Legalise It

In the news once again high-ranking police officers are calling for drugs to be legalised and once again nothing will change. We have a huge drug problem in this country and the problem is that drugs are illegal.

That’s right, it’s the bloody ridiculous drug laws that created, and now feed the whole drug problem. At one end of the scale they criminalise and endanger otherwise decent law abiding people who are causing no harm to anybody, and at the other end, they place the incredibly lucrative drug trade in to the hands of real criminals. Terrorists…murderers…advertising executives – the type of people who are not constrained by normal moral boundaries.

Who do the government think they are to tell you what drugs you can and cant take in the privacy of your own squat? Didn’t they learn anything from prohibition? Making drugs illegal is like passing a law saying children can only buy sweets from paedophiles. It’s about time somebody stood up and admitted the war on drugs has been well and truly lost. The troops never even got on the beach. Come on everyone, wake up! Can’t you see the police are not making any progress? They can.

I have personally spoken to very high-ranking police officers that freely admit (in private) that they are wasting their time. The problem is getting worse not better. Zero tolerance and stiffer penalties are not the answer, look at Malaysia, they hang their drug dealers, has that cut drug crime? No. It’s just made dealers more ruthless and addicts more desperate.

Ironically it’s actually the drug laws that make the rewards from dealing so great. The only way forward, and I speak as someone who has lost a huge part of their life to drug addiction, is to decriminalise everything. The whole lot. Let people go to the chemist and buy whatever they want. I know that’s not a popular approach to the whole drug problem and it’s certainly not a vote winner (that’s the real problem) but lets look at the benefits:

The price of drugs would drop drastically. Wiping out the drug cartels income over night.

Large numbers of police officers would be freed up to get on with fighting actual crimes.

There would be a huge drop in petty crime, burglaries, car break-ins, credit card fraud etc. All the traditional crimes the addict has to commit to feed an expensive habit.
The prison population would drop drastically. About 80% of inmates are there because of drug related crime

All this would save the government a colossal amount of money. Add to that the enormous income gained from the new drug tax the government would no doubt create and there would be a massive amount to invest in drug education and rehabilitation, further decreasing drug related crime and therefore the cost of fighting it. It’s a win-win situation.
I know people say there would be a huge increase in drug use but I really don’t think there would. If you could go to the chemist and buy heroin would you? OK, maybe you would, but let’s face it most “normal” people wouldn’t.

The people that want drugs buy them anyway; they are easy enough to get hold of. If they were legal and therefore less cool and exciting, maybe fewer young people would be attracted to them. I mean, where’s the street cred in waiting for the chemist to open? Yes, I know children will die but children are dying already and have been for years. Although nowhere near as many as you might think. All the illegal drugs put together only kill about 2000 people a year.

Paracetamol kills nearly ten times as many people as Ecstasy does. Alcohol kills about 6500 a year. Smoking kills 8,000,000 worldwide each year. *

No wonder drug users are not that worried about the health implications.

We have tried the present system of making everything illegal for the last god knows how many years and it’s been counter productive. Its defiantly time for a change. When I ended up in rehab after only 10 years on heroin they told me that addiction was insanity. Defining insanity as continually making the same mistake and expecting different results. If that’s true then our government needs to see a shrink.

Yes, yes, I know that’s enough. I am beginning to sound like a sanctimonious dope-head uncle ranting at a family gathering. So I’ll stop but you know I’m right.

*I made that one up but I am still right.