Thursday, July 15, 2010

Poison pills show harms of drug war

Today's Daily Telegraph runs a piece about pills and cocaine in Sydney being cut with poisons in the face of a worldwide MDMA shortage.

Police, as per usual of late, rail against the drugs on the grounds that people don't know what's in them.

But it is their own War on Drugs that created the MDMA shortage and keeps the whole drug dealing business in the hands of criminals who put whatever they like into their unregulated product, so the police argument is circular and ludicrous.

Because people still want to experience the pleasures of drugs, all prohibition achieves is a balloon effect. If they put the squeeze on the popular, safer drugs, people just move to more dangerous alternatives. Thus the War on Drugs creates more harm.

This is also evident recently with crackdowns on mephedrone (cat or miaow), which has led to Chinese factories churning out variations that tend to be more harmful. Early stories of deaths and mutilations caused by mephedrone have been proved completely false, just more Drug War propaganda spread by immoral media. The British have responded to the new chemicals by automatically banning all new recreational drugs. This completely removes any evidence base from the process and shows up the War as a purely ideological obsession and oppression.

There is some hope, though. The Lib-Dems in coalition power in the UK has launched an internet appeal for people to identify areas of over-regulation, and the War on Drugs features strongly.

Australia, however, remains in a McCarthy-like dark age of ignorance and harm.

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