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Vail Daily letter: A war that can’t be won

Robert Sharpe
Vail, CO, Colorado

Regarding Butch Mazzuca’s Aug. 12 column: 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 Swiss program has inspired heroin maintenance pilot projects in several countries, including Canada.

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 continue to come into contact with sellers of hard drugs.

This “gateway” is a direct result of marijuana prohibition. Unlike alcohol, marijuana has never been shown to cause an overdose death, nor does it share the addictive properties of tobacco. Marijuana may be relatively harmless, but marijuana prohibition is deadly. To learn more about Canada’s heroin maintenance research please visit:www.naomistudy.ca

Robert Sharpe

Policy Analyst, Common Sense for Drug Policy, Washington, D.C.


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