Thursday, 11 October 2007

UK Police Chief advocates legalisation of drugs

Richard Brunstrom, the Chief Constable of North Wales has announced that he will be ‘campaigning hard’ for drugs such as heroin to be legalised.

This has attracted reflex criticism from certain politicians.

Nu-Lab’s Mark Tami, MP for Alyn and Deeside attacked the idea, in an unconscious self parody, as "blinkered and dangerous". Fair enough, if that’s what he genuinely thinks and it is not politician noise.

But he went on: "As 280,000 Class A drug users are responsible for half of all crime, taking the risk of legalising such a dangerous drug is foolhardy and I would not wish to gamble so much on the health and wellbeing of our children."

Parse that sentence again - That is three statements that do not follow on one from another.

Clearly, like much of the government, the man is not strong on joined up thinking, or following through a train of thought to a logical conclusion.
Why exactly is it that drug users are responsible for so much crime?

The policeman Richard Brunstrom knows. It is because illegal drugs are expensive and addicts regularly commit crime to acquire enough money to regularly support their habit. Committing crime like that is an effort for a heroin addict, one they would probably prefer to avoid if they had the choice.

They also often end up with product of unknown strength and quality often dangerously adulterated, to the extent where they get the dose wrong and die.

When addicts use a substance that interferes less with their ability to function and earn, like cocaine and when they earn enough they do not go out to commit crime to support their habit, they just buy it with honestly acquired cash.

Many addicts are driven to commit crime because they can not afford to support their habit any other way.

If addicts such as heroin users could support their habit cheaply and legally they would at least not need to commit crime to support their habit and would be less at risk from misjudging the dose. They might even be more willing to seek help giving up as it could finally be dealt with openly.

Now looking at the matter of crime in a wider context. We all know how prohibition, during the early part of the last century in the US, fostered and promoted the growth of organised crime. The same factors are at work in the case of drugs, except it is not just organised crime that profits from the illegal trade in drugs, terrorists get funding from it also.

Get regulated legal control over the market and you cut off funding to organised crime and terrorism. It should also remove the root cause for much day to day crime, a huge economic drain of society and a source of inconvenience and misery to many of it’s victims.

Nu-Lab and Gordon Broon Breeks take note, you also have a new source of Tax revenue - and a chance to actually meet one of your precious ill thought out targets for once.