Just say...uh, what was it again?

So I'm sitting there in front of the news, watching a report on the prime minister's son who sold some gutter journalist cannabis, with a nice cold tin of Stella in my hand. And I realised the solution to the entire drugs problem.

Legalise the lot of them.

Every one. Dope, E, coke, speed, smack and crack. It is, in fact, NO GODDAMN BUSINESS of the government what we put into our bodies -- though our PM would have us think otherwise (thank you, Mr.Blair, for saving me from the approximate one in a billion chance of contracting BSE off a T-bone steak. Now, FUCK OFF). Their role should be limited to merely advising us of the risks that we run.

The problem, as I see is, is not drugs per se. Society doesn't mind them: it tolerates alcohol, caffeine and (just about) nicotine. What people dislike is drug-related crime. Legalisation would help in two ways. One, no need to spend vast amounts of manpower and effort chasing after people who are, on the whole, no threat to anyone apart from themselves. Secondly, and probably more importantly, if drugs were legalised, the cost would plummet, and there would no longer be any NEED for people to burgle and rob in order to fund their habit. When was the last time you heard of a cigarette smoker mugging someone for the cost of a packet of B&H? This all seems so blatantly goddamn obvious that it should not need pointing out.

In health terms, it would probably also help. Most of the problems with drugs are because you don't know whether you are getting 99% pure Colombian nose-candy or Vim. The potential for screwing up is obvious, when you don't know how much to take -- what IS the correct dose for drain cleaner anyway? Give it to Glaxo, and they can produce exactly the right amount, in pharmaceutical purity. When THAT hits your skull, there'll be none of this "are you feeling anything yet?", I can assure you.

What's perhaps the most remarkable thing about this stance is that I've never even TRIED any illegal drugs. I've occasionally wanted to, but the nearest I came was getting some amphetamines for a weekend when I was doing two consecutive all-night film shows. I didn't need it, so I returned it, unused, to the kind individual who had given it to me. I actively HATE the smell of cannabis, and would willingly concede that anyone smoking it in nostril-shot of me should be hung, drawn and quartered. I just don't need drugs, and tend to think that the only people who need their minds expanding are those with terribly small minds to start with. Drugs, in any case, don't expand your mind, they just give your critical faculties a good kicking. Drink six pints and every woman looks like Pamela Anderson. Drop an E, and you can dance to the Greenwich time signal. Smoke dope, and Vic Reeves seemes funny. Take LSD, and the meaning of life can be found in the patterns of the clouds.

It can't, of course. But if you want to look for it there, why not? Me, I'm off for a beer to see me through into 1998. Happy New Year.

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