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Drugs, a debate.

SimonAHSimonAH Posts: 3,730
edited July 2011 in Commuting chat
Drugs (in the sense of recreational pharmaceuticals), where do we stand on them?

Personally I’m in favour of legalisation, state supply and taxation from a purely economic standpoint.

Drugscope estimates that roughly 21% of the UK prison population are in there for directly drug related offenses. At an estimated £37,500 per year cost to keep someone in the grey bar hotel and a current UK prison population of a bit over 85,000 that is an annual cost of 670 Million GBP before you start……the real cash savings (and earnings) would be multiples higher.

Discuss.
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  • Kieran_BurnsKieran_Burns Posts: 10,052
    Drugs are bad m;kay?
    Chunky Cyclists need your love too! :-)
    2009 Specialized Tricross Sport
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  • davisdavis Posts: 2,566
    Decriminalization. It's the only sensible option. Next.
    Sometimes parts break. Sometimes you crash. Sometimes it’s your fault.
  • ceecee Posts: 4,553
    am kind of with you that the illegality of drugs themselves causes issues, but am still unsure of where I actually stand...

    No line (guffaw) anywhere?

    so crack cocaine, crystal meth and heroin available over the counter to anyone over the age deemed appropriate?

    My personal opinion is that if you can produce it with legally obtainable source materials....then you should be allowed to consume it.....

    I still have a problem with this line of thinking though...because...users of drugs like crystal meth etc, which are apparently not that difficult to make (meth heads make it FFS!) require more and more to get their fix....eventually....that need even for source materials, or to purchase over the counter will outstrip their income....the crime doesn't necessairly disappear.....

    Definately a complex issue....and I wish there was more grown up debate on the subject without the usual hysterics from a few cases, against millions of other non-negative user cases. I guess I am thinking primarily about ecstasy here....where apparently, millions of tablets are consumed in the UK every year.....but the voices of the few parents who have very sadly lost children through use are heard above those millions.
    Whenever I see an adult on a bicycle, I believe in the future of the human race.

    H.G. Wells.
  • Economics, as well as medicine, supports decriminalisation.

    Why do criminals supply drugs?

    To make money.

    It's in their interests to create as many addicts as they can, so they "push" drugs onto non-addicts as well.

    The government tries to stamp out the drugs trade by making it illegal and arresting criminals, but the more success law enforcement has, the higher the street price of the drugs goes. This means existing addicts have to commit more crime to get the money to feed their habit. It also makes it more attractive for criminals to be in the "business".

    So it's better to decriminalise, and to supply registered addicts with drugs for free on the NHS. These drugs are very cheap when legally sourced, so this would cost a lot less than the crime it prevents and the law enforcement that becomes unnecessary. There will no longer be any profit to be made by criminals, so the entire illegal trade in the UK will wither away. If the whole world followed suit, terrorist organisations that fund themselves by growing these drugs would also be deprived of the money that they use to buy arms.

    Everybody wins, except for drugs gangs and the Taliban. What is there to lose?

    Take grass.

    Say a million people buy a henry a week at £25. That's £25 million a week that could be taxed, plus the costs of the cops raiding South Vietnamese gangs who rent houses and install cannabis farms. Plus the cost to the courts to process the men of straw who operate them, the cost to the prisons, the landlords etc.

    The government are turning their back on massive fiscal benefits and causing harm and criminality at the same time.

    The whole thing's a dog's breakfast.
  • gtvlussogtvlusso Posts: 5,112
    Hmm - I guess you could open this up further and legalize prostitution - i.e. a taxable income.
  • rick_chaseyrick_chasey Posts: 54,898 Lives Here
    This all sounds similar to my favourite utopia, which, wait, also is the world's real home of cycling....
  • Keith1983Keith1983 Posts: 575
    I can see the point of the income from tax if the drug trade was legalised, but what about the cost to the NHS if drug use increased due to those who would now be willing to take drugs as the criminal deterant is not there any more? It would be interesting to see how those numbers would stack up.

    Also surely there has to be some differentiation between drugs like heroin and things like cannabis. Surely noone can deny that heroine simply destroys people, both physically and mentally and no government in their right mind would make that kind of substance available legally? I think there needs to be some conclusive evidence that a drug is "safe" or "not safe" before it could be made commercially available. After all despite the cost to the NHS every year smoking cigarettes is still legal!
  • The war against drugs is as likely to succeed as any legislation against prostitution. As it stands, the law is diverting huge sums of money to some pretty nasty criminal gangs, in London The Albanians control the working girls, the Turks heroin.


    Tin Foil Hat Time



    It's probably true to say that very senior agents in law enforcement and government itself have extremely rewarding links to the drugs trade and so will vigorously resist attempts to decriminalise..
  • Keith1983 wrote:
    I can see the point of the income from tax if the drug trade was legalised, but what about the cost to the NHS if drug use increased due to those who would now be willing to take drugs as the criminal deterant is not there any more? It would be interesting to see how those numbers would stack up.

    Also surely there has to be some differentiation between drugs like heroin and things like cannabis. Surely noone can deny that heroine simply destroys people, both physically and mentally and no government in their right mind would make that kind of substance available legally? I think there needs to be some conclusive evidence that a drug is "safe" or "not safe" before it could be made commercially available. After all despite the cost to the NHS every year smoking cigarettes is still legal!

    Pharmaceutical Heroin is relatively benign, about as harmfuil as peanut butter.

    remember National Velvet? Liz taylor winning The National? Written by Sam Cam's great grandmother, Enid Bagnold, a heroin user well into her nineties who never hurt anyone nor nicked nuffink.
  • davisdavis Posts: 2,566
    Keith1983 wrote:
    Also surely there has to be some differentiation between drugs like heroin and things like cannabis. Surely noone can deny that heroine simply destroys people, both physically and mentally and no government in their right mind would make that kind of substance available legally?

    Clean heroin is actually far safer than most people think/fear. (Yes, I know that's a sweeping statement, it depends on dosage, etc, etc, don't all leap down my throat)

    Edit: MBC got there first.
    Sometimes parts break. Sometimes you crash. Sometimes it’s your fault.
  • rick_chaseyrick_chasey Posts: 54,898 Lives Here
    Keith1983 wrote:
    I can see the point of the income from tax if the drug trade was legalised, but what about the cost to the NHS if drug use increased due to those who would now be willing to take drugs as the criminal deterant is not there any more? It would be interesting to see how those numbers would stack up.

    Also surely there has to be some differentiation between drugs like heroin and things like cannabis. Surely noone can deny that heroine simply destroys people, both physically and mentally and no government in their right mind would make that kind of substance available legally? I think there needs to be some conclusive evidence that a drug is "safe" or "not safe" before it could be made commercially available. After all despite the cost to the NHS every year smoking cigarettes is still legal!

    Surely the high rates of drug use globally where it's all illegal suggest that criminalisation doesn't deter people?

    The thinking goes like this - there has been more or less 100 years of prohibition of drugs and all it's served to do is great an enormous criminal class of people and created full on wars in parts of the world. It clearly doesn't work. I read somewhere that illegal drugs was the 3rd biggest traded commodity globally after oil and arms.

    So what's the alternative? The alternative is to let it be legal, so that those who do use do not become criminal, with all the exernalities that come with that, and put those who exploit people, drug dealers etc, either out of business, or legimate (so they stop the illegal stuff like killings, beatings etc).
  • Keith1983Keith1983 Posts: 575
    What is pharmaceutical heroin used for? Is it purely used to wean addicts off the stuff?
  • Keith1983 wrote:
    What is pharmaceutical heroin used for? Is it purely used to wean addicts off the stuff?

    Painkiller, used in childbirth and by wounded soldiers. Heroin addiction was called the "Soldiers' Addiction" after WW!. The more toxic, more addictive methadone is commonly prescribed.

    Trials in Switzerland, The Netherlands and even Liverpool showed that presribing heroin saw usage decline, health improve and acquisitive crime drop dramatically. The cops reckon up to 80% of acquisitive crime is drug-fuelled.

    Look at what Portugal did:


    The paper, published by Cato in April, found that in the five years after personal possession was decriminalized, illegal drug use among teens in Portugal declined and rates of new HIV infections caused by sharing of dirty needles dropped, while the number of people seeking treatment for drug addiction more than doubled.

    "Judging by every metric, decriminalization in Portugal has been a resounding success," says Glenn Greenwald, an attorney, author and fluent Portuguese speaker, who conducted the research. "It has enabled the Portuguese government to manage and control the drug problem far better than virtually every other Western country does."



    Read more: http://www.time.com/time/health/article ... z1QfwFUibZ
  • bails87bails87 Posts: 13,317
    Heroin=morphine.
    MTB/CX

    "As I said last time, it won't happen again."
  • ceecee Posts: 4,553
    there are also far fewer herion addicts than most people think....

    estimate as of january 2011 was between 300 and 325 thousand in the whole UK....

    and decllining year on year......

    apparently..
    Whenever I see an adult on a bicycle, I believe in the future of the human race.

    H.G. Wells.
  • bails87bails87 Posts: 13,317
    Listen, for example, to Dr Teresa Tate, who has prescribed heroin and morphine for 25 years, first as a cancer doctor and now as medical adviser to Marie Curie Cancer Care. We asked her to compare heroin with paracetamol, legally available without prescription. She told us: "I think that most doctors would tell you that paracetamol is actually quite a dangerous drug when used in overdose; it has a fixed upper limit for its total dose in 24 hours and if you exceed that, perhaps doubling it, you can certainly put yourself at great risk of liver failure and of death, whereas with diamorphine, should you double the dose that you normally were taking, I think the consequence would be to be sleepy for a while and quite possibly not much more than that and certainly no permanent damage as a result
    By Nick Davies

    Do the people against decriminalisation also want to criminalise alcohol?

    Everyone who drinks is not a dangerous alcoholic. Would the same be true if more drugs were legal? I don't know....
    MTB/CX

    "As I said last time, it won't happen again."
  • DonDaddyDDonDaddyD Posts: 12,689
    I will never support the legalisation of drugs, in this life or the next.

    Frankly, I think it is an absolutely stupid idea.

    On a lighter subject:

    GTVlusso:

    My understanding was the prostitution wasn't illegal it is however illegal to solicit sex on the street. There is also a grey area as to the number of woman selling sex from a household i.e. brothel, but generally speaking should cash exchange hands and sex happen i.e. the way of a high class escort, then it that is not illegal.
    Food Chain number = 4

    A true scalp is not only overtaking someone but leaving them stopped at a set of lights. As you, who have clearly beaten the lights, pummels nothing but the open air ahead. ~ 'DondaddyD'. Player of the Unspoken Game
  • DonDaddyDDonDaddyD Posts: 12,689
    edited June 2011
    Pharmaceutical Heroin is relatively benign, about as harmfuil as peanut butter.

    That right there is stupidity and ignorance so potent it could give birth to itself.

    You hook the high quality Heroin the mental health hospitals gives to addicted patients to your vein and tell me it's as harmful as peanut butter.

    Me? I've spoken to those addicts who can do with two hits of that stuff a day compared to the multiple hits they get on the street.
    Everyone who drinks is not a dangerous alcoholic. Would the same be true if more drugs were legal? I don't know....

    No, because Alcohol doesn't affect a person as quickly or command as severe a chemical reaction as Crystal meth, for example. Alcohol is also a depressant and it doesn't cause psychosis (which can lead to psychotic - kill someone and eat their lung - episodes) like other drugs.

    Weed, for example has 2 chemicals in it, one that brings about psychosis and another that creates that light headed feeling that counteracts the psychosis and give the 'high'. However, more potent strains of weed carry more of the psychosis drug than the other kind.

    In my line of work there are a growing number of people with paranoia and other forms mental issues which is being linked back to weed.
    Food Chain number = 4

    A true scalp is not only overtaking someone but leaving them stopped at a set of lights. As you, who have clearly beaten the lights, pummels nothing but the open air ahead. ~ 'DondaddyD'. Player of the Unspoken Game
  • Mom Sentenced To Ten Years In Prison For Selling $31 Of Marijuana

    February 22, 2011

    Via Oklahoma’s NewsOK comes a story that is troubling from all angles. Obviously, this woman’s decision to sell marijuana out of her home will not earn her a place in the parenting Hall of Fame, but is a ten-year prison sentence as punishment truly just or to anyone’s benefit?

    Because of $31 in marijuana sales, Patricia Marilyn Spottedcrow is now serving 10 years in prison, has been taken away from her four young children and husband, and has ended her work in nursing homes.

    http://www.disinfo.com/2011/02/mom-sent ... marijuana/

    There are more people in prison in America for cannabis offences than the total UK prison population.

    There are more black people in prison or on probation in America than were enslaved.
    The war against drugs has failed, will always fail.
  • DonDaddyD wrote:
    Pharmaceutical Heroin is relatively benign, about as harmfuil as peanut butter.

    That right there is stupidity and ignorance so potent it could give birth to itself.

    You hook the high quality Heroin the mental health hospitals gives to addicted patients to your vein and tell me it's as harmful as peanut butter.

    Me? I've spoken to those addicts who can do with two hits of that stuff a day compared to the multiple hits they get on the street.

    You could take a look at bail's link:

    Start with the allegation that heroin damages the minds and bodies of those who use it, and consider the biggest study of opiate use ever conducted, on 861 patients at Philadelphia General hospital in the 20s. It concluded that they suffered no physical harm of any kind. Their weight, skin condition and dental health were all unaffected. "There is no evidence of change in the circulatory, hepatic, renal or endocrine functions. When it is considered that some of these subjects had been addicted for at least five years, some of them for as long as 20 years, these negative observations are highly significant."

    Check with Martindale, the standard medical reference book, which records that heroin is used for the control of severe pain in children and adults, including the frail, the elderly and women in labour. It is even injected into premature babies who are recovering from operations. Martindale records no sign of these patients being damaged or morally degraded or becoming criminally deviant or simply insane. It records instead that, so far as harm is concerned, there can be problems with nausea and constipation.

    Or go back to the history of "therapeutic addicts" who became addicted to morphine after operations and who were given a clean supply for as long as their addiction lasted. Enid Bagnold, for example, who wrote the delightful children's novel, National Velvet, was what our politicians now would call "a junkie", who was prescribed morphine after a hip operation and then spent 12 years injecting up to 350mg a day. Enid never - as far as history records - mugged a single person or lost her "herd instinct", but died quietly in bed at the age of 91. Opiate addiction was once so common among soldiers in Europe and the United States who had undergone battlefield surgery that it was known as "the soldiers' disease". They spent years on a legal supply of the drug - and it did them no damage.

    We cannot find any medical research from any source which will support the international governmental contention that heroin harms the body or mind of its users. Nor can we find any trace of our government or the American government or any other ever presenting or referring to any credible version of any such research. On the contrary, all of the available research agrees that, so far as harm is concerned, heroin is likely to cause some nausea and possibly severe constipation and that is all. In the words of a 1965 New York study by Dr Richard Brotman: "Medical knowledge has long since laid to rest the myth that opiates observably harm the body."


    Peanut butter, cream and sugar, for example, are all far more likely to damage the health of their users.
  • EKE_38BPMEKE_38BPM Posts: 5,980
    Drugs are bad m;kay?

    You've obviously had the wrong drugs.

    I think that most drugs, taken in the right/a safe environment are pretty safe. If the use of currently illeagal drugs had the same infrastructure as the top legal drug (booze) and the same limits and relevant laws were put in place, there wouldn't be much of a detrimental effect.

    None of the people I know who smoke weed do anything criminal other than actually buying the weed. They then take it home and smoke it in private. Even if they did smoke it when out and about, when they get stoned they just chill out and talk rubbish. A drunk person is much more likely to do stupid things (vandalism, fights, eat kebabs).

    Coke leads to bragging and talking rubbish.
    Heroin chills people out so much that it makes a stoned person look like they are on speed.
    Ecstasy makes people dance and hug each other.
    No idea of the what the effects of crack are. All I've seen is the theft and general crime that its criminal status leads to. Same with Crystal Meth.

    Basically, I don't think that drugs are bad (in moderation), but what addicts do to get those drugs is bad.
    Alcohol is legal but is the prime cause of lots of violence in society.
    Weed is illegal and is the prime cause in the sale of biscuits.

    Drugs are a major influencer of music too. That can be a good thing or a bad thing, depending on your taste in music.
    FCN 3: Raleigh Record Ace fixie-to be resurrected sometime in the future
    FCN 4: Planet X Schmaffenschmack 2- workhorse
    FCN 9: B Twin Vitamin - winter commuter/loan bike for trainees

    I'm hungry. I'm always hungry!
  • bails87bails87 Posts: 13,317
    DDD: Is alcohol a drug? Should that be illegal?
    MTB/CX

    "As I said last time, it won't happen again."
  • EKE_38BPMEKE_38BPM Posts: 5,980
    I think DDD will be in a significant minority.
    FCN 3: Raleigh Record Ace fixie-to be resurrected sometime in the future
    FCN 4: Planet X Schmaffenschmack 2- workhorse
    FCN 9: B Twin Vitamin - winter commuter/loan bike for trainees

    I'm hungry. I'm always hungry!
  • DonDaddyDDonDaddyD Posts: 12,689
    There are more people in prison in America for cannabis offences than the total UK prison population.

    Isn't America the size of a Continent though? Isn't that like comparing Italy to Europe or Ghana to Africa.... I mean to put this erroneous statement into perspective.
    There are more black people in prison or on probation in America than were enslaved.
    Aren't there more people in the World now than there was back then? A lot more.

    Still mad ctrl c/ctrl v skillz!
    Food Chain number = 4

    A true scalp is not only overtaking someone but leaving them stopped at a set of lights. As you, who have clearly beaten the lights, pummels nothing but the open air ahead. ~ 'DondaddyD'. Player of the Unspoken Game
  • rick_chaseyrick_chasey Posts: 54,898 Lives Here
    You guys should head over to cakestop where they're high-fiving and celebrating further banning of smoking.

    In my experience, the only people who are pro the criminalisation of drugs have clearly not had a first hand experience of someone (or indeed themselves) struggling with an illegal drug addiction.
  • SketchleySketchley Posts: 4,235
    edited June 2011
    Broadly speaking I'm in favour of legalisation, safe supply to ensure purity and dose, and taxation to pay for it all. I'm not in favour of decriminalisation as that keeps supply in the hands of the criminals and doesn't solve any problems.

    Most petty crime against the ordinary person is committed to fund a drug habit remove this and burglary and muggings etc fall, as does the cost of medical treatment on the NHS as most problems are related to contamination or not knowing the dose or a drug being taken.

    As supply can be regulated so can individuals be monitored to ensure no health complications. It's not as though legalisation means you simply go to the corner shop to buy Heroin, I would expect it to be supplied in a certified and licensed clinic with a duty of care.

    However there are two interesting and not often discussed side effect of decriminalisation.

    The first is if supply moves to a legally identifiable entity, there then becomes a person to sue or blame if it goes wrong. Right now the government cannot be held responsible for someone injuring or dying as the result of taking a control substance after all it is banned in law. If drugs are legalised it could be and companies supplying the drugs could be liable for damages too. Look what has happened in the Tobacco industry being sued by user several years after the event, although I'm sure some of this can be mitigated with adequate safety warnings from the start.

    The criminal in the supply chain will still be criminals once supply if legalised but what are they going to do then. The number of armed bank and armoured truck robberies etc has gone down dramatically since the 60s (see http://www.telegraph.co.uk/comment/pers ... Squad.html) when drugs became the pursuit of the criminals gangs. Take drug supply away from them and what do they then do to make their money? They are not going to take the loss of their business and revenue lightly and it's not really going to work making them the new supply chain for various reasons. I'm not one for conspiracies but wouldn't the "establishment" feel it is better that the master criminals are dealing in drug to the common people rather than robbing the banks and institutions where their money is?
    --
    Chris

    Genesis Equilibrium - FCN 3/4/5
  • EKE_38BPMEKE_38BPM Posts: 5,980
    Dodging the issue DDD.
    There is a lot of medical evidence that pure heroin isn't harmful. It is addictive, no doubt, but even those who are addicted are not physically harmed. The same can't be said for alcohol.

    If the drugs were legal, there would be much less drug related crime. If alcohol was legal (ooh look, it is) there would be loads of fights as it makes people aggressive.
    I've never seen an E user do anything other than dance and hug. That was one of the great things about the raves in the early 90s. NO VIOLENCE WHATSOEVER!!!!
    FCN 3: Raleigh Record Ace fixie-to be resurrected sometime in the future
    FCN 4: Planet X Schmaffenschmack 2- workhorse
    FCN 9: B Twin Vitamin - winter commuter/loan bike for trainees

    I'm hungry. I'm always hungry!
  • mudcow007mudcow007 Posts: 3,861
    in the words of bill bailey they should legalize pot/ weed an you should be allowed to carry as much as you can carry under your hat...unless your a wizard then a different set of rules apply
    Keeping it classy since '83
  • DonDaddyDDonDaddyD Posts: 12,689
    edited June 2011
    Peanut butter, cream and sugar, for example, are all far more likely to damage the health of their users.

    I have actually no more interest in talking to you.
    EKE wrote:
    Coke leads to bragging and talking rubbish.
    Heroin chills people out so much that it makes a stoned person look like they are on speed.
    Ecstasy makes people dance and hug each other.
    No idea of the what the effects of crack are. All I've seen is the theft and general crime that its criminal status leads to. Same with Crystal Meth.


    You I can talk to. I agree with all those assertions.

    Heroin's most damaging quality is the speed and to the degree it can make a person become addicted to it. It's a aggressive chemical that tricks the brain into believing it needs it to survive. Without it for too long addicts can have a number of physical reactions that can lead to death (even though the body doesn't need it to survive). Because there is this need for heroin addicts become more desperate to fund the habit and that's where the problem resides.

    Crack is pretty much the same. Crystal Meth actually makes people psychotic.

    So even if weed, coke, ecstasy was made legal, things like Heroin, Crack and Crystal Meth never could.

    I accept that I have an militant stance on drugs and this may or may not be the norm.
    Food Chain number = 4

    A true scalp is not only overtaking someone but leaving them stopped at a set of lights. As you, who have clearly beaten the lights, pummels nothing but the open air ahead. ~ 'DondaddyD'. Player of the Unspoken Game
  • MonkeyMonsterMonkeyMonster Posts: 4,628
    mudcow007 wrote:
    in the words of bill bailey they should legalize pot/ weed an you should be allowed to carry as much as you can carry under your hat...unless your a wizard then a different set of rules apply
    :D
    Le Cannon [98 Cannondale M400] [FCN: 8]
    The Mad Monkey [2013 Hoy 003] [FCN: 4]
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