BBC: Legalise all drugs, say Lib Dems

By turkeyphant · Sep 19, 2006 · ·
  1. turkeyphant
    Finally, some sense coming from politicians. Shame nobody with any power's going to pay any attention and the country's going to shit even more once the Tories get in after next year's election.

    What can be done to make voters and policy-makers consider this viewpoint?

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  1. Riconoen {UGC}
    Can I get an amen?
  2. Sklander
    Perhaps we're living in a transition era. Soooo many problems would disappear if this came to life, others would appear, but nothing worse than what we see with Alcohol and Tobacco... When will they wake up?
  3. bewilderment
    If that were in the U.S. then I'd probably write local congressmen. Although, I don't even think they read things like that half of the time. Whenever, I write a congressman or other politician, there's always some pre-printed response sent back. Plus, I live in one of the most conservative states in the union where if something such as legalizing all drugs were mentioned upwards from at least 90% of people here (including drug users, strangely enough) then I would get looked at like I'm from another planet. In fact, that happens to me whenever I do say that even when I *think* that I am in the company of like-minded people...even the drug users around here are brainwashed by the propaganda. One of my friends who has probably seen and used more drugs than swim ever will surprised swim a few weeks ago by asking her what caused hallucinations on things like LSD. Swim's never done LSD, but believes that the hallucinations are caused by the extra serotonin in the synapses somehow and has read somewhere (although the book may have been outdated, she doesn't remember) that more powerful hallucinogens such as LSD and Mescaline may somehow tap into the pineal gland's reservoir of serotonin which is something lesser hallucinogens do not do. Now, as I said, I'm not entirely sure of this information but it was the first explanation that came to mind (correct me and tell me the truth if I'm wrong). I was surprised when he replied "Oh, I always thought it was because the brain swelled a bit and put pressure on the back of the retinas. Someone told me that anyway." Does anyone know where that sort of information could've come from? I also found it strange that one would actually consume drugs which they thought were causing their brain to swell up. It doesn't sound pleasant at all and very dangerous.

    Anyway, I'm always happy to read encouraging articles such as this. It may just be because I pay more attention lately or does this viewpoint seem to be gaining a bit in popularity as of late? Not that it's a viewpoint held by many, but it seems like some are starting to catch on...especially with Mexico almost passing that bill awhile back before the big, bad U.S. stepped in and scared them. Canada was also becoming more lax, but it seems like they've taken some steps back lately. But, I don't follow international news closely and that's just a general impression and I can't recall any facts to back it up at the moment.

    Nonetheless, I think it will be a very,very long time before drugs come close to legalization on an international level. Although, it seems inevitable unless they utilize future (and probably present) technology for heavy, unconstitutional spying on drug-users and dealers. I mean, just the invention of the internet has made the war on drugs much more difficult (although similar technology helps track people better than they used to be able to, win some and lose some) and the invention of new drugs is always seems like eventually they will have to give in unless they just deny us our privacy completely. Maybe not with so-called "hard" drugs but at least the less-harmful hallucinogens and marijuana.
  4. turkeyphant
    I will still write to my local MP but he's a Tory sellout so, as you say, it probably won't achieve much. Just wondering if anyone else has any bright ideas to cause progress away from Drug War mentality.
  5. Jatelka
    ^^^ Use your Vote! Even if you think it won't make a difference. Everyone who thinks that is one less vote for the Lib Dems, and one less vote for them is giving ammunition to Tony and David (even worse in SWIJ's viewpoint than Tony!)
  6. turkeyphant
    I will and always have done. The problem is there's nothing to correlate between votes for certain parties and the policies that swung them so even the politicians don't really know what they're doing right.
  7. Beeker
    Maybe, like today, Bush can downplay the 'The War on Drugs' to 'The War on people having just a little to much fun ... and stay off the grass'
  8. Alicia
    Swia agrees with j. better anything then that tony prick. and not to mention the harm reduction and better understanding of the real risks associated with drugs rather then the "no its bad don't do it motive" Its all about education.
  9. zera
    Encourage more people to read economics or take economics classes. Really anyone even with a bit of knowledge about prohibition and how supply and demand works is infinitely more likely to take a rational position on the subject rather than buy into silly horror stories. For decades the strongest proponents of legalization has been people like Milton Friedman.

    Getting people to understand how drugs aren't terrible will take a radical paradigm shift. The vast majority of people are not willing to come to that conclusion. However giving a basic historical and economic explanation of how prohibition causes far more harm than good, even when the substance prohibited is something very bad, is quite easy.

    "A survey of economists indicates that the majority oppose prohibition and favor moving policy in the direction of decriminalization. Economists who specialize in monetary theory and public finance are more likely to support decriminalization, while specialists in business administration are more apt to defend prohibition. Economists who work in the private sector generally support decriminalization, whereas government economists are more likely to support prohibition. It should be noted that economists overwhelmingly fall within the demographic grouping that exhibits the most support for legalization within the general public (middle aged, male, highly educated, upper income, Jewish or nonreligious). Most graduates of the top graduate programs and most economists trained in the Chicago, public choice, or Austrian traditions supported decriminalization of illegal drugs (Thornton 1991)."
  10. Riconoen {UGC}
    I'm surprised there isn't a huge lobbying campaign going on right now funded by bayer or merck to end the war on drugs here in the us becuase of the amount of cash they'll be making off of legalized drugs they'll undoubtably be producing.
  11. grandbaby
    Yeah, this always mystifies me. I talk legalization and people say, "oh, but surely you don't mean cocaine and heroin. Well, uh, yeah, I do. Everything. Nothing's going to be worse than alcohol and tobacco, and regulation means people aren't dying because they take shit that's cut with Drano (or completely uncut!). But even drug users will say, "I can't go that far. Pot and mushrooms, yeah, but you can't legalize everything." Boy, oh, boy, have we got a long row to hoe.
  12. adzket
    don't we have drugs zhares in the uk whoes jobs it is to informe the govenment on drugs and what there drug polices should be i would of thought other countries would have people in simerla possitions. i think many would see it as a step backwards though cause if you look back it was only like the 1900's when you could buy many wondafull substances from the chemists otc no problem. also many people foget we went to war with china over opium and who had the rights to sell it ect. but swim is all up for decriminalisation if not legalisation so that the money from drug users is put to good use instead of paying for sensless wars aswell as keeping much of the worlds population in poverty. just my 2 cent's.
  13. Goodall
    i aggree with this, and will be writing to my local MP, and voting lib dem at the next GE. i have always been a firm believer that if somone wantd to do somthing to thier body then they should be allowed to do that so long as it doesnt effect somone else. basicaly, its your body do to it as you will, but dont cause anyone else any problems because of it. ether you be getting a piecing, a haircut, a tattoo, or ingesting a drug. i think that the legalisation of any and all drugs would be a great thing for this country, it would put a stop to a fair bit of drug related crime, and would also allow people to know that thier drug is pure and is the strength stated (much like alcohol having an ABV% and having the amount of units written on the package) this way people could take drugs in a safer enviroment. one thing i wont be lookign forward to if and when the war on drugs is stopped, is when the government starts taxing on drugs (as they do on the legal drugs we have now of tobacco and alcohol) hopefully the price of drugs will fall even with the taxes though.
  14. AdderallJunkie102
    I think that outright legalization of all drugs is a really bad idea. Certainly, Marijuana should be completely legalized, (able to buy at stores) because it has been proven time and time again by scientists that it is less harmful and addicting than Alcohol. It has also been shown though studies of its effects and the behavior of those intoxicated that Marijuana use has a small detrimental effect on society or at least a detrimental effect that is less than Alcohol. This is true especially if more people start smoking Marijuana instead of drinking, which many experts say will most likely happen. Also If Marijuana was to be legalized it would most likely and should come with similar restrictions as Tobacco and Alcohol.

    I also am a firm believer in legalizing personal use of all drugs, as most drug addicts are victims that need help and not jail time. Even if somebody taking hard drugs isn't a drug addict I see no point in arresting an otherwise law-abiding citizen just for owning the means to get high. It's a huge waste of money, time and prison space, what law enforcement should be doing is focusing on the source and distribution of dangerous drugs. This is not to say that public intoxication is still legal, in fact illegal public intoxication, stupid behavior and theft could easily be a large part of police encounters with drug users; basically the people causing harm to society because of their drug use will still be going to jail even if personal use is legal.

    Law enforcement should have other ways of effecting hard drug users that are hurting themselves even if they can't arrest them for simple possession. For example if a user of drugs that is younger than 18 is caught with drugs he could have his parents called by the police, since his parents may not allow drug use; or if a user is uncooperative with police although legally, he could say get community service or something. This with many other features of harm reduction is in my opinion the best way to deal with the current drug problem. This does not include selling recreational poison openly, it may be pure and measured but for many hard drugs, the amount needed to get high and the amount needed to overdose is not that far apart. Personal tolerance could easily be over estimated and over doses would still easily be possible and numerous with obvious increase in use, when something like this happens in the medical drug industry, companies get sued.

    Of course you also have to look at the fact that many hard drugs have a large detrimental effect on society and could stop the likely drop in hard drug use with the legalization of Marijuana. This is not mentioning that many hard drugs have very bad side effects from long term chronic use, the only legal recreational drug that comes close is Tobacco, but that causes about as much harm or strain on society as caffeine. Alcohol can cause some pretty bad health problems that are comparable to hard drugs however the addictive potential is far less.

    To me being able to walk down the street to your local store and buy Heroin or Methamphetamines seems a lot like playing with fire to me. The amount of use and social acceptability of hard drugs would go up significantly if they were to be legalized, this is a very bad thing as we already have enough hard drug users causing problems (watch an episode of Intervention if you don’t believe me). We don’t need a large percentage of future generations hooked on hard drugs as many addicts have trouble functioning in society.

    This is unlike the increased use and social acceptability of Marijuana which could actually lessen the strain of other drug use as newer and current generations will most likely choose to use literally the safest recreational drug know to man over more dangerous, expensive and hard to find drugs. Plus even if use of legal Marijuana goes up with other drug use staying on the same level then at least we would have corrected a huge injustice to the American people by making a popular drug Illegal when it is less harmful than most legal drugs.
  15. AdderallJunkie102
    First off you're only using one health risk to make this analysis/comparison. Your saying that the amount of tar you get from Marijuana is more than cigarettes and therefor Marijuana is more harmful than Alcohol because cigarettes are more harmful than Alcohol, I have to say that is pretty bad logic. Not only that but you are completely wrong about Marijuana smoke being worse than cigarette smoke.

    Yes Marijuana smoke has more tar than cigarettes, but your missing something in that comparison: "According to U.S. Surgeon General C. Everette Koop (on national television, 1990) radioactivity, not tar, accounts for at least 90% of all smoking related lung cancer." That's right, Tobacco smoke is radioactive and radioactivity is clearly known to cause cancer. Take a look at this quote: "A person smoking 1 1/2 packs of cigarettes per day, the radiation dose to the bronchial epithelium in areas of bifurcation is 8000 mrem per year -- the equivalent of the dose to the skin from 300 x-ray films of the chest per year".

    It is well known however that Marijuana smoke is not radioactive, that alone is enough to show that cigarettes are way worse for you. However there are even more reasons than that, for starters, people who smoke marijuana don’t smoke the leaf of the plant, they smoke the bud and the bud contains only 33% as much tar as tobacco. A second example would that Marijuana smokers smoke no where near the amount that tobacco smokers smoke (when's the last time you saw somebody smoke a "pack" of joints in a day?) Marijuana also does not cause any narrowing of the small air passageways in the lungs, while tobacco does. To top all of that information, there have been no cases of lung cancer ever linked to Marijuana smoking. This is of course ignoring the fact that no matter how bad Marijuana smoke could be, Marijuana unlike Tobacco can be cooked into certain foods such as brownies, thus eliminating any threat from Marijuana smoke.

    After that proving that Marijuana is less harmful than Alcohol is pretty easy, after all Alcohol is addicting, causes liver damage and brain damage. There are more side effects of Alcohol but, I think that that is enough considering that Marijuana causes none or very little (not long term damage) brain damage at all, is not addicting, and does not cause serious liver problems.

    Sources: Erowid
    prfamerica (.org)

    This myth has been disproved so many times it's ridiculous, I suggest you look up some actual scientific research on marijuana before you go off spouting nonsense. However if you meant that Marijuana is mentally addictive, then that's a different story. Marijuana has been ranked as less habit forming than caffeine but, like all fun or pleasurable activities, you may have trouble quitting, the same way you would have trouble never eating your favorite food or dessert ever again. Mental addiction however has more to do with your brains impulse controls and it's ability to resist pleasure, for example if you never have dieted successfully before then you might have trouble quitting Marijuana. If you really have to though most people can stop smoking Marijuana whenever they want and mental addiction is no where near the level of addiction that you have if you go though physical withdrawal and your body needs the drug to feel "right". So, certainly Marijuana is not addictive in the classic or scientific definition but, like all fun activities you may want to repeat the experience.

    well I've already shown that there have been 0 cases of cancer linked to Marijuana and it is well known that Marijuana causes 0 deaths per year. It also sounds like you pulled the 50:50 chance from thin air, try to do research.

    This is an argument I see a lot and it's just plain wrong, nobody finds more interest in Marijuana because it is illegal, if anything it turns people off. Think about it, people just want to get high that's why they smoke weed, nobody uses Marijuana's illegal status as bragging rights or anything like that. Certainly, smokers would much rather it be legal after all how do you think legal drugs like salvia became so popular? This is ignoring that Marijuana will still most likely be illegal for adolescents if it was legalized in the same way drinking Alcohol is and drinking is quite popular among adolescents despite the fact that it will be legal later in life.
  16. stoneinfocus
    I´ve ssen Rastas with big chests, which might be a sign od emphysema, and I conducted experiments with smoking a joint, or huka through a serviette and exhaling the smoke through a serviette, so I´ve gotten an idea how dirty it is.

    When you cluster your lungs alveoli with tar, respiratory resistance increase and the lungs try to cover up the diminishing surface area by blowing up the size of the alveoles, rather than folding more, cause they are plugged by tar.(Why is it that alway my computer crahses, when I´ve written a very dedicated, researched article in an hour or so:mad: )

    In swim experience most mj-users are smoking it and doing it as often as they can, without disturbing their regular lifes that much, wich is in my opinion an addiction and adolescent may get into trouble when all they´re thinking of is smoking dope and getting it.

    you see, I couldn´t care less, but let´s not blame other "hard" drugs in favour of our beloved daily addiction which might cause a lot more harm than those other drugs do, even though the consequences of use might be more obviuos when rolling than with smoking pot every nite.;)

    In my eyes everybody should choose (as they´re already doin´, if they can) his own addiction and ways which he most probably will die.

    I think even heroin and lifelong amphetamine use is less hazardous than alcohol or smoking mj.

    Here´s some pub med searches, keywords "cannabis", "emphysema":

    here van Hooze mentions the problem alicia says of uncoupling factors of mj and other influences which applies even in the most carefully conducted observation:

    so hwere we go with tobacco, mj, mj+tobacco and non-smokers:
  17. stoneinfocus
    this, sounds extremly ridicoulus.One of those surveys sponsored by some neurotic group of idiots which was payed to get the results they could use for their purpose.Oh, is ittoo obvious, or what?(<

    uh-Oh!;) :D
    thanks, you´ve made my day. (when's the last time you saw somebody smoke a "pack" of joints in a day?)
    migth be true, I always felt that THC had a slight dilating effect, maybe I´m just jealous on mj-smokers because of my grass allergy:D In fact I´ve seen studies that say tar and nicotine of one joint equals 5-20 cigarettes, the latter figuer I can hardly belive but I think it might be in the 3-4cigarette equivalent area.
    My common sense and some studies doubt.
    You could chew nicotine gums.:eek:
    some of the black-white propagande I´m trying to avoid.
    Well the 50:50 chance might be thin air but nonetheless not that thin imho than the zero zero, youér exhaling.
    You might be right with taht although salvia and such drugs are more for the involved drug user.
    Maybe a line of speed is also normal in your teen-years and might not be the worst thing to do.:smoker:
  18. Omelet
  19. stoneinfocus
    Allrigth: addiction: developing tolerance to the effects -true, you don´t get chinese eyes, are not that dizzy anymore, some effects like the dizzyness dimish and you learn to cope with the effects in daily quests.
    You think about it daily and often, and if you donßt get it you try really hard to get some, ok, you´re not giving anyone a blowjob for a roach, but so much to the addictive side.

    I´m not condemming this, it´s ok, we´ve been smoking pot for 10th of thousands of years, as we did opiates and shrooms.

    But please stop screwing around when there are "scientfic" definitions of addiction we must follow, just bedause they exist.(not to say they´re horse shit in some individual cases)
  20. AdderallJunkie102
    Are you kidding me? Did you even bother to do any research before asserting that my information was wrong? The radioactivity of Tobacco is well known and you would have a hard time finding a scientist that says Tobacco isn't radioactive, just look at all these sites that agree with me: again- link is dead - info may still exist there somehere
    Erowid (cannabis health)

    To but it bluntly your common sense, at least when it comes to drugs is lacking and you have yet to point out any such study's (not bias government anti weed study's, I'm talking real peer reviewed science)

    You are clearly confused, an addiction doesn’t just mean using often. It means not being able to stop even if you want to or have to and yes some people have poor impulse control, but that is not really an addiction.

    There is no "might", science is pretty clear on this: Marijuana is less harmful than drugs like Cocaine or Heroin. You need only a quick google search to reveal this, hell even the government admits that weed isn't as harmful as Drugs like Heroin.

    That’s fine, as I said personal use of all drugs should be legal. This doesn’t mean the government should allow or endorse it, by selling it in stores.

    Excuse me but where did all your common sense go? Did you even think before saying this? Do you have any proof? Please, you think Heroin, which is one of the deadliest, and addicting recreational drugs of all time is actually less harmful than a drug that has no physical dependence, few negative side effects and no possible Overdose?
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