Johann Hari has criticised the current war on drugs in his new book Chasing the Scream, and says that Scotland should follow Portugal’s lead by decriminalising drugs. His book aims to tackle drug addiction and answer fundamental questions that many people have about these illegal substances. He believes that Scotland could be the perfect place to implement more forward thinking policies in terms of tackling drugs. His book has been critically acclaimed by Stephen Fry, Naomi Klein, and Elton John, among others.
War on Drugs
Hari’s book tells the stories of a number of people affected by the war on drugs. It includes the story of Harry Anslinger, once the chief of the Bureau of Narcotics in the US. Hari says that Anslinger did ‘more than any other individual to create the drug world we now live in’. He also believes that Anslinger’s drugs policies played a significant role in the death of singer Billie Holiday.
Hari is of the opinion that ending the war on drugs will save many lives. He says that bad drugs policies are responsible for thousands of deaths because, when drugs are banned, they do not disappear. They just move from medical professionals to drug gangs, which bring its own set of violence that would not exist if drugs were not banned.
Hari is hoping that his book will ‘rehumanise people’ and says, “I hope the overall effect is you want to change the way these people are treated.”
Hari is not the only person to believe that decriminalising drugs is the best way to fight the problem. Earlier this year, Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg and Sir Richard Branson joined forces to fight the war on drugs. They believe that drug addicts should not be criminalised for their actions, and that focus should instead be placed on helping them.
The men believe that resources should be spent on tackling drug manufacturers and dealers, and helping those who have developed addictions.
Reasons to Decriminalise Drugs
Many people believe that banning drugs and making them illegal only makes them more attractive. They believe that decriminalising drugs would have many benefits, with the biggest one being the elimination of the criminal marketplace. The illegal drug trade is worth billions for organised crime gangs. However, by legalising drugs, organised crime gangs would have no place in the drugs trade and it would allow the market to be controlled and regulated.
The fact that the drugs trade is illegal means it is led by demand, and drugs can be very expensive. Those addicted to drugs will do whatever they can to get their hands on them, and many will resort to crime. It is estimated that almost all drug-related crime is caused by the fact that the drugs are illegal.
Making drugs legal would allow addicts to access their drugs at a lower price, thus eliminating the need for them to resort to crime to fund their habits. This would reduce the amount spent by the government on crime by billions – money that could be invested in the treatment of people suffering from addictions.
Treatment for Addiction
Currently, there are a number of treatment options available for addicts in the UK, provided by organisations such as charities, local support groups, the NHS, and private clinics. One of the biggest problems for those who want to get help is knowing how to access these organisations.
Rehab Helper is here to put clients in touch with the services they require in order to beat their addictions. If you need help, contact us today.