Kuro5hin.org: technology and culture, from the trenches
create account | help/FAQ | contact | links | search | IRC | site news
[ Everything | Diaries | Technology | Science | Culture | Politics | Media | News | Internet | Op-Ed | Fiction | Meta | MLP ]
We need your support: buy an ad | premium membership

Roll up - Brixton's 'Toleration Zone'

By nobbystyles in MLP
Mon Jul 02, 2001 at 09:31:56 PM EST
Tags: News (all tags)

In a cautious move today, the Metropolitan Police, London's police force, has announced that it will no longer be prosecuting people caught with small amounts of cannabis and will warn them and confiscate the drug. This will be firstly trialed in the London Borough of Lambeth for 6 months and then go London-wide if successful although I am unclear on what constitutes a 'success'.

Although this reflects current police practice in a lot of the UK, it's the first time it has been explicitly formalised like this. You can read more here and how difficult it was to get a warning even outside Brixton police station.

The UK has the biggest proportion of cannabis users in western Europe and prices have dropped and seizures by customs have fallen according to this BBC story. This suggests that is not only police resources but customs resources have been switched to other areas.

The question is whether the US is going to follow this trend or is it going to be continually mired in its unwinnable war on all drugs. It must be discouraging to current Bush administration that even usually pro-drug-war countries like the UK are changing their line over cannabis.


Voxel dot net
o Managed Hosting
o VoxCAST Content Delivery
o Raw Infrastructure


Would you smoke cannabis if it was legalised?
o Yes 15%
o No 48%
o Already do... 35%

Votes: 107
Results | Other Polls

Related Links
o Metropolit an Police
o London Borough of Lambeth
o here
o how difficult
o BBC story
o Also by nobbystyles

Display: Sort:
Roll up - Brixton's 'Toleration Zone' | 18 comments (18 topical, editorial, 0 hidden)
That was a hughe jump! (3.50 / 6) (#1)
by Tezcatlipoca on Mon Jul 02, 2001 at 10:36:31 AM EST

They are very timidly relaxing prosecution in a London neighborhood and that should worry Bush?

I think that is to strecth it a bit.

Might is right
Freedom? Which freedom?
Not so hughe (4.00 / 3) (#2)
by leviathan on Mon Jul 02, 2001 at 10:41:25 AM EST

This is the first concrete evidence of a trend that has been going on in the UK for a number of years now. It seems likely that this is the first move of many.

I'm not convinced it'll worry Bush - it could easily just be another reason for the traditional arrangement to be further broken apart. However it certainly affects more than just one borough in one city.

I wish everyone was peaceful. Then I could take over the planet with a butter knife.
- Dogbert
[ Parent ]

Make'em OD (well, not on pot) (1.43 / 23) (#3)
by sneakcjj on Mon Jul 02, 2001 at 10:42:51 AM EST

Maybe they should change other drug policies too. Say if you're caught with cocaine/crack or the like, the cops should be make you OD on the stuff. Call it a form of Natural Selection! No buyers means no sellers.

Could also lower the amount of false convictions. A non-drug user would probably not know how to get high.

Harsh, but effective. Make examples out of the scum of our world. Watching someone OD turned me away for good, it's not a pretty site.

Only problem is this might not work on weak drugs like cannabis.

While we're at it (4.12 / 16) (#4)
by nobbystyles on Mon Jul 02, 2001 at 10:51:04 AM EST

Get rid of the fat, obese people who clog up our health care systems by force feeing them lard....

You're a twat, sir...

[ Parent ]
Yeah, (5.00 / 1) (#14)
by pallex on Thu Jul 05, 2001 at 08:04:28 AM EST

Sometimes it seems that the people who dont take/arent in favour of legalisation who are more psychotic and irrational that any drug takers!

[ Parent ]
Yes, lets! (4.90 / 10) (#6)
by delmoi on Mon Jul 02, 2001 at 08:45:09 PM EST

brilliant idea! when we catch people doing drugs, we should murder them? (but in an ironic way) Perhaps we can star running over Car thieves! With (and here's the kicker) the very same car they were going to steal! People who rip off insurance companies or the tax man can be burned alive in pits of paperwork! Computer hackers can be strangled with Ethernet cables. Prostitutes can be forced to sleep with people with AIDS (and then withheld treatment). Spammers can be fed Spam until their stomachs explode!

Remember, no more criminals, means no more crime!. Hash, but effective. I know I wouldn't hack anything after seeing someone strangled with an Ethernet cable.

Kind of a 'natural selection' kinda thing. (and by natural, I mean artificial)
"'argumentation' is not a word, idiot." -- thelizman
[ Parent ]
Wow.... (2.33 / 6) (#7)
by sneakcjj on Mon Jul 02, 2001 at 09:43:07 PM EST

Eek, tough crowd. While I didn't necessarily mean that as a joke, I was not completely serious.

Would something like that ever be considered? Of course not! And it should be taken as such. My real point was this: government punishment of drug offenders is not tough enough. It is as if the policy makers don't care because they (for the most part) aren't effected. But I guess that is how we all are. *sigh* oh well.

However, not giving financial aid to people with drug convictions is something I am serious about. To appaise the "let them turn their lives around" crowd, you could grant them limited aid but if they are convicted again, they lose all aid now and in the future.

[ Parent ]

What went wrong, I think... (3.50 / 4) (#8)
by elenchos on Tue Jul 03, 2001 at 12:50:35 AM EST

You had a lot of potential allies amongst the Nixonian War on Drugs faction, who feel that victory is just within sight, if only we had the guts to get just a little tougher on those druggie scum. But you blew it with that last remark: it is an article of faith in the WoD that all drugs are deadly poision and there is no distinction between hard and soft drugs. Alcohol and tobacco are not drugs, btw.

So while that one little admission is enough to get you churched by the true beleivers, it is no where near enough to unruffle the feathers of those who realize the WoD is a failure, favor decriminalization, have a brain, etc.


The Constitution was written by Tristan Tzara.
All men are created equal under Dada.
The drug czar makes sure everyone gets enough.
[ Parent ]

bleh, troll (5.00 / 1) (#17)
by delmoi on Thu Jul 05, 2001 at 11:21:22 PM EST

Ok, at this point I'm going to go ahead and call you a troll, but anyway.

My real point was this: government punishment of drug offenders is not tough enough.

The amount of punishment that drug offenders get is pretty high. But whats the point? Isn't the whole point of the war on drugs to protect People from drugs. By punishing drug users you're only hurting them more. Its a little like trying to protect the kids being molested by David Koresh by burning them alive. But then again the government did that too... they arn't the best at this 'logic' stuff

But anyway, the point stands. Drug users arn't hurting anyone but themselves. Whats the point in hurting them more?
"'argumentation' is not a word, idiot." -- thelizman
[ Parent ]
Only problem... (4.14 / 7) (#5)
by Wondertoad on Mon Jul 02, 2001 at 11:16:35 AM EST

I worry that localized drug legalization or toleration will confuse the issues involved. Tolerance could spark (so to speak) a lot of people to show up just for drug tourism. This could lead to economic growth. Which could lead to crime. Which could lead to the reporting of real but very misleading statistics.

Even areas surrounding the legalization/toleration zone could report additional drug-related problems depending on how matters are dealt with.

The real statistic would be whether local legalization leads to fewer country-wide problems.

Sounds like Amsterdam (4.00 / 2) (#10)
by nobbystyles on Tue Jul 03, 2001 at 05:11:54 AM EST

As there's a lot of drug tourism there from all over the world. This has led to problems but then again it's probably a damn sight safer and less crime ridden than most Ukian or Usian cities...

[ Parent ]
UKian (5.00 / 2) (#12)
by amanset on Wed Jul 04, 2001 at 10:11:01 AM EST

This has led to problems but then again it's probably a damn sight safer and less crime ridden than most Ukian or Usian cities...

Disclaimer: I won't comment on the use of "USian" as the terminology gets a bit more complex there (usage of "American").

Terms like "UKian" are getting spread around K5 so quickly it is like militant political correctness.

As a Brit, I hate the phrase "UKian". If you want to cover all people resident in the UK, not just Brits/Britons (ie. citizens of the UK), you can just say "resident of the UK" or "UK resident" instead of UKian. I don't like doing this, as I mentioned above I find it just like political correctness, but I can tolerate it. I just use the phrase "British" to mean "all things in the UK" much as like I would say Swedish meaning "all things in Sweden", anything else is pointless baggage that serves to make things harder to read. Doing this, however, covers all complaints about not accepting cultural variety, which is the usual reply to people complaining about the usage of the word "UKian".

However, you do not refer to a place in the UK as being "UKian". The official nationality of people from the UK is "British". People from the component countries may not like this, but the fact remains (and is easily verified by taking a look at the words beside "Nationality" on the inside back page of their passport). Now, a city in the UK is not a citizen, a resident or anything like that. It is something that belongs to the UK. As the legal nationality of all things from the UK that belong to the UK is British, it becomes a British city, not a UKian city.

So, let's recap. A citizen of the UK is "British". A resident of the UK who is not British is "A resident of the UK" or "UK resident". Something that belongs to the UK is "British". There is no need at all for the word "UKian".

[ Parent ]

Political correctness? Totally wrong (5.00 / 1) (#13)
by spiralx on Thu Jul 05, 2001 at 07:43:12 AM EST

Terms like "UKian" are getting spread around K5 so quickly it is like militant political correctness.

The term USian was started on /. as part of a troll, in order to wind USians up - they're remarkably touchy about this issue. By extension, the term UKian followed. As a UKian, I don't really see why you're so upset about it all, but it does go to prove that the terms are serving their intended purpose of annoying the easily trolled.

You're doomed, I'm doomed, we're all doomed for ice cream. - Bob Aboey
[ Parent ]

what about NI? (5.00 / 1) (#15)
by streetlawyer on Thu Jul 05, 2001 at 08:26:04 AM EST

"British" to mean "all things in the UK"

To use the word "British" to refer to the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland is incorrect.

Just because things have been nonergodic so far, doesn't mean that they'll be nonergodic forever
[ Parent ]

Passport (5.00 / 1) (#16)
by amanset on Thu Jul 05, 2001 at 11:32:13 AM EST

Citizens of the UK have written in the back of their passport "Nationality: British Citizen".

[ Parent ]
Believe it or not... (5.00 / 3) (#11)
by DeHans on Tue Jul 03, 2001 at 05:33:05 AM EST

but we've had drugs tourism since the seventies.

For those not familiar with the Dutch approach:
In the 1976 the Dutch justice department issued a decree in which Marihuana was allowed for personal use, up to 30 grams. The reason for this was that the Dutch governement wanted to differentiate hard- and soft-drugs. Coffee shops were allowed to sell softdrugs, but no harddrugs (in some municipalities, this also meant no *alcohol*), to seperate the markets.

It worked perfectly, as is shown in the drugs tourism. Drugs tourists shopping for softdrugs will enter a city in the south, and go to the nearest coffee shop. Crime is very low, the biggest problem is actually the noise. People come in their car, stop, get into the shop, buy and leave. It is for this reason that the Mayor of Venlo (a town in Limburg) proposed a "Coffee Shop Drive-In". The best solution would be offcourse, the availibility of Coffee shops in those countries which have allowed Marihuana for personal use (i.e Belgium and Germany).

If you come for hard drugs, you'll probably make use of a drugrunner. A drugrunner is someone you can approach (but more likely someone who will approach you) at reststops along the highway. Most drugrunners operate from Rotterdam. Again the amount of crime related to the drug tourism is small. Usually the people buying the drugs will return home before using them (or more often sell them).

Most of the crimes related to drugs (not counting crimes perpetrated for the import and export, or production) are related to addiction of the "locals". The drug tourists are more likely to be a victim of crime than a perpetrator.

[ Parent ]
No, but not for the obvious reason. (4.50 / 2) (#9)
by garethwi on Tue Jul 03, 2001 at 04:56:10 AM EST

I voted, no, but not because I'm against it, but rather that I don't like it. Personally I believe that most drugs should be legalised so that the black market economy can be stifled, and the general quality of the drugs can improved. I still wouldn't take them, but at least it would help most addicts go about their daily business, instead of dying because their drugs have been cut with toilet cleaner.

Isn't it strange that the legal drugs are the ones which, if you become addicted, will kill you, whereas it's the treatment of the drugs by third parties (dealers) which make illegal drugs dangerous.

If you don't believe it, then read this

Brixtons solution (none / 0) (#18)
by benzilla on Wed Jul 25, 2001 at 09:04:44 AM EST

appears to be, tolerate cannabis posession, but shoot anyone with a lighter!



Roll up - Brixton's 'Toleration Zone' | 18 comments (18 topical, 0 editorial, 0 hidden)
Display: Sort:


All trademarks and copyrights on this page are owned by their respective companies. The Rest 2000 - Present Kuro5hin.org Inc.
See our legalese page for copyright policies. Please also read our Privacy Policy.
Kuro5hin.org is powered by Free Software, including Apache, Perl, and Linux, The Scoop Engine that runs this site is freely available, under the terms of the GPL.
Need some help? Email help@kuro5hin.org.
My heart's the long stairs.

Powered by Scoop create account | help/FAQ | mission | links | search | IRC | YOU choose the stories!