TLC-DPF Drug Policy News: December 15, 2000 

TLC-DPF Drug Policy News: December 15, 2000 
Posted by FoM on December 15, 2000 at 16:53:24 PT
Clinton: Marijuana Should be Decriminalized
Source: TLC - DPF
In a Rolling Stone interview released last week, President Clinton said that he believed in the decriminalization of marijuana. When asked if he thought that "people should go to jail for using or even selling small amounts of marijuana", Clinton told the magazine, "I think that most small amounts of marijuana have been decriminalized in some places, and should be." He went on to add, "We really need a re-examination of our entire policy on imprisonment. 
Some people deliberately hurt other people and they ought to be in jail because they can't be trusted on the streets. Some people do things that are so serious that they have to be put in jail to discourage other people from doing similar things. But a lot of people are in prison because they have drug problems or alcohol problems and too many of them are getting out, particularly out of state systems, without treatment, without education skills, without serious efforts at job placement."Clinton also told Rolling Stone that mandatory minimum sentences should be re-examined, along with the sentencing disparity between crack and powdered cocaine. "The disparities are unconscionable between crack and powdered cocaine," Clinton said. "I tried to change that. The Republican Congress was willing to narrow but not eliminate them, the theory being that people who used crack were more violent than people who used cocaine. What they really mean was: People that used crack were more likely to be poor - and, coincidentally, black or brown. And therefore not to have money. Those people that used were more likely to be rich, pay for it and therefore be peaceful."The Rolling Stone interview can be heard at: THE NEWS: Around the World**Canadian Judge: Patients Have Right to Grow Marijuana**This week in Canada, an Alberta Judge ruled that it is unconstitutional for the government to prevent patients from having a safe and steady access to medical marijuana. The Judge gave the Parliament a year to amend Canadian laws to allow patients to grow their own marijuana or get it from a legal a source, or he would have no choice but to overturn Canada's laws against the cultivation of marijuana. The ruling falls on the heels of a ruling earlier this year by the Ontario Court of Appeals that was so sweeping in its defense of a patient's right to obtain and use marijuana for medicinal purposes that it threatened to overturn all of Canada's marijuana laws, even laws against recreational use. The Appeals Court ruled that Canada's current marijuana laws are unconstitutional because they do not provide an exemption that adequately protects patients. Declaring Canada's marijuana laws "to be of no force and effect", the Court then suspended the ruling for one year to give Canada's Parliament enough time to rewrite Canadian drug laws to allow patients to obtain and use marijuana for medicinal purposes. In October, the Canadian government decided not to appeal the ruling, and Canadian Health Minister Allan Rock announced he would change regulations to allow patients access to marijuana. Until the new regulations are approved Canadians can continue to apply for a medical exemption under Section 56 of the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act. To date, 71 Canadians are allowed to legally smoke marijuana. WHAT YOU CAN DO**Call and Write Bill Clinton**Over 600 faith leaders are asking President Clinton to grant clemency to low-level, non-violent drug offenders before he leaves office in January. The Coalition for Jubilee Justice needs your help in putting pressure on President Clinton. Please call and/or write the President and ask him to listen to the hundreds of faith leaders that are asking him to show mercy by granting clemency and supervised parole to federal prisoners who have served at least five years for low-level, nonviolent drug offenses. Your letter or phone call should be as personal as possible, and if you have suggestions on specific individuals that should be released, make sure to name them. President Clinton can be contacted at:Honorable William J. Clinton President of the United States The White House 1600 Pennsylvania Ave.NW Washington, DC 20500 Tel: (202) 456-1414 Fax: (202) 456-2461Some resources that might help when writing your letter to Clinton, include:The Coalition's Letter of Appeal has great facts about the issue at: Against Mandatory Minimums has great prisoner profiles at: possible please send The Lindesmith Center - Drug Policy Foundation a copy of any letter that you send to the President. RECENT ADDITIONS TO WWW.DRUGPOLICY.ORG**Canadian Mayor Relases Draft Discussion Paper on Drug Strategy**Vancouver Mayor Philip Owen released a draft discussion paper called "A Framework for Action - A Four-Pillar Approach to Drug Problems in Vancouver," including prevention, treatment, enforcement & harm reduction. After more than two years of consultation with residents, community organizations, the business community, service providers and all levels of government, the City of Vancouver has drafted a discussion paper that balances public health and public order. Of particular interest is a discussion of adopting heroin maintenance treatment on page 40 of the report. &**Canada's Drug Strategy** Published by the Office of Alcohol, Drugs and Dependency Issues, Health Canada. Ottawa, Canada, 1998. & RESOURCESFrom the Latin America Working Group (LAWG):**DRUG CERTIFICATION An Activist's Guide to Eliminating a Harmful Policy**How would you feel if your extremely messy roommate told you that you were a slob? It's probably safe to say that you would feel insulted, even resentful. Every spring, the US government exhibits similarly obnoxious behavior by "certifying" whether or not other countries are cooperating with the United States in the war on drugs even though the US government has had little or no success in curbing drug abuse here at home. This annual process is called certification.The certification policy is bad because, instead of generating cooperation, it creates friction between the United States and the very countries we must work with to construct an effective drug policy. Certification allows politicians in the US to look tough on drugs by punishing other countries, while not taking responsibility for the drug problem at home.Policy makers need to engage in an informed debate on the drug issue, one that considers consumption, trafficking and production as components of the same problem. This debate must include leaders from Latin American countries and must take into account the impact that current US drug control policy has on other nations. Getting rid of certification is just the beginning.The Latin America Working Group will release a new educational guide for activists interested in reform of US drug policy, specifically in abolishing certification in early December 2000. The guidegives a brief history and description of the policy and discusses reasons why it should be abolished. The packet also includes a resource page on US drug control policy and a sample letter to members of Congress, seeking their support of efforts to eliminate the certification policy.To order your copy/ies call (202) 546-7010; fax (202) 543-7647 or e-mail: creed  Be sure to include your full name, organizational affiliation if applicable, mailing address and the number of copies you would like when you submit your order. Single copy orders are completely free of charge; on large orders we ask that postage be paid by addressee. The guide will also be available on our website at:**The World Prison Brief Online**A new Website providing the latest prison statistics from around the world. The World Prison Brief Online is the first online resource to offer a comprehensive database of all relevant information on the prison systems of over 200 countries. more information please contact Anton Shelupanov at the ICPS on 020 7401 2559 or email: icps OPENINGS**Immediate Job Opening**Agency Description:Positive Health Project (PHP), is a comprehensive harm reduction education program that targets injecting drug users (IDUs), sex workers, transgender individuals, and substance users in the Chelsea/Clinton community. PHP's program provides peer-based HIV prevention education, HIV/AIDS support services, syringe exchange, HIV testing and counseling, street outreach and referrals for health care, housing, entitlement advocacy, drug detox and treatment services. Additional services include prevention groups to support safer behaviors and HIV/AIDS prevention and educational workshops for interested community residents. Job Title: Treatment Advocate Description of Duties:1. To be responsible for the identification, the coordination, and the delivery of one-on-one HIV related services to program clients. 2. Make information about HIV treatments and clinical trials realistic and relevant to the specific circumstances and needs of our clients. 3. Provide HIV treatment advocacy in coordination with early medical services for HIV positive individuals. Develop a comprehensive adherence to combination therapies care plan for the treatment and management of the patient's illness. 4. Assist persons at risk in obtaining STD, TB, and Hepatitis diagnosis and treatment, and other primary health care services related to HIV infection. 5. Provide counseling on issues including substance use and HIV/AIDS on both a drop-in and appointment basis; schedule follow-up appointments. 6. Make referrals to (HIV, substance use, health care, housing, etc.) related services. 7. Establish relationships with referral agencies. Conduct on-going monitoring of referrals to assure client follow-through and service provider responsiveness. 8. Responsible for recording HIV treatment management activity using designated manual systems and computer software.9. Attend community meetings/functions that strengthen the agency relationship with community providers.10. Facilitate in-house training/support groups as assigned.Skills or Experience:Bachelor degree and/or Public Health education and a minimum of two years providing health education to individuals living with AIDS. Knowledge of HIV and related diseases, HIV risk reduction techniques, current and experimental HIV treatment therapies, substance use, and health care systems required. Must demonstrate strong organizational, communication, and supervisory skills. Must be able to work flexible hours. Computer skills are necessary. Persons who are HIV positive are encouraged to apply. Salary: 32 - 35,000/40 hours per weekTo Apply: Mail resume to address below or fax: Positive Health Project, Inc. 301 West 37th Street New York, NY 10018 (212) 465-8304 Fax (212) 465-8306 
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