Can Britain learn from Portugal’s liberalised drug laws?

The drug policy of the UK has, for years, taken the line of being ‘hard on drugs’, aiming to stamp out use and drug related crime through ever tougher laws and regulations. It means that simply for possessing a class B drug such as cannabis, a person can be sent to prison for up to 5 years. For a Class A drug like ecstasy this is 7 years and intent to supply could lead to life imprisonment.

The main reasons given for wanting a more "liberal" drugs policy are that "prohibition has failed" and that "the war on drugs has been lost". But liberal means "freedom of choice as long as one man's choice does not interfere with another man's freedom", and it is quite clear that drug usage very definitely interferes with other peoples' lives in many different and significant ways. Furthermore, the so-called war on drugs has never even started. 70 to 75% of addicts have oft tried to quit and just as often failed, yet still want to quit. But it is not the suppliers being fought by the authorities who are to blame. It is not supply which continues addiction. It is demand. And "the war on drugs" will start on the day we concentrate on DEMAND REDUCTION. Which simply means reducing the number of addicts. BUT, this does not mean continuing to "treat" addicts with other drugs for life. It means "training" them to achieve their goal of getting themselves off drugs, and for 46 years this has been done with 169 Addiction Recovery Training Centres now delivering in 49 countries. Regrettably, because self-help recovery does not utilise psychiatric or pharmaceutical practitioners, it is constantly attacked and suppressed by those same vested interests. Yet "do-it-for-yourself2 is the only true liberalisation and the only certain escape from addiction and all that goes with it whether "illegal" or "legalised.

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