Newsbrief: Vietnam Beefs Up Customs Drug Budget 8/30/02

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Tormented by rising drug use rates despite increased enforcement, coerced treatment camps and tough trafficking penalties -- 55 drug traffickers were executed last year -- Vietnam announced August 23 that it was beefing up its customs agency. The poverty-stricken Southeast Asian nation will spend 77 billion dong ($5 million) on new equipment, training and drug-sniffing drugs, the Malaysia Star reported. A Vietnamese drug policy official told the Star Vietnam hoped to curb drug smuggling at the borders rather than trying to stop the trade inside the country.

According to official figures, Vietnam has seen a 10% increase in drug addiction, mainly heroin but also methamphetamines, in the last year, despite a stated of goal of reducing drug addiction by 10% to 20% for the next five years. As part of that effort, Vietnam has imprisoned thousands of drug offenders in treatment camps -- despite reported failure rates of 97% and repeated mass escapes (http://www.drcnet.org/wol/241.html#vietnamaddicts).

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Issue #252, 8/30/02 Editorial: War Crimes Against Patients | Incarceration Nation: US Population Under Correctional Control Hits New Record | Not All Students Will Start School This Week -- Tens of Thousands Lose Aid Due to Drug Convictions | Initiative Foes Play Hardball in Michigan -- Effort Threatened by Certification Board, Conyers Calls for Investigation of Federal Lobbying | RAVE Act Opponents Gear Up | More Black Men in Prison Than College, Study Finds | Dr. Hurwitz Calls It Quits: Leading National Pain Management Physician to Close Practice, Cites Fear of Feds | The (F)Utility of DAWN: Experts Look at the Drug Abuse Warning Network | Criminal Justice Policy Foundation Publishes Comprehensive, Nationwide Guide to Clemency | Medical Marijuana Through the Ages: New Info on MarijuanaInfo.org | Offer: Tapes of Stossel Legalization Special Now Available | Newsbrief: Texas Opens Belated Investigation into Tulia Bust | Newsbrief: New Hampshire Cop Wants to Seize College Dorm After Drug Raid | Newsbrief: Western Washington US Attorney Solicits Marijuana Cases, No Bust Too Small | Newsbrief: Canadian Cops Call for National Drug Strategy, Oppose Legalization | Newsbrief: Canada Medical Marijuana Battles Continue -- Protests in Toronto, Minister Changes Tune | Newsbrief: Drug Raid Leads to Mini-Riot in Minneapolis | Newsbrief: Oklahoma Governor Overrules Parole Board, Orders Man Held for Life for Cocaine Possession | Newsbrief: Vietnam Beefs Up Customs Drug Budget | Newsbrief: Asian Speed Shows Up, Feds Feed USA Today "New Drug" Story | Demos Fellowships in Criminal Justice and Democracy Reform | Legislative Alerts: Rave Bill, Medical Marijuana, Higher Education Act Drug Provision | The Reformer's Calendar
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