Ending The War On Drugs and Introducing TRANSFORM

Transform - Getting Drugs Under Control Screenshot of Transform's website page - Getting Drugs Under Control

We couldn't really produce this website without having a page dedicated to the very real reason why the Shroom Liberation Front even exists in the first place. The War on Drugs. This US led exercise in futility and human domination, which has wasted trillions of dollars and benefited precisely no-one other than grateful Drug Cartels and other black market criminals. The War on Drugs has done more to harm communities and threaten the health and wellbeing of society in it's immoral efforts to create a puritan drug free world - who wants to live in a drug free world anyway? Not the SLF that's for sure. And when it comes to the War on Drugs hypocrisy reigns supreme.

The concerted effort to suppress certain drugs like marijuana and cocaine and regulate them to the black market control grid - and instead proliferate the legal market with a sea of prescription drugs, where profit and greed of the pharmaceutical companies makes the illegal drugs look positively saint like in comparison.

However although the SLF have always wanted drug reform, quite what that reform should like has always been something that has generated interesting discussions. There are lots of different opinions out there and it can be hard to see what approach might work best. In our researching the website and the subject on the War on Drugs, we inevitably came across TRANSFORM - a British run think tank organisation, who's common sense, sound approach to drug regulation immediately struck us as sensible and applicable, and able to placate all sides in the argument. We've been promoting the work of TRANSFORM ever since. So we thought we'd take the time to raise awareness for TRANSFORM and help them to spread the word on how their approach to Drug Reform works. The following has been taken from their excellent web page War On Drugs - The Case For Reform.

The War On Drugs - TRANSFORM's The Case For Reform

Brief Drug War Summary

  • Mexico : Over 100,000 deaths from drug-war violence(2006 - present)
  • US: A 10-fold increase in the number of people imprisoned for drug offences over the past 40 years (45,000 in 1971 vs. 500,000 in 2010)
  • Russia: Injecting drug users account for 93% of all HIV infections
  • Afghanistan: Export value of opium is approximately $2.5 Billion, 10% of the country's GDP
  • Iran: Roughly 600 people were executed for drug offences in 2010
  • England and Wales: £2-4 billion is spent fighting the war on drugs, creating crime costs of around £15 billion each year.

50 years ago, governments around the world, led by the US, made it illegal to produce, sell, or possess certain drugs. A war on drugs was supposedly begun to protect us. But drug prohibition doesn't work, and never will.

Despite spending more that a trillion dollars (now at least $100 billion every year) the global demand for drugs has swelled to the point where 240 million people use them worldwide.

Rather that control drugs, prohibition hands the trade to organised criminals who are now in charge of a market with a turnover of $320 Billion a year.

Taken together, the costs of the war on drugs are devastating and global in nature:

Legal regulation is the middle-ground position - between hard-line supporters of the failed war on drugs, and libertarians who believe drugs should be made freely available.

Different Models

    The 5 Model System

  • 1. Medical prescription and supervised consumption venues
  • 2. Specialist pharmacists
  • For registered dependent users of the the highest risk drugs such as heroin.
    Providing rationed quantities to registered users - for drugs such as amphetamine, powder cocaine and MDMA
  • 3. Licensed retail sales
  • Like sales of tobacco and alcohol products - for drugs such as cannabis or lower-strength stimulant drinks.
  • 4. Licensed premises for sale and consumption
  • Similar to licensed venues, or Dutch 'coffee shops' - for drugs such as cannabis or lower-strength stimulant drinks.
  • 5. Unlicensed sales
  • Minimal regulation - for the least risky products, such as caffeinated drinks and cocoa tea

Legal regulation means taking the drug trade out of the hands of criminals and placing it under the control of governments - through doctors pharmacists and licensed vendors.

We should regulate drugs
Not because drugs are safe
But because they are potentially dangerous.
And no drug is made safer when it's sold by gangsters and unregulated dealers

Different drugs require different levels of regulation - the more harmful the drug, the stricter the controls that should be placed on it.

There are 5 models that can be used to regulate the supply of drugs:

Legal regulation of drugs will produce many benefits

Save lives and protect health

Drugs will no longer be mixed with dangerous adulterants and will carry health warnings and safety information

No one has ever died of an overdose or contracted HIV at a supervised injection site

Reduce harm and violence

International organised crime, Gang related street crime, and acquisitive crime will all be reduced.

Heroin prescription programmes in Switzerland resulted in a 90% decrease in property crime among those enrolled on them.

Protect children

Drug dealers don't ask for ID

Under a system of legal regulation, sales of drugs will be subject to age restrictions with anyone found selling to minors facing serious penalties

Save money

Billions currently spent on counterproductive enforcement could be reinvested in other areas such as health and education

In the Netherlands, cannabis 'coffee shops' generate approximately $400 million per year in tax revenues

Improve security and development

The drug-related cartel violence and corruption that undermines governments and institutions will be reduced

In many countries, the huge profits generated by drug cartels threaten state authority, development and the rule of law. Legal regulation will all but eliminate the source of these profits

Protect human rights

Drug war human rights violations and the marginalisation of vulnerable groups will be reduced

Legal regulation will end the criminalisation of non-violent drug users and the racist outcomes of drug law enforcement

Responsible regulation will make the world a safer and healthier place

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