Pubdate: Sun, 02 Sep 2007
Source: Province, The (CN BC)
Copyright: 2007 The Province
Author: Bruce Symington


Following the news of increasing heroin poppy growth in Afghanistan, 
your editorial on the connection between the heroin addicts in the 
Downtown Eastside of Vancouver and the Taliban is incomplete.

The fact that heroin is illegal underlies all that you said.

When England, in the 1960s, had a system of heroin prescription for 
its 5,000 addicts, none of the money from heroin went to terrorists 
and guerrillas.

It was all produced legally.

If such a system existed now, there would be about the same number of 
addicts. However, England now has 340,000 heroin addicts.

Our country's adoption of a prohibition model to deal with some herbs 
and extracts is at the root of this connection between heroin and the Taliban.

If we end Afghan heroin production yet maintain prohibition, heroin 
production will simply move somewhere else where people are poor. 
There are plenty of places and plenty of groups to replace the Taliban.

Prohibition, not drugs, is the cause of the deaths of our soldiers in 

Put that question to a candidate in the upcoming federal election and 
watch them squirm.

Bruce Symington

Medicine Hat
- ---
MAP posted-by: Beth Wehrman