Heroin Prohibition Kills
One of the consequences of our government’s prohibition of heroin use is a black market for the drug where the strength of any individual dose is unknown. This leads far too often to problems with an overdose. Also, because heroin is illegal when someone does have a problem the people around them are often reluctant to seek help not wanting to put themselves in legal jeopardy.
Both of theses factor came into play in suburban Fairfax County Virginia where 19-year-old Alicia Lannes overdosed on heroin and died. The Washington Postis reporting that when her “boyfriend, Skylar Schnippel, realized Lannes was in trouble, he didn't call her parents or 911. He dialed some buddies and asked them to check on her, said her father, Greg Lannes. Schnippel's friends crept to the family's windows about 4 a.m. March 5 and saw that Alicia was unconscious. They went to a pay phone and made an anonymous call to 911.”
If heroin were legal and regulated then the chances are that Alicia would not have taken an overdose. However, even if she had overdosed under a legal regime those around her would have sought official help immediately and greatly increased her probability of survival. No doubt those who support and benefit by the illegality of heroin will exploit the sad death of Alicia Lannes to bolster their position but the reality is that if drugs were legal she would most likely be alive today. We as a society may not like heroin use but it should not be a capital offense.comments powered by Disqus
Jeff Riggenbach - 11/26/2008
"One of the consequences of our government’s prohibition of heroin use is a black market for the drug where the strength of any individual dose is unknown. This leads far too often to problems with an overdose.
. . . 19-year-old Alicia Lannes overdosed on heroin and died."
Read Edward Brecher's historical analysis of the heroin overdose myth in his landmark 1972 book Licit & Illicit Drugs, and see if you still want to make this argument.