20 minutes ago
Monday, December 1, 2008
The free provision of heroin to addicts won the overwhelming support of Swiss voters yesterday.
Projections based on early results indicated that 69 per cent of voters approved the programme, believed to be the first of its kind in the world, in a poll called under the country's system of direct democracy.
Crime by heroin addicts has fallen 60 per cent since the initiative to allow health clinics to administer controlled doses of the drug began 14 years ago, according to the Swiss Federal Office of Public Health.
The support for the plan came in a referendum called by opponents of a government policy that treats hardened drug users as patients rather than criminals. Critics, including conservatives who called for the referendum, object to the annual cost of 26 million Swiss francs (£14 million), covered by the health insurance that all citizens pay and the Government covers for those who cannot afford it.
The heroin scheme was introduced in response to a public outcry over the sight of addicts openly injecting the drug in public parks, as well as a rise in HIV and hepatitis infection. About 1,300 addicts are currently on the programme of carefully supervised doses, measured to satisfy their cravings yet avoid the risks of overdose and catching infections from dirty needles.
Swiss MPs voted 106-70 against legalising cannabis for personal use last year. Switzerland has recorded the highest level of cannabis use in Europe, according to a study last July. The use of hard drugs was also increasing among 15-year-olds, according to a report by the Swiss Institute for the Prevention of Alcoholism and Drug Addiction.
Umm k, so they legalized Heroin but not Pot? Well yea I mean that makes sense..insert sarcasm here..So they go to a hospital to get their fix administered by a Nurse and then go on their merry way to work? Doing what?? I mean that seems safe,right..