Pubdate: Thu, 14 Jun 2001
Source: Northwest Florida Daily News (FL)
Copyright: 2001 Northwest Florida Daily News
Author: Robert Dowd
Bookmark: (Decrim/Legalization)


Richard Gile's June 6 letter, "No legalization," is devoid of facts and 
filled with misstatements.

There was no legalization of drugs in Switzerland, as Richard seems to 
think. The Swiss government merely tried to confine all drug use to one 
place by permitting drug use in one of Zurich's parks. Tourists from all 
over Europe descended upon Zurich for one of the greatest drug orgies of 
all times.

The Swiss then tried another tactic. They set up government clinics that 
permitted Swiss citizens to register as addicts and obtain free heroin and 
sterile needles for their daily dose of drugs. That was more than four 
years ago and the Swiss are quite happy with this program - but it is not 

Crime has decreased, most addicts are able to return to full employment, 
law enforcement is less expensive, and physicians in the clinics have 
persuaded many addicts to enter rehabilitation.

To compare a legal drug market to prohibition, one has only to study the 
first 144 years of this nation when all drugs were legal, pure, inexpensive 
and very available. Surprisingly, rates of drug abuse and addiction were 
declining in this legal market for 25 years before prohibition. Eighty-one 
years of prohibition has increased addiction, crime, violence, corruption 
and incarcerations.


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