Wednesday, 18 July 2007

Cannabis

Cannabis is one of the most dangerous substances known to man, and any claim to the contrary is nothing but a wishful-thinking urban myth. Furthermore, the use of cannabis is nowhere near as prevalent as such myth-mongers would have us believe. Not that it would matter if it were: there is also a lot of racism about, and a lot of petty theft, among numerous other examples that might be cited.

Cannabis should be reclassified as a Class A drug like heroin and cocaine, and there should be a dramatic clampdown on the possession as well as the supply of illegal drugs, dragging away for very long stretches the bling-encrusted drug-pushers (of all colours, before anyone writes in about that) who terrorise council estates and former pit villages, but of whom the Police currently appear to be desperately afraid, just as they appear to be of a former Prime Minister and his associates who have been flagrantly engaged in the sale of seats in Parliament, which is likewise an organised crime.

But, for that, we will need to replace the Labour Party with something better.

11 comments:

  1. My blasted phone rang and I accidentally deleted this comment from "the blogger":

    "Cannabis is the worst drug ever eh?

    Cannabis granny secretly suffering from schitzo-effective disorder eh?

    You, sir, are a tickbox mentalist.

    If it wasn't cannabis it would be people who wore baseball caps backwards.

    It's crack cocaine and happy slappers you're thinking of."

    What a perfect illustration of what this is all about: class. "Happy slappers" (I know he'll claim not to mean people, but I think that he does mean people) can be criminals. So can the people whom he thinks of as using crack cocaine.

    But he and his simply cannot be criminals. They just can't be. Because, you see, they are middle-class.

    There is no difference between the Guardian cannabis lobby and the Daily Mail speed cameras lobby. Speeding is illegal (and highly dangerous), you know. So is cannabis. And being able to afford either a fast car or a drug habit does not place you above the law.

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  2. The so called "war on drugs" has finished. There have never been as many outlets, as many drugs, as cheap and as powerful.
    After more than fifty years of complete failures, it is now more than clear that the choice is not between a world with and a world without drugs. Drugs are part of this planet we like it or not. The real choice is between empowering doctors or criminals. Why should we empower criminals in giving them the monopoly on drug sales? Have we forgotten Al Capone? Criminals spend the money they make with drugs in better weapons, thus making society more and more dangerous.

    The most important question is: do politicians criminalise certain drugs because they are being paid by criminals, or because they think that public opinion, after decades of being conditioned by the media, will stop voting for them if they decriminalise drugs?

    Everybody, not only doctors and scientists, know that the most dangerous recreational drugs are alcohol and tobacco (as can be read in the report of the RSA Commission on Illegal Drugs, Communities and Public Policy, 2007).
    This doesn't mean that cannabis, LSD or MDMA are harmless; but you would be better off using the drugs that harm you least. Everybody knows this, even kids, so how can you expect to curb consumption only because the sales outlet is the “street” rather than the pharmacy? It seems absolute madness.

    To change the outlets from the pharmacy to the streets just makes criminals more powerful and wealthier. Why would anyone in his right mind want to do this?

    By criminalising drugs, we give money and power to criminals. Do you want to protect your children from criminals? Then take the drugs from the street and bring them back to where they belong: the pharmacies.

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  3. The so called "war on drugs" has finished. There have never been as many outlets, as many drugs, as cheap and as powerful.
    After more than fifty years of complete failures, it is now more than clear that the choice is not between a world with and a world without drugs. Drugs are part of this planet we like it or not. The real choice is between empowering doctors or criminals. Why should we empower criminals in giving them the monopoly on drug sales? Have we forgotten Al Capone? Criminals spend the money they make with drugs in better weapons, thus making society more and more dangerous.

    The most important question is: do politicians criminalise certain drugs because they are being paid by criminals, or because they think that public opinion, after decades of being conditioned by the media, will stop voting for them if they decriminalise drugs?

    Everybody, not only doctors and scientists, know that the most dangerous recreational drugs are alcohol and tobacco (as can be read in the report of the RSA Commission on Illegal Drugs, Communities and Public Policy, 2007).
    This doesn't mean that cannabis, LSD or MDMA are harmless; but you would be better off using the drugs that harm you least. Everybody knows this, even kids, so how can you expect to curb consumption only because the sales outlet is the “street” rather than the pharmacy? It seems absolute madness.

    To change the outlets from the pharmacy to the streets just makes criminals more powerful and wealthier. Why would anyone in his right mind want to do this?

    By criminalising drugs, we give money and power to criminals. Do you want to protect your children from criminals? Then take the drugs from the street and bring them back to where they belong: the pharmacies.

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  4. By all means let doctors or pharmacies, as appropriate, distribute whatever active ingredient there might be in, say, cannabis in relation to multiple sclerosis, or whatever.

    But surgeries and pharmacies are no place for the distribution or use of recreational drugs, or indeed of recreational anything. That is simply not their role.

    Far from being "finished", the War On Drugs has never been attempted, because it would come far too close to certain sections of the community. At home and abroad, the poor must suffer for their indulgence.

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  5. Daniel Campos19 July 2007 19:01

    I just read your comment in the guardian (18/July – comment is free) declaring that there’s “absolutely no evidence whatever” on cannabis being less harmful than alcohol.

    It just amazed me that you didn’t know. You must be the last human being on earth to get to know that alcohol kills hundreds of thousands a year while cannabis kills none. It is so strange that you didn’t know it until right now… I supposed that you just forgotten because you had too many pints…? If that’s the case it’s understandable. If it was genuine ignorance… well, now you know the true. Things will be better for you from now on.
    And it is not only death what alcohol brings, but also too many different kinds of mental illnesses as to state them here. I’m sure that now you remember, but if you are too drunk, and in a hurry to now, well, just ask any, any doctor or make a little research on internet; it will cost you nothing and will prove highly informative.

    P.S.: And what about comparing health benefits of alcohol and cannabis? You really think that sufferers from, among many other illnesses, glaucoma or sclerosis are lying? Please, show some compassion to them!!

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  6. Sorry, I don’t understand what do you mean with “far from being “finished”, the War On Drugs has never been attempted”. Sure you must know that billions have been spent trying to clear the planet from certain drugs…! It is in all newspapers… how come that you never heard about it? And surely you must know as well that it didn’t curb the use of illegal drugs at all… rather the opposite.

    What else is needed for you to call that a war? Do you have a secret plan to eradicate the planet from molecules that could be used to change the way our brain works? It would be just so good! Please, tell us, it is so important...

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  7. You say that “surgeries and pharmacies are no place for the distribution or use of recreational drugs”, but I am sure that you agree that criminals are even worse distributors of such a dangerous things as drugs.
    Of course I agree that would be better not to have drugs at all, but that’s just wishful thinking!
    Just because they have been illegal for 50 years they are not going to vanish.
    Actually, according to police, what is happening is just the contrary.
    Letting criminals to have a monopoly over drug distribution is making crime stronger. They really are buying weapons with the money of the drugs; don’t you care about your family, neighbours and all the good people? You put them at risks when you advocate keeping certain drugs illegal, therefore giving criminals the chance to augment their wealth in the same way that Al Capone made a fortune through the sales of an illegal drug then (alcohol).

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  8. On the organised crime point, there would be organised crime anyway. If it weren't drugs, then it would be something else. The need is to tackle organised crime, as such, whatever business it might be in at the given time.

    As for those who find pain relief in cannabis, that would be due to one or more active ingredients, which medical science could isolate and prescribe. If people have headaches, then we give them aspirin. We don't just tell them to eat willow bark.

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  9. People has always used and will use drugs, that’s a fact that you can’t ignore. It is so well documented; just a little research on history of drugs will confirm that for you.
    To make drugs illegal gives a monopoly of the distribution to criminals. According to UN levels of consumption keep rising every year.

    According to the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, "[T]he value of the global illicit drug market for the year 2003 was estimated at US$13 bn [billion] at the production level, at $94 bn at the wholesale level (taking seizures into account), and at US$322bn based on retail prices and taking seizures and other losses into account”.

    The value, measured at retail prices, is higher than the GDP of 88% of the countries in the world (163 out of 184 for which the World Bank has GDP data) and equivalent to about three quarters of Sub-Saharan Africa’s combined GDP (US$439 bn in 2003). The sale of drugs, measured at wholesale prices, was equivalent to 12% of global export of chemicals (US$794 bn), 14% of global agricultural exports (US$674 bn) and exceeded global exports of ores and other minerals (US$79 bn) in 2003. Such sales of drugs were also higher than the combined total licit agricultural exports from Latin America (US$75 bn) and the Middle East (US$10 bn) in 2003.

    According to the US Office of National Drug Control Policy, federal spending on the drug war in 2001 totalled $18.095 Billion, rising to $18.822 Billion in 2002 and $19.179 Billion for 2003.

    So, to resume:

    1) People take drugs whether they are illegal or not.

    2) Keeping them illegal, criminals gain over US$322bn a year (that money could be use by the government for better things if they were legal).

    3) Just in the US, keeping them illegal cost them over $19.179 Billion a year (if they were legal, that money could be used for something useful).

    Obviously you were joking when you dismissed those figures saying “If it weren't drugs, then it would be something else”. What “something else”? I’m sure you are much wiser than me, but please, don’t hide your knowledge; what “something else”?
    But you were joking, don’t you? You don’t really condone giving US$322bn a year to criminals; an intelligent person like you knows just too well how many weapons of mass destruction can be bought with that amount of money. I mean, if you don’t care about your own security, what about your love ones, don’t they deserve to live in a safer planet?

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  10. The drug business is not organised crime's only business even now.

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  11. Mr. Lindsay, I have written a post that has been deleted in your blog.
    I'd rather prefer that if you have something to say about it, you would do it here.
    Here's the post again:

    "Mr. Lindsay, you'd better begin to get rid of old and useless axioms about drugs that happen to be the bigger problem at the point to approach any solution to the consequences of harmful laws with the stupid aspire of set limits for the cognoscitive freedom of the people and the way they choose to feel.

    If you keep on thinking that the use of drugs is something new in the humankind, or that is simply something exotic or religious that some tribes practice but not the proper way for an occidental citizen living in "the modern Europe", you can only reach wrong paths to improve the health of a country.

    It's in the human nature to self-intoxicate for many purposes.
    The problem is created when someone tries to decide which are the right drugs, for all the people.
    Sure you've got happy sometimes drinking beer and talking with your friends, or at any moment you have released your anxiety or your insomnia with a valium or similar drug. Maybe you are a Viagra user?

    If I choose get happy smoking a pot with my friends, or using it to help me to sleep, or I enjoy a precious moment with my girlfriend having some MDMA together, where is the victim of that crime?

    Am I at the same time the criminal and the victim?
    Do I deserve jail or any punishment because of my choice?

    The only fault I maybe do, is giving my money to a group of narcos that use it for anything but for my care.
    And at the same time, for the money I give I get an uncontrolled product because the politicians, those who assume that alcohol and nicotine should be enough for all the people and make laws that punish my choice, are in fact working against the public health so i cannot buy those products in a proper and safe place, paying taxes and getting the right substance avoiding risks i shouldn't be taking.

    Begin to learn from the history of the humankind, that change the way that the human mind works, it's a normal and rightful desire that no law will ever controll. And that the drug that feels good for you, maybe it's not the one that fits to me.

    If you start your thinking from that evidence, and you (and I mean all the politicians) are willing to improve the public health, you'll reach an inteligent, harmless, and respectful way to handle the dangerous (at all levels) situation that those anti-nature laws have created.

    Try it, Mr.Lindsay.
    It's totally safe and healthy to acquire new points of view, when it's obvious that the experiment of the prohibition, that freak creature called "war on drugs", has failed and the only benefits from it are in the hand of narcos, not in public health."

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