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Goodbye, Blue Sky

By DJBongHit in Culture
Wed Sep 27, 2000 at 10:42:54 AM EST
Tags: Culture (all tags)
Culture

From reading Slashdot over the last 3 years and kuro5hin over the last 6 months, and from running Smokedot, it's become apparent that I'm not the only geek who cares about the political system in our country. The issue of freedom on the internet is a hot topic lately, and while I feel it is important, it seems like a majority of the geek population is overlooking what I feel is an even greater threat to our way of life: the War on Drugs.


The War on Drugs has spiralled out of control. The politicians in this country have used the general public's fear of drugs and gangs as a tool to overstep their constitutinal bounds and slowly chip away at our rights and freedoms, and it's gone too far. Something needs to be done about it.

When Congress first passed anti-drug laws, they acknowledged that they had no Constitutional power to pass such a law, and instead passed them in the form of tax laws. Generally these laws grew and grew, under the guise of "Interstate Commerce Regulation." Today, they all but tear apart the Bill of Rights (which, along with the Constitution itself, is written on paper made from hemp).

Don't believe me?

Take a look at the Methamphetamine Anti-Proliferation Act (which was killed by the Senate, but the same thing was reintroduced in 2 other bills since). It makes it a Federal crime to " teach or demonstrate the manufacturing of a controlled substance, or to distribute by any means information pertaining to, in whole or in part, the manufacture or use of a controlled substance." Distributing information should be considered a Federal crime? So much for the First Amendment.

The Government is using the War on Drugs as an excuse to limit our ability to own firearms. Since drugs are a black market item, organized crime is involved because of the huge potential for profit. Wherever there's organized crime, there's violence. Wherever there's violence, people get upset. Whenever people are upset, they'll put up with whatever will get the cause of their angst to go away - even if it's unconstitutional. So unconstitutional gun laws are passed. So much for the Second Amendment.

In Oakland, CA, it is legal for the police to impound your vehicle and possessions if you are simply suspected of being involved with drugs. You don't even have to be charged with anything - and you'll never see your stuff again. So much for the Fourth and Fifth Amendments.

Need I go on with the rest?

A surefire sign of a corrupt Government is the number of laws it passes - even (ESPECIALLY) if they don't appear to be enforcing many of them. By having so many laws that everybody is a criminal in one way or another, the Government has all the power it needs to silence whoever it wants. If somebody is speaking out against the Government, all they have to do is enforce some stupid law that the person broke at some point in their lives. Into the jail they go. Germany did it in the 1930's, and I see it happening again in our country.

Abe Lincoln is quoted as saying "A Prohibition law strikes a blow at the very principles upon which our government was founded." He didn't say "Prohibition of alcohol," he said "Prohibition." It is not the government's place to tell us what we can and cannot put into our own bodies, but so many people blindly accept it anyway. Everybody accepts that Prohibition of alcohol caused a great deal of gang violence and other problems in this country, but fail to make the connection to the War on Drugs. If drugs were legalized, gang violence would drop, organized crime would take a huge hit, and our problem with overcrowded jails would be solved overnight. I'm not saying that this would be without problems, but it would sure be a lot better than what we have now. And the Government would even benefit - they could regulate the manufacture and sale of drugs and get lots of tax money out of the whole deal. Everybody wins (except the drug lords downstairs - there goes their income. Tough.).

The War on Drugs needs to end now. It's a massive waste of money and time, and puts millions of otherwise innocent people in jail, simply because they'd prefer to smoke a joint to relax in the evening than getting drunk down at the local bar. And it makes me embarrassed to call myself an American.

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Goodbye, Blue Sky | 218 comments (208 topical, 10 editorial, 0 hidden)
Gang Violence Isn't Likely To Drop (3.72 / 25) (#2)
by Carnage4Life on Wed Sep 27, 2000 at 07:55:08 AM EST

If drugs were legalized, gang violence would drop, organized crime would take a huge hit, and our problem with overcrowded jails would be solved overnight.

Although I agree that if the amount of people in jail for drug related offences were released, we would no longer have a jail overcrowding problem I doubt that gang violence would decrease to any significant degree.

In my own experience, having lived in a bad neighborhood with a friend who grew up in a much worse neighborhood and told me tales that would make you wonder about the depth of misery on this planet, I have realized that almost all situations where violence is perpetuated by young adults whether gang-related or not the participants are under the influence of some substance or the other. If there is easier access to the mind altering drugs that give these kids the courage (or is it foolishness) to be able to shoot, rape and kill their fellow man without remorse, I somehow doubt that we will see a decrease in the amount of violence perpetuated by gang members.

Also from first hand experience, most incidences of gang violence are not sparked by failed drug deals as the media would like us all to believe but instead revolve around affronts that the average person would imagine to be trivial or not worth getting bothered about.

Re: Gang Violence Isn't Likely To Drop (3.70 / 10) (#4)
by DJBongHit on Wed Sep 27, 2000 at 08:01:50 AM EST

In my own experience, having lived in a bad neighborhood with a friend who grew up in a much worse neighborhood and told me tales that would make you wonder about the depth of misery on this planet, I have realized that almost all situations where violence is perpetuated by young adults whether gang-related or not the participants are under the influence of some substance or the other. If there is easier access to the mind altering drugs that give these kids the courage (or is it foolishness) to be able to shoot, rape and kill their fellow man without remorse, I somehow doubt that we will see a decrease in the amount of violence perpetuated by gang members.

... and who's more likely to sell drugs or alcohol to somebody who's underage - a street dealer or a liquor store? In high school (for me, at least) it was a whole lot easier to get pot than alcohol, simply because alcohol was far more regulated. So by legalizing, you end up accomplishing what some of the biggest proponents of the War on Drugs are advocating anyway - getting drugs out of the hands of children.

And about those incidents of gang violence which are caused by things that most people wouldn't care about, well, those are gonna happen anyway. People go nuts over the stupidest things, and that isn't really the gang violence I was referring to.

~DJBongHit

--
GNU GPL: Free as in herpes.

[ Parent ]
Re: Gang Violence Isn't Likely To Drop (1.87 / 8) (#8)
by Carnage4Life on Wed Sep 27, 2000 at 08:46:26 AM EST

... and who's more likely to sell drugs or alcohol to somebody who's underage - a street dealer or a liquor store? In high school (for me, at least) it was a whole lot easier to get pot than alcohol, simply because alcohol was far more regulated. So by legalizing, you end up accomplishing what some of the biggest proponents of the War on Drugs are advocating anyway - getting drugs out of the hands of children.

That's a very good point.

[ Parent ]
Re: Gang Violence Isn't Likely To Drop (4.20 / 10) (#23)
by Alarmist on Wed Sep 27, 2000 at 10:14:16 AM EST

Also from first hand experience, most incidences of gang violence are not sparked by failed drug deals as the media would like us all to believe but instead revolve around affronts that the average person would imagine to be trivial or not worth getting bothered about.

True.

The War on Drugs is only a part of the social conditions that have conspired to create an underclass citizenry. These people are marginalized by society, usually from birth on the basis of skin color, then later in life on the basis of economic status (poverty is bad in the United States), and may be marginalized further still if they are convicted of any sort of crime.

One of the leading causes of death (if not the leading cause) for young black men in the United States is homicide. That should be telling everybody something, but it's not a statistic you see in the press much. When it is referred to at all, even obliquely, it is linked to the idea that "those dirty bastards are killing each other over drugs."

Yes, they fight over what are, to you and I, trivial matters. But when you have nothing at all, when your own family structure is unstable, you seek out others to become a surrogate family, and you fiercely defend what you do have. You know, consciously or not, that you have been robbed of everything else, and you're not going to stand being robbed any more.

Don't get me wrong; I'm not trying to paint a picture of life in the slums as being a noble struggle against oppression. It isn't. It is life at its worst--nasty, brutish, and short. But it is like that because of a number of factors, many of which are beyond the control of the people living in those circumstances.

The land of the free and the home of the brave, indeed. We ought to be ashamed that this is happening, and we ought to be further ashamed if we are doing nothing to stop it.

Fight the Power.


[ Parent ]

Re: Gang Violence Isn't Likely To Drop (3.20 / 5) (#60)
by Dolphineus on Wed Sep 27, 2000 at 12:44:36 PM EST

almost all situations where violence is perpetuated by young adults whether gang-related or not the participants are under the influence of some substance or the other.

More violent crimes are committed under the influence of alcohol than are committed under the influence of all illegal narcotics combined. But no politician wants to discuss that.

[ Parent ]
Candidates take on the Drug War (3.14 / 21) (#5)
by driph on Wed Sep 27, 2000 at 08:04:04 AM EST

For a brief overview of the Drug War related opinions of several candidates currently running for president, check out an earlier series of comments I wrote in this article just before Kuro5hin went down.

Come on people, let's try it just once. In this election, vote for the candidate that most closely represents your beliefs, regardless of major party affiliation.

--
Vegas isn't a liberal stronghold. It's the place where the rich and powerful gamble away their company's pension fund and strangle call girls in their hotel rooms. - Psycho Dave
Re: Candidates take on the Drug War (3.71 / 7) (#44)
by meatpuppet on Wed Sep 27, 2000 at 11:40:36 AM EST

Like most people, you missed the Socialist Party candidate. He's openly homosexual, admits to having smoked marijuana and burned his draft card, and has chosen a female VP. If I were to go third party, he'd get my vote.

[ Parent ]
This sums it up nicely, I think: (3.50 / 18) (#7)
by eann on Wed Sep 27, 2000 at 08:24:16 AM EST

Check out Issues 2000, specifically their page that lists each candidate's stated position on drugs.

Our scientific power has outrun our spiritual power. We have guided missiles and misguided men. —MLK

$email =~ s/0/o/; # The K5 cabal is out to get you.


Re: This sums it up nicely, I think: (3.00 / 7) (#39)
by Rand Race on Wed Sep 27, 2000 at 11:22:02 AM EST

Wow, Cheney wants paid informants. Just goes to prove what I've always believed; these assholes have absolutely no knowledge of history.

Paid informants have lead to horrid depradations throughout history. Check out the Roman (110BC-27BC) and French (1790-1800) revolutions for examples of just how bad an idea paid informants are.


"Question with boldness even the existence of God; because if there be one, He must approve the homage of Reason rather than that of blindfolded Fear." - Thomas Jefferson
[ Parent ]

A Question for DJBongHit (3.96 / 28) (#14)
by kunsan on Wed Sep 27, 2000 at 09:31:17 AM EST

Judging by your handle and the name of your website (name only, no page hits from me---yet), I get the impression that you may occasionly wear out a large baggy of MJ, but may not be a mainlining heroine addict or have blisters on your lips from hitting the crack pipe to hard.

My question is this. What drugs do you believe should be legalized? Should it be the less addictive, less damaging substances like MJ, or should the flood gates be open for all narcotics? Do we allow the manufacture and sale of high grade cocaine and heroine in our country, and then treat the addicts as they appear?

Woops, thats two questions. I apoligize. I just want to know which substances you want legalized.

I've not yet made up my mind on the whole "Legalize It" issue. Maybe we can shed some new light on the subject, and knock me off the fence in the process.
--

With a gun in your mouth, you only speak in vowels -- Fight Club
Re: A Question for DJBongHit (4.53 / 15) (#15)
by DJBongHit on Wed Sep 27, 2000 at 09:39:11 AM EST

Judging by your handle and the name of your website (name only, no page hits from me---yet), I get the impression that you may occasionly wear out a large baggy of MJ, but may not be a mainlining heroine addict or have blisters on your lips from hitting the crack pipe to hard.

Good guess. You've got me pegged :-)

My question is this. What drugs do you believe should be legalized? Should it be the less addictive, less damaging substances like MJ, or should the flood gates be open for all narcotics?

All drugs (with one exception - and that would be things that by taking, you could actually be damaging somebody else, like antibiotics. I think those should be tightly regulated). Anything that anybody wants to put into their bodies should be their business and not the Government's.

Don't get me wrong - if I had my way, cocaine and heroin wouldn't even exist. But they do, and it's not the Government's place to tell me that I can't put them into my own body.

Do we allow the manufacture and sale of high grade cocaine and heroine in our country, and then treat the addicts as they appear?

Yes, exactly. Would you rather have 12 year olds be able to buy heroin from a street dealer (with the possibility of getting tainted drugs and dying), or have people over the age of 21 be able to buy heroin over the counter from a liquor store, when it's regulated by the Government and you know that what you're getting is, in fact, heroin? And not only that, you know the exact dose you're getting, so there's less of a chance of an accidental overdose.

It's an issue of freedom, it has nothing to do with legalizing drugs per-se. It has to do with the Government having entirely too much control in our everyday lives.

~DJBongHit

--
GNU GPL: Free as in herpes.

[ Parent ]
Re: A Question for DJBongHit (3.33 / 15) (#20)
by tayknight on Wed Sep 27, 2000 at 10:09:42 AM EST

Would you rather have 12 year olds be able to buy heroin from a street dealer (with the possibility of getting tainted drugs and dying), or have people over the age of 21 be able to buy heroin over the counter from a liquor store,
How are you going to keep people under the age of 21 from getting the legalized drugs? Under your system, you now have people under the age of 21 breaking the law, but those over 21 getting high legally. If teenagers are gonna do drugs, they are gonna do them anyway. I doubt a 16 year old would say 'Hmm, mabye I should wait 5 years to smoke this joint.'
Pair up in threes - Yogi Berra
[ Parent ]
Re: A Question for DJBongHit (3.83 / 12) (#26)
by DJBongHit on Wed Sep 27, 2000 at 10:17:53 AM EST

How are you going to keep people under the age of 21 from getting the legalized drugs? Under your system, you now have people under the age of 21 breaking the law, but those over 21 getting high legally. If teenagers are gonna do drugs, they are gonna do them anyway. I doubt a 16 year old would say 'Hmm, mabye I should wait 5 years to smoke this joint.'

No, of course not. But I think drugs should be handled the same way that alcohol currently is. Teenagers drink, as well - but when they're busted they don't get 20 years in prison. I saw a story on 20/20 or one of those shows about the War on Drugs and there was a 40 year old lady who had just finished serving nearly 20 years for a first time marijuana possession offense.

~DJBongHit

--
GNU GPL: Free as in herpes.

[ Parent ]
Re: A Question for DJBongHit (3.40 / 5) (#61)
by Dakkon on Wed Sep 27, 2000 at 12:50:33 PM EST

I saw a story on 20/20 or one of those shows about the War on Drugs and there was a 40 year old lady who had just finished serving nearly 20 years for a first time marijuana possession offense.

I think this is a fine example of one of the real problems within the legalize argument. There is a problem with many of the laws controlling potentially dangerous substances in this country right now(as if that wasn't painfully obvious). I think that if this the drug legalization effort is going to get any serious support then the supporters have to offer up some way of controlling substance ABUSE.

No matter how you look at it there are certain substances that have the potential to be hazardous to the health of persons other than the user. Alcohol is a fine example of the problem, in particular, driving while drunk.

Personally, I think that if a person is caught driving while intoxicated, the penalties should be hundreds of times harsher than they currently are. Something like: first offense, licence suspended for one year, 1000$ fine. Second offense, charged with attempted murder, licence suspended for life, 5000$ fine, 2 year prison sentance. (BTW, that is very close to the way DUI/DWI laws work in many european countries).

If a law such as this were suggested by legalization supporters then I know I for one would be much more comfortable with a persons choice to use MJ/Cocaine/Heroine/Whatever. I would be inclined to support legalization in such a case. At the moment however, I am afraid that if drugs were legalized we would have much the same problem were are having with drinking and driving right now, and it wouldn't be restricted to just driving problems. Someone in anther comment mentioned Pilots and Doctors, I don't want the government doing something stupid and passing a law that makes it illegal for an employer to discriminate against drug users of any sort. If you use any sort of drug, I should have the right to decline to hire you, or fire you if you begin using.

I also feel that there should be regulations on certain lines of employment. If you are a doctor or a pilot, and it is discovered that you have begun using drugs of any sort, thats a public safety risk. Charge him/her with attempted murder, revoke their licence permanently, and throw them in prison for a year or two.

Ok, this rant has gone on long enough, if supporters of the legalization movement want to gain legitamate recognition, they need to propose some regulations that could prove that public safety can be maintained.

My .03$
Dakkon

[ Parent ]
Re: A Question for DJBongHit (4.50 / 4) (#94)
by DJBongHit on Wed Sep 27, 2000 at 02:57:45 PM EST

I think that if this the drug legalization effort is going to get any serious support then the supporters have to offer up some way of controlling substance ABUSE.

Why? If somebody gets hooked on drugs and starts robbing people, ARREST THEM! But arrest them because they've been robbing people, don't arrest them because of a bad choice they made in getting hooked on heroin.

If you use any sort of drug, I should have the right to decline to hire you, or fire you if you begin using.

And I should have the right to not tell you I'm using a drug. If it's affecting my work performance, fire me. But if it's not, you have no valid reason to fire me. And you'll be able to make this distinction based on my job performance rather than chemically analyzing my piss.

If you are a doctor or a pilot, and it is discovered that you have begun using drugs of any sort, thats a public safety risk. Charge him/her with attempted murder, revoke their licence permanently, and throw them in prison for a year or two.

Alcohol is a drug. A dangerous, destructive, violence-inducing, toxic drug. If a pilot is spotted at a bar, should he be thrown in prison for a year?

You're not making a distinction between a drug USER and a drug ABUSER. There is a world of difference, just as there's a difference between people who drink socially and people who get plastered every night and beat up their wives and children.

~DJBongHit

--
GNU GPL: Free as in herpes.

[ Parent ]
Re: A Question for DJBongHit (3.75 / 4) (#104)
by Dakkon on Wed Sep 27, 2000 at 03:38:13 PM EST

Why? If somebody gets hooked on drugs and starts robbing people, ARREST THEM! But arrest them because they've been robbing people, don't arrest them because of a bad choice they made in getting hooked on heroin.

I don't recall saying or implying that you should arrest them because of their choice to use a given substance. What I said/implied was that there needs to be safegaurds against abuse. Along with that comes acknowledgment of the need for repercussions should someone cause harm while they were under the influence of a drug.

And I should have the right to not tell you I'm using a drug. If it's affecting my work performance, fire me. But if it's not, you have no valid reason to fire me. And you'll be able to make this distinction based on my job performance rather than chemically analyzing my piss.

On this point I am just going to flat out disagree with you. It's a matter of opinion. I don't think you should have the right to with-hold that information from an employer, and I think that the employer should have the right to require a urinealysis if they so choose. As I say, this point is a matter of opinion, so no point in further discussing it.

Alcohol is a drug. A dangerous, destructive, violence-inducing, toxic drug. If a pilot is spotted at a bar, should he be thrown in prison for a year?

Alright, even though that statement is nitpicky and I'm sure you know quite well what I meant, I will respond to it anyway. If a pilot is seen in a bar, no, obviously they shouldn't be thrown in jail. If they are seen intoxicated shortly before a flight, they should be fined and have their licence suspended for a period of time. If they actually somehow manage to get into the cockpit and fly a plane while intoxicated, then yes, they most certainly should be put in prison, as I said, on charges of attempted murder.

You're not making a distinction between a drug USER and a drug ABUSER. There is a world of difference, just as there's a difference between people who drink socially and people who get plastered every night and beat up their wives and children.

Funny, I thought I made a VERY clear distinction between a "user" and an "abuser". The abuser is someone who drives/flies/operates/or otherwise engages in an activity that could bring harm to anyone other than themselves. The whole point of my argument was that there should be severe punishments for anyone who even once does something in which they could harm or murder someone in the process.

Now just in case you wonder why I referring to "murder" instead of just saying "killed" or something, I'll say this. If you are intoxicated, be it alcohol or some other drug, if you get into a car with the intent to drive it, you are saying to the world, "Hello, I am drunk. I have willingly and willfully given up my rational faculties for a few hours and now I am going to go out and drive knowing that I could get in an accident and kill someone, and I DON'T CARE." That is attempted murder. And don't think that I'm the only person that feels this way. That is in fact the law in Turkey. If you are cought drinking and driving you are charged with attempted murder and you are given the death penalty, to be carried out in 2 weeks time, none of this pansy ass "sit on death row for 37 years only to have the sentence commuted and be set free on parole even though you are a cop killer" bullshit(if you don't know what I'm talking about there check out the news from New Jersey).

Now, if our laws were sufficiently harsh do you honestly think that we would have to many repeat offenders? Or for that matter, how many FIRST time offenders do you think we would have? This is what I'm arguing against. The reason we have so much bullshit with DUI/DWI is because we don't do anything about it. I don't want to see that happen if we legalize other drugs.

[ Parent ]
Re: A Question for DJBongHit (4.50 / 2) (#112)
by DJBongHit on Wed Sep 27, 2000 at 04:43:08 PM EST

(just to prove to GandalfGreyhame that k5 isn't going to hell, I mod'ed this up even though I don't agree, because Dakkon makes some good argument :-)

I don't recall saying or implying that you should arrest them because of their choice to use a given substance. What I said/implied was that there needs to be safegaurds against abuse. Along with that comes acknowledgment of the need for repercussions should someone cause harm while they were under the influence of a drug.

Sure. And this should, IMHO, be as simple as "you made the conscious decision to use the drug, you are completely responsible for anything you do while under the influence, even if you were so wasted you didn't even know what planet you were on."

On this point I am just going to flat out disagree with you. It's a matter of opinion. I don't think you should have the right to with-hold that information from an employer, and I think that the employer should have the right to require a urinealysis if they so choose. As I say, this point is a matter of opinion, so no point in further discussing it.

Gah. So much I want to say. But I won't.

If a pilot is seen in a bar, no, obviously they shouldn't be thrown in jail. If they are seen intoxicated shortly before a flight, they should be fined and have their licence suspended for a period of time. If they actually somehow manage to get into the cockpit and fly a plane while intoxicated, then yes, they most certainly should be put in prison, as I said, on charges of attempted murder.

Bah. If I may quote your last comment: "If you are a doctor or a pilot, and it is discovered that you have begun using drugs of any sort, thats a public safety risk." Nowhere do you say "intoxicated shortly before a flight." You say "Begun using drugs of any sort." And that's a dangerous statement - there should be no restriction on what you do in your private life provided it doesn't interfere with the safety or rights of others or your job performance (although if it interferes with your job performance, that should be a reason for termination, but not legal action - unless you were causing safety issues or something to that effect). And this goes for how I feel about drug testing for a job, as well.

Now just in case you wonder why I referring to "murder" instead of just saying "killed" or something, I'll say this. If you are intoxicated, be it alcohol or some other drug, if you get into a car with the intent to drive it, you are saying to the world, "Hello, I am drunk. I have willingly and willfully given up my rational faculties for a few hours and now I am going to go out and drive knowing that I could get in an accident and kill someone, and I DON'T CARE." That is attempted murder. And don't think that I'm the only person that feels this way.

*sigh*. Yeah, I can see where you're coming from, and I agree that there ought to be stiffer penalties for this sort of behavior. But "attempted murder?" Nah. Maybe something like "reckless endangerment" but which carries a much stiffer fine. You didn't actually attempt to murder somebody, but you did recklessly endanger other people's lives. But yes, I agree that driving under the influence is a big problem.

Now, if our laws were sufficiently harsh do you honestly think that we would have to many repeat offenders? Or for that matter, how many FIRST time offenders do you think we would have?

Ahh, but here's where the problem is - the legal system in our country does not work under this presumption. You go too far and you just violated the Constitutional protection from "cruel and unusual punishment." You can't just make a punishment so harsh that nobody would ever commit the crime. Not only does this not work (no examples to cite - if I still had my Criminology textbook from last semester I could) but it's unethical and unconstitutional. That amendment is all that's keeping us from becoming another Singapore.

~DJBongHit

--
GNU GPL: Free as in herpes.

[ Parent ]
Re: no need for more laws... (none / 0) (#207)
by taiwanjohn on Fri Sep 29, 2000 at 06:00:32 AM EST

We already have a law against driving while intoxicated. It's called "reckless endangerment."

Not stiff enough for you? Try one count of R.E. for every person the drunk/stoned/whatever idiot passed on the road before he was caught.

And, unlike drug laws (where mandatory minimums don't allow judicial discretion) a judge would have a broad range of sentencing options to fit his punishment to the severity of the crime quite nicely...

Just my 2¢...

--jrd

[ Parent ]

Re: A Question for DJBongHit (4.33 / 12) (#28)
by Alarmist on Wed Sep 27, 2000 at 10:24:51 AM EST

How are you going to keep people under the age of 21 from getting the legalized drugs? Under your system, you now have people under the age of 21 breaking the law, but those over 21 getting high legally. If teenagers are gonna do drugs, they are gonna do them anyway.

Good point. The only way to keep teenagers from illegally using drugs is to shoot every teenager dead. Since this is not a viable (or desirable, or even seriously suggested) solution, look at it from this angle:

If a drug is legalized, it will be regulated. Pot may be available to 18+ (much the way tobacco is now). Practically everything else will be available to 21+. Drug companies will manufacture much cleaner blends of the drugs than what you'd find on the street. There's no way that a company like Merck, for instance, is going to cut its heroin with paregoric or baking powder. Because of what will likely be incredible regulation from the FDA, the legal drugs will be a hell of a lot safer than the illegal ones (don't get me wrong--cocaine, heroin, and speed will still kill you dead, but it won't be because you got some bad stuff), in much the same way that a lot of legal booze is safer than some illegal booze. (fun fact: lots of illegal booze uses methanol as the active ingredient. Methanol has the nasty habit of blinding and killing people. Oops.)

Kids being kids and unscrupulous merchants being money-grubbing bastards, you can bet your last dollar that an underage kid will get something he's not supposed to. The difference is that he won't necessarily be able to get it by going down to the local dark alley; he'll have to work harder at it, and he might not be able to convince anyone to get it for him. (Kids drink and smoke underage, but you don't see all that many guys hawking booze and cigarettes the same way drug dealers ply their wares, probably because there's not enough money in it.)

DJ BongHit is right: legalizing drugs will accomplish a lot of what the WoD people want to see. The DEA is an ineffective tool for enforcing drug laws, and we've known that for years. The important questions to ask yourself are: why haven't more people in government realized this, and what are their real aims?

Fight the Power.


[ Parent ]

Re: A Question for DJBongHit (3.72 / 11) (#31)
by slynkie on Wed Sep 27, 2000 at 10:37:44 AM EST

Absolutely.

Speaking as someone just recently out of his teens, I can assure you, it was -always- much MUCH easier for us (me, friends, etc) to get weed and even speed and E and other drugs, than it was to get more than the occasional bottle of vodka or something else a friend had stolen from his parent's liquor cabinet.

The fact is, the black market is much more accessible than the white market when there are laws barring it. Why? Because with the black market, most of the laws have already been broken -for- you.

[ Parent ]
Re: A Question for DJBongHit (4.25 / 8) (#37)
by Alarmist on Wed Sep 27, 2000 at 11:18:04 AM EST

Speaking as someone just recently out of his teens, I can assure you, it was -always- much MUCH easier for us (me, friends, etc) to get weed and even speed and E and other drugs, than it was to get more than the occasional bottle of vodka or something else a friend had stolen from his parent's liquor cabinet.

Oh, certainly. Until fairly recently, I knew who I could go to if I wanted E, weed, some speed, shrooms and possibly a few other things (no smack or coke, but I knew people who knew people). It's all a matter of knowing who you need to talk to.

Your point about the black market is utterly true. Like getting in to work with some companies, the trick is not what you know but -who- you know. There's no law (yet, thankfully) against knowing a drug dealer or a gunrunner. I know people who fit both of these descriptions, and within certain limits, I could get my hands on a fair amount of illegal stuff in a fairly short time. I can do this, despite society saying that I shouldn't have these things, shouldn't use them, and should under no circumstances even think about them. But the black market is there. Everybody who hasn't lived a completely cloistered life is no more than a friend or a friend of a friend away from the black market.

To a certain extent (off-topic warnings abound here!), I believe that this is a good thing. Governments don't always make good laws. Sometimes, society has stupid ideas about things. Therefore, it is a good thing that there is an informal way for people to get their hands on some of the things that we are told are bad for us. Load this with the qualifiers of your choice; I don't advocate giving speed to kids, for instance, nor do I think just anyone should be able to get their hands on an assault rifle. But the fact that a way to disseminate information and goods clandestinely exists in any large society is a good thing. We might really need it before too much longer in the States.

Fight the Power.


[ Parent ]

Re: A Question for DJBongHit (3.66 / 12) (#33)
by DJBongHit on Wed Sep 27, 2000 at 10:41:58 AM EST

The important questions to ask yourself are: why haven't more people in government realized this, and what are their real aims?

It all comes down to money. Bribes from drug lords, funds for law enforcement, funds for more jails, funds for DARE, funds for anti-drug commercials, the list goes on and one. The Government has a gold mine in the War on Drugs, and they're not about to give it up without a fight.

~DJBongHit

--
GNU GPL: Free as in herpes.

[ Parent ]
Re: A Question for DJBongHit (3.33 / 9) (#38)
by Alarmist on Wed Sep 27, 2000 at 11:21:18 AM EST

It all comes down to money. Bribes from drug lords, funds for law enforcement, funds for more jails, funds for DARE, funds for anti-drug commercials, the list goes on and one. The Government has a gold mine in the War on Drugs, and they're not about to give it up without a fight.

This is a big part of the picture, but it isn't all of it.

BLATANT PLUG: see this article for a different take on the War on Drugs. Money isn't explicitly mentioned as a reason, but it's an important one.

Fight the Power.


[ Parent ]

Re: A Question for DJBongHit (3.57 / 7) (#51)
by Obiwan Kenobi on Wed Sep 27, 2000 at 12:04:27 PM EST

One note:

The reason people look like 'junkies' is that they are getting HEAVILY MIXED drugs. Most cocaine isn't near 50% pure. Crack is practically all baking soda and other shit. If people got PURE cocaine (or at least a grade so high that most/all contaminates are eliminated) they would look just like you and me. It's hard to justify the use of such hard drugs by looking at the effects of them. But if the effects simply made them look like that, of course you wouldn't want it legalized. You would want it banned and shipped off the planet somewhere. This is not the case. A section of the book Ain't Nobody's Business If You Do (located at Peter McWilliams Homepage for free) dealing with drugs notes that one of the founders of modern surgery was addicted to morphine more than half his career. No one knew. Becuase it was pure. Because it didn't make him look like he got run over by a truck. Legalizing drugs would bring something that is marked up some 1000% or so to something affordable.
-----------
Obiwan
misterorange.com - The 3 R's: Reading, Writing, and Rock & Roll...
[ Parent ]

Re: A Question for DJBongHit (4.20 / 5) (#53)
by ODiV on Wed Sep 27, 2000 at 12:24:08 PM EST

One thing that you'd have to consider in regards to the legalization and manufacture of drugs is their strength. Sure you'd get a 'safe' gram of mj at your local "drug store", but the guy down the street is selling some stuff for half the price that has double the THC.

Companies might have more overheard than the current drug trade, because of minimum wage, testing, corporate infrastructure, etc... (although I'm really not sure. I suppose it could be less expensive.) More importantly though, these companies will no doubt have to make sure they have only so much of a certain chemical, and you can be sure that you'll be able to get it on the street for less.

Just my take on things.

Also. If the gov't were to allow us to put whatever the hell we want in our bodies, should we have to forfeit whatever health support we get from them? This sounds reasonable enough to me. "You want complete control and responsibility for your own body from now on? You got it. Sign this waiver." Sort of like if you open your hard drive, the warrenty is void.

--
[ odiv.net ]
[ Parent ]
Re: A Question for DJBongHit (3.50 / 6) (#55)
by DJBongHit on Wed Sep 27, 2000 at 12:29:34 PM EST

One thing that you'd have to consider in regards to the legalization and manufacture of drugs is their strength. Sure you'd get a 'safe' gram of mj at your local "drug store", but the guy down the street is selling some stuff for half the price that has double the THC.

You might see that for a little while, but I think it would go away. When was the last time you went into an alley to buy a bottle of vodka? You really think that stuff costs $20/bottle to distill?

~DJBongHit

--
GNU GPL: Free as in herpes.

[ Parent ]
Re: A Question for DJBongHit (4.00 / 5) (#66)
by Alarmist on Wed Sep 27, 2000 at 01:05:13 PM EST

One thing that you'd have to consider in regards to the legalization and manufacture of drugs is their strength. Sure you'd get a 'safe' gram of mj at your local "drug store", but the guy down the street is selling some stuff for half the price that has double the THC.

A fair argument. But why don't you also see people standing on street corners offering you bathtub gin and moonshine? Cheaper, stronger booze, right? There's more to it than that; booze is legal, so there's not so much of a demand for grey-market sources. At the same time, at least some of the people out there who buy booze know that the homemade stuff is more likely than the factory stuff to do things like blind and kill. After all, the FDA has said that you can't put wood alcohol in booze, and this is enforced. Though it's still against the law to make your own hootch with wood alcohol, the same mechanisms of enforcement aren't there, because the FDA doesn't know that you're making booze and selling it unless someone brings it to their attention.

If drugs were legalized, I'm betting that this would happen:

First, drug companies would start selling the stuff. It would be heavily regulated and probably taxed as well, but you could legally walk into a pharmacy (for instance) and buy pure coke or pot. Lots of money would change hands.

Second, corner distributors would get squeezed out, because most drug companies would take advantage of the fact that they have government oversight by advertizing that their stuff is clean and that the doses are well-calculated. You wouldn't be playing the same game of Russian Roulette that you're playing now with street drugs. No corner distributor can make that claim and back it up with anything stronger than reputation and word-of-honor.

Third, the illicit drug trade would decline. There would be fewer manufacturers; a lot of the bathtub chemists who keep blowing up houses would go out of business, but some wouldn't. A few would stay around because there's always going to be an underage demand for drugs, but some of the supply would come from homemade stuff and some of it would come from stolen drugs.

Fourth, some crime (not all) would decline. There wouldn't be drug turf battles any more, at least, not as many as we have now. There would still be people robbing other people to pay for their habit, but since it's legal now, those people can probably get into rehab without criminal charges being involved.

Fifth, some people would actually be more responsible about taking drugs. Since the charm of illegal activity is gone, some people would stop doing it (or never would do it) simply because of the coolness factor of breaking the law. This is by no means universal and usage would probably actually increase a bit. Consider this, though: we've had booze legal for sixty-seven years now, and we aren't a nation of alcoholics. Would we become a nation of junkies if we legalized drugs? Experiments with this elsewhere tend to suggest that we wouldn't.

Fight the Power.


[ Parent ]

Re: A Question for DJBongHit (2.66 / 3) (#111)
by Innismir on Wed Sep 27, 2000 at 04:38:17 PM EST

6th, people would start ODing with bad ass combinations of drugs. People would scream bloody murder when they find their 14 y/o (son | daughter) die of a $hard_drug_of_choice overdose in their room. Drug manufacturers would get sued, much like the Tobacco Companies are now, (the catalyst[sp] would be that that the body count would be much larger and the median age will be a lot younger) and/or they would repeal the legalization of drugs.

My main thought of this is that the majority of people in my age group (15->25) are stupid. My 19 y/o roomate comes home smashed every weekend. Its a whole lot easier to OD on drugs then it is on alcohol (trust me, I am a paramedic).

You are also not taking in the account of the expense of all these people now doing drugs, people ODing, transporting them to the hospital, taking up hospital beds, a good chunk of druggies don't have health insurance. Are you going to pay for them? I sure as hell am not.

Of course, the plus side of this would be that natural selection would kick in and then in about 10 years, a good portion of the stupid people would be gone.
In God we trust, all others must have a valid PGP key....
[ Parent ]

Re: A Question for DJBongHit (3.50 / 2) (#126)
by DJBongHit on Wed Sep 27, 2000 at 06:54:26 PM EST

You are also not taking in the account of the expense of all these people now doing drugs, people ODing, transporting them to the hospital, taking up hospital beds, a good chunk of druggies don't have health insurance. Are you going to pay for them? I sure as hell am not.

Even if you do end up having to pay for that with your tax money, it'll work out in your favor - see this comment. I break it all down there, and the amount of money you'll be saving is more than the extra money you'll be paying.

~DJBongHit

--
GNU GPL: Free as in herpes.

[ Parent ]
Re: A Question for DJBongHit (3.00 / 1) (#190)
by Wah on Thu Sep 28, 2000 at 03:28:45 PM EST

Its a whole lot easier to OD on drugs then it is on alcohol (trust me, I am a paramedic

Not for pot (and some others) the effective and lethal doses for alchohol are far closer than some illegal drugs. From what I understand no one has ever died of a marijuana overdose (you'd pass out first, IMHO), buy you hear every year about some dumbass doing it with alchohol (and I had a bunch of dumbass friends in university)
--
Fail to Obey?
[ Parent ]

Regulated MJ low in THC? (3.28 / 7) (#68)
by jackherer on Wed Sep 27, 2000 at 01:23:52 PM EST

Have you ever bought weed in a regulated outlet in amsterdam? Thought not ;))

[ Parent ]
Re: A Question for DJBongHit (4.40 / 5) (#76)
by hazel-rah on Wed Sep 27, 2000 at 01:52:23 PM EST

Also. If the gov't were to allow us to put whatever the hell we want in our bodies, should we have to forfeit whatever health support we get from them? This sounds reasonable enough to me. "You want complete control and responsibility for your own body from now on? You got it. Sign this waiver." Sort of like if you open your hard drive, the warrenty is void.

well, to an extent, doesn't this already occur? for example, smokers pay higher rates for health and life insurance than non-smokers do, because more of them get terminal illnesses and die.

i tend to think that this argument is basically a way to passively chastise drug users because they are perceived as being immoral. the reasonableness of the suggestion (and it IS reasonable) is just a vehicle for their anti-drug beliefs. if i was selling health insurance, i'd disqualify the guy who eats fast food every day and never exercises before i'd disqualify a pot smoker. the former is almost certainly going to have more health problems. yet i haven't heard many anti-drug people continuing on to this logical conclusion, because really, they just don't like pot smokers. they're all for mcdonald's, even though they deal just as much death. they don't care about consistent and reasonable health care practices.

if you are going to take that approach to deciding who gets coverage, you have to be thorough and include all activities that increase risk of health problems, not just the ones currently considered morally unacceptable.

-fh

[ Parent ]
Re: A Question for DJBongHit (4.50 / 4) (#99)
by DJBongHit on Wed Sep 27, 2000 at 03:24:20 PM EST

Also. If the gov't were to allow us to put whatever the hell we want in our bodies, should we have to forfeit whatever health support we get from them? This sounds reasonable enough to me. "You want complete control and responsibility for your own body from now on? You got it. Sign this waiver." Sort of like if you open your hard drive, the warrenty is void.

I don't buy it. There are many things you can do to your body that are MUCH worse for you than smoking pot - eating fast food every day, for one.

Also, if you're worried about having to pay higher taxes to support fucked-up junkies in the emergency room, think of it this way - keeping a prisoner in jail costs in the vicinity of $25,000/year (I don't have the exact number, and if somebody does, please correct me. I know it's close, though). There are 1.1 million non-violent drug offenders in jail right now (source: MAPINC [don't have the exact page linked, but search for it]). 1.1 million * 25,000 = 27.5 billion tax dollars that suddenly have no home. Also factor in the salaries of all the extra law enforcement officers and prison guards that the War on Drugs demands, and you have a hefty chunk of change which can be used for anti-drug education and health care for addicts, instead of prosecuting them under an unconstitutional law.

~DJBongHit

--
GNU GPL: Free as in herpes.

[ Parent ]
Re: A Question for DJBongHit (3.20 / 5) (#56)
by Dolphineus on Wed Sep 27, 2000 at 12:30:43 PM EST

How are you going to keep people under the age of 21 from getting the legalized drugs? Under your system, you now have people under the age of 21 breaking the law, but those over 21 getting high legally. If teenagers are gonna do drugs, they are gonna do them anyway. I doubt a 16 year old would say 'Hmm, mabye I should wait 5 years to smoke this joint.' In the Netherlands it is legal for adults to posses 5g of marijuana for personal use. In the US it is illegal to have any. So why does the Netherlands have a lower rate of teen MJ use? The rate of MJ use by teens has been going down in the Netherlands since they legalized. Also, the age of the herion addict population has been rising, indicating there are fewer new addicts. Also, think about this. What percentage of people 21+ in the US consume alcohol (any amount)? What percentage of those under 21? Anyone have any solid figures on that? C ya Dolphineus

[ Parent ]
Re: A Question for DJBongHit (3.75 / 4) (#64)
by finkployd on Wed Sep 27, 2000 at 01:01:42 PM EST

I touched on this topic in the gun discussion (crime rates in countries with strict gun laws vs lax ones). The point is essentually the same.
You can't look at two completly different countries with different histories, cultures, etc and try to find a single variable that is completly responsible for certain differences. The US society as a whole may react in a completly different way to the legalization of MJ than another country. We can't expect the exact same results.

I DO believe MJ should be legal in the US, but that isn't going to make us identical to the Netherlands with respect to their drug culture.

Finkployd
Sig: (This will get posted after your comments)
[ Parent ]
Re: A Question for DJBongHit (3.75 / 8) (#27)
by rongen on Wed Sep 27, 2000 at 10:24:36 AM EST

One of the reasons the prohibition was a mistake (ignoring the fact that the income of many criminals increased dramatically during that time) was that people started to crank out booze to sell to others. In many cases this booze was "okay", in fact where I live it is still possible to buy the odd bottle of moonshine, but sometimes it wasn't. People "went blind" or got alcohol poisoning from drinking improperly made alcohol or alcohol that was more concentrated than they were used to. This same kind of thing happens with an alarming frequency to IV drug users and it seems that one emerging trend is that more teens are using needles to get high. I don't have a link to a source but a quick search of any "war on drugs" site should turn up something. Maybe if drugs were available from reliable sources this wouldn't be happening. I mention the teenagers only to suggest that this problem isn't limited to hardcore addicts living on the street---it's also affecting suburban teens, etc.

The really sad thing here is that except for the attempt to regulate what people can put into thier bodies the two sides are really trying to prevent the same thing. Both sides would like a reduction in crime, overdoses, addiction, and the other social problems that come with drug abuse (why are these associated with pot and not alcohol? they are associated with alcohol as well, but it is commonly believed that you can "drink responsibly"---well some people think you can "smoke responsibly" as well).

The "war" people have decided to stop drug problems using draconian measures like prohibition, severe penalties, and have even infringed on other nation's sovereignty for this purpose (at a cost of billions), while "legalize it" crowd believes in free choice, education, and social programs to get at the root causes of social problems which manifest themselves in addiction (to drugs, glue, booze, gambling, or whatever is handy). This seems like a better way to allocate funding. Sure it's harder to help rather than punish but it's the first step towards a sane solution to these problems.
read/write http://www.prosebush.com
[ Parent ]

Re: A Question for DJBongHit (3.00 / 6) (#40)
by interiot on Wed Sep 27, 2000 at 11:31:36 AM EST

Some proponents of drug legalization don't care whether or not a drug can be used responsibly. They just care that governments are handing a log of money and control to criminal organizations by outlawing drugs. And they're making it very hard to ask for help after you've made one unfortunate mistake.

[ Parent ]
Re: A Question for DJBongHit (3.70 / 10) (#42)
by Inoshiro on Wed Sep 27, 2000 at 11:33:47 AM EST

I think this is really the focus of this discussion -- the fact that the US government is using loop holes in its own system to overstep its bounds based on a minority group's decisions about certain issues.

But, there is more to this. If you don't handle this responsibly, you will have more social problems. The sanest thing I've ever heard on how to handle the aftermath of such decriminalization is to have government run and sponsored "drugs stores" where you go to get the non-addictive versions of your favourite drugs. Sure, they can still have other side effects, but the part that bonds to certain neurons and causes the actual addiction side is removed.

With the non-addictive side, people can safely try out drugs. Alchohol is fairly non-addictive to most people (although there are a minority with a predisposistion for alchoholism). Marijuana, a fairly 'safe' drug IMO (although I've never used it :)), and has no inherint addictive traits. You are just as likely to get addicted to food or sex as marijuana, since they passively cause endorphin release. Naturally, addictive tendencies in the genes can make anyone an addict -- be it food, sex, or alcholol.

Only things that cause dangerous side effects in the general populace should be controlled. Perhaps in the same way perscription drugs are controlled, with proper supervision should people wish to try it. It should definitely not be restricted via a loop hole in some other legislation.



--
[ イノシロ ]
[ Parent ]
Re: A Question for DJBongHit (3.80 / 5) (#73)
by aphrael on Wed Sep 27, 2000 at 01:34:41 PM EST

where you go to get the non-addictive versions of your favourite drugs.

I see two problems with this, one technical, one social. The technical problem: people have tried for years to find non-addictive forms of morphine-based drugs (heroin) and *never* succeeded; even people using morphine for medical reasons run a serious risk of getting addicted. The social problem: even if drug [x] were exactly equivalent to drug [y] except for addictiveness, you'd have to convince everyone that that were true. In a world where people believe there were UFOs at Roswell and that --- of all ridiculous things --- Clinton was somehow involved in a conspiracy to kill JFK, and given that the average drug user doesn't believe *anything* the authorities say about drugs, convincing everyone to believe in the equivalency of two drugs would be incredibly difficult.

Marijuana, a fairly 'safe' drug IMO (although I've never used it

That's a shame.



[ Parent ]
Re: A Question for DJBongHit (3.33 / 12) (#17)
by HiQ on Wed Sep 27, 2000 at 09:43:01 AM EST

Although the Netherlands have been heavily criticised (zpelling?) by countries like France, Germany and England, you see that more and more countries are being positive about the way drugs are dealt with over here. In Holland, softdrugs are legal, you can buy them almost everywhere, although in limited amounts (posession of large(r) amounts is prohibited). Harddrugs are treated as a disease instead of a crime; they seek a cure in helping addicts (by supplying methadon for free, although in a controlled situation) instead of throwing them in jail. All in all I think that there is less drugs related crimes in the Netherlands than in most other countries.
How to make a sig
without having an idea
just made a HiQ
[ Parent ]
What to legalize (3.11 / 9) (#24)
by teethgrinder on Wed Sep 27, 2000 at 10:16:56 AM EST

Although not being BongHit I write something anyway.

First of, I'm not a doctor and my argument is entirely based on hear-say. This is not my native language either.

That said, I think drugs should be legalized as a whole. If you want harder drugs you'll get them. Prohibition didnt stop people from drinking and MJs popularity rather seems to gain from the "coolness-factor" of being illegal.

The argument somewhat devides into two sections for new users and those who are already addicted.

Personally, I cant see much of a reason to start, e.g. injecting heroin into my venes anyway. Whatever gets people to do it in the first place, I would assume the "coolness-factor" does play a big role. Also, I guess that any such legalisiation wouldnt make it possible to just buy some smack at the corner store but rather have it prescription-based. This would probably still make it pretty easy to access drugs but I would still think that some control/overview is better then none at all, as it is the case now.

As for those that are already addicted - chances are they will stay that way anyway. But for the (non-synthetic) drugs you can at least avoid a lot of the negative symptoms by giving them "clean" drugs as most of these usually come from substances used to dilute the drug rather than the drug itself. This would, to some extend, help them lead a "normal" live which - in turn - would mean they could make their own living which would reduce their cost to society (both in terms of Health Care and the likes and drug-related crimes).

This is AFAIR what experiments in the Netherlands and Swiss were aimed at and seemed to be quite successful.


[ Parent ]
Legalize soma! (2.33 / 3) (#117)
by marlowe on Wed Sep 27, 2000 at 05:35:28 PM EST

It's safe, it's nonaddictive, it's harmless in moderate doses, and it has no hangover.

The only real trouble with it is it doesn't exist.

-- The Americans are the Jews of the 21st century. Only we won't go as quietly to the gas chambers. --
[ Parent ]
Re: Soma does exist-- It is a trademarked drug! (2.00 / 2) (#127)
by dalesun on Wed Sep 27, 2000 at 07:04:10 PM EST

Some drug company actually had the cojones to market a muscle relaxant named Soma and it's very popular. The generic name is Carisoprodol. Aldous Huxley's estate should be getting royalties.

[ Parent ]
Not Adlous Huxley (1.00 / 1) (#173)
by marlowe on Thu Sep 28, 2000 at 10:02:12 AM EST

He ripped off the name from Hindu mythology.
-- The Americans are the Jews of the 21st century. Only we won't go as quietly to the gas chambers. --
[ Parent ]
War on Drugs and State Terrorism (2.87 / 16) (#19)
by pretzelgod on Wed Sep 27, 2000 at 10:06:08 AM EST

The war on drugs is also used as an excuse to support state terrorism by US-backed regimes such as Colombia. Check out the Colombia Support Network for more information.


-- 
Ever heard of the School of the Americas?


Independent media required (3.29 / 17) (#21)
by twl on Wed Sep 27, 2000 at 10:11:49 AM EST

It looks like before any reasonable dialogue can occur in the US* political space, there needs to be independent** and mainstream media outlet. From what I can see the major problem with this is the lack of a sufficiently wealthy and disinterested backer. Any ideas?

* and increasingly the UK, probably elsewhere too
**read: independently funded; having an opinion is OK as long as it's reasoned and not bought

Re: Independent media required (2.83 / 6) (#29)
by Paul Johnson on Wed Sep 27, 2000 at 10:25:29 AM EST

Well, The Economist has in the past argued for the legalisation of drugs, the abolition of the Monarchy and campaign finance reform. Its probably the most geek-friendly newspaper (apart from those specifically targeted at geeks) that I know.

Paul.
You are lost in a twisty maze of little standards, all different.
[ Parent ]

Re: Independent media required (1.62 / 8) (#30)
by twl on Wed Sep 27, 2000 at 10:29:20 AM EST

;-) it's the only paper I read.

[ Parent ]
Independent media exists (3.33 / 6) (#41)
by pretzelgod on Wed Sep 27, 2000 at 11:32:47 AM EST


-- 
Ever heard of the School of the Americas?


[ Parent ]
Re: Independent media exists (3.00 / 6) (#45)
by twl on Wed Sep 27, 2000 at 11:43:43 AM EST

Yes, I'm aware of these.

What I'm getting at is the need for *mainstream* alternative media. It's all very well having independent media outlets, but if they aren't being read by a substantial chunk of the population (and this includes middle america), then attitudes won't change. We need a sponsor ;-)

[ Parent ]
Re: Independent media exists (2.00 / 1) (#74)
by pretzelgod on Wed Sep 27, 2000 at 01:36:04 PM EST

We need a sponsor ;-)

We neither want nor need a sponsor. We want a source of news and information without connections to money.


-- 
Ever heard of the School of the Americas?


[ Parent ]
Re: Independent media required (3.00 / 1) (#101)
by weathervane on Wed Sep 27, 2000 at 03:29:16 PM EST

Interestingly, in Canada all of the major print media are publicly in favor of marijuana legalization, especially the law and order spewing right wing National Post. The Post has editorialized repeatedly about the stupidity of drug laws as they currently exist. Otherwise, however, it is a relatively Republican style newspaper (it advocates a flat tax, for instance). One of their columnists has often referred to being a copious dope smoker (Leah McLaren, if you care). The Globe and Mail has also prominently run articles which have an obvious pro-legalization bias.

In the states, the influential National Review (remember those ads?) has also editorialized on the failure of drug prohibition.

In the pot community, Al Gore`s broken promise as regards legalization is still infamous. To those unawares, in the 1992 election campaign he approached the High Times editorial staff and assured them that Clinton had a secret plan to legalize marijuana (echoes of Nixon?). High Times came out with a cover endorsing Clinton. Of course, nothing happened.

Conrad Black, the owner of the Post, owns the London Times, the Chicago Sun Times, the Jerusalem Post, and many other papers. Ken Thompson, the owner of the Globe and Mail, has extensive media holdings and influence throughout the world. The Economist and the National Review are two of the most inflential elite journals that exist. And even the probable next president has said that marijuana prohibition is a joke and a failure.

How much more prominent does it get? Do we need the pope to weigh in?

What we need is a serious politician with the balls to publicly admit that drug prohibition is a failure and a disgrace and that they intend to do something about it. And then we have to get out there and make them win.

[ Parent ]

Re: Independent media required (2.00 / 1) (#110)
by spacy on Wed Sep 27, 2000 at 04:26:07 PM EST

There was a serious politician who came out against the drug war- someone from Arizona (the governer? a senator?) I can't remember a name but he said basically that the war on drugs was stupid and he supported legalization. Kate

[ Parent ]
Re: Independent media required (2.00 / 1) (#185)
by DJBongHit on Thu Sep 28, 2000 at 12:40:51 PM EST

There was a serious politician who came out against the drug war- someone from Arizona (the governer? a senator?) I can't remember a name but he said basically that the war on drugs was stupid and he supported legalization.

This just made news recently because it was the Republican, otherwise Conservative, Senator for AZ (or maybe NM, I forget). But many other Government officials have done the same - Jesse Ventura (Governor of Minnesota), the Governor of New Hampshire, and others.

~DJBongHit

--
GNU GPL: Free as in herpes.

[ Parent ]
I disagree that this is a rant (4.00 / 21) (#22)
by Alhazred on Wed Sep 27, 2000 at 10:12:38 AM EST

Yes, its a bit ranty, but the commentators who have complained that no solutions are offered are being ridiculous. The man said it outright, legalize drugs.

Now, to discuss this point further, there are a bunch of different ways to "legalize" drugs. For instance in certain countries it is not a crime to possess or use various substances, but distribution is still a crime. I know of many instances in this country where people have been imprisoned for considerable periods of time and had their valuable property confiscated for mearly possessing small amounts of drugs for personal consumption. This sort of thing is ridiculous. Its an example of police simply trying to exercise control over people because they can, not for any constructive social purpose whatsoever.

On the other hand its not so clear that the manufacture, importation, and distribution of narcotics should be legalized. Yes it would definitely cut the legs out from under one of organized crime's main revenue streams, but do we really believe that people who are willing to deal crack are in any way shape or form responsible citizens whom we desire to be free to go about their business?

The business of providing addictive substances to people is a very sticky area in general. Its one thing to sell cars. They have utility, and one can choose to own or not own one. Heroin is a totally different story. So is tobacco for that matter. Decriminalizing that business would need to be done in a very careful and thoughtful manner.

This country has been said many times to be in the throes of a social and moral crisis, and not without reason. I think the roots of the problem lie in the fact that in the past people depended closely on one another in a very personal way. Communities were small and each member had a vital part to play and interacted with and depended directly upon their immediate neighbors. This is no longer true. In our day and age we have chosen to organize society in such a way that no individual depends highly on any one other specific person or small group. The result is a focus on the individual and a disintegration of close ties between people. These are the real roots of the problem. Unfortunately consensus on a solution seems to be very difficult to achieve.
That is not dead which may eternal lie And with strange aeons death itself may die.

Dealers (3.25 / 8) (#34)
by spiralx on Wed Sep 27, 2000 at 10:48:57 AM EST

Yes it would definitely cut the legs out from under one of organized crime's main revenue streams, but do we really believe that people who are willing to deal crack are in any way shape or form responsible citizens whom we desire to be free to go about their business?

Most people dealing to end users are simply people looking to get cheaper drugs for themselves. If you buy in bulk and sell to people you can end up with enough profit to pay for your consumption and maybe a little bit more.

People like this extend a fair way up the dealing chain I'd imagine. Hell, I used to deal dope myself, and I was friends with all of the people up to the kilograms at a time stage.

And when you're talking more addictive drugs, it becomes even more true that dealers are just users trying to get it cheap. Personally, I'd rather an addict was selling drugs than breaking into people's homes or mugging people to get their money.


You're doomed, I'm doomed, we're all doomed for ice cream. - Bob Aboey
[ Parent ]

I have to disagree. (2.50 / 2) (#187)
by mindstrm on Thu Sep 28, 2000 at 01:22:02 PM EST


The kid selling weed, he's selling it so he can support his own habit and have a bit of cash. Basically, it's just a lifestyle for him. He's not really saving up or getting rich.. just has a constant flow of money and weed.
Sometimes you see a few other things dealt too, (shrooms, acid, X, and somtimes small amounts of coke). This is for really smalltime stuff. This is also usually confined to younger people. Why?

The guy who's buying pounds or fractions thereof and selling to the kid above... he may be a smoker, but he's a long way from simply supporting his habit. He makes some significant money (not THAT significant, but enough).

The guy who's selling the pounds, probably buying them directly from growers and/or some larger organization who buys from growers, he's making money. It's PURE business. If he hapens to smoke the stuff, it's not related.


Now.. as for other drugs, like coke, heroin.
From what I've seen, most coke & heroin dealers do NOT use the stuff. There is one level, sometimes, of intermediate dealer who uses the crap but sells a fair amount to support his habit, but this guy is usually more together and organized than the average junkie.



[ Parent ]
Fair point (none / 0) (#209)
by spiralx on Fri Sep 29, 2000 at 10:47:59 AM EST

The guy who's selling the pounds, probably buying them directly from growers and/or some larger organization who buys from growers, he's making money. It's PURE business. If he hapens to smoke the stuff, it's not related.

My mate lived over the road from me was buying kilograms of weed at a time (vacuum sealed no less! :) and trips by the thousand. Sure it was financial, but he'd started in the same way as other people, from buying just that bit more. As time goes on you find better suppliers, and get more customers.

But yes, there does come a point where this chain breaks, and you enter the business side of things.

From what I've seen, most coke & heroin dealers do NOT use the stuff. There is one level, sometimes, of intermediate dealer who uses the crap but sells a fair amount to support his habit, but this guy is usually more together and organized than the average junkie.

True, I wasn't really talking so much about these drugs, the chain breaks very early on in these cases because so much more money is involved.


You're doomed, I'm doomed, we're all doomed for ice cream. - Bob Aboey
[ Parent ]

Re: Dealers (3.00 / 2) (#196)
by Alhazred on Thu Sep 28, 2000 at 06:03:22 PM EST

Most people dealing to end users are simply people looking to get cheaper drugs for themselves.

Aye, been there, done that... True with pot, not so true with harder drugs. Hang out in an inner city neighborhood with a nice crack problem for a couple weeks, you'll see what I mean. People like this extend a fair way up the dealing chain I'd imagine. Hell, I used to deal dope myself, and I was friends with all of the people up to the kilograms at a time stage.

Again, been there. You make it sound much more benign than it really is. Granted its not like TV would have you believe, but its still a pretty damn dirty business.

My point was that NO regulation would be a very bad idea, and if you show me a crack dealer I'll show you a person that if push comes to shove will throw their own child out in the middle of the street in front of a car for a pipe. I know, I've seen it with my own 2 eyes. Heroine isn't a lot better...
That is not dead which may eternal lie And with strange aeons death itself may die.
[ Parent ]

Re: Dealers (none / 0) (#211)
by spiralx on Fri Sep 29, 2000 at 10:51:40 AM EST

Aye, been there, done that... True with pot, not so true with harder drugs. Hang out in an inner city neighborhood with a nice crack problem for a couple weeks, you'll see what I mean.

True, the situation is different with these drugs, because of a more limited number of suppliers and a wider profit margin. Although acid seems to be the biggest profit margin (1000% profit is possible when you're buying by the thousand), the number of buyers is too limited to support that kind of market.

My point was that NO regulation would be a very bad idea, and if you show me a crack dealer I'll show you a person that if push comes to shove will throw their own child out in the middle of the street in front of a car for a pipe. I know, I've seen it with my own 2 eyes. Heroine isn't a lot better...

Well obviously that would be a bad idea, but legalisation would mean that these people would be a) out of a job and b) able to get cheaper chemicals legally. Look at the Dutch and Swiss models in which studies have shown that heroin giving addicts their fixes legally results in a greater percentage of them breaking their addiction.


You're doomed, I'm doomed, we're all doomed for ice cream. - Bob Aboey
[ Parent ]

Re: I disagree that this is a rant (2.60 / 5) (#52)
by Nyarlathotep on Wed Sep 27, 2000 at 12:11:11 PM EST

No, distribution needs to be legalized too. The government should not have the power to tell you "you can't put that into your body" and it should not have the power to say "you can not obtain that stuff you want to put into your body." Plus, there are massive benifits to legalizing distribution (no organized crime) and there are plenty of ways to prevent the problems (adicts wandering the streats). First, you regulate the flow of drugs and prohibit legal dealers from selling unregulated drugs. This allows the government to pass laws which restrict the adictivness of drugs, i.e. clean them up chemicaly. Also, dealres would be restricted to selling in specific locations. The cops woul periodically test the drugs any given dealer was selling for the required chemical alterations. Second, you require all drug purchasers to purchas over dose and rehabilitation inshurance when they purchas drugs. Now, we do not know that they will use the rehabilitation voucher to get treatment, but they are paing for it regardless. The FDA would regulate what orginisations could cash in the vouchers to make shure that they were being used for treatment. Third, I would keep strong criminal laws for dealing or possession of non-reglated and/or non-inshured drugs. Also, I would _consider_ preventing the importetion of drugs since we could probable make them cleaner here.
Campus Crusade for Cthulhu -- it found me!
[ Parent ]
Re: I disagree that this is a rant (2.00 / 1) (#195)
by Alhazred on Thu Sep 28, 2000 at 05:54:19 PM EST

Cthulhu and I are old friends...

I don't know that I disagree with you. I said I thought care would be required. Seems to me your proposals are at least reasonable at first look. However the government (we the people) don't HAVE to do anything... ;o)
That is not dead which may eternal lie And with strange aeons death itself may die.
[ Parent ]
Re: I disagree that this is a rant (4.50 / 2) (#159)
by Michael Leuchtenburg on Thu Sep 28, 2000 at 01:13:21 AM EST

do we really believe that people who are willing to deal crack are in any way shape or form responsible citizens whom we desire to be free to go about their business?

Perhaps not. But it doesn't matter. This person isn't a "productive" citizen (just a citizen), so they shouldn't be free. Riiiiiight.

[ #k5: dyfrgi ]
[ TINK5C ]
[ Parent ]

Re: I disagree that this is a rant (2.00 / 1) (#193)
by Alhazred on Thu Sep 28, 2000 at 05:50:38 PM EST

It wasn't a statement intended to imply that some people should or should not be free to do or not do various things. In fact our society restricts who can do what very extensively however, as your drivers license, or lack thereof, attests to quite handily. As I said, there are many ways to "legalize" something...
That is not dead which may eternal lie And with strange aeons death itself may die.
[ Parent ]
DRUG PLUG!!! (2.37 / 16) (#25)
by phunbalanced on Wed Sep 27, 2000 at 10:16:58 AM EST

hehe, leave it to DJ,


no, but seriously, I think this was well written, and although it may be more emotionally stirred then one would like for an article... it is completely and utterly about Freedom and Politics therefore I think it's fine where it is.

DJ and I have very similar beliefs on this. It's evident that our rights are taken away more and more every day, but the government just hides this fact.

Interestingly enough, a parallel can also be drawn to "Sexual Harrassment". (thank you John Stossel).

later.

read the sig... (1.52 / 19) (#32)
by joeyo on Wed Sep 27, 2000 at 10:39:34 AM EST

:)

--
"Give me enough variables to work with, and I can probably do away with the notion of human free will." -- demi

Re: read the sig... (1.00 / 2) (#150)
by blp on Wed Sep 27, 2000 at 10:56:07 PM EST

So in other words Nader is better than nothing.

I can no longer sit back and allow: Communist Infiltration, Communist Indoctrination, Communist Subversion and the International Communist Conspiracy to sap and inpurify all of our precious bodily fluids.
[ Parent ]

Not quite... (3.00 / 2) (#174)
by joeyo on Thu Sep 28, 2000 at 10:38:54 AM EST

No, what I ment was that if you are unsatisfied with the "main" two parties.. and are thinking of not voting, consider the Nader.

--
"Give me enough variables to work with, and I can probably do away with the notion of human free will." -- demi
[ Parent ]

Public perception of drugs needs to change (3.27 / 18) (#35)
by blixco on Wed Sep 27, 2000 at 11:05:34 AM EST

If we do, indeed, somehow manage to get all drugs legalized (and all prohibition laws dropped), my remaining question is: would drug testing stop at work, or would drugs still be perceived as unsafe and dangerous regardless of the position applied for (caveat: I don't want a stoned pilot, or a smack addicted surgeon...er...wait....I may already have had both. Hrm.)

And while I haven't had a problem with authorities yet, I have had issues with potential employers (and their drug tests). The larger question then: would changing the law change the minds of the society? Would legalizing the drugs make them any more acceptable to society at large? Pornography is legal, but half the world rails against it...and local governments step in, and the supreme court steps in, and it's a huge mess that is never really settled.

More central, then, to the cause of legalizing drugs is removing the stigma associated with them. Make drugs look like alcohol in the eyes of Joe Sixpack, and replace big-breasted beer ads with big-breasted Bong ads ("Buds Mendocino" as spokesperson?)

Just as likely, I think, as getting policy to change. And probably a lot more entertaining. I mean, haven't rock stars been popularizing drugs for years? That can be capitalized on.
-------------------------------------------
The root of the problem has been isolated.
Re: Public perception of drugs needs to change (2.87 / 8) (#36)
by spiralx on Wed Sep 27, 2000 at 11:14:51 AM EST

Good comment... worth thinking about.

More central, then, to the cause of legalizing drugs is removing the stigma associated with them. Make drugs look like alcohol in the eyes of Joe Sixpack, and replace big-breasted beer ads with big-breasted Bong ads ("Buds Mendocino" as spokesperson?)

I think this "stigma" is mainly part of a section of society that is very dogmatic in its viewpoint and isn't likely to change for anything. Amongst younger generations there really isn't a stigma at all, in fact it's generally considered to be the norm amongst many groups of people.

I think a lot of the stigma is due to the fact that nobody wants to speak out in support of legalisation for fear of government reprisals. Whenever they do surveys about drug use amongst teenagers I take the results with a serious pinch of salt - even in "anonymous" surveys people don't want to put down that they take drugs "just in case". And with some of the shit that happens, I don't blame them.

In general I've found that the only people my age who haven't tried drugs are those that didn't want to try drugs. I don't think I've met anyone who hadn't been able to get hold of them.


You're doomed, I'm doomed, we're all doomed for ice cream. - Bob Aboey
[ Parent ]

Re: Public perception of drugs needs to change (3.33 / 3) (#96)
by Matrix on Wed Sep 27, 2000 at 03:08:28 PM EST

Speaking as a member of the younger generation, I really don't care. I personally would not ever do drugs, as I like to be able to trust the contents of my own head even if I can't trust anything else. But I have no problem with anyone else doing drugs, as long as their use doesn't hurt others. As far as I'm concerned, its their affair, they can do what they like with it. And if they have problems, I think publically funded medicare and rehab would be MUCH better uses of my tax money than, oh say, paying some crown corporation with a business plan worse than that of a dot-com just because it keeps a couple of hundred people in jobs that are more expensive for taxpayers than welfare for those people. :-P

And I think that either of the above uses of my tax money is much more productive than buying more hardware for the police so they can chase down the crime created by these drug laws in the first place.


Matrix
"...Pulling together is the aim of despotism and tyranny. Free men pull in all kinds of directions. It's the only way to make progress."
- Lord Vetinari, pg 312 of the Truth, a Discworld novel by Terry Pratchett
[ Parent ]

Re: Public perception of drugs needs to change (3.25 / 8) (#46)
by Nyarlathotep on Wed Sep 27, 2000 at 11:47:56 AM EST

No, the drug testing at work will not go away, but it dose not need to go away. I think economic factors will help determin which companies test for drugs, i.e. Hospitals will test doctors since it lowers their malpractice inshurance, but software companies will not test people since it would make them significantly less competitive. Plus, companies which did have a financial reason to keep their employies clean might eventually move to a controlled use policy which required drug tests, but did not consider finding reasonable ammounts to be a problem.
Campus Crusade for Cthulhu -- it found me!
[ Parent ]
Re: Public perception of drugs needs to change (2.50 / 2) (#82)
by aphrael on Wed Sep 27, 2000 at 02:23:42 PM EST

More central, then, to the cause of legalizing drugs is removing the stigma associated with them

This is more difficult than it sounds. I had many conversations in the early days of the web (92-94) with people on this subject, and frequently the responses from the anti-drug crowd boiled down to:

"Drugs are illegal because they're bad."

"Drugs are bad because they're harmful."

"Even if drugs aren't harmful, they're bad because they're illegal."

Once you're at that point of circular reasoning, there's little arguing can do.



[ Parent ]
Re: Public perception of drugs needs to change (1.00 / 1) (#186)
by mindstrm on Thu Sep 28, 2000 at 01:13:44 PM EST

It probably would get rid of some level of drug testing. For those involved with machinery, pilots, anyone who's actions could directly affect people's lives, they shoudl be tested. It is completely fair to expect these people to maintain clear headedness during work. The context will change though. The fact that a drug test shows that a pilot used cocaine during his vacation in Hawaii 1 week ago, should not get him fired. After all, it's legal. So long as he's not using it anywhere near his job as a pilot. That may be a bad example; perhaps we view cocaine as somethign that is too easy to lose control of, and pilots shouldn't do it at all. I'm not saying this is the best example. As for on-the-job testing... drug testing that fires people simply becuase 'the use of illegal drugs was detected' regardless of it's safety implications would stop completely. I would think that, if drugs were legal, simply firing someone because they did something legal would open you up for some major litigation. Of course, if your job involves the safety of others, that would be different. I mean, you can't get fired for drinking off the job, but you can for showing up drunk.

[ Parent ]
Don't forget the war on crime and terrorism (2.40 / 15) (#43)
by John Jorsett on Wed Sep 27, 2000 at 11:38:26 AM EST

The other excuses for the increasing restrictions on our liberties: the wars on crime and terrorism. The reason your air travel is now being logged and recorded is the direct result of these. If you'd like to read a good book on how to conceal your activities and whereabouts from an increasingly intrusive government, take a look at "How to be Invisible" by J. J. Luna. It's not perfect, but it's the best such book I've found so far, and since it's of recent publication, the info isn't out of date.

The obvious (redundant) problem for hackers (3.50 / 16) (#47)
by Elendale on Wed Sep 27, 2000 at 11:50:29 AM EST

One of my big defenses of source code being free is that one can tell you how to create $3USD crack, but actually doing it is the crime. The knowledge is not illegal, the act is illegal. It looks like this law will make the knowledge illegal also. It would be all-too-easy for the multi-billion dollar intrests to extend this law to source code. In that case, how will we fight against viruses/worms/trojans/other malicious attacks? The way we currently defend against these is to have knowledge of them- the more the better- but if it were illegal to share the way (for example) the ILOVEYOU virus spread it would still be bouncing around the internet. Just some thoughts.

-Elendale
---

When free speech is outlawed, only criminals will complain.


Story to preachy too reach anyone (4.30 / 23) (#48)
by Obiwan Kenobi on Wed Sep 27, 2000 at 11:52:09 AM EST

I commend DJBongHit for his attempt at this ripe-for-geekdom-comment story. However, there is too much preachy this-is-what-we-should-do-and-there-is-no-alternative speak in it for it to be accepted. Let's give some better examples of exactly what he is talking about:

Such as when kids are taken from their parents simply because they smoke marijuana. This, simply, is the cruelest thing I've ever seen. You can fill in the rest of the comments for this over-the-top story.

Everyone here should read Ain't Nobody's Business If You Do a wonderful and insightful novel (completely FREE) that discusses the absurdity of consensual crimes in this country (aka crimes that hurt nobody but yourself or yourself and other consenting adults). Truly fascinating, with real stories/quotes/laws that exist today.

Other great sites to visit would be NORML (National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws) as well as Cannibus Culture, both great news sites on whats going on for the (hopeful) reform and education of marijuana.

I can speak from experience with the plant (it's NOT a drug) that it does NOTHING but causes some loss of short term memory. I do an important job and relaxation is important to me. If I do what I do in the privacy of my own home, it shouldn't be anyone's business. I think that this story will get posted in the future, however, it won't be in the same format.
-----------
Obiwan
misterorange.com - The 3 R's: Reading, Writing, and Rock & Roll...

Re: Story to preachy too reach anyone (3.25 / 4) (#49)
by spiralx on Wed Sep 27, 2000 at 12:00:28 PM EST

Such as when kids are taken from their parents simply because they smoke marijuana. This, simply, is the cruelest thing I've ever seen. You can fill in the rest of the comments for this over-the-top story.

I was reading this story as well which is pretty much the same thing, and yes I thought it was one of the most tragic things I've ever read. When children are made to suffer things like this you know that something is deeply wrong with society.

There are also another story on this subject here.


You're doomed, I'm doomed, we're all doomed for ice cream. - Bob Aboey
[ Parent ]

you think that is bad (2.00 / 1) (#164)
by Commienst on Thu Sep 28, 2000 at 04:07:15 AM EST

"Such as when kids are taken from their parents simply because they smoke marijuana. This, simply, is the cruelest thing I've ever seen. You can fill in the rest of the comments for this over-the-top story."

If a father wants to divorce his wife in our great United States the women gets the kid in many lopsided circumstances. Women who are convicted felons have gained custody of children in favor of the law abiding father (who happens to just be the wrong sex, in this particular case).

[ Parent ]

Re: Story to preachy too reach anyone (3.80 / 5) (#50)
by DJBongHit on Wed Sep 27, 2000 at 12:02:23 PM EST

I commend DJBongHit for his attempt at this ripe-for-geekdom-comment story. However, there is too much preachy this-is-what-we-should-do-and-there-is-no-alternative speak in it for it to be accepted.

But that's the way I feel about it - as long as there's things like this going on in this country, we won't be free citizens.

Such as when kids are taken from their parents simply because they smoke marijuana. This, simply, is the cruelest thing I've ever seen. You can fill in the rest of the comments for this over-the-top story.

Yeah, I saw that. We posted a story about that on Smokedot yesterday.

Other great sites to visit would be NORML (National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws) as well as Cannibus Culture, both great news sites on whats going on for the (hopeful) reform and education of marijuana.

Yes, those are two good sites. Also, another site to check out is the Media Awareness Project, specifically their drug news section.

~DJBongHit

--
GNU GPL: Free as in herpes.

[ Parent ]
A threat to whose way of life, exactly? (2.61 / 18) (#54)
by marlowe on Wed Sep 27, 2000 at 12:26:10 PM EST

Say, is it true that chronic marijuana use leads to paranoia and delusions of persecution?
-- The Americans are the Jews of the 21st century. Only we won't go as quietly to the gas chambers. --
Re: A threat to whose way of life, exactly? (3.00 / 6) (#58)
by DJBongHit on Wed Sep 27, 2000 at 12:33:07 PM EST

A threat to the American way of life. But don't take it seriously if you don't like your Constitutional rights and don't mind waking up one day and realizing this country has become a police state in front of your eyes and now there's nothing you can do about it.

Say, is it true that chronic marijuana use leads to paranoia and delusions of persecution?

No. I was expecting comments like this, but I'm surprised one didn't show up until #54.

~DJBongHit

--
GNU GPL: Free as in herpes.

[ Parent ]
Re: A threat to whose way of life, exactly? (1.50 / 6) (#91)
by phunbalanced on Wed Sep 27, 2000 at 02:49:27 PM EST

now that's just plain ignorant.

[ Parent ]
Re: A threat to whose way of life, exactly? (1.50 / 4) (#152)
by blp on Wed Sep 27, 2000 at 11:00:12 PM EST

Yeah, the kind of paranoia that leeds people to write long articles about how the government is taking thier rights away.

I can no longer sit back and allow: Communist Infiltration, Communist Indoctrination, Communist Subversion and the International Communist Conspiracy to sap and inpurify all of our precious bodily fluids.
[ Parent ]

isnt there a law to prevent this (2.69 / 13) (#57)
by keltor on Wed Sep 27, 2000 at 12:32:55 PM EST

im pretty sure that congress passed an amendment to the constitution repealing prohibition. if prohibition has been repealed by an 'amendment' how can a tax law (1929 mari tax law to give the head of prohibition a new job) even begin to supercede an amendment. prior to this amendment, congress had to pass an amendment (not just a law or tax law) to make alcohol an illegal controlled substance. but they don't have to pass an amendment after the same concept is explicitly replealed? doesn't / shouldn't the act of repealing an amendment set some sort of precident?
A picture had better be worth a 1000 words-- it takes longer to download (this comment posted from a debian X-Box)
Re: isnt there a law to prevent this (3.50 / 4) (#87)
by MrSpey on Wed Sep 27, 2000 at 02:33:42 PM EST

There are a lot of ways that congress can make something illegal, and I'm pretty sure most of them have been approved by the supreme court. In particular, the interstate commerce clause means that anything that effects commerce can be legislated by congress. Spending money on drugs is not spending it on something else, so it effects interstate commerce, so it can be legislated against. Back when the prohibition amendment was passed, it was assumed that the interstate commerce clause of the constitution referred to regular business that crossed state lines, and not almost any sort of commerce anywhere, like it is today. Congress is also responsible for trade with other nations, so it can outlaw the importation of whatever it wants.

Even if the constitution cannot be construed to give congress a particular power, they can still pass spending bills that say things like "If a state doesn't make X illegal, it won't get any money," which is what congress did to set a nationwide speed limit ("If you have a speed limit over 55mph, you get no federal highway money.")


Mr. Spey
If I let you go, do you think you could fly?

[ Parent ]
Re: isnt there a law to prevent this (3.00 / 2) (#125)
by simmons75 on Wed Sep 27, 2000 at 06:53:11 PM EST

Check the Constitution--don't worry, you won't be killed or anything like that for reading the U.S. Constitution...yet. The amendment repealed was prohibition *of alcohol.*
poot!
So there.

[ Parent ]
Responsibility for your own body (3.57 / 19) (#59)
by ODiV on Wed Sep 27, 2000 at 12:43:51 PM EST

I wrote a comment similar to this, but it's burried in a thread somewhere so I figured I'd just post it at the top.

If the "It's your business what you do to your body, not ours." approach is taken by the gov't, why would they continue any health care they provide? (I don't know what health care is like in the states, but this question is certainly relevant in Canada)

If you're going to actively fuck your body up, I don't see how the government has any responsibility towards fixing it.

I view it similar to the "try to fix your hard drive yourself and the warrenty is void" situation.

Maybe they should make you sign a waiver. I don't know.

comments?

--
[ odiv.net ]
Re: Responsibility for your own body (2.20 / 5) (#71)
by QuantumAbyss on Wed Sep 27, 2000 at 01:31:52 PM EST

The government doesn't supply health care in the US (ultra-capitalistic society and all that, oh no! socialism is bad!, etc, etc) - it is a kinda big deal this campeign.

At the same time... if the government is being paid by you (and they are) to supply health care - then they should supply it. Of course, if you are actively messin' with your body then I suppose maybe some things just wouldn't be covered. I'd consider it reasonable for the government not to cover people who smoked (whatever) or did other such things in the same manner as they would cover the rest of the population (at the same time, if you smoke a couple of times in your life - as most ppl do - should that really be held against you?).

I think that it is really a difficult question to answer. Currently health care providors DO work that way - if you are old, you pay more, if you are young + don't smoke you pay next to nothing. It all comes down to a question of priorities on the part of society.

Science is not the pursuit of truth, it is the quest for better approximations to a perception of reality.
- QA
[ Parent ]
Re: Responsibility for your own body (2.66 / 6) (#72)
by QuantumAbyss on Wed Sep 27, 2000 at 01:32:18 PM EST

The government doesn't supply health care in the US (ultra-capitalistic society and all that, oh no! socialism is bad!, etc, etc) - it is a kinda big deal this campeign.

At the same time... if the government is being paid by you (and they are) to supply health care - then they should supply it. Of course, if you are actively messin' with your body then I suppose maybe some things just wouldn't be covered. I'd consider it reasonable for the government not to cover people who smoked (whatever) or did other such things in the same manner as they would cover the rest of the population (at the same time, if you smoke a couple of times in your life - as most ppl do - should that really be held against you?).

I think that it is really a difficult question to answer. Currently health care providors DO work that way - if you are old, you pay more, if you are young + don't smoke you pay next to nothing. It all comes down to a question of priorities on the part of society.

Science is not the pursuit of truth, it is the quest for better approximations to a perception of reality.
- QA
[ Parent ]
Re: Responsibility for your own body (3.50 / 4) (#80)
by aphrael on Wed Sep 27, 2000 at 02:20:25 PM EST

If the "It's your business what you do to your body, not ours." approach is taken by the gov't, why would they continue any health care they provide?

In countries which provide medical care to all of their citizens, this is a serious issue: if drug use increases the likelihood that you'll need medical care, how can we justify forcing non-users to subsidize the medical care of users? On the other hand, that same logic allows the state to restrict *all* activity it doesn't like --- motorcycle riding, snowboarding, walking on coals --- on the grounds that it's medically hazardous; do we want to ascribe that power to the state?

In places with more-or-less private medical sytems, presumably drug users would have higher insurance rates ... which doesn't answer the question of what to do when an uninsured drug user needs medical assistance. But would that cost more or less than keeping drug users in prison does?



[ Parent ]
Re: Responsibility for your own body (4.25 / 4) (#88)
by DJBongHit on Wed Sep 27, 2000 at 02:38:34 PM EST

In countries which provide medical care to all of their citizens, this is a serious issue: if drug use increases the likelihood that you'll need medical care, how can we justify forcing non-users to subsidize the medical care of users? On the other hand, that same logic allows the state to restrict *all* activity it doesn't like --- motorcycle riding, snowboarding, walking on coals --- on the grounds that it's medically hazardous; do we want to ascribe that power to the state?

But if drugs were legalized and regulated by the Government, you would be sure not to get any bleach in your heroin or anything like that. You would also know the exact dosage you're getting, so the chance of an accidental overdose is greatly reduced. Legitimate drugs sold by legitimate dealers would be much safer than the current street drugs.

Many prescription medicines are worse for you than street drugs - take methadone, for example, which is used to treat heroin addiction. It is more addictive than heroin, more toxic to your body, and a slight overdose can be deadly. Basically the only "benefit" over heroin is that it doesn't get you high.

Or Prozac. Have you ever looked at the "possible side effects" list? It's like 2 pages long of fine print, including such fun things as heart failure, internal hemmorraging (sp?), hallucinations, psychosis, and sudden death. No street drug, apart from possibly PCP, causes these kinds of side effects without an overdose (besides hallucinations, but that is one of the intended effects of many drugs).

~DJBongHit

--
GNU GPL: Free as in herpes.

[ Parent ]
Re: Responsibility for your own body (3.00 / 4) (#113)
by aphrael on Wed Sep 27, 2000 at 05:13:41 PM EST

I do not deny that regulated sales of currently illegal drugs would be safer than the current situation, nor that there are prescription drugs which are far more dangerous than most street drugs. However, I also concede that my use of caffiene makes me more likely to need medical care, as does my use of alcohol, and my use of marijuana; and it's legitimate for an insurance company to be concerned about that.

The issue of what controls state-run insurance should be able to place on behavior is different from the issue of whether drugs should be legal; in my view, it's one of the fundamental flaws in state-run insurance schemes.



[ Parent ]
If drugs are legalized by the government (1.00 / 4) (#115)
by marlowe on Wed Sep 27, 2000 at 05:29:32 PM EST

then whoever's responsible for guranteeeing the quality of your dope is gonna be so friggin' stoned he'll have you shooting DranO.

Which, from a social Darwinist point of view, may not be a bad thing.


-- The Americans are the Jews of the 21st century. Only we won't go as quietly to the gas chambers. --
[ Parent ]
Re: Responsibility for your own body (2.75 / 4) (#116)
by mindstrm on Wed Sep 27, 2000 at 05:32:13 PM EST

Simple.. (I am Canadian, living in Calgary, so I've thoughht quite a bit on this issue as of late).

1) We have to decide how much we will spend on healthcare per-person. What is the limit? I mean, if it's going to be taxpayer funded, and universal, we have to draw a line somewhere. If it's open-ended, there will *NEVER* be enough money, no matter what.

2) It should be more like insurance, that you pay into (oh wait, we already do). There should be some reward (or penalty) based on how well you follow common-sense things about health. I'm not sure exactly how it should work, but it makes sense that if the Government says that smoking crack is bad for your health, then you should have to pay the damn bill when you have a coronary. Same for smoking, excessive drinking, etc.

If drugs were legal (legal is a strange term these days. I don't mean specifically allowed, but simply not disallowed), this would make sense.

Drugs that are really addictive and really bad? Make advertising of *ANY* sort STRICTLY illegal. Make pushing illegal. Make it available over the counter at a drugstore, at a fair price, but NEVER advertised. Make information about their side effects available at the same time.





[ Parent ]
Re: Responsibility for your own body (3.50 / 2) (#130)
by swr on Wed Sep 27, 2000 at 07:24:21 PM EST

If the "It's your business what you do to your body, not ours." approach is taken by the gov't, why would they continue any health care they provide? (I don't know what health care is like in the states, but this question is certainly relevant in Canada) If you're going to actively fuck your body up, I don't see how the government has any responsibility towards fixing it.

Here in Canada your health care is provided the same whether or not you smoke, drink, skydive, eat a lot of potato chips, etc, etc. And yes, even if you OD on heroin, treatment is covered under medicare. So the "it's your business what you do to your body" approach is already the norm with regards to health care in Canada.



[ Parent ]
Re: Responsibility for your own body (4.50 / 2) (#167)
by dabadab on Thu Sep 28, 2000 at 05:01:45 AM EST

Well, some things:

  • Do not know about you, but I DO pay big fat money to the gov't that is supposedly spent on health care.
  • Mentioning all substances as "drugs" serves no purpose but to opaque everything. MJ is less harmful than alcohol and ocassional use poses no threat for your healt, while the same is not true about crack which can cause serious problems. Even more strange thing is that alcohol and nicotine is NOT considered to be drugs by the general public.
  • People already use drugs, even hard ones. Legislation would not change that (maybe the balance would shift towards soft drugs) so it is already an existing problem, not a problem of legislation.
  • People already engage in other activities that may be bad for their health, so it is not a problem of drugs, it is a problem of health care policy.

--
Real life is overrated.
[ Parent ]
Danger! (none / 0) (#217)
by Commienst on Sat Sep 30, 2000 at 12:22:33 AM EST

"If you're going to actively fuck your body up, I don't see how the government has any responsibility towards fixing it."

I personally have never taken a drug (I would rather deal with reality head on then use drugs to ignore it for a short period of time). You are treading on ground that no government should have a right to control. What people can or can not do with their own bodies. Where do we draw the line why not continue on to other unhealthy practices besides drugs?

I live in America. Lets say we do socialize healthcare over here and drug users are excluded. That is not fair to drug users. People do unhealthy things all the time. So why not include overweight people as well? I personally feel being 10-40 lbs. overweight is much worse for your health than doing certain drugs. The point is sometimes it is best for government in a case like this to not draw any lines on who can or cannot receive care and give everyone equal treatment.

[ Parent ]

Like watching a suicide... for years on end. (3.33 / 21) (#62)
by fuchikoma on Wed Sep 27, 2000 at 12:54:37 PM EST

I don't agree with the US gov't's methods, and the way they use the drug war as an excuse for other things (like searches on suspicion of possesion,) but I have to agree that drugs need to go. Even if they were _theoretically_ legalized, they'd go for testing by the FDA, and be shot down again, except for occasional medicinal use, but there are already better alternatives for many street drugs medically.

Hemp? I know it's used for various things here in Canada, and I'm fairly sure it has uses in the states too. In Ontario there's a farmer who has a field of special low-THC hemp growing for various uses. (beauty products, paper, rope, shirts.) I have no problem with this kind of use for it, and I encourage it.

I do have a problem with street drugs though. I had a friend who was very intelligent at one time. I hadn't seen him for a few years, but he had gotten into various "weaker" drugs (weed, hash, a few natural hallucinogens,) and I can safely say that he's as dumb as a board now (when not stoned, even.) I have now seen this kind of thing first hand, and I've stopped believing it was just propaganda. I've watched him sit there stabbing his arm with a pencil just because it doesn't hurt him. Watching someone degenerate like that is like watching them commit suicide, but for years on end. If this kind of stuff were legalized in Canada here, I would leave the country.

Go ahead drug users, flame me, but at least try to make a coherent argument.

Re: Like watching a suicide... for years on end. (3.85 / 7) (#65)
by the coose on Wed Sep 27, 2000 at 01:05:10 PM EST

...but I have to agree that drugs need to go.

But they're not going anywhere and that, I believe, is the crux of the arguments. The war on drugs is having no effect whatsoever, so maybe it's time we think of alternatives. De-criminalization is one option and judging from history, the most viable.

[ Parent ]
Re: Like watching a suicide... for years on end. (3.50 / 2) (#169)
by el_guapo on Thu Sep 28, 2000 at 06:14:55 AM EST

"The war on drugs is having no effect whatsoever" I'm totally with you except for this (and then I'm with you on what you *meant*, just not what you *said* ;-) ) The effects it DOES have are: A)locking up nonviolent "drug offenders", B)costing you and me a ton of money, C)making a bunch of slimeballs rich in Washington, D)making a bunch of slimeballs rich in Comlombia, E)providing an income for a large number of "Drug Enforcement" personnel, often resulting in their death or injury, when they could be doing something else that would actually HELP the drug situation (besides beating and shooting drug users)
mas cerveza, por favor mirrors, manifestos, etc.
[ Parent ]
Re: Like watching a suicide... for years on end. (4.00 / 7) (#67)
by herbman on Wed Sep 27, 2000 at 01:18:55 PM EST

Honestly, as sad as it might be to say, your friend lacked responsibility. I'm a fan of the belief that one should watch out for themselves when it comes to risky business. Personally, I've used various "weak" drugs as you say, and my life is quite fine. I'm a full time college student, maintain a job, keep a bank account, etc. I also have plans for the future. When I've had a rough day at work or school and just want to relax and get away from it all for a while, I'll turn to my bowl and take a few hits. No one is harmed (except perhaps my lungs), and I know when to quit.

Now are you going to tell me you'd prefer laws get passed to tell me I don't know how to take responsibility for my own actions on my body? Please. I'm awfully sorry that your friend couldn't handle his priorities or be able to balance his life, but don't try to make a general case out of it. It's simply not valid.

[ Parent ]

Re: Like watching a suicide... for years on end. (4.88 / 9) (#69)
by bort13 on Wed Sep 27, 2000 at 01:24:39 PM EST

I do have a problem with street drugs though. I had a friend who was very intelligent ...etc.

Go ahead drug users, flame me, but at least try to make a coherent argument.

Not a flame, but you're basing your opinion on an N=1 study, and assuming that the experience for your friend is a normal thing. You discount your own perceptions of his level of intelligence and don't account for your own prejudice. You assume the drugs are responsible, when it might have been some other internal imbalance. I consider that to be on par with "well, I knew a <person of you-pick-an-ethnic-group> one time, and s/he was a criminal/wife abuser/cheat/negative adjective, etc. So I don't particularly get on with <ethnic group>s." You may not be wrong, you're perfectly entitled to your opinion, although IMO you're not holding yourself to very rigorous standards for your conclusions.

That is actually the most potent weapon in the arsenal of prohibitionists. They are able to construct elaborate believable horror stories from drastic exceptions of people who probably had their own problems going into the whole mix. Since their results are from first-hand experience, they seem more credible in a social context.

Do you know anyone on Prozac or Xanax? Anyone who takes any OTC legal drugs that give them bad side effects? Would you decry legal drugs with the same zeal? Are you certain you are not discriminating based on some internal agenda?

[ Parent ]

Re: Like watching a suicide... for years on end. (2.80 / 5) (#78)
by fuchikoma on Wed Sep 27, 2000 at 02:06:00 PM EST

I admit my anecdote isn't a rigorous scientific study, but then again, I don't have the resources to perform one. I doubt you do either. Also, none of my other friends are into drugs, so I'm somewhat biased by the fact that most of my experiences with drug users were when I was going to high school, and would meet druggies who if you did so much as crack a joke, you could just see the hamster fall off the wheel as they tried to wrap their minds around it.

Do you know anyone on Prozac or Xanax? Anyone who takes any OTC legal drugs that give them bad side effects? Would you decry legal drugs with the same zeal? Are you certain you are not discriminating based on some internal agenda?

Actually, I know someone who USED to be on a similar drug (never told me the name of it.) It made him quite uncreative and even zombie-like. It really screwed him up. Eventually he refused to take it, and... regained his humanity for lack of a better term. It was by prescription too. I don't "decry legal drugs with the same zeal," but I do decry abuse of legal drugs with the same zeal. Sure, these drugs didn't kill him, but did he need them? No. Sure, MJ doesn't kill you, do you need it? Probably not.
Do you think people should be able to buy prescription drugs over the counter? Then why should it be any different for "street drugs"?

[ Parent ]
Re: Like watching a suicide... for years on end. (4.40 / 5) (#83)
by DJBongHit on Wed Sep 27, 2000 at 02:26:30 PM EST

Sure, these drugs didn't kill him, but did he need them? No. Sure, MJ doesn't kill you, do you need it? Probably not. Do you think people should be able to buy prescription drugs over the counter? Then why should it be any different for "street drugs"?

That's the lamest argument I've heard in a long time. Sure, drinking beer is fun, but do you need it? Sure, steak is good, but do you need it? Chocolate? Sex? Linux? Kuro5hin?

You *need* none of these to survive, but I'll bet at least some of them you enjoy and make your life more pleasurable. The same goes for me with pot and hallucinogens.

As I've said before, it's not an issue of whether or not these drugs are bad for you, it's an option of the Government treating people like children - telling them "you can't do this, listen to me because I know best." Sound familiar? Like maybe something your parents told you when you were 10?

It's time to stop allowing the Government to treat us like children and take responsibility for our own actions, good or bad.

~DJBongHit

--
GNU GPL: Free as in herpes.

[ Parent ]
Re: Like watching a suicide... for years on end. (4.80 / 5) (#97)
by bort13 on Wed Sep 27, 2000 at 03:08:53 PM EST

I don't have the resources to perform one. I doubt you do either.

No, of course not. But I have friends who do. Research exists and is being conducted on the effects of controlled substances on people, and I'm not going to pretend it's all pretty. It is, however, readily available and pretty easy pickings if you'd like to make a cogent argument for the continuation of prohibition. There are serious risks associated with drug use, but I would strongly argue that they're no more dire than those we undertake on a daily basis. I wouldn't call for all prescription drugs to be readily available, because I think there's certainly a distinction between a recreationally-used substance and a curative one. Would you advise requiring prescriptions for alcohol & cigarettes?

The argument about whether or not you 'need' marijuana is faulty as well. Do you need fatty foods? A heated swimming pool? Leather clothing? A Porche 944? Repeated promiscuous sexual encounters? In the USA, you're perfectly entitled to all of these as long as you meet the capital and/or social entry requirements. You're allowed to make choices based on your desires, for the most part, and some pretty risky choices at that. Why the singling-out of drugs for stigma?



[ Parent ]

Re: Like watching a suicide... for years on end. (4.60 / 10) (#70)
by aphrael on Wed Sep 27, 2000 at 01:29:23 PM EST

Most of the arguments i've seen for continuing prohibition of drugs are anecdotal: I know so-and-so who ruined their life on drugs, so I know drugs are bad.

The problem with this is that for every anecdote you can generate about someone who ruined their life on drugs, I can generate an anecdote about a successful businessman, computer programmer, teacher, farmer, what have you who has used drugs continuously for a decade or more with no serious ill effects.

The anecdotes cancel each other out. What we need are legitimate statistical and scientific studies, which just don't happen in the current environment.

Not to mention which: for most people, their lives are significantly more damaged by some number of years in prison than they are by drug use per se.



[ Parent ]
Re: Like watching a suicide... for years on end. (3.16 / 6) (#77)
by Foogle on Wed Sep 27, 2000 at 01:59:13 PM EST

You want statistics? Here's a statistic: 4 thousand people are killed every year due to alcohol, from car-accidents alone.

Illegal use of alcohol kills people by the thousands. The number of other illegal-drug-related automobile deaths is tiny compared to this. What happens to those numbers when those drugs are easier to get ahold of? Should we expect them to go *down*? I doubt it.

-----------

"You can't shake the Devil's hand and say you're only kidding."
- They Might Be Giants
[ Parent ]

Re: Like watching a suicide... for years on end. (2.25 / 4) (#81)
by Nelson on Wed Sep 27, 2000 at 02:22:34 PM EST

Do they routinely check for frug use in automobile wrecks? I can't say that I recall any of that, I also can't say I recall ever seeing someone smoke dope who hadn't had a few drinks.

[ Parent ]
Re: Like watching a suicide... for years on end. (2.75 / 4) (#89)
by Dolphineus on Wed Sep 27, 2000 at 02:44:55 PM EST

I also can't say I recall ever seeing someone smoke dope who hadn't had a few drinks.

That is a ridiculous statement. Personally, I will avoid alcohol if I can. If I have the choice between smoking marijuana and having a drink, I will choose the marijuana 10 times out of 10. If I have the choice between having both and having just the marijuana, I will still choose just the marijuana. Just because you've never seen something does not indicate a trend, nor does it indicate an absolute certainty. I know lots of people who will smoke marijuana but who will not touch alcohol. God created marijuana, man created alcohol. Who do you trust.

[ Parent ]
Re: Like watching a suicide... for years on end. (1.00 / 2) (#170)
by Foogle on Thu Sep 28, 2000 at 07:58:36 AM EST

What a dumb thing to say: God created Smallpox too, but he never get's any bad PR for that.

-----------

"You can't shake the Devil's hand and say you're only kidding."
- They Might Be Giants
[ Parent ]

Re: Like watching a suicide... for years on end. (3.66 / 3) (#121)
by rongen on Wed Sep 27, 2000 at 06:07:02 PM EST

Do they routinely check for frug [sic] use in automobile wrecks? I can't say that I recall any of that, I also can't say I recall ever seeing someone smoke dope who hadn't had a few drinks.

Actually on the news here (Canada, eh), on our national radio station CBC, if marijuana, cocaine or whatever were being used by people in fatal car crash it is normally reported on the news (if the crash makes the news, that is). I think toxicology testing is done in cases like this isn't it? Normally if people are at a aparty watching people get smashed and stoned before driving they usually inform the police (the police do come around asking about these things following a fatal accident I think...).

Anyway, people who do drugs (like alcohol, valium, codeine, gravol, and yes, marijuana, coke, etc) and drive are really not behaving responsibly. This is not a legalization issue as much as a responsibility issue in my opinion.
read/write http://www.prosebush.com
[ Parent ]

Re: Like watching a suicide... for years on end. (3.50 / 4) (#84)
by DJBongHit on Wed Sep 27, 2000 at 02:30:09 PM EST

What happens to those numbers when those drugs are easier to get ahold of? Should we expect them to go *down*? I doubt it.

There are two logic flaws in your statement. First, why would you assume that drugs would be any easier to get if they were legalized? I never have any problems finding drugs I want. And second, why should we expect drug use to go *up*? Anybody who wants to do drugs can do them already, whether they be a 12 year old kid or a 50 year old doctor. I'd rather have them be legalized so that the 12 year old kid can't get them at all, and responsible, consenting adults can choose how to spend their recreational time without fear of jail.

~DJBongHit

--
GNU GPL: Free as in herpes.

[ Parent ]
Re: Like watching a suicide... for years on end. (4.66 / 3) (#132)
by aphrael on Wed Sep 27, 2000 at 07:31:59 PM EST

Illegal use of alcohol kills people by the thousands. The number of other illegal-drug-related automobile deaths is tiny compared to this. What happens to those numbers when those drugs are easier to get ahold of? Should we expect them to go *down*? I doubt it.

I don't ride my motorcycle after drinking. Nor do I ride my motorcycle after smoking weed. But there's an underlying logic in what you're saying that implies that we need to keep drugs illegal to prevent accidents --- which boils down to saying that, even though I think driving while under the influence is lunacy, I should be sent to jail for using drugs because I might otherwise drive under their influence.

This is disturbing, to say the least.



[ Parent ]
Re: Like watching a suicide... for years on end. (3.20 / 5) (#79)
by Commodore Sloat on Wed Sep 27, 2000 at 02:19:23 PM EST

So your friend stabbed himself with a pencil while tripping on acid. Silly behavior, I am sure, but this is something to lock his ass in jail for life over? Come on. First and foremost, the obvious -- your friend seems to have had no problem acquiring illegal drugs, so his pencil-fit does not constitute a legitimate reason for prohibition. Second, how does it help the situation to throw these people in jail? I have seen far worse things happen than this silliness due to drug abuse, but I have never seen a situation where a drug user could be helped by jail time (and certainly not the ridiculous mandatory minimums we have here in the States).

Of course drugs can be harmful. Alcohol and tobacco kill about 50-100 times as many people yearly as all illegal drugs combined. But noone seriously advocates prohibition for those drugs. We need to take a look at the real reasons certain drugs are illegal rather than clinging to touching but ultimately meaningless anecdotes as legitimate reasons for an expensive, destructive, and hypocritical war.

[ Parent ]

Re: Like watching a suicide... for years on end. (3.33 / 3) (#92)
by bort13 on Wed Sep 27, 2000 at 02:53:06 PM EST

There are now more Americans in jail on non-violent, drug-related offenses than ALL the prisoners in the European Union COMBINED.
and

Alcohol and tobacco kill about 50-100 times as many people yearly as all illegal drugs combined

It's a bad habit, especially on the losing end of a moral issue, to resort to quoting statistics with no attribution. This is the same tactic used against the legalization crowd and it's a loser. If you've got a good statistic, cite it & back it up.

[ Parent ]

Re: Like watching a suicide... for years on end. (5.00 / 4) (#95)
by DJBongHit on Wed Sep 27, 2000 at 03:04:33 PM EST

Eh, it's ok, he's wrong on those statistics. But here's the real statistics (source: MAPINC):

  • Alcohol is a factor in more than 100,000 American deaths per year
  • Illicit and Illegal drugs, directly or indirectly, are a factor in between 10,000 and 16,000 deaths per year.
  • To overdose on marijuana, you would have to smoke 1,500 POUNDS (which is between 20,000 and 40,000 joints) of the stuff in a 15 minute period! I don't think I need to tell you that this is physically impossible.


~DJBongHit

--
GNU GPL: Free as in herpes.

[ Parent ]
Re: Like watching a suicide... for years on end. (4.16 / 6) (#98)
by bort13 on Wed Sep 27, 2000 at 03:17:49 PM EST

To overdose on marijuana, you would have to smoke 1,500 POUNDS (which is between 20,000 and 40,000 joints) of the stuff in a 15 minute period! I don't think I need to tell you that this is physically impossible.

Yes, please, if you're going to try it, please be safe. Limit your consumption to 10,000 joints in any 15 minute period.

[ Parent ]

Re: Like watching a suicide... for years on end. (3.50 / 2) (#119)
by rongen on Wed Sep 27, 2000 at 05:58:41 PM EST

Yes, please, if you're going to try it, please be safe. Limit your consumption to 10,000 joints in any 15 minute period.

*toke*

*hammer* *drill* *saw*

*toke*

Um, guys, might as well down tools. No sense in continuing with the wind tunnel... Check this out...

(guys drop hammers and, squinting, read the laptop screen) Oh, man, what a drag... Wait a minute! This thing will make a bitchin half-pipe!!!!

:)
read/write http://www.prosebush.com
[ Parent ]

Re: Like watching a suicide... for years on end. (3.00 / 3) (#129)
by thomas on Wed Sep 27, 2000 at 07:13:16 PM EST

I would assume that Alcohol is consumed by many, many more people than illicit drugs.

and as for overdosing on marijuana... I think a bigger problem is with inhaling the smoke. I don't think marijuana smoke will be any better or worse than any other smoke... but inhaling any smoke sure can't be good for your lungs. And yes, I believe that tobacco should be banned.

The problem I have with smoked drugs isn't so much what you're doing to yourself, but rather what you're doing to anyone around you. As much as you should have a right to put whatever you like into your own body (or perhaps even more), other people must have a right not to take such substances into their body.

Even for other drugs, there are valid arguments against them. One would be that people heavily under the influence of drugs may be a danger to other people, (I am not sure whether I agree with this one or not)

A more important argument might be that too many people take drugs with a negative effect on the body, without bothering to be properly informed. In this case it may be sufficient to simply ensure that everyone is properly informed about drugs and their effects; but this would be incredibly difficult, perhaps even considerably more difficult than trying to wipe out drugs totally. The problem is, people are selective in what they take notice of, especially if it is a controversial matter like illicit drugs: say something positive, and they think "See, drugs are good." Say something negative, and they think "The bastards are just against drugs and everything they say is a load of shit."

War never determines who is right; only who is left.
[ Parent ]

Re: Like watching a suicide... for years on end. (3.66 / 3) (#131)
by DJBongHit on Wed Sep 27, 2000 at 07:25:59 PM EST

I would assume that Alcohol is consumed by many, many more people than illicit drugs.

Yes, but 50 million Americans have admitted to smoking marijuana (in polls and such). How many lied about it? And yet there is not a single documented case where marijuana has been directly responsible for a person's death (crashing a car while stoned doesn't count in this, because that's not what I'm talking about. I'm talking about the drug itself killing you).

I think a bigger problem is with inhaling the smoke. I don't think marijuana smoke will be any better or worse than any other smoke... but inhaling any smoke sure can't be good for your lungs.

Marijuana smoke contains more tar than tobacco smoke, but is not nearly as carcinogenic. It can, however, cause lung damage over years of use. But remember that people who smoke pot don't smoke nearly as much of it as people who smoke smoke cigarettes.

One would be that people heavily under the influence of drugs may be a danger to other people, (I am not sure whether I agree with this one or not)

Yes, but that's a separate issue. People should be 100% responsible for anything they do while under the influence, but they should not be punished simply for being under the influence.

A more important argument might be that too many people take drugs with a negative effect on the body, without bothering to be properly informed.

Yeah, but there's really nothing you can do about. Tons of people use drugs today without being properly informed about the consequences. People do this with alcohol, as well. It's a fact of life that people are stupid and will do stupid things.

~DJBongHit

--
GNU GPL: Free as in herpes.

[ Parent ]
Re: Like watching a suicide... for years on end. (4.50 / 2) (#134)
by thomas on Wed Sep 27, 2000 at 08:04:32 PM EST

Having given this a little more thought now, I agree with most of your points. However:
  • I stand firm that other people must have the right not to inhale drugs smoked by people around them. As such, assuming marijuana were legalised, restrictions would have to be placed on it, especially with regards to smoking in public.

    If people want to smoke marijuana in private, I have no problem with that. However if I'm walking down Queens Street, I want the right not to have to inhale other people's smoke.

  • I also stand firm on the education point. If drugs become legalised, the government must make a significant commitment to education surrounding those particular drugs. Yes, people do stupid things... that doesn't mean we shouldn't try to educate them to prevent that.

    As an (extreme) example, if someone wanted to drink bleach in large quantities because they think it tastes nice, without them knowing that it isn't exactly healthy, would it be right to let them without first making sure they know exactly what it will do to them?


War never determines who is right; only who is left.
[ Parent ]

Re: Like watching a suicide... for years on end. (3.00 / 2) (#184)
by DJBongHit on Thu Sep 28, 2000 at 12:27:36 PM EST

I stand firm that other people must have the right not to inhale drugs smoked by people around them. As such, assuming marijuana were legalised, restrictions would have to be placed on it, especially with regards to smoking in public.

Absolutely. I still think that restaurants should have a smoking section, but they should definitely be separated well from the non-smoking section. And I think they should allow smoking pot there (although this is definitely debatable). Hell, restaurants won't care, all it'll do is get people the munchies and they'll order tons of food :-)

I also stand firm on the education point. If drugs become legalised, the government must make a significant commitment to education surrounding those particular drugs. Yes, people do stupid things... that doesn't mean we shouldn't try to educate them to prevent that.

And again, absolutely. Good, we agree then :)

~DJBongHit

--
GNU GPL: Free as in herpes.

[ Parent ]
Alcohol, drugs....no difference (3.00 / 4) (#85)
by RiffRaff on Wed Sep 27, 2000 at 02:31:01 PM EST

There is no fundamental difference between the two Prohibitions. One made money for people selling alcohol, one makes money selling drugs. The desire/demand for either never goes away with the passing of a few (or a bunch) or ineffectual laws. When the citizenry of this country get tired of visiting their relatives in prison, then maybe we'll see a change. Something like one out of every ten (?) people are in jail on non-violent drugs "crimes." The US prison population has doubled in the last ten years. There are now more Americans in jail on non-violent, drug-related offenses than ALL the prisoners in the European Union COMBINED.

The mere fact that they found a bloody submarine in South America just underscores the fact that the US is losing the ill-concieved drug war. The more money the government spends, the more laws it passes, the more freedoms it usurps...the more the profits go up, and the risks become even more justified. Not to mention that the police, for instance, are the LAST people to want the drug crimes to go down. That would remove a giant source of income from them with no asset-forfeiture windfalls buying their new cars and fancy IR heliocopters.

The future will view this period with the same contempt for the supporters as the witch-hunters and the communist/loyalty oath types.

If you want to make a difference, vote libertarian. No, Harry Browne won't get elected, but we've got to have a voice before we can be heard. Let your vote tell the Republicrats that you'd rather vote your conscience and lose than to vote for them and lose your freedoms.


http://www.lp.org Enough is enough!
[ Parent ]
Re: Alcohol, drugs....no difference (3.00 / 3) (#90)
by DJBongHit on Wed Sep 27, 2000 at 02:45:28 PM EST

Something like one out of every ten (?) people are in jail on non-violent drugs "crimes."

Well... not quite. There are 1.1 million people in this country in jail for non-violent crimes and 2 million people in jail total. That's still absurd, but it's not the 1 in 10 figure you stated.

There are now more Americans in jail on non-violent, drug-related offenses than ALL the prisoners in the European Union COMBINED.

Are you sure about that? If so, that's fucked up.

If you want to make a difference, vote libertarian. No, Harry Browne won't get elected, but we've got to have a voice before we can be heard. Let your vote tell the Republicrats that you'd rather vote your conscience and lose than to vote for them and lose your freedoms.

Yes! And see this article on Smokedot as well - everybody who is even considering voting for Harry Browne, read that article and call or email Meet The Press (you'll see why after you read it). His voice needs to be heard.

~DJBongHit

--
GNU GPL: Free as in herpes.

[ Parent ]
Re: Alcohol, drugs....no difference (1.00 / 1) (#143)
by RiffRaff on Wed Sep 27, 2000 at 10:06:42 PM EST

I was having a hard time remembering...that's why I inserted the (?) in regards to the 1-out-of-10 thing. It seemed high to me, too. On the other hand, more people die from prescription drugs than do people from illicite (sp?) ones. People forget that. If the whole point of the Insane War On Drugs (TM) isn't to save lives, then what is it? Why concentrate on the illegal ones? Oh, yeah...the money (inherent in a black-market economy). Sorry, had a brainfart... You may now return to your standard governmental programming...

http://www.lp.org Enough is enough!


http://www.lp.org Enough is enough!
[ Parent ]
Re: Like watching a suicide... for years on end. (3.50 / 4) (#103)
by el_guapo on Wed Sep 27, 2000 at 03:33:28 PM EST

No flame at all - but why shouldn't he have the right to turn himself into a dumb as a board arm stabbing brain-case? Also, you're not taking into account many of the (imho) obvious and well founded prohibition commonalities. One other thing - despite those drugs being *currently* illegal, your friend went ahead and did it anyways. I would opine that if they were **legal**, your friend would still be what he is now, and you would still be what you are now. The il/legality is all but irrelevant from a users perspective - it just complicates the consequences of that user if he decides to go ahead and do it. Again, I am NOT flaming.....
mas cerveza, por favor mirrors, manifestos, etc.
[ Parent ]
Re: Like watching a suicide... for years on end. (1.66 / 3) (#155)
by blp on Wed Sep 27, 2000 at 11:14:43 PM EST

but why shouldn't he have the right to turn himself into a dumb as a board arm stabbing brain-case?

Because dumb as a board arm stabbing brain-cases are a drag on society and somebody has to pay 40% of thier hard earned money in taxes to support dumb as a board arm stabbing brain-cases (and the people who are worse off after years of drug use).

I can no longer sit back and allow: Communist Infiltration, Communist Indoctrination, Communist Subversion and the International Communist Conspiracy to sap and inpurify all of our precious bodily fluids.
[ Parent ]

excuse me? (3.00 / 1) (#157)
by royh on Wed Sep 27, 2000 at 11:59:06 PM EST

Ah, so because we don't want to pay 40% of our taxes for drug users we fund a war on drugs and lock people up for partaking of their non-taxed, yet very expensive chemicals?

[ Parent ]
Your excused (1.00 / 2) (#158)
by blp on Thu Sep 28, 2000 at 12:50:47 AM EST

Taxes on drugs would not raise the money nessesary to fight the effects of drug use. Tell me again that we would all be better off with more fucked up people and yet another tax.

I can no longer sit back and allow: Communist Infiltration, Communist Indoctrination, Communist Subversion and the International Communist Conspiracy to sap and inpurify all of our precious bodily fluids.
[ Parent ]

Re: Your excused - but wait. (4.33 / 3) (#162)
by Solaarius on Thu Sep 28, 2000 at 01:38:15 AM EST

How is incarcerating drug users for any amount of time any different from providing medical care for these users?

There are, in fact, very few people out there that have used drugs to the extent of having their brains mashed to the point of the arm-stabbing example (and I appologize for the cold description). There are significantly more people in american prisons that are fed, clothed, kept warm, given a bed, etc. than people who are in need of this type of care.

Logic dictates that letting people found guilty of a minor infraction that receive a disproportionately large prison sentence go free is (again) significantly less costly in the long run. And that's even assuming that decriminilization would actually increase soft drug use.
----

"The Age was called Dark not because there was no Light, but rather because the People refused to see It."
[ Parent ]

Re: Your excused - but wait. (2.00 / 1) (#189)
by blp on Thu Sep 28, 2000 at 01:41:35 PM EST

I never said users should be incarcerated. Drug users that are thrown in jail too often end up back into drugs when they finally get out. There are only two uses for incarceration anyway: to teach the criminal a lesson so that he never commits the crime again or to keep the criminal out of society forever. The first doesn't fix the problem and the second isn't deserved, so just locking them up isn't a solution anyway. There needs to be a punishment that helps them not commit the same crime again and I'm not sure exactly what it should be. We would, as a society, be better of if convicted drug users are punished in a way that helps them turn away from drugs than from just hiding the users away in prisons or to let them run wild in the intercity and hidden in the suburban basements and to pretend like nothing wrong is happening because nothing illegal is happening.

I can no longer sit back and allow: Communist Infiltration, Communist Indoctrination, Communist Subversion and the International Communist Conspiracy to sap and inpurify all of our precious bodily fluids.
[ Parent ]

Regarding Hemp (3.83 / 6) (#118)
by mindstrm on Wed Sep 27, 2000 at 05:52:27 PM EST

Regarding Hemp......

Saying that the farmer grows 'special low-thc hemp' for special uses is an understatment, and somewhat misleading.

What is commonly known as hemp (the fiber made from the plant, or the plant itself sometimes), although being the same species as that which we grow to get stoned on, has VASTLY low THC. This is not by some feat of genetic engineering either; plants grown for their fiber have thousands of years of human-induced natural selection. They are grown for the quality of their fiber.

And the plants that we grow to smoke are the same deal, but grown for their THC content.

As for 'special' uses, there are a great many uses (without even counting the wacky ones) for hemp fiber.
Clothing (I own lots of hemp clothing; it's great. Lasts, it's tough, it's comfortable).
Fiber (the mona lisa was painted on Hemp. Did you know that 'Canvas' is from the Dutch word for 'Cannabis'?
Ship sails were made from it.

The 'hemp' that farmers grow is useless for smoking. Why we are so afraid of it.. who knows.


[ Parent ]
Re: Regarding Hemp (2.33 / 3) (#156)
by royh on Wed Sep 27, 2000 at 11:52:42 PM EST

The 'hemp' that farmers grow is useless for smoking. Why we are so afraid of it.. who knows.

Don't quote me on this, but I heard non-smokable hemp is illegal because it's really hard to tell the difference between it and smokable-hemp from a hellicopter fly-by.

[ Parent ]

Re: Regarding Hemp (3.50 / 2) (#198)
by mindstrm on Thu Sep 28, 2000 at 07:08:13 PM EST

No.
It's illegal because the law says that the entire species (several species, actually) of plant is illegal, period, regardless of THC content. Period.

And that was the intent. It was made illegal because Du-Pont wanted the hemp industry shut down so they could sell their Nylon and other synthetic materials. The whole 'killer weed' stuff was a smokescreen.


We don't outlaw things simply because they might be confused with something else.. that's just BS.


[ Parent ]
Re: hemp/MJ are EASY to diff... (3.50 / 2) (#205)
by taiwanjohn on Fri Sep 29, 2000 at 03:21:20 AM EST

Don't quote me on this, but I heard non-smokable hemp is illegal because it's really hard to tell the difference between it and smokable-hemp from a hellicopter fly-by.

Can you tell the difference between a Dobermann and a Chihuahua?

Sure, "industrial" hemp and MJ are the same species, but they are different breeds (or varieties) of the same. Just as dogs have been specially bred into special-purpose shapes and sizes, so have many plants.

Hemp is bred for fibre. It's the tall, skinny plant with a coarse, stiff stalk rising a couple feet over your head.

Marijuana is the short, bushy, shrub with all the sticky, stinky flowers (buds) down by your knees.

Could you hide a few MJ plants in a hemp field? Yeah, I guess so, but you can do the same now in any other kind of field. Better yet, get a few lights and a timer, and hide 'em in your closet...

As for a whole field full of MJ, it would be EASY to spot from a helicopter... The plants just look totally different. Hemp's crop-spacing would be a disaster for MJ growing (too tight, doesn't allow enough "budding" room)...

--jrd

[ Parent ]

Re: Regarding Hemp (4.00 / 1) (#183)
by DJBongHit on Thu Sep 28, 2000 at 12:23:08 PM EST

The 'hemp' that farmers grow is useless for smoking. Why we are so afraid of it.. who knows.

Like I've said in other posts, it's all about money. Legalizing hemp could crush our paper industy, textile industry, and oil industry. As somebody said in another post here, hemp could replace up to 90% of our country's energy source. It's also stronger than many kinds of plastics and is much more efficient for making paper than wood (and we can shut those "Save the Rainforest" people up :-).

These industries are scared of this, because they all stand to lose an awful lot of money.

But fuck 'em. (and this goes for everybody here, not just the person I'm replying to) Are you going to let the Government tell you what you can do, just to get some oil tycoons richer?

~DJBongHit

--
GNU GPL: Free as in herpes.

[ Parent ]
Re: Regarding Hemp (3.50 / 2) (#197)
by mindstrm on Thu Sep 28, 2000 at 07:05:59 PM EST

Not at all, and I don't ;)

As for the 'other' industries... something I read a while back regarding the textile industries.

Cotton mills require very little change to their factories to process Hemp fiber instead of cotton. Many mill owners interviewed said the logistics of converting their operation to hemp would be no problem, the cost negligible. Just some front-end changes.

Farmers also prefer Hemp. It's easier to grow, requires less chemicals, and overall less work. The farmers don't oppose it.

Paper. I don't know how much pressure comes from the Paper industry, and I don't know how much paper is produced localy -vs- imported, or if the wood itself is imported, but the paper making process for hemp is simpler than that for wood. Less chemicals required, as hemp fiber is more natural for paper than wood fiber is.

Given that paper is only one of many end products of lumber, I doubt that the paper industry has a real influence on the legalization of hemp.

The Du-Pont stuff.. I know that's where it came from, but I don't know what it means how.

As for 'fuck them all'.... well. Here in Canada.. we're starting to allow commercial hemp to be grown. This will only rise.. and I believe the issue is much less of a political barrier here than it is in the US. Perhaps if we start a trend?



[ Parent ]
Let's ban it all (4.66 / 3) (#133)
by erotus on Wed Sep 27, 2000 at 08:01:32 PM EST

Well, First I'm sorry about your friend but he made his bed and now he must sleep in it. I have seen people go downhill because of drugs and I also have friends who smoke weed on a regular basis and hold down a high paying jobs. So what do I mean in the subject of my post when I said "let's ban it all".

Cholesterol kills many people yearly. Many people die, have heartattacks, or strokes leaving them disabled and kept alive through funding. Should we ban Cholesterol laden foods?

Cigarettes cause so many cases of lung cancer. I have seen firsthand what emphysema does to people. The can barely walk two steps without fainting. Other problems like heart disease, hardening of the arteries, kidney problems, and skin disorders nonetheless have been associated with smoking. Will the govt. ban tobacco?

Alcohol... oh alcohol... so many liver failures and dead brain cells.. so many dui's and people killed because of drunk driving. Let's just ban this too.

I don't drink despite the fact that it is legal.. I don't care... I have my own standards.. If you want to driknk then go ahead and do it... but do it responsibly. I am sick and tired of the govt. trying to interfere in peoples lives. People smoke pot despite the fact that it is not legal. They don't care and neither should the government. The US Govt. is becoming more repressive than King George during colonialism. This govt. is turning into everything that Jefferson, Franklin, and Washington detested.

During the next election we will have a choice - Republican Party, Democratic Party, or Boston Tea Party. I believe the only way this country will change is if enough people get fed up and march on capitol hill with megaphones telling the govt what we want. Remember "...That to secure these rights, governments are instituted among men, deriving their just power from the consent of the governed, that whenever any form of government becomes destructive to these ends, it is the right of the people to alter or abolish it." -- US Constitution

[ Parent ]
Re: Let's ban it all (2.66 / 3) (#136)
by pope nihil on Wed Sep 27, 2000 at 08:47:47 PM EST

actually i think that quote was from the declaration of independence. when the founders created the constitution, they made it illegal to revolt.

I voted.

[ Parent ]
Re: Let's ban it all (2.00 / 1) (#204)
by TheDude on Fri Sep 29, 2000 at 02:58:23 AM EST

Cholesterol kills many people yearly. Many people die, have heartattacks, or strokes leaving them disabled and kept alive through funding. Should we ban Cholesterol laden foods?

Yes! Or that's what the government would like people to believe anyways. Do you realize how many rules and regulations this country has now? It's insane - I don't know the number - but hell. There are regulations controling everything from drug use to the amount of salt someone can put in their processed meat. Every aspect of society is somehow controlled by the government. And we think we're a free society.

If you want to driknk then go ahead and do it... but do it responsibly.

Thank you. That's all that is needed. If one is responsible with what one consumes, if one doesn't go about screwing up other peoples' rights, what does it matter what they consume? How does the government get its idea that it can control every aspect of peoples' lives? Because the people have been led into believing that this is the truth. The Government looks out for us, takes care of us, protects us. Bullshit. The Government is not our parents. Parents are trying to get out of the job of parenting, letting the government do it for them. Kids grow up believing that the government is right no matter what - they tell us what is right and wrong, and we follow them blindly. We need to go back to the way this country was meant to be. Freedom for each individual, regardless of race, religion, belief, actions - as long as other peoples' rights don't suffer. If someone doesn't smoke, they don't hang out at places where people smoke. It's a choice - not a mandate. Smoking should not be prohibited. Drugs should not be prohibited. Doing whatever you want should not be prohibited unless you start making it impossible for others to do whatever they want. As long as people remember that what they do affects others, as long as people do things with regard as to others' rights, there need be no laws whatsoever. I only hope the world will one day be this way.

--
TheDude of Smokedot
Drug Info, Rights, Laws, and Discussion
Visit #smokedot on irc.smokedot.org

[ Parent ]
Re: Like watching a suicide... for years on end. (3.00 / 3) (#138)
by Rainy on Wed Sep 27, 2000 at 09:02:47 PM EST

Please, really. Stabbing himself in a hand with a pencil? Gee, the guy is a nervous wreck. Heh. I sure *do* hope you're not basing your judgement of him just on that one thing.

My personal view is that drugs may affect people in an ugly way, but it's in line with what may happen without drugs: people lose their sense of direction in life, lose ideals, lose ambition for whatever reason, may be unhappy because they fail to accomplish something they set out to accomplish, have mid-life crisis, have teen age crisis, and so on. One of the most vilest instincts man has is that urge to prohibit other people to do something 'for their best interest'. It's interesting that nobody is usually forthcoming to prohibit something for *themselves*.

But I digress.. My point is, people are blaming stuff on drugs. It's a bit like witch burning in 1600's.. Something's not working? Crops are bad? Livestock sick? Let's find an old bag living on outskirts of a village that doesn't go to church and burn her, see if that helps. Teenagers don't listen to parents? Listen to strange music? Wear strange clothes? Are disillusioned and angry? That's weed for you. What else could it possibly be?

One scientific study on this issue I read about examined a sample of people who smoked MJ for over 10 years in unusually large amounts - something like 5 joints every day, IIRC. IQ tests were done and results were different from non-users: but the difference was very subtle. The difference was not enough to be of any effect on a career or life of an average person. Perhaps, if he's a top scientist working on latest superstring theory, it would affect him negatively, *perhaps*. And keep in mind that vast majority of users does 2-3 joints in a *week* as opposed to ~5 a day.

As far as my experience goes, I tried a bit of DXM and quite a bit of MJ, and I found that nicotine, alcohol and even caffeine are far nastier drugs than MJ. Yes, caffeine is quite bad, addiction is possible (whereas MJ is non-addictive), and effects can be destructive. I think the reason it's usually looked at as much virtually harmless while MJ is thought dangerous because caffeine's short term affects on consciousness are not as strong, and not as complex. It's just a stimulant, which is similar to what people may experience if they jog for 10 minutes in the morning - OTOH, MJ's short terms effects include distortion in vision/hearing, feeling of euphoria, etc. People fear the unknown and mysterious. Nicotine is *very* addictive, in fact I've read accounts that claim it is more so than cocaine or heroin. Again, it's perceived as harmless because it's immediate effects are plain and simple, but in the long run you'll probably get cancer. DXM may be dangerous and it can be stronger than acid and yet it's a legal drug and is sold as part of many OTC cough medicines. It may be dangerous in combination with some drugs (in particular, tylenol and many headache medicines that contain tylenol's main ingredient), so if you decide to try it, don't do it before reading the FAQ.

So this is my viewpoint on this.. I think we should legalize all drugs in 1-2 states, legalize just the MJ in another, and decriminalize it like in western europe in the rest of US. Then in 2-3 years we'll see how these states are doing, and if they're fine (as I suspect they'll be), we can do it all over the US. I think the author of the story is wrong in his approach: first of all, he says that lincoln or whoever was against prohibition, and it's obvious to anyone that he couldn't have meant coke or H.. this argument is so easy to shoot down it can only hurt the cause. Abstract arguments about freedom being more important than safety won't help either: conventional wisdom goes that poor misguided youth gets hooked up and can't quit afterwards (which is sometimes true), so they perceive it as kind of like saying that underage 10 year old girls should be free to choose to have sex with their parents/guardians if they want to - which is, IMHO, absolutely different and utrue. But that's what people think - legalize and US will overnight turn into wasteland liek the one in Mad Max movies. They also think smoking weed burns out your brains, and so on.. The only way to get drugs legalized is scientific studies, social studies in europe (I think it's very interesting that only 5% teenagers smoke weed in Holland). Get them to understand that you try it and, if you don't like it, you quit any time you want.

By the way, if you're wondering.. I think I'm fairly intelligent, I was in math team at school, passed math AP in HS, worked as web designer, study computer languages now. I haven't done MJ in a long time, and had absolutely no problem with stopping to use it.
--
Rainy "Collect all zero" Day
[ Parent ]

Re: Like watching a suicide... for years on end. (1.00 / 3) (#153)
by blp on Wed Sep 27, 2000 at 11:05:30 PM EST

My point is, people are blaming stuff on drugs. It's a bit like witch burning in 1600's..

except witches mostly (probably entirely) didn't exist. Drugs do exist. Drugs do have real physical and psychological effects.

I can no longer sit back and allow: Communist Infiltration, Communist Indoctrination, Communist Subversion and the International Communist Conspiracy to sap and inpurify all of our precious bodily fluids.
[ Parent ]

Re: Like watching a suicide... for years on end. (2.00 / 3) (#154)
by blp on Wed Sep 27, 2000 at 11:05:34 PM EST

My point is, people are blaming stuff on drugs. It's a bit like witch burning in 1600's..

except witches mostly (probably entirely) didn't exist. Drugs do exist. Drugs do have real physical and psychological effects.

I can no longer sit back and allow: Communist Infiltration, Communist Indoctrination, Communist Subversion and the International Communist Conspiracy to sap and inpurify all of our precious bodily fluids.
[ Parent ]

Re: Like watching a suicide... for years on end. (1.00 / 1) (#161)
by Hk_Silver on Thu Sep 28, 2000 at 01:36:18 AM EST

your missing the point entirely. Witches arent real however they were BELIEVED to be real. It was a metaphor for the people being targetted as scapegoats due to their relation to drugs in America.
That government is best which governs least.
[ Parent ]
Re: Like watching a suicide... for years on end. (1.50 / 2) (#188)
by blp on Thu Sep 28, 2000 at 01:28:41 PM EST

I don't think I am missing the point. The witches were blamed for doing something they didn't do. Drug users, maybe not all but many, do commit other crimes, and have other problems (social, physical) as a result of drug use. The witches could avoid there persuction because they weren't doing anything wrong. Drug user, again not all but many, do other things wrong that they wouldn't do if they weren't under the influence.

I can no longer sit back and allow: Communist Infiltration, Communist Indoctrination, Communist Subversion and the International Communist Conspiracy to sap and inpurify all of our precious bodily fluids.
[ Parent ]

Re: Like watching a suicide... for years on end. (2.00 / 1) (#194)
by DJBongHit on Thu Sep 28, 2000 at 05:51:14 PM EST

The witches were blamed for doing something they didn't do.

As opposed to drug users who are automatically assumed to be criminals because some junkies rob people?

Drug user, again not all but many, do other things wrong that they wouldn't do if they weren't under the influence.

Not even many, some. And even so, what ever happened to "innocent until proven guilty?" If you do heroin, you should not be punished for crimes that other did while on heroin. But if you do get all fucked up on heroin and rob people or kill somebody, you should be punished for the crime, not for the crime.

I was having this conversation with my roommate today, who thinks that pot should be legalized but heroin and coke shouldn't. He said that the Government needs to do something to prevent people from doing things like that, and making heroin illegal is a good way to do that. I said, "Well, if you go get all smashed at a bar, should they put you in jail because you might start a fight?" He replied with "Yes, if you're drunk and disorderly." Yeah, but being drunk, and being drunk and disorderly are two different things. Just like being stoned, and being stoned and stealing shit are also two different things, and shouldn't be treated the same.

~DJBongHit

--
GNU GPL: Free as in herpes.

[ Parent ]
Re: Like watching a suicide... for years on end. (2.00 / 1) (#203)
by TheDude on Fri Sep 29, 2000 at 02:46:27 AM EST

I think you are missing the point. Drug users may commit crimes. Some do. But why do they commit crimes? Because they're addicted to some fucked up drugs that are expensive as hell, and are illegal. They can't go out and get a loan to pay for their habit. They're looked down upon by everyone because they're addicted, and they have to steal to get the money to pay for their addiction. What we should be doing, however, is not looking down upon them, but helping them. Not the governmental 'help' that only imprisons or re-educates the addict, but help that allows them to freely, unconsequentially get off the drug, or legalization of the drug that would make prices fall, and put the drug in the price range where the users could afford to use it on a semi-regular (i.e. not addicted) basis.

The main problem, however, is that since drugs are illegal, there's really no push for helping people addicted to stuff like crack and heroin, people who want to get off the drug, but are afraid of being imprisoned for years, or pushed into getting off the drug for the 'good of society'. Shit. As long as people aren't fucking with others' rights, let them do as they fucking please. Drugs are not the devil. Once use turns into abuse, once the user can't stop using the substance - then and only then - does it become a real problem for the user. Only once the user starts infringing on others rights does it become a social problem. Drug use nowadays seems to make people into criminals, because it's illegal, it's expensive, it's looked-down-upon. Therefore, people who actually do have a problem with abuse are afraid of getting help, and people without a problem are punished because they use a substance which could cause a problem.

It's not up to the government to protect people from themselves. It's up to the people. If they're too dumb to realize what they're doing may kill them, give them the facts of what it could do to them. Not all drugs can kill people. Marijuana is one of the least harmful drugs - less than tobacco, less than alcohol - and it's illegal, while the other two aren't. Why the fuck, is my question.

--
TheDude of Smokedot
Drug Info, Rights, Laws, and Discussion
Visit #smokedot on irc.smokedot.org

[ Parent ]
Re: Like watching a suicide... for years on end. (none / 0) (#210)
by Rainy on Fri Sep 29, 2000 at 10:50:17 AM EST

The parallel is that witches were blamed for a wide range of problems of the society, same thing that happens with war on drugs. Right now something like 95% of world population believes in god(s), but almost everyone will say that witch hunts were misguided, why is that? Because it is one of the central moral laws that people should be considered innocent until there's substantial, beyond reasonable doubt proof that they're guilty of hurting other people. War on drugs is similar to witch hunt in that a casual, non-violent drug user is punished severely even though there is no substantial proof that his habits hurt other people. Like with the witch hunt, hysteria takes over and all kinds of problems in our society are blamed on drugs: and that is used to justify violation of that central principle of justice: that man should be assumed innocent unless there's substantial proof that he's hurting other people. I think that in several centruries current war on drugs will quite possibly be viewed as ridiculous and disgusting as Salem witch hunt trials. Hey, at that time it didn't seem all that laughable.. people were scared, bible plainly said that devil and his pet demons walk throughout the world and bible was and still is the most revered and trusted book. If anything, they had more of a reason and justification to do what they did than we. There were several girls who said 'projection of that woman came to me and put a hex on me'. Who can come forward and say that a casual non-violent pot user hurt him?
--
Rainy "Collect all zero" Day
[ Parent ]
Re: Like watching a suicide... for years on end. (2.00 / 1) (#176)
by Alarmist on Thu Sep 28, 2000 at 10:50:52 AM EST

I do have a problem with street drugs though. I had a friend who was very intelligent at one time. I hadn't seen him for a few years, but he had gotten into various "weaker" drugs (weed, hash, a few natural hallucinogens,) and I can safely say that he's as dumb as a board now (when not stoned, even.)

I know similar people. And you know what? They could have done that with alcohol, which is perfectly legal.

It's sad that people treat themselves this way, and I hate to see it happen, but the fundamental argument (which reaches beyond drugs) is this: should individuals be responsible for their actions, or should a second party be able to regulate those actions?

The answer isn't easy, and for some things you'd certainly want outside regulation, but I believe in a sentient being's innate right to screw up their own lives and hurt themselves. I don't like it when it happens (especially when it's someone I know), and I hate hearing about it, but it is better than having a government treat me like a two year old child who needs constant handholding to get through life. Fuck that. You don't make citizens that way--you make sheep.

Fight the Power.


[ Parent ]

Harry Browne (2.50 / 8) (#63)
by knightphall on Wed Sep 27, 2000 at 01:00:02 PM EST

I don't think I can say it any better than he does on his website, so I'm not even gonna try. Check out Harry Browne's view on the Constitutionality of our current government: www.harrybrowne.org


-- To most people solutions mean finding the answers.
But to chemists solutions are things that are still all mixed up.

Re: Harry Browne (1.25 / 4) (#75)
by RiffRaff on Wed Sep 27, 2000 at 01:44:36 PM EST

Absolutely correct. Also see http://www.lp.org
http://www.lp.org Enough is enough!
[ Parent ]
Homebrew model (3.07 / 14) (#86)
by dmarti on Wed Sep 27, 2000 at 02:31:40 PM EST

You're allowed to brew your own beer in most states in the USA, as long as you don't brew more than a certain amount, don't sell it, and don't give it to anyone under legal drinking age.

Why not adopt the same model for cannabis? Allow people to grow a few plants and share, but not sell. There would be no economic incentive to promote it

Re: Homebrew model (2.50 / 4) (#93)
by Matrix on Wed Sep 27, 2000 at 02:56:01 PM EST

Hmmm... Well, lets see... This actually sounds quite interesting. It is quite similar to homebrewed beer/wine, which can be mildly addictive. And the US government has no problem with addictive substances... (witness the number of caffinated beverages and foods!)

Hmm.... Perhaps also some kind of legal minimum age like there is for alcohol?


Matrix
"...Pulling together is the aim of despotism and tyranny. Free men pull in all kinds of directions. It's the only way to make progress."
- Lord Vetinari, pg 312 of the Truth, a Discworld novel by Terry Pratchett
[ Parent ]

Re: Homebrew model (2.00 / 3) (#123)
by HypoLuxa on Wed Sep 27, 2000 at 06:48:47 PM EST

There are a couple of additional caveats to home brew laws. In addtion to what you said, such as not brewing more than certain amounts (a measley 200 Gallons a year in Virginia), you can't distribute it to the public, and you cannot sell it in any way.

--
I'm guided by the beauty of our weapons.
- Leonard Cohen
[ Parent ]
Halfway Tongue in Cheek... (2.60 / 10) (#100)
by Happy Monkey on Wed Sep 27, 2000 at 03:25:51 PM EST

If the big pharmaceutical companies got their hands into this, that could help some of this "prescription drug coverage" political battle. The reason the companies give for the high drug prices in the US is that it funds R&D. If addictive drugs were used to help defray that cost, everyone else could pay less for the useful drugs. Sort of a new "Stupid Tax", like the lottery.
___
Length 17, Width 3
Re: Halfway Tongue in Cheek... (3.50 / 4) (#106)
by DJBongHit on Wed Sep 27, 2000 at 04:00:01 PM EST

If the big pharmaceutical companies got their hands into this, that could help some of this "prescription drug coverage" political battle. The reason the companies give for the high drug prices in the US is that it funds R&D. If addictive drugs were used to help defray that cost, everyone else could pay less for the useful drugs. Sort of a new "Stupid Tax", like the lottery.

Pharmaceutical companies are VERY against the legalization of drugs - marijuana has been shown to be effective in many different diseases which would have otherwise have required expensive drugs - things like glaucoma, nausea, AIDS and cancer symptoms, and athsma (it opens up the passageways in your lungs, unlike tobacco smoke which closes them up).

~DJBongHit

--
GNU GPL: Free as in herpes.

[ Parent ]
Forget them, What about Phillip Morris? (none / 0) (#215)
by AndyL on Fri Sep 29, 2000 at 04:58:42 PM EST

I'm sure the tobacco companies would love to get their hands on more addictive substances. (And to hell with the long term effects!)

I'm sure switching a few production lines from tobacco to weed would be an easy switch for them.

I'm all for eliminating the possession laws, and/or replacing them with treatment people who are badly addicted. It'd probably be a lot cheaper and it would accomplish more.

But Corporate America is even worse then the government. This is why we need drug laws. They do protect us from malicious harm. When people talk about Legalizing weed they always talk as if we were all going to go down to the neighborhood farm stand and pick up some fresh grown stuff. But I think we all know that's not how it's going to happen.

Do we really want Corporate America feeding us more addictive substances? This is the stuff Science Fiction is made of.

-Andy


[ Parent ]
MA Residents, vote YES on Question 8 (3.00 / 8) (#102)
by jwsh on Wed Sep 27, 2000 at 03:32:21 PM EST

If you live in Massachusetts, and you support DJBongHit's opinion (gee, with a name like that, you don't even have to read the article to know his opinion), then you might want to vote YES on Question 8. As I understand it, in addition to providing for better drug dependence treatment, Question 8 would require the state to prove by "clear and convincing evidence that money or property was subject to forfeiture" before they could take it.

As a side note, you also might wanna vote NO on Question 2, just incase you get thrown in jail for trafficing, so you can still vote.

Want more info? Check out Official Massachusetts Information for Voters (don't forget to register to vote - mail in registration must be postmarked by the 18th of October).

Re: MA Residents, vote YES on Question 8 (3.00 / 4) (#105)
by DJBongHit on Wed Sep 27, 2000 at 03:42:15 PM EST

Also, if you live in Alaska, Proposotion 5, up for the ballot in November, will decriminalize possession and cultivation of marijuana for personal use. I don't know of any other states that have these types of issues on the ballots, but I'm sure they are there (this one was pointed out to me on IRC last night).

~DJBongHit

--
GNU GPL: Free as in herpes.

[ Parent ]
Criminalization Vs. Illegalization (2.75 / 8) (#107)
by thinthief on Wed Sep 27, 2000 at 04:04:37 PM EST

The major problem I see with the current drug laws is not so much the illegality of drugs, but the criminality of them. Why should a non-violent law breaker get 20 years in jail?

The USA has more people in prison due to drug offenses than Europe has in prison at all. And Europe has a larger population than the USA. If that's not a sign of our drug laws being out of wack I don't know what is.

The drug laws in the US are basicly a tactic to lock up as many minorities as possible. If you have a criminal record it is very difficult to get ahead in life, in some states you can't even vote.

Re: Criminalization Vs. Illegalization (3.75 / 4) (#109)
by spacy on Wed Sep 27, 2000 at 04:21:06 PM EST

There is a book called 'The Real War on Crime', a report by the National Criminal Justice Commission (whatever that is) that basically says the same thing, backed up with pretty impressive statistics. That is it makes the point pretty strongly that the end result of our drug policies is the put "minorities" (= black people) behind bars. I read this book in 1993 and it made a big impression on me. Kate

[ Parent ]
Re: Criminalization Vs. Illegalization (2.50 / 2) (#146)
by RiffRaff on Wed Sep 27, 2000 at 10:23:01 PM EST

Most scholars have pretty much stated the same thing in regards to the 1938 (?) Tax Stamp Act. That was the initial law that illegalized pot; it was directed towards black blues musicians, for the most part. I doubt they ever figured a President of the United States would admit to smoking it (and be ELECTED! What a concept!).

http://www.lp.org Enough is enough!


http://www.lp.org Enough is enough!
[ Parent ]
Re: Criminalization Vs. Illegalization (1.00 / 2) (#147)
by blp on Wed Sep 27, 2000 at 10:48:39 PM EST

The drug laws in the US are basicly a tactic to lock up as many minorities as possible.

So minorities use more drugs than white folk?

I can no longer sit back and allow: Communist Infiltration, Communist Indoctrination, Communist Subversion and the International Communist Conspiracy to sap and inpurify all of our precious bodily fluids.
[ Parent ]

Re: Criminalization Vs. Illegalization (5.00 / 1) (#182)
by DJBongHit on Thu Sep 28, 2000 at 12:12:53 PM EST

So minorities use more drugs than white folk?

No. Blacks make up about 15% of drug users, but make up more than 1/3 of all drug-related arrests. (source: MAPINC) Whites make up more than 50% of drug users but less than 15% of all drug-related arrests (can't find the source for this one, but it's on MAPINC somewhere as well).

Also, marijuana was primarily used by black musicians before it was made illegal in 1937. Before that, few white people had even heard of it.

~DJBongHit

--
GNU GPL: Free as in herpes.

[ Parent ]
Re: Criminalization Vs. Illegalization (3.00 / 1) (#202)
by TheDude on Fri Sep 29, 2000 at 02:31:12 AM EST

Hell no! But rich white kids get the benefit of the doubt - they were young, impressionable, foolish, and get pardoned. Poor kids (white/black/asian/any-other-race) get imprisioned. It's more of a thing against the poor than against minorities. Or at least a double-standard. But originally, the laws making morphine and marijuana illegal (or at least taxable) arose out of racism. So of course there's a lot of racism in the current drug laws. Besides, white, rich government leaders like to blame drug problems on the minorities, the poor, anyone who's not them or their immediate friends and family.

--
TheDude of Smokedot
Drug Info, Rights, Laws, and Discussion
Visit #smokedot on irc.smokedot.org

[ Parent ]
Heard on OZ (3.00 / 1) (#165)
by Commienst on Thu Sep 28, 2000 at 04:20:17 AM EST

If you ever watch OZ on HBO you can learn alot about America's prison system.

On that segment of the show where the black guy in the wheel chair(what's his name?) says some fact or statistic about the American prison system I heard some shocking fact that pertains to this. Senators like to have as many prisoners as possible in their jurisidiction. They count as constituents. Even better they are constitutions who cannot vote and cannot really complain about said senator. Having a prison population also benefits the area around the prison. The prisoners count as residents of the town and since they can not make much or any at all income, that area (usually rural)is gonna be entitled to some federal funds.

[ Parent ]

Related k5 articles (1.50 / 8) (#108)
by bort13 on Wed Sep 27, 2000 at 04:08:22 PM EST

There's already been at least one article on the WoD since the new K5 came up...(not to be confused with the old K5.)

Slashdot crybaby? (1.00 / 2) (#124)
by simmons75 on Wed Sep 27, 2000 at 06:49:53 PM EST

just what we need...a bunch of "But this has already been here before" and "But I read this like a week ago somewhere else" posts. If you're referencing it for our general education, fine; but if you're doing it merely because you feel like it shouldn't be here again, don't. I must have missed the first one, because I didn't remember the one you referenced. I'm willing to bet I'm not the only one.
poot!
So there.

[ Parent ]
Re: Slashdot crybaby? (3.00 / 3) (#137)
by bort13 on Wed Sep 27, 2000 at 08:48:19 PM EST

I apologize. I intended to reap the benefits of discussions gone before -- I always end up reading old comments and wanting to resurrect them later. Posting to an old discussion seems so lonely. Sorry for the lame K5 joke, I'll refrain from further nonsense. So, by way of repentance.

I thought this comment had the best list of links.

There was some discussion of morality in relation to these issues, such as this and this. Morality in relation to drugs is an intriguing issue and could be explored.

For the most part, I find the discussion gone before and too many of the discussions of this nature center on the individual experiences which I find somewhat counterproductive. There needs to be a more cohesive thrust to the argument and a perceptible unity if decriminalization is to be a forefront political issue.

[ Parent ]

Re: Related k5 articles (3.00 / 2) (#128)
by hurstdog on Wed Sep 27, 2000 at 07:05:18 PM EST

if you look closely at teh link you give for "already been" it shows the date that story was posted. July 25th. That was pre-DoS. so I think you are confused with the old k5. Besides, who cares if a story is posted twice sometimes? we have tons of meta-stories, but that doesn't mean we shouldn't have any more.

[ Parent ]
Keep the discussion focused on Principle (4.40 / 15) (#114)
by PhilosophyGeek on Wed Sep 27, 2000 at 05:27:32 PM EST

A distrubing trend that I see in drug-related discussions is the focus placed on statistics and scenarios. "If we legalize drugs, crime will go down." "Legalizing drugs will cause many people to become unproductive members of society." You've heard all of the arguments and complaints. But, the issue at the heart of the drug war is not whether our country will be a better place or a worse place after legalizing drugs. The question is whether the government has a right to prohibit the use of drugs by its citizens.

What is the proper purpose of government? To protect its citizens from violence and to protect their right to property. Drugs do not fall into either of these categories. Government must protect each citizen from malicious harm, but John Doe should be allowed to do whatever he wants to himself. If we start giving government the right to regulate how we ought to live our lives, we are giving them an arbitrarily large amount of power. "Everyone" has decided that drugs are "bad," and therefore we have laws against it. The slippery slope is obvious: the majority can choose what it deems bad and then pass a law against it. Even if we were to, as a nation, decide that slavery was an institution which we wanted to reinstate, the constitution would prevent the will of the majority becoming the law. Why? Because it upsets the fundamental freedoms on which all of our laws are based.

How much power the government should have is a complicated question. I'm sure that there are many American citizens who don't realize how much of their freedom depends on constitutional rights. These people will gladly give up their right to do drugs because they feel that they are promoting a "better society." But, America was not founded to create a utopian society, but rather to create a society in which all (wo)men are free.

Quite possibly, the legalization of drugs would cause a certain amount of chaos. Maybe crime would increase, and most certainly drug use would go up. But again, if I could prove that slave labor would increase the productivity of America, should we institute such a system?

Therefore, when the anti-drug socialists come out with arguments based on statistics and the "good of the country," don't lash out trying to disprove their numbers. Attack their morality at the base: they wish to control the actions of free citizens.

Re: Keep the discussion focused on Principle (1.00 / 6) (#145)
by RiffRaff on Wed Sep 27, 2000 at 10:16:19 PM EST

Duh.


:-)



http://www.lp.org Enough is enough!


http://www.lp.org Enough is enough!
[ Parent ]
Re: Keep the discussion focused on Principle (1.00 / 1) (#175)
by jwwebcast on Thu Sep 28, 2000 at 10:47:52 AM EST

The constitution grants the following power to congress -

"To make all laws which shall be necessary and proper for carrying into execution the foregoing powers, and all other powers vested by this Constitution in the government of the United States, or in any department or officer thereof."

NOw how this is regularly used, is under the arguement that as Commander in Chief of the military, the President views all citizens as potention soldiers in the army, and must keep them at a state or readiness. Now I'm not sure if I really agree with this, but this is the justification the Government provides for the ability to outlaw drugs, and other substances. Before everyone trashes what the government using this rational, there are other items which were created under the same pretenses.

1. Public Schools. Train and education future soldiers
2. Welfare, Unemployment, Social Security, Medicare. Someone want to tell me where this power comes from. This has to be the most illegal thing ever. Steal my money to pay off bums and people who were too stupid to plan for retirement. However, government rational - Starved people can't fight well.
3. Highway construction and funds. The federal government provides state with funds to build and maintain interstate roadways. Contrary to what many people believe, this was not done for interstate commerce, but rather for Military Mobilization.

There are many more examples of this use of the executive powers. This is the most widely used, and variable interpreted use of government power, since so much affects a military readiness of the people.

There's also this other comment - "The slippery slope is obvious: the majority can choose what it deems bad and then pass a law against it. "

Yes, exactly, you have defined society. That is what a society is, a group of people, who by majority, accept a certain standard of behavior and actions which are acceptable to each other. This is why killing, stealing, and many, many, many other things are illegal. This would include incest, pedophiles, child pornography, prostitution, gambling (in most states), and drugs. There are people who argue in defense of many of these items, but society as a whole, by majority, sets the standards of acceptability.

Slavery was once the popular view, and in of itself, was not contrary to the constitution, as neither blacks nor women were considered citizens. This has changed due to amendments affording all peoples equals right regardless of race, sex, or religion. However, if society as a majority did decide to support slavery again, the amendments could in theory be revoked, and slaver again inacted. This is both the weakness and the strength of the constitution. It's a double edged sword.

I for one think the popular opionion of certain types of drug use will change, and probably in our life time. This growth happens in society. Homosexiality is more acceptable now than it was 30 years ago, so is interacial relationsships, and rights of minorities, and many other ills of societies. However, as much as my personal views may be, I don't feel that the governments position on drugs is either illegal or unconstitutional.

[ Parent ]
Re: Keep the discussion focused on Principle (4.33 / 3) (#181)
by DJBongHit on Thu Sep 28, 2000 at 12:07:26 PM EST

However, as much as my personal views may be, I don't feel that the governments position on drugs is either illegal or unconstitutional.

It is most certainly illegal and unconstitutional. NOWHERE in the Constitution does it give the Federal Government to pass any Prohibition law. However, it does specifically say what Congress DOES have power to do (this is all taken from Article 1, Section 8 of the US Constitution):

Congress has the power to:

  • lay and collect Taxes (clause 1)
  • borrow money on the credit of the US (clause 2)
  • regulate commerce with foreign Nations and among the states and indian tribes (clause 3)
  • establish naturalization and bankruptcy laws (clause 4)
  • coin money (clause 5)
  • provide for the punishment of counterfeiting (clause 6)
  • establish post offices (clause 7)
  • secure copyrights (clause 8)
  • constitute tribunals inferior to the Supreme Court (clause 9)
  • define and punish piracy on the high seas (seriously, clause 10)
  • declare war (clause 11)
  • raise and support armies (clause 12)
  • provide and maintain a navy (clause 13)
  • make rules for regulation of land and naval forces (clause 14)
  • provide for calling for the militia (clause 15)
  • provide for organizing, arming, and disciplining and militia (clause 16)
  • excercise legislation where the seat of Government changes or land is purchased, for the erection of Forts, Magazines, Arsenals, Dock-yards, and other needful Buildings (clause 17)
  • To make laws which shall be necessary and proper for carrying into execution the foregoing powers, and all other powers vested by this Constitution in the Government of the United States (clause 18)

That's pretty specific. Nowhere does it mention Prohibition. Nowhere else does it mention any power which could possibly be interpreted as Prohibition and which could be used to invoke clause 18.

When the first marijuana laws were passed in 1937, they were passed as tax laws - you couldn't sell or possess marijuana without a Marijuana Tax Stamp, and there were just no stamps to be bought. Then in 1970 they changed the laws to be under the Interstate Commerce clause (clause 3). But how does my growing pot for personal use and smoking it in the privacy of my own home fall under "Interstate Commerce?" It doesn't. And that's why the total ban on pot is Unconstitutional.

~DJBongHit

--
GNU GPL: Free as in herpes.

[ Parent ]
Re: Keep the discussion focused on Principle (2.00 / 1) (#191)
by jwwebcast on Thu Sep 28, 2000 at 03:47:45 PM EST

Big issue you are missing - Many anti-drug prosecutions and laws, especially those for marijuana, are on the state level, inforcing state laws. State's are able to make those laws, depending on the constitutions of those individual states. I know here in oklahoma rarely are federal charges used for drug laws, except in cases of trafficing and smuggling. All possesion arrests are typically delt with on the state level. The states have all rights not given to the federal government in the constitution. This is the same reason that the states can have indecent exposure laws. (I Really Disgree With Those. I mean, who do going nude hurt?? You can always close your eyes:) )

But, to respond to the federal laws, again, under a very loose interpretation, clause 18 implies that congress can enact any law to further the powers granted any branch by the constitution, which would include the executive branch. As I mention, since the President is Commander in Chief of the Military, under the guys of keeping the populace in military readiness they could enact anti-drug laws. Loose interpretation, but so is Social Security Laws, and Public Education (both of which should be abolished).

[ Parent ]
Re: Keep the discussion focused on Principle (3.00 / 1) (#192)
by DJBongHit on Thu Sep 28, 2000 at 05:18:36 PM EST

Big issue you are missing - Many anti-drug prosecutions and laws, especially those for marijuana, are on the state level, inforcing state laws. State's are able to make those laws, depending on the constitutions of those individual states.

Wrong. There are Federal anti-drug laws - which is why you can get thrown in jail for using marijuana medicincally in California. The state laws around it, but if the Feds feel like it, they can bust you.

~DJBongHit

--
GNU GPL: Free as in herpes.

[ Parent ]
Re: Keep the discussion focused on Principle (2.00 / 1) (#201)
by TheDude on Fri Sep 29, 2000 at 02:21:30 AM EST

Even if it were up to the states, why are the states pushing the same crap that the Federal Government pushes - that 'drugs are bad, because we say so'? But it's not up to the states. As DJBongHit mentioned, there are federal laws against marijuana and other 'drugs'. The Fed Govt says they're illegal, it doesn't matter why, so the states can't say drugs aren't that bad without risking the Feds getting pissed at them. So they follow the Feds in the 'drugs are bad' misconception. If eventually, enough people actually come to realize that drugs aren't tools of the devil to be used for possessing people, things may change. Otherwise, people will still be believing the same bunch of racist crap that the government started when they first illegalized morphine for recreational use.

--
TheDude of Smokedot
Drug Info, Rights, Laws, and Discussion
Visit #smokedot on irc.smokedot.org

[ Parent ]
Re: Keep the discussion focused on Principle (none / 0) (#213)
by 0xdeadbeef on Fri Sep 29, 2000 at 12:24:41 PM EST

Even if we were to, as a nation, decide that slavery was an institution which we wanted to reinstate, the constitution would prevent the will of the majority becoming the law. Why? Because it upsets the fundamental freedoms on which all of our laws are based.

No piece of paper is going to stop the majority from enacting its will. Your fundamental freedoms are the result of a broad consensus, and always have been, and always will be.

Besides, there is a word for the situation where a government operates without the mandate of its citizens: tyranny. The best way to avoid it is to assert your rights, don't trust the government to respect them. That is the sort of complacency that brought us to this state.

[ Parent ]

Harm Reduction (3.44 / 9) (#120)
by schmoko on Wed Sep 27, 2000 at 05:59:37 PM EST

The scariest part of the War on Drugs at the moment is laws like the Methamphetamine Anti-Proliferation Act; which seek to limit the availability of information regarding safe usage and control of drugs. These laws prevent things like harm reduction and awareness, which are the most crucial parts of future safe drug use.

Harm-reduction, or attempting to provide information about risks instead of just eliminating the drugs, is the most important cause out there right now. If recreational drug users have an oppurtunity to become informed about what they are putting into their body, the risk of them hurting themselves with that is much lower. Drug use isn't the problem; ignorant and irresponsible drug use is the problem-- and this can be prevented.

In dance culture people like DanceSafe have been a tremendous help in encouraging safe use of popular "club drugs" like MDMA, Ketamine, LSD, and many others. DanceSafe provides free drug testing at parties and clubs-- helping people protect themselves from harmful adulterants, even distributing informative flyers regarding the benefits and risks of everything from mushrooms/psylocibin to GHB. Current laws seek to make the drug testing and informative flyers that DanceSafe provide illegal, instead incriminating drug users and sellers. This strategy is useless-- drug use won't go away, we can only work to make it as safe as possible.

Arresting dealers and users will only lead to new dealers and poorer quality drugs. The spread of safe use information is a short-term cause that is more important then even legalization.

And the topic of the day is MDMA... (1.57 / 7) (#122)
by zaugg on Wed Sep 27, 2000 at 06:29:35 PM EST

just kidding


--zaugg

.sig free for eight months!
[ Parent ]

Re: And the topic of the day is MDMA... (1.00 / 2) (#135)
by pope nihil on Wed Sep 27, 2000 at 08:43:17 PM EST

that's not funny man. i've seen WAY too many of those spam posts for it to EVER be funny.

I voted.

[ Parent ]
Government controlled media (3.63 / 11) (#139)
by pope nihil on Wed Sep 27, 2000 at 09:06:29 PM EST

The government controlled media (controlled through regulation and threat of further regulation) has spent the last 35 years demonizing drugs that have been arbitrarily declared "illegal" by our government. Alcohol, tobacco, coffee, and even aspirin are all examples of potentially dangerous drugs that the government has chosen to NOT demonize. The recent "War on Drugs" has spent billions of dollars to further make the "enemies" appear less human.

We brainwash kids from the time they are in elementary school that "only losers use drugs." Hell, when I was a kid, they had me convinced that casual drug use was nearly as bad as MURDER! I have since developed a very questioning sort of personality. once I began to see that some of the things I had been force-fed as a child were lies, I began to see that a LOT of what was brain-dumped into me was total bullshit. Not all people that use drugs are bad. Not all people who use drugs will grow up to become crack addicts who steal to buy dope. But this is the mass mind-programming that has become a major part of our culture as a result of this great "War on Drugs". Even now, I can't have a rational discussion with many of my collegiate peers about drug use.

I believe, for many reasons, that drugs should be completely legalized. Most of those reasons are summarized in part of the Libertarian platform here. However, drugs will NOT be legalized (and thus things relating to this issue will not get better) until several things happen in a certain order.

  1. The media stops demonizing drug users. They are humans just like everyone else. Education is key to responsible drug use. "All users are losers and losers never win" isn't education.
  2. The government "decriminalizes" drugs by providing limited access to otherwise prohibited substances for addicts.
  3. Finally, the government can provide cheap, known-quality drugs to everyone of a certain age once the public is ready. This will eliminate the violence and black-market currently associated with illicit drugs.


I voted.

Re: Government controlled media (4.00 / 5) (#141)
by RiffRaff on Wed Sep 27, 2000 at 09:53:24 PM EST

If one equates the sentence with the severity of the crime, then smoking a joint IS as bad as murdering someone. There are people in prison for seven years because they possessed ONE joint. There are people paroled in under five years for killing someone (for whatever reason, under whatever circumstances...does it really matter?). One joint vs one life...how hard is this to figure out? We wring our hands over all the "political prisoners" in other countries...what about our own? If you don't understand that incarcerated non-violent drug users are our version of political prisoners, then you really should get out more. http://www.lp.org Enough is enough!
http://www.lp.org Enough is enough!
[ Parent ]
Re: Government controlled media (2.00 / 1) (#200)
by TheDude on Fri Sep 29, 2000 at 02:12:39 AM EST

Since 1937 the government has been demonizing marijuana as a drug that causes people to go insane. All because the government of the time didn't like the Mexicans coming into the country, and got scared of marijuana, which they brought with them. I'll link you to two features I wrote on How Pot Became Illegal (Part I doesn't work, unfortunately - stupid hard-coded server stuff) Part II is available, though.

The government has pretty much made marijuana and other drugs the devil's advocates, and people have lived with this so long that they're beginning to believe it. Thank god for those who refuse to do so, however.

I'll agree on Harry Browne. Too bad he's being refused media coverage.

--
TheDude of Smokedot
Drug Info, Rights, Laws, and Discussion
Visit #smokedot on irc.smokedot.org

[ Parent ]
I'm completely serious (1.44 / 9) (#140)
by SIGFPE on Wed Sep 27, 2000 at 09:13:07 PM EST

If marijuana was legalised I'd probably spend my whole life completely stoned and never get anything done!
SIGFPE
Re: I'm completely serious (3.50 / 4) (#148)
by rongen on Wed Sep 27, 2000 at 10:50:27 PM EST

After about five year the novelty wers off and you just get nothing done two evenings a week! :)
read/write http://www.prosebush.com
[ Parent ]
Re: I'm completely serious (1.50 / 2) (#149)
by rongen on Wed Sep 27, 2000 at 10:52:24 PM EST

Ohhhhhh.... preview... I should use that to prevent spelling errors. I get it! :) (sorry for my horrible spelling there). No, I am not stoned! :)
read/write http://www.prosebush.com
[ Parent ]
Re: I'm completely serious (2.33 / 3) (#151)
by ContactClean on Wed Sep 27, 2000 at 10:57:42 PM EST

Why only if it was legalized would you "probably spend my whole life completely stoned and never get anything done!"? That is something that has allways made me think, how would drug use/abuse change if certain substances were legalized. If you want to use you will allways find a way to obtain whatever substance it is you desire, legal or not. Legalization can only complicate matters by imposing rules, regualtions and taxes.

[ Parent ]
Re: I'm completely serious (2.00 / 1) (#179)
by DJBongHit on Thu Sep 28, 2000 at 11:27:14 AM EST

If marijuana was legalised I'd probably spend my whole life completely stoned and never get anything done!

Well, that should be your choice. Even if you're not responsible enough to be able to handle marijuana, do you really think the Government should be able to tell you that? Or should it be your decision?

Just saw this quote on Judge Joe Brown (why do I watch these stupid shows, anyway?) : "You can do anything you want to do, but that doesn't mean it's not dumb, stupid, and ill-advised." I think that should be applicable in this situation as well.

~DJBongHit

--
GNU GPL: Free as in herpes.

[ Parent ]
Re: I'm completely serious (none / 0) (#212)
by TommyTuesday on Fri Sep 29, 2000 at 12:01:07 PM EST

Just saw this quote on Judge Joe Brown (why do I watch these stupid shows, anyway?)

Because you're a stoner, and stoners are easily amused by low quality programming! That's my singular complaint with grass, I have a hard time enjoying a high when I'm sucked into some crap on TV. I have a much better time if I force myself to get off my ass and go on a walkabout.

[ Parent ]

Re: I'm completely serious (none / 0) (#214)
by DJBongHit on Fri Sep 29, 2000 at 02:14:10 PM EST

Because you're a stoner, and stoners are easily amused by low quality programming!

LOL, this is true, but not that low quality :) I just had a little monitor attached to my P2 with a TV card and left it on overnight, and that show happened to be on when I got up.

That's my singular complaint with grass, I have a hard time enjoying a high when I'm sucked into some crap on TV. I have a much better time if I force myself to get off my ass and go on a walkabout.

Yeah, I hear that. Although you gotta be stoned for DigiMon and the Simpsons :-)

~DJBongHit

--
GNU GPL: Free as in herpes.

[ Parent ]
Re: I'm completely serious (none / 0) (#218)
by anonymous cowerd on Sat Sep 30, 2000 at 12:34:53 PM EST

Do you have this same problem with booze? I've known a person or two who did; after that first fatal drink they simply couldn't stop bingeing (sp.?) until they arrived at an emergency room in delirium tremens, and what's worse, when they were sober they couldn't successfully control that urge to not take that one drink for more than a couple of months. It's not just a matter of that drunk/drug addict killing only himself, either; you can imagine, for example, how these guys drove cars, and once one of them pointed his .38 pistol at my face...

But then again there are a few people who pick a Victoria's Secret catalog out of a trash can and immediately are overwhelmed with a compulsion to go rape someone. I do not argue for a return of the eighteenth amendment, nor for censorship of ladies' underwear ads.

Yours WDK - WKiernan@concentric.net

"This calm way of flying will suit Japan well," said Zeppelin's granddaughter, Elisabeth Veil.
[ Parent ]

Age limits are not effective (3.50 / 6) (#142)
by ribone on Wed Sep 27, 2000 at 10:04:29 PM EST

One thing that I've noticed while reading through the discussion is that some people, DJBonghit in particular, argue for legalization/regulation on the basis of younger people being protected by the government.

Now, before I go any further with that let me say this: I agree that personal responsibility should be enough and that criminalizing drugs is not really the best way to go. That said, I question legalization/regulation based on the fact that when I was a kid twelve years of age, I had no trouble whatsoever buying cigarettes. Sure, every once in a while I'd get screwed and somebody scared of a fine would refuse the sale; however, more often than not, the governments regulation of tobacco was faulty enough to let me get addicted and continue smoking for over eight years.

Now, before anyone starts screaming at me let me say this: I take full responsibility for that. It was my decision to do so and I'm glad that I did. It allowed me to grow up in a way.

Further on this point, alcohol sales to minors happen all the time, even though it's against the law. When I was under 21, I had a ready made list of bars where I could get shitfaced without even having to bat an eye. My point with all of this is that the whole idea of controlled substances, as far as hard drugs go, is flawed in that people are the ones doing the regulating. Just wait until the first kid goes to hospital and never comes back because he managed to get govt approved heroine from the local drug store...

Re: Age limits are not effective (2.25 / 4) (#144)
by RiffRaff on Wed Sep 27, 2000 at 10:13:20 PM EST

And your point is what? You think young kids aren't already doing NON-government-approved heroin? The fact of the matter is that education and rehab are far, FAR better ideals to spend these billions of dollars on than is the IWOD (Insane War On Drugs [TM]). We've already seen that proven with the efforts of MADD in regards to drunk driving.

http://www.lp.org Enough is enough!



http://www.lp.org Enough is enough!
[ Parent ]
Re: Age limits are not effective (none / 0) (#206)
by dabadab on Fri Sep 29, 2000 at 04:52:13 AM EST

Of course, that's all right, but it won't stop the Angdy and Ignorant Mothers of America and the media shouting and whining "Gov't kills our children!"
And that's a real problem.
--
Real life is overrated.
[ Parent ]
Re: Age limits are not effective (2.50 / 2) (#160)
by pope nihil on Thu Sep 28, 2000 at 01:16:18 AM EST

age limits would reduce (if only slightly) the number of kids able to access drugs. it would allow us to punish those who provide access to minors in the same way we punish people who provide alcohol to minors now. it's never going to be completely effective, but at least with regulated forms of drugs, kids won't die because of unsure doses and/or other things used to cut the drugs.

I voted.

[ Parent ]
Re: Age limits are not effective (4.00 / 1) (#178)
by DJBongHit on Thu Sep 28, 2000 at 11:22:12 AM EST

I agree that personal responsibility should be enough and that criminalizing drugs is not really the best way to go. That said, I question legalization/regulation based on the fact that when I was a kid twelve years of age, I had no trouble whatsoever buying cigarettes.

But I'm 19 and I have trouble getting alcohol (of course, there is a bar nearby which will serve me and a liquor store where my roommate works, but that's it). While I am a proponent of legalizing drugs, I believe that children should not have access to. I don't know of any studies besides those done on marijuana, but marijuana does have a negative impact on emotional and psychological development when smoked before 14 or 15 years of age (and maturity isn't an issue, it's a biological thing, apparently). Because of this, I would be against children being allowed to buy or smoke it.

But 21 is a bit old, IMHO. If I had my way, you'd be able to buy liquor and pot at 16, harder drugs at 18, and not be able to drive until 21. That would make things a whole lot less messy (why not be experienced with alcohol and drugs before you're going to get on the road? Why have people driving home drunk on their 21st birthday?)

~DJBongHit

--
GNU GPL: Free as in herpes.

[ Parent ]
Hmmm... (2.00 / 5) (#163)
by vrai on Thu Sep 28, 2000 at 03:23:29 AM EST

So let's get this straight - it's perfectly legal to own a handgun/rifle/shotgun/assorted-automatics (all designed for one purpose - killing), but if you're caught in possession of one joint you go to jail.

Those who are in favour of the killing implements have multi-million dollar lobby groups and advertising campaigns. Those who are in favour of legally possessing a joint are villified by the media and persecuted by the government.

Democracy ain't what it used to be.

My Right to do Bodily Harm (1.66 / 6) (#166)
by Commienst on Thu Sep 28, 2000 at 04:41:10 AM EST

I totally agree. Its our lives and our bodies and we should be allowed to do whatever the hell we want with them. You should have the right to do "bodily harm to yourself."

Even worse then this whole drug thing is that you are forced to wear a seatbelt when driving. You are forced to wear a helmet when biking in my state of New Jersey if you are under 14 years of age. The government I am sure makes millions of dollars each year off penalities from such laws ("collecting unreported taxes").

What really pisses me off is that you are not allowed to commit suicide in any way shape or form. The absurdity of not being able to kill yourself? What can they possibly do to you after your dead? Nothing, and they need to realise that. The people who are "saved" from commiting suicide probably had no intention of doing it, they were most likely crying out for help. No one was ever asked to be born, to live in this chaotic world. If you just wake up one morning and think to yourself you have nothing at all to look forward to in your life you should be allowed to kill yourself. Who are you hurting besides yourself? Even worse is that people like Dr. Kevorkian who mercifully ends the lives of people who are suffering from very painful diseases, become criminals because they are breaking a law no goverment really has a right to make.

The only reason our government is getting away with this kind of stuff is because we are letting them. This needs to stop and now.

Re: My Right to do Bodily Harm (3.50 / 2) (#172)
by yokaze on Thu Sep 28, 2000 at 09:42:27 AM EST

First of all, I agree with you that the goverment has no right to interfere in thinks that only affect one person or in mutual consent of several persons who are affected.

So, to my eyes, one person is totally in his right to commit suicide, to consume hashish or prostitute oneself. (A certain grade of matureness supposed)

But there are some limitations you must consider when your living in a society which (hopefully) cares for it's members.

Here some examples:

Driving without seat-belt doesn't affect only yourself. If your injured due to an accident (what can happen even at 30km/h) so you can't work anymore you become a burden to society.

Consumption of addictive drugs This can lead to criminial behaviour due to financial restraints of the addicted person. Not to mention that the person often neglect one's work. I don't consider hashish as addictive drug. I think, it's less dangerous than alcohol. I've never heard of someone killing someone else due to massive consume of hemp :). (Personal Note: I've never consumed hashish)

Responsibility for younger children The society (and the state as form of organisation) has a special responsibility to children as their very easily harmed and they're ensuring the further existance of the state/society. Therefor there exist things like compulsory education.

I think the aboved mentioned examples are showing, that there are some (minor) burdens one has bear because one is not living alone.



[ Parent ]
Re: My Right to do Bodily Harm (2.00 / 1) (#180)
by Pakaran on Thu Sep 28, 2000 at 11:38:53 AM EST

Consumption of addictive drugs This can lead to criminial behaviour due to financial restraints of the addicted person. Not to mention that the person often neglect one's work. I don't consider hashish as addictive drug. I think, it's less dangerous than alcohol. I've never heard of someone killing someone else due to massive consume of hemp :). (Personal Note: I've never consumed hashish)

I agree with this, although I have never used illegal drugs myself. As someone who is frankly dependent on coffee, I know for a fact that that can make me quicker to anger, especially when I use it as a replacement for sleep. I have never seen anything of the sort happen with hemp, and I have quite a few friends who smoke it. To be sure, it is unhealthy, but so are (american) football, smoking, drinking, and many other common activities. I do not think that means that those should be banned.

[ Parent ]

Re: My Right to do Bodily Harm (2.33 / 3) (#199)
by TheDude on Fri Sep 29, 2000 at 12:10:13 AM EST

So doing drugs may be unhealthy. If the user isn't inhibiting anyone else's rights, why does it matter if they're making themselves unhealthy? People's bodies are their own to control, not the government.

--
TheDude of Smokedot
Drug Info, Rights, Laws, and Discussion
Visit #smokedot on irc.smokedot.org

[ Parent ]
Re: My Right to do Bodily Harm (3.33 / 3) (#208)
by peter hoffman on Fri Sep 29, 2000 at 09:05:00 AM EST

While I see what you are saying, I have to point out that the same reasoning would (as just one example) ban eating meat as the resulting coronary disease is a cost to all of society.

Many would also point out that the cost to society of (for example) not wearing helmets could be reduced if tax-supported health care were abolished. The philosophy would be "you busted your head, you pay the bill". (Note: I own several motorcycles and sometimes I use a helmet and sometimes I don't)

As far as the responsibility for younger children is concerned, my fundamentalist Christian neighbors would take my children away from me in a heartbeat because I don't take them to church which is clearly an abuse of their immortal souls and far worse than any physical or emotional abuse they might suffer.

I don't know what the solution is but my definition of Freedom has me feeling somewhat oppressed in today's society.

Btw: the word assassin is derived from the word hashish but I believe the War on Drugs is a far greater danger to me than any "drug crazed thug" (thug: a word with its own interesting etymology).



[ Parent ]
Ain't Nobody 's buisness (4.66 / 9) (#168)
by Commienst on Thu Sep 28, 2000 at 06:03:37 AM EST

Someone pointed out the book "Ain't Nobody's Business If You Do". I looked through the online version and found this chapter which pertains to this issue. Alot of what I found was so shocking ill pick out a few paragraphs.

"The reasons the pro-marijuana lobby wants marijuana legal have little to do with getting high, and a great deal to do with fighting oil giants like Saddam Hussein, Exxon and Iran. The pro-marijuana groups claim that hemp is such a versatile raw material that its products not only compete with petroleum, but with coal, natural gas, nuclear energy, pharmaceutical, timber and textile companies. It is estimated that methane and methanol production alone from hemp grown as bio-mass could replace 90% of the world's energy needs. If they're right, this is not good news for oil interests, and could account for the continuation of marijuana prohibition. "

"As we explored, marijuana is the hemp plant (Cannabis sativa), and was one of the primary agricultural products in this country for more than 250 years. We saw how the DuPont Corporation and William Randolph Hearst, working with Federal Bureau of Narcotics Director Harry Anslinger, succeeded in having marijuana prohibited nationally in 1937. "

"When Rudolph Diesel produced his famous engine in 1896, he assumed that the diesel engine would be powered by a variety of fuels, especially vegetable and seed oils. Rudolph Diesel, like most engineers then, believed vegetable fuels were superior to petroleum. Hemp is the most efficient vegetable.
In the 1930s, the Ford Motor Company also saw a future in biomass fuels. Ford operated a successful biomass conversion plant that included hemp at their Iron Mountain facility in Michigan. Ford engineers extracted methanol, charcoal fuel, tar, pitch, ethyl acetate, and creosote—all fundamental ingredients for modern industry, and now supplied by oil-related industries.
The difference is that the vegetable source is renewable, cheap and clean, and the petroleum or coal sources are limited, expensive and dirty. By volume, 30% of the hemp seed contains oil suitable for high-grade diesel fuel, as well as aircraft engine and precision machine oil. Henry Ford's experiments with methanol promised cheap, readily-renewable fuel. And, if you think methanol means compromise, you should know that many modern race cars run on methanol. "



I'd like to see... (3.80 / 5) (#171)
by pete on Thu Sep 28, 2000 at 08:42:30 AM EST

I'd like to see a constitutional amendment that says, very simply:

If you are a member of a house or senate, at the state or federal level, or the president or governor, and you vote 'yes' on or sign any law that is later struck down as unconstitutional, at the end of your current term, you are banned for life from public service.

Why do we put up with these clowns that continually try to take away our rights? Witness the CDA, successfully defeated by the ACLU. Two years later, they try the same thing with the COPA. The same thing is happening now with the MAPA.

Put it in terms politicians can understand: try to take away our rights, lose your job. Unfortunately, voting should take care of that, but it doesn't for several reasons.


--pete


Re: I'd like to see... (3.00 / 2) (#177)
by DJBongHit on Thu Sep 28, 2000 at 11:13:20 AM EST

If you are a member of a house or senate, at the state or federal level, or the president or governor, and you vote 'yes' on or sign any law that is later struck down as unconstitutional, at the end of your current term, you are banned for life from public service.

Great idea. Although I don't know if it should be banned from public service, just banned from any position when you have any say in laws that get passed.

~DJBongHit

--
GNU GPL: Free as in herpes.

[ Parent ]
What if ..... (3.00 / 1) (#216)
by Commienst on Sat Sep 30, 2000 at 12:04:54 AM EST

This is a radical concept. Very radical, but it has its merits. What if scientists tried to develop a "safer drug"?

This drug would have to be unaddicted, mild and weak, and the effects wear off very fast. In essence this drug would just artifically make you "happy" with as little side effects as possible and impair one's abilities little or none at all.

Let's face it no matter what people will do drugs and get their hands on drugs. As we speak now criminals are trying to make even more addictive drugs then ever before. So why not make a drug relatively safe to use to divert as many people as possible from the truly hard and addictive stuff?

Goodbye, Blue Sky | 218 comments (208 topical, 10 editorial, 0 hidden)
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