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This is basically a copy and paste of some posts made at The Magick Garden (none by me) , but I felt the need to bring it to the attention of any UK Shroomerites here...
----------- The British government, having lost the a recent mushroom seller case, fights back with new proposals....
The full story is in a Home Office Press release today, 393/2004 17 December 2004 020 7273 2072
BREAKING THE LINK BETWEEN DRUGS AND CRIME: HOME OFFICE PUBLISHES DRUGS BILL Proposals for a tough package of anti-drugs measures, including new powers for police to order ultrasounds or x-rays of dealers who swallow their drugs to conceal the evidence, were set out today as the Home Office published the Drugs Bill. At the heart of new legislation are measures aimed at building on existing work to break the link between drug addiction and crime by getting more drug users into treatment at an early stage and taking tougher action against dealers. Proposals in the Bill include: ? giving police powers to test for class A drugs on arrest and require those who test positive to attend an assessment and follow-up appointment; ? making dealing near a school, or using children as couriers for drugs or drug-related money an aggravating factor in sentencing; ? introducing a new presumption that those caught with more drugs than reasonable for personal use intend to supply, which carries tougher penalties; ? tougher powers to deal with dealers who swallow their drugs or hide them in body cavities ? the police would be able to order a drug or ultrasound and magistrates would be able to remand suspected swallowers in custody for up to eight days; ? dealing with the open selling of magic mushrooms by clarifying in law that fresh mushrooms, as well as prepared ones, are illegal; and ? a new drug intervention order to run alongside anti-social behaviour orders to address drug misuse by people committing anti-social acts. Home Office Minister, Caroline Flint, said: ?The damage caused to individuals, families and society by drugs is enormous. Drug misuse can ruin individual lives, tear open families and blight whole communities with the menace of dealers and crime driven by drug abuse.
?The Government is determined to tackle this by putting more drug dealers ? people who profit in the misery of others ? behind bars and getting more addicts into treatment. The Serious Organised Crime and Police Bill already contains powers for Community Support Officers to search suspects for drugs. The Drugs Bill will introduce further powers for police to drug test suspected addicts on arrest so our Drug Intervention Programme can get more people off drugs and away from crime. And dealers will face harsher sentences where they prey on children or attempt to escape justice by swallowing the evidence. ?Measures in the Drugs Bill will help us break the vicious circle of drugs and crime, to create a safer, more secure society. The Government has already invested unprecedented resources to tackle the harm of drugs. And we have made some great strides ? we have 54 per cent more users in treatment compared to 1998 and have taken 37,000 kilos of cocaine and heroin off the streets, and busted 330 gangs dealing in class A drugs between April 2002 and December 2003. In the areas where the Drug Interventions Programme is in place crime is falling faster than in other areas. But of course there is more to be done. ?Underpinning everything is continued work to stem the flow of drugs to this country and tackle the organised crime networks responsible ? powers in the Serious Organised Crime and Police Bill currently going through Parliament will build on this. Drugs are a scourge on the world, and enforcement agencies here in the UK are working closely with their counterparts abroad ? in Asia, the Middle East and the Balkans - to pursue organised criminals, disrupt their shipments, bring them to justice, and ultimately make our communities safer.? Notes to Editors: 1. The Drugs Bill was introduced to the House on 16 December 2004 and published today (17 December 2004). 2. The Drugs Bill and Explanatory Notes are available online at http://www.parliament.uk , or from the Home Office press office on 020 7273 4545. 3. The Home Office published a progress paper on drugs, ?Tackling Drugs ? Changing Lives: Keeping Communities safe from Drugs? on 24 November 2004 (Home Office press notice 370/2004).
I think it is very important that we try to get organised on a single front and the mmf is a good neutral place (not directly associated with anyones personal income) to do this.
We dont want people to just rant amongst ourselves about how unjust it is, we've allready done that. What we are looking to do is to shortly set up a seperate site where an effective campaign to resist the particular part of the bill that effects mushrooms.
Think aout this - Psilocin has been listed as a class A for 30+ years now, as has DMT etc. If they can move to ban a fresh mushroom, when will they move onto Ayahuasca ingredients (prepared or not)or perhaps they will have salvia in thier sights?
Even if your interest does not lie with magic mushrooms, remember that this bill will impact on the buisnesses of all uk ethobotanical suppliers.
Do you want to be asked by your grandchildren "what did you do in the war against drugs" only to answer well I kept my head down and my mouth shut while the government made bad laws.
If the bill goes ahead un-challenged, sooner or later some uninformed adventurous teenager will come to harm by mistakenly eating poisonous fungi. I dont want to have contributed to that - do you?
Finally, It is not only our MP's that have an input into the process. We can make a difference.
Thanks for reading - Dirk
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