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Drugs - Should We Decriminalise Them In The UK?


David

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The question arose as a result of this article published in todays Guardian;

 

Dame Judi Dench, Sir Richard Branson, and Sting have joined an ex-drugs minister and three former chief constables in calling for the decriminalisation of the possession of all drugs.

 

The high-profile celebrities together with leading lawyers, academics, artists and politicians have signed an open letter to David Cameron to mark this week's 40th anniversary of the 1971 Misuse of Drugs Act. The letter, published in a full-page advertisement in Thursday's Guardian, calls for a "swift and transparent" review of the effectiveness of current drugs policies.

 

Its signatories say that all the past 40 years has produced is a rapid growth in illicit drug use in Britain, and significant harm caused by the application of the criminal law to the personal use and possession of all drugs.

 

"This policy is costly for taxpayers and damaging for communities," they claim. "Criminalising people who use drugs leads to greater social exclusion and stigmatisation making it much more difficult for them to gain employment and to play a productive role in society. It creates a society full of wasted resources."

 

The letter launching the campaign, Drugs

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It would be a start but alot of the major issues with drug use, the criminal gangs it creates and supports, turf war over dealership, etc etc etc - it doesn't address any of those problems.

It needs legalising and taxing, take the billions in revenue it creates away from criminal gangs and place it back into the system. Nationalise it, in fact, and tax it on top of that.

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Absolutely. When you take into account the amount of people in prison due to minor drug offences & the impact that criminal record has on the rest of said persons life (unable to get a job, dependant on benefits etc) it would be a huge step in the right direction. The money & time saved from policing & processing minor drug offenders through the courts could be spent much better elsewhere. The cultivation & production of soft drugs could become a nationalised industry within itself & put the billions of pounds currently going god knows where back into the economy.

I'd follow the Californian model for Marijuana but add LSD, Ecstacy & Mushrooms to that, basically after a GP's consultation that you're OK to use them you get a licence & buy from dispensary at your leisure. For harder, more addictive substances (Cocaine, Heroin) you register & get it in the same manner as a prescription. More money spent on education & rehabilitation for addicts.

The main opposition would be from middle-Englanders (like my Grandparents) who's drug knowledge doesn't get much further than 'Drugs are bad, just say no'.

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The problem is the rushed through measures to ban certain 'new drugs'. For instance Methadrone last year, the reaction was ridiculous. It got rushed through and fell into the hands of dealers which causes its own problems.

 

That's one problem.

 

I think if you legalise certain drugs you can regulate them better, which would surely be better.

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There is no way the general public will agree to ALL drugs being decriminalised. They're setting their sights too high. Get cannabis decriminalised and then work from there.

 

I'd imagine their strategy is "shoot high, settle low". Cannabis decriminalisation is probably exactly what they're aiming for.

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The problem is the rushed through measures to ban certain 'new drugs'. For instance Methadrone last year, the reaction was ridiculous. It got rushed through and fell into the hands of dealers which causes its own problems.

 

That's one problem.

 

 

Yeah.. It would be a nice change just to see some rational discussion of the issue, even if the decision they ultimately came to was to keep them illegal.

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cannabis is the perfect example of this.

 

They reclasify cannabis, but the government still cant sell, so the government dont make any money.

 

They reclasify it again so now when you get caught with it you get fined, so the government make money from it.

 

its always down to how much money people make

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its always down to how much money people make

 

I disagree, the government would make significantly more money from growing, farming & taxing Cannabis supply as a nationalised industry let alone the money that would be saved from policing & prosecuting those found with the drug. It's all about appeasing the masses, the government & the general public don't want an open & frank discussion about drug use. They want a quick headline

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Woah, hold up lads.

 

If I read this right, they are calling for the decriminalisation of the posession of all drugs, rather than decriminalising the drugs themselves.

 

This is a lot more practical - being caught with drugs pre se would not be a criminal act, only the distribution or trafficking, or making profit from drugs would be illegal I guess. In law currently there's an amount of each drug which is considered for personal use, and anything over that is considered "posession with intent to sell".

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Legalising drugs would be insane. How can some of you say "all drugs should be legal" with a straight face? I'd rather not live in a world where you can buy heroin, cocaine and ectasy in Tesco's or with a doctors prescription. You bunch of fucking nutcases.

 

In terms of legalising possession of drugs, I do agree with that to an extent. Far too many people are charged with possession and the personal damage it does and also the cost and time wasting it takes to task all this is ridiculous. In terms of marijuana they should just copy Amsterdam's laws as they appear to work well and if anyone is caught possessing something harder then the police should confiscate it and that's that. No charge, no formal warning but no drugs either. But ofcourse they have to set a limit on how much someone is carrying. Like if you get caught with a suitcase full of heroin the police can then charge you with intent to sell.

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Legalising drugs would be insane. How can some of you say "all drugs should be legal" with a straight face? I'd rather not live in a world where you can buy heroin, cocaine and ectasy in Tesco's or with a doctors prescription. You bunch of fucking nutcases.

No.

 

Who has the right to tell someone else what they can, and can't, do with their own body?

 

You currently have the right to fuck up your body by drinking to excess and smoking 60 a day if you so wished. So why should someone else not be allowed to take other drugs if they so wished?

 

It's the whole "this drug is okay, while this one isn't" crap that annoys me, and before you play the "yeah, but you obviously take drugs" line, or similar, I'll pre-empt you by pointing out I've never taken any drugs, don't smoke, and I'm tee-total. I'm just not a moronic sheep that follows the crowd that listen to the "drugs are bad" bollocks.

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Legalising drugs would be insane. How can some of you say "all drugs should be legal" with a straight face? I'd rather not live in a world where you can buy heroin, cocaine and ectasy in Tesco's or with a doctors prescription. You bunch of fucking nutcases.

 

You prefer the current situation where people buy their heroin, cocaine & ecstasy from dealers, not knowing what's in it or where the money they're spending on it is actually ending up?

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Legalising drugs would be insane. How can some of you say "all drugs should be legal" with a straight face? I'd rather not live in a world where you can buy heroin, cocaine and ectasy in Tesco's or with a doctors prescription. You bunch of fucking nutcases.

 

Thank god we live in a world where you have to go to a block of flats to buy them instead, I for one am very releaved we've ensured people buying drugs prop up international crime, instead of placing it into the economy.

 

For the record I think, if legalised, you'd be best off having special licensed premises to go get em, but the theory that you could go out and buy them seems sensible, especially as having them illegal in no way stops people from going out and buying them.

I'm always surprised by this view, the implication seems to be that the only reason huge numbers of people aren't big ol crackheads is that crack's currently illegal, whereas if they legalised it tomorrow, they'd all get straight on the pipe. The really wouldn't, I'm assuming from your post you don't take drugs, and would further presume that if your local tesco's started selling heroin, you'd refrain from getting your injecting on, why do you think it would be so different for everyone else?

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