Monday, July 19, 2010

Press Release: Police Group Endorses AIDS Conference’s Call to End Drug War

CONTACT: Tom Angell – (202) 557-4979 or media//at//leap//dot//cc

Police Group Endorses AIDS Conference’s Call to End Drug War

 Violence, Gang Activity, Corruption and Spread of Disease
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WASHINGTON, D.C. – A group of current and former police, judges, prosecutors and prison wardens is endorsing the official declaration of this week’s XVII International AIDS Conference and its call for an end to the failed and harmful war on drugs. Known as the “Vienna Declaration,” the resolution calls for the implementation of new evidenced-based drug policies that actually control drugs and reduce addiction instead of focusing on criminalizing drug users.

The International AIDS Conference, a biennial meeting of more than 20,000 HIV professionals, is taking place this week (July 18-23) in Vienna, Austria.

“I spent 34 years on the streets of a big American city fighting the war on drugs,” said former Seattle Police Chief Norm Stamper, a member of the group, Law Enforcement Against Prohibition (LEAP). “But after more than three decades of seeing the real and detrimental effects of drug prohibition, I can say with certainty that the war on drugs has failed. I support the Vienna Declaration to end the staggering rates of death, disease, crime and corruption that have resulted from global drug prohibition.”

So far, the Vienna Declaration has been signed and endorsed by many leading doctors, health organizations, politicians and law enforcement, including the International AIDS Society; the former presidents of Mexico, Columbia and Brazil and 2008 Nobel Laureate Prof. Françoise Barré-Sinoussi, co-discoverer of HIV.

“We must stop this unwinnable and ideological war,” added Stamper. “Instead, we should adopt strategies that are supported by scientific evidence and embrace a public health rather than a criminal justice approach.”

Thousands of people have signed the declaration at Info on this week’s International AIDS Conference is at

Law Enforcement Against Prohibition (LEAP) and its 30,000 supporters represent police, prosecutors, judges, FBI/DEA agents and others who want to legalize and regulate drugs after fighting on the front lines of the "war on drugs" and learning firsthand that prohibition only serves to worsen addiction and violence. Info at

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