Alex Massie

Ending the Drug War. Now.

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Although there are encouraging noises coming from Latin America, much of the western world remains deaf to common sense. Still, let's hear it for the Economist which this week repeats its call for legalisation:

Next week ministers from around the world gather in Vienna to set international drug policy for the next decade. Like first-world-war generals, many will claim that all that is needed is more of the same. In fact the war on drugs has been a disaster, creating failed states in the developing world even as addiction has flourished in the rich world. By any sensible measure, this 100-year struggle has been illiberal, murderous and pointless. That is why The Economist continues to believe that the least bad policy is to legalise drugs.

As the paper says "prohibition has fostered gangsterism on a scale that the world has never seen before" ad it's time to consider other policies that, while doubtless imperfect, cannot be so illiberal and so ineffectual as our current heads-in-the-sand approach. 

Written byAlex Massie

Alex Massie is Scotland Editor of The Spectator. He also writes a column for The Times and is a regular contributor to the Scottish Daily Mail, The Scotsman and other publications.

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