Pubdate: Wed, 02 Feb 2000
Date: 02/02/2000
Source: Seattle Post-Intelligencer (WA)
Author: William McNultry

How can anyone who edits the editorial page of a newspaper be so
naive? The war on drugs is over; we lost. Thirteen years after
prohibition started, we shut it down. It was a mistake. We
acknowledged that and did the right thing.

You want to save lives and money? Legalize all drugs. We could double
the treatment budget to $6 billion, increase the anti-drug-use ad
campaign budget to $2 billion and still have $10 billion a year left
over. Given access to pure heroin, the overdose death rate would
plummet. It's not the heroin that's killing these people; it's the
illegality of heroin, which then allows an impure stepped-on product
into the hands of the consumer. Since the actual amount of heroin in
the end product is unknown, accidental overdoses occur.

In England pure heroin was prescribed to addicts whereupon the addicts
regained their health (because pure heroin has no ill effects on the
body if used properly) and were able to earn a living. The English
found that most addicts matured out of addiction after 10 years.

Barry McCaffrey admits in the Parade section of this same paper that
he would rather pursue prevention, treatment and education than a war
on drugs. There is no reason these goals can't be continued after
drugs are legalized.

Methadone is even more addicting than heroin. If after using heroin
for 10 years an addict decides to quit the withdrawal from heroin is
easier than from Methadone. It just seems logical to me to let the
addiction run its course, give the addict heroin and counseling and
when he is ready to quit then help him. During this time the addict
could work and pay for everything. Far cheaper than the proposed
Methadone clinics.

See Chapter 9 of the book "Drug Crazy" by Mike Gray.

William McNultry,

Cited: Mike Gray's "Drug Crazy":