Neil McKeganay is the Professor of Drug Misuse Research at the University of Glasgow. Fortunately he’s not the possessor of Adam Smith’s old chair in logic.
For here is his argument:
We used to count the number of addicts in the hundreds; we now count them in the hundreds of thousands. The UK Drug Policy Commission’s report published yesterday – Tackling Drug Markets and Distribution Networks – contains an alarming body blow of further statistics.
Britain has a problem which is now thought to be worth in excess of £5.3 billion a year, and which the Government is spending about £1.5 billion a year trying to tackle.
As much as 60 per cent of crime may be connected to the illegal drugs trade; and the sex trade in our cities, and increasingly in our rural areas, has the women’s dependency on illegal drugs at its heart.
All true of course. It’s his logic that is faulty, not his facts.
Yes, policy must focus on treatments that enable addicts to become drug free, but also on hard-hitting prevention with robust enforcement.
Policing the problem means tackling street-level drug dealing directly. It must also mean tougher action against those who profit from the trade. We need to ensure that our police are protecting our communities. This will not be done through intermittent, high-profile campaigns, but sustained action.
That is, we must step up the War on Drugs. One more point:
The UK drug problem is barely 40 years old.
It’s, umm, round and about 40 years ago that we started to treat addiction as a criminal problem rather than a medical one (yes, up to the late 60s, early 70s, heroin addicts could get their heroin from doctors).
So, umm, what our Professor is suggesting is that in order to combat the problem of drugs we must press on even further down the course of action which caused the problem of drugs in the first place.
Thank buggery he doesn’t teach logic, eh? A pity he teaches anything at all though.