The Global War on Drugs Not Made By Big Pharma.

These days when I’m pretty fully engaged in resisting the Global War on Smoking, I tend to forget that the War on Smoking is part of a wider and more long lasting Global War on Drugs. So H/T Dick Puddlecote’s link tank for this Guardian article by David Nutt.

I tend not to like David Nutt very much, because he seems to be fashionably pro-drugs and anti-alcohol (and probably anti-tobacco as well). I wouldn’t mind if he was pro-drugs, and also pro-alcohol and pro-tobacco, but he’s not.

Why are drugs illegal?

…The truth is unpalatable and goes back to the period of alcohol prohibition in the US in the 1920s. This was introduced as a harm-reduction measure because alcohol was seen (correctly) as a drug that seriously damaged families and children. But public demand for alcohol in the US did not abate and this fuelled a massive rise in bootleg alcohol and underground bars (known as speakeasys) that encouraged the rise of the mafia and other crime syndicates.

To combat this, the US government set up a special army of enforcers, under the command of Harry Anslinger, which became known as “the untouchables”. This army of enforcers was widely celebrated by the newspapers and the acclaim propelled Anslinger to national prominence. However, when public disquiet at the crime and social damage caused by alcohol prohibition led to its repeal, Anslinger saw his position as being in danger.

To enable him to keep his army of drug enforcers, he created a new drug threat: cannabis, which he called marijuana to make it sound more Mexican. Working with a newspaper magnate, William Randolph Hearst, he created hysteria around the impact of cannabis on American youth and proclaimed an invasion of marijuana-smoking Mexican men assaulting white women. The ensuing public anxiety led to the drug being banned. The US then imposed its anti-cannabis stance on other western countries and this was finally imposed on the rest of the world through the first UN convention on narcotic drugs in 1961.

It’s the way the Drug Warriors always seem to work: they foment hysteria, It’s just as true now with smoking as it was with cannabis (and any other drug you care to mention). And if they aren’t scaremongering about one thing, they’re scaremongering about another.

And I think that there was an international conference in the 1920s that called for bans on a whole raft of hitherto freely available drugs. Anslinger was just one of the players, and not the only one.

And I’m not sure what ‘social damage’ was done by Prohibition in the USA . But I can well imagine that it was much the same as the social damage being done by smoking bans now.

Anyway, I learned today that

We have moved to a surreal new world in which the government, through the new psychoactive substances bill, has decided to put an end to the sale of any drug with psychoactive properties, known or yet to be discovered.

I’d not heard of this bill. But it seems fully in line with the Global War on Drugs Not Made By Big Pharma. And since we’ve been recently being told that cheese is addictive, no doubt cheddar cheese will soon be added to the list of banned drugs.

The psychoactive substances bill is the most oppressive law in terms of controlling moral behaviour since the Act of Supremacy in 1558 that banned the practice of the Catholic faith. Both are based on a moral superiority that specifies the state will decide on acceptable actions and beliefs even if they don’t affect other people. Worse, it won’t work…

Nutt’s hatred of alcohol shows through:

As young people seek to find legal ways to enjoy altered consciousness without exposing themselves to the addictiveness and toxicity of alcohol or the danger of getting a criminal record, so the newspapers seek to get these ways banned too. Politicians collude as they are subservient to those newspapers that hate youth and they know that the drug-using population is much less likely to vote than the drug-fearing elderly.

Nutt thinks that it’s all being driven by the media. But I’ll bet that the WHO and the BMA and the RCP and various eugenic outfits are the real drivers.

And are the elderly really ‘drug-fearing’? My impression is that most of the people in my post-war ‘boomer’ generation are not particularly drug-fearing. It’s the previous generation, which seems to include anyone about 3 years older than me, who are the most frightened of ‘DRUGS’, in scary capital letters.

And, at 67, I’m getting pretty ‘elderly’, but I’m unlikely to become ‘drug-fearing’. Which leads me to think that when the ‘drug-fearing elderly’ have passed away, there’ll be a relaxation of drug laws.

Unfortunately, the one drug that my boomer generation seems to be really terrified of is tobacco. So there’ll be no let up there. The ‘drug-fearing elderly’ will simply be replaced by the ‘smoke-fearing elderly’.

About Frank Davis

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38 Responses to The Global War on Drugs Not Made By Big Pharma.

  1. cherie79 says:

    I wondered when I read that article who the drug fearing generation are? Many of our generation indulged in our youth though not in hard drugs so why would we be bothered now. I am still puzzled by the attempts to legalise one plant you can smoke while almost banning another strange days indeed.

    • harleyrider1978 says:

      Remember REEFER MADNESS………..Now we got tobacco madness……….then red meat madness..then alcohol madness………..then BBQ Madness………Now we got prescription madness…………making the druglords the best damn friend we have!

      • harleyrider1978 says:

        Guess how many Pill making operations there are now in business in America on street drugs since all this madness happened………that’s righ its astronomical if you can get the numbers. Problem is you never know what the grade of the drug is even though it may look legit. The government has caused more deaths and destruction than all the human catostrophies ever combined world wide. Its that bad and it will never get better until the government is cleansed and real science comes back again.

      • cherie79 says:

        We have just got madness these days! I remember the reefer madness film it was laughable.

  2. Tony says:

    “I tend not to like David Nutt very much, because he seems to be fashionably pro-drugs and anti-alcohol (and probably anti-tobacco as well).”
    I fully agree. It seems he also owns a patent on a pharmaceutical drug that mimics alcohol (I don’t have a link to hand but I can find one if needs be). I strongly suspect that he’s not really interested in ending ‘drug’ prohibition at all but is using this angle to get a public platform so he can push for alcohol prohibition in favour of his own drug.

  3. Tony says:

    Off topic but this is hilarious in a rather sick and twisted way.
    I’ve just seen this:
    “Al Jazeera: Climate “deniers” costing 400,000 lives / year”

    That number looked rather familiar and a quick Google found this:
    “Lies, Damned Lies, & 400,000 Smoking-Related Deaths” – Levy and Marimont
    These people love their numbers!

    Maybe there ‘s an irony in it turning up on Antony Watt’ s blog, given his very anti-smoking stance.

  4. Lepercolonist says:

    The current heroin ‘epidemic’ in the U.S. can be traced to the over subscription of pain medication issued by physicians. Big Pharma is making a killing with oxycontin.

    • harleyrider1978 says:

      Exactly leper as I was just writing about below to frank.

    • harleyrider1978 says:

      However it wasn’t over prescribing you see the states and even the FEDERAL GOVMNT set up pharmacy based counting systems and they were ordered to turn over all sales records to the government and the government would decide who was writing to much pain meds. That’s when your family doc got the visit from the man and the shakedown happened,same as scare tactics of the Nazis when they shake down businesses to go smokefree or get 10 point off your next health inspection score.

  5. churchmouse says:

    David Nutt is definitely anti-tobacco. He was the one who said several years ago that tobacco is more deadly than everything else except for heroin:

    I am appalled to see him rank ketamine as being low risk. I wrote about it last year. Ketamine leaves some users without a bladder, and some who have lost their bladders are middle class twenty-somethings. Leading people to believe that it is harmless is irresponsible.

    Here is Nutt’s back catalogue:

    Nutt had a government position under Labour. Alan Johnson sacked him (emphasis mine):

    ‘Explaining his dismissal of Nutt, Alan Johnson wrote in a letter to The Guardian, that “He was asked to go because he cannot be both a government adviser and a campaigner against government policy. […] As for his comments about horse riding being more dangerous than ecstasy, which you quote with such reverence, it is of course a political rather than a scientific point.”[38]’

    I disagree with the proposed bill. There is no way this can be enforced. These substances will always be around, easily available on the ‘dark net’.

    In the US, a legal substance called K2 is available in filling stations where it is sold as potpourri. K2 mimics cannabis and is undetectable in drugs tests. It has led to a number of hospitalisations as well as deaths through seizures or hallucinations which lead to things like drowning (in at least one case). I have written about K2, and it’s no good.

    As for Nutt’s notion that, after the elderly die, recreational drugs will be legalised, the same thing was said in the 1960s and 1970s in the US.

    • Frank Davis says:

      As for Nutt’s notion that, after the elderly die, recreational drugs will be legalised

      That was my speculation, not his. As something of a one-time 60s’ hippie, I belonged to a rather more experimental social group than my parents’ drug-averse generation. I’ve since come to prefer their drugs of choice (alcohol and tobacco), but I’ve not acquired their fear of drugs. It’s my (faint) hope that this generational loss of fear might ultimately feed through into a more rational attitude to drugs. But unfortunately the fear-mongering just seems to go on and on.

      • harleyrider1978 says:

        Frank when I was in the hospital they treated me like a overdose case and habitual drug user. I kid you not as the damn hospital I went to gets a lot of that sort of thing. I found myself tied and gagged to the bed hands and fit literally. Yet it was them overdosing me on morphine that made me so mean. They finally believed me when they forgot to change my bag one nite and I got out of the drug induced state they had me in. The nurse saw how nice I was then and called in the docs and they untied me and reduced the morphine dose finally…………I have no idea how much I was getting or even what really all occurred as they were also giving me amniotic drugs on top of it all.

        They said I fought even during cpr on the ground swinging fists and all while I was unconscious and especially in the hospital after they hit me with morphine…….

        All I ever take is the occassonal loritab for the muscle aches and sciatica/1 per day broken in half morning then nite, along with some Xanax at nite to sleep.

        Now Im a drug addict according to obamas people and definitions as they changed it to a class 1 narcotic making it almost illegal to have even,so the old folks started buying heroine off the streets and cut it themselves to get close to the dose they use to get from oxy or loritab. Guess what happens,they OD because thye don’t know what the strebgth of the heroine was they got to cut it too is.

        • harleyrider1978 says:

          heroine sales on the streets of America in the last year have grown 600% I read and the street value has slid accordingly as they have brought in way more than they need on the blackmarkets. Tobacco is still a drug lords biggest money maker.

    • slugbop007 says:

      Nutt is definitely a nut.

  6. harleyrider1978 says:
  7. harleyrider1978 says:

    The war on drugs in America was begun by the same ones then pushing for smoking bans and alcohol prohibition along with womens suffrage……..It began right after the Civilwaras the abolisionists changed from being religiously anti-slavery they became religiously anti anything they thought they didn’t like. I dare say giving nutters the vote was the worse thing ever done anywhere.

    Not talking about the ladies who use their brains but the nutters that pushed thru the womens right to vote as when you look at everything else they were into. You will find much of todays world of anti everything sprung from their efforts,including the war on drugs,smoking bans,anti saloon league groups and a million other things they got their hands into like the creation of the FEDERAL RESERVE BANK. Though they didn’t make it happen alone it was theyre progressive movement back then that got those agencies created and the constitution be damned as they did em.

  8. harleyrider1978 says:

    Without state subsidies, electric car sales in Georgia crash

    For more than 15 years, Georgia offered one of the country’s most generous tax…


  9. harleyrider1978 says:

    Anti-smoking messages can backfire, research suggests

    Public health policies targeted at smokers may actually have the opposite effect for some people trying to quit, according to new evidence released today.

    Public health policies targeted at smokers may actually have the opposite effect for some people trying to quit, according to new evidence released today.

    Research indicates that stigmatizing smoking can, in some cases, make it harder for people to quit because they become angry and defensive and the negative messages lead to a drop in self-esteem.

    The findings, published in Social Science & Medicine, highlight the potential for negative stereotypes to backfire, especially when it comes to public health campaigns.

    “Consequences of stigmatizing stereotypes ranged from increased intentions to quit smoking to increased stress to greater resistance to quitting smoking,” said Rebecca Evans-Polce, postdoctoral fellow, The Methodology Center and the Bennett Pierce Prevention Research Center, Penn State.

    Evans-Polce and colleagues from the U.K., Brazil and Germany conducted a review of almost 600 articles relating to smoking self-stigma. While the evidence shows that stigmatizing smoking may prompt some individuals to quit, the authors say that health policies could instead focus on more positive strategies, reinforcing the benefits of giving up smoking rather than reiterating negative stereotypes.

    “The stereotypes that smokers deal with are almost universally negative,” said Sara Evans-Lacko, research fellow, London School of Economics and Political Science.

    One study found that 30 to 40 percent of smokers felt high levels of family disapproval and social unacceptability and 27 percent felt they were treated differently due to their smoking status. Another study found that 39 percent of smokers believed that people thought less of them.

    “The stigma for parents who smoke is particularly strong,” added Evans-Lacko.

    In multiple studies, smokers used words such as “leper,” “outcast,” “bad person,” “low-life” and “pathetic” to describe their own behavior.

    The stigma surrounding smokers leads to a number of different outcomes, including relapses, increased resistance to quitting, self-induced social isolation and higher stress levels.

    Other studies examined gender biases in relation to smokers, revealing that Pakistani and Bangladeshi women who smoked were seen as “shameful” and “tainted” whereas male smokers from the same culture were viewed as “macho.” Another study showed that women in general regret taking up smoking more than men do.

    Evans-Lacko said the evidence shows that vulnerable groups with few coping resources would benefit from anti-smoking programs that do not stigmatize smoking but focus instead on the benefits of giving up.

    “Future research is needed to understand what factors are related to how individuals respond to smoking stigma,” said Evans-Polce.

  10. Roobeedoo2 says:

    A non-smoking friend sent me this because he thought I’d enjoy it. You know? I really did, In fact I laughed like a drain ;)

  11. harleyrider1978 says:
  12. harleyrider1978 says:

    Pubs had to be reminded not to flout smoking restrictions

    MOST of us regard the ban on smoking in public places as a fairly recent innovation.

    But even 60 years ago, there were restrictions on when and where some people could smoke.

    Publicans in Oxford received a warning as far back as 1956 that smoking behind the bar of any public house was forbidden.

    The ban had been imposed by new food hygiene regulations that came into force on January 1, that year.

    But it appears some licensees had not understood the new rules or that they had decided to ignore them.

    A warning of the possible consequences was given by Mr A B Salvetti, secretary of the Oxford and District Licensed Victuallers Central Protection Society.

    He told members at a meeting in April 1956 that sanitary inspectors employed by local councils “might turn their attentions to licensed premises at any time”.

    He said: “In some places, they are going around the shops to see if the new regulations are being observed and you can be sure that we shall be the next target.”

    A proposal that all breweries should be asked to follow the example of one unnamed Oxford brewery and give licensees a summary of the regulations was defeated.

  13. beobrigitte says:

    I tend not to like David Nutt very much, because he seems to be fashionably pro-drugs and anti-alcohol (and probably anti-tobacco as well). I wouldn’t mind if he was pro-drugs, and also pro-alcohol and pro-tobacco, but he’s not.

    Fashionably” is the key word here. Yet another guy who mouthes off with no back-bone….

  14. churchmouse says:

    The straight dope on today’s cannabis, which isn’t the one we knew so many years ago. Below is an explanation of the difference between traditional weed and today’s skunk (emphases mine):

    ‘… a team from King’s College London published a study linking heavy skunk use to an increased risk of psychosis. … the study was testing the effects of skunk vs traditional weed. This is an important distinction, and one too often ignored by legislators and older commentators.

    ‘The difference is simple enough. Regular weed (also available as a compacted resin known as hash) is the harmless relaxant you remember from your foggy student days. Skunk is a modified form of the same plant with considerably more harmful effects. It has become prevalent because it is the cheapest way to get super high. The reclassification of cannabis has reflected this; since 2009, it has been a Class B drug, because skunk, not weed, now dominates the UK market.

    ‘All cannabis contains (among other things) two significant ingredients: Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and Cannabidiol (CBD). THC is what gets you high, but is also known to cause psychosis. CBD suppresses the psychotic effects of THC. In regular weed the two are present in a balanced ratio, while skunk typically contains 2-3 times more THC and almost no CBD.

    ‘The study found that regular weed caused no increased risk of psychosis, while skunk smokers were three times more likely to experience psychotic episodes.’

    This is why I am suspicious of Dr Nutt’s — and others’ — motives in this regard. Many counsellors and therapists working with skunk users say that they have had psychotic episodes and must be treated with care. I’ve heard and read this in the US, the UK and France. Traditional weed is one thing, but skunk is quite another.

    • ysc says:

      This is true in our family. We had two wonderful daughters and both turned into delusional, paranoid, anxious, and hate ridden people. There was no reasoning with them regarding the fact that it all started with their heavy use of skunk.

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