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Part 2 - About 15 pages

by Clifford A. Schaffer

The following pages are actual excerpts from some of my debates on drug policy.

The person I am debating in many of these questions is an M.D. with about 25 years experience in medicine. You can see how he started out from the first paragraph. He wound up agreeing with me and posted a message telling everyone he had changed his mind and supported a plan similar to the plan used in Liverpool.

I SAID: Research done at the Federal hospital at Lexington, KY, was unable to establish what a lethal dose of heroin might be. In addition, the doctors in Liverpool who prescribe heroin to addicts every day state that "heroin is not a dangerous drug" and they have some patients on massive doses of heroin with no risk of overdose.

{{ Cliff, you must stop this dangerous garbage before you kill someone. Opiates cause the suppression of respiration.

You quietly stop breathing and die. The LD50 (dose required to kill half the population of a test animal) of the various opiates has been well worked out. Specific opiate antagonists such as naloxone can and are LIFE-SAVING in opiate overdose cases. Naloxone does nothing but antagonize the respiratory effects of opiates.}}

You had better talk to the doctors listed in Signer.zip because they are the ones who told me, as well as the doctors in Liverpool who prescribe it. They announced it on 60 Minutes so they reached far more people than I ever will. The people who told me are -- without doubt -- the leading authorities in the world on the subject. One of them, in fact, has headed up California's official investigation into the subject for the last 25 years. There have been other doctors on these boards who have already recognized that the credentials of the people I am referring to were far superior to their own. If you would like to compare credentials, I will list theirs.

Of course, even if heroin was a significant health hazard, that still would not mean that prison was a productive approach to the problem. Every major study said that it was precisely because of these dangers that we should not take this approach -- because this policy only made things worse.

{{ It is true that habitual users become resistant to these effects, but, for God's sake believe me when I say that a naive user is in mortal danger from the same dose of heroin.}}

Naive users can be in mortal danger from a lot of things, including alcohol, automobiles, and firearms. I can't begin to imagine all the things that we might have to protect you from. That does not mean it is a good idea to throw them in prison, or you either, even if you did succumb to the temptations of heroin.

{{Please give us the words actually used the doctors by the doctors you are quoting above. If you want to be believed, back up your opinions WITH QUOTES.}}

Dr. Benson Rowe stated that heroin was "harmless". Present in the room at the same time, and voicing no protest were Dr. Frederick H. Meyers, Dr. Herbert Berger, and the others listed in Signer.zip. You may look them up in Who's Who. Also, the doctors in Liverpool stated on 60 Minutes that "Heroin is not a dangerous drug." They ought to know because they prescribe it every day. The full transcript of the program is in Hoover.zip.

{{ The reason, of course, that you cant is that these notions fly in the very face of modern neuro-pharmacology.}}

As I said, I will be glad to compare the credentials of these people with anyone you would like to name.

The following message is from David C. I thought it was particularly good.


{{Drugs are illegal because using them is very bad for people, and therefore very bad for the country.}}

Either I missed something and you finally made tobacco and alcohol illegal in America or you are saying that tobacco and alcohol are not drugs or you are saying that using tobacco or alcohol is not very bad for people. I don't think there are any other possibilities. Either way this would seem to be a very silly thing to say.

Let me inject some statistics into your debate:


Drug Crimes per 100,000 people

Australia - 403

USA - 234

Canada - 225

Denmark - 176

Switzerland - 129

Norway - 116

Austria - 77

Belgium - 40

Netherlands - 38

Japan - 31

Israel - 25

Spain - 15

Portugal - 13

Italy - 6


Prisoners per 100,000 people

USA - 426

Poland - 204

Bulgaria - 160

Hungary - 142

Canada - 94

Austria - 87

Germany - 77

United Kingdom - 77

Finland - 75

Australia - 60

New Zealand - 60

Italy - 60

Portugal - 58

Switzerland - 54

Spain - 49

Denmark - 47

France - 40

Netherlands - 27

Greece - 24

Source: UN Centre for Social Devt. and Humanitarian Affairs. Looks to me like we both have a serious drug problem - and that it is the probable cause of some crimes. Also looks like you wouldn't really want to stuff too many more Americans in jail - its obviously not working. Australia generaly follows the American model RE: Drug law, although minor offenders are treated much more leniently (ie users).

Looking at the statistics would lead one to think that some of the programmes that continental Europe have for limitting drug use might be worthwhile. "Liberal" or not, if they work they would be better than whatever it is we are doing now. I think your society and mine are obfuscating their moral duty in the treatment of drug offenders if we continues to simply lock them up. And, it would seem, wasting a lot of money.

I assume you have never been inside a prison? The probability of meeting death in a prison is much higher than outside of it. Prohibition of alcohol didn't work very well early this century. I don't think that the track record of prohibition of drugs is doing very well either.

I am told that over half the population of Australia has smoked marijuana (no source). Should we just build a prison wall around the place and lock the lot up??


David C.

{{How many people would I imprison to stop the flow of these drugs? Enough to save the rest. Or, if you can come up with another alternative that would stop the widespread destruction caused by drug abuse, I would throw out the prison idea, and go with that. }}

Thirty million people in prison? What an idea! First, face the fact that there is no way in Hell that we can afford to throw enough people in prison to make this policy effective. You might as well go out and throw rocks at the moon and claim that you are getting closer every time. We can't do it even if it was a good idea.

So, it looks like the first thing we ought to do is look for Option #2. Any suggestions?

{{You see the horrors of putting drug abusers in prison. I see the horrors of drug abuse period.}}

Every major study of drug policy agreed that prison only increased the existing dangers of drugs, and made the situation worse. In the case of drugs like heroin, they said that nearly all of the damage to the individual health and to society was the result of the fact that the drugs were illegal and therefore unregulated.

{{Consider the possibility that continued vigorous prosecution of the drug laws may limit FUTURE incarcerations in the long term.}}

So how many millions should we put in prison right now?

{{ In the meantime I'm comfortable leaving the question in the hands of our elected representatives.}}

Certainly any change in the laws will have to come from them. But tell me, where do you agree or disagree with the conclusions presented by the CU Report, and why?

{{ for God's sake, you gave a reference. If discourse is to mean anything, you must be prepared to back up the reference.}}

It would be nice if you did the same, or maybe just answered some of the simple questions I have asked. Like: who is Dr. William Halsted and how does his story relate to what you said earlier?

I am beginning to believe you have not read the CU Report or you would know the answer to this one right off the top of your head.

{{ }} Dr. Benson Rowe stated that heroin was "harmless". {{ The full quote, in context, please.}}

The occasion was the signing of the Hoover Resolution at the Hoover Institute at Stanford. Present in the room were the people listed in Signer.zip, as I said. Dr. Benson Rowe is Professor Emeritus of Cardiac Surgery at the University of California at San Francisco. In introducing himself to the assembled group, he explained how he became interested in the drug issue. He said it was immediately after World War II when he began doing surgery on some addicts with damaged heart valves. In order to find out what was damaging their heart valves he went to the county coroner and researched the issue with the bodies of people who had died. He discovered, much to his surprise, that the coroner and every other medical authority agreed that heroin was not the cause of the injury to the heart valves. The cause of the injury, instead was the impurities in the street drug, and the infections which resulted from injecting anything in unsanitary conditions. He said that, after almost fifty years of research on the subject, he was convinced that, except for the fact that heroin caused addiction, it was otherwise medically "harmless" to the body. The other doctors in attendance nodded agreement.

At the same conference I asked Dr. Frederick Meyers about what medication he would recommend for my mother's condition. He said that opioids were the drug of choice and that they should have no harmful effects on my mother.

{{}}Also, the doctors in Liverpool stated on 60 Minutes that "Heroin is not a dangerous drug."{{{ The full quote, in context, please.}}

See below. The show aired December 28, 1993. Ed is Ed Bradley. Julia is an addict. Alan Perry is a counselor at the clinic. As I said, the full text is in Hoover.zip which you could have looked up and read yourself.

Ed: Julia says she's now able to have normal relation, to hold down a job as a waitress and to care for her 3 year old daughter. Without the prescription, where do you think you would be?

Julia: I would probably be dead now.

Ed: Once, they have gotten their prescriptions, addicts must show up for regular meetings to show that they are staying healthy and free from crime. But how can anyone be healthy if they are taking a drug like heroin?

Alan Perry: Pure heroin is not a dangerous drug. We have people on massive doses of heroin.

Ed: Alan Perry is a former Drug Information Officer for the local Health Authority and now a counselor at the clinic. So how come we see so much damage caused by heroin?

Alan: The heroin that is causing that damage, is not causing damage because of the heroin in it, it is causing damage because of the bread dust, coffee, crushed bleach crystals, anything that causes the harm and if heroin is 90% adulterated that means only 10% is heroin, the rest is rubbish, and if you inject cement into your veins, you don't have to be a medical expert to work it out, that's going to cause harm.

Ed: Many at the clinic like George still suffer from the damage caused by street drugs. Alan Perry believes you can't prescribe clean drugs and needles to addicts without teaching them how to use them.

Alan: You know the major causes of ill health to drug injectors is not even the dirty drugs they take, it is their bad technique. Not knowing how to do it. In America I have seen addicts missing legs and arms and that is through bad technique. So we show people how to, not how to inject safely, but how to inject less dangerously. We have to be clear about that, you have stoned people sticking needles in themselves in a dangerous activity. The strategy is called "harm minimalization."

{{There is a program in Oakland, Calif. When a drug abuser comes in, and is convicted of a felony charge, he has the possibility of a new program. . . .}}

You seem to miss the point of these programs. These programs came about as a result of recognition that prison does not work. The point of these drug courts is to do anything they can to keep people out of prison.

{{But good news! Did you watch NBC news tonight? If so, you saw the description of a drug program in Oakland. See my post to David C. for a quickie description. It keeps drugs illegal, and keeps many users out of prison, and sobers them up. Wow. }}

You should have caught the A&E special about what is happening in Europe. They featured the Chief of Police of Oakland and the Sheriff of San Francisco both saying that the drug war should be abandoned because it is absolutely hopeless. You probably missed the news that the mayors of San Francisco, Oakland, and San Jose held a press conference (along with their respective law enforcment officials) to announce their signing of the Hoover Resolution.

{{But there was even more good news with it. A man was quoted who was trying to sell the program. He pointed out that it saved a whole lot of money. Said it costs $20,000 a year to keep a druggie in prison. So, unless the average amount of time served for a drug offense is 23 years, your figure of $450,000 is way high. }}

The $450,000 figure is composed of the following: $150,000 for arrest and prosecution, according to figures compiled by the State of New York. About $150,000 for a prison cell, which is what it costs here in California. In New York this figure is a little lower - but still over $100,000. Then add about $30,000 per year for an average term of five years. Total: about $450,000

{{Also, Mr C. pointed out the number of prisoners per 100,000 in this country. It 426, which comes to a little over 1,000,000 altogether. So Cliff's figure of 1,000,000 now in prison on drug charges must have also been a bit off. (Maybe he used it like the figure for black males - there are 1,000,000 in prison, and some of them are there on drug charges.)}}

As earlier, you are misstating what I said. Let me try it again. There are currently about 1.4 million people in the prisons and jails of the US and the population is rising rapidly, primarily because of drugs. The 1.4 million figure is the population in the prisons on a given census day, which means the actual count of people who went through those prisons is higher than that figure. By the Federal Government's own estimates, we will soon reach the points where we have more than 1.5 million people in prison (on a given census day) and about two- thirds of those people will be there for drug charges. The full figures, if you care to read them, are available in the Sourcebook of Criminal Justice Statistics, published by the DOJ and available at your local Government book store or through your local library.

{{Drugs are illegal because using them is very bad for people, and therefore very bad for the country. }}

Absolutely false. That never was the reason for the laws.

{{ It is far to our benefit to have a nation of sober people. }}

No doubt about that, but prison does not achieve that very well.

{{It merely depends on what you want to discourage. Using drugs is a behavior which is subject to negative reinforcement.}}

The average drug user never sees any such negative reinforcement from the criminal justice system, except perhaps that it makes their drugs cost a little more. If that is your object, you should face the fact right now that this is a failure.

{{How, then, would you persuade them to seek treatment?}}

My good friend Judge James P. Gray says he does it all the time with people with alcohol problems, without threatening them with prison.

{{Well, yes, "separation from society" now means prison. You have some other alternative?}}

So answer the question: How many millions of people do you think we ought to put in prison for drugs?

{{Once again, the British experiment with prescription heroin has been a failure: "The prescription of pharmaceutically pure heroin in controlled doses is, in most essential respects, a thing of the past in Britain." ("Drug Problems and Criminal Justice Policy in Britain," _Contemporary Drug Problems_, Summer 1992)}}

My good friend, Dr. Clarke Smith, a member of the California Academy of Family Practice just got back from there last week and reported that heroin and cocaine are CURRENTLY being prescribed and that the authorities consider it quite successful. The 60 Minutes show on this subject aired on December 28, 1993, and we have personally confirmed the facts with the British doctors on several occasions. The doctors say that their biggest problem with the program is that the United States Government keeps lying about it.

}}prison as rehabilitation is a disproven illusion

According to who?}}

According to Thomas Coughlin, the New York State Commissioner of Corrections, for one.

{{Work-release programs are already a standard part of the prison system in many states, and have been for many years.}}

Most convicts do not have the opportunity to participate in any such programs. These programs have been virtually discontinued in California.

{{ Once again, what you saw that 15-minute television episode doesn't prove a thing. What may have occurred (according to Ed Bradley) in one clinic in Liverpool does not allow one to generalize to the entire society. Anyone can create a "successful" heroin maintenance program by taking the addicts who are stable anyway and putting them in the program. That is, if there are 500 addicts and 20 or 30 of them are stable, then when you put the 20 or 30 stable addicts in a maintenance program, you can claim a big "success," but you haven't really accomplished anything. Britain has been practicing heroin maintenance since 1926, according to "Contemporary Drug Problems," and very few physicians prescribe it anymore. If you want to impress anyone with the supposed successs of the Liverpool program, you will have to come up with something better than a TV report. I have been to the library and researched the issue; if you want to continue the debate, so should you.}}

The more I think about this message, the more I see someone who is in serious denial here. I have told you of the 60 Minutes show, the A&E one hour show (originally produced by the BBC), and the fact that we have personally contacted the doctors involved to confirm that both shows were accurate. As I said, a group -- headed by Dr. Clarke Smith, a member of the Board of Directors of the California Academy of Family Physicians, went to Europe to confirm what is happening in several areas. The doctors confirmed to us that the shows were accurate and your information is, shall we say, outdated. Decriminalization and even outright legalization are being called for by both medical and police authorities all over Europe. As far as research goes, you can download Signer.zip in library 13 of the Issues forum and start contacting some of the doctors listed there. If you want to know who they are in more detail, look them up in Who's Who, also at your local library.

If you have researched this so well in the library, why haven't you read any of the studies I mentioned?

So I am calling your bluff again. The doctors involved in Liverpool are named in the text of the 60 Minutes program in Hoover.zip. They are listed with information in Liverpool, or you can simply call the public health service in Liverpool, as we originally did, and ask to be put in touch with the doctors running the program. Go ahead. Call them and tell us the results. And while you are at it, remember to ask them about the vote of the British chiefs of police.

{{ The Chinese are biologically the same as the Americans. They react to addictive substances the same as we do.}}

Aren't the Europeans biologically the same as us, too? Therefore, the programs which are currently working in Europe should work here.

{{ Try reading what I wrote before you comment on it: "People who had boring or stressful jobs turned to opium: court eunuchs, wealthy housewives, harried clerks, soldiers going into combat, students preparing for exams." These people have their counterparts in America.}}

Court eunuchs have their counterpart in America? Other studies of the same period of time showed that opium use in China was not a lot different from alcohol use in the US. That is, the majority of the users were weekend recreational users who could take it or leave it. The percentage who appeared to be addicted was not much different than the percentage one would expect from alcohol.

And, since you seem to be so good at history, you ought to know that the first anti-opium laws in the US had nothing to do with public health and safety. The first anti-opium law was an 1875 San Francisco ordinance banning the smoking of opium in opium dens, a peculiarly Chinese custom. The stated reason for the law was the fear that Chinese men were luring white women to their "ruin" in opium dens. "Ruin" was defined not as opium addiction, but as associating with Chinese men. The racism behind these laws was overt from the very beginning. At the same time, opium remained available in all sorts of medicinal preparations, more commonly used by whites.

{{ Again, you should read what I wrote. During the period of legal narcotics trade, between 1858 and 1906, the incidence of narcotics use increased from around 5% of the population to approximately 25%.}}

And it was on a steady decline from 1906 to 1914 when the Harrison Narcotics Act was passed, primarily because of the Pure Food and Drug Act of 1905 which made manufacturers list the ingredients and therefore allowed consumers to intelligently choose. You may also recall that the major medical societies all stated that the Harrison Act was a medical, criminal, and social disaster and urged its repeal. After the passage of the Act, the problems of drug use rose sharply.

And, maybe you could share with us the reasons why hemp -- the largest crop in America -- was made illegal?

{{ Great idea, only what is more positively reinforcing than a heroin rush?}}

Well, most people I know think that the mundane old stuff like making an honest living, and being sober enough to enjoy your family is a whole lot better than any drug high.

{{ "Drug users referred to treatment by the criminal justice system stay in treatment longer on average than those with no legal involvement, and length of time spent in treatment is an important predictor of success. . . . Clients monitored through TASC are as successful in reducing their drug use and criminal activity as are those voluntarily in drug treatment." _Bureau of Justice Statistics National Report_ (1992).}}

That's easy to do if you are behind bars for twenty years. And the ones that went to prison are "as successful" as the ones who went voluntarily. Because it is so expensive to process them through prison, don't you think it would be a better idea to get them to go voluntarily?

{{ I don't see what this has to do with drug offenses. Since you are unaware of the fact, I should explain that most drug offenses are non- violent.}}

The only people who seem to be unaware of this fact are the drug warriors.

{{Fine, then I can assume that you won't mind sitting in the passenger seat.}}

The stats show quite clearly that illegal drugs are a relatively minor problem on the road.

{{}}Heroin is a very safe drug when legal.{{

Just sprinkle a little on your breakfeast cereal? Or a Bring Your Own Balloon (BYOB) Christmas party? We'll invite your children over, after all it's safe. Come on, you can't really believe this. }}

That is the word of the world's leading medical experts on the subject, including the doctors in Liverpool who prescribe it every day. There is a long list of them in Signer.zip. If you need more information on them you can read Who's Who or I can probably put you in touch with a good number of them. (I have offered that before but you seem strangely reluctant to try to reply to any of my messages.)

{{}} Pot is safer than alcohol or tobacco, and has never caused a documented human death according to all the literature.{{

Except when you're flying planes, trains or automobiles.}}

Even then, accidents caused by pot are pretty rare. For example, a study of OSHA statistics showed that about .014% of on=the-job accidents were caused by illegal drugs.

{{How many millions in this country drink? Are you willing to live with a similar abuse rate for drugs like cocain, heroin, pot and speed?}}

Gosh no, but why aren't we doing the same thing for alcohol and tobacco if it is such a good idea? If prison is the best way to keep people from becoming addicted to drugs, why aren't we jailing wine drinkers and cigarette smokers?

{{Were it not so embedded in our culture, I would might be inclined to say yes. Until then, I'll settle for mandatory death sentences for manslaughter cases related to alcohol abuse, mandatory prison terms for those selling to minors, and so on. }}

Let's suppose you got your fondest wish. Let's suppose that tomorrow morning, you woke up as President and found outside your home, every drug dealer in America lined up with a bag of dope in one hand and a signed confession in the other? What would you do?

{{How many more children are you willing to hand over to lives of dependency, isolation and neglect? }}

Not one -- which is one the main reasons that the current policy ought to be stopped -- because it is devastating the children in the black community.

{{ Gosh, a serious question! It's been *so* long!}}

I have asked you lots of serious questions but you don't want to answer them. So here is an old one, slightly rephrased: Let's suppose I believe everything you say about drugs and the best kind of drug program. You say that prison must be an integral part of that program. So, as a taxpayer who has to pay for the prisons, I ask you: There are thirty million drug users in the United States. How many millions do you want to throw in prison?

Further supposing I believe everything you say: If prison is such a good idea for these drugs, why isn't it an equally good (or even better!) idea for alcohol and tobacco?

{{ The failure of our present program is that it treats dealers as criminals and addicts as victims.}}

No, as the judges and other law enforcement officials have told me, it is a disaster (not just a failure) because it never was a good idea in the first place.

{{ This is a rather arbitrary distinction, since most dealers are also addicts and most addicts are involved in crime.}}

Under the law all users are dealers.

{{ Also, it is also useless trying to suppress drug dealing without suppressing drug abuse. Therefore, I believe that a successful drug policy should place greater weight on curtailing drug abuse.}}

We agree there.

{{ Drug abuse occurs for a number of reasons. People who are poor and uneducated turn to drugs because they have nothing better to do with their lives. Unfortunately, you can't do much about that, short of a general reform of American society. It is important, however, that treatment programs offer addicts an alternative lifestyle. Taking someone out of a rotten, no-future life in a miserable slum and putting them in treatment is useless, if they can only go back to a rotten, no- future life in a miserable slum.}}

We agree there.

{{ In this light, vocational training is very important. It is important that training be suited to the individual and also provide him with the opportunity for pursuing a meaningful career. But in all cases, it should be made plain that the alternative to honest work is prison.}}

We agree that vocational training is very important.

Well, we don't have any programs funded to meet the "honest work" part of it so the alternative is always prison. Of course, once they go to prison, it doesn't matter if they get vocational training or not, because nobody is going to hire them anyway. As a society, that is called shooting ourselves in the foot.

{{ A lot of affluent people, who have plenty other opportunities, also use narcotics. For such individuals, the stigma of going to jail is very important, and so punishment is a strong deterrent.}}

Poor people get jail. Affluent people get the Betty Ford Clinic. That disparity in the outcome of this policy is one of the reasons that every major study of drug policy has recommended decriminalization.

{{ The MADD movement provides a good model of how effective legislation can produce a real social change: There is now a strong stigma against drunk driving, and so the offense has declined. Legalized gambling provides a counter-example: There is no stigma against playing Lotto or video poker, and so millions of people gamble who never did it before.}}

Your analogies are weak. Drunk driving is a public behavior. There is a useful purpose to enforcing laws on public behavior and, because the behavior is public, the laws have a chance to confront the offender and stop the situation. The same is not true with drug use.

{{ So, treatment and punishment are both important for controlling the drug problem. }}

The information supplied above does not support this conclusion.

{{ One often hears the argument, however, that we should treat addicts *instead* of throwing them in jail. However, these are not logical alternatives. Many addicts will not accept treatment unless they are already in jail or are threatened with imprisonment.}}

The Rand Corporation recently issued a study which said that every dollar spent on drug treatment saved an additional seven dollars in related social costs. On the other hand, every dollar spent on putting drug users in prison costs about an additional fifteen dollars in related social costs.

Of course, the British have a way of getting addicts to accept treatment and become crime-free. They simply tell the addicts that they will lose their legal prescription if they don't straighten their lives out. It works a whole lot better than what you are recommending.

{{ Judges often do sentence minor drug offenders to treatment rather than prison. This has merit; we definitely need to expand drug treatment and make it more available.}}

We agree on this point. I would also point out that judges often sentence minor offenders to unconscionable prison terms over trivial offenses, like the young woman who got a mandatory minimum of ten years without even touching drugs.

{{ But we also need to end the cycle by which addicts go into treatment, then relapse. }}

You missed the 60 Minutes show and the A&E show on Liverpool (obviously) so you might be interested in what the doctors there said. They said that all modes of treatment or punishment for drug use that they could find produced the same essential result. That is, about five percent of the addicts per year would come off of drugs by themselves, regardless of what you did. They said it seemed to be as much a process of maturation as anything else. Therefore, they said, rather than punish them and seriously impact their health with dirty heroin, dirty needles, etc., they opted to give the addicts prescriptions for heroin and cocaine, and teach them how to manage their addiction until they can mature off of it. As a result, most of the health problems have been eliminated, most of the crime has been eliminated, and most addicts are employed and living with their families.

{{ For this reason, I would support a program of accelerated minimum sentences for second and subsequent offenses. When an addict proves untreatable, the next best alternative is to separate him from society. In addition, the accelerated schedule of punishments provides incentive to reform.}}

So I ask again. How many people do you propose to put in prison?

{{ The aim of treatment programs is to end addiction. }}

The primary aim of the British program is to keep addicts healthy long enough to end the addiction.

{{ But it is also important to prevent untreated addicts from becoming a menace to society. }}

Their crimes are primarily property crimes and are a result of the fact that drugs are illegal. In Liverpool, where they have tried another approach, the addicts are no longer a menace to society.

{{In this light, methadone programs have been very successful. While methadone is addictive, it can be taken orally and is much more long- lasting in preventing withdrawal than is heroin.}}

Many famous medical experts, such as Dr. Frederick H. Meyers point out that the prescription of methadone (a narcotic) in such large amounts proves that narcotics are not inherently dangerous.

{{ A heroin addict needs an injection every few hours and often becomes violent if he doesn't get it. }}

A recent report by the Department of Justice titled "Drugs and Violence" says that the only drug which has any real connection to any kind of violent crime is alcohol. Even if what you said was true, it would seem that we would be far better off with an approach like they are using in Liverpool. A managed daily prescription would seem to be the best way to insure that this does not happen. If you had read any of the studies I have mentioned, you would know that tobacco and alcohol users exhibit the same kinds of anti-social behavior when they are deprived of their drug.

{{ Finally, I would support expanded drug testing. At present, the police are well equipped to test drunk drivers, but narcotics users may evade punishment, unless they happen to have the drugs in their possession. Definitely, police stations should be equipped to test persons arrested for reckless driving and similar offenses for drugs. Regular drug testing should also be a part of all prison programs.}}

Why wouldn't you support the same thing for alcohol and tobacco? They do far more damage than illegal drugs so we would be far better off to put the same effort against them. How about it? Should we throw George Burns in jail because he refuses to give up cigars?

And do you want to punish people based solely on their drug tests? After all, you have money in your pocket right now with cocaine dust on it and it is possible that enough of it got in to your system to make you register positive. That is, of course, if you didn't already test positive because you took a cold medication, or a headache pill, or a cough syrup, or ate certain kinds of bread, etc., etc., etc.,

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