Pubdate: Thu, 07 Dec 2006
Source: North Island Gazette (CN BC)
Copyright: 2006 North Island Gazette
Author: Robert Sharpe


Dear Editor,

Regarding Tom Fletcher's Nov. 23 Column, There Is a Middle Ground 
Between Drug Prohibition and Blanket Legalization.

Switzerland's heroin maintenance program has been shown to reduce 
disease, death and crime among chronic users. Providing 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, England, 
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 cocaine. Given that marijuana is 
arguably safer than legal alcohol, it makes no sense to waste scarce 
resources on failed drug policies that finance organized crime and 
facilitate the use of hard drugs.

Drug policy reform may send the wrong message to children, but I like 
to think the children are more important than the message.

Robert Sharpe

Common Sense for Drug Policy
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