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Legalise drugs? Try telling that to the children neglected by junkie parents

  1. jon-q
    View attachment 22447 Next time Jonathan Dimbleby feels like mooting the idea of decriminalising hard drugs, perhaps he should take a walk beneath the stairwells of some of our inner-city housing estates.

    There, he won’t find the junkies gently sneezing — as he tells us he did when he snorted a line of cocaine in the U.S. in the late Sixties.

    He is more likely to find that they set on him with a knife in a state of psychotic rage.

    The connection between cocaine, mental illness and violence is indisputable.

    Among the many studies that have found a link was an analysis of 1,000 people arrested for violent offences in Greater Manchester, more than 400 of whom tested positive for cocaine.

    Even when users are not harming others, they are certainly taking up more than their fair share of places on NHS emergency wards.


    Sneezing is not listed as a side-effect of cocaine use in medical textbooks, but there are plenty of acute conditions that are on the list: stroke, brain haemorrhage, hypothermia, agitated delirium, cardiac arrest, irregular heart rhythm and convulsions.

    And before anyone tries to say coke-users are just exercising their right to take whatever risks they like with their health, they might like to consider the thousands of children of junkies killed or injured by their parents each year, either as a result of violence or because they ended up swallowing the drugs themselves.

    Croydon Hospital alone revealed recently it has admitted 56 children with acute intoxication as a result of illegal drug ingestion in the past five years. None of this seems to register with the celebrities and metropolitan liberals, among whom the legalisation of hard drugs has become a cause celebre.

    To them, it seems, hard drugs are a slightly naughty way to brighten up a party — and, for a few unfortunates who cannot handle it, the precursor to a short break in rehab.

    Unlike the residents of drug-ridden estates, they don’t live with the day-to-day consequences of living among drug addicts: the crazed individuals on the stairs, the children’s playgrounds littered with HIV-infected syringes, the urine-soaked lifts and so on.

    Jonathan Dimbleby’s case — and that of the drugs legalisation lobby in general — is that the war on drugs has been an expensive failure.

    Prohibition, goes the theory, has led people to experiment with drugs due to the allure of doing something illegal.

    It has caused drug producers and suppliers both here and abroad to fight each other — and forced addicts to steal in order to fight their addictions.

    Legalise drugs and their use can be regulated, so the argument goes, while users can be better supported.

    It is all a dangerous delusion, often supported by suspect arguments and questionable statistics.

    In June, a self-appointed legalisation pressure group called the Global Commission Of Drug Policy — whose supporters include Sir Richard Branson and former UN chief Kofi Annan — published a report claiming the worldwide use of illegal drugs had soared as a result of their illegality.

    Its call for an end to the war on drugs was taken up by stars including Julie Christie, Dame Judi Dench and Sting.

    The commission claims to be conducting an ‘informed, science-based discussion’ on drugs. But it is pretty poor science: this week, the UN Office On Drugs And Crime attacked the commission’s report for ‘flawed methodology’, in particular for misinterpreting its own statistics.

    Far from rising, worldwide heroin and cocaine use is stable while use of cannabis is falling.

    The idea that the illegality of drugs promotes their use is absurd. You only have to compare the number of drug addicts with the vastly larger number of alcoholics to see the potential for drug abuse were hard drugs to legalised.

    Whenever drugs have been prohibited in the past, such as with the U.S. Narcotics Act of 1914, the number of users has plummeted, as the substances become harder to obtain.

    Neither would drugs gangs lay down their arms were hard substances to be legalised. Can you imagine drugs barons in Colombia and or South London handing in their weapons and deciding to go straight? The idea that the war on drugs has failed is based on a false premise.

    There was a war on hard drugs in Britain, but that was over 100 years ago, when opium use was stamped out.

    In the past 40 years, we have had steady legalisation by stealth. Far from being a voice from the wilderness, the legalisation lobby has had a huge influence on drugs policies since the Sixties — with hugely damaging effects.

    There was a time when drug-users could expect stiff sentences. In 1967, for example, Brian Jones of the Rolling Stones was sentenced to nine months in jail — though it was later commuted to a £1,000 fine (£10,000 in today’s money) for possession of marijuana.

    Theoretically, users caught with class A drugs, such as heroin and cocaine, can still be sentenced to seven years in jail and those with class B drugs, such as cannabis, to five years.

    But over the years, sentencing policy has reduced the law to a farce. In May of this year, Pete Doherty was finally sentenced to six months in jail for possessing cocaine, but that was after multiple previous convictions. Most are let off with a caution.

    It is little better with dealers — only one third now receive custodial sentences. Meanwhile, the authorities have allowed prisons to become swamped with drugs. Surely, it cannot be hard to keep a secure environment, such as a jail, free of drugs; at least sniffer dogs could be used on every visitor and piece of prisoner’s mail.


    Yet drug-use continues inside on a scale that suggests somebody must deliberately be turning a blind eye.

    There has been no national debate over the steady relaxation of drugs policy: successive governments have allowed the law to be weakened, while maintaining the pretence they are still fighting a war on drugs.

    Tony Blair’s government quietly downgraded drugs from a crime problem to a public health issue. Thus, hundreds of millions of pounds have been switched from fighting drug-dealers to managing drug-users’ habits: the Government annually spends £380 million on tackling the supply of drugs, compared with £800 million on treatment.

    Of that latter sum, £300 million is spent supplying the heroin substitute methadone to addicts. Yes, the state is now spending nearly as much on supplying drugs to addicts as it is on investigating and trapping drug-dealers.

    It is as if the police had given up trying to catch speeding motorists and were handing them vouchers for free sessions on Go-Kart tracks in the hope that they might then better manage their lust for thrills.

    The Government will make no progress in reducing drug-use, so long as it treats drug-users as innocent victims of the drugs trade, rather than the law-breakers they are.


    We don’t treat users of child porn as victims of porn merchants: we punish them for being complicit in the abuse of the children in the images they download from the internet.

    So why is it any different with drugs? Without users to buy drugs, there would be no drugs trade; it is simple as that.

    Jonathan Dimbleby asserted this week that ‘by criminalising the use of cocaine we are causing mayhem to the lives of millions of people in South America’.

    That is a perverse logic: it is the coke-snorters who are causing the misery: every time a celebrity tips out a line of cocaine at a party they are complicit in the drugs trade, from Colombia to Peckham.

    At least Mr Dimbleby had the sense to ask the question: ‘Do the people who use illegal substances here realise the havoc they are responsible for?’

    Yet at the same time, the suggestion that drug-users should be subject to punishment raises the hackles of the pro-liberalisation lobby.

    And it’s not just the Lib Dems, who annually vote for the legalisation of drugs at their conference, as they did this week.

    It wasn’t so long ago that then Conservative shadow home secretary Ann Widdecombe was vilified by members of her own party at a Conservative conference for proposing drug-users be subject to a £100 fine.

    While the pro-legalisation lobby will carry on trying to make the desperate argument that swamping the country with more drugs will make society happier and more peaceful, people whose daily lives are blighted by violent drug-users want to ask a different question: when will a British government end the phoney war on drugs and actually start fighting?

    Ross Clark
    Daily Mail 22nd Sept 2011



  1. MrG
    And there we go, the association of drug use with paedophilia. Nice.

    This is just more of the same shit we always see from the Daily Fail. Lapped up by it's paper readership, but, I am pleased to see, the most highly rated comments on the online article are all condemning the ridiculous statements in it.
  2. catseye
    Aww, bless the Daily Mail and their inflammatory and ill-founded muckraking. That's the attitude, lets keep criminalising addiction and see where it gets society....ffs.
  3. mersann
    Legalise driving? Try telling that to the parents whose children were killed in traffic accidents.
  4. mersann
    Oh, I just checked -- driving is legal in Britain. Now, that's strange.

    And where is the edit function? It was there yesterday.

    Edit: The edit function was not available for me, because I was downgraded to newbie because of my e-mail problems. But that's off topic.
  5. MrG
    Well isn't that odd, comments are no longer available on the article.

    Tell me that isn't proof of just how low the DM will stoop to prevent a rational debate about drugs.

    [EDIT] No, my bad, they are back up again. Still it's not exactly a leap to suspect foul play from the guardians of our morality.
  6. Wanderer
    So, that explains it... he's the one who blew the pile of coke all over the floor at that party! Stupid wanker!

    "Alright, that's entirely too silly." - Graham Chapman (RIP), Monty Python

    Ok, well, he might even discover derivative trading and financial fraud...

    Let's see, if A and B is true B, if B and C are true, then A and C must be true.

    The connection between cocaine, alcohol and strippers, with the urge to trade in risky derivative securities, like Colleralized Mortgage Options, this is a fact.

    Among many studies of toilets in trendy clubs frequented by highly paid Securities Traders, they've swabbed the surfaces and found cocaine everywhere!

    There's the proof we needed!

    Global Financial Crisis, no one victims? Well no one died, maybe? Oh, well bonuses in financial firms were at all time highs last year and salaries are up too. Oh, and how much money did it cost the Government to bail out (and continue to bail out) these failed Financial Institutions? That wasn't a burden on society. </sarcasm>

    But mephedrone, "bath salts", and plant food aren't illegal? Oh, sorry, they are now (the ingredients anyway).

    Ok Dorothy, take the ruby slippers and tap your heels together and repeat after me, "there is no border violence along the US / Mexico border..."

    Those guys? Wait, I bet they all smoke pot, well maybe not Kofi Annan... or does he? Conspiracy I say.

    Who else was on that Commission?

    • George Shultz - former Secretary of State, United States (honorary chair)
    • César Gaviria - former President of Colômbia
    • Ernesto Zedillo - former President of México
    • Fernando Henrique Cardoso - former President of Brazil (chair)
    • Michel Kazatchkine - executive director of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, France
    • Paul Volcker - former Chairman of the US Federal Reserve and of the Economic Recovery Board, US
    • And many other co-conspirators.
    I bet they do drugs too.

    Supply and demand. I knew it.

    Let's see, there was this thing that happened later called the 18th Amendment to the Constitution in the US. For the benefit of people outside the US, or aren't up on their Constitution and its Amendments, that made alcohol illegal in the US.

    I'm sure that reduced alcohol consumption and eliminated organized crime... Oh, it didn't? Chicago mobsters? Al Capone? Joe Kennedy liking boats and living near the water in Boston and frequently yachting to Canada?

    They repealed the 18th Amendment? Well that was probably because there was a war on in Europe and the Pacific.

    But wait, didn't I read just the other day...

    UK poppy-growing program kept hush-hush

    Shhhhh, it must be a secret. Oh, and Afghanistan, an 80/20 rule? Nonsense.

    Let me see there was a story about the guards in British prisons getting high on second hand smoke. It's gotta be around here somewhere.

    See, remember what I said above? It's simple, just supply and demand. Just get rid of the demand and the supply will go away.

    Mr. Hamster is seriously worried about you British guys. He's not sure if this is serious or not, he remembers Monty Python - they were serious weren't they?

    Be well...
  7. Routemaster Flash
    Didn't drug use in Portugal decrease after possession of small amounts of (all) drugs was decriminalised a few years ago? Doesn't Holland have lower rates of use of both 'soft' and 'hard' drugs than the UK? Ah well, never mind these pesky inconvenient facts, let's just make emotive appeals to parents.

    Won't somebody PLEASE think of the children?!?!?!

  8. jon-q

    Don’t you just hate it when they withhold the important facts? The study mentioned above was carried out by Drugscope a number of years ago, what the above quote failed to mention is the survey was part of an article which considered whether mixing alcohol and cocaine was a recipe for disaster.

    So using this study to enhance your claims about cocaine would actually be considered a Fail.

  9. MikePatton
    I was just going to say that...
    "Legalize Mcdonlad's? Try telling that to the children whose parents were killed by cholesterol."
  10. Routemaster Flash
    This is a basic science fail. No research should ever try to *prove* a hypothesis; it should be undertaken only to *test* a hypothesis. In fact it would better (more scientific) to come up with a hypothesis and then conduct an experiment designed to disprove it.

    That said, it's hardly surprising that people who are already pissed and a bit lairy are going to get more lairy if they do some charly...
  11. Plasma
    Oh yes, because creating a standardised, controlled and taxed form of drug distribution will make problems worse!! :rolleyes:

    The simple fact is that legal or not, people will get their hands on the drug of desire. Where I live I have access to pretty much every drug out there, just because I have access doesn't mean I will do some of the harder drugs. The same logic applies to decriminalisation/legalisation. Making drugs will not cause people to rush out and try them. Look at the Netherlands, compared to the rest of Europe they have a low use of Cannabis use and there it's virtually legal. People need to be properly advised on the effects of drugs, and if they are not causing harm to others in using them, should be allowed to do whatever they wish to their own body.

    We need a sensible drug policy based on health, educate people and have clean drugs as an option. At the moment drug users risk nasty impurities and dealing with (and fueling) violent gangs. It's an absolute waste of taxpayers money and then you get 'Newspapers' such as the Daily Mail spewing out garbage of false claims and flawed logic. I have trouble understanding why people read newspapers like these willingly.
  12. msjaguarxj6
    Since when were cocaine users considered 'junkies?' Thanks for sharing. I wasn't aware that so many so called news outlets were still so ignorant. A good read nonetheless.
  13. inazone
    Do you honestly believe,if all mood/altering substances vanishished overnight. The world would be a better place? Would poverty go away, under-employoment,greed, fear....wouldnt they just reivent themseles. Instead of fighting "the others" and throwinhg them down ito overfilled dundgeons Would it not be so much better to open our minds and embrace humanity and tap into Direction evolve
  14. Routemaster Flash
    For those who don't know, the Daily Mail (a.k.a. Daily Wail, Daily Fail or Daily Heil!) is an appallingly reactionary British newspaper (and our second-biggest-selling daily title, yay). The kind of paper that draws no distinction between recreational drug users and addicts, or "junkies". Most of the twats who read it probably think you're a "junky" if you smoke the occasional joint.
  15. Zertein
    The poor children :/ When a user of a drug gets to that point where they beat their children is when it should be illegal, If you can prove the drugs help or your not a crazy junkie on them then they should be legal.
  16. kailey_elise
    Fuck that shit. Drug use is no fucking excuse for violence against anyone, especially children.

    This is why it is already illegal to beat children, be they yours or not. Nothing new needs to be done, just lock up the abusive motherfuckers.

  17. LoveNwar
    I think that it's wrong to built laws envolving people's rights in order to obtain a goal (even if it's a good goal), simply because the "rights" must exist even before there are goals to be achieved. Rights should be there because they are common sense, just that, and people should be entitled to them. Period! The right to make free choices is one (yes, even if those choices lead to self-destruction). It's what people do to others with that freedom that must be watched, not the right to freedom itself. In other words: neglecting children IS THE CRIME in that scenario, wether it was about drug use, inasanity or simply bad parenting.
  18. allwell

    I'm sure there are other people who've disputed this logic before me, but the legalization argument is not to say every drug be legalized. Cocaine may or may not be the cause of violence. It's not the main cause - alcohol is the drug most associated with violence, hospital admission and so on.
    Legalizing drugs, some drugs, makes sense in that it creates control. Those junkies buying heroin instead of food for their children and themselves, would be replaced by junkies visiting a place where the drug is administered without the junk and maybe without the price tag that costs the health service and justice system so much every year.
  19. snarkymalarky
    Does keeping drugs illegal prevent junkies from neglecting their children? I don't think so... People are going to do all sorts of violent and abusive shit with or without drugs -- I don't think drugs are really the root of the problem.

    If anything, I'd say think of all the kids whose parents are in jail on nonviolent drug charges! If it wasn't for drug laws, these kids would have their parents around.
  20. LoveNwar
    I can say right here and right now - for as long as i may keep my mind intact - that if i ever become a parent with a strong dependence on (any) substance, i will still never, no matter how bad i'm hurting, put my needs before food for that child. I wouldn't care if the drug was legal, illegal, whatever... my primary need would be to put food on that table. On the other hand, you have people who don't even have that excuse, they neglect their own because they know no better. In any case, NEGLECTING is the crime, not what may be the excuse, drugs or no drugs.
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