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The War On Drugs - is it 'working', and why is it a 'war' anyway ?

Drugs - is the current approach the best approach ?  

48 members have voted

  1. 1. Is the war on drugs working ?

    • Yes
      2
    • No
      47
  2. 2. Should all drugs be legalised and availability and quality managed by the government

    • Yes
      31
    • No
      17


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The recent publication of a government report seems to have brought the issue of how we deal with drug use back on the agenda:

 

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-29824764

 

And given the debate it sparked over on the UK Political Discussion thread I thought it might be worth giving this topic it's own thread. I'm particularly interested to hear from anyone who thinks the current approach is either working or justified, because personnally I just can't work out how we can criminalise people just because they choose to do something to themselves. Sure there are of course health implications, (but then that's true for virtually everything we choose to do one way or another), and surely most of the serious negative impacts on society are caused precisely because drugs are illegal ?

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I refer to a copy my post below from the Political Section concerning this subject and also add that I am a retired police officer serving part of my time on the County Drug Squad albeit  a long time ago: 

 

I take the view that the majority of drug users who take drugs for personal use are victims, somewhere down the line they have been coerced one way or another into taking drugs by a variety of methods from being persuaded by friends to being forcibly injected against their will and some of the drugs used are highly addictive.

Many start taking not realising how addictive they can become and do not realise until it is too late and they are hooked. By this time it needs a tremendous effort on the part of the user to become 'clean'.

Those on the hard drugs will do virtually anything to continue to get their supply with these becoming the most important thing in their lives, taking precedence over normal emotional attachments and even food, causing many to steal and turn to prostitution to 'feed' their habit - nothing is too degrading at times.

In their more lucid moments many would dearly love to get back to leading normal lives but expert help is needed to achieve this successfully.

I have lost contact with the system now but it used to be that there was a system of registered users who would be prescribed methadone by their doctors as a heroin substitute which could help addicts lead more normal lives.

But the fact remains is that for the individuals concerned the drug addiction is a medical problem which needs medical solutions - prosecuting and imprisoning drug users without any medical backup does no good at all in fact imprisonment often makes their situation worse because drugs often creep into prisons like water through a sieve.

Meanwhile many of the real villains are still on the streets enjoying a life of luxury from their ill gotten gains through this drug trade.

So really what we need is the will, imagination and vision to overcome this vile trade and help the 'victims' concerned.

There is anecdotal evidence to suggest that some may be more genetically prone than others to have addictive tendencies and are more easily led into other activities such as drinking and smoking habits, as well as drugs - probably more research is needed here but the end result is that these unproductive lives are a burden on the rest of society.

 

And also:

 

 

Nick L, on 30 Oct 2014 - 13:35, said:

 

Couldn't agree more. I presume your career was with the police?

 

Yes Nick and part of that was on the Drug Squad - a number of the addicts we had dealings with, who were on the hard stuff, blamed their predicament through starting on the so called soft drugs such as cannabis and many supported - the real villains here are those who feed off other people's misery, frequent school gates in the hope of getting more clients hooked, thereby ruining more lives, get and keep young girls on the game through getting them addicted to drugs - you may ask why aren't the police doing anything about it - the answer is that they are but when you consider that to get a successful prosecution the amount of man/hours spent is quite considerable and to be honest the problem is far too big to tackle with the resources available - let's face it most of the users are victims at the mercy of others making untaxed fortunes out of them.

So I believe the answer is to legalise possession and use for private individuals through strictly controlled outlets as I mentioned earlier, with increased opportunities for rehab, whilst at the same time increase vigilance and penalties on those who still seek to earn an unlawful living out of this type of parasitic venture.

After a while the lawful outlets will become more accepted by most people with the trade by the bad men diminishing and it may even be that once the idea of 'forbidden fruit' is taken out of the system the idea of taking drugs is likely to become less attractive to some - let's face it most of us get our alcohol supplies though lawful outlets with comparatively small amounts of spirits being distilled illegally in this country, though there have been isolated cases of this happening.  

If the police were a private organisation they would without a doubt consider that work in this field is unprofitable, so nothing would get done - as it is each of our police forces has to manage its affairs within a budget and that budget is not normally big enough to cover everything, although in exceptional circumstances this budget can be added to from central funds but a good case has to be made out for this.

The situation could be ameliorated quite considerably by cutting out a lot of the bumph and red tape sent down originally by politicians anxious to make a name for themselves and allowing the police to be where they should be. Being in the station completing paperwork is not really a function which can be multi tasked with being on the streets and getting your finger on the pulse as to what is happening in your neighbourhood.

It became quite clear to me there must be other ways of tackling this problem - ok sometimes we got lucky when customs were able to intercept a 'parcel', examine it and allow it to travel to its destination so we could get the recipients, or we managed to good information but the successes only represent the tip of the ice berg on what is a global problem requiring global solutions.

Addicts are often reluctant to grass up their source of supply because to makes life more difficult for them when they are out of circulation.

So the alternative is to legalise it but put it under tight control, earn a few bob in taxes whilst we are about it and put the criminals out of business, though no doubt they would find another enterprise but at least it would be a start.

Edited by mike Meehan

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It was interesting how no party on Question Time last night even remotely mentioned legalisation.

Even decriminalisation was a stretch.

On Question time, the governments line of 'drug use is down so the current policy is working' got shot down by the Greens in particular but the other parties joined in too.

However, on 'this week' - the politics show with Michael Portillo and Alan (whatever his surname is) they both argued tooth and nail that keeping drugs criminalised was working and Cannabis use was down 48% since 1996, as just one example.

It would be safe to conclude that it's a confusing and controversial topic.

I think it has to be a mix of policies.

Firstly, I think we probably could legalise cannabis and use the money earned from tax to help stop opium, cocaine etc from being brought into the UK.

Also, to fund drug raids of houses where it's being bagged, weighed etc.

Secondly, treat actual addicts more as victims than criminals.

Crush the dealers as suppliers. With hard penalties.

However, for those just trying the drugs/experimenting with them then I think there has to be a level of law enforcement. Meaning that the police can still give warnings and if caught again then perhaps criminal records/ community service etc.

I just fail to see how complete legalisation of these incredibly harmful drugs is irrefutably the correct action to take.

The lack of support from any party last night (I'm looking hard at the Lib dems and Greens here) shows that complete legalisation is not on the table in the foreseeable future. Decriminalisation (to varying degrees) is really what the debate seems to about

Edited by SW Saltire

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I cannot be bothered to C&P my posts from the other thread, but in short I agree with Mike and Nick.

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I cannot be bothered to C&P my posts from the other thread, but in short I agree with Mike and Nick.

I agree with a lot of what you said.

However, you seemed to imply it was a case of no legalisation or full legalisation.

I think the full legalisation policy fails to adequately assess the difference in strength, addictive qualities and overall effect on the user and others whom the user may be in contact with when under its influence.

Alcohol and cannabis are a world away from heroine and crack cocaine etc. Therefore, treating them all the same (or making the differences between them less) is not the correct action in my view.

In fact, I'd argue the difference should be reduced. Much like Cameron suggested before 2010. I'm sure his views were that 'it would be dissapointing if the radical proposals on Cannabis were not deeply considered' and that 'ecstasy should be removed from its class A status'.

I agree with both points (that he used to be or privately is, in favour of)

Edited by SW Saltire

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However, you seemed to imply it was a case of no legalisation or full legalisation.

 

Not so, there is a case for treating individual users as medical patients and victims whilst using the full force of the law to clamp down on those involved in the cultivation, importing and trafficking etc  - in other words those profiting from exploiting the users.

 

Couple that with legalised outlets which control the quality and quantity of those still wishing to take drugs, tax them and use the proceeds to fund re-hab - some would argue that the government itself would become a drug dealer, rings bells of the opium wars and the Boxer Rising of the 19th Century but with the important difference that taxes gained should towards the betterment of society overall. I see nothing wrong with that and after all we pay taxes on nicotine and alcohol, part of the proceeds of which go towards supporting the NHS, so it becomes a way of various people paying for the medical treatment incurred through their habits - we have to be pragmatic about these things. 

 

I am convinced that if alcohol and nicotine were to be brought into use today, they too would end up on the proscribed drug list, then you only have to look at Americas 'Prohibition' - if anything it made matters worse and gave rise to a huge illegal trade controlled by gangsters who had little interest in quality control and did not care if they were producing the wrong type of alcohol, or moonshine, which could make you blind and/or mad, so long as they were still getting their money.

 

The problem was that it made going out for a drink exciting, so as a result large numbers flocked to the 'speak easy's', rather than let people drink at their own pace - It's a crazy mixed up world.

 

There is a lot we could learn from history and from other people if only we took the time, patience and humility to do this.

Edited by mike Meehan

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Well the poll wouldnt accept ma vote. The war on drugs isnt working by any measure , so i voted no.

 

I dont therfore necessarily agree all drugs should therefore be legalised. So i couldnt vote either way on the second part of the poll.

 

Just about to go out wae the weans guising , sorry , trick or treating as its now called. Cant comment too much except to say i agree with mike meehan to a large extent as well as acknowledging the many good points raised by others.

 

 

 

 

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I think the "war on drugs" is one of many examples of the "hang them and flog them" approach- there is a fairly widespread perception that the only way to change human behaviour for the better is to be hard-line and authoritarian, and if it means minor offenders and even innocent people being lumped together with the serious offenders, so be it.  It's part of a mentality that we have to "do something" (which isn't necessarily the same as achieving positive results).  It's not necessarily a popular view, but it is held disproportionately by people with strong feelings about these issues and people who are vocal and get to spread paranoia via the likes of the Daily Mail.  

Unfortunately, these policies tend to be effective at getting innocent people and minor offenders to change their behaviour, and ineffective against serious offenders.

 

I think Mike makes a very strong case for the "punish the cultivation, importing and trafficking, not the users" line.

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Not so, there is a case for treating individual users as medical patients and victims whilst using the full force of the law to clamp down on those involved in the cultivation, importing and trafficking etc - in other words those profiting from exploiting the users.

Couple that with legalised outlets which control the quality and quantity of those still wishing to take drugs, tax them and use the proceeds to fund re-hab - some would argue that the government itself would become a drug dealer.

I am convinced that if alcohol and nicotine were to be brought into use today, they too would end up on the proscribed drug list

I agree with clamping down on the suppliers.

However, surely the state has a duty (at least to some degree) to influence it's citizens opinions on what is safe for them and what is not.

If the state's wealth of scientists and expert opinion concludes that Cocaine, heroin, crack, shrooms, speed etc are very harmful. Then it would be appropriate to stop citizens from taking it or strongly discourage this.

How would making it freely available (I take the point about quality and strength etc) from state run shops do this?

Of almost everyone I've talked to my age, when drugs gets talked about, their number 1 reason for being careful or avoiding taking stuff frequently is the deterrent of the law. People wanting to be teachers, politicians, policemen etc are fearful of the long-term repercussions of getting caught.

If you made it completely legal and accesible then most of my friends would take quite serious stuff.

I'd probably try some stuff myself but currently it's just not worth the hassle and the state makes it well known why some of the drugs are bad. Perhaps biased - particularly towards the more 'mild' drugs - but at least 'talk to Frank' and other such schemes educate the masses.

Another point to make, is that we as a country do have a problem with alcohol. It's seen as part of our culture. Does Portugal have this problem?

Therefore, I worry about allowing other drugs to the masses. I take the point re American Prohibition. However, alcohol being regulated only guarantees I'm drinking what I think I am. It doesn't guaranteed that I won't end up absolutely smashed and damage my liver.

Of course, you'll retort with the point you made above ie the taxes imposed on cigarettes and alcohol pay for the costs to the NHS.

Yes they do.

I can get away however, with many nights out of excessive drinking as long as I calm it down and don't make it a long -term problem.

Can I get away with spending my late teenage years and early twenties high on coke? Can I get away relatively unscathed with frequent injections in my arm? With being so 'swedged' on estacy I have no recollection of anything?

Perhaps, the government advert from a few year back of that young adult climbing the scaffolding high on estacy who jumps and dies is extreme. However, it does make the very true point that many of these drugs so badly inhibit rational thought that you could make life altering decisions.

I'd have to down sooooo much alcohol to get to that stage and I'd probably spend a good amount of time being sick after it. Whereas, that isn't the case after 10 lines of coke or a couple pills.

I just think the state has a moral obligation to protect it's citizens. Yes, we live in a democracy but there comes a point where complete liberalism is not the best policy. I know first hand how young people (I whole heartedly include myself in this) push boundaries and can abuse aspects of life in order to see what happens. It's basic human curiosity.

Very few suffer badly from a few times getting drunk when you're 17 or even getting high or smoking. You'll probably be sick if you combine the two certainly.

What if we apply that logic to ecstacy (yes, the government would regulate quality etc but someone who is used to ecstacy could buy it and a total vigin to it could take them - I'm sure you'll be aware you get different strengths of ecstacy pills) such as the girl in the Arches night club in Glasgow. She took an ecstacy pill with a 'skull and cross bones on (you only take that strength of pill if you're an addict - take 'blue superman' if you're a beginner I'm told- Very sadly, that wasn't just for show....

Apply that logic to coke etc....heroin, amphetamines etc

As I've said before (I can only go on personal experience) but almost everyone I've talked to about their drug use or lack of - all centres around fear of being caught. Therefore, it's not worth it or They'll only take it if offered, they would not actively seek it...

Edited by SW Saltire

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The war on drugs has spectacularly failed. However this doesn't mean drugs should be legalised, we should not be encouraging such degeneracy. Drugs should be decriminalized and abusers should get treatment and help from rehabs. Penalties should be a lot tougher for suppliers and dealers.

Edited by Snowy L

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I agree with clamping down on the suppliers.

However, surely the state has a duty (at least to some degree) to influence it's citizens opinions on what is safe for them and what is not.

If the state's wealth of scientists and expert opinion concludes that Cocaine, heroin, crack, shrooms, speed etc are very harmful. Then it would be appropriate to stop citizens from taking it or strongly discourage this.

How would making it freely available (I take the point about quality and strength etc) from state run shops do this?

Of almost everyone I've talked to my age, when drugs gets talked about, their number 1 reason for being careful or avoiding taking stuff frequently is the deterrent of the law. People wanting to be teachers, politicians, policemen etc are fearful of the long-term repercussions of getting caught.

If you made it completely legal and accesible then most of my friends would take quite serious stuff.

I'd probably try some stuff myself but currently it's just not worth the hassle and the state makes it well known why some of the drugs are bad. Perhaps biased - particularly towards the more 'mild' drugs - but at least 'talk to Frank' and other such schemes educate the masses.

Another point to make, is that we as a country do have a problem with alcohol. It's seen as part of our culture. Does Portugal have this problem?

Therefore, I worry about allowing other drugs to the masses. I take the point re American Prohibition. However, alcohol being regulated only guarantees I'm drinking what I think I am. It doesn't guaranteed that I won't end up absolutely smashed and damage my liver.

Of course, you'll retort with the point you made above ie the taxes imposed on cigarettes and alcohol pay for the costs to the NHS.

Yes they do.

I can get away however, with many nights out of excessive drinking as long as I calm it down and don't make it a long -term problem.

Can I get away with spending my late teenage years and early twenties high on coke? Can I get away relatively unscathed with frequent injections in my arm? With being so 'swedged' on estacy I have no recollection of anything?

Perhaps, the government advert from a few year back of that young adult climbing the scaffolding high on estacy who jumps and dies is extreme. However, it does make the very true point that many of these drugs so badly inhibit rational thought that you could make life altering decisions.

I'd have to down sooooo much alcohol to get to that stage and I'd probably spend a good amount of time being sick after it. Whereas, that isn't the case after 10 lines of coke or a couple pills.

I just think the state has a moral obligation to protect it's citizens. Yes, we live in a democracy but there comes a point where complete liberalism is not the best policy. I know first hand how young people (I whole heartedly include myself in this) push boundaries and can abuse aspects of life in order to see what happens. It's basic human curiosity.

Very few suffer badly from a few times getting drunk when you're 17 or even getting high or smoking. You'll probably be sick if you combine the two certainly.

What if we apply that logic to ecstacy (yes, the government would regulate quality etc but someone who is used to ecstacy could buy it and a total vigin to it could take them - I'm sure you'll be aware you get different strengths of ecstacy pills) such as the girl in the Arches night club in Glasgow. She took an ecstacy pill with a 'skull and cross bones on (you only take that strength of pill if you're an addict - take 'blue superman' if you're a beginner I'm told- Very sadly, that wasn't just for show....

Apply that logic to coke etc....heroin, amphetamines etc

As I've said before (I can only go on personal experience) but almost everyone I've talked to about their drug use or lack of - all centres around fear of being caught. Therefore, it's not worth it or They'll only take it if offered, they would not actively seek it..

The advantage of having the 'drug trade' controlled by the state is that there would be condition for sale in respect of age, the amount supplied and I would expect to see comprehensive literature with the product giving warnings, contents, strength and how it affects etc. In fact giving a full range of information which you expect to get from any prescribed drug from the chemist. It would in fact be in a far greater position for educating people than the current system where drugs of unknown strength and additives and of dubious quality, are sold on the street corners to all in sundry, so if you are that way inclined, it should be a lot safer.  

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I do find people's responses to this question fascinating, and at the same time pretty confusing. To say that one might take drugs if they weren't illegal, despite knowing the purported detrimental consequences, seems particularly strange. Why do you think you might want to take them if they were legal ? I think this comes to the nub of the true question, and one of the real 'elephants in the room' - for many people drugs (in all their different myriad forms) are FUN.

 

Since I started this thread I guess it's reasonable to admit I've had many good times after taking all manner of different substances, (everything from class A to C and in between, including plenty which aren't illegal but just as apparently dangerous - glue, aerosols, even white board markers !!!). And not just me but loads of my friends as well, and I don't know anyone who's descended into destructive addiction, messed their life up or sufferred any of the other supposed disasterous effects of drug abuse. In fact the only ones of the people I know who have sufferred as a consequence are the ones who got caught out by booze. I've held down what most would consider a good job, raised a family, done all the 'normal' stuff associated with a 'responsible upstanding member of society' and yet at any point could quite easily have had all this jeopardised by a potential jail term, and for what, making my own choices about how I prefer to have fun ? Seems a bit ridiculous to me...............

 

Until you've sat on the roof of your house watching the sun coming up listening to your favourite music whilst being 'internally amplified' you just won't understand.

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The war on drugs has spectacularly failed. However this doesn't mean drugs should be legalised, we should not be encouraging such degeneracy. Drugs should be decriminalized and abusers should get treatment and help from rehabs. Penalties should be a lot tougher for suppliers and dealers.

 

"Degeneracy"? Do you drink/smoke? What harm am I doing to you if I decide to recreationally partake in using drugs?

 

"Soft" drugs should be legalised and taxed, "hard" drugs should be decriminalised but only available via prescription for addicts.

Edited by Nick L

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I do find people's responses to this question fascinating, and at the same time pretty confusing. To say that one might take drugs if they weren't illegal, despite knowing the purported detrimental consequences, seems particularly strange. Why do you think you might want to take them if they were legal ? I think this comes to the nub of the true question, and one of the real 'elephants in the room' - for many people drugs (in all their different myriad forms) are FUN.

 

Since I started this thread I guess it's reasonable to admit I've had many good times after taking all manner of different substances, (everything from class A to C and in between, including plenty which aren't illegal but just as apparently dangerous - glue, aerosols, even white board markers !!!). And not just me but loads of my friends as well, and I don't know anyone who's descended into destructive addiction, messed their life up or sufferred any of the other supposed disasterous effects of drug abuse. In fact the only ones of the people I know who have sufferred as a consequence are the ones who got caught out by booze. I've held down what most would consider a good job, raised a family, done all the 'normal' stuff associated with a 'responsible upstanding member of society' and yet at any point could quite easily have had all this jeopardised by a potential jail term, and for what, making my own choices about how I prefer to have fun ? Seems a bit ridiculous to me...............

 

Until you've sat on the roof of your house watching the sun coming up listening to your favourite music whilst being 'internally amplified' you just won't understand.

Did you think to ask those around you and your friends if they thought you were all having "fun"?

My experience of a drug user in my life sphere was totally the opposite.

The worry of the sudden change in moods that 'we' had to deal with. Abuse directed straight at a number of us that literally came out of nowhere.

Those within our family circle who originally had been naive about these issues sick to worry about what was happening.

Others getting dragged into the drug circle.

Going to work not being able to concentrate as one wondered if someone was going to knock on the door later asking for 'payment'.

Yeah really 'fun' times.

Think about the 'others' that get affected by a drug users habit - nah, s#d that said the drug user.

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I liked the bit about publicity - this can change social attitudes - you only have to look at the campaigns against drink/driving and smoking to realise this, so I see nothing wrong with allowing the sale of drugs under state controlled conditions whilst at the same time running campaigns to illustrate the disadvantages of being a user - I see this as a sensible approach because clearly the 'do as I say' attitude does not work, it has never worked and allowed a large criminal industry to develop.

 

 

 

 

 

"Soft" drugs should be legalised and taxed, "hard" drugs should be decriminalised but only available via prescription for addicts.

The ideal solution in a 21st century caring society.

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I do find people's responses to this question fascinating, and at the same time pretty confusing. To say that one might take drugs if they weren't illegal, despite knowing the purported detrimental consequences, seems particularly strange. Why do you think you might want to take them if they were legal ? I think this comes to the nub of the true question, and one of the real 'elephants in the room' - for many people drugs (in all their different myriad forms) are FUN.

 

Since I started this thread I guess it's reasonable to admit I've had many good times after taking all manner of different substances, (everything from class A to C and in between, including plenty which aren't illegal but just as apparently dangerous - glue, aerosols, even white board markers !!!). And not just me but loads of my friends as well, and I don't know anyone who's descended into destructive addiction, messed their life up or sufferred any of the other supposed disasterous effects of drug abuse. In fact the only ones of the people I know who have sufferred as a consequence are the ones who got caught out by booze. I've held down what most would consider a good job, raised a family, done all the 'normal' stuff associated with a 'responsible upstanding member of society' and yet at any point could quite easily have had all this jeopardised by a potential jail term, and

 

Until you've sat on the roof of your house watching the sun coming up listening to your favourite music whilst being 'internally amplified' you just won't understand.

I do find people's responses to this question fascinating, and at the same time pretty confusing. To say that one might take drugs if they weren't illegal, despite knowing the purported detrimental consequences, seems particularly strange. Why do you think you might want to take them if they were legal ? I think this comes to the nub of the true question, and one of the real 'elephants in the room' - for many people drugs (in all their different myriad forms) are FUN.

 

Since I started this thread I guess it's reasonable to admit I've had many good times after taking all manner of different substances, (everything from class A to C and in between, including plenty which aren't illegal but just as apparently dangerous - glue, aerosols, even white board markers !!!). And not just me but loads of my friends as well, and I don't know anyone who's descended into destructive addiction, messed their life up or sufferred any of the other supposed disasterous effects of drug abuse. In fact the only ones of the people I know who have sufferred as a consequence are the ones who got caught out by booze. I've held down what most would consider a good job, raised a family, done all the 'normal' stuff associated with a 'responsible upstanding member of society' and yet at any point could quite easily have had all this jeopardised by a potential jail term, and for what, making my own choices about how I prefer to have fun ? Seems a bit ridiculous to me...............

 

Until you've sat on the roof of your house watching the sun coming up listening to your favourite music whilst being 'internally amplified' you just won't understand.

That last sentence of yours, it's hard to tell whether you mean that literally or metaphorically. I assume you would have to be spaced out to pull a stunt like that.

Beats me why anyone would want to take drugs for recreational purposes.

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I'm going to look into this further before commenting. Seems there are no simple answers but we cannot go on as we are.

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I do find people's responses to this question fascinating, and at the same time pretty confusing. To say that one might take drugs if they weren't illegal, despite knowing the purported detrimental consequences, seems particularly strange. Why do you think you might want to take them if they were legal ? I think this comes to the nub of the true question, and one of the real 'elephants in the room' - for many people drugs (in all their different myriad forms) are FUN.

 

Since I started this thread I guess it's reasonable to admit I've had many good times after taking all manner of different substances, (everything from class A to C and in between, including plenty which aren't illegal but just as apparently dangerous - glue, aerosols, even white board markers !!!). And not just me but loads of my friends as well, and I don't know anyone who's descended into destructive addiction, messed their life up or sufferred any of the other supposed

disastrous effects of drug abuse. In fact the only ones of the people I know who have sufferred as a consequence are the ones who got caught out by booze. I've held down what most would consider a good job, raised a family, done all the 'normal' stuff associated with a 'responsible upstanding member of society' and yet at any point could quite easily have had all this jeopardised by a potential jail term, and for what, making my own choices about how I prefer to have fun ? Seems a bit ridiculous to me...............

 

Until you've sat on the roof of your house watching the sun coming up listening to your favourite music whilst being 'internally amplified' you just won't understand.

Of course, being legal or illegal won't change your views if you research it.

However, let's reverse the 'cannabis must be bad because it's illegal line'.

'Coke can't be THAT bad because it's legal'. That is what people would think when they are offered some for the first time.

When someone asks you at a party or whenever whether you want some, you can't just go 'wait a minute, I'm

just going to google it'.

You have 'gut' feelings and opinions. Currently, it's illegal and therefore that puts most people at default position of 'I probably shouldn't take this'...

Of course drugs are fun!

How did you conclude that this is the 'elephant in the room'?

This is the whole point....

It's fine with drink or smoking or weed but once you start 'having fun' on heroine then your life may well be ruined quite rapidly...

So from the fact that you have taken a fair few drugs we can deduce that you can take it or leave it. You don't have 'an addictive personality'. This, IMO, obscures your objectivity with regard to this issue. 'I was fine on coke an didn't want to do it again the next day, week'. That's very lucky for you. Does this meant that almost 70 million other people will be the same? I think not.

What were you on when you were on the roof - may I

ask?

I know I'd enjoy the feeling, this is my whole point!

"Soft" drugs should be legalised and taxed, "hard" drugs should be decriminalised but only available via prescription for addicts.

Define 'soft' drugs... Please

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The war on drugs has failed, largely due the fact that poorer countries can't devote the resources to curtailing the production or are corrupt.

 

With that being said, while there are some drugs i'd consider supporting legally, it would be immoral for the state to allow its citizens to use a substance like Heroin and i would never support its legalisation. For those drugs which are illegal though, possession should only be punished by an on the spot fine.

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Among the US election results, Alaska, Oregon and Washington D.C. all voted to legalise cannabis for recreational use last night, joining the hugely successful "experiments" in Colorado and Washington.

Edited by Nick L

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Aye, slowly, very slowly, the fundamentalists, driven by their fear and ignnorance, are losing their stranglehold, and common sense is creeping in. It'll take a long time, but a rational, human approach will eventually win out.

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Aye, slowly, very slowly, the fundamentalists, driven by their fear and ignnorance, are losing their stranglehold, and common sense is creeping in. It'll take a long time, but a rational, human approach will eventually win out.

 

I just wonder out of Labour and the Tories, which one will first make the brave move to speak sense on the matter? At least the Lib Dems agree we need a radical new approach, heck, even Nigel Farage has suggested he thinks the war on drugs has failed.

Edited by Nick L

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Bizzare isn't it at a time where we're busy trying to stop people taking legal drugs such as booze and cigarettes while some are wanting to legalize other drugs and place even a greater strain with the side effects and long term health issues on the NHS.

Doesn't make sense really does it.

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Bizzare isn't it at a time where we're busy trying to stop people taking legal drugs such as booze and cigarettes while some are wanting to legalize other drugs and place even a greater strain with the side effects and long term health issues on the NHS.

Doesn't make sense really does it.

 

Not really bizarre. Legalize does not equate to encourage and thus increase usage ,It is  merely a better way of managing something that is endemic and in the process decrease the health risks and thus put less strain on the NHS.

Edited by knocker

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