Just check out this drug-clock and it may just give you the perspective you need to make up your mind.

The billions of dollars spent on the war on drugs just don’t seem to make much sense, as it only compounds many of the social problems all over the world. The case for legalization of drugs has so many advantages that it is inconceivable why the international community doesn’t re-think their strategies.

Some of the advantages that spring to mind are: Legalization would immediately end the criminal activities that result from the traffic and sale of drugs, which would result in a lot more cops, equipment and infrastructure available to fight ‘real’ crime. The amount of tax-payer money that is spent to prosecute ‘drug-offenders’ and maintain them in jails, could be put to much better use, also reducing the numbers of inmates in already overcrowded facilities. The crimes of bribery and corruption connected with drugs will also end. Drug dealers and the ‘drug mafiosi’ would be out of business and countries could benefit by the cash crops that would be pure and of a high quality. Employment would increase and taxes would enhance the economies of the countries involved. Addicts could be treated without fearing for their independence and the numbers of HIV cases related to drug use would be reduced to virtually zero.

As far back as in October 2000 the Manchester Guardian reported that “…Switzerland is preparing to introduce legislation that effectively would allow the consumption of cannabis, adding to the country’s pioneering but controversial record on drugs policy. The Swiss government said it would draw up legislation next year after consultation among local authorities and community associations revealed that there was widespread support for decriminalising cannabis. “‘Two-thirds of the organisations consulted said they were in favour of this move,’ the interior minister, Ruth Dreifuss said yesterday. “But the same groups opposed any such move on hard drugs, and officials ruled out softer laws on possessing or using such substances. “Switzerland has the most liberal approach in Europe towards the treatment of heroin addicts. Since 1998 it has been providing clean needles and allowing the distribution of heroin to addicts under strict medical supervision.

Since that time, Switzerland has evolved to the point where one is able to buy good quality Cannabis in limited quantities, over the counter. There is more information on the drug policies of various countries in Wikipedia . However, policy on the ‘war on drugs’ begun by the infamous and insidious Richard (Slippery Dick) Nixon in the early 1970s is still being followed by most countries.

There are, however, many organizations around the world that have opted to campaign for a more humane policy with regard to drugs and amending legislation towards reducing the harmful effects that are caused by severe addiction. They view the incarceration of addicts, or those arrested for the possession of illegal substances, to be adding to the social problems of a community and not really addressing the problem of harmful addiction. Here are a few sites that oppose the current drug policies of some of the countries: : http://www.norml.org/ , http://www.drugpolicy.org/reducingharm/ , and http://www.drugpolicy.org/homepage.cfm .

Here in Sri Lanka there was a recent article on the Ayurvedic establishment lobbying for the cultivation of Cannabis to be used for medicinal purposes. It would seem to be a logical step, as many Ayurvedic medicinal preparations contain Cannabis.

Let’s hope that sanity prevails (unlikely though that may be) and some bright spark somewhere in the world, initiates a beginning to the end of the ‘war on drugs’. The world will have a lot less to lose.

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