Editor, The Times:
A decade ago Portugal decriminalized drugs. Tired of the 1980s-style war on drugs, which was making the situation worse instead of better, this small Iberian country decided on a different course on the problem of substance addiction.
There isn’t space here to describe how it all worked but so far so good. Portugal’s decriminalizing drugs for personal use appears to have had a positive effect, although not everyone agrees.
Let me throw another one in here. When the HIV virus showed up in Australia the down under people launched a massive needle exchange. As a result Australia still has one of the lowest rates of HIV on the planet.
Both Portugal’s and Australia’s pragmatic approach was derided by the moralists – you know, the “that’s not right” crowd. Never mind that it’s producing positive results, it’s against my beliefs!
Which bring us to the tragedy of Sergeant Stu Seib. He was known for his practical approach – don’t sweat the small stuff – which made him the perfect small town cop. Whether he is guilty or not guilty, Seib is another result of Canada’s rather futile war on drugs.
As criminologist Neal Boyd has pointed out, it’s the very nature of our approach to drugs.
There is too much loose money, too many drugs – all over the world. Those sent to wage war on drugs are hoisted by their own petard.
In other words, the first casualty in the drug wars are many times those who are sent to wage it.
In the case of Stu Seib there is too little concrete information. Rumors abound. However, rumors are not a good foundation to go on.
As Albert Einstein is quoted as saying, “The height of insanity is doing the same thing over and over, expecting a different result.”