By Times staff writer
© St. Petersburg Times, published July 31, 2001
BERN, Switzerland -- One argument for legalizing drugs is that it would eliminate the black market and sharply reduce prices. Drug users wouldn't be as likely to turn to crime to pay for their habits.
Switzerland's heroin prescription program gives some support to the theory. The prescription center in Bern last year distributed about 55 pounds of pure heroin obtained on the legal market. Total cost: $128,000.
The same amount on the black market? An estimated $3.7-million.