Hearing that iconic London club Fabric was going to be closed down after a number of drug-related deaths there, was a big reminder of how backwards thinking and nonsensical the government’s drug policy is.
In the first instance, by closing nightclubs down that have a substance abuse problem, doesn’t solve the issue. People who used to go to Fabric and take drugs there aren’t going to suddenly turn around and go “Oh well, that was fun, time to start living a cleaner lifestyle, settle down and spend my weekends watching Miranda with a meal for one”. No. The “problem” is just going to move elsewhere.
You’ve also got to consider the dangerous rhetoric being spouted out from the powers that be, that these ‘young, reckless ravers’ are the root of society’s problems and must be stamped down. What about the millionaire bankers who work in the City who are known to abuse more Class A drugs than your average clubber? It’s just double standards being set out, with the people at the top punishing the people at the bottom.
Surely a much more sensible option, and a way to get to the root of the problem, is to legalise drugs and to offer free drug testing kits to people so they can check the authenticity of what they’re taking?
– Marie Elise-Worswick, Contributor
On Tuesday 7 September, much loved nightclub Fabric was closed down. My time at Fabric was defined by an impressive sound system, artists you can get excited about, and a rather intense security procedure.
The suspension of Fabric’s license is a stab in the heart of London’s clubbing culture and will help drive the scene underground. It was based on the drug-related deaths of two clubbers this summer and Islington Council’s claims that security at the venue was ‘grossly inadequate’. The airport style pat down I got begs to differ.
It’s also ironic when you consider what, if any, security will be used at replacement illegal raves. Fabric’s fate was two years of undercover observations in the making by authorities who claim they want people to enjoy London’s nightlife safely.
Upsetting for them then, when the weekend after Fabric’s death, Wunderland reported 172 planned illegal raves in London. If the safety of clubbers is really the concern here, then we should focus on harm reduction methods, not club closure. European countries do this pretty successfully, allowing drug testing in clubs.
Closing clubs won’t stop people taking drugs- the failure of the War on Drugs has taught us as much, with the fight leading to dangerous ‘legal highs’ and PMA.
This news is merely evidence of a continuing archaic approach to drug use and another mark on the slow, painful death of the clubbing scene.
– Sian Bradley, Head of News (Forge Radio)
For me, the closing of Fabric represents the archaic approach many in our society have towards drug control: the more we demonise it and the harder we make it for people to do drugs, the less likely people are to do them.
However, as any regular drug user will tell you, this is rubbish. If people want to take drugs, regardless of how many clubs get closed down, they’ll do them. Clubs should be rewarded for encouraging responsible drug use and promoting a safe atmosphere for all its attendees.
By prohibiting this, you run the risk of people resorting to taking their habits elsewhere such as to more unsavoury places and less reliable substances. This in turn leads to drug related injuries and death, only adding to the stigma and starting the cycle all over again.
We all have friends who had strict parents growing up, the sort who weren’t allowed to drink at all or stay out past tea time. More often than not. these are the same people who go overboard as soon as they gain independence.
Isn’t it better to teach people responsibility and moderation gradually rather than let curiosity build until breaking point and have them learn the hard way?
– Luke Baldwin, Screen Editor (Forge Press)