Pubdate: Sat, 24 Mar 2001
Source: Evening News (UK)
Copyright: Eastern Counties Newspapers Group Ltd,2001
Author: Derek Williams


ANOTHER sad death from drugs of a young person has happened in
Norwich. But this time there was no outcry against what is without
doubt the most dangerous drugs on sale.

Instead we are told that we should encourage responsible use and
sympathies are expressed for the genuinely upset dealers.

The reason is, of course, the drug in question this time is alcohol
and not some illegal substance.

As for the dealers, they're responsible, licensed and accountable

How different to our approach to the other substances used for

Siren voices warn that "cannabis use leads on to dangerous drugs",
"just one pill can kill", "drugs screw you up" - and politicians call
for harsher penalties while sipping champagne at party

Then we're given discount vouchers for cheap drinks and the council
builds a complex for the alcohol-fuelled entertainment industry.

Is it any surprise that so many young people have utter contempt for
the message the Government is trying to give out about drugs when we
show such blatant double standards?

We are right to treat alcohol the way we do, with licensed dealers,
tight controls over strengths and all the other harm reduction
measures we use.

If we treated it in the same way we treat the illegal drugs, deaths
and injury would be common indeed.

So if it's right for alcohol, why isn't it right for

Isn't it time we came clean about drugs and started telling our young
people the truth, and developed laws to reflect that truth?

Derek Williams,
Pembroke Road,
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