Swiss approve legal heroin program


Daylife/AP Photo by Anja Niedringhaus

A pioneering Swiss program to give addicts government-authorized heroin was overwhelmingly approved Sunday by voters who simultaneously rejected the decriminalization of marijuana.

Sixty-eight percent of voters approved making the heroin program permanent. It has been credited with reducing crime and improving the health and daily lives of addicts since it began 14 years ago.

Only 36.8 percent of voters favored the marijuana intitiative…

Parliament approved the heroin measure in a revision of Switzerland’s narcotics law this past March, but conservatives challenged the decision and forced a national referendum under Switzerland’s system of direct democracy.

Neither vote surprised me. Still, an advance over measures that keep an economy alive for gangsters.

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