Pubdate: Thu, 13 Sep 2001
Source: Times, The (UK)
Copyright: 2001 Times Newspapers Ltd
Author: Adam Sage
Bookmark: (Decrim/Legalization)


FRANCE'S Socialist Health Minister, Bernard Kouchner, has backed calls for 
the decriminalisation of all drugs.

His comments have revived a debate among a political class divided between 
Roman Catholic conservatives and urban liberals and are likely to embarrass 
Lionel Jospin, the Prime Minister, who is far more cautious on the subject.

M Kouchner was speaking a week after the French National Aids Council -- 
including scientists, jurists and doctors -- said that French legislation 
banning drug-taking gave rise to a "policy that hesitates between treatment 
and repression and constitutes a handicap to developing the strategy of 
reducing Aids risks". M Kouchner has long shared this view, but had not 
hitherto expressed it so clearly while in his ministerial post.
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