Comments for http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markeaston/2010/11/mixed_message_on_drugs_and_alc.html http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markeaston/2010/11/mixed_message_on_drugs_and_alc.html en-gb 30 Mon 06 Jul 2015 14:22:14 GMT+1 A feed of user comments from the page found at http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markeaston/2010/11/mixed_message_on_drugs_and_alc.html EddieBenton http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markeaston/2010/11/mixed_message_on_drugs_and_alc.html?page=99#comment141 #39 Matt:All I can do is point out as an example to young people today my personal experiences conserning [sic] the abuse of drugs and alcohol.So you're attempting to refute validated peer reviewed scientific research with your own, uncontrolled, limited personal experience? Nothing more than empty rhetoric.The gateway drug theory has been heavily discredited in peer reviewed literature, hop on google scholar and pubmed and have a look.Rehab figures are not evidence of addiction. Rehab attendance is self engineered as it is offered as an alternative to hard time when caught in possession.The current system is an abject failure, as proven by peer reviewed fact and figures. All the failed, subjective arguments about "The wrong message" or "Everyone would get addicted" have no verifiable scientific basis. The government's policy is counting on people like you, who are unable to analyse, consider and evaluate. Thu 25 Nov 2010 14:01:32 GMT+1 Royboy http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markeaston/2010/11/mixed_message_on_drugs_and_alc.html?page=98#comment140 Leaving aside the “Ethical” aspects of drugs and alcohol and looking at the fiscal side, just imagine what would happen at the exchequer if those 10 millian people who allegedly drink alcohol suddenly stopped doing so. The resultant loss of revenue would make the NHS loss of 2.7 bn look like peanuts.Oh! – and whilst on the subject of NHS, why not stop forthwith all funding on the NHS for Homoeopathic treatment? Wed 24 Nov 2010 03:17:16 GMT+1 pjhanley http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markeaston/2010/11/mixed_message_on_drugs_and_alc.html?page=97#comment139 Drugs you can buy grass ,hash coke,herion;in every city town ,and villagein the uk ,in most cases ,quicker,than a piza,,,,all it has done is to make a crime,of what ,if this is not prof that the governments,all of them have not done anything ,of any good in 50 years of this silly ,idea,,billions,yes billions are spent on what ,,,for whome,,,yamaha ,suzuki;kawsaki,kill moor young people every year ,why are they not ,band,freedom of chioce we here!!!,,,,think about it ,THINK ABOUT IT.I HAVE NEVER HERD OF A DRUG DEALER, WHO IS NOT ON ONE FORM OF BENEFIT OF SOME KIND??GOOD FRONT!GOOD JOB?RENT PAID!RATES PAID!NO TAXES!SOUNDS LIKE A GREAT JOB TO ME ?PLEASE PLEASE COMMENT Sun 21 Nov 2010 17:43:53 GMT+1 John Ellis http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markeaston/2010/11/mixed_message_on_drugs_and_alc.html?page=97#comment138 another sore point in this argument unfortunately based in the realms of science and credible institutions, so it holds no weight with our government.http://www.gsalternative.com/2010/07/cannabis-may-protect-the-human-brain-against-alcohol-induced-damage/“Binge drinkers who also use marijuana did not show as consistent a divergence from non-users as did the binge drink-only group,” authors concluded. “[It is] possible that marijuana may have some neuroprotective properties in mitigating alcohol-related oxidative stress or excitotoxic cell death.”So if that is the case should high CBD cannabis aka Medical cannabis be sold in pubs? oh such dilemmas in the treatment of alcohol related damaged to society... Fri 19 Nov 2010 14:50:54 GMT+1 Carl Showalter http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markeaston/2010/11/mixed_message_on_drugs_and_alc.html?page=96#comment137 128. At 2:46pm on 11 Nov 2010, John Ellis wrote:What can one say family members of government openly selling drugs to our children .....there is so much wrong in that article I don't know where to begin.Quotes from article:Dr Hermans Salsa shop on Westfield Street, St Helens was one of six outlets in the North made the subject of an interim order, which police had sought under anti-social behaviour legislation. Following a hearing at St Helens Magistrates’ Court, district Judge Ian Lomax imposed the conditions that the stores must not knowingly sell, encourage or supply “feminised cannabis seed”, which under current law is not illegal. misuse of the law! it's like using terror legislation to prevent teenage photographers taking pictures of demonstrations. we can't go around making up laws on demand to serve our own ends. if we do that, law ceases to have any meaning whatsoever.They must also not knowingly possess or sell products containing the hallucinogen DMT.I gather supermarkets will not be able to sell meat any more? DMT is present in pretty much all remotely sentient beings. Thu 18 Nov 2010 14:10:28 GMT+1 Carl Showalter http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markeaston/2010/11/mixed_message_on_drugs_and_alc.html?page=95#comment136 8. At 7:32pm on 01 Nov 2010, Motheratendoftether wrote:If drugs were legalised and he had open access to them he'd kill himself in weeks. He is only still with us because of our intervention and there is currently no abstinance based support or rehab available. Genuinely sorry to hear about your son. I have a childhood friend who went a very similar way. I don't wish to try and provoke any kind of argument, but don't you think properly regulating currently illegal recreational drugs would actually help your son? the way I see it is that right now there is open access to illegal recreational drugs; it's called the street. with proper regulation you could enforce checks that the people obtaining say, recreational cannabis, only receive said drug from licensed outlets if they can show proof that they have had no cannabis-related mental health issues. Thu 18 Nov 2010 14:02:12 GMT+1 DibbySpot http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markeaston/2010/11/mixed_message_on_drugs_and_alc.html?page=95#comment135 As the overthrow of the Scottish legislation on Alcohol pricing shows politicians are in hoc to the drinks lobby - if not how can they justify the premature deaths of so many in the populations they serve.Beside this the idea of a "war on drugs" is just a folly designed to keep the border, customer and police service number up. Given the total cost of drugs to the UK economy better it is legalised, as alcohol, and controlled, as alcohol. We would then be able to sack the inefficient and expensive staff of border agency and HMRC while the police resources wasted in this area could be either reduced or redeployed.Government needs to "get real" - but as Phillip Green noted there is so little real hard data on costs this will not happen. If you said durgs cost the UK economy £30 billion/year and offered a tax take, if legalised, of £10 billion/year would government and the people be able to avoid the reality? Wed 17 Nov 2010 12:34:09 GMT+1 rogers1892 http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markeaston/2010/11/mixed_message_on_drugs_and_alc.html?page=94#comment134 The War on Drugs does not represent value for money to the UK tax payer, the govt may as well pile the cash up and set fire to it for warmth. Regulation and Education are the only way, we have a backward drug policy devised on (ill informed, and completely incorrect) scare tactics employed in the 50's and 60's. For all the millions spent annualy on the Drug War, appx 5% of drugs are intercepted, 95% hit the streets. That's not value for money. Wed 17 Nov 2010 12:05:38 GMT+1 iNotHere http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markeaston/2010/11/mixed_message_on_drugs_and_alc.html?page=93#comment133 It's happened at last, bet you won't find this in the national media!Cannabis......legal at last, despite threats from the US.http://www.voxy.co.nz/politics/pacific-island-passes-cannabis-legalisation-bill/5/71934Come on UK, if these tiny islands have the cajones to stand up to the US, why don't we??? Mon 15 Nov 2010 11:03:32 GMT+1 John Ellis http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markeaston/2010/11/mixed_message_on_drugs_and_alc.html?page=92#comment132 and the debate moves on into court :Dhttp://drugequality.org/hardison_home_office_acmd_jr2.htmSeparate proceedings have been initiated at the High Court against both the Home Secretary and the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs (ACMD) for their respective abdication of power and duty under the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971 with regards to alcohol and tobacco control. The cases, brought by the imprisoned 'cognitive liberty' advocate and entheogenic chemist, US citizen Casey William Hardison, set out how the Home Secretary has failed in her legal duty to actively consult the ACMD on the possibility of bringing drinkers and smokers under the protection and control of the Act and how the ACMD have failed in their legal duty to actively recommend to the Home Secretary that possibility. Sun 14 Nov 2010 20:56:59 GMT+1 John Ellis http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markeaston/2010/11/mixed_message_on_drugs_and_alc.html?page=92#comment131 The alcohol debate should not be about price and moderation it should be about quality and moderation, all synthetic modification of alcohol should be banned to drastically reduce the strength. After all this is the current argument with cannabis and its strength has become 'dangerous' why does this not apply to alcohol which if you refer back to http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markeaston/2008/07/britain_has_a_drink_problem.html nothing has changed the drinks market is still as strong and as well lobbied as it ever was http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markeaston/2008/11/map_of_the_week.htmlOn another Note Mark what happened to Andrew Walters http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markeaston/2008/10/drug_treatment_officials_were.html did he fall back into a life less ordinary or did he make it out the drugs trap?This drugs argument is like groundhog day over and over again Thu 11 Nov 2010 21:13:05 GMT+1 jr4412 http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markeaston/2010/11/mixed_message_on_drugs_and_alc.html?page=91#comment130 John Ellis #126.shame that the Minister of State for Security never seems to have listened to the Scottish Health Secretary Nicola Sturgeon before she declared her belief that "alcohol taken in moderation" does not harm society:"MSPs pass Alcohol Bill without minimum drink pricing"(watch the video, Mrs Sturgeon's opening statement directly contradicts Mrs Neville-Jones) Thu 11 Nov 2010 20:40:19 GMT+1 jr4412 http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markeaston/2010/11/mixed_message_on_drugs_and_alc.html?page=90#comment129 WolfiePeters #127."Let's forget about personal freedom and concentrate on finding the lowest cost (in money or lives) solution to these problems."the government are aware that the 'war on drugs' is a waste of money and other resources, not to mention the ruining of lives through imprisonment."We in Britain spend £19 billion or so on the criminal justice system responding to drugs and drug-related crime, most of it a consequence of the criminalisation of drug use." (emphasis added)but you presuppose a rational argument and a rational solution when, as the quote in #125 demonstrates, we are faced with a quasi-religious zealotry which is based entirely on belief, faith if you will. do you know of a (legal) way of making a believer 'see the light'?John Ellis #128.wasn't Jack Straw's son similarly 'embarrassing' to his parents? ;)#129.yep, agree, chutzpah (in a good way), and you're correct -- not to be found on the BBC website/news. telling, I'd say, and very sad. Thu 11 Nov 2010 20:08:29 GMT+1 John Ellis http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markeaston/2010/11/mixed_message_on_drugs_and_alc.html?page=90#comment128 didn't here about this on the 6 oclock news ..http://www.thisislondon.co.uk/standard/article-23896643-banksys-friend-smokes-spliff-in-public-gallery-as-clegg-addresses-the-commons.dogood man :) Thu 11 Nov 2010 17:55:24 GMT+1 John Ellis http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markeaston/2010/11/mixed_message_on_drugs_and_alc.html?page=89#comment127 MP Louise Ellman http://www.louiseellman.co.uk/ Son is banned from selling feminized cannabis seeds and DMT hallucinogens.. http://www.sthelensstar.co.uk/news/8630939.Judge_slaps_cannabis_seed_order_on_shop/What can one say family members of government openly selling drugs to our children ..... Thu 11 Nov 2010 14:46:03 GMT+1 WolfiePeters http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markeaston/2010/11/mixed_message_on_drugs_and_alc.html?page=88#comment126 The words of the government spokesman sound like the words of an idiot. If youi don't like the facts, ignore them and mention what you believe. Your belief sounds sensible so it's OK. It doesn't matter if it's not true. Let's forget about personal freedom and concentrate on finding the lowest cost (in money or lives) solution to these problems. We have to lift the prohibition on drugs. Make the harder ones available on prescription and pull the floor from under the drug trading criminals. Thu 11 Nov 2010 14:36:48 GMT+1 John Ellis http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markeaston/2010/11/mixed_message_on_drugs_and_alc.html?page=88#comment125 jr4412 it does make you wonder why we even bother trying to improve the lives of the people in the UK when we have such people at the helm, she really does need to look at the people around here alcohol use is wide spread and very often chaotic. We have more retail space dedicated to alcohol than any other product in our local shops!1 co-op(cheap alcohol) 1 spar 4 newsagents(2 have cheap alcohol licences) a couple of junk shops 2 bargain booze style outlets 2 Indian restaurants (both sell alcohol)2 dawn to dusk cafes for the locals and a couple of personal appearance/image business. To not see people with a can in hand throughout the day is unusual..Still old age will catch them all up hopefully with some early onset alzheimer's. People like Mrs Neville-Jones should not have a say in our society, the days of lords having influence over us is long gone they are no longer land owners responsible for their presents they are just rich people getting a few ride on the backs of the rest of us. Thu 11 Nov 2010 13:58:08 GMT+1 jr4412 http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markeaston/2010/11/mixed_message_on_drugs_and_alc.html?page=87#comment124 John Ellis #124.good question, agree, but I'm concerend about the answer (and who gave it!!).according to her Wikipedia precis, Mrs Neville-Jones was a career diplomat before becoming a BBC Governor and Chairman of the British Joint Intelligence Committee, in other words, no relevant qualifications.but she asserts: "we believe that all drugs that are classified on the list are extremely harmful to society; we do not believe that alcohol taken in moderation is harmful to society".belief in place of evidence is bad enough, but you'd think that in her position (Minister of State for Security) she must be aware of alcohol's true cost to society. apparently not. ;-( Thu 11 Nov 2010 13:19:25 GMT+1 John Ellis http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markeaston/2010/11/mixed_message_on_drugs_and_alc.html?page=86#comment123 here is some good solid reasoning by goverment..http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/ld201011/ldhansrd/text/101109-0001.htm#10110950000412Drugs: ClassificationQuestion2.59 pmAsked By Lord Taverne Wed 10 Nov 2010 18:20:34 GMT+1 slightlyallthetime http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markeaston/2010/11/mixed_message_on_drugs_and_alc.html?page=85#comment122 As usual in these blogs,the voice of reason is in abundance,and it's quite clear why the government will not legalise some drugs,cannabis in particular,as I've stated in the past on these pages,if cannabis were legal,many more people would start using it in preference to alcohol and as stated in blog no 118,people would be able to grow their own supplies and thus deprive the government of revenues,it is,indeed,all about money,and it seems they (the government)will do anything to suppress the truth,spurred on by self interested lobbying groups,most notably the pharmaceutical industry,as already stated in blog 118,these lobbying groups have absolutely no moral benchmark whatsoever,all they want is to maintain and increase profits by selling us their supposedly beneficial licensed drugs.It wouldn't surprise me one bit,if at some time in future we discover that they (the pharmaceutical industry) found a cheap and easy way to manufacture a cure for cancer many years ago,but have kept quiet about it because there's more money to be made from the publicly funded research and the many drugs on the market for treating cancer.Unfortunately,that's the society we're lumbered with,whereby products are made to fail,usually about 2 or 3 months after the guarantee has run out,and dangerous drugs (alcohol) are freely available,because there's plenty of profit in other peoples misery. Wed 10 Nov 2010 16:57:40 GMT+1 John Ellis http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markeaston/2010/11/mixed_message_on_drugs_and_alc.html?page=85#comment121 well as predicted this time last year... http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-11727692 cocaine use rises....jr4412 it is very sad that we have half baked politicians deciding these things and not the doctors and other professionals who deal with this deciding the law. While politicians have a say in our drug laws we are subject to personal belief and personal agenda, the safety of children will not come into it ever. Still we just have to keep pushing and keep fighting for what is right and safe. on a brighter note this is happening and it has some good support to http://bmcrorguk.wordpress.com/2010/11/ Baroness Molly Meacher, who has a distinguished career in health and social care, has agreed to join the BMCR council, Matthew Atha, director of the Independent Drug Monitoring Unit, has agreed to join the BMCR council Wed 10 Nov 2010 15:59:42 GMT+1 jr4412 http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markeaston/2010/11/mixed_message_on_drugs_and_alc.html?page=84#comment120 John Ellis #114.re alcohol.seems that protecting society's most vulnerable (ie our children) is still not on the cards:"But key measures, including raising the purchase age for off licence sales, have failed to find enough support from opposition parties."sigh.. Wed 10 Nov 2010 08:59:28 GMT+1 Arrrgh http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markeaston/2010/11/mixed_message_on_drugs_and_alc.html?page=83#comment119 So far no good. Tue 09 Nov 2010 22:36:50 GMT+1 jr4412 http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markeaston/2010/11/mixed_message_on_drugs_and_alc.html?page=83#comment118 bigsammyb #118."..a far more sinister problem in politics.Lobbying."one could argue, with some justification, that the UK parliament has been representing the 'special' interests (ie landowners and traders) since its inception, and lobbying is therefore simply a continuation of tradition. we people are a mere afterthought. ;) Tue 09 Nov 2010 12:35:08 GMT+1 bigsammyb http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markeaston/2010/11/mixed_message_on_drugs_and_alc.html?page=82#comment117 jr4412Yes that is a problem. You see the legal status of different substances is very telling of a far more sinister problem in politics.Lobbying.We have ministers sat in westminster that do not vote for things or bring things to be discussed based upon what they think is right. They do what they do based upon the wishes of large companies who will offer them lucrative consultancy positions when they leave westminster. In this case the pharmacuetical, tobbacco and alcohol industries.Pharmacuetical companies do not want cannabis to be legal because they are unable to patent an effective medicine based upon it and they know people will be able to grow cannabis themselves and self medicate.Alcohol and tobbacco companies do not want cannabis legalised because it is competition they do not want. And most worrying for them, people can grow their own for free so it is not even a market they can really move in to.Drugs legislation, and particularly with cannabis has never been about public health or reducing harm and everything about money. Tue 09 Nov 2010 12:04:34 GMT+1 jr4412 http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markeaston/2010/11/mixed_message_on_drugs_and_alc.html?page=81#comment116 a fine example of the consequences of the idiocy which sees completely natural substances legislated against whilst promoting (and declaring safe!!) industrially manufactured drugs because someone, somewhere makes a big, fat profit:http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-11711243 Mon 08 Nov 2010 19:07:17 GMT+1 DibbySpot http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markeaston/2010/11/mixed_message_on_drugs_and_alc.html?page=80#comment115 This just shows how incompetent the opinion leaders are on this issue.Legalise all drugs now, tax them and ensure government appproved purity through concessions to approved organisations to sell the products.This takes organised crime out of the business, give the government more taxes and could safeguard drug takers.Until this country gets real about drugs and the prohibition lobby wakes up and looks at what that policy did in the US in the 1930's we are doomed as a society to high crime and drug taking. Mon 08 Nov 2010 16:15:02 GMT+1 John Ellis http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markeaston/2010/11/mixed_message_on_drugs_and_alc.html?page=80#comment114 Job anyone very toxic..ACMD advertisement for appointment of new chair and members This is an advertisment for appointment of a chair and eight members to the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs. The closing date is 18 November 2010. http://www.homeoffice.gov.uk/publications/drugs/acmd1/acmd-ad-appoint-nov10?view=Standard&pubID=840117 Mon 08 Nov 2010 15:32:47 GMT+1 John Ellis http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markeaston/2010/11/mixed_message_on_drugs_and_alc.html?page=79#comment113 in the body Alcohol becomes acetaldehyde http://msds.chem.ox.ac.uk/AC/acetaldehyde.htmlToxicologyHarmful by inhalation, ingestion and through skin absorption. Some experiments with animals suggest that this substance may be anticipated to be a carcinogen. Contact with skin or eyes may cause severe irritation or burns. EC carcinogen category 3. Lachrymator. Note that a workplace exposure limit is in place for this chemical. Mon 08 Nov 2010 11:26:51 GMT+1 John Ellis http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markeaston/2010/11/mixed_message_on_drugs_and_alc.html?page=78#comment112 http://www.sunpostweekly.com/2010/11/04/puff-puff/interesting interview about prop 19 and youtube Sun 07 Nov 2010 02:58:20 GMT+1 jr4412 http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markeaston/2010/11/mixed_message_on_drugs_and_alc.html?page=78#comment111 jon112dk #92, #102."Recent longitudinal studies (follow 1000s of people from birth to death) show the cannabis use comes first, psychosis second, and the younger the age of first use the greater the risk."I don't think that you can conclude that from the first reference you gave (didn't follow up on the second since it requires registration) because (a) "results across studies were not significantly heterogeneous" and (b) "studies based on retro-spective self-reports are prone to recall bias"; the differences in findings between rural and urban populations are very interesting also, do we underestimate the contribution of the (social) environment as a cause of illness when condemning cannabis?I think that one thing is clear though: since brain development is active during adolescense, children of that age group should abstain from taking any drugs frequently (or regularly) and certainly never to excess. Sun 07 Nov 2010 01:32:12 GMT+1 John Ellis http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markeaston/2010/11/mixed_message_on_drugs_and_alc.html?page=77#comment110 http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2010/nov/05/alcohol-drug-worse-than-heroinDave speaks out about being called an alcohol prohabitionist. Sat 06 Nov 2010 13:51:37 GMT+1 bigsammyb http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markeaston/2010/11/mixed_message_on_drugs_and_alc.html?page=76#comment109 "97. At 5:08pm on 05 Nov 2010, jon112dk wrote:95. At 4:12pm on 05 Nov 2010, bigsammybCurrently there is NO proven link between cannabis use and mental psychosis other than THC possibly exacerbating pre existing mental conditions.===================================Don't tell - me you smoked a particularly juicy joint and the voices in your head told you cannabis was an anti-psychotic?(JR4412 I'll debate with - I can only manage derision for comments like #95)"You call that debating? Ok as a simple google search is behond you i will give you the evidence:-http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cannabidiol"Recent studies have shown cannabidiol to be as effective as atypical antipsychotics in treating schizophrenia.[6] Studies have also shown that it may relieve symptoms of dystonia."So are you going to eat your words now? Sat 06 Nov 2010 10:41:43 GMT+1 Euforiater http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markeaston/2010/11/mixed_message_on_drugs_and_alc.html?page=76#comment108 BTW, "Motheratendoftether", post 8, if you're still reading these posts -I have great sympathy for your situation. Being a single parent I, too, am constantly doubting my own parental abilities and I know mothers in particular often feel unjustified guilt when their kids reach adolescence and start to venture outside that security blanket we all provide when they're younger.You must realise your son's situation is not in any way your fault, but what might seem an aggressive response in what was actually an excellent post by Catpain_Slackbladder, post 32, was just exasperation at the fact that so many people don't seem to GET this whole scenario. (BTW worth reading his post 48 again for those who haven't so far, it perfectly sums up the damage Prohibition continues to cause). The fact is that blanket illegalisation simply means a free-for-all and that true drug control means REGULATION, NOT PROHIBITION. When she finally goes out into the world as an adult - and it's not long now, I'm slowly losing her - I don't want my daughter to have to put up with the crime and health risks caused by prohibition - and the savings on the policing front (and return of respect for the police) would be a bonus. I don't see why we should pass on this problem to the next generation, we should try and solve it now.Prohibition = Drugs Free-for-all and profits to crime.Legalisation = Regulation. It does NOT mean giving out drugs like sweets, and it will get those drugs off the streets where the young and vulnerable are found.BTW I also agree with the pub landlord earlier, the increase in alcohol problems is down to de-regulation and supermarket sales, NOT just because it's legal. Essentially you have had a bunch of drinks such as alcopops created specifically to target the younger generation and and freely visible in supermarkets. It is this type of thing that should be controlled, and CAN be, simply because alcohol is legal.We also need to stop trying to push the "decriminalisation" phrase - because all that means is that regulation still cannot happen and the black market will thrive but without the penalties. It needs to be LEGALISATION only. The only way decriminalisation worked in 2003 (slightly) was because the drug picked for it - cannabis - was more available and therefore cut down on the usage of more damaging drugs. Now they've moved it to class B and effectively put up the price, the other drugs are gaining a foothold.I don't expect any of the Prohibitionists on these forums to suddenly drop their point of view and say "OK, it's a fair cop", people don't like to lose face, even in an anonymous environment like this. All that happens is they disappear once convinced and are replaced by others who haven't heard the argument yet. However out there in the real world readers can view these blogs and make up their own minds, and this is the real value of properly examining the issue. It's a shame the tabloid spam brigade try to devalue the blogs but I guess that's the price of free speech, if you don't break the house rules you can say anything.What I'd like to know is what the politicians are really thinking, do they think at all? Do they agree secretly but daren't say so until the votes are counted? Are they, too, afraid of losing face after years of toeing the Prohibition line? Will they need electro-shock therapy to get the penny to drop? Sat 06 Nov 2010 09:43:12 GMT+1 Euforiater http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markeaston/2010/11/mixed_message_on_drugs_and_alc.html?page=75#comment107 Jon112dk, 90:"There have been years of denial and suppression of the cannabis/psychosis issue often tinged with hints of racism towards any doctor who spoke out."- Stunningly inappropriate use of the race card, there Jon. That same race card was used originally to ban cannabis in America, but that time in the opposite way, when they started referring to it as "Marijuana" - therefore a "foreigners" drug. But I guess now we're all friends we'll try to link it to racism instead, eh?..and "decrying the way in which a GP or psychiatrist quite confidently told them there was no risk from smoking cannabis "- Funny how it's always these pesky doctors that think it's fairly safe, isn't it? You'd think it would be the field with the most expertise, such as a big-suited politician, or perhaps someone without a vested interest such as a pharmaceutical company whitecoat?The proposition 19 vote was stunningly close and I think we might find some time soon that stoners take the big step the African Americans and later the gays took. Hats off to those guys, they had the cohones to finish the job! Fri 05 Nov 2010 22:10:12 GMT+1 seanthenoisemaker http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markeaston/2010/11/mixed_message_on_drugs_and_alc.html?page=74#comment106 Just to reiterate. Correlation does not equal causation. Correlation does not equal causation.There is no evidence for a causal link between cannabis use and psychosis.There are some aggregate studies which suggest a correlation, though NO CAUSAL LINK has been established. The established political position would be massively enhanced in stature by a causal link, and one has been searched for extensively, but none has been found.Cannabis consumption has skyrocketed amongst the British population since the 1960s. How come the incidence of psychosis has not undergone a similar increase? The science linking cannabis with psychosis was tenuous at best, and was made much more of a public issue than such preliminary findings deserved as a result of engaging with a highly politicised subject.Alcohol increases the incidence of my epileptic seizures, and I'm sure there are many other epileptics that are similarly affected. Should the risk to my health and that of other epileptics associated with alcohol encourage me to argue that it should be banned for all? Fri 05 Nov 2010 21:22:29 GMT+1 John Ellis http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markeaston/2010/11/mixed_message_on_drugs_and_alc.html?page=73#comment105 Shrugs just a few of many and they came from the GW site, i understand enough of brain chemistry and the endocannabinoid networks through plenty of research and personal failure of the so called pharmaceutical treatments.As ive said before a lot of these medications just add to the existing endocannabinoid networks in the brain by creating CB2 receptors, unfortunately because they are force created they also effect other essential endocannabinoid systems within the body eating, sex drive, bowl functioning, bone replacement, neurogenesis...So many good uses all put aside because of 1, if we applied the same law to the medicine that is meant to cure and help with the disorders, none of would pass there would be none available due to all the negative side effects.Alcohol causes the same sort of damage to the growing brain and its use it more prevalent than cannabis. its usually used by the young along side cannabis. Studies have shown that the young who use alcohol and cannabis together suffer less damage, so many studies so many opinions isn't it time we looked at the reality of the situation instead of relying on personal hearsay and uneducated leaders? Fri 05 Nov 2010 19:40:14 GMT+1 Daisy Chained http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markeaston/2010/11/mixed_message_on_drugs_and_alc.html?page=73#comment104 Tearing myself away from the mind boggling list of chemicals that may inhabit a plant, or derivatives thereof, I am intrigued by the minor relaxation in tobacco smoking law in the Netherlands. In my view this is a minor victory for freedom of choice which is welcome in this age of prescription, drugs and everything else it would seem.I am tired of being told what to eat, drink, and generally do with myself to be healthy, and having met some of the human specimens who are, allegedly, thus, I am not quick to believe I am wrong and they are right.I also return time and again to the subject of what we are asked to believe as healthy maxims, when I know there are no such things. A simple peanut is an enjoyable thing for most but lethal poison to a few. Has the 'nut' become more lethal; do some people have reduced defence; are we breeding out an ability to build robust immune systems? Is our pre-occupation with 'health' slowly picking us all off by boring us or fightening us to death?Allergies have increased disproportionately in the past few decades; the potential culprits include:General and genetic pre-disposition.Severe virus infections damaging immune systems.Parasitic infections.Excessive cleanliness.Vaccinations.Unseasonal food availability.House building change and heat retention systems.Environmental pollutants.Electro-magnetic pollution.Over refinement of foodstuffs during processing.Suggestive information.I rest my case. Fri 05 Nov 2010 19:07:54 GMT+1 jon112dk http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markeaston/2010/11/mixed_message_on_drugs_and_alc.html?page=72#comment103 98. At 5:22pm on 05 Nov 2010, John EllisHi JohnSorry, that doesn't stand up to examination.Taking your first link (the best one scientifically). You need to read their further work (Zuardi et.al 2006). They later did a small trial of CBD, actually trying it out on patients with schizophrenia. The study had a very weak design (eg. no mention of whether the patients/experimenters were blind as to whether the patient was getting drug/placebo) but here's their own words: "These preliminary data suggest that CBD monotherapy may not be effective for TRS." The full report details one patient of three who showed some improvement. The other two did not. One patient showed no improvement on CBD, but actually deteriorated when they stopped it.Be carefull of reading just one article on a topic.(oops, actually quite boring when I start giving citations. Feels like I'm back at work. Just bickering with each other was more fun)Zuardi et.al. (2006) Cannabidiol monotherapy for treatment-resistant schizophrenia. J Psychopharmacol 20(5): 683-6 Fri 05 Nov 2010 19:04:19 GMT+1 jr4412 http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markeaston/2010/11/mixed_message_on_drugs_and_alc.html?page=71#comment102 jon112dk #101, #102."You don't say why you think the current laws prevent education?"one quick example (I have to get on with some work) from twenty-odd years ago when the kids were in primary school: police officer with sample case (of drugs prepared for display) and leaflets gave talk and info material to the class. now, I didn't attend that meeting (but was given a similar lesson while at school on the continent, late 60s, 1970 perhaps) but read the leaflets afterwards (though haven't of course kept them). the basic notion was: drugs are undesirable and dangerous. what was absent from the material was both the historical information and the socio-political context. half-truths and misrepresentation mostly, as I recall, in other words, propaganda. and as I said before, I do not believe that you can educate a person (in the meaning of the word) by feeding them partial information, distorted by ulterior motives.if all drugs were legal, then the way we inform our children (or even the parents ;)) would have to be changed to be entirely factual, ie a 'warts-and-all' approach.thanks for the ref's, I'll try and check them out later. Fri 05 Nov 2010 19:02:36 GMT+1 jon112dk http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markeaston/2010/11/mixed_message_on_drugs_and_alc.html?page=71#comment101 99. At 5:33pm on 05 Nov 2010, jr4412Evidence for assertions (#95)...Cannabis associated with X2 increase in risk of schizophrenia (review of 5 large scale longitudinal studies):Arsenault, L.; Cannon, M.; Witton, J.; Murray, R.M. (2004) ‘Causal association between cannabis and psychosis: examination of the evidence.’ The British Journal of Psychiatry 184: 110-117 Risk is higher if uses of cannabis is prior to age 15 (single longitudinal study, n=1037):Arsenault, L., Cannon,M., Poulton, R., Murray, R., Caspi, A., Moffit, T. (2002) ‘Cannabis use in adolescence and risk for adult psychosis: longitudinal prospective study’ British Medical Journal 325 1195-9I think both of those are available full text on the internet if you want to read for yourself. Fri 05 Nov 2010 18:34:57 GMT+1 jon112dk http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markeaston/2010/11/mixed_message_on_drugs_and_alc.html?page=70#comment100 100. At 5:45pm on 05 Nov 2010, jr4412You don't say why you think the current laws prevent education?That's not the same as saying you don't agree with the message.(And yes I do know my cannabidiol from my tetrahydrocannabinol) Fri 05 Nov 2010 18:27:45 GMT+1 jr4412 http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markeaston/2010/11/mixed_message_on_drugs_and_alc.html?page=69#comment99 jon112dk #96."There is absolutely nothing stopping education. The main thing stopping the education from working is the denial - read #95."disagree, I'm sure we all remember the 'Frank' and 'Just Say No' campaigns. how can you get an education without access to reliable information? arguably, what we're getting now is propaganda rather than information. (have you ever listened to James Brokenshire, MP?)btw, I did read #95 and agree that, on the face of it, you appear unaware of the complex chemical make-up of (the various types of) cannabis. perhaps you can surprise me? Fri 05 Nov 2010 17:45:48 GMT+1 jr4412 http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markeaston/2010/11/mixed_message_on_drugs_and_alc.html?page=69#comment98 jon112dk #97."(JR4412 I'll debate with - I can only manage derision for comments like #95)"uh, bad. I find bigsammyb's comments well-informed, on the whole. both he and I asked you to provide evidence for your assertions. I'd appreciate it if, instead of deriding his comments you'd try and refute them. Fri 05 Nov 2010 17:33:17 GMT+1 John Ellis http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markeaston/2010/11/mixed_message_on_drugs_and_alc.html?page=68#comment97 jon112dk Don't tell - me you smoked a particularly juicy joint and the voices in your head told you cannabis was an anti-psychotic?(JR4412 I'll debate with - I can only manage derision for comments like #95)-------------------------------------------------------------------------http://www.scielo.br/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0100-879X2006000400001&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=enhttp://www.sciencedirect.com/science?_ob=ArticleURL&_udi=B6TBX-4W50K62-1&_user=10&_rdoc=1&_fmt=&_orig=search&_sort=d&_docanchor=&view=c&_acct=C000050221&_version=1&_urlVersion=0&_userid=10&md5=75ab3ee495a2dc268984896a4eeaca24http://www.gwpharm.com/product-pipeline.aspxSo no antipsychotic properties there jon112dk.. this argument is so old boring and needs to move on. Fri 05 Nov 2010 17:22:38 GMT+1 jon112dk http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markeaston/2010/11/mixed_message_on_drugs_and_alc.html?page=67#comment96 95. At 4:12pm on 05 Nov 2010, bigsammybCurrently there is NO proven link between cannabis use and mental psychosis other than THC possibly exacerbating pre existing mental conditions.===================================Don't tell - me you smoked a particularly juicy joint and the voices in your head told you cannabis was an anti-psychotic?(JR4412 I'll debate with - I can only manage derision for comments like #95) Fri 05 Nov 2010 17:08:44 GMT+1 jon112dk http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markeaston/2010/11/mixed_message_on_drugs_and_alc.html?page=66#comment95 94. At 3:54pm on 05 Nov 2010, jr4412then surely you must agree that the biggest problem right now is the body of unsuitable legislation, because it is that what prevents us from treating drug issues as public health issues, it also prevents us from educating people properly regarding risk.======================================Sorry, I couldn't agree with that one.There is absolutely nothing stopping education. The main thing stopping the education from working is the denial - read #95.As I mentioned I can remember when tobacco smokers were telling everyone how they knew lots of people who smoked they were all fine, and how they had been smoking for years and it had never done them any harm and how there was no evidence to conclusively link tobacco and cancer. Tobacco was perfectly legal, the education was there but the smokers didn't want to listen. (Uncertain consequence, long gap between behaviour and consequence) Fri 05 Nov 2010 16:53:16 GMT+1 bigsammyb http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markeaston/2010/11/mixed_message_on_drugs_and_alc.html?page=66#comment94 "90. At 12:47pm on 05 Nov 2010, jon112dk wrote:88. At 02:57am on 05 Nov 2010, jr441what are you saying? that they are conspiring to cover up cannabis' harm? hmm...=========================='Conspiracy' is a strong word, but have doctors denied cannabis harm where they would accept other health risks with similar levels of evidence? Probably yes.I have heard multiple patients and (particularly) relatives decrying the way in which a GP or psychiatrist quite confidently told them there was no risk from smoking cannabis - only to find several years later their life has been wrecked by psychosis and now a doctor was telling them to abstain from cannabis if they want to get better.There have been years of denial and suppression of the cannabis/psychosis issue often tinged with hints of racism towards any doctor who spoke out. Unfortunately for the deniers, other doctors/researchers had the guts to keep going and provide the evidence that increasingly makes denial of the cannabis/psychosis link somewhat laughable."I'd like to hear your evidence to back that up? Currently there is NO proven link between cannabis use and mental psychosis other than THC possibly exacerbating pre existing mental conditions.What has been proven however is that CBD is an anti psychotic which can be used to reduce psychosis in mental patients.And CBD exists in large quantities of cannabis indica plants such as 'hindu kush' the same strain, incidently, our own government used when trialing 'sativex' which is a medical marijuana treatment for MS in the form of a nasal spray.When making comments about mental health issues from cannabis you should really do your homework because you clearly do not understnad the complex botanics of the cannabis plant.There are many different strains with many different levels of many different chemicals.The only risk form casual use of cannabis is the fact it is illegal. Illigality means strains such as 'super skunk' are widely grown because they flower early and produce a lot of THC and not much else.But go to amsterdam and you will see 'skunk' is not really available anywhere. Everybody smokes 'haze' which is a cananbis sativa or they smoke 'kush' which is a cannabis indica. Fri 05 Nov 2010 16:12:14 GMT+1 jr4412 http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markeaston/2010/11/mixed_message_on_drugs_and_alc.html?page=65#comment93 jon112dk #92."Don't get me wrong. I agree this is a risk issue not an absolute thing. Not everyone gets psychosis from cannabis, just like not everyone gets cancer from smoking a cigarette."then surely you must agree that the biggest problem right now is the body of unsuitable legislation, because it is that what prevents us from treating drug issues as public health issues, it also prevents us from educating people properly regarding risk. Fri 05 Nov 2010 15:54:10 GMT+1 jr4412 http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markeaston/2010/11/mixed_message_on_drugs_and_alc.html?page=64#comment92 jon112dk #92."But it is unwise to dismiss the issue - there are people who had very good futures who's lives really are wrecked."absolutely, and cannabis can be implicated, but is it the cause??for instance, you may remember our "Queen's Shilling" exchange a year or so ago (you sported an 'uk' suffix then, have you been transfered?). I used to work for the state and contributed in a small, but definitive way to the civilian deaths in Iraq and Afghanistan; I needed the employment (and it suited my skills) and found that I smoked more and more cannabis (reached an ounce of hash a week) just to keep myself from thinking too much about the ethics and morals of my position, my hypocrisy if you will. after some years of that I finally 'hit the buffers'. the question is, would I have felt the need to smoke excessively if I had not worked in defense (ie an unsuitable 'industry')? I don't think so because I was a moderate smoker before, and have been again since. as for lasting damage, I glad to say that there doesn't appear to be any, but, and here I agree with you, that does very much depend on the individual.my main argument then would be that instead of pointing at cannabis (or whatever) and saying 'that is to blame', we always need to consider the wider environment of the user. simplistic arguments do not benefit anyone since they can always be shown to be false.re the medical establishmentI really wish you'd provide references when you make statements like "..it was what they were taught to say" and "recent longitudinal studies..", it would allow others to find out for themselves. Fri 05 Nov 2010 15:42:53 GMT+1 jon112dk http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markeaston/2010/11/mixed_message_on_drugs_and_alc.html?page=64#comment91 I can't tell you any individual (including #42/#87) got a psychosis years after using some drug and it was definitely the drug. Quite willing to say his risk of developing a psychosis went up (~ doubled the risk). Someone who knew what age he started smoking, knew his family history and/or ran a simple blood test on his dopamine regulation would be even more precise.Evidence of GPs (and psychiatrists) dismissing the risk? Absolutely. Not only heard them say it with my own ears, it was what they were taught to say.Until the mid 2000s the message for health care professionals was that people with (eg) schizophrenia were more likely to be cannabis users not because the cannabis caused the illness, but because the ill person used cannabis to self medicate the distressing symptoms. Recent longitudinal studies (follow 1000s of people from birth to death) show the cannabis use comes first, psychosis second, and the younger the age of first use the greater the risk. There was also a political/racial issue for the psychiatrists. Some of them were saying high use of cannabis in particular ethnic groups was causing the high levels of psychosis they were seeing in the same people. Those psychiatrists got told they were racist and decided it was best to shut up if they wanted a career. Don't get me wrong. I agree this is a risk issue not an absolute thing. Not everyone gets psychosis from cannabis, just like not everyone gets cancer from smoking a cigarette. But it is unwise to dismiss the issue - there are people who had very good futures who's lives really are wrecked. Fri 05 Nov 2010 14:49:44 GMT+1 jr4412 http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markeaston/2010/11/mixed_message_on_drugs_and_alc.html?page=63#comment90 jon112dk #90.re dismissive towards someone telling you his experiencesI urge you to re-read both WorldOfChloda's comments (#42, #87). at least you allow for the possibility of being wrong ("Probably yes"), which makes all the difference.re risk from smoking cannabisno one in their right mind would argue that smoking cannabis, or any other activity for that matter, is entirely from from risk. (the horse riding debate from the previous blog comes to mind) I'd be surprised to see evidence for GPs summarily dismissing the potential of harm. do you have any? Fri 05 Nov 2010 14:00:04 GMT+1 jon112dk http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markeaston/2010/11/mixed_message_on_drugs_and_alc.html?page=62#comment89 88. At 02:57am on 05 Nov 2010, jr441what are you saying? that they are conspiring to cover up cannabis' harm? hmm...=========================='Conspiracy' is a strong word, but have doctors denied cannabis harm where they would accept other health risks with similar levels of evidence? Probably yes.I have heard multiple patients and (particularly) relatives decrying the way in which a GP or psychiatrist quite confidently told them there was no risk from smoking cannabis - only to find several years later their life has been wrecked by psychosis and now a doctor was telling them to abstain from cannabis if they want to get better.There have been years of denial and suppression of the cannabis/psychosis issue often tinged with hints of racism towards any doctor who spoke out. Unfortunately for the deniers, other doctors/researchers had the guts to keep going and provide the evidence that increasingly makes denial of the cannabis/psychosis link somewhat laughable.It's interesting to hear how dismissive you are towards someone who is telling you his experiences (#87). It reminds me of a relative of mine in the 1960's who was absolutely determined his tobacco smoking was harmless: right up to the day he got lung cancer. Totally unconnected I'm sure. Fri 05 Nov 2010 12:47:34 GMT+1 bigsammyb http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markeaston/2010/11/mixed_message_on_drugs_and_alc.html?page=61#comment88 The government is sending the wrong message to people with cannabis even with its illigailty.If you get caught with a couple of grams of weed the chances are you will get a verbal warning.However if you grow your own cannabis in small amounts, ie: 2 or 3 plants, then you face prison.I like to smoke cannabis but i do not like associateing with drug dealers, i don't like being exposed to users of harder drugs like cocaine either. But i am forced to, this also forces me to put my hard earned money in to the hands of criminals.If i grew my own i could grow enough to supply myself and in so doing would take all my money away from organised crime.But i daren't, because if i did i could face harsh draconian punishment and the chances of being caught are high.YET all the equipment you need to grow cannabis is legal. Even the seeds for any strain you want are legal.Where is the logic?Obviously cannabis should be fully legalised but if you are going to criminalise then at least use joined up thinking, the present system encourages organised crime and increases demand for large scale criminal grow operations. Fri 05 Nov 2010 11:46:57 GMT+1 jr4412 http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markeaston/2010/11/mixed_message_on_drugs_and_alc.html?page=61#comment87 WorldOfChloda #87.my first reaction on reading this comment was similar to the one at #42: 'Wow, it's English, Jim, but not as we know it'. however, let's take some of your statements and questions:"..if you feel safe driving at 100mph should we change the law to allow you to?"whether or not I feel safe "driving at 100mph" depends on a lot of different things: the type of road, the road conditions, the vehicle, other vehicles !!, the country I drive in, my physical and mental state, etc. personally, I think 100mph is not too fast.tell me, how do you feel driving in the UK, surrounded by high performance vehicles capable of doing 0 to 60 in 5 seconds flat, with a top speed of 180mph or more? should we legislate to allow only cars limited to the national speed limit of 70mph on the roads??"Quite honestly, someone having a quiet spliff in the privacy of their own home doesn't bother me, although, if you claim you're not addicted, STOP, ITS ILLEGAL.."so, you are bothered?? :-)"What bothers me is the total disregard for drug histories, and the almost zealot desire to find a different (non-cannabis) cause in the NHS - its as though someone has said that cannabis can't possibly ever be the cause therefore lets hunt for something even less probable."what are you saying? that they are conspiring to cover up cannabis' harm? hmm..."My experience is that the medical profession REFUSES to accept that something that you did x years ago can possibly affect your mental state NOW..."patently untrue, what about, say, PTSD?? given your next paragraph I'd say your experience is that the medical profession refuses to accept that your mental state has been affected by your toking twenty years earlier, correct?"I was a regular, light user of cannabis 20 years ago for about 2 years. I first starting experiencing non-drug induced "highs", paranoia and psychosis about 8 years ago - but that was exactly what I was experiencing when "stoned" a decade before."while that is regrettable, I wonder what exactly happened to you in the intervening years? (obviously, you must have lived through them) what reasons do you have for thinking that your psychosis is caused by your smoking cannabis more than a decade earlier? (other than feeling 'stoned' again)on the whole I'd say you should have gone to bed earlier so as to get a good night's sleep. Fri 05 Nov 2010 02:57:37 GMT+1 WorldOfChloda http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markeaston/2010/11/mixed_message_on_drugs_and_alc.html?page=60#comment86 Sometimes when reality stares you in the face... Meat from BSE-infected cows was safe...Some of the chemicals contained in cannabis are useful in the treatment of mental health problems and pain relief - a fact I accept, and I wish medical research would hurry up and produce safe drugs to help those who feel they have to smoke a joint.To all cannabis users - if you feel safe driving at 100mph should we change the law to allow you to? Quite honestly, someone having a quiet spliff in the privacy of their own home doesn't bother me, although, if you claim you're not addicted, STOP, ITS ILLEGAL... How many "its not an addiction" and "I don't have a problem" replies appear would be interesting - sounds like an alcoholic in denial maybe??What bothers me is the total disregard for drug histories, and the almost zealot desire to find a different (non-cannabis) cause in the NHS - its as though someone has said that cannabis can't possibly ever be the cause therefore lets hunt for something even less probable. My experience is that the medical profession REFUSES to accept that something that you did x years ago can possibly affect your mental state NOW...I was a regular, light user of cannabis 20 years ago for about 2 years. I first starting experiencing non-drug induced "highs", paranoia and psychosis about 8 years ago - but that was exactly what I was experiencing when "stoned" a decade before. Lucky me I get permanently "stoned" for free... Its not nice to live with! Fri 05 Nov 2010 01:39:07 GMT+1 Economissed http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markeaston/2010/11/mixed_message_on_drugs_and_alc.html?page=59#comment85 p.s. drugs....MONEY,ALCOHOL,BOOZE,POT,COKE,COFFEE,HEROINE,CRACKI know loads who have tried each and all.The issue isn't the individual substance, it's the abuse of said substance. Bring it overground and away from criminals! Including money......back to bankers, your addiction harms more than most of the others put together! Thu 04 Nov 2010 23:37:02 GMT+1 Economissed http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markeaston/2010/11/mixed_message_on_drugs_and_alc.html?page=59#comment84 I usually go for slating bankers but felt this blog was worth a comment.My question is how many of the mental issues mentioned around pot are due to addicted people becoming isolated by the current laws?The mother post and thread is truely heartbreaking and prevoked some really horrific responses from many (I'm guessing stoners), but I honestly believe that mother is picking pot as the easy target. Her son has been involved with a much more destructive drug and probably as a result, some much worse activities. I don't know circumstances but I suspect he has deeper issues or has done things while under the influence of harder drugs which has led to his depressive state. I have many peers who have used the lesser and many are very successful. Granted, many became depressed, but only as others who they used to smoke with stopped and they became isolated. Hence their depression. Or, generally, they were unsuccessful and others perceived their failure and depression as being due to smoking weed.I truly believe reform is required in this area, both to remove this isolation and to stop the economic outcomes of foreign criminal gangs making millions in profits from their activities related to a harmless drug, legal elsewhere. Have you heard about the Chinese hostages used to harvest these farms and thought about the human implications of this. I'd much rather this was handled the dutch way than locking up and depriving innocent children from China!Gin was illegal! Being scotish, I am also familiar with the history of whiskey! As drugs are found, they are used. Some will go over the top and it will damage their lives. Their family and friends will blame said drug and SHOUT to ensure they are banned. In the case of weed, which does tend to make people lazy, I'm sure the government will ban them (a they are perceived as reducing the output of their country or increasing the NHS bill).As history has shown, eventually sense will prevail and these people won't be banished, alienised and criminalised so that we can deal with their addictions or mental health issues in the way we should.RADICAL REFORMS NOW! Thu 04 Nov 2010 23:23:35 GMT+1 John Ellis http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markeaston/2010/11/mixed_message_on_drugs_and_alc.html?page=58#comment83 yellow sandydog 82 I also agree with you that liberalising drug laws would probably make it more difficult for you and your son.explain further as the way i see it control and regulation is not liberalising drug laws, its actually striking a blow against the very people involved in the sons problem is it not? or will pandering to the insanity of prohibition stop her son buying the drugs he chooses to when he chooses to?Didn'T stop my brother sticking a needle in his arm and killing himself why should it stop anything that her son chooses to do ?The only pandering is to weak people who are to afraid to face up to the reality of drug use.If this was any other industry every death would be accountable for and not made into a media circus when the time is right to send the 'party message' The just say No message works perfectly when you think about it. No to change No to authority both sides with the same values but refuse to see, the drug users No to authority is to use and disobey civilly, the prohibitionists is No to working law within authority. Authority must punish must not been seen to be wrong or week.... even when it so openly is. Thu 04 Nov 2010 20:46:00 GMT+1 seanthenoisemaker http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markeaston/2010/11/mixed_message_on_drugs_and_alc.html?page=57#comment82 This post has been Removed Thu 04 Nov 2010 18:52:44 GMT+1 yellowsandydog http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markeaston/2010/11/mixed_message_on_drugs_and_alc.html?page=57#comment81 motheratendoftether, thank you for posting your comment. I sympathise with the problems you face. Despite what some posters have said on here, you are not to blame for your son's drug addiction. Although personality and environment play a role in addiction and alcoholism, recent research with rats suggests there could also be a genetic link. It would certainly explain why one person is more likely to become addicted than another, despite their similar circumstances. It sounds as if you are working hard with your son to help him, good luck!I also agree with you that liberalising drug laws would probably make it more difficult for you and your son. Thu 04 Nov 2010 13:12:09 GMT+1 yellowsandydog http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markeaston/2010/11/mixed_message_on_drugs_and_alc.html?page=56#comment80 " 12. At 8:58pm on 01 Nov 2010, General_Jack_Ripper wrote:john33 wrote:In terms of the cost to society, the report may well be right but it gives completely the wrong message about hard drugs, such as heroin.That's an odd way to look at it, I'd say that it's giving the right message about alcohol which is that it can be even more dangerous than heroin if you abuse it."In fact the report doesn't say that. If you look beyond the headlines and read the report by putting "lancet" in your search engine, you will find it states that heroin is more harmful to the user. Alcohol is said to be more harmful to society but as far as I can tell this result is not weighted for the fact that alcohol is more widely used.I am not denying the serious harm that alcohol does but I would prefer the government to tighten drink laws rather than relax drug laws. Thu 04 Nov 2010 12:38:55 GMT+1 GeoffWard http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markeaston/2010/11/mixed_message_on_drugs_and_alc.html?page=55#comment79 The biggest drug problem in Britain today concerns that major substance of abuse - money.The drug-habit seen most frequently across the UK is extended-credit. Adults of all class, race, religion, nation, geographical location, both rural and urban - all sections of society - they just can't get enough of it.'Money' (loan credit) meets all the addictive criteria of chemical materials. Addiction is in the brain, and money stimulates the same pleasure-centres as chemicals - this is why serial gamblers go to Las Vegas, Parliament and the City of London. Thu 04 Nov 2010 11:41:19 GMT+1 GeoffWard http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markeaston/2010/11/mixed_message_on_drugs_and_alc.html?page=54#comment78 ....... and as for ''white collar crime' - the Gruniard solution seems a perfect solution, perfect for speculative bankers, leaders of the Financial Services Agency, leaders of the Bank of England, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, and the Prime Minister. These individuals, if judged retrospectively to be *serial* destroyers of society, serial bankrupters of their country, should be first in line for permanent incarceration on the said Island. Thu 04 Nov 2010 11:20:45 GMT+1 jr4412 http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markeaston/2010/11/mixed_message_on_drugs_and_alc.html?page=54#comment77 GeoffWard #76."In spite of the known causal link between drugs, drink and crime.."I feel that your comment deliberately ignores the fact that a person, law-abiding in every respect, can become part of the crime statistics by virtue of having a spliff at a concert.do you not agree that crime and 'convicted criminals' are very vague terms (if only because they're used so indiscriminately)?wrt violent (repeat) offenders though I agree, deporting them into an isolated spot would reduce both cost and further harm to society considerably. Thu 04 Nov 2010 11:20:31 GMT+1 jon112dk http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markeaston/2010/11/mixed_message_on_drugs_and_alc.html?page=53#comment76 I see proposition 19 has failed.So much for the mass ground-swell of opinion in favour of legalisation - even of the most benign of the currently illicit drugs. Thu 04 Nov 2010 11:12:38 GMT+1 GeoffWard http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markeaston/2010/11/mixed_message_on_drugs_and_alc.html?page=52#comment75 In spite of the known causal link between drugs, drink and crime .... the research result of the zero statistical impact of 'rehabilitation' and 'community sentence' leads us to the self-evident conclusion:For 75% of all convicted criminals the return to crime against society is certain. The next research programme should be to accurately predict which these 75% are.Once known, these should be designated as irredeemable and given special lifetime accommodation - like in the film Pappilion. I realise that transportation to French Guinea or Australia is politically incorrect today, but there is a Scottish island called Gruniard that seems ideal - it is already owned by by the ministry of Defense. Thu 04 Nov 2010 11:08:50 GMT+1 Steve - Iver http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markeaston/2010/11/mixed_message_on_drugs_and_alc.html?page=52#comment74 13. At 9:24pm on 01 Nov 2010, matt-stone wrote:..."we can see clearly the massive problem we faced given that addiction to alcohol is nothing compared to addiction to crack cocaine, cannabis and other illegal stuffs"...ALCOHOL ADDICTION IS NOTHING COMPARED TO CRACK AND CANNABIS? WHAT????Any addiction has problems. Some serious, some less so, but all are treatable in various degrees. Let's take cannabis. Normal, moderate use of cannabis will NOT lead to addiction. Not physical addiction anyway. You might get a craving, a psychological want, but that's no different to fancying a chocolate biscuit. That is NOT addiction in the sense we are talking here. Crack - yes, that is addictive. The craving lasts about 15 - 20 minutes after the first smoke. Once it's all gone, you only need to last about that amount of time - usually, having a cup of tea or coffee (or in drug speak, having a caffeine hit) will solve it and occupying the mind on something else is a good solution. The worst part about crack, in my opinion, is the quality which causes other problems, but of course, I don't think we're talking about being able to buy crack in WHSmiths alongside the Cadbury's Caramel at the check-out. Heroin is hugely addictive, especially for those who inject. Withdrawal is painful and this is where the addiction comes in to direct lifestyle. Withdrawal begins around 10-12 hours after dose, and can last up to 3 weeks. Immediate withdrawal (Cold Turkey) from heroin is uncomfortable, painful, distressing and wholly unnecessary. Alcohol is very addictive - not hugely so, like heroin, but it is still very addictive. Each person has their own tollerance, but eventually, after persistent use, alcohol digs its teeth in. Withdrawal from alcohol addiction can be, and sometimes is, fatal. My argument isn't for or against alcohol, but to show that our perception on the dangers of drug use, irrespective of that drug (including alcohol) is warped. Wed 03 Nov 2010 17:58:57 GMT+1 seanthenoisemaker http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markeaston/2010/11/mixed_message_on_drugs_and_alc.html?page=51#comment73 Scotty, let me provide you with a more accurate picture of where the cannabis market is at right now.In the early 2000s, increasing usage and acceptance amongst the population led the Labour government of the time to downgrade cannabis to class C status. I won't explain the ins and outs, but take it as given; higher penalties equals higher profits with smaller amounts of smuggled goods. With me so far?With lower penalties (although the law increased penalties for Class C drugs, in reality the law enforcement sector downgraded its efforts against cannabis at this time), those earning a living from this black market had to increase their supply in order to maintain their profits, as well as meet the rising demand (a trend which continues with every passing year as more and more people realise they know many responsible citizens that enjoy cannabis, and that the propaganda they've been subjected to has been untrue).By 2006, the situation was threatening to achieve critical mass. In response, the praetorian guard, the phalanx of anti-cannabis power that prevents movement of the issue, adopted a three-pronged strategy.Firstly, law enforcement launched a major operation, resulting in raids on three major cannabis farms in the south of England that had hitherto supplied up to a thrid of the UK marke with cannabis.Secondly, new anti-terrorism laws gave customs many more powers to intercept the major source of supply, which is, unsurprisingly, the Netherlands. The combination of these first two led to an incredibly long summer drought in that year.Thirdly, the government announced that it was upgrading cannabis back to a class B drug and flooded the media with false claims of a link between cannabis and schizophrenia. This had little practical results, but it did harden public opinion and pander to existing prejudicial barriers to legalisation.Since then, the gangsters whose profits have been hurt by these acts of war have turned to contamination in order to maximise their revenues and make up for their losses. This in turn has led to some serious health problems for cannabis users, all as a result of prohibition. After the initial financial shock for these people, the longer term result has been increased profits as a result of fallen supply, when demand has not fallen accordingly but continued to rise.The only silver lining is that the lack of trust in dealers has led to a marked increase in home growing, which is good. The more people that home grow, the less profit there will be in shilling damaging, contaminated cannabis. Anything that takes people away from economic activity associated with the black market can only be a good thing, both for individuals and society at large.Of course, the government would argue that the only good thing for people to do in this regard is to just say no, but this misses two points. Government has never been successful in stopping people doing things like this. It couldn't deter homosexuality, it couldn't deter blasphemy, it can't deter alcohol consumption and it has been proven over many many years that their attempts to deter cannabis consumption have failed miserably. Secondly, it is not up to politicians to tell us what we should or should not be doing in our private lives. The millions upon millions of canabis users in the country are testament to the fact that, given an unjust law, people will simply disobey it as best they can, because they feel, and rightly so, that sovereignty over their bodies and lives is their's alone, and not the government's.Ultimately, having an unjust law like this on the books is most damaging to wider society's respect for the idea of law and order. Wed 03 Nov 2010 17:57:05 GMT+1 Steve - Iver http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markeaston/2010/11/mixed_message_on_drugs_and_alc.html?page=50#comment72 25. At 09:42am on 02 Nov 2010, Shaunie Babes wrote:..."I'm not, the law does. I take it you don't mind this freedom of choice extended to murdering people ? Of course you don't. You only what freedom to disobey the laws you don't like"...Why am I responding to this? I swore to myself that I wouldn't but here goes anyway. Shauniebabes, please stop making pointless comparisons. Discuss, by all means, but please cease this petty ranting. Take this as a rational discussion, and let's see if you can provide a rational response - that is, not one full of derogatory terms that show your ignorance to the subject matter. Example: a little while ago, during the 1990s, I took part in a rally in London. The point was about the 'age of consent'. Many people saw that as outdated and bigoted, not to mention unfair. It said that the age of consent between the opposite sex was 16, but if you happened to be of the homosexual (male) fraternity, then you had to wait until 21. Grossly unfair. Gay men at 16, 17, 18, 19 and 20 were all going to have sexual relations with one another, irrespective of the law. Think about it for a minute. At the height of your sexual awareness, the law says you are a criminal for being yourself. Straight guys were able to do it, but gay guys were prevented, because of outdated, prejudicial and church-led laws. As a gay male, myself, and whether you like that or not is neither here nor there, but I felt it was unjust. Lesbians, for instance, were not subjected to this - it was purely gay males that were breaking the law for having sexual relations with another male under the age of 21. The law was wrong. It mattered not whether a large proportion of the country felt that gay men deserved a place in Hades for their so-called 'immoral' acts, but that the law, as it stood, was wrong. Much debate followed, and culminated with a rally at the House of Commons, which I attended. We lobbied our MPs and in time, opinions changed and using the basis of discrimination / human rights, we won. The age of consent was dropped to 18, then to 16 for all. My point? When a law is wrong because it is based on fear, old-fashioned doctrine or in the case of cannabis, invalid and incorrect propaganda, then the public, no matter how large or small a percentage of the whole, has the right to question and effect a change to that law. The majority of posters here are educated (I'm talking about the University of Life not the local Comprehensive) and know what they're talking about. You'd do well to attempt the same. - Drugs does not mean addiction - Freedom of choice does not mean breaking the law - amending the law enables freedom of choice - We don't want open law books but fair, equal and applicable to all without fear of retribution. - Drugs is a generic term. If you think that the casual cannabis user is a drug-fuelled, granny-mugging, tyrannical menace to society, you are certainly in need of some serious education. I'd be happy to help you understand, but then I'm a 'druggie' and so I'm obviously uneducated. I find it hard to construct simple sentences and as a gay man, my moral fibre is questionable. Murder is murder. Burglary is just that. Armed robbery is so obviously wrong. They all go against the freedom of the individual, the victim in these cases. So, using that philosophy, as seems to be your only way of argument, does smoking a bit of weed in the evening to help me relax after a stressful day at work make me a dirty, unethical, waste of skin lacking moral fibre (and and puff to boot)? And before you say that the victim of 'drugs' is the crime it creates, the point here is that if legislation was in place to regulate the production and sale of (in this case) cannabis, then does that not remove the criminal element from the supply chain, thus taking it away from our children, regulating sale in licensed outlets and benefiting from the sales tax to put back into the economy? I don't advocate heroin should be the same, or cocaine (& crack) for that matter, but the point remains, the law is wrong, ineffective and downright discriminatory. Have I ticked all of your bigotry boxes yet? Please do let me know in your usual way, or surprise the blog world and construct a sensible, reasoned and properly explained response. tick, tock, tick, tock Wed 03 Nov 2010 17:07:53 GMT+1 scott http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markeaston/2010/11/mixed_message_on_drugs_and_alc.html?page=50#comment71 i cant belive the bbc are keeping the results off the radar to afraid to admit the truth that it came so so close to winning, some news service independant my left nut corrupt all the way to the top more like. tried to mention the results on another hys as there keeping it silent oh comment removed however i broke no rules.face the facts bbc it will become legal! it will win in 2 years maybe more but it WILL win eventually so stop being part of the problem and part of the solution.and to the above poster, i myself was abit gutted even though it didnt mean much over hear it would have been the begnining of a brighter smart future where facts and scientific evidence showed us the way not dogma!the prices of cannabis have skyrocketed recently the demand is now so great dealers are having to import more and more because they just cant grow it fast enough. and some dealers are adding glass and sand and all sorts now to increase the weight and increase there profit!yes prohibition is clearly working and is clearly the right way to go isnt it? Wed 03 Nov 2010 16:18:07 GMT+1 seanthenoisemaker http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markeaston/2010/11/mixed_message_on_drugs_and_alc.html?page=49#comment70 The fact that we're all so disappointed that the proposition lost is an indication of how close we thought we were to winning. OK, so I live in Northern Ireland, so this wasn't affecting me directly. The thing is though, the biggest obstacle to sensible drugs policy here is the UN Single Convention on Psychotropic Drugs, the originator and biggest proponent of which is America. America won't change its UN attitude until it changes its internal attitude, so realistically, this was the first step towards legalisation in the UK. Thus I feel I lost yesterday, I include myself in Californian numbers on this issue.Given that the campaign was outspent by the opposition many times over, and given the fact that the youth vote did not turn out in the numbers it might have if the money had been available to the campaign BEFORE the close of registration for the electoral roll, this would have been different.Hopefully, two things will happen. Firstly, the campaign to do this again in 2012 has already been announced. This is great news. We need the campaign to be funded much better next time than it was this time, and money needs to start being raised NOW in order to achieve this.Secondly, we need a much better word-of-mouth campaign to get this thing moving. The Yes on Prop 19 campaign should've looked to President Obama's funding and publicity model from 2008. There weren't the viral emails, there weren't the large numbers of small donations there could've been, and the dependance on TV ads was clear. Heck, I would've contributed a fiver to the campaign if I'd have discovered it before the closing date for electoral registration (after that I thought the thing had lost already, because the real battle with an issue like this is turnout).This will not be the end of it. Almost half of Californians voted to legalise cannabis yesterday. That's a tremendous voctory against the terrible propaganda cannabis consumption has been subjected to for 80 years. With a better campaign, in only two years we could have an even better result. Wed 03 Nov 2010 15:35:17 GMT+1 scott http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markeaston/2010/11/mixed_message_on_drugs_and_alc.html?page=48#comment69 dam!shamestubborn old ill informed people slowing down progress!still 45% i have a feeling in 2012 it will pass this was just a test really to spark the debate now people have 2 years to be educated correctly, against the retarded orginisations campaining against. honestly the people that say no are the people who follow hysteria and cannot think for themself Wed 03 Nov 2010 12:16:35 GMT+1 Michael Streeter http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markeaston/2010/11/mixed_message_on_drugs_and_alc.html?page=47#comment68 I have to agree with jr4412 and bigsammyb regarding the 'gateway drug' theory that cannabis leads to harder drugs (he said dealers basically 'have a barrow to push'). My experience is that this hazily-defined gateway arises from cannabis's illegal status. Consider the following actual quote from a drug dealer: "Sorry lads, I haven't any cannabis at all this week... I've got PCP[!!] that's all." The youths debated whether to take PCP or go home empty-handed... and ended up taking PCP for the first time ever. There's your 'gateway'. I can't help thinking that situation wouldn't have occurred if they were obtaining cannabis through a legitimate channels. Wed 03 Nov 2010 10:49:11 GMT+1 John Ellis http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markeaston/2010/11/mixed_message_on_drugs_and_alc.html?page=47#comment67 California Proposition 19, the Marijuana Legalization Initiative (2010)‎.No ► 2,797,169 ► 54.7%Yes ► 2,317,458 ► 45.3%Total votes ► 5,114,627 ► 100.00%close call heres to 2012 Wed 03 Nov 2010 09:53:51 GMT+1 Daisy Chained http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markeaston/2010/11/mixed_message_on_drugs_and_alc.html?page=46#comment66 The Lancet article addresses and assesses 'drugs' which are either habits with mild changes to mood or feeling, or seriously mind and behaviour altering, and it is appropriate to consider chemicals over which we have little control in food processing. As an experiment you can buy a 'cheap' loaf of bread and note the effect it has on bowel movement, hunger satisfaction, feeling of wellbeing, and compare it to a more expensive loaf of similar shape and ingredients.You can repeat this with several food stuffs. The use of chemicals to make us thirstier having just consumed an expensive soft drink, for example. In the mind-altering category I'd also like a look taken at the media, where repeated mantras are utilised for what purpose? It is a commonly used technique in hypnosis to repeat an "induction suggestion" several times, as in "You WILL feel more confident". The tone of voice used is incredibly powerful in the passage of the suggestion to the subject. Of course the suggestion is usually "you KNOW this x is too good to miss".Hence we have voice-overs in advertisments, cartoons, etc., even in news delivery. There are many deeply disturbing behaviours by our "ruling classes" which do not attract the profound attention given to substances used in our lives each and every day, legal or illegal. We need a much more open society without the crude judgemental value systems doing more harm than good. Wed 03 Nov 2010 09:52:31 GMT+1 Have your say Rejected http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markeaston/2010/11/mixed_message_on_drugs_and_alc.html?page=45#comment65 The Bloke wrote: "But the report is fairly obviously"...a report.a - is written by someone with a vested interest and agenda- He is an expert in the field of neuropsychopharmacology. Giving him the knowledge required to write a report like this.b - overlooks the fact that alcohol is widely used and available, legally-So, illicit drugs are widely used and available, and illegal.c - you CAN use alcohol without getting addicted or suffering any ill-effects, physically or mentally- Like you can with many illicit drugs, the majority, less addictive and damaging than alcohol. Illicit drugs like LSD and MDMA are far less dangerous compared to Heroin, Alcohol, Crack-Cocaine or Cocaine.d - you can't say that about the drugs that Easton is trying to downplay- I don't think anyone else is trying to downplay any drugs mentioned but you. Alcohol is clearly a dangerous drug which is highly addictive and capable of causing directly or indirectly, death, as well as a massive amount of social chaos. According to Government advice if used sensibly and in moderation, it is safe to use. Though the Government also seem to admit 1 in 3 English people cannot use alcohol sensibly or in moderation, so you may want to change C too "you CAN use alcohol without getting addicted or suffering any ill-effects, but there is a fair change you wont be able to". e - ignores the fact that, say, muslims don't drink (theoretically) but they don't produce societies anyone would particularly want to emulate.- Is this suppose to be a joke? what have Muslims got to do with this? Tue 02 Nov 2010 19:59:09 GMT+1 seanthenoisemaker http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markeaston/2010/11/mixed_message_on_drugs_and_alc.html?page=45#comment64 By your logic WorldofChloda, I could say that the severe epileptic seizures I suffer from began whilst I was an active musician...would I have developed the condition if I hadn't played music? Who knows, but that's where it started...Of course, this is ridiculous logic, and your methodology is supersticious nonsense.There are no bullets in the gun. The anti-cannabis lobby is so well funded and outspoken that any proof of harm associated with cannabis use would have been trumpeted from the rooftops. Instead, every piece of propaganda is slowly but irrefutably disproven by the science. Stop using your own personal prejudices to encourage the prosecution of a completely unjust law.I'm someone who knows all about Russian Roulette. My neurologist has stated that every seizure I suffer carries a strong chance of sudden death. Would you like to see me arrested for the cannabis I smoke to reduce the prevalence of these seizures? Tue 02 Nov 2010 18:58:57 GMT+1 John Ellis http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markeaston/2010/11/mixed_message_on_drugs_and_alc.html?page=44#comment63 World Choda the strength of cannabis and solid hashish has not changed since the 70's when skunk was first created. this strain was then crossed with indian and african strains to not increase strength but bud population and size on the plant itself. Some of the oldest strains of natural land race have a natural THC level well above the 14 -17% 'skunk' is listed at.the other thing that does not correlate in cannabis use is the antidepressant and antipsychotic medication all utilises the CB system within the brain. Infarct apart from lacking some basic cannabinoid actions they do the same thing within the brain as thc and cbd, allow the cb receptors to regulate dopamine and serotonin. the damage to the neural networks was done long before cannabis speeded up the actions that AEA would have naturally reached before hitting damaged neuronal intersections in the brain. Tue 02 Nov 2010 17:38:41 GMT+1 WorldOfChloda http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markeaston/2010/11/mixed_message_on_drugs_and_alc.html?page=43#comment62 In response to various comments to my earlier post...The mental aberations I suffer from, and will continue to suffer from every day of my life first started whilst under the influence of cannabis - I was not self-medicating a pre-existing condition, neither did I know I had a pre-existing condition - I simply wanted to enjoy getting high. Would I have developed the condition had I not taken cannabis - who knows, but it started there...Consequently I regard any cannabis user as having played Russian roulette. Those that say it doesn't harm them - lucky you, no bullet in the chamber, but I see what is going on - stronger forms of the drug, and far far more young people experimenting or as regular users - how many more bullets are there in that gun, and why are we encouraging our children to play? Tue 02 Nov 2010 16:54:38 GMT+1 bigsammyb http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markeaston/2010/11/mixed_message_on_drugs_and_alc.html?page=42#comment61 What i find most baffelling from anti legalistation people is their assertion that:-'cannabis leads to other drugs'Well okay lets ignore the fact all the evidence shows that is not the case and assume thats correct. What does that mean?It means we should legalise because if weed did lead to other drugs the best way to combat that is to take the trade away form people who sell other drugs in the first place.You could say alcohol leads to other drugs but i have tried scoring weed from tescos when buying some wine and they wouldn't sell me any! Who'd of thought of that? (saracasm) Tue 02 Nov 2010 16:13:25 GMT+1 bigsammyb http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markeaston/2010/11/mixed_message_on_drugs_and_alc.html?page=42#comment60 "40. At 1:12pm on 02 Nov 2010, jon112dk wrote:Day after day we are hearing confirmation that alcohol is a huge problem - legal, regulated, quality controlled .... but still a massive problem.Pretty much destroys the 'make drugs legal and everthing will be ok' argument."Not really because theres this thing called 'alcohol prohibtion' that happened in america, ever heard of it?You think things are bad now? They were far worse under prohibtion. I am not going to waste my time to explain it all for you just look it up.Alcohol prohibtion and the results of it proves witohut a shadow of a doubt prohibtion for any substance does not work. Tue 02 Nov 2010 16:05:36 GMT+1 calmandhope http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markeaston/2010/11/mixed_message_on_drugs_and_alc.html?page=41#comment59 This post has been Removed Tue 02 Nov 2010 15:56:25 GMT+1 Modicum http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markeaston/2010/11/mixed_message_on_drugs_and_alc.html?page=40#comment58 13. At 9:24pm on 01 Nov 2010, matt-stone wrote: we can see clearly the massive problem we faced given that addiction to alcohol is nothing compared to addiction to crack cocaine, cannabis and other illegal stuffs.--matt-stone, do you seriously still hold to that notion? Have you never seen the damage alcohol and especially an alcoholic can do do families? Have you never seen the violence of an alcoholic? I and many people I know have seen this, so we choose to stay far away from it and not induldge. I have also seen what happens to drug addicts and their families, but I still think alcohol is by far and away the worst drug for the fall-out it can cause.As for recreational drugs, such as cannabis, ecstasy & speed. I know many people who use these on a regular basis (at least once or twice a month) who have been doing so for 10-20 years and have had no ill effects from them. Out of those three, speed is the worst, but is still not a touch on alcohol. These people hold regular jobs and normal lives otherwise. They only induldge on a night out and many of them stay far away from pubs and town centres where trouble due to drinkers is likely to occur.Yes, I am one of that group, so have first hand experience. Sometimes I can go for months without going out as I am too busy with the rest of my life, but when I do get a chance to wind down, I enjoy myself, can remember everything about my nights out and never cause trouble. The only illegal part of this is taking something I enjoy that is far less harmful than alcohol.Can you please tell me why I should continue to be criminalised for my lifestyle choices? Tue 02 Nov 2010 15:26:55 GMT+1 seanthenoisemaker http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markeaston/2010/11/mixed_message_on_drugs_and_alc.html?page=40#comment57 Cannabis is harmless. The association between schizophrenia and cannabis use is a very small correlatory one. Correlation does not equate to causation.Let's repeat that for the dummies still pushing the "dangerous weed" message. Correlation does not equate to causation. Never has a causal link been established between consuming cannabis and developing schizophrenia.My theory is that schizophrenia sufferers use cannabis to SELF-MEDICATE, because the second active ingredient in cannabis, Cannabidiol (or CBD), is a POWERFUL ANTI-PSYCHOTIC!!!!!!!!!!Regardless, the explosion of cannabis use in the last thirty years has NOT led to a significant rise in the incidence or prevalence of schizophrenia. It's a Daily Mail scare story put out to sell tabloid newspapers, and if you continue to spout that message you are an ignorant fool who takes no time or effort to corroborate the "facts" you espouse. Tue 02 Nov 2010 15:13:33 GMT+1 calmandhope http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markeaston/2010/11/mixed_message_on_drugs_and_alc.html?page=39#comment56 @8 Motheratendoftether No disrespect intended, and your story about your son is terrible. But you find those people no matter what their drug of choice is. I know people in a similar situation but with alcohol. Honestly the way I feel is that if drugs were legalised or decriminiized people would feel a lot more comfortable seeking help with their problems. I speak as a recovering alcoholic who could see myself going down the same path as your son was. I have tried almost every drug there is, and while they are enjoyable, nothing gave me as big a boost as alcohol did. I believe that the way forward is decriminilising cannabis and cocaine to start with, and selling them in government approved (or run) pharmacys to over 21s only. Combine this with greater education from a younger age and I feel our country will start moving in a more positive direction. Tue 02 Nov 2010 15:12:49 GMT+1 jr4412 http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markeaston/2010/11/mixed_message_on_drugs_and_alc.html?page=38#comment55 The Bloke #53."First off, the BBC, notably the likes of Easton, have an ongoing 'Britain is Crap, Immigrants are Great' agenda."do I detect a whiff of the'rotten face of football' here? ;)"If you can’t play the ball, play the man. And if you can’t play the man, play the martyr." Tue 02 Nov 2010 15:11:58 GMT+1 John Ellis http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markeaston/2010/11/mixed_message_on_drugs_and_alc.html?page=38#comment54 c - you CAN use alcohol without getting addicted or suffering any ill-effects, physically or mentallyhaha omg thats funnyyup its called hand wash :D most hospitals use it to kill nasty stuff, seems to have the same effect across all biological forms ... Tue 02 Nov 2010 15:09:21 GMT+1 jr4412 http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markeaston/2010/11/mixed_message_on_drugs_and_alc.html?page=37#comment53 scotty1694 #51."if you crash a car you blame the bad driver, not the car"in other words:"Guns don't kill people rappers do,Ask any politican and they'll tell you its true,Its a fact music makes you violent..";-) Tue 02 Nov 2010 15:02:35 GMT+1 The Bloke http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markeaston/2010/11/mixed_message_on_drugs_and_alc.html?page=36#comment52 I'd taken anything the BBC says or reports about alcohol with a health-endangeringly large pinch of salt.First off, the BBC, notably the likes of Easton, have an ongoing 'Britain is Crap, Immigrants are Great' agenda.That's why the BBC tends to feature so much 'news' based on surveys which claim that we are useless. As for this story - there obviously are people who want drugs laws to be relaxed, so they will play down the negative effects of drugs. There are also people who want to show that key features of the indigenous culture are harmful.But the report is fairly obviouslya - is written by someone with a vested interest and agenda b - overlooks the fact that alcohol is widely used and available, legallyc - you CAN use alcohol without getting addicted or suffering any ill-effects, physically or mentallyd - you can't say that about the drugs that Easton is trying to downplaye - ignores the fact that, say, muslims don't drink (theoretically) but they don't produce societies anyone would particularly want to emulate.The whole report is full of holes, and it reflects poorly on the BBC that it is treating it with such reverence.Still, it suits Easton's anti-Brit, pro-immigrant agenda, so it gets the green light. Tue 02 Nov 2010 14:55:58 GMT+1 John Ellis http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markeaston/2010/11/mixed_message_on_drugs_and_alc.html?page=35#comment51 http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-116726712 November 2010 Last updated at 12:39 Survey sees drug crime fear riseThe number of people who fear drug dealing or mugging is taking place in their community has risen slightly for the first time in five years.not surprising really? as it really is rising it is after all free money. I would expect at least a 20% rise within the next year, especially as the cannabis markets that have become so over inflated you need to sell it to afford to smoke it. Its also become so much cheaper to access the research chemical and class A markets, these markets are also becoming better value for money. More weight for the money, more high for the money, I see so many people complain about the price rise for alcohol if it went through the same price rise that was brought about with the reclassification to B of cannabis you would be paying £5 for a bottle of beer that currently costs £1.50. I often wonder if the legal highs were blown up on purpose as a way to move people away from cannabis? they both went through dramatic rises and falls at the same time.The next question you have to ask yourself is it worth arresting heroin addicts and chasing down their dealers who are only ever caught with a very small quantity of drugs on them many times less than £50 for £1000's of pounds worth of police time for an almost pointless arrest that will end in personal use and community punishment. Cannabis on the other hand tends to show large results for little effort so its easy to show 'good' results. Tue 02 Nov 2010 14:50:52 GMT+1 scott http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markeaston/2010/11/mixed_message_on_drugs_and_alc.html?page=35#comment50 42. At 1:21pm on 02 Nov 2010, WorldOfChloda wrote:I think this is science turned upside down to prove a point. At the end of the day, what proportion of regular heroin or cannabis users are able to function to their full potential - I would argue very few, when compared to sensible drinkers. And the bigt difference is - we know the full cost and implications of a population with cheap and legal access to alcohol. With the entire spectrum of illegal drugs, we have absolutely no idea - we are currently pumping our young full of them, and only time will give us the results of the experiment. And don't tell me that cannabis is harmless - it is demonstrably shown to cause long term mental health problems, especially amongst those genetically predisposed to schizophrenia.------------------------------------exactly you have no ideaso stop presuming you have an idea and leave it to the people that doand id argue somebody on coke or speed would achieve more of there potential than a social drinker.id also say so if you compared a sensible cannabis user to a sensible drinks cannabis is better in everywayno liver damage, kidney etc etcno hang overbetter nights sleepstill in control of your actions and body unlike when your wasted.oh and stoners dont usuallu go out being violent mugging and fighting you know why cause there nice and calm and happy just relaxing with a joint,so the sooner muppets like you stop standing in the way of progress the better.ive had enough, too many people here with no data or evidence to actually prove cannabis should be illegalall the evidence points the other way, yet your all so ignorant and stubborn and pathetic trying to tell the people that take the time and effort to do some research that there wrong. look in there mirroras somebody saidif you crash a car you blame the bad driver, not the car Tue 02 Nov 2010 14:41:18 GMT+1 Skol303 http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markeaston/2010/11/mixed_message_on_drugs_and_alc.html?page=34#comment49 "I think this is science turned upside down to prove a point. At the end of the day, what proportion of regular heroin or cannabis users are able to function to their full potential - I would argue very few"^ And is this assumption based on evidence, or your own personal perception of drug users?Because it's exactly that kind of thinking that contributes to the problem - i.e. lumping all illegal drugs together under one banner.Only by having an open and honest debate about drugs can we, the public, make informed choices about whatever substances we choose to imbibe.As I mentioned earlier: try having this discussion with a doctor working an A&E shift and ask them which drug, in their opinion, causes most harm to society - the answer will always be alcohol. And as an employer, I would tend to agree.Not that I'm saying alcohol should be banned either - I'm a great believer in personal choice, and besides, I enjoy drinking socially. But the notion that alcohol = good and other drugs = bad is simply naive and in most cases based on people's perceptions of drug users as being unstable, unproductive members of society.The reality is - I would argue - very different and ultimately based on far more complex social factors: i.e. perceptions of affluent drugs users vs poorer users. Anyone who's worked in the financial sector knows that cocaine use remains rife, for instance, yet this rarely factors in people's portrayal of "junkies". Tue 02 Nov 2010 14:40:16 GMT+1 1974 http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markeaston/2010/11/mixed_message_on_drugs_and_alc.html?page=33#comment48 Ask anyone who works in an A&E at the weekends - they will tell you that the vast majority of injuries are alcohol related. Very few drug related patients. Ask them about the devastion to lives (both their own and innocent bystanders) caused by people drinking too much.And absolutely NO-ONE ever smokes a joint and then goes and stabs someone! Tue 02 Nov 2010 14:31:19 GMT+1 Catpain_Slackbladder http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markeaston/2010/11/mixed_message_on_drugs_and_alc.html?page=33#comment47 40. At 1:12pm on 02 Nov 2010, jon112dk wrote:"Day after day we are hearing confirmation that alcohol is a huge problem - legal, regulated, quality controlled .... but still a massive problem.Pretty much destroys the 'make drugs legal and everything will be ok' argument".Well then jon112dk, let’s keep everything exactly as it is shall we? 1. I'll continue to buy the drugs I want to take on weekends from a dodgy fella in a dark alley.2. Addicts can continue taking cut drugs with dirty or shared equipment. 3. We'll continue to attach a stigma to anyone with a serious addiction and allied to this is we'll continue to offer few options for help.4. We’ll continue to retain narcotics as the ultimate illicit tool for kids to use when bored or when they want to rebel and we’ll continue to make it easy for them to buy in the street.5. We'll continue to allow the criminal element to dominate rather than taking control.6. We'll steadfastly refuse to consider that most drug users are not actually addicted in the first place and classify them as criminals. Let’s encourage the rebellious kids shall we?7. Lets also continue to fight a phoney war on drugs that serves no purpose than to pull the wool over middle England’s eyes (Including yours).8. We've got money to burn in the UK at the moment, so let’s keep pouring billions into fighting this unwinnable war.9. And to cap it all off...let’s not take a single penny of the TENS OF BILLIONS of pounds spent each year on narcotics by UK citizens.We can debate this all you like but I and millions of others will take recreational drugs and no law will stop it. If you want to talk around the subject for years that’s fine - we'll still take the drugs. If you want to rant and rave about it - fine - we'll still take the drugs. If you triple the number of police and triple the police budget - great - but we'll still take the drugs. They are here and they are not going away so we all need to cooperate to make it work.If it doesn't work and we can't come to a fair agreement – that’s a shame - but we'll still take the drugs.There we go jon112dk. Let’s keep everything exactly as it is because it’s obviously working so well. And then we can have the same conversation in 5 years, 10 years, 20 years and 50 years. Tue 02 Nov 2010 14:23:58 GMT+1 jr4412 http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markeaston/2010/11/mixed_message_on_drugs_and_alc.html?page=32#comment46 WorldOfChloda #42."..don't tell me that cannabis is harmless - it is demonstrably shown to cause long term mental health problems, especially amongst those genetically predisposed to schizophrenia."well now, anyone who is predisposed to a given condition and then goes out of their way to aggrevate the situation, needs (psychiatric) help. by the same token, someone who knows that being drunk robs them of their self-control and makes them aggressive, shouldn't drink. Tue 02 Nov 2010 14:01:24 GMT+1 jr4412 http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markeaston/2010/11/mixed_message_on_drugs_and_alc.html?page=31#comment45 jon112dk #40."Day after day we are hearing confirmation that alcohol is a huge problem - legal, regulated, quality controlled .... but still a massive problem."yes, what is it about our society that leaves so many wanting to be 'wasted'? Tue 02 Nov 2010 13:56:44 GMT+1 Living By Logic http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markeaston/2010/11/mixed_message_on_drugs_and_alc.html?page=30#comment44 Re: 39. At 1:08pm on 02 Nov 2010, matt-stone wrote:HAVE YOUR SAY REJECTED.....you should try and contact Drugs Rehab Centres near you, and they will advise you that the habitual use of cannabis will lead the smokers on to use harder and more dangerous substances.You should note, however, that this could be construed as pretty strong pro-legalisation argument. The 'gateway drug' hypothesis includes a consideration that having broken the taboo of smoking cannabis then further taboos are easier to break. If cannabis were legal this point becomes moot. This explains why a similarly powerful psychoactive drug such as alcohol doesn't have the same gateway effect.Re: 40. At 1:12pm on 02 Nov 2010, jon112dk wrote:Day after day we are hearing confirmation that alcohol is a huge problem - legal, regulated, quality controlled .... but still a massive problem.Pretty much destroys the 'make drugs legal and everthing will be ok' argument.A very good point and worthy of consideration; that said ...A lot of folks on here seem to wish to talk in absolutes, but I don't think this is the issue. Excessive use of a mind altering substance is bound to be negative - the gestalt is all wrong. However, the question is whether the individual and society is better served by prohibition or by legalisation and education. The latter approach has been overwhelmingly proven the more effective in countless shapes, sizes, and forms. Unfortunately, the former is the tabloid view and continues the support of vested interests so change is unlikely Tue 02 Nov 2010 13:54:38 GMT+1 jr4412 http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markeaston/2010/11/mixed_message_on_drugs_and_alc.html?page=30#comment43 matt-stone #39."..try and contact Drugs Rehab Centres near you, and they will advise you that the habitual use of cannabis will lead the smokers on to use harder and more dangerous substances."perhaps in the sense that most dealers would prefer you to buy something more profitable (to them), but otherwise??'According to a study to be published by the Centre for Economic Policy Research, London, cannabis does not lead to the use of hard drugs (Sunday Times of 16 December 2001).''Of all the arguments that have been used to demonize marijuana, few have been more powerful than that of the "gateway effect"' Tue 02 Nov 2010 13:54:20 GMT+1 TheBaskervilleArmsHotel http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markeaston/2010/11/mixed_message_on_drugs_and_alc.html?page=29#comment42 It seems that in many posts above, as soon as the word 'alchohol' is mentioned - especially with the overtone of abuse attached - our great British pubs are automatically associated with it. No wonder there are dozens closing every month.It is far easier to go to a supermarket and buy beer or spirits at a fraction of the cost and do with them what you will. It is these alchohol sources that have given more fuel than the average pub to the supposed rise in drink abuse.Oh yes, there are some town centre pubs that try and compete with the supermarket and so now we have town centre no-go areas after midnight; but they are a fraction of the bulk of pubs who ensure that no heavy discounting goes on and people behave responsibly when that are on the premises.Even the BBC seems to subscribe to the fact that alchohol abuse and pubs go together! I refer to the article on the morning news (yesterday?) where as soon as the topic 'alchohol worse than heroin' was mentioned, there was a great picture of people drinking - yes, you've got it - in a pub. Even on Radio 2 yesterday on the Jeremy Vine show, exactly the same was being portayed!The reality is probably more like a bottle of vodka obtained at cut rate price from a local supermarket consumed behind a bus shelter *prior* to going on the town for the evening.Please, please, please; it's cheap booze that is causing the alchohol abuse issue...and as we all probably know, the local pub rarely, if ever, sells cheap alchohol - so please stop portraying us as the bad guys!Regards,A concerned Hotelier and Publican. Tue 02 Nov 2010 13:46:41 GMT+1