[cp] Homeless & the War on Drugs (fwd)

Leslie Schentag (wy497@victoria.tc.ca)
Mon, 1 Mar 1999 19:58:03 -0800 (PST)

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  Leslie Schentag
  Gremlin Research Consultants
  Web Site: http://firms.findlaw.com/gremlinz

  "When Freedom Is Outlawed, Only Outlaws Will Be Free"
					-F.T.W. Productions, 1992.

 "It is better to die on your feet than live a lifetime on your knees"
					-Emiliano Zapata

---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Mon, 1 Mar 1999 18:46:20 -0800 (PST)
From: Mike Steindel <CLaw7MAn@webtv.net>
To: aidsact@critpath.org
Cc: AKELLY9@aol.com, lpa-list@advicom.net, bay_area_activist@onelist.com,
    cp@telelists.com, cjazz@interlog.com, dpfhi@drugsense.org,
    november-d@drugsense.org, prisonact-list@igc.org
Subject: [cp] Homeless & the War on Drugs

I fully agree with Tom Bolland. This is no war on drugs, this is the
religious rights assault on American's Civil Liberties....For a view of
the future we need look no farther than South America and the Death
Squads trained and financed by the Feds..That is their real idea of
Justice..The Homeless population in the U.S. is already being swept from
sight...Here's what Tom has to say...

 HPN@aspin.asu.edu (HOMELESS PEOPLE'S NETWORK list) Subject: Drug
policy: Zero Tolerance or Harm Reduction - your opinion? FWD 

I'm impressed that Netherlands officials consult herion users when
framing drug policies and programs. Many homeless people are affected by
government response to drug users, so maybe we also deserve a seat at
the drug policy-makers' table. 

Prohibition and "Zero Tolerance" only criminalize a health problem. One
result is that nonviolent drug users get mixed in with violent
prisoners. Another result is that current users get little or no help.
In short, I think the war on drugs sucks up tax monies we could use
better for treatment and drug education. 

We need a "public health" perspective on drugs - how do you keep the
most people "healthy" and those with dieeases "less sick? The answer, I
think, is "harm reduction" for currents users -- clean needles, detox on
demand, guaranteed housing -- whether one is using or not. 
The "harm reduction" approach seems to have worked in some places in
Europe. In the US, sadly, it's political suicide to even discuss. 

I invite onther' commments. I'm especially interested in what drug users
and folks in recovery have to say. Been there? Speak out if you will! 

Lives are at stake. So we need to think, plan and act with care on the
issue of drug use. 

This is also an opoportunity for us to see if we can debate a hot topic
with reason and evidence, rather than with ideological labels and

Decriminalize poverty! -- Tom Boland <wgcp@earthlink.net> 

PS: As to pot, why not just legalize it? It's certainly safer than 
cigarettes, alcohol and some perscription drugs, all of which are legal. 

[Subject was: Rotterdam: "Junkie Union" Activist Remembered FWD] 

Nico dealt very skillfully with the media. Press contacts were generally
carefully prepared as he viewed them as opportunities to educate the
general public. The media became an important ally of the Junkiebond.
During the summer of 1982, every Friday night, the Junkiebond presented
an hour long radio show on the most popular national station. While he
was always willing to talk and negociate with the politicians and the 

"Treatment Industry," the Junkiebond did not shy away from activist
strategies-City hall and offices of treatment organizations were
occupied more than once. As a result of meetings and activism, perhaps
unique in the world, Dutch parliament passed a motion urging the
government to include organizations of drug users into policy making.
Equally important, Nico launched many significant initiatives in the
provision of drug services in Rotterdam. 

Many of these were organised by the junkiebond itself, often in
cooperation with minister Hans Visser of the Paulus Church, for example,
the cafeteria for users in the church basement; a sleeping facility for
homeless users; toleration zones; platform zero; etc.. 

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