Pubdate: Fri, 11 Jul 2008
Source: New York Sun, The (NY)
Copyright: 2008 The New York Sun, One SL, LLC.
Author: Robert Sharpe


Regarding John Stossel's article, there is a middle ground between
drug prohibition and blanket legalization [Oped, "Legalize All Drugs,"
June 18, 2008].

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, 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 addiction.

Marijuana should be taxed and regulated like alcohol, only without the
ubiquitous advertising. Separating the hard and soft drug markets is

As long as marijuana distribution is controlled by organized crime,
consumers of the most popular illicit drugs will continue to come into
contact with sellers of addictive drugs like cocaine and heroin.

Given that marijuana is arguably safer than legal alcohol, it makes no
sense to waste scarce resources on failed policies that finance
organized crime and facilitate hard drug use.

Robert Sharpe

Policy Analyst

Common Sense for Drug Policy

Washington, D.C.
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