Having been a teen of the 60s, pictured above, and following Ian Drivers press release, see http://thanetpress.blogspot.co.uk/2012/07/thanet-independent-councillor-ian.html and the associated comments, I guess I ought to say something here.
On the whole I would say the way in which drug abuse is managed in this country hasn’t worked that well during the last 50 years.
In a general sense I would say alcohol and cannabis fall into the same ballpark and probably ought to be dealt with in a similar fashion.
I guess the person who has the odd drink and occasionally gets noticeably drunk and the person who has the odd spliff and occasionally gets noticeably stoned don’t do very much harm either to themselves or to anyone else.
On the other hand the pothead and the alcoholic have problems that are probably better addressed by the medical profession than the police.
I guess a large part of the problem is how young people address this one, as presumably most young people, like everyone else, encounter people who have the odd spliff or the odd drink without apparent harm and with apparent pleasure, they are likely to try both.
I guess the law at the moment is saying it’s ok to be an alcoholic, but not ok to have the occasional spliff, which is not perhaps the best of messages, particularly to our youf.
I don’t think the classification of drugs in this country works that well either, I am not sure no crime in possessing a can of beer, five years maximum sentence for possessing cannabis and seven years for possessing heroin, sends out the right message either.
I think a very pertinent point here is that Ian Driver running Thanet’s Citizens Advice Bureau is likely to have a better idea of the both the problems and solutions in this field than most.
I would guess in terms of problems both trading and living here in Thanet, most drug related, antisocial behaviour, problems I encounter relate to people who are very drunk, a very long way down the line from this are those associated with other drugs.
I guess there is probably a fair bit of crime related to addicts financing their habits but this would relate to addictive class A drugs.
There is a lot of difference between dealing with a broken shop window caused by an angry drunk and having someone being incoherent towards you.
I will ramble on about this if I get time.