Letter: Stupid drug law makes folly a crime

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The Independent Online
Sir: Over many years of professional involvement in the substance abuse field, my colleagues and I came to much the same conclusion as those described by P J Stewart (letter, 13 August).

The fact is that society has available to it a range of psychoactive drugs, all of which are potentially harmful and many of which are perceived by their users as beneficial. Experience on a massive scale, both here and especially in the US, shows that prohibition doesn't work and generates much crime and other social ills.

The solution could be to allow "tolerated" substances to be sold at low- profile outlets without promotion and with appropriate health information.

It is said that no government could move towards decriminalisation, because to do so would imply diluting the health warning. If alcohol, which can legitimately occupy a prominent place in this list, were included, it would show a wish to approach this difficult and ancient problem in an unbiased and logical way. This process will not eliminate all drug damage in society, but it could greatly minimise it.

JIM HILL

Chittlehampton, Devon

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