Failure of Prohibition

You are viewing the category Failure of Prohibition. This category contains 11 articles and the sub-categories:

'The Crime File' series - Drugs and Crime

Amsterdam shows the way out of drugs prohibition

The Observer, September 2 1984

The first uncertain sign of a new approach to the heroin epidemic in Western Europe is a scruffy wooden shack astride two barges on a canal in the middle of Amsterdam.

Read the rest of this story >

Heroin: the government screws it up

The Observer, March 13 1986

In its fight against drug abuse, the government is hammering home one central point - heroin damages the user's mind and body. Yet many of the young people at whom the campaign is aimed are rejecting its message, and their indifference is mirrored in the continuing boom in drug abuse. How can such a clear warning fail?

Read the rest of this story >

The rise of disorganised crime

The Scotsman and The New Zealand Dominion, February 15 1988

When the end finally came in a dark and dowdy courtroom in Brooklyn last week, Joseph Gallo was just an old man with silver hair and a weak heart. Once he had been a big shot, one of the biggest in the New York mob - consigliere of the Gambino crime family - striking all the deals, running the rackets and making the pay-offs. His criminal roots went right back to the prohibition years.

Read the rest of this story >

Losing the war against drugs

The Guardian, July 24 1993
Written after the release from a Thai jail of Karyn Smith and Patricia Cahill

Karyn Smith and Patricia Cahill are, of course, our enemies. All drug dealers are our enemies. That's the point of the war against drugs. So of course these two young women deserve all the abuse that has been heaped upon them - even if one of them does turn out to be innocent, even if the other one is guilty of nothing more than daftness, and even if they were both exploited first by the dealers...

Read the rest of this story >

What's wrong with the war against drugs

The Guardian, June 14 2001
First of two-part series

On April 3 1924 a group of American congressmen held an official hearing to consider the future of heroin. They took sworn evidence from experts, including the US Surgeon General, Rupert Blue, who appeared in person to tell their committee that heroin was poisonous and caused insanity and that it was particularly likely to kill since its toxic dose was only slightly greater than its therapeutic...

Read the rest of this story >

The politics of the drug war

The Guardian, June 15 2001
Second of a two-part series

It is a strange but revealing fact that hundreds of thousands of people in this country are currently afflicted by a dangerous and highly infectious disease and that, even though the government has been warned repeatedly that many thousands of these people will die, the current position of the Department of Health is that they are reviewing the report of an advisory group to decide whether they...

Read the rest of this story >

Threat to doctors helping heroin users

The Guardian, February 16 2004

More than 200 heroin addicts are facing disaster after officials at the Home Office made formal complaints against doctors at a leading private drugs clinics.

Read the rest of this story >

The achievements of justice...

The Guardian, April 13 2004

There is order in the court. There is chaos on the streets. And they meet in the main hall of Thames magistrates court in the East End of London. It is busting with people - this guy made of muscle yelling at his tiny female lawyer "This is MY case, this is MY life"; the elegant Somali man with the beautiful black suit cruising quite lost through the crowd without a word of English to find his...

Read the rest of this story >

The voices of heroin users

Partially published in The Guardian, October 5 2004

In a case that may prove to be a turning point in the treatment of Britain's blackmarket drug addicts, the General Medical Council is due today to resume its hearing into charges of serious professional misconduct against every prescribing doctor at one of the country's leading private drugs clinics.

Read the rest of this story >

Prohibition - a most destructive habit

Guardian blog, December 5 2006

(Pubished after a serial killer attacked prostitutes in Ipswich.)

Read the rest of this story >

Portugal shows the world how to deal with drugs

Previously unpublished , June 24 2009

Up and down the United Kingdom, on every working day of the year, harrassed magistrates shuffle the cards which the government has dealt them and hand out community punishments and anti-social behaviour orders and even jail sentences to the endless procession of drug users who stumble before them. It doesn't work.

Read the rest of this story >