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Top 10 Reasons Why Legal Highs Should Stay Legal

By John Clarke

Last week’s ban on a few legal highs will cer­tainly do more to harm the public than keeping them legal. Here are 10 ways in which every sens­ible legal highs user has just been shafted:

#1 - Don't associate with dodgy people

Drug DealerSelling legal highs can be done by a legit­im­ate busi­ness. Since these busi­nesses aren’t break­ing the law, enga­ging in any other kind of illegal beha­viour (guns, viol­ence, money laun­der­ing, etc) is a massive risk. People that deal illegal drugs are already break­ing the law — if they get caught, they’re going to prison for a long time. Break­ing the law a second time is no longer such a big deal, espe­cially if the price is right. Not only do you get the safety of dealing with an organ­isa­tion that doesn’t want to break the law, but you’re also not seen with any dodgy char­ac­ters, whether that’s meeting up on a street corner, vis­it­ing their house or them turning up at your place at a sus­pi­cious fre­quency.

#2 - Comparison Shopping

We all live in hope that one day we could type in RateMy​Weed​Dealer​.com, find the best prices in town and arrange for a deliv­ery. For­tu­nately, as cus­tom­ers of legit­im­ate products, legal highs fans can shop around to their heart’s content. Selling some­thing for more than you should be? Then no one will buy it! It’s as simple as that, so, not only can cus­tom­ers get a better deal by shop­ping around, this beha­viour also encour­ages healthy com­pet­i­tion between legal highs vendors. Another plus for the cus­tomer!

#3 - Buyer Protection

Perhaps RateMy​Weed​Dealer​.com is a long way off, but what about just ringing your dealer to com­plain about some­thing? Inad­equate pack­aging? Does the product weigh half as much as you were prom­ised? Unfor­tu­nately, I doubt your dealer gives a shit. Luckily, for legal highs con­sumers, most sites out there have some form of cus­tomer service, and if they can’t resolve things, facil­it­ies for refunds or chargebacks exist to protect the cus­tomer.

#4 - A Strength For Everyone

The sheer number of similar products avail­able mean there is usually a strength for every occa­sion. Want a bit of an energy boost for work? Caf­feine! Want to go to a rave all night? Syn­thet­ics! Want to go to a rave but it’s not going to be a “big one” because you’ve got work in the morning, and, let’s face it, your joints and muscles aren’t what they used to be? Some­thing herbal!

I think asking an illegal drug dealer for some­thing cheaper and less effect­ive would be a world first.

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#5 - Diversity

Not only is there a range in price and strength, there’s also an incred­ible range of effects avail­able. Clear headed stim­u­la­tion, total euphoria, intense rushes, power­ful relax­ants, shit that makes you laugh — whatever you want, there’s prob­ably some­thing avail­able some­where that will do the trick. In the world of illegal drugs, that kind of product diversity could only be main­tained via a data­base of epic pro­por­tions con­tain­ing your mil­lions of “hookups” and your own data entry guy.

#6 - Passing A Drug Test

Drug TestingSome people might thing it’s unfair that their co-workers can party all night on a litre of vodka, sleep for a few hours in a bathtub along­side their own sick and even­tu­ally drive to work still pissed, while they get fired for smoking a bit of weed after work. Sure, people should get fired if they let their abuse of any sub­stance inter­fere with their work, but some people may feel that what they get up to in their own time is their own busi­ness. These people may feel drug tests are massive breach of their privacy, so it’s a good job that they have a legal altern­at­ive to turn to, since they shouldn’t show up on drug tests.

#7 - Friends More Likely To Do The Right Thing

People that over­dose on illegal drugs will some­times go without the treat­ment they need to avoid any legal trouble for them­selves or their friends. Perhaps a friend might not tell the doctor what someone else has taken for fear of getting their mate into trouble. With legal highs, there’s no risk of pro­sec­u­tion so a) people can fully dis­close what they’ve taken and could even present the doc with the ori­ginal pack­aging and b) the quant­ity of chem­ic­als in pills or powders will be con­sist­ent between batches…

#8 - Batch Consistency

Not only can doctors share notes on spe­cific products, but users can too. It’s no good trying to compare ecstasy pills from dif­fer­ent ends of the country, since the con­tents are likely to vary wildly, even if they share the same stamp. With legal highs, that’s a dif­fer­ent story. Con­sist­ency between brands and batches facil­it­ates a great deal of dis­cus­sion not only on how good they are, but also harm reduc­tion. Occa­sion­ally man­u­fac­tur­ers do change their ingredi­ents, but it only takes a short while for the changes to reach the entire country.

#9 - The Government Could Learn A Thing Or Two

Straight away, the fact that the legal highs industry even exists tells us that people want to get high and that people think the current drug laws are stupid. There’s one massive lesson that could be learned from it though — why not use it as a model for even­tu­ally leg­al­ising can­nabis and the rest? Instead of trying to ban every new sub­stance before anyone has died, why not look at reg­u­lat­ing their sales with similar legis­la­tion to alcohol and tobacco? If we as a country could get this right with legal highs, we could see if it works or not and them maybe think of abol­ish­ing our current bull­shit excuse for a drugs law.

#10 - Taxes

PoundHere’s a list of taxes that illegal drug dealers don’t pay:

  • Per­sonal Income Tax
  • National Insur­ance
  • Cor­por­a­tion Tax
  • VAT

If legal highs remained legal and were taxed like alcohol and tobacco, the gov­ern­ment would even more money on top of the taxes above that they already receive. These products are rel­at­ively harm­less com­pared with alcohol, for example, which hos­pit­al­ises 1200 people a day and costs the NHS at least £2 billion to deal with, so a tax on them wouldn’t be paying for the damage they’d cause to society — they’d be making the gov­ern­ment a massive profit to spend on more doctors, nurses, medical research and fucking moats!

Nice one, G’ Brown!

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7 Responses to Top 10 Reasons Why Legal Highs Should Stay Legal

  1. Brett says:

    I know that guy in the picture with the money and nun­chucks!
    I’m laugh­ing so hard right now.

  2. Corey says:

    Dude everything your saying is so true, we need people like u in higher power.

  3. Top Cat says:

    RE: #10 — the UK Govt. lost £600 million in import taxes when they imposed the Cath­inone import ban on 29th March 2010…

    Also I’m agreed with the film Layer Cake..

  4. blabla says:

    except­ing points 5 b& 10, this is all BULL­SHIT

  5. Mike says:

    All very valid points. Its a pity that the Gov­ern­ment Min­is­ters and those in the Home Office don’t actu­ally listen to people like you.

    It seems that if you are coher­ent and capable of forming a bal­anced opinion based on facts and your own “real life” exper­i­ence of a subject, then those in a pos­i­tion of author­ity appear intim­id­ated and chose to ignore what they are being told that they should do in favour of what they think those that pay their wages will want to hear.

    Syn­chronium get our vote !.

  6. methylone says:

    It is so nice to see some­body that can actu­ally take a step back and look at the big picture. Every point on this list makes com­plete sense. In the US, legis­latures in certain states have made it public enemy #1, putting an emer­gency ban on some of the more popular RC’s under the false­hood that it is being done because “the general public is in imme­di­ate danger of this scourge.” The ignor­ance is unbe­liev­able.

  7. fiona says:

    I have no idea who man­u­fac­tures these RC’s; but I assume they have a choice between say a crystal meth lab, or making RC’s. With the obvious risks asso­ci­ated with making crystal meth, I can see why people would rather operate legit­im­ately, and keep ahead of the chan­ging drug laws. So in other words, the man­u­fac­tur­ers are savvy and choose to make RC’s, and they know people will enjoy their products.

    As you say, if you buy from a shop, you are buying from a busi­ness that wants to operate legally, rather from some dodgy guy. That has got to be a more relaxed envir­on­ment. You can assume they would sell you a product that works, as the shop would want cus­tomer loyalty.

    There is the other side of things that I think if opens up new oppor­tun­it­ies for drugs to people who do not know where to buy illegal drugs from. All RC’s sales are based on prior past exper­i­ence. i.e. you’d buy some­thing you used last time. Or you buy some­thing because it’s sup­posed to be like an older one, you heard of, or tried ages ago.

    I just wish there was some advice about doses (damage lim­it­a­tion). Then again, if a packet re-seals I hope people are sens­ible not to take all the white powder at once. Whereas it’s cur­rently a pan­to­mime, where it’s ‘not for human con­sump­tion’ even though every­body knows it is really, but there cannot be any advice sur­round­ing don’t use more than .…. at once.

    I still think you’re at risk of getting arres­ted if you’re found with some white powder on you. I still wouldn’t want to be caught with any­thing on me, but the theory is that once the tox­ic­o­logy is done, you’re OK. (you hope) whereas with other options…

    I read that the UK Gov­ern­ment made £2million profit in import and VAT on mephed­rone!

    The UK Gov­ern­ment must be happy to get VAT money on any legal highs, and sweep it under the carpet for a while. That is until of course there is a media hoo-har, when some­body dies of one. Then it’s banned. Then it is the media who is dic­tat­ing what ought to be legal then.

    As dis­cussed here, there is a much bigger picture, and many per­sonal reasons why some­body might opt for legal highs, or illegal drugs. It would be dif­fi­cult for any Gov­ern­ment to tol­er­ate drug use, so the legal highs issue, is one way of sweep­ing it under the carpet, as long as people are sens­ible and don’t cause a media uproar.

    The issue I hate is the sen­sa­tion­al­ism sur­round­ing legal highs. I think every gen­er­a­tion has had drugs con­cerns and worries about what young(ish) people are doing. I think this is the topic of today, as were other things in the past.

    What I’m not clear on: Perhaps we can assume the risks are similar to illegal drugs, in terms of bad exper­i­ences, rather than legal highs being the worst thing ever, in terms of risk.

    I think with legal highs, or most drugs, you’re more likely to have a good exper­i­ence, which causes the risk of addic­tion and drug tol­er­ance. Whereas every gen­er­a­tion has had pro­pa­ganda videos showing bad exper­i­ences, which doesn’t exactly put people off anyway.

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