:11:28 PT
Marijuana Question Answered by Drew Pinsky
Maybe I shouldn't watch the program. Where are the experts?
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Comment #13 posted by FoM on December 03, 2002 at 12:07:52 PT
Now that I saw his picture I remember him from PI. He doesn't have any idea what's happening. He was very critical of Todd McCormick when they were on the program at the same time.
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Comment #12 posted by WolfgangWylde on December 03, 2002 at 12:02:16 PT
"Loveline" co-host Drew Pinsky, eh? Went straight the experts, didn't they?
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Comment #11 posted by FoM on December 03, 2002 at 11:56:17 PT
Update: Tonight on CNN Wolf Blitzer Reports
AIRS: 5 p.m. ET Monday-Friday 
Tuesday, December 03, 2002A new RAND Drug Policy Research Center study counters the theory that marijuana acts as a so-called gateway drug to more harmful narcotics. "Loveline" co-host Dr. Drew Pinsky joins "Wolf Blitzer Reports" for analysis. Then, we'll take a look at Saudi Arabia's report listing Saudi efforts to choke off terror funding. And we'll bring you the case of the matador that kept going and going. Tune in at 5 p.m. ET.
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Comment #10 posted by FoM on December 03, 2002 at 11:24:45 PT
Thank you. You remember my sister's job. That is really nice to read. She does video that looks like it was made for the TV. She is in South Carolina now. Before she was in Baltimore. She is getting home and then leaving for Texas in January. I will see her between one of her away from home trips. She has 8 adult children so she has to travel to see many of them. 
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Comment #9 posted by afterburner on December 03, 2002 at 11:14:28 PT:
FoM - Re: "Crimes of Compassion" Documentary.
I've searced the Toronto Public Library Holdings and the Vancouver Public Library holdings, so far without a hit. I've searched the Internet several times, but only get the links I posted before. This program is excellent because it puts a human face on medical cannabis. It would be hard to believe John Walters' "con" rhetoric after seeing this program with one's own eyes. I hope it makes it to the public domain soon, and that it is the first of many such shows. It would be excellent reference for your videographer sister, MaryB. ego destruction or ego transcendence, that is the question.I'm reposting the links I have so far in case you misplaced them:commentary and purchase info (transcript $20):
Crimes of Compassion' commentary and purchase info (transcript $20):
the may street group inc. :: film, video & animation release for original broadcast (TORONTO - Monday, February 4, 2002):
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Comment #8 posted by FoM on December 03, 2002 at 10:47:41 PT
I also read what you said about an award but I don't know what for either. I hope the Wolf Blitzer Report is good. They keep repeating the RAND study report on CNN Headline News. I haven't found any articles where John Walters says anything about it. Maybe we got them this time. I sure hope so. I know this report should help Canada make a good decision.
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Comment #7 posted by VitaminT on December 03, 2002 at 10:37:42 PT
OH I'm sorry
Yes Gary Trudeau writes DoonsburyI understand he also won an award from the Drug Policy Foundation. But I don't know when.
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Comment #6 posted by FoM on December 03, 2002 at 10:35:42 PT
Up Close
I guess I need to turn on ABC at night more often. I haven't watched it since they took Bill Maher off the air. Is that a program that is after Nightline? I'll check it out.
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Comment #5 posted by FoM on December 03, 2002 at 10:32:57 PT
Thanks I saw that too but I couldn't figure out who he was until you posted your comment. He is responsible for the medical marijuana political cartoons isn't he? I never read cartoons much so it went over my head. I'll watch Nightline too. Thanks again.
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Comment #4 posted by VitaminT on December 03, 2002 at 10:21:42 PT
This just popped up on one of the listservs
Gary Trudeau will be on Ted Koppel's "Up Close" (ABC) tonight and tomorrow night for a two-part interview.I suppose we can expect Med. Cannabis to be among the range of topics.check local listings yada yadaAlso, Rob Kampia on O'Riley Thursday!
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Comment #3 posted by FoM on December 03, 2002 at 08:13:11 PT
Hi Mary
I think many people do write and send in questions. I'm looking forward to seeing the program tonight. 
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Comment #2 posted by MaryB on December 03, 2002 at 07:46:39 PT
Tonight on CNN 
So is anyone going to email Wolf with a really good question or do you just wait and see what he talks about? I'm new at this!!!
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Comment #1 posted by FoM on December 03, 2002 at 07:37:53 PT
Tonight on CNN Wolf Blitzer Reports
Hi Everyone,It isn't on the web site but they just said they will talk about marijuana on the program tonight. Also the pdf file didn't load right but I will get it fixed as soon as I can.Wolf Blitzer Reports airs 5-6 p.m. ET Monday-Friday
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