Drug abuse is the curse of mankind.
We will not defeat drug abuse until we can change human nature. As it is impossible to change human nature it is impossible to defeat drug abuse. The ‘War on Drugs’ cannot be won.
We must have a different approach if we want to create a cleaner, safer society for future generations. If we do nothing or continue with the present policy the problem will just get worse, for every time a substance is banned a new one is invented.
I believe the way forward is to Decriminalise, Control and Educate.
To promote my view, I have written and published a novel in which a central figure makes the case to end the Prohibition of Drugs. I can argue my case no better than to reproduce that section.
I look forward to your comments and debate but no knee-jerk reactions please.
Extract from: Fraud by Roy Adams on Amazon
Date: Summer 1976
Event: Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO) conference
Location: GMEX, Manchester, England
Presenter: Professor Gilmore
Honorary Professor of Criminology Manchester University
Ex. Ass Chief Constable of Manchester Police
Ex Colonial Police Hong Kong
Drug Misuse and Organised Crime
Throughout my many years as a policeman I fought the terrible cancer in our society, ‘Drugs’; in the military, in the police in Hong Kong and here in this country. I know first-hand the horror of drugs when a good friend was ruined by the poppy. I could not kill this cancer for every time I removed a piece from society another took its place.
It is still growing in strength; drugs are ruining this and the next generation; and the one after that can be born already addicted from their mother’s womb.
We will never eradicate the cancer for mankind is weak but why is it growing despite the billions spent around the World fighting it? It’s because ‘Drugs’ are in the hands of the organised criminal.
We must take control away from the criminal, not to defeat the cancer but to control it and we will never do this by locking up its victims.
Drug-misuse is the scourge of society. It ruins peoples’ lives, destroy families and costs society £billions in prevention and treatment. Society’s answer is to ban drugs by making them illegal and locking up those involved. However, one should learn from history that this does not work.
A criminal is a businessman and is quite happy to stand outside schools giving free samples until the children become hooked then the price goes up. The children start by stealing from their parents, emptying the bank accounts and credit cards, progressing onto burglary, car theft and a life of crime. At the other end of the supply chain are the Afghan Warlords and Colombian drug cartels enforcing their rule with Kalashnikovs; murdering thousands. Countries like the USA spend $billions trying to stop the trade without success for as one group is put behind bars another takes its place. The profit is too large for it to stop.
Let us try to put the whole thing into perspective by listing some of the costs in the supply chain.
Starving Afghan farmers grow the opium poppy and Colombian’s cocaine as it’s the best way of feeding their families or the cartels or warlords give them no choice. Then the army comes along destroying the crop and the farmer starves leaving the cartels intact or if destroyed replaced by another.
The raw material is converted and shipped into the user countries by every ingenious means possible. The DEA, Customs Officers or anti-drug agents track the shipments or stand on the borders like the 7th cavalry protecting Custer. However, just like the 7th they get some of the Indians but many get through until they are overwhelmed.
Now the local gangs get involved cutting the ‘pure’ with powdered sugar, talcum powder or chalk, if the users are lucky or rat poison or powdered glass if they are not, until it is diluted to a usable level for a fix.
We must not forget the human cost of those being burgled with higher house insurance or mugged for a few pounds only to find themselves in hospital. The NHS spends £millions more treating the addicts’ victims and the users made brain dead by overdosing on badly refined or cut drugs.
There are many costs, many of which cannot be quantified, but we do know that it costs the UK economy in one way or another £billions, however the worst is the human misery.
Drug-misuse has no redeeming qualities it is a cancer in society; spreading around the world. It does not respect class, creed or wealth. It destroys families, it destroys lives, it touches everyone in the world in higher taxes to combat the cancer and pay the NHS to treat the victims or higher insurance premiums.
I would like to illustrate the extent of the problem like this’, he said, turning to the screen.
A map of the World appeared
Let’s enlarge the map and go in closer to Manchester. Now to a night club where an 18-year-old is dancing, enjoying her hen party.
A street in Manchester now appeared
Let’s call her Jane Smith. What she doesn’t know is this is not her last day of being single; it is the last day of her life. She is encouraged to snort cocaine for the first time in her life as a last rebellious act before a life time of commitment. But it has been badly cut and she overdoses. This black cross on the map represents her death.
The map enlarged to Manchester with black crosses appearing all over the city.
These are the other lives wasted in a single year in Manchester as a direct result of illegal drug misuse. It is like a plague across the city, each one represents a family devastated; a family in mourning for the loss of a loved one. Let us zoom in again to just outside a school gate this time in Cardiff.
Another street showing an outline of a school
A 14-year-old has been selling drugs to his class mates. The local pusher confronts the 14-year-old who pulls out a knife and stabs the pusher to death. These are all victims, the pusher who is dead, the 14-year-old who will probably spend much of his life institutionalised and the children, many of whom will become lifelong addicts.
The map zoomed out again to show the whole of Cardiff as crosses for this sort of death were added
Now we add the deaths from gang wars; the drug barons enforcing their will; the fights with the police resisting arrest and the police knifed or shot trying to stop this dreadful trade; these are victims of the cancer. But it is not just Manchester or Cardiff’, continued the Professor, ‘let us see the UK and all the major cities.
The Map of UK now showed the cities showing as dark shapes
We’ll now add those crimes that are the next level. The ones committed to feed the cancer. The burglaries and car thefts but just the crimes reported to the police not the thousands of thefts from the family that are never reported. It is estimated that an addict needs between £15,000 and £20,000 a year to feed their habit and there are about 300,000 heroin addicts in the UK. If they only get one third of the value for the goods they obtain by theft, burglary or shoplifting it will total at about £2 – 2.5 billion or half of the recorded crime in the UK.
The cities were now go completely black with grey spreading into the countryside
However, this is not a solely UK problem.
The map zoomed out again to the World view; black spreading across the map from East to West from North to South; from Afghanistan and Columbia to the USA and Europe
This is a modern-day cancer that is killing our children. It is orchestrated, developed and promoted by organised criminal gangs worldwide. It spreads from the Poppy fields of Afghanistan and the Cocaine fields of Columbia to your door.
Human nature means that ‘mankind’ is insecure and weak; ‘mankind’ will always need something to lean on or make him feel better. This could be drugs, sex, alcohol, nicotine, gambling or religion. Criminals form themselves into gangs, as a gang can dominate an individual or area taking advantage of our human needs or fears. Anything that is illegal but wanted by the people is an opportunity for the criminal.
We will not defeat drug abuse until we can change human nature. As it is impossible to change human nature it is also impossible to defeat drug abuse.
The ‘War on Drugs’ is lost before it has started’.
This would seem the end of the lecture but we need to address these problems not ignore them and if we cannot eradicate them we must at least reduce their effect on society and control them.
I propose that we take away the food that is feeding this cancer (profit) by legalising hard drugs. To legalise alone would send the wrong message; the key is ‘Control and Educate’.
We can use a criminal’s own greed to redirect them into activities that have a less devastating effect on society. Criminals are first and foremost businessmen and are looking for the greatest profit for the least effort. They may enforce their contract terms a little more directly than say the bank, but if things become difficult their human nature is to look for something that is easier for the same profit. There will always be the psychopaths and the criminally insane and there is nothing to do with them but keep them away from society.
We must learn from American history. In the 30’s they made alcohol illegal and the likes of Capone took over as they could make large profits. As soon as it was legalised the criminals lost interest as the profits vanished and the authorities regained control.
That is what we must do, ‘Decriminalise, Control and Educate’.
To control the drug problem the pharmaceutical companies to contract with the Afghan and Columbian farmers to grow opium or cocaine for legal use. Import the raw materials and refine under pharmaceutical control. Distribute at their true price through dedicated shops. Move the convicted addicts from prison to self-financing treatment centres and rehabilitate the users back into society rather than be a blight on it. This will also reduce the pressure on the Prison Service, who would no longer need to build new prisons.
A high-profile advertising campaign to be mounted and an educational programme to be maintained in all schools encouraging peer pressure against drug misuse.
To summarise; widespread drug misuse is ruining our society. Many would argue that decriminalising it would send the wrong message. This would be the case if that were all that we did. We would be educating this and the next generation against misuse and the consequences if they do.
The NHS would cost less, as would the Police, the Prison Service and insurance; the national crime rate would drop like a stone as the police concentrated their resources on other crimes and society would improve.
Spend the billions saved from prevention, on education about the misuse of drugs and rehabilitating users as having an illness and not locking them up. You will never stop everyone using but stopping most, especially children becoming the next generation of users is the aim.
Spend the rest of the money saved on the causes of the need for a prop to survive life’s hardships like good housing, jobs, education and over-population.
Finally, we will never stop the whole of mankind from using drugs but we must create a cleaner, safer society for future generations.
We must decriminalise drugs and remove them from the hands of the criminal by removing profit and save thousands every year from being murdered.
The Professor then thanked the audience for their forbearance for listening to his controversial paper.
At this point the Chairman went to the centre of the stage thanking Professor Gilmore for his thought provoking paper asking for any questions from the floor.
‘The Chair recognises the Assistant Chief Constable of Devon’, said the chairman.
‘Professor’, she said, ‘This is a political solution you are proposing. Should you not address it to parliament?’
‘Yes, it is’, replied the Professor, ‘but politics involves all of us not the just politicians. They will not act unless they are convinced by the police, NHS and all other parties involved that it could work. My proposal is controversial but it can work. The alternative is to carry on as we are with spiralling costs and bigger prisons to lock away our mistakes’.
As the first questioner sat down the chairman said, ‘The Chair recognises the Chief Constable of Greater Manchester’.
‘I’m afraid your proposal for the drugs problem is a non-starter Professor’, he said. ‘You would never get all the countries to agree, there are too many people involved either living in fear or bribed to look the other way’.
‘You are absolutely correct’, replied the Professor. ‘That is why the UK should lead the way. If we can eliminate the market here the criminals will move their efforts to other countries. The domino effect would then take over as each country followed our lead until the world-wide problem was controlled. Involving other countries as we do now and attacking the producers and the supply chain does not work. The War on Drugs is lost. We must find an alternative; take away the market and the whole trade would dry up. It would not happen overnight but take many years but we must succeed for the sake of our children.’
The questions kept coming for a further 20 minutes until the Chairman intervened thanking the Professor once more and declared the morning session over.
If you agree with my argument and want to help me promote the concept submit a review to the novel ‘Fraud by Roy Adams’ on Amazon. The more reviews Amazon has the more it will promote the novel so we can influence public opinion and maybe make a difference.
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An alternative to the War on Drugs that cannot be won
Drug abuse is the curse of mankind. We will not defeat drug abuse until we can change human nature. As it is impossible to change human nature it...