Of all the possible political systems available to man, democracy is probably the most difficult beast to ride well. In essence, it first makes every individual citizen responsible for policy, and then, to make the system workable, allows those citizens via the ballot box to hand over their share of control of policy to a relatively tiny group of elected politicians and appointed civil servants, in the belief that that small group can be trusted to do what the majority need and want.
However, on a huge number of subjects this does not and cannot work, simply because there is no clear cut majority of citizens all wanting the same policies. But this is not true when it comes to the handling of the drugs problem.
Surveys show that, on this subject, the electorate break down into three very distinct groups with pronounced ideas on what should be done by their elected representatives and their civil service.
On the one hand we have:
The drug users, who obviously wish to be able to go on using inexpensively, without resorting to crime and without threat of legal action in the form of fines and imprisonment.
Then we have the liberalisers, the decriminalisers and the legalisers who mainly say that the electorate must have freedom of choice to use or not use (and this group also includes some current users).
And finally we have by far the vast majority of voters who expect that the exercise of their vote will give them the drug and addict free society they want for themselves.
Because 1) and 2) above are clearly in the minority, in order to attain their policy goals, they tend to become campaigners and lobbyists for their particular policy preferences, whilst 3) above, having delegated their power to their MPs and MEPs, tend to sit back and trustingly leave it to their political representatives and civil servants.
However, when you survey all three groups on the question: “Do you want a policy which will likely permit your children to become drug addicts?”, even the majority of committed addicts says: “NO!”
The liberalisers break down into
those who profess libertarian beliefs to justify their own recreational drug use, so that this sub-group tends towards the: “NO!” of the committed addict or a simple: “Not really,”
AND those with a genuine libertarian belief who say: “DEFINITELY NOT, but it is important that even children have the freedom to choose for themselves”.
In other words, viewing the future drugs problem for our children and grandchildren (rather than the current situation which includes groups where the drug of choice is doing the talking rather than the individuals themselves) one finds that well over 90% of the voting population want a future drug free society, and that over 65% expect it right now.
As a consequence, the FDFE believes that the first right action for the European Commission is to check the above statements by running its own survey of a broad cross-section of voters attitudes
- a) towards a drug free society for themselves AND
- b) towards a drug free society for their descendants.
The results of that survey will without doubt give the Commission the right to proceed with its policy-making on the basis of a majority desire for a Drug Free Europe. A basis which will nevertheless permit the concurrent development alongside fundamental drug free policies, of sympathetic policies for the minority groups 1) and 2) in paragraph five above.
Because Europe truly does have a silent majority – who remain silent only because they have already trustingly made their statement at the ballot box – the above will permit the Commission to avoid the trap set by those seeking to pack a “steering group” with the continuous and loud lobbying voices of the minority groups which were present at the recent conference.
This is particularly important when one bears in mind that a numerous and wide variety of such lobbying groups are provably encouraged towards drug usage and legalisation by hidden commercial interests, who not only benefit by expanding their own present legal drugs sales, but also by taking over currently illicit drug sales via prescription (e.g. methadone) and eventually by having statutes passed which they hope will legalise drug sales under their supervision.