By Matthew Barrett
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Nick Clegg has chosen today to launch an attempt to change Britain's drugs laws. The attempt has failed. David Cameron said, during a press conference in Brussels, that Mr Clegg is entitled to hold a view on the Lib Dems' plans for their next manifesto. That neatly bats away any notion that the Coalition will change current drugs laws. Mr Cameron said:
"I personally don't support a royal commission. In my view there's always a danger, as someone said, that they can take minutes and last for years. I am very happy to debate and discuss drug policy. I think the coalition government has taken a series of good steps. The government, I think, has got a good record on these things and there is some good evidence that drug use and drug abuse is falling."
Cameron is right not to follow Clegg's path.
Mr Clegg used an overly dramatic and inaccurate term in his interview with the Sun today. He said: "We are losing the war on drugs on an industrial scale." The real "war on drugs" primarily relates to actions carried out by the Mexican government against large armed drugs gangs. Some of the south western states of the US are also affected. Britain is not. If Mr Clegg wants to protest against the policies of the Mexican and American government, he is free to do so. But he should not pretend British drugs laws are anything to do with it. In reality, we gave up any pretense of a "war on drugs" in Britain decades ago.