Prohibition fails again

As expected, the use of the failed methods of prohibition to tackle the problems of recreational drugs has simply delivered a raft of unintended consequences. It has created global criminal networks that exploit prohibition for profit and power and now control an international trade worth billions. It has also created local criminal gangs who are the main source of street violence, gun crime, intimidation, burglaries, petty theft and other anti-social behaviour. It has destabilised producer and transit countries whose politics, economics, judiciary, police and military are often distorted by illegal drug profits. It has led to the imprisonment of vast numbers of non-violent drug offenders, fuelling prison overcrowding and a wider crisis in the already overburdened criminal justice system. It is finally responsible for unnecessary harm done to both experienced and first time user drug users who are sold drugs in unknown strengths and purities, and in preparations which are most profitable to the dealer rather than those which are safest for the user.

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