Pubdate: Thu, 17 Feb 2011
Source: Chico News & Review, The (CA)
Copyright: 2011 Chico Community Publishing, Inc.
Author: Robert Sharpe


Re "The eternal Drug War" (Guest comment, by William A. Collins, Jan.
27): 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 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 come
into contact with sellers of addictive drugs like cocaine,
methamphetamine and heroin. This "gateway" is a direct result of
marijuana prohibition. Marijuana may be relatively harmless, but
marijuana prohibition is deadly.

Robert Sharpe, MPA

Policy Analyst

Common Sense for Drug Policy

Washington, D.C.
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