Further to my earlier post on the issue of decriminalising drugs, the subject is also discussed in the latest forum hosted by the Speakers’ Corner Trust. The Trust summarises the respective positions of the participants thus:
“Danny Kushlik, Head of Policy and Communications at Transform Drug Policy Foundation, calls for ‘a system of strict control and regulation for the most toxic and dependence inducing drugs and a lighter tough regulation for the less powerful drugs’ and concludes that legalisation is not only the best way to defeat the drug gangs but ‘bringing illegal drugs into regulatory regimes will definitely reduce overall harm, and could in fact, reduce the availability of drugs. Pharmacists are vastly better controlled than the user/dealer with the reinforced door, pit bull and hand gun.’
But Professor Neil McKeganey, Director of the Centre for Drug Misuse Research at Glasgow University, argues that ‘drugs don’t become harmful because they are illegal; they are illegal because they are harmful’ and warns that legalising drugs would not only not significantly reduce crime but also could lead to a tenfold increase in the level of heroin addiction without reducing the acute problems associated with it: ‘in the UK some 400,000 children are being brought up in homes with addict parents. Legalisation of illegal drugs would not help those children; it would simply mean that their addicted parents now had a legal supplier to turn to.'”
You can read their exchange here.