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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.

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

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

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.

MrsTerryPratchett Thu 23-Jan-14 18:13:43

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.

MrsTerryPratchett Thu 23-Jan-14 19:03:45

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.


Tom Lewis

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