Political Promise

Apparently Cocaine Should Be Legal

In Garreth Matthews on August 18, 2010 at 12:01 pm

By Garreth Matthews

In the space of one month two senior British figures have advocated the legalisation of recreational drugs for personal use, or at least a ‘regulatory framework around illicit drugs rather than a blanket prohibition’. Professor Sir Ian Gilmore and Nicholas Green QC have separately claimed that this would relieve pressure on the criminal justice system, the police force, and save millions. They claim that many drug related deaths are not from the drug intake itself, but rather, dirty syringes, and the substance being cut with many other chemicals. While this argument may certainly be flawed it raises some interesting points.

Firstly at a time when the coalition government is trying desperately to regain control of the public purse, any change in legislation which could decrease prison numbers, savings millions could be perceived as necessary. I would argue not for the complete legalisation of recreational drugs; rather that sentencing for using these drugs be abolished. Currently the maximum sentence for using class A drugs is seven years, class B five years, and class C two years. Citizens who are caught using such drugs would benefit much more from community programs that teach them the dangers of drug abuse. Why put these ‘offenders’ into jails with career criminals who will influence them and probably re-enter society more dependent than when they left. Furthermore the kind of people who use cocaine are not ‘druggies’ as the media and politicians would have u believe; they are the ‘yuppies’ of Oxbridge; professionals such as, lawyers, bankers, and probably politicians for that matter.

Secondly, purity and safety could be increased under a relaxation of current laws. If cocaine was produced and distributed through more official channels, it would guarantee a safer and purer cut of the substance, therefore reducing the risk of severe adverse affects. Many scientists argue that many cocaine deaths are not caused directly by the cocaine itself but the combination of chemicals it has been mixed with. A move towards legalisation could alleviate this problem.

Of course there are many issues surrounding the long term mental, physical, and social problems ‘caused’ by drugs. But it is worth noting that drugs don’t kill, it’s the way in which people take them that does. After all speed doesn’t kill, it’s the driver’s inability to keep control. After all drink doesn’t kill, it’s the amount and persistence of consumption that does. Current drug laws are outdated, and costing the taxpayer millions. If the coalition were ‘true reformers’ they would do something about it.

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  1. Very interesting post. I hold quite strong beliefs on this subject ,I believe that drugs can be decriminilised in a safe way which lowers drug use general and also lowers crime. Portugal being the prime example where according time magazine in the 5 years since decriminilisation illegal drug use in teens has declined, new HIV infections from needles have declined and the number of people seeking treatment for drug addication has doubled.

  2. I agree, the law’s on drugs are out dated and are in need of desperate change, like many things in Britain right now. The government can never think for a second that we will ever have a drug free society if things keep going as they are, suppressing drugs will only make people take them through illegal sources, unregulated sources, which fuel criminals and enhances there pockets, while leaving the user in possible life threatening circumstances as the drug gets cut with different, potentially dangerous chemicals..

    If it were regulated by the government, the drug’s would be allot safer (NOT SAFE, but allot safer) the method would be cleaner, the criminal drug industry would be in tatters, which would mean less money in there pockets and lets not forget the “illegal so its cool” factor which attracts some people into drugs in the first place would also be gone…

    • It’s a shame the governments of this country seem to be so reactionary, when it comes to drugs. For example of criminalization of meow moew due to the death of less than ten teenagers served to make it one of the most popular drugs in the country even though months late autopsys showed the drug was not at fault.

      • We as a nation need to stop jumping the gun and being so trigger happy when it comes to drugs…. Albert Einstein’s Physics saying comes to mind and its very relevant in this situation. If the government took more time and care, stood back and looked at the consequences of being so draconian it will see that in this case its doing allot more harm than good…

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