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← Is this the right GP for the drugs advisory council?

Is this the right GP for the drugs advisory council? - Comments

sbooder's Avatar Comment 1 by sbooder

O dear!

Wed, 26 Jan 2011 09:26:54 UTC | #584320

rod-the-farmer's Avatar Comment 2 by rod-the-farmer

Melanie Phillips says in her comments about the furor over Dr. Raabe, whose appointment she wants to defend....

schoolchildren are to be bombarded with homosexual references in maths, geography and ­science lessons as part of a Government-backed drive to promote the gay agenda.

In geography, for example, they will be told to consider why homosexuals move from the ­countryside to cities. In maths, they will be taught ­statistics through census ­findings about the number of ­homosexuals in the population.

In science, they will be directed to ­animal species such as emperor ­penguins and sea horses, where the male takes a lead role in raising its young.

Well, pardon me for missing this major new item in science - seahorses and penguins are gay. All of them. I learn something new every day. Stay at home dads are now homosexuals ? I missed that peer-reviewed article too. I really do have to keep up with the literature. And that statistics will focus on the percentage of homosexuals ! Well, I never. OK, maybe once I saw a statistic about homosexuals. Do they teach that in schools ? She seems to think because gays are a minority, they should be shunned or banned. There are probably more of them than red heads. So, logically,.........she must be a witch !

Wed, 26 Jan 2011 09:40:07 UTC | #584323

irate_atheist's Avatar Comment 3 by irate_atheist

Comment 2 by rod-the-farmer -

But let's be clear about this, Melanie Phillips is a deluded, willfully ignorant, ranting, raving, steaming pile of sh[I'll have to stop you there. - Ed]

Wed, 26 Jan 2011 10:07:08 UTC | #584330

quincyme's Avatar Comment 4 by quincyme

Where is the data that shows that gay people are also paedophiles? He is not trying to take the reverse view of the Vatican that it is not paedophilia but simply gay sex, is he? Have sex with children, you are a pedophile. Have sex with another man, you are gay. Never the twain...

Wed, 26 Jan 2011 10:09:42 UTC | #584331

Monkey Man's Avatar Comment 5 by Monkey Man

Mental health is easily the most neglected medical issue, while ironically being (arguably) the one that does the most harm to society. Drugs are an integral aspect to this nightmare. An enlightened body who understands the truth about these things is mandatory. Most modern intellectuals I know are in favor of complete legalization, and this guy is slamming harm reduction!

How embarrassing this must be for the intelligent people working so hard to actually affect change in the mental health and addiction fields, to be dealing with this kind of news on this day. I'm so sorry for this.

Wed, 26 Jan 2011 10:13:40 UTC | #584332

SaganTheCat's Avatar Comment 6 by SaganTheCat

society is in danger of believing that "if you are a Christian you are not fit for public office or you are biased or a bigot".

as 'dangers' go this is not the worst one society faces right now

Wed, 26 Jan 2011 10:16:02 UTC | #584333

Southpaw's Avatar Comment 7 by Southpaw

The Daily Mash says it all so well:

Drugs minister, James Brokenshire, said: "Under the last government we came dangerously close to having a drugs advisory panel that knew what it was talking about.

"I looked at it, with its professors of this and experts on that and I realised that what it actually needs is more Christians who think drug taking is about morality.

http://www.thedailymash.co.uk/news/society/christianity-is-my-drug%2c-says-new-government-drugs-adviser-201101253468/

Wed, 26 Jan 2011 10:52:22 UTC | #584336

hungarianelephant's Avatar Comment 8 by hungarianelephant

Comment 3 by irate_atheist :

But let's be clear about this, Melanie Phillips is a deluded, willfully ignorant, ranting, raving, steaming pile of sh[I'll have to stop you there. - Ed]

I think you misunderestimate her. She presses buttons to annoy people. She is very good at it. I don't believe she was sincere when she was doing it for the Grauniad, and I don't believe she is sincere now.

Wed, 26 Jan 2011 11:43:05 UTC | #584351

hungarianelephant's Avatar Comment 9 by hungarianelephant

It is most curious.

Committed religite gets appointed to public body on which committed religites did not previously serve.

Some people question the qualifications of said committed religite to serve on said public body.

Christian Concern regards the episode as showing that religious views are being excluded from public life.

???

Wed, 26 Jan 2011 12:14:18 UTC | #584358

sbooder's Avatar Comment 10 by sbooder

One would think that, with all this power being given to the religious by those in government, that power and religion were somehow inextricably linked…No, that is just stupid.

Wed, 26 Jan 2011 12:34:35 UTC | #584364

josephor's Avatar Comment 11 by josephor

The lunatics are taking over the asylum.

Wed, 26 Jan 2011 12:41:00 UTC | #584367

SaganTheCat's Avatar Comment 12 by SaganTheCat

a man who believes a 2000 year old zombie character, from a book about talking bushes, a man living in a whale and virgins having babies, who talks to him inside his head and tells him to make everyone else believe he's real, wants us all to lay off the dope

Wed, 26 Jan 2011 13:14:58 UTC | #584374

Alan Dente's Avatar Comment 13 by Alan Dente

Presumably something is holding back the UK govt. from taking steps to modernise the approach to drugs. I would like to know what, but I get the feeling if I write to my Lib Dem MP he probably won't write back (again).

As such, it is hardly surprising to see a Con dominated Govt. trying to get 'back to basics' in regards to 'morality' when a Labour Govt. couldn't manage to modernise previously.

I am amazed that the Lib. Dems have shown themselves to be so muzzled when it comes to the issues that they claim to care so much about. I blame them for having so many weak-minded gays in their ranks, who are probably spending most of their time having sexual thoughts about children (nb: this is a joke).

Readers may have already seen this, but if not, it might make you laugh: http://www.thedailymash.co.uk/news/society/poofter-spat-in-my-macaroni%2c-claims-angry-old-woman-201101243465/

Wed, 26 Jan 2011 13:32:06 UTC | #584381

Daz365's Avatar Comment 14 by Daz365

Comment 4 by quincyme :

Where is the data that shows that gay people are also paedophiles?

There is a link to a paper from which this is a quote:

"One well known historic example on the link between homosexuality and pedophilia is found in ancient Greece. Greek mythology is saturated with stories of pedophilia and ancient Greek literature praises pedophilia. The age group of boys that were used for 'sexual pleasure' was probably in the range of 12-17."

So to show a link they have to go back to the ancient Greeks, skipping over the fact that in biblical times girls would be eligible for marriage at twelve, which means that in all probability Mary (the mother of Jesus), would have been under sixteen when Jesus was born, so by their rationale.... God is a paedophile.

Wed, 26 Jan 2011 13:58:30 UTC | #584390

hungarianelephant's Avatar Comment 15 by hungarianelephant

Comment 13 by Alan Dente :

Presumably something is holding back the UK govt. from taking steps to modernise the approach to drugs. I would like to know what

An uncle named Sam.

Comment 14 by Daz365 :

So to show a link they have to go back to the ancient Greeks, skipping over the fact that in biblical times girls would be eligible for marriage at twelve, which means that in all probability Mary (the mother of Jesus), would have been under sixteen when Jesus was born, so by their rationale.... God is a paedophile.

The elephant in the room here being that sexual attraction to a 14 year old is not, by any sensible standard, paedophilia. There may or may not be a good case for having an age of consent placed somewhere above the age of puberty, but that is a separate issue. Conflating consensual relationships where someone happens to be under an arbitrary age with raping children simply doesn't make any sense.

People who want to liberalise sexual legislation will, I would think, tend to support both not discriminating against homosexuals and liberalising the age of consent in at least some circumstances. If you redefine enough terms you can make this say that "gays endorse paedophilia". Doesn't make it true, though.

Btw, nowhere in the Gospels does it say that God actually asked Mary for consent either, so God is a rapist.

Wed, 26 Jan 2011 14:18:42 UTC | #584397

MadEd's Avatar Comment 16 by MadEd

AAARGH!

Wed, 26 Jan 2011 14:37:42 UTC | #584400

no2rel's Avatar Comment 17 by no2rel

Evan Harris is just making too many assumptions on too little information. We can choose not to exaggerate the trivially unknown to the point of death by sudden hanging as adjudicated by self righteous enraged slow readers.

Wed, 26 Jan 2011 14:55:20 UTC | #584404

SomersetJohn's Avatar Comment 18 by SomersetJohn

Comment 11 by josephor :

The lunatics are taking over the asylum.

No, the lunatics have been running the asylum for centuries. The sane are finally getting to a position where they can mount a takeover without being burned at the stake, at least in some places.

Wed, 26 Jan 2011 16:05:51 UTC | #584424

ukvillafan's Avatar Comment 19 by ukvillafan

Given that we, the people, are supposedly in charge, (tongue firmly in cheek) isn't there some way of somebody challenging this appointment? Any constitutional lawyers out there?

Wed, 26 Jan 2011 16:31:28 UTC | #584436

maybeyourewrong's Avatar Comment 20 by maybeyourewrong

@Daniel Clear

Comment 12

a man who believes a 2000 year old zombie character, from a book about talking bushes, a man living in a whale and virgins having babies, who talks to him inside his head and tells him to make everyone else believe he's real, wants us all to lay off the dope

Two points

Not all atheists take dope.

“Laying off the dope” indeed not taking “dope” is good advice.

Wed, 26 Jan 2011 17:20:50 UTC | #584455

rrh1306's Avatar Comment 21 by rrh1306

I think you may have missed the point. I believe he was pointing out the irony that the taking of mind altering drugs is forbidden in the bible even though it seems like the authors of it had to be under the influence of something. Especially If your reading Revelation.

Comment 20 by maybeyourewrong :

@Daniel Clear

Comment 12

a man who believes a 2000 year old zombie character, from a book about talking bushes, a man living in a whale and virgins having babies, who talks to him inside his head and tells him to make everyone else believe he's real, wants us all to lay off the dope

Two points

Not all atheists take dope.

“Laying off the dope” indeed not taking “dope” is good advice.

Wed, 26 Jan 2011 17:35:24 UTC | #584463

Neodarwinian's Avatar Comment 22 by Neodarwinian

I thought the British were rather free of such people and their nutter views. Seems many of the posts here of late have been on British woo and religious claptrap. Just how bad is it getting over there?

Wed, 26 Jan 2011 18:24:43 UTC | #584481

Cartomancer's Avatar Comment 23 by Cartomancer

I would say that the problem with Raabe, in respect of his appointment, is not that he appears to be homophobic, or that his views are offensive. After all, neither homophobia nor offensive views can be a bar to serving on expert advisory committees or to participation in public debates.

I would disagree. I think homophobia very much should disqualify you from appointment to public committees. It is about as clear a demonstration as one can give that ones views are founded not on reason and evidence but on blind, nauseating prejudice. How can we trust such people to make sensible, reasonable decisions with wide-ranging policy impacts if they are proudly and unashamedly irrational and discriminatory in their attitudes? The equality of gay people is not an ambiguous moral question about which there can be legitimate debate - it is an established fact of reality. It is high time we treated it as such.

This is not like the Gaskell fiasco. It's not nearly that rarefied. He hasn't actually published any relevant papers to demonstrate any expertise in the field, and HAS published statements supporting demonstrable prejudiced falsehoods about gay people and drug policy. Not only is his judgment in general utterly lacking, it is utterly lacking in THIS SPECIFIC FIELD.

Which brings us on to the main point of his appointment - to advise on changing the laws regarding drugs. He, thanks to his antediluvian moral neuroses, is in favour of a draconian crackdown on all kinds of drug use behaviour, which is a demonstrably appalling measure with which to address the problem. The reason that the majority of the committee favour liberalising drug laws, offering care and support, and largely decriminalising the softest drugs, is because they are the only rational, sensible and effective policies to adopt. Wherever they have been implemented, drug use and the associated problems have diminished significantly. The evidence bears this out. Look at Portugal. Look at Holland. Look at what Mexican politicians are saying about how the US "zero tolerance" policies are causing an explosion of drug-gang violence in Mexico. Look at prohibition in the US in the twenties. The writing has been on the wall for almost a century, and it is nothing short of criminally irresponsible to ignore it in favour of personal self-aggrandizement fantasies about how the world should work but clearly doesn't.

Wed, 26 Jan 2011 18:56:10 UTC | #584494

littletrotsky13's Avatar Comment 24 by littletrotsky13

It's been bad for a while, just we've sort of ignored it for the past few years somehow. Now everyone seems to be noticing it for some reason.

Wed, 26 Jan 2011 18:57:45 UTC | #584496

mirandaceleste's Avatar Comment 25 by mirandaceleste

Comment 17 by no2rel :

Evan Harris is just making too many assumptions on too little information. We can choose not to exaggerate the trivially unknown to the point of death by sudden hanging as adjudicated by self righteous enraged slow readers.

Your second sentence makes no sense

Wed, 26 Jan 2011 20:40:14 UTC | #584534

rrh1306's Avatar Comment 26 by rrh1306

The prohibition of drugs is another kind of fundamentalist position for alot of people. You can march out "facts" at them all day and it just pings right of them. And they seem to have little problem with millions of people either losing there freedom from imprisonment, or getting diseases from sharing needles, or dying in drug violence as long as they can just keep there beloved drug polices. Which ironically keep no one who wants drugs from getting them.

Which brings us on to the main point of his appointment - to advise on changing the laws regarding drugs. He, thanks to his antediluvian moral neuroses, is in favour of a draconian crackdown on all kinds of drug use behaviour, which is a demonstrably appalling measure with which to address the problem. The reason that the majority of the committee favour liberalising drug laws, offering care and support, and largely decriminalising the softest drugs, is because they are the only rational, sensible and effective policies to adopt. Wherever they have been implemented, drug use and the associated problems have diminished significantly. The evidence bears this out. Look at Portugal. Look at Holland. Look at what Mexican politicians are saying about how the US "zero tolerance" policies are causing an explosion of drug-gang violence in Mexico. Look at prohibition in the US in the twenties. The writing has been on the wall for almost a century, and it is nothing short of criminally irresponsible to ignore it in favour of personal self-aggrandizement fantasies about how the world should work but clearly doesn't.

Wed, 26 Jan 2011 20:54:29 UTC | #584537

no2rel's Avatar Comment 27 by no2rel

Thanks for trying to understand my second sentence mirandaceleste. Your criticism is noted. I apologize for wasting your time.

Wed, 26 Jan 2011 22:01:28 UTC | #584558

littletrotsky13's Avatar Comment 28 by littletrotsky13

@no2rel Is there a saying for someone doing to a sentence what is described as being done? ("exageratting the trivial" to the point of "death by hanging" (and you see by putting in the quotation marks it suddenly makes more sense))

Wed, 26 Jan 2011 23:39:11 UTC | #584591

Daniel Williams's Avatar Comment 29 by Daniel Williams

link text> Comment 12 by Daniel Clear: a man who believes a 2000 year old zombie character, from a book about talking bushes, a man living in a whale and virgins having babies, who talks to him inside his head and tells him to make everyone else believe he's real, wants us all to lay off the dope

That's the funniest thing I have read all day.

To get to the point of the discussion though:

The only thing the current government in the UK will archive is putting the country back a century. The working class will be poor the rich will be rich and religious fundamentalists will detail out policy on drugs, abortion and homosexuality.

I live in The Netherlands nowadays (Holland as others know it though this is actually the name for and old province that was split up in north and south, where I currently reside as it was deemed to be to influential by the other provinces. It still is the most wealthy, densely populated and most influential part of the country that includes the major cities of Amsterdam, Rotterdam and The Hague.) and find that even though mentioned above for having liberal views on drugs and drug enforcement it is still far from acceptable to use drugs.

I have always found, though I myself no longer do any form of drugs that it has always been best to keep recreational drug use quiet in the work place. I have time and again seen that people who do take drugs speak out about their drug use don’t move along where as I know that people who keep their drug use secret are not held back in any way. This may be partly due to a difference in character but also because of the huge stigma that is still attached to the subject.

Another problem is the way they have set up the whole system here as it is not so much legal but it is tolerated, often referred to as a back door policy due to the almost magical way the drugs become legal and I will attempt to explain briefly how the system works and where it’s inherent flaws lie.

 It is legal for anyone over the age of 18 to have a set quantity in your possession. The limit I believe now to be 4 grams.

 It is legal for you to cultivate up to 5 plants without the use of artificial lighting fertilisation and watering methods. (think off in the garden or on the balcony)

 It is legal for anyone over the age of 18 to consume cannabis in their own home or in private locations including coffeeshops however not in public places or other businesses like restaurants, though there are some bars that serve alcohol through a loophole by selling cannabis through a different outlet that allow consumption.

 It is legal for a licenced coffeeshop to sell cannabis, hash and related products (think cakes and so forth).

 It is illegal for a licenced coffeeshop to have more than 500 grams on the premises at one time. With an approximate portion size of 4 grams this approximately leaves only 125 large (as they also sell half sizes and singles) portions on the premises at one time. An average coffeeshop like Easy Going in Maastricht has 700 customers per day. This means that the coffeeshop must either be resupplied constantly due to demand and profitability (4 grams only has a value of approximately €20,- outside of Amsterdam), which brings with it some risks that I will detail below or they are forced to flaunt this law by having more on the premises.

 It is illegal for a licenced coffeeshop to grow their product other than the way stated above. (Needless to say this is a highly inefficient way of producing cannabis) It is also illegal for the proprietor to purchase cannabis on the “open” market and anyone found carrying more than 4 grams is liable to be prosecuted and jailed if caught.

Therefore the cannabis including its production and distribution is illegal as it enters the premises through the ”back door” and legal when it exits through the “front door”.

This policy alone has been credited with the huge growth in organised crime in The Netherlands as any busyness minded person (and let’s face it most criminals are) it is highly profitable to have a legal outlet for an illegal product.

Crime truly does pay. Because if a proprietor of a coffeeshop files a tax report for his business the profits are also legit and his money has quietly and legally been laundered for him. This opens up a whole new avenue for investigation where a coffeeshop can and is sometimes used as a front for a money laundering concealing the even more profitable gains from hard drug supply, prostitution, people smuggling or any other illegal activity. Amsterdam has over 200 (2010 figure) coffeeshops alone and in 2009 there where approximately 666 coffeshops in total . Though these are subscribed by a higher degree of tourists than other coffeeshops in the country excluding possibly the coffeeshops in the border regions. In some councils one of the licencing laws is that there be no school within 250 meters. It is however estimated that 30% of all cannabis sales are done / still done outside of coffeshops. Though I believe this figure only reflects sales to the end user not whole sale.

Geographical map of coffeeshops in The Netherlands :

In 2007 in 106 of the 443 councils there where one more coffeeshops. In total there were 702 and this was a decline of 3.7% compared to 2005 when there were 729 and a 5.2% decline compared to the 666 in 2010. Most coffeeshops have disappeared due to an extinction policy in several larger councils. Concentrations of coffeeshops can mostly be found in the “Randstad”, an area that incorperates the 3 major cities Amsterdam, Utrecht and Rotterdam and medium sized cities in the provinces. Councils with less than 50.000 inhabitants generally have no coffeeshops.

For the sources of my data please see: http://www.voc-nederland.org/2010/11/aantal-coffeeshops-daalt-verder-aantal-overtredingen-gehalveerd/ http://www.hetccv.nl/dossiers/Cannabisbeleid/Landelijk+-+Coffeeshops+in+Nederland+2007 http://www.jellinek.nl/informatie_en_advies/vraag_en_antwoord/vraag/497/Hoeveel-coffeeshops-zijn-er-in-Nederland http://ww.binnenlandsbestuur.nl/home/all/dossiers/grenzen-aan-de-megashop.155497.lynkx?referer=d0853912-81a4-4ac4-b868-345c51e1d286

Thu, 27 Jan 2011 11:46:54 UTC | #584703

Daniel Williams's Avatar Comment 30 by Daniel Williams

Sorry I seem now to be unable to correct my post and it has some flaws.... The link at the top is to the map mentioned further down. I'll post the address here just to be sure.

Geographical map of coffeeshops in The Netherlands : http://www.voc-nederland.org/wp-content/uloads/Intraval_fig2_spreiding_sho.gif

Also the quote hasn't come out right my apologies for this. I am still new to this site.

Thu, 27 Jan 2011 12:07:37 UTC | #584712