Peter Reynolds

The life and times of Peter Reynolds

Posts Tagged ‘public health

Home Office Plays A Cruel Game Of Media Spin

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There is no logic nor common sense nor science nor rationale in UK government drug policy.  Everyone knows that.  Nearly every commentator, scientist, doctor, even most politicians in private, acknowledge that there is no reasonable basis for our current drug laws.   They do more harm than good and in the process they waste billions of pounds in law enforcement costs and create massive harm to society and to public health.   The report issued today by Professor Nutt and his colleagues reveals the appalling incompetence of our drug policy.  See here.


Unlike every other country in Europe, the UK places drug policy in the hands of the Home Office rather than the Department of Health.  Nothing reveals the idiocy of this more than the current debacle over medicinal cannabis.  See BBC Inside Out London tonight at 7.30pm or here on the iPlayer tomorrow.

What is truly disgraceful about the Home Office is the way it plays the media game with complete disrespect for and by ignoring citizens to whom it owes a duty of care.  While it issues conflicting messages to the media, it fails to respond at all to dozens of individuals suffering from debilitating diseases who have sought its advice on obtaining their medicine.  Hundreds of individuals have written repeatedly to the Home Office but have received no reply. The conduct of the minister responsible for this scandalous episode, James Brokenshire, can only be described as cruel, negligent and irresponsible. While the rest of us may debate the political issues around drug laws, thousands continue in pain and suffering while this monster continues his game of media spin.

There is no justice or truth in government drug policy but in this instance there is blatant evil and disregard for human suffering in James Brokenshire.  The man is a disgrace and not fit to hold public office.

It’s Not Drugs, It’s Drug Laws That Killed the Bradford Girls

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Forced Here By The Law

If heroin was legally available on prescription the three Bradford prostitutes would be alive today.  It is our discredited, ludicrous policy of prohibition that has led these women to their terrible deaths.  Cowardly, self-serving politicians who will not address the real issues about drugs policy have blood on their hands.

Today we also learned that the sensationalist, exploitative treatment of the death of two young men in Humberside “linked with mephedrone” was nothing but hysteria.  See the story here.  Humberside Police shares responsiblity with the media for leaping on a bandwagon, seeking kudos or some unknown advantage through lies, propaganda and misinformation.  Trying to look tough.

It’s not a good idea to use heroin or mephedrone but criminalising users and creating a lucrative black market for criminals to exploit is an absurd idea.  It’s exactly what America did with alcohol in the prohibition era when, in fact, it created organised crime.

Created By The Law

For those who become addicted to illegal drugs there is very little help available.  Almost all street crime is related to feeding a drug habit.  If, instead of the unwinnable “war on drugs” we put our money into a regulated supply and treatment facilities we would massively reduce the harm that current laws cause.

The girls in Bradford, the poor people of Jamaica, our young heroes who are dying in Afghanistan, the young man who is selling his body right this minute in Manchester, Baltimore, Hamburg or Singapore, the downtrodden people of Columbia.  They are all victims of our absurd, self-defeating drug laws.  When will our politicians and leaders stop chasing cheap political points (and expensive bribes) and face the facts?

Fighting For The Law

Legalise, regulate, tax – you pull the rug from under organised crime, you eliminate the need for most street crime, you have the resources to address the issue as a public health problem.

Transform Drug Policy Foundation has the answer.