Import Temp

Critics Call Likely Bush Drug Czar Pick -- John Walters -- the

Nation

Despite the fact that Americans are increasingly supporting alternatives to the war on drugs, President Bush is expected to appoint a drug czar likely to rely more heavily than his predecessors on policies proven to be ineffective.

Critics note that decades of the "get tough" approaches supported by Walters have landed nearly 500,000 Americans behind bars, consumed tens of billions of tax dollars, and left illicit drugs cheaper, purer and more available than ever in the U.S.

Walters, who worked for former drug czar William Bennett in various posts, is seriously at odds

Tony Newman at 510-208-7711 x 1383 or Shayna Samuels at (212) 547-6916

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

New Report Finds Stark Racial Disparities in Arrests of Drug Sellers in Seattle

More Whites Sell Drugs, But By Far More Blacks Are Arrested, Says New Report
Seattle Study Latest Evidence of War on Drugs Disproportionately Impacting People of Color

A groundbreaking study of the racial disparities in arrest rates for individuals who sell drugs in Seattle was released this week. The study, commissioned by Seattle public defenders and authored by University of Washington sociologist Katherine Beckett, shows that African-Americans who sell drugs in Seattle are much more likely to be arrested than Caucasian offenders.

Tony Newman at 212-613-8026 or Shayna Samuels at 718-541-4785
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