Pubdate: Mon, 26 May 2003
Source: Peak, The (CN BC)
Copyright: 2003 Peak Publications Society
Author: Robert Sharpe
Bookmark: (Decrim/Legalization)
Bookmark: (Cannabis - Canada)


Does moving open-air drug markets from one Vancouver neighbourhood to the 
next constitute drug war victory? Drug policy should focus not on reducing 
the total number of people who use drugs, but rather on reducing the death, 
disease, crime and suffering associated with both drug abuse and prohibition.

The good news is that BC has already adopted many of the common sense harm 
reduction interventions first pioneered in Europe. The bad news is that 
Canada's southern neighbour continues to use its superpower status to 
export a dangerous moral crusade around the globe.

The United States provides tragic examples of anti-drug strategies that are 
best avoided. U.S. Centres for Disease Control researchers estimate that 57 
per cent of AIDS cases among women and 36 per cent of overall AIDS cases in 
the U.S. are linked to injection drug use or sex with partners who inject 

This easily preventable public health crisis is a direct result of zero 
tolerance laws that restrict access to clean syringes. Can Canada afford to 
emulate the harm maximisation drug policies of the former land of the free 
and current record holder in citizens incarcerated?

Don't believe me? Check out the U.S. Centres for Disease Control stats at

Robert Sharpe
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MAP posted-by: Jay Bergstrom