Letter: Stupid drug law makes folly a crime

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The Independent Online
Sir: May I congratulate Brian Iddon, MP for Bolton South East, who has bravely called for a Royal Commission on drugs, after the shooting of a five-year-old boy in Bolton.

Mr Iddon has clearly seen the truth - that prohibition of drugs is a failure.

When a marketable substance is made illegal, it simply creates opportunities for massive illegal profits and everything which goes alongside the protection of such businesses. Greed for extra profit also means that the drugs can be cut with substances often more dangerous than the drugs themselves, causing unnecessary illness and death amongst users. This is particularly true for cannabis - the impurities are almost certainly more dangerous than the plant itself.

However, decriminalisation, although better than nothing - it would enable users of hard drugs to seek help without fear of arrest -would not solve all the problems. It would leave the supply of drugs in the hands of criminals.

The answer to the drugs problem is full legalisation. This does not mean that hard drugs would be available at the corner shop. Rather it would mean that pure hard drugs would be available through controlled outlets - such as doctors' prescriptions and chemists. Drug distribution would be controlled and the addicts recognised. The fall in cost to users would decrease crime and knock the illegal suppliers out of the market. Addicts and dealers would have no reason to create new addicts to finance their own habits.

JACK GIRLING

Chairman, Campaign to Legalise Cannabis International Association

Norwich

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