Generating debate

I have a Question for Short Debate (QSD) next Wednesday on the proposal for a Royal Commission on drug use and possession.  Over on Lords of the Blog, where I invited contributions on what I should cover, it is attracting considerable comment.

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About Lord Norton

Professor of Government at Hull University, and Member of the House of Lords
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19 Responses to Generating debate

  1. Carl.H says:

    My Lord, drug use is so common it is bound to be a debate that attracts a lot of comment. Personally I see no answer and the problem will escalate especially with the coming cuts.

    I would say 90% of the young, friends of my teenage daughters, that enter my home are users. I don’t believe it right to criminalise them but do not want them to partake of drugs either.

    The consequences of the law and the chances of being caught are not off putting in themselves quite obviously. When you’re 19-20 you’re invincible so lectures don’t work. I really do not see an answer.

  2. Carl.H says:

    I might add, the ones I see are nice kids as opposed the alcohol abusers who are not.

  3. Carl.H says:

    After much research today on the effects of drugs, even the supposed minimal ones of cannibis I still remain firmly on the prohibition side. Perhaps reclassification where cannibis is found for personal use and a fine rather than criminal record but that’s as far as I would be willing to go at this present time.

  4. Chris K says:

    On the basis of what harm various drugs do to society as a whole, I’d put cannabis very low down indeed. Certainly below alcohol.

    When I see knocked-over wheely bins, vomit in the street, or a smashed-up bus refuge I don’t think “he must’ve been off his face on ganja…”

    Either we have zero tolerence on drugs with harsh punishments for those caught dealing, or we completely legalise (licenced) sale of it.

    Decriminalisation is the worst of both worlds. If we’re going down that road we need licenced sale and the tax revenues that it generates. It would put the drug dealers and associated crime out of business over night.

  5. Carl.H says:

    Legalisation would be a Godsend to the criminals involved, they would cut substances with additives to make it cheaper. They open 24/7 unlike a legal outlet would. They would steal from legal outlets, suppliers and manufacturers. The security that would be necessary would make the price of legal drugs far higher than illegal. A recent report by Trading Standards stated upto a quarter of legal shops were carrying fake alcohol it would be worse with drugs.

    • Chris K says:

      That is a risk, and it does happen today with fags and booze, but not quite to the horrific extent you suggest.

      It would have to be coupled with [b]very[/b] heavy punishments for illegal supply/sale.

    • Chris K says:

      I said I know it happens, but that they’re being discovered and making news suggests it’s not exactly a massive problem. One of those links is from 2003!

      When something is sold legally it is much less likely to be dodgy. Compare and contrast the odd dodgy bottle of “Wine of Austilia [sic]- drink responsibily [sic]” in a corner shop with the widespread trouble and people getting ill and going blind during prohibition in the USA.

      • Carl.H says:

        No what you “SAID” was
        but not quite to the horrific extent you suggest.

        When I spoke of the February 2011 report from Trading Standards suggesting upto a quarter of legal outlets were selling bootleg. The link I gave you merely proved it was exactly to the extent I stated.

    • Carl.H says:

      Interesting viewing this evening on fake tobacco products:

      http://news.bbc.co.uk/panorama/hi/default.stm

  6. David Rostron says:

    These comments are made by one who has never used recreational drugs.

    Prohibition does not work. Example USA in the 1920s. Legalise drugs, the quality can be control, access to users is made at point of sale to offer treatment, price can be controlled, the drugs can be taxed and the policing cost can be reduced.

    • Carl.H says:

      And as a dealer, I buy a pound of legitimate cocaine I mix this with rat poison, talcum powder to make two pounds. I then undercut the legitimate outlets and make sure my stuff is available at the clubs & pubs.

      Drugs can and have gone missing from Police stations. How do you protect the manufacturers and retailers ?

  7. tory boy says:

    Lord Norton,
    The welsh referendum which the yes campaign won, is this a binding referendum, or does the secretary of state have several options at her finger tips. When will the assembly get its further powers. Will there be a bill to follow up the referendum?

  8. Frank Young says:

    Dear Lord Norton,

    Are you going to publish a piece on the HoL by-election now that we have passed close of nomination?

  9. Carl.H says:

    No mention of my Lord here:

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-12669011

    Will it even be relevant with all the hasty reforms ?

    • Lord Norton says:

      Carl.H: Clearly an oversight in the report.

      It is not clear what relevance it will have, given that as it stands it is neither fish nor fowl – a mix of a Janet and John introduction to our constitution and detailed guidance to officials on such things as the circulation of papers for Cabinet meetings.

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