From today's Guardian Newspaper:
A significant number of ministers in both past and present cabinets, including the prime minister, admit that they have experimented with drugs themselves.
The only reason for persisting with a penal approach is that it is too difficult politically to reform it.
As defeat is quietly admitted in the war on drugs in one country after another, UK policy is becoming damagingly out of touch.
There was a small rise in drug taking in England and Wales last year. Cannabis was the most widely used drug by a wide margin.
The average age of drug users is rising and the number of teenagers who admit taking drugs fell again.
Continuing to prosecute for possession of cannabis, for example, was shown in a report last year for the drug charity Release to have a seriously distorting effect on inner-city policing. In London in 2010, there were more than 1 million stop and searches for drugs, half of them on young people, a disproportionate number of them black (even though drug use is about twice as high among white people). Fewer than half of the white people stopped were charged, compared with nearly four-fifths of the black people.
Each year, more than 40,000 people are convicted of possession, a conviction that will damage their future employability, make further offences significantly more likely, relationships less certain and reduce earnings capacity by on average a fifth. Young people’s lives are being irreparably damaged by a policy that is intended to help and protect society.
The Cannabis Cover Up published on Amazon October 2014.