The World Drug Report 2011, published by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, shows that the rate of deaths where drugs were the primary cause, per million of population aged between 15 and 64, was 16 times higher in the U.S. and eight times higher in Canada than it was in Holland.
The U.S. approach to drug use is highly punitive, the Canadian approach is somewhat less punitive, while the Dutch approach prefers harm reduction.
Similarly, the percentage of the population (15 to 64) who use cannabis annually is 13.7 per cent in the U.S., 12.6 per cent in Canada, but only 5.4 per cent in Holland — in spite of the fact that Dutch citizens can openly enjoy cannabis in coffee shops.
While cannabis accounts for 70 per cent of all recorded drug offences, cocaine is far more harmful, but in the U.S. 2.4 per cent take cocaine, 1.4 per cent take it in Canada, and only 0.6 per cent take it in Holland.
Report after report covering these facts have been presented to the federal government, so why do they believe that incarcerating more drug users and building more prisons to house them is going to help in any way?
On the contrary, all the facts and the experience of the 1930s show that it is bound to exacerbate the situation.
Why are Lunney (The News, Dec. 6), Harper, and their cronies so blind to the facts?