Pubdate: Fri, 15 Mar 2002
Source: Kelowna Capital News (BC)
Copyright: 2002, Kelowna Capital News Ltd.
Author: Chuck Beyer
Bookmark: (Decrim/Legalization)
Bookmark: (Harm Reduction)
Bookmark: (Treatment)
Bookmark: (Heroin Maintenance)
Bookmark: (Women)


To the editor:

Letter writer Angela Fertile (Drugs Affect All Members of a Family, Capital 
News March 13) feels drug dealers are like murderers because people die 
from overdoses.

If this were the case we would have to arrest every grocer in the country 
because they sell aspirin which kills 1,000 North Americas every year and 
tobacco which kills hundreds of thousands.

Next would be purveyors of fast food as obesity is responsible for as many 
deaths as all drugs, tobacco and alcohol combined.

Then we would have to lock up liquor store clerks for deaths caused by 
alcohol use.

What about people who sell cars, hang gliders, motorcycles and barbecue ovens?

People are responsible for their own behaviour and the role of the 
government should be to properly inform-not to prohibit and create hysteria 
about drugs and those who sell them.

I also have had a family member die due to drugs. But I do not believe 
prohibition is the solution. With prohibition most addicts die because the 
content of the black market product and potency is not known to the addict. 
Rather like alcohol killed users during alcohol prohibition.

In Europe if your daughter has the misfortune of being an addict she can 
seek medical help including maintenance. Here she is forced to see a pimp 
and deal with killer johns and AIDS.

Chuck Beyer, Victoria
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