By Tom Blackwell for National Post. The Liberal government used its first foray into the global anti-narcotics arena this week to signal a clear shift away from the war-on-drugs philosophy, promising more safe-injection sites, promoting “harm reduction” and touting its plan to legalize marijuana.

The speech by Hilary Geller, an assistant deputy minister of health, caused a stir at the generally staid Commission on Narcotic Drugs conference in Vienna, observers said.

The audience of government and non-governmental organization officials from around the world “erupted in applause” mid-way through the address and gave a prolonged ovation at the end, said Jason Nickerson, an Ottawa-based researcher who is attending the meeting.

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