Peter Reynolds

The life and times of Peter Reynolds

Posts Tagged ‘absurdity

“Cannabis Should Be Sold In Shops Alongside Beer And Cigarettes, Doctors’ Journal Says” – The Daily Telegraph, 11th October 2010

with 10 comments

Yes, this is The Daily Telegraph here.  Yes, this concerns an article published in the BMJ here.

There are distinct signs of sanity on the horizon.   Is it money driving this new reality because we waste £19 billion per annum on the “war on drugs”?  Or is it that Proposition 19 in California and the clash between UK and European law over medicinal cannabis is revealing the absurdity of prohibition?

Cannabis should be sold in shops alongside beer and cigarettes, doctors’ journal says

An editorial in the British Medical Journal suggested that the sale of cannabis should be licensed like alcohol because banning it had not worked.

Banning cannabis had increased drug-related violence because enforcement made “the illicit market a richer prize for criminal groups to fight over”.

An 18-fold increase in the anti-drugs budget in the US to $18billion between 1981 and 2002 had failed to stem the market for the drug.

In fact cannabis related drugs arrests in the US increased from 350,000 in 1990 to more than 800,000 a year by 2006, with seizures quintupling to 1.1million kilogrammes.

The editorial, written by Professor Robin Room of Melbourne University, said: “In some places, state controlled instruments – such as licensing regimes, inspectors, and sales outlets run by the Government – are still in place for alcohol and these could be extended to cover cannabis.”

Prof Room suggested that state-run off licences from Canada and some Nordic countries could provide “workable and well controlled retail outlets for cannabis”.

Prof Room suggested the current ban on cannabis could come to alcohol prohibition, which was adopted by 11 countries between 1914 and 1920.

Eventually it was replaced with “restrictive regulatory regimes, which restrained alcohol consumption and problems related to alcohol until these constraints were eroded by the neo-liberal free market ideologies of recent decades”.

The editorial concluded: “The challenge for researchers and policy analysts now is to flesh out the details of effective regulatory regimes, as was done at the brink of repeal of US alcohol prohibition.”

Campaigners criticised the editorial. Mary Brett, a retired biology teacher, said: “The whole truth about the damaging effects of cannabis, especially to our children with their still-developing brains, has never been properly publicised.

“The message received by children were it to be legalised would be, ‘It can’t be too bad or the Government wouldn’t have done this’.

“I know – I taught biology to teenage boys for 30 years. So usage will inevitably go up – it always does when laws are relaxed.

“Why add to the misery caused by our existing two legal drugs, alcohol and tobacco?”

Earlier this year, Fiona Godlee, an editor of the Journal, which is run by the British Medical Association, endorsed an article by Steve Rolles, head of research at Transform, the drugs foundation, which called for an end to the war on drugs and its replacement by a legal system of regulation.

Dr Godlee said: “Rolles calls on us to envisage an alternative to the hopelessly failed war on drugs. He says, and I agree, that we must regulate drug use, not criminalise it.”

What Else Could £12 Million Buy?

with 5 comments

Irrelevant

Apparently, excluding policing costs (!), it’s going to cost Britain £12 million for the Pope to come here.  Now what else could we spend that on to better effect?

There must be at least twelve million answers to that question.  It is an absurdity, an anachronism, a throwback to an earlier, superstitious age when the masses were controlled by their fear of some nonsensical, supernatural power.

Pope Katzinger, ex-Hitler youth member and embodiment of the ultimate hypocritical idolatry and perversion of God, is not worthy of admittance to our country, let alone such expense.

I’m not sure that the Vatican state is part of the EU so do we have to let him in?  I suppose he will produce a German or Italian passport if necessary.  I would want to see it and ensure it is up to date.  Surely we could arrange a unilateral European arrest warrant or USA extradition request to get rid of him?  Now that would be a useful purpose for unjust and unfair legislation.

Pope Katzinger is not welcome.  That is a fact.  If we must adhere for a little longer to the idea of a church then we have our own.  The Pope’s has already been banned by royal decree and I hold much closer to the United Kingdom than to any kingdom of supernatural power, particularly one of such evil reputation.

If the head of the Catholic Church wishes to visit this country and meet with his congregation then, as a liberal and open society I suppose we must allow him to do so. We should not have to spare one penny from the care of our elderly, our sick or our needy for the pretensions of this old fool and his entourage.  Let them indulge their fairy tales, games and petty diversions at their own expense.