Drugs?… ‘It’s the economy stupid’

Some years back there were many who advocated both a change in the classification of drugs and an open debate on decriminalisation. Once again the issue is raising its head, but don’t be too surprised that along with many current ‘first world’ leaders, David Cameron is reluctant to give the debate a proper airing…. now, why should this be? Like many a policy, the bottom line might be finance…

Though various governments have toyed with classification of certain controlled substances, most have done little more than pay lip service to the ‘debate’. Indeed, recently, and notably since the onset of difficult financial times, there seems to have been a dampening down of the issue as a whole.

I hesitate to constantly call it a ‘debate’ as some voices have been given credence whilst others seem to have been either repressed or ridiculed. There’s certainly been a fair degree of shuffling and backtracking over the issue of decriminalisation.

Initially drug legislation was brought in as a valiant attempt to save the vulnerable from addiction and society as a whole from instability. It’s unlikely that the authorities at the time could have imagined a scenario where the illicit profit from controlled drugs would become so vast, and the network of laundered money arising from it so sophisticated, that the economy itself might be jeopardised by a reversal of that legislation.

The ultimate irony is that legislation to outlaw certain drugs has provided easy pickings for shady venture capitalists. It’s doubtful that so many would ever have had contact with drugs had they not been promoted by prohibition. There are many substances widely and legally available that create similar highs, and lows, to controlled substances. Some are readily available over the internet, others, perhaps in the guise as chemicals for household purposes, can be found on our supermarket shelves… yet you are unlikely to find a queue of buyers lining up in the car park.

However, prohibit the same substance by law, and place a tenacious dealer in a tower block stairwell, or on a street corner, and you’d think they were salesman of the year.

There will always be the vulnerable, the gullible and the curious. A certain percentage will dabble, a certain percentage may become addicted, but those figures might pale into insignificance if the same substances weren’t being pushed by dealers…. dealers who are part of a funded network. A young person on their way home from college can walk straight past their local mini-mart, but they might struggle to avoid the pushy dealer lurking outside…

In the book ‘Kiss and Tell’, lawyer Jill Shadow becomes aware of a possible link between certain high profile supporters of the anti-decriminalisation lobby and major drug barons. Like many who might hear this for the first time it makes her uncomfortable, and she is reluctant to believe it. Surely those people are merely trying to protect society, or as they like to put it ‘protect our children’s future’. But what if there’s an awful reality, that some have an alternative motivation… to protect something far more valuable to themselves… their own continued profit.

Whether we realise it or not the decision taken many years ago to label certain substances as ‘controlled’ has had an influence on us all.

Such is the mess we have created, with ill thought out legislation, that precious finance is now dovetailed into the legitimate economy, with a voice all of its own. The major problem we now have is that this voice is likely to be disguised, with its part played by an actor, to conceal their true identity.

In precarious financial times such as these, it’s doubtful that the authorities will be brave enough to tackle the problem head on, if at all. As the sporting world has invariably shown us, drug tests often fail, because those with money, power and know-how have already developed sophisticated means of concealing the truth…

‘Kiss and Tell has only recently launched via the Amazon Kindle Store but I’d like to thank those who have already given feedback on the ‘drugs debate’ angle, which smoulders throughout the book. I’ve had some very interesting comments from a wide range of folk, including ex addicts, a senior police officer and an academic, all keen to talk about the issues raised.

Kiss and Tell by TJ Cooke, is available via the Amazon Kindle Store http://amzn.to/WZbNPp

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