Pubdate: Fri, 24 Apr 2009
Source: Chief, The (CN BC)
Copyright: 2009 Whistler Printing & Publishing
Author: Robert Sharpe


There is a middle ground between drug prohibition and blanket
legalization ["Prohibition still doesn't work," The Chief, April 17].
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.

The success of the Swiss program has inspired pilot heroin maintenance
projects in Canada, Germany, Spain, Denmark 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 drug will continue to come into
contact with sellers of addictive drugs like cocaine.

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

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, MPA

Policy Analyst

Common Sense for Drug Policy

Washington, DC
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