Pubdate: Sun, 15 Nov 2015
Source: Trentonian, The (NJ)
Copyright: 2015 The Trentonian
Author: Robert Sharpe


Columnist L.A. Parker should blame drug prohibition for violence and 
death, not suburban drug users. Drug addiction is color-blind and 
impacts rural, suburban and urban areas. Drug prohibition fosters 
corruption and criminal activity; it's a cure worse than the disease. 
Switzerland's heroin maintenance program has been shown to reduce 
disease, death and crime by providing addicts with standardized doses 
in a clinical setting.

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. To 
close the gateway to hard drugs, marijuana should be taxed and 
regulated like alcohol, only without the 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 heroin, cocaine and meth. Marijuana 
prohibition is a gateway drug policy.

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

A July 2015 meta-analysis of heroin maintenance research can be found 

Robert Sharpe, MPA, Common Sense for Drug Policy, Washington, DC
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