West London Humanists and Secularists

"The War on Drugs"
A talk by David Carvajal - Meeting 19/07/12

For many years world leaders have pursued a "prohibition" strategy towards recreational drugs. The results have been similar to those coming from the prohibition of alcohol from 1919 to 1933 in the USA - a massive rise in organised crime. Now there are signs that change may be coming so this was a good time to review the damage that has been done and the prospects for the future. David was born in Medellin, Colombia and experienced first-hand some of the worst of the fallout from the War on Drugs. As a member of our group, he kindly put together a presentation that provided an account of the background to the war on drugs so that we could have an informed discussion. He also gave us his personal perspective and led a discussion on the policies we should be urging governments to adopt.

Those present agreed that, despite the uncertainties, we have no option but to legalise the use of drugs. If the massive savings in law enforcement and the prison system could be redirected into programmes to discourage drug taking and help addicts, then surely things would improve. The problem is making sure this happens.

David's presentation can be found here .

Philip Veasey 20/08/2012