Pubdate: Wed, 27 Sep 2006
Source: Simcoe Reformer, The (CN ON)
Copyright: 2006 Annex Publishing & Printing Inc.
Author: Robert Sharpe
Bookmark: (Harm Reduction)
Bookmark: (Heroin)


Your Sept. 22 editorial makes the common mistake of confusing 
drug-related crime with prohibition-related crime.

Attempts to limit the supply of illegal drugs while demand remains 
constant only increase the profitability of 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. The good news is 
that Canada has adopted many of the common sense harm reduction 
interventions 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 U.S. provides tragic examples of anti-drug strategies that are 
best avoided. U.S. Centers 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 drugs. 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 maximization 
drug policies of the former land of the free and current record 
holder in citizens incarcerated?

Robert Sharpe, MPA

Policy analyst

Common Sense for Drug Policy

Washington, DC 
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MAP posted-by: Beth Wehrman