New London police commissioner blames middle-class cocaine users for violence in Colombia and on British housing estates

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Sunday, February 6, 2005

LONDON,United Kingdom — The new London police commissioner Sir Ian Blair has warned middle class dinner party users of cocaine that he is out to get them. In contrast, he is relaxed about cannabis smokers, saying he does not wish to waste police time pursuing them. He has been quoted as saying: "People seem to think the price of a wrap of cocaine is 50 quid [UK pounds], but the cost is misery on estates here and a trail of blood back to Colombia. Someone has died to bring it [cocaine] to a dinner party. People who wouldn’t dream of having a non-organic vegetable don’t seem to notice the blood on their fingers."

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Blair is clearly trying to prick the conscience of the 624,000 estimated cocaine users in the UK, hoping to persuade them to boycott this Class A drug. Others, including Colombian Nobel Prize winner and author Gabriel García Márquez, have stated that the misery both in Colombia and on poor housing estates in the UK is caused not by drugs themselves but by the banning of them. Marquez has specifically said that he cannot see the end of the civil war in Colombia as long as the illegal drug trade exists, and he cannot see the end of the illegal drug trade unless drugs are legalized. The trade in cannabis also generates violence both at home (in the UK) and abroad, in spite of Sir Ian's softly, softly approach to this recently reclassified Class C drug.

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