By The Economist. THE war on drugs is at last subsiding. A growing gang of both rich and poor countries are choosing to tolerate or even legalise drugs that they once tried to suppress with force. And many of the calls for a ceasefire are coming from unexpected places. The main moves to allow people to use cannabis have been in America, which was long the world’s chief cheerleader for prohibition. This week Mexico’s supreme court opened the door to legalising marijuana. Even more surprising is conservative Ireland, a country that still outlaws abortion, which announced plans to permit some consumption of heroin.
The Irish plan would establish “medically supervised injecting facilities”—better known as shooting galleries—where heroin addicts can take their drugs, using clean equipment, under doctors’ supervision. This will reduce the dreadful harm done by heroin to its users and to society, which suffers from the crime that always goes hand in hand with such an addictive and expensive drug. But regulating how heroin is consumed ought to be just the first step. Next, Ireland and others should muscle in on the supply of the drug itself.