Make Way For More Of The Same

Author: Pat Nurse
Article Published: 11 June 2008

NuConservative leader David Cameron looks set to be the next leader of Britain if the recent drastic results for NuLabour in the local elections and Crewe and Nantwich by-election are an indicator of how the electorate will vote nationally next year. But what faith can we have in a man who has already lied to us before he has even got a foot in the door of 10 Downing Street?
Although I don’t believe that Mr Cameron will reverse any of the draconian restrictions to our smoker ban - he believes foolishly that the British people have moved on and smoking in public places is no longer an issue - I was at least encouraged to believe that he wouldn’t do any more damage and would keep his nose out of our private lifestyles.

Indeed he is on record as saying that governments shouldn’t interfere with people’s lives and he is against the "nannying" culture of the present authorities.

If this is true, then why has he announced that if NuConservatives get into power one of the first things they will do is outlaw the use of Khat - a legal drug used in areas where people from Somalia, Yemen, and Ethiopia live?

It seems he hopes this could be a vote winner as it is one drug policy that separates NuConservative from NuLabour - two parties currently so similar there is hardly a hair’s breath between them leaving the British people confused about which should get their cross in the ballot box.

Khat, kat, qat, chat is a drug spelled various ways but, it seems, has one effect said to be similar to amphetamine or cocaine but milder and I understand, not physically addictive. I also learn that examples of users becoming aggressive are quite rare and yet I hear on BBC news last night that this is the very reason why Mr Cameron wants to ban it.

It has been chewed in the Middle East for centuries for both recreational and religious use and is very much part of the culture of those peoples who have since chosen to live in the UK.

Mr Cameron has been warned that criminalising the use of Khat will create a black market, users will go underground, and the dealers will be the main beneficiaries of prohibition of this drug.

Common sense dictates that the only reason we have a huge drug problem in Britain is because of prohibition and I would have thought that a very well educated man like Mr Cameron would have accepted this.

Prohibition didn’t work in 1920s America and it doesn’t stop people using drugs now. It simply makes the whole situation worse. It forces users into poverty, and inevitably into crime, and often with illegal drugs, it goes hand in hand with gun culture.

I have often said that all drugs should be either legalised or at least decriminalised. This is usually followed by a sharp intake of breath by those who have an opposite view, and a few tut-tut-tuts in response from those who are unsure.

But if this happened then the crime rate would instantly be cut. Possession would not be a crime, and if seriously ill addicts who depend on something like heroin could get their fix from their GP, or cheaper, purer drugs on a legal market controlled by Governments instead of dealers, then the chances of old ladies being mugged for the price of a £10 fix would surely have to be lessened.

And just think of the tax the government could trawl in from it. The drug industry is said to be worth more than oil and in the hands of criminals it causes misery for those who become caught up in it and their families.

So if Mr Cameron wants to make a distinction between his party and the one currently in power using drugs as an example, then I have a suggestion for him but I doubt he’d be courageous enough to take it on board.

The drugs law is, in my opinion, another example of how Britain is failing to move forward and is dragging itself back to the dark ages. It’s time we were mature in our outlook of drug use. It will always continue despite whatever laws are made to try and stop it. Prohibition, whether it is alcohol, illegal drugs, Khat or tobacco, will do nothing but cause misery, exclusion, and a hefty profit for the crime lords.

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