Pubdate: Tue, 27 Oct 1998 
Source: The Canberra Chronicle 
Page: 4 
Fax: +61 2 6239 1345 
Author: Geoff Page


I THOUGHT at first as, no doubt, did many others that Carrie May's letter
(The Chronicle, October 19) was a send up of the "no tolerance" position on
illicit drugs.

It is so simplistic and naive. She seems to think that harm minimisation
strategies being investigated by Health Minister Michael Moore will somehow
harm the "rest of us" and that a referendum on drugs would "stop this
nonsense once and for all".

The point she misses is that addicts have a serious medical condition,
whether "self-inflicted" or not. This, and the unfortunate social
consequences of the substance of their addiction being illegal, is all that
separates them from "the rest of us".

Fortunately, on Page 17 of the same issue, you have an article by Jim
Dickins on heroin deaths which contradicts almost everything Carrie May says.

It emphasises very well the human dimension of the whole problem and its
real impact on "the rest of us", including those who have lost family
members. Let us hope that Ms May made it that far through your newspaper.

Geoff Page, Narrabundah 
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Checked-by: Richard Lake