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Elite Britons Call for Drug Legalisation

Author: Skruff
Sunday, July 15, 2001
Two former Government Ministers, a senior newspaper editor and a whole host of establishment figures called for drugs legalisation this week with some suggesting all drugs should be included. "Legalising cannabis would be a sensible step, but what is more urgently required is a fundamental overhaul of the prohibitionist policies on drugs such as heroin and cocaine that successive British governments have imported from the United States," Professor John Gray, a professor of European Thought from the LSE (London School of Economics) told the Guardian. His call was echoed by Daily Telegraph editor Charles Moore who this week launched a campaign, calling for readers to fight for civil liberties.

"The argument for making drugs illegal is that they're very bad for you and cause a lot of misery," he told the Observer. "And some at least are very bad. But this type of ban never looks at what else happens when you do it, and it's come home to me more and more that a lot of urban society is being undermined by drugs, just because they're criminal. And the war on drugs is not being won. It's like one of those wars in 1984 (George Orwell's classic book) between Eurasia and Eastasia, which are deliberately permanent, the powers continuing them for propaganda." Two former Home Secretaries (the ministers responsible for law and order) Lord Jenkins and Lord Baker also called for cannabis laws to be re-examined, as did Peter Lilley, a candidate for the leadership of the Conservative party.

Despite stories suggesting that Britain's Labour government was finally preparing to debate the drugs issue, a subsequent official statement from Prime Minister Tony Blair's office suggested nothing has changed from their perspective. "There's clearly a debate going on about cannabis, and that's fine," it said. "Of course there's always room for different debates in any democracy. We are perfectly relaxed about that. But often when people say they are calling for a debate, that's shorthand for saying they want to legalise cannabis. But the Government's policy remains. There are no plans to decriminalise cannabis."

"The most odious (hateful) tyrannies are those that that seek to impose unreal values on society. Drugs policy has become such a tyranny," Professor Gray concluded. "The hard truth is that millions of people want the freedom to use drugs and no policy of prohibition is going to stop them. Isn't it time government accepted this fact and allowed them to use drugs more safely and at less risk to others-" (UK drug laws, official) (Netherlands Centre for Drug Research) (anti-cannabis campaigners 'Reality Check')