Pubdate: Fri, 20 Feb 2009
Source: Detroit News (MI)
Copyright: 2009 The Detroit News
Author: Robert Sharpe


Regarding Froma Harrop's thoughtful Dec. 7 column ("Drug prohibition
keeps failing")" There is a middle ground between drug prohibition and
blanket legalization.

Switzerland's heroin maintenance program has been shown to reduce
disease, death and crime among chronic users. The success of the Swiss
heroin maintenance program has inspired pilot programs in Canada,
Germany, Spain and the Netherlands. If expanded, prescription heroin
maintenance would deprive organized crime of a core client base. This
would render illegal heroin trafficking unprofitable and spare future
generations addiction.

Marijuana should be taxed and regulated like alcohol, only without the
ubiquitous advertising. Separating the hard and soft drug markets is
critical. As long as marijuana distribution is controlled by organized
crime, consumers of the most popular illicit drug will continue to
come into contact with sellers of addictive drugs like cocaine and

This "gateway" is a direct result of marijuana prohibition. Drug
policy reform may send the wrong message to children, but I like to
think the children are more important than the message.

Robert Sharpe, MPA

Policy Analyst Common Sense for Drug Policy

Washington, D.C.
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MAP posted-by: Larry Seguin