To think drugs should be made legal?

(97 Posts)
Justholdthesmile Thu 23-Jan-14 13:08:21

Maybe not start with all drugs, but then eventually progress to that stage. Obviously with an age restriction.

Therefore you can tax it and it would lower crime.

I think everyone knows the risk of drugs - but they will still take them regardless so being illegal doesn't stop them.

itsnotthateasy Thu 23-Jan-14 13:29:57

Are you speaking ALL drugs including the Class A's like Heroin and Crack ?
Personally the only drug I think should be made legal is Cannabis , as its a naturally growing plant and in some tests the oil from Cannabis has been known to shrink tumors and cure or delay spread of cancers .. My theory is that the only reason Cannabis is NOT legal is to placate the big pharma companies with their legal drugs .

Canabis can also help MS sufferers as well so I agree with the itsnot but really, legalising other drugs such as heroin, cocaine, etc.......bonkers! For some people I am sure the fact that drugs are illegal is a massive reason they don't "dabble" in them for starters and apart from that it's just a mad idea anyway.......no way do I want to be in a world where it's legal to become a druggie! Madness!

30SecondsToVenus Thu 23-Jan-14 13:42:36

It's not just about lowering crime - If they were legal they could be controlled and less harmful. The amount of crap that goes into drugs is shocking. It's impossible to get pure drugs anymore it's all cut with loads of random crap so dealers make more money. If it was legal, at least you would know what you were taking to a certain extent. Just my opinion.

I'm 100% convinced that cannabis should be made legal. It's a plant and could be beneficial to so many people with health problems.

Cranky01 Thu 23-Jan-14 13:44:11

By legalising drugs it won't make them free though so people will steal commit crime to pay for it.

Heroin is highly addictive, most people are unable to function as a member of society whilst addicted.

lljkk Thu 23-Jan-14 13:44:40

I am probably with you OP, but no easy way forward.

MrsHappyBee Thu 23-Jan-14 13:49:35

Alcohol and fags are legal but people end up buying cheaper counterfeit goods and I think if drugs were legalised the same would happen. Also addicts would still steal to fund their habit unless we're going to give free prescriptions as well which wouldn't be very popular with the taxpayer.

Lottapianos Thu 23-Jan-14 13:51:51

I agree with you OP, I think all drugs should be legal and taxed heavily.

RayPurchase Thu 23-Jan-14 13:54:24

I agree, if drugs were legal they could be regulated and taxed - I know there would always be a black market but the vast majority of drug users would be a whole lot safer.

wonderingsoul Thu 23-Jan-14 13:57:10

i was thinking this yesterday but came to the conclusion it wouldnt help any one.. they would still ruin their lifes and still need help.

i think.. there could be an adjustment.. say if the drugs dealsers etc didnt cut it and made it as pure as possable... they should get a lower sentance when caught (only slightly mind.. ) .. for the only fact that half the times drugs kill is becasue of what its mixed with.

CalamitouslyWrong Thu 23-Jan-14 14:01:10

Actually, it's not really about the morality of drug use or anything. The international drug trade brings misery to millions of people. Corporations might do dreadful things, but that generally pales into insignificance next to the 'business' practices of drug cartels.

Tbh, I think the best argument against illegal drug use is that buying, say, cocaine is to enable all sorts of really awful stuff. There really is no such thing as ethically sourced cocaine.

Justholdthesmile Thu 23-Jan-14 14:24:26

Also addicts would still steal to fund their habit unless we're going to give free prescriptions as well which wouldn't be very popular with the taxpayer

People steal now to fund this. I don't think making it legal would result in more people stealing.

No free prescriptions either.

BillyNotQuiteNoMates Thu 23-Jan-14 14:27:52

Out of interest, how many people advocating legalising drugs know anyone who has been badly screwed up as a result of taking drugs?
My own DH thought it all sounded a great idea, until my DS got involved. Cannabis can have a massive, negative impact on people (as can alcohol) but many people seem to think it's fine.

DameDeepRedBetty Thu 23-Jan-14 14:27:57

I'm not even in favour of legalising cannabis. But then I've observed the decline and fall of a sibling due to mental health problems which I'm 99% certain were heavily worsened by cannabis use.

lyndie Thu 23-Jan-14 14:32:12

I don't understand how you could legalise something so dangerous though? The links with cannabis and MH problems are well established, just one dose of heroin or cocaine could kill you if you took too much, how would you ever know how much was safe? The ones addicted to drugs couldn't afford them taxed or otherwise. Some heroin habits are up to £300 a day how would legalising and taxing it help anyone?

Davsmum Thu 23-Jan-14 14:38:36

If alcohol and tobacco is legal then all drugs should be legal.

Alcohol and tobacco kill more people than other drugs do. Either ban them all or legalise them all.

maras2 Thu 23-Jan-14 14:39:19

Won't work. Methadone is legally available on prescription to aid Heroin withdrawal.How many addicts use only the Methadone prescribed? I don't know actual figures but I imagine very few < as does a certain friend from our Community Drug Team >. Street drugs are available just round the corner from the pharmacy where the Methadone is dispensed.

HesterShaw Thu 23-Jan-14 14:41:44

It's an interesting and actually compelling argument, but this country would never go for it. Too hypocritical. The theory is that if they were legal, the price would go right down. Tax would bring it up again.

It's nothing to do with morals or health or anything. It's to do with openness, safety, and money.

High Society by Ben Elton is quite a good read.

lookout Thu 23-Jan-14 14:45:25

Alcohol and tobacco kill more people than drugs do more they are more easily available and condonable by society. I've a friend who died from a heroine overdose and another who is a heroine addict after starting out smoking cannabis. I don't see how making it legal would have helped either of them. An addict is still an addict whether it's legal to obtain said drug or not.

BillyNotQuiteNoMates Thu 23-Jan-14 14:45:31

The argument that more people die through alcohol and tobacco use than drug use, is no doubt true. However, i am not convinced that it works if you relate the percentages. Legalising drugs would then get a lot more people to take up the habit and I believe that the casualty rate would rocket. To argue that "people will do it anyway" is in no way accurate either. SOME people will do it anyway, but not nearly as many as would if it was legal.

HesterShaw Thu 23-Jan-14 14:49:09

I think the argument is a utilitarian one, rather than helping drug addicts, to be honest. Someone who is at risk of becoming a heroin addict will still be at risk, whether they are legal or not.

However, for society as a whole, there is an argument in favour. More tax revenue, less crime.

Chippingnortonset123 Thu 23-Jan-14 14:58:29

Very good debate.

Would someone be kind enough to link to 'Transform'?
Their website sets out the a arguments.

I do know someone who is smoking a lot of heroin. He has a very good job. I have not taken it so I can only give limited advice. Apparently the quality is nothing like it used to be and neither is that of E.

There is a drug called Sativex (iirc) for MS, which is derived from Cannabis but with bad bits taken out. There is a definite medical use for cannabis.

BillyNotQuiteNoMates Thu 23-Jan-14 15:03:10

I wouldn't have a problem with cannabis based products being available on prescription for certain ailments, but with tight controls and research.

I think they should all be legalised. I have worked in the field and have known addicts personally. I don't use illegal drugs myself.

Reasons:

Safer injecting/using = less Hep C and HIV transmission
Control of dosage = less ODing and less nasty stuff in the drugs
Tax money to fund rehabs and treatment
Criminal users of one drug not another = the law is an ass
Ethics of drug production and reduction of organised crime
No cool kudos because you are sticking it to 'the man'
Addicts have access to HCP easily without fear of arrest

There are other reasons, but the kettle has boiled.

Chippingnortonset123 Thu 23-Jan-14 15:08:18

Colorado and Washington have legalised cannabis for recreational use and Uraguay has legalised it for citizens, not drug tourist, (correct me if I am wrong).

A child at dd1's (private) school recently died from taking dodgy MDMA so we have had plenty of 'talks' over the last year. Dd1 says that she is simply not interested and I have no reason to disbelieve her but it is evident that she has access.

Chippingnortonset123 Thu 23-Jan-14 15:10:53

Billy, the Sativex manufacturers spent £???? On jumping through hoops of trials. I will look it up later.

StormyBrid Thu 23-Jan-14 15:11:06

There's a book about prohibition by Christopher Snowden you'd probably appreciate, OP. Can't remember the title though.

I find it interesting that, when laudanum was legal, some people used it with no trouble, some got addicted and screwed their lives up, some didn't partake at all. Then it was criminalised, and morphine took over as the opiate user's drug of choice. So morphine was criminalised, and heroin took its place. Of the three, heroin's by far the most dangerous, and with hindsight laudanum should've stayed legal. You see the same today - as soon as one drug is criminalised, another, more dangerous one takes its place, and before you know it kids are killing themselves with plant fertiliser.

Joules68 Thu 23-Jan-14 15:13:55

No thanks, that's not a society is like to bring my kids up in

Mia4 Thu 23-Jan-14 15:15:24

This is a really complex argument all around. Regarding adulteration it does happen in everything and def in drugs but please can we not say that because cannabisis a plant that iit's ok to legalise. At least not inthe context of 'its a plant iit's natural' because hemlock is also a plant too and just because something is a botanical and can be a herbal.medicine doesn't mean its plant status negates all risk.

Justholdthesmile Thu 23-Jan-14 15:25:27

A child at dd1's (private) school recently died from taking dodgy MDMA

What difference does it make if its private?

Rich, poor, different social classes - none of it is relevant when grouping junkies.

NeoFaust Thu 23-Jan-14 15:28:42

Evidence from Portugal is irrefutable - decriminalising addiction and assisting addicts directly has hugely reduced disease, crime, loss of productivity and drug sales.

Evidence from the Netherlands is that decriminalising cannabis reduces consumption, criminality and even sales of other drugs.

Dr Nutt's 'controversial' (if you're scientifically ignorant/denialist) report tracked life-outcomes for individuals and compensated for lower total use of illegal drugs in it's calculations. The result was vastly more positive outcomes for most users of low impact drugs (THC, MDMA, LSD) compared to users of physically addictive drugs (Cocaine, Heroin, Alcohol, Tobacco).

Personally I like being rational. Science is rational. Science demonstrates with clear, conclusive evidence that many of the most popular illegal drugs are less harmful than the most popular legal ones. Ergo, scientifically it is irrational to oppose the legalisation of cannabis, MDMA or LSD (I'd say DMT as well). Heroin, Cocaine and alcohol should be illegal. Everything else - legalise, educate, tax and regulate!

YuffietheNinja Thu 23-Jan-14 15:31:32

Why does everyone bring up the "it's medicinal" argument when talking about weed? The vast majority of users are using it to get high, not to cure illness. And licensing it for medical jse is a whole different kettle of fish to legalising it anyway.

No, I don't think drugs should be legalised. They can kill or cause horrible health issues. Yes I know alcohol and tobacco are dangerous - tbh I'd be perfectly happy if they were outlawed as well.

Chippingnortonset123 Thu 23-Jan-14 15:31:51

I deliberately stated the status of the school because I think that drug use is more prevalent in private than in state.

Chippingnortonset123 Thu 23-Jan-14 15:35:37

Be careful. Dr Nutt was sacked for being rational.

I think that the biggest result from Portugal was that HIV transmission dived. I have a few friends on HIV medication and it is a massive bind and a huge expense to the state.

TaraLott Thu 23-Jan-14 15:45:04

Yes, I agree, legalise them all.

Talking to P about drug use recently and about how Elephants deliberately get drunk on fermenting fruit, deliberately seeking it out at the right time of year and also saw a programme about Dolphins eating poisonous puffer fish and somehow removing the bad bits and getting high on the narcotic parts.

It seems lots of animals like an altered state of existence.

shadylane Thu 23-Jan-14 16:17:23

People are either addicts or not. Legalisation would mean less crime and less deaths because of regulations. Our government will never go for it.

lyndie Thu 23-Jan-14 16:51:10

You cannot compare alcohol and tobacco with drugs because there are safe limits with alcohol, and you could argue are safe amount of cigarettes (though it's very small). A single dose of a 'legal' high can kill. A few people will be functioning addicts but not many.

OTheHugeManatee Thu 23-Jan-14 16:53:29

YANBU, OP. The war on drugs has failed. Criminalisation just funnels money to gangs and there is no evidence it has any impact on usage.

BillyNotQuiteNoMates Thu 23-Jan-14 17:48:43

Citing other countries as proof that legalising drugs works is not a convincing argument, I'm afraid. Look at 24 hour drinking. It has been an abysmal failure in the UK. Our mindset is very different to many other European countries.

NeoFaust Thu 23-Jan-14 17:58:32

I'm not sure 24 hour drinking is any worse than the 11pm limit - it's just pushed the chucking out time violence later into the night. People are certainly no drunker than they were back then, it's just no longer concentrated around the late night pubs. Lord knows, I was in as much danger of being randomly punched at 11pm as I am now at 2pm.

And anyway, considering that MDMA and THC actively preclude thoughts of violence I'd imagine that a drug binging Britain would end up a damn sight nicer place than drink binging Britain. Hell, it could be the key to ending the high-pressure work culture that's crushing our kids, abandoning our old folk and killing all of us in various painful ways.

BillyNotQuiteNoMates Thu 23-Jan-14 18:01:24

I think that the police would disagree with you Neo Even the government admitted that it was a mistake.

Thing is Billy there is no shiny answer. Alcohol, like illegal drugs, is difficult, addictive, has health implications, has violence inherent (some drugs) and is difficult to control. Prohibition didn't work, 11pm chucking out didn't work and 24 hour drinking doesn't work. If you accept that all the answers are flawed, you are left with the least flawed which, IMO, is legal but taxed and controlled.

NeoFaust Thu 23-Jan-14 18:19:01

And yet, I note, the government have done nothing to change it because of the huge revenue it generates.

The fact is that humans like to get out of their skulls once in a while (all mammals do - my cat is a total 'nip-head) and the more pressure they are under the greater the need to do so. Our drinking culture is a result of the high pressures of our working culture, as well as our gradual secularisation (church is a drug - primates engaging in ritualistic behaviour show brain activity on various levels of the narcotic spectrum).

That being the case, unless we're going to go for Orwellian daily-hates or Huxleyian Andy-Pandy, British primates are going to do whatever it takes to get intoxicated. We accept alcohol on the basis of nothing but tradition - surely it makes sense to make available drugs with much, much lower health risks and social consequences.

Plus, the f*ckload of money being given to gangsters and spent on law enforcement would end the deficit in a decade or so. With the increased revenue from taxation (from a trade far more moral and less harmful than alcohol or tobacco) we could probably fund pensions, schools, hospitals AND a nuclear deterrent.

With regulation would come clean drugs, accurate assessments of 'units' and toxicity and just a little bit more personal freedom within society. Good things, no?

BillyNotQuiteNoMates Thu 23-Jan-14 18:35:43

Having seen too many people fucked up by drugs, I still disagree. As a percentage of the people using drugs, the numbers being messed up is higher than the percentage of alcohol drinkers that are messed up. Nearly everyone drinks alcohol.

would it really make much difference? they'd probably be better quality but i can't see it making a huge change as far as addiction goes. what i suppose i'm saying is, i don't care either way.

as for the 'cannabis helps with medical issues' argument, yeah maybe it does for some people but that's a shit argument for legalising it. lithium is used to treat mood disorders, does that mean everyone should be able to access it? despite it's healing qualities hmm cannabis can have long-term negative impacts on the brain... it's not as harmless as ignorant people like to believe.

lljkk Thu 23-Jan-14 18:52:48

Out of interest, how many people advocating legalising drugs know anyone who has been badly screwed up as a result of taking drugs?

Me, both my brothers. One was institutionalised last year due to induced schizophrenia (chrystal meth made him crazy). The other one has had trouble with crystal meth & even worse with crack cocaine, although I think he has been clean for 11 yrs now. There are a few other addicts and plenty of alcoholics in the extended family.

Our family is probably evenly divided about legalisation; my mother reckoned that criminalisation was a good thing for keeping her sons from being far worse. But she was alcoholic & had plenty of crazy thinking along with it. I would vote for legalisation.

Billy I've worked in communities where the proportion of problematic alcohol users was definitely worse than the proportion of problematic drug users. Specifically First Nations People (less drinkers per capita, massively more alcoholics and alcohol related violence) but could also include Aboriginal people and some Muslim men I know who work away from family get into awful difficulties.

It is a specifically Euro/white-centric view to assume alcohol use is fine (because We do it) and drug use is not (because They do it). This was the issue with cannabis legislation from the beginning. Not saying you are racist BTW it is just something I have seen being assumed.

HesterShaw Thu 23-Jan-14 19:07:29

Mine too. My brother took loads of drugs and has been in and out of mental health units for more than a decade. He's a schizophrenic. Not saying the drugs caused it, because I don't know, but they certainly exacerbated the psychosis.

I don't know if I am in favour of full legalisation, but Icertainly don't dismiss it, and I think it's worth considering.

NeoFaust Thu 23-Jan-14 19:07:31

I know people who have been badly screwed up by weed and came back from it. One is my best mate, who might not be the most prosperous fellow after years of depression/unemployment (cannabis didn't help) but is now getting it together and doing it okay. One was my brother, who almost looked like he'd flunk school but is now an officer in the forces.

I know a heroin addict who kicked the habit himself and found a job - again, he's poor but trying.

Maybe my viewpoint is skewed by the successful recovery stories and functional addicts I've been witness to (weed isn't addictive but I'll use this as shorthand for overusers) but I'm sure the opposite is true as well.

NeoFaust Thu 23-Jan-14 19:09:50

and billy the reason that many more drug users suffer from negative outcomes than alcohol drinkers is that most people start committing narco-crimes when they don't really give a sh*t about life any more. A lot of studies have pointed to people with pre-existing mental health issues turning to drugs as self-medication. This skews the hell out of the statistics.

Regards,

Tom Lewis

mistermakersgloopyglue Thu 23-Jan-14 19:16:54

Alcohol and tobacco kill more people than other drugs do.

Yes but isn't that because alcohol and tobacco are freely available and therefore the number of people using them is far higher? It's not because those things are inherently more dangerous.

DoJo Thu 23-Jan-14 19:46:17

If you combined the billions spent on the 'war' on drugs, the billions more spent on policing, prosecuting and maintaining people in prison for drug related offences and added in the billions of pounds worth of tax revenue which would be generated by legalising them, you could afford to tackle the problems of those who will become addicted to something whether their choice of drug is legal or not.

One of the major factor in the success story in the Netherlands is that people who wanted to smoke weed no longer had to have a dealer who would be inclined to try and encourage them to try harder, more profitable drugs. Therefore, whilst marijuana increased very slightly, the use of harder drugs decreased because people just weren't coming into contact with the people who would supply them.

Personally I think that adults should be allowed to make damaging choices for themselves if they want to, but that the impact of those choices on others should be mitigated by the state. Legalising at least some classes of drugs seems the easiest way to effect that, but it's a massive leap which I doubt I will see in my lifetime.

Tara animals do a lot of things that humans wouldn't dream of doing - what's your point?

MyBaby1day Fri 24-Jan-14 04:15:22

YABVU, drugs are bloomin bad, I think that is crazy!.

sashh Fri 24-Jan-14 08:31:29

I think some drugs, maybe, should be legalised but not all. I also believe heroin should be available on prescription.

Heroin is available in hospitals in the form of morphine, it is an effective pain killer but if someone is using it on a regular basis is it still effective?

It is highly addictive, meaning you don't have to use a lot for very long before you become addicted, some people say one shot, I don't know because I don't have access to data, and I think it can only be collected anecdotally anyway.

Alcohol is addictive, but it does take time to become an addict and even longer, in many cases, for damage to show.

ItsAllGoingToBeFine Fri 24-Jan-14 08:57:45

All drugs should be legalised.

You'd have to buy from a chemist. Dosages would have been tested and set. Purity will have been checked. Unsafe on any dosage drugs would be banned (people wouldn't need them as plenty of others to choose from).

The vast amounts of money saved could go shooting galleries and into the NHS to pay for additional treatments.

The whole allure of doing something risky would be gone.
The whole having to go through a dealer would be gone.
No more needle sharing.
Far less over doses
No more contamination with things like anthrax
Addicts could be prescribed decreasing doses of heroin instead of methadone...

NicknameIncomplete Fri 24-Jan-14 09:19:15

NO NO NO NO.

Drugs should not be legalised. I have seen the affects of what drugs can do to people.

Something as 'soft' as cannabis can be highly detrimental to someones health. So i wouldnt even think about legalising that never mind your heroin and cocaine.

I probably would also support banning cigarettes and alcohol.

lyndie Fri 24-Jan-14 09:19:16

How does that work ItsAll? I'm 5ft 5 and weigh 9 stone, could you calculate a safe dose of heroin for me? Taking into account my other health issues. And while your at it, I'd like some cocaine for tonight, what dose will definitely be fine and not make me have a heart attack??

HesterShaw Fri 24-Jan-14 09:27:24

No one's arguing that drugs aren't bloomin bad.

This isn't a moral argument. It's a practical and financial one. Though it would have the welcome added side effects of pulling the rug from under the feet of the dealers.

Could you explain how you stop your children from taking these highly addictive, M/Health problem causing substances, if they are legal?

It will become like trying a drink or a cigarette underage.

I haven't yet heard how we would fund the Children's Services that we will need to keep the children of the growing number of addicts safe.

The new substances popular in America are responsible for the "Zombie" type attacks, people have bitten chunks out of their children, these will still be sought and how can we then say that those shouldn't be legal.

Also, there will be wars over who gets to control and manufacture these drugs.

If you think that big business ness are going to be more ethical than the existing drug barons, you are being naive.

I live amongst drug addicts, they commit crime else where, their lifestyle still impacts on me, in the form if anti social behaviour, aggression and violence.

Smoking a spliff in Uni, isn't the same as a kid in a crap Comp taking drugs to pass the time, which then is a cheap and time consuming hobby and the only "good" experience they have.

We would be removing the chance of thousands of people to build and have a life, by saying that drug use is a valid choice.

Balistapus Fri 24-Jan-14 09:38:26

Alcohol and tobacco kill more people than other drugs do.

Mister, this is not because more people take them. Professor Nut carried out research for the government to calculate the mortality and morbidity of taking drugs - I.e. the risk of death/ harm as a percentage of the people taking the drug. The research showed that more people died horse riding than taking Ecstasy so the government sacked him.

"The whole allure of doing something risky would be gone."

People want to take risks , so street drugs would become more dangerous, probably to MH.

Dealers would give drugs on "tick", they have an easy identifiable customer base.

We would still get foreign untested drugs flooding our streets.

So we legalise something, manufacture it, but still remove people's children and sack people if they indulge openly?

And there won't be a need for street drugs, still?

Balistapus Fri 24-Jan-14 09:43:13

Could you explain how you stop your children from taking these highly addictive, M/Health problem causing substances, if they are legal?

You can't stop them taking them if they're illegal either.

If someone wants to take drugs they will take them whether they are legal or not. I believe that people who don't take drugs choose not to because they believe the health risks outway the reward not because they're illegal. Would be interested to know if this is not the case.

The drug death figures aren't accurate.

I have had friends die whilst taking large amounts of cocaine, if the proof isn't there what caused the heart attack, the drug won't be blamed, or mentioned.

The same with babies who die after living for a while, they died because their Mother took drugs, but in years past, that would if been put in the death certificate.

The same applies to children who have health conditions, through drug taking.

It's like suicide, if it doesn't serve a purpose to give that verdict, the family is spared.

Bali, I know many people and teens who don't take drugs (or stop) because it will affect their chosen career path.

When they do research with teens, the illegality is what stops them and the fact that " they must be bad for you, if they are illegal".

I have heard, less informed/educated people stil deny that smoking is bad, because "if it was that bad, they would ban it completely".

I think being a drug user should be legal, i think being a piece of shit drug peddler should carry harsher penalties.

Like being a prostitue should be legal and selling women and buying women should not.

If cigarettes and alcohol were banned tomorrow would it stop people takinng it.. or would they become criminals?

That should forced "wouldn't of been put on the death certificate".

My friend adopted a little boy whose life will end soon, he is 10, he has been blind from the age of seven, he has had complex health problems, through his Mothers drug taking.

She is a member if a support group, drugs are not mentioned on the children's death certificates and they won't be on her sons.

Balistapus Fri 24-Jan-14 09:55:39

The drug death figures aren't accurate care to clarify this?

Are you sure that drugs were not cited for your friend who died from a drug induced heart attack? I believe that any deaths, particularly young people's, which occur outside a hospital have an autopsy/inquest. this is essential so that they can rule out foul play.

elastamum Fri 24-Jan-14 10:05:40

I think that some drugs should be legalised. Then they could be properly developed, regulated and taxed.

You will never stop people taking them, so we have a duty to make them as safe as we can. There is no reason we cant develop short half life, relatively safe versions of ecstacy, which could be sold through pharmacy to adults.

Balistapus Fri 24-Jan-14 10:07:43

" they must be bad for you, if they are illegal".

So it follows that cigarettes aren't harmful because they're legal?

I think you're talking anecdotally, either that or there's an awful lot of mindless people about.

SaucyJack Fri 24-Jan-14 10:13:34

I dunno on this one. I'd certainly agree on legalization for everything up to and including coke..... but past there- there is a line. (No pun intended)

I dabbled as a yoof with a couple of very hard drugs and there is a difference between them and "party drugs". They do get under your skin in a way that other things don't, and I do believe that if they were more easily available then there's no question that addiction rates would go up.

MadAsFish Fri 24-Jan-14 14:16:31

There are functioning drug users, addicts, even. You just never hear about them.
And no, one shot of heroin does not addict you, physically, anyway.
It would be worth thinking about why someone would choose to anaesthetise themselves with the strongest known painkiler. Painkillers kill pain.
I think nearly all of it should be legalised and regulated. Make it boring and daggy, rather than edgy and exciting.
And the point about the animals is that even animals will choose to alter their consciousness.

az09 Fri 13-Jun-14 08:49:35

the 2 main worries any parent has about drugs are that their child will take something bad and get ill or die, or that he/she will be caught and get a criminal record. Were drugs legal and properly regulated neither of these would apply. All parents should get behind a campaign - try Transform - to change a drug policy that does not work and puts our children at risk. Perhaps mumsnet could take this on as a serious issue that affects us all. Wwe have the power. There are a hell of a lot of parents out there. (non-drug-using mother of 4 aged 17 to 22.)

Luggagecarousel Fri 13-Jun-14 08:59:49

YABVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVU

Cannabis needs to be eradicated, not encouraged.

More than half of the young people I have taught who fail their education and sink down to the bottom of society and stay there, do so because of cannabis. Even difficulties such as severe dyslexia, or ASD don't damage education prospects like a cannabis habit does.

plus, you would never establish a regulated legal trade anyway.

It is mostly grown in by the slave labour of illegal immigrants, trafficked into the country as teenagers, often from Asia.

How could a "legitimate" or " regulated" business ever ever ever begin to compete on price? If health and safety, employment and immigratio laws were adhered to, the price would be well over 10x as much.

DogCalledRudis Fri 13-Jun-14 09:00:28

I think its gross hypocrisy in criminalising drugs, especially marijuana. At the same time, so many harmful, cancerogenic chemicals are going into our everyday foods and pharmaceuticals, which we are encouraged to consume.

NeoFaust Fri 13-Jun-14 09:24:29

Luggagecarousel

I tell you most solemnly - I have aspergers syndrome. Without cannabis my social anxiety and constant emotional instability would have made getting my degree impossible. It also treats my insomnia and seems to have settled my guts, too.

Oh yes, and I've have had five incredible girlfriends, including my present long term relationship, because I'm no longer paralysed with fear by the idea of conversation.

I'd actually recommend that everyone on the spectrum at least gives it a try, it's proved powerfully beneficial to my educational and social outcomes.

Luggagecarousel Fri 13-Jun-14 09:26:52

Neofaust, there may be a case for the use of cannabis as a controlled medication, but not as an over the counter commodity.

dawndonnaagain Fri 13-Jun-14 09:50:10

I do think drugs should be legalised, as did the person that wrote the controlled drucs act. Not just revenue, it removes the criminal element too, which removes cutting drugs with other substances that are dangerous in different ways. It removes the power from drug barons. These, in the world of drugs are big issues. It does make it cleaner and safer and as others have cited, evidence does clearly demonstrate this.

A couple of minor points. THC, the element of cannabis that gives you the high, is addictive, it's not just a case of overuse.
Stating that it's okay to use as it's a naturally growing plant, is not a valid argument, so are deadly nightshade, foxgloves and poppies, we use them when we synthesise them, they're still deadly.

Imsuchamess Fri 13-Jun-14 09:50:16

I can't believe people are advocating legalising drugs.

I watched my father commit armed robbery to get money for amphetamine. I watched him become a dealer to pay for his habit. I watched the man I loved slowly die inside till all that was left was the need for drugs and nothing else mattered. I watched him suffer amphetamine psychosis and I at age 13 and 15 when it happened had to get in the way to stop killing my mum he was putting her in the boot of the car. Luckily as I suffer severe psychosis anyway I knew how to talk to him. What to say what not to say. The amount of times I had to sit and talk him through it when he had taken to much from as young as age 8. Holding his head up so he didn't choke on his own vomit and keeping him cool.

I am helping my cousin overcome a heroin addiction. She lost everything including her daughter. As a addict she was whoring herself out for a tenner a time. She is now on a methadone program. She still slips and sometimes when we go to a dealer (I take drugs which I will explain in a moment) if she isn't out in 5 minutes I know she has slipped and used heroin then I end up dragging her arse home. Staying with her to make sure she is ok.

I smoke cannabis a nice mild drug right? Which should be legalised? No I have a psychotic illness and every time in smoke it I become psychotic because it's like a double edged sword and while it makes me more psychotic it calms my moods down. But in the long run it is very damaging and likely to make me illness worse.

I rush home from dropping my kids at school to smoke it. Avoiding contact with humans who don't smoke it . It takes away my drive to do anything including clean or work. Oh and I spend £50 a week on weed.

I am now two weeks clean. People saying drugs should be legal are up in cloud 9. The biggest crime because of drugs is not the actual dealing and buying it's the crimes committed to sustain a habit.

Rhine Fri 13-Jun-14 09:57:09

I've never been able to understand why canabis hadn't been legalised for medial purposes? So many people would benefit from the pain relief it would bring them, terminal cancer patients, MS sufferers, people with arthritis etc.

dawndonnaagain Fri 13-Jun-14 10:28:26

I can't believe people are advocating legalising drugs.

For exactly the reasons you describe, Imsuch.
Well done for your success, it's very hard. Far, far fewer people would start on the drugs route if it were legal, too. Take a look at some of the evidence that has been provided on this thread.

Are you getting any real life help?

Moodykat Fri 13-Jun-14 10:31:04

YANBU OP, I completely agree. I have read through all the comments against it but I really do believe that it would help people. My DH smokes cannabis every evening. To be honest I see it as no more harmful than the glasses of wine my friends have. I used to smoke a lot of it but had to stop as it wasn't helping my state of mind - but then again I doubt the fact that I had an abusive partner helped it either. It's like everything and effects people in different ways.

I think Ben Elton's High Society is a brilliant book to read on this subject, even though it is fiction I think lots of it rings true.

Despite my parents best efforts, I tried most recreational (and not so recreational) drugs when I was in my late teens/early twenties. I am not so naive to think my children won't do the same - I would sleep much easier if I knew that the drugs they were dabbling in were regulated and controlled. I know in an ideal world they would not take drugs at all, but my parents didn't want me to take drugs at all and I still did. Was not in the "wrong circles" or in with "the wrong crowd" - it is just so common that it is hard to avoid.

Anyway - am rambling but hopefully someone gets what I mean!

sezamcgregor Fri 13-Jun-14 10:46:48

I'm not sure that I agree that legalising drugs would be any better than them being illegal.

I think there would still be a black market and people pushing cheap drugs onto children and under age users.

Better drug education would be better IMO - photographs of users and stories about their lives. Letting teens know the risks of taking drugs and helping them to have skills to deal with peer pressure.

Imsuchamess Fri 13-Jun-14 10:59:31

Excellent post sezam

No I am not getting any help at all.

If drugs were taxed then they would be more expensive leading to people committing more crime to sustain their habit.

Suzannewithaplan Fri 13-Jun-14 11:33:17

Who knows how it would actually pan out?

Certainly drug dealers and the associated criminal networks won't be in favour of across the board legalization!

Seems fairly likely that cannabis will be legalized, perhaps some other drugs too.
Then again my understanding is that so called legal highs are gaining in popularity and very difficult to legislate against.

Certainly this is a very complex issue, most cultures have used some forms of intoxicants, so we could say that the desire to get high is very common and a normal part of human behavior.
Then again it often leads to problems, I guess it often comes down to personal freedom vs paternalism?

I don't use any intoxicants, I'm just naturally high on life grin wink

Suzannewithaplan Fri 13-Jun-14 11:36:04

But really
This thread
Yawn yawn, same tired old arguments, doesn't any have any new perspectives?

sezamcgregor Fri 13-Jun-14 11:47:51

<Preen> Thank you suchamess

There was a radio show on a few months ago with early twenties girl in tears telling how she was having an operation to stretch her hardened bladder due to Ketamin use while at Uni.

They simply do not know the risks that they are taking.

TheSarcasticFringehead Fri 13-Jun-14 12:00:55

My birth mother is and was a heroin addict. She has had all seven of her children (including me) taken into care and although in my/my older brother's case that wasn't mainly to do with it, I completely blame heroin for ruining my younger sisters and brothers' lives. She can't seem to resist- everything and anything will and can be sold. Blankets, mattresses, toothpaste, our toys- if it could be sold, it was, just to get money for heroin. I doubt any of that would stop if it was legalised, it would probably get worse.

Virgolia Fri 13-Jun-14 12:03:15

I'm not sure. I see why people are arguing that they should be (tight restrictions etc) but I like the fact that drugs have the illegal stigma.

whois Fri 13-Jun-14 12:05:05

The current policy criminalises hundred of thousands of otherwise law abiding people. Generally hard working, high achieving, sociable and successful people who like getting a little bit high on some weekends. Most people who take drugs are not 'druggies'. They are people like your manager at work, that girl at uni that spanked you in every test and came out with a first, the nice young boy serving you in tescos or whatever. Just normal people, doing normal jobs going out and getting high in a club, at a party or at home every now and again. Most people grow out of it when they have kids or get older and can't be doing with lack of sleep or a come down, much like people grow out of heavy drinking usually. Big difference is of you bump into a man smashed on MDMA his more likely to apologise, hug you and ask how your night is rather than punch you like a drunk guy!

That is where the current policy fails, in criminalising recreational users.

Oh, and when people talk about legalisation reducing crime they are talking about the big business organised crime. Not about petty xbox theft which is quite frankly insignificant in terms of human misery when talking about the drug trade.

whois Fri 13-Jun-14 12:08:51

Also love the mumsnet wisdom that canabis would be totally ok to legalise because it is a natural plant. Well, it's a plant that has been cultivated into various strains of various strength and type of impact. Not too much different from playing with chemicals in a lab!

Weed is also one of the few drugs with proven links to mental illness (although the correlation is there, the causation isn't clear). Plus it totally makes you not want to do anything, and most people smoke it with tobacco which in itself is harmful!

Virgolia Fri 13-Jun-14 12:15:24

Think it depends on you area whois. I used to dabble in coke and pills, so don't get me wrong I'm not a complete anti-drug person, but if you go into town of a night in my area you'll see people gurning their faces off and they are extremely volatile, not the lovable happy people you might expect.

The thing is they affect people so differently. One person can be completely fine, whereas the other can go completely loopy, rolling around on the floor thinking they're a lion (I have seen this)

Anything that can alter the mind, and have such mixed results would be so hard to legalise because how can you legalise something that doesn't have consistent results, that you don't know truly what to expect from it? Especially from the likes of drugs like MDMA and LSD

somewheresomehow Fri 13-Jun-14 18:39:51

if you saw my son when he cant even put two words together so that they remotely make sense I think you may change your mind about legalizing them

maddening Fri 13-Jun-14 18:54:10

I think cannabis is only a gateway drug as it puts people
In touch with dealers - if it was obtained as alcohol is then less may try other recreational drugs - alcohol IMO would be as much if not more of a gateway drug if it was illegal - as you lose your inhibitions more with alcohol so would be more likely to try other drugs if they were around eg lots of non smokers smoke when drinking.

They did trial in one area prescription heroin - basically it undercut the dealers potentially dirty drugs with pure prescription drug at prescription costs - apparently crime dropped and the dealers moved out as anyone who became hooked could get it on prescription - which also meant that the addicts were seeing the dr regularly so health wise they were better
off with the chance to join schemes to come off heroin. With less dealers less people tried it too so less became addicted.

However - hard drugs I would be uneasy about whereas cannabis I would not bat an eyelid if it were to be made legal - I understand the MH argument but personally think alcohol is responsible for many more issues so it is hypocritical to have alcohol legal and cannabis not.

maddening Fri 13-Jun-14 19:09:12

Icuchames - v sorry about all your experiences and the affect it has had on your family.

Just re the impact on your mh - if you have an illness where you should avoid something then that largely is down to you - you smoked it despite knowing the risks with your mh and it being illegal - how would legalisation of the drug have changed what you did? Some people have illnesses where they have to avoid certain food and drink and drugs which are all legal - it is down to the individual - there would be many health warnings and guidelines issued I'm sure if it were made legal - if it is acceptable for alcohol why not cannabis?

LucyBabs Fri 13-Jun-14 19:28:59

The argument that one high dose of a class A drug could kill you? Well so can alcohol! The wrong dose of alcohol can lead to alcohol poisoning and death.

Where I grew up alcohol was the gate way drug. I drank alcohol before I ever heard of a stronger drug.

I came from a working class area and most families had at least one alcoholic in the family.

I have only known two families that were affected by heroin.

I am more worried about alcohol when it comes to my children as its more widely available than any class A.

FreeSpirit89 Fri 13-Jun-14 23:27:06

Too me growing up illegal meant bad. It meant it could hurt me, or kill me. To make it legal says it's ok!!!

Not good. Although cannabis maybe

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