Pubdate: Fri, 19 Oct 2007
Source: Alberni Valley News (CN BC)
Copyright: 2007 Alberni Valley News
Author: Robert Sharpe


To the Editor,

Re: This is your crime problem on drugs, B.C. Views, Oct.

Tom Fletcher makes the common mistake of confusing drug-related crime
with prohibition-related crime in his column last week. Attempts to
limit the supply of illegal drugs while demand remains constant only
increase the profitability of drug trafficking. For addictive drugs
like heroin, a spike in street prices leads desperate addicts to
increase criminal activity to feed desperate habits. The drug war
doesn't fight crime, it fuels crime.

The good news is that Canada has already adopted many of the
common-sense harm reduction interventions first pioneered in Europe.
The bad news is that Canada's southern neighbour 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. U.S. Centers for Disease Control researchers
estimate that 57 per cent of AIDS cases among women and 36 per cent of
overall AIDS cases in the U.S. are linked to injection drug use or 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


Policy analyst

Common Sense for Drug Policy

Washington, D.C.
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MAP posted-by: Steve Heath