Editorial: The world leads while America continues its war 8/1/97

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Coming on the heels of the glowing report on the results of the Swiss heroin trials, the Australian announcement that they will go ahead with their own long-debated heroin maintenance trial is terrific news for American reformers. What is especially exciting is that the Australian federal government was willing to go forward over the strong objections (and reported threats) of the US State Department. (For further info on this see http://www.drcnet.org/guide10-96/downunder.html and http://www.drcnet.org/rapid/1997/7-24-1.html#blackmail.)

While we here in the States listen to our leaders try to "out-tough" each other in their drug war rhetoric, it has become apparent that much of the rest of the world is ready to look for other answers. Many countries have done this quietly, such as Italy, Spain and Germany, while some countries, such as The Netherlands have been more brazen, and have suffered the slings and arrows of the entire international Drug War establishment. In either case, these countries have seen beyond the Drug War propaganda which asserts that anything short of punitive Prohibition will result in the collapse of society.

How many successful heroin trials (or other successful reforms) around the world will the US government be able to belittle or ignore before they must face the fact that there are more effective, more humane ways to deal with our drug problem? How many countries must decriminalize one or another substance before it becomes impossible for the US to maintain even the appearance of credibility in its efforts? How much "tougher" will the Drug Warriors try to get in an effort to prop up a clearly dying regime? And how many freedoms and how many more lives will be destroyed in the process?

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Issue #5, 8/1/97 Recent Alerts: Chai Project trial to be continued, and Sentencing Disparity alert still timely | Drug-Related AIDS: Disposable patients... Disturbing numbers from the CDC | Medical Marijuana: Loss in WA Supreme Court, Activist Arrested in LA, Wheelchair Caravan Planned for Northeast | International News: Australia Heroin Maintenance Trial, Corruption in Mexican Army | New Book Release: Crack In America | Link of the Week: A rational, reasoned approach to the drug policy debate... What are this group's real motives? | Quote of the Week: A.M. Rosenthal shows off his knowledge of narcotics and his respect for Mexico's sovereignty | Editorial: The world leads while America continues its war

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