Pubdate: Tue, 21 Dec 1999
Date: 12/21/1999
Source: Sydney Morning Herald (Australia)
Author: Dr Michael Dawson

Perhaps the faceless and unaccountable bureaucrats of the
International Narcotics Control Board (INCB) could let the Australian
people know the difference between a "sanction" and blackmail (Herald,
December 18).  The provision of medically supervised injection
facilities by various State and Territory governments does not breach
any international treaties to which Australia is a signatory.

Yet the INCB is threatening to apply "sanctions" to Australia's opium
poppy industry if we dare go ahead and attempt to save the lives of
people suffering from heroin addiction by establishing such facilities.

The INCB is a fractious child of the League of Nations' 1931
International Convention for Limiting the Manufacture and Regulating
the Distribution of Narcotic Drugs. Two of the INCB's "duties" are to
regulate world opium poppy production and to oversee the "removal of
heroin from the face of the earth". It has failed dismally on both
these fronts and should be disbanded forthwith.

The INCB, like the League of Nations, is an anachronism and has no
place in the modern world.

The INCB and its failed policy of heroin prohibition should be
consigned to the rubbish bin of history alongside the USSR and its
failed policy of communism.

Dr Michael Dawson, Senior Lecturer,Department of Chemistry, Materials
and Forensic Science, University of Technology, Sydney