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Tension at heart of drug classification

Mark Easton | 11:49 UK time, Monday, 12 July 2010

The Home Office has fought for three years to keep details of its review of the drug classification system secret. Now the campaigners who forced its publication think they know why: the document, they say, exposes the illogicality that undermines government drugs policy.

You will remember what happened to Professor David Nutt, the former head of the body which oversees the drug classification system, when he argued official policy should recognise that ecstasy and cannabis were less harmful than alcohol and tobacco. His controversial views cost him his job on the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs. But, years earlier, the Home Office had come to the same conclusion.

Using the Freedom of Information Act, this weekend the pressure group Drug Equality Alliance finally got to see the 2006 advice given to ministers [361KB PDF] ahead of a planned public consultation into the legal controls on illicit drugs, a report initiated by the former Home Secretary Charles Clarke.

One section of the paper focuses on the dangers of treating cigarettes and booze differently from ecstasy and cannabis. The authors point out that "alcohol and tobacco account for more health problems and deaths than illicit drugs". They quote figures which suggest that "in terms of death, illegal drugs amounted to 1,388 in 2003 compared to about 20,000 for alcohol and 100,000 for tobacco."

So far, so familiar.

What makes this hitherto secret report such dynamite is the implication that this inconsistency in the way society treats "substances that alter mental functioning" might be making Britain's drugs crisis worse.

Screengrab of Home Office drug documents

Screengrab of Home Office drug documents

In other words, treating malt whisky differently from mephedrone makes it more likely young people will ignore the official advice.

The report appears to support the idea that alcohol and tobacco might be included in the classification system, although "in a way which would stop short of imposing comparable controls".

The tension at the heart of this debate is clear when the report goes on to point out that:

Screengrab of Home Office drug documents

However, the suggestion that "tradition and tolerance" should guide the legal framework surrounding recreational drugs will be seized upon by those who argue that the answer to the drugs dilemma is to end the "un-British" policy of prohibition and regulate all substances based on the harm they cause.

Comments

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  • 1. At 12:09pm on 12 Jul 2010, Freeman wrote:

    Use science and not dogma? That's crazy talk...

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  • 2. At 12:16pm on 12 Jul 2010, Scamandrius wrote:

    Of course government drug policiy is completely illogical.

    In my wild & reckless youth I experimented with drugs from class A to class C and I promise you this-

    There's only one drug that will leave crawling along the pavement, unable to speak your own name.

    And thats alcohol.

    Nothing elese is anywhere near as incapictating.

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  • 3. At 12:31pm on 12 Jul 2010, jon112dk wrote:

    "in terms of death, illegal drugs amounted to 1,388 in 2003 compared to about 20,000 for alcohol and 100,000 for tobacco."

    So the legal drugs cause 120 times as many deaths as the illegal ones?

    Doesn't that pretty much drive a coach and horses through the 'legalise drugs and everything will be ok' argument?

    (How about simplifying it? No classifications at all - if it's illegal it's illegal. Stop the mixed messages.)

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  • 4. At 12:39pm on 12 Jul 2010, Mel0dymaker wrote:

    Wheyyyyy You have started to write what me and many other people have been saying all along. Overall I guess that the logical state of the governments stance on drugs depends on what they feel they should be providing for drug takers. People are smoking and taking dirty (Be it chemical or glass sprayed on to cannabis) and dangerous drugs. Why is it a heroin addict can be prescribed methadone while young and naive cannabis users end up smoking small glass particles than can lead to extremely nasty lung problems.

    The Govt are failing todays youth when it comes to drugs. Just look at frank. Incredibly bias and in some circumstances actually very inaccurate.

    Most people say well they are illegal therefor you shouldn't be helped and it is all at your own risk. Which is a dangerous precedent.


    The class system is terrible and has no form or justification on any of the problems that it trys to classify such as social, health and criminality. Lets remember that the last govt didn't even ask the ACMD about putting magic mushrooms back to class A. In the same bracket as Heroin Crack cocaine.

    Anyone who has ever taken any of these drugs would actually be much more able to list the drugs in order of dangerousness.

    Hell Ketamine is class C while Ganga is B. Ketamine is far more dangerous to the individual because of its rates of addiction and also the state of mind it puts people in. It also is very easy to make money off. Your talking doubling your money on less than £150 worth of product. You couldn't do that with coke or Ganga.

    While the Class A band is full to the brim and implies to the naive and ignorant that if you have survived Pills or Coke then you stand a good chance on Heroin or Crack.

    Please please please please All you politicians out there who maybe read this. Campaign for a completely independent body to grade drugs and decide how the law should deal with these scenarios.

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  • 5. At 1:33pm on 12 Jul 2010, Sunshine Band wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 6. At 1:58pm on 12 Jul 2010, Khrystalar wrote:

    @ jon112uk, post #5;

    "So the legal drugs cause 120 times as many deaths as the illegal ones?

    Doesn't that pretty much drive a coach and horses through the 'legalise drugs and everything will be ok' argument?"


    No, not at all; not unless you assume that the legality - and therefore, availability - of the drug in question is the sole determining factor in respect of the numbers of deaths.

    Which completely ignores the possibility - the probability, in fact - that the legal drugs are, in fact, more likely to kill you (or at least cause you serious permanent damage) than the illegal ones.

    Making Cannabis legal, for instance, is going to have very little (if any) bearing on the amount of people who use it. Most of the people I know who smoke it don't, quite frankly, care whether it's legal or not; none of the people I know who don't smoke it would suddenly decide to start just because it was legal.


    "(How about simplifying it? No classifications at all - if it's illegal it's illegal. Stop the mixed messages.)"

    No... I would say that, in fact, that is the mixed message that we've been proporting for far too long, and that we need to move away from.

    Concentrating more on whether a substance is legal or not - which often has more to do with politics than it does with any sort of common sense - whilst ignoring such considerations as, for example, which drug kills more people per year, is a mixed message.

    No wonder 'young people' are likely to 'ignore the official advice' - that's because the official advice runs contrary to all logic, and because young people aren't stupid.

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  • 7. At 2:32pm on 12 Jul 2010, Sunshine Band wrote:

    jon112UK - sound reasonning. I always thought that the reason why any drug might be harmful is abused is largely down to ignorrance and paradoxical consequences borne from irrational control contexts. If drug users, and I emphasise this as vital, we are talking about PEOPLE NOT DRUGS, were sensibly regulated based upon actual facts, then the harms caused by misuse on both sides of the artificial divide would be much lower. The best thing a heavy drinker could do is to replace some of his choice of drug with another drug that won't compound the very real dangers of alcohol, a drug such as cannabis. Illegal drugs do not exist! Legal drugs do not exist!! Any drug which may cause social harm is supposed to become a 'controlled drug' - arrangements can then be made for regulating the supply to control against misuse of that drug.

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  • 8. At 2:42pm on 12 Jul 2010, John Ellis wrote:

    Jolly good news this for so long we have seen the sufferance that uncontrolled drugs cause.

    Drugs have never been Illegal there use has been made illegal, people turned into criminals based on morals? What sort of moral compass keeps drugs in the hands of children?

    Anyways Nice blog for a change Mark, just have to wait for the self righteous munkees now to start on about how we will have ...... oh yer what we have now chaos in the drug markets. Reciting drug knowledge gained in the daily mail. Every child will use drugs.... yes that's the current situation quick flash of the queens face and the drug of choice is there in hand.....

    Time to restore some civility to this country and open up the employment markets..

    mean while ill plug my idea... for the treasury :)

    http://spendingchallenge.hm-treasury.gov.uk/how-can-we-rethink-public-services-to-deliver-more-for-less/new-way-forward

    can i do that give common sense a plug on here :)

    Highest Regards
    CC :)

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  • 9. At 2:46pm on 12 Jul 2010, newblogger wrote:

    Mark,

    If the offical advice is not based on evidence, expert opinion, logic or common sense, what is it based on?

    '...young people will ignore the official advice'

    Well if its good enough for Alan Johnson ...


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  • 10. At 2:58pm on 12 Jul 2010, beardymouse wrote:

    I can't believe that a 21st century society is still living in a draconian age when it comes to drugs legislation. Making something illegal doesn't stop people from using it, and if it does, it doesn't stop the person from moving onto something that is legal and potentially more harmful. Methadrone is a good example: the government rushed to ban it without educating people about it or doing the research themselves, and now we have Naphyrone - an equally unknown quantity which could be much more dangerous. If ecstasy was legal, people would have education on a drug we know a lot about, it could be clean from cutting agents (that do kill) and people wouldn't be turning to potentially lethal substances to get a buzz on the weekend. We can't just ban every substance that comes along - because it's a fight we would never win.

    I could go on forever about the harms caused by prohibition - but it is rehashing an old argument that has been communicated more eloquently before. Legalise the lot, actually CONTROL them rather than letting them loose on the streets, reap tax revenue and keep people safe from harm and prosecution.

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  • 11. At 3:02pm on 12 Jul 2010, Scamandrius wrote:

    3. At 12:31pm on 12 Jul 2010, jon112uk wrote:
    "in terms of death, illegal drugs amounted to 1,388 in 2003 compared to about 20,000 for alcohol and 100,000 for tobacco."

    So the legal drugs cause 120 times as many deaths as the illegal ones?

    Doesn't that pretty much drive a coach and horses through the 'legalise drugs and everything will be ok' argument?

    ---

    Only if your pretty naive about the current availability of illegal drugs.

    Which is such that any one who wants to take those drugs probably already is.

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  • 12. At 3:08pm on 12 Jul 2010, GBC wrote:

    I would have thought the embarrassing thing was the QUALITY of the advice given.

    The absolute number of deaths due to drugs may be less at only 1388, but out of how many users?

    To be of any value the comparison needs to be given as a percentage of active (?) users of each.

    It is worrying to think that major policies are based on such meaningless figures.

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  • 13. At 3:12pm on 12 Jul 2010, Euforiater wrote:

    3: "Doesn't that pretty much drive a coach and horses through the 'legalise drugs and everything will be ok' argument?"

    - Only to those that don't understand the argument. It's the drug itself that causes the health damage, the legality of a drug simply determines who supplies it, legal suppliers or the black market. What it does drive the proverbial coach and horses through is the myth that tobacco and alcohol are legal because they are somehow safer than those which are (currently) not legal, along with any moral pretext for enforcing the law against safer drugs.

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  • 14. At 3:16pm on 12 Jul 2010, jon112dk wrote:

    6. At 1:58pm on 12 Jul 2010, Khrystalar
    "...Making Cannabis legal, for instance, is going to have very little (if any) bearing on the amount of people who use it. Most of the people I know who smoke it don't, quite frankly, care whether it's legal or not..."
    =======================

    But that's just druggies. If we look at normal people that's not the case.

    There are obviously a substantial number of people who will not do something they would actually like to do purely because it is illegal - millions of us in fact. There's loads of things I would like to do, but hold back because I don't want a criminal record.

    If you spent all your time mixing with professional burglers you would think people are not deterred by the law on burglary and think burgling people's houses is ok. Obviously criminals think their own crime is ok, the majority of law abiding people do not.

    Looking at the dreadful situation with tobacco and alcohol, I think the last thing we need is MORE legal/mass consumption drugs.

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  • 15. At 3:18pm on 12 Jul 2010, DavidMHart wrote:

    "So the legal drugs cause 120 times as many deaths as the illegal ones?

    Doesn't that pretty much drive a coach and horses through the 'legalise drugs and everything will be ok' argument?"

    To what Khrystalar wrote, I would add that you can't have it both ways. If the harms caused by alcohol and tobacco are evidence against the proposition that we should continue to arrest and prosecute those who use drugs other than alcohol and tobacco, they must also constitute evidence that we should criminalise the use of alcohol and tobacco themselves. Anyone who genuinely believes that prohibition is a humane and effective way ofminimising drug-related harms ought to be clamouring for alcohol and tobacco to be prohibited.

    Or, more generally, anyone in favour of prohibition because they are genuinely concerned to reduce drug-related harms (as opposed to enforcing a moral viewpoint that drug use is inherently wrong) ought at least to agree that we should decide on a set of consistent criteria by which we are to judge which drugs to ban before we start to ban them.

    As for "How about simplifying it? No classifications at all - if it's illegal it's illegal." - well, this was the UK approach prior to the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971, which introduced the classification system precisely because it was felt to be unfair to punish users of low-risk prohibited drugs such as cannabis as harshly as users of high-risk ones such as diamorphine (heroin). But here again, let us suppose that we do decide on a binary-world either-legal-or-illegal approach (pace Sunshine Band, you know what I mean). Even then, we still need to decide on consistent criteria, because if we are to have a baseline of acceptable risk, everything below which is to be permitted and everything above which is to attract the same criminal penalties, we still have to make sure that all drugs are placed on the correct side of that line.

    So I invite you to post the criteria by which you propose to sort drugs into those we will punish people for using and those we will not.

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  • 16. At 3:42pm on 12 Jul 2010, General_Jack_Ripper wrote:

    Cannabis is safer than alcohol;

    http://www.saferchoice.org/content/view/24/53/

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/sci/tech/58013.stm

    http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn2063-alcohol-impairs-driving-more-than-marijuana.html


    Prohibition has failed; the time has come for the legalisation, regulation and taxation of recreational drugs.

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  • 17. At 3:49pm on 12 Jul 2010, John Ellis wrote:

    The absolute number of deaths due to drugs may be less at only 1388, but out of how many users?


    hmm 3.5 million cannabis average 300.000 heroin 1.5 million cocaine based on various reports over the last year.

    how much money did the cannabis market net with the move to class B?

    did the government figure on 5 billion extra for the cannabis markets in 2010.

    Then on the back of this argument we have new medical drugs being refused by PCTs because they are derived from cannabis so its still safer in their minds to prescribe morphine and steroids....... Both of which cause untold damage to the human body.

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  • 18. At 3:52pm on 12 Jul 2010, DavidMHart wrote:

    Sorry, I should have said, "If the harms caused by alcohol and tobacco are evidence _for_ the proposition..."

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  • 19. At 3:53pm on 12 Jul 2010, jon112dk wrote:

    15. At 3:18pm on 12 Jul 2010, DavidMHart
    (Criteria for illegal/illegal drugs)
    ==========================================

    If we were starting from scratch my criteria would have them all as illegal - alcohol and tobacco included. Why should we be legally allowing the sale of products that cause such harm to the consumer and to others?

    Don't mistake my 'anti' stance on the current illegal drugs as implying I support the current legal ones. The only defensible differentiation between them is the historical mass acceptance of tobacco/alcohol in this culture.

    I'm just saying I would not wish to see MORE drugs with the legal/mass consumption status. That appears to be making a bad situation worse.

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  • 20. At 3:56pm on 12 Jul 2010, Forlornehope wrote:

    So could we now end the absurd "war on drugs". Portugal has shown the way on hard drugs and California is doing quite a good act on cannabis - for "purely medical" use. Of course several billion a year spent on "combating" illegal drugs adds up to a lot of jobs and other vested interests. However, perhaps now that fiscal stringency has led to some sense on penal policy, we might begin to see the same on this subject. There is after all quite a strong link between the two.

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  • 21. At 4:00pm on 12 Jul 2010, John Ellis wrote:

    jon your really funny

    But that's just druggies. If we look at normal people that's not the case.

    I be one of these so called druggies I use cannabis everyday :)Ive also with the help of my wife turned our neighbourhood around brought community facilities and spaces into being, be running the big lunch this weekend. I must admit im a little more than your average druggie... But then when you open your eyes to the world you find the strangest of people use drugs, people i would have never considered due to a stiff upper lip attitude, hard work etc etc....

    Then there are the people who really should be no were near drugs like the young lads running £20 bags all over my community most have not even left school.. this is how common drug use is... We have yet to try My/Our way of thinking but all EU countries that have tried show great success in liberal drug laws as there is no attractant to them.

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  • 22. At 4:01pm on 12 Jul 2010, ThoughtCrime wrote:

    #3, "So the legal drugs cause 120 times as many deaths as the illegal ones? Doesn't that pretty much drive a coach and horses through the 'legalise drugs and everything will be ok' argument?"

    Depends whether you want to understand or spin.

    I suspect more people die in motoring accidents than in illegal bare-knuckle fights. To conclude from this that legalising an activity makes it more dangerous is clearly absurd.

    Those who use illegal drugs clearly don't care that they are illegal or they wouldn't use them. Those that don't currently use them probably wouldn't start if they were suddenly legal. Let's face it, anyone who lives near a big town could probably find drugs without any trouble if they wanted to.

    It makes sense to avoid criminalising anything unless there is a strong case to do so. I don't see a case for drugs being illegal. Therefore, in the absence of such a case, they should not be illegal.

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  • 23. At 4:04pm on 12 Jul 2010, Catpain_Slackbladder wrote:

    I use a variety of social narcotics on occasions including Cocaine, Ecstacy, Acid, Mushrooms and Marijuana. A few years ago I decided to quit smoking tobacco and drinking alcohol. Since then, I feel and look healthier and I'm less arrogant, stubborn and argumentative. I refuse to smoke or drink ever again.

    The war on drugs can never be won because it is based on a series of lies and daily mail style propaganda. And yet, every Friday and Saturday night the entire nation is bedevilled by drinkers and held to ransom by alcohol-induced thuggery. The government is finally waking up to the reality..Finally coming to terms with where the real problem is..Booze!

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  • 24. At 4:04pm on 12 Jul 2010, ghostofsichuan wrote:

    The moral aspects of public policy usually are to hold up some religious belief rather than good public policy. In the US cannabis has been the number one cash crop for atleast 20 years, with no taxes collected. Jails full of drug users and dealers and crime and criminals making all the money. In these times of governments need for taxes the senseable thing is legalization as no statistics indicate that rise in use will occur. I remember children bringing home early anti-drug literature and for cannabis is said: gives feeling of euphoria. I thought that was a strange kind of deterent. Humans trying to control human desires...it has never worked and never will...regulate behaviors..drunk driving or driving under the influence of drugs, it is the impaired driving that should be the issue not the type of impairment.
    If you drink too much that is your prolem but taken to court for drugs and now you need "rehabilitation" and finding your social void...make you a better person. How much money and how many years before everyone accepts this as just another human way of dealing with a stressful modern life. Doctors hand out bags full or drugs everyday. It is a drug culture.

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  • 25. At 4:06pm on 12 Jul 2010, orissacube wrote:

    What a mess we have made of drugs. Alcohol and tobacco controlled and regulated illegal durgs totally unregulated.

    Cannabis and ecstasy along with magic mushrooms are far safer than both alcohol and tobacco. If the number of people now using alcohol switched to cannabis deaths would fall to practically zero. The fact we have so many deaths from drugs is that people are predominantly using the far more dangerous legal ones.

    This is about personal freedom why cannot I, as an adult make the informed choice to put a far less dangerous drug into my body than alcohol or tobacco hurting noone and having no detrimental affect to society. There is not good reason adn the Government no this that s why it stifles debate on this issue and continues to to keep the public at large almost totally misinformed on the subject of drugs.

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  • 26. At 4:12pm on 12 Jul 2010, John Ellis wrote:

    I'm just saying I would not wish to see MORE drugs with the legal/mass consumption status. That appears to be making a bad situation worse.


    yer its a terrible thing that as soon as cannabis was classed unsafe and moved to class B we got flooded with legal synthetic drugs which now cause more addiction than the old school drugs.. with a wider user base especially amongst the young...

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  • 27. At 4:30pm on 12 Jul 2010, entreri100404 wrote:

    3. At 12:31pm on 12 Jul 2010, jon112uk wrote:

    "(How about simplifying it? No classifications at all - if it's illegal it's illegal. Stop the mixed messages.)"

    How about simplifying it even more? No prohibition.
    This will also get rid of the 'mixed messages' that always tend to turn up. ('mixed messages' is a euphemism for 'government lies')

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  • 28. At 4:30pm on 12 Jul 2010, Tevion wrote:

    I would just like to say that Mark has missed an important point drugs are neither legal or illegal nor is there use in fact its not illegal to use drugs it is just illegal to posses/produce or supply some drugs but due to the absurd status quo we have at the moment the drugs routinely supplied to the public ie tobacco and alcohol kill far more people than the controlled drugs how can that be? Well the government explain it by using the old historical and cultural precedence, this proves that drugs are not classed by social harms or harms to the individual they are in fact classed for 1 reason and that is political agenda.

    How many more people should we imprison because of a political agenda is this communist China or the UK?

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  • 29. At 4:32pm on 12 Jul 2010, entreri100404 wrote:

    19. At 3:53pm on 12 Jul 2010, jon112uk wrote:

    "If we were starting from scratch my criteria would have them all as illegal - alcohol and tobacco included. Why should we be legally allowing the sale of products that cause such harm to the consumer and to others?"

    If I smoke cannabis in my own home I am not harming anybody else. Are your control issues historic?

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  • 30. At 4:35pm on 12 Jul 2010, entreri100404 wrote:

    14. At 3:16pm on 12 Jul 2010, jon112uk wrote:
    6. At 1:58pm on 12 Jul 2010, Khrystalar
    "...Making Cannabis legal, for instance, is going to have very little (if any) bearing on the amount of people who use it. Most of the people I know who smoke it don't, quite frankly, care whether it's legal or not..."
    =======================

    "But that's just druggies. If we look at normal people that's not the case."

    'Druggies' as you so eloquently put it, ARE normal people. 'Druggies' are generally those persecuted by the state (and by people like yourself) just because their choice of recreational drug tends to differ from those recreational drugs legalised by the state. In short, get off your high horse. You are no better or worse than the 'druggies' you describe.

    ('Druggies' - LOL, there's a guarantee that the poster doesn't know much of what they are talking about)

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  • 31. At 4:39pm on 12 Jul 2010, terra-ised wrote:

    If the offical advice is not based on evidence, expert opinion, logic or common sense, what is it based on?

    "alcohol and tobacco account for more health problems and deaths than illicit drugs [...] The distinction between legal and illegal substances is not unequivocally based on pharmacology, economic or risk benefit analysis. It is also based in large part on "historical and cultural precedents".

    (Cm 6941, "The Government Reply to the Fifth Report from the House of Commons Science and Technology Committee Session 2005-6 HC 1031: Drug classification: making a hash of it?")

    Yep the goverment openly admit drug law is based on "historical and cultural precedents".

    So the health of the individual is subservient to culture?

    This is something, culture is not your friend. Culture is for other people's convenience and the convenience of various institutions, churches, companies, tax collection schemes, what have you. It is not your friend. It insults you. It disempowers you. It uses and abuses you. None of us are well treated by culture. Terrence McKenna.

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  • 32. At 4:42pm on 12 Jul 2010, calmandhope wrote:

    Jon @14 I'm sorry but that's one of the most ridiculous arguments I've heard discounting someone "because they're a druggie". At no point was it even implied that they did nothing but sit around and take drugs that is your own prejudices coming out which don't help the situation.

    This is my own personal situation. I've smoke cannabis recreationally for about 10 years, held down long term jobs (been in my current one three years), nver defaulted on any loans, always been able to keep up with my rent etc. Now the only time I have ever been in trouble with the law is when I was drunk and I got into a fight. My own fault and I take responsibility for it, but does that mean I want alcohol banned because it made me do something illegal? No people need to be able to take responsibility for their actions.

    If (at least recreational) drugs were legalised, then I firmly believe that it would be a huge benefit for the whole of society. The old arguements about how it would just encourage teenagers to do them, just don't work. Teenagers aren't supposed to be able to get alcohol yet they still do, they're not supposed to be able to get drugs now as they're illegal yet they still do. Proper regulation and taxation would make the drugs safer, it would also pay for any (inevitable) hospital visits which at the moment are being paid for by the magic credit card.

    Legalisation is the way forward, used with a proper education system to teach the young on the possible side effects and harm then we could move this country forward in huge leaps and bounds with one simple act of letting common sense go through.

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  • 33. At 4:47pm on 12 Jul 2010, PJohnston wrote:

    Logical fallacy; readily available drugs with very wide social consumption cause deaths while prohibited drugs with low social consumption cause less deaths; ergo prohibited drugs are more safe. Er not really.

    Mark Easton keeps on grinding that left-liberal political axe.

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  • 34. At 4:53pm on 12 Jul 2010, Betty_Swallocks wrote:

    Can we never learn from history?

    Prohibition failed in the United States when applied to alcohol and it has failed worldwide when applied to drugs. From 1920 to 1933 organised crime in the US vastly increased their profits for organised crime.

    In 1922 John D. Rockefeller said "When Prohibition was introduced, I hoped that it would be widely supported by public opinion and the day would soon come when the evil effects of alcohol would be recognized. I have slowly and reluctantly come to believe that this has not been the result. Instead, drinking has generally increased; the speakeasy has replaced the saloon; a vast army of lawbreakers has appeared; many of our best citizens have openly ignored Prohibition; respect for the law has been greatly lessened; and crime has increased to a level never seen before"

    All we achieve by making anything illegal, whether it's drugs or anything else, is to put the responsibility for it's supply into the hands of criminals.

    Even if cannabis was harmful (which study after study from the 1960's on have concluded it isn't) is it really a good idea to abandon any form of control and leave it to people whose only motive for supplying it is to maximise their profits?

    Even heroin rarely kills people. Yes, it's horribly addictive and I certainly wouldn't advocate it's use, but the majority of people who die from it's use do so from overdosing because their supply isn't consistent or from poisoning due to the substances that the aforementioned criminals use to bulk it up to increase their profits.

    Wouldn't it be better to have it legal and supplied by registered licensed distributors who could be monitored? That way the purity of supply could be guaranteed and the government could even benefit from taxation. More importantly much more control would be had over who had access to drugs. As it stands any child with enough money can go out and buy whatever they like.

    Many people used to die from drinking bathtub gin. That rarely happens these days. I suspect it still would if it was being made by the people who currently supply heroin, cocaine, amphetamines etc. to the public.

    Our policies make no sense at all. We throw billions at the "problem" in the hope that it might go away but it never will while there is a demand.

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  • 35. At 4:55pm on 12 Jul 2010, Sticky-Toffee-EFC wrote:

    Totally agree with orissacube.

    Surely as an adult its my decision if I want to use a drug less harmful than alcohol, I know this because even the scientists say so!

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  • 36. At 4:56pm on 12 Jul 2010, beardymouse wrote:

    As an aside, what situation would people prefer?

    1. A substance on sale to the public in a place licenced to sell it only to certain people dependent on age, with ramifications for those who break the rules. The tax money from sales to go into health, rehabilitation programs, education, schools and a little towards cutting the deficit.

    or

    2. A substance on sale to the public from a criminal gang / representative, who sells more harmful substances, cuts the substance with dangerous agents making a less harmful product much more lethal, and has no limits on who they sell to, regardless of age, health or other factors. Oh, and the money goes towards guns, human trafficking and other criminal activities.

    One of these is the situation we have at the moment, and one is the way it should be.

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  • 37. At 5:08pm on 12 Jul 2010, Robert Carnegie wrote:

    Of interest may be a new American book, "Last Call: The Rise and Fall of Prohibition", by Daniel Okrent. The "Prohibition" referred to is the American nationwide ban on alcohol consumption between 1920-1933, and the book is described as "darkly hilarious" by a Washington Post online review. Mr. Okrent also gave an amusing account of his subject on "The Daily Show with Jon Stewart", worth watching online if you can get it. And a point or two is made about regulation of other drugs: that may not be in the book. I'm not sure whether the piece may also be included in the programme's "Global Edition" shown in the UK on digital channel "More4" at 8.30pm on Monday (12/07/10), which mostly repeats a selection of items from the previous week's episodes shown on other nights (the day after U.S. broadcast). Watch anyway, it's good. (Drug references, frequently.)

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  • 38. At 5:11pm on 12 Jul 2010, John Ellis wrote:

    entreri100404 '
    'Druggies' as you so eloquently put it, ARE normal people.'

    to true I used my own drug use as an example in comment 21 im just trying to work out which part was unliked by the MOD, one of the progects I helped organise is currently serving the community serving dissabled people from local care homes and providing training for unemployed people on a government TNG scheam. all the work of as Jon puts it a druggie....

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  • 39. At 5:12pm on 12 Jul 2010, jon112dk wrote:

    29. At 4:32pm on 12 Jul 2010, entreri100404 wrote:
    If I smoke cannabis in my own home I am not harming anybody else. Are your control issues historic?
    ==========================================

    The only justification for alcohol/tobacco being legal is historic/cultural.

    For arguments sake, say tobacco had only just been discovered and some big corporation was wanting to get government permission to start selling it to millions of people, hundreds of thousands of whom will be killed or maimed. I would be quite open in saying that would be a bad idea.

    Just like I would say it is a bad idea to make yet more drugs legal and subject to mass consumption.

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  • 40. At 5:22pm on 12 Jul 2010, DavidMHart wrote:

    Jon112uk: "If we were starting from scratch my criteria would have them all as illegal - alcohol and tobacco included."

    I'm glad to see you have the courage of your convictions on this one. Having reached this point, I'm sure we can both agree that the only legitimate reason for criminalising users of all drugs is that this approach minimises drug-related harm to both users and wider society - that is, that the harms caused as a result of prohibition ('policy harms') are less than the increase in harms that result directly from the pharmacology of drugs ('intrinsic harms') that would be caused by an increase in the number of drug users following the repeal of prohibition . You presumably think that it does; personally, I don't think so, but we don't need to agree about that to be able to say that this is not a subjective matter of opinion; it is an empirical claim. Once we have agreed on our definition of 'harms', one of us must be factually incorrect about whether prohibition or regulation will be more effective at reducing those harms, and therefore anything that can be done to measure the size of reduction (if any) in policy harms and increase (if any) in intrinsic harms post-prohibition will quantitatively reduce our collective uncertainty about which one of us is correct.

    (And I should point out that I'm not dogmatic about it - if any drug exists for which it can be demonstrated that prohibition really is the most humane and effective approach for minimising harms, I'm happy to see it become/remain criminalised - I'm just sceptical about whether any of our existing widely-used drugs fit that profile)

    My point is that we are on the same team: we seek the same goal - a reduction in drug related harms (provided that we count policy harms as a factor to be reduced). So would you agree at least that we should not simply assume without evidence that prohibition is the best system, and that we, via the Government, should seek to honestly study its merits relative to other policy approaches?

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  • 41. At 5:32pm on 12 Jul 2010, HardWorkingHobbes wrote:

    22. At 4:01pm on 12 Jul 2010, ThoughtCrime wrote:

    I suspect more people die in motoring accidents than in illegal bare-knuckle fights. To conclude from this that legalising an activity makes it more dangerous is clearly absurd.
    ---
    They do say that bare-knuckle fights were safer than modern boxing rules.
    Mainly because if you hit someone in the face with bare hands you risk a high chance of breaking your knuckles (due to the hardness of the skull and jaw) meaning you couldn't fight anymnore so boxers used to concentrate on bodyshots where the chance of injuring themselves was less (because the bones are surrounded by more bodyfat and muscle).
    When they brought in padded boxing gloves it meant you could repeadedly hit someone in the head without injuring yourself so deaths and brain damage increased dramatically.

    Yet another case of the government thinking they are protecting people by introducing knee-jerk restrcitive legislation which with hindsight and in expert opinion has the opposite effect.

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  • 42. At 5:47pm on 12 Jul 2010, Wazeri wrote:

    The last time I posted to Mark's Blog it was with the same complaint, partial statistics which fail to give the reader sufficient information upon which to make an informed judgement. As a number of posts have pointed out, the number of deaths must surely need to be set against the number of users of each substance for them to be valid.

    The way this currently reads imples that Alcohol is more dangerous because the number alcohol related deaths is higher.

    The debate will rage on whether this is or isn't so, my gripe is purely that I don't feel enabled to form that judgement in the absence of data showing the number of deaths for alcohol and drugs per 1000 users.

    I'm not a statistician, just a reader of this blog, but if I need to ask these questions then the content must either be imbalanced in some way or else not effectively explaining to me relevant details.

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  • 43. At 6:05pm on 12 Jul 2010, Mike Alexander wrote:

    Criminalisation of cannabis was foisted onto Britain as a requirement to ratify the League of Nations convention on narcotics in 1925. The move was seen as largely irrelevant in Britain, as the drug was not terribly fashionable anyway (as late as 1945 there were only 4 prosecutions in a whole year for cannabis-related offences). The pressure to outlaw it came mainly from Turkey and Egypt, where the drug was seen as decadent and un-Islamic.

    In the US the move against cannabis was motivated by the desire to protect business interests during the depression - particularly the paper and cellulose industries, which were being challenged by industrial hemp producers. Public fear of cannabis was stoked up with sensational stories in the tabloid press of people behaving with crazed abandon, and, in particular, indulging in inter-racial sexual relationships. The racist fear-mongering of these news stories is all too obvious today.

    So, drug policy being based on factors unrelated to health risks or scientific evidence is hardly a new phenomenon.

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  • 44. At 6:22pm on 12 Jul 2010, John Ellis wrote:

    there is only 1 drug on MODA71 that actually benefits people and has great health benefits as we grow older and that's Cannabis, natures mirror of the human body. In correct balance it provides all the body needs to be healthy, a vast array of proteins and chemicals that protect us from illness, adjutant's that outperform even the strongest of anti inflammatories that we can produce, neurological benefits for dementia and other age related illness.

    So why is it illegal? erm oh yer kids have access to it and supposedly are at risk of psychosis... which from studies now being done on fetal alcohol exposure is looking less and less likely and more likely that the substructures in the body are damaged in the womb by natural ethanol.

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  • 45. At 6:31pm on 12 Jul 2010, Sunshine Band wrote:

    Please note that I am the owner of this material before mods remove it!

    It's vital we get the 'legal' and 'illegal drugs' points right. This is the language we were 'sold' many years ago as a tool of deception. Try to avoid it - the truth is that this is about controlling people, not objects. The law as administered by government declares some drugs to be 'controlled' - although the irony of this expression is now obvious, nevertheless it is a vital distinction from the notion of an 'illegal drug' which is wrong legally, conceptually and linguistically.

    This is our (Drug Equality Alliance) press release in part:

    The Home Office has been compelled to disclose a previously-suppressed draft consultation paper containing suggestions for a review of the drug classification system. The 2006 review was finally released after three years of stubborn government resistance to a Freedom of Information request submitted by Casey Hardison, acting with the Drug Equality Alliance. On 9th July 2010 the government finally threw in the towel and released its controversial Review of the UK’s Drugs Classification system - a Public Consultation.

    Section 6 of the report reveals the reasons for its suppression: in paragraphs 6.8 to 6.11, the government admits illogical differences in treatment between the freedoms granted to users of the lethal and addictive drugs alcohol and tobacco, versus the criminalization of users of much less harmful drugs such as cannabis, LSD and Ecstasy.

    This echoes the October 2009 revelation by the former Chair of the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs, Professor David Nutt, that alcohol and tobacco are more dangerous than cannabis, ecstasy and LSD. It will be recalled that this was the reason Professor Nutt was fired by Home Secretary Alan Johnson, but prior to this the government had admitted as much in Paragraph 6.8 of the 2006 review:

    “… alcohol and tobacco account for more health problems and deaths than illicit drugs. To many young people this presents problems in understanding the rationale behind controlling drugs such as cannabis and ecstasy when their misuse contributes less overall harm to society than widely available drugs such as alcohol and tobacco.”

    The embarrassing admissions contained in 6.8 to 6.11 of the report, when considered along with the dateline of the report, May 2006, leads one to question whether this was the real reason Clarke was sacked on May 5th.


    Alcohol and Tobacco

    At paragraph 6.10, the Report suggests the inclusion of alcohol and tobacco in the drugs classification system to provide a more structured and transparent system. However, the government rejected any consistency in drugs policy which included the drugs alcohol and tobacco in the mistaken belief that the Misuse of Drugs Act provides only for prohibition, and that the prohibition of alcohol and tobacco would be culturally ‘unacceptable’. However, a reading of the Misuse of Drugs Act demonstrates this belief to be false because the Act provides for a full spectrum of controls short of prohibition under Sections 7, 22 and 31. The Act includes the power to authorise the licensed supply, sale, transport, manufacture, etc. of controlled drugs for non-medical and non-scientific use purposes, ie so-called recreational, sacramental and self-healing uses.


    But official ignorance of these centrally important sections of the Misuse of Drugs Act leads to a ‘policy of prohibition’, which gives rise to the legally-false concept that ‘drugs’ are ‘illegal’; indeed, under the Act there are no such things as ‘legal’ or ‘illegal’ drugs. Drugs are either ‘controlled’ under the Act or they are not. With respect to the title of section 6 of the report: Legal and Socially Accepted Substances, it is plain that the government does not understand the Misuse of Drugs Act.

    “Policy of Prohibition”

    Paragraph 6.11 of the Review reveals the depth of government ignorance:

    ”…most people would not want to see the drugs classification system as a mechanism for regulating legal substances such as alcohol and tobacco.”


    The government falsely believes that control equals prohibition, and further, the sentence above demonstrates the government even equates ‘regulation’ with ‘prohibition’. However, the licensed sales of alcohol and tobacco to over-18s are indeed ‘controls’ applied to ‘drugs’, for which the Misuse of Drugs Act makes explicit provision. Were such controls imposed on alcohol and tobacco, most would be unaware that they were included under the Misuse of Drugs Act, because little would change. Paragraph 6.11 continues:

    “If applied to legal as well as illegal substances, this would conflict with deeply embedded historical tradition and tolerance of consumption of a number of substances that alter mental functioning.”


    The government admits its refusal to apply controls to alcohol and tobacco for reasons of culture and tradition and not for correct legal reasons. But the Misuse of Drugs Act is a neutral Act of Parliament which must be applied generally. It must not be legally distorted to afford unequal treatment to persons identically situated; such as people with interests in equally-or-less-harmful drugs. However, this newly released report shows that to be exactly how it is administered by government: arbitrarily and unequally.


    Due to these egregious legal errors in the government’s understanding of the Misuse of Drugs act, the government refuses to guarantee equality before the law. As a result, at least one in ten people in the United Kingdom are routinely threatened with criminal sanctions, the loss of property, the denial of civil rights and arbitrary imprisonment - and all for interests in less harmful drugs.

    Currently, over ten thousand UK citizens are in prison for peaceful activities involving less-harmful drugs than tobacco and alcohol.


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  • 46. At 6:37pm on 12 Jul 2010, matty g wrote:

    I'm a grown adult, and I make my own choices. I don't want to pay the government to dictate what I can and can't do to my own body - leave me alone and let me be!

    legalising drugs (just like with prostitution too) will clean up supply, protect the vulnerable, greatly reduce "crime", reduce funding for terrorism, probably fix problems in Afghanistan (they'll be dealing with govt, not criminals - I say, noting my own irony), identify medical problems early on, and raise taxes to pay for them

    The ongoing war on drugs - which are socially accepted now by vast swathes of society - is a war that cannot be won, and is now a giant money pit - and for whose benefit?!

    BTW, I don't do any drugs, and that's my choice - not govt's

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  • 47. At 6:49pm on 12 Jul 2010, Doctor Bob wrote:

    4. At 12:39pm on 12 Jul 2010, Mel0dymaker wrote:
    Why is it a heroin addict can be prescribed methadone while young and naive cannabis users end up smoking small glass particles than can lead to extremely nasty lung problems.

    A most pertinent point. I wish they would make tobacco illegal, then as an existing smoker I could get them free off the NHS.

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  • 48. At 7:01pm on 12 Jul 2010, kaybraes wrote:

    Legalising all drugs is the best way to proceed. It will cut the crime figures to virtually zero, and after an initial surge in the amount of work the NHS will have to do resuscitating the resulting overdoses, the problem will largely kill itself off. There will be a lot of unemployment however amongst the councellors and others who thrive on the drug trade but this will be no great loss.

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  • 49. At 7:07pm on 12 Jul 2010, digger1649 wrote:

    i wonder if the drug lords would want illegal drugs re-legalised ?
    i bet they're the one's funding the "keep them illegal" lobby.
    i mean lets face it, if you want to buy alcohol or tobacco,
    you have to be over a certain age and prove it.
    the age limit to buy any illegal drug is £10.

    re-legalise and and stop the drug lords income.

    as for cannabis, it was, and still is, the most useful plant on the planet !

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  • 50. At 7:37pm on 12 Jul 2010, dandelionblue wrote:

    "Then on the back of this argument we have new medical drugs being refused by PCTs because they are derived from cannabis so its still safer in their minds to prescribe morphine and steroids....... Both of which cause untold damage to the human body."
    I'd bet my wages on the fact that it's actually because Sativex is ridiculously expensive. It's about £125 a container, or more than £10 a day. You can buy a lot of morphine for £10 a day. And steroids, for pain? Are you sure?

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  • 51. At 7:57pm on 12 Jul 2010, Have your say Rejected wrote:

    The only answer to this MESS, which all political parties have created is legalisation. Legalise and educate, using science not scaremongering. When I was a teen we were told to 'just say no', most of my friends and I actually said yes. People will not listen to you when on the one hand you are telling them one thing is bad, but on the other hand another thing which kills more people is ok. Treat people like adults, let them make informed choices and stop treating us like children.

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  • 52. At 8:00pm on 12 Jul 2010, John Ellis wrote:

    http://www.patient.co.uk/health/Steroid-Tablets.htm

    steroids are an adjuant which is ????

    Sativex is £11 a day

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  • 53. At 8:07pm on 12 Jul 2010, Have your say Rejected wrote:

    digger1649 what are you saying politicians and drug lords are in cahoots, to me it seems that way. How else could you explain how these ill thought out laws still exist in an apparent modern democracy.

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  • 54. At 8:21pm on 12 Jul 2010, sergei77 wrote:

    In response to PJohnston who wrote

    "Logical fallacy; readily available drugs with very wide social consumption cause deaths while prohibited drugs with low social consumption cause less deaths; ergo prohibited drugs are more safe. Er not really."

    Actually your argument is fallacious. According to figures from the Institute for the Study for Drug Dependence the mortality rate is 0.9% for tobacco users, 0.5% for alcohol users, and 0.0002% for ecstasy users.

    In response to jon112uk who wrote:

    "Don't mistake my 'anti' stance on the current illegal drugs as implying I support the current legal ones. The only defensible differentiation between them is the historical mass acceptance of tobacco/alcohol in this culture. I'm just saying I would not wish to see MORE drugs with the legal/mass consumption status. That appears to be making a bad situation worse."

    1) Cultural reasons are NOT a defensible differentiation for discriminating between users of comparably harmful drugs any more than they are a defensible differentiation for discriminating between men and women, heterosexuals and homosexuals, whites and blacks, Christians and Muslims and so on.

    2) If a law was in place that prevented women from drinking alcohol, would you by that exact same logic then conclude that allowing women to drink as well as men would make a bad situation worse? The point is that there is an irrational discrimination happening which affects people's freedoms and it is totally unjustifiable.

    Also I think the argument being made by the Drug Equality Alliance is that drugs should be controlled according to their actual harms and not according to arbitrary "historical and cultural precedents" as is currently the case. This was the original purpose of the Misuse of Drugs Act, if the Act was administered by the Government as intended things could only get better surely!

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  • 55. At 8:27pm on 12 Jul 2010, mortice rigger wrote:

    The 2006 advice contains a very shrewd statement concerning cultural traditions and how these have fashioned the differences between 'legal' and 'illegal' drug status. Alcohol has been around since who knows when, and tobacco for more than five hundred years in the UK.

    But what happens when British society changes as it has done with the many migrants in the last one hundred years or so? Do the 'cultural habits' of the 'new' British people deserve to be accounted for just like alcohol and tobacco?

    The hinge upon which all these drug classification and penalty systems is the international community within the auspices of the UN. Does that not suggest that drug control and legislation ought to a very damp squib indeed?

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  • 56. At 8:41pm on 12 Jul 2010, mortice rigger wrote:

    #48 kaybraes

    I concur with your view.

    The biggest mixed message at the moment is the effort to make people live longer when we have too many people on the planet, oh and the belief that since pensions are too expensive you can work until you die.

    Just where does the money ordinary people legally pump into the economy go? Our politicians seem only too pleased to tell us where the illegal money goes.

    Legalise all substances and let adults decide for themselves. As you say the spinning top may wobble a bit but it'll soon be back running smoothly, and lighter, once the novelty wears off.

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  • 57. At 8:54pm on 12 Jul 2010, John Ellis wrote:

    I'd bet my wages on the fact that it's actually because Sativex is ridiculously expensive. It's about £125 a container, or more than £10 a day. You can buy a lot of morphine for £10 a day.

    hmm don't want to get me started on the price of drugs and market + MODA71 manipulation of raw materials.

    yes i suppose you can buy a lot of morphine for £10 ... possibly because its very common and widely synthesis.

    unlike cannabis based drugs which are still price fixed by MODA71 and most of them banned because they are made from cannabis which in accordance to MODA71 has no use.

    if cannabis was still class C Sativex would be one third of its current price, if not cheaper. WE are after all talking about the raw materials in the production of this drug which meant that herbal cannabis sold for £70 to £90 an ounce were as now its market value is £220 - £250 an ounce
    funny thing is the share price rise and falls also coincide with changes to cannabis on the MODA71

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  • 58. At 9:21pm on 12 Jul 2010, st0n3r666 wrote:

    Please remember the traditions they are on about are POST second world war, before then you could quite happily walk into a chemists and buy your opium (laudanum) and cocaine and tincture of cannabis over the counter.
    But now, everyone who remembers a time before the war is dead. They (the policy makers) can tell us what they like and the most of us will believe it.
    In fact didn't one or two of our monarchs partake?
    How many MP's are functioning drug users?
    To be honest with you the stigma that all drug users are "WASTERS" is laughable.
    Its the UK following the US traditions and not falling back on its own that is the issue here.
    I live in an area where drugs are rife and I have lived here for many years. The police do clean the streets up every once in a while, but there is nothing really done about it.
    Maybe if the country wants to save money they should stop kicking peoples doors off and using up manpower and the courts for people having a good time and focusing on the real criminals, the gun runners, vehicle crime, and the GOVERNMENT!
    What is this, a police state? Innocent until proven guilty is out the window, now you have to prove your Innocence!

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  • 59. At 9:24pm on 12 Jul 2010, BluesBerry wrote:

    I’ve often thought that the drug industry needed a complete overhaul.
    But then I’ve often questioned: What Government would have the guts to take it on?
    After all, drugs is BIG money – often into the pockets of the very people we elect and/or into the pockets of doctors who are supposed to take care of us, to say nothing of the pusher's pocket (whether s/he be legal or not).
    A simple truth: If drugs were tested properly using scientific methods, the vast majority of them would never find their way to market because their harmfulness (and possibly ineffectiveness) would be so obvious. The constant stream of new drugs would slow to a drip. Willing to put my money where my mouth is: I maintain that within a year most drug companies would be bailing out.
    The BIG problem is that almost all drugs – to some extent – are toxic.
    Here is a quote from Eli Lilly: "a drug without side effects is no drug at all".
    Drugs are far more toxic now because they are usually composed of artificial synthesized compounds. Before now, before drugs became a huge-profit industry, nearly all medicines were composed of natural plant-derivatives.
    Why not go natural?
    Because chemically synthesis is cheaper and CAN BE PATENTED.
    It’s a fact that too many drugs are being made.
    There are about 200,000 medications in use. About 20,000 new medications enter the market each year, and dig this: about 15,000 will die away. We humans must simply get with the program; we must generate more diseases to keep all these drugs afloat. So guess what?
    Since 1960, the human race has escalated its suffering to 205,000 new maladies. It would be a joke, if it were funny.
    Which drug is #1?
    Acetylsalicylic acid, Aspirin.
    Think thinking about this stuff is a waste of time?
    Think again. In fact, you wouldn't be thinking at all if you are regimented on one of these:
    Orabilex - kidney damages with fatal outcome.
    Methaqualone (hypnotic) - caused severe psychotoc disturbances leading to at least 366 deaths, mainly through murder or suicide.
    Flamamil (rheumatism) - caused loss of consciousness.
    Phenformin (diabetes) - caused 1,000 deaths annually until withdrawn.
    Preludin & Maxiton (diet pills) - caused serious damage to the heart and the nervous system.
    Pronap & Plaxin (tranquillisers) - killed many babies.
    Reserpine (anti-hypertensive) - increased risks of cancer of the brain, pancreas, uterus, ovaries, skin and women's breasts.
    I’ve often wondered, if a cure for cancer was discovered tomorrow, would the big pharma advise the public, or would they be making so much money from cancer drugs that they would let us suffer and die?

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  • 60. At 9:28pm on 12 Jul 2010, iNotHere wrote:

    mortice rigger wrote
    "The 2006 advice contains a very shrewd statement concerning cultural traditions and how these have fashioned the differences between 'legal' and 'illegal' drug status. Alcohol has been around since who knows when, and tobacco for more than five hundred years in the UK...."

    ---------------

    So if we are applying the government logic, tobacco was introduced to the UK in 1586...cannabis in 1842..a difference of 256 years. Cannabis has now been in the UK for 156 years.
    Does it have to be here 160, 200, 300 years, how long does a substance have to be in our society before it is considered 'cultural'?

    What's the criteria for this..and is this really the right way to 'control' cannabis?

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  • 61. At 9:47pm on 12 Jul 2010, Madbrit wrote:

    If the Government bases its law making on "tradition & tolerance" the hundreds of years where there was NO regulation ought to hold a position of significance.

    The truth of the matter is HUGE amount of revenue coming from alcohol & tobacco protects them from major government interference. This, backed by the kind of cynical hypocrisy enshrined in Westminster, is what drives legislation.

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  • 62. At 10:01pm on 12 Jul 2010, drbobbeattie wrote:

    I don't really see why any of this is the business of the government or anyone else.

    Any law which makes criminals out of otherwise law abiding and productive members of society for no other reason than the law itself is wrong.

    Will the new coalition listen to any of this, or the current on line law repeal questions. Somehow I don't think so.

    I am pretty sure it's a vote looser nowadays though. I don't think reclassification helped Brown. Ignoring it puts Cameron and Glegg in the same camp.



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  • 63. At 10:10pm on 12 Jul 2010, xmen123 wrote:

    >>19. At 3:53pm on 12 Jul 2010, jon112uk wrote:
    >>If we were starting from scratch my criteria would have them all as illegal - alcohol and tobacco included.

    Well Jon this had been tried in the 1930's and guess what it did not work... It caused more health issues and all the gangs were the ones making a nice earning out of it

    Should we ban all drugs in the pharmacy too ? when you next got an ache please ensure you do not get any treatments for it and see if its a better way of starting from scratch..

    Its some very ignorant view you have there Jon..

    For a start it is a good thing you are not in Gov otherwise those alcoholics and fag addicts be on a riot for your pathetic decisions.

    People are expected to work all their lives and surely there must be some way of relaxing in what has become a more and more hectic life style.

    To tell an adult you can no consume a plant which is from a seed put on this earth for a reason is a sin in itself.. Cannabis is not even man made and has none of these side effects that are attached to your over the counter drugs.

    >>14. At 3:16pm on 12 Jul 2010, jon112uk wrote:
    >>But that's just druggies. If we look at normal people that's not the case.
    I presume your drinking your pint of beer as you write such statements (no I don't take drugs no not me)
    Sadly drugs is a man made word and people like you have decided to discriminate those who have a slight different view to what agrees with their system to you

    I think the world would be a better place if people like you kept their selfish opinion to theirselves.

    From what you are saying you would ban everything.. if you have such views why on earth are you looking at cannabis articles surely you must have better things to do with your day than to critise something that you do not use and has no difference in your life so why are you trying to effect other peoples choice ? Unless you are some form of spin mistro ... probably paid to write such propaganda

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  • 64. At 10:37pm on 12 Jul 2010, Chris wrote:

    Come on people, there is a lack of money in the country, Tax's have been put up and there is job cuts in the public sector. Legalise canabis and set it at the same tax rate as tabacco. Hospitals and schools no longer need to make budget cuts.
    Maybe as the coalition includes Librals this might not be a pipe dream.

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  • 65. At 11:02pm on 12 Jul 2010, Have your say Rejected wrote:

    "Sadly drugs is a man made word"...there are many cases of animals apparently using drugs, one that comes to mind is cats and catnip.

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  • 66. At 11:06pm on 12 Jul 2010, Woolly80 wrote:

    All I will say is that I will always believe a leading Professor of Neurology over an MP not wishing to upset "Middle England" and his/her precious job. It would be lovely to have a system like they have in the Netherlands but it will never, ever happen in this country unless there are wholesale changes to how MPs work.

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  • 67. At 11:55pm on 12 Jul 2010, General_Jack_Ripper wrote:

    Law Enforcement Against Prohibition:
    http://www.leap.cc/cms/index.php


    The Vienna Convention:
    http://www.viennadeclaration.com/

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  • 68. At 00:02am on 13 Jul 2010, John Ellis wrote:

    'I’ve often wondered, if a cure for cancer was discovered tomorrow, would the big pharma advise the public, or would they be making so much money from cancer drugs that they would let us suffer and die?'

    found 1974 so I understand when THC was first observed to make cancer cells destroy themselves.
    here's a recent story.
    http://www.iweeducation.org/article/539/thc-initiates-brain-cancer-cells-to-destroy-themselves.aspx

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  • 69. At 00:06am on 13 Jul 2010, Wicked Witch of the South West wrote:

    Successive governments have been ignorant & stupid where drug classification is concerned. I would like to see research set up to see the true effects of cannabis. I have seen first hand the comparison of cannabis & prescribed pain killers on my partner. He suffers excruciating pain in his crumbling hip coupled with pain caused by a kidney condition. When forced to take pharmacuticals he throws up constantly, his kidneys become incredibly painful & it doesn't touch the pain in his hip. I contrast this with smoking cannabis & he's able to get comfortable without exascerbating his kidney condition.

    Personally I would prefer a country of pot heads instead of the drunks we have. My late husband was an alcoholic & drug user. I always preferred him stoned to drunk because when stoned there was less likelihood of violence & destructive behaviour. A&E departments would be a much nicer place to be on a friday/saturday night if more people could smoke a joint rather than get bladdered on booze.

    IMHO drugs ought to be classified by harm they do to us NOT tradition, culture or political bias. I can guarantee that if the government legalised cannabis, produced & taxed it they would make a killing.

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  • 70. At 00:16am on 13 Jul 2010, mortice rigger wrote:

    Drugs are by no means confined to humans as any insight into the natural world will determine. Indeed our bodies produce their own drugs in order to assist alertness, sleep, endurance, and so on.

    And what of the bark of a willow producing salicylic acid, the most prolific pain killer produced by humans as aspirin?

    People will always experiment if they wish to. It is simply illogical to make criminals out of them when they do so.

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  • 71. At 00:59am on 13 Jul 2010, John Ellis wrote:

    from the paper on alcohol and tobacco deaths good job i read this its been watered down here by several thousand!

    Mark " They quote figures which suggest that "in terms of death, illegal drugs amounted to 1,388 in 2003 compared to about 20,000 for alcohol and 100,000 for tobacco."

    Alcohol
    6.4 Around a quarter of the UK adult population drink above the
    recommended weekly guidelines, which increases the risk of causing or
    experiencing alcohol-related harms. The Department of Health have
    calculated that the cost of alcohol-related harms in England alone is up
    to £20bn per annum. These harms include:
    • harms to health;
    • crime and anti-social behaviour;
    • loss of productivity in the workplace; and
    • social harms, such as family breakdown.
    6.5 The Department of Health estimate there are over 30,000
    hospital admissions annually for alcohol dependence and up to 22,000
    premature deaths per annum.
    Tobacco
    6.6 Although tobacco use has decreased in the UK over the last 30
    years here are still 106,000 deaths in the UK caused by smoking every
    year (84,900 in England). Smoking costs the NHS about £1.5bn per
    year. Main diseases include lung cancer, bronchitis, and heart disease


    that's 8000 people missed of the headline figure. a small village somewhere?

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  • 72. At 00:59am on 13 Jul 2010, jr4412 wrote:

    jon112uk #14.

    "But that's just druggies. If we look at normal people that's not the case."

    oh, cannot resist.

    that is the kind of 'rational' argument you get in pubs, you know Jon, the half drunk bloke at the bar waving his half empty glass declaring "I've never taken any drugs in my life".

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  • 73. At 01:09am on 13 Jul 2010, jr4412 wrote:

    Mark Easton.

    "The Home Office has fought for three years to keep details of its review of the drug classification system secret."

    I wonder how much the lawyers and all that cost us (the taxpayer), not to mention the costs of the -- evidently unnecessary -- reclassifcation of Cannabis in January 2009.

    do you have any figures/estimates, Mr Easton?

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  • 74. At 01:48am on 13 Jul 2010, sufi wrote:

    As confirmed by this report all of these substances cause death. So stop arguing in favour of any of these! Scientifically all substances are clasiified as either food or poison (some poisons are taken to relieve sickness and are called medicines). Having tried most of poisons,marijuana, heroin, methadone, slimming tablets, magic mushrooms, and I am lucky to be alive, and lots of different varieties of foods, I scientifically conclude after almost fifty years of experimentations that it is best to try out a different food than to try a poison for obvious reason that poison is harmful and food can be enjoyed, unless of course you are sick and a doctor prescribes it for you (if you think that tobacco, alcohol, marijuana, magic mushrooms, lsd, ecstacy, etc. are medicines then you must first have disease to consume these. I know people who use marijuana call it medicine and the fact that it is a painkiller and MAY be used in the treatment of MS. I ask all the people who use it 'do YOU suffer from MS? or any other illness that you want treating? The answer is probably 'no we are not sick - we only use it for buzz or kicks' then I say to you if you observe animals grazing in the wild and when they come across marijuana plants they completely avoid it. This not because British government tells them to but because they KNOW it is harmful to eat it. So naturally these animals have more sense and are more conscious than any one of us who try these poisons. My answer to all this time wasting classification and law and therefore lawlessness is (it can take a whole life to realise this)eat and enjoy all the good things in life and you will get a better buzz and better feeling than ruining you health and then realising that it is too late. So my advice is never try any poisons and if you have now try good foods (Indian, Chinese, Cantonese, itallian etc. and see the difference and it costs you about the same.

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  • 75. At 02:02am on 13 Jul 2010, jr4412 wrote:

    sufi #74.

    "Scientifically all substances are clasiified as either food or poison ... my advice is never try any poisons and if you have now try good foods.."

    of course, you'll also have to severly restrict your diet:

    http://www.nzfsa.govt.nz/consumers/chemicals-nutrients-additives-and-toxins/natural-toxins/index.htm

    http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/002875.htm

    :-)

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  • 76. At 02:08am on 13 Jul 2010, 5cru wrote:

    I work within a drugs rehabilitation enviroment so lets have some facts to go with the wishy washy, dubious comments that have been made.

    Fact. The policy on prohibition doesn't work. There are as many, if not more drug users than ever.

    Fact. 80% of crime is related to drugs.

    Fact. if a drug user doesn't want to give up, nothing on earth is going to make them.


    Here's a comment that will hurt middle england's sensibilities!

    Decriminalise drug use and get rid of the prohibition. We are just fighting the obvious and denying the truth. You will never stop people trying to alter the way they view life, albeit through the bottom of a glass or through the glint of a peice of burnt tinfoil. Legalise it, quality control it, (more people die from the varying strengths of the drug or the crap that is put into it)Price it so that user do not have to commit petty crime, or worse, to afford their habit. Take the vast profit away from the drug dealers, the real scorge of our society, and let Government tax it for the benefit af all.

    Yes, people will go mad initially but look at prohibition of alcohol in the states and look at the correlations. Did the world cease to turn? No, and neither would the legalisation of drugs and the drug culture here in the UK, cause it to happen either. Mind altering substances have been part of our culture for hundreds of years. nothing will change that and neither will denial of the truth about it. We will just throw more money away trying to deal with it by sticking ourhead in the sand.

    And to those who wish to know, no, I do not drugs. I don't even drink.

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  • 77. At 02:13am on 13 Jul 2010, Sei wrote:

    With regards to Sufi:

    Food can causes obesity which is an epidemic in itself ..and a drug such as Cannabis has been proven to be safely digested in food for pain relieving symptoms.
    I myself have used Cannabis both recreationally with friends (like beer) and for help aiding me with insomnia.

    Also I think you'll find that slugs, aphids (spider-mites) and am pretty sure deer would happily eat at a crop.

    I don't condone that everybody 'HAS' to take these drugs for the experience of doing so. But I would much rather somebody trying them for the first time to do so in a safe environment with non-contaminated produce; i.e. rat poison in heroin, dog worming tablets sold as ecstasy, baking powder in cocaine and glass powdered onto weed!

    In order to do so we can create Dutch style cafe's like a British pub..
    Take the money out of gangs and let our economy thrive!!

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  • 78. At 02:19am on 13 Jul 2010, sufi wrote:

    Figure this one out- people keep certain kinds of snakes to bite them in certain countries (karachi in Pakistan for instance)and go on a high for 24 hours. Would it be legal in Britain to have these snakes as pets?

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  • 79. At 02:27am on 13 Jul 2010, jr4412 wrote:

    sufi #74.

    "..we only use it for buzz or kicks' then I say to you if you observe animals grazing in the wild.."

    http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/922207.Intoxication

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  • 80. At 04:29am on 13 Jul 2010, Oddman wrote:

    Fact: In the kentire history of Canabis, no deaths have EVER been linked to it. The only reason the government re-cleassified it was to increase the arrest records of muliple under performing police authorities.

    If canabis was legal, as in Holland the connection to more illicit/dangerous drugs and criminal acrivity could be ended. This debate will carry on for another 20 years until the 'old eton boys club' have died and the 'real' and lets face it, more realistic peoples leaders are in charge

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  • 81. At 06:04am on 13 Jul 2010, MindDancer wrote:

    I would just like to throw into the discussion the report on the "Fake Britain" programme, shown on BBC1 in the past couple of days, which shows that we can't guarantee that even prescription medication/drugs are always free from adulteration or copying.

    That suggests that the argument used here a few times that legalisation would automatically ensure a unfailing supply of cleaner drugs does not necessarily hold water.

    As a smoker I know that whenever they increase tobacco taxes a new brand of cigarettes emerges which is priced at almost pre-increase figures - I suspect (but have no proof!) that these may be highly adulterated or use 'dirty' tobacco.

    Legal or not there will always be those who are out to make as much profit as they can and who are more than willing to skirt round any controls or legislation to do so.

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  • 82. At 07:19am on 13 Jul 2010, paganpaul wrote:

    All sane people support decriminalisation or legalisation of all drugs. There is no rational argument against this.

    however, insane people have a greater influence on public policy than sane people.

    I'm sick of the arguments. I'm sick of the lunatics running the asylum.

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  • 83. At 07:56am on 13 Jul 2010, Megan wrote:

    Are we having the right debate?

    Should we not be asking what business it is of the government what we choose to consume provided that we do no harm to other people in the process?

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  • 84. At 08:24am on 13 Jul 2010, Sean wrote:

    "If you spent all your time mixing with professional burglers you would think people are not deterred by the law on burglary and think burgling people's houses is ok. Obviously criminals think their own crime is ok, the majority of law abiding people do not."

    That is a very simplistic view.

    The difference here is that some people are being criminalised for taking drugs (class A B and C), and some people are not (unclassified and 'legal' drugs like tobacco and alcohol).

    The problem is one of consistency.

    To illustrate that, it is perfectly okay for me to make my fortune from, say, shares in tobacco companies, but illegal for me to turn a profit from selling pot grown on my land. Where is the consistency? Is it legal to profit from selling drugs or is it not?

    One way to answer that question is to have an advisory board define the danger to society of the various drugs and then draw a line where it is considered that the potential harm is unacceptable. However, what we currently do is pay lip service to that process, ignoring the advice of experts and legislating politically. The results of our efforts show that this simply does not work; the War On Drugs is being lost, at home and abroad.

    Were drugs legal the only 'crime' being committed would be against the self, which is in no way comparable to, say, burglary.

    For the record the only drugs I currently use are a the occasional beer or whiskey.

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  • 85. At 08:38am on 13 Jul 2010, picolax wrote:

    if we then llok at tradition it seems light touch regulation (oh so tory) hits the button. why not go down the canadian way of their alcohol regulation (only government agencies can distribute alcohol in some territories) but regulate all drugs this way. No advertising allowed but you have to be able to understand whatever drugs effects are. it is interesting that diamorphine deaths are very limited in hospitals (other than , shall we say, slightly helped along ones). this is because there are prescribing limits and medical oversight. If someone knew their dosage and could perhaps even take the drug via an inhaler (like ventolin but a much different effect)there would be a much less risk opf harm. As it takes about 3 days to start to build tolerance , and therefore a withdrawal syndrome starts to develop, letting new users know this would help decrease the potential for addiction.

    The increase in THC content of hydroponic cannabis is much of the reason for the increase in psychosis (a channel 4 documentary on the difference between pure THC and when it is combined with other compounds normally found in cannabis sativa gives an idea of what happens when you have stronger skunk), a regulated supply would give the option of milder strains rather than relying on your dealer.

    As about 1 in 10 of us are addicted to something, decreasing the ease of access, but not stopping it or banning it appears to be the best way forward and is backed up by lots of evidence (via extrapolation) from the succesful anti smoking campaigns.

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  • 86. At 08:41am on 13 Jul 2010, cping500 wrote:

    I am one of the people for whom weed has a bad effect, It's like hallucination but with a frightening, paranoid feeling especially if I drift off into a day dream-- not at all enjoyable.That's what it does to me. I can sometimes produce similar effects by meditation So I avoid the top of the bus between 3.30 and 4.30. Acid is certainty harmful and two others are addictive by adaption. Having been given morphine (an opiate) in hospital I rather liked the visions. Again I can sometimes get these by meditation. E is probably ok in the short term... Nutties's report said long term affects may occur. But it did not improve my sex. Again I know had to get the 'lovin' effect without the pill.

    The argument about tobacco v drugs is interesting. Action against tobacco has been based on price and exclusion both social and physical and has cut the number of users by half, and appears to have reduced health costs. It is addictive.

    However the contrary has occurred with alcohol which has fallen in price, the number of outlets has increased; it highly socially acceptable, and has collateral damage which extend beyond the users. Incidentally the strength of the dose has increased! And it is addictive for some people.

    Now these are observed 'social effects' and have little to do with the science (which is well understood) I assume the liberal arguments is that the state should do nothing in all cases of psychotropic substance use but leave it to the market.

    Who pays for the externals? as the economist would ask. Mark is usually good with figures... Could you advise?

    Incidentally why can't people be happy? ..... learn how to manage stress, anxiety, panic, anger Imagine... all you need is love... and peace

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  • 87. At 08:43am on 13 Jul 2010, mortice rigger wrote:

    #60 iNotHere

    I was simply pointing to the duplicity of professional advice within public bodies, especially the 2006 paper which is what is being discussed here. Whether the cultural argument could/should be extended is a matter for debate. As I believe there should be no drug criminalisation it is irrelevant to my point of view but is still a duplicitous piece of nonsense in an issue which is alive with lies and half truths. My use of the word 'shrewd' was in its broadest context.

    It is disingenuous of 'professionals' to argue that substances are 'harmful' when the food processing industry runs on 'drugs' as additives. There is always someone who will be 'harmed' or susceptible to 'harm' even to the most natural substances. We are what we eat and if our prey's last meal was harmful to us then it may still be harmful when we ingest it via our dinner. That is the luck of the draw. But the underlying contention is one of double standards.

    Honest argument by politicos may come down to the simple fact that drug users are less easy to control, per se, than those who tread a straight path. Drug users are, by definition, risk takers, who tend to think for themselves and rebel against rote. Had our ancestors been as narrow minded as politicians of the last fifty odd years then we could say goodbye to a lot of wonderful art, music and literature produced.

    Healthy life styles have never produced healthy minds; our bodies are much too complex for that, and besides, does anyone know what a healthy mind is?

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  • 88. At 08:43am on 13 Jul 2010, cping500 wrote:

    I suppose I should add that booze sends me to sleep and I wake up with a headache.

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  • 89. At 09:56am on 13 Jul 2010, HaloJones wrote:

    UK population 61 mill
    2 million regular pot smokers = 3.27% of the population.
    x 7.6 (to bring them upto 25% of the population that smoke) 1388 deaths.
    7.6 x 1388 = 10548 deaths compared to 100K smoking deaths. ergo smoking is roughly 10 times more dangerous than pot. even more so if you bear in mind that the 1388 dead arent all pot smokers.

    0.0022% of the UK pop died from drugs
    0.16% died from tobacco.

    20K alchol deaths, 30K obesity deaths.
    Road deaths were 3172 in 2006.

    From the figures it would seem that drug use is safer than many things, and could be made safer by the goverment controlling the strength and whatever the drug is cut with.

    Anyone know what the figures are for 'wives beaten up while husband is stoned' compared to 'wives beaten up by drunk husbands when [insert team name] loose at football.

    The big clue for me is that when a person dies from lung cancer is doesnt make headlines, its way too common but when drugs are involved its big news indicating yet again the rarity of the deaths.

    Before you jump up and say about psychosis and other mental health issues, I agree there are some people that will suffer from it '..if they are genetically pre-disposed to the condition..' .

    But drinking can cause mental health issues as well.

    in conclusion
    1) greater % of people will die from drink, tobacco or obesity
    2) stoned people dont TEND to get into fights, urinate in shop dorways or pass out insensible in the street.
    3) Taxation of cannabis alone (according to the last goverment, which probably isnt a good source of economic forcasting) would generate £280 million /year

    yes I have tried cocaine and cannabis. I did'nt like cannabis as i dont smoke but cocaine was a fun experience over the 10 years I took it.

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  • 90. At 10:15am on 13 Jul 2010, ady wrote:

    I honestly don't see what the big deal is here.

    In Britain, political dogma has taken precedence over common sense for at least the last 20 years.

    The only exciting new "discovery" here is that the BBC is allowed to actually start talking about SOME of the lunacy.

    Immigration is still strictly off limits.
    A vote on whether we should even BE in Europe is still DEFINITELY off limits.
    Global warming is a complete hoot, comedy central.

    But we can talk about dwugs...a bit...not too much mind.

    Nothing to see here folks. it's business as usual.
    move along. move along.

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  • 91. At 10:23am on 13 Jul 2010, jon112dk wrote:

    72. At 00:59am on 13 Jul 2010, jr4412

    People on here are quite clearly saying they know people who use drugs and the fact that they are illegal makes no difference to them (#6) - they don't care.

    Let's be quite clear that's not the attitude of the great majority of people - if you want a different language it's a sub-culture.

    I don't mix with anyone who takes illegal drugs, and I don't know anyone who says they are entirely unconcerned if their behaviour is illegal. All the people I mix with have to be very careful of being convicted/cautioned for anything or they risk their well paid job and comfy lifestyle.

    My 18 year old nephew previously mixed with a group who did drugs. Some of them got cautioned by the police. He had a chat with normal people about what a drug conviction/caution would do to his intended career and he stopped mixing with them.

    That's the conduct of normal, decent people - clearly different to the conduct of criminal sub-cultures such as burglers - or drug users.

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  • 92. At 10:49am on 13 Jul 2010, scorpio33 wrote:

    All you young and perhaps older people that take drugs i would like two put two you this question.
    When you are in on the operating bed in your local hospital and your chest is so painful ,You can barely recognize the surgeons face,
    Please tell me what would you like to say to him?
    Make me better as i would like to keep paying my tormentor.
    The drug Barron As he's such a nice man,
    Or be like me ? I'm still here will you BE? And i drank and smoked.
    Just a little food for thought.

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  • 93. At 10:50am on 13 Jul 2010, newblogger wrote:

    #83 Megan

    'Should we not be asking what business it is of the government what we choose to consume provided that we do no harm to other people in the process?'

    They couldn't car less about your health, just the costs to the NHS. They would rather you OD'd and died than became ill.

    So get out there and buy lots of alcohol - but don't drink it!!!!

    An interesting debate would be why should we listen to politicians if they don't listen to expert advice.

    The Proff Nutt sacking was disgusting.



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  • 94. At 11:14am on 13 Jul 2010, newblogger wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 95. At 11:19am on 13 Jul 2010, steezymonkeh wrote:

    Legalize and control the drugs. that is the only way things will ever work.

    the government will be able to control strengths (of marijuana especially) and i don't think people realise how much money can be made off it all. also, legalizing drugs will blatantly reduce crime rates, so police won't be trawling the streets with nothing to do, they can go and fight the crime that really matters.

    I agree with everything Scamandrius has said, and i too can back that up with personal experience. Alcohol is far far worse than anything i've taken.

    And besides, if I and others like me want to explore the inner depths of their minds to find themselves or just escape after a long crappy day at work, we should be allowed to. Just because other people don't and take an ignorant stance on things, doesn't mean we should be prevented from doing this.
    I have friends that don't drink or smoke, that is their choice, cigarettes and alcohol are legal and my friends that are T-Total don't feel any pressure to succumb to the evil menaces. so why should it be any different with illegal drugs?
    If everyone in the world tried cannabis, they would realise that it really does make everything better, from food to sleep.
    The hilarious thing is this: pot and magic mushrooms grow naturally, yes, so mother nature intended us to get high on them, just like mother nature gave us tea leaves to drink and cocoa beans to make chocolate... they are life's luxuries, so why ban them?? it makes no sense.

    peace and love

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  • 96. At 11:20am on 13 Jul 2010, MrWonderfulReality wrote:

    So what if these substances are proven to be less health damaging than alcohol or tobacco, basically this scientific evidence/research is a LIE because it just does NOT include the wider direct and indirect health and safety consequences.

    The plain and simple argument for not legalising these substances is that such large numbers of the human race cannot be relied upon to do things in moderation hence the consequences of lack of moderation have a huge indirect/direct cost on ALL the population.

    The numbers of people who currently smoke cannabis NOT in moderation and drag up their kids, is attrocious.

    I can just inmagine the consequences of the effects readily available and legal ecstasy having on single mothers who prefer to escape the REAL world and reality while again attempting to drag up their kids.

    The problems with alcohol and smoking are bad enough.

    Do we REALLY want to add yet many MORE human horror storys to our daily injestion of news reports.

    Less people die from knife or gun crime, than alcohol/smoking related, hence by the same reasoning of these pro-legalisation muppets, everyone should be allowed to walk around with a gun or knife in their pocket.


    The HUGE/MASSIVE NEGATIVE social consequences of legalising these substances are SIMPLIFIED and MAINLY ignored by these MUPPET so called experts.

    So how exactly will legalising these substances actually help improve the already MASSIVE and EXCESSIVELLY expensive social disorder in this country.

    Such MUPPETISH concentration and argumwent as argued for supposid health issues are basically like saying nuclear is ok because it provides electricity and IGNORING the reality of nuclear weapons.

    They are BOTH the CONSEQUENTIAL reality of the SAME THING.

    You CANNOT legitimately, morally, factually seperate variant consequences attributed to any singular thing, because basically it is deception, fraud and a lie to pretend that such issues/situations do NOT co-exist.

    I also just do NOT understand the muppetish response of government which seems to concentrate on questioning/refuting what is very substantial fact/evidence in support of the scientific health issues.

    Such a biased one sided pro-legalisation argument supported within such a tiny narrow definition of health issues is like, no different to ignoring the bad bits of Hitler and his regime, in preference for positive evidence of what he did to create jobs in the German economy.


    If you want to see the MASSIVE INCREASED COSTS of legalising these substances, I could give a guided tour of dozens and dozens of people who are ALREADY abusing these substances, and who have little or NO moral responsibility for maintaining their own lives or that of their children. I could show you professionals, bank managers and university lecturers, teachers, doctors, policemen, who already abuse alcohol.

    The law only captures a VERY small proportion of ALL offenders

    Show me ONE fact that supports our current liberalist UK policys which result in FEWER heroin users/addicts. The cost of supporting liberalist ideals of just heroin, has grown to currently over £1billion a year. Thats JUST the taxpayer contribution, it TOTALLY EXCLUDES other VICTIM and social/comunity costs and it ALSO excludes the costs of maintaining a prison system which allows prisoners access to drugs as simply and easily as a trip to their local Tescos corner store.

    WE are constantly fed by the media with drip drip arguments MAINLY on the side of those who present argument for support/legalisation, many of the anti-legalisation arguments are just not adequately provided for and are very thin.

    There are/is MORE than enough FACTS and EVIDENCE to support ANT-LEGALISATION, if the muppets in government cannot competantly put those arguments then they should GET OUT, resign, because ultimately they are NOT FIT FOR PURPOSE, simple as that!

    REALITY CHECK:- look at this world of ours, these so called scientific experts (muppets)are basically saying that there is no evidence to suggest that our species needs a better level of judgements and reasoning and instead it would be better if a load more people had the freedom to incapacitate their ability to make rational judgments.

    The loonatics running the asylum is basically becoming an increasingly closer true and factual reality!!!

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  • 97. At 11:30am on 13 Jul 2010, Have your say Rejected wrote:

    "An interesting debate would be why should we listen to politicians if they don't listen to expert advice.".....You mean to say people actually do listen to politicians, I don't. I generally find it safer to use MY judgement and not a politicians on what is 'good or bad' and right or wrong. I have seen too many cases of corrupt, bent, immoral and darn right criminal politicians to respect their opinions.

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  • 98. At 11:36am on 13 Jul 2010, Have your say Rejected wrote:

    The "human horror storys" are a direct consiquense of the drug laws, not the drugs, imo.

    "The numbers of people who currently smoke cannabis NOT in moderation and drag up their kids, is attrocious."...Proof please. I managed to hold down a fulltime job and raise a family whilst I was smoking cannabis not in moderation, and my children are, VERY well mannered, intelligent, loving, respectful, and decent little people.

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  • 99. At 11:46am on 13 Jul 2010, Have your say Rejected wrote:

    It's my thinking that politicans are suppose to do whats best for the country, and not control society. How is it good for the country to criminalise thousands, many barely out of childhood, allow criminal gangs to to make billions from drugs, create laws that makes crimes out of things that shouldnt be crimes(imo), allow criminals to lace drugs with even worse substances, force drug users to resort to to other crimes to fund their habit, allow gangs to smuggle people into the country to support the illegal drugs trade, and how do they justify all this, drugs are bad...

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  • 100. At 11:55am on 13 Jul 2010, jon112dk wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 101. At 11:56am on 13 Jul 2010, barbara99 wrote:

    irresponsible alcholic consumption is a dreadful thing. but how do the europeans whose children start on mild, moderate amounts of alchohol at the family dining table not have a problem like we do in the UK?

    drugs...having never touched any....i see it as slippery slope.

    too many rich people are reliant on the sale of drugs...i wouldnt mess about with making it legal or not legal. i would go to its source and burn those poppy fields....the taliban might run out of money and it might be a cheaper way of winning a costly war in terms of money and lives.

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  • 102. At 12:02pm on 13 Jul 2010, jr4412 wrote:

    jon112uk #91.

    "People on here are quite clearly saying they know people who use drugs and the fact that they are illegal makes no difference to them (#6).."

    and in most cases it shouldn't; say you've made a friend and, after a number of years of sharing things (going to football, eating in each others house, seeing your kids in same play, etc) you find out your friend uses a proscribed substance on occasion, what would you do? would you feep compelled to break up your friendship? would you feel obliged to report your friend to the authorities?

    well, if we were friends, I'd expect (and hope) your answer to be 'no'.


    "Let's be quite clear that's not the attitude of the great majority of people - if you want a different language it's a sub-culture."

    what's wrong with 'sub-cultures'?

    variety ('diversity') is the spice of life.


    "I don't mix with anyone who takes illegal drugs, and I don't know anyone who says they are entirely unconcerned if their behaviour is illegal. All the people I mix with have to be very careful of being convicted/cautioned for anything or they risk their well paid job and comfy lifestyle."

    as you say, people have to be careful not to jeopardise their livelihoods due to various bits of manmade legislation -- all younger than my grandmother. I put it to you that you cannot say "I don't mix with anyone who takes illegal drugs" simply because you do not know (and having read your posts, I guess none of your friends would tell you the truth as they see it).


    "My 18 year old nephew previously mixed with a group who did drugs. Some of them got cautioned by the police. He had a chat with normal people about what a drug conviction/caution would do to his intended career and he stopped mixing with them.

    That's the conduct of normal, decent people - clearly different to the conduct of criminal sub-cultures such as burglers - or drug users."

    you make two assumptions which (a) you cannot substantiate, and (b) are, frankly, insulting.

    'normal people'. who are you (we) to say what constitutes 'the norm'?

    some further reading might help you to gain perspective:
    http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/922207.Intoxication

    'criminal sub-cultures'. not all sub-cultures are "criminal", Jon, have you heard about 'Warhammer 40,000'?

    I think it would be helful to distinguish between criminal and illegal, ie assault, burglary, driving under the influence, etc are criminal behaviours, while taking proscribed substances responsibly is not -- that, IMO, is merely illegal.

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  • 103. At 12:02pm on 13 Jul 2010, mortice rigger wrote:

    #96 MrWonderfulReality

    Your invective does you no favours.

    Once upon a time society was able to do most anything without crossing some imaginary line. Indeed one could argue that the 'creme de la creme' still do.

    Laws that are effective have few detractors because they are sensible. The argument that we should cater for the very lowest common denominator is how we have gotten into the mess we are in. There is always someone who will abuse a privilege and society once had a remedy - a good old fashioned clip around the ear whilst they were still young enough to know that adults have had experiences that 'children' have not had.

    Elder and better seen walking right out the door not to return when some liberal loony wanted equality where it cannot possibly exist.

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  • 104. At 12:09pm on 13 Jul 2010, jr4412 wrote:

    jon112uk.

    "94. At 11:14am on 13 Jul 2010, newblogger wrote:
    91. At 10:23am on 13 Jul 2010, jon112uk wrote:

    'That's the conduct of normal, decent people - clearly different to the conduct of criminal sub-cultures such as burglers - or drug users.'

    The use and abuse of drugs in society is more widespread than you think.

    Look no further than the ex leader of Glasgow City Council."

    yes Jon, why not google: 'site:uk city "cocaine use"' or somesuch -- prepare to be amazed.

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  • 105. At 12:21pm on 13 Jul 2010, FedupwithGovt wrote:

    14. At 3:16pm on 12 Jul 2010, jon112uk wrote:

    There are obviously a substantial number of people who will not do something they would actually like to do purely because it is illegal - millions of us in fact. There's loads of things I would like to do, but hold back because I don't want a criminal record.

    =====================================================

    That is such a stupid comment it makes my head hurt.

    I don't want to drive my car at 100mph in a 30 zone. I don't want to beat my neighbour to death. I don't want to rob the local bank. I don't want to go out and drink 12 pints of lager and beat someone up or rape someone. I don't want to defraud or steal.

    I just want to be able to buy a pill that is a lot safer than alcohol or tobacco and have a nice time. However, if I do that I am classed as a criminal and could go to jail for 5 years. That's really logical.

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  • 106. At 12:21pm on 13 Jul 2010, Megan wrote:

    I've spent the past 10 years working in colleges, mostly with young people 16-19 years. What they all ask for is INFORMATION about the risks posed by any 'recreational substance' that they might consume, they want neither propaganda (most reject the 'Frank' campaigns out-of-hand) nor to be told what the law says... it's all about what is safe and what poses a risk, what those risks are and similar.

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  • 107. At 12:22pm on 13 Jul 2010, John Ellis wrote:

    My 18 year old nephew previously mixed with a group who did drugs. Some of them got cautioned by the police. He had a chat with normal people about what a drug conviction/caution would do to his intended career and he stopped mixing with them.


    hmm so its blacks on one side of the street and whites on the other.....

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  • 108. At 12:22pm on 13 Jul 2010, freespeechoneeach wrote:

    The MoDA doesn't give Government authority to dictate our lifestyles, but a duty to protect public health. The rise in drugs harms since 1971, partly from class A's, but principally from alcohol, shows how miserably poorly this duty has been discharged.
    No wonder they've suppressed evidence, spread lies, and sought to prevent free public debate. These are the actions of the guilty, covering up crimes.
    Alan Johnson's quip about "other factors" is self- incrimination. Any Government priority higher than your health and mine is unlawful.
    It's treason, pure and simple.

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  • 109. At 12:28pm on 13 Jul 2010, newblogger wrote:

    100

    (not sure I'd use a politician as an example to prove 'upstanding citizens' use drugs!)

    But would you consider them a 'sub-culture'?

    We are off a tangent however.

    Politicians ignore expert advice.

    Politicians set policy.

    Politicians are using illegal drugs.

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  • 110. At 12:29pm on 13 Jul 2010, beardymouse wrote:

    #92 scorpio33

    I literally have no idea what you asked. Could you please use common sentence structure and English language so that my drug-addled brain can understand and answer?

    From what I could compute though, it seemed that you were referring to the effects of illegal drugs compared to legal drugs such as alcohol and tobacco. What has been clearly communicated here and in scientific research is that illegal drugs aren't all as harmful as legal ones, and they should all be treated consistently dependent on their relative harms.

    #91 jon112uk

    There are many jobs you would lose if you were taking drugs, and there are jobs you would lose through excessive alcohol consumption to. Bizarrely though, I recently started a very well paid job and a global leading, public facing company, and it is surprising how many people openly talk about 'having a joint at the end of a long day'.

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  • 111. At 12:30pm on 13 Jul 2010, FedupwithGovt wrote:

    92. At 10:49am on 13 Jul 2010, scorpio33 wrote:
    All you young and perhaps older people that take drugs i would like two put two you this question.
    When you are in on the operating bed in your local hospital and your chest is so painful ,You can barely recognize the surgeons face,
    Please tell me what would you like to say to him?
    Make me better as i would like to keep paying my tormentor.
    The drug Barron As he's such a nice man,
    Or be like me ? I'm still here will you BE? And i drank and smoked.
    Just a little food for thought.

    ==============================================

    Judging by your post I think you should have stayed off the drink.

    And by the way - alcohol is a poison!

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  • 112. At 12:38pm on 13 Jul 2010, John Ellis wrote:

    http://transform-drugs.blogspot.com/2010/07/new-poll-shows-70-support-for-legal.html

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  • 113. At 12:38pm on 13 Jul 2010, FedupwithGovt wrote:

    You cannot base laws on history and cultural traditions. In that case it would be perfectly legal to be a racist as that has been the cultural tradition in this country for hundreds of years.

    Drug law should be based on harm - nothing else. Certainly not the moral hysteria of Daily Mail readers.

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  • 114. At 12:46pm on 13 Jul 2010, gustozest wrote:

    In principle I am in favour of legalising and regulating currently illegal substances and it would be nice to have a situation where all recreational drugs are decriminalised, but i feel this country is not ready for such a move for a number of reasons.

    1) Historically U.K. citizens have an unhealthy culturally engrained relationship with the current legal drugs. I am concerned about what the effect of legalising many of the other drugs would have after a few generations, especially in light of all the new substances being developed and how the government would respond to it. Their plan of action for binge drinking for example was a joke.

    2) How would Governments implement such a wide spread control over the multitude of substances currently illegal. One of cited benefits of decriminalisation is the control on quality and supply saving lives and creating taxable revenue. i can see this being a possibility for the more 'traditional' drugs such as cannabis, coke and heroin, but what about ecstasy which has had it's supply chain dismantled via the banning of safrole oil, how would this be re-established in light of European law. Also, new drugs are developed every week in illegal labs around the world, so how could the Government keep up with this black-market research, would they research and develop their own? i doubt it.(just to mention it is the banning of safrole oil which has led to the huge influxes of analogues such a methadrone, which are unknown in terms of their long term safety - as far as i am concerned ecstasy used to be a very safe drug and what little of it there is left is now corrupted or fake - risking the lives of the people who do not know what they are buying)

    3) legalisation will always help reduce the criminal activity associated with supply and distribution as long as it is accompanied with a robust implementation plan, but i am sure a black-market will still exist. Many people (gangs or individuals) will try to undercut the government supply chain, possibly with low quality products. I am sure the government will ensure a high price for their product meaning anybody with an addiction to say heroine or cocaine will still be at the mercy of dodgy people who abuse their customers state of mind and financial circumstances.

    Drug use has been in our society for millennia, but it must be remembered every drug is different, not just in its effects - there are different sets of users, different health and social implications, as well as many different reasons for people taking them - currently the system of classification does not reflect these differences. This misunderstanding is perpetuated by the ignorance of certain members of society which unfortunately seem to make up the larger voice in these debates (although not this one :-D). If decriminalisation did occur it would have to be done gradually with first a large scale education program so people understood the risks of all the different drugs available. Currently drug education is one sided hamming up the risks instead of addressing the more important issue of how to stay safe if you decide to take them. I am pretty sure this approach has cost lives especially in regards to mdma where people have died from drinking too much water in response to the advice stating you need to drink plenty of water when on it (in reality just drink as much as you would normally and only more than that if you are sweating) - but as there is no more mdma left this advice is redundant.

    jon112uk in response to your comment; 'That's the conduct of normal, decent people - clearly different to the conduct of criminal sub-cultures such as burglers - or drug users.'

    This is clearly evidence of underlying prejudice, how can you even compare drug users with burglars? I will admit there is a cross over, as there is between all cultures, sub or otherwise, but one of these behaviours violates other people while the other largely doesn't. As to the reference you make to 'normal, decent people', you clearly see the world with an 'us and them' mentality, not very productive in the long term.

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  • 115. At 12:55pm on 13 Jul 2010, jon112dk wrote:

    105. At 12:21pm on 13 Jul 2010, FedupwithGovt
    (re. #14)
    "That is such a stupid comment it makes my head hurt."

    ================================

    No, your head hurting is all the drugs you are taking.

    Read the full comment and the comment it is responding to (#6).

    People are contending that legalising drugs doesn't make any difference to the number of people using them. I disagree. Huge numbers of people are willing to use alcohol because it is lawful but will not use cannabis becasue it would make them a 'criminal.' They certainly could not defend their decision on grounds of harm, it's purely because of the legal status.

    (Five years in jail for personal use? My god - what are you taking?)

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  • 116. At 12:56pm on 13 Jul 2010, beardymouse wrote:

    #101 barbara99

    The actual facts around Afghanistan is that it only became the Heroin capital of the world AFTER the allied invasion. The Taliban were ruthless in preventing heroin production until they relied on it as a cash cow to fund a war.

    Do you not think that an alternative way of beating the Taliban would be to move heroin production to the UK or friendly states, taking their business elsewhere? Heroin addicts are going to need heroin somehow, and that is going to come from someone ready to supply it. We've been burning poppy crops throughout the war but yet the heroin still reaches our shores, simply 'going after the crops' is action that has already been taken - and failed.

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  • 117. At 1:03pm on 13 Jul 2010, scorpio33 wrote:

    To all you people who advocate i know people or i do take drugs for my own recreational purposes please listen
    i refer you two my previous post above.
    When you wake up in your hospital bed and the surgeon says glad you made it old chap.
    Your mind is still uncertain am i still alive or am i dead?
    People take it from me you have not given your addiction the test of time.
    Take it from me I've been there its no laughing matter.
    Do you know what, i take drugs today.
    They are the ones my doctor prescribes to keep me alive, Since 2001.
    But i nearly didn't make it .THE CHOICE IS YOURS GOOD LUCK.

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  • 118. At 1:04pm on 13 Jul 2010, Shaunie Babes wrote:

    34. At 4:53pm on 12 Jul 2010, Betty_Swallocks wrote:
    "Can we never learn from history?
    Prohibition failed in the United States when applied to alcohol and it has failed worldwide when applied to drugs. From 1920 to 1933 organised crime in the US vastly increased their profits for organised crime."
    ---------
    Unfortunately the druggies never learn from history and trot out this old argument.
    The vast majority of the US population were alcohol users and didn't agree with its banning. The supply network already existed and it was incredibly easy to make your own or smuggle commerical products from Canada. As such it was doomed to failure. Of course criminals made a lot of money, but alcholics, like must drug users don't really care which scumbags they pay, or the harm they do to society, so long as the can get their fix.
    When saying alcohol prohibition failed, druggies never mention Saudi Arabia. I wonder why ?

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  • 119. At 1:05pm on 13 Jul 2010, jr4412 wrote:

    barbara99 #101.

    "irresponsible alcholic consumption is a dreadful thing. but how do the europeans whose children start on mild, moderate amounts of alchohol at the family dining table not have a problem like we do in the UK?"

    but this is how humans (all mammals!) are 'wired': to become proficient in something one must learn early, whether it is a second or third language, or table manners, or how to use tools, or how to cope with mind altering substances.

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  • 120. At 1:29pm on 13 Jul 2010, MrWonderfulReality wrote:

    98. At 11:36am on 13 Jul 2010, Have your say Rejected wrote:
    The "human horror storys" are a direct consiquense of the drug laws, not the drugs, imo.

    "The numbers of people who currently smoke cannabis NOT in moderation and drag up their kids, is attrocious."...Proof please. I managed to hold down a fulltime job and raise a family whilst I was smoking cannabis not in moderation, and my children are, VERY well mannered, intelligent, loving, respectful, and decent little people.
    ======================================

    Its all very well being well mannered, inteligent, loving, respectful and decent little people, but life demands more, sustainability of existance demands more. Human existance is a complicated existance, the numbers of people on this planet makes demands on our species as never before, which is why there are so many/numerous new problems/issues/concerns constantly preasurising so many people.

    I also know of people who smoke cannabis nearly as regular as they breath, some even manage to go home from work at dinnertime and smoke bongs or a couple of heavily laiden spliffs. These people havent killed anyone, but I know of some very serious and dangerous situations that have resulted due to their behaviour, just driving too and from work is just ONE issue, I know of those that have crashed/been in accidents, of course their drug intake is inconsequential!!!

    I have been in cars with drivers who have smoked cannabis. As with much in life there are differences in peoples abilitys and these vary even more under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

    I have been in a car with someone literally smashed out the head on bongs, car engine screaming down the road, they thought they were going fast, I had to remind them they were still in 1st gear, seemed funny at the time, but it just shows the negative reality of individual choice, which so many people are endemically atuned to with or without drugs.

    Its all very well saying yes I can handle it, or others can, but the truth and reality is that SO MANY CANNOT.

    It is these people who cannot handle drugs reasonably, or alcohol, who create such huge damage and cost to society.

    By legalising drugs, you are FACTUALLY just adding to an already HUGE problem.

    I can smoke, puff/cannabis/green/oil, whatever form and name you want to call it, yes its fine chilling out, or strumming on guitars/listening to music, or doing some arty farty activity, but so many people take it beyond reason and into the domain which increases danger to others. I can have a good jump around in an underground rave in Holland or in a UK night club or at a festival, high on ecstasy and be no problem to others, but I have seen and experienced the reality of those who cannot handle it. I have seen the blood and mess, I have seen the wasted and damaged lives and damaged children.

    I comment from a wide experience, I have had my experiences, after previously being very indulgent I left it all alone years ago, overnight, completely.

    The difference and changes to my life were HUGE and VERY POSITIVE.

    Thing is also, so many on EEs also drink alcohol, and also take speed or other substances hence you are NOT just talking about use of one substance but a coctail of MANY.

    It is impossible to totally seperate cannabis and ecstasy from cocaine, heroin, speed, acid etc as they are all directly/indirectly linked, either by users, consequences or criminality.


    If everyone could be trusted to use ecstasy and cannabis in a way that did not effect others or have a detrimental effect on society, then fine, legalise it. But that is NOT THE TRUE REALITY, there IS A COST to pay.

    For every individual person who currently CAN actually handle cannabis or ecstasy, they are more than enough who cannot, even if it was 1 in 10 who cannot handle it, the reality is in the attrocious net costs to society as a whole.

    If the reality of life is harsh it is nonsensical to pretend to improve it by living in a world outside of reality.

    If you want a dreamland, then donate your money to private space exploration then go and create one.



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  • 121. At 1:30pm on 13 Jul 2010, FedupwithGovt wrote:

    It is patently obvious to all but closed minds and the delusional that the drug laws and classification policy is not fit for purpose and actually causes more death and despair than it stops. Whether we legalise and control, based on harm, or go down the route Portugal took, something needs to be done. It is ridiculous to carry on criminalising whole sections of society, wasting huge sums of public money and making criminals insanely rich. Someone in Government needs to grow a pair and grasp the nettle. They seem not to care about upsetting people at the moment re School Building, Cuts and now wholesale reorganisation of the NHS so why should they worry about upsetting Daily Mail readers and tackle the drugs issue in a logical, grown up fashion.

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  • 122. At 1:31pm on 13 Jul 2010, KL wrote:

    Successive governments act like hypocritical drug dealers. Not only do they turn a blind eye to the seriousness of booze and tobacco, they protect the status quo to keep the huge somes of money associated with tobacco and alcohol chanelled through the routes that they choose, and to keep themselves in power - all done under the guise of 'social responsibility'. I used to take 'soft' drugs when I was younger and stopped because I wanted to. Today I would like drink less alcohol than I do but, if I wanted to blame someone other than myself, I would go for these hypocrits in power. Booze is EVERYWHERE. People try to make one feel a party pooper if you do not partake. Ultimately no one's responsible for your life other than yourself but things would be a bit simpler for young and old, all substance users/abusers and everyone else if we just had some politicians that had the self respect to accept FACTS and understand the concept of TRUTH. Dream on... it's no wonder we're all driven to drink, fags, dope or even glue...
    Politicians further their careers through ego, frightening self-belief, conivance and managed appeal to mass ignorance... Love might be asking a bit much, but in this instance... ALL YOU NEED IS TRUTH!!!

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  • 123. At 1:40pm on 13 Jul 2010, xmen123 wrote:

    At 01:48am on 13 Jul 2010, sufi wrote:
    if you observe animals grazing in the wild and when they come across marijuana plants they completely avoid it

    Could you please tell us what documentary you watched with these claims ?

    Since If you are watching animals in the UK wild its highly unlikley they will even come across the canna plant since as rules are it is illegal to grow it..
    & how was these animals observed?
    Was there a camera placed on one plant and watched animals walking past it ?

    How do you know they did not stop by the next canna plant out of the camera view and had a munch... ?

    Or was the camera placed on all the animals in the wild and after hours and hours of recording all their patterns they did so..?

    Animals tend to treat plants as medicine and will eat certain types when their instinct/bodies calls for it...


    So highly unlikley you will find your answer in such claims

    Can I ask you to go and look at:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cannabinoid_receptor_type_1

    The CB1 receptor is encoded by the gene or CNR1.[1] Two transcript variants encoding different isoforms have been described for this gene.[1] CNR1 orthologs [2] have been identified in most mammals.

    Please do a bit of research into what you claim before claiming such scandals..

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  • 124. At 2:02pm on 13 Jul 2010, jr4412 wrote:

    jon112uk #115.

    "Huge numbers of people are willing to use alcohol because it is lawful but will not use cannabis becasue it would make them a 'criminal.'"

    of course you have credible sources and references on which to base this statement? please post them.

    or is it all hearsay and/or conjecture?

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  • 125. At 2:04pm on 13 Jul 2010, pandatank wrote:

    #3. jon112uk wrote:
    "in terms of death, illegal drugs amounted to 1,388 in 2003 compared to about 20,000 for alcohol and 100,000 for tobacco."

    So the legal drugs cause 120 times as many deaths as the illegal ones?

    Doesn't that pretty much drive a coach and horses through the 'legalise drugs and everything will be ok' argument?

    (How about simplifying it? No classifications at all - if it's illegal it's illegal. Stop the mixed messages.)

    No it doesn't because the majority of deaths through the use of illegal drugs come from the substances they've been cut with, not the drugs themselves. They would not be cut with rat poison, glass, engine oil etc. if they were sold through licenced regulated premises!

    The biggest hypocracy of all is the assumption that any use of illegal drugs is automatically misuse and that (legally) there is no such thing as misuse of legal drugs. This is why we have the situation that new designer drugs such as meiouw and herbal highs are legal and available until the Daily Mail has a campaign and gets them classified. A proper misuse of drugs act should include drugs that don't exist yet.

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  • 126. At 2:08pm on 13 Jul 2010, barbara99 wrote:

    @116 you have to be kidding...you want to grow heroin in the UK.

    what happens then when we get a government that thinks hey lets legalise it, slap on loads of tax (income for the government) and somehow the taliban wont be growing it anymore so they wont have an income. ever thought they might just get competitive with price and all that will happen like alchohol it will be another means for income for a government.

    production of narcotics in afghanistan has been going on alot longer than the recent war. pakistans mid 40` and 50`s population have a huge drug addiction problem all thanks due the drugs coming over the border for over 20 years. they dont have a drinks problem they have a drugs problem with their 40/50 below age gap.

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  • 127. At 2:12pm on 13 Jul 2010, barbara99 wrote:

    @119 yes i agree the europeans seem to have worked out a balance with alchohol and not allowing its intake to cause abuse. not sure however if you would want to be handing out drugs to kids at the dinner table.

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  • 128. At 2:13pm on 13 Jul 2010, calmandhope wrote:

    The bottom line is, anything when overdone is going to be harmful to you. Recreationally, having the odd pint, having the odd joint or pill or line can be benificial even if it is just erasing the stress that you've felt for a couple of hours. I personally don't understand why choosing to relax in this way occasionally, normally about once a month as a treat makes me a criminal. I haven't hurt anybody, if it was possible to buy it from a pharmacy then I would happily but there just so I know more about what I'm getting.

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  • 129. At 2:15pm on 13 Jul 2010, NoMoreInsideJobs wrote:

    The decriminisation of drugs would cause a collapse in property crime but it isnt a vote winner so we are left with the current mess.

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  • 130. At 2:31pm on 13 Jul 2010, gustozest wrote:

    shaunie babes: 'When saying alcohol prohibition failed, druggies never mention Saudi Arabia. I wonder why ?'

    i think it is safe to say we are talking about western culture here, officially prohibition in Saudi Arabia is a success because of the high number of practising Muslims and not to mention the severe punishments associated with breaking the law. Additionally the policy is supported politically by its neighbours, but don't let that fool you into thinking it is a success story. from what i gather there is a considerable demand within the country fed by the black-market. The point being if people want to do something they generally will despite what a country may do to to try and prevent them.

    Also, try not to use the term 'druggies', the issue of recreational drug taking is vastly complex and this umbrella term does no service to anyone effected by drug related issues.

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  • 131. At 2:31pm on 13 Jul 2010, WindUpMerchant wrote:

    118. At 1:04pm on 13 Jul 2010, Shaunie Babes wrote:

    (more guff here) but alcholics, like must (sic) drug users don't really care which scumbags they pay, or the harm they do to society, so long as the can get their fix.
    ----------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Incorrect. Given the choice (which i do not have currently) i would chose to buy a clean & safe product from a reputable vendor, paying tax duties on top of the cost, rather than buy unsafe products cut with dangerous chemicals/materials (not to mention shy cuts) from thehe not quite so reputable people i have to meet in dark places currently. I -think (key word here)- this is a widely shared view.
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------
    When saying alcohol prohibition failed, druggies never mention Saudi Arabia. I wonder why ?
    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Because it is a vastly different culture and therefore irrelevant to this discussion.

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  • 132. At 2:38pm on 13 Jul 2010, ecolizzy wrote:

    I think people should be able to take any drug they like, with the proviso that when they become ill they don't expect the NHS to care for them, they will have to pay privately, just like they do for the drugs that made them ill in the first place.

    Mutter Theres too many people in the world anyway ; )

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  • 133. At 2:46pm on 13 Jul 2010, FedupwithGovt wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 134. At 2:51pm on 13 Jul 2010, FedupwithGovt wrote:

    118. At 1:04pm on 13 Jul 2010, Shaunie Babes wrote:
    34. At 4:53pm on 12 Jul 2010, Betty_Swallocks wrote:
    "Can we never learn from history?
    Prohibition failed in the United States when applied to alcohol and it has failed worldwide when applied to drugs. From 1920 to 1933 organised crime in the US vastly increased their profits for organised crime."
    ---------
    Unfortunately the druggies never learn from history and trot out this old argument.
    The vast majority of the US population were alcohol users and didn't agree with its banning. The supply network already existed and it was incredibly easy to make your own or smuggle commerical products from Canada. As such it was doomed to failure. Of course criminals made a lot of money, but alcholics, like must drug users don't really care which scumbags they pay, or the harm they do to society, so long as the can get their fix.
    When saying alcohol prohibition failed, druggies never mention Saudi Arabia. I wonder why ?

    ===========================================

    Excuse me, but a bit less of the druggies please! Do you smoke, drink alcohol, or take prescription drugs, if you do, then by your own definition you are a druggie. And I think you will find that most recreational drugs users hate the fact they have to deal with criminal scumbags and your reference to Saudi Arabia is childish. You might only have to go to Tesco to get your fix, but it is still a fix. There is no moral high ground in this debate, only rank hypocrisy.

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  • 135. At 3:07pm on 13 Jul 2010, jr4412 wrote:

    xmen #123.

    "Animals tend to treat plants as medicine and will eat certain types when their instinct/bodies calls for it..."

    and lest we forget, animals includes the human kind.

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  • 136. At 3:17pm on 13 Jul 2010, John Ellis wrote:

    The CB1 receptor is encoded by the gene or CNR1.[1] Two transcript variants encoding different isoforms have been described for this gene.[1] CNR1 orthologs [2] have been identified in most mammals.


    Ah the endocannabinoid system which is responsible for life as we know it.

    First life form on this planet that utilize this was a molluscs when it learned how to move this then lead to a rapid onslaught of life built around the endocannabinoid system until you end up with Humans.

    http://www.uccs.edu/~rmelamed/endocannabinoids_and_medica.html

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  • 137. At 3:29pm on 13 Jul 2010, John Ellis wrote:

    Many domestic cats are renowned for eating fresh cannabis.
    My 18 year old cat regulary would steel my green.

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  • 138. At 3:30pm on 13 Jul 2010, beardymouse wrote:

    #126 barbara99

    To humour you in your simplistic argument. If the UK were growing poppy crops to make heroin (for you can't grow heroin, purely manufacture it from opiates), and the Taliban entered some bizarre price war, how would they be able to compete in a marketplace where they would have to illegally smuggle the crop through Asia and Europe (through criminal gangs at a hefty markup) then get it across the water into Britain, when the British government could keep costs and prices as low as they wanted? If they want to win the fight against the Taliban, they would do anything it takes (and it would be cheaper to cut off their drug money in this way than sending in 18 year olds to die a burn poppies in a fruitless - pun semi-intended - exercise).

    But to be as serious as this topic deserves, tax and income is a secondary beneficiary in this situation. The health of a nation would be the primary benefit. Do a little research into the heroin situation in Switzerland before and after the government supplied their addicts with free heroin and a clean place to take it. You will find that they went from having the most out of control heroin problem amongst young people, they now have the lowest rate of heroin addiction amongst young people in Europe. This is because they made it unfashionable to take heroin (from heroinchic to something dying old people had to do through illness) and controlled the problem in a sensible way - much like this country used to do many many years ago, before we decided to quit with heroin prescription and let our problem get out of control.

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  • 139. At 3:50pm on 13 Jul 2010, John Ellis wrote:

    jon112uk #115.
    "Huge numbers of people are willing to use alcohol because it is lawful but will not use cannabis becasue it would make them a 'criminal.'"

    3.5 million people in the UK choose cannabis because alcohol makes you into an arse and can clearly see its the worst of all the drugs that are most common in use. please get facts right.


    barbara99 #126

    @116 you have to be kidding...you want to grow heroin in the UK.

    hmmm we already do millions of poppys everywere what percentage of ornimental ones do you think produce opium milk? the black sticky residue that runs of the poppy head when scratched/slashed.

    We also grow medical poppys in the uk
    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-468430/The-painkilling-fields-Englands-opium-poppies-tackle-NHS-morphine-crisis.html

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  • 140. At 3:50pm on 13 Jul 2010, jon112dk wrote:

    114. At 12:46pm on 13 Jul 2010, gustozest
    "This is clearly evidence of underlying prejudice, how can you even compare drug users with burglars?"
    ============================================

    That's not the heart of my argument - the main point I'm pushing is that I think the current situation with alcohol/tobacco is pretty bad and I would not want to see more drugs legalised to make the situation worse.

    But, fundamentally, if someone knows what the law is, says 'I don't care' then quite deliberately and persistently breaches the law then surely that makes them a criminal?

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  • 141. At 3:55pm on 13 Jul 2010, FedupwithGovt wrote:

    133. At 2:46pm on 13 Jul 2010, you wrote:
    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

    ================================

    In what way please?

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  • 142. At 4:42pm on 13 Jul 2010, jr4412 wrote:

    ecolizzy #132.

    "..people should be able to take any drug they like, with the proviso that when they become ill they don't expect the NHS to care for them, they will have to pay privately.."

    if only, we'd save a lot of money.

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/health/healthnews/5561217/3bn-cost-of-alcohol-to-NHS-every-year.html

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/health/3537257.stm

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  • 143. At 4:46pm on 13 Jul 2010, Mike wrote:

    Call me a druggie but I enjoy my caffeine fix, my occasional alcohol fix, and my cannabis fix.
    In addition to that I have my painkiller fix which consists of codeine, a product which is derived from the same plant as heroine. This opiate is prescribed by my GP for chronic back-pains and I know that this product will inevitably lead to dependency/addiction and the possibility of kidney problems alongside other physical problems.
    Why can't my GP prescribe me the use of an amazing plant which has far less side effects (if any) and has no dependency issues like the opiate I have to take up to 4 times a day?
    I get more pain relief out of a few joints a day than any of the painkillers I have been prescribed over the past few years. So why do I have to deal with criminals who don't care about anything apart from the money they make? I have bought cannabis laced with all sorts of rubbish.
    I went to my home town of Amsterdam last year for a week and it was the first time in 4 years that I was completely pain free thanks to the high quality of cannabis sold there. I was even recommended the best strain for my condition at 3 of the coffeeshops I visited.

    I believe that legalizing all drugs is the only logical solution. Billions of pounds are currently ending up in the pockets of criminals, this is all much needed cash to help fight the economic downturn. Use the money raised from taxing the sale of drugs to improve the NHS, and to treat problem drug users and alcohol abusers.
    Save the enormous amounts of money that are now being poured into the "war on drugs", free up the police to deal with serious crimes.
    To those that are fed by the daily mail school of propaganda, just look at Portugal. All drugs are legal, drug use has gone down dramatically, and the country has not become a society of drugged up people or become a centre for drug tourism. The same would be the case here in the UK.
    Many European governments are looking at decriminalizing or even legalizing drugs, the UK should not fall behind.
    We are currently trying to avoid a giant elephant in the room, the one that says to try a different approach. Legalize all drugs, and control it.

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  • 144. At 4:53pm on 13 Jul 2010, jr4412 wrote:

    jon112uk #140.

    "..the main point I'm pushing is that I think the current situation with alcohol/tobacco is pretty bad and I would not want to see more drugs legalised to make the situation worse.

    But, fundamentally, if someone knows what the law is, says 'I don't care' then quite deliberately and persistently breaches the law then surely that makes them a criminal?"

    and so, instead of rationalising the existing body of law with view of making public health the imperative, you advocate -- what?

    criminalising, and thereby often traumatising for life, teenagers (and older people) for the sake of enforcing a manmade law that, by all accounts, only benefits organised crime?

    crickey.

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  • 145. At 5:01pm on 13 Jul 2010, John Ellis wrote:

    But, fundamentally, if someone knows what the law is, says 'I don't care' then quite deliberately and persistently breaches the law then surely that makes them a criminal?

    hmmm yes and no depends on fair law just law and approprate law.

    Cival dissobediance is differant to criminality look at africa for a class example then gandi india and salt making......

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  • 146. At 5:09pm on 13 Jul 2010, Julie wrote:

    What about khat? Why is mephephedrone illegal but khat is legal when they contain the same chemicals?

    Is it easier to control the white middle class people who took mephephedrone than the Somalis who chew khat?

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  • 147. At 5:22pm on 13 Jul 2010, Have your say Rejected wrote:

    MrWonderfulReality...

    there are already laws regarding being under the influence, obviously if any or all drugs were ever to be legalised then this must also cover these drugs. If one is caught high on drugs or drunk at the wheel they should loose their license, for the rest of their lives, imo they forfeit that right to drive. there is research from USA that points to cannabis having little or no effect on ones driving, until a proper case study is done on this drug, we can only theorise.

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  • 148. At 5:23pm on 13 Jul 2010, xmen123 wrote:

    140. At 3:50pm on 13 Jul 2010, jon112uk wrote:
    current situation with alcohol/tobacco is pretty bad and I would not want to see more drugs legalised to make the situation worse.

    So what are you trying to say here?
    In Holland and various other countries they have all 3 tobacco, alcohol and cannabis...
    Do you think they have the problems we have here ?
    All the drunken fights and domestic violence rates that we have here?
    I think your argument would wash down better if other countries had not already been doing this and there was no facts to go on..

    In your view having different types of trees would make situation worse since its more trees to look after and they may need different care..

    Or in your views having different car models and types also makes driving more hazardous and situation worse than it is with having a choice.

    Your views are quite a communist view if you look at dictatorship countries they all drive in the same type of cars

    Here is something for you to think about.

    Hybrid person who enjoys a few drinks and don't mind a smoke..
    In current situation all they can do is drink as many beers and drown like a fish and be legless on the way home who knows even get into a brawl..

    In a situation like Holland this same person can decide I have had a drink now fancy a few joints..
    Now look at what you have the above situation of a domestic or a fight on the way home has reduced from a 99% factor to probably something like 10%...

    How has taking away or limiting choices ever been a good thing?


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  • 149. At 5:32pm on 13 Jul 2010, writingsonthewall wrote:

    Yeah - best not argue with these fascists about drugs of they will use their discretion to use an untested tazer on you.

    "The XREP Tasers used are still undergoing tests however the government has said forces have discretion to use any equipment they deem necessary."

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/10615302.stm

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  • 150. At 5:51pm on 13 Jul 2010, oliver stieber wrote:

    If people are wondering how legalization could be better:
    remember, slaver, women not being allowed to vote, anti-gay laws etc....
    also I belive food is the biggest killer in the country, and anyone who's tried to loose waight etc... knows how addictive it is.

    Hi there, this may make you laugh, you may wonder why no-ones throught of it before, or you may be one of those people who just believes the propaganda, but I hope your experiance tells you it's a great solution to a very serious problem and you pass this email around (prohaps anonomysly) to get people talking about and trying to solve a problem that tabbo.

    You may be tempted to stop reading at the next line, but just give me the beinfit of the doubt and read on.


    This is a workable solution the the very serious problem of illegal drugs that could also be extended to cover the problems of Alcahol and Ciggarets that I belive cause more problems and illness than all the illegal drugs put together.

    First I'll cover some of the problems caused by drugs being illegal that will be solved by this proposal.

    1: Drugs pump vast abount of money into crimial gangs and fund wars in other countries.
    2: The Government makes no tax revieniew on the sale of drugs
    3: There is no regulation on the quality or purity of drugs
    4: Dealers want to make money, it's in there interest to make addicts
    5: There are a very large number of drug uses who cause no problem but are treated as criminals and have to do things in secret, it in human naturet to do things you shouldn't do.
    6: Users aren't really sort out by the police they have to be a bit clumbsy to get caught and when they are caught they either get no end of cautions (George Michel) or end up going to court and getting slapped with a £30 fine which is nothing to anyone except the poor. This can only be because the police and courts no that penalising a user is both pointless and unfair.
    7: You can buy as many drugs as you want, well just about
    8: Re-habilitation programms are often very poor, give poor advice and aren't able to suggest things like taking a small dose of anphetamines to come off a cocain addiction and then reduce the anphetamines and you should be drug free, because amphetanines are also illegal.
    9: Addicts commit a large amount of crime often against vunrable people to fund their habbits.
    10: Interacton between illegal drugs and proscription drugs aren't well known.
    11: Pablo the drug mule would have been fine if there was no reason to smuggle drugs in him
    12: People take drugs to self medicate when there may be far better proscription medicins that the doctor can proscribe.
    13: People are litley to cover up their drug use when going to the doctor causing a: problems with diagnosis and treatment b: a poor record of the health problems caused by drugs.
    14: A vast amount of resources are spent of fighting the 'war' on drugs even though it should be faily obvious that you can't win it.
    15: Due to the lack of quality control overdose is a great risk.
    16: No real practical advice is availalbe on drugs except for don't take them their bad.
    17: Users can be stigmatised by the rest of society.
    18: Because of the free availablity of very harmfull drugs like alcahol and tabaco and the cultural acceptance of them most of the population turn to thease insterad of one of the less harmfull illegal drugs. (that's not to say all illegal drugs are less harmfull)
    19: no-one really cares what class a drug is, well except to only stick to the class A's coes their the good one's, it's the same £30 fine or a caution whatever you caught with.

    and I'm sure there are many more.

    The one, reasonably simple and practical solution to this is as follows.
    introduce a license for premisis to sell drugs,
    users have to get an ID card with some biometrics to purchase drugs (I would say you must be over 25 for most things, 21 for some less harmfull less adictive things, and 18 for things that aren't really dangerious or addictive atall)
    The ID card allows them to buy a certain amount of drugs over a period of time, the ammount they are allowed to buy is based on the addictiveness of the drug and how harmfull it is in preparation both the the user and the anti-social behaviour the user may cause when on the drug. This should be high enough for recreational use, but low enough that few people if any become addicts. You could say aim for less addicts proportinally to the number of people addicticted to something legal and reciently deregulated by the government like gambling and less harm than something like mountain climbing or crossing the road.
    Information about the users use of drugs is shared with their doctor so the health risk and benifits (becauese illegal drugs can have health benifits too e.g. Ketamine for depression and panick attacks and even addiction to other drugs, excatcy for helping with relationship problems or amphetamines for add / adhd that can make adults lives an absolute nightmare but because the drugs aren't licensed for proscription to adults doctors hardly ever proscribe them) can constantly be assessed, the doctor could also reduce the users allowance potentially down to zero if they think it's causing or axasabating a medical problem.
    if a user causes anti-social behaviour then their access to the drug they were taking is withdrawn.
    A user can go to their doctor and say they are addicted where by they are placed on a proper rehabilitation program funded by some of the tax revinue generated. They are also given access to a quantity of drugs to satisfy their addiction and an affordable price, the drugs have to be taken under monitored situation on the licensed premisis and the qualtity of drugs they recieve is gradulay reduced or replaced with a less addictive drug or whatever process is best for tackeling the addiction (of the prople I know who take drugs those with Ketamin habbits gave up shortly after they started taking ketamine every day and it no longer affected them so they just stopped taking it, I doubt frank will give you that advice). This will prevent addicts turning to the black market to get their drugs and if no one has any reason to go to the black market to buy poor quality drugs from criminal gangs then the black market and all the associated criminal activity it creates and funds will all but vanish.
    The levels at which people are getting addicted to drugs can be used in turn to limit the amount of drugs that people are allowed to buy so it won't take long to get the true level that minimises addiction.

    Some people will abuse the system by getting their mates to buy them drugs as well and some drugs being sold on. but the people getting their mates to buy more drugs for them would probably have brought that many drugs if not more drugs from the current illegal black market and the black market created would have a minimal amount of crimial activity since it would probably be little more that people buying drugs they have paid tax on legally and flogging them onto their mates for an elevated price and why pay more than you have to pay from the licensed premisis.

    Because each transaction can be recorded stock control of the licensed premisis can be tightly controled.

    There could also be a policy of boosting your drugs allowance by say 25% or something when it's a special occasion like your birthday or new-years so users don't even think of turning to the black market when they fancy getting a bit higher than normal.

    I'm sure you can see how the same process could also be applied to Alcahol and Nicotone based products, no more dunks beating people up and ending up clogging up A&E before they die of liver failure, and all the Tabacco uses would probably switch over to something relativly harmless like an electronic cigarette or nicotone pills.


    Well I hope you made it this far, let me know if you did you don't have to tell me your opinion but I hope you see how this could practically elliminate all the problems caused by drugs, free up the police to tackle the realy serious crimes, generate a huge amount of revinue for the Goverment which may even pay for your pension in the future or take quite a bit of income tax or even increase the pay in the police force, and get a few of those poppy farmers in afganistan into a ligitamate carrier.

    I would have sent it to my MP but they all seem to paranoid so say anything about I'm hoping the the police force who actually have to deal with all the crime and anti-social behaviour caused by drugs on a daily bases may see what this proposal is capable of doing and now that i've mentioned them see what a problem prohoibition is. Just look what happened when alcahol what prohibited in the USA and then how after it was put back into a legal framework (all be it one that does little to control how much of the stuff you can get) a lot of the serious problems went away, just think how many of the problems with alcahol could be stopped by regulating it just that little bit more but still making it relitivly easy to get hold of legally.

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  • 151. At 6:02pm on 13 Jul 2010, oliver stieber wrote:

    other things in addition to my comment are things like:
    users could be randomly tested to help prevent 'too much' diversion.

    I'd also like to see the way medical records are kept radically changed.
    So for instance, symptoms and their attributes / modifiers are all stored as semi-discrete, a bit like picking a symptom from a dynamic list, and then refining it.
    patients can add extra symptoms from home (that are none-varified).
    the NHS then has a 'database' relating symptoms (and temporal changes), to diagnosis / treatment (even say take a couple of aspirin and come back in a weeks time if it's still a problem) and things the doctor can do to further refine things. (say, stomach ache, then check for appendicitis (on both sides cos some people are back to front!, then some people with say aspergers have weird pain thresholds so factor that in. Take a stool sample, etc... )

    linked in with blood tests etc... should be able to pick up all kinds of side-effects from medication (including positive ones), new
    patterns that haven't yet been recognized.

    Basically the whole country acts as a near real-time clinical trial for things we don't even know about as well as what we do.
    Computer assisted diagnosis and treatment.

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  • 152. At 6:52pm on 13 Jul 2010, jr4412 wrote:

    oliver stieber #151.

    "..the way medical records are kept radically changed. So for instance, symptoms and their attributes / modifiers are all stored as semi-discrete, a bit like picking a symptom from a dynamic list, and then refining it.
    patients can add extra symptoms from home (that are none-varified).
    the NHS then has a 'database' relating symptoms (and temporal changes), to diagnosis / treatment ... the whole country acts as a near real-time clinical trial.."

    fwiw, I think this is an excellent idea.

    #150 needs a spell-check before you send it to your MP. ;)

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  • 153. At 7:13pm on 13 Jul 2010, jr4412 wrote:

    FedupwithGovt #134.

    "Do you smoke, drink alcohol, or take prescription drugs, if you do, then by your own definition you are a druggie."

    also, coffee and tea. (yes, really!)

    are you listening, Shaunie Babes, Betty_Swallocks, et al?

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  • 154. At 8:39pm on 13 Jul 2010, xmen123 wrote:

    , oliver stieber wrote:
    Very good but there are flaws in this very systematic regime you are proposing,

    1. This sort of system does not provide much freedom for a person to do as they wish instead it becomes like a coupon rationing system.

    2. It also lets gov agencies collect information on each users habits etc and market this.

    3. In the case that your mates are getting coupons and then collecting it for you well this is now on their health record so if they go to hospital they may get treatments for something their not even taking.

    Whilst I kind of agree with this sort of system for the heavily addictive drugs (class A), I don't agree such draconian measures are required for the lower end stuff.

    Also please take into consideration we are not robots we are humans we have life, emotions stress etc and whilst one week the coupon ration may be enough, in another week you may start to write a novel and be up all day all night and the ration lasts for half the expected time hence irrational.

    Why should others tell you how much you are entitled to take if it is YOU and your body that tells you thats enough for now...

    Yes indeed the old Tea spread by the British empire across the world simply because they knew it was addictive and could bring in nice earnings

    http://www.britainexpress.com/History/tea-in-britain.htm
    This was just the start of government attempts to control, or at least, to profit from the popularity of tea in Britain. By the mid 18th century the duty on tea had reached an absurd 119%. This heavy taxation had the effect of creating a whole new industry - tea smuggling.

    So maybe politicians deciding on laws and taxes on what is natural is natural is a potential recipe for disaster.

    All of nature including all plants and animals needs to be tested and understood from a scientific point of view before politicians pass laws on it.

    If politicians had banned scientists in our history from doing such things many of the medication we all use today would have never come about.


    Now to answer why society has been shaped into accepting the natural elements as a political agenda:
    http://www.cedro-uva.org/lib/jay.legalisation.html
    There were many interest groups in America who had much to gain by switching the focus from alcohol to drugs, and from rebranding traditional medicines as 'new menaces'. The US Narcotics Bureau needed to shake off the stigma which attached to the Alcohol Bureau by showing that their new quarry was a genuine enemy, far more dangerous than alcohol, and that this time their goal was one which every citizen should support and respect. Medical opinion, too, was keen to backtrack from the less-than-credible excesses of their anti-alcohol warnings and to reverse the nineteenth-century consensus by insisting that substances such as cannabis were, in fact, more dangerous than alcohol



    Need I say more....

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  • 155. At 9:08pm on 13 Jul 2010, General_Jack_Ripper wrote:

    jon112uk wrote:
    People are contending that legalising drugs doesn't make any difference to the number of people using them. I disagree. Huge numbers of people are willing to use alcohol because it is lawful but will not use cannabis becasue it would make them a 'criminal.' They certainly could not defend their decision on grounds of harm, it's purely because of the legal status.


    Rates of Cannabis use:

    United States - 12.3%
    United Kingdom - 9%
    Netherlands - 5.42%
    Portugal - 3.68%

    (Different nations have, however, focussed their studies on different age groups. United States and Netherlands: data for years 12 and above. United Kingdom: data for ages 16 to 59. Source: OECD)

    Source: http://www.nationmaster.com/graph/lif_can_use-lifestyle-cannabis-use#source


    So the Dutch and Portuguese both have lower rates of use than the UK and the USA, maybe the legal status isn't that important to many people after all jon.

    I can understand where you're coming from though, you see the harm caused by other drugs and don't want to add a few more drugs to the legal list as you don't want to see more people suffering.
    It's an admirable point of view but I honestly believe that it's not the right one, the number of people using a drug will more than likely increase in the period after legalisation but the experience from Holland and other countries is that this then gradually reduces and the number of users levels off at, or below, pre-legalisation usage levels.

    If we want to protect people then we should do so by taking them out of the hands of criminal organisations and by ending the madness of criminalised drug use. Give people all of the information they need to minimise the risk to themselves (including the advice that abstaining takes away all of the risk), allow them to purchase their drug of choice in a known strength and quantity from licensed retailers and then do all we can to prevent drugs from getting into the hands of children.

    The War on Drugs was lost generations ago, it's time we stopped trying to pretend that we could ever eliminate the illegal drugs trade and bring it back into the influence of legalised and regulated commerce.

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  • 156. At 9:24pm on 13 Jul 2010, General_Jack_Ripper wrote:

    Shaunie Babes wrote:
    When saying alcohol prohibition failed, druggies never mention Saudi Arabia.
    I wonder why ?



    Do we not ?
    Oh well, here's one about Saudi Arabia then;

    Getting a drink in Saudi Arabia

    While there are limited legal means to get alcohol and consume it privately, there is also smuggling, which is thought to be more active through the eastern side of the country.

    Saudis interested in bringing in alcohol can do so from neighbouring Gulf states, especially Bahrain, where Saudis can travel easily via a causeway. Another smuggling route is from Jordan where spirits are available, and where some of it is manufactured, like beer and a spirit known as Araq.


    Source: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/middle_east/1160846.stm


    Sentences for alcohol offences range from a few weeks or months imprisonment for consumption to several years for smuggling, manufacturing or distributing alcohol. Lashes can also be part of the sentence; and a hefty Customs fine if smuggled alcohol is involved. The authorities also hand out stiff penalties to people found in possession of equipment for making alcohol.

    Source: http://ukinsaudiarabia.fco.gov.uk/en/help-for-british-nationals/living-in-saudi-arabia/



    So prohibition doesn't work in Saudi Arabia either...

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  • 157. At 11:27pm on 13 Jul 2010, Harry McCulla wrote:

    This is nothing short of drug discrimination being practised by every government since the introduction of the Misuse of Drugs Act. Both government and its drug advisors now acknowledge that drugs such as alcohol and tobacco cause far more harm than currently controlled drugs such as cannabis and ecstasy, yet the least harmful drugs are banned under the Act.

    And to those on here using the term 'druggie', I assume this refers to people who consume drugs of which you disapprove? Is that because they are in a minority so you feel it's ok to vilify them? What special term do you have for people with a different skin colour to you?

    In years to come, drug discrimination will be seen in the same light as racism. In my opinion they are manifestations of the same thing - discrimination against someone different to you.

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  • 158. At 08:32am on 14 Jul 2010, presario wrote:

    Contributor number 3 made the statement: "Doesn't that pretty much drive a coach and horses through the 'legalise drugs and everything will be ok' argument?"
    Well no it does not, in fact it strengthens the argument. Why? Because the pressure to take drugs would reduce due to the lack of profit in supplying. Why is it OK for people to kill themselves via the use of alcohol and tobacco but not via drugs? It the "do-gooders" interference by criminalising drug use that has caused the drug-related crime wave.
    By all means classify tobacco, alcohol and drugs according to harm and publicise those dangers vigorously, but the state has no right to criminalise drug use when the user inflicts no harm on others.
    I am not my brother's keeper.

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  • 159. At 09:12am on 14 Jul 2010, Macca wrote:

    I always felt there are more sides to this debate that are never fully covered.

    Crime - What is the impact on crime by making drugs legal? What crimes could be reduced, what crimes would potentially rise? If stronger action was taken against those breaking laws whilst under the influence would this impact choice on those taking it? If you're smoking cannabis and breaking no law then why prosecute? If you're high on substances and driving, this should be punished the same way as we punish drink driving (if the control of the vehicle is impaired by being under the influence).

    Health Costs - What extra burden would actually be incurred on the NHS? Would there be more cost spent on care for people as a result of drug use?

    Control - We don't do a great job controlling alcohol or tobacco as it still gets in to the wrong (under-aged) hands but in the current climate, surely the pushers today don't care about the age of their clients.

    The topic of drugs seems to be still far too emotive than logical or scientific.

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  • 160. At 09:34am on 14 Jul 2010, John Ellis wrote:

    http://www.opposingviews.com/i/ex-heroin-addict-marijuana-an-“exit-drug”-not-“gateway-drug”

    what will happen if drugs are put into a framework of use (not legalised) you cant legalise drugs they are just a commodity.
    The use of more dangerous drugs like ethanol fall or balance out in the grand scheme of things, we can apply real time practices that both educate and deter use. It would become morally unacceptable to ply our young with alcohol at the dinner table, as all drugs would be seen as just that drugs.

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  • 161. At 09:57am on 14 Jul 2010, John Ellis wrote:

    one other prevalent thought in this argument on drugs, the UK now stands as one of the last criminal haven's for drug dealers.
    We are a supportive bastion of strength to the illegal drug markets that seek sanctuary in the UK were prices are kept high by our naive government, as they talk about cultural history.

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  • 162. At 10:50am on 14 Jul 2010, Shaunie Babes wrote:

    130. At 2:31pm on 13 Jul 2010, gustozest wrote:
    " Also, try not to use the term 'druggies', the issue of recreational drug taking is vastly complex and this umbrella term does no service to anyone effected by drug related issues."
    -----------------
    I know someone who insists you can't be an alcoholic unless drink spirits.
    "Soft" drug users suffer from the same delusion

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  • 163. At 10:51am on 14 Jul 2010, Shaunie Babes wrote:

    134. At 2:51pm on 13 Jul 2010, FedupwithGovt wrote:
    " Excuse me, but a bit less of the druggies please! Do you smoke, drink alcohol, or take prescription drugs, if you do, then by your own definition you are a druggie. And I think you will find that most recreational drugs users hate the fact they have to deal with criminal scumbags.. "
    -------------------
    The don't HAVE to at all. They choose to. They remind me of people who complain about the local crime rate, yet are quite happy to buy stolen goods for a dodgy bloke in pub. Although drug users go one further and blame their actions on the theft act.

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  • 164. At 10:59am on 14 Jul 2010, mazari wrote:

    The use of that term "druggies" here shocks me. How do you define a 'druggie' may I ask? I have known the same group of cannabis user friends for almost 30 years and I myself have managed to hold down a demanding job, pay a mortgage and bring up three daughters of which I am very proud whilst using herbal cannabis regularly and responsibly for most of that time. That circle of close friends includes a teacher, two nurses, IT consultant, a sales manager and a civil servant and every one of them I am proud to know. All of us are now just into our 50's and support the fight to legalise cannabis. Are we what you would describe as typical 'druggies'? because we are just typical of many that use cannabis. our children have grown up well educated about drugs and have been told the TRUTH about drugs, not the 'Frank' version of the truth!

    The Govt has lied to us and fed us propaganda in recent years and now its coming back to bite them.

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  • 165. At 12:01pm on 14 Jul 2010, mortice rigger wrote:

    #164 mazari

    I share your offence and I am aware that the reason is ignorance.

    I had a very 'proper' upbringing and steered clear of most 'experimentation' during my growth years. However, I have now been very close to a number of people who use drugs at varying levels, the most difficult was having to watch a friend drown in alcoholism from being a forthright and confident person. By first very close encounter with cannabis taught me the virtue of being non-judgemental, open, honest, and accepting of the person involved. It was a part of them and, if you like the whole, you like the bits in between too.

    I now have a much clearer insight into people, why we are what we are, and why we do the things we do. None of these people would have harmed a fly, and, if you knew them you would love them just as much as I do. None of them are criminals in any sense of the word, since what they do is no different to walking into a chemist and buying some medicine to make you feel better, or better still, walking into a supermarket and buying a six pack or a packet of twenty.

    The only people who should be ashamed of themselves on this blog are those who think it is smart to dictate life choices to others when the choices do no harm to anyone other than themselves, if indeed they do any harm at all.

    It is very sad that for a twenty first century generation we have people who are more backward than I was as a young person!

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  • 166. At 12:34pm on 14 Jul 2010, General_Jack_Ripper wrote:

    strcprstskrzkrk wrote:
    I always felt there are more sides to this debate that are never fully covered.


    As have I.

    In an effort to minimise the length of this post I'm just going to discuss Cannabis, in reality I think what I'm about to say could be applied to most other recreational drugs too.


    Crime - More than 160,000 people were found in possession of cannabis in 2008-09, 27,500 ended up in court, according to Home Office figures.
    Legalisation would obviously reduce that 27,500 court cases to zero as people would no longer be facing criminal charges for possession.
    As even the simplest of criminal court cases costs at least a thousand pounds we can see that legalisation would save at least £27,500,000 a year just in court costs.

    The 27,500 court cases in 2008-09 resulted in over 160 years of custodial sentences being handed down to those convicted of possession, at an average cost of over £30,000 per year we would also see another saving of over £5,000,000 a year by not imprisoning these people.

    There would also be the elimination of community sentences that are most commonly handed down for possession of Cannabis, I can't find any accurate figures for this though so I couldn't quantify the costs or possible savings but I wouldn't be at all surprised to find that we could be saving several million pounds more by eliminating these punishments too.

    This is just for Cannabis but so far we've managed to find almost 30,000 court cases per year that could be eliminated and over 160,000 cautions/arrests too.
    Even if each arrest/caution only took an average of one hour that's 160,000 hours of Police time we could be saving, or put another way; that's the equivalent of at least 76 Police Officers working a full time week for 52 weeks a year.
    As anyone with any experience of this will tell you, an arrest/caution takes much longer than an hour. If we were to be able to see exactly how much time had been spent on arresting, cautioning & prosecuting people for possession of Cannabis then it would more likely be several times higher than the figures I'm giving here.

    I'm not sure how much crime would increase as a result of legalising Cannabis, as far as I can tell everyone who wants to use Cannabis already does so I'm finding it difficult to think of any increase in crime that would result from legalisation.

    There's a very good chance that we would also see a reduction in associated crime such as street dealing and organised crime as we'd be taking the market and therefore several billion pounds worth of cash flow out of the hands of criminal organisations and putting it into the hands of licensed producers & distributors.


    Health - There would more than likely be an increase in usage just after the end of Prohibition which would obviously increase the number of people at risk from developing health issues as a result of Cannabis use.
    This would be off-set by the increase in quality control, at the moment dealers are mixing all sorts of things with Cannabis when they're making resin and it has now become quite common for herbal Cannabis to be sprayed with powdered glass to give it the impression of having more crystals on it, legalisation would prevent these practices and would ensure that all of the Cannabis being sold was contaminant free and of a set standard.

    Cannabis itself is one of the safest drugs in the world, there has never been a confirmed death as a result of Cannabis use and many studies have shown Cannabis to be far less harmful than tobacco even if used for many years.

    If Cannabis were taxed it would also provide several billion pounds a year in taxation that could (and should) go straight into the NHS and education budgets.


    Control - We can never have 100% control over any substance, the government can't even stop nuclear material from going missing or ending up in the wrong hands so it would be inappropriate of me to suggest that we could have total control over Cannabis.
    Saying that, I've never seen anyone in a coffee shop in Holland that looked too young to be in there and if the UK enforced age restriction legislation as effectively as the Dutch do then maybe we would see a reduction in all under-age drug use.

    The fact remains though that supermarkets and off-licenses are far less likely to sell age-restricted products to children than drug dealers. By applying a requirement that anyone wishing to purchase drugs would have to supply photographic ID before they could then we could minimise the chances of children buying them even more.


    This is just the ramblings of an old man using the internet to find information, I'm sure that if the government commissioned a study into this then we would find that the savings and benefits of legalisation would be far in excess of what I'm stating here.

    Like many other people I am convinced that Prohibition is the cause of, not the solution too, many of our social problems and that by legalising, regulating and taxing recreational drugs we would be able to save millions of pounds of annual police and court costs, provide billions of pounds of additional taxation to the Treasury and help prevent children from getting access to drugs.
    It wouldn't be a magic bullet that eliminated all of our problems over night but it would be the single biggest improvement we could make to our country and its legal system.

    I'll just end with the now customary signoff;

    Prohibition does not work !

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  • 167. At 12:50pm on 14 Jul 2010, xmen123 wrote:

    163. At 10:51am on 14 Jul 2010, Shaunie Babes wrote:
    buy stolen goods for a dodgy bloke in pub

    I presume you mean those "alcoholic druggies" when you wrote above since the "cannabis smokers aka druggies" you refer to are anywhere but a pub simply because they can not toke in there....

    You may refer to those on opium or heroin as druggies but please please get things into perspective I sent a link I will send it again

    http://www.cedro-uva.org/lib/jay.legalisation.html

    I realise most people are given a dumb education to allow such situations like this come around without much questions

    I hope you have the patience to at least read half of what is written on that link..

    You will see prior to man made drugs people had been using those very drugs for cures of various illnesses.

    Its up to you to work out if commercial markets, men with money had anything to do with the so called terms, legislations and rules that you live by and disagree with anyone who questions a thing..

    A lot of people like to talk but a lot of people should also go and look into history and seek the reasons why things are what they are, it would be impossible to improve a car if you have taken over its manufacturing have no clue as to how cars are made or have any blue prints of how to make it. Meaning without understanding somethings history you certainly can not talk like you are the know all and be all and I presume yet you have never tried it or did try it and it did not agree with you. What ever the case its obvious you and some others do not like it and push your own dislike agenda over others who it does agree with and would prefer it to a pint?

    Its kind of childish do you not think,
    educate educate educate

    yes gotta start really soon and history history history is most important it seems because lot of things are repeaing over and over again and most people have not got a clue

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  • 168. At 1:27pm on 14 Jul 2010, xmen123 wrote:

    For a start I hope you have read the actual document before commenting :)

    So it seems clear that those taking more addictive substances crack,heroin,cocaine are the likely ones to commit crime.

    The problem here seems to be that softer substances like herbs gets generally the same type of classification & branding as those who are proper drug users.


    5.5
    A drug’s pharmacology will also affect the degree to which its
    use is re-enforced. Heroin is a highly addictive substance and cannabis
    less so. Individuals often resort to crime to ensure they have sufficient
    supplies. For example, the Arrestee Survey for 2003/4 shows that 68%
    of shoplifting offences and 63% of burglaries were carried out by those
    who had taken heroin crack and cocaine in the last 12 months.
    Extreme levels of dependence on drugs such as heroin and crack
    cocaine can lead just a few individuals having a highly negative impact
    on a whole community All drugs are associated with some degree of
    criminal behaviour.

    This is the reason for the document and debate to see if changing the law would provide a safer, more affordable hence less crime association, better education system that benefits not just the drug user but the community that this potential offender lives in.

    If you still do not understand I suggest you go read a book or paper or something if you are still finding it hard try to eat book and pray that it helps.

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  • 169. At 2:36pm on 14 Jul 2010, Shaunie Babes wrote:

    156. At 9:24pm on 13 Jul 2010, General_Jack_Ripper wrote:
    Shaunie Babes wrote:
    When saying alcohol prohibition failed, druggies never mention Saudi Arabia.
    I wonder why ?
    Do we not ?
    Oh well, here's one about Saudi Arabia then;
    Getting a drink in Saudi Arabia
    hile there are limited legal means to get alcohol and consume it privately, there is also smuggling, which is thought to be more active through the eastern side of the country.
    Saudis interested in bringing in alcohol can do so from neighbouring Gulf states, especially Bahrain, where Saudis can travel easily via a causeway.
    Another smuggling route is from Jordan where spirits are available, and where some of it is manufactured, like beer and a spirit known as Araq.

    So prohibition doesn't work in Saudi Arabia either...
    --------------------
    Claiming that because a small number of people still break the law that the law doesn't work, is like claiming Raoul Moat proves we should repeal the homocide act.

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  • 170. At 2:37pm on 14 Jul 2010, FedupwithGovt wrote:

    163. At 10:51am on 14 Jul 2010, Shaunie Babes wrote:
    134. At 2:51pm on 13 Jul 2010, FedupwithGovt wrote:
    " Excuse me, but a bit less of the druggies please! Do you smoke, drink alcohol, or take prescription drugs, if you do, then by your own definition you are a druggie. And I think you will find that most recreational drugs users hate the fact they have to deal with criminal scumbags.. "
    -------------------
    The don't HAVE to at all. They choose to. They remind me of people who complain about the local crime rate, yet are quite happy to buy stolen goods for a dodgy bloke in pub. Although drug users go one further and blame their actions on the theft act.

    =============================================

    Sorry, but your analogy just doesn't hold water. My whole point about the legalisation of drugs is to get it out of the hands of criminals. Criminals who don't care what they peddle. They are supported in this by the Government because they would rather classify drugs from a moral point of view rather than a scientific measure of harm. I don't understand your last point at all about the theft act.

    If you cannot get your head around the perfectly practical, scientific view that alcohol is a far more dangerous drug, by a long, long way, than ecstasy or cannabis then you are not worth conversing with as your mind is obviously closed and padlocked.

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  • 171. At 2:41pm on 14 Jul 2010, Shaunie Babes wrote:

    164. At 10:59am on 14 Jul 2010, mazari wrote:
    The use of that term "druggies" here shocks me. How do you define a 'druggie' may I ask?
    ----------
    The term is a perfectly reasonable one to describe a drug user. Drug users who take offence are the ones that like to pretend that its the other drug users who are the problem. If you buy from criminals, risk arrest and claim you cannot live your life without getting high from cannabis, you are just as much a druggie as a heroin addict

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  • 172. At 2:51pm on 14 Jul 2010, FedupwithGovt wrote:

    164. At 10:59am on 14 Jul 2010, mazari wrote:
    The use of that term "druggies" here shocks me. How do you define a 'druggie' may I ask? I have known the same group of cannabis user friends for almost 30 years and I myself have managed to hold down a demanding job, pay a mortgage and bring up three daughters of which I am very proud whilst using herbal cannabis regularly and responsibly for most of that time. That circle of close friends includes a teacher, two nurses, IT consultant, a sales manager and a civil servant and every one of them I am proud to know. All of us are now just into our 50's and support the fight to legalise cannabis. Are we what you would describe as typical 'druggies'? because we are just typical of many that use cannabis. our children have grown up well educated about drugs and have been told the TRUTH about drugs, not the 'Frank' version of the truth!

    The Govt has lied to us and fed us propaganda in recent years and now its coming back to bite them.

    ====================================

    Well said!!!!

    I myself have just reached the big 50. I have a wonderful wife, lovely daughter who has just finished her GCSE's and is expecting top grades. We live in a very nice detached house in a very quiet middle class area, 2 cars etc. We have very nice friends and family. I have always worked, paid my taxes, never been in trouble with the law. However, to some people on this site I am a DRUGGIE because I like to relax, not by throwing gallons of alcohol down my throat, but by taking a couple of little pills. My daughter has been told the truth about drugs and as you mentioned she and her friends treat 'FRANK' with little trust.

    In my opinion the Government is responsible for every drug related death in this country and will continue to be responsible until they overhaul this ridiculous situation. The war on drugs was lost before it was begun. Treat us like adults, not silly children.

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  • 173. At 3:02pm on 14 Jul 2010, mazari wrote:

    Here in the UK I am persecuted and criminalised for my choice of the use of cannabis as a means of relaxing at the end of a hard day, and yet I can take the short trip over to Holland and travel to cities where I can sit and relax in the company of others and safely enjoy regulated cannabis with a cup of coffee or juice without fear of arrest and being dragged through the court system. The Dutch manage to make it work so why can't we? We're not so different in my experience.

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  • 174. At 3:05pm on 14 Jul 2010, Shaunie Babes wrote:


    153. At 7:13pm on 13 Jul 2010, jr4412 wrote:
    FedupwithGovt #134.
    "Do you smoke, drink alcohol, or take prescription drugs, if you do, then by
    your own definition you are a druggie."
    also, coffee and tea. (yes, really!)
    are you listening, Shaunie Babes, Betty_Swallocks, et al?
    ------------
    A druggie takes drugs to alter their mental state for non-medical reasons. Comparing someone who drinks tea or injects insulin to cannabis and heroin use is nonsense. Despite druggies wish to make their problem appear normal.

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  • 175. At 3:08pm on 14 Jul 2010, Shaunie Babes wrote:

    166. At 12:34pm on 14 Jul 2010, General_Jack_Ripper wrote:
    "Prohibition does not work !"
    ------------
    Do you have many hand grenades, anthrax, plutonium or tigers in your house ?

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  • 176. At 3:29pm on 14 Jul 2010, Jon OapostropheBrien wrote:

    jon112uk said: "There are obviously a substantial number of people who will not do something they would actually like to do purely because it is illegal - millions of us in fact."

    Why 'obviously'? Where do you get the 'fact' in your 'millions of us in fact'? I suggest that, in fact, it came from out of thin air.

    A recent survey found that a miniscule proportion of people who didn't use cannabis abstained on account of its illegality. The chances are that removing penalties for cannabis possession would be unlikely significantly to increase usage. In fact (and this is a fact you can check for yourself) when the Dutch started to turn a blind-eye to cannabis use, drug use overall began to drop.

    The real question is, of course, why the government is poking its collective nose into what people are allowed to ingest. Cannabis kills no one. It's perfectly legal to commit suicide but not legal to smoke cannabis. That's utterly illogical and it's an illogocality that's costing this country vast amounts of money it can't afford to spend. And not just spend but waste. No matter how much money is spent trying to stop people smoking cannabis, or taking many other drugs, they continue to do so.

    It's long past time that a logical and pragmatic approach to drug us was adopted in this country. All that's needed is a group of politicians with the guts to do the right thing, rather than what the ignorant but vocal minority demand that they do.

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  • 177. At 3:33pm on 14 Jul 2010, FedupwithGovt wrote:

    171. At 2:41pm on 14 Jul 2010, Shaunie Babes wrote:
    164. At 10:59am on 14 Jul 2010, mazari wrote:
    The use of that term "druggies" here shocks me. How do you define a 'druggie' may I ask?
    ----------
    The term is a perfectly reasonable one to describe a drug user. Drug users who take offence are the ones that like to pretend that its the other drug users who are the problem. If you buy from criminals, risk arrest and claim you cannot live your life without getting high from cannabis, you are just as much a druggie as a heroin addict

    ======================================

    I wonder how you refer to black people, or people who drink alcohol, or smoke tobacco, or take prescription drugs. It doesn't matter where you buy your tobacco, alcohol or prescription drugs from. Plus I would not refer to a heroin user as a druggie. There are names for people like you.

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  • 178. At 3:36pm on 14 Jul 2010, jr4412 wrote:

    Shaunie Babes #169.

    "Claiming that because a small number of people still break the law that the law doesn't work, is like claiming Raoul Moat proves we should repeal the homocide act."

    sigh..

    if you were to shoot and kill me ("homicide"), you'd have committed a violent, anti-social offense punishable under criminal law; if you were to offer me a G&T (or a joint), you'd be punishable in the same way ("supply" and "intent to supply"), and you agree??

    me, I'd prefer to live in a world where actual crimes are punished (severly) rather than punishing offenses to the faith and belief, dogma, or 'finer sensibilities' of the majority.

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  • 179. At 3:42pm on 14 Jul 2010, Have your say Rejected wrote:

    xmen123...Much of the criminal behaviour which arises from illicit drug use, is in fact because of it's legality, people are criminalised for using illicit drugs, in fact this is by far the biggest danger of illicit drug use, to the user. After heroin was totally prohibited a few decades ago the crime rate shot up, this was because the change in law forced drug addicts to steal for their fix, instead of getting their prescription. Remove the drug laws and we would remove a huge amount of revenue from criminal gangs, limiting their ability to cause crime. I would argue it's the drug laws which cause most of the crime not the drugs. I admit there will still be some violent crime committed by hard drug users, but the numbers are no where near that of the beer druggies.

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  • 180. At 3:45pm on 14 Jul 2010, General_Jack_Ripper wrote:

    Shaunie Babes wrote:
    Claiming that because a small number of people still break the law that the law doesn't work, is like claiming Raoul Moat proves we should repeal the homocide act.


    A small number of people ?

    What planet are you living on ?


    UN report puts world's illicit drug trade at estimated $321b

    Annual worldwide illegal drug sales are greater than the gross domestic product of 88 percent of the countries in the world, the UN said yesterday....

    The UN report, issued in Stockholm, said the global drug trade generated an estimated $321.6 billion in 2003, the latest year for which figures were available.

    "The size of the world's illicit drug industry is thus equivalent to 0.9 percent of the world's GDP or higher than the GDP of 88 percent of the countries in the world," Carsten Hyttel, East African representative of the UN Office on Drugs and Crime, told a Nairobi news conference.


    Source: http://www.boston.com/news/world/europe/articles/2005/06/30/un_report_puts_worlds_illicit_drug_trade_at_estimated_321b/


    There isn't a country in the world that has managed to eliminate the drugs trade, even those country that have brought in the most severe of penalties for drug possession can't stop it.

    And where do you get the idea that only a small number of people in Saudi Arabia are using alcohol ?
    Do you have some verifiable facts that we can use to confirm the number of alcohol users or are you just plucking numbers from thin air as you so often do and then claiming that this proves your argument ?

    Is it not actually the case that you have no idea how many people drink alcohol in Saudi Arabia but because I’ve already proven you to be wrong about the general point that you’re now trying to make out that it’s only a small number because you don’t want to face up to the fact that you’ve been proven to be wrong ?

    Prohibition does not work, has never worked and will never work.

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  • 181. At 3:56pm on 14 Jul 2010, Jon OapostropheBrien wrote:

    Shaunie Babes wrote: "If you...claim you cannot live your life without getting high from cannabis, you are just as much a druggie as a heroin addict".

    In over 40 years of enjoying cannabis, amongst all the thousands of people I've met and enjoyed cannabis with, I've never met anyone who has claimed any such thing.

    Most cannabis enthusiasts will profess that they have no desire to live the rest of their lives without being able to enjoy cannabis but, as cannabis is not addictive, the use of a pejorative term like 'druggie' to describe them is really not appropriate.

    In fact, use of pejorative terms to describe any drug addict isn't appropriate. Until drug addiction is universally understood to be the illness that it is, society will not begin to solve its drug-addiction problem and calling people 'druggies' won't help achieve that.

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  • 182. At 4:03pm on 14 Jul 2010, John Ellis wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 183. At 4:07pm on 14 Jul 2010, Shaunie Babes wrote:

    170. At 2:37pm on 14 Jul 2010, FedupwithGovt wrote:
    If you cannot get your head around the perfectly practical, scientific view that alcohol is a far more dangerous drug, by a long, long way, than ecstasy or cannabis then you are not worth conversing with as your mind is obviously closed and padlocked.
    -----------------------
    Drug users will find this hard to believe, but its perfectly possible to spend your entire life drinking alcohol simply as a tasty means of dealing with a thirst. It has been used this way for thousands of years. Drinking being a completely necessary act to prevent death. No one ever moderates their cannabis use to avoid getting high, nor do they indulge purely because they like the taste of smoke.

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  • 184. At 4:11pm on 14 Jul 2010, John Ellis wrote:

    cannabis diabetes
    http://www.daily-diabetic.com/50226711/cannabis_as_diabetes_treatment.php

    http://www.diabetesmine.com/2005/10/treating_diabet.html

    oh Shaunie Babes how dull your arguments are...

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  • 185. At 4:13pm on 14 Jul 2010, FedupwithGovt wrote:

    175. At 3:08pm on 14 Jul 2010, Shaunie Babes wrote:
    166. At 12:34pm on 14 Jul 2010, General_Jack_Ripper wrote:
    "Prohibition does not work !"
    ------------
    Do you have many hand grenades, anthrax, plutonium or tigers in your house

    ===========================================

    Your arguments are becoming more and more immature. It must be terrible to have such little understanding and empathy.

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  • 186. At 4:14pm on 14 Jul 2010, FedupwithGovt wrote:

    174. At 3:05pm on 14 Jul 2010, Shaunie Babes wrote:

    153. At 7:13pm on 13 Jul 2010, jr4412 wrote:
    FedupwithGovt #134.
    "Do you smoke, drink alcohol, or take prescription drugs, if you do, then by
    your own definition you are a druggie."
    also, coffee and tea. (yes, really!)
    are you listening, Shaunie Babes, Betty_Swallocks, et al?
    ------------
    A druggie takes drugs to alter their mental state for non-medical reasons.

    ===========================================

    What on earth do you think alcohol does?

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  • 187. At 4:14pm on 14 Jul 2010, John Ellis wrote:

    infact Shaunie babes all posts with the term druggies used in a derogatory way are now to be reported as unacceptable.
    You are implying that sick and disabled people are criminals for having no available treatment on the NHS.

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  • 188. At 4:38pm on 14 Jul 2010, mazari wrote:

    171. At 2:41pm on 14 Jul 2010, Shaunie Babes wrote:
    164. At 10:59am on 14 Jul 2010, mazari wrote:
    The use of that term "druggies" here shocks me. How do you define a 'druggie' may I ask?
    ----------
    "The term is a perfectly reasonable one to describe a drug user. Drug users who take offence are the ones that like to pretend that its the other drug users who are the problem. If you buy from criminals, risk arrest and claim you cannot live your life without getting high from cannabis, you are just as much a druggie as a heroin addict"

    So you apply that term 'druggie' also to those who drink alcohol in moderation or smoke tobacco then? as both substances are of course psycho-active drugs that alter ones mental state and do far more damage than cannabis in terms of deaths per annum and cost to the NHS. Your argument is self defeating, I don't want anybody having to buy from criminals, that's why I support legalisation or decriminalisation along the lines of the Dutch model. Are you saying that the Dutch are a nation of 'druggies' because adults there can purchase regulated cannabis from licensed outlets and enjoy it socially?

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  • 189. At 4:58pm on 14 Jul 2010, jr4412 wrote:

    Shaunie Babes #174.

    "A druggie takes drugs to alter their mental state for non-medical reasons. Comparing someone who drinks tea ... is nonsense."

    and what do coffee/tea drinkers do when suddenly without?

    become 'irritable', 'moody'? have trouble sleeping?

    LOL



    #175 ""Prohibition does not work !"
    ------------
    Do you have many hand grenades, anthrax, plutonium or tigers in your house ?"

    oh dear, how desperate.

    safe to say that money will buy you any of the above, if you feel the need. (and pay cash ;))

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  • 190. At 5:16pm on 14 Jul 2010, Jon OapostropheBrien wrote:

    Shaunie Babes wrote: "its [sic] perfectly possible to spend your entire life drinking alcohol simply as a tasty means of dealing with a thirst".

    Oh dear! You seem to be as ill-informed about alcohol as you are about other drugs, which is saying something.

    It is NOT possible to drink alcohol as a means, tasty or otherwise, of dealing with a thirst. Alcohol dehydrates you, making you even more thirsty. In fact, the majority of the effects of a hangover are due to your body being dehydrated.

    And a lesser, but none the less important, point. When you say: "Drug users will find this hard to believe...", you seem to forget that alcohol is a drug. It's also, for your information, a central nervous system poison. It's very nasty stuff and I speak as a wine lover.

    Please, do yourself, and everyone else, a favour and stop arguing from a point of ignorance. Join in the dabate, by all means, but do some basic research first, so that you have some idea of what you're talking about. Tabloid newspapers are not good research sources.

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  • 191. At 5:16pm on 14 Jul 2010, Betty_Swallocks wrote:

    153. At 7:13pm on 13 Jul 2010, jr4412 wrote:
    are you listening, Shaunie Babes, Betty_Swallocks, et al?

    Please don't associate me with Shaunie Babes, If you look at my original post (#34) you will find that I was the first on this blog to advocate legalisation and I don't appreciate being tarred with the same intolerant brush as him.

    Just for the record I use alcohol, tobacco and marijuana in moderation and strongly resent being criminalised for using the least harmful of the three just because Harry J. Anslinger said so.

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  • 192. At 5:32pm on 14 Jul 2010, iNotHere wrote:

    Do you have many hand grenades, anthrax, plutonium or tigers in your house ?"

    --------

    ROFL...no why do you want some? 'Cos I'm sure I could find a dealer in any of those if I tried for long enough....and you've got the cash.

    That was the point of the slogan...PROHIBITION DOES NOT WORK! Get it now?

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  • 193. At 5:41pm on 14 Jul 2010, Steve - Iver wrote:

    Shaunie Babes wrote:
    When saying alcohol prohibition failed, druggies never mention Saudi Arabia.
    I wonder why ?

    Let's try to keep the comparisons real, Shaunie.
    Saudi Arabia is famous for its strict laws. A country that doesn't even allow public displays of affection (eg kissing) cannot be used to set example when it comes to fairness and open debate.

    I've travelled that region extensively, and one thing that ALWAYS comes back and amuses me, when sat in a hotel bar in a neighbouring country, a country that does allow alcohol consumption, is you will invariably find one or two Saudis, on an away-day weekend, having a relaxing drink of alcohol.

    What is in question here is the fairness of OUR law, not that of another nation. Stoning of women is considered good form in some countries - should we adopt that too, I don't think so.

    Our law is unfair and unjust. We used to pride ourselves on being a fair and free nation. Freedom is slipping away and fairness is weighted.

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  • 194. At 5:47pm on 14 Jul 2010, Steve - Iver wrote:

    143. At 4:46pm on 13 Jul 2010, Mike wrote:
    "Call me a druggie but I enjoy my caffeine fix, my occasional alcohol fix, and my cannabis fix"

    Mike, your article was well written and perfectly conveyed. I take it, from your statement about Amsterdam being your home town, that English is not your first language. If that is the case, then I applaud you more, as you obviously have not only a good grasp of common sense, but an expert grasp of the English language, more so, in fact, than some (not all) of the posters here who cannot even use the 'preview' button to check before submitting the comment.

    That said, we need to EDUCATE, REGULATE and TAX.
    Why, because - all together now, PROHIBITION DOES NOT WORK

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  • 195. At 6:09pm on 14 Jul 2010, jr4412 wrote:

    Betty_Swallocks #191.

    [blush] my mistake, apologies.

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  • 196. At 6:43pm on 14 Jul 2010, Shaunie Babes wrote:

    177. At 3:33pm on 14 Jul 2010, FedupwithGovt wrote:

    171. At 2:41pm on 14 Jul 2010, Shaunie Babes wrote:
    164. At 10:59am on 14 Jul 2010, mazari wrote:
    The use of that term "druggies" here shocks me. How do you define a 'druggie' may I ask?
    ----------
    The term is a perfectly reasonable one to describe a drug user. Drug users who take offence are the ones that like to pretend that its the other drug users who are the problem. If you buy from criminals, risk arrest and claim you cannot live your life without getting high from cannabis, you are just as much a druggie as a heroin addict
    ======================================
    I wonder how you refer to black people, or people who drink alcohol, or smoke tobacco, or take prescription drugs. It doesn't matter where you buy your tobacco, alcohol or prescription drugs from. Plus I would not refer to a heroin user as a druggie. There are names for people like you.
    -----
    I call black people "Blacks", people who drink alcohol "Drinkers", people who smoke tobacco "Smokers" and heroin users "Pathetic low-life"

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  • 197. At 6:46pm on 14 Jul 2010, Shaunie Babes wrote:

    184. At 4:11pm on 14 Jul 2010, John Ellis wrote:
    cannabis diabetes
    http://www.daily-diabetic.com/50226711/cannabis_as_diabetes_treatment.php
    http://www.diabetesmine.com/2005/10/treating_diabet.html
    oh Shaunie Babes how dull your arguments are...
    -----------
    Do people smoke cannabis to get high or to save the NHS insulin ?
    Cannabis users claim its a cure for so many things I'm amazed they don't live forever

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  • 198. At 6:49pm on 14 Jul 2010, Shaunie Babes wrote:

    185. At 4:13pm on 14 Jul 2010, FedupwithGovt wrote:

    175. At 3:08pm on 14 Jul 2010, Shaunie Babes wrote:
    166. At 12:34pm on 14 Jul 2010, General_Jack_Ripper wrote:
    "Prohibition does not work !"
    ------------
    Do you have many hand grenades, anthrax, plutonium or tigers in your house
    ===========================================
    Your arguments are becoming more and more immature. It must be terrible to have such little understanding and empathy.
    -------------------------
    Whats immature in countering an argument that prohibition doesn't work by showing examples where it clearly does ?

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  • 199. At 6:54pm on 14 Jul 2010, Shaunie Babes wrote:

    187. At 4:14pm on 14 Jul 2010, John Ellis wrote:
    infact Shaunie babes all posts with the term druggies used in a derogatory way are now to be reported as unacceptable.
    You are implying that sick and disabled people are criminals for having no available treatment on the NHS.
    -------------
    No, you are trying to rationalise recreational drug use by claiming its the same as legitimate medical drug use. Druggies is a perfectly acceptable term for people who use drugs for recreational duse. People who don't are called patients

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  • 200. At 6:55pm on 14 Jul 2010, pi1 wrote:

    Look, we humans have been using Cannabis for so many thousands of years our brains actually made it's own receptors for it.
    Doesn't that say something?

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  • 201. At 6:59pm on 14 Jul 2010, Shaunie Babes wrote:

    189. At 4:58pm on 14 Jul 2010, jr4412 wrote:
    Shaunie Babes #174.
    "A druggie takes drugs to alter their mental state for non-medical reasons. Comparing someone who drinks tea ... is nonsense."
    and what do coffee/tea drinkers do when suddenly without?
    become 'irritable', 'moody'? have trouble sleeping?
    LOL
    ------------
    No one has ever stolen, turned to prostitution, lost their job, or hurt their familly because they've ran out of PG Tips.

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  • 202. At 7:08pm on 14 Jul 2010, FedupwithGovt wrote:

    198. At 6:49pm on 14 Jul 2010, Shaunie Babes wrote:
    185. At 4:13pm on 14 Jul 2010, FedupwithGovt wrote:

    175. At 3:08pm on 14 Jul 2010, Shaunie Babes wrote:
    166. At 12:34pm on 14 Jul 2010, General_Jack_Ripper wrote:
    "Prohibition does not work !"
    ------------
    Do you have many hand grenades, anthrax, plutonium or tigers in your house
    ===========================================
    Your arguments are becoming more and more immature. It must be terrible to have such little understanding and empathy.
    -------------------------
    Whats immature in countering an argument that prohibition doesn't work by showing examples where it clearly does ?

    ==========================================

    I presume the prohibition example you mean is Saudi Arabia. Well I'm sorry to disappoint you but if you actually took the time and effort to read reports about the use of alcohol and illegal drugs in Saudi you would see your argument holds no water whatsoever. People still use drugs and smuggle drugs into countries that have the death penalty for such crimes, it hasn't stopped it. It has been proved time and time again that prohibition does not work. If you are happy to see young people die year after year because criminals supply them with tainted products then I hope you can sleep at night. Your comment about heroin users is crass and just about sums you and your narrow views up.

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  • 203. At 7:09pm on 14 Jul 2010, FedupwithGovt wrote:

    200. At 6:55pm on 14 Jul 2010, pi1 wrote:
    Look, we humans have been using Cannabis for so many thousands of years our brains actually made it's own receptors for it.
    Doesn't that say something?

    ====================================

    Actually, our brains already had the receptors so that says even more - yes?

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  • 204. At 7:14pm on 14 Jul 2010, Shaunie Babes wrote:

    188. At 4:38pm on 14 Jul 2010, mazari wrote:

    171. At 2:41pm on 14 Jul 2010, Shaunie Babes wrote:
    164. At 10:59am on 14 Jul 2010, mazari wrote:
    The use of that term "druggies" here shocks me. How do you define a 'druggie' may I ask?
    ----------
    "The term is a perfectly reasonable one to describe a drug user. Drug users who take offence are the ones that like to pretend that its the other drug users who are the problem. If you buy from criminals, risk arrest and claim you cannot live your life without getting high from cannabis, you are just as much a druggie as a heroin addict"

    So you apply that term 'druggie' also to those who drink alcohol in moderation or smoke tobacco then? as both substances are of course psycho-active drugs that alter ones mental state and do far more damage than cannabis in terms of deaths per annum and cost to the NHS. Your argument is self defeating, I don't want anybody having to buy from criminals, that's why I support legalisation or decriminalisation along the lines of the Dutch model. Are you saying that the Dutch are a nation of 'druggies' because adults there can purchase regulated cannabis from licensed outlets and enjoy it socially?
    --------------
    The Dutch model is just as strict as the UK one, the only diference is looser laws on cannabis. Cannabis is sold in coffee shops for no other reason to get its users high. This makes them druggies just as much as any other drug user. Oh, and the vast majority of cannabis users also smoke tobacco and drink so they can't be overly concerned to their dangers. Its only when you criticise cannabis they claim fags and booze are more deadly than cyanide.

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  • 205. At 7:16pm on 14 Jul 2010, iNotHere wrote:

    No one has ever stolen, turned to prostitution, lost their job, or hurt their familly because they've ran out of PG Tips.

    -----------
    No but they used to break the law to smuggle it.

    Taxation on Tea. Charles II did his bit to counter the growth of tea, with several acts forbidding its sale in private houses. This measure was designed to counter sedition, but it was so unpopular that it was impossible to enforce. A 1676 act taxed tea and required coffee house operators to apply for a license.

    This was just the start of government attempts to control, or at least, to profit from the popularity of tea in Britain. By the mid 18th century the duty on tea had reached an absurd 119%. This heavy taxation had the effect of creating a whole new industry - tea smuggling.

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  • 206. At 7:19pm on 14 Jul 2010, FedupwithGovt wrote:

    201. At 6:59pm on 14 Jul 2010, Shaunie Babes wrote:
    189. At 4:58pm on 14 Jul 2010, jr4412 wrote:
    Shaunie Babes #174.
    "A druggie takes drugs to alter their mental state for non-medical reasons. Comparing someone who drinks tea ... is nonsense."
    and what do coffee/tea drinkers do when suddenly without?
    become 'irritable', 'moody'? have trouble sleeping?
    LOL
    ------------
    No one has ever stolen, turned to prostitution, lost their job, or hurt their familly because they've ran out of PG Tips.

    ======================================

    They have for their next fix of alcohol, or to have one more gamble on the horses, or to go on their next shopaholic spending spree etc etc!

    I'm not sure which is worse, your arrogance, ignorance or your poor attempts at wit.

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  • 207. At 7:27pm on 14 Jul 2010, Shaunie Babes wrote:

    190. At 5:16pm on 14 Jul 2010, JonOapostropheBrien wrote:
    Shaunie Babes wrote: "its [sic] perfectly possible to spend your entire life drinking alcohol simply as a tasty means of dealing with a thirst".
    Oh dear! You seem to be as ill-informed about alcohol as you are about other drugs, which is saying something.
    It is NOT possible to drink alcohol as a means, tasty or otherwise, of dealing with a thirst. Alcohol dehydrates you, making you even more thirsty. In fact, the majority of the effects of a hangover are due to your body being dehydrated.
    ------------------
    People generally satisfy a thirst with beer or lager, not neat scotch. These are around 95% water. If the diuretic effect of alcohol were that strong, on hot summer days the streets would be littered with dehydrated young men with burst kidneys.

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  • 208. At 7:32pm on 14 Jul 2010, John Ellis wrote:

    Cannabis users claim its a cure for so many things I'm amazed they don't live forever

    No most 21st century pharmaceutical companies claim this, we merely relay this information to the general public.

    Shaunie sitting there felling smug and pleased with yourself ? flooding your brain with AEA? so that in turn makes you a drug user :)

    tea was used to pay for opium... we fought wars over it.. so nobody's ever been harmed for a cup of tea?

    your getting duller by the post....

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  • 209. At 7:37pm on 14 Jul 2010, John Ellis wrote:

    pi1 wrote:
    Look, we humans have been using Cannabis for so many thousands of years our brains actually made it's own receptors for it.


    its the other way around im afraid CB protiens + receptors made us.

    Cannabinoid Receptor Genetics and Evolution

    http://www.springerlink.com/content/h870255v8x26836g/

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  • 210. At 7:57pm on 14 Jul 2010, Paul James Hatton wrote:

    Dear Mark, its nice to see you have took the drugs policy topic up.

    I usually don't write on these blog walls, because its a case of 'i'm for it', here have some justification.

    Or the 'Not for it', here have some more justifications.

    Most of the 'pro' crowd, which to be fair is the legalise marauana crowd, (mainly to get it out of the dealers hands, because those dealers do seem to love adulterating the stuff).
    Not much of a morale code when it comes to maximizing profits on selling some cannabis. Or any drug for that matter.

    So do it, lets be straight to the nation. Yeah you can all smoke the weed, rock out if you want, do it responsibly though.

    Tell the kids to stay off the crack, heroine and all the real nastiness.

    Have a beer, or a smoke, bit of both perhaps, its not good for you, but then neither is red meat or pollution.

    Lets ditch this great debate, have a trial period with the legalisation of cannabis; give the afghan people a crop to grow that isnt poppeys to stabalise their incomes (just like they implemented in virginia, in the USA with tobacco all those years ago.)

    We'll buy it off the shelf, the government can tax us proportionally and we can get on with looking at bigger matters.

    I've just founded a company that want to take the costs and pollution out of the hr industry. Live online interviewing. Its never been done before, so my partner and i are taking up the challenge.
    No more driving to offices, wondering if you will get the job or not, while you add a bit more carbon to the air we all have to breath.
    Dirt cheap use compared to the mind boggling agency costs, free for the job seekers to save on the bus fairs and disappointment of not getting a job even though they’ve travelled away to get there.

    Have we had any luck with the banks? no, how about the government, no.
    Funds will be available for small businesses? Well I've asked a few times and I'm still without any aid.

    All I can say is people are looking the wrong way, while some want to have a bit of fun, either through relaxation after smoking some canabis, or after having a few pints with your mates.

    The real factors; getting a job, streamling your business to keep it afloat, using innovation and honesty to make the world that little bit of a better place, even while you walk in to the wind that is capitalism.

    Just don’t seem to matter sometimes.

    Lets have a big brother election, where we can smile and call the other a liar, which to be fair, they get caught out a lot, which means yeah you lied.

    Not that trustworthy.

    I Don’t wanna troll the party, or shrek the room(to all you young ones), but its time to set examples to the kids (and the older crowd) and see if we can get rid of 'lets call drugs bad' cause it just seems easier that way.

    Dont debate it, cause you will all find yourselves adding to a blog just like this in a years time from now. Might as well tell the kids that the 'weed aint so bad', its just a plant that gets aload of rubbish mixed in to it if you buy it from a dealer.

    You cant buy it from a shop like you can alcohol. And even though cannabis can be a bit addictive and can be a bit of a wacky drug. It still doesn't want to make you kick off in the middle of town after you downed a pint too many without noticing.

    Not like i've kicked off with any random strangers ever, cause i’ve had to many.
    But yeah l can easily see that loosing inhabitation through alcohol compared to vegging on a couch for a few hours is far the worser of the two.

    I Could go on all night but its an effort, just legalise it for a month. Tell everyone not to become bums and to note themselves, when they seem to be smoking a bit to much and curb it back.
    Tell them to put their heads to useful projects like making savings by trying to find efficient ways, rather than just saying cut time.

    Loose that, save their, dont try that project, no risks.

    There has to be a few like me that want a smoke without being called a criminal and want to think we can be of real use to society.

    Don't talk, just take some logic and get on with it and have a go.

    Procrastination just costs time, money and un-necessary illness due to dealers mixing in harmful compounds to make more cash.
    Give Afghan a real crop to grow and an income, keep the smokers away from the wrong crowd

    stop talking and just get on with it

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  • 211. At 8:06pm on 14 Jul 2010, Sunshine Band wrote:

    This tghread ought to have been about the work of the guy that securred this document release, instead it has been nothing more an excuse for everyone to rabbit on about what they think about drugs and druggies and waste the opportunity of having a great thread, and frankly it pisses on Casey's efforts in setting up the Drug Equality Alliance. We should move on and end all this hot air blowing. What we want is for people to understand our theory and work. It is obvious that much of the commentators here have no idea about what this about. If you are prepared to engage with it, then we can move on, but if this crap dialogue continues then I think we will pass off this opportunity. This is the beeb, let's get this right. I want to assess progress by the quality of the language accuracy. I ask that everyone refrain's from saying that drugs are illegal or legal, as revealing this false-hood goes to the roots of our challenge. Please respect this work!

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  • 212. At 8:33pm on 14 Jul 2010, iNotHere wrote:

    @#174

    Personally I don't see what is wrong with altering ones mental state, ie altering ones chemicals in ones brain? Each and every one of us do it every day, what's the big deal?

    Up until the pharmaceutical companies decided that synthetic was better than natural it was considered a normal part of the day to imbibe tinctures laced with cannabis, for medical purposes I might add, as up until the the early 20th Century taking something to 'make one feel better' was a legitimate medical reason. Politicians chose to change the rules under pressure from Egypt (of all places) and pharmaceutical lobbying because they wanted to 'push' their synthetic drugs. They couldn't peddle the truth to the population as they would've rebelled (as they did with tea in earlier times), so they played the race card, knowing the climate of the time was one of fear that our country was becoming multi-cultural. Sound familiar? It worked, people, turned to the synthetic drugs and use of cannabis etc dwindled.
    The reasons we have the drug laws today owes nothing to 'harm' and everything to profit.

    Whether people can handle the fact that people can use a substance without causing either themselves or the people around them harm is neither here nor there and frankly adds nothing at all to the argument. Your personal dislike of 'controlled substance' users is quite frankly your problem. If you don't like a substance then don't use it! See wasn't that easy? No-one is forcing you to hang around with drug users anymore than drug users would want to hang around you.

    If nobody was getting hurt in all this I would be the first to question legalistaion/decriminalisation/normalisation, whichever. But people are getting hurt, people are dying, from police action, overdose, contaminated substances, gang warfare, HIV, families are being ripped apart, parents are grieving for their lost kids, shall I go on? You might not care what happens to them because they're only drug users but I do, I care a lot about my fellow human beings who are going through a hell at which I can only guess.

    If nothing changes all of this will get worse, whether we lock 'em up in prison or not and trust me it will affect your way of life eventually and drastically.

    The point being made is that the government HAS lied, IS lying and probably will continue to lie about the reasons for this so called 'war' they are waging and that is without the billions being wasted on trying to stamp out something...that to be honest drug users don't want stamped out. So who is gonna win in this battle? How many have to die or be maimed, scarred for life before those with the power realise it is a damned fruitless task?


    Prohibition Does Not Work!

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  • 213. At 9:08pm on 14 Jul 2010, FedupwithGovt wrote:

    211. At 8:06pm on 14 Jul 2010, Sunshine Band wrote:
    This tghread ought to have been about the work of the guy that securred this document release, instead it has been nothing more an excuse for everyone to rabbit on about what they think about drugs and druggies and waste the opportunity of having a great thread, and frankly it pisses on Casey's efforts in setting up the Drug Equality Alliance. We should move on and end all this hot air blowing. What we want is for people to understand our theory and work. It is obvious that much of the commentators here have no idea about what this about. If you are prepared to engage with it, then we can move on, but if this crap dialogue continues then I think we will pass off this opportunity. This is the beeb, let's get this right. I want to assess progress by the quality of the language accuracy. I ask that everyone refrain's from saying that drugs are illegal or legal, as revealing this false-hood goes to the roots of our challenge. Please respect this work!

    ===================================================

    Although I agree that some of the comments may be construed as hot air blowing, they are nonetheless heartfelt. I think you might be throwing the baby out with the bathwater by generally dissing this blog. There are obviously a lot of people on this thread who agree with what the Drug Equality Alliance is trying to achieve, without knowing that they actually exist. I would suggest that instead of slagging them off you might point them in the direction of the DEA's very good website.

    In peace.

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  • 214. At 9:23pm on 14 Jul 2010, steelcoot wrote:

    " 33. At 4:47pm on 12 Jul 2010, PJohnston wrote:
    Logical fallacy; readily available drugs with very wide social consumption cause deaths while prohibited drugs with low social consumption cause less deaths; ergo prohibited drugs are more safe. Er not really.

    Mark Easton keeps on grinding that left-liberal political axe."

    Similar studies done in Amsterdam and places with similar laws showed up with similar results for most illegal drugs.

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  • 215. At 9:59pm on 14 Jul 2010, FedupwithGovt wrote:

    The Government will never put alcohol and tobacco on the classified list and its excuse is that there are historical and cultural reasons for not doing this.

    Absolute tosh! This is a complete fudge and it makes a farce of the Misuse of Drugs Act.

    What the Government are doing is discriminating against people in a way which would be illegal if they acted the same way with any other minority group.

    I think I am right in saying that the Misuse of Drugs Act is not intended to criminalise people but to limit the harm substances might do to people. Therefore by criminalising people the Government are acting illegally.

    Feel free to correct any of the above.

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  • 216. At 09:13am on 15 Jul 2010, polly_gone wrote:

    Substances are not "drugs" until you introduce them to your body via whatever means. Solvent glues are still solvent glues no matter how many times you sniff. Digitalin is a natural substance for treating heart conditions; it can also stop the heart. There are countless substances in nature that offer exploration and experimentation. The number grows through chemical experimentation.

    My point is that humans using substances turn them into drugs. Alcohol is consumed safely by millions of people every day. Tobacco was used by countless Indians in the Americas without any recorded harmful side effects.

    The debate on 'drugs' should really be a discussion on 'misuse/abuse of substances and their control'. It should be treasonable for a government to fail to offer minimal protection to people from dangerous substances either through education or control of availability. However it is a moot point as to the veracity of prohibition and criminality, since they have failed abysmally in the past and they are failing now.

    No one should have the power to stop an individual from what they want to do to their own bodies in a way that harms no one else directly. Indeed one would argue that you cannot stop people anyway, as the recent suicide of a murderer, covered wall to wall on the BBC and elsewhere demonstrates. Rules are made to be broken as the old adage goes, even rules about dignity it would seem.

    We should have a grown up and intelligent society. The need for this discussion demonstrates just how far we need to travel to get there.

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  • 217. At 11:02am on 15 Jul 2010, Steve - Iver wrote:

    210. At 7:57pm on 14 Jul 2010, Paul James Hatton wrote:
    Loads of good stuff, and this "...stop talking and just get on with it..."

    Well said - a bit of common sense

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  • 218. At 11:42am on 15 Jul 2010, Shaunie Babes wrote:

    202. At 7:08pm on 14 Jul 2010, FedupwithGovt wrote:
    198. At 6:49pm on 14 Jul 2010, Shaunie Babes wrote:
    185. At 4:13pm on 14 Jul 2010, FedupwithGovt wrote:
    175. At 3:08pm on 14 Jul 2010, Shaunie Babes wrote:
    166. At 12:34pm on 14 Jul 2010, General_Jack_Ripper wrote:
    "Prohibition does not work !"
    ------------
    Do you have many hand grenades, anthrax, plutonium or tigers in your house
    ===========================================
    Your arguments are becoming more and more immature. It must be terrible to have such little understanding and empathy.
    -------------------------
    Whats immature in countering an argument that prohibition doesn't work by showing examples where it clearly does ?

    ==========================================
    I presume the prohibition example you mean is Saudi Arabia. Well I'm sorry to disappoint you but if you actually took the time and effort to read reports about the use of alcohol and illegal drugs in Saudi you would see your argument holds no water whatsoever. People still use drugs and smuggle drugs into countries that have the death penalty for such crimes, it hasn't stopped it. It has been proved time and time again that prohibition does not work. If you are happy to see young people die year after year because criminals supply
    them with tainted products then I hope you can sleep at night. Your comment about heroin users is crass and just about sums you and your narrow views up.
    -----------------
    People rob banks. This isn't proof the laws on robbing banks don't work. Because as we all know if the laws of armed robbery were repealed then the building societies would be empty in 5 minutes.
    These criminals who sell people tainted drugs - do they force them to buy at gun point or do drug users seek them out ? If you die doing something you know to be stupid, tough, one less idiot in the gene pool

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  • 219. At 11:48am on 15 Jul 2010, Jon OapostropheBrien wrote:

    Shaunie Babes wrote: "People generally satisfy a thirst with beer or lager..."

    No, people generally satisfy a thirst with water. Alcoholic drinks may be consumed in an attempt to satisfy a thirst but they don't do so, which is what your original post implied.

    The part of my post which you declined to comment to still stands: please learn something about the subject under discussion instead of just parading your second-hand prejudices. You're debating with people who know what they're talking about and, as things stand, you're just coming across as one of the loud, confident and wrong brigade.

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  • 220. At 11:55am on 15 Jul 2010, Shaunie Babes wrote:

    205. At 7:16pm on 14 Jul 2010, iNotHere wrote:
    No one has ever stolen, turned to prostitution, lost their job, or hurt their familly because they've ran out of PG Tips.
    -----------
    No but they used to break the law to smuggle it.
    --------------
    They smuggled tea to avoid tax not because tea was banned. Although it does bust the myth that regulating and and taxing cannabis would prevent criminal activity

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  • 221. At 11:57am on 15 Jul 2010, Shaunie Babes wrote:

    206. At 7:19pm on 14 Jul 2010, FedupwithGovt wrote:
    201. At 6:59pm on 14 Jul 2010, Shaunie Babes wrote:
    189. At 4:58pm on 14 Jul 2010, jr4412 wrote:
    Shaunie Babes #174.
    "A druggie takes drugs to alter their mental state for non-medical reasons. Comparing someone who drinks tea ... is nonsense."and what do coffee/tea drinkers do when suddenly withoutbecome 'irritable', 'moody'? have trouble sleeping?LOL
    ------------
    No one has ever stolen, turned to prostitution, lost their job, or hurt their familly because they've ran out of PG Tips.
    ======================================
    They have for their next fix of alcohol, or to have one more gamble on the horses, or to go on their next shopaholic spending spree etc etc!
    I'm not sure which is worse, your arrogance, ignorance or your poor attempts at wit.
    -------------------
    So people ruin their lives to get hold of legalised drugs ?
    Thanks for pointing out this argument for drug legalisation.

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  • 222. At 11:58am on 15 Jul 2010, Shaunie Babes wrote:

    208. At 7:32pm on 14 Jul 2010, John Ellis wrote:
    Cannabis users claim its a cure for so many things I'm amazed they don't live forever
    -------
    No most 21st century pharmaceutical companies claim this, we merely relay this information to the general public.
    -------------------------
    The medical benefits of Morphine are well known. Its still regulated for medical used only. Lets face it, if cannabis was the ultimate pain killer but got you as high as asprin then recreational cannabis users wouldn't exist.
    --------------
    Shaunie sitting there felling smug and pleased with yourself ?
    flooding your brain with AEA? so that in turn makes you a drug user :)
    tea was used to pay for opium... we fought wars over it.. so nobody's ever been harmed for a cup of tea?
    --------------------------
    A nice peice of historic revisionism there. The Opium wars were fought because the Chinese knew the harm flooding the country with drugs would do to its society. No one has ever gone to war over the medical harm caused by tea.

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  • 223. At 12:53pm on 15 Jul 2010, jr4412 wrote:

    Shaunie Babes #218.

    "These criminals who sell people tainted drugs - do they force them to buy at gun point.."

    they do not have to, dependence sees to that.

    "If you die doing something you know to be stupid, tough, one less idiot in the gene pool"

    what about, say, a woman (because that is the usual case) who has an emotional and/or economic dependence on a violent/abusive spouse; if said woman cannot break her dependence in time and is killed as a result of domestic violence, you say "tough, one less idiot in the gene pool"?

    keep digging..

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  • 224. At 1:00pm on 15 Jul 2010, FedupwithGovt wrote:

    Dear Shaunie Babes,

    Do yourself and everyone else a favour and please take the time to have a look at the DEA website www.drugequality.org you might actually learn something rather than just regurgitating Daily Mail editorials.

    If you really care about this issue you will take my advice. I will not hold my breath however because I'm convinced that you are just a WUM. I will no longer be wasting my time interacting with you on this blog or any other.

    Thanks.

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  • 225. At 1:21pm on 15 Jul 2010, Have your say Rejected wrote:

    Shaunie Babes tea was smuggled to avoid excessively high taxation of tea and the high prices which tea suppliers charged. The population wanted cheaper affordable tea. It wasn't because tea was modestly priced and they just didnt want to pay any tax. Most cannabis users would much prefer to pay tax, if that meant they get a regulated dose, which was readily available at a good standard. Many would pay tax just to avoid having to associate with other types of criminals to buy their supply or run the risk of a criminal record.

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  • 226. At 1:23pm on 15 Jul 2010, Have your say Rejected wrote:

    No one has gone to war over tea? boston tea.....

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  • 227. At 1:36pm on 15 Jul 2010, Carl Showalter wrote:

    221. At 11:57am on 15 Jul 2010, Shaunie Babes wrote:

    No one has ever stolen, turned to prostitution, lost their job, or hurt their familly because they've ran out of PG Tips.

    you've obviously never worked in the construction industry, Shaunie.

    the bottom line is human nature. all animal life will consistently gravitate towards things that make themselves feel good and not bad. drugs make a lot of people feel good, people acquire and take them regardless of their legal status. their own personal experiences with drugs override any baseless, emotional and populist fear-mongering by cynical tabloid writers and their subsequently ill-informed readership.

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  • 228. At 1:37pm on 15 Jul 2010, jr4412 wrote:

    Shaunie Babes #222.

    "The Opium wars were fought because the Chinese knew the harm flooding the country with drugs would do to its society."

    "The First Anglo-Chinese War (1839–42), known popularly as the First Opium War, was fought between the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland and the Qing Dynasty of China, with the aim of securing economic benefits from trade in China."
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/First_Opium_War

    and British drug dealers were used to help break Chinese opposition to unfair terms.

    "A nice peice of historic revisionism there."

    indeed.

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  • 229. At 1:51pm on 15 Jul 2010, iNotHere wrote:

    @shaunie babes

    So I take it you agree with everything I wrote in post 212, as you've ignored it. Just like most prohibitionists, picks out one line of one post that you can argue with and discards the rest.

    As I said earlier if you don't like people who use 'controlled drugs' you don't have to associate with them....or take the drugs yourself....so where is your problem, as long as they don't impinge on your life, why should you care? Anyway your personal opinion of drug users morals is just that....your opinion and as such really means nothing in this debate.

    The UK is awash with cannabis, there is so much we are now exporting it. So, seeing as we could probably drown in the stuff if that were possible, why is it that we don't see stoned people everywhere? I'll tell you shall I? 'Cos it's not that much of a problem. There are over 10 million people in the UK who regularly use it. That's a lot of carnage in society if you are to be believed. Where are all the stoned drivers killing everyone etc? The cannabis 'problem' has been blown out of all proportion by the government and people like you who don't search out the facts.

    If we were to properly regulate the sale of cannabis tomorrow the numbers would probably go up slightly...but if we use other countries as a marker we can see they don't increase hugely and the numbers fall back over time to slightly less than what they were under prohibition. Heroin and other hard drugs react differently to regulation...there numbers just go down..and age of first use goes up.

    Portugal decriminalised ALL drug possession in 2001..has their society gone to rack and ruin? No...drug use across the board, HIV, hepatitis and crime has declined. They had a worse drug problem than we have...now it's among the lowest in Europe. Switzerland prescribe heroin and give users a safe place to use in a scheme they call 'The British Experiment'...heroin use, crime, HIV etc has declined. Germany has decriminalised cannabis up to a limit of 10g at the moment, although they are thinking of increasing it to 15g, why? Because it hasn't caused them the problems people like you forecast it would

    Isn't that the goal...to reduce the amount of users, the harm, the crime, the HIV? Which let's face it can impinge on ALL our lives. Or are you, like so many others who refuse to see the facts just interested in moralising and telling people how superior you are because you don't use them?

    Moralising is what has got us over 300,000 heroin users, has young kids running drugs for dealers, has guns being used for drive by shootings (unheard of over here until recently). So well done, you and others like you are helping to turn our country into a cesspool of drug use. I on behalf of all right thinking individuals thank you for making our country into such a haven for organized crime.




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  • 230. At 2:02pm on 15 Jul 2010, iNotHere wrote:

    In case it's not been done yet, (if it has, apologies) would everybody whose interested please sign the Vienna Declaration, the website explains all:

    http://www.viennadeclaration.com/the-declaration.html

    Thank you

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  • 231. At 2:08pm on 15 Jul 2010, FedupwithGovt wrote:

    This is a very interesting quote by Richard Brunstrom QPM, B.Sc., M Sc., former Chief Constable North
    Wales Police from his 9 October 2007 document Drugs Policy: a radical look ahead?


    "If policy on drugs is in future to be pragmatic not moralistic, driven by ethics not dogma, then the
    current prohibitionist stance will have to be swept away as both unworkable and immoral, to be
    replaced with an evidenced based unified system (specifically including tobacco and alcohol) aimed
    at the minimisation of harms to society. [. . .] This logical, rational and consistent approach will
    inevitably lead to the legalisation and regulation of all harmful drugs".

    This was taken from a letter by Casey William Hardison to Professor Leslie Iverson, Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs.

    Casey is currently serving 20 years in prison for producing LSD and other psychedelic-type drugs. According to all scientific studies LSD is far less harmful than either tobacco or alcohol. There has never been a recorded death linked to LSD. The sentence seems particularly draconian when, for example, the average length of a murder sentence is only 15 years.

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  • 232. At 2:47pm on 15 Jul 2010, FedupwithGovt wrote:

    What is the classification system based on?
    4.16 Classification is based on:
    • Scientific knowledge (medical, social scientific, economic, risk
    assessment)
    • Political and public knowledge (social values, political vision,
    historical precedent, cultural preference)

    This is from the document referred to in Mark's blog. I think you will find that the two bullet points make for very unhappy bedfellows. If classification was based purely on scientific knowledge etc we wouldn't be having this debate now. I believe classification is based more on bullet point 2. Political and public knowledge, in other words, ignorance. Social values etc etc just means someone else's moral viewpoint.
    What the Govt are saying is some people don't like your drug of choice so we will make it an illegal substance even though it is less harmful than legal drugs (that we partake in). Dangerous hypocrisy of the highest order which is costing billions of public money and more importantly people lives.

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  • 233. At 3:45pm on 15 Jul 2010, Shaunie Babes wrote:

    223. At 12:53pm on 15 Jul 2010, jr4412 wrote:
    Shaunie Babes #218.
    "These criminals who sell people tainted drugs - do they force them to buy at gun point.."
    they do not have to, dependence sees to that.
    "If you die doing something you know to be stupid, tough, one less idiot in the gene pool"
    what about, say, a woman (because that is the usual case) who has an emotional and/or economic dependence on a violent/abusive spouse; if said woman cannot break her dependence in time and is killed as a result of domestic violence,you say "tough, one less idiot in the gene pool"?
    ----------
    I afraid I must be cruel and heartless then, as I can't see how any rational person can equate someone who is killed because the chose to take dangerous illegal chemicals and an innocent murder victim.

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  • 234. At 3:47pm on 15 Jul 2010, Shaunie Babes wrote:

    224. At 1:00pm on 15 Jul 2010, FedupwithGovt wrote:
    Dear Shaunie Babes,
    Do yourself and everyone else a favour and please take the time to have a look at the DEA website www.drugequality.org you might actually learn something rather than just regurgitating Daily Mail editorials.
    If you really care about this issue you will take my advice. I will not hold my breath however because I'm convinced that you are just a WUM. I will no longer be wasting my time interacting with you on this blog or any other.
    -------
    I never stick my fingers in my ear and go "La La La can't hear you", but then I don't take drugs either (same thing really)

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  • 235. At 3:48pm on 15 Jul 2010, Shaunie Babes wrote:

    225. At 1:21pm on 15 Jul 2010, Have your say Rejected wrote:
    Shaunie Babes tea was smuggled to avoid excessively high taxation of tea and the high prices which tea suppliers charged. The population wanted cheaper affordable tea. It wasn't because tea was modestly priced and they just didnt want to pay any tax. Most cannabis users would much prefer to pay tax, if that meant they get a regulated dose, which was readily available at a good standard. Many would pay tax just to avoid having to associate with other types of criminals to buy their supply or run the risk of a criminal record.
    -----------
    The armies of transit vans arriving at Dover filled with booze and fags "for personnal use" says otherwise.

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  • 236. At 3:54pm on 15 Jul 2010, Sunshine Band wrote:

    The Vienna Declaration is badly written and needs re-doing - it is full of prohibitionist language memes that should not be there. I will not sign it - it is wrong. There are no illicit drugs and no illegal drugs.

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  • 237. At 4:04pm on 15 Jul 2010, mazari wrote:

    211. At 8:06pm on 14 Jul 2010, Sunshine Band wrote:
    This tghread ought to have been about the work of the guy that securred this document release, instead it has been nothing more an excuse for everyone to rabbit on about what they think about drugs and druggies and waste the opportunity of having a great thread, and frankly it pisses on Casey's efforts in setting up the Drug Equality Alliance.

    'Sunshine band', I have nothing but respect for the work of the DEA and I understand the issues, however, I find it refreshing to see people able to express their own general feelings around this debate so please go easy on us! We may not frame our thoughts in the same way as you do, but we are able to 'rabbit' as you put it, freely here, and that in itself is quite liberating.

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  • 238. At 4:21pm on 15 Jul 2010, FedupwithGovt wrote:

    There's a certain person on this blog who is not adding anything constructive to the debate. He has no clear argument to put forward and just seems to react to other people's postings hoping, I think, to cause as much irritation as possible. He is welcome to his views and I have no problem with that, I just don't know what his views are. I would urge people not to rise to the bait.

    I imagine if he was alive in the 17th century he would be at the head of the raging mob, frothing at the mouth, wild eyed, brandishing a burning piece of wood to set light to the witch. Must be very lonely living in such a closed mind.

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  • 239. At 4:24pm on 15 Jul 2010, FedupwithGovt wrote:

    236. At 3:54pm on 15 Jul 2010, Sunshine Band wrote:
    The Vienna Declaration is badly written and needs re-doing - it is full of prohibitionist language memes that should not be there. I will not sign it - it is wrong. There are no illicit drugs and no illegal drugs.

    ======================================================

    Have to agree with you there. It does seem a bit half baked.

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  • 240. At 4:50pm on 15 Jul 2010, iNotHere wrote:

    @236

    Ok, your choice, no-ones forcing you to sign it. But I will say one thing, to get hung up on 'wording' like you do over and above trying to get things changed and maybe saving some lives....is the wording more important?
    No offence meant, just an observation.

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  • 241. At 4:57pm on 15 Jul 2010, xmen123 wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 242. At 5:15pm on 15 Jul 2010, jr4412 wrote:

    Shaunie Babes #233.

    "I afraid I must be cruel and heartless then.."

    that's for you to know, it is apparent though that you've no concept of dependence.

    me, I see you as a young(-ish) bloke, shallow, intellectually lazy, and not a little bigotted.

    the kind of guy who will have his mates standing behind him while posting his latest 'brilliant' missive, all of you laughing about 'the joke'; does it occur to you that your mates are just as likely to laugh at you as they are to laugh with you?

    FedupwithGovt thinks (#238) you "..would be at the head of the raging mob, frothing at the mouth, wild eyed..".

    I don't think that -- you're smart -- you'd be the guy at the back who eggs everyone else on, for the kicks. fwiw, the guy at the back is far more despicable.

    to conclude, I do agree with FedupwithGovt (#224) that you are simply another wind-up merchant and won't bother engaging any further. nothing to do with (#234)"La La La can't hear you" and all to do with life's too short. ;)

    hth

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  • 243. At 6:23pm on 15 Jul 2010, PaulWxm wrote:

    To be honest I don't think any Government, will take any serious look at reclassification of drugs.Due to them making so much income, from the taxing of legal drugs,such as tobacco and alcohol.

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  • 244. At 6:33pm on 15 Jul 2010, Adie wrote:

    Ok Ive got this radical new idea, what you do is ban alchohol and tobacco (on pain of Alan Johnson coming to live with you) and legalise all other drugs. The only problem with this is would MP's find their way to the ballot box sober

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  • 245. At 6:50pm on 15 Jul 2010, FedupwithGovt wrote:

    I think what we need to look at is the ludicrous situation we have at the moment with the Government not following the tenets of the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971 and consistently going against the advice of the ACMD. The Govt missives on drug use flies in the face of all the scientific evidence and just serves to confuse people when their duty is to educate and limit risk. They are discriminating against a minority of the population which would not be allowed in any other area. If you look at my post @ 231 they us 'political and public knowledge (social values, political vision, historical precedent, cultural preference)' as a basis for classification, this is patently wrong and hypocritical and goes against the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971. To leave tobacco and alcohol out of this arena is in my view dangerous and discriminatory behaviour by HM Govt. This is too much of an important issue to be decided by things such as social values (usually of the Daily Mail kind). It should be based on sound scientific values and nothing else. We are being abused, discriminated against and criminalised by our own Government, it is a scandal and legally on very shaky ground. Meanwhile the criminals get richer, public money is wasted and people die. It makes me weep!

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  • 246. At 6:51pm on 15 Jul 2010, FedupwithGovt wrote:

    242: jr4412:

    Nice one! :D

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  • 247. At 7:07pm on 15 Jul 2010, iNotHere wrote:

    @Adie

    Perhaps we'd get more sensible policies if they weren't half sozzled most of the time. :)

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  • 248. At 7:40pm on 15 Jul 2010, Have your say Rejected wrote:

    235. At 3:48pm on 15 Jul 2010, Shaunie Babes wrote:

    "225. At 1:21pm on 15 Jul 2010, Have your say Rejected wrote:
    Shaunie Babes tea was smuggled to avoid excessively high taxation of tea and the high prices which tea suppliers charged. The population wanted cheaper affordable tea. It wasn't because tea was modestly priced and they just didnt want to pay any tax. Most cannabis users would much prefer to pay tax, if that meant they get a regulated dose, which was readily available at a good standard. Many would pay tax just to avoid having to associate with other types of criminals to buy their supply or run the risk of a criminal record.
    -----------
    The armies of transit vans arriving at Dover filled with booze and fags "for personnal use" says otherwise."

    I admit this used to be a problem for Dover, 15 years ago, everyone was fag running on the ferries, then the hovercraft, but now it has changed. I also speak regularly with some border agency workers, again whilst they are seeing a rise in smuggling of some cheap tobacco's generally its not at the levels of 10+ years ago. I live in Dover, but this army of transits is new to me.

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  • 249. At 9:15pm on 15 Jul 2010, John Ellis wrote:

    @ 801 pm this evening my granson was born into this world of prohibition my 2nd generation, what will he face drug wise when he is a teenager/young adult.

    When I was a teenager/young adult there were seasonal drugs like mushrooms and if you were lucky a month or 2 of herbal cannabis, the rest of the cannabis was solid and what a variety some dealers held 10+ types, then the was speed not very common but it was around heroin mostly unheard of...
    Both my kids have just got through to adulthood both drink a little but now they have mostly herbal cannabis uncured unaged and generally weighted either through fine dust additives or 'other chemicals' then a whole variety of 'man made highs' sold under the same delusional banner as alcohol and tobacco. Cocaine and pills of god knows what masquerading as E, because there is a really good coke base there is also a very large crack cocaine base which inevitably leads into the heroin trade after long term use to face.
    Taking into account all major breakthroughs that are currently happening with DNA , artificial life , computer modeling and sequencing what will be infected with when my Grandchildren come face to face with the drug trade.

    I feel very sorry for the future generations as they will have to deal with the arrogance of our age and time.

    biological medical drugs are already being made....

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  • 250. At 00:18am on 16 Jul 2010, Sunshine Band wrote:

    iNotHere: no, don't dismiss it as about wording as semantics, this is about finding the right words to describe the issue, you see its about inquality of treatment and discrimination of people, the law controls people and this was obvious with racism, sexism, homphobia laws etc - but the most personal aspect of drug orientation.

    Also of course you must appreciate the binary nature of prohibitionist mindsets and how that sits with the notion of 'illegal drugs'. There is no such thing as legal drugs, although the prohibtionists do love to say alcohol and tobacco are 'legal drugs'.

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  • 251. At 01:45am on 16 Jul 2010, iNotHere wrote:

    Yes Sunshine I understand the point you make, I understood it months ago, if you read my posts I never use the term illegal I always say 'controlled', so I do get it, I really do and for a legal argument it is great. But when I saw a group of professionals trying to do something positive and trying to involve the public I thought "Stuff the semantics, let's help out" Sorry if you don't understand that but that's where I'm coming from.

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  • 252. At 01:50am on 16 Jul 2010, Mafficker wrote:

    To all: 'illegal drugs', or their mystical counterparts 'legal drugs', do not exist in fact or law!

    This is the semantic problem at the heart of Government's 'policy of prohibition'. And as long as it is perpetuated people will think the Act controls drugs when it actually controls you, yes you! So knock it off, you sound like the politicians you despise.

    It is sure smoke and mirrors which willfully obscures the issue. Try reading the Review document above without the semantic spook of prohibitionist newspeak 'illegal/legal drugs' and you will see their contortions make even less sense.
    Go on, dare you!

    And for those onside, your arguments would carry more force if your own terminology was consistent with the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971, eg use 'controlled drugs' rather than illegal drugs. The fact is the Act regulates human behaviour and cannot make any drug illegal. Thus, it is human liberties that are trod on by the precautionary principle. And whilst the Act does not effectively control drugs, they won't behave, it does provide a very smart mechanism by which a properly regulated drug commerce can manage both harms and benefits. It's a shame that the Secretary of State and most who write on this topic are not aware of the flexible possibility of ss7(1)-(2), 22(a)(i) and 31(1)(a) when read together. If by s31(1)(a) re 'General provisions as to regulations' the Secretary of State 'may make different provisions in relation to different controlled drugs, different classes of persons, different provisions of this Act or other different cases or circumstances' and by s7(1) re 'Authorisation of activities otherwise unlawful under foregoing provisions' the Secretary of State, may make 'provision as (s)he thinks fit for the purpose of making it lawful for persons to do things under which any of the following provisions of this Act, that is to say sections 4(1), 5(1) and 6(1), it would otherwise be unlawful for them to do', then i should be able to buy a clean unadulterated MDMA tablet or three from Boots for my weekend if the Secretary of State, the ACMD and the Parliament thought that would reduce or eliminate 'Ecstasy' fatalities and other 'harmful effects sufficient to constitute a social problem', s1(2), more effectively than a blanket prohibition of some but not all 'dangerous or otherwise harmful drugs'. Don't you think we should be encouraging the people to see that the Act drafters foresaw the possibility of a completely and wisely regulated controlled drug commerce.

    Finally, Casey Hardison is a thorougly decent bloke. He has spent the last 6 years in prison studying the law, the Misuse of Drugs Act, and Government's drug policy documents and statements. This thread is entirely his doing. An epic three year battle for the consultation document. They fought tooth and nail over two paragraphs: 6.10 and 6.11. The Home Office wasted thousands of taxpayer money only to finally concede. Casey's website is at

    http://www.freecasey.org

    Send him some stamps! I did! And he wrote back!

    If you really want to know what's going on with drug law and policy take the time to read pages 1-2, 5-26 of his 8 August 2009 'Draft Arguments in Support of Grounds - Appeal against Conviction'. It's in the lower link matrix. Also read his 'Brief History and Motivation of an Entheogenic Chemist'. He got 20 years for making LSD and other psychedlic-type drugs.

    The dude has thought very deep about this. His liberty depends on it. And so do your liberties! Peace in and out! Mx

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  • 253. At 02:38am on 16 Jul 2010, BobRocket wrote:

    Mark, you say:

    'You will remember what happened to Professor David Nutt, the former head of the body which oversees the drug classification system, when he argued official policy should recognise that ecstasy and cannabis were less harmful than alcohol and tobacco.'

    Yes, he lost his position.

    Can you remember what happened to Richard Kemp and Dr Christine Bott when they challenged the authorities with regard to the classification of LSD under the Mis-use of Drugs act 1971 ?

    the trial judge, Mr Justice Park, who ignored the expert evidence of Dr Martin Mitcheson, who runs the University College Hospital drug dependence clinic. Mitcheson told the court that LSD carried “relatively small risks compared to other dangerous drugs," and he claimed that any comparison was irrelevant.

    That's right, Kemp got the maximum sentence at the time of 14 years

    So we get to Casey William Hardison, he also argued that, in line with current scientific evidence, the law was unfair, disproportionate and discriminatory, all of which make the law unsound.

    He got 20 years.


    There is something seriously wrong with the law and the state of justice in the UK.
    We are in breach of both the EUCHR and the UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights.


    This is from The Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

    Article 1.
    All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights.They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood.


    Article 7.
    All are equal before the law and are entitled without any discrimination to equal protection of the law. All are entitled to equal protection against any discrimination in violation of this Declaration and against any incitement to such discrimination.

    ------

    We are all born equal and we are all equal before the law.

    Does this mean that landed gentry and common peasant stand as equals before the court or does it mean that no law must be passed that makes one man better than another ?

    I find it outrageous that the former postman/former home secretary and his predecessors were able to apply their own moral judgement upon such a fundamental issue, this goes to the very heart of the democracy that we live in.

    Is it ok in this day and age that the fundamental right of equality can be overridden by the moral sensibilities and vested interests of the government of the day ?

    The Universal Declaration is phrased in such a way in order to restrict the actions of the powerful over the few.

    The few are becoming the many and how the powerful react to the situation is what will shape our democracy in the future.





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  • 254. At 08:23am on 16 Jul 2010, Sunshine Band wrote:

    Bob Rocket has a profound understanding of what this is about - if you see this please contact the Drug Equality Alliance for a personal message.

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  • 255. At 08:39am on 16 Jul 2010, Peter_Sym wrote:

    The 'alcohol and tobacco' argument is completely spurious. If you invented those two drugs tomorrow and tried selling them as "legal highs" they'd be banned in minutes. Because there use is so heavily ingrained in European culture its simply not possible to suddenly prohibit them and any government that tried would suffer the greatest election defeat in history.

    #243 "To be honest I don't think any Government, will take any serious look at reclassification of drugs.Due to them making so much income, from the taxing of legal drugs,such as tobacco and alcohol."

    Makes no sense at all. The govt could charge just as much, or even MORE duty on the sale of cannabis in Dutch Style cafe's. This would be my prefered solution. Recreational drugs such as cannabis and amphetamines are almost as deeply ingrained in our culture as booze and cigarretes. Realistically nothing other than insanely draconian sentences (like life for possession, death for dealing) will make any real difference. By allowing manufacture of the drugs to pharmaceutical standards you'd put the dealers out of business and eliminate most of the risk. By selling them in licensed premises you'd get a massive tax revenue. You get the odd person reacting very badly to Ecstasy but you get people dropping dead from eating peanuts and we don't ban them.

    Medical grade heroin should be provided by pharmacists to registered addicts. Methadone doesn't work. Clean heroin in known doses is far preferable to addicts stealing and mugging to pay over the odds for muck cut with poisons.

    This would free up the police and customs to focus on the drugs that I feel DO pose a serious problem: crack, PCP, crystal meth etc. These all have the capacity to make users extremely violent and cause massive health damage quickly.

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  • 256. At 08:44am on 16 Jul 2010, Peter_Sym wrote:

    23. At 4:04pm on 12 Jul 2010, Catpain_Slackbladder wrote: "The war on drugs can never be won because it is based on a series of lies and daily mail style propaganda. And yet, every Friday and Saturday night the entire nation is bedevilled by drinkers and held to ransom by alcohol-induced thuggery."

    Hahahaha. You use the term "the entire nation is bedevilled by drinkers and held to ransom by alcohol-induced thuggery" and then claim that Daily Mail style propaganda is used against controlled drugs? You've got a hell of a sense of irony!

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  • 257. At 09:15am on 16 Jul 2010, Have your say Rejected wrote:

    256, so what you are saying is the daily mail is a pioneer standing up against an oppressive state to oppose the prohibitionists, do you read the mail? Peter says People think drinking alcohol is fine, whilst those same people think smoking cannabis is dangerous, I would say Peter is spot on in everything he says.

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  • 258. At 09:18am on 16 Jul 2010, Have your say Rejected wrote:

    Cpt. slackbladder not peter.

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  • 259. At 09:35am on 16 Jul 2010, freespeechoneeach wrote:

    If Peter_Sym really believes the
    "alcohol and tobacco argument is completely spurious,"
    he must think that the cost in lives and hard cash resulting from these two drugs are acceptable collateral damage.
    I find that a repulsive viewpoint.
    There is strong evidence from the States of how useful cannabis can be in helping alcoholics to quit. By prohibiting the cure, Peter_Sym and the Government are keeping alcoholics in needless addiction, thus condemning them to ill- health, social ostracism, and an early death. This isn't "culture" and "tradition" worth maintaining.
    There are 20,000 children in alcohol rehab in the UK, and 1 in 13 adults is alcohol- dependent. The habit costs the economy £55 bn a year. None of that is "culture" or "tradition" worth defending either, Mr Sym.

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  • 260. At 09:46am on 16 Jul 2010, pi1 wrote:

    How radio 4 can spend nearly 20 minutes on Peter Mandelson's book but no mention of this far more relevant story? As a license fee payer i object to that most strongly, i didn't realize the beeb were there to promote "people" like Mandelson.

    In fact i haven't heard this on any media so far.

    Funny that.....

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  • 261. At 09:57am on 16 Jul 2010, Andrew Kerr wrote:

    Mark, thank goodness at least one person is trying to maintain a sensible debate about the use of recreational drugs. I for one have always maintained that drug misuse (as opposed to distribution) should be teated as a health issue rather than a matter for the criminal law because, as the Home Office report points out, the health consequences of illegal drug use pale into insignificance compared to the consequences of legal drug use. But the effect on users' health is the least of our problems.
    By far the biggest problem associated with the use of illegal drugs is the effect on crime. The long-standing reliance on prohibition to solve the drug "problem" (which directly affects only a tiny proportion of the population) has created and maintained a massive crime wave which directly affects us all.
    The only people who benefit from this fultile and ineffective prohibition are the criminals who source and distribute illegal drugs. As users resort to crime to feed their habit, the rest of us pay a heavy price every day for successive governments' intransigence and lack of imagination.

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  • 262. At 09:59am on 16 Jul 2010, Sunshine Band wrote:

    Peter is just not keeping up and repeating the same old stuff without reading what this is about:

    "The 'alcohol and tobacco' argument is completely spurious. If you invented those two drugs tomorrow and tried selling them as "legal highs" they'd be banned in minutes. Because there use is so heavily ingrained in European culture its simply not possible to suddenly prohibit them and any government that tried would suffer the greatest election defeat in history."

    This quote really says it all about what you have understood - firstly, the fact that alcohol and tobacco were 'invented' thousands of years ago is irrrelevant, so was opium, so was cannabis - the whole point about the law is that it applies to any and every dangerous drug, and the law must evolve and adapt with contemporary knowledge and understanding about drug harms. There is no free pass for the most harmful drugs from the operation of the law except in the eyes of thise who would administer the law irrationally and unfairly. THEY ARE NOT LEGAL DRUGS AS YOU CLAIM - this label means nothing anyway, drugs are not subject to law. The govt cite historical and cultural precedents for this bias, but that is not accpeptable, the law is neutral about which drugs should be controlled. Next, controlling a drug has nothing to do with banning it. Classifying alcohol and tobacco as the government must do under the law does not equate to their prohibition.

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  • 263. At 10:03am on 16 Jul 2010, Peter_Sym wrote:

    #257. I think I understand your correction there. That basically sums it up... we live in a more or less democracy and despite the fact that many people are very, very stupid and believe whatever garbage the newspapers tell them the will of the people should be respected in Parliament. The vast majority of the public are more or less happy with the alcohol and tobacco laws. There's a very big minority (including me who doesn't use them who have very little problem with cannabis and E and realise that the majority of problems connected to them come from illegal manufacture not the chemicals themselves) but the overwhelming majority of the country doesn't want to see Crack rocks & crystal meth on sale in Tesco next to the lagers.

    As a result the govts drug laws might be illogical and not based on proper scientific risk analysis but this is a product of democracy. Its where McNulty went wrong... everything he said was correct but he failed to realise he was just an advisor not an elected lawmaker. He was sacked not because the govt didn't like his advice but because he wouldn't stop telling them they were wrong in public. If I repeatedly argued with my boss in the papers I'd be sacked too.

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  • 264. At 10:10am on 16 Jul 2010, Peter_Sym wrote:

    #259. If you actually read my posts beyond the first line and not jumped to conclusions you'd find I'm quite happy to legalise cannabis for recreational use, never mind as therapy. I'm even happy to provide Heroin addicts heroin on the NHS as that is less of a problem that methadone & street heroin.

    My point is that it is totally impossible to ban alcohol and tobacco. Any govt trying would be out of power in a year. I'm not saying that I like the deaths they cause (I make cancer vaccines and my father is a cancer surgeon) but that there is no practical way of preventing them in a free society. Prohibition in the US failed to stop people drinking and just gave organised crime such a boost that the US still haven't overcome.

    As this IS a free society (more or less) adults should have the right to put whatever substance they want into their bodies as long as they are prepared to live with the consequences. The only drugs I object to are those that cause the user to act completely irrationally (like PCP users) and put other non users lives at risk.

    I'd question your 'cost the economy £55bn' stat though. Sounds like 99% of stats being made up on the spot. Thats over half the NHS budget. Whats the revenue on booze and fags to the chancellor?

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  • 265. At 10:14am on 16 Jul 2010, Euforiater wrote:

    This is one of a long line of blogs questioning the crazy logic used to impose Prohibition - by now most readers will no doubt have formed their own opinions on whether it is worth the expense of continuing but it's good to keep discussing these things.
    Kudos to Jon112UK for being the closest to come up with a reason why less harmful drugs than alcohol and nicotine should remain illegal and a special mention must go to MrWonderfulReality for his brilliant satirical piece (96) lampooning a hypothetical tabloid reader's programmed ignorance.
    The big kahuna in terms of keeping-it-illegal is Cannabis and I'm sure the organisations who have been promoting cannabis prohibition for so many years can't believe their luck how gullible the general public have been. The basic problem is that cannabis has to be kept illegal or profits elsewhere will plummet, lots of links explaining this in a few previous blogs by "Community Criminal", whose pen name, no doubt, is highly ironic.
    To do this you need a pretext. The problem is that they are rather harder to find. The thing is, cannabis is a really useful plant and, well, the people who toke it from time to time tend to be peaceable, keep themselves to themselves and don't really do any harm. So what do you do? You set the scaremongers to work:
    . Reefer madness - famous 1930s anti-cannabis propaganda film which you'd find funny today if it wasn't still portrayed that way.
    . Newspaper sensationalism - all bad AND SUSPICIOUSLY TIMED around yearly reviews.
    . Backed up by financed men-in-white-coats explaining the science behind the law.
    . Anyone else who wants to jump on the bandwagon - "Cannabis ruined my life" exposes. People will use anything for an excuse if given the cahnce for publicity.
    However you look at it, sooner or later Prohibition is on the way out, people have more news sources these days so can begin to form their own opinion and at the end of the day however much temptation is placed in a lawmaker's way, the public will decide when to end it as it's their votes that elect the government. Portugal already seems to have found their version of the answer and Mexico's disastrous prohibition wars will surely start to tip the balance. It just might be that the shortage of government money will tip the balance for us. But until it's ended, on behalf of those drug barons, various industrial interests and control groups..
    "Thank you very much for Pro-hi-bi-tion. Thank you very much. Thank you very very very much". etc.

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  • 266. At 10:19am on 16 Jul 2010, Peter_Sym wrote:

    #262 "the whole point about the law is that it applies to any and every dangerous drug, and the law must evolve and adapt with contemporary knowledge and understanding about drug harms"

    Not it doesn't. It SHOULD do but as we elect our lawmakers whatever is or is not made legal depends on what westminster wants to make legal or illegal. Cameron can ban red ball point pens if the house of lords approve the bill.

    I'm not sure how you reckon 'classifying alcohol or tobacco wouldn't equal prohibition either' by any logic both would be class B. That equals effective prohibition whatever you claim.

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  • 267. At 10:43am on 16 Jul 2010, Peter_Sym wrote:

    #265 A few problems with your logic: Cannabis IS a very useful plant but its none recreational drug uses aren't prohibited. Bank Of England bank notes use cannabis fibres as they're tougher than cotton, hemp ropes are still made for traditional uses, you can buy hemp fibre shopping bags etc.

    Secondly I'm not sure why you think that legalising cannabis would cause a massive fall in revenue... I'd have thought the exact opposite. Did a load of bars and pubs go bust in Holland when they decriminalised? Plenty of people like to smoke tobacco with their beers so why not cannabis? The odd time I smoked it was while drinking, not instead of drinking.

    Expand the farm that grows the stuff for the bank of England (its in Leicestershire by the way!) and slap the same sort of duty tobacco carries on it. Why buy from some dodgy dealer who's probably using illegal vietnamese migrants to grow the stuff in a loft (or selling you an oxo cube rather than an 8th of resin... happened to a house mate... when he went to buy from another dealer it was an undercover police sting) when you could buy a quality controlled joint from the same bar as you buy your pint?

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  • 268. At 11:12am on 16 Jul 2010, John Ellis wrote:

    Euforiater
    The basic problem is that cannabis has to be kept illegal or profits elsewhere will plummet, lots of links explaining this in a few previous blogs by "Community Criminal", whose pen name, no doubt, is highly ironic.


    Cheers Euforiater.

    it is very ironic apparently people like myself are the worst..
    http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=142716465745903

    Big lunch anyone?

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  • 269. At 11:14am on 16 Jul 2010, Rob wrote:

    It is not just the immorality of being dictated to what I am allowed to do with my own body, the criminal elements of prohibition laws are currently thriving, and have been for 70+ years.

    The reluctance of the government to look at either Problem for what they are, leads me to conclude that the government have a vested interest in keeping drugs illegal, despite any evidence proving how wrong they are.
    For this to be the case my suspicions even go so far as to believe the people in the government are making money from the drugs on the black market. Not the government, just the people in it.

    There's plenty of news stories about drugs smuggling by numerous global secret service agencies. Just go googling. Really, go and shock yourself.

    Decriminalisation won't change anything, dealers will demand the same money because they will have the same risk. The criminal element will remain, and so will the very suspicous government ties to drugs smuggling.
    I demand Legalisation, Regulation, Taxation of these "banned substances".
    People already have access to drugs whenever they want. Even the Gateway Drug theory has been completely shattered, drug dealers aren't called drug pushers for nothing.

    The people who don't like drugs, won't touch drugs. The addicts that have no self-control will overdose. There is a full spectrum in-between, and we should embrace our culture's full diversity.

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  • 270. At 11:42am on 16 Jul 2010, Have your say Rejected wrote:

    Peter, "My point is that it is totally impossible to ban alcohol and tobacco." This is true, we saw it with alcohol prohibition and we are seeing it with the current drugs prohibited under the law, cannabis is banned yet millions of people use it. As you say it is impossible to ban these types of things, so why are we wasting billions each year trying to.

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  • 271. At 12:46pm on 16 Jul 2010, Shaunie Babes wrote:

    Simple question:
    What are the benefits to society of recreational drugs and how do they enhance your life ?
    Bonus points will be awarded for answers that don't make drug users look sad,pathetic, selfish and unable to deal with reality.

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  • 272. At 1:32pm on 16 Jul 2010, FedupwithGovt wrote:

    People please realise there are no legal or illegal drugs. There are only controlled substances. Tobacco and Alcohol should, under the terms of the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971, be included in the classification system. By refusing to do this on purely historical and cultural grounds the Government are not acting in accordance with their own Act. Highly hypocritical, highly discriminatory and very undemocratic. Controlled substances should be classified on scientific evidence, not someone else's moral viewpoint. This is the whole point of the blog and why it is so important that Casey Hardison fought to get the documentation released.

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  • 273. At 1:38pm on 16 Jul 2010, Have your say Rejected wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 274. At 1:43pm on 16 Jul 2010, Peter_Sym wrote:

    270. At 11:42am on 16 Jul 2010, Have your say Rejected wrote:
    Peter, "My point is that it is totally impossible to ban alcohol and tobacco." This is true, we saw it with alcohol prohibition and we are seeing it with the current drugs prohibited under the law, cannabis is banned yet millions of people use it. As you say it is impossible to ban these types of things, so why are we wasting billions each year trying to.


    Yup... thats pretty much my viewpoint too. If I was a god maybe I'd wave my all powerful hand and magic away all the drugs I didn't like, but I'm not a god so I've got to face reality (and I suggest a few others do, both on this board and in Westminster). Rather than spend billions trying to combat drugs that do relatively little harm (and I will again stress that a few people will die from bad reactions to ectasy and heavy use of cannabis may cause mental health problems, certainly demotivates heavy smokers and can cause some nasty oral cancers... they're not 'harmless') its better to manufacture them, tax the hell out of them and make billions.

    A major pharmaceutical company could produce 100 million ecstasy tablets in a week, each one would cost pennies, they could sell them for 50p each, the government could slap £4.50 duty on each one and you could buy them at the bar of your favourite nightclub. Pretty much anyone who wants to take E at the weekend does anyway so you may as well get the tax going to the government. The argument that the govt don't want to legalise cannabis because they'll lose too much money is hilarious. Its like all the conspiracy nuts claiming there's green fuels being supressed by the govt to keep the duty on petrol flooding in.... as if the govt couldn't slap 400% duty on any new fuel! In the past wearing an untaxed top hat was a hanging offence (thats where we get the term 'stamp duty'..refers to the tax stamp inside the hat). The government can and will tax anything to the max amount it can.

    The worst approach is decriminalisation. Thats like repealing prohibition in the US but not allowing the major breweries to trade and leaving all booze production in the hands of Al Capone. For me it must be prohibition or legalisation and taxation. Either get rid of the dealers or take the trade out of their hands. As with home brew there should be no problem with people growing a little for personal use at home just as long as they don't sell it.

    The only drugs I do want cracked down on are those that leave the user unstable and violent. God knows booze can do that to enough people.... the last thing I want is towns on a Sat night full of people smoking crack or mixing crystal meth with booze. If the police were allowed to focus on just the worst of the class A's and not waste their time with the B's & C's they'd save a fortune and make a real impact.

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  • 275. At 1:46pm on 16 Jul 2010, Peter_Sym wrote:

    "271. At 12:46pm on 16 Jul 2010, Shaunie Babes wrote:
    Simple question:
    What are the benefits to society of recreational drugs and how do they enhance your life ?
    Bonus points will be awarded for answers that don't make drug users look sad,pathetic, selfish and unable to deal with reality."

    If they were legalised the same as booze:

    They'd raise taxes and keep the population largely quiet.

    My personal philosophy is that people should be allowed to think, say, do and consume whatever they like as long as this does not affect anyone else's rights to do the same. I neither take E or play golf (to me the most baffling past time on earth) but as golfers and clubbers don't try and stop me doing what I want to do they should be allowed to spend a fortune banging little balls around fields or dancing for 12 hours to basshunter.

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  • 276. At 1:50pm on 16 Jul 2010, Sunshine Band wrote:

    I wish I was the mod here - i'd remove all postings that clearly demonstrate to an objective person that the poster is not reading and grasping the basics as regards FACTS (not opinion) - and that includes Andrew Kerr, Peter-Sym, Rob and Euforiator in the last 20 postings. Anyone who says 'illegal drugs', 'legal drugs' or 'legalise drugs' has simply no idea what this is about.

    I would add that the law does not give carte blnche to the government to do what it likes, the govt is bound by the law that gives it it's powers, that law in this case is the Misuse of Drugs Act. This law does not create illegal drugs, does not proscribe the prohibition of classified drugs (so if alcohol was a class B it could still be available). Democarcy might be a fine thing, but we have the common law, administrative law, the Human Rights Act and more besides which says that majorities cannot oppress minorities. If Cameron wanted to bring back the persecution of gays he would have a hard time of it. Yes Parliament can leglislate to discriminate if it chooses to, but it must say so on the face of the law - the Drugs laws are neutral, and are entrusted to government to manage, but WITHIN THE FOUR CORNERS OF THE LAW, FAIRLY, NEUTRALLY, REASONABLY, LOGICALLY, EQUALLY.

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  • 277. At 1:52pm on 16 Jul 2010, Jon OapostropheBrien wrote:

    #266 "I'm not sure how you reckon 'classifying alcohol or tobacco wouldn't equal prohibition either' by any logic both would be class B. That equals effective prohibition whatever you claim".

    You're probably right, although I suspect that they would have to be made class A, if classification were as far as it went. Seeing tolerated substances classed higher than banned substances would surely cause the whole house of cards to collapse, however. Every substance classified below alcohol and tobacco would have to have any penalties associated with possession removed.

    We need control of truly dangerous substances, not blanket prohibition.

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  • 278. At 1:59pm on 16 Jul 2010, Rob wrote:

    271. At 12:46pm on 16 Jul 2010, Shaunie Babes wrote:
    Simple question:
    What are the benefits to society of recreational drugs and how do they enhance your life?
    ----------------------------------------------------

    Maybe you should look back at famous historic drugs users.
    Many musicians, artists, and even scientists, physicists, inventors have been inspired while they have been intoxicated. It might not have been necessary and they would have had them anyway, but it has proven that it didn't detract from their abilities.
    Maybe those who blame their loser lifestyle on drugs, are just losers with or without.




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  • 279. At 2:04pm on 16 Jul 2010, Peter_Sym wrote:

    #272: are you suggesting over 50% of the population wants alcohol to be made a controlled substance? Unless you DO claim this then its entirely democratic that it remains more or less freely available.

    Likewise I wouldn't recommend 'there are no illegal drugs' as a defence in court....... I can promise that your opinion of the law is different from the judge who'll sentence you.

    While I totally agree with you that scientific evidence should be given greater attention by the govt when deciding classification there is more to the trade in controlled drugs than just the impact on the users body.... where the stuff comes from should also be considered: heroin funds the Taliban and cocaine funds people who make the Mafia look like schoolkids.

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  • 280. At 2:15pm on 16 Jul 2010, FedupwithGovt wrote:

    275. At 1:46pm on 16 Jul 2010, Peter_Sym wrote:
    "271. At 12:46pm on 16 Jul 2010, Shaunie Babes wrote:

    ================================

    Ignore him - he is a WUM! He sums himself up in the last line of his post perfectly.

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  • 281. At 2:25pm on 16 Jul 2010, FedupwithGovt wrote:

    Can we all please forget about alcohol and tobacco. The whole point of this blog is the fact that the Government are not acting in accordance with the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971. They are discriminating against people who would rather indulge in other less harmful substances. There are a number of posts that have pointed this out, come on people, please, don't get bogged down in circular arguments. This is all about people being denied their freedom of action. It is a disgrace. It is costing lives. It is enriching criminals. It need to change.

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  • 282. At 2:39pm on 16 Jul 2010, Sunshine Band wrote:

    Peter - whilst I am of the view that the mismanagement of the law by government does amount to a defence in law on common law grounds of proceedural unfairness, unreasonableness, unlawfulness giving rise to inequalities of treatment before the law, I never suggested that the expression 'illegal drugs do not exist' is a defence in it's own right. It is in fact a point of law that a decent judge should be able to recognise - the government is administerring the law without understanding their powers, and thus not giving effect to them. I cannot say that if 50% of people want this or that, that that is the point - we have the one prime law on this, and that is the law we want applying - we cannot exclude majorities from the OPERATION of the law for electoral advantage, that is using the criminal law for an improper purpose.

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  • 283. At 2:57pm on 16 Jul 2010, Steve - Iver wrote:

    276. At 1:50pm on 16 Jul 2010, Sunshine Band wrote:
    .....something about legal / illegal drugs.....

    We're not on a legal forum here. I realise that the terms are technically incorrect, but come on, people speak like that. The term is 'illegal drug use' and that has just become known to mean, using illegal drugs.

    Yes, you're correct, drugs in themselves aren't illegal, but no matter how the law explains it, it is commonly applied as an illegal activity, ergo illegal drugs. It's a use of common language, Sunshine. I think everyone knows the main point though, that possession is illegal, and that needs to be changed, so I guess we all agree on that eh?

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  • 284. At 3:09pm on 16 Jul 2010, John Ellis wrote:

    271. At 12:46pm on 16 Jul 2010, Shaunie Babes wrote:
    Simple question:
    What are the benefits to society of recreational drugs and how do they enhance your life ?
    Bonus points will be awarded for answers that don't make drug users look sad,pathetic, selfish and unable to deal with reality.

    Ill give you bonus points drug users are really nice people :) must be true as im one of them and I help make a lot of people very happy so unless you can come up with evidence of the contrary Im afraid ill just have to stand as a shining public example of what we drug users do for everyone.

    So Shaunie how many points for this..(BBC have already covered this event TY BBC so there really is no need to go on about permissions n stuff)

    [Unsuitable/Broken URL removed by Moderator]

    Sunshine Band it can take a while to grasp for some people especially as its an old language that is still in use legal and illegal....

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  • 285. At 3:09pm on 16 Jul 2010, Peter_Sym wrote:

    276. At 1:50pm on 16 Jul 2010, Sunshine Band wrote:
    I wish I was the mod here - i'd remove all postings that clearly demonstrate to an objective person that the poster is not reading and grasping the basics as regards FACTS (not opinion) - and that includes Andrew Kerr, Peter-Sym, Rob and Euforiator in the last 20 postings. Anyone who says 'illegal drugs', 'legal drugs' or 'legalise drugs' has simply no idea what this is about.


    What you mean is that you'd remove any posts that don't share the same opinion as you do:

    If I go home via Asda and buy some whiskey, being over 18 and not drinking it in the car I am breaking no law. That is legal.

    If I cross the road and buy some crack (and in the neighbourhood the Asda is in that would be quicker than getting the security seal off the bottle of whiskey) I can be done for possession of the crack. That makes it an illegal drug.

    You can use the term 'classified' if you like but its semantics. Buying one drug will get you a jail sentence, buying the other gives the chancellor £10 in duty.

    If you would be happier I will rewrite my position: I would like several other 'classified' drugs 'declassified' and sold in the same way that alcohol and tobacco are. 'Classifying' alcohol and tobacco will lead to mass civil disobedience, more crime and more deaths from bootlegging. There is a lack of logic in the current 'classification' system which in great part comes from the will of the people who want their own fix of choice to be 'unclassified' and other peoples to be 'classified' (or in the case of Mail readers a capital offence).

    However if you think you're the victim of discrimination you're deluded. If you're caught with cocaine you'll be treated just the same as someone else caught with cocaine. Your argument is horribly close to that of the US pro-paedophile group NAMBLA who lobby to give those who wish to have sex with under 16's the same rights as those who wish to have sex with over 16's (and just in case anyone gets upset I'm not accusing you of being a paedophile, just highlighting the same logic behind the argument... after all age of consent is also a moral thing and varies from nation to nation)

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  • 286. At 3:10pm on 16 Jul 2010, jr4412 wrote:

    Peter_Sym #275.

    "My personal philosophy is that people should be allowed to think, say, do and consume whatever they like as long as this does not affect anyone else's rights to do the same."

    very much agree with your liberal viewpoint, but I don't think much of your #274. IMO, public health should be our main concern, regulation and taxation would drive criminals who adulterate their wares out of business, and users would actually get what they pay for (because there'd be quality control).


    Sunshine Band #276.

    "..i'd remove all postings.."

    disagree, censorship, like prohibition, doesn't work.

    everyone is entitled to their opinion and the published record should stand; you do not have to agree with others nor do you have to engage them.

    "Anyone who says 'illegal drugs', 'legal drugs' or 'legalise drugs' has simply no idea what this is about."

    not everybody expresses themselves well all of the time, read what they say not how they say it.

    (English isn't my native tongue, hope you will make allowances for that :D)

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  • 287. At 3:20pm on 16 Jul 2010, Mafficker wrote:

    Sunshine Ban(ne)d is spot on. Ask yourself, did 50% of the public demand mephedrone be controlled under the Act for being related to a few deaths? Does alcohol and tobacco kill 120,000 per annum by Government's own numbers? Why the scramble to apply the Act to one but not the others?

    This is mob rule.

    But the Rule of Law doctrine holding laws neutral on their face are applicable to all applies here. The Act regulates people. But the way the SSHD is applying the law, it only applies to an electoral minority. This is not lawful. And the unequal treatment is actionable in court.

    This is what Casey Hardison is attempting to do. The released document demonstrating unequal treatment of persons concerned with similarly harmful drugs was in the Government's hands as Hardison was at the Court of Appeal claiming he was discriminated against by the unequal application of the law. Four years later, he secured the release of that document. Now he seeks to secure his release. And when he does so, all the King's horsemen will be unable to put the genie back in the bottle.

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  • 288. At 3:26pm on 16 Jul 2010, FedupwithGovt wrote:

    283. At 2:57pm on 16 Jul 2010, Steve wrote:

    I think everyone knows the main point though, that possession is illegal, and that needs to be changed, so I guess we all agree on that eh?

    ==============================================

    The big question is - 'what are we going to do about it'?

    Does anyone know if there is a standard letter anywhere setting out the nonsense that is Britain's approach to drugs. If there is I would like to use it and send it to my MP - it's a start!?

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  • 289. At 3:54pm on 16 Jul 2010, FedupwithGovt wrote:

    Hey guys, I think we need to take a step back here. The vast majority of people who have posted on this site are of the same mind. There are enough Daily Mail readers out there who would have us hung without us having a go at each other. Don't like the paedo analogy by the way. Most of the arguments put forward here are valid and that includes the discrimination one.

    Is there a way to lobby MP's or the Home Secretary that everyone could get involved in?

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  • 290. At 4:04pm on 16 Jul 2010, FedupwithGovt wrote:

    287. At 3:20pm on 16 Jul 2010, Mafficker wrote:
    Sunshine Ban(ne)d is spot on. Ask yourself, did 50% of the public demand mephedrone be controlled under the Act for being related to a few deaths?

    ===================================================

    The ridiculous thing is, as far as I'm aware not one of the 26 deaths, that were spread across the whole media, has yet to be linked to Mephedrone. The ACMD were rushed into banning it before any scientific study was implemented. Yet another example of the Government and the ACMD not following their remits under Misuse of Drugs Act 1971. The media have a lot to answer for because all they do is reinforce the half truths and ignorance that surrounds drugs. THAT INCLUDES THE BBC!

    Plus if ecstasy was easier to come by there probably would have been no need for Mephedrone in the first place.

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  • 291. At 4:09pm on 16 Jul 2010, Mafficker wrote:

    Casey Hardison's letter to Les Iversen on the drugequality.org site could be made into a letter for MP's it has all the dirt bar this consultation document. It is time for action.

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  • 292. At 4:17pm on 16 Jul 2010, Steve - Iver wrote:

    288. At 3:26pm on 16 Jul 2010, FedupwithGovt wrote:

    ..."Does anyone know if there is a standard letter anywhere setting out the nonsense that is Britain's approach to drugs. If there is I would like to use it and send it to my MP - it's a start!?"...

    Agreed. Following the 'yourfreedom' (http://yourfreedom.hmg.gov.uk/) website set up by our wonderful new HM(Coalition)G, there has been a lot of posts there about the legalisation / decriminalisation / regulation (call it what you will) of cannabis in particular. I suspect a few / lot of people here are also posting there. If not, get over there and add your voice.

    As for a letter - I guess you're going down the same route as a petition, and there are petitions out there which you can sign to at least add weight to the argument. I appreciate that the Vienna Declaration might not be everyone's cup of tea, coffee (insert drug / stimulant / narcotic of choice) but it's important from the point of view of recognising numbers of people with a common belief.

    The danger with a letter, versus petition, is that with a letter you are identifying yourself, your address and your beliefs, and tying it all into your name, whatever your opinion, to a member of the parliament and that might put people off doing it, rather than simply signing up to a website / petition. That said, the 'yourfreedom' website asks for your details when you sign up, so that puts my own reasoning to bed a little there doesn't it.

    All in all, I'd be in favour of any action, so long as it's within the law. My only criminal act is that of possessing, with intent to enjoy, cannabis.

    There is a growing momentum; let's keep it going



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  • 293. At 4:22pm on 16 Jul 2010, Jon OapostropheBrien wrote:

    Shaunie Babes wrote: "Simple question: What are the benefits to society of recreational drugs and how do they enhance your life?".

    Does something have to be beneficial to society, or enhance people's lives, to prevent it being denied the populace? If so, a great majority of products on sale in the UK should be prohibited immediately.

    As it happens, some recreational drugs do both in ways you're evidently unequipped to comprehend but, more importantly, their prohibition is maleficent to society and, often, damaging to people's lives. For that reason alone their prohibition should be removed.

    However, as FedupwithGovt, to his/her great credit, keeps trying to point out to us: the point of this discussion, which many of us, myself included, keep ignoring, is that the government has not, for nearly 40 years, been acting in accordance with UK legislation. If it began to do so many of the harms brought about by its ignoring its own legislation could be rectified. It's too late for many of those who suffered from the privatisation of the drugs industry but we owe it to everyone else to attempt to put things right.

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  • 294. At 4:29pm on 16 Jul 2010, jr4412 wrote:

    FedupwithGovt #288.

    "..send it to my MP.."

    hope your MP is less indifferent than mine!!

    I wrote to my local MP (then Sir John Butterfill) earlier this year and all I got was a 'nice' letter telling me all about (conservative) party policy on cannabis.

    "The big question is - 'what are we going to do about it'?"

    I'd love to see a campaign to sue the government in the European Court for Human Rights (http://www.echr.coe.int/echr/), BobRocket's #253 points in the right direction.

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  • 295. At 4:59pm on 16 Jul 2010, Shaunie Babes wrote:

    275. At 1:46pm on 16 Jul 2010, Peter_Sym wrote:
    "271. At 12:46pm on 16 Jul 2010, Shaunie Babes wrote:
    Simple question:
    What are the benefits to society of recreational drugs and how do they enhance your life ? Bonus points will be awarded for answers that don't make drug users look sad,pathetic, selfish and unable to deal with reality."
    ------
    If they were legalised the same as booze:
    ------------
    So basically all the disadvanges to society of alcohol misuse without the ability to consume without getting intoxicated.
    ------------
    They'd raise taxes and keep the population largely quiet.
    ------------
    The legalisation and taxing of child porn would also raise a few quid. This wouldn't be classed as a benefit to society.

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  • 296. At 5:18pm on 16 Jul 2010, John Ellis wrote:

    Problem ive found with MP's letter's etc is they tend to be read by uneducated people, or people that do not want change because it does not follow party lines and they are either to weak or to naive to act for themselves or the constituencies they represent.

    There are many MP's out there that should hold their heads in shame for claiming to be doing the best they can for the communities they represent, most are terrified to go out into their own constituencies after dark... Why because of all the drugs we use socially and medically!!

    WE need the public to stand up and say im a drug user and to say it with the conviction that they know they are equal to every other member of society regardless of age, colour and culture(historical or not). The sooner the public stand up and say no more the sooner we can get this problem sorted out.

    People like myself can bang on all we want about drugs and the unfairness etc etc but we know what is coming if the situation remains the same, it does not take any kind of intelligence to see what is around the corner in the unregulated drug markets just a bit of imagination and mindfulness of were we stand today with biology, science and chemistry.

    RE 284 whats to consider Shaunie asked and got shown just what a so called druggie(s) can do, It would be interesting to see which ones Shaunie can identify as druggies. because all I and the others attending saw was a progressive community made up of a wide range of people that choose equality over discrimination.

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  • 297. At 7:06pm on 16 Jul 2010, Rob wrote:

    276. At 1:50pm on 16 Jul 2010, Sunshine Band wrote:
    I wish I was the mod here - i'd remove all postings that clearly demonstrate to an objective person that the poster is not reading and grasping the basics as regards FACTS (not opinion) - and that includes Rob . Anyone who says 'illegal drugs', 'legal drugs' or 'legalise drugs' has simply no idea what this is about.
    -----------------------------------------------

    It doesn't matter whether I understand the mechanism by which drugs offenders are able to be arrested. It matters that it is possible, and it exists. Considering the whole purpose of classification is to determine the severity of punishment, I kind of disagree with the classification system in general. What determines the classification system is rather a moot point.

    We're not lawyers, we're voices in a democratic country. In your comment you talk about grasping facts, and you would like to be a moderator. Can you tell me why would want to ban my opinion (based on your own Opinion), when it didn't violate any house rule (FACT).
    I voice my opinion, because I am fed up of my opinion having no representation on the mass media, and fed up of the bias/hype that gets shown on the media.

    Even if drugs classification was determined scientifically, we would have a puppet in a lab coat using all kinds of statistics and correlations as scientific "evidence" of causation.



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  • 298. At 7:07pm on 16 Jul 2010, shuvell wrote:

    Shaunie Babes,

    Child porn has an obvious unwilling victim. Do you have any more straw men to hand?

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  • 299. At 7:25pm on 16 Jul 2010, FedupwithGovt wrote:

    295:

    NIce to see the WUM shouting in the wilderness.

    I say again - please everyone - ignore this WUM until he formulates a coherent argument.

    As to starting a campaign - does anyone know if there is anything on the DEA website, I have looked but have not found anything, probably all the E's have rotted my brain :D

    As to using Casey's letter as a template to send to my MP - I doubt, I'm afraid, he would have the wit to understand it.

    293: I am a him.

    294: Agree with all you say. If asked, I will tell people my 'drugs' of choice. I consider myself a normal, well balanced person of 50years. I have a nice house, in a nice area, a lovely wife, equally lovely daughter. Education wise I have a Degree. I have also held down a well paid job since leaving Uni. I have never been in trouble with the police and feel that through my life I have in a small way, enriched society and the people I come into contact with. I also like to take Ecstasy now and again, I dislike what alcohol does to me. However, in the eyes of the law, that makes me a criminal and in the eyes of some very ignorant people, a druggie.

    Oh well, the only thing about life so far that has ever really disappointed me is human nature.

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  • 300. At 7:44pm on 16 Jul 2010, Euforiater wrote:

    Re: 267
    Hi Peter, I've just re-read my post and I don't think there's a problem with its logic - I always re-read my posts to keep misunderstandings to a minimum.

    Anyway, just to clarify my position and logic, in the USA as my understanding goes, and quoting from Wikipedia:

    "Hemp is not legal to grow in the U.S. under Federal law because of its relation to marijuana, and any imported hemp products must meet a zero tolerance level."

    If and when it finally becomes legal to grow hemp in the USA, a lot of the driving force behind cannabis prohibition will be removed. But there are other major beneficieries of prohibition such as the HUGE medicine industry, who have a direct competitional interest, along with an army of those men and women in white coats to research anything that could be construed as negative, none of whom will be paid to research its benefits.

    For the second point I don't see where I'd mentioned that legalising cannabis would cause a massive fall in revenue across the board - merely for those that currently support its prohibition. Exactly as you said, I can also see Government revenues being boosted (in fact I'm pretty sure I implied that when I said "the shortage of government money will tip the balance for us"). 'Coffee shops', off-licences etc could also benefit. Problem is that most of these aren't financially powerful enough to tip the balance (until cannabis prohibition is ended).

    The reason why most politicians support prohibition is that they are told to do so by their parties, it's the party line and above all (most) politicians' key driving force is their career - at the last election voters were still responding to the "prohibition is a good idea" vote. As they wise up we'll reach a tipping point - no doubt the party strategists will know exactly where we are at the moment.

    It's interesting that you mentioned you smoked Cannabis whilst drinking, I would have thought they'd have the opposite effect. For me, alcohol makes me more outgoing and perhaps slightly overconfident and less thoughtful, cannabis more introspective and, frankly (pun intended), more open to others. That's why alcohol's the fighting drug and cannabis is for "chilling".

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  • 301. At 8:44pm on 16 Jul 2010, jr4412 wrote:

    Euforiater #300.
    (Peter_Sym)

    "If and when it finally becomes legal to grow hemp in the USA.."

    which, given the power of the corporations and what they stand to lose, may be never.

    hemp is such a versatile crop plant, its many products would give the manmade equivalents a good run for the money.

    we'd use less fertilisers (hemp does not impoverish the soil) and oil (nylon ropes are inferior) and so on.

    http://www.hempglobalsolutions.com/why1.php

    http://www.ecomall.com/greenshopping/sdethemp7.htm

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  • 302. At 8:52pm on 16 Jul 2010, John Ellis wrote:

    hmmm seems they don't like all the ideas on cannabis.

    all the ideas are gone....

    http://spendingchallenge.hm-treasury.gov.uk/2010/07/thank-you-for-the-ideas-so-far/

    what a pity my new way forward was amongst the highest rated ideas.... so they blame a few hackers???? seems the government are wasting money on IT again...

    I say extradite the hackers to no 11 downing street....

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  • 303. At 10:33pm on 16 Jul 2010, Betty_Swallocks wrote:

    295. At 4:59pm on 16 Jul 2010, Shaunie Babes wrote:
    ------------
    The legalisation and taxing of child porn would also raise a few quid. This wouldn't be classed as a benefit to society.

    -----------------------------------------

    I feel sorry for you if you honestly can't tell the difference between children being molested for the satisfaction of perverts and people relaxing with a different drug to the ones you choose to use.
    I'm so glad you're not my neighbour.

    It's not necessary for something to be a benefit to society as a whole for it to be legal or indeed acceptable. Many things are not of benefit to society yet they still remain legal. Tabloid newspapers, Jonathan Ross, moisturising creams, the fashion industry. None of these things add anything to society in measurable terms but nobody would suggest that they should be banned. (Well, perhaps Jonathan Ross)

    Something being of benefit to people on a personal level is just as important just so long as no harm is caused to others.
    Even if cannabis was harmful, which studies have proved isn't the case, governments have no right to tell me how I should live my life and take my recreation. I do no harm to anyone by smoking a joint.

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  • 304. At 11:20pm on 16 Jul 2010, ecolizzy wrote:

    Just a couple of reseach items on safe cannabis...

    http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/uk/article757211.ece

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/society/2007/jul/31/drugsandalcohol.drugs

    Not to mention all the paranoid schizophrenics from smoking dope, in the mental hospital my relative works.

    But then it's a free country, we've all gotta die of something!

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  • 305. At 11:54pm on 16 Jul 2010, John Ellis wrote:

    ecolizzy ah some very old commedy articals.

    some real research on cannabis compounds first 2 from 2005 http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn8155-marijuana-might-cause-new-cell-growth-in-the-brain.html

    Cannabinoids promote embryonic and adult hippocampus neurogenesis
    http://www.jci.org/articles/view/25509

    Cannabis and psychosis
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/programmes/panorama/4104702.stm

    Bit of basic knowlage
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cannabinoid_receptor

    in recent studys its been shown that masturbation makes you go blind, after a survey of 1000 recently blinded teenage boys, they were all asked if they had sex before they were blinded and what was the last type of sex they had. ;)

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  • 306. At 00:25am on 17 Jul 2010, jr4412 wrote:

    would have liked to post a BBC iPlayer link to the episode of Family Guy just shown (4/16, Brian runs a campaign to legalize pot).

    alas, "not available" which is a shame because it was very funny and touched on the economics of prohibition.

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  • 307. At 00:42am on 17 Jul 2010, John Ellis wrote:

    the psychosis theory is further compounded by the fact that the hippocampus stops growing properly and cannabis contains chemicals which cause neurogenesis(make the brain grow)see last post..

    http://www.schres-journal.com/article/S0920-9964(06)00456-7/abstract

    there is a really good study called 'Dynamic mapping of hippocampal development in
    childhood onset schizophrenia' that comes with the page but its pdf only so cant post it here.

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  • 308. At 00:49am on 17 Jul 2010, John Ellis wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 309. At 02:52am on 17 Jul 2010, Mafficker wrote:

    I can not support Sunshine Ban(ne)d's call for censorship. Whilst those who spout nonsense might distract the weaker willed, this thread is maturing.

    The point about the false distinction legal/illegal drugs is that laws can only regulate people and then only their actions. Hence the MDAct regulates the unauthorized production, supply, cultivation and possession of controlled drugs. By s7 of the Act the Secretary of State may authorise any activities s/he thinks fit with any reasonable conditions. And by s22 the Secretary of State can exclude and provision of the Act that creates and offence. So, alcohol and tobacco can be rightly controlled under the Act and one would still be able to obtain them lawfully.

    A question would remain, why can one access alcohol and tobacco but not other less harmful controlled drugs. With cannabis and ecstasy this would be hard to answer as people have learned to use them responsibly with minimal harm. With heroine, cocaine and amphetamine this could be more difficult to answer because of the tendency for extreme habituation. But with clean and rationally priced supplies even those 'addicted' could use these relatively safely and still contribute to society.

    This is a big conversation with no easy answers. But as Casey Hardison points out 'A War on some people who use some Drugs' is not one of them.

    For an excellent essay tearing down the rationale for this War please see Ott's Proemium:

    www.erowid.org/library/books_online/pharmacotheon/pharmacotheon.shtml

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  • 310. At 04:01am on 17 Jul 2010, Eamonn wrote:

    The day reason prevails in this country will be the day that Hell will freeze over and nobody will be able to get a spark off their lighters because their fingers will have dropped off.

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  • 311. At 04:04am on 17 Jul 2010, Mafficker wrote:

    Re the Vienna Declaration, i cannot support any position that seeks to slight it because of its use of the mystical phrase 'illegal drugs'.

    Re this thread and the exclusion of alcohol and tobacco from the Act and thus their users. The 22 November 2006 Science and Technology Commited Drugs Classification: making a hash of it? follow up evidence session with Home Office minister Vernon Coaker MP illustrates the problem with terminology effectively.

    Re the inclusion of alcohol and tobacco in the Act, Coaker at question 73 states: 'First of all, there is a distinction between illegal and illegal drugs, as i know you are aware, what we have got is a classification system the ranks illegal drugs'.

    No, the classification system ranks 'controlled drugs'. So it's the politician messing up a perfectly good evidence session and a beautiful Act of Parliament.

    Personally, even I am now getting bored by the semantics. And I love semantics! Nevertheless, being aware that it is actions that are made unlawful under Article 36(1)(a) of the 1961 UN drugs Convention and all subsequent drugs legislation, foreign and domestic, and not the drugs themselves highlights the unequal treatment of people based on their prefered drugs, or historical and cultural precedents.

    And as the Vienna Declaration recognises the violations of liberty inherent in a War on some people who use some Drugs, i'm all for it!

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  • 312. At 08:00am on 17 Jul 2010, ecolizzy wrote:

    #305 Ah Yes Mr Ellis, I expect we could all trade links to show who was right and who wrong! ; )

    I do believe the link to more lung cancer in cannabis smokers is proved though.

    My position on drugs, I really don't care what anyone takes, it's up to them, and their own brain. I do think legalisation would be a good idea, especially if run completely seperately from the NHS, just walk in clinics where people could buy their drugs legally.

    Although I do think if you all stopped taking drugs, there would be a huge rise in unemployment and deprivation amongst Columbians, Taliban, and here dealers, and chinese and vietnamese gardeners.

    But never mind there would be a massive boost to our economy with all that extra money in your pocket it might just lift us our of our economic depression! ; )

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  • 313. At 08:11am on 17 Jul 2010, Cobalt Chicken wrote:

    I had a kind of epiphany yesterday about why, not only senior politicians, but also journalists and opinion formers are unable to publicly debate the disastrous failure of prohibition and the possibility of alternatives.

    If we abandon prohibition people will still die of drug misuse. The evidence suggests it would be substantially fewer people. The problem is that the deaths under prohibition can be blamed on the Evil Pushers. Under legalisation many people, and in particular the relatives of the dead (and the newspapers that feed on them), would blame the legalisers. I think those who might be in a position to end prohibition feel, in advance, the weight of that guilt. Not just as a future burden on their political career, but in the most personal way.

    This is why Cameron, for example, can discuss liberal options on drugs as a mere MP, but falls silent as he approaches the seat of power.

    This is why BBC journalists can take the liberal position on Blogs, and probably in the pub, but fall silent when the microphone is in front of them.

    If you were in a position where you could save a hundred lives by killing one innocent, would you, could you do it? It might be the rational thing to do, but the human thing to do is to dither and deny the evidence which forces the choice on you.

    Thus we here can cheerfully make the rational arguments for liberalisation, or legalisation but we do so in the knowledge that any contribution we might make to the decision is trivial, and therefore so is the responsibility.

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  • 314. At 09:54am on 17 Jul 2010, shuvell wrote:

    The journal Schizophrenia Research published a review last September entitled “Assessing the impact of cannabis use on trends in diagnosed schizophrenia in the United Kingdom from 1996 to 2005.”

    It was expected, if cannabis use causes psychoses, that due to an increase in use preceding the dates examined, the rate of psychoses would increase.

    The prediction of increase in psychoses is here (Addiction, April 2007):

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17362293

    It makes sense that if cannabis causes psychoses, the rate would fluctuate according to the use of it.

    They found no such thing, the rate remained constant. The cohort was 600,000 UK patients per year.

    The only conclusion is that cannabis use does not increase the rate of psychoses.

    Here’s the abstract from PubMed:

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19560900

    A recent systematic review concluded that cannabis use increases risk of psychotic outcomes independently of confounding and transient intoxication effects. Furthermore, a model of the association between cannabis use and schizophrenia indicated that the incidence and prevalence of schizophrenia would increase from 1990 onwards. The model is based on three factors: a) increased relative risk of psychotic outcomes for frequent cannabis users compared to those who have never used cannabis between 1.8 and 3.1, b) a substantial rise in UK cannabis use from the mid-1970s and c) elevated risk of 20 years from first use of cannabis. This paper investigates whether this has occurred in the UK by examining trends in the annual prevalence and incidence of schizophrenia and psychoses, as measured by diagnosed cases from 1996 to 2005. Retrospective analysis of the General Practice Research Database (GPRD) was conducted for 183 practices in England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland. The study cohort comprised almost 600,000 patients each year, representing approximately 2.3% of the UK population aged 16 to 44. Between 1996 and 2005 the incidence and prevalence of schizophrenia and psychoses were either stable or declining. Explanations other than a genuine stability or decline were considered, but appeared less plausible. In conclusion, this study did not find any evidence of increasing schizophrenia or psychoses in the general population from 1996 to 2005.

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  • 315. At 09:59am on 17 Jul 2010, shuvell wrote:

    ecolizzy "I do believe the link to more lung cancer in cannabis smokers is proved though."

    Marijuana Cuts Lung Cancer Tumor Growth In Half, Study Shows
    http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/04/070417193338.htm

    Large Study Finds No Link between Marijuana and Lung Cancer
    http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=large-study-finds-no-link&modsrc=related_links

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  • 316. At 10:47am on 17 Jul 2010, John Ellis wrote:

    the only link between cancer and cannabis is in most cases it causes the cancer cells to consume themselves and reduces tumour growth.

    The only link between tobacco and cancer is it causes it, but is that down to the tobacco plant itself or the myriad of toxic chemicals that are added to the tobacco to flavour it and make it more active within the human body?
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/health/background_briefings/smoking/281167.stm

    http://www.intheknowzone.com/tobacco/what.htm

    imagine if they could do that with weed :\

    When it comes to the production of cannabis the UK is now an exporter and not that much of an importer due to bulk.

    eco lizzy I don't support drugs they cause massive problems in my community, but I also don't support the current legislation on them. Many EU countries are seeing the truth of prohibition and have found safer ways for people to live through decriminalization or through main stream acceptance of the commodity with a valid safe structure to deal with them.

    Not much to ask really that young people are protected while an adult is able to buy a safe product that has quality assurance put in place during its production..

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  • 317. At 12:07pm on 17 Jul 2010, Sunshine Band wrote:

    Peter-Sym at 285# - Please see my comments below on the over-zealous call for 'censorship'.

    I understand buying whiskey is legal - what I am opposing is the hypocrisy that makes some drug users buy crap and risk prison, whilst others can take dangerous addictive and harmful drugs in full view of the kids with full consumer protection and lawfully. It's an irrational inequality of treatment that the primary law did not provide for - infact it envisaged the opposite once the jurisdictional facts were made out about relative drug harms.

    The answer is not to ban alcohol - all I ask is for sensible regulation of all drugs not based upon prejudice, majoritarianism or even culture - but just be fair.

    Because buying crack is illegal does not mean crack is illegal - you are using a linguistic shortcut that actually is conceptually and legally wrong. Same with guns, they are not illegal - it is the carrying or action without a firearms certificate that is an illegal act - the distinction is important, firstly law controls people, not objects. Secondly the law seeks control of drug property to undermine the harm potential, it does not prohibit by default - even using controlled drugs is not a crime (although it is almost impossible given property rights prohibitions). The Act provides that property should be regulated to prevent harm by misuse - this has been interpreted as a license to declare drugs as illegal, but this is a fiction. You are missing something with the classification point - classifying just means that they are drugs, then provisions should be made from within the classification system to allow peaceful use and penalise misuse of such drugs, there is no need for bootlegging.

    I am shocked by your comment that this is like a pro-paedophilia argument. The discrimination is between persons of different drug orientation. There is no moral difference between cannabis orientation or tobacco orientation or anything else - victimising children sexually is a totally different concept.

    Rob at #297 - no you haven't broken the rules. My transient wish to be a mod is borne of frustration that these threads always ramble in a way which ends up off topic and argumentative. I suppose I see a stake in this being close to the person who achieved the FOI release, and wished that this thread would pay respect to that issue, rather than become a forum for everyone to have their pennysworth on everything they think about drugs. It is a huge subject, and discussions if they are to be productive ought to be focused. I do disagree that I was seeking to police opinion - what I was asking for is the recognition of the key facts concerning terminology of law. OK, so this isn't a legal forum but it is the words that bind us, nothing more than words and we ought to get them right. It's not legalese, or purely semantic - it is conceptual. Words such as illegal carry meaning, controlled means something else. I honestly believe that the biggest obstacle in this debate is the misuse of words that lead to the misuse of the misuse of drugs act.

    Mafficker #309 - I regret it looks like a call for censorship - it's not that I want to censor ideas at all - I was trying to press people into engaging in the actual discussion that flows from this document release, as opposed to a ramble through the whole issue. Casey wants people to recognise the importance of the alcohol is legal misnomer exposed, and yet in this thread so many choose to ignore it.

    Steve at #283 - yes it is possession and all other property interests in drugs which are declared to be illegal, this being done unequally - to do something about that we seek regulation of those property rights as opposed to the blanket extinguishing of them. Once people recognise that the inequality of treatment is between people, and that it is not those drugs which are illegal, but illegality stems from governemnt's choice of controls about how people can own and trade in them, they will see that regulation is a natural and sensible consequence of proper administration of our law and that the government is exercising such discretions unfairly - this the govt now justify by saying drugs are illegal or legal.

    PS I support the Vienna Declaration as well - I just that wish more people would adopt the powerful language of understanding the law though - the hard work that has gone into it would bear more fruit IMO if they had used the correct terminology.

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  • 318. At 12:55pm on 17 Jul 2010, Shaunie Babes wrote:

    226. At 1:23pm on 15 Jul 2010, Have your say Rejected wrote:
    "No one has gone to war over tea? boston tea....."
    ------------
    You'd of thought the tea drinkers of Boston would of been quite happy to pay taxes on tea in return for it being legal. But no, they chose to buy from organised crime to save money. Obviously this would never happen with cannabis.

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  • 319. At 1:09pm on 17 Jul 2010, Shaunie Babes wrote:

    278. At 1:59pm on 16 Jul 2010, Rob wrote:

    271. At 12:46pm on 16 Jul 2010, Shaunie Babes wrote:
    Simple question:
    What are the benefits to society of recreational drugs and how do they enhance your life?
    ----------------------------------------------------
    Maybe you should look back at famous historic drugs users.
    Many musicians, artists, and even scientists, physicists, inventors have been inspired while they have been intoxicated. It might not have been necessary and they would have had them anyway, but it has proven that it didn't detract from their abilities.
    ---------------
    Oh right. People like Chet Baker,John Belushi,Tim Buckley,Truman Capote,Steve Clark, Robert Downey jr,John Entwistle, Chris Farley,Jimi Hendrix, Pete Townsend,Janis Joplin,Heath Ledger,Phil Lynott,Keith Moon, Keith Richards,Jim Morrison, River Phoenix,Brett Whiteley, Paula Yates and Herman Goering

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  • 320. At 1:14pm on 17 Jul 2010, Shaunie Babes wrote:

    298. At 7:07pm on 16 Jul 2010, shuvell wrote:
    Shaunie Babes,
    Child porn has an obvious unwilling victim. Do you have any more straw men to hand?
    -----------
    Drug abusers have loads of unwilling victims - mostly their famillies and extending out into the local community.

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  • 321. At 1:22pm on 17 Jul 2010, shuvell wrote:

    Shaunie Babes "Drug abusers have loads of unwilling victims - mostly their famillies and extending out into the local community."

    Most people use drugs without abusing them. Your evidence is.... ?

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  • 322. At 1:34pm on 17 Jul 2010, Shaunie Babes wrote:

    303. At 10:33pm on 16 Jul 2010, Betty_Swallocks wrote:
    295. At 4:59pm on 16 Jul 2010, Shaunie Babes wrote:
    ------------
    The legalisation and taxing of child porn would also raise a few quid. This wouldn't be classed as a benefit to society.
    -----------------------------------------
    I feel sorry for you if you honestly can't tell the difference between children being molested for the satisfaction of perverts and people relaxing with a different drug to the ones you choose to use.
    I'm so glad you're not my neighbour.
    ------------------
    Its called an analogy. Although users of child porn and drug users both like to delude themselves into thinking its a victimless crime.

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  • 323. At 1:43pm on 17 Jul 2010, strangebrew wrote:

    Polical considerations and threat to the paper industry in the USA were the primary reason Cannabis was made an illegal substance originally.
    The rest of Europe followed the example.

    Lies and mis-information were the tools of choice back then and seemingly those same lies and mis-information compounded by bigotry, ignorance, hypocritical pompousness and political popular vote are still apparent today.

    It has nothing to do with the contemporary promoted reasons back in the 1920's and absolutely nothing to do with those same reasons now in the first decade of the second millennium.
    Those were lies and covers stories used by the rich and powerful to protect their profit margins.

    Now politics plays popular pompousness with the general public that have traditionally believed the 'traditional' spin.

    And further compounded by a brewery industry that can either be a powerful ally or a very powerful enemy to political ambition.
    The tobacco industry are suffering a major collapse in 'profile' these days, but that does not stop them from apparently preparing for a business future with a slight change of product.

    No one knows definitely, the tobacco guru's refuse point blank to discuss either admittance the ploy or to actually deny it!

    Still leaves the double dealing hypocrisy, alcohol and cigarettes kill more readily then the so called illegals.

    But the vested interests have the attention of governmental bunnies of whom they have by the short and curlies.

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  • 324. At 1:50pm on 17 Jul 2010, John Ellis wrote:

    You'd of thought the tea drinkers of Boston would of been quite happy to pay taxes on tea in return for it being legal. But no, they chose to buy from organised crime to save money. Obviously this would never happen with cannabis.

    ah you miss the point any good business that is involved in buying and selling any commodity will always choose the cheapest option. It is done with everything in life from government departments to you buying a tv is it not?

    the amount of illegally produced coca beans the chocolate companies use is a classic example. thousands of children put to work and paid nothing but i don't see the sale of chocolate products dropping through the moral backlash. its still okay for us to eat the chocolate!. So next time you eat chocolate remember the beans for that chocolate regardless of the Fair Trade label will most likely of come from the hands of a 7 year old machete wielding child slave. the beans as they travel from source will gain value over and over again to the point were the beans upon arrival will have increased in value 500 fold.

    the same applies to the commodity of drugs were the drugs themselves are produced for coppers and then sold for 500 times the worth.

    If i chose to do so i could pick a strain of cannabis like northern lights that has a massive yield over 1 kilo wet by the time it was dry it would yield about 4-6 ounce with 7/8ths of the water removed current value on street per ounce £220, buy 10 seeds for £1 each and sell the finished plant 4 to 5 months later for well over £1000 .... £10 for £10.000+

    So it really does puzzle me why is it so expensive? Prohibition supports and extends this system it does not stem or control it. It merely provides a couple of seconds interruption per user per year for the last 40 or so years in total world supplies. So is 19 billion really worth spending on what if you lumped together relates to about 1 minute a year in preventing people using drugs?

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  • 325. At 3:31pm on 17 Jul 2010, Rob wrote:

    319. At 1:09pm on 17 Jul 2010, Shaunie Babes wrote:

    Oh right. People like Chet Baker,John Belushi,Tim Buckley,Truman Capote,Steve Clark, Robert Downey jr,John Entwistle, Chris Farley,Jimi Hendrix, Pete Townsend,Janis Joplin,Heath Ledger,Phil Lynott,Keith Moon, Keith Richards,Jim Morrison, River Phoenix,Brett Whiteley, Paula Yates and Herman Goering.
    -----------------------------------

    If you say so.

    What about:
    Carl Sagan, Bill Hicks, Friedrich Nietzsche, Michael Phelps, Salvador Dali, Charles Dickens, Kary Mullis (nobel prize winner) ..

    I could list more but it's an exercise in futility. You're a biased idiot trying to refute points without even understanding them. I'm trying to tell you that you shouldn't be prejudiced, and you give a 100% prejudiced response.
    I asked you not to paint everyone in the same negative light, because everyone is different, responds different. You go ahead and do your silly stereotyping, it only publicises your small mind.

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  • 326. At 3:36pm on 17 Jul 2010, shuvell wrote:

    Shaunie Babes "Its called an analogy. Although users of child porn and drug users both like to delude themselves into thinking its a victimless crime."

    If you think child porn is analogous to drug use, I feel very sorry for your delusions.

    How did the joints Jacqui Smith smoked before she became Home Secretary harm anyone? Who was the unwilling victim of Smith's action to be a victim?

    I think you're a troll.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Troll_%28Internet%29

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  • 327. At 3:37pm on 17 Jul 2010, shuvell wrote:

    http://www.slatts.ukfsn.org/famous.htm

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  • 328. At 3:37pm on 17 Jul 2010, Rob wrote:

    322. At 1:34pm on 17 Jul 2010, Shaunie Babes wrote:
    Its called an analogy. Although users of child porn and drug users both like to delude themselves into thinking its a victimless crime.
    ------------------------

    Taking a drug, only I suffer the consequences. If I die from taking that drug, it was my choice/responsibility?! If I suffer the rapid aging effects and toxicity of these drugs, it's my body being harmed. I'll suffer for the decisions, the community? I could be just as self-harmful in any other number of ways.

    If I like to cut myself to relieve internal tensions, OR I could smoke cannabis that has the same effect. Which would you recommend?


    The neighbourhood gets hurt when I am forced to buy drugs off a dealer.
    The dealer is forced to buy weapons to protect himself from the law/rival dealers. The dealer passes on the majority of his profits to larger, more organised criminals, who specifically target communities for their crimes.

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  • 329. At 4:03pm on 17 Jul 2010, Mafficker wrote:

    I hate to break this love fest up but the way i read the MDAct any drug use that has harmful effects sufficient to constitute a social problem should be made subject to the MDAct. See s1(2)

    Now if my drug use however private and however the drug is classified spills any blood or treasure it is sufficient to constitute a social problem if that blood or treasure is the taxpayer's or their dependents. It is that simple. Hence, alcohol and tobacco production, commerce and possession should rightly be regulated under the MDAct.

    Sunshine, thank you for the apology. Our frustrations can get the better of us.

    Remember UPSETS are caused by one of three things if not all at once:

    UNFULFILLED EXPECTATIONS, THWARTED INTENTIONS, and MISSED COMMUNICATION.

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  • 330. At 4:11pm on 17 Jul 2010, Mafficker wrote:

    And that letter from Casey Hardison to Professor Les Iversen, the Chair of the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs can be found here:

    http://www.drugequality.org/reading.htm

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  • 331. At 7:31pm on 17 Jul 2010, Betty_Swallocks wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 332. At 10:20pm on 17 Jul 2010, BobRocket wrote:

    I appreciate the efforts of Casey William Hardison in getting this document released.

    I also appreciate Sunshine Band's (et al) attempts to explain that it is not the substances (whether natural or syntheticaly created) that are illegal.

    Substances can only be classified or not.

    Substances which are classified under the Mis-use of Drugs act 1971 (MODA71) have restrictions placed upon the people who possess/supply them.

    It is the people who are restricted.

    For example, some doctors are allowed to possess and supply heroin, Joe Public is not.

    The Home Secretary can, using his/her own disgression, by Statutory Instrument allow or disallow the lawful (but still regulated) possession/supply of any substance which is controlled under the act.



    It is quite clear (from this document and others) that the current and former Home Secretaries have been using arbitrary and unscientific judgement in relation to their interpretation of this act (MODA 71)

    The Act (MODA71) is quite explicit in how the classification of substances and the controls of the people that come into contact with them should be based and implemented, prejudice is not one of them.

    It is this prejudice or unequal treatment or 'legal discrimination on the grounds of group membership' that has been upheld by the Home Secretary which is in itself unlawful both under UK and international law.



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  • 333. At 10:23pm on 17 Jul 2010, jr4412 wrote:

    CobaltChicken #313.

    "If we abandon prohibition people will still die of drug misuse. The evidence suggests it would be substantially fewer people. The problem is that the deaths under prohibition can be blamed on the Evil Pushers. Under legalisation many people ... would blame the legalisers."

    and therefore your argument is to continue with prohibition simply to spare the decision makers from having to take the blame for the remaining "substantially fewer" deaths?

    do you really think the "Cameron"s of this world think in those terms?

    if yes, how do you explain Bliar, Iraq, and near enough one million dead Iraqis?

    get real.

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  • 334. At 11:22pm on 17 Jul 2010, BobRocket wrote:

    For those who want a standard letter template :-

    Use Write To Them to find your MP, send a short email saying :- 'Please look into the case of Casey William Hardison and let me know your feelings

    Best regards
    xxxxx
    your constituent.'

    Will this get Casey released - sadly no
    Will this get drug laws revisited - again sadly no

    It will however raise awareness of his name and the issues surrounding it, when someone asks a question in the House with the phrase 'Casey William Hardinson' their ears will prick up, they will pay attention, and ultimately that will achieve both goals.


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  • 335. At 00:47am on 18 Jul 2010, BobRocket wrote:

    #334 me

    I have just sent my MP the standard letter, I will publish any response here. I would advise others to do likewise.



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  • 336. At 01:36am on 18 Jul 2010, jr4412 wrote:

    strangebrew #323.

    re "But the vested interests have the attention of governmental bunnies of whom they have by the short and curlies."

    interesting, related information can be found in the Hansard Register of Members' Interests (only to 2001, still..):
    http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm200001/cmregmem/memi02.htm

    from this page one can access public information held on individual MPs, for instance, the entry for Ken Clarke (our current Secretary of State for Justice, and also Lord Chancellor) reveals that he held directorships in various companies:

    "1. Remunerated directorships
    Chairman (non-executive) of Unichem PLC.
    Foreign and Colonial Investment Trust PLC.
    Deputy Chairman and director of British American Tobacco PLC.
    Independent News and Media (UK).
    Chairman (non-executive) of Savoy Asset Management PLC.
    Chairman (non-executive) of British American Racing (Holdings) Limited." (emphasis added)
    http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm200001/cmregmem/memi06.htm

    time-consuming but informative. ;)

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  • 337. At 09:27am on 18 Jul 2010, Geeca wrote:

    The drug classification system has always been a contradiction. For almost 15 years I did just about any 'illegal' drug going but managed to get off them (but i do still miss them) But I have found it impossible to give up ciggarettes which I have smoked for over 20 years. Ironically the 'illegal' drugs never did much lasting damage to me but the 'legal' one is the one that is going to kill me me in the end.
    Any way I believe that if the governament could effectivey tax drugs like weed or pills then they would be legal - look how much tax is on ciggarettes its taxing people addictions to nictotine, one of the most naturally occurring addictive substances known!

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  • 338. At 09:51am on 18 Jul 2010, Cobalt Chicken wrote:

    > and therefore your argument is to continue with prohibition simply to spare the
    >decision makers from having to take the blame for the remaining "substantially
    >fewer" deaths?

    No, on the contrary, I'm saying this is the REASON we're still stuck with prohibition. I want prohibition ended, but I think I finally understand why this hasn't happen, and isn't likely to happen.

    If I'm right I thing the legalisation movement has to change tactics. Rather than downplaying the harm of drugs, they need to concentrate on the horrors of prohibition. They need to make politicians take responsibility for the status quo.

    >do you really think the "Cameron"s of this world think in those terms?

    Yes, it happens I do. Though this is only partly to do with conscious thought. I think that most politicians in our system go into it wanting to make the world a better place but they're just human beings and human beings have a horror of responsibility.


    >if yes, how do you explain Bliar, Iraq, and near enough one million dead Iraqis?

    Again I think Blair genuinely thought he was making the world a better place. It becomes clearer now that the depths of Blair's religiousness has become evident. The religious are easily manipulated by anyone who knows where their buttons are.

    And remember that Blair's previous military adventures had worked out pretty well. The Siera Leonians are still singing his praise.

    I don't think he imagined in his worst nightmares that it would be as messy as it turned out.

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  • 339. At 1:37pm on 18 Jul 2010, Auqakuh wrote:

    @Sufi (in general)

    Have you actually done any research on anything you've said at any point whatsoever? You can't seperate things into "food" or "poison". Chocolate, chicken, turkey - all three contain a substance which is psychoactive (and causes changes in seretonin uptake). Cheese - contains opiates. Cannabis - historical for cooking oil. So your foods are "poisons", too, and what you claim as poisons are also... foods. Of course, poppy seeds - no doubt, like all other seeds - are consumed by birds. That makes them food, right?

    Such a simplistic view of the universe is rather useless considering that the universe is anything but simplistic.

    Moving on -

    The largest problem we as a society face with regards drug use is, in fact, not drug use. It is this ridiculous holier-than-thou attitude many people desire. People want to feel better than other people. Hence saying things like "that's druggies, not [b]normal people[/b]"!

    Most "normal people" consume chocolate, chicken, turkey, cheese, milk, fish, coffee, tea, energy drinks, and alcohol. All of these contain chemicals which are in fact drugs.

    You are [b]all[/b] "druggies". There are almost no "normal people", by this metric.

    Therefore, clearly, normal people... take drugs.

    You're no better than anyone else just because you don't know what you're ingesting. In fact, I'm better than you, because I actually bothered to find out what I put in my body! But I would not use this to advocate my position above yours, because to do so is an absolute nonsense. There is no "better" - concepts like that should've been done away with when we first started realising that non-whites were actually fully human as well, and maybe racism was a bad idea; when women were finally "given" the vote; with the advent of gay rights; and so on.

    I'm not sure how any given person's choice of drugs is any less a personal choice issue - thus a personal freedom - than whether I, for example, choose to insert my genitalia into female genitalia or not.

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  • 340. At 1:40pm on 18 Jul 2010, Auqakuh wrote:

    @338

    lol. Blair thought he was making the world a better place? He wanted to invade Iraq because he was religious?

    [b]Really?[/b]

    Let's look at this.

    Example A:

    Blair is religious. Blair chose to invade a country with a different majority religion that he may (which I doubt, but this is not the point here) have seen as a potential enemy to world stability.

    Therefore, he chose to invade said country because he is religious.

    Example B:

    Cockerels crow at sunrise and throughout the day, but only when the sun is visible.

    Therefore, the presence of the sun in the sky is dependent upon the noise cockerels make.

    They make as much sense as one another.

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  • 341. At 1:43pm on 18 Jul 2010, Auqakuh wrote:

    ...when did bbcode stop working? D:

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  • 342. At 1:51pm on 18 Jul 2010, iNotHere wrote:

    338.CobaltChicken
    "If I'm right I thing the legalisation movement has to change tactics. Rather than downplaying the harm of drugs, they need to concentrate on the horrors of prohibition. They need to make politicians take responsibility for the status quo."


    I wholeheartedly agree with this, the Americans have been going down this route for a few years and they are changing public opinion slowly, we have to do the same. It always depresses me when I see threads like this bogged down in 'harm' and 'lifestyle choices' arguments, they are counter-productive as they nearly always degenerate into a slanging match and the prohibitionist leaves having not learned anything new and still believes what they did at the start of the conversation...there is so much more to this issue than that.

    I always try to counter their argument with the FACTS of prohibition. I do not know enough about law to argue on that level, that's for lawyers and other interested parties to do, but the facts around prohibition I know only too well. From what I have seen prohibitionist members of the public (not politicians as they have a different agenda) only have one argument and that is harm, that's all they are interested in, so let them know what the harms of prohibition are. If the public gets a true picture of what is going on outside of their reality a large number will be swayed....so come on people let's put the prohibs on the back foot for once, and educate them!

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  • 343. At 4:04pm on 18 Jul 2010, jr4412 wrote:

    Auqakuh #341.

    "...when did bbcode stop working? D:"

    never did, afaik, use html, ie <em>, <strong>, etc.

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  • 344. At 4:16pm on 18 Jul 2010, jr4412 wrote:

    CobaltChicken #338.

    thank you for clarifying, though I have to say I still disagree with your 'insights' apart from the point taken up by iNotHere (#342).

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  • 345. At 7:56pm on 18 Jul 2010, John Ellis wrote:

    There are a lot of different paths to this each person has their own idea's and beliefs on how it should work.

    This is actually a really good thing because it becomes a forging ground with lots to learn and pass around. one day a conversation will happen that will break the status quo on this until then we know its wrong and must make the public as a whole aware of the cost.. not just the material costs but the loss to the advancement of the UK itself in intellectual and social assets through the criminalisation of the public.

    By intellectual assets I mean those that would bring new insight to the arts sciences medical developments but because they were deemed morally unfit and criminalised they are prevented from working in their chosen fields.

    By Social assets I mean people who bring about change in the structure of communities and social enterprise who again a criminal record.

    just another cost though a cost we can no longer pay.

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  • 346. At 9:07pm on 18 Jul 2010, nautonier wrote:

    About 18 years ago the Lancet magazine had an article about two American researchers who had analysed the US narcotics trade and addiction problems in the USA (I can't find the article at the moment but I'm trying to find it).

    Essentially, the acute rises in the US narcotics and addiction problems could be tracked to different related issues such as the ability to refine naturally occurring narcotics into much stronger substances etc and the commercial availability and refinements in hyperdermic needles.

    The article was very thought provoking and conculed that most of the increase in narcotics and addiction in the USA as incluidng serious pychological disorders relating to drug use could be tracked to the refinement of drugs into subtsances that are much more dangerous.

    The impression I got from reading the article and which has influenced me ever since is that drug laws and plicy does not pay enough attention to the act of refining substances and mixing them to become much more stronger and more dangerous to those who consume them.

    It always amazes me that our UK drug laws always seem to miss the target - it is the refinement and manipulation of these substances to make much more dangerous and addictive substances that should be the main target of law enforcement.

    In other words, UK drug classification is 'missing the target' and mis-classifying substances bceause it is the manipulation of ordinary substances that causes most of the problems and the serious phychological disorders resulting from users stepping up to more and more dangerous substances.

    This means stepping back and thinking - these are the exceptionally dangerous individuals in the process ... the manipulators and fixers of the susbtances ... that is where most of the problems arise from. These are the ones that need long term jail sentences ... 20 years minimum ... for manipulating susbtances and making ordinary occurring subtsances more and more dangerous.

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  • 347. At 00:18am on 19 Jul 2010, Mafficker wrote:

    #345 you are missing the point re alcohol and tobacco being excluded from the Act as the real problem. We have no baseline as a society because of this. We don't understand relative harms.

    #332 BobRocket excellent summation.

    Once upon a time, for about a year around 1992ish, the Rt Hon Kenneth Clarke MP (our current Secretary of State for Justice, and also Lord Chancellor) was the Secretary of State responsible for the correct administration of the MDAct's discretions.

    From 1998 to 2007 he was Deputy Chairman and director of British American Tobacco PLC.

    http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm200001/cmregmem/memi06.htm

    I'm not saying that there is any connection to the Government position as stated in the consultation paper above and page 24 of Cm 6941, however it appears safe to assume he would not support the control of tobacco under the Act. And would brief against it in cabinet.

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  • 348. At 00:20am on 19 Jul 2010, Graphis wrote:

    If people are allowed to enjoy alcohol and tobacco, why aren't they allowed to enjoy other less harmful substances/chemicals in the same manner? it's just sheer stupidity to make some drugs illegal... every culture, throughout history, everywhere in the world, has had some means of altering their minds: it seems to be a natural human inclination, which is why you won't ever prevent it, whether you make it against the law or not.

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  • 349. At 00:49am on 19 Jul 2010, jr4412 wrote:

    Mafficker #347.

    "#345 you are missing the point.."

    fwiw, I thought John Ellis made an excellent point about the probable losses to society (both intellectual and cultural) because people stigmatised and/or criminalised as drug users not being able to contribute to the fullest of their abilities.

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  • 350. At 07:00am on 19 Jul 2010, Mafficker wrote:

    My bad, that should have been #346. I do not know how i missed it. 345 was excellent! Please accept my apology!

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  • 351. At 07:11am on 19 Jul 2010, Daisy Chained wrote:

    "BBC finds new legal highs" screams the headline. Clever, BBC.

    Excuse my sarcasm but as fast as they are banned a new derivative appears; mephedrone still available surprise, surprise. The BBC online investigation team 'busy' again. Shame the guillotine is about to fall.

    What is this about? Parents protecting children? Exposure of risky substances? Exposing the UK's flimsy drug control? Party pooping? Or is the BBC a concerned 'player'?

    Is there a point to any of this? Classification, legal sanctions for criminal acts and possession, the furtive visit to the supplier. Or are we just a society with muscle spasms as we struggle into the final actions of dying?

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  • 352. At 07:13am on 19 Jul 2010, Mafficker wrote:

    And paragraph 6.1 of the consultation document starts with: 'People have used substances that alter mental functioning since the dawn of time'.

    Then it goes wildly off track: 'Some are, or have become, socially acceptable, whilst others have been made illegal...'.

    I can't find a power in the MDAct that contains an exemption for 'socially acceptable' substances, as if only those substances where socially acceptable generally. And I cannot find any section of the MDAct that makes the drug itself 'illegal' rather than some unauthorised actions by people like me.

    Am i missing something or has multiculturalism messed up the neat and tidy 'socially acceptable' of the white western male elite, aka the stupid white men?

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  • 353. At 07:31am on 19 Jul 2010, Mafficker wrote:

    All the King's horses and all the King's men:

    http://bbc.co.uk/news/uk-10664537

    The genie is out of the bottle, it is time to allow the public access to the dozen or so most popular substances, the safest ones of each class. This will cut the so-called 'legal highs' market at its knees.

    The game of a 'War on some people who use some Drugs' is over.

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  • 354. At 10:06am on 19 Jul 2010, John Ellis wrote:

    re legal highs .... the news is so slow on reporting stuff.

    Saw this happening months ago 21st century ordering delivering buying ..... the end game is here the ACDM are not functioning to the best of their own abilities as they are now nothing more than government scapegoats. Some people may think I rant about synthetics and bio drugs being the future but old skool is over. we have receptor technologies now.... Its not a case of I hope this new drug Ive made works ... Its a case of I know it will work... how it will work .. how it will plug in to the body's own networks of receptors. designer highs not legal highs.


    Mafficker ty and no worries its easy to loose track of the numbers in this argument ;)

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  • 355. At 11:18am on 19 Jul 2010, Jon Ashley wrote:

    Personally the statistics of tobacco and Alcohol causing more deaths is a little misleading. Firstly tobacco and alcohol are much more widely available than cannabis and ecstasy and so more people drink and smoke. Secondly taking ecstasy and cannabis is illegal so we don't know for sure how many deaths are caused through the long term effects of drug taking and exactly how many users there are.
    so hence the number of deaths caused by alcohol and tobacco are going to be higher than for illegal drugs.
    I'm sure that if these drugs were to be legalized then you would see an increase in deaths caused by illegal drugs and we could properly determine the number of users.

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  • 356. At 12:14pm on 19 Jul 2010, jr4412 wrote:

    Jon Ashley #355.

    "Personally the statistics of tobacco and Alcohol causing more deaths is a little misleading."

    but they are in very 'good company'.

    Homeless people: Government accused of 'misleading' figures

    Government climate change figures 'are misleading'

    Chris Grayling use of crime statistics 'mislead' public

    Figures for benefit fraud misleading: Government statistics contradicted

    and so on..

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  • 357. At 12:21pm on 19 Jul 2010, Shaunie Babes wrote:

    326. At 3:36pm on 17 Jul 2010, shuvell wrote:
    Shaunie Babes "Its called an analogy. Although users of child porn and drug users both like to delude themselves into thinking its a victimless crime."
    ===================
    If you think child porn is analogous to drug use, I feel very sorry for your delusions.
    How did the joints Jacqui Smith smoked before she became Home Secretary harm anyone? Who was the unwilling victim of Smith's action to be a victim?
    ==================
    She chose to fund crime for her own selfish reasons. Like all drug users.
    Recreational drug users are no more forced to buy from criminals than bank robbers are forced to rob banks.

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  • 358. At 12:32pm on 19 Jul 2010, John Ellis wrote:

    Jon Ashley I'm sure that if these drugs were to be legalized then you would see an increase in deaths caused by illegal drugs and we could properly determine the number of users.

    Sorry but take a look at the rest of the EU and countries like Portugal who have had decriminalise drugs and implemented very liberal drug laws USE GOES DOWN.....Harm Go Down.... The UN looked at 50 years worth of data and enforcement and concluded that the war on drugs the war on people had been a failure and governments should now look to dismantle the process of criminalising drug use and supplies while working towards large scale treatment programs for those worse effected by the drugs trade.

    Unfortunately the UK has ignored most true drug education and practice in favour of media hysteria and backward politicians.

    I do agree the harms of tobacco and alcohol are misleading and need to be referred to over the time frame of harm as well, tobacco and alcohol are subtle and so go largely unnoticed through daily life, however the harm from heroin and crack cocaine are seen within a few months of contact.

    MODA 71 currently uses isolation instead of treatment and cure, its easier to get away with. If an addict commits a series of crimes to feed his/her habit and gets caught general temporary isolation is administered and the local authorities say we have been good and fulfill our role of harm reduction. When in reality they have just moved the problem out of the community for a short while only for it to return untreated and toxic at which point the harm to the community rises and vast amounts of money are again spent on the eventual isolation of the problem and so the circle is in-place and complete.

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  • 359. At 12:38pm on 19 Jul 2010, John Ellis wrote:

    Recreational drug users are no more forced to buy from criminals than bank robbers are forced to rob banks.

    So were do recreational drug users buy from if not from criminals?

    Id be really embarrassed if id typed that ;)

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  • 360. At 12:40pm on 19 Jul 2010, shuvell wrote:

    Once again Shaunie Babes conflates personal behaviour with causing harm to someone else.

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  • 361. At 1:18pm on 19 Jul 2010, John Ellis wrote:

    http://www.barcouncil.org.uk/news/chairmans-search/detail.php?id=179

    "Another political hot potato is drugs. Drug related crime costs the economy about £13bn a year. Again a growing body of comparative evidence suggests that decriminalising personal use can have positive consequences; it can free up huge amounts of police resources, reduce crime and recidivism and improve public health. All this can be achieved without any overall increase in drug usage. If this is so, then it would be rational to follow suit"

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  • 362. At 2:36pm on 19 Jul 2010, k2oona wrote:

    Safety of Drugs is the real issue here and not drug restriction laws.
    Alcohol and Tobacco are legal because these are the recreational drugs favoured by the social grouping from which our adminstrators, politians, law makers etc come from.
    Alcohol has become much more dangerous in recent years because of changes in brewing practises and advertising campaigns directed at the young. For so called designer drinks are often nicely flavoured industrial alcohol impacting far more quickly on the brain.
    If you travel round the world and take note of the vast quantites of the most well known drinks you will start to realise it is impossible for these drinks to be made in the time honoured way. This is in urgent need of investigation! Some of these drinks are just downright dangerous!
    Cannabis and other recreational type drugs again the same thing applys - most of the problems occur more because of what is done to them in the harvesting, preparation and distribution rather than the actual drug content.
    Heroin and other hard drugs and injectable drugs also suffer from these problems and Britain at least tries to help here with clean needles etc - this shows an adult approach to the problems and this concept needs to be expanded to other area of recreational drug use.
    The public do need to be educated properly about these drugs - not by scare mongering but with the facts.
    We need to look at what is so bad about many peoples lives that they feel the need to abuse these drugs to the detriment of their own health - also the message needs to be spread very loudly.
    THE ABUSE OF ALL DRUGS IS A SLOW FORM OF SUCIDE!.
    I do feel strongly that everyone has the right to make up their own minds and that they must be provided with good well informed and balanced information from which to make their decision.
    But we do need to clean-up the drug/alcohol supply base.
    PEOPLE HAVE IN THE PAST - AND WILL CONTINUE TO NEED IN THE FUTURE SOME WAY OF BLOTTING OUT THE HARSH REALITIES OF EVERYDAY LIFE.





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  • 363. At 6:13pm on 19 Jul 2010, Cobalt Chicken wrote:

    By the way for those that wonder why we're in a position where alcohol and tobacco are such a special case; I think it's because they are traditional British drugs whereas canabis and opiates are "foreign" drugs, associated in the first instance with ethnic minorities. Drug policy has largely developed from racist assumptions.

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  • 364. At 6:44pm on 19 Jul 2010, jr4412 wrote:

    k2oona #362.

    "We need to look at what is so bad about many peoples lives.."

    agree, but like the prohibitionist legislation, most if not all of these factors are outside the control of any given individual: poor housing and rotting school buildings, lack of job security and lack of employment opportunities, poverty and malnutrition, living in a surveillance society, religious divisions, futile wars, the pollution of our environment, etc, etc.

    sometimes I'm amazed at how many people appear not use drugs to 'get out of it'!!


    CobaltChicken #363.

    "I think it's because they are traditional British drugs whereas canabis and opiates are "foreign" drugs.."

    not really, Cannabis is older than alcohol and it is native, 'Hampshire', 'Southampton' and similar names indicate that hemp was grown and/or processed there, I read somewhere that during Henry VIII's reign growing hemp was mandated by law.

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  • 365. At 8:02pm on 19 Jul 2010, jr4412 wrote:

    CobaltChicken #363.

    oops, missed out the baccy:

    "1493: Ramon Pane, a monk who accompanied Columbus on his second voyage, gave lengthy descriptions about the custom of taking snuff. He also described how the Indians inhaled smoke through a Y-shaped tube. Pane is usually credited with being the first man to introduce tobacco to Europe."
    http://www.tobacco.org/History/Tobacco_History.html

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  • 366. At 10:41pm on 19 Jul 2010, xmen123 wrote:

    I have tried to ask this place to have a read of the link but maybe its worth pointing out the findings of this document to you all on the post so people like this ignorant shaunie babes can finally understand that what they see as drugs and illegal was created as a social structure to segregate whites from other ethnicity thus todays laws should resemble the same laws in place for racism or homophobia

    I will press enter on imporant sentences to seperate so its easier to read

    The collapse of the American experiment with prohibition in 1932 left America both internally ravaged by organised crime and corruption and externally isolated from the rest of the world which had balked at following its lead, and it was in this climate that much of today's drug legislation was assembled, driven through League of Nations Conferences and Geneva Conventions mostly by American initiatives (Davenport-Hines 2001).

    There were many interest groups in America who had much to gain by switching the focus from alcohol to drugs, and from rebranding traditional medicines as 'new menaces'. The US Narcotics Bureau needed to shake off the stigma which attached to the Alcohol Bureau by showing that their new quarry was a genuine enemy, far more dangerous than alcohol

    , and that this time their goal was one which every citizen should support and respect. Medical opinion, too, was keen to backtrack from the less-than-credible excesses of their anti-alcohol warnings and to reverse the nineteenth-century consensus by insisting that substances such as cannabis were, in fact, more dangerous than alcohol. The press and other media, too, found their readers and listeners eager to believe that drugs might be the slippery slope to hell which had been claimed of alcohol a generation before.

    Drugs were still prominently linked with ethnic minorities, and new anxieties led to the 'anti-narcotic' laws being extended to control the sale of new substances such as cannabis, associated with the Mexican immigrant population, which had previously been assessed (by a British Royal Commission among others) as a minor public health issue.

    The new legislation left a picture almost unrecognisable from the one which had existed before prohibition. The thrust of the original drug prohibitions - to protect the majority white population from the habits of ethnic minorities

    READ ABOVE VERY IMPORTANT

    - failed to stem demand as drugs flowed through the emerging multicultural societies in much the same way as other culturally specific tropes like fashion, music or food (Shapiro 1999). Medically, new and serious problems emerged. The mild patent preparations, which had proved the most popular forms of the now-illicit drugs, had vanished: now opiates and cocaine were provided by illicit traffickers only in their most concentrated, lucrative and dangerous forms. The health costs of drugs increased in other ways, as risky procedures like injection moved away from the ambit of doctors and chemists and into more dangerous and unhygenic areas situated specifically beyond the reach of the law. Criminal organisations, many with their origins in alcohol prohibition, filled the vacuum left by patent and pharmaceutical companies, enforcing their illicit trade with violence. Drugs were not without their problems before prohibition, but the majority of the problems associated with them today only emerged fully under the legislation of the twentieth century.

    These problems may have been produced by prohibition but, although many of them would not survive long without it, they cannot all be expected to vanish overnight with its repeal. The last century of public policy has transformed our traditional relationship with drugs into something new and uniquely problematic, for which history offers no tailor-made solution. It does, however, offer a reminder that the drug which presents the most obvious public health problems is alcohol, and that although alcohol policy remains highly problematic it has broadly proved to be best tackled not with prohibition but with socialisation under an umbrella of statutory regulation and education. History offers, too, an illustration of how a society legally permeated by today's illicit drugs used to function, and shows that high levels of overall drug prevalence can coexist with low levels of problematic use. Finally, if offers a chance to evaluate the tools of control and regulation which might form an alternative to our present policy and which, once an outright ban has failed to prevent availability of any drug, have historically proved the most effective response.

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  • 367. At 00:39am on 20 Jul 2010, Jon OapostropheBrien wrote:

    #355 Jon Ashley wrote:

    "...taking ecstasy and cannabis is illegal so we don't know for sure how many deaths are caused...".

    We certainly do know. When people die every effort is made to determine how they died. They aren't just thrown in a pit, their deaths unaccounted for, because they have been taking drugs.

    In January, 2008, The Independent newspaper reported: "According to the National Programme on Substance Abuse Deaths, compiled from looking at coroners' reports from around the UK, there were 42 deaths related to Ecstasy-type drugs in 2006. Most of those involved the taking of Ecstasy in combination with other drugs, though. Only 16 deaths came after the use of an Ecstasy-type drug alone. And even within that figure, very few deaths have ever been caused by direct poisoning from the drug. Most come from other related effects, most commonly overheating and dehydrating in a hot club".

    As Professor Nutt pointed out, horse riding accounts for more than 100 deaths a year and we don't hear anyone calling for horse riding to be banned.

    As for cannabis. It has been in use for thousands of years, in every part of the world and nowhere has anyone come across any record of a single person dying from its use. There is a theoretical fatal dose but it's so massive that you'd never be able to ingest that much in a short enough time for it to kill you. Unlike water, which can kill you if you drink just a few litres too quickly. As happened to Leah Betts.

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  • 368. At 00:54am on 20 Jul 2010, Jon OapostropheBrien wrote:

    #362 k2oona wrote:

    "THE ABUSE OF ALL DRUGS IS A SLOW FORM OF SUCIDE!"

    That's not true and writing it in capital letters doesn't make it true.

    It's perfectly possible to use drugs, even some of those which are generally regarded as the most dangerous, for decades. As an example, the author William Burroughs was an opiate (morphine and heroin) addict for around 50 years and lived to the age of 83.

    It's often not the drug itself which kills people but the impurities in illicit drugs or the variable strength of the illicit drugs which catches users unawares. That's another argument for the decriminalisation and control of drugs by the government. It would save many lives.

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  • 369. At 02:24am on 20 Jul 2010, Mafficker wrote:

    Life is an incredibly slow form of suicide!

    On the drug policy and racism tip, it is no secret that the original basis of drug laws were to control undesirables. The US Congress released a report in the last ten years saying just that. I'll try to track it down. But this brings me to my point.

    I recently learned through personal communication that the Drug Equality Alliance - who with the help of founding member Casey Hardison secured the release of the document that is the reason for this thread, 'Review of the UK's Drugs Classification System - a Public Consultation', downloadable above - originally latched on to the meme of 'drug discrimination' to highlight the subjective policy choice between familiar and non-familiar drugs based on the inherent racial discrimination of the policy-makers, a cadre of white anglo-saxon protestants. They could never have dreamed that the Government, these same men, would admit that this policy of 'seperate but equal' control of so-called 'socially acceptable' drugs, alcohol and tobacco, was based on 'historical and cultural precedents' but they did.

    Eventually, after some deep pondering, several years in fact, they named their organization with the meme 'equality' as it was the converse of discrimination, and what they really wanted: to be treated with the same respect afforded alcohol and tobacco producers, suppliers and users.

    But that was not all. The brand recognition of DEA was more than just a bit funny.

    And in these dark times of serious racial disparity in the enforcement of the MDAct, we can all use a bit of equality and a bit of humour.

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  • 370. At 03:07am on 20 Jul 2010, Ben wrote:

    We know most of these drugs are harmless and some people mention the Paranoia associated with drugs, that paranoia only comes from doing something illegal, by legalising drugs you completely get rid of the paranoia.

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  • 371. At 09:24am on 20 Jul 2010, John Ellis wrote:

    JonOapostropheBrien There is a theoretical fatal dose but it's so massive that you'd never be able to ingest that much in a short enough time for it to kill you.

    the human body has no biological capability to overdose on cannabis...

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  • 372. At 11:02am on 20 Jul 2010, Have your say Rejected wrote:

    370...Most of the drug paranoia comes from the prohibitionists.

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  • 373. At 11:51am on 20 Jul 2010, John Ellis wrote:

    One of the other harms from drugs, lack of prison space and service.
    Devon paedophile spared jail due to 'treatment delay'
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-devon-10693808

    One thing ~I was thinking about last night was the fact that cannabis has become a gateway commodity to legal highs and other class A drugs.
    All because of its price increase as people use it to gain funding for the more addictive guaranteed customer base drugs. A gateway to vast profits in the short term which inturn keeps leaving vacuums in the cannabis markets as dealers are only growing to gain the initial deposit on other drugs then getting out of the cannabis markets due to risk.
    This in turn has lead to the rise of dealers working over dealers when their own supplies suddenly end after 9 - 12 months, so the cannabis dealers then have to find other suppliers as the people who once grew for them now deal with designer highs and currently prohibited powders and pills.

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  • 374. At 12:33pm on 20 Jul 2010, Shaunie Babes wrote:

    371. At 09:24am on 20 Jul 2010, John Ellis wrote:
    JonOapostropheBrien There is a theoretical fatal dose but it's so massive that you'd never be able to ingest that much in a short enough time for it to kill you. the human body has no biological capability to overdose on cannabis...
    -------------------------
    You'd can't overdose on urine, faeces, or pot noodle either.
    This isn't a recommendation.

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  • 375. At 12:35pm on 20 Jul 2010, Shaunie Babes wrote:

    339. At 1:37pm on 18 Jul 2010, Auqakuh wrote:
    The largest problem we as a society face with regards drug use is, in fact, not drug use. It is this ridiculous holier-than-thou attitude many people desire. People want to feel better than other people. Hence saying things like "that's druggies, not [b]normal people[/b]"! Most "normal people" consume chocolate, chicken, turkey, cheese, milk, fish, coffee, tea, energy drinks, and alcohol. All of these contain chemicals which are in fact drugs.You are [b]all[/b] "druggies". There are almost no "normal people", by this metric. Therefore, clearly, normal people... take drugs.
    --------------
    If a doctor prescribed a cup of tea to a diabetic claiming it was a drug just like Insulin people would think he was mad. The fact that recreational drug users use the same argument shows a remarkable amount of self-delusion

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  • 376. At 12:49pm on 20 Jul 2010, John Ellis wrote:

    I have one word Shaunie 'Dialysis'

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  • 377. At 1:09pm on 20 Jul 2010, John Ellis wrote:

    Shaunie to have a debate you must bring something other then silliness to the table.

    Answer me this.

    1/ We have a chaotic addict in our community does 30+ burglaries a week to feed his habit.
    Taking that a lot of the people that will be burgled will generally be the old and vulnerable is it better to lock the addict up untreated for 12 months with retox applied throughout the sentence only to be released untreated, so we end up with constant rise in costs and harm?

    or

    2/ Is it better to take the chaotic addict into a 12 month rehabilitation centre away from current friends and influences which in turn will reduce the harm to the community, this in turn also improves community confidence as the police are not spending huge amounts of money on one person, the insurance companies are not putting up the price of premiums in the whole of the area due to the risk in insuring in a high crime area. The result in a reduction in cost for every household.

    So no need to think about a smart answer or include personal opinion just logic and just 1 or 2 will do....

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  • 378. At 2:23pm on 20 Jul 2010, xmen123 wrote:

    shaunie babe do you realise you are alone on this thread?

    For a start before responding to others we would all love the following explained

    Quoted by Shaunie babes

    "yet are quite happy to buy stolen goods for a dodgy bloke in pub"

    So in this scenario a cocaine/heroin/crack user who has stolen goods to fund his habbits that if prohibition was removed and this user was given a proper environment the thieving would no longer exist has now stolen something the sold the goods in a dodgy alcohol drinker in the pub!

    So the alcohol drinker has now funded the so called scum to go and buy more crack...

    Do you not see how you have shot yourself in the foot ?

    your like a pestering fly

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  • 379. At 2:38pm on 20 Jul 2010, John Ellis wrote:

    this is realy good news...
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2010/jul/20/marijuana-factories-weed-oakland
    Oakland ready to approve four marijuana factories Mass production planned for cash-strapped Californian city as small growers complain about 'Mcdonalds-isation'

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  • 380. At 2:40pm on 20 Jul 2010, Shaunie Babes wrote:

    @337
    1 and 2 are both leading questions and not mutally exclusive

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  • 381. At 2:59pm on 20 Jul 2010, John Ellis wrote:

    ;) yup that they are but they are about a real person the harms he causes, the same cycle that we have dealt with as a community group for 5 years now. and leading questions are the start of debate are they not.

    So taking that this is a real drug addict that lives some of his time in our community the rest in prison what is the best way to deal with him.

    isolation, retox and release or residential treatment outside the current cycle with a 90% chance of coming out clean?
    http://www.ley.co.uk/

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  • 382. At 4:16pm on 20 Jul 2010, Jon OapostropheBrien wrote:

    #371 John Ellis wrote: "the human body has no biological capability to overdose on cannabis..."

    The following is from Wikipedia but there are other sources available:

    "There has never been a documented human fatality from overdosing on tetrahydrocannabinol or cannabis. Information about THC's toxicity is derived from animal studies. The toxicity depends on the route of administration and the laboratory animal. Absorption is limited by serum lipids, which can become saturated with THC, mitigating toxicity. According to the Merck Index, 12th edition, THC has a LD50 (dose killing half of the research subjects) value of 1270 mg/kg (male rats) and 730 mg/kg (female rats) administered orally dissolved in sesame oil. The LD50 value for rats by inhalation of THC is 42 mg/kg of body weight. One estimate of THC's LD50 for humans indicates that about 1500 pounds (680 kilograms) of cannabis would have to be smoked within 14 minutes. This estimate is supported by studies which indicate that the effective dose of THC is at least 1000 times lower than the estimated lethal dose (a "safety ratio" of 1000:1). This is much higher than alcohol (safety ratio of 10:1), cocaine (15:1), or heroin (6:1)."

    Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tetrahydrocannabinol

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  • 383. At 4:45pm on 20 Jul 2010, Jon OapostropheBrien wrote:

    #374 Shaunie Babes wrote:

    "You'd can't overdose on urine, faeces, or pot noodle either.
    This isn't a recommendation."

    I didn't suggest that is was a recommendation, and if you'd read what I wrote in the context of the message as a whole, rather than in isolation, you would have realised that.

    The OP was suggesting that there might have been deaths due to cannabis. I was pointing out that, not only were there no recorded deaths from cannabis, research suggests that it's impossible to die from an overdose of cannabis.

    And you're wrong about urine. You certainly can overdose on it, just as you can overdose on water. Do a search on water intoxication, which I even mention in the rest of the paragraph you've quoted from. That might have given you a clue, had you not been so eager jump to the wrong conclusion.

    Eating just a tiny amount of faeces could easily lead to contracting Hepatitis A, B or C, E-Coli and any other number of deadly infections. So I think we can safely say that virtually any amount of faeces is a potential overdose.

    As for Pot Noodles, they contain a lot of salt, which can kill in large doses (or even very small ones if you're young enough), so there must be a theoretical overdose level for them as well.

    I've asked you before to please do some research before contributing to this debate but you continue to ignore my advice and, consequently, to make a fool of yourself. Please check your facts next time.

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  • 384. At 5:10pm on 20 Jul 2010, John Ellis wrote:

    http://www.politics.co.uk/news/legal-and-constitutional/experts-turn-against-war-on-drugs-$21381761.htm

    Experts turn against war on drugs

    there all coming out the closet now :)

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  • 385. At 5:58pm on 20 Jul 2010, pi1 wrote:

    @379. John, i don't think it is good news at all, so typical they dive in with a big business approach, why not just hand out licenses to the people to grow their own should they so desire?
    And what if the individual wishes to grow their own? I suspect the punishment will be just as severe as it is today, if not worse.
    I can foresee a lot of people not wanting to touch government Cannabis.

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  • 386. At 6:18pm on 20 Jul 2010, John Ellis wrote:

    @385 its im afraid the final step of the removal of prohibition in time these will be farmed out to other bodies and licences will be granted, you have to let them learn on their own (the government that is)

    They will soon realise what you finished with that a lot of people will no go near government supplies, but hay its early days they may well surprise all of us. They do after all have to make it work and no one will go to a dealer if the weed is bad.

    Also as its being done by the governing body of Cali its also setting a few things permanently in stone, things that they will find hard to repeal once in place.

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  • 387. At 6:49pm on 20 Jul 2010, pi1 wrote:

    I don't see it as a way of removal of prohibition at all, just another way of control, this needs to be done right from the start. In an ideal world.... Sorry, i think it's just more control.
    Cannabis should be like Cabbage or any other type of basic commodity.
    I don't agree with taxing it either.

    The, "well at least they are going in the kinda right direction" view is, in my opinion, misguided.

    What i fear will happen is that the strains made available will be the commercial, 7 week strains, not to everyones taste, more akin to saying you can have spirits but no beer. More lack of choice.

    What people want to do is grow it outside, so they don't use electricity, and grow enough in the summer months to last the year.

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  • 388. At 7:03pm on 20 Jul 2010, John Ellis wrote:

    Also pi1 one of the other factors the government may have not fully thought through is the predicted price of cannabis once this happens in Cali with the market flood cannabis is expected to drop to around $40 for an ounce, this in turn will force them to look for all viable revenue through the cannabis markets they have just collapsed, ;) which in turn will mean giving the public licence to grow at cost.

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  • 389. At 7:11pm on 20 Jul 2010, Shaunie Babes wrote:

    378. At 2:23pm on 20 Jul 2010, xmen123 wrote:
    shaunie babe do you realise you are alone on this thread?
    For a start before responding to others we would all love the following explained
    Quoted by Shaunie babes
    "yet are quite happy to buy stolen goods for a dodgy bloke in pub"
    So in this scenario a cocaine/heroin/crack user who has stolen goods to fund his habbits that if prohibition was removed and this user was given a proper environment the thieving would no longer exist has now stolen something the sold the goods in a dodgy alcohol drinker in the pub!
    So the alcohol drinker has now funded the so called scum to go and buy more crack...
    Do you not see how you have shot yourself in the foot ?
    ---------------
    If you're going to make up a scenario to prove your point (which can basically be done for anything) try one where the drug user takes his official NHS cocaine/heroin/crack and sells it on or gives it to his familly and friends. (Obviously this would never happen as cocaine/heroin/crack users are known for their social responsibility)

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  • 390. At 7:20pm on 20 Jul 2010, Shaunie Babes wrote:

    383. At 4:45pm on 20 Jul 2010, JonOapostropheBrien wrote:
    #374 Shaunie Babes wrote:
    "You'd can't overdose on urine, faeces, or pot noodle either.
    This isn't a recommendation."
    I didn't suggest that is was a recommendation, and if you'd read what I wrote in the context of the message as a whole, rather than in isolation, you would have realised that.
    The OP was suggesting that there might have been deaths due to cannabis. I was pointing out that, not only were there no recorded deaths from cannabis, research suggests that it's impossible to die from an overdose of cannabis.
    ------------
    Maybe I don’t have drug takers distorted sense of perspective, but I normally assume something I choose to ingest won’t kill me. I don’t consider not being killed a major selling point

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  • 391. At 7:36pm on 20 Jul 2010, John Ellis wrote:

    pi1 Cannabis should be like Cabbage or any other type of basic commodity.

    wholeheartedly agree 1 plant 1,000's seeds if left to 'nature'

    Also on the GM/CM weeds lowryder(autoflower) and feminised they should all be binned as unfit as its just an opening to 1 seed 1 plant consumerism which the dutch models promote. Also provides thc content cutoff through hermaphrodation so you can theoretically control potency of the plant.

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  • 392. At 7:47pm on 20 Jul 2010, Have your say Rejected wrote:

    "I can foresee a lot of people not wanting to touch government Cannabis."...Dont worry I will be first in line at the legal cannabis shop WHEN it opens, I will be more than happy to purchase legal cannabis from the government, so that means more for me, and since its nye on impossible to O/D on cannabis, I'll do my best to see none is wasted.

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  • 393. At 8:12pm on 20 Jul 2010, John Ellis wrote:

    Have your say Rejected' " will be more than happy to purchase legal cannabis from the government"

    only if they take all the stalk out all those hidden grams ;)
    have to watch our weight n all that :D

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  • 394. At 8:37pm on 20 Jul 2010, pi1 wrote:

    @ Have your say Rejected, good for you!

    I must say though, people need to get their collective heads around this legal / illegal business, it's a shame "our" government appear to have their minds already made up though ....

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  • 395. At 8:55pm on 20 Jul 2010, John Ellis wrote:

    oops :)whats wrong with weights n measure's :\

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  • 396. At 9:08pm on 20 Jul 2010, xmen123 wrote:

    389 If you're going to make up a scenario to prove your point (which can basically be done for anything)


    163. At 10:51am on 14 Jul 2010, Shaunie Babes wrote:

    The don't HAVE to at all. They choose to. They remind me of people who complain about the local crime rate, yet are quite happy to buy stolen goods for a dodgy bloke in pub.

    ------------
    Making up a story what do you mean how can I be making it up if I am quoting you or should I ask for more clarification on what was written by you on point 163


    Lets start by asking who the dodgy bloke down the pub is ?
    Is this going to be someone who is drinking and if so why are you talking about drug classification for someone who can legally obtain alcohol

    Incidentally the so called drug user who has gone to the pub to sell it would you like to know why ?

    Its not because they drink its because they don't have many friends and need access to quick money which the pub better known as the Public house will have various drinkers in usually and some with a bit more money than just to buy a pint hence why you have explained your point so awfully and shown that prohibition is the reason why this action occurs in the first place

    And to answer your question about selling on NHS drugs and then what does this crack user do after he has sold his own drugs go and rob and then try to buy it off the illegal market knowing what the NHS had given him was the right dosage and pure ?
    please think about the utter rubbish you post before you post it
    -------------------
    @

    390.
    Maybe I don’t have drug takers distorted sense of perspective, but I normally
    assume something I choose to ingest won’t kill me. I don’t consider not being killed a major selling pnt

    ---------------------
    But you do like to drink and you really think drink is a 100% ok for your body its not doing no damage to your brain cells or your liver ? George Best certainly thought so and look where he is..

    you and your one line answers seem to be worse than what a 10 year old would write, someone with no knowledge of the world they live in.
    You are damaging your body with everything you do and touch so I would propose you go inside some cotton wool wrapped sponge box with no INTERNET since the radiation from the VDU is also bad for you not to mention tapping those keys will cause RSI.

    So please do us all a favor take a stroll down the park or find this cotton wool wrapped up box aka cell



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  • 397. At 9:59pm on 20 Jul 2010, iNotHere wrote:

    371. At 09:24am on 20 Jul 2010, John Ellis wrote:

    "JonOapostropheBrien There is a theoretical fatal dose but it's so massive that you'd never be able to ingest that much in a short enough time for it to kill you.

    the human body has no biological capability to overdose on cannabis..."



    LD-50 is the guage used to determine at what level 50% of test animals die as a result of ingestion.

    The LD-50 for cannabis is around 1:20,000 or 1:40,000. In laymans terms this means that in order to induce death a cannabis smoker would have to consume 20,000 to 40,000 times as much cannabis as is contained in one joint.

    If a pure cannabis joint (no tobacco) weigh around 0.9g a smoker would theoretically have to consume nearly 1,500 pounds of cannabis within about 15 minutes to induce a lethal response.

    In practical terms cannabis cannot induce a lethal response as a result of drug-related toxicity.

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  • 398. At 01:24am on 21 Jul 2010, Jon OapostropheBrien wrote:

    #390 Shaunie Babes.

    You're rambling. What you're writing no longer relates in any way to the text you're quoting. I'm not going to bother with you any longer. Please go and find someone else to help you make a fool of yourself.

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  • 399. At 01:28am on 21 Jul 2010, Jon OapostropheBrien wrote:

    #395 John Ellis wrote:

    "whats wrong with weights n measure's"

    Well, there's no capital letter, there's and apostrophe where there should be one, one where shouldn't be one, two letters missing from one word and no question mark. Was that what you had in mind?

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  • 400. At 01:43am on 21 Jul 2010, jr4412 wrote:

    John Ellis #391.

    "Also provides thc content cutoff through hermaphrodation so you can theoretically control potency of the plant."

    don't know much (anything!) about genetic modification but always thought that the potency and effect of cannabis is related to the varying proportions of the constituent cannabinoids; wouldn't the "content cutoff" apply to only one chemical at the time?

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  • 401. At 01:59am on 21 Jul 2010, himmal wrote:

    I have a novel idea: Why not let people make their own minds up?

    On another note: most drugs are not banned because of their perceived harm. Oh no, that's just an excuse!

    Most drugs are banned because of pressure from the tobacco and alcohol industries lobbying parliament and public. God forbid anyone gets their kicks any other way. And of course there are the old farts who aren't going to let you have any freedom; after all, their lives were a hellish nightmare of oppression so why shouldn't you suffer as well.

    What somebody else does is none of your concern! And if it is then why IS alcohol and tobacco legal?



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  • 402. At 02:18am on 21 Jul 2010, jr4412 wrote:

    himmal #401.

    "Most drugs are banned because of pressure from the tobacco and alcohol industries.."

    plus the oil, chemical, and pharmaceutical indutries; I'd suggest hemp is too versatile.

    "And of course there are the old farts who aren't going to let you have any freedom; after all, their lives were a hellish nightmare of oppression so why shouldn't you suffer as well."

    :-)

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  • 403. At 08:43am on 21 Jul 2010, pi1 wrote:

    The problem we have, as has been alluded to here, is that our government no longer represents us, they represent big money, they are owned by them by the looks of it.
    We live in a post democratic, corporate state.
    The only way we stand a chance is for Eddie Stratton et al to get a positive result in the court of appeal, i just hope that the judiciary can still think for themselves.

    This all points to a far more serious break of government from the people that has been going on for decades now.

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  • 404. At 09:29am on 21 Jul 2010, John Ellis wrote:

    "Also provides thc content cutoff through hermaphrodite so you can theoretically control potency of the plant."

    basically seed production starts and then stops only needs 1 flower out of the thousands to become male pollinate its neighbour and thc production stops for that plant.

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  • 405. At 10:26am on 21 Jul 2010, pi1 wrote:

    @404, THC production doesn't stop if seed production starts, they will flower and they can still be smoked.
    I know because i had one myself last year.

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  • 406. At 10:37am on 21 Jul 2010, FedupwithGovt wrote:

    I can't believe people are still bothering to get into mind numbingly childish arguments with SB - biggest waste of space I have ever come across, vacuous, irritating, intellectually stunted and morally suspect. Just ignore!!!

    This topic is too important to let someone of that ilk side track you.

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  • 407. At 12:00pm on 21 Jul 2010, Shaunie Babes wrote:

    390.
    Maybe I don’t have drug takers distorted sense of perspective, but I normally assume something I choose to ingest won’t kill me. I don’t consider not being killed a major selling pnt
    ---------------------
    But you do like to drink and you really think drink is a 100% ok for your body its not doing no damage to your brain cells or your liver ? George Best certainly thought so and look where he is..
    -------------
    The drug users basic alcohol argument goes like this:
    Alcohol is dangerous
    Illegal drugs are just like alcohol
    Therefore we should be allowed to take illegal drugs.
    Which seems to me an excellent argument for increasing controls on alcohol, not relaxing them on drugs.
    -------------
    you and your one line answers seem to be worse than what a 10 year old would write, someone with no knowledge of the world they live in.You are damaging your body with everything you do and touch so I would propose you go inside some cotton wool wrapped sponge box with no INTERNET since the radiation from the VDU is also bad for you not to mention tapping those keys will cause RSI.
    So please do us all a favor take a stroll down the park or find this cotton wool wrapped up box aka cell
    -----------------
    I'm quite proud of being able sum up arguments in one line without resorting to personnel abuse, cutting and pasting from Wikipedia , and going IKWYABWAI. I'm also quite lucky in having a park where druggies aren't sharing their lifestyle choice with the local community.

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  • 408. At 1:26pm on 21 Jul 2010, xmen123 wrote:

    407 Shaunie Babes
    I'm quite proud of being able sum up arguments in one line without resorting to personnel abuse,
    ---------------

    Ok if you say so, someone had summed you up perfectly you are by all means an internet troll who feels by getting the last say you have won the argument..

    Your one liners have been nothing more than methane gas coming out of a human bottom...

    374 SB wrote:
    You'd can't overdose on urine, faeces, or pot noodle either.
    This isn't a recommendation.

    Hmmm very intellectual infact signs of a loosing argument when you have to resort to writing such rubbish maybe you really do need to go read up and research WIKI before writing the stuff you been writing

    I mean people would rather die of hunger on a desert than eat their own faeces or drink their own urine...
    Why ?

    Because those are your unwanted rejected items that your body no longer wants and yet you are here talking about Drugs prohibition and then resort to such foul comparisons....


    go read your own one liners maybe 10 years from now when you are 20 years old..

    Infact I am still waiting for you to clarify your own statement which you claim I am making up a story on


    Lets start by asking who the dodgy bloke down the pub is ?

    Again for the third time

    since you are here remember arguing for the rights of prohibition and in your example the dodgy bloke down the pub is an alcohol drinker?

    Please

    I will not write back in any comment you make until you clarify your own delusional one liner that has no relevance like the rest of your one liners to this debate

    Please go buzz off or I will have to get the fly splatter out...

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  • 409. At 1:41pm on 21 Jul 2010, shuvell wrote:

    "I'm also quite lucky in having a park where druggies aren't sharing their lifestyle choice with the local community."

    Yes, most of them prefer to keep themselves to themselves, so moral bigots don't notice them.

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  • 410. At 3:01pm on 21 Jul 2010, Jon OapostropheBrien wrote:

    #399 I wrote:

    "...there's and apostrophe..."

    Whoops! Make that 'and' a 'no', please.

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  • 411. At 3:51pm on 21 Jul 2010, John Ellis wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 412. At 4:22pm on 21 Jul 2010, John Ellis wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 413. At 04:20am on 22 Jul 2010, Mafficker wrote:

    Why o why the petty sniping?

    The State exercises control, or at least attempts to, over some dangerous or otherwise harmful drugs as a means to socially control minority groups. The majority use alcohol and tobacco so they are mostly exempt from such schemes. It's pure discrimination with no rational and objective basis.

    You might want to see the essays on 'drug discrimination' at:

    http://www.drugequality.org/knowledge.htm

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  • 414. At 08:41am on 22 Jul 2010, pi1 wrote:

    @412 John, you may be right but the one i had was certainly covered in THC glands and the buds were as fat as any others i have grown, it was certainly as strong as any others too.
    I wouldn't go taking wikipedia as gospel either.

    We digress though. :} Whats a few seeds between friends!

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  • 415. At 08:47am on 22 Jul 2010, pi1 wrote:

    The way most people deal with internet trolls is to completely ignore them, treat their posts as if they were not there, don't feed their flames.
    If people don't respond they have nothing to get ahold of.

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  • 416. At 10:51am on 22 Jul 2010, John Ellis wrote:

    pi1 I take wiki with a large pinch of salt in most cases.
    I get most of my info and advice on plants from Canandian and Cali growers. :)

    indeed a few seeds between friends is a good thing :)

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  • 417. At 11:14am on 22 Jul 2010, John Ellis wrote:

    hmmm what is there to consider.
    416. At 10:51am on 22 Jul 2010, you wrote:
    This comment has been referred for further consideration. Explain

    What the hell is wrong with being educated about a subject?

    did I say like pi1 that I grew.
    As an Active campaigner for a better solution to the drugs problems that ravage our communities I have to be educated and Its my duty to educate likewise.

    If were not going to open honest and truthful about this subject just remove the entire blog and stop selling stories on the backs of peoples misery.

    .........................................................................

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  • 418. At 11:41am on 22 Jul 2010, pi1 wrote:

    @417, hang on a minute John, when anyone talks about me growing it's in the past tense, i do not grow now, if i was growing i certainly would not be mentioning it here on the beeb!
    Career to pay mortgage is what is stopping me growing, if i get caught i would lose said career and hence, my house with it.
    To say, as a tax paying individual, that i am outraged that i have to stop, is putting it lightly.

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  • 419. At 12:18pm on 22 Jul 2010, John Ellis wrote:

    lol pi1 sorry first thing in the morning fog, this wasn't directed at yourself it was directed at the mods bizarre sense of what is criminal. Ive had comments removed for less.
    and grew is not the same as grow. grew is past tense grow is current tense is it not?
    I grew for many years before moving forward to better the community I live and work in. we all have our pasts do we not.
    Like yourself I can not do both, which in turn means that I must be complicit in the street drugs trade for cannabis, which costs me a small fortune as I use it for medical means in-place of really dangerous medication.

    again sorry for the misunderstanding Pi1.

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  • 420. At 12:26pm on 22 Jul 2010, John Ellis wrote:

    Also if your worried about 'THEM' pi1 use TOR to post on public forums its a bit slow somedays but keeps your anonymity secure.

    After all this is a very Toxic subject that puts libertys at risk :)

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  • 421. At 3:34pm on 22 Jul 2010, Jon OapostropheBrien wrote:

    #413 Mafficker wrote: "The State exercises control, or at least attempts to, over some dangerous or otherwise harmful drugs..."

    That's what's suggested by the term "contolled substance" but, in practice, there is no control, or event attempted control, only ineffective and costly prohibition.

    Control of recreational drugs was handed over to organised crime in 1971.

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  • 422. At 3:59pm on 22 Jul 2010, pi1 wrote:

    and post 420 goes to .... John Ellis!

    No worries at all John, i don't even smoke anymore, i would if i could though.

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  • 423. At 09:02am on 23 Jul 2010, John Ellis wrote:

    http://s321561233.websitehome.co.uk/davidnuttblog/muddying-the-waters-%e2%80%93-should-we-ban-naphyrone/

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  • 424. At 10:28am on 23 Jul 2010, FedupwithGovt wrote:

    Hi people, may I suggest you all have a read of this excellent article by Stephen Rolles from the The Drug Transform Policy Foundation in a recent edition of the British Medical Journal:

    http://www.bmj.com/cgi/content/full/341/jul13_1/c3360

    Also you might want to download and read The Drug Transform Policy Foundations Blueprint document:
    [Unsuitable/Broken URL removed by Moderator]

    Its a long read - but well worth it. I doubt whether a certain closed minded troll will bother though.

    As someone said earlier - don't feed the goat!

    I wish the media - that includes the BBC - would bring things like this into the public domain. Here's wishing!!!

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  • 425. At 12:41pm on 23 Jul 2010, Shaunie Babes wrote:

    413. At 04:20am on 22 Jul 2010, Mafficker wrote:
    Why o why the petty sniping?
    The State exercises control, or at least attempts to, over some dangerous or otherwise harmful drugs as a means to socially control minority groups. The majority use alcohol and tobacco so they are mostly exempt from such schemes.
    It's pure discrimination with no rational and objective basis.
    -----------------
    Alcohol and tobacco are subject to:
    Mandatory age restrictions
    Mandatory taxation
    Mandatory licensing of sellers
    Mandatory restriction of use in public places
    Lawful discrimation by insurance companies and employers
    Mandatory rules on manufacture
    Mandatory rules on importation
    Mandatory rules on consumption

    Which lets face it, are a hell of alot more controls than drug users choose to follow.

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  • 426. At 12:42pm on 23 Jul 2010, Shaunie Babes wrote:

    421. At 3:34pm on 22 Jul 2010, JonOapostropheBrien wrote:
    #413 Mafficker wrote: "The State exercises control, or at least attempts to, over some dangerous or otherwise harmful drugs..."
    That's what's suggested by the term "contolled substance" but, in practice, there is no control, or event attempted control, only ineffective and costly prohibition.
    Control of recreational drugs was handed over to organised crime in 1971.
    ---------------
    This makes as much sense as saying the control of explosives was handed over to terrorists by the 1923 explosives act.

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  • 427. At 2:44pm on 23 Jul 2010, xmen123 wrote:

    Shaunie Babes you are so dilluded that you can not see you answering your own reasons as to why prohibition has failed:

    in 425 you said:
    Alcohol and tobacco are subject to:
    XXX
    Which lets face it, are a hell of alot more controls than drug users choose to follow.

    ----------
    Do you not see your own answer, if alcohol was prohibited would it be subject to XXX? or subject to who ever the end chain criminal can make money from child,adult, drunk sober ?

    If cannabis was legalised be sure it would be subject to exactly same controls that you feel are lacking so whats the point your trying make again?

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  • 428. At 2:48pm on 23 Jul 2010, Euforiater wrote:

    425:
    Alcohol and tobacco are subject to:
    Mandatory age restrictions
    Mandatory taxation
    Mandatory licensing of sellers
    Mandatory restriction of use in public places
    Lawful discrimation by insurance companies and employers
    Mandatory rules on manufacture
    Mandatory rules on importation
    Mandatory rules on consumption

    - Well done Shaunie, you finally got there, perfectly summing up the reasons to legalise.

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  • 429. At 2:51pm on 23 Jul 2010, xmen123 wrote:

    SB in
    426: Control of recreational drugs was handed over to organised crime in 1971.
    ---------------
    This makes as much sense as saying the control of explosives was handed over to terrorists by the 1923 explosives act.

    >>>>>>>>>>>>>

    Err Drugs do not create combustion or explosion so a very incompatible comparison.
    And to look deeper at your own view

    I presume you actually mean man made explosives rather than natural explosions firstly

    Secondly Explosions was produced by allowing humans to experiment if current laws existed back then no explosives would have ever been made !

    To finally add when reading your comment about handed over to terrorists its so easy to understand why you are so deluded ...

    Do you not mean enemy?

    What is exactly terrorist and who are they ? the current are the arabs in the 80s it was the IRA and in the 1800 it was the jews...

    So when you write such obscure statements at least have the decency to explain in detail or give examples of the incorrectness you view as correct.

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  • 430. At 2:55pm on 23 Jul 2010, xmen123 wrote:

    control of explosives heh like you can stop your enemy getting their hands on explosives from other countires..

    Seriously you talk a lot of rubbish..

    Look at the sad state of all the troops diying what do you think a lot of the deaths are due to?
    Road side explosives...

    ---
    This makes as much sense as saying the control of explosives was handed over to terrorists by the 1923 explosives act.
    --
    Frankly does not make sense

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  • 431. At 4:45pm on 23 Jul 2010, FedupwithGovt wrote:

    I can't believe you lot are still engaging with the TROLL. If the guy had anything between his ears he would have read my post 424 and availed himself of the information contained therein and maybe have educated himself. He is here to wind people up and you keep falling for it.

    PLEASE WILL YOU JUST IGNORE HIM.

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  • 432. At 7:14pm on 23 Jul 2010, John Ellis wrote:

    http://transform-drugs.blogspot.com/2010/07/new-poll-shows-70-support-for-legal.html
    hmmm sorry if this is double posted it ate the last one ...

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  • 433. At 11:00pm on 23 Jul 2010, pi1 wrote:

    @431 ... I thought we were?

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  • 434. At 01:53am on 24 Jul 2010, student wrote:

    My opinion is that whatever the government says/does, people are always going to take drugs - as a student I know that they are very available and accessible. Instead of just telling people not to do drugs, the government should be more informative about being safe. I know a lot of people who dabble, and contrary to popular belief, not everyone who enjoys an occasional smoke is destined to be a raging smack addict. I have experimented myself in the past, just out of curiosity to be honest. Whether or not this was naive, I found out the correct and safe way to try drugs, made sure I was with people I trusted and as a result, no harm came of it. I am in no way enforcing drug use here, simply saying that if people were more informed of the dangers of excessive substance abuse, instead of simply giving out the vague message that all drugs are bad, they would not be such a big deal. Young people are too scared to ask figures of authority, such as the police or their teachers, because these days it is too taboo a subject. A friend of mine in sixth form once asked our form tutor about the effects of ketamine, and was subsequently sent to the head teacher. He later tried it anyway, not knowing what to expect and was in a vulnerable situation. Fortunately for him, a few of us were there to look out for him, but others may not be so lucky. The government need to be more open and just accept the fact that it is more likely than not that most people will try drugs at some point, and that they need to know how not to do them. The classic case of the girl who died of drinking too much water after taking an ecstacy pill - if someone had told her beforehand to monitor the amount she was drinking, the story might not have had such a tragic ending.

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  • 435. At 2:16pm on 24 Jul 2010, xmen123 wrote:

    as a student I know that they are very available and accessible
    ---------------------

    Yep remember Jackie Smith? home secretary she moved cannabis from class C to class B

    and guess what as a student she used to smoke it like every other student your fellow politicians also did these things and now that they have power rather than correct the issues that was wrong during their own time they make things worse!

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  • 436. At 4:44pm on 24 Jul 2010, John Ellis wrote:

    http://www.lawgazette.co.uk/blogs/news-blog/will-nick-green-qc-s-question-drugs-possession-be-heard-government#comment-3957

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  • 437. At 1:03pm on 25 Jul 2010, John Ellis wrote:

    I wonder how the angst withing society will change when people are no longer threatened by the blind thugary of law, a law that has no definition within today's society other than 1 size fits all. That bears no thought or regard to the damage and distrust it leaves behind in its wake.


    The vacuum this law leaves behind is only ever refiled with harm as anything good or moral that is swept up within upholding this blind law can not be replaced and is lost to society forever.

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  • 438. At 3:42pm on 25 Jul 2010, Mafficker wrote:

    John Ellis(D), you are a voice of reason in a sea of shite. Did you, or anyone else in here, ever read Hardison's letter February 2010 to Les Iversen about the legal interpretation of the MDAct and the ACMD's remit? It was subsequently published in the June issue of Drugs and Alcohol Today. It's available on the drugequality website under the essential reading tab. If you haven't please do read it. After all, scientia est potentia! Mx

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  • 439. At 6:02pm on 25 Jul 2010, John Ellis wrote:

    Mafficker yes I have read the letter gave me a headache :) don't like reading law as its hard to visualise :\

    But it is very powerful reading and hopefully if acted upon will provide a solution to this inherent mistake. I'm also fairly sure that the relationship with the police will get a whole lot better as I know from working with them for many years they do not want to cause this harm they know the problems but must act according to their masters wishes.

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  • 440. At 7:35pm on 25 Jul 2010, Shaunie Babes wrote:

    428. At 2:48pm on 23 Jul 2010, Euforiater wrote:
    425:
    Alcohol and tobacco are subject to:
    Mandatory age restrictions
    Mandatory taxation
    Mandatory licensing of sellers
    Mandatory restriction of use in public places
    Lawful discrimation by insurance companies and employers
    Mandatory rules on manufacture
    Mandatory rules on importation
    Mandatory rules on consumption
    ----------
    - Well done Shaunie, you finally got there, perfectly summing up the reasons to legalise.
    ----------
    The so-called legal highs are both legal and suffer from none of the above. What you are actually arguing for is prohibition.

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  • 441. At 7:42pm on 25 Jul 2010, Shaunie Babes wrote:

    427. At 2:44pm on 23 Jul 2010, xmen123 wrote:
    Shaunie Babes you are so dilluded that you can not see you answering your own reasons as to why prohibition has failed:
    in 425 you said:
    Alcohol and tobacco are subject to:
    XXX
    Which lets face it, are a hell of alot more controls than drug users choose to follow.
    ----------
    Do you not see your own answer, if alcohol was prohibited would it be subject to XXX? or subject to who ever the end chain criminal can make money from child,adult, drunk sober ?
    If cannabis was legalised be sure it would be subject to exactly same controls that you feel are lacking so whats the point your trying make again?
    --------------
    The controls on alcohol mean anybody can pop into Tesco and buy it.
    Extending this freedom to other drugs would massively increase there use.

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  • 442. At 8:21pm on 25 Jul 2010, MikeVonDoom wrote:

    If goD didn't intend for us to take drugs, why did she make reality so boring and full of officious dullards, employing us in mind-destroying jobs for our entire adult lives, in exchange for a pittance?
    My mind belongs to ME, not the state, nor church, nor any corporation. Keep your filthy laws out of my central nervous system.

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  • 443. At 00:13am on 26 Jul 2010, Mafficker wrote:

    For those who actually want a solution to the intractable 'drug problem' look no further than Transform's 'After the War on Drugs - Blueprint for Regulation'. It's ideas can be implemented now under the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971 via sections 7, 22 and 31. Yes, right now!

    REGULATION
    AMNESTY
    TAXATION
    EDUCATION

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  • 444. At 09:53am on 26 Jul 2010, Euforiater wrote:

    Re: 440:
    Hi Shaunie, I'm afraid this needs more than one of your change-the-subject one-liners. You'll need to explain how my comment above (or any of my comments) is arguing for prohibition.
    The proliferation of "legal highs" merely proves the point we've been arguing all along. If a wider range of time-proven recreational drugs were legally available it wouldn't be worth the cost of researching new ones, each of which is a potential disaster waiting to happen.

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  • 445. At 11:57am on 26 Jul 2010, Shaunie Babes wrote:

    444. At 09:53am on 26 Jul 2010, Euforiater wrote:
    Re: 440:
    Hi Shaunie, I'm afraid this needs more than one of your change-the-subject one-liners. You'll need to explain how my comment above (or any of my comments) is arguing for prohibition.
    The proliferation of "legal highs" merely proves the point we've been arguing all along. If a wider range of time-proven recreational drugs were legally available it wouldn't be worth the cost of researching new ones, each of which is a potential disaster waiting to happen.
    -------
    These "time proven" recreational drugs are a disaster that has already happened. You're very nieve if you think the Chinese wouldn't try and undercut an existing drugs market by producing cheap low quality replacements. Researching new drugs is only expensive when you have to worry about trials, regulation and safety. When you have a ready supply of idiots who are willing to take anything into their bodies with the prospect of getting high its quite cheap - you just work your way through a veterinary formulary, or failing that the local garden centre.

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  • 446. At 2:19pm on 26 Jul 2010, Euforiater wrote:

    445: Hello again.

    "These 'time proven' recreational drugs are a disaster that has already happened. "
    - I think you're misunderstanding me, the ones I'm talking about are things like cannabis and ecstasy. The only disaster they play a part in is the role of prohibited substances and the disaster called "Prohibition".

    "You're very nieve if you think the Chinese wouldn't try and undercut an existing drugs market by producing cheap low quality replacements. Researching new drugs is only expensive when you have to worry about trials, regulation and safety."
    - Assuming you mean "naive", but again you've got the wrong meaning. Once cannabis and ecstasy are legalised no lab in the world would be able to undercut what is a plant and a well-known chemical.

    "When you have a ready supply of idiots who are willing to take anything into their bodies with the prospect of getting high its quite cheap - you just work your way through a veterinary formulary, or failing that the local garden centre. "
    - Yet another reason to legalise the safer, time-proven, alternatives. Why would anyone want to risk their life taking something from a garden centre when they have a legal, controlled supply of a safer substance?

    And I'd be careful in throwing in the label "idiots" if I were you - you'd be better off reading it as "curious human beings" instead.

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  • 447. At 5:16pm on 26 Jul 2010, xmen123 wrote:

    I do realise and understand the concerns of those who have said to ignore SB but is it not these ignorant people that is the main reason why prohibition exists?
    & to answer their delusional views can only help them understand how they are in the wrong:

    441. SB wrote:
    The controls on alcohol mean anybody can pop into Tesco and buy it.
    ------------------------

    REALLY?
    so if you was a 10 year old you could pop into Tescos and buy a bottle of vodka?

    I presume they are one of the organisations that does not follow your own legislations?
    -------------
    Mandatory age restrictions
    Mandatory taxation
    Mandatory licensing of sellers

    -------------

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  • 448. At 10:23am on 27 Jul 2010, pi1 wrote:

    @445, i should be careful bandying words like "idiots" around, someone may complain about your posting as offensive.
    But then that is how people with a low IQ tend to deal with things isn't it? You know, trying to get personal.

    This idiot pays the higher threshold of tax because A. I am a very hard worker
    and B. I have an IQ,
    I have smoked Cannabis on and off for over 35 years, my four children are happy and well educated and i am devoted to them and my wife.
    Sound like an idiot druggy to you?

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  • 449. At 3:26pm on 27 Jul 2010, FedupwithGovt wrote:

    447. At 5:16pm on 26 Jul 2010, xmen123 wrote:
    I do realise and understand the concerns of those who have said to ignore SB but is it not these ignorant people that is the main reason why prohibition exists? & to answer their delusional views can only help them understand how they are in the wrong:

    441. SB wrote:
    The controls on alcohol mean anybody can pop into Tesco and buy it.
    ------------------------

    REALLY?
    so if you was a 10 year old you could pop into Tescos and buy a bottle of vodka?

    I presume they are one of the organisations that does not follow your own legislations?
    -------------
    Mandatory age restrictions
    Mandatory taxation
    Mandatory licensing of sellers

    -------------

    Sorry xmen123 I have to disagree with you about SB. He is the type of person who if you said to him that something was black he would swear it was white. There is no talking to people whose minds are so closed, whose thinking is so primitive and who has views set in concrete that no amount of evidence and common sense will change. He has no interest in reading anything about the subject and just regurgitates what he reads in the media, probably the Daily Mail. He is a 'best one innocent man should hang than 10 guilty go free' sort of person. The sign of an intelligent person is his or her capacity to look at all sides of an argument and to accept you have got it wrong, if all the evidence points to that conclusiion. SB shows none of these traits. The only way to deal with these people is to ignore them, they soon go away.

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  • 450. At 4:46pm on 27 Jul 2010, jr4412 wrote:

    FedupwithGovt #449.
    (xmen123)

    "There is no talking to people whose minds are so closed, whose thinking is so primitive and who has views set in concrete that no amount of evidence and common sense will change."

    agree, as the old Chinese proverb says:

    A closed mind is like a closed book, just a block of wood.

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  • 451. At 6:08pm on 27 Jul 2010, Cobalt Chicken wrote:

    You're very nieve if you think the Chinese wouldn't try and undercut an existing drugs market by producing cheap low quality replacements.

    --

    Just as we see now how the Bad Guys are making a fortune selling low quality aspirin by undercutting the regulated version?

    Without prohibition the chemically produced drugs would be produced by the multi-national pharmaceuticals companies. Cannabis would give the tobacco industry something less destructive to do.

    Profitability would be too small to attract the villains.



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  • 452. At 9:19pm on 27 Jul 2010, U14567582 wrote:

    @Shaunie Babes

    I've been reading this thread for sometime now and have had to comment.

    I would like to ask you one question, you clearly have strong opinions on this issue, what is your suggestion to control drugs in the UK? What do you propose as the way ahead?

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  • 453. At 02:15am on 28 Jul 2010, danielcarter wrote:

    Drugs can be dangerous, and therefore they ought to be controlled, as the Misuse of Drugs Act sensibly specifies. Sadly the government is failing on its duty by simply prohibiting and denying property rights of such drugs, without even trying to exert any kind of control on them.

    Regarding drugs, prohibition doesn't mean control, but rather the opposite.

    This is the essence of the problem, the miss-administration of the Misuse of Drugs Act by wrongly equating prohibition with control, as one of the consequences of prohibition is the lost of control in favour of criminal drugs syndicates.

    Regarding drugs administration, to prohibit means to lose control.

    The government will never be able to prove that they can control a drug by prohibiting it, rather than by regulating its trading and use, as it is impossible to control what you don't regulate. The government should control the quality of drugs (lack of adulterants or "purity"), and they should also control that they are being sold on the proper premises to adults, among other things. A good example is how government strong tobacco regulation is reducing the numbers of tobacco consumers. No prohibition, but certain regulatory policies, like health warnings, packages with shocking or scary photos, fixed prices or a ban in publicity, among others, are having the effect that prohibition has never had: a reduction in the number of people consuming tobacco. Why not to use what works, instead of repeating an strategy that hasn't work after investing hundreds of billions of dollars during almost a century?

    The government is utterly and illegally failing on its duty, as only within a legal framework any kind of drugs control is possible.


    The ideas above are taken from: http://www.drugequality.org/legal.htm

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  • 454. At 09:35am on 28 Jul 2010, Mike wrote:

    I have never taken drugs, smoked or drunk alcohol and as far as I am concerned we only have this drugs law because some prat or other thought that the peasants were / are not capable of making up their own minds. I heard a stupid statement from a university student studying medicine say that as the drug she took did not carry a high risk rating, that it was OK to take. Hello Hello, this dimwit did not seem to understand that ALL drugs can be harmful under certain circumstances.
    I would make all drugs legal, however the medical and support services would be under strict instruction to withhold treatment to any fool stupid enough to take them and suffer the consequences of them going wrong.
    I am sick and tired of the nanny and PC culture that we have today, if people are not treated as responsible they are more than like to act irresponsible.

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  • 455. At 10:11am on 28 Jul 2010, John Ellis wrote:

    452. At 9:19pm on 27 Jul 2010, HomeGrown Outlaw wrote:
    @Shaunie Babes

    I've been reading this thread for sometime now and have had to comment.

    I would like to ask you one question, you clearly have strong opinions on this issue, what is your suggestion to control drugs in the UK? What do you propose as the way ahead?


    I asked the same a few posts back about what to do with our chaotic addict.......still waiting on a proper reply.

    380. At 2:40pm on 20 Jul 2010, Shaunie Babes wrote:
    @337
    1 and 2 are both leading questions and not mutually exclusive


    I doubt we will ever get one.....

    anothr interesting post by Dave.
    http://s321561233.websitehome.co.uk/davidnuttblog/muddying-the-waters-%e2%80%93-should-we-ban-naphyrone/

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  • 456. At 1:14pm on 28 Jul 2010, Matt Bright wrote:

    @Shauniebabes

    The general benefit to legalisation is partially a kind of philosophical one. Laws aren’t magic. If we all decided tomorrow not to follow them there would be little anyone could do about it – there aren’t enough policemen or enough guns to prevent the entire population having an uprising if it wants one. Social order depends in part on all of us broadly agreeing that the laws we have more or less give us the kind of society we want to live in.

    Laws that are imposed in contradiction to all logic and evidence, prohibit activity that harms nobody, arguably cause active harm and appear to exist solely due to free-floating moral panic – in other words, unreasonable laws – contribute to people feeling they are justified in withdrawing that agreement elsewhere.

    There are also practical benefits, though – particularly if, as you seem to believe, all drug users are slavering degenerates prepared to commit any depravity in search of their next hit. Wouldn’t you feel a bit safer if these people had to register themselves on some sort of list before making a purchase? And elementary economics suggests that drugs would be much, much cheaper in a government regulated market as there would be control over the margin producers could make – so there would be less impetus for crime.

    The personal benefit to drug use – well, I suppose it’s the same as the benefit you get from a good and pulpy science fiction novel or a go on a roller-coaster. It’s the rather more complex and adult equivalent of kids spinning round in circles until they get dizzy. It’s not particularly mature or improving and if you did it all the time you wouldn’t get very far in life, but in moderation it’s a bit of a laugh. Why do you have a problem with this?

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  • 457. At 3:49pm on 28 Jul 2010, Shaunie Babes wrote:

    451. At 6:08pm on 27 Jul 2010, CobaltChicken wrote:
    You're very nieve if you think the Chinese wouldn't try and undercut an existing drugs market by producing cheap low quality replacements.
    -----
    Just as we see now how the Bad Guys are making a fortune selling low quality aspirin by undercutting the regulated version?
    -------
    China is one of the Worlds biggest producers of fake and counterfeit drugs. Fake insulin anyone ?
    -----
    Without prohibition the chemically produced drugs would be produced by the multi-national pharmaceuticals companies.
    -------
    This would never happen - due to their own legal departments not letting them sell anything that dangerous.

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  • 458. At 5:54pm on 28 Jul 2010, John Ellis wrote:

    Prozac causes suicide
    cipralex causes sudden heart attack
    to name but 2 that are highly dangerous..

    the list goes on ....

    YawN!!!

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  • 459. At 6:24pm on 28 Jul 2010, U14567582 wrote:

    @Shaunie Babes

    "This would never happen - due to their own legal departments not letting them sell anything that dangerous."

    You are clearly naive to pharmaceutical harms and the industry as a whole. Because a drug is packaged up and labelled by multinational companies and then handed out by the state, it doesn't make it safe. I happen to know this for direct fact unfortunately, I was put on the pharmaceutical conveyor belt from an early age, and I shall possibly add to the tally of 4 people per day in the UK alone that die from prescribed drugs. The U.S have an even greater tally of death. Will they really not sell anything dangerous? MDMA for instance can be made 100% safe, I would like to see such an accolade from prescribed medicines, they are notoriously harmful, prozac for instance, that can cause mental health fall out just as readily as it can aid. If nothing else, I can look forward to a liver transplant at some point due to the "safe" medicines that you talk of. You will rarely find a drug from a pharmaceutical company that has not got a long list of contributing problems, and in turn, you need counteracting medicines just to survive the original prescribed one. Most recreational drugs cannot boast a similar harm level. I would ask you to address each and every drug as a drug in its own right, you have let social bias sway your opinion, you've proven this. I now take cannabis, I was very much in the stringent "anti" camp on all drugs, I don't drink, I don't even take caffeine, I was certainly anti cannabis; and then I learned, being disabled and housebound, I had the chance to study for some time. I have a keen amateur historian mind and have studied World War 2 propaganda amongst many other things.... I was alarmed at how parallel drug perspective and war propaganda ran closely together.

    I also quickly learned that the evidence, the law, the science, the hypocrisy, every area of drug law speaks clearly for itself and it all points to regulation and not prohibition, and moreover, I quickly learned that it is the job of politicians and prohibitionists to not argue a case, but muddy the argument to such a degree that a stalemate can resume. This is what I feel you are doing, you really have had nothing to bring to the debate, you offer no sensible way forward or objective standpoints. You have fallen firmly into the prohibitionists position of bogging down the debate just so the broken status quo can be upheld.

    You have once more not answered the simple questions, it is a non-leading query, how would you progress with drug control in the UK? It is time you added a contribution to progressive ways ahead.

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  • 460. At 10:16pm on 28 Jul 2010, xmen123 wrote:

    457. SB: This would never happen - due to their own legal departments not letting them sell anything that dangerous.

    ----
    Dr Harold Shipman

    Injected lethal doses of legal drugs and killed loads.

    M.Jackson
    Legal drugs killed him

    These are famous cases and the list can go on but there is no point - you will find something new to make a case of as you loose your last.


    -

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  • 461. At 01:39am on 29 Jul 2010, Mafficker wrote:

    Illegal drugs do not exist in fact or law! The Misuse of Drugs Act 1971 controls people not drugs! End drug discrimination promote drug equality!

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  • 462. At 03:29am on 29 Jul 2010, Jon OapostropheBrien wrote:

    #456 Matt Bright wrote:

    "It’s not particularly mature or improving and if you did it all the time you wouldn’t get very far in life".

    Sorry Matt but that sentence contains one unsupported opinion and two fallacies.

    'It' being a catch-all for the taking of drugs in general:

    o That it's not 'mature' is purely opinion and pretty meaningless;

    o That it's not improving ignores the use of psychedelics in psychiatry (something which is being revived after a hiatus of several decades) where they have been shown to be highly beneficial;

    o That if you did it all the time you wouldn't get very far in life ignores the success of countless musicians, poets, authors, painters, actors, sportsmen and women and, in my personal experience, several highly successful businessmen, a handful of academics, a brace of property developers, a clutch of in-demand craftsmen, a bevvy of very skilled computer programmers and one preeminent psychologist. The aforementioned persons known to me having been lifelong ingestors of various forms of cannabis.

    Good post, otherwise.

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  • 463. At 10:04am on 29 Jul 2010, Sunshine Band wrote:

    Thank you Mafficker - by INSISTING on using the incorrect language (the language of prohibition), people and organisations such as the UKDPC, Transform, the Vienna Declaration and Release spread the lie that the law as applied now in the UK is consistent with the Misuse of Drugs Act.

    That is to claim that the Government can for the time being, administer the law unequally based upon the spurious notion that alcohol and tobacco ('legal drug') users are somehow exempt from the operation of the law, and that users of controlled drugs ('illegal drugs') ought to have all their drug actions and interests curtailed. Whist on it's face they are asking for a change, they are in fact in this regard consolidating the present legal position and taking a step backwards. The Drug Equality Alliance are seeking to challenge the administration as an unlawful interpretation of the law to transform it from an administration based upon cultural and historic preferences, to a rational and legal implementation of the law. What the others are saying is that in effect that the current administration is lawful but ineffective and ought to be changed.

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  • 464. At 1:31pm on 29 Jul 2010, Matt Bright wrote:

    @jon

    There is, I think, something slightly immature about indulging in unearned, solitary pleasure to excess, and by definition it’s going to distract you from doing more fulfilling things. Yes, it’s an opinion but I don’t think its an unreasonable one.

    I don’t really buy the ‘creativity’ argument. Correlation doesn’t imply causation, neither is anecdote data. There are plenty of creative people who take drugs, plenty who don’t, and plenty of drug-takers who create nothing.

    If you have strong passions, drive and discipline to follow through on your plans you’ll be straight when you need to be straight and high when you want to be high and have sufficient control over both states to make sure stuff gets done. If, like most of us (like me), you’re maybe sometimes a wee bit lacking in those areas then drugs are a powerful distraction and need to be handled with a bit of care. And if you’re poor, badly educated or otherwise in a desperate and miserable situation they’re an appallingly inviting trap from which you need to be carefully protected if you’re ever going to have a chance to climb out of the pit you’re in.

    My point is that the whole thing needs to calm down a bit. There is a debate to be had around how much the government should regulate the risks we take, the extent to which they should be encouraging us to lead productive and responsible lives that have a net positive effect on society as a whole, and whether some of us should be inconvenienced to ensure that the more vulnerable are properly protected. We’re never going to get it, though, while people on both sides see mind-altering drug use as a magical gateway (to heaven or to hell) rather than a recreational activity with a few potentially adverse consequences.

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  • 465. At 2:05pm on 29 Jul 2010, jr4412 wrote:

    Matt Bright #464.

    "And if you’re poor, badly educated or otherwise in a desperate and miserable situation they’re an appallingly inviting trap from which you need to be carefully protected if you’re ever going to have a chance to climb out of the pit you’re in."

    a powerful argument for education, unbiased policy making, and ending prohibition.

    "If you have strong passions, drive and discipline to follow through on your plans you’ll be straight when you need to be straight and high when you want to be high and have sufficient control over both states to make sure stuff gets done. If, like most of us (like me), you’re maybe sometimes a wee bit lacking in those areas then drugs are a powerful distraction and need to be handled with a bit of care."

    very much agree, in other words, society must facilitate the maturing of the people (rather than breeding compliant, consuming 'sheeple').

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  • 466. At 2:19pm on 29 Jul 2010, John Ellis wrote:

    Cannabis Bloggers Assembly
    [Unsuitable/Broken URL removed by Moderator]

    Id like to invite the few here that have a voice of reason, that is if the BBC allow such things?

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  • 467. At 2:53pm on 29 Jul 2010, Sunshine Band wrote:

    Straight and High - it's all somehow so Highist.

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  • 468. At 3:35pm on 29 Jul 2010, Jon OapostropheBrien wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 469. At 4:18pm on 29 Jul 2010, Matt Bright wrote:

    jr4412: a powerful argument for education, unbiased policy making, and ending prohibition.

    Yes, and I’d sort of tend to lean that way myself. But I’m a liberal, not a libertarian, and I can see an argument that says that we’re not going to solve poverty overnight and that if there are even a handful of people who manage to have their lives improved because they couldn’t get access to drugs then me having one less way to indulge myself over the weekend is probably a price worth paying. If it had evidence to back it up I’d consider changing my view.

    jr4412: very much agree, in other words, society must facilitate the maturing of the people (rather than breeding compliant, consuming 'sheeple').

    I agree that the more people become mature, well rounded individuals with control over their own destinies the better society becomes. So does that mean that for the good of society the government should try to stop us from taking drugs so that we divert our energies to more active and constructive pursuits? Or given that ‘society’ is all of us together, should we be restraining ourselves from any kind of mindless consumption (drugs, chocolate, whatever) so that we become shining examples for each other?

    I personally don’t quite buy these arguments, but both of them are worth more consideration than the self-righteous huffing and overcooked data flying about at the moment.

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  • 470. At 4:52pm on 29 Jul 2010, xmen123 wrote:

    There is a debate to be had around how much the government should regulate the risks we take.

    ----
    Indeed and considering these are regulations, rules set by last gov and not even touched since the change even though one side for sure would like to see a change.

    The problem is not the law but maybe those in charge of keeping the citizens abiding to those laws meaning the police.

    I very much doubt that the government/courts gives a flying monkey if the police caught 2 cannabis smokers per year or 2000.

    The issue I think is the police wanting to enforce a police state by having as many members on board as possible.

    To achieve this they have cunningly decided to tackle the users of soft drugs such as cannabis in order to frighten them back into drinking and as much as drinking is a problem for the NHS for them its a good thing.

    The more people out there drinking and causing trouble, the more easier it is for them to justify their own job and their growing numbers.

    Its easy for them to recruit considering the recession, its not so easy for NHS to find replacement limbs and damaged body parts for those abusing drink.

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  • 471. At 4:59pm on 29 Jul 2010, John Ellis wrote:

    hmm mods are strange.

    I can post and ask everyone to sign and join the viena decleration and provide a link... but I can't ask people to join 'Cannabis Bloggers Assembly' and provide a link but because its on facebook... its unsutable...
    Anyways folks if you use facebook look it up no moneys etc involved just a bit of spare time and a few penned words. much like here but its everwere :)

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  • 472. At 5:03pm on 29 Jul 2010, Shaunie Babes wrote:

    460. At 10:16pm on 28 Jul 2010, xmen123 wrote:
    457. SB: This would never happen - due to their own legal departments not
    letting them sell anything that dangerous.
    ----
    Dr Harold Shipman
    Injected lethal doses of legal drugs and killed loads.
    M.Jackson
    Legal drugs killed him
    These are famous cases and the list can go on but there is no point - you will
    find something new to make a case of as you loose your last.
    ------------
    Would these be drugs not used according to the manufacturers written instructions, either deliberately or through negligence ?
    Thalidomide is a much better example - used as intended. That cost its makers a fortune in damages. I don't think the big drug companies will be queuing up to give people unrestricted use of heroin any time soon.

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  • 473. At 5:27pm on 29 Jul 2010, Jon OapostropheBrien wrote:

    Having had this message rejected by moderators I've excised the parts I think might have been the cause of the rejection. Not having been informaed as to which parts they were, I'm hoping that I've identified them correctly:

    #464 Matt Bright wrote:

    "There is, I think, something slightly immature about indulging in unearned, solitary pleasure to excess..."

    What is 'unearned' about it? Has someone coming home from spending the day doing back-breaking work not earned the right to a little relaxation? How about someone who's spent the day under constant stress wishing to unwind, is that stress-relief unearned?

    Solitary? Cannabis is a social 'drug'. Most people enjoy it in the company of others.

    Where did the 'excess' come from? In your OP you said that it wasn't mature, not that doing it to excess was immature. Now you're moving the goalposts.

    "...by definition it's going to distract you from doing more fulfilling things".

    Sorry, I can't find that definition in any dictionary I have. Fulfilling just means 'satisfying' and there's nothing to stop you getting satisfaction from doing something after having taken a drug. [Removed as possibly seen as 'condoning an unlawful activity' and thereby having caused the post to be rejected]

    You seem to have some very strange ideas about what drugs are.

    "Yes, it's an opinion but I don't think its an unreasonable one".

    There, we differ. You're making sweeping statements about 'drug taking' as if all drugs were the same and had the same effect on all people. It's just the kind of attitude that the anti-drug campaigners peddle and it's wrong.

    "I don't really buy the 'creativity' argument".

    Then you haven't studied the subject enough, or perhaps at all. As a musician and programmer who has been smoking cannabis for over 40 years [Removed as possibly seen as 'condoning an unlawful activity' and thereby having caused the post to be rejected] and I don't mean the skunk rubbish which is currently all-pervasive.

    "If you have strong passions, drive and discipline to follow through on your plans you'll be straight when you need to be straight and high when you want to be high and have sufficient control over both states to make sure stuff gets done. If, like most of us (like me), you're maybe sometimes a wee bit lacking in those areas then drugs are a powerful distraction and need to be handled with a bit of care".

    That's an entirely reasonable viewpoint but not quite the same thing as your sweeping generalisation: "...if you did it all the time you wouldn't get very far in life". Plenty of people have 'done it all the time' and done very nicely in life. As with everything else in life, people have to take responsibility for deciding what is right or wrong for them. Blanket legislation can't do it.

    "There is a debate to be had around how much the government should regulate the risks we take...".

    I think the debate here is about the government being honest about the level of risk associated with a whole gamut of substances it currently treats in a purely arbitrary manner. If it were honest about risk levels, people would be better equipped to decide what is right or wrong for them.

    "...whether some of us should be inconvenienced to ensure that the more vulnerable are properly protected".

    The proposition of many people here is that by properly protecting the vulnerable the government will be inconveniencing many less people. If it had not abdicated it's responsibility to the vulnerable by prohibiting all recreational drugs apart from alcohol and tobacco in 1971, thereby effectively privatising the drugs trade, tens of thousands of people wouldn't have been inconvenienced by being handed a criminal record, by spending time in prison and, for far too many, dying from the impurities put into drugs by unscrupulous criminals to boost their already obscene profit margins.

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  • 474. At 5:46pm on 29 Jul 2010, John Ellis wrote:

    Matt Bright 'So does that mean that for the good of society the government should try to stop us from taking drugs so that we divert our energies to more active and constructive pursuits?'

    No it should encourage us to expand our minds out of the selfish single minded society we have become.

    The people who use drugs that I am privileged to live and work with do many wonderful things for each other and those around them.
    The groups im involved with have a 50/50 use and none use breakdown for drugs that are bought on the street. Its about cohesion of people not subdivisions, its about letting people live a private life that they are not persecuted for.

    Whenever there is a bust then a vacuum is left the vacuum will only ever be filled with the next dealer because he/she is the invisible corner shop that every community has and every community needs. Its just a shame the government has not got the brass balls to fix this so that there are no more vacuums within the supply chain of these social commodities.
    Stable and regular drug markets will lead to less crime and less violence, violence which is now at the end of a gun.
    Liverpool's organised crime gangs 'are arming youths'
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-merseyside-10780941

    the start of a new era in the age of RESPECT......respect for who? the government fails to respect the private lives of millions of people who use drugs, why should the youth of today show anything other than the same respect back.

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  • 475. At 6:09pm on 29 Jul 2010, jr4412 wrote:

    Matt Bright #469.

    "..I’m a liberal, not a libertarian ... So does that mean that for the good of society the government should try to stop us from taking drugs so that we divert our energies to more active and constructive pursuits?"

    sorry if my #465 was too ambiguous, I like to think I'm liberal (and hope that my previous posts on this blog support this :-)), and no, a mature, (truly) democratic society would not stop anyone from doing anything (as long as that does not interfere with other people's rights to do likewise).

    "..should we be restraining ourselves from any kind of mindless consumption (drugs, chocolate, whatever) so that we become shining examples for each other?"

    surely, exercising self-discipline is one aspect of maturity, no?

    The heart is great which shows moderation in the midst of prosperity. (Seneca)

    although, very occasionally, I agree with Oscar Wilde's view too:

    Moderation is a fatal thing: Nothing succeeds like excess.

    :-)

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  • 476. At 7:19pm on 29 Jul 2010, freespeechoneeach wrote:

    Peter_Sym,
    I'm not used to being referred to as a number, and I don't like it. I used your name, please use mine. Or be thought rude.
    So you do think the people who die from alcohol and tobacco are acceptable collateral damage. What a repulsive opinion.
    Stands to reason then you're the sort who reject evidence out of hand as well, without knowing anything about it.
    http://newmexicoindependent.com/52915/marijuana-could-be-an-exit-drug
    http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm200910/cmselect/cmhealth/151/15107.htm#a16

    There is no lawful exemption from classification of alcohol under the MoDA. Nor is there any automatic connection between classification and criminal penalties.
    I favour harm reduction, which involves treating alcohol abuse seriously -and cannabis is a part of that. You clearly don't care how much harm alcohol does, so long as it's politically convenient to ignore it. That's as low as you can get.

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  • 477. At 7:45pm on 29 Jul 2010, xmen123 wrote:

    472. At 5:03pm on 29 Jul 2010, Shaunie Babes wrote:

    460. At 10:16pm on 28 Jul 2010, xmen123 wrote:
    457. SB: This would never happen - due to their own legal departments not
    ----------- (then you went on to say)
    Would these be drugs not used according to the manufacturers written instructions, either deliberately or through negligence ?
    ---------

    Please firstly read both of the sentences you have written one states safe the other states only as written in instructions.

    So are you now saying there are dangerous drugs then that requires medical profession to prescribe a set dosage and if not followed more dangerous than what is prohibited right?

    Now maybe you can tell us how much weed would be required for it be a dangerous amount.

    Think you need to smoke or take in a tonne of weed in 15 minutes for it to be any danger which by the way is impossible.

    This over all proves if prohibition is supposed to be for our protection then just maybe this one item should not be prohibited since as science has shown you would need an awfully large dose, larger than any of these man made drugs to be of a threat to us.

    By the way you would agree cannabis is a plant right ? a herb or as labeled a weed like the weeds growing your garden..


    If it is a plant like all the other plants used for tablets should it not treated the same as the rest of them:

    http://www.rain-tree.com/plantdrugs.htm
    Today there are at least 120 distinct chemical substances derived from plants that are considered as important drugs currently in use in one or more countries in the world. These chemical substances are shown in the table below. Several of the drugs sold today are simple synthetic modifications or copies of the naturally obtained substances.

    Also look at anti venom (made from venom)
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Antivenom
    Under your government snakes would be prohibited too eh.. so who ever has a pet snake get rid of it now before SB takes the throne lol


    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Corn_steep_liquor
    The ordinary drugs such as penicillin are produced from your every day crop Maize. Should Maize also be prohibited?

    Seriously this is why you need to keep out of this discussion you start to blabber one liners of total ludicrous hypocritical nonsense, since you are stating a plant is unsafe for us to consume and prohibition should exist because of this and yet you are happy to go Doctors complain about a pain and then take the tablets he/she prescribes which was made out of the plants that you seem to think are dangerous in the first place and not think anything of it.


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  • 478. At 8:15pm on 29 Jul 2010, U14567582 wrote:

    @ Shaunie Babes.

    I quote from myself:

    "I also quickly learned that the evidence, the law, the science, the hypocrisy, every area of drug law speaks clearly for itself and it all points to regulation and not prohibition, and moreover, I quickly learned that it is the job of politicians and prohibitionists to not argue a case, but muddy the argument to such a degree that a stalemate can resume. This is what I feel you are doing, you really have had nothing to bring to the debate, you offer no sensible way forward or objective standpoints. You have fallen firmly into the prohibitionists position of bogging down the debate just so the broken status quo can be upheld.

    You have once more not answered the simple questions, it is a non-leading query, how would you progress with drug control in the UK? It is time you added a contribution to progressive ways ahead."


    It is clear that you are just trying to bog down the conversation as I have stipulated. You have made no eloquent points and it is posts like yours that add tenfold to a regulatory argument. I shall not dissuade you from posting as you make points for the end of prohibition so much stronger, but I shall no longer engage in an attempt at a constructive dialogue. All the best, and keep up the sterling work.

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  • 479. At 8:19pm on 29 Jul 2010, xmen123 wrote:

    & SB I suppose it is ok to use prohibited stuff to help ease your pain or in case of Harold Shipman kill off patients.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Heroin
    Heroin, or diacetylmorphine (INN), also known as diamorphine (BAN), is a semi-synthetic opioid drug synthesized from morphine, a derivative of the opium poppy.

    The opium poppy was cultivated in lower Mesopotamia as long ago as 3400 BCE.[10] The chemical analysis of opium in the 19th century revealed that most of its activity could be ascribed to two alkaloids, codeine and morphine.


    Both if prohibited or if taken under prescription at wrong dosage can be lethal..


    Or Maybe you can tell us what the difference is between taking the real plants or being addicted to over the counter drugs:
    http://www.drug-addiction-support.org/Over-the-Counter-Drug-Abuse.html


    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Co-codamol
    a combination of codeine phosphate and paracetamol

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Codeine
    --- Codeine, or O-methylmorphine, is an alkaloid found in the opium poppy

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tramadol
    Tramadol is a synthetic analog of the phenanthrene alkaloid codeine and, as such, is an opioid and also a prodrug (codeine is metabolized to morphine, tramadol is converted to M-1 aka



    As you can see those drugs you take and feel safe that it is (Legal) and prescribed by the doctor/bought over the counter must be safe well be sure that you can get hooked on them the same way you label druggies since they are made from extracts of those very same prohibited drug.

    If you now go back and read this entire thread you will see countless people explaining it was the big pharmaceutical companies that took the natural drugs and made them into tablets that you feel so differently about.

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  • 480. At 11:11am on 30 Jul 2010, Shaunie Babes wrote:

    458. At 5:54pm on 28 Jul 2010, John Ellis wrote:
    Prozac causes suicide
    cipralex causes sudden heart attack
    to name but 2 that are highly dangerous..
    the list goes
    -----
    They can be dangeous - thats why they both had several years of clinical trials, are subject to licensing, issuing by qualified people, and can have the conditions of use modified by the regulator. Compare that level of regulation with selling to people who are quite prepared to injest plant food on the say so of some bloke on the internet.
    Although doctors are quite aware with the problems of anti-depressants and now prefer to deal with the reasons the patient can't cope with reality, rather than filling them full of chemicals. Something recreation drug users could learn from

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  • 481. At 1:08pm on 30 Jul 2010, xmen123 wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 482. At 3:18pm on 30 Jul 2010, John Ellis wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 483. At 5:38pm on 30 Jul 2010, xmen123 wrote:

    SB WROTE:

    457. This would never happen - due to their own legal departments not letting them sell anything that dangerous.

    472. Would these be drugs not used according to the manufacturers written instructions, either deliberately or through negligence ?

    480. Although doctors are quite aware with the problems of anti-depressants and now prefer to deal with the reasons the patient can't cope with reality, rather than filling them full of chemicals

    ----------------
    Spoken like a true politician notice how it has changed over a few days.

    So in 470 all drugs were safe and they would never sell dangerous drugs then a few posts later ahh but wait they could be dangerous if instructions not followed and now in 480.. Doctors know some drugs are dangerous and now prefer to deal with the reasons the patient can't cope with reality


    Well SB here is some more information to confirm that legal department does not do what you stated "letting them sell dangerous drugs"


    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/health/8356423.stm 2009 (only last year)
    Needless use of anti-psychotic drugs is widespread in dementia care and contributes to the death of many patients, an official review suggests.

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/health/8357031.stm
    Anti-psychotic drugs are needlessly being used on many dementia patients. In some cases, it is even contributing to their deaths.


    http://www.mint.com/blog/trends/the-rip-brand-vs-generic-drugs/
    as we saw with the recent Tylenol recall and the ongoing FDA investigation into alleged deaths and other serious side effects, just because a drug carries a well-known brand doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s perfectly safe.


    As you can see over a few days your own view has changed from totally safe to only if followed by instructions to
    "Doctors know some drugs are dangerous and now prefer to deal with the reasons the patient can't cope with reality"


    In truth we are all lab rats to all the new drugs found which are on the rise.

    Now getting back to actual topic Drug prohibition:

    Maybe you can tell us all
    1. If you have firstly actually read the 2006 advice given to ministers pdf?
    2. What your solution is to resolving the issue?
    From what I have seen your view seems to be something like eugenics, i.e. get rid of all drug users and have a clean gene pool that uses the same drugs in tablet format right?

    Can I ask you if you feel making burger and chips using fresh meat and potato is worse than eating macdonalds.

    I mean in comparison this is exactly what you are saying, the lab versions are safe but yet the same natural components that the labs use to produce tablets is unsafe right.




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  • 484. At 6:38pm on 30 Jul 2010, U14567582 wrote:

    The legal side to the drug debate is something often overlooked too, and I'm not talking of the great work drug equality do, I mean law enforcement.

    You now cannot count the amount of senior officers that have gone on record to end prohibition. LEAP (Law Enforcement Against Prohibition)have been very vocal.

    Only recently we have had this quote; talking of the 60% seizure quantity needed to have an impact on the war on drugs, (and the UK are seizing 1%):

    Detective Chief Constable Gordon Meldrum, of the Scottish Crime & Drug Enforcement Agency, says: "My honest view is that we will not get anywhere close to that. You know we will never have enough law enforcement within the UK to actually stop anywhere near the amount of drugs that actually come into the country."

    There are many more quotes from many other senior personnel that all say the same, the war is not a waste of time, it's a ludicrous concept war that had no chance of victory, it just looks good for a few fanatics that wish for a right wing utopia.

    These officers are on the front line of this "war", I think their voice should be heard really, call me old fashioned to listen to someone who knows what they're talking about...

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  • 485. At 7:11pm on 30 Jul 2010, wookiee69 wrote:

    Having read this thread over the last few days I was reminded of my reaction to the sacking of Prof Nutt last year. The media and Labour leadership accused him of advocating the use of Cannabis and Extacy, Yet in their actual correspondence with him two home secretaries in a row (Jackboot and the postman) were furious at his demand that alcohol and tobacco be included in the remit of the MoDA '71. This is realy the problem with drugs classification and the real reason for his removal from the ACMD. The government cannot face the drugs debate without facing the alcohol and tobacco debate also. Policy has for years been to kick the latter debate into the long grass for financial reasons and therefore throwing out the former debate with it. The massively damaging effects of widespread alcohol misuse are becoming impossible to ignore. The active avoidence of alcohol use and the advocacy of self imposed avoidance, just as we have advocated against tobacco use without prohibiting its sale to adults who can decide for themselves is the only way to realise a rational drug policy. People will always want to be diverted chemicaly and if given a free choice will gravitate to drugs which do not adversley affect their lives when used responsibly, just as most adults today responsibly use the currently acceptible(yet seriously dangerous) drug, alcohol.

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  • 486. At 00:27am on 31 Jul 2010, jr4412 wrote:

    HomeGrownOutlaw #484.

    re "the war on drugs"

    Channel4 are advertising a three-part programme on this issue, from next week.

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  • 487. At 01:26am on 31 Jul 2010, Mafficker wrote:

    The mythical phrase 'Illegal drugs' is a semantic spook, Orwellian 'New Speak hiding the fact that "...the so-called 'War on Drugs' is not a war on pills, powder, plants and potions, it is a war on mental states - a war on consciousness itself..."

    "A government that is permitted to set punishments for drug 'offences' in which a person has done nothing more than grow, manufacture, distribute, or use, the psychoactive agents which have been denoted as "controlled substances," participates in an even more pernicious form of censorship - a censorship of consciousness itself - by choosing to punish people for no other crime than choosing to experience or enable particular states of mind."

    Quotes of a dear friend Richard Glen Boire founder of the Center for Cognitive Liberty and Ethics.

    http://www.cognitiveliberty.org

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  • 488. At 10:46am on 31 Jul 2010, John Ellis wrote:

    Pioneer Productions commissioned to produce three-part series for National Geographical channel and BBC Three investigating the science behing drug use

    http://www.pioneertv.com/news.php

    should be interesting


    they are also looking for people...

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  • 489. At 4:46pm on 01 Aug 2010, xmen123 wrote:

    http://www.gsalternative.com/2010/05/cannabinoids-kill-cancer/

    Below is a repost of an article published on Americans for Safe Access website: www.safeaccessnow.org in November of 2003. The article describes how cannabinoids, the active components of marijuana, inhibit tumor growth in laboratory animals and also kill cancer cells. Then it finishes off by saying that the US government has known for more than 35 years and that the media which would normally go crazy about a cancer cure story like this, doesn’t at all and in fact seem to be burying the story rather than promote it in any way. I for one am amazed at the government’s stance on marijuana and their failed war on drugs, which is more like a war on it’s own country. I guess too many people get rich off of the war on drugs.


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  • 490. At 10:55pm on 01 Aug 2010, John Ellis wrote:

    Yup far to many peope get rich of the war on drugs.

    Still the tree of life is on both sides of the river now.

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  • 491. At 11:22pm on 01 Aug 2010, danielcarter wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 492. At 11:43pm on 01 Aug 2010, John Ellis wrote:

    old but interesting 'Harm reduction-the cannabis paradox'
    http://www.harmreductionjournal.com/content/2/1/17

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  • 493. At 5:42pm on 02 Aug 2010, John Ellis wrote:

    interesting stuff
    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/law-and-order/7899254/Decriminalise-personal-drug-use-suggests-chairman-of-the-Bar-Council.html

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  • 494. At 9:28pm on 02 Aug 2010, John Ellis wrote:

    http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/prison-works-conrad-black-becomes-a-liberal-2041232.html

    Seems Conrad Black come out in favour of surprisingly liberal position in relation to the legalisation of recreational drugs.

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  • 495. At 02:02am on 03 Aug 2010, Jon OapostropheBrien wrote:

    #493

    What Nicholas Green said was certainly interesting; what Keith Vaz, James Clappison, Philip Davies and Debra Bell said is all too depressingly familiar: the same old tired claptrap being wheeled out by people who haven't bothered to switch their brains on and think about what they're actually saying. Each one has lazily waved an argument, which doesn't stand up to even the most casual examination, as if it were the most profound reasoning and they expected it to put an end to the nonsense they've just been exposed to for once and for all.

    These are the enemies of reason (to borrow Richard Dawkins' phrase) who rational thinkers will have either to convince or to brush aside before sanity can reign. I suspect they're too closed-minded to convince, so, unless it becomes politically expedient, it will have to be the latter.

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  • 496. At 02:04am on 03 Aug 2010, John Ellis wrote:

    http://www.channel4.com/programmes/our-drugs-war/articles/poll-should-drugs-be-legal

    close results between some and all but most favour changing the law

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  • 497. At 02:23am on 03 Aug 2010, John Ellis wrote:

    Debra bell is probably one of the worst voices in this argument shes conned people out of money after sensationalising her sons behaviour which has been nothing more than teen angst aggravated by 'tough love'...

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  • 498. At 11:05am on 03 Aug 2010, FedupwithGovt wrote:

    Very interesting and well made documentary on channel 4 last night 'Our Drugs War', if you missed it I suggest you watch it on 4 on demand. It raised some very pertinent issues which I would love our head in the sand politicians to attempt to address. To sum it up, the war on drugs is just making things 10 times worse. Enough said - let's all go and live in the world of the rational - please.

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  • 499. At 12:16pm on 03 Aug 2010, FedupwithGovt wrote:

    493. At 5:42pm on 02 Aug 2010, John Ellis wrote:
    interesting stuff
    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/law-and-order/7899254/Decriminalise-personal-drug-use-suggests-chairman-of-the-Bar-Council.html

    ==========================================

    Agree - interesting views from someone in the legal profession. How depressing though is the tired responses from people who are in a position to change things. Lazy thinking, they should be ashamed of themselves.

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  • 500. At 12:59pm on 03 Aug 2010, John Ellis wrote:

    This is an exelent animation showing the contrast between prohabition and freedom.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hMM_T_PJ0Rs

    The Flower contrasts a utopian society that freely farms and consumes a pleasure giving flower with a society where the same flower is illegal and its consumption is prohibited. The animation is a meditation on the social and economic costs of marijuana prohibition.

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