Our Georgie has caused outrage again with his recent arrest for possession of crack when searched in a public toilet near Hampstead Heath. For this he received a caution. And the outrage is over what exactly? If charged to court I doubt if he'd got more than £200 fine for possession of Class A. This is the reality of our world today. There is little deterrent for the drug user.
I'm rather disappointed with him. I went to one of his concerts on his last tour and this boy can sing. Why would he want to risk his voice by taking crack cocaine. Young Miss Winehouse is not exactly a glowing advert for this type of drug, he should know better.
Now I'm not for making examples of celebrities, they should be treated the same as everybody else. The days when Mick Jagger got 3 months for possession of drugs are long gone. It does however reinforce the message that you can take drugs and nothing will happen to you.
I used to go to some high powered partnership conferences, where the great and the good mingled. We are talking influential people who can make big changes happen. Nearly always I would get asked my views on legalising drugs. I think over the last 10 years the punishments have been so downgraded that they've almost got what they wanted. They would invariably conclude with "How much is a Henry nowadays?" Yeah they've all smoked themselves and can't see no wrong in it.
As a street cop, I've always been against the cannabis experiment. I can see the wrong in it and I'm in no doubt it's a gateway drug. All these teenagers stoned on skunk are numbing their brains and a percentage of them will progress up the drugs chain. I could show you the ones who were cocky teenagers always spliffing up, who are now on their arses due to crack and heroin. I preached to them when they were younger and I don't feel smug when they tell me I was right.
So we have the ridiculous situation where you can smoke cannabis in the street and get a warning, but if you smoke a cigarette in the pub you can get a penalty ticket from the local authority.
Now I'll be controversial. I would have no problem with heroin addicts being given their dose in controlled circumstances. I think the methadone substitute hasn't worked and nearly all addicts still use when on it. If some would be steered away from committing crime then medicinal heroin should be prescribed.
I can't see us doing policing operations targeting users, we hardly target the dealers as it is. They do this in the USA. I saw this tactic on a cop show where a cop posed as a dealer, and users approached and tried to buy drugs before a door opened and the user was yanked in and arrested. They were getting 100+ at a time on this sting. It could never happen here with all our bureaucracy and form filling.
* HENRY = Henry the eighth or 1/8 oz of drugs
Above clip shows reverse sting used to target users in the states and clean up neighbourhoods.