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skacid
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At last Rolling Eyes This is the best way forward.


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.

Media backlash

Mr Ainsworth is the most senior politician so far to publicly call for all drugs, including heroin and cocaine, to be in any way legalised.

He said he realised while he was a minister in the Home Office in charge of drugs policy that the so-called war on drugs could not be won.

The Labour backbencher said successive governments had been frightened to raise the issue because they feared a media backlash.

But he predicted in the end ministers would have no option but to adopt a different approach.

He said: "Politicians and the media need to engage in a genuine and grown-up debate about alternatives to prohibition.

Billions spent

"Leaving the drugs market in the hands of criminals causes huge and unnecessary harms to individuals, communities and entire countries, with the poor the hardest hit."

Mr Ainsworth said billions of pounds was being spent "without preventing the wide availability of drugs".

"It is time to replace our failed war on drugs with a strict system of legal
regulation, to make the world a safer, healthier place, especially for our children," he said.

"We must take the trade away from organised criminals and hand it to the control of doctors and pharmacists."

BBC Home Editor Mark Easton said under such a system heroin and cocaine might only be available on prescription from registered doctors, while cannabis might be sold in a similar way to tobacco.

"Under such a system, those who supplied or sold drugs without the requisite licence would still be operating illegally, in the same way as those who sell tobacco, alcohol or prescription drugs without a licence or proper authority would be currently," he said.

However, all three main parties at Westminster remain opposed to legalisation, with a Labour spokesman saying Mr Ainsworth's were "not the views of Ed Miliband, the Labour Party or the public".

Last week, Home Secretary Theresa May said the government's drugs strategy would remain focused on rehabilitation and reducing supply.

Crime Prevention Minister James Brokenshire said: "Drugs are harmful and ruin lives - legalisation is not the answer.

"Decriminalisation is a simplistic solution that fails to recognise the complexity of the problem and ignores the serious harm drug taking poses to the individual.

"Legalisation fails to address the reasons people misuse drugs in the first place or the misery, cost and lost opportunities that dependence causes individuals, their families and the wider community."

'Change needed'

However, former chief constable of Cambridgeshire Police, Tom Lloyd, said something had to change.

"We've got so used to 40 years of prohibition which, in my experience of over 30 years of policing, has led to massive cost, a failure to achieve the primary aims, which is the reduction of drug use, and a range of unintended harmful consequences," he said.

Former Criminal Bar Association chairman Paul Mendelle QC called for a full examination of the evidence which supports drugs policy.

"Illegalising [the drugs trade] is the legislative equivalent of putting a sheet over your head and hoping it will go away," he told BBC Radio 5 live.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-12005824
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Thu Dec 16, 2010 10:53 am
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CraigHudson
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Fat chance of those in charge implementing it, though.
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Thu Dec 16, 2010 11:11 am
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EssexSteve
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ben eltons high society book covers that subject very amusingly

fwiw, i agree with ainsworth - what he also didnt mention is that with the tax revenues generated, we could forget about any cuts......
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Thu Dec 16, 2010 11:13 am
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skacid
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CraigHudson wrote:
Fat chance of those in charge implementing it, though.


Sadly you are probably right.

The war continues Mad
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Thu Dec 16, 2010 11:14 am
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JIMMY JAZ
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i have always said( for 20 yrs at least) that legalising all drugs is the only way to control the strength, supply and control the revenue...
And apart from anything else we all (those who dabble) know the scum bags and down right nasty bastards you have to cross to score, it would be so much nicer to pop to the shops and choose some nice puff. Wink or whatever you fancy.
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Thu Dec 16, 2010 8:02 pm
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Paul Willo
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breeding a nation of fuckin zombies.
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Shan
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Works for Amsterdam. Shame we don't share their policies on prostitution too.
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Thu Dec 16, 2010 9:17 pm
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appyammer
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difficult one, maybe legalising drugs would take out some of the drug-related crime, but fags, booze, diamonds, cars, DVDs and just about everything else are legal but still have huge black markets.

I think half the reason people get in to naughty drugs is BECAUSE they are illegal, rather than the drugs themselves, so however you regulate it there would be a market in stronger (illegal) variants, or underage markets etc.[/i]
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Thu Dec 16, 2010 9:44 pm
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skinhead
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I think that if some wans gonna take drugs and there are millions doing the best way forward is for the goverment to regulate it and tax it ,theres to many criminals making a fortune out of it its supply and demand ,there woundnt be as many deaths from bad drugs if the drugs were made in legitimate labratories,so if some wans gonna take drugs id rather it was bought in a shop than some back street
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Thu Dec 16, 2010 10:20 pm
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Hugh
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Ban prescription drugs!
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Thu Dec 16, 2010 10:22 pm
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mell
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YEAH .Legalise drugs then we can all get them cheaper.then the smack heads will only have to rob an old woman on the street instead of burgaling a house .Why do you think the government haven't tapped into this source of revenue before?
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Fri Dec 17, 2010 12:19 am
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skacid
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mell wrote:
YEAH .Legalise drugs then we can all get them cheaper.then the smack heads will only have to rob an old woman on the street instead of burgaling a house .Why do you think the government haven't tapped into this source of revenue before?


Errr, Like the government normally do the right things? Rolling Eyes
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Fri Dec 17, 2010 9:27 am
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Shan
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If the government controlled things they most certainly wouldn't be cheaper! Wink

I agree with skinhead though - if people want to do anything they'll do it regardless. Maybe schools should have trips to rehab centres with the effects of addiction standing there in front of them, that goes for alcohol too. When we're young we think we're invincible, and to a certain extent most of us are, but telling youngsters about the effects on their heart, lungs, brain etc etc doesn't seem to sink in much. I think seeing the bigger picture might make them think more about what they're contemplating putting up their nose or in their bloodstream. I have no sympathy for anyone who becomes an addict of their own free will as an educated adult, though I understand why it happens.
I don't disagree with drug taking, but there could be alot of improvements in all aspects of it.
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Fri Dec 17, 2010 7:05 pm
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Hugh
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...is all my brain and body needs.



Nuns and Bad Habits.
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Harrysgame
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Taking drugs is a mugs game in my opinion. No sympaphy for addicts at all.
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Fri Dec 17, 2010 9:44 pm
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Hugh
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Harrysgame wrote:
...No sympathy for addicts at all.


I thought Viva La Revolution was alright. Smile
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Fri Dec 17, 2010 10:04 pm
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skinhead
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Harrysgame wrote:
Taking drugs is a mugs game in my opinion. No sympaphy for addicts at all.


ok agree mugs game but if we regulate it your takin criminals out off the picture the goverments feeding many addicts on the hhs thats a fact we have got a drug problem that needs to be addressed and to take the criminals out rightly or wrongly id rather see it taxed than some toerag making millions
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Sat Dec 18, 2010 12:13 am
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guts
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Harrysgame wrote:
Taking drugs is a mugs game in my opinion. No sympaphy for addicts at all.


good for you, i hope one day we can all be as perfect.


the government are idiots when it comes to drugs anyway. the scientists and experts they employed told them that weed and MDMA were less harmful than booze, and the government basically said 'well that's not what we wanted to hear. YOU'RE FIRED!'

what an amazing basis for drugs policy. Rolling Eyes
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Sat Dec 18, 2010 9:47 am
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skacid
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Harrysgame wrote:
Taking drugs is a mugs game in my opinion. No sympaphy for addicts at all.


I just read this on the 'Symarip (skinhead moonstomp) in London this Saturday' thread

'getting a drink at the bar was a pain in the arse'.

I assume you were buying cola or lemonade, or are you one of the mugs you mention?
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Sat Dec 18, 2010 10:50 am
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CraigHudson
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guts wrote:
Harrysgame wrote:
Taking drugs is a mugs game in my opinion. No sympaphy for addicts at all.


good for you, i hope one day we can all be as perfect.


the government are idiots when it comes to drugs anyway. the scientists and experts they employed told them that weed and MDMA were less harmful than booze, and the government basically said 'well that's not what we wanted to hear. YOU'RE FIRED!'

what an amazing basis for drugs policy. Rolling Eyes


Perhaps we should all lobby our MPs with a no confidence vote, citing this as grounds.
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Sat Dec 18, 2010 10:53 am
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