Royal Naval sailors test positive for cocaine


Eighteen sailors aboard the Type 42 destroyer, HMS Liverpool, have tested positive for cocaine, the MOD said today. HMS Liverpool had been involved in anti-drug smuggling operations and the test had been carried out after the crew had a “run ashore” in Brazil.

This remarkable story neatly demonstrates the schism running through established thinking on drug use in the UK. For as long as I can remember many police officers and Customs investigators who I have spoken to over the years have said it would be better to legalise all drugs. Overnight the spiralling crime associated with drug dealing would disappear as hop-heads could buy their poison legally. Yet political parties of all colours fear it would be electoral suicide to take the plunge.

But if they did then Colombia could export cocaine, undermining the crime cartels, Afghanistan could export opium, disenfranchising the Taliban’s ‘moral’ high ground. Millions of farmers and ground workers could earn an honest living. In the west gun crime would dwindle, burglaries would start drying up, prostitution become once more a robust – perhaps even healthy – industry of knowledgeable ‘sex trade’ workers rather than the drudgery of pathetic heroin addicts.

Drug use is at an all time high in the UK. Now it is not just in the major cities that the sniff of marijuana can be smelled by passers-by, but in the rural towns and villages, too. It’s happening anyway so why not rid town and country of the devastation caused by the crime wave linked to it?