The war on drugs

BMJ 1996; 312 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.312.7031.635 (Published 09 March 1996) Cite this as: BMJ 1996;312:635

Legalisation may be necessary

  1. O L Wade
  1. Emeritus professor of therapeutics Medical School, University of Birmingham, Birmingham B15 2TT

    EDITOR,—I agree with Richard Smith that some drugs may have to be legalised.1 I remember that, when working at Columbia University, New York, in 1954 I heard Dr Robert Loeb, the head of medicine, deploring the news that the police intended to crack down on illicit drug dealign in Harlem. He had watched prohibition result in alcohol dependence and gangsterism in the United States. When prohibition ended, dependence on alcohol still remained but the gangsterism associated with the drink trade stopped. Loeb predicted that …

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