Posted by David Pickering on Apr 04, 2019
THIS WEEK'S SPEAKER Detective Inspector Darrin Thomson

Adrian  Ellingham introduced Detective Inspector Darrin Thomson.He has had 30 years in the Police and has spent fifteen years in his present position which is dealing with organised crime and drugs.  He is married and has two young adult sons.  
He described how the Misuse of Drugs Act sets out three classes of controlled drugs based on their projected risk of serious harm. Class C is the most serious and penalties under this section include life imprisonment.  Most other countries have similar 
penalties for misuse of these drugs.
He then went into some detail in describing those problem drugs most commonly available at present. What they look like, how they are presented for sale, what they cost to make, what they sell for, and their effects. This may have been useful information for parents.  For most of us, and this seemed to be his point, it showed the enormous mark ups in the illicit drug business. For example tablets of various types of Ecstasy can be made for 25 cents a tablet and these sell for $60 - $80. 
He spoke about the harm drugs do not just to the health of users but how addiction leads to crime to raise money to feed a habit and how the money involved leads to family violence, protection rackets and so on.  However both in his address and in the subsequent question and answer session his principal concern was to give his personal view on the possible decriminalisation of cannabis.  His concern was about any change that might increase the availability of cannabis to people under 25 years. This was because of the effect that cannabis use has on young people. It leads to a loss of energy and direction and can result in permanent mental health damage.  He also pointed out that cannabis is becoming more potent as plant breeders and growers get better at improving their plants.
Kerry Ansell proposed a vote of thanks.