Davis Talks a Load of Guff

There’s a piece in the Guardian today about how drugs experts think the current UK drugs classification system is total nonsense. No doubt they’ll be ignored just like numberless others have been ignored before them. It’s good to see it in the media anyway even if it is, by now, a case study in “the bleeding obvious”. But then there’s blustering Tory David Davis with some of his mindless but perhaps entirely predictable comments:

[T]he shadow home secretary, David Davis, rejected any changes that would confuse the public. “Drugs wreck lives, destroy communities and fuel other sorts of crime – especially gun and knife crime. Thanks to the government’s chaotic and confused approach to drugs policy, young people increasingly think it is OK to take drugs,” he said, adding that he was against downgrading of ecstasy. “It is vital nothing else leads young people to believe drugs are OK.”

Yes, drugs, currently, cause crime – because they’re illegal. And they’re illegal because they’ve been arbitrarily and unscientifically classified. Seemingly, Davis thinks it’s “vital nothing else leads young people to believe drugs are OK” even if the “thing” that might lead them to believe drugs are OK is the truth or drugs policy actually based on facts and evidence instead of conservative prejudice and dogma or, as a result, their legality. Confused approach to drugs policy indeed.

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2 Responses to “Davis Talks a Load of Guff”


  1. 1 paulie11 April 18, 2007 at 9:43 pm

    I couldn’t agree more. Some people have an irrational fear of consciousness altering substances. I call these people narcophobes. It doesn’t matter to them that virtually every major study concludes treatment and rehabilitation to be more cost effective than prison.

  2. 2 Philip Pilkington July 4, 2008 at 1:26 am

    Once again we have the assertion that current drugs policies are jumbled nonsense. Of course that’s fairly obvious, unfortunatly I think that any drugs policy (or non-policy) would turn up equally mixed and nonsensical results.

    The first myth is the classic one: that a modern government can properly police narcotics. But the second pair of myths is equally problematic: that some vaguely scientific solution can save the day or that by allowing people “freedom of choice” (a wonderfully ambiguous phrase…) we can gain….. something or other.

    The whole misfortune seems to stem from the idea, which is pretty much implicit in any of these myths, that one can theorise substance abuse on some sort of quantitative level, that it can actually be a problem posed to the State, whether the hypothetical State takes the “Conservative” anti-drug approach or the “Liberal” pro-drug approach – I’m being purposely vague here as I’m trying to avoid springing the trap that’s been set.

    Drug use is essentially a qualitative problem, one which, when supply cannot be simply cut off, civil society must deal with, as no one else can. This is painfully obvious to anyone who seriously looks at the reasons for drugs use and abuse: poverty, subcultures and recreation, family breakdown, psychiatric problems which have not been dealt with for some reason or another, general disillusionment etc. etc.

    Once we cannot argue within the realms of simply putting a plug into supplies, we have to admit that drugs are the effect, the symptom, not the cause, anything else is simply preaching! There is no “truth” about drugs, only “truths” about how they’re used and abused.


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