Pubdate: Mon, 08 Jan 2001
Source: Oldham Evening Chronicle (UK)
Copyright: Oldham Evening Chronicle 2001
Contact:  P. O. Box 47, Oldham, Lancashire, England  OL1 1EQ
Fax: 0161-652 2111
Fax: 0161-652 2111
Author: 'Go Dutch'
Note: The Oldham Chronicle allows pen names if the author sends their full 
name and address


You have to wonder just what the drug tsar, Keith Hellawell, has been 
smoking when he claims that the government's anti-drug effort is working 
(Jan 4th). I would hardly call an increase, albeit small, in the number of 
schoolchildren trying cannabis to be evidence of a successful drug policy.

According to last years annual report from the European Monitoring Centre 
for Drugs and Drug Addiction, Britain has more cannabis users than any 
other country in Europe and more problem drug users per capita of any major 
European country bar Italy. Some success.

Britain also arrests more people for possessing cannabis than anywhere else 
in Europe, an ongoing witch-hunt that costs us, the taxpayers, tens of 
millions of pounds each year. Truly a waste of scarce police resources. The 
Millenium Dome was money well spent in comparison.

Still, what can we expect from a government that seeks to emulate the 
failed zero tolerance policies of the U.S. while ignoring the success of 
the cannabis policies on our own doorstep in Holland, where 25 years of 
regulated decriminalisation has resulted in lowered drug use and death 
rates that puts the punitive Blair/Hellawell policy to shame.

Go Dutch
- ---
MAP posted-by: Terry Liittschwager