Science

We need to change the conversation about drugs legislation

…the British Medical Journal has come out in favour of legalisation, noting that the ban on many recreational drugs is causing huge harm to users

Over the past two decades, the trend in most Western countries has been towards legalising or decriminalising drugs such as cannabis in line with scientific evidence about their relative harm. This has mirrored a growing consensus that the war on drugs has had a damaging impact upon societies and communities across the globe. It is difficult to think of another subject in which those who advocate policy reform find themselves subject to such consistently vituperative attacks. Drugs perform a strange double service in the tabloid press. When used by the rich and powerful, drugs perform a role in public shaming, connoting something vaguely scandalous: a quick and easy way to discredit an individual. Those who advocate decriminalisation are branded by the media either as dangerous threats to the nation’s children, or as political liabilities with conflicts of interest, whose brains have been addled by their own drug taking. The War on Drugs has created a rhetoric in the media that makes an evidence-based approach to drugs policy almost impossible. It is difficult to admit that a war is unwinnable: but the rhetorical alternative is to keep fighting a losing battle in the hope that, against all the available evidence, the same old approaches might start working.

Original Article (The Dial):
We need to change the conversation about drugs legislation
Artwork Fair Use: Magnus Hagdorn

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