So the British navy have just intercepted a fishing vessel carrying £240m worth of cocaine and have handed the stash over to the US http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/8277483.stm
An excerpt from Drug Crazy by Mike Gray:
"Crack cocaine, of course, is an unparalleled menace, but the prohibitionists hardly have clean hands on this issue. Crack is a creation of the black market. The only reason for its existence is economic. It’s cheap. Unfortunately you get what you pay for. The high lasts only seconds before the bottom drops out, but low cost makes it available to the blue-collar market. There are few crack addicts on Wall Street. The traders prefer the smoother ride of the pure powder, and they can afford it. If prescription cocaine were available to serious addicts, there is every likelihood the demand for crack would disintegrate. In Liverpool, where John Marks gave addicts cocaine by prescription, nobody asked for crack."
This 5.5 tonnes of uncut cocaine could have come in very handy in the effort to protect our communities from crime. Examination of the results of the heroin prescription trials much publicised in the press earlier this month, shows that three quarters of the heroin addicts included in these trials were also crack addicts.
"those in the heroin group were committing a total of 1731 crimes in the 30 days prior to entering RIOTT treatment and after 6 months, this fell to 547 crimes"
How much further would this figure have fallen if the crack addicts had been prescribed cocaine alongside their heroin? The next course of action is not to expand the heroin prescription trial, but to accept the overwhelming international evidence of its benefits and roll out heroin prescription to every community that needs it. Scientific attention should now be turning to cocaine in an attempt to ascertain whether cocaine prescription can keep crack addicts out of trouble too.