Eliminating illicit drug penalties could save lives

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To the editor,

(Re: Witness of drug overdose fearful to contact emergency services, by Kayla Follett,  Page 8, Truro Daily News, July 16, 2014)

The drug war is part of the problem. Illegal drug users are reluctant to seek medical attention in the event of an overdose for fear of being charged with a crime.

Attempting to save the life of a friend could result in a murder charge.

Overzealous drug war enforcement results in easily preventable deaths.

Rehabilitation also is confounded. I think it's safe to say that turnout at Alcoholics Anonymous meetings would be rather low if alcoholism were a crime pursued with zero tolerance zeal. Eliminating the penalties associated with illicit drug use would encourage the type of honest discussion necessary to facilitate rehabilitation and save lives.

 

Robert Sharpe,

Policy Analyst, Common Sense for Drug Policy

Washington, DC

Organizations: Alcoholics Anonymous

Geographic location: Washington, DC.

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