Features

There’s one real way to stop gang crime: legalise drugs

These brutal, needless deaths are driven by an underground economy that the state has consciously decided not to control

13 February 2016

9:00 AM

13 February 2016

9:00 AM

I covered another stabbing the other day, a particularly nasty one this time. An 18-year-old was repeatedly knifed in the stomach and beaten over the head with a baseball bat. Witnesses told me he’d been outside his mum’s tower-block flat in Islington, north London, when he was rushed by a group of about ten or 15 boys. He suffered serious head injuries and multiple stab wounds and was soon in hospital in a medically induced coma. By some miracle, he survived.

Who would have committed such a brutal and pointless crime? A source told me police believed the attackers to be from two London gangs: the Hoxton N1 gang, whose turf is east of Kings Cross, and the Cally Boys, named for the Caledonian Road, which runs from Kings Cross north to Holloway. These two are locked in a violent rivalry over drug turf with another gang, Easy Cash, from London’s EC1 postcode, which is where the attack took place. The victim woke up, but he wouldn’t talk. As is so often the case, he abided by the code of the streets: never grass. He refused even to give a statement to police.

I work the north London beat as a reporter and it’s now become frighteningly routine for me to write about young men being seriously injured or killed. Across the city there was an 18 per cent increase in knife crime in the last year, but in Islington, home of fancy delis and Corbynistas, this rise was 25 per cent. And it’s not just knives, by the way. I’ve reported on attacks carried out with machetes, meat cleavers and samurai swords. As ever, what happens in London is just an exaggerated form of what’s happening in other British cities. The number of assaults with blades was up 13 per cent last year in England and Wales.

The question everyone is asking is: why? At a time when violent crime is falling worldwide, why the sudden spike in stabbings? The answer given is often ‘gangs’, but the kids involved are not always gang members and, anyway, ‘gangs’ is more of a description than an explanation. Some boys carry knives to protect themselves and there’s a growing trend for youngsters to use nasty-looking blades to settle even trivial disputes.

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The issue is complex — gangs, broken homes, poverty, a fashion for violence — but in my experience there’s one common thread running through most of these cases: the growing drug economy. That is not to say that all victims or perpetrators are dealers — but that the horrific and unexpected rise of knife crime is best understood against a background of our national appetite for drugs. And if we want to tackle knife crime, as so many politicians insist we must, we need to talk about drugs.

Most people still think about drug trafficking as the business of traditional British crime firms, but things have moved on in the past decade. Drug networks are more varied and youth gangs play an important part at street level. In Hackney, gang affiliation is based on postcodes, while next door in Islington alliances are usually made at school. The kids start young. Boys aged between ten and 15 keep watch or act as mules. Sometimes they peddle cannabis. In their late teens or early twenties they’ll move on to selling crack cocaine and heroin.

There’s an established career path in the drug-gang business. Older, more established criminals buy drugs in larger quantities and supply to those on the front line. It’s the need to raise cash for the bulk purchase or personal consumption of drugs that gives rise to a whole range of other crimes: mobile-phone theft, burglary and robbery — often committed at knife-point.

Kids are drawn into selling drugs because the trade is far more lucrative than low-paid employment. Knives are readily available on the dark net and are often used to demonstrate and reinforce pecking order. Sometimes, as in Clerkenwell recently, young men are stabbed in the buttocks or thigh as a warning, but at other times it’s a fatal chest wound.

With each incident, there are more sobbing relatives, more flowers in tribute to yet another victim. The question has begun to run round and round in my mind — if these stabbings are overwhelmingly taking place over control of the drug economy, could a radically different drugs policy save lives?

Some, including the Metropolitan Police Commissioner, Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe, are calling for an increase in stop-and-search and last year, an alliance of Conservative and Labour MPs passed a new law introducing mandatory custodial sentences for those convicted of carrying a knife twice. While this approach may please the tabloids, there is simply no evidence that it will have the desired effect. In Enfield, north London, I covered a high-profile operation by the Met’s Trident Gang Command which resulted in dozens of gang members being jailed for a variety of offences. Criminals taken off the streets! Problem solved, right? Not quite.

A spate of knife attacks followed hot on the heels of the arrests, as the power -vacuum created by the convictions was filled by gangs from other parts of London, and new, younger recruits sought to prove their ruthlessness. Of course violent offenders should be punished — that’s a given — but it’s equally clear that the current approach fails to deal with the root cause of the problem.

To be fair to Sir Bernard and the architect of the new knife-crime law, the affable former Tory MP for Enfield North, Nick de Bois, both would acknowledge that enforcement is only part of the -solution. But the trouble is that they talk about the problems of gang violence and knife crime in London as if they were simply the result of a few bad apples — the personality defects of a group of individuals — rather than behaviour -driven by an underground economy which the state has consciously decided not to control.

Koos Couvée works for the Islington Tribune.

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Show comments
  • Rik

    Our drugs policy is insane,the two most dangerous drugs,alcohol and tobacco are legal,massive revenue raisers for government.Legalise the lot,regulate,tax and above all educate,lets see a “meth hag” with before photos in every school for example,use a significant amount of revenue raised for rehab which at the moment is non-existant.
    Above all do NOT decriminalise, to normalise use whilst leaving the supply chain in the hands of terrorists and gangsters will only make the problem worse.

    • steve taylor

      yep, “legalise” date rape drugs, these presumably would come under the umbrella of “the lot”.

      • quotes

        The most commonly used drug for that is alcohol. Perfectly legal already.

        Legalising the chemical wouldn’t legalise its use to harm others.

        • steve taylor

          Ok, how about unfettered access to Ketamine, I am sure the proposed tax on it will offset the cost of all those fried bladders.

          • NutmegJunkie

            Try again steve taylor, the majority of bladder cancers are caused by smoking tobacco.

          • steve taylor

            I was referring to ketamine bladder syndrome, not cancer.

          • NutmegJunkie

            There are thousands of products on the market that can be implicated in cases of self-injury e.g. bicycles, headphones, high heels etc. Why should Ketamine be treated differently? Why do you think it’s a good idea that Ketamine be sold by criminals and without health warnings?

          • sticky

            Unfettered access? We’re talking about regulation here.
            The trouble with prohibition is, it acts as a gateway to other drugs. A kid buying some puff from a dealer is going to be persuaded to try something else eventually. And it has given rise to other, very dangerous substances, i.e. so-called legal highs.

          • steve taylor

            I am not being argumentative here, but I would be interested in how you think a regulated system would work. How would recreational drugs be sold – through GPs or pharmacies or some other specialist outlet? Would it just be for drugs used for recreation, or all drugs? For example, would I be able to treat my high blood pressure myself, instead of using what are currently prescription only medications over which I have little choice? What would be the position with regard to the regulation of “legal highs” (which are presently constantly being regraded to illegal status)? It would be difficult for any regulatory body to give clear advice on a new substance. Of course, being “legal” they would sit outside any regulatory system, but how would you address this?

          • quotes

            As a matter of principle you ought to be able to buy any chemical which has uses other than murder

            Yes, you should be able to buy cancer drugs and antiretrovirals and all the rest of it, as well as a big sack of skunk and a kilo of cocaine, all in your local Tesco.

            My personal regulatory preference would be to licence companies to create drugs, which would then have to undergo testing. Shops would require a licence to sell them as with alcohol.

          • steve taylor

            cyanide has uses other than murder – not sure I would want that substance to be freely available over the counter in B&Q though.

          • Mr B J Mann

            Sounds expensive, especially as they would have to scrap the ones that failed testing, an load th total costs of those onto the ones that passed, including testing costs, plus tax……

            But at least the gangs would pack up shop and take up voluntary work instead of undercutting the legal market!

    • Ron Todd

      If the number of people using heroine increased to match the number of people that use alcohol which them would be doing the most damage.

  • Sean L

    There’s no evidence that legalisation would be other than a boon to the criminal supply chain, not least in increasing demand. Cigarettes are entirely legal yet there’s now a thriving black market because of high taxation on the legal supply. Why shouldn’t the same logic apply with cocaine and heroin? Or do you intend supplying them for free? In which case the cure would be worse than the disease. A similar logic was behind the legalisation of gambling in the early 60s: if it’s legal we can better control it. But they couldn’t and no one profited more than organised crime, not least in the supply of fruit machines, which in turn spawned opportunities for loan-sharking and protection rackets.

    • quotes

      As long as the legal supply is cheaper than the black market then it won’t be a problem

      The markup on heroin and cocaine is pretty outrageous. Legal suppliers, free of the business costs and risks associated with illegal vending, would surely be competitive even with stringent tax rates. On tobacco the tax is around 70%.

      You might be right about the 60s gambling reforms but that’s certainly not what happened with the much more recent 2005 Gambling Act, which clearly took a lot of lucrative activity out of the control of organised crime

      What evidence do you have that legalisation will increase demand?

      • Sean L

        It’s likely to increase supply, otherwise what’s the point? – and therefore demand because of addictive qualities, the reason it’s illegal in the first place. And unless it’s available at a very low price and relatively unregulated it’s bound to create a black market – the only reason the price is relatively high now is because of the risks involved in supplying it. Remove those and you could still make massive profits selling it for a fraction of the cost. I’m not necessarily in favour of its being illegal but it’s completely fallacious to see legalisation somehow as a corrective to the criminal supply, quite the contrary. The issue really is the extent to which it would increase consumption. If it didn’t increase consumption then obviously there’s no point in its remaining illegal. On the other hand if you find your teenager smoking crack or heroin, or both since they’re complementary, because of better availability, you’d soon be in favour of tighter control over supply, as with cigarettes, thus encouraging a black market, and before you know it you’ve gone full circle.

        • sticky

          One of the benefits of legalising and regulating drugs is to prevent young people obtaining them, which they can currently do easily on their local ‘street corner’.
          Why would a regulated system make it easier for them to obtain them?
          Drug use among young people has been shown to have fallen, where they have been legalised or decriminalised.

          • Sean L

            I don’t follow the logic here: if they’re easily available now, how could their being legal make them *less* easily available? That doesn’t make any sense. Besides, usage isn’t penalised at all under the current regime. When a crack house gets raided they don’t even arrest users. And what does “regulated” mean in the case of crack or heroin? The supply of cigarettes and hand-rolling tobacco is legal and regulated yet they’re available on the street corner for 2_thirds of the retail price, sometimes less. If brown or white (heroin and crack) were legalised, their sale regulated as you say, why shouldn’t that also be sold on the black market? Presumably ” regulation ” would entail some kind of price control, taxation, and licence to supply? But why would the criminal comply, rather than undercut the regulated market price? I’m not actually in favour of things being illegal and more regulations, we have far too many laws as it is. It just makes no sense at all to suppose that regulating the supply of substances like crack or heroin would be other than a boon to the criminal supply. It would be interesting to see what form “regulation” would take and how it would be enforced. It might not make much difference other than lining the pockets of organised crime, usage levels remaining more or less constant. The devil is in the detail.

          • rusty

            illegal drugs are expensive as risk of prison or other dealers robbing them mean reward needs to be high! Get with the program soldier!

          • Sean L

            Obviously, which means if they were legal you could buy and sell them for a lot less. That’s the point.

          • rusty

            Yes, too adults only! Not children!

          • Mr B J Mann

            Yeah, that’s why people rob car radios: they can sell them for five grand?!

            Er no, they run the risk for a few quid!

          • rusty

            Thieves steal for all kinds of reasons but most are just poor people who desperate not organised gangs! You’ve got to do better than that fella

          • Sean L

            You’re contradicting yourself, or at least what you say is incoherent. If the substances are easily available on the corner why shouldn’t people continue to procure them from that source if the legally available source is less accessible? It just doesn’t make sense. You seem to assume that if the supply is legalised and regulated the illegal suppliers will automatically retire. But that would depend entirely on the nature of the regulation. As I said before, cigarettes are entirely legal and widely available in shops all over the place yet people seek out illegal suppliers because they can get them cheaper. There’s no reason to suppose that the same wouldn’t happen with other substances. Legalisation in itself is not the principal issue, as the case of cigarettes demonstrates. It’s only since the taxes hit the roof in this country that they began to be supplied illegally. Thus it’s the regulation that’s decisive, not their legality as such.

        • rusty

          What do you know about addiction? https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=ao8L-0nSYzg

          • Sean L

            I don’t attach too much signifance to the widely misused term *addiction*. Whether I merely enjoy a smoke or a drink or crave it depends on any number of factors. All the same some substances, particularly smokable and/or injectable ones, because of the speed with which they enter the bloodstream give their users a pleasurable experience that they want to repeat, some more than others. Whether we characterise such a compulsion as “addiction” or prefer some other term doesn’t alter that.

          • rusty

            We all crave something but my point is when ever someone like politicians left or right talk about addiction they don’t know anything about it!

          • rusty

            Depression is a massive factor in addition, so just be happy

    • NutmegJunkie

      Norway legalised skateboards in 1989[1] and the crime lords there are now richer than ever before.

      1. http://www.oslogames.no/fakta/history

      • Sean L

        Hilarious.

      • Mr B J Mann

        “legislation and the police used heavy handed techniques in their efforts to eliminate skateboarding in Norway a small group of approximately 40 skaters used their ingenuity and passion to keep it alive. During the 12 years of prohibition these skaters travelled to Sweden, The U.S and Britain to get their inspiration and returned to Norway with new skills and ideas. Secret spots were discovered around Norway where they could hone their skills away from the watchful eye of the police.”

        So prohibition, when enforced, works.

        Unlike the US where purchase and consumption were legal, and possibly also production for personal consumption, and they had under 1,000 agents to cover the entire USA!

    • rusty

      Do people grow their own tobacco? We can easily grow weed!

      • Sean L

        It’s just a matter of economics. It’s not *that* easy to grow high quality weed. You need the right apparatus and accommodation. Otherwise we’d all grow or own.

  • starfish

    Sorry

    We are in this mess because society, and by that I mean the bien pensant middle classes and Establishment accept that recreational drug use is a good thing and close their eyes to the criminal infrastructure that supplies them with Ecstasy, MDMA, cocaine and goodness knows what

    • quotes

      If the drugs were legal then there wouldn’t be a criminal infrastructure, is precisely the point of the article

      Efforts to reduce demand have failed radically. Drug use is not going away. Better to minimise harms than to sneer disapprovingly.

      • LoveMeIamALiberal

        If drugs were legal, these young people would still be taking them (probably more so as they would be even easier to obtain) and would need to find the money to pay for them, money that would come from crime.

        • NutmegJunkie

          And yet only 97% of school age children manage to abstain from smoking tobacco[1] but somehow you think that if other drugs were lawfully available OMG EVERYONE WOULD USE THEM.

          You prohibitionists really crack me up.

          1. http://www.hscic.gov.uk/catalogue/PUB17879/smok-drin-drug-youn-peop-eng-2014-rep.pdf

          • LoveMeIamALiberal

            Never said everyone would use them, just that use likely to be more prevalent if it’s legally available.

          • sticky

            Drug use amongst young people has fallen in states that have decriminalised them.

          • LoveMeIamALiberal

            Which ones? Evidence?

          • sticky
          • LoveMeIamALiberal

            Colorado:

            According to Dr. Christian Thurstone, the director of one of Colorado’s largest youth substance-abuse treatment clinics, regular high school drug use has leaped from 19 per cent to 30 per cent since Colorado legalized medical marijuana in 2009 for adults; teens are using more higher potency products; school expulsions are up by a third, and 74 percent of teens in his drug-treatment clinic are using somebody else’s medical marijuana, all of it diverted through somebody who is 18 or older.

            http://www.ucdenver.edu/academics/colleges/medicalschool/administration/alumni/CUMedToday/features/Pages/Christian-Thurstone.aspx

            And legalisation since 2014 has not been what it was claimed: http://gazette.com/clearingthehaze#

            Netherlands:

            Following the de facto legalisation prevalence of cannabis has increased sharply. In the age group 18-20 an increase in the past year use of cannabis from 15% in 1984 to 44% in 1996 was observed. The increase in the past month use over the same period was from 8.5% to 18.5%. The increase in Dutch prevalence from 1984 to 1992 provide the strongest evidence that Dutch regime might have increased cannabis use among the young: In this period, use levels were quite flat or declining in cities such as Oslo, Stockholm, Hamburg, and countries such as Denmark, Germany, Canada, Australia and the USA. (MacCoun R and Reuter P. Evaluating alternative cannabis regimes. British Journal of Psychiatry 2001. 178: 123 -8.)

            The Netherlands has clamped down on cannabis cafes in more recent years.

            Portugal:

            Drug use and HIV rates have also fallen worldwide since Portugal’s decriminalization of all drugs.

            “There remains a notorious growing consumption of cocaine in Portugal, although not as severe as that which is verifiable in Spain. The increase in consumption of cocaine is extremely problematic.”

            (Wolfgang Gotz, European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction, Director – Lisbon, May 2009)

            “While amphetamines and cocaine consumption rates have doubled in Portugal, cocaine drug seizures have increased sevenfold between 2001 and 2006, the sixth highest in the world”.

            (WDR – World Drug Report, June 2009)

          • rusty

            Not so smart now are we.

          • LoveMeIamALiberal

            See my response above.

          • Mr B J Mann

            So why all the fuss to enforce plain packaging and hidden storage?!

            You “liberals” really crack me up!

            It must be something you’re smoking!!!

        • rusty

          Don’t make me laugh dude

        • quotes

          “If alcohol were legal…”

          Crime is not identical with its drivers

          Many people are perfectly capable of managing a heroin addiction without resorting to robbery

          Plus if it were legal it would be cheaper (otherwise it’d never get off the ground) so should presumably reduce the amount of acquisitive crime needed to fund habits anyway

          Perhaps being criminals by virtue of an addiction makes the leap to violent crime shorter

      • LoveMeIamALiberal

        “Efforts to reduce demand have failed radically.”
        As Peter Hitchens has pointed out, there have been no serious efforts to reduce demand for illegal drugs since the early 70s. Possession of such drugs is very unlikely to lead to any sort of criminal conviction, or fine let alone prison (see Pete Doherty, cannabis warning notices). If you want to see tough enforcement of drugs laws against users, look at Singapore, Japan or Sweden.

        • rusty

          And they still take drugs there too! Peter hitchins is a pompous prat!

        • quotes

          “studies have consistently failed to establish the existence of a link between the harshness of a country’s drug laws and its levels of drug use. A 2008 study using World Health Organization data from 17 countries (not including Sweden) found: ‘Globally, drug use is not distributed evenly and is not simply related to drug policy, since countries with stringent user-level illegal drug policies did not have lower levels of use than countries with liberal ones.’7 Many other large-scale studies – including most recently a study by the UK Home Office – have come to the same conclusion.”

          http://www.tdpf.org.uk/blog/drug-policy-sweden-repressive-approach-increases-harm

          I like Hitchens a lot but he’s mindblowingly wrong about drugs

          • LoveMeIamALiberal

            Re the WHO study, this was a survey and was useless, as they effectively admitted:

            “The study does have its limitations—for example, it surveyed only 17 of the world’s countries, within these countries there were different rates of participation, and it is unclear whether people accurately report their drug use when interviewed.”

            http://www.plosmedicine.org/article/info%3Adoi%2F10.1371%2Fjournal.pmed.0050141

          • quotes

            If assuming people are lying to the surveys, you might reasonably infer that under-reporting would be more likely where penalties are stricter

          • LoveMeIamALiberal

            Or maybe such people would simply refuse to fill in the survey, so the results only reflects those who are willing to respond. The point is it’s unreliable.

      • starfish

        And the point is missed by a mile

        If they want to get their rocks off they can do it legally

      • jim

        It’s not that simple. Which drugs would you legalise? All of them? Or just a few?Either way the criminal infrastructure will remain in operation.If you legalise dope,they concentrate on heroin. Legalise all drugs and they’ll just smuggle. weapons or people instead….I do think the cops should not be allowed to boost their arrest numbers by pretending a student with a few joints is a dealer.

        • rusty

          You think dealer would start selling people?

          • jim

            Smuggling drugs today…weapons tomorrow….people the day after.

        • quotes

          Sorry for the lateness of reply, but yes, all of them.

      • Mr B J Mann

        What efforts?

        How many people are charged, tried and imprisoned each year purely for possession where the drug wasn’t found coincidentally during an operation dealing with another crime?!

    • rusty

      Do you remember football hooliganism in the 80s, that all stopped in 1989 when mdma started in the club’s, just so you understand those drugs aren’t as bad as you think

  • Nockian

    Legalise drugs, get rid of the minimum wage laws, scrap all that phoney anti discrimination employment law and the welfare state keeping people in poverty.

    You can’t decriminalise drugs unilaterally because the crime wave will simply shift. People must have alternatives. Drugs crime is perpetrated by those who can’t find employment and feel they have no future. The drug problem would virtually disappear if we got rid of all the policies that prevent young, poor men from finding a purpose in life. It’s all cause and effect.

  • Rick.Brown

    “With each incident, there are more sobbing relatives, more flowers in tribute …”

    Perhaps it’s florists who are behind it all.

    • Mary Ann

      Or de-criminalised and regulated there will be less funerals. “and if moonshine don’t kill me”

      • Mr B J Mann

        Moonshine was decriminalised, it was just the commercial production and sale that were Prohibited!

  • Tamerlane

    Legalise murder and you can stop murder too. It’s a good logic.

    • NutmegJunkie

      ‘malum in se’

      ‘malum prohibitum’

      Google these phrases you nit wit.

      • rusty

        Back then the gang ran clubs and avoided paying tax! But we did get nascar

    • sticky

      Well, if you’re talking about alcohol prohibition in the US, that did indeed give rise to violent, organised crime, which vanished (in relation to alcohol) when prohibition ended.

      • Mr B J Mann

        Yes, but the violent organised criminals didn’t.

        However, Prohibition didn’t prohibit purchase or use!

  • FrankS2

    Yes, the drug gangs will turn to some other area of crime. Problem solved!

    • NutmegJunkie

      If there is more money to be made from other types of crime why do they bother with drugs?

      Q: How many prohibitionists does it take to change a light bulb?

      A: None. With enough effort and borrowed money we can make the old one work the way it’s supposed to.

      • FrankS2

        If drugs were legalised, it would cease to be a lucrative crime.

        • http://www.labour25.com/ Bollinger Bolshevik

          Rubbish. There will be drugs taxes, and VAT, to pay for a new government body to oversee production/distribution. There will of course be extra costs to the Health Services as more addicts overdose due to an easier supply. All these additional costs will have to be added to the costs of these new recreational drugs. Why should anyone other than users pay? So you will end up with a product which is just, if not more expensive, and so smuggling/dealing will recommence. And if the users cannot afford an illegal drug habit, they will not be able to afford a legal drug habit. The only ones who want to legalise drugs are luvvies who do not want a bad headline in the Sun when they are caught snorting coke.

          • FrankS2

            What you say amplifies my point – that legalising would not reduce crime. And if it did put gangs out of business, as the writer of this piece suggests, they would turn to some other form of crime – one that is not currently more attractive than dealing drugs.

          • NutmegJunkie

            What kind of crime is more profitable than drug dealing? Selling bootleg DVDs?

            lol at the prohibitionists here.

          • FrankS2

            There’s probably a research grant to be had on the effects of nutmeg addiction on coherent thinking.

          • Mr B J Mann

            Prohibition didn’t prohibit purchase or consumption!

            LOL at the criminals here!

          • rusty

            Paracetamol 16 500mg pills for 50p cocaine £50 for 1gram why do you think that is? Both are opiates pain killers, now this may mean you need to think about this question.

          • steve taylor

            Paracetamol isn’t an opiate (you are possible thinking of codeine). Paracetamol is also very toxic if taken in excess.

          • rusty

            My point is! Look at the price! Cocaine used to be sold as a pill called peps before it was made illegal! That’s why we have Pepsi cola! Drink one, it will pep you up!

          • steve taylor

            Pepsi Cola was named after the enzyme, pepsin which is derived from cola nuts. If Pepsi Cola did contain cocaine I might be tempted, but otherwise I would rather drink milk and powdered glass.

      • Mr B J Mann

        Prohibition didn’t prohibit purchase or consumption!

  • Polly Radical

    So . . . if the state won’t enforce the law . . . abolish the law.
    The failure is in policing, not legislation.

    • NutmegJunkie

      Norway prohibited skateboards in 1977 and then legalised them in 1989.

      Do you think Norway’s decision to legalise skateboards was a mistake?

      Or should they have just doubled down with harsher punishments?

      • colchar

        Hardly the same thing are they?

        • rusty

          You think telling an adult ” no you can’t do that to yourself!” Is ok in a so called free society?

      • Mr B J Mann

        “legislation and the police used heavy handed techniques in their efforts to eliminate skateboarding in Norway a small group of approximately 40 skaters used their ingenuity and passion to keep it alive. During the 12 years of prohibition these skaters travelled to Sweden, The U.S and Britain to get their inspiration and returned to Norway with new skills and ideas. Secret spots were discovered around Norway where they could hone their skills away from the watchful eye of the police.”

        So prohibition, when enforced, works.

        Unlike the US where purchase and consumption were legal, and possibly also production for personal consumption, and they had under 1,000 agents to cover the entire USA!!!

  • ooddballz

    Thank God England has such strict laws against firearms, otherwise people might be able to defend themselves.
    Now the just need to pass strict laws against knives and drugs. That should solve everything.

    • stamgast

      against drugs..mmm so when is there ban on alcohol.

      • ooddballz

        What makes you think I am against drugs?
        Personally I say make them legal, if people want to pump that crap into their system, let them.
        I was merely pointing out the hypocrisy of England’s absurd laws against people being able to protect themselves. But then, sarcasm is lost on some people.

        • colchar

          So Britain should go the way of the US, allow people to arm themselves, and watch the murder rate shoot through the roof?

          • Mandrake

            If you take out the black on black and ditto Latino murder rate the US’s would be similar to the UK’s.

    • rusty

      Funny

  • fubar_saunders

    A far simpler solution would be to allow the pushers/importers to be lawfully shot by the old bill on sight. Zero tolerance of gangs. Just wipe them out. Give the f**kers something to be frightened of.

    • Todd Unctious

      Don’t be ridiculous.

      • Rick.Brown

        What is ridiculous is the lack of sanctions on criminals ? Prisons are only full because criminals are not afraid of going to prison. If anyone who commits a serious crime knew they would go off to face at least 10 years of absolute awfulness the crime rate would fall but for some people prison is like a holiday camp – that is what is ridiculous !

        • colchar

          And British prisons are especially cushy.

          • rusty

            Have you ever been to butlins?

    • rusty

      You want dealers to start shooting police when they get stopped? Silly man.

  • Discuscutter

    Legalizing their use has been very successful in reducing use.

    It is about reducing the damage rather than playing morality plays.

    • Ron Todd

      Reducing the price and removing the risks of buying drugs will cut the number of people taking drugs really?

      • Discuscutter

        Yes, look at countries where it has been done already.

        Look at the age profile of heroin addicts in Britain vs places where the heroin is provided for free, treatment for free, support for free.

        Britain’s junkies are much more numerous and much younger.

      • Discuscutter

        During prohibition America’s drink problem was at its worst.

        This is not a new solution, in the end people who wanted to reduce the effects of Alcohol damage in America legalized it. The were interested in results not pretending to be moral.

        • Mr B J Mann

          That’s because purchase a consumption weren’t prohibited.

  • NHSGP

    Walk out of Westminster onto the Bridge. Each day scores of Romanian Mafia.

    At the weekend, between one and two hundred.

    But the police won’t act.

    • Frank

      I suspect that the police think: what is the point, you arrest them, put them up for trial and they will get a slap on the wrist (or even be released if they refuse to ID themselves!).

  • Phyllyp Sparowe

    So what do the crims do when legit businesses are cleaning their clocks in a regulated market?

    Kidnap and extortion of “civilians”? Or are they all going to become baristas and brain surgeons?

    • NutmegJunkie

      So drugs should remain prohibited because crims would turn to other times of crime?

      Are you compos?

      • Phyllyp Sparowe

        If other types of crime are far worse – say crimes against a person – I suggest you are the one more likely to be partaking of what is currently illegal.

        • malcolmkyle

          This is not a question of people wanting to partake in what is currently illegal—prohibition is simply a failed and dangerous policy and the majority of us are fed up of paying for its consequences.

          We can either ask the Tooth Fairy to stop people taking drugs or we can decide to regulate them properly. Prohibition is not regulation, it’s a hideous nightmare for all of us.

          The immense illegal capital, gifted through prohibition is what gives these criminal cartels and terrorists power. Power that has allowed them to expand into the other areas that you mention with near total impunity.

          The damage done by prohibition is far worse than the damage caused by all of the illegal drugs combined.

          • Phyllyp Sparowe

            You still haven’t answered the original question. What will the criminals do if you legalise (regulate) their criminal activity? Even if they manage to go legit on lower margins they will employ fewer people.

            This is where extremes of left and right always fail, they take a stand on principle and dogma, failing to think through the practicalities. If I am an armed and violent young criminal with little regard for the law, what do I do if I can no longer make money selling drugs? If you can’t answer this you aren’t a serious advocate for change.

          • Mandrake

            He has answered the question. As have others in this thread. But you have a processing problem/don’t like the answer.

          • Mr B J Mann

            You’re right!

            Prohibition didn’t work because purchase and consumption weren’t prohibited!

            Just like with drugs.

        • Cobbett

          It doesn’t stop them engaging in other types of crime(diversification) does it?

          • Phyllyp Sparowe

            I believe they tend to specialise these days. However even a syndicate will need to refocus its efforts on making up any losses from loss of drugs income. It still leads to the risk that crime moves to more violent and socially corrosive forms. Look at kidnapping in South America.

          • Cobbett

            I’ve known drug dealers who were not ‘criminal’ types but just dealt as a money making business….whereas Organised crime groups might deal in drugs as well as other criminal activities (robbery, prostitution,fraud)

            The other crimes will still exist either way so depriving them of one major source of income can only be a good thing..no one is claiming that crime will vanish(that would be ridiculous)

          • Phyllyp Sparowe

            You still appear to be assuming their will be no displacement of criminal activity. I suggest this is folly. A dangerous one too.

          • Cobbett

            Can’t you read? It will deprive criminals of a major source of income(which is a multi-billion pound industry). Not that it will end all crime. Sure most drug pushers will have to go back to snatching hand bags but so what?…anyways the drug prohibition laws are not working, so why carry on with them?

          • Phyllyp Sparowe

            Can’t you think. If they lose one source of revenue they will look for others. My point is simple there is a risk displacement will occur into more violent types of crime, especially at the lower and middle levels.

          • Cobbett

            So. we tolerate drug dealers so that they won’t be tempted into more violent crimes(bearing in mind there’s plenty of violence involved in drugs)…and then there’s the associated crime that goes with it…junkies shoplifting and burglaries etc

            And what might these high yielding but more risky violent crimes be then?

            Dealing drugs is simple and relatively risk free and the rewards can be high…mid level dealing can net 50-100k a year…there are not many more criminal activities that can get you that.

          • Phyllyp Sparowe

            Neither are there many legal activities given the median salary. So given that criminal activities command a premium how about a bit of kidnapping or extortion? Also junkies will still commit crime to buy drugs whether legal or not.

          • Mandrake

            You nailed it right there.

          • Mr B J Mann

            So we should legalise people traffiking?!

            And the drug laws have never been been enforced, especially aga users!

    • Mandrake

      Crims will always be crims. But legalization of drugs is talking about billions of dollars being taken out of the supply chain. That is a nuclear hit to the crim economy and career path.

  • DdC222

    In the US it seems kids in gangs or gangs themselves, fill a vacuum. Surrogate parents, when both real parents have to work to make ends meet. Or when one is gone and the other has to provide for the kids. School budgets slashed while the wealthy upgrade their yacht. Maybe if they paid their share for tearing up the roads and bridges with their trucks. School programs budgets wouldn’t get cut. Super-Rich Hold Up To $32 Trillion In Offshore Havens: Report
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/07/22/super-rich-offshore-havens_n_1692608.html

    If you look at any battle in any war you will see brutal disgusting acts of violence. Hand to hand or the results of bombs from 30,000 feet. This one sided reporting is not journalism. Blaming the Gang’s or Cartel’s for the circumstances of prohibition is the same diversion as republicans and democrats bickering over non-essentials while billions are diverted to multinationals.

    Cannabis was falsely included as a controlled substance. That is the starting point of any debate. It was never intended to stay prohibited and yet a political decision lumped it and Hemp as a dangerous substance with no medicinal value. As the FDA sabotages more testing with the monopoly on raw material at the Mississippi Schwag Farm. The entire drug war that hinders mostly on Cannabis. Is a stain on anything ever considered the American Way. Or common decency, civilization or whatnot.

    From censorship in the media or bigoted sound bites. NIDA future hypothesis that never panned out when they made the very same assumptions in the past. When the Free Mexican Air Force flew bails of pot into the states, they wrote a song about them. The consumers rejoiced. No violence until the corrupt government defended the US favored nation status and billions in kickback (aid). When the Military started escalating the violence, it was returned. 100,000 dead Mexicans later they still try to legalize Cannabis and still get threats from the US. IF Mexican poor grew Hemp as a staple and to sell. I think it would help with the immigration problem.

    The Cannabis quacks renting themselves out to the cable infotainment stations as “experts” (excerpts). Some witty reporter should ask them how it can be that they are even discussing something when NONE of the 273 US Medical Schools teach the endocannabinoid system ECS. Or have past or future doctors ever sat in a class or had an instructor. The true experts have been the Growers supplying Americans for 50 years. The past 30 they have been growing strains of Indica and Sativa and matching these to individual patients. Cross breeding until the right Hybrid is obtained for that individual. Now the dispensaries categorize each bud to what it can provide. The ratio and potency listed. Then cloned for a consistent remedy. Delivered by courier and paid by CC… civilized.

    The audacity of these drug worriers is through the roof considering how they can even keep a straight face when once again telling us how it is more potent. They obviously didn’t know any Vets returning from Vietnam. Or Mexican Gold, Panama Red and Colombian. Or Nepal and Kathmandu Hashish Centers. Before prohibition shifted the risk to turn to the white powders, opiates, cocaine and crack most likely with CIA knowledge or involvement. Heroin and the designer drugs, the vast majority from prohibition escalating the risk of Cannabis. Adulterated street drugs or outlawing paraphernalia spreading disease. All from overzealous or profiteering politicians.

    Isolating acts of violence while not mentioning reality is how the drug war perpetuates. The bonus of eliminating 50,000 Hemp products and Big Pharma billions along with Max Cap profit prison contracts, mandatory minimum sentences and the new and improved asylums bogus urine testing and loss of college tuition assistance, driving, voting, losing a job. Potential forfeiture of the house and confiscation of any cash or kids into for profit foster care. Removing Cannabis as a controlled substance. That Obama has the power to do, although he mentioned not wanting to end up like MLK. So don’t hold your breath, um… after exhaling.

    Anslinger’s US war on Cannabis extended to the UN. After he was removed as the first head of narcotics that morphed into the drug czar. Most of the Single Convention and now with DEA offices in over 200 places around the world trying to hold onto their gravy train. Sad but true how they can see a child stop having seizures using Cannabis and continue to wage this persecution on citizens is beyond explanation. Maybe just desperate for a paycheck. Just not any respectable way to act.

    • colchar

      Wow, you’re a special one aren’t you?

      • malcolmkyle

        Do you have any decent rebuttals to the arguments he made?

        Because Drug cartels will always have an endless supply of ready cash for wages, bribery and equipment no amount of tax money, police powers, weaponry, wishful thinking or pseudo-science will make our streets safe again. Only an end to prohibition can do that. How much longer are you willing to foolishly risk your own survival by continuing to ignore an obvious and historically confirmed solution?

        • Ron Todd

          Should it be legal to sell drugs to children if not won’t the gangs try to make money by selling to children. Or do we make it legal to sell drugs to children to get the gangs out of the market?

    • rusty

      Almost right good Essey!

  • C McKinnon

    I notice there is no mention of the ethnicity of said gangs.

    • Rick.Brown

      Come on, old chap – there is only so much truth that can be told.

  • colchar

    To claim that it is only about drugs is simplistic.

    • rusty

      But correct!

  • Child_of_Thatcher

    If the state got into the hitman business it would cut down on gang killings. Less money would end up in the hands of criminals and less innocent people would die in crossfire. I know its a silly argument but you started it.

    • rusty

      Grow up man! Gangs need/want money, drugs makes lots of money! Anything made illegal will make money for criminals.

    • malcolmkyle

      It is extremely disingenuous to compare laws that are obviously there to protect us from each other, such as those pertaining to Pedophilia, Rape and Murder, with laws solely and foolishly designed to protect individuals from themselves, such as prohibition.

  • malcolmkyle

    Prohibition is an absolute scourge —The End! The distribution, sale and use of drugs is not the real problem, the system that grants exclusive distribution rights to violent cartels and terrorists is.

    If you support prohibition then you support bank-rolling criminals, corrupt politicians and terrorists. There’s simply no other logical way of looking at it.

    The argument that legalised regulation won’t severely cripple organised crime is truly bizarre. Of course, the bad guys won’t just disappear, but if you severely diminish their income you also severely diminish their power. The proceeds from theft, extortion, pirated goods etc. are a drop in the ocean compared to what can be earned by selling prohibited/unregulated drugs in a black market estimated to be worth 400,000 million dollars worldwide. The immense illegal capital, gifted through prohibition is what gives these criminal cartels and terrorists power. Power that has allowed them to expand into other areas with near total impunity.

    Prohibition engendered black market profits are obscenely huge. Remove this and you remove the ability to bribe or threaten any government official and even whole governments.

    • Sean L

      But there’s a thriving black market in cigarettes and hand-rolling tobacco, so why shouldn’t there be one for crack or heroin? Even if you sold crack or heroin legally at a lower price than the current street price, illegal suppliers could still undercut it and make a good profit, because their costs reflect the risks involved which by definition would’nt exist if they were legalised. Feel free to share the magic regulatory formula that will put the illegal suppliers out of business. The black market or criminal supply is not merely a function of the law, as the case of tobacco which is widely available entirely legally clearly demonstrates.

      • Geefi

        Yes you have a point but I think most users would rather go to an NHS clinic for 100% pharmaceutical grade product than trust the dodgy street seller who mixes his heroin with brick dust. We can all brew moonshine right now and it’s cheaper than a pint but the quality is awful. Same with growing your own tabacco. Plus think there will be delivery services etc so really no need to use dodgy Dave down the pub….

        • Sean L

          Yes, obviously if it was legal the dodgy street seller using brick dust would cease to exist: he’s a function of criminalisation. But that doesn’t mean there wouldn’t be a black market in high quality pharmaceutical grade. Just as a black market in tobacco has emerged in recent years as the tax has increased and the legal supply has become prohibitively expensive. Nothing to do with legalisation as such. After all cigarettes are no less legal today than they were ten or twenty years ago. Of course the high grade could be made available at such a low price that it rendered the black market unprofitable. But then people might reasonably ask why nicotine was being taxed at a more punitive rate than these other more potent substances? As to a delivery service, that already exists. You phone your dealer and he comes to your door. Dodgy Dave in the pub is tabloid or tv myth.

      • GreatBritishTaxpayer

        The thriving black/grey market in cigarettes and alcohol is because they are legal in other countries, meaning its easy to take advantage of the lower tax rates in places like France and smuggle them in to the UK. As it stands, this would not be an issue in the UK if we decriminalised other drugs. There is no way a fully black market can undercut a legally regulated drug trade, even with a heavy duty slapped on.

        • Sean L

          There’s no reason why a black market shouldn’t exist for substances other than cigarettes. The cigarettes I see on the black market are from Eastern Europe, not France. But that’s bye the bye. If it’s profitable to sell cocaine on the black market because of the tax regime, then there’ll be a black market. And if it’s imported legally without such punitive sanctions as currently exist, which is why it’s so expensive relative to the cost of production, that’s all the more reason for the black market to thrive. Unless it was made legally available at such a low price… People might then wonder why nicotine alone is being penalised when you can by a rock or brown for a relative pittance.

          • GreatBritishTaxpayer

            Yes, but you can tailor the duty to slightly undercut the black market. Even if its not as much as hoped, you’d still see a return to the treasury which can be put towards paying for the treatment of drug addicts, rather than the taxpayer footing the bill and all the money going to criminals as is currently the case. Also, there are other issues besides price consumers will bear in mind, such as the quality and consistency of the product. Finally, if you increased the legal repercussions of selling drugs illegally then the black market price would go up accordingly. It’s not a perfect system by any means, but its certainly better than our current hair-brained model.

          • Sean L

            My point was why should cocaine or heroin or crystal meth or ketamine, choose your own substance, be treated more favourably by the tax regime than tobacco? Because if there’s a black market for tobacco there’s no reason why there shouldn’t be one for other far more potent substances. Of course one could always supply things to undercut bthe black market. There’s been no black market in eggs or butter for decades now. But you have to take seriously the effects of these substances. Of course if their supply was sufficiently profligate there shouldn’t be much ofvan economy anyway, because we’d all be strung out or out of our heads…

          • GreatBritishTaxpayer

            I’m not sure if ‘favourable’ is the right word. The tax receipts from alcohol/cigarette duties roughly correspond to the amount spent by the state on the negative repercussions of their usage, which I’m assuming is how its calculated. The same logic can be applied to any other substance: i.e. if ketamine use turns out more costly to the public, then the levy on it will be higher. Illicit sales can still be kept at bay by other means as discussed.

            Your assumption that problematic drug usage will balloon if it were legalised is a fair one should we instill a totally unregulated market overnight, but I don’t think anyone is calling for that. You can temper drug use by other means, such as removing leniency afforded to addicts when they commit (proper) crimes, or by retaining the right of employers to set their own drug policies for their staff to abide by.

          • Mr B J Mann

            Nope, tobacco duty used to be several times the NHS costs (including anti smoking activities).

            And then there’s the massive savings in pensions and OAP care.

            And they keep on increasing the duty to, errrm, discorage drug use!

            They never reduce the duty to reduce the black market!

          • Cobbett

            If you can buy a gram of good quality coke for 10/20 quid then who could compete with that?

  • malcolmkyle

    Increase in alcohol use by children during alcohol prohibition:

    “It has made potential drunkards of the youth of the land, not because intoxicating liquor appeals to their taste or disposition, but because it is a forbidden thing, and because it is forbidden makes an irresistible appeal to the unformed and immature.”

    —That was part of the testimony of Judge Alfred J Talley, given before the Senate Hearings on Alcohol Prohibition in 1926

    And the following paragraphs are from WALTER E. EDGE’s testimony, a Senator from New Jersey:

    “Any law that brings in its wake such wide corruption in the public service, increased alcoholic insanity, and deaths, increased arrests for drunkenness, home barrooms, and development among young boys and young women of the use of the flask never heard of before prohibition can not be successfully defended.”

    And here is Julien Codman’s testimony, he was a member of the Massachusetts bar in 1926.

    ” ..it has been a pitiable failure; that it has failed to prevent drinking; that it has failed to decrease crime; that, as a matter of fact, it has increased both; that it has promoted bootlegging and smuggling to an extent never known before”

    • Mr B J Mann

      But Prohibition didn’t prohibit purchase or consumption!

  • Cobbett

    I agree…the ”War on drugs” has been a complete failure, has resulted in increased violence in places such as Mexico, and made fortunes for criminals…better to be able to pop down the chemist and buy yourself a gram of top quality cocaine for a tenner thereby depriving criminals of a major source of income.

    • Sean L

      You think the cartels wil voluntarily relinquish their control of the market just because we sell it at the pharmacy for a tenner or whatever? Why shouldn’t legalisation reduce their costs and earn them a lot more money? But why bother regulating its supply at all if the primary object is to eliminate crime from the supply chain? Though people might then reasonably ask why the supply of cocaine is penalised more heavily than tobacco, which is now available on the street for 2 thirds or less of the legal price. And there’s no reason to suppose that cocaine, if legal, couldn’t be profitably supplied for a lot less than £10 a gramme. The relatively high cost is itself a function of its being illegal. We’d probably go full circle. Ditto crystal meth and all the other things that get you off your head but can be compulsive with deleterious side effects. A total free market would at least be an interesting experiment. That it would be a panacea to Mexican criminal violence is perhaps wishful thinking. Even if we all renounced its use there are any number of other emerging markets. I was in Nairobi recently and crack seems to be taking off there quite nicely. Not that the Nairobbery crime rate needs any added stimulus… And there is no war on drugs there at all. Alcohol is also produced illegally there, even though you can buy a bottle of Tusker for 50p in the pub – that’s still quite a lot for some.

  • Davedeparis

    There are actually lots and lots of practical things you can do to improve policing and law and order first before placing all your hops on a silver bullet with no end of unforeseen consequences.

  • Captain Dryland

    “Who would have committed such a pointless and brutal crime?” asks Mr Couvee, and concludes that the ‘nation’s appetite for drugs’ is to blame. No mention, in the whole article, of the character of these murderous, out of control, thugs; no thought that these savage criminals might actually enjoy stabbing their victims, might enjoy the grand feeling of power as they stick the knife in, hear the screams and the pleading, and see the blood flow; might revel in the kudos they enjoy among their gang ‘bros’ that comes with being a stabber and a murderer and someone to be frightened of. Does Mr Couvee expect that the violent, sadistic power-lust of such young men will melt away under a legalised drug market? According to Mr Couvee, everything is to blame except the man holding the knife: the nation, the parents, the broken homes, the poverty, the gangs; it reads like a Guardian prescription of social woes, all forcing the poor victim-criminal to buy himself a modest combat knife or perhaps a more ostentious machete, as he is compelled by society to go a-stabbin’ an’ a-choppin’ an’ a-killin’. Hey! Why not just lock everybody else up, we’re so bad after all, and let the gangsters have the run of the cities?

    • Claudius Woods

      ‘The character of these murderous out of control thugs ….’ and where, and how, is that character formed?

      Nothing comes of nothing.

      These young men are not monsters – as you love to believe. They are largely kids, following the pack, living in a society which mass media virtually condemns any recommendation of forebearance or stoicism.

      Instant gratification GET it. Like you, with your instant prescription – ‘they are monsters. It’s their fault’ Having those thoughts ignited your pleasure zones, didn’t it?

      I don’t know about legalising drugs. I do know about the failure of alcohol prohibition in the US and the impetus/money it gave to gangsters.

      Nevertheless, your indignation concerning the issue, your indulgent righteous anger, says more about you, than you will ever be able to say about anybody else.

      You, are a monster, for you know for sure, so much, incorrectly.

      • Captain Dryland

        It is ironic that you accuse me (who has never stabbed anyone) of ‘indulgent righteous anger’ while you defend the stabber or murderer who, as he stabs, is pesumably himself in the sway of ‘indulgent righteous anger’: indulging a desire to stab, feeling righteous about it on the basis of some gangster code of ‘ethics’, and sufficiently angry towards his chosen victim to stick him with a knife. The difference, if you do not see it, is between “I am angry so I stab and murder”, and “I am angered by stabbings and murders”. There is a qualitative difference that you, who apportions blame away from the criminal and onto ‘relativism’, ought to recognize: but perhaps you are actually a relativist yourself, deeming that anger that leads to stabbing, and anger that judges stabbers to be objectionable, are, subjectively, the same experience, and that it is the subjective experience that really counts, not the consequences for others.

        You accuse me of regarding these criminals as ‘monsters’. No, for a monster cannot be held responsible for its actions; a monster is not a moral agent, for it has not the capacity to choose what it does. I know very well that these criminals are human beings who can choose to stab or not to stab, and as such should be held responsible when they choose to stab and murder. Contrary to what you charge me with, it is you who believe these stabbers are ‘monsters’ because you do not grant them the power to choose whether to stab people or not. According to your thesis, it is society that has nurtured and trained them to be stabbers, and they have no more choice in the matter than has a fox among chickens or a wolf among sheep. You grant them monster status, whereas I regard them as humans possessed of human will.

        There is a difficulty for those such as yourself who preach the ‘imperfect society’ excuse for criminals such as these stabbing gangsters, and who maintain that, if only society were perfect enough, such criminals would not exist. In a perfect society, the claim goes, we would have no stabbers; and any stabbing is therefore proof that society is imperfect. Your difficulty is this: whatever society is in existence, no matter how perfect it seems to everyone else, the criminal need only stab someone, and he immediately provides himself with the ‘imperfect society’ defence, because, by definition, stabbings can only occur within imperfect societies. Given this problem, how can your method of blaming an ‘imperfect society’ for the criminal actions chosen by individuals who have a desire to stab people for money, ever lead to an improvement in the situation?

        I see that all your expressed sympathy is retained for the stabbers, and none for the victims. I suppose the victims are to blame society too are they? “No Officer, I do not want to press charges against the man who stabbed me, but against Society, Relativism, Instant Gratification, and Desensitisation.” We shall need a whole new branch of experise in the law…for putting evil gangs of abstracts on trial, for the crime of forcing their helpless victims to commit sadistic, violent crimes. “Instant Gratification, I hereby sentence you to two years imprisonment in Her Majesty’s prison for Abstract Offenders…”

        • JMarkW4321

          I’ll go back to where I started, what you wrote

          ‘The character of these murderous out of control thugs …’

          In this rich nation, going to prison, in the big cities is a post-code, demographic issue
          Discuss

      • Mr B J Mann

        Prohibition didn’t prohibit purchase and consumption.

        Almost no ordinary drug users are ever punished (Nigella, Pete Doherty,,,,,,,,) in the “War” liberal drugs………

        • JMarkW4321

          Wow

  • Steven Barr

    Yes, if crack and smack were legalised then Leroy and Tyrone would overnight become upstanding members of the community. Idiot

    • Claudius Woods

      Thank-you Steven. Now go and stand in the corner with Alf Garnett

  • Mandrake

    The war on drugs has not worked. It never will – similar to Prohibition. Legalize drugs, with appropriate controls and medical supervision, and you immediately destroy the business model of the narco-states, drug gangs, plus the murder rate would crater.

    Anybody got a better idea?

    • Mr B J Mann

      Prohibition didn’t prohibit purchase and consumption.

      And the “War” on Drugs hasn’t worked for the same reason!

  • Mary Ann
  • Frank Natoli

    Police are incapable of preventing crime X. Solution is to make X not a crime.
    If X were murder, would anyone take this seriously?
    But if X is narcotics, many people take this seriously. Why so?
    The only plausible explanation is because the people who propose making X not a crime already do not regard X as a crime, merely a personal “choice”, that only affects that one individual. Right.
    Some time ago, the Telegraph ran an article, at a time when Parliament was considering making certain categories of narcotics not a crime. The article quoted a mother, with children, no father, who said that the law was her only argument to stop her children from using narcotics. So those thoughtful people, who have “reasoned” making narcotics legal, must have concluded that those children, imagine the numbers, are merely making a personal “choice”, right?

    • 1958Paul

      But what about alcohol? An extremely harmful and disruptive drug.

      • Mr B J Mann

        But it, like tobacco, is a long established drug not just entrenched in our society, but an integral part of its culture.

        But why add to the problem?!!?!!!!

    • For Whom the Troll Bells

      It’s funny, Frank, you seem to be opposing the legalisation of narcotics but, in earlier threads, are vehemently opposed to gun control. “Vehemently opposed” is British understatement for gun-toting, 2nd Amendment spouting, American gun fanatic for whom the very words “gun” and “control” in the same paragraph will start a Pavlovian frothing at the mouth. America has got things the wrong way round – it should be guns that are de-legalised and narcotics legalised!

  • Shorne

    There is absolutely nothing new about this gang violence goes back at least a hundred years and often further.Territorial tribes fought pitched battles for honour and pride. As the Bethnal Green Boys hunted Hackney’s Broadway Boys, Clerkenwell fought Somers Town, the Red Hands haunted Deptford and the Silver Hatchets terrorised Islington. There were also The Yiddishers, Hoxton Mob, Watney Streeters, Aldgate Mob, Whitechapel Mob, Bethnal Green Mob and the organised Italian Mob headed by Charles Sabini.The Birmingham ‘Peaky Blinders’ were not fictional. The history of street gangs in Glasgow goes back to the 18th Century. Before drugs came extortion and protection rackets often targeting Bookmakers at race courses and before knives came razors. There were also gunfights on city streets that could be compared with incidents in the American West. Legalising drugs might help, Portugal did it in 2001 but the results were mixed, initial decline in some areas but then the figures creep back up. Speaking objectively, in my view, some people will always find reasons to join gangs.

    • Hippograd

      Gang violence has rarely been a genuinely English phenomenon, as opposed to Jewish, Italian, Maltese, Gypsy or Scottish. The Krays didn’t look or behave English and I don’t think they were.

      • Shorne

        Brummagem Boys,Hoxton Mob, The Richardsons, Aldgate, Whitechapel and Bethnal Green Mobs, Teddy Boys specifically during the 1950s race riots, Scuttlers in late 19th Century Manchester ,and so on, all White English. I assume you like to claim that it’s only Foreigners who do such things. In fact it’s an English ‘tradition’ that goes back at least to the Evil May Day Riots of 1517.

        • Hippograd

          You don’t seem to understand the word “rarely”. And if the Brummagem boys were entirely English (and not Irish or Scottish), guess what?

          The Birmingham Boys aka Brummagem Boys were a street gang whose power extended from the North of England to London’s underworld, 1910s -1930. They lost control of the South East racecourses to the Sabini gang.

          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Birmingham_Boys

          So apparently the English aren’t as good as being gangsters, despite still being the majority of the country.

          • Shorne

            “Vicious brawls spread throughout London as the Elephant [and Castle] Boys fought the Sabinis. The struggles continued until 1936, when a second battle at the Wellington pub, followed by an equally vicious fight at Lewes Racecourse, devastated the Sabinis and left the Elephant Boys the undisputed kings of London.” The Elephant Boys were supported by the the all female Forty Elephants, the only female gang on record.
            It’s curious about how some people refuse to accept that native English people can be villains but claim it’s only foreigners (i.e. immigrants) who behave thus. I get the same reaction when I point out that the vast majority of Schedule 1 Offenders (I use this term as more explicit descriptions seem to lead to being moderated) are White males.

          • Hippograd

            It’s curious about how some people refuse to accept that native English people can be villains but claim it’s only foreigners (i.e. immigrants) who behave thus.

            Where do I say that native English people can’t commit crime? Quote something, please. You won’t, I’m sure, and you won’t admit you were wrong, because people like you aren’t honest.

            The white English are still the majority of England’s population. They are UNDER-represented in crimes like murder and drug-dealing by their share of the population.

            If you took the non-English out of the murder statistics, they would drop hugely. Jamaica is a much smaller country than the UK and has more murders each year. And guess what: a lot of murders (and udda stuff) in the UK is committed by Jamaicans.

            Fortunately, Jamaicans make up for their tendency to violence by being very supportive of LGBT and wimmin’s rights. Same with Muslims innit.

          • Shorne

            First point ,you wrote “Gang violence has rarely been a genuinely English phenomenon, as opposed to Jewish, Italian, Maltese, Gypsy or Scottish. The Krays didn’t look or behave English and I don’t think they were.” I proved the opposite. I would like to see your links regarding the ethnicity of murderers in the UK. Your pathetic attempts at reproducing what you imagine to be a Jamaican accent are exactly that, pathetic.

          • Hippograd

            No, you didn’t prove the opposite. Again, look up the meaning of “rarely”. It doesn’t mean “never”. England is not famous for its native English gangs. Italy is very famous for its native Italian gangs. Gangs in England are disproportionately — look up the word — drawn from the non-English, including the Jamaicans innit. The same goes for murderers.

            I would like to see your links regarding the ethnicity of murderers in the UK.

            Strangely, the same deeply honest liberals who covered up what happened in Rotherham don’t like to publicize the effnicity of murderers innit. Coz whitey is so racist innit. But here is something from the Daily Mail (not my favourite paper, but prepared to discuss topics liberals like you prefer to censor):

            Almost a fifth of all people charged with rape or murder last year were immigrants and some were deported only to return and commit more crime, it was revealed today. Critics say new figures show the Government has an ‘open door policy’ that allows violent criminals from across the world to enter the UK. Freedom of Information data from English and Welsh police forces show last year 91 immigrants were accused of murder while 406 were charged with rape – around one in five of all cases.

            http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2175798/A-fifth-suspected-rapists-murderers-Britain-immigrants.html#ixzz40hQFZyEw

            And that’s not including the offspring of immigrants in the UK. But why should we expect people from Jamaica, with one of the highest murder rates in the world, to commit more murders than the white English when they come to England? The world doesn’t work like that innit.

            Your pathetic attempts at reproducing what you imagine to be a Jamaican accent are exactly that, pathetic.

            I was “reproducing” chav, not Jamaican.

            Any comment on the deep commitment of Jamaicans to LGBT rights? We all know that all groups are exactly the same in their propensity to crime and prejudice (except that white males are the worst), so I’m puzzled you didn’t challenge my assertion to the contrary.

          • Shorne

            I asked for links to the ethnicity of murderers, i.e. those convicted and sentenced, you quote the Daily Mail about numbers charged, not the same thing.

          • Hippograd

            There you go:

            https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/statistics-on-race-and-the-criminal-justice-system-2012

            Wacism explains why so many vulnerable People of Colour are convicted and sentenced.

          • Shorne

            Well I looked at one chart which showed that of people convicted of VATP 81.3% were white and 16.54% were Black,Asian or Mixed so what you think this proves beats me.

          • Shorne

            I haven’t mentioned this yet in this exchange but I was a Probation Officer for 30 years and spent the last 13 working full time in an inner city Cat. B Local Prison so I do know something about this. I have lost count of the number of training courses, seminars etc. on this subject that I have attended and the number of research papers I have read. This is the document that most accords with my experience
            http://www.crimeandjustice.org.uk/resources/police-gangs-and-racism.
            I’m still waiting for your link proving that most murderers are not English.

          • Hippograd

            I know you’re a probation officer — we’ve argued before. The Probation Service is highly politically correct, and so is criminology.

            I’m still waiting for your link proving that most murderers are not English.

            Why would I want to prove something I haven’t claimed? I said the white English committed far fewer crimes than their share of the population would suggest they should. I asked you to look up the word “disproportionate”. If “almost a fifth of all people charged with rape or murder last year were immigrants”, then immigrants committed nearly 20% of those crimes. But they aren’t 20% of the population. And if we add murders etc committed by the offspring of immigrants, particularly blacks, then the share of violent crime committed by the white English drops even further.

            http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2175798/A-fifth-suspected-rapists-murderers-Britain-immigrants.html#ixzz40hQFZyEw

            “Disproportionate”. I know it’s a long word, but it will be useful for you to understand what it means.

          • Shorne

            You still haven’t grasped the difference between ‘suspected’, ‘charged’ and ‘convicted’. The latest figures I could find showed that nearly 20% of defendants were acquitted, found not guilty by direction or otherwise not convicted.

          • Shorne

            Well thanks for the laugh regarding ‘The Probation Service is highly politically correct, and so is criminology.’ This demonstrates what a monstrous ego you must have if you can dismiss an entire science because it contradicts what you claim. As you must know all about the Probation Service or otherwise you comment is worthless perhaps you know that any report a P.O. writes may have to be justified in person to the presiding Judge , CPS or Parole Board lawyer. When I was a Crown Court Probation Officer I was often asked by Judges to re-interview defendants a produce what was often described as a ‘sensible’ report. I would usually be asked to pass on the Judge’s views to the author’s superiors. You try being PC in that environment.

          • Hippograd

            Well thanks for the laugh regarding ‘The Probation Service is highly politically correct, and so is criminology.’

            Always happy to brighten someone’s day.

            This demonstrates what a monstrous ego you must have if you can dismiss an entire science because it contradicts what you claim.

            “Monstrous” is my middle name, dear. In general, criminology is not a science but a branch of sociology with all that that entails: Marxism, lies, propaganda, etc. But there is now some interesting research into the links between race and criminology.

            You try being PC in that environment.

            In fact, try not being PC. The Stephen Lawrence circus is a good example of how corrupt the judicial system has become in the UK. The probation service is full of incompetent ethnics and lefties sending people on transphobia awareness courses and to anti-racism workshops.

            You still haven’t grasped the difference between ‘suspected’, ‘charged’ and ‘convicted’. The latest figures I could find showed that nearly 20% of defendants were acquitted, found not guilty by direction or otherwise not convicted.

            Oh dear. How about this then?:

            21,937 prisoners, was from a minority ethnic group. This compares to around one in 10 of the general population. Out of the British national prison population, 10% are black and 6% are Asian. For black Britons this is significantly higher than the 2.8% of the general population they represent. Overall black prisoners account for the largest number of minority ethnic prisoners (49%). At the end of June 2014, 28% of minority ethnic prisoners were foreign nationals. According to the Equality and Human Rights Commission, there is now greater disproportionality in the number of black people in prisons in the UK than in the United States.

            http://www.prisonreformtrust.org.uk/projectsresearch/race

            Ach, when will racist whites stop oppressing poor blacks and sending them to jail? If only Britain could be a paradise of equality and justice like Zimbabwe, South Africa or Jamaica, where blacks rule themselves and crime has almost ceased to exist.

            Note that I do not agree with the Prison Reform Trust’s explanation for those figures.

            Well I looked at one chart which showed that of people convicted of VATP 81.3% were white and 16.54% were Black,Asian or Mixed so what you think this proves beats me.

            One chart may not be enough.

            Still no comment on the way Jamaicans fight for LGBT rights in the UK?

            In 2006, Time magazine called Jamaica “the most homophobic place on earth.” The country was experiencing excessive violence and hate crimes against gays and lesbians. Three years later, a friend and I were robbed and sexually assaulted in Jamaica. We are both lesbians. When I first reported the incident to the police, an officer told me I should “leave this lifestyle and go back to the church.” But I didn’t. I reported the incident and testified against my assaulter. I became an advocate for other women like me.

            http://time.com/3900934/most-homophobic-place-on-earth-turning-around/

            Colonialism is to blame for Jamaica’s homophobia, of course. All evil can be traced back to the white male, one way or another.

          • Shorne

            You are still speaking from a position of total ignorance about the Probation Service. Your dismissal of criminology further demonstrates your self-perceived inability to be wrong, and making weak jokes about it does not expiate it. Of course you don’t agree with the PRT’s explanation but you cherry pick their figures. And your tactic of, presumably, implying that Stephen Lawrence’s killers were only convicted because Judges are PC is sheer lunacy. Your linking of certain types of crime with homophobia is irrelevant to the original discussion and I suspect that, were you not one of those cowardly types who hides their comment history we might see that your championing of the LGBT community is rather recent. Of course Jamaica is a homophobic country, so are Albania, Lithuania, Georgia and Estonia.
            You quote
            ‘Colonialism is to blame for Jamaica’s homophobia, of course.’ well if you actually read the article you would have found this ‘Jamaica’s “anti-sodomy law,” a holdover from British colonial rule.’ So you are right, even though you didn’t mean to be

          • Hippograd

            Isn’t it shocking that the media are pretending that an “Asian” “gang” ran Rotherham and committed horrific abuse when Asians are still only a minority in Rotherham? Obviously, then, their crimes will be swamped by the crimes committed by whites there.

            http://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2016/feb/25/how-a-rotherham-gang-with-history-of-criminality-abused-vulnerable-girls

            And yes, I’m completely ignorant about the probation service, which is a hard-headed, scientifically minded organization where everyone feels free to express their true views on race and religion. UKIP or BNP supporters don’t hide their party preferences, for example, and probation officers are free to express support for Donald Trump’s proposed ban on Muslim immigration.

            And your tactic of, presumably, implying that Stephen Lawrence’s killers were only convicted because Judges are PC is sheer lunacy.

            If Stephen Lawrence had been a white murdered under the same circumstances by blacks or his killers had been black, he would have been forgotten. As it is, we’ve lost double jeopardy thanks to the PC martyr cult that has been created around his murder.

            might see that your championing of the LGBT community is rather recent.

            Nope. I’ve never agreed with persecution of or violence towards that so-called “community”. I do disagree with the politics too many of them adhere to, tho’. Note that only the PC use that idiotic term “community”.

            ‘Colonialism is to blame for Jamaica’s homophobia, of course.’ well if you actually read the article you would have found this ‘Jamaica’s “anti-sodomy law,” a holdover from British colonial rule.’ So you are right, even though you didn’t mean to be

            Heavens, the Guardian thinks colonialism is to blame! Those poor Jamaicans were unable to resurrect the advanced progressive system of justice that prevailed in Africa before evil Whitey came along and corrupted the progressive paradise Blacks had created.

            You do realize, don’t you, that Jamaicans have had more than 50 years to repeal homophobic colonial laws? Are you making the profoundly racist suggestion that Blacks have no free will and are unable to shake off the brainwashing of the “superior” whites who once ruled over them?

          • Shorne

            That gang included two white women.The biggest mistake in Rotherham was the council ignoring what front line youth workers told them about grooming and they are now compounding that by sacking all such workers so as to comply with Osborne’s cuts. Your comments about the Probation Service get more ridiculous by the minute and why they would want to express a view about Trump is not immediately obvious.
            ‘ lost double jeopardy thanks to the PC martyr cult that has been created around his murder.’ Double jeopardy has been permitted since the 2003 Criminal Justice Act and led directly to two of Stephen Lawrence’s killers being retried and convicted.
            I do not for a minute believe what you say about your views about gay people and you have shot yourself in the foot by hiding your comment history as you have no means of proving it,
            ‘Heavens, the Guardian thinks colonialism is to blame’ The article was from Time magazine.
            Your remarks about the system of justice that prevailed in Africa totally ignores the first black Jamaicans were kidnapped from a number of West African Countries at a time when homosexual acts were Capital offences in England. I agreed with you about homophobia in Jamaica and listed other ‘White’ countries that are the same, something you conveniently ignored.
            Here’s some comments from an article about another such country
            ‘And so we come to a blackout: a London-run media so complacent about the liberal times “we” live in that scant coverage has been devoted to the human rights regression in Northern Ireland, the potential removal of carefully built-up legal protection for gay people.’
            ‘ Last month a school in Belfast issued pupils with a worksheet about 1 Corinthians 6:9-11, with the following questions: “What do these verses tell us about homosexuals?” “Who else is included with homosexuals?” And, “What hope is there for all these people?”’

          • Hippograd

            That gang included two white women.

            Yes. Do you think they were controlling things or not? No need to answer.

            Double jeopardy has been permitted since the 2003 Criminal Justice Act and led directly to two of Stephen Lawrence’s killers being retried and convicted.

            By “double jeopardy” I meant the rule that it couldn’t be permitted. A very old and sensible rule, because it meant the state couldn’t persecute its opponents by repeatedly taking them to court. Thanks to the dishonest hysteria about the murder of Stephen Lawrence, we’ve lost that ancient protection. And it was dishonest and hysterical: blacks are far more of a danger to whites and to other blacks than anyone else is.

            ‘Heavens, the Guardian thinks colonialism is to blame’ The article was from Time magazine.

            My mistake. Time magazine is of course a sternly conservative publication uninfected by PC.

            I do not for a minute believe what you say about your views about gay people and you have shot yourself in the foot by hiding your comment history as you have no means of proving it

            I’m very hurt that you don’t believe me. But you’re right: I only care about the LGBT community being persecuted when ethnics and Muslims are to blame.

            ‘ Last month a school in Belfast issued pupils with a worksheet about 1 Corinthians 6:9-11, with the following questions: “What do these verses tell us about homosexuals?” “Who else is included with homosexuals?” And, “What hope is there for all these people?”’

            Yes, dear. Now produce some stories from Northern Ireland to match this kind of homophobia:

            http://www.pinknews.co.uk/2014/10/21/report-documents-widespread-anti-lgbt-violence-in-jamaica/

          • Shorne

            The two women in the gang were certainly controlling things, they took the victims from children’s homes into their homes implying they would be safe and secure, one of them even set up a support group, then they pimped them out.
            As the Lawrence case proved we are better off without double jeopardy as it allowed for the absurd and unjust position in which an individual could be tried for murder and be acquitted and later evidence could emerge clearly demonstrating they did indeed commit the murder. If the persons convicted were immigrants you would be praising the change.
            Time Magazine is now regarded as leaning to the right, look at its so-called Red Cross covers for example.
            Thank you for proving my point about your real attitude to the LGBT community.
            I haven’t argued with you about homophobia in Jamaica, although I do wonder if you have personal reasons for focussing on that country when Nigeria, Gambia and Zimbabwe are reckoned to be the top three.
            Anyway I think you are one of three people with whom I have exchanged comments in the past, you are certainly as irrational as they are so, as I have done before, end all this with my favourite Mark Twain quote;
            ‘Never argue with a fool, onlookers may not be able to tell the difference.’

          • Hippograd

            The two women in the gang were certainly controlling things, they took the victims from children’s homes into their homes implying they would be safe and secure, one of them even set up a support group, then they pimped them out.

            Don’t be disingenuous. If they’d been controlling things, i.e. been those chiefly responsible, they would have received the longest sentences. Again, I’m stilling waiting for you to produce the more numerous cases of violent crime from Rotherham involving whites, who are still the majority there.

            Thank you for proving my point about your real attitude to the LGBT community.

            No, my real attitude is even worse than I’ve already admitted.

            I haven’t argued with you about homophobia in Jamaica, although I do wonder if you have personal reasons for focussing on that country when Nigeria, Gambia and Zimbabwe are reckoned to be the top three.

            Do you know the term embarrass de richesses? If not, here’s another chance for vocab-building.

            Anyway I think you are one of three people with whom I have exchanged comments in the past, you are certainly as irrational as they are so

            Well, as a veteran probation officer, you must find it hard to find worthy opponents.

      • Mr B J Mann

        The Krays were apparently as English as Mike and Bernie Winters!

        • Hippograd

          And as English as David Aaronovitch or Nick Cohen.

    • Roger Hudson

      Surely it was for more than pride, backstreet booze or gambling perhaps?

      • Shorne

        It was mostly protection rackets and extortion. A significant factor was the so-called ‘racecourse gangs’ who preyed on bookmakers. This died out when off-course betting was legalised in 1960. Also significant was ‘smash and grab’ raids.

  • John Andrews

    It’s a shame that gangsters want to kill each other but it’s an even greater shame that drugs wreck the societies of the producer countries.

    • 1958Paul

      Only because it is illegal there too.

  • pcm9105

    What is meant by legalisation? Licensing? Prescription? No controls? Referral to clinics as opposed to a criminal justice sanction?
    Do the legalisation brigade really want to follow Mexico, Portugal, Holland? Do they think these
    supposedly relaxed regimes have reduced crime, improved health or made their countries better places to live?
    Fatuous comparisons with alcohol ignore the fact that a far smaller percentage of alcohol users have a problem than drug users. Like it or not, alcohol is used by a huge percentage of our citizenry while illegal drugs are used by a relatively small number. The fact that they are illegal combined with strong enforcement has kept that number small.
    Would legalisation reduce criminality? Criminals won’t simply give up, they would either seek to compete with the authorities on price or choice or develop new clients. Consider the criminality around alcohol and cigarettes, both legal but both targeted by the criminal classes.
    Drugs are unlawful, harmful for users and society and keeping that message strong is the way forward.

    • 1958Paul

      On the contrary alcohol causes huge problems for health and as a constituent of the vast majority of violent crime. There is no evidence that drugs cause “problems” except for problems with the police and criminal justice system. If alcohol was a new drug we would certainly ban it, and if cannabis was an old drug it would be legal.

      • Ade

        Cannabis is an old drug, and was legal in the UK until 1928.

        • Roger Hudson

          The law could easily be written to distinguish drugs that can grow in the UK from imported or ones made in a lab, but that would be too sensible.
          I remember when you couldn’t grow tobacco in your garden.

      • pcm9105

        What planet do you live on? Is it one where the middle classes snort a little of a weekend? Have you never heard of the psychosis caused by cannabis use or seen the state of someone on crack or heroin or the plight of their children? Have you seen the effect of generations of drug users in our inner cities?

  • Hippograd

    We could have stopped gang crime before it ever started, by not importing vibrant communities into the country. That was what the majority wanted, but the liberal elite decided otherwise.

    • 1958Paul

      Turning everything into a debate about immigration does not help to shed much light on a complex problem.

      • Mr Grumpy

        If you think the question “where did we get all this gang crime from?” is rocket science I’d suggest reading the Evening Standard for a couple of weeks. We can’t turn the clock back but some of us would at least like to turn off the tap.

        • Roger Hudson

          As my father used to say, we avoided being invaded by the Germans in 1940 but ended up being invaded ( and colonised ) by the Americans from 1942/3.

      • Hippograd

        It sheds an enormous amount of light, because immigrants and their descendants are responsible for a disproportionate amount of crime.

  • The_Common_Potato

    In August, I invited a homeless woman to stay in my spare bedroom. Although I knew she smoked weed, I was unaware she took stronger drugs and was involved in their sale. She once gave me crack (she said it was cannabis) and I became a bit hooked on the substance. Fortunately, she and her drugs are now living elsewhere. Just saying “no” actually does work.

    Because of my lodger (rent free), I had some contact with some London drug dealers. Basically, they’re not particularly nice people; there’s always a sense of menace.

    I have no idea what the answer is to gang problems.

    Still, it’s been one of the more interesting six months of my life!

    • Giuseppe Cappa

      Interesting? It all looks rather scary!

      • The_Common_Potato

        Scary was me spending a night in custody 20 days ago, accused of common assault. The police decided there was no need for further action. My one, previous interaction with the police was when I was arrested for drink driving, when I was 20.

        My former lodger’s ex-partner is currently in prison for drug importation. He used to give her £100 per day spending money, and there’s no way I could match that. Essentially, I was taken for a ride, I think. I had thought I’d be doing her a favour by letting her crash at my place; whether it was reciprocated, I don’t know. I do know that she’s now crashing at another bloke’s flat, which, I think, is where the drugs are.

        I do have a pic of her with BoJo, mind you! https://www.dropbox.com/s/bmhw2pya1xs03p4/2013-02-20%2011.34.32-1-1.jpg?dl=0

        • Giuseppe Cappa

          I am glad you are drug-free now and enjoying freedom. If you allow me an unsolicited opinion, you ran too big a risk just for having a pretty woman staying in your house. If you want to date pretty ladies, I dare recommend that you dress well and behave appropriately — your looks are adequate; don’t put yourself down. Otherwise, go for pay-as-you-go (which as a Christian I disapprove, but better than risking drug addiction or drug-related prosecution).

          • The_Common_Potato

            Until I met this particular girl, I had not used drugs for some two decades. As far as Christiany goes, I was brought up as Catholic and went to a Catholic public school: Douai.

            My problem is, I guess, I try to find the best in people.

            More fool me!

          • Giuseppe Cappa

            “It is happier to be sometimes cheated than not to trust” said Samuel Johnson. However, remember [Lk 16:1-8] and be shrewd when necessary. Blessings.

          • The_Common_Potato

            Thanks, GC.

          • The_Common_Potato

            I do make fool of myself at times, don’t I? There was nothing sexual between my ex lodger and me; I simply did and do fancy her. I suppose a relationship was in the back of my mind when I asked her to stay.

      • The_Common_Potato

        Re she’s cute: https://www.dropbox.com/s/wc2lvuyo0hth35y/447778525628.jpg?dl=0
        Re I’m not: https://www.dropbox.com/s/sfm7b0o9i1p58b7/p1000398.jpg?dl=0

        Basically, GC, I’m putting it all down to experience.

        • Mr B J Mann

          Perhaps not a good idea to identify on the web?

          • The_Common_Potato

            I’m sure Boris is well known! Honestly, Mr BJ Mann, I don’t give a toss any more. Essentially, I’m infatuated.

          • Mr B J Mann

            Hmmmmmmmmmmmmmm, your former lodger’s ex-partner who is currently in prison might though!

            Or the object of your infatuation might not want her personal history broadcast, complete with images.

            Or is it bojo who is the object of your infatuation?!?!

          • The_Common_Potato

            Tough. She ought not to have made stuff up about me. For you, Mr Mann, it’s an Internet game, isn’t it? For me, it’s my life.

          • The_Common_Potato

            FWIW, I’m James Hodson. Also FWIW, I’ve passed on your message the the Sussex police. I consider your message as a threat to my person.

          • Mr B J Mann

            “FWIW, I’m J**** H*****. Also FWIW, I’ve passed on your message the the
            Sussex police. I consider your message as a threat to my person.

            Eh? You clearly aren’t as clean as you thought!

            When they come knocking I’ll point out your misrepresentation of my attempt to be helpful is libellous.

            But I won’t pursue it if you are sectioned!

            PS You don’t need to tell me who you are: your links in your posts reveal your name as well as your image, plonker.

            (I’ve starred out your name in my reply just in case at some stage you come to your senses enough to delete them from your own posts, but you appear to be beyond help! Perhaps you have a carer who can sort it out?!)

          • The_Common_Potato

            I was unclean, in the sense of rather pissed, a few hours ago. I’m now just regretting those several bottles of red wine I drunk yesterday. No, I didn’t contact the Sussex constabulary about your non-existent threat. Felt like doing so, mind you. Keep well, BJ.

          • Mr B J Mann

            You’re welcome.

          • The_Common_Potato

            “Perhaps you have a carer who can sort it out?!”

            Yup, I used to call her ‘mum’!

    • Roger Hudson

      You seem to have committed the crime of ‘permitting drug use on your premises’, clean up.

  • Giuseppe Cappa

    If an individual is allowed to destroy himself with alcohol, junk food or excessively promiscuous sodomy (which is for some reason not discouraged, nowadays), why not with drugs? Why should anyone addicted to illegal substances resort to robbing (maybe robbing an old lady from her meagre pension) to pay extortionate prices to criminal gangs? A drug addict should be considered a patient rather than a criminal and it would be much cheaper (and ethical) to provide him cures (and free drugs while he is unable to quit) than spending billions in a war on drugs that is lost from the start. By the way, regarding drugs, I stick to a couple of cups of coffee per day and a couple of glasses of wine per week.

    • Giuseppe Cappa

      As for safety in the streets, it would be much better if law-abiding citizens were allowed to carry any type of firearm, as it is in Switzerland (or as it was in the UK before totalitarian laws restricted firearm use).

  • styants64

    Bring in the same laws as they have in Singapore towards drugs by punishing the trafficers severely like terminating their lives problem sorted.

    • sidor

      And the death penalty for murder. By hanging. Helps to reduce violence.

      Criminal gans are not Islamic shahids: they commit crimes to live, not to die. If the death penalty is applied persistently and systematically like in Singapore, serious crimes will be reduced dramatically.

      • styants64

        We used to have capital punishment in Britain when I was a hild and I read once in the 1960s that London was the safest Capital city in the developed world with a very low crime rate, all that now is been destroyed the term civilisation means a progressive law-abiding way of life in cities, destructive liberals have seriously damaged western civilisation I think terminally .

        • sidor

          That’s true. The homicide rate in Britain tripled after the death penalty has been abolished in 1967.

          A similar pattarn can be observed in Russia. 30-40 years ago Moscow was one of the safest European cities. This has dramatically changed with the advent of the western-style “democracy” in 1991 when the death penalty was abolished. In a short time the city successfully competed in terms of the crime rate with the most notorious American cities.

          • rusty

            Do you guys know how many innocent people where killed by the state? We have rose tinted glasses about the old days, with all the advances of science more killers escape justice today than back in the 60s, mainly because murder was a higher priority than illegal drugs! Now that’s changed for political reasons and it’s easy to nick minor drug dealers than find murderer’s.

          • sidor

            This is an idiotic argument, if not a deliberate demagoguery. Due to the rapid increase in homicide rate that took place in three decades following the abolition of the death penalty in 1967, thousands extra people died as compared with the statistics before 1967. This figure is two orders of magnitude bigger than a conceivable number of mistaken executions. It is a simple arithmetics: it is moral to kill an innocent if this will save the lives of 100 innocent people.

            And I don’t see why the drug dealers shouldn’t be hanged as it is done in East Asia. They are murderers too.

          • rusty

            That’s a bit extreme! So the student who buys drugs for himself and his mate if arrested should face the death penalty? Today he get the same punishment as a pusher! First you know nothing about drugs and you know nothing about addiction, that’s why you are talking rubbish or smoking crack!

          • Roger Hudson

            Any policeman who can’t tell a student ‘selling on’ from a criminal trying to make a dishonest living from importing or selling drugs is being totally unprofessional.

          • rusty

            One of the mums who petitioned and spoke to david cameron about her student son doing a prison term for supplying drugs to his friends when got drugs for himself! He was treated the same as a dealer a got a prison sentence ruining his future! He didn’t get drug for his friends for money but as a favour and admitted what he did not being a criminal, but in the eyes of the law that made no difference! https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=ao8L-0nSYzg watch this about addiction

          • Clay Bear Bishop

            You notice how Russia has, for the first time in history, legalized guns for self defence, and its crime rate has halved in the last year since that happening? Funny, that- Bastards don’t care about being arrested, police aren’t a deterrent, but tell them that the old granny down the road they’re planning on shivving for her purse may be able to shoot you in the mouth and they don’t find their plan so savoury anymore.

  • Ingmar Blessing

    Drugs will never be legalized. It’s too much of a business – for the secret service. At least in Germany, they apparently control the mayor parts of the trade, which involves some normal criminal gangs, but usually also political outlaw groups left, right as well as extremist. This way they can not just control them and the price of the products (which is necessary) but also undermine those gangs objectives and – if convenient – stage a murder or explosion. Oh, and it’s also quite lucrative. People told me that..

    The necessity for keeping the prices for illegal drugs constant comes from the fact, that the customers “love” the product and are willing to pay any price for any quality. So, if the law enforcement is too strong (95% is possible), the price would go up so extreme that A) the customers have to think of creative ways to get to money and B) attract individuals with a high-risk-high-reward affinity who do literally anything for a successful deal. So, politics (or let’s say the over-periodic part of politics) has to tightly regulate the business.

    Bottom line: That’s kind of somewhere between fascist, meshugge and lying. That’s why I agree: Legalize the stuff!

    Just think of Iran, the top 2 country when it comes to alcohol prohibition. 5% of the Persian population is addicted to alcohol (they occasionally even debate that in the parliament). On the other side, “just” 1,5% of all Germans are alcohol addicts

  • VOTE4EU

    Currently the governments policy on drugs is simply not working…. If we legalise drugs it would save so much money and cut crime, we could control the quality of the drugs and prevent adverse effects on the chemicals they use in cutting the drugs. We could also tax the drugs and have a another income for the government…. To me this makes sense but the government won’t because the narrow minded Tory Sun and Express readers……

  • milford

    At least one year of compulsory army or navy training for youths might help because most of them have no male role model except local thugs. The government won’t do it because it’s too expensive. Who cares about a few youths from the underclass slaughtering one another? Nobody, only their parents, or ‘nana’, as is usually the case.

  • Tickertapeguy

    Legalizing drugs such as Pot will not do away with the sale of illegal drugs.
    Both will exist side by side. legalized drugs means the added cost of taxes and government regulations. That increases the price.
    That is why illegal sale of drugs will continue for they will sell the same product for less and with equal if not higher potency.
    In addition it “legalizes” the sense that the recreational use of such drugs is healthy and fine. More people use it.
    that is already happening in the US.

  • Richard Lutz

    Wonderful idea as the war on drugs and prohibition has failed so regulation is the way to go. Likewise, the war on handguns and prohibition has failed so regulation is the way to go. Legalizing the purchase and carrying of drugs like heroin and handguns like the Glock will do away with the illegal sale and carrying of drugs and handguns.

    • Clay Bear Bishop

      Legalizing handguns “like the glock”(One gun out of how many millions of different ones?)will, in fact, prevent an awful lot of crime that you perceive it will cause.
      In fact, why not go without your reactionary statement – Why don’t we start by legalizing self defence, full stop? Notice how all these stabbings, and not one of the victims were able to carry pepper spray(5 year sentence for owning)or a tazer(8 year sentence for use and owning).

      Meanwhilst mr. Cameron has a police officer stationed outside his home 24/7 with an HK MP5a3 and 30 rounds of 9×19 Parabellum he’s able to use on whoever he deems a threat – An actual terrorist, or protestors that want that huge-foreheaded maniacal freak out.

  • Roger Hudson

    The big question ” what is the hole in their lives that they feel they need to fill with drugs”.
    I’ve often looked at kids growing up and wondered.
    Many years ago (’81?) i saw two young lads of about 7 running laughing expectantly to school down ‘oxton high street (the ‘H’ in Hoxton is silent) and i thought they were probably going to be let down by education and society.
    Decades later I taught another couple of very unruly violent 13 year olds who went on to murder a girl with a machine gun (N1s, also in ‘oxton high street) and got 32 years in prison for it.
    Drugs are a symptom of a problem, not it’s cause.
    As for the article’s ‘nasty looking blade’ it’s the Tesco 5 inch kitchen knife I worry about.

    • rusty

      Those girls more likely were in a gang who’s main income is the drugs trade! Over 95% of money made comes from drug sells, older gang members use younger kids to run drugs carry weapons and will sell drugs to kids! Criminals are like business men making money buying and selling, it would be better if this trade in made legal being sold by boots pharmacist to adults, do you think so too?

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