Pubdate: Fri, 05 Nov 1999
Date: 11/05/1999
Source: Times, The (UK)
Author: Mr J. G. Wishart

Sir, A letter in The Sunday Times (October 31) from a member of the
Policy Reform Group of Minnesota claimed that up to 10,000 Americans
die each year having taken illegal drugs (of widely varying and
unpredictable strength and quality). Additionally, it said, the US
spends pounds 50 billion on anti-drug budgets and associated matters,
it has paramilitary-style police, curtailed civil liberties, a huge,
self-perpetuating and propagandist bureaucracy, an increased number of
Aids infections and no decrease in drug abuse.

What do we spend in Britain on all anti-drug measures and what is the
cost to society in the increasing crime rate spawned by the need to
buy illegal drugs at inflated prices?

How much could the tax burden be reduced if we were to stop
reinforcing failure, decriminalise drug abuse, produce drugs of known
strength and purity, tax drugs as we do tobacco and alcohol and reduce
the crime rate, the anti-drug bureaucracy and the police force?

Is this too much common sense or too revolutionary?

Yours faithfully, J. G. WISHART, Milton House, Milton of Balgonie,
Glenthrothes KY7 6PX.