May 29, 2010
A sure sign of a failing policy of repression is the constant need to make it ever more repressive; to widen its scope and to make it less dependent on evidence. The moral panic over the the past week with mephedrone has put the misuse of drugs act under pressure like never before and those who support the idea of prohibition are calling for just the sort of broadening of scope and abandonment of evidence that characterises a failing policy.
Fact is the government really want to ban Mephedrone but because of the way the Misuse of Drugs Act works it requires evidence and so makes that impossible. The advisory body, the ACMD, hasnít been able to do its work in large part due to the sacking of Prof David Nutt last year, which caused others to resign making the ACMD inquorate.
Of course, as we know with the cannabis debacle, having been given the evidence the government is under no obligation to take any notice of it but the act does require the evidence to be collected first. So the government is busy recruiting people to the ACMD who will then be able to sign off the official study which will allow the government to do what it wants, which is almost certain to be extending the Misuse of Drugs Act to prohibit Mephedrone.
But the drug warriors are claiming all this isnít enough, what we need, they say, is a whole new approach whereby anything can be banned until such a time as the government says itís legal.