Pubdate: Wed, 07 Jul 2010
Source: Nanaimo Daily News (CN BC)
Copyright: 2010 Nanaimo Daily News
Author: Robert Sharpe


Re: 'War on drugs has been a costly failure' (Daily News, July 3)

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. Providing addicts with 
standardized doses in a clinical setting eliminates many of the 
problems associated with illicit heroin use.

The success of the Swiss program has inspired heroin maintenance 
pilot projects in Canada, Germany, Spain, Denmark 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 organized crime controls marijuana distribution, consumers 
will continue to come into contact with sellers of addictive drugs 
like heroin, cocaine and methamphetamine. This "gateway" is a direct 
result of marijuana prohibition.

Robert Sharpe,

policy analyst common sense for drug policy

Washington, DC
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