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March 29, 2010 | by  | in News |
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Too drugged to Funct(ion)

News

“We are indeed drifting into the arena of the unwell,” says Withnail

Last week’s presentation by the Law Commission about their Issues Paper on Controlling and Regulating Drugs sought to promote rational decisions for drug policy.

Unfortunately for Law Commissioners Dr Warren Young and Val Sim, only seven people attended, six of whom were vocal advocates for drugs.

Dr Young said that the main focus of the issues paper was harm minimisation.

“Tentative thinking is that we’re not going soft: the present system doesn’t achieve anything. It is just recycling people through the system.

“If people are in court on their third drunk driving offense, it is clear they have a problem. Judges will tell you that out of these people, about 20 per cent will get assessed. The rest will get a conviction, a fine or a small term of imprisonment, then they start drink driving again,” said Dr Young.

The Law Commissioners said there were three limbs to the national drug policy: supply control, demand reduction and problem limitation.

“[The current system is] law enforcement, conviction and punishment—in order to have effective crime management we need to have a more flexible system.

Dr Young said rebalancing the three limbs of the strategy is what is needed to ensure positive change.

While Dr Young and Ms Sim were clear to point out this was an interim report to get feedback, the crowd did not seem to understand that these people were just making recommendations—not changing the law.

When the topic of legal selling of drugs came up, one member of the audience was herd to remark “Certified drug dealer. That’d be choice.”

“[Current medicine treats] the symptoms rather than treating the whole being… holistically,” one audience member said.

While focusing on marijuana, the crowd also dipped into Dimethyltryptamine and its ability to stop drug addiction by inducing deep introspection as well as the need to treat problems as a whole.

The paper seeks the public’s feedback on a number of issues surrounding the laws which govern drugs and alcohol.

Submissions can be made through the Law Commissions website.

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The editor of this fine rag for 2009.

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