Peter Charleton's The War On Drugs: Making The Connection

Words: 1196
Pages: 5

I agree with the statement “The ‘War on Drugs’ has been a failure” and argue in favour of reform as opposed to preserving the status quo. I also concede that there is no easy or guaranteed way to rid our world of its drug problems. Despite this, it must be realised that there are much more ethical and effective solutions to these problems than this futile war we wage.
Peter Charleton’s “Drugs and Crime – Making the Connection: A Discussion Paper” is a paper that argues for preserving the status quo and keepings drugs criminalised. Charleton correctly identifies that when drugs enter into a society, the crime rate increases without fail. It is not surprising to see him inspired to advocate a ‘drug war’ after becoming aware of the statistics mentioned in his first paragraph, “In 1978, 703 robberies were recorded in the Garda statistics. This compared unfavourably with 550 in 1975. By 1983 the figure had shot to 2,178” . Charleton refers to drug addicts as “a menace to society ” and requests the “availability of detention under the Offences Against the State
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McVerry believes the medical prescription of heroin to addicts would “reduce petty crime and public nuisance, and have positive effects on the health of people struggling with addiction ”. He also believes that methadone where successful will not help the addict, it will merely curb their anti-social behaviour (or so governments believe), which renders it unsatisfactory from a human rights perspective. McVerry’s beliefs are backed up by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation Report “Prescribing Heroin,” which found that illicit use of drugs by patients decreases when prescribed heroin and the health of the addicts