Celebrities and grandly-named groups are using “flawed” and “inaccurate” information in their push to legalise drugs, a former Chief Constable has warned.
Dr Ian Oliver cautioned: “Accurate information has been submerged by an abundance of deliberately false statements”.
He backed “the compassionate and sensible method” of doing “everything possible to reduce dependency and misuse, not encourage or facilitate it”.
And he commented: “Criminals will not stop their crimes, change course and become honest tax-paying citizens if drugs were legalised.”
Dr Oliver, who has served as a Chief Constable of Grampian and Central Scotland, is now an independent adviser to the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime.
He said that increasingly a claim is made that international drug control policies have failed and legalisation of drugs is the best solution – with control and distribution through Government-backed outlets.
But Dr Oliver said: “Regrettably, these assertions are often made by self-appointed groups with grand sounding titles which have their own reasons for supporting legalisation.
“Frequently high-profile people claim legalisation is the best way of addressing a major social problem without cogent supporting evidence.
“The data used and distributed is inaccurate but presented to impress people who believe it must be true because it is published by such impressive sounding organisations and respected ‘celebrities’.”
He noted that international controls on drugs were “born out of a real humanitarian crisis”.
In April this year the Independent Drugs Commission in Brighton recommended allowing heroin and crack cocaine addicts to inject themselves in officially-sanctioned “drug consumption rooms”.
But critics said the idea was “liberal claptrap”, and could lead to police-approved ‘drug dens’.