Letter:Wake up to heroin

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The Independent Culture
Letter:Wake up to heroin

Sir: Your series of reports on heroin coincides with me coming across the stuff in England for the first time. It was in London, a kid of maybe 18 or so, silver foil and "brown" in one hand, dragon-chasing tube in the other.

He seemed to have heard it was addictive, but he wasn't like that and wasn't going to get messed up himself, was he?

This kid has had anti-drug lessons in school and has lived under the Government's war on drugs all his life, yet he knew nothing. We know from the Drug Action Teams the present strategy has had almost no impact.

It is time to accept the need for proper control and regulation. It's time for legalisation, particularly of such an established and accepted substance as cannabis.

But even heroin, if it's legal and pure, as Mike Goodman from Release said in your columns (12 May), doesn't kill and legally maintained addicts can live to a "ripe old age". The drug war is the cause of the problems, and while we follow some pseudo-moralistic crusade toward the impossible dream of a "drug-free" society, we are putting our young people at enormous risk.

My young acquaintance talked to me for some time, eventually throwing the stuff away. The drug war didn't help him one bit; a friendly chat did.

DEREK WILLIAMS

Norwich

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