December 16th, 2010

Above the Parapet (from the safety of the sidelines)

Posted in The Job - General by 200

Any mention of a politician on this website is usually critical or a piss-take.

Strange, then, that I should mention former Home Office minister Bob Ainsworth & not take the opportunity for a jibe.

Bob has come out in the media today to call for a debate on the legalisation of drugs. It’s a pity he didn’t do this when he had any power, but then governments don’t do such thing, it’s left for the folk on the sidelines.

Long-time readers will know of my support for a fresh approach to drugs in society. Newer ones can read my thoughts here.

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  1. Ted says:

    Since it is perfectly legal for people to kill themselves with cigarettes and alcohol, and in the case of alcohol injure and inflict misery on others why are govts so precious about other drugs.

    Especially cannabis. The main change I found from the policing point of view when cannabis use exploed in the 1980s was that I wasn’t having to making so many arrests of fighting drunks. Give me a chilled out dopehead to arrest any day.

    Given the vast use of cannbis now it is interesting to compare the number of people arrested under the influence of illegal cannabis compared to legal alcohol

    December 17th, 2010 at 10:26

  2. Dan H. says:

    Another comment I read somewhere regarding legalisation of drugs was the astute observation that the British attitude to drinking is “Let’s go out and get absolutely blitzed off our heads”. Given that this is the objective of a lot of drinkers, why not try to design a drug mix which produces exactly this sensation, but which is a sedative and relaxant as well?

    People high on cannabis (as opposed to cannabis-induced psychosis) are mellow, sluggish and don’t cause much trouble. It is generally pretty difficult to provoke a fight with a dope-head; they just can’t be bothered. So, combine a mix of cannabinoids (including plenty of the “protective” ones, and a short-acting benzodiazeprene plus the usual stabilisers etc, and you have a perfect alcohol-replacement drug for partying; gets the drunks high but keeps them mellow.

    This will only happen if we legalise some drugs, preferably by the route of permitting only certain known-safe drugs sold on licenced premises to be consumed, and retaining the penalties for unlicenced sale and consumption of drugs. That way we get the best of both worlds; legal drugs but safely contained.

    December 17th, 2010 at 11:33

  3. Tony F says:

    I think it would be wisest to legalise and licence all drugs. Anyone who takes them would purchase them from a licensed premises, and would sign a ‘blood chit’ taking responsibility for their subsequent actions, and to absolve any one else from responsibility of care to them.

    December 17th, 2010 at 14:40

  4. Civ_In_The_City says:

    Cigarettes are legal but there`s still a huge black market because of the massive tax that government takes off the top.

    If you can genetically modify the cocaine plants to eliminate the high, someone else will modify ‘em to produce a bigger high.

    Personally, I don`t touch anything except paracetamol and a coffee every now and then. I do just fine.

    What really worries me is a generation of young people who act surprised when their friends score something unidentifiable at a party, then croak. “If it was dangerous, surely the government would have banned it?”.


    December 17th, 2010 at 15:47

  5. Simon says:

    I think that legalising drugs is worth a try.

    At the moment I’m seeing on the TV in the numerous Police reality programs people getting stopped and nicked for excess alcohol but those that are stoned being allowed to carry on driving.

    If you legalise drugs then there must be a test similar to the breath test. Drugs impair your ability as does drink, there must be punishment for being off your face and driving.

    December 17th, 2010 at 16:42

  6. joe says:

    To my mind we need to decide whether we are serious about a war on drugs (in which case we come down hard on all aspects of illegal use – seems to have worked in Sweden!) or we give up and legalise the lot. The problem with the latter approach is if that’s what you do with drugs why not other things? Knife crime a problem – let everybody carry a knife. Criminals using firearms – give them to everybody. Speeding regulations not obeyed – scrap them.

    December 18th, 2010 at 09:14

  7. Ted says:

    The argument for legalising drugs is that many, if not most, of the problems caused by drugs are caused by enforcement. Because they are illegal the price is high, the market is controlled by gangsters, and addicts commit crime to get cash for drugs.

    Gangsters can’t go to court if they are ripped off so shootings and other methods are used instead. Drugs are mixed with other substances meaning addicts are poisoned or overdose.

    I know people who have used cannabis for decades while holding down a job and being otherwise law abiding member off society. THe only risk they are taking (apart from getting a criminal record if they are caught)is to their long term health. Their habit doesn’t affect others.

    In contrast criminals who carry knives and guns are a danger to other members of the public. Incidentally both guns and knives are legal in this country. For a gun you need a licence and for a knife in a public plsce you need only lawful authority or a reasonable excuse. After all it’s not illegal to buy a knife at Tesco and carry it home.

    As for speeding. It is illegal because the speeder is risking the safety of other road users.

    It is perfectly possible for anyone to use alcohol, cannabis, cigarettes, and many other substances without risking any harm to anyone but themselves. In fact on the basis of harm caused to others alcohol is the drug that causes most.

    Even with alcohol though I believe the minority who misuse it should be dealt with instead of penalising the majority.

    December 18th, 2010 at 16:53

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