Pubdate: Wed, 18 Oct 2000
Source: Scotsman (UK)
Copyright: The Scotsman Publications Ltd 2000
Author: Philip Slattery


The problem with the present policy on drugs is that it does not work. Each
time a drug lord is caught another steps into the vacuum. Every time drugs
are found and confiscated, it puts up the price; this makes them more
attractive to smugglers and the trade resumes with barely a break.

At street level, dealers do not care to what age children they sell and
they do not care how adulterated the drugs are.

By following the American "war on drugs" policy, we will end up in the same
position as them. They are progressively reducing a once free country into
a virtual police state.

We need to step off the "war on drugs" ideological bandwagon before Britain
also becomes a police state. And cannabis could be the key here.

A large percentage of the population has discovered that cannabis is
relatively harmless. It is impossible to go back to the old regime of
frightening them with tales of degradation and misery should they take a
single puff from a joint.

No-one is trying to claim that cannabis is totally harmless. Anything used
to excess can cause harm. However, at present the law causes more harm than
the substance, this is wrong, and goes against the basic British concept of

No matter how the current debate turns out, it will be very hard from this
date on for a cannabis user to accept the punishment of the courts knowing
that one third of those in Parliament could be standing in the dock with

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