Law in Disorder 

Law in Disorder 
Posted by FoM on November 24, 2001 at 21:09:32 PT
Leader: Control, don't fight, drug use
Source: Observer 
For some months we have been drifting towards a liberalisation of the law on cannabis with some police forces operating a no-arrest policy for possession. Last month the Home Secretary proposed that the drug be reclassified from Class B to Class C and that possession be a non-arrestable offence. Now things are moving faster. Senior police officers are arguing for legalisation of cannabis. 
Some, including the president of the Superintendents' Association, want 'shooting galleries' where heroin addicts can legally inject. Most controversial is the argument that the law should distinguish between addicts who commit crimes to feed their habits and 'weekend' users of ecstasy and cocaine. The police are right to point out the idiocies and dangers of enforcing the law and their arguments on use of police time are unanswerable. We welcome their pragmatic approach, even if, as Richard Ingrams points out on page 32, they are merely informing us of a policy they have been operating for some time. None the less, two things concern us. We cannot feel entirely comfortable with radical legislative changes being decided in the police canteen. Second, parents concerned at the ease with which their children can obtain ecstasy deserve more than an administrative shrug that the police do not have the resources to uphold the law. Unenforced laws bring all law into disrepute. The Home Secretary must act on mounting evidence that our drugs strategy criminalises the foolish while having little impact on the villains who run the 6bn drugs industry. There are sound arguments - ideological and now pragmatic - for decriminalising all personal drug use while carefully monitoring and controlling supply. That is the way official practice is heading. The Government should have the courage of its secret convictions. Source: Observer, The (UK)Published: Sunday, November 25, 2001Copyright: 2001 The ObserverContact: letters Articles:Drugs Bust-Up At The Met Don't Prosecute Ecstasy Users - Police Chief Police Prepared To Support Relaxed Laws
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Comment #1 posted by E_Johnson on November 25, 2001 at 01:59:55 PT
The Hollywood version - not quite
 The Home Secretary must act on mounting evidence that our drugs strategy criminalises the foolish while having little impact on the villains who run the 6bn drugs industry.Most drug dealers are drug consumers themselves. This image of a few well-heeled drug dealers sitting at the top of a huge pile of innocent consumers is hogwash. Most drug consumers do middle level drug deals for their friends out of courtesy or convenience, not villainy or exploitation.There is a tendency nowadays to overuse the victim/villain model when examining social issues. Feminism unfortunately helped a lot in this regard.The drug consumers are victims, the sellers and producers are villains. That's the Hollywood version of the story, but it's not the reality.Especially not with marijuana. It grows from the ground. It's impossible for their to ever be a marijuana kingpin -- because nobody can control the cycle of life itself. You plant a seed and it grows. The product is fine just as is without reduction or refinement.So there can never be a marijuana kingpin.And since marijuana is the most frequently used illegal drug in the UK - marijuana revenue must make up a substantial portion of the 6bn industry the author cites.
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