Pubdate: Sun, 01 Mar 2015
Source: Baltimore Sun (MD)
Copyright: 2015 The Baltimore Sun Company
Author: William Smith


I find it amusing that the Hogan administration is proposing a 
"study" to combat heroin addiction in Maryland ("The new face of 
Md.'s fight against heroin," Feb. 26).

Presumably it will complement the other "study" recently completed by 
the O'Malley administration. I'm sure the two of them will make 
lovely bookends in an office somewhere, where they will sit, gather 
dust and be ignored just like every other "study" the government has 
commissioned in its futile "war on drugs."

Why am I so cynical? Let's just say that history has been my guide 
and, sadly, history repeats itself.

It was old Tricky Dick Nixon who commissioned the first government 
study on the subject, the 1968 Shafer Commission Report on Licit and 
Illicit Drugs (which we read for a class in college way back in the 1980s).

It recommended the same thing every other study has recommended - 
harm reduction. All drugs, including alcohol, should be legal and 
tightly regulated. No advertising should be allowed.

There should be thorough, honest information about all drugs made 
available in schools. And above all, there should be treatment for 
addiction on demand.

This isn't rocket science. The catch has always been that you have to 
actually follow the recommendations for them to do anything.

Hence nothing has been accomplished in the 47 years since the 
original Shafer report.

So congratulations, Governor Hogan, for commissioning another study 
that you are going to ignore. You can throw it on the pile when 
you're finished.

William Smith, Baltimore
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