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TWT panel: Citizens, policymakers should reduce harm from drug addiction, climate change

Added 01-26-22 04:03:02pm EST - “Policymakers can decriminalize drugs or offer a safe supply to addicts, so that they don't die from illicit drugs, taxpayers don't bear the costs of incarceration, and cops and bystanders aren't placed at risk in "no knock" drug raids.” - Washingtontimes.com

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Posted By TheNewsCommenter: From Washingtontimes.com: “TWT panel: Citizens, policymakers should reduce harm from drug addiction, climate change”. Below is an excerpt from the article.

Policymakers can decriminalize drugs or offer a safe supply to addicts, so that they don’t die from illicit drugs, taxpayers don’t bear the costs of incarceration, and cops and bystanders aren’t placed at risk in “no knock” drug raids.

Regulators should authorize e-cigarettes for adults looking to wean themselves off more harmful tobacco products instead of banning vapes outright, and Western powers should use carbon-capturing technology to clean the atmosphere while they cut emissions and shift to cleaner fuel options.

These are some of the ways policymakers can reduce harm from activities and behaviors that are risky but endemic to society, while avoiding heavy-handed policies or prohibitions that tend to backfire, according to panelists at a virtual event Wednesday hosted by The Washington Times and CollaborateUp.

“While the intentions of governments both here and abroad may be noble in addressing drug use and other risky behaviors, the first point of action should be a realization that silver bullet solutions do not exist,” said Mazen Saleh, policy director for Integrated Harm Reduction at the R Street Institute, a Washington-based think tank.

Harm-reduction policies tend to be politically polarizing — leaders don’t want to be labeled soft on crime, for instance, or give a green light to vaping even though it is less harmful than regular cigarettes. Yet panelists said all-or-nothing tactics and bans on risky behaviors aren’t working, so it is time to focus on holistic approaches that chip away at risks and save lives.

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