You are correct in your assertion that the current legal situation regarding “legal highs” is dangerous (your report, 7 November). Many individuals are choosing to take “legal highs” based on the erroneous belief that they are inherently safer than illegal drugs.
Users of illegal drugs are also likely to be influenced by the legal status of a drug.
It is often assumed that a class C drug is necessarily safer than a class A drug, when in fact the relatively safe drug MDMA is a class A, but more dangerous drugs such as ketamine and GHB are class C.
If the UK wishes to continue with the current system of drug classification, “legal highs” should be made illegal, and the legal status of all recreational drugs should correspond directly to the relative level of danger of that drug (to the user and to society).
A better solution would be for the government to completely re-evaluate drugs policy based on evidence, as suggested in the recent report by the UK Drug Policy Commitee.
It recommends changing drug laws so that possession of small amounts of drugs for personal use becomes a civil offence, not a criminal offence.
The results of the policies implemented in Portugal and the Czech Republic suggest that drug use would not increase, and resources could be redirected towards addiction treatment and tackling organised crime.