Pubdate: Thu, 20 Sep 2007
Source: Canberra Times (Australia)
Copyright: 2007 Canberra Times
Author: Robert Sharpe


Your editorial of September 15 was right on target. The 
tough-on-drugs approach is part of the problem. Illegal drug users 
are reluctant to seek medical attention in the event of an overdose 
for fear of being charged with a crime. Attempting to save the life 
of a friend could result in a murder charge. Overzealous drug 
enforcement results in easily preventable deaths.

Rehabilitation also is confounded. I think it's safe to say that 
turnout at Alcoholics Anonymous meetings would be rather low if 
alcoholism were a crime pursued with zero-tolerance zeal. Eliminating 
the penalties associated with illicit drug abuse would encourage the 
type of honest discussion necessary to facilitate rehabilitation and 
save lives. Drug abuse is bad, but the drug war is worse.

Robert Sharpe,

MPA policy analyst Common Sense for Drug Policy, Washington, DC, United States
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MAP posted-by: Jay Bergstrom