DECRIMINALISATION OF HARD DRUGS

Today`s observations are not meant as a root and branch investigation into a statistical analysis of all the arguments that are available for both sides of this topic. This subject affects us all. Parents in all income brackets have an underlying fear for the ability of their teenage chilkdren to resist the perceived attractions of what many of their peers are doing. At the very least they hope that if tempted to partake of some weed they will do so where they won`t come into contact with authority. Whilst alcohol kills many more than illegal drug taking the mere public imbibing of liquor is illegal only for those who are less than eighteen years old. With alcohol the problem arises from its excessive use. One spliff however can lead to a criminal record. Many experts agree on one thing; illegal drugs, their importation, manufacture and use are responsible for more than half the criminality in this country; some say as much as 90%. Recent disclosures of containing drug use in prison by methadone dependancy prescribing has in my opinion pushed us further along the slope of deferred decision making to a position where a stand must be made. Do we wish to enforce abstinence among prisoners who wish to end their dependance on narcotics? It is also accepted that in those with a genetic pre-disposition skunk can induce schizophrenia.It wasn`t always like this.

The numbers using narcotics 100 years ago were necessarily limited owing to cost and the morality of the period. In no way do those social conditions equate with the situation today. I am perfectly confident that specialist counsellors in tandem with licensed premises and suitable conditions placed upon supply could be utilised for long term reduction in use and users.

Cash or a proportion of such that was previously going to criminals would be channeled into a totally new system. One fact is for sure; the present position cannot be sustained………either we decriminalise the use and supply or we forcibly put three time losers class A into forced cold turkey for as long as it takes.

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