Pubdate: Thu, 15 Jun 2000
Source: Daily Telegraph (Australia)
Copyright: News Limited 2000
Author: Andy Smoother


After reading Swedish MP Malou Lindholm's comments that our needle-exchange 
programs should be closed because they encourage drug use (Daily Telegraph, 
June 14). I ask: where is the evidence?

I thought we had the lowest HIV-AIDS rate in the world because of needle 
exchanges, with no evidence of increased use because of it.

Come to think of it, where is the evidence that prohibition has ever done 
anything but increase drug use in any country, any time?

Apparently Sweden is the only country in the world where prohibition of 
drugs has worked, but all we have heard from Ms Lindholm is the same old 
prohibitionist rhetoric about getting tough on drugs and a clearly 
ill-informed comment about our needle exchanges.

The US spends 10 times as much on the drug war as Australia per head of 
population and has, unless you believe Major Brian Watters, the worst drug 
problem in the world, with teenage heroin use skyrocketing.

Are we expected to believe that the Swedes, with similar policies as 
espoused by Ms Lindholm are achieving the opposite results?

Andy Smoother, Roselands
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