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"Stop the drugs getting in, starve the supply and the problem will simply go away" Not sure if this'd work.

 

How can we starve the supply? More police? More dogs? Stopping people taking drugs into Shetland would make more people into criminals and previously mentioned this would send more people sooth to the NE prisons which I agree is not good.

It's not always the REAL bad guys that move the drugs anyway. Locking up trafficers who are probibly addicts themselves just gives them a chance to get access drugs in prison and a criminal record to boot.

 

If someone traffics to fund a habbit, they should be made to go to rehab.

If someone traffics for profit, they are evil and should go to prison.

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Below is a very unique angle that the Sherrif has taken in combating drug mis-use in Shetland. Potentially far more effective in the long run as sticking folk in prison and or other forms of "community service" as the input back into the community will be x times greater.Obviously unworkable though for every offender to do the same for a myriad of reasons.

 

Drug dealer must help combat abuse

Originall Published on shetland-news.co.uk

9 November, 2006

 

A YOUNG Shetland man has been told to help start a campaign to discourage drug taking in the islands if he wants to hold on to his chances of travelling to the USA.

 

Lyall Balfour Campbell, of Stakkafletts, Fetlar, admitted supplying cannabis in Lerwick's Law Lane, last February, when he appeared at the town's sheriff court in May.

 

At the time Sheriff Graeme Napier told him to draw up an anti-drugs message for the islands' youth to help curb their enthusiasm for illicit substances.

 

Yesterday the sheriff told the 24 year old that an essay he had written for the court promoting "zero tolerance" for drug taking was not enough.

 

"If I am to be persuaded that I am to even contemplate that you don't end up with a record that will prevent you from going to America you will have to do a little bit more," Sheriff Napier said.

 

He deferred sentence until February so Campbell could liaise with the Shetland Youth Information Service and "produce some ideas as to how you can assist them to get the message across" that illegal drugs should be avoided.

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I disagree that this is a good idea. The sherrif is essentially blackmailing him into saying things he does not necessarily believe. It strikes me as disingenuous.

 

We're never going to achieve sensible and believable education on the topic with tactics such as this.

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Perhaps. Though I doubt the guy is going to nonchalantly fluff his way through liaising with the Shetland Youth Information Service. He really can't can he? He's going to have to put some form of effort into it even if he doesn't "personally" believe the outcome 100%.

 

My point was that this is going to be a more productive effort back into the community than say a £?? fine and or painting the Burra hall again. Which is the usual stance from the Sherrifs office.

 

I know your opinions on current drug legislation, and essentially agree with you on many of your points made. With the measures at hand to the Sherrif and the current laws that are in place - you have to admit that this is quite a unique take on sentencing?

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you have to admit that this is quite a unique take on sentencing?

 

Yes, I do see your point here. It is an interesting approach and I appreciate the sentiment behind it. I just feel that they've used this guy's desire to visit America as a way to force him to support a policy. It worries me that people are then going to look upon his message and wonder, 'He only says that because he wants to go to America. How can we trust the other information?'

 

It's less to do with what he says, and more to do with how he's been made to say it. Even if he's genuinely 100% behind the 'zero tolerance' message (and it sounds like he didn't convince the judge that he was), the strength of the argument is watered down by this approach. This leads to a general mistrust of authority on the drugs line and that is the fundamental problem we already have.

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hah, yeah, it's ridiculous to think he'd support a zero tolerance approach...

 

"so in conclusion, your honour, people like me who sell drugs must be shown no mercy. we should be beaten, whipped, sent to prison indefinitely, and made a bloody good example of. it's the only language we understand! i fully believe this to be true, and that the only way to save the country from going to the dogs is to bring back the birch and some serious hanging for people as evil as myself who want nothing more than to spread our evil, to schoolchildren if at all possible. your honour, i implore you to whip me again as i am clearly such a twisted deviant that i probably enjoy it (obviously i can't be sure as my head's been so messed up by all the drugs) and i certainly deserve it. your honour, thank you so much for your discipline, i really am not worthy of such a selflessly administered thrashing. can i go to america now please?"

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hah, yeah, it's ridiculous to think he'd support a zero tolerance approach...

 

"so in conclusion, your honour, people like me who sell drugs must be shown no mercy. we should be beaten, whipped, sent to prison indefinitely, and made a bloody good example of. it's the only language we understand! i fully believe this to be true, and that the only way to save the country from going to the dogs is to bring back the birch and some serious hanging for people as evil as myself who want nothing more than to spread our evil, to schoolchildren if at all possible. your honour, i implore you to whip me again as i am clearly such a twisted deviant that i probably enjoy it (obviously i can't be sure as my head's been so messed up by all the drugs) and i certainly deserve it. your honour, thank you so much for your discipline, i really am not worthy of such a selflessly administered thrashing. can i go to america now please?"

 

If he was being honest, he'd probably say:

"I've made a terrible mistake, your honour, one I deeply regret, and one hope I will never repeat. I got caught."

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I can remember reading about this case in the paper, when it first came around, and thinking that the Sheriff's approach was excellent - I could see that he was trying to draw some good out of the situation. If I remember, he asked the lad to write a report, on how best to effectively convey to youngsters the consequences of drug-abuse.

 

I wonder exactly how Lyall imagines that "zero-tolerance" is going to capture the kids' imaginations? The Sherrif was clearly unimpressed with his efforts. I wonder if the staff at SYIS will end up having to write the report for him....

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I think that the Sheriff's demands show a bit of imagination over and above the normal "dealing = jail" sentencing for drugs offences in our courts. Coming at a time when prisons are reaching bursting point it certainly shows one alternative to building two new prisons.

 

At least the problems within the prison service have started the debate about alternative sentences which for Shetland could well be some sort of semi secure rehabilitation unit for people with drink and drugs problems. We just need to start viewing addiction to drugs or alcohol as a sickness that needs to be cured rather than a crime needing punishment.

 

Maybe a good time to remind you all that we are all at risk of developing problems with drink or drugs. Maybe not in our day to day lives but after some personal disaster.

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The whole draconian "We Must Save The Bairns of Shetland From the Scourge of Drugs!!!" attitude isn't going to get anybody anywhere. Drugs have always been around, they probably always will be, and you'd be better off trying to address the reasons why people become addicted. Trouble is it's really down to an individual's susceptibility, and for each person it's a combination of a multitude of reasons and personality traits, it transcends things like class, background and poverty. It's such a complex subject I don't personally think there is an answer to it. I thin about the only thing you can do is putting your efforts into education, and making sure people take drugs safely if they are going to, because they will.

 

That said I don't think legalisation is an answer either, definitely not for something as destructive as smack. Shetland's incredibly lucky it's taken this long for it to get a grip on the island.

 

I wasn't around when the Dogs Against Drugs Campaign kicked off, but I heard stories of people swallowing their entire nights worth of drugs before going out their front doors to avoid being caught by the dogs on the street or in pubs. From that perspective it's lucky the sodding things weren't responsible for causing any deaths from overdoses themselves.

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I think a major factor is boredom... plain and simple... I have lived in the big city and I have lived out in the isolation of the mountains and countryside on a royal estate and I tell ya... THAT was boredom..... I could see why people would either turn to drink or drugs.... A lot of it could be loneliness too... as Motorleague rightly said.... its probably always going to be there... so education is the key... so that the choices that bairns make... is the right one... :wink:

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