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Friday 19 April 2013

The Drugs Laws Still Don’t Work

Someone is taking an approach to currently illegal drugs that does not meet with the approval of the legendarily foul mouthed Paul Dacre. This cannot be allowed to pass unpunished. So the Vagina Monologue has summoned Melanie “not just Barking but halfway to Upminster” Phillips to administer one of her characteristically unhinged rants in the culprits’ general direction.

Not even slightly fair and balanced

Brighton has a problem with drug use: the number of premature drug-related deaths had in the past put the city at the top of a singularly infamous league. So an Independent Drugs Commission was set up. Its members generally work with addicts, and it takes advice from public bodies including the Police. But its vice chair Mike Trace has incurred Mad Mel’s displeasure.

The drug zealot I exposed a decade ago and how the BBC's promoting his plan for heroin 'shooting galleries'” screams the headline. Yes, it’s all about “zealots” (that would not include those at the Mail who zealously peddle propaganda, of course) and the hated BBC. Seasoned Mail watchers will not be surprised to learn that the Beeb is not “promoting” anything, and that it’s not “his” plan.

All that has happened is that the Commission has produced a report with recommendations (see HERE [.pdf]), one of which is “The Health and Wellbeing Board and Safe in the City Partnership should convene a working group led by the local authority, NHS and Police, to explore and make recommendations about the feasibility of establishing a form of consumption room as part of the range of drug treatment services in the city”.

So what’s the problem here? It’s that “consumption room”, because, as Mel screams at her readers, this is really a “shooting gallery”. In her version of reality, this can only promote and increase drug use, and the BBC reporting on the proposal must therefore mean the Corporation is trying to do just that.

Mel then wheels out the usual suspects, those who take her view that there is some realistic prospect of wiping illegal drugs from the streets, despite the sad reality that the only place in the United Kingdom off the supply map is part of the Western Isles. In her world, there has to be lots of arresting and convictions. That this has been tried for more than 40 years, and failed, is not allowed to enter.

In the days when heroin was available legally, there were perhaps a hundred addicts in the UK. Then the trade was handed over to organised criminality, with the results that are all too familiar. They don’t call them “pushers” for nothing. Moves to bring down the death rate due to products over which there is zero quality control should be welcomed. Instead, they are howled down by frothing pundits.

Some in the UK want to improve matters. Melanie Phillips is not one of them.

1 comment:

Larry said...

As someone who has worked on the front line of class A drug abuse there are a couple of points I would like to make. The first is that the drug laws in this country have come from Fleet Street for far too long. The second point is that Fleet Street has blood on it's hands. Thousands have died because of Fleet Streets dominance of the drugs debate. Thousands will continue to die. Lastly, a fact. Methadone is far more toxic than heroin and is more addictive than heroin. Any heroin addict will tell you that coming off methadone is absolutely horrendous and, without proper care, can be dangerous. So why prescribe methadone? Because it's not heroin.

Our drug laws, and the continuing adherence to them because of the vote sapping rabid reactions of the gutter press, are criminal. They kill people, create millions of pounds of property crime throughout the UK, rip families and communities apart and much else besides.

But yeah, make no mistake. Fleet Street has blood on its hands. And it's too damn arrogant to even realise it. Excuse me whilst I reach for my sick bag...