Pubdate: Thu, 02 Jun 2011 Source: Reno News & Review (NV) Copyright: 2011, Chico Community Publishing, Inc. Contact: http://www.newsreview.com/issues/reno/ Details: http://www.mapinc.org/media/2524 Author: Kirk Muse PROHIBITION FAILURE Re "Stairway to hell" (Feature story, May 19): Imagine if we could eliminate all of our nation's heroin dealers-Switzerland did. Imagine if we could reduce the number of heroin addicts by 82 percent-Switzerland did. Imagine if we could dramatically reduce our overall crime rate-Switzerland did. Imagine if we could eliminate virtually all deaths from heroin-Switzerland did. How did they do it? In 1994, Switzerland started an experimental program to sell heroin addicts the drug at very low cost, even giving it to the addicts who couldn't afford it. In 2008, 68 percent of the Swiss voted to make the program permanent. Have Swiss heroin-addiction rates skyrocketed? No, they have fallen dramatically. So has their overall crime rate. Will we adopt Switzerland's heroin policy? Probably not. Too many people, industries and institutions have a vested financial interest in maintaining the status quo of drug prohibition. Kirk Muse Mesa, Ariz. - --- MAP posted-by: Richard R Smith Jr.