Pubdate: Tue, 18 Jul 2000
Source: National Post (Canada)
Copyright: 2000 Southam Inc.
Contact:  300 - 1450 Don Mills Road, Don Mills, Ontario M3B 3R5
Fax: (416) 442-2209
Author: Matthew M. Elrod


To the editor,

You confuse efforts to reduce the harm caused by recreational drugs
and our disastrous war against some of them with promotion and
facilitation (Needle pointers, July 17).

Clean needles no more encourage people to use cocaine than cigarette
filters encourage them to smoke. Safe injection sites no more
encourage people to become junkies than seat belts encourage them to

Accepting that people will attend raves, most Canadian cities
facilitate safe venues for them. Similarly, people have always used
recreational drugs and they always will. Our choice is not whether or
not but where and how.

As with raves, regulation is not promotion. As with guns, alcohol,
tobacco, pornography, prostitution and gambling, zero tolerance equals
zero control. Drug policy has skidded out of control. It is time our
leaders eased off the brakes and took the wheel, as counter-intuitive
as that might seem.

Matthew M. Elrod,
- ---
MAP posted-by: Derek