Pubdate: Tue, 24 Apr 2012
Source: Edmonton Journal (CN AB)
Copyright: 2012 The Edmonton Journal
Author: Robert Sharpe


Re: "Drug war lost, new tack needed," Editorial, April 19. There is a 
middle ground between drug prohibition and full legalization.

Switzerland's clinical heroin maintenance program has been shown to 
reduce disease, death and crime among chronic users. The success of 
the Swiss program has inspired pilot projects in Canada, Germany, 
Spain, Denmark and the Netherlands.

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 hard drugs like 
methamphetamine, cocaine and heroin. 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, policy analyst, Common Sense for Drug Policy, Washington, D.C.
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