Import Temp

New Report Shows Needle Exchange Programs Save Lives in New York City

HIV Rates Plummeting Among Injection Drug Users

New research released this week confirms that needle exchange programs have dramatically reduced the spread of HIV/AIDS in New York City - saving thousands of lives. In less than a decade, increased availability of sterile syringes has reduced the number of New York City residents acquiring HIV through needle sharing from four to five percent of all injection drug users each year to just one percent.

Syringe sharing by injection drug users reached epidemic proportions in New York City during the 1980s and early '90s.

Tony Newman at 510-208-7711 or Shayna Samuels at 212-547-6916

San Francisco Forum to Focus on Drugs in the Gay Party Scene

Health and Policy Professionals Reach Out to Party Community at San Francisco Teach-In, Friday September 28

For over 30 years dance parties and clubs have played a central role in the gay, bisexual, lesbian and transgender communities. In recent years gay 'circuit parties', huge weekend-long events that attract thousands of dancers, have evolved into thriving community gatherings. These parties have become big business, raising tens of thousands of dollars for their producers or for gay charities.

Recently circuit parties and dance clubs have come under increased scrutiny by public officials due to associated drug use, including ecstasy.

Julie Ruckel at 415-921-4987

Harsh New Federal Penalties for Ecstasy Take Effect

Leading Scientists Warn Penalties Will Do More Harm Than Good

On May 1st, the U.S. Sentencing Commission, as instructed by Congress, will adopt an emergency amendment to increase federal penalties for Ecstasy-related offenses. The new penalties will treat Ecstasy harsher than cocaine and almost as severely as heroin. Under the new penalties less than half a pound of Ecstasy will warrant a five-year sentence and 2,000 grams will warrant a ten-year sentence. In comparison, it takes over a pound of powdered cocaine to warrant a five-year sentence and 5,000 grams to warrant a ten-year sentence.

William McColl at 202-216-0035 or Bill Piper at 202-216-0035

Clemency Recipients to Join Angela Davis and NAACP for Northern California Tour Spotlighting Racial Discrimination and the U.S. War on Drugs

Speakers to Focus on Proposition 36, Mandatory Minimum Sentencing and Three Strikes Law

Last December, Kemba Smith and Dorothy Gaines, two African American women, were granted clemency by President Clinton after being sentenced to excessively long prison terms for their tangential roles in their boyfriends' drug conspiracies.

Now, after receiving national media attention, including a Washington Post story on Smith and a Frontline series featuring Gaines, they will join professor and long-time prisoner rights activist Angela Davis (to appear in San Francisco only) and hundreds of California residents to protest the racial discrimination inherent in the U.S.

Shayna Samuels at 212-547-6916

U.S. Delegation Against the Drug War to Attend World Conference Against Racism in South Africa, August 28 - September 7

Religious Leaders, Treatment Providers and Civil Rights Advocates to Call for End to Racial Injustice in U.S. War on Drugs
Black Men Imprisoned for Drug Offenses at 13 Times the Rate of White Men

The Campaign to End Race Discrimination in the War on Drugs, an ad-hoc coalition of drug policy reform advocates, is calling for an end to the apartheid-like American criminal justice system fueled by the war on drugs.

Tony Newman at 510-208-7711 or Shayna Samuels at 212-548-6916

The Failed Drug War: Shadow Conventions Spotlight Issues Parties Won't Touch

Money-Dominated Politics, Growing Inequality and Poverty Amidst Prosperity

In the wake of the major parties' little noted and highly scripted platform proceedings, an unprecedented coalition of Democrats and Republicans, community activists and political leaders, comedians and celebrities affirmed their commitment to a powerful alternative to the party conventions.

Shadow Conventions 2000: A Citizens' Intervention in American Politics will counter the conventional by focusing on issues that the parties just won't touch.

Landmark Bill to Prevent Drug Overdose Passes CA Legislature with Unanimous Bipartisan Support, Awaits Governor

Drug Deaths Match those from Car Crashes, Gunshot Wounds in Some Counties

A California Senator and emergency room physician today joined a widow whose husband died of a heroin overdose to urge Governor Gray Davis to support the nation's first drug overdose prevention bill. The bill has already passed the California State Legislature with unanimous bipartisan support, and now awaits the Governor's signature to turn the bill into law.

"Overdose rates keep escalating, with 1,400 Californians dying every year," says Senator Martha Escutia, a Democrat from Norwalk who authored the bill. "Many, if not most, of these deaths are preventable.

Tony Newman at 510-208-7711 or Glenn Backes at 916-444-3751

Movement Founder Dies

Used Federal Supplies of Marijuana for 25 Years

Sarasota, Florida - Robert Randall, whose landmark court case launched the medical marijuana movement in America, died on June, 2, 2001. He was 53.

Randall made legal and medical history in 1976 when a federal court in Washington, D.C. ruled that his use of marijuana for the treatment of glaucoma was a medical necessity. This marked the first time that the common law concept of necessity was applied to a medical condition.

At the same time, Randall successfully petitioned the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for permission to use marijuana legally.

Tony Newman at 941-922-4381

Bolivian Chapare Coca Growers Resist Eradication- Indiscriminate Use Of Violence By Joint Task Force

Coca Growers Resist Eradication

In response to the failure of alternative development to provide subsistence for the approximately 35,000 coca growing families affected by forced eradication in the Chapare region and the government's failure to completely comply with agreements signed in October, 2001, Chapare coca growers have again begun to resist U.S.-funded eradication efforts.

During the past two months Chapare campesinos have carried out massive concentrations in the sectors where eradication forces (Joint Task Force and Expeditionary Task Force) in an effort to impede further eradication.

1) Th

Andean Information Network at

Medical Marijuana Goes to the Supreme Court

Upcoming Forum Sponsored by the Lindesmith Center - Drug Policy Foundation.

Medical marijuana continues to make news as the U.S. Supreme Court hears the case, US v. Oakland Cannabis Buyer' Cooperative. Last month, Santa Clara University Law Professor, Gerald Uelmen argued before the Supreme Court that exceptions should be made for seriously ill patients and that the government itself has made exceptions in the past. Gerald Uelmen will be speaking at an upcoming forum sponsored by the Lindesmith Center - Drug Policy Foundation.

Other professionals in the field of medical marijuana who will be speaking at the forum are:

Tod H.

Julie Ruckel at 415-921-4987
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