Judge Judy Slammed in Australia and US for Needle Exchange Remarks 12/6/99

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Two weeks ago, we reported that TV personality "Judge Judy" Sheindlin, on a two week tour of Australia promoting her new book, had attacked needle exchange programs, calling them a "liberal indulgence" and saying "Give em dirty needles and let 'em die," according to the Courier Mail in Brisbane (http://www.drcnet.org/wol/116.html#judgejudy).

In response to a barrage of criticism, much of it delivered through the Judge Judy web site's feedback form and toll free number, Sheindlin has posted a statement at http://www.judgejudy.com/drugs.html "clarifying" her views. Criticism was not limited for very long to the Internet, however.

On Nov. 18, the Melbourne newspaper "The Age" quoted the Alcohol and Drug Foundation of Queensland's chief executive, Bob Aldred, calling Sheindlin's comments "callous and deplorable," adding, "The popular symbol of American justice has managed to devalue young lives without recognising the growing drug problem." Then on Nov. 29, conservative, nationally syndicated U.S. columnist Arianna Huffington slammed Sheindlin in a piece titled "The New Callousness" (http://www.ariannaonline.com/columns/files/112999.html).

If you've seen Arianna Huffington's column on Judge Judy in your local paper, please write a letter to the editor. Remember that newspapers rarely print letters longer than 200 words, and the shorter your letter, the more likely it is to get published.

Last but not least, give Judge Judy a piece of your mind if you haven't already -- call 1-888-800-JUDY (5839), write to P.O. Box 949, Hollywood, CA 90078, or use Judge Judy's web site feedback form at http://www.judgejudy.com. Also please note that our original article had identified the Judge Judy show with the Fox Network, but that identification was erroneous; Judge Judy is a syndicated program that appears on different stations in different locations.

Please read our commentary on Judge Judy and needle exchange, second to last article of this issue. You can also get substantial information on needle exchange programs, for your letters or other purposes, from the following web sites:

Syringe Exchange Resources Online
http://www.projectsero.org

The Lindesmith Center
http://www.lindesmith.org

The North American Syringe Exchange Network
http://www.nasen.org

The Dogwood Center
http://www.dogwoodcenter.org

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Issue #117, 12/6/99 Graves at Border Illustrate Consequences of Prohibition | Eisenhower Foundation Finds Drug War, Hard Line Criminal Justice Policies Not Working, Violence Remains High | Politicians, Scientists, Celebrities Criticize Medical Marijuana Research Guidelines | McCormick, McWilliams Denied Medical Marijuana Defense, Enter Pleas | Other Medical Marijuana News | Judge Judy Slammed in Australia and US for Needle Exchange Remarks | AIDS Action Grades Clinton Administration, Congress an F in Prevention | University Will Not Operate Safe-Injecting Room; Uniting Church Steps In | Calendar Update | Job and Internship Opportunities | On the Web: Corporate Watch Feature on the Prison Industry | COMMENTARY: Judge Judy Biased and Illogical on Needle Exchange Issue | Editorial: Mass Graves in Mexico
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