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The need for a drugs debate - Letter to The Observer

February 9, 2014 4:33 PM
By John Marriott - Lincoln, Sleaford and North Hykeham
Originally published by East Midlands Liberal Democrats

John Marriott

Cllr John Marriott

It was the Nixon administration that 'encouraged' the Heath government to pass the Misuse of Drugs Act in 1971, not the first time that countries like ours have slavishly followed the self appointed 'World's Policeman' into a blind alley from which in this instance some, such as Portugal and Uruguay, are now belatedly trying in a small way to extricate themselves.

Let's be honest. The so called 'War on Drugs', laudable as it may have seemed at the time, just has not worked. Besides spawning a whole new criminal underworld, as did Prohibition in the US in the 1920s, it has even more seriously criminalised those whose addictive personality has rendered them its victims, whilst offering only treatment and sympathy to those whose drug of choice just happens to be nicotine and alcohol.

Of course we need a Royal Commission on Addiction in general. It won't be easy to find answers but we have got to try. We just cannot go on as we are. At last a serving senior politician has been brave enough to articulate what many of us have been saying for years. Nick Clegg deserves our support and not the opprobrium that will undoubtedly come his way from those who prefer to keep their heads resolutely in the sand.

Yours faithfully,

John Marriott

18 St Hugh's Drive,
North Hykeham,
Lincoln LN6 8RD
Tel: 01522 687965