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emgee
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The "war on drugs" is irrevocably lost

At the weekend I read that we are to start paying Afghan farmers in Helmand province not to grow poppies, using a system based on the Common Agricultural Policy (great - 2 CAPs). Today, 50 premises are being raided by the police in search of drugs. Does anybody seriously believe either will make a scrap of difference?

For decades, the "war on drugs" has failed. Now and then we hear of a made-up-figure's worth of something being seized off some dinghy somewhere, but at no time has there ever been any significant or lasting impact on the availability of illegal drugs. Anyone, any of you, who wants to obtain drugs could find where get hold of them with little effort and virtually no risk of prosecution. The reason for this is very simple - public demand. People want them. No amount of moralising is ever going to change that.

The illegality of drugs places a tremendous burden on users and non-users alike, both in terms of the enormous cost of failed interventions and crime. The illegal nature of drug supply means that the suppliers are the same groups involved in various forms of smuggling, extortion and violence.

Now it's perfectly possible to sustain an opiate addiction for decades and maintain a 'normal' life. This is well documented. The bulk of the risk associated with class A drug use is assocated with the crap they cut them with and uncertainty over the dose. Nonetheless, if drugs were legalised today, some 'new' people would die, and some 'new' lives would be affected. However, there is no reason to believe that the overall burden on society would be any greater than those associated with alcohol or tobacco today. Good old capitalism would even bring the price down through competition, easing or removing the link between drug use and crime.

So, is it time to recognise the inevitable, that illegal drugs are firmly and irreversibly part of life today, whatever the law? Before you tell me that 'drugs are evil' and I must have tried some and so on, you are going to have to come up with some new way of controlling drug use that is different from the failed and discredited policies of the present. Do you have a real alternative?

By the way - I have no conflict of inyerest here, in case you were wondering. I have never ingested an illegal substance in my life.
 
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Nev
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Re: The "war on drugs" is irrevocably lost

Good post emgee.

Especially after yesterdays reports on the ravages
that alcohol is doing to the UK's youth.

Why don't we just buy the poppy harvest off
the farmers in the region and use it for pharmacological drugs?

It's funny that illicit drugs are a relatively recent invention.

Up until <100 years ago you could do whatever you wanted.
And I still believe you should be able to, so long as you are
making an informed decision and you harm no one else.


Yet another "War On .." (TM)(R) failure.
 
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Re: The "war on drugs" is irrevocably lost

Glad I'm not starting over, and have a couple of kids, and a few grandkids, who to the best of my beliefs have never indulged. : Seventeen of the Argyll's, Scottish, Regt. under arrest, positive testing following exercises in Belize.: Worlds going to pot! Yeah that and all, could be the one after alcohol, then up the ladder til' you fall off.:
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Re: The "war on drugs" is irrevocably lost

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nev View Post
Good post emgee.

Especially after yesterdays reports on the ravages
that alcohol is doing to the UK's youth.

Why don't we just buy the poppy harvest off
the farmers in the region and use it for pharmacological drugs?

It's funny that illicit drugs are a relatively recent invention.

Up until <100 years ago you could do whatever you wanted.
And I still believe you should be able to, so long as you are
making an informed decision and you harm no one else.


Yet another "War On .." (TM)(R) failure.

I agree with you here Nev, we have a shortage of Morphine in the UK and are growing poppies here. We could buy the poppies off of the Afghans then we would have a good cheap supply, the farmers there would be happy and the use of Afghan poppies for illegal drugs would be reduced.

Or is this too simple an idea?
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Re: The "war on drugs" is irrevocably lost

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Good post emgee.

Why don't we just buy the poppy harvest off
the farmers in the region and use it for pharmacological drugs?
Report I read said it had been considered and rejected. Don't know why, probably just don't need that much medical morphine and contracts to supply what we need are already in place.
 
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Re: The "war on drugs" is irrevocably lost

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I agree with you here Nev, we have a shortage of Morphine in the UK and are growing poppies here. We could buy the poppies off of the Afghans then we would have a good cheap supply, the farmers there would be happy and the use of Afghan poppies for illegal drugs would be reduced.

Or is this too simple an idea?
I believe Tasmania and India currently supply more than enough legitimate opium and opium by-products for world use.

The US Govt. couldn't give a hoot about the heroin coming out of Afghanistan because it mainly goes to Australia, UK and Europe. The US addicts rely on ''tar" heroin coming mainly from Mexico.

Besides drugs like amphetamines and it's various derivatives such as ICE are taking over being the real drug scourge. Relatatively cheap and easy to make and no importation required. I always wonder how can Govts. lock people up for use of speed yet pilots in any of the wars both last century and right now are allowed to ingest bags and bags of the stuff whenever they feel like it. It seems like the war on SOME drugs is rather hypocritical. Nobody's winning this "war" except for the large drug barons.
 
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Re: The "war on drugs" is irrevocably lost

When you declare war on drugs you tend to get elected and it helps that you can't actually win. People like to do drugs(and drink) so Afghanistan is a successful business that feeds this rich/affluent Europe/USA
and besides all the 'famous' people do it - and that is all the incentive people need
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Re: The "war on drugs" is irrevocably lost

Legalise all drugs - they can then be sold in exact doses with pure ingredients by shops instead of dodgy dealers. Users will be responsible for their own actions (fat chance in our nanny state ) as they are with alcohol & cigarettes. The government could even tax it all, making enough money for them to abolish road tax
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Re: The "war on drugs" is irrevocably lost

Problem is that as we know morphine itself is highly addictive and only given sparingly to patients in need of severe pain relief.

Thankfully there are a number of pharmaceutical companies developing non-addictive pain relief drugs which, if trials are successful, will largely replace morphine. Chief among those are little known Uk laboratory called CENES Pharmaceutical.

Worth a punt for those with a few bob hanging around doing nowt.
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Re: The "war on drugs" is irrevocably lost

Will!! good to have you back! Or are you just here for the drugs?
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Re: The "war on drugs" is irrevocably lost

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Will!! good to have you back! Or are you just here for the drugs?
Howdy Al!

Yeah, back for a bit. I'm at a loose end at the moment so I thought I'd nip in and see who's around...
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Re: The "war on drugs" is irrevocably lost

EMGEE... you are absolutely right !! there are so many rich people getting even richer with this illegal drugs business that it will be a war that will last for decades ! the mere thought that Aghans will grow cotton or other 'good stuff' for 50cents a K instead of 10.000 usd for a K of heroin is just plain stupid ! how many good young men have to die before someone stops this massacre ?

p.s. go see the movie American Gangster and you kow what it is all about, this war on drugs !l
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Re: The "war on drugs" is irrevocably lost

If they legalised all drugs, and slapped big taxes on it like they do on fags, the government may be able to afford to cut fuel duty.

It would certainly free up police resources away from drugs so they be used elsewhere.
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And there was me looking forward to a good row.

You know what? Drugs are bad and we should double road tax and fuel duty to pay for more drugs squad officers.
 
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Re: The "war on drugs" is irrevocably lost

I have no idea how to stop the drug culture in this country, but i DO know that if you stop the drugs, then you'll halve (or more) the gun crime, muggings, burglaries etc in the same throw of the dice.
 
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Re: The "war on drugs" is irrevocably lost

It always struck me as strange that we can
outlaw natural substances that grow on this planet.

Yet something we need to really process to
produce, is widely available in most countries.

Also, if prohibition for alcohol has been demonstrated
not to work (due to the criminal underworld involvement)
why do they think it'll be different for other narcotics ?

 
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Re: The "war on drugs" is irrevocably lost

What does Australia do in regard to drugs? They seem to be correct on other issues.
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Re: The "war on drugs" is irrevocably lost

In reply to the original post.

It's an interesting debate. If drugs were legalised and prescribed to addicts this would perhaps stop a lot of the crime associated with funding their habits. However you could also seem to be condoning it.

A prime example was the declassification of cannabis which lead to confusion about it being illegal (which it still is!) and also seemed to say that it is a harmless drug. This is linked to pshycosis( is that spelt right?) in many individuals with prolonged and frequent use. It also seems that infrequent use can have some degree of risk also.

Another point is that a lot of crime is linked to alcohol and alcohol abuse is also a rising social problem. If drugs were legalised we could possibly see their use increase and the effects on society would be catastrophic IMO. Ask anbody who has a relative addicted to crack or heroin.

I see the effects of substance abuse first hand through my job and it isn't pretty.

The war isn't lost, it's just ongoing!

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Re: The "war on drugs" is irrevocably lost

People who abuse substances will abuse them whether they're illegal or not. And as Emgee pointed out, for the average Joe on the street the fact that drugs are illegal doesn't particularly deter them from doing drugs or from being able to get hold of them. At least legalistion takes the money out of the hands of criminals and brings it under a regulated and controlled market environment.

I was also amused to hear the recommendation from some Doctors that 10&#37; should be added to the price of drinks to stop children drinking... Radio 1 interviewed some kids of 16 who were drinking a bottle of Voddy a day. Now I don't know about you but I am not quite clear why I have to pay 10% more for a drink when some kids and shop keepers are breaking an existing law?

Here's a crazy idea... enforce the existing law more!
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Re: The "war on drugs" is irrevocably lost

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What does Australia do in regard to drugs? They seem to be correct on other issues.

They go the harm minimisation route rather than punishment to a large degree. Addicts aren't freely locked up as like America where something like 2/3rds of the prison population are there for drug-related crimes. Rather than going for the user they attempt to stop the big-time traffickers. Easier said than done. Needle exchanges and in some places "safe" shooting houses are set up. These are in places like Kings Cross etc. and from all accounts are successful in keeping much of the more serious drug use in a controlled environment.

I think there needs to be more education and ''realistic" education at that, rather than the idiotic DARE type programs that the US tried a while back that are scoffed at by cynical teenagers and rightly so. Exaggeration and half-truths and lies about drugs under the guise of education, doesn't help anyone. I think most of us have seen movies like "Reefer Madness" and know what effect that has on anyone considering drug use.

All in all a very complex problem which really needs to be addressed by home environments where possible. Switzerland has gone the legalization route and from all accounts they have been succesful in at least keeping drug-use in check. They seem to have won over even the more die-hard conservative population with the Govt. controlled use of drugs. Anything has to be better than the US led War on "SOME" drugs.
 
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Re: The "war on drugs" is irrevocably lost

PT14 unfortunately that is the US way, War on Drugs, War on Terror.

No War on ignorance and obesity yet unfortunately
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Re: The "war on drugs" is irrevocably lost

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They go the harm minimisation route rather than punishment to a large degree. Addicts aren't freely locked up as like America where something like 2/3rds of the prison population are there for drug-related crimes. Rather than going for the user they attempt to stop the big-time traffickers. Easier said than done. Needle exchanges and in some places "safe" shooting houses are set up. These are in places like Kings Cross etc. and from all accounts are successful in keeping much of the more serious drug use in a controlled environment.

I think there needs to be more education and ''realistic" education at that, rather than the idiotic DARE type programs that the US tried a while back that are scoffed at by cynical teenagers and rightly so. Exaggeration and half-truths and lies about drugs under the guise of education, doesn't help anyone. I think most of us have seen movies like "Reefer Madness" and know what effect that has on anyone considering drug use.
So how do you have a controlled environment(and a 'safe' shooting space) for the aggressive ice junkies out there? I mean there is an ice epidemic according to the hospitals that are dealing with this. And is it true that you can order a fix via sms and receive it faster then a pizza delivery in city areas? How does this help?!
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Re: The "war on drugs" is irrevocably lost

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So how do you have a controlled environment(and a 'safe' shooting space) for the aggressive ice junkies out there? I mean there is an ice epidemic according to the hospitals that are dealing with this. And is it true that you can order a fix via sms and receive it faster then a pizza delivery in city areas? How does this help?!
It doesn't make things worse though.
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Re: The "war on drugs" is irrevocably lost

Aye, everyone in jail is in there because of drugs. I dunno what would happen if you gave freebie drugs out.. probably the junkies would not have to go on the rob to blag their next score... but then they'd be permanently high too... get comatose and die at the expense of the NHS.

Some good.. some bad.


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Re: The "war on drugs" is irrevocably lost

Some good, some bad indeed. I sympathise with Aliwood's contact (client via work?), but fighting the good fight hasn't prevented him getting access to this stuff, and isn't going to either.

Maybe the war you refer to as ongoing is actually a different one - the one about education and support. If Plod didn't have to spend all this time and money chasing round after pushers, maybe we'd have more resources to address this neglected aspect.

The war on drugs is like WW1 in some respects, a war of attrition. Frankly I can only see one winner.
 
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