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Tom Elliott discusses how to best approach drug law enforcement

What’s the best way to tackle drug use?

Sanho Tree of the Institute for Policy Studies told Tom Elliott the ‘war on drugs’ makes only drugs more valuable.

‘It’s a demand-driven problem,’ Mr Tree said.

‘We reduce the demand through education, not through law enforcement.’

Robert Richter QC said the fact that each drug is treated the same under the law is ‘idiocy’. 

‘I would have different treatment regimes depending on the drug,’ he said.

Click play to hear the first part of the interview 

Mr Tree said the concept of marijuana being a ‘gateway drug’ is based on correlation, not causation.

‘They only use marijuana first because it’s more easily available,’ he said.

Mr Richter said they probably started with alcohol, but that doesn’t get branded as a ‘gateway’.

Mr Tree said Portugal’s system of decriminalising all drugs and, instead, helping the user figure out the underlying problem, has worked.

‘If you believe drugs are harmful to the individual, what sense does it make for the State to harm them even more by throwing them in prison?’ he asked.

Click play to hear the second segment