Finally The Observer gets something right

Sadly it’s in the letters page but still, an advance on matters as usual:

Stop killings: legalise drugs

Deaths from drug turf wars will continue until we legalise drugs (“How London tourist hotspot became a flashpoint for drug gang killings”, News). Drugs should be treated like cigarettes. They should be legal, they should be taxed, packaging should show graphic health warnings, the strength (and, of course, purity) should be controlled, making them safer, and there should be no advertising. Banning drugs does not stop consumption; it merely hands over a massive business to criminals, making it impossible to tax and impossible to regulate.

Richard Mountford

We would add two things. The first being that there’s that liberty and freedom argument. The one we consider rather important. Freedom is that consenting adults get to be consenting adults. Yea up to and including the ingestion of things that may not, or even aren’t, good for them.

The second that advertising should not be banned at all. Perhaps a certain lack of “Get High, inject scag!” posters around the place but branding - a form of advertising - is not just desirable but necessary. For it’s exactly that which holds the manufacturer to those promises of purity and strength.

As the toll of overdose and disease deaths shows, it’s the lack of regularity in those two which kill. Thus our solution should be focused upon ensuring them both.