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Like We\’ve Been Saying

The damage that drugs do is vastly magnified by their being illegal. Decriminalisation at least, if not full legalisation, would reduce the damage to both drug takers and society at large.

A former senior civil servant who was responsible for coordinating the government\’s anti-drugs policy now believes that legalisation would be less harmful than the current strategy. Julian Critchley, the former director of the Cabinet Office\’s anti-drugs unit, also said that his views were shared by the "overwhelming majority" of professionals in the field, including police officers, health workers and members of the government.

He also claimed that New Labour\’s policy on drugs was based on what was thought would play well with the Daily Mail readership, regardless of evidence of what worked.


However, during my time in the unit, as I saw more and more evidence of \’what works\’, to quote New Labour\’s mantra of the time, it became apparent to me that … enforcement and supply-side interventions were largely pointless. They have no significant, lasting impact on the availability, affordability or use of drugs."

He said that his views were widely held in the government but rarely expressed in public. "I think what was truly depressing about my time in UKADCU was that the overwhelming majority of professionals I met, including those from the police, the health service, the government and voluntary sectors held the same view: the illegality of drugs causes far more problems for society and the individual than it solves. Yet publicly, all those intelligent, knowledgeable people were forced to repeat the nonsensical mantra that the government would be \’tough on drugs\’, even though they all knew the government\’s policy was actually causing harm."

Critchley believed that the benefits to society of the fall in crime as a result of legalisation would be dramatic. "Tobacco is a legal drug, whose use is declining, and precisely because it is legal, its users are far more amenable to government control, education programmes and taxation." Anyone who wished to purchase the drug of their choice could already do so. "The idea that many people are holding back solely because of a law which they know is already unenforceable is simply ridiculous."

Let\’s get on with it then, shall we?

4 thoughts on “Like We\’ve Been Saying”

  1. Former Cabinet anti-drugs Director says we should legalize hard drugs

    Julian Critchley oversaw a cabinet unit that would not listen. Indeed, he should have been innovative where he was not and kept with the steady state all the time. It was him I believe who ultimately refused even the thought of trials of the Vietnamese cure for hard drug addiction in the UK, even though the government of Vietnam offered their hand of help at their highest political and scientific level. With no cold turkey, detoxification within 48 hours, a herbal cure with no addictive properties, cheap and with no deaths directly attributed to the treatment, he was blatantly ignorant to the facts. His team were likewise and one wonders whether they were in the back pockets of the large pharmaceuticals who definitely did not want the cure to be introduced into the West.

    Overall Critchley and his team were responsible for not reducing the drug scourge because they never opened their eyes. Indeed, responsible for not even trying and causing indirectly the suffering of hundreds of thousands in the UK and their families. The combined situation affecting millions.

    Therefore he and his team were/are a complete failure for Britain.

    Dr David Hill
    World Innovation Foundation Charity (WIFC)
    Bern, Switzerland

  2. Been Google-posting a bit have we?

    Naughty Critchley, in the back pocket of the alien-lizard-run drug companies, thwarted the introduction of the famous Vietnamese cure for hard drugs. Do you even listen to yourself?

    Look, hard drug users don’t want organic herbal remedies, they want hard drugs. That’s the issue. By making the supply of these drugs massively difficult and illegal you simply increase their price to the point where they are attractive to organised crime. Offering alternatives from picturesque Asian countries is not going to do much here.

  3. There are different types of drug users.
    There is the aimless, feckless type who use drugs as a substitute for life. Highly dependant, irrational, and totally without material, emotional or moral resources.

    And there are casual users who can take it or leave it, and there are some fairly high achievers who are probably highly dependant, but they have the money to do most anything.

    The main problem in society is the first group. And they will always be a problem, because they become dependant upon crime, to feed their habit. If it isn’t heroin, it will be crystal meth, or amphetamines, or something else. They can not function, because they have not been brought up, and trained, to be functional, under sober circumstances. They have inherited Gin Lane, and nothing else.

    This issue is not about how we control drugs, it is about how we prepare young people for life. If we bugger that up, we get the results we see today.

    By all means legalise the drugs. There is no benefit from allowing a man to become addicted, and then watching him go crazy when we cut off his source of supply.

    But our main difficulty, is that we have so many helpless addicts. And we brought this mess down upon our own heads. We have been showering young, unemployed, unemployable women with state benefits and council accomodation, providing they do one key thing. Get pregnant, and if at any time the benefits look like drying up, get pregnant again.

    And we never said “Can you support this baby you are bringing into the world?”

    We just hand them a completely bogus “independance”, along with the keys to a council flat in Sunderland, as if they are going to win Britain In Bloom next year for their window boxes, and go on to be high flying career women.

    And here is where I fear I diverge from our dear darling Timmy .

    Because if you have a baby, and you have no means of independant support for them, why should you be subsidised and allowed to keep them? I would rather see the offspring handed over to Church societies for adoption. And we should send their mother back to their “parental” homes.

    We wouldn’t have to do that for many years,only until they twig that a baby is no longer a passport to a life of idleness.

    And then maybe, just maybe, with the savings we make, we could reduce the punitive taxes imposed on the families who are trying to pay their own way.

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