UK - Those killed by PMA are victims of the war on drugs



In Swindon a young man lies in hospital critically ill after taking a green pill stamped with a dollar sign. Last weekend a 15-year-old girl in Oxford died after taking a drug she thought was ecstasy. Just days earlier there was the inquest into a teenage gym instructor so badly injured after suffering spasms during an overdose, police initially thought he had been murdered.

Already this year about 20 people have been killed after taking what they thought was ecstasy, with seven deaths in Scotland over the past two months alone. These fatalities exceed recent annual tallies of ecstasy-related deaths – for all the scaremongering, ecstasy is a comparatively harmless drug, less dangerous than alcohol or tobacco. Sadly, in many cases the pill popped turns out to be the far stronger PMA, which takes longer to kick in, so users may take another, with catastrophic results.

These unfortunate youngsters seeking the thrill of intoxication are victims of prohibition. They are dead because our nation continues to wage a war on drugs launched four decades ago by a crooked US president; a war that drives users underground and prevents regulation of products ingested by millions each weekend. If it was contaminated olive oil killing the nation's kids, there would be an outcry; instead, those victims are "druggies", blamed for their own deaths.

Yet our society encourages an illegal market to boom, as shown by the cost of ecstasy halving in a decade, while the world's most brutal gangsters cream off huge profits and reduce the purity of their products. Politicians shun the evidence of scientists and ignore the devastating impact of their stupidity: only this month the coalition made the myopic decision to ban qat, a mild stimulant, though experts said there was no need, and east African farmers warned this will drive them towards destitution.

So we would do well not to get over-excited by the welcome news that drug use is falling, with younger generations clearly more censorious than their elders. Britain still has among the highest rates of use in Europe, with one in 12 adults and one in six older teenagers admitting to taking an illegal drug last year. This means each weekend huge numbers of people put their lives in the hands of people who use murder and mayhem to promote their business

Despite the recent spate of deaths, this country escapes the worst consequences. On Sunday there are elections in Mali, the first step in rebuilding a democratic nation that collapsed into coup and chaos last year after South American drug barons began using it as a path for their trade into Europe. Slowly but surely corruption corroded the country's institutions. The mercifully brief legacy of this was the world's first al-Qaida-controlled state.

Next time you hear politicians talking about the war on terror, remember how their war on drugs backfired in such lethal style. Mali is not alone: Guinea-Bissau is a fully fledged narco state; while organised crime, maritime piracy and militant Islamism grows across the region. Meanwhile, central America – the transit route for cocaine to all those wealthy drug users in the north – has degenerated into the world's most violent region, its cities like war zones. Honduras, with fewer than 8 million inhabitants, has more homicides than the entire EU, home to almost 500 million people.

Such facts are met with silence by the aid lobby, so fearful of upsetting their political paymasters despite the damage prohibition causes across the developing world. They are also brushed aside by Britain's leaders with meaningless messages of abstinence – until they leave office, when some have sudden conversions and express surprise to find the public mood so much maturer than the one at Westminster. If there was any justice, our political masters would be prosecuted for wasting police time on a war that can never be won.

Increasing numbers of police officers acknowledge that archaic drug laws make their job tougher by boosting the profits of gangsters, criminalising millions of otherwise law-abiding people and inflaming racial tensions. The one thing they fail to do is stop people from taking drugs: just look at Scandinavia, with similar addiction rates in Sweden and Norway despite wildly differing approaches. They are even more pointless in a digital and global economy, when users can order newly created narcotics online from vendors based abroad. Yet still the delusion exists that the supposed scourge of drugs can be defeated.

One day people will look back on this era with bemusement, just as we do at those days when alcohol was banned in the US. Already drug possession has been decriminalised in Portugal and the Czech Republic, while even the US has begun experimenting with more sensible drug laws. In May the Organisation of American States issued a landmark report exploring the path from prohibition, reflecting concerns of leaders fed up with chaos and carnage in their countries. As the pope tours his native region and warns against lifting controls, Uruguay prepares to vote next week on becoming the first country to fully legalise cannabis, with state-controlled outlets and regulation of users.

Perhaps we are finally on the brink of allowing reality to break through the fear-filled propaganda that has shrouded the debate on drugs, spreading death, decay and devastation around the globe. But what a long, strange trip it has been.

With user comments -

http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2013/jul/26/pma-victims-war-drugs-prohibition-archaic-laws
 

Comments

This piece deserves more attention, it illustrates exactly why a rethink of outmoded drugs law is long overdue & how the law as it stands is doing alot more harm than it is good...
 
Si Ingwe;11722215 said:
This piece deserves more attention, it illustrates exactly why a rethink of outmoded drugs law is long overdue & how the law as it stands is doing alot more harm than it is good...
Yeah, I'll bump it so it can stay on page 1 a while longer.
 
Wow, GREAT to see this on the front page. This article illustrates EXACTLY whats wrong with British drugs legislation. The authorities hop from foot to foot banning drugs left & right while this damned poison permeats our culture costing & ruining more & more lives. Where is the government when we actually need them? What is the point in banning the apbs & NBOMe while nothing is done to prevent PMA circulating in pills & powders of every discription?

I do not know what could be done, but this needs to be addressed urgently... URGENTLY!

Thanks BL, I am so pleased to see this excellent piece getting a position on the front page. Superb work. This is what we're here for!
 
This cannot all be blamed on the war on drugs....Lets get real, they just need to restructure there systems, things like PMA should be illegal, blaming all of this on prohibition is a false reality. There is a reason drugs are illegal everyone is just looking between the lines.

Sad none the less RIP to all victims.
 
Elven Warriorr;11731021 said:
Even if ecstasy was legalized, there would still be deaths caused to people drinking too much water. Legalization doesn't solve that.
Education and the provision of safety information would, though.
 
Elven Warriorr;11731021 said:
Even if ecstasy was legalized, there would still be deaths caused to people drinking too much water. Legalization doesn't solve that.
There are only a handful of confirmed cases of MDMA induced hyponatremia, it's not that common at all. I'd go out on a limb and say those kind of situations are caused by some impressionable new roller hearing that water can help minimize the damage of MDMA, and thinks that if he drinks ALL THE WATER he will have no damage or something like that :\



A small amount of information can be more dangerous than none... which is why we need to regulate these drugs and teach about their dangers in school.
 
It can't be! A mainstream media article about drug prohibition and the war on drugs which actually - pretty much - nails it?!

I must admit, I was a little surprised (in a good way) to finally read an article in which (just maybe) I may have indirectly contributed to about how this "war" was started over 40 years ago by a crooked US president. The way it's written is eerily similar to a comment I composed and sent to several recipients. Nonetheless, even if I had nothing to do with it, I'm still very happy that someone in the media has taken (what I feel to be) a very important step in going against the grain, so to speak. Better late than never that's for sure, because we seriously need these ridiculous, religiously influenced policies thrown out for good. And we need it now more than ever.

Thank you Sir Ian Birrell for telling it like it is! Thank you so much!

Oh and I almost forgot - fuck the DEA.
 
Folley;11731052 said:
A small amount of information can be more dangerous than none... which is why we need to regulate these drugs and teach about their dangers in school.
Pretty much we need to educate the entire public, its the misconceptions and the fact people don't know what they are taking, its not prohibition its not the drugs themselves it is the false information that has been floating around for the last few decades, then they turn it on user's as addicts or crazy when they will not provide correct information in the first place.
 
Great article. Seriously, just think how many more lives will saved if drug prohibhition was changed. From the source countries to the streets where it ends up getting sold. Btw, whats stamped on the pills in that pic? Is that a kangaroo?
 
See, I thought Kangol at first, but doesn't seem to match the logo. It does look a lot like the old Qantas logo.
 
Btw, whats stamped on the pills in that pic? Is that a kangaroo?
Yeah looks like a kangaroo, they are from the alamy stock photo site -

http://www.alamy.com/search/Imageresults.aspx?CreativeOn=1&adv=1&ag=0&all=1&creative=&et=0x000000000000000000000&vp=0&loc=0&qt=ecstasy&qn=&lic=6&lic=1&archive=1&dtfr=&dtto=&hc=&selectdate=&size=0xFF&aqt=&epqt=&oqt=&nqt=

Also used in this article -

http://www.capitalbay.com/latest-news/301643-the-ecstasy-recipe-book-that-s-killing-young-people-like-charlotte-and-turning-others-into-raging-monsters.html

Which they say also were 'pink love hearts' and they say contained 2cb.

There's also this article which mentions someone was hospitalised from 'pink kangaroos' -

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/england/hampshire/7226123.stm
 
EarthBounded;11731179 said:
Pretty much we need to educate the entire public, its the misconceptions and the fact people don't know what they are taking, its not prohibition its not the drugs themselves it is the false information that has been floating around for the last few decades, then they turn it on user's as addicts or crazy when they will not provide correct information in the first place.
Here's why drug legalization is a very bad idea. Alcohol is a legal drug, and yet despite all of the warning labels and common knowledge on it's dangers, there are still deaths from alcohol overdoses, people getting drunk and doing dangerous stuff while under the influence, etc. Making drugs legal increases usage, which will lead to an increase in problems caused by drug usage. Ecstasy being legal means that it would be regulated, and it wouldn't be laced with other drugs.

However, legalizing ecstasy also means that more people would use it, and there would be more deaths from people drinking too much water. Educating people isn't doing to stop people from drinking too much water. People are educated on alcohol, which is a legal drug, and look at all of the problems that alcohol causes.
 
Tenchi;11731542 said:
See, I thought Kangol at first, but doesn't seem to match the logo. It does look a lot like the old Qantas logo.
Nah, the 'roo looks too fat to be a qantas kangaroo -



Don't think they are kangol either


If you look at the pills in the pic, and focus on the one one the right end and tilt your head to the right, it kind of looks like it may be some kind of bird.

We might all be totally wrong and it's something totally different. Not really easy to make out.

In any case I'm sure they are long gone nowadays whatever they were.
 
Elven Warriorr;11731777 said:
Here's why drug legalization is a very bad idea. Alcohol is a legal drug, and yet despite all of the warning labels and common knowledge on it's dangers, there are still deaths from alcohol overdoses, people getting drunk and doing dangerous stuff while under the influence, etc. Making drugs legal increases usage, which will lead to an increase in problems caused by drug usage. Ecstasy being legal means that it would be regulated, and it wouldn't be laced with other drugs.

However, legalizing ecstasy also means that more people would use it, and there would be more deaths from people drinking too much water. Educating people isn't doing to stop people from drinking too much water. People are educated on alcohol, which is a legal drug, and look at all of the problems that alcohol causes.
I dont think people are well informed about alcohol at all, most people dont think it is a drug, or that its poisonous, or that it is a huge carcinogen. People only know being in an altered conscience is fun, and that hangovers are bad. MDMA doesnt make me any more/less thirsty than I should be, I dont know anyone who does get any more/less thirsty on it, piperazine pills on the other hand make me and everyone I know incredibly thirsty, and I can imagine thats where most of the deaths from drinking too much water come from. Even so, I imagine the risk of PMA in your pills is greater than drinking too much water.
 
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