Plod can be stupid

Penalties for growing and selling cannabis must be toughened because a surge in the trade is driving up shootings and gang-related violence, a senior police officer has warned.

Sigh.

Violence and gang w3arfare are driven by the illegality of the product. In the absence of a possible appeal to the law of the land then might makes right.

Plod therefore says that in order to reduce the violence caused by illegality we must increase the illegality. For that is what increasing penalties means, an increase in how illegal the stuff is along that spectrum from a parking ticket to crucifixion for recommending the wrong flavour of God.

Doesn\’t sound all that sensible, does it?

11 thoughts on “Plod can be stupid”

  1. This isn’t stupid if you look at it from the inside.

    Firstly, recommending decriminalisation is a career killer. Nearly all of the politicians and most of the public think it would lead to (dah dah) “the downfall of civilisation as we know it”. And most of the former who have doubts won’t express them because the latter would crucify them at the polls.

    Secondly, it’s pure Bastiat. Tougher laws coupled with fewer rights? More and easier policing. And a good case to be made for more police.

  2. SE: you’re too, or perhaps insufficiently, cynical. Even the Sun’s most recent YouGov poll, in which the questions were doubtless rigged to get Tough On Drugs answers, showed more than 50% for decriminalisation.

    The problem is that, although most people support decriminalisation, the key group that doesn’t support it is the group of total and utter cunts, and total and utter cunts are the noisiest and hardest to placate of all political opponents.

    (it’s also a group that is split fairly evenly between parties, to the extent that neither the Tories nor Labour can do the right-and-popular thing when in power because it’ll set the screaming of their inner total and utter cunts brigade off like a car alarm)

  3. @ John b “The problem is that, although most people support decriminalisation, the key group that doesn’t support it is &c.”

    Agreed. And becuase, I suspect, it is impossible to reason anyone out of a position that they haven’t been reasoned into in the first place.

    There are admittedly some conspiracy moonbats that think that cannabis is a plot to stupefy the workers so they can be kept down* but I think most of the group you correctly identify are generally puritans (why else oppose private vices?). And Macaulay had their number centuries ago; it’s not cannabis they hate, but the fact that other people like it.

    Perhaps the most depressing shift in politics in the last 30 years has been that priggish sanctimonious little shits have stopped shouting “if I can’t, you can’t” – which may be graceless and pissy but is at least understandable – and started shouting “If I don’t want to, you can’t, even if it doesn’t affect me in the least”.

    *this is a fun one. There’s just SO much wrong with it. Like a) most ‘workers’ don’t smoke dope; the two are pretty incompatible and b) therefore if workers don’t smoke dope and are ineffectual then it is surely, ipso facto, THEIR OWN FAULT, &c &c.

  4. I can’t see what is wrong with their suggested strategy within its own terms of reference.

    Very severe penalties probably would decrease the drug trade. At the extreme example, look at Singapore or Japan.

  5. “Very severe penalties probably would decrease the drug trade. At the extreme example, look at Singapore or Japan.”

    As long as you’re happy to trample all over human rights (that’s in the sense of “human rights abuses” viz killing your own citizens, not in the sense of “european court of…” eg all kinds of silliness) then you can reduce overt drug consumption. However, there have been rather a lot of allegations of corruption in most of the countries that do that. And it *doesn’t stop the drug trade at all*. What it does do is increase the risk, and therefore the price and therefore the rewards.

    In the most extreme example – US Prohibition providing a good example – increased risk = increased rewards + increased defence (eg using some of that profit to buy guns).

    There are two groups of people with a massive vested interest (not necessarily intentional, but nonetheless) in drugs being illegal at all, and preferably as illegal as possible; the police (who will need more numbers, equipment, powers and funding to enforce it) and drug dealers (who will make a lot more money).

    So instead you get bribery all over the place, and the very poor and very stupid being paid what is – to them – an unimaginable fortune to risk carrying drugs through those places.

  6. Singapore is *very* unusual, in that it has draconian penalties for drug offences and little corruption.

    Its neighbours – Thailand, Malaysia and Indonesia – are much more typical of places with draconian penalties for drug offences, in that drug use is enormous, drug runners are murderous gangs affiliated to terrorist groups, the entire police force is corrupt, and the only people who end up facing the draconian penalties are unfortunate idiots who’ve generally been set up for a fall by both sides.

    The onus is rather on people who favour draconian penalties to explain why they think they’d lead to a Singapore-ish environment instead of a Thai one, is it not…?

  7. Hmmm.

    I haven’t noticed the drug use in Thailand being particularly high. Drug runners are normally passing product through Thailand, rather than selling it to locals. There is some use amongst the locals, but mainly yabba (not sure what it is, but it’s some local stuff) which they chew and get high, and the normal amount amongst the expats and tourists.

    And Singapore…back in the days when I used to stay there with my mate who was a banker, I saw his colleagues taking ecstasy at a fucking beach volleyball tournament, and heard enough of them fairly openly talking about coke and other stuff. Not to mention that being mostly of Chinese extraction, the locals like their opium…

  8. “yabba (not sure what it is, but it’s some local stuff)”

    Yaba is methamphetamine mixed with caffeine. It’s sometimes called ‘Nazi speed’ because there was a branded version distributed to the wehrmacht in WWII (not that they were alone in this, the Brits and the US used to distribute amphetamines to armed forces personnel too.) the Thais love it.

    However, as I understand it from purely anecdotal evidence – viz my younger brothers’ mates – drug use is pretty open in Thailand. Thailand is popular with backpacking students, and so are drugs.

  9. However, as I understand it from purely anecdotal evidence – viz my younger brothers’ mates – drug use is pretty open in Thailand. Thailand is popular with backpacking students, and so are drugs.

    I’ve not noticed it, certainly never smelled the whiff of cannabis more than two or three times, and although I’ve seen a few expats obviously on something (or openly selling it), I’d not say it is too widespread. Then again, I’m probably hanging around in the wrong places, where I go everyone is too drunk to take drugs. Also, the police do provide a deterrent. They are on the lookout for drug dealers or users because they can extract a hefty bribe – upwards of $1000 – for drug offences, so via their corruption it keeps it off the streets, at any rate. But I’m sure places like Koh Pha Ngan are awash with drugs, like Kuta in Bali, where locals are openly and brazenly offering them to you every few yards.

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