Class A and B drug consumption in the UK, what can the war on tobacco learn?

There is an excellent  thought provoking piece over at The Thinking Policeman’s Blog. He seems to be against any liberalisation of drugs despite being a serving officer. However one of his links is very interesting, the numbers of people who take illegal drugs. It seems that drug consumption is falling which maybe a good thing.

“The number of adults in England who used illicit substances in 2009-10 has fallen to 8.6%. That equates to 2.8m people, but is the lowest figure ever recorded since drug-taking trends began being tracked in 1996. It is down from the 10.1% (3.24m) seen in 2008-09, the 11.1% recorded in 1996 and the all-time high of 12.3% in 2003-04.

The percentage of adults using a Class A drug such as heroin or cocaine in the previous year has also dropped from 3.7% to 3.1%, although that is up from the 2.7% seen in 1996. Cannabis is the most popular drug among adults; 6.6% of 16 to 59-year-olds admitted using it in 2009-10, down from 7.9% the previous year.”

To my mind the interesting statistic is the cocaine and heroin usage of 3.1%.  What kind of effect does Class A consumption at 3.1% have on day to day crime, here is the link?

The authors are Transform Drug Policy Foundation “{who} is a charitable think tank that seeks to draw public attention to the fact that drug prohibition itself is the major cause of drug-related harm to individuals, communities and nations, and should be replaced by effective, just and humane government control and regulation.”

“Drug use is responsible for the great majority of some types of crime, such as shoplifting and burglary ” (inc 85% of shoplifting, 70-80% of burglaries, 54% of robberies) (p.25)”

On smuggling they say:

“Trafficking cannot be significantly curtailed: seizure rates of 60-80% would be required to have any serious impact, and nothing greater than 20% has ever been achieved.”

The costs to the taxpayer?

“The cost of crime committed to support illegal cocaine and heroin habits amounts to £16 billion a year in the UK (note: this is more than the entire annual Home Office budget”

So to summarise 3.1% of the population are responsible for for about 70% of crime in the UK, smokers, if you include pipe, cigar and snuff takers are 28% of the population what will happen when tobacco is taxed to ridiculous levels as they are approaching now or ASH succeed in its illegalisation?

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7 Responses to Class A and B drug consumption in the UK, what can the war on tobacco learn?

  1. Bald headed John says:

    Don’t hold much faith in “Transform”. Especially as there view of tobacco is exactly that of ASH.

    BHJ

  2. Mark says:

    War on tobacco? It is war being waged, against the completely lawful consumers of tobacco through smoking bans that force people to stand outside like Second class citizens and cigarette tax price hikes. It is a war on law abiding smokers.
    Its their lives that are being ruined and their pubs and social centres that have been forced to close.
    Currently are the profits of tobacco companies being hurt by any of the measures, Ash and big govt have put in place here in the UK? I think so far they have emerged from this unscathed.

  3. Curmudgeon says:

    As far as I can see, many of the drug legalisation lobby seem to spend most of their time banging on about the evils of alcohol and tobacco. In principle I might have a lot of sympathy with their cause, but in practice I wouldn’t lift a finger to help them. And “harm reduction” is the biggest piece of hypocrisy going – the legalisation argument should be about the sovereignty of adults over their own persons, nothing else.

    • Frank J says:

      Those who e.g. smoked pot in the 60’s and 70’s were well pissed off that tobacco was legal and pot wasn’t, classically, the ex Trots of the last Govt. and one or two in this one. It’s the first thing I thought of when a ban was first mooted. They’ve waited a long time but revenge must be really sweet.

  4. Junican says:

    You are right, Curmudgeon. It is utterly stupid for people who want cannabis to be legalise to say that it is less harmful than tobacco. I begs the question, “How much less?” We also have seen similar stupidity from THE REAL ALE PEOPLE (CAMRA), who backed the smoking ban. I wonder how many of their wonderful real ale pubs have closed? And we haven’t even begun to think about the effect of the WHO Framework Convention on Alcohol Control.

    I like your “”…sovereignty of adults over their own persons…”” thought, but that is not what ASH et al are denying (at the moment). What they are denying is the right of private property owners to supply legal and harmless services to people who enjoy tobacco. That is why the ‘Save Our Pubs and Clubs Campaign is important.

    ASH et al are trying to obfuscate this important principle by talking about harm to workers in pubs and children etc, when that is not what it is about.

    There is a serious need to clarify. For example, this SS affair (Stony Stratford); people do not smoke ON the streets – they STAND on the streets – they smoke IN THE OPEN AIR. The whole idea of SKOKEFREE ENGLAND is an absolute nonsense and is another example of lack of clarity. I do not know how politicians get away with it – oh….they control the MSM, do they not? Or is it the other way round?

  5. Curmudgeon says:

    Hmm, “Smokefree England” starts to sound a bit like “Judenfrei Deustchland”, doesn’t it?

  6. Junican says:

    Absolutely. But it goes further. That idiot, Bartlett, from SS Stony Stratford, said what we already know and expect. As regards smoking at home in the presence of children, he said, “THAT IS FOR LATER” Thus ‘Judenfrei Deustchland’ becomes not just ‘Smokefree England’ but ‘SmokERfree England’.

    The Barletts of this world are the neo-Nazis. But, THEY DO NOT KNOW WHAT THEY DO. They are the useful idiots.

    It amazes me that our politicians have not yet realised what a nest of vipers they have allowed into and supported in our ‘body politic’. This ‘nest of vipers’ has no respect for our national CONTENTMENT. Their avowed aim is to disrupt our national contentment. And this is what they have done with the smoking ban. Throughout the nation, people who associated happily together, smoker or not, are now suspicious of each other. IT IS SCANDALOUS that our politicians have allowed and encouraged this to happen.

    This nation used to be at the forefront of freedom. Now it it is at the forefront of persecution.

    WHAT IS GOING ON?????

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