Pubdate: Tue, 02 Jun 2009
Source: Surrey Leader (CN BC)
Copyright: 2009 Surrey Leader
Author: Robert Sharpe


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. The success of the 
Swiss program has inspired heroin maintenance pilot 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 from addiction.

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 is controlled by 
organized crime, consumers of the most popular illicit drug will 
continue to come into contact with sellers of addictive drugs.

Marijuana is arguably safer than legal alcohol; it makes no sense to 
waste tax dollars on failed marijuana policies that finance organized 
crime and open a gateway to hard drugs.

Drug policy reform may send the wrong message to children, but I like 
to think the children are more important than the message.

For information on the efficacy of heroin maintenance please read the 
following British Medical Journal report:

To learn more about Canada's heroin maintenance research please 

Robert Sharpe, MPA Policy Analyst Common Sense for Drug Policy Washington, DC
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