Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Doing bird

No, not this one. She's left him. Because he was behaving like a total cunt. (What's the big deal about her anyway? Not my type. Far too damn bony.)

I see that Pete Docherty has broken his probation and is being sent to jug to mull over his wrong-doings. Many people will, of course, be saying, "well, what a good thing. He deserves to be in jail. Anyone else would be."

My attitude is a little more prosaic and it is simply this: if he wasn't a fucking drug addict when he goes in, he absolutely will be by the time he gets out.

There are several issues that annoy me here. First, how the bloody hell do politicians think that we can stamp out drugs in the wider community, if they can't even keep them out of the prisons? Seriously, what the hell?

Furthermore, can someone remind me why we are sending idiots like Docherty to prison? Let us, for the moment, leave aside the fact that he was, as I recall, driving under the influence and ask the following question: who has he actually hurt by his actions (apart from fools like Kate Moss, who chose to be around him)?

Why are we sending people to prison for possession of drugs? Or for taking them? Or for dealing them? Why the hell are certain drugs illegal?

And why on earth have our politicians failed to learn the very clear historical lesson that prohibition doesn't work.

Mr Power sums it up quite nicely when commenting on the fact that Gordon Brown is all set to ignore the review into drugs that he instigated with our damn money (how much has that review cost us, Gordon? In fact, perhaps we should put in an FoI request as to how much the monocular bastard's million billion reviews have already cost the taxpayer?).
Firstly, how many people will stop smoking dope because its a class B drug rather than a class C? Answer - none, of course! Most of the people that I have known over the years who smoked the stuff couldn't have told you whether it was class B or C and couldn't have cared less anyway. And where are you going to put all the people you are going to be banging up for possession, given that at any one time there seems to be only about 14 spare prison spaces available?

Look at the sums. There was a time, in my memory, when the total number of heroin 'addicts' in the entire UK numbered under 200. Again, in my lifetime, there was a time when mention of the word 'coke' referred only to a dark, sickly, carbonated sugary drink. Since that time, about 40 years ago, the use of both drugs has rocketed and the fact that they were not class C or B but A, carrying a possible maximum life sentence for possession, did absolutely nothing to slow this process down. Not to mention the huge takeup of Es, the spread of crack and the beginnings of a market in crystal meth.

What prohibition often does do is criminalise those who are otherwise law-abiding and who harm nobody else in the world with their consumption of these drugs.

As Bill Hicks said,
"What business is it of yours what I do, read, buy, see, say, think, who I fuck, what I take into my body—as long as I do not harm another human being on this planet?"

Let me tell you: it is none of your fucking business. And by "you", I mean the politicians, the state and you.

This attitude was backed up by a recent Institute of Economic Affairs book called Prohibitions [download PDF]. The publication is subtitled "Why outlawing particular goods and services is bad public policy" and amply details why this is the case; if a brief study of history has still left you feeling uncertain, I recommend reading it.

But this is an argument that is beginning to be heard. At the beginning of March, Camilla Cavendish wrote an excellent article in The Times that pointed out, amongst other things, that the illegality of drugs is far more harmful than the drugs themselves.
The most powerful role models are dealers, not celebrities. All over Britain, men in gold jewellery flaunt their wealth at school gates. Teachers tell me how hard it is to convince teenagers to get NVQs, when they can have a career with Drugs Inc and aspire to make £1,000 a day. Drugs Inc is one of the most profitable, successful businesses of all time. The UN values it at about $330 billion, almost as big as the defence industry. The criminals who run Drugs Inc shift staggering amounts of stock with no conventional advertising. They offer free samples to children and discounts for trading up to harder substances. They motivate their salesforce with threats.

As a result, drugs are now the second-largest revenue earner for organised crime. The profit margins, according to the Downing Street Strategy Unit, are higher than those on luxury goods. Drugs Inc pays no tax. And with so much money at stake, its barons are vicious. Violence has soared as rival gangs battle for a share of the profits.
...

We won't end this violence by jailing celebrities or middle-class users. The only way to take back our streets is to wrest back control of the drugs from the criminals, by legalising and regulating their trade.
...

Something similar happened in 1933, when America repealed Prohibition. The ban on alcohol had corrupted the police, increased the number of hard drinkers and created a whole new criminal class of bootleg suppliers. Britain's equivalent of Prohibition was the Misuse of Drugs Act of 1971. Up to that time we had treated addiction as an illness, heroin addicts got their fix on prescription, and there were only 5,000 problematic drug users, according to Transform, the drug policy group. Thirty years on there are 280,000.

Many people wil say that more problem users will be the result of legalisation. They are morons. The number of people who take drugs numbers in the millions; the proportion of problem users is absolutely tiny.

But those numbers increase the more people that you jail. A jail sentence often means that you cannot get a job so we end up with yet more people on the dole, unable to find any kind of work; unable to benefit or improve themselves in any way at all. Often these people end up as drug pushers, or petty criminals of any other sort, because their criminal record means that few other avenues are open to them.

Cavendish's solution is the only sensible one: legalise the damn lot.
Imagine if you could buy coke from Boots. Or the aptly named Superdrug. That would drain the glamour from it more effectively than making a martyr of Kate Moss. I don't imagine her lovely features would adorn state-regulated packets of white powder, hanging next to the corn plasters. Yes, legalisation would make drugs cheaper, in order to undercut the dealers. Yes, usage might increase. But perhaps not much, because it is already widespread. A third of 16 to 24-year-olds routinely admit to having tried drugs, despite knowing that they are admitting to a crime.

The benefits of legalisation could be enormous. Overcrowded prisons would be relieved of people needing treatment rather than punishment (about 15 per cent of prisoners are in for possession or supply). Addicts would not be forced into associating with criminals. Children could be safe in Britain's playgrounds again.

Of course, it's not that simple because it is no longer our decision. We have passed much of that power over to unelected bureaucratic cunts with all of the common sense of a lump of playdough.
The irony is that it is the UN and its drug conventions that are the biggest barrier to progress. Its ideological war on drugs makes it almost impossible for countries to be pragmatic. It has demanded that Portugal, which decriminalised possession, should recant. Yet Portugal has accepted the reality that in GDP terms, it is dwarfed by Drugs Inc. As a result, it has seen crime fall.

The only way to make our streets safe is to wipe Drugs Inc off the map. The only way to do that is to legalise the trade. That would also redraw the map, because drug lords from Colombia to Afghanistan would no longer find the trade so lucrative. The UN's blindness to this is unforgivable: even worse than its failure to understand that Amy Winehouse, despite her beautiful voice, is the perfect health warning.

Not only that but the drug barons might actually be able to go legal. One might find that there would be considerably less shootings, killings and general uprisings in South America, were that to happen.

But even if drugs were legalised, people have said to me, the illegal pushers would try to undercut the legal market. So what? I firmly believe that most people would buy their drugs legally. Why?

Because money is not the only factor in this transaction. Let us say that I could get a gram of cocaine of a dealer for £40, and it cost £50 in Superdrug; I would still buy it in Superdrug because in that way I don't risk all of the associated problems of going to an unlicensed dealer (and yes, I see shops being licensed to sell drugs in much the same way that shops are licensed to sell booze). In Superdrug, I can know that I am getting a pure product; in Superdrug I am not associating with dodgy people (a thing to be avoided in general); in Superdrug I am not going to risk prison for buying the damn drug.

Save lives, save careers and stop ignoring the lessons of history: legalise drugs.

P.S. To all of those people I know who use drugs but who believe that we shouldn't legalise them because "some people can't cope" or some such excuse: stop being so fucking patronising.

21 comments:

cornishgiant said...

An interesting point a view. I'm still not sure where I stand on this yet, it's a difficult one as a pharmacist.

I'd like to hear someone put the other side of the story accross (there is always an "other side"!) to help me. Anyone?

Anonymous said...

Logically, legalising drugs solves a bunch of problems, not least of which would be allowing the police to have more time to look at other community problems like burglary, car theft, etc. Some of which are drug related anyway.

However, having been ever so liberal here, there are problems generally with drugs. Take the motor car: people are driving like arseholes because they are on drugs. Yes, shock horror, people carry on driving having quaffed large amounts of alcohol despite all the drink/drive efforts, so equally they have/will have no problem driving while stoned, high or just plain out of it. Given the poor standards of driving (and cycling, while we are at it) already it doesn't seem a good idea to be seen to be saying "Drugs Is Okay, Dude"

So, while it seems a cute idea that "it doesn't harm anyone else" the fact is, as plenty of stonees find, it hurts all sorts of people. Yep, drug taking isn't going to go away whatever anyone says but are you really saying there are no problems from any of it?

Devil's Kitchen said...

"However, having been ever so liberal here, there are problems generally with drugs. Take the motor car: people are driving like arseholes because they are on drugs. Yes, shock horror, people carry on driving having quaffed large amounts of alcohol despite all the drink/drive efforts, so equally they have/will have no problem driving while stoned, high or just plain out of it."

Ha! I used to have a friend who used to absolutely excoriate those of us who drank a couple of pints before driving; she'd then spend her time going outside and getting stoned out of her tree, before driving the 8 miles home.

The point is that driving whilst under the influence of drugs should be regarded, both socially and legally, as being the same as driving whilst drunk.

DK

Devil's Kitchen said...

P.S.

"Yep, drug taking isn't going to go away whatever anyone says but are you really saying there are no problems from any of it?"

No. But what I am saying is that the problems that derive from drugs being illegal are worse than if they were legal. It's not a black and white situation...

DK

xoggoth said...

Comparisons with prohibition ignores the practical fact that many drugs are nowhere near so easily produced as alcohol and with proper control of our borders (which would be a darn good thing from so many points of view) the ban could be a lot more effective.

As for the "don't be so patronising" comment at end, this looks like the comment of someone who only knows fellow middle class intelligent users who can make their own decisions. With many users on sink estates there is nothing you can be but patronising, they simply have no real control over any aspect of their own lives.

I do tend to agree prison is unlikely to help, at least while drugs are so freely available inside anyway. Know an ex-prison office who said most are thrown over the wall. One would think that could be prevented but maybe turning a blind eye just helps to keep things quiet.

PS DK commenters, do feel free to abuse the above perfectly polite disagreement in your usual way, cunt, shit, arse, fuck etc. It shows your deep intellect.

haddock said...

There is a portable simple and quick test to see if some knobhead is driving under the influence of alcohol, not so with drugs......
Personally I would be all for providing some pure stuff out on the market to lessen the problem.
Do you think the druggy cunts will give up thieving and mugging to get money to buy their fix from Superdrug ? Perhaps we should all work our arses off to provide it free .... to "solve" crime.
Pie in the bloody sky .... £40 on the black market and £50 when the government taxes it at the same rate as tobacco, not going to happen is it?
Fuck me a few weeks in a new party and you've become a politician already.

Mark Wadsworth said...

Heh heh, funny you should mention that, I believe the Goblin King has set up a commission to review how much all these commission cost ...

Anonymous said...

Fuck making them legal.

Make them fucking compulsory.

Rory Meakin said...

"With many users on sink estates there is nothing you can be but patronising, they simply have no real control over any aspect of their own lives."

Bullshit. Plenty don't live drug-addled lives, thereby provind there is a choice and they control it.

JuliaM said...

"...they have/will have no problem driving while stoned, high or just plain out of it."

Tbh, not sure I'd notice any changes - the vast majority of people where I live already drive that way...

"With many users on sink estates there is nothing you can be but patronising, they simply have no real control over any aspect of their own lives."

Agree with rory meakin, this is utter rubbish! Even if it were true, why should my hard earned taxes go to assist people who can't sort their own lives out?

"Let us say that I could get a gram of cocaine of a dealer for £40, and it cost £50 in Superdrug; I would still buy it in Superdrug because....."

Because all those choices mean you are a law abiding man, despite the use of drugs. But drug use isn't confided to your type, it's concentrated mostly in scum. And they'd still BE scum...

Dave said...

There is a plain, simple, obvious reason why these drugs are illegal.
The government cannot control the supply in the same way they can control and tax alcohol and cigarettes.
If the goverment controlled the supply and could tax it then it'd be legal. Full stop.

Falco said...

There are two major reasons to legalise. The first is that the government has no divine right to tell you what to do with your body. The second is that no other system of drug regulation has been as harmful as prohibition.

As a result I say legalise and give people honest information about the effects.

eg: Cannabis: Makes you very boring and lazy if you smoke too much, (read again in five minutes otherwise you will forget).

Cocaine: Ever wanted to be a total arsehole? Well now you can with one quick snort.

Heroin: Is your life going well? Want to fuck it up? Well take smack.

Acid: Wow, urgh, erm ,wow. HELP THE SPIDERS ARE TRYING TO GET ME!!!!

Crack: Ever thought of becoming a whore? You will after a while on this.

ENGLISHMAN said...

Great stuff,legalise psychosis and ban tobacco,the road to hell.Then where will you stop,paedophilia?no they have a perfect right to enjoy themselves provided no harm comes to the child,rape, no i am just expressing myself,murder then? no he called me a racist name.We surrender part of our animal natures for the protection that society gives us,"when we have destroyed all the laws,who then will stand against the evil wind that blows"?

Liberty or Death said...

The honest info should be about drug ABuse rather than use.
People fuck their lives by ABUSING anything you can think of.How many of you 2 faced bastards looking down your noses at drug use are too fat to fit into anything but a tent because you cant pass a MaccyDees without supersizing your dogburger?How many are way over your heads in credit card debt?Taking the bus because you can't stop speeding in your piece of shit jaguar?Living alone because you couldn't stop cheating on your partner?On the 12 step plan to recovery because a pint after work just isn't enough?
Its an offensive generalisation to call all drug users Scum.Our cultural society would be a poorer place without drug use.Off the top of my head,Conan Doyle,Shelley,Byron,Coleridge.Look what drugs did to the beatles fuxake.They produced their best work after meeting dylan leary and owlsley."she loves you" versus sgt peppers or the white album.
I've known barristers,politicians,teachers,preists,civil servants, all manner of otherwise upstanding citizens who get smashed out of their faces on smack coke dope and pills, and still make it to work the next day,to function as well if not better than those who turned up with monday morning hangovers.
None of them got too drunk and started a riot in the pub.
I was a straitedge bore only listening to punk rock and condemning any other form of music as irrelevent bollox until I got stoned from second hand smoke at a party.Smoking dope made me pick up a book and read for the first time in 4 years,after deconstructing the Merchant of Venice for my O level english killed my love of reading.
My first taste of Skunk was in a chamber of the Royal Courts of Justice-I was working as a solicitors clerk,and the prosecuting barrister tossed me his stash to roll a joint whilst he discussed some legal bollox with the defence counsel.
When I was a motorbike courier in london,a rumour went round the streets that the police were implimenting roadblocks with forehead swabtests for dope smokers.If you tested positive,no matter if you smoked an hour or a week before,the penalty was the same.Whenever this came up in conversation,every doper said the same thing - "looks like its time to get a new job".Not one person said they were giving up dope.So many riders warned their bosses about their intention to quit upon implimentation of these swabtests,the bosses told the police that london commerce would grind to a halt through a lack of couriers.
THe NHS should be selling the dope,not Boots,Superdrug,or Marlboro.$330 billion a year goes to criminals..how much of that could go to the NHS?Enough for a reduction in taxes?
Societies attute to drugs is just par for the course.How about a blog on the CIA involvement in drugs?Go read up on Mike Rupperts investigations into it.Remember Vietnam and heroin smuggled in the bodybags of dead soldiers?
The Taliban,for all their bullshit religious evil,virtually wiped out the heroin trade in Afghanistan.Thanks to our illegal invasion of their country,its back up to speed.
Fuck Gordon Brown.Fuck politicians.They can put a death penalty on drug use.I'll do drugs whatever you charge me with.
The subject isn't black and white.I'd suggest Decriminalisation with a sound education;but to paraphrase George Carlin,our overlords don't want an informed intellegent population.They want a nation of morons,who function just enough to man the gears of industry,then spend their pathetic wages on all the useless bullshit they are told will improve their lives.
If you'll excuse me,I'm off to try score some decent hash that doesn't consist of camel shit and old tyres.I'm going to have to mix with criminals and wear a fake smile to find it.I'd rather grow my own dope plant in my spare room,but the police choppers will see the glow with their IR cameras and fuck up my life.
I'm waving my money at you DK.Come up with a libertarian party policy that doesn't criminalise my private recreational time, and I'll join tomorrow.

Anonymous said...

Englishman,get to fuck with your bullshit sweeping generalisations..equating dope smokers with paedophiles?what a total and utter cunt you are.

Devil's Kitchen said...

Englishman,

To describe you as a pusillanimous moron seems almost too generous, frankly.

"Great stuff,legalise psychosis and ban tobacco,the road to hell.Then where will you stop,paedophilia?"

So, you are saying that because I have taken illegal drugs, I am now going to fuck children? Why don't you drown yourself in a well, you cunt.

"no they have a perfect right to enjoy themselves provided no harm comes to the child,rape, no i am just expressing myself,"

Lok, I assume that you are a member of the BNP, but do you fucks not even conceive of the idea of consent? No, you wouldn't, would you?

Can a child consent to sex? By definition, they cannot.

Can I consent to take drugs? Yep.

You are a massive moron.

"murder then?"

Consent. You fucking moron.

"no he called me a racist name."

Free speech. You cunting moron.

"We surrender part of our animal natures for the protection that society gives us,"when we have destroyed all the laws,who then will stand against the evil wind that blows"?"

You fucking moron. You fucking stupid, pathetic, small-minded (that's what "pusillanimous" means) moron. You fuck-witted, arse-fucking, stupid bastard moron.

If you cannot see the difference between fucking a child (who cannot give consent) or murdering someone (who would not give consent (mostly)) and me taking drugs and having a good time and harming nobody, you are a total moron who should be back at school.

You fucking moron.

DK

Shug Niggurath said...

They've been regulated for so long now it'd be a nightmare trying to create legal versions though.

Most people who have taken drugs know what an acceptable high is per £££ on a given substance - so there wold likely be hooch versions available illegaly for a long time.

Anonymous said...

DK I agree with you about legalising all drugs, but I think you have missed an important point. Dealers on the black market would never be able to undercut boots or superdrug for the same reason I can't undercut Tesco by selling potatoes I grow on my allotment. Secondly the only reason drug addicts need to commit crime to fund their habbit, or sell their bodies through prostitution, or sell drugs themselves is because drugs are illegal. If drugs were legalised the price would drop massively. Opium could be produced at around the same price as paracetamol if we left it to the free market. Drugs would be so cheap that addicts would be able to afford their habbit without turning to crime.

J. Wibble said...

I agree wholeheartedly. Legalise them all.

I thought about something today that amused me. One of the medications I am on is testosterone. This is an anabolic steroid and a class B drug. It is injected. It can cause various problems if misused (I won't go into the effects of steroid misuse here as they are well documented elsewhere). The government gives me a 3 month supply of this drug for £6.85. Yet I am not allowed to buy cannabis, which is currently a class C drug, because it is 'dangerous'. Can someone tell me how this makes sense?

My fiancé has chronic insomnia, and takes sleeping pills occasionally. These pills are physically addictive (hence why he can only take them occasionally), make it virtually impossible for him to wake up less than 12 hours after he has taken them, and make him groggy and virtually useless for pretty much all of the next day once he eventually does wake up. They also make his sleep apnea worse which has further, potentially serious, effects. If he were to smoke cannabis, which is not physically addictive, he could get 8 hours of sleep without any drowsiness the next day and without affecting his breathing while he is asleep. One of these drugs is legal, one isn't. If you didn't know, would you be able to guess which one?

The day they ban fish and chips (it's coming, I bet) I am on the next plane to Amsterdam. The effort of learning Dutch would be preferable to staying in the UK any longer.

Giddy said...

Legalise the lot!
Then every illegal producer,importer,pusher and dealer might as well flush the fucking lot down the toilet.
Then i can go down to Boots and buy a wrap with a british standards kitemark and know what i`m buying,without supporting some fucking criminal who`s flogging kids something thats 9/10 Harpic.

Anonymous said...

The government can't legalise the drugs it would put too many Police officers out of work. Cmon people you must have worked out who is behind the importation. Why are we still in Afghanistan. Osama is back in Saudi with his family still working for the Good CIA men that organise that white stuff from Colombia. Do a bit of research it is all their. How do you think the country is a wash with it.