Newspaper Article

War on drugs is unwinnable, but locking up Mr Bigs is still worth it



Hamilton-Smith N (2018) War on drugs is unwinnable, but locking up Mr Bigs is still worth it. The Conversation. 26.01.2018.

First paragraph: Nine serious criminals weresentencedat the High Court in Glasgow, Scotland on January 22 for offences relating to the wholesale supply of cocaine. David Sell and the rest of the gang were reportedly handling up to a ton of the drug every year, with a final street value in the region of £150m to £160m. They received a total of 87 years in prison for their trouble. Yet years of academic evidencesuggestthat convicting such serious offenders will make no difference to the drugs market in the medium or long term. Those living in the most affected communities don’t need experts to tell them that: after 40 years of the “war on drugs”, the impact of such enforcement on supply has been negligible.

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Publication date online26/01/2018
PublisherThe Conversation Trust
Publisher URL…l-worth-it-90649
Place of publicationLondon

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Dr Niall Hamilton-Smith

Dr Niall Hamilton-Smith

Associate Professor, Sociology, Social Policy & Criminology