Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Bandwaggon rolls?

Mr Huhne in his chilled out days (foreground, looking at camera), using a bench to smash his way into the Indian Institute (now the history faculty) in support of students wanting a central student union for Oxford in 1973…

I am not entirely surprised that Chris Huhne has joined the rush to prescribe heroin to long-term addicts to prevent them from committing crimes to feed their habits, as Ken Jones, the head of Britain's police chiefs has suggested. After all it was Mr Huhne who once wrote that "hash" was useful when "work, or love, or lifestyle become too intolerable", a view that apparently he does not agree with now...

Personally I would rather follow the science rather than the political hacks view; in fact although the widespread prescription of heroin in Britain was phased out in the 1960s, GPs in England and Wales have the legal power to prescribe heroin. It is just that they do so extremely rarely. Mr Jones notes the UK has 327,466 hardcore "problem drug users" who are regularly using either heroin, crack or cocaine. A report by Glasgow University last year found that fewer than 4 per cent of heroin addicts beat their habit with methadone.

Personally, I would make the following observations;
  • Mr Jones is right to draw the link between urban crime and drugs.
  • Further the low and falling street value of drugs is an effective measure of how the police are failing to control the supply on Britain's streets. Personally I despair at how laissez-faire Hampshire Police appear in prioritising possession and use of controlled (?)drugs.
  • The lack of customs controls and particularly the lack of success in stemming the tide of drugs from Afghanistan, given our current imperial excursion there is a national disgrace.
  • The Conservative proposals to dramatically increase support for drugs users at the last election with the opening of more rehabilitation centres was a good if not particularly popular policy and one that Cameron should maintain despite the current brouhaha over his past alleged use of drugs.
The issue of illicit drugs use is certainly one that all the political parties should focus on more- even a modest reduction in consumption would provide very tangible benefits to society.


Blogger Ryan Newell said...

Will Dave be first at the door?

11:45 pm  

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