We’re really rather firm in our belief that drugs should be legal. Ingesting adults should be able to ingest as they wish - that’s what being consenting and adult means in a free and liberal society. This is also one of those areas where the Good Fight is being won and we are returning to Victorian levels of liberty. However, there’s a great deal more resistance to our second insistence upon the subject, that this must also mean the freedom for people to produce, package and market those very same drugs. As an entirely legal enterprise.
This being a good example of why:
Buying, selling and importing cannabis is against the law in Spain, as is using it in public - although it is technically legal to grow it for personal use, provided it is not publicly visible, and to consume it in private.
We have that private legality, but not that public. The result of which is:Cannabis resin sold on the streets of Madrid is contaminated with dangerous levels of faecal matter, a study says.
Traces of E.coli bacteria and the Aspergillus fungus were found by analysts who examined 90 samples bought in and around the Spanish capital.
The samples of hashish were wrapped up in plastic "acorns" were the worst offenders, reportedly because of the way they are smuggled into the country.
Some 40% of these also had the aroma of faeces, the study's lead author said.
The technical term for such smuggling is in a “charger”. Not something we ever wanted to be reminded of really. But we do think that it’s fairly obvious that there’s a difference there?
Alcohol, for example, another substance that humans like to use to get a buzz, get a little high, this is legal to produce - under regulation, certainly, significantly taxed - and market and distribute. This means that brands arise, the quality and purity of the product being the very thing that contributes to that brand value.
Smirnoff tends not to get stuffed up a colon to get it across a border. The equally legal to consume - but not to produce, market nor distribute - hashish does. Which is a bit of a difference we contend.
And thus we do indeed argue that drug legalisation needs to mean proper and full such. Exactly so that we do have producers competing by reputation and brand for our custom, this being the very thing which drives up standards.
To return to Victorian times for a moment. Such food brands as Heinz and Campbell’s became popular and famous because they mastered the then new art of canning rather better than many rivals. Leading to rather fewer customers being killed by inadequately produced and transported soups. This is a lesson that could usefully be applied to today. The legality of trade in cannabis and other drugs would lead to better transport of them. Lorries perhaps instead of lower bowels.