WE may not have won the war on drugs but that in itself isn’t an argument for admitting defeat and legalising them.
But that’s what Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg has been suggesting this week. He thinks that if we start legitimately selling hitherto banned substances over the counter, then all our social ills will go away.
Gone will be the black market, gone will be unmonitored and adulterated drugs and of course there will be a new source of tax income for the Government.
But while more revenue would be generated for the Treasury, I don’t see these other goals being achieved.
Which drugs would you legalize? Even if you took the crazy decision to accept all of them the drug barons would just create new ones to keep the black market going.
And then of course you would get a similar drug tourism problem that the Netherlands has to deal with.
We know that heroin, cocaine and even cannabis is harmful. Why on earth dignify them with government-sanctioned legitimacy so that more people are tempted to try them?
The battle against the barons, growers, importers and dealers should go on, forever if necessary.
We haven’t won the war on street violence and burglary either but no-one is suggesting that we scrap offences for house-breaking and assault.