Mainstream UK Media Organisations Suggest Legalising All Drugs
Saturday, June 23, 2001The Guardian and Standard newspapers and several, co-ordinated, Channel 4 television programmes called for drug decriminalisation in the UK this week, in what amounted to a hugely significant attack on prohibition. "The core point is that the death and sickness and moral collapse which are associated with class A drugs (heroin, cocaine, ecstasy, LSD) are, in truth, generally the result not of the drugs themselves but of the black market on which they are sold as a result of our strategy of prohibition," Nick Davies said (writing in the Guardian). "In comparison, the drugs themselves are safe and we could turn around the epidemic of illness and death and crime if only we legalised them."
Standard columnist and opinion former Brian Sewell agreed, suggesting "we think of drugs now as we thought of masturbation a century ago; as an evil that must be suppressed. Of masturbation, we were taught that its consequences were moral turpitude ('extreme immorality or wickedness') blindness, debility and even early death," he continued. "Drug-taking does indeed, but indirectly, damage minds, break up families, perpetuate a despairing underclass and subvert human dignity. But these are the consequences of repression, not the drug itself and repression has only superstition, ignorance and fear to support it."