The UK Drug Problem: some thoughts

I happened to see this recent newspaper report: https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/sobbing-mum-finds-daughter-having-18194587 , which appalled me. I occasionally watch those rather repetitive police-cam TV shows, in which police stop “motorists” or at least car-drivers, as well as some pedestrians. Most seem to be carrying drugs.

I recall hearing a radio report from, I think, 1969, about heroin addicts in London, in which it was stated that most UK heroin addicts were in London and that the number was at that time, in 1969 or 1970, about 500. This was seen as a crisis at the time, apparently. I imagine that, were the number of drug addicts or hard-core abusers now in the UK only a few thousand, not a mere 500, that that would be seen as some kind of huge social or policing success.

Though it has not impacted me directly (except when I appeared once in court in London as Counsel in a drug-smuggling case, circa 1993), the UK has a drug crisis which has been made worse by half-hearted chop-and-change efforts to deal with it.

Some people say that the way to deal with the drug problem in the UK is to legalize now-illegal drugs and then to regulate the manufacture, quality-control, distribution and sale, thus controlling the use of them and also making it possible to tax them, so providing funds which can then be used to treat drug-abusers and generally reduce drug abuse.

The above is a cogent argument which has its attractions, but is expensive, at least initially, and also does not seem to put an end to the problem. It might cut off funds to presently-criminal operations, true, but would that not mean that the criminal operations just continue as “legal” commercial operations?

In the 1920s and early 1930s, one of the biggest Prohibition-busting operations run into the USA (from Canada) was operated by a criminal Jew family called the Bronfman family. Their company, Seagram’s (now and for the past decade or two under largely other ownership and called simply “Seagram”), supplied illegal booze to several major US states.

It could, again, be argued that Prohibition is a case in point, in that there was an attempt to criminalize something many, perhaps most people wanted to do and that, in doing that, organized crime was accelerated in its growth without stopping the actual use of alcohol (possession of alcohol for personal use was never illegal under Prohibition; neither was the consumption of it).

The counter-argument would be that alcohol has been tolerated (except, mainly, in Islamic lands) for centuries, indeed for millennia. Wine in particular is intimately bound to Western civilization. Beer and mead are also ancient drinks: the Egyptians drank beer thousands of years ago, and the Slavs drank mead long before –in the 17th Century– they ever discovered vodka and the like.

Drugs in the sense in which we speak here (opiates, cocaine, cannabis etc) are not part of our culture, or have not been until the past century (leaving aside a few oddities such as de Quincey). Indeed, for most people, this is a situation which has developed since the 1960s.

People often say that cannabis or marijuana has been used for many centuries and so is somehow OK. However, I believe that the Persian poet Hafiz wrote against the use of marijuana in Persia, to the effect that it had contributed to the decadence of the culture and people (it was introduced in the 13th Century). Certainly, I cannot think of any country where its use (legal or illegal) has improved society: Egypt, Jamaica etc.

The once-strict British legal situation has been liberalized almost to tolerance. I recall attending, as 16 year old spectator, the magistrates’ court at Henley-on-Thames, in –I think– 1973, where a severe-looking Lady Somebody presided (with the usual two useless me-too bookends). An epicene young man, the very picture of post-aristocratic dissipation, was charged with possession of a small amount of cannabis. He had been in the old and squalid Oxford Prison for the week since first appearance (the prison is now a luxury hotel, with even the smallest rooms made out of 2 of the original prison cells; some made out of 6 or 8. The hotel featured in one episode of Lewis: see trailer in Notes, below).

The defendant applied for bail. A character witness (his girlfriend, I think), a young blonde woman wearing a traditional fox fur round her neck, complete with head (well, this was 1973…), said that the defendant had been and would be staying at her family’s home (read “small estate”) near Pangbourne. I recall this case well, partly because the young woman was asked by the Clerk of the Court “are you Miss or Mrs?”, to which she replied, stiffly, “the Honourable”!

Anyway, the upshot was that bail was refused! Despite the small amount of drugs, despite the character witness, despite the obvious no-flight-risk…This was prior to the passing of the current Bail Act. I remember that the defendant was quietly in tears at having to return to Oxford Prison (the Honourable Blonde was also wiping away a tear). Another reason I remember it all well is that I cannot imagine what use that slight, sloping-shouldered and dissipated creature could possibly be to the blonde! Ah well, ours not to reason why, I suppose…

Today, that defendant would quite likely either be given a verbal warning by the police, or a formal caution. He would probably not find himself in court at all, let alone be imprisoned either pending or after trial. Even if he did go to court, the likely outcome would be a small fine, probation or maybe a community order or the like.

I suppose that many, looking at that Henley case, would say that it is better that minor cases like that do not now involve such upset to individuals and expense to the State. On the other hand, it seems to me that the drug “epidemic” has got out of hand. That applies even more so to the “hard” drugs, to cocaine, heroin etc.

We have recently seen that a Cabinet minister, Michael Gove, has admitted to regular use of cocaine when a journalist. It has certainly been tacitly admitted that the likely soon (hopefully brief) “Prime Minister”, Boris Johnson, has even more frequently abused the drug. Its use is ubiquitous in Britain’s corrupt and decadent mass media, artistic and political circles. An early exposure was that of Louise Mensch, briefly an MP and often talking about the faults of others less affluent than herself.

LouiseMenschDrugging

These facts are important. They have social and political, as well as personal, consequences.

America declared a “war on drugs”. It failed to work (as I knew it would) because it involved bombing South American peasants and their crops rather than shooting defaulters in Washington D.C. and across the USA.

Likewise in the UK, the State uses the Navy, SBS etc to catch large-scale drug imports at sea. The importers caught there or by highly-trained police detectives and Customs operatives in the UK are very heavily punished, distributors less so, sellers less so, and the actual consumers, who drive the whole process, scarcely at all!

I wonder (I say no more) whether we should start seriously purging the country of recreational drugs, drug abusers, drug suppliers and importers, starting with the corrupt wealthy metro-liberal pseudo-“elite” at Westminster and in the msm etc. Perhaps we as a society should start shooting people. Action not words. Action, not hand-wringing. Discuss.

Notes

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Seagram

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charles_Bronfman

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cannabis#History

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cannabis_in_Iran

https://www.videodetective.com/tv/inspector-lewis-old-school-ties/677848

https://www.malmaison.com/locations/oxford/rooms-suites/

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Henley-on-Thames

(note: the Henley-on-Thames Magistrates’ Court is now no longer in existence, having fallen, like many hundreds of other magistrates’ and county courts —not to mention railway branch lines— to cost-cutting and “reorganization”. The branch line to Henley is still operational, but the court was closed in 1999: https://www.theyworkforyou.com/wrans/?id=2009-11-05c.295992.h

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hafez

 

 

13 thoughts on “The UK Drug Problem: some thoughts”

  1. It amazes me why the public are “still” able to purchase the growing equipment (lights etc) allowing them the opportunity to “grow” their own cannabis plants, when surely a licensing scheme could be created – thereby making it difficult for the average citizen to buy the equipment without a viable reason – i. e gardening businesses? The heating equipment is available online and although i don’t always believe “legislation” is the answer, in this particular case i would say yes – as Cannabis is a factor in regards to antisocial behavior among “some” youngsters!

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    1. As far as I understand, the strains cultivated have been producing ever-stronger “stuff” over the years. Many scientists have been warning that the real effects on the body, esp. the brain, are not fully understood. I have known, in the past (1970s, 1980s, and one in the 1990s), people who regularly smoked that stuff. All were at least semi drop-outs, though several ran small (one-person) “lifestyle” businesses. I think that it has a bad effect on society, overall.

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    2. Further to earlier reply, there may be analogy here with distillation equipment. Anyone in the UK can buy distillation equipment, though I daresay that the Customs pay attention to anyone identified as buying it. It is, as default, illegal to use such equipment to produce alcohol: see https://www.gov.uk/guidance/spirits-duty
      but it is possible to acquire a licence, by payment, and then payment of duty on anything produced. I think that the usual conditions make it all but impossible to distill on a very small scale.

      Of course, home brew of beer or wine is allowed here. I tried beer, when I had a lease of a large country house with plenty of room (indeed, a positive surfeit) but my attempts were not very successful. I did drink very good home brew once, made by the chief mathematician or chemist (I forget which) at Shell or BP (ditto). His home brew was a refined product much better than some standard recipe, though. Strong, chilled, not too fizzy, a bit like a malt liquor.

      In some countries, eg Norway, home distilling is even more restricted but the equipment *can* be bought. The incentive there is, or was (I may be out of date) that State booze shops in Norway charge(d) very high prices. In the UK, spirits are laughably cheap at the bottom end (I have seen own brand vodka at £10 or under! Admittedly, I myself buy, when I do buy vodka, better marques, mid-level, at £15-£30, usually around £20, but I would drink it without mixer or ice, just heavily chilled.

      I believe that the only country without restriction on home distillation is New Zealand.

      It can be hazardous to distill at home, because of risk of explosion.

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  2. The “British” establishment has been all over the drug trade like a cloud of flies on dog-squeeze:

    http://www.members.tripod.com/american_almanac/opium.htm
    and
    U.S. LABOR PARTY / KALIMTGIS et al. / – Dope Inc. [1978]

    O/T: The liars’ desperation grows apace:

    https://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2019/07/06/gchq-j06.html

    – evokes “The World Conquerors: The Real War Criminals” by Louis Marschalko:

    “When the freedom fighters succeeded in occupying the buildings of the secret police, they found further proofs of a terror almost incredible to the Western world. Huge halls and large rooms were stuffed with the most unimportant telephone conversations recorded on tape and filed. Unimportant letters from abroad had been photographed on microfilms and filed away in a gigantic card index system. On Tisza Kalman Square in Budapest, a secret prison with 3,000 cells had been built and equipped on the site of a half-finished underground railway station, the existence of which was unknown until the freedom fights started. Similar underground prisons were also detected in provincial centres together with subterranean passages to enable Communist “leaders” to escape in an emergency. And so, if we take into consideration that in Hungary the leaders were Jews, it can truthfully be said that here the most extreme dream of Jewry’s world kingdom materialised.”

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  3. I believe we should allow the controlled use of cannabis for medical purposes under the close supervision of a medical professional but the use of it for leisure purposes should be strictly prohibited and this should, of course, apply to harder drugs as well.

    We, as a society, are far too lenient on drug abuse and the consequences can be severe for not just the user but, more importantly, for society as a whole ie coke-snorting Tory nobheads like Michael Gove being in power over us and potentially even being ‘elected’ to No.10 without holding a general election first!

    Time to get tough, I think!

    Perhaps, it may be a good idea if we adopted the more punitive approach of Singapore:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Capital_punishment_in_Singapore

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Misuse_of_Drugs_Act_(Singapore)

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Criminal_law_of_Singapore

    Introducing judicial corporal punishment sentences using the rattan cane for more minor instances of drug trafficking and other serious crimes may be of some help too:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Caning_in_Singapore

    Admittedly, caning offenders using the rattan cane is pretty brutal and it even makes me think perhaps it might be a bit too severe but it should prove to be a good deterrent if used, as it is in Singapore, alongside lengthy prison sentences:

    https://www.corpun.com/singfeat.htm

    https://www.corpun.com/awfay9405.htm

    https://www.corpun.com/18archive/sgj01804.htm#26684

    Perhaps it is because criminals even those who commit fairly minor crimes get prison sentences and canings in Singapore that they have a well-ordered and disciplined society? If we used judicial corporal punishment ALONGSIDE stringent prison terms here then we might well not have to use hangings much as the society would become more disciplined over time and people would be less likely to commit the types of crimes liable to attract capital sentences?

    So, to those who are adamantly opposed to hanging’s return I say let’s use the rattan cane and more lengthy prison terms as in Singapore and then, perhaps, we might not have to re-introduce the death penalty.

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    1. I think that, were I to reintroduce corporal punishment, it would be only for cases of egregious cruelty or brutality against people or animals. Not the excessive punishment given out in the East, though. There would have to be a maximum number of hits, lashes or whatever of, perhaps, 20. That would be more than enough, if given mightily. It is all about sending a signal.

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      1. Apparently, in Singapore although they do use it extensively and for a wide variety of crimes they don’t apply this criminal sanction against any woman, men over the age of 50 and the criminal has a doctor present at all times who can stop the sentence being carried out. Also, no matter how bad the crime was the maximum sentence is 24 strokes.

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      2. Ah. Thank you. Yes, it seems harsher somehow to apply it to women, though actually some women do commit terrible acts of cruelty against defenceless small children or animals, so I am not sure whether they should be excepted.

        As for age, well, I suppose that the Singapore authorities do not want people dying as a result. There should be a maximum number of strokes certainly. The Arabs are terribly cruel, of course, and sometimes administer hundreds of strokes, which may be fatal. Much depends on the force used, of course.

        The main thing is to mark egregious cruelty or brutality with State and societal disapproval, and to send out a message. That being so, even half a dozen strokes or lashes could be a sufficient maximum.

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  4. As for that degenerate Louise Mensch creature words simply fail me but, at least, she is now out of harm’s way. However, just how many more of these vile drug-taking deadbeats and societal dropouts are sitting on the Tory benches in parliament? Is it the fact there are a considerable number of them in Tory seats nowdays including, as you say, one Alexandr Boris De Pfeffel Johnson why the Tories don’t have vigorous debates on law and order at their party conferences where an easy way to get some good cheers and laughs was for a speaker to call for the return of hanging and flogging? They used to be quite entertaining back in the good old days of the 1990’s and 1980’s! Perhaps they have realised that if we followed the likes of Singapore then many Tory MPs would be sentenced to a flogging or a hanging!

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  5. The anti-British Tories here would mightily disapprove of one way they use judicial corporal punishment in Singapore ie they give employers who knowingly employ illegal migrants a few strokes along with long prison terms and tourists who deliberately overstay their visas get some strokes too. So, how about that, Mr ‘let us allow illegal immigrants to have an amnesty (YET ANOTHER🤬🤬🤬!) Johnson!

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