Channel 4 are running a series on why drugs should be legalised.
The next episode is on at 8pm tonight and visits America to see how zero-tolerance drugs policies don’t reduce supply, but ruin lives.
Next week sees the appraisal of Our Drugs War on our other war in Afghanistan, and how it is helping to create a new narco-state.
The first episode aired last Monday did a good job at illustrating how ubiquitous drugs are in every corner of the country. I thought I would add my anecdata to this.
I live in a medium sized village in Berkshire, hardly the ghetto, yet of the top of my head…
- 200 meters up the road from me a man’s body was found, dead of a Methadone overdose which he had been prescribed for his Heroin addiction.
- 200 meters the other way his wife continues (or did the last I heard of her) to take Heroin.
- a few meters from her, twin sons of another family conducted a spree of burglaries in the few streets around their home to fund their Heroin addiction.
- in the woods just north of the village a small Marijuana farm (well a few plants) was set up and run for a season.
- in the woods just south lay various shacks with roofs still stained with pot smoke and floors scattered with long lost pieces of hash.
- I knew, and have been to the house of, at least 3 drug dealers from my village through the years. I presume there are more which I did not visit.
- adolescents were banned from The Memorial Hall playground for a period because of the vast quantity of roaches and burnt out spliffs left on the ground.
In Our Drugs War a senior Drugs Officer quoted figures showing that roughly 1% of all drugs smuggled into the country are being intercepted.
Through my eyes, a few hundred people over a few hundred square meters have never been more than an hour from as much drugs as they could afford.
Whatever we are doing to combat drugs is not working, perhaps we need to try something else; like regulation rather than criminalisation and medical help rather than penal sanction.