Saturday, July 25, 2009

Drugs and decriminalisation

Iain Dale has been fretting about the alleged levels of cocaine use in this country.
I may be very naive but I find it truly shocking that nearly one million people in this country are cocaine users. Seven per cent of 16-24 year olds use the drug.There has been a 375% rise in the number of under 18s being treated in hospital for cocaine use. Ten per cent of adults expect to take cocaine at some point in their lives.

It's worth reading Iain's post for the utterly incomprehensible paragraph on the subject from Jacboots Smith on the "success" of Britain's drug policy. Needless to say, it reads like one long, illiterate lie.

To be fair to Iain, he fully admits that he himself is a "prude" where drugs are concerned—but he also takes a relatively liberal line on them too.
But everyone has to answer for their own actions and their own lifestyle. No one will ever win a war on drugs. All government can do is try to limit supply and educate people about the disastrous consequences of taking all drugs, not just class A substances.

As someone who has taken pretty much the whole range of drugs, I really don't see what these "disastrous" consequences are of "taking all drugs".

Yes, some people choose to become addicts, and that can be disastrous—but it is a choice: there is no drug that gets you hooked the very first time that you try it (no, not even crack. I know, because I am not a crack addict. See?).
There is of course a school of thought that says that all drugs should be legalised and that would lead to a decline in their use. Alan Duncan argued that in his book Saturn's Children. Whatever the merits of that argument I cannot think that any UK political party would ever adopt such a policy.

It is, of course, a central plank of UK Libertarian Party policy* and, like many of our policies, has its roots in observing policies that have worked in other countries: just as our education policy is based on that of Sweden, our drugs policy is based on the tangible success of the EU country with the most liberal drugs policy.

And that country is not the Netherlands.

No, the EU country with the most liberal drugs policy is Portugal.
The correct answer is Portugal, which in 2001 became the first European country to officially abolish all criminal penalties for personal possession of drugs, including marijuana, cocaine, heroin and methamphetamine.

At the recommendation of a national commission charged with addressing Portugal's drug problem, jail time was replaced with the offer of therapy. The argument was that the fear of prison drives addicts underground and that incarceration is more expensive than treatment — so why not give drug addicts health services instead? Under Portugal's new regime, people found guilty of possessing small amounts of drugs are sent to a panel consisting of a psychologist, social worker and legal adviser for appropriate treatment (which may be refused without criminal punishment), instead of jail.

And how has that policy been working out? Are the streets filled with addicts, the hospitals crowded with overdoses? Er...
The paper, published by Cato in April [2009], 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."

Compared to the European Union and the U.S., Portugal's drug use numbers are impressive. Following decriminalization, Portugal had the lowest rate of lifetime marijuana use in people over 15 in the E.U.: 10%. The most comparable figure in America is in people over 12: 39.8%. Proportionally, more Americans have used cocaine than Portuguese have used marijuana.

The Cato paper reports that between 2001 and 2006 in Portugal, rates of lifetime use of any illegal drug among seventh through ninth graders fell from 14.1% to 10.6%; drug use in older teens also declined. Lifetime heroin use among 16-to-18-year-olds fell from 2.5% to 1.8% (although there was a slight increase in marijuana use in that age group). New HIV infections in drug users fell by 17% between 1999 and 2003, and deaths related to heroin and similar drugs were cut by more than half. In addition, the number of people on methadone and buprenorphine treatment for drug addiction rose to 14,877 from 6,040, after decriminalization, and money saved on enforcement allowed for increased funding of drug-free treatment as well.

Now, I realise that legalisation is a step further than mere decriminalisation, but it is an important second step to take. Portugal's policy shows that a more lenient drugs policy does not lead to increased use amongst citizens, which is the first part of the argument won.

However, decriminalisation does not address another fundamentally important issue: the fact that drug supply is still in the hands of criminal gangs—something that US policymakers are worried about.
Portugal's case study is of some interest to lawmakers in the U.S., confronted now with the violent overflow of escalating drug gang wars in Mexico. The U.S. has long championed a hard-line drug policy, supporting only international agreements that enforce drug prohibition and imposing on its citizens some of the world's harshest penalties for drug possession and sales. Yet America has the highest rates of cocaine and marijuana use in the world, and while most of the E.U. (including Holland) has more liberal drug laws than the U.S., it also has less drug use.

And that is why we need drug legalisation: we need to take the supply of drugs out of the hands of criminals, and we need to do this for a couple of reasons.

The first reason is that, like the US, a large part of Britain's criminal activity—especially gang activity—is associated with the supply of drugs. Remove this trade and you remove a good deal of crime from our streets—or, rather, the motive for the crime. I am fully aware that criminal gangs will probably move onto something else but—given that we have limited law enforcement resources—whatever they move onto may be easier to police than drugs (which are relatively easy to smuggle).

Second, much of the damage done to individuals by drugs are a factor of their illegality. Although some drugs are strong and should be treated with caution (and at least with respect)—I would favour retaining some idea of drug classification to give users an idea of their potency—they are generally speaking short-lasting and put a small strain on the body's resources. However, it is the brick dust with which heroin is often cut that blocks the capillaries and leads to amputations; it is the warfarin with which cocaine is mixed that all to often leads to severe bleeds in the brain (accentuated by cocaine's raising of the heart-rate).

Third, although providing services to addicts is a reasonable thing to do, it is still a strain on the public purse. If drugs were legalised, they could be taxed. This is, by the way, a perfectly free-market policy (and not only because I favour consumption taxes to pay for any state): it is not a "sin tax" but is based on the concept of Pigouvian taxation—that is, you are using tax to reflect the true costs of goods on the market that would not otherwise be reflected in the price (internalising market externalities).

It is entirely obvious that an ever more draconian war on drugs simply doesn't work and if even the US—the country that, against all expert advice, used bribery, blackmail and puritan heckling to drive the international effort to ban all drugs throughout the twentieth century (see the IEA's Prohibitions book [free PDF download] for more on this stupid policy)—is starting to realise this, then it is about time that we started looking for a more sensible, evidence-based solution (Transform's website would be a good place to start, for any politicos reading this).

Decriminalisation of drugs in Britain should be the very least that any government should adopt—we can see from Portugal's efforts that such a policy does not lead to disaster.

But, to gain the full benefits, legalisation—even if it is done by stages—is the only sensible drugs policy to adopt. Anything else is harmful, wasteful, puritanical, expensive and just plain stupid.

* Yes, I shall talk about the Norwich North by-election result in due course, although I have little to add to Andrew's comments.


Trooper Thompson said...

I think the barrier to legalisation is the UK's adherence to a UN treaty on the subject, which is why countries decriminalise instead.

I agree with what you say btw. It's obvious that the illegality causes the bulk of the problems of drugs. One only has to consider alcohol prohibition in the USA to see this.

Martin said...

Second, much of the damage done to individuals by drugs are a factor of their illegality.

Too true. As Mark Thornton points out very well in his book*, in addition to this, under prohibition, the drugs supplied often become much more potent- US alchohol prohibition being a prime example. He cites studies which show that as enforcement increases, smugglers use higher potency drugs- smaller quantities may come in, but they cause much more damage.

More bang for your buck, in other words.

Chapter 4 is dedicated to this subject.

Gareth said...

I can see a great deal of merit in decriminalisation and legalisation. Tax revenue, theraphy, cracking down on criminal gangs and whatnot. It could tackle the trade of drugs and the criminal activity of addicts to fund their habit so it would seem an ideal welfarist policy - helping people improve their lot rather than trying to condemn them to a life of criminality. And the argument that prohibition creates stronger and stronger drugs strikes me as a valid and valuable one.

The one thing I would be concerned about is that what Portuguese citizens did in response to the changes isn't neccessarily what British citizens would. Have extended drinking hours given us a more civilised drinking culture?(Leaving aside whether that approach even could.)

Anonymous said...

You've really taken the "whole range of drugs" have you? What, jacked up heroin? Been at the glue? Toked on a crack pipe? If so that would explain all the violent outbursts of rage and psychotic revenge fantasies I suppose. Not particularly edifying for a chap in his thirties I wouldn't have thought but there you go.

ps congratulations on Norwich North - you only need to quadruple your vote and you'll have achieved the giddying success of the monster raving loony party. Keep the dream alive.

Rumbold said...

Good piece. Even leaving out the libertarian arguments, the benefits would be massive: fewer people in prison, fewer criminal gangs and lucrative tax revenue.

Trooper Thompson said...


at least DK's got the balls to be honest on the subject.

As for Norwich North, you've got to start somewhere. No one said it was easy setting up a new party.

Unknown said...

Good post, DK!!

Anonymous said...

Get rid of Labour.
Adopt Portugal's policy and approach.

Happy Days!!

Kevin Boatang said...

We've talked about this many ties as I'm sure you know, and we agree.

Realistically legalisation is a long, long way off. Decriminalisation is a far more likely event if any government commissions a pair of balls.

I have to say, as someone who has tried most, crack? Why on earth did you decide that was a god idea!

You choice of course.

It should be remember that it wasn't so long ago that decriminalsation was the effective policy. Pretty much until the early 70s in fact.

We need to be honest with ourselves: what is the real issue? Crime. Why is the crime committed? becaue the addicts cannot get the money to get the drugs from the criminals that control it. If people want to fuck themselves that is their choice.

Like weed, what actually is the problem? 'it gets you onto harder drugs'. Well, I'm still waiting for Prince Harry, the underage drinking, weed smoking product of a broken home, to start shooting up.

Devil's Kitchen said...


"I have to say, as someone who has tried most, crack? Why on earth did you decide that was a god idea!"

Simply because I hadn't tried it—I'm up for most experiences.


Anonymous said...

From the World Drug Report
2009, pubished by the United Nations:

"Of late, there has been a limited but
growing chorus among politicians, the press, and even
in public opinion saying: drug control is not working. The
broadcasting volume is still rising and the message
Much of this public debate is characterized by sweeping
generalizations and simplistic solutions. Yet, the very
heart of the discussion underlines the need to evaluate
the effectiveness of the current approach. Having studied
the issue on the basis of our data, UNODC [United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime] has
concluded that, while changes are needed, they should
be in favour of different means to protect society against
drugs, rather than by pursuing the different goal of
abandoning such protection."

Don't hold your breath, in other words.

Trooper Thompson said...

"Why is the crime committed? becaue the addicts cannot get the money to get the drugs from the criminals that control it."

This is a moot point. I know muggers, burglars, shop-lifters etc claim that 'it was the drugs that made me do it', but it ain't necessarily so. If the courts and the 'professionals' believe this culpability-dodging line, it will get used.

Opiates are routinely prescribed in hospital, due to their pain-killing properties, but I've never come across a post-operative crime spree syndrome.

Anonymous said...

Dale : "All government can do is try to limit supply and educate people about the disastrous consequences of taking all drugs"

He really gets free markets. Not.

We should make no attempt to limit supply. Nor should we attempt to educate people about anything at all.

Fucked if I want the state peddling Dale's drug fantasy lies to masses on my dime.

People should be free to do as they please and if they encounter harm - well, that's evolution in action. People can calibrate there own tolerance of hangover/cancer/meth-mouth/addiction or other harm visa via beta-blockers (banned for a decade in the US at a cost of 100k lives) or smack or whatever.

And for what it's worth I think the "disastrous" effects of drugs are wholly and complete the function of interventions in markets.

People like Dale have no idea of what markets are for or how they function. These people cause very real harm to our society. Much more harm than a handful of junkies.

If you want to look at real harm lets look at the FDA's role in forbidding sales of Propanolol in the US back in the mists of time. How many people did that kill?

David Freidman estimates 100 000 people died.

The war on drugs is causing serious harm in the world. I mean really terrible harm. Compared to that the person who gets fucked up on coke .. I'ts crazy.

bollocks to that said...

"To be fair to Iain, he fully admits that he himself is a "prude" where drugs are concerned ..."

But not where low level exposure to other blokes fecal matter is concerned?

Dale's entitled to do as he pleases in his own time, at his own expense and with consenting adults - be it dumb, unhygenic or even a little bit self-destructive.

Will he, with a clear conscience, grant me the same license?

A-ha, A-ha-haaaaaa.

Dale, more so that most, could benefit from a few joints and a night in with collection of Bill Hicks DVDs - yes, that's the prescription for Mrs Dale, the "prude".

Anonymous said...

Drugs make you paranoid. I mean what is this 'Seasteading' thing you keep banging on about?

Is life really that bad that we need to build new cities on the seas to get away from the evil state?

It's just paranoid codswallop, drug-fuelled paranoid codswallop by the looks of things.

Simon Fawthrop said...


I can't fault most of the comment but this is bollocks.

"Nor should we attempt to educate people about anything at all."

We should be carrying out research into the effects of alcohol, tobacco, heroin, coke and all the other drugs that man has found to ease the pain between birth and death and make it more enjoyable experience.

That research should then be made available and explained in honest open terms ie educating us. It is then our choice to continue to use the drug as long as we pay the Pigou tax. That way if the facts change we can change our habits.

Rob said...

When opium was banned in South East Asia (by the US, through the UN) heroin use and crime rocketted. The British in Hong Kong, to their credit, tried to stand up to the US, pointing out to them that heroin use would soar. And it duly did.
The same kind of thing happened in America during prohibition. The consuption of beer fell dramatically while the consumption of spirits rose. So, even speaking from a moralistic point of view, legalisation may be the better option.

Anonymous said...

Any of you metrosexual hedonists done cold turkey from opiates ?

I have, courtesy of the fucking awful NHS and a wrongly programmed automatic morphine drip. It was a laugh and a half when they realised I'd been left on it too long and cut it off. Seen Trainspotting ? that conveys about 50% of what it's really like.

But then it's all about you, isn't it ? You consider yourselves to be bright young professionals who feel oppressed because the nasty state frowns on your party drugs.
With your fucking Blackberries and your fucking iPods. Lord how I despise you fucking wimps.

You are in control of your drug use though, aren't you ?

Good fucking luck. Don't expect any mercy when you have sold everything you have owned and I find you trying to break into my garden shed.

Dick the Prick said...

Anon 2.31 - whoa there lad, you admit straight off the bat that drug treatment and policy is wank and then start making assumptions about people who also think it's bollox. Fair play, you've been through the shit - no doubt you started between the ages of 16-18 and had no fucking clue what you were getting yourself into.

You probably went to your dealer to get pot, trips, charley, e's or speed and the fucker said 'hey, wanna try some smack or crack?' - 'yeah, fuck it' - maybe a little bit pissed up as well?

Take the drugs away from the fucking hypermarket that is fucking shitty dealers houses where you can buy stuff with nicked stuff and no distinction is made.

I'm sorry you got fucked up but you can fuck right off if you think I had owt to do with it - I was fucking lucky that my dealer never sold smack and crack but I can't be sure I wouldn't have done it had I been offered. Just 1 of them things eh?

Ian Simcox said...

Gareth - "Have extended drinking hours given us a more civilised drinking culture"

But on the other hand, they also haven't made our binge culture worse. Those who want to get drunk out of their face do, those who don't do not.

Similarly with drugs. Decriminalisation will likely not lead to an increase an in drugs as those who want to take drugs already do and those who do not don't. I suspect there are very few people whose sole reason for not taking drugs is their illegality.

Devil's Kitchen said...


"Any of you metrosexual hedonists done cold turkey from opiates ?"

No. Because, you see, I am a thinking human being in control of my desires and not a fucking moron. Do you see?

"But then it's all about you, isn't it ? You consider yourselves to be bright young professionals who feel oppressed because the nasty state frowns on your party drugs.
With your fucking Blackberries and your fucking iPods. Lord how I despise you fucking wimps."

And I despise you salt of the earth wankers with your fucking stupidity, your reverse snobbery and your BNP voting.

Would you like a nicely framed certificate saying so?

"You are in control of your drug use though, aren't you ?"


Your problem was not that you were in control of your drug use—your problem was that the state was in control of your drug use. Do you see?



Spartan said...

Privately the vast majority of politicians and police would no doubt agree about decriminalisation ... legalisation would not be on the agenda.

At one stage (some of you may remember) amphetamines were legal. They were prescribed as a slimming aid but became illegal as GP's believed women were becoming addicted to the pills ... it never crossed the GP's minds that they were selling them. So along came illegal amphetamines with all the added crap put in them.

Mis-use of drugs is commonplace whether it be painkillers, alchohol, valium, prozac whatever.

What you can stop is the back street manufacturers of drugs where there is no control at all as to what is in it. People have no idea what they are actually taking.

To legalise drugs would get rid of this and along with it ... the crime!

Whilst we are at it, prostitution should also be made legal ... again ridding ourselves of a lot of crime associated with it.

This does bring into question what would we do with the vast resources no longer needed fighting drugs and prostitution.

Motorists beware? ;-)

Devil's Kitchen said...

P.S. The only drug I have been an addict of is alcohol. You ever done cold turkey from alcohol, Anon?


Dick the Prick said...

DK - well said. As regards being in control of drug use, today revolves around tidying this shithole of a house up and sorting out next weeks washing, having a roast dinner then getting pissed and stoned out of my tits.

I dunno if I want it decriminalized - my local man delivers usually in about 20 minutes; more effort to go the shop for the Red Stripes.

Spartan said...

At one of the next full HOC ... can we have a drugs test on all MP's ... and results public. ;-)

Elby the Beserk said...

Spot on DK. This 57 years old, who has raised a family of four, raised and paid off a mortgage and worked for one of the top software companies in the world for a long time, is also a regular mj smoker, likes some mdma (not nuffing mixed ya know), and holy mushrooms as well from time to time. Given that, I could be spending the rest of my life doing time, rather than being the responsible citizen I am.

Twats all. Mind you, that cunt Brown needs a good fucking dosing, that's for sure. That might sort him out.

wv : potirsit. Yes please...

Dick the Prick said...

Elby - mushrooms used to grow on our school fields (Huddersfield) and it was over a year before any of us realized that necking a good handful was by far the wrong dose - still, at least you can drink yourself out of them unlike Black Microdots where it's 12 hours of utter shite. I make it a rule never to take anything that I can't get to sleep on - speed bad, trips bad.

Also, sure skunk is proper strong but why do fuckwits use the same amount as if it was Thai grass or something? It's like having a pint of fucking whiskey - fucking ejeets - macho drug use? Wankers.

Anonymous said...

Despite this granite brained government adding more and more drugs to the 'controlled' (hahaha) list, I am somewhat optimistic about the prospects for an end to drugs prohibition in the long run.

Again and again, responses to articles and postings on the subject show that the intellectual foundations of prohibition are crumbling.

Eventually this process will break through to mainstream politics, and in the same way that homosexuality was decriminalised, so will recreational drug use.

Anonymous said...

CIA have been deeply involved in drug trade since Contras scandal. Maintaining the illegal status of drugs enables our Government to fund internal 'security forces' using our cash. Illicit drugs will never be fully legalised.

Frank Davis said...

DK wrote: Simply because I hadn't tried it—I'm up for most experiences.

Good for you! The only way people learn anything is by trying things out.

Personally, cocaine never does anything for me except give me a runny nose. I know this because I've tried it enough times.

Now opium. That's different. That's a drug I can understand. I know why people smoke opium. Because I've tried it a few times. Yet I never got addicted to it. Amazing that, isn't it?

It's high time (sorry for the pun) that there was an open and honest debate about drugs and what they do for people. I think all these drugs are useful in one way or other. They just aren't useful to everybody all the time.

The truly evil people are those people who lie about drugs, and whip up fear, and drive the war on drugs. Those are the people who need to be locked up. And one day they will be.

Anonymous said...

Devil, can you read ?

As anonymous at 2:31 I stated that I went through opiate withdrawl because of a medical error, not as a consequence of my own actions.

The point is that it's horrible and I can well understand why junkies will do pretty much anything for another fix.

If they were only making themselves miserable I wouldn't give a shit, but they make the rest of us miserable by thieving and robbing.

I don't want an epidemic of larcenous smackheads stealing my stuff just so you urban fucking metrosexuals can party without fear of a criminal record.

And you wonder why you only get 36 votes when you put your fucking stupid ideas to the electorate....

Devil's Kitchen said...


Did you read the post?

Yes, our ideas may not chime with the electorate because—like you—the electorate are stupid cunts who would rather stick to their own stupid prejudices rather than actually look at the evidence.

And I didn't say anything about you being responsible for your addiction—I said that the state was.

And you ask me if I can read?

Fucking hellski.



Once your "drugs"are legalised,then we can look forward to,medically "approved" doses,a yearly increase in tax duty,and complete government control of another part of our private lives,another half a dozen quangos,to compile reports upon its use ,and recommendations not to bugger your boyfriend while psychotic with a plastic bag over your head,unless you happen to be an MP.I thought your platform wished to reduce intervention by the state,not increase it,and you can not be unaware of what our corporate fascists will do with such an opportunity,while your intensions may be laudable,we simply can not trust our despotes,for we are all aware of the squaline risks with swine flu vaccine to name but one,what an ideal opportunity to really fuck us up big time.

Anonymous said...

I don't want an epidemic of larcenous smackheads stealing my stuff just so you urban fucking metrosexuals can party without fear of a criminal record.

You think people 'party' with smack?

Fucking hell, Sunshine... Which parties are you going to? The BNP?

Dick the Prick said...

@Englishman. I used to work for an entity called the National Treatment Agency and I can completely assure you the amount funnelled into it would make your eyes fucking water plus, and here's the fucking peach, drug treatment doesn't work! It doesn't fucking work.

Young Billy thinks he's got a problem, finally decides to do something about it so fucks off to a treatment agency and who d'ya think he meets? Hello Mr Scag Dealer A, gosh you seem to cane a helluva lot more than me and, what's that? You can get loads of scag and you're gonna be here tmrw? Hokely cokely. Et fucking cetera ad infinitum - the end.

Ed Butt said...

Portugal is a catholic country that was only liberalised in the 1970s, half a century after the Inquisition was finally abolished.

We liberalised our society with freedom of worship etc. in the eighteenth century, hot on the heels of the protestant revolution and puritanism.

I guess we are still suffering from the hangover.

Trooper Thompson said...


is it possible that the suffering you attribute to opiate withdrawal had anything to do with whatever it was that had put you in the hospital bed in the first place?

You should meet my mate's grandfather who was a Jap POW on the Burma railway. He'd put your couple of days cold turkey in perspective.

Anonymous said...

"the electorate are stupid cunts"

That should have been the LPUK campaign slogan in Norwich North, you might have achieved a slightly better result and let’s face it, it couldn’t have been much worse.

But if the electorate are just a bunch of indoctrinated thickos, then maybe its time LPUK started to consider the Pinochet option. What’s the point of fruitlessly trying to engage with the Marxist brainwashed sheep when you could in one foul swoop do away with illiberal democracy and install a liberal dictatorship in its place? Just think, while you indulge your rich playboy lifestyles, sorting lines of coke off hookers backs and whatnot, all those people that stand in your way – lefties, trade unionists, human rights activists and so forth - could be rounded up in camps and “disappeared” if they become to much of a nuisance.

Mmmm Libertarian paradise.

Unknown said...

the electorate are stupid cunts who would rather stick to their own stupid prejudices rather than actually look at the evidence

Agreed. So why are libertarians asking them to vote for ideas they don't understand or value?

Dick the Prick said...

Voting is lovely. It's a bloody shame that only 45% of registered voters could be arsed. That's probably only about 25% max of the people who could vote but who are trying to blag council tax. I can never remember who I vote for because it's pure comedy - the decision is made by the elbow on the way down and if it reaches the head it doesn't register. People should vote - voting's funny.

Dick Puddlecote said...

Info: Because to do otherwise (ie to promote populist, kneejerk, policies to gain power before moving to a different agenda) would be to fall in line with mainstream parties and further illustrate that democratic process in this country has descended into farce.

Libertarianism, as I understand it anyway, by its very nature would value honesty above political expediency.

Great article, DK.

Anonymous said...

"Libertarianism, as I understand it anyway, by its very nature would value honesty above political expediency."

Well, I suppose a political party's communications officer referring to voters as "thick cunts" on a public forum is fairly honest - some might also add tactless - but honest nonetheless.

But given the incurable stupidness of the huddled masses one has to wonder what the point of playing the electoral game is. To borrow a line from The Wire - if you don't play the game, you can't lose the game.

Different options should be considered - like I said before, how about the Pinochet route? As DK says most people don't want to be free, or don't know what real freedom is at any rate. This would imply the need to create a libertarian dictatorship (not a contradiction, Hayek never had a problem with that). A dictatorship in which an enlightened libertarian elite guide individuals towards real freedom.

I mean sure this could be open to abuse - but if the masses are dumb lemmings then the prospects of establishing a libertarian Government on a democratic basis is even less likely to succeed.

Libertarian stalwards like Tim Worstall have already reached the conclusion that liberal dictatorship is the way to go in Hoduras, so why not here in the UK? I think you'll find that capitalist property rights are far more restricted by nationalised industry here than over there.

Dick the Prick said...

I am such a pure bureaucrat you would not believe. I don't have to be a libertarian to see Liberty different. If you pop over to Dale's he's got McKinley's resignation and it ain't too bad.

Anonymous said...

A far better way to get rid of drugs is to do what Singapore does and institute a mandatory death penalty with no appeal for posession of any quantity.

Shoot them on the spot, reduces the legal cost as well.

Druggies are a massive drain on society as a whole.
It's not just the reduced (or destroyed) economic value of these "people" who are too stoned or too down to perform a job, but the massive cost of the damages they do as part of the crimes they perform to feed their addiction (theft, robbery, etc. etc.).

And yes, you can get addicted by a single dose.
Maybe not everyone, but many people will. It all depends on your body chemistry, which makes some people more vulnerable than others.

Unknown said...

A dictatorship in which an enlightened libertarian elite guide individuals towards real freedom

There's certainly more prospect of that than LPUK winning a majority in the House of Commons. Maybe that's what we should be working towards. Anybody know anyone high up in the army?

the a&e charge nurse said...

Perhaps one of the impediments to legalisation is the 'illness' vs 'life-style-choice' model of addiction?

In other words are those addicted to various substances suffering from a 'disease' - and if they are should the state be sponsoring it?

On the other hand some may think that the disease concept is a load of bollocks - its more a case of a small army of losers making dreadful decisions everyday (and expecting others to bale them out when the shit hits the fan).

Curiously when smokers develop lung cancer they are not quite vilified in the same way as smack heads are - then again smokers generally do not whinge about NHS services in the quite same way that our heroin addicted contributor does (see above).

Mind you the British public don't need drugs to harm themselves - no, an ever growing number have become addicted to food, and more and more of us are well on the way to eating ourselves to death.
In the wrong hand Tesco's can be just as dangerous as a crack den in my humble opinion.

the a&e charge nurse said...

Yes, perhaps the gourmet addicts should take a look at this?

Anonymous said...

Actually prescription drugs kill more people than illegal ones .
Or so im led to believe.
(NaturalNews) A report by the Florida Medical Examiners Commission has concluded that prescription drugs have outstripped illegal drugs as a cause of death.

An analysis of 168,900 autopsies conducted in Florida in 2007 found that three times as many people were killed by legal drugs as by cocaine, heroin and all methamphetamines put together. According to state law enforcement officials, this is a sign of a burgeoning prescription drug abuse problem.
So the a&e charge nurse .
I assume tnen if these figures are transposed the Medical proffesion kills more people by drug use than all the drug gangs in the UK combined.
Would the Lancet print that ?

Anonymous said...

The point im trying to make at 11:26 .
Is the state should not intervene at all .
It does not make any difference.
For example murder and burglary are illegal yet some people still do it?

the a&e charge nurse said...

Anonymous (at 11:26) said ........ I assume then if these figures are transposed the Medical proffesion kills more people by drug use than all the drug gangs in the UK combined.

The Florida report you highlight claims:
In 2007, cocaine was responsible for 843 deaths, heroin for 121, methamphetamines for 25 and marijuana for zero, for a total of 989 deaths. In contrast, 2,328 people were killed by opioid painkillers, including Vicodin and Oxycontin, and 743 were killed by drugs containing benzodiazepine, including the depressants Valium and Xanax."

First of all it does not necessarily follow that the American figures are reproduced in the NHS.
Secondly none of the prescription drugs highlighted above are lethal providing they are used therapeutically starting with the dose prescribed by the doctor.

I imagine some of the deaths could be accounted for by poly-pharmacy (benzo, pain killer + alcohol cocktail).
So what are doctors meant to do - turn up at the patients house everyday and ensure they are only taking medication as prescribed?

Or do you advocate that other patients should be denied pain killers, anti-depressants and the like because a minority will abuse them.

If that is your logic then presumably cars should be banned as well?

Dave said...

Surely the reason these drugs remain and will continue to be illegal is that the goverment does not control the supply (as they do with booze and tobacco
If they could control the supply (and tax it like alcohol and fags) they would in a flash

Anonymous said...

The main thing I would take from Dale's crap is that he is a bare-faced liar. There's no way he's in any way surprised by drug usage OR not taking drugs.

Literally he is FULL OF "SHIT".

Anonymous said...

The statments about deceasing drug use in Portugal is not in line with the latest report from EMCDDA. They

"Data from the ESPAD surveys suggest an increase in experimentation, as well as in recent and in current use of almost all illicit drugs."

NR said...

@anonymous 01:34

True, but experimentation isn't addiction, and addiction isn't nicking tellies to pay for it.

From that same page, problem drug use appears to be down, treatment demand up, HIV infection rates down (subject to heavy caveats), all of which is good stuff.

On the other hand, there were 45% more deaths where the victim tested positive for illegal levels of drugs (including alcohol, 55% of cases), regardless of whether intoxication was relevant to the cause of death.

We'll never get anywhere if you cherry-pick the data...

NHS Fail Wail

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