Tuesday, August 04, 2009
Financial Times enters the War on Drugs debate
London's Financial Times has run an opinion piece against the WoD, underlining the growing awareness of the issue in mainstream media.
Readers of this blog will be familiar with the arguments it presents but the piece also quotes a typical police argument for prohibition: "Class A drugs destroy the fabric of people’s lives," said Detective Superintendent Paul Carter of Cumbria Police, who is most likely an honest hardworking copper.
But add a few words to his statement and it becomes a lot more accurate and insightful.
If he had said "Class A drugs destroy the fabric of a few people’s lives under prohibition," it would reflect the fact that by far the majority of such users (including at one time George W Bush and Barack Obama) have no problems at all with Class A drugs. It would also acknowledge that prohibition is not preventing the damage that does occur, and is in fact acutely aggravating it.
The next argument in the prohibitionist bible is that reforming prohibition would create a 'tsunami of drug abuse'. They have no credible evidence for this but they still say it. I here repeat my usual response to this: If heroin was conditionally available legally, would you start shooting up? I wouldn't, and so-far everyone I have asked has given the same answer. Try asking people you meet. As the 'no' answers mount up, ask yourself where this 'tsunami of drug abuse' would actually come from.