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Exclusive Legal Cheek survey: 27% of lawyers take recreational drugs

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16

And it’s not just a spliff round the barbecue — nearly 80% of users are keen on class-A gear

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More than a quarter of practising lawyers are taking recreational drugs, an exclusive Legal Cheek survey of the legal profession and law students has revealed.

And a startling 22% of barristers that take drugs have indulged while at their chambers’ desk or in the sets’ lavatories.

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The exclusive survey also highlighted strong support for the complete decriminalisation of all drugs, as legal profession opinion flies in the face of recent government moves to ban a range of so-called legal highs.

Some 54% of lawyers said drugs should be made legal, indicating that many of those in the front line of the “war on drugs” — either prosecuting or defending dealers and users — reckon the battle is lost.

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Not only are 27% of lawyers currently using drugs, the survey shows they have a taste for the hard stuff.

Of those currently taking drugs, almost all at least occasionally indulge in class-A. Indeed, 89% said they take cocaine or crack, albeit with only 9% doing the latter.

Another 77% of lawyers currently taking drugs said they were keen on Ecstasy/MDMA, while 30% exhibit a retro fondness for the psychedelics of LSD.

But marijuana is the most popular drug for lawyers. Of those currently taking drugs, 93% said they enjoyed a spliff.

Slightly more than 40% go for ketamine, while nearly the same percentage opts for magic mushrooms.

Strikingly, four lawyers said they were currently at least occasionally enjoying the Train Spotting delights of heroin.

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And while more than one lawyer in four is currently taking drugs, overall use is much higher. Nearly 60% of lawyers said they had at some stage in the lives taken illegal drugs.

Perhaps because their remuneration packages are far weightier, those solicitors practising corporate-commercial law are more likely to take drugs than their counterparts slaving away at general practices in the nation’s high streets.

The survey showed that 56% of those solicitors currently taking drugs practise at commercial law firms, while only 36% were at general practices.

Meanwhile at the bar, it was the criminal practitioners leading the way. More than 60% of barristers currently taking drugs practised in that field, while 22% were at common law sets and 17% were at commercial chambers.

Solicitors were not as keen as barristers on the partaking of illegal substances at work. Only 17% said they had indulged in their law firm offices.

Legal Cheek’s overall survey also included law student feedback, of which there will be more details this week. However, surprisingly, while law students are predictably keener on gear than practising lawyers, they aren’t that much more stoned.

In any event, the overall figures will trigger some dismay in Whitehall, coming on the heels of the government’s recently announced intention to put before parliament the Psychoactive Substances Bill.

According to the Home Office, that proposed legislation would “prohibit and disrupt the production, distribution, sale and supply of new psychoactive substances in the UK”. In other words, it is designed to crack down on what ministers see as an increasing rage for “legal highs”.

If enacted, the law would ban the sale of nitrous oxide — more commonly known as “hippy crack” or “laughing gas” — for human use, and a range of other substances.

Announcing the proposed crack down, the minister of state for policing, crime, criminal justice and victims (try saying that when you’re stoned), Mike Penning, said:

The landmark bill will fundamentally change the way we tackle new psychoactive substances — and put an end to the game of cat and mouse in which new drugs appear on the market more quickly than government can identify and ban them.

The current professional implications for lawyers caught with a line of Uncle Charles up their noses or with a few spliffs in their desk drawers remain vague. According to LawCare — a charity devoted to dealing with mental health issues and addictions in the legal profession — the regulators take a case-by-case approach.

For example, LawCare says that the Solicitors Regulation Authority maintains that “even a minor drugs conviction is likely to be considered a breach of rule 1.06 which states ‘you must not behave in a way that is likely to diminish the trust the public places in you or the profession’”.

But that is not necessarily game-over on the career front.

“You may appear before the Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal,” explains LawCare, before continuing “that a striking off would not be automatic, and the penalty would largely depend on the circumstances.”

Likewise, barristers convicted of a drugs offence, or those reported to the professional regulator for abusing drugs, could get a tap on the shoulder. But as LawCare points out, “the Bar Standards Board would consider the circumstances and disciplinary action might follow”.

More than 800 responses were submitted to the Legal Cheek survey last week.

16 Comments

Anonymous

Drugs are bad m’kaaaayy.

(18)(0)

Catherine

How reliable is this? I don’t know any criminal barristers who can afford to use drugs.

(34)(0)

Legal Weak

I find it heart warming to see that many people are still taking magic mushrooms. I had thought that the younger generation were no longer interested in the joys of the ‘shroom, a drug I have very fond memories of.
Can we also ask the following:

– Do you like Captain Beefheart?
– Have you ever heard of Ozric Tentacles?
– What is the best scene in ‘Easy Rider’?
– Have you ever picked your own magic mushrooms, in which case where?
– cricket pitch
– in the Welsh hills
– football pitch
– Do you prefer to eat your ‘shrooms raw, boiled, or cooked in another way?
– Would you say that ‘shrooms give a nicer ride than Acid?

(16)(2)

Anonymous

The underlying data would be interesting. If percentages are similar to the election survey, around 1/8 of respondents were barristers (100) and 1/10 were solicitors (80).

27% of each gives 27 drug taking barristers and 22 solicitors. The result is that “22% of barristers use drugs in Chambers” then becomes 5 people etc etc. Too small a survey to draw any conclusions from?

(10)(0)

Not Amused

Plus I think we can pretty comfortably assume the crack cocaine one is a hoax. How many more are there? Which is always a danger in a survey where people self declared their status.

(6)(1)

Dr Bonham

Why can we assume that?

(5)(0)

Anonymous

You cannot claim that “More than a quarter of practising lawyers are taking recreational drugs” when you only have ~800 respondents. There are about 145,000 practising lawyers in the UK. Your turn out was just over 0.5%…

My quick office survey shows that 50% of practising solicitors are homosexual (two responses were submitted to this survey conducted 3 minutes ago)

(18)(0)

Anonymous

Turnout of 800 for the survey, which includes law students as well…

(5)(0)

Anonymous

Can’t keep them ( drugs ) out of law courts, can’t keep them out of prisons! Wow! This war on drugs is really going well!!! Legalise them all!

(2)(4)

Toto

Law students aren’t lawyers and most never will be.

(6)(5)

Eat clen, tren hard

What about roid use LC? Charlie up from Litigation on fifth shot 50cc of Anavar in my left ass cheek just yesterday. My supervisor hit me up with his stack – gotta get shredded for Maga in July, you know.

(10)(0)

zyzz's secret stash

can you fix me up blud? i could use a small cut before puttin on my speedos too

(2)(2)

The Wolf

I can confirm that at least one survey participant mentioned their use of a Test P, Tren A cycle.

(4)(0)

Flex wrecks his pecs

fuuuark bruv, lets head to stereosonic and start muzzin! that’ll get some of those dirty gangas interested

(0)(1)

The Legal Mafia

Would the 27% be interested in a networking weekend bender?

(2)(0)

Anonymous

You can’t rely on the survey anyway as a third of them were out of it

(1)(0)

Comments are closed.