to be a little shocked at the laissez faire attitude to drugs on here?

(597 Posts)
ThatVikRinA22 Wed 03-Oct-12 13:13:50

at risk of sounding like your mum and pulling a cats bum face grin

im a bit shocked. Ive seen reference to drugs and recreational drug use on here before, and while i love the diversity of mn, im always quite shocked at what seems to be a majority? view that recreational drugs are just part of life, that its ok because 'professionals' do it too, that its not the same to be seen to use cocaine at the weekend as it is to be a shoplifter or prostitute with an addiction to herioin....

is it just that no one sees the murkier side of drug use?

i suppose i see the darker side because of what i do for a living, but even before that, i would never have been tempted to try. There are the wider issues with production, trafficking, crime, gangs, and the environmental issues in production
just one such story here

my brother was a heroin addict, and i lost my sister to drugs, one way or another, i believe drug use contributed to her death. Seriously, most the crime i deal with is in some way drug related. Two weeks ago i was involved in an attempted murder over cocaine and cannabis supply.

i am not some rabid campaigner, but this is mumsnet - are most of us parents? i find it odd that people can froth about the small stuff, that people get pilloried for some really bizarre stuff on here while threads about drug use get a fairly "meh" response. (yes its a thread inspired by the coke using teachers assistant....)

why is that? genuinely interested to explore why coke use is seen as ok, and wonder what is not ok?

if its ok for the TA to use coke at the weekend, is it ok for them to smoke crack? or use heroin? doctors were mentioned on the last thread....would you undergo an operation knowing your doctor or surgeon had used coke? or smoked cannabis?

if its just part of life, where would you draw the line?
do people not realise what it takes to get that gram of coke at the pub at the weekend?

Thumbwitch Wed 03-Oct-12 13:16:54

I haven't seen that attitude, Vicar - which threads am I missing?

But if I had seen them, I would also be shock at a laissez-faire attitude as well. I was fairly shocked when one of my friends admitted she'd had cocaine at a party, where everyone there was either on cannabis or cocaine.

Hemlet Wed 03-Oct-12 13:19:57

I was surprised at the attitude of some one the 'To be shocked to learn that a teaching assistant take drugs at the weekend? ' thread.

Some saying that 'lots of people do it at the weekend' and 'why should the fact that they're a teacher affect it?'

I am dead against drug use and certainly wouldn't share the opinion of someone who thought it was ok because 'it's what everyone does'.

SammyTheSwedishSquirrel Wed 03-Oct-12 13:22:11

Because those of us who agree with you are shocked into silence through fear because, lets face it, AIBU can be a scary a place if you find yourself disagreeing with the majority of posters in a given thread.

I've never used drugs, apart from prescribed ones, and don't know anyone who does. The closest I've ever come to mind altering substances is my half of bitter shandy when on holiday.

I was going to put a blush at the end of that statement and then I thought 'why?'. Why should should I be embarassed about it it. confused

ThatVikRinA22 Wed 03-Oct-12 13:24:20

am i allowed to link to the thread?

if so its this one

if not im sure ill get deleted....

im curious as to how people can justify drug use - surely either all drugs are ok for all, or none are? they are all illegal - so why is coke seen as ok, while others arent?

what is the difference between herion use and coke use?

MrSunshine Wed 03-Oct-12 13:26:06

yabu to take a few viewpoints of a self selected sample and turn it into majority view.

apachepony Wed 03-Oct-12 13:26:15

I guess that you have seen the bad side of drug taking, whereas for the majority of recreational drug users it is something fun that they did/do at the weekends, which has created many great memories & not caused too many problems. In the same way that a child of an alcoholic may have a v different view of alcohol than a lot of people

apachepony Wed 03-Oct-12 13:27:28

To me the difference between heroin & coke is that heroin is more likely to fuck yours and your loved one's lives up

HerOffTheInternet Wed 03-Oct-12 13:29:18

that's not true though apache

coke is pretty devastating on families too

Sidge Wed 03-Oct-12 13:29:55

Drugs are drugs are drugs IMO.

I don't understand the tolerance of drug use and abuse on MN (and I include alcohol excess in that too).

As a nurse I too see the seedier physical side of drug use - as well as the social side (domestic violence, child neglect, financial problems) and I'm with you Vicar - it really baffles me as to why drug use is acceptable.

None of my friends use drugs, or use alcohol to excess. Are we all really boring? I don't think so - we have normal lives with all the ups and downs that entails, we just choose not to cushion reality with mind altering substances on a regular basis.

Scaredbutdoingit Wed 03-Oct-12 13:30:23

I think the problem is that people really are divided when it comes to opinion on drugs... whether they should be legal/illegal, whether it is about personal choice/public safety, and also how much of the really bad stuff surrounding drugs is to do with the drugs themselves, and how much of it is to do with the fact that they are illegal (thus pushing them underground). Also, how much of it is to do with the reasons people take drugs in the first place.

It really isn't as simple as "drugs are bad", although opinion is divided even on that. smile

Feminine Wed 03-Oct-12 13:30:46

YANBU.

I was also [shocked] at the attitude.

also, I was amazed to hear how many people still 'do' drugs.

I have never taken any, despite being in a job that had it on tap.

BigStickBIWI Wed 03-Oct-12 13:32:56

I wonder how many of these MNetters will still be so laissez faire about drugs when their own children start experimenting?

FunnysInLaJardin Wed 03-Oct-12 13:33:00

I am always suprised when I hear about people I know taking drugs. It just doesn't occur to me that they might. I am too old to have been part of the late 80's drug culture just about, but lots of my friends embraced it fully. I am so glad with the beneift of hindsight that I 'missed out' though. Some of them are truly fucked up

Proudnscary Wed 03-Oct-12 13:33:26

I hardly think it's a majority, Vicar!

Sorry about your personal experiences. Of course that colours your view.

But we're not kids or children on here - we're not going to be darkly influenced by a Mumsnetter taking cocaine and led astray.

People on here are honest about their lifestyles.

I don't think anyone's championing drug taking on here but it goes on - and plenty of people do take recreational drugs occassionally with no adverse effects.

greenhill Wed 03-Oct-12 13:34:27

I was shock at how many of my colleagues had recreational drugs habits at many of my previous jobs. They felt it didn't get in the way of their performance, but many seemed to plateau in terms of career as they'd reached a point in which they were satisfied with doing the bare minimum and lived for the weekend.

I've been out of the work force for 6 years though so wonder if this has changed due to recession / changed priorities as they aged / had families etc. At my last job, if caught, it was a sackable offence.

My DH is startled by the amount of casual mention of drug use at his workplace. We are in our 40's and weren't part of that scene at University either, whilst aware of it, obviously. I don't necessarily think it is a younger generational thing though. I think society has changed and a lot of that has to do with media representation. Just think how many celebrities tell of their 'partying' lifestyle and coded references are made to 'exhaustion' etc.

I've seen some of the so-what threads too, but have also seen genuine handwringing about a teen taking a bong to school though.

ThatVikRinA22 Wed 03-Oct-12 13:35:06

good question bigstick

is it just that no one sees the murkier side of drug use?

This ^^ I think Vicar

When I was a teen I may have smoked the odd joint (not much, never really enjoyed it) and I have never known anyone who does hard drugs so no, I havent seen the devastation it can cause. I remember in the early 90's when ecstasy was the in drug a friend of mine asking if I wanted to take one - I said no and got called boring but it never interested me and I was always too scared to try it.

I have to say though, for DS drugs scare me. When I was at school we could buy a fag off the ice-cream man for 10p - what the hell will our kids be able to buy now??

I have to say though, I dont buy into the thought of smoke cannabis and gradually you will move to the harder stuff..I have always equated cannabis the same as say having a glass of wine. Niave or not?? I dont know as like I say, I have never seen the harder side of drugs.

IneedAsockamnesty Wed 03-Oct-12 13:35:59

yanbu to be shocked by it. it bugs me as well

Viviennemary Wed 03-Oct-12 13:38:00

YANBU. Oh well it's against the law but never mind everybody does it so why shouldn't teachers, childminders do it too. confused And let's face it those drunk drivers always think their ability to drive isn't affected by alcohol. Well it is.

Nancy66 Wed 03-Oct-12 13:38:55

There's a world of difference between casual use and addiction though - just as there is between a social drinker and a full on alchie.

One doesn't inevitably lead to the other.

HerOffTheInternet Wed 03-Oct-12 13:40:20

Nancy, that's not the same at all

drugs are illegal substances - one use or 250 occasions of use, they are not legal

Dolallytats Wed 03-Oct-12 13:40:40

I was also very surprised with the posts on the threads, but there were so many saying the same thing that I didn't bother posting my opposing view!!
I found it really odd that people still see certain drugs as ok.

What a funny view apache, cocaine has a hugely negative impact on the user and their families just as much as heroin does (and cannabis does, and alcohol, and Ecstasy etc)

ThatVikRinA22 Wed 03-Oct-12 13:40:57

cannabis - i used to think it was harmless. not any more though do i think though - i dont necessarily buy the fact that it leads to harder stuff - but in its own right it can have a huge effect, and its worse when kids try to come off it if they have smoked it for years.

the drug of choice among kids at the mo is MCAT. very cheap and very nasty.

i do wonder how parents will deal with drug use among their own children if they think its ok?

LemonBreeland Wed 03-Oct-12 13:41:28

YANBU. I think taking a casual attitude to something that is illegal is crazy.

Drugs will be dangerous every time you take them, as you can never be certain what is in them.

THERhubarb Wed 03-Oct-12 13:41:59

Because it's a "cool" attitude to have.

Pretending that you are ok with drugs seemingly gives you a rebellious streak and because drugs is still seen as a bit 'rock 'n' roll' that's the attitude that some posters like to put out.

Don't believe everything you hear on Mumsnet. Most of those advocating drug use are probably recluses who never so much as touch a drop of sherry but want people to think they're some kind of rock chick.

I'd just ignore them.

ThatVikRinA22 Wed 03-Oct-12 13:43:33

coke not harmful? really? since when?

i really wish i could tell you some of the stuff i see.

Thumbwitch Wed 03-Oct-12 13:43:33

I do see what you mean on that thread, Vicar. I have heard that a lot of people in high-pressure jobs do take cocaine, speed etc. (not so much heroin, different effect) but that doesn't make it right and certainly not ok!

Not something I've ever been tempted to do, really - and I'm not too old to have missed it - but I've known about the dangers from early on and have no desire to bother with it.

Reading H for Heroin (the life of Christiane F) as a young teen really helped put me off to start with; and then an acquaintance was at a party of a school friend, who was a known drug user (as were most of her friends) - still don't know the absolute rights of the situation but it appears he tried some drug, became extremely ill the next day and developed paranoid schizophrenia with devil delusions - was put into a mental institution on 24h watch, and still managed to escape during lunch hour to the roof, where he threw himself off and died. He was 21.

It's all very well saying "what they do in their private life is their own business" but if it's regular and continued use, it spills over into everything - someone my ex worked with was a daily cannabis user and highly volatile/paranoid; the son of a colleague was a regular and fairly heavy cannabis user who developed bipolar disease - there are too many instances of people (and these are just the ones I personally know of!) suffering long term effects from continued drug use to assume that it's going to be ok and "their business". hmm

Convert Wed 03-Oct-12 13:50:59

I agree with Nancy. I don't see a problem with someone having a few glasses of wine a couple of times a week but I do see a problem with someone drinking all day every day. I don't see a problem with someone having a few lines of coke on a night out but someone injecting themselves with heroin every day is different.
My DH used to run a nightclub so we did recreational drugs. It never impacted our lives, the same way he now runs a pub and we enjoy a few drinks. I would never take an e again but I have on the very odd occasion, probably once a year had a gram of coke when the kids are away for the weekend and we are out with other people who indulge.
I don't have a problem with drugs and can take or leave it, the same way I can with alcohol.

apachepony Wed 03-Oct-12 13:52:23

I guess people just look at their own experiences. Cocaine certainly can devastate families, I know that, - just as almost drug, legal or illegal can. II don't do it really any more as I know it can be dangerous & don't like sticking stuff up my nose. However, I know a lot of people who have taken cocaine, mostly in v good jobs, and absolutely none of them have been devastated. Almost everyone has pretty much moved on. Whereas everyday I walk past heroin addicts, and they're like walking zombies. So I personally see a difference - we're all the sum of our experiences. Also heroin is much more addictive, as addictive as cigarettes, and again my personal experience tells me how difficult an addiction like that can be to knock.

Nancy66 Wed 03-Oct-12 13:52:48

Yes drugs are illegal - but that doesn't mean people aren't going to use them and it doesn't mean that some drugs aren't less harmful than alcohol.

I don't think having a cats bum mouth approach is very useful.

The reality is that most people under 50 will have tried them.

honeytea Wed 03-Oct-12 13:55:43

I think that the problem is that there are things that are very damaging that are legal and even glamorized in the UK, I'm thinking about drinking and smoking. Personally I feel like cannabis is less damaging to the individual and to society than alcohol and I feel a little like it should be a free choice as to if you want to use cannabis. I know others with a similar veiw but with different opinions as to which drugs are acceptable. I must add I do think that cannabis is less damaging than alcohol but I don't use cannabis.

I grew up in a very liberal part of the country and went on to work in a creative industry so drug use has been all around me my entire life, I have a close family member who is a heroin addict and my father is schizophrenic due to LSD use, my father is also an alcoholic. I certainly have seen the darker side of drugs but I have also seen the darker side to alcohol. I feel like in a society where alcohol is available on every street corner and is joked about on the TV it is a little hypercritical to react so strongly to some light drug use, for example smoking a small amount of cannibis in your own home on a friday evening is less bad than drinking 10 pints and having a fight (in my opinion.)

I guess I just feel like there should be a more realistic attitude to the various drugs and alcohol rather than a blanket "drugs are bad" attitude.

Anonymumous Wed 03-Oct-12 13:55:44

I agree with you, OP.

THERhubarb Wed 03-Oct-12 13:56:09

Bollocks!

Most people under 50 lie and pretend they have tried them.

Nancy66 Wed 03-Oct-12 13:57:50

Rhubarb - why would they?

Pretty much everyone i know tried drugs. They don't use them now.

HerOffTheInternet Wed 03-Oct-12 13:58:14

who the fuck is cats bum mouthing?

a big fucking red cross and kick up the arse more like

SammyTheSwedishSquirrel Wed 03-Oct-12 13:59:58

The reality is that most people under 50 will have tried them.

No it isn't. Research shows the opposite.

2011/2012 drug misuse figures

HumphreyCobbler Wed 03-Oct-12 14:00:35

I would say about half the people I know took drugs in their youth. Not now though. I am not making this up.

IneedAsockamnesty Wed 03-Oct-12 14:00:51

i was once told that loads of drugs come into the uk up peoples bums, since then i have had no desire to try any. true or not it worked.

ThatVikRinA22 Wed 03-Oct-12 14:02:33

i just asked DH what is seen as the difference between coke and heroin.

he said "class".

it is bizarre to me that coke is seen as ok, while heroin is not. they are both addictive. they both cost lives. they both cause chaos and heartache. why is one ok, and one not?

THERhubarb Wed 03-Oct-12 14:03:01

Taking drugs is like pretending that you had Irish ancestory when that was considered to be cool.

No-one wants to be the one who had a boring lifestyle and never tried drugs. Most people make this shit up.

Yeah, your friends might have tried drugs. Whoopee for them, but it's bollocks to say that half the population have just because your friends did. If you believe that then the drugs obviously didn't work for you.

SammyTheSwedishSquirrel Wed 03-Oct-12 14:03:24

I was thinking the same as your husband VicarInaTutu.

squoosh Wed 03-Oct-12 14:03:53

Most people I know have tried at least one drug on at least one occasion.

ThatVikRinA22 Wed 03-Oct-12 14:06:02

im under 50. ive not tried anything, and have no desire to. nor has DH. nor have my teens. i just asked DD if she ever tried drugs - she went "drugs"!! no!

apparently the girls dont do drugs. its all the boys, and as where i work the drug of choice of the under 18s is MCAT and is gang related.

is this all good then?

Thumbwitch Wed 03-Oct-12 14:06:14

Because coke is the drug of choice by the professionals, Vicar. And I suppose because it doesn't need injecting, does it?

honeytea Wed 03-Oct-12 14:07:12

I have never met anyone who took heroin casually, do people do that, just shoot up every other saturday or something?

I have met very many people who take coke casually, and I have never met anyone addicted to coke.

I guess maybe it is the reason people take the drug, from the few people I know who were heroin addicts they took heroin because their life was so horrid and they had so much they wanted to block out that the life of a junky was better than the reality of their emotional demons. The people I know who take coke do it as a fun thing to do at a party.

squoosh Wed 03-Oct-12 14:07:20

Both heroin and cocaine are dangerous but heroin seems to have more of a psychological pull in terms of a swift addiction and the constant pursuit of that first unforgettable high. I'm not downplaying the physical impact cocaine has on people but heroin seems to be swifter and more devastating.

squoosh Wed 03-Oct-12 14:08:42

Girls don't do drugs?

honeytea Wed 03-Oct-12 14:09:20

I think it depends where you live/what job you do. I don't know anyone in the UK or in Australia who has not tried drugs, now I live in Sweden I don't know anyone who has tried drugs but then a glass of wine on a tuesday is frowned upon

Nancy66 Wed 03-Oct-12 14:10:06

I would hope that by the time you're in your 40s you're past the stage of trying to look cool in front of your mates.

Megatron Wed 03-Oct-12 14:11:31

YANBU and I totally agree with you OP.

I just put my thoughts down to the fact that I'm a bit of a prude sometimes but it does bug me.

Nancy66 Wed 03-Oct-12 14:11:53

Cocaine is a different sort of addiction to heroin - it's psychologically addictive in that you crave the confidence it gives you and how it makes you feel. There are no physical withdrawals from it.

With heroin the craving is completely physical.

apachepony Wed 03-Oct-12 14:12:08

I would agree that class probably has something to do with it, of course!
Do you have statistics to show that cocaine and heroin cause similar amounts in the uk? I freely admit I don't know one way or the other. It's true though that those with good jobs, loving families etc prob have more reason to keep their drug taking under control. I know personally I'm a bit too fond of drinking, but cut it back largely cos I don't like how any more than 1 glass will make me feel fuzzy in work. For those with no job to get up for, and a deprived life there must seem like less reason to keep their drug taking under control.

ThatVikRinA22 Wed 03-Oct-12 14:13:09

so when people lose pieces of their nose due to coke use.....?
when people get shot by a rival supplier.....?

what you see and hear about is the sanitized version - you dont see what goes on behind the scenes where coke is concerned.

heroin is out there - you see what you see. you see the effects. but it pisses me off that this is a class issue - and it is.

those that use coke as no better than those who use heroin. they just think they are.
they are responsible for death and destruction.

THERhubarb Wed 03-Oct-12 14:13:18

squoosh, what if someone said that most people they knew had never taken drugs?

What then? Whose experience is more valid?

Just because you know people who 'say' they have taken drugs in their youth doesn't mean to say that you can confidently predict the numbers of people taking them now.

Stats rely on peoples honesty, unless they are coming from drug treatment centres. Most people lie to make themselves look more interesting. Drugs still have an aura of glamour about them. They don't even have the stigma attached to them that smoking has.

I think if you changed peoples perception of drugs and made it seem like something disgusting and immoral, you'd find the figures of people admitting to taking them, decrease rapidly.

It's a known psychological thing.

Aboutlastnight Wed 03-Oct-12 14:15:27

I think there is a big difference between ecstasy/cannabis and coke/heroin.

I do not like coke or people when they are on it. They are tedious. But I had some of the best nights of my life on ecstasy, I really enjoyed it. I don't do it now haven't for 10 years, as I now have responsibilities. Many, many people take recreational drugs at the weekend.

I think drug use is a public health issue not a criminal one and I would happily see it decriminalised and put into the hands of the health service to ensure people get the help they need and to take supply off the black market.

ThatVikRinA22 Wed 03-Oct-12 14:16:13

sqoosh that was what dd said about her school - of course i know different.

im a copper. i see drugs daily. their effects daily. the crime they cause daily. the parents who wonder why we are there searching their kids bedroom daily. the devastation they cause daily. im not stupid. im not bursting DDs bubble just yet. her friends dont take drugs, nor does she, she doesnt mix in those circles, so to her, girls dont take drugs.

Aboutlastnight Wed 03-Oct-12 14:16:59

Also cocaine is now very cheap andcit's everywhere - no longer a middle class drug.

Thumbwitch Wed 03-Oct-12 14:17:52

www.talktofrank.com/drug/cocaine Frank is a very useful resource.

Maryz Wed 03-Oct-12 14:18:47

Vicar, I'm just marking my place here as I'm arguing about this elsewhere on the site and want to have a proper look later.

Where I am, cannabis is the drug that causes most harm to the greatest number of young people sad.

squoosh Wed 03-Oct-12 14:18:55

TheRhubarb All I was referring to was people of my own acquaintance. I didn't make any reference to my experience being 'more valid'. Please show me where I have 'confidently predicted the numbers of people taking them now'? hmm

ThatVikRinA22 Wed 03-Oct-12 14:19:49

oh yes please - take the criminality out of drugs. good idea. id be up for that. <shuts up>

noddyholder Wed 03-Oct-12 14:20:20

Drugs aren't glamorous at all although they appear in some supposedly glamorous settings. I don't think I know anyone who hasn't dabbled. My brother was an addict all through his 20s and that came from his glam lifestyle. Most of the adults I know now who still take drugs are either working in film or the medical profession shock . The medics inc a dentist are the worst by a long long way.

squoosh Wed 03-Oct-12 14:21:23

if you changed peoples perception of drugs and made it seem like something disgusting and immoral, you'd find the figures of people admitting to taking them, decrease rapidly'.

Well that has been the government approach for decades, hence the illegality. Works a treat doesn't it?

No.

HesterBurnitall Wed 03-Oct-12 14:21:49

Surely the much of the seedier side and some of what you see is a result of criminalisation, Vicar?. Prohibition was an intensely violent time, but it wasn't alcohol that caused that gang violence but the vast sums to be made due to it being an illegal substance.

apachepony Wed 03-Oct-12 14:22:05

Sorry, missed out a word - meant to say stats showing cocaine & heroin cause the same amount of damage

squoosh Wed 03-Oct-12 14:22:49

Agree with medics being fond of the drugs. That has been my experience. Also any chef I have ever known has been an addict or a near addict. Cocaine and booze seem to be their drugs of choice.

THERhubarb Wed 03-Oct-12 14:24:09

squoosh - sorry some others have and I was just using your comment about your friends as an example.

And actually, the government has done a pretty good job on changing peoples perception about drink driving and about smoking. It can be done.

Right now though, it's got a rock and roll image still which is far removed from the reality.

ThatVikRinA22 Wed 03-Oct-12 14:25:19

i would be up for decriminalising drugs to see what effect it had.
same with prostitution.

squoosh Wed 03-Oct-12 14:27:04

I would decriminalize also.

The 'immorality' for me is the way that gangsters, pushers prey on vulnerable communities. A professional person buying and taking cocaine is making an informed decision, a 14 year old being given some heroin 'for free' isn't.

noddyholder Wed 03-Oct-12 14:27:26

I don't think people are pretending tbh. I wish they were and it was not as rife. So many women take coke to stay thin and keep going. I have not mixed in those circles in years but when I do I am always amazed that they are still openly snorting off the dinner table and washing down pills with their waitrose wine! My brother and my oldest best friend both are film producers predominantly pop videos and drugs is a major part of any shoot and it holds up and interrupts everything.My brother hates it but loves his work he has seen several big family type stars snorting coke off dirty toilet seats on shoots and then going home to wife and kids and 'perfect' life as seen in hello mag

UnexpectedItemInShaggingArea Wed 03-Oct-12 14:27:44

OP, YANBU.

I find it interesting that people can take cocaine and fund all sorts of nasty illegal stuff through their purchase, but then insist on buying free range chickens or fair trade coffee. Isn't this a bit of hypocrisy?

Nancy66 Wed 03-Oct-12 14:28:10

Vicar - this was done in Portugal.

Overall it was considered to be a success.

Drug use fell, HIV infection fell, death by drugs fell....I don't know about the crime issue.

DinosaursOnASpaceship Wed 03-Oct-12 14:30:39

I am 100% anti drugs.

I used to smoke cannabis as a teenager (although have never tried anything else) and it made me lazy, smelly, thick and I don't know why I ever thought it was a good idea.

I went on a date once with a nice man and it was all going well until we started discussing drugs and he said he "had tried heroin once to see what it was like" at which point I decided he was a twat and left. What sort of idiot decides to try heroin to see what it's like, knowing how addictive it is, knowing the effect it could have on their life.

I have no time for drug users.

noddyholder Wed 03-Oct-12 14:32:30

I don't think anyone who has never done drugs does know how addictive it is. There is always the idea that you will be the one who can take or leave it. That is how many people end up in trouble.

ThatVikRinA22 Wed 03-Oct-12 14:34:00

legal or not i would not want my kids involved in any drugs scene. i suppose from the point of view of my job i would like to see if it made a difference, certainly there would need to be some sort of regulation.

i would worry about the health effects.

and of course, if they were legal, there would be no barrier to trying them. that would bother me personally....

maybe rather than decriminalise all drugs, we should licence and regulate but take the criminal element out of it?

THERhubarb Wed 03-Oct-12 14:35:13

Noddy, if you work around those people then you will think of it as rife. But many posters are making comments about nearly everyone under 50 trying it and half the population have taken drugs etc. I doubt that.

Do you not remember the time when every man and his dog apparently had Irish ancestry? That was just a passing phase but it goes to show that people will make stuff up if it makes them seem more interesting.

The truth is that most people have never been offered, wouldn't know where to go and haven't tried anything stronger than a cigarette. The rest is just make believe - or is it a drugs haze? wink

Aboutlastnight Wed 03-Oct-12 14:35:37

The thing about decriminalisation is that it would need huge investment the health service and social services to ensure people could access services then they needed them.

There's a moral objection, I suppose, in that the state becomes 'drug dealer' - but then looking at the vast amount of legal prescribed drugs people are on, you wonder if there is much difference.

Also the Scottish government is going down the route of restricting access to alcohol by raising its price and restricting hours of sale to try to get the population to drink less - you wonder if more people would take drugs if decriminalised and the government would then have to return to prohibition.

<rubs head>

noddyholder Wed 03-Oct-12 14:36:44

I don't work around them now. Most of my friends are very respectable home bodies now but they have nearly all done drugs in the past!

noddyholder Wed 03-Oct-12 14:37:34

Looking around I would say half is conservative unfortunately.

MarysBeard Wed 03-Oct-12 14:38:33

It would be hypocritical of me not to be liberal about drugs, being as I've dabbled in several illegal ones in the past.

MamaMary Wed 03-Oct-12 14:39:33

Vicar I agree with you - it is very surprising that people can have a laisse-faire attitude to drugs considering the damage they inflict on thousands of lives. And the many testimonies and continuing research showing that even 'milder' or less addictive drugs such as cannibis and cocaine can cause long-term mental health problems.

As you say, so much judgement over things like 5 year old kids wearing pyjamas of an evening in Tescos, yet no problems with drug-taking teaching staff!

Drugs are not glamorous. They are sordid and seedy. I've never tried drugs and I certainly don't think people who enjoy 'recreational drugs' are cool. confused

ThatVikRinA22 Wed 03-Oct-12 14:39:48

i think, for me, i would not want to take them, try them, use them, or have any of my family do the same, legal or not.

the majority of my job is dealing with drug based criminality, so there may be an argument somewhere for decriminalising them.....but at what cost?

i know my son, who was always anti smoking, when given access to cigarettes at uni, started smoking.

would that be the same with drugs if they were legal?

MarysBeard Wed 03-Oct-12 14:41:28

It's not just about whether something is illegal or isn't for me, the first question is "Is the law a load of bollocks?" The law on drugs and drugs policy is. Don't blindly obey. Think.

THERhubarb Wed 03-Oct-12 14:41:41

But that's your social circle Noddy. As I said earlier, what about someone whose social circle have never dabbled with drugs? Would they be equally entitled to say that based on their experience, half of the population have never tried drugs?

The stats are unreliable but according to the BBC they were 10% of the UK population back in 2008 and numbers have been dropping since. Those are active users. There are no reliable figures for those who have tried drugs.

noddyholder Wed 03-Oct-12 14:42:05

I know my son and his mates have had the odd spliff and i have spoken to them all about it as my brother was such a mess. Ds would never take pills or chemicals and knows that a puff on a joint at a festival is his limit. Interestingly the girls are terrible and much more into drugs and the boy whose mum shouted the loudest about drugs etc when they were younger sells it and she still has no idea.

Chandon Wed 03-Oct-12 14:42:42

Yes Vicar, hello by the way, I think it is to do with the culture of being "cool" and a "rebel"

stay away from fruit shoots though, as apparently they are poison.

TittyWhistles Wed 03-Oct-12 14:42:44

I'd rather hear measured responses from people who have had experience of taking drugs than the second hand views of the professionally outraged.

It's a good thing to get the drugs issue out in the open instead of being frightened by it and for people to be honest, Mumsnet is a broad community and that's what makes it such an addictive interesting place.

honeytea Wed 03-Oct-12 14:43:37

I was told as a teenager that I could try any drug so long as it wasn't heroin, magic mushrooms, LSD or cigarettes. My mother was very liberal, I'm not sure I will be that brave with my own kids.

I do think it worked for me, I only ever smoked a little bit of weed as a teenager, I never bought it. I didn't have the inclination to try most drugs even though I work in an industry where sharing your coke is like buying someone a pint after work. I never thought drugs were cool, but then I never thought smoking was cool, I just was myself and made my own choices. As I said before I have seen the darker side of drugs and maybe if you are going to be so liberal you need to expose your kids to the reality of drug abuse.

I think the don't do drugs attitude is damaging to young people, drugs are not all the same and once young people get to a certain age they will most probably come into contact with drug use in some way or another. If they have just been told constantly drugs are bad and they see people they respect enjoying drugs and having no negative effects why would they trust their parents opinion? I hope I can educate my children about the dangers so that they make their own choices.

ThatVikRinA22 Wed 03-Oct-12 14:44:59

exactly chandon!!

thats the disparity i was talking about.....

coke = fine
fruit shoots = the devils own juice

greggs sausage roll anyone?

Nancy66 Wed 03-Oct-12 14:46:47

Vicar, presumably you also see the devastation caused by alcohol abuse?

Do you also not drink, not want your children and family to ever drink?

YANBU, I think it is just because they don't realise. I have known two people die of a heroin OD one who was only just 18 sad, I have had a friend who had a miscarriage (unplanned teen pg) due to her coke addiction. One friend was admitted to hospital in a month long amphetamine induced psychotic episode and another caused irreparable lung and kidney damage with ketamine. My stepfather died due to sclerosis of the liver. As a result I take a dim view of both chemical drugs AND alcohol. That said, I will on occasion smoke weak, organic cannabis. I don't agree with it being altered to make it stronger and wouldn't smoke anything of that kind (or with tobacco), won't drink to the point of being drunk, and would not take chemical drugs. Sadly this is something I have lost many friends over as quite simply I grew up and could not support their behaviour or bear to have DS in an environment like that. My issue with drugs is not their legality, though I can appreciate others stance on this, but the effect I have witnessed on others; without seeing this, if - like me - you have no moral issue with legality then I can see why you would perceive no issue at all.

OneMoreChap Wed 03-Oct-12 14:47:26

BigStickBIWI Wed 03-Oct-12 13:32:56
I wonder how many of these MNetters will still be so laissez faire about drugs when their own children start experimenting?

Raises hand...
I'm fairly open about the fact I used to smoke dope into my 30s occasionally.
This was pre-skunk days and it was a nice high, and certainly cheaper than alcohol.

DC have tried this - or at least one of them has.

I'm rather more worried about the cigarettes and alcohol, tbh. [I'd add my kids are adults]

I'd prefer all drugs to be legal and societally discouraged, rather than have some legal drugs that fill our hospitals anyway, and some prohibited which just shovel money into organized crime - (viz. Volstead Act)

StrangeGlue Wed 03-Oct-12 14:47:45

I agree. A while back there was a thread where a poster mentioned they might get a baby-sitter so they could take some acid. That is so bizarre to me but when someone was agast they were basically told that there's nothing wrong with it as long as someone's looking after your kids for you. WTF??

And when also gets me is the way someone will bang on about only buying organic fair trade food and then take coke which: a) has a huge human cost, cocaine production has savaged Columbia economically, politically and in huge human rights abuses and so many people lose their lives so some UK person can snort a bit on a Friday night; and b) why bother with the fancy fruit and veg if you're gonna take coke which does all manner of shit to your body and most importantly your brain.

I've seen more people messed up with alcohol addictions than drug addictions. Both are dreadful and soul destroying. Addiction is the issue, not what drug causes it. If I had to choose between DD having an addiction to alcohol and a recreational drug use issue I would choose the former.

I agree that criminality is an issue but one that could be solved by decriminalising and taxing the shit out of drugs, just like alcohol. If you don't acknowledge the 'good' things about drugs then young people won't think you know what you are talking about.

kdiddy Wed 03-Oct-12 14:50:10

I think it's misleading in these sorts of discussion to generalise, particularly when it comes to the addictive nature of various drugs, as well as personal and social harm. Drugs are not all the same - some are much more damaging than others to the individual, as well as their families and wider society. Illegality doesn't always have much correlation with this.

There was a very interesting BBC Horizon programme on a while back where a group of scientists took the 20 of the most common drugs (including tobacco and alcohol) and assessed them, before ranking them according to how addictive they were, how much they harmed the individual, and what harm they caused in society as a whole. The results bear very little resemblance to the current classification system - alcohol, for example, would be a class A drug according to our current laws. Heroin and cocaine were the top 2, alcohol was 5th and tobacco was 9th. Cannabis was 11th, LSD was 14th and ecstasy was 18th. Surely something is completely skewed in our current way of thinking.

Personally I am hugely in favour of a sensible national debate on this topic, because the science just doesn't support our current approach. Unfortunately too much focus is placed on the illegality, and not enough on the actual harm caused. Reclassification / decriminalisation of some drugs may be the right way to go, but unfortunately it seems to be such a political hot potato that nobody will go near it.

Latter, obviously!

nemno Wed 03-Oct-12 14:50:44

I am with you Vicar, am astounded by what is and isn't judged on MN. Drugs are vile.

noddyholder Wed 03-Oct-12 14:51:00

MrsT that is so true.

ThatVikRinA22 Wed 03-Oct-12 14:55:30

nancy - 2 weeks ago i went to a shooting, a horrific horrific shooting.

i have never yet, in my service, gone to an alcohol related shooting. or an alcohol related stabbing.

i find much less devastation in alcohol tbh. most times, if i go to an incident where someone is drunk, there is often an element of drug use involved too. often pissed up and off their tits on MCAT at the same time.

or suicidal/self harming as they are coming off cannabis.

alcohol is probably a problem sometimes - but in isolation it doesnt cause the same criminality issues as drugs.

i do public order on frid/sat night often - yes you get the odd idiot, you give them a direction to leave notice and they go home.

the shoplifters are all doing it to feed habits. drug habits.
the prostitues are doing it to feed habits.
those that cause criminal damage are often off their faces on something....often drink and drugs
i truly think most of my work day to day is more drug related than drink related.

THERhubarb Wed 03-Oct-12 14:56:44

I think you need look not so much at what the drugs (alcohol included) does to the person taking it, but where it comes from and the lives that are affected in its production.

Alcohol may affect the life of the person who is drinking and their immediate family. Drugs affect whole communities in places like Colombia. Before that drug even reaches the UK, several people are dead because of it and countless lives ruined. Young women raped and families living in fear.

MarysBeard Wed 03-Oct-12 14:58:06

i have never yet, in my service, gone to an alcohol related shooting. or an alcohol related stabbing.

Next thing you will be saying you have never seen an alcohol related fight, or alcohol related domestic abuse. hmm

I've worked in rehab and homelessness and I think you are wrong, Vicar. Alcohol is godawful. I have worked with a lot of people whose drug of choice is alcohol and have seen assaults, on men and women and there was a murder o/s my shelter. I'm not saying that a mixture isn't bad. One of the most dangerous is prescription drugs and alcohol, all legal. Very easy to OD on that combo.

kdiddy Wed 03-Oct-12 15:00:00

This is exactly my point Vicar - they're not all the same, so people saying things like "drugs are bad" is completely unhelpful. Alcohol is a drug. So is tobacco. So is heroin.

I am sure that there is plenty of alcohol-fuelled crime, and I'd bow to your better knowledge about stuff like MCAT, but I bet there are extremely low levels of antisocial crime related to, for example, ecstasy. Not all drugs create a habit and to lump them all together is one category, like our current laws do, doesn't address the problem appropriately.

True Rhubarb but chocolate production is involved in slavery. Almost all cash crops are bad for the majority world

OneMoreChap Wed 03-Oct-12 15:01:51

VicarInaTutu you're job, I'm not.
I'm surprised about the absence of incidents relating alcohol. Really, really surprised.

I'd have thought the DUI/RTC were heavily drink related often - more so than drugs, and I also thought that DV was very often alcohol inspired.

As I said, this was pre-skunk/hydroponic days, but I never saw a dope induced punchup. Saw a lot of drunk assaults.

If heroin/coke were legal/taxable/cheap would you need to work as a prostitute/thieve to fund your habit?

squoosh Wed 03-Oct-12 15:02:16

Alcohol must surely be the most destructive drug in terms of related violences.

I served as a juror on a muder trial that was purely due to a drunken fight. This is not a rare occurance.

ThatVikRinA22 Wed 03-Oct-12 15:02:46

not at all marys - but ive not attended any major incidents in which alcohol is the sole cause.

i cannot say the same of drugs. if you want to disbelieve me then fine. go ahead.

drink does cause problems - certainly it does - and yes assaults on a friday/saturday night happen because people are drunk.

but the bigger stuff, the nastier stuff, is often drug related, and the majority of the day to day stuff i interview for is drug related.

we are gathering stats at the moment in force particularly in relation to shoplifting - im not making it up but if you prefer to think i am thats up to you.

im sure it will make taking coke easier to stomach.

No one is saying that is not your experience. However, anecdotes do not make data. Saying that things aren't solely drink related, well, they aren't solely drug related if a person has taken a mixture. We also all have our own experiences. I have seen someone aspirating bloody vomit after prescription drugs and alcohol. He almost died and I felt very helpless.

BTW I don't take drugs and don't like the effects of these either. I'm just saying that people who think alcohol and prescription legal drugs are harmless and illegal drugs are BAD are kidding themselves.

THERhubarb Wed 03-Oct-12 15:07:02

MrsT, I hate chocolate.

Now wine, I love. And crisps.
Only Gary Linekar is abused for the sake of crisps and that doesn't count.

Dope may not harm others but it can cause schizophrenia. My dh is proof of that.

Nancy66 Wed 03-Oct-12 15:07:13

I'm not sure A&E staff and paramedics would back you up on this one Vicar.

I respect that you are reporting your personal experience but I'm pretty confident in saying that the people smashing up towns, vomiting all over the pavement and filling A&E of a weekend are drunks. I'm not saying they don't also dabble in drugs but their behaviour is fuelled by booze.

Vicar, whilst I don't disagree with your OP, I would state that I have witnessed someone being beaten around the face until they were unrecognisable with a large piece of metal in a booze fueled row over someone's GF. Not stabbing, but still pretty severe violence. I know it was only booze, rather than drugs because I knew them both and had spent the day with them. I don't dispute that drugs are generally a more likely cause of extreme violence, but alcohol can be, even if not as widely.

I admit it could have just been that I had a remarkably poor choice of friends as a teenager...

The government thinks that alcohol related crime is an issue. Again, not saying that grugs aren't an issue. Misuse of any mind-altering substance is a problem, for the individual and society.

Rhubarb true. I think dope is very underestimated in mental health.

Grugs aren't an issue, drugs are blush

ThatVikRinA22 Wed 03-Oct-12 15:16:51

i just said to DH that if you worked in the NHS you would probably see differently to me - but all i can say is what i see.

having a glass of wine does not cause deaths in far off countries where you dont see the affects of what you do does it?
it doesnt cause the destruction of rain forests.
it doesnt cause gang warfare and rivalry
it doesnt cause hits to be taken out on rival suppliers and dealers

drugs do. there is a difference. the shooting i went to was about supply of coke and cannabis. so dont tell me cannabis is ok....not for the fella who is critical in hospital it isnt.

squoosh Wed 03-Oct-12 15:17:23

I never tried Ecstasy as I read that kills off the serotonin producing cells in your brain. It is predicted that there will be an epidemic of ecstasy related depression amongst the middle aged in the next couple of decades.

Um, chocolate does... Child slavery, anyone?

ThatVikRinA22 Wed 03-Oct-12 15:22:13

next youll be telling me there is fair trade cocaine available....

Banana massacre. Cash crops in the rest of the world are always an issue which causes violence. Again, not saying drugs aren't problematic, just to put it in context.

If it was legal, there would be grin

Scaredbutdoingit Wed 03-Oct-12 15:24:06

Vicar Sorry to jump in but to quote..

"alcohol is probably a problem sometimes - but in isolation it doesnt cause the same criminality issues as drugs."

I agree with this, but one of the huge reasons why there is so much criminality around drugs is because drugs have been made and kept illegal.

If alcohol and/or cigarettes were made illegal, a huge black market would spring up for them too, and you would find people prostituting to feed a 'cigarette habit'.

squoosh Wed 03-Oct-12 15:25:23

Diamonds, mobile phones, clothes from Primark . . . . .

Most things we consume in the West have very dodgy origins.

OneMoreChap Wed 03-Oct-12 15:25:33

Lot of studies on schizophrenia and cannabis.

And I'm sorry THERhubarb that your husband and his dope use caused problems. You do, of course, realise that isn't proof of anything?

Dahlen Wed 03-Oct-12 15:26:07

Years ago I moved in very different circles and one of the reasons I left that circle was because of the drug scene. Once I'd discovered how trafficking, prostitution, theft and even murder links in with the illegal drug trade, I could no longer dismiss it as a bit of harmless fun even for those who used drugs on a purely recreational basis and remained fully functioning productive members of society.

While it is true that there are many users out there who can take ecstacy on a friday night, have a wonderful time hurting no one, and still get up and go to work to teach children on a monday, the truth of the matter is that this person has justified the human misery created in the process of getting that ecstacy tablet to her. Maybe they just haven't thought about the seedy underbelly of it all, in which case maybe they should. If they have and do it anyway, morally I think that makes them bankrupt and not fit to be in charge of children.

squoosh Wed 03-Oct-12 15:26:17

Agree that the illegality is the cause of the criminality.

ThatVikRinA22 Wed 03-Oct-12 15:28:33

so, one incidence of striking banana workers in 1928 is comparable to the deaths caused world wide by the trafficking and production of drugs since?

i could quote a million incidences of similar - it does not justify the use of drugs though does it?

if it does, explain how?

yes all issues that need to be tackled, same as diamond mining, chocolate production and primark.....

but how does that justify using cocaine?

Spuddybean Wed 03-Oct-12 15:28:48

I suppose it depends what you are used to. I grew up in a fairly permissive and affluent part of London and all my friends parents were professionals (teachers mainly) and they all smoked dope in the house. They also were hippy types who had regaled us with acid stories. We were all allowed to smoke dope at home when we got to about 15 too.

When i was 19 my parents friends offered me an e at a party (knowing i already did them) and another offered a line of coke when we went for dinner.

I am now 35 and a lot of my friends are teachers, they also smoke weed and do lines and e's. I used to teach and i think it's fairly common in more cosmopolitan areas (brighton etc).

i was shocked when i left London to find that people were so shocked about drug use. i always thought everyone was pretty laid back about it.

to those who say you wouldn't feel the same if someone close to you died or if you're children were doing it, i would say, i know people who died of alcohol related disease and lung cancer, yet i still smoke (occasionally) and drink. I also hope my dc do experiment, just as i did. Just as my parents generation were happy for us to. i would be sad if they smoked weed or fags habitually tho.

i haven't done drugs for about 10 years, i see it as something most people grow out of, like getting horribly drunk on shots.

DP on the other hand has never tried anything and is really anti drugs. So the dc's teenage years should be fun!

honeytea Wed 03-Oct-12 15:30:48

what about home grown cannabis and foraged magic mushrooms vicar, are they OK?

I don't take cocaine. And, I don't need to justify taking it. I just don't like the double standards. I also don't feel the need to police and interfere with other people's private lives unless there is a very good reason. The Third World is not a good enough reason unless you ban chocolate. Crime is not a good enough reason unless you legalise drugs and see if criminality goes down. Deaths are not a good enough reason unless you ban alcohol.

squoosh Wed 03-Oct-12 15:32:06

When I was about 19 my mother warned me to never to accept a slice of cake if I was at a party as people sometimes laced them with drugs in an effort to lure innocent partygoers into a lifetime of addiction grin

Poor old hash brownies.

honeytea Wed 03-Oct-12 15:32:52

Spuddy your situation sounds lots like mine. I have no idea how me and DP are going to agree on a drugs stance when we have teenagers.

ThatVikRinA22 Wed 03-Oct-12 15:33:26

no they fucking well arent!

did you miss the bit where i said im a copper? what do you think i do with home grown cannabis set ups?

do you know anything about those btw? the electric that they steal by rigging the meters?
who do you think pays for that then?
the houses they completely wreck?
ive had landlords sobbing when theyve seen their houses.

why do you think that that is ok?

Scaredbutdoingit Wed 03-Oct-12 15:34:08

Absolutely agreed MrsTerryPratchett, and thats where things get squicky, because on one hand there aren't really any good reasons, and on the other hand there are a couple reasons nobody in the know wants to talk about. wink

honeytea Wed 03-Oct-12 15:36:37

I ment having a couple of plants in your own home not a cannabis farm. Some of my mum's friends grow it in their greenhouses along with tomatos.

Spuddybean Wed 03-Oct-12 15:36:39

Honey, we are already trying to negotiate! i can't in all honesty be a hypocrite and he cant abandon his principles - so it's stale mate. we'll just have to do 'mum thinks x and dad thinks y'. we will also need to do this about god! there is no meeting in the middle. sad

ThatVikRinA22 Wed 03-Oct-12 15:37:16

ok, so let me ask all those in favour of drugs, who think they re harmless and who wants to legalise them.

if you have children, how would you feel if your child began to take heroin?

would you still want them legalised then?
you would surely have to legalise them all - Heroin and opiates included.

honeytea Wed 03-Oct-12 15:38:26

oh goodness god and drugs, your right there does seem to be no meeting in the middle!

Did anyone say that drugs are harmless? I don't think so.

In answer to the legalisation issue... Yes, legalise everything. Because criminalising it doesn't work. Regulate it very heavily, tax it to the hilt, educate very heavily, fund rehabs properly and spend Police time on other things.

Spuddybean Wed 03-Oct-12 15:40:32

i don't think they should be legalised. i think part of the appeal is they are illegal.

Nuttyprofessor Wed 03-Oct-12 15:40:38

Yes this is a very strange place, being wealthy or using a tutor is a hanging offence but licking methodone off the pavement in front of your child, or smoking pot at their party perfectly ok.

squoosh Wed 03-Oct-12 15:41:45

No one wants their child to do heroin, heroin is a vile, vile drug.

But if your child wanted to do heroin today they could walk out onto the streets and find it quite easily. The only people who benefit from the criminalization of drugs are the dealers.

Scaredbutdoingit Wed 03-Oct-12 15:42:42

Vicar

1st - Drugs are not harmless, just as they are not necessarily harmful. Its all in the use and the user. Water in excess is a poison.

If my child took heroin, I would be infinitely concerned about the reasons why, and what he hoped to gain from heroin that he was not gaining elsewhere. If it were experimentation, I would hope he had access to honest, clean communication about what the actual risks and benefits were.

Legalise them all? Yes.

Educate everyone about the facts, not the spin-stories? Yes.

Create a clean market and support network for people who are already addicted and/or wish to stop taking. Yes.

Create a clean market and accurate information about risks/benefits (plus support networks) for those who haven't taken but are curious. Yes.

FreckledLeopard Wed 03-Oct-12 15:43:12

But Vicar, having a glass of wine doesn't cause destruction of rainforests, gang war etc, simply because it's legal and regulated. Look at how gang-crime rose under Prohibition to see that alcohol can cause just as much havoc when illegal.

Frankly, I will admit to being a middle-class occasional drug user. I've dabbled here and there, will occasionally smoke a joint or take pills/acid at a party. I personally don't like coke or anything harder, but that's not to say that I would judge people who do the occasional line.

I think, unless you look at alcohol/cigarettes as a drug within the same ballpark as all other substances, then creating an artificial 'ring' around illegal drugs and condemning them out of hand is fairly ridiculous. Yes, some sunstances are legal and others aren't. But that doesn't really mean much IMO - if you're going to take a mood-altering substance, be it alcohol, coke, then it's pretty irrelevant how it's categorised. You either abstain from all or accept that each of these substances can have a positive or negative impact on a person, depending on how such substances are used or abused.

Having grown up with a father who drank a lot, I'd far rather be around someone that was stoned than drunk.

The crime associated with drugs could be overcome by regulation and de-criminalisation. As to whether taking drugs falls into some kind of 'moral issue' category, I can't see why it would, from a purely chemical basis. Why should taking ecstasy be morally dubious, when drinking four pints of lager isn't?

Alcoholism and drug addiction can and do destroy lives and families. But the all drugs=bad attitude doesn't really sit well with my ideas on critical thinking and analysis. So, laissez-faire, perhaps, but I don't really subscribe to black and white thinking on this issue.

I've been around groups of people who took heroin. I don't take it because I'm not an idiot, not because it is illegal.

honeytea Wed 03-Oct-12 15:44:18

I don't think we should legalise all drugs, I just think that some drugs should be legalised. If heroin was legal I would try to educate my child about it (the same as I would do if it is not legal) if they decided to take it (as an adult) that would be their choice and I would be sad if they became addicted to it, but I would also be sad if my child became addicted to alcohol, I wouldn't be more sad that they were addicted to heroin.

noddyholder Wed 03-Oct-12 15:46:23

Just because you can trace drugs to communities in south america does not mean anything to the child cowering in his/her bedroom unwashed and neglected because mum/dad is drunk again. Destruction is destruction to the person experiencing it.

OneMoreChap Wed 03-Oct-12 15:49:42

VicarInaTutu Wed 03-Oct-12 15:37:16
ok, so let me ask all those in favour of drugs,

Nope, that's not me

who think they re harmless

nope, not me either.

and who wants to legalise them.

That would be me.

if you have children,

Yep, me again

how would you feel if your child began to take heroin?

Now? I'd be terrified. No idea what the hell it has been cut with, what sort of works they'd used, unless smoking it.

Legalised, with consistent quality and provided with clean works. Still be upset.

would you still want them legalised then?

I'd be much happier with them on legal heroin than illegal, for sure.

you would surely have to legalise them all - Heroin and opiates included.

Absolutely, or it allows organised crime back in.
We'e already seeing that with punitive taxes oon alcohol/tobacco.

whois Wed 03-Oct-12 15:55:03

To the poster on p1 asking what the difference between heroin and cocaine are:

Heroin is physically addictive and will f your life up.

Cocaine is only psychologically addictive will only f your life up, if you are already f up.  Exactly the same way in which alcohol has the unfortunate ability to f you up, if you are already f up person with an addictive and destructive personality.

I don't think a hand-wringing "all drugs are evil and only good for nothing addicts take them" is accurate or helpful.

The reality of the situation is a lot of very normal people enjoy taking drugs, occasionally. The mind altering state can be exciting, interesting and fun.

I don't really see why this bothers so many people?

I am not for legalising drugs, because before mcat was criminalised there were too many fucking retards taking it 'cos it was legal' who had no business taking drugs and who weren't being safe. But I don't think criminalising a large minority of the otherwise law abiding population is a good solution either.

ThatVikRinA22 Wed 03-Oct-12 16:01:14

so why do people think drugs are illegal?

surely, legalising and taxing to the hilt, regulating will just do what happens now with cigs and booze - people break into places to steal them, to supply them cheap to those who cant afford them.
there will always be a black market for anything expensive, legal or not.
those cigs that people stand and sell on the corner of the street.....where do you think they come from?

people steal alcohol to order. crates of it. its incredibly easy to walk out of a store. i went a few weeks ago to a supermarket which had £10,000 cigs stolen.

im not convinced that legalising but making it untouchable by expense would help.

i do know that the really big jobs ive been to, invovling fire arms, attempts on peoples lives and gang culture are all drug related.

it clearly is a class thing, that heroin is seen as the drug of addicts while cocaine is seen as ok due to the fact that professionals take it.

i find this place so odd, where taking cocaine is fine, but give your child a fruit shoot and get lynched.
heroin isnt fine though. dont pretend its because its addictive - so is cocaine.
at least be honest.

MrSunshine Wed 03-Oct-12 16:03:01

At least be honest yourself, you know heroin is totally different to cocaine, and not only because of who uses it.

OneMoreChap Wed 03-Oct-12 16:09:47

VicarInaTutu
so why do people think drugs are illegal?

Habit? [viz tobacco and alcohol are legal]

surely, legalising and taxing to the hilt, regulating will just do what happens now with cigs and booze - people break into places to steal them, to supply them cheap to those who cant afford them....im not convinced that legalising but making it untouchable by expense would help.

No, that's the point.
You don't make it untouchable by expense or you let criminals back in

i do know that the really big jobs ive been to, invovling fire arms, attempts on peoples lives and gang culture are all drug related.

Are they - or are they related to organized crime?

^heroin isnt fine though. dont pretend its because its addictive - so is cocaine.
at least be honest.^

So's tobacco... possibly more so.

ThatVikRinA22 Wed 03-Oct-12 16:09:56

nope. drugs are drugs to me.

herion users get called 'smack rats' and junkies
coke users are middle class teachers on the weekend off. theres your difference.

if i were to start a thread saying my childrens TA was taking heroin how many would tell me to mind my own business then?

load of bollocks. drugs are all illegal and thats the way it is.

Nancy66 Wed 03-Oct-12 16:10:00

I think the days of cocaine being the 'yuppie' drug are long gone. It used to be expensive, now it's dirth cheap. Cheaper than heroin I believe.

The guy who cleans your windows is just as likely to be on cocaine as some city trader.

Scaredbutdoingit Wed 03-Oct-12 16:12:07

Vicar (again, sorry) smile

Take it a step further and visualise what actually would happen if tommorow every single illegal drug were made legal.

-The black market would instantly collapse as new 'clean' markets sprang up, all falling over each other to capitalise on the money to be made. Intense, heated legal competition, driving drug costs waaaaay down, and opening up the entire industry to ethical monitoring.

-Drugs become insanely cheap and easy to acquire (compared to previously). Many existing drug addicts go on a 'feeding frenzy'. Many die from overdoses. They do not need anywhere near as much money to get their drugs, so they do not need to engage in anywhere near as much criminal activity to get money. Life becomes easier for them and crime goes down. Communication with this group overall becomes easier without the threat of legal consequences hanging over their heads.

-Many non-drug users will suddenly realise they too can now go and try drugs if they want to.
The vast majority won't, for the same reasons they didn't want to when they were illegal.
Some will, because the law was the only thing stopping them. They may or may not become hardcore addicts depending on other life variables. They may decide its utterly not for them. Or they may join the population described below.

-The hidden (but vocal) percentage of people who are already using drugs sensibly for personal reasons (of infinite variety) and maintain a fully functioning productive adult life will breathe a huge sigh of relief as now some honest research and education can start taking place about what these drugs (in their pure, not street-cut form) actually do!!! And what may be some sensible (and not sensible) reasons to take them.

ThatVikRinA22 Wed 03-Oct-12 16:16:10

no it wouldnt. there is still a black market for cheap booze and cigs. There will still be a black market.

while im interested in the idea that legalising them would bring some kind of crime free utopia, i also do not want my children exposed to drugs.

OneMoreChap Wed 03-Oct-12 16:17:14

VicarInaTutu Wed 03-Oct-12 16:09:56
drugs are all illegal and thats the way it is.

Alcohol?
Tobacco?

Scaredbutdoingit Wed 03-Oct-12 16:17:56

There will always be a small black market for cheaper anything, including handbags. But nowhere near the scale of the problem that is currently on our hands.

Exposure to drugs is going to happen. The context of how it happens can be changed.

Dahlen Wed 03-Oct-12 16:19:04

It's all a bit hypothetical though isn't it. The fact is that drugs are currently illegal and therefore by buying/taking them users are choosing to break the law of the land and contribute to the nefarious trades that go with them.

No one needs drugs. You can make an argument to legalise them certainly, but until you actively campaign for it and it happens, you are actively encouraging criminal culture.

Dahlen Wed 03-Oct-12 16:20:21

I'm on the fence with legalisation. Yes it will remove a lot of criminality but I worry that it will normalise drugs in the same way that alcohol and binge drinking has been so normalised in our culture.

TiggyD Wed 03-Oct-12 16:20:32

Drugs are legal in this country. Tobacco and alcohol. If tens of millions of people have fun every week taking legal drugs that can do serious damage to themselves and society in the name of 'personal freedom', why get that excited about the illegal ones?
(I don't drink, smoke tobacco, drink caffine, take snuff, but do have a puff on any joint that gets passed round)

Scaredbutdoingit Wed 03-Oct-12 16:22:03

In a legalised-drug world, children would be exposed to drugs the same way they are exposed to anything dangerous. Sex, alcohol, and cars come to mind.

They would be taught by their parents and schools what the real risks and benefits were, and nurtured along as best as possible to make their own informed personal choices.

honeytea Wed 03-Oct-12 16:24:12

while im interested in the idea that legalising them would bring some kind of crime free utopia, i also do not want my children exposed to drugs.

You'd better get some good locks on their bedroom doors then.

whois Wed 03-Oct-12 16:24:22

nope. drugs are drugs to me.

Vicar, you show your very unreasonableness in that seance. How little you know. Please educate yourself so you can educate your children.

Not all drugs are the same. And you do realise that Ibruprufen, caffeine, nicotine and alcohol are drugs yeah?

If you are honestly so stupid to think there is no difference between a physically addictive drug and a psychologically addictive drug then there is little point you even engaging in a drugs debate.

cheesesarnie Wed 03-Oct-12 16:24:55

yanbu.

Scaredbutdoingit Wed 03-Oct-12 16:25:33

Dahlen What you say about needs is true. Nobody needs drugs. But at the same time nobody really needs much of anything (except the basic water, food, shelter). None of us need our laptops or televisions or glasses of wine.

But we all want things.

We all like choices.

Its about freedom.

Lifeisontheup Wed 03-Oct-12 16:26:12

I'm joining this thread whilst inspecting the bruises inflicted by a stoned 46 year old, old enough to know better? They were middle class with children and a social user and alcohol was not involved.
I've been out to 21 year olds having an MI due to coke use. Put in vulnerable child forms about young children who are being massively neglected due to cannabis use only to be told 'we mustn't judge people according to our standards'. I've been attacked by youngsters using MCAT while their toddlers looked on bemused. My heart breaks for all those lives wrecked.
So far ,touch wood, I haven't been attacked by a drunk, treated them yes but generally find them easy to manage unless drugs are added to the mix.
I'm not sure legalising drugs would work totally unless the whole world did it and that's not going to happen and the effects that I see wouldn't be changed by it.

whois Wed 03-Oct-12 16:26:28

Dahlen No one needs caffeine or alcohol or nicotine or even naice ham grin but that doesn't stop them being loved by many people!

ThatVikRinA22 Wed 03-Oct-12 16:27:36

ffs is that the best you can do? telling me that paracetamol is a drug? really????

i think if thats the best you can come up with then you have had too many drugs.

Shagmundfreud Wed 03-Oct-12 16:31:15

Drugs ruin some people's lives. Alcohol and tobacco too.

Should we ban alcohol and tobacco as well OP?

noddyholder Wed 03-Oct-12 16:33:36

My ds is 18 now and so this has been discussed endlessly amongst my friends/peers in the last couple of years. Those who think their dc never would/don't are sadly mistaken. There are a few people on this thread who could be in for a shock. As I said before the most anti (who is in fact a teacher) has a son who sells and the one from the family where drugs were used and caused a fair bit of hmm in the playground amongst parents (me inc) when younger is very into the church and is the polar opposite of his parents! The drugs are drugs attitude is sad in a way as it is soooooo far off the mark.

Nancy66 Wed 03-Oct-12 16:33:59

Decriminalization is a good half way measure between the situation now and legalising.

As I said earlier, it worked in Portugal. It doesn't mean it is legal to take or deal drugs it just means there is a more sensible and realistic attitude towards the problem.

Please Vicar you are normally a voice of reason on hear and you are sounding very irrational. I understand that many people who are into legalisation are flakey drug users, i am not. Don't generalise.

Dahlen Wed 03-Oct-12 16:35:50

The difference is that alcohol, tobacco and naice ham are legal. Illegal drugs are not.

On here. Urg.

Latara Wed 03-Oct-12 16:36:59

I would have to say YANBU, just because i hate knowing what's happening to one of my younger cousins now.
He's only 17; & lucky to have started a college course that is fun as well as educational.
He's lovely, caring, eccentric but popular & confident - & he has a potentially bright future ahead of him like many 17 year olds.

He's also got a tendency to bouts of severe depression & has been suicidal.
Not helped by the mindfucking amounts of skunk / weed, & other drugs that he experiments with.

I could say more but that's enough; i hate thinking about how his personality is being destroyed.

Scaredbutdoingit Wed 03-Oct-12 16:37:40

Lifeisontheup My heart breaks for the experiences you describe because I am very, very well acquainted with them also, and like you, would do anything to counteract the forces that cause them to be.

However, the drugs are not the cause. They are inextricably linked because 'drugs' and 'people in pain' go together.

'People in pain' do fucked up things like abuse children and commit crimes, and beat other people. They also take drugs because it helps with the pain.

But it is possible to be a 'person in pain' and not take drugs.

It is also possible to take drugs and not do fucked-up things.

The drugs do not cause the terrible experiences of pain you describe.

Fucked up people cause the terrible experiences of pain.
Many times those fucked up people will also be on drugs.

But there is a significant group of functioning, productive people who use drugs in a responsible, sensible manner for a legitimate reason. Hospitals are amongst these (diamorphine = heroin). And there are individuals too.

It is possible because the drugs and the heartbreak are not linked in the cause and effect way you think they are. There are strong relations yes, but not 'cause and effect'.

noddyholder Wed 03-Oct-12 16:42:42

Lots of addicts have had painful child hoods and terrible experiences which they try to 'fix' by self medicating with whatever they feel 'full' and numb with whether it be alcohol drugs food etc. For a brief time the drug of choice takes away the pain. That person you are looking down on was someones little boy/girl who didn't get the love that luckily it seems all our children seem to. It can happen to anyone who tried to fill that gap with something external. Some of the attitudes here are disgusting and without any compassion at all.

cory Wed 03-Oct-12 16:51:02

I might have been more convinced of the harmlessness of weed/skunk if I had not spent so much time reading the posts of MNers such as MaryZ whose children's lives have been wrecked by it.

Of course I can't guarantee that I can keep my own children safe, I can't physically stop them from being exposed to these drugs, I can't be sure they'll never be foolish and take them.

But at least I can say: "look, this is what Society thinks about this stuff, I am not the only person to tell you it's dangerous, it's illegal, you will be breaking the law".

ThatVikRinA22 Wed 03-Oct-12 16:51:47

i am just shocked - this is mumsnet

is this really a class issue? i dont know anyone who uses illegal drugs (note the use of illegal for the pedantic who want to point out that caffeine and lemsip are drugs)

it seems the messge from this thread is that middle class drugs are fine and im a big sappy prude.
and if they arent fine then nor is chocolate, or ibuprofen.

ah, but herioin isnt cos that ones addictive read lower class not like cocaine. thats ok. oh and e s are ok too.

and i should just stop being silly and accept that its ok for professionals to use drugs, the morality and illegality should not really be an issue (despite the fact im paid to uphold the law)
and i should forget everything i know and see because iabu.

maybe if you saw what i saw you would think differently, i dont know.
maybe we need the equivalent of taking people who drink and drive to the morgue....

its easy to distance yourself and justify it when you dont actually see the affects.

IneedAsockamnesty Wed 03-Oct-12 16:53:33

nancy but arnt there issues in portagal with huge amounts of people who have been stopped with person use amounts not attending the programs they are surposed to to avoid prosicution?

and police, docters and social workers who are 'on the ground' disputing much of the data the gov there touts that claim its had a possitive impact?

noddyholder Wed 03-Oct-12 16:53:50

Vicar no one has said any of those things you sound a bit deranged like you've been at the pipe

squoosh Wed 03-Oct-12 16:54:06

I don't have a 'moral' problem with drug taking. My issues are criminal ones and health ones.

Morality doesn't come into it.

MrSunshine Wed 03-Oct-12 16:54:38

It's not just money that makes coke different to heroin, especially since they are about the same price now.

The reason that heroin users are generally called junkies and coke users are generally called recreational users is because that is the actual truth. The guy breaking into your car to get money for drugs is most likely a smack head, not a coke user.
The coke user is more likely to be your dentist or your kids teacher. Thats not to do with class, thats to do with reality. Heroin will take over your life and destroy it, coke, for the majority of users, won't.

Personally I think both coke and smack users are utter morons, but I wouldn't turn down a spliff. Not all drugs are equal, saying that is like saying that Oxycontin is just the same as Calpol.

Scaredbutdoingit Wed 03-Oct-12 16:55:13

cory

It really is like cars... the harmful/harmless force comes from the user and not the object.

A car can absolutely kill you, and will if you do not handle it properly (not just you but others also).

Likewise, a drug really can ruin a person's life, leave it in absolute tatters. If it is not used with sufficient wisdom and moderation.

margerykemp Wed 03-Oct-12 16:55:39

Not read thread but

I have thought the same OP for a while. MN seems to be very drug-friendly esp for a parenting site.

I've seen lives been destroyed by what others describe as 'soft' drugs. They aren't harmless and can have multi-generational repercussions.

catgirl1976 Wed 03-Oct-12 16:56:01

OP - Why are you so bothered about other people's attitudes to drugs?

I don't think anyone is suggesting you should take some or that they are not capable of harm.

MrSunshine Wed 03-Oct-12 16:56:08

And of course you know people who use illegal drugs, they just don't tell you because you are in the POLICE!
You can't seriously be that naive, can you?

squoosh Wed 03-Oct-12 16:57:11

I'm sure there's many a police officer who is fond of a dabble of a weekend.

catgirl1976 Wed 03-Oct-12 16:58:57

I expect they have random testing in the police? So they probably don't?

OP - do they do random testing? <curious now>

Scaredbutdoingit Wed 03-Oct-12 16:59:34

Vicar

You are under a duty to uphold the law, and so of course you have to defend it.

How do you feel about alternative drugs that are legal, things like herbal 'incenses' and smoking blends that can be bought over the internet?

Nancy66 Wed 03-Oct-12 17:01:05

Sock - that may be true.

But I would have thought it's hard to fake figures showing that: drugs related deaths, infection by HIV, petty crime and number of addicts is down.

At the very least it brings the problem above ground.

Maybe it isn't the answer but, equally, our policy doesn't work either.

ThatVikRinA22 Wed 03-Oct-12 17:01:27

...scared i think to patronise people who are talking about their own real life experiences because it doesnt "fit" your own pro drugs agenda is low, i dont feel ive dismissed anyones experiences even though i dont agree with them - lifeisontheup and the poster also speaking from personal experience have a right to air their experiences without someone playing amateur psychologist and espousing the cause and effect are different - sometimes drugs are the cause and sometimes they arent.

in my brothers case they were not the cause, he took drugs because we had a shitty childhood, but at 30 he is still an addict, his drug of choice changed.
in my sisters case they were, and she was the one who died.

catgirl1976 Wed 03-Oct-12 17:02:59

Hang on vicar - are only people who have had negative experiences with drugs allowed to share their own real life experiences without being patronised?

ThatVikRinA22 Wed 03-Oct-12 17:03:29

mr sunshie - i really do not know anyone in my social circle who uses drugs - my sister died on heroin
my brother didnt die but i dont have contact with him, he is a fuck up who i dont want around my kids, or around me. i tried to help him and he stole and abused me.

there are my only experiences of drug users in my social circle. why would i want that?

i choose my friends now a days. i do not see my family.

TiggyD Wed 03-Oct-12 17:04:09

I think it's people in general with a lasso fayre attitude. I was in a shop in Windsor when a blue rinse granny came in needing a hat to keep the sun out her eyes. I pointed out the cap she picked had a huge cannabis leaf on but she giggled and bought it anyway.

Scaredbutdoingit Wed 03-Oct-12 17:04:38

Vicar
I honestly and sincerely have not set out to patronise anyone, and am terribly sorry that my message has come across to you that way. I am a seeker of truth and mutual understanding. I hope you believe me, but can do nothing if you do not.

I also absolutely do not have a pro drugs agenda, and would be delighted if someone were to change my mind.

I am a seeker of truth first and foremost, and will turn my opinions on a dime if sincerely convinced.

catgirl1976 Wed 03-Oct-12 17:04:57

Another life ruined Tiggy

<sigh>

ThatVikRinA22 Wed 03-Oct-12 17:06:19

yes we have random drug tests. the test to get in is hair - can go back years by testing hair.

so because i dont like the mn penchant for casual drug abuse i am now deranged, been on the pipe and a liar?

alright. whatever.

Scaredbutdoingit Wed 03-Oct-12 17:06:32

Vicar
Also, please understand that I do have a very real, profoundly negative understanding of drug-related life problems. Its just that I have tapped these back to a different source than you have.

And my negative experiences have not blinded me to the positive (which are real).

Proudnscary Wed 03-Oct-12 17:08:18

I agree with Catgirl.

I don't get what the actual issue is here? I mean that genuinely.

We're adults on an adult site talking shit about stuff we think, stuff we've done, stuff we've said.

People on here who say they do or have done recreational drugs are simply talking about their lives and their experiences.

I don't think anyone who does drugs on here think it's 'cool' <cringes even writing that> or that it's making a statement about anything in any way.

Some people just can't get jump-up-and-down outraged about drugs - and don't believe drug taking inevitably ends in tragedy and disaster.

People can and do dabble in drugs without adverse effect.

Most of us with children, who have enjoyed recreational drug use in the past, don't do it now for obvious reasons.

ThatVikRinA22 Wed 03-Oct-12 17:08:26

fair enough scared - at least you have not resorted to personal insults....

off for a bath - been on here too long today.

Dahlen Wed 03-Oct-12 17:08:52

What are the positive effects of illegal drugs?

squoosh Wed 03-Oct-12 17:09:25

The positive effects are that people can have a good time.

TiggyD Wed 03-Oct-12 17:10:04

They tend to be quite moreish though.

cory Wed 03-Oct-12 17:11:31

Scaredbutdoingit Wed 03-Oct-12 16:55:13
cory

"It really is like cars... the harmful/harmless force comes from the user and not the object.

A car can absolutely kill you, and will if you do not handle it properly (not just you but others also).

Likewise, a drug really can ruin a person's life, leave it in absolute tatters. If it is not used with sufficient wisdom and moderation. "

I don't think it's just about wisdom and moderation; there is an increasing body of evidence suggesting that some people may be genetically predisposed to develop MH disorders if using cannabis whilst others won't. But there is no testing procedure to tell you whether you are or not.

Just like some people can drink heavily for years without becoming addicted or suffering any ill consequences (my ILs being a case in point), others can't. Some can smoke non-stop for decades without getting lung cancer: it's not about wisdom and moderation, more about genetics and sheer good luck.

Spuddybean Wed 03-Oct-12 17:11:33

I think the seeing the effects issue is interesting. I also see the effects, as in almost every one i know does/has done drugs and everyone is fine and no one has become addicted or ruined their lives. We are both seeing the genuine effects tho - they are just different ends of the same spectrum.

I go to a party where everyone is drinking, and i also see the effects, usually everyone really happy and dancing and laughing. That isn't to say i haven't seen people violent, melancholy and aggressive. I think it depends on the personality of the user beforehand. If you are emotionally/mentally secure then drugs don't take hold.

Shagmundfreud Wed 03-Oct-12 17:11:39

Half of all people who smoke will die from their addiction.

My sister took illegal drugs for many years but it was alcohol addiction which made her life impossible.

I really cannot see how illegal drugs are worse, except insofar as they're illegal, and thus addiction brings with it a whole additional layer of problems. But of course we choose to make these drugs illegal.

FairPhyllis Wed 03-Oct-12 17:12:04

I assume that anyone who uses illegal drugs either doesn't know about or is determined to close their mind to the utter personal misery, violence, corruption and political instability associated with the production and trafficking of drugs. Even if you buy pills or weed you have no guarantee that your money is not ultimately funding some extremely unpleasant and dangerous people.

While decriminalisation might reduce some of the problems in this country like gang violence, gun crime etc., I can't see that it would do anything to stop the misery in places of production and along the supply route.

Dahlen Wed 03-Oct-12 17:12:32

Does having a good time justify trafficking and prostitution?

Does having a good time justify the huge levels of theft and the black market economy?

I have never doubted that some people can use drugs with no adverse affect on their behaviour (although it does affect their health), but there is an adverse effect on wider society because of the crime associated with the illegal drugs economy.

Scaredbutdoingit Wed 03-Oct-12 17:13:29

Positive effects include very real pain relief for a start (do not underestimate this one!)

And for those who are mature, equipped, and informed enough (just as you should be to have sex, drive a car, and drink alcohol), they can teach you an incredible amount about consciousness and the mind, which is the bit people really don't like to talk about.

noddyholder Wed 03-Oct-12 17:14:45

My brother took heroin for years our life was hell at times with it. Then I got ill and was on dialysis and he said he was going to give up and donate a kidney to me. Everyone rolled their eyes but he did. He is still clean 12 years on. I hope my ds never ends up where my brother was but I would never preach the drugs are evil line as every person is different

THERhubarb Wed 03-Oct-12 17:14:52

Onemorechap I like you! No, I know it's not proof, just anecdotal. However there have been studies on regular cannabis use and mental health so it is corraborated by evidence.

Anyway, I haven't said where I stand on the drugs issue. I've just said that many people who say they have tried drugs are probably lying to make themselves seem more interesting and offered this as an explanation as to the laissez faire attitude on Mumsnet.

Some posters claim to have tried it and have friends who all take it etc to try and decorate their mundane lives a little bit. Note I said some before loads of posters leap to their own defences. grin

Scaredbutdoingit Wed 03-Oct-12 17:14:56

cory

"it's not about wisdom and moderation, more about genetics and sheer good luck."

I would say it is absolutely and positively about both. Much like everything in life. smile <- meant in a friendly way, not patronising!

squoosh Wed 03-Oct-12 17:15:39

You did ask for the positive aspects of illegal drugs.

MarysBeard Wed 03-Oct-12 17:16:53

Most people who have been to university have tried some kind of illegal drugs, I would say.

Mayisout Wed 03-Oct-12 17:17:02

Gawd. Just legalise the lighter stuff and let everyone get on with it.

noddyholder Wed 03-Oct-12 17:17:28

cannabis caused my brother a lot more trouble than heroin which sounds unbelievable but is true. Modern skunk type grass is dangerous

Scaredbutdoingit Wed 03-Oct-12 17:17:48

Dahlen

"an adverse effect on wider society because of the crime associated with the illegal drugs economy"

Absolutely agreed. But many people will place the responsibility for this on the powers that keep it illegal.

noddyholder Wed 03-Oct-12 17:19:05

I think a life with drugs is a lot more mundane rhubarb Older people still doing it are quite dull when you don't do it yourself.

TiggyD Wed 03-Oct-12 17:19:50

We're a net exporter of cannabis, so the carbon footprint is pretty low.

Spuddybean Wed 03-Oct-12 17:24:29

MarysBeard - oddly enough i found university very puritanical about drugs. That was my first time living outside London and i was in halls with a lot of students from rural areas. They were all extremely anti drugs. I remember mentioning smoking a joint and they were all shocked and some started chanting 'leah betts' at me. Some never spoke to me again. They had been constantly told by their parents they would die the moment they tried drugs. They all drank like fish tho and I was worried some would choke on their own vomit - that was good clean fun tho!

I never knew anyone at uni who did drugs, i found it all very weird.

I did most of my drugs before i got to uni 15-19 - by then i was bored of them.

catgirl1976 Wed 03-Oct-12 17:26:27

OP - I think the issue is that what you are really saying is

AIBU to be shocked that not everyone holds the same view as me?

To which, of course, the answer is yes.

If you said AIBU to think drugs can be harmful or AIBU to think drugs can be destructive then no one would be disagreeing with you I don't think.

But to be shocked that people hold different views on the subject is U.

cory Wed 03-Oct-12 17:27:43

noddyholder Wed 03-Oct-12 17:19:05
"I think a life with drugs is a lot more mundane rhubarb Older people still doing it are quite dull when you don't do it yourself."

My own memories of sharing a house with people who did smoke weed regularly was that their heightened consciousness and deeper insights were not apparent to anybody except themselves: to me they just seemed to be saying the same platitudes over and over again and giggling a lot. But they were convinced they were being very profound. Which must have been very pleasant smile

Scaredbutdoingit Wed 03-Oct-12 17:35:18

cory - The feelings of profundity and insight that people profess whilst using various drugs, are not the same as the real insights you get when you analyse the experience afterwards.

But many people are just 'in it' for the fun. wink

I'm the opposite to the OP in that I've always been surprised at the outrage I've encountered towards drugs on mn.

I've been a 'drug user' for about 25 years, although now its more occasional joint than what it used to be.

I'm very much like spuddy but with poor people. I grew up in London, in grotty estates and there were heroin addicts but the majority of adults I knew were 'recreational' drug users as well as nearly all of them smoking and drinking heavily. I've never really moved away from that group or area and know many of the same people and through work others I've encountered were posh and were on coke like it was oxygen so I've never really experienced anti-drug life.

About attitudes to coke, late eighties to mid nineties was my heyday and I do remember coke as being a sort of yuppy drug but we could, as poor teens get hold of it quite easily although ours was probably cut with so much shite. Later into the nineties it got I think probably everyone I knew was doing it at the weekends at least. Back then I and all my friends took anything we could get our hands on and had a great time. I know people who had adverse experiences and one or 2 people that died but I think that the earlier point of it depends how you've seen it is the most relevant. The negatives I saw were in the minority (not saying this is factual evidence) plus I was enjoying myself as were my friends, boyfriend etc so there was never really a reason to stop.

Work, dealing with comedowns as well as 3 sick children, loss of the youthful invincible feeling, mortgage payments etc changed things but I still indulge occasionally as do majority of family/social circle.

The whole its illegal end of argument also doesn't bother me. I'm, like many of the attitude that I only care if its illegal if I get caught.

Scaredbutdoingit Wed 03-Oct-12 17:37:14

Just to clarify.

'Fun' is a very common motive, and whilst I do not decry it as a terrible motive, it is certainly not the best one! And not one I particularly endorse.

ravenAK Wed 03-Oct-12 17:57:48

I'm a teacher.

Occasional recreational drug use at weekends or in the holidays is far from unusual IME.

It's not like we can go to the bloody pub...all those judgmental parents tutting...wink

spamm Wed 03-Oct-12 17:58:09

Am carefully reading through the thread, as I tend to agree with Vicar's comments and have a similar view point. However, there are lots of carefully thought comments here which are very interesting and thought provoking. So I will continue reading.

However, I wanted to comment on one issue that has been raised - that if drugs were legal, there would not be the same level of criminality, etc... involved.

I do not believe that is the case at all - in fact, legalizing drugs in the UK would probably see a rise of organized gangs and criminality in the UK seeing it as an excuse to use the UK as a base to smuggle drugs abroad and get them into countries where they are not legal or are more expensive, etc....

Look at cigarettes and alcohol. Despite them being legal, there is a huge black market in alcohol and cigarettes across Europe, run by big gangs and organized crime, who smuggle them in from countries that are cheaper and less regulated. The gangs bully and harm local communities and vulnerable people into working for them and use their pull in those communities to grow their areas of control and strength. Cigarette trafficking is a very big business and makes millions for the gangs, and I don't think they say: "Oh, look, its legal here, we don't need to do this anymore."

<sorry, too much sarcasm?>

abitcoldupnorth Wed 03-Oct-12 17:59:22

I don't know about the market in weed or E (altho I bet at the top end it's not run by very pleasant people), but I would put good money on someone somewhere being killed, seriously injured, trafficked or otherwise abused in some pretty grim way for every gram of coke that's bought by some naice lawyer type who probably also buys fair-trade coffee.

spamm Wed 03-Oct-12 18:00:46

aaaghhh - I knew I should have continued reading. Others have made my point very well.

<always read full thread!!! before trying to provide deep comment blush>

Hullygully Wed 03-Oct-12 18:00:48

mankind (sic) cannot bear very much reality as dear TS said.

WorraLiberty Wed 03-Oct-12 18:07:05

My goodness when my sister worked at a Police station, she was actually shocked at how many officers were taking lines of coke to get them through night shift.

I object to the term, 'pro-drugs' as well. I am not pro-drugs. It's like calling someone who is pro-choice, pro-abortion. Of course not. I would prefer if everyone lived a happy life with no mind-altering substances at all hides glass of wine. The truth is that I have seen horrifying addiction effects. Nothing to separate between the dreadful things I have seen with legal/illegal/prescription drugs. Cannabis is a gateway if you ask people but so is alcohol.

kdiddy Wed 03-Oct-12 18:17:03

Another point to make on the whole decriminalisation issue is about user safety. In spite of all the points people make about the different harms of various drugs, people are always going to take them. They always have. It doesn't matter if they're illegal, expensive, or socially frowned upon, I'm pretty sure drug use exists in every society in the world and to pretend it doesn't is naive and an attitude which leaves users more vulnerable than they need to be.

I am categorically not saying let's decriminalise everything - although I think you would need to look on a drug by drug basis at that - but, for example, when people take E or some of the newer drugs they have absolutely no idea what is in them. It would be so simple to enable users to test what they have bought and therefore make sure people knew exactly what they were taking.

I also think the mainstream attitude to drugs in this country - not MN, which does seem different - means it is difficult to get the message across to people about how to keep themselves safer should they choose to take drugs. Let's not pretend they won't do it - let's tell them, ok, if you want to take LSD, for example, here are the risks and here are some things you should bear in mind to stay as safe as you can be.

Snog Wed 03-Oct-12 18:20:51

The majority of parents have taken drugs themselves to no real ill effect and that is bound to impact on their attitude.

Of course buying drugs encourages organised crime and exploitation of people and is a risky activity for the user. I would not want my child to use any drugs and tbh not even alcohol.

However, buying rip off DVDs also encourages organised crime, and buying cheap clothing ecourages expoitation of the people who produce it and many people have no problem with buying these items.

Vicarinatutu you have had some very close and personal experience of what happens when things go wrong with drug taking. Most people have had close and personal experience of when things don't go wrong. This, in my opinion, is why yours is not the majority viewpoint.

Good point kdiddy. I remember the 'drugs kill' message in the 80's. All that happened is I looked at my friends who used drugs and thought, no they don't. Now, if they had said, cannabis makes you boring and annoying, coke more so, heroin is very addictive and can kill, ditto fags and booze... I might have listened more. I wish the message with e wasn't, YOU'LL DIE, but your brain will be less capable of feeling rewarded and happy. Do you want to use all your happiness up now?

Scaredbutdoingit Wed 03-Oct-12 18:29:11

spamm

The kind of criminality that would be reduced would be at the user level.

I agree with you that a new kind of criminality would very likely then become a problem, but this is a problem that needs to be met at a global level. As you pointed out, the international problems regarding alcohol and cigarettes have not prevented these being viably legal.

Scaredbutdoingit Wed 03-Oct-12 18:30:55

Honesty is always the best policy.

It doesn't work when doctors lie to their patients or obscure the truth (for their own good).

It doesn't work when parents lie to their children or hide the truth (for their own good).

And it doesn't work when government lies to the public and hides the truth (for its own good).

cory Wed 03-Oct-12 18:33:33

Of the people I knew who took drugs, the ones who are now parents are (by definition) the ones who suffered no ill effects: the others didn't go on to become parents sad

Scaredbutdoingit Wed 03-Oct-12 18:34:59

Agreed cory, all the car users on the road today are by definition the ones who have not been horrifically killed in road accidents.

exoticfruits Wed 03-Oct-12 18:46:07

I don't accept that the majority of us have taken drugs in the past- I have never touched them - there is no way that I would take anything mind altering. I don't even take pain killers if I can manage without.
Once you are a parent you should be beyond using them. Children do as you do, not as you say so unless you are going to introduce them to your drug dealer when they are 18yrs it is deeply hypocritical.

Scaredbutdoingit Wed 03-Oct-12 18:49:25

Speaking as a parent, I teach my children to do exactly what I do... think for themselves, make the choices they feel are best, and accept the consequences.

exoticfruits do you think all parents should be like you, and beyond using anything? Because I have more time for that view, although it wouldn't work for me, I like wine. I have no time for the view that just because my drug of choice, alcohol, is legal, I am a good person/parent and another person's is illegal, cannabis, they are a bad person/parent.

exoticfruits Wed 03-Oct-12 18:58:08

I like wine but now that my DCs are 18yrs I am quite happy to go to the pub with them or serve alcohol at home. I wouldn't feel the same about illegal drugs. I never said a word about being a bad person. I think it understandable when young but people ought to grow out of it.
Cannabis has always been out, I have zero tolerance of smoking - avoid smokers at all costs.

If you like wine you do take something mind altering. I don't understand what the reason is for the distinction.

exoticfruits Wed 03-Oct-12 19:04:11

I have now got to the age where I drink it in moderation- it is also legal. I know exactly what effect it will have on my mind- I wouldn't with anything else.

exoticfruits Wed 03-Oct-12 19:06:36

I can buy it in the supermarket- I can serve it in front of everyone from my elderly great aunt downwards. They can choose not to have it, or they may be too young but it is perfectly normal and expected. My DCs can mention it in front of anyone.

I live in hippy central. Here, alcohol is 'bad' and dope is 'good'. I believe neither. I believe that people can make their own choices and we can support those who suffer from those choices (rehab etc.). Legality is circular. It seems that some people on this thread think drugs are bad because they are illegal and should be illegal because they are bad.

A couple of hundred years ago your great aunt would have been taking opium, doesn't make it great.

exoticfruits Wed 03-Oct-12 19:08:39

Whatever your views you must have to expect your DCs not to talk about it in front of some people - you could be prosecuted.

exoticfruits Wed 03-Oct-12 19:09:41

You don't know my great aunt- absolutely no way!

exoticfruits Wed 03-Oct-12 19:11:10

I am just reading a book on the opium trade - it was appalling the way huge profits were made out of spreading utter misery.

My DD can talk about my views anywhere, as I have said, I don't take drugs.

Queen Victoria took opium. Lots of people did.

The Opium Wars were dreadful. However, my point is that acceptable doesn't mean good and vice versa.

exoticfruits Wed 03-Oct-12 19:16:01

If, as a parent, you don't take drugs then I don't know what we are arguing about!

exoticfruits Wed 03-Oct-12 19:16:59

You can't be prosecuted for views.

MissHuffy Wed 03-Oct-12 19:19:00

I loathe drugs. I would be horrified if I found one of my DD's teachers was using them even at weekends. I am aware I may be unpleasantly surprised at some point. I may even be naive. I hate them.

I work in a high pressure sales environment. I've been surrounded by wankers snorting coke for years. I'm aware they feel fantastic when they take it. Sadly, the reality is that they are boring as hell.

exoticfruits Wed 03-Oct-12 19:26:19

It is a pity they don't see themselves as they really are.

I don't take drugs but I

1. Want them legalised
2. Have no issue with people taking them
3. Think that addiction is the issue not which drug does it to you
4. Have no problem with teachers/parents/pilots/Royals using them as long as they do their job well and not under the influence.

That is what we are arguing about grin

Scaredbutdoingit Wed 03-Oct-12 19:29:28

exoticfruits In a situation where a parent was prosecuted for doing drugs because their child went to the police, you would have to ask yourself if the parent was wrong for taking drugs, or if the government was wrong for criminalising them in the first place.

ThatVikRinA22 Wed 03-Oct-12 19:43:03

sorry - just reading through and in the midst of the reasoned arguments i noticed one thing that i just have to comment on further.....no cop i know uses cocaine to get through a night shift! red bull maybe. coke? only the diet kind.

did i not explain that we are randomly drug tested? i know of one cautionary tale of a bobby using coke - we were treated to her story in training, she made a dvd for the benefit of other police officers who may be tempted.

she was sacked obviously, and prosecuted. we are tested.

BreeVanDerTramp Wed 03-Oct-12 19:59:22

I have a drug addict brother and also work in a hospital so have seen the devastating effects of drugs. I cannot see the 'good' side to them but I respect people's choices to use them as they see fit.

I am confused though that people can be horrified over a greggs sausage roll and a fruit shoot but not bat an eyelid over a bit of dope? perhaps because the dope doesn't contain artificial sweeteners grin

FairPhyllis Wed 03-Oct-12 20:09:28

If you like wine you do take something mind altering. I don't understand what the reason is for the distinction.

My objection to illegal drugs is less the effect on the user (devastating though that can be) than the effects of the criminality of production and supply. Wine producers don't, for example, typically operate in ruthless cartels that sponsor assassinations, social cleansing, protection rackets, extortion, corruption, the kidnap or murder of hundreds of journalists, officials, politicians and their relatives or innocent bystanders, destruction of indigenous life and culture, forced labour, forced prostitution and forced trafficking, or prop up civil wars or terrorist groups. That's without getting started on the environmental effects of drug cultivation.

Yes, you can buy alcohol or cigs illegally imported by gangs, but most people don't.

I just think that if people take coke, they shouldn't be particularly surprised if people judge them for putting getting their jollies at a middle class professional party over all of the above.

And it is not as simple as "if people have problems we can support them through rehab." The American Indian band I work with have been ravaged by drugs in combination with alcohol. It is reinforcing massive educational and DV problems in the community. They live in the arse end of nowhere where there are very few support services or employment opportunities. Anyone who can leaves the reservation. Some vulnerable groups simply do not have access to a support network that can help them if they get addicted.

Scaredbutdoingit Wed 03-Oct-12 20:14:38

People can justify 'getting their jollies' over all of the above, because they believe the responsibility for the criminal activity mentioned lies squarely on the shoulders of the higher powers who should have brought it all above ground by now, and dealt with it properly.

There are nowhere near enough support networks in place because the whole sorry mess is severely stigmatised, and without the legitimate guidance and funding that could come with legalisation and more honest communication from the government.

Dahlen Wed 03-Oct-12 20:41:37

That just sounds like self-justification and passing the buck to me.

Can I justify not paying tax because big corporations routinely do so and claim they're not doing anything illegal just exploiting the law as it is?

It's the same argument that many of the looters employed during the riots - everyone else is doing it so what harm can I do by joining in? It's not like I started it or shot Mark Duggan...

abitcoldupnorth Wed 03-Oct-12 20:45:05

I agree Scared that legalising might help, but it's a pathetic argument that 'it's all the government's fault'. Rightly or wrongly it's the status quo at the moment and buying the drugs funds misery around the world on a huge scale.

Scaredbutdoingit Wed 03-Oct-12 21:17:23

Dahlen and abitcoldupnorth, in this instance I am quite happy to say that yes, I do believe it is the government's fault.

That is not to say I do not profoundly respect their decisions and law-making in other areas, and am a very law-abiding citizen myself, right down to the small things like not dropping a gum wrapper.

However, I am compelled to declare wrong when I see it. And I see wrong.

ThatVikRinA22 Wed 03-Oct-12 21:37:21

ah ok.
its the governments fault.
so, i can blame the government for my sister dying.
i can blame the government for my brother being a pissed up smack head who sired a child who was born at 25 weeks with lung disease due to his and his wife long standing use of heroin and speed.

its all the governments fault, see. easy.
now i dont like this government - not a jot. but thats the worst argument ive ever ever ever heard for justifying drug abuse and use.

Scaredbutdoingit Wed 03-Oct-12 21:41:13

No, no, no.

We were talking about criminal activity. Which I do maintain is the governments fault... for making the activity criminalised in the first place.

Now what you are talking about are the personal consequences from personal choices. Which unfortunately are down to the individuals involved... and possibly/probably made a lot worse by the government's policies.

Scaredbutdoingit Wed 03-Oct-12 21:45:51

Can I just add Vicar, that I really am very, deeply sorry for what has happened to your family members. I have lost family members too, so please don't think I cannot empathise.

And I also think it is remarkable that you have obviously managed to rise above the destruction around you and do something really positive and productive with your life. I have every admiration for the police force.

However, I do not blame what happened to your family members on drugs. I blame it on your family members.

That is the honest, hard truth.

ThatVikRinA22 Wed 03-Oct-12 21:57:09

see i can agree with you on one hand, but not on the other.

my sister died because of drugs. really. that simple. she died at the wheel of a car because she did not sleep, she was on drugs, she was messed up,and she was not messed up before she took drugs. drugs did it. i blame drugs squarely for her death.

my brother was different - he was messed up way before a drug ever entered his system. i agree with you there. he took drugs to numb his pain, but the consequences of that were he inflicted his dysfunction on others, his child did not ask for his dysfunction. she will be ill all her life because of it.

but drugs killed my sister, and drugs alone.
drugs do damage. they do harm. they do untold harm that you do not see.
cocaine is seen as ok, sanitised even, because of the people that use it, not because of the drug itself.

Can I just say, personally, even though what I said earlier does make me 'pro-drugs' according to some posters, I'm against the legalisation of drugs as are majority of people I know who I've had this discussion with (bearing in mind nearly all are/were drug users).

I don't want to pay tax on my drugs.

I don't want lots of drug related tourism.

I don't think it should be acceptable to be injecting in a park or sitting in a cafe doing a line. Obviously I'm aware that these happen despite it being illegal but I think it would happen on a mass scale.

Also in my experience for the majority of recreational drug users the legality does help to control use.

I know I've over simplified the issue but I would only agree with a legalisation of drugs under very specific circumstances and if it was say a european wide thing minimum.

Scaredbutdoingit Wed 03-Oct-12 22:09:02

Vicar

I'll agree with you that drugs can and do kill. And in the case of your sister, it sounds like they did.

But that does not mean that drugs are bad because of that fact, just as cars are not bad because they can and do kill.

My position is that drugs are very powerful and dangerous. They can do great good, and they can do great harm.

My position is also that the best way to manage that danger is to educate people (with honest information), let them make their own choices, and put decent support structures in place to deal with the casualties (because there are always casualties where freedom is concerned... whether it be driving or alcohol or sex).

But I believe in giving people that freedom. Personal choice and personal responsibility. Governmental support and guidance.

ThatVikRinA22 Wed 03-Oct-12 22:12:48

omg.

so ruby you dont want to pay tax on your drugs? lets keep them illegal then but accessible? thats all that counts eh?

im struggling to find words right now, really. this is whats fucking wrong with the whole argument. cheers, you just did me a huge favour.

raggybaggy Wed 03-Oct-12 22:23:49

When I was a student (quite a few years ago now), almost everyone I knew took drugs including me. One by one we all stopped after nasty things starting happening - after the come down. This included recurrent panic attacks, paranoid delusions, halucinations days after the event, one of my friends had a heart attack. My boyfriend had a pyschotic episode whilst taking E that he never recovered from and ended up in mental institute and is still there. Drugs are completely unpredictable. They provide a totally false sense of happiness and ruin peoples lives. It's better to live a "real" life with genuine happiness than rely on the fake sensations drugs provide. I'm glad they are illegal and I hope it stays that way.

No I don't want to pay tax on my drugs. I haven't said anything about being accessible. I think the points I was actually making is I don't want them too accessible. The word you may have been looking for is affordable but thats not what I said either.

I don't want the government having anything to do with them. I think that some of the deals the government makes with pharmaceutical companies are very dubious and I would hate for them to be involved in what are currently illegal drugs.

I think our government is totally incapable of managing alcohol consumption, prices and relevant taxation in this country we don't need them trying to get involved in drugs. The government will totally cock it up by majorly taxing causing them to drive people to crime to afford it and thus completely defeat the purpose of taxation. The government if legalising drugs wouldn't be able to not bow to the public pressure of taxing them high so it would all be totally futile.

Scaredbutdoingit Wed 03-Oct-12 22:27:09

raggybaggy What you describe is a perfect example of what happens when drugs are used irresponsibly. And I have also seen it. I am as against it as you are, and I find it as disturbing as when I see people vomitting and urinating outside pubs, and dying in hospitals from alcohol.

The end result of misuse of anything is usually very tragic.

MaryZed Wed 03-Oct-12 22:28:32

ds1 had a group of ten he hung around with in 1st year of secondary (at 12). Of those, one is in a secure mental health unit, two are homeless, one was pregnant at 15 and is only now coming out of it, two are alcoholics living in a squat and two are dead, one in a car accident, one by suicide (while stoned, when he was only just 15).

Cannabis destroyed them. Only one stayed in school until 18. And they were bright, happy, sociable kids, all the boys were on the school rugby team, the girls were popular; all came from "middle class" backgrounds.

My son has had episodes of psychosis, has smashed up the house, beaten up us and his siblings, run away, stolen, dealt - you name it. He is probably now bipolar, though seems to be improving a bit and has recently (touch wood) started a college course.

Cannabis is the biggest problem with young teenagers in Dublin, the biggest cause of early school leaving, and one of the biggest causes of teenage mental health problems, not to mention drug driving and suicide.

But when I say that here I am laughed out of it, belittled and told I am a control freak, and cannabis is a harmless non-addictive drug, and it's their own fault for taking it.

<hides thread>

ThatVikRinA22 Wed 03-Oct-12 22:29:10

am i truly in the minority here?
if i am then fine. but if im not, say. do most people on MN condone drug use?
is it just becuase its AIBU that people do not feel able to stand up and be counted?

if im wrong i will glady say IABU. but am i?

NellyJob Wed 03-Oct-12 22:33:11

meh. Half the population seems to be on anti-depressants, there are drugs to make you eat less, drugs to give old men a stiff willy, state-sanctioned drugs injected into our daughters at school, 'wine o'clock' seems to be normal and amusing mum behaviour, women going under the knife to have smaller/bigger breasts or a younger and more desirable face......maybe that's why we can't get too agitated about the 'bad' drugs.....

MaryZed Wed 03-Oct-12 22:33:47

Sadly, vicar, those of us with direct experience of living with addicts (especially if those addicts are our own children) get abused and belittled when we try to post about it on here.

We get none of the sympathy that people living with alcoholics get.

Because our relatives are "choosing" to "abuse" and it is therefore all their fault. And ours (as parents) for allowing them to do so. I have seen it too many times, both here and in real life.

It is hurtful and unfair, but just you wait. Give it 5 minutes and I'll be told that cannabis isn't addictive.

NellyJob Wed 03-Oct-12 22:34:16

agree with maryZ tho, strong cannabis does destroy lives

Well its difficult to tell if people aren't standing up and being counted because to know about them they'd have to stand up and be counted.

However I personally have never actually met anyone who is ardently against drugs. Yes I've experienced it on mn and seen a few on the tv or radio but generally of all the people I've encountered throughout my life, and I'm particularly thinking about those I meet working in the industry I do where drug use can be prevalent, the majority are indifferent to the issue.

I've known only a handful of people who were very pro-drugs but that was normally because they were on them at the time, and I've known quite a few people who don't participate but aren't bothered by drug taking.

Obviously this is all anecdotal, as are most of the posts on this thread and can't really prove anything but thats my experience over maybe a couple of thousand people.

ThatVikRinA22 Wed 03-Oct-12 22:37:41

oh mary im so sorry.

but you are right.

the "meh" on this page proves it. people dont give a shit. i hope they dont have to deal with it in their own children, their own families. but it would give them an insight that they dont yet have, cant have, to have such attitudes to drug addiction and drug abuse.

there is so much more to this story than the drug addict themselves.

Nancy66 Wed 03-Oct-12 22:38:16

Vicar I don't think you are being unreasonable.

When it comes to such an incendiary topic as drugs you are going to get strongly opposing views.

I just think that the 'they're illegal and that's that' attitude is not a very practical one to have. They are illegal but many many people still use them.

Clearly there are people on here who have have had their own lives horribly scarred by the drug use of others.

I am glad you posted because it's lead to some genuinely interesting, well thought out arguments and intelligent debate. Not always a given on MN!

MaryZed Wed 03-Oct-12 22:38:47

You have never met anyone who is ardently against drugs? Really? Do you know anyone who either has or works with teenagers?

Scaredbutdoingit Wed 03-Oct-12 22:40:09

MaryZed I for one offer my empathy with you.

Drugs are dangerous.

Some people die because they abuse them. Some people die because they use them in the knowledge they are taking a risk (and they lose). Some people die because they do not truly know or care about the risks.

IMHO, this does not make the drugs bad (just dangerous). And I also attach no moral judgement to the people who die because of using them. Those people have responsibility for their actions. But that does not mean they deserved what they got, and it does not mean their death is not utterly tragic... any more than a motorcycle rider who gets killed on the road is at fault for 'being a motorcycle rider'.

Life is very risky. Drugs in particular are very dangerous. I would like to see that danger managed as well as possible, not hidden and forbidden.

MaryZed Wed 03-Oct-12 22:40:59

What I don't understand is why people say "yes they are illegal, but people still do it and therefore that's ok".

Drunk driving is illegal, people still do it but no-one thinks it's ok.

Stealing is illegal, people still do it but no-one thinks it's ok.

Driving without insurance is illegal, people still do it but no-one thinks it's ok.

I really don't understand why drug use is different confused

I work with teenagers.

Not professionally, but I volunteer with a local young mums/disadvantaged teens group.

And to my knowledge no I have never met anyone with those views. Admittedly I don't interrogate the man in the shop or my dcs teachers but its something I've discussed or been aware of through experience quite a lot with colleagues.

DorsetKnob Wed 03-Oct-12 22:42:54

I work for a substance misuse team, it is grim, seeing people who have damaged their bodies so much becuase of the shit they put in them, it's not just the drugs but the risks of other diseases that come with the taking unless you are really, really careful.

MaryZed Wed 03-Oct-12 22:44:05

Wow, I'm genuinely amazed.

Because anyone I have come into contact with who works with teenagers where I live (and that's a lot of people, because I have three teenagers who do a lot of different things) is really concerned about drug use, and is very strongly against drugs.

Maybe you live in an area where there are no teenage addicts, though I struggle to imagine where such an area could be.

ThatVikRinA22 Wed 03-Oct-12 22:46:11

brother has hepc .....underwent chemo. so did his wife. ex now. that bodes well eh?

it that seen as glamorous? drugs are not illegal for no good reason....yet people on here seem to think its just a choice?

Scaredbutdoingit Wed 03-Oct-12 22:46:30

MaryZed Its to do with morality.

The things you all listed are considered immoral for the 'personal freedom vs societal harm' cost vs benefit ratio.

As in, the restriction on personal freedom is worth the benefit to society, and most people agree on that... so all those things are considered morally 'wrong'.

Drugs do not fall so neatly into that camp, because while they are undeniably dangerous, and can have devastating effects, that is not to say they cannot be used in a very positive way by adults who lead long productive and responsible lives.

The larger effects on society are also hotly under debate, and many (not all) of the negative impact is related to the criminality.

Scaredbutdoingit Wed 03-Oct-12 22:47:51

Sorry, that should have been 'much', not 'many'.

NellyJob Wed 03-Oct-12 22:48:34

and many (not all) of the negative impact is related to the criminality
with cannabis though, it's not that,it's the headfuckery of new strains, stronger by the year.

BeanieStats Wed 03-Oct-12 22:49:09

All things being equal, the state should have no say in what adults do to themselves. But all things aren't equal and drugs are not produced in a vacuum.

The end to end supply chain of just about every illegal drug is a step by step chain of unremitting human misery and suffering - usually inflicted by men on women. From cultivation to production to trafficking, every step is without exception one of violence, pain and misery. Legalisation (or decriminalisation) would not change this.

And is before we take in to the account the environmental devastation that (for example) coca production creates, the swathes of rain forest destroyed through its cultivation and the damage to the environment by the carefree disposal of a variety of very nasty chemicals involved in its production. According to the UN Cocaine production causes more environmental damage than mining.

Someone who still chooses to indulge in a little bit of class A at the weekend, despite knowing all this is frankly a complete cunt.

ThatVikRinA22 Wed 03-Oct-12 22:49:17

well im getting loads of PMs about this - people just darent post against the majority view.

how sad that on a parenting website people feel unable to say they are against drug use.

i think this is a huge wake up call for me.

raggybaggy Wed 03-Oct-12 22:49:28

Scaredbutdoingit - what is the difference between using and abusing illegal drugs?

Either you take it or you don't. And when you take it, even if you only take it once (does that count as abuse?), you never know what might happen to you.

I live in Hackney.

the biggest concern is poverty, gangs and violence, which can link to drugs but its more about the younger kids getting hold of them or selling them. The majority of the people I work with when I volunteer are, based on discussions we've had not anti drugs, they are anti children using drugs which is something I agree with and is a slightly different issue to the one raised on this thread.

MaryZed Wed 03-Oct-12 22:53:10

It's because those of us who are personally involved have been hurt too often by the simplistic, dismissive, and frankly ignorant abuse we get for daring to suggest that drugs are in any way bad.

It's all to do with free choice, apparently.

"The restriction on personal freedom is worth the benefit to society, and most people agree on that... so all those things are considered morally 'wrong'" - fair enough. And that is the reason I believe using drugs is morally wrong. The production of most drugs causes harm far beyond the harm done to the end user. But the harm done to society due to drug use (stealing, violence, drug gangs etc) surely makes using such drugs an immoral act in itself.

Scaredbutdoingit Wed 03-Oct-12 22:55:19

The chain of supply for almost everything is utterly fucked up!

You cannot criticise where drugs come from without examining where your clothes come from, where your food comes from, because I promise you you will not like what you find. The people with wealth are trampling all over the people with little, and unfortunately you and I (and almost everyone in a 'western' country falls into the wealth camp).

raggybaggy The difference between use and abuse is:

a) motivation - what are the reasons behind taking it in the first place, and

b) information - does the person have enough knowledge about what the actual risks/benefits are and how to balance these

c) responsibility - do they care about the effect on themselves and others enough to minimise the risks and maximise the benefits?

SammyTheSwedishSquirrel Wed 03-Oct-12 22:56:07

well im getting loads of PMs about this - people just darent post against the majority view.

I'm not surprised. I said that would be the case right at the start of this thread.

MaryZed Wed 03-Oct-12 22:56:20

Ruby, that's splitting hairs.

You say you have never met anyone who is ardently against drugs. That is patently untrue if you work with people who are against children using drugs. It is the same thing confused.

Here in Dublin the vast majority of poverty, gangs and violence is drug related - child poverty due to heroin addict parents, gangs and violence is almost always due to turf wars; almost all shootings are drug related.

To say that isn't the fault of the drugs, but the fault of the users is naive to say the least.

catwomanlikesmeatballs Wed 03-Oct-12 22:59:08

The problem with drugs is their illegality which causes many of the social problems associated with them. You had the same problems with prohibition on alcohol.

I spent most of my youth experimenting with recreational drugs and it never had any negative impact on me or most of those who I had fun with.

Those stereotypical addicts would have had a different addiction if heroin wasn't available, it would have been alcohol/gambling/religious cult/meth/eating disorders, it's just a matter of what gets to them first. Their problems are there long before they ever taste whatever it is they eventually get addicted to and no amount of societal or government control will save these people from themselves.

Most of them have serious problems stemming from abuse or neglect in childhood, they could have been saved if parents faced serious repercussions for harming their kids. Bad parenting sends most of the damaged souls into our communities who then go on to harm themselves and others.

Scaredbutdoingit Wed 03-Oct-12 23:02:35

What I hear is people upset that their negative experiences of drugs are dismissed and invalidated.

However, people with positive experiences are also upset that their experiences are dismissed and invalidated.

I personally can at least say that I have experience of both and so know that both are valid.

The government is not being honest with the information released about drugs, and current policy is not working.

MaryZed Wed 03-Oct-12 23:04:22

There we go.

Sorry vicar, I did my best. But apparently the only people who have problems with addiction are those who have serious problems stemming from abuse or neglect in childhood, they could have been saved if parents faced serious repercussions for harming their kids. Bad parenting sends most of the damaged souls into our communities who then go on to harm themselves and others."

As usual, it's all the parents' fault.

And that is why you are getting pm's and people can't face being dismissed on the board.

Goodnight.

catwomanlikesmeatballs Wed 03-Oct-12 23:07:08

The truth hurts. It's still the truth.

Scaredbutdoingit Wed 03-Oct-12 23:07:10

Social criminality associated with drugs (gang warfare, violent crime, prostitution etc) = fault of the government

Abuse of drugs = fault of the user (not that they deserve it, just that they are responsible, same as a driver is responsible for their own error that leads to a crash)

Accidental death from responsible use of drugs = nobody's 'fault', one of life's risks that went bad, drugs are dangerous!

I don't think it is splitting hairs at all. It is not the same thing. Being anti underage drinking isn't anti alcohol.

I'm happy for people to use drugs if they want. I use drugs. Once my children are or have been effectively adults so over the age of 16 or 18 I'm ok with moderate drug use. I however do not think that a 10 or 11 year old should be smoking weed or taking mdma.

The attitude of those I'm talking about is similar, when the individuals are older theres no issue around the drug use, its to with age of the users.

While in my area there is obviously lots of drug dealing related violence, a large proportion is also postcode wars which is to do with poverty and lack of ownership. The majority of the poverty is through high living costs, poorly paid jobs or unemployment and high levels of new immigrants who are still finding their feet. The estate I used to live on most recently was an is the most violent in the area, nearly everyone was employed or was a full time parent, there were very few addicts like those i encountered when I grew up on the estates, so no drug use was not all to blame for the poverty. The poverty was there first.

ThatVikRinA22 Wed 03-Oct-12 23:08:39

goodnight mary and thank you. i appreciate you contributing and i know, im sorry.

the pms im getting show me that that is not the case. people are scared to post.
thank you though for trying.
x

Also as I said I've never encountered anyone who has -openly- been ardently against drugs.

On mn there is sometimes spitting blood outrage and hand wringing at drug use which is to me ardent anti-drugs behaviour.

I said I've encountered people who don't participate and probably a few people who might frown upon it but never the kind of disgust that I see on mn or in the media.

BeanieStats Wed 03-Oct-12 23:11:15

"You cannot criticise where drugs come from without examining where your clothes come from, where your food comes from, because I promise you you will not like what you find. The people with wealth are trampling all over the people with little, and unfortunately you and I (and almost everyone in a 'western' country falls into the wealth camp)."

Bullshit.

When (for example) tea production, importation and supply involves the use of drug mules, murder, corruption, bribery from source to end you may have a point.

Until then is a fatuous attempt to rationalize some appalling behaviour. But keep kidding yourself that the [i]possible[/i] sweatshop labour involved in your trainers is the same as the square kilometre of rainforest that your 10 grammes of coke has destroyed, that its the same as the near certain involvement of a drug mule and that its the same as the corruption that is undermining many South American governments. Keep telling yourself that.

Scaredbutdoingit Wed 03-Oct-12 23:12:17

I don't see why people should be scared to post, and I don't understand why you seem to be expressing the need for validation of others to support your own personal views.

As far as I can see, this thread has been extremely civil on both sides.

Scaredbutdoingit Wed 03-Oct-12 23:13:36

BeanieStats separate out the problems caused by the illegality (responsibility of the government), and then we can have a discussion.

Scaredbutdoingit Wed 03-Oct-12 23:15:03

And yes, I do consider child sweatshops pretty fucking horrendous.

MaryZed Wed 03-Oct-12 23:17:46

See Vicar, the people who are pro-drugs are quite happy to be actively nasty, and to blame anyone and everyone rather than admit it is drugs and the drug trade that causes problems.

They have to convince themselves that they only use harmless recreational drugs. And convince themselves that the drugs they use don't contribute to the worldwide drugs trade.

They have to keep up those delusions. Because facing the truth about themselves is too difficult for them to admit. Just like my son says "it's only a bit of weed", happily forgetting that the dealer who sells that weed (and uses 12 year olds as runners) is also a major supplier for the local prison where he supplies prisoners with more than weed. He also supplies cocaine to local businessmen, but of course has a man in a suit delivering the cocaine so the delusional businessmen can pretend his drugs are "clean".

Of course legalising it at this end would have no effect whatsoever on down the chain - apart from of course increasing demand, so more slaves, more forest, more mules would be needed.

raggybaggy Wed 03-Oct-12 23:18:27

Scaredbutdoingit - I don't agree with your definition of use/abuse I think it's splitting hairs. The fact is, that drugs often have effects that are completely devastating. It is russian roulette every time you take them. Also I don't think that it's enough to say its ok as long as the individual takes responsibility for their actions. Who deals with the aftermath when that person gets ill? Their family, friends and the NHS - all of whom did not say, yeah, go ahead take it and we'll pick up the pieces if you end up in a mess.

Still very glad drugs are illegal and still hoping that they stay that way.

Nancy66 Wed 03-Oct-12 23:18:44

Why are people scared to post?

Scared of what?

MaryZed Wed 03-Oct-12 23:21:43

Scared of being called shit parents.

Scared of being drawn into a conversation that really matters to them when others just dismiss their concerns as being a load of bollocks.

Scared of being abused and called control freaks for caring.

Many of us have been on too many of these threads.

Nancy66 Wed 03-Oct-12 23:23:05

Fair enough Mary.

Scaredbutdoingit Wed 03-Oct-12 23:23:16

MaryZed In my case at least, I freely own up to the fact that I contribute to a lot of misery in this world. It just so happens that none of it has anything to do with drugs and everything to do with the fact that I am a consumer in a country of wealth. If I took drugs, it would be another karmic debt in the ocean I already owe (as does everyone sitting on and wearing mass produced items from poor countries).

One evil does not justify the other. Both should be abolished. The supply chains are what is utterly wrong, not the end product.

Scaredbutdoingit Wed 03-Oct-12 23:24:25

MaryZed If you like you can talk with me, and I promise you I will call you none of that. I do however have some very valid arguments (in my humble opinion).

theinets Wed 03-Oct-12 23:24:56

Nearly everyone I know has taken drugs. All middle class professionals. Myself, I can't think of a drug i haven't taken, bar heroin, in my 20s. But I got bored of it and the come downs got tedious. So like most, I stopped. I now have a joint,like every 6 months or something. Doesn't interest me anymore. Not all people who enjoy drugs in their youth become losers and failures.

monsterchild Wed 03-Oct-12 23:25:26

I did not read through the entire thread, so I may be repeating what others have said. I apologize for that.

I'm with you on this one, OP. I see lots of damage from drugs, not just the use end (but it's there) but the cartel end. And it's not just because they are illegal, they are profitable. To a degree you can't even begin to understand if you don't work in that area. I don't actually work in that area, but my god, the things I have heard.

I also find it amazing that I see a good number of posters here who often post against the porn industry (which is not illegal) posting they are fine with drugs. (BTW, I am also against porn)

They must not have any idea about the damage the drug industry does to women and girls. I know it's only ancedotal, but one little girl I have worked with is 13. She has a 1.5 year old son because she was raped repeatedly by someone in a drug gang/cartel and the parents couldn't stop him without being killed themselves. The parents sent her to live with her aunt here, to try to keep her safe.

that's just one story. the women and girls being preyed upon in turf wars, and women and girls who go missing, who are abducted for these cartel's use, it's horrible. Women who speak out against this abuse are targeted and often killed outright by the cartels and governments.

And this abuse and human suffering is supported by these posters and friend's recreational drug use. The same ones who decry porn as an abuse are fueling a system that does as bad or worse things to women.

People should educate themselves about how their actions affect others. If you can do it for clothes, why not for your illegal drugs?

ThatVikRinA22 Wed 03-Oct-12 23:27:01

mary
thank you. you are saying what i cant - i cant speak for those who pm'd me. but you one and now you are here, speaking for yourself, saying it all over again and i know its painful, and for that im sorry.

WorraLiberty Wed 03-Oct-12 23:27:23

Scared to post?

Really

Surely they'd just name change and post their support OP if they agree with you?

Scaredbutdoingit Wed 03-Oct-12 23:27:41

Raggybaggy fair enough if you don't agree. I don't think its splitting hairs at all, in many ways I think its the crux of the matter.

Taking drugs is not Russian roulette every time. It is if you do not know and/or care what you are doing. It is if you do not have access to accurate, honest information.

Picking up the pieces is exactly what society should do. Its what we do when car accidents happen. Its what we do when another smoker ends up in hospital with lung cancer. Its what we do when obesity gives a huge percentage of us diabetes. Its what we do because it is the cost of freedom.

I am all for figuring out ways to reduce the amount of pieces there are to be picked up, but to me, criminality is part of the problem, not the solution.

NellyJob Wed 03-Oct-12 23:28:06

the point is though that those middle class professionals didn't have super strong skunk so freely available in their day - it is IN THE FACES of our children, I know of dealers in year 9.

OK, on the issue of supply chains, I posted earlier about chocolate. Child slavery, trafficking, deaths, beatings. In a lot of the majority world, cash crops of every sort produce suffering. And, don't even start on gold and diamonds. Mercury poisoning, wars etc. I don't eat non-fair trade chocolate and I don't take coke.

However, I am pro-choice about drugs the way I am about abortion. It doesn't mean I'm pro-abortion. I would like; perfect birth control; no rape or incest; no unwanted pregnancy. There would be no need for abortion. I don't 'like' abortion, it is just none of my business what another woman does with her body.

Just like drugs. I would like a well controlled supply chain, an end to the child abuse that sends so many people into addiction, a real debate about all substances particularly prescription drugs which are now one of the first drugs kids in the US try and are VERY harmful in a lot of cases. I would like good, residential rehab for anyone who asked. I would like clean drugs, clean equipment and safe sites for people. I would like good MH services and prisons that dealt with MH well.

For me, drugs are very much not the issue. The way we see addiction, MH, recreational use, crime, young people they are all issues.

ThatVikRinA22 Wed 03-Oct-12 23:30:32

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

ThatVikRinA22 Wed 03-Oct-12 23:33:00

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Vicar I'm not sure you should be giving away that kind of info on here, someone might know him. Do you want to report your post?

BTW I know people who have died at the hands of drunk people and people that have died of alcohol abuse. I still think people can make their own minds up about alcohol use.

BeanieStats Wed 03-Oct-12 23:34:05

So lets get this straight. The responsibility for the violence and suffering directly and demonstrably caused by the production and supply of illegal drugs is not:

* those who grow the drugs, destroying hundreds of square kilometers of rain forest and releasing tonnes of toxic chemicals in to the environment with complete disregard.
* those who use a variety of vulnerable groups (including children) to smuggle drugs across boarders
* those who bribe, corrupt and undermine law enforcement
* those who supply with no regard for the age and stability of their "customers", and maintain their supply through violence
* those who create the demand for the drugs through their consumption with no regard for the laws of their country

but is instead the responsibility of any number of democratic nations enforcing their sovereign laws regarding the production and supply of controlled substances?

This is just another piss poor attempt to rationalize away the pain and misery that the drug trade causes.

The consumption of drugs directly contributes to the misery and suffering of millions worldwide. The responsibility of this lies at every stage in the creation and supply chain but especially with those who create the demand for the substance in the first place.

As someone else stated above, driving with no insurance is illegal. That does not however mean that the responsibility for the loss of my car due to an accident involving an uninsured driver lies with the government.

Scaredbutdoingit Wed 03-Oct-12 23:37:12

Do you think I am some sort of middle class professional, cushioned from reality?

sigh If you really want sordid details I will give them (pre-empting yet another namechange because this really is too painful for me).

I have been a drug user. I am no longer.

I have family members ravaged by both drug and alcohol use. Some are dead, some are dying, some might as well be dead. One made it out and then died from a completely unrelated cause.

I was also surrounded by utter religious insanity and hypocrisy, and family members that covered the whole nasty thing up.

I was raped as a child. I was raped as an adult. I was beaten on more occasions than I can count (and have the X-rays to prove it).

I managed to pull out of the mess that surrounded me and make something more of my life.

If you think I am ignorant of reality, I am telling you, you are wrong. My arguments come from a place of understanding and experience, and absolutely no outside agenda other than the truth.

ThatVikRinA22 Wed 03-Oct-12 23:37:48

mrs
ive reported my post. you are right. too many details.

theinets Wed 03-Oct-12 23:37:59

Drugs should be legalized, it would help hugely and stop crime.

Scaredbutdoingit Wed 03-Oct-12 23:39:03

And BeanieStats no, the responsibility does lie on the producers, the users, and the governments overseeing it all.

And if you really think where your sneakers, your jewelery, your food, and your furniture comes from is no big deal and incomparable, then you really need to look at it again, because it really is just as horrible.

WorraLiberty Wed 03-Oct-12 23:39:03

Vicar I meant this in the nicest possible way but are you ok?

I might be way off kilter here but is your job getting to you?

I remember only a few weeks back you starting a thread saying you were either going to take some time off MN or name change because you were getting so many PMs asking for your help because everyone knows you're a Police officer?

I don't envy your choice of career but reading your posts on this thread, you do seem....I don't know really 'down' about it?

OK Vicar I'll report too, just to bump it up their radar former SS employee, I know what it's like with the confidentiality.

Wow, didn't need to. It looks like MNHQ are watching us <looks around nervously>

BeanieStats Wed 03-Oct-12 23:43:59

In fact, let take the issue of the chemicals involved with the production of cocaine. Its a lengthy list, many of which are hugely toxic and their uncontrolled release can (and does) cause long term environmental damage.

Columbia decides to legalise the cultivation of Coca Erythroxylaceae. Great. Now why is Mr. A C. Farmer suddenly going to go to the hassle and expense of safe disposal of these chemicals? He plainly didn't give a shit when cultivation was illegal and I don't expect the penalty for improper disposal of a toxic material is going to be more than it was for cultivation when it was illegal.

It's one example but the principle can be applied across the entire production and supply chain and amply demonstrates the moral and intellectual bankruptcy of those who try to rationalize the destruction that the drug trade causes.

ThatVikRinA22 Wed 03-Oct-12 23:44:42

yes im down about it.
yes im looking for another job.
yes ive spoken to my sgt,
yes im sick of taking hte blame for all manner of societies ills....just look for the DV thread in which we (the police) are to blame for dale cregan shooting dead 2 officers because we are apparently so shit at dealing with DV.....despite the fact that the CPS have the final say in all DV cases....

yes im down. yes ive had enough. really i have, i get my 2 year handshake next monday,
shame. im looking for another job, i could get a job that paid minimum wage and actually take home the same amount as i do now, true fact. i pay £200 in pension (that i cant now claim until im too old to enjoy it) and i pay £250 in petrol....i could honestly earn mn wage and take home as much if i worked locally.

ive had enough. yep.

ThatVikRinA22 Wed 03-Oct-12 23:46:10

thanks HQ. and im sorry. im a pita.

Scaredbutdoingit Wed 03-Oct-12 23:46:24

BeanieStats I'm not going to keep repeating myself.

I agree with you that its utterly horrible. Anyone who takes drugs is in part contributing to that nasty chain of events. Criminality imposed by the governments is making it even nastier.

What I am saying is that you and I are contributing to equally nasty chains of events with almost everything we buy. And that is the truth!

Vicar we're arguing on here but I was on the Hillsborough thread and know you are a solid person. I hope your job looks up or you can find a way to use those skills because you do have lots to give. Sorry it all looks shit right now. thanks

WorraLiberty Wed 03-Oct-12 23:47:32

Ahh thought so.

Well good luck with whatever you decide to do next thanks

Scaredbutdoingit Wed 03-Oct-12 23:50:16

Vicar I'd also like to add my empathy and admiration for your position (even though I know we disagree), and again my sincere respect for your job and every police officer out there.

I know firsthand what you face, and its not easy. You've saved my butt more than once.

Honestly, thank you.

katykuns Wed 03-Oct-12 23:50:37

I am not someone that promotes drug taking, and I haven't really experimented... but I believe cannabis if done in moderation isn't really much harm. You can't OD on cannabis, the health effects are no more dangerous than alcohol.

I have never seen the appeal to any of the 'harder stuff'.

raggybaggy Wed 03-Oct-12 23:50:46

Scaredbutdoingit - taking drugs is not the same as driving a car. When I get in a car and start driving, I know that the vehicle will not have unpredictable effects on my brain and I will not become so addicted to it that I might do practically anything to get into a car again. It is not a good enough analogy (is that the right word? I mean not a like for like comparison).

We use our brains to control our actions. If we screw our brains up by taking substances that can have totally unpredictable results and change your brain so you'll never be the same again, then that is just totally irresponsible and foolish.

It is not the same thing as getting in a car, on a bicycle or whatever. You have also not taken into account that we are all physically different so what has no adverse effect on one person may have very adverse effects on another. What one person might find non-addictive, another might find very addictive.

The problem with the comparison with alcohol and tobacco is that those substances have existed historically within our society for 100s of years, and is so deeply embedded that to make it illegal now would be politically impossible. However, medical science now provides evidence about alcohol and tobacco that didn't exist until relatively recently. On the basis of this evidence, tobacco is now banned in public spaces - which is a good thing, advertising has been banned in some areas and now we can't see the stuff when we go into the supermarket - all of which has to be a good thing.

On which note, I'm going to sign off.

ThatVikRinA22 Wed 03-Oct-12 23:50:50

my skills are not wanted, nor needed. i am looking daily for another job,and that could be checkout girl for all i care. ive done that before. much more gratifying.

BeanieStats Wed 03-Oct-12 23:52:28

"What I am saying is that you and I are contributing to equally nasty chains of events with almost everything we buy. And that is the truth!"

Keep kidding yourself that the chocolate I buy tomorrow causes the same chain of misery, suffering and destruction that the gramme of coke someone else buys at the weekend does.

Please Beanie read this. Chocolate is really bad. Diamonds and gold cause wars. I'm not saying coke is good, just don't close your eyes to the damage other things do.

greenhill Wed 03-Oct-12 23:59:19

vicar I first posted at 13.34 agreeing with you. I'm sorry you have had a tough afternoon/ evening arguing your point, with only a handful of defenders. I still think you are right to bring up this topic.

Please don't spend more time and energy on it tonight though.

You are always a very caring, compassionate and rational poster and I look forward to seeing your name on threads thanks

BeanieStats Wed 03-Oct-12 23:59:48

Vicar, not that it means much but you (and the police as a whole) have my respect and gratitude for the work you do in protecting us all.

Please don't let some keyboard warriors undermine the very real work you do to keep us all safe. You are appreciated by the vast vast majority of people.

WorraLiberty Thu 04-Oct-12 00:00:53

BeanieStats Beanie you really need to read up on the exploitation in the cocoa bean trade.

The one that has caused the deaths of men, women and children...as well as miscarriage, birth deformities and all manner of awful things.

I personally have called the non-emerg line hundreds of times and the emerg line many times. My arse has been saved by the Police so many times I can't count. I work in addictions, homelessness and SS, fields that aren't known for their love of the Police. However, I say thank you. I do try to thank individual Police officers when I have had exemplary service and I encourage others to do the same.

I still disagree about this grin I hope you feel better soon Vicar

grin fail.

Scaredbutdoingit Thu 04-Oct-12 00:07:07

Raggybaggy I completely agree with you that it is not an exact analogy. It is an analogy for the purposes of pointing out that something that can and does cause death is not in itself bad.

Drugs are very different, I agree with you. But I think the dangers can be managed in exactly the same way medical drugs are for example (because they are the same thing!).

Effects are not unpredictable, and in fact are very predictable (within a range). Individuals do react differently, but this is true of anything, and again is within a range that is predictable.

A lot of the perceived unpredictability is to do with the substances drugs are cut with (because they are not extrinsically monitored).

Scaredbutdoingit Thu 04-Oct-12 00:14:19

BeanieStats It does.

Scaredbutdoingit Thu 04-Oct-12 00:38:28

And it really would be better to know what a person actually does before calling them a 'keyboard warrior'... one of the lower comments I've seen on this thread.

FairPhyllis Thu 04-Oct-12 06:07:40

"You cannot criticise where drugs come from without examining where your clothes come from, where your food comes from, because I promise you you will not like what you find. The people with wealth are trampling all over the people with little, and unfortunately you and I (and almost everyone in a 'western' country falls into the wealth camp)."

Yes, it's true that as a Westerner it's often very hard for me to know whether I'm exploiting people by the things I buy and the system I live in. But I buy fair traded goods wherever I can, particularly chocolate and coffee, because I think that trying to limit my exposure to exploitation is a worthwhile thing to do even if I can't totally eliminate it. I only buy the bare minimum of technology items I need to do my job, for example, because I know about the ethical problems associated with the raw materials used in their production.

I have to eat, and I have to wear clothes (otherwise Vicar's colleagues might arrest me) - so yes I'm complicit in something, somewhere. But you know what? All I have to do not to be complicit in the suffering caused by the drugs trade on top of anything else I'm responsible for is not take drugs. Nobody needs to take drugs. The way people are going on here you would think it's a great personal hardship to not have abundant coke on tap.

I think it's a very odd view to say, well I can't solve all the world's ills so I'm not going to worry about my personal role in compounding them, even though I could easily avoid doing so.

exoticfruits Thu 04-Oct-12 06:46:13

Very true FairPhyllis. I do my best to buy only fair trade produce and I think about the ethics of buying the things that I do. If you read about the destruction and pollution caused by drug production in places like Columbia I really don't know how you can justify it for a short period of 'fun' on a Saturday night.

Scaredbutdoingit Thu 04-Oct-12 07:52:29

Nah, sorry FairPhyllis and exoticfruits, you both know full well that not everything you buy is fair trade.

And unless you can 'hand on heart' say that everything you do buy unethically is something you need, and nothing to do with something you just want, then a) I'm going to call you out on it, and b) I'm going to say, lets talk about what needs actually are when human lives are at stake.

Scaredbutdoingit Thu 04-Oct-12 07:54:45

"well I can't solve all the world's ills so I'm not going to worry about my personal role in compounding them, even though I could easily avoid doing so"

Absolutely wrong. I would say its much easier to tell other people what they should be giving up to solve the world's ills, and if you're going to do that, you shouldn't be surprised when people point out the preventable blood on your own hands.

catgirl1976 Thu 04-Oct-12 08:11:08

Cake is the worst drug sad

What is Cake? Well, it has an active ingredient which is a dangerous psychoactive compound known as dimesmeric andersonphosphate. It stimulates the part of the brain called Shatner's Bassoon. And that's the bit of the brain that deals with time perception. So, a second feels like a month. Well, it almost sounds like fun...unless you're the Prague schoolboy who walked out into the street straight in front of a tram. He thought he'd got a month to cross the street.

exoticfruits Thu 04-Oct-12 08:28:38

It only makes a difference if everyone starts with a small, individual effort.

exoticfruits Thu 04-Oct-12 08:29:26

It is very easy to find out the misery of drug production - sites too numerous to link to.

Scaredbutdoingit Thu 04-Oct-12 08:36:17

I agree exoticfruits... the problem is when you stop focusing on your 'small, individual effort', and start deciding what other people should be doing.

And yes, there is misery in drug production. I have no issues with holding my hands up to the blood debt I accrued when I was a user. I just don't kid myself that I'm not still racking up blood debt with the publically endorsed products I still buy. Oil anyone?

But if you are going to say that drug production alone is the problem, and that chocolate, diamonds, and cheap clothes/furniture/household objects are just fine and dandy, then there is a problem.

And if you can admit that actually all of those things cause a huge deal of human misery and death, and that none of them are actually needed by anybody, then you have a point... but the point is that we need to sort out our supply and demand chains (and sources), and not "Drugs are bad!"

THERhubarb Thu 04-Oct-12 09:29:42

Yes yes yes, chocolate production is bad as are clothes made from sweatshops.

The point is, you can buy Fairtrade chocolate and you can buy fairtrade clothes. There is a growing awareness of child slavery and sweatshops and there is a growing trend towards fairtrade products.

You cannot get fairtrade drugs.
And no matter how bad the chocolate industry is; it does not result in rape, murder, child trafficking, etc. Drugs are even responsible for the civil war in Colombia that has cost million of lives and has been running now for 40 years.

This fact along leads to a strong argument to legalise drug production so that people can choose Fair trade drugs.

But will your average druggie give a shit about what is happening in Colombia enough to pay a little extra for their drugs? I doubt it.

Scaredbutdoingit Thu 04-Oct-12 09:41:56

If production is legalised, the entire system can come under public scrutiny and legitimate market competition set up.

The problem with drug production is not the end product. Just as child trafficking and slavery to produce cocoa does not mean the cocoa itself is bad.

The problem with drug production is drug production, which I entirely agree should be criticised and changed.

Having said that, (just as an example) I wouldn't have to tap into any terrible supply chain whatsoever if I were legally allowed to grow my own cannabis plants. So would that be alright? Or is it really just about "drugs are bad" even if the supply chain were sorted out (which I am all for taking action on).

Scaredbutdoingit Thu 04-Oct-12 09:45:50

And in the nicest possible way, your dismissal of the conditions under which chocolate is produced is simply uninformed.

thecnnfreedomproject.blogs.cnn.com/2012/01/19/child-slavery-and-chocolate-all-too-easy-to-find/ This is just scratching the surface, but all the information is out there if human misery in supply chains is a real concern.

THERhubarb Thu 04-Oct-12 09:50:39

Scared - the drug trade is far far bigger that chocolate production and my point is that fairtrade chocolate IS available. So you have a choice. And fairtrade chocolate is a lot more widely available more popular than even 5 years ago.

Even if you legalised drugs, just like chocolate and the sale of mass produced clothes is legal, you will get these problems in the supply chain only bigger, because drug gangs will not relinquish their control and governments are corrupt enough to turn a blind eye.

I'm sorry to say it but do you honestly think that people on drugs will choose the more expensive, legal, fairtrade product over the cheaper stuff they can get on the black market just as easily as they can today? Do you think they are that morally attuned?

Your chocolate blog piece, as shocking as it is, is hardly comparable to a 40 year war in Colombia costing millions of lives is it? It's a moot point anyway as you DO have a choice in which chocolate to buy. Or you can just choose not to stuff your face with the sickly stuff in the first place.

Scaredbutdoingit Thu 04-Oct-12 09:57:14

I agree with you THERhubarb that drug production is a bigger problem.

Where we differ is that you seem to think the solution is 'don't buy drugs'.

Again, in the nicest possible way, I believe that position is utterly naieve (especially as we already know that policy isn't working!)

The fact that you think people on drugs wouldn't choose fairtrade only highlights the point that you think all people on drugs are the tragic cases found in the streets and encountered on the wrong end of the legal system.

The hidden (but vocal) group of productive functioning members of society (who also happen to use drugs) certainly would at least consider buying fairtrade, which is the same choice we grant to all consumers.

The point is that the whole choice and ability to actually start attempting to sort out the supply chain is utterly denied, and the entire sorry mess is swept under the carpet.

THERhubarb Thu 04-Oct-12 10:05:46

I have never given a solution Scared. I have not offered an opinion either way.

It is true that I don't think most drug users would buy fairtrade drugs, but that doesn't mean that I think most drug users are the tragic cases found on the streets - that is your projection and it is wrong.

My husband was a prolific drug taker himself.

I think that once you are addicted to something, whether it be chocolate or cigarettes or drugs then your own thoughts are invariably selfish ones and more concerned with where you can get your next hit rather than looking at the wider issues of drug racketeering.

Yes there may be the odd professional coke snorter who has the money and moral sense to buy fairtrade coke but I honestly don't think that fairtrade drugs will become as popular as fairtrade chocolate. They are on two completely different levels.

And I really don't think that it would work either because drug gangs, police and governments would make it very very difficult if not impossible for the people supplying such drugs legally. Drugs money goes a long long way and they would not risk losing that.

Scaredbutdoingit Thu 04-Oct-12 10:18:07

"It is true that I don't think most drug users would buy fairtrade drugs, but that doesn't mean that I think most drug users are the tragic cases found on the streets"

I accept this statement, but no it is not a projection, just a misinterpretation based on other running arguments that have been made on this thread (that clearly do make that judgement), and I occasionally forget I am arguing with individuals, not the whole thread. wink

I also agree with you that addiction is a major problem and should be managed. I do not agree that adequate management is blanket banning the source of the potential addiction.

And I also agree with you that drug gangs would not want to give up their massive profits.... but I believe a major reason drugs are so profitable is less to do with demand as the fact that the supply chain has a legal stranglehold on it, and no legitimate public scrutiny and monitoring, just a blanket: "Well you shouldn't be doing that anyway!"

Dahlen Thu 04-Oct-12 10:19:24

Sorry to take this off on a tangent, but I'm interested in this idea of managing the health risks associated with illegal drugs in the same way as legal, medicinal drugs. I just don't see how that's possible, since unless you manufacture the drugs yourself (or grow in the case of cannabis), you really don't have any idea what is going into them.

While it is true that illegal drug manufacturers may not cut their drugs with anything highly toxic because they want repeat custom, I think it is probable that they cut it with agents that can cause long-term damage to health. This is an industry that is not regulated or held to account after all.

Finally, even recreational drug use has an effect on health. The amount of coke needed before it starts having an adverse effect on the heart, for example, is surprisingly small, especially when imbibed with alcohol, as it commonly is. Smoking a joint has the same effect on the lungs as smoking 20 normal cigarettes. A recent study showed that just one tablet of ecstacy has a permanent effect on the brain. Many of the legal highs can result in a breakdown of mucous membranes. Ketamine can lead to incontinence.

Scaredbutdoingit Thu 04-Oct-12 10:19:50

If cigarettes were made illegal, do you really think their production would not fall just as equally to the same forces?

Scaredbutdoingit Thu 04-Oct-12 10:21:13

Hospitals are pretty good at sourcing their diamorphine Dahlen. It can be done.

And yes, almost every choice we make has an effect on health (positive or negative). We're still allowed to make those choices and not have them snatched out of our hands (for our own good).

THERhubarb Thu 04-Oct-12 10:28:18

Again, I'm not calling for a blanket ban. Just playing devil's advocate if you like! I have no solution. My only point was that drugs cannot be truly compared with chocolate and clothes from India. They are completely separate and really not very comparable since with the latter two, the consumer does have a choice and the majority of consumers are not addicted to them.

I'll be fucked if I know what to do about the drugs problem. <shrugs>

Scaredbutdoingit Thu 04-Oct-12 10:31:35

Oh no, I disagree that they cannot be compared. They can be legitimately compared to highlight certain individual points (such as the way a product is produced does not mean the product is evil).

I absolutely agree that it is not a perfect analogy, and cannot be used to highlight all the issues.

getmorenappies Thu 04-Oct-12 10:34:45

Some illicit drugs are thought to have health benefits. Not a fashionable idea I know but LSD, magic mushrooms and ecstasy have all been used to treat anxiety, depression and addiction. Some MS sufferers use cannabis to alleviate symptoms.

I think the key word in these discussions is 'abuse' . And I'd guess there is just as much abuse of prescription drugs as there is of illegal drugs.

Scaredbutdoingit Thu 04-Oct-12 10:35:38

And I like devil's advocate. Just please understand its easy to confuse it with your actual position (which you seem to keep close to your chest).
smile <- meant in a friendly way

Scaredbutdoingit Thu 04-Oct-12 10:36:33

Many illicit drugs are actually masquerading as medical treatments, in hospitals near you. wink

THERhubarb Thu 04-Oct-12 10:40:21

Hmmm. But let's look at some of those points:

Some chocolate production involves child slavery and cruelty.
All drug production involves acts of violence, terror, war, habitat destruction, prostitution, corruption and some child trafficking.

You can buy fairtrade chocolate
You cannot buy fairtrade drugs

Drugs can be mixed with other harmful substances such as washing detergent
Chocolate can be mixed with milk powder

Drugs are extremely addictive and can cause mental health problems and cancer
Chocolate is less addictive and can cause stomach problems and fatty tissue amongst others

Drugs are mood changers and can cause a loss of control and violence
Chocolate can also change moods but has never been linked to violence

I'm sure there are more points to be compared, those are just the ones I can think of. The comparison with clothes is even more tenuous.

So as much as I think your arguments are well constructed and extremely well made, I do have to disagree with that one unfortunately.

PeshwariNaan Thu 04-Oct-12 10:41:19

What I've been more shocked by is the laissez-faire attitude to drinking whilst pregnant on these boards. There seems to be a real alcohol-is-always-OK culture that I'm not used to...

Scaredbutdoingit Thu 04-Oct-12 10:43:17

You're not actually disagreeing with me, because I am not saying that all the issues surrounding chocolate are the same as the issues surrounding drugs.

I'm using the analogy to highlight that a production chain creating human misery does not mean the end product is intrinsically bad.

On the rest of the points you made (such as addiction and violence) I would not even attempt to compare the two, nor have I ever in this thread.

THERhubarb Thu 04-Oct-12 10:43:49

And yes, I do keep my cards close to my chest on that one. You could say that I almost sit on the fence as I've witnessed first hand, many different types of drug abuse and what it can do to people. But I have also seen drug use in a far more relaxed way and can understand the medicinal argument.

The way drugs are produced however, is something that I cannot sit on the fence about. It's an uncomfortable truth for anyone actively taking drugs still.

Scaredbutdoingit Thu 04-Oct-12 10:44:24

"All drug production involves acts of violence, terror, war, habitat destruction, prostitution, corruption and some child trafficking."

Also, this is deeply flawed. Medical drug production (diamorphine = heroin) has none of these problems. Probably because its legal... tightly controlled, but legal.

THERhubarb Thu 04-Oct-12 10:46:09

Fair enough Scared. I guess what I am saying is that I don't think the two are comparable at all really. Perhaps similar on a couple of points but not really comparable.

Pesh, good point. I drank whilst pregnant. Not much I hasten to add.
If you are merely talking health risks then I agree with you that alcohol whilst pregnant is a far bigger problem than drugs whilst preggers.

But my Guinness did have iron in it wink

THERhubarb Thu 04-Oct-12 10:46:43

Ah you got me there - I should have said Most smile

Scaredbutdoingit Thu 04-Oct-12 10:49:24

And I still think we actually agree THERhubarb, it is the difference between a comparison and an analogy.

I believe chocolate can be used as an analogy against drugs to highlight specific singular points (such as "evil production does not mean end product is evil")

I do not believe it can be used as a comparison in almost any other way... at all.

Scaredbutdoingit Thu 04-Oct-12 10:54:59

And if medical source and supply can be set up without involving human misery (under governmental guidance), then it can be done.

Dahlen Thu 04-Oct-12 10:55:32

Scaredbutdoingit - are you involved in any campaigns to legalise drugs? While I completely disagree with your stance on this, I acknowledge your POV and can even admire it if you are actively campaigning for a change in legislation.

I've viewed the drugs 'scene' from several different angles, personal, professional, problematic use and recreational use. Not sure that's entirely relevant, but I'm not coming at this with an agenda. My current stance is based on years of experience that I've filtered through to produce an informed opinion.

I can honestly say that of the many people who claim they smoke cannabis because "it helps them sleep", "reduces anxiety" etc, it's a convenient self delusion. The truth is that if you offered those people a pill that removed the associated risks they wouldn't take it because they like the high and the act of smoking. Never mind that it's actually the restriction to blood vessels and the simple act of being addicted that is often responsible for poor sleep and anxiety in the first place.

This is not to undermine the position of people with MS, for example, who have found relief from their symptoms and I full support the principle of research into this area.

I think in the case of several drugs, however, there are no justifications for them. The products are intrinsically bad. Increased energy etc from coke does not mean it's ok in moderation because even in moderation it will damage your health. The same is not true of chocolate or alcohol.

I guess our attitude to drugs will be based on what we see around us. I have only seen non-harmful recreational use. Those people who have ended up on the negative side would, in my opinion, have found other routes to their self-destruction. Most drug users I know, or ex users, have found ways to live normal lives. I think the heroin users have the hardest time because of the terrible addictive nature of that drug. The coke users are all self-regulating and most seem to realise when they are doing too much, too often, and cut back.

Scaredbutdoingit Thu 04-Oct-12 11:14:33

Dahlen At the moment, no, although I have certainly considered it, and have not ruled it out yet.

The only reason for this is that I am highly active and invested in certain other areas for the time being, and have literally not got the personal energy to spread myself out that thinly. Drugs and the issues surrounding their legalisation do interest me, but are not my highest priority (yet).

I also like to very firmly hold a position before taking action, and believe it or not, my views have not actually been as solid as they may seem to be now, as my position flip-flopped back and forth quite a bit on the journey to arrive at where I am now, as I considered different views.

I agree with you that many people who use drugs are self-deluded (or hiding the truth) about why they really use them.

I disagree that there are no justifications for using drugs in a recreational sense. Not everyone does value health over life experience as highly as you appear to (or none of us would ever eat a Big Mac! or get drunk!)

There really also are some additional individual benefits that nobody likes talking about , and I also am loathe to talk about them too much, because if people have not done enough research to know about them, then they really shouldn't know about them.

I sincerely do not mean that in any sort of demeaning way... only that a person dictates their own self-growth. The same way that children know themselves when they are ready to know more about sex (for example), and will begin asking the appropriate questions for their individual level.

I for one, would never take (even legalised) drugs "for fun or kicks", but do have deeply personal reasons for why I would.

I also am not sure (not even close actually) to believing that just because I believe someone shouldn't take them for fun or kicks, means I should ban them from doing so.

Scaredbutdoingit Thu 04-Oct-12 11:19:12

"The products are intrinsically bad."

Also, I find this sentence extremely problematic.

If heroin is intrinsically bad, then diamorphine is intrinsically bad (because they are literally the same thing).

Its all in the user, and the reasons/method of use.

OneMoreChap Thu 04-Oct-12 11:25:42

I remember talking to a "War on Drugs" American a while ago. He said anyone passing out heroin should be shot.

I explained that would harm oncology significantly in this country, and he called me a liar. Even with links provided he disbelieved there were medical uses until a better informed fellow countryman advised him.

My normal response is "If there's a War on Drugs, the bad guys are winning." Look how well Prohibition worked.

Change people's habits and life chances and you'll change their drug use.

THERhubarb Thu 04-Oct-12 11:41:46

There are many medicinal benefits to drugs just as there are medicinal benefits to alcohol and chocolate. The key here is "in moderation" but of course the dangerous thing about drugs (and I include alcohol here) is that there is this little thing of addiction that comes along and screws it up.

People can get addicted to legal painkillers. They are addictive substances and when used as such, the negatives will of course outweigh the benefits.

With illegal drug use, most people are not taking them for any health benefit so legalising them poses the moral questions that legalising alcohol posed. Are you happy to provide addicts with their source of addiction and possibly even create new addicts in the process?

That is simplistic I know. Some drugs are more addictive than others (thinking of cannabis versus heroin) but at this moment in time legal drugs are there to aid personal wellbeing. In the case of methadone it's there to ease pain and to help heroin addicts come off heroin. They are not deliberately prescribed to partygoers to want to get high.

Legalising drugs would be like legalising alcohol was. You would be supplying some highly addictive substances to possibly very vulnerable people and the consequences of that would have to be dealt with.

Dahlen Thu 04-Oct-12 11:54:51

heroin and diamorphine are not essentially the same. If you substituted the former for the latter and gave it to the user on the street, he or she would die from a massive OD. Now granted that's something that could be changed if heroin was legal and subject to quality control, but in the current state of play that is not the case and therefore the two are not comparable. Heroin is cut with such a lot of agents that it bears no workable comparison to diamorphine and it is intrinsically bad in that form.

Until such time that illegal drugs are legalised, they are what they and that is what my stance is based on.

Scaredbutdoingit Thu 04-Oct-12 12:02:17

TheRhubarb

To the admittedly simplified question: "Are you happy to provide addicts with their source of addiction and possibly even create new addicts in the process?"

My answer is yes. Yes for the benefits that I believe decreased criminality would bring. Yes for the benefit I believe beginning to at least look at tackling the supply chain would bring. Yes because I believe freedom should not be taken away without a seriously good reason, and cost/benefit analysis, and the government has not been honest about this.

Dahlen
Heroin, as in the heroin users are trying to get to... is diamorphine.

What they actually get is not heroin (as in pure heroin, as in diamorphine), they get pure heroin cut with any number of a multitude of substances. Legitimate sourcing would stop this.

Scaredbutdoingit Thu 04-Oct-12 12:04:01

And for me, the law does not determine my moral compass. It guides it, but I do not substitute it for my own thinking and judgement.

OneMoreChap Thu 04-Oct-12 12:08:51

Dahlen actually heroin and diamorphine are exactly the same.

Cutting and cleanliness are completely separate issues, and won't be sorted unless legalised.

Mostly, the side effects of heroin are constipation and addiction. I believe Germany says you can treat heroin addicts by prescribing... diamorphine. Clean, controlled.

Scaredbutdoingit Thu 04-Oct-12 12:10:05

Also, I would like to thank everyone on the thread for a very stimulating discussion, but I need to tend to some real life for a bit.
Thanks again!
smile

Dahlen Thu 04-Oct-12 12:10:20

And for me, the law does not determine my moral compass. It guides it, but I do not substitute it for my own thinking and judgement.

I think that's a fair comment. The law has changed over time to reflect changing attitudes and values, and rather embodies the notion that morality is relative, so I'd agree with you wholeheartedly on that one.

I wouldn't actually have a problem with drugs being legalised. And ethically speaking I am very much in keeping with your opinion that people should have autonomy over their own bodies and that's it a basic human right to do with it what you want even if that's abusive.

I guess where we differ is that while you are looking to a situation that you'd like to see created, I look at the situation as it is now. And as it is now, I can only conclude that illegal drugs and the trade that accompany them, are responsible for a lot of human misery and therefore I want no part of it and think less of people who do.

Scaredbutdoingit Thu 04-Oct-12 12:19:13

Bah, one more comment! (couldn't resist looking) wink

Dahlen if that is the only place you think we differ, then we do not differ really at all.

Because I do not just look ahead to the future. I do look at the here and now, which is one of the reasons I am not currently a drug user.

But no, I do not believe in maintaining the status quo, and where I strongly believe something should change, I speak about it where I can.

EdgarAllanPond Thu 04-Oct-12 12:24:56

I am in favour of complete decriminalisation of all drugs.

self-harm - if that's what it is - should not be punished with jail sentences.

lots of people on here drink.
I drink myself, and don't see anything wrong in it.
I think alchoholism is terribly damaging to many families - but not all drinking is alcoholism.

i think that pretty much defines my opinion on drugs.
lots of people take drugs.
i don't see anything morally wrong in it.
drug abuse can be damaging to individuals and their families, yet not all drug use is abusive.

DorisBoltneck Thu 04-Oct-12 13:35:27

I have never taken drugs. Even if I'd ever wanted to, I have health problems that mean that most of the gack would kill me (didn't find out until late 20's, so glad I never tried!).

I find the company of drug users tedious in the extreme. There are places I don't go to- clubs etc, because of the stupid gurning 'phet heads' and MDMA users irritating, childish antics. Coke heads think they are great, but they are boring, talking drivel and chomping and twitching. Don't get me started on bag heads, and their whinning self pity (and I don't take the view that they should be pitied. I have no sympathy for them, it was their choice. I understand the argument that they might have had bad experiences in the past, but so have I and lots of other people and we haven't taken the self pity route. Heroin takes away dignity, health, hell- pretty much everything. I will not be so cruel to a person in the grip of it to take away another thing- the responsibility for their own lives and actions- and reduce them to a pathetic victim.)

OneMoreChap Thu 04-Oct-12 14:17:01

DorisBoltneck

I have never taken drugs.

Fine, that's laudable. I guess you mean illegal drugs?
Does mean that you're dependent on what you've been told are the effects of drugs rather than experiencing any of them. We're on the same page as far as whizz/coke/heroin.

Heroin takes away dignity, health, hell- pretty much everything.

Develop this a little?
What drug actions cause this?

Since this is a regularly prescribed product in the NHS, I'm unsure whether you speak of the drug, or the consequences of its illegality?

LesleyPumpshaft Thu 04-Oct-12 14:23:08

Lol, I started on of those threads, and I was amazed at how many people seem to think that people's functioning is not impaired by taking class A drugs at the weekend.

Just for the record, I have actually known people with children who take drugs, and to be honest, I did think it affected their parenting and I chose not to carry on socialising with them. Tbh the were unsavoury characters and I'm sure that 'normal' parents who like to dabble are sensible enough to do it disreetly, so I probably don't know about it!

THERhubarb Thu 04-Oct-12 14:45:57

<passes round spliff>

getmorenappies Thu 04-Oct-12 14:48:16

pfffffffffffffffffffffffffttttttttttt

< keels over >

LesleyPumpshaft Thu 04-Oct-12 14:51:35

Obviously being a teacher who enjoys as puff at the weekend isn't the same as an airline pilot dropping some acid before he embarks upon his transatlantic flight.

The only people I have met who openly take drugs and have kids and/or a 'respectable' job are idiots. Not for taking drugs, but being so open about it. Nevermind pictures posted on Facebook with their eyes like saucers. There's issues with Social Services, employers and the law. Some people are vindictive and might drop them in it.

getmorenappies Thu 04-Oct-12 14:52:10

I think , at least in terms of Cannabis that the law should change to allow people to grow their own plants, possibly a maximum of two. And then increase the punishment for dealing. As is the case in Switzerland I believe.

Modern skunk is just too powerful. Often sprayed with sugar water to increase the weight. And God knows what people mix into hash.

getmorenappies Thu 04-Oct-12 14:57:07

isn't the same as an airline pilot dropping some acid before he embarks upon his transatlantic flight

I knew two men who thought they'd take 'a little bit' of LSD before their shifts as pizza chefs in a well known pizza restaurant chain. It didn't end well.

THERhubarb Thu 04-Oct-12 15:01:17

LesleyPumpshaft - you see, people boast about drug taking in a way they would never do with anything else. They want to appear 'cool' and rebellious which is what led me to state that some people who say they have taken drugs, actually haven't but they want to fit in with the rest, to be seen as interesting. Like the party photos posted on Facebook, they care about how they are seen by the rest of society and they want to create this image for themselves. Whilst drug taking still has an air of glamour and danger about it, it will appeal.

<sucks on spliff>

And look at that booootiful swirl on my keyboard ~ have you ever seen anything so incredibly beautiful? Oh look, it's floating!

THERhubarb Thu 04-Oct-12 15:03:32

"The pizza just spoke to me! It's burning! It's burning, no pizza, I will save you! SAVE THE PIZZA!"

"Quick take off your clothes and smother the flames of the evil oven!"

"Look everyone, look I saved the talking pizza! WHY ARE YOU EATING ITS FRIENDS????"

That the kind of ending your story had nappies?

getmorenappies Thu 04-Oct-12 15:10:37

That the kind of ending your story had nappies?

Not far off. The pizza spinning thing didn't really work for them unsurprisingly , I think that reduced them to hysterical laughter, then they were visually overwhelmed with all the different ingredients. Followed by realization and panic when the first orders came in.

I think the management sussed pretty early on that all was not well and sent them both home.

DorisBoltneck Thu 04-Oct-12 15:39:02

OneMoreChap Yes I'm talking about illegal drugs- thats the context here, so I presumed it went without saying. I'm not in the least bit interested in the 'experience' of taking the rubbish and haven't claimed to have any knowlegde about the physical effects. I'm talking about the effects it has on me, which I'm lucky enough to have viewed as a spectator.

I'm not interested in obfuscation and pointless debates about legalisation. When I say that heroin takes away dignity, health etc, I mean just that. I have know three junkies (so far, hopefully there will be no more!) The loss of dignity might be in stealing, selling your body, treating you're loved ones like dirt. The loss of health- vein damage, infections, hep C and HIV. Junkies are usually pretty miserable people, and misery loves company, they are all too happy to drag others down with them, helping 'new comers' to inject, and generously sharing their equiptment. All human decency gone at that point.

Legalise it all and the problems will remain, certainly with the harder drugs. People will get addicted, drugs will still be expensive, addicts will still lose jobs and be unable to fund the habit and round it will go. HIV can still be passed by sharing a rig to shoot up hospital grade diamorphine.

apachepony Thu 04-Oct-12 15:52:28

Rhubarb, why would people lie about taking drugs? Most people haven't taken drugs because they think it's a bad idea. If a person actually think's it's a good idea, and that it's "cool", why would that person not have taken drugs? Surely they would have taken them, as there would be no reason for them not to? Just can't imagine there are people who - weirdly - think drug taking is cool but haven't actually taken drugs? Seems a bit strange to me!

THERhubarb Thu 04-Oct-12 16:15:24

apachepony - for the same reasons people lie about their social lives and lie about having Irish ancestory or lie about how many sexual partners they have. To make themselves appear more interesting.

There have been many studies on why people exaggerate and inventing an interesting past is akin to exaggeration for some. We all know how people oftne reinvent themselves on Facebook and internet forums like this one. Lying about drug taking is no different to that.

Unfortunately drug taking still exudes a certain amount of glamour and danger. Just look at the other thread on drugs (earlier posts) to see how many posters give examples of professional, middle class people doing drugs. They don't give examples of your tragic cases because doing drugs is now seen as more of a middle class thing. You must be successful if you can afford drugs. It also hints at an exciting past, a life lived on the edge.

Just as people exaggerate about how many sexual encounters they've had or make out that they are not virgins when they are, others will say that they have or do take drugs when they don't.

LesleyPumpshaft Thu 04-Oct-12 16:38:43

Well a middle class professional coke user still exhibits the typical obnoxious coke head mentality. Having a nice house, nice car and money doesn't make them better people.

OneMoreChap Thu 04-Oct-12 17:17:23

*DorisBoltneck
I'm not interested in obfuscation and pointless debates about legalisation. When I say that heroin takes away dignity, health etc, I mean just that. I have know three junkies (so far, hopefully there will be no more!) The loss of dignity might be in stealing, selling your body, treating you're loved ones like dirt. The loss of health- vein damage, infections, hep C and HIV. Junkies are usually pretty miserable people, and misery loves company, they are all too happy to drag others down with them, helping 'new comers' to inject, and generously sharing their equiptment. All human decency gone at that point.

So, as I thought, rock-all to do with the drug itself.
More to do with its illegality. [stealing/selling your body etc.)

Legalise it all and the problems will remain, certainly with the harder drugs.

Conjecture.

People will get addicted,

as they are with alcohol, tobacco, prescription drugs...

drugs will still be expensive, addicts will still lose jobs and be unable to fund the habit and round it will go.

Why expensive? Alcoholics etc lose jobs all the time. Their problem, to put it bluntly.

HIV can still be passed by sharing a rig to shoot up hospital grade diamorphine. Yep, and by unsafe sex, too.

DorisBoltneck Thu 04-Oct-12 17:39:40

OneMoreChap Did I say it was anything to do with the drug itself? No. I have stated my point of view very clearly.

I'm not interested in the round and round, ifs and buts of it all. Most things said on here are conjecture, thats what it's all about, just the opinions of other people, and I suspect that the people who have had their lives blighted by drug users will have a very different view of the subject than those who have the luxury of viewing it as an interesting moral debate.

Picking apart someones posts, then using randon statements out of context is not useful and rather petty. Someone I know has contracted HIV from drug use, a hideous thing for the people that love that person and a situation that will not be stopped by legalising drugs. That is my point. I'm not interested in a discussion of safe sex!

OneMoreChap Thu 04-Oct-12 18:52:16

Sorry to be picky DorisBoltneck

I say that heroin takes away dignity, health etc, I mean just that. is the drug itself.

That's not addiction, crime etc...

I'm sorry one of your acquaintances/friends picked up HIV from drug use. I don't see, necessarily, why that would happen with legalised drugs.

You say, I'm not interested in a discussion of safe sex and I'd say that picking up HIV from a sexual encounter is a hideous thing for the people that love that person ...

We disagree.

I've seen drug enforcement in some 15 countries; the approach we, the US, Mexico, Thailand are adopting... do you think it's working? If not, what else should we try? Singapore's approach?

DorisBoltneck Thu 04-Oct-12 22:11:40

OneMoreChap I just think it's rude to try and degrade another persons experiences for the sake of an argument.

I think the answer to all drug problems is very, very simple. Take responsibility for your own actions and don't take drugs.

DorisBoltneck Thu 04-Oct-12 22:21:04

Another thing I'd forgotten about that makes me want to be ill when it comes to drugs, is the fact that a great many of them have probably been up someones arse at one time or another.

And then people are happily smoking, injecting, swallowing it. If that doesn't rob you of your dignity, there is really no hope for you!

That really puts the legal vs illegal drug debate in its place. I can't remember the last time the pharmacist dispensed my granny's heart pills from his bottom.
No doubt someone will be along soon to say they know loads of pharmacists who take loads of illegals and do this on a regular basis hmm

OneMoreChap Thu 04-Oct-12 23:29:01

DorisBoltneck Sorry if you feel I'm degrading anyone's experience; I'm disagreeing with a view.

We agree about taking responsibility for your own actions, and I think we'll leave it there.

getmorenappies Fri 05-Oct-12 10:28:53

* is the fact that a great many of them have probably been up someones arse at one time or another*

Sorry, but that made me laugh, I think it's way off the mark too. No doubt some are ingested by drug mules but the vast majority of drugs aren't coming into the country via lone mules digestive tracts.

Most cannabis now is now grown in the uk, indeed it's exported from what I've read. With class A's the quantities that enter to country are just too large for mules to be doing the majority of the work.

I'm afraid I don't think that really 'puts the legal vs illegal drug debate in its place' , there is much more to it.

DorisBoltneck Fri 05-Oct-12 10:40:15

Yes, it's a sweeping generalisation based on anecdotal evidence. I know of one user who used to 'kindly' supply friends. He used to carry his little bag of 'E's' in his arse. Just round and about the place, not a drug mule, not smuggling or anything. He said it was the safest place to keep them- maybe it was just his personal kink......

OneMoreChap Fri 05-Oct-12 10:41:48

Grins at "based on anecdotal evidence"
Thanks, that made me smile on a busy day...

getmorenappies Fri 05-Oct-12 10:48:46

DorisBoltneck yes but with the greatest of respect some person you used to know putting bags of e up their bum does not really equate to a fact that a great many of them [ drugs ] have probably been up someone's bum at one time or another'

DorisBoltneck Fri 05-Oct-12 10:58:29

getmorenappies Thats what I just said grin

I'm trying to be satirical about all the posters that come on giving their expert opinions on the drug use of the whole nation, based on their own experience.

Just because one person keeps their stash up their bum to avoid detection in case they get stopped by the police means nothing....I'm sure some women dealers use their vagina for instance.

As Vicar says, if she could only tell what she see's. There's an awful lot of unpalatable stuff goes on wink

getmorenappies Fri 05-Oct-12 10:59:13

smile

Scaredbutdoingit Fri 05-Oct-12 12:20:24

Do you think people would still be carrying drugs 'up their bum' if they were legal?

Vicar (as much respect as I have for her view, despite its opposition to mine), is not the only person posting here with extensive experience of the 'unpalatable' side of drugs, and is not the only person who still works with it on a day-to-day basis.

So if you believe that everyone supporting the decriminalisation and/or legalisation of drugs is speaking from ignorance, I'm telling you you are wrong.

DorisBoltneck Fri 05-Oct-12 12:45:00

Do you think people would still be carrying drugs 'up their bum' if they were legal?

The person I'm thinking of hmm.......probably , yes grin

Scaredbutdoingit Fri 05-Oct-12 12:53:22

Well then thats another kettle of fish. wink

TiggyD Fri 05-Oct-12 19:53:17

That's where I keep my car keys. I can lock my car by just clenching.

filetheflightoffancy Fri 05-Oct-12 20:05:25

Sorry I havent read the whole thread. But for me the reason that I think drugs are just shit isnt necessarily because they ruin people's lives (after all, even if you become an addict you are still responsible for taking that first hit), but because of the devestating effect the drugs trade has on many poor people all around the world.

Every year thousands of people, including kids, die as a direct result of the drugs industry and I am sorry, but I just couldnt hoover a line of coke up my nose knowing that, no matter how cool I thought I looked. I remember Kate Moss doing some promotional charity video to do with global poverty a few years ago and I remember thinking what a fucking hypocrite.

Oh and also that fact that all the people I have ever met when they have been on drugs have been total TWATS.

And I have to say that I agree with the OP - I have noticed a bit of a 'right on, I was a bit keeerrrazy back in the day' attitude towards drugs on Mumsnet.

LesleyPumpshaft Fri 05-Oct-12 21:28:36

filetheflightoffancy, In total agreement about how unethical cocaine is. It's funny, because I know a few very naice middle class people who are always banging on about eco this and ethical that who like to take coke.

I suppose some Ecover cleaning products and shopping at Sainsbury's makes up for it. hmm

YouSmegHead Fri 05-Oct-12 21:29:54

<vicar have to say I am really pleased to see you x>

EdgarAllanPond Fri 05-Oct-12 21:37:55

my Grandmother died whilst receiving 3 times the amount of diamorphine that would kill a grown man (though of lung cancer).

she weighed 6 stone.

she'd been taking it since she was 21 on prescription.
it never affected her behaviour. it didn't kill her (smoking did).

if you think heroin is an evil all by itself, take heed....

MoonlightShadows Fri 05-Oct-12 21:50:04

Haven't read whole thread and this has probaly been said but alcohol is a drug (which just happens to be legal) and actually does a lot more harm than most illegal drugs. Is the the legality you have a problem with? How about smoking?

EdgarAllanPond Fri 05-Oct-12 21:53:01

file don't you think the effect of illegality is what currently causing havoc in Mexico?
and hindering coalition efforts in Afghanistan ?

MoonlightShadows Fri 05-Oct-12 21:55:07

You should read 'High Society' by Ben Elton, great book.

EdgarAllanPond Fri 05-Oct-12 21:57:32

"Smoking a joint has the same effect on the lungs as smoking 20 normal cigarettes."

i have seen a study where cannibis smoking was found to have a mildly preventative effect on lung cancer (though not on all cancers) - in what way do you mean?

Scaredbutdoingit Fri 05-Oct-12 22:01:15

The counter-arguments about the ethics surrounding drug production (for those who would prefer a summary rather than reading the whole thread) can be summed up as followed:

a) drugs can be produced ethically if they are legal. Hospitals have been sourcing and producing theirs for years without any of the same problems. Almost 1/3 of heroin (aka diamorphine) users are on prescription and are supplied legally and cleanly by hospitals. Illegality forces the whole operation underground, and thats when things get messy.
Additionally, some drugs could easily be cultured/supplied by the users themselves if they were legal (cannabis plants for example).

b) people who believe they cannot justify buying anything that contributes to significant human misery (via the supply system) need to be sure they have looked carefully enough at the products they do buy.
Many products (chocolate is just one example) come from unethical supply chains involving human slavery, death, child abuse, and other unsavoury things. Even fairtrade products cannot accurately track all their sources, they just do the best they can.
If you put petrol in a car (for example), you are creating demand for a limited resource that is responsible for vast human suffering.

c) An unethical supply system does not mean the end product is bad (and should be banned). It means the supply system needs to be sorted out!

Not sure if I missed any, but its too late to go trawling through the thread just to make sure. smile

LesleyPumpshaft Fri 05-Oct-12 22:05:47

Scaredbutdoingit . I agree, but I just get pissed of with smug middle class greenies who cherry pick the most eco friendly and ethical solutions to suit them - ie make sure your friends know you buy organic food from the farmers market, but you drive there in your 4X4 that you don't actually need.

filetheflightoffancy Fri 05-Oct-12 22:08:13

edgar yes absolutely, although I dont think that legalising all drugs all over the world would somehow magically eradicate these problems - there will always be something else to illegally trade.

I was more coming from the point of view that if you take drugs, knowing that you are feeding an industry in which people are killed on a regular basis, then you are a bit of a knob. Particualrly if, as Lesley said, you often bang on about how you like to buy 'ethical and fair trade' at the same time.

Scaredbutdoingit Fri 05-Oct-12 22:12:35

I agree with you LesleyPumpshaft, but its the same kind of annoyance I feel when I see people pointing the finger at people who 'dare' to buy drugs with unethical supply chains, when you can almost guarantee they are eating, wearing, using, or sitting on something that comes from unethical supply chains (human slavery, child labour, deaths, etc).

Thats not to say we shouldn't point out wrong where we see it. But it would be more productive to spend our righteous fury on minimising the blood on our own hands, than looking for it on others.

LesleyPumpshaft Fri 05-Oct-12 22:18:00

Nobody can be 100% ethical. I only get annoyed at people when they are smug about it tbh.

Why can't these coke sniffers just take some magic mushrooms, grow their own bits and bobs and weave lentils instead, if they want to be all 'cool' and ethical?

I don't take drugs btw, I'm odd enough as it is thank you very much. smile

Scaredbutdoingit Fri 05-Oct-12 22:25:05

I really don't like smug or judgemental anything. wink

Analysis of problems, and sincere discussion about solutions. <- I'm all up for!

LesleyPumpshaft Fri 05-Oct-12 22:38:24

Well, unless people want to become hermits, live in a cave and wear course hessian undergarments that they have woven from their own yoghurt they are in no position to judge.

For the record, I am for decriminalising all drugs. I'm not against responsible drug use either. I do worry about DS getting into drugs, but only because I have seen how it's affected his estranged father tbh.

People experiment, and I think it's natural. I also think alcohol ruins lives. Again, DS's father is a prime example of that. I don't have any real solutions other than decriminalising drugs and better eductation tbh. Parents need to play their role too.

EdgarAllanPond Fri 05-Oct-12 23:35:03

Why can't these coke sniffers just take some magic mushrooms,?

people that like Cocaine want the effects of cocaine and not those of mushrooms.

i have known people synthesise their own coke too. it is chemically similar to painkillers eg lanacaine - used in teething gel.

ThatVikRinA22 Fri 05-Oct-12 23:40:38

im still reading, just not devoting too much energy to this discussion any more.

im sure that people who work with drugs users see a different side to the side i see.

they probably dont have to attend reports of gun shots being heard in the same month as 2 officers were shot dead, or stand for 10 hours in the pitch black (the torch in the car didnt work typically) and pissing rain guarding a potential murder scene that hasnt been searched yet, or redirect irate drivers who cant get down their road, or fend off questions from family and friends, or travel in the ambulance while paramedics struggle to save the life of someone who got on the wrong side of a rival dealer. Im sure someone somewhere is missing their coke and cannabis this week.

They probably dont have to enter a house wondering what they might find, they dont have find people dead, bag and tag them, or deliver the news to their distraught families.

The members of my own family who used drugs became people i neither liked nor recognised. Alcohol can ruin lives, but the scale of the change in personality, only ever came with drug use in my own personal experience. My sister, ironically, was totally anti alcohol, as our other brother is an alcoholic, but he holds down a job, he is still the person i always knew, he gets up and goes to work, he drinks himself into a stupor at night. Since i joined the job he no longer speaks to me, but he is still alive, my sister is not. When my sister became a drug user she also became vehemently anti police.

my other half brother is an alcoholic and a drug addict, still smokes weed, but cider didnt give him Hep C. I wonder what he and his wife have cost the NHS. 10 years as addicts. Neither work. His ex wife is also an addict. She gave birth to a child at 25 weeks weighing 1lb 8 oz, that child is disabled and was born methadone addicted. No one i know who has used heroin has only used heroine.

and the drugs people take do not just affect them.

ive no idea what the answer is. Perhaps the government should experiment with decriminalisation/legislation.
it would make my job easier, but i would still absolutely panic if i thought anyone of my immediate family were "experimenting". All drugs have inherent dangers with their use. Cannabis is far from harmless.

luckily for me, DS has aspergers and is not a rule breaker. DD is eminently sensible and moves in sensible circles. i hope that continues into her late teens.

I really do not know anyone else who uses drugs recreationally. My friends are few, mostly aging mothers much like myself, who have similar views to me. I live in a small northern town, i mix mostly with people who have kids with SN. They all knew me long before i was in the job and we are able to be honest with each other. I do not police where i live. When my hair dresser tells me she had to break the speed limit to get to work on time i do not run and dial 101. There are some things you have to turn a blind eye to, and there are others that i could not turn a blind eye to.

The type of people that my family hung around with when they used drugs are not the type of people i like and i would distance myself, as i had to do once again, when my brother tried to engage in some contact.
i tried.
but i found myself judging. i found that he talked a huge amount of self justifying hippy bollocks, while happily fathering a disabled child due to his (and his wifes) hippy bollocks thinking. (and then there were other issues that were just to big to overcome)

so.
i have no idea what the answer is, but how i feel is how i feel. Whatever that makes me look like, im fine with that.

am probably signing off this discussion now. Thanks for all the "hellos" and the kind thoughts, i am fine, i have dealt with the fact that i am the black sheep of my family and im ok with it grin

Scaredbutdoingit Fri 05-Oct-12 23:54:56

Vicar I really do feel for the pain you have experienced and witnessed in your life, and the dangers you have personally faced.

I cannot say too much about my own life (cannot out myself for various reasons), but I have been on both the wrong end and the right end of the law when it comes to dealing with the nasty fallout from drug abuse.

I have held a weeping stranger in my arms (whose son had just killed himself whilst in an altered state). I have held a screaming baby covered in its own feces and its mothers vomit, because she was on a cocktail of alcohol/drugs and completely unable to look after her own children for who knows how long. I have seen the scars, and the abscesses, and the rotting teeth and skin.
There is much more, years and years of the same filth and misery.

As I said earlier in the thread, I have also lost my own loved ones.

I want a solution too. I really do. I just sincerely believe that illegality is more of the problem than the solution.

MoonlightShadows Sat 06-Oct-12 08:40:25

Legal drug use is far more deadly in the UK.

What about the 100,000 people who die every year from tobacco related diseases, or the 100,000 deaths from alcohol related diseases? And all the families that affects?

LesleyPumpshaft Sat 06-Oct-12 08:44:22

Tobacco and alcohol are both pretty grim tbh.

Lifeisontheup Sat 06-Oct-12 08:56:43

I have no idea what the solution is, in my job we only care about the effects not the illegality so from my point of view making them legal would not change anything.
The only jobs which make me scared are the ones involving drugs, they make people act irrationally. When I have been attacked it has been by people under the influence of drugs. So far, ketamine, MCAT and cannabis. I have never been attacked by a drunk and neither have any of my colleagues.

Surprisingly I have never been threatened by a heroin user but that is possibly because we only get called when they've stopped breathing, they can get a bit abusive when we've resuscitated them because we've wasted their fix but they usually just storm off.

Snog Sat 06-Oct-12 11:11:43

Vicar you sound like the white sheep tbh smile

BigBroomstickBIWI Sat 06-Oct-12 12:06:29

Vicar - I stopped posting on this thread because I CBA. Those who are pro-drugs simply will not listen. It hasn't harmed them, so they are OK. The 'I'm Alright Jack' Brigade.

I didn't want you to think, though, that I had disappeared or didn't support you and your views. And I want to say this publicly rather than via PM.

MaryZed Sat 06-Oct-12 12:14:25

I stopped posting for the same reason.

I hate pompous people who dismiss others' experiences as irrelevant. And I agree with BIWI's "I'm Alright Jack" statement.

I know I'm late to this but just to register that this isn't my experience either. Other than a tiny amount of cannabis when I was a student I've never taken drugs, never been offered drugs, and never have anything more than a couple of glasses of wine (occassionally more). I've never asked the question, but the people around me that I know and am friends with seem the same.

greenhill Sat 06-Oct-12 12:46:39

vicar maryzed BIWI It is the moral relativism that is annoying me most: as if you can't live your life trying to be as ethical as possible / doing the right thing because you have bought chocolate or like a glass of wine! Illegal drugs and unethical behaviour are being held up as a healthy life choice, because it hasn't happened to people that they know/ or them YET. Yes, anecdotes are not the same as facts, but there are too many facts about the horrors of drugs, you'd think that the badness of it all would be taken as read!

Yes, people on the front line see the worst side (medics, police, SS, drug counsellors etc) but that doesn't mean that people like my DH aren't dealing with the fallout from regular drug abuse too. He works for a small company with a low skill / low education workforce, he is seeing the mental health issues / personality problems such as inability to deal with temper / time management problems / falling apart of home life and the strange medical symptoms that seem to increase year on year, yet these men are ONLY using cannabis, a supposedly soft drug. These men are going to be at the mercy of the State when they are unable to finally drag themselves out of bed to go to work, have no savings, only debts and are only declining and not improving after working for a few years. They are already costing the NHS more and more, year on year. Yet these are mainly nice people, but they find real life a bit too much and prefer to spend their free time stoned. These men are slowly having their personalities erased and replaced by a stoner one. sad

greenhill Sat 06-Oct-12 13:05:55

Also I've had professional friends develop a heart murmur or have a collapsed lung (because they like to party on the weekends) with an otherwise healthy lifestyle. I think there is a hidden health cost, how many admit to illegal drug use when presenting symptoms to the doctor? Blood tests do not always pick up on past drug use.

True there are 90 year old men who've smoked 20 woodbine a day and die of old age not ill health. Or women who drink a bottle of wine a night, but don't die of cirrhosis of the liver. They are the statistical anomaly.

filetheflightoffancy Sat 06-Oct-12 13:17:45

Im on the fence about the legalisation of drugs, but I dont get the 'well tobacco and alcohol are just as bad so lets legalise the whole lot' arguement.

I really doubt that if class A drugs were legal people would suddenly start taking them moderately and it would be peace and love all round. And I suspect that the reason that more people die from smoking and alcohol than drugs is because they are legal and therefore more people have access, not becuase they are actually more dangerous. Why is then a good idea to give people access to more potentially life threatening substances that they could become addicted to?

I have never touched cocaine but if it were legal I am pretty sure that I would have at least tried it with what consequences? Just because I am not addicted to nicotine or alcohol I dont think it follows that I would not become addicted to coke or heroin? Why put that further burden on our resources?

EdgarAllanPond Sat 06-Oct-12 16:27:00

there is no evidence of any benefit in drugs being illegal.

none.

i think it increases the possible harms to drug abusers - they can add a criminal record to their troubles - really difficult to get away from in the days of CRB checking for a plethora of jobs.

BigBroomstickBIWI Sat 06-Oct-12 16:38:07

Erm. Don't do them in the first place then? hmm

ThatVikRinA22 Sat 06-Oct-12 16:53:34

blimey - i though CRB checks were there to protect the vulnerable? I wouldnt want anyone openly able to use, or talk about using illega or mind altering substances in certain professions.
i think thats right.
people who use, justify their use. Rightly or wrongly, i dont want my kids exposed to that way of thinking, certainly not by their teachers, or teachers aids for instance.
im happy for CRB checks to root out anyone for whom their drug use has become enough of a problem to commit crime., for those professions tht need a check.

MaryZed Sat 06-Oct-12 16:56:00

I reckon they should legalise driving drunk and without insurance, petty larceny and public order offences (as well as many other things) so that people don't have their employment opportunities affected by having criminal records.

It's terrible, this making things illegal shock

EdgarAllanPond Sat 06-Oct-12 17:21:34

drugs harm you, if anyone.

it isn't going to kill someone else.

i don't get how someone can argue 'they should be illegal because of the harms to users' when illegality is one of the harms!

EdgarAllanPond Sat 06-Oct-12 17:24:08

"
im happy for CRB checks to root out anyone for whom their drug use has become enough of a problem to commit crime"

so if someone gets a caution for carrying some weed, as a teen, you don't think they should ever work with children?

ThatVikRinA22 Sat 06-Oct-12 17:31:58

look, just because im not so far to the left on this issue does not make me some crazed right wing tool of the state.
that is not what i am saying edgar and, i think thats pretty obvious.

i could give examples all day. i really could now, i have tons of examples, both through my history and home life, to now, where i see the results of drug use daily and the very diverse ways that it affects all kinds of people.

but its pointless. and so im not going to waste any more time on it, or arguing a point - ive said im actually all for looking at arguments for decriminalisation, and whether that would have an positive effect.

but drugs do harm. they do not just harm the user. thats a fallacy.

Lifeisontheup Sat 06-Oct-12 17:38:38

Hear hear Vicar You're talking a lot of sense as always.

EdgarAllanPond Sat 06-Oct-12 18:36:35

that has been the effect of drugs law though. unlike drunk driving (where thousands of lives have very definitely been saved) there's no evidence of any being saved by drugs law.

the fact that a lot of the population doesn't support my belief doesn't make them right (as quite alot of people do believe that any drugs use is evil, and you should be jailed for long periods for it).

i don't think MH issues should be approached as criminal ones.

suicide, and other forms of self-harm aren't illegal. for good reasons.

so if you believe drug use is associated with MH problems - as another form of self-harm , I don't see why anyone would want it illegal for that reason.

other forms of self-harm have immense negative impacts on those that love or depend on that person, just as drug abuse does.

personally i think the majority of drug use is harmless, and there is research to back that opinion. The part that isn't harmless, is abusive - that isn't helped by illegality.

DorisBoltneck Sat 06-Oct-12 18:59:44

MaryZed ^I stopped posting for the same reason.

I hate pompous people who dismiss others' experiences as irrelevant. And I agree with BIWI's "I'm Alright Jack" statement.^

Yy- It makes it pointless trying to debate. I tried a bit of ironic piss taking, but even then I was taken seriously and derided! Some people will argue black's white just for the sake of it.

I will add another experience for dismissal- I know someone who was stopped at least twice whilst driving and smoking spliff- both times let off. That person ended up on smack down the line.

I wish to god he'd had the book thrown at him when it first happened- it might have made him stop and think, I wouldn't have cared less if it meant he could never work with kids.

MaryZed Sat 06-Oct-12 19:31:25

There were six teenagers (a couple of whom ds knew quite well) killed in a car crash near me last year.

The driver survived (sort of - he's still in hospital).

He was stoned.

Anecdotal of course. He shouldn't have smoked dope. They shouldn't have got in the car. It was entirely their fault of course. It would be ridiculous to suggest that the growers and importers of cannabis have any responsibility at all. [ironic]

Thanks Doris.

Chandon Sat 06-Oct-12 20:50:35

I think suicide is illegal (or was until recently) wasn't it?

DorisBoltneck Sat 06-Oct-12 21:13:48

Suicide is not illegal.

Assisted suicide is, for the person doing the assisting.

DorisBoltneck Sat 06-Oct-12 21:22:33

*Suicide is not illegal.

Assisted suicide is, for the person doing the assisting.*

Just to clarify for the 'black is white' brigade that what I mean by my post is that the people who enable drug use are the ones doing the assisting i.e. the dealers and the ones who say 'legalise all drugs'

If you think replying to two posts of peoples personal experiences with that glib tripe is clever, you have problems, but you also prove the point I and several other posters have made.

OneMoreChap Sat 06-Oct-12 21:40:50

MaryZed if the driver of the car had been drinking, would the brewers/distillers borne responsibility?

No. the arse driving unfit would have done - as in that case.

ThatVikRinA22 Sat 06-Oct-12 22:10:52

cannabis is big bucks. where there is money there is no morality - thats what ive found. fuck all. no honour amonst thieves quite literally - funniest thing ever was when a cannabis grower got his whole stash stolen and couldnt actually tell us thats that what had happened.....poetic justice does exist.

oh and the kid who we found cowering in someones garden cos he was accused of stealing someone elses cannabis stash - and of course he couldnt tell us that either.....he was being "sought" by the bloke whose stash had gone missing....

live by the sword, die by the sword.

CoteDAzur Sat 06-Oct-12 22:39:50

"I have never been attacked by a drunk and neither have any of my colleagues."

Wow, you are very lucky. Even I have been attacked by a few agressive drunks, in public areas.

DorisBoltneck Sat 06-Oct-12 22:59:21

Vicar has been so civilised after people have disrespected her thread. I'm really sad that people can't respect that. Why don't all you 'pro droooogs' people start your own thread if your so sure of yourselves hmm

MESSAGE TO ALL RIGHT MINDED PEOPLE- DON'T FEED THE TROLLS!!!!!

THE NEXT PERSON TO POST AFTER ME WILL BE A DRUG ADDLED NO MARK, WHO ROLLS THEIR GRANNIES PANTS UP, MAKES A FAT ROACH' (OR WHATEVER) AND SMOKES THEM BECAUSE THEY HAVEN'T GOT ANY '^DROOOGS^' (MAN grin)

Seriously- snide posts after people have posted such personal stuff?

You are really low........The sad fact (for you) being that by disregarding the deaths of our loved ones, you make your own argument look like a bunch of drugged up saddos just out for them selves- you can't hurt us any more than we have been............

CoteDAzur Sat 06-Oct-12 23:02:02

Wtf are you ranting about, Doris? hmm

Scaredbutdoingit Sat 06-Oct-12 23:11:05

Losing loved ones does not give anyone a free pass to not having their views challenged.

And I speak as someone who has lost loved ones.

DorisBoltneck Sat 06-Oct-12 23:16:05

grin

Knew there'd be one wink

Those who know don't need to ask.........

My love and thoughts tonight are with those that have lost loved ones to drugs- be it users, victims of drink/drug drivers, police lost in the line of duty- the list goes on.

Scaredbutdoingit Sat 06-Oct-12 23:26:03

"My love and thoughts tonight are with those that have lost loved ones to drugs- be it users, victims of drink/drug drivers, police lost in the line of duty- the list goes on."

Thank you. And I'll join you in that sentiment. thanks

Seenenoughtoknow Sat 06-Oct-12 23:36:37

YANBU

I hate recreational drugs, after watching a number of friends who 'casually' used them for fun become addicted and screwed up. My husband's friend has also smoked dope for many years and is now utterly paranoid and a complete mess. I have been drumming it into the dc's heads from a very early age about the destruction and damage it causes lives.

Thumbwitch Sun 07-Oct-12 00:28:03

Australian Police frequently drug test drivers in accidents here as well as alcohol test them. Stoners cause accidents too and therefore are a risk to other road users, same as drunk drivers.
Cannabis use is rife in the country towns around us, because of low employment primarily. DH's cousin was a heavy user until his bipolar disease kicked in - he could have been sacked from his job in the mines for it because stoners underground are a menace to everyone else's safety. Some of the mines around us have drug testing kit on site and do random drug testing - it's not an automatic sacking offence afaik, but it would probably depend on each individual mine.

EdgarAllanPond Sun 07-Oct-12 21:21:44

i will say it again : there is no evidence of lives being saved by drugs law.

i'm not claiming no-ones lost their lives taking drugs. just that the law has done bog all about it.

that's interesting thumbwitch - possibly if cannibis testing was done roadside drug-driving deaths could be reduced - but that hasn't been done in the UK. possibly in Austrailia they could claim a benefit through that enforcement.

ThatVikRinA22 Sun 07-Oct-12 22:10:08

there is no cannabis road side testing but you can arrest someone on suspician for being unfit to drive through drink or drugs - if we suspect drugs we can get a roads traffic officer who is trained to "fit" test and is specially trained to spot the signs of drug use, or if someone is obviously of their tits we can arrest anyway and sort out the finer points at the station.

ThatVikRinA22 Mon 08-Oct-12 00:52:13

and what i find really ironic is the fact that this thread has almost as many responses as the thread about letting a 10yr old watch Buffy....

im sure i wandered into a parallel universe.....

is cocaine less harmful and frowned upon within mumsnet than buffy the vampire slayer?

really. thats what i cannot get my head around.

You'd get a hell of a lot more responses about a 10 year old taking cocaine grin

MaryZed Mon 08-Oct-12 08:49:24

Vicar, it's because no-one cares about anything that doesn't directly involve them.

It never occurred to me that my children might get involved in drugs. It wasn't an issue - they come from a "nice" family, live in a relatively "nice" area, go to a "nice" school.

ds1 met a guy when he was 12 who smoked dope. Within 6 months he was (unknown to us) smoking daily, by 14 he was heavily hooked on dope and on vallium (supplied by a friend whose mum had mh issues and ordered on the internet confused)

Because he was a sulky teenager, we only discovered all this later. It's easy to say we should have noticed, but it isn't that simple. ds has Asperger's and his behaviour was always slightly "odd". But the amazing thing was that his entire peer group was also using cannabis/weed/skunk whatever the local dealer sold and few parents realised.

Joints are cheaper here than drink. Some of them "lost" their phones/ipods and presumably used the money for drugs. ds was stealing from us, which we did realised and stopped. So he discovered he could "deliver" (he didn't accept it was dealing) to get a free supply.

I never thought I would be in a position of being the parent of an addict.

And even after we told people, the response was always "Oh, I wouldn't allow that" or "my children wouldn't do that" or "I've educated by children so they are anti-drugs" or "why don't you just punish him/ground him/take away his phone/ban his friends/whatever".

And because it is outside most people's experience, they have no interest in talking about it. They simply don't believe it will happen to their families. And when it does, people just presume you and your child have done something wrong - they simplistically say "it's the addicts choice, tough".

Whereas most people have to deal with censoring their children's tv watching, so it is more relevant and therefore they care more.

No-one cares about my son and his friends and half a generation (here) that is being fucked up by drugs and dealers. As long as their child is ok, they can happily talk theoretically about choice, and about deregulation, and about legalisation, and about "recreational drug use".

And I wish I was like them sad

BigBroomstickBIWI Mon 08-Oct-12 09:03:41

Oh Mary sad

It's the thing that most petrifies me at the moment with DS2. We seem to be fairly OK at the moment, and I'm just hoping that every month he is a bit old he may walk away from it.

Those of you who talk about 'recreational drug use' as if it's a trip to the playground have no fucking clue what you're talking about when it's to do with your children.

BigBroomstickBIWI Mon 08-Oct-12 09:04:17

'a bit older' obviously