(MildGreen Snopsis: It's a local issue, stupid!)
At last some civic common sense for Drug Policy: addressing Drug War's Impact On The Community, Family, Young People, Students, And The Poor
US Conference On Mayors Adopts Anti-Drug War Resolution, Calls For "New Bottom Line"
The US Conference of Mayors held its 75th annual meeting June 22-26, 2007 in Los Angeles, CA. One of the resolutions they adopted at the conference urges an end to the status quo "war on drugs" and calls for a "New Bottom Line" in US drug policy.
The drug war resolution runs from page 47 through page 50 of the resolution packet. The major text of the resolution is as follows: (the highlighting is mine./Blair)
- "NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the United States Conference of Mayors believes the war on drugs has failed and calls for a New Bottom Line in U.S. drug policy, a public health approach that concentrates more fully on reducing the negative consequences associated with drug abuse, while ensuring that our policies do not exacerbate these problems or create new social problems of their own; establishes quantifiable, short- and long-term objectives for drug policy; saves taxpayer money; and holds state and federal agencies accountable; and
- "BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that U.S. policy should not be measured solely on drug use levels or number of people imprisoned, but rather on the amount of drug-related harm reduced. At a minimum, this includes: reducing drug overdose fatalities, the spread of HIV/AIDS and Hepatitis, the number of nonviolent drug law offenders behind bars, and the racial disparities created or exacerbated by the criminal justice system; and
- "BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that short- and long-term goals should be set for reducing the problems associated with both drugs and the war on drugs; and federal, state, and local drug agencies should be judged – and funded – according to their ability to meet specific performance indicators, with targets linked to local conditions. A greater percentage of drug war funding should be spent evaluating the efficacy of various strategies for reducing drug related-harm; and
- "BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that a wide range of effective drug abuse treatment options and supporting services must be made available to all who need them, including: greater access to methadone and other maintenance therapies; specially-tailored, integrated services for families, minorities, rural communities and individuals suffering from co-occurring disorders; and effective, community-based drug treatment and other alternatives to incarceration for nonviolent drug law offenders, policies that reduce public spending while improving public safety; and
- "BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Conference supports preventing the spread of HIV/AIDS, hepatitis and other infectious diseases by eliminating the federal ban on funding of sterile syringe exchange programs and encourages the adoption of local overdose prevention strategies to reduce the harms of drug abuse; (Christchurch already has this strategy in place, implemented in the mid 70's by Dr John Dobson it lead the world. /Blair) and
- "BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED the impact of drug use and drug policies is most acutely felt on the local communities, and therefore local needs and priorities of drug policy can be best identified, implemented and assessed at the local level. A successful national strategy to reduce substance abuse and related harms must invest in the health of our cities and give cities, counties, and states the flexibility they need to find the most effective way to deal with drugs, save taxpayer dollars and keep their communities safe."
This looks remarkably like Ottawa Charter stuff. The challenge now is will HEALTHY CHRISTCHURCH adopt it. /Blair