Pubdate: Sat, 26 Jan 2008
Source: Ottawa Citizen (CN ON)
Copyright: 2008 The Ottawa Citizen
Author: Jerry Epstein


Many thanks to Dan Gardner for explaining why heroin policy threatens 
to turn Afghanistan into the next Iraq.

The Swiss have tested for more than 10 years what happens if heroin 
addicts get their heroin from government sanctioned clinics rather 
than drug dealers.

Aside from a huge decrease in crime, medical costs, homelessness and 
overdose deaths -- along with less drug use and less new addiction -- 
is the potential impact on the illegal heroin trade.

Expanded to cover all heroin addicts, it would mean no additional 
funds or propaganda value for al-Qaeda and the Taliban. It would 
bolster the Afghan central government by allowing them to control the 
legitimate purchase of the crop.

I don't much like the idea, but I like boosting a terrorist 
insurgency in Afghanistan and innocent victims of crime in North 
America a lot less.

In the U.S., about 83 per cent of drug addiction is due to alcohol 
and one per cent to heroin -- I suspect Canada is about the same. 
Since there is no shortage of heroin, and since marijuana is used 
almost as much as alcohol, it's obvious that "legal" or " illegal" 
means little to the choices being made. Stealing the drug cartels' 
customers has got to be a bargain.

No thanks to John Manley's panel for completely ignoring the obvious.

Jerry Epstein,


Co-founder, Drug Policy Forum of Texas
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