British Drug law and policy organisation ‘Release’ has recently launched a new campaign that kicks off with an attention-grabbing bus poster. Busses will be driving around London with a banner on it that says: Nice people take drugs.
Release hopes their campaign will start a debate about the kind of drug policy the country wants to see. It has become clear that the ‘war on drugs’ has failed and many believe a different – safer – policy is needed. Harm reduction and decriminalisation have proven to be much more effective than simply banning substances and arresting people who use them. Release’s Sebastian Saville argues that:
“the constant association by politicians and the media of drugs with words like evil and shame simply does not reflect most people’s experience of drugs. The public is tired of the artificial representation of drugs in society, which is not truthful about the fact that all sorts of people use drugs. If we are to have a fair and effective drug policy, it must be premised on this reality first and foremost.”
In this excellent article, Claudia Rubin explains that criminalisation and stigmatisation does not solve any problems. Not only is the current strategy very cost inefficient, drug cartels have been profiting from it, and will continue to do so.