Why island needs rethink on drugs

in Politics

Ray Lakeman, whose two sons died from an ecstasy overdose, will next week tell a public meeting that he favours changing the law on drugs.

Mr Lakeman, from Port St Mary, lost his sons Torin and Jacques when they accidentally took an overdose of the drug ecstasy.

Mr Lakeman said; ’We need to move beyond fear, discrimination and punishment, and towards drug laws that are based on honesty, compassion and health.

’We insist on the safety and control of alcohol, tobacco, even sugar - so why not other drugs?’

Mr Lakeman has now joined the Anyone’s Child Campaign with other families who are campaigning for the legal regulation and control of drugs.

He will be one of the speakers at a meeting organised by the Postive Action Group and Isle of Man Freethinkers from 7.30pm on Monday, April 24, at the Manx Legion Club on Market Hill, Douglas,

Mr Lakeman’s fellow speaker will be Jane Slater, of Transform Drug Policy Foundation and Anyone’s Child,

She will outline why her organisation is campaigning to see drugs legally regulated.

She said: ’Legal regulation means taking drugs out of the hands of criminals and placing it under government control via doctors, pharmacists and licensed retailers.

’Criminalising the drug trade and drug users isn’t keeping our children safe, it’s putting them in grave danger.

’Our voices must be heard and our politicians must listen. We need to put governments in control of the drugs market, so that families are better â??protected.’

A PAG spokesman said: ’The time is right for a new approach to drugs on the Isle of Man - signalled by the new government’s announcement that it is committed to developing evidence based policy.

Stuart Hartill, chair IOM Freethinkers, said: ’The Freethinkers realise it’s a thorny issue, but also that we must raise such issues locally, though always in a responsible way, rather than waiting to see how large countries deal with the problem.

’We warmly invite Manx people to come along, listen and contribute on the night, then go away and continue that discussion.’

Examiner comment: p18

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9 Comments

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Phil · 91 days ago · Report

do your comments stand the same for cannabis CV? Given that a number of places have legalised the sale and making a fortune off the back of it. Something for the Island to consider maybe?

Manx born (formerl CV) · 92 days ago · Report

cont......as far as comparing sugar with cocaine and heroin is concerned, I have never heard of a sugar addict commit a crime to get the funds to pay for the next sugar lump. Mr Lakeman's position is truly horrendous but I am afraid that legalisation is not the answer.

Manx born (formerl CV) · 92 days ago · Report

The age old argument of the pro drug lobby. Just because one addictive substance is lawful, then everything else should be. Alcohol and tobacco is regulated yet criminals still make fortunes by smuggling from countries where taxes and regulations are weaker than ours. The sale and consumption of alcohol is controlled by law yet it's use is abused every day. So why should cannabis or ecstasy or cocaine be any different?

ET · 92 days ago · Report

Most people don't take illicit drugs for fun...regrettably some do. Diverting responsibility from user to distributor, legal or illegal, is extremely convenient. To focus an argument on preventing illegal supply is vacuous. It normalises social acceptability, thereby expanding the potential market place tenfold. At the end of the day the user is both the problem and the issue. It's too easy to shift responsibility via emotive debate. You can't clean up a dirty act via legalisation.

OldMann · 92 days ago · Report

There is no quality control people could be taking anything unknowingly this is the direct cause of drug related deaths, the law is outdated and clearly not working, not to mention the money wasted prosecuting and incarcerating people under the current system.

Karen · 92 days ago · Report

Legalizing drugs will not stop the deaths from overdoses, and the dealers will just make their drugs a cheaper option. Drugs are only safe if they are used as prescribed by medical professionals. Why would intelligent people buy a drug from the internet, why the need to hallucinate, what are they escaping from?. It is a sad world when we have to ingest unknown substances to get our kicks.

Post Truth Correctional Officier · 92 days ago · Report

Damn those sugar cartels

Darwin · 92 days ago · Report

Sugar is more addictive and has more of a profound effect on the brain than cocaine, yet we give it to our kids. It's a mind altering drug. Look what happens when you feed a child too much of it – they go up, then come crashing down, just like any other drug. Yet totally legal. Sugar kills more people per year than illegal drugs put together! It's the rubbish drugs are mixed with that kills sadly. Remember - coffee, cigarettes, alcohol, sugar, are drugs too - legal drugs!

Jane Cain · 92 days ago · Report

Very sorry- these "children" are adults - who take these drugs with the full knowledge that they could be lethal. Making them "legal" wont stop people taking them - they are still lethal. This is a crazy world where no-one accepts responsibility for their actions. Education is the key here, not making drug acquisition easier.

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