Skip to main content

Why are the billionaires always laughing?

Because they know the corporate media will never call bullshit on their bullshit.

Why are the billionaires laughing?

It’s easy to laugh when the corporate press treats you as a glorious success instead of the epitome of a broken social order. They laugh because they know the corporate media prefers to fawn over them rather than hold them to account.

Today, we ask you to support our nonprofit journalism because we are not impressed by billionaires flying into space, their corporations despoiling our health and planet, or their vast fortunes safely concealed in tax havens across the globe. We are not laughing.

We are hard at work digging out the truth. Please support this independent journalism today by donating to our critical Fall Campaign. We cannot do it without you. Thank you. -- Craig Brown, Co-founder

Support Our Work -- Join the small group of generous readers who donate, keeping Common Dreams free for millions of people each year. Every donation—large or small—helps us bring you the news that matters.

Study finds that, following decriminalization policies in Portugal, users have faced better "health outcomes," including a reduction in HIV and AIDS cases. (Photo: M.A. Cabrera Luengo/flickr/cc)

Study finds that, following decriminalization policies in Portugal, users have faced better "health outcomes," including a reduction in HIV and AIDS cases. (Photo: M.A. Cabrera Luengo/flickr/cc)

War on Drugs Doesn't Decrease Use, UK Gov't Report Finds

'The evidence from other countries show that levels of drug use are influenced by factors more complex and nuanced than legislation and enforcement alone,' study finds

Sarah Lazare

There is no "clear correlation" between tough-on-drugs laws and lower drug use, finds a landmark UK government study based on a comparative analysis of narcotics laws around the world.

Published Thursday by the Home Office, the report was signed by the Conservative home secretary Theresa May and the Liberal Democrat minister Norman Baker. While the study steers away from specific policy recommendations, it notes there is no evidence that punitive approaches impact levels of drug use.

The study examines numerous countries, including Portugal, where the government has pursued policies of decriminalization, focusing on health and treatment over incarceration.

"It is not clear that decriminalization has an impact on levels of drug use," the report states. "Following decriminalization in Portugal there has not been a lasting increase in adult drug use." Furthermore, there is evidence of "improved health prospects for users," including a reduction in cases of drug-related HIV and AIDS, the study finds.

"We encountered a range of approaches to drug possession, from ‘zero-tolerance’ to decriminalization," the report reads. "The evidence from other countries show that levels of drug use are influenced by factors more complex and nuanced than legislation and enforcement alone."

According to Baker, the report has been ready for release since July, but its publication was delayed due to suppression by the Conservative Party. The Telegraph reports that the release of the study touched off a political "row" and sparked "panic" in the Home Office. Prime Minister David Cameron promptly responded to the study by declaring he doesn't "believe" in decriminalizing drugs.

"It’s time for a radical change in British drugs policy," Baker declared in a statement released Thursday. "The fact is we should spend more time and effort cracking down on the Mr Bigs’ and criminal gangs who traffic drugs than users and addicts who should be helped to recover, not put behind bars."


Our work is licensed under Creative Commons (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0). Feel free to republish and share widely.

This is the world we live in. This is the world we cover.

Because of people like you, another world is possible. There are many battles to be won, but we will battle them together—all of us. Common Dreams is not your normal news site. We don't survive on clicks. We don't want advertising dollars. We want the world to be a better place. But we can't do it alone. It doesn't work that way. We need you. If you can help today—because every gift of every size matters—please do. Without Your Support We Simply Don't Exist.

Schumer Endorses 'Inspiring Community Leader' India Walton as Buffalo's Next Mayor

The U.S. Senate majority leader's move comes as some key New York Democrats refuse to back the democratic socialist.

Jessica Corbett ·


'Who Will You Throw Overboard?' Manchin Targeted for Trying to Sink Democratic Agenda

West Virginians gathered at the senator's yacht to demand that he stop blocking the "popular and needed" Build Back Better package.

Jessica Corbett ·


'We Shouldn't Do It at All': Manchin Admits He's the Enemy of Democrats' Ambitions

The right-wing West Virginia Democrat and fossil fuel investor has previously confessed his intent to quash his own party's sweeping $3.5 trillion Build Back Better package.

Brett Wilkins ·


After Getting 'Stealth Bailout' During Pandemic, US Corporations Try to Kill Proposed Tax Hikes

"When it's time to finally put workers first, big businesses are spending millions to maintain their advantage and preserve the status quo," said Kyle Herrig of Accountable.US.

Jessica Corbett ·


'Disgraceful': Just 9 Republicans Join With Dems to Hold Steve Bannon in Criminal Contempt

The vote "reveals just how far the Republican Party has fallen" since Trump took control as GOP's de facto leader, said one pro-democracy advocate.

Jon Queally ·

Support our work.

We are independent, non-profit, advertising-free and 100% reader supported.

Subscribe to our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values.
Direct to your inbox.

Subscribe to our Newsletter.


Common Dreams, Inc. Founded 1997. Registered 501(c3) Non-Profit | Privacy Policy
Common Dreams Logo