Source: Vancouver Sun (Canada)
Section: Letter of the Day
Pubdate: Wed, 26 Aug 1998


In a Dec. 31 Forum article, I stated that the clarion call for
decriminalization of drugs can be found in the ludicrous nature of the
arguments its opponents advance. I'd like to thank James Murray (Letter of
the day) and Denny Boyd (War, political waffling will sink free heroin
notion) for proving my point on Aug. 22.

Mr. Murray's chicken-little ranting about free cars for thieves and money
for bank robbers ignores the rationale behind heroin maintenance. Using
medicine instead of criminal law attracts chronic addicts into treatment,
saving that money Mr. Murray is so concerned about. They are "given"
nothing other than health care.

Methadone and counselling programs need priority and overdue support. Yet
heroin maintenance has clearly worked for addicts not reached by these
interventions. Yes Mr. Murray, many do find jobs and pay taxes.

Denny Boyd's fear-mongering about doctors giving out overdoses and bringing
on lawsuits would be funny if it weren't so sad. I guess I have much more
confidence in our physicians than with a 70-year law enforcement disaster
called prohibition.

Since Messrs. Boyd and Murray want to enforce health and morality,
respectively, they might consider that obesity kills many more people than
narcotics. Are they ready for police roadblocks at the drive-through
window, and just maybe getting caught themselves? If so, when it comes time
for sentencing, I want first chance at enforcing their fitness routines.

Gil Puder

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