Pubdate: Thu, 03 Mar 2005
Source: Whitehorse Star (CN YK)
Copyright: 2005 Whitehorse Star
Author: Russell Barth


Re. "Drug houses' presence irks residents" (Star, Feb.

Addicts go to these "drug houses" because that's where the drugs are.
Dealers sell drugs, because there is a demand.

If the drugs were in government-run clinics, then the addicts would go
there instead.

If all drugs like meth and crack and heroin were regulated through
clinics, then addicts would not have to steal, prostitute, break into
homes, or go to weird drug houses to service their addictions.

Addicts could see nurses and counsellors, get advice on how to get
clean, and become active members of the community.

As hard as it might be for those of more delicate sensibilities to
stomach, having hundreds of addicts getting free, clean,
quality-controlled drugs from a clinic is much safer and much less
expensive than having hundreds of addicts getting drugs from creepy
dealers, and stealing and prostituting and breaking into homes to pay
for their drugs.

What would Whitehorse residents rather see: unregulated drug houses,
where all kinds of weird people do weird things and endanger the
public, which is what they have now? Or a clinic where these addicts
can get their quality-controlled drugs for free and reduce general
crime in the community?

Prohibition is fuelling the drug trade, and all stiffer penalties and
longer sentences will accomplish is more cost, harm, and crime.

Let's face it: if prohibition were ever going to work, it would have
worked by now.

Russell Barth