Comments for http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markeaston/2010/12/can_we_imagine_a_britain_where.html http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markeaston/2010/12/can_we_imagine_a_britain_where.html en-gb 30 Tue 23 Dec 2014 04:10:04 GMT+1 A feed of user comments from the page found at http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markeaston/2010/12/can_we_imagine_a_britain_where.html Mustafa Yorumcu http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markeaston/2010/12/can_we_imagine_a_britain_where.html?page=99#comment279 I proposed a solution earlier. Let's designate pilot cities for legalised drugs. All drugs are legal in these cities - provided that they are purchased and consumed within the boundaries of these cities. For the sake of example, let's designate Brighton. I wonder how many people would like to live there after 5 years. Soft and hard drugs are completely different matters. Passing simplistic judgements about all drugs is incredible dangerous. In addition, claiming that legalising drugs will stop gangs is extremely disrespectful to the victims of these gangs. Gangs - being selfish and evil subhumans - will always find some illegal activity. Always. Sun 08 May 2011 13:41:29 GMT+1 John Ellis http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markeaston/2010/12/can_we_imagine_a_britain_where.html?page=99#comment278 I notice this is now closed for comment? http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markeaston/2011/03/drug_laws_may_make_matters_wor.htmlDont want to talk about drugs...? Thu 05 May 2011 21:20:44 GMT+1 John Ellis http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markeaston/2010/12/can_we_imagine_a_britain_where.html?page=98#comment277 http://neurobonkers.com/?p=2695#CrusadeGate: US “Crusade” on Harm ReductionA newly leaked cable (not yet reported on elsewhere) exposes how the United States placed extreme political pressure on the leaders of the member states ....http://wikileaks.ch/cable/2009/01/09UNVIEVIENNA31.html Thu 05 May 2011 21:18:01 GMT+1 John Ellis http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markeaston/2010/12/can_we_imagine_a_britain_where.html?page=98#comment276 This post has been Removed Sun 27 Mar 2011 14:30:44 GMT+1 slightlyallthetime http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markeaston/2010/12/can_we_imagine_a_britain_where.html?page=98#comment275 Blimey...is this debate still going,over one year on from it's initiation.#272 John Ellis...these prices you give for dope sound expensive,28 grams of home grown quality grass that I buy is £140,same goes for the Afghan black that's been around for a year or so,the Moroccan is cheaper still,generally around £100-£120 for the ounce,or 28 grams.Is that really what people are paying on the street? if so, someone is making a fortune out of little more than being "green fingered". Sat 26 Mar 2011 08:10:00 GMT+1 John Ellis http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markeaston/2010/12/can_we_imagine_a_britain_where.html?page=97#comment274 This really makes you wonder why cannabis is illegal http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-merseyside-12814258one 16 year old kills another over a piece of plant matter....I feel so very sorry for the family of these 2 boys especially the youngster that died. Why has the law allowed this to happen were are the controls on cannabisWere are the licenced sales the age protection the education.Was this young mans life really worth just the few pence it actually cost to grow the cannabis that he tried to buy at a greatly extortionate price? Mon 21 Mar 2011 23:48:18 GMT+1 John Ellis http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markeaston/2010/12/can_we_imagine_a_britain_where.html?page=97#comment273 Interesting story today in the telegraph http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/law-and-order/8393838/War-on-drugs-has-failed-say-former-heads-of-MI5-CPS-and-BBC.htmlAt a time when we are facing so many cuts to everyone's lives isn't it about time we removed the financial burden of the drug war from them as well which in turn would be another successful cut in today's failing economy. Mon 21 Mar 2011 10:27:28 GMT+1 John Ellis http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markeaston/2010/12/can_we_imagine_a_britain_where.html?page=97#comment272 Sativex banned from use by Midlands Therapeutics Review & Advisory Committeehttp://195.62.199.219/pctsla/mtrac/latest/news.htmlPeople with MS now have no choice but to grow thier own... Or has the MTRAC decided its to expensive for what it is.? Fri 18 Mar 2011 09:41:11 GMT+1 John Ellis http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markeaston/2010/12/can_we_imagine_a_britain_where.html?page=96#comment271 Tony 10 grams currently sells for £100 from a good dealer in merseyside £20 for 1.6 to 2 gram is the average bag now.USA its $50(£31.13) for 7 gram of high grade bud of a better quality than we get on the streets. The average price for an ounce in the USA of what most of us get on the streets is just over $100 (£62.26) current UK price I pay is £190($305.21) - £220($353.4)Some one in the UK is making serious amounts of money out of cannabis its not the majority of the tax payers though. There are so many industries just waiting to bloom from the freeing of hemp aka cannabis from the current classification on the MODa, 100's of medicines are going to be held up. Major long term fuel problems will be held back both in the form of ethanol and bio oils. So much forsaken for a bit of teenage angst....The very people the law fails to protect at all levels because of this angst. Wed 16 Mar 2011 23:35:17 GMT+1 Tony http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markeaston/2010/12/can_we_imagine_a_britain_where.html?page=96#comment270 The reason drugs are freely available in every city and town in the country is because they're popular, people like them, get over it.Prohibition just drives the industry underground where you can't regulate, at the moment, the age you can buy drugs is £10, criminals have no morals, and pay no tax, this is a multi billion £ industry and we're just giving it to them, tax cannabis at £1 per gram at point of sale, Britain has an estimated 6 million regular users, if they bought 10 grams a week it would raise £60 million pw. into our economy,It's anyones guess how much we would save in policing, how much does it cost to send those spy helcopters over our houses at night?Drugs need to be legalised, regulated and taxed like every other recreational stubstance.The ludicrous situation we have now is non-users paying taxes to harrass and imprison users, Switzerland, Holland and Canada all have liberal drug laws and all have far less crime than us.Also think of the tourists it would bring in, nobody really goes to Holland for the scenery do they? you've seen one tulip, you've seen them all, we as a nation need all the foreign cash we can get, weed tourism has done very nicely for Holland over the years. Wed 16 Mar 2011 22:52:47 GMT+1 John Ellis http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markeaston/2010/12/can_we_imagine_a_britain_where.html?page=96#comment269 http://peterreynolds.wordpress.com/2011/02/26/mr-cameron-its-you-who-needs-education-about-cannabis/ Recent questions to Camoron about cannabis from an open public interview.Al Jazeera: This was incidentally, the second most popular question because viewers would submit questions and then members of the public would vote.Why is marijuana illegal when alcohol and tobacco are more addictive and dangerous to our health, but we manage to control them? Wouldn’t education about drugs from a younger age be better?Cameron: Well there’s one bit of that question ........ Sat 26 Feb 2011 16:06:51 GMT+1 John Ellis http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markeaston/2010/12/can_we_imagine_a_britain_where.html?page=95#comment268 A great free documentry on cannabis/hemp and whats possable with legal hemp/cannabis.http://peterreynolds.wordpress.com/2011/02/23/when-we-grow-this-is-what-we-can-do/The BBC should show this right after eastenders... Thu 24 Feb 2011 15:37:46 GMT+1 John Ellis http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markeaston/2010/12/can_we_imagine_a_britain_where.html?page=95#comment267 oops forgot the link to my babble Thousands are 'at risk of alcohol death' say doctors.http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-12506127Maybe if big drink and little government cant do anything about it maybe Big Society can. Time to push for locality tax on alcohol sales 5% community tax on the door of all of-licences soon raise cash for BS. Mon 21 Feb 2011 10:30:20 GMT+1 John Ellis http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markeaston/2010/12/can_we_imagine_a_britain_where.html?page=95#comment266 Yup me again :DThis makes me laugh, with just the current known harms they still treat it like something special this drug Alcohol.Drinks industry says "That's why the industry puts its energies into funding health education campaigns and working with people who are serious about reducing alcohol misuse in the UK."Will they work with the drug equality alliance to have alcohol controlled under the MODA? NoWhy are they allowed to run their own health campaigns? I'm sure the local dealer also insists that heroin and cocaine are good for you with minimal health risks used in moderation and sensibly.Drinks industry on Alcohol "Creating doomsday scenarios is not in anyone's best interests, least of all the responsible majority of people who enjoy alcohol in moderation as part of a healthy lifestyle." Im quite sure the same can be said of common recreational drugs let alone medical cannabis.How do they get away with this??? Mon 21 Feb 2011 10:18:33 GMT+1 John Ellis http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markeaston/2010/12/can_we_imagine_a_britain_where.html?page=94#comment265 This is interesting concerning people with mental health and energy drinks.http://www.couriermail.com.au/ipad/energy-drinks-exacerbate-psychosis/story-fn6ck45n-1226009002821I believe these are also quite common in the UK. red bull and vodka being one of the most popular amongst young people.Whilst more evidence will be needed to provide a true link it will be interesting to see if energy drinks will carry a warning that they may 'induce psychotic behaviour' due to the chemical reactions they may have in some people.Sorry for yet more spam :D Sun 20 Feb 2011 14:07:37 GMT+1 John Ellis http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markeaston/2010/12/can_we_imagine_a_britain_where.html?page=94#comment264 http://www.dailyrecord.co.uk/news/scottish-news/2011/02/20/scotland-exports-more-cannabis-than-it-imports-as-triad-farms-grow-86908-22937013/HAAHA Chinese exports o.O Sun 20 Feb 2011 13:03:21 GMT+1 John Ellis http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markeaston/2010/12/can_we_imagine_a_britain_where.html?page=93#comment263 Exelent little peice from Shadow Health Secretary Andrew Lansley on prohabition and the lesson it does not wrok.http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk_politics/8455569.stm Thu 17 Feb 2011 16:30:46 GMT+1 John Ellis http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markeaston/2010/12/can_we_imagine_a_britain_where.html?page=93#comment262 Fake alcohol on sale in many UK off-licences http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-12456360This is what happens when you don't control a substance of abuse properly, many will say well this would happen with an licensed cannabis or ecstasy market. To which I cant really argue but one thing I do know is you cant make cannabis out of ISO alcohol or nail varnish remover.Seems drinkers are not as safe as they would like to think they are. Tue 15 Feb 2011 11:02:02 GMT+1 John Ellis http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markeaston/2010/12/can_we_imagine_a_britain_where.html?page=93#comment261 The stories and Tales of this safe culturally acceptable drug is showing the problem we have with alcohol more and more clearly.http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-12428856Time for a safer alternative? Mon 14 Feb 2011 12:33:56 GMT+1 John Ellis http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markeaston/2010/12/can_we_imagine_a_britain_where.html?page=92#comment260 Interesting report for WHOWHO Study: Alcohol Is International Number One Killer, AIDS Secondhttp://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/216328.php?fb_ref=article_bottom&fb_source=home_multiline#opinionsREaly are running out of reasons why we should not have alcohol included in MODA 71.It kills and there is no such thing as a culturaly acceptable drug. Mon 14 Feb 2011 10:50:11 GMT+1 John Ellis http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markeaston/2010/12/can_we_imagine_a_britain_where.html?page=92#comment259 Seems the DEA in the USA have given cannabis based medicenes the all clear.http://dailycaller.com/2011/02/10/is-the-dea-legalizing-thc/now we just need our goverment to do the same. Sat 12 Feb 2011 17:11:30 GMT+1 John Ellis http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markeaston/2010/12/can_we_imagine_a_britain_where.html?page=92#comment258 http://www.druglawreform.info/en/weblog/item/1131-seventeen-objections-to-abolish-coca-chewingSeventeen objections to abolish coca chewingAlthough the deadline for filing objections expired, governments can still withdraw their objections …17 countries voted to destroy the culture of the counties involved in coca leaf chewing and coca leaf tea drinking. the other 167 countries did not register an objection to having coca leaf use removed from the single treaty. Mon 07 Feb 2011 16:03:58 GMT+1 John Ellis http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markeaston/2010/12/can_we_imagine_a_britain_where.html?page=91#comment257 In a new CBBC show rastamouse protects the cheese industry.....http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xd38CMW42ik&sns=fbwork it out for yourselves... Rasta and cheese.... cheese being one of the most sought after types of cannabis in the UK its even famous in cali dispensaries...... Wed 02 Feb 2011 11:56:04 GMT+1 John Ellis http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markeaston/2010/12/can_we_imagine_a_britain_where.html?page=91#comment256 Police test positive for drug use The Metropolitan Police had the largest number of positive results Twenty-seven police officers have tested positive for drugs in the past two years, according to Jane's Police Review magazine.but this is a missleading story.... http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-12324973maybe if ALL police were tested we would get a totaly different picture as the testing here proves to be very slective and only deals with either reported drug use or those that use guns in the line of duty. Mon 31 Jan 2011 14:48:17 GMT+1 Euforiater http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markeaston/2010/12/can_we_imagine_a_britain_where.html?page=91#comment255 Thanks to BBC3 for tonight's "How Drugs Work" episode on Cannabis. Finally a fairly balanced program showing how cannabis really affects users' bodies and minds against each way of ingestion - with real scenarios. I learned for example that holding in cannabis smoke for a long time doesn't get you any higher but does increase the tar in your lungs. That's something I'm not going to do any more and a whole lot more useful health information than the bland message "don't do it cos we say so".There seemed to be a genuine portrayal of the range of user effects. At one stage it looked like they were going to go down the usual worst case scenario route with the lad that spent a lot of time in the psych ward but at the end we found it was probably genetic.Non-users who watched the program would still have a slightly negative view of cannabis use due to the fact that these programs always visit someone who has had problems (the lad who started smoking cannabis at 11 years old - prohibition works, anyone?) but the program makers could not be blamed for putting across both views.Finally an apology from me to Professor Robin Murray - I have referred to him somewhat negatively in previous blogs (OK he's probably got too much sense to care what I blog + bigger fish to fry) but I've got to say he came across as a very thoughtful researcher who was more interested in finding solutions to any cannabis side effects than blindly toeing the official line. I realise now that he's probably been misquoted by tabloids for someone else's purposes. One note of caution, though. In the program he said it would be great if it were possible to develop a "finger-prick" genetic test so people could be checked on the way into concerts to see if they fall into the 10% or so that shouldn't take cannabis. There would be a massive amount of pressure from the lobbies to prevent such a test becoming reality as it would inevitably lead to full legalisation. Thu 06 Jan 2011 22:49:07 GMT+1 John Ellis http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markeaston/2010/12/can_we_imagine_a_britain_where.html?page=90#comment254 http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1342661/Fears-new-legal-party-drugs-dangerous-cocaine.html2 to 4 to 6 to 8 when will we learn to regulate :D Thu 30 Dec 2010 12:21:13 GMT+1 John Ellis http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markeaston/2010/12/can_we_imagine_a_britain_where.html?page=90#comment253 http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1341944/Police-chief-duped-house-rented-turned-cannabis-factory.htmlHo Ho Ho Good job he was a top policeman anyone one else would be under suspicion of production with intent to supply.... Mon 27 Dec 2010 21:27:48 GMT+1 kim longinotto http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markeaston/2010/12/can_we_imagine_a_britain_where.html?page=90#comment252 It's Boxing Day and the whole weekend has revolved round people celebrating drinking. It seems like people can't imagine having a good time without alcohol. But drugs are still demonized. Hooray for Bob Ainsworth It's just such a huge relief to hear that this debate about legalising them is AT LAST coming out into the open. 50 years of a crazy war which can't be won. Millions of us take drugs as a aprt of life but can't speak openly in public. If they were legalized then we could talk sensibly and honestly about the risks. Sun 26 Dec 2010 16:45:16 GMT+1 garval http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markeaston/2010/12/can_we_imagine_a_britain_where.html?page=89#comment251 Did you know that in the UK, class A drug use creates around £15.4 billion in crime and health costs each year—in case you're wondering, this is a Home Office figure. What about the other side of the coin: I do also want to know how much the UK government spend, directly and indirectly, on fighting the War on Drugs (WoD) at home and abroad. Do you? Well, let's ask them! Gart Valenchttp://www.stopthewarondrugs.org Thu 23 Dec 2010 16:46:43 GMT+1 Jack http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markeaston/2010/12/can_we_imagine_a_britain_where.html?page=89#comment250 All drugs should be legal so they can be controlled and the government can tax them. History shows us that prohibition doesn't work. The government will NEVER be able to stop people using drugs. Hard drug users cause a huge problem for society as they constantly need to steal to feed their drug addiction. If we provided drugs for these addicts on the NHS, most crime would stop over night. And lets not forget that heroin is actually very cheap when imported legally by governments (the only reason it's expensive now is because it's illegal). Don't get me wrong, I don't think heroin should be freely available but it should be prescribed to existing addicts. As for soft drugs like cannabis, they should be legal or at least decriminalised like in the Netherlands. The police spend way too much time dealing with people for possession of cannabis, which is not only a waste of police time but it also means lots of people end up with criminal records for smoking a plant that grows naturally, meaning that they may not be able to pursue their chosen career. At the moment, with the current drugs policy, everyone seems to be a loser. It's time to look at the bigger picture and legalise drugs! Thu 23 Dec 2010 15:44:22 GMT+1 John Ellis http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markeaston/2010/12/can_we_imagine_a_britain_where.html?page=88#comment249 What has Vince CAble and Jimmy brokenshire got in common?they both put personal belief before policy.It would be interesting to hear the real reasons for the current drug policey as it can only be based on personal belief and personal opinion. Which as we see in the case of Vince Cable is against goverment rules.Why is it not the same for jimmy brokenshire? When ALL evidence says different to the current policy for a successfull drug harm reduction.Also a single owned media is no different to a dictatorship run media exept on is considered comercial and the other brianwashing... Wed 22 Dec 2010 11:33:50 GMT+1 garval http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markeaston/2010/12/can_we_imagine_a_britain_where.html?page=88#comment248 Have your say Rejected-248, I agree with you to a point. Firstly, our "democratic credentials" are in question when democratic expressions are ignored at best and curtailed at worst. Remember the Not in my Name march? The fact that the government in power at that time did manage to get re-elected tells me that we, the citizens of this country of ours, failed in our duty to make the government accountable for ignoring the opinion of million of people. In other words, we ourselves let democracy down. Secondly, there is no question that a myriad of murky and nefarious interest are lurking about the whole War on Drugs business, which should make us even more committed to denounce it and do whatever we can democratically (a slow and painful path, I'm afraid)to put an end to it. If the War on Drugs were an issue anchored in scientific, objective evidence, everybody would have arrived long, long time ago to the conclusion that the consumption of drugs is a health matter, and not a criminal one. And the War on Drugs had not been engineered in the first place. Finally, because it is difficult, because it is an affront to our democratic credential and because there are too many nefarious interest involved, is why we need to DEMAND that politicians take our opinions seriously. Otherwise, will we vote them out! That's democracy for you! Wed 22 Dec 2010 09:41:56 GMT+1 Have your say Rejected http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markeaston/2010/12/can_we_imagine_a_britain_where.html?page=88#comment247 garvel...I have read it. I agree, the prohibitionist policy in the western civilisation has consequences, and those consequences are felt in other areas of the world. It's chaos theory in action. I have written several times to my MP and also to both brown and cameron, each time I got exactly the same reply. It is like they read from the same script, maybe handed to them from a daily mail editor or some other denizen of the prohibitionist camp, who knows. It is quite clear in my opinion that these people are affected by others once they reach their positions, because many either renege on things they say, cameron for instance has had a turn about on drug police since gaining power, on the other hand Ainsworth has found 'his' voice since losing power. It leads me to think there are other powers which influence this. In light of this my opinion is I do not respect the 'democratic' system of this country and neither do I respect the laws of this country. In my opinion it is as barbaric as it was 1000 years ago, I am ashamed to be English. Tue 21 Dec 2010 21:12:03 GMT+1 garval http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markeaston/2010/12/can_we_imagine_a_britain_where.html?page=87#comment246 Have your say Rejected-246:I know, it is quite a mouthful, and even though we Anglo-Saxon seem to get quite a kick from acronyms and abbreviatons (otherwise, why we put up with so many of them), I like IADP even less. Having said that, did you read it? I think it may be a extremely useful vehicle to force the government to take a serious, scientific, objective view at our current drug policy. So, start calling/writing/talking to your MP and any other member in position of authority. Have Your Say! It matters to us all! Tue 21 Dec 2010 18:43:15 GMT+1 Have your say Rejected http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markeaston/2010/12/can_we_imagine_a_britain_where.html?page=87#comment245 garvel..."Impact Assessment of Drug Policy"...Sounds like something the Gov should be doing on a regular basis. Actually sounds like it should be a treasury rule. Tue 21 Dec 2010 18:06:44 GMT+1 garval http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markeaston/2010/12/can_we_imagine_a_britain_where.html?page=87#comment244 I do think that those of us who believe that the War on Drugs is an obscenity and should be stopped can make our opinions count by demanding that Parliament debate the need for an Impact Assessment of Drug Policy (IADP). Log on to http://www.stopthewarondrugs.orgto see what an IADP is all about.Gart Valenc Tue 21 Dec 2010 15:49:36 GMT+1 Have your say Rejected http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markeaston/2010/12/can_we_imagine_a_britain_where.html?page=86#comment243 John Ellis. 'sign of success’ I remember reading something a while ago claiming only 1% of Heroin consumed in Scotland is seized, maybe this is the success brokenshire talks about. Tue 21 Dec 2010 01:03:54 GMT+1 spiritofenquiry http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markeaston/2010/12/can_we_imagine_a_britain_where.html?page=86#comment242 This post has been Removed Mon 20 Dec 2010 23:45:25 GMT+1 John Ellis http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markeaston/2010/12/can_we_imagine_a_britain_where.html?page=86#comment241 the main cutting substances are listed here Have Your say.http://freedom4all.org.uk/Freedom/2010/12/19/james-brokenshire-re-defines-success/Seems many people are picking up on mr brokenshires claims that pollution is a success, good job hes not an environment minister as well.Does he also agree that anthrax which is found in some heroin supplies now is also a good thing? as this to is a contaminating agent. Remembering that he stated this live on air via the westminster broadcast of the event with the few ministers that have any sanity or humanity left and dared to suggest ending the drug war. Mon 20 Dec 2010 19:49:55 GMT+1 David http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markeaston/2010/12/can_we_imagine_a_britain_where.html?page=85#comment240 I couldn't agree more with Mark Easton's analysis and suggested solution. The sooner we implement it and redirect the wasted resources the better.David Cameron, ignore the 'we don't want to change' brigade, announce it now and implement it by the end of this parliament. In case your wondering, I'm a conservative voter aged over 50 who has never used illegal drugs. Mon 20 Dec 2010 17:25:59 GMT+1 John Ellis http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markeaston/2010/12/can_we_imagine_a_britain_where.html?page=85#comment239 indeed they are Have your say. Mon 20 Dec 2010 16:29:18 GMT+1 Have your say Rejected http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markeaston/2010/12/can_we_imagine_a_britain_where.html?page=85#comment238 John aren't glucose and lactose widely used cutting agents, how would the gov control these substances, ban sugar!!! Mon 20 Dec 2010 15:41:09 GMT+1 John Ellis http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markeaston/2010/12/can_we_imagine_a_britain_where.html?page=84#comment237 just came across a post by Bob. http://www.totalpolitics.com/blogs/index.php/2010/12/16/the-uk-needs-a-proper-rational-debate-onthis is very much needed now as good results = widescale adulteration with dangerous cutting agents.the government response is we will control the cutting agent.. Paracetamol is one of the common cutting agents for cocaine.. Now that really would just give society one big headache. Mon 20 Dec 2010 14:44:30 GMT+1 Have your say Rejected http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markeaston/2010/12/can_we_imagine_a_britain_where.html?page=84#comment236 "Can we imagine a Britain where all drugs are legal?"...Over 11 million adults in England and Wales have used drugs at some point in their lives. The drug law is irrelevant to many, by my calculations 1 in 3 adults have/do ignore the drug laws. Mon 20 Dec 2010 13:52:14 GMT+1 rogers1892 http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markeaston/2010/12/can_we_imagine_a_britain_where.html?page=83#comment235 This post has been Removed Mon 20 Dec 2010 13:10:22 GMT+1 Titus_Andronicus http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markeaston/2010/12/can_we_imagine_a_britain_where.html?page=83#comment234 I am always amused by the term 'controlled substance'. I can drive for ten minutes and pick up as much 'controlled substance' as I want on a 24/7 basis. I can't even do that to pick up a tub of yoghurt at Sainsbury's! The police have lost the battle and they lost it years ago.Personally I would not touch the filthy stuff but all prohibition has achieved is:-- driving up the crime statistics to frightening levels- killing people through taking substances not subject to any quality control- made criminals of other-wise law-abiding people, many of them living in society perfectly respectably- made billions for some very nasty people.What it has not done is to control the supply of drugs.The current legislation has let down the people it is intended to protect. Current drug legislation is as much a failure as was communism - also a nice idea which led to a nightmare.It is time to get rid of this legislation and treat the drug issue as a health issue. Mon 20 Dec 2010 00:49:57 GMT+1 John Ellis http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markeaston/2010/12/can_we_imagine_a_britain_where.html?page=83#comment233 Have to say that the apprentice did well they managed to market bourbon that is not really drunk by younger generations unless its Jack D. To the younger generations with sugar and spice..... Im sure the bourbon industry and the tax man will be delighted.and it is after all an easy product to market. Sun 19 Dec 2010 22:24:13 GMT+1 John Ellis http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markeaston/2010/12/can_we_imagine_a_britain_where.html?page=82#comment232 OMG the apprentice today.....How to make market and manufacture a new drug is the test today..!!!....It may be alcohol but its still a dangerious drug..... Sun 19 Dec 2010 21:21:27 GMT+1 John Ellis http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markeaston/2010/12/can_we_imagine_a_britain_where.html?page=82#comment231 drugs are just components of plants, seems i worded the start of that badly. should have read 'the extent you suggest from the TV show,'even these 'dogs' started out as children taught a world trade and brought up to support and protect this trade, victims of circumstance.sorry if i appear to suggest drug genocide :) Sun 19 Dec 2010 21:03:54 GMT+1 GeoffWard http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markeaston/2010/12/can_we_imagine_a_britain_where.html?page=82#comment230 "Geoff Ward: why should people be put to death for using plant materials?" (John Ellis 230)......................Yes, John. Why indeed? Has somebody suggested this? Sun 19 Dec 2010 20:44:54 GMT+1 John Ellis http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markeaston/2010/12/can_we_imagine_a_britain_where.html?page=81#comment229 Geoff Ward: why should people be put to death for using plant materials?I believe the last people to treat a race of peoples to the extent you suggest who had a different belief to how they should live their lives were the Nazi's.! Once on this road of Moral denial there is no turning back. There is no stopping point.There are two types of drug corrupt politicians those that take from it and those that allow it we currently have both types controlling the world. The third type who wants to bring about control to drugs is always put aside as a fool and a nutter. Yet as regulation has shown with the drug caffeine and its natural plant sources once regulated and monitored inspected it brings about a better quality of life for all, same with the chocolate industries which were mostly supported by slave trade production up until real time regulation was put in place. While these two drugs are very wide spread and on their own lead to little problems with immediate use they both carry a great impact to society and its long term running.If you want to be angry at someone be angry with the law makers and our countries politicians, they can bring it under control overnight if they choose to!. Here in the UK we have our own poppy farms already and with modern agriculture and advanced hydroponics could grow all the drugs we needed as a country to supply our needs. Which in turn would end the drug trade and poverty at the production end in Afghanistan Africa Brazil. It would also bring about the end of so called terror funding, which again current policies support through denial of homeland issues with acceptance.Is acceptance really so much to ask for? Its the reckless attitude of the governments of all countries around the world that fuel the drug war either through half hearted measures like the UK or through decriminalisation like portugal. Both methods still support the initial problems in counties of origin.Withing the next few years the drugs industry will be worth on average 10% of the world economy funded by some of the poorest people on earth both in 1st world counties through addiction and through 3rd and now 2nd world production. 50 years of war on this problem has turned into what is probably the longest war fought in the last 500 or so years has no end unlike all other wars fought. Why is this ? Far to much money invested in both sides requires support for a continuation.You also pay to punish these unwanted people with what soon will be a private prison service. This our government will have to pay for per head out of tax payers money to private shareholder companies, then you have all the well educated lawyers judges, well trained police and other enforcement agencies, followed by pay per result rehab. As the uncontrolled trade grows and addiction grows especially to new drugs that will hit the markets over the next few years crime will grow. This in turn will lead to higher insurance premiums for your home. higher food costs and goods costs due to widespread shoplifting which for shops by us stands at about 40k a week per large dept store. They in turn will have stock insurance so they can claim against these losses. So drug prohibition is excellent for the financial institutions that sell us personal insurance and other types of insurance. Sun 19 Dec 2010 18:47:57 GMT+1 Have your say Rejected http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markeaston/2010/12/can_we_imagine_a_britain_where.html?page=81#comment228 GeoffWard There is a common ground between (i) the gentle UK users and their supporters, and (ii) those millions damaged or killed in the communities back along the supply chain, it's called Prohibition. There is a direct link. Countries like Mexico are considering other ways other than prohibition. Sun 19 Dec 2010 17:35:36 GMT+1 GeoffWard http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markeaston/2010/12/can_we_imagine_a_britain_where.html?page=81#comment227 "... the so called "drug problem" is really serious... What is the level of responsibility countries like ours have for sustaining and stimulating the market for narcotics and for making it possible for the drug barons and their henchmen to commit so many crimes? (30,000 drug related death in Mexico alone over the past four years).Have we seriously considered that our demand for drugs is fuelling the violence, destruction and corruption of countries like Mexico?http://www.stopthewarondrugs.org" (garval 221)............Garval,there seems to be no common ground between (i) the gentle UK users and their supporters, and (ii) those millions damaged or killed in the communities back along the supply chain.I live alongside Brazilian drug-dominated favelas and I know, first-hand, the extent to which the we suffer to provide you users with your drugs. This does not disappear if drugs are legallised in certain 'drug-sophisticated´countries. Even a world-wide legallization would not stop these gangs as there are always trades to be made and heavy weapons to help matters along.When you see on television the police shooting down these bandits like dogs, it is because they are dogs and deserve putting down. Not all police are corrupt, though corruption exists all along the supply chain and in all the societies where end-users exist. If we could also 'put-down' all the drug-corrupt politicians, the drug-corrupt 'industrialists', the drug-corrupt pharmacists, and the drug-corrupt defenders of society (police, military and intelligence services), then the world would be a better place to live. There will still be corrupt politicians, industrialists, police, military, intelligence service personnel, and 'men in the street', but there would be fewer of them and those that remain might take the lesson that corruption (with or without drugs) results in death. Sun 19 Dec 2010 16:52:18 GMT+1 garval http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markeaston/2010/12/can_we_imagine_a_britain_where.html?page=80#comment226 I'm very much in agreement with Aneeta Trikk's comments. Prohibition is definitely not the adequate solution, and not only is it not smart, it's totally inefficient and impractical. Regarding corum-populo-2010 last comment, I wish his question asking whether legalisation of alcohol and cigarettes consumption has improved anyone's life were rhetorical. But I'm afraid is not and therefore, would merit a full response. Unfortunately, this is not the place to do that. The short answer is that he's asking the wrong question – could he imagine what the world would look like were they banned and we were engaged in a Tobacco & Alcohol War? The long answer is: haven't we learned anything from history?Gart Valenchttp://www.stopthewarondrugs.org Sun 19 Dec 2010 14:08:06 GMT+1 John Ellis http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markeaston/2010/12/can_we_imagine_a_britain_where.html?page=80#comment225 James Brokenshire believes that the higher the contamination of drugs the more effective his policies are.“The quality of cocaine on the streets is, in some cases, as low as 10% in purity at the moment. That shows some of the very effective work that is taking place.”Is this harm reduction or causing harm?I would firmly say that it is irresponsible to say that the more impurities there are in a drug the better the policy is working.this is akin to saying the more mouse droppings in a pie in an unclean food production facility improves the taste of the pie and should be legislated for to increase the amount of mouse droppings in your food.http://peterreynolds.wordpress.com/2010/12/19/the-most-dangerous-man-in-britain/ Sun 19 Dec 2010 13:39:15 GMT+1 Aneeta Trikk http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markeaston/2010/12/can_we_imagine_a_britain_where.html?page=80#comment224 #223 corum-populo-2010You do not send messages to young people via legislation. If it was ever a deterrent then there would never be under aged sex but there is.Children are influenced by literally millions of factors and mostly they fall into a random category, well outside parental nous or intervention. That is what makes them so very frustrating to over zealous parents. But it also means that what they learn via mistake or misadventure is normally stamped hard on their minds.A mollycoddled child is much more likely to fail and transgress in life than is a straightforwardly raised one, warts and all. Falling into addiction is not a sign of weakness, it is a sign of circumstance. Sun 19 Dec 2010 13:00:13 GMT+1 John Ellis http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markeaston/2010/12/can_we_imagine_a_britain_where.html?page=79#comment223 Legalisation of Class A drugs like cocaine and heroin in the UK will not solve criminal activity of distribution and dealing.so prescription only heroin will make addicts? are our doctors corrupt? Sun 19 Dec 2010 12:38:45 GMT+1 corum-populo-2010 http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markeaston/2010/12/can_we_imagine_a_britain_where.html?page=79#comment222 Legalisation of Class A drugs like cocaine and heroin in the UK will not solve criminal activity of distribution and dealing.Moreover, it sends the wrong message to young people. Parents already struggle to protect their children from the serious harm of alcohol and cigarettes. These destructive Class A substances are no different in their addictive and life destroying effects - it is the UK government's duty to fight against legalisation and to fight all Class A drugs.Alcohol and cigarettes are legal and taxed. Has that improved anyone's life? Counterfiet alcohol and cigarette sales are rife from criminal gangs - so legalisation of Class A drugs will follow the same path of counterfieting and robbing of 'designated' legal outlets for cocaine and heroin.In addition, the UK police need to be provided with equipment for drug-testing roadside tests as used by the German police. These kits are quick, cheap and easy to use. Drug driving is equally dangerous as drink driving and on the increase - the UK government and UK police need to get real to protect all road users. Sun 19 Dec 2010 12:21:07 GMT+1 Aneeta Trikk http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markeaston/2010/12/can_we_imagine_a_britain_where.html?page=78#comment221 Ever since puritanical temperance movements began in the eighteenth century someone, somewhere, has had an eye on prohibition as a means to curb individual pleasure and make a lot of money from ensuing crime. How many big and wealthy families owe their fortunes to the times when crime, in one form or another, paid?And prohibition never concentrates on stopping the sale of whatever it targets, only the redistribution of the revenues it illegally creates. And so the War on Drugs is a phony excuse for a class of "who knows who" to make money whilst many ordinary people die, are imprisoned, or criminalised to suit. Indeed even crooked lawyers can be engaged to write catch22 laws requiring you to have a license before you can grow a plant, but have a plant before you can obtain the license!It would be comic were it not tragic. Many tens of thousands indirectly die every year trying to prevent the deaths of a few thousands directly from a prohibited substance, and yet everyone knows it is just a game of charades played out for the benefit of the few who continue to stay rich.And all because the ruling classes know they cannot be trusted, and if they cannot be trusted then who can?End the scam now. Make everything available, regulated, licensed, taxed, and clean. Even if the crime lords continue at least fewer people will trouble the legal system outside of their empires. Sun 19 Dec 2010 10:09:28 GMT+1 garval http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markeaston/2010/12/can_we_imagine_a_britain_where.html?page=78#comment220 As I mentioned in a previous comment, the so called "drug problem" is really serious and the legalisation of drugs should be properly debated. One angle of the debate I would like to encourage readers to consider: what is the level of responsibility countries like ours or the US, or any other drug consuming country for that matter, have for sustaining and stimulating the market for narcotics and therefore, for making it possible for the drug barons and their henchmen to commit so many crimes (30,000 drug related death in Mexico alone over the past four years). Have we seriously considered that our demand for drugs is fuelling the violence, destruction and corruption of countries like Mexico?Gart Valenchttp://www.stopthewarondrugs.org Sat 18 Dec 2010 18:59:22 GMT+1 John Ellis http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markeaston/2010/12/can_we_imagine_a_britain_where.html?page=78#comment219 its from a report 'Drug war zone' its under documentaries on tv on demand.I can only find copies of the book online and interviews with the author. its an excellent watch. it cover the current conflict and kidnappings in arizona were i boarders with mexico. Sat 18 Dec 2010 16:19:10 GMT+1 busby2 http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markeaston/2010/12/can_we_imagine_a_britain_where.html?page=77#comment218 John Ellis wrote:"I do however believe that instead of the mexican army just randomly killing and arresting people with what in most cases turns out to have no detection work done is not the answer either".Where is your evidence for that sweeping statement? The Mexican authorities have seized record numbers of illegal guns and arrested or killed 10 of the 24 leading drug barons in the last year or so. Were they randomly killed or arrested by the Army? Sat 18 Dec 2010 15:51:05 GMT+1 John Ellis http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markeaston/2010/12/can_we_imagine_a_britain_where.html?page=77#comment217 Busby2 no i dont believe they would become model citizens anymore than I believe James Brokenshire is doing the right thing as he has no experience in the field.I do however believe that instead of the mexican army just randomly killing and arresting people with what in most cases turns out to have no detection work done is not the answer either.The really sad thing is that the USA arm both the drug lords and the army. so fighting will be all that happens.I read thanks to a few American friends Mexican papers online occasionally especially when there has been a surge in fighting.. A couple of months back Drug cartels executed 3 police offices and hung body parts over the front of a local church. they burn down police stations. Will the USA do anything about it no.. as one reporter said about the drug war "Americans love their country but they can only face it when they are high" the story is currently being shown on national geographic "inside the drug war" phoenix arizona and mexican drugs. Sat 18 Dec 2010 14:59:01 GMT+1 busby2 http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markeaston/2010/12/can_we_imagine_a_britain_where.html?page=77#comment216 # 212. At 11:45pm on 17 Dec 2010, John Ellis wrote:"Is this what we have to look forward to ?Mexico prisoners in 'mass jail break' near US borderhttp://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-12023119More than 140 Mexican prisoners have escaped from a jail near the US border, local media reports say. The prisoners - many of them believed to be serving sentences for drugs trafficking - broke out of the jail in Nuevo Laredo early on Friday morning".Do you honestly believe that the murderers etc who escaped from prison in Mexico would become model citizens if drugs were legalised? They would turn to other illegal activities like people smuggling, kidnapping, prostitution rackets, extortion and protection rackets, to give just a few examples. Legalising drugs will not reduce crime or reduce the evil power that these drug gangs exert. This is a war that the Mexican authorities cannot afford to lose. Locking up those they capture is ineffective because the gangs can easily intimidate the guards and threaten their families. It is no wonder that there are escapes.This link gives a flavour of what Mexicans are up against. http://latino.foxnews.com/latino/news/2010/12/17/hospitals-clinics-offer-safe-haven-mexicos-murder-capital/And this linkhttp://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-latin-america-12023345"Marisela Escobedo was shot dead by masked gunmen outside the state governor's office in Chihuahua in northern Mexico, prosecutors said. She had been protesting against the release of the man accused of murdering her daughter in Ciudad Juarez in 2008. Governor Cesar Duarte said he had no doubt the killing was an act of revenge by the alleged murderer. He said he would seek to have the judges who released him removed from their posts. Mrs Escobedo, 52, was shot in the head at close range by one of three masked men who approached her as she was protesting on Thursday evening. She died in hospital".This is a society in which criminal gangs believe they can act with impunity. If ever there was a case for the restoration of the death penalty, Mexico provides the best example. After all, prison is no deterent as the escape you highlighted proves. Sat 18 Dec 2010 14:28:52 GMT+1 John Coyle http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markeaston/2010/12/can_we_imagine_a_britain_where.html?page=76#comment215 I'm sorry to observe that the BBC once again appears to have adopted a position on the question of legalising drugs, or not. In a Radio Four programme interview this week the interviewee in favour of legalising was given the last word, a coomon indicator of the BBC's positioning on an issue. The correct procedure would be for those proposing any change to make their pitch and to have those opoosed to the change to respond. There can then be a rejoinder from each side, in the same order . That's it... but not unless you want to leave the listener with a particular impression. Heads up!! Sat 18 Dec 2010 13:51:14 GMT+1 John Ellis http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markeaston/2010/12/can_we_imagine_a_britain_where.html?page=76#comment214 Been thinking about all the recent jailing of merseyside dealers, 2 large groups have between them received 348 years. Great result you may think or is it? taking that prisons now hold the managers of large international business, the highest rates of drug supplies is in prison are we merely creating new business opportunities for the drug dealers?We already know that UK wide drug operations are run from prisons are we just providing the leaders of this trade with a safe sanctuary in the war on people using drugs? While continuing to run UK wide drugs from the safety of their cells.? Sat 18 Dec 2010 11:23:06 GMT+1 John Ellis http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markeaston/2010/12/can_we_imagine_a_britain_where.html?page=76#comment213 jennings 310 you need to get the views of those who live with it daily before you can get close to making a decision. funny comment that obviously not one person has talked about their experience here or have the 'wrong opinion' after dealing with a life time of addiction within families.Again give evidence of increased addiction as this is a personal view. Currently my community is full of addicts and growing rapidly due to many households selling drugs, we have a fantastic relationship with Merseyside police and our local commanders who act within days of relevant intel, even they admit there is nothing they can do against this global business in my community.Or did you just find the blog and post your opinion that chemical slavery is just fine the way it is and will not lead to a huge explosion in addicts over the coming years under the current interpretation of MODa. Sat 18 Dec 2010 10:06:54 GMT+1 jennings310 http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markeaston/2010/12/can_we_imagine_a_britain_where.html?page=75#comment212 Legalising dangerous drugs fails to recognise the damage caused to those other that the users.I do not want to down play the effects on those burgled or robbed for one moment but the real victims are the families and loved ones of those addicted.I have spent my adult life dealing with drug users and this has brought me into contact with those close to them.Take a good look at the children of a couple of young heroin addicts, see the mother of a suicidal MDMA user or the partner of violent amphetamine user that cannot control there rage due to their addiction.Legalisation will increase the number of users, of that there is no doubt.Look at the likess of these former government ministers and tell me how many of them live in the real world. It is very dangerous to listen to the views of people who have never met a drug user other than in the course of an arranged visit to a deprived area, you need to get the views of those who live with it daily before you can get close to making a decision. Sat 18 Dec 2010 09:16:14 GMT+1 John Ellis http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markeaston/2010/12/can_we_imagine_a_britain_where.html?page=75#comment211 Is this what we have to look forward to ?Mexico prisoners in 'mass jail break' near US borderhttp://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-12023119More than 140 Mexican prisoners have escaped from a jail near the US border, local media reports say. The prisoners - many of them believed to be serving sentences for drugs trafficking - broke out of the jail in Nuevo Laredo early on Friday morning. Fri 17 Dec 2010 23:45:05 GMT+1 Wasson http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markeaston/2010/12/can_we_imagine_a_britain_where.html?page=75#comment210 As bloggers have started to talk about the details of how to come off (and that is just as important as decriminalizing drugs) may I say a few words about my own experience of coming off a very highly addictive and extremely damaging drug. I was only addicted for five years and started taking this drug in my early fifties as a crutch for psychological difficulties associated with a marriage breakdown. I used this noxious substance whenever I could get hold of it and it was so easy to score. For a long while I used substitutes, that turned out to be as addictive in themselves as the original. I finally cracked it when on holiday in a remote place with no access. The drug.......nicotine. Fri 17 Dec 2010 19:55:04 GMT+1 garval http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markeaston/2010/12/can_we_imagine_a_britain_where.html?page=74#comment209 I do believe that the war on drugs is one of the most heinous policies ever engineered, and should be stopped. Yet, those who support the legalisation of drugs should stop using the misleading argument according to which we have legalised alcohol, tobacco, etc., so why not legalise drugs. The point is not that we have legalised other, ‘unhealthy’, substances. The point is that we have legalised them because prohibiting them is irrational, for despite the undeniable bad consequences their legal consumption carries, by making drugs illegal the consequences are even greater. Besides, is not as if by banning drugs, the consumption will be eradicated or made negligible. Prohibition is the worst of both worlds: the negative side of consumption and the obscene effects of prohibition. Nothing gained, all lost! Gart Valenchttp://www.stopthewarondrugs.org Fri 17 Dec 2010 17:33:42 GMT+1 Euforiater http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markeaston/2010/12/can_we_imagine_a_britain_where.html?page=74#comment208 208 - Sunshine band. Good point. One particular misuse that's peddled by Those Who Stand To Gain is the very phrase "Drug Crime". It's actually Prohibition Crime. Use that more often and one other obstacle to a common-sense approach will be removed.Food for thought: Tonight is "Fighting Friday" - the night when our police and casualty departments have their busiest and most chaotic time due to the number of people finishing work and going out for a full night of drinking alcohol to excess. You all need to ask yourself what the effect of legalisation of none "fighty" drugs such as cannabis and ecstasy could do to alleviate this problem. Alcohol itself certainly needs greater control but this needs to be done within the law by such things as cheaper soft drinks and no 2-for-1s etc. Persuasion is always the best way.As for James Brokenshire, the Government's alleged "Minister for Crime Prevention", perhaps he needs to look up the word "prevention" since prohibition has done exactly the opposite. Nice of him to admit that the issue is not a simple one however, which we've been saying for ages, but I just don't get why he thinks that organised crime should be the experts chosen to administer the solution.Perhaps he should go back into the financial world since that's already a mess and he probably can't do much more harm there.. Fri 17 Dec 2010 17:22:24 GMT+1 Sunshine Band http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markeaston/2010/12/can_we_imagine_a_britain_where.html?page=73#comment207 The way to get people to recognise it as a cultural issue is to stop misusing language. This piece cites the whole problem, we can't imagine it because we cannot even say it. It is not about 'legalising drugs' that misses the whole human element - right now it is about criminalising people because of their interests or orientation around a particular drug. We want an amnesty for all the prisoners on the war on some people who use some drugs now. Fri 17 Dec 2010 15:38:33 GMT+1 GeoffWard http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markeaston/2010/12/can_we_imagine_a_britain_where.html?page=73#comment206 "...methadone is hell to withdraw from ..........."(Jusco44 @188)"..............You need a strong mind to overcome that final hurdle, but you can do it. Good luck." (Steve @203)................................Steve,a really good, positive posting. Thanks.Geoff. Fri 17 Dec 2010 14:36:57 GMT+1 GeoffWard http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markeaston/2010/12/can_we_imagine_a_britain_where.html?page=73#comment205 Can we imagine a Britain where all needed drugs are legal AND free at the point of 'sale'?The tax paid over a lifetime should be able to cover the costs and this could cover the drugs which are called the drugs of abuse as well as the drugs the doctors use.I suppose problems could arise if the drug addicts continue their addiction, and there would also be problems if 'ordinary' old people keep on living - perhaps because of the free drugs.But we can hardly kill off the old people and the drug addicts just to keep the taxes down. We must simply accept the ever-increasing cost through our taxes of giving free drugs to old people and to drug addicts. The hope must be that there will be enough people paying taxes so we can ever-increase their tax-payments in line with the need. If, through getting the economy in balance again, too many people get unemployed (and perhaps turn to drugs), the taxation on those still in employment will have to approach 100%."Houston, I think we have a problem." Perhaps all addicts and all oldies will have to be stripped of their personal assets in order to avoid impact on our few and fewer productive tax-payers. Fri 17 Dec 2010 14:29:07 GMT+1 John Ellis http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markeaston/2010/12/can_we_imagine_a_britain_where.html?page=72#comment204 indeed Jusco 44 very well done in making the steps you have done, especially in today's climate of hate towards addiction and those that have fallen into what is nothing more than chemical slavery.Methadone has always been a poor substitute for managed recovery as it takes so long to actually come off, this is what makes me fear for future programs were some treatment including methadone will be offered for a very short period of time with little or no psychological support.I know personally how addiction works both through my brother and through personal medication prescribed by my GP for my health problems since puberty and teenage brain development showed flaws in my everyday functioning, having been physically addicted to very dangerous psychotropic drugs several times over the years. I can fully appreciate the struggle to remain healthy and in control. Fri 17 Dec 2010 14:02:19 GMT+1 DailyFake http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markeaston/2010/12/can_we_imagine_a_britain_where.html?page=72#comment203 I still believe that, as Bill Hicks commentated: -Making drugs illegal has never stopped people taking them, it has just made them criminals.But...If drugs were legalised in the UK, there would need to be a growth in jobs, services and infrastructure to prevent social exclusion and (expected) eventual drug taking and abuse Therefore, it's too late to legalize drugs - inherent British culture will abuse the system and make the situation worseThere's really no argument against leaglising drugs other than society itslef.... Fri 17 Dec 2010 13:56:31 GMT+1 Steve - Iver http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markeaston/2010/12/can_we_imagine_a_britain_where.html?page=72#comment202 199. At 12:40pm on 17 Dec 2010, Jusco44 wrote:..."methadone is hell to withdraw from and if I had the choice to come of heroin or methadone it would be heroin everytime"..."15 years down the line and after 8 years of being clean of heroin I am still reducing my methadone intake"..."I am dreading the final stages of the withdrawal"..."I want to get on with my life"..."I will never get a full time job working in this area unless I come off my medication"Jusco44, I couldn't agree more with you. Methadone has such a 'cure-all' image in much of the Daily Fail readership, but if the truth were known about it, Heroin (clean heroin, not street gear) would be seen as a much safer alternative. Heroin is bad because it is addictive, hugely so, and made worse by the usual method of administration, but the press have given it such a horror-story image and then said Methadone is the 'cure-all'. What rubbish! The fact that you are still on reduction regimes after 8 years must be testament to the evils of Methadone. In my opinion, Buprenorphine is a much better alternative. I've known £20 a day habits being brought down to zero, overnight, and then withdrawal from that took 3 months on a strict reduction regime. It's expensive, but then so is 8 years worth of Methadone. The final step is something to be proud of. When you've suffered an addiction, you wind yourself up that the final step will be the biggest hurdle of all, and mentally, maybe it is, but that's all it is. You need a strong mind to overcome that final hurdle, but you can do it. Good luck. This is but one part of the big picture than honest grown-up debate / discussion can deal with, and education for all, users, addicts, recovering addicts, parents, husbands, wives, children and friends can teach a lot. Ignorance may be bliss, but only knowledge can save us. As for S.Babes - ignore him, he's a familiar WUM to many on this blog and it's not worth your energy responding to him. EDUCATE, REGULATE, TAXPROHIBITION DOES NOT WORK Fri 17 Dec 2010 13:39:21 GMT+1 Steve - Iver http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markeaston/2010/12/can_we_imagine_a_britain_where.html?page=71#comment201 Mark, another well written article. It's good to see that the discussion hasn't lost momentum, and we seem to be getting a growing number of, for want of a better word, academics, speaking up in favour of change. Of course, it's a gamble for any 'in-office' politician to front such a campaign, but surely some kudos could be sought if such a politician were to front an honest and frank discussion on the subject. It's a natural reaction, when dealing with something as emotive as illicit drug use, to opt for one extreme or the other; it's illegal, let's legalise it, or it's legal, let's outlaw it. What is needed, and it's been said before, so I'll say it again, is proper grown-up discussion, publicly, transparently, and with authority from all sides (not both sides, but all sides). There are many options and a bit of imagination will probably come up with some more, but the most likely way of getting all of this further into the public domain is by discussion. That will lead to education - everyone will learn something, and thereon could lead to some form of regulation to bring this pathetic prohibitive policy (another acronym for PPP) into the light of the 21st Century. A fairer Britain for All? Let's discuss. EDUCATE, REGULATE AND TAXPROHIBITION DOES NOT WORK Fri 17 Dec 2010 13:05:45 GMT+1 John Ellis http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markeaston/2010/12/can_we_imagine_a_britain_where.html?page=71#comment200 This post has been Removed Fri 17 Dec 2010 12:44:58 GMT+1 John Ellis http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markeaston/2010/12/can_we_imagine_a_britain_where.html?page=71#comment199 Tony indeed medical cannabis is a whole new argument that has been proven to work (see post 126), however our government uses current medical cannabis products 'Sativex' as a leaver to imprison and punish sick people even though they can NOT get it on the NHS. I did try to block Sativex from being floated on the stock market for this very reason.Still the development of Sativex meant that GW pharma lost their rights to patented medical plants, as the people who developed the plants also are responsible for the seed banks cannabis scene in Holland so now we have the same plants flooding the market very high in CBD's. Fri 17 Dec 2010 12:43:39 GMT+1 Jusco44 http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markeaston/2010/12/can_we_imagine_a_britain_where.html?page=70#comment198 194. Shaunie Babes. You say Stop awarding victim status to anthors of their own misfortune. If you choose to injest a dangerous substance and die, tough, its Darwin at work.Heartless comment to make Shaunie Babes. What about their family, what about their friends? Would you say that to someones mother/father, brother/sister who had lost their family member? I hope not. Maybe it is their choice but things could change if laws were changed. Don't know if you've had personal experience of drugs but you don't sound like you have.Also,methadone is hell to withdraw from and if I had the choice to come of heroin or methadone it would be heroin everytime. Not that I'd CHOOSE to do either. I might have had the choice in the first place but now 15 years down the line and after 8 years of being clean of heroin I am still reducing my methadone intake with the help of my drug worker. I am dreading the final stages of the withdrawal but I know I have to do it and I don't want to be a methadone user for the rest of my born days. I want to get on with my life and although I volunteer for peer-mentoring and other areas of the programme that has helped me so much, I will never get a full time job working in this area unless I come off my medication. I plan to be off the stuff in the next 6 months but I know it's going to be tough. I would welcome methadone being stopped all together and heroin being prescribed safely, it makes so much sense to me. Fri 17 Dec 2010 12:40:21 GMT+1 Tony Gosling http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markeaston/2010/12/can_we_imagine_a_britain_where.html?page=70#comment197 What does surprise me is why the coalition has been so negative and not latched on to drug control as part of their solution. Ken Clarke wants to reduce the prison population - well 10 years of medical heroin supply in Zurich showed a 90% reduction in crime. They want more taxes - taxing cannabis would bring in a couple of £bn. They want to show they are not the nasty party any more, it would be a good liberal measure. Indeed David Cameron in 2007 said he was in favour of medical cannabis, but now he seems to have gone quiet on even this minimal, compassionate step. Fri 17 Dec 2010 12:26:54 GMT+1 mightychewster http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markeaston/2010/12/can_we_imagine_a_britain_where.html?page=70#comment196 @ BusbyI personally think that the main reason smoking has declined has nothing to do with price and more to do with education and acceptability20 years ago it was highly fashionable to smoke - so everyone did. Now it's seen more as a bad habit. Everyone today is well informed about the dangers of smoking. Smoking rates have not fallen because of the priceIn Ireland a packet of smokes costs 9.80 (Euro) and as far as I know the smoking rates are about the same as they were when they were half the priceIt's the same with drugs. Heroin used to be a fashionable drug, as to some extent marijuana was/is. As pointed out above all the evidence points to drug use decreasing when it has been de-criminalised"Decriminalisation will increase availability and cut the price and that will drag in large numbers of new users whose lives are blighted and cut short by drugs. That is simply making a bad problem even worse. It is illogical to argue otherwise."Every study that has looked at this has found the exact opposite, the illogical part is refusing to accept the fact that it won'tDrug use is an emotive subject, most people's judgment is clouded before the discussion starts. I used to think the same way as you - my mind has been changed with my experiences, as would a lot of others if they allowed themselves to look at the issue objectively@Jusco, glad you're of the hard stuff mate. I've seen people going through detox and it's not nice, it's a horrible experience that I don't want to repeat. Keep it up..... Fri 17 Dec 2010 12:14:17 GMT+1 John Ellis http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markeaston/2010/12/can_we_imagine_a_britain_where.html?page=69#comment195 busby2 re 100 :Those who advocate the decriminalization of drugs have not stopped to consider the effect that this will have on demand and the amount of usage.=========================================================================As a community leader that has tackled drug problems for many years I can say that you are wrong there. I do not however support Decriminalisation this is a false idol of the current arguments over control. in 2008 we won an award for the reduction of drugs and the crime that is associated with it.=========================================================================It stands to reason that any illegal drug which is decriminalised and then becomes readily and legally available will generate a greater demand by existing users and generate vast swathes of new users. Is that what we want as a society?=========================================================================This is what we already have in society the average age of Internet drug dealers in my area is 12-17, experience tell us that you can no more regulate illegal drugs than you can stop people putting salt on their food. As you say it stands to reason however all models that have shown reduction in drug use are based on liberal drug law. Please explain further with current literature to back up your reasoning how your reason holds any weigh?=========================================================================In a decriminalised world of drugs, the criminals can only be driven out of the business if the cost of legal drugs is far cheaper than the price criminals can provide the drugs. This will mean that the price of drugs will have to be far cheaper than now. And cheaper drugs will generate far greater usage and also attract far more users. Again, is that something we want as a society?=========================================================================In a regulated frame work drug use would drop through identification and licenced sales, the punishments for out of licence drug selling could and will be vastly easier to punish especially with long term prison sentences. Again can you please show were in the world that has taken a liberal approach to drugs that drugs use has increased and continues to increase?=========================================================================We have seen tobacco usage decline because of the expense and because of health campaigns about the danger. Cigarette consumption is price sensitive because the cost of the addiction is a great financial incentive to give up smoking. However Customs estimate 16% of consumption is of non duty cigarettes and that hits revenue as well as well as undermining the campaign to reduce smoking. This also shows that legalising drugs and putting the criminals out of business can only be achieved by reducing the street price of drugs. And this will, as I have argued above, will certainly increase consumption of drugs and greatly exacerbate the harm they cause. =========================================================================I have no complaint with this as I buy my tobacco from friends in the EU however my smoking has remained the same if not lowered as im reluctant to pay the high price in the UK for a product I can buy on a free market at reduced cost and still pay tax on.=========================================================================As i have said in previous posts if you want a serious debate then include current data and research to be taken as anything other than a troll. Fri 17 Dec 2010 12:12:13 GMT+1 busby2 http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markeaston/2010/12/can_we_imagine_a_britain_where.html?page=69#comment194 Tony Gosling wrote #190"Even with heroin, the experience in Zurich using "the British method" of prescribing heroin almost completely stopped new addicts being created and reduced crime by 90%. Indeed in the UK before 1971, when heroin was easily available on prescription there were less than 700 registered addicts against something like 300,000 now". I think this makes sense. It does not decriminalise the supply of heroin by dealers or resale by addicts but ensures that registered addicts can obtain a supply legally. However steps will have to be taken to ensure that heroin is taken in controlled conditions and not removed from the clinic where it is provided to ensure that addicts do not sell on an overprescription of heroin. Under those conditions, I would expect that clinics could slowly reduce the daily doses to bring them off heroin altogether. Fri 17 Dec 2010 12:06:34 GMT+1 Shaunie Babes http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markeaston/2010/12/can_we_imagine_a_britain_where.html?page=68#comment193 182. At 01:51am on 17 Dec 2010, RedGreenInBlue wrote:In other words, there are currently NO controls on the purity or strength of any dose of heroin bought on the street, and that is precisely because heroin is currently illegal and its supply is in the hands of people who either don't know or don't care what they're selling.-----------------------It is very easy to sell to people who don't care what they are buying. Stop awarding victim status to authors of their own misfortune. If you choose in ingest a dangerous substance and die, tough, its Darwin at work. Fri 17 Dec 2010 12:04:04 GMT+1 Jusco44 http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markeaston/2010/12/can_we_imagine_a_britain_where.html?page=68#comment192 I am an ex user of heroin and I am absolutely overjoyed with the attitude of some of the contributers on this blog as well as, as usual,not surprised. If you listen to the comments made by ill-informed people who think that all their grandchildren and children will grow up to be drug addicts it's no wonder people are scared. What do they think is going to happen?? Shops selling heroin/crack willy nilly on the high street?? Of course it won't be like that. Before jumping in and making silly, unfounded statements like that people need to read through what will actually happen.Things will be so much safer and crime will inevitably go down. I can imagine a country where drugs are legal. It would be a country with less crime and a smaller prison population, therefore less tax payers money being spent. busby2 You are so wrong about it being drug users who want decriminalisation of drugs. I haven't used Class A drugs for 8 and a half years and Class c drugs haven't been in my system for about 6 months now so you are being very general with that statement. Maybe I WAS a user but no more. I can just see more pros of legalising drugs than cons and it has nothing whatsoever to do with me benefitting from a change in the law. Fri 17 Dec 2010 11:56:32 GMT+1 busby2 http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markeaston/2010/12/can_we_imagine_a_britain_where.html?page=68#comment191 MightychewsterYou wrote in #189"Whilst price does have a nominal effect on drug use it bears very little weight in drug use. Addicts don't care if crack is 50 pence of 50 pounds a hit - they just want it, regardlessIf it's 50 pence then it's cheaper to fund the habit. If it's 50 pounds it's more expensive, it really is that simple. Making it more expensive will not stop users who are addicted."That analysis takes no account of the fact that at 50 pence, it is far easier to find new customers than if the price was £50. Decriminalisation will increase availability and cut the price and that will drag in large numbers of new users whose lives are blighted and cut short by drugs. That is simply making a bad problem even worse. It is illogical to argue otherwise.There is abundant evidence that increasing the price of cigarettes has played a substantial role in reducing the numbers of men smoking from 66% to circa 20% today over the past few decades. Govt policy has however been undermined by smuggling which accounts for an estimated 16% of consumption. As cigarette consumption has gone down as the price has increased in real terms, why shouldn't the consumption of illegal drugs increase and drag in many new users if the product is legal and therefore cheaper? Fri 17 Dec 2010 11:52:33 GMT+1 Daisy Chained http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markeaston/2010/12/can_we_imagine_a_britain_where.html?page=67#comment190 Yes I can almost touch a UK without the current ineffectual laws against drug use, without the current ineffectual laws against corruption is business, finance, and banking, and without the current excuses for a ruling class. It is normally in a dream reserved for the night after a pleasant evening enjoying things others would rather not have me do.And making the connection has made me realise why we need a revolutionary change in the personnas of those who represent us. The reality of that change remains just a 'pinprick' away, as always. Fri 17 Dec 2010 11:43:37 GMT+1 Tony Gosling http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markeaston/2010/12/can_we_imagine_a_britain_where.html?page=67#comment189 busby2 188 wrote "As far as I can see, nobody who wants decriminalisation has given any reason to argue against the views I expressed in post 100" Your concerns in post 100 were that usage would go up. The evidence is quite strong that if anything usage would go down. Forbidden fruit is exciting and attractive. For example the cannabis usage rate in Holland (where it is freely available) is around 6%, against 8% in the UK and 12% in the USA (where penalties are the highest). When cannabis was moved to class C, the governments own figures show usage, particularly among the young reduced.Even with heroin, the experience in Zurich using "the British method" of prescribing heroin almost completely stopped new addicts being created and reduced crime by 90%. Indeed in the UK before 1971, when heroin was easily available on prescription there were less than 700 registered addicts against something like 300,000 now. It seems to me that as prohibition has only increased usage, harm and criminality then it is only sensible to try legalisation. At least as an experiment. Fri 17 Dec 2010 11:38:49 GMT+1 mightychewster http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markeaston/2010/12/can_we_imagine_a_britain_where.html?page=67#comment188 BusbyWhilst price does have a nominal effect on drug use it bears very little weight in drug use. Addicts don't care if crack is 50 pence of 50 pounds a hit - they just want it, regardlessIf it's 50 pence then it's cheaper to fund the habit. If it's 50 pounds it's more expensive, it really is that simple. Making it more expensive will not stop users who are addictedMaking it legal will not cause hundreds of thousand of new users as you claim - do you have any evidence to this? A lot of folk on here have provided details and links pointing to the exact opposite of your claims. Existing users will not use more because it is legal, addiction has no laws anyway. Social drug users will not take more either, nobody willYou need to step back and realise what the real problem is, and prohibition is not working Fri 17 Dec 2010 10:21:11 GMT+1 busby2 http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markeaston/2010/12/can_we_imagine_a_britain_where.html?page=66#comment187 186. At 09:08am on 17 Dec 2010, Angry Leftie wrote:"Mark, you have my utmost respect as you seem to be one of the few media commentators who cover this ongoing groundhog day of a story rationally. The only place where I'd disagree with you is your statement, "Mr Ainsworth knows that public attitudes and the political weather are against him". If the comments on this blog are anything to go by, public opinion is firmly in favour of changing our approach. I am amazed at the level of support that has been shown on this page for a change in the law".By their own admission, it would appear that the vast majority of those who agree that drugs should be decriminalised on this blog are drugs users. And they would say that wouldn't they?As far as I can see, nobody who wants decriminalisation has given any reason to argue against the views I expressed in post 100 Fri 17 Dec 2010 10:02:26 GMT+1 mightychewster http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markeaston/2010/12/can_we_imagine_a_britain_where.html?page=66#comment186 @ John EllisThanks for your contributions on here - it's nice to read comments that are both informed and rational when discussing this issueI lost my brother to an overdose, I don't blame dealers or society or the government (neither did he) It was his choice to use and he admitted that. If you talk to any serious drug user/addict then the honest ones will tell you it's no-ones fault but themselves. Others try to blame society or their surroundings but ultimately it's miss-placed blameDe-criminalising drugs is a good idea, nobody is talking about selling them in sweet shops or off licenses (apart from Daily Mail readers) but just making it a non criminal offenseRehab centres are good places and we need more of them, the funds raised from taxation of drugs could fund a lot more of them. People who are serious about kicking get good help and support and there are (fairly) good success rates with people who want to kick. I spent quite a bit of time in one with my brother when he wanted to stop, and the help and advice was excellent. They give as much support and advice to the family as to the addict, it really helps you to understand what the causes and effects areMost folks have no real clue about drug use/abuse because they don't have any real experience with it, all they have are the usual scare stories - general ignorance mostlyWe need as a nation to accept that it happens and try and deal with it sensibly. Education and understanding are both key to this, we need a sensible debate on this issue#177 Norfy - you have no clue about what you're talking about Fri 17 Dec 2010 09:54:27 GMT+1 Angry Leftie http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markeaston/2010/12/can_we_imagine_a_britain_where.html?page=66#comment185 Mark, you have my utmost respect as you seem to be one of the few media commentators who cover this ongoing groundhog day of a story rationally. The only place where I'd disagree with you is your statement, "Mr Ainsworth knows that public attitudes and the political weather are against him". If the comments on this blog are anything to go by, public opinion is firmly in favour of changing our approach. I am amazed at the level of support that has been shown on this page for a change in the law. Normally the political view on the HYS site are akin to those expressed in Berlin in the 1930s. What's even funnier are the comments left on the Daily Heil's website. I wouldn't be surprised if that page and its associated comments are subtly removed from the net. The only thing that stops bold change is political cowardice in the face of right wing tabloid lies and hysteria. It's high time that, as a country, we stop listening to unpleasant people like Paul Dacre who hanker for a past that never existed and face the truth. Fri 17 Dec 2010 09:08:21 GMT+1 Wasson http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markeaston/2010/12/can_we_imagine_a_britain_where.html?page=65#comment184 #176 Thanks for reply to my question in #166. I think you just about nailed it as far as political pusillanimity and domination by the red-top press go. In the UK with a church going rate of under 1% one might think the balance would be different than in the USA, but we are subservient to them in so many ways including this one. The one attempt made to decriminalize hash in Brixton was suppressed by the police colleagues of the enlightened officer who introduced it. It will need a thorough going revision of the whole policy country wide to get us on a new track and unless the lib-dems push for it I don't know when if ever we will get that. Fri 17 Dec 2010 08:27:08 GMT+1 John Ellis http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markeaston/2010/12/can_we_imagine_a_britain_where.html?page=65#comment183 178. At 00:33am on 17 Dec 2010, Mafficker wrote:John Ellis, the problem is not the MDAct, its the regulatory policy choices made by the SSHD under the FActs discretion's.Yup lot to say without complicating it to much should have been current implementation of MODa :D Fri 17 Dec 2010 02:59:21 GMT+1 Immortal so far http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markeaston/2010/12/can_we_imagine_a_britain_where.html?page=65#comment182 "Decriminalisation fails to recognise the complexity of the problem"And prohibition does? Fri 17 Dec 2010 01:56:25 GMT+1 RedGreenInBlue http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markeaston/2010/12/can_we_imagine_a_britain_where.html?page=64#comment181 macdos wrote,"Oh and food for though [sic] 30mg of heroin is enough to kill a man that is opiate naive. The controlls [sic] are in place for a reason!"Oh, for goodness' sake. Dealers aren't going to spend tens of thousands on analytical equipment, supplies and reagents to carry out purification and quality control on their wares. Firstly it's expensive, and they'd only price themselves out of the market. Secondly, buying specialist kit and large volumes of interesting organic solvents as a private individual is as good as putting up a sign saying "Large-scale clandestine drug processor lives here."In other words, there are currently NO controls on the purity or strength of any dose of heroin bought on the street, and that is precisely because heroin is currently illegal and its supply is in the hands of people who either don't know or don't care what they're selling.PS. I've used cannabis, MDMA, MDA, amphetamine and LSD. I "enjoyed them responsibly", as the big brewing and distilling multinationals exhort us to do with their heavily-marketed fighting juice. And it would be really nice if people had to to risk a criminal record simply for disagreeing with the Daily Mail demographic on what constitutes an acceptable recreational drug.PPS. To answer Mark Easton's question: yes I can. It would be wonderful, if only because it would indicate that this country had finally decided to embrace rationality. And that in turn would suggest that our schools were fulfilling the proper goal of education, which is not to produce the next generation of docile wage-slaves, but to produce well-read, scientifically-literate critical thinkers.PPPS. Oh, and thank you, Mark, for covering this issue sensibly. Fri 17 Dec 2010 01:51:53 GMT+1 regornala http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markeaston/2010/12/can_we_imagine_a_britain_where.html?page=64#comment180 I take the view that it is no business of the state what we do to our bodies. If adults wish to harm themselves by consuming products (drugs and food) that cause them harm, that is their choice. Attempted suicide has not been a not crime in England since 1961. Tax the drugs and food that cause harm to pay for the health and social costs. As we do now with tobacco and alcohol. Take the profits away from the criminal gangs. You will never beat them. Fri 17 Dec 2010 01:33:37 GMT+1