Police Back Softer Line on Drug Users

Police Back Softer Line on Drug Users
Posted by CN Staff on May 02, 2002 at 13:08:44 PT
Treatment of heroin addicts may be more suitable
Source: BBC News 
Police chiefs say they would have a better chance of winning the war on drugs if addicts were given treatment instead of punishment. The Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO) also believes it would be better to adopt a more relaxed stance towards people caught with small amounts of cannabis. ACPO unveiled its proposals in a report, carried out by its influential drugs committee, saying in some circumstances, treatment should be considered instead of prosecution. 
The police are recognising that treatment works rather than just processing addicts through the court -- Roger Howard, Drugscope  --  Drugs' groups have welcomed the report, saying ACPO had been moving in this direction for some time. And the Home Office has pledged to study the findings. Commander Andy Hayman, chairman of the ACPO committee that produced the report, said: "It is predominantly a health issue so what we're saying is that we should be matching the health issue with the health option. "Rather than just putting people through the courts, surely it's sensible to try and put them into treatment and try and treat their habit." Treatment Supported  Roger Howard, chief executive of Drugscope, a research and drugs policy advisory body, said the proposals came as no surprise. He said: "We strongly support efforts to get drug users quickly into treatment rather than using a prosecution and pressing criminal charges. The anxiety we have working in the healthcare system is that we will get people who aren't primarily interested in treatment but who simply want to avoid going to prison -- Dr William Shanahan, Treatment Expert   "It is something Drugscope has already recommended to the Home Affairs Committee. "This is a new and welcome departure in how we respond to the heavy end drug users. "The police are recognising that treatment works rather than just processing addicts through the courts." Dave Roberts, head of Liverpool rehabilitation centre the Independence Initiative, also welcomed the police chiefs' call. "It makes sense to treat, train and develop people who have developed a problem of substance mis-use because they can break with it and they can create a new life," he said. Enforcement Call   But among critics former shadow home secretary Ann Widdecombe described the move as "the policy of surrender" and advocated tougher application of the law. Speaking on BBC News 24, she said: "The law isn't properly enforced. "Unless you send out the message, not only that there is a law, but also that it will be enforced and then you enforce it properly with extra manpower and dedicated resources, then the present law won't work." Ann Widdecombe: Law Enforcement Needed   She stressed the need for a dual policy of punishment and treatment. She said: "You could perhaps make an agreement to treatment a case to mitigate or lower the punishment, but you still do both." There was also a cautious response from some in the medical profession. Drugs treatment specialist Dr William Shanahan told BBC News there was "anxiety" that people who simply wanted to avoid prison would take advantage of treatment if offered as an alternative. But he added: "This doesn't mean they won't do well with treatment and I think it is a good idea to offer more people treatment." More Options   Commander Hayman, who is a Scotland Yard deputy assistant commissioner, said his committee's report was "timely" given recent government announcements, which have included the downgrading of cannabis. He stressed that the overall aim of ACPO's drugs policy was to disrupt and reduce supply while working to achieve reduction in demand. Last December, it emerged that police chiefs had examined proposals to issue heroin at police stations, to addicts. However, chief constables reportedly remain opposed to the decriminalisation of drugs and are also against the downgrading of Ecstasy from class A to class B. Newshawk: CharlieSource: BBC News (UK Web)Published: Thursday, May 2, 2002Copyright: 2002 BBC Website: Contact: Articles:Legalise All Drugs and Let Me Have a Quiet Life Campaigners Call for More Reform Articles from The BBC:Getting Rehabilitation Right Points: Drug Laws: Should Addicts Be Treated or Prosecuted?
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Comment #7 posted by SoberStoner on May 02, 2002 at 19:52:36 PT:
South America = Columbia, Peru, Venezuela...U$ govt has been focusing a lot of attention down there lately..Put the pieces together folks...we're goin into the jungle again..SS
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Comment #6 posted by boppy on May 02, 2002 at 18:41:43 PT
Is he lying or...??
Sorry, Darwin's post of Bennett's remarks are more interestin. Does Bennett really believe this crap? Someone tell me...does he really believe this or is he just intentionally LYING...or both? The pot's coming from South America?? "The primary diagnosis for drug problems now"?? What are his qualifications to make that remark? "Brings about voluntary Alzheimer's"????? Somebody help me!!
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Comment #5 posted by Jose Melendez on May 02, 2002 at 17:46:46 PT
the buzz will confuse stoners.
I meant comment #4 to be on another page... (sheepish grin)
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Comment #4 posted by Jose Melendez on May 02, 2002 at 17:43:18 PT:
the truth will bust LIARS!
THC is safe, effective and non-toxic.THC is safe, effective and non-toxic.THC is safe, effective and non-toxic.THC is safe, effective and non-toxic.THC is safe, effective and non-toxic.THC is safe, effective and non-toxic.THC is safe, effective and non-toxic.THC is safe, effective and non-toxic.THC is safe, effective and non-toxic.THC is safe, effective and non-toxic.THC is safe, effective and non-toxic.
ArrestProhibition - Drug War is TREASON!
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Comment #3 posted by potpal on May 02, 2002 at 14:30:34 PT
Here's an opportunity to have your say on the BBC...
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Comment #2 posted by potpal on May 02, 2002 at 14:29:37 PT
pro and con
I'd like to see CNN pull their usual head to head thing here. Normally they have 2 talking heads, one for and one against. That would be much better than allowing Mr. Bill Bullsh*t the pulpit to spout his propaganda without someone capable to whack him over the head with the facts.
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Comment #1 posted by darwin on May 02, 2002 at 13:44:43 PT
The CNN response to the BBC and CBC?
Here is the CNN interview of Bill Bennet from Paula Zahn.
Taken from (CNN) -- Is today's pot more dangerous than the marijuana people smoked back during the Woodstock era? Pot today is said to be 10 to 20 times stronger than it was back then, and 49 percent of high school seniors will have tried it by the time they graduate. In a CNN poll taken last summer, 34 percent of Americans said marijuana should be legalized. That is the highest level of support since 1969. CNN's Paula Zahn spoke with CNN contributer William Bennett, secretary of education under President Reagan and drug czar under President George H. Bush, about the drug and its impact on the nation's kids. CNN: Where's this pot coming from, this stronger stuff? BENNETT: Well, this pot is coming from South America. It's coming from Mexico and we're growing some here in the United States. This is very potent marijuana. As they say, this is not your father's marijuana or, for our generation, our friends in college's marijuana, it's 10 to 20 times more powerful. The tetrahydrocannabinol, which is the toxic, potent ingredient, really is very, very powerful and that's probably the reason that marijuana leads the list in terms of diagnosis for drug problems among young people. It's the primary diagnosis for drug problems now, because it is so strong and so powerful. CNN: Well, we should make note that, you know, just about every kid in every different socioeconomic group is trying it. We now have 11 congressional pages who have been dismissed from their duties after marijuana was reportedly found in their Capitol Hill dormitory. These House page jobs are extremely competitive. They're willing to take the risk. BENNETT: Yes. It turns out to be Republican pages, too. Some helpful Democrat let the press know that these were Republican pages. I mean just to issue a correction, I'm not exactly sure what you said. It's not every kid. There are representatives of every group. But most kids do not smoke marijuana. Twenty-two percent of our high school seniors use marijuana once a month and by the time a child gets to senior year in high school, about half of our kids have tried it. But 78 percent of kids do not regularly use marijuana and that's still a good thing. Sixty-six percent of the American people are opposed and they should be. It's a dangerous drug. Look, just in the context of school, we know that marijuana negatively affects concentration, focus, memory and retention. Hello out there? Concentration, focus, memory and retention. If you were in school, arguably, concentration, focus, memory and retention are important things. We have spent a ton of money in this country and made many statements of deep sympathy for Alzheimer's, aging Americans who are getting Alzheimer's. This, marijuana use, brings about, if you will, voluntary Alzheimer's, and worse among young people because of the effects on the brain and on concentration and memory. It also leads to the use of other drugs. Now, this is not some casual thing. It is regarded as casual and as a plaything by young people. At the same time, most young people -- another interesting piece of survey data -- say they would like stricter laws against drug use because they would like to be protected from, you know, the temptations that their friends offer. They are asking us to protect them. We need to do a better job. 
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