Home Affairs Committee - Drugs: Breaking the CycleWritten evidence submitted by Joan Margalith (DP048)

I am a private citizen who is concerned about the failure of the “War on Drugs”. These points have been made many times before, I hope a new strategy can be devised that take them on board.

1.Prohibition has never worked, it only keeps criminals in business.

2.Citizens are fed up with hypocrisy. Tobacco and alcohol cost the country billions. They remain legal while less damaging substances carry heavy criminal penalties. Young women with advanced liver disease. 168% rise in hospital admissions for the over-65s. City centres blighted by drunk and disorderly behaviour.

3.The baby has been thrown out with the bathwater. Several countries are funding research into psychotherapeutic potential of mind-altering substances. Why is the UK lagging behind?

4.The cost of Post-traumatic Stress is enormous. Research suggests that MDMA-assisted therapy is effective and helps people to take their place in society.

5.People who are addicted to “hard” drugs need help rather than punishment. If drugs are decriminalised crime will drop significantly from petty theft to gun violence.

I would welcome the opportunity to put forward my position to the committee.

January 2012

Prepared 8th December 2012