UK Sunday Times Calls For Legalising All Drugs
Friday, June 1, 2001The war on drugs is lost and Britain should establish legal drugs off licences (liquor stores) where customers can buy cannabis and ecstasy, The Sunday Times suggested last week in a detailed attack on prohibition. "All the police, armies, secret services, prisons and executions in the world cannot buck a market where the tax-free profit on a kilo of cocaine is 20,000%," said Philip Knightly, one of the paper's top columnists. "All the drugs education in the world cannot overcome the fact that many people find in drugs enormous pleasure and feel that the state has no moral authority to deny them that pleasure - even if there are health risks."
In a detailed analysis of why prohibition has failed, the Times suggested the structure of the world's (legitimate) offshore tax system means money laundering remains inevitable and emphasised the stupidity and hypocrisy of 'moral' arguments in favour of prohibition. "The anti-drug lobby speaks of drug-taking as "evil . . . immoral . . . a sin . . . an offence against God that can result in the loss of your soul". Yet how can a campaign be a moral one when, as the Nobel prize-winning economist Milton Friedman says, "It leads to widespread corruption, imprisons so many, has so racist an effect, destroys our inner cities, wreaks havoc on misguided and vulnerable individuals and brings death and destruction to foreign countries-"
Former Times editor Simon Jenkins also called for full drug legalisation in the UK this week, writing in the Standard that the current zero tolerance strategy is 'rotten'. "Products as widely used and adulterated as cannabis and cocaine should be tested and taxed, as already is alcohol," he claimed. "The criminal law is not so much inappropriate for these products as irrelevant."
http://www.hayfestival.co.uk/ (Philip Knightly on drugs)
http://www.sunday-times.co.uk (Britain's top 'quality' newspaper, owned by Rupert Murdoch's News Corporation)
http://www.abc.net.au/4corners (Australian club/drugs TV show: Beneath the Mirrorball, Monday 4th June 8.30pm Sydney time)