|Issue No 13||14 May 1999|
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Unions Warn Carr: Bosses Can’t Veto Second Wave
Labor Council Backs Harm Minimisation
Aquilina Urged to Talk as Students Offered Teaching Jobs
Cutting Through the Budget Crap
LHMU Demands Y2K Protection for Workers
Cops Eye Airport Beat
Spanish Workers Warned on Tax Agents
Unions to March on Journey of Healing on May 26
NSW Young Labor Turns 50!
Drugs are on the agenda with a week-long summit dominating state politics. Trying to make sense of all the information is a daunting task. It's such a complex problem, seeping into every aspect of life and class.
The Full Dope
For the media it's particularly hard, because no one headline can do justice to the depth or the breadth of the drug problem.
Because there is no quick fix, newspapers grapple for an angle to hang their stories on. When they find a new idea like safe injecting rooms they elevate it into a cliche.
When you look at the alternate strategies the difference is often only one of degrees. All agree on the need for more resources to assist in detoxification, the debate revolves around how you get there.
A clearer distinction emerges from the attitudes of those who participate in the debate; between those who see drugs as "bad" and those who see them as"sad".
The ones who see drugs as "bad" are pushed into a moralistic position, attempting to define the problem in such a way that there is a bad guy to punish. This is the trap the tabloid media and populist politicans tend to fall into; drug addicts are "dirty", "stupid", even "evil".
Those who are closer to the problem can't help seeing it as "sad". And with the genuine sadness comes a certain degree of humanity, a desire to fix the problem rather than punish it.
If the Drug Summit does nothing more than bring us all as a community closer to seeing drugs as "sad" rather than "bad" it will succeed. For from a position of empathy and understanding, enlightened policies must inevitably flow.
|Adam Searle on Costa's Faction Call||Builders Offer Way Out For League’s Drug Woes||Superman Goes to Berlin||Piers in the Gong|
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