I've decided that drugs should be legalised

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I've decided that drugs should be legalised

I always assumed that "legalize drugs" arguments came from people who wanted to do their hobby legally.
It was people who were fighting the rights of drug users.
I didn't particularly see a reason why they shouldn't have their way, but I didn't see it as tragic that they didn't.

As I've come to learn about gang culture (mainly from Ross Kemp documentaries) I've come from a different angle.
Gangsters ruin communities and lives with their gun crime.
Their gun crime is funded by the money they make on black markets.
And while you can lock up individual gangsters, so long as there is a market/opportunity, there will be people who try and fill it.
That is, you can pluck out individual weeds but so long as the soil is fertile there will always be fresh ones growing in their place.
I want to starve them off their income.
I want to see these MoFos put out of business.

Governments put a lot into trying to destroy the business.
The army is continually fighting drug barons in places like Colombia and Afghanistan, but this isn't solving the problem.
The drugs are still getting through, the market is thriving, criminals and drug lords are getting rich and powerful at the expense of the people they tread all over on the way.
America tried to ban alcohol a similar way back in the 1920s and failed in a similar way.
I think that a more cost effective approach is required.

Here's what I propose:
1) Softer drugs be regulated
"Softer" drugs such as cannabis and speed be regulated the same way alcohol and cigarettes currently are.
They would be sold with appropriate restrictions in place.

2) Harder drugs be nationalized
"Harder" drugs such as heroin and crack would be nationalized - only government clinics would be able to sell it.
(I'm writing from England where the government runs the NHS)
They would sell the drugs, but in environments where they could advise the users if necessary and offer them treatments to break addictions.


The hoped-for consequences
Dealers in soft drugs would either need to legitimize their business or go bust.
Dealers in hard drugs would lose business altogether.
The legal distributors would be able to undercut the prices of the black market, who would still have the pressure of the police coming after them.
This would make the drugs market less of an opportunity for gangs, and less money would be coming in to fund warfare between rival factions.
What's more, the economy would no longer lose out on the money that drug users currently spend on black market goods.

Possible drawbacks
There is the drawback that it would make drugs more socially acceptable so usage would increase.
We already see enough problems with people abusing alcohol without adding more narcotics into the mix.
That said, if we believe in freedom then getting the law involved isn't the answer.
We should be more interested in encouraging people to make rational decisions for themselves.
Alcoholism, gambling, drug addiction, obesity, these are all down to bad lifestyle decisions, decisions that people need to make for themselves.
Finding ways to improve people's own judgement on doing what's good for them is where the answer lies.



So am I preaching basic common sense here or is there a glaring error in my reasoning?


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I agree that while drugs are

I agree that while drugs are illegal, the illegal nature of their production and trade will thrive.  I would, however, like to see all drugs legalized and regulated in the same strict ways as alcohol and cigarettes and (speaking as a Canadian in Ontario) sold only from a crown corporation (as in the LCBO or Beer Store, both government run businesses) to the exclusion of all other retailers.  Also, registration with the retailers, as with prescription drug retailers with all the privacy laws in effect, for drugs with a high addiction potential to restrict use.

Strafio, I really don't think that drug use would actually increase over all, least not in the long term or for everybody in the long term.  I expect people might experiment more, which would inflate the numbers, I think.

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Quote:There is the drawback

Quote:
There is the drawback that it would make drugs more socially acceptable so usage would increase.

I really don't believe this would happen.  I don't know about England, but in America, drugs are everybody's dirty little secret.  Ok, not everybody, but LOTS of people use drugs.  I'm talking about everything from prescription drugs to pot to cocaine.  I don't know many people who use meth, but I hear it's like candy once you get out into the country where it's easier to make without detection.

I honestly think all that would happen if drug use became more socially acceptable is that you would discover just how many of your peers use drugs already.

Quote:
We already see enough problems with people abusing alcohol without adding more narcotics into the mix.

I'm extremely skeptical of the concept of "gateway drugs."  I've simply never seen support for any soft drug being a gateway to hard drugs, and frankly, there isn't really much difference between a drunk and a drunk pothead.

Quote:
We should be more interested in encouraging people to make rational decisions for themselves.

I've never believed in legislating morality, and this certainly feels like legislating morality.  I agree with you completely.

 

 

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To be honest, that last

To be honest, that last paragraph of mine was just a weak attempt to make the argument "balanced"
I don't believe that there would be a significant increase and drugs.
I mainly put it in because that's a possibility an opponent might cite so I wanted to put in the "We should encourage better decisions" counter to pre-empt it.


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I too support

I too support legalization but for a slightly different reason.

 

At least in the US, the war on drugs is, as a matter of design, a self perpetuating effort. Most of the money that is used to wage the war comes from the seizure of assets from the war. And the reason why they are seizing assets is because they allow enough drugs into the US to assure a steady cash supply for the continuing effort. If the powers that be wanted to push harder on that front, they would be cutting off the source of all the cash that they are using to basically not accomplish the stated aims of the program.

 

Then too, as Hamby has pointed out, in the US, anyone who wants drugs can get whatever drug they want. They only have to break the laws that they have no respect for in the first place. What a wonderful way to encourage an orderly society.

 

On the question of gateway drugs, I really am not so sure if that is realistic or not. Most people who use drugs probably start by drinking and that is not considered the gateway drug. Sure, the usual progression may be from booze to pot to other drugs but why is the second step considered the gateway and not the first? If drugs were legal but regulated, would there still be an orderly progression at all? Or would people start by using the drugs that are available to them in the home, whatever they may be before moving on to what is available in other people's homes?

 

That much being said, socialized control of drugs probably will not work in the US because of the way that our government is structured. Existing laws for alcohol vary from state to state and even within states, there can be differences. Three towns over from me is a dry town and everybody from there who wants to drink in their homes frequents a place right over the town line which is appropriately named “Town Line Liquors”.

 

Mind you, nobody anywhere in the great state of Connecticut can buy alcohol on Sunday or any day after 8:00 p.m. Except that we all do. Either we buy enough to last on Saturday, or if you live close eough to the state line, you do a run over there. In fact, the place that I go is called WestConn despite it being in New York state. If you live in the middle of the state and forget to buy enough for the time when the liquor stores are all closed, you just go to any of the fairly well known stores that simply choose to ignore the laws or you find a bootlegger who sells cheap rot gut and an obscene mark-up.

 

The whole situation reminds me of a line from a certain 60's folk song:

 

Our Leaders are the finest men and so we elect them again and again.

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 Alcohol hasn't really been

 Alcohol hasn't really been established as a causal gateway drug.  There is a pretty strong correlation between people who drink and people who do other drugs, but let's be honest... how may people who are willing to do drugs wouldn't want to have a legal drink?

The point is, there's significant reason to believe that the correlation between alcohol and other drugs is just correlation.  Alcohol is a drug.  Pot is a drug.  People who are ok with one soft drug are probably ok with another soft drug.  Alcohol is legal, so more people probably start with that.  That's hardly the basis for calling alcohol a causal gateway.

 

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It makes me sad to think of

It makes me sad to think of the huge sums of money funneled into the hands of drug cartels in third world hell holes thanks to the war on drugs. Also I believe that it is costing us about $40 billion/year. And it is the reason our prisons are overflowing. There is nothing positive about the war on drugs. I love the show Gangland and recommend it to others to watch. Every episode is about some gang, and every gang is a drug gang. And then they spend their drug money on illegal weapons. And then they kill each other over the best territory for dealing drugs. And then they crowd our prisons after they are caught. The War on Drugs is in every way worse than Prohibition, yet somehow we have not come to our senses and put and end to it like we did to Prohibition.

"You say that it is your custom to burn widows. Very well. We also have a custom: when men burn a woman alive, we tie a rope around their necks and we hang them. Build your funeral pyre; beside it, my carpenters will build a gallows. You may follow your custom. And then we will follow ours."
British General Charles Napier while in India


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I certainly don't

I certainly don't suggest that alcohol should be viewed as that causal gateway. Rather, I wanted to explore the idea and see if the man behind the curtain even exists.

 

Sure, drug use may correlate around a sequence. After all, teenagers probably use pot because it is somehow seen as more reasonable than heroin. So there exists a concept that pot is the gateway to other drugs and if we can keep the kids off of pot, then they will never try to get high.

 

The problem that I see with that logic is that there is one legal high that kids can get and that most adults keep at home. Now, not very many people want to outlaw booze. We tried that one already and it was an even bigger disaster than the modern version of prohibition is.

 

However, there are a somewhat larger number of people who think that returning to the legal landscape of pre-1920 would not be the best idea. And if one considers the very reasons for the tax acts of the 1910's and 1920's, there is a case to be made that some reasonable control would not be unwarranted. There were in that time, mothers who would dose the kids with opium instead of teaching them self control.

 

But I digress...

 

the general idea of pot as the gateway drug is to my mind a problem. If the goal is to keep people from getting high, then the method should be to not let people get high. However, we are not willing to do that. Instead we let people get high on the one drug that the largest number of people are fine with and declare that the second drug that people use is the gateway to the third.

 

Just because there is an apparent correlation between pot and other drugs used later on does not establish causation. However, that is still an assertion and it is assertions that I want to get away from.

 

Let's say that the first drug we legalize is pot. I think that it should not be too hard to get most people on board with that agenda. So now, some people will have booze at home and other people will have pot at home. Some will have both at home.

 

So a teenager will use one or the other first and only when he gets to school will he have social contacts with other teenagers and access to what they have at home. However, if there is still a need for some people to demonize a certain drug as the gateway to other drugs, what drug should that be? Do the pot smoking parents blame the booze drinking parents for getting little Johnny started on LSD? Or do they both blame LSD for getting little Johnny interested in coke?

 

Actually, my father was a huge hypochondriac. He kept a spiral bound not pad in the table under the dining room phone with all the details of his prescriptions. That way, if he was upstairs popping a valium and he realized that he was running out, he could make a mental note to call the pharmacy when he got downstairs and not have to bring the bottle with him. This despite the fact that there was also a phone in the master bedroom and the pills were kept in that bathroom.

 

Mind you, that was just another example of defective thinking about drugs but this allows me to make another point. Growing up, I had access to all manner of drugs. I don't know what all he kept on hand but I do know about Valium and opiated medicines specifically. If I had a cough, I would get a spoonful of tussinex. If I had the runs, paregoric. If I had dared to smoke pot in the living room, I probably would have got a beating. Yah, my parents were inconsistent with the messages that they gave me. That is probably part of the reason why I still do not trust authorities today.

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Jormungander wrote:I

Jormungander wrote:
I love the show Gangland and recommend it to others to watch. Every episode is about some gang, and every gang is a drug gang. And then they spend their drug money on illegal weapons. And then they kill each other over the best territory for dealing drugs.

 

If they were only killing each other, I might not be so concerned. That type of mess could be self correcting. Sadly, innocents come into the line of fire all the time. That is clearly not acceptable. But do we do the really obvious step put an end to the issue? Of course not, that would be sane and we can't seem to get out collective heads into sane thinking in this world.

 

A few years ago, in the city that I live in, two gangs decided to have a turf battle with fully automatic weapons facing off on opposite sides of a public playground. The birthday party for the five year old girl only lasted a couple of seconds.

 

So what was the proposed solution? Legalize drugs? No. Put the one guy who ultimately skipped bail on America's Most Wanted? At least we did that much. Make it harder for me to buy a revolver? They tried but we managed to resist that. So sometimes sanity can emerge but only if people are willing to stand up and call a situation what it is.

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Answers in Gene Simmons

Answers in Gene Simmons wrote:


 Make it harder for me to buy a revolver? They tried but we managed to resist that.

 

There is another problem. Gun control advocates love to use gang violence performed with illegal weapons as a justification for further regulations against legal weapons. As though the gang bangers are going into legal gun stores and registering their weapons like good citizens. Just yet another indirect problem caused by the war on drugs.

"You say that it is your custom to burn widows. Very well. We also have a custom: when men burn a woman alive, we tie a rope around their necks and we hang them. Build your funeral pyre; beside it, my carpenters will build a gallows. You may follow your custom. And then we will follow ours."
British General Charles Napier while in India


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I decided the same thing

I decided the same thing long ago. Glad to have you reach the same conclusion. Smiling


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Drugs are in the same

Drugs are in the same catergory as gambling and prostitution.  When the government outlaws something that people want, it goes underground and the government loses all control of it.  To me it seems incredibly simple, legalize it, regulate it, be honest in your attempts to educate the public, and people can have their fun in a comparitively safer environment.

 

On the the marijuana gate way drug issue: Drill it into kids' heads that weed, heroin and crack are all the same thing, and a few of them may end up thinking they are the same.  The government, and the school I grew up in lied through their fucking teeth about what drugs do.  "My friend ODed on acid", "Marajuana addiction kills thousands", etc etc.  Perhaps we should be giving people accurate and honest information.  Ya never know, people may make intelligent choices every now and then when properly informed.

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hazindu wrote:Drugs are in

hazindu wrote:

Drugs are in the same catergory as gambling and prostitution.  When the government outlaws something that people want, it goes underground and the government loses all control of it.

Bingo! I tried very hard to ignore everything in my economics classes. Painfully dull shit it was. But one thing the teacher said stuck well enough that I can quote it pretty much verbatum two decades later; Whenever something is made illegal, there will always be a thriving black market for it.

The whole ' gateway drug ' crap is pure hype. Are comics gateway books leading to higher reading? Is American commercial beer a gateway beer to more flavorful microbrewed and imported beers?  Anti-drug advocates encourage the use of this meme along with nonsense about meth. To hear them tell it, every child in third grade has tried meth, and every school child age 13 and above is addicted to it, or some story equally absurd. Scare tactics, nothing more. Meth is not good for you, but it certainly isn't the instantly addictive, avaliable on every streetcorner chunk of death they portray it as.  I would be more worried about a kid huffing cleaning solution they found in the janitors closet than their taking meth.

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 To be fair, having dated a

 To be fair, having dated a social worker who dealt with meth addicts... it's pretty bad.  The difference between meth and many other drugs is that it's really fucking addicting.  The withdrawal is horrible, and the brain damage is permanent.  It does have a lot of bad psychological effects, including random and very violent behavior.

I feel really justified in saying that a meth user ought to be considered dangerous to the public in a very immediate sense.  Think heroine that makes you hyper and violent.

 

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Hambydammit wrote:   To be

Hambydammit wrote:

 

 To be fair, having dated a social worker who dealt with meth addicts... it's pretty bad.  The difference between meth and many other drugs is that it's really fucking addicting.  The withdrawal is horrible, and the brain damage is permanent.  It does have a lot of bad psychological effects, including random and very violent behavior.

 

I feel really justified in saying that a meth user ought to be considered dangerous to the public in a very immediate sense.  Think heroine that makes you hyper and violent.

 

 

 


As someone who has experience both with the drug and the users, I agree with you. A combination of this drug and inevitable sleep deprivation can produce frightening effects… I mean, once you’ve seen someone who’s been up for a couple of weeks on the stuff, you come to realize quickly just how dangerous the drug can be. For example, there’s nothing quite like watching someone tear their house apart because they believe there are people spying on them from within the walls.


(Btw, it’s eerie just how common those sorts of delusions are when it comes to this drug.)

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hazindu wrote:On the the

hazindu wrote:

On the the marijuana gate way drug issue: Drill it into kids' heads that weed, heroin and crack are all the same thing, and a few of them may end up thinking they are the same. 

And then when they find out that weed is not that big a deal they start thinking maybe heroin and meth aren't either.  Just another example of why lying to kids is a bad deal.

The government often doesn't change policies unless the people make enough of a fuss.  Where are you all planning to be April 20th?  I hear San Franciso and Seattle are quite nice places to be on that date.  If you're into a smaller setting, try Arcata, CA - small town on the coast with a huge pothead population.  It's never too early to start making plans! 

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I agree wholeheartedly.

I agree wholeheartedly.

Didn't you guys in England did something with Heroin? I heard it was something to do in which that an addict would provide a cigarette to a specific clinic in which government made heroin was injected and it could be smoked. Though you could only ever get one "shot". The effects were supposedly incredible, without the need to pay for terrible street quality heroin (often they weren't even heroin at all, or they laced it with something else) many actually were able to find jobs and contribute to the community and the crime rate from heroin in that area just disappeared (Really, why pay for something that is probably isn't what you want in the first place).

Of course the biggest problem is trying to pass anything that say Legalization and Drugs together nowadays.


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Quote:To be fair, having

Quote:
To be fair, having dated a social worker who dealt with meth addicts... it's pretty bad.  The difference between meth and many other drugs is that it's really fucking addicting.  The withdrawal is horrible, and the brain damage is permanent.  It does have a lot of bad psychological effects, including random and very violent behavior.

I feel really justified in saying that a meth user ought to be considered dangerous to the public in a very immediate sense.  Think heroine that makes you hyper and violent.

I've lived in Edmonton, essentially the methamphetamine capital of Alberta, for a few years - and now I'm (briefly) living in Calgary, effectively Edmonton's sister city. While this doesn't exactly make me an authority on the subject, I do incidentally know a few things about it, including a few of the half-truths often touted as 'common knowledge':

A) Methamphetamine is not chemically addictive, nor is it 'super-addictive'. The drug trips a variety of neurotransmitters that then initiate a cascade release of, essentially, every 'reward' chemical our brains have in store (most notably dopamine), resulting in a dizzying haze of euphoria for the user.

The 'catch' is that the transmitters need to replenish their stores of chemicals before they can really bring-on the same sensation again, so subsequent uses yield less profound results and users who want consistent results find themselves in a situation where they need to take more and more of the drug for the same degree of satisfaction. It's a sort-of 'pseudo-addiction'.

B) There is no 'brain damage', and certainly not any permanent damage. The drug stimulates reward chemical receptors; that's all it does. Some receptors can be over-stimulated and then refuse to react to the stimulus to the same level of degree, but will normalize given sufficient time. 

C) The primary damage done by the drug is psychological & sociological, not chemical (Methamphetamine is not a toxin). Stories of children becoming brain-dead vegetables only after ingesting a single capsule (or even just a portion of one) that some organizations and social worker lobbies (*cough* MADD *cough*) like to trumpet about are deliberate manipulations of the facts to suit their world view (that their angelic offspring were victimized by the evil drugs). People will become neurotic while using Methamphetamine (not necessarily awake and alert; there are many instances where the drug has resulted in prolonged sleeping, to the point where it becomes destructive) because of the stimulation of their reward pathways, which can then subsequently lead to dangerous paranoia and physically damaging habitual activities (teeth grinding being a common example).

D) People do not 'become violent' because they used Methamphetamine, any more than alcohol 'creates' angry drunks. The user in question must already be of a violent disposition prior to taking the drug - which then cancels much of their inhibitions. The major difference between the two substances is that the enabling of varied behavior patterns last for a much longer on Methamphetamine.

 

I'd support criminalization of the use of this narcotic about as readily as I'd support criminalization of the use of gasoline.

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Agreed on all except D).

Agreed on all except D). (Well, kind of.)  With one of the side effects of meth being sleep deprivation, it’s really quite easy to become involved in hysterical delusions. For example, the person I mentioned wasn’t generally a violent person relative to his more sobering moments.  To be honest, it’s really kind of hard to explain the building unease that comes with speeding for such prolonged periods of time. But it is there, and it does make for volatile personality shifts. However, and with that said, no, not everyone becomes violent. I never did.

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Guns and drugs

I am new to this forum, but from a few of the responses so far, my point may be well recieved. I don't care what drug anyone takes. Legal or not, they will still obtain whatever drugs they want. On the issue of guns, I happen to be a law abiding, concealed carry permit carrying, gun toting atheist. I have never shot someone in a drug transaction. I don't wave guns around in a public setting. I am not a crazy person. I had to take an 8 hour class and pass an FBI background check to get a concealed carry permit. I had to pass a FBI background check to buy all of my guns. If a criminal wants to buy illegal drugs, it's easy. If criminals want to buy illegal guns, it's easy. If guns are outlawed, law abiding citizens will have to turn all of their guns in. Just like drugs, the criminals will still have guns. Criminals don't obey laws, therefore opressive laws on guns and drugs only harm the lawful citizens. The criminals are relatively unharmed by bullshit laws.

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Quote:If criminals want to

Quote:
If criminals want to buy illegal guns, it's easy. If guns are outlawed, law abiding citizens will have to turn all of their guns in. Just like drugs, the criminals will still have guns. Criminals don't obey laws, therefore opressive laws on guns and drugs only harm the lawful citizens. The criminals are relatively unharmed by bullshit laws.

This.

Quote:
"Natasha has just come up to the window from the courtyard and opened it wider so that the air may enter more freely into my room. I can see the bright green strip of grass beneath the wall, and the clear blue sky above the wall, and sunlight everywhere. Life is beautiful. Let the future generations cleanse it of all evil, oppression and violence, and enjoy it to the full."

- Leon Trotsky, Last Will & Testament
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 Quote:B) There is no

 

Quote:
B) There is no 'brain damage', and certainly not any permanent damage. The drug stimulates reward chemical receptors; that's all it does. Some receptors can be over-stimulated and then refuse to react to the stimulus to the same level of degree, but will normalize given sufficient time.

Wiki wrote:
Methamphetamine addiction is one of the most difficult forms of addictions to treat. Although Wellbutrin, Abilify, and Baclofen have been employed to treat post-withdrawal cravings the success rate is low. Modafinil is somewhat more successful, but this is a Class IV scheduled drug. Ibogaine has been used with success in Europe, but is a Class I drug and available only for research use. Remeron has been reported useful in some small-population studies.[33]

You're going to have to document this for me.  I'm ok with not quibbling over the definition of physically addictive... but... It does create horrible withdrawal, and it does have approximately a 90% rate of failure in rehab.  It creates tolerance and the user needs increasing doses.  If you don't call that addiction, what do you call it?

KB, have you ever met someone who kicked meth years ago and still "wasn't all there"?  What do you suggest that is?  Again, I'm relatively ok with not saying "permanent" but if we're talking about ten years for the brain to rebuild itself, or something like that...

Well..

Quote:
C) The primary damage done by the drug is psychological & sociological, not chemical (Methamphetamine is not a toxin).

Is Wiki wrong?  I'm not suggesting it's infallible, but this seems like kind of a big deal that someone would have caught.  They've been studying meth worldwide for decades.

Wiki wrote:
Physical Effects

The various physical effects of methamphetamine include, increased energy, change in libido, increased sweating, decrease in appetite (anorexia), insomnia, dilated pupils, tightened jaw muscles (trismus), teeth grinding (bruxism), itching, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, shortness of breath, involuntary body movements (twitches, grimacing, lip smacking, etc), increased heart rate, increased blood pressure, vasoconstriction, dry mouth, and a difficulty in urination. Serious physical effects include, possibly fatal lung and kidney disorders, possible brain damage, lowered resistance to illnesses, liver damage, heart attack, and stroke. [15][16][17][18]

Wikipedia wrote:
Methamphetamine is a potent neurotoxin, shown to cause dopaminergic degeneration.[11][12]

Quote:
D) People do not 'become violent' because they used Methamphetamine, any more than alcohol 'creates' angry drunks.

Wikipedia wrote:
The psychological effects of methamphetamine include, euphoria, dysphoria, increased attention, increased alertness, excessive talking, rapid speech, irritability, nervousness, anxiety, paranoia, delusions of grandeur, panic, aggressive and sometimes violent behavior, severe depression, suicidal tendencies, hyperactivity and excitability, increased sense of well-being, and emotional lability. Occasionally excessive and/or chronic use of methamphetamine can lead to amphetamine psychosis, with side effects such as hallucinations, paranoia, delusions, and thought disorder. [19][16][18]

Alright, KB.  Here's the thing.  I'm willing to believe that Wikipedia is wrong.  It's not the end all and be all authority here.  BUT, I'm going to need some documentation, and I can't find any that does anything but agree with Wiki.

Show me some good data, ok?  Let's see something from some qualified authorities who have done the research.

Otherwise, I'm going to have to call bullshit on you.

Quote:
The user in question must already be of a violent disposition prior to taking the drug - which then cancels much of their inhibitions. The major difference between the two substances is that the enabling of varied behavior patterns last for a much longer on Methamphetamine.

Oh yeah... and alcohol doesn't cause users to stay awake long enough to induce psychosis.  Again, I'm willing to allow your quibble that meth is not the direct causal agent in violent behavior, but temporary psychosis definitely is the causal agent, and meth causes that.

 

 

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Wikipedia

It has been my belief that wiki is always right. Anything to the contrary proves most of my arguements null & void. Don't ruin it for me...

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 Oh, wiki is definitely

 Oh, wiki is definitely wrong sometimes.  I've caught it a few times myself, but there are an awful lot of biochemists in the world, and it would shock me greatly if meth were listed incorrectly as a neurotoxin, for instance, and half a dozen or so qualified people hadn't raised holy hell.

You see what I'm saying?  I don't claim wiki as an infallible authority, but as much as I respect KB's opinion, I'm not going to trust him over Wiki until I see some evidence.

 

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Methamphetamine does destroy

Methamphetamine does destroy neurons (although not directly). At first, Meth will rapidly activating circuitry in the mesolimbic pathways, resulting in short term side effects are euphoria, high blood pressure, vasodilation, induced fight-or-flight response, paranoia and high blood sugar. Meth addicts are often irritable and panicked, constantly believing that nonexistent mortal dangers await them at every turn. In the long term, Meth is toxic to neurons because it triggers such high releases of dopamine. Although crucial to functioning pathways, dopamine in  high levels is a neurotoxin and long term use of meth does destroy nerve cells. Additionally, the way methamphetamine is manufactured in North America, it often contains impurities and is often manufactured with cheap household ingredients like matchstick heads and cough medication.

"Physical reality” isn’t some arbitrary demarcation. It is defined in terms of what we can systematically investigate, directly or not, by means of our senses. It is preposterous to assert that the process of systematic scientific reasoning arbitrarily excludes “non-physical explanations” because the very notion of “non-physical explanation” is contradictory.

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Awelton85 wrote:I have never

Awelton85 wrote:

I have never shot someone in a drug transaction.

And if you did ever become a drug dealer you would not be so stupid as to use a legal firearm to kill people with. You would illegally purchase firearms that the government does not know about rather than use the legal ones that they do know about. Gun banners can't get rid of drug dealers' illegal weapons. Though of course if drugs were legal, drug dealers would work in pharmacies and they would not be shooting anyone over drug territory or payment disputes.

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If meth is so addictive, why

If meth is so addictive, why do most of the users of meth admit to using it casually, not often? If it is so deadly, why do emergency rooms report that only 5% of the drug related treatments they administer are related to stimulants?

I'm sorry, but the meth addiction/danger thing is media hype. Skeptical Inquirer covered this in an issue just a few months ago in an article called The Skeptic Meets the Moral Panic. V32, #6, Nov-Dec 2008.

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Quote:You're going to have

Quote:
You're going to have to document this for me.  I'm ok with not quibbling over the definition of physically addictive... but... It does create horrible withdrawal, and it does have approximately a 90% rate of failure in rehab.  It creates tolerance and the user needs increasing doses.  If you don't call that addiction, what do you call it?

I don't want to quibble over definitions either, but the reason the drug creates horrible withdrawl is that the chronic user is used to the sensation of euphoria; that is, the chemical does not build-up in the body. Abysmal failure rates in rehab, personally, I attribute to the failure of rehab clinic to be realistic in offering solutions (that's the case in Alberta, anyway, where the Conservatively-funded clinics insist on a ideological 'Cold Turkey' policy that doesn't work instead of going for a less idealistic but much more successful model like what they're experimenting with in Toronto. Ask Thomathy about that one, as he lies in that neck of the woods).

Chemical addiction, IMHO, should be defined as when a person becomes chemially dependent on a drug because it builds-up in their system. Otherwise, people are free to label all sorts of crazy things as 'addictive'.

Quote:

KB, have you ever met someone who kicked meth years ago and still "wasn't all there"?  What do you suggest that is?  Again, I'm relatively ok with not saying "permanent" but if we're talking about ten years for the brain to rebuild itself, or something like that...

Well..

I've known just about every peer of mine to have experimented with meth, and none ever developed chronic habits. They were casual users, and it did not affect their personalities nearly as drastically as, say, alchohol or mushroom consumption.

Chronic use of just about any drug results in serious harm. Hell, even some off the shelf medication will cause severe damage if used chronically or otherwise improperly.

Quote:
Is Wiki wrong?  I'm not suggesting it's infallible, but this seems like kind of a big deal that someone would have caught.  They've been studying meth worldwide for decades.

Wiki isn't wrong. It has it's causation mixed-up. It says:

Quote:
Methamphetamine is a potent neurotoxin, shown to cause dopaminergic degeneration.

Dopamine is the neurotoxin.

No, I'm not trying to split hairs - I'm very weary of people getting lazy when defining what a particular substance actually does. Organizations like MADD abuse the Hell out of this, claiming various insanities. Methamphetamine triggers the release of dopamine as part of a cascade of reward chemicals. This can wear-out receptors in the brain and the dopamine can cause damage.

Quote:
Alright, KB.  Here's the thing.  I'm willing to believe that Wikipedia is wrong.  It's not the end all and be all authority here.  BUT, I'm going to need some documentation, and I can't find any that does anything but agree with Wiki.

Show me some good data, ok?  Let's see something from some qualified authorities who have done the research.

Otherwise, I'm going to have to call bullshit on you.

Alright: it looks like I'm wrong on this account (more or less). Methamphetamine does result in more users than I had thought becoming ansomniacs, which leads to aggressive behavior.

So, yes. You can call bullshit on me. Sticking out tongue

Quote:
Oh yeah... and alcohol doesn't cause users to stay awake long enough to induce psychosis.  Again, I'm willing to allow your quibble that meth is not the direct causal agent in violent behavior, but temporary psychosis definitely is the causal agent, and meth causes that.

Awesome. If you'll agree to the underlined part, that's all I ask.

...Well, and one other thing. Never, ever, ever refer to Methamphetamine as 'Crystal Meth'. I hate it. It makes it sound like some kind of mystical black magic drug, a zeitgeist used by malicious self-righteous groups in my area.

 

And, in case you're wondering - yes, that's my bias, and that's what defines my very nit-picky stance on this subject. Bigots use their woo-woo definitions of various controlled substances to promote their bigotry here in Alberta.

 

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I'm pretty sure that the

I'm pretty sure that the name "crystal meth" comes from the crystalline appearance of the drug.

Here in Hong Kong, there is a big drug problem especially among 17-18 year olds (it's one of the few big crime problems there are. HK is one of the safest cities in the world). The response of the government has been to make the penalties incredibly severe. What they are most concerned about is the fact that many students who first try drugs do so because of peer pressure. In response, the HKSAR have essentially made offering drugs to someone else an offense equivalent to trafficking. If you encourage or pressure your friend to take a tablet of ecstacy in Hong Kong, and that is found out, the government prosecutors can nail you with max of life imprisonment.

"Physical reality” isn’t some arbitrary demarcation. It is defined in terms of what we can systematically investigate, directly or not, by means of our senses. It is preposterous to assert that the process of systematic scientific reasoning arbitrarily excludes “non-physical explanations” because the very notion of “non-physical explanation” is contradictory.

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...Oh. I'm used to seeing

...Oh.

 

I'm used to seeing it as a capsule.


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Kevin R Brown

Kevin R Brown wrote:

...Oh.
 
I'm used to seeing it as a capsule.


Different grades; what he has a picture of there is ice/glass grade. Capsules aren’t really all that common where I’m from, but, as far as I could tell they were filled with bathtub/crank grade meth. (I’ve also seen people consume bit’s of coffee filters caked with the stuff.)


But anyway… The lower grade stuff never really seemed to cause as many problems as the other. (I would compare it’s “felt” effects with being similar to dosing adderall, just not as clean.) This could be why you've never seen any real problems with it in your peers. Which is understandable sense I don’t see a casual user paying the prices of the other.


 

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Strafio wrote: I always


Strafio wrote:

I always assumed that "legalize drugs" arguments came from people who wanted to do their hobby legally.
It was people who were fighting the rights of drug users.
I didn't particularly see a reason why they shouldn't have their way, but I didn't see it as tragic that they didn't.

As I've come to learn about gang culture (mainly from Ross Kemp documentaries) I've come from a different angle.
Gangsters ruin communities and lives with their gun crime.
Their gun crime is funded by the money they make on black markets.
And while you can lock up individual gangsters, so long as there is a market/opportunity, there will be people who try and fill it.
That is, you can pluck out individual weeds but so long as the soil is fertile there will always be fresh ones growing in their place.
I want to starve them off their income.
I want to see these MoFos put out of business.

I don’t believe gangs will disappear by legalizing drugs because gangs have been recorded to exist before drugs became an attribute of gangs today. Gangs existed before guns were invented.

Quote:
Governments put a lot into trying to destroy the business.
The army is continually fighting drug barons in places like Colombia and Afghanistan, but this isn't solving the problem.
The drugs are still getting through, the market is thriving, criminals and drug lords are getting rich and powerful at the expense of the people they tread all over on the way.
America tried to ban alcohol a similar way back in the 1920s and failed in a similar way.
I think that a more cost effective approach is required.

I believe the reason drugs are getting through is because of lack of man power and corruption.

Quote:
Here's what I propose:
1) Softer drugs be regulated

2) Harder drugs be nationalized

The hoped-for consequences
Dealers in soft drugs would either need to legitimize their business or go bust.
Dealers in hard drugs would lose business altogether.
The legal distributors would be able to undercut the prices of the black market, who would still have the pressure of the police coming after them.
This would make the drugs market less of an opportunity for gangs, and less money would be coming in to fund warfare between rival factions.
What's more, the economy would no longer lose out on the money that drug users currently spend on black market goods.

I believe government regulated drugs will probably be undercut on price. No matter what the price legal drugs sold for the black market will sell it cheaper, thus the problem will persist.

 

 

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aiia wrote:I

aiia wrote:
I don’t believe gangs will disappear by legalizing drugs because gangs have been recorded to exist before drugs became an attribute of gangs today. Gangs existed before guns were invented.

 

I can agree with that but only with modification. Gangs have existed since the first proto-humans got into a turf war of the corpse of a gazzelle. That being said, gangs will use the materials that are present in the environment as they find them. Gang bangers are not too terribly creative but a femur is not an especially effective weapon in the environment that they deal with today.

 

aiia wrote:
I believe the reason drugs are getting through is because of lack of man power and corruption.

 

Above, I advanced a different view. Sure drugs are getting through. Sure manpower and corruption play a role. However, the amount of drugs that are available has not increased to the point where society as a whole has broken down. Nor has the amount of drugs that are available decreased to the point where it has become any harder for new drug users to find them if they want them.

 

That being said, even a small decline in general availability should mean fewer new drug users. Fewer drug users means less demand and less demand takes us to being able to use existing resources more efficiently, eventually causing sharper declines in demand.

 

Yet forty years into the drug war, that has not happened. The fact is that enough drugs are getting through to make the war on drugs something that can be justified as a public policy in the minds of those who are making the decisions. Basically, this mess is self perpetuating.

 

aiia wrote:
I believe government regulated drugs will probably be undercut on price. No matter what the price legal drugs sold for the black market will sell it cheaper, thus the problem will persist.

 

Granted, government never does anything worthwhile in an efficient manner. However if they tried to release “official drugs” at higher than street prices, then the whole effort would be a spectacular failure. On the other hand, allowing well regulated corporations to play this scenario out should prove the opposite case.

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aiia wrote:I don’t

aiia wrote:
I don’t believe gangs will disappear by legalizing drugs because gangs have been recorded to exist before drugs became an attribute of gangs today. Gangs existed before guns were invented.

Agreed. Saying that it would put them out of business altogether was a bit OTT on my part.
Fact is, gangs become more or less powerful depending on what opportunities they have to make money.
In 1920s America the gangs took the alcohol market and their power increased dramatically.
At the moment drugs is a lucrative market for them and is going a long way to funding their weaponry as well as their efforts to dodge/bribe the law.
 

aiia wrote:
I believe the reason drugs are getting through is because of lack of man power and corruption.

Corruption likely plays a role, although I'm not sure that more man power would solve the problem.
Taking the market, and therefore many resources from the gangs would lessen their ability to corrupt and lessen the manpower required.

aiia wrote:
I believe government regulated drugs will probably be undercut on price. No matter what the price legal drugs sold for the black market will sell it cheaper, thus the problem will persist.

It's quite possible that the black market will be able to cut the price, but you have to ask yourself why they aren't doing this already.
The government would give out the drugs as cheap as they possibly can.
For the gangs to match or beat this price would require them to make concessions that they clearly don't want to do.
It would deeply cut into their profits and thereby give them less resources to dodge the law.
What's more, once the profits have been minimized the business will be less attractive and people will be less willing to take the risks.

 

I see no question that legalizing "softer" drugs and nationalizing "harder" drugs would damage gansters and drug barons.
The question is whether there would be a price to pay at home for making drugs more widely available.
The way I see it, people who want drugs are able to get hold of them.
But perhaps if it was made easier, and legalizing it made it more socially acceptable, perhaps making it illegal has deterred more people than we give credit for.
And while I believe that the correct method is to teach people to make rational decisions about how to look after themselves, the whole thing about drugs is that they affect our rationality and our ability to make these decisions.


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Strafio wrote:aiia wrote:I

Strafio wrote:

aiia wrote:
I believe government regulated drugs will probably be undercut on price. No matter what the price legal drugs sold for the black market will sell it cheaper, thus the problem will persist.

It's quite possible that the black market will be able to cut the price, but you have to ask yourself why they aren't doing this already.
The government would give out the drugs as cheap as they possibly can.
For the gangs to match or beat this price would require them to make concessions that they clearly don't want to do.
It would deeply cut into their profits and thereby give them less resources to dodge the law.
What's more, once the profits have been minimized the business will be less attractive and people will be less willing to take the risks.

There is a point at which it no longer becomes profitable to sell a product, even illegal drugs.  Do keep in mind that drug dealers have to pay business operating expenses, rent, utility bills, buy food, etc. the same as anyone else.  At the very lowest levels it is difficult to make a living selling drugs.  Sure, it pays more than mimimum wage, but you're not going to get rich being a lower level dealer.  Cut the price even by just half and you've significantly taken away the incentive for low level operators to stay in the game.  Those at the upper levels will then find their base shrinking and therefore their power decreased.  A combination of a smaller customer basefrom governmental encroachment into the market and lowered profitability due to lower prices will hurt drug dealers' bottom lines.  Legalization is not a way to completely end the existence of violent drug dealers, but it would cut into their operating ability.  That seems to be a good start to cleaning up the mess we have to me.

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Where...

Desdenova wrote:

If meth is so addictive, why do most of the users of meth admit to using it casually, not often? If it is so deadly, why do emergency rooms report that only 5% of the drug related treatments they administer are related to stimulants?

I'm sorry, but the meth addiction/danger thing is media hype. Skeptical Inquirer covered this in an issue just a few months ago in an article called The Skeptic Meets the Moral Panic. V32, #6, Nov-Dec 2008.

do you get these statistics from? Meth is fucking terrible, it's worse than alcohol. The people in prison with meth-related crimes is huge. I think all drugs should be legal, tho, and let it just weed them out. No one should be in prison because the cops caught them at an illegal rave three times with some speed, or got pulled over with a DWI three times. I agree that all these drug statistics are bullshit, but meth is just awful, I wouldn't want my kids on it, I have three, but I don't want it to be illegal either. Legalize every single drug there is, period.

If some non-diabetic wants to start using insulin, let em. If someone wants to go to CVS and buy some HGH, let em. It used to be that way in Mexico and much of Central and south america, and there wasn't any big drug problem. there is no cure for it, make the absolute worst drugs expensive and someone will sell them cheaper. make something hard to get, someone else will provide it. Make all the "soft" drugs legal and someone will make the hard drugs cheaper and more attractive.

government will find a way to mess everything up guaranteed. If so-and-so can't get some meth in Brownsville, they can sure as hell get some carb cleaner to huff. It will never ever stop.

 

 


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Strafio wrote:I always

Strafio wrote:

I always assumed that "legalize drugs" arguments came from people who wanted to do their hobby legally.
It was people who were fighting the rights of drug users.
I didn't particularly see a reason why they shouldn't have their way, but I didn't see it as tragic that they didn't.

As I've come to learn about gang culture (mainly from Ross Kemp documentaries) I've come from a different angle.
Gangsters ruin communities and lives with their gun crime.
Their gun crime is funded by the money they make on black markets.
And while you can lock up individual gangsters, so long as there is a market/opportunity, there will be people who try and fill it.
That is, you can pluck out individual weeds but so long as the soil is fertile there will always be fresh ones growing in their place.
I want to starve them off their income.
I want to see these MoFos put out of business.

Governments put a lot into trying to destroy the business.
The army is continually fighting drug barons in places like Colombia and Afghanistan, but this isn't solving the problem.
The drugs are still getting through, the market is thriving, criminals and drug lords are getting rich and powerful at the expense of the people they tread all over on the way.
America tried to ban alcohol a similar way back in the 1920s and failed in a similar way.
I think that a more cost effective approach is required.

Here's what I propose:
1) Softer drugs be regulated
"Softer" drugs such as cannabis and speed be regulated the same way alcohol and cigarettes currently are.
They would be sold with appropriate restrictions in place.

2) Harder drugs be nationalized
"Harder" drugs such as heroin and crack would be nationalized - only government clinics would be able to sell it.
(I'm writing from England where the government runs the NHS)
They would sell the drugs, but in environments where they could advise the users if necessary and offer them treatments to break addictions.


The hoped-for consequences
Dealers in soft drugs would either need to legitimize their business or go bust.
Dealers in hard drugs would lose business altogether.
The legal distributors would be able to undercut the prices of the black market, who would still have the pressure of the police coming after them.
This would make the drugs market less of an opportunity for gangs, and less money would be coming in to fund warfare between rival factions.
What's more, the economy would no longer lose out on the money that drug users currently spend on black market goods.

Possible drawbacks
There is the drawback that it would make drugs more socially acceptable so usage would increase.
We already see enough problems with people abusing alcohol without adding more narcotics into the mix.
That said, if we believe in freedom then getting the law involved isn't the answer.
We should be more interested in encouraging people to make rational decisions for themselves.
Alcoholism, gambling, drug addiction, obesity, these are all down to bad lifestyle decisions, decisions that people need to make for themselves.
Finding ways to improve people's own judgement on doing what's good for them is where the answer lies.



So am I preaching basic common sense here or is there a glaring error in my reasoning?

Beautiful. I have been arguing this for years now, though I usually focus on weed since it is the least dangerous, and most people that are here have little or no problem with its consumption. And while there is a personal stake in it to an extent (I smoke weed), my arguments have nothing to do with that, and everything to do with shutting down organized crime, reducing taxes, and increasing social programs funding with the use of taxes gained from the regulated sale of drugs.

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What I always found ironic

What I always found ironic is that glue, paint, whipped cream cans and pharmecuticals are not only legal, but very easy to get. And they can be drugs.

Yet people are put in prison for owning a plant that isn't dangerous and has many potential health care uses (i.e. cancer paitients)

The drug war is silly. Like prohibition, banning something people want creates more crime than it prevents, and often leads to terrible circumstances with far more desperate junkies, addicts and gangs.

I honestly think "gateway drug" = bullshit. I have friends that smoke pot but would never touch cocaine or even alcohol. If someone has an addiction problem, it's because there already WAS a problem that caused them to become dependent on chemicals. The whole scare story of an innocent teenager experimenting and turning into a homeless dealer is SO 1970's...

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I agree with everything you

I agree with everything you have said. If drugs were to be legalised like you've said, there would be other benefits.

There'd be a greater awareness level of drugs, children and people in general would have a better knowledge of drugs. It would make people far more open to the idea of drug use, and there would be a better general understanding between drug users and people that don't do drugs. The police and even the army will have a lot more time to spend on more important things, other crimes will go down. Proper education would need to be put in place (Not just the typical "drugs are bad" that you learn in school Sticking out tongue) to try to encourage people to make their own decisions.

Its generally an idea that should be considered, but its never going to happen unfortunately.

 

I hate how as soon as idea of "something that gets you high" comes up, politics and a whole load of anti-drug mothers, demand that it is made illegal. And why? What harm will come of it?

A good example is Salvia divinorum (Info - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Salvia_divinorum) which has recently had a lot of scaremongers trying to get everyone worried in a pledge to make it illegal. Its now illegal in some states in america i believe, but is still widely available. It hasn't even been researched to find what harm can come through use.

Gets you high? -BANG- Illegal. Without thought or real reason.

 

 

 


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Quote: Gets you high? -BANG-

Quote:
Gets you high? -BANG- Illegal. Without thought or real reason.

That's so true, I just watched a documentry on marijuana called "hooked". It said that the first scientific studies after marijauana was criminalized that were paid for basically in hopes of finding some reason to ban the plant were glowing with praise for it. Like what the fuck its like those vaccines that prevent cervical cancer!

 

This is probably just the alcohol talking but now I kind of wish Mccain had been elected, so that America will fall and other countires will stop following its stupid conservative initiated drug laws that make no sense.

 

 


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More than likely, I would have died.

 

Had drugs been legelized sooner, I probably would have overdosed. I wouldn't mind if marijuana is legalized, I'm not so sure about the hard stuff. I could have never existed were I aborted. I would have died had drugs been legaized. But that didn't happen. I had the correct environment and my parents were prepared. I was limited to the hard drugs I did. I am still alive.

What does one have to benifit from smoking crack cocaine at a young and vulnerable age? More than likely a short life. It's a tough call, case by case, both person, drug, and surroundings.

I know wouldn't want meth running rampant anywhere around me.


anniet
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Secularosis wrote: What

Secularosis wrote:

 

What does one have to benifit from smoking crack cocaine at a young and vulnerable age? More than likely a short life. It's a tough call, case by case, both person, drug, and surroundings.

The benefit doesn't come from the use of the drug, it comes from no longer pushing the user into more destructive behavior. 

The wider community is going to be negatively affected by hard drug use.  Which is better - 1) Keeping the situation controlled by knowing who is using and allowing them access to minimal amounts of their chemical of choice via legal, safe, and cheaper methods or 2) Forcing them to hide, making the option of other illegal behavior more attractive due to a marginalized status and not having anything to lose and then paying for them to sit on their ass in jail when eventually caught?  I think option #1 allows for easier identification of those who will take self-destructive behavior beyond the self to others, is more cost-effective, and allows better channels for reintegration into society for those who no longer want to be users. 

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Secularosis wrote: Had

Secularosis wrote:

 

Had drugs been legelized sooner, I probably would have overdosed. I wouldn't mind if marijuana is legalized, I'm not so sure about the hard stuff. I could have never existed were I aborted. I would have died had drugs been legaized. But that didn't happen. I had the correct environment and my parents were prepared. I was limited to the hard drugs I did. I am still alive.

What does one have to benifit from smoking crack cocaine at a young and vulnerable age? More than likely a short life. It's a tough call, case by case, both person, drug, and surroundings.

I know wouldn't want meth running rampant anywhere around me.

The root causes of all the problems with meth can be traced directly to government regulation of other drugs. It is insanely cheap, timely, and easy to make. Hundreds of times more so than even weed, where all you have to do is plop a seed into dirt and make sure it gets water and sunlight(or a similar source of energy) for a few months. If all drugs had been regulated properly decades ago, then meth would likely never have existed.

As for you being dead from overdose, if drugs were legal and properly regulated, that's quite improbable. The vast majority of overdoses stems from a miscalculation of the amount of drug taken by the user. If handed out in a safe and controlled environment, the chances of that happening are microscopic.

Proud Canadian, Enlightened Atheist, Gaming God.


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Thanks for the responses

Thanks for the responses guys as they answered the key points I addressed. As I said before, it's a tough call for me. I'm for trying it so as long the environment is carefully calculated.

Now I am curios to see if there are any long term studies on clinical meth useage. While the amount of a drug can be regulated, the diet of the user may be a little harder to control. Death from malnutrition is another factor amongst heavy drug users as well as self inflicted injuries.


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 While I do see the logic

 While I do see the logic and can see that it could possibly work I just can't see this as the best way to move forward

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Whatever goes upon four legs, or has wings, is a friend.
No animal shall wear clothes.
No animal shall sleep in a bed.
No animal shall drink alcohol.
No animal shall kill any other animal.
All animals are equal.


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Tapey wrote: While I do see

Tapey wrote:

 While I do see the logic and can see that it could possibly work I just can't see this as the best way to move forward

If you have lingering objections to a plan that you do think is logical, maybe you should try to sort through your objections and see where they're coming from.  Either there is a part of the issue that hasn't been addressed that you could helpfully bring to everybody else's attention, or you're not thinking based on logic.  Don't get me wrong, that happens to everybody sometimes and doesn't make you bad or dumb.  It does mean you might want to mull over why you're thinking the way you are on this issue.  There is a lot of emotion and propaganda linked to this issue (in the U.S. at least) that you've probably been exposed to over the years.  Or, it could be that those of us advocating legalization have overlooked something that we really should consider.  Either way, I'd be interested to hear what you come up with.

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 Let me explain then, ok


 Let me explain then, ok the legalizing of drugs in my mind will undoubtedly help people who are already hooked as long as the right steps are taken. a lot of gangs use drug money i believe, taking this away can only help in the long run however in the short run I would expect a rise in robberies as they try to make up for the money lost. (I’m talking south Africa here as I don't know about America's gangs) This is the first place that makes me wonder if it's really such a good idea as people could die that wouldn't of normally. Is it worth it? It's debatable imo long term vs. short term etc.

 

Ok next is would the legalization in the long run cause people who wouldn't of normally tried drugs to get hooked? That depends on a lot of things and no one can say to a certainty that no one would. This is the main place I would worry about Heroin and other hard drugs really do mess up peoples live legal or not. Anyone who knows a heroin addict can testify to this (there may be a few that manage but the majority?) Is it worth gambling people’s lives on?

I recognize that it could work, A reputable source of the drugs would mean they could be regulated as such make less addicting over a period of time also the additives could be taken out. It would take it away from the street making it less dangerous for people to buy. (I don't know about in America but over here people pose as dealers and rob you when you approach) If all profit is spent on free rehab centers it could get people off them. less money in the gangs etc.

 

A very important question is the state able to produce and distribute cheaper than dealers, This is important to where people would buy. Remember it would have to be heavily regulated to make sure there are no under the table deals and quality control as well. Of course it could be sold at a loss and rely on tax money to sell people drugs (I’m not sure why but that just sounds wrong) There are too many factors to take into consideration and to many are possible that they would back fire.

 

I see the logic that it may work but it is also very possible it would have many implications that were not expected. Also Is it really the way we want humanity to be heading? Legalizing things that really are illegal for good reason even with the best intentions? I would favor just sitting down and talking to people, not lying that cannabis funds terrorism or that pot causes you to kill people. Just the simple truth. It’s all about risk reward. Is the reward great enough to cover the risk? There is a lot of risk to cover.

 

Whatever goes upon two legs is an enemy.
Whatever goes upon four legs, or has wings, is a friend.
No animal shall wear clothes.
No animal shall sleep in a bed.
No animal shall drink alcohol.
No animal shall kill any other animal.
All animals are equal.


anniet
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Thanks for taking me up on

Thanks for taking me up on my suggestion and posting more.  You have some good objections here.  Let me see what I can do to give you a bit of a different perspective on these concerns.  I would not that I'm not using the quote functionality as that caused me some serious problems and loss of paragraphs in the 1st attempt at this reply.  Please just bear with the format.

 

"Let me explain then, ok the legalizing of drugs in my mind will undoubtedly help people who are already hooked as long as the right steps are taken. a lot of gangs use drug money i believe, taking this away can only help in the long run however in the short run I would expect a rise in robberies as they try to make up for the money lost. (I’m talking south Africa here as I don't know about America's gangs) This is the first place that makes me wonder if it's really such a good idea as people could die that wouldn't of normally. Is it worth it? It's debatable imo long term vs. short term etc. "

This actually seems to be an argument for decriminalization.  Although there would probably be a short-term increase in problems, we're looking at the long-term here.  Current gang members who switch to other methods of making up lost income would be making their way to jail.  Prospective members would be less likely to join as the profit motive for dealing would be undercut.  Remember that the lower level drug dealers (the vast majority) are not getting rich from dealing.  Yes, it is a better money maker than McDonald's, but is really not that great at providing a good level of income.  Weeds is fun, but not realistic.  Undercut the ability of the base to make money and you have undercut a good deal of the power of any gang.  Long-term drug dealing and being part of a dealing community becomes far less attractive.

 

"Ok next is would the legalization in the long run cause people who wouldn't of normally tried drugs to get hooked? That depends on a lot of things and no one can say to a certainty that no one would. This is the main place I would worry about Heroin and other hard drugs really do mess up peoples live legal or not. Anyone who knows a heroin addict can testify to this (there may be a few that manage but the majority?) Is it worth gambling people’s lives on? "

From what I've read this has not happened in areas of Europe that have worked with decriminalization of use.  (Hopefully some of the folks from these areas will chime in here. ) 

Frankly, people have a right to screw themselves over.  I used to be an addict many years ago.  When people get to a point where they no longer care about themselves or life in general they will find a way to screw themselves over.  Take away one avenue for this and they will find another.  There is also more self-medication than trying to get trippy in the addict communities.  If you can identify who is using you can begin to work on steering them towards betters ways of addressing their problems, including better medications than heroin, meth, or whatever else it is they are abusing.  Throwing them in jail does not help in any way.  It is rare to find programs that actually address addiction and why someone has gotten themselves into a situation where their life means nothing to them.  You're never going to stop 100% of the population from becoming addicts.  What is the best way to minimize the damage when they do take this road?  Current policy has been a complete failure and makes it harder to escape the addict life.  And you can't have true and open discussion regarding the issues involved in drug use when you can be prosecuted for admitting to use (and the super low level dealing that often accompanies use) .  Decriminalize use and you open up the discussion and the ability to analyze drug use and its consequences. 

"I recognize that it could work, A reputable source of the drugs would mean they could be regulated as such make less addicting over a period of time also the additives could be taken out. It would take it away from the street making it less dangerous for people to buy. (I don't know about in America but over here people pose as dealers and rob you when you approach) If all profit is spent on free rehab centers it could get people off them. less money in the gangs etc.

 

A very important question is the state able to produce and distribute cheaper than dealers, This is important to where people would buy. Remember it would have to be heavily regulated to make sure there are no under the table deals and quality control as well. Of course it could be sold at a loss and rely on tax money to sell people drugs (I’m not sure why but that just sounds wrong) There are too many factors to take into consideration and to many are possible that they would back fire. "

Seeing as you have just begun to address some of the major issues in just a simple internet posting, there don't too many factors to consider.  Afghanistan is already growing heroin and we have a presence there.  Buying from them seems a good way to undercut the Taliban.  Mexico and Columbia are suffering considerably from the U.S. drug war.  It wouldn't take much to get Mexicans on board as partners for providing legal drugs.  If the FARC causes too many problems in Columbia, you just up the involvement of Mexico and Ecuador.  Both countries are stable enough that our government ought to be able to easily work out agreements with both.

Quality control addresses the death issue you (and many others) have with illegal drugs.  Too pure, you use too much and die.  Too crappy you get nasty side effects that can lead to death.  (Check out pictures of flesh eating bacteria if you'd like.  That's some pure nastiness. )

"I am that I am." - Proof that the writers of the bible were beyond stoned.


Tapey
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Btw i genrally like

Btw i genrally like exploring both sides thats why parts of what I write shows reasons for decrimalisation. There are genuine reasons to consider it for me to argue otherwise would be wrong.

 

I would assume if a country were to legalise hard drugs they would make it themselves. Soft drugs like weed sure import but the mixing of chemicals whitch require accuracy to make sure its with in goverment limits I think would be best done by the the goverment or at least in the country (by private organisations) so the goverment can easily keep there eyes on it. I supose that doesn't mean that it couldn't be done outside the country effectivlty but then it would require even more quality control as you are not in direct control of the production anymore. The goverment may have to pay to set the producers up with hygenic work areas and carefully moniter that aswell (I may be wrong there), Even if it was done overseas and bought, the goverment would still have to employ people full time to work at each production house to make sure everything is run up to standards (I don't think the army would be the best people to do this, besides I speak from the south African side we don't have a presance there however for the sake of arguement i will speak as if we did). It would be cheaper this way but im my eyes the risk goes up, not garenteed to ever reach it's potential but it's still there.

 

As for people ruining there lives I somewhat agree If you have been warned and you go ahead and your life falls apart whose fault is it? However it affects other peoples lives aswell not just your own. All your friends and family and anyone that cares for you, It affects them aswell. They never signed up for it. 

 

As far as I know it is only amsterdam that has legal drugs. Even there it is only weed (witch really I don't have a serious objection to it being legal just a few minor points, I wouldn't say the end is near if it was legal though) The problem is hard drugs ,weed isn't adictive from my experience hard drugs are so I don't think we can use that as a good model on how it could opperate. 

 

Self medication is an area where it would undoutedly help, you could get people on the correct medication and hopefully off the drugs. I wouldn't know how many are self medicaters and how many just to get high.

 

One thing I do 100% agree with you on is current policy, Its embarising. I do belive it needs updating worldwide. Is this the method I would choose? no. Could it work? yes. There are lots of problems that could be sorted out but I believe there is a cheaper way that is could be equally effective. More importantly there are options with less risk.

I would suggest a more open policy towards drugs but not going all the way to legalising them.

 

P.S. excuse the spelling and incoherent arguements its late here 

 

 

Whatever goes upon two legs is an enemy.
Whatever goes upon four legs, or has wings, is a friend.
No animal shall wear clothes.
No animal shall sleep in a bed.
No animal shall drink alcohol.
No animal shall kill any other animal.
All animals are equal.


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were can i get some pot around here.

I think drugs should definatly be legalized. You don't depend on the government to make you a good person. Weed should have never been illegal. Just look at how many people alcohol kills compared to it. I'm sure alot of folks wrote the same stuff i'm going to say so I will spare everyone. Here is a youtube clip i found to be true and funny at the same time. It is Congressmen Ron Paul telling someone how it is.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vi1nxu-Sy-w

 

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and hang them up before the Lord
against the sun.” -- Numbers 25:4


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Legalize Drugs?

Of course drugs should be legal.  The US government spends !0 billion dollars trying to legeslate morality.  It failed with alcohol and made a lot of criminals very rich.  If they are legal some people will destroy themselves as with alcohol.  But they will do it  at a greatly reduced cost.  When I was in high school pot cost $15 an ounce.  I don't know but I suspect it costs more now.  Legalize it and it will no longer be possible to make a profit on it.