Letter: War on drugs
Monday 14 September 1998
As ever, our government sycophantically follows and applauds the United States, where most of the enthusiasm for waging this "war" comes from. I wonder what they consider to be the "enemy" exactly? Is it those who take drugs? Is it the substances themselves? Or is it simply that governments generally don't like the idea of their citizens getting high, no matter how responsibly?
Perhaps we would do better to declare a cease-fire in this nonsensical war, which is in any event being lost, and instead see how we can begin to minimise by more peaceful means the undisputed misery that often arises in connection with prohibition and substance abuse. This will require vision and courage on the part of our leaders: vision to see a better path forward and courage to risk the disapproval of the Americans and conservative Middle-Englanders who protest loudly at the thought of any policy shift. A Royal Commission would be a good first step and is urgently needed.
With the enormous amounts of money involved in the drugs trade, there are some powerful vested interests keen to maintain the status quo. What drug baron wants to see his profits disappear with legalisation? And what government agency director wants to see his job and influence vanish?
Ronald and Nancy Reagan famously exhorted us to "Just say No." Perhaps it is time to reflect on the words of another American, Timothy Leary, who replied: "Just say Know."
Robin Thicke admits he didn't write 'Blurred Lines'music
Review: Cilla, ITV TV
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Scottish referendum: So how about the English now being given a chance to split from England?
- 2 Friends 20th anniversary: Alison Jackson photographs reunited cast
- 3 Friends 20th anniversary: The highs and lows of the cast's careers since 2004
- 4 The response to my Pizza Express review has been overwhelming, and taught me a lot about journalism
- 5 Free U2 album: How the most generous giveaway in music history turned into a PR disaster
Game of Thrones star Maisie Williams cast in Channel 4 drama about cyber bullying
Jennifer Lopez and Iggy Azalea's 'Booty' music video is just a load of butts
Friends 20th anniversary: Alison Jackson photographs reunited cast
The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written
Friends 20th anniversary: The highs and lows of the cast's careers since 2004
Daniele Watts: Django Unchained actress detained by Los Angeles police after being mistaken for a prostitute
Scottish independence referendum: A nation divided against itself
Scottish referendum results: Cross-party consensus collapses amid Tory-Labour spat on the 'English question'
Scottish independence: David Cameron is becoming the 'George Bush of Britain'
Russia freezes Ukraine into submission: Kiev admits country doesn't have enough fuel for winter
Scottish independence: The Queen breaks silence on referendum debate – as think tank warns of £14bn black hole if Scotland votes Yes