As the United States stumbles through its relationship with the War on Drugs–legalization here, crackdowns there–our neighbors to the north are instituting a progressive, coast-to-coast initiative.

Next week Canada will be the first North American nation to legally prescribe heroin to addicts.

These kinds of heroin maintenance programs allow addicts who haven’t responded well to methadone treatement to lead relatively normal lives without law enforcement consequences.

The group Law Enforcement Against Prohibition (LEAP) says:

Research indicates that when heroin addicts have access to a heroin prescription and/or medically supervised injection facilities they are more able to reduce or end use and maintain employment, and less likely to be homeless or commit crimes associated with their addiction.

Sounds reasonable.

But Canadian federal health minister Rona Ambrose banned heroin prescriptions last year. A group of doctors challenged the ruling, and the Supreme Court of British Columbia sided with them.

Only about 120 people are initially authorized to get government-approved heroin, but that number could expand.

About The Author


Raul Duke has been working as a journalist in Southern California for two decades. The medical marijuana juggernaut is one of his many beats. He's a longtime Westside resident who needs to renew his doctor's recommendation soon. If you have news tips, reach out:

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