Now that I am retired having been many years a magistrate with a long awareness of the declining freedoms enjoyed by the ordinary citizen and a corresponding fear of the big brother state`s ever increasing encroachment on civil liberties I hope that my personal observations within these general parameters will be of interest to those with an open mind. Having been blogging with this title for many years against the rules of the Ministry of Justice my new found freedom should allow me to be less inhibited in these observations.

Comments are usually moderated. However, I do not accept any legal responsibility for the content of any comment. If any comment seems submitted just to advertise a website it will not be published.

Tuesday, 7 March 2017


This retired magistrate  has argued for years with former colleagues and others in addition to posts on this site that there should be decriminalisation of personal drug use. I do not intend to repeat those arguments now. You, the reader, will probably have your own fixed opinion.  A basic truth is that it is difficult to predict how and when a government of whatever complexion would have the majority and the cajones to tackle such a situation.  It has been left, as in so many other examples, to individual constabularies as to how they face the problem of personal drug use within budgetary requirements that force sometimes unpalatable choices to be made.  A start has been made in Glasgow although unsurprisingly there has been much controversy. This week Durham Police have announced their own plans to curb the ravages in society that drug addiction fuels.  Piecemeal attempts such as those will not effect a cure in their own areas of jurisdiction. But they should provide a base for the argument to be carried successfully into the public arena. Personal use of hard drugs must no longer be a criminal offence. Such substances must be made available on prescription from a limited number of pharmaceutical outlets. Addicts will know they are paying for a limited supply of officially graded cannabis, heroin or cocaine and of course supplies would be taxed. I wonder what odds BET365 or William Hill would give on such legislation within the next decade?


  1. The figures are fairly eye opening. Over 1 in 3 deaths was linked with methadone, and the vast majority of deaths involve multiple substances - the "lethal cocktail" beloved of tabloids.

    Prohibition demonstrably isn't working. Methadone is commonly understood to be taken in addition to rather than instead of an addict's opiate of choice, and is arguably killing more than it's saving.

    Harm reduction requires giving addicts what they're going to source anyway, or at least helping them to verify what they're actually taking. It's not mentioned, but I'd hope that there are testing facilities available, or some way of tracking bad batches.

    As a Glasgow taxpayer, I don't begrudge a penny of this initiative.

  2. The scheme in Glasgow will save lives, no one in the world has ever died in a DCR. It will also allow more deug users to come into contact with treatment servuces they would not find in a stairwell. On the subject of stairwells there will be less drug related litter for people especially children to have to avoid. It will of course cut crime as addicts will not have to rob your garden shed or your granny to pay for their next fix.

    When heroin was prescribed by GP's in the past there was fewer than 10k addicts compared to about 300k now.

  3. It is wonderful to see the UK adopting such initiatives as the police are trialing in Durham. Too many are dying from abuse of opioids attained illicitly including methadone, fentany and and oxycontin. It is a huge problem worldwide and programmes like this could lead to better management of drug abuse. Much better than putting addicts in gaol. the only people hurt by restricting prescriptions would be people using these products for pain and other severe illness. Meanwhile in trumpton the company who bought the drug Naloxone have just put the price up to $US4000+ per dose. Great way to deal with 33,000 opioid abuse related deaths that occured in 2015. Not.