Pubdate: Wed, 21 Nov 2001
Source: San Francisco Examiner (CA)
Copyright: 2001 San Francisco Examiner
Author: Redford Givens
Related: and
Bookmark: (Heroin)


THE notion that heroin is a naturally lethal drug is a great fiction
promoted by America's lunatic anti-drug crusaders. Overdoses were virtually
unheard before drug prohibition, when addicts used cheap, pure, legal Bayer
Heroin instead of the expensive toxic bootleg potions prohibition puts on
the streets.

When drugs were legal, addicts held regular employment, raised decent
families and were indistinguishable from their teetotaling neighbors.

The sad state of drug addicts nowadays is the direct result of 87 years of
drug prohibition, not the effects of opiates themselves, which are quite
safe when regulated for purity and potency. Proof of the benign nature of
heroin comes from Switzerland, where addicts are provided with clinically
pure heroin at low cost.

The Swiss program has resulted in a dramatic drop in the crime, disease and
death associated with prohibited drugs. There are virtually no overdoses and
HIV and hepatitis C infections are almost nonexistent.

Comparing the results of Swiss and American drug policy exposes the fact
that the true terrorism connected with heroin comes from a brain-dead drug
policy created by our own government that causes the very problems it
pretends to cure.

It's worth remembering that Eliot Ness and the revenuers never put the booze
barons out of business. Repeal and a regulated market for adult alcohol use
did that. Regulation works for alcohol, and regulation will work for drugs.
Prohibition, on the other hand, has never worked for anything, anywhere,

Redford Givens

The City
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