When recreational drugs are legal...

Discussion in 'The Study' started by Bill Mattocks, Jun 29, 2012.

  1. Steve

    Steve Mostly Harmless

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    Sooooo.... can we just cut and paste posts from the previous iterations of this exact same thread?

    It is demonstrably true that prohibition creates crime.

    It is also true that "recreational drugs" of all kinds create problems for people who abuse them.

    It is also true that crazy people do crazy things. One of the interesting things I've seen in my dealings with all manner of people who are insane is that they often self medicate... to the point that doctors have a very difficult time determining whether they are insane because they take all manner of drugs or whether they take all manner of drugs because they are insane. Back in the 80s, Congress changed the definition of disability to allow for drug addiction and alcoholism, if severe enough, to be considered a disabling condition. As a result, we had a ton of drug addicts and alcoholics receiving Social Security disability and SSI. Then, in the mid 90s, the definition was changed, and every single person on the books had to receive a new determination (and there were millions of them). The question at hand was essentially, if you didn't take drugs would you still be disabled? Millions were cut, but millions more were not.

    Point is that recreational drugs are, by any measure, bad for you if abused. This includes ALL recreational drugs, including the ones that are legal, such as alcohol. And if abused, they will all lead to very bad things. Again, this includes alcohol.

    Now, we've tried banning alcohol and it didn't go so well for us. It led to violence and the criminalization of a whole bunch of otherwise law abiding citizens. So, that's kind of my bar. When I think about whether something should be legal, I think about what sort of damage it would do to society. How difficult is it to abuse? How addictive is it? Is use of the substance likely to lead to more violence... or at least, more violence than use of alcohol?

    I'd say there are some that are clearly harmful. In this category are drugs like crack, cocaine, heroin and the "legal" equivalents such as Oxycontin and the vast array of prescription drugs killing people all the time.

    In the category of not more harmful than alcohol, I'd put weed.

    So, it's really case by case. Ultimately, the questions we should be asking is would legalization lead to MORE crime or LESS? Is the drug more dangerous than alcohol or tobacco? Is the drug likely to become addictive and if so, is addiction likely to lead to loss of job (because addiction of itself is okay... many are addicted to caffeine or cigarettes or chocolate and manage to live long, productive lives)?

    Some clearly are, and other are clearly not.
     
  2. Steve

    Steve Mostly Harmless

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    Wow... I just read through the balance of the thread, and things did get a little heated. I would like to make clear that I understand for our LEO friends here that recreational drugs of all kinds, legal or not, creates work for you. Sometimes, very unpleasant work.

    Legalization won't eliminate all of that work. But, I firmly believe that in some cases, legalization will result in regulation. Alcohol is labeled. You know how strong it is. You know what's in it. You know that it won't make you go blind. You know that you can purchase it from a store that is on the up and up, and you won't have to go to a back alley. You can make choices about what you'd like to drink... the quality of it. Most people drink responsibly. They have a beer or two. They drink a few fingers of scotch to relax after a long day. They don't drive under the influence.

    And the truth is, the same is absolutely true of weed. Its use is pervasive. To pretend that millions of responsible, law abiding people don't smoke weed is simple denial. We all break laws. Whether its to jaywalk, stretch the speed limit or whatever. To millions, smoking a bowl is that. It's a largely unenforced law that doesn't really mean anything. And yet, it creates an entire economy of violence and depravity that would be dramatically reduced just as we saw happen when prohibition was repealed.
     
    Last edited: Jun 29, 2012
  3. WC_lun

    WC_lun Senior Master

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    Drugs, including alcohol will be abused, no matter if legal or illegal. Prohibition can be a handy reference, as is most history. The question as I see it, is which would be more beneficial....or least detrimental to society, legal or illegal. As it stands now, money on illicet drugs make thier way to drug lords that use that money in combination with violence to increase thier hold on the illegal market, to make more money. If drugs were legal, particularly for marijuana, that money could be funnelled to both farmers (growers) and the government, through taxes. However, would legalizing drugs effect how many people in our society abuse them, making them a drain on society? I honestly don't know the answer to that. I know alcohol is the single biggest problem drug in the US, and it is legal. I do not know whether that supports the case for lealization or to keep drugs criminalized.
     
  4. granfire

    granfire Sr. Grandmaster

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    Well, a large part of the alcohol problem also stems from the insane legal age limit.
    In other nations kids get it out of their systems matter of factly without the great 'ZOMG it's illegal for me to drink it I gotta have it'

    Redirect the under age drinking thing and the numbers look differently I am sure.
     
  5. WC_lun

    WC_lun Senior Master

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    Perhaps. I have always thought it strange that here in the US a person is deemed old enough to make decisions on voting and giving thier life in service of country, but not old enough to make decisions on alcohol use. I wonder if there is any hard data on the differences of use when the age limit was 18 and now when it is 21?
     
  6. Makalakumu

    Makalakumu Gonzo Karate Apocalypse

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    There is data on the developmental difference between an 18 and 21 year old. There is no difference.
     
  7. granfire

    granfire Sr. Grandmaster

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    It blows my mind more that a preteen can go to the big house....do they give him a smoke, drink and a hooker for the bus ride, too?

    I think honestly the studies need to be more researched, because I have the sneaky suspicion that they were made to support the odd 21 limit. After all, when that came about neuro research was still in it's infancy!
     
  8. K-man

    K-man Grandmaster

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    The sad part is, we can't even joke about it. I'm amazed that so many of you guys are into drugs. :s499:
     
  9. Tez3

    Tez3 Sr. Grandmaster

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    Sigh, you don't actually take onboard what people are saying, we don't care what you do, we just care when you endanger others, if you don't we still don't care.

    One hundred people could take a specific recreational drug, 80 might be fine with it, living in the land of peace and love, 20 may not they may kill, rape, bite peoples faces off, should the 80 have their freedom to take that drug at the price of allowing the 20 to do damge? No, of course not, yeah it's tough on the 80 but hey if they don't like it they can go off somewhere and live on their own. They want to stay part of society then they compromise, just like the rest of us do.

    It's fine having principles and espousing that one is free to do anything one likes until it's your family member that is killed/maimed by the drunk/drugged driver. It's fine having academic argumetns like this with high minded declarations of what I do to my body is nobodies business but the reality is that it all ends in tears with some poor sod of a police officer or paramedic picking up the pieces along with a family. If drugs weren't a problem nobody would be having this discussion, governments and police forces all around the world wouldn't have to bother either but the truth is it is a problem.
     
  10. Tez3

    Tez3 Sr. Grandmaster

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    I've always wondered why 'jaywalking' is a crime in America? It's not here, we don't even use the expression, crossing the road you can use a crossing or not, up to you.

    Anyway, to legalise drugs or not? Depends on the country, the laws and the way voters feel, it should be well discussed and researched but what I simply cannot understand is those who use drugs thinking that because they do without obvious consequences that drugs are harmless, no one can deny that drugs and what comes with it is causing problems in our towns and cities, the side effects of drug gangs and dealing, those who steal, maim and kill either for drugs or when on drugs. To simple deny there's a problem will mean never getting even started in finding a solution to suit the majority of people.

    People are taking drugs and presenting no problems to society (may well be a different story within famlies etc) but is that a good enough reason to think there's not a problem in general? I'd like to see proper discussion rather than the selfish ones we usually get, discussion that look to the good of socity not just an individual. Nothing should be either legalised or made illegal because it suits a small amount of people and damages the majority.
     
  11. ballen0351

    ballen0351 Sr. Grandmaster

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    Heres a few reasons why it matters to me what you put in your body. This is what I deal with daily. In fact the first clip was taken where I work. This fine citizen by the way is now dead he got high and walked into traffic a few months after this was filmed



    Heres another:


    Heres one on Heroin:


    Meth:

    These were mostly non-violent clips but these people do get very violent.
    So your false argument that its my body and I dont bother anyone else is just a Lie. These people bother the rest of the people that live in these neighborhoods, the kids that get to see naked men rolling around on the ground, The Heroin Zombies that are all over baltimore and Washington DC, So yes they are destroying their oen bodies but they are also destroying the communities that others need to live in.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 24, 2014
  12. ballen0351

    ballen0351 Sr. Grandmaster

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    So if you can show me how making it legal will stop that then ld back it. You cant so Im against it. Good thing is the drug user is his own worst enemy because if it ever came up for a vote clips like that would be everywhere, more reports of face eaters and zombie killers would surface and nobody would vote for it to be legal.

    So Yes its your body smoke whatever you want but it does effect others and thats why its illegal.
     
  13. ballen0351

    ballen0351 Sr. Grandmaster

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    Also for the ones that dont know the first 2 are people who just smoked a Dipper which is a cigarette thats dipped in liquid PCP. Very popular here costs about $20 per cigarette.
     
  14. Tez3

    Tez3 Sr. Grandmaster

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    The come backs you will get back to these are the 'me me' ones, that the person smokes quietly in his own house and never causes a problem so why should he be banned for what others do. You are never going to convince them of the dangers to the rest of us because it's always 'someone else', only until the day comes and it's them and theirs that are hurt will they look to see the other side of the argument.

    It's good to have the least amount of laws you can have and still be a civilised society but until, as you say, you can stop things like the ones you've highlighted happening how can recreational drugs be legalised? Sometimes we have to have laws that some dislike just to safeguard people. I'm all for getting rid of laws and letting people live as they wish but there's always that 'but' there's always those from whom the civilised majority need safeguarding however it seems unfair to some. I agree with you, show us how legalising these drugs will help stop crime, gangs, deaths and injuries etc and I'll be in the line to legalise these drugs. I don't want a restricted by law society anymore than anyone else but I also want to live in as safe a society as possible, I don't want to be looking over my shoulder all the time or worrying that my kids are in danger, even in a civilised place there's still enough dangers that if you thought about them you'd go nuts so one less thing to worry about is good.
     
  15. celtic_crippler

    celtic_crippler Senior Master

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    Absolutely fascinating... it's more important for you people to be "right" than to accept the fact that the War on Drugs is failed policy. Even though tons of evidence has been presented and is out there for you to look at, you igore it all because of some self righteous need to be "right". Not one of you addressed one single fact. Instead you continue to preach from your soapbox regurgitating the rhetoric you've been spoon fed your whole life.

    Forget finding a solution, you're not interested in helping these people. You just want to lock them up and forget about them. Guess what. It ain't working. And the policy you support creates more victims than the addicts themselves. But you'll never accept that because to do so would be admitting you are wrong.

    Continue ignoring the facts and continue to be part of the problem.
     
  16. ballen0351

    ballen0351 Sr. Grandmaster

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    The only one regurgitating anything is you. Your posting crap from some doc you don't even know. I am giving you the cold hard facts and reality you choose to ignore the facts and refuse to answer the questions asked of you. I do care about these people that's why I do the job I do because I do care. I put the dealer from the first clip away for 14 years for selling PCP which led to the death of the man in the video
     
  17. Tez3

    Tez3 Sr. Grandmaster

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    Okay so suppose we assume you are correct, what's your solution to solve the problem of those who deal drugs, take drugs and harm people? simply legalising drugs doesn't make the problem go away. You are very quick to pour scorn on people but offer no solutions. All you are doing is being argumentative you have no ideas original or otherwise on how to deal with the fall out of drug taking, you have no ideas on how to make life better for anyone just derision for others.

    Don't you think Ballen has better things to do and would much rather do than deal with those on drugs and the dealers etc? Don't you think that he'd like less laws just the same as the rest of us? Come up with a way to actually sort the problem out, anyone can say something isn't working, the trick is to come up with what will work.
     
  18. WC_lun

    WC_lun Senior Master

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    They are not wrong on what they are saying the results of drug abuse are. They deal with it every day. We do pay a price for illegal drugs, both from the violence by the sellers and the problems caused by the users. People on both sides of the issue are using emtion to fuel thier arguements. What are the facts? How does keeping drugs illegal safeguard society? How does legalizing do the same? Both sides have costs in money and lives. Which is the greater costs?
     
  19. K-man

    K-man Grandmaster

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    Perhaps we might understand your position better if you told us what you personally use. The way I see it is that those who have hands on experience with drug abuse wouldn't go near drugs and don't want there family and friends exposed to the problem. Those who use drugs 'know' that they aren't a problem and would like the law changed.

    Just in case you missed the link posted by Tgace, here it is again:

    http://www.americamagazine.org/content/article.cfm?article_id=11148

    I'd love to read your response. :asian:
     
  20. Steve

    Steve Mostly Harmless

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    It seems some of you have a different approach and are asking the question, "Will legalization of X or Y drug make things better?" The answer in some cases is yes, I believe, but in many cases the answer is clearly no. Legalizing heroin, crack, PCP, meth or drugs in that category will clearly not make things better, and it may actually lead to an increase in illicit use and addiction of these drugs.

    But lets look at the actual statistics.

    In 2010, according to the National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH), about 22.6 million Americans age 12 and older are "past month" illicit drug users (about 8.9% of the entire 12+ age population). That's just stuff that's illegal and doesn't include alcohol or tobacco even though those are both illegal for minors. Of those, 17.4 million smoked weed. And of the 17.4 million, it was the ONLY illicit drug used by over 60%

    What's number 2? Psychotherapeutics at 7 million. That's 7 million people 12 or older who are "past month" users of LEGAL prescription drugs used for recreational, non-medical purposes.

    After that, it drops off considerably. Number 3 is 1.5 million who used some form of cocaine to include crack. Point here is that marijuana use is currently pervasive. Use figures for marijuana, in spite of its status as "illicit," are staggering. It also demonstrates very clearly that the real health issue for America isn't the supposedly dangerous illicit drugs like crack or meth. It's the illicit use of "legal" drugs like sedatives, pain relievers, tranquilizers and stimulants.

    While 17.4 million Americans are "past month" users of weed, the entire total use of all other drugs was about 9 million, and 7 million of those users were abuse of prescription meds.

    Another interesting statistic. Although the rate of current illicit drug use was higher among unemployed persons in 2010 compared with those who were either employed full time, employed part time, or "other" (which includes retired persons, disabled persons, homemakers, students, and other persons not in the labor force), most of these users were employed. Of the 20.2 million current illicit drug users aged 18 or older in 2010, 13.3 million (65.9 percent) were employed either full or part time.

    Interesting study for anyone interested:
    http://www.samhsa.gov/data/NSDUH/2k10NSDUH/2k10Results.htm

    And just to stem off any inevitable accusations, I haven't smoked weed since 1989. The only illicit drug use I've taken part in was to keep some vicodin in the cupboard for my back one time that I got legally from my doctor, but didn't "properly dispose" of after I began to feel better. I enjoy an alcoholic beverage regularly, but seldom drink more than 2.

    Ballen, to address your question of coming up with something that will work, one thing would be to stop clogging up our justice system with non-violent hippies who like to smoke pot so that we can more effectively deal with the violent and destructive members of society. Legalizing weed would eliminate the criminal element from that demographic, and as I showed above, that is a huge amount of people. While we're at it, we need to think about how we manage prescription medication and make it more difficult to get. This will also necessarily involve holding doctors more accountable for the prescriptions they write and removing the "free market" element from medicine which involves incentives to doctors for "prescribing" brand name medications and handing out samples like candy in order to get paid vacations and expensive gifts directly from the pharmaceutical distributors.

    But the absolute easiest thing that we can do would be to legalize weed, and right there you will have brought the lion's share of illicit drug use out into the open so that it can be regulated for consistency and strength, taxed and sold out in the open to responsible adults who wish to enjoy it. Then, as a society, we can deal with the much smaller group of violent and dangerous people who are hooked on stronger drugs like heroin and meth.

    Let's be clear, though. Weed isn't illegal because it's dangerous to society. It's illegal because there is a lot of money at stake. It's political and financial, not social.123
     

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