Pubdate: Thu, 18 Oct 2007
Source: Summerland Review (CN BC)
Copyright: 2007 The Summerland Review
Author: Robert Sharpe


Dear Editor:

Tom Fletcher makes the common mistake of confusing drug-related crime 
with prohibition-related crime in his Oct. 11 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 
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 already adopted many of the common 
sense harm reduction interventions first pioneered in Europe. The bad 
news is that Canada's southern neighbor 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. Centers for Disease Control researchers estimate that 57 percent 
of AIDS cases among women and 36 percent 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 approach 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, D.C.
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MAP posted-by: Keith Brilhart