Pubdate: Thu, 08 Sep 2005
Source: Osoyoos Times (CN BC)
Copyright: 2005 Osoyoos Times
Author: Robert Sharpe
Note: Title by mapinc editor



Your Aug. 24th editorial made the common mistake of confusing drug-related
crime with prohibition-related crime. Attempts to limit the supply of
illegal drugs while demand remains constant only increase the profitability
of drug trafficking. For addictive drugs like heroin, a spike in street
prices leads desperate addicts to increase criminal activity to feed
desperate habits. The drug war doesn't fight crime, it fuels crime.

The good news is that Canada has already adopted many of the common sense
harm reduction interventions first pioneered in Europe. The bad news is that
Canada's southern neighbor continues to use its superpower status to export
a dangerous moral crusade around the globe.

The United States provides tragic examples of anti-drug strategies that are
best avoided.

U.S. Centers for Disease Control researchers estimate that 57 percent of
AIDS cases among women and 36 percent of overall AIDS cases in the U.S. are
linked to injection drug use or sex with partners who inject drugs. This
easily preventable public health crisis is a direct result of zero tolerance
laws that restrict access to clean syringes. Can Canada afford to emulate
the harm maximization drug policies of the former land of the free and
current record holder in citizens incarcerated?

U.S. Centers for Disease Control stats:

Robert Sharpe, MPA Policy Analyst Common Sense for Drug Policy Washington,
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MAP posted-by: Josh