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Law Talk

Post by Orwell on Sat Aug 18, 2012 12:49 am

As you lot are generally a lawless bunch, I thought it might be good to have a thread were law matters might be discussed as a means of possibly opening your social consciences.

So I'll kick off.

Should all casual drug use be legalized? I.e. Should 'use' of illicit drugs be made legal (or at least decriminalized)?

(I'm not talking about illegal manufacturers or traffickers, I mean the end 'user': for example, the girl in the nightclub who is offered the opportunity to expand her mind - or pleasure experience - via a dram or two of "Ice", or a puff of cannabis-L).



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Re: Law Talk

Post by Eldorion on Sat Aug 18, 2012 12:53 am

I have mixed feelings about the potential legalization of hard drugs. I'm not thrilled about making dangerous substances legal (stuff like PCP and meth especially), but at the same time the War on Drugs has had many negative consequences in many different countries. Some sort of reform to drug policy is needed, at least in America. A mild drug like marijuana on the other hand I have no problem saying should be legal alongside alcohol and tobacco. I'm also fine with putting restrictions on all three.
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Re: Law Talk

Post by Pettytyrant101 on Sat Aug 18, 2012 12:59 am

Ok I'll bite.
And my answer is no.

I dont see the point in decrimalising or legalising the end user and not the rest.
That would be like it being legal to smoke cigarrettes or drink alcohol but illegal to make it and therefore no regulation over its production or contents.

No one is going to say drugs are good for you. None are. Therefore the job of government in my view is not to dictate arbitarily which drugs are socially acceptable and which are not but to ensure that they operate within the laws of providing a safe as possible consumer product.
Just as they do with other legal drugs.

Harm to the user cannot be citied as a good reason- on the drugs death list for Scotland methadone, pharmacuticals and alcohol account for the bulk of deaths- and all three are available legally (methodone is used in rehabilitation of heroin users).
And study after study show the heakth risks of many other drugs are comparable or less.

So for me it comes to a simple question- who should profit?
At the moment its criminals, gangs, thugs and militia groups- those dont seem like the ideal choice of folks to me.
Much better if the money is accounted for and is part of the legal economy.

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Re: Law Talk

Post by Orwell on Sat Aug 18, 2012 1:01 am

Eldorion wrote:I have mixed feelings about the potential legalization of hard drugs. I'm not thrilled about making dangerous substances legal (stuff like PCP and meth especially), but at the same time the War on Drugs has had many negative consequences in many different countries. Some sort of reform to drug policy is needed, at least in America. A mild drug like marijuana on the other hand I have no problem saying should be legal alongside alcohol and tobacco. I'm also fine with putting restrictions on all three.

So we make 'use' of Cannibis-L legal?

What about that girl who 'uses' "Ice" once? If the police catch her out, should there be a legal ramification of any sort?

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Re: Law Talk

Post by Eldorion on Sat Aug 18, 2012 1:01 am

Petty - I can't speak for Orwell, but perhaps what he meant to suggest is a scenario in which the police should still go after drug cartels and gangs but that drugs are available through certain legal sources. That seems reasonable enough to me, especially as it would significantly undercut cartels.


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Re: Law Talk

Post by Eldorion on Sat Aug 18, 2012 1:04 am

Orwell wrote:So we make 'use' of Cannibis-L legal?

Yes, I think it should be legal. In my opinion, the financial and societal costs of criminalizing and prosecuting marijuana are greater than the costs of legalizing it would be. It's the same reason I don't think alcohol or tobacco should be prohibited even though I don't really care for the use of those drugs either.

What about that girl who 'uses' "Ice" once? If the police catch her out, should there be a legal ramification of any sort?

It would depend on the circumstances, I guess. My first thought is to say mandatory rehab but I don't know how helpful forcing someone into rehab would be if they don't want to get better. I certainly wouldn't suggest jail time.

I guess I need to think about this question more.
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Re: Law Talk

Post by Orwell on Sat Aug 18, 2012 1:08 am

Pettytyrant101 wrote:So for me it comes to a simple question- who should profit? At the moment its criminals, gangs, thugs and militia groups- those dont seem like the ideal choice of folks to me.
Much better if the money is accounted for and is part of the legal economy.

I guess if a "Legal" manufacturer made the "Ice" our girl 'used', then the 'use' would be legal then... Shrugging In that event, her 'use' should have no legal ramification. So do you think this would be a good idea, Petty?

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Re: Law Talk

Post by Eldorion on Sat Aug 18, 2012 1:11 am

"Why" are you "using" so many "quotation marks", "Orwell"?
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Re: Law Talk

Post by Pettytyrant101 on Sat Aug 18, 2012 1:16 am

A good idea Orwell no. A better idea than the current way, yes.
This is not a right choice/bad choice scenario. Its a least harm scenario.
And not just harm to the individual but to her immediate society and to wider society.
At present she would be arrested- the chances of her being given compassionate rehabilitation treatment are a lot less than her just being fined or improsoned for a short period, that means she has a criminal record making all her future efforts to get on with life a lot more difficult and increasing the liklihood she will get stuck in rut with few ways out.
The money she payed for the drugs also disappears out of the economy, it will either be laundered or used in illegal trades. Either way society loses from it.
And the final reciptents of the drug money are usually large organised gangs in foreign countries. Which is neither good for us but especially not for the foreign country who finds it has a militia in its backgarden who are better funded than they are.

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Re: Law Talk

Post by Orwell on Sat Aug 18, 2012 1:17 am

Eldorion wrote:Yes, I think it should be legal. In my opinion, the financial and societal costs of criminalizing and prosecuting marijuana are greater than the costs of legalizing it would be. It's the same reason I don't think alcohol or tobacco should be prohibited even though I don't really care for the use of those drugs either.

I agree. I think Cannabis-l is no where near as safe as people make it out to be, but I think it's popular enough to be legalized (given a lot of regulation and study put into it's legal production, mind). I say 'popular' because in a democracy 'popularity' translates into 'legislation' eventually. (Until then, I'll keep charging people, Petty, because I obey and enforce the Laws of where I am, and don't set myself above it).


Eldorion wrote:It would depend on the circumstances, I guess. My first thought is to say mandatory rehab but I don't know how helpful forcing someone into rehab would be if they don't want to get better. I certainly wouldn't suggest jail time.

So you think our girl should be charged and some kind of penalty be imposed on her?


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Re: Law Talk

Post by Orwell on Sat Aug 18, 2012 1:19 am

Eldorion wrote:"Why" are you "using" so many "quotation marks", "Orwell"?

As a way of focussing very specifically on what we're talking about. Probably not required, but I guess it's a backhand way of trying to stop the discussion from floating off into broader discussion. I like building houses brick by brick, and prefer 'not' to put the roof on before the walls are finished! Very Happy

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Re: Law Talk

Post by Pettytyrant101 on Sat Aug 18, 2012 1:22 am

I'll keep charging people, Petty, because I obey and enforce the Laws of where I am, and don't set myself above it- Orwell

I couldnt do your job Orwell thats where we differ. I could not enforce laws on others I did not think were justifiable. I would see my wage as a bribe.

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Re: Law Talk

Post by Orwell on Sat Aug 18, 2012 1:23 am

Pettytyrant101 wrote:A good idea Orwell no. A better idea than the current way, yes.
This is not a right choice/bad choice scenario. Its a least harm scenario.
And not just harm to the individual but to her immediate society and to wider society.
At present she would be arrested- the chances of her being given compassionate rehabilitation treatment are a lot less than her just being fined or improsoned for a short period, that means she has a criminal record making all her future efforts to get on with life a lot more difficult and increasing the liklihood she will get stuck in rut with few ways out.
The money she payed for the drugs also disappears out of the economy, it will either be laundered or used in illegal trades. Either way society loses from it.
And the final reciptents of the drug money are usually large organised gangs in foreign countries. Which is neither good for us but especially not for the foreign country who finds it has a militia in its backgarden who are better funded than they are.

All well and good, but --- she only used it once! Like maybe someone picking a mushroom once and chewing it out of curiousity! First time! Should there be a legal penalty of any sort?

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Re: Law Talk

Post by Orwell on Sat Aug 18, 2012 1:26 am

Pettytyrant101 wrote:I'll keep charging people, Petty, because I obey and enforce the Laws of where I am, and don't set myself above it- Orwell

I couldnt do your job Orwell thats where we differ. I could not enforce laws on others I did not think were justifiable. I would see my wage as a bribe.

As a general principle, do you think we should have people paid to 'enforce' the law? I don't see my wage as a bribe - except in the sense maybe that working with old people is a bribe. Would you help old people day in and day out if you weren't paid for doing it? scratch

As to justifiable, there is the bigger picture involved. Does allowing people to smoke an illegal drug make me a Morally better citizen?

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Re: Law Talk

Post by Pettytyrant101 on Sat Aug 18, 2012 1:29 am

Well if it was under my laws she would not have broken any.
The product she bought would have been from a licensed dealer in a shop, it would have to meet certain standards of safety and purity, same as any other legal product, and the money she paid would have been declared and taxable.
So no there would be no case to answer.

With regard old people I got sacked form my old job for questioning managment over their treatment of residents as I was not prepared to act like their jailer when I was being paid to be their carer.
If what I am paid to do is against my own sens eof what is right I will not continue to do it.

It only becomes a bribe in my view if you think what you are doing is not right but you do it anyway and take the money.

I happen to think criminalising people for smoking cannabis is wrong and I would not take money to enforce such a law.

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Re: Law Talk

Post by Orwell on Sat Aug 18, 2012 1:59 am

Pettytyrant101 wrote:Well if it was under my laws she would not have broken any.The product she bought would have been from a licensed dealer in a shop, it would have to meet certain standards of safety and purity, same as any other legal product, and the money she paid would have been declared and taxable. So no there would be no case to answer.

So the manufacture of "Ice", properly regulated, is okay by you?

Pettytyrant101 wrote:With regard old people I got sacked form my old job for questioning managment over their treatment of residents as I was not prepared to act like their jailer when I was being paid to be their carer. If what I am paid to do is against my own sense of what is right I will not continue to do it.

The only people who should be jailed are criminals, though preventing old people from escaping which may lead to them dying in the snow (for example) would still be 'jailing' in a sense. Perhaps, being 'jailed' in that sense, though they are innocent, may be the appropriate Moral course? Did you take your illegal jailing complaint to the police? Or is it legal to illegally jail old people in your country? You lost your job on moral grounds, but did you go and report the matter on the strength of your morals? Did your Moral obligations end when you were no longer an employee?

Pettytyrant101 wrote:It only becomes a bribe in my view if you think what you are doing is not right but you do it anyway and take the money.

On a surficial level it may seem so (I guess Suspect ), but I get paid for the totality of what I do, I don't receive commissions for individual 'jobs' done. "Hey Orwell, here's an extra twelve bucks for that drug user you charged!" If I felt that way, I couldn't be a policeman. But there is the bigger picture. Illegal growers need an illegal market to sell to, and both ends are complicit in supporting an un-regulated trade - that is most often linked strongly to other even more insidious forms of criminality.

I guess, if we had the draconian laws against drug use and possession that you appear to have, I'd have cause to make it a far bigger personal Moral issue, fair enough. There are small penalties here for casual users and possessers here. The real focus with me is that police deal with the folk who are making the big bucks with no regard to the welfare of others.


Pettytyrant101 wrote:I happen to think criminalising people for smoking cannabis is wrong and I would not take money to enforce such a law.

Again, most users aren't seen as being 'criminalized' here by the process. In fact, now you mention it, the only 'crimialized' folk I can think of that I've dealt with have had other serious crimes (assaults, burglaries, thefts) attached to their names. The casual law abiding users mainly are first Cautioned (maybe get another one if the 'offending' is not too close together), then put on a Diversion Program next (if they're silly enough to be caught again), then only later have 'convictions' recorded against their names - even then the penalties are pretty mild. I can't think of anyone I know, actually, who has just convictions for Cannabis-L use against their names. They are usually attached to folk whose crimes are far more diverse, as mentioned above. I confess, I have often suggested to youngsters who I have found with a very small quantity of Cannabis-L that it was in their interests to discard it into a bin or into the grass of the carpark they're in. It's a common practice among police of my acquaintance. (Though I can't tell you who we are, for obvious reasons!!!) As a rule, we're interested in actual criminals. But for all that, sometimes I am bound by circumstances to not use my discretion.

Btw you can call my sense-of-duty bribery if you like, but I personally see that as wrong headed of you, and a cheap shot to boot. Very Happy

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Re: Law Talk

Post by Pettytyrant101 on Sat Aug 18, 2012 2:17 am

So the manufacture of "Ice*", properly regulated, is okay by you?

Im not sure what you seem to be trying to drive at. I have already said I dont think there is an 'ok' answer to drugs.
Only that the current sytem is unfair, ineffectual and expensive.
I think the alternative- legal and regulated is better, not okay.


When I speak of acting like a jailer I am talking of performing actions which are directly against the wishes of the client but which the managment insist on- to give but one example- an old lady who was having a bad day, was very emotional and was being physically forced into a bath she did not want or need. It was not necessarily either as she was not incontinent, had been washed already that day and would be again when she awoke in the morning, she was greatly distressed screaming, hollering for help, crying ect but she had to be made to take it because and I quote, "its on the bath rota".
Thats one small incident- there were enough others that were similar and in my view equally wrong which I felt strongly enough to get vocal about.
After my sacking I made an official complaint in writing to the care commission.
Since I have left the care commission made a scathing report on the home and it has recently changed managment entirely.
Not thanks to me I am sure , but it gave some moral comfort to being sacked for voicing my unrest.

Anyone here who is caught and arrested with possession, even a small amount, gets a record of it. Not only that it doesnt specify what you were done for, just the law under which you were done- so a heroin user will have the same thing as a cannabis user on their record- that they were arrested under the 1978 drug laws.
It can affect job prospects in particular as well as other opportunities.

"you can call my sense-of-duty bribery if you like, but I personally see that as wrong headed of you, and a cheap shot to boot."

You asked my opinion and I gave you an honest answer of how I feel about it. Im sorry of you felt that was a cheap shot it was not meant to be a shot of any kind. Its simply how I feel about it.

I have known police officers who smoke cannabis and who have arrested others for doing the same- to me that is simply hypocrisy. If a police officer doesn't believe in the law they have no moral right to uphold it.



*incidentally I have no idea what Ice is!

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Re: Law Talk

Post by Orwell on Sat Aug 18, 2012 2:45 am

Pettytyrant101 wrote:So the manufacture of "Ice*", properly regulated, is okay by you? Im not sure what you seem to be trying to drive at. I have already said I dont think there is an 'ok' answer to drugs.
Only that the current sytem is unfair, ineffectual and expensive. I think the alternative- legal and regulated is better, not okay.!

What I'm getting at, should "Ice" ever be legalized?

Pettytyrant101 wrote:When I speak of acting like a jailer I am talking of performing actions which are directly against the wishes of the client but which the managment insist on- to give but one example- an old lady who was having a bad day, was very emotional and was being physically forced into a bath she did not want or need. It was not necessarily either as she was not incontinent, had been washed already that day and would be again when she awoke in the morning, she was greatly distressed screaming, hollering for help, crying ect but she had to be made to take it because and I quote, "its on the bath rota".
Thats one small incident- there were enough others that were similar and in my view equally wrong which I felt strongly enough to get vocal about. After my sacking I made an official complaint in writing to the care commission. Since I have left the care commission made a scathing report on the home and it has recently changed managment entirely. Not thanks to me I am sure , but it gave some moral comfort to being sacked for voicing my unrest. !!


Excellent! I can't help thinking, though, you might have agitated for a change while staying there to care for those folks. Do you ever feel you left them without a protector? I'm not being a smartarse, it's a genuine reflection. I know how passionate you are on this subject generally. (Remember too, I've read Home, and am STILL waiting for the next installment! Mad )

Pettytyrant101 wrote:Anyone here who is caught and arrested with possession, even a small amount, gets a record of it. Not only that it doesnt specify what you were done for, just the law under which you were done- so a heroin user will have the same thing as a cannabis user on their record- that they were arrested under the 1978 drug laws. It can affect job prospects in particular as well as other opportunities.!

We are Fairer here, it seems.

Pettytyrant101 wrote:"you can call my sense-of-duty bribery if you like, but I personally see that as wrong headed of you, and a cheap shot to boot."!

You asked my opinion and I gave you an honest answer of how I feel about it. Im sorry of you felt that was a cheap shot it was not meant to be a shot of any kind. Its simply how I feel about it.!


It is then a stupid opinion, but I would always fight for your right to hold it! Very Happy

Pettytyrant101 wrote:"I have known police officers who smoke cannabis and who have arrested others for doing the same- to me that is simply hypocrisy. If a police officer doesn't believe in the law they have no moral right to uphold it.!

I actually believe in the Law as it stands, because while the Cannabis-L trade is illegal, I am sworn to uphold the Law. I would see it as immoral to be a policeman and not uphold the Law (which includes the all-important 'Spirit' of the Law, which affects me in the use of my discretion which I employ at times). I take into account the whole 'criminal' infrastructure that usually underpins the whole drug trafficking business (including Cannabis-L). The user supports the whole system and must own some responsibilty. A bit like the Chaos Theory. I think everyone has a responsibilty to fight the Drug Lords - as do I by charging the small user/possessers. It's a Big Picture issue for me. When Cannabis-L is legalized and regulations are put in place, I will then police the new rules. (And probably with greater satisfaction - though I guess bribery will still be involved. Very Happy )

As to these police who break the law, I would love to know who they are. If you can name names, let me know and I'll pass on the information via Interpol and get them dealt with for you, Petty.

Pettytyrant101 wrote:"*incidentally I have no idea what Ice is!

A form of Amphet that comes looking like actual 'ice.' Not an iceblock, but that 'shattered' ice look. I remember one night we pulled over a guy driving around the nightclubs and saw a clear water bottle half full of ice in a special drink holder on his dash. As we talked to the driver we became curious as to why the ice didn't appear to have melted at all, it being quite a warm night! It was worth thousands and he was selling it to young folk as he drove around. Who the hell knows what quality it was, or what it could do to people?

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Re: Law Talk

Post by Pettytyrant101 on Sat Aug 18, 2012 2:58 am

"What I'm getting at, should "Ice" ever be legalized? "

Yes, if the only offered alternative is for it to exist illegally and unregulated.
Education should play a large part as well. People used to take stryicnine and arsenic as recreational drugs- once people understood what it did to you however it eventually fell out of vogue.

"Do you ever feel you left them without a protector?"

Yes, most days. I am not even allowed to go see any of them- although I may try to now it has changed owners.
I was not planning on getting sacked, I was just a bit too, well me, in my protests and may have let myself get over emotional when I needed to stay cool.

"It is then a stupid opinion, but I would always fight for your right to hold it!"

Well thats ok then. Very Happy

"I would see it as immoral to be a policeman and not uphold the Law"

Is not then equally immoral for a policeman to break laws that they enforce on others?

"The user supports the whole system and must own some responsibilty."

I dnt disagree with this. But the governemtn bears the ultimate responsibility- it is they who make certain drugs illegal and create the entire criminal infrasturcture as a result.
If it were legal and regulated the money could not be used as it is now to fund other criminal activiies (well it could but it would be the usual crimes of bankers ect which is apparently ok).

Thaks for the clarification of Ice, wasnt sure if youd made it up as a generic drug for the sake of debate. (I always liked 'trumpet' in the GTA games Very Happy )

ps whats with the cannabis-L- whats the L for?


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Re: Law Talk

Post by Orwell on Sat Aug 18, 2012 3:05 am

I probably would have said "razzledazzlecompositecompound" (or "RDeeCeeCee"), if I had wanted to make something up. Very Happy

I would see it as probably "more" immoral for a policeman to break the drug laws, especailly if you added the hypocrisy involved! Go to jail! Do not pass GO.

Imagine Murdoch given the chance to make bigger profits! Scary, really! Shocked

The L? I'm not sure. I put it in my charges though, so it must mean something. (I confess to not compiling many drug briefs. It's not an area I pursue all that hotly as a Uniform Cop. I have recently been seconded to a Family Violence Unit, which has, ironically perhaps, brought me in more contact with drug abuse! Very Happy)


Last edited by Orwell on Sat Aug 18, 2012 3:12 am; edited 1 time in total

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Re: Law Talk

Post by Pettytyrant101 on Sat Aug 18, 2012 3:12 am

Scary yes, but less so than some cartell building a private army and less scary than drug wars between gangs that are so rich and tooled up they resemble civil wars.

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Re: Law Talk

Post by Orwell on Sat Aug 18, 2012 3:13 am

Pettytyrant101 wrote:Scary yes, but less so than some cartell building a private army and less scary than drug wars between gangs that are so rich and tooled up they resemble civil wars.

True Very Happy (ish? Suspect )

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Re: Law Talk

Post by Pettytyrant101 on Sat Aug 18, 2012 3:17 am

Demand will not go away.
Its like watching a documentary on isolated tribes.They go into some jungle and meet some tribe that have never set foot outside their own bounds and never seen another human being outside their own people- and in the background there always a couple of naked guys with something rolled in a leaf smoking it.
Its something human.
Faced with that trying to tell people they cant do it is not going to stop them or take away the demand for it so regulation and control of it seems to me the only sensible way to proceed.

The alternative is to criminalise section f your own population, tie up police resources and money and allow criminals to make obscene profits they use to further more criminal actvity.
And that just seems like a mad plan to me.

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Re: Law Talk

Post by Eldorion on Sat Aug 18, 2012 3:25 am

Orwell wrote:(Until then, I'll keep charging people, Petty, because I obey and enforce the Laws of where I am, and don't set myself above it).

My step-mom, who is also a police officer, has told me much the same thing. I think it's an important quality in police officers and I respect it greatly.

So you think our girl should be charged and some kind of penalty be imposed on her?

I don't know. Like I said, I need to think on this more.
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Re: Law Talk

Post by Orwell on Sat Aug 18, 2012 3:33 am

Actually, we are now entering an era of focussing more closely on Family Violence where I am, and reviewing strategies on the drug trade per se. Obviously, I can't go into details, but I'm actually happy with planning so far. I can say though, and I'm sure it's common knowledge, a bigger focus on Family Violence will highlight the drug and alcohol (and violence) problem besetting societies everywhere and attract better funding for programs. I am quite satisfied when abusive violent (possibly drug/alchohol affected) perpetraters are removed from families, so that affected family members, female partners and kids (and sometimes males) can breathe and feel safer. Also, more 'behavioural" programs are being funded.

The drug problem, in my opinion, might be better dealt with too, by a better focus on violence in families. (Frankly, I'd always prefer protecting victims of family violence directly, than charging some minor drug user on the street).

Mind, there will always be issues with drugs (illicit or not) whatever we do. This is not to say we should not continue to fight the good fight - and hope, meanwhile, for a eucatastrophe*? Smile

*'an' eucatastrophe or 'a' eucatastrophe? Suspect


Last edited by Orwell on Sat Aug 18, 2012 3:49 am; edited 2 times in total

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