Former British Secret Service Intelligence Officer
“The War on Drugs has failed completely; we must rethink our approach.”
Annie Machon worked as an intelligence officer in the UK domestic Security Service, MI5, for six years in the 1990s. During part of that time she was responsible for investigating terrorist logistics, and worked closely with the Investigations Division of UK Customs. This work made plain to her the overlap between drug smuggling and that of both weapons and terrorists. It also became clear that the drugs trade is key to funding terrorist groups.
Her work with Customs also revealed the futility of the “war on drugs”: "It was like looking for the proverbial needle in a haystack," she observes, acknowledging the absurd amount of resources that were poured into attempting to stop drug imports compared to the minute amount of seizures that were actually made.
Her familiarity with the internal machinery of the government, the media, and intelligence gathering agencies give her a unique perspective and the ability to break down complex topics while conveying them in a clear and understandable manner.
Furthermore, by focusing on addiction as a public health issue, it would reduce drug problems while raising public revenue via drug taxation rather than incarceration. "An informed political debate" says Annie, "is key to reaching a wider audience and illustrating the faults of prohibition."
Annie grew up in Guernsey in the Channel Islands with her father, a newspaper editor, mother, a homemaker, and younger brother. She holds a Masters in Classics from Cambridge University and is now an author, public speaker, media pundit and civil liberties campaigner. She continues to challenge a clearly ineffective system that leads to so much law enforcement corruption.
She is a regular keynote speaker for conferences, companies and universities across Europe and North America, addressing issues such as the “war on terror”, the “war on drugs”, civil liberties, intelligence issues, and the media.