In no area of public policy but drug-taking is there such a mismatch between political expectation and public reality. Roughly one third of adult Britons have used controlled drugs at some point in their lives, nearly 1 in 10 in the past year. Many of these have used Class A drugs, risking up to seven years in prison for possession and life for supplying. People who wouldn’t dream of committing armed robbery or grievous bodily harm are carrying out offences that potentially carry similar sentences. This level of disregard for the law should be a powerful signal to politicians that the present approach is not respected.

As a major report is published recommending the decriminalisation of drugs, Colin Blakemore, Professor of Neuroscience and Philosophy at the University of London, suggests that politicians need to take a step back and look at the scientific evidence. Read more

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