The independent London newspaper

The ‘war’ on drugs is futile

07 January, 2021

Vicky Unwin with Louise, the daughter she lost to drugs

• VICKY Unwin is absolutely right, (Mother of art student who died after taking ketamine warns: ‘War on drugs’ has been lost, December 31).

It’s been obvious for years that the so-called “war on drugs” has been an ill-conceived disaster.

All it has achieved is to further the interests of organised crime, lead to the proliferation of dangerously adulterated substances, and overburden the police and prison services.

The sensible, indeed crashingly obvious, move would be to treat drugs – all drugs – just like alcohol: to be regulated, controlled, supervised and taxed.

For evidence, consider those countries where a saner approach to drugs has been successfully instituted: Portugal, Czechia, Switzerland, Uruguay, the Netherlands.

It is chiefly the craven fear of shrieks of outrage from the stupider sections of the right-wing press that have deterred most senior British politicians from advocating such a self-evident policy.

It’s particularly ironic that the War on Drugs was launched by the USA (50 years ago under Richard Nixon). You would think that America, of all countries, might have known better given their equally calamitous experiment with Prohibition in the 1920s…

Jeffreys Street, NW1


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