Another Top Drug War Official Calls for Legalization

Julian Critchley was director of the British Cabinet's anti-drug office, where he worked with the British drug tsar to coordinate the nation's drug policy. Now he's come forward to unmask the fraudulent underpinnings of the drug war bureaucracy, simultaneously acknowledging the failure of the war on drugs, while also revealing the hypocrisy of countless officials who carried out policies they personally didn't believe in.

His words now expose the harsh reality that even top "anti-drug" officials privately agree that the drug war is a costly failure:

"I think what was truly depressing about my time in UKADCU was that the overwhelming majority of professionals I met, including those from the police, the health service, government and voluntary sectors held the same view : the illegality of drugs causes far more problems for society and the individual than it solves. Yet publicly, all those intelligent, knowledgeable people were forced to repeat the nonsensical mantra that the Government would be 'tough on drugs', even though they all knew that the Government's policy was actually causing harm." [Guardian]

Critchley isn't the first top drug warrior to come forward in favor of reform, but his scathing indictment of the ideological fraud carried out by those maintaining the drug war infrastructure is truly remarkable:

I recall a conversation I had with a No 10 policy advisor about a series of Whitehall-wide announcements in which we were to emphasise the shift of resources to treatment and highlighting successes in prevention and education. She asked me whether we couldn't arrange for a drugs bust in Brighton at the same time, or a boat speeding down the Thames to catch smugglers. For that advisor, what worked mattered considerably less than what would play well in the Daily Mail. The tragedy of our drugs policy is that it is dictated by tabloid irrationality, and not by reference to evidence. [BBC]

Does that sound familiar? This is just the reality of the modern war on drugs both here and abroad. While a committed few may still cling in desperation to the drug war's fractured legacy, the continuation of unambiguously disastrous policies owes a great deal to the perverted political calculations of countless cynical bureaucrats. A sensationalist press then markets these false philosophies to the public, fueling widespread hysteria and confusion. It is within that vast cauldron of selfishness and incompetence that our drug policies have been sustained against all odds.

But today it has been revealed that the interests of the people were jettisoned willfully and maliciously by those who swore an oath to defend the public interest. Time will tell whether that narrative may soon embed itself within the broader debate. This is the story of the true values and beliefs of the great drug war generals and it must not be forgotten when those same individuals inevitably return to demand further sacrifices in honor of their despicable war.
Permission to Reprint: This article is licensed under a modified Creative Commons Attribution license.
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This is one of the most

This is one of the most important stories of 2008. And the saddest, because the obscene sham that is the War on Drugs is literally de rigeur.

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