The Nation Exclusive Profiles 

The Nation Exclusive Profiles 
Posted by FoM on September 07, 1999 at 16:07:30 PT
Soros & Nadelmann Role in Drug Policy 
Source: Boston Globe
In an exclusive article in The Nation magazine's special drug policy issue, which hit newsstands this week writer Russ Baker takes a first-ever comprehensive look at the George Soros funded Lindesmith Center and its director Ethan Nadelmann.
The article, titled, "A Philanthropist Defies Drug War Orthodoxy," thoroughly explores the role that the Lindesmith Center and Nadelmann have played in moving the drug policy debate on a national and international level. Highlighted is the center and Nadelmann's involvement in such high profile issues as leading the criticism of last year's United Nation global drug summit, the fight over federal funding for needle exchange, and the debate over the continuation of stiff mandatory minimum sentences. In addition, the article explores Soros and Nadelmann's involvement in crafting the intellectual and political strategies for medical marijuana and other drug policy initiatives throughout the U.S. The following are excerpts from the article: By far the most conspicuous part of Soros's empire is the Lindesmith Center. That's largely because it is directed by Nadelmann, who has a knack for saying things that others can't -- or won't -- say.As an alternative to locking people up, most Soros-backed groups advocate what they call 'harm reduction' -- a common-sense approach to drug policy that would nonetheless represent a radical departure from current practice. 'The basic idea,' Nadelmann says, 'is that you have a fallback strategy for dealing with people who are engaged in behavior that can be risky or dangerous. So if you're smoking cigarettes, smoke less or don't smoke around kids or don't throw your ashes in dry timber. If you're drinking alcohol, don't drink and drive. You ride a bicycle -- use a helmet. That's harm reduction.'Nadelmann argues that the drug war has devastated civil liberties, given police unprecedented new powers and penalized unevenly the preferred vices of various ethnic, racial and social groups. He complains that the massive rise in drug-related incarceration has decimated communities, destroyed families and put society's most vulnerable people not in a therapeutic environment but in one that actually fosters long-term drug use and related violence.Nadelmann has become somewhat of a pariah to the drug-policy establishment -- signaling his effectiveness as a critic but also the hurdles he must overcome. 'The drug czar has refused to be at any public event where Nadelmann is,' says Reinarman. 'McCaffrey is probably smart enough to avoid embarrassment.' Calvina Fay, deputy executive director at the Drug Free America Foundation, who has never been on a panel with Nadelmann, says, 'We don't think debating is a very good idea.'" For Interview Inquires or Questions: David Mickenberg, Director of Communications 212-548-0383 dmickenberg Based in New York, the Lindesmith Center is a drug policy institute that concentrates on broadening the drug policy debate. The Lindesmith Center is a project of the Open Society Institute, the nonprofit foundation established by philanthropist George Soros to promote the development of open societies around the world. The founder and director of The Lindesmith Center is Ethan Nadelmann, J.D., Ph.D., author of Cops Across Borders: The Internationalization of U.S. Criminal Law Enforcement (Penn State Press, 1993) as well as numerous articles on drug control policy in leading scholarly and popular journals. SOURCE The Lindesmith Center CONTACT: David Mickenberg, Director of Communications of The Lindesmith Center212-548-0383, dmickenberg sorosny.orgThe NationWeb site: Lindesmith InstituteWeb site: CO: Lindesmith Center ST: New York IN: PUB SU: KF -- NYTU102 -- 6551 09/07/1999 13:59 EDT NEW YORK, Sept. 7 /PRNewswire
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