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Did You Know? Legal Drinking Age 138 Countries, from ProCon.org

When marijuana is legalized, states across the country as well as Congress will look at what regulations they want to implement as part of that, with age limits for currently legal drugs like alcohol a likely topic.

Did you know the legal drinking age in 138 countries varies from totally banned at one end to no age limits at the other? Read the details on drinkingage.procon.org, part of the ProCon.org family.

Follow Drug War Chronicle for more important facts from ProCon.org over the next few weeks, or sign up for ProCon.org's email list or RSS feed. Click here for last week's Chronicle Did You Know segment.

ProCon.org is a web site promoting critical thinking, education, and informed citizenship by presenting controversial issues in a straightforward, nonpartisan primarily pro-con format.

Chronicle Film Review: Prohibition

Prohibition: A Film by Ken Burns and Lynn Novick (2011, Florentine Films/WETA, 3 discs, 5 ½ hrs., $41.99)

One of America's leading documentarians has done it again. Ken Burns, producer of the widely watched and hailed documentaries, Baseball and The Civil War, has now teamed up with Lynn Novick to examine the rise, fall, and repeal of the 18th Amendment banning alcohol sales and production. It is a worthy effort, and well-executed.

Prohibition "postcards" online at pbs.org/kenburns/prohibition/send-postcards/
The multi-hour must-see premiered over three nights this week on PBS, pulling in nearly four million viewers on its opening night -- very big numbers for public TV. It's also available online at the PBS Ken Burns Prohibition web site.

For most us of Prohibition is ancient history, skimmed over bloodlessly in dusty tomes in high school and undergraduate history courses. My 83-year-old mother, for instance, was still a toddler when revelers across the land tippled with delirious joy to mark repeal. For anyone younger than her -- and that's most of us -- Prohibition is no more than a school lesson, not a thing of living memory, except, perhaps, for an old story or two told by grandpa or grandma.

One of the successes of Prohibition is the way it brings that dry history to life. Through the skillful use of contemporary film, photographic stills, oral history, written remembrances narrated by actors, and a lively narration by Peter Coyote, Burns and Novick are able to recreate the living, breathing reality of second half 19th and early 20th Century America. Staring face to face at the glowering glare of a doughty battle-axe like Carrie Nation or the lizard-lidded, full-lipped gaze of Chicago gangster Al Capone, listening to Al Smith rail against the dries or Mabel Willibrand rally preachers against repeal, helps us put a human face on the  passions and frailties behind the march of the social revolution that was Prohibition and the mass rejection of it that was repeal.

Similarly, vivid scenes of saloon debauchery, with passed out drunks and giddy tipplers, of speakeasies filled with good-time guys and giddy flappers, of mass marches for and against, of political conventions and campaigns in which Prohibition was a burning issue of the day, help put living flesh on the dry bones of history.

The early 20th Century experiment in social control and legislating morality contains many lessons for contemporary activists seeking to undo the damage done by drug prohibition. Burns and Novick deserve our thanks for teasing out the varied strands that turned the 19th Century's temperance movement among mostly rural, Protestant, church-going women into a political powerhouse capable of blunting the power of big booze, shuttering the breweries and distilleries, and eliminating the saloons men saw as their last refuge from the demands of wife and children.

For me, the most important achievement of Prohibition is the way in situates the temperance movement within the broader social and political context of a tension-filled, rapidly evolving America. As Burns and Novick make abundantly clear, Prohibition did not happen in a vacuum. Among the forces propelling it were many of the same forces active today propelling reactionary social movements: racism (directed against newly arrived Irish, German, and Jewish immigrants), nativism (ditto), religious bigotry (aimed at those Catholic immigrants), nationalism (against mainly German-American beer brewers, especially during World War I), and rural vs. urban tensions.

But while it may be easy to ridicule the reactionaries of the last century, the roots of Prohibition also come uncomfortably close for present-day progressives. The temperance movement -- in all its intemperance -- was closely tied to "what about the children!" sentiment and women's suffrage, a cry for healthy living,  as well as the sort of "do-gooderism" conducted by "busybodies" that still informs much of the discourse when it comes to drug policy reform today.

As Prohibition shows most excellently, the politics of morality and social control are deep and twisted, and unraveling them reveals some unflattering facets of progressivism, as well as the more easily derided absolutists of what could fairly be called the Christian Right.

Where Prohibition is perhaps most useful to modern day drug reformers is in its depiction of the social ills it generated. Much as the Drug Policy Alliance likes to say "drug abuse is bad, drug prohibition is worse," viewers of Prohibition could fairly draw the conclusion that "mass drunkenness is bad, mass drunkenness under Prohibition is worse." Burns and Novick sketch the rapid expansion of organized crime under Prohibition, the gang wars of Chicago and New York, the corruption of cops and public officials -- all the side-effects of prohibition so familiar to present day reformers.

Prohibition "postcards" online at pbs.org/kenburns/prohibition/send-postcards/
But they also look at its public health consequences, which -- like current drug prohibition -- were also in many ways disastrous. There were mass deaths from bad bathtub gin, deaths from drinking wood alcohol, outbreaks of "Jake Leg," a neurological disorder caused by contaminated whiskey that crippled hundreds, if not thousands, and while alcohol consumption initially declined, that decline was soon reversed, and with even more unhealthy drinking patterns.

In the end, Prohibition died of neglect, ridicule, and changing social attitudes, forged at least in part by the experience of Prohibition itself. And at the end, it revealed itself to be hollow, crumpling with amazing rapidity after the Great Depression hit and the big city, immigrant-friendly Democrats under FDR took power. Before the end of FDR's first year in office, Prohibition was history.

There are many lessons and parallels for contemporary drug reformers in Prohibition, but they are not exact and may not apply across the board. Alcohol prohibition lasted barely a decade, but drug prohibition is now in its second century. Why one was a flash in the pan and the other remains a painful, enduring legacy are questions that need to be answered if we are ever to leave drug prohibition in the dustbin of history along with Prohibition. Prohibition can help us start to ask the questions that will give us the right answers.

Disappointingly, Ken Burns doesn't appear interested in pursuing the parallels, nor even the dissimilarities, between Prohibition then and prohibition now. He does not reference the prohibition of other drugs in Prohibition (although heroin and cocaine were already criminalized federally and marijuana was being banned in a number of states), nor, as he has made clear in interviews, does he see a useful comparison between the two.

But that disagreement or lack of boldness notwithstanding, Prohibition is still a great viewing experience that brings alive a critical episode in US social and political history, an episode who reverberations still linger and whose contours are still echoed in drug prohibition. This is your history, America -- watch, enjoy, learn, and ponder.

Attention Students: Start a SAFER Campus Campaign This Spring

The SAFER Campuses Initiative is off to an early start for Spring 2011, and we want to help you get a campaign going on your campus.

We're already helping several campuses get their efforts off the ground, and we'll continue to help them and others work to change campus policies and spark public debate about the relative safety of marijuana compared to alcohol.

The goal of the SAFER Campuses Initiative is to work with students at as many schools as possible, so please contact us today to let us know if you are interested in working with us on your campus or at one near you.

Whether you're interested in running a full-blown SAFER campaign, or simply taking action when opportunities present themselves, we want to hear from you!  We will be able to provide you with a great deal of support, including instructions, materials, and direct assistance.

The SAFER movement began just five years ago on two college campuses in Colorado, and since then it has spread across the nation. Now, students at more than a dozen schools, including five of the 15 largest in the nation, have adopted SAFER referendums, calling for reductions in campus penalties for marijuana use so they're no greater than those for alcohol use. At a few of those schools, SAFER campus leaders are now working with administrators to develop and implement policy changes that reflect the student votes. Perhaps most importantly, these efforts have generated significant news coverage and discussion at the campus, local, and even national level.

If you're interested in working with SAFER on your campus or on one that's nearby, please take a minute to check out the SAFER Campuses Initiative website, then send us an e-mail and answer the following questions about yourself and your school so we can get things rolling.

1. What school are you currently attending or interested in working at?

2. Are you a member of a student organization working on marijuana policy reform? If so, which one? If not, are you interested in potentially starting one? (NOTE: being part of or starting a student organization is not required, but can be very helpful.)

3. Anything else that might be of note? A personal story? A particular skill or work/volunteer experience?

Group Calls on Elected Officials in Texas to Stop Taking Alcohol Money Until Marijuana Is Legalized (Press Release)

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: December 2, 2010

CONTACT:  Craig Johnson, 469-733-6769, [email protected]

DALLAS, TX Dec. 2, 2010 -- With Texas politicians collecting a significant percentage of their campaign contributions from the alcohol industry after the November election, the Safer Texas Campaign (a project of ProtectYouth.org) is renewing its call on elected representatives to stop accepting such money until Texas passes legislation allowing the regulated use and sale of marijuana as a safer alternative to alcohol.

According to campaign records provided by the nonpartisan, nonprofit FollowtheMoney.org, the five Texas politicians who have received the largest contributions from the alcohol industry are Governor Rick Perry, U.S. Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison, Lt. Governor David Dewhurst, Texas House Speaker Joe Straus, and Attorney General Greg Abbott, all have so far received a total of $1.4 million during the 2010 election cycle.

Governor Rick Perry and the Texas State Legislature passed House Bill 1199 in 2003, a bill that made it significantly easier for alcohol industry groups to pass sales initiatives in "dry" cities.  Despite the tremendous social and economic cost of alcohol use on families and communities, the legislation received no opposition from law enforcement or substance abuse prevention organizations.

Since HB 1199 took effect, the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission reports at least 391 local alcohol sales initiatives have passed statewide (compared to only 71 initiatives approved by voters during the eight years prior to HB 1199), and the number of "dry" counties has dropped from 51 to 26.

Studies show that alcohol use contributes to aggressive and risk-taking behavior potentially leading to acts of violence, whereas marijuana use does not.  The US Department of Justice's National Crime Victimization Survey reported that two-thirds of victims who suffered violence by an intimate (a current or former spouse, boyfriend, or girlfriend) reported that alcohol had been a factor and that drinking is a factor in 75 percent of domestic violence incidents involving spouses.  A Harvard School of Public Health study reported in 2004 that 72 percent of college rapes nationwide occurred when the female was too intoxicated by alcohol to resist/consent. 

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the number of alcohol poisoning deaths in the United States is shockingly high, consistently between 300 and 400 each year; whereas, there are no records of deaths from marijuana poisonings. 

The recent California effort towards legitimate regulation of the marijuana market, Proposition 19 (also known as the Regulate, Control & Tax Cannabis Act), was opposed by the state's largest alcohol industry group, California Beer & Beverage Distributors.

The Safer Texas Campaign states that it is not anti-alcohol, nor does it advocate the use of marijuana.  "Our campaign works to address increasing public safety concerns that our state laws prohibiting the marijuana market are sending a dangerous message to the public that alcohol is more acceptable than marijuana," said Craig Johnson, coordinator of the Safer Texas Campaign.  "Every objective study on alcohol and marijuana has shown marijuana is a much safer substance than alcohol to both the user and to society, so our legislators should not be driving more Texans to drink by prohibiting the safer alternative of marijuana."

More info online at http://www.SaferTexas.org

Location: 
TX
United States

Alcohol More Harmful Than Heroin or Crack, British Study Finds

A study published Monday in the Lancet assessed the harms of various substances and found that alcohol caused more harm in the United Kingdom than heroin or crack cocaine. The study was done by the Independent Scientific Committee on Drugs, which is headed by Professor David Nutt.

drug harm comparison chart, from the Lancet study
Until this time last year, Nutt was head of the governmental Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs, but he was fired for criticizing the then Labor government as basing its decision to reclassify marijuana on politics rather than science. He also offended government sensibilities by saying that riding horses was more dangerous than taking ecstasy. After his firing, he and other scientists formed the Independent Scientific Committee on Drugs.

The study, Drug Harms in the UK: A Multicriteria Decision Analysis, assessed the relative harms of different legal and illegal drugs to drug users and to society and concluded that "alcohol was the most harmful drug (overall harm score 72), with heroin (55) and crack (54) in second and third places."

It also demonstrated that Britain's drug classification scheme bears little relation to the harms caused by the various substances it regulates or fails to regulate. Alcohol, ranked most harmful in the study, is not a controlled substance, but cannabis (20 points) is Class B, the second most serious drug schedule. LSD (7 points) is a Class A drug, the most serious drug schedule, while tobacco (26 points) is not a controlled substance.

"Our findings lend support to previous work in the UK and the Netherlands, confirming that the present drug classification systems have little relation to the evidence of harm," the authors said.

A group of experts looked at drug-specific mortality, drug-related mortality, drug-specific damage, drug-related damage, drug-specific impairment of mental functioning, drug-related impairment of mental functioning, loss of tangibles, loss of relationships, injury, crime, environmental damage, family adversities, international damage, economic cost, and harm to the community and assessed weighted values for each to arrive at a final figure.

"The weighting process is necessarily based on judgement, so it is best done by a group of experts working to consensus," Nutt and his coauthors said. "Extensive sensitivity analyses on the weights showed that this model is very stable; large changes, or combinations of modest changes, are needed to drive substantial shifts in the overall rankings of the drugs."

Science-based drug policy, anybody?

United Kingdom

What the Pot Legalization Campaign Really Threatens: Alcohol Industry Profits (Opinion)

Location: 
CA
United States
David Sirota, author of the best-selling books Hostile Takeover and The Uprising, believes our society is drunk off of alcohol propaganda we've had trouble separating fact from fiction.
Publication/Source: 
Alternet (CA)
URL: 
http://www.alternet.org/drugs/148279/what_the_pot_legalization_campaign_really_threatens%3A_alcohol_industry_profits

Alcohol Lobby Teams with Law Enforcement to Fund Anti-Marijuana Campaign (Press Release)

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                                                                                                 

SEPTEMBER 15, 2010

Alcohol Lobby Teams with Law Enforcement to Fund Anti-Marijuana Campaign

California Beer and Beverage Distributors Give $10K to “No On Proposition 19” Campaign in Attempt to Kill the Competition 

CONTACT: Mike Meno, MPP director of communications …………… 202-905-2030 or 443-927-6400

WASHINGTON, D.C. — On September 7, a major new front opened up in the campaign for Proposition 19, the ballot measure to tax and regulate marijuana in California. On that day, the California Beer and Beverage Distributors made a $10,000 contribution to a committee opposing Proposition 19. Steve Fox, director of government relations for the Marijuana Policy Project and co-author of Marijuana is Safer: So why are we driving people to drink?, had the following reaction to the news:

         “Unless the beer distributors in California have suddenly developed a philosophical opposition to the use of intoxicating substances, the motivation behind this contribution is clear,” Fox said. “Plain and simple, the alcohol industry is trying to kill the competition. They know that marijuana is less addictive, less toxic and less likely to be associated with violent behavior than alcohol. So they don’t want adults to have the option of using marijuana legally instead of alcohol. Their mission is to drive people to drink.”

         The alcohol industry is now working hand-in-hand with the law enforcement community to keep marijuana illegal. For example, the California Police Chiefs Association has given at least $30,000 to the “No on Proposition 19” campaign, while the California Narcotics Officers’ Association has chipped in $20,500 of its own. This partnership underscores the hypocrisy among law enforcement officials opposed to Prop. 19.

         “Members of law enforcement have argued against Proposition 19 by asserting, ‘We have enough problems with alcohol, we don’t need to add another intoxicating substance to the mix,’ implying that marijuana is just as bad as alcohol,” Fox continued. “But the truth is that a legal marijuana market would not add another dangerous intoxicant to the mix; rather it would provide adults with a less harmful legal alternative to alcohol.”

         “In their campaign to defeat Proposition 19, members of law enforcement and the alcohol industry have joined together under an umbrella group calling themselves ‘Public Safety First.’ Sadly, by fighting to keep marijuana illegal and steering adults toward alcohol instead, they are putting public safety last,” said Fox.

         With more than 124,000 members and supporters nationwide, the Marijuana Policy Project is the largest marijuana policy reform organization in the United States. MPP believes that the best way to minimize the harm associated with marijuana is to regulate marijuana in a manner similar to alcohol. For more information, please visit www.mpp.org.

####

Location: 
CA
United States

DARE Attacks Marijuana Legalization While Praising Alcohol

D.A.R.E. class, Blacksburg, Virginia
Skip Miller is the chairman of DARE America and, as you might guess, he's terrified of what could happen if marijuana becomes legal:


Do we really want to make it easier to get stoned?

Cut through the smoke and that's really what California voters will be deciding in November with Proposition 19, which would make this the only state to fully legalize marijuana — a drug with proven negative health consequences.

The concern with marijuana is not based on my personal disapproval or bias but upon what science tells us about the drug's effects. The science is clear: Marijuana is associated with physical and mental illness, poor motor performance and cognitive impairment. [San Jose Mercury News]

So according to Skip Miller, science compels us to keep marijuana illegal. Yet, as SAFER points out, his website takes a very different tone when it comes to alcohol:


Take a minute and think how often adults drink alcohol: a cold beer at a baseball game, a glass of Chardonnay with a piece of broiled fish, a gin and tonic on a warm day. Social drinking is an acceptable and pleasurable activity for millions of Americans. It relaxes you, curbs stress, and chases away inhibitions… [DARE.org]

 

Wait, what!? Although the statement goes on to acknowledge the problems associated with alcohol abuse, there's no question that DARE is going out of its way to defend recreational drinking. And I agree with every word. Teaching young people that there's nothing wrong with responsible drinking is important, even though I find it ridiculously weird that DARE, of all places, would seek to do that.

All of this just serves to highlight the mind-blowing prejudice and hypocrisy that underscores DARE's position on marijuana policy. If alcohol can be enjoyed responsibly by millions of adults, despite all the mayhem associated with it, then of course the same must be true of marijuana. On the other hand, if the potential for negative outcomes trumps the rights of responsible users, then why on earth is DARE applauding "acceptable and pleasurable" alcohol instead of insisting that science compels us to start arresting people for possessing it?

When pressed, the architects of this brainless disparity typically resort to some desperate nonsense about alcohol being accepted and familiar in our culture, as though marijuana just arrived on a boat sometime last year. These same idiots actually are the last remaining obstacle to broader social and legal acceptance of marijuana, and if only we could take away their precious beer, we'd find them at the bargaining table within 48 hours.

Government-Sponsored Murder in the Name of Prohibition

This fascinating piece in Slate recalls the government's seldom-discussed effort to enforce alcohol prohibition by poisoning people:

Frustrated that people continued to consume so much alcohol even after it was banned, federal officials had decided to try a different kind of enforcement. They ordered the poisoning of industrial alcohols manufactured in the United States, products regularly stolen by bootleggers and resold as drinkable spirits. The idea was to scare people into giving up illicit drinking. Instead, by the time Prohibition ended in 1933, the federal poisoning program, by some estimates, had killed at least 10,000 people.

It's a nightmarish tale of prohibitionist lunacy that's worth reading in its entirety. Government officials were viciously calculating in their actions and callously blamed naïve drinkers for the consequences.

Today, prohibition kills people in different, yet equally abhorrent and unnecessary ways. Its advocates continue to deny responsibility for the predictable and inevitable consequences of the policies they defend and the death toll has grown to incalculable proportions, spanning the globe. The drug war leaves sickness and murder in its wake at every turn, yet many among us remain blind to the lessons learned nearly a century ago.

Feature: First Drug User Union Forms in San Francisco

Thanks to the on-the-ground efforts of local harm reductionists and the funding largesse of the Drug Policy Alliance, San Francisco is now the home of only the second drug user union in the United States. The nascent effort is just getting off the ground, but plans to follow in the footsteps of Canada's Vancouver Area Network of Drug Users (VANDU) and the New York City VOCAL drug user union affiliated with the NYC Aids Housing Network.

https://stopthedrugwar.org/files/sfusersunion3.jpg
While self-identified drug user unions are rare in the US, they have a history dating back to the Dutch "junkiebund" of the 1970s. The movement is currently spreading internationally, with affiliates of the International Network of People Who Use Drugs (INPUD) operating in Europe, North America, South America, and Asia. And while medical marijuana patients did not refer to themselves as drug users, they have done similar organizing based on their use of the weed.

"We gave a $35,000 grant to the Harm Reduction Therapy Center to organize drug users in San Francisco, said Laura Thomas, DPA California state deputy director. "It is an annual grant, and future funding depends on HRTC re-applying for the funds. We have funded VOCAL in New York for several years."

DPA sees drug user groups as a key component in efforts to reduce the harms of both drug use and prohibitionist drug policies, said Thomas. "We hope that drug users in San Francisco will have a voice in policy decisions that affect them," she said. "We hope that they will become an active and organized part of efforts to reduce the harm related to both drugs and the war on drugs in San Francisco. The group is still in the process of forming and determining what their priority issues are, so I can't speak for what they are going to be working on."

"While we haven't quite chosen our main campaign, we've been talking about what we would ideally like San Francisco to look like, about having a safe place to inject, and about having a safe place to consume other drugs, too," said Alexandra Goldman, the organizer for the group. "Within a couple of months, we will choose our first official campaign," she vowed.

"We are also interested in working to decrease the stigma, both within and outside the drug using community," Goldman added. "We're trying to work with health care providers to make it a more positive experience. Our people tend to wait until they are very seriously ill because they are not treated very well. In our meetings, I'm hearing about how people don't get the prescribed pain medications they need because the doctors don't like them."

The group has already been active, joining in protests against the city's proposed ordinance barring people from sitting or lying on public sidewalks. Homeless people in neighborhoods like Haight-Asbury have roused the ire of business owners with their presence, but activists say they have no place to go and should not be criminalized.

The SF Drug User Union participation in the sit/lie protests makes sense given that many of its members are homeless and that its meetings are generally being held in homeless drop-in centers in the Tenderloin and the Mission. The group boasts about 25 members, with an emerging core group of 10 or 12, but is looking to expand by working with lower income communities and people involved in local harm reduction networks.

"We plan to be active consumers, giving our opinions and our voice on issues and policies that affect us," said Isaac Jackson, the other paid staffer for the union. "People are already asking us for our expertise."

So who can join the union? Anyone who identifies as a drug user, past or present, organizers said. Defining members in that manner allows people to get active without necessarily outing themselves as current users.

https://stopthedrugwar.org/files/sfusersunion4.jpg
"There is no piss test to get into this group," said Jackson. "We have heroin users, speed users, people who drink, pot smokers. Some people think pot's not a big issue, but anyone who wants to work with us, we say 'right on.' We support the legalization campaign and we support medical marijuana. That's a success story, and so is needle exchange, and we'll be trying to learn from those."

The only rule at meetings is no drug dealing, said Jackson. "We don't want people to deal drugs at the meeting or endanger other people in the group by that kind of activity, but if people are carrying, so what? Some people have showed up tweaking. We don't want to say they can't come because they're too high. We want people to feel welcome whatever their level of sobriety."

Forming a drug user union in San Francisco has been an idea that's been batted around for at least a couple of years, but it took some cold, hard cash to make it happen. "There were some attempts to organize drug users in the past, and I was involved in those, but they didn't stick because people had other jobs," said Goldman. "But once that Drug Policy Alliance grant came in, I got hired in November and we had our first meetings in February."

"I worked at a small health agency working with homeless people with substance use here in the Tenderloin, and was also working with some people with the Youth Homeless Alliance in the Haight," said Jackson. "A lot of people said we ought to do something like VANDU. We had a conference here a couple of years ago to try to jump-start a safe injection site, but that was mostly health care providers, not drug users."

San Francisco has one of the highest rates of drug use per capita in the country, Jackson noted. "Since there is so much civil disobedience going on already -- the laws are wrong, when you have thousands of people doing something for a long period of time, it's like passive civil disobedience -- there was an opportunity there to give drug users a voice in a more organized way. We're consumers of all these services -- treatment, law enforcement, the whole drug industrial complex -- we're consumers and have no voice. The time was right for it to start here."

San Francisco organizers took advantage of last fall's DPA conference to learn from existing drug user groups on the continent. "I met with Ann Livingston from VANDU and I got in touch with some of the folks from VOCAL," Goldman said. "They work on stuff around syringe exchange, trying to pass statewide ordinances to keep police from hassling people with needles, things like that. And, of course, they're subject to the same ridiculous drug laws we are."

"Drug user groups such as VOCAL in New York, VANDU in Vancouver, and hopefully this group in San Francisco play an important role in drug policy change and ending the war on drugs," Thomas said. "Drug users are usually the people most directly affected by bad drug policies, and the least likely to have a voice in debates. Drug users as active participants in the political process also helps reduce the stigma that is attached to drug use and makes people reconsider their prejudices about what they think 'drug users' are like. The drug policy reform conversation can only benefit from the active participation of drug user groups."

Separate drug user union meetings are taking place every three weeks in the Tenderloin and Mission districts. For more information about joining the union, send an email to [email protected].

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