Revolution

Connecticut Legalizes Needles

Among the side effects of drug prohibition is its ever-widening scope. Faced with failure of prohibition, prohibitionists seek more prohibition: if drug prohibition doesn't work, then let's prohibit needles, pipes, laughing gas, lab beakers, perfume vials, public pay phones, anything that might somehow be connected to drug use.

These "side" prohibitions have their own harmful effects. Repealing them erases these harmful effects.

For example, forty-five states prohibit carrying a needle and syringe. The main side effect of this is for drug addicts to share needles, leading to high rates of disease transmission.

Connecticut legalized the sale of syringes in 1992. After three years, needle sharing among addics was down 40 percent, and street sales of needles had dropped sharply.

Connecticut, Alaska, North Dakota, Iowa and South Carolina have legalized needles.


Source: August 30, 1995, Associated Press story "Legal purchase of needles cuts down on sharing."