Sunday, 9 December 2007

Harry Cohen MP on drugs

Left-wing Labour MP Harry Cohen was pilloried in my local UKIP newsletter for having made a speech in Parliament (scroll down to 1.55 pm) saying, he has read up on the "war on drugs", thought about it long and hard, and come to the sensible conclusion that the way forward is to legalise, regulate and tax them (like alcohol or tobacco).

The newsletter (unfortunately) agrees with right-wing Conservative MP Iain Duncan Smith, who came out with the predictable pack of lies that "drugs like cannbis are at the very heart of a huge percentage of mental health problems and decriminalisation is not the answer".

Er, Mr Duncan Smith, please do a bit of background reading first, like wot I did. Even if it is true that smoking cannabis drives hundreds - or even thousands - of people mad each year, then seeing as society bears the cost anyway (cost of NHS and cost of crime), then legalising, regulating and TAXING cannabis (say at the same rates as tobacco?) would mean tax receipts of a billion or two pounds a year, more than enough to pay for any additional NHS costs.

Legalising it would also mean that the stuff would become cheaper, so there'd be less crimes committed to fund habits (to the extent this is the case with cannabis) and there'd be no criminals involved in supplying the drug (with associated turf wars) and so coppers would be freed up to deal with other more serious crimes.

There's also the environmental point. If we can buy the stuff from countries where it grows naturally, then we won't have the ridiculous situation where huge amounts of electricity are wasted to grow it indoors in the UK.

And so on.

3 comments:

Simon Clark - Formerly The Cynical Libertarian said...

Sadly, UKIP's libertarian cadre (Nigel Farage etc) is somewhat overshadowed by the right-wing of the party on this and many other issues.

UKIP is a libertarian party only in so far as it has a higher percentage of libertarians in it than any other party. If you want real libertarian policies, you need to look to the upcoming Libertarian Party being started by the chaps over at libertarianuk.net.

The Great Simpleton said...

Mark,

Whilst I have some reservations there are other, just as compelling IMHO, reasons for liberalisation: at present criminals have an incentive to suck the young in to their web and whilst it is illegal it will have a "forbidden fruits" appeal to the young.

Mark Wadsworth said...

GS, there is that point as well. Apparently since they decriminalised it in Holland, use has gone down slightly.