How Drug War Targets Most Vulnerable, Topic of Boston Meetings

July 23, 2004
BOSTON – How America’s Drug War has become an attack on our country’s most disadvantaged is the topic of two talks to be delivered by the Executive Director of Americans for Safe Access. Steph Sherer, a medical marijuana patient, noted activist, and expert on drug policy was invited to address two plenary sessions of the Boston Social Forum, a gathering of several hundred national progressives at the University of Massachusetts.
 
Ms.
Sherer’s talk is part of criminal justice sessions entitled, “The War on Drugs,” organized by Clifford Thornton, Whitney Taylor and Jack Cole. The sessions will present a wide range of reform ideas for criminal justice, public health, public policy, race relations, and law enforcement. 

Ms. Sherer will focus on how legitimate public health issues are ignored in the service of fighting a failed drug war, one of the many areas where current policies do more harm to communities than good. She will argue that intellectual dishonesty in medicine leads to under-treatment of pain, criminalization of certain medicinal drugs and a continuing criminal justice focus on illicit drugs.
 
The first session, held today at 4:30pm, maps out how the war on drugs negatively affects the seriously ill, among others. The second session, scheduled for Saturday at 1:00pm, will explore solutions for affected populations, ranging from legalization, to working with state legislatures, to protesting current policies.
 
For more information on the Boston Social Forum, which includes nearly 600 different events and talks, and is sponsored by a coalition of Boston area progressive community organizations, non-profits, and unions, see www.BostonSocialForum.org.
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For interviews with Steph Sherer or more information about medical marijuana and the Drug War, contact William Dolphin at (510) 919-1498. A national coalition of 10,000 patients, doctors and advocates, Americans for Safe Access is the largest organization working solely on medical marijuana.


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