Have we got good news for you! The House and Senate joint 2010 appropriations bill released late last night completely removes the ban on federal funding for syringe exchange in the U.S.
The bill also nixes the 1,000-foot rule that would have banned syringe exchange programs within 1,000 feet of schools, recreational centers, daycares, playgrounds and video arcades.
â€œThis is a wonderful and amazing victory,â€ said the AIDS Instituteâ€™s Carl Schmid. Two weeks ago, Schmid met with House Speaker Nancy Pelosiâ€™s staff, who said removing the â€œ1,000 foot ruleâ€ was a top priority for the Speaker.
The appropriations bill still has to pass the full Congress, but Schmid said with all the earmarks that Congressmembers have in the bill â€œitâ€™s very slimâ€ that the bill wonâ€™t pass.
In the conference committee Rep. Todd Tiahrt (R-KS) tried to keep the ban completely in place, but that amendment was voted down 15-9 in a party line vote.
(US Senate) Removing Special Restrictions on the District of Columbia: Eliminates a prohibition on the use of local tax funds for abortion, thereby putting the District in the same position as the 50 states. Also allows the District to implement a referendum on use of marijuana for medical purposes as has been done in other states, allows use of Federal funds for needle exchange programs except in locations considered inappropriate by District authorities, and discontinues a ban on the use of funds in the bill for domestic partnership registration and benefits.
Washington DC already has a medical marijuana law in place from 1998. This allows it to be implemented.
Funding for the White House “drug czar’s” ad budget has been slashed by more than a third of its size last year. Studies have repeatedly shown that these ads actually cause teens to use more — not fewer — drugs.
Beginning January 1, prosecutors in Harris County, Texas, will no longer file felony drug charges against people found with less than one one-hundreth of a gram of illegal drugs. Currently in Houston, people caught with trace amounts of drug or holding crack pipes with drug traces are routinely charged with felonies.
But under a new policy promulgated by Harris County District Attorney Pat Lykos, police are instructed to instead issue Class C misdemeanor tickets to people caught in possession of crack pipes or trace amounts of drugs. That means arrestees will face only a $500 fine, not the up to two years in state jail mandated by the felony charge.
The cops are not happy. â€œIt ties the hands of the officers who are making crack pipe cases against burglars and thieves,â€ said Gary Blankinship, president of the Houston Police Officers’ Union.
Can you get any more blatant that that? Apparently it’s too much work to actually, you know, investigate burglaries.
Are you feeling good about the world today? Maybe because it’s United Nationsâ€™ (UN) International Anti-Corruption Day
Seems to me, though, that it would instead be a better plan to have one day each year for corruption and the rest be anti-corruption.