Newsbrief: House Committee Takes Slap at Needle Exchange 5/23/03

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The House Committee on Education and the Workforce took an unnecessary slap at needle exchange programs (NEPs) on May 15, when it approved legislation that would bar groups who receive federal funding for health care services to runaway youths from using those funds for NEPs directed at young people. Such groups could still use private funding to do needle exchanges. The committee approved the ban on NEPs as part of a bill authorizing more than $100 million in federal spending for homelessness and teen runaway programs next year.

Federal regulations already ban the expenditure of federal funds for needle exchange programs, but the legislation was a chance for Capitol Hill moralists such as Rep. Marilyn Musgrave (R-CO), who authored the amendment, to do a little cheap posturing. "The last thing we need to do for a homeless child is enable them to continue the injection of illegal drugs into their body," she told the committee.

While the committee bit on Musgrave's symbolic attack on NEPs, it rejected another amendment from the Colorado crusader. That amendment would have barred federally funded groups from distributing contraceptives.

The bill now goes before the full House. The Senate has yet to take up any complementary legislation.

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Issue #288, 5/23/03 Editorial: Outrage at Outrages | No Marijuana Possession Law in Ontario, Court Rules -- Cops Vow to Keep Arresting Users Anyway | Hip Hop Nation Set to Rock the Rockefeller Laws -- Mass Protest Set for June 4 if Laws Not Repealed | GOP Effort to Let Drug Czar Propagandize Against Reform Stalled in House Committee | Drug Testing Has No Impact on Student Drug Use, Study Finds | Stop the Murder of Thai Drug Users -- International Day of Action, June 12 | CNN Special Report on "Killing Pablo" | Newsbrief: Rosenthal Loses Motion for New Trial, Sentencing Date Looms | Newsbrief: Medical Marijuana -- Yes in Maryland, No in Connecticut | Newsbrief: "States' Rights to Medical Marijuana Act" Reintroduced | Newsbrief: "Smoke a Joint, Lose Your Student Loan" Bill Introduced in Wisconsin | Newsbrief: House Committee Takes Slap at Needle Exchange | Newsbrief: Garcia Marquez Says Legalize Drugs to End Colombian Violence | Newsbrief: Scotland Yard Chief Says Legalize It | Newsbrief: British Government to Issue Guidelines for Heroin Prescriptions, Pilot Programs Coming Soon | Newsbrief: Australian State to Do Medical Marijuana Trials | Newsbrief: "Indian Hemp" Farmers Shoot It Out With Nigerian Narcs | Media Scan: Cockburn on Rosenthal, Forbes on Buying Initiatives, CNN on Bad Drug Raid | The Reformer's Calendar
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