Tuesday, 21 August 2007

The Drugs (Policy) Don't Work

David Rowntree, Blur's drummer so it says, has an interesting article about drugs in the Guardian. The Graun has recently been a bit of a mouthpiece for Government propaganda when it come to drugs, laying the ground, one imagines, for when Gordon Brown attempts to re-re-classify cannabis and what not. This article, though seems to be firmly honest:
Though the headline figure is that 35% of the population have tried drugs, fewer than 10% have done so in the last year, and only about 0.6% become dependant. Most users seem to suffer no long-term ill effects, and since they are predominately young men, the risks involved might be part of the attraction. There is no evidence that legislative change makes any difference, but it does carry considerable political risk. More liberal laws open up the government to accusations of being soft on crime; more draconian laws risk accusations of pandering to the right, ignoring evidence and wasting time and money. Unless attitudes change, the best government may be able to do is present an honest message that drug taking is dangerous and not recommended. But if people decide to do it anyway, it should outline the risks and be clear about what to do if things go wrong.

Essentially, this boils down to "Drugs maybe fun, but they are bad for you so be aware of the risks", which feels like good advice to me and probably covers any number of endevours.

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