A Conversation for Ask h2g2

Legalise Drugs

Post 101

Ferrettbadger. The Renegade Master

Right I thought I would ressurect this thread.

Given that we have just had a general election and now another one is some time in the future hopefull the government might be prepared to do some leftfield thinking and genuinely try to work out the best way to look at the drugs problem.

My stated views from post one have not changed.

Any takers?


Legalise Drugs

Post 102

kea ~ Far out in the uncharted backwaters of the unfashionable end of the western spiral arm of the Galaxy lies a small, unregarded but very well read blue and white website

What've you got? smiley - bigeyessmiley - winkeye




Just bookmarking really.


Legalise Drugs

Post 103

Ferrettbadger. The Renegade Master

Ahhh I see, "ant takers" a pretty poor choice of words given the context. smiley - winkeye

However given that crime tends to be one of the biggest issues for people (particularly thoses of the right wing tabloid inclination) it is my opinion that a comprehensive, sensible and radical policy toward narcotics is essential for the UK (and probably for all countries for that matter).

I mean what do people think?


Legalise Drugs

Post 104

Nbcdnzr, the dragon was slain, and there was much rejoicing

I'm all for legalisation of soft drugs. Here in the Netherlands (as you will probably know) we have a policy that allows the sale and consumption of cannabis, without it being actualy legal. Lately some politicians have begun campaigning for total legalisation, including the production. I think that would be a good move, to show the rest of the world that it can be done. The situation inside the EU is a bit tricky ofcourse, with the absense of border checks and all that.


Legalise Drugs

Post 105

Ferrettbadger. The Renegade Master

Well for me far more important than the legalisation of soft drugs would be the prescription of Heroin.

By far the biggest society problem in relation to drugs IMHO is heroin addicts commiting crime to feed the addiction. If you prescribe heroin to addicts it will massivly reduce crime.


Legalise Drugs

Post 106

Mr. Dreadful - But really I'm not actually your friend, but I am...

I don't do any drugs myself but I can see the benefits of legalisation and the subsequent regulation.

Not all drug users are students or bums, but these are the stereotypes which get thrown about.

Going waaaay back to Blicky's comment on music and drugs. Not all musicians do drugs, nor do drugs make good music... look at Ozzy for Gawd's sake!


Legalise Drugs

Post 107

Ferrettbadger. The Renegade Master

On the other hand look at all the many bands who made great music when they were young angry and full of drugs.

Then compare the records they made when they all gave up drugs and got familys/mortgages and chilled out.

Bit of a red herring though in the what ios best/worst for society in relation to drugs debate.


Legalise Drugs

Post 108

Ferrettbadger. The Renegade Master

Right this has been in the news a lot recently and there was a big bit about it on the Today show this morning.

T'other day the Daily Mash had a brilliant story that gets (IMHO) to the nub of things in a way only Satire can.

http://www.thedailymash.co.uk/news/health/legalise-drugs,-says-some-crazy-president-of-the-royal-college-physicians-201008173007/

Anyhow today this story has come out:-

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-11033139

Now I can see how this would seem like a superficially attract policy but for me it is wrong headed and not thought through. If you remove benefits from addicts I think it is very unlikely that they are going to (as Taff would say) "Man Up" and get clean. Much more likely is increases in their petty crime, begging and prostitution.

I am utterly convinced that treating addiction as a crime, rather than a health issue is fundamentally wrong headed.

FB


Legalise Drugs

Post 109

kea ~ Far out in the uncharted backwaters of the unfashionable end of the western spiral arm of the Galaxy lies a small, unregarded but very well read blue and white website

Agreed. I'd add that addiction has societal causes as well as personal ones, and if we seriously want to lessen addiction we need to look at societal causes as well. Not sure that manning up is enough on its own in an overall sense i.e it will work for some and not others.


Legalise Drugs

Post 110

Ferrettbadger. The Renegade Master

Indeed, though I think many like to frame the entire drugs debate in terms of the "personality failings and weakness" of those who are addicted rathern than acknowledging wider causes and triggers.

Much easier to say "lock em up" than it is to say "lets find a way to deal with three generations of no work and abusive family situations" eh?

FB


Legalise Drugs

Post 111

The Twiggster


I look forward keenly to the day, probably long after my death, when government policy is based on examination of evidence, rather than on gut feel and what's popular and lines the pockets of one's chums.

Continuing the medical analogy, right now our system of governance reminds me of this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ez3BFGXR02A



Legalise Drugs

Post 112

Mister Matty

> Here in the Netherlands (as you will probably know) we have a policy that allows the sale and consumption of cannabis, without it being actualy legal. Lately some politicians have begun campaigning for total legalisation, including the production.

Good. I don't care for the Dutch approach because it leaves the distribution and profits in the hand of gangsterism which can't do much for crime. Drugs (on a drug-by-drug basis, not all or nothing either way) ought to be either legal and sold on license or illegal. Decriminalisation is half-hearted nonsense that fails to deal with one of the major problems of the trade in illegal drugs.


Legalise Drugs

Post 113

The Twiggster

I disagree. I think ALL drugs should be legal. It should be possible for you to go to your doctor and ask for a repeat prescription for heroin, crack, crystal meth or cannabis, and to go to your pharmacist and get it. That way, access to ALL drugs is controlled and sale is regulated and taxed. Of course, there will still be people who access illegal supplies - there are people who distil illegal hooch - but they'd be such a tiny minority as to not be worth worrying too much about.

People who became addicted could be treated like people who are addicted to alcohol and tobacco - as people who are ill, rather than criminal, and who can be offered non-judgemental help to get off it, if they want to. If they don't want to, fine, screw 'em, let them die, so long as they're not harming anyone else.

It is senseless to render substances illegal and then spend fortunes punishing people for something you've arbitrarily decided is a criminal act. All the evidence of reality shows it is pointless and heavily counterproductive. When are we going to start following the evidence?


Legalise Drugs

Post 114

A Super Furry Animal

>> If they don't want to, fine, screw 'em, let them die, so long as they're not harming anyone else. <<

One of the issues, however, is the propensity of folk to take drugs, then behave in such a way as they *do* harm other people; behaviour directly caused by the drug. And experience with the legal drug which is most commonly used in this way indicates that legislation is not an effective deterrent to that behaviour.

RFsmiley - evilgrin


Legalise Drugs

Post 115

Ferrettbadger. The Renegade Master

Just to take a slight smiley - devils advocate position here. What about say substances which frequently led to people being violent. If some sort of a drug just in its use was likely to effect other people would there be an argument for trying to restric/control it?

FB


Legalise Drugs

Post 116

Ferrettbadger. The Renegade Master

Simulpost!

FB


Legalise Drugs

Post 117

kea ~ Far out in the uncharted backwaters of the unfashionable end of the western spiral arm of the Galaxy lies a small, unregarded but very well read blue and white website

>> It should be possible for you to go to your doctor and ask for a repeat prescription for heroin, crack, crystal meth or cannabis, and to go to your pharmacist and get it. That way, access to ALL drugs is controlled and sale is regulated and taxed.

But not alcohol? smiley - huh

You can't treat all drugs at the same level. I would want to see methamphetamines controlled much more strictly than cannabis for instance (because methamphetamine use is associated with high levels of violence and very distorted thinking).



>>
People who became addicted could be treated like people who are addicted to alcohol and tobacco - as people who are ill, rather than criminal, and who can be offered non-judgemental help to get off it, if they want to. If they don't want to, fine, screw 'em, let them die, so long as they're not harming anyone else.
<<

This implies that it's possible for any individual to recover from addiction given the right treatment programme. That's not actually true. Addiction happens in a societal context and unless society is also going to change there will always be people who can't overcome their addiction.

Some long term drug users have altered brain and other body chemistry, as well as decades of ingrained behaviour associated with drug use, none of which are easy or straightforward to manage. To suggest that any of the current treatment programmes would be enough for everyone one of those addicts is erroneous and not based in reality.


Legalise Drugs

Post 118

The Twiggster


"the propensity of folk to take drugs, then behave in such a way as they *do* harm other people"

Really?

Accepting that the following is anecdotal evidence only, here are my experiences of drugs - specifically drugs taken by *other* people.

Ecstasy: I have been hugged, repeatedly, by smiling people of all sizes and both genders.

Cocaine: I have been bored rigid and slightly annoyed. I was once poked aggressively in the chest by someone trying to make a point.

Cannabis: I've been mildly amused and on occasion slightly weirded out.

Speed: I've been confused and irritated and occasionally startled.

Heroin: I've been burgled once, and was once confronted (although not actually successfully touched) by a violent shoplifter. Note that both of these events happened while the perpetrator was NOT under the influence of said drug, but was trying to secure funds to buy more.

Alcohol: I've been beaten unconscious, hit with a bottle, hit in the head with a heavy metal object, spat on, sworn at, pushed down a flight of stairs, vomited on, and on one occasion almost arrested for assault for the crime of trying to help someone stand up when they could barely walk.

It baffles me that of all those drugs, just the last one is legal. Even heroin has only caused me problems because it's illegal, rather than because of its direct effect on those who take it.

It annoys me greatly that the law as it currently stands exists NOT to minimise the harm to me and other members of society, but rather to enforce the moral judgements of a minority of tedious curtain-twitching idiots.

It is, in my view, exactly like the law against homosexuality.



Legalise Drugs

Post 119

The Twiggster


"there will always be people who can't overcome their addiction."

And because of that everyone else has to suffer? No thanks. I'm for personal responsibility. If they can't overcome their addiction, then society should and can accept their existence in that state, and deal with them. Criminalising them, however, makes absolutely no sense. It's more expensive than just trying to help them, and it's a whole helluva lot more expensive than saying they can't overcome their addiction and just letting them get on with it.

And if some drugs make some people violent, then punish the violence if and when it happens. Hold people responsible for their actions - there's a radical idea.


Legalise Drugs

Post 120

kea ~ Far out in the uncharted backwaters of the unfashionable end of the western spiral arm of the Galaxy lies a small, unregarded but very well read blue and white website

I think it's true that much of our drug laws are based in morality, but also commerce (look at the history of controlling alcohol), and public welfare (as mentioned methamphetamine drives people crazy).


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