Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Now this will change the world for the better.

Will it take a Tory to legalise drugs?
Unlike some politicians, David Cameron knows something about the global drugs industry
Published: 13 September 2005

Last week, I sat staring at the newspapers with a vacant spaced-out expression and a strange surging high. I found I couldn't form words properly. I couldn't even speak - and it's all the fault of drugs. No, I haven't dug out my dusty teenage bong. It's something far more mind-bending: a senior British politician has spoken sense about ending the "war on drugs". And - gulp! - he's a candidate for leadership of the Tory party.

Unlike most politicians, David Cameron knows something about the global drugs industry. When he served on the Home Affairs Select Committee in 2002, he conducted a year-long investigation into it, taking more than 50 hours of evidence and long testimonies from the world's experts. He went in very sceptical of the idea of legalisation: aren't only crazy pro-heroin hippies in favour of ending prohibition? But as the evidence piled up, the committee was honest enough to admit that - in Cameron's words - "about the only thing all our witnesses agreed on was that the Government's strategy was a failure and prohibition of drugs over many decades had not worked". They explained the truth: criminalisation does not kill the drugs industry. It simply hands it over to armed criminal gangs who flood the country with guns, terrorise their neighbourhoods, and drain resources that would be better spent helping and treating addicts.



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