16 Dec 2010

Legalise drugs, says former UK defence secretary

Former defence secretary Bob Ainsworth today called for the government to consider legalising drugs, saying prohibition has failed to protect the public.

The war on drugs has been "nothing short of a disaster" and it is time to study other options, including decriminalising possession of drugs and legally regulating their production and supply, Ainsworth said.


Referring to the legalisation of alcohol in the United States after 13 years of prohibition, he said: "After 50 years of global drug prohibition it is time for governments throughout the world to repeat this shift with currently illegal drugs."

The Labour backbencher, who was previously a Home Office drugs minister, went on: "Politicians and the media need to engage in a genuine and grown up debate about alternatives to prohibition, so that we can build a consensus based on delivering the best outcomes for our children and communities.

Full story on guardian.co.uk