Is it time to face the reality that criminalisation

So the illegal drugs are doing less harm than the legal ones. And therefore they should also be made legal? 

Not sure that really follows tbh m4. 

More that it points out the utter hypocrisy of what is and isn't legal.


I didn't make any statement about making them legal or otherwise... just pointing out that the vast majority of harm done by drugs comes from the fact that they are illegal which has lead to global crime rings and a huge black market. 

Pondering what lessons the US opioid epidemic holds for arguments that decriminalisation is the solution. 

I dont think it supports that conclusion. Legal drugs still kill and ruin lives imposing social costs whilst creating moral problems as to whether it is ethical to profit from that suffering, for example,  the moves to reject Sackler funding. Meanwhile, as this chart of overdode deaths demonstrates,  despite opioids being legally available an illegal market in them still thrives.

  so providing legal sources does not resolve either the problem of criminal involvement or social harm. The drugs themselves are the problem and their middle class users contribute to the perpetuation of others misery by trying to make their habit socially acceptable. 



What Scylla said.  The effects of criminal activity associated with prohibition are in most cases much pernicious than the negative effects of the drugs themselves.

I'd maintain the prohibition of ice and anything else that makes its users dangerous and unpredictable.  (And while coke and ecstasy might turn people into tedes, I don't put them in that category). 

Everything else should be legal and subject to varying degrees of regulation (primarily based on overdose potential).  I accept the spectre this raises of addiction - but addiction is so often associated with mental health and social factors that I'm sure this could be minimised if even a fraction of the resources put into enforcement were instead directed to treatment.

and not to mention putting a fraction of the tax revenue generated into treatment etc

the case with opioids is different. they are very dangerous and I Ma glad we do not have that problem here in europe

other than that, whites going on right now with drugs policies is preposterous, expensive and daft

Opioids and prescription drugs issues have been specifically encouraged and exploited by various drug companies.


What has gone on their particularly with OxyContin should result in life time sentences for the main shareholder and the board members who had knowledge of what was going on. 


The Portuguese drug policy and model seems to have worked well. 

Drug cartels still flourish by undercutting legal supply

And the legal supply has to increase strength to maintain sales against the undercutting cartels

This makes the problem worse. 

Drug users on here, desperately arguing for legalisation, should realise that high potency cannabis leads to psychosis. 50,000 people are being treated by the NHS

Drugs are also a key driver of the recent increases in serious violence 


Drug users on here, desperately arguing for legalisation, should realise that high potency cannabis leads to psychosis. 50,000 people are being treated by the NHS. I am interested to know where your 50K figure came from as I suspect its higher, have you a source.

Its not just psychosis but many mental health conditions, this can not be ignored.

There are 2 separate discussions, the med marijuana and rec marijuana and should be separate. 

Not sure that there is an increase in serious violence because of drugs I think that violence has always been there and legalization may or may not help reduce it, but seems to be worth a sot as the present policy is just not working and has never worked.

Thanks B, I suspect she is underplaying the problem which I totally accept exists

Home Office basically still in denial. 1960s graduates

I have never understood why the right tends to be against legalising drugs when it is a classic example of nanny statism interfering with people taking responsibility for themselves - added to the enormous burden the criminal activity associated with the trade puts on society all in the name of trying to stop people doing something that they will probably do anway.

Because the criminal activity continues nonetheless and the NHS

would be swamped with taxpayers picking up the tab

Sure it would continue but in all likely hood be drastically reduced,

Not sure the NHS would be anymore swamped than it is now and the additional tax revenue would be helpful.

There are huge sales of bootleg booze and fags but the vast majority is still sold legitimately.

Also quite clear that prohibition has been a disaster on many levels, and maybe if it had been legal then we wouldn't have ended up with this stupid headbanging strength stuff that is available now.

What evidence have you got that 'criminal activity continues nonetheless', Bernstein?


Sounds like a load of buuuuuuuuullsheeeet or true in a very caveated sense.

The evidence from the US in States where legal is that the legality has been embraced by consumers, and significant tax income paid. Amusingly by the growers in cash as national laws cause banking probs.

I have no doubt that some under the counter gear is still available

I am sure the crims have found other crimes to carry out, this may or may not be a good thing.

One pf the pleasant side effects of legalisation in California is the wide availability of milder measured edibles.

Every single friend I had growing up in California still consumes cannabis. The difference is that no it usually involves eating a gummy bear or a chocolate covered blueberry with very specific THC contents.

It is an extremely pleasant way to spend an evening and superior to getting drunk in almost every way.

The cannabis induced psychosis is just bullshit mainly asserted by people who have never smoked a joint.

Or by people like Jon Snow, who "tried" cannabis by smoking absolutely ridiculous amount of high-strength skunk on that Chanel 4 program.

It was bit like trying to describe the effects of an after work G&T by having someone down a whole bottle of gin in one go.

I also find it curious how the whole Psychosis thing only started when legalised marijuana become more widespread.

I am definitely in favour of legalization but there is no point in pretending there are not issues that need addressing.


We don't ban peanuts because some people can die if they eat them.

Anyone these days who does not see the need and advantage of decriminalisation is a fucking moron, 

You reduce the dangers of drugs by regulating and taxing them - yes hard core addicts may die legal or not, just as alcoholics do (alcohol addiction is probably the most dangerous btw) but it is the very illegality that increases the risk of taking many drugs - because you only have the word of a criminal as to what is in them.  These kids that drop dead after taking an e or whatever have normally been sold something dodgy.

The number of deaths caused by actually taking MDMA are tiny. 

the number of deaths caused by criminals passing something else off as MDMA because it is illegal are huge in comparison. 


I have also yet to see anything that sets out the causation for psychosis. How do we know that the predilection for psychosis doesn't also drive the tendency to abuse cannabis?

the counter argument to all this of course is that alcohol cause such a disproportionate amount of health and social problems in this country because it is legal, socially acceptable and readily available.  As a demonstration of what happens when a potentially dangerous addictive and mind-altering drug is legal it is not great.

The whole point is that alcohol which is legal causes more damage than things which are not. 

Drugs policy is not based on actual harm but on commercial and financial interests. 

As someone said above peanuts kill some people and we still sell those totally unregulated in supermarkets. 

The vast majority of crime, international smuggling, money laundering, murder rates and other social harms created by drugs is created solely by their illegality. 


Turning around and blaming middle class drugs users for justifying their habit is fvcking ridiculous. 


How about governments justify their regulation of these substances in a scientific and objective basis across all categories and if they determine to ban actual harmful substances then grow some balls and completely ban tobacco and alcohol as well. Since the harm they cause is also well and clearly established. 

"The whole point is that alcohol which is legal causes more damage than things which are not. "


I am playing devils advocate there but that statement quite obviously cuts both ways and can be argued by either side.

I would love to be able to buy cannabis edibles, chocolate, cake, gums, milkshake 

Look at the Netherlands, there are only upsides to legalization