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from the CCLE.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
JULY 1, 2004
Pharmacotherapy and the Future of the Drug War
– New Report Warns
Policing is Poised to Move Inside the Body and Brain –
A 50-page policy report released by the
non-profit Center for Cognitive Liberty & Ethics warns that the war on
drugs may be about to enter a new era “that expands the drug war
battlefield from the Colombian coca farms and the Middle Eastern poppy
fields, to a new terrain directly inside the bodies and brains of drug
GOVERNMENT REVEALS PLANS TO VACCINATE CHILDREN AGAINST DRUGS)
The report is the first comprehensive and critical analysis of
‘pharmacotherapy,’ the use of new medications designed to block the
effects of illegal drugs. While acknowledging that such pharmacological
aids may well benefit people who voluntarily chose to use them, the CCLE
report raises concerns about potential coercive use.
Coercion--'Good Drugs' Fighting 'Bad Drugs'
In addition to waging a “war on drugs,” the federal government is now
working to eradicate the “disease” of drug use. These metaphors, notes the
CCLE report, play an important role in driving federal drug control policy
because they frame the remedies available to the government.
For example, the 2003 National Drug Control Strategy casts users of
illegal drugs as “vectors of contagion” who are “in denial” about their
“disease” and who need treatment before “transmitting the disease to
others.” Such language, says the CCLE report, lends itself to coercive
treatment wherein the government feels justified in “medicating” drug
users through policies of ‘compassionate coercion.’ “Coercion, whether
‘compassionate’ or otherwise, is still coercion,” cautions the CCLE
Bodily Integrity & Freedom of Thought
The CCLE report examines the pharmacotherapy drugs currently under
development, and also highlights the legal rights that would be violated
if a government were to require certain persons (such as prisoners,
probationers or public assistance recipients) to take the anti-drug
medications. The implicated legal rights include the right to bodily
integrity, the right to privacy, the right to make one’s own informed and
voluntary medical decisions, and the right to freedom of thought.
The report concludes with policy recommendations, which underscore the
importance of restricting pharmacotherapy medications to voluntary use.
“In the absence of “extraordinary circumstances,” notes the report, “the
government should be barred from coercing a peaceful person to take a
Pharmacotherapy and the Future of the Drug War is available
Hard copies of the report are available for $30.00; a PDF may be accessed
free of charge.
For more information, please contact:
Center for Cognitive Liberty & Ethics
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