The War On Drugs

April 2, 2012 7:07pm CST
I have long believed in the legalisation of soft drugs and the controlled management of hard drugs by government agencies, so it came as a pleasant surpise to hear the morning news here. Australia 21 is a think tank which involves a large number of highly qualified and experienced people, and today they announced a call for a major inquiry into the failure of the war against drugs, both here and everywhere in the world. The panel included the current Australian Foreign Minister, the retired chief of the Australian Federal Police, a former NSW Director of Public Prosecutions, and numerous judges, doctors and so forth. They say: The prohibition of illicit drugs is killing and criminalising our children and we are all letting it happen.... The report argues that we need to reopen the debate on prohibition in Australia because prohibition places the production, distribution and control of illicit drugs into the hands of criminals and exposes young people, police and politicians to their corruptive influence. The harms resulting from prohibition substantially outweigh the gains from efforts by police to suppress criminal activity, a fact now accepted by many politicians, police, researchers and leaders of civil society across the world. I lost my eldest child to heroin, and one of the major factors in his problem was the lifestyle he was forced to live to be able to afford his ever-increasing need for the drug, which he paid for by stealing. The last time I saw him, some 14 years ago, he had just come out of prison for the second time. Had the drug been available under controlled circumstances it would not have cured his drug habit, but it would almost certainly have kept him out of goal and made his life liveable. Part of the report suggests that when a former conservative Prime Minister was looking at doing something along these lines he came under ferocious pressure from the US government and its drug agencies not to do so: it seems that vested economic interest in keeping the drug trade alive is not restricted to the criminals. I welcome comments from MyLot members: are you for or against the relaxation of the laws, and why do you take your particular stance. Lash
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