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Saturday, 18 June 2016

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Well it's clear as crystal that what we are doing is not working. Policies introduced to reduce drug use have been followed by an increase in drug use.
Emphasis so for has been on penalising the suppliers.
If we want to reduce drug use by legal means then we need to reduce the demand, which means a focus on penalising the users.
But that means we are penalising someone who is doing no harm to others, and whilst he may be harming himself he may well not be. It is difficult to argue that we are locking up some youngster for five years, and giving him a criminal record, for his own good- clearly the main danger from drugs would be that artificially created by the Law.
Alcohol has risks as great as most illegal drugs, and would I have no doubt be banned were it not so long established. Bear in mind the actual effect of Prohibition in the US- it fuelled crime syndicates thereby creating a bigger problem than it was meant to solve, just as the current drugs legislation fuels drug gangs which I would argue are a bigger problem than drug abuse.
Just let the stuff be sold through pharmacies (no need to give the doctors a cut), usual rules of accurate description to apply, and no advertising.
The police and courts will be freed up to deal with crimes that do have victims, the drug gangs will give up their turf wars and disband-reducing violent crime.
It does mean accepting that the world will never be perfect.

Indeed, Pat, I was poised to mention alcohol which, in a different way, can cause destruction but that only complicates the question even further. I lean towards state control and distribution of drugs.

It is a no brainer you legalise drugs allow it to be dispensed by pharmacies and tax it. Not legal people will take them anyway. Legal people will still take them but they at least will be hygienic and monitored and taxes can pay for any health care needed from it's use. Same propaganda can be used as it is for fags and booze. The enormous saving in costs and resources of the current policing of it can be used in much more productive ways.

When it comes to drugs, they are called "dope" for a reason. The first casualty is usually "reason".

Oy vey David[!] that there drug embargoing as Whitewall notes above, "There's a reason its called dope."

You'll have noted prior to our 18th Amendment all "our drug use" was oh ... 'unenforced mebbe'[?]. With the exception of alcohol?

You know of course our, who you'uns semi-derisively refer to as "Farmer George" was the first & last US President to lead actual US troops to put down US citizens (Shays Rebellion) following Alexander Hamilton's imposition of a tax to pay for that little ruckus y'all incited on us some years before?

Fast forward to 1935's Repeal of Prohibition which would've put in FDR's soup lines some few thousands of "newish Federal Police types" which of course - just wouldn't do!

So. What to do?

Legalize alcohol but Illegalize "dope"! Easy Peasy!

But who could "we" [or rather, FDR] get to, "Turn the monster on a dime"? More to the point, "Who could possibly Lead this Monster?" Especially when, just a short time before;

"Prior to the end of alcohol prohibition, Anslinger had claimed that cannabis was not a problem, did not harm people, and “there is no more absurd fallacy” than the idea it makes people violent. His critics argue he shifted not due to objective evidence but due to the obsolescence of the Department of Prohibition he headed when alcohol prohibition ceased - seeking a new Prohibition. Of 30 leading scientists whose views he sought, 29 said cannabis did no harm."

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Harry_J._Anslinger

***

So the moral of the story is, "See [says Farmer George from the grave] We told you them Britishers was always an' Ever gonna be the Cause of Mischief!"

Legalise and tax. The harm is caused by prohibition. Users get the stuff anyway, and legal there would be fewer deaths by overdose.

No David. I'll have none of your, "Now JK, where'd you hear [read] anysuch nonsense as us UK-ians referring to the fellow as Farmer George?"

"If the absurd claims about Farmer George had been true then near enough 100% of the colonists would have rebelled and it would all have been over in a fortnight."

http://duffandnonsense.typepad.com/duff_nonsense/2010/08/a-brit-with-balls-and-brains.html?cid=6a00d8341c5caf53ef0133f36aaa88970b#comment-6a00d8341c5caf53ef0133f36aaa88970b

Indeed, JK, you have proved once again what a superb archivist you are - but don't ask for a rise! Of course, you will have noted that I did not write those words, they emanated from the knowledgeable 'DM' who used to grace these columns. What I wrote was, "Well, for once I remain carefully neutral on the meat of the argument because I simply don't know enough." And I still don't!

Antisthenes has it right - legalise it, quality control it and tax it.

food is pretty dangerous too.

Especially non-conforming curvatured bananas and such.

Vote Brexit!

Dammit, well said, JK!

It occurs to me that the problem with locking up users for five to eight years is that it is difficult to convince a jury that the individual before them deserves that- and if such sentences became commonplace the jury would not convict.
Locking up suppliers is another matter for the jury- but they've proved impossible to catch in sufficient numbers.
Legalisation is the only option, preferably without creating yet anothe government department set on building an empire and maximising its income

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