General Article Getting tough on drugs just doesn't work

Topic Selected: Drugs
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By Dr Julian Huppert MP

The failure of Britain’s drugs policy is blatantly obvious. Traffickers and dealers are making huge amounts of money through drugs coming into this country and, as a result of our growing drugs problem, we are facing enormous health issues. I believe the time has come for us to radically overhaul our approach to the drugs problem, which is growing on an international scale.

Taking a tough line through the courts and imposing jail sentences on drug addicts for relatively small drugs charges hasn’t worked. Our jails are overcrowded. Drugs have become more accessible, making more money for the traffickers and dealers. In turn, more and more people are using illegal substances, often turning to crime to fuel their habits. New substances are coming onto the market and our young people are experimenting with the so-called ‘party drugs’, sometimes with tragic results. We are facing a vicious circle while at the same time continuing with laws which are, for the mos...

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