Monday, April 19, 2010

Absolute non-surprise of the week

Well, isn't this a massive fucking* surprise...?
Clubbers continue to use mephedrone despite ban

The only thing that surprises me is that people would go for mephdrone when there's some excellent MDMA doing the rounds in London at the moment. Apparently.
“I like it,” he said. “It’s not as strong as MDMA, and it’s not like mushrooms. They used to be legal and they really f*** you up.”

Fair enough. When I lived in Edinburgh, there was a "head shop" around the corner that used to sell fresh mushrooms. I can't say that they ever did anything much other than make me laugh and laugh for hours**.

But wow! Who'da thunk it?—banning stuff doesn't stop people taking it. In fact...
Two other clubbers who had not taken the drug said that they would be willing to try. One, 34, a graphic designer, said that criminalising the drug had encouraged him to give it a go.

“It’s just going to make people want it more. If you start to legalise it, people will realise it actually works.

“Legal drugs, you think they’re just herbal stuff,” said his companion. “This just shows everybody that it actually does something.”

... banning things just encourages people to take it.

As many of you will know, Portugal decriminalised all dugs in 2001, and actually saw a reduction in the number of people taking what had previously been illegal drugs.
Notably, decriminalization has become increasingly popular in Portugal since 2001. Except for some far-right politicians, very few domestic political factions are agitating for a repeal of the 2001 law. And while there is a widespread perception that bureaucratic changes need to be made to Portugal's decriminalization framework to make it more efficient and effective, there is no real debate about whether drugs should once again be criminalized. More significantly, none of the nightmare scenarios touted by preenactment decriminalization opponents—from rampant increases in drug usage among the young to the transformation of Lisbon into a haven for "drug tourists"—has occurred.

The political consensus in favor of decriminalization is unsurprising in light of the relevant empirical data. Those data indicate that decriminalization has had no adverse effect on drug usage rates in Portugal, which, in numerous categories, are now among the lowest in the EU, particularly when compared with states with stringent criminalization regimes. Although postdecriminalization usage rates have remained roughly the same or even decreased slightly when compared with other EU states, drug-related pathologies—such as sexually transmitted diseases and deaths due to drug usage—have decreased dramatically. Drug policy experts attribute those positive trends to the enhanced ability of the Portuguese government to offer treatment programs to its citizens—enhancements made possible, for numerous reasons, by decriminalization.

The data show that, judged by virtually every metric, the Portuguese decriminalization framework has been a resounding success. Within this success lie self-evident lessons that should guide drug policy debates around the world.

As readers will know, your humble Devil supports the full legalisation—not just decriminalisation—of all drugs. This has numerous advantages:
  • Under decriminalisation, the supply of drugs is still illegal. This fails to address the harm done by impurities in the drugs; it also fails to address the problem of criminal gangs fighting over turf.

  • A large amount of money must still be expended in attempting to deal with these criminals—both in catching them and pursuing them through the criminal courts.

  • Legalisation would allow for the regulation of drug purity; it would also allow the state to impose a Pigou tax on the drugs to pay for any societal costs, e.g. rehabilitation of addicts.

But Portugal has taken a large step in the right direction, whilst our government—ruled, as it is, by the baying mob of the media—continues to move in the diametrically opposite one.

The "war on drugs" is completely wrong—from philosophical, moral, health and economic viewpoint. It is absolute insanity and should be stopped immediately.

* I know, I know—but nothing else has quite the impact, eh?

** Although I would say that I don't recommend watching Cube whilst high on mushrooms.


Ryan said...

I have been growing Salvia Divinorum for years. It's one of the most potent hallucinogens ever discovered. Serious wormhole into another universe and probable amnesia because there's no way to translate the experience levels of hallucinogen. Stuff scares the hell out of me and I use it very occasionally with respect. Or when I'm very very pissed. It's still legal, for now. Though there are moves all over the world to get it banned.

All that its going to take is the inevitable emoting TV mummy complaining that little timmy idiot was never the same after pinwheeling through the abyss for 10 minutes being whispered at by the old ones and its all over. And this is for a substance that is pretty much impossible to abuse.

Dame Davina Pancake said...

As always very well written - agree with all your points - I was first convinced by Lord Denning's arguments for full legalisation many years ago now - btw, great to see a small amount of the kitchen poking through - don't let the knife get too blunt! :)

Davina x

Antisthenes said...

I suspect general crime has fallen as well. I agree that legalising of supply is as important as legalising use. Unfortunately like after prohibition in the USA gangster will still be around but their largest source of income will have dried up.

Dave said...

I've never done drugs apart from a half tab of acid almost forty years ago. I was flashing back for weeks afterwards.Very nice but I preferred alcohol at that time.

My observation about the legalisation or decriminalisation is that everyone forgets the law of supply and demand.
Cutting down the supply does not work when the demand is undiminished.
If people are serious about the use and abuse of drugs within our society perhaps they should look into why so many find them attractive? Because they're illegal? fashionable? Peer pressure? Cheaper than other highs?
Because they're available so why not? Boredom? Escape from reality? Hopeless lives?
God I sound like a tv evangelist.

Wordver= howdie
and hello to you too.

Ryan said...

I grew up in a small village in north Wales. It was easier and cheaper to get hold of weed, mushrooms or LSD from the age of 13 or so than it was to get alcohol.. Easier to keep a secret from your parents too.

Rob said...

I first got into 'legal highs' when our dear government announced that they were thinking of banning 'Spice Gold' for our own good.

Until then, I'd never even heard of it. Of course a couple of days later, I had a bag of the stuff winging it's way to me...

I was also taking meph several months before the MSM launched themselves on their crusade, and yet I'M STILL NOT DEAD!!! Is that a record?

Diogenes said...

Future drug taker here - only child died at the hands of the NHS last month. I am unhappy, consequently I thought I would self medicate a touch.

So I tried mephedrone a week ago, when it was not illegal. Can't recommend it enough, if it can make me happy at the minute, albeit briefly, it's miraculous stuff (hurt like hell though).

Now it's illegal what am I supposed to do, go to the GP and be branded as someone with mental illness (depression) because the death of my child makes me unhappy, fuck that. I suppose I could drink myself into oblivion, hardly productive. Should I find a dealer to sell me adulterated drugs at silly prices, I don't fancy that.

Should I be denied respite from my current misery?

I don't think so.

thefrollickingmole said...

Cant it just be admitted that both options, criminalisation, and legalisation are both "bad" in the effects rthey have?

Criminalisation, as it allows a sweaty 55 year old obese pedophile access to 13 year old girls gagging for their next hit. Allows a person to be sent to jail for harming themselves (in theory anyway). Causes people to become so motivated they will steal/rob/mug whomever to get a grand a week to fund the above 50 year old pedo.

Legalisation because there will be issues with drug driving/mental health (for some)/accidental overdoses (even if they are less common it would still be legalisations "fault").

The arguement is really which is the least worst option.
Id be a terrible drug abuser, I have what I consider an addictive nature, but dope just sends me to sleep and I havent bothered with anything else. (though I was slipped a 'mickey" which had me halucinating for 12 hours).

For those who have indulged if you were to pick 2 potent drugs with the least serious side effects what would they be?
And if those 2 were legalised would it greatly affect the flow of more dodgy drugs?

Anonymous said...

These dickwads would ban Irn Bru if they thought people got a buzz out of it.

And a drug thats safe,sociable and makes you happy.

The f..ckers cant have that,so lets have the Daily Heil demonise it and then comes the ban.

Cheeky plebs thinking they can have legal fun.And the danger,well we cant have the plebs thinking for themselves now,can we.

Irredeemable shit bastards.

NHS Fail Wail

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