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Should Weed Be Legal?

Should weed in the UK be...  

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The only argument I can see for keeping some drugs illegal is the argument that their decriminalisation would lead to much greater usage which would lead to greater harm than that which would be mitigated by decriminalisation.

It doesn't stand up to scrutiny on a moral/intellectual level, but I think it's the only possible justification.

Where's the evidence that decriminalisation would lead to much greater usage?

The only examples we have of decrimalising hard drugs are Portugal, Switzerland and a part of Canada. All three reported decreased usage.

But we should have a policy that minimises harm not usage. If decriminalising cannabis leads to more recreational usage, would it really matter if the flip side was that it saved tens of thousands from being labelled criminals for the crime of consumption?

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Heroin can, very easily, be administered safety under controlled circumstances. There is an abundance of studies that show the best thing for heroin addicts, if they want to come off the drug, is regular (and eventually decreasing) doses of heroin. But still, there are examples of GPs for example taking heroin for years and still functioning perfectly well as GPs.

Cocaine too, if you know what you are doing and the product is safe, can be consumed for many years with minimal negative side effects. I don't know about Crystal Meth as much because I haven't done as much research on it, but pretty much anything would be preferable to the current system of criminalising users and forcing them to consume unsafe products.

This notion of "it's bad lets make it illegal" is popular, but doesn't stand up in either sense. Of course it's bad, but legalising it can make it a lot safer. Heroin is the best example of this, making it illegal and criminalising users has been a colossal failure, but there is an abundance of evidence that demonstrates beyond doubt it can be administered safely. So when on earth would we keep it illegal?

I'm not going to go into it here, but I know a lot about this topic and have a lot of personal experience. I used to agree completely with what you are saying, but I do feel that some drugs are too harmful in general to be legal (and of course I include tobacco and alcohol here - but they are where they are for different reasons, and for me not really a good enough argument to legalise everything.)

For me it's a problem of access. I know some dodgy people, and with a bit of research and asking around I could probably get hold of crystal meth, heroin etc. Cannabis, ecstacy etc is much much easier to source, schoolkids can get it pretty easily. I think that if these substances were legal and available in shops to purchase, they would be much more easily sourced by people who "should not" be able to get to them - especially children. FOr this reason, among others, I'm OUT

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Where do you stand on seatbelts Supras. An infringement on liberty I'd imagine?

Id still think its entirely down to yourself to make the choice of whether you want to go through the windscreen or not in an accident.

I always wear a seatbelt because I dont want to go through the windscreen if I crash.

I dont take many drugs apart from caffeine and a bit of nicotine because I enjoy those ones. I have next to no interest in getting smashed out my face for social reasons or even psychological ones so drugs and even alcohol dont interest me particularly. If others want to lie around doing that all day then let them. I dont see why the government need to step in to tell us what to do. None of them are experts on anything in particular, they should take our taxes to defend the border, protect private property and individual liberty. Other than that they can get the f**k out our faces. They cause more bother than they fix anyway.

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I'm not going to go into it here, but I know a lot about this topic and have a lot of personal experience. I used to agree completely with what you are saying, but I do feel that some drugs are too harmful in general to be legal (and of course I include tobacco and alcohol here - but they are where they are for different reasons, and for me not really a good enough argument to legalise everything.)

For me it's a problem of access. I know some dodgy people, and with a bit of research and asking around I could probably get hold of crystal meth, heroin etc. Cannabis, ecstacy etc is much much easier to source, schoolkids can get it pretty easily. I think that if these substances were legal and available in shops to purchase, they would be much more easily sourced by people who "should not" be able to get to them - especially children. FOr this reason, among others, I'm OUT

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But people will take it regardless of its legal status. Surely by controlling the drug, who makes it and what goes into it will help to keep people safer when they decide to take it, not to mention cut the profits made by the criminal gangs which currently produce the drug?

As Supras said, the most dangerous drugs are the ones that should be legalized first.

Can someone please tell me if I am being spectacularly trolled here? That's now three posters who seem to be seriously suggesting that crystal meth should be legalised.

What do you mean by controlling the drug and what goes into it? Crystal meth is crystal meth. Making it 'clean' without any of the impurities that a dodgy back street lab might throw into the mix won't make it any less harmful. It is a highly addictive substance that can cause serious harm with even short term use. Do you honestly think legalising it to get a few sheckles out of a few dealer's hands and into the Government's coffers would be worth the hassle and strain that would be put on the NHS and police?

Madwullie's summed it up perfectly.

Free The Weed.

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The only argument I can see for keeping some drugs illegal is the argument that their decriminalisation would lead to much greater usage which would lead to greater harm than that which would be mitigated by decriminalisation.

It doesn't stand up to scrutiny on a moral/intellectual level, but I think it's the only possible justification.

I dont get that argument particularly. Most folk that want to be taking drugs are already taking them, regardless of the legal status of the stuff.

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Where's the evidence that decriminalisation would lead to much greater usage?

The only examples we have of decrimalising hard drugs are Portugal, Switzerland and a part of Canada. All three reported decreased usage.

But we should have a policy that minimises harm not usage. If decriminalising cannabis leads to more recreational usage, would it really matter if the flip side was that it saved tens of thousands from being labelled criminals for the crime of consumption?

That genuinely surprises me. I assumed, short-term at least, that usage would increase.

And of course we should have a policy that minimises harm, not usage. If you read it properly, that's precisely the thrust of my post. *If* decriminalisation were to lead to increased usage, with the relevant health problems and fucked up lives etc, then there would necessarily come a point at which that harm outweighed the benefits of decriminalisation, if we're looking at things from a purely utilitarian perspective. But like I said, we're not, so this is all a bit academic.

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I'm not going to go into it here, but I know a lot about this topic and have a lot of personal experience. I used to agree completely with what you are saying, but I do feel that some drugs are too harmful in general to be legal (and of course I include tobacco and alcohol here - but they are where they are for different reasons, and for me not really a good enough argument to legalise everything.)

For me it's a problem of access. I know some dodgy people, and with a bit of research and asking around I could probably get hold of crystal meth, heroin etc. Cannabis, ecstacy etc is much much easier to source, schoolkids can get it pretty easily. I think that if these substances were legal and available in shops to purchase, they would be much more easily sourced by people who "should not" be able to get to them - especially children. FOr this reason, among others, I'm OUT

I'm not surprised you don't want to go into it, if you haven't yet realised your point of view is quite inappropriate you haven't been paying attention. No, you don't know a lot about this topic. If you did, you wouldn't think making heroin illegal is a viable and successful policy. You might have a lot of personal experience, but it doesn't matter a jot if what you are proposing is akin to the war on drugs. It would still be a failure of a policy, and would cause a lot of unnecessary harm.

I don't tend to use the alcohol and tobacco examples, all current drugs should be legalised. But not because alcohol and tobacco are. There are a myriad of other, superior, reasons why legalisation is an infinitely superior policy to prohibition.

Wait, are you suggesting that shops are more likely to sell illegal drugs to children than drug dealers? Do you not think that they might, I dunno, ID them or something :blink:

That's certainly one of the more unusual arguments, denying access to children is an argument for legalisation, not against. Of course, the proposal I put forward, as do most who support legalisation, is that currently illegal drugs - especially ones such as heroin - would initially be distributed via government dispensaries. Here the controls, and the prevention of children getting them, would be infinitely stronger than the current system of "that dealer is alright, lets hope he doesn't sell to my 13 year old".

That reason doesn't stack up to (any) scrutiny. Do any of your others?

Can someone please tell me if I am being spectacularly trolled here? That's now three posters who seem to be seriously suggesting that crystal meth should be legalised.

What do you mean by controlling the drug and what goes into it? Crystal meth is crystal meth. Making it 'clean' without any of the impurities that a dodgy back street lab might throw into the mix won't make it any less harmful. It is a highly addictive substance that can cause serious harm with even short term use. Do you honestly think legalising it to get a few sheckles out of a few dealer's hands and into the Government's coffers would be worth the hassle and strain that would be put on the NHS and police?

Madwullie's summed it up perfectly.

Free The Weed.

No, you are being spectacularly beaten.

Making crystal meth more potent absolutely would reduce its harm than mixing with foreign substances. It would also only be sold in safe doses. The government making money really isn't the primary reason for legalisation. But your premise seems to rest on the fact that legalising crystal meth would dramatically increase usage - where is your evidence for this?

Of course, using crystal meth might well increase your healthcare needs. In which case, like smoking, you should be paying tax on your consumption. Smoking makes the government a lot more than it costs it. Crystal meth could easily do the same. Under the current system the users contribute nothing in tax for their purchases, and we spend billions locking them up to no avail.

Mudwillie suggested that legalising drugs, and having it distributed by the government, will increase the chances of children getting the drug? It makes no sense :blink:

Also, regarding the police, I'm sure they'd be absolutely delighted to go back to police work. At the moment so much of their time is consumed with a futile war on drugs. There is even a high profile organisation in the US, made up of law enforcement, completely against the futility of the war on drugs. It stops them doing their actual work, and forces them to arrest and imprison people whose only crime was consumption. The US prison system has been destroyed by the war on drugs.

I dont get that argument particularly. Most folk that want to be taking drugs are already taking them, regardless of the legal status of the stuff.

Obviously, yes. It's right up there with a rapist saying "I'm so desperate to drug and rape someone, better wait till ecstasy is legal though".

Edited by Supras

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I still remember the witch hunt over Mcat when literally a handful students died from taking the substance (in most cases a overdose or mixed with other volitile substances I might add). Mostly the media were the worst as was the conversative 'drugs are bad' population in particular. This was just for Mcat, I don't think I could stomach witnessing the mentioned groups in action over weed.

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I'm not surprised you don't want to go into it, if you haven't yet realised your point of view is quite inappropriate you haven't been paying attention. No, you don't know a lot about this topic. If you did, you wouldn't think making heroin illegal is a viable and successful policy. You might have a lot of personal experience, but it doesn't matter a jot if what you are proposing is akin to the war on drugs. It would still be a failure of a policy, and would cause a lot of unnecessary harm.

I don't tend to use the alcohol and tobacco examples, all current drugs should be legalised. But not because alcohol and tobacco are. There are a myriad of other, superior, reasons why legalisation is an infinitely superior policy to prohibition.

Wait, are you suggesting that shops are more likely to sell illegal drugs to children than drug dealers? Do you not think that they might, I dunno, ID them or something :blink:

That's certainly one of the more unusual arguments, denying access to children is an argument for legalisation, not against. Of course, the proposal I put forward, as do most who support legalisation, is that currently illegal drugs - especially ones such as heroin - would initially be distributed via government dispensaries. Here the controls, and the prevention of children getting them, would be infinitely stronger than the current system of "that dealer is alright, lets hope he doesn't sell to my 13 year old".

That reason doesn't stack up to (any) scrutiny. Do any of your others?

Woah settle the f**k down mate. I'm not particularly interested in getting into a dick measuring contest with a trumped up keyboard commander. I'm stating my opinion based on my (real life) experience.

At no point did I say heroin being illegal was a viable and successful policy, I simply believe that it remaining illegal does less harm than what could potentially be done from decriminilisation. I have first hand experience of the harm that heroin can and does do, and it's the drug itself that causes this harm, not its status as a controlled or uncontrolled substance. If it is decriminalised, there will be more of it and it will be more widely available and easier to get hold of. I don't see this as a good thing.

I would suggest that if fags were made illegal for example, while there would clearly be a massive rise in bootlegging and illegal selling of it, and most people who smoke already would continue to do so, and some kids who don't would start to do so, less people overall would do it as they wouldn't be exposed to the advertising, to people doing it in public places etc.

EDIT: 11 inches and fat as an elephant's trunk, for the record

Edited by madwullie

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I dont get that argument particularly. Most folk that want to be taking drugs are already taking them, regardless of the legal status of the stuff.

The point is a lot of people don't know where to get a hold of the drug, so people are less likely to have a shot on a whim because their mate has it. Of course people who want to take it will take it regardless. Because certain of these drugs are highly addictive it only takes one or two shots of it to become dependent. The less people that are in a position to have these one or two shots, the better imo

Edited by madwullie

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Woah settle the f**k down mate. I'm not particularly interested in getting into a dick measuring contest with a trumped up keyboard commander. I'm stating my opinion based on my (real life) experience.

At no point did I say heroin being illegal was a viable and successful policy, I simply believe that it remaining illegal does less harm than what could potentially be done from decriminilisation. I have first hand experience of the harm that heroin can and does do, and it's the drug itself that causes this harm, not its status as a controlled or uncontrolled substance. If it is decriminalised, there will be more of it and it will be more widely available and easier to get hold of. I don't see this as a good thing.

It doesn't matter how "real life" your experiences are, your views are demonstrably wrong when considering the evidence. And yeah, I'm more than happy to point that out.

You have first hand experience of the harm heroin does whilst it is illegal. Problem is, there is a huge amount of evidence that it can quite easily be safely administered. In fact, heroin is often used in hospitals as pain relief for serious injuries. If it is decriminalised the system will be similar to that in Toronto, you will go to a government facility, be given a correct dose and you'll be monitored whilst you consume it. Deaths in this system? So far, zero. There is absolutely no doubt that heroin can be safely administered, there has even been successful trials of it done in the UK. Consuming a tampered product, or using a contaminated needle, is often what causes the health issues. There is no doubt that heroin can be administered safely - absolutely none - and your "real life" experience doesn't change this. Under most versions of legalisations proposed, and certainly my one, I don't heroin would be more easily available at all. You would go to a government facility to buy it, and would be monitored whilst taking it.

Don't believe me - highly successful GP and adivser to Thatcher government was a long time heroin addict -http://www.thefreelibrary.com/Thatcher's+health+adviser+in+new+drugs+shame.-a075943174.

He was able to function successfully in such a career because he knew what dose to take, and how to take it. Also, if you don't think heroin should be legalised, you either propose an alternative, or tacitly support the thoroughly discredited war on drugs.

I would suggest that if fags were made illegal for example, while there would clearly be a massive rise in bootlegging and illegal selling of it, and most people who smoke already would continue to do so, and some kids who don't would start to do so, less people overall would do it as they wouldn't be exposed to the advertising, to people doing it in public places etc.
So...you think smokers are exposed to advertising from tobacco companies?
Of course, it's widely believed that the tobacco companies were delighted when advertising of their product was ended, it was no longer bringing in more customers and was a zero sum game of snatching market share. It's saved them billions.

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I used to think it should be legal, but have changed my mind since. I feel that if it is legal then the government are almost suggesting that it is OK to do, like alcohol. As much as people claim that cannabis is socially acceptable, I'm unsure if it really is, and part of me worries that if the government make it completely legal that it will become a socially acceptable drug to take.

I do think though that the law should change a bit though.


I don't think that possession of it should involve prison or a fine, rather I think it should just be confiscated and tolerated to an extent, without it actually being legal.

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The point is a lot of people don't know where to get a hold of the drug, so people are less likely to have a shot on a whim because their mate has it. Of course people who want to take it will take it regardless. Because certain of these drugs are highly addictive it only takes one or two shots of it to become dependent. The less people that are in a position to have these one or two shots, the better imo

But the war on drugs has hardly curbed access at all, and ruins millions of peoples lives.

It's simply not enough to justify it as "so less people have easy access to drugs". Of course, if someone wants to consume heroin, they absolutely should be allowed to. And a legalised system of regulation would also make coming off the drug a lot easier, with regular and safe doses being the most effective method of treating heroin addiction.

And, of course, I'd have new users screened and a waiting period enforced. It would be bureaucratic, sure, but should stop impulse buying.

Edited by Supras

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I used to think it should be legal, but have changed my mind since. I feel that if it is legal then the government are almost suggesting that it is OK to do, like alcohol.

Why isn't it OK to do what you want with your own body?

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It doesn't matter how "real life" your experiences are, your views are demonstrably wrong when considering the evidence. And yeah, I'm more than happy to point that out.

You have first hand experience of the harm heroin does whilst it is illegal. Problem is, there is a huge amount of evidence that it can quite easily be safely administered. In fact, heroin is often used in hospitals as pain relief for serious injuries. If it is decriminalised the system will be similar to that in Toronto, you will go to a government facility, be given a correct dose and you'll be monitored whilst you consume it. Deaths in this system? So far, zero. There is absolutely no doubt that heroin can be safely administered, there has even been successful trials of it done in the UK. Consuming a tampered product, or using a contaminated needle, is often what causes the health issues. There is no doubt that heroin can be administered safely - absolutely none - and your "real life" experience doesn't change this. Under most versions of legalisations proposed, and certainly my one, I don't heroin would be more easily available at all. You would go to a government facility to buy it, and would be monitored whilst taking it.

Don't believe me - highly successful GP and adivser to Thatcher government was a long time heroin addict -http://www.thefreelibrary.com/Thatcher's+health+adviser+in+new+drugs+shame.-a075943174.

He was able to function successfully in such a career because he knew what dose to take, and how to take it. Also, if you don't think heroin should be legalised, you either propose an alternative, or tacitly support the thoroughly discredited war on drugs.

So...you think smokers are exposed to advertising from tobacco companies?
Of course, it's widely believed that the tobacco companies were delighted when advertising of their product was ended, it was no longer bringing in more customers and was a zero sum game of snatching market share. It's saved them billions.

I know all of this, I know about GPs taking heroin, I know heroin is an opiate, I know it's administered in hospitals, I know you "can" function as a perfectly normal member of society while using it regularly, I used to believe exactly what you believe. I no longer do, and whether or not you like that I don't particularly give a toss. Highly addictive substances should remain illegal imo.

We could have got involved in an interesting discussion about this but your condescending tone has put me right off.

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Why isn't it OK to do what you want with your own body?

It might cause harm and the government have a responsibility to protect us.

On an individual level I think it should be tolorated, but anything which could lead to a greater number of people doing it is a bad thing imo.

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It might cause harm and the government have a responsibility to protect us.

On an individual level I think it should be tolorated, but anything which could lead to a greater number of people doing it is a bad thing imo.

How can you tolerate it such a way? Have you even considered that this is even more dangerous than the current situation?

There's lots of things that can cause harm which the government could take away. The list I could conjure up would be ridiculous. I'll just start by mentioning cars, sharp objects ( I mean any ), electrical appliances and the likes. After all, they CAN cause harm, and we should be protected.

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I know all of this, I know about GPs taking heroin, I know heroin is an opiate, I know it's administered in hospitals, I know you "can" function as a perfectly normal member of society while using it regularly, I used to believe exactly what you believe. I no longer do, and whether or not you like that I don't particularly give a toss. Highly addictive substances should remain illegal imo.

We could have got involved in an interesting discussion about this but your condescending tone has put me right off.

Caffeine is highly addictive, I take it you would make that illegal too?

It's just my condescending tone trumped yours, you thought you would get a lot of leverage with your "personal experience" stuff but what you believe goes explicitly against the evidence. And of course I'll point that out.

You haven't provided a single reason why drugs should remain illegal, or why the war on drugs is a viable policy. You claim that "highly addictive substances" should remain illegal, even though you accept this causes significant harm to users and this harm could be greatly mitigated with legalisation.

It seems you don't care about drug addicts, and think imprisoning them is the way forward. I can't express how much I disagree with this view point, the war on drugs actively harms a lot of people, and that's first and foremost why it should be attack so vigorously.

You think legalisation would lead to more kids having access to drugs, this is a totally inappropriate viewpoint.

People like you are the problem, the evidence changes but your view doesn't. I hope I never end up being that person, it's the same poisonous attitude that allowed slavery to exist for so long.

It might cause harm and the government have a responsibility to protect us.

On an individual level I think it should be tolorated, but anything which could lead to a greater number of people doing it is a bad thing imo.

So the government has a responsibility to protect us, and does so by imprisoning us for the crime of consumption? :blink:

And the second prong of this protection is forcing us to consume unsafe products sold by drug dealers? :blink:

David Cameron thinks 5 years imprisonment is an appropriate punishment for cannabis possession, he thinks it helps protect the person. He thinks the prison sentence is really for their benefit. He is seriously suggesting an 18 year old David Cameron would have benefited from a 5 year prison sentence. He's a fucking hypocrite. How can you seriously suggest imprisoning drug users protects them?!

Also, whilst there is significant evidence decriminalisation decreases drug use, it shouldn't especially matter. Policy should minimise harm, not use. How can you possibly justify the opposite?

Edited by Supras

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