Illegal drugs can be harmless, report says

Discussion in 'Black Health and Wellness' started by dandan, Mar 10, 2007.

  1. dandan

    dandan Well-Known Member MEMBER

    Dec 8, 2006
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    Illegal drugs can be “harmless” and should no longer be “demonised”, a wide-ranging two-year study concluded today.

    The report said Britain’s drug laws were “not fit for purpose” and should be torn up in favour of a system which recognised that drinking and smoking could cause more harm.

    The RSA Commission on Illegal Drugs ,set up in January 2005, also called for the main focus of drugs education to be shifted from secondary to primary schools and recommended the introduction of so-called “shooting galleries” - rooms where users can inject drugs.

    The report, compiled by a panel of academics, politicians, drugs workers, journalists and a senior police officer, also called for the Home Office to be stripped of its lead role in drugs policy.

    It recommended the Misuse of Drugs Act be scrapped in favour of a wider-ranging Misuse of Substances Act, and the current ABC classification system be abandoned in favour of an “index of harms”.

    Current laws, the panel claimed, were been “driven by moral panic” with large amounts of money wasted on “futile” efforts to stop supply rather than going after the criminal networks behind the drugs on British streets.

    At the heart of the report was a call for an end to what the panel called the “criminal justice bias” of current policy in favour of an approach that would treat addiction as a health and social problem rather than simply a cause of crime.

    The report, which aimed to influence a government review of drug strategy next year, also called for jail sentences to be given for only the most serious drugs-related crimes and for addicts to be given jobs and housing as part of treatment.

    It also recommended wider access to treatment such as prescription heroin.