Brit. Officials Declare War on Drugs a Failure
In Britain, MPs and members of the House of Lords, have formed a new "All-Party Parliamentary Group " on Drug Policy Reform, and requesting new policies for drug issues. They say the policies should be guided by scientific evidence. They argue:
Despite governments worldwide drawing up tough laws against dealers and users over the past 50 years, illegal drugs have become more accessible. Vast amounts of money have been wasted on unsuccessful crackdowns, while criminals have made fortunes importing drugs into this country. The increasing use of the most harmful drugs such as heroin has also led to “enormous health problems”, according to the group.
The current policies have failed. But other countries, such as Portugal, have had success. The difference: [More...]
In the UK the time has come for a review of our 1971 Misuse of Drugs Act. I call on our Government to heed the advice of the UN Office on Drugs and Crime that drug addiction should be recognised as a health problem and not punished.
We have the example of other countries to follow. The best is Portugal which has decriminalised drug use for 10 years. Portugal still has one of the lowest drug addiction rates in Europe, the trend of Young people's drug addiction is falling in Portugal against an upward trend in the surrounding countries, and the Portuguese prison population has fallen over time.”
They are joined by former heads of MI5 and the Crown Prosecution Service. One possible outcome:
It could lead to calls for the British government to decriminalise drugs, or at least for the police and Crown Prosecution Service not to jail people for possession of small amounts of banned substances.
They also point out:
The peers and MPs say that despite governments “pouring vast resources” into the attempt to control drug markets, availability and use has increased, with up to 250 million people worldwide using narcotics such as cannabis, cocaine and heroin in 2008.
It's a health problem, folks. Prison is an expensive response, and it's contraindicated.
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