Another drug abuse study waiting to be ignored

I find it amusing that the Hogan administration is proposing a "study" to combat heroin addiction in Maryland ("The new face of Md.'s fight against heroin," Feb. 26).

Presumably it will complement the other "study" recently completed by the O'Malley administration. I'm sure the two of them will make lovely bookends in an office somewhere, where they will sit, gather dust and be ignored just like every other "study" the government has commissioned in its futile "war on drugs."


Why am I so cynical? Let's just say that history has been my guide and, sadly, history repeats itself.

It was old Tricky Dick Nixon who commissioned the first government study on the subject, the 1968 Shafer Commission Report on Licit and Illicit Drugs (which we read for a class in college way back in the 1980s).

It recommended the same thing every other study has recommended — harm reduction. All drugs, including alcohol, should be legal and tightly regulated. No advertising should be allowed.

There should be thorough, honest information about all drugs made available in schools. And above all, there should be treatment for addiction on demand.

This isn't rocket science. The catch has always been that you have to actually follow the recommendations for them to do anything.

Hence nothing has been accomplished in the 47 years since the original Shafer report.

So congratulations, Governor Hogan, for commissioning another study that you are going to ignore. You can throw it on the pile when you're finished.

William Smith, Baltimore