The tabloid headline driven drug laws in Britain are a mess. The next Prime Minister of Britain spent his days at Eton smoking dope, the current Home Secretary says she only smoked “weak” dope, as if that makes a material difference. If they had been caught and convicted they would probably not have got where they are today.
It is a mad situation where you get a lighter sentence for raping someone than you would for selling them a joint. Which do you think is worse?
According to the government’s sentencing guidelines study in 2004, the average custodial sentence imposed for rape of an adult was 79.7 months and for GBH was 50.1 months. For dope dealing the average was 84.0 months.
Why does “intent to supply” a relatively harmless, though wrongly categorised class ‘A’ drug like Ecstasy, attract a stiffer sentence than “attempted rape”?
UPDATE : Just noticed that Peter Wilby in the New Statesman is saying the contemporary left is too timid to be rational on drugs. The centre-right is too, given that a fair share of the Shadow Cabinet have enjoyed recreational drug use, isn’t it time we stopped kow-towing to Dacre and had a grown up attitude to drug addiction? It is a public health problem, not a criminal / judicial problem.
Hat-tip : UK Drug Policy Commission