Pubdate: Thu, 03 Nov 2005
Source: Arbiter, The (Boise State, ID Edu)
Copyright: 2005 The Arbiter
Author: Robert Sharpe


Kudos to Brian Holmes for an excellent Oct. 31 column.

Attempts to limit the supply of illegal drugs while demand remains 
constant only increase the profitability of drug trafficking. For 
addictive drugs like heroin, a spike in street prices leads desperate 
addicts to increase criminal activity to feed desperate habits. The 
drug war doesn't fight crime, it fuels crime.

With alcohol prohibition repealed, liquor bootleggers no longer gun 
each other down in drive-by shootings, nor do consumers go blind 
drinking unregulated bathtub gin. While U.S. politicians ignore the 
drug war's historical precedent, European countries are embracing 
harm reduction, a public health alternative based on the principle 
that both drug abuse and prohibition have the potential to cause harm.

Examples of harm reduction include needle exchange programs to stop 
the spread of HIV, marijuana regulation aimed at separating the hard 
and soft drug markets, and treatment alternatives that do not require 
incarceration as a prerequisite.

Unfortunately, fear of appearing "soft on crime" compels politicians 
to support a failed drug war that ultimately subsidizes organized 
crime. Students who want to help reform harmful drug laws should 
contact Students for Sensible Drug Policy at 

Robert Sharpe

Policy Analyst
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MAP posted-by: Beth Wehrman