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Backdated from previous BA website

The Times has published a brilliant polemicist article by Simon Jenkins today. Please see; http://www.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,482-973942,00.html

A brilliant article!


The Government must take control of the drug market for the simple fact that it is ‘out of control’ with billions of pounds being wasted on ineffective measures to control it. We are told that international protocols prohibit the necessary changes in the law for the UK to tackle this problem effectively. These must be changed.

I have sent Simon Jenkins an invitation on behalf of the community groups, to address the West End Drugs Partnership and give his point of view.

The key phrases that I wish to echo are;

“Controlling youth consumption of drugs is no different from controlling adult consumption of nicotine (which should be Class B) or alcohol (which should be Class A). Both are governed by knowledge, market price and availability. Since all may be harmful all should come under state regulation. Drugs do not at present. The collapse of regulation resulting from the failure of the 1971 Act has led to a boom.

Nothing demonstrates this more glaringly than that Britain’s most intensive group of drug users are inside Her Majesty’s prisons, care of Mr Blunkett. It is incredible that he and his forebear, Mr Howard, dare to lecture parents on family drugs discipline when they could not restrain their charges despite having them under lock and key 24 hours a day. The hypocrisy is stupendous.

The same must be done with drugs, all drugs. They must be removed from criminal distribution and their sale controlled and taxed like nicotine and alcohol. Such a proposal is not ideal, merely vital.

Serious addicts must be brought under supervision, as with heroin before 1971. “

I would add; The fact is that treatment services are not reducing the problem. The only effective treatment in my opinion is prescribing Methadone which may at least reduce the numbers of problematic addicts injecting with all the associated problems. The policy of targeting a very small number of street based addicts with ASBO’s merely pushes them from one community to another. There are endless problems in trying to address all the problems asociated with the drug culture as we are all aware and the only way these can be addressed in with a change in the law.

best wishes
Jim Murray
Chair
Bloomsbury Association
Member WEDP

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