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The War Against Drugs 
    CB apologises for the length of this page. It is because so much has to be considered, and also highlights how one small change can have such a profound effect on many other seemingly unrelated things. Because of this the various sections, some of which may appear not to be drug related, will have sub-headings but all will tie together in the finish. CB has decided to do this page after the sacking of Professor David Nutt, chief advisor to the Government on drug use. All he did was speak his mind which is also the truth. CB also will advise you that it is a very emotive subject. If this page upsets or enrages you, please remember that most decisions made for emotional reasons prove to be bad decisions in the long run and most actions taken as a result of emotion are usually regretted later. The best approach is the truth and honesty backed by sound logic when dealing with an emotional subject. Lastly, if you are reading this page and getting hot under the collar, bear it out, by the end you may not feel so upset, after all, it is best to have ALL the information before making a decision, isn't it?

    The first British legislation against the possession and use of drugs by individuals was passed around 1868. This is just after the end of the Opium Wars, which led to the Boxer Revolution in China. At this time Queen Victoria was on the British Throne and The British Empire was at its peak. It is thought, though unconfirmed, that British Generals who had witnessed opium smokers laying on their beds with the lead of a hookah in their mouths, so stoned and unable to get up for a pee that they wet themselves where they lay, came home to Britain with horror stories about drug use. You can just picture it "Good God George, if our people started doing this nobody would work, there would be no gross domestic product, it must be made illegal"! Their lobbying probably was the spur to the Government of the day to nip the drugs "problem" in the bud by legislation against it. As the Leading country of the Empire, all subject countries would have been "encouraged" (read commanded for encouraged) to follow suit. That means about 25% of the "civilised" world. Also, as a world leading power, the pressure for other countries to follow suit would have been immense! It was also and "easy sell" by telling people it was bad for them, dangerous and life threatening, even though they probably had no real, accurate or honest idea of any long term health risks. The most major development since then was the international conference on illegal drugs in 1987 where 161 countries signed an agreement to do all they could to ensure that drugs were not transported across their borders into neighbouring countries. Lately though, many countries are recognising that legislation against may be the cause of an undefeatable problem! Portugal, within the last 3 months is the eighth EU member country to move to a position of passive acceptance where possession and use of drugs is no longer pursued or treated as a crime by their police. They have seen that, where this approach has been used, the use of drugs appears to have FALLEN, not increased. Politically, as a main instigator of drugs legislation, Britain might find it too hard, if not impossible, to go this way, such is the evil of politics, once you have painted yourself into a corner, you have to walk all over the paint job to get out and it just leaves a big mess!

Responsible Legislation

    We recognise the problems caused by the very addictive drug known as ALCOHOL! It is not, however, illegal to possess or consume it. We know the harmful health effects of that most addictive of all drugs, TOBACCO! It is not, however, illegal to possess or consume it. In both cases the Government spells out the dangers by advertising on the TV and other media. Many laws exist to protect the innocent from the actions of those who get drunk and kick off. Similarly, laws banning smoking in public places have been passed. This means that both the above products are legally manufactured and sold by reputable companies. This guarantees the quality and strength of the product.
If a law is passed making something illegal it has many effects. It puts the illegal item into the hands of the criminal, giving them a platform to make profits from their actions. This has the effect of handing the market over to those people who will service that market but it removes all controls on that market, effectively putting the user of the product at high risk. The user could be assaulted or killed at an underground trade. They have no way of knowing quite what they are buying! In the case of something you may consume, as with drugs, illegality imparts on the user some very serious risk. A responsible Government would come clean about this and treat drugs just the same as alcohol and tobacco, that is not to prosecute users but to HONESTLY inform them of the REAL risk in the same way as they do with the other products. If users could go to the high street chemist for their supplies, they would get a known dose of a known product made in a proper laboratory with proper quality control and not in some junk made in a dirty kitchen!
    The bottom line is that any law putting the police on the streets to chase down, catch and prosecute someone for doing something to themselves which is their own choice and not involving or harming any third party is a LAW OF PERSECUTION and NOT responsible legislation!

User Knowledge

    The vast majority of drug users know as much about what they use as a pharmacist. They know because they are interested and SEEK to learn. None of them would ever wish to die of an overdose because they know how awful that is, overdosers asphyxiate, they choke to death on their own vomit, inhaling it and therefore unable to breathe! The vast majority of those involved in legislation or policing are NOT users and therefore have no first hand knowledge! These people have to rely on the advice of the experts being truthful and accurate BUT, considering what was done to Professor Nutt, how can we hope that the experts will tell the full truth every time, if ever? CB was a teenager in the 60's and, yes, smoked cannabis, took LSD and has smoked heroin about 5 times, so does believe he has a few clues. CB knows acquaintances that smoke heroin at night and go to work the next day, some in very responsible jobs. CB wonders why anyone would smoke heroin, especially at the price, CB wouldn't pay 2p per tonne for it and cannabis is  a better high. Smoking ANYTHING is NOT RECOMMENDED! Smoking heroin gives you emphyzema which blows holes in the little airsacs in the lungs. This is a 30 year maximum death sentence. You end up not being able to absorb enough oxygen from each breath as the air goes through the holes into the chest cavity. Cannabis is NOT addictive! The main danger from cannabis is that a joint is built using TOBACCO and you then get hooked on the tobacco, NOT the cannabis. The most addictive thing about cannabis is that, because it is illegal, most people go to a friends house for a smoke. Usually there are quite a few who gather and it is the atmosphere of a bunch of like minded people that is addictive, just as a particular pub where you like most of the regulars becomes your local. As to the recent blurb about cannabis harming your mental health, well. If you are of sound mind you can have a drink without going nuts. If you have a mental flaw that may not apply. If you are of sound mind, cannabis is unlikely to change that. If you have a mental flaw, cannabis may well find it. Some people want to fight the world after a couple of drinks but CB has NEVER seen cannabis turn anyone aggressive, just the opposite. Stoned people just want to lay back and listen to good music, have a chat and a laugh, cannabis is a calming influence. PLEASE UNDERSTAND, CB does NOT use any drugs other than alcohol and tobacco these days and is NOT PRO DRUGS! CB is just proposing a better answer than the one history gave us and our modern day politicians cannot let go of. Surely you can see the lack of emotion and the use of good logic on this page!
    CB believes that the latest TV advert about cannabis turning people into nutters is typical of the current Government. They never tell the whole truth and are well capable of a misrepresentation if it fits their purpose.
They may well feel that they are losing the war on drugs and have resorted to scare tactics (as has been done many times in the last 150 years) to try to win back some ground. To sum up this Government just watch Prime Ministers Questions at 12.00 noon on a Wednesday on the BBC News channel and you will soon realise that Gordon Brown will NEVER give a direct answer to any question asked of him! If their leader is such a devious person and you realise that HE picked all the ministers then you have a clue of what to expect from them.

Consequences of Legalisation

    Any change to the status quo will have many effects, some drastic and some very far reaching. Drugs legalisation is no exception! Firstly, the political backlash may be that the other 160 countries from the 1987 accord may say that Britains signature on a treaty is worthless as they will eventually do a U turn on it. For this to be said about one of the world's top 10 countrys is serious. Britains new position on drugs would have to be sold to the world and CB does believe that this page is the basis of any sales brochure. The leader that changed the policy would have to make a full and frank address with much of the information from this page included. A very hard sell considering there has been 150 years of lies, misinformation and sheer bullying to underline the legality position. All those who have lost loved ones to drugs should NOT blame the drug! These people will be outraged just reading this page BUT they should realise that the law that criminalised their kin is possibly what killed them, would they have overdosed if they could have gone to the chemist for a clean, known quantity and quality fix? CB knows all to well that, over the years what was once believed can change because we grow up and learn as we get older. CB thinks that the day will come when the Government is taken to court to answer for their drugs illegality position being a contributing factor in someones death.
    Another consequence is massive. The western world NORMALLY faces a shortage of opium for producing the opiates that are used daily in our hospitals. Given our involvement in Afghanistan and legalisation, Britain could ask the Afghans to follow suit on the legalisation policy. Britain could then negotiate the purchase of the entire poppy crop from the Afghans. The poppy is one of the few things that can be grown as a cash crop in that country so it would be a massive move forward financially for both countries! Our Pharmaceutical companies would have an enormous edge over others in the world. And now for the CRUNCHER!!!!!
    Our soldiers are being killed daily in the war against the Taleban in Afghanistan. Before you can wage war you need MONEY! The Taleban get much of theirs operating a protection racket against the poppy farmers. They demand money from these farmers for stopping the Afghan army burning their crops (this is done because the poppy is an illegal crop in Afghanistan). If they were a legal crop the Afghan army would be guarding the poppy fields, not burning them. Where would the Taleban get their money from then? The war with the Taleban is not understood by this Government. It is now a war of ideals, almost like the holy wars. The infidel (western non believers) have invaded their country and are trying to tell the Taleban how to live, in their opinion. This will,escalate to include Pakistan eventually and will become unwinable. The Russians saw this and pulled out AND they had autonomy in their actions, we have not. A joint financial and political solution would effectively disarm the Taleban by starving their warchest of money.
    Now, with legalisation, we save soldiers lives bringing the troops home, become a major trading partner in the poppy business, ensure no shortages of opiates in our hospitals and give the user at home a fair deal, and in peace to do as they wish. There is much talk of drugs leading to crime. In some cases YES, what do you expect when the user has to associate with criminals? Much of this drugs/crime relationship is garbage. Every time some thief is in court he says, "I am sorry, I was high on cannabis when I did it". This is a lie but it seems to get them an easier sentence. While ever the courts are so soft on real criminals this lie will further stack up against drugs.  
    If legalised, a good few thousand drug squad police could be released to duties other than persecution. Now we are beginning to save money as well as earn it. The only part of drugs that should be illegal is to trade in drugs without a licence, and that would keep the distribution in the hands of the major drug companies. CB sees no losers in this move except for the diehards who cannot learn. For their benefit, remember prohibition in America? It brought together organised crime in a big way. You CANNOT control a market where demand outstrips supply!  To service a consumer market takes good logistics, you have to have the product on the shelf and IMMEDIATELY restock when you sell it all!
The mafia families knew they would lose a lorry load or 2 every night (they were shipping it in from Canada) to the "untouchables" so they joined forces and shared risk and responsibility, thus if 1 mobster lost all his loads, they shared it out to keep everyone in business. Eventually the US Government sawthat they could not win and repealed the prohibition act. Sounds familiar? The "drugs war" cannot be won! How many lives might be saved with universal legalisation? Certain poor countrys would have their fortunes turned around overnight by legitimisation of their major export crops.
    As an afterthought, just scroll up and read again CB's definition of a law of persecution. Who else is persecuted in Britain? The prostitutes. If they want to rent out their bodies it is NOT the business of the Government, it is a PERSONAL decision to that lady! The business of the Government is legislation to control the business, obtain National Insurance and PAYE payments from the workers etc. Health and safety is required because of the transmission of STD's (sexually transmitted diseases). Acceptable premises from which the ladies must work, including suitable protection from violent customers. Now we can release MANY thousands of police from vice squad duties. With all the extra coppers the streets might be safer and we may have less burglaries! CB believes he has just shown how RESPONSIBLE LEGISLATION would be so much better for everyone.

Old CB promised himself a pint of beer after completing this page, it has taken a few days to do. It was very draining mentally and now CB is thirsty. It would be nice to go to the pub but it is raining. This means standing outside in the rain to have a ciggy! And none of CB's pals will be there, they have stopped going one by one. The great British pub WAS an institution but with the smoking ban, bit by bit the gang got smaller and now we just sit at home with a small dram or 2. Thank you Gordon Brown, you did a good job destroying the pub business. We will all soon be presbyterians. Your dream of nobody smoking or drinking in YOUR country is close, BUT WAIT! You cannot stop us smoking and drinking in our own homes, and your country is Scotland, not England. When the electorate give you their verdict, go back there and leave us in peace. Maybe your successor might start to rebuild all the damage you inflicted!

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© The JSC Group March 2006