"Legally High" Channel 4

Channel 4 generally make the best TV documentaries and last night's "Legally High" programme was interesting if only because it furthers the case for a sensible drugs policy in the UK.

The sight of people getting high on "research chemicals" was depressing. I feel like the generation under me has been badly let down by morons who have stubbornly refused to honestly debate this issue for reasons I have never ever understood. As a result my worst cynical tendancies emerge.
We live in a nation where people have advocated a form of learned helplessness. Legislation is written in an attempt to make society fool proof and, to paraphrase Orwell, it results in one fit only for fools.
The "Legal High" market feeds on the absurd belief that if something is not against the law it's therefore ok. This is also true of the counter argument to legalisation.
I became tired of the topic during my time as a phone in show host, winning the argument is like shooting fish in a barrell. You encounter the same conditioned responses every time because the establishment's middle managers (politicians etc) have insisted on framing the debate thus: if you advocate legalisation you love druggies and drugs and everything they've ever done.
Legalising drugs is not the same thing as advocating them. If someone wants to get messed up on heroin, coke or whatever, good luck to them, they're not doing anyone other than themselves any harm.

In a world where drugs were legal it does not follow that you'd ignore the crimes of someone who got high on coke and battered someone.From a personal perspective it's quite the contrary, my belief we should legalise drugs walks hand in hand with the idea that we should triple sentences for violent crime. In fact, it makes that possible as legalisation would free up space in the prisons. If someone is violent they are a danger to others and they need to be locked up for that reason.
By criminalising drug use you're sweeping the problem under the carpet and widening it by encouraging people to buy illegally sourced products. Billions of pounds, every year, are pumped into organised crime by the drugs trade and it funds a criminal underworld capable of terrorising communities a scale almost impossible to imagine if you've never seen it up close. Don't for one minute think the UK's street gangs will ever be defeated as long as their foot soldiers can turn a quick coin selling weed on a street corner.
The millionaire criminals who are "untouchable" were made by the drugs market. Legalising it renders their entire business model disfunctional and it's destroyed, forever. There simply is not the demand for other black market products such as guns. To break the back of the organised crime industry would surely be a good thing? Weed and coke are the big sellers, at the moment that demand can only be met by criminals thanks to our drugs laws. Why do politicians ignore this side of the argument?

The internet is allowing these points to be made to a mass audience now and I feel change may well be on the horizon as a result. However, as long as the tedious non-debate we've had to put up with is allowed to continue, this "legal" drugs market will cause unknown damage to kids who just want to get high.

Finally, if any reader can help out with this one I'd be interested to know, the Government claims illegal drug use is down at the moment. Does that decrease accompany the rise in popularity of these "legal highs"?


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