Pubdate: Thu, 15 May 2008
Source: Lethbridge Herald (CN AB)
Copyright: 2008 The Lethbridge Herald
Author: Robert Sharpe



Re: Sniffing out a balance, Herald editorial, May 5.

It would be a mistake to assume the police state approach to public 
health problems works. Here in the United States, drug-sniffing dogs 
in schools and random drug testing have led to a loss of civil 
liberties, while failing miserably at preventing drug use. Marijuana 
use is higher in the U.S. than any European country, yet America is 
one of the few Western countries that punish citizens who prefer 
marijuana to martinis.

Thanks to the war on some drugs, Canada's southern neighbour now has 
the highest incarceration rate in the world. The drug war is a 
cultural inquisition, not a public health campaign. Criminal records 
are inappropriate as health interventions and ineffective as deterrents.

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

The results of a comparative study of European and U.S. rates of drug 
use can be found at:

United Nations stats:

ROBERT SHARPE, policy analyst Common Sense for Drug Policy Washington, D.C.
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MAP posted-by: Jay Bergstrom