Pubdate: Wed, 25 Jan 2006
Source: Prince George Free Press (CN BC)
Copyright: 2006 BC Newspaper Group
Author: Robert Sharpe



Regarding Victor Bowman's Jan. 20th column, there is a middle ground 
between drug prohibition and blanket legalization.

Switzerland's heroin maintenance trials have been shown to reduce 
disease, death and crime among chronic users. Providing chronic 
addicts with standardized doses in a clinical setting eliminates many 
of the problems associated with heroin use.

Heroin maintenance pilot projects are underway in Canada, Germany, 
Spain and the Netherlands. If expanded, prescription heroin 
maintenance would deprive organized crime of a core client base.

This would render illegal heroin trafficking unprofitable and spare 
future generations addiction.

Marijuana should be taxed and regulated like alcohol, only without 
the ubiquitous advertising.

Separating the hard and soft drug markets is critical.

As long as marijuana distribution remains in the hands of organized 
crime, consumers of the most popular illicit drug will continue to 
come into contact with sellers of hard drugs like cocaine.

This 'gateway' is the direct result of a fundamentally flawed policy. 
Drug policy reform may send the wrong message to children, but I like 
to think the children are more important than the message.

For information on the efficacy of heroin maintenance please read the 
following British Medical Journal report:


Robert Sharpe,

MPA Policy Analyst Common Sense for Drug Policy Washington, DC
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MAP posted-by: Jay Bergstrom