Misuse of Drugs Act 1971

The MDA1971 denies citizens equal property rights for certain people who use certain drugs.

The aim of the MDA1971 is to ameliorate the harms of certain drugs on individuals and society. An impact assessment of this Act has never been carried out. The Act remains rooted in historical and cultural precedents which bear no resemblance to the scientific reality. No law should ever be based upon such precedents.

The Act has caused untold damage to millions of individual's lives, communities and society as a whole. It has criminalised millions of otherwise law-abiding citizens for choosing to use certain drugs in a peaceful manner.

Drug users are afforded property rights over alcohol, tobacco, tea and coffee; yet these very same rights are denied to users of other drugs, purely for historical and cultural reasons. The current situation is one where 'legal' implies that a drug is 'OK', but 'illegal' equates to 'not OK'; within the context of comparing cannabis with alcohol the implication is extremely damaging. It undermines any important public health messages that need to be made. The prohibition of certain drugs places a blanket of silence over them, preventing any meaningful discussion or debate about the health implications of using these drugs either alone or in combination with others.

It also dilutes the most important message of all: that we must distinguish between drug use and drug misuse.

Why is this idea important?

The MDA1971 denies citizens equal property rights for certain people who use certain drugs.

The aim of the MDA1971 is to ameliorate the harms of certain drugs on individuals and society. An impact assessment of this Act has never been carried out. The Act remains rooted in historical and cultural precedents which bear no resemblance to the scientific reality. No law should ever be based upon such precedents.

The Act has caused untold damage to millions of individual's lives, communities and society as a whole. It has criminalised millions of otherwise law-abiding citizens for choosing to use certain drugs in a peaceful manner.

Drug users are afforded property rights over alcohol, tobacco, tea and coffee; yet these very same rights are denied to users of other drugs, purely for historical and cultural reasons. The current situation is one where 'legal' implies that a drug is 'OK', but 'illegal' equates to 'not OK'; within the context of comparing cannabis with alcohol the implication is extremely damaging. It undermines any important public health messages that need to be made. The prohibition of certain drugs places a blanket of silence over them, preventing any meaningful discussion or debate about the health implications of using these drugs either alone or in combination with others.

It also dilutes the most important message of all: that we must distinguish between drug use and drug misuse.

Legalise E in some form in Northern Ireland

I don't know what my idea is so I will be vague about whether I want a pilot scheme, a medically supervised scheme, or a general legalisation or blind-eye to the commercial use of a drug.

The drug is MDMA and I know from personal experience that it enforces a kind of synthetic empathy and well-being. As one person told a TV program "it lets you experience the sort of person that you're not". I don't know a source to quote but anyone who has anything to do with raves where MDMA is taken will have noticed that the crowd seem just nice.

Why is this idea important?

I don't know what my idea is so I will be vague about whether I want a pilot scheme, a medically supervised scheme, or a general legalisation or blind-eye to the commercial use of a drug.

The drug is MDMA and I know from personal experience that it enforces a kind of synthetic empathy and well-being. As one person told a TV program "it lets you experience the sort of person that you're not". I don't know a source to quote but anyone who has anything to do with raves where MDMA is taken will have noticed that the crowd seem just nice.

Legalise Ecstasy

I think Ecstasy should be legal. It has been in regular use in this country for a number of years and seems to have had no ill effects. It could be manufactured and sold through pharmacies.

Why is this idea important?

I think Ecstasy should be legal. It has been in regular use in this country for a number of years and seems to have had no ill effects. It could be manufactured and sold through pharmacies.

Repealing (or radically amending) the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971.

It is time that the UK government finally admitted that the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971 is a failure. It fails to prevent drug use, it fails to adequately distinguish between the relative harms of drugs and it fails to protect society from the negative consequences of the illegal drug trade.

 

The Act does not make sense from any scientific perspective. Ecstasy 'mdma' (class A) is not as dangerous as heroin or cocaine. In fact the science shows that ecstasy is a relatively benign drug, with very few deaths compared to most Class A drugs and even alcohol and tobacco. Statistically ecstasy is safer than horse riding. Pretending that it is deserving of Class A status sends out the wrong message and makes a mockery of attempts to control drug use in a meaningful way. This is just one example of how the Act fails to adequately classify drugs. There are many more.

 

Criminalizing drugs does not prevent or deter use. This is a fact. What it does do is criminalize people who would otherwise be perfectly law-abiding citizens. Those drug users who do currently steal to fund their habits do so because of the fact that drugs are illegal and therefore expensive. Criminalizing drugs actually generates more crime.

 

Criminalizing drugs makes drugs even less safe by pushing production underground and denying regulation. This is one of the most worrying aspects of the Act. Governments should take responsibility for ensuring that if people do take drugs, those drugs are made by proper companies and subject to regulation.

 

The Act also denies the treasury huge sums of potential tax reciepts. The money raised through tax can be used to fund the NHS. Benefitting even non users.

 

Criminalizing drugs is highly punitive. It may seem normal now for drugs to be illegal, but actually its quite a new phenomenon. Human beings have used recretional drugs for millenia. Putting people in cells as 'punishment' for drug use is illiberal, whatever arguments are given for doing so.

 

I am not suggesting that drug use should not be regulated. That would be a silly position to take. Drugs can be dangerous, they can turn lives upside down. Thats why we need to make sure that we have a sensible system of control in place that does not force users underground into the hands of criminals. The Netherlands is a good template for how a new system may take shape. Or we could look at alcohol and tobacco. These are drugs, and the are regulated.

 

This is a matter of civil liberties. It is about us realising that drug users do not belong in prison. They are ordinary people who should be treated as such. Allowing alcohol and tobacco, and then incarcerating somebody for another drug, is plain hypocrisy. It is wrong.

 

If we dont change the law….there is only one winner….organised crime.

 

I would suggest recategorizing drugs into 'hard' and 'soft' categories according to scientifically proven evidence. The Advisory Council should be given authority over this.

 

Soft drugs should be legalised and regulated for sale in licensed premises.

 

Hard drugs should be available on the NHS through a GP.

 

 

 

Why is this idea important?

It is time that the UK government finally admitted that the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971 is a failure. It fails to prevent drug use, it fails to adequately distinguish between the relative harms of drugs and it fails to protect society from the negative consequences of the illegal drug trade.

 

The Act does not make sense from any scientific perspective. Ecstasy 'mdma' (class A) is not as dangerous as heroin or cocaine. In fact the science shows that ecstasy is a relatively benign drug, with very few deaths compared to most Class A drugs and even alcohol and tobacco. Statistically ecstasy is safer than horse riding. Pretending that it is deserving of Class A status sends out the wrong message and makes a mockery of attempts to control drug use in a meaningful way. This is just one example of how the Act fails to adequately classify drugs. There are many more.

 

Criminalizing drugs does not prevent or deter use. This is a fact. What it does do is criminalize people who would otherwise be perfectly law-abiding citizens. Those drug users who do currently steal to fund their habits do so because of the fact that drugs are illegal and therefore expensive. Criminalizing drugs actually generates more crime.

 

Criminalizing drugs makes drugs even less safe by pushing production underground and denying regulation. This is one of the most worrying aspects of the Act. Governments should take responsibility for ensuring that if people do take drugs, those drugs are made by proper companies and subject to regulation.

 

The Act also denies the treasury huge sums of potential tax reciepts. The money raised through tax can be used to fund the NHS. Benefitting even non users.

 

Criminalizing drugs is highly punitive. It may seem normal now for drugs to be illegal, but actually its quite a new phenomenon. Human beings have used recretional drugs for millenia. Putting people in cells as 'punishment' for drug use is illiberal, whatever arguments are given for doing so.

 

I am not suggesting that drug use should not be regulated. That would be a silly position to take. Drugs can be dangerous, they can turn lives upside down. Thats why we need to make sure that we have a sensible system of control in place that does not force users underground into the hands of criminals. The Netherlands is a good template for how a new system may take shape. Or we could look at alcohol and tobacco. These are drugs, and the are regulated.

 

This is a matter of civil liberties. It is about us realising that drug users do not belong in prison. They are ordinary people who should be treated as such. Allowing alcohol and tobacco, and then incarcerating somebody for another drug, is plain hypocrisy. It is wrong.

 

If we dont change the law….there is only one winner….organised crime.

 

I would suggest recategorizing drugs into 'hard' and 'soft' categories according to scientifically proven evidence. The Advisory Council should be given authority over this.

 

Soft drugs should be legalised and regulated for sale in licensed premises.

 

Hard drugs should be available on the NHS through a GP.