05 January 2007

Drugs are bad!

Heather and I were visiting a friend who publishes a free paper aimed at the clubbing crowd and got in to an interesting chat about illegal drugs. I have never touched an illegal drug in my life, I have been offered but have refused everytime out of choice. That is not to say I have not been wasted a lot, I just do that with alcohol. :)

I am however realistic. People choose to do drugs, whether to party harder, to escape the futility of their existence or whatever. Just as prohibition in the US during the 30s failed to work, so is drug control not working. I am very much in favour of legalising soft drugs.

Current TV advertising warns about the increasingly stronger strains of cannabis hitting the streets and how it should be avoided. Here's an alternative suggestion: legalise it and regulate how strong it can be, just like alcohol. By doing that, dealers will no longer be the preferred means of obtaining, as it would still be an offence to supply cannabis without a licence. This also means that dealers will no longer be able to lace cannabis with heroin to get smokers addicted.

Ecstacy could be sold over the counter by pharmacies, with a limit of one per person per week or something. By making them legal, the government can regulate their contents and prevent rat poison and all manner of junk being put into them. The result is less risk to clubbers from taking a spiked pill.

When legalising these drugs, it also gives the government opportunity to tax them, money that is currently spent but not seen by the government. This money could be injected back into the Health system, and given the volume of drugs consumed it should amount to a sizable fortune. Better this than spending money on policing something that is becoming ever more difficult with the the constantly limited resources the police have.

While they're at it, they should legalise the oldest profession in the world. The five girls killed before Christmas could have been protected if they weren't having to ply their trade on the streets. A properly regulated setup would also help to stem the flow of human trafficking - proper proof would be required from the "job applicant" that they are doing it:
  1. of their own free will
  2. have a right to work in the UK
  3. are willing to undergo six monthly checkups to check for STDs, etc.
May be I am too liberal to be conservative. Personally, I just like to think I am good at seeing money-making opportunities for governments. Beats Brown's "environment taxes" that will not achieve any improvements.

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