Pubdate: Wed, 23 Feb 2005
Source: Victoria News (CN BC)
Copyright: 2005 Victoria News
Author: Chuck Beyer
Bookmark: (Heroin Maintenance)
Bookmark: (Heroin)


The debate about distribution of heroin to addicts is complicated by
the language used by prohibitionists. Firstly, there is no such thing
as free heroin. But one can compare distribution systems.

In a free distribution system the heroin costs pennies per dose and is
distributed at a minimal cost - just like aspirin.

Therefore, the public does not have to pay for police officers,
judges, lawyers, jails, and courts. All of these people are
unnecessary parts of the present organized crime distribution system.
They all take their percentage under the present system and all get
paid out of your tax dollars.

Then there is the actual cost of the drug itself. Instead of being
produced and distributed for pennies, the illegal product costs
hundreds or thousands of dollars a week and is distributed by
organized crime. This cash must be raised via petty theft, drug
trafficking or prostitution.

In the case of petty theft we all pay sooner or later. Drug
trafficking just introduces new users into the loop - keeping all of
the above stakeholders comfortably employed while perpetuating the
cycle. In the case of prostitution, one case of AIDS or hepatitis will
cost the taxpayer a lot more than a few pennies.

The fact is that if the word "free" could be accurately used in the
context of prohibition, it is the traffickers and those in the court
system who have been getting a free lunch. Now they will all have to
find real work and the taxpayer will save a lot of money.

Chuck Beyer
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MAP posted-by: Richard Lake