Idea whose time has come

Professor Sir Ian Gilmore, the outgoing president of the Royal College of Physicians, suggested that relaxing the law on recreational drugs would be beneficial to society. Echoing the views of many police chiefs he says that ditching the disastrous methods of prohibition would cut crime and improve health. He was supported by Nicholas Green, chairman of the UK Bar Council, who said the experiment to criminalize drugs had failed as surely as alcohol in 1920s America. Yet David Nutt, Europe’s leading authority on addiction and Labour’s drugs adviser was sacked by Gordon Brown for stating that narcotics should be treated as a medical matter. Clearly many people still have a very ideological stance on this topic but the regulated sale of drugs looks increasingly like an idea whose time has come.

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