Commentator: Why Do Pols, Society Ignore Failure Of Drug War?


Writing in the Guardian, documentary filmmaker Angus Macqueen comments on western society’s willingness to ignore the utter failures of the war on drugs. He writes, “A success rate of 1%. In what area of public life would we accept that? Last year, Professor Neil McKeganey of the University of Glasgow, one of the most respected academics in Britain, established that the authorities seize just 1% of the heroin that enters Scotland in any one year. He sees no reason to think this would be any different for the nation as a whole. Where were the headlines? Surely the press, obsessed by crime and drug-fuelled violence, would have it splashed across the front page. Not a peep. Why not?”

Mcqueen continues, “I have been making a documentary series, “Our Drugs War.” They are not my first films on drugs. But even I was stunned by McKeganey’s 1% figure – and the lack of response. I quoted it in interviews with senior police officers, drugs advisers and politicians; few expressed surprise, few felt that current policies were remotely adequate. Most questioned whether the Home Office was the best place to make drugs policy; surely it is an issue for health. But these public figures would only express their worries away from the camera….Drugs policies have little to do with science, health risk or harm. They have been hijacked by the emotive rhetoric of moralists.”

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