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MK Shrimper

Well-known member
Joined
Aug 6, 2005
Messages
52,329
Taken from the New Scientist, fascinating article that I totally agree with. I know it's an age old topic on here but it's a slow day.




Far from protecting us and our children, the war on drugs is making the world a much more dangerous place.

SO FAR this year, about 4000 people have died in Mexico's drugs war - a horrifying toll. If only a good fairy could wave a magic wand and make all illegal drugs disappear, the world would be a better place.

Dream on. Recreational drug use is as old as humanity, and has not been stopped by the most draconian laws. Given that drugs are here to stay, how do we limit the harm they do?

The evidence suggests most of the problems stem not from drugs themselves, but from the fact that they are illegal. The obvious answer, then, is to make them legal.

The argument most often deployed in support of the status quo is that keeping drugs illegal curbs drug use among the law-abiding majority, thereby reducing harm overall. But a closer look reveals that this really doesn't stand up. In the UK, as in many countries, the real clampdown on drugs started in the late 1960s, yet government statistics show that the number of heroin or cocaine addicts seen by the health service has grown ever since - from around 1000 people per year then, to 100,000 today. It is a pattern that has been repeated the world over.

A second approach to the question is to look at whether fewer people use drugs in countries with stricter drug laws. In 2008, the World Health Organization looked at 17 countries and found no such correlation. The US, despite its punitive drug policies, has one of the highest levels of drug use in the world (PLoS Medicine, vol 5, p e141).

A third strand of evidence comes from what happens when a country softens its drug laws, as Portugal did in 2001. While dealing remains illegal in Portugal, personal use of all drugs has been decriminalised. The result? Drug use has stayed roughly constant, but ill health and deaths from drug taking have fallen. "Judged by virtually every metric, the Portuguese decriminalisation framework has been a resounding success," states a recent report by the Cato Institute, a libertarian think tank based in Washington DC.

By any measure, making drugs illegal fails to achieve one of its primary objectives. But it is the unintended consequences of prohibition that make the most compelling case against it. Prohibition fuels crime in many ways: without state aid, addicts may be forced to fund their habit through robbery, for instance, while youngsters can be drawn into the drugs trade as a way to earn money and status. In countries such as Colombia and Mexico, the profits from illegal drugs have spawned armed criminal organisations whose resources rival those of the state. Murder, kidnapping and corruption are rife.

Making drugs illegal also makes them more dangerous. The lack of access to clean needles for drug users who inject is a major factor in the spread of lethal viruses such as HIV and hepatitis C.

So what's the alternative? There are several models for the legal provision of recreational drugs. They include prescription by doctors, consumption at licensed premises or even sale on a similar basis to alcohol and tobacco, with health warnings and age limits. If this prospect appals you, consider the fact that in the US today, many teenagers say they find it easier to buy cannabis than beer.

Taking any drug - including alcohol and nicotine - does have health risks, but a legal market would at least ensure that the substances people ingest or inject are available unadulterated and at known dosages. Much of the estimated $300 billion earned from illegal drugs worldwide, which now funds crime, corruption and environmental destruction, could support legitimate jobs. And instead of spending tens of billions enforcing prohibition, governments would gain income from taxes that could be spent on medical treatment for the small proportion of users who become addicted or whose health is otherwise harmed.

Unfortunately, the idea that banning drugs is the best way to protect vulnerable people - especially children - has acquired a strong emotional grip, one that politicians are happy to exploit. For many decades, laws and public policy have flown in the face of the evidence. Far from protecting us, this approach has made the world a much more dangerous place than it need be.
 
Last edited:

BrettieAngell

THE ROCK GOD
Joined
Oct 26, 2003
Messages
19,642
Location
Southend
I agree with all that principle, but no government in this country could hope to legalise drugs and win an election so it wont happen.
 

steveo

mine to stay the same please
Joined
Aug 30, 2005
Messages
7,545
I didnt read the article but its made sense to me for years.

Legalise drugs, sell them cheaply, make them available to anyone over 18.

This would wipe out drug related crime overnight. Pushers would be out of business and have to find real work.

Along with putting the price of Road Tax on petrol, this is one of the most sensible proposals ive heard.
 

Napster

The Horse with no Name⭐
Joined
Oct 27, 2003
Messages
35,305
Location
The wilds of Kent
I'm sorry but it's wooly liberal nonsense. We need harsher laws for possession, intent to supply and we need to bomb the crap out of Afghanistan.
 

GBJ

The Font of all Knowledge from Russia⭐
Staff member
Joined
Nov 2, 2008
Messages
12,177
Location
Grays
what about Colombia?

Colombia - where the majority of cocaine origionates from

Afghanistan - where the majority of heroin origionates from

I say bomb them both
 

Pubey

Guest
I aint goin no Hamsterdam

ep29_bunny_mello_car.jpg
 

Yorkshire Blue

Super Moderator⭐
Staff member
Joined
Oct 27, 2003
Messages
35,888
Location
London
As far as I can see the war on drugs can't be justified no matter what angle you look at: whether it is health, social, philosophical, economical etc

No mainstream politicians are however brave enough to stick their head above the parapet and admit the truth, despite (and because) they've pretty much all done the very thing they seek to prevent. That's more ****ed up than if you were pumped up with magic monkey juice and taken a trip to space land.
 

EastStandBlue

Life President
Joined
May 29, 2005
Messages
15,477
Both my parents work for the NHS in the Mental Health Sector. Since the almost legalisation of cannabis, there's been a ridiculous increase in the number of, especially young, people with the likes of paranoia, depression and drug induced psychosis that is putting an immense strain on the NHS. You think that'll get better with full legalisation?
 

Yorkshire Blue

Super Moderator⭐
Staff member
Joined
Oct 27, 2003
Messages
35,888
Location
London
Both my parents work for the NHS in the Mental Health Sector. Since the almost legalisation of cannabis, there's been a ridiculous increase in the number of, especially young, people with the likes of paranoia, depression and drug induced psychosis that is putting an immense strain on the NHS. You think that'll get better with full legalisation?

I think the current approach isn't working and that resources currently employed fighting a losing battle against the supply of drugs could be more effectively spent on education, research and the NHS.
 

davewebbsbrain

Webby⭐
Joined
Aug 17, 2005
Messages
22,107
Location
Eastwood
Taken from the New Scientist, fascinating article that I totally agree with. I know it's an age old topic on here but it's a slow day.




Far from protecting us and our children, the war on drugs is making the world a much more dangerous place.

SO FAR this year, about 4000 people have died in Mexico's drugs war - a horrifying toll. If only a good fairy could wave a magic wand and make all illegal drugs disappear, the world would be a better place.

Dream on. Recreational drug use is as old as humanity, and has not been stopped by the most draconian laws. Given that drugs are here to stay, how do we limit the harm they do?

The evidence suggests most of the problems stem not from drugs themselves, but from the fact that they are illegal. The obvious answer, then, is to make them legal.

The argument most often deployed in support of the status quo is that keeping drugs illegal curbs drug use among the law-abiding majority, thereby reducing harm overall. But a closer look reveals that this really doesn't stand up. In the UK, as in many countries, the real clampdown on drugs started in the late 1960s, yet government statistics show that the number of heroin or cocaine addicts seen by the health service has grown ever since - from around 1000 people per year then, to 100,000 today. It is a pattern that has been repeated the world over.

A second approach to the question is to look at whether fewer people use drugs in countries with stricter drug laws. In 2008, the World Health Organization looked at 17 countries and found no such correlation. The US, despite its punitive drug policies, has one of the highest levels of drug use in the world (PLoS Medicine, vol 5, p e141).

A third strand of evidence comes from what happens when a country softens its drug laws, as Portugal did in 2001. While dealing remains illegal in Portugal, personal use of all drugs has been decriminalised. The result? Drug use has stayed roughly constant, but ill health and deaths from drug taking have fallen. "Judged by virtually every metric, the Portuguese decriminalisation framework has been a resounding success," states a recent report by the Cato Institute, a libertarian think tank based in Washington DC.

By any measure, making drugs illegal fails to achieve one of its primary objectives. But it is the unintended consequences of prohibition that make the most compelling case against it. Prohibition fuels crime in many ways: without state aid, addicts may be forced to fund their habit through robbery, for instance, while youngsters can be drawn into the drugs trade as a way to earn money and status. In countries such as Colombia and Mexico, the profits from illegal drugs have spawned armed criminal organisations whose resources rival those of the state. Murder, kidnapping and corruption are rife.

Making drugs illegal also makes them more dangerous. The lack of access to clean needles for drug users who inject is a major factor in the spread of lethal viruses such as HIV and hepatitis C.

So what's the alternative? There are several models for the legal provision of recreational drugs. They include prescription by doctors, consumption at licensed premises or even sale on a similar basis to alcohol and tobacco, with health warnings and age limits. If this prospect appals you, consider the fact that in the US today, many teenagers say they find it easier to buy cannabis than beer.

Taking any drug - including alcohol and nicotine - does have health risks, but a legal market would at least ensure that the substances people ingest or inject are available unadulterated and at known dosages. Much of the estimated $300 billion earned from illegal drugs worldwide, which now funds crime, corruption and environmental destruction, could support legitimate jobs. And instead of spending tens of billions enforcing prohibition, governments would gain income from taxes that could be spent on medical treatment for the small proportion of users who become addicted or whose health is otherwise harmed.

Unfortunately, the idea that banning drugs is the best way to protect vulnerable people - especially children - has acquired a strong emotional grip, one that politicians are happy to exploit. For many decades, laws and public policy have flown in the face of the evidence. Far from protecting us, this approach has made the world a much more dangerous place than it need be.

So when some drug addled lad who can freely buy drugs as they are legal, murders your missus, you will be fine with it?
 

MK Shrimper

Well-known member
Joined
Aug 6, 2005
Messages
52,329
So when some drug addled lad who can freely buy drugs as they are legal, murders your missus, you will be fine with it?

What's the difference between a booze addled lad or a drug addled lad?

Oh yeah, one's legal and is freely advertised and sponsors music and sports events, not to mention the Government can get tax the hell out of it.
 

davewebbsbrain

Webby⭐
Joined
Aug 17, 2005
Messages
22,107
Location
Eastwood
I thought the issue was legalising drugs, not murder?

If drugs are legalised, then the lad who could have done this deed while high on drugs may not have been able to get hold of them if illegal.

Drink and drugs is always a benchmark that people argue over when this subject raises its head.

One E can kill you, one pint can't.
 

BrettieAngell

THE ROCK GOD
Joined
Oct 26, 2003
Messages
19,642
Location
Southend
If drugs are legalised, then the lad who could have done this deed while high on drugs may not have been able to get hold of them if illegal.

Drink and drugs is always a benchmark that people argue over when this subject raises its head.

One E can kill you, one pint can't.

The point is you can get hold of them, its really not that hard.
 

Yorkshire Blue

Super Moderator⭐
Staff member
Joined
Oct 27, 2003
Messages
35,888
Location
London
If drugs are legalised, then the lad who could have done this deed while high on drugs may not have been able to get hold of them if illegal.

Drink and drugs is always a benchmark that people argue over when this subject raises its head.

One E can kill you, one pint can't.

That's like saying someone could kill your missus whilst ****ed: let's ban all alcohol.

I also believe that it tends to be the impurities in E which lead to the very occasional death. Part of the argument about legalising drugs is that if people are going to take drugs (and prohibiting them doesn't stop millions of people from doing so) then you should make the drugs as safe as possible. If you want to prevent drug deaths, I believe you are better off regulating rather than banning it.
 
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