N4 County Lines



  • edited March 2019
    @Brodiej are you for legalization? Would you have been pre-kids? It's interesting how viewpoints can change depending where one is in one's life and experience.
    I agree, it's horrendous round there. I wonder if the new fences will help.
  • There are strong arguments on both sides of the argument. I do know that i hate criminal activity in my area and people profiting from misery, and that drug addiction is a horrible horrible disease. I can't see how making drugs more accessible is a good thing when the damage is so clear to see, but i also understand that the benefit of that removes the criminal incentive to sell. Its not clear at all. It would be good for it to be tested in a community in the UK so that the results are easier to accept as real to us.
  • edited March 2019
    "Would you all legalize all drugs? Or just the ones you take?
    No country has legalized hard drugs"

    I would judge each substance using something like Professor Nutt's harm scale. Those with low-harm to the individual would be legalised and sold in a regulated system. Those that are more harmful would be decriminalised for use and possession and prescribed as described above. Portugal and Uruguay have moved in this direction to impressive and famous effect, others are following. Even the global compacts on this issue are now threatened by the enormous amount of evidence from those countries.

    You may want to dismiss the argument that even highly-authoritarian, high sanction states have been unable to reduce drug use, though I'm not sure why you would. The murder rates in Jamaica are hardly a useful example - what is the correlation between the high crime rate and decriminalisation? Jamaica has way bigger problems. Indeed can you point to any correlation (let alone causation), anywhere, between high sanctions and low drug use/related crime? Because you'd be the first person to successfully do so.
  • If Iran and Saudi can be used as an example of the failure of criminalizing drugs, surely it's acceptable to hold Jamaica up as an example of failure in decriminalizing? The murders in Jamaica are in large part drug gang related.
  • edited March 2019
    Would you judge just from a scale or from real life examples? Would you trust evidence from scientific studies of harm or go talk to dealers and addicts? It's a more nuanced problem than people here (probably myself included), are making it out to be.
  • David Nutt did all of that on behalf of the government. They didn't like the results and sacked him.
  • edited March 2019
    Iran and Saudi show that harsh penalties do not reduce drug use and increase harm. That's also true of every other country, they are just useful authoritarian examples.

    The sale of cannabis is still illegal in Jamaica. Decriminalising possession of small amounts won't negatively impact the illegal trade, just reduce the prosecution of otherwise innocent people.

    I'm only interested in scientific studies, including sociological ones where dealers and users are part of the study. Anecdote and personal experience can be useful, but just as often are highly misleading - as in all things.
  • edited March 2019
    A scientific paper might tell you that cannabis is not harmful. Unless you suffer from psychotic episodes when using it, which you don't know about until you have used it a couple of times. It might tell you it isn't a gateway drug, then you meet the people with slightly different brain chemistry for whom it was. And they are not a small minority. I hundred per cent trust science on global warming and climate change, subjects like individuals reaction to recreational drugs not so much.
  • My comments about legislation and decriminalisation were in direct response to the 'county lines' article. If we have reached the point where young children are kidnapped and forced to sell drugs in cities away from home then the current approach is clearly failing. The war on drugs has been focused on belittling and criminalising the users, particularly regarding hard drugs. If they are treated and listened to, rather than criminalised and defined as the enemy then there is every chance that they have better access to solutions to their issues. Heroin use in Switzerland is considerably lower since decriminalisation as a result of users getting their dose for free but also getting access to support and encouragement to stop using.

    Most drug users would rather not buy from criminals and rather go to a doctor, dispensary or coffee shop. Sending them to criminals makes the vulnerable more vulnerable. I was in Colorado last month and California last year, the situation there seems absolutely fine with no issues as far as I could see. People are not openly smoking weed because it is still illegal to smoke it in public. The main point is that Police are not wasting their time busting someone for buying weed and the users now do not have to deal with criminals in order to purchase a bag of dried plants.

    As a father of two young children, I would rather that it was all decriminalised because it removes the criminal element i.e. the hoards of drug gangs around N4. Why would that be a bad thing? Also, with legislation is control, currently it is easier for a 14 year old child in N4 to buy drugs than buy alcohol. For the record, I am not in favour of large drug use, like overuse of alcohol it effects society negatively. However, criminalising it just pushes it all underground, it certainly does not stop drug use and is a drain on public resources.

    For those of you getting high (no pun intended) and mighty about drug use, if you drink alcohol or coffee you are also drug user but because the government taxes those products you seem to think it is ok...…

    There seem to be a lot of opinions on this topic that highlight a naivety.
  • edited March 2019
    I can tell you now 100% cannabis is harmful, it's addictive it ruined my memory, speech pattern, organisation skills interpersonal skills job prospects, relationships, sleep pattern sex life, I moved across the USA so I could get the stuff nice and legal. I smoked everyday heavily from the age of 13 to the age of 40 it is a danger and a gateway to harder drugs, not because you want a stronger high but because you are around people who can get you stronger drugs. I don't need a scientific paper to show me that it will destroy lives, it was only by will power and a bloody good woman that I stopped. But it has radically altered my memory and nothing I can do will change that. Smoking weed directly led to my taking meth no ifs or buts.
  • Message from British Transport Police re dealing at Finsbury Park Station (in response to your very articulate comments which I copied to Twitter, @BrodieJ):

    Hello, we police Finsbury Park station! Please report any activity like this to us by texting 61016 or calling 0800 40 50 40 so we can investigate.
  • edited March 2019
    @n4matt sorry but that's just not right most drug users don't care if the dealer was Fred West or Harold Shipman, we just wanted our fix our hit to feel normal, at my worst I couldn't care less who sold me the stuff I just wanted it. And sorry but I wouldn't feel comfortable or happy sat in a nice weed cafe up crouch hill sipping my coffee, it's a dirty trade and should be policed as such.
  • @krappyrubsnif that is comical. I walk past that station at least twice a day, often late at night. There is always open drug use, the BTP ignore it. They crack down on the prostitution. I would happily see that legalized.
  • @Detritus Ok, let's say you had a family member who was using, would you rather that they bought from a criminal or a dispensary of some sort? Because if you have a relation using, you know from your own experience that just because it is illegal that does not mean that people will stop doing it.

    Obviously you have some personal experience and I am pleased for you that things have improved. BUT to take your example, if someone were drinking heavily every day from 13 to the age of 40 would that not also cause similar problems with job prospects, interpersonal skills etc etc? Someone moving across an ocean to improve their high is, if you will forgive me, clearly at the extreme end of the issue. Also, was it not due to the criminality of the weed that you were mixing with people who then may have access to meth etc? Criminalising drugs did not stop you using them but maybe made your situation more taboo and less likely to seek help.

    I smoked weed regularly in my younger years, never moved on to anything heavier and had a great time. I would much rather have not been exposed to criminals in order to have my smoke though.

    We're still missing the point, the current way of handling drugs i.e prohibition for over 100 years, has failed miserably and there are solid examples around the world where decriminalisation or legislation has worked. They are facts, not opinions. Portugal has seen a massive decrease in drug use and related street crime. People seem to be getting much more emotional about the issue rather than using simple common sense.
  • Message from British Transport Police:

    Hello, we police Finsbury Park station! Please report any activity like this to us by texting 61016 or calling 0800 40 50 40 so we can investigate.

    That is genius: As if you could miss it, they are stood every night in the alley to the park next to the expensive bike parking. Someone should tell the police just to look out for the thing that resembles a low grade knock off The Wire.
  • edited March 2019
    For the love of God. You are choosing to completely ignore, and then mansplain back to them, someone's own experience of the extremes as if they are one anomaly in an ocean of 30 somethings trying to hold on to how cool they felt at university.

    Yes @Papa L you are exactly right.
  • If a man explains something to another man, are they mansplaining? Or is that just explaining? I'm no longer down with the kids enough to know.
  • Yep. Still mansplaining (I think), it's more about context than gender.
  • edited March 2019
    (Off-topic, hence parentheses: “More about context than gender”? So women can “mansplain” too? The term “mansplain” is as poorly-conceived as any other assertion of sexist generalisations.)
  • edited March 2019
    I've already made this point about 'manageress'. Some words in the English language are being stigmatized by being given new meanings they never originally had. OK, so language evolves. But how about a gender neutral word for 'boring the pants off everybody by laying down the law about something or other we already knew about, just to make it look like you are smarter and better informed'. 'Excessplaining', anybody? By the way, there's a lot of that on here.....
  • I dislike the term mansplaining - not just because I am a man - but because I think it is used as a way to shut down discussion.

    I'm not saying you are doing that Miss Annie - and please don't take that as my point here - but that's how I often see it used.

    It's an easy way to discredit someone's right to an opinion, similar to shouting privilege, left wing, right wing etc.

    I also suspect that if a term emerged to describe women taking much longer than needed to relate a event about their day whilst going round the houses in their story (femeandering perhaps) the modern humourless world would judge it not okay to use it.

    That said people can use mansplain all they want though. Free speech is paramount and in my mind people need to get back to having thicker skins.

  • edited March 2019
    (Edit: This comment was supposed to be addressed to PapaL, not Ali. Apologies for any confusion).

    “Femeandering”! My word, you are a card, @Ali , and no mistake!

    “Thicker skins” my arse! If sexist language is all right, let’s be humourous with racist language too, hmmm? Oh, and let’s not forget all the “humorous” langauge from the ‘70s relating to flids and spazzes.

    Yes, free speech gives one the right to expose oneself as an embarrassment to one’s company (I was going to call you a c¥#%, just to test the waters, but then thought better of it).
  • Wow, Scruffy, beyond accusing Ali of something when I think you meant me, you escalated that one quickly.

    I feel you might be conflating a number of far more serious things with my post about an innocuous but annoying term 'mansplaining'.
  • edited March 2019
    @Detritus i also have real world experience with most drugs, both personally and within all social circles, do you think it is a disease (you did not say that it is)? I personally do not.

    My friends other half died of an OD last year and he kicked a 10 year habit when he realised he would sooner or later be next, i have never heard of a personal tragedy curing a disease.

    I like a drink, but i would not drink nail varnish, i also am the type of person to climb things \ run marathons etc. i would not call that a disease either but it is only replacing one high with another.


    If you want to know the actual reasons behind prohibition read 'Chasing The Scream' which is a massively informative book.

    The author also thinks drugs should be legalised (as do i) but that is really not the reason to read the book, the content is fascinating.

    I believe that man has been getting high for thousands of years, why stop now.

    We need education around what 'DRUGS!' are, more people die now from taking uppers and then taking downers because they don't have a bloody clue on what they are doing or the strength of the pills.

    Legalise, educate and let people go out and have fun.
  • Education and regulation.

    Pills are crazy strong these days. 10 or 15 years back they had maybe 70mg in them. These days they have up to 300mg. But the kids buying them have no idea. It's a gamble.

    Saying "drugs are bad, they should be banned" is all well and good. But it doesn't work. It kills people. It gives power to criminals.
  • Thank you Papa.

    If the EU was a female and the UK Government a bloke the later has been mansplaining the former for around two years !

    Assuming I understand correctly what mansplaining means and it also shows it will not get you very far.
  • Indeed you’re right, @Papa L , and apologies to @Ali , I got your names mixed up.
  • @Papa L , rather than escalating or conflating, I was extrapolating just to expose the mechanism of your "thicker skins" comment. There was no accusation.

    The use of "Mansplaining" is not innocuous; it's corrosively sexist and denigrating in that it implies that condescending, long-winded, patronising explanations are the speciality of men.
  • edited March 2019
    I wouldn't say they are a speciality of men. Personally I've never had a woman explain my own thoughts or life to me in a similar way but as it's put a bat up so many people's nightdresses I assume that others have.

    The example to which I responded was actually not mansplaining, as the dictionary definition for that does exclusively apply to men patronisingly explaining to women. I'll apologise to @N4Matt and settle for plain ole patronising - explaining the person's problems to them while also ignoring the person's actual lived experience.

    Not going back to edit though. Sorry if I've upset you all chaps (which I use as a total gender neutral).
  • edited March 2019
    It's all so binary!
    I do dislike the term mansplaining, but I try not to womoan about it (all not gender specific).
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