Source: Canberra Times (Australia)
Pubdate: Thu, 5 Nov 1998
Source: The Canberra Times
Author: B. McConnell


A REASON for the failure of prohibition drug policies has been demonstrated
once again by The Canberra Times letters and articles. That is, that logic
and evidence-based research have played no part in their development.

Take three simple examples: first, the greatest drug bust ever with claims
from Senator Vanstone that the bust will make a significant difference at
the street level. However, three weeks later street price and availability
have not changed. Pryor's cartoon (CT, October 16) predicted this outcome.

Second, the claim by Major Brian Watters, the chairman of the Prime
Minister's pinnacle Australian National Drug Council, (CT, October 26, p.5)
that syringe-disposal units in Ansett's aircraft will promote illicit drug
use. Ansett installed the bins because syringes were left in seat pockets,
not the other way around.

Third, the claim in a letter to the editor (CT, November 1) that safe
injecting facilities and heroin-maintenance programs are a waste of life
and money.

There are no heroin-maintenance programs and there are no safe injecting
facilities in Australia! But where they have been implemented overseas,
lives have been saved, health has improved and there has been no increase
in drug use because of their introduction. None of these claims are based
on evidence and they certainly lack logic.

B. McCONNELL President, Families and Friends for Drug Law Reform, Higgins 
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Checked-by: Mike Gogulski