Heroin maintenance program
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 success of the Swiss program has inspired heroin maintenance pilot projects in Canada, Germany, Spain, Denmark and the Netherlands.
If expanded, prescription heroin maintenance would deprive organized crime of a core client base. This would render illegal heroin trafficking unprofitable and spare future generations addiction.
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 come into contact with sellers of addictive drugs like cocaine. This gateway is a direct result of marijuana prohibition. Drug policy reform may send the wrong message to children, but I like to think the children are more important than the message.
Policy analyst at Common Sense for Drug Policy Washington, D.C.