Have debate on legalising drugs
Sir -- As the fallout from the revelations of the late Gerry Ryan's excessive cocaine use rumbles on in this country, across the water in Britain the debate on the effectiveness of the current 'war on drugs' has reopened.
Tony Blair's former Drugs Minister, Bob Ainsworth, must be lauded in calling for a new approach to tackling the drugs problem and thus the criminal gangs that currently control this hugely lucrative market. While there is nothing novel in what he is proposing, it is refreshing to see a former government minister come out openly and say this. At the moment, most authorities in the western world are fighting the drugs war on two fronts, namely against those who take them and those who supply them. It is a battle that we are losing and will continue to do so unless we change our approach. The idea of legalising heretofore banned drugs and thus weakening the hand of vicious thugs is something that needs proper, reasoned debate.