Pubdate: Fri, 07 Sep 2001
Source: Hamilton Spectator (CN ON)
Copyright: The Hamilton Spectator 2001
Author: Ray Carlson


RE: 'Safe haven for addicts is a form of surrender' (Aug. 22). I remain 
unmoved by all the specious arguments about "our children" and the messages 
we "send" to them.

Providing clean needles and injection rooms to drug users is no more a 
message of acceptance than providing condoms to adolescents planning to 
have sex, or offering a ride home to a teenager who is too drunk to drive.

Why do so many of us assume that our children are not capable of 
critical-thinking skills and discernment of right and wrong for themselves?

To confuse harm reduction with surrender is to ignore social science, which 
is the worst thing we can do to our children.

As a society, we pay much more heavily for prohibitionist drug laws than 
for drug use. The monetary cost is substantial, but an even heavier price 
is paid in terms of broken lives and shattered families.

The number of drug cases are precisely what burden the courts. Unless we 
change these ill-conceived laws, this will only become worse.

Ray Carlson
Redwood City, California
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