04 Oct Theresa May Suppresses Home Office Reports That Support Drug Law Reform
Theresa May Just Says No.
According to The Independent, Norman Baker, the LibDem drugs minister, says two reports on drugs policy which recommend reform have been ready for publication since July but Theresa May doesn’t want them released.
This should be shocking, that a government minister is deliberately delaying policy reforms that could help save lives, but in 21st century Britain, amongst Tory cabinet ministers, it has become normal. Iain Duncan Smith and Chris Grayling are also engaged in lies, cheating and cover-up that actually cause harm to people, all in the name of promoting their own toxic ideology.
These reports, one on Novel Psychoactive Substances (NPS), often known as ‘legal highs’ and one that reviews drugs policies in Portugal, Switzerland, the USA and Uruguay are already long overdue. Nick Clegg had promised at least one would be published before Christmas 2013 and even then it was regarded as late. Then it was to be spring 2014. Now we will be lucky to see them before 2015, if ever.
Clearly they will recommend radical reform of existing drug policy but Theresa May thinks her drugs strategy is working. She refuses to evaluate it by cost/benefit analysis or impact assessment. Caroline Lucas’ e-petition calling for an impact assessment reached over 130,000 signatures in February of this year and was supposed to result in a three hour debate in the main chamber. Instead, it too has been suppressed, buried by government fixers, quite likely never to see the light of day. What more evidence does anyone need that the government’s e-petitons are a deception, a ruse to divert campaigners? If an MP who exceeds the 100,000 target by a third can’t get a debate, did you ever really think they were going to listen to a citizen sponsored petition? Face facts, we live in a United Kingdom where government ministers are above the law, unaccountable, corrupt and dishonest.
The report on NPS is likely to recommend harsh, repressive measures while the comparative study of other countries’ drug policies is likely to show that prohibition simply doesn’t work, that it causes more harm and just makes the problem worse. So yes, the reports will probably contradict each other.
I suspect that the comparative study is going to recommend a move towards a Portuguese type strategy of decriminalisation. After all, that is exactly what the LibDems have already said will be in their manifesto for the 2015 election. On NPS, it will be back to ‘ban everything’, despite the fact that the market for NPS only exists because of the failure of prohibition on traditional drugs. If cannabis and MDMA were legally regulated for adults the NPS market would dry up virtually overnight.
CLEAR’s main focus is on enabling access to medicinal cannabis on a doctor’s prescription. My personal assessment, based on talking to people in all walks of life, of different ages, lifestyles and attitudes, is that this has at least 80% popular support. The British rednecks though, led by people like Theresa May, will resist it tooth and claw. That thousands could be rescued from pain, suffering and disability means nothing to them, not if they can continue with their futile and costly effort to stop people using cannabis recreationally.
Be in no doubt that in Britain the drug war rages on at an annual cost of billions, despite great progress in other countries. Pragmatism means that we are winning over more politicians and many more in law enforcement but while we have moral and scientific dinosaurs like Ms May in charge, we still need to dig in and fight on with determination towards what is long overdue but will be an inevitable victory.