Pubdate: Fri, 08 Oct 2004
Source: National Post (Canada)
Copyright: 2004 Southam Inc.
Author: Alex Wodak
Bookmark: (Treatment)
Bookmark: (Harm Reduction)


Re: A Different Way To Help Drug Users, Larry Campbell, Oct. 5.

Last month I came from afar to visit Vancouver, so I was interested to read 
the comments by Mayor Campbell on his approach to illicit drugs. Mr. 
Campbell and the previous mayor, Phillip Owen, have not only had the 
courage to recognize the expensive failure of the war on drugs approach, 
but they have realized the necessity of pursuing more pragmatic and 
effective strategies.

Mr. Campbell is right that drug policy should "save lives, improve the 
health of our citizens, reduce street disorder and strengthen communities."

But drug policy should do even more than this. It should be affordable, 
reduce crime and also reduce corruption among police and other officials. 
Al Capone's Chicago in the 1920s illustrates what happens to crime and 
corruption when drug prohibitions have failed.

Vancouver is showing the rest of the world that pragmatic approaches are 
safe, more effective, more compassionate and politically sustainable.

Let's hope more cities around the world come to follow its approach.

Dr. Alex Wodak, St. Vincent's Hospital, Sydney, Australia.
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