Pubdate: Thu, 30 Nov 2006
Source: Mission City Record (CN BC)
Copyright: 2006 The Mission City Record
Author: Robert Sharpe


Editor, The Record:

Re: How to cut crime rate: legalize drugs, Nov. 23 edition.

There is a middle ground between drug prohibition and blanket
legalization. Switzerland's heroin maintenance program has been shown
to reduce disease, death and crime among chronic users. Providing
addicts with standardized doses in a clinical setting eliminates many
of the problems associated with heroin use. Heroin maintenance pilot
projects are underway in Canada, England, Germany, Spain and the
Netherlands. If expanded, prescription heroin maintenance would
deprive organized crime of a core client base. This would render
illegal heroin trafficking unprofitable and spare future generations

Marijuana should be taxed and regulated like alcohol, only without the
ubiquitous advertising. Separating the hard and soft drug markets is
critical. As long as marijuana distribution remains in the hands of
organized crime, consumers of the most popular illicit drug will
continue to come into contact with sellers of cocaine. Drug policy
reform may send the wrong message to children, but I like to think the
children are more important than the message.

Robert Sharpe, policy analyst

Common Sense for Drug Policy 
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