David Cameron is wrong and Owen Jones is right


Not quite a headline we thought we would ever offer. But it is true here:

In contrast to the nation’s deficit, Cameron’s rational, evidence-based approach to drugs has disappeared. The self-evidently catastrophic war on drugs – an unforgivable waste of life, wellbeing, treasure and time – is now to be intensified. A new crackdown on “legal highs” will now mean the criminalisation of, among other substances, poppers, a substance particularly popular among gay men interested in enhancing their sex lives.

The idea of making yet more drugs illegal is simply the wrong way to be going about things:

We have a clear choice. Do we leave drugs in the control of murderous drug gangs who destabilise entire nations – or do we regulate them, bring in tax revenues, and stop locking up harmless youngsters?

Quite so, we legalise.

We, being proper liberals, know that it's entirely your right to stick whatever you wish into your own body. Interesting parts of other consenting adults, cheeseburgers and whatever form of toot it is that brings on whatever level of toot! toot! feeling that you desire. We will not be able to convince conservatives and Puritans of this.

However, we should be able to convince Conservatives, the most pragmatic of the British political parties, that the War on Drugs simply does not work:

As a London School of Economics report highlighted last year, the 44-year-old so-called war on drugs has achieved nothing, except “mass incarceration” in the US, repression in Asia, “vast corruption and political destabilisation” in Afghanistan and west Africa and the spread of HIV in Russia. “The strategy has failed based on its own terms,” the report declared. “Evidence shows that drug prices have been declining while purity has been increasing.”

That it's morally wrong to have a war on the right to party may well be true and we'll keep on saying so. But that it doesn't in fact work is in itself sufficient justification to simply stop doing it. And if that means allying with Owen Jones, or indeed anyone else from any corner of the political spectrum, then so be it.

Far from banning any more drugs we need to legalise them all now.