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from the CCLE.
For Immediate Release: JULY 26, 2004
UK GOVERNMENT REVEALS PLANS TO VACCINATE CHILDREN AGAINST DRUGS
Children may be “vaccinated” against the effects of cocaine and other
drugs in a plan recently revealed by the UK government, reports the
well-regarded British newspaper,
The Independent. The article explains that "Doctors would immunize
children at risk of becoming smokers or drug users with an injection" and
that the program would operate in a way similar to the "current nationwide
measles, mumps and rubella vaccination programme." Further the authors
reveal that "such vaccinations are being developed by pharmaceutical
companies and are due to hit the market within two years."
Earlier this month, the US-based Center for Cognitive Liberty & Ethics
published a relevant and timely report, which addresses the imminent
emergence of these same "pharmacotherapy" drugs into the US market. Among
other well-documented information, the report notes that the US National
Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) has allocated $12 million dollars to Xenova,
the UK-based pharmaceutical company running trials on the "anti-cocaine"
vaccine mentioned in the article.
The plan currently being researched and debated in the UK is therefore of
concern to those monitoring trends in US drug policy. The CCLE's
policy report, "Pharmacotherapy and the Future of the Drug War" is the
first publication to address the ethical and legal dimensions of this new
breed of pharmaceuticals. The report acknowledges potential
benefits if these drugs are used voluntarily, but warns that coercive or
compulsory use of such drugs to "immunize" drug abusers or "at risk"
potential users would violate a number of legal rights and trample the
fundamental human right to freedom of thought.
Richard Glen Boire, a legal scholar at the CCLE, believes that vaccinating
children with "anti-drug" drugs would be "alarming and unlawful, and would
signal the first time that neuropharmaceuticals were overtly used to
enforce government policy."
Aside from the human rights concerns, the UK plan raises serious health
questions regarding the long-term effects of these drugs on the complex
neurochemistry of the brain.
The CCLE pharmacotherapy report directly addresses the potential legal and
health consequences of US implementation of a compulsory "anti-drug"
vaccination program, which now seems closer to reality than ever before in
light of the UK government's recent announcement.
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:
Stephanie Anderson, Communications & Publications Coordinator
Center for Cognitive Liberty & Ethics
Phone & Fax: 530.750.7912
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