The Chief Constable of the North Wales Police, Richard Brunstrom, called for the legalization and regulation of currently illicit drugs in a report he issued this week in response to the national government's ongoing drug strategy consultation. Drug prohibition is "unworkable and immoral," he said.
"If the UK really wants a radical, evidence based strategy then the current 'war on drugs' policy… should be replaced, and the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971 should be repealed and replaced by a new 'Substance Misuse Act' based upon the legalization and careful regulation of all substances of abuse in one consistent manner," Brunstom bluntly concluded. "This new Act will have at its core a philosophy of objectively assessed harm assessment and reduction."
"We are absolutely delighted at Mr. Brunstrom's paper," said Transform's Danny Kushlick. "The Chief Constable has displayed great leadership and imagination in very publicly calling for a drug policy that replaces the evident failings of prohibition with a legal system of regulation and control for potentially dangerous drugs," Kushlick continued.
"The current government consultation on the drug strategy has inexplicably ruled out any discussion of alternatives to prohibition, despite the policy's systematic failure over a number of decades," said Kushlick. "Mr. Brunstrom's paper puts these pragmatic alternatives firmly back on the table, where they should be, if a meaningful debate about 'what works' is to be entertained. It is to be hoped that the Police Authority support the Chief Constable's recommendations and that other Police Authorities seriously examine the impact of enforcing prohibition. It signals the start of a renewed critique of prohibition, which Mr. Brunstrom's paper describes as 'both unworkable and immoral' and should force the Home Office and indeed Government to take the issue far more seriously than it has until now. An enormous amount of respect is due to the Chief Constable for supporting a 'pragmatic and ethical' policy, despite its taboo nature in front line party politics. Those that denounce him should be wary of relying on what Mr. Brunstrom calls 'moralistic dogma,'" Kushlick warned.