The Swiss are giving in to the junkies.
GENEVA (AP) - Dr. Daniele Zullino keeps glass bottles full of white powder in a safe in a locked room of his office.Junkies with jobs? What is the world coming to? Or rather what is the world going back to? The Swiss program is very much like one in effect in the US from 1914 when the Harrison Act was passed until about 1923 with the closure of last clinic in Baton Rouge.
Patients show up each day to receive their treatment in small doses handed through a small window.
Then they gather around a table to shoot up, part of a pioneering Swiss program to curb drug abuse by providing addicts a clean, safe place to take heroin produced by a government-approved laboratory.
The program has been criticized by the United States and the U.N. narcotics board, which said it would fuel drug abuse. But governments as far away as Australia are beginning or considering their own programs modeled on the system, which is credited with reducing crime and improving the health and daily lives of addicts.
Swiss voters are expected to make the system permanent Sunday in a referendum prompted by a challenge from conservatives.
The heroin program has won wide support within Switzerland since it was begun 14 years ago to eliminate scenes of large groups of drug users shooting up openly in parks that marred Swiss cities in the 1980s and 1990s.
Zullino's office, part of the Geneva University Hospitals, is one of 23 such centers in Switzerland.
Patients among the nearly 1,300 addicts whom other therapies have failed to help take doses carefully measured to satisfy their cravings but not enough to cause a big high. Four at a time inject themselves as a nurse watches.
In a few minutes most get up and leave. Those who have jobs go back to work.
It worked then, and it still works. Which is why we can no longer do that sort of thing in America. Which is rather fortunate. After all those drug cartels need to make a profit too. And think of all the street dealers such a system would put out of business. We certainly don't want to be putting retailers and wholesalers out of business in a down economy do we?
There is one small problem with the program. Crimes committed by heroin addicts have dropped 60 percent since the program began in 1994. Now think of all the police, prosecutors, lawyers, prison guards etc. out of jobs because of that. Every junkie in America has a huge burden to bear keeping all those people working. If it were not for junkies taxpayers might not willingly pony up the dough to support all those folks. Another economic disaster in the making during hard times if this clinic idea ever caught on. As long as Americans keep hating junkies the jobs that depend on them are safe. So do your part. Hate a junkie today. A big part of the economy depends on it.
Cross Posted at Classical Values