There needs to be some equity in law based upon the concept of "No Victim, No Crime" - if a drug user - whether alcohol, cannabis, heroin of whatever, does harm to another or threatens another or their property , then there is clearly a case for arrest and prosecution.
If there is no harm and no threat, then drug users should be treated as are those that drink alcohol - and when it comes to supply, just like alcohol, it needs to be controlled and taken out of the un-taxable hands of crooks. The supply of each drug should be separated from that of other drugs, accurate and credible information given at point of source with regulations dependent on the level of risk to the users.
Drugs have been part of human life for thousands of years - and is still part of our culture today, even in the UK. It is part of human nature to want to change ones mood.
For sure, the Government needs to open it's eyes and ears and consider a new approach based upon controlling supplies and reducing harm .
Why we must lookat legalising drugs
The Sun, April 17 2012
A controversial view on global epidemic.
A FORMER British MI6 chief has joined growing calls to end the "war on drugs" and consider legalising them.
The battle has left tens of thousands dead in Latin America but failed to reduce drug-use around the world.
Here Nigel Inkster, of the International Institute For Strategic Studies, argues that we need to rethink our approach to narcotics.
PRESIDENT Santos of Colombia wants independent experts to look at alternatives to the war on drugs, including making them legal.
This is precisely what research by the International Institute For Strategic Studies has led us to conclude in our new report.
Our investigation has shown that the so-called "war on drugs" undermines international security.
Consumer countries of the developed world have seen whole communities devastated by epidemics of drugs misuse and crime. Addicts of drugs such as heroin have been marginalised and stigmatised and many otherwise law-abiding citizens criminalised for their consumption choices.
But the vulnerable producer and transit countries of the developing world have paid a far higher price.
I have seen at first hand the serious unintended consequences of banning drugs. The huge profits to be made from supplying them have led to a massive global black market dominated by powerful international criminal groups.
Producer countries such as Colombia and Afghanistan have been shaken by high levels of drugs-related violence for the past 30 years as criminal groups fight each other and the state.
More recently, they have been joined by Mexico and Central America where drug-related murders have reached horrific levels.
And as traffickers look further afield to avoid law-enforcement, fragile states in West Africa have become part of the global narcotics supply chain, their institutions comprehensively corrupted.
For many years, senior politicians have not been willing to challenge the effectiveness of the global ban on drugs. But that is now changing.
The presidents of Latin American states such as Colombia and Mexico have begun to question publicly why they should bear the brunt of the West's "war on drugs”"
They are calling for a fundamental rethink of the current approach, based on an open discussion in which expertise and evidence would replace the emotion and ideology that have so far dominated the debate.
While demand for drugs exists, there will be people willing to do whatever it takes to meet that demand. It is time the international community recognised that and moved away from talk of winning a "war on drugs" towards treating the issue as a problem to be managed with minimal collateral damage.
The UK has a potentially significant role to play in supporting an independent review of all policy options and has been at the forefront of efforts to address the trafficking of narcotics.
The UK's drugs consumption relies heavily on those who produce and supply narcotics in Latin America and Afghanistan and as such, it is in all our interests that the policy we adopt increases the security of those at both ends of the supply chain.
Nigel Inkster is Director of Transnational Threats And Political Risk at the International Institute For Strategic Studies.