Pubdate: Mon, 02 Jul 2007
Source: Star-Ledger (Newark, NJ)
Copyright: 2007 Newark Morning Ledger Co
Author: Robert Sharpe


Newark Mayor Cory Booker is that rare politician who tells it like it
is. Booker is right about the drug war causing 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.

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.

Robert Sharpe,

Arlington, Va.

The writer is an analyst for Common Sense for Drug Policy in
Washington, D.C.
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