15 years ago the Swiss had one of the highest rates of drug addiction and AIDS in Europe. They decided to radically change their drug laws. To combat the spread of the disease 6000 clean needles were dispensed every day in the Zurich park. In this safe zone, addicts could shoot up openly. Shocked by the thousands of addicts who came forward, the government swiftly took control of the illegal market. They stopped criminalising heroin and made it a medical issue instead. Clinics were set up where addicts, now patients, were given as much heroin as they needed. The results have been astonishing. Drug crime and deaths have gone down dramatically, and addiction has gone down by 90%. Prescribing heroin has almost eradicated the Swiss drug problem. Addicts can now lead normal lives and because heroin is no longer seen as cool and rebellious, far fewer young people are drawn to it in the first place.Criminalising drug use is a formula for social disaster be it alcohol or even heroin. Drug regulation through taxation, registration, or controlled usage may be beneficial to a society, but the focus of any law should be in maximising the welfare of everyone affected. At the end of the day, what a person does with their own body is their business so long as others are not negatively impacted.
Heroin by the Velvet Underground.