Wednesday, 11 March 2009
The UN Convention on Narcotic Drugs meets in Vienna to determine its next 10 year 'strategy'. I have used the opportunity to make one of my ritual attacks on the utter failure of the "war" on drugs - a "war" which has enriched criminals and led to the promotion of drugs use. I have called (again) for legalisation of most illegal drugs to destroy the profit incentive that drives forward their sale. They should be available through government regulated outlets while health warnings about their use are stepped up.
I assume I will get coverage in the north west regional press, and no doubt some Liberal Democrats will be upset with me for being "off message." But I feel strongly about this issue. Politicians should be leading the call for change, not leaving it to newspaper columnists.
Gradually the protests against existing policy are growing - 30 members of the House of Lords have raised their voices - but the majority of elected politicians stay mum. It is so easy for opponents to score points against those brave enough to declare that the emperor wears no clothes.
Former deputy drugs tsar, Mike Trace, writes in the Guardian that evidence of the failure of policy is overwhelming but that nothing will change. "We can all book our seats for 2019 to go through this charade again," he says.