How can tackling drugs be a waste of money? Federica Baggio comments on softening drug laws.
We have come to a point where there is no shame in using or asking for drugs in public.
Yet institutions such as the UK Drug Policy Commission are arguing with the Government that the penalty for ‘small drug use’ should be softened as the UK is “wasting” too much of its £3bn yearly budget on tackling illicit drugs.
Pardon me? When and why did doing drugs become ‘acceptable’? When did it stop being an indefensible crime and become a
tolerated ‘social flaw’?
I remember how shocked I was the first time I spotted two people sniffing cocaine while standing in a line at the bar in a Kingston nightclub. And I remember being even more shocked when the girl next to me laughed at my horrified expression and said: “So what?”
Thinking back now, I laugh at my own naivety. But then I realise, regrettably, that I have miserably fallen into the trap. I have gradually become accustomed to these kinds of scenes now.
I no longer stare in horror when someone stops me in a London club asking if, by any chance, I have any ketamine. And it is exactly because of my and everyone’s relaxed attitude about drugs, that things have become so bad.
If we turn our backs to this situation pretending we can’t see, then I don’t know how any effort made by the Government to heal this social illness can be successful.
What are we waiting for?
Is it not enough of an incentive having to console our own friends when they come to us crying over their own ‘narcotic’ mistakes (I bet I’m not the only one who has experienced this)?
Tolerance has turned into indifference and we are the ones who will pay for displaying such a regrettable lack of spine when we should have stood up for a healthier society.
Surely softening drug legislation and supporting the idea that a ‘small amount’ of drug use is ‘fine’, is not a step towards a resolution.
Whatever the class, what’s the difference?
Why reduce the maximum penalty marijuana users can get, when it could be argued that regular users tend to move on to other heavier drugs? Not only that, but marijuana users can also develop the same long-term side effects as those who take Class A drugs.
A, B, C, Z, whatever the class, what’s the real difference when uncontrolled abuse has the same outcome? Drugs are just not meant to be. Our body is not designed to bear them. It’s as simple as that.
The question we should be asking ourselves is: do we really want to tackle drugs, or is it just too convenient to let it be?