Peter Reynolds

The life and times of Peter Reynolds

“No More Obvious Waste” Than UK’s £19 Billion War On Drugs

with 6 comments

A Wise Lady

In the House of Lords on 15th June 2010, Baroness Meacher announced a “radical shift of policy” from the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime.  The UN’s “war on drugs” has been an abject failure creating an illegal trade worth £320 billion and financing civil war in South America for the last 25 years.  British soldiers die almost every day in Afghanistan fighting an enemy financed by the illegal opium trade.

The UK spends £19 billion annually on the costs of drug law enforcement.

According to Baroness Meacher there is “no more obvious waste” of public money.  When will our leaders have the courage to grasp this nettle, to liberalise our pointless, self-defeating laws and free up billions of pounds of our money for more sensible purposes?

Video here.  Text here.

In addition, expert research indicates that a legalise, regulate and tax regime could contribute at least £6 billion annually in additional tax revenue. How can we afford to ignore these huge sums of money which we could make available to the country at little more than the stroke of a pen and with only a beneficial effect on the health of the nation?

Dying For A Stupid Law

Five years ago, while campaigning for the Tory party leadership, David Cameron called for “fresh thinking and a new approach” towards drugs policy and said that it would be “disappointing if radical options on the law on cannabis were not looked at”. Nick Clegg has promised to repeal “illiberal, intrusive and unnecessary” laws and to stop “making ordinary people criminals”. There can be no better example of this than the laws against personal use and cultivation of cannabis, particularly for medicinal reasons.

The coalition government’s new Your Freedom website launched only this morning is already inundated with proposals to legalise cannabis and to end the futile war on drugs. The site is crashing under the strain of a massive outcry from British people for the state to back off and give us back our freedoms.

We don’t just want our freedom back.  We want our money back too.

6 Responses

Subscribe to comments with RSS.

  1. You are right, Peter. I can tell you that in Mexico, almost half of the public budget is being wasted in a “War” against drug traffic.
    The reality is established states are afraid of common people, of large groups of armed political antagonists.
    And, of course, for Uk to spend 19 billion pounds in this useless combat is the worst of crimes against population wellness.

    Abraham Peña

    July 1, 2010 at 7:51 pm

  2. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Peter Reynolds, Peter Reynolds. Peter Reynolds said: "No More Obvious Waste" Than UK's £19 Billion War On Drugs: […]

  3. Congratulations on talking common sense. It’s about time we started putting more pressure on politicians and I do feel that we’re edging ever closer to this becoming a reality.

    I hope that the money California will raise for its debt-ridden coffers when it legalises cannabis in November will an added incentive to the politicians in this country who are struggling to control our debt crisis.

    Gareth Main

    July 2, 2010 at 8:59 pm

  4. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Simon Le Boggit. Simon Le Boggit said: RT @GarethBearded: “No More Obvious Waste” Than UK’s £19 Billion War On Drugs – great blog from Peter Reynolds: […]

  5. Another aspect of this £19 billion annual expenditure not mentioned is the violence that is associated with the illicit drugs.

    There is a comprehensive study which was released April 27th, 2010 by the International Centre for Science in Drug Policy (ICSDP) entitled ‘Effect of Drug Law Enforcement on Drug-Related Violence: Evidence from a Scientific Review’ which exposes an extensive correlation between drug law enforcement efforts and increased drug-related crime, homicide and gun violence. The Executive Summary ( found at & ) demonstrates the commonalities between violence and the illicit drug trade in relation to the impacts of drug law enforcement interventions have on drug market violence.

    Wayne Phillips

    July 5, 2010 at 2:34 pm

  6. Great piece, the more we start bringing home the evidence that we are funding crime by our laws, the better. It is an oxymoron and will be hard for the public to grasp all the while they have had a healthy does of brain washing, but the facts, evidence and figures are crystal clear.

    The powers that be know the truth, we are now in a waiting game for a regression of “moral posturing” and political games.

    I would like to see one supporting piece of evidence to keep the laws the same and that the “war on drugs” is winnable, but it simply doesn’t exist.

    Bravery is needed in the political world!


    July 6, 2010 at 12:52 am

Leave a Reply to Abraham Peña Cancel reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: