Saturday 21st August 2010 www.ianyoung.co
Yesterday the news was reporting that new legislation was being drafted to allow all “Legal Highs” to be banned for their first 12 months of introduction into the United Kingdom http://news.sky.com/skynews/Home/UK-News/Legal-Highs-Like-Ivory-Wave-Could-Be-Banned-For-A-Year-Under-New-Legislation/Article/201008315698164?lid=ARTICLE_15698164_LegalHighsLikeIvoryWaveCouldBeBannedForAYearUnderNewLegislation&lpos=searchresults
The idea behind this would be to allow authorities (Scientists presumably) a year to thoroughly test the drugs before permitting them a licence to be sold as legal drugs.
But what this is really saying is that there would be no more loopholes for legal drug importers and retailers to be able to profit from unlicensed drugs prior to them being controlled. This would surely be a good thing, since these drugs are normally very harmful physically. Or are they?
What we know is there have been some deaths that can be attributed to young adults who have experimented with some of these “legal drugs” such as mephredone, and controlling the importation of such drugs must be good thing. Right?
However, once again, we are missing the elephant in the room.
The real killer drugs in this country and this Western democratic culture are alcohol and nicotine.
Putting nicotine aside, please understand – alcohol is a very dangerous drug that leads to many more often unspoken problems – social, health, economic, crime etc than all of the other drugs put together, and then again a few times over!
So what am I trying to say here?
That alcohol should be banned?
Well no – there are many, many people within our society that drink sociably and for pleasure, never causing any more harm to themselves than an unpleasant taste in their mouth the morning after, or not causing any more harm to other people than some very poor tasting joke telling.
So should the pleasures associated with such a drug be taken away because of those that drink until they harm themselves and hurt others? Well currently the answer to that appears to be “no”.
Why then would the Government wish to treat other drugs differently?
I don’t see many regular pot smokers causing any more harm to themselves than developing a sweet tooth and watching too much science fiction on the TV. They do not seem to harm others – they can barely get out of the armchair much of the time.
Sure, other drugs do appear to have more serious consequences, but again, are we scaremongering by using the extreme cases as examples to justify a ban (as I have with the example of alcohol)?
So what’s to say that these legal drugs will play any different a role in our society’s culture than the current illegal ones?
Well I guess that’s what this proposed legislation is going to figure out. Either that, or it’s going to approve certain substances and introduce VAT to it.
Maybe that’s the secret after all – legal drugs are taxed.
Illegal ones are not.
Maybe I’m a cynic, but are we simply allowing the state to start introducing more taxes again?
Or is this all about public healthy after all?
This is a story that needs to be told. Well, at least I need to tell it. I’m bound by my commitment to return the favour that the Spirit of the Universe deemed appropriate for me to recover, to then pass it on.