A Young Addict

The real message behind legalised shooting galleries

Ian Young Decriminalisation, Drug Addiction, Drug Treatment, Drugs, Legalisation, Press Articles

The Guardian

Brighton plans safe rooms for addicts to inject drugs

 In the Guardian last week and across the news recently was the story about how Brighton is to become the first British city to offer official “drug consumption rooms”.  http://www.guardian.co.uk/society/2013/apr/14/brighton-drug-consumption-rooms

I’m not going to get too involved in the story as to whether it’s a good thing or not, but rather draw our thoughts towards what exactly the message is to the British public when we essentially allow and permit our citizens who break the law to have a safe space to do just that – break the law.
What does it say to have state (or at least local Borough) sanctioned spaces where people are encouraged to come and break the law in a supervised manner?

Whether you agree with the health issues or not, you’ve got to admit that the whole issue around the drug users’ choice to use safely comes at the price of being a contradiction to the law of the land. This is now the actual decriminalisation of drug use and a fairly obvious admission that the war on drugs and their illicit use has been lost.
Certainly, one of the by-products of this venture will be the creation of a small cottage industry of Drug Market stalls and retailers of illegal contraband. This seems inevitable.  The attraction of other less than savoury characters and their ambitions towards turning a small (or large) profit seems to me to be quite blatant. So is the next move the opening of ‘coffee shops’ selling taxable mood altering goods, like in Holland?

So just what is the underlying message here?

What is the community of Brighton really saying to the rest of Britain, with many other parts of the world waiting behind the scenes?

It’s saying that the health of our residents is now more important than the justice of the sovereign state, and therefore we’re going to support law breakers in order to protect the rest of our local residents from further harm and unnecessary views of people in squalor or compromising situations chasing a fix with blood running down their arms.

Brighton is now confessing to have lost the battle against the criminal elements that have been importing illegal narcotics for around 60 or even 70 years now.

The war in drugs has been lost. It’s time to take care of our loved ones again.

I believe the biggest message being sent out here, is that drug use is a health issue, and always should have been. It is not a criminal matter and never really should have been. People have the right to free choice and if that means the choice to get out of their minds on various substances, so be it. But to make such choices illegal has simply created sub-cultures, outlaws, even more public health problems and destroyed more families than ever imaginable.

It’s time to see the wood before the trees.

Addiction, just like alcoholism is a problem of public health and shouldn’t be a criminal act. Obviously I’m not commenting upon the lengths that addicts go to in order to procure their substances, for these acts very often do contradict the welfare of others and is criminal behaviour (theft such as muggings, burglaries and other person centred crimes should never be tolerated). But when the statutory system already agrees in the client’s right to choose, surely it makes sense to actually permit them to follow through their choices with a legal framework to do so.

It’s time to be sensible again.