Drugs raids are so commonplace these days that there is almost a “so what?” factor about the early morning clatter of battering rams on barricaded doors.
Sure, it’s good to see the cops on the trail of criminals who peddle death and misery.
But it is an all too familiar picture these days, one accompanied by a shrug and a “but will it make any difference?”.
Which is why it is perhaps time to look at a different picture.
One where we aren’t using all those police resources, all that time on intelligence and enforcement, all that money on a war that isn’t being won.
And it isn’t. Drugs are still here and they are not going away anytime soon.
So how about instead of the folly of making drugs disappear when they never will, we make the villains vanish instead.
It’s pretty easy really. Legalise drugs.
Cue a sharp intake of breath and cries of “madness”.
But think it through.
Most of us take drugs to relax and enjoy ourselves – you, me, the folk next door.
The difference is our drug of choice is alcohol, nicotine or caffeine (yes, that too). And they are all legal.
Yet if you class a drug by harm, alcohol at the very least would be a Class A drug.
Addictive? Yes. Harmful to health? Yes. Creates problems in society. Absolutely.
Yet there it is, on the shelves in its myriad forms … and I quite like it, thanks.
But at least when we buy booze there are strict rules and regulations that mean it’s safe, it’s taxed and the profits go to legal businesses, not vile drug cartels.
Sure, it carries hazards, but those are clearly defined and we make an informed choice. If we can do all of that with the alcohol drug, why not with the rest?
Lives could be saved, the criminals put out of business, tax revenue raised for our health services, and our police freed up to do more to keep us safe.
It won’t happen overnight because the societal dread of drugs has become so ingrained.
But can’t we at least start to talk about doing things differently?