Pubdate: Tue, 14 Oct 2014
Source: Daily Mail (UK)
Copyright: 2014 Associated Newspapers Ltd
Author: Richard Branson


FURTHER to the new cannabis study by Professor Wayne hall of King's 
College London (Mail), none of us calling for an end to the so-called 
War On Drugs is suggesting that cannabis (or any other drug) should 
be made available to adolescents.

I'm equally concerned about the potential harm caused by drugs, 
including alcohol and tobacco. But the appropriate responses are 
evidence-based public health interventions and sensible regulation.

Drug policies have neither curbed demand for illicit drugs nor 
reduced supply. They certainly haven't done anything to eliminate the 
risks Prof hall has identified. There are no greater obstacles to 
reducing harm than prohibition and the continued criminalisation of drug users.

Alcohol prohibition in the Twenties created a vast illegal market 
that fuelled organised crime and did absolutely nothing to limit 
alcohol consumption or addiction.

No drug is made safer left in the hands of criminals and unregulated 
dealers. A legally regulated system would allow governments to put in 
place strict age controls, licensing regulations, purity guides and 
safer use warnings.

It's 43 years since Parliament passed the Misuse of Drugs Act - more 
than four decades of untold suffering, lives needlessly ruined and 
public funds wasted. It's time we tried a new approach and gave 
decriminalisation and regulation a chance.

Sir RICHARD BRANSON, member, Global Commission on Drug

Policy, London W2.
- ---
MAP posted-by: Jay Bergstrom