Beginning in the 1970's, Switzerland faced a surge in heroin abuse much like the one we are seeing now in Ohio. Then, as now, the surge devastated families and communities, and was accompanied by increased crime, homelessness, overdose deaths and increased rates of HIV infection. Year after year of harsh criminal penalties had no effect.

The Swiss were overwhelmed. Then they got smart.

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Mike Uth is a member of the Board of Directors of the ACLU of Ohio.