7 Dec, 2010 @ 09:00
1 min read

You dopes

THE celebrated party vibe of Barcelona has ended up leaving 10 schoolboys from posh public school St Paul’s being suspended.

It comes after the boys were caught with cannabis and booze on a history trip to the city.

They were caught rolling joints and drinking in their hotel room by a member of staff.

Jon Clarke (Publisher & Editor)

Jon Clarke is a Londoner who worked at the Daily Mail and Mail on Sunday as an investigative journalist before moving permanently to Spain in 2003 where he helped set up the Olive Press. He is the author of three books; Costa Killer, Dining Secrets of Andalucia and My Search for Madeleine.

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  1. “Get real” Fred. What a sad lot we ‘adults’ are, cannot even protect our kids from the dangers of drugs. Yes, the ‘crime’ has been committed by us. The victims, Ben, children too young to know. Cannabis today, junkies tomorrow and a millstone around society’s neck forever.

  2. Cigarettes today, death tomorrow. Which is better? Cigarettes and booze are drugs too. Where is the proof of cannabis leading to hard drug use? Answer, there isn’t. Where is the evidence of drink and drugs causing addition, death and many other problems? Everywhere! I rest my case.

  3. Tony the only way cannabis users are going to end up as junkies is because they go to drug dealers for marijuanna. Drug dealers cause the problems not drugs. Please don’t assume individuals old enough to marry and join the army are idiots. That’s patronising. The advisory panel for the misuse of drugs disintergrated because politicians would not accept or even listen to the facts presented to them by expert scientists. Don’t make the same mistake.

  4. Sorry to both Ben and Fred and their soft-option towards drug-taking. I’ve absolutely no truck with drugs trafficking, whether cannabis, marijauna, heroin, etc. All such teem with corruption, death, gang warfare, prostitution, child abuse, etc., etc. Anyone who thinks otherwise cannot be aware of news items which confront us almost daily. Sure alcohol abuse can be a huge problem amongst teenagers, and I cannot either defend the use of cigarettes, cigars, to extremes. As with coal-mining, granite quarrying, working with asbestos, tobacco can cause death by inhalation. But they don’t go out killing and maiming others, driving like brainless idiots, etc.
    The big crunch point is in numbers of those participating. How many people who drink alcohol, smoke cigarettes, etc., are actually involved in car accidents, crime, etc.? What if the numbers of the drug-taking population were catch up with the leisure-alcohol-taking population, which is virtually everyone?? I can tell you, we would have the most horrendous society which only a nightmare could envisage.
    I go back to my first point, if we cannot defend our young population from the efforts of criminal organisations to render them useless, brainless addicts, what are we here for?

  5. One other point Fred and Ben, I assume you have kids of your own and Christmas is on the way.
    What are you likely to buy them for Christmas, as a ‘stocking filler’, a bottle of red wine, whisky, champagne, or a packet of cannabis joints? (or however they are dispensed) The choice is one or the other.

  6. Tony, legalising drugs takes away many of the insidous drug-related issues you raise. What’s the alternative? More drugs are being imported. Every day I read about a new “largest ever haul” discovered. I am aware of all of the news Tony, and the drug war is lost. Period. We need to find a new way, and legalising is one such way. Portugal were very sensible.

    The facts are simple – people want drugs, they want drink, they want cigarettes. The latter items cause massive health issues and death, and they are legal, so it makes sense but to legalise the other drugs too. People take “banned substances” even though they are illegal Tony; they can get them anywhere. Drugs are ubiquitous – they are already available, so your argument is moot.

    “But they don’t go out killing and maiming others, driving like brainless idiots, etc.”

    You don’t need drugs to drive like a brainless idiot; you just need to be a Spaniard lol.

  7. Well, Fred, we are talking issues about which obviously you know more about than I do. But if I can refer you to extracts from a report by The Royal College of Psychiatrists, as follows.
    A recent study in France looked at over 10,000 drivers who were involved in fatal car crashes. Even when the influence of alcohol was taken into account, cannabis users were more than twice as likely to be the cause of a fatal crash than to be one of the victims.
    If you start smoking it before the age of 15, you are 4 times more likely to develop a psychotic disorder by the time you are 26.
    Compulsive use
    The user feels they have to have it and spends much of their life seeking, buying and using it. They cannot stop even when other important parts of their life (family, school, work) suffer.
    You are most likely to become dependent on cannabis if you use it every day.
    A review of the research on the effect of cannabis on pilots revealed that those who had used cannabis made far more mistakes, both major and minor, than when they had not smoked cannabis. As you can imagine, the pilots were tested in flight simulators, not actually flying… The worst effects were in the first four hours, although they persisted for at least 24 hours, even when the pilot had no sense at all of being ‘high’. It concluded “Most of us, with this evidence, would not want to fly with a pilot who had smoked cannabis within the last day or so””” END.
    Now, to compare these effects to normal cigarette and alcohol use is not a very clever way to educate our young. It gives the wrong message, exactly that which the drug gangs would adore you for.

  8. First, never listen to a psychiatrist. They are often madder than their own patients. Do you have one, Tony?

    Your pilot scneario is interesting. If you actually read any news you would have seen that over the past year there have been a good half dozen reports about pilots who have been stopped from flying at the last minute because of drinking and/or alcohol related-issues. A couple have even been arrested for flying whilst under the influence. I don’t recall any recent stories with pilots and Cannabis related incidents.

    I think anyone knows more about this issue than you do Tony lol.

  9. Tony,

    I would give lol if your extracts from the report weren’t so horribly skewed. The whole document is peppered with ” suggestions, it seems, likely, possibly, no one knows for certain, probably, maybe” etc.

    You didn’t include “There is no evidence that cannabis causes specific health hazards” which sounds specific or “The main risk to physical health from cannabis is probably from the tobacco that is is often smoked with” which contains a “probably” too so isn’t a fact. Additionaly you omitted “These symptoms of withdrawal produce about the same amount of discomfort as withdrawing from tobacco” and “If you decide to give up cannabis, it may be no more difficult than giving up cigarettes”. And as it states most people do smoke it with tobacco it isn’t too much of a stretch to say is likely that tobacco is the cause of the problems you list.

    Furthermore the questionaire is a joke. You could sustitute marijuanna for anything else, say chocolate, pizza, beer or football and it would suggest you have a “problem” and who would you go to? A psychiatrist. No bias there then.

    You shouldn’t smoke pot and drive a car, fly a plane or operate heavy machinery. That’s sensible. Criminalising people for smoking pot in their living room is insane.

    Proffesor David Nutts’ study in the Lancet is available for you to read. I doubt you will. He was sacked for presenting facts, not hysterical hyperbole. Not something Mail readers appreciate.

  10. Oh and Tony, if I lived in some demented alternate universe where I absolutely had to choose between a bottle of whisky or some marijuana as a present to any of the kids in my family it’s a choice I would make in a second. It would be the marijuana served as a tea.

  11. Yes Ben and Fred, I agree, almost everyone knows more about cannabis than I do. Especially those in the trade. Methinks you should set up your own advisory bureau on cannabis and its wonderful properties. Perhaps your experience also extends to the next step up from cannabis?
    Waste of time me reading such as the Royal College of Psychiatrists report on the side effects of cannabis, you both know it all.
    Well done both, I’m sure you’ll help many unsuspecting youngsters along the Ben and Fred drugs trail.
    Remind me never to take anything either of you say in these, and other columns, seriously again.

  12. I asked you to read an article by the ex-chief of the governments’ Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs published in the Lancet, not accept my opinion, and in reply you intimate I deal in drugs? Why? Because I have no time for hearsay, the hysteria of “reefer madness” or idiots? I would be insulted but frankly I can’t be bothered. I knew you wouldn’t read it though. I can guess you will also know nothing about the vested economic interests in the cotton industry and tobacco that pay politicians and scientists huge sums to keep the status quo as is. If you aren’t bothered about learning the facts as to what the physiological effects really are you also won’t be bothered about why it’s really banned. And just so you know I don’t smoke.

  13. My point is only that drink and cigarettes are far more dangerous than cannibis, and the evidence for that is overwhelming. I’m not going to lose sleep because you disagree with such obvious facts. I’m not on any ‘drugs trail’ either, I don’t smoke nor have I ever even tried any banned substance, but I would not tell a person what they should and should not do Tony, which is what you are doing.

  14. Apologies for any unintended insult, Ben, Fred, but I’m totally at a loss to understand such vigorous support for drug-taking by youngsters in their formative years. Would you have had the same opinions if you had a brood of children to ween into adults?
    The fact of the matter, condensed into a few words, is that youngsters tempted into the actual psychology of drug-taking, start at a low level such as cannabis, etc., and a proportion will migrate to harder drugs. Youngsters strong enough to withstand that initial temptation will not. It’s as simple as that and those with any influence over the behaviour of young people have an absolute duty of protection, no excuses.
    The psychology of drug-taking is the ingestion of otherwise unpalatable substances purely for the effect; totally different to the consumption of alcohol which most people drink for the sheer pleasure of a say a mature whisky, a well-oaked Rioja, or as I previously said, the joy of a pint or two of good beer after a hard days slog in the heat.
    The unintended side effect maybe a pleasurable feeling of well being, if not taken to excess. Few will drink a rough whisky, grotty wine or unpalatable beer just for the effect, as do drug-takers their substances. I suppose my meaning is that a drug-taker is the equivalent of a drunk; incapable.
    Tobacco smoking again, a similar story. There is a pleasure in smoking, especially a good cigar and it is not done for the effect, although the chemical drugs added to cigarette tobacco does make it habit-forming.
    I know you’ll have sincere alternative arguments, but I refer you to my first paragraph, which you really cannot dispute.

  15. The subject Tony is marijuana not drugs in general a nuance you seem to miss. What’s worse is you have obviously no knowledge of the subject you are pontificating on. Your double standard on alcohol and tobacco versus marijuana just highlights this. Have you even read what the other posters have written? Marijuana is illegal because governments can’t tax and big pharma can’t patent a plant you could grow in your garden.

    Your “fact of the matter” isn’t. It’s an unproven theory which is steadily being discredited. The “gateway” theory has no evidence, that’s right, none, but were it true there would be approximately 55 million heroin addicts in europe but in fact there is closer to one million.

    On a separate topic drugs available from the phamacist are regulated, exhustively tested for quality and most importantly taxed. Drugs available from drug dealers are made available by scum who have no regard for the welfare of their customers and are motivated simply by profit. As they are illegal the prices are sky high and the health problems associated with long-term use are as a result of cutting agents used to boost profit in an unregulated market. The problem is not the drug but the suppliers.

    Tony since the war on drugs was declared what are the
    victories, what are the objectives, how much has it cost and why hasn’t it been won yet?

    Fair enough you want to protect children from making mistakes. A laudable motive. Is the solution to keep them ignorant of the facts and feed them misinformation and myth?
    What about adults? What decisions are we allowed to make that don’t meet with your approval?

    Your position seems to be “My drugs should be legal because I like them. Yours shouldn’t because I don’t understand them”. I totally dispute your first paragraph. It’s just ill-informed rubbish. I think the others did the same.

    David Cameron, a man of some standing and influence, smoked cannabis when at school while younger than the students in this news article. I don’t recall seeing him panhandling for change to get his next fix of smack.

    If you’re not interested in facts I’m not interested in your opinions on this subject.

  16. Tony, I am not vigorously supporting drug-taking by youths, just as I am not supporting them smoking or drinking to excess either, but it’s their choice.

    I am merely saying that other substances are just as dangerous, indeed are more dangerous. I see no issue in legalising “soft” drugs at all, and I also think legalising hard drugs would be beneficial too. It would certainly hit suppliers/pimps and remove much of the insidious things associated with such drugs. Banning and making something taboo only makes people want to discover and experiment with it more. That is all I have to say about this, and I am not going to answer the nonsensical “select a multiple choice answer” since they do not reflect reality. Your pigeon-holed view of life is very simplistic Tony.

  17. Fred, I don’t have a pigeon-hole view of life, that belongs to the druggies and junkies. In all my 73 years I’ve never yet had the misfortune to come into contact socially or at work with either. I have an expansive view on life which is not constrained by drugs of any type, but I do confess to the enjoyment of a good whisky in the evening sunshine.
    I think there is a case to be made for legalising drugs of any type, with the proviso the scheme is run by a Government body and that similar restrictions on age are applied. In addition at least some control over quantity per person or you’d have the same problem of resale to kids.
    The profits could then be used in part to mend the problems caused by selling the drugs to them in the first place and the rest some sort of compensation scheme for the victims of drug-related violence and theft.
    But then I mustn’t pontificate on this matter, must I Ivan?

  18. Well done Tony. I’m sorry if I was rude.

    I agree with your last post. I don’t think legalising all drugs is the way forward but taking marijuana out of the hands of drug dealers is a start. The government should regulate and tax its sale removing penalties for possession of small amounts for personal consuption and small numbers of plants. Sales should be through a licenced dispensary or phamacist, perhaps persciption only as a compromise/trial. Large scale growers should be vetted, licensed, approved by the Home Office and there should be large financial or prison penalties in place for commercial growers who try to avoid paying the taxman duty. And no room for drug dealers. If you need it for medical reasons its available from a doctor. If you just want to get high, grow your own. If you cant be bothered to grow your own then either a; you don’t want it that much or b; you are probably smoking too much already.

  19. Not really, Fred, I initially was angry at both Ben’s and your own apparent support for the drug-dealers sale of cannabis to schoolboys on a history trip to Barcelona.
    If legalising drugs by a Government body can prevent this then I’m in favour.
    But I suspect that the drugs cartel (should I say slime) is so sticky and powerful that they will somehow subvert the very purpose of the legislation by bribes (or threats) to the decision-makers.
    Protect at all costs the younger generation or civilisation itself could fail. They are the future.

  20. Legalisation of all drugs is the way forward. That may mean some state controlled drug programme, but legal they should be. The older generation need to stop telling the younger generation how to live their lives, Tony. The older generation (i.e. your lot) cocked up society back in the 60’s when all the drug-taking was in vogue. Your generation kicked it all off.

    You are plain stupid if you think I ever said I supported drug-dealers; that’s just another over the top comment you have made to try and hide your earlier U-Turn.

  21. Drug-taking has always been with us, from the opium dens and gin-palaces of the 19th. Century all the way through, and yes the 60’s were the years of ‘discovery’ en masse by the youth of the day, coinciding with the explosion in popularity of pop music.
    Unfortunately Fred, educating the young is part of adulthood, at least until children reach an age where their responsibility can match their obligations and temptations. That’s why we have schools?? It’s been going on since warm-blooded mammals first walked the earth. It’s a survival tactic without which we’d still be in the stone age. So telling the younger how to live their lives is part and parcel of education, up to the age when the young hopefully no longer need it.
    The trouble with many of modern youth is they think they know it all, try to branch out and within a year or two are back living with Mummy and Daddy.

  22. “Drug-taking has always been with us, from the opium dens and gin-palaces of the 19th.”

    Good, even more reason to legalise it then, since it has always been going on, as you correctly say.

    With respect Tony, you’ve had your time, now let the youth of today get on with things. I forgive you for your U-Turn Tony, lol.

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