“The Chemists are Winning”: The Rise of Mephedrone and Legal Highs

October 4, 2010

Originally written for Student Direct. In April 2010, after a media storm, the British government passed legislation to classify mephedrone as a Class B drug. Mephedrone is a stimulant somewhat similar in effects to MDMA and cocaine, and is chemically based on cathinones found in the African stimulant Khat, but which was sufficiently chemically different […]

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Why Prison Doesn’t Work: An Essay

June 28, 2010

Originally written for a competition by the Howard League for Penal Reform for essays on the topic of “Why Prisons Don’t Work”. You can read the winning (and excellent) essays here. It is often said “prison works”. It is less often said what it means for a prison to “work”. Traditionally prisons have been argued […]

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M.E.N.S.: What the Men’s Society has been up to

June 8, 2010

Originally written for Student Direct, but missed the print deadline. The Men’s Society was born last summer into a hailstorm of criticism. Although some of it was valid (approaching people with beards and imploring them to join the Men’s Society at Freshers = lame), a lot of it wasn’t (pretty much everything else). Sometimes it […]

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He shoots, he scores! Oh, what an own goal! GBL and the politics of drug policy.

December 26, 2009

I am not exactly ignorant of drugs and their uses, but I had never heard of something called “GBL” until I checked the news one day and discovered the government was planning to ban it. GBL is a synthetic drug similar to GHB, which induces mild euphoria and drowsiness at low doses and loss of motor […]

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