Interesting how when they get advisory decisions about, say, brexit, or MP wages, those must be followed. But when they ask for advice about drugs, they can do the opposite.
It’s already illegal to supply, of course, with the exact right legislation in place to tackle any abuse problem at the dealing and supply end. It’s just that this legislation isn’t used much, partly because of resourcing but mostly because of the levels of harm- do you want your drug squad chasing down NOS dealers or crack dealers? That decision’s already been made, at government level and at local level.
This is entirely about criminalising possession, which means it’s essentially about criminalising urban-dwelling young males between 18 and 25 with lower than average levels of education and earnings. I bet you one million pounds that most arrests from this are of black inner city kids, and one hundred million pounds that most searches are the same.
Gove- yes gove the cokehead- openly admits it’s not about public safety, or about drug harms, or about actually stopping drug abusing behaviour. It’s about littering. Bloody littering! Which oh yes is also illegal already but not really enforced because of the exact same thing as above. And dropping the spent cans in a park can’t trigger the new possession offence anyway as they’re empty!
Sure laughing gas can be harmful, in extreme cases. Abuse should be discouraged, sanely. But there is absolute no possibility that it’s as harmful as a criminal record. Laughing gas might be a gateway drug, probably not but it’s possible, and it might be a fair indicator of other criminality. But there’s no possibility that it’s as much of a gateway as a criminal record for possession. It might be an overall harm to society, but not as much as putting more stress on the justice system for no gain, never mind the other harms.
It’s theatre, obviously, but it’s also pure tory maliciousness. They can find theatre that doesn’t “coincidentally” ruin people’s lives for no gain whatsoever, but given the choice, that’s what they want to do.
Luckily it’ll not actually be used much, because again, not enough police and it’s a low level offence. Oh except that it’s an ideal low level offence for harrasing kids of the officer’s choosing and making fishing trip stops and searches with no probably cause other than “you are young”. But I’m sure there’s no danger of the <checks notes> still institutionally racist Met doing anything bad with that.