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Repeal the Misuse of Drugs Act

Comment 2nd July 2010

It is time for a reasonable, sensible, and effective drugs policy.

We should repeal the misuse of drugs act, we should legalise and tax certain drugs, and control the distribution of other more harmful drugs in the context of harm reduction. We should move away from the farcical system of classification which is inherently anti-scientific and discredits the entire system in the eyes of the majority of people. We should take the drug trade out of the hands of terrorists, mafia, and other criminal elements.

Furthermore, we should begin a timetable for withdrawal from the UN Convention on Drugs. Contrary to popular opinion (which newspapers are only too keen to parrot), this would not lead to sanctions against the UK – it is perfectly possible within the scope of the UN Convention on Drugs. It would be necessary to discuss alternatives to the current system openly, and to create a new momentum for change worldwide. A country such as the UK openly questioning the effectiveness of the UNDPs operations would be symbolically very powerful and a catalyst for change in itself.

Why does this matter?

The current system of drug classification and bias towards punitive justice rather than rehabilitation has led to the drugs trade being immensely powerful, legions of people addicted to drugs, and thousands rotting away in prison with little or no chance of ever really being free of drugs.

Nothing can be worse for the prospects of a young person than being caught with a small ammount of a drug and being sent to prison. The harm inflicted on a young person is completely disproportionate to the harm that the drug can inflict on that individual, or that that individual can inflict on the greater good.

With more people taking ecstacy every weekend than going to church in the UK and more than 2 million regular smokers on cannabis in the UK, with the drugs trade being so powerful that it was the only trade propping up the financial system during recent crises, and with countries being turned into virtual battlegrounds by criminal cartels (e.g. in Mexico and Afghanistan), it is more pressing than ever to take this trade out of the hands of terrorists and criminals and into the hands of publicly accountable institutions.

Think the unthinkable and ignore the 'froth at the mouth reactionaries' exemplified by Melanie Philips of the Daily Mail – do something worthwhile!!!

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