Downing Street on drugs
The Downing Street downpour of secret documents has spilled over into the drug war arena. A secret report on crack and heroin, suppressed by ministers, has discovered that the government's war on drugs has failed. The emerging details are fascinating.
Researchers found that stamping down on hard drugs through the police and courts had little effect on production and found no evidence that attacking drug supply had any impact on the harm caused by heroin and crack users. The full report provides a powerful argument for legalising drugs so they are not controlled by criminals.The UK drug czar, Lord Birt, has taken a page from John Walters handbook and ignored all findings not applicable to his own agenda of coercing addicts into treatment programs. Half the report was suppressed, but did not go unviewed by interested parties.
Even if the war on supply succeeds, the report found, it would simply lead to a rise in the price of crack and heroin, in turn producing more crime by addicts needing to feed their habit and increased profits for the drug barons. The cost of crime associated with heroin and crack users was estimated at £16 billion by researchers, but the report found that the global crusade on drugs had coincided with a rise in consumption.
The suppressed pages, seen by The Observer, show that Downing Street experts found that the international drug war, led by the US, simply displaced production from one country to another. On page 61, for example, the researchers conclude that 'effective efforts at eradication of coca growing in Colombia [are] thought to have displaced crops to Peru and Bolivia'.A Downing Street spokesperson denies the report was suppressed to avoid government embarrassment and cites national security concerns. Yeah, that's what they all say when they get caught with their drawers down. They're sounding more like the White House over there every day.