Review: 'The Truth About Heroin'

Posted Jun 23, 2013 by Alexander Baron
This three quarter of an hour plus documentary was uploaded to YouTube last month. Either you believe it, or you believe the politicians.
The Opium Poppy. The white  milky latex being exuded in this image is raw opium. The active ingredie...
The Opium Poppy. The white, milky latex being exuded in this image is raw opium. The active ingredient in opium is morphine, a very addictive substance. Raw opium is refined into morphine base in crude field laboratories. Morphine base is a sticky, brown paste which can either be smoked or processed into heroin. Once processed into heroin, the drug is usually shipped out to nations throughout the world.
KGM007 / Wikimedia
Who has the most credibility: medical doctors or politicians. Tough call. Not. This documentary was actually made in 2001 and its correct title is Drug Laws Don't Work or more fully Drug Laws Don't Work: The Phoney War.
Although it is set largely in Brighton, it is relevant to the whole of the UK and indeed the world. It is difficult to believe that heroin in any form is totally harmless or even relatively harmless, but the fact is that powerful drugs that are regarded as dangerous are used routinely in hospitals the world over to control pain, and for other bona fide medical reasons.
The man behind this film is Nick Davies, who writes for the Guardian, but we can forgive him that. The evidence he adduces is compelling; even if one does not accept his thesis about heroin and similar drugs, there is now a substantial and growing minority of civil libertarians, politicians, and even police officers who have not only realised the war on drugs has been counterproductive but have spoken out against it. It is not that any of them want people to become hooked on drugs or even to take them for recreational purposes, but just as no doctor would hack off a patient's leg to "cure" an ingrown toenail, so have informed people working on the front line realised the "cure" in this case is far, far worse than the disease.
At the very worst, legalisation and regulation of Class A drugs would lead to a drastic reduction in crime - petty and not so - which would free up money and resources to tackle other social problems like homelessness and prostitution, both of which overlap with the drug plague.
As of 1.30 London time this morning, The Truth About Heroin had been viewed a mere 250 times on YouTube. This is one of the most important subjects of our or any generation. Be sure at the very least that you augment this count.