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British Medical Journal calls for debate into decriminalisation of drugs - couldn’t agree more! #warondrugs
The British Medical Journal says drug policy debate is needed...
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should be going the natural way anyways for mother nature has provided cures thank you for sharing hugs
Interesting development. I hope the UK will take Portugal's example sooner than later.
You know Sir Richard gets the best stuff. Am I right?
Here in the states we would save so much money that we could start to pay off the US debit. You know that the uptight and ignorant political yahoos could not deal with that though.
The double-standard of alcohol and "everything else" has never made any sense - there are varying degrees of addiction or dependence for some, but education and treatment is far more important than most current policies.
So THAT'S why Sir Richard is always smiling.
Prof David Nutt's report into harmful drugs clearly showed that Alcohol ranked above thins like Heroin and Crack, ranking Cannabis and Mushrooms well down the list. So it is hypocritical at this point that we allow the sale of Alcohol and Tobacco but not other drugs.

The main issue with drugs is there is no way to monitor there purity and strength, people don't know what there getting from one hit to the next which tends to course health issues and OD's. So legalize them all I say, give them government approved standards and then tax the hell out of them.

Any political party whole put that forward now days would corner the 18 to 30 vote and would help to raise a load more money for the country not only in tax revenue from the drugs but in the massive influx of tourism.

And if your REALLY worried about the negative impact that legalizing drugs might have there is an easy solution, an opt out card for buying them (including alcohol and tobacco), you get the card and the drug of your choice and owning it, and using it you opt out of free treatment from the NHS for related illnesses to do with those drugs, you could also extend that to benefit claims while taking drugs.
Adam... Obviously you're an addict. Clear your mind and think if you really want drugs MORE accessable for our kids?
We already tried to start down that road, but people take advantage... That's when others get hurt
More Regulation=Less Accessible, like alcohol or cigs. Regulation to make sure drug dealers not users go to jail. Why are these bad? Are you on board with getting rid of chocolate, nicotine, alcohol, caffiene, etc? these kill people daily as well.
o_0 I'm an addict?.... LOL I think not, I hardly even drink let alone anything else,. However are you saying Ken that anyone who expresses pro drug views must be an addict and a consumer of drug's? Thats very close minded and inflammatory of you.

As with Alcohol studies have shown that in countries where children educated and exposed to drugs at an earlier age are in fact less likely to take them as the taboo nature of them, which is so appealing to young people, is negated.
Wow Ken. I think we could put you on a stage and we would do the anti-drugs course more damage then could ever be foreseen. So, in your world, if people express pro-drug views in any way, regardless of there consumption, or lack of it, there a "crack-head". Interesting.... Do you even know what a "crack-head" is?

Your fear of real debate and your need to degenerate straight to name calling shows that you have no argument. Please provide me with some evidents or study which backs up any of your statements.

Your views appear to be based on ignorance rather then fact.
Come to think of this how does this even affect you Ken? You live in the USA not in the UK. The USA a country with a much bigger drug problem then the UK and yet they have higher penalty's for drug use?... interesting... the same country that has a drinking age of 21 and has a far greater alcohol abuse record in the form of alcoholism because of lack of exposure from a young age.
I don't know how he would have time for any "stuff". The man is everywhere! What an interesting life!
It does apply to us living in the USA. Our federal government is the engineer of the global war on drugs and every US state and foreign country that stands up to Washington, DC the closer we get to ending it. Since the UK is a close ally, their actions have more impact than the Netherlands/Portugal/Spain.
No! I Want my 2 girls to live a a world where a plant is not some great evil. Regulate it. Go Branson and UK docs. Maybe the US will realize its losing its war too.
I understand however Ken you desire to protect your children's lives. But living in the US you have bigger fish to fry. I would recommend that you start campaigning again the real things that are likely to kill your kids in the country you live in... like Guns..... I mean what kind of barbaric society allows anyone to just go and get a gun and carry it around??!?!
That´s human´s problem everywhere in the world who make a drug for what ...for money or a plot of someone?
Adam, you're right... Second Amendment? Bullshit!... How about I use my first amendment right to call all gun owners idiots
The third amendment says that you have the right to kick troops out of your house after the civil war ends...

Time to open our minds to change.
Yes well.... unless America still lives in fear of Britain reclaiming there colony Ironically I bet the second amendment has killed more Americans then would have been killed if Britain had tried to reclaim there former colonies... Rather counter productive.
I'm fine with the second ammendment, but it's hypocritical to be pro-second ammendment and pro-drug war. You don't really need a gun for defense, but they're fun so more power to you even though it's much more likely to kill someone accidentally than pot or a number of other recreational drugs. It's an issue of freedom and liberty for both guns and drugs.

Idealistic reasons aside, there are much better pragmatic reasons to change the law, namely that current laws lead to more harmful drug use and stymie medical progress.
Should cannabis be decriminalised?
In itself i'd say yes , but lung's aren't made for any type of smoke and the medical bills will go up. Also I think its a question that will always be present no matter the outcome.
5% of the nation's corporations are hiring and firing on the basis of smoking...

What's next in line?
Obesity, weed smokers, Republicans...
Sure, then the crack heads can run freely in the streets.
I have noticed that most the people who are anti this are from the USA and so not in touch with UK culture. It seems they have missed the fact that we are talking about changes in the UK here, changes to current UK drug legislation, not changes to the US.
No my point is that in the UK drugs like cannabis are becoming increasingly socially and morally expectable. If your found with weed in the UK as long as it's not over a certain amount the police just take it off you. For a number of years we existed with the drug being listed as a class C drug.

In the UK there is a massive demand for the drug laws to be changed as there is an ever increasing realization from the general population that to do so would not be dangerous (no one has ever died from cannabis) and it likely to be beneficial towards the country.

Our countries social and moral views appear to clearly differ from that of our counterparts in the US. but thats fine, we are difference country's. However I do therefore object to Americans trying to push there own moral objections upon countries where they don't live.

Basically if your not a UK voter, butt out.
Smoking kills 3 million people a year... Number one killer, Heart Disease... Top three are smoking related.
Smoking has a history in the US, if it weren't for tobacco the US wouldn't exist. It's just that no one gives a shit about the history of their cigarettes anymore, so we don't bother changing the laws.
In the good ole USA, we prefer to give pain pills that fill Pfizers pockets. It's not about the smoke, it's about the FDA and the drug companies clocking dollars. That can't control it so they can't make money off it, Don't believe the hype or feel guilty. Look at the facts and get educated...... smoke and mirrors created decades ago. I have seen enough people evaporate when prescribed a "controlled" substance.Who is held responsable when they die? Kids are dying by the thousands from pain pills, medicinal works and peanuts kill more people than marajuana. I'm just saying. Drug war is killing our own people.....
Fascinating that no one has mentioned Great Britain knowing for years the damage cigarettes cause but hid that info in order to collect taxes from the sale of same. HMMM, guess all countries have an evil side.
Hi A Craven, i'm not disputing your statement but do you have a link or reference to back that up? It's not something I have ever heard before.
Actually I read the story from MSN about a year ago that was referenced from a news outlet in Great Britain. I will research the information and get it to you as soon as possible. Tomorrow if that is o.k. I was just as taken back as you appear to be and just assumed it was common knowledge, Thanks for calling me on it.
Agree pretty much with decriminalizing drugs
It won't happen in the US. It's all about the money. Here in the US, the penal system (with all it's supporting businesses) is a large part of the economy of most states, with drug offenses (especially pot) making up a substantial portion. The powers that be will not give that up. And the truth is, it WOULD temporarily hurt the national economy. Badly. Then there is the other side of the coin. Legalization (or decriminalization) will take most of the profit from the "criminals", organized or not.

I heard the same noises way back in the '70s. It (legalization/decriminalization) didn't happen then, and it won't happen now. It's shameful, but that's the way it is.

When I was 20 (I am now 57) I just knew that it would be legal in the near future. Last year I finished a ten year probated sentence for selling a 1/4 oz. of pot. First offence. Six months of that was served in jail because I was later arrested on bogus charges that were dropped. (Simply getting arrested is a violation of probation, guilty or not).
Sure, legalize it so that people can walk around blowing drug smoke in to the faces of otherwise innocent passers by, who might be allergic to it, or suffer from conditions that will be aggravated by it... Then the drug users can be done for Manslaughter or some similar charge instead of possession, doesn't bother me one bit. But seriously, making something that will damage your health, as well as the health of others, and put people's lives at risk upon each use, is not something that should be legalized. Not sure why this debate is still going on really, the governments of the world should be figuring out a way to stop using fossil fuels, and fixing their economies.
Holland tends to registrating it's drugusers now and neglects foreigners at the moment, seems a wrong tax-policy to me and will not export the idea of free trade of natural things as such.
Hollands new laws which was coming into force over this year in phases has been widely reported as a bad move and illegal under EU laws. I would Imagen that this new law will be over turned by the EU courts once it gets there.
Am in accord with Richard Branson on this issue. But what civilization power does not want to monopolize control of the mass mind via drugs and the liquidity that comes from control of opium and cocaine? Look at the East India Company, history of Yale Skull and Bones, and Wachovia Bank. When the super drug of corporate money synthetic derivatives of usury meets control of synthetic derivatives of heroine and cocaine, for corporate monopoly and political monopoly of human consciousness, profitable evil will multiply our destruction with compound interest. Our civilizations now being pushed to Energy-Economy-Environment systems collapse will only accelerate to self destruction with legalized or illegal addiction - since addiction is the ultimate enemy, in all terms, of sustainability, A junkie individual or junkie civilization is doomed. Doomed to make Net Energy priority calculations that underpin survival of all living entities,
South American Devils' Dust must be one of the baselines for discussion of drug legalization. Period. What is the punishment for people using drugs to deceive others for commercial gain? This maps onto to all commercial activity that moves by deception. Few want to deal with corporatized corruption, legal or illegal. The litmus test of honest intent and effective policy is dealing with Corporate Personhood to be quasi legally addicted to global easy money by fiat fraud, and synthetic derivatives of usury, now amplified by the nano second speed of high speed algorithmic computers with global network reach. OPM Other Peoples' Money by digital stealth is now the drug of choice for men of the world's super rich and top ten per cent of society, if not more. This escalates our networked civilizations towards collapse, far more than Overpopulation or Climate Change, because all monies and resources Humanity might want to apply to legitimate solutions will be wasted from corruption and market mis pricing, and system incompetences, due to the failures of our corrupted financial systems and political ethics to deal with the same. Since the East India Company corporate empire pushed drugs with British Monarchy and Church tacit or direct approval, with men like David Sassoon, super corporations and governments have been involved in methods of squeezing financial liquidity from the Many, by slavery and some kind of induced dependency, as with control of Opium and Heroine trades. Civilization could get away with this before. But not now, in a closed loop finite resource world with pressing super Energy-Economy-Environment pressures. The worst aspect of Human nature is now being accelerated at high speed algorithmic computer speeds that certainly cannot be dealt with accountably and honestly by any Law that permits Corporate Personhood legal fiction fraud, from 1886, or super synthetic derivatives of collateralized usury. Any Enron-like Chicago Climate Exchange global Carbon taxation system, if influenced with Goldman Sachs and J P Morgan market manipulations, will end as a giant Ponzi Scheme, extracting real wealth of the world, by a quasi legal protection racket of quasi legal criminal corporate cartel. There is a global awakening to some aspect of this realization by the Many. Drugs are a problem mainly because of a legacy of corruption in governments. corporations and banks in the most powerful national economies of the world. Humanity is in serious crisis by what is largely a morality crisis, extending from the Top Down of our societies and civilizations, that is now accelerating and amplifying on digital steroids. There can be no solution to this as well as our other global Energy-Economy-Environment challenges, apart from a last hope, that an Open Source Discourse. over global networks, un-mediated by the corporatized foundations, governments, businesses, academia, legal matrix, and media that have failed us over at least 40 years, can increase an growing reality checking enlightenment and whole systems thinking in a significant percentage of the global Many, to offer new innovative approaches to these problems, from the bottom up, and more horizontal collaborative intelligence,
Ken the difference between tobacco and marijuana is that one is mind altering and the other is not, but they both are addictive and cause lung cancer. How come so many writers here don't know the difference between 'there' and 'their', not referring to you but so many others. It is not THERE problem, it is THEIR problem, 'there' is a place, 'their' is ownership. sheesh
Peter, can you provide any evidence that Marijuana causes lung cancer? I do not believe there has been any evidence on this. I would be happy for you to prove me wrong if you have some medical reports for us all to read. Please link us.

Also only they very strong strains of Marijuana such as skunk are mind altering. By Legalizing drugs you allow for tighter controls which is able to better control this. However I would point out here that Alcohol can also alter your perspective and drinks like absinthe which will make you trip are legal in many country's.

Lastly as you you “there” and “their” comment. I know I am guilty of this all the time, but I am a dyslexic, just like Sir Richard Branson, and so i would say to you that an ability to spell is not a reflection on a persons intelligence.
Smoking kills 3 million people a year, 1300 people a day... Second hand smoke has recently been made a level 3 toxin, that's the same category as cianide and arsenic.
Instead of trying to correct my grammar, listen to what I have to say... My mom has breast, lymphatic, and ovarian cancer from smoking.
Weed, again, kills 0 people a year. More people die of shark attacks, lightning strikes and auto accidents.

Phillip Morris kills one third of it's users.
Ken, if you took the time to read my comment you will notice I specifically said I was not referring to you, you don't misuse those two words. As a former English teacher I am just stating a fact. Many people misuse words in the English language, it is not a reflection on intelligence, but shooting off at the mouth with foul language for no reason is.
Adam, you're right... There is no evidence of weed causing cancer.... But, pesticides, artificial sweeteners, and red meat are all 'proven' to cause cancer.
For the second time, read my original comment, second line, half way along, "not referring to you" my exact words. Can't you debate without resorting to nastiness?
I suppose it's all right for you to call the Dutch fellow an "illiterate moron" is it?
I think this thread needs more chill ... also: on-topic: deffo think that there are benefits to ALL if the 'drugs' thing was re-thought.
How do you know the 'shoe fits', for all you know he might be a Dutch Albert Einstein with a perfect grasp of the Dutch language. The fact that he doesn't have a good grasp of the English language doesn't make him illiterate. Lets see you write your next sentence in Dutch and see how you fare.
Sorry, didn't mean to offend you last night, Peter... Actually Holland has been my team since Robben was brought on board. Van Persie, van der Sar...I'm huge fan.
Apology accepted Ken. I don't follow world series much but I do vaguely remember him in the 2010 World cup.
Sounds like
our best hope:

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