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Make public health the only priority in setting drugs classifications.

Comment 15th July 2010

 The Misuse of Drugs Act 1971 was meant to reduce the harms caused by drug use. But the way it has been implemented has failed this purpose, as drugs harms have increased consistently over its forty-year history.

 For no apparent reason, two of the most harmful drugs- alcohol and tobacco, have been exempted from classification. And in recent years, the harms caused by alcohol in particular have increased dramatically. (This drug is now estimated to be costing the UK economy £55 billion per year, as well as at least 20,000 annual avoidable deaths. )

 The first duty of any Government is to protect its people from harm. If there is any other priority in setting drugs classifications than the protection of the public, this is the worst possible betrayal of the people the Government is there to serve.

The last Home Secretary admitted that he did this without apparent shame. He put "other factors" before your health and mine. This is utterly unacceptable. Our lives are not his to play politics with.

Why does this matter?

 Nothing is more important than the health of the nation.

It is long past time that official drugs policy answered this priority above and before all others, without fear or favour.

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