The legalisation of all drugs?

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  • The legalisation of all drugs?
  • Premier Icon dazh
    Subscriber

     I do not believe that it is unreasonable to not add potentially harmful activities to the mix.

    What about mountain biking and other ‘dangerous’ sports or activities? Should they be banned too? At what point are people allowed the responsibility to take risks with their own well-being in exchange for other benefits? Why should that not include the consumption of mind altering substances?

    eddiebaby
    Member

    I’m still asking:

    Come at this another way.

    <span style=”font-size: 0.8rem;”>How would you stop the very real problems caused by alcohol abuse in this country?</span>

    Premier Icon FuzzyWuzzy
    Subscriber

    No evidence to back this up but I personally think alcohol abuse is a long way down the list of problems this country is facing.

    eddiebaby
    Member

    True. But still try to answer the question.

    Premier Icon dazh
    Subscriber

    True. But still try to answer the question.

    The answer to any drug misuse problem is improved treatment and education. I don’t know the figures but I would suspect the tax revenues collected from the sale of alcohol more than compensate for the externalities caused by it’s sale. There is of course an argument around how it is marketed and sold. That’s why some are proposing minimum pricing etc. There’s also the option of tighter regulation such as we have with tobacco, with a ban on branding and advertising, health warnings etc although I’m not sure this is justified with alcohol.

    Nico
    Member

    Should we consider the legalisation of all drugs? It might solve all violent drug gang crime in London (& everywhere) …

    I’m sure it will. The gangs will have to move on to something else then, like burglary, vehicle theft, or something more elaborate. There was a documentary on the telly recently about illegal waste disposal being run by gangs. You could argue that drugs give a useful outlet to criminals which has minimal effect on those who aren’t involved in drugs (unlike burglary for instance). OK, it might be a bit inconvenient for the weekend pill-poppers, or coke-happy lawyers to have to briefly interact with dangerous people but that’s part of the appeal isn’t it?

    There was a piece on the Today programme this morning about knife crime. The statistics were that this sort of thing is 85% in 3-4% of area (not sure if that was 3-4% of London, cities, or all land area – I really should check these things out before spouting stats). So unless you are black and living on a council estate in London you can happily ignore it (I guess in other cities it’ll be white and living on an estate but basically you know if you are in the demographic at risk and if you are reading this you probably aren’t).

    Personally I don’t see why people should be criminalised for taking drugs, but inner-city Britain isn’t Oregon so, given the consequences of the changes to licencing hours in the 90s you might want to hold on to your hats when it happens.

    Premier Icon stewartc
    Subscriber

    I would be all in favor if we could also make people responsible of their actions as a result, like a heavy smoker having to pay for the majority of treatment caused by their smoking.

    Yes, I know we have public health service but lets set a limit thats fair for everyone and any treatment after that comes out of your own pocket.

    What about mountain biking and other ‘dangerous’ sports or activities? Should they be banned too?

    Like I mentioned with the amount of money being spent on the NHS I can see top up insurance on the horizon.

    Its going to be a way to “convince” the bull of the voters they will be getting the same service but the people who chose high risk activities will have to chuck in extra.

    I am not saying it is right but you need to sell the extra costs of treatment related to any activity to the voting public. So basically if the sun or the mail doesn’t support it you are out…

    At what point are people allowed the responsibility to take risks with their own well-being in exchange for other benefits?

    When no one else has to pay for the consequences of their failures would be an extreme argument. If you want the state to look after you then you have to accept the state will potentially intrude on your freedoms

    thepodge
    Member

    I’m all for a thorough review and reclassification however…

    Given its not hard to find under age kids who smoke and drink, what kind of system would need to be put in place to stop under age kids getting hooked on current Class A & B drugs?

    Also the idea that it’ll reduce crime… where are heavily addicted people going to get the cash for their legal drugs? they’ll still mug and burgle, its’ll just be the government that benefits not some criminal gang.

    Premier Icon dazh
    Subscriber

    If you want the state to look after you then you have to accept the state will potentially intrude on your freedoms

    Is that not why we pay taxes?

    Premier Icon dazh
    Subscriber

    Also the idea that it’ll reduce crime… where are heavily addicted people going to get the cash for their legal drugs?

    It will reduce crime, not eliminate it. I don’t think anyones pretending that addicts wouldn’t commit crime to feed their habits. They would however have much greater access to vastly improved treatment and support to address their addiction. That’s the important part IMO, drugs should only be legalised if the revenues are ringfenced for the provision of public services, rather than being used to subsidise tax cuts or pay for defence etc.

    gordimhor
    Member

    People who are addicted to a substance are ill. Treat the illness and more importantly the underlying cause of the illness and you might solve the problem. Legalisation means that the quality of the drug can be better controlled and takes the criminal out of the equation. It doesn’t address why people abuse/ misuse legal or illegal drugs in the first place

    Premier Icon epicyclo
    Subscriber

    Never taken illegal drugs, but strongly support legalising them.

    Apply restrictions, such as taxation, licensed sellers, no advertising, but making it legal means that at least the drugs would be “pure”, and criminals were not getting incredibly wealthy from it.

    Anyone of us can kill ourselves or ruin our lives by over-indulging in legal drugs, but few chose to do so. In the past, most of the “bad” drugs were legal too, and few chose to go down the slippery slopes.

    I doubt the burden on our health service will be greater, but at least there will be the taxation to support it, and perhaps many of the other social problems would reduce.

    Like it or not, selling drugs is a business with a substantial demand, and the sooner it is controlled the better.

    they’ll still mug and burgle, its’ll just be the government that benefits not some criminal gang.

    Which is an improvement over the status quo.

    kayla1
    Member

    By any measure alcohol should be illegal if treated the same as other drugs, but it’s not because evidence has shown that prohibition doesn’t work. Drugs have been around for as long as we have. Mind altering substances have been used by humans for thousands of years, and it’s a uniquely modern and silly thing to try to prevent that ingrained behaviour. At the very basic level, why should I be prevented from eating a magic mushroom because some puritan religious type is afraid it might corrupt my morality? It’s stupid. Of course they should be legalised. All of them.

    This is better than I could put it. All drugs should be legalised.

    Premier Icon dissonance
    Subscriber

    what kind of system would need to be put in place to stop under age kids getting hooked on current Class A & B drugs?

    There is a good chance they are able to get their hands on Class A & B drugs now.

    tjagain
    Member

    Not all drugs

    for me?

    Cannabis / MDMA open legal market maybe with licensed growers and retailers maybe low potency amphetamine.   The problem with the dutch approach to cannabis is that supply remains in the black market. Heroin / cocaine.  Decriminalize possession of small amounts.    Healthcare based approach with effective substitution and take the thrill out of it all.

    Breaks the black market, serious amount of crime reduction and harm reduction

    Premier Icon slowoldman
    Subscriber

    So would legal drugs be cheaper than illegal ones? They would need to be in order to render the market unattractive to the criminal gangs. If they were, what would be the impact on, ooh off the top of my head, Piccadilly Gardens in Manchester?

    Premier Icon kilo
    Subscriber

    They are already moving to areas where returns are high for lower risk (shorter sentences if caught).

    People trafficking, slavery

    Fly tipping – big business now believe it or not.

    Not really the case, hence the big push on county lines, increased gang activity around local drug markets.

    The areas you mentioned are all fairly skills specific which limits entry to the market

    Premier Icon dazh
    Subscriber

    They would need to be in order to render the market unattractive to the criminal gangs.

    I’m not sure that’s the case. I think most drug users would happily pay for the guarantee of purity and quality and lack of hassle involved in using the black market. Do you see drinkers buying back-street brewed moonshine instead of pints in a pub? Of course you don’t.

    Premier Icon cookeaa
    Subscriber

    All drugs? Nah… (IMO).

    I think all substances need to be assessed individually on their various benefits and drawbacks.

    I don’t believe all major, currently illegal drugs should just be made legal, I think maybe some should, for example I see no compelling reason not to legalise cannabis, and recognise the benefits of being able to regulate a new ‘industry’ as well as derive tax revenues… It’s on a par with Booze really, so long as we accept there’s similar potential for people to develop dependence and some additional strain on the NHS from negative health effects.

    Cocaine is a borderline one IMO, there are apparently “functioning” long term users but fundamentally it’s a drug that just turns people into massive bell ends, is addictive and isn’t that good for you, plus I’m not sure what legalising it would do to our town centres on a weekend…

    Ecstasy and other pills? maybe, the demographic that has tended to go for them hasn’t historically been much of a problem for society, people coming down on a Monday will probably hurt national productivity a bit, again legalisation should bring regulation so the ingredients and purity could be controlled better.

    Smack? I don’t reckon there’d be much support for it, and TBH it might be viewed as “normalising” it’s use, generally it’s a very destructive drug both for the user and those around them.

    But ultimately I really have to question the idea that criminal elements in our society would just melt away if the drug trade weren’t there… Take away their drug dealing options fine, but criminals are quite an innovative, entrepreneurial bunch, once drugs are legal, users will still need to pay for them, so I’d expect burglaries and muggings to spike, and you’d probably see the UK become a nice little smuggling hub if half our European neighbours don’t have the same laws, never mind fishing for a living, stuff your trawler with cheap, legally UK sourced coke, bob on over to Belgium and you can probably pay off the mortgage in one trip.

    Of course this all ignores the supply chains, Cocaine and Smack don’t just magically pop into existence on our shores, various criminal and terrorist groups already grow and process them in sunnier climbs. So while we might be living in a lovely new, drug fuelled, crime free utopia, bits of South America and the Middle East would probably see an increase in criminality and violence to keep the UK supplied with lovely, lovely drugs, there would be a significant impact beyond our borders….

    As for Cannabis you’d suddenly see a massive boom in poly tunnels, loft insulation and UV lamps as every suburban horticulturist, became an overnight weed farmer…

    I don’t think anyones pretending that addicts wouldn’t commit crime to feed their habits. They would however have much greater access to vastly improved treatment and support to address their addiction.

    So the arguement is to legalise drugs to eliminate addition? If it is legal and freely available what motivates the addict to stop? Are you not just creating more potential addicts by letting everyone have a go? And would we suddenly have infrastructure and treatments to address addiction? Or would it always be 10 years away

    At the very basic level, why should I be prevented from eating a magic mushroom because some puritan religious type is afraid it might corrupt my morality? It’s stupid.

    I would imagine (hope) we have moved on from puritanical religious types but maybe not. I think the current argument would be if you choose do do something that you know is potentially harmful why should society pick up the tab for treatment. Of course this argument falls down with drinkers and smokers but then they see themselves put as lower priorities for some nhs treatments. If the substance is illegal then people can pretend they are not enabling the problem

    tjagain
    Member

    Give heroin addicts effective substitution on the state.  Register as an addict then you can go every day to some dull place and get your fix.  Bore them out of it!  Its effectively worked in the Netherlands.  Heroin is simply not a major issue there.  It also prevents one heck of a lot of petty crime.  Heroin addiction is a whole different ballgame to any of the other drugs apart from benzodiazipines.

    Magic mushrooms?  Fresh legal, processed not.

    Premier Icon dazh
    Subscriber

    Magic mushrooms?  Fresh legal, processed not.

    Nope, the 2005 drugs act made it illegal to possess them in any form. Bloody ridiculous isn’t it?

    Heroin addiction is a whole different ballgame to any of the other drugs apart from benzodiazipines.

    And yet it’s one of the few drugs you can be addicted to and lead a perfectly functional and productive life. Thousands of WWII veterans can testify to that.

    gordimhor
    Member

    @Cornholio So the arguement is to legalise drugs to eliminate addition

    Only Mathyl-amphetamine 😁

    koldun
    Member

    I think the current argument would be if you choose do do something that you know is potentially harmful why should society pick up the tab for treatment.

    I agree this falls down with tobacco and alcohol but also with mountain biking, hell even driving a car could be pushed into this argument. I appreciate that people don’t want to pick up the tab for the irresponsible among us but its a very tough line to draw.

    FWIW i don’t believe i have an answer for this but (and i think this thread illustrates it well) i think there should be a change to a more open minded approach to the issues surrounding drugs.

    Bimbler
    Member

    In 1971, as the Vietnam War was heading into its sixteenth year, congressmen Robert Steele from Connecticut and Morgan Murphy from Illinois made a discovery that stunned the American public. While visiting the troops, they had learned that over 15 percent of U.S. soldiers stationed there were heroin addicts. Follow up research revealed that 35 percent of service members in Vietnam had tried heroin and as many as 20 percent were addicted—the problem was even worse than they had initially thought.1

    The discovery led to a flurry of activity in Washington, including the creation of the Special Action Office of Drug Abuse Prevention under President Nixon, to promote prevention and rehabilitation and to track addicted service members when they returned home.2

    Lee Robins was one of the researchers in charge. In a finding that completely upended the accepted beliefs about addiction, Robins found that when soldiers who had been heroin users returned home, only 5 percent of them became re-addicted within a year, and just 12 percent relapsed within three years. In other words, approximately nine out of ten soldiers who used heroin in Vietnam eliminated their addiction nearly overnight.3

    From here

    I agree this falls down with tobacco and alcohol but also with mountain biking

    It’s entirely possible that lots of us could live longer healthier lives by biking every day. Ye canny really say the same for the fags n drink.

    If they could hurry up, my birthday is on Friday 😀

    koldun
    Member

    Ye canny really say the same for the fags n drink.

    But length of life is not really the argument, its more ‘who pays for the broken collar bone’.

    If made legal, drugs should be taxed, possibly quite heavily but i’d be cautious about insisting on private health care for users. It’s a bit of a rabbit hole.

    It’s entirely possible that lots of us could live longer healthier lives by biking every day.

    So we should pay more for our pensions or stop being so selfish and start smoking.

    But length of life is not really the argument, its more ‘who pays for the broken collar bone’.

    There is no certainty in MTB injuries, I really shouldn’t say this, but I’ve been properly MTBing for over 15 years and have never broken a bone*.

    If I smoke or drink every day, I will inevitably, not just maybe, end up requiring treatment.

    * I’ve **** jinxed that now though, haven’t I!

    kerley
    Member

    Cocaine is a borderline one IMO, there are apparently “functioning” long term users but fundamentally it’s a drug that just turns people into massive bell ends, is addictive and isn’t that good for you, plus I’m not sure what legalising it would do to our town centres on a weekend…

    You know you could just switch the word cocaine with alcohol there don’t you…

    Bimbler
    Member

    Of course this all ignores the supply chains, Cocaine and Smack don’t just magically pop into existence on our shores, various criminal and terrorist groups already grow and process them in sunnier climbs. So while we might be living in a lovely new, drug fuelled, crime free utopia, bits of South America and the Middle East would probably see an increase in criminality and violence to keep the UK supplied with lovely, lovely drugs, there would be a significant impact beyond our borders….

    Or if other nations were to follow the same path, helping peasant farmers in the developing world.

    Oh, and a broken collar bone is slightly cheaper than any of the treatments that long term smokers and drinkers will require.

    Premier Icon scaled
    Subscriber

    Oh, and a broken collar bone is slightly cheaper than any of the treatments that long term smokers and drinkers will require.

    On the other hand, they don’t tend to draw a lot of their pension 😉

    koldun
    Member

    I’ve been properly MTBing for over 15 years and have never broken a bone*.

    I already feel sorry for you and your upcoming injury :/

    You are right, a collarbone is cheaper to treatment-wise than most issues caused by smoking, but if we compared, for instance, therapy cost for mild drug addiction to a smashed spine from cycling? Its not really about the cost and the specific drug/sport/activity, my point was to illustrate that its difficult to fairly decide who should or should not benefit from health care.

    To put it another way, should a high earning, high taxed professional (obviously not a politician as their cash is mostly off-shore and not taxed) get refused NHS care for their piddling occasional coke habit when a life long unemployed person got NHS care for hucking off a 3 story building for a good bit of gopro footage. Both are irresponsible.

    I’d rather live in a society that covered both though fair taxation.

    decriminalise users, categorically, absolutely, do not push anyone occupying a slightly marginal societal rung into the justice system to force them further downhill.

    supply side, case by case basis but for me, cookeaa summed it up pretty well.

    however, we have the ingrained atttitude of “DRUGS ARE ALL JUST EVIL AND BAD AND WILL INSTANTLY KILL YOU*” older generation to sell this to and that ain’t happening any time soon.

    *except when the NHS give you some to, you know, help you get through a major surgery, or something, then they’re ok.

    Imagine weed legalised – 1000s of bongtards bereft of their favourite topic of conversation, how cannabis cures cancer if only the government would just decriminalise this herbal panacea.

    So worth it just for that tbh. Probably wouldn’t be a positive step for cyclists, all things considered – a smaller part of the argument but a real one nonetheless.

    1000s of bongtards bereft of their favourite topic of conversation, how cannabis cures cancer if only the government would just decriminalise this herbal panacea.

    Deffo this. (Although I suspect they’d give up and find something else to do.)

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