Pubdate: Sun, 15 Aug 2010
Source: Observer, The (UK)
Copyright: 2010 Robert Sharpe
Author: Robert Sharpe


It's Time to End the Propaganda. Prohibition Isn't Working

A Total Review of Legislation Is Necessary If We Are to Avoid a Catastrophe

There is a middle ground between drug prohibition and blanket
legalisation. Switzerland's heroin maintenance programme has been
shown to reduce disease, death and crime among chronic users.
Providing addicts with standardised doses in a clinical setting
eliminates the overdose risk associated with illicit heroin use.

The success of the Swiss programme has inspired pilot heroin
maintenance projects in Canada, Germany, Spain, Denmark and the
Netherlands. If expanded, prescription heroin maintenance would
deprive organised crime of a core client base. This would render
illegal heroin trafficking unprofitable and spare future generations

Cannabis is demonstrably safer than alcohol and should be taxed and
regulated like alcohol, only without the ubiquitous advertising.
Separating the hard and soft drug markets is critical. As long as
organised crime controls cannabis distribution, consumers will
continue to come into contact with sellers of addictive drugs like
cocaine. This "gateway" is a direct result of cannabis

Robert Sharpe

Policy analyst

Common Sense for Drug Policy

Washington, DC
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