Many of the people who support the continued waging of the 'War on Drugs' cite the social breakdown caused by drugs, so it's perhaps worth reading this post by Jim Brown, a probation officer, who sees first hand the problems caused by drug use, so he's bound to support the mass criminalisation of poor drug users, right?
Virtually no aspect of the current regime works, in fact much of it compounds the problem and is hugely expensive along the way.But some drugs are so dangerous that they cannot be tolerated, right?
We've all known for years that the middle-classes can manage to keep a good job and hide their drug use because they have the means to fund the habit without recourse to acquisitive crime. In the absence of a chaotic lifestyle and criminal activity, there's also evidence to support the thesis that many can maintain a recreational level of consumption, similar to that of responsible alcohol usersSo he's in favour of legalisation? Well not quite.
just to be clear, certainly in relation to heroin and similar substances, I'm not advocating decriminalisation, but rather a return to the situation pre Misuse of Drugs Act when heroin could be prescribed and hence controlled by the medical professionBut his views on addiction do seem similar to those of the notorious right-winger, Theodore Darymple. That addiction is an excuse of those with chronically chaotic lifestyles to excuse self-destructive behaviour. People blame the drug, not their own folly for the state they find themselves in. This is easier on the Ego than the reality that some people just can't cope.Darymple, writing in 2006...
Addicts want to place the responsibility for their plight elsewhere, and the orthodox view is the very raison d'être of the therapists. Finally, as a society, we are always on the lookout for a category of victims upon whom to expend our virtuous, which is to say conspicuous, compassion.The answer, in whatever way it's done is to punish acquisitive crime, with drug habits being neither mitigating nor aggravating circumstances, and leave those who just enjoy a different drug to that decided is acceptable to "society" to their habit. Any problems from over-use of drugs should dealt with by the medical, rather than the legal and law-enforcement professions. More and more law-enforcement professionals, Doctors and people with the ability to find their arse with both hands and a map are starting to put their heads above the parapet by saying mass criminalisation has failed. Let's try something else. Sooner or later sociologists and politicians will join the reality-based community.
People like to get high, stoned, pissed or otherwise anaesthetised or stimulated. Leave 'em alone until they nick someone else's stuff, or punch another in the face, then punish them for that. People, not the consciousness-altering substances they may consume have agency.