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repeal the drugs laws

Comment 15th March 2013

That taking drugs is deeply foolish needs no debate but those who wish to do it will do it and there is little that can be done to stop them – the widespread availability of drugs in our prisons clearly shows both this and the total failure of the law. 

On waking, an addict’s sole, immediate, and compelling concern is how to obtain their next ‘fix’.  They are oblivious to reason, family, conscience, and because the law forbids legitimate purchase, they have only the black market. 

The current drug laws are completely ineffective, and have caused most of the problems they are supposed to address.  They should be replaced with a controlled rationing system:  addicts should register with GPs and be provided with free drugs from pharmacies, the trade being monitored by a ‘smart card’ system.

1. Addicts will no longer need to resort to crime to sustain their habit.  The reduction in crime will be considerable.
2. Addicts will receive clean drugs and needles, reducing the costs to the NHS due to the use of badly ‘cut’ drugs and shared or dirty needles.
3. Their supply guaranteed, addicts will have more chance to take charge of their lives and set about seeking employment and rehabilitation.
4. With good quality products given away free, the financial base of the illegal drugs trade will be destroyed almost immediately.*
5. The whole problem will become visible and measurable.  Its adverse consequences can thus be properly addressed, and education and rehabilitation schemes more accurately focused.
 6. With a legal system for drug use in place, the penalties for non-registered use of drugs can be severe

*The drugs trade presents dangers other than personal tragedy, crime, and the costs (your taxes) of avoidable health care and pointless policing.  Its vast wealth and sophistication bring serious corruption.  Senior police officers, politicians and public servants can be directly corrupted, but there is also more subtle corruption in the draconian legal thinking and the self-sustaining nature of the institutions that have been set in place to deal with it and which are extremely reluctant to see the status quo disturbed.
The drugs trade is also a major source of funding for so-called ‘terrorism’.  To undermine one is to undermine the other.

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Why does this matter?

the present drug laws are causing the very problems they are supposed to be addressing

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