Pubdate: Fri, 01 Aug 2014
Source: Northumberland Today (CN ON)
Copyright: 2014 Sun Media
Author: Robert Sharpe
Page: A4


Re John Robson's column (Has time come for us to revisit Prohibition?,
Northumberland Today, July 25):

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 among chronic users by providing
them with standardized doses in a clinical setting. The successful
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

Separating the hard and soft drug markets is critical. As long as
organized crime controls marijuana distribution, consumers of the most
popular illicit drug (marijuana) will continue to come into contact
with sellers of hard drugs like methamphetamine, cocaine and heroin.
This "gateway" is a direct result of marijuana prohibition. Marijuana
may be relatively harmless, but marijuana prohibition is deadly.

For information on the efficacy of heroin maintenance please read the
following British Medical Journal report:

To learn more about Canada's heroin maintenance research please visit:

Robert Sharpe, MPA, Policy Analyst, Common Sense for Drug Policy,
Washington, DC, U.S.A.
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MAP posted-by: Matt