UK bans legal highs

Well, they haven’t banned all legal highs, that’d be just stupid. Yes, I know “they” (the government, I guess) are stupid; but that’s not really relevant. Anyway, doesn’t that tile seem a bit paradoxical? If they’ve banned legal highs, then the highs aren’t legal, are they? So they’re not legal highs. So I guess they haven’t banned legal highs…

Okay, allow me to stop being a jerk. What I’m actually trying to tell you is: from today (23 Dec 2009) a ban comes into effect on the previously legal highs GBL, BZP, and various chemical products that users spray onto cigarettes (such as “Spice”).

According to the Guardian, “The crackdown comes after the high-profile case of medical student Hester Stewart, 21, who died in Brighton in April after taking GBL.” Which is a pretty crap reason to ban these substances. One death?! Thousands of people die each year from the effects of alcohol, which remains legal. Yet they ban GBL because one person died after taking it… and that was probably an allergic reaction or something similar…

Yeah I know what some of you are thinking: “Just because alcohol remains legal, that’s no reason to allow the sale of other harmful drugs.” But that’s a load of crap. Governments should ban drugs only if it is demonstrated that the substance in question is truly dangerous. And one single death does not demonstrate that GBL is dangerous. More people die from eating peanuts – shall we ban nuts too?

Of course, Hester Stewart’s mother Maryon thinks the ban doesn’t go far enough. GBL has been classified a class C drug in the UK, whereas “In America, it is schedule A, which is the equivalent of a class A drug here.” A fatuous argument – we should copy the insane Americans with their prohibitionist drug laws and warehouse prison system? I thought we were better than that.

Actually, that’s a lie: I’ve never thought that we in the UK were better than the dumb Americans. I’m aware that, generally speaking, the UK is a little brother to Big USA. And this new drug law just reinforces the fact: the prohibitionists and the moral police are still in power on both sides of the pond. The election of Obama has changed nothing over there, and when we vote Gordon Brown out of office it won’t change a thing over here. All the available politicians are the same: a bunch of control-freak, moral nazi thought police. Screw ’em all.

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