Tuesday, December 08, 2009

New Drugs Report from DEMOS

A new report from DEMOS, titled CONNECTING THE DOTS includes a chapter on drug policy in the UK.

A chapter entitled 'Addicted to heroin', suggests that drug policy is complex and includes some discussion of the legalisation issue:

It includes the following:

"The most profound difference highlighted by a systems
approach is how the issue of heroin use is conceptualised, from
‘prohibitionist’ and ‘harm reduction’ to ‘addiction’ and
‘legalisation’. The prohibitionist perspective regards illegal drugs
as bad and criminalises drug use and possession; drugs policy is
seen as a matter of upholding the law’s authority. This is the
origin of ‘the war on drugs’ and is the basis of the strategy to
reduce supply and the laundering of ‘drug money’. Framing the
issue in a prohibitionist way can often mean that people and
agencies advocating alternative policies are regarded as being
‘soft on drugs’ – which remains a politically potent accusation.

This particular section cites Transform:

"The legalisation perspective argues that prohibition has
never worked and has always increased criminal activity. This
perspective presumes that there will always be people who wish
to experiment and use different drugs and that the safe way to let
them do this is to make drugs legal – but subject to regulation
and control. The claim is that such an approach would largely
remove the high level of criminal activity, seriously reducing the
health impacts. Many advocates of this approach also advocate
addressing the link between drug use and deprivation, poverty
and mental illness.52"

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