Youre totally wrong! Carole Malone shuts down Owen Jones in drug use debate
Owen Jones and Carole Malone clash on drug decriminalisation
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A ‘war’ on drugs broke out on Jeremy Vine show this morning between panellists Owen Jones and Carole Malone. In this heated row, both panellists threw fists and demanded attention, including presenter Jeremy Vine, arguing whether drug use should be decriminalised and dealt with as a pubic health issue rather than as a criminal offence.
Columnist Owen Jones said on the show: “The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results and that is the ‘war on drugs’.
“It was declared over five decades ago by President Nixon. Since then, over a trillion dollars have been spent by the United States alone.
“Drug use instead has exploded. We’ve had huge numbers of people obviously arrested, spiralling numbers of arrests entire countries have been destabilised Mexico, the Philippines, Afghanistan to name three striking examples.”
He went on: “And actually if we look at what actually works-I have been to Portugal, they decriminalized drugs two decades ago. And everyone said this would open up the floodgates and all the rest of it.
“And within years the overdoses fell by 85 percent. They’ve got the lowest drug mortality in Europe, 50 times lower than the United States.”
Carole Malone then interjected: “You are totally wrong! Let me tell you something.
“There’s an institute called the Delgado Institute in Australia, which is a coalition of alcohol and drug educators, and it says Portugal’s experiment hasn’t worked.
“It says, and just listen, because I’ve got the stats. It says ‘Portugal decriminalised drugs in 2001. By 2007 the use of any illicit drug has risen by 9%. By 2017 drug use was 59% Higher.”
She continued: “Drug deaths went down in the first couple of years, and then they’re now back at the same. Now I’m afraid this is true. I don’t know where your research is from but this is true.
“It also says the use of drugs by any high school students aged 16 and was 36% Higher in 2011.”
Jeremy Vine then chipped in, raising his arm: “It might be there’s more drug use, and less drug deaths.”
Owen Jones interrupted: “It’s not only that, it is comparing like and like.
“Drug use increased across the western world in many countries. It increased far more than Portugal where it was illegal in those countries.
“What we’ve ended up with is far more people use drugs than they did at the beginning, the point about drug addiction, which is what we should be talking about, is services to treat people with drug addiction.”
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He added: “As for addiction, which manifests itself in lots of ways. People are addicted to everything from alcohol to food to drugs is often underlying mental issues that need to be dealt with.
“Now the point though is you should deal with it as a public health issue, not as a criminal offence.”
Last year, the number of drug-related deaths recorded in England and Wales was the highest since records began in 1993.
In total, 4,561 deaths related to drug poisoning were registered.
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