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Thursday, April 01, 2010

Resources for contering the drugs panic Labour want to trap us with 

There are rather more ‘legal highs’ out there than the currently controversial mephedrone. Shooting down one named ‘drug’ will not solve a much wider complex of issues. As an article on the US site SLATE noted back in 2007.

over the last two decades, the pharmaceutical industry has developed a full set of substitutes for just about every illegal narcotic we have. Avoiding the highly charged politics of "illegal" drugs, the pharmaceutical industry, doctors, and citizens have thus quietly created the means for Americans to get at substitutes for almost all the drugs banned in the 20th century. Through the magic of tolerated use, it's actually the other drug legalization movement, and it has been much more successful than the one you read about in the papers.
Tim Wu SLATE October 2007 'American Lawbreaking' articles

The technical name for this process is Avoision 'achieving a forbidden outcome as a by-product of a permitted act'. (More on this theme in an old post of mine here).

You may also like to see the US website EROWID which ‘documents the complex relationship between humans and psychoactives’ and particularly its ‘experience vault’ on individual reports on specific substances. Cant find an entry for mephedrone there though… but I am not a chemist.

Jock Coats recommended as a resource the Schaffer Library of Drugs Policy Research. I suspect (looking at his recent posting) that he would again like to call our attention to the paper on the economics of the black market.

On Jocks current thoughts, (see this debate), my pennyworth. Making a rational case on these themes calmly while the LibDems political opponents look for a way to manufacture a Littleworth And Saddleworth 'soft on drugs' scare will take the care and attention of all of us. Lets remember this 'Clare Short Gaffe' moment from way back in 1995. Labour are trying to ambush us with a carfully nurtured panic, no doubt about that.

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Comments:
Yeah - there's definitely something at Erowid's vaults about Mephedrone. One wouldn't touch anything one couldn't find some reasonable reports on at Erowid!

On your last point though - I really do wonder about whether to stay out of that ambush or not. At the very least, I expect a large proportion of our population would vote for a "sensible debate policy" rather than the regular panics we see under the current regime.
 
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