Although the evidence is increasingly stacked against current policy, legislators and governments are blinded by conventional morality about drugs. The Home Office set out its stall recently in response to Professor Sir Ian Gilmore’s comments about the need to consider decriminalizing class-A drugs:
Drugs such as heroin, cocaine and cannabis are extremely harmful and can cause misery to communities across the country. The government does not believe that decriminalisation is the right approach. Our priorities are clear; we want to reduce drug use, crack down on drug-related crime and disorder and help addicts come off drugs for good.
And that’s it. Nothing more was said. One painfully self-evident sentence and two vapid chunks of politico blurb is the full extent of the response from this great office of state. Beliefs and priorities are insufficient: the Home Office needs to respond directly to the comments made by one of the most eminent physicians in the country, otherwise Ms May risks becoming yet another New Labour Home Secretary – acting contrary to, or seemingly in ignorance of, evidence and advice.
The simple belief that drugs are bad and should be banned is harmful and misguided. [Continue reading]