explicitly link drug, alcohol, tobacco and public health themes

Proposer
BT-John
State

Rejected

Vote Score

0

Age

799 days


@BT-John edited crime.md - about 2 years ago

War on Drugs

We will end the unwinnable war on drugs. Recreational drug use will be decriminalised under a program of regulation. We aim to implement a drug tax on recreational drugs that can be purchased and use the proceeds to enhance rehabilitation services and safe needle exchange. Any fines for improper use (such as use in a public environment) will also go towards this. We hope to see a marked decrease in the number of overdoses, drug-related homelessness, crime, HIV contractions and drug related poverty.

We will end the unwinnable war on drugs. Recreational drug use will be decriminalised under a program of regulation which puts them under the same regulatory framework as alcohol and tobacco. We aim to implement a drug tax on recreational drugs that can be purchased and use the proceeds to enhance rehabilitation services and safe needle exchange. Any fines for improper use (such as use in a public environment) will also go towards this. We hope to see a marked decrease in the number of overdoses, drug-related homelessness, crime, HIV contractions and drug related poverty.

National Level

At a national level, we aim to legislate on this matter, changing key pieces of primary legislation, while using the ministerial mandate to change secondary legislation and practices in areas such as policing, the NHS, customs and revenue, and education.

This will be staged, and in a managed, harm based strategy advised by the medical and scientific communities as well as other knowledgeable parties (such as charities who manage addiction based harm, and current and ex-substance users). This will allow us to steadily put in place infrastructure, services, advice, training, and good working practices around each drug as it is decriminalised, allowing for the development and roll out of a comprehensive harm reduction system.

This will be staged, and in a managed, harm based strategy advised by the medical and scientific communities as well as other knowledgeable parties (such as charities who manage addiction based harm, and current and ex-substance users). This will allow us to steadily put in place infrastructure, services, advice, training, and good working practices around each drug as it is decriminalised, allowing for the development and roll out of a comprehensive harm reduction system. Regulation of drug, alcohol and tobacco use will have the main aim of imprioving public health.

With specific regards to the Psychoactive Substances Act, a more pro-active stance will be taken, with a far more rapid addition of classes of psychoactive substances to the white list. This will allow for individuals to access these substances on a clear informed consent basis. This change will allow communities such as the gay community and the Nootropics community to be free from being criminalised. We will then remove the Psychoactive Substances Act entirely.

Xyleneb

@Xyleneb - about 2 years ago

Vote: ❎

I want them to be on a stricter framework than alcohol and tobacco.

Floppy

@Floppy - about 2 years ago

@xyleneb is there a middle ground that you're in favour of, between the current state and an alcohol/tobacco status, or are you against decriminalisation in general?

Autumn-Leah

@Autumn-Leah - about 2 years ago

When you say the same regulatory framework as alcohol and tobacco, would that include the age limits? Would it be staggered limits? Would it be one hard line of reach age x and now you can? What's your justification for linking the three?

Autumn-Leah

@Autumn-Leah - about 2 years ago

I'll be voting no until this is clarified.

Vote: ❎

Xyleneb

@Xyleneb - about 2 years ago

is there a middle ground that you're in favour of, between the current state and an alcohol/tobacco status, or are you against decriminalisation in general?

If you say you'll make heroin as approachable as buying a beer then you will scare most of your electorate away. I don't think that's what BT-John had in mind. I just think their submission doesn't help to clarify it.

Decrminalisation is fine. But these drugs must exist on a still stricter framework than those already available.

BT-John

@BT-John - about 2 years ago

It's the principal I want to establish here, not the detailed policies. So let's say, there is some evidence that tobacco increases the risk of lung cancer, alcohol increases the risk of trips to A&E, or skunk increases the risk of psychosis. Then, regulation would aim to reduce those risks, maybe by pricing, advertising, availability, strength, age limits etc. As new evidence appears, then regulation changes. Currently we have a regulatory system which seems to think that alcohol is good because it's used a lot by middle-class whites, tobacco is bad because it's used a lot by working-class whites, and skunk is very bad because it's used a lot by Afrocaribbeans.

Xyleneb

@Xyleneb - about 2 years ago

So let's say, there is some evidence that tobacco increases the risk of lung cancer, alcohol increases the risk of trips to A&E, or skunk increases the risk of psychosis. Then, regulation would aim to reduce those risks, maybe by pricing, advertising, availability, strength, age limits etc.

Pricing, advertising and age limits are a way for the government to arbitrarily decide what is good for the poor and the young. I'm pretty much only interested in availability and strength. "Gentle nudging" and "hard shoving" are the same thing from governments.

Currently we have a regulatory system which seems to think that alcohol is good because it's used a lot by middle-class whites, tobacco is bad because it's used a lot by working-class whites, and skunk is very bad because it's used a lot by Afrocaribbeans.

To be fair to 'the establishment' beer's been around too long to ban it and 'skunk' has always had more immediately apparent side-effects than that of tobacco. It's largely a result of these historic circumstances that things are the way they are. The other motivation of course being who makes the money. But I'm digressing.

I don't see how comparing class A regulation with drink and tobacco regulation helps to clarify things in the manifesto or the eyes of the public. To me it is not clear what you intend to do and reminds me of the 'Monster raving loony party' of yesteryear. It could just be me. If everyone else says they get it, then fair enough and the yes votes will take it but I just thought it adds more confusion than it takes away.

Autumn-Leah

@Autumn-Leah - about 2 years ago

As you've said you won't add the crucial details to this policy, and won't clarify it outside of the policy either, my vote will be remaining a no.

Floppy

@Floppy - about 2 years ago

Note that the only change here is the mention of putting them under the same framework (not the same exact rules) as alcohol and tobacco, and to focus that regulation on public health. The general drugs policy is not being changed. Given that the policy is to decriminalise recreational drugs, having the same general framework as for other substances seems reasonable to me. I've already voted, but I will reiterate that vote - this seems harmless to add. To me it says that regulation will be by licensing authorities, rather than the police, which is already implied but not stated.

We don't generally require full details in policy submissions (see the contributing guide). It's better to start with a principle and expand iteratively from there - especially if just improving something that already exists :)

Vote: ✅

Floppy

@Floppy - about 2 years ago

@xyleneb I would agree that the rules should be stricter, but those rules are licensing rules, not criminal rules (forgive the vague language, it's late). Hence the "same framework". I think that's what this addition means, anyway.

Buying marijuana maybe shouldn't be as easy as buying a beer, because of whatever public health concerns are relevant (as mentioned here), but it should be possible under the right licensing. I can't comment on heroin, I don't know enough - hence the change of drug :)

openpolitics-bot

@openpolitics-bot - almost 2 years ago

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