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September 17, 1997

New Winds Blowing for American Drug Policies

JAMA. 1997;278(11):946-947. doi:10.1001/jama.1997.03550110084043

On July 8, 1997, a star-studded group of American physicians (the self-named "Physician Leadership on National Drug Policy") met at the New York Academy of Medicine in New York City. Organized by David C. Lewis, MD, chaired by June E. Osborn, MD, facilitated by Kenneth I. Shine, MD, and funded by grants from the MacArthur Foundation and the Open Society Institute, this group of physicians (listed at the end of this Editorial) met to discuss our largely failing US national policy on illicit drugs and to ponder new approaches.

Believed to be the first such group of highly placed US physicians to so meet on this subject in this century, the physicians actively debated the many aspects of this complex and difficult problem. The group agreed on the following:

Consensus Statement Physician Leadership on National Drug Policy  Addiction to illegal drugs is a major national problem that creates impaired health, harmful