“This is a complex issue. If there were an obvious answer it would have been found by now. One thing, though, is clear — a radical rethink is needed. Drug abuse ruins so many lives and a policy based on prohibition, although comprehensible in its own terms, is not succeeding in reducing either usage or harm. There are some examples, in Switzerland, for example, of heroin being offered in a controlled and prescribed way for addicts. There are a number of intermediate points between prohibition and legalisation, and it is time to start exploring them.”
The paper will include a follow up column on the issue tomorrow.
The Times is to be congratulated for making such a clear call. The leader shows now that the issue of the need to explore alternatives is very much in the political mainstream. The paper's economics editor, Anatole Kaletsky called for legalisation in his column, back in August 2007.
Unfortunately the online paper requires a subscription, but if you want to see the whole thing, it’s here.