Pubdate: Thu, 22 Feb 2001
Source: West Australian (Australia)
Copyright: 2001 West Australian Newspapers Limited
Contact:  +61 8 94823830
Author: Tony White


I WAS speaking with a long-term heroin user on various matters yesterday and
he made the following comment: "It is very hard, really hard, to get heroin
at the moment. There have been a few big busts lately so there is not much
on the streets. To get a $50 bag of heroin can take me five hours now."

I was expecting him to say that he would have to wait a few weeks to obtain
any heroin or that he had now switched to speed because he cannot get any
heroin. It usually takes him about half an hour to get some heroin and now,
in this time of great famine and shortage, it takes him all of five hours.

We spend millions and millions of dollars on trying to stop heroin getting
into this country. When there is a big bust politicians seize on it and crow
about the wonderful achievements of prohibition. Yet at the street level, it
results in a user having to spend five hours instead of half an hour to
obtain this illicit drug each time he wants a taste. This does not seem like
money being wisely spent for the good of the community.

TONY WHITE, North Perth.
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