Pubdate: Fri, 23 Feb 2001
Source: Border Mail (Australia)
Copyright: 2001 Border Mail
Author: B. Fudge


Several recent letters regarding the drug forum have commented on Sweden's 
model of law enforcement as being successful and that it should be 
considered here.

These commentators are dangerously ill informed.

Sweden has undertaken a similar model to the failed U.S. model of tougher 
law enforcement and sentencing but what have these measures produced for 
their respective populations?

A huge prison industry for minor offenders, large-scale drug trafficking 
virtually untouched, needlessly high rates of HIV and Hep C infections, 
more drugs on the streets and thousands of families grieving over easily 
preventable deaths.

This is not the sort of solution any informed (and sane) society would condone.

Tougher laws have not ever, and will not ever, produce any benefits to 
society as long as they are directed at the victims.

Tough penalties already exist for trafficking, but the whole legal system 
is under pressure to process an increasing number of minor offences, which 
effectively drains resources that should be applied to major offences.

Public education is of the utmost importance because in the end the 
community pays the price.

The price varies depending on our action or inaction.

At the moment, the entire Australian population is paying very dearly in 
terms of deaths and financial resources and our future is at stake.

There is no single solution but there are many proven and effective 
strategies to minimise harm to the community while we study and implement a 
range of cohesive measures to produce real and long-term solutions.

The option to harm minimisation is harm maximisation.

I urge all interested parties to attend the drug forum with an open mind, 
especially the people who have already decided its intention and outcome.

As for the people screeching about abstinence being the only solution, 
please attend the forum and bring your magic wands.

- -- B Fudge, Albury
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MAP posted-by: Terry Liittschwager