My position on drugs should be fairly apparent to our more regular readers. A quick reminder: they should be legalized. But the Advisory Council for the Misuse of Drugs Council is seeking to shuffle the goalposts slightly by reclassifying ecstasy from a Class A drug to A Class B drug. This is predominately based on a comparison of the amount of harm that a drug has on a person, heroin and cocaine being the most harmful.
It is time that we had an adult debate on the issue, rather than engage this tireless practice of moving drugs back-and-forth within the classes of illegality.
Due to ecstasy's close relation to 'amphetamine' it was already banned in the UK before its usage really took off in the 1980s. But despite it being a banned, today more than 250,000 people take it every month in the UK alone. And almost 5 percent of 10-25 year olds have tried it. Despite this large number of users only 97 people have died whilst under the influence of the drug. [And most of these deaths though could probably have been avoided had the user been properly informed – see Drugscope for more information]
The debate needs to turn away from the ossifying reclassification and pointless arguing amongst politicians. Whether it is an A or a B Class drug is irrelevant. If it were legal, regular users would be fully aware of their actions and those that turned to it would have the information readily available so as to help them make an informed choice. Ultimately, the only way we can win the drug war is by ending it.
P.S. For an excellent insight into herion usage, see Martin Samuel in The Times.