The credit crunch, the pensions crisis, Afghanistan, public transport issues & road congestion, prison overcrowding (& drug use in prisons), underworld criminal empire organisations, policing budget constraints, crime statistics …. and more, much more, can be solved in a single fell swoop with one simple but radical piece of thinking.
It will require not only a daring leader, but a forward thinking and single minded one, capable of resisting the futile argument of other until now misguided ‘leaders’ that the current applications & arguments to deal with and pay for the abovementioned problems our society faces, is the correct and best approach.
The simple and radical solution .. ?? rescind the 1971 misuse of drugs act, draft new relacement legislation to legalise all drugs.
In my country of legalised ‘drugtaking’, step 1 would be to immediately release all offenders in prison serving sentences for drug related crimes, the immediate effect would be to reduce the prison population by some 30%, a further 30% if you release the burglars and muggers who are service sentences related to their drug use, i.e. those who committed crimes in order to fund their drug habit. The secondary benefits would then be that those left in prison would very likely have no drugs use to desire whilst in prison, and reducing greatly the current drugs use in prisons to a fraction of current rates.
On release, ALL of these offenders would be offered the opportunity to purchase a licence to use drugs henceforth that would also be offered to society in general. The license would be renewed annually and would apply to individual drugs, that is to say a cocaine users license, a heroin users license, a cannabis users license, magic mushrooms, ecstasy, diazepam, morphine… et al. Multi drugs use licences would also be available.
The newly reprieved ex-offender would be warned of the very, very stiff penalties that would accompany a positive drugs test the user provided for the presence of an unlicensed for use substance. After all, the annual license fee for any individual drugs usage would be a nominal one and within the means of all, be it £10 or £50, given that they will happily pay within these amounts for ‘one night’s use’ of a particular drug of choice.
All drugs user's licence holders are signed to provide a summary drugs test periodically, anyone found with a drug in their system they are not currently licensed to use would be subject to prosecution with stiff custodial sentences as a deterrent from unlicensed usage. Licenses are available to all adults for all substances and at a fee so as to encourage licensed use.
In turn this will greatly reduce crime overall, but specifically the low priority crime that was committed exponentially by small time drugs users to fund their habits, because now they don’t have to steal or rob to pay for their drugs of choice, instead now the government would be selling them their ‘clean’, ‘measured’, ‘certified’ and legal dose at a very reasonable rate, but with high returning revenues and built in profit margins.
Instead of waking in the morning and having to go break a window to raise money for his morning fix, your user in my world of legalised drugs use would already have his fix to hand, before then toddling off to his mundane, no risk gainful employment and instead of his small, but significant, part of adding to the constant rises in insurance premiums and ever escalating social welfare costs. Of course he would never be a fully functioning ‘high end’ earner paying thousands in income tax, but no longer draining the economy on multiple facets and indeed, contributing. He would of course not be able to work a full 8 hour day as a result of his habit, but mutual accommodations could easily be reached on him being allowed time to go have his afternoon fix by getting to the end of his working day after 6 hours, for sake of any figure over none.
The knock on effect on police hours would be almost astronomical in the time it would free up to catch many, many fewer offenders committing fewer crimes.
Whilst on the subject of crime, this would hasten the demise of criminal gangs and organised crime which relies on the £billions spent every year that funds the empires. Of course, with the government being the sole supplier, it would have every right to heap harsh reprisal on anyone muscling in on its territory and the selling of drugs would be seen on a par with anyone using drugs without the proper licence to do so, incurring the same stiff penalties if caught doing so (note; alcohol, nicotine and caffeine are considered by the writer to be drugs that would also require license for use with separate secondary licences available for production, such as home wine making or beer brewing. The writer would refrain from adding cannabis to a list of licensed home produced drugs and sets out the proposed approach in a further section of this document.)
It is then plain even for the blind to see that the police would have a lot less to do with no need to chase after people with what is effectively flowering heads from an illegal plant, by far the most used illegal drug in the UK currently. Added to that the reduction in petty crime and more serious crimes resulting from users trying to fund a habit on stealing and damaging property taken out of the policing equation, would allow for a more concentrated effort on solving non drugs related crime, as well as having a significant effect on the insurance industry, delivering a slowdown to the annual hike in premiums caused as a result of the criminal practices of drug taking criminals.
Licensing use of narcotic substances would conflict with all road safety matters and therefore drugs use of any kind cannot be combined with a license to drive, so society would be given the choice of a drugs use licence or a driving licence. Not everyone will opt for drugs use, not everyone will opt to drive, however many will take up the offer of taking drugs legally in favour of losing the license to drive and this will produce the effective decongestion of the roads by reducing the licensed users dramatically, allowing and encouraging the mass migration to fuller use of the public transport systems.
This country is currently ploughing money into Afghanistan in order to try and create a democratic society, however, Afghanistan is a country with no natural industry, no cohesive society that can even be used as cheap labour such as india, china etc, no resources save for its one major export… heroin/opium. Then let's buy their heroin, and that way any money we plough into Afghanistan would be for a produce and allow the country to be a self sufficient one using its one natural resource to fund its own regenration and save us billions that we currently do to subsidise a build to no end or value. Instead of soldiers patroling the peace, teams of buyers would ensure that the farmers would receive the money for the opium crop, dealing only with the above board and legitimate government licenced opium producers, to stop terrorist factions from gaining from the trading or corrupt officials profiting from their positions.
I propose only the government grows cannabis… no 'for personal use' growing as there is in Holland. Cannabis should be grown in bonded warehouses and any home growing should be met with very stiff penalties so that every ounce grown can be sold with the tax paid. There should be restrictions on who can work in the bonded warehouses… only those of a pensionable age should be able to work in bonded cannabis growing warehouses, this would have the double bonus of keeping the elderly vital as well as taking them off the annual pensions payout. Of course there is no requirement to work in the bonded warehouses after reaching pensionable age, however the incentive of continuing to work and earn would not only reduce the pensions deficit, but would also raise revenue in the form of an income tax, albeit at a reduced taxable rate.
Now that we have embraced the sensible option of legalising all drugs to solve the many issues, expense and troubles drugs use causes as well as address a few other social issues we suffer from, we can expand thinking and actually make it a very lucrative policy indeed; let's invite the world to come to our country with their hard earned spending money by being the first country to encourage drugs tourism.. of course, the first thing they would have to do on arrival would be to apply for and PAY for a users licence and a tourist's drugs user's insurance policy… a tourist drugs users licence would of course be at a premium rate and temporary for the duration of their stay so that should they return again within any given timeframe they would have to re-purchase another licence.
It is a matter of debate as to whether drugs such as heroin, cannabis, ecstacy, cocaine et al being 'controlled drugs' is an oxymoron or simply a misnomer… for they are certainly not controlled, indeed the very fact that we have such a problem with the current controls is testament to this… let's get control of drugs by taking control of drugs use.
Why is this idea important?
A modern thinking, progressive nation must address the issues that stand in the way of modern thinking and progression.
The youth of today will decide the direction of progression.
To overlook the gravity of the issues outlined above and dismiss the very fact that it is the youth of today who know more about drugs use than any politician, political advisor, professor of pharmacology and man on the street combined is to stand in the way of that modern thinking and progression.
SOMETHING HAS TO BE DONE!!
To do nothing is not the same as doing something.