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Pennine Ten Foot Drifts

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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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.

 

As knocker says, there's a difference between legalising and encouraging. Portugal has decriminalised EVERYTHING in the last decade, yet hard drug use has decreased, heroin use significantly so.

 

It's far easier to control usage when it's legalised, as bizarre as it sounds. Part of the problem also with it being criminalised is that it becomes a taboo subject, and addicts are reluctant to seek help they need for fear of being criminalised and stigmatised. The attitudes of society towards drugs needs to change.

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With legalisation comes quality control too - a regulated supply with known ingredients instead of the 'who knows what's in it' thing we have at the moment. This also reduces strain on the health service as you no longer have people going to hospital after swallowing rat poison or whatever has been mixed in on some dodgy batch of pills.

It's also getting over this notion that drug takers are all society drop outs stealing to fund their habit whereas the reality is that 'normal' working people use cannabis, ecstasy etc to relax & have a good time at the weekend. And still go to work on Monday!

People will take drugs for all sorts of reasons, some will abuse, most won't - but lets make it safer for everyone with proper factual information available. And of course the removal of the fear of losing your career and life from arrest - simply for having a good time. It's your body - so if you aren't affecting others, what business is it of anyone else's what you put into it?

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With legalisation comes quality control too - a regulated supply with known ingredients instead of the 'who knows what's in it' thing we have at the moment. This also reduces strain on the health service as you no longer have people going to hospital after swallowing rat poison or whatever has been mixed in on some dodgy batch of pills.

It's also getting over this notion that drug takers are all society drop outs stealing to fund their habit whereas the reality is that 'normal' working people use cannabis, ecstasy etc to relax & have a good time at the weekend. And still go to work on Monday!

People will take drugs for all sorts of reasons, some will abuse, most won't - but lets make it safer for everyone with proper factual information available. And of course the removal of the fear of losing your career and life from arrest - simply for having a good time. It's your body - so if you aren't affecting others, what business is it of anyone else's what you put into it?

 

Absolutely. The dangerous part about ecstasy for example isn't the ecstasy itself, it's what it has been mixed with. A large proportion of deaths we see with ecstasy is because of another substance it has been contaminated with, not the drug itself. 

 

I can see absolutely no benefit to the current system we have.

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 it would be immoral for the state to allow its citizens to use a substance like Heroin and i would never support its legalisation. 

 

The state provided me with morphine. Little difference really. Boy is morphine good - holy sh*t. What a relaxing 'trip'; never felt so 'chilled out' in my life. Of course there was a reason for me being given it (severe back pain which had me doubled over), but I can see why heroin is addictive.

 

There were of course some side effects that were not so pleasant though. I shall not go into detail, but involved throne rooms and long waits Trainspotting style...

 

What I find most odd about the drugs debate is that the right (e.g. Tories) advocate personal responsibility and liberty. However, when it comes to giving people personal responsibility for what they want to put in their bodies, they become huge nanny state. Far more so than proper left liberal parties whose attitude seems to be more evidence based common sense + , erm, personal responsibility. I find this totally contradictory from the right.

 

For me, there has been considerable success in reducing smoking by making it socially taboo. Legal yes, but something people are increasingly turning away from due to the well publicised health issues + removal of it as something acceptable socially. The new step of hiding packets from view obviously in shops, whereby making it even more socially unacceptable should also help (note that I still smoke, am trying to quit, but support all moves to reduce smoking).

 

In the case of drugs, if they were available after e.g. considerable form filling in the sterile environment of a pharmacy / special medical centre, then it becomes something kind of embarrassing to be doing. You are buying them as an addict, weak and a slave to a harmful substance, not a rebel doing something risky and exciting on a night out.

 

In terms of really hard drugs like heroin, as I understand it, most deaths occur from overdose as purity varies greatly. If addicts got it from some sort of special pharmacy as described, then this would no longer be the case. Likewise, if they are getting it there and taking it in e.g. special, sterile rooms with syringes provided etc, then its hardly glamorous / exciting. Not something young folks would find enticing. 

 

For cannabis, I always felt allowing people to grow it for personal use was sensible. Illegal to sell, but ok for personal possession in your own home if grown there. Limits on weights you can have in the home ensures production for personal use only. Grass is far less physically harmful than concentrated resin, yet the illegality of cannabis makes resin more common as it is more dense / less bulky so more common due to being easier to smuggle. Also can come with added chemicals used to make it, rather than just dried leaves.

 

For me personal possession should not be a crime and I support controlled distribution through authorised centres. Taxes raised should be used to promote the dangers and make dangerous drugs as socially a 'bad thing which just isn't fun and is/can be damaging' as possible. As much help for those who have become addicts to quit as possible.

 

Certainly, when it comes to e.g. heroin, I'd prefer to pay small part of my tax to have addicts helped and given e.g. methadone while easing them off the habit than have them break into my home, steal my possessions, then, if I'm, erm, 'lucky', pay huge amounts of tax to have them locked up only for them to get out at some point and the cycle to repeat itself.

Edited by scottish skier
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I've been self medicating with cannabis since 1979 .. I have been prosecuted 7 times and had numerous other attempts to end my liberty . Total costs to the state are currently well in excess of £1 million . I would rather the taxpayers money (mine included) had been better spent

Edited by be cause
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I've been self medicating with cannabis since 1979 .. I have been prosecuted 7 times and had numerous other attempts to end my liberty . Total costs to the state are currently well in excess of £1 million . I would rather the taxpayers money (mine included) had been better spent

 

One of the biggest tragedies of the war on drugs is cases like yours. Cannabis has been proven to alleviate numerous medical conditions, yet our governments lack the humanity and compassion to allow people regulated access to it.

 

I don't like conspiracy theories and the such, but it does make you wonder if the pharmaceutical and alcohol industries are having a big part to play in current policy.

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I've been busted twice for taking weed into concert, 1st time by security who took me to the cops who i promptly had a chat with,they decided I was'nt a t***, put it back in my bag and said "we ain't seen that enjoy your night".  Second time at a festival by the dogs on gate they apologised profusely saying "sorry mate I got to take this,  its cos of bloody Cameron and politics, you be able to find some more inside though". Never been arrested or fined though

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I've been busted twice for taking weed into concert, 1st time by security who took me to the cops who i promptly had a chat with,they decided I was'nt a t***, put it back in my bag and said "we ain't seen that enjoy your night".  Second time at a festival by the dogs on gate they apologised profusely saying "sorry mate I got to take this,  its cos of bloody Cameron and politics, you be able to find some more inside though". Never been arrested or fined though

 

I chuckled at your first story! I've heard about police occasionally turning a blind eye to it, but never heard it from anyone directly. 

 

Let's be honest, I'm sure most police would rather deal with real crimes rather than go through all the paperwork sorting something that is doing practically no harm to anyone else.

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The state provided me with morphine. Little difference really. Boy is morphine good - holy sh*t. What a relaxing 'trip'; never felt so 'chilled out' in my life. Of course there was a reason for me being given it (severe back pain which had me doubled over), but I can see why heroin is addictive.

There were of course some side effects that were not so pleasant though. I shall not go into detail, but involved throne rooms and long waits Trainspotting style...

What I find most odd about the drugs debate is that the right (e.g. Tories) advocate personal responsibility and

liberty. However, when it comes to giving people personal responsibility for what they want to put in their bodies, they become huge nanny state. Far more so than proper left liberal parties whose attitude seems to be more evidence based common sense + , erm, personal responsibility. I find this totally contradictory from the right.

For me, there has been considerable success in reducing smoking by making it socially taboo. Legal yes, but something people are increasingly turning away from due to the well publicised health issues + removal of it as something acceptable socially. The new step of hiding packets from view obviously in shops, whereby making it even more socially unacceptable should also help (note that I still smoke, am trying to quit, but support all moves to reduce smoking).

In the case of drugs, if they were available after e.g. considerable form filling in the sterile environment of a pharmacy / special medical centre, then it

becomes something kind of embarrassing to be doing. You are buying them as an addict, weak and a slave to a

harmful substance, not a rebel doing something risky and exciting on a night out.

In terms of really hard drugs like heroin, as I understand it, most deaths occur from overdose as purity varies greatly. If addicts got it from some sort of special pharmacy as described, then this would no longer be the case. Likewise, if they are getting it there and taking it in e.g. special, sterile rooms with syringes provided etc, then its hardly glamorous / exciting. Not something young folks would find enticing.

For cannabis, I always felt allowing people to grow it for personal use was sensible. Illegal to sell, but ok for personal possession in your own home if grown there. Limits on weights you can have in the home ensures production for personal use only. Grass is far less physically harmful than concentrated resin, yet the illegality of cannabis makes resin more common as it is more dense / less bulky so more common due to being easier to smuggle. Also can come with added chemicals used to make it, rather than just dried leaves.

For me personal possession should not be a crime and I support controlled distribution through authorised centres. Taxes raised should be used to promote the dangers and make dangerous drugs as socially a 'bad thing which just isn't fun and is/can be damaging' as possible. As much help for those who have become addicts to quit as possible.

Certainly, when it comes to e.g. heroin, I'd prefer to pay small part of my tax to have addicts helped and given e.g. methadone while easing them off the habit than have them break into my home, steal my possessions, then, if I'm, erm, 'lucky', pay huge amounts of tax to have them locked up only for them to get out at some point and the cycle to repeat itself.

I can see the reasons behind you thinking there is a contradiction between what Tories typically stand for (ie Individual responsibility) and their attitude towards drug use.

However, surely it stems from the ideology of 'conservatism' and the idea if incremental change. Laws are in force for a reason etc.

Not that I agree with that line of thought though.

I don't think it's particularly 'nanny state' to be of the opinion that the state has a moral obligation to protect it's citizens from harmful substances/events etc.

I read a story today which stated how a

man ate his girlfriends face while high in coke. An eye witness said "He chewed her eyeball as if it was a Cadbury Creme egg"

Now of course this comes with caution, firstly, we don't know how the individuals mental well being was before taking the drug (probably not great) and it's definitely not to say anymore than a absolute minority would do such an act while on illegal substances.

However, surely this makes the severity of some of these drugs evidently clear.

It can't be a 'legalise everything' approach in my view. I sympathise with the view of Nick L when he talked about 'soft' drugs and 'hard' drugs.

I think Cannabis should be legalised and taxed, although, I have raised my doubts about this previously.

The difference between the drugs at the bottom end of the scale ie Alcohol, Cannabis, Tobacco etc and the top of the scale ie heroine, crack cocaine, crystal meth etc is light and day.

It sounds great, having this sterile environment where addicts go and people experimenting are put off by the whole experience.

Surely, in reality, the system would be open to abuse. Addicts could sell their drugs on to others and then you have problems.

All you need is to try the 'hard' drugs once and you will search for that high again. I'm not saying an individual is addicted but they will always be susceptible thereafter of taking other substances (if offered) in the future.

Addressing some of the points made in your post in more detail:

Are you sure Morphine is the same as heroine? A harder version of 'balloons' or some kind of pain killer (doubt it's as hard as ket) perhaps but heroine's hit is soooo severe that you need that 'euphoric' hit. Not quite the same as the 'niccy buzz' you get off a cigarette.

Has our drinking culture made significant strides towards improvement? Are drinks going to be put behind a counter in future?

Everyone is well aware of the dangers of alcohol but almost everyone drinks (an too excess frequently). Alcohol is engrained in our culture for the foreseeable... Despite health warnings and public campaigns.

I highly doubt you'll be weighing up the advantages and disadvantages of coke once you've snorted a line or the pros and cons of ketamine when your foaming and drooling at the mouth sinking deeper and deeper into a 'k-hole'. (I've seen it first hand, quite nasty).

Cannabis is a different kettle of fish but surely the state has to stop or significantly influence it's citizens by using both the carrot and the stick to limit the use of hard drugs. I was talking to a guy tonight who ha recently snorted some Ching (cocaine) and he said once you have that hit then you'll want it again. I ever there is coke infront of you, you'll be compelled to have it.

'Its legal so it's fine' will be an argument used. That isn't a good way I thinking but it's based on the exact same logic that currently goes 'it's illegal so it's bad for you'.

Both are flawed but both are points needing tackled.

The current system isn't right but I'm not convinced wholesale change is needed.

It has (to this point) worked well for Portugal. Does that mean it will work for Britain? Not necessarily in my view... Does Portugal have the binge drinking culture that we have....? I'm pretty confident it does not.

Weed is probably the next logical step in terms of legalisation. However, I'm not convinced where we go after that.

Perhaps those who roam on here (the poll in this forum is at odds with public opinion) live in an age of liberal enlightenment but I'm sure my feelings have significant support, perhaps even a majority.

Public opinion ultimately drives political parties and we saw on QT a couple weeks ago that not one party mentioned the term 'legalisation' and 'decriminalisation' was still only flirted with. Hardly, echoing some of the more radical ideas expressed here but that's not to say these ideas are particularly wrong.

Many have conveyed their viewpoints very eloquently but when taken away from the realms of ideological rhetoric, in the real world, I'm not sure if these ideas would be so 'water-tight'.

Edited by SW Saltire

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I can see the reasons behind you thinking there is a contradiction between what Tories typically stand for (ie Individual responsibility) and their attitude towards drug use.

However, surely it stems from the ideology of 'conservatism' and the idea if incremental change. Laws are in force for a reason etc.

Not that I agree with that line of thought though.

I don't think it's particularly 'nanny state' to be of the opinion that the state has a moral obligation to protect it's citizens from harmful substances/events etc.

I read a story today which stated how a

man ate his girlfriends face while high in coke. An eye witness said "He chewed her eyeball as if it was a Cadbury Creme egg"

Now of course this comes with caution, firstly, we don't know how the individuals mental well being was before taking the drug (probably not great) and it's definitely not to say anymore than a absolute minority would do such an act while on illegal substances.

However, surely this makes the severity of some of these drugs evidently clear.

It can't be a 'legalise everything' approach in my view. I sympathise with the view of Nick L when he talked about 'soft' drugs and 'hard' drugs.

I think Cannabis should be legalised and taxed, although, I have raised my doubts about this previously.

The difference between the drugs at the bottom end of the scale ie Alcohol, Cannabis, Tobacco etc and the top of the scale ie heroine, crack cocaine, crystal meth etc is light and day.

It sounds great, having this sterile environment where addicts go and people experimenting are put off by the whole experience.

Surely, in reality, the system would be open to abuse. Addicts could sell their drugs on to others and then you have problems.

All you need is to try the 'hard' drugs once and you will search for that high again. I'm not saying an individual is addicted but they will always be susceptible thereafter of taking other substances (if offered) in the future.

Addressing some of the points made in your post in more detail:

Are you sure Morphine is the same as heroine? A harder version of 'balloons' or some kind of pain killer (doubt it's as hard as ket) perhaps but heroine's hit is soooo severe that you need that 'euphoric' hit. Not quite the same as the 'niccy buzz' you get off a cigarette.

Has our drinking culture made significant strides towards improvement? Are drinks going to be put behind a counter in future?

Everyone is well aware of the dangers of alcohol but almost everyone drinks (an too excess frequently). Alcohol is engrained in our culture for the foreseeable... Despite health warnings and public campaigns.

I highly doubt you'll be weighing up the advantages and disadvantages of coke once you've snorted a line or the pros and cons of ketamine when your foaming and drooling at the mouth sinking deeper and deeper into a 'k-hole'. (I've seen it first hand, quite nasty).

Cannabis is a different kettle of fish but surely the state has to stop or significantly influence it's citizens by using both the carrot and the stick to limit the use of hard drugs. I was talking to a guy tonight who ha recently snorted some Ching (cocaine) and he said once you have that hit then you'll want it again. I ever there is coke infront of you, you'll be compelled to have it.

'Its legal so it's fine' will be an argument used. That isn't a good way I thinking but it's based on the exact same logic that currently goes 'it's illegal so it's bad for you'.

Both are flawed but both are points needing tackled.

The current system isn't right but I'm not convinced wholesale change is needed.

It has (to this point) worked well for Portugal. Does that mean it will work for Britain? Not necessarily in my view... Does Portugal have the binge drinking culture that we have....? I'm pretty confident it does not.

Weed is probably the next logical step in terms of legalisation. However, I'm not convinced where we go after that.

Perhaps those who roam on here (the poll in this forum is at odds with public opinion) live in an age of liberal enlightenment but I'm sure my feelings have significant support, perhaps even a majority.

Public opinion ultimately drives political parties and we saw on QT a couple weeks ago that not one party mentioned the term 'legalisation' and 'decriminalisation' was still only flirted with. Hardly, echoing some of the more radical ideas expressed here but that's not to say these ideas are particularly wrong.

Many have conveyed their viewpoints very eloquently but when taken away from the realms of ideological rhetoric, in the real world, I'm not sure if these ideas would be so 'water-tight'.

So you don't think we can learn anything at all from the ill conceived attempt of prohibition in the USA - it did not stop various sections of the community from drinking; it drove it underground to be controlled by gangsters, the like of Al Capone and where moonshine was distilled in illicit stills with no control over whether the alcohol being produced was fit to drink, or whether it was the nasty type which could cause blindness or madness? 

 

We have a community where drugs are imported, manufactured and distributed with no controls whatsoever, where, for example heroin is 'cut', that is to say mixed with other substances which are sometimes poisonous to enhance the profits for the dealers. Where the users have no idea of the strength of the drug they are taking because this is not controlled and as a result some die through overdoses.

 

The drug industry is controlled by criminals, many of whom are ruthless and this leads to turf wars resulting in murders of opposing gang members and from time to time the deaths of innocent members of the public caught in the cross fire.

 

The dealers will often frequent school gates trying to entice the young and vulnerable into this habit causing the ruination of lives - they have no conscience only being interested in their ill gotten gains - they persuade young girls to take the drugs and once hooked, they lead them into lives of prostitution, using the drugs to maintain control of their 'assets'. 

 

Drugs have been with us for a long time now and there will always be a section of the society who will be attracted to using them and as much as we have tried through the orthodox means of law enforcement we have not made that much of an impression - drugs continue to be imported, grown, manufactured, distributed and taken illegally to the detriment of many. Not forgetting either the countless crimes of theft and burglary committed these days by addicts feeding their habit.

 

If we cannot control the use and the spread of drugs by conventional means we owe a duty to society to try and establish other means of protection against the worst elements.

 

In the first instance we need to take this trade out of the hands of the criminal gangs who control it - that is why the idea of legalisation for the users could have benefit - the drugs would be quality controlled without being adulterated and their strengths plainly labelled with limits on quantities sold They would be sold under strict control with age restrictions, where necessary in the case of the hard drugs a medical certificate to show that the drugs are needed for a particular person to continue to function.

 

These drugs could be taxed and the revenue gained used to support re-hab clinics and anti drug advertising and education to try and change peoples' conceptions.

 

Initially we would end up with a situation where the drugs would be classified into legal and illegal. The legal being so much safer to use, though not absolutely because they are still drugs and the illegal which are dangerous. Thus we control the system by having lawful outlets and unlawful outlets where in the case of the latter the criminal offences connected with these would still continue to exist and treated more robustly, even down to the possession of cannabis for personal use.

 

We have already shown in this country that social attitudes can be changed and this has been demonstrated in respect the drink/driving and tobacco, the latter much to my chagrin.

 

To carry on as we are we will continue to do little more than just affecting the surface of the problem and the scourge will continue much as it does today with little protection for the vulnerable.

 

So we need to think out of the box with lawful substances properly controlled and administered on one hand against the unlawful substances which are uncontrolled and much more dangerous needing robust law enforcement. 

 

Incidentally heroin is a derivative of morphine and it is called diamorphine, an opiate, which when injected into the body reverts to morphine.

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There is also the issue with society as a whole. Inequality, as driven by right-wing capitalism, increases drug abuse and general heath/social problems.

 

Drug use is a means of escape for many people who's future looks bleak as they e.g. can't escape the cycle of poverty, have lost their job and have no security as a result. Likewise, 'dog eat dog' worlds encourage a 'what the hell' risk taking attitude and selfishness (in terms of what problems drug taking might mean for family and society).*

 

Social mobility (the ability to increase salary / 'get on in life') in the UK is now worse than the USA, making it one of the least socially mobile countries in the developed world as a result of inequality and an ingrained class system. With that comes drug abuse problems.

 

3.gif

 

chart.jpg

 

EDIT you can see here how low social mobility is in the UK now.

 

2.jpg

 

Here the smaller the bar, the greater the social mobility.

 

sutton11.jpg

 

*There's a theory alone these lines that drugs come hand in hand with capitalism due to drug taking being an extreme form of rampant 'me, me, me' consumerism. Literally, a way to 'buy' happiness / euphoria with little care for the effects it has on others / family / society (and ultimately the self).

Edited by scottish skier
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So you don't think we can learn anything at all from the ill conceived attempt of prohibition in the USA - it did not stop various sections of the community from drinking; it drove it underground to be controlled by gangsters, the like of Al Capone and where moonshine was distilled in illicit stills with no control over whether the alcohol being produced was fit to drink, or whether it was the nasty type which could cause blindness or madness? 

 

We have a community where drugs are imported, manufactured and distributed with no controls whatsoever, where, for example heroin is 'cut', that is to say mixed with other substances which are sometimes poisonous to enhance the profits for the dealers. Where the users have no idea of the strength of the drug they are taking because this is not controlled and as a result some die through overdoses.

 

The drug industry is controlled by criminals, many of whom are ruthless and this leads to turf wars resulting in murders of opposing gang members and from time to time the deaths of innocent members of the public caught in the cross fire.

 

The dealers will often frequent school gates trying to entice the young and vulnerable into this habit causing the ruination of lives - they have no conscience only being interested in their ill gotten gains - they persuade young girls to take the drugs and once hooked, they lead them into lives of prostitution, using the drugs to maintain control of their 'assets'. 

 

Drugs have been with us for a long time now and there will always be a section of the society who will be attracted to using them and as much as we have tried through the orthodox means of law enforcement we have not made that much of an impression - drugs continue to be imported, grown, manufactured, distributed and taken illegally to the detriment of many. Not forgetting either the countless crimes of theft and burglary committed these days by addicts feeding their habit.

 

If we cannot control the use and the spread of drugs by conventional means we owe a duty to society to try and establish other means of protection against the worst elements.

 

In the first instance we need to take this trade out of the hands of the criminal gangs who control it - that is why the idea of legalisation for the users could have benefit - the drugs would be quality controlled without being adulterated and their strengths plainly labelled with limits on quantities sold They would be sold under strict control with age restrictions, where necessary in the case of the hard drugs a medical certificate to show that the drugs are needed for a particular person to continue to function.

 

These drugs could be taxed and the revenue gained used to support re-hab clinics and anti drug advertising and education to try and change peoples' conceptions.

 

Initially we would end up with a situation where the drugs would be classified into legal and illegal. The legal being so much safer to use, though not absolutely because they are still drugs and the illegal which are dangerous. Thus we control the system by having lawful outlets and unlawful outlets where in the case of the latter the criminal offences connected with these would still continue to exist and treated more robustly, even down to the possession of cannabis for personal use.

 

We have already shown in this country that social attitudes can be changed and this has been demonstrated in respect the drink/driving and tobacco, the latter much to my chagrin.

 

To carry on as we are we will continue to do little more than just affecting the surface of the problem and the scourge will continue much as it does today with little protection for the vulnerable.

 

So we need to think out of the box with lawful substances properly controlled and administered on one hand against the unlawful substances which are uncontrolled and much more dangerous needing robust law enforcement. 

 

Incidentally heroin is a derivative of morphine and it is called diamorphine, an opiate, which when injected into the body reverts to morphine.

Of course, we can learn from prohibition. The difference here is that drinking is (in my opinion) engrained in our culture.

Alcohol use is still very high, we clearly have a problem with it. You go to the pub (to watch football or whatever) and you have some alcohol.

I've drank on 5 of the last 6 nights (only two were heavy).

The fundamental point I'm making is alcohol is very tame compared with the other stuff we are talking about legalising.

I don't hear my friends going 'if it was legal, it wouldn't be risky so I wouldn't take it'. Many say that it's only the consequences with being caught that stops them from experimenting/infrequently using it.

So all drugs coming into the UK would cease as of legalisation date?

I highly doubt that. Especially, once the state starts taxing all the drugs. Therefore, they will still be an underground (albeit reduced) and the only difference being those who get dealt the drugs won't have anything to worry about with regard to getting caught.

The abuse I can see happening is someone who is a hard user of Cocaine etc can get their 'dose' and give it to a complete first time user.

I agree with you re we don't know what these drugs are being 'cut' with. However, my point is that most coke that people take is only about 30% actual cocaine. A guy died recently and it was due to the fact he was snorting 91% stuff.

So if you had a user taking 'skull and crossbone' eccies (basically and addict) who supplied to another person then you have major problems... Despite regulated the quantity and quality of drugs being sold.

The only difference being this was far more 'above board' than currently (for the user and 'victim' at least).

I agree, addicts have to be treated as patients. We must try and get them clean. I think this is position of consensus among most in society. It can't go on through punishment alone.

I just can't fathom who it's justifiable to legalise some of these drugs (even excluding the 'big' 3/4/5 drugs).

Ok, you put stuff on the side like 'coke kills' and 'eccies will reduce the control you have over your body', 'ket will tranquillise you and you'll have full body convulsions'.

(There is a level of sarcasm on the above 'health warnings)

I feel these warnings would do very little. The fundamental problem is you can't stop the supply reaching my age group. An old man who is an addict can walk in and but some and for the 'harder' drugs, he could give away some of his weekly 'dose' for financial gain.

I do agree with quite a few points raised by yourself. I do feel however, the system could easily be abused.

We can't stop all drug use, people are going to take them. The key is to limit its spread and audience. By taking the illegality aspect away, I feel many more people will go 'why not' since the consequences of such actions are reduced.

I know, that a few of my flat mates would definitely being taking coke, LSD, shrooms and eccies if they didn't fear getting caught. I'd personally be tempted but due to the consequences of doing such things, I'm not going to do so.

I only smoke weed and even then you have to be very careful. Occasionly, you mix with fringes of 'the wrong crowd', I fear decriminalisation and ultimately legalisation would swell that group and lead to major problems...

Perhaps, I'm wrong Mike. We shall see. I hope to be in the Police in a few years and it will be very interesting to see how police strategy evolves.... My step dad is fairly high up in (used to be Strathclyde) Police Scotland and he is pretty liberal about cannabis but echoes my sentiments about the 'harder' drugs.

Only time and extensive evidence will tell. Legalise weed first and see how we move from there but - as I've been at pains to stress - I believe there to be a vast gap between alcohol/weed and many of the other drugs.

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What is going to happen with this gas balloons thing, I have started seeing them on the floor in Ryde and Newport lately, these kids are passing out on the floor, anything can happen to them whilst they are in that state, I worry about youngsters these days they have no fear of something happening to them whilst passed out on the floor on a Saturday night in a busy town among drunken aggressive people....

 

I think something needs doing with the supply of laughing gas before we start to see tragic stories appearing in the news.

 

There must be more to life than anesthetic. Very sad.

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Just to lighten the mood:

The Daily Mash

 

http://www.thedailymash.co.uk/news/environment/best-way-to-get-pesticides-banned-is-to-claim-theyre-legal-highs-2014110792579

 

"Best way to get pesticides banned is to claim they're legal highs"

 

I still can't make my mind up about legalising softer drugs. Perhaps start with pot and see how it goes but I'm not convinced of the arguments. Tax +VAT would be a nice govt. earner though coupled with a 'paid for by the user' compulsory annual health check and permit system. Trouble is, govt. doesn't ring fence such monies and it would all just get squandered on HS2 or some other vanity project and not used for health and education

 

Weed was always bit of an 'up yours' popularised especially during the sixties protest movements. As easy to grow as tomatoes and readily available. Keeping it banned will not stop it. Opium poppies are even easier to grow and that's a very slippery slope.

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In answer to the above posts I will say you are entitled to your opinions just as I am and you have raised good points but I will say that the emphasis should be keeping the drugs out of the hands of the professional drugs dealers/gangsters as far as we possibly can. If we make it possible for there to be much safer legal controlled outlets for this my view is that it would be much better for society as a whole because  believe that the majority of people who dabble in drugs are otherwise sensible people holding down jobs and if given the choice between the relatively safe option and the dangerous option they would go for the former. At the same time the police and the courts should stamp down harder on all those in unauthorised possession.

 

Although it is a different subject altogether, there was a time when betting on horse racing was illegal anywhere but at the racecourse, however a flourishing trade grew up in illegal betting when 'bookies runners' taking bets were very prevalent in our towns, pubs and clubs. Efforts to stamp this out did not achieve much success, so eventually the government authorised the setting up of licensed betting shops to allow those who wished to bet legally. For the majority that way inclined it worked out better and now the government gains a revenue on betting taxes.

 

There is always the hard core who will let any sort of habit like this, drugs or drink get out of hand and this does ruin lives but at least now the betters who run up debts against what were illegal bookies are more likely to keep their legs intact since violence, or the threat of it, is the only method the only way of enforcing payment of an illegal debt but by having control this is alleviated. 

 

Human nature being what it is there will always be people who will take drugs, drink too much or gamble but the important thing is not too drive these underground because that is a sure way of losing control of the situations pretty well altogether and that is where the criminals step in, whereas if they are out in the open control can be retained to a much larger extent.

 

It is still my belief that such legalisation of drugs would be beneficial to society as a whole - as far as the funds gained in taxes are concerned it just needs parliament to agree to the ring fencing of such funds.

 

As far as the illegal traders are concerned the HMRC should be empowered to estimate the amount they are owed in tax from the illegal activities and seize assets to recover this and also institute proceedings for them not being declared - wasn't it something like this that Al Capone was eventually imprisoned for?  

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I'm not sure if this article has been previously posted...

It provides quite a few facts and supports a lot of points which were previously made.

http://www.theguardian.com/society/2014/oct/05/-sp-drug-use-is-rising-in-the-uk-but-were-not-addicted

Edited by SW Saltire
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Some really interesting, and also quite contradictory, stuff in there. To be honest what it shows to me is just how confusing this subject is, and I put a lot of that down to the largely misleading, and often scare-mongering, approach in the mainstream media. However, my favourite was one of the comments:

 

"So 51% consider themselves not very knowledgeable about the subject, but they're quite happy to stick their oar in regardless"

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Some really interesting, and also quite contradictory, stuff in there. To be honest what it shows to me is just how confusing this subject is, and I put a lot of that down to the largely misleading, and often scare-mongering, approach in the mainstream media. However, my favourite was one of the comments:

"So 51% consider themselves not very knowledgeable about the subject, but they're quite happy to stick their oar in regardless"

Yes, I agree.

Another article written at the same time said that we (Britain) have "one foot in the US and one in Europe".

So we want both a lenient and hard approach - so therefore we are left with confusion.

Interesting to note that (people who were surveyed said) that 16% would try drugs if they were legal.

On the other hand, attitudes are becoming more liberal compared with 6 years ago.

Anyway, it all makes for interesting reading IMO

Edited by SW Saltire

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One question I can never answer though is that will we ever see change in the UK drugs policy?

Edited by Nick L

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One question I can never answer though is that will we ever see change in the UK drugs policy?

Depends how you define change?

Legalising Cannabis... Those facts suggest 50/50 so I'd say that's possible.

Whereas, full legalisation, I'm sure that article said just 4% support that (maybe it was 4% of non-users, correct me if I'm wrong) so an opinion held by a small minority... So the answer would be not any time soon and not in any of our lifetimes I'd suggest (I'm talking about full legalisation and decriminalisation here)

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Depends how you define change?

Legalising Cannabis... Those facts suggest 50/50 so I'd say that's possible.

Whereas, full legalisation, I'm sure that article said just 4% support that (maybe it was 4% of non-users, correct me if I'm wrong) so an opinion held by a small minority... So the answer would be not any time soon and not in any of our lifetimes I'd suggest (I'm talking about full legalisation and decriminalisation here)

 

Well any kind of liberalisation of drugs laws. I'm not overly optimistic myself, while the right wing press hold the influence they do it's going to be very difficult to add a bit of rationality to drugs policy.

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Well any kind of liberalisation of drugs laws. I'm not overly optimistic myself, while the right wing press hold the influence they do it's going to be very difficult to add a bit of rationality to drugs policy.

Just have to wait and see how (if) attitudes change sufficiently.... There has always been drug use, weed in the 60s and then onto 'party' drugs during the 80s and 90s and right upto the present day really. Just a change of drug to ket and legal highs as well as coke and ecstacy. Weed is an omnipresent feature too.

So I'm not sure if attitudes will significantly alter. A lot of middle aged people quietly dabble in a few substances and just want to keep it to themselves.

My old Modern studies teacher (depute head of the school and went on to become head teacher of a different secondary school) was caught - along with my history teacher who had just become depute - snorting coke in a pub in Carlisle....

Just don't get caught I say! ;)

Something tells me that isn't the party line I'll need to tow if I get in the police...

Edited by SW Saltire

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Of course, we can learn from prohibition. The difference here is that drinking is (in my opinion) engrained in our culture.

Alcohol use is still very high, we clearly have a problem with it. You go to the pub (to watch football or whatever) and you have some alcohol.

I've drank on 5 of the last 6 nights (only two were heavy).

The fundamental point I'm making is alcohol is very tame compared with the other stuff we are talking about legalising.

I don't hear my friends going 'if it was legal, it wouldn't be risky so I wouldn't take it'. Many say that it's only the consequences with being caught that stops them from experimenting/infrequently using it.

So all drugs coming into the UK would cease as of legalisation date?

I highly doubt that. Especially, once the state starts taxing all the drugs. Therefore, they will still be an underground (albeit reduced) and the only difference being those who get dealt the drugs won't have anything to worry about with regard to getting caught.

The abuse I can see happening is someone who is a hard user of Cocaine etc can get their 'dose' and give it to a complete first time user.

I agree with you re we don't know what these drugs are being 'cut' with. However, my point is that most coke that people take is only about 30% actual cocaine. A guy died recently and it was due to the fact he was snorting 91% stuff.

So if you had a user taking 'skull and crossbone' eccies (basically and addict) who supplied to another person then you have major problems... Despite regulated the quantity and quality of drugs being sold.

The only difference being this was far more 'above board' than currently (for the user and 'victim' at least).

I agree, addicts have to be treated as patients. We must try and get them clean. I think this is position of consensus among most in society. It can't go on through punishment alone.

I just can't fathom who it's justifiable to legalise some of these drugs (even excluding the 'big' 3/4/5 drugs).

Ok, you put stuff on the side like 'coke kills' and 'eccies will reduce the control you have over your body', 'ket will tranquillise you and you'll have full body convulsions'.

(There is a level of sarcasm on the above 'health warnings)

I feel these warnings would do very little. The fundamental problem is you can't stop the supply reaching my age group. An old man who is an addict can walk in and but some and for the 'harder' drugs, he could give away some of his weekly 'dose' for financial gain.

I do agree with quite a few points raised by yourself. I do feel however, the system could easily be abused.

We can't stop all drug use, people are going to take them. The key is to limit its spread and audience. By taking the illegality aspect away, I feel many more people will go 'why not' since the consequences of such actions are reduced.

I know, that a few of my flat mates would definitely being taking coke, LSD, shrooms and eccies if they didn't fear getting caught. I'd personally be tempted but due to the consequences of doing such things, I'm not going to do so.

I only smoke weed and even then you have to be very careful. Occasionly, you mix with fringes of 'the wrong crowd', I fear decriminalisation and ultimately legalisation would swell that group and lead to major problems...

Perhaps, I'm wrong Mike. We shall see. I hope to be in the Police in a few years and it will be very interesting to see how police strategy evolves.... My step dad is fairly high up in (used to be Strathclyde) Police Scotland and he is pretty liberal about cannabis but echoes my sentiments about the 'harder' drugs.

Only time and extensive evidence will tell. Legalise weed first and see how we move from there but - as I've been at pains to stress - I believe there to be a vast gap between alcohol/weed and many of the other drugs.

SWS, I take the points you have made on board and from your post you have been a lot closer to the situation than what I have - even though I spent time on the Drug Squad, I have never taken any, the nearest is burning cannabis so we could learn what it smelled like. However I and my colleagues did speak extensively to those who were on the scene, some of whom were on the hard stuff, some of whom were fast running out of veins for an injection. I take your point about some selling on what they got legally on to others but think it unlikely in view of their higher probable costs, though I have known of people being scripted methadone for which they don't have to pay for selling it on for something more like the real stuff - yes some will do this but not all and we will still get illegal imports into the country even if people were to be able to obtain their drugs legally but the demand for the illegal trade would slump and as with any other commodity the price would slump under such circumstances so those involved may be discourage if it is not found to be worth their while.

 

My guess is that the majority of light or social users will go for the legal method - why should they take the risk of getting arrested and destroying their career when it is not necessary?

 

The chap dying because he snorted 91% pure coke when it is normally about 30% re-enforces the idea of having them under state control where the strengths and purity can be properly regulated.

 

My whole point is that now matter how much we try in the field of enforcement we can never win the battle against drugs because a) there will always be people who want to give them a go for a variety of reasons and b) there will always be the people who want to make an easy lucrative living from this trade, so my view is that if we cannot win then at least we should try to control this problem as best we can - it is probably unlikely that we will be able to stamp out the illegal trade altogether but suggest we could make a big dent in it and suggest that under the circumstances of legally available drugs that those involved on the illicit side, whether it be for supplying or straightforward possession the penalties should be so much higher.

 

I also agree that it would be a brave government to legislate for this but it is my belief that overall it would work and lives would be saved.

 

I don't think that there would be any more going for drugs in the whole of society than what do now - there are still plenty of people around who would not touch them with a barge pole no matter what.

 

Incidentally good luck with your ambitions to join the 'old bill'.

Edited by mike Meehan
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SWS, I take the points you have made on board and from your post you have been a lot closer to the situation than what I have - even though I spent time on the Drug Squad, I have never taken any, the nearest is burning cannabis so we could learn what it smelled like. However I and my colleagues did speak extensively to those who were on the scene, some of whom were on the hard stuff, some of whom were fast running out of veins for an injection. I take your point about some selling on what they got legally on to others but think it unlikely in view of their higher probable costs, though I have known of people being scripted methadone for which they don't have to pay for selling it on for something more like the real stuff - yes some will do this but not all and we will still get illegal imports into the country even if people were to be able to obtain their drugs legally but the demand for the illegal trade would slump and as with any other commodity the price would slump under such circumstances so those involved may be discourage if it is not found to be worth their while.

My guess is that the majority of light or social users will go for the legal method - why should they take the risk of getting arrested and destroying their career when it is not necessary?

The chap dying because he snorted 91% pure coke when it is normally about 30% re-enforces the idea of having them under state control where the strengths and purity can be properly regulated.

My whole point is that now matter how much we try in the field of enforcement we can never win the battle against drugs because a) there will always be people who want to give them a go for a variety of reasons and b) there will always be the people who want to make an easy lucrative living from this trade, so my view is that if we cannot win then at least we should try to control this problem as best we can - it is probably unlikely that we will be able to stamp out the illegal trade altogether but suggest we could make a big dent in it and suggest that under the circumstances of legally available drugs that those involved on the illicit side, whether it be for supplying or straightforward possession the penalties should be so much higher.

I also agree that it would be a brave government to legislate for this but it is my belief that overall it would work and lives would be saved.

I don't think that there would be any more going for drugs in the whole of society than what do now - there are still plenty of people around who would not touch them with a barge pole no matter what.

Incidentally good luck with your ambitions to join the 'old bill'.

Thanks for your post Mike :)

I don't want to come across as some drug lord who knows the ins and outs of everything. I just decided if like to know what different drugs are and what I'm roughly talking about. I've researched most drugs as well as listened to what people who have tried them say.

I just feel I'd rather know all I can about them and make an informed judgement than be oblivious (like a lot of the population).

Incidentally, it's quite interesting what these drug information sites say about alcohol. Makes for bad reading, however, the 'hard' drugs make for much worse.

Urban75 isn't a bad site for a quick overview of some drugs, quite good in the 'hardest' of drugs as information is a bit scarce.

My step-dad frequently mentions the fact that in the 'early days' a lot of police officers would come back high from guarding the burning cannabis. (This may just have been a local thing due to lack of knowledge perhaps not widespread). Quite funny actually.

Yes, I do thing illegal trade would shrink upon legalisation.

My point about the chap taking 91% coke was that it wasn't really an accident...

I'm not denying the guy who died may not have known what he was taking (probably not Infact) but it would be very rare for a dealer to make a huge mistake like that. Instead of £50 per gram of 30% strength (roughly) cut with amphetamines to bulk it up, 91% would surely be well over £100 a gram probably over £150.

That's a big mistake for a dealer to make...

So if the dealer didn't make a mistake then we can only conclude that whoever bought it for him (or crucially gave it to him ie they bought for themselves -addict/frequent user) knew the strength of the coke.

I do agree with the basic principle that legalisation would make it far easier to know what you are taking. However, I can still see abuses of the system. Like the above, as someone could but strong stuff and give it to a friend to try.

Coke being 'Moreish' leads that friend to OD in extreme cases.

You have argued your case very well and I do see many positives with legalisation.

I just feel any plan would have to bullet proof and totally based on evidence of previous experiments etc.

Any loophole or abuse of the system would have catastrophic consequences.

The article above showed that 4% of non-users say they would consider taking drugs in the future, that would rise to 16% if legalised.

Of course, most if that would go to Cannabis. However, that still leaves you with an extra 3-4% of people in the UK on drugs other than just Weed. Not great IMO.

Thanks Mike for that. I hope I get in but I'll need a back-up plan too.

I wonder if they'll bring in random drug tests in the police in the future (do they already?). I'd certainly stop taking weed. That article shows most start 19 and finish 26. So it's a uni phase I'd say.

I'd rather drink and occassionally 'spark up' if it stops me and my friends from touching the harder stuff. A few of them already have but not at uni and I don't want to mix with that as I know I'd probably enjoy it and become a user.

As a side note, the biggest advantage of legalisation is that it would take the profit from the gangs and criminals.

I heard that my mates friends were buying 4 grams of coke for £100 which is pretty cheap. The mark up to be made is massive.

For example, average price of weed is £10 in Stirling and Dumfries. If you buy and ounce (28 grams) you can get it for £220-240 normally.

However, I know people that would supply me with two ounces (56 grams - half a gram would do a night btw) for £170.

So that works out at a touch over £3 per gram.

Deduct say 6 grams for personal use over a couple weeks. Leaves you with 50. Might be able to sell full price or if wanted to shift it quickly (that would be advisable)

'Mates rates' are usually £8 a gram so that's £400. Therefore, you have weed yourself and have more than doubled your money. If you wanted to, you could make that weekly and you're not even a proper dealer in a chain.

That's a lot of money, tempting for a student... Not that I'm going to do that but it's so lucrative that it plants that idea in one's head...

Certainly if I had no qualifications and no job with no prospects then I know what I'd be doing.

Edited by SW Saltire
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Thanks for your post Mike :)

I don't want to come across as some drug lord who knows the ins and outs of everything. I just decided if like to know what different drugs are and what I'm roughly talking about. I've researched most drugs as well as listened to what people who have tried them say.

I just feel I'd rather know all I can about them and make an informed judgement than be oblivious (like a lot of the population).

Incidentally, it's quite interesting what these drug information sites say about alcohol. Makes for bad reading, however, the 'hard' drugs make for much worse.

Urban75 isn't a bad site for a quick overview of some drugs, quite good in the 'hardest' of drugs as information is a bit scarce.

My step-dad frequently mentions the fact that in the 'early days' a lot of police officers would come back high from guarding the burning cannabis. (This may just have been a local thing due to lack of knowledge perhaps not widespread). Quite funny actually.

Yes, I do thing illegal trade would shrink upon legalisation.

My point about the chap taking 91% coke was that it wasn't really an accident...

I'm not denying the guy who died may not have known what he was taking (probably not Infact) but it would be very rare for a dealer to make a huge mistake like that. Instead of £50 per gram of 30% strength (roughly) cut with amphetamines to bulk it up, 91% would surely be well over £100 a gram probably over £150.

That's a big mistake for a dealer to make...

So if the dealer didn't make a mistake then we can only conclude that whoever bought it for him (or crucially gave it to him ie they bought for themselves -addict/frequent user) knew the strength of the coke.

I do agree with the basic principle that legalisation would make it far easier to know what you are taking. However, I can still see abuses of the system. Like the above, as someone could but strong stuff and give it to a friend to try.

Coke being 'Moreish' leads that friend to OD in extreme cases.

You have argued your case very well and I do see many positives with legalisation.

I just feel any plan would have to bullet proof and totally based on evidence of previous experiments etc.

Any loophole or abuse of the system would have catastrophic consequences.

The article above showed that 4% of non-users say they would consider taking drugs in the future, that would rise to 16% if legalised.

Of course, most if that would go to Cannabis. However, that still leaves you with an extra 3-4% of people in the UK on drugs other than just Weed. Not great IMO.

Thanks Mike for that. I hope I get in but I'll need a back-up plan too.

I wonder if they'll bring in random drug tests in the police in the future (do they already?). I'd certainly stop taking weed. That article shows most start 19 and finish 26. So it's a uni phase I'd say.

I'd rather drink and occassionally 'spark up' if it stops me and my friends from touching the harder stuff. A few of them already have but not at uni and I don't want to mix with that as I know I'd probably enjoy it and become a user.

As a side note, the biggest advantage of legalisation is that it would take the profit from the gangs and criminals.

I heard that my mates friends were buying 4 grams of coke for £100 which is pretty cheap. The mark up to be made is massive.

For example, average price of weed is £10 in Stirling and Dumfries. If you buy and ounce (28 grams) you can get it for £220-240 normally.

However, I know people that would supply me with two ounces (56 grams - half a gram would do a night btw) for £170.

So that works out at a touch over £3 per gram.

Deduct say 6 grams for personal use over a couple weeks. Leaves you with 50. Might be able to sell full price or if wanted to shift it quickly (that would be advisable)

'Mates rates' are usually £8 a gram so that's £400. Therefore, you have weed yourself and have more than doubled your money. If you wanted to, you could make that weekly and you're not even a proper dealer in a chain.

That's a lot of money, tempting for a student... Not that I'm going to do that but it's so lucrative that it plants that idea in one's head...

Certainly if I had no qualifications and no job with no prospects then I know what I'd be doing.

I'd like to make a couple of points here SWS, the first is that whatever system we devise there always will be loopholes which people will find and use to their own benefit -all we can do is to make such legislation tight enough for the majority to comply and use on an individual basis - I would envisage that it would still be an offence if one bought the gear legally for supply to another with a exceptions being for the administration of such drugs by medically qualified people in the clinical interests of their patients and for someone buying on behalf of somebody else who is incapacitated, say by MS, needing cannabis to make their lives more bearable but only after going through a recognised procedure to authorise them to do so.

 

The second is that you mentioned alcohol and in my view, were both tobacco and alcohol to be discovered today, there is little doubt in my mind that they would end up on a proscribed drug list. As it is I suspect that sometime in the future, once smokers become a tinier minority this will eventually happen in the case of tobacco but hopefully not in my lifetime since I am a confirmed pipe smoker and love it.

 

Though this raises an interesting point inasmuch as a few decades ago it was quite normal for the majority of people to smoke but the anti-smoking campaign has been successful in reducing this to about 30% of the population, now making it socially unacceptable in a lot of areas. There has been a similar sort of success in relation to the drink/drive campaign, so I have no reason to believe that a similar sort of campaign in relation to drugs, even if they can be obtained legally, will not have some degree of success, leaving mostly hard core users taking with impunity, in the same manner that drink/drive offenders are mostly restricted to a hard core.

 

I don't know if the law has been amended over the years but it was that the person who was buying on behalf of others, say at a party for example, would be guilty of 'supplying' - perhaps something to be borne in mind.

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