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Pubdate: Sun, 28 Apr 2002
Source: Independent on Sunday (UK)
Copyright: Independent Newspapers (UK) Ltd.
Author: Colin Brown
Bookmark: (Decrim/Legalization)


Mo Mowlam has called for all recreational drugs - including cocaine,
ecstasy and heroin - to be legalised and taxed.

The former cabinet minister, who was responsible for anti-drugs policy,
says prohibition is not working.

Speaking to The Independent on Sunday before the launch of her
autobiography, she said: "I am arguing for legalising all drugs because I
don't think there is any other way. You have to take the financial nexus
out of it. If you can do that, you can pay people to produce it, as they do
with tobacco, and tax it.

"I think that is the most effective way because in the end I don't think
you could ever stop it.

"If the kids get hold of it because it's a high, they will get hold of it.
Why not regulate it, take the tax from it and deal with addiction?"

Ms Mowlam says that she became convinced from anti-drugs visits to Colombia
that cutting supply was not enough on its own.

"The thing that hit me was the money that drives it. The money will go
where they can make it. That is the problem.

"I don't think we can stop it, and there are a number of people in other
countries who agree with me, and police and social workers who agree with
me. We have to face up to the reality."