Pubdate: Sat, 12 Aug 2017
Source: Toronto Star (CN ON)
Copyright: 2017 The Toronto Star
Author: Gary Dale
Page: IN 11


Re Rethink before decriminalizing drugs, DiManno, Aug. 7

Rosie DiManno's column is well-reasoned but wrong. This century's
problems aren't due to irrationality, not that there isn't a lot of
that to go around, but rather to ignoring the facts and evidence.

There have been endless studies concluding that criminal sanctions
have no impact on people's behaviour, yet that doesn't stop people
from arguing the opposite. Nor does the fact that increasingly harsh
penalties adopted in the U.S. have reduced neither drug use nor drug

Conversely, the evidence from Portugal and Spain shows that
decriminalizing drug use works. In Portugal, overdose deaths dropped
by more than 80 per cent, while HIV infections dropped by 95 per cent
since 2001, when it changed its drug laws.

Much as we all like to believe that our reasoning processes are sound,
unless we constantly test our beliefs against the facts and evidence,
we are really just worshipping our own cleverness.

Gary Dale, Toronto
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