Drug war keeps addicts from help

Regarding your Friday editorial, “Important wins for justice”: 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 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, MPA

Policy Analyst

Common Sense for Drug Policy

Washington, D.C.

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