September 14th, 2009

Think Tank Pushes Drugs Policy of Decriminalisation

zero_baseOf all the right-of-centre think tanks the libertarian-leaning Adam Smith Institute has always been a bit more spikey and willing to push the envelope than rival think tanks in Westminster wonk-land.

In economics the ASI was the mid-wife of Thatcher’s privatisation strategies which were exported around the world (the separate consulting arm spun-off from the institute advises foreign governments worldwide to this day). In the last decade it has (to little  avail) been putting the case for not just lower taxes, but flatter and simpler taxes.  Until now the wider libertarian social agenda was seemingly off limits and left to the various pressure groups and single-issue campaigns.

Madsen Pirie has never dodged the drugs liberalisation question in the past but the ASI has never pushed the policy until now.  Madsen Pirie told Guido he felt that the “war on drugs” approach had now been tested to destruction and that the political environment was more “convivial” to drug liberalisation.  Guido asked him “Do you mean that because we have a former self-confessed coke-head in the White House and a former stoner heading for Downing Street we might see change?” Diplomatically he replied “Well, it is fair to say, this generation of ministers will be more familiar with the issues.”

Zero Base Policy has 32 other manifesto recommendations…

UPDATE : Claudia Rubin from the Release campaign says

the last significant drug policy measure in the UK was implemented by Margaret Thatcher with the introduction of the needle exchange programme and it is fitting therefore that the ASI should be taking this view. Were he to become Prime Minister next year, David Cameron could mark 40 years of the failure of prohibition by doing something really necessary and sensible.

Phillip Oppenheim, a former Conservative Treasury minister in charge of Customs says in an interview out today that in office he tried to push government policy in a progressive direction.  There is nothing progressive about locking people up for smoking weed…


359 Comments

  1. 1
    Anonymous says:

    Sense at last.

    Did I Podium.

    Like

    • 28
      Budgie says:

      Neither de-criminalising (“recreational”) drug users, nor de-criminalising dealers will achieve anything except increased use of these drugs. This in turn will result in increased ill health, including to premature death, and consequently an increased burden on the NHS and thereby more money taken off the hapless mugs known as taxpayers.

      All that is bad enough, but some at least of the drug users’ parents, children, partners and friends will also be badly effected. What happens to the 3 year old whilst his Mummy is off her head? More of the drug users will be incapable of holding down a job, and some users work will be affected by these drugs.

      Increase drug use will enrich the dealers whether criminal or not. Legalising the drug providers merely transfers the problems to government regulation and taxation, and whether any legitimate company will lay itself open to being sued because of these drugs’ side effects.

      De-criminalising or legalising these drugs is harmful, costly and illogical.

      Like

      • 37
        jgm2 says:

        If you de-criminalise these drugs then you de-glamorize them. Less people will get into drugs because it will no longer be a cool teenage, rebel-without-a-job, lets-stick-it-to-the-man-by-fucking-up-our-lives, lifestyle choice.

        People won’t be getting ‘bad’ batches of drugs and committing 80% of recorded crime to score them. They’ll be being treated openly and honestly as being folk with a medical condition in the same way we treat alcoholics. Hopefully better than we treat alcoholics but you get the picture.

        You ask ‘What will happen to the three year old while mummy is off her head?’ Hopefully she’ll leave the child with a responsible adult while announcing quite openly that she’s off for a hit down at the government clinic ‘cos she’s an addict. Instead of furtively taking the hit and trying to hide it from everybody because she might get arrested and her kid taken into care. Either way it cannot be worse than whatever choice she makes at the moment.

        Like

        • 50
          ButcombeMan says:

          “If you de-criminalise these drugs then you de-glamorize them. Less people will get into drugs”
          ****************
          Just like alcohol & tobacco?
          Please engage brain before posting.

          Like

        • 52
          Old Nick Heavenly says:

          Budgie, you sound like a parrot!

          In Holland, where weed is tolerated, a much smaller percentage of teenagers start smoking weed than in the United Condom!

          It just isn’t that cool! Copy your stoned parents! Where is trhe rebellion in doing what is tolerated!

          I do not for one millisecond imagine that this will have any effect on your ‘thinking’ Mr Parrot

          Like

        • 59
          jgm2 says:

          Butcombe Man. A hell of a lower percentage of the populatio are smoking than when I was a kid.

          Acceptance and education will have the same effect on marijuana and the other harder drugs. As Old Nick says – it ain’t much of a teenage rebellion when your parents are passing the joint around.
          They don’t have anything like the same rates of muppet teenage preganancies either – despite a spectacular porn industry and hot and cold running whores in the windows of many towns.

          Funny that.

          Maybe it is you who might want to engage your brain.

          Just saying.

          Like

        • 75
          Budgie says:

          jgm2, why not “de-glamorize” drug use now, without de-criminalisation?

          Old Nick H, am I supposed to quake in my boots because you call me a parrot? Your mentality is so retarded that if I had called myself Parrot, you would sneer that I was a Budgie. When you dream up a sensible argument, then post it.

          Like

        • 96
          Bill says:

          Fewer people.

          Like

        • 173
          Anti Corruption Citizen says:

          jgm absolute bollocks. You will be wanting to legalise peadophiles next.

          The only reason for legalisation that can possibly be is that the Home Office wants to make their offices and officers legal.

          What has happened to thisd degeneration, once great, country.

          They will try to ban protests against Mulim exgtremists next.

          Like

        • 176
          MI6 says:

          If you decrimialize drugs, you will put an awful lot of Police on the Dole, as well as adding some 6 billion to the exchequers coffers. Dosn’t make sense!!
          The world we live in is run by a government that wants to spend all of the taxpayers money on Wars, Policing, Surveilance, Security. Not to mention frightening the public. If it ain’t Sars its Flu or CO2 or any other notion that can conjure up some CASH. Like War or something. Ah we are skint, Can’t nick any more out of the pension pot or any where else. God help us if we can’t pay the wages we might just have to really start fixing things.

          Like

        • 205
          English Viking says:

          We could decriminalize murder as well, perhaps that will go out of fashion.

          Like

        • 236
          The grateful dead says:

          Once we have decriminalised drugs we can move on to necrophilia. After all “It doesn’t hurt anyone”

          Like

        • 247
          Sir William Waad says:

          English Viking: JS Mill worked this out long ago. You should only criminalise something if it does other people substantial harm. He also advocated forbidding people from giving up their freedom, so that, for instance, slavery would be illegal even if somebody volunteered for it (for instance, because they were desperate for money). On those two grounds you woud ban murder and you might ban heroin (as people become enslaved’ to it) but you certainly would not ban marijuana or MDMA.

          Like

        • 287
          Mr Slater's Parrot says:

          K-KHAAAAAAWKK! (skrittle) WRA-AAARRK! OOYOULOOKINAT!!! (ruffle)

          Like

        • 298
          English Viking says:

          @ 248

          Ask Leah Bett’s mother, father, friends and loved ones if they have been harmed by MDMA. One tablet. Once. One dead girl. It’s all harmless fun.

          Like

        • 322
          Yor avin a laaaaaarf says:

          @EnglishViking

          Leah Betts died because of drinking too much water, not the drug.

          Want to ban water as well?

          http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/magazine/6263029.stm

          Like

        • 342
          English Viking says:

          @ 323

          You didn’t answer the question and Leah Betts died from drinking too much water because she was high on MDMA. If she had not taken the drug she would not have drunk the water. Do you want to ban logic as well?

          Like

        • 353
          Yor avin a laaaaaarf says:

          @343

          The reason you know Leah’s name is that she is one of the few people to have died in the context of mdma use, despite mdma being one of the most used illegal drugs in the known universe.

          The problem with illegal drugs is that they are made more dangerous by not being regulated for purity.

          Anyway, nice to see you backing off from the assertion that mdma killed her.

          Like

      • 46
        Steve Expat says:

        I disagree.

        Legalisation would lead to drugs being of known quality and being taken in a more controlled environment rather than the crack dens of today.

        There will be a reduction in crime as the price will be less than currently, there not being several dealers in the supply chain all taking their cut from something that can be produced cheaply.

        The bill to the NHS will be reduced as there will be less accidental overdoses and inavertant consumption of other chemicals “cut” with the drugs to increase the dealer’s profit.

        Your example of “mummy who is off her head” is happening now, allowing her to control her habit gives her a better chance of getting and holding a job than at present where she is taking unknown substances in squalid conditions and stealing or prostituting herself to pay the dealers’ inflated prices.

        This really is quite revolutionary for someone as high profile as the Adam Smith Institute to advocate this – it is obvious to most that the “War on Drugs” has not succeeded despite billion shaving been invested in it. The ASI have obviously thought through the varying scenarios and wish them luck in convincing the politicians (who in turn have to convince the public) that deregulation is the way to go…

        Like

        • 90
          Budgie says:

          Steve Expat – you are entitled to disagree. But “known quality” is irrelevant, most of the drugs themselves are harmful. I am also rather perturbed that so many commenters who I thought understood the market mechanism, apparently think, against all evidence, that reducing the price of these drugs will result in reduced usage. Whether it is DVD players or cocaine, reduced price will increase consumption. That will inevitably lead to an increase in the problems that these drugs already cause,

          Like

        • 98
          tat says:

          most drugs are harmful?
          proof please budgie.
          you seem unable to separate drug use from drug addiction and abuse.
          do you drink alcohol budgie? following your logic if so much as a drop passes your lips you are a piss head alcoholic, innit.
          oh, and well done budgie, the drug dealers of the world thank you I am sure for promoting and protecting their profits.
          you idiot budgie. you are a useful idiot for heroin exporters.
          DOH!

          Like

        • 107
          Come the glourious day says:

          As I have said on here before, around 90% of aquisitive crime (burglary, mugging, theft from cars, shoplifting) is to provide cash to feed a drug habit. Let the addict get clean drugs at a reasonable price and that’s huge of amount of everyday crime reduced.

          This also removes the vast amounts of cash sloshing about in the hands of criminals and the army of enforcers to make sure that money stays in their hands.

          In addition of course, recreational drugs, as opposed to the really addictive stuff, can be sold and (hears treasury rubbing hands) taxed.

          Like

        • 197
          Budgie says:

          tat, if you are not aware that drugs like ecstasy, heroin, amphetamines and cocaine can be harmful, sometimes even for a single dose, then I suggest you go away and look it up yourself

          Like

        • 209
          tat says:

          “can be” “sometimes”
          stop generalising budgie, it does not help your argument which is weak enough to start with.

          Like

        • 212
          Bordeaux Binger says:

          I read a paper from the FBI about 30 years ago arguing for de-criminalisation of drugs and for their sale through pharmacies or other licensed retail outlets. The well researched and presented paper pointed out the major fall in minor crime by addicts and its advantages to the community. It would most likely lead to a drop in addicts as there would be no incentive to ‘pushers’ as there would be no profit for them. The international crime cartels in Columbia, Afghanistan and the Far East would collapse and this would, in turn, lead to less corruption in Government and Law Enforcement. It would also free up Police Forces, Social Services and other assets to concentrate on better service to the community. Oh, and any crime, including driving under the influence, where drugs were a contributory factor would be met with condign punishment.

          Like

        • 237
          Anonymous says:

          @Budgie: ” can be harmful, sometimes even for a single dose”

          I see you’ve yet to engage your brain… try again.

          The only real harm from a single dose is from either not getting what you expect and so taking too much, and/or bad stuff in there that shouldn’t be.

          Of course all this is solved by decriminalisation.

          And there’s a limit to how much increase there is in consumption by reducing the price.
          Do you think that people would take an infinite amount if it was free?

          But because you want the government to ‘do something’, you condemn those that chose eg. MDMA (or have friends that do) instead of alcohol to constantly ponder if their next pill will be the bad one – and that’s just evil.

          Like

        • 238
          Anonymous says:

          oh.. just notice the ‘brain engagement’ thing was from someone else above – still stands but y’know I wouldn’t normally be so rude

          Like

        • 311
          Mr Ned says:

          Agreed, the usual anally retentive right-wing reactionaries predicted a total breakdown in society in Portugal with their very progressive drug liberalisation. In fact the opposite happened. It has been a great success. Crime is down, as is illegal drug use. We should copy them.

          Like

        • 337
          Anonymous says:

          The reason I use the terms “sometimes” and “can be” is because I leave the simplistic sweeping generalisations to the ‘de-criminalising’ crowd. People’s physiology varies and therefore so do our reactions to drugs, both short and long term. And that includes serious reactions to just one dose.

          Like

      • 58
        Mick says:

        28. de-criminalising drugs will not lead to a greater umber of people using them: drugs are very easily purchased these days. De-criminalisation will reduce the cost and will make a black market in drugs a futile exercise.

        Many will use specious and emotive claims about our children but, if our children are predisposed to take drugs, they will and those thet are not, will not.

        Try to be less bigoted and listen to the arguments before dismissing them

        Decriminalisation will

        – not increase use
        – not result in an increased burden on the NHS
        – will very quickly get rid of the illicit drugs trade
        – get us out of Afghanistan
        – reduce crime levels

        Like

        • 72
          councilhousetory says:

          well said. and well said guido. and well done the ASI for having the guts to say the obvious.

          Like

        • 81
          Budgie says:

          Mick, I suggest you also should be less bigoted and listen to the arguments in favour of keeping these drugs criminalised and the points made against “de-criminalising”.

          That includes the totally fatuous view of the de-criminalisers, like yourself, that reducing the price will magically reduce consumption. It is basic economics – reduced price = increased use.

          Like

        • 101
          tat says:

          you are a prohibitionist budgie, it is thanks to cretins like you that criminals like al capone became so successful and powerful.
          you moron.

          Like

        • 103
          Reg511 says:

          Why reduce the price? If the business was legitimate what a fantastic revenue stream, even though the experience in other countries suggest it would only last as a revenue stream for a generation, 23 years

          Like

        • 116
          Boycott the ПРАВДА licence fee says:

          Budgie, I’m normally in agreement with you on everything but not on this issue. You seem to singularly misunderstand the relationship between addictive substances and price. You can’t liken alcohol and other drugs to DVD players! Good god, man. Get a grip!

          Like

        • 124
          Boycott the ПРАВДА licence fee says:

          Budgie, to see the difference in price relationship between drugs and other commodities, check out this study: http://www.umsl.edu/~keelr/180/price_elasticity_and_demand.pdf

          Like

        • 126
          Great Granddad says:

          I am waiting for the ASI to advocate the decriminalisation of smoking. While us law abiding citizens are routinely persecuted by people who have been brainwashed by the totally nonscientific opinions of the late Professor Doll, there can be no road to a solution to drug abuse.

          Like

        • 128
          Pontius The Pilot says:

          I can understand the point of view that says we are not winning the war on drugs and chances are, we never will.

          I can understand the perspective as well of if you cant ban it, then you may as well consider legalising it.

          What worries me is that if it is legalised and does come under government control, that they will make the most godalmighty fecking horlicks of it and it will be open to corruption. This government couldnt run a frickin’ bath.

          I’m not sure it will get rid of the illicit trade. Where will the raw materials come from? You think the Persians, the Columbians, the Afghanis will just give it up? Or that we can try and flood our own “market” with synthesised copies?

          I cant see how it can fail to place an additional burden on the NHS. Not to mention the legal minefield it would create regarding employment law and those who use recreational substances whilst employed in either high risk or sensitive areas.

          Or how it would reduce crime. Yes, it may stop the turf wars between gangs, but they’ll move on from drugs to something else. But, if you’re hooked and you need a fix and you’re skint, what are you going to do? Ask for the state to give you it on tick? Could we seriously contemplate a nation of addicts getting their state supplied narcotics on prescription but not paying for it because they’re either on benefits or in too much of a chemical induced stupor to work? That sounds like a real vote winner… not.

          And how do we distribute it that cuts out the black market?

          Civil servants at nightclubs and at Glastonbury?

          The idea that we should decriminalise it and then tax it is laudable; but the way we would make that work I think is a road fraught with danger. After all, couldnt we argue that we should be doing the same with prostitution?

          Lastly; the UK government and its associated think-tanks can hardly, realistically be described as progressive. Apart from Switzerlands ill-fated “Needle Park” experiment a few years ago, I’d have thought that if this were truly possible, that someone would have attempted it already.

          Not just with marijuana, but with the whole panoply.

          As I said, a laudable idea and debate is necessary, but I worry about the execution and implementation of the plan.

          Like

        • 132
          Jack says:

          If Drugs are legalised then which high street retailer is going to be first to sell legal Heroin and Crack? Boots or Superdrug? Great for the image of the brand? Me thinks not.

          Like

        • 157
          Budgie says:

          Boycott the ПРАВДА licence fee, I have looked at your link. This report confirms what I say, in one case: “users were very responsive to prices” (Findings). Some data is limited but all four types of drug considered confirm the fact that cheaper prices lead to increased consumption.

          Reg511, if the price is not reduced then the criminal suppliers can carry on supplying. You cannot have it both ways. At low prices there will be a low tax take and consumption will increase. At prices similar to today’s the criminal supply chain will remain in place.

          Like

        • 355
          Furious Capitalist says:

          That will mean we can leave Afghanistan then. Great the sooner we bring our lads back and save some cash the better

          Like

      • 85
        torytv says:

        “…consequently an increased burden on the NHS and thereby more money taken off the hapless mugs known as taxpayers.”

        well while we’re on the subject of radical policies, how about privatising the nhs too?

        problem solved.

        Like

        • 351
          UK Fred says:

          There is also the cost to the poor hapless taxpayer from the crime that accompanies especially recreational heroin use. On al-jabeeba this morning there was an interview with someone who has a facility which supports drug users who are incapable of having what most of us would call a stable life style, and who survive by stealing to fund a drug habit. The cost of that programme is less than the cost of the more usual alternatives, crime, prison, release back into the same situation for more drug use, funded by more crime followed by another spell at Her Majestys Hotel Service.

          Perhaps what is needed is a properly funded research project, overseen by someone of integrity like the ASI who can let us know how the various methods of dealing with non-medical drug use pan out, using the widest possible cost-benefit analyses.

          Like

      • 129
        Anonymous says:

        Your argument ignores the fact that it’s morally wrong for the government to tell you what you can and can’t do with your own body, therefore your argument is invalid.

        Like

        • 143
          Jack says:

          What utter Rubbish of course its morally right for the Government to tell what you what you can’t do if by your selfish actions you are causing great harm to others (drug addition = crime and terrible social harm). Would you say it was morally wrong for the Government to tell you not to Drink Drive ???

          Like

        • 144
          Budgie says:

          Your argument ignores the fact that it is morally wrong for drug users to impose their problems on society, or me, and their costs on to me, so your argument is invalid.

          Like

        • 159
          Alan says:

          Mr Anon, the Government keeps telling me I can’t Drink Drive, is it morally wrong to do so? Why can’t I drive my own car when I’m pissed?

          Like

      • 186
        MI5 says:

        I rather agree

        And I have known Madsen Pirie probably for longer than Guido ! I like him and respect him and his track record…

        But he and Guido and many others think it is a simpler problem than I believe it really is…from a libertarian point of view, it is logical to say that people should be free to take drugs..and perhaps for weed it would be reasonable to legalise it…

        BUT what happens when people start using drugs such as cocaine or crack legally ? These drugs are very common in children’s homes for example (according to a police specialist I recently spoke to)… it literally destroys the bodies and lives of many disadvantaged kids…are we going to let them do so legally ? And if not, we are back to square one..

        Very difficult problem…..

        The social cost is probably going to be enormous…and that affects the liberty of everyone else…so it is not a simple question of the rights of those taking drugs..

        It is clear that there is already a hige social cost

        Like

      • 224

        My thoughts exactly. I’m fed up of the sponging smack-heads in my town begging with menaces by standing next to ATM’s. Drugs in common usage will degrade and destroy society and as you rightly point out, these crack-heads can’t hold down a job, so where will their next fix come from.

        I’m probably going to leave this run-down tip of a country anyway – legalising drugs will hasten that process.

        Coney Island

        Like

      • 257
        Atlas shrugged says:

        De-criminalising drugs will result in more drugs use, at least in the short term, so best to get used to it. This is no excuse for keeping any form of prohibition.

        The government must not be allowed to start taxing the profits. Otherwise all of the advantages of liberalization could end up being more then lost.

        I would go as far as saying that it should be as illegal as it is clearly immoral to tax the production of any, and everything, including of course a human beings labour.

        For it is by taxation that all wars have always been financed, as well as all violent and authoritarian government. Taxation simply gives an incentive for the banking system, operating in loose or otherwise conspiracy with left, right or middle wing governments, to think up ever more deviously dishonest ways of enslaving the population through even more taxation. As for The BBC, well need I say more? Other then a bigger and more dishonest bunch of utter FASCISTS, in the long and most vilely dishonest history of state broadcasting, there has never been. Joseph eat your heart out.

        Today we here that the TUC is going to call for members of a legal political party ( The BNP ) to be banned from working in the state sector. And guess what reason this trade union leader said the reason for doing so was?

        You guessed it. He said it was to fight FASCISM. You really could not make this up, which is why no one now needs to.

        Like

        • 312
          Mr Ned says:

          Actually it is the banking system that gives rise to taxation and to ever increasing amounts of burdensome laws to render fines from the populous. The Govrernment uses the expected income in fines from a government bill as security against new loans. new taxes are needed to repay government debt. Thanks to fractional reserve banking, ever more money is extracted from all of us to pay their debt.

          Like

        • 313
          Mr Ned says:

          I agree with you about fascism. The unions fund it directly!

          Like

      • 272
        Anonymous says:

        can you imagine the litigation this will bring onto the authorities !

        Like

        • 277
          jgm2 says:

          Legalise drugs and jail the lawyers. Simple.

          Ask yourself. which causes more harm to society. Druggies or lawyers?

          No contest is it?

          Like

      • 354
        English Viking says:

        @ 354

        You still didn’t answer the question regarding the harm done to Leah’s family and friends, I wonder why. MDMA killed Leah, as it has killed dozens of others and brain damaged thousands. The true long-term effects of this drug are just starting to filter through, as it is still relatively new. They make grim reading. Do some research before you spout off, or are you too doped up to be bovered?

        Like

      • 356
        JimBob says:

        What a load of nonsense Budgie! Alcohol is legal yet for the majority we have the ability to choose (not the state) when we consume it and in what moderation. We don’t worry about mummy being off her head on alcohol do we?

        Decriminalising users will stop Police involvement and free up their time and associated cost to address real crime such as the dealers. Criminalising users wastes police resource and costs and can we honestly say it makes any difference? Addicts avoid getting treatment due to fear of criminal retribution when they should be seeking help.

        Unfortunately, our drugs policies are not based on fact and we have to constantly listen to people like Budgie ‘guessing’ the consequences and ignoring the facts. Portugal decriminalised users in 2001 and it has been hailed a resounding sucess with more addicts being treated and an overall drop in drug use – the total opposite of the UK.

        See: http://www.cato.org/pub_display.php?pub_id=10080

        Lets also remember that we already do decriminalise some drugs users – steroid users. Whilst it is a Class C drug it is not illegal to possess or use Steroids, only to supply them. They can have major side effects such as mood swings, can make users violent, cause heart & liver problems yet we don’t criminalise the user. We let the user decide! Does everone therefore take Steroids because they are decriminalised? No!

        Like

    • 135
      Spud_Gun says:

      I favour the death penalty for selling or using illegal drugs. The miscreants can be used for rifle practice by the Army. Targets fall when hit….Oh… and for bayonet practice.

      Like

      • 138
        tat says:

        er, we’ve tried that spud brain.
        it didn’t work.
        ps ever considered living in saudi arabia you fascist?

        Like

        • 268
          Spud_Gun says:

          I spent 16 years in the Army and not once was I given a Junkie or Dealer to shoot or stab so I think you’re wrong it hasn’t been tried. How can I be a fascist for wanting the death penalty.

          ps ever considered living in wales you pederast ?

          Like

        • 281
          Atlas shrugged says:

          tat, why would he want to bother doing that when he is already living in the birth place of modern fascism?

          At least in Saudi-Arabia he could legally smoke in his own nightclub. Pick up his sisters child from school without a permit, make a few pounds without being poorer then his unemployed brother, and get divorced from his wife without completely losing contact with his children.

          Saudi-Arabia may be very many extremely nasty things, self destructively stupid not being one of them. However when the eternal jack-boot in the face starts kicking us American, European and British style, then it is time to start being very nice to everyone, including Saudis and people like Spud-Gun.

          Like

    • 193
      Anonymous says:

      Legaise ! Let the government provide super pure batches of skag and then slowly cull the junkies. Problem solved, crime reduced and a quick hoovering up of the dregs of society – trebles all round!

      Like

      • 359
        David Hart says:

        Ummm, guys? A bit of research wouldn’t go amiss. Here is a link to a report on the Swiss heroin maintenance program, which prescribes heroin to dependant users who have failed to respond to other treatments. Note that it has reduced crime committed by these heroin users, and reduced health harms suffered by them – in particular, no one has died from adverse reaction to heroin while on the program. Also, the Swiss voted to roll this program out across the whole country, after it had been implemented in an experimental phase in limited locations.
        Anonymous (directly above) seems to be under the impression that providing pure heroin to those who want to use it will eventually kill them, when in fact the opposite is true. Pure heroin, when delivered in a know, controlled dose, is actually remarkably non-toxic (ask any doctor). That’s why it’s so useful in hospitals as an analgesic (though they call it ‘diacetylmorphine’ or just ‘diamorphine’, but it’s exactly the same stuff). In fact most of the deaths associated with heroin actually result from impurities in the drug (which is a direct consequence of prohibition), or from combining it with other drugs (which, admittedly is not, but at least prohibition guarantees that it won’t be sold with warning labels telling people what drugs it is unsafe to combine it with).
        Some of you will complain that you don’t want your taxes spent on subsidising heroin use, which is a valid point, but you must remember that a large amount of public money already goes on law enforcement which has proved spectacularly ineffective at preventing heroin coming into the country (Scottish police reckon they seize about 1% of it), and just as bad at preventing people from using it (since the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971 came into force, the number of problematic heroin users in the UK has increased by something like 1000 times). I would rather spend £X on prescribing someone heroin than £several-times-X on prosecuting them for petty crimes and a quixotic and futile attempt to stop the clandestine import of a valueable and easily concealed commodity.

        But don’t take my word for it; read the study:

        http://www.iatdmct.org/images/File/INJECTABLE_HEROIN_PRESCRIPTION_version_Feb5.pdf

        Also, nobody yet seems to have metioned the Lancet study, whose authors include David Nutt of the Government’s own Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs (the body that makes recommendations as to what class, A, B, or C, a drug should belong to, except for tobacco and alcohol, which they are forbidden from including in the classificatory scheme – and whose recommendations have been routinely ignored by the home secretary in the last couple of years). This panel of medical experts set out to review the risks to users and society from a range of different drugs. The most striking thing about it is that alcohol and tobacco were both ranked more dangerous than cannabis or MDMA (and MDMA was ranked safest-but-one out of all the drugs considered). When you then look at the rankings and compare it to which class (if any) a drug is placed in, there is remarkably little correlation.
        Now it is possible that the medics and scientists have got their statistics wrong, and it is the politicians who are right about the relative risks of different drugs. Anybody want to make a bet?
        On the other hand, it seems far more likely that our drug policy (and let nobody imagine that the word ‘drug’ doesn’t include alcohol and tobacco just as surely as it involves, say, cocaine and LSD) is simply arbitrary. When arbitrary criteria are used to divide people into criminals and non-criminals, the result is injustice.
        I’ll spell it out clearly. Anyone who says that recreational drug use should remain criminalised, but who is not prepared to say that alcohol and tobacco should also be banned, is a hypocrite (or is party to information the rest of us are unaware of, in which case, show us the research).

        Here is a link to the original article. You will have to register, but you don’t need to pay to read it.

        http://www.thelancet.com/journals/lancet/article/PIIS0140-6736(07)60464-4/abstract

        Here is a cache with the data listed for you, if you don’t have time to sign up to read the whole thing.

        http://wapedia.mobi/en/File:Rational_scale_to_assess_the_harm_of_drugs_(mean_physical_harm_and_mean_dependence).svg

        Thirdly, there has been much brouhaha above about the likes of Leah Betts, and while hers was undoubtedly a tragic, preventable death, there are recreational non-drug activities that are at least as likely as MDMA use to kill you that no one thinks should therefore be crimes. Mountain climbing, scuba-diving, hang-gliding, skiing, even rugby all carry some risk of death or injury. Before we can say that drug use should be illegal, we must have very good evidence that the least-dangerous drug we wish to ban is more dangerous than the most-dangerous sport that we are unwilling to criminalize. Once again, show me the research.

        Like

  2. 2
    Anonymous says:

    It all started in england, you know.

    Like

  3. 3
    Ed says:

    and a Prime Mentalist who is oped up to the eyeballs on meds, probably..

    Like

    • 47

      I am truly scandalised that damned Right-Wing rascals and fools, exemplified by the rude, profiteering “Guido Fawkes”, promote the merits of the legalisation of drugs, having, not a moment before, published a story tacitly denigrating and deriding Gordon Brown for their use.

      What Startling and Unpardonable hypocrisy!

      What else are we to expect from the purveyors, and beneficiaries, of Tory malice and autocracy.
      Plainly, if the rumours are accurate, Gordon’s ingestion of these medicines are the sign of a man who has admirably worked for the advantage of Pan-European Sociliasm for so long and now, alas, succumbs to the pains of that same virtuous fatigue.

      Like

      • 55
        jgm2 says:

        The paranoia. The lard-arsed physique wrought by 12 years of the munchies. The violent mood swings. The innapropriate facial tics. The early morning haranguing of constituents. The delusional behaviour.

        Could be.

        Like

      • 64
        Mick says:

        47 please let me know what you are taking and maybe I, in a haze, will pay homage to our dear leader

        Like

      • 324
        Yor avin a laaaaaarf says:

        You fail to make the distinction between someone taking a nice chemical for recreational use, and a failed mentalist prime minister taking a chemical to keep him from going totally fucking insane.

        Like

  4. 4
    Ed says:

    *doped*

    Like

  5. 5
    Nick says:

    It’s worked in Switzerland. 10% per annum reduction of the number of hard drug users, and a large reduction of the number of deaths.

    It’s quite simple. Places where you can go and get drugs tested, shoot up, and clean needles.

    Sparse, plastic tables, lino floors. Not at all glamerous, but with a couple of medical staff there.

    Works in several ways.

    1. It’s not glamerous or sexy, so new druggies are low.

    2. Gets them into the medical system

    3. With cheap heroin, they don’t need to steal. If you do, given the alternative that you refused, its off to jail.

    Liberalisation is the wrong word. It’s not a liberal choice, its a pragmatic choice

    Like

    • 10
      Vested Interests on the Tax-payers teat says:

      I’m afarid there are whole slews of the permamently concerened Labour make-work scheme that would be dead against that. How could you justify such a massive court system, parole system, police force etc etc if these druggies weren’t committing 80% of recorded crime to score a fix?

      Why do we worry about drug users and the general public – consider the outreach workers who would be unemployed overnight. Consider the magistrates, the solicitors, the judges, the police, the prison officers who would suddenly find themselves unemployed if we cleared up 80% of crime overnight.

      What about social services departments? How would they cope if there wasn’t a continual and growing stream of problem families and parents and unruly feral kids? You’ve got to consider – decriminalizing drugs would completely devastate these peoples livelihoods.

      Like

      • 13
        Aids Councillors Union says:

        Don’t forget about us? What are we going to do if folk can get clean needles? We’ll be out of a job too.

        Like

      • 14
        DNA Database Employees says:

        And us? What will we do if there aren’t a constant stream of new ‘criminals’ being generated for us to stick on the database? It’s bad enough that wanker Cameron is talking about scrapping the ID card. But those non-jobs haven’t been ‘created’ yet.

        Ours have.

        Like

        • 43
          The Union of Drug Dealers says:

          Hey, what about us. We need prohibition of drugs to protect our incomes.
          Stop talking about legalisation of drugs, we would go bankrupt overnight.

          Like

        • 127
          Anonymous says:

          Car Window tinters and manufacturers of little re-sealable bags too!

          Like

      • 16
        Jamaican Legitimate Businessmens Forum says:

        And us? How are we going to pay for our BMWs and ho’s? In fact how are we going to exercise any control over our ho’s if the biayatches canjust go down the local clinic and get a safe, legal hit for free?

        Like

      • 18
        Labour Party Politicians says:

        And what about us? How can we expect to retain control of our safe seats and Labour heartlands if, thanks to a right wing policy, the places become less of a shithole. Instead of bigger shitholes year on year.

        Although it doesn’t stop the dumb fuckers from voting for us so maybe it won’t be such a disaster for us after all.

        Like

      • 21
        The Taliban says:

        If you fuckers start growing your own fucking drugs instead of ours and we can’t afford to buy guns and ammunition then we will still chuck rocks at you.

        Fucking infidel bastards.

        Like

        • 100
          horrorfan24 says:

          Hahahaha! Oh please stop you lot I’m nearly dying with laughter here. I have tears in my eyes! Kit Kat makers and The Taliban you two are so funny! I think I’ve just pissed myself! Hahahahahahahahahaha!!!!!!!!!!!

          Like

        • 115
          PC Plod says:

          What about my overtime? Selfish bastards.

          Like

        • 139
          random idiot says:

          Very funny, whoever you are. Sad, probably true, but very funny.

          Like

      • 91
        South of the M4 says:

        ‘5 a day fix coordinator’. £35,000 p/a plus benefits. Director of fix coordination £100,000 p/a plus defined benefit pension. The Guardian will be full of such adverts. Civil Servants retrain (‘cos you can’t get such a job if you are not already in), and jobs at the Gruniard saved. Simples.

        Like

      • 131
        BBC Eemployee says:

        What about the shedloads of coke I have to shovel up my nose to give me that ounce of self-esteem that I don’t have?

        Pah! None of us will seen dead in any drop-in centre with mxing with proles.

        If you’re not in that clique who take cocaine and sucked into the superstar lifestyle that goes with it, you are out in the cold, I can tell you.

        Like

      • 326
        IRA, ETA, Al Qeda and other nonces of the the globe says:

        What about us?

        We can’t fund our acts of blowing the body parts of ordinary innocent women, children and even men to kingdom come, without the income provided by illegal drug smuggling.

        You vicious bastardos!

        Like

        • 357
          George Michaels Assistant says:

          What about me?

          If George could nip out to the local Superdrug and buy his weekly stash of Black Russian he wont need me to run around the dark dangerous streets of london to get it for him will he.

          Its a fucking disgrace you people are talking like this. Typical tories not even considering peoples jobs! I will definitely be voting Labour again.

          Like

    • 34
      elusivelestoc says:

      It worked in Britain up until the early 1960’s. Addicts were registered with surgeries and got their jabs. Then pressure was put on Britain by the US to go down the US prohibition path and look where we are now. Have always thought the US was in thrall to the drug lords who wanted to expand their empire. Viet Nam was more about the mafia securing its drug supply routes than it was about hearts and minds. Never underestimate the old greased palm road to the top.

      Like

      • 53
        I'll have some of that says:

        There were around 2000 registered addicts in 1967. But they didn’t get their jabs from the surgery, they got a prescription which they then took to thnearest chemist. Boots in Piccadilly Circus was always very busy around midnight (when the new script was dated), they’d get their stuff and fix in the toilets at Piccadilly Circus station.

        The problems were: It was easy to convince a doctor you were an addict, and get registered. You cd then sell on what smack you didn’t want/need. So it was easy to get smack if you knew someone with a habit.
        There were also particular doctors that got a reputation for being easy to register with, so large quantities of smack would be coming from one or two surgeries.

        Nevertheless the system was far better than what we’ve had since, they even got clean needles and syringes.

        Like

        • 148
          Boycott the ПРАВДА licence fee says:

          The legalised dope shouldn’t be available only on prescription. It should be sold OTC for good money only; no fucking box-ticking “unemployable” or “over 60 scrapheap” let-offs. Tax the stuff and flog it for hard cash but at a reasonable price. The Treasury badly needs the money.

          Like

    • 48
      Budgie says:

      Nick, if the Swiss system is as you describe, that is not de-criminalising. In your words: “the alternative that you refused, its off to jail.” What you have described is essentially a variation of the existing system in the UK where heroin addicts are given methadone. Even if heroin is used, rather than methadone, the drug user can still be jailed so the due process has not been de-criminalised.

      Like

      • 67
        jgm2 says:

        I think you have suffered a comprehension deficit there. Easily done after 12 years of Labour government.

        They’re jailed for stealing to fund their habit. The theft is the imprisonable offence. Since there is no longer a need to steal to fund your habit.

        Take an A* in English Language though.

        Like

        • 99
          Budgie says:

          Yes and no, it depends on interpretation. I did miss that it was the theft that was the imprisonable offence. But Nick did originally state that it was as a result of refusing the state provided drug (“given the alternative that you refused”).

          Like

        • 109
          tat says:

          you need to smoke some weed budie. right now you are just an uptight drugs baron apologist.
          you have lost the argument and so you are now just whining on and on like a broken record.
          stop defending and protecting the profits of drug cartels with you prohibition nonsense you criminally minded bastard.
          people are dying because of idiots like you.
          what an imbecile.

          Like

        • 113
          Sarah says:

          jgm2 – sorry, I have to disagree with you on this. You’re assuming that the price of the amount of drugs needed by a user will be within their grasp. Why assume this? We don’t really know how much legalized drugs will cost. Let’s just say the government had the cojones to legalize all drugs. Where would we get them from? Would it be from state-controlled drug shop (I’m being serious here)?
          Would it be from private entrepeneurs in competition with each other?
          This is a serious question because there is no way I would ever agree to the NHS being the funder of recreational drugs, and in my opinion, addicts are recreational users.
          The other scenario for decriminalization is that the state provides clean drugs to those people who are classed as being addicted. Well, why should it? Do they provide drink for alchoholics, or money for gambling addicts?

          The whole question of decriminalizing or legalizing drugs is often presented as one purely of consumer choice and a “rights” issue. But it’s much more than that, and I think it’s a bit disingenuous to present the issue in simplistic terms.

          Like

        • 155
          Boycott the ПРАВДА licence fee says:

          Tat, have you ever been known to be polite to anyone in your entire life? Little Budgie is simply ill-informed; that much is obvious. But I don’t think berating him with a string of insults is going to change his views. I don’t know of anyone that approach has worked with.

          Like

        • 170
          Budgie says:

          tat, since I am opposed to these ‘recreational’ drugs, I can hardly be accused of supporting drug barons.

          As for ‘whining on’, I have always found that those who use that type of argument (“banging on about Europe” – Ken Clarke) to be so bereft of sensible points themselves that they can only make such empty statements.

          Like

        • 204
          jgm2 says:

          Sarah – I take your point if you choose to conflate drugs with alchol and gambling addiction.

          But why should we? We could just be pragmatic and treat drugs as a drug problem. And then find the ‘best’ way to deal with it. ‘Best’ in terms of minimum impact for the txapayer and the druggies themselves.

          You could hang ‘em high. Which would certainly be cheap.

          Or you could go down the route of simply giving them free drugs on prescription. Make sure they take them on site so there is no question of selling them for export. It would cost a lot more than hanging ‘em but it would still be a damn sight cheaper than the insane ‘war on drugs’.

          It depends how squeamish you (we) are.

          Like

      • 235
        English Viking says:

        Comparison with other European countries are useless. The French, Italian, Spanish, Swiss, etc do no have the terrible problems we have in the UK with binge drinking, fuelled by an ever enlarging underclass. Imagine if large numbers of the type of people who you see throwing up on a Saturday night had access to cheap, freely available drugs. One of the reasons that drug use is not off the scale in the UK is because it is expensive, hence all the mugging etc to pay for it. If it becomes cheap, use will increase. Just think smack or speed instead of a couple of litres of white lightning. With regard to the harm that drugs do, all the prohibited drugs are either addictive, potentially lethal or have side effects such as heightened risk of mental disorder (look at Gordo). That’s why they are prohibited. Allowing every Tom, Dick and Abdul to get legally off their face will not reduce other types of crime associated with extended drug use, such as fraud and violence. Junkies don’t commit fraud because they only want money for drugs. Because they are on drugs they become unemployable and have all the other expenses of life to pay for as well. The reason the so called War on Drugs has not worked is because it has not been waged effectively. In war, the point of the thing is to eliminate your opponent. Permanently. The Gov should implement a merciless round-up of junkies and a stark choice given. Rehab or prison. Real prison. No visits, no mail, no luxuries, just medical treatment and enforced abstinence. Re-offenders get 5 years. Do it again, get 10. Drug dealers/importers/mules Executed. Afghanistan, Pakistan, Columbia, Bolivia etc visited by the RAF. Every day. No mercy. This issue is not just about Billy wanting his fix. It is whether or not the Government has the bottle to enforce the laws of this land, or change them because a bunch of junkies and bleeding heart liberals think ‘it’s not fair’!

        BTW Budgie Your’e right.

        Like

        • 271
          Steve Expat says:

          EV, you articulated your point well, unlike someone else who was (and is) sounding like a broken record..

          Building more and “proper” prisons is of course the other answer, the problem is that the magistrates and the “human rights” lawyers also have to be onside with the sentencing policies. Also consider the US, a country where 10% of adult males are currently incarcerated, their “war on drugs” is going no better than our own.

          For reference of what happens is other parts of the world, look up DJ Grooverider and what happened to him when caught with half a joint at a foreign airport (he served 12 months in a proper prison, no playstations or satellite TV)

          Like

        • 289
          thick as thieves says:

          fuck off steve.
          you’re still on probation you c’unt.
          so don’t you fucking dare take the piss, you’ve gone too far this time steve.
          I don’t want to have to give you a good fucking clout round the ear in front of your tory friends and embarrass you but I fucking will if you give top boy any more of your fucking backchat you slag.
          always remember steve: you are tory scum.
          medidate on that truth, go on, say it steve: I am steve expat, the crackhead tramp and I am tory scum.
          stay in your cardboard box steve, you will be safe if you stay in your box.
          good tramp.

          Like

        • 352
          UK Fred says:

          Tat shows his true colours, again!

          No proper answer so he resorts to abuse. I wonder what his problem really is. Is he Mad Dog MacPoison himself

          The answer to the basic problem is that the state needs to decide what its policy is gong to be and to pursue that policy ruthlessly. It doesn’t matter whether the policy is “hang ‘em high” or “free drugs on prescription for all”, or abnywhere in between, it needs to be pushed all the way. The present government is too wishy-washy about its drug policy as much as anything else.

          Like

        • 358
          Grow Your Own says:

          Viking and Budgie

          Have you ever had a smoke? probably not. I can assure you Mr Viking and Mr Budgie that after a few drags of my latest grow the last thing you would be thinking about is violence or any kind of trouble making. You will want to do nothing else but sit and watch 1980’s cartoon episodes of the Transformers with a half dozen mars bars at your side.

          Smoking weed doesnt make anyone violent. There hasnt been a single recorded case. Can you say that for Alcohol? Of course you cant.
          And its the same with Heroin and Ecstasy. Neither of them will ever make the user suddenly become a violent thug.

          All the crime associated with drugs occurs in the supply, distribution and the sourcing of funds to get the stuff, the last one being the end user. Heroin users spend from 20 pounds to 90 per day depending on their habit. Their entire existence evolves around working out ways to get the money for the drug which is massively overpriced. Obviously the more they use the more likely they will end up resorting to crime to fund the habit. Take that burden away from them and the crime they commit to get the drugs will vanish instantly just as the dealers will vanish to. If a heroin user (or cannabis user for that matter) didnt need to spend their every day conjuring up ways of sourcing the money they could actually be out their working. using these drugs does not make the user doo lally. You wouldnt even know as they can and do function totally normal once they have had their hit. Remove that burden of supply and we may be on to something. be assured, civilization would not collapse, only a labour government can do that.

          Ok dokey…got to go now. I got a big Fatty all rolled up waiting for me…

          Like

      • 314
        Mr Ned says:

        But the intelligence services need to fund their black ops somehow. The world’s biggest narcotics dealers are the CIA. They even have the British soldiers in Afghanistan defend and protect convoys of HGV’s loaded full of heroin to deliver through Russia, China, Pakistan and Iraq. Karzai has all the details hence the west bending over backwards to cover up for his massive, blatant and rampant vote fraud barely a month after condemning Ahmendinejad for far far less in Iran. Fucking hypocrites! Noriaga in Panama was a drug lord (Bush snr) slapping down a greedy leutenant. The only winners in Afghanistan are the defence corporations and the western drug trafficers. The Taliban all but wiped out the poppy cultivation, Bush jnr ensured record profits for his drug barron friends.

        Like

    • 152
      backwoodsman says:

      Agree with Nick on this, it seems a pragmatic choice and certainly one that should as a minimum be trialed.
      What is the projected effect on new recruits ? Ie, if the dealers loose the income from and presumably a degree of access to, their already hooked customers, do they find it harder to attract new ones ? Indeed, is it worth it, you go to all the hassle of making friends with some sad herbert and off he goes to shoot up in the clinic.

      Like

  6. 6
    Steve Expat says:

    The Americans tried prohibition of Alcohol 80 years ago and look what happened. Why does (nearly) everyone think that the situation now with other drugs is any different?

    Like

    • 51
      Budgie says:

      Because the proportion of misuse and the side effects of the normal list of “recreational” drugs is much worse than alcohol. Drunk in moderation most alcoholoc drinks are beneficial. Only cannabis approaches that position.

      Like

      • 83
        Bored at Work says:

        “most alcoholic drinks are beneficial”

        bollocks. that’s a canard frequently wheeled out by the daily mail in the run up to xmas, and has little foundation in actual research.

        they harm. not a lot when consumed in moderation, but hrm they do. the ‘red wine reduces heart attacks’ line is utter bunk peddled by lazy hacks.

        Like

      • 89
        Moley says:

        I lived in a flat in Aberdeen city centre for a while and alcohol abuse made it uninhabitable.
        Taking the baby out in the morning in a pram, you had to slalom around the pools of vomit.

        At night, the noise from the drunkards was intolerable, the women were the worst.
        I complained to the Chief Constable and got a letter back saying that they were afraid to tackle the problem because they did not have the manpower to control the resultant disorder.

        Alcohol icensing law needs tightening, the social cost of alcohol abuse is enormous.
        Drugs need decriminalising but their use needs to remain controlled.
        Alcohol is making our cities uninhabitable. (Thank you Labour Scottish politicians.)

        Like

      • 141
        tat says:

        lie.
        the effects on society caused by alcohol far far far outweigh that of drug users.
        and you are far far far away with the fairies budgie.
        I am starting to think you must be a smack dealer.

        Like

        • 174
          Budgie says:

          If it is true that the effects on society of alcohol “far far outweigh that of drug” use, then wittering on about de-criminalising drugs is posturing and empty rhetoric: we should concentrate on the problems caused by alcohol.

          Like

        • 196
          Steve Expat says:

          Budgie, while it is true that alcohol abuse is a significant problem, this does not mean that the problems caused by other drugs should be ignored.

          The vast majority of petty crime, which massively affects us all, comes from drug users desparate to pay for their next fix – vastly reducing this crime has benefits to society as a whole, and frees up police and the courts to better tackle more serious offences.

          Yes there will be negative concequences to legalisation, but the thinking from the ASI – with which I agree – is that the positives will outweigh the negatives.

          Like

      • 158
        Boycott the ПРАВДА licence fee says:

        Come off it, Budgie. What fuggin planet are you living on?

        Like

        • 177
          Budgie says:

          Alcohol is widely consumed because of course low prices mean widespread consumption. The majority of people use alcohol sensibly. If the same number of people used the common ‘recreational’ drugs our civilisation would collapse. That is the difference.

          Like

      • 165
        Boycott the ПРАВДА licence fee says:

        Try telling that to someone who’s had a glass smashed in their face.

        Like

        • 202
          Budgie says:

          Or a parent who has lost an emaciated daughter in a squalid squat to a “recreational” drug.

          Like

        • 243
          English Viking says:

          It’s not just alcohol that produce fits of violence. Read the Court proceedings in the local rag and see how many violent offenders use their drug habit as ‘mitigation’. Also, their is a link between alcohol abuse and drug taking. Given that alcohol abuse is now out of control in most cities on most weekends, a position we were not in when we had restrictions on its sale, just see the figures go through the roof if we ever get to the point where you get 20 fags and 3 grams of smack from the local 7-11.

          Like

  7. 7
    Bernie says:

    The fuckwits in power have just changed the law to make relatively harmless cannabis more illegal, not less, and the Tories, their drug policy in the hands of the pisspoor idiot Iaian Duncan Smith, are if anything even more fuckwitted than Labour.

    Cameron himself is deeply ignorant and naive about the world of drugs. I recently heard him commenting that cannabis has got stronger and more dangerous recently, his evidence being the powerful smell of a crop he had just seen seized by the police.

    Like

    • 26
      Anonymous says:

      I don’t think Cameron is entirely ignorant and naive when it comes to drugs…

      Like

      • 54
        fox in a box says:

        Bernie,

        I think you reveal your own ignorance yourself there. Since the eighties, the cannabis on the streets in Britain has become markedly stronger. This is because new, more powerful strains have been developed, primarily by growers looking to maximise yields from indoor crops grown under lights. The evidence does tend to lean toward these stronger varieties being dentimental to smokers mental health. A licenced supply of an unengineered strain, such as those which grow naturally in warmer climes would not only be less harmful, but also generally preferred by most afficionados.

        Oh, and if you put a pile of grass on the table in front of DC and asked him to measure out an eighth – I’d say he’d be close enough…

        Like

        • 252
          Bernie says:

          Hi Fox,

          Cannabis of perfectly acceptable potency has been freely available in this country throughout the last three to four decades. By acceptable potency I mean it has all the effects cannabis has. The hash I smoked in the 1970s had all the effects of the most powerful cannabis varieties available from the best seed merchants or Dutch coffeeshops today.

          You have fallen for a piece of drug war propaganda.

          Like

      • 60
        ButcombeMan says:

        Indeed. He was a (consenting) member of the Home Affairs Select Committee, chaired by Chris Mullen that recommended relaxation/downgrading of cannabis. Cameron is on public record now, as saying that the committee got that wrong.

        Like

    • 39
      Old Nick Heavenly says:

      I have smoked African weed, almost 40 years ago, that made the superskunk of today seem like crap morrocan.

      I have smoked Jamacian weed, in the 80’s, that was incredible.

      If there was a choice of flavours and strengths that the punter could buy then these saddo teenagers would not need to fuck themselves up on the superskunk because it is the only thing available.

      I did not start drinking malt whiskey at the age od 12, down the Working Mens Club,. I started on weak cider, moved on to brown ale and then Black and Tan.

      Common sense is very uncommon!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      Like

      • 63
        ButcombeMan says:

        Their IS a choice, the rise of the stronger cannabis has been because of consumer choice.

        Like

        • 86
          fox in a box says:

          No, the rise of stronger strains is supply driven. More bang for your buck (and the chance to charge a higher price) without the need to actually smuggle the stuff anywhere (it’s mostly grown in the UK). Suits the organised

          Try getting hold of any good quality grass anywhere and it’s almost impossible. All you can get are skunk derivatives.

          So where is the choice? It’s not a free market, as a consumer I would be restricted to buying what’s available. And believe me, most grass smokers would much rather have a choice other than over engineered THC heavy skunk variants.

          Like

        • 241
          Boycott the ПРАВДА licence fee says:

          I think there must be an awful lot more dope smokers around than we realise (I’m not one of them, I hasten to add, even though I favour decriminalisation for others). There was some statement from one of the big garden centre chains to say that their sales of hydroponic equipment have gone through the roof and they put it down to people growing their own dope in attic rooms. Like someone else said here, the stuff doesn’t need to be imported any more, it’s being grown extensively within the country. It just seems daft that growing a plant in your own loft and inhaling its combustion products is illegal.

          Like

    • 92
      Moley says:

      When I was a student I noticed that the cannabis had a black core to it.

      Those in the know told me that it was sometimes adulterated with opium because the dealers found that it improved repeat business. I stopped then and there.

      Legalization will avoid that problem. We do not know how much of the harm to drug users is caused by adulteration; I think it is a very significant problem.

      Like

      • 104
        fox in a box says:

        Ah opium, a dangerous mistress but a beautiful one.

        I heard these stories too, but I doubt their veracity. Having spent some time smoking opium in the far east the experience was very different to any supposedly laced hash in the UK.

        Like

      • 225
        Gordon ßrünö says:

        I understood the black stuff was ground up 78 records and oil – those old bakelite Vera Lynn tunes had quite a chemical kick to them apparently

        Like

      • 308
        elusivelestoc says:

        There used to be weed mixed with heroin. Some people were smoking it because they were falsely told there was no chance of getting hooked if heroin was smoked.

        As for legalisation, everytime someone finds a high that isn’t illegal, it soon becomes so. I believe in live and let live. Those who want to partake should, those who don’t shouldn’t, and if people die from it, well they’re going to die from something eventually. Survival of the fittest will sort out the least viable.

        Like

  8. 8
    chronic says:

    Common sense drugs policy = oxymoron

    Like

  9. 9
    Raving Loon says:

    We have 2 choices we can either have drug users out in the open or in the shadows. It’s that simple.

    Like

  10. 11
    Bod says:

    That LibDem fringe list advert is doing my head in. What the #/?ck are you doing advertising such crap?

    Like

    • 112

      Counting the money.

      Like

      • 229
        Thats News says:

        Good for you, Guido!

        Some people have a problem with terms like: “business decision” “Libertarian” and the like…

        Like

      • 249
        Boycott the ПРАВДА licence fee says:

        I’m finding it really off-putting staring at John Prescott taking a shit every morning over my cornflakes. Any chance you can swap it for something a little more appealing from Rich & Mark’s excellent collection? How about the one where Obama wears rubber gloves to shake hands with Brown?

        Like

  11. 15
    Old Nick Heavenly says:

    Drugs will be legalised because the government will and do need the taxes!

    There is only so much longer that they can watch their associates become massively rich by financing the drug trade!

    The governments need that money now to finance their own ego trips and pensions!

    It will have sod all to do with morals! It never had anything to do with morals!

    The greatest boost to the United Condom drug trade was made by Mrs Thatcher when as her very FIRST act as PM was to sack several hundred customs officers!

    Like

    • 65
      ExOfficer says:

      Rubbish. Most of those Customs Officers were drones-doing next to nothing.

      Like

      • 194
        Old Nick Heavenly says:

        Mr ExOfficer,

        thank you for your reply. This is the very first time that anybody has ever commented upon this fact (Mrs T etc) that I have posted several times before!

        I wonder what would happen if they took all the traffic cops off of the roads?

        Would everybody obey the speed limit?

        Would anybody be surprised if speeding increased dramatically!

        Like

    • 105
      Budgie says:

      Which pharmaceutical company will be so foolish as to open itself to being sued, due to the side effects of many of these drugs?

      Like

      • 150
        tat says:

        Oh for fucks sake budgie, GW Pharmaceuticals already market a product called sativex which is based on cannbis sativa. its shares are being traded as we speak.
        before you shout your mouth off do your research numbnuts.
        if taken in their pure forms and within prescribed doses most drugs do not kill people.
        alcohol kills more young people than drugs.
        stop defending drug dealers budgie. are you a crackhead?

        Like

        • 189
          Budgie says:

          You have obviously missed that I have been careful to qualify my statements with “many” or “most”. Most ‘recreational’ drugs have both short term and long term side effects, some of which are very nasty indeed and can result in mental and health problems including death. As a proportion of users and the ‘doses’ imbibed these side effects are much more apparent and harmful than the side effects of alcohol.

          Like

        • 295
          thick as thieves says:

          now you are just babbling budgie.
          you have lost the argument and I suggest you ponder upon the fact that you are unwittingly lobbying on behalf of drug barons who are also people traffickers.
          we must cut the money supply off from the drug traffickers before they are better armed and manned than our police force who are already struggling to keep up with imported criminals on top of the local ones.
          that is a very real threat.
          I suggest we cut off the funding of drug suppliers by selling drugs through licenced premises and pharmacies and collecting the tax revenue.
          my caveat would be that every item sold must be traceable to the supplier and the user. if someone wanted to take drugs they should have to apply for a drugs licence. the premises selling drugs would also require a licence and should keep strict record of every sale.
          it should only be legal to carry a personal amount of drugs and not only that any person carrying drugs would have to carry their licence to take drugs aswell as a receipt showing when and where the drugs were purchased.
          anybody failing to fulfill that criteria should be busted by the fuzz because they are either selling drugs as unlicenced dealers or they may be over-using substances or perhaps have mental health issues in which cases it would be appropriate that they should come to the attention of the authorities.
          so not only would such a stringent system deny the criminals the profits they need to continue with their criminal enterprises by diverting maybe as much as 5 billion pounds a year away from their criminal pockets and into the treasury.
          such a system would also filter out drug abusers and people with mental health or other issues for treatment.
          good one innit.
          now that is what you call a drugs policy motherfuckers.

          Like

        • 321
          Mr Ned says:

          @296 TAT, bang on the money. Good common sense drug policy that but it won’t happen because the biggest drug dealers are the government agencies of the biggest governments. The supply chain then passes down through the crime cartels (Mafia, triads, yardies etc) before dribbling down eventually to street level. This provides TRILLIONS in funds and a very convenient underclass and large scale social breakdown which can be skillfully exploited politically. The politicians who frequent yachts in Corfu funds by drugs and human trafficing also are the same politicians that are most against legislation to undercut their drug cartel cronies.

          Like

      • 171
        FrankFisher says:

        That’s a pretty good point actually.

        And what of trademarks? Heroin is a brand name remember. But say the process starts again, GSK start producing and manufacturing WhizzBang! in the UK – fine. But how do they protect their IP overseas when they’re not permitted to sell Whizzbang! there? And if they can’t protect it, how can they stop others from producing it, exporting to the UK, and undercutting them? Worse, how do they control overseas production of adulterated Whizzbang?

        I realise this might seem trivial, but it’s one aspect of the chaos that would result if, in a globalised world, one country tried to buck the trend in so significant an area.

        I’m *not* against personal drug use, if it is informed, if it is harmless to others. But it rarely is, and simple decriminalisation here wouldn’t change that.

        And I really can’t believe they made mushies a Class A….

        Like

      • 318
        Mr Ned says:

        Budgie, All prescription drugs have side effects . More people are killed every month from prescription drugs, legally proscribed, than are killed in a year by illegal narcotics. The vast majority of prescription drugs are utterly un-necessary and only seek to control symptoms whilst producing other side effects that can also be drugged. There is more profit in that. The pharmacorp produce chemicals to go in food and drink and cosmetics that make people so I’ll that they need more chemicals from the same industries to control the severity of the illness. The ONLY reason these pharmaceutical companies do not ant cannibis legalised is because they cannot manopolise the Market in it. They could not give a fuck about getting sued since the USA and the EU granted immunity from being sued for the unintended “side effects” of their products!

        Like

      • 320
        smilie in your stout says:

        It wouldn’t be the pharmaceuticals selling them. It would be the government, which could take full legal responsibility by Act of Parliament.

        Like

  12. 17
  13. 19
    Cheese Lover says:

    Thte important thing is that the police have adequate roadside testing kit to handle drugs as well as alcohol. From a report I saw, this does seem to be on the way.

    Like

  14. 20
    Anonymous says:

    I like the idea of a ‘shooting gallery’…

    Druggies could enter through one entrance marked ‘shooting gallery’, while farmers armed with twelve-bore shotguns enter through another entrance also marked ‘SHOOTING GALLERY’.. and twenty minutes later two birds [and about a dozen druggies] have been killed with one stone and about twenty shots.

    Worth thinking about…

    Like

    • 36
      backwoodsman says:

      Sorry, its a bit like the Englishman who always takes his boots to Twickenham, in case the team find they’re a man short . We’re saving all our cartridges , in case the officer commanding the firing squad for brown and co, has to ask for volunteers.
      If you look at Guido’s link to Toenails blog, there are 50 comments so far, all of them slagging off gordys’ little helper, peter perfect, and some even suggesting he may infact tell porkies !

      Like

    • 38
      Sir William Waad says:

      I’m thinking your Mum should not let you consume so many E-numbers.

      Like

  15. 23
    Old Nick Heavenly says:

    My ex mother was a JP from the mid ’60’s onwards.

    She learnt two things:

    1. She could not believe a single word that any police officer said.

    2. The weed is relatively harmless.

    YES YES YES, smoking anything is harmful to the lungs!

    The soution is to eat it or smoke it neat, as I do when I indulge.

    If I smoke a spliff with stong tobacco in it I am on the floor within minutes. I must either lie down or faint!

    Nicotine is such a strong and vile poison!

    It is of course an individual’s choice if they want to smoke fags!

    Like

  16. 24
    lolol says:

    Too many people owe their job careers to drugs so don’t much expect change.

    Like

  17. 25
    Anonymous says:

    People get locked up for smoking weed? My mate who’s been growing it/living off the proceeds for years somehow got away with a suspended.

    Like

  18. 27

    Dear All

    Whit the c*ntry needs the noo is a wee bit of joined-up thinking.

    Dumbfounded = dumbstruck + confounded.

    To avoid suffocation, keep this wrapper away from babies and children.

    Pal, for active life! It’s got marrowbone.

    Pointillism is the study of dots.

    Yours sincerely

    George Laird
    The Campaign for Human Rights at Glasgow University

    Like

    • 56

      Dear All,

      Ha! Oh dear, it appears my stalker has returned to attempt and siphon off some of the praise and fame which is attracted to my person and award-winning blog.

      Ha! Pathetic sight! But understandable actually, that the lowly, obscure wretches of this world move towards the brilliance of we luminaries.

      Hooray! Polls put SNP ahead of Labour by 6%. With such momentum it’s inevitable that next general election we march from Holyrood and onto Westminster. Ha!

      Yours sincerely

      George Laird
      The Campaign for Human Rights at Glasgow University

      Like

      • 61
        Budgie says:

        6% ahead of Labour, eh? Well, fancy that.

        Like

      • 70
        Teletubby #1 says:

        Your blog has won an award? From whom? The Campaign for Human Rights at Glasgow Universtity? And for what? Precipitating the greatest number of boredom-induced suicides?

        Like

      • 74
        Chris Gilmore says:

        Don’t come to Westminster – just stay at home please and create your own little socialist fiefdom.

        Like

        • 78
          jgm2 says:

          Fucking right. I absconded from Scotland not because of Labour but because I could see the way the wind was blowing with the SNP.

          The UK may be irretrievably fucked but at least there is some hope of a libertarian/right wing revival. Scotland, by contrast, is fucked either way. Labour and the SNP are locked in a death-grip promising more and more magic money to the people of Scotland.

          No thought as to where it will come from or how it will be paid back. Like Labour in the broader UK but without even the faintest whiff that sanity might be only nine months away.

          Scotland is finished. Budget accordingly.

          Like

        • 97
          Moley says:

          I left Scotland for the same reason.
          I could see that the SNP would encourage anti english racism, and from what I have seen on this site and elsewhere, I was completely right.

          Although only a few Scots are and have been guilty of racism, all those who remained silent have sealed their own fate.

          Like

      • 291

        Guido

        Do you remember your email to me?

        Could you post it on here so that my imposter can be brought up to speed with what you stated in it.

        These people are dumb as shit.

        Like

  19. 29
    Ethan says:

    Oh yes a spaced out population is probably the only way Greedo McRuin would get back in.

    I suggest that they legalise prostituion instead. Then McRuin can tax it and we can hump our way out of recession…..

    Like

    • 136
      Seymore Blurrey says:

      Just so long as they bring in legislation at the same time which prevents employer discrimination against drug users. (Firefighters and ambulance drivers exempt though)

      Like

    • 149
      rick says:

      Why can’t we legalise both? Sure, a doped up population might put their cross in the wrong box – but will that be so bad? If you think McMental has been fun up to now – think of the fun to be had when he is under real pressure. Could be worth staying sober for.

      Like

  20. 30
    smilie in your stout says:

    There’s a big difference between decriminalisation and legalisation.

    I personally in favour of legalisation involving:-

    1. State production or purchase of a range of recreational drugs – cannabis, cocaine, heroin, LSD, speed etc.

    2. These would be sold at either licensed pharmacies or by licensed street dealers. They would be pure (or not cut with anything harmful) and would carry health warning leaflets.

    3. There would be an age limit on sales of 18.

    4. The profits would be ploughed back into schools education on drugs (a vigorous anti-campaign on the Swedish model) and into a scheme of voluntary drugs testing in schools to identify users and then their suppliers.

    5. A low price policy would have to be pursued to begin with to undercut and drive out the illegal dealers.

    It would be a brave politician who proposed the above. But I think it could work in the sense of delivery better health all round, fewer drug users and fewer profits for criminals.

    Like

    • 68
      ButcombeMan says:

      That sounds very like the policy advocated by George Soros. When your low price policy had driven out a few dealers why would they not come back in later?

      Like

      • 316
        smilie in your stout says:

        It’s not that easy to re-establish supply networks. Furthermore once the system is in operation the licensed street dealers will be your eyes and ears. They will inform on unlicensed traders and will have nothing to do with unlicensed suppliers as that will lose them their licence. I think the public will come to trust the packaged and pure products. You’ll never eliminate the illegal trade completely – just as now there is some v. small production of illicit spirits – but it will be small in my view.

        I think a greater worry for me would be “what will these rich criminals turn their attention to if you take away their income?” – they are unlikely to start looking for an honest job.

        Like

    • 69
      Budgie says:

      If these drugs are to be cheaper their use will increase (standard economics). Increased use will mean increased harm to users and their relatives and friends, and this will cost a lot more money for NHS and social workers. It is not only the additives that cause the harm. No reputable drug company will touch these because of the known deleterious side effects.

      Like

      • 73
        jgm2 says:

        All actual real world examples show that legalising drugs and making them medical management problemsinstead of criminal problems is safer and cheaper fro the individuals and society as a whole.

        It is only the same kind of puritanical prudery that wants to lock up hookers and their clients that keeps these drugs criminalized.

        Deglamorize them. Hand ‘em out for free. Drive drug traffickers and their strung-out human-trafficked whores out of business.

        Safer drugs. Cheaper drugs. Less druggies. Less demand on the NHS, the police system, the court system. Less crime. Cheaper, cleaner hookers. A more open and honest society.

        I can see why governments would be against legalisation.

        Like

        • 218
          Budgie says:

          That depends then on what you mean by ‘de-criminalising’. What the use of the word appears to mean for most advocates of de-criminalising is that the supply of the drug is freely available on the open market, at a market price (possibly taxed).

          “Medical management” implies (in the UK, with the NHS) a state run and supplied drugs program. That is a different proposition, but still treats these drugs in a very controlled and compartmentalised way. Oh, and perhaps I didn’t mention it, but cheaper drugs means increased use. And for heroin, cocaine, ecstasy, and amphetamines “safer” does not mean safe.

          Like

        • 230
          jgm2 says:

          Nobody is suggesting ‘safer’ means safe. Ecstacy kills 50 people or so a year in the UK. Terrifically sad for the families involved but hardly a national disaster. Cannabis kills even less. Although I’m prepared to concede that somewhere in rural England some stoner got buried under a massive bale of marijuana and was so fucked up he got smothered.

          These drugs plus heroin and cocaine are, no question, destroyers of lives but just like alcohol we should limit our criminalisation to the point where the drug-takers start to fuck up our lives. The burglaries, the muggings – whatever.

          But then, just like alcohol, we should be more pragmatic on making these drugs legally available to the addicts. So that, having already committed a crime by simply taking the drug they don’t just give it the ‘might as well be hanged for a sheep as a lamb’ approach. Ie, might as well burgle that house to get some money. I’m already a criminal.

          I advocate simply handing out free drugs, on precription, to be consumed on the premises. At a stroke you decriminalise the druggies and bring them in to the point where you can try and wean them off their drugs. You cut random murders etc carried out by the drug-lords, the massive amount of burglaries, muggings etc that go to feed druggies habits. You save huge amounts of money and free up masses of resources.

          Like

        • 319
          smilie in your stout says:

          I think also we have to be honest about drink and drugs.

          It’s difficult to think of any decent artists in the last 300 years who didn’t have a serious and creative relationship with one or the other – Aldous Huxley, Coleridge, Keats, Waugh, Amis (both), Larkin, virtually every jazz musician and most rock musicians, virtually every painter you care to mention. All ballet dancers are drugged up to the eyeballs. Actors and actresses are noted for their love of cocaine. Have I left anything out?

          Go back further and of course one enters the long human tradition of Shamanism. Does anyone seriously contend the Beatles’ music would have been better WITHOUT the drugs?

          So it is much better we admit that for better or worse drugs and drink have been part of our cultural baggage for millennia and in many respects are part of our human genius and stimulants to the imagination.

          Moreover periodic excess may – for most people perhaps – play a vital role in maintaining good mental health.

          Let’s be honest about it but, yes, let’s educate children to be careful about substance use.

          On the subject of children by the way I think it would be far better if we allowed 14-18 year olds to drink alcohol in controlled licensed premises (away from adults) where they could buy low strength beers and alcopops rather than ending up drinking cider and full strength lager in the local park and causing a nuisance to the local community by hanging around on street corners.

          Like

      • 101
        Moley says:

        The tobacco companies mange to sell harmful drugs without problems, you are clearly wrong.

        Like

        • 114
          Budgie says:

          Without problems? And how popular are the tobacco companies, and are they never sued for the harm they have done? Actually, you have proved my point.

          Like

        • 137
          Moley says:

          Last time I looked, the shares of British American Tobacco looked in good shape.

          Like

        • 221
          Budgie says:

          Moley, they would be in better shape if their market was not being taken off them by prohibitions, heavy tax and being sued.

          Like

      • 317
        smilie in your stout says:

        We are talking about breaking the illegal market during an initial stage, not a long term policy of cheap supply. In fact the policy should be to cautiously raise the prices as time goes by, as governments have done with hard spirits.

        Like

      • 323
        Mr Ned says:

        budgie, So how come the drug companies all have portfolios full of products that cause serious side effects already? I have a friend who was proscribed anti-depressants when he suffered a bereavement in his family. He was pissing himself laughing when he showed me the leaflet that came with them that showed the side effects. The “contraindications” included, but was not limited to, growing breasts and having a permenant erection! Now I can imagine how this would tackle depression, but it also blows apart your utterly unfounded and palpably false assertion that the drug companies give a flying fuck about what their products may be doing to people. Drug companies have no use for cannibis or cocaine as they cannot get a patent on them. End of!

        Like

  21. 33
    Sir William Waad says:

    Dead right. Legalise drugs for over-18s and tax them. Follow the basic rule: do what your enemy would least like you to do, in this case the enemy being organised crime. I’m not sure about strongly addictive drugs such as heroin and tobacco though. It’s too late to ban tobacco and in any case it is only very slightly harmful (you have to use shedloads of the stuff over many years to fall ill from it), but might it be sensible to retain the ban on heroin, to protect people from addiction?

    Like

    • 261
      Boycott the ПРАВДА licence fee says:

      Heroin’s not really nasty if manufactured pharmacutically. With all the brick dust, vim and other shit removed, it’s nothing more than a very strong painkiller. There are much nastier drugs out there such as crack and crystal meth which are so dangerous they should never be legalised.

      Like

  22. 42
    Uncle Bob says:

    Cool, lets get baked!

    Like

  23. 44
    New Lion says:

    Say that again i am jsut rolling a joint..
    Here in America some states are talking about legalizing cannabis, then taxing it very heavily to reduce their budget deficits

    http://newslion.blogspot.com/

    Like

  24. 45
    FrankFisher says:

    Hmm, I dunno. I used to smoke a lot of weed, do a lot of acid, toot a fair amount of whizz and charley but then I umm. Sorry, forgotten what I was going to say.

    Something about…. no,it’s gone again.

    In all seriousness, drugs are not all bad – but they’re not all good either. While prohibition has its obvious problems, so does liberalisation; particularly in a country like ours where getting mullered is the new national past-time.

    And then there are also the problems I’ve written of before with regard to unilaterally decriminalising possesion/internal supply, without a global change. The harm caused further back down the chain will continue.

    I shall stick to my pint I think.

    Like

  25. 62
    The "Angry Aberdonian" says:

    Hooray! The sooner junkies can get their smack for free, the sooner the rest of us can stop worrying about being mugged, burgled or propositioned!

    Right now Aberdeen is “awash” with junkies – many of whom have bussed here from the “slum lands” of Glasgow (ta for that NHS and Marywell Trust!).

    Although many people feel a sense of sympathy for these losers – I don’t! They are degenerate parasites who leave nothing but pain and misery in their wake! One of their victims lay bleeding to death not two hundred yards from my front door, and (until quite recently) I had to walk past the flowers on my way to work.

    Perhaps the ASI can propose a “dosage escalator”, where the strength and amount of the heroin being prescribed to each junk head is increased until they stop turning up.

    As for disposing of them: I’d gladly pay the landfill tax!

    Like

    • 76
      Chris Gilmore says:

      There’s no mention of them getting it for free (unless Scotland expects the English taxpayer to fund their problems again). The stuff will actually cost more if it is controlled by the state rather than private enterprise as present.

      Decriminalising this stuff won’t get these c­unts off the streets.

      Like

      • 93
        Sir Reginald Titbrain says:

        Who says it will cost more? If it does the whole scheme is pointless.Can’t see why Boots can’t knock heroin out for the price of asprin.

        Like

        • 118
          Budgie says:

          If the price is less, consumption will rise.

          Like

        • 160
          tat says:

          so if drugs are given away for free everyone will take them?
          bollocks budgie, absolute bollocks.

          Like

        • 223
          Budgie says:

          tat, you obviously do not understand the free market. Any product has a market saturation point, and that will include these drugs. That does not alter the proven fact that when drugs (at the current market penetration) are reduced in price , then consumption rises.

          Like

        • 325
          Mr Ned says:

          Budgie, tesco sell asprin for 30p. I haven’t bought any more of it for that price. In a free country everyone has the right to spout bollocks and be wrong, but tonight Budgie is seriously abusing the privilege. If your IQ ever reaches 10, sell!

          Like

        • 339
          Budgie says:

          Mr Ned, I already had to explain about market penetration, please attend.

          Like

        • 345
          Mr Ned says:

          “If the price is less, consumption will rise.”

          What a grossly oversimplified and irrelevant to THIS topic generalisation.

          Budgie, you do not understand the concept of regulated markets do you?

          There are very few people backing the idea of a total free-for-all free-market solution, but a regulated one whereby these substances become available legally at reduced cost, but the supply and administration of these drugs is strictly regulated, just like the prescription poisons you seem to claim are terrific and handed out by wonderful and respectful drugs companies!

          With a regulated supply, the cost comes down, undercutting the dealers. The product is controlled and consumed on premises, cutting out re-sale and the people receiving the product also receive counselling. This system is being trialled in three places in the UK and has already produced a significant reduction in crime and usage of the product. Cheaper product YET LESS consumed! ipso facto your assertion is WRONG!

          What will the dealers do without this drug market? COMMIT CRIME, what else? That is what they do! That is what gets them off, they enjoy it so there will be no difference on that front. However, they will have far fewer willing accomplices as their former customers will no-longer need to resort to crime to fund their habits, so overall crime will be reduced.

          Your solution boosts the profits of vile criminals, terrorists and human traffickers, leaves users as helpless victims in squalid misery, increases the burden and costs on the rest of society and is a total failure.

          My solution removes that cost, removes a LOT of crime and will NOT significantly increase users or usage, in fact all the evidence (here and in Portugal) shows that when implemented, these measure actually REDUCE the amount of users, reduce the amount of crime and the social cost and burden of the recreational use of these substances. That is not theory, that is the actual, real and measurable result that is happening in practical real life NOW.

          Admit you have LOST the argument budgie.

          Even in a free market situation, reducing cost does not always equate to increased usage in every case. Alcohol has come down in price a lot over the last 20 and yet I drink a lot less these days than I did 20 years ago. Those who drink to excess now, would not drink more if the cost came down further, it just means that drinking themselves into a coma would cost them less, (but society the same).

          Social attitudes and the perceived “coolness” of the substance consumed is what drives consumption. Increase the desire for a cool product and the amount the product is consumed increases. Price actually has very little bearing as anyone in marketing will tell you. Getting a product recognised as a cool brand, with superb promotion in the right place and the price almost becomes immaterial.

          Look at it in car production, several manufacturers now make the exact same model of MPV, yet sales are dictated according to coolness of the brand, not the price. The more expensive brand outsells the cheapest one. why?

          Price also has very little bearing on usage of the highly addictive drugs as people will use the required amount regardless of cost. If you are addicted to heroin and need three hits a day, then that is what you will get no matter the cost. It would be better for society as a whole if a user can get those three hits for free, or very low cost from a licensed clinic, rather than having to mug, steal, prostitute themselves or deal in stolen goods to raise the funds for those three hits. Making it cheaper does not generally lead to user getting more hits. A three-hit per-day heroin user will use be looking for his/her three hits, regardless of price. That is how these drugs are used.

          Making these drugs cheaper or free does not (in practise) lead to an increase in usage. That is what actually, really and genuinely happens in real life when these systems are implemented.

          Like

  26. 66
    Sir Reginald Titbrain says:

    If we we’re not such a bunch of do gooders we would adopt this system which I have just thought of.

    Government legalises drugs, specifies quality, etc. Sold through Boots; they’re always looking for an earner.

    You need a certificate to buy these. Issued for a small fee to keep Nulab happy as introduces unlimited control opportunities.

    Certificate holders pay a reduced NI contribution.

    Any certificate holder who comes to hospital with a drug related complaint [big list just for Newlab] is told to fuck off. Self inflicted you see. Flu Ok, walked into lamp post when stoned not OK. Lots of form filling. Lovely.

    Like

  27. 71
    I'll have some of that says:

    At the risk of sounding like a Lib Dem: The current system “The War on Drugs” isn’t working. We should try the alternative – liberalisation, with injections administered in specialised facilities etc. Give it 5 years. If this fails to reduce general crime levels, numbers of drug takers etc, or indeed, if, as some on the blog think, it makes things worse, then go to the other extreme – death penalties all round a la Singapore./Thailand model……

    But leave my booze alone – and let me smoke in the pub…..

    Like

  28. 77
    Who smelt it dealt it says:

    Is it any wonder Mandelson feels free to verbally bully Nick Robinson?

    For years Robinson has been wearing the journalstic equivalent of rubber chaps and a gimp mask bent over enthusiastically taking whatever New Labour have wanted to give him

    Like

  29. 79
    Anonymous says:

    So, the argument is that as lots of people take drugs, that means that drugs should be legal?

    Following that logic, if everyone murdered their neighbour then murder would also be made legal.

    It’s similar to Brown’s defence of wrecking the economy, ie “well, the americans wrecked their financial oversight systems, so we thought we’d wreck ours too.

    It’s the familiar left-wing attitude where nobody is ever expected to take responsibility for their own actions.

    It fucking stinks.

    Like

    • 122
      Budgie says:

      Well, I agree.

      Like

      • 161
        tat says:

        that is because you are a pair of morons.
        your position is directly responsible for the death of drug users.
        shame on you.

        Like

        • 228
          Budgie says:

          tat, you obviously do not understand the liberal, and libertarian, concept of personal responsibility. Therefore I am not “directly responsible for the death of drug users”.

          Indeed, in my compassion for their stupidity and the irresponsibility of the band wagon jumping crowd of decriminalisers, I am attempting to limit the damage they do to their loved ones, society, and me.

          Like

        • 299
          thick as thieves says:

          budgie,
          the only thing I don’t understand is why you are such a fucking stupid c’unt.
          you are the heroin dealers’ mouthpiece and you are defending drug lords perpetual profits.
          you are definitely a fifth columnist.
          you are a dullard and I am bored of you now.

          Like

    • 162
      Anonymous says:

      No, drugs being illegal forces people not to take responsibility for their own actions. It’s illegal to take drugs, you see. That means it’s ‘officially’ bad. So, if you do anything bad while on drugs, it’s ‘officially’ less bad than if you did it for no reason at all because there’s an official mitigating factor.

      Besides, the whole argument is crap from head to toe.

      Drugs illegal because they may damage your body? Okay, motorbikes, skiing, extreme sports etc all illegal; same reasoning.

      Drugs illegal because some people can’t cope with them and go mental? Okay, TV, violent computer games, action movies, boxing, UFC all illegal; same reasoning.

      Drugs illegal because they cause some people to dissociate from society and just live, take drugs, don’t work? Okay, no TV between 9am – 5pm, no internet in residences 9-5, etc etc etc.

      It’s my body, keep your damn hands off.

      Like

      • 240
        Budgie says:

        Anon 3:37 A more juvenile set of arguments I have not yet seen on here.

        Drugs being illegal does not stop them being available, so your personal responsibility is intact. You still decide. Nor is there any ‘official mitigating factor’.

        The damage these ‘recreational’ drugs do is often not apparent initially, so they are not in the same category as skiing, motorbikes or extreme sports.

        Indeed, some people ‘go mental’ without any outside stimulus, but these drugs are known to cause serious temporary and long term side effects.

        You are using the same type of argument throughout and it is invalid: it is like arguing that because a particular swimmer will drown if he swims one mile out to sea then he should be banned from swimming quarter of a mile despite it being safe to do so.

        “It’s my body, keep your damn hands off.” Well, that is a belief system not a proven fact. Actually though I tend to go along with it to a degree, it is not so black and white. We are social animals who live in a society that is interdependent. Where the line is drawn is difficult to know, but it cannot be at the extreme as you do.

        Like

        • 327
          Mr Ned says:

          So not only are you a drug dealers mouthpiece you are a fascist too?

          Like

        • 340
          Budgie says:

          No, Mr Ned, that is just silly – you can see from what I say that is not the case. Like most people in most societies throughout history I think some things should be freely undertaken, some should be controlled by society, and some should be banned. The question is where to draw the line.

          I know that “banning” under Labour has got a bad name and rightly so. I believe as much as possible should be freely undertaken. But that does not mean that everything can or should be a matter of only personal choice. I happen to draw the line at ‘recreational’ drug addiction.

          Like

  30. 80
    Lil Olmey says:

    Oops, let’s try again.
    O/t : it seems that the TUC is conducting a witch-hunt against the B&P. http://uk.news.yahoo.com/21/20090914/tuk-call-for-bnp-public-sector-ban-6323e80.html
    On that basis there should be similar ban on anyone associated with ZanuLieboor.

    Like

  31. 82
    Rodney Roachclip says:

    The following is a rebuttal on behalf of ‘United Heads for Hemp':

    All of you guys that don’t think marijuana should be decriminalised, well, you’re all fucked.

    (apologies to Messrs Marin and Chong)

    Like

  32. 84
    Lil Olmey says:

    Darn this auto-mod.
    O/t : it seems that the TUC is conducting a witch-hunt against the-party-which shall-not be named. (Check out Yahoo news.)
    On that basis there should be a similar ban on anyone associated with ZanuLieboor.

    Like

  33. 87
    streamfisher says:

    Land of pointless legislation, Scottish parliament are going to make it a criminal offence to buy cigarettes and then give them to a minor (persons under 16), haven’t they heard that 40% of them are regularly smoking the other kind of weed after the age of about twelve?. Thank god people in the North of England had the sense to throw out Labours idea of a regional Parliament, another layer of bureaucracy, as if we don’t have enough already from the central government wankers.

    Like

  34. 88
    Slipper says:

    Posted on this before but may as well have another go. People don’t take drugs as a rebellious gesture they do it because it’s fun.The crime associated with drugs is a consequence of their illegality and expense. There is also a moral question what gives people the right to determine what I do to my body which is,after all, my property?

    Like

    • 125
      Budgie says:

      When you take these drugs you harm other people and cost me money.

      Like

      • 166
        tat says:

        when you drink you harm other people and cost me money.
        so if drugs are illegal then so should alcohol be illegal.
        isn’t that right budgie?

        Like

        • 259
          English Viking says:

          It is illegal to be intoxicated by alcohol in a public place. Years and years of lax enforcement of law has led us to this stage with alcohol. Pursuing the same mad line of appeasing criminals with result in ‘binge snorting’, ‘binge jacking up’ etc.

          Like

      • 168
        Anonymous says:

        You really are a comedy character, aren’t you? Suppose I grow my own? What then? Suppose I grow my own tobacco! Ooh… there’s an interesting one. That’s legal, but it still costs you money when I get lung cancer and I don’t pay any tax on it either! Bet you think that should be illegal too, right?

        People like you are the problem with the UK. I am NOT my neighbour’s keeper.

        Like

      • 183
        rick says:

        “When you take these drugs you harm other people and cost me money.”

        It’s only when the underclass mug you for the money to pay the inflated price for these drugs that you get harmed. Legalise and reduce the cost to them. If these loosers overdose, then blame Darwin. Working people have never cost you money, or presented a threat to you.

        Like

      • 187
        politically un-correct social worker(retired) says:

        Agreed Budgie. I have worked with mentally disordered offenders, 90% of whom have consumed vast quantities of illegal substances and have never done an honest day’s work in their life. In the community, they pose a considerable threat to public safety. Legalising their substances of choice (well, to be honest, most will take anything)would not improve their ‘lifestyle’ or health. Most will continue to commit crime, mess up their psychiatric medication with all sort of other stuff, and will need to have periods when they are taken out of the community, via the criminal or mental health systems. Take enough drugs in large quantities over a long period of time, and your brain no longer functions properly. This represent an enormous cost to society. Legalising drugs indicates that society tolerates this kind of behaviour. I think we should be less tolerant

        Like

        • 276
          Boycott the ПРАВДА licence fee says:

          I have worked with mentally disordered offenders, 90% of whom have consumed vast quantities of illegal substances and have never done an honest day’s work in their life.

          So you’re suggesting the drug use precipitated mental illness? That’s a big assumption on your part. Is it not also possible that underlying mental illness caused them to dabble with drugs?
          As for never having done an honest day’s work in their lives, you’re suitably qualified to know all about that, having been a “social worker.”

          Like

        • 329
          Mr Ned says:

          So you are admitting that keeping these substances illegal is not working. Well done. As for budgie. Every time I have smoked a joint, I have never cost you, or anyone else, a penny. never hurt anyone, robbed anyone, or caused injury, harm or loss of any kind to anyone! Just smoked a joint, got mellow, relaxed and peacably went about my lawful business far less stressed and in a far more creative and positive state of mind. I can confirm that you are spreading alarmist bullshit of the highest order. Keeping cannibis illegal has created far higher costs to society than any of the many joints I have smoked. I have not smoked cannibis since giving up smoking 7 years ago, and do not miss it. It was never addictive and even as a regular smoker I often went months without it. It never made me violent or abusive or cause me or my family or anyone else any problems whatsoever. Your claims have been proved to be completely and tottally wrong by what has happened in Portugal. Increased legal supply matched with reduced price resulted in LESS use and LESS crime!!! so much for your bullshit alarmist theory. The Market in cannibis is NOT a normal Market. In practise your bullshit theory has been proven wrong!!!

          Like

        • 341
          Budgie says:

          It depends what you mean by ‘de-criminalisation’. In Portugal you can still be fined for possession – it’s just not a criminal offence any longer. That is not what you and most other commenters, have advocated. Moreover addicts must attend various panels and are closely controlled. Some of Portugal’s police do not think the policy is working.

          Like

  35. 94
    camus says:

    It is the policy of privatisation which has assisted in bringing about the appalling condition of the public finances. The public services always cost more to the taxpayer when supplied to the private sector. The overall tax burden has to stay high in order to pay the private sector far more to provide a service than when this was done by the public sector. When tax revenues fall, as during a recession, the government still needs more money to pay for its privatised services, and has to borrow to fund the shortfall caused by the decreases in tax coming in. The extra borrowing fuels the deterioration of the public finances. Exporting the wholesale privatisation of public services around the world is thus nothing to crow about given the adverse tax consequences for the peoples of the countries whose governments buy into the lie, and the state of the public finances of those countries.

    Like

  36. 95
    Mr Tolerant says:

    Shoot all drug dealers. Job done.

    Like

  37. 106
    Capital Punishment says:

    70% Of Crime Is Drugs Related. Usually Bloody Serious Crime, Too. Legalise The Fucking Lot And Tax It, Let Adults Do What They Want With Themselves; It’s Their Own God-given Right To Do So. Let Them Also Take The Consequences, As We Do Currently With Alcoholics. Wipe Out 70% Of Crime At A Stroke: Murders, Robberies, Burglaries The Lot. Clear Out The Prisons. Save Shedloads On Police, Prisons And Public Spending. Legalise It But Accompany The Legalisation With Reverse Charm Offensive To Portray Drug Users (rightly Or Wrongly) As Losers And Social Inadquates. Permit But Discourage The Use Of Drugs.

    Like

  38. 119
    Sir Arthur 'Bomber' Harris says:

    There are a lot of people who say that bombing cannot win the war. My reply to that is that it has never been tried. . . and we shall see.

    Like

    • 121
      Sir Arthur 'Bomber' Harris says:

      Sorry. Misplaced ordance. Collateral thread damage. As you were. Carry on. Nothing to see here.

      Like

      • 130
        Budgie says:

        Wonderful. The only laugh on here so far; because it’s full of self important dope-heads.

        Like

        • 134
          Rodney Roachclip says:

          Full? I wish. :-)

          Like

        • 140
          jgm2 says:

          While we’re revisiting famous WWII quotes – here’s one by that bloke Brown likes to quote at every available opportunity. Most apposite for the eocomic shitskrieger doncha think..

          Think ‘economy…’

          ‘Owing to past neglect, in the face of the plainest warnings, we have now entered upon a period of danger…. The era of procrastination, of half measures,… of delays, is coming to its close. In its place we are entering a period of consequences…. We cannot avoid this period; we are in it now…. Unless [... management] resolves to find out the truth for itself, it will have committed an act of abdication of duty without parallel.’

          That one’s for you Brown, you economy destroying jackass.

          Like

        • 213
          Old Nick Heavenly says:

          Budgie accuses others of self importance!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

          How, may I ask, would we have one the war (2) without all the foot soldiers being out of their heads on that most horrible of drugs dexadrine, or was it amphetamine.

          They were all speeding off their heads.

          Blues were standard issue!

          Go to the London War Museum and you can see the nasty little tablets on display!

          Budgie, are there no cannabis seeds that you can peck at in the bottom of your cage!

          Budgie, the day I want to frighten you, you will shit your pants!

          Like

        • 306
          thick as thieves says:

          said the self important dope.

          Like

        • 307
          thick as thieves says:

          not you nick, that one’s for bird brain budgie.

          Like

      • 215
        Old Nick Heavenly says:

        Must go now, Mrs H wants to get some needles (knitting)

        Like

    • 214
      Old Nick Heavenly says:

      If I was stoned that one would
      have been a won!

      I always double check everything when I am stoned!

      Like

  39. 133
    Anonymous says:

    Just say “Oy. No.”

    Like

  40. 142
    SO17 says:

    24 hour licensing would lead to a ‘Cafe culture’ in our city centres.
    Did it fuck.
    Britain is not Holland or France and never will be.
    Who will produce, market and dispense Crystal Meth?A drug even Liberals wouldn’t touch with a shitty stick.
    The drug of choice when a lad is to young for the state sponsored Smack.
    PAIN is the answer to all this countrys ill’s and lots of it.
    Fiddle with a kid. FUCKING PAIN
    Do drugs. FUCKING PAIN
    Mug an old lady. FUCKING PAIN
    See, no CRB checks,outreach workers and State run drug dens.

    Like

  41. 145
    Who smelt it dealt it says:

    Like

  42. 154
    caesars wife says:

    I actually thought Peter Mandelson made a rather dull speech at the LSE , it had some interesting positioning , but so little explanation .

    I think labour had better set there stall out and start putting prices on , they are the goverment after all .

    But as to post , i spent a large proportion of my life in the liberalising of drugs camp , when all this stuff about legalised red light areas and amsterdam style coffe bars was doing the rounds thanks to the Indy . It wasnt until I visted Amsterdam and found myself acosted in town square for every class A drug going that i realised legalised drug use created or enlarged the black market further .
    there was church outreach project and it was full of skint addicts totally washed by the life style , quite a few residents were totally fed up of lving cheek by jowel with habitual drug users and the petty crime .

    If this is an argument better outcomes for our tax spend , well if you want to try the soft option it offends the least . but take Thailand the penalties are extreme for even a small amount only stuff you see being peddled there is herbal pills .

    basically drug use is a form of uncessary ecnomic inefficiency thats why talimen have sent so much cheap heroine over hear , its ecnomic weapon of war with added bounuses of social problems .

    i think we should try 5 years of hanging drug dealers , no messin about quick court case , rope round neck pull lever , one less to create scoial problems .

    see how it looks then , i am quite convinced stats would improve , and if they dont we will have saved some money anyway .

    Like

  43. 156

    Debaters debate the two wars as if Nixon’s civil war on Woodstock Nation didn’t yet run amok. One need not travel to China to find indigenous cultures lacking human rights or to Cuba for political prisoners. America leads the world in percentile behind bars, thanks to ongoing persecution of hippies, radicals, and non-whites under banner of the war on drugs. If we’re all about spreading liberty abroad, then why mix the message at home? Peace on the home front would enhance global credibility.

    The drug czar’s Rx for prison fodder costs dearly, as lives are flushed down expensive tubes. There’s trouble on the border. My shaman’s second opinion is that psychoactive plants are God’s gift. God didn’t screw up. Canadian Marc Emery sold seeds that enable American farmers to outcompete cartels with superior domestic herb. He is being extradited to prison, for doing what government wishes it could do, reduce demand for Mexican.

    The constitutionality of the CSA (Controlled Substances Act of 1970) derives from an interstate commerce clause. Only by this authority does it reincarnate Al Capone, endanger homeland security, and throw good money after bad. Official policy is to eradicate, not tax, the number-one cash crop in the land. America rejected prohibition, but it’s back. Apparently, SWAT teams don’t need no stinking amendment. Father, forgive those who make it their business to know not what they do.

    Nixon promised that the Schafer Commission would support the criminalization of his enemies, but it didn’t. No matter, the witch-hunt was on. No amendments can assure due process under an anti-science law without due process itself. Psychology hailed the breakthrough potential of LSD, until the CSA halted all research and pronounced that marijuana has no medical use, period.

    The RFRA (Religious Freedom Restoration Act of 1993) allows Native American Church members to eat peyote, which functions like LSD. Americans shouldn’t need a specific church membership to obtain their birthright freedom of religion. Denial of entheogen sacrament to any American, for mediation of communion with his or her maker, precludes free exercise of religious liberty.

    Freedom of speech presupposes freedom of thought. The Constitution doesn’t enumerate any governmental power to embargo diverse states of mind. How and when did government usurp this power to coerce conformity? The Mayflower sailed to escape coerced conformity. Legislators who would limit cognitive liberty lack jurisdiction.

    Common-law must hold that adults are the legal owners of their own bodies. The Founding Fathers decreed that the right to the pursuit of happiness is inalienable. Socrates said to know your self. Mortal lawmakers should not presume to thwart the intelligent design that molecular keys unlock spiritual doors. Persons who appreciate their own free choice of path in life should tolerate seekers’ self-exploration.

    Like

  44. 163
    Anonymous says:

    Harman says today:
    “Expenses must be repaid in full…
    Any MPs who made expenses claims in breach of parliamentary rules must repay the money in full”

    Somehow I think she’s missed the point.

    The rules said “claim whatever the fuck you want” so everyone was within the parliamentary rules even though the claims themselves actually broke tax laws (being classed as expenses instead of taxable perks).

    Bollocks to your “rules”, Harman; face the tax laws like everyone else does, simple as that.

    Like

  45. 164
    streamfisher says:

    Just caught up on season five of The Wire (excellent). Tells you all you need to know about what goes down on the street, law enforcement and the machinations and politics behind the scenes, everybody has got something on somebody else so they all keep schtum and play the game, “the bigger the lie the more they believe”, Ask Tony & co. or Mandelson & co.

    Like

  46. 167
    Barry says:

    At one time we were not allowed to brew beer at home. They relaxed the law, but did not and still do not relax the law about home distillation to make your own gin.
    Lots of people brew their own beer and make home-made wine. As far as I know very few distil it.
    They legalised growing your own tobacco, I did, it was so difficult to get an acceptable product that now very few do. Mine smoked like old socks.
    Same with drugs, legalise it, regulate it, tax it provided only that there is a road-side test available.
    But as had been said this will be opposed by the vested interests, ie drug councillors, police, magistrates, prison warders, probation officers etc who might then have to do a useful job like painting lamp-posts or sweeping the streets.

    Like

    • 179
      streamfisher says:

      Thing that’s always baffled me is how come H.M. Prisons are awash with banned substances?, you wouldn’t think it that easy to smuggle stuff in to a supposed high security environment, unless of course Mr prison warder is on a nice little earner.

      Like

  47. 169
    Moley says:

    Other countries have legalised drugs; so the information is available on the problems and consequences.

    Legalise drugs for a five year period, establishing before hand the parameters for policy failure and policy success, and how those parameters will be measured and by whom.

    Review after five years, keep the policy if it is successful, scrap it if it is a failure.

    Like

  48. 178
    Fees Office Clerk says:

    If you de-criminalise drugs then how will a non-working crack addict fund his daily drug habit?

    Like

    • 195
      jgm2 says:

      We already supply addicts with Methadone. A heroin ‘substitute’ that results in more overdoses than yer actual heroin.

      Supply the addicts with free ‘safe’ heroin and clean needles. We’re not putting any legitimate, tax-paying entrepreneurs out of business. It’ll be a fuck of a sight cheaper than the insane war on drugs. It will free prison spaces up for much longer so we can jail the other fuckers for the full term instead of cutting them loose after they’ve served half their time.

      It will free up the courts, the probation, the police and we can cut costs there too. The NHS will save a mint on (not) treating AIDS and overdoses.

      And, hand-in-hand with that, we work at knocking the glamour out of doing drugs. The anti-establishment, cool thing to do kind of mentality. Right now the drug-pushers and those who are already addicts are there spreading lies and propaganda about how cool it is and how it won’t do you any harm because it is in their interests to get you hooked. If there is no money in it then these fuckers will just fade away.

      What’s the point of getting somebody hooked on your drugs only to see them skip off down to their doctor and get a prescription? For free.

      It’s the pragmatic solution. This conflicts with those who like to classify themselves as left-wing or right-wing because everything has to fit into some over-arching philosophy. But occassionally I prefer to consider things based on whether they will work or not.

      And since the insane war on drugs is clearly NOT working then I say we open an economic front on the war on drugs. Undercut the dealers and suppliers. Steal their customers. Drive them out of business.

      This gives the ‘hang ‘em high’ bunch what they want but without the hanging – ie removed drug-dealers and their crime completely out of the equation plus allows us to deal with the druggies addiction in a controlled environment.

      Like

      • 220
        Jack says:

        What then happens when your NHS founded drug addict then decides to make a bit of cash on the side by selling on some of his free NHS Heroin into the European Common Market? If the NHS opens up a free Heroin supply chain addicts around the world will be queing up for their share. Just think of the benifits of Heroin Tourism. If you think this cant happen take a look at the market for NHS Tamiflu now sold on in other European countries.

        Like

  49. 180
    Beautiful afternoon says:

    Should drugs be legalised, then what are all the chavs and pikeys going to do to earn their money? At least now these “people” are relatively easily spotted in their corsa and BMW’s.

    Dogknapping?, house burglary?, car jacking?, personal assault and theft? More of these crimes I would politely suggest.

    Like

    • 244
      Phil O'Pastree says:

      No problem, we just decriminalise: dogknapping, house burglary, car jacking, personal assault and theft.

      Like

      • 293
        Moley says:

        We already have.

        Most offenders won’t be caught and those that are will get a community service order and three full time social workers.

        Like

  50. 181
    Not long till labour gone says:

    Did this Labour government not spend a fortune commissioning a report which suggested not re-classifying certain drugs, which they then ignored and reclaissified it anyway?

    Just another area where Labour have ignored the experts and done what they want.

    Lets hope the Tories move forward on this whole subject…

    Like

    • 185
      streamfisher says:

      They dropped a bollock on that, one of the few times this Government has not managed to get a full printout of the answer they want in advance of any ‘enquiry’.

      Like

  51. 184
    Beautiful afternoon says:

    The Tories moving forward #180 is an oxymoron

    Why they don’t pull their finger out I don’t know and be brave enough to give us some policies

    Like

  52. 192
    Thats News says:

    They tried criminalising it in the fairly recent past. And we can see how successful THAT was.

    The government needs to get some proper research done.

    1) Find out why it was criminalised.
    2) Establish how well or how badly this worked.
    3) Base the decision on what to do next using information.

    Mind you. There’s a problem. He is a Scot, as is Gordon.

    Anagrams of Dr Maddsen Pirie

    Darned Pismire

    Impaired Nerds

    Diaper Reminds

    Simpered Drain

    Paid Reminders

    Amended Rip, Sir

    I Drained Sperm

    Like

  53. 199
    streamfisher says:

    Anagrams of Anagram:
    Raga Man
    A Rang Ma
    A Rag Man
    Rag Ma An.
    Wondered where they got the lyrics from.

    Like

  54. 200
    resurgemus says:

    Why not nuke Colombia to stop cocaine, Afghanistan to stop heroin and France for their piss awful wine ?

    Like

    • 208

      And the Netherlands for their cheese, Spain for their tasteless olives and Ireland for Guinness (but not the bit that brews Murphy’s).

      Like

    • 234
      Phil O'Pastree says:

      These countries only produce the stuff because of the demand from the West. The decadent West is the problem.

      The bloody French produce only one third of the Beaujolais that is actually consumed, so you are drinking “cut” redstuff.

      Until we can can wean people off this rotgut there will always be a problem. Is legalising it the answer? I don’t fucking know but I’ll have the answer later after I’ve swallowed half a bottle of jockjuice.

      Like

  55. 222
    Enjineer says:

    I might be misrepresenting their position, but decriminalization (as I understand it) is a crock.

    We need proper legalisation, regulation and taxation of the entire supply chain (farming, production and distribution) to close down the black market and put the gangsters out of business. Or at least into a new business.

    Yeah, drug use (reported and real) will probably increase, along with abuse and related health problems. It’s the downside of freedom. Idiots are free to make bad decisions. We tolerate that with fags and booze, and scientifically speaking there is no good reason to treat many (currently) prohibited substances differently.

    Like

    • 242
      jgm2 says:

      Freedom to make your own bad decisions? That’ll never catch on. It’s not called the ‘nanny’ state for nothing.

      Like

  56. 233
    jgm2 says:

    Whatever you think about the pros and cons of legalising drugs the downside with this report is that the evil Labour economic destroyers will now simply diss the ASI as ‘aplogists for drug pushers’ whenever they bring this fucking diabolical government to task over their economic fuckwittery.

    You know they will.

    Like

  57. 246
    Moley says:

    Police condemn Government.

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/6189437/Government-sold-its-soul-over-Libya-deals.html

    “The Foreign Office said it was ”entirely misleading and simply wrong” to suggest there was a secret deal.

    ”Libyan law did not allow for the extradition for trial in other countries so a trial in Libya was the only outcome that would reflect our determination to see justice done,” a spokeswoman said. ”

    Libyan law was changed to make the prisoner transfer agreement which facilitated Megrahi’s release.

    It is entirely wrong to suppose that the Foreign Office could not have pressed for a change in Libya’s law to allow for the trial of a policewoman’s murderer in the UK.

    Everybody can see how vile our Government is; denial is useless.

    Like

  58. 248
    Anonymous says:

    “Do you mean that because we have a former self-confessed coke-head in the White House” does that mean there have been allegedly 2 on the trot, no wonder the drug cartels are so keen to supply the states with snow, is that the reason they have not managed to stamp it out, mind the peasants & oiks should not have access.

    Like

  59. 250
    A Silent Emission of Bowel Gas says:

    Criminalising drugs has been a fantastic success right around the world.

    Drugs are now, by far, the world’s largest business.

    The overwhelming majority of crime is now drug based.

    There have never been so many addicts.

    The more restrictions there are, the higher the price and the more crime is needed to pay for it.

    Some drug barons have larger armies and are richer than some countries.

    Let’s hope political correctness continues to prevent legalisation.

    We wouldn’t want to ruin anything, would we?.

    Like

  60. 251
    Sir William Waad says:

    Suppose there was a drug that:

    * made people happy
    * was non-addictive
    * did not harm your health
    * did not lead to anti-social behaviour and
    * was cheap

    would there be any reason to ban it? If so, are we merely arguing that the present generation of drugs is not very good?

    Actually, there is such a drug – music. I recommend anything by Schubert for starters.

    Like

    • 258
      resurgemus says:

      John Field Nocturnes

      Like

    • 267
      jgm2 says:

      Errrrr. There’s music and there’s ‘music’ Sir Waad. Plenty of music certainly does

      * not make people happy (Bob Dylan and other self indulgent onanist offerings)
      * does lead to anti-social behaviour (‘Slap Up Ma bitch’ at 140dB on the in-car stereo.)
      * ain’t cheap

      Pure shit. But I wouldn’t ban it. Although I’d advise anybody to have nothing to do with it.

      Like

    • 305
      Not long till labour gone says:

      That would be ecstasy/mdma/e’s then!

      The problem is that some drugs like this which are relatively harmless and taken by hundreds of thousands every weekend, using their hard earned wages are lumped together with the likes of heroin and crack cocaine.

      Like

  61. 253
    Comrade Thatcher says:

    Typical leftie nonsense from the leninist Adam Smith Institute. I hadn’t realised that they were trots too. Is this a transitional demand?

    Like

  62. 256
    jpt says:

    Some of my friends have been smoking ‘weed’ for years – and they’re all round the fuckin bend now!

    Like

    • 269
      English Viking says:

      So have some of mine, three of them have killed themselves. I am not joking.

      Like

      • 274
        jgm2 says:

        Darwinian. Either that or you’re particularly depressing company.

        Like

      • 283
        Dack Blog says:

        Those I’ve known who have killed themselves have all been habitual cannabis users, but in some ways I think it’s a bit of a chicken and egg. They were all people who found it difficult to cope with ‘reality’ anyway. Two were also doing PhDs (a high depression/suicide rate I’m told). All found it increasingly difficult to socialise/engage with the world. I think they were drawn to the ‘escape’ of cannabis abuse as they were that ‘personality type’ (whatever that means).

        Personally I’d probably indulge on occasion if it was still the have-a-giggle stuff you could get not so long ago. When people smoke the stuff that’s around now I find them particularly depressing (and boring) company.

        Like

      • 332
        Mr Ned says:

        My Brother killed himself and he had never taken an illegal drug in his life. He had just started taking Prozac though. Many of those suicides would have happened anyway. With or without cannibis.

        Like

        • 334
          Dack Blog says:

          That’s my point. I think cannabis may for many just exacerbate something that’s already there. It’s hard when you’re trying to support someone and getting nowhere, and their use of cannabis doesn’t help you reach them (if you ever could). I’m sorry about your brother.

          Like

        • 343
          Mr Ned says:

          It was in 2001 I have done my grieving. Cannabis helped me when I was in a similar depression many years ago. I haven’t touched the stuff in years now.

          Like

  63. 260

    Guido

    They need to go beyond decriminalisation.

    The drugs market needs to be bankrupted entirely.

    That means drugs should be available over the High street counter.

    Like

  64. 264
    resurgemus says:

    icle

    Like

  65. 275
    The Moderator says:

    I’ll let that one through George. But any more of your self-indulgent shit and it’ll disappear like the rest.

    Like

    • 278
      resurgemus says:

      George

      looks like the head of the Church of Scotland has it in for you.

      Have you been quoting Salmond again ?

      Like

      • 292

        resurgemus

        recently a friend of mine was calling me all sorts of bastards.

        I won’t tell you what that was about.

        Needless to say I am not popular in some quarters.

        I also have a stalker, ip addy 130.209.220.148, chemistry department of Glasgow University

        I see the abuse above as a sign I have missed.

        Like

  66. 279
    Lady Sara Tara Tolmkinson says:

    Drug enforcement is for the little people

    Like

  67. 280
    Vote vote vote for Jacqui says:

    I have read the previous 232 postings and frankly have got nothing but eye ache.
    Do you posters honestly think that the armies of Crime Families/Gangs will give up their lucrative positions and withdraw from the drug trade.?Will they fuck.They will create a new form of puff,speed,ecstacy or something quite unimaginable and hit the streets with it and create a brand new market.
    Legalise anything and anything you want.They will simply create a new
    thrill/unlawful addiction and here we go again.It has gone on since time began.There will never be a control of unlawful substances so don’t waste your time pontificating on here.Part of the answer is education but only to a minimal extent. No-one wants to be corraled or kettled or cattled.

    Like

    • 284
      resurgemus says:

      We should ban vegetables, that way my kids might eat them

      Like

      • 285
        Vote vote vote for Jacqui says:

        Tell them Broccoli is banned and addictive and watch them grow.
        Under no circumstances are they ever,ever to eat Brussel Sprouts.

        Like

    • 310
      Anonymous says:

      My mate believes in decriminalising all drugs. He was saying just the other night how all the drug problems would go away if there was legitimate access to them.

      To which I asked him where he bought his rolling tobacco from ? was it from a government approved and licensed outlet, or from the bloke who smuggles it in from the continent and sells it for half the official price ?
      He didn’t have an answer to that. No one does.

      Legalised smack ( or whatever ) will have to tested for purity, there’ll have to be a licensing scheme for vendors, it will need to be transported securely and there’ll be a concomitant mountain of paperwork. All of which costs money, even before we have a government wanting to use it as a new source of tax revenue, which they will.
      I can think of endless ways to short circuit all that for profit and I’m not even a criminal.

      Like

  68. 286
    politically un-correct social worker(retired) says:

    277 ‘boycott the license fee etc ‘ at 6pm:
    I don’t often defend social workers but please do not put them in the same category as mentally disordered offenders. And yes, there is plenty of evidence linking the use of illegal substances with mental illness.

    Like

  69. 288
    Vote vote vote for Jacqui says:

    I know it’s early but goodnight all.
    I’ve got to go to get ready to watch that fat brummie git and the Irish tart on the One Show.It’s fucking wonderful almost addictive.
    Last word on the subject though,I have spent a lifetime in and around
    the drug scene and can tell you all there has never been a Heroin or Coke addict who didn’t start off with a little inoccous puff of a Cannabis joint.
    A sort of Acorns/ Oak Tree analogy.
    It’s good night from me and good night from ???

    Like

  70. 290
    Seth the pig farmer says:

    The example of Spice is illuminating.

    Spice was created a few years ago to provide a legal high, and is available across the UK.

    It costs slightly more than the street price for cannabis but is poplular because it is legal and of consistent quality.

    I am unaware that there is any scientific evidence that it is harmful, but it is going to be banned.

    Surely the government should be encouraging us to take weaker drugs with fewer side effects in samller quality in a controlled environment.

    Which is better – kids drinking buckfast in the park and then kicking off in drink fuelled boredom or drinking 2.8% beer in a pub where they know that they will get kicked out if they mess around.

    Prohibition only esures fat profit margins for the dealers and higher taxes for the rest of us.

    Legalise, regulate and tax. If is is good enough for the rest of us, it is good enough for the criminals.

    Like

  71. 296
    Drugs are bad! mmkay says:

    Drugs are bad! mmkay. They just are

    Prescription drugs are good! mmkay
    Alcohol isn’t a drug it’s a drink! mmkay
    smoking is good mmkay!

    let’s at least get the basics right here on Daily Mail Island

    Like

  72. 297
    Drugs are bad! mmkay says:

    Drugs are bad! mmkay. They just are

    Mass use of prescription drugs is good! mmkay

    Alcohol isn’t a drug it’s a liquid! so it’s good mmkay

    Smoking is good mmkay!

    Let’s at least get the basics right here on Daily Mail Island

    Like

  73. 301
    thespecialone says:

    Here we go again. ‘Make drugs legal and there will be less crime’. Absolute rubbish. So let us say hypothetically that drugs were decriminalised and we have a load of drug dealers suddenly with no customers. What are they going to do?:

    1. Get jobs in Mcdonalds/Tescos to earn an honest living?
    2. Work for the NHS getting a job advertised in The Guardian under the title ‘5-a-day drugs co-ordinator’? And expanded ‘You will be part of an exciting new team dishing out drugs to anyone who wants them at a massive cost to the taxpayer. You will be experienced in drug dealing’
    3. Turn to other forms of criminality?

    Part of the reason for laws (yes I know this government has taken lawmaking to the extreme) is to protect people. Why dont we just decriminalise everything? F*cking lefty liberals like Cameron get on my tits.

    Like

  74. 303
    The Admiral says:

    Well I don’t often disagree with you Guido, but reading the above, you’ve kinda lost this one.

    Anything that warps the natural “you” is bad IMHO….

    Like

  75. 333
    Mr Ned says:

    Of course the main dealers would continue in a life of crime. BUT , their customers needn’t. And that amounts to a lot less mugging, theft and prostitution.

    Like

    • 335
      Beautiful afternoon says:

      What a load of baloney Mr Ned

      The main dealers will move into the sex business, wholsale redistribution of stolen highly taxed commodities like booze and fags, car parts, machinery parts.

      They will increase targetting wealthy individual families and individuals with increased burglaries, kidnapping, car jacking etc.

      There will be an increase in blackmail

      Go to any area which appears “swish” and you will see the start of electronic gates, spy cameras, increased boundary walls etc. Go to the nouv places and they did this years ago.

      You want a business oportunity idea? Get into the security business and start selling anything that keeps these mofos out. Alarms are a waste of time – the police are too hopeless to act.

      Decriminialise drugs and it’s South Africa style living here without the climate. No thanks

      Like

  76. 336
    Peter says:

    Cheers Guido – good posting.

    Not many people say that drugs are good…it’s just that the war on drugs – ie drug users – is even worse.

    It’s really little more than a price support scheme for drug dealers.

    Like

  77. 346
    A Silent Emission of Bowel Gas says:

    I don’t give a toss what people put into themselves.

    So long as they don’t harm me to pay for it.

    A long queue outside Boots is a fucking sight better than a crackhead in my bedroom at two in the morning with a knife.

    Like

  78. 347
    Table Bear says:

    I personally support our overlords telling us what we can and cannot put inside our own bodies.

    Everyone knows Satan put hemp on the face of the Earth to corrupt our pure women with the evils of jazz music, and deprive the oil insustry of juicy profits.

    Like

  79. 349
    Neil Craig says:

    Taxing it at say half the current market rate would raise 10s of billions. Certainly far more than cancelling Trident or most of the other “sacred cows” being herded towards the abbatoir.

    Like

  80. 350
    The Admiral says:

    Thats about right. Just like ‘baccy. Tax it and legalize it through the back door.

    Mandy WILL be pleased with you……

    Like


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Union In Its Current Form is Dead | Janan Ganesh
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Ashcroft Poll: Why Scotland Voted No | Buzzfeed
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