8 Mar 2007

Illegal drugs can be harmless, report says

How do you scare a 'drug dealer'?

Thought the following study might have some relevance to a country that hangs drug traffickers. My own personal views aside the least it can do is start a debate about the taboo topic of 'drug-taking'. I once brought the topic of the legalisation of drugs as a policy in Singapore during a conversation, those present shall of course remain anonymous to protect the guilty, but those who argued most vehemently against such a proposal where those who had the greatest insider knowledge and investment in 'the business' - I am not refering to pharmacists.

Threaten to legalise drugs.

Press Association
Thursday March 8, 2007
Guardian Unlimited


An RSA report out today says drugs can be harmless and recommends introduction of drug injecting rooms. Photograph: PA.

Illegal drugs can be "harmless" and should no longer be "demonised", a wide-ranging two-year study concluded today.

The report said Britain's drug laws were "not fit for purpose" and should be torn up in favour of a system which recognised that drinking and smoking could cause more harm.

The RSA Commission on Illegal Drugs ,set up in January 2005, also called for the main focus of drugs education to be shifted from secondary to primary schools and recommended the introduction of so-called "shooting galleries" - rooms where users can inject drugs.

The report, compiled by a panel of academics, politicians, drugs workers, journalists and a senior police officer, also called for the Home Office to be stripped of its lead role in drugs policy.

It recommended the Misuse of Drugs Act be scrapped in favour of a wider-ranging Misuse of Substances Act, and the current ABC classification system be abandoned in favour of an "index of harms".
Current laws, the panel claimed, were been "driven by moral panic" with large amounts of money wasted on "futile" efforts to stop supply rather than going after the criminal networks behind the drugs on British streets.

At the heart of the report was a call for an end to what the panel called the "criminal justice bias" of current policy in favour of an approach that would treat addiction as a health and social problem rather than simply a cause of crime.

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