“The President also supports lifting the federal ban on needle exchange, which could dramatically reduce rates of infection among drug users.”
Now (page 795 of the budget appendix released today):
“Notwithstanding any other provision of this Act, no funds appropriated in this Act shall be used to carry out any program of distributing sterile needles or syringes for the hypodermic injection of any illegal drug.”
Update: The White House responds:
White House spokesman Ben LaBolt said the administration isn’t yet ready to lift the ban – but Obama still supports needle exchange.
“We have not removed the ban in our budget proposal because we want to work with Congress and the American public to build support for this change,” he said. “We are committed to doing this as part of a National HIV/AIDS strategy and are confident that we can build support for these scientifically-based programs.”
In other news, Gil Kerlikowske was confirmed as the new Drug Czar. Norm Stamper writes him a letter.
Please don’t blow it, Gil.