The police in the UK do a fantastic job, it is a great privilege to live in a country where you can pass a police officer in the street and be treated in a helpful and courteous manner.
The riots in London and other major cities of the UK reveal that a much of the population of the UK, especially the youth, foster a lot of anger, hatred and resentment towards the police and other forms of authority. The drug laws are a part of the reason for this and they just aren’t necessary.
The police aren’t hated by these people for apprehending murderers and rapists. The vast majority of people support the police where they are seen to be enforcing just laws that refer to moral issues.
According to the British Crime Survey 2005/2006 it is estimated that 34.9% of 16 to 59 year olds have used one or more illicit drugs in their lifetime. Over half of 16 to 27 year olds have used drugs, mostly cannabis. The vast majority of those who use the drugs find them to be harmless, many of them enjoy the experience and wish to repeat it.
The police are cast into paternalistic roles which breed anger and resentment. The youth feel persecuted for doing something they consider to be worth the risk and something that is important to them. The realise that the harms the drug will do to them are nothing when compared to the harms that the police and the “justice” system will do to them if they are caught.
The police are forced into a terrible position by legislators. Presumably most of them signed up to the force to benefit people and to do real good. Instead they have to waste their time enforcing laws which are perceived by the civilians they are meant to be serving as irrational, unfair, and unjust. Each time the police officer arrests an individual for possession of cannabis or a psychedelic, they know they are doing them a harm, wholly derailing the individual’s life, for a debatable crime, with no apparent victim. In short, they know that they are doing more harm than good each time they arrest a psychedelic or cannabis user.
Psychedelic users are particularly upset by this arrangement. Psychedelics carry the lowest risk of all drug categories, they do not cause the social and criminal problems associated with addictive substances, and they are often viewed as an important part of the individual’s spiritual life. To a psychedelic devotee, a part of the job of a police officer is to arrest and imprison people for pursuing their mystical/spiritual birth-rite, and to prevent others from benefitting from psychedelics as they have.
The laws on drugs do not refer to a moral crime. There is nothing immoral about trying or using drugs: all activities bring with them an element of personal risk, this does not make them immoral. There are risks associated with taking drugs, there are risks associated with canoing: cannoing is not immoral. Yet drug-users are punished in the same way as those who are arrested for moral offences like murder and rape. Drug users are, more often than not, constructive, harmless, tax-paying members of society.
Let’s do the police and the population a massive favour and change the laws on psychedelics as soon as possible.