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War on drugs ‘should be abandoned’

War on drugs ‘should be abandoned’

Damien McElroy

A study by the International Institute of Strategic Studies found that the global war on narcotics had failed to contain the scourge of illegal stimulants.

The drugs trade has spread to Africa and Eastern Europe in recent decades and entrenched its standing in its traditional strongholds of Asia and the Americas.

Nigel Inkster, the former assistant chief of MI6 and author of the study, said there was a growing revolt against the cost of the fight in developing countries.

Only “vested interests” in countries where illegal drugs are consumed stood in the way of a change in approach, he said.

Research indicated that the authorities would need to stop 70 per cent of all drugs shipments to disrupt the trade. While no figures for the proportion of the trade stopped are available, the figure is almost certainly far below that threshold.

Therefore ramping up the security services fight against drugs is almost certainly doomed to failure.

“As any doctor is told on his first day, you should not just double the dose,” said Mr Inkster, who is the most senior figure to have worked within the fight against narcotics to openly call for a review. “If your initial diagnosis doesn’t work don’t just double the dose.”

The corrosive effects on security of the narco-economy also weighs as an argument for ending the war. “You can’t do counter-insurgency and counter-narcotics simultaneously,” he said. “Our investigation has shown us that the so-called war on drugs fundamentally undermines international security.”

The report, Drugs, Insecurity and Failed States, highlights two alternative systems. Either decriminalisation of all personal possession, as Portugal instituted a decade ago, or a licensing scheme such as that which brought the gin trade under control in London in the 1700s.

Licensing would also allow states to begin to apply the lessons of antismoking campaigns which have curtailed tobacco use.

Taxation, public health messages and social legislation could marginalise drug use.

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Queen Elizabeth accused of profiting from drug trafficking


UK queen accused of drug trafficking


A part of the fortune of the Queen of England comes from drug trafficking.


Jacques Cheminade, candidate for the 2012 French presidential election

Britain’s financial regulator has fined the British queen’s bank for money laundering failures as a French presidential candidate has said part of the queen’s fortune “comes from drug trafficking.”

The Financial Services Authority (FSA) has fined the British queen’s bank, Coutts Bank, 8.75 million pounds for failing to carry out correct checks on “politically exposed persons” and prevent money laundering.

“The failings at Coutts were serious, systemic and were allowed to persist for almost three years. They resulted in an unacceptable risk of Coutts handling the proceeds of crime,” the FSA said in a statement posted on its official website.

The news comes less than a week after a fringe candidate for April’s French presidential election said the British queen owed her fortune to drugs money laundered by “Jewish bankers in The City.”

On 21 March, Jacques Cheminade, an independent presidential candidate running in the French election, said, “a part of the fortune of the Queen of England comes from drug trafficking.”

“No, not any property, there are several other sources. But it is a series of trafficking in which, yes, there is trafficking drugs,” Cheminade said on television LCP French National Assembly.

Known as the British queen’s banker, Coutts was criticised for “significant, widespread and unacceptable” failures, as described by Tracey McDermott, acting director of enforcement and financial crime.

“The size of the financial penalty demonstrates how seriously we view its failures,” McDermott said.

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