Recreational drugs

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reohn2
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Joined: 26 Jun 2009, 8:21pm

Re: Recreational drugs

Postby reohn2 » 3 Aug 2019, 8:41am

Ben@Forest wrote:This subject rears its head again.... We could decriminalise or legalise drug use but it could lead to greater use and therefore shorter life expectancies and the costs in having to treat such.

What are the costs presently?

And recreational drugs do have the capacity to alter people's brain chemistry at a stroke. My wife works in this field and is against legalisation - why? Because she has treated 18 year old boys who after one experience of cannabis or ecstasy have suffered a psychotic episode from which they never fully recover - their mental health is permanently affected. If such drugs were legalised now, with the government knowing that, what level of responsibility do they have?

Those people have taken illegal drugs made up in back street labs by criminals,the cannabis is also unregulated strong strains of the drug

There are people on here who have (probably largely rightly) berated the government or the council about building materials in Grenfell Tower. If the government legalises something which means, eventually, 20,000 people a year suffer either mental or physical health problems and die prematurely how is that different?

From what I can see people are dying now from the illegal use of drugs of unregulated and unknown cocktails of crap mixed with anything and everything that comes to hand of the dealers.
No one's saying it's a simple problem to solve but when 10 year olds are running drugs and kids not much older stabbing each other,so that ordinary kids unconnected kids are carrying knives for their own protection society is on the slide big time,the gang culture and related crime has grown up around drugs,there has to be a better way.
An element of the population will use drugs whatever,that's a given and is happening now.
When legalisation is mentioned it doesn't have mean a free for all with drugs sold in every pub and newsagents like fags and booze,but a well controlled system along side a good rehab system,with counselling,etc and also a search as to why people need to use to live.

Of course all this costs money but if we want a better society then this is one of a few nettles that need grasping it's no use keep sweeping it under the carpet hoping it'll all go away it won't,and as long as drugs are available from unscrupulous sources made up in back street labs and of very dubious quality there'll be a whole spectrum of crime attached to it,some of which is highlight by Landsurfer up thread.

IMHO drug use in society is a problem that won't go away,it's how best to manage it that really needs looking into,and with funding for that management..
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softlips
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Re: Recreational drugs

Postby softlips » 3 Aug 2019, 9:37am

I’m against the decriminalisation of cannabis. Drug use is certainly on the increase, the NHS recently opened its first psychiatric department to solely treat the after effects of cannabis use - and more are planned. Canada as most people know has decriminalised cannabis in recent years. Cannabis has been huge in Canada for years. They say use hasn’t gone up in adults but interestingly it’s use in children has escalated hugely. These children are buying it illegally from the people who used to supply the adults.

Several studies involving thousands of subjects over many years have indeed shown changes in personalities due to cannabis use (think they were Scandic and NZ based). They followed people right from national service right through their lives. The people doing the studies said they could instantly tell the people who had used cannabis even many years earlier.

My son’s personality changed when he started to use cannabis. He ended up on harder drugs and said every addict he knew had started with cannabis - interestingly he was strongly against decriminalisation - I’ve not seen him for a a couple of years but doubt he’s changed his opinion.

People often use the argument alcohol and tobacco are more addictive and cause more problems. This may be the case but is hardly an argument for adding another drug to society. I doubt either of these former drugs would be legalised if introduced now.

Carlton green
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Re: Recreational drugs

Postby Carlton green » 3 Aug 2019, 9:45am

“IMHO drug use in society is a problem that won't go away,it's how best to manage it that really needs looking into,and with funding for that management..” reohm2

+1

Landsurfer has my complete sympathy and I feel that as he is someone that is dealing with the consequences he should be respected. However I do not know how typical (in percentage terms) his experience of the problem is and that does colour what might be the best way forward for the masses.

One thing is clear and that is that no particular solution to the problem of drugs will be perfect and that it’s now a case of, if it is possible, selecting a less imperfect solution than the one currently in place. Of course any change need not be either large or permanent, it’s a case of society feeling it’s way forward through a progression of small changes ....... however it might be difficult to legislate for model of change.

reohn2
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Joined: 26 Jun 2009, 8:21pm

Re: Recreational drugs

Postby reohn2 » 3 Aug 2019, 9:54am

There's a huge difference between decriminalisation and legalisation.
Decriminalisation means drugs are sold through the same dubious channels
Legalisation means there's standardisation of the drug,sold through legitimate channels alongside the necessary support.
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merseymouth
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Re: Recreational drugs

Postby merseymouth » 3 Aug 2019, 3:25pm

hello there, I ask one question of those who would decriminalize commonly abused drugs put their trust in folk who might endanger their very existence? Drivers being the most numerous, but maybe also surgeons, airline pilots, air & rail controllers? Not me!
Sure I have the odd drink, but never up to so called normal levels.
Twice in my life I have suffered from the use of medically prescribed drugs, the first I can't spell its name, but not nice. The second I can spell, Morphine, prescribed after a hernia operation. Persuaded to accept painkilling dosage, but never again! Two months after I was suffering nightmares.
Since then I have refused painkilling medication. When I had a nine & a half hour operation for a cancerous tumour I was fitted with an epidural machine, but at no point afterwards did I accept painkillers. No brave, just careful.
Ever since during a number of invasive procedures I have refused to accept the readily pushed option. So the thought of taking "Recreational Drugs" would leave me very angry at my personal capitulation! Just say NO. MM

Mike Sales
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Re: Recreational drugs

Postby Mike Sales » 3 Aug 2019, 3:27pm

The United States has the largest prison population in the world, and the highest per-capita incarceration rate.[3][4][5] In 2016 in the US, there were 655 people incarcerated per 100,000 population. This is the US incarceration rate for adults or people tried as adults.[6][3] In 2016, 2.2 million Americans have been incarcerated, which means for every 100,000 there are 655 that are currently inmates. Prison, parole, and probation operations generate an $81 billion annual cost to U.S. taxpayers, while police and court costs, bail bond fees, and prison phone fees generate another $100 billion in costs that are paid by individuals.[7]


In comparison, 47% of federal prisoners serving time in September 2016 (the most recent date for which data are available) were convicted of a drug offense.[17] This policy failed to rehabilitate prisoners and many were worse on release than before incarceration. Rehabilitation programs for offenders can be more cost effective than prison.[18]


Source Wikipedia.

Among Portuguese adults, there are 3 drug overdose deaths for every 1,000,000 citizens. Comparable numbers in other countries range from 10.2 per million in the Netherlands to 44.6 per million in the UK, all the way up to 126.8 per million in Estonia. The EU average is 17.3 per million.

Perhaps more significantly, the report notes that the use of "legal highs" – like so-called "synthetic" marijuana, "bath salts" and the like – is lower in Portugal than in any of the other countries for which reliable data exists. This makes a lot of intuitive sense: why bother with fake weed or dangerous designer drugs when you can get the real stuff? This is arguably a positive development for public health in the sense that many of the designer drugs that people develop to skirt existing drug laws have terrible and often deadly side effects.


https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/europe/portugal-decriminalised-drugs-14-years-ago-and-now-hardly-anyone-dies-from-overdosing-10301780.html

It is very obvious that treating addicts as criminals has failed in the USA.
It is equally obvious that decriminalisation in Portugal is effective in minimising harm.

Which country's course should we follow?

brynpoeth
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Re: Recreational drugs

Postby brynpoeth » 3 Aug 2019, 4:07pm

Neither
Entertainer, juvenile, curmudgeon
Cycling-of course, but it is far better on a Gillott
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Mike Sales
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Re: Recreational drugs

Postby Mike Sales » 3 Aug 2019, 4:11pm

brynpoeth wrote:Neither


Do you think our present way of treating illicit drug use is working well or do you have another proposal which might mitigate the terrible destructive effects?
I chose these two examples as representing the two most common ways of treating the problem. Addicts are thought of as either criminals or as patients.

Mike Sales
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Re: Recreational drugs

Postby Mike Sales » 3 Aug 2019, 4:13pm

brynpoeth wrote:Neither


Do you think our present way of treating illicit drug use is working well or do you have another proposal which might mitigate the terrible destructive effects?
I chose these two examples as representing the two most common ways of treating the problem. Addicts are thought of as either criminals or as patients.
Landsurfer gave us a very affecting account of the horror of having an addict in the family.

brynpoeth
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Re: Recreational drugs

Postby brynpoeth » 3 Aug 2019, 4:20pm

Mike Sales wrote:
brynpoeth wrote:Neither


Do you think our present way of treating illicit drug use is working well or do you have another proposal which might mitigate the terrible destructive effects?
I chose these two examples as representing the two most common ways of treating the problem. Addicts are thought of as either criminals or as patients.

Don't know enough to have an opinion, my instinct is restriction because they ruin many lives. Maybe sales of energy drinks should be restricted too, some are sold in big cans (500 ml?)

There may be other depictions/opinions about Portugal
The US is federal, maybe enlightening comparisons could be made between states with different laws

I experimented with cigarettes and alcohol many years ago :?
Entertainer, juvenile, curmudgeon
Cycling-of course, but it is far better on a Gillott
We love safety cameras, we love life

Mike Sales
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Joined: 7 Mar 2009, 3:31pm

Re: Recreational drugs

Postby Mike Sales » 3 Aug 2019, 4:23pm

brynpoeth wrote:Don't know enough to have an opinion, my instinct is restriction because they ruin many lives. Maybe sales of energy drinks should be restricted too, some are sold in big cans (500 ml?)

There may be other depictions/opinions about Portugal
The US is federal, maybe enlightening comparisons could be made between states with different laws

I experimented with cigarettes and alcohol many years ago :?


You did express an opinion.

Carlton green
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Re: Recreational drugs

Postby Carlton green » 3 Aug 2019, 7:46pm

For those that might be interested this BBC documentary on what’s happening in Canada could be of value.
https://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/p ... adas-story

Ben@Forest
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Re: Recreational drugs

Postby Ben@Forest » 4 Aug 2019, 8:51am

When you read around the Portuguese drug policy it seems that most of the positive stories come from those organisations, newspapers or writers which or who have a pro-legalisation viewpoint and that statistics prior to 2001 were not comprehensive, so comparison with the better stats since are is difficult. The Association for a Drug-Free Portugal, say 'overall consumption of drugs in the country has actually risen by 4.2 percent since 2001 and claim the benefits of decriminalisation are being "over-egged"'.

The other issue (and this is acknowledged even in a couple of papers I have just read) is that they still require scientific analysis of different narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances before legalisation can be considered because of the health risks involved. Legalising something when you know it shortens people's lives is something governments would be ill-advised to do.

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horizon
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Re: Recreational drugs

Postby horizon » 4 Aug 2019, 12:06pm

FWIW, I completely support the legalisation of drugs. I don't smoke, rarely drink, never take any drugs of any sort (not even pain-killers) and would recommend the same for everyone. I don't think legalisation will solve the problem but neither will prohibition. What might solve the problem is when employers and other organisations test for drug use in the normal course of events like driving (two pilots recently arrested for example for alcohol). For others, it's treatment and rehab (keeping drugs away from children would continue to be subject to criminal prohibition). People stop smoking but cigarettes are not illegal. IMV it's unlikely that prohibition would deal with people's alcohol problems - they have to confront alcohol in their own and different ways and the same with drugs.

And just to throw the cat amongst the pidgeons, I have serious concerns about starting young children on drug use by the indiscriminate use of Calpol - just a thought.
I have two doctors, my left leg and my right leg. (G. M. Trevelyan)
PS I always wondered why the YHA HQ was called Trevelyan House. :)

Mike Sales
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Re: Recreational drugs

Postby Mike Sales » 4 Aug 2019, 12:08pm

Ben@Forest wrote:When you read around the Portuguese drug policy it seems that most of the positive stories come from those organisations, newspapers or writers which or who have a pro-legalisation viewpoint and that statistics prior to 2001 were not comprehensive, so comparison with the better stats since are is difficult. The Association for a Drug-Free Portugal, say 'overall consumption of drugs in the country has actually risen by 4.2 percent since 2001 and claim the benefits of decriminalisation are being "over-egged"'.

The other issue (and this is acknowledged even in a couple of papers I have just read) is that they still require scientific analysis of different narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances before legalisation can be considered because of the health risks involved. Legalising something when you know it shortens people's lives is something governments would be ill-advised to do.


I note the only source you actually reference is The Association for a Drug-Free Portugal. They may have an axe to grind?
What do you think of the American War on Drugs? Not quite a shining success.
Decriminalising is much more likely to facilitate an analysis of the stuff out there on the streets.