• Adam Anderson

Johnson's War on Drugs: How Freak Power Could Help Us All

Updated: Dec 9, 2021


Campervan
Hippie Van - Cred: Vasilio Muselimis, Unsplash

It was five hours into the party when the drugs were about to run out – thinking we had enough to last three days turned out to be an amateur move.


Although they were young and drunk and the guys were out of their minds, it was a pleasant affair, no sick or fighting or scraps. I’d lived in the flat below them for a few months, and the mood was that of a social commune. Earthy smoke filling the air and giving us all a flower-power panache.


Apparently, scenes like this aren’t welcome in Downing Street anymore. (Although, with the leaked footage regarding Christmas parties recently, we all know that’s bullshit.)


This Monday just gone (06/12/2021), it’s been announced that our Great British Government is going to take passports off drug users, scallywags, and those who partake in ‘chemical hedonism’. There’d been the vague sniffings of rumours circulating for a week or two, but it’s now been outed as fact.


This is part of BoJo’s 10-year plan to extend the already long-winded war on drugs. Sweep up the streets, and anyone caught carrying powder gets forty lashes in the town square. Nixon, 1971 vibes.


Once again, the lunatics in our parliament have let their hatred of common-people get in the way of doing anything sensible.


The new campaign is meant to attack ‘middle-class lifestyle users’ who believe that drugs are a victimless crime. Johnson wants to smash down on them like some Orwellian sumo wrestler, making examples of what happens to rule breakers.


This, coming from a chap who supposedly inhaled cocaine ‘unsuccessfully.’


Not only has he broken these very laws in the past, what’s worse is that his attempts were weak.


I’d be much more inclined to listen to someone who came rip-roaring into the Houses of Parliament, straight from a bank-heist and buzzed on acid.


Part of me’s tempted to freak-myself-up, rush into Downing Street and demand BoJo the honour of trial by combat.


Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m not denying drugs cause harm. Gangs exploit vulnerable people into becoming mules and couriers, putting their lives on the line.


And don’t make the mistake of thinking I’m some Gaia-Earth-Child who thinks marijuana can cure the bubonic plague.


I’m coming from a practical standpoint, one which would benefit everyone in the long run and save us from wasting millions (£145million, to be exact – although, there's been rumours of £3billion+) on this backwards campaign designed by loonies and bastards.


Let’s start with basic matters of legality.


The problem with clamping down on a naughty dog or toddler is that if you focus on the punishment rather than fixing the issue, you’ll end up with a dogg-ler that simply thinks of ways to not get caught.


The problem’s still there, but now it’s underground and harder to deal with.


During that frantic night in the apartment above mine, where the boys had blown through whatever supplies we had, one guy, a hardened freak, buzzed a dealer – some shady character whom none of us had ever met in person – and organised to meet up in some dark alley in the city streets.


By the time we got there it was raining, cold, freezing in mid-October, and around us was the chaos of fractured nights out and arguing groups and squabbles on the edge of becoming fights.


All I’d wanted at this point was to be back in the party flat, warm and safe with a beer, vibing-out like the sesh gremlins we were at the start of the evening. I left the chaps, saying I was going to get beer, when really I just wanted to make sure my insides weren’t ripped out with a serrated blade.


A few minutes later, coming out the off-licence, I joined the end of the deal.


This dealer, the shady character, turned out to be decent - damn friendly actually - and even did that awkward hand clasp that blokes do when trying to be cool.


The transaction was done, and that was that. Off he went into the rain, merging back into the darkness he’d come from. The chaos. And then we had to make our way home through the city centre carnage.


I lagged behind the others, slowed down by carrying two beer crates, and all I could think was, ‘Thank Christ this guy didn’t stab us.’ Always a risk, when you meet a new dealer.


Imagine, for a moment, that users didn’t have to do this. Imagine places like the local pubs, or those fancy cafes in Amsterdam, where drugs were sold freely under the watchful eye of staff, in a safe environment. An environment where you’re able to regulate the quality of products, and make sure things weren’t too strong, or didn’t contain deadly chemicals.


From a person-centred level, that already seems better.


Drugs
Cocaine - Cred: Colin Davis, Unsplash

Now, let’s talk about something the parliament loonies really care about. Money...


People only buys drugs off criminals because they have nowhere else to get them. If their illegality was overturned, and the public could apply for a vendor's license, money would be siphoned away from the murky gang-lads and into the pockets of small-to-medium business owners.


(By the way, Boris and Co., guess what happens when legitimate businesses make a lot of money? That’s right, they can be taxed. Doesn’t that sound good, you greedy greedy bastards?)


Now the gangs are starved of cash. And you’ve not wasted hundreds of millions on an insane campaign that would never have worked anyway.


De-criminalising drugs gets rid of any power they might hold over the vulnerable. Much like alcohol, if they’re controlled, respected, but still readily available, they’re no huge cause for concern.


Granted, alcohol still has its issues in society, but imagine the carnage it’d cause if it was completely unregulated and underground?


1920’s America taught us that even if you ban a substance, people will still find ways to use it. Instead of buying a pint from the lovely local landlord, you had to buy toxic, polluted rocket fuel smuggled in by Al Capone and his mafioso chums.


Dangerous, poisonous stuff.


A separate time to the aforementioned night, I found myself in the back of a dealer’s Land Rover, and he played with the radio, finding something not overly aggressive. The lad had been a contact a few times before, but this was the first time he’d picked me up in anything other than a beat-up old Ford.


‘Fancy, this,’ I said.


He looked at me, only momentarily, a twelfth of a glance. ‘Thanks.’


The guy in the back played on his phone, ignoring us. The dealer’s muscle, or friend, or life-partner. Who knows?


‘Any 2-4-1’s?’ I said.


‘Not tonight. I’ll drop you off by the lights.’


We made the quick deal. I told him again that I liked his car, and he said that things were going up in the world. I nodded, and he dropped me off at the traffic lights and disappeared.


This dealer was one of the lucky few who managed to do well for himself. Most of these poor bastards get into the gig after being told they can make some decent bread – only to have things ripped out from underneath them by the fat-cat-gang-lads.


It’s no different to the multi-level marketing scams sweeping the nation. Or those ‘employers’ who scam youngsters into door-knocking, getting them to sell energy deals or something as equally dull, working entirely on commission with 12 hour days, 6 days a week, with the idea of making it big and having their own office and door-knocking workforce under them within 6 months.


Of course, it never happens. Only 1 in 500. These youngsters with no experience are dragged along, and along, squeezed for every ounce of free labour they have to give, even sometimes taken away from their families to other cities, and when they finally snap and ask for fair treatment, they’re cast aside and bullied and told they just ‘don’t want it enough.’


Does the nutty-parliament-squad plan on doing anything to tackle these employers? Because, honestly, some of these are just as damaging as drug gangs. These youngsters at the bottom, or the ‘middle-class lifestyle users’, they’re not bad people. They just want a big break, or a few fleeting moments of joy.


Treating them like they're the criminals is absolutely fucking nuts. It’s the stereotypical scene of police officers letting rapists off with a warning, but then locking away a couple of kids in the park with twenty quid’s worth of weed between them.


Another part of Bozzo Jozzo’s campaign is to increase spends on rehabilitation. Which, to be fair, I do agree with. Can’t really fault that. But if the plan is to bring in more understanding and support, why with all the travel bans and confiscating driving licenses?


There’s an oxymoronic feeling to all this – helping people turn their lives around by giving harsh punishments and making examples of those caught.


If you really care about helping the poor sods hooked on chems, look at Portugal’s system and take notes.


The Portuguese have decriminalised all drugs for personal use. You still can’t be caught selling them, or get caught with metric tonnes of powder with obvious intent to supply, but you won’t get your head kicked in by the police for forgetting there’s a lil’ spliff in your back pocket.


Instead, you can either pay a small fine, or take part in a drugs awareness course. In effect, Portugal treats drugs like the UK treats parking tickets. Not illegal. Just naughty.


Much like Britain’s plan, they’ve also ploughed more money into rehabilitation. But the decriminalisation has meant people no longer fear reaching out. There’s no stress of being locked up for a habit you wish you didn’t have in the first place.


The results?


Since these rules were brought in during 2001, the rate of HIV infections from those darn dirty needles has dropped, overdoses have declined, and drug related crime plummeted. Whilst overall drug use stayed the same, Portuguese society is now better equipped to tackle it.


More than anything, it’s a change in perspectives that helps. It’s said that even the way people in Portugal talk about drugs and their abusers has softened – something now more akin to sympathy, rather than disgust.


With more and more countries legalising marijuana, Germany currently on the cusp of this, it seems like the rest of Europe is opening up to this more understanding mindset too, one where things are run by logic and common sense, rather than fear.


So that makes it even more of a slap when the loony-tunes-parliament-goons decide to take a huge leap backwards like this. Their reasons are weak. Their logic, shocking.


Yet they’re more than happy to throw illegal Christmas parties in the midst of lockdown – where, it's been stated, involved people getting sloshed off their tits with booze.


Wine. Alcohol. Booze. Which, by the way, is a drug…


Does BoJo’s plan also involve locking away half of his cabinet?


Of course not. Even though what they did was completely illegal and they need to pay for their awful behaviour and none of it’s fair when people can't see their loved ones but they decide to host a party anyway and- and- and-…


My point is that booze gets a special treatment, despite being less safe than LSD, simply because it’s been around longer. We’re used to it. So the loonies let it slide.


If alcohol was only just discovered now, in 2021, with current mindsets, no fucking way would it be legal.


No. Fucking. Way.


It’d be volatile. It’d be strong. People would get locked up for carrying ‘the juice that makes you crazy and violent.’


The idea of people sat round in a pub, families, strangers and friends, behaving civilly (sometimes rowdy, but on the whole peaceful), whilst everyone paid to poison themselves with that-evil-liquid would be laughed at. You’d be called insane for even suggesting it could happen.


Even Portugal hasn’t gone far enough with its policies. We don’t just need decriminalisation. We need total, 100% legalisation. Regulated, safe, legalisation.

Party
Let's Party - Cred: Yingyi Dai, Unsplash

There was a time in that flat above mine where one morning we all had breakfast, sun coming through the blinds, chewing on undercooked bacon, fried in dirty pans. These blokes, the crazies and freaks I shared my building with, they had a real good thing going on. We watched TV whilst a few of them smoked grass in the corner. One of them lit the chemical tip of a Black Mamba spliff. And I glugged on stale beer, opened from the night before, trying to fight my hangover.


It was safe. Soothing. And, even though any of those powder-hounds could’ve broken out the cocaine at any moment, relaxed. Far nicer than any shin-dig those bastards in power could throw.


Bonno-Jonno’s plan not only fails in a logical sense, it fails in all moral and ethical senses too. It fails the human sense. The Turing test.


If I ever meet Johnson in person, I’d like open his eyes. His third eye. I’d like him to meet Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds, perhaps with a chaser of brown sugar.


And then I’d like to bareknuckle box him. I’m up for it if he is.

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