Media Savvy

The news, and the skews, in the national media

When law enforcement officers call for drugs to be legalised, we have to listen. So too when doctors speak up. Last month the Royal College of Physicians took the important step of coming out in favour of decriminalisation, joining the BMA, the Faculty of Public Health, and the Royal Society of Public Health in supporting drug policy reform… The BMJ is firmly behind efforts to legalise, regulate, and tax the sale of drugs for recreational and medicinal use. This is an issue on which doctors can and should make their voices heard.
BMJ editorial, 10 May

Legalising drugs would halve the number of prisoners, lead to fewer murders and overdoses, and result in safer inner cities. Only one question remains: when will a politician muster the courage and admit that legalisation would work?
Jack Powell, Telegraph, 11 May

We’re hooked on a big lie. How can the stupid concept of ‘addiction’ survive, if people such as the Relate organisation can seriously suggest that anyone is ‘addicted’ to sex? People pursue pleasures at the expense of others, because they enjoy them. Why do doctors, and the criminal justice system, too, help them to do this?
Peter Hitchens, Mail on Sunday, 6 May

Nothing fires up we Scots quite like someone threatening to lengthen our life expectancy. And now, thanks to legislation that puts a floor on the price of alcohol, many of us have a reason to get upset… Yet there remains an elusive force at play in the public conversation about alcohol. Namely, the fact that so many of us who drink too much are either unaware of it or are in some form of denial. We tend to downplay or underestimate both how much we drink and the impact it has on our finances and mental health – which is why facts are useful when creating policies that are designed to tackle the issue.
Darren McGarvey, Guardian, 3 May

By some malign alchemy the problem has been reconceived in recent years as harm done not by drugs but by the law. So there’s been an ever-more explicit push to decriminalise all drugs, coming not just from legalisation charities but from an establishment which is increasingly in their pocket… To double down on calls for policy changes that will increase the number of drug users still farther is not to promote reform. It is a social death wish. Melanie Phillips, Times, 29 May

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