We are all aware that the fight against drug use and abuse over the last 50 years has failed spectacularly, no one can deny this.
We are also aware that the increasing use of drugs illegally has increased the levels of crime and violence to levels not seen in the last 100 years.
The number of public servants, social workers, police, NHS staff etc has risen to levels never required before, this is in response to the attempt to stop the illegal use of drugs.
The number of people in prisons has exploded, around 84,000 currently.
It would be irresponsible to enact legislation, as proposed by Ken Clarke, to reduce short term prison sentences until the de-criminalisation of drugs is tackled.
Many prisoners are there for petty crime offences to pay for the illegal use of drugs. They will be forced to continue to support their habit / addiction illegally if they are not jailed and so crime will continue to increase.
It is plainly a nonsense to prohibit drugs, as it would be plainly wrong to end prohibition without a proper structure to allow drug users to avail themselves of drugs legally.
Now is the time for the Coalition Government to tackle this huge drug issue and put it at the front of our agenda for dealing with many of the problems in our society.
Why is this idea important?
The huge benefit to society and drug users would be immense if we were to de-criminalise drugs
The public would, I believe, vote for the de-criminalisation of drugs once the debate has been entered into, the pros and cons discussed, and they were satisfied that the proper structures would be put in place in a society where drug users were not classed as criminals.
The futility of forcing people who have an addiction, are in many cases sick and unable to work without their drug, into the hands of criminal gangs who are only to pleased to supply drugs that are mixed with toxic substances, is totally irresponsible when we have evidence of years of failure in the prohibiting the use of drugs.
The huge cost of enforcing prohibition is not sustainable, we are using up much needed resources in the NHS, Police, Prisons and Social Services and it cannot go on.
It is time for the UK to lead the World on this issue, it will improve the health of our society, reduce our prison populations.
It is time for politicians of all persuasion to face up to this enormous problem, study it, debate it, discuss it with constituents and put it to a referendum.