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Scottish Conservatives Bicker with Health Secretary Over Cannabis Reform Points

  1. Beenthere2Hippie
    herb.jpg Scottish Conservatives have called for a crack down on cannabis after official figures revealed hospital admissions related to the drug have reached a 10-year high.

    The analysis, carried out by the party, claims that 834 – or 14 per cent – of the 5,922 admitted to hospital after drug use in 2015-16 in Scotland had taken cannabis. It is just below a high of 15 per cent a decade earlier.

    Douglas Ross, the Scottish Conservative’s shadow justice secretary, said the figures demonstrated that cannabis is “not the harmless substance some would have us believe,"

    “It’s quite alarming that quite so many people are being hospitalised through using cannabis, a drug many people feel authorities are going soft on,” Mr Ross added. “And not only is it dangerous in its own right, as these statistics prove, but it’s a gateway drug to even more harmful substances.

    “We have a massive fight on our hands in Scotland both with illegal drugs and so-called legal highs.
Now is not the time to give in and wave the white flag. We need to crack down on those circulating drugs of all kinds on our streets, and reinforce the message about just how damaging taking these substances can be.”

    The Tories also highlighted there were 913 hospital "stays" involving cannabinoids in 2015/16, compared to 553 for cocaine-related admissions. The SNP Health Secretary Shona Robison, however, said that drug use among the general population “continues to fall and levels among young people remain low.

    She added: "We have greatly reduced drug and alcohol waiting times with 94 per cent of people now being seen within three weeks of being referred and we have invested over £630 million to tackle problem alcohol and drug use since 2008 and over £150 million over five years to improve mental health services in Scotland."

    Original Source

    Written by: Ashley Cowburn, Jan 6, 2017, the Independent


  1. Alfa
    'admitted to the hospital' in this case means they arrived there, where given some sugar and reassurance and were sent home 15 minutes later. As its a drug related incident it gets registered as a drug related admission. But its certainly not what the conservatives think it is. There are no people dying or getting injured.
  2. aemetha
  3. Beenthere2Hippie
    For the record, it's my news-posting habit to put up what is considered both rational and irrational news coverage stories or "takes" on world news coverage on the subject of substance use in all forms and variations, as I equally believe that careful DF debate and analysis on short-sighted reporting (or what can be called at times nothing short of intended propaganda) is the best and just way to confront and control such inane attempts on the part of the world press.

    As I have mentioned before on the news thread, I believe that DF members and those who stop here to read and catch on the latest drug news offerings from around the world want and need (and are more than capable) of the need to aware of the varying levels of purism in that news, as well as the styles of applied hype used by press members (my personal on it), and the delusional and politically packed ploys each news source's/publisher's/country's punch out PR on the matter at the moment is pushing.

    At this time in history (as has almost always been the case with the UK) the relatively new and radical-right drug policy (The Psychoactive Substances Act) that was put into effect has also, somewhat, semi-successfully spilled onto the UK's EU neighbors/UK friendly areas, UK-dependent countries and peoples who, though respectful of England, do not share the UK's current political-bent or ideas on its solution to "substance use" at all. It's because of that ever-changing nuanced reality that we here at DF 1. cover news as it's reported by responsible sources and 2. hope that our educated members take the time to discuss and debate in more depth the faults and points raised in that news.

    "Keep your friends close but your [political] enemies even closer. And take the time to understand what exactly it is that they're promoting. This news release, to me, is a good example of such an attempt by the press to "control" the news and in so doing, the view of its readers.
  4. Hardstepa
    I know for a fact that its mostly CANNABINOIDS not regular cannabis causing so many hospital admissions in Scotland. In my local prison there has been ambulances called regularly due to bad reactions to synthetic cannabinoid. I have even spoken to prison officers who say that it was safer even when heroin was the main drug as people rarely OD from heroin in jail but synthetic cannabinoids can cause seizures or psychotic episodes. If they are putting these under the same as real cannabis it won't take long for the public to see through it. The Conservatives are a rare breed in Scotland we are a more liberal society than England is. We are governed by a party nobody up here votes for.
  5. perro-salchicha614
    Okay, I'm going to offer my unsolicited take on bias in the news on here. When I am looking for stories to post on here, I am always reading for subtext. Always. What is implied often conveys a stronger message than what is said outright. I don't get the feeling that the average reader (on DF or elsewhere) reads for it very carefully, because people aren't taught to.

    So, I think it's okay to post stories with a propagandistic bias, but the person who posted them needs to stick with them and be willing to point out the bias if nobody seems to be picking up on it. I'm not criticizing anyone specific here, I just think this needs to be a general rule. I think the fact that this place is ad-free makes it an ideal place for relatively unbiased discussion of drug news and that we need to cultivate an environment of healthy skepticism.
  6. Beenthere2Hippie
    I fully agree with your points made - good ones - perro. The only thing I would add to what you've said is, I believe though it is the main responsibility of the poster to keep the thread on subject, the "enlightenment" responsibility falls on all enlightened members knowledgeable on the subject of political bias and drug use/law/policy, as well as as add their own relevant and observant points to the thread, as you have so aptly here.

    Sometimes (when a member has many balls in the air), getting back to each active post can be quite literally impossible, due mostly to most posters' limited, personal DF time in which to do so. And so, the assistance of fellow members in getting these kind of not-so-balanced or obvious points across to our readership fall to us all.
  7. aemetha
    News is great here, it's interesting to read. It informs. DF is a discussion board though, and it's appropriate that we apply Socratic dialogue to news stories that many members here are better qualified to comment on than the people who originally researched the stories, and highlight any perceived bias. I think even in the case of a bad (as in containing incorrect or misleading information) drugs story there is some value in its posting, perhaps even more than otherwise because it presents an opportunity to correct the record, such as in the case with this particular story.

    In this case I don't think the reporter has really done anything wrong so much as they haven't done enough. They accurately reported that Scottish conservatives were saying something, but didn't go into the story far enough to recognise that what they were saying was incorrect. But that's why we are discussing it, to correct the record.

    It's worth noting that we have our own bias too. I know I try to personally rely on statistics that support my view that legalisation of drugs presents better outcomes for treatment of addiction. I believe that quite strongly based on the information I've reviewed, and I don't think I'm wrong based on those statistics, but I do have a bias. My bias creeps in when I see a news story that disputes my own findings. In these cases I am much more inclined to research further and refute the article. I don't apply that equally, I am less inclined to do it with articles that support my belief. For that reason I think it important that we take due care when posting articles, but also apply a bit of detachment to the responses to it. If people strongly disagree with our articles, they are disagreeing with the article, not making an attack on us, and whether our article was good quality or bad, the discussion makes them all good in the end, as long as we allow that discussion.

    So to clarify, I think I agree with what everyone said here, in far too many words. On this article: Accurate report that didn't go far enough and consequently was misleading.
  8. Beenthere2Hippie
    Yes, if everyone with a responsible level of knowledge does exactly that, we can use some inaccurate/exaggerated news stories to highlight the true proof of any bad news story's argument's missing facts.

    Not to take this thread off subject but here's another even more disturbing bad drug news story that is another of a million examples of a press-witchhunt and encouraging of shaming - state-sponsored & backed I'm assuming - that is in my idea of the worst of bad journalism and the damage it does:

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