Pubdate: Tue, 10 Mar 1998
Date: 10/03/1998
Source: Vancouver Sun (Canada)
Author: Matthew M. Elrod

To the editor,

Re: Taxpayers financed drug haven

As taxpayers, we need to put the $22,000 spent on the Back Alley
drop-in centre into perspective. If the clean needles provided by the
centre prevented a single HIV infection then the centre saved
taxpayers up to $100,000 in treatment costs. If the telephone on hand
for calling 911 prevented a single death then the centre paid for
itself many times over.

Do a cost-benefit analysis of the Back Alley centre, then do the same
analysis on the war on drugs.  We spend millions of dollars annually
subsidizing organized crime with our so-called Controlled Drugs and
Substances Act.  The entire country is a haven for drug

How much do the annual cannabis eradication air raids cost? A
helicopter burns up $4,000 an hour. If these futile raids ever
actually succeeded in suppressing our largest cash crop, it would
destroy the economies of hundreds of small communities across the province.

$22,000 will barely support one thwarted pot farmer on welfare,
warehouse a single junkie in our overcrowded prisons or employ a
single police officer or prison guard. Pocket change in the war on

Matthew M. Elrod,