THE BENEFITS OF MAKING DRUGS LEGAL
Despite Annabel Goldie's mistaken belief that there is a cure for opiate addiction ( How we can win this war on drugs, November 14 ), there is no treatment that cures addiction. Subjecting drug users to harsher penalties and stricter treatment has failed again and again. These failures are blamed on the addicts.
Goldie's assertion that "drug abuse threatens the very fabric of our society" is propaganda of the worst kind because drug-users become addicts at about the same rate that drinkers become alcoholics. If this minority could cause the destruction of civilisation, the world would have gone back into the Dark Ages long ago.
A more dangerous threat to society is fanatic drug crusaders who see "abstinence" as a holy grail even though history shows that addicts were productive citizens before Goldie's war on drugs began. In her effort to promote a drug war, Goldie ignores the fact that no-one was robbing, whoring and murdering over drugs when addicts could buy all of the heroin, cocaine, morphine, opium and anything else they wanted cheaply and legally at the pharmacy.
When drugs were legal addicts held regular employment, raised decent families and were indistinguishable from their teetotalling neighbours. Overdoses were virtually unheard of when addicts used cheap, pure Bayer Heroin instead of the expensive toxic potions prohibition puts on the streets. Where drug crime was unheard-of, there are prisons overflowing with drug users. Where addicts lived normal lives, there are thousands of shattered families. Where overdoses were extremely rare, there are thousands of drug deaths every year.
Annabel Goldie is peddling a lethal drug policy because illegal drugs are sold in a criminal market where purity and dosage are unknown. Making drugs legal and regulating them would end the "drug deaths" and crime associated with drug prohibition.
Redford Givens, webmaster
Schaffer Library of Drug Policy
San Francisco, USA.
Herald, The (UK)
Copyright: 2005 The Herald