The journal’s editor in chief, Fiona Godlee, says: “There is an imperative to investigate more effective alternatives to criminalisation of drug use and supply.” She added that the government should “move cautiously towards regulated drug markets where possible” and doctors should “use their authority to lead calls for a pragmatic reform informed by science and ethics.”
Former Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg writes in the BMJ that the government could consider introducing a version of the Portuguese movement, where drug users are referred to treatment rather than being punished. Drug deaths have fallen in Portugal by 80 percent.
via For the First Time in History, British Medical Journal Calls for the Legalization of ALL Drugs — peoples trust toronto
photo credit: dog97209 Bayer Makes Heroin via photopin (license)
The BMJ said this? I’m actually astounded.
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Yes indeedy. The article goes on to say that the Royal Society for Public Health and the Faculty of Public Health have also called for the personal use of drugs to be decriminalized. It’s their view that criminalizing users deters them from seeking medical help and leads to long-term harm, such as exposure to hard drugs in prison, the breakup of families, and loss of employment.
I have been saying this for years. The standard back comment is “what message is it sending”…the message is “closing the black market”, “changing the label from legal/money making to health issue”. Giving those already hooked on the harder drugs a chance to heal. A register of addicts. A contract to heal after a year of free drugs. Reduction of dosage to zero. With regards to cannabis, legalisation to use and grow you own. This is a herb and the evidence to its efficacy has been documented for centuries, not to mention the hardiness of the product for use in clothes, houses etc. It will happen eventually. Cheers https://amaezed.wordpress.com/marihuana/
Edward Snowden’s pal Glenn Greenwald first cut his teeth doing a study on drug legalization in Portugal for the Cato Institute. This was way back in 2009. It’s a great pity it didn’t get more attention back then: https://stuartjeannebramhall.com/2014/04/10/the-cato-institute-and-the-drug-war/
Good article by the way.
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I’ve always believed drug laws, beginning in 1791 with the Whiskey Tax, were government control-profit making ventures, designed to provide constant cash flow for government coffers.
Although the article doesn’t mention it, I believe all drugs, including prescription drugs, should be over-the-counter, because most of the gargantuan profits of pharmaceutical companies comes from their patents, advertising, and controlled access through doctors. In the US, doctors have become prescription-writing machines, without the time or space to practice “healing arts.” It’s all about patient-churning for the insurance-and-Wall-Street-funded “health care market” which profits from making people as dependent on the medical, government, pharmaceutical, insurance and other predatory industries as possible.
It’s high time individuals wake up, grow up and claim their rights and responsibilities to manage their own health care, including the drugs they ingest.
Another important reason to support decriminalization, Katherine, is that it frees up funding (currently used for law enforcement) for drug treatment. At present, it’s virtually impossible for low income people to get drug or alcohol treatment in New Zealand.