Ben Tasker's Blog

James Brokenshire re-defines Success

This post was originally published to Freedom4All, the original can be found here in the archive.

Firstly, hat-tip to Peter Reynolds for covering this story. 

James Brokenshire (in typing that I originally used a ‘t’ instead of an ‘r’, freudian slip?) has claimed that the dangerous level of cocaine impurity seen in the UK is a ‘sign of success’. 

This is quite possibly one of the most dangerous and uninformed statements that I have heard since I began scratching at the thin veneer of the war on drugs. 

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Ignorant Attitudes on Paper

This post was originally posted to Freedom4All. A copy of the original can be found here in the archive.

A member of the Coalition – Simon Heffer – has penned a truly ignorant piece in the Times. Quite frankly, some of the tripe he has written is so self-evident that it’s hardly worth countering. So instead, I’ll deal with the crux of his article; 

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UK Government follows a dangerous path, again!

This post was originally published on Freedom4All and the original can be found in the archive at this link.


It was reported on Monday that the Government have decided that they no longer need scientific advice on drug law. Presumably this is related to the mountain of scientific evidence contradicting the Government’s prohibitionist stance, but it does at least make it clear that the policies have absolutely nothing to do with health. 

As if they couldn’t top that, the Government have now announced that they will be promoting abstinence over control of drug addictions. Although, to the casual observer, this may seem like a wise move, it’s a terrible decision and here’s why; 

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Home Office Respond to My Email

This post was originally published to Freedom4All, a copy of the original can be found here in the archive.

It’s funny what a little restraint can do, I was all set to submit an angry article about the Home Office last night as they appeared to have overrun their 20 day timescale for responding to queries. Instead I decided to employ a bit of patience, and today I received a response!! 

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UK Government Decides It No Longers Needs Scientific Advice

This post was originally published to Freedom4All, you can find a copy of the original here in the archive.

Remember how we criticised the Government for not following the advice of the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs? Well it would seem that they have learnt their lesson: they’ve decided to dispense with the advice completely! 

The Misuse of Drugs Act specifies that the Government must seek scientific advice when making policy decisions. It doesn’t say that they have to follow the advice, simply that they must listen. The Government have decided that they are going to amend the law to remove this requirement. 

At the very least, this is an admission that there is no scientific basis for the prohibitionist stance. It’s also another worrying step away from making informed decisions, although the Government made it’s previous decision despite scientific evidence to the contrary, at least they were required to listen to the evidence. 

So what does this mean? It’s quite hard to tell, could this be the desperate thrashing of a Government which has cornered itself? Especially given that the EU will be holding a review of drug law in 2 days time? Or is it a sign of a continued hardline support in keeping with their blind devotion to the failed war on drugs? 

Sadly, I don’t have the answer. I’d like to hope it was the former, but it’s quite clear that Cameron and Clegg can’t be trusted. With this in mind, it’s more likely to be the latter. 


Take Action

I’m doubtful of the effect it will have, but write to your MP today and tell them that you oppose the changes. 

More details at The Register