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Norman Baker on UK drug policy

On 31 Dec 2014 at 9:10pm Lewes Skeptic wrote:
I didn't see the thread about Norman Baker on drugs policy till now and its reached its limit. He will be speaking on the subject for Lewes Skeptics on Wednesday 7th of January as The Elephant & Castle. See below:

Check it out here »
On 31 Dec 2014 at 10:41pm Normans Wisdom wrote:
See you there. Yeah, right. How many of the vociferous critics on here will have the backbone to attend? Let me guess. A big fat zero? But the spineless few will be on here criticising anonymously from a safe distance afterwards.
On 1 Jan 2015 at 1:54am Jude wrote:
I would attend if I wasn't going to a funeral - why a Weds night ?!!!
On 1 Jan 2015 at 11:12am the obscure wrote:
It` a bit obscure, Jude
On 1 Jan 2015 at 11:26am Historian wrote:
What is the point of hearing his views ? It is not as though he has any influence in Government. Just his ramblings. Lewes needs a change.
On 1 Jan 2015 at 12:10pm Old Bloke wrote:
@Normans Wisdom - Historian is right. Why bother. He'll influence nothing on drugs and thank goodness for that - man's a fool
On 1 Jan 2015 at 3:32pm Clifford wrote:
Isn't it strange how people post their views on here day in and day out and then say it's not worth hearing Baker's views on drug laws? Not entirely unexpected I suppose.
On 1 Jan 2015 at 3:35pm Sword of Truth wrote:
I turned up at the big meeting following the David James Smith article and ( and kicked his weak -ass argument into touch well and truly natch.)
I might go and give Baker a little tough love on the subject of gateway drugs, availability to minors and the naked political expedience of his made -up row.
Incidentally what ever happened to David James Smith and Petal . I think I heard they went their separate ways
On 1 Jan 2015 at 6:33pm skeptical green wrote:
Gateway drugs are a genuine concern but diverting low level dealers of class A drugs who sell and act as runners for others to treatment rather than short prison sentences makes it less not more likely that harder drugs will be offered to youths seeking cannabis. I simply don't understand why people on here are advocating more of the policies that have not worked since 1971 is that not long enough? No addict in or out of prison who is ready and willing to go on treatment programmes should be waiting because of underfunding. It just does not make economic sense as the long term costs of property crime, imprisonment costs, NHS treatment for the inevitable serious health problems and the other costs e.g. social services and policing are far in excess of rehab and treatment costs. I am firmly convinced of the damaging effects of cannabis especially stronger varieties on those susceptible to psychosis and depressive illness and very worried about the long term effects of drugs like ecstasy which is scarily prevalent in clubs but criminal justice solutions have been shown to be very expensive failures(and with the young much less effective than spending the same sums on education) so Norman is correct that policy needs to be completely rethought. I think his departure from the Home Office was a deliberate attempt at distancing himself from the Tories as others suggest and so are all the current fake fights that the liberals are picking with their Tory mates to try and stem the collapse of their vote. None of that means that he is wrong on drugs policy though and you will find people who agree in all the main political parties.
On 1 Jan 2015 at 6:34pm lewesian wrote:
Thankyou, I'll be there as someone who has has tasted all forms of drugs and who is only legally allowed to have alcohol.
On 1 Jan 2015 at 8:35pm Sword of Truth wrote:
Skeptical Green - The majority are not drug addicts and drug addiction is not a problem in my life (despite being in quite a druggy area ) that looks like a policy working to me?
Many people try soft drugs but do not proceed to dangerous drugs and such recreational narcotics are freely available to adults, sounds ok to me again
The casualties are tiny,so tiny that to try and eradicate them would be to try and eradicate risk form the lives of young people; futile and absurd.
On the other hand those that choose to seek out dangerous drugs cannot be absolved of personal responsibility. There are many calls on scarce borrowed public money and I can't see the plight of drug addicts at the head of the queue myself .
One problem with being soft on drugs is that it risks a proliferation of addictive drug abuse down to younger age groups but the generalized threat of social breakdown is not one to be dismissed ( think of Gin)
There are,sadly many subjects on which all TWO parties agree , Europe, the BBC, the Union and, a dislike of morally based criminal justice. There has always been this disagreement between people and political class, it used to coalesce over the death sentence
On 1 Jan 2015 at 9:14pm The Mainstream wrote:
SOT, public attitudes to drug policy are actually mildly in favour of reform. A poll last year showed 53% in favour of decriminalising cannabis, with 67% in favour of a full-scale review of all drug policies.
On 1 Jan 2015 at 9:44pm Sword TRuth wrote:
Hi The Mainstream - Ipsos MORI carried out the survey, on behalf of Transform Drug Policy Foundation. So it was a pro drugs campaign group . This hysterically loaded question they asked
Possession of illegal drugs is currently a criminal offence in the UK. Some other countries have ‘decriminalised’ possession of small quantities of illegal drugs for personal use ( so what ?). This means that possession of a small quantity for personal use is usually punished with fines (like a speeding fine), or attendance at a drug treatment or education programme, rather than arrest. Under ‘decriminalisation’, drugs are still confiscated. Production and supply to others remain criminal offences that may result in punishments carrying a criminal record, for example a prison sentence, fines or community service.
With this in mind, which of the following comes closest to your view of the law in the UK?
a. The law in the UK should stay as it currently is, so that possession of illegal drugs remains a criminal offence.
b. The law in the UK should be changed, so that the possession of small quantities of illegal drugs is ‘decriminalised’, as described.
c. An experimental trial of ‘decriminalisation’ should take place for a limited time period in some parts of the UK, to allow its effectiveness to be evaluated.
d. Other

For most people the idea you can go inside for small quantities of soft drugs for personal use was news( has anyone for years ?).
You have completely misrepresented the facts which shows the lengths the pro drug lobby will go to.

On 1 Jan 2015 at 10:32pm Clifford wrote:
A proper authoritarian state would ban all drugs, including alcohol and nicotine, but I'm sure namby-pambys like Sword of Truth would object to this. Private cars should also be banned as they cause far more deaths than drugs.
On 2 Jan 2015 at 6:43am Sword Of Truth wrote:
You have more or less described the Policy of the Green Party Clifford but my view of narcotics is formed by the historical examples of Gin arriving in the UK in the 19th century and Prohibition. A drug can become socialized or ostracized over time but change is dangerous and the interaction of a narcotic and society is not predictable (or logical)
On 2 Jan 2015 at 4:31pm 8 miles from home wrote:
Give all the druggies a Superman ecstasy tablet. That will sort the losers out.
On 2 Jan 2015 at 6:12pm Old Bloke wrote:
Don't quite get this.
"Isn't it strange how people post their views on here day in and day out and then say it's not worth hearing Baker's views on drug laws? Not entirely unexpected I suppose"
Do we need to go and hear Baker's views again? If we hadn't already heard them we wouldn't be making comment.
On 2 Jan 2015 at 11:53pm Clifford wrote:
Remind me Old Bloke, what are Baker's views. And what you're saying Sword of Truth is that if these drugs are legal they're okay but if those drugs aren't legal they're not. When do you think the drugs that are illegal now were made illegal? Bearing in mind that Queen Victoria was fond of tincture of cannabis.
On 3 Jan 2015 at 11:24am Sword of Truth wrote:
No I am saying precisely the reverse . I am aware of the history both of Opium and, for example, Heroin ( a trade Name ) ,but Opium was only available to a tiny and privileged few amongst whom, it claimed casualties and added to the National ennui by infecting romanticism with its introspective childishness
Has the cost been pennies and availability common,as in the case of Gin, it would have been a disaster. Had further lethal steps been available it would have made something like a hell on earth.
Its hard to recapture the horror of Gin alley and we can only understand the Temperance movement with its own extremist foolishness without some historical imagination.
Legality is only relevant in as much as it effects cost availability and acceptability. For all these reasons and especially the protection of minors and the disadvantaged it seems to me the current messy compromise should not be disturbed.

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