Pubdate: Thu, 02 Jun 2011
Source: Reno News & Review (NV)
Copyright: 2011, Chico Community Publishing, Inc.
Author: Kirk Muse


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.
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