Pubdate: Wed, 18 Apr 2012
Source: Los Angeles Times (CA)
Copyright: 2012 Los Angeles Times
Author: Robert Sharpe


Re "A drug war peace treaty?," Editorial, April 15

There is a middle ground between drug prohibition and full 
legalization. Switzerland's program of controlling heroin 
distribution has been shown to reduce disease, death and crime among 
chronic users. The success of the Swiss program has inspired pilot 
projects in several other countries.

If expanded, 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 sold like alcohol, only without the 
advertising. As long as organized crime controls distribution, 
marijuana consumers will come into contact with much harder drugs. 
This "gateway" is a direct result of marijuana prohibition. Unlike 
alcohol, marijuana has never been shown to cause an overdose death, 
nor does it share the addictive properties of tobacco.

Marijuana may be relatively harmless, but marijuana prohibition is deadly.

Robert Sharpe

Washington The writer is a policy analyst at Common Sense for Drug Policy.
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