Saturday, January 15, 2005

Cheaper and Cheaper Drugs

In England, where a "spirited" debate is raging over whether pubs should be granted longer operating hours, one argument raised is that if pubs were open longer, people would use fewer drugs.

How stupid. For all my concerns about designer drugs, I realize that alcohol kills more people and destroys more people than Ecstasy or GHB do. In fact, the Young Adult Version of my film includes a lot of information on the dangers of alcohol.

Still, one distressing fact came out of the British press' coverage of the debate:
Yet the drinks industry is worried. It sees growing competition from drugs at the high-spending youth end of the market. Young people are drifting from pubs to clubs and turning to cannabis, Ecstasy, cocaine and smokeable heroin. These narcotics have fallen in price even faster than alcohol, to the point where a line of cocaine is cheaper than a pint of beer. According to the last Independent Drugs Monitoring Unit survey, cannabis has halved in street price under Labour. The price of crack cocaine has fallen by two thirds.

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