Pubdate: Tue, 15 May 2007
Source: Oroville Mercury-Register (CA)
Copyright: 2007 Oroville Mercury Register
Author: Robert Sharpe
Note: Title By Newshawk
Bookmark: (Cannabis - California)
Bookmark: (Harm Reduction)
Bookmark: (Needle Exchange)


Dear Editor,

Oroville advocate David White is to be commended for boldly speaking 
out against the war on drugs. 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.

With alcohol prohibition repealed, liquor bootleggers no longer gun 
each other down in drive-by shootings, nor do consumers go blind 
drinking unregulated bathtub gin. While U.S. politicians ignore the 
drug war's historical precedent, European countries are embracing 
harm reduction, a public health alternative based on the principle 
that both drug abuse and prohibition have the potential to cause harm.

Examples of harm reduction include needle exchange programs to stop 
the spread of HIV, marijuana regulation aimed at separating the hard 
and soft drug markets, and treatment alternatives that do not require 
incarceration as a prerequisite. Unfortunately, fear of appearing 
"soft on crime" compels many U.S. politicians to support a failed 
drug war that ultimately subsidizes organized crime. Drug abuse is 
bad, but the drug war is worse.

Robert Sharpe, MPA

Policy Analyst

Common Sense for Drug Policy 
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