Needle Exchange Advocates Send Letter to Clinton
In June, more than 50 major health, advocacy and civil rights groups sent a letter to President Clinton urging him to lift the ban on federal funding for syringe exchanges. The petitioners, which included the American Public Health Association, the National Urban League, Former Surgeon General Jocelyn Elders, M.D., ACT-UP, the Drug Policy Foundation and the Criminal Justice Policy Foundation, wrote: "The time is right for a change in policy. Mr. President, if you and your administration are indeed committed to healing race relations in this country, we respectfully and strongly urge you to lift the federal funding ban on needle-exchanges." The effort was initiated and funded by Common Sense for Drug Policy, Kevin Zeese, President, and Communications Works' Michael Shellenberger. For a copy of the letter, contact Communication Works at (415) 255-1946 (Communication Works, "Letter to President Clinton," June 1997; Steve Sternberg, "Funding urged for needle exchanges," USA Today, June 13-15, 1997, Life Section, p. 1; Julie Zasadny, "Shooting at AIDS," Daily Southtown (Chicago), June 19, 1997, p. A1).