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MP secures promise from Smokey Sam's landlord

Monday September 21 2015


MP Dan Jarvis MP Dan Jarvis


SMOKEY Sam's on Sheffield Road will stop selling legal highs completely by the end of the year, following a public appeal from MP Dan Jarvis.

Earlier this month, Mr Jarvis issued a public appeal to the landlord urging him to take responsibility for his tenant’s actions.

Mr Jarvis said: “I am very pleased that the landlord has responded to my request and reached an agreement with his tenant that Smokey Sam’s will stop selling legal highs completely by the end of this year.

“The landlord has given me his assurance that should his tenant fail to meet the terms of their agreement, he will begin legal proceedings against him to end the lease.

"I will continue to monitor the situation to make sure that the agreed date is honoured."

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Reply Posted by Jordan on Monday September 21 2015 at 15:01
its life destroying but it's also down to people that make the choice to take it

Reply Posted by Tory CORNS on Monday September 21 2015 at 15:08
Its about fukkn time

Reply Posted by richard head on Monday September 21 2015 at 15:44
mmmmmmm legal high mmmmmmmm

Reply Posted by Tom on Wednesday September 23 2015 at 15:47
If people think the problem will disappear due to this potential threat of eviction they are deluded. If they think it can be solved by banning legal highs they are naive. If they think they have the right to dictate to people what they can and cannot consume they are a part of the problem, and their misguided (albeit well intentioned) crusade will spectacularly backfire. I will take no pleasure in saying, "I told you so".

For starters, the shop is not the only retailer of legal highs. People are selling them in the street, they are openly sold on the street by multiple individuals and groups, they are also sold from houses on the estates and delivered by mobile dealers, they are sold by multiple people and companies online and delivered by post. Many have multiple uses, and thus can be purchased for one use, but then used for another.

Much like illegal drugs are sold elsewhere in the town, the county, the country and the rest of the world.

Banning something does not stop it's trade, it merely creates a black market. Look at Mephedrone, openly taken by a sizeable minority of people in the town, it was recently banned, and instead of being a 'legal high' it became an 'illegal high'. Did people stop taking it? No. What happened? The price doubled and the black market trade flourished.

Why do we have legal highs in the first place? - The creation of legal highs was an unintended consequence of the war on drugs and the banning of multiple commonly-used recreational drugs. Innovative people found a way around the legislation and with a bit of chemical knowledge they altered the chemical structure of the commonly used recreational drugs to create new drugs with similar properties which were not covered by the law.
Much like big Pharma tweaks the chemical structure of medicinal drugs to improve them, or to create a new drug which they can subsequently sell for profit
But far from trying to create 'better' drugs, which are safer, cheaper, more potent, etc., the creation of legal highs is driven by a desire to get around the current laws. The drugs created are typically more dangerous than the drugs they are intended to replace.

The law is completely irrational and this is very dangerous, many people have took legal highs because they assumed them to be safe due to them being legal, this is not the case. Legality and safety are two completely independent qualities.

A drug may be legal and safe.
A drug me be illegal and dangerous.
A drug may be illegal and safe.
A drug may be legal and dangerous.

A drug me be legal, illegal, safe and dangerous.

For example, heroin, it is both legal and illegal, and it is both safe and dangerous, depending on who has it and why, and how it is used and how much of it is used and why.

Another example would be alcohol. Another would be water.

Every drug is capable of killing somebody via an overdose, there is a well known adage that goes; "The dose makes the poison.".

It indicates a basic principle of toxicology.

"All things are poison and nothing is without poison; only the dose makes a thing not a poison.".

If only this was common knowledge! So many of the problems our society has with drugs could be eradicated. But, we do not educate the citizenry, we do not tell them this, they are told some truths, but also half truths and downright lies.

Our society lies to our children and fellow citizens about drugs and they notice this, they learn, they see, they understand, and they understandably lose all faith in the information they are given and the source of such information.

Instead of educating people, we try to indoctrinate them, and this backfires. We all know the story about the boy who cried wolf!

If you want to tackle the very real problems caused by drug use, then you must go about it in a different way to the failed policies of the past. We have fought a war on drugs for over 40 years and it has failed on every single measure. Drug use has increased and people die form using drugs. People are criminalised and punished needlessly, the trade is completely unregulated and knowledge with respect to drugs is quite frankly lacking.

Drugs and their use are not tret as a health problem, they are tret as a moral problem. And as long as that remains so, then we shall continue to punish people for using drugs and some of those people will needlessly die from using them.

In a years time from now, people will still be using legal highs in this town, they might by then be legal, they might be illegal, they might be safe, they might be dangerous. They might be used safely, they might be used dangerously. But they will be used, they will be traded, and they will have an effect on the people using them and on wider society.

Wider society will have an effect on the people using them. Whether their use is tret as a moral problem or a health problem by wider society, will largely determine how much of a problem they are to wider society and to the people using them.

As long society treats drugs as a moral problem, then every time there is violence over their trade, unpleasant side effects, overdoses and all the other unpleasant things that occur now, society will be reaping what it sows.

We do not blame obesity on 'naughty food' and seek to ban it. To do so would be insane, for we know the dose is the poison.

We know the dose is the poison when it comes all drugs, yet for some reason, many people try to blame naughty legal highs and try to ban them, due to people taking a poisonous dose. And it is insane, because by treating the problems caused by dodgy doses as a moral problem, we do not tackle the real problem.