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Drug laws in this country are ridiculous watch

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    I've been perusing some drug sentencing cases on Westlaw. The harshness of these laws is astonishing. One case I read, R v Jones (Tracey Leighan), the woman involved was living in a homeless shelter. She was a very low level dealer, and police caught her with a few hundred pounds (sterling, not weight) worth of crack and heroin which were split up into £10 deals. She had a couple of hundred pounds in cash on her.

    She was sentenced to five years, four months in prison. In another case, R v Peter Andrews, an undercover police officer purchased £10 or £20 deals of heroin from him on a mere three occasions over two weeks. On the first and third occasion, the amount purchased by undercover police was so small it couldn't even be analysed by the lab. He was sentenced to four years in prison.

    Another case from 2005, R v Branton-Speak, a man with a good job in TV production invited a friend around for a few lines. Police found him to possess about 6 grams of cocaine (and there's no dispute it was for private use), and he got 18 months in prison.

    And yet, at the other end you have people involved in major multi-kilo drug trafficking conspiracies getting seven or eight years in prison. There seems to be a huge disparity and warping in terms of the sentences meted out to those at the bottom of the scale, and those at the top. British drug laws are barbaric, and the sentences given out to individuals possessing and supplying only very small quantities of drugs is completely out of whack with what you see in comparable jurisdictions like Canada and Australia.

    It's also interesting to me that police expend major resources sending officers undercover to buy a few £10 bags of heroin and netting very small-time dealers. If they really wanted to, they could get the big fish. As soon as you find the guy on the very bottom rung, you don't arrest him, you get a warrant for telephone interception and find out who his supplier is. When you've done that, you get a warrant for telephone interception on that supplier and find out who supplies him, and so on up the chain. It seems like a huge waste of resources to focus on nobodies at the bottom of the drug supply chain and then bang them up for years.
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    (Original post by BeastOfSyracuse)
    I've been perusing some drug sentencing cases on Westlaw. The harshness of these laws is astonishing. One case I read, R v Jones (Tracey Leighan), the woman involved was living in a homeless shelter. She was a very low level dealer, and police caught her with a few hundred pounds (sterling, not weight) worth of crack and heroin which were split up into £10 deals. She had a couple of hundred pounds in cash on her.

    She was sentenced to five years, four months in prison. In another case, R v Peter Andrews, an undercover police officer purchased £10 or £20 deals of heroin from him on a mere three occasions over two weeks. On the first and third occasion, the amount purchased by undercover police was so small it couldn't even be analysed by the lab. He was sentenced to four years in prison.

    Another case from 2005, R v Branton-Speak, a man with a good job in TV production invited a friend around for a few lines. Police found him to possess about 6 grams of cocaine (and there's no dispute it was for private use), and he got 18 months in prison.

    And yet, at the other end you have people involved in major multi-kilo drug trafficking conspiracies getting seven or eight years in prison. There seems to be a huge disparity and warping in terms of the sentences meted out to those at the bottom of the scale, and those at the top. British drug laws are barbaric, and the sentences given out to individuals possessing and supplying only very small quantities of drugs is completely out of whack with what you see in comparable jurisdictions like Canada and Australia.

    It's also interesting to me that police expend major resources sending officers undercover to buy a few £10 bags of heroin and netting very small-time dealers. If they really wanted to, they could get the big fish. As soon as you find the guy on the very bottom rung, you don't arrest him, you get a warrant for telephone interception and find out who his supplier is. When you've done that, you get a warrant for telephone interception on that supplier and find out who supplies him, and so on up the chain. It seems like a huge waste of resources to focus on nobodies at the bottom of the drug supply chain and then bang them up for years.
    of course but would you rather put effort in to catch a small time crook which is much easier or try and uncover a whole system of baddies?(which will take a long time)
    isn't this is the NHS where they'd rather treat more than treat the ones with serious problems?
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    (Original post by thefatone)
    of course but would you rather put effort in to catch a small time crook which is much easier or try and uncover a whole system of baddies?(which will take a long time)
    So you're asking whether I'd prefer the police spend their time pursuing and locking up small-time drug offenders which has a very limited effect on the drug trade, or whether I'd rather they pursue the big-time drug traffickers who are invariably involved in other forms of criminality as well? Do you really need to ask that?

    Of course the first one is easier. That's not really a justification for doing it instead, in fact it just underlines how superficial and futile it is, and how lazy it seems, to focus on that.

    isn't this is the NHS where they'd rather treat more than treat the ones with serious problems?
    I have no idea what you just said. I mean, I know the words are in English but put together in the order you have them it just seems like gibberish
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    (Original post by thefatone)
    of course but would you rather put effort in to catch a small time crook which is much easier or try and uncover a whole system of baddies?(which will take a long time)
    isn't this is the NHS where they'd rather treat more than treat the ones with serious problems?
    The big guy definitely.


    Smalltime drug addicts are victims and should be treated as people with an illness rather than hounded as criminals.
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    well if people dont like the time, then dont do the crime.

    simple.
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    (Original post by BeastOfSyracuse)
    So you're asking whether I'd prefer the police spend their time pursuing and locking up small-time drug offenders which has a very limited effect on the drug trade, or whether I'd rather they pursue the big-time drug traffickers who are invariably involved in other forms of criminality as well? Do you really need to ask that?

    Of course the first one is easier. That's not really a justification for doing it instead, in fact it just underlines how superficial and futile it is, and how lazy it seems, to focus on that.



    I have no idea what you just said. I mean, I know the words are in English but put together in the order you have them it just seems like gibberish
    oh but it is? since some people would rather be lazy and do less than actually do work properly.

    lemme rephrase that, where the NHS would rather threat more people with minor injuries than less people with major injuries
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    (Original post by mkap)
    well if people dont like the time, then dont do the crime.

    simple.
    Simplistic, more like.
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    (Original post by BeastOfSyracuse)
    Simplistic, more like.
    jeez its not an exam :lol:
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    (Original post by Kashmir Skirt)
    The big guy definitely.

    Smalltime drug addicts are victims and should be treated as people with an illness rather than hounded as criminals.
    Excellent point. And if GPs were able to prescribe their drug of choice to these individuals, they would have no reason to get involved in drug dealing and other forms of crime to support their habit.

    And if you did that and took away the drug cartel's customers, those cartels themselves would take a massive hit. Most criminal syndicates are involved in many different forms of crime, not just drug trafficking but often human trafficking, fraud, protection rackets, armed robbery, bribery and the offences of violence and sometimes murder needed by underworld figures to enforce drug debts and other contracts.

    I read a figure that suggested most criminal syndicates derive around half of their profits from drug trafficking. If you took away those profits, they would be forced to go into other areas of crime like fraud and armed robbery that are much more likely to see them detected by law enforcement. The enormous amount of money involved in the drug trade also increases the likelihood of the proceeds being used to bribe police and public officials (which will always happen where you have the situation where a drug trafficker can offer a police officer 20 years salary in a day in exchange for protection/support).

    The people involved in drug trafficking at the highest levels are invariably extremely nasty, violent and exploitative, and it seems like madness to me that the government just hands over this lucrative trade to them
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    (Original post by mkap)
    jeez its not an exam :lol:
    What do exams have to do with anything? I said your position is simplistic, and it is. It's an opinion.
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    rt the **** out of this
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    (Original post by thefatone)
    oh but it is? since some people would rather be lazy and do less than actually do work properly.

    lemme rephrase that, where the NHS would rather threat more people with minor injuries than less people with major injuries
    This isn't relevant because the NHS has a duty of care to everyone, I'm sure the NHS would prefer it that nobody ever got ill or injured at all. It's a bad analogy anyway because successfully treating a human being in a hospital is a victory for society, throwing someone in prison isn't really something to celebrate. Something bad happened, so now we have to spend money keeping them off the street.


    Most people who are on the street using drugs and selling small amounts came from awful homes, were abused and even now are being manipulated by wealthy people higher up in the chain who make huge amounts of money from other people's suffering. If you throw the small time guy in prison, the head dealer phones up the next poor soul he knows has nobody else to turn to and the cycle continues, nothing changes, society is not improved one little bit.


    If you put the big guy in prison and show some humanity to the people lower down the chain, you've saved money directly because fewer people are in prison, you've actually improved society because you are actually disrupting the drug trade, there will be a real measured improvement and you're giving people who have had an awful start in life a way back into society.
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    (Original post by BeastOfSyracuse)
    What do exams have to do with anything? I said your position is simplistic, and it is. It's an opinion.
    you was correcting my grammar wernt you.
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    (Original post by mkap)
    you was correcting my grammar wernt you.
    No. You said that if they can't do the time, they shouldn't do the crime, and ended with the word "simple".

    I said that this approach (that if they can't do the time etc) was simplistic, rather than simple.

    If you still don't understand I don't think I can explain it to you
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    (Original post by BeastOfSyracuse)
    Excellent point. And if GPs were able to prescribe their drug of choice to these individuals, they would have no reason to get involved in drug dealing and other forms of crime to support their habit.

    And if you did that and took away the drug cartel's customers, those cartels themselves would take a massive hit. Most criminal syndicates are involved in many different forms of crime, not just drug trafficking but often human trafficking, fraud, protection rackets, armed robbery, bribery and the offences of violence and sometimes murder needed by underworld figures to enforce drug debts and other contracts.

    I read a figure that suggested most criminal syndicates derive around half of their profits from drug trafficking. If you took away those profits, they would be forced to go into other areas of crime like fraud and armed robbery that are much more likely to see them detected by law enforcement. The enormous amount of money involved in the drug trade also increases the likelihood of the proceeds being used to bribe police and public officials (which will always happen where you have the situation where a drug trafficker can offer a police officer 20 years salary in a day in exchange for protection/support).

    The people involved in drug trafficking at the highest levels are invariably extremely nasty, violent and exploitative, and it seems like madness to me that the government just hands over this lucrative trade to them
    This is a really good post and if the policies were changed, the drug trade would actually begin to suffer, but right-now our politicians have to pander to the kind nasty lower middle class 55+ generation who would have drug addicts literally crucified if they thought they could get away with it.

    Drug addiction has become a social pariah and it's not helping
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    Never even tried them myself before anyone questions my agenda
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    (Original post by Kashmir Skirt)
    Most people who are on the street using drugs and selling small amounts came from awful homes, were abused and even now are being manipulated by wealthy people higher up in the chain who make huge amounts of money from other people's suffering. If you throw the small time guy in prison, the head dealer phones up the next poor soul he knows has nobody else to turn to and the cycle continues, nothing changes, society is not improved one little bit.
    This is a good point. I've read that the guys in gangs at the low end of street dealing in UK cities tend to earn about what they would working at McDonalds. The reason the higher ups can get away with paying this low amount is that most of them are young and still live with their parents. It's obscene to think these guys are taking the risks and yet they are earning perhaps less than minimum wage.

    Compare that to the guys at the top of the chain, who are smart enough never to get anywhere near the drugs and pull the strings. They are the ones we should be targeting
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    (Original post by BeastOfSyracuse)
    No. You said that if they can't do the time, they shouldn't do the crime, and ended with the word "simple".

    I said that this approach (that if they can't do the time etc) was simplistic, rather than simple.

    If you still don't understand I don't think I can explain it to you
    lol you didnt make it clear as you added 'more like' stop tryna make it out im dumb :lol:
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    (Original post by Kashmir Skirt)
    This isn't relevant because the NHS has a duty of care to everyone, I'm sure the NHS would prefer it that nobody ever got ill or injured at all. It's a bad analogy anyway because successfully treating a human being in a hospital is a victory for society, throwing someone in prison isn't really something to celebrate. Something bad happened, so now we have to spend money keeping them off the street.


    Most people who are on the street using drugs and selling small amounts came from awful homes, were abused and even now are being manipulated by wealthy people higher up in the chain who make huge amounts of money from other people's suffering. If you throw the small time guy in prison, the head dealer phones up the next poor soul he knows has nobody else to turn to and the cycle continues, nothing changes, society is not improved one little bit.


    If you put the big guy in prison and show some humanity to the people lower down the chain, you've saved money directly because fewer people are in prison, you've actually improved society because you are actually disrupting the drug trade, there will be a real measured improvement and you're giving people who have had an awful start in life a way back into society.

    in that case we wouldn't even need an NHS
    which is why capital punishment is an alternative?
    agreed but not everyone can fit in to society well and have a peaceful and create a harmonious society where everything works, in that case we wouldn't need police then right? if everything is fine and working as it should.
    ok i agree short term you are helping but what about long term? surely if one of the big bosses get taken down then won't the rest of the drug community grow and expand to cover for the loss of that person?
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    dam it really is a difficult playing devils advocate for all these threads X_X i really do agree that we should put the bigger people in prison because i do believe that will have a better more positive effect on society
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    (Original post by Kashmir Skirt)
    This is a really good post and if the policies were changed, the drug trade would actually begin to suffer, but right-now our politicians have to pander to the kind nasty lower middle class 55+ generation who would have drug addicts literally crucified if they thought they could get away with it.
    That's very true. I hate to make this about class, but why is it that the English lower-middle class is much nastier than the middle and upper-classes? I say this as someone who is not from the UK originally.

    It seems like those who are just above council estate people on the class scale are often the ones who are most hostile to them, even though maybe their own family was in that situation just a few generations back. Unfortunately this section of society invariably votes against their own economic interests, while the middle and upper-classes in many ways can afford to be much more liberal

    I suppose one way to continue the economic status quo is to keep the working-class, the underclass and the lower-middle class at each others' throats and constantly fighting over their small share of the pie rather than questioning the system in general
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    (Original post by thefatone)
    in that case we wouldn't even need an NHS
    which is why capital punishment is an alternative?
    agreed but not everyone can fit in to society well and have a peaceful and create a harmonious society where everything works, in that case we wouldn't need police then right? if everything is fine and working as it should.
    ok i agree short term you are helping but what about long term? surely if one of the big bosses get taken down then won't the rest of the drug community grow and expand to cover for the loss of that person?
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    dam it really is a difficult playing devils advocate for all these threads X_X i really do agree that we should put the bigger people in prison because i do believe that will have a better more positive effect on society
    Killing a person because they sold a few hundred £'s worth of drugs is not at all reasonable. The level of evil involved in ending a human being's life is much more than any of the evil the average street dealer has created or ever will create.


    It's like shooting someone for being late to work, they'll never be late again, but they'll never do anything else again either.
 
 
 
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