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Pub & Club Network Release WHP Statement

‘There is only so much that they can do’

Written by . Published on October 1st 2013.

Pub & Club Network Release WHP Statement

A statement released by the Manchester Pub and Club network regarding the turbulent launch weekend of the Warehouse Project (28-29 September):

It has been well publicised about the recent very unfortunate drug related incident at The Warehouse Project in Trafford, and our immediate thoughts of course are with Nick Bonnie family and friends.

As a Network we absolutely condemn the use of all illegal substances in our member’s venues, and only recently launched a city wide campaign to try and address and educate this problem with the visitors to the city and the regulars of all venues within our Network. Drugs are for mugs and the sooner we can finally eradicate this blight on our society the better.

The venue in question is actually outside of The Manchester Pub & Club Network's area, but we know the operator well. From what we know of this company, their history, and even from the original press coverage, it is plain to see that this hugely popular and well established venue is run professionally and efficiently by the operator and the security firm involved. In fact they are one of only a very few who are not only ACS accredited, but also pay for venue policing from the local police force themselves.

Drugs are a potential issue for all venues, and we therefore re-emphasise for every venue to keep up their vigilance, entry searches and CCTV systems to try and reduce this provenly damaging problem for the idiots who choose to indulge. Whilst in no way trying to reduce or trivialise all venues responsibilities in running good premises, there is only so much that they can do.

EcstasyEcstasySo we would very strongly urge and emphasise the risks that each and every individual who chooses to partake in this frankly reckless and stupid activity is taking, and would advise that they simply just don’t do it. When will people learn that this is such a needless risk to take, which this time has resulted in a very tragic ending. Personal responsibility is a duty that every single person on a night out must consider and plan for.

The Network has a very close working relationship with the police and local authorities, as does the venue involved here, and we will all continue to work together to address any issues, and we will all absolutely assist the police in any way possible to catch the guilty and irresponsible dealers and distributors of these dreadful substances.

Phil Burke


Manchester Pub & Club Network 

David Blake's Opinion:

You may think that following the tragedy of the night of Friday 27 September, both policing and security at Saturday night’s Warehouse Project would have been painfully stringent. The 45 minute queue to get in certainly suggested everyone was receiving a thorough going over.

Well, no not really.

Apart from a leaflet handed out to all attendees emphasising the venue’s zero tolerance policy towards drugs (which goes without saying) my experience was one of a surprisingly lax system.

My friends and I, five young men aged between 24-27, the demographic you’d expect to be scrupulously searched upon entering the venue, were actually waved straight through by security.

Not one of us was searched. Not even stopped. I was amazed.

Of course the ultimate responsibility should not be placed at the feet of the venue. Yes they do hold a certain responsibility to quell the dealing and consumption of drugs on their premises, and from my experience on Saturday night, the Warehouse Project certainly need to run a tighter ship. You can employ a mass of security, install CCTV, and pay for venue policing, but if security are waving through five young men on entry, then really what is the point?

No, the ultimate responsibility lies with the individual. It is their decision whether or not to take drugs and thus, it is their decision whether or not to run the risks of the dangers innately involved in consuming an unknown substance.

It’s naïve to think any venue can completely eradicate drugs on site. It’s nigh on impossible. Especially one that welcomes 10,000 people over the course of the weekend.

The death of Nick Bonnie on Friday night is tragic and the Warehouse Project attendees who are currently laying ill from a ‘bad batch’ of drugs is troubling, including the moronic drug dealer who swallowed a large quantity of his own stash to avoid detection. But what many people seem to be ignoring is that this was a personal choice, not the fault of the venue.

What is probably most troubling however, and an issue that a lot of commentators seem to skirt around is this: Would the Warehouse Project even exist without illegal substances? From what I witnessed Saturday night, the answer seems fairly obvious.

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18 comments so far, continue the conversation, write a comment.

Stewie BOctober 1st 2013.

If successive governments had listened to impartial experts and adopted an evidence-based policy, then there would undoubtedly be a very, very good chance Nick Bonnie would still be with us. Ecstasy (MDMA) is a non-addictive substance with irrefutably proven therapeutic value. It is proven to be safe* in moderation, and far less damagint to the individual and society than legal drugs. It speaks volumes about current drug policy that there's no official announcement about the name and/or appearance of this dangerous batch of Ecstasy. We NEED our youngsters to be educated properly. A zero tolerance policy is demonstrably ineffective, and merely drives the production and consumption of chemicals under ground. Regulation would (or should) ensure no dangerous chemicals end up in batches of MDMA. If licensed and regulated like (more harmful) booze and fags, we would not be in this situation. Hell, the government could make some tax revenue too - money being the sole reason why alcohol and tobacco are legal drugs to this day. The people responsible for the death of Nick Bonnie are; Nick Bonnie, the dealer, the maker, and weak governments too scared to tackle this thorny issue lest it lose them votes. RIP Nick Bonnie, best wishes to your family at this difficult time. * safer than say, taking an Asprin, or riding a horse - according to scientific studies.

Stewie BOctober 1st 2013.

Damnit, when will you facilitate line breaks?!

AnonymousOctober 1st 2013.

Long-term scientific studies with both an experiment and a control group? Repeated studies of significant numbers?

Stewie BOctober 1st 2013.

Yep. Google is Your Friend. An interesting one is the new study in the US which concluded that MDMA was efficient in treating PTSD, with those on the trial not going on to abuse the substance. The C4 thing "Drugs Live"(?) was pretty good too. Quote: // In a study designed to minimize limitations found in many prior investigations, we failed to demonstrate marked residual cognitive effects in ecstasy users. This finding contrasts with many previous findings—including our own—and emphasizes the need for continued caution in interpreting field studies of cognitive function in illicit ecstasy users. // -- goo.gl/hAjgFI…

3 Responses: Reply To This...
GimboidOctober 1st 2013.

If you assert that information that supports your viewpoint is available by a Google search, you really should provide that info yourself.

GimboidOctober 1st 2013.

As in, more than a single link.

Stewie BOctober 1st 2013.

I've cited two sources actually. The Wiki article seems balanced with a number of reputable sources. It concludes that long-term use of MDMA does have a measurable, if clinically insignificant negative effect. Certainly less than alcohol. Short-term, it has both pros and cons; like any other drug including booze and cigs. It's been a long, long time since I indulged. Please don't think I'm an actual advocate. I'm merely offering an experienced voice of reason. Links: en.wikipedia.org/…/Effects_of_MDMA_on_the_human_body… & www.economist.com/…/drugs_cause_most_harm…

AnonymousOctober 1st 2013.

I dont like the way owners of serious dance clubs like to make out that ecstasy is not part of what they offer. they are quite specificly providing a venu with the right music offering for users to get the most from the drugs they take. all the sancatmonious crap about personal choice is just a pathetic PR led cop out so that they can continue to make money from the drugs scene.

1 Response: Reply To This...
AnonymousOctober 2nd 2013.

Exactly. Call a spade a spade....there are drugs available, you know there are, without them it's the same as going to a massive bar with a famous DJ. Stop the bullshit WHP.

AnonymousOctober 2nd 2013.

In response to David Blake's opinion: I went to the Warehouse Project a few times at Store street and was never once offered drugs. I also don't think it's a necessity for young men to be searched on entry, as women are as likely to be carrying/taking these drugs? I had a very good, drug free (barring alcohol for a pedant's sake) time, and everyone that I was with had the same good experience. Ultimately, the Warehouse Project is about the music that you hear, not the drugs you take.

2 Responses: Reply To This...
David BlakeOctober 2nd 2013.

With all due respect Anon, WHP at Store Street was a number of years ago. Last Saturday night was a few days ago and i was offered drugs at least twice (perhaps I look the sort). Listen I don't think WHP is a bad thing, far from it, it brings thousands of people into the city all spending their lovely money in Manchester. But I certainly think that things need to be tightened up if they're to avoid such tragedies in the future. The security policy on Saturday night just wasn't an effective enough response to Friday night.

Stewie BOctober 2nd 2013.

It's not pedantic to remind people that booze is also a drug; it's just been around longer so is socially more acceptable. It's way more harmful than ecstasy. Last time I went Sankeys (years back), I got asked for drugs loads of times. Maybe I just look dodgy :)

Stephen LakeOctober 2nd 2013.

Legalise drugs fine. Unfortunately there are massive flaws in your argument. If you legalise, then producers will have to meet the same stringent legalities as any Pharmaceutical company. 1) you have to find a manufacturer to make your product and compile the dossier application....you won't. If you do then 2) they then have to present the releavant safety data having done the appropriate studies... They won't.3) Even if you met criterion 1 and 2 the price of said product would be easily under cut by the illegals so back to square 1. Anecdotal evidence from google does not make an NDA (New drug Application). Debate to your hearts content but the argument stands. Legalise tomorrow but the rules of the Pharmaceutical v Health Authority then come into play. Apply different rules to recreational drugs than Pharmaceutical?.....good luck with that.

2 Responses: Reply To This...
AnonymousOctober 3rd 2013.

the companies will get there in time and just like illegal cigaretts there will be some black market but it wont swamp the legal market.

GimboidOctober 3rd 2013.

Hmm lots of unsupported assertions and an obviously incorrect argument about the price, well I'm convinced.

Stephen LakeOctober 2nd 2013.

Decriminalise like Portugal and concentrate on catching the bigger fish rather than users. I went to the WHP on Store street to see Delphic and left after 10 minutes. They confiscated lip balm but once you were in it was like a riot. Once the 2nd can of beer hit the wife's head it was time for home. We wished the bouncers good luck as we left.

AnonymousOctober 7th 2013.

Why on earth am I reading about the so called "plus points" of mdma on ere? That its safer than booze blah blah! Opiates av "plus points" too in the right setting but I'm not advocating that any1 shud take heroin due 2 its great pain killing properties! Wen u buy booze,u know wot ur getting. Wen u buy illicit drugs u avnt got a clue wots init! Lead is a wonderful commodity + has many "plus points" in the right setting but when ffashioned into a bullet + shot from a gun it can kill! So do u need me 2 tell u how much safer it is,than say,plutonium? I rest my case!

1 Response: Reply To This...
AnonymousOctober 8th 2013.

That was brilliant! :)

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