Friday, 24 July 2009

My one-man boycott of Cocaine users

Although I'm not a purist Libertarian, I can support intellectually the legalisation of drugs, provided always that individuals remain wholly responsible for their own sustenance, health and welfare. I don't mind you being a smackhead if you can hold down a job, pay the rent on a flat and pay enough National Insurance (in the absence of a proper scheme) to pay for the NHS to treat your collapsed veins and failing heart. After all, I can tick these boxes for alcohol and tobacco, so why not for heroin and cocaine? Except that I viscerally loathe both smackheads and cokeheads. It's called prejudice.

I won't talk to someone in a social setting who has taken Cocaine. I walk away without comment. I won't employ a Cocaine user (and that includes designers) , entertain a cokehead sales rep, or have obvious Cocaine users on any of my sites. If you're bright eyed and babbling, sod off.

And because I loathe Cocaine I flare with anger every time some smart young panellist on the telly makes one of those quiet Cocaine 'in' comments, in a manner that says 'I know we're not allowed to talk about it, but hey, we're hip and cool and fash and of course we stuff mountains of the stuff up our noses'. Fine on ITV. OK on Sky. But, in my opinion, unacceptable on the BBC.

If the government are serious about keeping Cocaine illegal, they need to make an example at the BBC. All on-air presenters, commentators, panellists and the like should undergo regular pre-broadcast coke testing and be taken off air if they fail. They should introduce weekly regular testing for all BBC executives earning over £50k, with a three-strikes-and-out change to their contracts. The BBC should become a coke-free zone.

I'm fed up with coke. My one-man boycott of coke-users may be a small gesture, but at least I'm fighting back against this curse. That's my freedom.

19 comments:

Alfred the Ordinary said...

"individuals remain wholly responsible for their own sustenance, health and welfare."

1. But that's the point. It doesn't take long before they are not able to maintain that responsibility.

2. Cocaine users are supporting a world wide trade that is blighting so many people. For that reason alone, I would like to see it banned. It is highly destructive way beyond the individual user.

lilith said...

Filthy stuff.

davidncl said...

Alfred.

It is banned. Thats why the world trade in it is deadly and why drugs do such harm.

What even worse is that there are more effective, more potent, safer dugs that drug users would prefer and would be able to buy (cheaply) in a real free market.

The social harm done by most drugs is done by the side effects of prohibition:

1) Prohibition makes organised crime profitable and organised crime is very bad for societies. See Mexico atm.

2) Prohibition forces prices up but addicts still want their fix - so they steal, deal and whore. Not good.

3) Prohibition (the worst sort of anti free market intervention one can imagine) damages free market mechanisms (repuation, brand loyalty, the desire not to kill your customers) which ensure high quality goods. So users inject and snort shit.

Prohibition never works. Not for booze, guns, sex for sale, you name it. All it does is f*ck up free markets and such up f*cked markets have socially damaging consequences.

Anonymous said...

Jesus do the Beeb people have no memories...

Who remembers that pretty kids TV lass that boiled herself alive in the bath because she was so out of it on a coke binge...?

The boyfriend obviously couldn't forget becuase he hanged himself @ Paddington station...

Maybe a few photos of before and after might remind these "types" that coke isnt the happy-go-lucky thing they like to thnk it is?

davidncl said...

The damage done by booze and fags is staggering too, btw.

Blue Eyes said...

What are these cocaine "in" jokes? Perhaps I am missing them!

David that alcohol and tobacco cause a lot of harm is not a very logical reason for allowing other substances to do a lot of harm. There is an intellectually sound argument (not that I agree with it) for banning both tobacco and alcohol. The government is quite obviously quite a long way down that road for tobacco. The "problem" with banning alcohol would be that because the vast majority of the adult population are "users" it would never be very popular.

Raedwald said...

BE - why ban me from doing something that harms only me? Despite the ban, there is no evidence that one single person, ever, died from passive smoking. See 'numberwatch' for the non-evidence. And my alcohol intake doesn't affect anyone else either. For both I've been paying NI stamps for around 30 years with no major 'claim', so where's the health costs argument?

Both activities provide massive tax revenue, keep workers in legitimate work and are regulated for purity.

So it's hard for me to make a rational case against banning other drugs if their users can behave as responsibly as I do. But irrationally, I just loathe hard drugs.

The coke references are manifold on TV, BTW - every mention of snow, charlie, nose, powder and the like seems to allow a little tittering double-entendre.

Anonymous said...

Thank God I don't watch TV (except Grand Designs, obviously).

I had no idea any of this went on, and wouldn't recognise a Cocaine in-joke if it jumped up and bit me on the bum.

Does this make me a boring old git?

If so I am proud to be such.

davidncl said...

@Blue Eyes

"David that alcohol and tobacco cause a lot of harm is not a very logical reason for allowing other substances to do a lot of harm".

You are mistaken. It's a very logical reason. It's not the crux of my postition (which is that all market interventions cause harm).

Blue Eyes said...

R- I don't think I said that tobacco and booze should be banned!

I would be all for drug users to lie in the bed they have made, unfortunately that is not the way the cookie crumbles.

I already have quite enough of my hard-earned taken away from me to subsidise the lifestyles of the lazy, I don't feel like I want to support more.

I think before we try legalisation of dope and charlie we should try prohibition just to see if it works.

Budgie said...

davidncl said: "The social harm done by most drugs is done by the side effects of prohibition ..."

No. Presumably you mean (what is termed) 'recreational drugs'? Prohibition of recreational drugs starts from the fact that such substances harm the taker, who often becomes an addict. This in turn harms society.

It is the addiction, not the prohibition, which drives the addicts to engage in crime to finance their habit. According to the police most crime is drugs related.

Removing prohibition for the dangerous drugs would vastly increase the uptake (lower price + increased supply = increased sales). So although each criminal would need less money for his drug, there would be more criminals. This is apart from the social and medical costs of increased drug dependency.

I am not swayed by the fear of not being seen to be "libertarian" because I recognise that freedom of association, for example, is categorically different from the 'freedom' to be addicted to heroin.

Thatcher's Child said...

I can understand your campaign - but I don't really agree with it.

It isn't the coke and the heroin which causes the problem - its the fools who take it. The problems turn out to be related to a lack of education and the prohibition issue.

In your shoes, I would revisit your core idea!

davidncl said...

@Budgie.

I think your position is naive. I doubt very much I will be able to change your perspective with a few lines in comment box. But Hey.

"It is the addiction, not the prohibition, which drives the addicts to engage in crime to finance their habit. According to the police most crime is drugs related."

The police are right. But it is the high cost of drugs that drives (not forces) users to steal, deal and whore. Heroin is extremely cheap to make. As are many other drugs including cocaine and methamphetamine. It's the fact that trade in things people desire is driven underground and into the hands of gangsters.

"Removing prohibition for the dangerous drugs would vastly increase the uptake"

That's not born out by the empirical evidence in places that have actually tried it. Like Portugal.

"I recognise that freedom of association, for example, is categorically different from the 'freedom' to be addicted to heroin."

It isn't. To quote Hayek: "When you are controled in your economic affairs you are controled in everything".

Bill Quango MP said...

Didn't Chris Evans say he would name, on air, BBC executives,producers and presenters who he knew for a fact took cocaine? People who had taken it in front of him.

This was 1997/8 when Richard Bacon was sacked as a Blue Peter presenter for drug use.

Evans was trying to make a point about hypocrisy at the BBC. The one who is caught is slung out,whilst many other carried on sniffing. A conspiracy of silence. A bit like the MP expense fraud. If no one tells, no one knows.

Evans never did name names. I think he was at Virgin at the time and no doubt a lot of behind the scenes 'if you rat out our execs, we will rat out your execs too' caused the bosses to tell him to drop it.

Richard Bacon now works as a radio presenter for ..the BBC.

Obsidian said...

@Blue Eyes

We have, and are, trying prohibition, and it doesn't work.

Cokes a lot more prevalent than E ever was, and any claim of success in reducing it's usage is made of whole cloth.

We're wasting billions fighting a losing war, even a pyrrhic victory isn't even in reach, when we could be reaping taxable income from it.

People will take drugs, there is a market and a supplies do exist. It's a fact that isn't going away anytime soon, so we either control it, or it controls us.

If anything, the War on Drugs has become the most toxic, expensive and deadly addiction of the whole narcotics debate.

Doubting Richard said...

Davidncl

"The damage done by booze and fags is staggering too, btw."

Another good reason not to legalize any more narcotics.

If it was possible to make people solely responsible for the affects of addiction I would say go ahead, fill yer boots. It is not.

Anonymous said...

In the most literal sense possible, I could not give a flying fuck about the damage that cocaine or heroin or nicotine does to an individual. You make your choices and you live with them and if they're bad choices with bad consequences, that's your business.

Problem is that cocaine does not harm the individual. Cocaine harms tens of millions of people in Latin America. Every penny spent on coke is a penny spent on terrorist bullets to kill people in Colombia, Peru and increasingly Mexico.

If drug money was not funding mass murder, I would care as much about drug use as i do about alcohol and tobacco use (i.e. not much). But, as it is, drug money does fund terrorism and mass murder and kidnapping and the western hemisphere's longest running civil war. Drug use is not a victimless crime; it just happens that the victims of cokeheads are conveniently out of sight.

I'd hope that cokeheads might feel a sting of shame when they see pictures of Latin American people - policemen, civilians, clergy, politicians - killed with bullets their money has bought. Sadly, my hopes would be misplaced since cokeheads have about as much capacity for empathy and personal responsibility as a fish has for bicycling.

Budgie said...

Not just Latin America. Drug money is used to finance terrorism in Afghanistan via the porous Afghanistan/Pakistan border. English fixes kill English soldiers.

banned said...

Anon: 19:49
The reason that drug money kills people in South America and supports terorrism is precisely because it is illegal in the same way the booze supported Al Capone during Prohibition.
Since I don't care what cokefiends do to themselves I would rather Cocaine was manufactuerd cheaply and legally on a trading estate in Leytonstone, distributed through secure outlets and taxed to that level where it's illegal supply was not worth the criminal while. ( Mind you successive Governments have failed to get this right with tobacco hence smuggling on a vast scale ).

It is said that a large proportion of banknotes are impregnated with cocaine residue, if so, few of us would pass a stringent coke test !