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back to article Jacqui Smith ecstatically ignores more scientific advice

Jacqui Smith is set to again ignore scientific advice on drug misuse by rejecting advice on reclassifying ecstasy. The Home Office will ignore a report from the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs which has just finished a detailed examination of the actual harm caused by ecstacy. The group suggested moving ecstacy from …

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Coat

Typo

"Maybe we could save some money by just sacking these *politicians* rather than paying them to offer advice which the *population should be allowed to decide for themselves*"

There, I fixed it for you.

Why not, I don't know, put specialists in charge of things, rather than politicians? That way, stuff might be done correctly. Like runing the world and such. Who am I kidding? Everyone loves millions of pages of confusing legislature and an ever constricting definition of what I *can* do.

Caught with drugs -> prison.

Burglarise a house, mug people, stab people -> slap on the wrist.

Better to give the police a job than be a dissenting/deviant voice.

FYI: I don't do drugs. Well, booze. But that's fine, right?

And there's never an "apathy for all meaningless options proffered" on a voting ballot, how am I supposed to make my voice heard regarding the state of mod-ieval politricks.

Mine's the one with the beret, raised fist and pockets full of Fawke's Favourite.

(Yeah, ECHELON have flagged this thread now, if they want to waste their resources on me then go for it.)

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Happy

Great!

I'll continue to subsidise terrorist (because that's where all the drug money is going, it's true, it's in the Daily Mail) by buying sub-standard product and if unlucky die of whatever crap the pills have been cut with....

I'm not surprised that the government refuse to change a policy that worked so well so far. We all notice how prohibition fixed US alcool problem without any side effects like crime!

Nearly all drug related (harmful) offences are related to habit financing. Want to cut drug crime and death toll by 99%: Provide free quality drug in controlled environment. Spend a third of current policing/enforcement /prison cost in social care. Approve Iboga treatments for Heroin withdrawal.

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Bronze badge
Stop

I'm sure I heard on Monday...

A comment from someone involved in this debate somehow who was sanctioned by someone for saying that "horseriding is more dangerous than taking ecstacy".

Apparently riding horses kills about 100 people a year while taking ecstacy kills about 30.

But I guess that banning horse riding is not an option.

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Flame

Arrogance or ignorance?

"We are not prepared to send a message to young people that we take ecstasy less seriously."

I'd just like to know where she get's the impression that "young people" could give a fuck about her opinions either way.

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Ash
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Heard about this on Radio Two

I forget who the interviewee was, but (sensationalist idiot) Jeremy Vine posed this horse riding point to some government rep, *specifically* asking about the health implications. She replied with nothing but trite, prohibitionist refrences to how it was illegal, class A, and horse riding was legal, and therefore the two could not be compared.

It's not just Jacki who's a nutcase.

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Happy

Where do we find a brave and honest politician ?

It is terrible that sensible discussion and facts on the real risks of drugs are shouted down by the sensationalist media (Daily Mail etc.) and politicians too afraid to admit the truth. Our Presbyterian, puritan PM and his spineless Home Secretary are simply the latest in a long line of politicians that are not brave and honest enough to admit that drug prohibition has been a disaster on any measure (e.g Heroin addicts increased from 1,000 in 1970 when Heroin prescription was legal to 270,000 now).

I really hope that one day the UK may get some politicians in power who might do something sensible. It is good to see that at least The Reg and a few other publications (Independent newspaper) are prepared to talk about drugs in a factual and reasonable way. Shame the rest of the media is so rubbish.

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Happy

Whacky Baccy Jacqui

The listening politician strikes again blissfully ignoring reality and hard scientific evidence. She has to be the worst Home ecretary ever to have served in HM government and that includes Michael Howard. Sacky Jacqui PLEASE !

Now to put the chemical brothers on and spark a couple of glow sticks.

Wow flashy light and isn't everybody cuddly.

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Can kill and does.

Well fair enough.. So I'm assuming we're banning paracetamol then.

Or peanuts..

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Anonymous Coward

As much as

Wacky Jacky is a douche, it does have a point here.

Reclassifying E is a stupid idea.

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Cumulative effects

"Episodes" are bollocks though.

If someone's taking Ecstasy every single day for four months the cumulative effect is going to fuck his brain up (seen it happen more than once).

If someone rides a horse every day their risk multiplies according to probability alone.

Horse riding has no long-term effect *unless* you have an accident. Drug use does.

BTW, you say we may as well fire the scientists. Well, if the govt simply did as they recommended every time, we may as well fire the politicians. Scientists are just as blinkered as politicians in their own way, which is why we need both.

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Jacqui Smith

Stupid ****.

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Why indeed?

"Maybe we could save some money by just sacking these scientists rather than paying them to offer advice which the government will then ignore."

This was exactly my thought when I heard this news on the radio this morning.

The other good question is, given that the government will ignore any advice that does not correspond with its own prejudices, how long will competent and self-respecting scientists continue to take posts where their work will be ignored or worse, they will be held up to public ridicule for offering unfashionable views.

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Anonymous Coward

Wrong drug

As people panic about ecstasy etc. and the government try and get more press for their current hot potato, the ultimate gateway drug continues to be used an abused across the UK.

Totally addictive, and absolutely lethal (even more so is cut with other substances) dihydrogen monoxide is widely available and often sold to and consumed by children. It kills many thousands of people every year. Yet the government does nothing.

100% of child predators use and are addicted to dihydrogen monoxide. Yet the government does nothing.

Every sexual predator in a survey of US Super-Max prisons was found to have dihydrogen monoxide in their blood stream. yet the government foes nothing.

Labour is too busy using your money to pay fat bonuses to their banker chums to be bothered about the dihydrogen monoxide menace afflicting our playgrounds. It is a disgrace.

Find out the truth and contact your MP! http://www.dhmo.org/

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Anonymous Coward

Speed kills...

So why have they not just gone and upped speed to a class A, if that's their criteria. And no - I don't mean fast speed, I mean druggy speed. And it's actually the drug that does the killing, rather than hyperhydration by a nervous clubber.

Stupid government.

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ffs....

ok, so alcohol - massively bad for you, responsible for most violent crime and rape... is perfectly legal. most space cadets will admit that the nights that get most out of control are the ones where people just drink booze...

cannabis - never physically harmed anyone... only people with a susceptability to mental episodes are in any danger.... upgraded to be more dangerous than ketamine!?!?

ecstacy - kills 1/2 the amount of people a year that BEES do.... still bad mmmkay... dont more people drop dead on the loo than are killed by E? also take into account the amount of idiots taking drugs. why do people mix alcohol and E? hmmm uppers and downers will get me where i want to be... thats like drinking redbull and necking a sleeping tablet... i wonder why some people have heart problems from it? the fact that E is about 10x weaker than they used to be too.... simply not worth bothering... they havent been worth taking for almost 10 years now!

check out the darwin awards.... it seems anything can be dangerous... should we all stay inside and wrap ourselves in cotton wool?

no wonder all the younger generations think the goverment are lying deceiptful gits! they disregard medical evidence in favour of draconian laws.

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Unhappy

But it's not a scientific issue - it's political

I was a little confused at this: 'Ecstasy can and does kill unpredictably' as justification for keeping it as Class A. I mean, cars can and do kill unpredictably; alcohol can and does kill unpredictably. In contrast, Ecstasy tends to kill fairly predictably (dehydration generally) if it's not cut with odd stuff.

But then this isn't about science, and hence why Professor Nutt was pushed out at the weekend, for daring to suggest that rational discussion, not blind ranting, is required on the subject of recreational drugs such as ecstasy.

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Unhappy

Why not just make everything class A

What the home office seems to be aiming for is that every offence from littering to kiddie touching to mass genocide should be punishable by life in prison. That way the problem of overcrowding in prisons can be solved by cheaply erecting a big wall around Britain, thereby solving all incarceration problems.

Will someone rid me of this troublesome Home Secretary - election now please.

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Stop

Does not matter

They could give taking illegal drug users the death sentence. It would not stop people taking drugs.

The laws are as dumb as those that abuse drugs.

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The law is an ass

When a law becomes as meaningless as the drug laws, and so widely broken that even the police don't seem to give a stuff any more (smoking cannabis in front of police is so common now it's not even commented on.. check out any city centre on a saturday night), then a rethink is needed. Wasting money on those stupid TV adverts doesn't help either.

The problem is the Daily Mail and its ilk have a lot of political pull, and whilst its readers continue to believe that going within 20 paces an extacy pill means instant death they'll not allow any rational debate.

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On drugs

This sort of decision really does beg the answer, who's on drugs?

I'm beginning to think young Jacqui is taking substances far worse than ecstacy. Perhaps she drinks and maybe even smokes. How can alcohol and tobacco be legal when they kill thousands in this country and yet ecstacy that kills a few is made illegal??

Absolutely brainless, but exactly what we have come to expect.

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My soundbite hell.

Home Office Minister Alan Campbell said: "Ecstasy can and does kill unpredictably.

I agree Alan, it's so much better to be killed predictably, e.g. by smoking or alcoholism.

Oaf.

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Happy

whats the point

who cares??! well me a little but....

I'll still take one (or two) of these 'highly' daannnngggerous ecstasy pills down my local club with my girlfriend the odd weekend when we feel like it. And have a lovely time too.

If they want to lock me in prison for this then so be it, but I'll be a constant drain on the taxpayer, unemployable, and branded a class 'A' criminal as a result. that's nice.

...or they could actually regulate and legalise ecstasy (so I actually know that it is ecstasy and doesn't partly contain crap put in by some lowlife or are flatliners), and carry on contributing to society in the responsible way that I currently am doing - wow that's radical.

p.s. it is my understanding Leah Betts died from hyperhydration, and this continues to be you're average punters argument against the 'dangers' of ecstasy. The dangers associated with drugs are largely (if not entirely) the result of criminilisation of drugs and not the drug themselves.

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Anonymous Coward

Try SMS or email

"We are not prepared to send a message"

Try email or SMS. Personally I find locking people up to explain to them that there may be unknown long term problems with the drug they are using an odd form of communications.

Dear UK Citizen, there may be long term effects of the drug you are using, so we're going to lock you up in prison for 7 years for the good of your own health. Your caring snuggly Home Secretary, Nanny Jacqui.

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Unhappy

Arguing with a teacher gets you nowhere. So don't bother trying

I've run out of anything to say about this useless idiot. All I get now is a vague feeling of despair whenever her name is mentioned. Even the most clueless member of Major's cabinet was a shining star compared to Wacqui.

Oh well, only 448 days max to go before the next election.

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Anonymous Coward

The most deadly drugs

are ones produced by Pharms, most of the recreational stuff is fairly harmless. The killer stuff is prescribed by Doctors, and deaths often just recorded as natural causes or accidental.

Still, Jacqui is just living the high life off tax payers money, what does she care, she is just raking it in off the backs of everyone else, and giving us all the one finger salute by destroying civil liberties, in short she is a jerk.

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Anonymous Coward

What about...

While I absolutely do not bother who acid is classfied, I actually do wonder what utter rubbish they talk. For instance, a car 'can and does kill unpredictably'. Or booze. Or BOFHs. And lots of other things for that matter. What does Jacqui do about those threats?

ea

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IT Angle

Talk to the hand

Seems to be the modus operandi of this autocratic busybody. Say anything you like as long as it is what I want to hear. It's the same with ID cards, CCTV, DNA database etc etc.

Personally, and from a purely chemical point-of-view, I don't know why E is in a different to speed and methamphetamines. Whichever they are in it should at least be the same as they are all in the same family and all have similar neurological effects upon people.

The real worry though is how this woman, who let us not forget is morally decrepit although not technically breaking the rules that her colleagues wrote, can dismiss the results of experts. She knows better, that's all I can think.

It is high time that someone, somewhere reminded her that she is there as part of a government, and government is supposed to be for the people, not of the people.

I have not and will not use these kind of drugs, and would hate my children to. But they should be classified according to how harmful they really are and not in a subjective, autocratic manner.

Not sure what this has to do with IT though.

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(Written by Reg staff)

Re: As much as

I think the original stupid idea was perpetrated long before this one was floated. The classifications are useless in and of themselves. So this is a pretty pointless squabble, only serving to demonstrate how appalling the mindset of politicians is. Drug debates always highlight their poisonous illogic.

If only they'd all just dab a bit of MDMA and chill out, etc.

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Don't forget

Professor Nutt was also forced by Whacky-going-on-actively-dangerous Jacqui to make a public apology for his comparison of risks. Not that he'd got the statistics wrong, but because they didn't agree with her own beliefs.

Forward to the glorious Stalinist future!

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Anonymous Coward

Wacky Jaqui vs Tories

As much as I disagree with Wacky Jaqui, I am under no illusion that the Cameron and his but munch Osbourne would do anything different. Labour and the Tories are the only two parties that will ever be in power and both want the vote of 'Middle Britain'.

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The message to young people is...

Scientist? Wanker.

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The report...

...seriously underestimated the dangers. It didn't take into account the fact that if some fucking stupid druggie hippy starts prancing around in front of me with dilated pupils he's likely to get smacked in the gob.

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Boffin

lets start small

never mind about classification lets start by stopping drugs getting to a small element of our community.say the prison population shouldn't be too hard right? then learn from the lessons and apply on a larger scale. ok a simplification maybe but it strikes me if you can't stop them getting to people who are "cut of from the world" you haven't got a hope in hell of tackling the wider problem. classification is just fluff.

as for ignoring specialists in the field they got more form than ladbrooks

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Stop

She is right upon this matter`

Drugs are bad HmmmK

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Gates Horns

Re: Re: As much as

Shurely the orginal idea of the classifications was to educate people that the ones in the A category were badderer for you than the B ones. And people listened as they weren't anti-authority.

Da yoof today sdgrjhfgvyaljrhf;irfguy

Sorry I lost interest. Legalise and tax all drugs. blah blah blah, *goes out for a fag break*

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Coat

I will let Eric Theodore Cartman speak for me on this one

'Drugs are bad because if you do drugs, you're a hippie. And hippies suck'

I think that just about covers it.

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Anonymous Coward

are we suprised?

Any suprised, I'ev said it before and I'll say it again - government policy is not made based on evidence, it is made based on mindless emotional responces of the repressed masses.

Any home office minister would have done the exact same thing, they've been doing so for decades. Same score with terrorism, porn, piracy, nuclear power and, climate change.

My mother was a mental health nurse I got a pretty solid founding knowledge in drug taking, she told me about some of the exciting side effects of drugs like speed (hallucinations a few days later ~ great) or just why would you want to sit around dribbling (heroin). Mums known a few people hooked on sleeping pills ~~~ go figure. But I experimented with this and that and had a nice healthy cannabis habit for five years. All in all 98% of drugs are pretty dull, but I did love being stonned so very much, lazy weekends lost to the fuzzy haze and a half tonne of crisps and jelly sweets whilst playing command and conquer red alert 2.

Man - those were the days. Or sat out in the fields around the village talking shit and getting high as kites.

Interesting statistics,

I know no people who have died of recreational drugs (and hell I know alot of people that take or have taken drugs.)

I know 1 person who has died from overdosing on prescription drugs.

I know 1 person who has almost died from overdosing on over the counter drugs whilst drunk.

I know 3 people who died in a car crash.

I know a large number of people who have been injured whilst driving.

I know a large number of people who have been injured whilst drunk.

But I also know 2 people who are in or have been in jail for dealing drugs. One of them was 17 and only dealt in hash and skunk, got about 4 years. Isn't a shock he got done though, only black kid in the village.

I know a reasonably large number of people with somekind of record for possessing recreational drugs.

I also knew a guy who got done for robbing up a rec centre, they gave him 6 months, funny thing was they went "right which of these other burgleries did you do - now you've been done you wont do any time for these it just tidies up our records" turns out he'd robbed up a good 60 places. Ahh well

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Stop

a litte silly really!

While I agree E's should stay Class A, it is crazy that ANYONE dismisses scientific evidence such as Cannabis is NOT harmful to the masses.

We need to re-evaluate our government IMHO

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Paris Hilton

"Protect the public"

"The Government has a duty to protect the public and firmly believes that ecstasy should remain a Class A drug."

These are two unrelated statements. The Government has a duty to protect the public from outside threat, and from harm from other people. It does not have a duty to protect a person from themselves, and tacitly admits this when it allows smoking and drinking.

It could be argued that a responsible government should make accurate information about drugs available (something that it currently, and most emphatically, does not do), but it is not the case that the government has any duty to protect people from themselves, or to lock people up because they ingested a chemical the government disaproves of.

Paris. Just because.

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@Tony Hoyle

> The problem is the Daily Mail and its ilk have a lot of political pull

Were that half true, the Red Witch of Redditch would be hung, drawn, and quartered by now and her snout on display in a glass case in a Museum of Nude Labia in some provincial town.

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The ACMD

Is actually a very sensible organisation - go search for a wonderful document called "Making a hash of it" - their wonderful, and occasionally delightfully satirical, report on the whole issue of drug classification.

It's a hoot.

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Sending messages

It's astonishing (and tiresome) how many politicians think their job is about 'sending messages'. The implication from this that they know the thing they are doing in no way addresses any issue directly but is merely a kind of slogan - never mind any colateral damage.

In fact, the only useful thing about politicians or other pundits talking about 'sending messages' is that it flags up the fact that they are essentially second-rate.

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hmmmmmmm

"@ Dick Emery

They could give taking illegal drug users the death sentence. It would not stop people taking drugs.

The laws are as dumb as those that abuse drugs."

i take it you dont drink or smoke then... since they are responsible for more death and societal breakdown than all the class As and Bs put together.

@"p.s. it is my understanding Leah Betts died from hyperhydration, and this continues to be you're average punters argument against the 'dangers' of ecstasy" - nope the daft bitch took a shitload of paracetamol too... since around that time it was supposed to 'help your e on'. i remember being at cream in liverpool, talking to some daft scouse lad who had necked loads of paracetamol to help him up.. i mean wtf?

and locking someone up in jail for taking a tablet... how retarded! 'so, what your doing is everso slightly dangerous. to save you and society im going to put you somewhere very dangerous'

can you tell i did plenty of time for e dealing about 10 years ago... bitter? god damn right i am... when the landlord down the road is doing a damn site more damage than we ever did! oh, and for the record... all of us who took pills are absolutely fine 10 years later... i also worked out that i have done hundereds of E pills. around the 1000+ mark. now, if i had been horseriding to that extend the probability would be that i would have been dead 3 times over now.

@"Personally, and from a purely chemical point-of-view, I don't know why E is in a different to speed and methamphetamines. Whichever they are in it should at least be the same as they are all in the same family and all have similar neurological effects upon people." - they are in the same family for sure... in fact all E does is release seratonin from your own head... not like the lovely affect of poisoning yourself with alcohol. i prefer to get my rocks off on my own chemicals than by feeling fuzzy over me poisoning myself

@"If only they'd all just dab a bit of MDMA and chill out, etc." well said sarah, maybe we can all dress up as guy fawkes and pspike the house of commons. imagine that. people telling the truth! people working side by side for each other not their own causes. fuck it, lets spike the bastards, we might get more sense out of them (and watching them gurn away might be amusing too!)

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Sacqui Sacqui Wacqui Jacqui

Sack the parasitic waste of space.

We should have minimum IQ requirements for MPs.

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Anonymous Coward

Campbell

"We are not prepared to send a message to young people that we take ecstasy less seriously"

Sure, keeping it class A makes Campbell et al's ecstasy taking more serious.

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Anonymous Coward

Politicians and Drugs

If politicians realized that if a large chunk of the populace did drugs, they're be more apt to NOT dissent. Once they realize that, drugs would be legal across the board, probably subsidized even.

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Anonymous Coward

Prison

Prison is notably bad for your health. When will they ban that?

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Stop

Climate change?

I wonder if El Reg has ever considered its editorial policy on climate change in the same light? Massive weight of scientific evidence ... ring any bells? Or maybe another opinion piece made without reference to reality. Yes, that'll do.

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Happy

A timely reminder

That you Reg for reminding me that it is actually a class A drug and that I really should take more care about where I leave it lying around, people are so damn blasé about it. Well everyone that is except the occasional sanctimonious cokehead who will sneer at even the mention of ecstasy, as though they'd never lower themselves, the fuckwits.

But overindulgence does screw with your miiiind man, that's without a doubt, I should know. Or might that have been the booze, fags, weed, speed, ketamine, coke or poppers? Suppose I'll never know. Where was I? Yeah drugs are bad; don't do it kids it'll fuck you up.

Reach for the lasers.

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Long time E user here

I say long time, I was a long time user, I havent touched it now since July 2004 and have no intentions of doing it again. Not because it was crap, hell no, because I got tired of all the retoric crap of caining the hell out of the little things with complete randoms at some ones house till midday on Sunday, getting no sleep and looking like shit at work until Thursday.

Yes kids I was what they call an abuser, none of this poxxy 1 pill a week, hell no, 1 pill before I even hit the club then a further dozen before the weekend was out. Heck I even took them when going to the cinema (Lord of the rings - Two towers on pills is FANTASTIC!) Now ask me how many times I ended up in A&E having my stomach pumped. Or how many times I broke down at work and had to be sent home because I wasn't able to cope. Or how many relationships I lost to drugs. Or how many friends died. Or got sent to rehab. The answer is a big fat zero.

See the thing is, Pills will not kill you unless you have an allergy towards it. Dealers don't mix them with rat poison, thats a lie. Why would any self respecting business man want his customers dead? Its good old drowning thats responsible for the majority of E related deaths, look it up. And who's fault is it for these deaths? Thats right, its you Mr government. Why are you teaching children to keep yourself hydrated if you're "stupid" enough to take pills? Its your dodgy propaganda thats killing these kids. You need not drink any more or less than you normally do in any other situation.

Should this be downgraded to a class B? Hell no. Lets go even further, lets legalise it. It'd cut the stuff being mixed with ket and heroin (which unfortunantly it is), you could the shit out of it and you'd stop 13 year olds getting their hands on it. And I'm afraid to say they do. Because they're so cheap and they don't do the damage many would like you to believe.

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