In his radical analysis, which he will present to the North Wales Police Authority today, Mr Brunstrom points out that illegal drugs are now cheaper and more plentiful than ever before.Evidence based policy? There's a thought.
The number of users has soared while drug-related crime is rising with narcotics now supporting a worldwide business empire second only in value to oil. "If policy on drugs is in future to be pragmatic not moralistic, driven by ethics not dogma, then the current prohibitionist stance will have to be swept away as both unworkable and immoral, to be replaced with an evidence-based unified system (specifically including tobacco and alcohol) aimed at minimisation of harms to society," he will say. [...]
He argues that prohibition has created a crisis in the criminal justice system, destabilised producer countries and undermined human rights worldwide. By pursuing a policy of legalisation and regulation, he concludes, the Government will "dramatically reduce drug-related criminality and will enable significant funds to be transferred from law enforcement to harm reduction and treatment procedures that are known to work."
Based on Gordon Brown's conference speech, we can assume the government's position is to pump more resources into the current system. The Tory position voiced by David Davis is little more sophisticated, easily summarised as "catch more drug dealers using more police" (buh) though there is at least emphasis on expanding rehabilitation centres.
That said, both parties adopt the standard simplistic picture of drug use: either you're a dangerous criminal, or someone who needs medical help.
Except if you smoke or drink, and then you're not.
Unless you're middle class and drink too much wine, and then you are again. I hope that's clear.