Sunday, November 19, 2006

Fair trade MDMA?

The latest police anti-drugs initiative points out to middle-class users that the supply of their additives is unavoidably linked to death and brutality back in the places they come from. The argument is that these organic banana-purchasing, fair trade coffee-drinking people are then hypocrites for taking these tarnished substances up their noses at the weekend. Kirsty Wark asked of Pete Doherty if he'd ever considered the human harm his drug-taking supports. (He hadn't.)

But let's analyse the argument.

If consumers in the market had the choice to buy their Class As from ethical suppliers, I should think they would. The reason they don't have that choice is because they are highly illegal. And whose fault is that? It's the government(s) and the police themselves. The argument of the police is self-defeating.

I suspect that the sourcing of coffee, tobacco and even legal drugs causes similar pain in their origin countries. Does the NHS have an ethical drugs-sourcing policy; should one refuse the opium from the nurse until she finds an accredited supplier?

There are many good arguments against the use of illegal drugs. This isn't one of them.

(A related story on NHS inethical sourcing of surgical equipment is here.)

1 comment:

Andrew said...

Very classy spin. I never took that into account either, however I love the Pete Doherty reference!