Monday, 15 May 2017

Big Dope? WTF?

Peter Hitchens in City AM re the Lib Dem suggestion that we legalise cannabis:

No. This cynical and rather ignorant proposal is another triumph for the billionaire Big Dope lobby which hopes to open up an enormous and lucrative new pleasure drug market.

As usual, it prefers not to admit its real purpose, hiding behind the dishonest euphemism “regulation”, when what it really means is a free for all.


James James said...

Oh, I've seen plenty of pitch decks for cannabis startups in the United States.

I don't have strong opinions regarding cannabis legalisation. Here are the best arguments I've seen against it:

1. The taxes raised wouldn't possibly pay for the harm caused.
The same applies to alcohol, but not to tobacco. If alcohol had always been illegal, we shouldn't legalise it. (I'm not sure what the failure of alcohol prohibition says about this. Drug prohibition is practiced with complete success in Singapore, Saudi Arabia etc.)

2. Having the laws but not enforcing them, like we do here, is better than not having them, because it provides an easy way to lock up scumbags if you want. That's what they do in America. Sure, capital punishment would be better, but that's not on the table.

formertory said...

What a crock.

People have a choice with alcohol. They moderate their use of it and so remain capable of going to work the next day. Or they don't. Almost all do.

Same with cannabis, acid, cocaine, crack and everything else. Those who want it will find it anyway, legal or otherwise. If drugs are decriminalised they can be sold from "official" outlets with education and advice, tax revenues to Government and the crims are out of business because there's no risk premium. And occasional users are spared the life-screwing criminal record they can get now.

Sure, a few unfortunates will always get it wrong. It's the human condition. Driving, smoking, gambling, drinking, drug-taking..... always a few will get it wrong. Does that mean it's right for the State to micro-manage everyone's life?

Bayard said...

JJ, are you being ironic? I do hope so.

James James said...

In science, you don't try to prove your own theory, you try to disprove it. I'm offering arguments against legalisation in the spirit of friendly enquiry.

Another of Hitchens' arguments is that drug laws are not enforced in this country. Everyone knows this is true. People smoke cannabis openly in the street these days. Celebrities mention their drug taking on television without being investigated.

Mark Wadsworth said...

JJ, the Bow Group article is full of blatant misuse and misquoting of statistics and playing the man not the ball (Branson supports legalising, Branson is a twat, therefore legalising is a twatty idea) so we can ignore that.

FT, no the point of having governments is to enhance our liberties, not curtail them.

JJ, second comment, no the person seeking to curtail liberties always has to have 100% evidence on his side (or at least 99%), the side asking for liberty NOT to be curtailed needs provide NO evidence whatsoever, or you end up with a dictatorship.

pen seive said...

Quite a few years ago, a senior manager for a well known tobacco company told me that his firm has registered several brand names for when, not if, certain drugs are legalised. Perhaps they, and their very persistent lobbyists, know something we don't?

mombers said...

"Each month, more evidence comes in of a strong correlation between cannabis use and mental illness"
Anything to do with the incentive to make cannabis as potent as possible? Trying to move large bags of good old Swazi Gold is a lot harder than the equivalent small brick of turbo cannabis produced now.

A side benefit is that you can smoke natural cannabis without tobacco. Good regulation would control the strength of the stuff - like higher taxes on higher alcohol content

Mark Wadsworth said...

PS, interesting.

M, besides the strength thing, the cannabis-mental illness thing works the other way round. People more likely to become classified as mentally ill (depressed, anxious etc) are more likely to smoke dope, it's called self-medication.

James James said...

"the Bow Group article is full of blatant misuse and misquoting of statistics and playing the man not the ball"

Sure, that's why I extracted the plausible argument.

"or you end up with a dictatorship."

Hmm, banning drugs leads to dictatorship. Right.

Mark Wadsworth said...

JJ, nanny state is the start, then campaigns against zero size models and fat people, then encouraging kids to keep the 2012 Olympic legacy going, you end up with Kraft Dutch Freude etc. Baby steps.

Mark Wadsworth said...

JJ, further, the only countries which really manage to reduce drug use significantly are actual dictatorships, theocracies or stupendously authoritarian.

That's what it would take - automatic death penalties and everybody and everything that crosses a border to be searched meticulously. A price not worth paying, not in a million years.