Sunday, April 29, 2007

Smack my bitch up

Pootergeek took part in a little drugs questionnaire and then sprung a surprise.
What was most surprising to me was that, when she ended by asking me what possible solution I would suggest to drug-related problems, I shocked her.

“License drugs,” I said.

She, a woman half my age, responded with a horrified (and non-scripted) “What? All of them?!”

“Yes,” I said, “especially the hard ones.”

Then I pointed out that almost all of her questions had had nothing at all to do with the effects of drugs themselves, but with the illegal activities of drug users and dealers, and that the only negative effects I had experienced had been the result of drunk people trying to pick a fight with me on their way from being kicked out of places serving booze, and that most of the drugs we had been talking about did not promote aggression in those who consumed them.

I should add that I don’t believe that the licensing of drugs would “solve our drugs problems”. I just think that its a possible solution to the worst of them.

Plus, of course, whatever I put into my body is none of the state's business. By all means, tax them to pay for the inevitable externalities but, like Alcohol Prohibition, it is the illegality of drugs that does the most harm.

5 comments:

Tom Tyler said...

Hmmmm....I'm in two minds about this. I'm not sure if a blanket approach to all "drugs" is best - better maybe to formulate a distinct policy for each drug, based on its effects, toxicity, addictiveness etc.
Sure, some of the deaths from heroin ingestion are due to the fact that it's mixed with all kinds of crap, and if it was legal, its purity and concentration could be easier verified. But what I would not like to see is a law that had the effect of more people getting addicted to it, just because it was more freely available.
"What people put into their bodies is no business of the state" - agreed. But you've got to remember that teenagers, anxious to be accepted as adults, will strive to try and do everything that is perceived as normal adult behaviour. So, legalise smack (placing lower age-limits on its sale and a suitably high price of course) and you'll just get every teen wanting to try it ASAP; like losing your virginity it'll be uncool in teen circles to say you haven't done it yet.

Roger Thornhill said...

I am very much in favour of de-criminalisation of drugs.

I would prefer it moved first to a form of licensed, free-of-charge and for consumptiom on the premesis model to begin with, thus neutralising the pushers, distributors and all that cash, violence, turf and petty crime. We could also buy shed loads from the Afghan growers and make us their customers - happy days.

As to what goes in to people, well, the State can perform the role of "weights and measures" so people should know what they are getting and in what strength (I suspect many ODs and much debilitation comes from unexpectedly good gear or stuff cut with Ajax and Foot Power). Not that I am an expert.

I am of the view that if you remove the desire to "push" by the drug gangs, much of the demand and the escalation from one substance to another will reduce significantly.

Devil's Kitchen said...

As to what goes in to people, well, the State can perform the role of "weights and measures" so people should know what they are getting and in what strength (I suspect many ODs and much debilitation comes from unexpectedly good gear or stuff cut with Ajax and Foot Power).

Yup. Drugs policy should be legalise, educate, regulate, tax.

DK

Anonymous said...

"But what I would not like to see is a law that had the effect of more people getting addicted to it, just because it was more freely available."

This is a common misapprehension. There is no evidence to suggest this will happen, and in fact there is plenty of evidence to the contrary. In pretty much any country where pretty much any drug is legalised, it's usage has been seen to go down, not up.

There really is no downside to legalising all drugs.

Anonymous said...

why are people stupid enough to say lets legalise drugs, have you ever seen or dealt with a person smacked out there skull, or stoned and on a paranoid trip, or finding your child with a needle sticking out there arm because there to out there faces to take the needle out.
so why not bring back the national service for school leavers & open up borstals for anyone found in possesstion or dealing drugs, no second,third chances lets get to grips with the criminals, drug addicts, i work with these people and it's everyones fault but there own, they say it's parents & the way they have been dragged up, i had a abusive up bringing but have never taken drugs, they say it's boardem get a job, go to college, volenteer for something, at the end of the day it's because they can take drugs and there is'nt really any punishment for having them or dealing them. if they were made legal there would still be crimes committed because they could'nt supply them free on the nhs, it would cause an out- rage, not even cancer victims get there drugs free.