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Sunday Times Dubs Drugs War "Absurd'

Author: Jonty Skrufff
Wednesday, June 22, 2005

Sunday Times star columnist Simon Jenkins accused British authorities of sponsoring crime this week via drugs prohibition, declaring "it is absurd any longer to pretend that cannabis, cocaine and heroin are products susceptible to elimination by criminal law.'

"One day a British government will have the courage to do to drugs what its forbears did to drink, gambling and commercial sex. They were accepted as a fact of life, and, despite fierce lobbying, brought within the pale of the law," he predicted. "As with betting shops or American bars after prohibition, flourishing markets must be decriminalised," he urged.

The former Times' editor's comments emerged a week after Margaret Thatcher's favourite economist (and Nobel Prize winner) Milton Friedman published a report backed by 500 other economists which estimated that legalisation of marijuana would save up to $14billion in the US alone from tax revenues.

"We know that prohibition hasn't kept marijuana away from kids, since year after year 85% of high school seniors tell government survey-takers that marijuana is 'easy to get.'," said Rob Kampia, executive director of the Marijuana Policy Project in Washington, D.C., commenting on the report.

"Conservatives, especially, are beginning to ask whether we're getting our money's worth or simply throwing away billions of tax dollars that might be used to protect America from real threats like those unsecured Soviet-era nukes," he added.