13:44, October 02 48 0 theguardian.com

2018-10-02 13:44:05
Failures lurk behind Sajid Javid’s war on drugs

Sajid Javid’s Tory conference speech (Sajid Javid pledges to get tough on middle-class cocaine users, 2 October) goes to show that duplicity has no consequences in politics today. In stating that he intends to target middle-class drug users, Javid admits that policing up to now has been targeted at poor, black kids at the lowest end of the dealing chain. Will his effective acknowledgment of prior race and class bias in policing have any consequences for him? No more than his declaration that government will now be “providing the right resources” – a tacit admission that crime has risen in tandem with cuts.

Even in the face of the crisis in UK prisons, all that’s on offer is an extension of the “war on drugs” and a consequent increase in prison numbers. Still, in policing middle-class drug users, the Tories will probably disenchant the only element of their base they haven’t already alienated.

Nick Moss

London

John Harris makes some good points about spice (This lethal spice epidemic is fuelled by austerity, 29 September) but omits the key driver for the rise of synthetic drugs – prohibition. Had the supply of cannabis and other drugs been legal and regulated, there would have been no need to invent these cheaper, more harmful substances, which were only created to circumvent our absurd drug laws.

The “war on drugs” has been a catastrophically counterproductive failure, causing addiction, crime and violence to skyrocket and funnelling riches and power into the hands of organised criminals. Only when the government legalises and regulates the supply and possession of all drugs, treating their use as a medical and social issue rather than a legal one, will these harms begin to abate. Until then we will continue to visit death and misery on our most vulnerable communities and reinforce the power and wealth of the murderous gangs who control the illicit drug market.

Seth Gillman

Ruislip, London

Middle-class drug users already are targeted. Isn’t Sajid Javid following the fate of Freddie in The Archers?

Dave Young

St Leonards-on-Sea, East Sussex

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