Drug Policy Reform Group Launches Web Site

Drug Policy Reform Group Launches Web Site
Posted by FoM on June 01, 2000 at 19:52:08 PT
Signature Gathering Effort for Initiative 746 
Source: PRNewswire
The following is being issued by The Reasonable People's Campaign:The Reasonable People's Campaign, a citizens group committed to intelligent drug policy reform, today launched a signature gathering drive for Initiative 746 -- the first Internet-based effort to qualify an initiative for the Washington State ballot without the use of paid signature gatherers. At the same time, the group launched its website:
I-746 seeks reasonable reform of Washington's drug laws. It requires qualified, comprehensive treatment, rather than jail time, for non-violent, simple possession of illegal drugs for personal use. It also mandates civil fines, rather than criminal prosecution, for simple possession of small amounts of marijuana.By any measure, America's "War on Drugs" has been an incontrovertible failure. Billions of tax dollars are wasted every year in a doomed effort to solve the country's drug crisis with an overwhelming emphasis on criminal sanctions and incarceration. "The vast body of research and a growing number of experts in the public health, medical and law enforcement communities now recognize that a shift of emphasis to treatment solutions is long overdue," said Jeff Haley, Co-Chair of the Washington Addiction Treatment Task Force and the official sponsor of I-746. "Treating drug addicts is not just cheaper than incarceration," Haley noted, "it's also proven to reduce drug-related violent crime, the spread of HIV/AIDS and other health and social problems much better than locking people in overcrowded prisons.""We think I-746 is a reasonable, responsible approach to reducing the drug problem," said Robert Lunday, campaign manager for the Reasonable People's Campaign. "We know we've got a formidable challenge to gather more than 180,000 valid signatures in this way by the July 7th deadline, but we think our Internet-based approach offers a variety of significant benefits over paid signature gathering."In addition to direct, easy access to the petition on demand, Internet-based petitions offer citizens a much better opportunity to learn about and consider what is being signed. "It just makes a lot more sense than stopping someone on the street with a bag of groceries in their arms and asking them to sign something based on a two-sentence description," Lunday said. "That's crucial to developing smart public policy, particularly on an issue as important as drug policy reform."Citizens seeking more information about I-746 can obtain the complete text of the initiative and print a petition at the organization's website: Contact: Robert Lunday206-781-8144  Campaign Manager of Reasonable People's Campaign June 1, 2000 Seattle, June 1 - PRNewswireCopyright  2000 At Home Corporation
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