Comments for http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markeaston/2010/08/drugs_policy_the_british_system.html http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markeaston/2010/08/drugs_policy_the_british_system.html en-gb 30 Tue 22 Jul 2014 09:06:31 GMT+1 A feed of user comments from the page found at http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markeaston/2010/08/drugs_policy_the_british_system.html U14890913 http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markeaston/2010/08/drugs_policy_the_british_system.html?page=99#comment148 This post has been Removed Thu 02 Jun 2011 11:14:16 GMT+1 John Ellis http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markeaston/2010/08/drugs_policy_the_british_system.html?page=98#comment147 Dear sir please find enclosed the standard issue crazy talk.http://cid-b0414da877bbb909.photos.live.com/browse.aspx/Goverment%20ResponceWhile i dont actualy remember what email it was the content of this responce is very weak on all the grounds of mental health especialy as most drugs used to treat mental health issues expand the functioning of the ECSN.Further to this the current message is unheard due to the goverments own failing to promote healthy drug use much as they do with alcohol. No cannabis within communities = more class A more legal highs more eventual addicts. So weres the harm realy? Thu 16 Sep 2010 14:47:57 GMT+1 John Ellis http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markeaston/2010/08/drugs_policy_the_british_system.html?page=97#comment146 This made me Smile this morning after reading this I wonder how much crime went uncheched during this operation....http://www.yorkpress.co.uk/news/8389579.York_Railway_Station_drugs_crackdown/?ref=rssSeems even the police are looking for a easy life while wasting tax payers money. Tue 14 Sep 2010 08:20:55 GMT+1 John Ellis http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markeaston/2010/08/drugs_policy_the_british_system.html?page=97#comment145 Does this not make you wonder that we only seize 1% of all heroin that enters the UK?We need a clean slate. We need legal drug supplies as no one can be trusted under current law. from the street to central goverment the drugs are our most pressing problem as we face cut upon cut as the poor in sociaty are further vicimised by the state the same state that will create 100's of thousands of addicts over the next few years.If my community is one of the most deprived in england and our problems is growing on a daily basis.. how long before it spreads across all communities. How long before the current generation of young people are turned into heroin addicts by our goverment and thier ill conceved policys. Now our cannabis has dried up the heroin supplies are taking hold, the police think they have done a fantastic job in hitting the multibillion pound cannabis markets, when in reality all they have done in cleared out the markets and prepared the RED carpet for heroin dealers including members and sub groups of the british army.I recon we will top 1 million heroin addicts buy 2013 in England alone at the current growth rates most will be problematic grafters. This is being generious and does not include projected losses within law enforcement, as the drugs will flow so much more freely under the current cuts. We have already lost so many generations to this problem how many more do we need to loose??God im annoyed today.. someone take Dave C firmly by the sholders and shake him till some common sence sinks in. Please for the sake of our country.. Mon 13 Sep 2010 11:16:49 GMT+1 John Ellis http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markeaston/2010/08/drugs_policy_the_british_system.html?page=96#comment144 Is the UK millitary ramping up heroin supplies for the ressesion, how have we arrived at this point in time? British troops bringing back heroin..... Who are the real dealers. why is heroin being flowin into the UK and the USA on military planes?Why have we promoted and ensured that heroin production has increesed by 15% per kilo of opium.Why is my community full of heroin, why is there no cannabis in my community.????This off course is all utter noncence as far as the British goverment is concerned. Could this be why they are so undecided of our new aircraft carrier...?They got busted.....Mark how rife is this actualy? how common has the military drug supply problem become...I even doubt that SOCA could even get a look at the planes as they leave Afghanistan.. Mon 13 Sep 2010 09:49:46 GMT+1 John Ellis http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markeaston/2010/08/drugs_policy_the_british_system.html?page=95#comment143 http://www.irishexaminer.com/ireland/kfmhauojgbql/rss2/No longer criminals for medicating themselvesTHE legalisation of cannabis moved a step closer to reality this week after Health Minister Mary Harney announced she is open to making cannabis legal for medicinal purposes in Ireland.Read more: http://www.irishexaminer.com/ireland/kfmhauojgbql/rss2/#ixzz0zFxM7OOP Sat 11 Sep 2010 20:51:38 GMT+1 John Ellis http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markeaston/2010/08/drugs_policy_the_british_system.html?page=95#comment142 HAHA what a morning local conservitive counclier asked by local heroin addict if she wanted to buy some knock of meat.... while she was out delivering news flyers...could not make this up if you tried.... Sat 04 Sep 2010 09:44:22 GMT+1 Steve - Iver http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markeaston/2010/08/drugs_policy_the_british_system.html?page=94#comment141 140. At 4:30pm on 01 Sep 2010, John Ellis wrote:about Mr. Bending who was 'grounded' for enjoying a spliff. So the local authority, Devon & Cornwall, like to boast of the 4th lowest crime rate do they? If they concentrated on real crime, their actual crime rate might be much lower. Take false crimes out of the equation, and we might just find that nationally, crime rates are not really at the level suggested. But, they're just following central government doctrine, who as stated in the report, were 'protecting our teenagers'. As far as I can remember, teenagers are the responsibility of their parents, not the state. Further to that, teenagers DO NOT like being lied to. Using fear to control the population is lying. People, teenagers included, will only take so much bull. The current policy is laughable in its consistent lies. Wake up, Govt., before it's too late. Stop trying to nanny us. Run the country, not the people. You do your job, and we will do ours. In doing your job, please listen to your employers, the educated masses, the scientists, professors and doctors, the drug advisors and the public at large. EDUCATE, REGULATE, TAXPROHIBITION DOES NOT WORK Thu 02 Sep 2010 11:51:34 GMT+1 iNotHere http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markeaston/2010/08/drugs_policy_the_british_system.html?page=93#comment140 re: It beggers belief the stupidity of the 'War on (some) Drugs'...at times I don't know whether to laugh or cry at it all. Will 'grounding' this man for three months actually help either him or society? Or is it just a monumental waste of tax payers money? When are our government going to grow a backbone and see that the policy for the last 40 years is a sham and has totally failed to achieve any of its objectives. There aren't enough police or funds to be even remotely successful. Isn't it about time we decriminalised possession and regulated production and sale? Let's get the control back!Control, Regulate, Tax and Educate!Prohibition Does Not Work Wed 01 Sep 2010 22:15:23 GMT+1 John Ellis http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markeaston/2010/08/drugs_policy_the_british_system.html?page=93#comment139 http://pr.cannazine.co.uk/201009011322/green/eco-news/cannabis-pensioners-court-case-cost-us-over-30k-in-public-funds-why.html30k would run several community projects. it would provide the wage for 2 full time jobs 4 part time jobs.but i suppose it was better spent making a 66 year old man stay in is home after dark..... Wed 01 Sep 2010 15:30:46 GMT+1 John Ellis http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markeaston/2010/08/drugs_policy_the_british_system.html?page=92#comment138 http://peterreynolds.wordpress.com/2010/09/01/home-office-backtracks-on-cannabis/seems some background editing on the cannabis front has gone on. light... tunnel .... end...Having mailed Mr Brokenshire this week asking how his opinion on cannabis and other drugs related to his experience withing drug communities around the UK. would be very interesting to see what REAL life experience he has to be making such statements about cannabis.the email..Good afternoon James.I am taking time to ask you why you are failing in your job to send out the right messages with regards to drugs why this country is failing in its policies towards a minority group? I ask this as a community leader whose community is being overrun by heroin cocaine legal highs crack cocaine all manner of pills. We have addicts begging in our streets.. Funny thing is there is no cannabis available and supplies have been low since the former governments insane move of declaring cannabis dangerous/lethal and upping it to class B. When in-fact all it has done is put and extra 5 billion in the hands of none taxable business. This in turn has lead to an alarming rise in these so called legal highs the first of which thankfully have proven to be nothing to dangerous. This however is were it stops you are now playing a very dangerous game with the lives of our younger generations, research chemicals are here to stay and will prove to be unbannable for all peoples efforts to stop people using them.I would be interested to know your history and experience around the drug communities of this country? I buried my brother 7 years ago after a heroin overdose. I work with the local police in pinpointing dealers and problem drug users.. We as a community are loosing in your war on people(drugs) The madness must end the government must move towards a new drug policy one that does no discriminate one that does not place social stigma on addicts. one that works.!!!May i also suggest you stop saying cannabis and its constituent components are dangerous, they are not they promote good health and long life. Most current medical research for many illness are targeting the human endocannabinoid system network.Highest regardsJohn EllisWaits for a reply ... breath not held as ill turn blue and fall over... Wed 01 Sep 2010 15:19:53 GMT+1 barryp http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markeaston/2010/08/drugs_policy_the_british_system.html?page=91#comment137 The great thing about the British System is (was) moderation and the rule of measured thought over Political or religious Dogma. It is also the cause of the failure of the anti-drug 'war'. The possible penalty for simple possession of cannabis is two years imprisonment, the normal punishment is a small fine or a 'caution'. The possible penalty for possession with intent to supply a class 'A' drug is similar to the punishment for Murder. The norm is a moderate fine and a short prison sentence. We have to decide whether we want to 'win' the war on drugs, or is it simply the wrong war. The Public as a whole have been shown to have little faith in the Criminal Justice system as it now operates, or fails to operate. The whole UK Justice system needs review to find what is really needed, be it punishment, rehabilitation or simply prevention. Every penny spent on Policing is money that could be better spent elsewhere. Every penny spent on locks and household security is 'wasted'and is money diverted from allowing people to prosper. As a retired Policeman I suggest that the anti drugs laws are, and always have been, the wrong war on the wrong target. I started my service just before the Laws were introduced, we had a small and insignificant drugs 'problem'. I would contend that as a direct result of the profitability introduced into the drugs supply trade by those Laws the drugs problem was promoted by Parliament, albeit by mistake. AS this well balanced article shows the Laws came about because of the misdeeds of one woman. The harm inflicted on the public as a result of the laws is a result of Political cowardice that still continues. My simple thought is to undermine the profitability of the drug supply trade by direct Government competition, i.e. free drugs on prescription, with a proper imposition of draconian fines and mandatory prison for those unlawfully supplying drugs. A simplistic and modified version of the British System. Mon 30 Aug 2010 08:16:12 GMT+1 Daniel Earwicker http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markeaston/2010/08/drugs_policy_the_british_system.html?page=91#comment136 It's strange that the UK government was being pressured on this issue by the US in the mid-1920s. At that point of course the US was in the middle of its alcohol prohibition experiment. Were they also pressuring the UK to ban alcohol? And why on earth didn't they realise that if it doesn't work for one addictive drug it isn't going to work for others? The whole thing is mystifying. Sun 29 Aug 2010 08:36:05 GMT+1 Euforiater http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markeaston/2010/08/drugs_policy_the_british_system.html?page=90#comment135 134: "I'm sure cannabis users are queuing up to be helped by the Government."- Ok, on past evidence I might be a tad optimistic in expecting a straight answer here, but I'm curious to know where you're coming from. Just what help is it that you think cannabis users want or need from the Government? Sat 28 Aug 2010 16:56:17 GMT+1 jr4412 http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markeaston/2010/08/drugs_policy_the_british_system.html?page=89#comment134 Shaunie Babes #134.yes, I ought to have written decriminalised instead of regulated."They're [drugs] just as illegal as anywhere else."wrong."..Portugal, which in 2001 became the first European country to officially abolish all criminal penalties for personal possession of drugs.."now, I'm sure you'll find something else to quibble about, the end of the day though the Portuguese experience is one of reduced drug use and falling crime. good enough for me, would that it was good enough for the British. Fri 27 Aug 2010 14:32:07 GMT+1 Shaunie Babes http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markeaston/2010/08/drugs_policy_the_british_system.html?page=89#comment133 131. At 10:17pm on 26 Aug 2010, jr4412 wrote: Shaunie Babes #129."Real people who live on real hell holes estates wouldn't dream of flooding them with cheap legal drugs"agree, fortunately education, regulation and taxation will not result in a flood of cheap drugs'; educate yourself and have a look a the experiences of the Portuguese, for instance, where regulation has resulted in a fall of substance (mis)use across the board.---------------------Drugs aren't taxed or regulated in Portugal. They're just as illegal as anywhere else. Taking drugs is illegal and any drugs found are confiscated. The only difference is people caught with drugs for personal use aren't prosecuted but have to explain themselves to legal and medical panel. I'm sure cannabis users are queuing up to be helped by the Government. Fri 27 Aug 2010 14:12:14 GMT+1 GraemeEastBelfastye http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markeaston/2010/08/drugs_policy_the_british_system.html?page=88#comment132 BBC Bob - Education has not worked and will never worked when i was at school i learned a great lot about drugs about there dangers and have found that as a young teenager and a young adult the education i was giving seems to have been a lie. i have done them all except smack and crack and have found that they are not as bad as 'The Government' said they were.The Government think by keeping these drugs illegal that they have won the war. But this is far from the truth. The morality is that people cannot accept legalization so the war is over and drugs have won Fri 27 Aug 2010 11:00:02 GMT+1 General_Jack_Ripper http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markeaston/2010/08/drugs_policy_the_british_system.html?page=87#comment131 Shaunie Babes wrote:Readers of the Guardian, Observer and Independent think that serious drug abuse is smoking the spliff out of turn at a dinner party. The nearest they get working class culture is watching Shameless. Real people who live on real hell holes estates wouldn't dream of flooding them with cheap legal drugsAs I mentioned on a previous blog when you tried using this baseless argument; I grew up in the slums of Liverpool many years ago and I now live on a council estate in Merseyside where we have above average rates of crime, prohibited drug use, social problems, unemployment etc and I still believe that legalisation, regulation and taxation is the best solution to the problems we face with drug use.This doesn't mean flooding our estates with cheap drugs, it means providing a legal and regulated supply of recreational drugs to adults from licensed and regulated retailers in order to remove the criminal element from the supply chain, helping to protect children with the use of age-restricted sales and covering the costs to the healthcare system via direct taxation.Any time you want to come up with an argument that hasn't already been thoroughly discredited please let us know; it will make a change from the usual rubbish you've been coming out with whenever this subject is raised. Fri 27 Aug 2010 10:51:22 GMT+1 jr4412 http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markeaston/2010/08/drugs_policy_the_british_system.html?page=87#comment130 Shaunie Babes #129."Real people who live on real hell holes estates wouldn't dream of flooding them with cheap legal drugs"agree, fortunately education, regulation and taxation will not result in a 'flood of cheap drugs'; educate yourself and have a look a the experiences of the Portuguese, for instance, where regulation has resulted in a fall of substance (mis)use across the board. Thu 26 Aug 2010 21:17:21 GMT+1 jr4412 http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markeaston/2010/08/drugs_policy_the_british_system.html?page=86#comment129 Steve #128."..the move to legalisation / regulation."a short but thought-provoking item on California's pending vote (in November) on legalisation was broadcast today on Channel 4 News. Thu 26 Aug 2010 21:11:44 GMT+1 Shaunie Babes http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markeaston/2010/08/drugs_policy_the_british_system.html?page=85#comment128 Readers of the Guardian, Observer and Independent think that serious drug abuse is smoking the spliff out of turn at a dinner party. The nearest they get working class culture is watching Shameless. Real people who live on real hell holes estates wouldn't dream of flooding them with cheap legal drugs Thu 26 Aug 2010 18:44:50 GMT+1 Steve - Iver http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markeaston/2010/08/drugs_policy_the_british_system.html?page=85#comment127 So, the Independent newspaper has become the latest of 5 national media organisations to back the move to legalisation / regulation. This is fantastic news for the movement. The Observer, Guardian, Sunday Express, Herald and now The Independent. No Daily Mail I see. No surprises there. Thanks to John Ellis for publishing the link in #127. EDUCATE, REGULATE, TAXPROHIBITION DOES NOT WORK Thu 26 Aug 2010 16:32:16 GMT+1 John Ellis http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markeaston/2010/08/drugs_policy_the_british_system.html?page=84#comment126 http://transform-drugs.blogspot.com/2010/08/independent-becomes-latest-national-uk.html Thu 26 Aug 2010 16:06:14 GMT+1 BobRocket http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markeaston/2010/08/drugs_policy_the_british_system.html?page=83#comment125 #123 Shaunie Babes'firstly the establishment of large supply network'The supply network is a direct result of demand, without demand the supply would not exist.'Secondly a belief that drugs aren’t harmful'Some drugs aren't harmful, some are (it depends upon the user and how they are used).The system used for categorisation is clearly wrong as substances scientifically deemed to be less harmful are lumped in with substances deemed more harmful and the recreational drugs Alcohol, Nicotine and Caffeine do not appear at all.'lastly a general culture of disrespect towards drug legislation'There is disrespect towards the current implementation of drug legislation because that implementation is flawed, the legislation was intended to provide official control of the use and mis-use of substances.As implemented, the current legislation hands over control to the black market gangsters. (an industry in the UK alone worth in excess of £6bn per annum, globally the industry is greater than £350bn annually)'The common factor in all of these is middle-class cannabis users'No Shaunie, the common factor in all of this is middle-class alcohol users sitting in the House of Commons using the issue to make themselves (re)electable.It is quite simple.If a sensible law is enacted and then implemented in a quite clearly stupid manner, who is bringing the law into disrepute ?Is it the people who argue logically against it and try to change it or is it the people who insist that this is the implementation and it shall be followed without question for all eternity and ignoring any new evidence ? Thu 26 Aug 2010 12:31:10 GMT+1 Steve - Iver http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markeaston/2010/08/drugs_policy_the_british_system.html?page=83#comment124 122. At 02:23am on 26 Aug 2010, U14594484 wrote:..."The Community Addiction Units are drowning"..."The services cannot cope"..."They are quite happy to put addicts on methadone"..."the daily pick- ups at a chemist only reinforce, and lock the addict into, drug seeking ( scoring) behaviour"...In a nut-shell, yes. It's the totally wrong approach, borne out by the fact that we now have more addicts in a world that supposedly prohibits drug use than we had in the world 40 or so years ago before prohibition...."If the addict actually wants to be totally drug free,"... I'd say it depends on his/her mental state. There is always the risk of relapse, as you say, but you have to tell yourself, every day, that there are better ways to be happy. I've been clean now for almost 2 years. ..."I detoxed myself"..."without their 'support', Was told nobody had done this"..."and I would fail"... Not a very positive means of encouragement is it? But, well done you for your achievement, it must have been hell for you to go through cold turkey alone. 21 days is a long time when you're in that state. 21 minutes is bad enough. How long have you been clean now? ..."The drug treatment policies are beyond not working and contribute to the problem of addiction in their inflexibility"... I'd agree with you if you're talking specifically about Methadone treatment. This is a weak response to the drug rehab problem, and it does nothing to promote a sense of pride in the addict, routinely attending for his meds, and almost certain to be derided somewhere in the process. There is a much better treatment - Subutex (Buprenorphine). It's taken sub-lingually, under the tongue, and when it dissolves, it's quickly absorbed to give almost the same effect as Heroin, but with the pleasure aspect removed (boo). Each tablet lasts 24 - 36 hours, and you slowly, with the pharmacist, reduce your dosage. After you have built up some trust between yourself and your doctor, who you must visit every 1 to 2 weeks, they will likely give you a 'take-home' allowance, so you can get on with daily life quickly, and have a one week supply at home. Each week, the dose gets less until you're down to such a small dose that stopping completely becomes no worse than a few days of flu-like symptoms. Cutting funding to services like this takes away the very limited service that is currently available. With a more modern approach, with open eyes instead of bigoted, ill-informed opinions, the whole process could be self funding, or at least in part. We have to get opinion changed. We have to treat this with the decent level of care it deserves. We cannot simply brush it under the carpet and hope it will go away. I think we can safely say that successive governments and the UN have tried that tactic and it doesn't work, does it?123. At 09:11am on 26 Aug 2010, Shaunie Babes wrote:..."The three major factors in the increase in drug use in this country has been firstly the establishment of large supply network"...Hmmm! So you're saying that we use drugs because someone set-up a supply network. I think it might be the other way around - supply generally needs to meet demand. ..."Secondly a belief that drugs aren’t harmful"...A weak argument - if you live in SE England, the air can be pretty harmful, but seriously, if you want to argue this point, you have to get over the opinion that drugs are drugs. Break it down, analyse the information available, and draw your own independent conclusions. ..."And lastly a general culture of disrespect towards drug legislation"...Because it is unjust. Open your mind, Shaunie, and understand the reasons for this. Read the facts that many posters have presented to you over the years. There is room in this world for so much more than simple black and white. ..."The common factor in all of these is middle-class cannabis users"... There is no direct correlation between cannabis users and heroin users, other than by association, that they are both classified drugs. Two completely different cases, and both need to be handled in their own separate ways. What are the myths Shaunie? Can you explain the myths that we are being accused of purporting. ..."Is it any wonder that people in other social groups look at their example and decide that drugs such as heroin are ok?"...At first, I almost agreed with you there. Your arguments are a constructed a little better than previously. Where did you read this?It's been suggested for some time that cannabis is a gateway drug. This is equally refuted and I personally, find it very difficult to see the connection, other than, as already said, they're both classified drugs, but that is where the similarity ends. If I say it's ok to mix a bit of green herb with my tobacco and smoke to feel a little relaxed, where is the correlation that it's be ok to cook up a heroin fix and inject it into my veins? Where is the connection Shaunie? That's the part I fail to understand. You've been marked by many as a wind-up merchant, Shaunie. Are you a serious commentator? Do you believe your government sponsored rhetoric? Are you able to discuss and understand different opinions, or are you hardfast stuck in your 'I'm right, you're wrong' attitude?Discuss! Thu 26 Aug 2010 11:49:36 GMT+1 Shaunie Babes http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markeaston/2010/08/drugs_policy_the_british_system.html?page=82#comment123 This post has been Removed Thu 26 Aug 2010 08:14:16 GMT+1 Shaunie Babes http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markeaston/2010/08/drugs_policy_the_british_system.html?page=81#comment122 The three major factors in the increase in drug use in this country has been firstly the establishment of large supply network. Secondly a belief that drugs aren’t harmful. And lastly a general culture of disrespect towards drug legislation. The common factor in all of these is middle-class cannabis users. They have spent the last forty years funding criminals, undermining the law, and spreading myths purely to make their selfish habit more socially acceptable. Is it any wonder that people in other social groups look at their example and decide that drugs such as heroin are ok? Thu 26 Aug 2010 08:11:21 GMT+1 U14594484 http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markeaston/2010/08/drugs_policy_the_british_system.html?page=81#comment121 There is an epidemic of heroin addiction in our towns and cities. I should know as I am an addict. The Community Addiction Units are drowning in a tide of desperate people seeking help for their dependency issues. The services cannot cope. Their policies, State approved, are draconian in the extreme. They are quite happy to put addicts on methadone indefinitely and the daily pick- ups at a chemist only reinforce, and lock the addict into, drug seeking ( scoring) behaviour. If the addict actually wants to be totally drug free, the treatment services go into shock and can only predict disaster as " nobody gets off completely. You will relapse." I detoxed myself against their advice and without their 'support'. Was told nobody had done this the way I did (with no other drugs) and I would fail. I was clean within 21 days and stayed that way. The drug treatment policies are beyond not working and contribute to the problem of addiction in their inflexibility. The drug laws serve a similar purpose. The Government cannot even admit to how big the drug problem is in our communities let alone have a sensible debate on the issue. They cut funding to rehabs as a non- essential service. Looks essential from where I am. How bad does it have to get? Thu 26 Aug 2010 01:23:18 GMT+1 badger78 http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markeaston/2010/08/drugs_policy_the_british_system.html?page=80#comment120 @crashGlad to see the arguments for prohibition are so strong these days... Wed 25 Aug 2010 22:35:09 GMT+1 Steve - Iver http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markeaston/2010/08/drugs_policy_the_british_system.html?page=79#comment119 118. At 6:53pm on 24 Aug 2010, jr4412 wrote:..."what do you replace the word addict with?"...habituated?Close, but it still sounds a bit of a mouthful against 'addict'. Personally, I don't see what is wrong with the word, as it does say what it means. I agree that 'junkie' is derogatory and in no way helps in the battle over stigma, and it is largely stigma that stands in the way of reform. It could be, though, that the commission are moving in the right direction, at least. If they are attempting to reduce the impact of stigma brought about by derogatory remarks, it can only help our cause to educate society and further the discussion towards a positive end. EDUCATE, REGULATE, TAXPROHIBITION DOES NOT WORK Wed 25 Aug 2010 12:03:37 GMT+1 crash http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markeaston/2010/08/drugs_policy_the_british_system.html?page=79#comment118 There is currently no criminal system in the UK,rapist,drug dealers,bank robbers,lets just give em a big hug an let am go wouldnt that be so nice ? Wed 25 Aug 2010 00:18:46 GMT+1 jr4412 http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markeaston/2010/08/drugs_policy_the_british_system.html?page=78#comment117 Steve #114.(John Ellis)..."what do you replace the word addict with?"...habituated? Tue 24 Aug 2010 17:53:17 GMT+1 Steve - Iver http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markeaston/2010/08/drugs_policy_the_british_system.html?page=77#comment116 115. At 5:18pm on 24 Aug 2010, David wrote:..."I am surprised the article does not mention Britain's most successful post war experiment in the 80's by John Marks"...David, there is a name I've not heard of in a long time. It was during the 90s, I think, but I'm not here to split hairs. Yes, the John Marks experiment - a 10 year program (so I suppose it could have begun in the 80s and ended in the 90s) to prove, beyond all doubt, that the black market as imposed by successive governments, is the cause of all drug related crime and death. I was looking on the net for John Marks stuff, prompted by your post, and found the following from the Guardian newspaper, albeit from 2001, but it worth a read, and it is an excellent example of the entire drugs yes / no debate. This item alone should be published again. I've entitled it, 'the Needless Lies of Government' so read on. Credit to Nick Davies who wrote the report with Jane Cassidy for a Channel4 program in 2001 called 'The Phoney War'. It says it all, and what it doesn't say isn't important. http://www.guardian.co.uk/politics/2001/jun/14/drugsandalcohol.socialsciences Tue 24 Aug 2010 17:13:12 GMT+1 Steve - Iver http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markeaston/2010/08/drugs_policy_the_british_system.html?page=77#comment115 113. At 4:52pm on 24 Aug 2010, Chris wrote:..."Look at Amsterdam, have you seen how things work there?"...Of course, Amsterdam is always rolled out as the example of the future, drug-wise, but I think we should be careful using Amsterdam as the role-model. There are plus points to be learned from Amsterdam, but there are negatives too. Amsterdam is geared, or rather it was until recently, in so far as tourism is concerned, to promote cannabis in the cafe culture there. The effect of this has had a negative impact on the city in general, and the Amsterdam 'laws' are not applicable to Holland or the Netherlands in general, necessarily. A more pointed example of drug rehabilitation, for those that have addiction issues, is that which Portugal has recently implemented or on a smaller scale, a city centre service in Canada (possibly Toronto) in the In-sight program. Other European countries are considering options and the US recently brought Cannabis out of the closet in some states by allowing medical cultivation and use by private individuals (for medical use only)This is what we can achieve with education; as you said yourself ..."education is the key"...Education, with regard to the prospective user, can be provided from an appropriate age in school. I know of schools that provide 'drug education' to the 13-14 year olds, but I worry that the education being given is biased. It would need to be impartial to be of positive benefit. Education of the facts, not the 'do and don't' rubbish that the government perpetuate, is mutually beneficial. We protect people with education, but we should also inform. It's not just the drug users that need educating, but the whole of society. I said it earlier as 'a Sea Change' and that is exactly what is needed. A total change of opinion from the general public. It starts here, spread the word. EDUCATE, REGULATE, TAXPROHIBITION DOES NOT WORK Tue 24 Aug 2010 16:40:25 GMT+1 David http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markeaston/2010/08/drugs_policy_the_british_system.html?page=76#comment114 I am surprised the article does not mention Britain's most successful post war experiment in the 80's by John Marks of Liverpool University where doctors prescribed drugs to users. This caused crime to fall dramatically and less prostitution etc. and it was a near total success. It was so successful that the Americans asked it to be shut down which it promptly was. There was speculation at the time that the Mafia wanted it stopped. Tue 24 Aug 2010 16:18:22 GMT+1 Steve - Iver http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markeaston/2010/08/drugs_policy_the_british_system.html?page=75#comment113 112. At 4:33pm on 24 Aug 2010, John Ellis wrote:..."what do you replace the word addict with?"...Good question, and I suppose it raises the question, do we really need to replace 'addict'? I agree that 'junkie' is derogatory, along with 'smackhead' etc., but addict is a word to describe anyone addicted to anything, nasty or otherwise. I don't feel 'addict' is necessarily derogatory, but it would depend on the tone of use. Junkie itself, is a word that used to specifically relate to those 'on junk', ie Heroin, but it seems that it is now used to describe anyone that has ever (mis)used drugs, in general. I fear we will get something like 'substance dependent' or 'toxin reliant' or some such PC-like rubbish. Addict is fine - it says what it does on the tin. Junkie is a slur on human dignity and should really be avoided. Often, it's not the word that causes offence, but the manner in which it's used. Tue 24 Aug 2010 15:57:24 GMT+1 Chris http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markeaston/2010/08/drugs_policy_the_british_system.html?page=75#comment112 There are different levels of users, that should be established, but they all have one thing in common, what they are doing is deemed illegal. That's why the problem has gotten so bad. Gangs and dealers are profiting in a big way which is also having a knock-on effect with crime and social disorder.De-criminalising drugs has to be the way forward. Look at Amsterdam, have you seen how things work there?I can only assume not. The barbaric fashion that this government approaches problems is laudable.Give people a choice, a safe choice. If you take away the taboo then people will be more receptive to what is going on. Selling controlled substances can only benefit the government as they would earn from it and also regulate it. Recreational drugs are very common and it is hard not to see drugs being used on a typical night on the town. By all means put an age limit on them if they feel it will make any difference, but you must remember, education is the key.For example, for buyers of controlled substances, they must be educated to know a limit, what not to mix it with and guidelines on drinking alcohol with such substances. Grading them in categories, Ups, downs, duration of effects, risks and guidance like drink enough non-alcoholic beverages to prevent de-hydration.Remember, alcohol is worse in most cases. Tue 24 Aug 2010 15:52:52 GMT+1 John Ellis http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markeaston/2010/08/drugs_policy_the_british_system.html?page=74#comment111 Steve very well said :)I just had a quick scan of the report as it seems rather wordy.. but at least they are finally recognising the abuse that a few labels cause to a group. I get tired of the words 'that dirty smackhead' when people around here talk about some individuals even when that person is in ear shot of the conversation..Just have to educate people to the fact that they are still people at the end of it all. However i wonder what the feel good term is going too be you know the PC one, what do you replace the word addict with? Tue 24 Aug 2010 15:33:30 GMT+1 Steve - Iver http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markeaston/2010/08/drugs_policy_the_british_system.html?page=73#comment110 News just in.....the Drug Commission is recommends the term 'junkie' and 'addict' be dropped. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-11067028Anyone reading the report at the end of the above link will recognise it. If I knew no better, I'd think it was a cleverly edited version of this blog. I know no better, but it might just be the case that the powers that are, are listening. I've bleated on about 'education' and changing opinion since forever, it seems, and it's good to see that common sense seems to be getting through. I have a good education, academically, but I have a much better eduction from experience, and I've experienced this aspect of drug (mis)use personally. I have a strong will, and a positive mind, so although I'd been stupid in one respect, and gotten myself hooked on heroin a few years ago, I had the presence of mind to get myself out of it, with professional help, of course. I'm a respectable person, of good character, you might say, but have had problems like all of us. In my case, the problems I had coincided with my meeting someone who was an addict themselves. My problems and his addiction soon led down the wrong path, and before I knew it, I had made that leap from someone who was mortgaged to the hilt, nice car, lots of friends and, on the surface, happy, to someone who didn't care about the mortgage, crashed the car, lost the friends, and was, in conclusion, deeply unhappy with my lot. It was my fault, and I was determined to fix it. Luckily, I have a strong mind, and could see that it needed to be fixed, and fixed quickly. This is not the case for many people. The problem I had was with that of stigma. When you descend into the world of addiction, you lose some inhibitions. You care less what people think of you, and more about ensuring you have your daily fix. Those people are the same people who call you 'dirty junkie' or some other derogatory slant. In reality, I think it'd be fair to say that most addicts behave like this in defence, not aggression. Once an addict, you don't feel less about others, you simply change your priorities, and the need for heroin is stronger than the need for social acceptance. It is a battle of wills. If society can be educated in how to understand this issue, we might get to a point where an affected drug addict can feel less ostracised by society, and society can become more accepting of our brothers and sisters in trouble. That will bring the stigma down. I was lucky, in that I managed to get the right help at the right time. I fully appreciate the help I received, and I know that without that help, I would have been lost. The doctor was fantastic, the centre was professional and always courteous. We talked about everything. For me, it was a relief to be able to get all this out in the open, to a doctor, to a professional who didn't judge me every time he saw me. He took me for who I am, who I was, and we worked on the problem from the ground floor upwards. I kept every appointment, kept my promises (with the Doctor and myself) and because of him, I felt proud that I was tackling the problem, head on, and winning too. The help I received is available to anyone. We all have feelings, and we all make mistakes. To Err is human, to forgive, divine. I think it's human nature to make mistakes, and it's down to those of us who recognise that, to forgive and help those who've gotten lost. I don't believe there is a heroin addict out there who actually wants to keep things as they are. Education is a wonderful tool to understanding. Experience is the best education. When it comes to drug addiction, experience cannot be underplayed. Knowledge backs up that experience, so to have an educated society giving support, knowing that stigma is probably the one single obstacle to beginning a detoxification regime, apart from the actual addiction itself, would be a positive turn-around and would help millions. Tue 24 Aug 2010 11:34:28 GMT+1 mephistophelesstephen http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markeaston/2010/08/drugs_policy_the_british_system.html?page=73#comment109 was the last one okay for your readers?.you keep sending them back,what can you say?.mephistopheles Tue 24 Aug 2010 06:16:58 GMT+1 mephistophelesstephen http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markeaston/2010/08/drugs_policy_the_british_system.html?page=72#comment108 I must congratulate "theraven" for his good piece about the war on drugs,nice one,happy too know there are people out their who knows what thjey are talking about.There is nothing wrong with taking any sort of drug,its the people who take them and then blame the drug,no,no,no.if you dont mind me saying,ive take all sorts of drugs since the mid-sixties when drugs WERE drugs,and not the rubbish thats about today,most of this skunk nowadays is rubbish to,wouldnt get a nat high.ive had quite a few habits over this time but im still here and doing just great.i dont drink,its MY RIGHT by birth,please dont tell me what i can and cannot take,im too old take any notice from people who have necer taken a drug in their lives.what do you people think they do in a so called free and democratic country??--you should look up.FREE and DEMOCRACY !!.yoyu might be surprised?? nice one theraven.mephistopheles Tue 24 Aug 2010 06:15:25 GMT+1 Jake Middlebrook http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markeaston/2010/08/drugs_policy_the_british_system.html?page=71#comment107 Addiction is a tragedy. On the other hand, in the US, we have been locking up addicts for a long while. Funny thing is you can't miss any. Could it be that making addiction an offense makes it profitable and there being profit in it; new addicts are being recruited to replace those sent inside. Sadly there are those with addictive personalities. Many of those will be addicts no matter what, but, I find it hard not to believe there would be a great deal fewer addicts if there was no profit in hooking new ones. It does remain to be seen what line of work the out of work pushers would take up. Tue 24 Aug 2010 01:59:54 GMT+1 John Ellis http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markeaston/2010/08/drugs_policy_the_british_system.html?page=71#comment106 the raven wrote. 'Some of the people who joined this debate don't seem to know what they're talking about. John Ellis seems to think that heroin-addicts qualify for 'sick' benefits; that it's just not true.'raven what are you babbling about.?Most of the addicts I know(and there is a lot of them) get DLA amongst other benefits, many were veins have collapsed. Some have even had limbs amputated due to this.The rest of the statement is um common knowledge.Try reading what I say properly instead of in some haze as you appear to have done so.Welcome btw. Mon 23 Aug 2010 18:14:59 GMT+1 theraven http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markeaston/2010/08/drugs_policy_the_british_system.html?page=70#comment105 Some of the people who joined this debate don't seem to know what they're talking about. John Ellis seems to think that heroin-addicts qualify for 'sick' benefits; that it's just not true.Let me remind readers that the so-called 'war on drugs' is a relatively recent development. Until the 1930s opium, heroin and cocaine could be bought at Harrods. Until 1967 doctors could prescribe heroin to patients. There were no drug-related crimes, no wars among criminal gangs, no deaths from overdose. Heroin is actually quite a safe substance: goes through the organs without damaging them, and is excreted a number of hours later through urine. The damage is caused by its illegality, the bad quality of street drugs, the expensive price, the difficulty in purchasing it, the fact that it's in the hands of criminals, the persecution of the law, the stigma attached to it, etc... all things that those who have reflected on this subject would know well.Otto Von Bismarck unified Germany: he was an addict. Wagner was an addict. Marcus Aurelius was one of the good and great emperors of Rome; many consider him as the "perfect man of antiquity"; he was an addict. He sits on his horse on the top of the Capitol, in Rome. Wilberforce, the parlamentarian responsible for taking Britain out of that shameful practice that was the Slave-trade, was an opium addict. Samuel Taylor Coleridge, Thomas De Quincey, Dante Gabriel Rossetti, Baudelaire, Edith Piaf, William Burroughs, and some of the greatest minds in the history of humanity were addicts, and until the very end of their lives. These people didn't harm society; on the contrary, they led productive lives, and their contributions to culture, to our society, are gigantic. The list is quite literally endless. But - luckily for them - they lived in times when there was no 'war on drugs'. Britain fought 2 Opium Wars with China. Some might think it was to stop the drug trade; they would be wrong. The British Empire wanted to assure itself a safe and stable supply of opium. In Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's books even Sherlock Holmes is a drug-addict.There's also a moral argument, of course. It's the following: opiates are pain-killers. They're used routinely in hospitals. It seems to be morally acceptable to use them for physical pain; but there's also spiritual pain, we all suffer from it at times, and its use in that case is punishable by law. Who has this monopoly on pain to be able to say: one can have the cure, but the other must be put in jail?And I still hear people comparing cannabis to so-called 'hard-drugs'. Only last night I picked up a leaflet about drugs available in every shop in north London. It put alcohol together with cannabis, conveniently forgetting that alcohol is legal, that it causes untold acts of violence and death, something that cannabis quite obviously does not, ever. It also stated - laughably - that one could die of a cannabis overdose. It's really the case of asking: "Who writes this stuff?". They forget that George Washington and Queen Victoria used it. That President Obama has decriminalized medical cannabis in 12 US states. It cures glaucoma, ashtma, and a variety of other ailments. Recently on American TV news many mothers, previously opposed to this evil weed, have sung its praises and the unexpected, positive effects it had on children who suffer from a variety of conditions, from attention deficit to autism. Tony Blair's government assembled a panel of respected scientists to definitively establish the connection between cannabis and mental illness, at a considerable expense to the tax-payer. After three years they could not find this link. Home Secretary Jaqui Smith said on TV that their study was irrelevant: cannabis would not be re-graded as far as the law is concerned. Never mind the MPs expenses scandal: she should have been made to resign for that episode alone, i.e: the criminilization of many, many people who commit no crime, either towards themselves and/or others.There are many other considerations to be kept in mind about this issue, but I shall stop here, adding only one more of them:Very often I hear people debating the crisis in which British identity is perceived to be in. Perhaps they're focusing on the wrong values. Britain invented the Industrial Revolution, the welfare state, women's rights with the Sufragettes, and many other good things, from fighting fascism and sponsoring democracy to popularizing modern popular music - with the Rock&Roll music of The Beatles and The Rolling Stones - all over the world. Let's be proud of these things, and let's add to them the end to this ridiculous, criminal, destructive, misinformed, prejudiced, counter-productive, immoral, inefficient nonsense that is the 'war on drugs', once and for all. Mon 23 Aug 2010 15:43:23 GMT+1 jdsholdencaulfield http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markeaston/2010/08/drugs_policy_the_british_system.html?page=69#comment104 The only solution as we all know is to de-criminalise all drugs, licence and tax them. We will get there sooner rather than later so let's get on with it. Mon 23 Aug 2010 13:21:31 GMT+1 DibbySpot http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markeaston/2010/08/drugs_policy_the_british_system.html?page=69#comment103 About time this issue was aired and openy discussed without the normal hysteria.Prohibition simple does not work, look at alcohol in the US in the 1930s that lead to the funding and growth of a criminal class that persosts today.In the UK no one with an axe to grind is seriously going to favouar decriminalisation or legalisation, within firm boundaries. The reason is well known with over 80% of crime drug related the police and customs staff fear for their jobs and so do not want this £50 billion/yr gravy train to end. However, let us be clear drugs are only a cost in the UK. If the government stepped in and taxed them they would become a revenue generator. This money could then be used to fund harm reduction campaigns to make the UK a safer happier place with less organised crime or general criminality. Mon 23 Aug 2010 12:14:56 GMT+1 jr4412 http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markeaston/2010/08/drugs_policy_the_british_system.html?page=68#comment102 tarquin #102."Quite simply I find it to be cowardice that these scientists refuse to speak out because they will lose their jobs.."or their lives!!but I agree with you, "All that is required for evil to prevail is for good men to do nothing" (Edmund Burke) Mon 23 Aug 2010 10:35:44 GMT+1 tarquin http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markeaston/2010/08/drugs_policy_the_british_system.html?page=67#comment101 Why do these experts only ever speak the truth on departure? Scared of another Nutt perhaps?Quite simply I find it to be cowardice that these scientists refuse to speak out because they will lose their jobs - if they took a united front instead of worrying about their own backs they wouldn't need to anyway, the government would be shown up, just as it was over the Nutt affairThe individual issue aside, I dislike the government's continuing defence of an obviously flawed policy for political expedience, we should not be basing our drugs policy (or anything else) on tabloid hysteria and opportunistic politicians Mon 23 Aug 2010 06:56:43 GMT+1 jr4412 http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markeaston/2010/08/drugs_policy_the_british_system.html?page=67#comment100 John Ellis #100."..why are our masters holding out on our liberties.."oh, I'd love to discuss this, alas, this is not the forum for my (admittedly cynical) theories. :-)"..waste vast sums of money while cutting jobs and services. So much real employment and revenue to be earned from this plant."already there are way too many of 'us', the establishment could run modern Britain with a population of under 5m; hemp is versatile, I agree, too versatile perhaps because its many products would render many industrial products superfluous, from analgesics to paper and clothing, the impact would be felt in many industries. Sun 22 Aug 2010 23:44:37 GMT+1 John Ellis http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markeaston/2010/08/drugs_policy_the_british_system.html?page=66#comment99 jr4412 i know what you mean and yes coruption is part of it.'If the law had just been added to over the last 40 years and remained constant with no move of class for a drug without significant scientific support not cherry picked, but this has not happened drugs have gone up and down the scales according to political whim'thats the hidden agendas and 'coruption'Why are we the last country to adopt UN thinking? and why are our masters holding out on our liberties and continuing to waste vast sums of money while cutting jobs and services. So much real employment and revenue to be earned from this plant.It's definatly not in someones interest to have the UK stop exporting cannabis.maybe we should all grow Kenaf(hibiscus) LOL http://the.cannabisreeducationteam.com/kenaf-images/some-selected-kenaf-images-from-google-image-search-t33.html Sun 22 Aug 2010 23:05:50 GMT+1 jr4412 http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markeaston/2010/08/drugs_policy_the_british_system.html?page=65#comment98 John Ellis #98."I think the actual failing of our drug law was loss of Faith in it.If the law had just been added to over the last 40 years.."sorry, disagree; the way I see it, it is all about controlling and corrupting people.say you enact legislation which runs counter to basic human instinct/drives, like (this contrived scenario) for instance: you must not have sexual relations outside marriage, you know this won't work because people will want to have sex. this then allows you to give any law breaker you might be interested in because of their skills/connections/place of work/whatever a choice: either they go to prison/are criminalised/stigmatised, or they agree to be 'useful' to you in return for you looking the other way.far-fetched?? you decide :-) Sun 22 Aug 2010 22:25:57 GMT+1 John Ellis http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markeaston/2010/08/drugs_policy_the_british_system.html?page=65#comment97 I think the actual failing of our drug law was loss of Faith in it.If the law had just been added to over the last 40 years and remained constant with no move of class for a drug without significant scientific support not cherry picked, but this has not happened drugs have gone up and down the scales according to political whim and basically messed over the law to the point were no one has Faith in it and as we see with anything that requires Faith in something the British are very lax in and unable to comprehend beyond 'the world is round and the sun comes up and goes down'. Sun 22 Aug 2010 16:51:06 GMT+1 kevthebrit http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markeaston/2010/08/drugs_policy_the_british_system.html?page=64#comment96 The law on drugs is a bit like that old law 'Do not walk on the grass'!There will ALWAYS be some one that is going to run, crawl, roll, hop skip, slither etc over the grass. The problem will NEVER go away. Telling people that it's against the law is just a complete wast of time and money. The 'law' is now the biggest problem; Just as it was during prohibition in the USA. The 'law' was left on the side lines while all the bootleggers became rich and in some cases famous (The late Preident JFK's family).The exsisting drug laws must be re-examined and and reset to cut off the suppiliers that only make profits for themselves! Sun 22 Aug 2010 16:31:05 GMT+1 kevthebrit http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markeaston/2010/08/drugs_policy_the_british_system.html?page=63#comment95 This post has been Removed Sun 22 Aug 2010 16:14:35 GMT+1 John Ellis http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markeaston/2010/08/drugs_policy_the_british_system.html?page=63#comment94 Wolfie Peters unfortunately its probably the truth of things. You only have to follow the Sativex DEA connections to see that.The same people behind the dutch scenes hold the licences for the cannabis farms GW use... I have a friend in the states goes by the name Joe (kingofnepal.net/) the stuff he talks about is unreal or would seem that way to an outsider or general joe public, but knowing the history of prohibition it does not seem at all surprising. Sun 22 Aug 2010 15:46:14 GMT+1 WolfiePeters http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markeaston/2010/08/drugs_policy_the_british_system.html?page=62#comment93 John Ellis used the word prohibition in the first line of the first comment. The American experience of alcohol prohibition proved one thing: prohibition is a huge opportunity for organised crime to make an enormous amount of money. I wonder, given that we hardly had a drug problem at the time the drug laws appeared, was the real motivation of some of the people in power to put money in the pockets of drug traffickers? Does it seem unlikely? The involvement of the CIA and elements of the US government in the drug trade is well documented. I cannot specifically accuse members of the 1960s Labour government of having criminal connections, but they wouldn't be the first politicians to associate with organised crime. Sun 22 Aug 2010 14:58:19 GMT+1 John Ellis http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markeaston/2010/08/drugs_policy_the_british_system.html?page=61#comment92 Now, how do we make UK Gov act to change the system?start here http://www.homeoffice.gov.uk/about-us/consultations/took me about a hour to fill in copy n pasting to a text doc as I went so that I have a copy to distribute.Get everyone you know to fill it in this is how we will do things. So Wolfie Peters distribute the consultation to everyone you know point them here, as until the British public is properly informed things will never change and the oiks will just keep criminalising US. Sun 22 Aug 2010 14:32:47 GMT+1 John Ellis http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markeaston/2010/08/drugs_policy_the_british_system.html?page=61#comment91 Ive been telling pepole we export cannabis for a few years finaly the police and press admit it..Britain's cannabis producers go global as factories multiplyhttp://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2010/aug/22/cannabis-factories-narcotics-europe Sun 22 Aug 2010 14:26:18 GMT+1 WolfiePeters http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markeaston/2010/08/drugs_policy_the_british_system.html?page=60#comment90 Congratulations Mark, you've produced, in this blog, one of the most illuminating pieces of journalism that I've seen in years. You deserve a prize. Simple facts, clear argument, only one possible conclusion.Though we might find that conclusion hard to believe - I would have before reading your article, the facts presented put it beyond dispute.Now, how do we make UKGov act to change the system? Sun 22 Aug 2010 12:20:23 GMT+1 FedupwithGovt http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markeaston/2010/08/drugs_policy_the_british_system.html?page=59#comment89 I see that the prohibitionists still can't formulate a coherent argument without getting personal and making snide, sometimes nasty remarks. You lot have lost the battle I'm afraid, get over it and get on with your lives and leave the rest of us to get on with ours - thanks.Legalise, regulate, educate. Sun 22 Aug 2010 11:45:39 GMT+1 jr4412 http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markeaston/2010/08/drugs_policy_the_british_system.html?page=59#comment88 Fightintheshade #86, #87."Put the piiiiippppeeee doooowwwwn jonnnnn, puuuuttttt, ttthhee pipppppeeee dowwwwwwwwnJooooon. Mmmussssttt thhinnnnnkkkk strrrrraigggghtttt.""comment directed to jr4412 or j..jj..jjrr..rrrr444...4"whatever it was you put in your "pipe", I wouldn't touch it! Sun 22 Aug 2010 02:27:25 GMT+1 jr4412 http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markeaston/2010/08/drugs_policy_the_british_system.html?page=58#comment87 This post has been Removed Sun 22 Aug 2010 02:21:16 GMT+1 Fightintheshade http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markeaston/2010/08/drugs_policy_the_british_system.html?page=57#comment86 last comment directed to jr4412 or j..jj..jjrr..rrrr444...4 Sun 22 Aug 2010 00:32:17 GMT+1 Fightintheshade http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markeaston/2010/08/drugs_policy_the_british_system.html?page=57#comment85 jon112uk #69."sigh..what is it with you people? do you not know the difference between use and abuse? millions of people drive cars, how many of those always drive their car at topspeed, all the time, everywhere? your Daily Mail-style view does nothing to further the debate."Jon, looks like you don't know the difference between apples and oranges or you wouldn't have presented that form of spurious argument. Car safety has no relationship to illegal narcotics. All "recreational" drug use is abuse. You need to come off the pipe for a while so you can start to think straight. Put the piiiiippppeeee doooowwwwn jonnnnn, puuuuttttt, ttthhee pipppppeeee dowwwwwwwwn Jooooon. Mmmussssttt thhinnnnnkkkk strrrrraigggghtttt. Sun 22 Aug 2010 00:25:42 GMT+1 Scott1981 http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markeaston/2010/08/drugs_policy_the_british_system.html?page=56#comment84 @iNotHereYes I do know about the relative risks of different substances and my comments reflect this. Sat 21 Aug 2010 23:00:26 GMT+1 iNotHere http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markeaston/2010/08/drugs_policy_the_british_system.html?page=55#comment83 @Scott1981Would it surprise you to learn that heroin isn't as harmful as alcohol?It may be more addictive but doesn't harm the body anywhere near as much.http://www.guardian.co.uk/politics/2001/jun/14/drugsandalcohol.socialsciences Sat 21 Aug 2010 19:58:41 GMT+1 iNotHere http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markeaston/2010/08/drugs_policy_the_british_system.html?page=55#comment82 The following link has a link to the Home Office consultation for the coalitions proposed drug policy: http://www.homeoffice.gov.uk/about-us/consultations/Print out a couple of copies, fill it in and send it back to the Home Office. Would also be a good idea to send a copy to your MP as well.There's also one there for the licensing act too. Sat 21 Aug 2010 19:35:05 GMT+1 dodgybbc http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markeaston/2010/08/drugs_policy_the_british_system.html?page=54#comment81 Around 2 months ago someone told the police that I was growing cannabis in my small back garden. I had six plants. Half of them would probably become male, with a very low THC.Call it 3 to 4. When I was raided, there were 6 police-some of of whom were very adrenalised and showed aymptoms of this by deliberately fingering their tasers,even after I came down to the garden to give myself up peacefully. They even had a local newspaper reporter with them who had been invited in on the raid to take shots of the bust. They moved tomato plants in to make the amount look bigger! I was handcuffed and taken away from my neighbourhood in full view of my neighbours.I was eventually and inevitably cautioned, but they did do their job well, I am now too frightened to grow anymore for my enjoyment or to relieve my chronic back pain (caused by hard work). So now I have to -if I would like a smoke - score from a criminal who is supplied by other criminals; of a hash whose ingredients are probably cut with nasty additives to increase their lucrative profits. At £20 for three grams! And how much money did it cost the taxpayer for six police to raid plus all of the other logistics and processing (of me as a now known, potential criminal)? But one thing I do know, its the same kind of hash that I used to buy years ago as a student during the time of the Russian invasion of Afganistan.Its 'squidgy black'. Its from Afganistan! So now the same thing's happening and I am supporting this country's apparent enemies. Bright thinking of the drug policy makers over here. Meanwhile the poppies and cannabis grows on over there, in full view, in vast fields, overseen by American and British troops who have been ordered not to touch them. MAD! Sat 21 Aug 2010 17:47:22 GMT+1 John Ellis http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markeaston/2010/08/drugs_policy_the_british_system.html?page=53#comment80 There have been a number of responses to my comments earlier. My comments around free will are that people SHOULD be able to do what they want however that is where it does not harm themselves or others.a little old but well weres the harm.http://www.bbc.co.uk/insideout/content/articles/2007/10/08/westmidlands_horses_12_4_feature.shtmlMidlands alone, the air ambulance is now attending three horse riding incidents a week.A lot of money involved in that. 25-40k per lift off.. imagine if that was the cost of every drug user.risk and harms at everything. Sat 21 Aug 2010 09:48:14 GMT+1 Scott1981 http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markeaston/2010/08/drugs_policy_the_british_system.html?page=53#comment79 There have been a number of responses to my comments earlier. My comments around free will are that people SHOULD be able to do what they want however that is where it does not harm themselves or others.However as a society we do need to government to legislate against things that cause harm. Take seat belt laws in cars as an example. You could argue that people should be free to decide whether to wear one or not as it is only themselves that would be hurt if they were in an accident. Unfortunately drugs are not risk free. They do cause harm and while some of the drugs suggested might be a lower risk than say alcohol, that does not mean that they should be legalised. Would it not suggest trying to get people off the legal ones? Sat 21 Aug 2010 06:29:06 GMT+1 jr4412 http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markeaston/2010/08/drugs_policy_the_british_system.html?page=52#comment78 stevester01 #77.http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zElkA9zbz60 Sat 21 Aug 2010 01:34:46 GMT+1 John Ellis http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markeaston/2010/08/drugs_policy_the_british_system.html?page=51#comment77 @Peterproblem with these blogs is we say so much over so many blogs we end up like babbling parrots. I think if we took all the relevant posts and made one blog out of it the read would be more constant. Plus having changed my name here from communitycriminal I have so much ground to go over... BIG thanks microsoft for ctrl c+v :)Been watching the global heroin/cocaine wars for many years, the US stuff on cannabis is interesting if not funny as cannabis is expected to crash in price to around $40 the ounce.The MDMA side of things.. well they are just overgrown antidepressants and for all the hype seem safe enough.But that's all old school stuff, we now have so many new wonders mephedrone was the key to pandora's box. From what Ive read on development sites many nightmares as well.I know some people think I exaggerate on the harms and costs to our community and eventually to the country as it all seems so detached from what most people know and understand. But its the truth of things in one of the most deprived areas in england.My other growing concern after spending the day looking at what will happen within my own community is voluntary overdose. That's how my brother went and I can foresee many others taking this option through fear alone as the last safety nets of life are pulled out from under them. Stopping benefits does not just mean the money they live on it also means the money that pays for the roof over the addicts head. Once this is lost... All is lost. Sat 21 Aug 2010 01:06:18 GMT+1 stevester01 http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markeaston/2010/08/drugs_policy_the_british_system.html?page=51#comment76 you english people are fine you only have the police to worry about catching you growing or smokin . here in northern ireland there are terriost groups you probly heard of UDA / UVF/ UFF . THEY ARE A BUNCH OF LOSERS . over here they tried to fight the IRA and failed so now they beat people for smoking cannabis because the IRA smuggles it in to northern ireland from ireland or grows it in n ireland and sells it the community the UDA dont want them to do this so instead of going after the IRA they beat normal people for smoking even murdered people for doing it ITS THAT BAD . if the goverment would wise up over here and decriminilze cannabis none of this would happen . and the IRA would lose there biggest paying drug . that would mean less people wasting hospital time and money for broken bones and beatings for smokin a joint and it would also free up police officers who investagte these beatings plus if the IRA lost there biggest selling drug they would have less money for guns and bombs . you should count yourself lucky you live in england and not in this country . Sat 21 Aug 2010 00:38:23 GMT+1 jr4412 http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markeaston/2010/08/drugs_policy_the_british_system.html?page=50#comment75 jon112uk #69."Surely if heroin/crack were legalised and sold at every shop.."no one in their right mind would advocate this, check out the Swiss model; synthesised opiates are cheap to manufacture, given the declining user base, the overall cost would be negligible.Fightintheshade #75."Only someone who wishes to see their country weakened or is too ignorant to see that would be the result advocates for open drug abuse."sigh..what is it with you people? do you not know the difference between use and abuse? millions of people drive cars, how many of those always drive their car at topspeed, all the time, everywhere? your Daily Mail-style view does nothing to further the debate. Fri 20 Aug 2010 23:32:55 GMT+1 Fightintheshade http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markeaston/2010/08/drugs_policy_the_british_system.html?page=49#comment74 Only someone who wishes to see their country weakened or is too ignorant to see that would be the result advocates for open drug abuse. REF China 1700s Fri 20 Aug 2010 22:36:08 GMT+1 Peter Reynolds http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markeaston/2010/08/drugs_policy_the_british_system.html?page=48#comment73 @McD"invigorating their endocannabinoid system"I love that Mac. I'm nicking it - shamelessly! Fri 20 Aug 2010 21:59:24 GMT+1 Peter Reynolds http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markeaston/2010/08/drugs_policy_the_british_system.html?page=48#comment72 @McD,John The individual liberty, tax generation, proper use of law enforcement resources and fighting US organised crime arguments are mostly relevant to cannabis. The street crime, global organised crime and health arguments are mostly relevant to heroin and cocaine.All arguments are relevant to MDMA and psychedelicsTogether they add up to (forgive me for repeating myself):1. An end to oppression of drug users (at least 10 million citizens)2. Removal from the criminal law of any offence for possession and/or social supply3. Fact and evidence-based policy, information and regulationI think it’s self-evident that the approach I have outlined would result in less harm, fewer harms and a damn sight better society.www.peter-reynolds.co.uk Fri 20 Aug 2010 21:57:22 GMT+1 Peter Reynolds http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markeaston/2010/08/drugs_policy_the_british_system.html?page=47#comment71 This post has been Removed Fri 20 Aug 2010 21:45:42 GMT+1 McD http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markeaston/2010/08/drugs_policy_the_british_system.html?page=46#comment70 69. "Aren't you mistaking prohibition with cost?"Well, yes and no. You certainly make a valid point. The thing is, though, there's no reason to believe an enormous number of people are going to rush out to become crack or opioid addicts. Sure, some will, but they would have done so anyway. Most people will probably indulge in the same way that people use the monkey drug now - at parties, weddings, funerals, etc. - probably not much more than half a dozen times a year or so. It shouldn't take too long to work out how to most effectively help those who are predisposed to addiction and get themselves into trouble. There should be oodles and oodles of money left over from discontinued futile interdiction, so there's no reason why good intervention, rehabilitation (though I shouldn't think that's what they'd be called) and other support programmes can't be developed; unlike the situation as it is now, where people could be threatened and bullied into 'treatment' programmes, as they are in the States. I don't think this idea that we can make a fortune in tax off of it is wise, though. I think we'll find most people are happy with cannabis and really don't have much burning desire to indulge in much else. Maybe a couple of lines a couple of times a year, but... Most people want to have a job, work, make enough money to enjoy themselves and do so as they please. I should think anyone with a garden will be growing and there won't be any revenue for the state from that. Most people would be more than happy with a good, bushy, 1-metre plant a month, so they'll probably cultivate twenty or thirty plants, give some away to friends who aren't fortunate enough to have a garden and buy a few grams a month when their supply runs out in the spring or summer if they don't keep a couple of plants under lights inside. It's not going to be a money spinner. As for the other drugs... I don't think many people will show much interest in them and those who do, as I've already pointed out, would do whether they're legal or not. Fri 20 Aug 2010 19:33:22 GMT+1 John Ellis http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markeaston/2010/08/drugs_policy_the_british_system.html?page=46#comment69 Im a bereaved brother i say legalise them all tax regulate. Stop the madness.Treat and supply. Fri 20 Aug 2010 19:06:16 GMT+1 jon112dk http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markeaston/2010/08/drugs_policy_the_british_system.html?page=45#comment68 65. At 6:07pm on 20 Aug 2010, McD wrote:"OK, John, I believe you, but I'm afraid you're making the common mistake of confusing the harm caused by prohibition with the harm caused by the drugs themselves. Would any of the problems that plague your locality exist if drugs were not prohibited?"=========================================================Aren't you mistaking prohibition with cost? Surely if heroin/crack were legalised and sold at every shop next to the cigarettes the druggies would still need to prostitute and/or rob the co-op to pay for it?That's the need to pay causing crime, not prohibition.The need for crime to pay for the drugs would only cease if we gave them everything they want for free. Fri 20 Aug 2010 18:41:51 GMT+1 McD http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markeaston/2010/08/drugs_policy_the_british_system.html?page=44#comment67 Oh, I don't think there's much more mileage to be dragged out of bereaved parents. Fri 20 Aug 2010 17:55:37 GMT+1 Cobalt Chicken http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markeaston/2010/08/drugs_policy_the_british_system.html?page=44#comment66 >No prohibitionist could withstand any fair debate on a level playing field. You'll >soon be seeing them dropping like flies all over the airwaves. Only wish I could be >there with you! Who says they'll play fair? They'll wheel out that most potent political force for irrationality; the bereaved parent.And you needn't imagine that legalisation would be the end of it. Fri 20 Aug 2010 17:47:41 GMT+1 Cobalt Chicken http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markeaston/2010/08/drugs_policy_the_british_system.html?page=43#comment65 > Free will is a good in theory but it relies on people making correct decisions. >Clearly not all people do this. Look at the amount of people in serious debt due to >too much borrowing.Oh, come on, what you're saying is that "people should be free to make the decisions in accordance with what we think is the right choice.That's not remotely free will. Fri 20 Aug 2010 17:40:51 GMT+1 McD http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markeaston/2010/08/drugs_policy_the_british_system.html?page=42#comment64 OK, John, I believe you, but I'm afraid you're making the common mistake of confusing the harm caused by prohibition with the harm caused by the drugs themselves. Would any of the problems that plague your locality exist if drugs were not prohibited? Thanks for the Home Office link. Fri 20 Aug 2010 17:07:13 GMT+1 McD http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markeaston/2010/08/drugs_policy_the_british_system.html?page=42#comment63 Steve, "...getting this to resolution within the UN would be a difficult matter..." I disagree. I think the decision has already been made within the UN, hence the retirement of Antonio Maria Costa and the appointment of Yuri Fedatov. That's the only reason this debate has come out as and when it has. Further to my previous post, I paraphrase: 'The burning question that haunts me now is who knows about it? The US President? Quite possibly not. No-one wants amateurs getting involved in jobs where professionals are needed. The CIA? I should think so. The Russians? Most decidedly not; they need to play the role of fall guy, which they've taken to with quite some aplomb. Tony Blair? Quite possibly. Have a think about this meeting in Washington:Blair: You know, George, old buddy, I'd really like to get my name in the history books in a big way. We all know cannabis isn't going to be illegal for much longer. Howsabout I be the one to legalise it in the UK?Bush: Well, Tony, you sycophant, I could let you go ahead and do that, but I'd need an assurance from your lackey, the next PM, that he'll go back on it as soon as you're gone. That way you get a footnote in the history books. How's that? Blair: Oh, you're too kind! On the other hand, the smaller the circle of those who are in on it, the smaller the chance of it going awry. I think you can look forward to a lot of stoners' riots in the UK soon. Unfortunately, I no longer live in the UK, so won't be able to participate. Even better, though, I think you can look forward to open debate on Newsnight, etc. That, of course, is the end. As soon as this debate goes mainstream and is aired openly, as it has now begun to be, it's all over bar the shouting. No prohibitionist could withstand any fair debate on a level playing field. You'll soon be seeing them dropping like flies all over the airwaves. Only wish I could be there with you! Fri 20 Aug 2010 16:45:41 GMT+1 John Ellis http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markeaston/2010/08/drugs_policy_the_british_system.html?page=41#comment62 Hmm that depends on were you live. around here ... were I live... its constant.. unrelenting. we have spent many years dealing with it pimps prostitutes organised shop lifting. we also have 4 halfway houses within ½ a mile square...heroin dealers actively addicting young girls and pimping them on our main road.. addicts waiting morning noon and night less than 30 yards from my house for drop offs, begging in the street getting abusive when you say no...the local co-op cant put expensive meat out... you have to ask for it... the local high street is just a free for all. organised gangs choosing picking and distracting while ps3's and tv's are lifted out the shops... I know exactly how it is.anyways that's not why i came to post.. this is submit your answers ASAPhttp://www.homeoffice.gov.uk/about-us/consultations/2010 Drug strategy consultation paper. You can also respond to the questions immediately via our online form (new window).Publication date: 20/08/10 Closing date: 30/09/10 Fri 20 Aug 2010 16:43:45 GMT+1 McD http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markeaston/2010/08/drugs_policy_the_british_system.html?page=40#comment61 You're getting carried away, John. Do bear in mind what this is really all about. Opiates and real addiction aren't really big problems. It's only a minuscule proportion of the population who get caught up in them. I don't think you need to worry about the drug-fuelled thieving sprees of hoards of 'chaotic addicts driving up the price of commodities as a result of shoplifting'. I can't remember the exact figure - again, it's in the Beckley Report - but I think it's only a fraction of one percent of the population get caught up in genuine addictions, like opiates and pharmaceuticals. This is really about suppressing the use of cannabis. The problem for our masters is that the number of people who would have anything to do with drugs other than cannabis is too small to justify any expenditure. This is why they can't just legalise cannabis on its own and this red herring of genuine addictions has been thrust into the equation. If it weren't for the six or seven or eight or ten million people in the UK who naturally enjoy invigorating their endocannabinoid systems, there would be no debate, no question. How many opiate addicts are there in the UK now? Do you think they would get all this attention in their own right? No, they'd be prescribed heroin, like in Switzerland - once in the morning on their way to work and again in the evening on their way home - to get on with their jobs and leading fulfilling, productive lives. Fri 20 Aug 2010 16:05:44 GMT+1 Steve - Iver http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markeaston/2010/08/drugs_policy_the_british_system.html?page=40#comment60 McD, Prohibition is akin to slavery, in that it is a blanket policy to restrict freedoms. What it does, is prohibit without good reason, using scaremongering tactics to mould public opinion. The media pick up on this language, and use it in the reporting which in turn becomes the belief system of the morally righteous. You could appraise that to white plantation owners spreading malicious gossip about black slaves all being voodoo practitioners so as to coerce liberal thinking rightful people to believe their rhetoric. This is how beliefs are spread to become opinion. A better example would be the church, but that would be taking the discussion a tad too far off topic. My terminology with regard to 'legislators' might have been a bit misleading. I was trying to say that getting this to resolution within the UN would be a difficult matter, but the path should be clear. We have to begin with taking the work of the likes of Professors Nutt and Gilmore, and give it as much publicity as possible. Admittedly, Prof. Gilmore gave his thoughts at the end of his career, but I still applaud him for that. It would have been risky to do so if he still had a year or two left before retirement, but I'd like to think that he and all the others who have given their name to the cause, are pioneers in their own way. Dr. Nutt gave his thoughts on the matter and it cost him his job. If each one can help us to persuade a small percentage of non-believers each time, then it can only be a matter of time before we get the majority consensus. Lest we forget the outspoken Nicholas Green, QC, chairman of the Bar Council for England & Wales who spoke out this year in favour of decriminalisation. Then there was Chief Constable Richard Brunstrom from the North Wales Police who spoke out (in 2005) about the way we deal with drugs, users, and how to reform. As I said in the earlier post, moods and opinions are changing and there is a momentum now that is gathering pace. How do we take it further? Can you imagine a stoners riot? It would hardly be a riot, and it would be so peaceful and respectful, it would probably need no security, and we're banded as criminals in the process. There was a gay rights activist in the 1960s and 1970s called Harvey Milk. His catchphrase was 'I want to recruit you' and he encouraged all gay men and women to identify themselves so that society at large could see how many they actually were. It caused a sensation in San Francisco at the time. Look at the change of attitude in a few decades. Think about it - a nationwide stoners party. How many would there be. Some commentators estimate 6+ million in the UK alone. All we need is the venue. Fri 20 Aug 2010 15:51:45 GMT+1 John Ellis http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markeaston/2010/08/drugs_policy_the_british_system.html?page=39#comment59 52. At 11:03am on 20 Aug 2010, jr 4412 wrote:John Ellis #47."Drug addict benefit withdrawal considered"the 'problem' with that (as I see it) is that the majority of drug users aren't on benefits!!this is more about further marginalisation the the lowest (poorest!!) 20% of society.Its about our masters getting more prostitutes to abuse. that's all it can be about as its the only source of income left open. most addicts partner up male/female, the female will become the revenue for the drugs. whole sale abuse ....The chaotic addicts will still steal of those around them, other groups of addicts will organise themselves and start hitting middle england for income through organised burglaries, after all why risk prison for a games console when you can risk prison for a lot of antiques and jewelry that is still easy to get rid of but worth a lot more in street sales. Its that or make the Mrs work on her back to pay for the drugs.We will also see a huge rise in the price of basic commodities in shops as shoplifting becomes a full time profession..To many costs for the sake of punishing a few.Still its all right to propose such stuff when you live in the countryside and have chafures to drive you to work and back. Its okay to suggest such things when private security firms protect your house and property, when you can afford to have your burglar alarm connect to the police station.. Fri 20 Aug 2010 15:15:50 GMT+1 Peter Reynolds http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markeaston/2010/08/drugs_policy_the_british_system.html?page=38#comment58 What we the people are now DEMANDING from our government is:1. An end to oppression of drug users (at least 10 million citizens)2. Removal from the criminal law of any offence for possession and/or social supply3. Fact and evidence-based policy, information and regulationThe National Audit Office and the Public Accounts Committee have both criticised the government for basing drugs policy on opinion rather than facts and evidence.Our cowardly politicians, who have refused to grasp this nettle for years, are directly responsible for the death, misery, degradation, and crime caused by drug laws. This is an international scandal of monstrous proportions.As Baroness McNally said in the House of Lords on 15th June 2010: "There is no more obvious waste than the £19 billion cost of the UK's war on drugs."http://peterreynolds.wordpress.com/2010/08/17/the-drugs-debate/ Fri 20 Aug 2010 15:14:40 GMT+1 McD http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markeaston/2010/08/drugs_policy_the_british_system.html?page=38#comment57 Yes, I'm with you, Steve. Actually, you can call me a cynic if you like, but I don't believe this debate coming to fruition as and when it has is anything like coincidence. I believe it's all been manipulated. Have a look at one of my earlier posts above, nr. 14, for an overview of the mechanisms I believe are being used to free us of this hideous beast (prohibition=slavery). I think you're right about nations starting to be seen to come together to work this out, but I don't think you're right about the difficulty we can expect to meet from legislators. I think that's already been decided. (A lot of them just aren't aware of this yet.) Russia will be the scapegoat. Judging by the pace at which the debate has heated up, it looks as though this could all take place much more quickly than one might have dared imagine only a few months ago. The big question I keep asking myself now is, 'Did the government know what they were doing when the sacked David Nutt?' I find it difficult to believe they might have been stupid enough not to. But who knows? This world is full of genuinely stupid politicians. I keep seeing a picture of the then Home Secretary in my mind's eye a day or two after he'd done the deed. His face looked more cunning than stupid to me. But it's not really evil. If they know what they're doing, then what they're doing this time, unlike so many times previously, is for the best. Yes, I have read a bit of law. In fact, I did start a joint honours BA in Russian (language) and Soviet Law and English Law, but I didn't finish it, and so can't claim to have any more than a layman's grasp. I also lived in America for fourteen years, so many of the most important factors and various cultural mentalities at play in this situation are intimately familiar to me. Fri 20 Aug 2010 15:00:55 GMT+1 FedupwithGovt http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markeaston/2010/08/drugs_policy_the_british_system.html?page=37#comment56 56. At 12:29pm on 20 Aug 2010, Donaldus Matthews wrote:Keeping drugs illegal is the only sensible option backed up by good education and a culture against drugs. because it's worked so amazingly well thus far? your culture against drugs is pretty much on it's backside matey, what with 6.2 million cannabis users in the UK. what we really need is a culture against ignorance, backed up with genuine factual education and not buzz-phrases to sell more red-tops.==============================================I think we can safely say that after 40 years it is quite evident that prohibition does not work in this scenario. I couldn't agree with you more DM. Surely if prohibition has not worked for that length of time the situation will still be the same 40 years from now - probably worse. It really is a head in the sand policy. Legalise, regulate and educate. It is the only sensible way forward. Now - let's see if we can find a sensible politician :( Fri 20 Aug 2010 14:59:53 GMT+1 Carl Showalter http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markeaston/2010/08/drugs_policy_the_british_system.html?page=36#comment55 53. At 11:47am on 20 Aug 2010, Scott1981 wrote:It saddens me that people feel that they need to resort to chemicals to have a good time.it's how we and the rest of the animal world are wired. get over yourself.Yes alchol and tobacco are legal but that is more due to hunderds if not thousands of years of them being part of our culture. If there were not there now and someone tried to introduce them then they would be illegal.Yes, Queen Victoria used laudanum to ease her period pains, heroin, cannabis and cocaine were available in shops in the Victorian era and psilocybin mushrooms are actually indigenous to the UK, traces of which have been found in the foundations of many stone circles. your point is?Free will is a good in theory but it relies on people making correct decisions. Clearly not all people do this. Look at the amount of people in serious debt due to too much borrowing.so you argue that people shouldn't be allowed to do anything just in case they make the wrong decision? it's called learning from experience. talking of experience..Keeping drugs illegal is the only sensible option backed up by good education and a culture against drugs. because it's worked so amazingly well thus far? your culture against drugs is pretty much on it's backside matey, what with 6.2 million cannabis users in the UK. what we really need is a culture against ignorance, backed up with genuine factual education and not buzz-phrases to sell more red-tops. Fri 20 Aug 2010 11:29:38 GMT+1 Steve - Iver http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markeaston/2010/08/drugs_policy_the_british_system.html?page=36#comment54 46. At 09:05am on 20 Aug 2010, McD wrote:...lots of stuff about the problems we face with regard to decriminalisation...Thanks for all that McD. You have put a well written argument and I get the feeling, from reading your post, that although you have a grasp on international political law, or at least you've read about it, you also seem to fall on the anti-prohibition side of the fence - would I be correct?You cite UN Convention, and at first it does seem that although we may be able to present very reasoned arguments for the abolition of prohibition, the reality of getting that past the legislators is significantly more difficult, if not only for the complexities of international law, moreso than a lack of willingness on any particular member to do so. And it does appear, at first, to be a monumental task to achieve. But it is the way things work, and it is the top of the tree insomuch as the workings of international law. You're right to bring it up, however, as I wonder how many people realised how far the legislation would need to go, to be changed, to be accepted. It's clowns to the left of me and jokers to the right, or stuck between the devil and deep blue sea - take your pick. Whatever happens, I can see only one successful route through the maze of international convention and law. It will take a long time, and we must all be patient. I come back to Education again. Educating our society at the grass roots level is the starting point. Once we have the backing of society, we have a better case for our elected representatives. They cannot act unilaterally, I think we've established that. It would be political suicide. But, with other sovereign nations rethinking their attitude to this situation, we could find allies, including, dare I say it, the US, Mexico, Switzerland, the Netherlands. Should the UK join that mix I'm sure others would either lead, follow or walk side by side with us. If the US and the EU were to, at least, consider the benefits of a 'sea-change', the 'how-to' ratification process would be more clear. The mood is changing and the pace is quickening. We must preserve the momentum and not be dissuaded. It was in 1893 that the first nation in the world granted equal voting rights to all its citizens, including women. That nation was New Zealand, and it went against all international convention. We didn't have the UN at the time. Slowly slowly catchy monkey, the world began to catch up. Every year, new countries would join the list of those who allowed their women folk the voting right. Some even allowed women to run for office. Attitudes changed as public opinion was moulded by a new, modern society. The Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women was not adopted by the UN until 1973. How's that for a long time coming. Fri 20 Aug 2010 11:29:17 GMT+1 jr4412 http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markeaston/2010/08/drugs_policy_the_british_system.html?page=35#comment53 Scott1981 #53."It saddens me that people feel that they need to resort to chemicals to have a good time."not all drugs are about 'a good time'. LSD (and similar substances) for instance is about exploring your mind and your (sensory) perception.the point surely is that no one ought to be forced to take any drug against their will, and that everyone has the education and information to hand to make informed decisions.your point on debt is a good illustration of the consequences of people being forced to act within narrow (legal and societal) confines in the absence of basic education and unbiased information. Fri 20 Aug 2010 11:14:54 GMT+1 Scott1981 http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markeaston/2010/08/drugs_policy_the_british_system.html?page=34#comment52 It saddens me that people feel that they need to resort to chemicals to have a good time. Yes alchol and tobacco are legal but that is more due to hunderds if not thousands of years of them being part of our culture. If there were not there now and someone tried to introduce them then they would be illegal. Free will is a good in theory but it relies on people making correct decisions. Clearly not all people do this. Look at the amount of people in serious debt due to too much borrowing. Keeping drugs illegal is the only sensible option backed up by good education and a culture against drugs. Fri 20 Aug 2010 10:47:17 GMT+1 jr4412 http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markeaston/2010/08/drugs_policy_the_british_system.html?page=34#comment51 John Ellis #47."Drug addict benefit withdrawal considered"the 'problem' with that (as I see it) is that the majority of drug users aren't on benefits!!this is more about further marginalisation the the lowest (poorest!!) 20% of society. Fri 20 Aug 2010 10:03:25 GMT+1 jr4412 http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markeaston/2010/08/drugs_policy_the_british_system.html?page=33#comment50 FedupwithGovt #49."Minister for Crime Prevention James Brokenshire said: ..stop new substances gaining a foothold in the market.."that would be a genuine first since it hasn't worked for any of the other substances.Brokenshire -- nomen est omen ??http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nomen_est_omen Fri 20 Aug 2010 09:58:31 GMT+1 plasticmanc http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markeaston/2010/08/drugs_policy_the_british_system.html?page=32#comment49 The Home Office has made it clear ministers remain opposed to such ideas. "The government does not believe that decriminalisation is the right approach. Our priorities are clear; we want to reduce drug use, crack down on drug-related crime and disorder and help addicts come off drugs for good."Reduce drug use - educate instead of criminalisingIt is well docuemnted that Amsterdam and the netherlands have a very low drug use per capita as opposed to it's European counterparts.Crack down on drug related crime - What figures are they using for this? burglary to obtain the funds for drugs are in the same catagory as somebody caught with a joint. When in fact burglary is the only 'crime' in this instance. Legalise and the black market crumbles as do the organised 'crime' syndicates who supply the drugs.Help addicts come off the drugs for good - Money can be better used to pay for reabilitation and education rather than imprisoning your everyday weed smoker at great expense.The Home Office are in fact doing everything they can do NOT to achieve their own goals... Fri 20 Aug 2010 09:22:02 GMT+1