Pubdate: Thu, 17 Sep 2009
Source: Trail Daily Times (CN BC)
Copyright: 2009 Trail Daily Times
Note: The newspaper does not have an active website.
Author: Robert Sharpe


Regarding Gwynne Dyer's Sept. 10 column, Nixon Started 'War on

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. Providing
addicts with standardized doses in a clinical setting eliminates many
of the problems associated with illicit heroin use. '

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 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 like methamphetamine.

Marijuana is arguably safer than legal alcohol; it makes no sense to
waste tax dollars on failed drug policies that finance organized crime
and facilitate the use of 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, read the
British Medical Journal report:

To learn more about Canada's heroin maintenance research, visit .

Robert Sharpe,

Common Sense for Drug Policy ( )
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