Harsher drug prohibition won’t stop violence, but regulation might, law enforcers say

To reduce the violence from illegal trade we should replace our enforcement led approach with regulation and support in a health based strategy
BMJ Opinion (UK)
Wednesday, May 2, 2018

After a spate of violent crime, the UK Home Office released its Serious Violence Strategy. Amber Rudd, former home secretary, said, perhaps inevitably, that the government’s response  “must tackle the misuse of drugs” as a priority, with more expected from the police. But only four years ago the same department released a report which found no correlation between the harshness of a country’s law and the extent of non-medical use of drugs such as cannabis, cocaine, and heroin – acknowledging that drug laws have no real impact on drug use. In fact, prohibition itself causes disharmony and violence, as the new strategy recognises: “Grievances in illicit drug markets cannot be settled through legal channels, so participants may settle them violently.”