End the useless war on drugs

Drugs prohibition has failed. Stop locking people up for possessing drugs

An Education Cambridge Drugs Lib Dem politics University of Cambridge

Drugs policy in the UK has been absurd for years.

When the Misuse of Drugs Act was passed back in 1971, people argued that by making drugs illegal, in just a few years hardly anyone would ever have any.

That was always pretty unlikely, but we now know that it is utter rubbish. Making drugs illegal doesn’t stop people having them. It failed with Prohibition in the US with alcohol, and it’s failed with cannabis, cocaine, heroin, and everything else.

Millions of people in the UK use illegal drugs each year. The Tab’s survey shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone. Most students said they had used illegal drugs – and it didn’t wreck their lives.


Recognise this?

But as a country, we still make it a criminal offence, threatening people with hefty sentences. A spliff can get you 5 years in prison, or an unlimited fine. Getting some weed to share with your mates can get you 14 years. In theory, at least. Everyone knows that nothing will actually happen to you.

Are these drugs harmful? Absolutely they are, especially if you try to do something daft like driving on LSD. Swerving to avoid the herd of elephants that aren’t there is never going to end well. But the drug that harms other people the most is alcohol. At the end of a night out, would you rather be confronted with three strangers who were stoned and desperate for a kebab, or pissed and looking for a fight?


The future – a regulated legal cannabis market

It’s time to stop this silly approach to drugs. Make cannabis legal. Let people grow it, let people use it for medication. Tax it, and use the money more productively.

Stop nicking heroin addicts, and start helping them to cope with their addiction. Make sure that people who want to take E get something that is what they think it is, not some random other crud that could kill them.


Ever wondered how cocaine is purified?

This used to be a trendy, hippy, ultra-liberal position – but now we have Chief Constables agreeing that we need to change, along with people like the former head of MI5. You don’t get that job by being a drugged-up hippy.

There’s two groups of people who really don’t want this to happen. Out-dated politicians who are scared that by saying this everyone will suddenly go out and get stoned. The other lot is the international drugs cartels and gangs, who know a good business opportunity when they see one, and know a legal trade is bad for them. They know they are ripping apart countries like Colombia and Mexico, and funding terrorism, but they don’t care. We should.

In the only legal coca plantation in the world, deep in the Columbian jungle.

45 years of utter failure in drugs policy should end.

Let’s reduce the harm drugs cause – by ending the criminalisation of those who take them.