Friday, 8 July 2011

The Drugs Debate

I did not want to get into this debate again but in a recent post I was challenged to put the case for drugs to remain illegal. I delayed this as Gadget stuck her toe in the water on the same subject, although for some reason this did not attract the usual hysterical pro drugs legalisation brigade.



I have read extensively all the arguments for drug legalisation. They are largely weak and flawed. Firstly, the pro legalisation lobby need to come up with a cohesive strategy that sets out exactly what they want to achieve. What is meant by legalisation? Does it mean that there are no controls on drugs and anyone of any age can just buy them in Sainsbury's with their weekly shop? Does it mean that they are licensed in some way such as cigarettes or alcohol? Does it mean that we prescribe controlled drugs to addicts so they do not have to go out burgling and stealing every day? Does it mean that simple possession of a limited amount of drugs is not illegal or subject of  non criminal process. Until there is a clear strategy and model the pro legalisation lobby will not be taken seriously.



In country's where drugs have allegedly been 'legalised' it usually means that possession of small amounts of drugs is not dealt with through the criminal justice system but may mean a mandatory referral to a drug clinic etc. This model has been hailed as a success in Portugal, where possession of small amounts of drugs are dealt with by way of mandatory referral to drug counsellors. Portugal had the highest use of heroin in Europe at the time and this reduced up until 2009, but if you delve a bit deeper there are other factors that account for the alleged benefits of legalisation. Portugal's affluence increased significantly during the early 2000's. Portugal had almost no rehabilitation in place when possession was legalised, but significant rehabilitation was introduced at the same time. Some academic studies point out that heroin use is cyclical and has natural peaks and troughs. This is because every decade the current batch of heroin users either die or reach such a low that they chose to use rehab. Heroin use in Portugal is rising again as the current cycle of rehabilitation and deaths has taken its course and the economy finds itself in recession again.



Mexico legalised drug possession two years ago. It may be too early to judge, but clearly this has had no effect on the drugs cartels murdering and butchering each other for their stake of the trade. I do understand that most of that trade is north of their border.

Holland has long been lauded by the pro drugs brigade as a society where a liberal attitude to drugs has brought benefits. Go and visit Amsterdam. There are seedy drug dealers crawling all over the city and equally seedy users looking for their next fix and the money to buy it. Property crime in Amsterdam is one of the highest in Europe. For example, there are 1.5 million bikes in Amsterdam and every year 600,000 are stolen.

Sweden has one of the lowest rates of drug use in Europe and is a model many western countries should consider adopting. They have strict enforcement of drug legislation coupled with significant investment in prevention and  rehabilitation.

To my knowledge, no country in the world has de-criminalised or licensed drug production, sale, distribution or supply. This is largely due to the fact that  there is a United Nations mandate in place that states that all member countries must have legislation in place to make these activities a criminal offence.



I can understand the argument to supply existing addicts with drugs to prevent them turning to crime to feed their habit. This may make sense but there are risks attached to it. Supplying addicts with drugs will mean that unlawful dealers will work harder to maintain their market and recruit other customers to fill that gap. A strategy will need to be in place to deal with this which will undoubtedly mean further investment in prevention. I am a firm believer in consequences though and if anyone being supplied with state drugs sells them or has other drugs then it is straight off to prison.

I have heard all the arguments against regulating drugs including for the police; diminished public respect, alienation from youth, recruiting difficulties, increased workloads, budget pressures, corruption, injury and death. For society in general; reducing, gang violence, organised crime, property crime, HIV and Hep C, negating organised crime. For the user; state control on price, purity and safety of the product, controlling supply to minors, encouraging users to control or abstain from drug use.



I wanted to touch on a few of the myths that the pro legalisation lobby roll out and which, I believe, are total bunkum.

1. Prohibition of alcohol didn't work in America and drug prohibition does not work either.  Prohibition was actually tried in a number of country's before the USA jumped on the bandwagon in 1920. Organised crime took over the supply and distribution of what was an already large and developed alcohol market. What seems to be ignored is the fact that alcohol had been in common use for hundreds of years and was used by the majority of the population. Prohibition was never going to work when alcohol consumption was endemic in society. With a few exceptions, drug use was the preserve of the affluent few until it was made illegal in the 1920's. Making drugs illegal did not mean that a large vacuum was created and it did not affect the general population. Most importantly, by making it illegal a strong message was delivered that drug use was harmful for you and society. Drugs are far more addictive and potentially harmful. The number of alcoholics as a percentage of alcohol users is tiny compared to drug addicts/users.

2. We are losing the war on drugs and we cannot afford to enforce drug laws and we are criminalising 'innocent' people and filling our prisons with drug offenders.
We are certainly not losing the war on drugs and in fact strong drug enforcement combined with rehabilitation has ensured that drug use has remained under control. Drug users have a false belief that more people are using drugs than in fact are. This is because users tend to associate with other users and non users avoid users. In fact only 7% of the British population regularly use cannabis and only 3% cocaine. 

Using the same argument there is a better case to legalise all crime. Crime has been endemic in society since the evolution of man and that war is no closer to being won. It is criminalising and alienating far more people than drugs legislation. At age 25 almost one third of young men have criminal records. If we legalise criminal damage, shoplifting, assault, public order offences, drunk offences etc. etc. we can prevent criminalising almost all of society. The argument is ridiculous.

3. Drug legalisation will significantly reduce or eliminate organised crime and make drugs safer.
This is another complete fantasy. Organised criminals currently involved in drugs are not going to just disappear and become volunteer churchwardens because the state is supplying or allowing regulated drug supply. Organised criminals will fight for their market share and simply supply drugs at cheaper prices, target new markets such as young people and, more worryingly, develop more and more new drugs with higher potency and effects. If you look at the current licensed alcohol and cigarette trades, organised crime has moved into it  supplying duty free bootlegged goods at cheaper prices but also supplying fake beer and wine largely produced in China and the Far East. The pro legalisation lobby then argue that we don't tax drugs and make them so cheap that the criminal suppliers cannot undercut them. There is some evidence that legalisation does not affect use but supply and price does. Cheap readily available drugs will cause an increase in users and all the costs to society that that brings.


In my view the risks of a liberal experiment of lawful drug supply by way of regulation coupled with lawful possession far outweigh any potential benefits. Liberalisation of possession in countries such as Portugal and Holland has done little to address drugs and crime. The Swedish model of strict enforcement with investment in prevention and treatment works better. Legalisation to an extent that the state is in competition with unlawful suppliers brings genuine risks of significant increases in users and addicts and the damage and cost to society that this will bring. Once you end up with a significant percentage of the population using drugs going back will be very difficult, if not impossible, as was prohibition. Most importantly, making drugs unlawful delivers a strong message to society that, like other crimes, drugs are bad for the user and society and should remain criminal offences.

79 comments:

  1. Have to disagree with you here old chap.I am very right-wing and pro law and order but we ARE losing the war on drugs.Give addicts heroin for free and they wont have to steal to get it.How can free be under-cut?.I know that's a simplistic argument but if it's wrong then we can go back to criminalising it.I am sick of seeing scum in BMWs with blacked-out windows making fortunes and getting lauded by the community.They are not being dealt with properly and for every one we arrest another pops up.The risk of getting caught and the fear of prison is not enough to discourage these criminals.
    Jaded

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  2. How dare you disagree with PC B. Gott, Jaded?

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  3. I am sorry, I have to disagree with you.

    Portugal decriminalized all drugs in 2001 (10 years ago this month). Since doing so, they have seen the rate of use in the general population actually decrease, they have seen drug related crime drop, hiv transmission rates drop, and they have saved an enormous amount of money on incarceration of relatively harmless users.

    Despite the best efforts of law enforcement, nothing has slowed the flow of drugs, decreased the availability of drugs or decreased the potency.

    In Portugal, and other places where the laws have been relaxed, we did not see the hoards of murders, rapes, drugged driving and overdoses that the hardliners want us to believe will happen here. The facts simply do not support their paranoid, maniacal hype.

    To continue the same policy that has been failing miserably for 40 years now and expecting different results is madness.

    I think Einstein said it best when he said "Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results."

    -Paul Adams, Dallas TX

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  4. Robert the Biker08 July, 2011 21:34

    And while we're giving smackheads free dope, do we also give them free housing and free food and drink, clothes etc? Because I don't see shooting up at taxpayers expense making good and productive citizens of them. I would far sooner they all died of overdoses, hotshots and contaminated gear, no loss to the world.
    No, I'm not a very nice person
    No, I don't care

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  5. James Boeding08 July, 2011 21:39

    Having been management in the wine, spirits, and beer industry I can attest to the jobs created and available when a moderated and regulated vice is taxed and sold legally. Not to mention the billions saved every year from ending wasteful ineffective criminalization of an impossible to ban vice. Almost all vices are. Hmmm something everyone should think about. It also is a safer product, and vastly safer to purchase legally. It is harder for youth and teens to access when it's legal and regulated. It makes good business sense! It doesn't mean people should or have to smoke either. It doesn't mean all people who smoke are Cheech and Chong or any other stereotype. It doesn't mean crime will rise. It means law enforcement and courts can focus on true crimes like pedophiles, violent offenders, and financial/property crime. It means tax revenue and millions of jobs. It's time to grow up, drop the stereotypes, bad jokes, and realize cannabis use is like any vice people develop (shopping, drinking, gambling, eating, sex, etc.) and must be treated from a government stand point the same.

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  6. 1. Cannabis is not addictive physically. It is only addictive is the same way that sex, gambling, and driving fast are addictive (because it makes you feel good).

    2. 30% of all American teenagers have smoked pot in the last month. Fact. Would you consider that 'endemic?' enough to consider prohibition a 'lost cause?'

    3. Yes, drugs are harmful. SWAT teams have been shown to be even more harmful for you.

    4. The 2nd half of your #2 point is illogical in a circular way. Keeping something illegal because it is currently illegal doesn't even makes sense.

    5. In 2009, 373,535 people died from prescription drugs, and 23,199 alcohol deaths. In the same year, 0 died from marijuana use.

    6. When was the last time you heard of a shootout on a street corner because of illegal cigarettes? How about beer cartels? No? Hmmm.

    7. We are arresting tens of millions of people a year for drugs, and a staggering cost to the government. We are killing suspected users. We are keeping dealers in cold storage for decades. Cartels are killing *thousands* of innocents, police, border patrol officers every year.

    All this so that we can keep a harmless plant that provides pain relief to the sick, enjoyment to the bored, and it impossible to overdose on illegal? There is no lethal dose established for cannabis as nobody has ever actually gotten there. You would die of smoke inhalation first.

    This is your brain on facts. Any questions?

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  7. You said: " Organised criminals will fight for their market share and simply supply drugs at cheaper prices, target new markets such as young people and, more worryingly, develop more and more new drugs with higher potency and effects."

    You are clearly not interested in logic or reason. Do you really think the illegal market can supply pharmaceuticals cheaper than big corporations? Or that citizens would choose to buy drugs on the street if they could legally go to a store?

    No. If drugs were legal, the illegal black market would shrivel to less than 1% of what it is today within a few months. And all the profit motivation for criminals to fight over would be GONE. There is drug violence because criminals fight over the drug trade!

    You would have to be a person self-interested in continuing the drug war to be so obtuse as to argue that drug dealers could somehow continue to make billions in illicit profits in competition with Big Pharma.

    As to the invention of new drugs, that's the dumbest argument of all. If drugs became legal, the people inventing new drugs would patent them! It would be the big corporations(with their billion dollar research & development budgets) inventing new drugs, not street criminals.

    Cops generally oppose the drug war because it gives them POWER and MONEY. The power to lock up millions and millions of people who are not harming anyone(except themselves, of course). Money from civil forfeitures, stealing property from citizens who aren't even accused of a crime.

    The harm that has been done to the fabric of America by this misguided "war on drugs" is incalculable. Millions of lives ruined by LAW ENFORCEMENT and politicians, worse than by the drugs themselves.

    And while we're at it, how about what the prisons do to inmates? If an otherwise decent person gets thrown in jail for a non-violent drug crime, he is certain to be abused, beaten, and raped until he is just another violent miscreant himself. Great job, law enforcement! Making the country a better place for us all!

    http://forfeiturereform.com/2011/07/05/if-you-are-involved-in-marijuana-legalization-or-the-marijuana-industry-you-need-to-read-this/

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  8. As 20+ year RN Nurse Supervisor in a locked Detox I worked with so many Cops to help get 72 hour hold cases 'medical cleared' so the police could leave the person in Detox and get back to work.Drug war is a trillion dollar failure, should be public health, what if we locked up people for cigs & alcohol (both way more harmful than marijuana)...

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  9. Shame on the author of this heinous article. :(

    Everything you say is wrong. First of all, there is a clear and viable solution offered: http://www.tdpf.org.uk/blueprint%20download.htm READ!

    Second, you're wrong on every count. Drug war failed to deliver anything it promised, has only delivered cushy, non-productive jobs for corrupt officers such as yourself. You entire lot aren't worth even a penny, let alone a trillion dollars. You are modern fascists, and you will soon be defeated. Good day.

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  10. That's the saddest part, people who otherwise could be saved from addiction are lost because of prohibition. AA would not work if alcohol were still illegal, there would be even more dead alcoholics and destroyed families if it were criminalized. Why do we ignore the obvious similarities between alcohol and drug prohibition. Both a failure, both cause/d massive social harm. Both had counter intuitive effects where usage was concerned, usage goes up under prohibition, especially among the rebelliousness of youth. It drives usage underground and makes it harder for those to get help.

    Cannabis, by all measure is safer than alcohol, why is alcohol legal? Addiction is always better dealt with by professional health care workers than by SWAT teams. So prohibition quite clearly is not about public health, clearly not about building safe healthy communities, and not about promoting a civilized society. So what the hell is it about?

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  11. If the intention is to keep Marijuana dealers and their customers away from schools, parks and playgrounds, then the policy of prohibition is an utter failure. The schools, parks and playgrounds is where it can be found right now. In an unregulated market (or a market where you force legal consumers of medicine to purchase their supplies on the black market) the street corners is where the commerce takes place. If you ask any sixteen year old, what is easier to get, pot or a six pack, you'll discover that the pot can be obtained right in the corridors of the school, yet the lowly Liquor Store Clerk proves a nearly insurmountable obstacle to the six pack.
    In a serious conversation about drugs and youth in this country, it must be noted that the result of prohibition has been the rise of a pervasive and UNREGULATED black market. A black market that services customers wherever they are and makes no distinctions between minors and adults.

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  12. Your stats on bike thefts in Amsterdam are clearly wrong, given the population of Amsterdam, along with everything else you're babbling about. A simple web search produced the following numbers:

    “Known as the bicycle capitol of Europe, Amsterdam reckons it has around 780,000 inhabitants and an estimated 550,000 bikes. It is thought that nearly 50,000 of them are stolen every year.”

    http://www.streetdirectory.com/travel_guide/210252/europe_destinations/amsterdam_puts_brake_on_bike_thefts.html

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  13. It makes me glad to see that the commenters here see through the author's fallacy riddled arguments.

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  14. My mum once asked me about the 'unwinnable war on drugs', here's my emailed (philosophical) response:

    The problem of illicit drug use is a tricky one. Of course it makes sense that if you legalise a drug you remove the profits tied to black market dealing. It is true that prohibition makes some criminals extremely wealthy.

    But.

    The social application of law and order largely depends upon members of society having free will. If you assault an old lady in the street, you are a common thug. If someone had a gun pointed at Jack or Amelia's head, I would beat up a granny in an instant. It wouldn't be pleasant, and I might be put on trial for it. However, the courts would treat the latter case far more leniently than the former, due to the coercive aspect of the latter - I was forced to do it.

    The addictive nature of drugs removes free will. Generally speaking, the first hit of heroin that someone injects is taken freely. Subsequent hits will be increasingly directed by a physiological withdrawal that is not the free will of an individual.

    Therefore, if law and order (and guilt or innocence) depends largely upon the notion of informed choice and free will, I would be extremely hesitant about making substances freely available to society that undermine people's choices or free will to make informed decisions about their lives.


    Ultimately I think that people need an 'outlet' and that alcohol (as damaging as it is) may as well be it. I'm aware that cannabis may be less harmful, but I don't envisage that any government is going to suddenly announce that all bars and pubs are to shut, to be replaced by Amsterdam style 'Hash Cafes'.

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  15. The before and after pictures you've posted need to be viewed in context. One of the addiction experts quoted in this article attributes their appearance, in part, to impurities in the drugs:

    Both meth and heroin are often cut with sugar, McLellan explains. “And you get acne from oily or sweet things, so if you’re injecting the sugar into your veins it’s even more direct,” he adds.
    Other impurities can cause lumpy cysts on the face and other areas of the body, such as the armpits and groin, McLellan says.


    In a post-prohibition world, drug quality could be controlled through standards and testing.

    In any event, the photos are misleading because drug policy reformers are not suggesting that problematic substance use is beneficial. Clearly this is not the case.

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  16. Oh dear! The anticipated response. I will try and address at least some comments.

    @Jaded - I did say that I could see sense in supplying addicts with drugs but we must address the issue that this will cause the illegal dealers to target new markets.

    @ Paul Adams - Portugal has not legalised drugs. They have removed criminal charges for possession and replaced them with mandatory referals to drug clinics. Drug supply is not lawful in Portugal. I agreed with you that there have been some benefits but as I said this is because Portugal introduced prevention and treatment at the same time. Drug use in Portugal is currently increasing. I am not expecting different results with the same policy. I suggested the Swedish model of strict enforcement combined with investment in prevention and treatment was a better model. They have far less drug abuse than Portugal, for example.

    @ various anonymouses -
    1. No people died from cannabis use? You are ignoring mental health and cancer.

    2. Have you all missed the point I made that price of drugs has a significant affect on use. If the state supplies free/cheap drugs to undercut illegal suppliers users will increase.

    3. Your mum is wrong!

    4. There is a focus on cannabis in some responses. Most cannabis users I know have failed to reach potential, have difficulty maintaining employment, lethargic etc. Wasted lives!

    More later!

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  17. "Crime has been endemic in society since the evolution of man and that war is no closer to being won. It is criminalising and alienating far more people than drugs legislation."

    Seriously? As you mentioned, roughly 7% of the UK population uses cannabis regularly. Do you suppose that the proportion who regularly engage in property or violent crimes comes anywhere close to this figure?

    Aside from legislation prohibiting certain drugs, can you name one criminal law whose repeal is supported by over one-third of the population? Can you name a single orgnisation working to legalize theft or murder?

    Of course you can't. Theft and murder have victims and all reasonable people wish to be protected against these crimes. By contrast, someone who chooses to intoxicate themselves in private harms nobody save perhaps themselves.

    The proper role of the law is to protect people from each other, not from themselves. The state has no more business dictating what intoxicants I may consume than in deciding what foods I consume or what sports I play. I'm an intelligent adult, capable of making good decisions. You'd be surprised what a common trait this is.

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  18. God I hate agreeing with MTG about anything.I feel so dirty...............Jaded.

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  19. Prohibition's noble intent-- to address problematic drug use-- is thwarted by the resultant bizarre effect of making ALL drug use "problematic" legally, as well as establishing black market price support for the contraband. It is a fool's mission, with only thugs in and out of the "justice" industry profiting from it. We cannot afford the expense nor the tragic consequences and gross injustice.

    Thinking policemen tend to become LEAP members!

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  20. @ Ex-Pat Crime Analyst…

    Your argument is clever, but it avoids the obvious dichotomy between addiction and free will. It assumes no free will exists for the heroin addict at all, which is pure rubbish. Heroin addicts, like all addicts, still make choices. The problem is that the drug war leaves addicts with few choices, other than pure sobriety based on free will, and if that choice is refused for whatever reason, the health and lives of addicts are put in deliberate peril by their government.

    The debilitating effects of drugs are largely mythological, or based on isolated cases of someone screwing up at some time with the drug. We don’t see this same behavior directed at motorcycles, or other instruments of accidental injury or death. Those types of items are not stigmatized the same way drugs are.

    The effects of opiates and other drugs on society are much more complicated than mere debilitation. You should talk to some Viet Nam War veterans about how drugs made life easier while mucking their way through pure hell. Their experiences make it very clear that it is impolite to criticize another person’s drug.

    And I don’t envisage a government suddenly dropping its marijuana prohibitions, either; that’s a straw man argument. What I do see is a gradual rise in the level of reason within a society that eventually drowns the ignorance that has given rise to prohibition.

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  21. “Don’t do Drugs kids… or You’ll get Ugly”
    http://endingcannabisprohibition.yuku.com/topic/1679

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    http://endingcannabisprohibition.yuku.com/topic/1706

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    http://www.medicalmarijuanamd.org/museum/cannabis/01/

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  22. The police image would sustain less damage if you gave up blogging.
    IMHO, you alienate more citizens with every post. Give consideration to better use of your paid hours, say, on 'pooper scooper' patrol.

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  23. Gob smacking how many American pro-marijuana activists come out of the woodwork to comment on how they think the UK should address it's drugs problem, or simply fail to realise that you are a British officer.

    Maybe you should write a post on how they should change their society for the better, if you included some facts, figures and websites specific to the UK to back up your point you would have shown them as much consideration as they appear to have shown you.

    Tang0

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  24. @ Lex Ferenda

    “No people died from cannabis use? You are ignoring mental health and cancer.”

    Wrong, Lex. Show me the bodies. No scientific data exists to demonstrate that marijuana use leads to lung cancer, or any other type of cancer. And no one ever died from reefer madness, excluding those killed in botched drug raids.

    “If the state supplies free/cheap drugs to undercut illegal suppliers users will increase.”

    Obviously, we cannot let the state supply free or cheap drugs to the open marketplace. Free and cheap drugs should be limited to dispensaries treating proven drug addicts, in particular those possessing genetic components to back up a claim of addiction. The best way to control drugs otherwise is to educate people on actual drug effects, so that harm is reduced. This means eliminating all the prophylactic lies about drugs, since they always make the government look stupid and unreliable, if not totally bonkers. Medical monitoring will be available under universal systems of health care.

    And yes, if it is legal to use drugs, people will use drugs. So what? Anyone who wants to use drugs can use them now, thanks to black market economics and corrupt politics. Any prohibited oddity or commodity becomes pervasive. Regulation without prohibition leads to a greater level of control in every case.

    “Most cannabis users I know have failed to reach potential, have difficulty maintaining employment, lethargic etc. Wasted lives!”

    Strange. Most cannabis users I know are intelligent, successful professionals who not only reached their potential, but founded successful businesses resulting in greater employment for others, and who otherwise are well educated and very productive on a number of levels, including making money.

    Lex, a bit of advice, you really need to hang out with a better class of drug users.

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  25. A few more responses to the histrionics:
    1. MTG despite the fact that you comment did not contain the usual tripe, I have deleted it. I have said that I have no interest in anything you have to say.
    2. I didn't say that the point of prohibition was to keep cannabis away from schools and playgrounds. Do you seriously think that drug legalisation will? Alcohol is being abused by young people now as are drugs. The likelihood is that legalisation will increase that use.
    3. I live and work in the UK. I am aware of the problems that drugs cause in our society. I do not pretend to understand the issues in America or how much you spend on drug prohibition and incarceration or how many dopeheads you have.
    4. The state will not have any interest in developing new drugs but the illegal market will in order to retain a market share. Do you seriously expect the state to then keep supplying these new drugs cheaper than the illegal market?
    5. @ David Bratzer - you are well meaning and I understand your views but you are not in touch with reality.
    6. @ anonymous 0912 - not all laws protect people from others, wearing seatbelts, crash helmets etc are laws to protect people from their own stupidity and reduce costs to the taxpayer. I don't agree that one third of the population want drugs legalised but even if it were true then two thirds presumably don't. Do we still live in a democracy or does the enlightened liberal vote count twice. I am fed up with the view that we allow people to make stupid choices in their life and then the taxpayer picks up the tab supplying free drugs, treatment, counselling etc. This does affect me and I have a right to have my say on it.
    7. I don't think using the example of soldiers in Vietnam doing drugs to get through their ordeal is relevant. I am arguing that tacitly supporting or condoning the use of drugs in society today is wrong. The police deal with the arse end of drug use. We don't often deal with the middle class dinner party where they snort cocaine between courses, we deal with the underclass and their sorry state in society. Living on a council estate, dragged up by inadequate parents, given a crap education and feeling a bit hopeless because the only jobs are in the service industry and you can't be arsed to do it or better yourself is hardly Vietnam.
    8. Jaded, if you find yourself agreeing with a cretin is it time to rethink?

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  26. You have to be the worst cop ever.

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  27. Anon @ 07:58
    Well, certainly one of the most arrogant.

    N.B.
    This blogger writes to himself under the name 'tang0'.

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  28. I have running battles with MTG on several other blogs (where he hasn't been banned yet) so I was just commenting that for once we agree on something.Even a broken clock is right twice a day....
    My point about drugs is that we can't win.Giving it away free will halve crime overnight,.We are wishy washy in our sentencing and it doesn't work,America has really harsh sentences and they are still awash with drugs,and as for Thailand they have the death sentence and still people risk it.Worth a try in my opinion
    Jaded

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  29. So if I don't agree with YOUR bigotry I am a bad policeman (Engish for cop)and arrogant. Go and look in the mirror.

    Tang0 - are we the same person?

    Jaded - I think we agree on some of this. I have said I can understand the sense in supplying (generally Class A) addicts with drugs to reduce crime but I do not agree that we need to, or should, make the general possession and supply of drugs lawful.

    American culture is still quite different to here and I agree that their policies are not working. They are also closest to the South and Central American suppliers and their war is quite different and more difficult than ours.

    I still believe that if we have more focus on education and we provide treatment and advice etc. and combine this with strong enforcement the policy can work. Sweden and many other countries do this with great success and have much lower levels of drug use than Portugal who are being hailed as progressive and insightful by pro brigade.

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  30. Boss. As a serving British officer as well let me be the first to say on here that I completely agree with you on this subject. Even before I joined the job I thought this was a no brainer. If you had the same following as gadget I'm sure you would have a few more pro posts.

    It seems a lot of the comments have already been answered by you in the original post. I'm not sure if that's because these keyboard warriors failed to read you post properly, or it is because you have gone back and edited.

    This is my take on it.

    Legalising drugs completely. Pro drugs brigade will compare this to alcohol and cigarettes. Yes both cause a huge problem in society but then we live in a free(ish) country and can't control everything. If drug taking was as common place as drinking and smoking then the pressure on the emergency services and NHS will be overwhelming. We need a balance between a free society and the impact it will have on it, and it think we have got it just about right in this case. I havnt even mentioned the fact that a unit of alcohol is a lot less damaging than say smoking the equivalent in weed. I have spoken to many people who admit smoking a spliff a day and they try convincing me that it has no affect on them. They are unemployed and have a poor grip of reality. A lot of my colleagues have a beer a day and I cannot say the same for them. Yes a subjective view but I am in the fortunate position to be able to compare.

    Making drugs prescription and free. This is a democratic country and politics is suppose to be dictated on the majority. I think you will find that most tax payers will tell you where to go if you told them their tax money is funding someone's addiction.
    Crime will not reduce for two reasons. I have said that most people will not stand for picking up the tab so there will always be a price to pay, regardless if it to the drug dealer or your local shop. There will be an increase in users who will have to fund this and will turn to crime. And trust me, the dealers will find a way of making their product the cheapest so no tax will be gained from the people selling it legally.

    If drugs were to go free where will organised crime turn to? Robberies and burglaries that's where.

    ReplyDelete
  31. Bugger me - now that is paranoia.
    For what it's worth I am not you, though I am sure any denial I make will be ignored by the tin foil hat brigade.
    I would direct the reply to the person who made the allegation but they don't appear to have left any name or nickname to reply to.
    I don't whether that is through ignorance, rudeness or stupidity.

    Tang0

    ReplyDelete
  32. The intervention by the state should only be to help avoid permanent injury to individuals (in other words, overdoses). Addiction and social/psychological problems should be left for society to deal with without government intervention. In terms of the amount of drugs used, I do agree that after legalization it is likely to increase significantly, but consider this: drugs tend to replace each other. not all drugs can increase. there might be a slight dip in alcohol use. but overall, those who envision that there will be so many problems as to make legalization untenable, how much use do you envision? I think it could be about 150% of what we have now at most. Those who imply that all other drugs will be used at the level alcohol is being used today are way off. And to those who say "what about productivity?". Well, putting people in prison doesn't quite increase their productivity either, does it? Giving someone a criminal record so they can never get a job again doesn't either. Having an entire industry become an alternative to the legal economy doesn't tend to help the economy work well as a whole. What you're doing is fomenting that a huge part of society not be able to cooperate well with the rest of it by alienating and fighting it. Plus, you're employing a whole other sector of the population just to work at alienating and fighting that part of society, so now we have two huge chunks of society, ones who are being marginalised and rendered less able to cooperate (present and former drug users and dealers), and ones whose entire existence is rendered useless because all they do is work to undermine otherwise relatively decent, somewhat productive, somewhat cooperative people (police, prosecutors, prison guards, etc). How does that help the economy?

    ReplyDelete
  33. If you'll let me, I just think the last part of my last post wasn't very well worded (and it might have been kind of confusing although i suppose most people knew what i meant), so this is a rewording:

    ....ones who are being marginalised and rendered less able to cooperate (present and former drug users and dealers), and ones whose entire existence is rendered useless because all they do is work to undermine {the other group}......

    ReplyDelete
  34. Common to both the UK and North American drug enforcement are some underlying law enforcement methods which have never worked, and never will.

    When the only accuser is a government, rather than an individual or some actual victim who has been a target of a crime, law enforcement must rely strictly upon surreptitious techniques which lead to general invasions of privacy. Lacking a victim who acts as a plaintiff leaves informants, entrapment, and chance discovery as the few means by which to capture drug culprits. All these techniques enable huge amounts of corruption, as such laws can so easily be used for illegitimate purposes. Such methods should be used sparingly if at all.

    Under drug enforcement, because of a lack of a complaining victim, society is disrupted as suspicion is cast on each and every citizen. Despite all the irritating suspicions, some criminals will always use recreational drugs because prohibition and the black market make it the easiest and one of the most profitable crimes to commit. It’s not because drugs necessarily made them criminals; that’s an assumption based on scapegoating. Taking a drug doesn’t make a person good or bad. It is what they do afterward that counts. Moral character is far different than what people merely ingest.

    Corruption becomes ubiquitous as prohibition takes on a life of its own, a life whose emerging effect is greater than the sum of its parts. A separation of borders doesn’t deflect the problem. I remember an incident in the UK in or about 1997 where roughly 250 officers in New Scotland Yard were implicated in a drug ring. It’s the same in the U.S., except the drug corruption is usually more spread out. As we blog, there are probably moles supplying information to cartels and drug gangs and who work within every major police department in the UK or the Americas. Prohibition and its corruption proves itself to be the ultimate no win situation for any government which believes it can legislate morality.

    Certainly there is some consensus that the UK should not end up like the United States when it comes to its own drug enforcement problems. But as the UK models its drug enforcement system after that of the U.S., the same types of problems will embed themselves into the UK. Such problems make prohibition a cure far worse than the alleged affliction.

    ReplyDelete
  35. Sweep: (Sax reed noises)

    Sooty: Sweep says he is a real doggy woggy, children.

    Sweep: (More sax reed noises)

    Sooty: Oh, and he says that I must tell you that I am a real bear.

    'Thinking' cop: Bye bye everyone, bye bye.

    ReplyDelete
  36. Sweep - I'm Tang0

    Sooty - No, I'm Tang0

    Lex - No, I'm Tang0

    Whose been on the hallucinogens again!

    @Treblebass - I am repeating some of the above and other comments I have made regarding the liberal experiments that have infested our society and which others wish to broaden to drug supply.

    At least you accept there will be an increase in drug use if drugs are more freely available and tacitly condoned by society.

    My problem is that other peoples freedom of choice affects me and taxpayers as we are expected to pick up the bill to solve their stupidity. We are told not to judge the irreponsible and whether they get pregnant, commit crime, do drugs etc. We are supposed to pick them up, give them housing, give them benefits and talk nicely to them until they decide to stop breeding, stop committing crime or stop doing drugs.

    It is quite right that society should help out the unfortunate and those who make mistakes or bad choices. But society has a duty also to influence and stop people making those mistakes and bad choices and to castigate and recover those that do.

    Our society no longer seems able to criticise those that choose to make stupid choices but are expected to spend more and more in tax to pay for them. Until we return to a society that can effectively influence others behaviour we will have to rely on the law to tell people not to do stupid things. I hope this changes soon.

    ReplyDelete
  37. Hey, "the stinking policeman," piss off.

    Prohibition of drugs was and is NEVER about a public health threat, or a public outcry. It was all based on the purest bigotry against people of color in America in 1937. Harry Anslinger is famously on record saying "There are 100,000 total marijuana smokers in the US,
    and most are Negroes, Hispanics, Filipinos and entertainers. Their Satanic music, jazz and swing, result from marijuana usage. This marijuana causes white women to seek sexual relations with Negroes, entertainers and any others." “…the primary reason to outlaw marijuana is its effect on the degenerate races.”
    “Marijuana is an addictive drug which produces in its users insanity, criminality, and death.”
    “Reefer makes darkies think they’re as good as white men.”
    “Marihuana leads to pacifism and communist brainwashing”
    “You smoke a joint and you’re likely to kill your brother.”
    “Marijuana is the most violence-causing drug in the history of mankind.”

    This, this is the legacy you inherit and run with, you fascist bullyboy.

    There is no public benefit from prohibition, and many many deleterious effects, including the rise of corrupt police.

    Please don't be so "gob-smacked" that Americans would have the gall to comment on your board. Welcome to the internet. Welcome to 2011. Welcome to your demise.

    ReplyDelete
  38. "I don't agree that one third of the population want drugs legalised but even if it were true then two thirds presumably don't."

    Actually, we now have data on what proportion of the population wish to see which drugs legally regulated. Turns out that it is an overwhelming majority regarding cannabis, and a slight majority for a few others. The important thing is in how you word the question. Rather than just saying 'legalisation', which many past polls have done (and which people assume to mean an unregulated free-for-all), this poll allowed people to choose between 'light regulation', 'strict regulation' and the status quo - but both the light and strict regulation camps are in favour of some kind of legal regulation as opposed to prohibition, so even as that 70% of people disagree as to how they would like to see cannabis regulated, they agree that they don't want it controlled by the black market as it is now.

    http://lddpr.org.uk/news/000020/poll_commissioned_by_lddpr_demonstrates_public_are_ready_for_drugs_discussion.html

    As regards taxpayers complaining about subsidising prescriptions for dependent opiate users, I would rather pay a small amount of tax to keep someone on a script than a large amount of tax to keep them in jail. Given that our policy of criminalising heroin users has not merely failed to reduce the number of heroin users, it has even failed to prevent a massive rise in the number of heroin users since the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971 came into force, we ought to have the honesty to admit that these appear to be our only two choices.

    ReplyDelete
  39. Thanks for deleting my post and proving my point that you are a fascist CUNT!

    ReplyDelete
  40. "We have spent over a trillion dollars trying to eradicate the world's most beneficial plant off the face of the earth. Imagine what a better world this would be if that money had been spent on treatment, education and studying the medical benefits of marijuana."
    -- Steve Hager - High Times Editor (1988 - 2003)

    "The anti-marijuana campaign is a cancerous tissue of lies, undermining law enforcement, aggravating the drug problem, depriving the sick of needed help, and suckering well-intentioned conservatives and countless frightened parents. Narcotics police are an enormous, corrupt international bureaucracy ... and now fund a coterie of researchers who provide them with 'scientific support' ... fanatics who distort the legitimate research of others."
    ~ William F. Buckley, Jr. Requiescat In Pace
    Commentary in The National Review, April 29, 1983, p. 495

    ReplyDelete
  41. @ anonymous 2123 today. I forgive your abuse as I am sure you are exasperated about something. Try a spliff, works a treat for me in times of stress.
    For the record I rarely delete any posts no matter what they contain as I believe everyone has a right to be heard even if they appear to be as mad as a fish.
    I have not deleted your post. The only posts I will delete are by MTG as he is a boring, facile, ignorant troll who no one wishes to read. Regards. Lex

    @ David Hart - we have politicians to represent our views when deciding the law. Sometimes that is a bad system, sometimes it is good, especially when the population at large have no idea what it means. What is light regulation and strict regulation?

    @DdC I wouldn't take too much notice of Steve Hager from the High Times. He was probably a bit too high when he said that.
    I don't agree with Mr Buckley Jr. either. I keep hearing from people that cannabis is harmless, but I keep meeting and seeing people who also tell me that cannabis is harmless but they are out of work (again) because they are unreliable or suffering paranoia, lethargy etc. They are also desperate for money for their next spliff. I trust what I see and not what people try and tell me.

    ReplyDelete
  42. @ Anonymous 1919 hours - Interesting concept. I will ignore the childish and unbecoming abuse. So drugs were made illegal by fascist bullyboys who wanted to stop people of any hue from taking them. So drug prohibition is all about racism? I don't think that ignorant racist remarks from 70 years ago are relevent to todays issues. Drugs have not corrupted me. Have you considered laying off the gear I suspect that you are suffering from shizophrenia.

    I have NOT said that I am gob smacked that contributions are being made from America and I welcome views from anywhere. Another commentator called Tang0 made that remark. I am not Tang0.

    Best wishes. Lex Ferenda

    ReplyDelete
  43. Lex Ferenda said... @DdC I wouldn't take too much notice of Steve Hager from the High Times. He was probably a bit too high when he said that.

    The Ramblings of a Police Inspector about Crime and Punishment? Using stereotypes is in line with racism, classism or any form of demonizing a group. A means to an end. In the case of the drug war the end never comes. The profits are in perpetuation. With your help dividing the people with gossip and manufactured problems to :treat". Cheech and Chong are comedians playing characters. Reefer Madness was a Documentary. Both are humorous to some. Neither are Science.

    The Joseph McNamara Collection
    http://endingcannabisprohibition.yuku.com/topic/719
    Joseph McNamara is a former police chief in Kansas City, Mo. and San Jose, Ca.. He holds a doctorate in public administration and is presently a research fellow at Stanford University's Hoover Institution.

    “Another fertile source of this species of derangement [moral insanity] appears to be an undue indulgence in the perusal of the numerous works of fiction, with which the press is so prolific of late years, and which are sown widely over the land, with the effect of vitiating the taste and corrupting the morals of the young. Parents cannot too cautiously guard their young daughters against this pernicious practice.”
    - Dr. W.H. Stokes, Scientific American, April 1849

    Drug War Clock
    http://www.drugsense.org/cms/wodclock
    Money Spent on the War On Drugs this Year
    It is Sun Jul 10 2011 7,900,000,000
    The U.S. federal government spent over $15 billion dollars in 2010 on the War on Drugs, at a rate of about $500 per second.

    After 40 years, $1 trillion, US War on Drugs has failed to meet any of its goals
    http://www.foxnews.com/world/2010/05/13/ap-impact-years-trillion-war-drugs-failed-meet-goals/
    AP IMPACT: Associated Press Published May 13, 2010 (excerpted)
    Using Freedom of Information Act requests, archival records, federal budgets and dozens of interviews with leaders and analysts, the AP tracked where that money went, and found that the United States repeatedly increased budgets for programs that did little to stop the flow of drugs. In 40 years, taxpayers spent more than:
    — $20 billion to fight the drug gangs in their home countries.
    — $33 billion in marketing "Just Say No"
    — $121 billion to arrest more than 37 million nonviolent drug offenders
    — $450 billion to lock those people up in federal prisons
    The Justice Department estimates the consequences of drug abuse — "an overburdened justice system, a strained health care system, lost productivity, and environmental destruction" — cost the United States $215 billion a year.

    Harvard University economist Jeffrey Miron says the only sure thing taxpayers get for more spending on police and soldiers is more homicides.

    "Current policy is not having an effect of reducing drug use," Miron said, "but it's costing the public a fortune."

    Lost political causes By William Buckley

    ReplyDelete
  44. Lex Ferenda said... I don't agree with Mr Buckley Jr. either.

    "Having reviewed all the material available to us we find ourselves in agreement with the conclusion reached by the Indian Hemp Drugs Commission appointed by the Government of India (1893-94) and the New York Mayor's Committee (1944 - LaGuardia)that the long-term consumption of cannabis in moderate doses has no harmful effects" "the long-asserted dangers of cannabis are exaggerated and that the related law is socially damaging, if not unworkable"
    1968 UK ROYAL COMMISSION, THE WOOTTON REPORT

    Look who’s in bed together...
    Barney Frank and Ron Paul, and Willie Nelson and The National Review

    "We.. say that on the medical evidence available, moderate indulgence in cannabis has little ill-effect on health, and that decisions to ban or legalise cannabis should be based on other considerations."
    The Lancet, vol 352, number 9140, November 14 1998

    The Conservative Argument for Legalization

    "Cannabis is remarkably safe. Although not harmless, it is surely less toxic than most of the conventional medicines it could replace if it were legally available. Despite its use by millions of people over thousands of years, cannabis has never caused an overdose death."
    Testimony of Professor Lester Grinspoon, M.D.
    Associate Professor of Psychiatry, Harvard Medical School, before the Crime
    Subcommittee of the Judiciary Committee, U.S. House of
    Representatives, Washington, D.C., October 1, 1997


    Nixon's 40 Year War On Drugs... Drugs Won!

    AMA Calls For Ending Nixon's Lie?

    "The commission has come to the conclusion that the moderate use of hemp drugs is
    practically attended by no evil results at all. ... ...moderate use of hemp... appears to
    cause no appreciable physical injury of any kind,... no injurious effects on the mind... [and] no moral injury whatever."
    Indian Hemp Drugs Commission, 1894

    ReplyDelete
  45. Lex Ferenda said... I keep hearing from people that cannabis is harmless, but I keep meeting and seeing people who also tell me that cannabis is harmless but they are out of work (again) because they are unreliable or suffering paranoia, lethargy etc.

    This was debunked so many times its boring. Schizophrenics find relief and some enjoy Ganja, so do I. Prohibition has caused more damage and cost to society than Ganja smoke could ever do. Its high time to stop those who do the actual damage to society with their gossip and legal lies. We have overwhelming evidence the prohibitionists are liars, perpetuating profit... and that's psychotic.

    The Drug Czar is Required by Law to Lie

    Study finds that Marijuana use may speed psychosis?
    Oh it really means...

    Study finds that Marijuana use may slow psychosis

    or Study finds that Marijuana use may prevent psychosis

    or Study finds that Marijuana use may reverse psychosis.

    Drugwar Lies Linked to Schizophrenia

    Out of work, you maybe think outsourcing and prison slave labor might be taking the jobs? Two trillion bailing out Wall St., Two trillion on the lies in Iraq and the scam of Afghanistan and another trillion on this bogus private prison profit and keeping natural alternative products off the trade market. The stoners are working in California growing a billion dollars worth of pot. The only remaining drug worriers are those profiting on the drug war. In spite of the kids, pregnant women and responsible workers. Good intentions still paves the road to hell mate.

    Koch Roaches A.L.E.C. Drug Detention Centers

    Pro Life? Not even anti abortionists

    ReplyDelete
  46. Lex Ferenda said... They are also desperate for money for their next spliff.
    I trust what I see and not what people try and tell me.


    You hitting the bottle pretty hard ole chap? They make $400.00 an ounce thanks to you and your silly vice enforcement. 40 years you have given the drug cartels stocks in the infrastructure. They own banks thanks to your bloody war. The entire 1937 Marihuana tax act was about Oil, Chemical drugs and Plastics, as well as the alcohol prohibition. While thick headed cops follow orders protecting the money. Pitifools. End this nonsense!

    Al Capone and Watergate were red herrings to divert the countries attention from the Fascist acts of eliminating competition. Booze/Ethanol or Ganja//Hemp.

    ... and I bet you thought you killed off all the fascism eh?

    ReplyDelete
  47. Sooty: Sweep is anti American, not me, children.

    Sweep: (Lots of sax reed noises)

    Sweep: (Plus even louder sax reed noises)

    ReplyDelete
  48. Good God Man! Do you not even know the history of these laws you so espouse? Yes, they were created in racism, not a public outcry or public safety or health threat. That is the legacy you follow, not helping people or serving the public need. This is not theory or conjecture, it is all a matter of public record. Look it up if you dare.

    I get your method of debate: accuse anyone who disagrees with you of being under the influence. If you had any real arguments, you would presumably bring them forth, rather than arguing ad hominem, or "to the man".

    You have yet to even address the proferred solution by UK's own Transform:

    http://www.tdpf.org.uk/blueprint%20download.htm

    READ READ READ READ READ READ!!!!!!

    ReplyDelete
  49. Robert the Biker said...

    "And while we're giving smackheads free dope, do we also give them free housing and free food and drink, clothes etc? Because I don't see shooting up at taxpayers expense making good and productive citizens of them."
    ------------------------------
    I think you might ask the Swiss how they deal with those issues. In 2008 they voted by better than 2:1 to keep heroin legal and provided to their junkies at taxpayer expense. The vote was whether to make a 10 year test program permanent so it wasn't any leap of faith that led them to vote that way.

    One thing that you're missing in your irrational blood lust is that one way for a junkie to pay for his habit is to recruit new junkies and become their supplier. The black market has a built in reward system for promoting the drug's use.

    The system doesn't have to turn these people into altar boys to work. All it needs to do is to work better for our society than the current, proven epic failure of public policy that we call the war on (some) drugs.

    ReplyDelete
  50. Lex Ferenda said... @DdC I wouldn't take too much notice of Steve Hager from the High Times. He was probably a bit too high when he said that.

    The Ramblings of a Police Inspector about Crime and Punishment? Using stereotypes is in line with racism, classism or any form of demonizing a group. A means to an end. In the case of the drug war the end never comes. The profits are in perpetuation. With your help dividing the people with gossip and manufactured problems to :treat". Cheech and Chong are comedians playing characters. Reefer Madness was a Documentary. Both are humorous to some. Neither are Science.

    The Joseph McNamara Collection
    Joseph McNamara is a former police chief in Kansas City, Mo. and San Jose, Ca.. He holds a doctorate in public administration and is presently a research fellow at Stanford University's Hoover Institution.

    “Another fertile source of this species of derangement [moral insanity] appears to be an undue indulgence in the perusal of the numerous works of fiction, with which the press is so prolific of late years, and which are sown widely over the land, with the effect of vitiating the taste and corrupting the morals of the young. Parents cannot too cautiously guard their young daughters against this pernicious practice.”
    - Dr. W.H. Stokes, Scientific American, April 1849

    Drug War Clock
    Money Spent on the War On Drugs this Year
    It is Sun Jul 10 2011 7,900,000,000
    The U.S. federal government spent over $15 billion dollars in 2010 on the War on Drugs, at a rate of about $500 per second.

    After 40 years, $1 trillion, US War on Drugs has failed to meet any of its goals
    AP IMPACT: Associated Press Published May 13, 2010 (excerpted)
    Using Freedom of Information Act requests, archival records, federal budgets and dozens of interviews with leaders and analysts, the AP tracked where that money went, and found that the United States repeatedly increased budgets for programs that did little to stop the flow of drugs. In 40 years, taxpayers spent more than:
    — $20 billion to fight the drug gangs in their home countries.
    — $33 billion in marketing "Just Say No"
    — $121 billion to arrest more than 37 million nonviolent drug offenders
    — $450 billion to lock those people up in federal prisons
    The Justice Department estimates the consequences of drug abuse — "an overburdened justice system, a strained health care system, lost productivity, and environmental destruction" — cost the United States $215 billion a year.

    Harvard University economist Jeffrey Miron says the only sure thing taxpayers get for more spending on police and soldiers is more homicides.

    "Current policy is not having an effect of reducing drug use," Miron said, "but it's costing the public a fortune."

    Lost political causes By William Buckley

    ReplyDelete
  51. For some odd reason the replies to these comments were censored, from here.

    But Not Heeere...

    Lex Ferenda said... @DdC I wouldn't take too much notice of Steve Hager from the High Times. He was probably a bit too high when he said that.

    Lex Ferenda said... I don't agree with Mr Buckley Jr. either.

    ReplyDelete
  52. DdC - sorry, for some reason some of the latest comments got dumped into Spam. I have now posted them above. Lex

    ReplyDelete
  53. Why should people pay taxes to pay the salary of a police officer so that he can arrest their family, friends, or them?

    ReplyDelete
  54. 'Robert the Biker said...
    And while we're giving smackheads free dope, do we also give them free housing and free food and drink, clothes etc? Because I don't see shooting up at taxpayers expense making good and productive citizens of them. I would far sooner they all died of overdoses, hotshots and contaminated gear, no loss to the world...'

    What a dick...
    So free housing and clothes and food like those found in a prison cell?

    ReplyDelete
  55. Also, have you ever realized that power is a drug? Taxpayers (including drug users and their families) are actually paying for a police officer's fix.

    ReplyDelete
  56. You say: "I didn't say that the point of prohibition was to keep cannabis away from schools and playgrounds. Do you seriously think that drug legalisation will? Alcohol is being abused by young people now as are drugs. The likelihood is that legalisation will increase that use."

    Actually, cannabis is much easier for kids to get than alcohol or cigarettes. In America, where the drinking age is 21, kids can buy pot at school from other students, or from a "friend of a friend." Drug dealers don't ask for ID, but alcohol and tobacco vendors get in big trouble if they sell to minors. Legalizing pot would make it harder for kids to get a hold of, not easier. I understand that this is contrary to what you would imagine with decreased prices, but it is true.

    Additionally, you claim that people have died of cancer caused by marijuana. You are spreading lies here, sir. The largest studies conducted show that marijuana is not associated with lung cancer, and is in fact associated with DECREASED rates of cancers of the head and neck.

    ReplyDelete
  57. @ Treblebase - 'Why should people pay taxes to pay the salary of a police officer so that he can arrest their family, friends, or them?'

    Because they are criminals?

    @ Ddc - I can see you are passionate about the issue but referencing all sorts of material supporting your view does not make it right and there are equally well documented papers against legalisation.

    @ all commentators - Thanks for your comments. I give up. Legalise and be damned!

    Lex Ferenda

    ReplyDelete
  58. There is an escalating danger that like America we too may create a "War on Drugs" industry and lobby group. Also, The best way to control drugs otherwise is to educate people on actual drug effects, so that harm is reduced.

    Online Pharmacy

    ReplyDelete
  59. @ Ddc - I can see you are passionate about the issue but referencing all sorts of material supporting your view does not make it right and there are equally well documented papers against legalisation.

    There is only one truth dude. Tests prove that. Banning tests prove fear of results. What are the incentives behind the "facts". Before the internet the mainstream media only gave one side. Censored school books removing the word Hemp because it might confuse the kiddies. We still consider burlap a schedule#1 narcotic that makes up 90+ % of the "marihuana" eradications. The government position is clear and every bit of their research is bias, on purpose.

    "From time to time, I say that the suppression of medical marijuana is murder. This is not quite correct. It is actually mass murder. It has caused the deaths of countless thousands of people."
    (Ed. note: The FT is the London equivalent of the Wall Street Journal. This drug could be patented, so it is of interest to the financial community.)

    National Cancer Institute on Cannabis and Cannabinoids

    The ominous part is that this isn't the first time scientists have discovered that THC shrinks tumors. In 1974 researchers at the Medical College of Virginia, who had been funded by the National Institute of Health to find evidence that marijuana damages the immune system, found instead that THC slowed the growth of three kinds of cancer in mice -- lung and breast cancer, and a virus-induced leukemia. The DEA quickly shut down the Virginia study and all further cannabis/tumor research.

    The Shafer Commission's (named after commission Chair, Gov. Raymond Shafer of Pennsylvania) 1972 report, entitled "Marihuana: A Signal of Misunderstanding," boldly proclaimed that "neither the marihuana user nor the drug itself can be said to constitute a danger to public safety" and recommended Congress and state legislatures decriminalize the use and casual distribution of marijuana for personal use.

    Nixon Commission Report Advising Decriminalization of Marijuana
    Celebrates 30th Anniversary

    They are by law not permitted to use cannabis for medicinal research. Only research trying to prove its a schedule#1 narcotic. First it's an hallucinogen and they are not addictive. Cannabis for the most addictive personalities is no more than cravings. Not physically debilitating withdrawal symptoms. No one robs people to buy cannabis. Secondly it is clearly not only historically used as medicine, but the very government claiming it has none have already patented individual cannabinoids.

    Feds can patent cannabinoids. Bayer and Barthwell can patent sublingual sprays.

    Full reply here...

    ReplyDelete
  60. One thing which no commentator has yet touched upon is this: if you legalise drugs, then you permit a much greater experimentation with a much wider range of synthetic substances than are available to the discerning addict today. There exist opiate derivatives which satisfy cravings yet inhibit opiate highs; such chemicals are very popular with heroin addicts as they permit them to lead a normal life.

    Young drinkers in Britain seem to want to drink to make the world go away; ethanol does this but causes untold damage and violence in the process. A mixture of short-acting benzodiazeprene tranquiliser and synthetic cannabinoid would have much the same reality-obscuring effect, but would turn the addict into a pacified zombie whilst the effects lasted; a much happier outcome for an English copper.

    Finally, might I bring to your attention some recent work done in Rome (with "Me Too" duplicates in London). The experiment was to determine what the major metabolites of cocaine are which are excreted from the human body, and to test for these in the city sewage. Having established experimentally how much metabolite comes from how much ingested cocaine, it was possible to determine the cocaine consumption of these cities from the metabolite concentration in the sewage. Most Government consumption estimates are done by survey, and the surveys roughly agree.

    The sewage analysis was therefore a great revelation as it demonstrated that the cocaine consumption was more or less double what had been thought. It also adequately demonstrates that prohibition of cocaine is no barrier at all for the people who are importing the drug, and supplying it to the customers; it is also instructive to note that the vast majority of users seem to be invisible to official eyes and therefore suffer no ill effects or problems from this consumption.

    Remind me again why we're bothering to prohibit drugs? The prohibition doesn't limit supply, doesn't limit consumption, and doesn't discomfit most users either. All it does is hamper rehabilitation of problem users and makes the drugs less pure and more dangerous. Oh, and it costs us taxpayers lots and lots of money.

    Where's the sense in it?

    ReplyDelete
  61. Dr Dan Holdsworth said... Where's the sense in it?

    Very nice and logical Dr. It makes no sense, just dollars. Makes sense if you think of drug worriers as those who profit on treating problems. Even problems they invent. Cost to taxpayers means big bucks to no bid contractors. In Iraqi police actions or drug wars. Urine testers are a thriving market and nothing much to do with reality. Califano plea bargain rehabilitation's or Koch Bros. private tax paid prisons housing and feeding 2.3 million Americans. Over half for drug related offenses. Very lucrative. The tax paid budget to keep this farce going is another incentive. Nothing at all to do with drugs or public safety. No more than keeping Hemp products outlawed for US farmers. Or the prices comparable to cotton while importing raw materials. Cotton takes 90 million pounds of poisons not used or sold for hemp. Plastic from Hydrocarbons in the Mideast or Homegrown Carbohydrate Veggie Oil Plastic. Ethanol and Biodiesel over fighting wars for crude oil. Expensive drugs over plants grown in herb gardens. Each drug carries several side effects meaning more profits on OTC meds. Many reasons to keep selling the Ganjawar. Wasted taxes depend on what side of the fence you're on.

    Ganja/Hemp

    The Ganjawar is a Product Sold by D.E.A.th to Profit Fascist

    Drug war brokers profit on misery, so you have to see them as an opposite universe of degenerate mad slashers selling band aids to the lacerated public. They profit “treating” problems they create. Cures and Prevention don't pay. Ending the war on some people doing certain unauthorized substances would be as bad for profits as curing cancer. Can’t have that.

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  62. Yes, there are literally trillions of dollars motivating people to keep this horrendous drug war going.

    I am just surprised at the resignation of the decent people. Do we all just accept it? How many times must I hear "It won't change in my lifetime..."? If you say that, then go ahead and die already, because we need this now!

    When will people stand up and defend themselves? When will you defend the most vulnerable among your friends and family? Take up arms and fight back!

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  63. I believe cannabis prohibition is an injustice and infringes on my personal liberties. If I choose to smoke it in my home to help with chronic pain as opposed to opiates prescribed by a physician, why should I be jailed? Why should you be able to go down to the pub and have a pint, and I can't enjoy a joint which is my choice of recreational relief? Cannabis is far less dangerous to public safety than alcohol.

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  64. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LMIgT_NGgek

    Ron Paul on heroin legalization.

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  65. Aside from the obvious and the intelligent well thought out arguments above what rings loud in my mind is the answer to my question to a San Bernardino County sheriff, a 'friend' of the family ... ha ... I asked him about his thoughts on the legalization of marijuana. He smirked and chuckled. "Ha, never, it's my job protection". I think most of you can identify with my feelings and reaction to his attitude. Law enforcement likes the thrill and the paycheck. It is not about keeping neighborhoods or children safe or helping an addicted person, it is about, like he said, job protection. Government mooch jobs. They love control. Pizza delivery drivers are in more danger than the police. We are in more danger from the police enforcing drug laws than from gangs. Too many cops too high of pay. They are arrogant because of it and they get away with anything. God help us.

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  66. Anon 03:43

    For those searching out arrogance, this blog is an oasis.

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  67. Lets talk motivated

    http://www.forbes.com/2009/02/04/michael-phelps-marijuana-opinions-contributors_0204_dana_larsen.html

    Regular marijuana use didn't impede the ability of basketball legends like Rasheed Wallace, Charles Oakley or Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. Indeed, Oakley has claimed that over half of NBA players smoke pot before each game. Since these players are top athletes whose career depends on them being at peak performance for every game, it stands to reason that perhaps they are using marijuana because it provides some benefit to their abilities on the court.

    Some of the best cricket players of all time, like Phil Tufnell and Sir Ian Botham, have admitted to regularly using marijuana to deal with the stress and muscle aches common to all athletes. In 2001, half of South Africa's cricket team was punished after being caught toking up with the team physiotherapist; they were celebrating a championship victory in the Caribbean.

    What about the NFL?

    Ricky Williams is another NFL player who has spoken out about the benefits of marijuana, despite it costing him endorsements and almost his entire football career. Williams has repeatedly been punished for failing urine tests and was briefly a spokesperson for the antidepressant Paxil, which he was prescribed to treat his social anxiety disorder. That endorsement deal ended when Williams told ESPN that "marijuana is 10 times better for me than Paxil."

    How many gold medals did Michael Phelps win???? Seven I think it was.

    Olympic champion Michael Phelps is in good company as a world-class athlete who uses marijuana. It's a pity that he couldn't have been brave enough to stand up for his relationship with the world's most wonderful plant, instead of half-heartedly apologizing in an effort to salvage his sponsorship contracts.

    If Phelps had been closer to the end of his career and with less to lose by being honest, then maybe he would have taken the approach of two-time Super Bowl champion Mark Stepnoski. After retiring from the NFL in 2001, Stepnoski became an outspoken legalization advocate who confirmed "responsible use" of marijuana during his pro career." After a game you need something to relax," said Stepnoski. "I'd rather smoke than take painkillers."

    So I disagree with the false conclusions in the article.

    For other drug they should be treated like the health problem they are. Where that has been done they get a better result that the U.S. gets with its policy. In fact its much worse now than when the war on drugs began. How much worse do you want to to get? The war failed and things are worse in every way because of it, we must do better we need a new policy.

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  68. Should I be more gratified that, for once, a prohibitionist has decided to engage with his opponents, or depressed that the arguments he uses are so facile, disingenuous, and based on poorly-researched, self-serving factoids?

    I could go through the article and rebut each point, one by tedious one, but it would be a waste of my day, since I would never convince the author that the law of supply and demand is a reality, or that prohibition is ethically bankrupt and clearly self-defeating.

    After the unconvincing show of sweet reasonableness in parts of the original article, however, it was almost reassuring, in a dark way, to see the author reveal his true nature in subsequent comments - his automated response being to accuse each and every opponent of necessarily being a drug user (whose opinion can therefore be ridiculed and then ignored). This reaction ('hysterical', in the author's own terms) was sadly predictable.

    I would point out that alcohol is a drug. If prohibition is right, then it's right for alcohol. The rights and wrongs of prohibition are not contingent on the number of users as a percentage of the general population - which is why proponents of decriminalisation generally base their argument on reason, not on prevalence.

    Finally, if the author is tempted to continue on a career-path of writing, I would just mention that the plural form of country is 'countries', not 'country's'. Changing over to standard English may assist him in extending his appeal, from a tiny bigoted right-wing-press-reading minority to a few grown-ups - but frankly, I doubt it.

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  69. Lets talk stereo types

    How about Barack Obama

    Almost every American President before Barry, from Washington to Clinton to Bush, has had a pot addled past. Clinton purportedly tried and failed to smoke a joint, Bush was a boozer, but messed with coke and pot from time to time, Washington even grew marijuana on his farm. But as far as we know, none have admitted to smoking as much pot as Obama. He wrote extensively about his stoner past in his book Dreams of My Father, and in a 2007 interview stated “When I was a kid I inhaled frequently. That was the point.” Anyone who wonders what kind of future a pothead can have should take a hard look at Barack Obama. Not only can you grow up to be ridiculously smart, you can grow up to be President.

    In fact not only have 42% of Americans admitted to trying pot, but pot smokers have gone on to become some of the most successful people in our society (such as Obama like him or not). We’re not talking about Willie Nelson and Snoop. These guys are on the Forbes 500, they’re leading the free world, and they prove that all existing pothead stereotypes are nothing more than myths and propaganda losers use marijuana but so do winners it has little to do with marijuana. Do you credit marijuana for the success of the many great athletes that use it? No of course not so why blame marijuana for some loser just because he happens to use it.

    Here are some examples of winners that use marijuana. Again does marijuana get the credit for their success? If that is what defines a person than the answer would have to be yes.

    Sir Richard Branson

    While the ‘Sir’ in front of this guy’s name puts him in some very elite company, it doesn’t automatically get him on this list. What does earn him a spot is the fact that he’s the 236th richest person in the world, founder of the Virgin empire, which encompasses everything from airlines to record stores to cell phones, and made his entire multi-billion dollar fortune from absolutely nothing. Not only does this man smoke weed, he gets high with his 21-year-old son. He has publicly stated that there’s nothing wrong with smoking pot, has petitioned for the legalization of pot, and even said that if it were legal, he’d sell it.

    Michael Phelps

    Mr. “Has More Olympic Gold Medals Than Anyone In History” made headlines this week when photos of him and a bong surfaced. Since the scandal, Phelps has given a few interviews decrying his “bad judgment,” promising it was a dumb mistake that never happened before and won’t happen again… but we know that’s bullsh*t. Phelps was hitting that bong like a pro, not daintily toking some little amateur joint. With this in mind, we’re going to go ahead and assume this wasn’t Phelps’s first time. It might be his last, but it definitely wasn’t his first. This means that you can become the most world class athlete of all time and be a pot smoker at the same time. Stereotype shattered.

    Ted Turner

    Ted is a rare breed of billionaire — he comes off as completely absent minded, incapable of even putting on his own pants. Yet he is a mega-mogul. He single-handedly invented the 24-hour news cycle with CNN, was named Time’s Man of the Year in 1991, is the largest private land owner in America, and also owns a few other TV stations, and the Atlanta Braves. So… owning lots of stuff? Not what you’d expect from a guy who grew pot in his college dorm room. Ted is also a major funder of the Kentucky Hemp Museum, along with renowned stoner Woody Harelson, and is a well known fan of the classic stoner cartoon Scooby-Doo.

    Michael Bloomberg

    The Mayor of New York’s last name is associated with ‘business’ and ‘success’, not ‘failure’ and ‘the munchies’. But if you’re one of those idiots who believes a pothead could never amount to anything, you’d have never guessed this was the way Bloomberg would turn out. Did he smoke pot when he was younger? In his own words “You bet I did. And I enjoyed it!”

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  70. The fact is millions of productive Americans use marijuana and many have and gone on to have great lives. By far the most dangerous thing about marijuana is being arrested.

    Arnold Schwarzenegger

    The Governator is actually on video smoking weed. In the classic documentary Pumping Iron, he is seen smoking, and loving, a joint. But hey man, that was the’70s, right? Things have chanced since then. Haven’t they? Well, Schwarzenegger hasn’t been puffing since his election to office, but he has presided over California’s recent medical marijuana renaissance. Now anyone who wants one can get a pot prescription in the state, which gives them legal access to some of the best weed in the country, and even allows them to grow plants in their own home. According to Arnold, marijuana “is not a drug, it’s a leaf.”

    Montel Williams the well known talk show host discovered pot late in life, and for good reason. Back in 1999 he was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis, and couldn’t find anything to suppress his symptoms. He tried all sorts of pain killers; none worked, and all had horrible side effects. So he decided to try medical marijuana (same thing as regular marijuana, FYI) and it worked wonders for him! Years later, he is one of MS’s most recognizable faces, one of medical marijuana’s staunchest defenders, and even though he’s baked all the time, still managed to host his own talk show until 2008.

    Who would deny him this wonder drug?

    What about Stephen King

    We haven’t included many creative types on this list, mostly because they’re all potheads. Every actor, musician and artist ever is a huge pothead. It’s a fact, don’t dispute us. But writing 1,000 page novels is a slightly different process. You can’t just ‘jam out’ The Stand. Over the course of his career, both his output and his success have been unparalleled. He’s authored upwards of 50 novels and short stories which have sold a collective 500 million copies worldwide. He’s also been one of the most vocal proponents for the legalization of marijuana, calling laws against the drug “ridiculous,” and stating that “I think that marijuana should not only be legal, I think it should be a cottage industry.” It makes perfect sense. You’d have to be stoned to come up with some of the sh*t this guy has.

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  71. I would like to thank the author for allowing the debate. After reading all the post he has lost the argument rather convincingly. We can no longer afford to do this we need more teachers, and infrastructure instead of throwing money away on a policy no chance of accomplishing its purpose. Drugs are stronger and easier to get than ever so what have we got for our trillion dollars? A problem that is getting worse every year.

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  72. This has gone from a drugs debate to a petition to get cannabis legalised. Cannabis is not the only drug out there! Alot of people on here missing the point entirely.

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  73. If you legalize cannabis the drug war falls apart. It's not like they are in it for the safety of the children. It's the money sillies. Profit on cages and rehabilitation, pisstastes and probation and the profits keeping renewable homegrown resources outlawed out of the free trade market. Big Pharma drugs just get you wasted. Who cares? Here is your Ganjawar.

    Redding Charity Turns Down Pot Dispensary's Food
    “The Lord impressed on me to tell him thanks, but no thanks,” he said, adding that he does not regret that decision. “I feel good about the decision. It felt like a weight was lifted off my shoulders.”
    ~ Chris Solberg, director of Loaves and Fishes

    Still, he noted, food and monetary donations are very much needed because of the poor economy.

    Granny Purps
    Granny "Purps" Black and co-owner Phil Hicks demonstrated that their recipe book also includes the secret ingredient to bringing in outsized donations for the Second Harvest Food Bank holiday food drive: a complimentary joint. For every four cans of food they donated to Second Harvest, patients received one pre-rolled marijuana joint, with a maximum of three per day. Reports show that Granny Purps took in 11,000 pounds of food and handed out 2,000 joints between November and Christmas Eve, when the promo ended.

    NFL's Buzzkill
    More pharmaceutical double-standards with respect to pain-relief. It seems any addictive pain-killer is fine with the NFL. Oxycontin? Have a Limbaugh-sized dose. But marijuana? You'll be suspended.

    American High Society
    Stiletto Stoners
    Comix and Cannabis
    Family Guy "420" - "X"
    Celebrity Stoners
    Pot Stirring
    Pitcher Dock Ellis' Legendary LSD No-Hitter
    Pot Smokers Jack Nicholson & Roseanne Barr

    THE POLICE STATE COMETH by Rep.Ron Paul

    High on Hemp
    Family Farmers could join thirty countries around the world who permit the cultivation of industrial hemp and the subsequent use of hemp by-products in human food. Regulations governing acceptable thresholds for human ingestion vary quite considerably between these jurisdictions or are simply non-existent. The biggest stumbling block is the DEA which refuses to reclassify hemp, currently and ridiculously listed as a drug, in order to allow the culitvation of this extraordinarily beneficial crop.

    Pro Life? Not even anti abortionists
    Tobacco and alcohol use by pregnant women has adverse effects on the fetus. Fetal alcohol syndrome is a leading cause of mental retardation. MSMA "can reasonably be anticipated to cause cancer in humans" and is converted in the environment to inorganic arsenic, a known human carcinogen. About 4 million pounds of MSMA is applied every year to golf courses and cotton fields in the United States to control weeds. Pesticide Exposure in Farm Families Linked to Spontaneous Abortion. The suicide rate among India's farmers from the cotton failures are global news. Monsanto has a sub name to offset the google hits and headlines with criminal charges for contaminations. Switching cotton fields to hemp fields would improve: the quality of our soil, the durability of our clothes, the safety of our ground source water, the quality of our air, and the preservation of forests cut for paper (not to mention saving hundreds of thousands of lives prematurely ended by disease caused by pollution) In 1993, two hundred and fifty thousand tons of pesticides were used to grow cotton world-wide.

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  74. well, iv heard it all this morning in regards to this blog, pro, against etc etc its apparent that the current drug laws DO NOT work. until both sides reach a middle ground nether will win. isnt democracy about listening to both sides of the argument and then reaching a common ground. i my years i have used and abused all drugs and seen the affects, good and bad.
    currently on the bbc website there is an article about ketimine, a horse tranquliser, readly available in the uk. this is classified a class c, the lowest classification. cannabis is class b. the negitive affects of ketimine are huge. what are the negitive affects of cannabis?? can u die from cannabis.....no. can u die from ketimine abuse.....yes in many ways. but in the eyes of the law the latter is less harmful. this is wrong.
    there was an interesting point made earlier. kids now find it more difficult to buy fags and alchol because they have to provide i.d to get them. a drug dealer asks for none so of course the kids are going to go down that rout because its easier to get hold of.
    this is a point which both sides should listen to. no mater what the law, no matter how much u try and stop it, PEOPLE WILL ALWAYS ENDEVOUR TO GET HIGH!. wether its through jumping off a cliff with a parashute for adrenline or sitting in a pub after work with a pint.
    i dont have the answer, but both sides need to sit round a table and force common graound because all thats happening at the moment is more money is be handed to criminals who exploite, who murder, who prop up corruption, who sell to kids.
    understanding that you cant change people or there habbits is the first step. only with draconion laws and a police state would achieve this. do we really want to turn the clock back to medevil britain?? ( even then the hemp plant (cannabis) was grown for its multiple uses)or do we want a progressive society where we classify substrances on there phyical danger to the body. herione, cocaine, ketimine, methadone all at the top causing damage to society. socialy accepted drugs like alcohol, ciggeretts and cannabis, even though they cause a certain amount of harm dont cause socity any major pain.

    both sides of the argument GROW UP AND GET REAL!! all drugs are not going to be legalised full stop. compleate prohibition and forcing people not to do something will not work!!

    lets have a grown up discussion shall we.

    ps sorry for the spelling mistakes im dislexsic! oh by the way, i smoke cannabis everyday for pain relief. i have my own business, i have degree, i have a family and i am a constructive member of society..........am i a criminal for smoking a joint in my own home????

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  75. What a weak and obvious article this is. It fully backs up Cameron's view to bring in fresh new leadership to our Police Forces!

    To comment on a couple of your points:
    Point 2) Saying why don't we legalise other crimes then to reduce crime rates is a joke. Most people is society believe that there needs to be a victim for there to be a crime. Punish users for their actions under the influence of drugs - not their personal choice to take them. The whole theft/dealer crime is due to Prohibition.

    Many young people will have there careers, education and travel plans destroyed from a drugs conviction. How can a punishment to protect our youth cause more damage to their lives than the actual drugs? If David Cameron or Barack Obama had been convicted of their drug use I doubt either of them would be in their current roles. It's a joke that both our Prime Minister and the US President have used drugs yet still sanction criminal punishment for those that are caught!

    Point 3) What a sorry argument for a Policeman. In your view then why address any crime because if we prevent it criminals will just do something else?!

    Anyone that watched the recent 'Our Drugs War' documentary on Channel 4 will be as horrified as me to see that with all the money pumped in to UK drug prohibition they only stopped 1% of heroin from hitting the street. It that's not a total failure I do know what is.

    I'm sorry but you just confirm my total lack of faith in the UK police force.

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  76. What most people don't realise or just choose to stay ignorant to is that if alcohol was tobecome illegal tomorrow it would treble inprice and would be watered down or more likey cut with chemicals just like other drugs legalise them and they become cleaner and less expensive therefore reducing crime and death

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  77. They should be regulated and legalized just like alcohol, period! OH, But sorry then you cops would lose your power (that god knows who gave it to you), to violate people's rights, freedom and privacy along with destroying their life for simply using something other than alcohol.

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