Mickey Malta

Notes from the zone where 'normal' things don't happen very often

Former Police man promotes cannabis legalisation

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I was never a fan of Sting’s music, but I’m starting to like his ideas. This is a report in The First Post published last Thursday (sorry for the delay).

As The Police man put it: "if you love someone set them free"

Campaigning rock star Sting has caused controversy in America by calling for the legalisation of cannabis and declaring that the war on drugs has failed. He made his comments in a column for the Huffington Post website in which he urged America to step out of its “comfort zone” and “explore new ideas”.

The British singer, who now lives in New York, said: “The War on Drugs has failed – but it’s worse than that. It is actively harming our society… We are spending billions, filling up our prisons with non-violent offenders and sacrificing our liberties.”

The 58-year-old, who made his name fronting the band The Police, claimed that the war on drugs had been used to “militarise” law enforcement in America and was “a pretext to lock people in prison for exorbitant lengths of time”.

He said he had become a supporter of the Drugs Policy Alliance (DPA), an organisation that campaigns for “science, compassion, health and human rights” in drugs regulation, after reading an article in the Wall Street Journal.

Sting, whose real name is Gordon Sumner, said he was backing the group as he was “an activist for social justice”. He added that the billions of dollars saved by legalising cannabis could be used to fight poverty and pollution.

Unsurprisingly, his comments have not gone down well among less liberal drugs campaigners. A spokesman for the group DARE, which stands for Drug Abuse Resistance Education, said: “He should stick to singing and not meddle in matters he doesn’t understand.

We do not need pop stars coming out and making irresponsible statements like that.” Sting has long been a campaigner on environmental issues and has supported causes such as Amnesty International and Live Aid. However, when The Police reformed they were labelled the dirtiest band in the world because of the amount of pollution created during their 2007-8 tour. And last year he was criticised for playing in Uzbekistan, which has an appalling human rights record.


Written by mickeymalta

04/04/2010 at 08:58

Posted in Politics

Tagged with ,

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