Richard Brunstrom, Chief Constable of North Wales, issued a powerful report which claims the war on drugs has failed and it is time to explore other alternatives. “If policy on drugs is in future,” he writes, “to be pragmatic, not moralistic, driven by ethics, not dogma, then the current prohibitionist stance will have to be swept away as both unworkable and immoral, to be replaced with an evidence based unified system (including tobacco and alcohol) aimed at minimisation of harms to society.” He notes in his statement, a report from the Chief Medical Officer of Wales who found in 2004 that 13,000 died from tobacco use, 2,052 died from alcohol and only 356 died from use of illegal drugs.
The war on drugs has failed just at Prohibition in the 1920s failed. One can only wonder how advocates of current drug laws would explain to a visiting Martian anthropologist why an array of drugs like Prozac are perfectly OK as are alcohol and tobacco, but other drugs are not. Our drugs laws make absolutely no sense and only serve to create a drug culture which produces violence and corruption. It is amazing how society fails to learn anything from the Prohibition era. Brunstrom, like most police officers, understands the current drug laws, at best, result in arresting minor players while those making millions live in peace and will never see the inside of a jail. Of the current 2,000,000 people in jails in America, one-third are there due to violation of drug laws. How does society benefit from such figures?