With about one-third of adults still smoking tobacco, young people taking up the habit in droves and over a million people estimated to be either alcoholic or in danger of succumbing to alcoholism, we should be asking some basic questions about our society's attitude to drugs.
If everything is left to politicians, party-political point scoring often prevails, prejudice dominates and hard facts are ignored in favour of pandering to "public opinion". Politicians believe there are no votes in adopting any position on the drugs issue other than "Just Say No".
A Royal Commission on Drug Use would take the matter out of the party- political sphere, examine the issues objectively and make recommendations based on facts and common sense. Will the control freaks at the heart of this government allow it?
Paul Clein, Liberal Democrat councillor and pharmacist