Peter Reynolds

The life and times of Peter Reynolds

Posts Tagged ‘cocaine

‘Poppers Are Not Psychoactive’. The Arrogant Madness Of UK Drugs Policy.

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Crispin Blunt MP

Crispin Blunt MP

If you want something slightly less psychoactive than poppers, I suggest you try a crack pipe.

Seriously, poppers produce an instantaneous high as powerful and intense as anything I have ever known. Cannabis, alcohol, even cocaine are mild and gentle compared to the rush that you get from inhaling the vapour from a bottle of poppers.  Maybe crack or crystal meth are stronger.  I don’t claim knowledge at that extreme end of drugs experiences.

It’s well established fact that successive UK governments are dishonest and corrupt on drugs policy.  You cannot trust anything the Home Office says about drugs.  The reality of the policies of both Labour and Tory governments is that they maximise harm and cause enormous damage to our society as well as individuals.

The announcement today that poppers are to be excluded from the Psychoactive Substances Act because they are ‘not psychoactive’ is as ludicrous a statement as ever made by any government anywhere.  See minister Karen Bradley’s announcement here. 

The Psychoactive Substances Act is universally recognised as the most ridiculous and scientifically-illiterate legislation ever passed by Parliament – universal that is with the exception of the slippery fools that sit in the House of Commons. Most of them have no idea at all of what they are doing on drugs policy and their only concern is to appease the Daily Mail, the Daily Telegraph and the hysteria drummed up by the prohibition lobby.  However, when one of their own, Crispin Blunt, MP for Reigate, complains about his drug of choice being banned, in record time the Home Office has obtained fake scientific advice and reversed its decision to ban poppers. Meanwhile, benign, largely beneficial, mild and virtually harmless cannabis remains banned, even for those in desperate need to relieve their pain, suffering and disability.

Don’t misunderstand me, I don’t think poppers should be banned.  They are known as a sex aid amongst gay men as they relax the anal sphincter, enabling easier ‘backdoor’ sex.  There’s a good argument that this helps to prevent injury and therefore infection but they are also an intense sexual stimulant.  I can confirm they are great fun for straight sex too.

I’m very pleased that Crispin Blunt will continue to have access to his drug of choice and I have no argument with him at all.  He is an MP who is on the record as supporting cannabis law reform, particularly for medicinal use.  It’s the sickening, dishonest and corrupt conduct of Home Office ministers that must be condemned.

I’d like to see the craven fools at the Home Office take a big whack off a bottle of poppers and then say they aren’t psychoactive.  Black is white and pigs fly over Marsham Street when it comes to drugs.

Written by Peter Reynolds

March 22, 2016 at 2:26 pm

A Sad Day When Drug Reformers Capitulate to The Evidence-Free Claim: ‘Drugs Are Dangerous’.

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Transform released this astonishing video two days ago, on 9th March 2015.  It is astonishing because it is so fundamentally flawed and it represents a betrayal of the values for which so many have supported Transform’s work over so many years.

Drugs are not dangerous, certainly not cannabis.

This is a straw man argument, now fundamental to the strategy of Transform, the UK’s most generously funded drugs policy group. They build up the harms of drugs, falsely, without evidence, in order to be able to ride in on their white stallions and rescue us from this imaginary danger.

So now they do the job of the prohibitionists for us.  They have bought right into this inaccurate and misleading mindset and Transform is now promoting drugs as dangerous.  Transform is adding to the messages and media storm from the tabloids, ignorant politicians and the moralising hypocrites that drive the war on drugs.

Are cars dangerous? Is a bottle of vodka dangerous?

Only if they are misused or abused and then they are both far more dangerous than cannabis.

Cannabis doesn’t need to be regulated because it is dangerous.  It needs to be regulated because prohibition is dangerous and causes far more harm than cannabis ever has or ever will.

At least 95% of cannabis use is harmless and without risk.  It is a miniscule proportion of people who are in danger of any harm.  They begin using cannabis at a young age, use it heavily, daily, have a genetic predisposition to mental health issues and will have other component factors in their life such as other drugs (particularly alcohol), life events, family problems, etc.  All the research shows that cannabis is never more than just one factor amongst a complex mix that leads to mental illness.

Danny Kushlick, Transform: "Cannabis Is Dangerous"

Danny Kushlick, Transform: “Cannabis Is Dangerous”

Last year Danny Kushlick, also of Transform, came out with this nonsense that ‘cannabis is dangerous’.  I wrote about it then: Cannabis is Neither ‘Harmless’ Nor ‘Dangerous’. Now, in this latest video, Steve Rolles confirms this misguided, self-defeating path that Transform is embarked on.

I remember, just a few years ago, Steve arguing that even most cocaine use is without harm and he was right. Millions use cocaine every day and only a very few slip into dependency or a self-destructive use pattern.  It isn’t as safe as cannabis but it’s probably no more harmful than alcohol.

So why is Transform set on this course?  Next thing we’ll have leading scientists adopting the same terminology – ‘skunk’ – as the tabloids use to demonise cannabis… Oh yes, it’s already happened.

All organisations become self-serving unless they have active shareholders or members to keep them on track.  In my opinion, those leading Transform should remember how and why they started and I think it was mainly about truth, about combating the lies, misinformation and propaganda that the drug war is based on.

Transform needs to get back to the truth.

To sum up, I quote the very wise words of Lee Prew, a CLEAR member and a man who has his eye on the ball.

“Is it just me or are drug reformers like Transform and The Beckley Foundation part of the misinformation that dominates this country’s lack of understanding and honesty towards drugs? If these people that support positive changes to our system can’t even get the facts right what hope do we really stand of achieving workable drugs policies?

If they believe that simplification of terminology (skunk & hash) and catch all statements like “drugs are dangerous” are in any way helpful to the situation they are wrong. The drug issue is a complicated one with many facets (as we can see with cannabis alone) and by simplifying the situation they only go to undermine their own work. Very worrying.”

Written by Peter Reynolds

March 11, 2015 at 9:47 pm

Posh Boy Chav Dave And The ‘Effing Tories’.

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Yesterday, on his ill judged, flying visit to Scotland, Cameron shed crocodile tears in panic about his destruction of the United Kingdom.  He demeaned his office still further by using a thinly disguised obscenity, an appalling and shameful misjudgement.  This fool is supposed to be the prime minster of our nation.

The truth about Dave and his cronies and their selfish, arrogant, disconnect from the majority of Britons is exemplified in the trashy new movie ‘The Riot Club’.  It’s the Bullingdon Club of course, a depraved gang of posh yobboes who take alcohol, cannabis and cocaine to excess, smash up restaurants, abuse women and then sort it out by peeling a few fifties off Daddy’s wad. Key players: David Cameron, George Osborne, Boris Johnson plus assorted bankers and city conmen.  The Independent sets out the roll of dishonour here.

This is why I and millions of others, previously confirmed Tory voters, will never again vote for what has become the Bullingdon Club Party.  This is why Scotland should do the wise thing and skedaddle away from the UK ship that is sinking under the weight of corruption, cruelty and incompetence.  Any government that is so far out of touch deserves to be brought down.  That power now resides in the hands of people like Cameron, Osborne, Iain Duncan Smith, Theresa May and Chris Grayling should be all the warning we need.

Incompetence Is Normal At The Home Office

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Theresa May

Theresa May and James Brokenshire must go.  The absolute disgrace, the shambles over Olympics security should see them both on the dole tomorrow.

Ms May is the most empty-headed minister I have known in my lifetime. Where she came from, why she has reached such high office, what skills or value she has brought to government is a mystery.

James Brokenshire

Brokenshire is the nastiest, most vicious and unpleasant junior minister ever. He’s an ex-banker and has held charge over the government’s delusional, head in the clouds drugs policy with exactly the arrogance and irresponsibility that suggests.  He sank to the nadir of his career when he claimed that the adulteration of street cocaine had reached record levels and this was a huge success.  This in the full knowledge that the Serious Organised Crime Agency records the adulterants used in cocaine are more harmful than cocaine itself.

If there is a war on drugs then Brokenshire is a war criminal.

Both of them are worse than useless.

Written by Peter Reynolds

July 15, 2012 at 11:46 am

London Games, Excerpt From Chapter 22

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DS Evans delivered Clive’s firearms certificate personally and at the same time he returned his father’s rifle.  Clive had installed a steel firearms cabinet with two massive locks and the detective waited until he saw the gun locked away before he said his goodbyes and left.  Clive wasn’t at all sure now why he had wanted to keep it.  He’d told the firearms officer who had interviewed him that it was a family heirloom and that he was keeping it as a collector.  There was no ammunition on the certificate which meant that if Clive ever wanted to use the gun he would have to apply for a variation.  Then he would also have to explain where and when he wanted to use it and prove that he had permission to do so from the landowner concerned.

He hadn’t forgotten the cartridges which Mr Thomas had found and which were still in the glove box of his car.  He hadn’t mentioned them to anybody.

The initial euphoria at getting the building work underway had now worn off.  There really wasn’t very much for him to do on the site anymore.  Max was well in control.  Even Simon Bristow had taken a back seat as all the construction work was finished.  Now there was a small army working on the finishing.  The decorators had started in some areas and Clive was trying to focus on marketing.  He’d had a series of meetings with estate agents, all of whom were eager for his business, all of whom had sent along their most attractive female negotiators in their smartest business suits to try and convince him.  He was none the wiser and really couldn’t decide between a local agent and the sort of prestige international outfit that also sold country estates and private Caribbean islands.

This morning then, with DS Evans gone and the rifle safely locked away, he was rattling around in his own modest, rather grubby little flat near Battersea Park.  He was bored.

Life was no longer a struggle.  His new bank had taken an entirely different view of his circumstances.  Once they’d seen the cash deposit of £150,000, a manager had been sent to visit him at the development and had then updated his file and credit status.  Although Clive didn’t know it, the bank now saw him as a high net worth individual and he had a notional limit of £50,000 against his name.  He could ask for any type of borrowing up to that level and it would be granted immediately without any further question.  In fact, on paper he was probably now worth around £5 million so he didn’t need to worry about paying his bills anymore.

What the hell!  He was going to enjoy this morning.  It was a beautiful day.  Strong sunlight was dappled through the leafy trees in the park.  It was half-term so there were kids and their scantily clad mothers everywhere.  He sauntered along the Albert Bridge Road enjoying the sunshine and wondering whether perhaps he should invite Mark for lunch at Vermont – or somewhere else.  His money was good anywhere.

Next thing there he was on Albert Bridge – again.  How long ago was it now since that evening before he’d first met Mark?  It was just a matter of weeks.  How things had changed since then.

******

Another morning at the library was over and Sir Damian was enjoying the very much more relaxed lifestyle of a worker. After being let back onto the wing he was free to wander around and chat until lunch was served.  Then he was expected to go back to his cell and push his own door shut for the lunchtime lockdown.

There was loads of noise coming from the servery but they clearly weren’t ready to start yet so he went back to his cell.   There was one letter and a slip of paper that had been pushed under the door.  He knew straightaway that the letter was from Barnaby Evans.

He ripped it open and scanned the contents quickly.  His appeal against sentence was to be heard in two weeks time.   The slip of paper told him that he was to be transferred to Ford prison in a week.

He was elated and angry, surprised and shocked, relieved and frustrated.  He almost shouted out aloud.

He barely noticed lunch although he ate it hungrily.  He didn’t want to leave Brixton now.  Why would they move him just when his appeal was coming up?  He was just a few miles from the Court here.  In Ford he would be half a day’s travelling away.  He started to write an application requesting that his transfer be cancelled.  Everything in prison is accomplished by “app”.  He’d learned that very quickly and it helped to be literate although it was best to word everything in very simple and direct language.  The officers themselves weren’t the most highly educated of people.

As he was drafting he realised that the prison probably didn’t even know about his appeal.  Even if the governor’s office had been informed he recognised that usually one hand didn’t know what the other was doing.  Everything happens behind closed doors in prison.  The administrative and management methods were like something out of the 19th century with an unhealthy dollop of union demarcation rules thrown in.  He decided to mention his job in the library as another reason he should not be moved.

The spectre of Andrew de Boer fluttered briefly across his mind but he dismissed it.  He knew now that he could cope with a couple of years.  He’d be out and rebuilding his life sooner than he’d expected.  The last thing he needed to get involved in was any sort of escape plan.  That was an absurd idea.

…read more here.

Written by Peter Reynolds

January 26, 2012 at 8:28 pm

London Games, Excerpt From Chapter Nine.

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Chapter 9

 

Across London the street lights were coming on, burning orange to begin with as they warmed up.  The western sky was also orange as the early spring day came to an end and cooled down.  From Docklands in the east to Hammersmith in the west, the traffic surged to its evening crescendo and then began to fade away as the commuters reached home or dispersed from the main roads onto the M25 and various motorways heading for the home counties and more distant destinations.

The river continued its endless and timeless meander through the capital.  The setting sun reflecting off small wavelets, the spring tide running fast, creating hard work for the dozens of small boats plying up and down, carrying passengers, moving cargo or just messing about.  The lights on Albert Bridge burned brightly as a solitary figure strolled along the pavement and paused to lean over the side and watch the water.

Clive was worrying.  He had hoped that a walk through Battersea Park and along the river would calm him down and prepare him for the meeting.  Staring at the water he told himself that he had done everything that he possibly could.  In his younger days that had been the recipe for a worry free existence.  If you’ve done everything you can then worrying isn’t going to achieve anything more.

That philosophy, or perhaps it was just a mind game, didn’t seem to work anymore though.  Not since the long and painful break up from Kim.  That experience had wounded him deeply, perhaps more than any other.  He had tried to – no, he had – acted with integrity throughout.  He had been ready to break away himself but her tears and her pitiful begging had reeled him back in and he had re-committed to her more deeply and profoundly than ever before.  Her betrayals had hit him hard and it had taken too long for him to see the truth that was actually staring him in the face.  She had pleaded to move back in with him and he had found a delightful cottage in Sussex that she had enthused about and seemed to be the perfect solution.  Within days of moving in though she had disappeared.  She went straight back to her former ways.  She’d go out to the shops and three or four days later would surface “at her sister’s” or “visiting her mum and dad”.   Clive had to come to terms with the fact that the woman he was doing his best to love was a liar and a cheat.  It hurt.

He’d spent a year looking at the bottom of a bottle.  At first it had been to dull the pain and the worry, a way to sleep.  Later it had become a problem.  He’d stopped working and would go to the pub for a couple of pints at lunchtime then spend the afternoon and evening getting through a bottle of scotch and watching old black and white movies.  Along the way, he had to deal with his father’s death and with three or four passionate reunions with Kim, each occasion causing him more pain and demonstrating the depth of her insincerity.

Tonight was to be the end of all this.  No, he’d already put all that behind him.  Tonight was the start of his new life.  He’d done everything he could.  There was no point in worrying.

He turned away from the river and started back towards the park.  He had an hour now to get home, get changed, into his car, back up through Chelsea, Kensington and Holland Park to the restaurant.  The walk had done him good.  He felt calmer and stronger.  Howard would be introducing a new man to Mark de Boer this evening.

******

The early evening rush for Mo was well underway.  His business phone was ringing almost constantly and he was making an endless and impossible series of promises to be at various different locations in west London“in 10 minutes”.

Mo knew the Range Rover was far too conspicuous but it was the one thing he was unable to resist.  He lived his life in a constant state of fear, always watching over his shoulder, checking every car behind him, trusting to his instinct, avoiding any situation that felt dangerous.  He was always ready to cut and run.  Once, outside a chicken shop on the Harrow Road, he’d been spooked by a van that he was sure he’d seen following him earlier that day.  He was serving a new customer.  He’d seen him before but never on his own, always with a girl that he’d known for some time.  The van had suddenly appeared in the side street.  Mo had turned, walked calmly but briskly away and dropped several hundred pounds worth of gear into the waste bin.  He hadn’t been pulled so on the face of it, it was a false alarm.  Several hours later he’d sent one of his soldiers to check the bin.  Amongst the empty boxes and the greasy bones and skin, he’d recovered more than half of what he’d dumped.

In this constant game of cat and mouse, Mo excused the Range Rover on the basis that the police knew who he was anyway.  If today was to be his day, it wouldn’t make any difference what he was driving.  He gunned the big black beast up to the top of Ladbroke Grove and past the Sainsbury’s roundabout.  Everything was quiet now.  The store had reopened but rumours were rife about exactly what had happened earlier.  He swung right immediately after the roundabout and headed down the back road to Trellech Tower.   There he stopped twice on two corners before completing the loop back down Golborne Roadand onto the Grove again.  He waited opposite the tube station until one of his regulars showed up, jumped in the passenger seat and then he cruised round to Portobello while they negotiated the price of a quarter-ounce in good humour.  “Give ‘em both one for me!”, Mo grinned.  “You’re too greedy for your own good!”.   He barely let the customer out of the car before flooring the throttle again and then, just as quickly, screeching to a halt as he saw Beanie bumbling down the road.  “C’mon, get in.  I need your help”.

Beanie was strung out now but he had the latest news about the stabbing at Sainsbury’s.  “It was that squaddie girl.  Susan something.  She went nuts.  There was a cash van collecting and she tried to jump them but that big fat security guard jumped her.  Y’know the one what nicked Jimmy’s missus.  She shanked him good and proper.  He’s dead”.

…read more here.

Written by Peter Reynolds

January 19, 2012 at 1:31 pm

London Games, The Beginning…

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Chapter 1

The dark wood-panelled courtroom was quiet and serene.  After weeks of intense argument and dramatic revelations the moment of denouement was just minutes away.  For now, for just a moment more, James Macpherson, the court usher, enjoyed the peace, the heavily pregnant peace that was about to give way to even greater drama as the jury returned to deliver its verdict.

A side door clicked open and Sam, the jury usher, gave James a quick nod before turning back to attend to his charges.  James drew a last deep breath of serenity and turned to his duties: recalling the lawyers, the defendant and the public.  As soon as he opened the main court doors there was a rush of fresh and expectant air and a growing hubub as the throng returned to its seats.

The elegant figure of Sir Damian Fremantle moved reluctantly away from the reassuring cluster of silk surrounding him and climbed the few steps back into the dock.  Perhaps there was just the slightest humility showing now, a little uncertainty perhaps, possibly even fear…but no, it was a fleeting moment.  The chin went up, the lofty nose was looked down and the supreme arrogance of Britain’s wealthiest banker was restored.  It was as if he were waiting for the Judge to return and offer an apology for the great inconvenience that Sir Damian had suffered over the last five weeks.

“Rat-a-tat-tat!” The loudest, most peremptory sound allowed in the Court was the warning of the Judge’s entry.  “All rise!” came next and as defendant, lawyers, jury and public rose to their feet, Mr Justice Weatherspoon assumed his seat, all sat, a few routine nods were exchanged and James rose to perform his final duty.

“Guilty”.  The verdict resounded around the Court.  Sir Damian looked disbelieving, outraged as his legal team slumped in their chairs, the youngest, female junior, her head in her hands, realising those flirtatious promises her client had made really would now come to nothing.

Sir Damian appeared to rally, a touch of cockiness returning to his posture but then slowly he slumped, his shoulders dropped, his world seemed to spin and he fell insensible to the floor.  Now the collective gasp that had been building since the jury foreman spoke reached a crescendo. There were muted cheers.  The doors slammed as journalists left, mobiles already at their ears.  There was a general sense of relief and excitement as the Judge banged his gavel just once and said “Sentencing will take place in the morning.  I need no reports.  Bail is denied”.

Within seconds the Court was empty.  Outside the “Bash The Bankers” demo had become a party.  There was literally dancing in the streets.  Pandemonium erupted.  Strangers embraced each other. London had seen nothing like it since VE day when the last great threat to civilisation was finally defeated.

This was the final chapter in bringing to heel the avarice that had been allowed to run wild in the City. A year ago the first chill winds of reality had swept through boardrooms when Sir Jim Malouse had been extradited from Scotland to the US.  Within a few weeks he had to stand in a tiny Alabama courtroom in a prison boiler suit, manacled at hands and feet, to hear his sentence described as 160 years without possibility of parole. Of course the appeals were in hand but meanwhile Sir Jim languished in a maximum security state prison, his massive lifetime pension of no comfort at all.  His only friends the cockroaches that crawled in from the stinking mangrove swamp on which the prison was built.

A few senior civil servants had followed both in Europe and US but then the politicians had started to fall.  Any British MP who had had any connection with the City, the Treasury or the financial system was ruined. From former Chancellors to junior ministers of state, more than 20 MPs, 12 senators and fifteen congressmen were convicted on criminal charges ranging from false accounting and conspiracy to straightforward theft.  Ultimately Silvio Berlusconi was at last kicked out of office, not with his trousers round his ankles but with his secret dividend income statements from a raft of European banks.

Now with the conviction of Sir Damian, the night of the long knives was fast approaching dawn.  In Britainthe destruction of the old financial system had created a massive new industry. Out of the very disaster itself had come the creation of thousands of new jobs in local financial councils, co-operative banks and the Regulator, the nationwide authority, part of the International Finance Treaty of 2011.  A new optimism was in force throughout the country.  People were back in work.  A new culture of transparency and fairness had swept aside the old institutions.

Fremantle’s world was in ruins.  As the unthinkable reality pulsed through his body he regained some sort of consciousness and found himself in a cold, slightly damp cell, a massive steel door being the only feature of note.

Before the horror of imprisonment could overwhelm him the door opened and there stood Bart James, his QC, despondency written all over him, his juniors almost hiding behind him.

“I’m so sorry Damian.  We’ll start working on the appeal immediately.  Believe me, whatever tomorrow brings you can count on us putting together the best possible arguments”

Fremantle looked directly at James, his face bemused, dull, incomprehending.  Then, without the slightest acknowledgement, he turned away and lay down on the concrete shelf that served for a bed, his face to the wall.

…read more here.

Written by Peter Reynolds

January 14, 2012 at 12:59 am