Man charged with drugs offences after Violence Suppression Unit operation

Waste of police time and court time. Much better for the police to be investigating burglaries, robberies, catalytic converter thefts etc. actual crimes rather than financial transactions between consenting adults.

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I assume you mean the sale and purchase of drugs?

If so, and as some of these adult purchasers aren’t earning enough money to make that transaction for the thing they crave so badly they will turn quick ways of getting it, like burglaries, robberies, catalytic converter thefts etc.

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A lot is assumptions here. Class B drugs basically means cannabis. People don’t crave cannabis to the extent they rob for it. Much more likely they come home from work and choose to spend their hard earned cash on it instead of alcohol.

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Doesn’t make it any less legal though. Plus, it is seen by many as a gateway drug.

My best mate’s brother started off by selling a bit of puff as a sideline to his successful high-end decorating business, then he did a bit of cocaine, then the other gear, then he became an addict and at the age of 40 he shacked-up with a 19 year old girl (addict) and they had a little baby. My mate, who was living in Lanzarote, wasn’t aware of his brother’s unfortunate turn, and he caught-up with him at his flat on a rare visit back home. While they were in all in the flat, there was a ring on the doorbell and his brother ushered him and the baby into the kitchen because the person at the door was one of the girlfriend’s clients - she was a hooker.

I am guilty of assuming certain things beyond what’s being said when it comes to drugs and crime because I’ve had it around me all of my life and I know the potential slippery slopes and some of the personal and societal consequences so, I’m very happy to see some of my tax being spent on trying to keep our streets clean and our kids safe.

That’s a bit of how I think and I obviously respect your prerogative to have your take on the matter.

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Are you aware of how many of these crimes that you consider “actual crimes” are motivated by drugs?

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A very good argument for legalisation or decriminalisation in my opinion.
I think it is beyond time that drug use should be considered a social issue rather than a criminal one.
Here (Portugal) most drug use was decriminalised 20 years ago and the resources devoted to the war on drugs (what a daft phrase) were diverted to expanding and improving prevention, treatment, harm reduction and social reintegration programmes. You can still be penalized by regional panels made up of social workers, medical professionals and drug experts but in reality most people who are caught with personal amounts of weed suffer no real consequences. Quite rightly so - it’s time for a grown up solution to an issue that has always been prevalent. People like taking drugs - making them illegal doesn’t stop that but the harm that drugs can do can be minimised by education, harm reduction and other strategies. Making them illegal just makes criminals of people whose choice of substance isn’t one sanctioned by the state and prohibition just leads to massive rewards for criminals - see America in the 20s and the rise of organized crime . We allow people to consume alcohol which is a far more damaging drug than some illegal ones and of course is normally most peoples first experience. So if anything can be said to be a gateway drug then alcohol is a prime contender, not that I believe there is really much evidence for the gateway drug theory anyway.

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Sadly I have known far more people die through drug misuse than alcohol. A close personal friend stabbed his son to death as the son was attempting to kill his mother whilst high and attempting to steal money to fund his habit.

Neither are good but I personally feel drug use is worst.

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I fail to understand how making drug use legal would solve the problem of crime being linked to drug use.
Robberies, burglaries, muggings, shoplifting, credit card fraud - all crimes that are committed in order to get hold of cash fast. More often than not, the reason being that a drug habit needs to be fed fast. These people are ruthless and will not think twice to do these crimes in a violent manner because desperation gets in the way.
On another note - dealing of drugs. Street gangs, for example. The so called “turf wars”.
Members of these so called gangs do not care if you enter their turf to buy a newspaper.
If you enter their turf to deal drugs, however, that is another story. This is where the violence such as the ridiculous amount of teenagers being stabbed stems from.
You are absolutely right about this being a social issue but that doesn’t stop it being linked with crime.
So, please explain how legalising or decriminalising drugs will help solve this?

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What about if the drugs were legal but the user was committing crimes in order to fund his habit?
Still a criminal right?

I like a joint now and again and I used to snort coke when I was in my twenties when I was out on the lash but crack and heroin are where I draw the line on my attitude and commentary in person. They can take hold of a person within a day and wreck families and communities. If you get caught with an amount that falls within the accepted parameters of supplying then you should get a heavy prison sentence.

Lots of things historically illegal that as a society we have thought better of, and vica versa.
Pluss I bet you almost everyone’s gateway drug is alcohol. Legalise the lot, take it out the hands of criminals, redeploy the police to catch them doing the crimes they have to turn to for survival. Like robbery, burglary and stealing catalytic converters.

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You have done very well to have drawn the line and know what your limits are.
Unfortunately, some people do not have the guidance, life experiences and self worth to be able to do this.

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Until 1964 heroin addicts could get a prescription for the drug from their GP. Has the “war on drugs” improved things? Definitely for the drug dealers.

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I remember standing in Boots on the Dartmouth Road whilst a gentleman scoffed his methadone next to me.

Not much has changed and we still pay for his methadone.

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I don’t know if there’s a viable way of legalising drugs or not - it’s a massive subject - but until that happens drug dealers are [probably] mostly undesirable criminals and a significant number of their clients in areas like ours will have to resort to some sort of crime to support their habit, therefore, in my opinion, the law needs to act.

I know that there are arguments for legalisation or whatever, but as things stand, I’d be very interested to know if one of those supporters would be happy to have a drug dealer living next door to where they’re living with their family.

Of course “drug dealers” are criminals because most drugs are illegal.
Many people live next door to pubs or to licensed premises which are just places to buy and\or consume drugs but they are legal so we don’t think much of it.
I’ll be frank - in years gone by I have known dozens of drug dealers as people might describe them, they were just like everyone else in reality. None were really undesirable but by the very nature of the business they were criminals. Some were lovely people but like the general population there were a fair share of bastards and criminality attracts criminality so there was sometimes a little edge - mostly though just mates hanging out. Loads of us have probably lived next to or near someone selling drugs at some point. The term drug dealer is an odd one to me - we celebrate great wine, beer, gin etc but in reality they are just drug suppliers and pubs etc are drug dealers. The difference is just one of legality and I’d rather live next door to someone selling a bit of weed than next to a pub.
Naturally I have also know perhaps hundreds of their clients. Doctors, couriers, dancers, firemen, designers, programmers, labourers, PAs, cooks etc - all of them dirty criminals of course but most of them just wanted a little puff in the evening to relax and remove the stains of the day. Did I meet a few right bastards - of course, but they were in a small minority and they were mostly fixated around smack.
These days of course it is different - you don’t go to anyone’s house as they mostly come to you. Make a call and you get whatever you want delivered, they even hand out cards. I can even go online now and buy any amount of any drug I want and get it delivered to my door in rural Portugal - at my own risk (not that I would of course). They are even advertising on Instagram! The days of hanging outside dodgy pubs and seedy houses is, for the most part, ancient history. This is the face of legal weed these days. The illegal market isn’t far behind - just fire up TOR, get some bitcoins and your good to go.
I’m not claiming that drugs don’t cause issues (although weed seems to cause a lot less than alcohol). I know they do and I have lost friends to them. I just don’t see that drugs being illegal really helped anyone of them and I would go as far to say that a lot of the issues around drugs are actually caused by their illegal status.

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Great post @Foresthillnick

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Without disagreeing with any of the above comments, one thing I’d like to point out is that the original charges included “importation of drugs”. Without further information it’s difficult to know what scale or where this was happening, but I do wonder if that increased the interest in bringing a prosecution in this case.

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