Needle Exchange: Harris Poll finds 71% favor lifting the ban! 11/2/97

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A Harris telephone poll found that 71% of respondents favored allowing states and localities, rather than the federal government, to decide whether or not to use federal AIDS funding for needle exchange programs. The poll surveyed 1,003 American adults and was commissioned by The Lindesmith Center, a New York-based drug policy think-tank. It was conducted by telephone October 15-19.

The results were consistent across party lines with 72% of Republicans, 70% of Democrats and 74% of independents agreeing that decisions should be made at the state and local level. While the poll found that only 45% were either "very familiar" or "somewhat familiar" with these programs, 58% of those claiming familiarity support their use as part of a strategy to reduce the spread of HIV and AIDS.

"The U.S. is virtually alone among advanced, industrialized nations in prohibiting the funding of needle exchange programs," said Ethan Nadelmann, Director of the Lindesmith Center. "Americans want crucial decisions about funding for needle exchange and other HIV prevention efforts made at the state or local level, not in Washington."

This poll coincides with the release of the Lindesmith Center's Syringe Availability, a concise and comprehensive review of data on needle exchange programs and pharmacy sale of syringes. To order copies, call (212) 548-0695 or e-mail [email protected]. You can find The Lindesmith Center on the web at

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Issue #17, 11/2/97 Focus on Colombia: An Extremely Eventful Two Weeks | UCSF Study Finds Cannabinoids are Effective Against Pain | Ninth Co-sponsor Signs on to Federal Medical Marijuana Bill: Get your representatives on board! | Medical Marijuana Defense Will Be Allowed in Michigan | Needle Exchange: Harris Poll finds 71% favor lifting the ban! | Jailed for Vitamins: Police error costs man six weeks in jail | Show and Jail: 11 year-old Texas boy faces drug possession charges | Plan to Put 10,000 US Troops on the Texas-Mexico Border Dies in Committee | Survey: Drug Use Rising Among Youngest Teens: Current strategies failing to curtail use | Quote of the Week: Everybody wants to play doctor
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