Peter Dunne dodged a bullet, and can maintain his self righteousness even though he doesn’t deserve it


via Stuff

Legal highs.   We are so lucky we stopped this insane experiment.  In a sense.

The number of deaths linked to the use of so-called legal highs in England have increased eightfold in three years, new figures show.

In 2009 12 people died after taking the drugs, compared to to 97 in 2012.

Think-tank the Centre for Social Justice (CSJ), which revealed the statistics, has called on the Government to grant police more powers to close shops selling the dangerous drugs.

The group say the UK has the highest rate of legal highs use among young people in Europe, and said police and courts should be given new powers to close the ‘head shops’ which sell many of the substances.

The CSJ is asking the Government to implement legislation similar to laws introduced in Ireland in 2010, which saw the number of head shops in the country fall from more than 100 to less than 10.

The organisation also revealed that the number of people in treatment in England for taking legal highs has jumped by 216 per cent over the last five years, rising from 738 in 2009/10 to 2,339 last year

CSJ director Christian Guy said: ‘This is yet another wake-up call to the dangers of so-called ‘legal highs’.

‘Legal highs are destroying lives – it is time to get tough on those making a living out of selling them.

How many people die of Marijuana use?

We dodged a bullet here, and we should never recommence the sale of these products again.

There is a lovely natural solution to this.  But somehow nobody feels that’s the answer.

Killing people with Legal Highs apparently is.

Logic is absent here.

– Daily Mail


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  • Elinor_Dashwood

    Yup; we’ve handed a monopoly in this lucrative trade back to criminal gangs. Great outcome.

    • Simon

      Better than 16 year olds being taught its OK to take stuff thats worse than illegal drugs.

      • Elinor_Dashwood

        Better that they should buy unregulated drugs from criminals than that they should buy regulated ones from regulated outlets?

  • jaundiced

    Like most people my generation, I used a lot of marijuana recreationally during my university years. We told ourselves it was better than alcohol, as there were no associations with violence and other anti-social behaviours.
    Looking back, it wasn’t harmless – it affected my motivation and probably contributed to respiratory problems and other issues that emerged later.
    I agree with the arguments for decriminalisation. However, I also believe that weed can debilitate a whole generation. We see the evidence of this in various regions – high unemployment but also high job opportunities. Forestry and fishing, seasonal fruit growing – the local pool of labour is not work-fit, they are demotivated, they are dangerous with a chain saw.
    Should it be decriminalised? I really don’t know.

    • Ross

      And yet those industries also now have a much higher rate of random drug testing to avoid drugged up workers. I’m not saying that forestry and fishing (among other industries) don’t have issues with some employees, but more has been done in the last 10 years to prevent it than in the last 50.

      It’s easy to generalise by citing high unemployment, and claiming some herb can “debilitate a whole generation”. That’s stuff straight out of Reefer Madness right there.

      • jaundiced

        Yeah, guilty of hyperbole. But the level of unemployment in places like Northland suggests that its not too much of an exaggeration. Drugged up employees aren’t the issue, the issue is that too many young people don’t bother even applying as they know they won’t pass the drug tests. Indulge me with another generalisation – seeded in fact. In the Bay of Plenty they rely on imported seasonal workers because the locals put forward by WINZ decide its not worth getting out of bed after day 2.

        • Ross

          Good points, but is that the tail wagging the dog? Is the current approach to drugs the right method given the facts you cited? If the system was geared to treat people with drugs issues as an illness as opposed to a crime, would we see a net benefit to the dope smokers of the far north and the Bay of Plenty? I think the binary type approach of the past hasn’t worked well at all, and if anything traps users in their cycle for longer.

          EDIT: English

          • jaundiced

            My impression is that the police don’t put a particular focus on targeting individual users. Users won’t care if weed is treated as a crime or as an illness. Either way the issue is about lifestyle and motivation. Criminalising users isn’t a disincentive, so that isn’t working. But decriminalising sends a signal that its OK – do we really want to see heaps of shops selling dope like we did the ‘legal’ highs? In that case making it freely available didn’t work so well. Do we want to see the school kids congregating after school to have their joints like they do Starbucks and McDonalds?

          • Ross

            I just don’t subscribe to that theory. It’s about education. Slightly strawman argument coming: most people know you shouldn’t drink meths. It’s widely available (even more so than alcohol given you won’t be ID’d) but people still drink it (and yes it will kill far more quickly than a heavy, chronic weed habit). Does the fact that meths is a “decriminalised substance” mean that we’re sending a signal to people that it’s okay?

            I realise it’s a stupid argument, but there are some interesting parallels.

          • Coffee Connoisseur

            I use cannabis every day to help with depression. I get out of bed every day and go to work. Laziness isn’t so much as caused by weed, more accurately those who are inherently lazy tend to gravitate toward it. Very important distinction in my view.

          • jaundiced

            Sorry if my generalisations lump every user together. I accept that we need to be more open to the positive benefits for depression and other conditions, but like alcohol, heavy use (however we define that) for most people is not beneficial.

  • terrynaki

    Pulled a young man out of the surf a few weeks ago trying to kill himself.
    He was an A student who got onto weed as a starter drug from his brothers mates.
    Anyone who ever preaches the drug as harmless is a fool and I will never forget his sad,pathetic wails as he begged me to let him die peacefully.
    Drug users,enablers and suppliers are the lowest vile scum we have and I will always fight to rid our community of this blight.

    • How many people have gotten depressed on alcohol and topped themselves as a result ?
      Using your logic here then alcohol should be banned as well – as it does cause significantly more social harm
      Ive had two friends kill themselves that had never touched weed or anything else – but both drank significant amounts of booze before deciding to off themselves. I also had my brother killed in a car crash with his mate driving drunk

      There are far worse substances for people to get hold of available legally that cause far more social harm

      • Dog Breath

        This argument is also flawed it ultimately implies that it should be a free for all for anything because society has accepted alcohol and tobacco because of historical ignorance of their negative effects. The worst part in this line of argument is the expectation that people like me who earn a significant living who has no interest in ruining his life will pay through taxation to fund services to those who choose to ultimately ruin their life.

        • Ross

          Dog – I hate to break it to you, but society already expects you to fork out for more than your fair share. Where do you want to draw the line?

          The flip side to your argument is the very services you complain about funding could be partially offset by taxes. E.G. Colorado… Total revenue from taxes, licenses and fees was greater than 7 million for the month of July. There are about the same amount of people smoking, in fact the amount of “recreational” users versus “medicinal” users crossed for the first time just a couple of months ago, quite some statistic given the extra taxes applied to rec users.

          • Dog Breath

            Already feeling the weight of those less fortunate than I sitting on my shoulders. My post was about those who through life choices either in ignorance or knowingly join the crowd already on my shoulders. There was a lesson learnt through the legal high experience, open the door and bad happens. There is no redeeming qualities when it comes to inappropiate drug use.

          • Ross

            Hang on… what you took from the failed experiment of “legal highs” was that it should be used as an example why we shouldn’t look at decriminalising?

            Strange, because I have completely the opposite view. People were attempting to make a difference to their lives by smoking something that was actually a lot worse for them physically and mentally, so they could function in society without fear of becoming a “criminal”. The catastrophic effect was people inducing something that was dangerous and not tested, when the entire purpose of that substance was to mimic the effect of a natural herb that’s been grown and used by human civilisation for centuries (without a single death occurring as a direct result). More people have died in the last 5 years smoking synthetic THC than have ever died from smoking the stuff that actually grows out of the ground.

            I don’t want to punish people for the bad choices they make, but want to encourage them to see a better way. The moment you criminalise someone, you severely restrict their options going forward, and relative to the (victimless) “crime” the punishment you want to dish out is life destroying.

        • Was not meant to be implied that i think there should be a free for all – although i do think the current “war on drugs” strategy does need a bit of a rethink as it is working about as well as prohibition in the early 1900s
          We currently tax alcohol and tobacco in a bid to reduce their use and also help mop up any harm they are causing
          My point was – weed is no more harmful than alcohol – both physically and socially, one is legal and taxed significantly, the other illegal, provides a massive gang income, costs hundreds of millions each year in police and court time – and as is now being proved overseas – being decriminalised/legalised does not lead to an increase in its use and adds millions in taxes to the state coffers.

          Prescription medicine abuse is costing the taxpayer as well. We have doctors happily writing out prescriptions for the following with Pharmac (read the taxpayer) picking up the bill and the drug companies making a massive profit off it
          * Xanax
          * Klonpin
          * Valium
          * Ritalin
          * Oxycodone and more

          At least tax on alcohol and tobacco is consumption based – meaning if you’re not using it you’re not directly paying for it – you are on the other hand helping to fund prescription medicine abuse

        • Chris W

          ‘Because I pay taxes I can tell you how to live.’

          Slimey nanny-state logic.

    • Whitey

      I’m sure the drugs didn’t help, but I doubt they actually caused the suicide attempt. There will have been some major psychological problems underneath it all. I hope he was able to get help.

    • burns_well_eh

      Terry I’m betting there was a lot more to it than the simple “weed made me suicidal” argument. I’m also sceptical about your labelling weed as a “starter drug”.

      As others have suggested, there must have been some deep underlying psychological issues present. Was he on weed only when you found him in the surf, or was the “starter drug” reference to the fact he was on something much stronger e.g. meth at the time?

      I’d be interested to learn more if you can share it, and good on you for hooking him out of the surf – I hope he gets the help he needs.

  • JJ

    don’t get me started on this rubbish. We can all see the answer staring us in the face, just need to find a politician with balls.