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Ex-minister Bob Ainsworth: Make drugs legally available

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posted on Dec, 16 2010 @ 03:53 AM
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Ex-minister Bob Ainsworth: Make drugs legally available


www.bbc.co.uk

An ex-minister who had responsibility for drugs policy has called for all drugs to be legally available.

Bob Ainsworth, a Home Office minister under Tony Blair, said successive governments' approaches had failed, leaving criminal gangs in control.

The Coventry North East MP wants to see a system of strict legal regulation, with different drugs either prescribed by doctors or sold under licence.

Ministers have insisted they remain opposed to legalisation
(visit the link for the full news article)Figures from Scottish Exec Methadone Users


Related News Links:
www.independent.c o.uk
www.spectator.co.uk
peterreynolds.wordpress.com

Related AboveTopSecret.com Discussion Threads:
www.drugpolicy.org...
edit on 16-12-2010 by christina-66 because: (no reason given)




posted on Dec, 16 2010 @ 03:53 AM
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Will they ever legalise drugs in actual fact? It is the only sensible option as far as I'm concerned. It takes it out of criminal gangs - and in the Netherlands where drugs decriminalised they have lower recreational/heroin drug use than the UK.

I'm based in Scotland where, yesterday, it was in the paper that half a million Scots are on methadone. That's out of a population of 5 million people!! The crime that goes along with the drug use is horrendous and must costs the state a fortune.

At least, at long last, they are facing up to how enormous the problem actually is.

I've always wondered why they don't decriminalise all drugs. One theory has been that it keeps liquid cash running in the economy (dealers don't do visa). And if people want to take heroin - give it to them - it’s cheaper than methadone.

Take away the illegality and you take away the mystique. In Switzerland where they ran a trial on decriminalising drug use - heroin addicts went to their doctor in the morning - got their heroin - then went to work. But woe betide any new addicts who came 'on line’. The authorities come down on the dealer like a ton of bricks. Younger people looked at the people taking that heroin - and saw them as being ill - they just weren't interested.


www.bbc.co.uk
(visit the link for the full news article)



posted on Dec, 16 2010 @ 04:08 AM
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It makes sense to sell it over the counter. just look at amsterdam i wonder what the crime rate is there?



posted on Dec, 16 2010 @ 04:14 AM
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There is another thread on this story (Ididn't realise it was posted when I posted this one). Maybe it would be better to debate the subject there.



posted on Dec, 16 2010 @ 05:06 AM
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But if they legalise drugs, where will all those gangs get their income from?

And if they turn straight, there will be less need for police - what will all those ex-cops do?

I don't know... those law enforcement officers and bureaucrats get paid a good wage and then they put it back into the economy. Won't this negatively affect the economy? Is that something we really need during these tough times?







posted on Dec, 16 2010 @ 05:08 AM
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Originally posted by Exuberant1
But if they legalise drugs, where will all those gangs get their income from?

And if they turn straight, there will be less need for police - what will all those ex-cops do?

I don't know... those law enforcement officers and bureaucrats get paid a good wage and then they put it back into the economy. Won't this negatively affect the economy? Is that something we really need during these tough times?






lol....yes. I think for all of the reasons you mention the drugs have been kept in the povence of the criminal fraternity.



posted on Dec, 16 2010 @ 05:14 AM
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reply to post by christina-66
 


Think about it - if drugs are legalized , do you really want your child working along 'Tyrone-the-ex-drug-dealer'?

That could happen you know... Think of the children. Who work.

What about all the jobs drug users create? ....Jobs at the courts, correctional/penal system, counseling, law enforcement - those people all get paid well and have great benefits and that is alot of money going back into the economy during these tough times.



Watch out for me. I'm bad.



edit on 16-12-2010 by Exuberant1 because: (no reason given)



posted on Dec, 16 2010 @ 05:17 AM
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reply to post by Exuberant1
 


I'd rather have Tyrone the ex drug dealer working than dealing. Kids end up in some pretty shady places, with some pretty dangerous people they would never ordinarily meet trying to 'score'. I'd rather they could go into a shop.



posted on Dec, 16 2010 @ 05:23 AM
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Originally posted by christina-66
reply to post by Exuberant1
 


I'd rather have Tyrone the ex drug dealer working than dealing. .


But if a large percentage of the Tyrone's-who-are-ex-drug-dealers start going straight, think of all the people in the criminal justice system who would become unemployed.

That would be horrible. Those people get paid alot you know - that all goes back into the economy.

I saw a government film from the 20s that says pot makes blacks and Mexicans go crazy and hit on white women/make them listen to jazz. Think of the children. Think of the economy.






posted on Dec, 16 2010 @ 05:32 AM
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reply to post by Exuberant1
 


lol....I love your angle - but I think we're fighting from the same corner. Your talking to the wrong person to have any sympathy for those working in the courts. I fight lawyers (who have behaved criminally) in the courts for a living. lol

I'd like to see that little cabal destroyed. (They all protect each other) I know how much they get paid - and how much they steal. lol White collar crime is far more profitable and far less risky than dealing.



posted on Dec, 16 2010 @ 05:36 AM
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reply to post by christina-66
 


This has already been posted: www.abovetopsecret.com...
[Decriminalise all drugs, says ex-minister Bob Ainsworth]



posted on Dec, 16 2010 @ 05:40 AM
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Yep I know that - if you see my post above. I am participating fully in the other thread. I was simply being courteous on this one.



posted on Dec, 16 2010 @ 05:43 AM
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This will never happen in the UK. Its the type of news that makes makes Daily Mail readers cough up their corn flakes. The war on drugs is a massive failure and we do need a radical re think on the drug issue. The problem is our politicians make short term policy based on public opinion at the time and when I say public opinion I mean the average daily mail readers opinion.



posted on Dec, 16 2010 @ 05:58 AM
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reply to post by woodwardjnr
 


Yes - but we are moving into a new generation. David Cameron says anyone under the age of 40 who has had no contact with drugs must have living on the moon. There is refreshing honesty in that statement. They also do have a lot of money to save. The war on drugs has been costing a fortune and achieving the opposite of its aims
.



posted on Dec, 16 2010 @ 06:31 AM
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Tobacco costs the NHS something on the region of 0.6 billion pounds sterling every year to combat.
It makes the government something in the region of 11 billion pounds sterling every year in tax.

On top of this, smokers actually cost - on average - less to the NHS over a lifetime because, on average, they die 10-20 years earlier.

Even overlooking this last point, Tobacco, as a legal drug, is making more than it is costing. Don't forget that there are NHS campaigns all over the country to help get people off tobacco - and the tobacco industry still pays more than enough tax to fund the nationwide (admittedly not hugely successful) campaign to stub out that cigarette for the last time.

When it comes to non-legal drugs, in my first year at university, one of my housemates used a great deal of marijuana, and was willing to pay an extraordinary amount to feed his habit (which, he claimed, was perfectly safe. Still made the house stink of blocked drains).

I don't know any tobacco smokers who don't have a plan to give it up (even if the plan is rapidly revised every time a new stressor enters their life)

I think, although I can't be certain, that I know as many marijuana smokers as I know tobacco smokers.

Only one of them, so far as I am aware, has any plan to quit.

I obviously can't say whether this is to do with the different addictive qualities of the two drugs or just people's perceptions towards them, but I would say that the NHS' tobacco-funded campaign to get rid of tobacco is thus far a great deal more successful than their rather paler campaign to get rid of marijuana.

Legalising not the drugs themselves, but providing very tightly restrained legal routes through which they can be obtained without fear of prosecution, would allow the government to tax it. I do not think, however, that legalising them would get rid of the illegal drug-pushers - unless, for example, the government followed the drug-pusher's trick of starting their drugs out really cheap (for existing addicts only) and, once the competition had been exhausted, raising the tax until it could fund programs to phase the addicts off the drug.

I would not be comfortable saying "legalise everything", because let's not forget that this country also has a drinking problem, but the Netherlands' very narrow legalisation of drugs such as marijuana, allowing proper taxation and regulation, does seem rather preferable to our poorly enforced laws against the same.



posted on Dec, 16 2010 @ 06:41 AM
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Originally posted by TheWill
Tobacco costs the NHS something on the region of 0.6 billion pounds sterling every year to combat.
It makes the government something in the region of 11 billion pounds sterling every year in tax.



Wow.

Non-smokers are practically tax cheats. They should be made to pay additional taxes to make sure they are doing their bit.

Taxes are the price we pay for civilization. Clearly it smoker who smokers are funding civilization the most.



posted on Dec, 16 2010 @ 06:56 AM
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reply to post by Exuberant1
 


(Please note, stats are from memory and thus may be inaccurate)
(I looked them up last year when I was living with a (tobacco) smoker, and while I know for certain that the tax profits were much greater than the NHS costs, don't take it as read that they are what I said. I may be mistaken)

Still, those of us who don't smoke do get a lucky tax break, eh?

I always find myself between laughter and tears when I walk past a hospital and see nurses, paramedics and less frequently doctors standing outside smoking. Once, I saw two heavily pregnant women lumbering out of the maternity ward in their hospital gowns to have a cigarette. I didn't want to laugh or cry that time; I wanted to scream.

edit on 16/12/2010 by TheWill because: (no reason given)



posted on Dec, 16 2010 @ 07:06 AM
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reply to post by TheWill
 




I would not be comfortable saying "legalise everything", because let's not forget that this country also has a drinking problem, but the Netherlands' very narrow legalisation of drugs such as marijuana, allowing proper taxation and regulation, does seem rather preferable to our poorly enforced laws against the same.


I'm not sure I follow your logic. What's this country's drink problem got to do with legalising all drugs?

Switzerland have tried it - and it works. Addict numbers were greatly REDUCED.

Switzerland Heroin Experiment



edit on 16-12-2010 by christina-66 because: (no reason given)



posted on Dec, 16 2010 @ 07:17 AM
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reply to post by christina-66
 


The drinking problem is associated because alcohol IS available for legal consumption... and we (as a nation) legally consume it in vast quantities and wake up the next morning in the bus depot missing half our possessions and some of our clothing and wonder how we got there.

Or something like that.

My point was that legalising something does not necessarily stop us from becoming addicted to it, and so legalising it may only help if (as previous posters have pointed out) the routes through which the legalised drugs are available are not a) too open with their drug distribution (thus leading to drugs becoming just another tobacco or alcohol of society - legal but overused) or b) too closed with their drug distribution thus permitting illegal drug distribution to still rake in profits.

It would be difficult, is what I think I'm trying to say, to get it right.
edit on 16/12/2010 by TheWill because: added brackets after point a)


EDIT: read the Swiss thing - they seem to be doing it right now, but don't overlook that their earlier attempts (e.g. the needle parks) went awry. So it can work, but it can also... go awry.
edit on 16/12/2010 by TheWill because: (no reason given)



posted on Dec, 16 2010 @ 08:11 AM
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reply to post by TheWill
 


Sorry...I get the point you're making now (duh - me that is)

I do realise there is no simple solution to the problem, however, the current policy hasn't worked that's for sure. At least they can try another approach - even if its as Switzerland did - for a limited period at first e.g. five years. Then there we have some note to compare.

Honestly, the town near me is just horrendous with addiction problems of all kinds - and some I don't recognise (I think that's crack). Alcohol I will grant you is the worst of the lot. With alcohol tho' comes social and state approval - but the damage it causes is horrendous. Amputated legs for God's sake. I heard of getting legless before - I didn't know it was literal.



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