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Report calls for legalisation of drugs to curb gang violence in WC

The report said the procurement and sale of illegal leisure drugs was the primary income of almost all Western Cape gangs and central to gaining an understanding of their activities.

FILE: Legalising drugs is at the centre of a new plan to curb gang violence in the Western Cape. Picture: SAPS

CAPE TOWN - Legalising drugs is at the centre of a new plan to curb gang violence in the Western Cape.

The controversial response to the national anti-gang strategy was drawn up by Professor Don Pinnock for the Western Cape Community Safety Department.

Among the critical actions, the report called for was the legalisation and regulation of all narcotics to bring them into line with alcohol and cigarettes.

The report said the procurement and sale of illegal leisure drugs was the primary income of almost all Western Cape gangs and central to gaining an understanding of their activities.

It also found that a strong focus on low-level dealers, rather than the bosses in charge of the drug trade, meant the war on drugs was largely unsuccessful.

The report proposed that any model of legal regulation should be driven by people, not corporate profit.
The needs of vulnerable communities engaged in the drug trade should also be taken into account.

It proposed the scope of drugs be slowly withdrawn from police and the criminal justice system and be moved to health and other social sectors.