In the last 10 years what many deem to be the 'war on drugs' can be seen to have objectively failed in this country. With amounts of drugs being sold and consumed in the UK at an all time high, what can be done differently now to help reduse crime and the amount of deaths due to drugs? The model for how drugs have been dealt with in the past , this being arresting people taking and selling scheduled substances, failling miserably, maybe its time for a change.
In my opinion the two best ways to help reduce crime and deaths relating to drugs is seen in the two countries Portugal and Switzerland. Both offer different extremes, depending on how brave the UK government is feeling. The slower solution is the Swiss ' prevention, therapy, harm reduction and prohition'. This innitiative starting in the 1990's involved making herioin legal in clinics to allow people to be helped and slowly taken off herioin until their lives were put back together. This idea would really help in the UK with people across all types of drug addiction. Because there is generally always a reason people turn to addiction, generally through depression and an overall unhappiness with their lives. Since this scheme was intruced their has been a 60% drop in heroin users across Switzerland. Also leading to a 50% drop in the amount of street heroin being sold in Switzerland, resulting also in under 5 overdoses since the 1994.
The Portuguese adopted some of the Swiss ideas but took things a step further. In 2001 the government decriminalized all drugs, also introducing the same herioin clinics to help addicts recover. This similarly to Switzerland has lead to a over 20% drop in all illegal drugs being sold in Portugal since 2001. This would likely never be adopted in the UK as the situation would need to get a lot worse for these measures to be taken. Their in itself lies the problem, in being reactive and only making changes after a lot more people die due to 'bad drugs' and gangs becoming more and more powerfull , the problem will continue to get worse.
Speaking to a policeman recently he said that him having to arrest people for smoking cannabis is a total waste of his time, time that he says he could be stopping a murder or saving someone's life. He went of to say that if drugs were decriminalzed in this country , that gangs and drugs dealer's would all drop of rapidly making the country a safer place.
If your looking for evidence to support this look no further than prohibition in US, as soon as alcohol was made legal the crime rates dropped hugely as people could now get liquor from the government and it could be regulated and most importantly taxed.
There is no end of benifits by decriminalization, look at Canada and the amounts of money the Canadian government is making by selling cannabis legally. However in many ways i'm wasting my by breathe as nothing will change for a long time, it's human nature to fear the unknown and that fear will continue to cause problems in the UK until a brave step is made.