Who’s been saying what..? DDN’s round-up of what’s being said in the national papers
The idea that the existing policy on drugs in this country, and almost everywhere in the world apart from Colorado and Uruguay, is a self-evident failure is not a truth that is self-evident to me. In particular, the ‘war on drugs’, and the notion that it is being ‘lost’, is a cliché that helps to shut down thought rather than encourage it… Legalisers sometimes say that it is jolly confusing that cannabis is illegal in theory but that the police tend to concentrate on more important things in practice. It’s a compromise. It is so sensible that it is the most common legal position all over the world: illegal but not stringently enforced for small amounts. It is intellectually unsatisfactory, but it is winning. The people who want to change it have to make a better case.
John Rentoul, Independent, 7 January
I am worried because I think of legalisation as a symbol. A symbol that the world has become more accepting of living a mediocre life… the more we accept pot and other distractions as perfectly normal, the more we are accepting mediocrity.
Elad Nehorai, Guardian, 7 January
If marijuana is now deemed OK in Colorado – and dispensaries will open soon in Washington as well, the other state that approved legal marijuana at the end of 2012 – what message does that send to Mexico and others fighting the war on drugs largely on America’s behalf?… As a father I am not thrilled to see marijuana consumption encouraged. What I surely do welcome, however, is the opportunity for the first time to test in practice the argument that legalisation will do more to diminish violence in America’s immediate neighbour and points south than any amount of militarised prohibition.
David Usborne, Independent, 8 January
There’s no one simple and definite solution to substance abuse but the argument for deterrence is not one. If millions want to drink, smoke, snort and swallow then they will, whether it’s expensive or not, whether it’s legal or not. If the government wants them to stop, it needs to give them greater reason to; a reality they don’t want release from.
Chris Jackson, Independent on Sunday, 26 January
If the country is supposed to get upset because no gun-toting, drug-peddling gangster is safe on the streets any more then forget it… Gangsters who live by the gun – even those who throw them away when the police close in – should expect to die by the gun. They are vermin whose drug pushing threatens every decent family in the land and if the police happen to take a few out as they clean up the streets then so be it.
Chris Roycroft-Davis, Express, 10 January
[David Cameron] tried to pin the blame for Britain’s drinking culture on the last government, which is fair enough, up to a point. Yet at the same time as Mr Cameron condemns deregulation of alcohol and gambling, we learn the extent to which his ministers, too, were lobbied by the alcohol industry… While Labour should shoulder some of the blame, the government needs to treat addiction to alcohol and gambling – often affecting the same people – as a national emergency.
Jane Merrick, Independent, 8 January