Letter: Take the profit out of drugs

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Sir: I entirely agree with Jack Girling's suggestion (19 August) that there should be a blanket legislation of hallucinatory drugs.

As an insurance loss adjuster, I have seen burglary claims multiply over the past six or seven years in what seems to be direct correlation with reported increases in drug abuse. The public is suffering as a result of spin-off crimes such as these. The message is simple. Supply hard drugs at cost price to whoever wants them and take all the profit out of the industry. This not only cuts out the gang warfare associated with this seedy business but also eradicates the need for users to make pounds 100 or more per day out of petty crime in order to feed their habits.

Having said this, the idea of dispensing these drugs through GPs and chemists is misguided. There is already a system of drug prescription for existing addicts through these outlets. What the system does not cater for is the person taking drugs for the first time. No doctor worth his or her salt is ever going to give a "rubber stamp" prescription to a non- addict who just wants to have a go. Mr Girling fails to recognise that this will create a new, albeit smaller, market for the embryonic user, who will not be able to obtain repeat doses in the same way a hardened addict could and does. The drug barons would still be in business, but this time more viciously in pursuit of a shrinking "client" base.

Consequently, whilst the "corner shop" supplier is not the answer, a relaxed system, such as that used by the needle exchange, would be ideal. It's got to be all or nothing. Part legalisation will create its own, perhaps worse, problems.


Chartered Insurance Practitioner

Stockport, Cheshire