Pubdate: Sat, 15 Aug 2015
Source: Edmonton Journal (CN AB)
Copyright: 2015 The Edmonton Journal
Author: Eric Huang
Page: A20


Re: "Reduce demand for drugs," Letters, Petra Schulz, Aug. 14 The war on 
illegal drugs - which has been raging for more than 40 years with 
billions of dollars spent, millions of lives lost and an overall 
increase in drug use - is an abject failure.

The Prohibition era has already taught us that the legal system is
ineffective in controlling illicit drug use. It also exhausts
resources and clutters our prisons. Criminalization has had no
positive effect on the prevalence of drug use nor is it effective in
reducing accessibility.

Society needs to decriminalize drug use. It will not increase usage -
see Portugal as evidence of this. Instead, we will see a major
decrease in crime and an increase in government revenues through
taxation and cost savings from redistribution of resources. The income
generated through regulated manufacturing and distribution can be
spent on medical care and public education.

Most importantly, this will save lives. Overdose deaths are often
caused not by the specific drug of choice, but by tainted or
counterfeited drugs made in substandard laboratories. Regulation in
this area alone would save lives.

Eric Huang, Edmonton
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