The former head of the UK Anti-drug Co-ordination Unit (UKADCU - the Home Office department in charge of drug policy), Julian Critchley, posted to BBC Home Affairs correspondent, Mark Easton's blog last week, 'The War on Drugs' , calling for the legalisation of drugs [TDPF, UK]
"I think what was truly depressing about my time in UKADCU was that the overwhelming majority of professionals I met, including those from the police, the health service, government and voluntary sectors held the same view : the illegality of drugs causes far more problems for society and the individual than it solves. Yet publicly, all those intelligent, knowledgeable people were forced to repeat the nonsensical mantra that the Government would be 'tough on drugs', even though they all knew that the Government's policy was actually causing harm."
Julian Critchley is to be congratulated for speaking out with such candour on the issue. One can only wonder how many other former civil servants are of the same opinion, but haven't gone public.
Ex-drugs policy director calls for legalisation
Julian Critchley, the former director of the Cabinet Office's anti-drugs unit, also said that his views were shared by the "overwhelming majority" of professionals in the field, including police officers, health workers and members of the government [Guardian, UK]
Tough-on-drugs policy 'pointless'
Britain's policy of being tough on drugs is "pointless", says a former civil servant who once ran the Cabinet's anti-drugs unit [BBC, UK]
He also said the "overwhelming majority of professionals" he met, including those from the police, the health service, government and voluntary sectors, held the same view. "Yet publicly, all those intelligent, knowledgeable people were forced to repeat the nonsensical mantra that the government would be 'tough on drugs', even though they all knew that the government's policy was actually causing harm."Drugs Legalisation: The First One Hundred Years
Today, as the notion of legalising drugs is making its way into the mainstream political agenda for the first time in living memory, one of the most common objections to it is that it represents a high-risk experiment whose outcome cannot be accurately modelled or predicted [Canna Zine, UK]
History offers, too, an illustration of how a society legally permeated by today's illicit drugs used to function, and shows that high levels of overall drug prevalence can coexist with low levels of problematic use.
Finally, it offers a chance to evaluate the tools of control and regulation which might form an alternative to our present policy and which, once an outright ban has failed to prevent availability of any drug, have historically proved the most effective response. / Mike Jay Emperors of Dreams: Drugs in the Nineteenth Century (Deadalus 2001).
While the rest of the world reports on a border war disturbingly bereft of the link to drugs; see the World Media comment on this crucial peacemaking initiative.