Letter: We should follow Swiss lead on drugs - East Valley Tribune: Letters To The Editor

Letter: We should follow Swiss lead on drugs

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Posted: Sunday, September 22, 2013 6:48 am

I am writing about Bill Richardson’s thoughtful column: “Our new crime-riddled ‘Five C’s’ and what to do about them” (Commentary, Tribune, Sept. 18).

I have no doubt that serious crime is linked to organized crime. From 1920 to 1933, the majority of our serious crime was linked to alcohol prohibition. When we terminated alcohol prohibition our overall crime rate declined dramatically.

Do I suggest that all drugs should be sold like they were 100 years ago in grocery stores and pharmacies with no questions asked? No.

For hard drugs like heroin, meth and cocaine I suggest that we adopt the Swiss drug policy. Switzerland used to have a very serious heroin addiction problem. Now their heroin problem is a small fraction of what it used to be.

Did the Swiss government get really tough on drug dealers and addicts? No.

In 1994, Switzerland started an experimental program to sell heroin addicts the drug at very low cost, even giving it to the addicts who couldn’t afford it. In 2008, 68 percent of the Swiss voted to make the program permanent.

Have Swiss heroin-addiction rates skyrocketed? No, they have fallen dramatically.

And so has their overall crime rate.

For the record, I have never even seen cocaine, meth or heroin, (except on TV) let alone used it. But I was offered free samples of these drugs by my marijuana suppliers.

Yet I have never been offered a free sample of whiskey, rum or vodka when buying wine.

For those who think we can win the war on drugs if we just try harder I suggest they Google or go to YouTube.com and search for “Retired police captain demolished the war on drugs.”

Kirk Muse

Mesa

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