HMG’s considered thoughts on what to do about drugs is containted in this document. It’s an absolute masterpiece, quite the apotheisis of the bureacractic art. There is page after page of detailed plan, of targets to be set and met, of who is the departmental owner of this and that and those oh so vital dates by which "increase the number of DIP conditional cautions to 2,000" will be achieved (March 2009, for those interested).
Unfortunately, there is absolutely nothing at all about the only possible way to actually win the War on Drugs. Declare victory and then smartly retreat by legalising them. It simply isn’t possible to wipe out drug use and supply without demolishing every last vestige of civil liberty….on which point they do make one horrendous suggestion:
23. Widen the categories of assets liable for civil recovery and introduce recovery of assets at arrest.
Yes, not content with the current system of seizing the assets of those convicted of no criminal offence they now suggest that upon arrest, that is without even the necessity of a trial even under civil litgation rules, that your house, car, bank account, essentially your life, should be forfeit to the State. I’m sure we’re all most confident that they will be speedily returned if charges are not brought, or if a conviction isn’t achieved. Aren’t we all?
Milton Friedman said it all 18 years ago:
The drug war cannot be won by those tactics without undermining the human liberty and individual freedom that you and I cherish.
I certainly cherish human liberty and individual freedom but I don’t think that the same thing can be said of the Government.