to wonder if this will have any effect on the legality of cannabis in the UK?

(123 Posts)
ophelia275 Thu 26-Dec-13 14:36:41

From 2014 in Washington and Colorado states in the USA, the recreational use of cannabis will be legal. It will also become legal in Uruguay, the first country to make recreational use legal. This has not been done lightly and legalisation will be tightly controlled and regulated after a lot of research was done on the impact in all 3 places.

It will be interesting to see if this has any effect on the future legality of cannabis in the UK. I think in the next few years more and more places will be making it legal to use recreationally, especially as there are potentially huge income streams associated with taxes/licensing of legal cannabis sellers.

Do people think it should be legalised in the UK if properly regulated/controlled in the same way as tobacco/alcohol is?

scaevola Thu 26-Dec-13 14:40:40

I doubt it'll make any difference at all, as the longstanding example - far closer to home and within EU - hasn't made any difference.

Gossipmonster Thu 26-Dec-13 14:44:54

I think all drugs should be legalised, taxed and controlled.

RedLondonBus Thu 26-Dec-13 15:04:55

No I don't. I've spent too much time trying to reason with/calm/talk down people high on the stuff.

Can't see the uk legalising it any time soon

RedLondonBus Thu 26-Dec-13 15:05:45

Who will pay to regulate/control it? And who will pick up the pieces?

FanFuckingTastic Thu 26-Dec-13 15:15:42

I wish they would consider it.

I'm not a recreational user, but the pain killing properties have helped in the past where all the legal drugs don't, I take morphine and tramadol and codeine and amitriptyline at varying times and they are far more addictive with worse side effects.

It would need to be regulated of course, I think it would be beneficial to many people living in chronic pain. I also hope they would make it in forms easier to take, rather than encouraging smoking alongside it.

My knowledge of the stuff is fairly naive mind you, I am sure there are people that could bring a better argument for the case for legalisation than me. I just know it's brought great relief to me in times when my pain becomes unbearable.

Lazysuzanne Thu 26-Dec-13 15:24:40

I doubt it'll make any difference at all, as the longstanding example - far closer to home and within EU - hasn't made any difference

you may be right but then again as more and more countries legalize formerly illegal drugs we may reach a tipping point where it seems normal for recreational substances to be legal.

I am ambivalent on the matter, drugs (including alcohol) can cause harms but making them illegal doesnt stop people using them it just creates incentives for criminals to supply them.
Black markets are harmful to the wider economy.

The last thing that drug dealers want is for drugs to be legal, then again we have a whole new legal highs market which is impossible to control.

I think we should just accept that it is part of normal human behaviour to enjoy intoxication ( I speak as someone who doesnt use any legal or illegal intoxicant)

WorraLiberty Thu 26-Dec-13 15:25:50

Who will pay to regulate/control it? And who will pick up the pieces?

I guess it'll work in the same way alcohol does in that respect.

I can quite legally go and buy a few litres of vodka right not, but if I was caught making it in my garden shed and selling it, I'd be arrested.

'Picking up' any pieces will probably be down to the NHS who will receive more funding due to the tax.

It wont' stop the street sellers but I guess they'll be dealt with more severely.

WorraLiberty Thu 26-Dec-13 15:26:21

*now

ivykaty44 Thu 26-Dec-13 15:28:29

No

I hope it is never made legal ever.

livinginawinterwonderland Thu 26-Dec-13 15:28:30

I just wish they'd decriminalise it. People shouldn't be arrested for smoking a plant.

Wolfiefan Thu 26-Dec-13 15:30:39

Isn't there research which shows a link between use of this drug and mental health issues?
And other health issues?

ivykaty44 Thu 26-Dec-13 15:32:45

Massive links to mental health problems espically when drugs are used in teens before the brain has fully formed.

OwlinaTree Thu 26-Dec-13 15:33:13

I think all street drugs should be legalised.

Think of the reduction in crime for a start.

Lazysuzanne Thu 26-Dec-13 15:33:16

I can quite legally go and buy a few litres of vodka right not, but if I was caught making it in my garden shed and selling it, I'd be arrested

yes but you can make as much wine or beer as you like...I'm wondering what the legislation would be wrt growing cannabis.

It's very easy (and very cheap) to do, anyone with a cannabis habit can very easily grow enough to keep them happy, if most cannabis users grow their own there would be very little tax revenue from the sale of it.

Or am I being unrealistic in thinking that most people would grow rather than buy?

I used to use cannabis regularly/daily, I lost interest and gave it up over 10 years ago.

livinginawinterwonderland Thu 26-Dec-13 15:33:25

There are also links between alcohol and mental health issues, yet you don't see people wanting to make that illegal.

OwlinaTree Thu 26-Dec-13 15:34:12

Thinking it should be legalised should not be confused with thinking it's harmless.

complexnumber Thu 26-Dec-13 15:36:17

I haven't had a smoke in a long time, but my memory tells me that to some extent mild/moderate use heightened some of my sensory perceptions.

I really don't think it would act as a pain killer for me, it could possibly make the pain seem worse!

Please don't think I am trying to pick a fight or tell people that it doesn't relieve pain, I just can't imagine it doing that for me.

Have I 'mis-remembered' its effects? Or maybe I am just getting my recreational drugs all mixed up.

So, does it actually relieve the pain? or just zonk you out so you can't feel anything?

cardibach Thu 26-Dec-13 15:38:13

Lazy growing carrots is easy too, but most people buy! I think people would, on the whole, buy. I'm not sure what I think about this - I can see the point of both sides of the argument.

PigletJohn Thu 26-Dec-13 15:45:12

Prohibition has been tried before, and cultivates organised crime.

Lazysuzanne Thu 26-Dec-13 15:48:07

Complex, I think the pain killing properties depend on the exact cannabinoids, these very between varieties...THC is hallucinogenic where as CBD has pain killing effects.

Thats just off the top of my head, there's plenty of info on the net for anyone who wants to gen up on that sort of thing

Gossipmonster Thu 26-Dec-13 15:50:43

And illegal drugs don't cultivate organised crime PigletJohn hmm.

Would save us a bloody fortune if we legalised the lot, cutting crime by about half.

PigletJohn Thu 26-Dec-13 15:55:45

Gossipmonster

I don't understand your point.

Wolfiefan Thu 26-Dec-13 16:06:16

I don't think I have seen research that suggests drinking alcohol creates mental health issues. I'm not suggesting alcohol is harmless though.

Gossipmonster Thu 26-Dec-13 16:16:55

Alcoholism is a mental health issue?!

livinginawinterwonderland Thu 26-Dec-13 16:19:12

umm, alcoholism is a mental health issue?

maddening Thu 26-Dec-13 16:26:28

Alcohol is worse imo - cannabis is less toxic and less addictive than alcohol - more lives are shattered by alcohol than cannabis when you discount lives lost due to the organised crime aspect of it - as if both were legal that element would exist on the same level as alcohol as far as black market is concerned.

Wolfiefan Thu 26-Dec-13 16:28:59

What is your evidence that cannabis is less toxic and less addictive?

RedLondonBus Thu 26-Dec-13 16:31:52

Can you honestly see this being legalised in the uk?

PigletJohn Thu 26-Dec-13 16:32:46

It would be hard to find a substance more addictive and damaging than tobacco.

Gossipmonster Thu 26-Dec-13 16:35:18

There is a NICE study somewhere with a graph, Alcohol comes way above Cannabis as more addictive and harmful think its third to a heroin and crack cocaine....

HettiePetal Thu 26-Dec-13 16:42:41

What is your evidence that cannabis is less toxic and less addictive?

Endless studies have been done proving this.

How many people have died of alcohol poisoning? Countless.

How many deaths from cannabis? Zero.

And cannabis is not physically addictive - but it may cause psychological dependency.

Cannabis is considerably less harmful than either alcohol or tobacco. Considerably.

OldLadyKnowsNothing Thu 26-Dec-13 16:44:51
HettiePetal Thu 26-Dec-13 16:45:05

It's only a matter of time before cannabis is legalized in the UK.

And the time has come for us to at least consider the possibility of legalizing all drugs. The harm they cause is largely because they are illegal & unregulated.

The War on Drugs has been lost. Time to think again.

Gossipmonster Thu 26-Dec-13 16:48:23

Agree hettie wish we were as brave as The Netherlands.

lifesgreatquestions Thu 26-Dec-13 16:54:02

I was listening to a debate about this on R 4 during which someone said use would not increase dramatically if it were legalised, just that the people who buy it now would but it legally in the future. I don't drink much alcohol and have never been into drugs, but I could really see using marijuana and therefore thought the commenter was wrong. Surely there are one or two others out there like me who would consider using it if it were legal! I'm mature, I go to bed early, I eat a varied diet and look after myself. Clearly not a drug head.. marijuana is very different to alcohol, heroin, etc.

Mandy2003 Thu 26-Dec-13 16:54:26

It would be better if the "traditional" forms of cannabis could be decriminalised and severe penalties for anything to do with skunk.

Gossipmonster Thu 26-Dec-13 16:56:43

"Drug heads" are people with substance misuse issues same as people who misuse alcohol and should be supported and not looked down at.

scaevola Thu 26-Dec-13 16:57:28

There are large swathes of the world where alcohol is illegal.

Perhaps if is as likely UK would emulate them as go the other way.

Controlled drugs can be made available on prescription. I should imagine a fair few MNetters have had heroin. So if there is a medicall use (and cannabinoids are being trialled, aren't they?) they can become available from doctors wino need to change them from being controlled.

fluffyraggies Thu 26-Dec-13 16:58:59

3 times today i've read this thread title as 'cannibals'! grin

ivykaty44 Thu 26-Dec-13 17:31:50

So due to both alchol and tabacco being dangerous legal drugs you build an argument to legalise another harmful drug around the fact…fact…

Dawndonnaagain Thu 26-Dec-13 17:37:01

Legalising cannabis removes the dealer. Removing the dealer removes other options, ergo the option to try other drugs is somewhat more limited. This in itself is a good reason to legalise. It will also make it both cheaper and easier to study as the hoops that need to be gone through at the moment are time consuming and therefore expensive. I personally would not be happy if my teens smoked dope, but then again they are all AS and are therefore more likely to become addicted, be it psychologically or physically.

Lazysuzanne Thu 26-Dec-13 17:38:41

We can only speculate as to the consequences of legalizing drugs there are bound to be unintended and unpredicted consequences.

Looking at other countries gives some clues but things will pan out differently in different cultures.

ivykaty44 Thu 26-Dec-13 18:15:29

Removing a dealer doesn't get rid of the problems , it just creates more problems

Lazysuzanne Thu 26-Dec-13 18:21:54

Surely anyone with an interest in this subject is familiar with the various arguments?
Whether you are for or against will depend on how much weight you give to various different factors. That in turn will probably depend on personal feelings and/or experiences.

I don't think that there is anything new to add to the debate. ..is there?

Dawndonnaagain Thu 26-Dec-13 18:23:17

How ivykaty?

ivykaty44 Thu 26-Dec-13 19:09:05

How are people going to get this drug? Who will sell it who will import it? Who will decide who can purchase it? Who will decide if someone should be prosecuted if it gets into the wrong hands? Who will blamed for mental illnrss ?

Making it legal also sends a big message that actually this drug is OK to use, when it is not OK to use and can cause long term health issues and lead to other drug abuse

Lazysuzanne Thu 26-Dec-13 19:18:35

Ivykaty, re this point:

it is not OK to use

what are your criteria for deciding if something is OK to use?

PigletJohn Thu 26-Dec-13 19:27:18

what message do legal cigarettes send?

What are the benefits of Prohibition?

Wolfiefan Thu 26-Dec-13 19:38:07

Thanks for answering my question. I wasn't saying you were wrong. I didn't know the truth so asked.
Cannabis use worries me (I work with teens) but then so does alcohol!

complexnumber Thu 26-Dec-13 19:40:42

Cannabis not even in the top 10.

OldLadyKnowsNothing

Hmm, a list drawn up by a discredited scientist, which makes no mention of the criteria used to rank the various drugs (unless I missed something in the Guardian article)

The Lancet paper cannot be accessed without registration.

ivykaty44 Thu 26-Dec-13 19:48:50

Lazy
When a substances does irreversible damage to the brain

ivykaty44 Thu 26-Dec-13 19:52:08

Piglet
The message on smoking being legal is awful, but slowly this is being addressed and we have a far lower rate of smokers than the rest of Europe.

OldLadyKnowsNothing Thu 26-Dec-13 19:54:20

Discredited scientist? When did that happen? confused I know he stood down from his job because of gvt refusal to enact evidence-based legislation, did something happen after that?

Lazysuzanne Thu 26-Dec-13 19:56:29

I smoked cannabis daily for about 10 years, I dont have any signs of brain damage.

Brain damage from car accidents or extreme sports is quite common, you presumably believe that should that be made illegal?

Lazysuzanne Thu 26-Dec-13 19:58:11

David Nutt was discredited by the govt because he disagreed with their policy on drugs, are you not up to speed with the debacle?
Have you read his book?

Lazysuzanne Thu 26-Dec-13 20:00:24

why am I bothering confused
no one is going to change their mind on something as emotive as drugs, we all just cling on the more strongly to our pre existing beliefs

complexnumber Thu 26-Dec-13 20:01:37

Discredited scientist? When did that happen
OldLadyKnowsNothing

Sorry, my lazy reading of the article. Nowhere does it state that the scientist was discredited.

ivykaty44 Thu 26-Dec-13 20:02:36

How do you know you haven't changed your brain and created mental health problems yet to come?

I don't think banning smoking or dangerous sport is the answer to preventing issues with drugs.

OldLadyKnowsNothing Thu 26-Dec-13 20:10:31

Right, re Nutt, he was sacked because he couldn't be both a gvt advisor and a campaigner against gvt policy. Then several of his colleagues resigned in protest. He's still working in drug research and is not discredited in any way.

I agree arguments rarely change minds, some folk are just of the "drugs are baaaad, m'kay" mindset without ever considering how and why some plants became illegal, and whether it might be worth another look.

CoteDAzur Thu 26-Dec-13 20:19:15

complexnumber - re "mild/moderate use heightened some of my sensory perceptions.. I really don't think it would act as a pain killer for me, it could possibly make the pain seem worse!"

Different kind of perception. Yes, music sounds better when under the influence, you pick up the fine details in everything etc.

And yet, it also provides effective pain relief.

"So, does it actually relieve the pain? or just zonk you out so you can't feel anything?"

My experience isn't extensive, but no, it is not because you are zonked out.

I was in terrible pain from really bad UTI once, crying on the toilet and peeing blood (sorry TMI). A friend came with my medication (from a pharmacy) and also brought a joint, saying it will help with the pain.

Within seconds of starting to smoke it, I felt no pain whatsoever. It was like magic.

ByTheSea Thu 26-Dec-13 20:23:05

It is known by science to be far less dangerous and damaging than alcohol. It should be legal, taxed and regulated.

CoteDAzur Thu 26-Dec-13 20:24:28

"There are large swathes of the world where alcohol is illegal. Perhaps if is as likely UK would emulate them as go the other way."

Oh yes. Beacons of rational scientific thought and democracy, such as:

Brunei
Iran (Available for purchase for religious minorities)
Kuwait
Libya
Mauritania
Saudi Arabia
Sudan
Yemen
Qatar
United Arab Emirates

UK should follow their religious rule example, you say? hmm

Lazysuzanne Thu 26-Dec-13 23:28:58

Ranking 20 Drugs and Alcohol by Overall Harm
The British peer-reviewed journal Lancet published a study titled "Drug Harms in the UK: A Multicriteria Decision Analysis" on Nov. 1, 2010 which ranked 20 drugs from alcohol to marijuana to tobacco based on harm factors.
Individual harm (such as dependence, mortality, and impairment of mental functioning) was considered under "harm to users," while "harm to others" (such as crime, environmental damage, and international damage) took into account the number and extent of others harmed by individual drug use. The two charts below illustrate the study’s conclusions using a 100 point scale where 100 is the maximum harm and zero indicates no harm. The first chart broadly illustrates all 20 drugs by "harm to users” and harm to others” while the second chart illustrates those drugs on 16 criteria from drug-specific mortality to dependence to family adversities.

The study concluded that alcohol was the most harmful drug overall (72 out of 100), followed by heroin (55 out of 100), and crack cocaine (54 out of 100). The most harmful drugs to users were crack cocaine, heroin, and methamphetamine (scores 37, 34, and 32, respectively), whereas alcohol, heroin, and crack cocaine were the most harmful to others (46, 21, and 17, respectively). Cannabis (aka marijuana) had an overall harm score of 20, putting it in eighth place behind amphetamine (aka speed) and before GHB (aka liquid ecstasy)

here's the link with graphs:

medicalmarijuana.procon.org/view.resource.php?resourceID=004477

(yes I know it's a pro cannabis website, but presumably we are willing to give credibility to a peer-reviewed study published by the Lancet )

Dawndonnaagain Thu 26-Dec-13 23:36:44

Ivy, whatever happens its still best to remove it from the dealers. Oh and I would far rather be on the end of a discussion with a stoner than a drunk.
Interestingly, the man that wrote the bulk of the medicines act (1968) said on more than one occasion that had the research been available, cannabis wouldn't be on the list, and that it was a political decision rather than medical to include it.

Lazysuzanne Fri 27-Dec-13 00:24:49

I think sometimes when people are against drugs it is (at root) because they are making a moral judgement, they disapprove of the desire for intoxication or they disapprove of illegality.
Or they dont like stoners, psychonauts or the types of people who go to raves and take whatever substances those people take.

We all free to approve or disapprove of anything but personal likes and dislikes are not a rational basis for legislation.

sykadelic15 Fri 27-Dec-13 01:08:48

Re the mental health stuff - schizophrenia is a big one. A relative has it now because of it.

I don't believe smoking it should EVER be legal. However I do believe that alternative versions of it (tablets/gels etc) should be permitted for pain control. Remove the "high" effect and leave just the other stuff and it'd be great smile

PigletJohn Fri 27-Dec-13 09:32:00

I base my view on only two major questions

1) Can and should we prevent people from doing harmful and dangerous things?

2) Is it preferable for harmful or dangerous activities to be managed in a way that minimises harm and danger, especially to others?

My answers are No and Yes.

Hence a regime which promotes organised crime and adulterated products or increases risk of harm (illegal drugs or gambling dens or backstreet abortionists) is even worse than one where a licences and controlled trade exists (e.g. the National Lottery or pubs).

I see no point in pretending that outlawing something prevents it from happening.

Lazysuzanne Fri 27-Dec-13 11:03:37

I agree Piglet, although I wonder if you would argue that other drugs which are perceived as more harmful (crack cocaine etc)should be legal.

Mostly I think it is ridiculously paternalistic for the govt to decided that we may use intoxicants but only certain ones.

There is much talk these days of the possible psychotherapeutic benefits of hallucinogens (psilocybin, ayahuasca etc) and I think that's an interesting area.

Personally I don't do drugs, except coffee grin

PigletJohn Fri 27-Dec-13 11:11:32

Not just drugs.

If people want to do dangerous and harmful things such as smoke cigarettes, ride horses, take heroin, climb mountains, get legless drunk, or ride motorcycles, do we try to prevent them and do we criminalise their activity?

The effects of prohibition on the rest of us are awful - organised crime to run the supply chain, and housebreaking or mugging to enable the buyers.

Rachelx92 Fri 27-Dec-13 11:17:29

I think it should be legalised for a few reasons. One being I've never had someone high off it try and pick a fight but I've had many drunk people become aggressive and violent and another reason being prisons and policing. I'd rather read that a rapist or murderer has been sentenced to life rather than someone getting a lengthy term for smoking some weed. I'm not saying everyone who uses cannabis is angelic btw

Lazysuzanne Fri 27-Dec-13 11:17:53

I suppose the debate then moves to the question of whether the person wishing to do the dangerous thing is only harming him or herself.
Obviously it's not clear cut!

PigletJohn Fri 27-Dec-13 11:29:57

people who fall off mountains or linger on with lung and throat cancer do their families no good. However AFAIK they do not usually promote organised crime, or burgle to support their habit.

ComposHat Fri 27-Dec-13 11:47:31

Can you honestly see this being legalised in the uk?

Of course I can red because attitudes change and eventually the law changes to reflect that.

If you told people 60 years ago (at a time when sesex between consenting adults of the same sex was illegal) that within their lifetime that gay people would be granted equal marriage rights they wouldn't have believed you.

If ypu told women 100 years ago that by the end of the 1960s they'd be able to control their own fertility with a tablet and access safe and legal abortions they wouldn't have have believed you.

Compared to these changes in thought patterns and behaviour and law, the idea that packets of Cannabis might sit next to the King size Rizlas on the newsagent's shelf is tiny.

Lazysuzanne Fri 27-Dec-13 11:50:23

Yer but
Worrabout all that illegal base jumping wink

Lazysuzanne Fri 27-Dec-13 11:53:16

Very true Compos! It's also worth remembering that drugs were legal not all that long ago (50's / 60's? )

ivykaty44 Fri 27-Dec-13 11:58:23

40 years ago you could smoke where ever you liked, at work, at home and in the park or pub if you were pg no one batted an eye if you lite up, the children would run around the lounge whilst you could sit on the sofa and smoke and drink a cup of tea

20 years ago it was becoming increasing difficult to get away from the fact smoking was not good for your health, not soaking around children as it was bad for them.

10 years ago you couldn't smoke at work and smoking when pg had become a big no no

5 years ago you could walk into any supermarket and see cigarettes on sale and choose which packet you wanted to smoke - now though not alone don't you see the rows of packets of cigaretts they are hidden away behind a screen along with the king size rizlas - as the government don't want people smoking. So smoking in public places was banned

patterns and behaviour change and the laws of where you can and can't smoke as the government tries to make it more and more difficult for smokers

Lazysuzanne Fri 27-Dec-13 12:14:13

And how does that relate to the question of whether or not cannabis will be legalized Ivy?

ComposHat Fri 27-Dec-13 12:23:49

Ivy, Surely that just illustrates my point that attitudes shift shift radically in in comparatively short periods of time?

Lazysuzanne Fri 27-Dec-13 12:38:48

Perhaps Ivy thinks that legislation inevitably moves in one direction, ie from fewer to more restrictions?

Therefore theorizing that prohibitions against cannabis use must increase.

Clearly such a supposition would be misguided.

Lazysuzanne Fri 27-Dec-13 13:14:32

Syka, cannabis does not cause schizophrenia, if you think it does then you don't understand the difference between cause and correlation.

No one knows what causes schizophrenia.

PigletJohn Fri 27-Dec-13 13:55:24

well, we know that cigarettes and alcohol definitely do cause ill health and fatal disease; and the riding of horses and motorcycles increases the probability of injury and death.

So we know there is no decision in principle that injury, death and disease lead to legal prohibition.

TheFuzz Fri 27-Dec-13 14:06:57

Add in getting drunk and driving then. The amount of weed I smell coming from cars in rush hour is crazy. Legalise the lot then, including drink driving.

Bonkers.

PigletJohn Fri 27-Dec-13 14:11:21

alcohol is legal, drunk driving is not.

Is that difficult for you to grasp?

Dawndonnaagain Fri 27-Dec-13 16:05:22

Legalise the lot then, including drink driving.
Not really an argument, is it.

ivykaty44 - The message on smoking being legal is awful, but slowly this is being addressed and we have a far lower rate of smokers than the rest of Europe.

This isn't true. There are quite a few European countries with lower smoking rates than the UK.

No I don't. I've spent too much time trying to reason with/calm/talk down people high on the stuff

What do you mean?

ivykaty44 Fri 27-Dec-13 19:32:21

plentyofpube - which countries in europe?

Well, according to this which has the most up-to-date figures I can find, Germany, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Italy, The Netherlands, Slovakia, Portugal and Sweden all have lower smoking rates than the UK.

Figures vary a bit according to source (these are official EC stats) but there are always a few places with lower smoking rates than the UK and Sweden always comes out lowest by a sizeable margin.

ivykaty44 Sun 29-Dec-13 08:20:06

Ash and the smoking tool kit have very different figures for smoking, press in 2013 all ran stories of UK getting under 20% in 2013/2014 and England alone is already at 19%

CoteDAzur Sun 29-Dec-13 08:27:19

Ash and who?

European Commission report that Plenty linked to looks more credible.

ivykaty44 Sun 29-Dec-13 08:59:26

I

ivykaty44 Sun 29-Dec-13 09:01:37

If you want to discredit ash and smoking tool kit then at least come up with a valid reason rather than it looks better on another study

PigletJohn Sun 29-Dec-13 09:55:49

Ash is the pro-smoking lobby group. Have they commissioned independent studies in multiple European countries using the same peer-reviewed methodology?

As I said, 'figures vary a bit according to source'.

20% of GB population are smokers according to Ash's latest figures. Also the decline in smoking appears to have stalled since 2007 (which is what the press should have been reporting on).

These are national statistics though (Ash uses ONS) - numbers from other countries are not there for comparison. I haven't seen anything from Ash with Europe wide statistics. Do you have a link?

mewmeow Sun 29-Dec-13 10:12:28

The Netherlands have a much better and more effective drug policy than us over here!

In terms of reduction of harm, drugs should be de-criminalised and treated by the healthcare system. Makes a lot of sense. Save a lot of money on prison bills etc. more likely to get clean too, and less likely to be harmed by unknown substances in drugs. Also, as someone else has said, they can make money from taxation, and significantly lower gang crime.

You're thinking of FOREST, Piglet. ASH is the other lot, they're anti-smoking. Same difference smile

Sorry for the derail OP.

Timetoask Sun 29-Dec-13 10:54:33

mewmeow, the healthcare system is already overloaded and cannot cope because of all the binge drinkers, binge eaters, you want to add on to the list drug addicts?

Why does money always come into it? Who cares how much money they will make from taxation. What matters to me is the health of my children. Children are already suffering the consequences from the "legal highs", what would happen if drugs were make even more available is that children would see them as nothing wrong, the government would have to invest thousands and thousands trying to convince people that they should buy them because they rot your brain.

I know kids already have access to drugs, we need to act on that problem rather than just open the door.

Saying that alcohol is terrible but legal, so why not make drugs legal is a nonsense rational. We are desperately trying to control the problem this country has with alcohol. Why would you add drugs to the mix as well?

Gang crime, would move on to something else, to guns and who knows what else. I prefer to put these people in prison and give in. Criminals are also involved in people trafficking, so, would yo legalise that to stop the criminals? Ofcourse not.

Timetoask Sun 29-Dec-13 10:55:14

prison THAN give in.

PigletJohn Sun 29-Dec-13 12:58:44

All Capone made his fortune and built his criminal organisation out of alcohol and gambling prohibition.

There's not much scope for organised crime to make high profits our of fake and adulterated alcohol here, where you can buy non-poisoned stuff at any pub or supermarket, with legal controls to reduce sales to people who are visibly drunk or underage, and bans for persistent abusers. I don't approve of excessive drinking but I am 100% sure that a legalised and controlled trade is better for society than Prohibition.

ivykaty44 Sun 29-Dec-13 14:55:47

the whole of europe I am unable to find England as a lone country, which would be lower than the UK as a combined union

winterchunderland Sun 29-Dec-13 15:18:37

Only read part of the thread.

The thing is that people take drugs including alcohol mainly as a form of escapism from the daily life. I would argue that everyone has a vice, some more virtuous than others such as sport which also changes the mind temporarily and induces a natural high.

Humans seem to need, crave this escapism/high and some more than others. Even food such as high sugar can give that euphoric feeling and some get addicted.

I am not sure that making narcotics legal will make people use more, people already have easy access to their chosen escapism. Perhaps there would be less alcoholics and more weed addicts? In my mind that wouldn't be so bad.

winterchunderland Sun 29-Dec-13 15:29:01

Funny that alcohol stayed legal when other drugs became illegal when the country was run by alcohol loving middle/upper class men.

PigletJohn Sun 29-Dec-13 15:44:00

you're right. It would be better if other drugs were legalised and controlled, to wipe out the illegal trade and its ill effects.

ivykaty44, here is the table you linked to, in context (see page 4). The table separates out male and female smokers and then arranges countries in order of number of male smokers.

Look at the table directly above it which lists countries in order of total percentage of smokers. UK comes in at 21.5% and doing better than UK are: Netherlands, Romania, Belgium, Denmark, Slovak Republic, Malta, Finland, Slovenia, Portugal, Luxembourg and in the lead by a wide margin, Sweden. There are four other countries listed at the bottom (not sure why they are separated?), out of these, Iceland, Norway and Swizerland also have lower rates of smoking than UK.

PigletJohn Sun 29-Dec-13 15:47:32

In Europe but not in EU.

Ah ok, that makes sense, thanks.

So there are 11 EU countries with lower smoking rates than UK and 14 in Europe as a whole.

ASH are partly funded by Pfizer, who make various products starting with Nico- to sell to people once they are convinced they have to give up the fags. 'Tis quite a shameless con which it doesn't take much digging to uncover.

Mostly funded by the British taxpayer, though. Nice of you, funding fake charities who tell you what to do with your own money and time. smile

ivykaty44 Sun 29-Dec-13 16:31:53

plenty - it just shows an error page?

even on a world level the UK smokes less cigarettes than other countries - even it if means more people smoke less cigarette it doesn't equate
list of countries by annual per capita consumption of tobacco cigarettes

but why would the government try to put in measures to prevent people from smoking, reduce the amount of cigarettes people smoke and then legalise a drug which (for the most part) involves smoking -it wouldn't make sense?

ivykaty44 Sun 29-Dec-13 16:34:05

There are 50 countries in europe not 14

Oops, so it does, it times out for some reason. Try this one instead.

Had a look at the wiki link. It shows that some countries have higher tobacco consumption than UK and some have lower. What point are you trying to make with this data?

FWIW I don't think the government are anywhere near even having a sensible discussion about drug policy, let alone legalising cannabis or anything else. Maybe, if the US are starting to back away from their thoroughly unsuccessful and politically dubious (but right-sounding) 'war on drugs', we are moving a step closer to being able to have that discussion.

There are 14 countries in Europe with lower smoking rates than the UK

There are 11 countries in the EU with lower smoking rates than the UK

According to your wiki link, there are 112 countries in the world with lower cigarette consumption per capita than the UK - out of a total of 185 countries, so around 60% of countries score lower than UK (I have no idea how many countries there actually are in the world or how accurate this list is, btw).

Where are you going with all this data? confused

ivykaty44 Sun 29-Dec-13 17:30:29

the government has made steps to reduce smoking and regardless of whether there is a sensible discussion about drug policy, they will not want to have moved forward so far in decreasing smoking and then move to what they would see as a backward step in legalising a drug that includes smoking. By legalising smoking cannabis they would be then agreeing to people smoking and it is the tobacco that would also be a problem as the two are mixed and one is highly addictive and a substance they are trying to reduce the use of.

most of the countries you listed in europe - but not quite all - have a higher consumption of tobacco than the uk

ivykaty44 Sun 29-Dec-13 17:31:35

plenty - there are not 14 countries in europe - there are 50 countries in europe

ivykaty44 Sun 29-Dec-13 17:35:28

There are 14 countries in Europe with lower smoking rates than the UK

There are 11 countries in the EU with lower smoking rates than the UK

plenty - how do you get to this conclusion?

on the chart you linked to there are 17 countries in europe with higher smoking rates than the uk

I looked at fig 2.5.1 in this document and I counted them confused

I can count 16 in europe (so including Turkey) on that chart with higher smoking rates. Clearly the chart doesn't include all countries in Europe if there are 50 of them so let's try this:

There are at least 14 countries in Europe with lower smoking rates than the UK

There are at least 11 countries in the EU with lower smoking rates than the UK

Sadoldbag Sun 29-Dec-13 17:48:08

I personally think it should be legal expect

-when In change of minors
- operating machines
- and driving trains,cars,motorbikes and scooters

From what I have read, vapourisers are increasingly popular in the US for taking cannabis so it doesn't have to mean an increase in smoking.

Personally I don't know whether legalisation would be a good move or not. I would like our govt. to have a proper reasonable debate, focussing on harm reduction rather than ideal world scenarios and based on actual evidence rather than moralistic grandstanding. We still seem a long way away from that though.

CoteDAzur Sun 29-Dec-13 22:19:47

So if ivy has understood that UK does NOT have the lowest smoking rate in the EU, can we get back to legalisation of cannabis?

ivykaty44 Sun 29-Dec-13 23:02:26

Possibly you should read the thread a cote as I never said UK had the lowest smoking rate in the EU

I did refer to england and europe though and I am sure you know the difference between the two

NiceTabard Sun 29-Dec-13 23:18:19

Well given the response that Prof Nutt got from govt, along with his colleagues on the drugs advisory panel (or whatever it was called), I suspect the answer is NO.

Legislation to do with recreational drugs around the world (and I include alcohol and tobacco in that classification) is just totally bonkers, based entirely in political agendas, historical precedents, lobbying from super-rich corporations and the "war against drugs" trope.

What is happening now is NOT WORKING around the globe and is causing untold suffering for a tremendous number of people, leaving whole communities in the hands of extraordinarily violent criminals, and criminalising huge numbers of ordinary people, and also huge numbers of people who need help and not prosecution.

NiceTabard Sun 29-Dec-13 23:23:52

portugal stories

They decriminalised all drugs over a decade ago and results seem positive.

CoteDAzur Mon 30-Dec-13 17:59:08

Awesome, ivy hmm If you have now understood that the UK has nowhere near the lowest smoking rate in Europe, we can go back to talking about the subject of the thread.

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