Young Voices Podcast – Washington and Westminster’s War on Young People

The second Young Voices podcast features Jared Meyer and Daniel Pryor discussing the problems that government creates for young people in the UK and the US, as well as ways to solve these problems.

Read Jared’s recent RealClearPolitics piece on the topic here, and Daniel’s blog post from a British perspective here.

Britain’s blanket ban on psychoactive substances is only going to make things worse

Jordan Hawthorne learnt the dangers of ‘legal highs’ the hard way. After he woke up from a coma with severe brain damage – caused by smoking the freely available substance ‘Vertex’ – his father stated his support for the proposed Psychoactive Substances Bill. This legislation aims to tackle the growth of ‘head shops’: retailers that sell legal highs on British streets. If the bill is passed, it will pre-emptively ban the trade of every new psychoactive substance in the UK. Violators will face a maximum of seven years in prison.

Ironically, the very nature of the law is un-British. Charlotte Bowyer, writing for the Adam Smith Institute, points out that “for a party so concerned with preserving the UK’s legal identity it wants to replace the Human Rights Act with a British Bill of Rights, this represents a break from centuries of British common law, under which we are free to do something unless the law expressly forbids it.”

Aside from being so unashamedly hypocritical, there are a number of serious problems that will be caused by this blanket ban. First and foremost, many drug researchers fear that it would severely hamper their efforts to explore the potential medical benefits of psychoactive substances. James Rucker, who lectures in psychiatry at King’s College London, told The Guardian that the Government’s approach to legal highs already “stymies research,” making it much harder to “discover which of these new psychoactive substances might have medical benefits.”

Read the rest at CapX.