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Press release: Debatepedia completes definitive pro/con article on needle exchanges

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Summary: On July 14th, Debatepedia completed a definitive article on the pros and cons of needle exchanges at a time when the debate on the issue is heating up in the United States and around the world.

July 14th, 2009 - Washington, DC - Debatepedia has completed the most definitive article available on the pros and cons of needle exchanges, and public funding for the programs. The article comes at a time when needle exchanges have become a very common phenomena in the world, where injection drug users can obtain hypodermic needles and associated injection equipment at little or no cost. The idea is to ensure that drug users are using clean needles, instead of sharing dirty ones and subsequently spreading diseases such as HIV. Many object to this principle of "harm reduction" with arguments such as that needle exchanges wrongly involve the state in the distribution of drug paraphernalia, that it generally enables drug-use instead of discouraging it, that it generally sends the wrong message by sanctioning drug-use (albeit under supervision), and that needle exchanges create increased drug-use, crime, and general unattractiveness within certain communities.

These arguments and many others have existed for some time in the public debate surrounding needle exchanges. But, they have never been organized and centralized in one resource. Debatepedia brings them together into a single article that documents a total of 42 unique pro and con arguments drawn from over twenty of the primary pro and con editorials, opinion pieces, essays, and political statements on the issue. The article is an important tool for citizens and politicians to consider the full spectrum of arguments involved, weigh them, draw conclusions, vote, and make decisions. It is a good reflection of the general mission of Debatepedia: "to clarify public debates and improve decision-making globally".

Debatepedia is a global wiki encyclopedia of public debates, pro and con arguments, and supporting quotations. A project of the International Debate Education Association (IDEA), Debatepedia is something like "the Wikipedia of pros and cons". It aims to engage you and other citizen-editors in centralizing your original arguments - as well as arguments and quotations found in millions of articles, essays, and books - into a single encyclopedia. This helps you and other citizens better weigh the pros and cons in important public debates and make decisions.

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Contact us:

  • Brooks Lindsay, Founder of Debatepedia.
  • 3731 E Prospect. Seattle WA, 98112.
  • brooks[at]debatepedia[dot]com.
  • 206 406 7558.
  • Twitter: brookslindsay, debatepedia.


  • Debate
  • Pros and cons
  • Drugs
  • Crime
  • Needle exchange
  • Disease
  • HIV/AIDs

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