Legalising drugs

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Uruguay passing a bill to legalise marijuana (your report, 2 August) is a strike against prohibition. Is this a sign of the beginning of the end of the unwon and unwinnable 42-year-old war on drugs?

President Jose Mujita said: “If we legalise, we think that we will spoil the market [for drug traffickers] because we are going to sell it cheaper than it is sold on the black market.”

Significantly, only those 18 and older would be allowed to purchase the drug, something impossible to achieve when it was illegal.

Lisa Sanchez, director for Latin America of Transform Drug Policy Foundation, says: “Uruguay will be the first country to establish state control on the production, processing, distribution, storage and sale of marijuana, abandoning the prohibitionist and the punitive strategies. It is a turning point.”

We could do with such an enlightened policy in this country or even this continent, but politicians, mistakenly believing that they are reflecting public opinion, refuse to change their minds.It is up to us, the public, to show that we are ahead of them and expect them to catch up.

We must remind them that prohibited drugs are not 
controlled drugs.

Stanley McWhirter

Edinburgh