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Junior I do not wish to rephrase anything I have said, I would not have the ingnornce to ask anyone else this question, however seeing as you have made such a long reply to my remarks, I feel I must ask you to expand on your point....."The lifestyle is caused by the law"?

 

 

 

WHAT?

 

Simple. It is the fact that some substances are illegal that means the users operate in the blackmarket. Operating in this nasty, profit driven, secretive, blackmarket is the lifestyle I am talking about. It promotes a poor quality, irregular supply of substances which, when addictive, or used improperly, can be dangerous.

 

This is bad for us all, users and non-users. Poor quality, improperly used, dangerous substances can lead to poor health (or even death :( ). In the case of addictive substances it leads to further crime such as robbery.

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Junior I do not wish to rephrase anything I have said, I would not have the ingnornce to ask anyone else this question, however seeing as you have made such a long reply to my remarks, I feel I must ask you to expand on your point....."The lifestyle is caused by the law"?

 

 

 

WHAT?

 

Simple. It is the fact that some substances are illegal that means the users operate in the blackmarket. Operating in this nasty, profit driven, secretive, blackmarket is the lifestyle I am talking about. It promotes a poor quality, irregular supply of substances which, when addictive, or used improperly, can be dangerous.

 

This is bad for us all, users and non-users. Poor quality, improperly used, dangerous substances can lead to poor health (or even death :( ). In the case of addictive substances it leads to further crime such as robbery.

 

 

I totaly agree with you there...

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Would I be right in thinking that people who want drugs legalised are either taking drugs or living in a dream world, burying their heads in the sand and not looking at the problem.

 

Heroin is going to kill Shetland!

 

I think that has already happened tattie man....but you appear to have hit the nail on the head here.

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Would I be right in thinking that people who want drugs legalised are either taking drugs or living in a dream world, burying their heads in the sand and not looking at the problem.

 

Heroin is going to kill Shetland!

 

Straight out of a '30's prohibitioners rhetoric!

 

Shetland is dying, of that I have no doubt, but on the list of killers, Heroin is, and is likely to remain, a small fish.

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Would I be right in thinking that people who want drugs legalised are either taking drugs or living in a dream world, burying their heads in the sand and not looking at the problem.

 

Heroin is going to kill Shetland!

 

yeah, right. everyone who disagrees with you is obviously a druggie. :roll:

 

heroin is dangerous, but as has been pointed out very eloquently by fjool, the zero tolerance, just say no approach isn't working. it is making things worse. it is people who adopt that approach who are burying their heads in the sand, saying "no. drugs are bad. we can't have people doing drugs. it's wrong. no no no..." people do take drugs, and all the frothing in the world isn't going to stop that. the focus should be on harm reduction.

 

Distortio wrote, "when you start off by attributing a moral alleigance to inanimate objects the debate is not going anywhere"

 

Only the participants develop a moral alleigance to their inanimate object of choice so their contribution can be neglected.

 

not sure what you mean here, i guess by 'moral alleigance' you mean addiction? and contribution to what? :?

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When I was working in London, the then chief of the (police) drug squad for South London gave our professional health organisation a lecture. This was someone in authority who dealt with the nastiest side of the drug industry. He believed passionately that drugs education in schools would only work when we started to be honest about the facts, e.g. that cannabis was not as dangerous as alcohol, and that alongside all the dangers, taking drugs could also actually be great fun. He felt that if our children found that we had lied in parts, then our message about the horrific dangers of heroin would no longer be credible. He argued that cannabis should be legalised so that people who chose to use this recreationally were not forced to buy from drug dealers. And he believed that addiction was the big problem we should be helping people to address. So alongside more resorces to rehabilitate those suffering from addiction, we should educate young people about additcive behaviours, and about stategies to recognise and avoid these.

 

I was very impressed by the knowlege and thoughfulness he brought to the discussion. (And I certainly didn't get the impression that he was a drug addict!!) As a parent, I feel that my children are much more likely to listen to an honest message. And given the size of Shetland's alcohol problem, we desperately need more education about addiction.

 

If we create a "them versus us" culture of suspecting and reporting, how are we going to gain the trust necessary to help people with addiction problems?

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Would I be right in thinking that people who want drugs legalised are either taking drugs or living in a dream world, burying their heads in the sand and not looking at the problem.

 

Heroin is going to kill Shetland!

 

You would be wrong on both counts.

 

Please read my previous posts - you'll see that I have researched the problem at length; I have argued my case thoroughly and provided sources which demonstrate this. Where is your argument? You've buried your head in the sand by deciding that 'drugs are ruining Shetland' and refuse to consider any other possibility. You cannot profess to be open minded on the subject with statements such as yours. Yours is the dreamworld - the world where it is possible to even begin to prohibit these substances. I need only refer you to the problems caused in 1920s America with their experiments on prohibition.

 

Heroin is not going to kill Shetland; knee-jerk, media led reactions are going to do far more damage. Why do you feel that a paranoid society encouraged to spy on each other, draconian population mangement and restriction of personal freedoms are somehow preferable?

 

Prohibition is an ethos which starts with the assumption that people cannot be left responsbile for their own behaviour; that people are basically incompetent and must be treated with no self-respect or sense of self-management. Things can only go downhill when you start from this position.

 

Do you smoke or drink? If not then you have proved that simply because a substance is legal does not mean that it will become a damaging addiction to everyone.

 

If you do then you are a complete hypocrite.

 

Which is it?

 

Might I ask what first-hand experience you have on the subject? Do you personally know any heroin users? What are your sources? Can you provide references and examples of how heroin is killing Shetland? Can you tell me, per head of population, how the use of heroin in Shetland compares to other parts of the country; of the world? How has this use changed over the last 100 years - with reference to population change, of course? Historically, how has prohibition managed to reduce the supply and demand of the contrband? Can you provide examples of countries in which stronger controls have less problems; or those with relaxed laws which have more problems?

 

Provide even a shred of evidence for your point of view and your argument will carry more weight. As it stands your entire argument has revolved around guesswork and the assumption that anyone who would want an end to prohibition must personally have an interest in taking drugs. This kind of ad hominem attack is a laughable way to argue your position.

 

Fact is simply that you and I both have an interest in the end to prohibition; a safer, less damaged society. The difference between us is that I've done a bit of reading on the subject rather than simply swallowing the rubbish that is presented in the tabloids.

 

Heroin will only kill Shetland if you insist on seeing it as a scourge that must be eradicated at all costs. 'All costs' will include the complete removal of your freedom to travel, to meet people in private, the possiblity of incarceration without trial, the introduction of mandatory drug-testing for everyone on a regular basis... this doesn't sound like a society I'd like to live in.

 

I'd rather admit that, despite its significant problems, heroin and its ilk are here to stay and approach the problem from a much more pragmatic and compassionate angle.

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All you selfsatisfied smug wiseguys who are saying "the official lien doesnt work but we're smarter than the rest of you and so we say legalise it, yah cool..." try speaking to someone whose had their life destroyed by smack sometime. I have. A brutally honest laddy who works for the Phoenix House in glasgow told me his story once and he made no excuses for what he had become and what he had done. The most frighteneingly honest man i have EVER met. He finished by saying that if he had his way he would burn the crops in Afganistan and Turkey and Burma and Southeast Asia and in doing so try and save his weans from what had happened tohim.

 

Legalise it? They started that with cananbis downgrading it. And the money made off the back of the increase (and there hgas been an increase in use as result) has been plowed back into the drugs trade bigtime. Anyone who thinks someone who deals blow isnt contributng to drugs trade and ultimatly the heroin problem, take your middle class head out of the sand.

 

An all the strict measures in Shetland would never work. Everyone with any common sense knows how they get it past the dogs an cops. (clue : Kinder eggs). Try that kind of search and the same ones calling for additionnal measures will be screaming about civil rights ectc.

 

Damned if you do damned if you dont, and the cops are right in the middle of the mess getting blamed by everyone. Try looking at the courts and seeing how they deal with drug related crimes an i'm talking about stealing an burgling and all that, no just dealing.

 

If all you middle class folk with your education and no common sense saw past your ideals and to how folk are dying through drugs... maybe no in shetland (tho we've had a few!!! and one is too many!!!) but all over scotlamnd. Its maybe no killing shetland (aye you all laugh at that one, dont you, try laughing at the parents oif the next young one to die here from heroin, go on, i dare you) but its killing plenty of the rest of scotland an itll make its way here sooner or later.

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If all you middle class folk with your education and no common sense saw past your ideals and to how folk are dying through drugs... maybe no in shetland (tho we've had a few!!! and one is too many!!!) but all over scotlamnd. Its maybe no killing shetland (aye you all laugh at that one, dont you, try laughing at the parents oif the next young one to die here from heroin, go on, i dare you) but its killing plenty of the rest of scotland an itll make its way here sooner or later.

 

From someone who in uneducated, and bottom rung working class.

 

If it's not Heroin, it'll be something else, always has been, always will, it is down to the nature of the human animal, not the availability or otherwise of one specific substance. Some folk crave a fix of something, some wouldn't touch the likes if a loaded gun were being held to their heads, some have the intelligence, strength of character and common sense to find out about a substance before they tank up on it, some don't, I think that one comes under the heading of "Natural Selection".

 

Even if you could "un-invent" Heroin tomorrow, nothing would change, those who are currently users and those who will become future users would be and will be using something else that is equally damaging in it's own way. You need to address why a person uses if you want to make a difference, and to that end, you might just find a certain number of users don't want a difference to be made, they didn't give a flying whatever for their future or whether they woke up alive or dead in the morning before they tried using, or whether anyone else had a future or lived or died, and they still don't. All they care about is the here and now and whatever buzz their chosen substance gives them, they went in to it with eyes wide open as to what it could and almost certainly will do to them, and they sincerely don't care, they have never cared, and never will care.

 

With a hard core of users like that there's always going to be a demand, and there's always going to be someone who will try and supply it if they can make a profit on it, such is human nature as well. At least legalised and regulated there is some facade and illusion of control, as it is it's a free for all, and don't try and tell me it's not, the fact that it's illegal makes no odds to hardly anyone, it's everywhere, the place is awash. I don't use, never have, and don't care who does, so I pay minimal attention to the whole thing. I'm not in the town either, I'm in a relatively sparsely populated country area, yet, without any prior knowledge of other people's habits concerning the subject, I'd put money on the fact it would take less than 3 or 4 phone calls to find out which door within easy walking distance of me I should knock on to get whatever I wanted. If that is the situation when it is allegedly banned, I'm curious how I'd tell the difference if it suddenly became a free for all.

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... try speaking to someone whose had their life destroyed by smack sometime. I have ... He finished by saying that if he had his way he would burn the crops ... and in doing so try and save his weans from what had happened tohim.

So basically what he is saying is, "I wish heroin didn't exist." Unfortunately it does. Yes, it causes great harm and I agree with him; I wish it did not exist either. But wishes aren't going to uninvent heroin.

 

Nobody is disputing the problems caused by heroin. The argument here is whether prohibition makes things better, or worse. I believe that by forcing an impure product of dubious origin, sporadically onto the market is causing a majority of the health and social problems. If you have good reasons to believe that prohibition is helping then by all means provide these; anecdotal evidence for avoiding heroin is not in short supply.

 

If only our approach to education didn't make such stories seem like scare-mongering propoganda.

 

The fact remains that your friend still suffered these problems even though it was illegal. Prohibition didn't stop him from becoming addicted and having problems. What reason do you have for thinking that regulated and reliably produced heroin would have been worse for him?

 

Legalise it? They started that with cananbis downgrading it.

 

Part of the problem here is that they didn't go far enough. They merely redefined it to save the police a bit of work. It was a badly conceived half-measure to avoid following properly the recommendations of the Select Committe's report (link above). If all the advice had been followed then perhaps things would make more sense. As it stands they've just created confusion.

 

And the money made off the back of the increase (and there hgas been an increase in use as result) has been plowed back into the drugs trade bigtime.

 

If you've got a reference for this then please link. I had heard that use had actually dropped since it was reclassified but I can't find a source for this just now. I suspect that, either way, accurate information is hard to come by due to the illegal nature of the substances. How do you conduct a survey? Are these figures produced by the police, hospitals, schools?

 

Secondly, the only reason any money is plowed into the blackmarket drugs trade at all is because they are illegal! Fancy that, eh? You are arguing for the wrong team now, Mr. Man.

 

Now I'm not saying that I'd been keen to see BAT profit from selling cannabis, but I would like to see some of the money going to pay for the rehabilitation of the people who have problems with drugs. The way to achieve this is by sensibly taxing the substance to reflect the problems people are likely to have by using it.

 

the cops are right in the middle of the mess getting blamed by everyone.

 

I agree. The cops have it worst because the laws are disproportional, confusing and unhelpful. The review which the government needed to make was met with a flimsy half-measure which did little of what the police wanted and only confused people.

 

Is it really worth keeping the police chasing soft-drugs when there are enough other problems? So they dropped the classification a bit to ease the pressure but they missed the fundamental problem. The sale of cannabis is still illegal and the profit being made from it is going straight to the black-market. The incentive to provide the substance is still there, the low-quality is still there, the criminal element is still there, the police work is still, fundamentally, there.

 

If all you middle class folk with your education

 

There is a link here though. Education ---> less chance of heroin abuse.

I'm arguing at every turn for an improvement in the education about these substances. Unfortunately, the current laws mean that we're basically lying to our children on this topic. We cannot expect people to take our warnings on heroin seriously when they can clearly see that other drugs are nowhere near as bad, yet are classified in the same way. It's disproportionate, inconsistent and, ultimately, causing much of the problem.

 

and no common sense saw past your ideals and to how folk are dying through drugs...

 

Folks are dying through alcohol, tobacco and cars. Are we trying to ban those? People will die through drugs. At no point have I even tried to suggest otherwise. That is not the point here.

 

Making a drug illegal does not stop people dying because of it. Simple fact. What it does do is magnify the dangers associated with it to the point where people are injecting brick-dust instead of heroin; send an ecstacy user to prison where they pick up other habits; force a junkie to pay way over-the-odds for a much needed fix to a dealer who has them by the balls.

 

They will die due to drugs whether they're legal and state sponsored, or illegal and shunned. The question is: Does making them illegal make the country a safer place? I argue no and provide my reasons and evidence for this. If you can argue otherwise then please do so. Name calling and finger-wagging is not useful.

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My nephew died this year from a Heroin overdose. He was 23 years old.

 

He had been involved in (or around) drugs from a very young age due to the activities of his mother and all her friends. They all claimed that all they did was smoke pot and it was all innocent fun.

 

I always wondered why there was a constant stream of her friends that died of heroin overdoses if they were just a bunch of peace loving, pot smoking hippies. All of them were involved in the supply of a variety of drugs and seemed to live pretty well on the tax free proceeds of it. None of them had any interest in anything else in life but getting stoned.

 

He was a bright, intelligent, gentle, fun and quite normal kid. He was a talented artist and musician. He used to love to spend his time with me over any other relative. We used to have great fun together and I would take the time to ensure that he got to do the things that normal kids did, when they are growing up - none of which ever occurred in his "real" life.

 

My nephew suffered an almost fatal overdose at the age of 19. From that point on, he was completely unable to live a normal life, and turned into a paranoid, irrational, unpredictable, violent individual who spent all his time figuring out how to get his next fix. He would steal, lie and generally behave in a completely unacceptable manner. He hung out with losers, and completely lost control of his life and destiny.

 

Then he died.

 

After the funeral, his mother, father, step father, siblings, and all their friends, all got together and had a big party where they all got stoned out of their heads. At some time in the future, I know I will get another call just like the last one, when the next one from their group dies. Will it be another one of the kids, or one of the adults?

 

Not an opinion, just the facts.....

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