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Author Topic: Drugs  (Read 80601 times)

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Alan Shearer 9

  • Guest
Drugs
« on: Saturday 5 September 2009, 02:24:05 PM »
article

http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2009/sep/03/drugs-prohibition-latin-america

'I guess it had to happen this way. The greatest social menace of the new century is not terrorism but drugs, and it is the poor who will have to lead the revolution. The global trade in illicit narcotics ranks with that in oil and arms. Its prohibition wrecks the lives of wealthy and wretched, east and west alike. It fills jails, corrupts politicians and plagues nations. It finances wars from Afghanistan to Colombia. It is utterly mad.

There is no sign of reform emanating from the self-satisfied liberal democracies of west Europe or north America. Reform is not mentioned by Barack Obama, Gordon Brown, Nicolas Sarkozy or Angela Merkel. Their countries can sustain prohibition, just, by extravagant penal repression and by sweeping the consequences underground. Politicians will smirk and say, as they did in their youth, that they can "handle" drugs.

No such luxury is available to the political economies of Latin America. They have been wrecked by Washington's demand that they stop exporting drugs to fuel America's unregulated cocaine market. It is like trying to stop traffic jams by imposing an oil ban in the Gulf.

Push has finally come to shove. Last week the Argentine supreme court declared in a landmark ruling that it was "unconstitutional" to prosecute citizens for having drugs for their personal use. It asserted in ringing terms that "adults should be free to make lifestyle decisions without the intervention of the state". This classic statement of civil liberty comes not from some liberal British home secretary or Tory ideologue. They would not dare. The doctrine is adumbrated by a regime only 25 years from dictatorship.

Nor is that all. The Mexican government has been brought to its knees by a drug-trafficking industry employing some 500,000 workers and policed by 5,600 killings a year, all to supply America's gargantuan appetite and Mexico's lesser one. Three years ago, Mexico concluded that prison for drug possession merely criminalised a large slice of its population. Drug users should be regarded as "patients, not criminals".

Next to the plate step Brazil and Ecuador. Both are quietly proposing to follow suit, fearful only of offending America's drug enforcement bureaucracy, now a dominant presence in every South American capital. Ecuador has pardoned 1,500 "mules" – women used by the gangs to transport cocaine over international borders. Britain, still in the dark ages, locks these pathetic women up in Holloway for years on end.

Brazil's former president, Fernando Henrique Cardoso, co-authored the recent Latin American Commission on Drugs and Democracy. He declares the emperor naked. "The tide is turning," he says. "The war-on-drugs strategy has failed." A Brazilian judge, Maria Lucia Karam, of the lobby group Law Enforcement Against Prohibition, tells the Guardian: "The only way to reduce violence in Mexico, Brazil or anywhere else is to legalise the production, supply and consumption of all drugs."

America spends a reported $70bn a year on suppressing drug imports, and untold billions on prosecuting its own citizens for drugs offences. Yet the huge profits available to Latin American traffickers have financed a quarter-century of civil war in Colombia and devastating social disruption in Mexico, Peru and Bolivia. Similar profits are aiding the war in Afghanistan and killing British soldiers.

The underlying concept of the war on drugs, initiated by Richard Nixon in the 1970s, is that demand can be curbed by eliminating supply. It has been enunciated by every US president and every British prime minister. Tony Blair thought that by occupying Afghanistan he could rid the streets of Britain of heroin. He told Clare Short to do it. Gordon Brown believes it to this day.

This concept marries intellectual idiocy – that supply leads demand – with practical impossibility. But it is golden politics. For 30 years it has allowed western politicians to shift blame for not regulating drug abuse at home on to the shoulders of poor countries abroad. It is gloriously, crashingly immoral.

The Latin American breakthrough is directed at domestic drug users, but this is only half the battle. There is no rational justification for making consumption legal but not the supply of what is consumed. We do not cure nicotine addiction by banning the Zimbabwean tobacco crop.

The absurdity of this position was illustrated by this week's "good news" that the 2009 Afghan poppy harvest had fallen back to its 2005 level. This was taken as a sign both that poppy eradication was "working" and that depriving Afghan peasants of their most lucrative cash crop somehow wins their hearts and minds and impoverishes the Taliban.

The Afghan poppy crop is largely a function of the price of poppies compared with that of wheat. The only time policy has disrupted this potent market was in 2001, when the old Taliban responded to American pressure by ruthlessly suppressing supply. Since the Nato occupation it has boomed, inevitably polluting Kabul politics and plunging western diplomats and commentators into hypocrisy over Hamid Karzai's corrupt regime. What did they think would happen?

The crop has shrunk because the wheat price has risen and the recession has dampened European demand. It will rise again. The policy of Nato and the UN's economically illiterate drug tsar, Antonio Maria Costa, of treating Afghan opium as the cause of heroin addiction, not a response to it, means trying to break supply routes and stamp out criminal gangs. It has failed, merely increasing heroin's risk premium. As long as there is demand, there will be supply. Water does not flow uphill, however much global bureaucrats pay each other to pretend otherwise.

The trade in drugs is a direct result of their unregulated availability on the streets of Europe and America. Making supply illegal is worse than pointless. It oils a black market, drives trade underground, cross-subsidises other crime and leaves consumers at the mercy of poisons. It is the politics of stupid. The incarceration (pdf) of thousands of poor people (11,000 in England and Wales alone) also deprives economies of a large labour pool.

As the Brazilian judge pointed out, the tide of violence associated with any illegal trade will not abate by only licensing consumption. The mountain that must be climbed is licensing, regulating and taxing supply, thus ending a prohibition now outstripping in absurdity and damage America's alcohol prohibition between the wars.

From the the deaths of British troops in Helmand to the narco-terrorism of Mexico and the mules cramming London's jails, the war on drugs can be seen only as a total failure, a vast self-imposed cost on western society. It is the greatest sweeping-under-the-carpet of our age.

The desperate politicians of Latin America have at last found the courage to grasp the nettle. Will Britain? According to the UN, it has the highest number of problem drug users in Europe. I imagine Gordon Brown and David Cameron agree with the Argentine supreme court, but they are too frightened to say so, let alone promise reform. In all they do they are guided by fear.

I sometimes realise that, if Britain still had the death penalty, no current political leader would have the guts to abolish it.'

I agree with this article.

Offline BlufPurdi

  • Administrator
  • Speaking truth to stupid since 2005.
Re: Drugs
« Reply #1 on: Saturday 5 September 2009, 02:29:19 PM »
Many have said it before this article, but still, it is the only solution.
Making mistakes is how you learn.
Every generation must fight the same battles again and again and again. There is no final victory, and there is no final defeat, and so a little bit of history may help.
“What power have you got? Where did you get it from? In whose interests do you exercise it? To whom are you accountable? And how can we get rid of you?” If you cannot get rid of the people who govern you, you do not live in a democratic system.
That is why no one with power likes democracy and that is why every generation must struggle to win it and keep it – including you and me, here and now.

Alan Shearer 9

  • Guest
Re: Drugs
« Reply #2 on: Saturday 5 September 2009, 02:43:45 PM »
or is it?

Offline BlufPurdi

  • Administrator
  • Speaking truth to stupid since 2005.
Re: Drugs
« Reply #3 on: Saturday 5 September 2009, 02:48:02 PM »
Yep.  Legalise and educate. 

Simple.

Would also expand the minds of some frigid people that seem to think illegal = bad.
Making mistakes is how you learn.
Every generation must fight the same battles again and again and again. There is no final victory, and there is no final defeat, and so a little bit of history may help.
“What power have you got? Where did you get it from? In whose interests do you exercise it? To whom are you accountable? And how can we get rid of you?” If you cannot get rid of the people who govern you, you do not live in a democratic system.
That is why no one with power likes democracy and that is why every generation must struggle to win it and keep it – including you and me, here and now.

The Libertine

  • Guest
Re: Drugs
« Reply #4 on: Saturday 5 September 2009, 03:03:12 PM »
Yep.  Legalise and educate. 

Simple.

Would also expand the minds of some frigid people that seem to think illegal = bad.

 :thup:

the "illegal = bad and legal = safe" argument falls down when you point out alcohol and cigarettes are legal/encouraged but kill millions worldwide every year.

Alan Shearer 9

  • Guest
Re: Drugs
« Reply #5 on: Saturday 5 September 2009, 03:06:14 PM »
I want to hear how anyone could argue against what appears to be clearly the most logical and best option.

Offline Allmo

  • General Member
Re: Drugs
« Reply #6 on: Saturday 5 September 2009, 03:41:39 PM »
We will never legalise drugs though, too much of 'Middle England' are of the mindset that one E will kill, one line of coke will have you addicted and you'll turn schzophrenic after one joint.

I generally agree that legalisation is the way forward to solve many problems that drugs cause, but it is dependant on what drugs are legalised. I would never ever agree with meth, smack and crack becoming legal, but they are the drugs that cause most problems. The people who generally believe legal is good, illegal is bad are in my eyes just thick, and in my eyes a sizeable chunk may be thick enough to think that if Heroin is legal, then it would be fine to try it, which I just can't argue is a good option at all.

Offline Parky

  • General Member
Re: Drugs
« Reply #7 on: Saturday 5 September 2009, 03:49:09 PM »
Yep.  Legalise and educate. 

Simple.

Would also expand the minds of some frigid people that seem to think illegal = bad.

Offline SEMTEX

  • General Member
  • let me in
Re: Drugs
« Reply #8 on: Saturday 5 September 2009, 05:02:56 PM »
Yep.  Legalise and educate. 

Simple.

Would also expand the minds of some frigid people that seem to think illegal = bad.

I'm not sure I agree that educating the idiotic fuckwits of England is in any way 'Simple'

Offline LucaAltieri

  • General Member
Re: Drugs
« Reply #9 on: Saturday 5 September 2009, 05:09:46 PM »
Yep.  Legalise and educate. 

Simple.

Would also expand the minds of some frigid people that seem to think illegal = bad.

I'm not sure I agree that educating the idiotic fuckwits of England is in any way 'Simple'

First we need to tackle binge drinking then maybe... maybe... think about legalising/decriminalising other things.

Offline Mike

  • General Member
  • *cocaine scream*
Re: Drugs
« Reply #10 on: Saturday 5 September 2009, 05:21:07 PM »
Never in our lifetimes. At least not here. Prisons are a business.

Online Adam^

  • General Member
Re: Drugs
« Reply #11 on: Saturday 5 September 2009, 05:31:42 PM »
I'm anti drugs, but having it legalised seems a far better idea to me. The fact that the government can tax it, the stuff is of decent quality (some sort of laws on what can be in it etc). Now how the f*** you do that, I have no idea. Obviously alcohol and smoking are legal and f*** people up, but they are a massive tax income so, they aren't going anywhere.

Offline BlufPurdi

  • Administrator
  • Speaking truth to stupid since 2005.
Re: Drugs
« Reply #12 on: Saturday 5 September 2009, 06:05:52 PM »
Yep.  Legalise and educate. 

Simple.

Would also expand the minds of some frigid people that seem to think illegal = bad.

I'm not sure I agree that educating the idiotic fuckwits of England is in any way 'Simple'

That's a fair point, but as bad as many people are on drink, there's still plenty of people, I would say the majority in the grand scheme of things, that know how to enjoy it in a proper, respectful manner. 

What I meant was, the approach is simple.  Educate children with truths about drugs, and drink, incidentally, from a younger age.  Don't try to only scare them, but do tell them all sides of the debate.  Not just "You take 'DRUGS' and you turn into this *insert random dead junkie here*".

Drugs education in this country is utterly disgraceful, as it stands.  I remember the one session we got at school.  It consisted of a copper coming in, giving us a leaflet that showed us what LSD, E, cocaine, heroin and weed looked like then told us "most people turn out to be criminals" once they start them.  Oh, can't forget the old "gateway drug" comment with regards to weed, as well.  It's all bollocks. 
Making mistakes is how you learn.
Every generation must fight the same battles again and again and again. There is no final victory, and there is no final defeat, and so a little bit of history may help.
“What power have you got? Where did you get it from? In whose interests do you exercise it? To whom are you accountable? And how can we get rid of you?” If you cannot get rid of the people who govern you, you do not live in a democratic system.
That is why no one with power likes democracy and that is why every generation must struggle to win it and keep it – including you and me, here and now.

Offline Parky

  • General Member
Re: Drugs
« Reply #13 on: Saturday 5 September 2009, 06:21:24 PM »
Yep.  Legalise and educate. 

Simple.

Would also expand the minds of some frigid people that seem to think illegal = bad.

I'm not sure I agree that educating the idiotic fuckwits of England is in any way 'Simple'

That's a fair point, but as bad as many people are on drink, there's still plenty of people, I would say the majority in the grand scheme of things, that know how to enjoy it in a proper, respectful manner. 

What I meant was, the approach is simple.  Educate children with truths about drugs, and drink, incidentally, from a younger age.  Don't try to only scare them, but do tell them all sides of the debate.  Not just "You take 'DRUGS' and you turn into this *insert random dead junkie here*".

Drugs education in this country is utterly disgraceful, as it stands.  I remember the one session we got at school.  It consisted of a copper coming in, giving us a leaflet that showed us what LSD, E, cocaine, heroin and weed looked like then told us "most people turn out to be criminals" once they start them.  Oh, can't forget the old "gateway drug" comment with regards to weed, as well.  It's all bollocks. 

Getaway drug more like.  :razz:

Offline 80

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  • General Member
  • Negative Cat
Re: Drugs
« Reply #14 on: Saturday 5 September 2009, 06:25:26 PM »
I want to hear how anyone could argue against what appears to be clearly the most logical and best option.

I'd love to play the contrary b****** but for most intents and purposes I can't in this instance.
Maturity is not Passivity.

Offline Bowie

  • General Member
Re: Drugs
« Reply #15 on: Saturday 5 September 2009, 06:53:29 PM »
So it's only risen in 9 out of 20 studied areas, they fail to tell us what those other results are, it was categorized as illegal 3 years ago and the price has plunged since. FFS, just legalise the lot and be done with it. Those who want it will take it regardless, but organised crime will be reduced, petty crimes will be massively reduced and the government can tax it. Win all round!

Exactly, made a written speech on this subject last year for my English coursework. Would cut out so many negative side effects to illegal drugs; HIV being one of them within heroin addicts too. Obviously not proposing selling smack n' crack alongside alchopops in the off licence like, but just making all illegal drugs controlled.

Always agreed 100% on this subject. I hate the way people react when you propose it though when they haven't heard the benefits. Makes you sound like some sort of hippy stoner when it first comes out your mouth when infact it is the most logical solution.

Stephen927

  • Guest
Re: Drugs
« Reply #16 on: Saturday 5 September 2009, 07:02:38 PM »


And thats all I've got to say about that.

Offline Haz

  • formerly known as Haswell
  • General Member
Re: Drugs
« Reply #17 on: Saturday 5 September 2009, 07:07:07 PM »
Legalise them if only to thwart those who make money out of human misery.  Push it into kids from the earliest age that there is something basically wrong with chemically inducing realities.  We are not equipped for it; the fact we are bright enough to exploit our environment in such away is incidental. 
Drinking alcohol never solves anything. But neither does drinking milk.

It matters not how strait the gate, How charged with punishments the scroll. I am the master of my fate: I am the captain of my soul.
- William Ernest Henley

toonlass

  • Guest
Re: Drugs
« Reply #18 on: Friday 26 February 2010, 11:17:02 AM »
No idea why this popped into my head, but does anyone sniff glue these days? I never have (btw) but it was a big problem when I was younger, and you always saw used glue bags around in back lanes etc. You could also tell who was a sniffer as they had a weird type of acne around their nose/mouth. Is it something people still do, or have other drugs made it obsolete?

Offline Jimburst

  • General Member
  • Yeah Buddy!
Re: Drugs
« Reply #19 on: Friday 26 February 2010, 11:55:47 AM »
Better, safer and more fun drugs are just as easily available nowadays, so I suppose that's why people don't sniff glue. Sniffing s*** is quite alot more dangerous than a fair few drugs.
A splatterhouse turd done in the manky toilets of a discotheque, brought on my the consumption of cowies or toot.

Offline colinmk

  • General Member
Re: Drugs
« Reply #20 on: Friday 26 February 2010, 12:14:15 PM »
I'm sure in 100 years time they will look back and think why the f*** there isn
Yep.  Legalise and educate. 

Simple.

Would also expand the minds of some frigid people that seem to think illegal = bad.

I'm not sure I agree that educating the idiotic fuckwits of England is in any way 'Simple'

That's a fair point, but as bad as many people are on drink, there's still plenty of people, I would say the majority in the grand scheme of things, that know how to enjoy it in a proper, respectful manner. 

What I meant was, the approach is simple.  Educate children with truths about drugs, and drink, incidentally, from a younger age.  Don't try to only scare them, but do tell them all sides of the debate.  Not just "You take 'DRUGS' and you turn into this *insert random dead junkie here*".

Drugs education in this country is utterly disgraceful, as it stands.  I remember the one session we got at school.  It consisted of a copper coming in, giving us a leaflet that showed us what LSD, E, cocaine, heroin and weed looked like then told us "most people turn out to be criminals" once they start them.  Oh, can't forget the old "gateway drug" comment with regards to weed, as well.  It's all bollocks. 

Totally agree, in 100 years time they will look back and wonder why the f*** this wasn't done a long time ago. Could potentially solve so many problems.

Offline Keefaz

  • General Member
Re: Drugs
« Reply #21 on: Friday 26 February 2010, 12:16:55 PM »
Love a bit of cake, me, on the weekends.

Offline Bowie

  • General Member
Re: Drugs
« Reply #22 on: Friday 26 February 2010, 03:07:28 PM »
Glue's making a comeback man.





[/Superhans]

Offline SEMTEX

  • General Member
  • let me in
Re: Drugs
« Reply #23 on: Friday 26 February 2010, 03:08:26 PM »
Tell you what, that crack is really more-ish.

Offline MW

  • General Member
Re: Drugs
« Reply #24 on: Friday 26 February 2010, 03:32:14 PM »
What does glue do? any comparisons?
AS9