Letter: Foolish drugs war

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The Independent Culture
Letter: Foolish drugs war

Sir: Your leading article of 15 May implies that drug addiction leads to crime. If that were indeed the case we would all live in fear of being mugged by the millions of cigarette addicts who walk our streets. If heroin were available as cheaply and easily as tobacco then heroin-related crime would disappear overnight.

There is ample evidence from experiments in Switzerland that addicts maintained on legal heroin can live healthy and productive lives. With careful licensing of sales it should even be possible to keep heroin largely out of the hands of children, something which the current prohibition- based approach has conspicuously failed to achieve.

The war against drugs has not only failed spectacularly (the use of heroin is going up and its price is falling steadily) but has itself created a host of new problems. There can be no progress until we abandon this foolish war.

JONATHAN A JONES

Oxford

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