Blair 'Must Scrap Failed Drug Tactics' 

Blair 'Must Scrap Failed Drug Tactics' 
Posted by FoM on March 23, 2002 at 18:17:04 PT
By Gaby Hinsliff, Chief Political Correspondent
Source: Observer UK
Tony Blair's war on drugs has been a 'resounding failure' and should be scrapped, according to a new report which concluded that recreational drug use does most people no long term harm. Anti-drugs education in schools should be abandoned and Police Commander Brian Paddick's experiment with decriminalising cannabis in Lambeth extended, says a controversial paper by the Foreign Policy Centre thinktank. 
It also backs the creation of licensed 'shooting galleries', where users can legally inject under supervision, and providing kits to test the purity of drugs like ecstasy in nightclubs and all-night petrol stations. The report - published this week and written by policy expert Rowena Young, partner of Geoff Mulgan, head of Downing Street's delivery unit - will spark major debate. It comes as the Home Office is rewriting the targets set three years ago under its anti-drugs strategy, a review expected to lead to more focus on harm reduction and treatment programmes. The Foreign Policy Centre report argues that the 'vast majority' of young people who have experimented with drugs - such as weekend clubbers who occasionally take ecstasy, or City traders using cocaine to keep alert - 'are able to use drugs, even the so-called hard drugs, without long-term damage'. The Government should focus instead on problem users who cannot cope, through treatment programmes tackling underlying causes of addiction such as poverty or family trauma. 'Both here and in the US the war on drugs has been a resounding failure. Rarely in the history of wars have so many achieved so little at such a high cost,' it concludes. Government policy is hampered by 'an unhealthy cocktail of acute public anxiety, simple nostrums, tabloid bile, vested interests and political opportunism', it adds, calling on Ministers to launch a more honest debate. The Government strategy is also expected to be heavily criticised in a report from the Commons Home Affairs select committee next month. Despite the tough approach piloted in Labour's first term, heroin deaths in Britain doubled and cocaine deaths quadrupled between 1995 and 2000, the Foreign Policy Centre report notes, while the number of 'problem' users doubles every four years. Yet the report argues too much attention is wasted on recreational users who still function normally at work and socially, and whose habits are 'generally manageable and fit within a lifestyle of clubbing and friendship networks, which usually prevent over-indulgence'. Such people often give up by themselves if the habit gets out of hand, according to Young, a development director at the drug treatment agency Kaleidoscope. 'People who use coke in the City for example, even quite a lot of coke, often manage to stop themselves because when they start to see the cost they will bring it into check - perhaps because their partners are getting fed up with it or they are starting to realise it is affecting their relationship with their kids,' she said. Young said the hounding of Paddick showed 'how we have seen a number of individuals go by the wayside when they do try to act on the evidence' over recreational drug use. Education programmes should concentrate on harm re-education, such as using clean needles to inject, the report adds, warning that 'Just Say No'-style classes in schools 'take up a large slice of the drugs budget but with little or no evidence that it is effective, and strong anecdotal evidence that patients treat it with contempt'. Rehabilitation treatment, championed by many pro-legalisation campaigners, risks becoming an 'expensive revolving door' with high relapse rates unless social problems driving addiction are tackled alongside chemical dependency. Risk factors likely to make a user slide into danger include past family bereavement, loneliness, lack of hope for the future, poverty and feeling divorced from the mainstream. The report says decriminalisation is not an easy answer and will call for tougher drugs laws in some areas, including stiffer penalties for adults supplying children, using drugs in front of children or involving them in dealing. Note: Think-tank says recreational use does no long-term harm. Newshawk: puff_tuffSource: Observer, The (UK)Author: Gaby Hinsliff, Chief Political CorrespondentPublished: Sunday, March 24, 2002Copyright: 2002 The ObserverContact: letters Articles:Community Backs Cannabis Pilot Scheme Laws Revolution Set for UK Articles - UK
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Comment #1 posted by p4me on March 23, 2002 at 22:39:30 PT
it is going to blow up
Some college kid is going to get arrested and stay in jail and have a hunger strike. If the college kids ever really get to protesting like the 60's there could be some big arrest where dozens have a hunger strike. It has got to blow up somehow. It could be the next time our misguided Drug Bizarre or DEAth Hutchinson speak in public. How can they ever appear in public when they know that as long as they try to push the Schedule One Lie, they are going to publicly called a liar. That is not going to go away, change, evaporate, or hibernate. The whole thing is going to blow up.Since it Saturday I will go on about a guy a worked with once named Lewis. Now, sometimes a person will tell you something that it is a great truth to them, and you remember 
that one thing they say forever. Lewis was about 50 and an underweight alcoholic that liked cocaine and MJ. Lewis told me when I was about 32 he said "The older you get, the more precious life becomes." A pretty good nine words.I have a saying that I have heard that has become my profound belief. It is just an understanding that is reinforced many times when you see evidence of it all the time. So if I could transfer a profound feeling instead of saying 11 words that sound like something of an epitaph, I would transfer that feeling and understanding because it is the big problem behind everything. My eleven words are:The hardest thing to say in life is " I am wrong.OK men, how many times have you said "I love you" and how many times have you said, "I am wrong." It is time for the government to admit that the marijuana policy is wrong. Wrong. Bad wrong. Insanely wrong. Unconstitutionally wrong. Completely wrong. Miserably wrong. And with Tom and Rollie, dead wrong.Buschy Wushy, you better not try to call yourself a compassionate conservative in public anymore. It is just not true and the lie about respecting states rights with MMJ 
is already unexusable. You would also be wrong. That is right. It is absolutely wrong to call Busch a compassionate person. VAAI
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