Pubdate: Thu, 19 Oct 2006
Source: Press, The (York, UK)
Contact:  2006 Newsquest Media Group
Author: Steve Clements


T J Ryder is missing the point entirely (Quest for a high,
Readers' Letters, October 14).

If drugs are a source of income to the Taliban, then remove it from
them. This means taking control of the trade from farmer to end user,
that means legalising the trade.

Then we can stop killing people. There are legitimate uses of heroin
in the health service and I believe currently a worldwide shortage of
opiate drugs.

The difficulty with prohibition is that many of the prohibited
substances are actually less harmful than the legal mass killers
alcohol and tobacco.

It would seem from his letter that TJ Ryder would want these
substances handed over to the criminal market as well. Hasn't that
been tried already?

Why should legalising drugs lead to anarchy? We have that now. The
illegal drug market is the second largest business in the world.

The US has been trying to eradicate the coca plant in South America
for years; cocaine use has doubled worldwide, including the UK.

Not only has prohibition failed, it is making things worse. Cannabis
use is not a gateway to hard drugs, the criminal market is. Nor is it
physically addictive, that is another piece of drug war propaganda to
keep everyone in fear and to maintain prohibition.

Prohibition corrupts too. Two per cent of US police officers are drug
dealers, and most drugs in prison are supplied by prison officers.
Fourteen members of the Italian parliament have tested positive for
cannabis and cocaine.

T J Ryder, just like our politicians, is burying his head in the

Steve Clements, The Legalise Cannabis Alliance, Asquith Avenue, York.
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