It’s no secret that the U.S. Government needs to cut spending, but instead of actually working toward that goal, Congressional Republicans would rather posture over a something that won’t actually save the feds any money.

StopTheDrugWar.org sent out an action alert email today detailing this latest attempt to ramp up the War on Drugs.

One of the most important actions taken by Congress in recent years was the lifting of a ban on the use of federal AIDS grants to support needle exchange programs. We have just learned that as part of the end-of-year Congressional spending package, Republicans are pushing hard to reinstate the ban. If they succeed, it won’t reduce federal spending — this is entirely about the choices state and local officials get to make with the funds that they have — but it will kill people by promoting syringe sharing by injection drug users and the resulting spread of deadly diseases like Hepatitis and HIV, in turn driving up health care costs related to those diseases.

Please call the White House to urge President Obama to stand firm on this issue and not allow the needle exchange funding ban to be reinstated. The White House comment line number is (202) 456-1414. Here is a sample script for your phone call: “My name is _______. I live in . Thank you for your past support of syringe exchange. I support maintaining current language that allows local officials to make their own decisions to use federal and local Washington DC funds for Syringe Exchange. Please do not allow the Senate or House to change the current law in the Fiscal Year 2012 Appropriations negotiations. Thank you.”

Please also make the following calls to Congress:

  1. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV): (202) 224-3542
  2. Senate Assistant Majority Leader Richard Durbin (D-IL): (202) 224-2152
  3. Charles Schumer, chair of Senate Democratic Policy Committee (D-NY): (202) 224-6542
  4. Your Own Two Senators: (202) 224-3121 for the Congressional Switchboard or look up your Senator’s numbers at senate.gov
    Sample script for phone calls to the Senate: “My name is _______. I live in . I support maintaining current language that allows local officials to make their own decisions to use federal and local Washington DC funds for Syringe Exchange. Please do not change the current law in the Fiscal Year 2012 Appropriations negotiations. Thank you.”
  5. House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA): (202) 225-4965″
    Thank you for your past support of syringe exchange. I support maintaining current language that allows local officials to make their own decisions to use federal and local Washington DC funds for Syringe Exchange. Please do not change the current law in the Fiscal Year 2012 Appropriations negotiations. Thank you.”

Please email us to let us know what phone calls you’ve made — especially if the staffers who take your phone calls offer any indication as to what their bosses’ intentions are. Thank you for your taking action.

Instead of reducing the federal budget by even considering things like cannabis legalization, those in Congress would rather try to score political points by posturing.

If you disagree, be sure to let them know.

- Joe Klare

And be sure to check out our Open Letter on Behalf of 30 Million Cannabis Users and join us in our fight!

About The Author

Joe Klare has been writing about marijuana issues for the past 5 years online, in print and on air.

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