Pubdate: Wed, 12 Sep 2012
Source: Baltimore Sun (MD)
Copyright: 2012 The Baltimore Sun Company
Author: Robert Sharpe


Regarding Neill Franklin's op-ed ("A caravan for peace," Sept. 9),
there is a middle ground between drug prohibition and blanket
legalization. Switzerland's heroin maintenance program has been shown
to reduce disease, death and crime by providing addicts with
standardized doses in a clinic. The success of the Swiss program has
inspired heroin maintenance pilot projects in Canada, Germany, Spain,
Denmark and the Netherlands. If expanded, prescription 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 regulated like alcohol, only without the
ubiquitous advertising. Separating the hard and soft drug markets is
critical. As long as organized crime controls marijuana distribution,
consumers will continue to come into contact with sellers of addictive
drugs like cocaine and meth. It makes no sense to waste tax dollars on
failed marijuana policies that finance organized crime and facilitate
hard drug use. Drug policy reform may send the wrong message to
children, but I like to think the children are more important than the

Robert Sharpe, Washington, D.C.

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