Australian Prime Minister Criticized Over FBI Invitation 3/5/99

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The Australian organization Families and Friends for Drug Law Reform criticized Prime Minister John Howard on the occasion of US FBI Director's Louis Freeh's visit to Australia on the Prime Minister's invitation.

"I am angry and sad that the Prime Minister, Mr. Howard, seeks out meetings with people like Mr. Louis Freeh, Director of the FBI when he has refused to meet and listen to groups such as our own," said Marion McConnell. Howard has ignored three requests since 1997 to meet with representatives of FFDLR.

"Mr. Howard's statements of recent days have confirmed our impression that he is a man determined not to listen to points of view with which he disagrees. How else," Mrs. McConnell continued, "is it possible to explain his instructions to Australian diplomatic missions to seek out arguments for asserting that the Swiss heroin trial has failed?"

"With all these outcomes, just what is it, Mr. Howard, that your want? We can only conclude," added McConnell, "that his stubborn refusal to accept this evidence ­- or permit a trial to be conducted in Australia to double check the results ­- is because they challenge the very basis of his law and order approach".

(Learn more about the outcome of the Swiss heroin maintenance program from our archives at http://www.drcnet.org/wol/063.html#swissheroin.)

FFDLR concludes that "Switzerland has shown heroin prescription to be the only known treatment that constitutes a safety net across a chasm into which 700 young Australians a year -­ including many of our family members ­- have plunged to their death.

The AAP reported on 3/2 that Prime Minister Howard denied that Australia had lost the war on drugs and indicated that he would veto any attempt by Victorian Premier Jeff Kennett to introduce a heroin trial.

Families and Friends for Drug Law Reform is online at http://www.adca.org.au/ffdlr/.

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Issue #81, 3/5/99 Announcements | HEA Reform Campaign Gains Momentum -- DRCNet Attacked by Republican Rep. Souder | Hundreds Rally Against Rockefeller Drug Laws | Amnesty International Charges that Women Behind Bars Suffer "Rough Justice" | Drug Policy Coalition Calls for Reversal of Budget Priorities | Federal Bill Reintroduced to Legalize Medical Marijuana | Canada's House of Commons Debates Medical Marijuana | Australian Prime Minister Criticized Over FBI Invitation | Sen. Hatch Advocates for Expansion of Maintenance Therapies for Opiate Dependency | Hemp Reform Efforts Underway | Editorial: Million Man Madness
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