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Swiss Voters Approve Heroin Maintenance Again


Summer 1999

On June 13, 54% of voters in Switzerland endorsed state distribution of heroin to addicts. The vote supported the medically supervised distribution of heroin to about 1,500 addicts. Despite a recent vote supporting the heroin maintenance program and a government report hailing the program as a success, the initiative to end the program was put on the ballot by anti-drug groups, such as Swiss Doctors Against Drugs (Associated Press, "Swiss Voters Turn Down Paid Maternity Leave," Toronto Star, June 14, 1999; Bruce Lawson, "Switzerland's Heroin Program Faces the Voters," Globe and Mail (Canada), June 9, 1999).