On 27 Dec 2014 at 9:19pm Mavis wrote:
Norman's got a new pet project ! Half way to legalisation I think.
Check it out here »
On 27 Dec 2014 at 10:08pm Janet Street Preacher wrote:
Good for him it's about time our elected representatives grew a pair and stopped pandering to the Daily Mail and its terrified readers
On 27 Dec 2014 at 10:43pm Mark wrote:
I admire his convictions, no end. It's what proper debate in the House of Commons is meant to be all about.
On 27 Dec 2014 at 11:12pm Historian wrote:
just another of his headline catching, self promoting publicity stunts.
On 28 Dec 2014 at 12:03am Antiquarian wrote:
I'd of thought that this would be right up your street Historian, with all those upper class junkies transfixed by Opium.. The Victorians seemed to be obsessed by it. Usage was on all levels of society & its just the same today. Only the Government makes money from it as they alway do. Nothing changes..
On 28 Dec 2014 at 1:01am Metatron wrote:
Can I hear the wheels of yet another passing bandwagon on the potholed streets of opportunity.
On 28 Dec 2014 at 8:45am lewes wrote:
Forget drugs, what really gets my goat about the man was his refusal to accept that the a27 needs improving and he said it was financially non viable. Now the new transport minister is spending billions on the road network and including the a27. So glad he stood down to look at these much more minor issues and spend more time playing in his band. I mean newhaven and other sussex towns in the surrounding area clearly need investment in the road network to attract investment and to create jobs. No to mention the saving of lives on this very dangerous road. Why he couldn't see that I'll never know!
On 28 Dec 2014 at 9:32am mikey wrote:
What people seem to forget is that alcohol is an even bigger problem. Go in to any supermarket and there will always be an offer on cheap booze, always temptation for people with a drink problem. We are told cigarettes should be kept under the counter but smokers do not become violent after too many fags. There are a lot more people around with drink problems than most people realize.
On 28 Dec 2014 at 10:30am skeptical green wrote:
Baker is generally a bit of a prat, should not be forgiven for being part of the coalition who made sure that the recession hit the poorest in society, did not hurt the rich and threw money at the bankers hoping they would refloat the economy. He will not be getting my vote. However, on drugs policy he is obviously correct. What he is saying is that we should base the way we deal with drug addiction on the evidence and the research, which the public has paid to have done and then go with what works best and is most cost-effective in the long term. Criminalisation of low level dealers who sell to fund their own habit is very expensive ( Jail for 3 years +) and has poor results. T high re offending rates) NHS based drug based treatment and more rehab places discourages users from becoming the footsoldiers and runners for more serious criminals and reduces drug related property crime. Decades of the 'War on drugs' approach have obviously failed. We should also not forget that prior to 1971 when hard drug use was dealt with primarily as a health problem the NHS was viewed as a success in this area.
On 28 Dec 2014 at 11:06am Annette Curtin-Twitcher wrote:
Agree with every word of that SG.
The problems caused by drugs and addiction almost all arise from their illegality, from robbery and prostitution to fund their purchase, and turf wars between rival dealers to overdoses from unexpectedly strong gear. An addict getting quality stuff of known strength on prescription is likely not to cause anyone any bother.
Legalisation, with taxation to fund more investment in rehab facilities, is the way forward imo.
And the 2014 award for parochialism must surely go to lewes for the post above, thinking that a road in Sussex is more important than a problem that touches huge numbers of people in this country.
On 28 Dec 2014 at 11:35am Outintheestates wrote:
Sorry but what a load of twaddle no social drug taking should be encouraged and indeed anyone breath tested should be drug tested to . Just ask some of the countless families who have had their Christmases ruined by these selfish morons
On 28 Dec 2014 at 1:27pm Camden Carrot wrote:
Drugs are not a problem in this country and if you want to get stoned you can ( either by offending Shariah law or by using drugs...bum tsssk)
So itís a non-issue and evidence for the efficacy of legalization is entirely a matter of who you ask what. You could as easily had a survey asking heroin or crack users to what extent gateway drugs were important in their progress. The results would be similarly predictable.
Baker's sudden and disproportionate ire was because this silliness provided an opportunity to oppose the government of which he has been a part.
IMHO drugs should not be legally available because, like drink and fags, they will find their way into the hands of minors who will then be open to further steps. Thatís why parents rarely support going soft on drugs whilst aging desiccated hippies do.( Lewes has lots of both )
So stop trying to give my children drugs and get back to your bongs,crystals and King Crimson Albums.... weird people
On 28 Dec 2014 at 6:19pm Normans Wisdom wrote:
Norman does his job and stands up to be counted. So the usual brain donors on here have to have a pop at him. Morons.
On 28 Dec 2014 at 7:50pm Unfunny 50's Comedian wrote:
Insulting the electorate is to be expected, hence the 'a vote for Labour is a vote for the Tories' leaflet hypocrisy . Norman Baker has dragged this story out as an attempt at salvage some votes. There was no standing up to be counted when voting for vile Tory policies, it was all keeping silent sat in the shadows.
On 28 Dec 2014 at 11:47pm Belladonna wrote:
Agree with you, comedian, the man is a total hypocrite.
Re drugs - the two biggest killers in society have to be smoking and alcohol. I know two people who have died of lung cancer in the last two weeks, both under 55, and one who suffered a heart attack - almost definitely caused by his high alcohol intake. I have never heard of marijuana killing anyone. Plus stoners tend not to go round town centres puking up, getting into fights or being admitted to A and E every weekend. Yes there are drug related deaths but so few and far between they usually make the news. Cancer and alcohol related deaths are all too common. In my view we need legalisation and regulation for all dyugs and take it out of the hands of the criminal cartels.
On 29 Dec 2014 at 7:11am Boris wrote:
Belladonna, you don't half come out some twaddle. " Drug related deaths are few and far between" know dowt you are going back up this fact with stats from the Guardian.
On 29 Dec 2014 at 9:57am Annette Curtin-Twitcher wrote:
ONS figures show that in 2013, there were 1,957 deaths related to drug misuse and 8,367 related to alcohol. However, the alcohol-related figures exclude accidental deaths where alcohol has been a contributory factor and deaths arising from violence where alcohol has been a factor.
Similarly, similar drug-related events are excluded from the drug deaths figures, but people getting so stoned they beat people to death are pretty rare, and there are only around 600 deaths by violence a year in the UK in total.
Hard to prove, but I am convinced drug-related deaths would reduce if they were legalised but controlled. There would be surely be fewer deaths from untested and therefore unsafe legal highs, from impurities in street drugs and from accidental overdoses when street drugs are more pure than the user expects.
The most common time for heroin addicts to OD is when they re-use after a period of abstinence or reduction in use. They can't take account of their reduction in tolerance to opiates because the unknown strength of street drugs makes it almost impossible for people to know how much they are taking.
"Gateway" drugs would cease to be a gateway to anything if they were all legal. Currently, as soon as someone buys a bit of weed from a dealer they are already in a criminal milieu, and likely to have access to other illegal drugs. Most people will get their first class B or class A drugs from a dealer who also sells class C drugs.
I'm surprised Gideon isn't calling for legalisation tbh. Think of the potential revenue for government - if weed were taxed as much as tobacco, they'd be raking it in.
On 29 Dec 2014 at 12:54pm Camden Carrot wrote:
ANC you have a solution looking for a problem and the case for not changing anything is strong. Look at the effect of the sudden introduction of Gin in the 19th century, only in this context can you explain the British temperance movement. In America the availability of cheap spirits created even more radical response to social breakdown; prohibition, another catastrophe.
The case for continuing as we are is overwhelming and the entire subject is only getting air time because it suited Baker`s election strategy.
I have nothing against the man especially and he has worked hard to build a personal vote. If you think about it the remaining Liberal MPs are going to be on the orange book side of the Party anyway with most of the loons off with the Greens /fairies.
On 29 Dec 2014 at 1:31pm lewes wrote:
In the posts above people mention that alcohol and cigarette related deaths are much higher than illegal drug related deaths. Therefore this seems to suggest that keeping drugs illegal is working and we need to keep it up and that perhaps we need to look at making cigarettes and alcohol illegal too. I believe that numbers of deaths from alcohol and cigarettes are falling year on year even though the population is increasing so increasing public awareness and education seem to be working. It would be a mistake to legalise more drugs as everyone knows they are bad news for everyone not just the users.
On 29 Dec 2014 at 2:26pm Old Bloke wrote:
Wonder why no one has mentioned the vast amount of crime other than violent that is the result of the drugs culture.
They burgle, mug, rob and steal anyway they can for their next fix and great chunks of the population suffer for it - most often those at the poorest and most vulnerable end - that strangely enough the drug apologists on here make such a noise about protecting.
Don't recall anyone committing crime to fund their fag habit but I may be wrong - though of course if various nanny governments had any b**llocks they'd ban fags completely is they're as bad as they keep telling us. They want the revenue though so they won't.
Also wonder if the drug apologists and legalisers have spent any time on a mental ward and seen the effect of drugs and how they ruin lives (mostly young ones) for ever.
Skunk for example can be a mind bender on a permanent basis. Try witnessing that first hand because just one life in irreparable pieces isn't worth a million good trips for Lewes hippies who think just because they can enjoy a weekend toke it's good for everyone else.
Here's another thought for the legalisers. Do you think the drug barons are stupid because I can assure you they are far from that. They'll always be one jump ahead and for every drug legalised they'll invent one with a bigger high that'll be in much bigger demand = more money for them.
Cocaine and marijuana (spelling) are just two example of relatively "clean" drugs that have been tampered with beyond belief to a terrifying degree.
Crack cocaine and skunk anyone?
I doubt there's many people my age who didn't try drugs at some point back in the 60's and I'd admit to more than my share.
Doesn't alter the fact drugs are evil, cause vast problems not just for the users and should be stamped out along with the dealers.
A cancer on society
On 29 Dec 2014 at 2:51pm ar10642 wrote:
"I doubt there's many people my age who didn't try drugs at some point back in the 60's and I'd admit to more than my share."
Perhaps you should give yourself up to the police? After all, you're an advocate of criminalisation for others who do the same.
On 29 Dec 2014 at 3:03pm Old Bloke wrote:
I'm sorry I didn't order a pr*tt
On 29 Dec 2014 at 3:28pm ar10642 wrote:
Now that's the sort of well thought-out, witty response we've come to expect from UKIP supporters. Perhaps you'd like to tell us why it's OK for you to have "more than my share" in the 60s but it's not OK anymore?
On 29 Dec 2014 at 4:13pm Old Bloke wrote:
Read the last but again (carefully)
"I doubt there's many people my age who didn't try drugs at some point back in the 60's and I'd admit to more than my share.
Doesn't alter the fact drugs are evil, cause vast problems not just for the users and should be stamped out along with the dealers.
A cancer on society "
What part of that don't you agree with?
Once you've done that please explain exactly where I said it was OK to have more than my share"
What is your opinion of skunk and crack cocaine?
Have you experience of the mental damage these two alone have done?
You sound like you have some sort of vested interest
On 29 Dec 2014 at 4:21pm Old Bloke wrote:
@ar10642 Also very well done for completely ignoring all reference to the massive damage inflicted upon people's lives by drugs be they users or the general populace.
If being a UKIP supporter means not having that sort of attitude to my fellow citizens then Nigel certainly has my vote
On 29 Dec 2014 at 4:25pm ar10642 wrote:
Just seems hypocritical to speak at length about the ills of drugs on society and how people should be criminalised, which can ruin any future prospects for that person, before going on to say you did it yourself.
Would *you* want a criminal record for your self-confessed crimes?
You're not wrong about some of the bad effects, of course, but does criminalising people actually help anyone, or stop it from occurring? I have never tried any illicit drugs, but I like having a drink in a pub. If they made that illegal, do you really think people would stop doing it?
On 29 Dec 2014 at 4:50pm Old Bloke wrote:
@art10642 I'm interested to know where your got your information I didn't get a criminal record that involved drugs (or anything else) or perhaps you're making a high handed assumption just like you did of my voting habits )not that I would be so arrogant to condemn anyone for their voting choice in a democracy). If for example I'd committed murder would you expect me to champion the right of others to do the same.
As for being "criminalised" we live in a semblance of law and order under rules so if you do the crime then be ready to do the time. If I punched you in the mouth do you not think the law should be applied there
If drugs were made legal "do you really think" the drug barons would be out of business and the whole country would live in a crime free happy haze?
Drink and drugs no comparison - the damage done by drug taking is far far greater than anything alcohol ever did - not that I for one minute would ignore or excuse the negative effect drink has on a very small minority
On 29 Dec 2014 at 5:11pm Annette Curtin-Twitcher wrote:
OB, I mentioned drug-related crime in my first post. However, as I mentioned it as a reason FOR legalisation and control, I can see why you managed to overlook it. The junkie who can get safe gear on prescription wouldn't need to go on the rob.
I'm more familiar than I'd like to be with the effects of super-strength weed on mental health, having a brother whose first few episodes of mental illness were cannabis-induced psychosis. I've also supported many clients with addiction issues and drug-related mental illness over the years and therefore I know of which I speak.
If people who wanted a puff could just go and buy "ordinary" weed from the corner shop, they wouldn't put themselves out to get hydroponically grown super-skunk. That's why control would be essential if legalisation went ahead and the combination would reduce, rather than increase, the risk of such events.
Like you, I grew up in the 60s (and early 70s) and tried most drugs, and was a regular user of a few until well into my 40s. My recollection is that no-one bothered freebasing or cooking up crack to smoke until it became impossible to buy decent cocaine to snort.
Cocaine isn't really a good example when talking about addiction as strictly speaking it only creates a psychological dependency, not an addiction, but I see no reason why legalisation and control shouldn't lead to a net reduction in harm.
On 29 Dec 2014 at 5:46pm Camden Carrot wrote:
Old Bloke is wrong, as I mentioned, about the damage caused by drink.When cheap spirits hit this country in the 19th century it was a disaster for the urban poor and it was a long time before this sort of drink was socialized. This is not an experience there is any need for us to repeat.
This is a question about the interaction of society with narcotics and I cannot see how ANC`s unproven hope that a few might be helped stacks up against the reasonable fear that many would be hurt. As we can see this interaction is complex and in a sense illogical. Millennia of alcohol consumption have made it a generally ingrained socially controlled narcotic. This cannot be replicated by"Policy" and the insanity of the Green Party and Baker in equating drink with Cannabis lies here.
The Green Party would like to ghettoize drinking but "Cannabis would be removed from the 1971 Misuse of drugs act. The possession, trade and cultivation of cannabis would be immediately decriminalised "
Do you , Baker et al , really want ordinary children trying weed out they they try smoking and drinking ?
Are you really so sure that more will not follow form the signal that drugs are ok ?
For the vast majority the current compromise is a messy but effective policy and I see absolutely no argument that even begins to suggest otherwise, either from you or Norman Baker, whose motives are in any case, mixed at best .The Greens whose year zero Nazi zealotry is frightening on most subjects excel themselves on this one
They would like us all to be vegetarian non drinking pot smokers who like women with sensible shoes and short hair , milk van cars, barter and oddly Germanic folk music. It cannot be said to often; these people are insane extremists creeping to the fabric of our lives without ever being questioned or scrutinized.
On 29 Dec 2014 at 5:50pm ar10642 wrote:
Old Bloke, I'm not saying you should be able to rock up to Tescos and get an economy pack of cocaine. My view is that people who have a problem with drug use should be given help to rebuild their lives and become functioning members of society rather than being locked up and/or being given a criminal record. Hard to get a job with one of those. I don't know nor care whether you have one for any reason. However if I had punched someone in the mouth and admitted it online, I probably wouldn't go around saying anyone else who did it should face prosecution in the same post.
I also never said the drug barons would go away. They'd just turn to something else, but they're the real b*stards and the real ones who should be locked up. Since we seem unable to do that on any meaningful scale, legalisation would make their lives that little bit harder.
The UKIP thing was a bit unfair, but since you started with the name calling I drew a conclusion from some of the stuff you've been posting in other threads. Vote for UKIP if you like, I won't stop you. I'm not trying to silence you. I reserve the right to call you mad old gits who clamour for the good old empire days, just like you called me a "pr*tt".
On 29 Dec 2014 at 6:01pm Old Bloke wrote:
"If people who wanted a puff could just go and buy "ordinary" weed from the corner shop, they wouldn't put themselves out to get hydroponically grown super-skunk"
Yeah of course they would.
Skunk, crack and all the other monstrosities that have morphed from so called cleaner drugs abound for one reason - demand - bu**er all to do with availability of "safe" stuff.
"I mentioned drug-related crime in my first post. However, as I mentioned it as a reason FOR legalisation and control, I can see why you managed to overlook it. The junkie who can get safe gear on prescription wouldn't need to go on the rob."
Quaint use of street language are you getting down with the kids or something. All this free stuff on prescription - who pays for it? Who decided how much they get and how often? Who says they won't want more than their allowance? Who says they won't break into places where stock are held? Who says prescription forms won't be stolen?
Most of all - are you so innocent and rose tinted you think the drug barons won't come up with bigger and bigger highs which is at the end of the day is what most junkies want along with the same sort of comatose day that the winos do.
You live in cloud cuckoo land lady and need to appreciate that a huge chunk of drug users are not so well intentioned as you seem to be - being so happy with your weekend puff floating round the camp fire.
You say you've see cannabis induced psychosis and I truly hope your brother is better because I can vouch for the fact that plenty never do. If what you say is true you should be ashamed of yourself for promoting drugs in any way shape or form.
And by the way - mental damage, premature death and just plain awful agonised death due to drugs are nothing new - they've just been increased by super strength stuff and publicised (rightly) far more. Your recollections of the drug scene you appear to admire are way off beam - sounds to me like something developed in university or the chattering classes of Lewes - it' a far cry from the very ugly reality
On 29 Dec 2014 at 6:04pm Camden Carrot wrote:
ar10642 - The primary purpose of Policy is to keep drugs a non problem for the vast majority. Helping a few is not justified by harming many and, incidentally, is very typical of bourgeois smug thinking that from its leafy redoubts does not care about the anarchy it would unleash on the decent poor. You may think that most people who live on inner-city estates are criminals and drug addicts anyway but this is not the case!
UKIP with whom I disagree about Europe ( on balance ), do not hanker after Empire it was the forlorn ruling classes of Britain and Europe who wanted to resurrect global standing through the EU.
UKIP is isolationist, conservative you might say.
UKIP do not oppose immigration , they favour an Australian or US model along with a control on overall numbers. It is not an extremist position outside the pages of the Guardian and the pretense that it is simply alienates more and more ordinary people.
On 29 Dec 2014 at 6:11pm Old Bloke wrote:
@ar10842 excuse me but I don't think I ever said people should be locked up simply for drug taking.
They should certainly be banged up for a very long time for supplying and a very long time for the crimes they commit to fund their habit.
As for helping people rebuild their lives I'd ask you not to make comment on my attitude to that until you know if I have a track record of doing it or not as the case may be. I haven't mentioned it.
My advice to you is to pay a visit to some mental words and prisons. Your attitude to drugs might not be so free and easy then.
I found out the hard way and I thank my lucky stars for that
On 29 Dec 2014 at 6:22pm ar10642 wrote:
"You may think that most people who live on inner-city estates are criminals and drug addicts anyway but this is not the case!" Now you're just making stuff up. I said the people who need help should get it, not be made into criminals which ruins their future prospects whether they get clean or not. How did you translate that into whatever you're banging on about?
I also didn't say UKIP was an extremist position. They're all largely mad old gits who yearn for some golden age though. You know, the one where everything was better. As long as you were white, straight, male and able bodied. I don't really GAS if my views alienate "ordinary people", they're just opinions, ignore them if you want.
On 29 Dec 2014 at 6:22pm Boris wrote:
Old Bloke, ledgendary as all ways.
Camden Carrot, your description of the Greens was absolutely bang on the money and very funny.
It's looking like the champagne socialists are finaly coming up against some resistance on the forum.
On 29 Dec 2014 at 6:23pm Old Bloke wrote:
@Camden Carrot There are estimates of around 306,000 heroin and / or crack users in England, with around 200,000 of them in treatment in any one year. That is a lot of theft, burglary, fraud or shoplifting if all are stealing to pay for things. This has led some people to suggest that up to half of all acquisitive crime is drug-related and that the market value of goods stolen involved could be between £2-2.5 billion each year.
Not sure what the official figures are on booze related crime but I think it's about 20%. Google it if you like.
PS any chance of writing in plainer English and coming down from your own backside and your smug assumptions that we "all think that most people who live on inner-city estates are criminals and drug addicts." We don't just like lots of us know poverty can breed crime but it doesn't make us think all poor people are criminals.
But well done - spoken just like a Harriet Harman clone self ordained protector of the poor and working classes
On 29 Dec 2014 at 8:54pm norma wrote:
What drugs are YOU on to be able to come out with such cr@p Belladonna?
On 30 Dec 2014 at 12:06am wrote:
So old bloke et al - how many marijuana-related deaths per year in the UK?
And how many smoking- related deaths per year in UK ? (Not just lung cancer)
And how many alcohol-related deaths per year?
How many alcohol-related incidents the police are called to every year ? Whether it's violence, domestic abuse, vandalism, verbal abuse, car crashes, etcetc?
I think marijuana will be legalised in this country within 10 years. The government is watching very closely what is happening across the pond.
All legalised drugs need tight regulation and addicts need help with rehabilitation. But decriminalisation not only helps the users, it also means resources currently spent on enforcing criminalisation (which frontline police officers acknowledge does not work) could be spent on helping addicts and education about drugs (in the same way as we currently do about smoking and alcohol). It would also eventually have a knock on effect on dealers, gangs, criminal cartels and countries such as Mexico and Colombia where ordinary folk have suffered from the brutalities of the drug overlords and war against drugs for decades.
On 30 Dec 2014 at 12:15am Belladonna wrote:
Oh and yes I do know someone who exacerbated their mental health issues through the use of skunk. The problem with street drugs, as ACT so rightly says, is that the user has no idea of their potency or what they have been cut with. Legalisation and regulation would deal with that.
As we all acknowledge, many of us have tried drugs, some at a young age. Teenagers have easier access to street drugs than alcohol now, which makes them all the more vulnerable.
The streets of Lewes and Brighton are awash with drugs and young people have easy access to them, regardless of them bring criminalised - ask any local police officer.
On 30 Dec 2014 at 6:53pm wrote:
So what are you advocating then.
That the state grows dope and opium, and then refinea it and sells it in Boots or Bakers the Chemist?
On 31 Dec 2014 at 10:18am Belladonna wrote:
You can bet your bottom dollar that there are many many entrepreneurs and big business, including the tobacco companies, working on plans to move swiftly into the market once marijuana is legalised. The important point is strict regulation and taxation is required so yes, there will be role for the state.
On 31 Dec 2014 at 3:28pm Metatron wrote:
Sorry Belladona, we the majority will not let it happen.