Sunday, 2 August 2015

A case for legalising illegal drugs?

Small things matter. Think about the way many people economise with water and electricity – not leaving the tap on when brushing their teeth; not filling the kettle with more water than is needed for that cup of tea. OK, so it’s a very small difference in the scale of things, but it could never be called insignificant.

The same is true for the casual purchase of small quantities of illegal drugs for personal use.

So what is the problem here? Well, who will deny that the illegal drug industry has brought vast wealth to some of the most vicious criminals on this planet.  And in their wake are the broken lives of men, women and children. Usually the most vulnerable in society, either through deprivation, poverty or sheer stupidity. The illicit drugs industry has been a direct contributing factor to the driving of people, including countless children, into prostitution and worse.

So each spliff you buy along the road contributes in a small, but never insignificant, way to driving these unfortunate people to ruin and death. If you so indulge yourself then you are complicit in these crimes.

My own view? Well, I think we should at least listen to the arguments for legalising the lot. Make it available from discreet licensed outlets. Even if taxed sufficiently to fund treatment of the health problems that would result from drug usage for some, it would still surely be a lot cheaper than what a street criminal would charge. Of course such a move should be combined with a health education programme to encourage people not to use the stuff, but sadly too many people seem quite impervious to the influence of good advice – after all, they still smoke, they still eat too much and they still don’t exercise. My own belief is that those wider lifestyle issues will continue to have a far greater impact of the health of the nation than the availability of de-criminalised drugs.

The abortion act of 1967 pretty well put paid to the back street abortionist who killed so many women. I’d like to see the same done to the drug barons and their miserable acolytes on the street corners.

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