Pubdate: 09 Sep, 1999
Source: Daily Telegraph (UK)
Copyright: of Telegraph Group Limited 1999
Author: Lord Mancroft, Vice Chairman, Parliamentary All Party Misuse of
Drugs Group



James Delingpole (article, Sept. 4) made the case for legalising drugs that
I have been advocating for some time. Successive governments have spent
more and more money waging their "war on drugs", during which time drug use
has increased unchecked, and with it the crime that is the inevitable
consequence of prohibition.

At the same time, health care for drug addicts, which is demonstrably
successful, is starved of resources, because so much is spent on police,
probation and legal costs.

The cornerstone of the Government's strategy, apart from its reliance on
the criminal justice system, is to prevent young people experimenting with
drugs by educating them about the consequences. Evidence suggests this will
be about as effective as sex education has been in reducing the number of
children giving birth to children.

The solution is to end the prohibition that turns addicts (and other users)
into criminals, and destroy the multi-billion black market that results
from it. Unfortunately, this will not happen while we have political
leaders who prefer to tell voters what they think they want to hear, rather
than demonstrate the courage needed to admit that they have failed.

Lord Mancroft Vice Chairman, Parliamentary All Party Misuse of Drugs Group
London SW1 

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