A FORMER Supreme Court justice has called for illicit drugs to be legalised.

Retired ACT judge Kenneth Crispin says the banning of party drugs has been an even bigger failure than the US prohibition on alcohol during the 1920s and early ’30s.

The three-decade war on drugs had produced gangsters like Al Capone on a much greater scale, he argued.

”Drug usage has exploded during the period of the war on drugs,” he told ABC Television.

”All around the world, the most vigorously enforced drug laws tend to have the highest rates of usage.”

Street prices of drugs had also fallen during the crackdown on drugs, with cocaine costing a sixth of what it did compared with the start of the drug war.

Mr Crispin said he came to his conclusion on the need to decriminalise drugs ”incredibly reluctantly”.