Pubdate: Tue, 09 Dec 2014
Source: Times Union (Albany, NY)
Copyright: 2014 Capital Newspapers Division of The Hearst Corporation
Author: Robert Sharpe


U.S. Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., might as well call for a $100 
million crime wave. That will be the effect of his "heroin surge."

Attempts to limit the supply of illegal drugs while demand remains 
constant only increases the profitability of drug trafficking. For 
addictive drugs like heroin, a spike in street prices leads desperate 
addicts to increase criminal activity to feed desperate habits. The 
drug war doesn't fight crime; it fuels crime. Schumer needs to think 
outside of the drug war box if he is serious about reducing overdose 
deaths. New research published in the Journal of the American Medical 
Association shows that states with open medical marijuana access have 
a 25 percent lower opioid overdose death rate than marijuana 
prohibition states. This research finding has huge implications for 
states like New York that are grappling with prescription narcotic 
and heroin overdose deaths.

The phrase "if it saves one life" has been used to justify all manner 
of drug war abuses. Legal marijuana access has the potential to save 
thousands of lives.

Robert Sharpe

Washington, D.C.

Policy analyst, Common Sense for Drug Policy
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