Vice Squad
Friday, July 01, 2005
Britain and US at Odds...

...and not just on climate change policy and aid to Africa. On needle exchange for heroin users, too. Britain tends to be pretty supportive of needle exchange as a harm reduction (specifically AIDS and hepatitis prevention) measure -- the US, shall we say, is less supportive. Well, having different approaches in different places is fine, maybe even desirable. But the US is not content with having its own weak drug policies, it wants to be the cause of weak drug policies in others. And so it is pressuring the UN to come about against needle exchange. According to this article in Tuesday's Guardian...
The issue has already become fraught. At a meeting in Vienna earlier this year the UN agency responsible for the policing of narcotics, the United Nations office on drugs and crime, was forced to accept the US line and oppose needle exchanges.
While we are looking at ways to reform the UN, why don't we move drug policy to the WHO and end its coupling with crime policy?

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