Newsbrief: Barbarism in Office -- Australian Mayor Calls for Lethal Injections for Drug Users 10/3/03

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The mayor of Port Lincoln, South Australia, has been quoted as saying injection drug users should be given deliberate overdoses as a way of cutting down on drug abuse. Reacting to reports of higher drug use rates on the state's Eyre Peninsula, on whose coast Port Lincoln sits, Mayor Peter Davis told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation Tuesday that a local needle exchange program was partially to blame, then added that its users should be killed.

"I don't have a problem with the free needle exchange but the drug addict who wants to exchange a needle should be given a lethal injection," he said. "You want the trip of your life, in fact the last trip of your life? Not a problem, come on in and we'll deal with you."

This week's mayoral outburst marked a return to an old theme for the crotchety official. A little more than three years ago, despite his protestations this week that he doesn't have a problem with the needle exchange, the impending opening of the Port Lincoln Hospital exchange provoked Davis to spout off in similar terms.

"I object to offering handouts to drug addicts," he told the Advertiser. Addicts should be given "three times the lethal dose," he suggested. "I don't see why the tax-paying community should be effectively held to ransom by the drug industry. We don't need the riff-raff; game's over."

Davis pointed to a 30% increase in usage of the exchange as evidence that it is causing the increase in drug abuse, but the Drug and Alcohol Council of South Australia Wednesday rejected that claim. Jason White, the council's director of treatment and rehabilitation services, told the Advertiser there is no evidence to support Davis' claim. Such talk only worsens the situation, he said.

"Comments like these will only antagonize drug users and likely drive them away from health services," White said. "That's a negative for the users, but also the whole community because we need people to cooperate to reduce the problems associated with drug use."

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Issue #305, 10/3/03 Editorial: Rush Limbaugh and Oxycontin | Hurwitz Arrest Galvanizes Opposition to Justice Jihad Against Pain Doctors | Swiss Marijuana Legalization, Prescription Heroin Blocked by Parliament | "Rough Riders" Go Free For Now: Suburban Jury Fails to Convict Oakland Police Rogues | Drug Czar Office Safe for Now: House Votes for Five More Years of Same Old Drug War, Senate Vote Pending | Newsbrief: Hemp Food Industry Sees Looming Victory in DEA Battle | Newsbrief: New Hampshire Supreme Court Says Garbage is Protected Property | Newsbrief: Canadians Smuggling Marijuana in Garbage Exports to United States | Newsbrief: Alaska Marijuana Initiative Back on Track | Newsbrief: Eleven Years for Selling Baking Soda | Newsbrief: Barbarism in Office -- Australian Mayor Calls for Lethal Injections for Drug Users | Newsbrief: New South Wales Medical Marijuana Approval | Newsbrief: This Week's Corrupt Cops Story | DRCNet Temporarily Suspending Our Web-Based Write-to-Congress Service Due to Funding Shortfalls -- Your Help Can Bring It Back -- Keep Contacting Congress in the Meantime | Perry Fund Accepting Applications for 2003-2004 and 2004-2005 School Years, Providing Scholarships for Students Losing Aid Because of Drug Convictions | The Reformer's Calendar

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