3 thoughts on “Drugs: The war we choose to fight”

  1. Posted 13/01/2019 at 15:40 | Permalink

    I would urge Mr Collins to read the latest report from The Rocky Mountain High Intensity Drugs Trafficking Area (RMHIDTA) on the consequences of marijuana legalisation in Colorado.
    Increases in traffic accidents and deaths, usage among all ages, emergency department and other hospital admissions especially among very young children after consuming edibles. Suicides, crime and treatment for all ages with marijuana as their prime choice of substance abuse etc have also soared.
    Mr Collins should also watch this very disturbing Chronic State video on the consequences of legalisation 2018 https://vimeo.com/280127474

  2. Posted 13/01/2019 at 17:48 | Permalink

    If the IEA wants to be taken seriously as a commentator on matters of drugs use policy, it will need to do much better than this poor, seriously under researched effort. Slipping into using the false planted memes and language of the well financed drug legalisation lobby, is an amateur error (the word “prohibition” is a good example) .

    The health consequences of legalised Cannabis, as is beginning to be discovered in places like Colorado, Hawaii and elsewhere, extends well beyond addiction (I in 9 or 10 heavy users of Cannabis) and beyond the mental illness identified by Professor Robin Murray in the UK. The teratogenic effects (like thalidomide) on embryos, are showing up in increased, gastroschisis, anancephaly and heart defects. There is a “rapid response” on this here, in the British Medical Journal, replying to an earlier very foolish article there:


    Gastroschisis, of which there is a worldwide increase, matching terratorial cannabis use, is babies being born with their large intestines hanging outside the body cavity. It results in death or immediate surgery or both. There has been an outbreak in South Wales, the NHS Wales website has a warning about Gastroschisis and Cannabis/Cocaine use in pregnancy. Annacephaly is babies born with tiny brains.

    Epigenetic effects, DNA damage, crossing generations via damage to male sperm is yet another issue where the developing science is also becoming very strong. Collins should know this.

    Apart from the absence of this science, Sam Collins also misleads on Portugal where the reality is not so differrent to the UK, yet the drugs problem is much worse. Portugal has NOT “decriminalised the possession and use of drugs, it still uses the law to take action against users and certainly against trafickers. Those found with “upto 10 days supply for personal use” are put before something called a “dissuasion commission” something like a Drug Court under our Common Law system. Drugs are seized. The Portugese criminal justice system remains involved.

    It is worth noting too that the recent UK Psychoactive Substances Act, to deal with what journalists in the UK called “legal highs” and “Headshops”, was preceded THREE YEARS EARLIER, by a Portruguese Law designed to deal with the same issue and what they called “Smartshops”.

    The impression so often given, that Portugal is very lax on illegal drugs is misleading.

    UK drugs laws have been effective at containing drugs use and personal and social harm The most commonly used illegal drug is Cannabis (around 7%) of the dult population. This compares with around 13 to 16% using tobacco, that figure itself well down from the 48% of tobacco users the UK had in 1948. That has been achieved using a combination of law and social opprobrium and has brought a substantial health dividend.

    Sam Collins fails, as so many have done before him, to make a well argued case for drug legalisation.

  3. Posted 22/01/2019 at 22:52 | Permalink

    I support legalising recreational cannabis use. If legal supplies were available and simple to buy, the illegal suppliers would dwindle fast, and the current crime of “possession with intent to supply” would become a historical curiosity.
    But I believe legalisation must be accompanied by regulation of the quality and strength of cannabis sold (the Netherlands are ahead of us on this). Regulating the quality and strength of cannabis is not anti-liberal or oppressive; it’s simple food standards. No-one wants to consume corrupted food; no-one should consume corrupted cannabis. No-one wants to find themselves drinking illegal hootch at 200% vol alcohol (a risk that existed under 1920s US Prohibition); it’s reassuring that alcoholic drinks are legal and regulated, so we have labels saying wine is 13% vol and vodka is 40% vol. We make our choices accordingly.
    People on this thread worry about bad outcomes from legalised cannabis. But they seem to assume no regulation. Most of the current tragedies result from lack of regulation – the lawless, dangerous and frightening world inhabited by illegal manufacturers, smugglers, middlemen and pushers in the dope industry. To cut these people out, cannabis should be legalised. and regulated for strength and quality.

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