Pubdate: Wed, 11 May 2011
Source: Metro Times (Detroit, MI)
Copyright: 2011 Metro Times, Inc
Author: Robert Sharpe


Re: John Sinclair's "What war has wrought" (April 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. 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 come into contact with sellers of hard drugs like
cocaine. 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, Policy Analyst, Common Sense for Drug Policy, Washington, D.C.  
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