Pubdate: Fri, 25 Feb 2000
Date: 02/25/2000
Source: Times, The (UK)
Author: Derek Williams

Sir, Some people have problems with drugs, and not just users. Bob
Packham, deputy director general of the National Crime Squad, seems to
me to be in a state of confusion.

He understands, correctly, that cannabis - along with the hard drugs -
is supplied by criminal gangs. He also rightly understands that
ignoring the present law on possession of cannabis will allow the
trade to grow.

But he doesn't seem to have grasped that the trade has expanded
because cannabis is illegal. Something which is demanded by such a
large section of the population will be provided. If you don't allow a
legal supply, then you'll have an illegal one.

If he is really concerned about closing down these gangs, there is
only one way to do it - put them out of business economically by
allowing a legal, regulated trade to undercut the illegal market.

Yours sincerely, Derek Williams, 21 Pembroke Road, Norwich NR2