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British MEP calls for all hard drugs to be legalised

Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
Lib Dem leader in Brussels calls for all hard drugs to be legalised
Marie Woolf, Chief Political Correspondent
Published: 15 August 2005

All drugs, including heroin and crack cocaine should be legalised and sold publicly, a leading Liberal Democrats has said.

Chris Davies, leader of the Liberal Democrats in the European Parliament, believes the only way to stop the criminal drugs trade is to legalise all forms of drugs and arrange for them to be sold legally.

The MEP said selling drugs under a regulated regime is the only way to beat the traffickers and stop billions of pounds reaching the "pockets of criminals and funding terrorist activities".

His remarks are bound to embarrass the party leadership, which opposes legalising hard drugs but faced awkward questions about its drugs policy during the general election.

The leader of the party's Euro MPs has accused politicians of ignoring the problem of drug abuse and says drastic action must now be taken to prevent the rise in drug addiction, and resulting criminal behaviour.

He said only "a legally regulated market in drugs like cannabis and heroin could reduce crime affecting society".

"The debate now should be about how to destroy the criminal trade by providing the regulated legal sources while discouraging giving the impression that it would create a green light for drugs use," he said.

A recent report by Lord Birt, the Prime Minister's "blue-skies thinker", found there are almost 300,000 drug users who commit crimes to feed their habit in the UK. The cost of that criminality is £16bn a year - or £24bn if the costs to the nation's health and "social functioning harms" are added.

The report estimated three million people in the UK use illegal drugs, and 749 people die annually from heroin and methadone use.

Writing in the Brussels magazine, The Sprout, Mr Davies argues that, by selling drugs off the shelf, you could ensure that pure drugs, rather than contaminated drugs, would reach the market.

He said details have yet to be worked out but that the Dutch model, where cannabis is available for purchase, had not led to an increase in cannabis use.

The party tried to distance itself from the view. "This is certainly not party policy," said a spokesman.

All drugs, including heroin and crack cocaine should be legalised and sold publicly, a leading Liberal Democrats has said.

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Comments

  • Teh_GerbilTeh_Gerbil Stalin's Organist Posts: 13,327
    No way! This guy is an idiot, I mean, this is what that nuts policeman said in Wales, the guy who gave speeding tickets to the rally cars...

    No. Maybe things that don't really kill you, but ALL drugs? No. Just shouldn't be done.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Teh_Gerbil wrote:
    No way! This guy is an idiot, I mean, this is what that nuts policeman said in Wales, the guy who gave speeding tickets to the rally cars...

    No. Maybe things that don't really kill you, but ALL drugs? No. Just shouldn't be done.

    Really? So having heroin addicts thieving every day so they can shoot up dirty gear is preferable to giving them a legal, clean supply on prescription with no need to steal or become invovled in crime?

    People taking unknown pills producing weird effects and of an unknown strength is preferable to a clean, pure supply of E at a standard strength?

    Legalisation of drugs - especially cannabis & heroin - is entirely logical.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Teh_Gerbil wrote:
    No way! This guy is an idiot, I mean, this is what that nuts policeman said in Wales, the guy who gave speeding tickets to the rally cars...

    No. Maybe things that don't really kill you, but ALL drugs? No. Just shouldn't be done.

    Why not?
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Teh_Gerbil wrote:
    No. Maybe things that don't really kill you, but ALL drugs? No. Just shouldn't be done.

    I think you have a vary false view on how dangerous drugs are. It would be very difficult to die from most of the drugs out there. Ecstasy for example has a 2 in 100,000 chance of dying, and thats mainly due to lack of knowledge of the drug.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Ecstasy for example has a 2 in 100,000 chance of dying, and thats mainly due to lack of knowledge of the drug.

    Or just 1 in 50,000 ;)

    Severe reactions to MDMA are also blamed.
  • SkiveSkive No discipline. No morality. No respect. New ForestPosts: 15,191 Skive's The Limit
    Most deaths attributed to ecstasy also involve other drugs.
    Yesterday is history
    Tomorrow is a mystery
    But today is a gift
    That’s why it’s call the present
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Heroin should not be made available 'off the shelf' it should be Class C schedule IV like valium is now. That way your ordinary GP could prescribe it to you and give you all the information you needed. It shouldn't be seen as a recreational drug, more a medicine.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    A very good idea, I think. As much as anything, take the profit out of it.

    It'd certainly clear up about a third of our caseload, if not more.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    it is extremely logical but why not just decriminalize them like amsterdam has done being legal will make them too widely available throughout the age groups

    Holland hasnt decriminalised anything other than possession of small amounts of cannabis.

    Decriminalisation is better than what we have, but its still rubbish. All of the drug profits still go to criminals, there is no quality control and there is still similar levels of violence.

    Heroin is a medicine, it deserves to be treated as such.

    Recreational drugs such as MDMA and cannabis should be legally available.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    it is extremely logical but why not just decriminalize them like amsterdam has done being legal will make them too widely available throughout the age groups

    Not really. I've heard of 10 year olds smoking hash every day. Prohibition doesn't effect the bulk of supply which permeates throughout society - it just makes the supply more dangerous.
  • Teh_GerbilTeh_Gerbil Stalin's Organist Posts: 13,327
    I think you have a vary false view on how dangerous drugs are. It would be very difficult to die from most of the drugs out there. Ecstasy for example has a 2 in 100,000 chance of dying, and thats mainly due to lack of knowledge of the drug.

    I am referning to things like Heroin, and Meth. Ecstasy is ok, why do you think I would think otherwise?

    Spliffe, I see your point. But I beleive there are currently schemes in place where addicts can get clean needles as it is. However, it isn't wide enough spread.
  • SkiveSkive No discipline. No morality. No respect. New ForestPosts: 15,191 Skive's The Limit
    Teh_Gerbil wrote:
    I beleive there are currently schemes in place where addicts can get clean needles as it is.

    What about free clean drugs for addicts?
    Yesterday is history
    Tomorrow is a mystery
    But today is a gift
    That’s why it’s call the present
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    free clean drugs to addicts is common sense.
    over a ten year period you would see a decline in addiction.
    a decline in the prison population.
    officres like kermits closing down.

    clean heroin is virtualy harm free to mind and body.
    there would be few excuses for cr ime and even fewr reasons not to work with the rest of the population.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    If a heroin addict was buying over the counter, they could be given help and informative advice on how to deal with the addiction should they want it. Your local dealer won't give that, but with legal controlled supply, help could be easily offered and accessed.

    Another incentive is the tax profits that could be gained from the situation. This could obviously be used to fund drug schemes to help those that want it.

    Killing the power and wealth of the violent smuggling gangs and the drug barons is the most appealing outcome though.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    addicted7 wrote:
    If a heroin addict was buying over the counter, they could be given help and informative advice on how to deal with the addiction should they want it. Your local dealer won't give that, but with legal controlled supply, help could be easily offered and accessed.

    Another incentive is the tax profits that could be gained from the situation. This could obviously be used to fund drug schemes to help those that want it.

    Killing the power and wealth of the violent smuggling gangs and the drug barons is the most appealing outcome though.

    True enough like, sure over in Netherlands, Hash is practically legal over there yet there's less people smoking it per capita than here or the US. It must say something about our legqal system concerning drugs, I reckon if they all got legal, there wouldn't be a big increase in drug use and it would be controlled properly plus with all the money gained with tax you could treat the abusers properly, sure we're still treating them now anyway, so I say legalise all drugs with a strict control and education policy with it.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Teh_Gerbil wrote:
    I am referning to things like Heroin, and Meth. Ecstasy is ok, why do you think I would think otherwise?

    Spliffe, I see your point. But I beleive there are currently schemes in place where addicts can get clean needles as it is. However, it isn't wide enough spread.

    But what exactly is wrong with prescribing heroin to addicts for their own good (clean supply) and for the good of society (less crime)?? Providing clean needles isn't a catch-all solution to the problem.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Spliffie wrote:
    But what exactly is wrong with prescribing heroin to addicts for their own good (clean supply) and for the good of society (less crime)?? Providing clean needles isn't a catch-all solution to the problem.

    Absolutely nothing except it looks to the general public like you are being soft on crime and the tabloids will cause a stir.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    bongbudda wrote:
    Absolutely nothing except it looks to the general public like you are being soft on crime and the tabloids will cause a stir.

    I'm sure the Daily Mail's outrage would soon be placated by the drop in crime. Pandering to buffoons is never a good idea.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Spliffie wrote:
    I'm sure the Daily Mail's outrage would soon be placated by the drop in crime. Pandering to buffoons is never a good idea.

    Thats exactly what politics is though, pandering to the general public who plainly dont know anything about anything.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    bongbudda wrote:
    Thats exactly what politics is though, pandering to the general public who plainly dont know anything about anything.

    The agendas governments work to are largely not those of their people. The misplaced stigma parts of society attach to drugs is the work of the government.

    The right-wing gutter-press would have a field day with legalisation, but the reduction in crime would soon provide more than sufficient justification. The only barrier is international treaty.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Spliffie wrote:
    The agendas governments work to are largely not those of their people. The misplaced stigma parts of society attach to drugs is the work of the government.

    The right-wing gutter-press would have a field day with legalisation, but the reduction in crime would soon provide more than sufficient justification. The only barrier is international treaty.

    You could get rid of 80% or more of the heroin market over night by just putting it more widely available on script. You wouldnt have to change any international law, just the MDA slightly to move heroin from Class A down to Class C schedule IV.

    The drug war certainly is a good example of the government wanting to look like it is doing something rather than actually doing something. Its a good boogyman to scare the public with and increase police budgets. But now we have Al Queda trained terrorist on every street corner to scare the public with maybe we can look at the drugs issue sensibly.
  • JadedJaded back for more Posts: 2,682
    Lionel Shriver has made comment on Chris Davies's comments in today's Society Guardian - Why can't you buy heroin at Boots?
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    LadyJade wrote:
    Lionel Shriver has made comment on Chris Davies's comments in today's Society Guardian - Why can't you buy heroin at Boots?

    There are of course problems with prescribing heroin, would people wanting to top themselves go for it? How do GP's know who to give heroin to and who to refuse?

    But, it would be a lot better than what we have now.

    It shouldn't be widely available as injection though, there are other safer options, oral, smokable, IM all of which have less side effects and are easier than IV.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Course all drugs should be legalised!

    Drug taking is a victimless crime!
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    cygnusx-1 wrote:
    Drug taking is a victimless crime!

    :confused:

    Where did you get that one from? Most people take drugs fine and dandy, but those who have problems are victims of their own mistakes and create victims around them.
  • JadedJaded back for more Posts: 2,682
    Absolutely Turlough. It isn't as simple as 'victimless' by any stretch of the imagination, right from growth and production through to the taking, and to think it is is incredibly naive.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    cygnusx-1 wrote:
    Course all drugs should be legalised!

    Drug taking is a victimless crime!

    Even if the victim is only the drug taker (which it isnt) then it is still in some ways society and the governments business. Not only because we would all have to pay for the person to be patched up again if they presented to hospital.

    Drug use is a medical and social issue, it should not be a legal one.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    cygnusx-1 wrote:
    Drug taking is a victimless crime!
    try telling that to the family of an alcoholic.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    try telling that to the family of an alcoholic.

    Possibly one of the more destructive addictions you can have, mainly because of the length of it.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I would probably rather be a IV Heroin Addict than a long-term alcoholic.
    The physical damage from alcohol and the severity of the withdrawals are pretty extreme... not to mention how much alcohol changes your judgement, mental state etc.

    I've never heard of "Hooligans on Heroin"

    (Not promoting class A drugs here but yea)
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