Letter: The choice we dare not face over drugs

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The Independent Online
Sir: James Humphreys admitted his offence and accepted his punishment. In the article "The cost to society is so great it makes me dizzy" (7 August), he merely casts a wry look at the punishment's ineffectiveness and expense. He makes no claims that, as an educated young man, who was brought up properly, he should be treated any differently from those who are not.

He does claim that society should look at the drugs situation with an open mind and recognise the truth. One million youngsters are still taking ecstasy each week and many more are enjoying marijuana. So the present system is not working.

More that one in four young adults are taking non-addictive drugs for fun. That means your son, your daughter, your nephew, your niece, is either doing it, or has friends who are. Just ask them. Are we now saying that more than one-quarter of this generation are criminals?

It is time we started learning to work with human nature. We should face up to our common frailties. Look at what we did, when we were young, for fun. Look at what we are still doing for fun.

It's no good proscribing all the things we don't like and then hiding behind the net curtains in the belief that they have gone away. The fact that James Humphreys has torn the curtain a little may disturb us, but he reveals, not hides, the ugly truth that we are persecuting, instead of helping, our own children.


Taunton, Somerset

The writer is the father of James Humphreys