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Friday, February 06, 2004

A public debate?

The Chief Constable of North Wales, Richard Brunstrom, repeated the presentation on heroin that he gave to the Assembly's Social Justice Committee last year in an interview with a BBC Wales programme last night. I reported the gist of his presentation in this blog on 25 October 2003. Essentially, he believes that heroin should be legalised and sold through pharmacies in its pure form. A report on the BBC website sums up his argument thus: 'He does not advocate drug taking but says changing drug laws would wipe out a multi-million pound illegal trade. "Heroin is very addictive but it's not very, very dangerous," he said. "It's perfectly possible to lead a normal life for a full life span and hold down a job while being addicted to the drug. "What would be wrong with making heroin available on the state for people who wanted to abuse their bodies?"' What was clear from the programme is that he wants to start a public debate on this to establish some sort of consensus. I was a little startled therefore to hear a commentator on Radio Wales this morning discussing Mr. Brunstrom's remarks who, as well as going for the person instead of engaging in the argument, stated that the Chief Constable should initiate a public debate by all means "as long as he does not use the media". Doh!

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