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An adult conversation about drugs?!


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#1 lifelessfool

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Posted 24 January 2012 - 03:56 PM

I've always though drug policy in the UK was abit arbitrary and that because of the media and ignorant public opinion it would never change, but 2 articles today struck me as suprising! http://www.bbc.co.uk...litics-16697637 firstly Richard Branson calling for drastic change on the laws and classification and a report i read ealier calling to change laws on mules and social dealing. All of which I find astonishing given that its a tory government. Personally I think both of the steps are progressive and in the right direction. Any one got any views on this?

#2 eFestivals

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Posted 24 January 2012 - 04:16 PM

All of which I find astonishing given that its a tory government.

You've made the mistake of thinking that reports which come out of govt departments are the result of govt policy. They're not.

Reports like these are sometimes commissioned by govt, but often (mostly?) they're not. They're simply a govt department looking at & reviewing the areas of policy they're responsible for, and producing reports on them.

Once a report is produced, the govt is obliged (I think it's a full legal obligation) to publish them. About the only thing the govt can influence is when they're published. It's pretty normal for any minister to hold back reports they disagree with, which then get published en-masse on the day that minister is sacked (and get buried as other lesser news as a result).

(An ex of mine used to work at the Home Office, putting together reports much like these - which is how I know of this. One of her reports was sat on by Michael Howard until the day he lost the Home Secretary's job).

I'm guessing that the report that's been released today has been timed to coincide with Branson's appearance before that parliamentary committee, so that the details of both get blurred and lost by the existence of the other, and it's easier for the govt to manage the reporting of them via the confusion that comes from two things coming along together.

So while you might approve of what the report says and what Branson has said, it's probably not the progressive thing from this tory govt that you're taking it all to be.

#3 lost

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Posted 24 January 2012 - 06:25 PM

All of which I find astonishing given that its a tory government. Personally I think both of the steps are progressive and in the right direction. Any one got any views on this?


For a long time there has been a strong argument from the right in America for the legalization of drugs. It would be nice if the politicians from both ends of the political spectrum over here started to see sense.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nLsCC0LZxkY

#4 Shaun Child

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Posted 24 January 2012 - 08:24 PM

I know this is jumping straight through a whole loads of other stuff but I think, like the Netherlands; the UK should have drug testing centres where you can take a small sample and for a small fee (I think it's 3e in the Netherlands) your drugs can be tested for purity/constituents totally anonymously. Obviously, it doesn't stop people taking drugs outright but at least it does provide a certain amount of safety & knowledge when people use them.

The government know that they'll never stop people completley using them and in a sense, the more you tell someone they can't have something and try to control it, the more said person wants it and will find ways around getting it. I think that people are nearly completely mis-informed about drugs as a whole and the risks/benefits which come with them. The government tries a fear tactic of negative effects/harsh penalties whilst not being totally true about the actual effects & consequences.

Also, there's the argument of legalizing certain types of drugs could be a massive tax cash cow to the government, I even read somewhere that if the government produced & sold the drugs themselves, not only would it be a massive revenue but they would be able to be controlled safely & uncontaminated, further reducing the risk of using them & the cost to the government to treat those that abuse it.

#5 Barry Fish

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Posted 24 January 2012 - 08:39 PM

I don't see any reason to soften the drugs laws... Quite happy for it to remain tight... Increase the punishment if anything...

#6 Kyelo

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Posted 24 January 2012 - 08:43 PM

I don't see any reason to soften the drugs laws... Quite happy for it to remain tight... Increase the punishment if anything...

Maybe the fact that clearly doesn't work for a start? Or that some illegal drugs are far safer than legal ones?

#7 Rufus Gwertigan

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Posted 24 January 2012 - 08:46 PM

Unfortunately this usually ends in an entrenched argument and no one ever seems to find middle ground. Now I am far from anti drugs but if ever I have argued about the risks of cannibis abuse or addiction I just get shot down in flames or abused, usually with the argument of it can't cause harm. Now my personal view point is on the side of legalisation but with regulation, mainly for quality control, and real world studies and monitoring.

#8 kaosmark2

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Posted 24 January 2012 - 08:57 PM

I know this is jumping straight through a whole loads of other stuff but I think, like the Netherlands; the UK should have drug testing centres where you can take a small sample and for a small fee (I think it's 3e in the Netherlands) your drugs can be tested for purity/constituents totally anonymously. Obviously, it doesn't stop people taking drugs outright but at least it does provide a certain amount of safety & knowledge when people use them.

The government know that they'll never stop people completley using them and in a sense, the more you tell someone they can't have something and try to control it, the more said person wants it and will find ways around getting it. I think that people are nearly completely mis-informed about drugs as a whole and the risks/benefits which come with them. The government tries a fear tactic of negative effects/harsh penalties whilst not being totally true about the actual effects & consequences.

Also, there's the argument of legalizing certain types of drugs could be a massive tax cash cow to the government, I even read somewhere that if the government produced & sold the drugs themselves, not only would it be a massive revenue but they would be able to be controlled safely & uncontaminated, further reducing the risk of using them & the cost to the government to treat those that abuse it.

The Netherlands has more people taking Class A drugs than we do though.

I do get your point, and it's clear that the current approach isn't working, but I'm not sure legalisation is the right way to go.

#9 kaosmark2

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Posted 24 January 2012 - 08:59 PM

Unfortunately this usually ends in an entrenched argument and no one ever seems to find middle ground. Now I am far from anti drugs but if ever I have argued about the risks of cannibis abuse or addiction I just get shot down in flames or abused, usually with the argument of it can't cause harm. Now my personal view point is on the side of legalisation but with regulation, mainly for quality control, and real world studies and monitoring.

That's because there's no obvious sensible middle ground, and both sides, while they have points, often have a vested interest (eg. people pro-legalisation are users).

#10 abdoujaparov

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Posted 24 January 2012 - 09:00 PM

Unfortunately this usually ends in an entrenched argument and no one ever seems to find middle ground. Now I am far from anti drugs but if ever I have argued about the risks of cannibis abuse or addiction I just get shot down in flames or abused, usually with the argument of it can't cause harm. Now my personal view point is on the side of legalisation but with regulation, mainly for quality control, and real world studies and monitoring.


it's nonsense to claim that cannabis causes no harm...there's plenty of evidence that it does, not least because it's often smoked with tobacco

but that isnt the point...the point is whether the state should criminalise people just for doing things that are harmful. If I choose t harm myself by using drugs, drinking alcohol or eating lard, what business is it of the state to make me a criminal for exercising my right to do what the fuck I want to myself?

#11 Shaun Child

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Posted 24 January 2012 - 09:07 PM

I agree in the sense that they should stop penalising the users and get to the root of it, I think if they spent half as much time on tackling the underlying cause e.g. the suppliers/producers as they do on petty cases there would be a big effect. Like above said, what is it for someone to harm themselves if they wish, as long as others aren't disrupted and they don't cause too much of a problem there's hardly any point in chasing after them.

It's a loosing battle ultimately, as the population grows and drugs become easily available then it will always continue. The best thing the government can do is to make sure it's people are as safe as can be and to inform them as well as possible. Knowledge is the key I believe.

#12 Barry Fish

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Posted 24 January 2012 - 09:14 PM

Maybe the fact that clearly doesn't work for a start? Or that some illegal drugs are far safer than legal ones?


Murder is illegal.... People still murder.... Shoud we legalise it because "it dosent work"..

I don't want it to be "ok" for the guy next to me and my family on a train to be whizzing his tits off... Fuck that..
Lock the druggy scum up.... We can't stop them all be we can manage it and at least say.... No, fuck off, that's not ok!

Edited by Barry Fish, 24 January 2012 - 09:15 PM.


#13 kaosmark2

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Posted 24 January 2012 - 09:21 PM

Murder is illegal.... People still murder.... Shoud we legalise it because "it dosent work"..

I don't want it to be "ok" for the guy next to me and my family on a train to be whizzing his tits off... Fuck that..
Lock the druggy scum up.... We can't stop them all be we can manage it and at least say.... No, fuck off, that's not ok!

But it's OK for him to down beers until he gets violent? Or for a guy to stand at a busstop chainsmoking, getting that nicotine high and passing around 2nd hand smoke?

And of course, locking someone up in jail for a minor offence doesn't cause them long-term problems in terms of their career, the fact that they've been forced to spend several consecutive months with the only people around them being criminals. Or the high cost of the prosecution, running the jail sentence....

#14 abdoujaparov

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Posted 24 January 2012 - 09:22 PM

Murder is illegal.... People still murder.... Shoud we legalise it because "it dosent work"..

I don't want it to be "ok" for the guy next to me and my family on a train to be whizzing his tits off... Fuck that..
Lock the druggy scum up.... We can't stop them all be we can manage it and at least say.... No, fuck off, that's not ok!


You're a self-confessed and regular drug user...you even make your own drugs. Why are your drugs ok and others not?

why shouldnt the bloke sat next to you on the train be off his head, as long as he's causing you no harm. Abnd if he is causing you harm, then by all means deal with him for the harm he is casuing, whatever the source of his intoxication

#15 Rufus Gwertigan

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Posted 24 January 2012 - 09:23 PM

it's nonsense to claim that cannabis causes no harm...there's plenty of evidence that it does, not least because it's often smoked with tobacco

but that isnt the point...the point is whether the state should criminalise people just for doing things that are harmful. If I choose t harm myself by using drugs, drinking alcohol or eating lard, what business is it of the state to make me a criminal for exercising my right to do what the fuck I want to myself?

Whilst I agree that use should be decriminalised there should still be specific offences such as "drunk and disorderly". I was reading that there is research going on to try to quantify the amount of drugs in someones system to warrant a driving on drugs arrest. On the whole I can see no reason as to not treat criminality and drugs the same as they do with alcohol use i.e. It is not illegal to take but it becomes an aggravating factor if you commit a crime.

#16 abdoujaparov

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Posted 24 January 2012 - 09:28 PM

Whilst I agree that use should be decriminalised there should still be specific offences such as "drunk and disorderly". I was reading that there is research going on to try to quantify the amount of drugs in someones system to warrant a driving on drugs arrest. On the whole I can see no reason as to not treat criminality and drugs the same as they do with alcohol use i.e. It is not illegal to take but it becomes an aggravating factor if you commit a crime.


I dont disagree with that

#17 Barry Fish

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Posted 24 January 2012 - 09:28 PM

But it's OK for him to down beers until he gets violent? Or for a guy to stand at a busstop chainsmoking, getting that nicotine high and passing around 2nd hand smoke?


No... It's not...

#18 Barry Fish

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Posted 24 January 2012 - 09:32 PM

You're a self-confessed and regular drug user...you even make your own drugs. Why are your drugs ok and others not?

why shouldnt the bloke sat next to you on the train be off his head, as long as he's causing you no harm. Abnd if he is causing you harm, then by all means deal with him for the harm he is casuing, whatever the source of his intoxication


Even when I fist started drinking it would take quite a level of beer before I would start to lose any sort of control..... My first spiff wrecked me after a couple of drags....

They arent they same to me...

#19 t8yman

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Posted 24 January 2012 - 09:33 PM

Murder is illegal.... People still murder.... Shoud we legalise it because "it dosent work"..

I don't want it to be "ok" for the guy next to me and my family on a train to be whizzing his tits off... Fuck that..
Lock the druggy scum up.... We can't stop them all be we can manage it and at least say.... No, fuck off, that's not ok!



Ignorance is bliss eh?

It's not ok for someone to fart on the train next to you and your family, but people do.

The guy in that video up there makes more sense than most I have heard on the subject, I don't have a vested interest as I very rarely touch anything these days, even dope- it just turns me into a zombie, but surely anyone can see that if a black market no longer has a monopoly, it will struggle to stay in business.

The vast majority of the human race know right from wrong, we don't need laws to tell us what is acceptable behaviour, taking away the illegality of something doesn't mean it suddenly becomes acceptable to everyone, scrotes will always be scrotes, and decent people will always be in the majority.

#20 Ed209

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Posted 24 January 2012 - 09:33 PM

Murder is illegal.... People still murder.... Shoud we legalise it because "it dosent work"..

I don't want it to be "ok" for the guy next to me and my family on a train to be whizzing his tits off... Fuck that..
Lock the druggy scum up.... We can't stop them all be we can manage it and at least say.... No, fuck off, that's not ok!


I'd rather sit next to the guy "whizzing his tits off" than sit next to you.