Australia: Vatican KO's Nuns' Safe-Injecting Room Plan, but University Saves the Day 11/5/99

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It was a tense week for Australian drug policy. Last Wednesday (10/27), the Vatican issued a directive to the Sisters of Charity in Sydney, Australia, ordering them to abandon their plans to run a state-sponsored trial safe-injecting room in the city's Kings Cross neighborhood. The project, which was to be up and running by the end of this year, had been the culmination of years of effort by public health officials and state legislators. But on Monday, the University of New South Wales stepped in to announce it would take over responsibility for the project.

In a vote Sydney papers called "unprecedented," the university council unanimously approved a resolution to support the project, and vowed to devote its own research and medical resources to the clinical trial.

"The Council of the University of NSW resolves that the university indicate to the NSW Government and the minister, the Honourable John Della Bosca, its support for the 18-month trial of a medically supervised injecting service, and offer its own services so that this harm-minimisation program, affecting the welfare of the vulnerable people of NSW and Australia, can proceed with the full confidence of the Government and the community," the resolution read in part.

The resolution will be presented to the state government. Its signatories include the council, whose 21 members include two parliamentary representatives as well as the chancellor, vice-chancellor and several faculty members of the university, and a broad selection of leaders from Sydney's medical and public health community.

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Issue #115, 11/5/99 Medical Marijuana Wins Again! Maine Becomes 7th State to Shield Patients from Arrest | Justice Department Asks Appeals Court for Rehearing on Medical Marijuana Defense | Latin Leaders Call Drug War a Failure | Citizens Protest Drug Czars' Conference | Observations on ONDCP's Response to the Open Letter | District of Columbia Syringe Exchange Language Holds Up Appropriations Bill | Australia: Vatican KO's Nuns' Safe-Injecting Room Plan, but University Saves the Day | McWilliams and McCormick Trials Beginning This Month | Temporary Job Opportunity in Washington | Editorial: Guest Editorial: Why Is There a War in Colombia? Look to the Streets of Washington, DC
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