Some substantial literature (free) on drugs


Our problem of course is that very few of us read or even watch current affairs.

Most people taking drugs don’t consider themsleves as addicts.  One study explored the perspectives of low-level drug market users on the availability, purchase and consumption of illicit drugs within the social context of drug prohibition. A snowballing technique was used to recruit 16 participants consisting of nine males and seven females aged between 17 and 43. A semi-structured interview process elicited their views on their use of drugs, where they obtained them, their views on the impact of the criminal justice system on their drug use and finally their views on how drug users were perceived by non-drug users. While some negative consequences of using drugs were reported, no participant considered that their use of drugs made them an addict, a criminal or antisocial. The findings from this study suggest that current punitive drug policy, which links drug use with addiction, crime and antisocial behaviour was inconsistent with the experience of the participants.  The rest of us, with ‘television consciousness’ probably do.  We need discussion that includes relevant views.  I don’t agree with these ‘druggies’ and suspect they don’t see the problems they cause – but I’m hardly bothered if someone wants to ‘skin up’.

I have no wish to see drugs decriminalised – I want to see proper policing and a system that helps our cops and social workers sort out problems the system is in denial about.  The links above worked at 6 p.m. Monday.

Decriminalisation really means strengthening administrative law and treating human rights in proportion to decent, law-abiding people ahead of some of the ludicrous abuses we’ve been seeing lately.  My worries are mostly concerned with our crap administrative abilities and administrators.  NuLabour changed nothing through legislation, so why should we hope for much from the current ‘business-as-usual’ turkeys?


More Dopey Dope On Drugs

The way we go about trying to deal with the problems that surround illegal drug use is pathetic, stuck in moral attitudes from a time when we peddled the stuff abroad whilst issuing prohibition here.   I can see no problem with drug-taking of any kind that doesn’t breach the peace or inflict costs on others beyond give and take.

I believe the moral approbation current practice in the UK relies on on drugs and sex needs to be swept away.  This would be to clear the way for much better control of health and peace in our communities without criminalisation.  I also believe we need sweeping changes in our legal system and that these issues could be the test ground for producing a new system more clearly linked to a fairer system based much more directly on public dialogue.

The squalid depravity of drink, drugs and the sex trade need to be exposed, as well as gross unfairness that lumps someone taking cannabis to ease pain with some scrote blaring out music, acting as a neighbourhood fence (for anything from stolen jeans to under-age sex) and ruining lives around him/her.  Just changing possession laws is not the answer, and could lead to even more difficulty dealing with associated problems.

I’d go for key changes in administrative law, including the tracking of criminal profits to prevent vice turning to rackets.  The Dutch have taken very significant steps, but have not got it all right.  I certainly prefer coffee shops on Main Street to shebeens on estates.  Pubs and clubs might just be places to allow supply and use.

Politicians totally fail us in this area.  We need the debate and decisions out of their barking interests and in our hands.  This would be a great area to try our new techniques of public dialogue and referendum.

Legalise Drugs Now?

The Chinese used to pay their bureaucrats in opium – government control of the trade made it a valuable currency.  Drugs generally are not expensive.  Cider and beer are less than 3 pence a pint at the factory gate, a kilo of heroin about £800 at source, fags about 60 pence a packet without tax.  One wonders if we could be taking something that made us feel better and was not a health risk?  They told us once that abstinence was good for us and prohibitions have generally failed.  Making something scarce and being able to charge a lot for it is central to capitalism.

I find myself wondering how the money flows in the drug trade. My  old pub, now too boring to visit, requires me to fund a Middle Eastern capital fund that rents the building out, wads of tax and generally costs 5 times the off-licence price.  Various sources for smuggled fags, booze and five and ten pound bags of ‘something’ are available with the runners making 50 pence or a quid on them.  Somewhere up the chain there is enough money to keep wars going in narco states, tobacco companies engage in smuggling, a few flash gits make fortunes and the money finds its way into businesses.  People in parts of Afghanistan and on the Everglades (my own local estate) work for a few quid because there is no other work.  Skunk is raised in attics, cellars and old mills, and chrome polish is in demand by people with no cars.  The benefit tokens being traded are in short supply, so we get a lot of minor crime.  One guesses the dealers beyond the ten quid bag hope to latch into some kid and his parent’s money and that credit cards are owed plenty that bought coke. In all this everywhere there is misery, violence and weird propaganda.  Darker episodes of Miami Vice had bankers recovering money lost in South America by funding the drug trade.  We believe 7% of world finance is laundered.

We interdict less than 1% of the trade and might need to get as high as 60% to win any ‘war’.  We catch mostly smallfry and it’s apparent everyone is expendable as the trade,like the show goes on.  The mantra now is to legalise the trade so that we can treat the addictions in a medical manner.  I suspect this is part of the answer and only part.  The obvious thing is there is no mature debate and even what academics know is largely hidden from us.  Politicians just whip up our moral panic.  This isn’t hard.

My guess is we need to stop the benefit-sponsored army available to exploit – and I think this army is exploited in other trade too.  But who really does the exploitation and what would they turn to if we had a legal trade?  Some sources would have us believe a major link on drugs, oil and war stretching into our security services.  I just tend to see pond life into drugs, prostitution,money lending and violence.  I can see the next generation growing up under their influence too.  I’ve seen police gold standard operations in arrest and rehabilitation, but these need to be increased by a factor of ten and are already costly.

Is the money generated really needed to fund something other than the trade itself?  Is it a sway of supporting our Ponzi-scheme banks?  I just don’t know.