Pubdate: Wed, 04 Jan 2012
Source: Calgary Herald (CN AB)
Copyright: 2012 James Currie
Author: James Currie


Re: "Powerful warning in ecstasy death," Dec. 31.

The recent tragedy of a death from ecstasy is simply an example of 
our failed drugs policy.

I don't approve of drug abuse and don't think young people should try 
them. It's quite obviously a dangerous behaviour, but it also 
obviously continues to happen.

A psychiatrist commented last year in the British Medical Journal 
that his son climbed Everest. That is also clearly risky behaviour 
(mortality 10 per cent), but as he said, at least his son had the 
benefit of firstclass equipment.

Instead of our punitive and clearly failed policy on drugs, why not 
legalize them? At least then if young people decide to undertake this 
silly behaviour. they could know what they were ingesting or 
injecting. There would also be less incentive for crime involved in 
the OxyContin abuse problem for pharmacists. I worry for the safety 
of those colleagues.

By the way, outside sub-Saharan Africa, the commonest cause of 
HIV/AIDS is illegal drug use. That's a huge economic cost, and an 
unacceptable human cost.

James Currie, Calgary
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