I, like most people, want to minimise the harm caused by drugs to individuals, communities, society and the world.
I am not suggesting legalisation as commercial corporations have shown they are irresponsible making money at the expense of public health. Rather I suggest drugs be decriminalised to allow the people who choose to use it to be able to get it at a fair price with tax to cover the potential problems built into it. Drugs should not be marketed or advertised but adults should be free to make informed choices.
Is it paranoid to suggest that a vulnerable stigmatised group provides a convenient enemy for people in power?
It is up to us, the people to see through this process where the media misreport and antagonise and politicians feel they have to be seen to respond with ill thought out kneejerk responses. Those in any real power consider it political suicide to allow an evidence-based debate and therefore be seen as being soft on drugs. Our current PM was a member of the committee which said "We recommend that the Government initiates a discussion within the Commission on Narcotic Drugs of alternative ways—including the possibility of legalisation and regulation—to tackle the global drugs dilemma".
All I ask is to carry this through rather than focussing only on retaining power.
Why is this idea important?
I believe the current laws actually do the opposite of what should reasonably be intended and maximise harm through:
Giving control to criminals (Would they want decriminalisation? Of course not)
Increasing the price meaning problematic users commit a lot of offences
Increasing the likelihood of unclean, impure drugs being available on the street
When we get beyond the polarised debate it seems clear that most people want the same results. Where attempts are made to defend the status quo they imply that the costs are worthwhile to hold back the tide of inevitable problems; I ask what if there is no tide and all the deaths, incarceration and damage to developing countries is all a waste of time or just weak politicians grandstanding to look tough?