Pubdate: Fri, 19 Oct 2007
Source: Parksville Qualicum Beach News (CN BC)
Copyright: 2007 Parksville Qualicum Beach News
Author: Robert Sharpe


Tom Fletcher makes the common mistake of confusing  drug-related 
crime with prohibition-related crime in  his column (The News, Oct. 9).

Attempts to limit the supply of illegal drugs while  demand remains 
constant has been shown to only increase  the profitability of drug 

For addictive drugs like heroin, a spike in street  prices leads 
desperate addicts to increase their  criminal activity to feed 
desperate habits.

The drug war doesn't fight crime. In fact, what it does  is it fuels crime.

The good news is Canada has already adopted many of the  common sense 
harm reduction interventions first  pioneered in Europe.

The bad news is Canada's southern neighbor continues to  use its 
superpower status to export a dangerous moral  crusade around the globe.

The United States provides tragic examples of anti-drug  strategies 
that are best avoided.

For instance, researchers at the U.S. Center for  Disease Control 
estimate that 57 per cent of AIDS cases  among women and 36 per cent 
of overall AIDS cases in  the United States are directly linked to 
injection drug  use or with having sex with partners who inject drugs.

This easily preventable public health crisis is a  direct result of 
zero tolerance laws that restrict  access to clean syringes.

Can Canada afford to emulate the harm maximization  approach of the 
former land of the free and current  record holder in citizens incarcerated?

Robert Sharpe, MPA

Common Sense for Drug Policy

Washington, DC
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