The real drug problem

A career spent in criminal law is a great education on the impact of current drug policy. So many clients lose children, to shootings or stabbings or overdoses or to prison.  So many clients grew up with one or more parents missing. Not to mention the specific horrible impacts of the drug trade on women.

So when I retired from partnership I got involved with Transform Drugs Policy Foundation, a charity with global reach and a impressive track record in stimulating new initiatives locally, nationally and internationally.

Transform’s message is to  acknowledge that we have lost the ‘war on drugs’. Prohibiting their use has supercharged a vast illicit market, creating narco-states, and even civil war. The collateral damage around the world is simply intolerable. See the report  prepared by Transform for more detail on just how bad the situation is.

Tuesday 26 June is the UN’s International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking. There will be a lobby of Parliament in the afternoon, called by a coalition of drug policy organisations.

What we are asking for is simple. We want a rational and humane system of drug regulation that controls dosage, purity, age of purchase, conditions of consumption and marketing.   That focuses on health and education instead of punishment. That takes the profit element out of play, and drugs out of the hands of criminal cartels.

Humane regulation can be done. It is not difficult. Canada is legalising and regulating cannabis. So are a variety of US states, as well as Portugal. Uruguay has decriminalised the possession of all drugs.

The climate here is beginning to shift. The case for changing the law is gaining momentum, even in the UK.  If everyone who agrees could write now to their MP it will have maximum impact.

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