The Fix Drugsland


The Fix

Drugsland takes viewers into the world of recreational drugs - the dealers, the party people and the politician who thinks that drugs laws aren't working.


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Transcript


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This programme contains some strong language

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ELECTRONICALLY DISTORTED VOICE: I don't see myself

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really as a drug dealer - I see myself more as just a salesman.

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I've got LSD, I've got MDMA crystal, I've got MDMA pills,

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I've got 2C-B pills, I've got 2C-I pills.

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A couple of rolls of outdoor-grown weed, and we have Afghan hash eggs.

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I sell 16 different types of drugs.

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All of the major ones.

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I do not sell heroin, I do not sell crack cocaine.

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I sell to a wide variety of people.

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They're students, a huge amount of young professionals.

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They will take drugs, but they're never going to talk about that

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at work because they'll get fired.

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People have been getting high in one form or another

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since the beginning of time.

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Drug pureties are going up, drug prices are coming down.

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The government will recognise that illegalisation doesn't work.

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I know it's wrong and I know it's bad. But I do enjoy it.

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A lot of things need to change in the way we treat drugs in this city

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and in this country.

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I've got surgeons, I've got lawyers, I've got doctors,

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a huge amount of young professionals.

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-Police!

-Down on the floor, now!

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Open your mouth.

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Don't swallow the drugs, spit them out!

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The risk would go away if everybody said no to drugs,

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but just telling people to say no to drugs hasn't worked.

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This is quite a small one.

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Bit of a tickler, you know what I mean?

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LAUGHTER

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There's a bigger law than the law that we adhere to, and that law is,

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like, mushrooms, do them!

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HE LAUGHS

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RADIO PIPS

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Theresa May has stunned Westminster by announcing plans

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to call a general election for the 8th of June.

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The learned behaviour of a politician is,

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don't campaign on drug reform in election time.

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But Bristol has a drug problem.

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It's got well above average rates of drug use and misuse.

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-Hello!

-Hello.

-What's your name, darling?

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-Kechi.

-Kechi? What about this little one here?

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-Noma.

-Noma?

-And that's her beret.

-Oh!

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I've seen a massive increase in homelessness, drug-related issues.

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For me, having family, I sometimes feel scared when my family's out.

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I have seen the harm that alcohol and other drugs cause,

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and I have seen it up close, I have seen it in my personal life

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as well as my political life,

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and I think seeing it in my personal life and being affected by it

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motivates me.

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There is a lot of drug-taking in this flat.

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I know so, for a fact.

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My son got his jaw broke two weeks ago and that's drug-related.

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-Nice to meet you, Geraldine.

-And you, take care.

-Thank you.

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There are many, many social problems that affect everybody else

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that are caused by drug misuse,

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such as anti-social behaviour or drug litter.

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One way or another, we are all paying for the misuse of drugs.

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Whether we take them or not, we're all paying for it.

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Most of us most of the time want to make the world a better place.

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And as a politician, you get particular opportunities to do that.

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All right. Nice to meet you, Katrina.

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Some people enjoy coffee.

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Some people enjoy going to the gym.

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We like psychedelics...

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We're going to this radio station called Ujima.

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..and the law tries to stop us doing what we enjoy and what we love.

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And we're not harming anyone.

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We're bringing more joy.

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Joe and I are friends first,

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but we also work together as performance artists.

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Always in character.

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Our play together evolves around two characters,

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myself and Joe as the Oracle and 3pZero,

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who travel through space to come to Earth cos it's in trouble,

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and we don't want it to end up like our planet.

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-Police.

-3pZero, is this it?

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No, just patching the dials.

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And we've been performing under the name Micro-Rave

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for about eight years...

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And 3pZero in the place.

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..working all over, from festivals to town fetes and clubs...

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..and it's basically about unlocking the childlike nature

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inside all of us through a mashup of old-school computer gaming,

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raving and interactive theatre.

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Shark!

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Hello! How are you?

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Go and kill some dragons!

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-You don't remember us!

-Nothing to see here!

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Nice, nice, nice.

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Just wanted to introduce,

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we've got the guys from Micro-Rave in the studio.

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We've got the Oracle and 3pZero. How are you doing?

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Very good, very good, Tommy Popcorn.

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So, what's happening with the Micro-Rave?

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You've got a gig coming up, haven't you?

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Yes, we've got some rebel factions in Bristol town,

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namely the Munter Gatherers,

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and the Munter Gatherers are putting on an event

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at the Blue Mountain on the 13th of May,

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and we are orchestrating a robot battle in the upstairs room.

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The gig was called Rabotech, right?

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LAUGHTER

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Yes.

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RADIO: The Liberal Democrats have confirmed

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that plans to legalise cannabis will be included in their manifesto.

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The party says that the sales would be strictly regulated,

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and could generate up to £1 billion a year in tax revenues.

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But let me give you one of these.

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-If there's anything else you want to know, give me a call.

-Thank you.

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Did the Lib Dems' cannabis reform

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come up at all on the doorstep this evening?

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-Cos it just happened today.

-It did, actually.

-Did it?

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What happened when it came up, Tom?

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Well, it was somebody who'd voted Conservative last time,

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and they were saying, "I don't really want to vote for the Lib Dems

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"cos I'm pro-Brexit, but actually, the drug legalisation thing

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-"makes sense to me."

-Well, that's interesting.

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If you see the charts of the harm done by alcohol and drugs,

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alcohol and heroin come at the top, not cannabis.

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-Yeah.

-So I get their reasoning, but we're not criminalising alcohol.

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So, for me, it was sort of,

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-"Why aren't we talking about all the drugs?"

-Yeah.

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Why are we thinking about an evidence-based policy review?

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-I don't know. Would you vote for that?

-I think so, yeah.

-Yes!

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I think I would! It's not in our manifesto.

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Thank you all, guys, so, so much.

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-Are you going back to the office?

-I am.

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Lots of people in my time as MP told me that they felt

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the drug laws needed reforming.

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I don't think we have a good answer to this,

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but I do know that as a politician,

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part of my job is to try and find a solution to it.

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HE CHUCKLES

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NOTES PLAY ON SYNTH

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When's the time to have the symbolic ingestion?

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-When's the time to take some mushrooms?

-Mmm.

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I'm actually going to eat a mouthful.

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WHISPERS INDISTINCTLY

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Cool.

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You should take another, cos I'm going to eat the whole...

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..thing.

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Primordial gloop.

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Mushrooms open up new pathways in your brain, new ways of thinking.

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I can already feel them now, inside me.

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-I'm in a cool place.

-Whoa, so sweet!

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We find it unlocks innovation and new ways of looking at creativity.

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Whoo! One, two, three, and...

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-BOTH:

-# Wha-wha-wha-wha-wha Wha-wha-wha

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# Wha-wha-wha-wha-wha

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# Wha-wha-wha-wha-wha Wha-wha-wha

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# Wha-wha-wha-wha-wha

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# Wha-wha-wha-wha-wha Wha-wha-wha

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# Wha-wha-wha-wha-wha

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# Wha-wha-wha... #

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Yeah, we're going to need...

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Classic!

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One, two, three, and...

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RECORDED RHYTHM PLAYS

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The onset of mushrooms, especially with creative endeavours, for me,

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it causes a doorway, which is such a splurge of output.

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And it sort of like throws away the careful craft of something,

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-into, like, a real...

-Yeah!

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Into a real, like, psychedelically violent, like, approach to it.

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THEY PLAY BONGOS

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RECORDED RHYTHM PLAYS

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Yeah, I can feel those mushrooms, it feels nice.

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-It's real good.

-Yeah.

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Come on, baby. Let's find the right place for you.

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You just keep on spinning.

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It's beautiful.

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We lose touch with the inner child,

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and mushrooms can really put you back in touch with that.

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SYNTH PLAYS, THEY LAUGH

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Mushrooms are a joy.

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They're a sheer, uplifting reminder...

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..that you don't have to live within the confines

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of what your mind sets up for you in daily life.

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LAUGHTER

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I'm just looking at your face and it's, like, slightly trippy.

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HE SIGHS

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Literally, right now, I would be quite happy going for a jog.

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A gentle sprint.

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Yeah.

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HE LAUGHS

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Why would you...? Why do you want to go on a sprint?

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All right, OK. Let's do this.

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There's something very heart-warming about a psychedelic experience

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that...

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reminds me of the goodness that's in the universe.

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It's like a slow softening of your heart.

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HE CHUCKLES This is where we're at!

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Yeah, it's good to mooch about cities, man.

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It's a Friday night, we take some mushrooms.

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We're not beating anyone up.

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Why is this against the law?

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If you are a functional, hard-working person

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and you choose to use certain substances in your spare time,

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then why should anyone be able to tell you that you can't do that?

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The fact of the matter is, making them illegal does not work.

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It doesn't stop people from taking drugs.

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People who really care about this issue,

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it is for something far greater.

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It's about stopping all of that money,

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so many millions of pounds,

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going into the black market when it could be going into the country,

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into roads, education.

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Positive things to help everybody.

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I'm a self-employed woodworker.

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And on top of that, I work full-time doing timber frame construction.

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So, this last two weeks,

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I've crammed in, on average, about 14 hours per day.

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My friend Freya, she started a clothing company

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about two and a half years ago now

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and the clothes are really, really popular.

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So, Paul, what time are we meeting at yours tomorrow?

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-I've never, ever been with you on your birthday before.

-What?!

-Yeah.

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-Oh, I think we're just going to go to a nightclub...

-Yep.

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..and then back to the house, and drop loads of acid.

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Drop tiny amounts of acid?

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A quarter of a tab at a time, I think,

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that's probably the order of the day, isn't it?

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-I find micro-dosing it is much more manageable.

-Yep.

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-I mean...

-You're not necessarily out of it in any sense.

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No, not at all - you're completely lucid.

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-You're just there.

-You're just...

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Everything's brighter and more vivid and more hilarious.

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I don't know if it's technically micro-dosing, what we do.

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-A quarter of a tab...

-It's just a very small amount.

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It's a small amount, yeah.

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Do you remember that first time that we were hanging out, Freya?

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Yeah.

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When I met you, you were in the process of being arrested.

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-Well, I think I HAD been arrested.

-You'd been arrested!

-Yeah.

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-You were in the process of being charged.

-Charged, yeah.

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I'd been to 11 festivals and I'd been, like,

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selling drugs at every single one of them and got away with it,

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and obviously pushed my luck, and the universe just said, "No,"

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and I got caught with an ounce of MDMA, 30 hits of 2C-I,

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seven grams ketamine, all individually wrapped up.

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But I mean, that particular experience taught me a lot

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about what not to do, ie, sell drugs,

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because it's just a dead end, isn't it?

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And now I don't sell drugs, I just take them every now and again -

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-it's way more fun.

-Yeah.

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ELECTRONICALLY DISTORTED VOICE: The general public

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might make the assumption that all dealers are violent criminals,

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which, of course, some are, but...

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some of us do actually really like to give a good service.

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A banker or an estate agent doesn't want to do business

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with the type of dealers who carry knives.

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I'm going to be washing the cocaine.

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I've been told by my supplier that it's from Bolivia, it's 89% purity

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and it's uncut.

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What's that other 11%? That's what kind of worries me.

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I want to wash it up in order to give people a cocaine experience,

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rather than a white powder, money-making experience.

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Really, all that we're doing is cleaning it up

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to make the drug purer.

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I honestly actually care about people getting decent drugs

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at a decent price, and not getting mugged off.

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MACHINE BLEEPS

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I'm incredibly happy with the wash on this cocaine.

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We've got rid of that disgusting chemical smell

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that really shouldn't be there.

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This cocaine - I'll be selling it for £80 per gram.

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There is a lot of people who sell significantly worse coke than this

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for, like, £100 a gram.

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Just because you're paying a lot

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really doesn't mean that you're getting a good product.

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It possibly just means that your dealer's a greedy bastard.

0:16:520:16:55

The vast majority of cocaine use is just sociable cocaine use -

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it's not problem cocaine use whatsoever.

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It can also be...

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..an escape, and that's when it becomes a negative cycle.

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But people need support through that -

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they don't need criminalisation.

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Nobody's shown me a drug yet that has no downside to its upside.

0:17:260:17:30

There's a misunderstanding that the harmful drug use

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comes from only the most harmful drugs.

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But there are really horrible mental health problems

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that can result from ecstasy, or MDMA, or cannabis.

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I work in the brief interventions team...

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-OK.

-..which specifically works with anyone

0:17:550:17:57

-that uses recreational drugs problematically.

-Right.

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So, anything that's not heroin, crack, or problematic alcohol.

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-There are lots of different drugs that we work with.

-Yeah.

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So, if you've got cocaine, if you're using it daily,

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you're depleting the sort of happy hormones in your mind,

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you're losing your serotonin and your dopamine very quickly.

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It costs a lot of money.

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So, before you know it, there's debt piling up.

0:18:140:18:16

-Yeah.

-With cannabis, it's only been recognised recently

0:18:160:18:18

that there's a cannabis withdrawal syndrome.

0:18:180:18:20

So, if you use quite regularly for a period of time

0:18:200:18:24

and then try to stop,

0:18:240:18:25

you can get physical and psychological difficulties.

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We don't tend to see referrals for MDMA and psychedelics

0:18:280:18:31

as a main drug, but they tend to be a secondary or third drug

0:18:310:18:34

that people use but don't tend to want to address at that point,

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because that's their fun drug that they're not addicted to.

0:18:380:18:40

To people who have no experience with drugs whatsoever,

0:18:400:18:43

but who may be concerned about a friend or a family member...

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To them, they may well think, "Well, surely all drugs are harmful."

0:18:460:18:49

And our message is always,

0:18:490:18:51

the only 100% safe way to take a drug is not to take it.

0:18:510:18:54

-Not at all. Yeah.

-But if someone has the information...

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-Yeah.

-..knows the risks...

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-Yeah.

-..and is able to make an informed decision...

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..that's their right.

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With my team,

0:19:050:19:06

we have a lot of people that use recreational drugs

0:19:060:19:09

-quite effectively.

-Yeah.

0:19:090:19:10

You know, and live out a functional life of working

0:19:100:19:13

-or going to uni or so on.

-Yeah.

0:19:130:19:15

I think when we talk about negative effects,

0:19:150:19:17

it's as if someone has found that their drug use

0:19:170:19:19

-has then caused them to miss work...

-OK.

0:19:190:19:22

..or it's caused them... their mental health to deteriorate,

0:19:220:19:24

or they feel that they're taking more and more than they want to.

0:19:240:19:28

And how far do you think that levels of education about drugs

0:19:280:19:31

in schools nowadays are able to help young people

0:19:310:19:34

make those sorts of assessments of themselves?

0:19:340:19:37

We do a lot of harm-reduction stuff,

0:19:370:19:38

and just educating people on looking at testing their drugs,

0:19:380:19:42

or looking at getting enough sleep, eating, looking after your friends,

0:19:420:19:46

all of these different things,

0:19:460:19:47

and I think if that was used in schools,

0:19:470:19:50

it would be less of an issue.

0:19:500:19:52

-Most of what we see at BDP is alcohol-related issues...

-Really?

0:19:520:19:57

..and also heroin and crack.

0:19:570:19:58

-Alcohol is completely legal, and yet it is very harmful.

-Yeah.

0:19:580:20:02

But I can get access to good information about it

0:20:020:20:04

much more easily.

0:20:040:20:05

And alcohol always stays as alcohol,

0:20:050:20:07

whereas if you look at pills and MDMA,

0:20:070:20:10

and the purity levels have gone up in the last couple of years...

0:20:100:20:12

If we don't have that education out there to show people,

0:20:120:20:15

-and put that harm reduction in place...

-Right.

0:20:150:20:18

..the likelihood is there will be more deaths.

0:20:180:20:20

For every person suffering from drug addiction,

0:20:300:20:34

there may well be five or six or seven other people

0:20:340:20:36

who are using the same drug, not suffering addiction

0:20:360:20:39

and aren't finding it as problematic in their lives.

0:20:390:20:42

Wow, this is such a huge amount of speed,

0:20:510:20:52

I definitely won't need all of this.

0:20:520:20:54

Poor man's cocaine.

0:20:560:20:57

Or rich man's...erm...

0:20:570:21:00

-Coffee?

-Coffee, yeah.

0:21:000:21:01

Probably not - it's probably a similar price to coffee.

0:21:010:21:04

-It's probably cheaper.

-SHE LAUGHS

0:21:040:21:06

It's a lot cheaper.

0:21:060:21:08

This is... This is quite a small one.

0:21:080:21:10

Bit of a tickler, do you know what I mean?

0:21:100:21:12

LAUGHTER

0:21:120:21:15

Do you want some speed, Freya?

0:21:200:21:22

Er...a tiny bit?

0:21:220:21:23

Doesn't even give you, like, crazy energy, it just keeps you awake.

0:21:240:21:27

It's the best and the worst thing about speed,

0:21:270:21:29

-is the fact that it means you can't sleep.

-That is it, isn't it?

0:21:290:21:32

I mean, there's been occasions where I've taken one line of speed

0:21:320:21:36

at 5.00 or 6.00 in the evening, and then not slept until the next day.

0:21:360:21:41

That's not great for mood, if you're not feeling good.

0:21:430:21:46

It's not the same as, like, for example, like, MDMA,

0:21:470:21:50

which I used to take a lot of.

0:21:500:21:51

I can't stand MDMA any more, because you end up, like,

0:21:510:21:55

rolling around with your eyes in the back of your head...

0:21:550:21:57

You end up looking like what Tristan's looking like!

0:21:570:21:59

-Really fucked.

-Mmm.

0:21:590:22:01

Yeah.

0:22:010:22:02

I feel tired, but I feel great.

0:22:070:22:09

Is that cos you took half a pill?

0:22:090:22:10

-No.

-Do you want some speed?

0:22:100:22:12

-No.

-I do!

0:22:120:22:13

LAUGHTER

0:22:150:22:17

Yes, I take drugs and I absolutely love it!

0:22:180:22:21

LAUGHTER

0:22:210:22:23

Let's do this.

0:22:250:22:26

I'm going for a wee, 'scuse me.

0:22:330:22:35

I've put myself in some uncomfortable states

0:22:360:22:39

through excessive drug-taking.

0:22:390:22:42

But that's down to me being excessive.

0:22:420:22:46

It's quite a liberal attitude to drugs, especially in Bristol,

0:22:520:22:56

and I think that's because the police and the powers that be

0:22:560:22:58

realise that no-one's actually doing anyone any harm.

0:22:580:23:01

Every weekend, people go out and party at clubs all over the city.

0:23:070:23:12

By criminalising drugs,

0:23:120:23:13

you criminalise a big chunk of the population.

0:23:130:23:16

MUSIC: Church by The 2 Bears

0:23:160:23:20

# Come on, girl, let's have some fun We can jump and shout together... #

0:23:220:23:26

It's fun, and you have interesting experiences,

0:23:380:23:41

and it opens your mind...

0:23:410:23:42

WHISTLING

0:23:450:23:47

LAUGHTER

0:23:470:23:48

..and you feel loved-up if you've taken MDMA...

0:23:530:23:56

..and you feel full of energy if you take speed.

0:24:030:24:06

Some drugs are harmful in excess.

0:24:200:24:23

Some drugs are habitual...

0:24:230:24:25

..and therefore are taken to excess.

0:24:260:24:29

Of course there's risks involved in drug-taking -

0:24:410:24:43

there's a risk involved in anything.

0:24:430:24:45

People should be careful -

0:24:490:24:50

it's not something to be dabbled with lightly.

0:24:500:24:52

For the most part, recreational drugs, if done responsibly,

0:24:590:25:03

are not harmful.

0:25:030:25:04

You can't possibly police and enforce a law which...

0:25:110:25:15

nobody's interested in adhering to.

0:25:150:25:18

This is the most ridiculous thing I've ever come across,

0:25:220:25:25

and I've come across a few, but that is definitely up there.

0:25:250:25:28

-Pete, catch! Go on!

-Pete can't catch!

0:25:290:25:32

SNORTS OF LAUGHTER

0:25:330:25:34

That was wicked, wasn't it?

0:25:340:25:36

-Pete, careful with the oncoming traffic.

-Oh, my God!

0:25:360:25:38

-Off he goes...

-"Young man dies in accident on longboard.

0:25:400:25:44

"Drugs implicated."

0:25:440:25:46

In the two years that I've been an elected politician,

0:26:060:26:09

I've tried to create lots of different spaces and different ways

0:26:090:26:11

for people to engage with me.

0:26:110:26:13

When I look at particular problems that are affecting my constituents

0:26:140:26:17

or affecting the country, what I want to do in each and every case

0:26:170:26:20

is to talk to the experts, read the evidence,

0:26:200:26:22

listen to what's out there,

0:26:220:26:24

and try and come to an informed decision.

0:26:240:26:26

So, I'm really glad that we could do this.

0:26:300:26:31

And the reason being that in this city,

0:26:310:26:34

Bristol has staggeringly high levels of harm from drugs,

0:26:340:26:37

and I suppose that's one of the reasons why I'm glad

0:26:370:26:39

we're having this meeting,

0:26:390:26:40

is because I felt all along that what was missing for me

0:26:400:26:43

was the expertise of people who do the science.

0:26:430:26:46

I was surprised that you agreed to see us, to be honest.

0:26:540:26:57

You know, drugs is a very...

0:26:570:26:59

It's a topic that MPs generally like not to be engaged with,

0:26:590:27:03

or generally like not to be challenged by.

0:27:030:27:06

A mother close to me cried pretty much every day

0:27:060:27:09

of the last 20-odd years of her life

0:27:090:27:11

because of the death of her middle child to heroin,

0:27:110:27:15

and it haunted me,

0:27:150:27:17

and it haunts me still that she was suffering the harms of drugs

0:27:170:27:21

long after he was, but so were his children, who didn't have a dad.

0:27:210:27:26

And so was he - you know, something was clearly badly wrong.

0:27:260:27:29

We don't seem to have managed yet, as a country,

0:27:290:27:32

to have an evidence-based approach to policymaking on drugs.

0:27:320:27:35

The thing about the Misuse of Drugs Act is it's 45 years old,

0:27:350:27:39

and it's exactly the same as it was the day it was written 45 years ago.

0:27:390:27:43

-Is it really?

-Well, it's been tweaked here and there,

0:27:430:27:46

but essentially,

0:27:460:27:47

everything's illegal apart from alcohol and cigarettes,

0:27:470:27:49

and here's how we classify them

0:27:490:27:51

as which are more dangerous than others.

0:27:510:27:53

Now, I can't think of any other socio-political policy

0:27:530:27:56

that's not changed in 45 years.

0:27:560:27:58

We've completely overhauled the education system, the judiciary,

0:27:580:28:02

health, you know, endless revisions of these policies

0:28:020:28:06

in line with evidence-based practice as it emerges...

0:28:060:28:09

-Yeah.

-..yet the Misuse of Drugs Act, it's completely not fit for purpose.

0:28:090:28:13

We need to decide what...

0:28:130:28:15

What are the goals of our policies,

0:28:150:28:17

and one of the great disappointments is that both this current government

0:28:170:28:21

and the previous Labour government, in their strategy,

0:28:210:28:24

they never had reducing harm - harm reduction was never used.

0:28:240:28:28

The continual mantra was, "We must reduce drug use."

0:28:280:28:32

Most people use most drugs without coming to great harm

0:28:320:28:36

most of the time.

0:28:360:28:37

So, what's the difference, then, between drug use,

0:28:370:28:40

drug misuse, and addiction?

0:28:400:28:42

And what I bring to this is...

0:28:420:28:44

trauma, and child abuse, and poverty, and social exclusion,

0:28:440:28:49

and poor education, and poor housing - a lack of opportunities.

0:28:490:28:53

Those are the factors that turn a drug user into a drug misuser.

0:28:530:28:58

But so many people turn to drugs or alcohol...

0:28:580:29:01

..because they can't get any other services.

0:29:020:29:04

You know, it's the only way they can really deal

0:29:040:29:07

with this chronic, ongoing pain they have.

0:29:070:29:09

The idea that if drugs were softened or regulated,

0:29:090:29:12

we'd all be high all the time - it's just utter fiction.

0:29:120:29:15

There is no evidence to suggest that would happen at all.

0:29:150:29:18

But there's better - there's evidence that it DOESN'T happen.

0:29:180:29:20

Yeah, there's evidence that it reduces...

0:29:200:29:22

It doesn't happen in the Netherlands,

0:29:220:29:24

where cannabis is legal.

0:29:240:29:25

People aren't stoned all the time.

0:29:250:29:27

They use less cannabis,

0:29:270:29:28

because again, the black market is driving cannabis use here.

0:29:280:29:31

So, Portugal 15 years ago,

0:29:310:29:33

decriminalised personal possession of all drugs.

0:29:330:29:36

They did it for economic reasons, because the prisons were filling up

0:29:360:29:40

and they wanted a new strategy.

0:29:400:29:42

In those 15 years,

0:29:420:29:44

deaths from heroin in Portugal have reduced to one third

0:29:440:29:49

of what they were before, because heroin addicts get treatment -

0:29:490:29:52

they don't just get put in prison, or they don't get just punished.

0:29:520:29:56

In Britain, over the same 15 years,

0:29:560:29:58

we've INCREASED our heroin deaths by over a third,

0:29:580:30:02

because our policy is simply to punish rather than treat.

0:30:020:30:05

That sums it up.

0:30:060:30:07

Imagine a little shop out there now, selling cannabis,

0:30:070:30:10

ecstasy, amphetamine, magic mushrooms, LSD.

0:30:100:30:13

Now, if you say that to most people,

0:30:130:30:15

they find that an extraordinary thing, they couldn't imagine it,

0:30:150:30:18

that would be terrible.

0:30:180:30:20

But then I say, "Well, OK, so where are these drugs now?"

0:30:200:30:24

Well, the truth is, they're not in a little shop there,

0:30:240:30:26

they're in that kitchen over there,

0:30:260:30:27

where someone's bagging out bags of cocaine

0:30:270:30:30

with a couple of three-year-olds on the floor.

0:30:300:30:32

There's two people sitting in a car there selling ketamine.

0:30:320:30:36

There's a man in the pub just there selling heroin.

0:30:360:30:38

They are everywhere - the drugs are already in our society.

0:30:380:30:42

We can keep doing what we're doing now, because it isn't working.

0:30:420:30:45

At the moment, it feels so alien that we could change it,

0:30:450:30:48

but just imagine if we changed it - we had a regulated drugs market -

0:30:480:30:52

and actually it worked.

0:30:520:30:54

I don't know yet if complete abolition of all drugs laws

0:30:590:31:03

is the answer.

0:31:030:31:05

Let's say all drugs were legalised.

0:31:070:31:09

I'd still have to explain to the next mother of a child that died

0:31:100:31:15

why I'd decided that it was OK to legalise drugs.

0:31:150:31:18

But I'm also struck by the fact that the fact that it is illegal

0:31:200:31:23

isn't stopping them.

0:31:230:31:24

The people like me that are saying drug policy needs reforming

0:31:290:31:33

are not saying it so that we can all take more drugs.

0:31:330:31:35

We can take plenty of drugs - that is not the issue.

0:31:350:31:38

The reason we care about is we want the drugs to be cleaner,

0:31:400:31:43

we want education to be better about it

0:31:430:31:45

so people can make more informed decisions.

0:31:450:31:49

-Thank you for everything!

-You're welcome, thank you.

0:31:540:31:57

-I love you.

-I love you, too.

0:31:590:32:00

-I love you!

-Where are you going?

-I love you!

0:32:000:32:02

-You're not going anywhere, are you?

-I'm leaving!

0:32:020:32:04

Bye, people! Bye-bye!

0:32:040:32:07

Bye-bye! What's her name, Martha?

0:32:080:32:11

Martha?

0:32:110:32:12

Bye-bye!

0:32:120:32:14

It's just this law that has no effect on our day-to-day lives.

0:32:150:32:19

-Yeah.

-It's actually very true - it has absolutely no effect.

0:32:190:32:22

It has no effect at all...

0:32:220:32:23

-If you're not a dealer.

-..on what we want to do.

0:32:230:32:25

We choose to take recreational substances occasionally

0:32:250:32:29

at the weekends.

0:32:290:32:30

It gives us really amazing experiences

0:32:300:32:33

in a way that you don't when you're not on drugs,

0:32:330:32:36

because your inhibitions are so incredibly lowered, and...

0:32:360:32:39

You think THAT'S the problem?

0:32:390:32:40

I mean, the fact that we're so reserved

0:32:400:32:43

-that it actually takes drugs to open up to that extent.

-Yeah.

0:32:430:32:46

What if you really enjoy your drug,

0:32:460:32:48

but you also really enjoy having fun at the weekends,

0:32:480:32:50

-and it's just, like, kind of...

-But I do both those things.

0:32:500:32:52

There's a real tension there.

0:32:520:32:53

It's very difficult to stay up all night taking drugs

0:32:530:32:56

-for all weekend, and then go and perform well at work.

-I do that.

0:32:560:32:59

-I do that.

-OK, it depends what job you do, maybe.

0:32:590:33:01

I'm not saying the drugs themselves are great - they're just a tool.

0:33:010:33:04

In fact, sometimes they're not,

0:33:040:33:05

but they're a tool to get somewhere that perhaps we could get...

0:33:050:33:08

-without the drugs in a different...

-When is that ever going to happen?

0:33:080:33:11

-Yeah, not in our society.

-No.

0:33:110:33:13

Do you know what Martha said?

0:33:130:33:14

She said she's amazed and surprised

0:33:140:33:16

at how much more people in England take drugs than in Spain.

0:33:160:33:20

-Really?

-And I think that's...

-We do like to smash it in this country.

0:33:200:33:23

No, honestly, we take way more drugs in England than in most... Yeah.

0:33:230:33:26

-Binge drinking, binge drug-taking, do everything to excess.

-Yeah.

0:33:260:33:30

-Smash it.

-Why?

-It's part of our...

-Because we're so reserved?

0:33:300:33:33

I think it is partly that.

0:33:330:33:34

Do you know what the Spanish have that we don't?

0:33:340:33:36

-They have a much closer-knit sense of community and family.

-Right.

0:33:360:33:40

That's true. I feel like you're my family.

0:33:400:33:42

But we only know what we've experienced.

0:33:420:33:43

Maybe there's other people that feel the same element of closeness

0:33:430:33:47

without ever having tried any drugs at all.

0:33:470:33:49

ELECTRONICALLY DISTORTED VOICE: Most people want to take drugs

0:33:550:33:57

just to have a good time, and I see it as my job

0:33:570:33:59

to make sure that's possible and safe.

0:33:590:34:01

Whenever I get something new in,

0:34:040:34:05

I test them with test kits to make sure that it is actually what it is.

0:34:050:34:09

I will then, in-person, test it, so either myself,

0:34:090:34:12

or I will give it to a group of people who know what the deal is.

0:34:120:34:16

I check that everything's safe before we go on and bag it up,

0:34:170:34:21

and eventually sell it to people who have their lives together

0:34:210:34:25

and just want to have a good time.

0:34:250:34:27

I don't want to have to eat a pill and go,

0:34:280:34:30

"Ooh, yeah, I think that was good."

0:34:300:34:32

I want to just be able to pay

0:34:320:34:35

to get someone to tell me exactly what's in my pill.

0:34:350:34:38

If I ended up selling something that killed somebody,

0:34:390:34:43

I really couldn't live with myself.

0:34:430:34:45

If every dealer had easy access to a lab test...

0:34:480:34:51

..then there'd be a lot less deaths.

0:34:520:34:55

Most of our typical weekends in the summer are in fields -

0:35:070:35:11

that's our jobs.

0:35:110:35:12

Some weeks, we'll work sort of 70 hours on the shop.

0:35:120:35:16

Not partying constantly -

0:35:160:35:18

you're working and you have some responsibility.

0:35:180:35:20

But you still get to enjoy carefree-ness and letting loose.

0:35:200:35:25

It's actually nice to come up here, because I was a bit...

0:35:380:35:41

I was feeling a bit...

0:35:410:35:42

When there's, like, a million people in the shop,

0:35:420:35:44

it's a bit hectic sometimes.

0:35:440:35:45

It's just like any other festival, really.

0:35:480:35:50

People come here to have a good time,

0:35:500:35:51

some of them want to take drugs.

0:35:510:35:53

And nobody's really looking down at you or frowning at you,

0:35:540:35:57

and it doesn't really feel like anything's being done that's wrong.

0:35:570:36:01

We know drug policy doesn't work.

0:36:050:36:08

Pretty much every single person at this entire festival

0:36:080:36:11

is on the same page, as far as, like, those laws are just...wrong.

0:36:110:36:16

Imagine if you went to a festival

0:36:220:36:25

and you knew that you wanted to have some drug experiences,

0:36:250:36:28

and you could do it from a place

0:36:280:36:30

where they'd give you all the information

0:36:300:36:32

about what this particular substance might do to you,

0:36:320:36:35

and they sat you down and said, "Right, OK, just so you know,

0:36:350:36:38

"if you are willing to try this substance, whatever it might be,

0:36:380:36:41

"this is what it's going to feel like,

0:36:410:36:43

"and these are the possible side effects, and...

0:36:430:36:47

"are you comfortable with doing that?"

0:36:470:36:49

There are these places already where you can go and get your drugs tested

0:36:510:36:54

and find out exactly what's in them.

0:36:540:36:56

It's happening at lots of festivals around the country already.

0:36:590:37:03

-Hi, can I help you?

-Hi.

-What have you got for us?

0:37:340:37:37

Do you think it's MDMA?

0:37:370:37:38

I've been told it's ecstasy -

0:37:380:37:39

I would imagine it's probably cut with something.

0:37:390:37:42

-What was the logo on it initially?

-It was an emoji...

-An emoji?

0:37:420:37:45

..with cross eyes.

0:37:450:37:47

And you've not taken any of this batch?

0:37:470:37:48

-I haven't, no.

-OK.

0:37:480:37:50

-Yeah, looks good to me.

-The wait's about two hours.

0:37:500:37:53

-Yeah, fantastic.

-And that's it, OK?

0:37:530:37:55

Cool. Cheers.

0:37:550:37:56

This is the busiest festival we've been at.

0:38:060:38:08

Yesterday, we were conducting one test per minute.

0:38:120:38:16

Basically, we are bringing drugs workers to the field,

0:38:200:38:24

to people who probably wouldn't step into a drug service themselves.

0:38:240:38:28

So, with the cap, if you can take a spatula end's full,

0:38:280:38:32

and pop it in this bag?

0:38:320:38:34

Most people that we see are in the 18 to 25 age group.

0:38:340:38:38

I think it's a good idea,

0:38:380:38:39

if we can engage people earlier on in their drug-taking career,

0:38:390:38:42

then we think that's a really valuable service.

0:38:420:38:44

-Hello!

-Hi. You all right?

-How are we doing? Come on, take a seat.

0:38:540:38:57

-My name's Becky.

-Hi, Becky.

0:38:570:38:58

-Nice to meet you.

-I'm Joe.

-You don't need to tell me your name,

0:38:580:39:00

but that's really kind of you, thanks, Joe.

0:39:000:39:03

So, what do you believe you've given us to be tested?

0:39:030:39:05

An emoji ecstasy tablet, yellow.

0:39:050:39:09

And do you know if any of them are from, like, the dark web?

0:39:090:39:11

-Most things are these days.

-Yeah, sure.

0:39:110:39:13

And have you ever had a negative experience?

0:39:130:39:16

-On MDMA?

-Yeah.

-No.

-No.

0:39:160:39:17

-I've had a negative experience with mushrooms once...

-OK, sure, yeah.

0:39:170:39:22

..but I was taking the piss - I took about 700 in Cornwall.

0:39:220:39:27

-That'll do it, yeah!

-Yeah, and it was deep.

0:39:270:39:30

The MDMA content we found was to be a high content.

0:39:320:39:37

So, we have a grading system of one, two and three,

0:39:370:39:40

and it was a grade three.

0:39:400:39:41

So, what we'd really advise people doing

0:39:410:39:43

when it comes to high-content MDMA pills

0:39:430:39:45

is starting with a very small amount.

0:39:450:39:47

Incremental, yes.

0:39:470:39:48

This kind of thing helps to actually deal with it,

0:39:510:39:54

and accept the fact that people just want to have a good time.

0:39:540:39:56

Yeah.

0:39:560:39:58

When people are dying year on year at festivals,

0:39:580:40:00

something's got to be done.

0:40:000:40:01

-Something's got to be done, yeah.

-We can't just let that happen.

0:40:010:40:04

-Thanks a lot.

-See you later, Joe.

-Cheers.

-Take care.

0:40:040:40:06

We've got the highest drug-related death rate on record.

0:40:200:40:23

Last year, 63 people died from ecstasy-related deaths,

0:40:230:40:26

and six of those were at festivals.

0:40:260:40:28

It's gone up eightfold in the space of seven years.

0:40:280:40:31

So, you believe this substance to be MDMA, is that right?

0:40:420:40:46

For us, it's about identifying contaminants,

0:40:470:40:49

putting out alerts to raise awareness,

0:40:490:40:52

to help reduce drug-related harm.

0:40:520:40:54

The substance was not MDMA.

0:40:540:40:56

-Wasn't it?

-No.

0:40:560:40:58

It was a compound called N-ethyl pentylone,

0:40:580:41:01

which has a very similar appearance to MDMA,

0:41:010:41:04

but it's actually a distant relative of mephedrone.

0:41:040:41:07

So, we've identified chloroquine,

0:41:180:41:21

which is a malaria tablet that's been mis-sold as cocaine.

0:41:210:41:23

We've identified boric acid,

0:41:230:41:26

a household cleaning fluid and pesticide,

0:41:260:41:29

and we've identified 100% concrete that's being mis-sold as ecstasy.

0:41:290:41:32

Also at this festival,

0:41:350:41:36

we've found different psychoactive substances being sold as MDMA.

0:41:360:41:40

Pentylone is a concern.

0:41:400:41:42

We've had over ten samples so far over the past two days.

0:41:420:41:46

What happens is they could be awake for up to 36 hours

0:41:490:41:51

with this very strong and lasting stimulant,

0:41:510:41:54

and they'll have agitation, paranoia, insomnia,

0:41:540:41:58

elevated blood pressure and pulse.

0:41:580:42:00

We're not encouraging or increasing drug use -

0:42:080:42:11

we're actually trying to identify and establish

0:42:110:42:14

and decrease drug misuse.

0:42:140:42:15

Nationally, we're not seeing a move towards drug policy reform,

0:42:180:42:21

but in the regions, we are seeing a shift

0:42:210:42:23

towards diversion, away from criminal justice

0:42:230:42:26

and towards public health-related measures.

0:42:260:42:29

And what's really interesting is this is already happening in the UK,

0:42:320:42:35

it's happening in festivals,

0:42:350:42:36

but I think it would be good if we could formalise this

0:42:360:42:39

in terms of the Misuse of Drugs Act as well.

0:42:390:42:41

As it is, it's an unregulated market.

0:42:490:42:52

There's no laws protecting somebody who wants to take a pill of ecstasy

0:42:530:42:57

at the weekend.

0:42:570:42:58

They don't know what they're taking.

0:42:580:43:00

Is there a particular vision that you've got

0:43:010:43:03

of what you want drug and alcohol services to look like

0:43:030:43:05

as the commissioner?

0:43:050:43:07

We've got a pretty good understanding

0:43:070:43:08

of the needs of the population in Bristol.

0:43:080:43:10

We've still got a particularly large issue with heroin in this city

0:43:100:43:13

and increasingly, you know, issues around club drugs.

0:43:130:43:16

Fiona, could you tell me just... I know it's a thing called The Loop,

0:43:160:43:18

but what is that, exactly?

0:43:180:43:20

It's not not-for-profit,

0:43:200:43:21

so it's an enterprise that we set up in 2013.

0:43:210:43:23

If people have any substances of concern, they can bring them

0:43:230:43:26

and we'll conduct four different tests,

0:43:260:43:29

and it will say what's in the substance, the key ingredients,

0:43:290:43:33

and also it can give an indication of the purity, as well.

0:43:330:43:36

In relation to ecstasy, we've got a specific type of analysis

0:43:360:43:39

which will say how much MDMA is in an ecstasy tablet.

0:43:390:43:42

At the moment, very high strength is a particular concern.

0:43:420:43:45

We had stuff a few months ago in Bristol marketed as Darth Vader,

0:43:450:43:50

and we had that tested, and that was 270.

0:43:500:43:53

And so really, really, very high-potency stuff.

0:43:530:43:56

And what are the consequences of that?

0:43:560:43:58

Ecstasy-related deaths are increasing in the UK.

0:43:580:44:01

We don't really know all the full reasons for that,

0:44:010:44:04

but we suspect part of that is the fact

0:44:040:44:05

that ecstasy tablets have got more MDMA and so they're stronger.

0:44:050:44:09

-Yeah.

-With illegal drugs, nobody knows what's in the illegal drugs

0:44:090:44:12

and I suppose the unique thing that drug testing can do

0:44:120:44:15

is it makes that connection between what people think they've bought,

0:44:150:44:18

-and what they've actually bought.

-Yeah.

0:44:180:44:19

We identified boric acid was being mis-sold as cocaine,

0:44:190:44:23

and 100% concrete had been made into ecstasy pills

0:44:230:44:26

and were being sold on site.

0:44:260:44:27

I want people to know if there's concrete

0:44:270:44:29

in things they're about to take.

0:44:290:44:30

We ask people at the end of the intervention,

0:44:300:44:32

would they like us to dispose of any other drugs

0:44:320:44:34

-they've got on their person...

-Right.

0:44:340:44:36

..and one in five people said yes, and gave us drugs to dispose of,

0:44:360:44:39

because they didn't want to take them.

0:44:390:44:41

So we're taking drugs out of circulation.

0:44:410:44:43

I love this idea, I'm fully behind it -

0:44:430:44:45

I think it should be happening everywhere.

0:44:450:44:47

What's the long-term outcome of there being drug testing available?

0:44:470:44:49

Is there any way of measuring that?

0:44:490:44:51

In Switzerland, Austria, and the Netherlands,

0:44:510:44:53

they have very good early warning system red alerts.

0:44:530:44:55

An example I'd give of that was the red Superman tablets.

0:44:550:44:59

And they put out a red alert, and nobody died in the Netherlands.

0:44:590:45:02

But in the UK, we didn't have a national public health alert

0:45:020:45:05

and four people died.

0:45:050:45:07

I get what you're saying completely, and I am actually...

0:45:070:45:10

I'm convinced of quite a lot of things that need to change

0:45:100:45:14

in the way we treat drugs in this city and this country.

0:45:140:45:16

If you were going to start from scratch and create drug laws now,

0:45:160:45:20

knowing what we do now,

0:45:200:45:21

we would not create them out there as they are now.

0:45:210:45:24

-Well, or...

-They make no sense.

0:45:240:45:25

-..we'd just make alcohol and tobacco illegal.

-Yeah, we'd do that!

0:45:250:45:29

There's three big things that are on my list as a policy-maker,

0:45:290:45:32

and one is about decriminalised possession, and then testing...

0:45:320:45:36

..enable testing to happen.

0:45:370:45:39

The third thing is about illegality.

0:45:390:45:41

Should I not be able to purchase my drugs legally

0:45:410:45:43

if I know that they are well-tested, well-regulated?

0:45:430:45:46

If I'm going to purchase them, is it not better for everybody

0:45:460:45:49

if I purchase them in a safe environment?

0:45:490:45:50

-I think that may be...

-It's a harder leap for people to make.

0:45:500:45:53

-A huge step.

-Yeah.

0:45:530:45:55

I am going to do my best to try and make this a political priority

0:45:550:45:58

for government.

0:45:580:45:59

It's not my government, but that doesn't mean I can't try.

0:45:590:46:02

This is the calm before the... Hopefully, the storm.

0:46:180:46:21

Let's create a storm!

0:46:210:46:22

After eight years of doing this...

0:46:270:46:28

-Yeah.

-..I am yet to feel...

0:46:280:46:30

..like I fully know what I'm doing.

0:46:340:46:36

I've got the tunes.

0:46:360:46:38

-Yeah.

-I've got the tunes that we need.

0:46:380:46:40

-Yeah.

-Yeah.

0:46:400:46:41

-OK!

-HE CHUCKLES

0:46:420:46:44

All right. There is a lot of love in the house!

0:46:470:46:50

Nights like these wouldn't happen

0:46:570:46:59

without my initial and continuing psychedelic experiences.

0:46:590:47:02

You definitely can draw on the energy of psychedelia,

0:47:040:47:08

but you don't need it.

0:47:080:47:09

Both of us have tried and failed to imbibe substances whilst performing.

0:47:110:47:16

Generally, it's just not a great idea.

0:47:180:47:21

Give it up for the 3pZero in the house!

0:47:210:47:24

Boy!

0:47:240:47:25

CHEERING

0:47:250:47:27

Yes! Earthlings in the place, I am the Oracle!

0:47:270:47:31

Tonight, you have a chance to save Trevor!

0:47:320:47:37

Yeah, boy!

0:47:370:47:40

RETRO COMPUTER GAME MUSIC PLAYS

0:47:400:47:43

With Micro-Rave, people can feel invited

0:47:430:47:46

to experience the fun and joy that exists in all of us.

0:47:460:47:51

Psychedelics do that for us, but not everyone takes these kinds of drugs.

0:47:510:47:54

We're about to play the challenge called Creepy Neighbour!

0:47:540:47:58

Which one of you is the creepiest?

0:47:580:48:00

Creepier!

0:48:030:48:05

Player two might have it!

0:48:050:48:07

You never know how a Micro-Rave night will turn out

0:48:070:48:09

or whether the public will even understand it.

0:48:090:48:12

Actually, it doesn't matter if they do.

0:48:120:48:14

As long as they lose themselves for a while in the madness...

0:48:140:48:17

She has unlocked a rave tune!

0:48:200:48:22

We're giving people an excuse to give reason to their celebration.

0:48:240:48:29

Saving the galaxy or the planet from a robot invasion threat.

0:48:310:48:35

Are you ready for battle?

0:48:380:48:39

-CROWD:

-Yeah!

0:48:390:48:41

Earthlings, are you ready for battle?

0:48:410:48:43

The robots are going to attack!

0:48:430:48:46

When we raise Trevor in the air,

0:48:520:48:54

90% of the people might not understand - what is this?

0:48:540:48:56

It's like some sort of cardboard broccoli.

0:48:560:48:58

I love the chaos of it.

0:49:030:49:04

Just making it a crazy spectacle.

0:49:050:49:07

HE SHOUTS WILDLY

0:49:100:49:12

Opportunity to raise their fists in the air and say,

0:49:120:49:15

"Yeah, we defeated the robots!"

0:49:150:49:16

Give it up for the players, the ones and the twos and the ha-wa-wa-was.

0:49:210:49:25

That's you!

0:49:250:49:26

RAVE MUSIC PLAYS

0:49:260:49:29

Drugs and dancing go hand-in-hand - it's deeply tribal like that.

0:49:300:49:35

That's greater than the psychedelic experience on its own.

0:49:360:49:40

I allocated a certain wedge of my personal energy

0:49:430:49:46

to putting on parties.

0:49:460:49:48

I'm not saying everyone should take drugs.

0:49:530:49:56

I'm just saying it's really good to feel connected.

0:49:590:50:03

Life is psychedelic.

0:50:050:50:07

Without psychedelics, we wouldn't be putting on nights like this.

0:50:080:50:13

This is Micro-Rave out.

0:50:140:50:16

You know how to protect Trevor and you guys know how to rave!

0:50:160:50:19

LAUGHTER

0:50:200:50:22

That was fucking crazy!

0:50:230:50:25

-Yeah, that was great, bro.

-That was great, yeah.

0:50:250:50:27

I thought that was great,

0:50:270:50:28

I thought that the general response of the earthlings was, you know...

0:50:280:50:32

better than usual!

0:50:320:50:33

-Well...

-That's what it's all about, guys!

0:50:340:50:37

RADIO PIPS

0:50:390:50:43

It is 8.00 on Thursday, the 8th of June.

0:50:430:50:46

The headlines this morning -

0:50:460:50:47

voting is under way in the general election

0:50:470:50:49

at polling stations across the UK.

0:50:490:50:52

-Hiya. Do you have your polling card?

-No.

0:50:520:50:54

OK, no worries.

0:50:540:50:55

Millions of people will cast their votes today in the general election.

0:50:570:51:00

Polling stations across the UK opened an hour ago

0:51:000:51:03

and will close at 10.00 tonight.

0:51:030:51:05

Today's the 8th of June, polls close at 10.00 tonight,

0:51:050:51:09

and it's your chance to cast your vote

0:51:090:51:11

to help decide what sort of country you want to wake up in

0:51:110:51:13

tomorrow morning.

0:51:130:51:14

BIG BEN CHIMES

0:51:140:51:16

BBC News at 10.00. I'm Sarah Louden.

0:51:160:51:19

Polling has just closed in the 2017 general election.

0:51:190:51:23

I think probably somebody, an MP at some point -

0:51:280:51:30

I don't know if it's going to be me -

0:51:300:51:31

but somebody's probably going to have to be brave enough to say,

0:51:310:51:34

"We need to reform the law on drugs."

0:51:340:51:36

There may be electoral consequences,

0:51:360:51:38

but I think it's the right thing to do.

0:51:380:51:40

At the election held on Thursday, 8th of June, 2017,

0:51:510:51:55

the number of votes cast for each candidate is as follows.

0:51:550:51:59

Debbonaire, Thangam Elizabeth Rachel,

0:51:590:52:02

Labour Party,

0:52:020:52:04

47,000...

0:52:040:52:05

CHEERING

0:52:050:52:08

I would like to thank all the volunteers,

0:52:220:52:25

particularly the young people, who've joined us in their droves!

0:52:250:52:29

CHEERING

0:52:290:52:31

Yesterday, Bristol West voted for progressive politics,

0:52:340:52:38

loudly and clearly!

0:52:380:52:40

CHEERING

0:52:400:52:41

And for hope.

0:52:430:52:45

-Thank you.

-CHEERING

0:52:450:52:47

The housing crisis and the schools crisis

0:52:520:52:53

are the two things at the top of my list.

0:52:530:52:55

There are too many people sleeping rough on our streets,

0:52:550:52:58

there are too many people who are hidden homeless.

0:52:580:53:00

This must stop.

0:53:000:53:01

The difference between being elected and not is huge.

0:53:030:53:06

When you are a politician,

0:53:060:53:07

I do get to stand up in front of the Home Secretary and say,

0:53:070:53:09

"What are you doing about drug law?"

0:53:090:53:11

And it's one of the things that I will be pushing them on

0:53:110:53:15

over the next few years.

0:53:150:53:16

SHOUTING AND CHEERING

0:53:160:53:18

CROWD CHANTS: Thangam Debbonaire!

0:53:210:53:23

LAUGHTER

0:53:230:53:25

ELECTRONICALLY DISTORTED VOICE: Doesn't really matter

0:53:330:53:35

what government's in power, what their attitude to drugs is,

0:53:350:53:38

how they're going to tackle drugs, how policing for drugs is funded,

0:53:380:53:41

because the biggest change in drug dealing and drug supply

0:53:410:53:43

has happened in the past five years.

0:53:430:53:46

It's called the dark net.

0:53:480:53:49

No-one ever predicted it would actually take off in the way it has.

0:53:570:53:59

Really, it's a train that's already got going

0:53:590:54:02

and there's no way of stopping it.

0:54:020:54:03

It's absolutely fucking massive.

0:54:040:54:07

Not only do you have a choice of, let's say,

0:54:070:54:09

1,000 different vendors selling it,

0:54:090:54:12

but you've got an eBay rating system.

0:54:120:54:14

Vendors who are not legitimate,

0:54:140:54:16

who don't send out what they say they're sending out,

0:54:160:54:18

will be outed incredibly quickly and people won't buy from them.

0:54:180:54:22

So here we go -

0:54:220:54:23

he's essentially not sending out the pills that he said he is,

0:54:230:54:26

so someone is...very pissed off.

0:54:260:54:29

He's got a lot of bad reviews,

0:54:300:54:32

so there's absolutely no way that I would buy from this guy.

0:54:320:54:35

You've got to be able to work out how to use encryption tools,

0:54:370:54:40

and you've got to be able to work out how to purchase Bitcoins

0:54:400:54:44

without identifying yourself.

0:54:440:54:46

If you can't work out how to do that,

0:54:460:54:47

I would really suggest that you just stay far away from the dark net.

0:54:470:54:50

It is a bit of a hub for criminals.

0:54:520:54:54

You've got to think about what you're funding,

0:54:540:54:56

you know, whether you're funding people-trafficking,

0:54:560:54:59

whether you're funding prostitution rings,

0:54:590:55:01

whether you're funding debt collection through violence,

0:55:010:55:03

all kinds of things.

0:55:030:55:04

You're never going to stop drug dealing on the dark net,

0:55:060:55:08

but what you can do is you can stop criminalising end users

0:55:080:55:12

who are doing absolutely nothing wrong whatsoever.

0:55:120:55:15

So, Mr Deputy Speaker, I do have the following criticisms.

0:55:280:55:32

The aims

0:55:320:55:33

do not include an explicit aim of reducing,

0:55:330:55:36

or ideally, eliminating premature deaths caused by drug use,

0:55:360:55:41

and I would really like to see that

0:55:410:55:42

front and centre of the drug strategy.

0:55:420:55:44

The organisation The Loop showed me one of the huge life-saving benefits

0:55:450:55:50

of being able to test drugs such as ecstasy in clubs and festivals,

0:55:500:55:54

and I want that full protection of regulation, education, testing,

0:55:540:55:59

and a licensing regime...

0:55:590:56:01

There definitely are negative aspects to drug-taking.

0:56:010:56:04

I've experienced them myself - along with the highs,

0:56:050:56:08

there are definitely lows.

0:56:080:56:09

But in the long run, if drugs were actually legalised and regulated,

0:56:110:56:15

then it would be a hell of a lot safer for everyone involved.

0:56:150:56:18

I want all honourable members to take a moment

0:56:200:56:22

to be quite imaginative, and imagine the nature of the shops

0:56:220:56:27

that there currently are - they already exist -

0:56:270:56:29

for people to buy drugs if they wish to.

0:56:290:56:31

But they are dangerous, they are illegal, they are unregulated,

0:56:310:56:35

they are untaxed, they are unlicensed...

0:56:350:56:37

I make a lot, lot, lot more than the average salary,

0:56:370:56:41

like, a huge amount.

0:56:410:56:44

I would be happy to make none if we could make it legal tomorrow.

0:56:440:56:47

I'm not suggesting that we should jump straight away

0:56:500:56:53

to full legalisation of all drugs.

0:56:530:56:55

I'm simply raising the importance of considering whether and how

0:56:550:56:59

to revise and review the legal framework for all drugs.

0:56:590:57:02

# Shroom-picking Out here with my bro! #

0:57:050:57:07

I'm not condoning drugs per se.

0:57:090:57:12

I think that people need to make their own decisions,

0:57:120:57:15

and I think that's the issue.

0:57:150:57:18

Just having that black-and-white blanket rule around it,

0:57:180:57:21

I think, is detrimental.

0:57:210:57:22

How can something that's growing naturally be illegal?

0:57:240:57:27

Oh, look at him, just all alone!

0:57:290:57:31

Oh, he's such a little beaut. Ah!

0:57:310:57:34

HE CHUCKLES

0:57:360:57:37

Look toward the light, my son.

0:57:380:57:40

It's a very complicated problem to try to wrestle with.

0:57:460:57:50

The legal system we've got is not helping people to reduce their harm

0:57:500:57:55

and to keep themselves safer.

0:57:550:57:57

We could use the evidence that we've already got to construct legislation

0:57:580:58:03

about drug use, drug misuse, drug treatment,

0:58:030:58:06

to protect everybody from harmful drug use.

0:58:060:58:10

For a free poster with information about drugs

0:58:150:58:17

and their effects on society, call 0300 303 3554...

0:58:170:58:23

..or go to the address below

0:58:240:58:26

and follow the links for the Open University.

0:58:260:58:28

Bristol West MP Thangam Debbonaire, substance-misuse experts and some recreational drug takers question whether the 1971 Misuse of Drugs Act is still fit for purpose.


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