BRITAIN - “The war on drugs”: that has to be in the running for the worst ever title given to a government policy, doesn’t it? Understandable, you might say; after all, it was coined by arguably one of America’s worst presidents. But when will our governments come to realise that, after nearly 45 years of consuming vast resources across the Western world, this ‘war’ is neither working nor winnable?
For example, in the UN’s latest statistics for 2014, the countries you might reasonably expect to be on the top-10 list for highest marijuana use within their populations, such as Nigeria or Jamaica, are easily beaten by those you might not, such as New Zealand, Italy and USA.
Highest on the list is that inevitable den of criminality... Iceland!
The tide is already turning of course; one only has to look at oft-quoted examples such as Portugal, which decriminalised the (personal) use of drugs in 2001 and now has one of the lowest drug-usage rates (for any drug) across the EU.
But I can’t help feeling that the problem needs a government not just to grasp the nettle, but roll it and smoke it too.
Why shouldn’t occasional drug use be as acceptable as occasional drinking?
It needs a government with courage to show the politicians of the world just how easily they could achieve that political zenith – a policy not only supported by the majority, but also dealing with a key social problem and raising considerable tax revenue simultaneously.
Maybe “the war on drugs” is an apt title after all? Like most wars, the costs are far too high, the achievements far too few and the continued motivations are only really understood by those in power...
The Wells Journal Hot Potato Opinion section - /Oct. 16, 2014
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