Guest writer, the Parisian domiciled Frankie McKillen with his views on the drugs issue.
TPQ's Belfast Rockabilly Frankie McKIllen
Fuck it, I quit.
Charlo Greene famously said those words live on KTVA after she reported on a segment about pot to concentrate on legalizing marijuana in Alaska. What she said before dramatically quitting her job was ...
Everything you've heard is why I, the actual owner of the Alaska Cannabis Club, will be dedicating all of my energy toward fighting for freedom and fairness, which begins with legalizing marijuana here in Alaska. And as for this job, well, not that I have a choice but, fuck it, I quit.
Earlier this year Professor Nutt gave a lecture in the Isle of Man called The truth about drugs. In October 2009 he was the Labour Governments chief medical adviser and was sacked from his job because he wrote paper and claimed that alcohol and tobacco were more harmful than many illegal drugs, including LSD, ecstasy and cannabis. In the paper he argued that some top scientific journals had published "horrific examples" of poor quality research on the alleged harm caused by some illicit drugs, Nutt called for a new way of classifying the harm caused by both legal and illegal drugs. Part of what he said in his report was ...
Alcohol ranks as the fifth most harmful drug after heroin, cocaine, barbiturates and methadone. Tobacco is ranked ninth. Cannabis, LSD and ecstasy, while harmful, are ranked lower at 11, 14 and 18 respectively.
Richard Garside, director for Centre for Crime & Justice Studies had this to say about Nutt's report ...
Professor Nutt's briefing gives us an insight into what drugs policy might look like if it was based on the research evidence, rather than political posturing and moralistic positioning. The Centre for Crime and Justice Studies is a strong advocate of research evidence informing policy making and it is delighted to be publishing this very timely and important contribution by one of the country's top drugs experts.
I personally smoke pot openly, I've never hidden the fact. I'm at a total loss as to why in certain countries it's illegal. It is only a 'gate-way' drug because it's illegal. It doesn't lead people to harder, more harmful drugs. That is one of the biggest myths.
Durham chief constable Mike Barton claimed the war on drugs had failed and decriminalisation was the best way to wrestle power away from criminal gangs. "Not all crime gangs raise income through selling drugs, but most of them do in my experience. "
So offering an alternative route of supply to users cuts off the gang's income stream. If an addict were able to access drugs via the NHS or some similar organisation, then they would not have to go out and buy illegal drugs.
"Drugs should be controlled. They should not, of course, be freely available. I think addiction to anything - drugs, alcohol, gambling, etc - is not a good thing, but outright prohibition hands revenue streams to villains."
What doesn't work is prohibition and the war against drugs is as phoney as the war against terrorism. What is needed is a proper debate with fact not fiction.