Drugs and the people

The “Righteous” have got their knickers in a twist again about a report that says illegal drug use remains a normal part of life for many people even as they settle down and approach their thirties Recreational drugs of any kind have been used by humans since records began and quite certainly beyond. Humans will pretty much take anything which makes their rather humdrum lives a little more bearable, or simply because it’s fun. Alcohol, tobacco, morphine, cocaine, mushrooms all are used and have been used by people often too relax and blow some steam off. Yet there are some people out there who simply cannot accept that the majority of people are quite capable of taking some form of drug and remaining healthy, unaffected the following morning other than a hangover, do not turn into child killing abominations and seek to make such drugs either illegal, unaffordable or propagandised into some form of health scare.


Telegraph.

The study found evidence that many in their late twenties accommodated their use of drugs such as amphetamines and cannabis with holding down jobs, paying mortgages and raising children.

They see their drug habit as a way to help them relax, in a similar way to their parents’ use of alcohol.

The long-term study, conducted by the University of Manchester, found that while drug use falls as people move out of their teens and early twenties, it remains acceptable for many.

It involved tracking the lives of 700 boys and girls from state schools in Greater Manchester and Merseyside from 1991, when they were aged 14.

By the time they had reached 18, more than 90 per cent had been offered drugs, more than half had taken them in the previous year and more than a third in the past month.

Judith Aldridge, a senior lecturer in law at the university, told The Times: “Contrary to received wisdom it seems that not all recreational drug users mature out of their adolescent drug taking and experimentation.

“But far from being out of control, the majority of drug-taking adults appear to be pretty similar to those who seek evening and weekend time out, relaxation and fun through alcohol consumption.

“These adults do not reject the mainstream. Their lives, outside their drug use, sit comfortably amongst these values. However we see them, they appear to accept drug taking as a fairly ordinary, normal activity that is OK.”

I know, amazingly enough these are just ordinary people who hold down jobs, live a normal life amongst us and you’d never know they were drug addled addicts. Save that most of us aren’t, I like a drink, I rarely get drunk but when I do so long as I don’t break the law whose business is it other than my own or the good lady I live with? Same with smokers, I’ve never smoked, but it doesn’t bother me if people light up around me and the result of the “Righteous” campaign against smokers is killing off the pubs where I like to go for a drink. As for illegal drugs, well if people want to take them, that’s up to them, but having made them illegal has pushed those who want to take them into the hands of pushers and means that quality control is non-existent along with high prices too. So simply make them legal and tax them plus keeping them safe to take and not cut with rat poison. I mean they might as well do it, because people are hell bent on taking them anyway, pushing up the prices certainly doesn’t really work, people either find cheaper outlets or move onto something else, usually far worse.

I guess what I’m trying to say is that the government and the “Righteous” should really treat us like adults (I know, I know, not going to happen) except that would mean giving up some of their power over us and that’s about as likely as the pilot light going out in hell. Also we’d still have the cries from those whose offspring took one tablet and died, though it will still happen whether legal or not. The vast majority of us can cope quite well with recreational drugs of all sorts, we keep our jobs and we keep up with the mortgage payments, nor do we become addicts, after all not everyone who likes a drink is an alcoholic are they?

So, it isn’t about health, it isn’t about safety, it’s just another means by the state to keep control and have power. No, not all drugs are safe, but equally not all drugs are dangerously addictive, people though should have control over their lives and decisions, not the state and certainly not the “Righteous” who abound in the fake charities and quango’s who feed off the state.

16 comments for “Drugs and the people

  1. May 1, 2011 at 6:36 pm

    “As for illegal drugs, well if people want to take them, that’s up to them, but having made them illegal has pushed those who want to take them into the hands of pushers and means that quality control is non-existent along with high prices too…”

    Interestingly, there was a report this morning that the banning of formerly-legal drugs like mephedrome has led users to experiment with ketamine instead (something that was described to me as a far more potentially dangerous drug to the 16-25 age group).

  2. Paul
    May 1, 2011 at 6:40 pm

    Yeah, I’d agree – legalise drugs incrementally (whilst having some form of taxation upon them) and see what happens. Also, I think drugs should be allowed to be advertised in much the same way as beer is in more enlightened countries.

  3. bnzss
    May 1, 2011 at 6:49 pm

    Aye, it’s a question both of the right to self-determination (that liberty thing that some people are fond of), and of consequences (has it had the desired effect?). In both instances the war on drugs fails utterly. Still baffles me why some persist with the faulty reasoning.

  4. Sue
    May 1, 2011 at 7:16 pm

    Yup. I’ve smoked cannabis/weed/pot/marijuana regularly since I was 18 and grow my own now (because in Spain you are allowed to). It’s never stopped me from doing anything. It calms me down when I think of the treasonous British Govt and dictatorial EU.

  5. May 1, 2011 at 8:50 pm

    Agreed. Let’s legalise drugs, tax them (why not), regulate them (not cannabis or mushrooms, but the chemical stuff), educate people about how to use them sensibly to maximise enjoyment (i.e. same as booze or fags but without the lies and hysteria). That leads to the best outcome all round.

    • William
      May 1, 2011 at 9:21 pm

      I second the motion.

    • nisakiman
      May 2, 2011 at 6:02 pm

      Ah, in an ideal world….

      What surprises me is that the University of Manchester researchers were surprised that people could “take drugs” (there’s something frightfully sinister about that phrase) and still live a normal life! Ye Gods, where do these people come from? Dailymailistan, I guess. Blimey, you only have to do a bit of travelling to discover that millions of people from other cultures “take drugs” as a part of their normal daily way of life.

      Personally, I still love the occasional spliff or line of Bolivian marching powder, nor to mention the wine and the fags, and I’ve been at it for 45 odd years.

      And I’m sort of normal. Ish. 😯

      And I have many friends who can say much the same, most of whom are really quite mainstream.

      I really don’t know why people keep on hosing money at all this research when TPTB will carry on down their chosen path regardless.

  6. May 2, 2011 at 9:01 am

    Not time to make a whole post on this, but the arguments aren’t all on one side. Can I drop in one or two considerations on the other side of the scales?

    Even if you run with JS Mill’s definition of liberty, which is that we should be free to do as we wish so long as it does not harm others (even if it may mean harming ourselves), there is the question of taking responsibility for our influence on others by what we say, the example we set and the opportunities we offer. How many Carol Channings, Rachel Whitears, Paul Kossoffs, Paula Yateses etc are you prepared to see?

    Behaviour is a function of opportunity. Over decades, government has affected concern about the social and medical effects of alcohol yet has greatly increased access to alcoholic products and licensing supermarkets has crashed the price of them. Read Anthony Daniels’ 1997 article on the results of freely available cheap booze:

    http://www.city-journal.org/html/7_2_a1.html

    Returning to Mill, even he does not make his definition of freedom universal, exempting not only children but less developed nations. Try this for a debating point at your next dinner party:

    “Despotism is a legitimate mode of government in dealing with barbarians, provided the end be their improvement. and the means justified by actually achieving that end.”

    Further, discussion of liberty tends to treat the individual as the indivisible atom, but what we’ve learned of psychology shows that’s not so. The “free” decision to indulge in drugs, drink and other potentially harmful activities may be merely surrendering to one’s demons, or an attempt to keep them at bay. Clarissa Dickson-Wright is piteously lucid about this, and how each time she began on a gin bender she wondered if this would be the time she’d die, but that it was preferable to die than sink into the “abyss”. But it wasn’t the drink that finally got her out of it, it was abandoning drink and doing the 12-step programme. (Please don’t say that all can choose 12-step, I understand that the overwhelming majority of alcoholics can’t break free.) Our will is divided and not nearly so strong as we may pretend. How many of these early-laid-down unconscious patterns are running our lives?

    Besides, it seems to me that those who advocate legalising certain drugs don’t consider themselves bound by the law in that respect, in any case.

    • May 2, 2011 at 10:16 am

      In essence though what you are saying is that people will binge if allowed access to cheap drugs and they can, however the evidence is out there that even if they do it doesn’t really affect their lifestyles because they aren’t addicts. Not everyone who likes a drink is an alcoholic, similarly not everyone who smokes cannabis is an addict, same too with harder drugs. That isn’t to say there aren’t addictive personalities out there who will succumb to the products, but that’s pretty much the same for a lot of legal pastimes as well.
      As for advocating legalising certain drugs, well my only vice (in that respect) is drink, I don’t smoke, toke, inject or snort and the evidence is also out there that those who do live fairly normal lives without problems in pretty much the same way as the drinkers and smokers do.

  7. William
    May 2, 2011 at 12:29 pm

    Humans playing god over other humans. Banning anything doesn’t work because those that really want what is banned will find a way of getting it.

    Hemp products used to be in every medicine that existed in the first couple of decades of the 20th Century having been used as medicines for millennia. And then a group of humans moved the goalposts just to protect their profits and suddenly the growing of a plant is demonised and the ban is enforced by the barrel of a gun.

    The only thing that changed was that those who assumed authority listened to those who had profits to protect and altered the legislatives rules of the society they control.

    Sue can grow cannabis plants in Spain. I cannot grow them here without being fined or more likely gaoled.
    Bonkers, totally bonkers.

  8. May 2, 2011 at 3:58 pm

    None of what I said necessarily entails a ban. Some discretion might be better, together with a good dollop of socially useful hypocrisy. What we have already in terms of law and illegal drugs could be as near to satisfactory as possible: you’re not bothered if you keep shtum, and even if you do shoot your mouth off, you’re okay if you’re famous – though as far as the latter is concerned, I think there is an objection to be made because not everyone who copies them has the same level of social and financial resources to rehabilitate.

    The points I did make, and which I don’t think have been answered here, are:

    1. our influence on others makes us partly responsible for the harmful consequences of their decisions
    2. campaigning for an increase in accessibility (for legal as for currently illegal substances) is a positive decision to tempt some others to harm themselves
    3. yielding to one’s impulses is not necessarily the same thing as exercising freedom, because freedom may involve freedom from self-compulsions
    4. as moral agents we are free already, it’s just that some want the law to wave its wand of approval – and this actually grants authority the right to determine the limits to our freedoms

    • nisakiman
      May 2, 2011 at 7:55 pm

      1.) our influence on others makes us partly responsible for the harmful consequences of their decisions

      What influence would that be? The decriminalisation of the various substances out there is not the same as encouragement to indulge. If people were actually given the real facts about the pros and cons of what’s available, they would be in a position to make their own decisions as to their course of action. Makes us partly responsible? That sounds like politikspeak justification for imposing ones will on another to me.

      2.) campaigning for an increase in accessibility (for legal as for currently illegal substances) is a positive decision to tempt some others to harm themselves

      There seems to be the assumption here that you, and those who think like you are arbiters of how the proletariat should conduct their lives, “others” being those who need protecting from themselves.

      3.) yielding to one’s impulses is not necessarily the same thing as exercising freedom, because freedom may involve freedom from self-compulsions

      That is a serpentine statement, a spiral with no end. Akin to the chicken and egg question.

      4.) as moral agents we are free already, it’s just that some want the law to wave its wand of approval – and this actually grants authority the right to determine the limits to our freedoms

      As moral agents we are free already? Free to do what? Get arrested, with all the baggage that goes with it just because we recognise that the law is an ass? Don’t you think “authority” already has far too many rights to determine our freedom? Pshaw….

    • Zaphod
      May 3, 2011 at 7:10 am

      @sackerson,

      “some want the law to wave its wand of approval”

      I don’t ask the law to approve, just stop threatening to put me in jail again. (two weeks on remand for possesion of cannabis).

      I use illegal drugs. I’ve worked all my life, raised four kids, and paid off my mortgage.

  9. May 2, 2011 at 5:53 pm

    Where ‘harm’ is alleged to be caused by a substance, can we have actual, you know, proof? Not correlation and not Daily Mail headlines, but actual scientifically verifiable proof? If so, then you would find alcohol illegal and cannabis very much legal.

    And if it’s not about harm reduction, that what’s the ban about? Morality? Who’s?

  10. gladiolys
    May 3, 2011 at 8:02 am

    Being a simple soul, my own simplistic take on this is: it’s my body, I decide what to do with it, what it consumes and how it enjoys itself with consenting adults. Drugs freedom for me is the same as sexual freedom.

    Some forms of S and M sex are still considered illegal between consenting adults (look up Operation Spanner). It’s not a form of sex I want to explore, but if people are prosecuted on grounds of possible harm this may cause, I would also like to see prosecutions for snowboarders, skiers, bass-jumpers and even rugby players – but actually I don’t want anybody prosecuted at all for anything that takes place between consenting adults. Just my two pennyworth.

Comments are closed.