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[P]
What-ophobia?

By DJBongHit in Culture
Sun Feb 18, 2001 at 11:43:00 PM EST
Tags: Culture (all tags)
Culture

I was going through old kuro5hin articles a few minutes ago and I noticed that there are a lot of stories posted here about homosexuality and homophobia. Homosexuals often have a hard time admitting to themselves and others that they are gay because of fear of rejection and intolerance. This is understandable -- after all, gay people are confronted with rejection and intolerance on a regular basis. But is the issue actually the fact that some people have an ingrained aversion to homosexuals, or does it run deeper than that?


Throughout history, people have categorized other people based on simple features -- the color of your skin, your sexual preference, your cultural heritage, and so on. It is hardly a new phenomenon. From the longstanding slavery of blacks, to the placement of Japanese immigrants into concentration camps by our Government, people have always had a group of people which they use as a scapegoat for their problems and take advantage of. This continues into modern society, with "homophobia" and fear of poor or homeless people.

I'm a 20 year old middle-class, white, suburban, heterosexual American male. It would seem that I've been dealt a pretty good hand in life when it comes to discrimination, so why am I writing this article?

I'm a user of illegal drugs. I've been smoking pot for 4 years now, and have been a daily user for the last 2 of those. And just as homosexuals have to deal with a constant barrage of reminders that their lifestyle is not what society considers "the norm," I do as well. Almost without exception, when a drug user is shown on TV or in the movies, they're portrayed as miserable, stupid, low-class street scum. If not that, then they're portrayed as an aging hippie or a stupid teenage stoner. Even in the recent Steven Soderbergh movie "Traffic", which has been described as a critical view on the United States' "War on Drugs", the only habitual drug user in the movie was addicted to crack and heroin, sold her body for drugs, and ended up almost destroying her life and her relationship with her parents (her father, played by Michael Douglas, was the newly appointed United States' Drug Czar). As a result, few people have any qualms with calling somebody a "goddamn pothead," while those same people would get offended if they heard somebody call a black person a "goddamn nigger."

Right now you may be thinking to yourself, "How can this goddamn stoner compare that to racism or homophobia? Drug use is clearly a personal choice, not something you are born with." I beg to differ -- homosexuality was long considered to be also a personal choice, hence the fact that homosexuality is still illegal in most states. A homosexual would be uncomfortable and unhappy in a relationship with a member of the opposite sex, even though they choose to do so. Likewise, I don't enjoy the effects of alcohol -- I don't like the fact that it greatly increases your chances of doing something stupid, I don't like the way it makes me feel, and I don't like the fact that it's extremely easy to overdose or become addicted. Marijuana, on the other hand, is something I greatly enjoy. It helps me open my mind to new possibilities, it is relaxing and soothing, and it is not physically addictive or toxic in any reasonable dosage. I feel that it, and LSD, have affected my life in extremely positive ways.

However, due to the choice of recreational drug I use, I am one of the targets of the United States Government's $37 billion dollar a year witch hunt. I am forced to live my life in secrecy, while people are free to go to a bar and get dangerously drunk without any such hassles. I am forced to buy my drugs on the black market where I pay outrageously inflated prices and constantly run the risk of getting sick or dying from a contaminated product. And should I grow my own plants to smoke for personal use? I run the risk of being discovered by one of the Drug War's blatant violations of Constitutional rights and being thrown in jail for voluntarily putting a substance into my own body.

I chose to focus on the ramifications of being an illegal drug user because that's what I am most familiar with. But it's hardly the only example of this type of public intolerance and mass hysteria. Other examples, such as the treatment of high school outcasts after Columbine and the issue of forced internet censorship, have been hashed and rehashed elsewhere, so I don't feel a need to go into them. They do, however, represent other people who have ended up in a position which society frowns upon and are paying the price.

All of these problems stem from the fact that, as much as people claim otherwise, they make judgments about people based on unfair criteria and society as a whole suffers as a result. I think it is time for minorities who are in this situation, such as homosexuals, racial minorities, drug users, geeks, and others, to work together and promote general tolerance, rather than simply trying to get their particular group (or groups, there is a lot of overlap between them) socially accepted. The current approach does help the group in question, but also doesn't do a whole lot for discrimination in general -- until the underlying problem is addressed, we will always have groups for whom it is currently trendy to discriminate against. It happened to blacks during and after slavery, it happened to Mexican immigrants, Chinese immigrants, African-Americans, and Catholics during the earlier parts of the 20th century (which directly led to the prohibition of marijuana, opium, cocaine, and alcohol, respectively), it happened to the Japanese during World War II, it happened to homosexuals during the AIDS scare of the early eighties, it has been happening to drug users in general since Nixon's reelection campaign, and it will happen again (note -- I don't mean to leave women out of this article, since sexism was, and still is, a very important issue, but I don't really know any facts about sexism. Don't feel left out :).

Changing the focus of the fight against discrimination away from individual examples of discriminated groups and toward discrimination and stereotyping in general will, in the short run, help all minorities who are unfairly discriminated against or stereotyped, and in the long run, help society in general by promoting a tolerance for new ideas, whether or not you agree with them. So why don't such groups do this? After all... don't they all want the same thing?

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Display: Sort:
What-ophobia? | 360 comments (344 topical, 16 editorial, 1 hidden)
"I am forced to live my life in secrecy" (3.15 / 13) (#6)
by ODiV on Sun Feb 18, 2001 at 10:21:27 AM EST

psst. We can tell you use the marijuana. You might want to tone it down a bit. :)


--
[ odiv.net ]
heh (3.33 / 3) (#7)
by DJBongHit on Sun Feb 18, 2001 at 10:26:12 AM EST

psst. We can tell you use the marijuana. You might want to tone it down a bit. :)
Heh, you know what I mean :P

~DJBongHit

--
GNU GPL: Free as in herpes.

[ Parent ]
He's Right, Though (4.00 / 3) (#20)
by Logan on Sun Feb 18, 2001 at 03:01:10 PM EST

I know some people that habitually use marijuana. Whenever they wish to relax, they have to close the front door of the house, close all the blinds and curtains, and hope nobody that doesn't already know about their habit stops by the house. They have to be careful about whom they buy from. And even then I think they've been lucky so far. They suffer from an activity that harms no one, not even themselves (aside from the harm that society itself inflicts).

If you think marijuana usage would make you paranoid, try considering how paranoid you'd be if there really were people out there, spending obscene amounts of resources to get you?

Logan

[ Parent ]

And now you'll be discriminated against by me... (3.25 / 12) (#11)
by babylago on Sun Feb 18, 2001 at 12:26:47 PM EST

...as I vote -1, using the moderation system (automated personal discrimination) to express my opinion of someone who is writing an article solely to seek victim status.

Immigrants came here seeking a better life and faced violent opposition from earlier immigrants because they were competing for the same economic opportunity.

You're whining because you think you pay too much for drugs.

The funny thing is that you're making essentially the same argument as the people who want the government to pay down the debt - by removing government involvement in a capital market, it makes the cost and price structure more favorable to end consumers, whether they be banks offering loans or self-indulgent drug users wanting a cheaper drug.

---
[ Blog | Hunnh ]

Hmm (none / 0) (#15)
by Wah on Sun Feb 18, 2001 at 02:26:00 PM EST

You're whining because you think you pay too much for drugs.

It sounds like he is seeking a better life by hoping to remove the violent opposition to his lifestyle. A lifestyle choice that is under constant attack (War on Drugs) that many see as self defeating, serving a smaller special interest to the detriment of many otherwise law-abiding citizens.

And I'm not sure how you see the analogy of paying down the debt as a bad one. We (U.S.) pay about 12% of our annual budget to do nothing but maintain our level of debt (interest) and I don't think we get tax breaks for it. I'm not an economist, but some rather big name ones see this as a good plan.

[note: I'm also a drug user and had a wonderful experience with about 3,700 other ones this weekend.]
--
Fail to Obey?
[ Parent ]

No (none / 0) (#59)
by DJBongHit on Sun Feb 18, 2001 at 11:52:53 PM EST

..as I vote -1, using the moderation system (automated personal discrimination) to express my opinion of someone who is writing an article solely to seek victim status.
You're free to vote however you like; I don't have anything against the people who voted for George W. Bush, but in my opinion they made the wrong decision by electing that man. However, I take issue with the fact that you think I'm writing this article to seek victim status - I'm not. I even point that out in the article by making it clear that I'm focusing on drug users because that's the area I'm most familiar with, but that's hardly the only discriminated group. The point of the article was not to start a drug use/legalization discussion, it was to point out that people who are usually associated with discrimination are not, by a long shot, the only ones faced with the problem.

You're whining because you think you pay too much for drugs.
Absolutely not. If drugs were legalized, I'd still be willing to pay $60 for 1/8th of an ounce of high quality marijuana. I take more issue with the fact that oftentimes low quality marijuana, often laced with a far more dangerous substance such as PCP (or even bleach - don't laugh, I smoked some pot which I didn't know was laced with bleach one time, and as you can imagine, I got horribly sick).

The funny thing is that you're making essentially the same argument as the people who want the government to pay down the debt - by removing government involvement in a capital market, it makes the cost and price structure more favorable to end consumers, whether they be banks offering loans or self-indulgent drug users wanting a cheaper drug.
Why is that a funny thing? I *don't* believe that the Governmnet should be involved in a capitalist marketplace, except in cases of monopolistic abuse or other situations where a company is unfairly controlling the market. They should also be involved in the drug/medication marketplace with something like the FDA - but they shouldn't keep a product from the marketplace because it's not approved by the FDA, they should only require something like a warning label with the known side effects and a statement that this product is not approved byt he FDA, use at your own risk. People have the right to put whatever they want into their own bodies, whether or not the government thinks it is bad for them.

~DJBongHit

--
GNU GPL: Free as in herpes.

[ Parent ]
Drug prices (none / 0) (#61)
by joto on Mon Feb 19, 2001 at 12:13:13 AM EST

You're whining because you think you pay too much for drugs.

I find it very unlikely that drug-prices will fall if it were legalized. Compare alcohol. (Although if you count the risk of being arrested among costs, then the price is probably a bit too high.)

[ Parent ]

They just might (none / 0) (#132)
by j on Mon Feb 19, 2001 at 01:02:31 PM EST

The big difference between alcohol and marijuana is that the latter is very easy to manufacture: Indian hemp grows OK in most parts of the US (uh, oh! I'm being US centric and I left my asbestos undies at home). On the other hand,even the simplest alcoholic beverages, like wine and mead, are relatively hard to make.
It would be relatively easy for anyone interested to plant some hemp plants and have some decent pot a few months later. That being as it is, at least the prices for marijuana should come down - otherwise, people would just grow it themselves
This, of course, doesn't hold true for synthetic drugs like LSD: you would have to manufacture a whole lot of hits to get the investment on your drug lab back.
The only thing that might put a cap on the price of those drugs is competition: These days, you can count yourself lucky if you have one good supplier - and they know it. If several companies were trying to sell you their product, they might be more inclined to lower the price to gain the competetive edge.

[ Parent ]
Alcohol is also easy to manufacture... (none / 0) (#194)
by joto on Mon Feb 19, 2001 at 11:20:20 PM EST

Alcohol is also easy to manufacture. All you need is sugar and yeast, and a destillation apparatus. Sugar and yeast is cheap and easily available, and creating a destillation apparatus isn't exactly rocket science either.

I was thinking more along the lines that it is unlikely that now illegal drugs would be completely unregulated. If some government decides to legalize it (as in Netherland), it would become heavily regulated (as alcohol is in most countries). This means prices will not necessarily drop (due to taxes), but quality would most likely increase, as there would be more competition. Today, you pay extra for drugs because people are taking high risks in order to distribute it. If it were legalized, you would pay extra because governement would want their part of the cake.

[ Parent ]

Ah, but... (none / 0) (#240)
by spiralx on Tue Feb 20, 2001 at 11:53:16 AM EST

Think how many people your drugs go through before they reach your hands. And because of the risk, each of these people will add a hefty markup to make it worthwhile.

Ecstacy pills are made in Holland for about 20 cents each. And bare in mind that this is in clandestine labs rather than in an open manufacturing plant - there is still plenty of room for further economies of scale if they were legalised. But by the time these pills have reached America they sell for about $20.

This is 10,000% more than they were made for! Even with taxation and other costs, do you think that there would be a 10,000% markup in a competitive market?

Oh, and as an aside, although LSD is one of the hardest drugs to manufacture, gram for gram it is one of the more expensive substances on this planet - a single gram can make 10,000 trips worth a few dollars each...

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

Correct (none / 0) (#149)
by Khedak on Mon Feb 19, 2001 at 03:55:53 PM EST

The funny thing is that you're making essentially the same argument as the people who want the government to pay down the debt - by removing government involvement in a capital market, it makes the cost and price structure more favorable to end consumers, whether they be banks offering loans or self-indulgent drug users wanting a cheaper drug.

You're correct, except in one case 'government involvement' means any consumer of a product, if found, will be prosecuted and in cases sent to prison for a few years. In the other case, 'government involvement' means taxation and reulation of the producers and distributors. The fact is, most drug legislation harms end users and small-time dealers far, far more than the producers and traffickers. I think DJBongHit would be quite happy if the government involvement, rather than being cut entirely, were lessened to the level of other industries: crime would decrease, and prices would decrease dramatically (even a huge tax per unit cost would be cheap compared to the black market).

The only thing funny here is your apparent inability to notice the vast difference between a pot smoker (consumer) being sent to prison for possession and a bank (service provider) being regulated with regards to loans. You try to make it sound like if we want drugs to be legal, we must be Libertarian (as in the party, not as in anarchism). Sorry, but that's incorrect.

[ Parent ]
Homosexuality, my arse. (3.65 / 26) (#12)
by donky on Sun Feb 18, 2001 at 12:28:02 PM EST

At least one other has commented on how this topic seems to have little to do with homosexuality and I agree. To me it reads like you are trying to justify the correctness of your lifestyle through invalid and just plain bad references to other things.

I'm voting this down because:

  • It uses a selective and misrepresentative view on other lifestyles that may be considered wrong as an example of why the given lifestyle is right.
More detail on why I consider the examples wrong:
  • I'm not homosexual. I am considered homophobic to a lesser degree. However, all my gay friends tell me that homosexuality is not a "choice" - just because some country I have never been to decides its illegal doesn't convince me that it is one. The topic fails to convince me that drug using is analogous to homosexuality.
  • I fail to see what a personal dislike of alcohol is relevant to in all this. In developed countries with logical laws on it, open use (by mature people) works satisfactorily well. Using it to the point where it affects others in unpleasant ways is punished. "Recreational" drugs have no merits - you certainly haven't listed any that I can see. And the "medical benefits" of "recreational" drugs are certainly not realistic ones - thats the opinion of terminally sick people I know, not my opinion. Alcohol has many merits. And I consider that to be an objective stance as I do not like drinking either.
  • Discrimination against drug users is comparable to racism? The only thing they have in common is that being anti-either comes under the definition of the word discrimination. Racism is unwarranted discrimination, why don't you try and prove discrimination against drug users is unwarranted before you compare the two.
Also:
"Marijuana, on the other hand, is something I greatly enjoy. It helps me open my mind to new possibilities, it is relaxing and soothing, and it is not physically addictive or toxic in any reasonable dosage. I feel that it, and LSD, have affected my life in extremely positive ways."
and..
"I've been smoking pot for 4 years now, and have been a daily user for the last 2 of those."
Erm. Lets see.
  1. Evidence of increased usage.
  2. Disjoint post, complete with desperate usage of badly chosen examples.
Sure looks to me like its addictive. In fact it makes me wonder whether this is really a cry for help, more than an attempt at an interesting topic to discuss. If you want to seriously compare drug use to homosexuality and other "vices", I suggest you take the time to write in an objective way using relevant examples. If this isn't a cry for help, then all it is is some rich white boy complaining about how the unfair law in his "land of the free" represses him in his pursuit of his chosen socially destructive endeavour.



choices and freedom (4.66 / 3) (#16)
by greenplato on Sun Feb 18, 2001 at 02:31:38 PM EST

You have some good points; I don't know why the rating nazis are giving you low marks...

While I don't think that DJBongHit's story is the best piece of prose that I have ever read, I don't think that his comparison is wildly inaproprate. Your personal attacks aside; I disagree with your main premise:

It [the article] uses a selective and misrepresentative view[s] on other lifestyles that may be considered wrong as an example of why the given lifestyle is right.

I can't speak for him, but what I get out of the article is that most discriminatory viewpoints are in fact a result of "selective and misrepresentative views on other lifestyles". That goes for drug use, religious practices, ethnic stereotypes, et cetera. It's uninformed or malicious policy makers and voters that burden us with laws making homosexuality a crime, just as it is illegal to grow and smoke your own marijuana. That idea is where I think that this story succeeds.

BongHit's comparison hinges on the notion that enjoyment of intoxicants is something that to which you are predisposed. He writes:

"...Drug use is clearly a personal choice, not something you are born with." I beg to differ
Does my Irish heritage make me predisposed to enjoying alcohol? Most people would say yes. Why not use that logic on marijuana? Is there something about BongHit's biological makeup that causes him to enjoy the feeling that marijuana offers? Sounds reasonable to me.

While it may not be a choice to be gay, it certainly is a choice to act on those feelings. A person can be gay and celibate, just as a person can enjoy marijuana and not smoke any. But our society is seeing that homosexuality does not damage our social fabric and ignoring laws against it; so that it is now ignored, tolerated or accepted by most.

Racism is unwarranted discrimination, why don't you try and prove discrimination against drug users is unwarranted before you compare the two.

Humbug! The laws my jurisdiction are skewed in such a way that one would believe that drug use was as harmful to society as rape and manslaughter. Where is the proof that this discrimination is justifiable? DJBongHit's artwork is not proof enough.

[ Parent ]

What are the merits of alcohol? (3.00 / 2) (#62)
by paulT on Mon Feb 19, 2001 at 12:23:19 AM EST

"Recreational" drugs have no merits - you certainly haven't listed any that I can see. And the "medical benefits" of "recreational" drugs are certainly not realistic ones - thats the opinion of terminally sick people I know, not my opinion. Alcohol has many merits. And I consider that to be an objective stance as I do not like drinking either.

What are the "many merits" of alcohol? Or for that matter what is the substantive difference between alcohol and "recreational" drugs?

If you are going to make claims like these back them up. Alcohol is a recreational drug. It is comsumed for no other reason that I know of than the pleasure of the user. If you know of any merits of alcohol other than that that are not present in other "recreational" drugs I'd like to hear them.



--
"Outside of a dog, a book is probably man's best friend; inside of a dog, it's too dark to read." - Groucho Marx
[ Parent ]
the many benefits of beverages containing alcohol (4.00 / 1) (#122)
by Anonymous 242 on Mon Feb 19, 2001 at 11:06:54 AM EST

  • Dark beer and red wine both contain the same types of bioflavinoids as green tea, making regular drinking of these substances very healthful.
  • A small dose of ethanol (one serving) each day helps keep the arteries clear of plaque.
  • A small does of ethanol (again one serving) each day is also extremely beneficial for the health of the heart muscle.
  • Regular moderate consumptionof alcohol (alcohol being a muscle relaxant) is extremely beneficial for people with certain types of muscle problems.
  • Alcohol is a disinfectant making it a wise choice to add to water in places where the water is unsafe to drink.

I don't really need to stop there. I could go on and on and on. Alcohol, in moderation, is an extremely healthful substance. Only its abuse (consumption to and past intoxication) is harmful.

[ Parent ]

Hrm (4.00 / 1) (#75)
by DJBongHit on Mon Feb 19, 2001 at 03:11:24 AM EST

I'm not homosexual. I am considered homophobic to a lesser degree. However, all my gay friends tell me that homosexuality is not a "choice" - just because some country I have never been to decides its illegal doesn't convince me that it is one. The topic fails to convince me that drug using is analogous to homosexuality.
The point of the article was not to say that drug use in analogous to homosexuality - but it is similar. As I've said in various other comments here, I feel a strong pull towards marijuana and other psychedelic drugs. Alcohol, cocaine, and the like simply don't interest me. Homosexuals feel a strong attraction to members of the same sex. Relationships with members of the opposite sex may not interest them. Drug users can choose not to use drugs, just as homosexuals can choose not to engage in homosexual behavior. The difference is that drug users are forced by society and by law to ignore their urges, while homosexuals are legally free to do what they'd like (although societal implications are another story).

I'm not saying that they're the same thing - they're obviously not. It's a lot easier for somebody like me to not smoke pot than it is for a homosexual to abstain from homosexual relationships, but in both cases somebody is being forced to not live a lifestyle that they feel suits them.

I fail to see what a personal dislike of alcohol is relevant to in all this. In developed countries with logical laws on it, open use (by mature people) works satisfactorily well. Using it to the point where it affects others in unpleasant ways is punished. "Recreational" drugs have no merits - you certainly haven't listed any that I can see. And the "medical benefits" of "recreational" drugs are certainly not realistic ones - thats the opinion of terminally sick people I know, not my opinion. Alcohol has many merits. And I consider that to be an objective stance as I do not like drinking either.
Did you even read the article? My dislike of alcohol has everything to do with what I'm talking about - other people are free to partake in their drug of choice while I am forced to keep my preference under wraps or risk being arrested and having my life ruined.

As to your next point, medical benefits of marijuana are clearly shown in many cases. It works far better than many prescription drugs for epilepsy and other illnesses, and helps AIDS and cancer patients by helping them regain their appetites. And even beyond that, it can be psychologically beneficial by making you see things from a different point of view.

So what are these benefits that alcohol provides? From my experiences with alcohol, and from seeing other people's experiences, the benefits of alcohol are mostly social - they help reduce people's inhibitions. Which is fine, if that's what you want, be my guest. I prefer something deeper.

Erm. Lets see.

1.Evidence of increased usage.
2.Disjoint post, complete with desperate usage of badly chosen examples.
Ok, let me ask you a question. Do you watch TV or read the newspaper, or a website such as Slashdot or kuro5hin? If so, have you done so nearly every day for 2 years or longer? (if not, you at least understand what I'm trying to say.) Does that mean you are "physically addictive" to that particular activity, or does it just mean you enjoy it? I'll say it again here - I'm a cigarette smoker, and am very addicted to it. I can't go 2 hours without a smoke. 2 weeks ago I didn't smoke pot for more than a week, and I didn't have a single problem. There's a difference between enjoying something, and therefore doing it often, and being addicted to it.

If this isn't a cry for help, then all it is is some rich white boy complaining about how the unfair law in his "land of the free" represses him in his pursuit of his chosen socially destructive endeavour.
You don't know me, so you don't know what you're talking about. How is my smoking pot IN THE PRIVACY OF MY OWN HOME a "socially destructive endeavour?" The worst that could come out of it would be me giving a bit more business to Ben and Jerry.

~DJBongHit

--
GNU GPL: Free as in herpes.

[ Parent ]
Huh? What are you on? Oh, wait.. :) (none / 0) (#147)
by donky on Mon Feb 19, 2001 at 03:41:25 PM EST

Analogous is analogous to similarity :P Especially when that similarity is used for the purpose of comparison. Yet another thing you don't know what you are talking about. I'm going to ignore what you say on homosexuality in the new comment, why are you telling me this? What does it have to do with the point that discrimination against racism and homosexuality are bad and that to use that as a basis for why discrimination against drug use is just bad logic? Nothing. You ignore that I point out how badly argued your article is, and choose to act spoilt-like and pick out the bits where you incorrectly know you are right. And I can prove you are wrong as I do below. The alcohol thing I don't need to prove because as I say its common knowledge that another commenter provided.

Drug use is socially detrimental. Firstly, because narrow-minded people like yourself don't care where they come from, because buying drugs is like "going to ben and jerry" to you - you only think of yourself. People like you make me sick. The only thing sadder than your desperate plea for attention and confirmation of your righteous lifestyle is that all the readers tend to read, drug use discrimination = homosexuality discrimination = racial discrimination. And that garners you the support of three groups automatically, firstly your fellow users who will agree with anything pro-drugs and are probably as adled as yourself, secondly the gays who don't read too deep and thirdly the racially discriminated. The really sad thing is that this article even made it to the front page - but then with all the boring shite that gets there, maybe it fits right in.

  • Marijuana is bad for you. I have provided proof in a later comment. The fact that you claim it isn't - to the point that you make claims to the contrary of the studies I link to news of. This backs up my statement about you being an addict, marijuana is obviously having a bad effect on you because you are either:
    1. Delusional.
    2. A liar.
    3. Or so into drugs and out of life that you miss common news. We even heard about each and every marijuana discovery in New Zealand. Where have you been?
    And by the way, marijuana adversely affects your brain. Whether this has anything to do with your misconceptions is left as an exercise for the reader.
  • Alcohol is good for you. At least in the moderation you proclaim you use in your drug use - what with not being an addict. This is so well known, and another poster listed the ways in which it is good for you, leaving it so that I don't have to. Where have you been?


[ Parent ]
READ THIS DONKEY BOY (3.00 / 2) (#201)
by r00r on Tue Feb 20, 2001 at 12:42:21 AM EST

it doesn't matter if it's bad for me! get it?! that's the point of the WHOLE THING! as long as it's not bad for you when i do it, then you don't even have the right to half a fuck.

and whether i like sucking a cock or a joint, it ain't no bidness of yours. neither one is going to hurt you.

[ Parent ]

Your link to your proof (5.00 / 2) (#220)
by Mashx on Tue Feb 20, 2001 at 04:46:04 AM EST

I read your link that you provided. Interesting. However, I cannot see how you came to the conclusion that 'Marijuana adversely affects your brain'. I read this quote:
Changes in brain blood flow usually correspond to changes in brain activity, so diminished blood flow indicates altered brain function in some frequent marijuana users.
and then I read the next paragraph:
The idea that frequent marijuana use impairs mental abilities is still controversial,...
...Some cognitive effects of marijuana use may be related to this lower activity of the posterior cerebellum.
The conclusion of the piece reads
Although the study did not show any harmful effects, "these findings don't give marijuana a clean bill of health," Block said.
There is no reasoned argument here. For example, is it possible that heavy use of Marijuana slows down sperm? So if you really hate anyone smoking Marijuana, what's the problem, they won't breed. So chill out. Why stop their enjoyment? But as another point, do you know that it is safer to drive intoxicated on Marijuana than alcohol? Marijuana poses less dangers than alcohol? Quote from the article:
"This federally commissioned report concludes, just as the World Health Organization did earlier this year, that marijuana smoking does less harm to public health than drink and cigarettes,"
What I am trying to say is that if Marijuana users make you sick, find out WHY they make you sick, and not just reprocess some government diatribe. But then again, you say you hear about 'every Marijuana discovery in New Zealand', so I assume you know that your own government are still considering decriminalization. I believe there is going to be a debate as well? Doesn't the hearing start on 21st March?

Also, I just wonder if tobacco smokers make you sick? If not why not, as Marijuana is as bad as tobacco. Think about how that statement is worded.
Woodside!
[ Parent ]

I hate thinking of a subject line every time. (none / 0) (#323)
by kitten on Fri Feb 23, 2001 at 03:09:09 AM EST

Okay, excuse me while I reply to a comment way down at the bottom of the article where people aren't going to see it, but I just had to step in here.

It's a lot easier for somebody like me to not smoke pot than it is for a homosexual to abstain from homosexual relationships, but in both cases somebody is being forced to not live a lifestyle that they feel suits them.

There are many documented serial killers who actually enjoy their "work": the capture and methodical killing of others. Do they have a right to complain that they're being "repressed" because the law says they can't engage in activities they enjoy?
Perhaps you'd argue "But a murder affects another person, not just the murderer." True, but my point still stands - you're not being "repressed" when you engage in an illegal activity.
But let's use a different example. There was one article I read a while ago (I'll try to find the link later, as I can't seem to find it now) that described some nutcase out in Seattle who literally spread his own feces on himself on a daily basis. He did this within the confines of is own home, and really, this doesn't affect anyone else.. but when he was discovered by a neighbor, he was treated as a lunatic by the community and tried to slap the neighbor with a slander suit (he lost).
He might very well make the same argument you make: "They're treating me unfairly because of this. I enjoy spreading feces on myself," - or smoking pot - "and it doesn't affect anyone else but me. I have to live my life in secrecy, blah blah blah, it isn't fair."
You're judged on the choices you make. That's really all there is to it.
mirrorshades radio - darkwave, synthpop, industrial, futurepop.
[ Parent ]
Repression (none / 0) (#353)
by R4venS0ng on Tue Feb 27, 2001 at 06:02:09 PM EST

Repress - To put down by force, usually before total control has been lost.

So technically, the serial killer and the pot smoker are being repressed, but the serial killer is repressed to protect the people he would kill. The pot smoker would hurt no one but himself. Feces-man is irrelevant, because there was no force or threat of force used against him. He had to deal with the societal backlash of his actions, but armed soldiers did not storm this man's house and throw him in a cage. Judging someone based on their lifestyle is your prerogative, but no one has the right to enforce that judgement with a gun unless that lifestyle infringes on other people's rights.

[ Parent ]

My response (3.25 / 4) (#13)
by xriso on Sun Feb 18, 2001 at 01:56:11 PM EST

Ok, I agree that governmental regulation on voluntary personal action is pretty dumb. From what I've heard, Amsterdam (Holland?) does this quite nicely. Some people use drugs, and some people look at drugs and think: "Drugs are stupid". The drug users will keep on using drugs, and the other people will still hate drugs. There will probably be nothing that changes the drug-hater's opinion, because they may have seen one or two lives that have been shattered by drugs. They may even discriminate against the drug-user when hiring because they want somebody more responsible with money. They probably also discriminate against people without any work experience. Should the government impose quotas like "You must have X drug users" or "X many unexperienced people"? Where do you draw the line?

Also, there are some things about that "group of minorities" idea. It is possible for a group of minorities to become a majority. But seriously, as you said, discrimination will be around forever. The individual groups probably don't care about other groups. The sooner they get themselves accepted, the better. I don't think people want to stop all discrimination as much as they want to stop discrimination against themselves.

Sorry for the bad English, it's only my first language :)
--
*** Quits: xriso:#kuro5hin (Forever)

A few points and a few things I agree with (3.90 / 11) (#14)
by DoubleEdd on Sun Feb 18, 2001 at 02:01:20 PM EST

1. Illegal drugs - they have a bad image, and rightly so, because they have generally have considerable health risks and many lead to powerful addictions which directly result in crime to support a habit. I know perfectly well that some like cannabis have few addictive properties and some have worse health affects than others, but this remains generally true particularly for those drugs like crack and heroin as far as I know (tell me I'm wrong if you know otherwise). Tobacco is a classic example of a drug that is legal but fits in in a similar manner, but its greater availability seems to reduce the effects on society when someone has difficulty getting their fix.
I know my points aren't watertight, but its probably the predominant reasoning behind drug users getting a bad image - a not inconsiderable amount of crime, both organised and otherwise are involved in illegal drug use. This isn't the case with being gay or black.
I think you'll find that taking cannabis will not make you the social outcast you think it does. Taking LSD might though.

As for legal drugs, I doubt if tobacco were discovered now it would be legalised. Its more a historical accident than anything else that such a lethal carcinogenic substance is legal. Alcohol is also quite a bit more dangerous and responsible for society's ills than people think (though I do partake of more pintage than I should).

There are basically some very good reasons for discouraging the use of a large number of illegal drugs. I'm sure there are plenty of websites out there ready to tell you how dangerous many are. The ones you take might not be, but then you cited a fictional crack and heroin user as someone 'unfairly' portrayed.

2. As mentioned in 'Homosexual, my arse.', below (which seems to have been rather unfairly rated down IMHO), homosexuality does not in my experience seem to be a 'choice'. Drug use at least initially (before addiction) is.

Lets face it - you are being discriminated against because you support (however indirectly) the criminal underworld and partly because people think you are damaging your health.

The only unfair aspect of this is that you are probably damaging your health less than a heavy smoker or drinker. I'll allow you that, but don't expect any other sympathy from me.

A few counterarguments (4.00 / 5) (#23)
by scruffyMark on Sun Feb 18, 2001 at 04:55:26 PM EST

they have generally have considerable health risks...

Shamelessly cribbed from the Schaffer Drug Policy Library, an excellent resource for anyone looking for information outside government propaganda.

The number of drug deaths in the US in a typical year is as follows:

  • Tobacco kills about 390,000.
  • Alcohol kills about 80,000.
  • Sidestream smoke from tobacco kills about 50,000.
  • Cocaine kills about 2,200.
  • Heroin kills about 2,000.
  • Aspirin kills about 2,000.
  • Marijuana kills 0. There has never been a recorded death due to marijuana at any time in US history.
  • All illegal drugs combined kill about 4,500 people per year, or about one percent of the number killed by alcohol and tobacco. Tobacco kills more people each year than all of the people killed by all of the illegal drugs in the last century.
Prescription drugs were not included in the above list. The death rate from prescription drugs is a good order of magnitude higher than from illegal drugs, afraid I haven't got any exact figures.

...and many lead to powerful addictions which directly result in crime to support a habit.

Tobacco addiction is about equivalent in strength to cocaine addiction by most measures, but leads to little or no crime, because the price is not inflated by a criminal monopoly that can charge pretty much what it wants of its captive market. Addiction leads to crime only indirectly, through illegality.

This isn't the case with being gay or black.

This has only been true since homosexuality was legalized. Some would argue that being black is effectively a crime in certain parts of the U.S.

I doubt if tobacco were discovered now it would be legalised

Marijuana was not just now discovered. It has been used for centuries and centuries. It was made illegal because Mexicans used it in the States in the thirties. Opium was used for just as long. It was made illegal for the Chinese only out of fear that Chinese men would lure white women to their ruin in Opium dens.

Just about all illegal drugs were in use long before any drug laws were passed in N. America. The ones that got banned were the ones not associated with the "enemy race" of the day. The only major "new" drug is ecstacy, and that has been around since 1912. It was only banned in 1985 when people started taking it for fun - the drug itself hasn't changed at all.

Lets face it - you are being discriminated against because you support (however indirectly) the criminal underworld

Who is supporting crime more - a personal user of marijuana, who puts the odd small denomination bill toward dope (assuming it's not homegrown) or the government of the U.S., which has guaranteed criminal groups a monopoly on a highly profitable industry? When alcohol was prohibited, crime shot up because government had given criminals a monopoly on the liquor industry. The behaviour of the consumer of liquor had hardly changed at all.

Some of the people most opposed to the lifting of prohibition were the rum-runners - when booze was legal, they lost their highly lucrative criminal careers. The same holds true today with other drugs - the criminal underworld is the only major group that would suffer from legalization.



[ Parent ]

Stats?! (4.66 / 3) (#29)
by ritlane on Sun Feb 18, 2001 at 06:52:18 PM EST

I am being pretty neutral here.....

I have no problem with discussion, and I am willing to entertain any idea, even legalization (gasp)

What I will not tolerate are facts that are purposely ill organized in a pathetic attempt to "prove" a point.

Your drug statistics are a perfect example, because they say nothing.

This is because they only report the number of deaths.... big deal.... what is the per capita data? Without this, these statements say nothing.

Using this logic, a marketer for Aston Martin might be able to argue that their cars are among the safest in the country. After all, how many people die in Million dollar custom cars every year? Not many.

I realize this sounds harsh, but I feel this is important, and I do not mean to sound like I'm going on the offensive. I speak with such strong words only in the hope that I give pause, and cause you to think about what you use to justify your beliefs, whatever they may be.



---Lane
I like fighting robots
[ Parent ]
Very true (4.50 / 2) (#35)
by scruffyMark on Sun Feb 18, 2001 at 07:33:59 PM EST

It is difficult to get accurate statistics on drug use in any place where is prohibited. Most stats come from surveys, asking, essentially, "have you committed a felony lately? Provide details."

Here are the results of the 1999 National Household Survey on Drug Abuse, the big one conducted in the USA. Apparently, some researchers think the NHSDA underestimates by a half or more the actual rates of illegal drug use. I couldn't really say.

That being said, their estimates, for those not wanting to check:

  • alcohol - 105 million users
  • tobacco - 66.8 million users
  • all illegal drugs - 14.8 million users
Unfortunately, they don't seem to break down the stats past that. I'll have to read the report more carefully, but I couldn't find stats by drug.

[ Parent ]
Statistics (none / 0) (#163)
by Happy Monkey on Mon Feb 19, 2001 at 05:13:38 PM EST

Of course, that doesn't help with the '0' statistic. There are probably other statistical errors in the data, put moving the zero to a per-capita statistic won't change the argument much...
___
Length 17, Width 3
[ Parent ]
Just a little clarification... (2.00 / 1) (#30)
by ragabr on Sun Feb 18, 2001 at 06:54:42 PM EST

If you look at the history of marijuana criminalization, the race card was played by the lobbying organziations. Basically the history of criminalization in the U.S. is the history of corporations realizing they can't make money off of a product but people were still using it. In the case of marijuana, it wasn't even the physiological effects, it was that it was cheaper to make paper and clothing from it than from the competition of wood and artificial fibers. Dupont (sp?) was the major lobbying force, because they had been involved in the development of competing artificial fibers and chemicals used to process wood pulp for conversion into paper.

-------
And my tongue would be made of chocolate. Mmmmm. Chocolate.
-rusty
[ Parent ]
OK, so what I said wasn't watertight but... (3.00 / 1) (#88)
by DoubleEdd on Mon Feb 19, 2001 at 05:21:04 AM EST

I didn't intend them to be my views, merely how people probably justify being arsey to drugs users....
That said... alcohol and tobacco have a much bigger group of people using them. You'd expect bigger death rates from them. Also, I'm not in favour of having tobacco legal, remember, but I can't see any hope of ever banning it. Prescription drugs have proven benefits and are only available from a licensed doctor.

I personally don't have a problem with marijuana, particularly if tobacco is legal.
Also
Marijuana was not just now discovered. It has been used for centuries and centuries. It was made illegal because Mexicans used it in the States in the thirties.
So is that why it is banned where I am in Britain?

My point about the relationship with crime was primarily centred around the fact that someone with a strong physical addiction can turn to crime to support a habit. This is pretty rare with tobacco because you can sit on the side of the street and ask a passerby if they have a fag on them. (Fag being colloquial English for a cigarette, not a homosexual).

That said, I agree with your points about the illegal nature of these substances being the direct cause of them being a moneymaker for criminals. I think the real reason they tend to be banned is that the stronger addictive drugs do lead to all kinds of problems and the only reason the health risks are small in terms of number of people is that few people use them. The public then perceives them to be bad because of the resulting association with crime.

[ Parent ]

illegal in britain (none / 0) (#200)
by r00r on Tue Feb 20, 2001 at 12:28:45 AM EST

not to be a punk, but your government is a pussy bitch that does what the US tells it to. hope you weren't living under any illusions...

[ Parent ]
illegal in britain - going increasingly OT (none / 0) (#222)
by DoubleEdd on Tue Feb 20, 2001 at 05:51:40 AM EST

After recent events I completely agree - our government does seem to do whatever you tell us. However I don't think we've banned marijuana merely for the sake of international regulations. Marijuana is also illegal in most of Europe. We do trips to Amsterdam to get ours legally, we don't do trips to Paris. Or Berlin. etc.

[ Parent ]
Misunderstood you (none / 0) (#303)
by scruffyMark on Wed Feb 21, 2001 at 03:25:57 PM EST

It is all clear now...

One thing though - I think tobacco being illegal would cause no end of suffering, even compared to the immense amount it causes now. I would be in favour of leaving tobacco legal, but making advertising for it, including movie and TV product placements, illegal. Just my little quibble.

[ Parent ]

Re: counterarguments (tangential if not OT) (none / 0) (#289)
by karl_hungus on Tue Feb 20, 2001 at 11:36:29 PM EST

Some of the people most opposed to the lifting of prohibition were the rum-runners - when booze was legal, they lost their highly lucrative criminal careers.

If they're smart, they will diversify. When their sons make it to the White House, they will hopefully avoid convertible rides through Dealy Plaza.

That's where the Kennedy clan got the wealth they parlayed into a political dynasty. I wonder who, if anyone, would assume that role in a post-legalization U.S.?

[ Parent ]
All drugs should be legal though. (4.00 / 2) (#25)
by Nick Ives on Sun Feb 18, 2001 at 05:24:02 PM EST

"Tobacco is a classic example of a drug that is legal but fits in in a similar manner, but its greater availability seems to reduce the effects on society when someone has difficulty getting their fix."
So basically what your saying is that a drug thats as addicitive as heroin (nicotine) is less harmful to society when its widely available in a standardised and "safe" doseage (like a ciggerette).
"I know my points aren't watertight, but its probably the predominant reasoning behind drug users getting a bad image - a not inconsiderable amount of crime, both organised and otherwise are involved in illegal drug use."
But if all drugs were available legally the money wouldnt be used to fund organised crime, would it? Well, not more than any other product at least. People wouldnt be afraid to admit that they made money from drugs on their tax returns if it were legal and it would just become business as useual.
"homosexuality does not in my experience seem to be a 'choice'. Drug use at least initially (before addiction) is."
I'm personally at odds with the entire notion of "addiction". First off I accept that physical addiction (cravings) is a very real thing, but getting rid of physical cravings for most drugs is simply a matter of time (after a week or so without a ciggerette I feel much better) and I doubt that I would ever take a drug that caused permernant withdrawl symtpoms so I dont worry about physical addiction that much. As for mental addiction, well, im mentally addicted to being alive. Every day I wake up and decide to keep on living (albeit by not deciding to step out in front of a bus or somesuch action). I'm mentally addicted to weed because whenever I have some I skin up until its gone and when its gone my priority is to get some more. From where im standing it looks like mental addiction is where you get so used to making a decision and making the same choice every time that you just stop thinking about it and it becomes the norm, but that doesnt stop it being a choice on your part.

I'm physically addicted to caffine. I pretty much cant move until I've been dosed up on the stuff, without plenty of caffine in the morning (in whatever form I can find it) im lethargic and irritable. I'm also mentally addicted to caffine in that I havent decided to quit yet. I probably wont ever quit and caffine addiction will most likely be one of the prime causes of my death, people will lament how evil caffine is causing me to die so prematurely but dont let them forget that my mental "addiction" was my choice to use caffine on a daily basis. Maybe thats what addiction really is, when you think your choosing to use a substance so often when in reality its using you. Maybe I'm just some dirty druggie with my caffine, nicotine, weed, occasional acid and any other substance that I happen by and feel like trying and this is what the life of a polydrug abuser is like. Maybe. Either way I dont think its possible for anyone to know for sure (not even myself) so we should just assume that I am a rational adult who has made a choice about my own life.

Having said that I do accept that people do become addicted to substances and let it spiral out of control and need help to break the cycle. Alcohol is a good example, most of us can stand a pint or twenty every now and then and walk away fine, but there are certain people who become alcoholic. The questions are how much is too much and how often is too often? Do I have a problem because I smoke weed almost every day? Is it OK or not OK because of the amount I smoke? Again this comes down to a matter of personal choice, although the advice of the people who live around you is most helpful too. I know that if I exchanged joints for pints of beer then I would most definatly be alcoholic, but I dont think I have a problem with cannabis addiction. At the end of the day only you really know wether or not you have a problem and its your personal responsability to be honest to yourself.

"Lets face it - you are being discriminated against because you support (however indirectly) the criminal underworld"
See above. If they were legal then the money from their sale would be legally accounted for and less of it would get into crime.
"and partly because people think you are damaging your health."
Whilst I thank the kind peoples of the world for being so concerned about my health I'd like to kindly ask you all to go away. Please dont take offense, I realise you've given me all this information with which to make my decisions but its my decision to take. So go away. Thank you.

I'd just like to state that I do agree with discouraging people to use "dangerous" drugs, but I believe that should be in the form of honest information about the substances in question. If a substance is honestly dangerous then the facts about it should make that obvious and "sensible" people wont use it. Having said that there are still a minority of people out there who want to use certain substances no matter what the dangers involved, by providing honest and accurate information to everyone then your limiting the damage caused by "accidental" drug addiction. Whilst some people may find it hard to believe that someone could get addicted to either heroin, tobacco or any other substance accidentally I'm sure there are people out there who are not aware of the dangers of these substances. Everyone needs access to as much information as possible so that they can make informed decisions about their life.

Yet another long and slightly rambly ramble about drugs. To me this issue is a little like free software, the arguments in favour of {free software,end of the WoD} are so many and positive that I'm surprised {that everyone doesnt use free software,that the WoD is still ongoing}.

--
nick
"its not a way on drugs its a war on personal freedoms thats what it is, keep that in mind at all times OK?"

[ Parent ]

Addiction... (5.00 / 1) (#32)
by ragabr on Sun Feb 18, 2001 at 06:58:21 PM EST

I think your opinion would change if you were to watch a person going through heroin withdraw. The fact is that heroin belongs to the very select group (alkaloids) of substances that can actually change your bodies chemical makeup, making the need a part of you, quite literally.

-------
And my tongue would be made of chocolate. Mmmmm. Chocolate.
-rusty
[ Parent ]
Addict (none / 0) (#114)
by wiredog on Mon Feb 19, 2001 at 10:31:53 AM EST

I know that if I exchanged joints for pints of beer then I would most definatly be alcoholic

Then you're probably an addict. Psychologically addicted, anyway. And you obviously, on some level, know it.

The idea of a global village is wrong, it's more like a gazillion pub bars.
Phage
[ Parent ]

Your post was about as informative as this one: (none / 0) (#354)
by R4venS0ng on Tue Feb 27, 2001 at 06:25:21 PM EST

Obviously, on the conscious level, he knows it:

"I'm mentally addicted to weed because whenever I have some I skin up until its gone and when its gone my priority is to get some more."

But that wasn't his point.

[ Parent ]

A primer on political science... (4.11 / 17) (#18)
by Signal 11 on Sun Feb 18, 2001 at 02:36:25 PM EST

There's a reason for the war on drugs. It doesn't help the country, or decrease crime, or improve our streets, or anything like that. That's been demonstrated amply. What it does do, however, is make people who have been victimized by drug-related crimes a politically active group, which is a voting bloc a politician can easily sway by passing legislation which seems to help them out.

The (high) costs of the "war on drugs" are dispersed over a very large group, so the costs to each are very low. Thus most people paying for it are apathetic about it. Thus the politician gains votes by appearing "tough on crime" (and those votes come from these victims of crime), furthering the goals of re-election.

Politicians know it's a futile war, but politicians (contrary again to popular belief) are rational people. They have goals, just like you and me, and the usual one is to get re-elected. This is why rent controls are imposed to "help the poor" when, as most economists would tell you, it has the exact opposite effect (e-mail me if you would like more information about this). Why do they do it? Because it's accomplishing their goal of being re-elected by appearing compassionate towards the poor. They aren't, but nobody looks at the results of rent controls closely because at first glance it appears logical. The war on drugs works the same way - if the voting public were educated and applied critical thinking skills the war on drugs would never have been started.

This happens all the time, but the war on drugs is a somewhat different situation in that the further you clamp down, the more victims appear, who then demand more politicians be tough on crime. It's a vicious circle, and the only way to break it is to expose the flaws in populist thinking and erradicate (false) commonly held beliefs about the psychology of crime and how drugs really impact society.




--
Society needs therapy. It's having
trouble accepting itself.

War on drugs (3.11 / 9) (#19)
by www.sorehands.com on Sun Feb 18, 2001 at 02:49:17 PM EST

The war on drugs is not about drugs -- drugs are only an excuse.

The war on drugs is being used to further erode our rights. Remember, they put the forfeture laws laws into place to take away things bought with drug money. Now, a woman loses her car when the police cathes her husband in it getting a blow job. A guy taking money earned legally had it taken when he failed to file the proper papers when leaving the country (the Supreme Court reversed it).

The government further erode our rights to keep us away from evil of drugs.

As a note, I don't agree with the use of drugs. If they worked faster (before reproduction), it would be an effective form of natural selection.



------------------------------------------------------------------------------
http://www.barbieslapp.com
Mattel, SLAPP terrorists intent on destroying free speech.
-----------------------------------------------------------

excellent comment... (1.00 / 1) (#54)
by A5triX on Sun Feb 18, 2001 at 09:59:40 PM EST

Very perceptive and enlightening, thank you. Excellent form of natural selection, HaaHAaHa!
Brendon M. Maragia
[ Parent ]
Re: terrible analogy... (4.13 / 15) (#22)
by Jin Wicked on Sun Feb 18, 2001 at 04:36:32 PM EST

The analogy between homosexuality and drug usage makes you look *really* bad, IMHO. You yourself mention, and dismiss for no reason, one of the key facts-- that homosexuality is not a choice, while drug usage is.

So, let me get this straight -- if someone can't help being homosexual, it's wrong to discriminate against or persecute him for it, but if he chooses to voluntarily use a substance that he is doing RESPONSIBLY and that HURTS NO ONE ELSE, it's ok to go after him a treat him poorly? Since when is your opinion on what's proper and what's not the defining rule of the universe? I can think of a better analogy than he used, but your reasoning is still sorely flawed.

There are people in this country who want to ban guns. Many people in this country like guns, keep them responsibly, and want to continue owning their guns. Some gun users let their guns get in the hands of children or other parties, and the guns are used in inappropriate ways. Now, does that mean the responsible person should suffer because someone else can't get their act together? Let's stop punishing people that aren't hurting anyone else, and just go after the people that are really causing the problems.

But also, I don't think one can compare the discrimination you face with that faced by gays. You may suffer from persecution from a central government, using the law enforcement agencies and propaganda, but wide portions of the population don't see your drug usage as that terrible.

Oh, REALLY? Look at the majority of the responses from the users here, so far. The persecution from the federal government isn't enough to consider him a victim? At least homosexuals don't get thrown in prison for having sex with a member of the same gender. Responsible, otherwise normal citizens get thrown in jail every day for a personal choice they make that isn't hurting another person in the world. The government isn't allowed to tell me who I can or can't have sex with, or what colour shirt I can and can't wear, so how is it ok for it to tell me what I can and can't do with my body? Just because YOU don't use or like drugs isn't an excuse to infringe on MY rights, because it doesn't affect you.

You don't run that much of a risk of being beaten up for your drug usage.

No, you just run the risk of being thrown in prison, where you will be subjected to beatings and very likely far worse, especially if you aren't able to defend yourself.

You never get people accusing you of being satan's spawn, or religious groups saying that God hates you.

As a matter of fact, alot of the righteous religious sector are some of the biggest pushers of anti-drug propaganda. I've heard plenty of rationales explaining that drug use is wrong because God didn't want you to do this, or that...and what about Bush's pushes to have funding for religiously-based social programs? These people don't even view drug ABUSE as a psychological issue...they see it as a sin that can be cured by prayer and a hundred hail Mary's or something...and almost always they distinguish no difference between a casual, responsible user, and the most hardcore of addicts.

You don't get regarded as a child molester. You have a good chance of telling a same-gender peer about your drug usage and not be rejected or feared.

No, you get viewed as a lowlife junkie that can't hold a job and lives to do nothing but get messed up. You have a good chance of telling EITHER gender about your drug use, and being rejected, feared, or even worse, TURNED IN AND SENT TO PRISON. You live in fear. Yes, it's a personal choice, and he could always just not do it and then the fear would go away. But the point is that he shouldn't HAVE to.

Your drug usage is not intimately tied to something as central to people as their sexuality.

Have you used drugs? Do you know that from firsthand experience? I sincerely doubt it. Drug use is what you make of it, and it can be EXTREMELY personal and intimately tied to something even MORE central to yourself than your sexuality -- your very conciousness. And for many people, it IS that kind of experience. To many, it is a SPIRITUAL and RELIGIOUS experience. I advise you to stop making assumptions based on your own ignorance of the subject at hand.

And the list can go on.

Please read some good literature from the other side of this issue as opposed to only what the media puts on the television for you before making your decisions. Some good links to start with are NORML and the Libertarian take on legalization of drugs.

Thus, I think your comparison between yourself and homosexuals is pretty much ridiculous, and makes you sound like a spoiled brat. -1.

If he is a spoiled brat, then you are a close-minded jackass who does nothing but parrot off all the programming you got in school and from the media and guv'ment. Media says discriminating against homosexuals is wrong, but ALL drug users are evil sociopaths and it's okay to treat them like shit. Why don't you THINK before posting a knee-jerk reaction next time, mmm'kay?

Doubleplus one, front page, for someone finally having the balls to post something controversial and guaranteed to start real discussion in the kuro5hin queue!


This post was probably not written by the real Jin Wicked. Please see user "butter pie" for Jin's actual posts.


Um. (4.40 / 5) (#26)
by flieghund on Sun Feb 18, 2001 at 05:51:46 PM EST

At least homosexuals don't get thrown in prison for having sex with a member of the same gender.
Um. Yes they do. A quick search on google for something like "anti-sodomy laws" will return a plethora of examples. A telling quote from this 1998 CNN article reads, "... 12 years ago [1986], the U.S. Supreme Court upheld the Georgia law, ruling there was no constitutional right to private homosexual activity." (In 1998, the Georgia Supreme Court ruled that the law was, in fact, unconstitutional after all.) For more general reading, this page from the ACLU is a fairly comprehensive overview of anti-sodomy laws in each of the United States.
If he is a spoiled brat, then you are a close-minded jackass...
Mr. Pot? There's a Mr. Kettle for you on line one... he say's you're black.
Why don't you THINK before posting a knee-jerk reaction next time, mmm'kay?
It took me only a few minutes to research the above information and type this post. Perhaps you should take some of your own advice, and do some RESEARCH of your own before "posting a knee-jerk reaction."
...guaranteed to start real discussion in the kuro5hin queue!
Assuming, of course, that no one dares to disagree with you, correct?

Using a Macintosh is like picking your nose: everyone likes to do it, but no one will admit to it.
[ Parent ]
Re: your so-called "research"... (3.00 / 3) (#27)
by Jin Wicked on Sun Feb 18, 2001 at 06:40:53 PM EST

Um. Yes they do. A quick search on google for something like "anti-sodomy laws" will return a plethora of examples. A telling quote from this 1998 CNN article reads, "... 12 years ago [1986], the U.S. upreme Court upheld the Georgia law, ruling there was no constitutional right to private homosexual activity." (In 1998, theGeorgia Supreme Court ruled that the law was, in fact, unconstitutional after all.) For more general reading, this page fromthe ACLU is a fairly comprehensive overview of anti-sodomy laws in each of the United States.

Hello? Twelve years ago! What does twelve years ago have to do with this?!

Right now, homosexuals are not being thrown in prison for sodomy, or else they'll have lawyers instantly crawling all over the place. There are laws and activist groups protecting their interests, there are shows on television about them, and there are famous people and even politicians who are openly homosexual. Regardless of what was being done in the past, it is the here and now that I am concerned with. Discrimination against a homosexual is against the law, and people that do are dealt with accordingly. Yet the government actively seeks out and hurts casual drug users everyday because of the constant perpetuation of stereotypes and misinformation, and it is allowed to do so.

If you want to get into history, thousands of peaceful, casual drug users, who once had the right to do what they wanted as long as they didn't commit a crime, suddenly one day found their rights stripped away from them as the government decided in the 20s and 30s all of a sudden that it didn't want its citizens using marijuana anymore. Incidentally, it's only because of a heavy campaign of lies and misinformation, and then-serious-now-a-laughingstock propaganda like "Reefer Madness" to otherwise uninformed citizens that the prohibition of marijuana ever got passed in the first place. It was SCARE TACTICS by the government to control something that a handful of men in power decided they didn't like, because they didn't do it and didn't care if anyone could.

If homosexuals are thrown into a prison now, solely for the reason that they are homosexual, then that is already against the law and appropriate actions can be taken. Whether or not it happens, it is illegal. However, if someone is thrown into a prison for smoking up once, there is no protection for this person, and because no one seems to be willing to acknowledge that drugs can be used responsibly, there is no distinction made between this person and someone who is genuinely a threat to society.

Regardless of what is or isn't happening to homosexuals, putting people into prison for making voluntary decisions that affect no one but themselves is wrong, and unconstitutional. So people like the author of this article want the laws repealed, because they are suffering the same kinds of things those homosexuals had to deal with before they had legal protection. You don't see the connection, because you are not one of the people being affected with these laws. Or maybe you are -- you pay tax money to an effort that is hopeless at best, and which it can be shown we would be better off without.

If drugs are legalized, there are several advantages:

1. They can be taxed, like cigarettes. Taxes can be used to fund voluntary rehab programs for the handful of people that do become addicted.

2. They can be regulated. People will not be dying from the impurities often found in street drugs, which are thinned and faked for profit. Victims of this have no recourse, because the substance was illegal and fear getting caught.

3. Once the black market is gone, cost will go down. A junkie that can afford to support his habit with a legitimate job will not resort to prostitution, theft, or murder to get a fix.

Yes, you can argue, all these risks can be eliminated by simply not doing it to begin with. But the simple fact of the matter, and the heart of the issue here, is that personal rights are being infringed on, and good people are being thrown in jail because of it. Patients cannot even obtain marijuana legally for medical purposes in most places, which, if home grown, is an affordable alternative to other medications. Sounds more like the corporate giants at work than the government "for the good of the people" here to me. In fact, maybe it's the alcohol, tobacco, and drug companies that are funding most of this to begin with. They are the ones that have the most to lose.

Mr. Pot? There's a Mr. Kettle for you on line one... he say's you're black.

That's Ms. Pot to you, and you can sit up right here on the shelf with me.

It took me only a few minutes to research the above information and type this post. Perhaps you should take some of your own advice, and do some RESEARCH of your own before "posting a knee-jerk reaction."

The "research" you did was not at all relevant to my argument in the slightest, seeing as homosexuals are protected by law from things like that NOW. The minority I am discussing currently has NO protection by law, in fact -- is PERSECUTED by law, when they weren't 100 years ago. Maybe you should have read my points more thoroughly before attempting to attack me.

Assuming, of course, that no one dares to disagree with you, correct?

Bring it on, but try a little harder next time, ok?


This post was probably not written by the real Jin Wicked. Please see user "butter pie" for Jin's actual posts.


[ Parent ]
Forgot one... (4.00 / 1) (#36)
by greenplato on Sun Feb 18, 2001 at 07:34:08 PM EST

I don't even know what disagreement is at the root of this thread, so this post is a little off topic. Anyway, you left out one of my favorite assumptions from your list:

If drugs are legalized, there are several advantages: ...

4. Recreational drugs will become less available to minors. With strict regulation over the legal production and distribution of drugs, minors will be more easily stymied in their attempt to procure substances that are harmful to a developing mind and body.

Think about it...

[ Parent ]

Heh. (4.00 / 2) (#120)
by flieghund on Mon Feb 19, 2001 at 11:04:30 AM EST

Right now, homosexuals are not being thrown in prison for sodomy, or else they'll have lawyers instantly crawling all over the place.
Right this instance, no. At least, none that I can find. However, as little over two years ago, a case in Texas did, in fact, result in jail time for two homosexuals who were caught having sex (after being falsely accused of something else by a jealous boyfriend). From the ACLU page I mentioned, "In June 2000, a Texas Court of Appeals overturned the sodomy law. That ruling affects only a small area of Texas, and the state is planning to appeal the decision." The law is still on the books, and if the state happens to stumble across two guys having sex again, they will undoubtedly prosecute them yet again. This may not seem quite as bad a witch hunt as so-called war on drugs, but that does not make it any better. "Kind of bad" is still bad.
Regardless of what is or isn't happening to homosexuals, putting people into prison for making voluntary decisions that affect no one but themselves is wrong, and unconstitutional.
I don't think I disagreed with that point. In fact, reading my post again, I don't think I really presented an arugment one way or another regarding the constitutionality of drug use laws. In fact, I didn't mention drug use (or its laws) at all. I was merely trying to refute your claim that homosexuals are not persecuted. Which, in at least 19 states, they are. And though they may not always lead to jail time, people can lose their jobs (think "gays in the military").
... you can sit up right here on the shelf with me.
First, I truly apologize for the error in gender. Second, please point out where I was being hypocritical.
The "research" you did was not at all relevant to my argument in the slightest, seeing as homosexuals are protected by law from things like that NOW.
Again, I point you to the ACLU page, which clearly notes that in 19 states (too many to list at the moment, but I'd be happy to post the full list if you cannot click on the previous link) that anti-sodomy laws still exist, and at least some of the states (notably Texas, though there are others) are still eager to defend the law and prosecute homosexuals.

As to being "relevant to [your] argument in the slightest": Right there in your first paragraph (not counting the quote you took out of an earlier Editorial comment), you bring up the homosexual argument as a foil against the persecution of drug users. If homosexual persecution has nothing to do with your argument, why did you bring it up?

Maybe you should have read my points more thoroughly before attempting to attack me.
I apologize again! Where I live, pointing out fatal flaws in an argument is considered constructive criticism, not attacking. I realize now that we must be from different cultures. However, I fail to see how your points (relating to legalizing drug use) relate to flawed assessment of homosexual rights. Sex is not taxed (well, maybe in Nevada), and (at least to my knowledge) there is no "black-market" for homosexuals. I suppose the regulation argument might apply (givec all the laws against it), but in that case the regulatory environment is what exists now and that which people are seeking to overturn.

Using a Macintosh is like picking your nose: everyone likes to do it, but no one will admit to it.
[ Parent ]
You seem to be functionally illiterate. (4.27 / 11) (#28)
by Estanislao Martínez on Sun Feb 18, 2001 at 06:45:25 PM EST

Ok, I've finally stopped laughing at your ridiculous strawmen arguments. Let's answer. Oh, yeah, BTW, by the time I'm done, you'll wish you'd never written your post.

So, let me get this straight -- if someone can't help being homosexual, it's wrong to discriminate against or persecute him for it, but if he chooses to voluntarily use a substance that he is doing RESPONSIBLY and that HURTS NO ONE ELSE, it's ok to go after him a treat him poorly?

I challenge you to find in any post I've *ever* posted ever a condemnation of drug usage, and support of persecution of drug users. Anywhere. Words that either literally say that, or from which it logically follows (BTW, I've studied logic at a graduate level, so don't try to pull a fast one).

The persecution from the federal government isn't enough to consider him a victim?

Again, I challenge you to find some place where I've ever said that drug users are not victimized by the authorities.

At least homosexuals don't get thrown in prison for having sex with a member of the same gender.

Eh, as several pointed out, a good number of states have anti-sodomy laws.

No, you just run the risk of being thrown in prison, where you will be subjected to beatings and very likely far worse, especially if you aren't able to defend yourself.

If you're a drug user, you risk violence mostly from the authorities. If you're homosexual, your risk violence both from most people in our society and the authorities. Homosexuals get verbally and physically attacked just for being who they are. And the cops are particularly nasty towards homosexuals.

And how do you think homosexuals are treated in prisons, both by the inmates and the guards, compared to heterosexuals?

As a matter of fact, alot of the righteous religious sector are some of the biggest pushers of anti-drug propaganda.

I recommend you make a side-by-side comparison of both religious anti-gay and anti-drug propaganda. How many times have you heard drug users called the spawn of satan?

No, you get viewed as a lowlife junkie that can't hold a job and lives to do nothing but get messed up.

Get a grip. Drug usage is widespread among all social classes in the US. The rich and famous take a lot of cocaine, with very little stigma to it. In high school and college, a sizeable portion of students, if not most, see pot smoking as completely normal. The junkie segment is a fairly small segment of the drug using public.

Have you used drugs? Do you know that from firsthand experience? I sincerely doubt it.

What the fuck do you know about me, anyway? I am a nick and text to you. Whatever experience I relate to you could be completely ficticious, for that matter. All you see me writing here could as well be an experiment in character development, for what you know.

In any case, yes, sexuality is central to everybody's life, in some way or another. Drugs aren't-- plenty of people don't use them. And most drug users don't go with your "SPIRITUAL and RELIGIOUS experience" thing-- for most people, drugs just are a high.

If he is a spoiled brat, then you are a close-minded jackass who does nothing but parrot off all the programming you got in school and from the media and guv'ment. Media says discriminating against homosexuals is wrong, but ALL drug users are evil sociopaths and it's okay to treat them like shit. Why don't you THINK before posting a knee-jerk reaction next time, mmm'kay?

[FLAME MODE ON]

You are a functionally illiterate pamphlet-wielding propaganda idiot. You have difficulty distinguishing what people actually say from the attitudes, fears and beliefs that your petty self-centered egocentric ass projects on them. Your post says far much more about you than it does about me.

You also obviously don't know shit about what homosexuals have to endure. And, you're a self-important spoiled brat that thinks that he and his problems are the center of the universe, and that to point out that other people suffer from much graver problems is to deny that *your* problem exists.

You remind me of the perpetrators of the My Lai massacre who cold-bloodedly murdered hundreds of civillians in cold blood, yet whine about how much they have suffered because of it, and many of them have even taken to say that they feel they are "every bit as much a victim" as the people they killed.

Regardless of whether they are victims or not of something (xenophobia, the brainwashing and surrender of responsibility required by military "discipline"), it is a symptom of their unfettered egocentrism that they equate their suffering with that of the victimes of their massacre-- in their minds, nobody can possibly have suffered any more than they have.

This article is a mild case of that; homosexuals very simply have to undergo much more problems than drug users, but, oh, no, "I'm a stoner, I'm oppressed, I suffer every bit just as much as gays do".

Fuck off. And learn to read, dammit.

--em
[ Parent ]

Functionally illiterate? (5.00 / 2) (#38)
by Miniluv on Sun Feb 18, 2001 at 07:56:03 PM EST

Having read both posts, I can safely say that I definitely feel like I'm back on the playground in second grade. Shall we examine why I feel thusly?

You remind me of the perpetrators of the My Lai massacre who cold-bloodedly murdered hundreds of civillians in cold blood, yet whine about how much they have suffered because of it, and many of them have even taken to say that they feel they are "every bit as much a victim" as the people they killed
He's funtionally illiterate, yet you can feel comfortable writing a paragraph as disjointed as that? Not to mention a paragraph containing at least one absolutely absurd grammatical mistake?

If he is a spoiled brat, then you are a close-minded jackass who does nothing but parrot off all the programming you got in school and from the media and guv'ment.
Sure, he degenerated into petty, retaliatory name calling, but you quickly followed suit.

You also obviously don't know shit about what homosexuals have to endure. And, you're a self-important spoiled brat that thinks that he and his problems are the center of the universe, and that to point out that other people suffer from much graver problems is to deny that *your* problem exists.
Thank you for that above paragraph, because it very neatly proves the point of this story. The article isn't about how badly discriminated against DJBongHit is, instead to show that discrimination is such a general thing in modern society that we'd be better served attempting to raise the overall tolerance level, instead of hopping from special interest group to socially oppressed spsecial interest group putting out fires.

To touch on the illiterate statement yet again, you write:

This article is a mild case of that; homosexuals very simply have to undergo much more problems than drug users, but, oh, no, "I'm a stoner, I'm oppressed, I suffer every bit just as much as gays do".
Much more problems? Um, okay.

Yet more evidence that you both are simply ego stroking while appearing to be contributing members of a non-existant community:

Ok, I've finally stopped laughing at your ridiculous strawmen arguments. Let's answer. Oh, yeah, BTW, by the time I'm done, you'll wish you'd never written your post.
And the ridiculously classy:
BTW, I've studied logic at a graduate level, so don't try to pull a fast one
Please, don't wrench your shoulder out of it's socket in public trying to pat yourself on the back. I'm sure your screams of anguish would be quite distressing to the fainter hearted members of our "community".

In short, you could've made a quality rebuttal, you raised a few good points. Instead you did your damndest to prove to everyone, in plain view, that you are an unmitigated ass. We all now know that while you might have a keen analytical mind, it's wrapped up in a personality only slightly more social than Jeffrey Dahmers, with a tolerance level just this side of Adolf Hitler. Have a good day.

"Its like someone opened my mouth and stuck a fistful of herbs in it." - Tamio Kageyama, Iron Chef 'Battle Eggplant'
[ Parent ]

English is not my native language. (3.00 / 2) (#40)
by Estanislao Martínez on Sun Feb 18, 2001 at 08:05:52 PM EST

Most of the grammar criticisms you raise are just due to the fact that English is not my native language. I think I have reason enough to be satisfied with the level of my English writing, despite such errors.

We all now know that while you might have a keen analytical mind, it's wrapped up in a personality only slightly more social than Jeffrey Dahmers, with a tolerance level just this side of Adolf Hitler. Have a good day.

This comes a close second place in the list of things that have made my day. (#1 goes to a pair of caffeine pills.) Hahaha!

--em
[ Parent ]

Careful hurling invective then (4.50 / 2) (#44)
by Miniluv on Sun Feb 18, 2001 at 08:29:53 PM EST

I know it's not, and never before have I picked on you for your grasp of complex grammar. From now on, you are on my list of targets to berate regarding grammatical errors, spelling mistakes, and other such English language faux pas.

The reason I now consider you fair game is because you were willing to throw the term functionally illiterate about, and then climb on top of that to make yourself seem oh-so-superior. Had you simply used other arguments to show how he may have failed to understand what you said it would've remained in the realm of the reasonable. Instead all you did was add fuel to the fire in proving your own stupidity. This is not the first ridiculous line of reasoning you've travelled down, and I strongly suspect it won't be the last.

Thank you though, for existing, because you are just another reason that I will never attend graduate school. I enjoy being a rational, functioning human being. It would appear that if you are the product of higher learning, then I'm safer staying a high school drop out.

"Its like someone opened my mouth and stuck a fistful of herbs in it." - Tamio Kageyama, Iron Chef 'Battle Eggplant'
[ Parent ]

Be my guest. (3.00 / 2) (#48)
by Estanislao Martínez on Sun Feb 18, 2001 at 09:40:29 PM EST

I know it's not, and never before have I picked on you for your grasp of complex grammar. From now on, you are on my list of targets to berate regarding grammatical errors, spelling mistakes, and other such English language faux pas.

"I feel now that I have license to put myself in absolute ridicule in front of all of k5 by childishly correcting grammatical mistakes in the posts of a non-native English speaker who, nonetheless, has a very fluent command of the language."

Sure, be my guest.

The reason I now consider you fair game is because you were willing to throw the term functionally illiterate about, and then climb on top of that to make yourself seem oh-so-superior. Had you simply used other arguments to show how he may have failed to understand what you said it would've remained in the realm of the reasonable.

Are you telling me that launching a looong rant, based on a totally transparent strawman, merits to be responded with "arguments" about "how" the failure to understand what I said "may" have come about, but not by pointing out that the ranter simply has projected the image of being incapable to read a text and understand what it says, and more importantly, what it *doesn't* say?

I'm sorry, but if a poster shows him or herself uncapable of understanding simple, plain text, for practical reasons I have to assume this is the general case for this person unless further evidence to the contrary appears, and not spend too much time satisfying whatever the entrance requirements for your personal "realm of the reasonable" may be.

Oh, and BTW, a second thing: I get flame, I give flame back.

Thank you though, for existing, because you are just another reason that I will never attend graduate school. I enjoy being a rational, functioning human being. It would appear that if you are the product of higher learning, then I'm safer staying a high school drop out.

Gee, what happened, was the "realm of the reasonable" overcrowded today? I won't start enumerating the flaws in your reasoning there, since you seem to be intelligent enough to do so yourself.

--em
[ Parent ]

Overgeneralising (5.00 / 1) (#56)
by Miniluv on Sun Feb 18, 2001 at 10:51:58 PM EST

Are you telling me that launching a looong rant, based on a totally transparent strawman, merits to be responded with "arguments" about "how" the failure to understand what I said "may" have come about, but not by pointing out that the ranter simply has projected the image of being incapable to read a text and understand what it says, and more importantly, what it *doesn't* say?
Nope, not at all. You can do one of several things. You can, of course, attack their ability to read and comprehend based on little to no evidence of any worth. You can provide arguments which both disprove their purportedly incorrect interpretation while elaborating upon your previously stated thesis. You can also just drop the thread if you feel that they are truly incapable of grasping the correctness of your reasoning.

I think we all understand that you took a combination approach, by both hurling unfounded invective at them in the form of "functionally illiterate". I must also confess, at this point in time, that I doubt you truly grasp the meaning of that term because you used it in a context for which it is highly inappropriate. Faulty logic, if that is truly what this is a case of, does not make on incapable of comprehension during reading. From the outside however this appears to be a fundamental difference of opinion.

I'm sorry, but if a poster shows him or herself uncapable of understanding simple, plain text, for practical reasons I have to assume this is the general case for this person unless further evidence to the contrary appears, and not spend too much time satisfying whatever the entrance requirements for your personal "realm of the reasonable" may be.
Reasonable is fairly easy to define here. Accusations which have even the remotest shred of supporting evidence. There is no reason whatsoever to think that your accusation of "functional illiteracy" is anything but groundless. Notice I'm attempting to not make any form of judgement call as to whether you're right or they are, merely that you the debate moved from the realm of actual debate into the world of playground level name calling.

Oh, and BTW, a second thing: I get flame, I give flame back
I will respond to this with a direct quote from your post:
I won't start enumerating the flaws in your reasoning there, since you seem to be intelligent enough to do so yourself.
And as to your final attack on my use of you as justification for avoiding graduate studies, it's simple. I look at the general populace of K5 and can quickly pick out the undergrads, the grad students, and the functioning human beings. The sentence structure used is often similar, but subtler contextual clues are all a person who has had dealings with all three subsets of the population before needs to differentiate. If you don't understand the sort of clues I'm talking about, I suspect it would be difficult to explain, because it is not an entirely rational, nor infallible, process. Instead it is an intuitive leap, which in my experience is often a much more accurate form of reasoning than logic.

"Its like someone opened my mouth and stuck a fistful of herbs in it." - Tamio Kageyama, Iron Chef 'Battle Eggplant'
[ Parent ]
Subject: (3.00 / 3) (#58)
by Estanislao Martínez on Sun Feb 18, 2001 at 11:36:05 PM EST

I think we all understand that you took a combination approach, by both hurling unfounded invective at them in the form of "functionally illiterate".

Both that and what?

I must also confess, at this point in time, that I doubt you truly grasp the meaning of that term because you used it in a context for which it is highly inappropriate.

Bzzzt. Missed. Try again.

Faulty logic, if that is truly what this is a case of, does not make on incapable of comprehension during reading. From the outside however this appears to be a fundamental difference of opinion.

s/on/one/

I seem not to be able to shake off the suspicion that attributing to a post specific content that it clearly doesn't have is faulty reading, not fault logic, despite your smooth presentation here.

And as to your final attack on my use of you as justification for avoiding graduate studies, it's simple. I look at the general populace of K5 [...]

Very representative sample, right?

--em
[ Parent ]

No subject (none / 0) (#72)
by Miniluv on Mon Feb 19, 2001 at 02:27:32 AM EST

I seem not to be able to shake off the suspicion that attributing to a post specific content that it clearly doesn't have is faulty reading, not fault logic, despite your smooth presentation here.
What I'm saying is that your arguments were not taken down the same logical path you were following, but they were taken down a relatively viable path. He wasn't putting words in your mouth that you did anything to prevent people from interpreting to be there. I don't think, from reading the two posts back to back several times, that they failed to comprehend what you said. Instead the comment was read, logical processing was performed and then a reply posted. The logical processing applied, as is painfully obvious at this point, was not anything similar to yours.

The point I'm trying to make is that functionally illiterate was an inaccurate term to use. Couple that with the towering arrogance your post exhibited, and your continuing responses still exhibit, and it becomes really quite pathetic.

Very representative sample, right?
Honestly, you'd be surprised at the diversity actually represented here. Especially in terms of education levels. I'm not saying we're a culturally diverse group, or diverse in terms of socio-economic situations, though there's more diversity than that comment would imply. Instead if you consider that we have fairly distinct groups posting from fairly distinct levels of education and life experience. There have been very notable situations where people reacted as one would expect if you differentiated people along the class lines education draws.

"Its like someone opened my mouth and stuck a fistful of herbs in it." - Tamio Kageyama, Iron Chef 'Battle Eggplant'
[ Parent ]
Huh? (none / 0) (#168)
by donky on Mon Feb 19, 2001 at 05:53:23 PM EST

You know, if I actually understood what you were going on about, I would post something about how it looks like you're just posing for the rest of us. But maybe I am not a grad student or something and not as intelligent and eduficated like you, so I'm going to ignorantly post this anyway even though I'm not actually really saying anything - which happens to say more to me than all your posts - so maybe I am saying something.

Even if it is just that I have no idea what you are talking about.



[ Parent ]
Re: You seem to be functionally illiterate. (3.66 / 3) (#43)
by Jin Wicked on Sun Feb 18, 2001 at 08:22:04 PM EST

Ok, I've finally stopped laughing at your ridiculous strawmen arguments. Let's answer. Oh, yeah, BTW, by the time I'm done, you'll wish you'd never written your post.

No, I stand by what I've written (maybe not in such an inflammatory manner, though). My post was a response to your message as well as a large number of other posts I saw that expressed similar feelings.

I challenge you to find in any post I've *ever* posted ever a condemnation of drug usage, and support of persecution of drug users. Anywhere. Words that either literally say that, or from which it logically follows (BTW, I've studied logic at a graduate level, so don't try to pull a fast one). Again, I challenge you to find some place where I've ever said that drug users are not victimized by the authorities.

I'm not arguing with your personal beliefs specifically, I'm defending this article and your attempt to discredit it and/or get it modded down into oblivion. The author has raised a very real, and very signifigant issue that many people are loathe to discuss, and I saw a heavily mounting opinion against it, which I cannot, in good conscience, allow to go unrebuked.

Eh, as several pointed out, a good number of states have anti-sodomy laws.

As I have pointed out, where there are anti-sodomy laws, they are seldom, if ever, enforced, and enforcing them would only result in mass media coverage and large lawsuits against those trying to do the arresting. Homosexuality is currently protected by media (as well as a variety of anti-discrimination laws), and thus, general public opinion that discrimination is wrong, however drug users are afforded no such protections. Public brutality of homosexuals, homophobia, and related discrimination are very real issues, worth discussing, but that does not mean that drug use isn't, or that one is necessarily more important and deserves more attention than another. Both are unconstitutional, that is enough.

If you're a drug user, you risk violence mostly from the authorities. If you're homosexual, your risk violence both from most people in our society and the authorities. Homosexuals get verbally and physically attacked just for being who they are. And the cops are particularly nasty towards homosexuals.

Just because homosexuals have it worse than drug users, that does not mean that no attention should be directed to the fact that drug users are being discriminated against and abused as well. They are both legitimate concerns. I'm sure that the cops are very nasty to "those goddamn druggies" as well as "those goddamn homos." Neither should be happening to begin with. The problem this author has is that many minority activist groups care only for their own members, and fail to acknowledge the more base issue that NO ONE should be having their rights taken away to begin with. In this respect, the discrimination casual drug users get is very similar to what homosexuals have to/had to endure at various points. They are being denied a basic right -- the right to do with their body as they please. Maybe you can't help being homosexual, but it is a choice to act on it and commit sodomy. Maybe you enjoy doing a specific drug. Well, you can't help your tastes. Some people like sports, some people like coffee, some people like drugs. All three offer some sort of stimulation. And I think it's generally agreeable that what someone enjoys varies widely from person to person. So it's arguable that you can't help that you like a drug. It's still a choice to act on it. There are people that behave responsibly and irresponsibly in both groups. Neither should have to choose between what they like and the possibility of being thrown in jail.

And how do you think homosexuals are treated in prisons, both by the inmates and the guards, compared to heterosexuals?

From what I hear, everyone gets treated pretty harshly no matter what you are, and that a large portion of prison members have "homosexual relations" to begin with because of the obvious absence of the opposite gender. I think it would be best to try and keep people out of prison to begin with, which is my goal here.

I recommend you make a side-by-side comparison of both religious anti-gay and anti-drug propaganda. How many times have you heard drug users called the spawn of satan?

Again, because one may occur more frequently than the other, it doesn't make it any less wrong, nor does it doesn't make right to favour one group's dilemma over another. Nor does it mean the other never happened. Many believe drugs were created by the devil himself, or so I've heard.

Get a grip. Drug usage is widespread among all social classes in the US. The rich and famous take a lot of cocaine, with very little stigma to it. In high school and college, a sizeable portion of students, if not most, see pot smoking as completely normal. The junkie segment is a fairly small segment of the drug using public.

So explain to me why it's still illegal. I think all that anyone wants here is just to be able to do what you choose in peace. They don't want special priveledges, government money, or anything else. Just basic freedom to do with their body as they choose.

What the fuck do you know about me, anyway? I am a nick and text to you. Whatever experience I relate to you could be completely ficticious, for that matter. All you see me writing here could as well be an experiment in character development, for what you know.

Then, by all means, tell me honestly you've used them and prove my hypothesis wrong. I once held your opinion. Today I don't. There is a reason for that. And it was just as hard for me to accept as I'm sure it is for most people. I am speaking from experience. While you may be only a study in character, and your experience purely fictional, mine is very real, and I am a very real person affected by very real issues.

In any case, yes, sexuality is central to everybody's life, in some way or another. Drugs aren't-- plenty of people don't use them. And most drug users don't go with your "SPIRITUAL and RELIGIOUS experience" thing-- for most people, drugs just are a high.

Then punish the ones that abuse it, and let people who don't do what they like. There is no reason anyone whom this does mean that much to has to miss out because others can [and will] behave irresponsibly.

You are a functionally illiterate pamphlet-wielding propaganda idiot. You have difficulty distinguishing what people actually say from the attitudes, fears and beliefs that your petty self-centered egocentric ass projects on them. Your post says far much more about you than it does about me.

I apologize for the inflammatory nature and admit that I got overly worked up and could have responded in a more objective manner. This is an important issue to me. You also made me mad, which is something that very, very rarely happens to me, and is rather intoxicating when it happens, and so I tend to get over zealous. I would say that it was your article in combination with the other overwhelmingly negative comments and dismissive comments that I read that got me so worked up.

You also obviously don't know shit about what homosexuals have to endure. And, you're a self-important spoiled brat that thinks that he and his problems are the center of the universe, and that to point out that other people suffer from much graver problems is to deny that *your* problem exists.

First of all, I am female, not male. As a female, a [misunderstood] artist, as someone who has been abused, as someone who has suffered stereotypes, as someone who has been accused of being a devil-worshipper, as someone who lives in a very conservative part of the continent where my type is generally not welcome, as someone with very controversial views, as someone who likes to do things outside the orthodox way sometimes, I have had to endure plenty. And I can greatly sympathize with the things that homosexuals surely have to endure. Please do not make assumptions about me in the same post where you blast me for doing just that about you. I became upset with the responses to this article because it seemed to me that you and other people are willing to just ignore the things that casual drug users have to endure because a few people make bad choices -- just like a few homosexuals who had indiscriminate unprotected sex at some point in the past have given alot of them a bad reputation, in regards to AIDs, etc.

to say that they feel they are "every bit as much a victim" as the people they killed.

I'm not killing anyone, nor would I ever, and I never stated that I wished anyone harm. In fact, all my opinions express just the opposite.

This article is a mild case of that; homosexuals very simply have to undergo much more problems than drug users, but, oh, no, "I'm a stoner, I'm oppressed, I suffer every bit just as much as gays do".

I'm not sure the author of this article wants anyone to feel sorry for him. I, as a general rule, don't approve of these groups that seem to only want pity. I think he wants casual drug users to be acknowledged as a legitimate minority with rights, so that actions can be taken to move towards legalization. I do think he could have been more clear about his desires and goals in the article, but I don't think that takes any weight from the points I have raised.


This post was probably not written by the real Jin Wicked. Please see user "butter pie" for Jin's actual posts.


[ Parent ]
rhetorical footwork (3.66 / 3) (#55)
by Estanislao Martínez on Sun Feb 18, 2001 at 10:19:14 PM EST

I stand by what I've written (maybe not in such an inflammatory manner, though). My post was a response to your message as well as a large number of other posts I saw that expressed similar feelings.

I don't find very convincing your after-the-fact claims that, while you plainly said what you said and addressed to who you addressed it, it wasn't *really* that what you said and it wasn't *really* addressed to who it was addressed.

You quoted *my* words, addressed your post to *me*, set the flamethrower on full, and now you want to defend yourself by pointing at what you take *other* people to have said, but which *I* never did? Grand.

I'm not arguing with your personal beliefs specifically

Let's see what you said:

Just because YOU don't use or like drugs isn't an excuse to infringe on MY rights, because it doesn't affect you.

I advise you to stop making assumptions based on your own ignorance of the subject at hand.

If he is a spoiled brat, then you are a

Why don't you THINK before posting a knee-jerk reaction next time, mmm'kay?

Here you've presupposed that
  • I don't like drugs
  • I believe that I can dictate what is right for others
  • I am ignorant about drugs
with no justification. (Oh, wait, there *is* a justification, which is that *other* posters are like that, right?) Then you argue agains those things you attribute to me. And in addition, you've strongly implied that I'm a "close-minded jackass who does nothing but parrot off all the programming you got in school and from the media and guv'ment."

But of course, your post "was a response to your message as well as a large number of other posts I saw that expressed similar feelings", so this was not really addressed to me, right?

Just because homosexuals have it worse than drug users, that does not mean that no attention should be directed to the fact that drug users are being discriminated against and abused as well.

Yes. So? Is this a renewed attempt at mounting a strawman argument? I don't recall writing a sentence saying that "no attention should be directed to the fact that drug users are being discriminated against and abused as well".

I'm sure that the cops are very nasty to "those goddamn druggies" as well as "those goddamn homos."

But is the class of people who the term "those goddam druggies" brings to mind coextensive to that of drug users? Is the CEO of a Silicon Valley firm that does coke at parties ever referred to as "that goddamn druggy"?

The heart of the matter is simple: to what extent is the drug war part of the class war? To what extent is discrimination against homosexuals part of this? I would argue that the discrimination of homosexuals is not to any large degree linked to the class war, and that the problems homosexuals face cut across class to a much higher degree than those which drug users face.

--em
[ Parent ]

A minor point... (none / 0) (#166)
by Happy Monkey on Mon Feb 19, 2001 at 05:41:11 PM EST

But is the class of people who the term "those goddam druggies" brings to mind coextensive to that of drug users? Is the CEO of a Silicon Valley firm that does coke at parties ever referred to as "that goddamn druggy"?

Isn't this true of homosexuals, too? Last I heard, they didn't all live according to a stereotype.
___
Length 17, Width 3
[ Parent ]

Oh, and I should have mentioned... (3.00 / 8) (#31)
by Estanislao Martínez on Sun Feb 18, 2001 at 06:57:55 PM EST

...that your posting this reply to my editorial comment below as a top level post only further supports what I've said about your egocentric character. You couldn't just write your reply under the thread I started, no, you had to put it up front, top-level, for everybody to see, "how come this brainwashed "jack-ass" even *dares* to say that homosexuals in general suffer more persecution than drug users.

Hehehe... this is *soo* much fun... idiots like is you are the whole reason I got into trolling in the first place...

--em
[ Parent ]

Yeah, right. (3.50 / 2) (#45)
by Jin Wicked on Sun Feb 18, 2001 at 08:38:22 PM EST

I responded to it as a seperate post because you can't change a reply from an editorial comment to a topical comment, and when/if this article came out of the queue and got posted, all the time I spent writing that would have been wasted because it would have disappeared. (In case you didn't notice, at that point, all the editorial comments go away.) That is the only reason.


This post was probably not written by the real Jin Wicked. Please see user "butter pie" for Jin's actual posts.


[ Parent ]
That's funny... (none / 0) (#70)
by dice on Mon Feb 19, 2001 at 02:14:26 AM EST

That's funny, I can see editorial comments even now, after the story's been posted. Maybe you need to check your options more carefully.

[ Parent ]
Thinking ... (3.50 / 2) (#219)
by aphrael on Tue Feb 20, 2001 at 02:41:06 AM EST

if someone can't help being homosexual, it's wrong to discriminate against or persecute him for it, but if he chooses to voluntarily use a substance that he is doing RESPONSIBLY and that HURTS NO ONE ELSE, it's ok to go after him a treat him poorly?

Of course it's less fair and less reasonable to go after someone for something which is innate than something which is voluntary. That seems pretty fundamental.

At least homosexuals don't get thrown in prison for having sex with a member of the same gender

Depends on the state. The SCOTUS said in 1986 that laws banning homosexual activity were not unconstitutional.

Let's stop punishing people that aren't hurting anyone else, and just go after the people that are really causing the problems

Agreed. Drug laws are stupid. Anti-sodomy laws are stupid. Anti-skateboarding laws are stupid. Some days it seems like the whole political culture of the country is stupid.

[ Parent ]
addictive? (3.52 / 19) (#34)
by lb on Sun Feb 18, 2001 at 07:20:43 PM EST

and it is not physically addictive
...then...
...I am one of the targets of the United States Government's $37 billion dollar a year witch hunt. I am forced to live my life in secrecy...I am forced to buy my drugs on the black market where I pay outrageously inflated prices and constantly run the risk of getting sick or dying from a contaminated product. ....and being thrown in jail for voluntarily putting a substance into my own body.
You claim pot is not addictive physically. Many claim it is not even addictive mentally. If this is so, why are you putting yourself at such risk for something that you claim only "helps [you] open [your] mind to new possibilities" and is "relaxing and soothing." Those are not properties that are unique to recreational drugs.

There are plenty of other things with one or both of those qualities. Why are you choosing the one that puts you at such risk if your decision isn't influenced by some form of mental or physical addiction?

Don't get me wrong, I think people should be able to do what they want to their bodies, but I think they need to be realistic about why they are doing it. I have known several people that have required help to recover from addiction to marijuana. It's not impossible, in fact it's not even unlikely.

And before any of you hop in and say "yes, that may be so, but **I'M** not addicted," I want you to know that all the drug addicts I've ever known have said the exact same thing.

Thank you.

-lb

Specious arguement (4.60 / 5) (#41)
by greenplato on Sun Feb 18, 2001 at 08:05:57 PM EST

In the spirit of DJBongHit's article, let's turn the table on that argument...

and it is not physically addictive
...then...
...I am one of the targets of the United States Government's $37 billion dollar a year witch hunt. I am forced to live my life in secrecy...I am forced to buy my personal lubricant on the black market where I pay outrageously inflated prices and constantly run the risk of getting sick or dying from a contaminated product. ....and being thrown in jail for voluntarily putting a penis into my own body.

You claim homosexual love is not addictive physically. Many claim it is not even addictive mentally. If this is so, why are you putting yourself at such risk for something that you claim only "helps [you] open [your] mind to new possibilities" and is "relaxing and soothing." Those are not properties that are unique to homosexual activities.

There are plenty of other things with one or both of those qualities. Why are you choosing the one that puts you at such risk if your decision isn't influenced by some form of mental or physical addiction?

Don't get me wrong, I think people should be able to do what they want to their bodies, but I think they need to be realistic about why they are doing it. I have known several people that have required help to recover from addiction to S&M bars. It's not impossible, in fact it's not even unlikely.

And before any of you hop in and say "yes, that may be so, but **I'M** not gay," I want you to know that all the homosexuals I've ever known have said the exact same thing.

What if your state or nation decided to inforce existing anti-sodomy laws, both through propaganda and military style interdiction efforts? Should the homosexuals mind? I hope not, they are doing something illegal after all.

[ Parent ]

completely unrelated (1.00 / 1) (#82)
by lb on Mon Feb 19, 2001 at 04:10:42 AM EST

As dozens of people have already posted, comparing the choice to abuse drugs to homosexuality is a horrible analogy, and offensive. It reminds me of some other article where someone presumed to compare being a geek to being a persecuted minority. Please come up with a better example, then paraphrase my post. Then we can talk.

[ Parent ]
oh boy... (2.00 / 3) (#51)
by A5triX on Sun Feb 18, 2001 at 09:52:53 PM EST

hehe that was a strange response to the comments above. anyway, moving right along!

I have first hand experience of marijuana addiction. So anybody, anywhere who says it is not mentally addictive is completley full of it! It may not be physically addictive, but it just about ruined my life. I know i'm sure i'm just the 'exception', but think about it you know i'm not. Pot robs you of ambition, and can lead to serious depression.

There are yes indeed, many people who can handle the drug responsibly. I applaud you. Anyone who uses the drug everyday has problems and should seek treatment. Just my opinion.
Brendon M. Maragia
[ Parent ]

True, but... (4.00 / 1) (#57)
by CyberQuog on Sun Feb 18, 2001 at 11:19:00 PM EST

Anything can be abused in the way marijuana can. It's when you start to use marijuana everytime you have a problem, and you never actually face the problem, you just smoke a bowel that it starts getting harmful. Anything can be used this way though, if you avoid your problems through role playing games (to use an example), this could be just as harmful to you.

It's not the pot thats evil, there are probably deeper issues going on if you get so "addicted" to weed that you need it to mentally function right.


-...-
[ Parent ]
Addictiveness of marijuana (3.00 / 4) (#52)
by DJBongHit on Sun Feb 18, 2001 at 09:54:38 PM EST

You claim pot is not addictive physically. Many claim it is not even addictive mentally. If this is so, why are you putting yourself at such risk for something that you claim only "helps [you] open [your] mind to new possibilities" and is "relaxing and soothing." Those are not properties that are unique to recreational drugs.
Because I love pot. I love what it does for me, and I disagree with the fact that it's illegal. I'm not going to stop doing something that I enjoy simply because the US Government says I can't do it - I'm not bothering anybody when I smoke weed, so why shouldn't I be allowed to do it?

Don't get me wrong, I think people should be able to do what they want to their bodies, but I think they need to be realistic about why they are doing it. I have known several people that have required help to recover from addiction to marijuana. It's not impossible, in fact it's not even unlikely.
It is absolutely not physically addictive. I'm addicted to nicotine, and THAT is a physical addiction. When I run out of cigarettes, I immediately go out and buy another pack. When I have no money, I spend as long as it takes scrounging around for spare change under the couch cushions or in my room until I have enough for a pack of cigarettes. I hate flying, because after going for 2 hours without a cigarette I get shaky and nervous and irritable. THAT is an addiction.

When I run out of pot, I complain about it for a few hours then forget about it as soon as I get absorbed in something, like programming. I don't go out of my way to try to get another sack. When I have the money for it, I start calling around trying to find some.

Anyway, nobody is denying that pot can be psychologically addictive - of course it can. But so can anything - food, gambling, sex, you name it, if people like doing something, they can get addicted to it. But the fact that some people have a problem with something is no reason to make it illegal.

~DJBongHit

--
GNU GPL: Free as in herpes.

[ Parent ]
let's look at definitions (3.00 / 1) (#74)
by Rainy on Mon Feb 19, 2001 at 02:54:31 AM EST

What does it mean to be physiologically addicted? Roughly, it means that the stuff doesn't have as much effect as you keep taking it and keeps making 'weaker' impression on you, and at the same time it punishes you when you try to get off.
As far as I understand, nearly nobody is denying that pot is not physiologically addictive, or at least much less so than say nicotine or alcohol.
What is a 'mental addiction', then? This term is misleading since it's not an official term with an official definition like the one above. It's simply a fancy name for saying 'I like it more than I should.'. It can be applied to eating too much, watching too much tv, et cetera. You may argue that while in essence being 'mentally' addicted to pot is very similar to say eating far too much and as a result getting to be 150lb heavier than normal weight for your build, but so what - it's easy to outlaw weed but it's simply not realistic to limit food consumption in this free society. And that's a good argument, and it may even be true - but I sincerely believe that when it comes to 'mental addictions', you simply can't come up to someone and say, I know you like it, but we here believe that you're better off not doing it. We know you aren't hurting anyone but we know what's best for you and you don't. Follow this line of thought to its logical end and you'll see that it ends in slavery.
--
Rainy "Collect all zero" Day
[ Parent ]
'Traffic' Meets the Parking Lot (4.20 / 10) (#46)
by quam on Sun Feb 18, 2001 at 09:08:38 PM EST

I saw 'Traffic' last night and, like many others, I had a good impression of it once I stepped outside of the theater. The movie clearly demonstrated it is a war which cannot be won. Then, while leaving the movie and walking to the car, a group of teenagers lit up...the scent of distant pine quickly changed to the scent of pot (I saw at least four lit). After viewing a well performed movie with well raised arguments, my opinions were now, in just a minute, dramatically influenced towards a bullish or hawkish attitude. Even more so when we got into the car and began to drive off; the group of about five teenagers screamed at us as we drove off --- flicking us off and throwing all kinds of crap including liquor bottles.

We did nothing to provoke them. It was my girl friend (who was driving) and I. We wore jeans and sandals; we drove a car far less impressive than their's. We did not even look their way. Ironically, the same group of teens, around 16 years old, also saw 'Traffic.' Based on their activities, it is highly probable their impressions of the movie were very different than my initial one.

For a moment, I objectively considered the issues raised by 'Traffic' and saw the positions of others. I agree, the activities engaged by an individual in private should remain private. I also strongly oppose government involvement or influence of personal lives. But, I am convinced that people who use or are on drugs in public need to be removed from society and punished as much as people driving around drunk or intoxicated in public because they affect the personal space, well being and safety of others. If you disagree, are you convinced the same group of teens would have altered their behaviors towards my girl friend and I if we had a child with us? If you continue to disagree, would your position change if your child was harmed by the group?

Regarding the comparison of drug use with homosexuality, I see drug use, many times, potentially physically threatening to others while I do not see homosexual activites at all threatening.

sigh and argh; this is not a perfect world.

-- U.S. Patent 5443036 concerns a device for encouraging a cat to exercise by chasing a light spot.
but those things are illegal (4.00 / 2) (#47)
by suntzu on Sun Feb 18, 2001 at 09:38:19 PM EST

keep in mind that that sort of harassment is already outlawed. and those kids would've been much more likely to do that sort of thing on the completely legal drug alcohol. i know, i've witnessed a lot of first hand use of both drugs. and both can be used w/o that type of behavior. so the problem isn't inherent in the drug. you said they dorve a car significantly nicer than yours. maybe they were the typical spoiled suburbanites. i went to a high school full of those types of kids, and i can say that that background can tend to create more of those types of people. would you then outlaw being a spoiled suburbanite? didn't think so. maybe you should've stuck with your original objective viewpoint. you've pretty much proven why that sort of analysis is better than clouding things with fresh emotions.

[ Parent ]
Well... (4.25 / 8) (#49)
by DJBongHit on Sun Feb 18, 2001 at 09:44:05 PM EST

After viewing a well performed movie with well raised arguments, my opinions were now, in just a minute, dramatically influenced towards a bullish or hawkish attitude. Even more so when we got into the car and began to drive off; the group of about five teenagers screamed at us as we drove off --- flicking us off and throwing all kinds of crap including liquor bottles.


Well, let's be honest here - pot doesn't encourage behavior like that, alcohol does. I got extremely stoned last night, and what did I do? I wrote this article. Those teenagers were obviously being beligerant and rude, but did the pot have anything to do with it? Maybe a bit, but I'm sure they were looking for trouble to begin with.
But, I am convinced that people who use or are on drugs in public need to be removed from society and punished as much as people driving around drunk or intoxicated in public because they affect the personal space, well being and safety of others.
You probably interact with people who are stoned all the time, you just may not realize it. People who are on drugs and causing problems (like the teenagers harrassing you and throwing stuff at you) should be punished for that behavior, not for the act of using drugs.

~DJBongHit

--
GNU GPL: Free as in herpes.

[ Parent ]
don't (3.00 / 1) (#182)
by jeanlucpikachu on Mon Feb 19, 2001 at 09:39:17 PM EST

bring children into it. There's no point. Are you saying children are more important than other groups of human beings? Are you discriminating against non-children? Ai yi yi...

In any case, public disorderly conduct should be punished by extreme physical pain. With or without drug involvement, there's absolutely no reason for anyone to be rude in public.

--
Peace,
Capt. Jean-Luc Pikachu AIM: jeanlucpikachu
[ Parent ]
"420" (now that's irony...) (4.00 / 1) (#307)
by suntzu on Wed Feb 21, 2001 at 06:17:37 PM EST

at the time i'm reading this comment (2-21-01, 3:21 pm) the rating on this anti pot comment is 4.20. now that's irony.

[ Parent ]
Preach It! (3.33 / 9) (#50)
by A5triX on Sun Feb 18, 2001 at 09:44:37 PM EST

Amen brother! I've been a closet LSD user for 3 years. I am NOT a drug abuser. LSD has changed my outlook on life in many positive ways. It has given me a different perception of reality others who have not used it can never hope to percieve. Users NOT abusers, need to band togethor with other minority groups and crush the facism and idiocy of the american drug witch hunt. How many lives could be saved? Put the drug abusers in re-hab, give me a safe place to purchase and use illicit narcotics!

 

-- "The bus came by, and I got on, thats when it all began"
Brendon M. Maragia
MMMMMMmmmm (1.00 / 3) (#90)
by retinaburn on Mon Feb 19, 2001 at 07:03:04 AM EST

Nothing like the smell of fried brain in the morning.

I think that we are a young species that often fucks with things we don't know how to unfuck. -- Tycho


[ Parent ]
watch where you point that there finger, boy (2.00 / 2) (#197)
by r00r on Mon Feb 19, 2001 at 11:47:53 PM EST

do you ever watch TV?

that shit fries your brain.

[ Parent ]

This just irks me... (4.06 / 15) (#63)
by CrayDrygu on Mon Feb 19, 2001 at 12:43:51 AM EST

I'm going to get this out of the way first thing, so there's no doubt as to where I'm coming from: I'm a homosexual. There.

So now that that's out of the way, here's my thoughts upon reading this. I sympathize with you to a degree, and frankly I wouldn't mind seeing marajuana legalized (though on the other hand, you won't see me pushing for it to happen, either), but...where do you get off comparing drug use to homosexuality?

You attempt to explain this, but you fail to convince me of anything. You're right, homosexuality was once considered to be a personal choice, and by some it still is. That doesn't mean they were right -- it was no more of a choice then than it is now. However, you say this as if to say, "if they were wrong about homosexuality being a choice, maybe they're wrong about drug use being a choice." And this might work if you then came out and said so, but you actually admit later on that it is fully voluntary. The fact is, if you had never been introduced to marijuana, you would most likely be living a perfectly good life without it.

You chose to smoke marijuana, you choose to continue smoking it, and since you insist that it's not at all addictive, it follows that you could easily choose to stop at any time. On the other hand, I didn't choose men over women, I don't really have a choice in continuing it, and I'll be this way for the rest of my life, whether I like it or not.

So in short, as much as I support (or at least don't really care about) your drug use, you're not going to get any sympathy from me by saying "See, I'm just like you!" Not only are you clearly not like me, but you don't even try to offer any evidence that you are.

Personal choice (3.20 / 5) (#65)
by DJBongHit on Mon Feb 19, 2001 at 01:11:53 AM EST

You're right, homosexuality was once considered to be a personal choice, and by some it still is. That doesn't mean they were right -- it was no more of a choice then than it is now. However, you say this as if to say, "if they were wrong about homosexuality being a choice, maybe they're wrong about drug use being a choice." And this might work if you then came out and said so, but you actually admit later on that it is fully voluntary.
Pot smoking is fully voluntarily, yes. But so is homosexual sex. I believe that there's a reason that homosexuals are homosexual, and it's not a personal choice, but it is a personal choice for them to act on it. Likewise, when I started using marijuana and LSD I was introduced to a different way of looking at the world. I felt drawn to the exploration of my mind through psychedelic drugs. This preference is not a choice. However, acting on it is, so I fail to see how this is different from being a homosexual, except the fact that I have the only entity in the country with the legal authority to use force spending huge amounts of money trying to keep people like me from doing what we like.

The fact is, if you had never been introduced to marijuana, you would most likely be living a perfectly good life without it.
This is a good point, and I don't know the answer to that. My first experiences with marijuana obviously introduced me to the experience, which I wasn't familiar with beforehand. I have, however, always had an interest in altered consciousness - I chose to write a paper on LSD in high school for my psychology class before I had ever tried the stuff, or ever smoked weed, or even ever had alcohol. So I believe it is an ingrained thing, not a personal choice.

~DJBongHit

--
GNU GPL: Free as in herpes.

[ Parent ]
And another thing! =) (4.00 / 9) (#77)
by CrayDrygu on Mon Feb 19, 2001 at 03:24:58 AM EST

"Pot smoking is fully voluntarily, yes. But so is homosexual sex."

That's another thing that bothers me. Okay, yes, homosexual sex is a choice, just (only) as much as "straight" sex is. Getting into a homosexual relationship is a choice, just like getting into a heterosexual one is.

But there's no expectation of heterosexual people to be celibate beyond a certain age, various religious beliefs aside. So why is there this...double-standard, almost? This sort of implication that sex is somehow easier for us to choose against, or that we should choose against it. I almost never see people come right out and say that, but it always seems to be the suggestion behind this line. Like a last-ditch effort to prove there's some sort of choice there... "Okay, so you didn't choose to be gay, but...um...uh...aha! You chose to have sex! So there!"

"However, acting on it is, so I fail to see how this is different from being a homosexual"

It is different because of one very short, very simple, very fundamental reason, one that probably helps explain my mini-rant above as well:

If you choose not to smoke pot, you are not a drug user. If I choose not to have sex with other men, if I'm celibate my entire life, or even if I choose to have sex with women instead, I am still a homosexual.

And that is perhaps the most fundamental reason why you and I are not the same. I only wish this had come to me earlier so it could be in my top-level comment where everyone could see it...

[ Parent ]

Oh, come on now... (3.66 / 3) (#81)
by DJBongHit on Mon Feb 19, 2001 at 04:03:30 AM EST

I'm not saying that you and I are the same. I'm saying that drug users are in relatively the same position that homosexuals used to be, in that we are expected to either not do any drugs, or only do Government-approved drugs. Homosexuals were, for a long time, expected to resist their urges and either not have sex at all or have sex with women. I'm not saying that we are the same.

If you choose not to smoke pot, you are not a drug user. If I choose not to have sex with other men, if I'm celibate my entire life, or even if I choose to have sex with women instead, I am still a homosexual.
Yeah, if I chose not to smoke pot, I wouldn't be a drug user. But why should I be forced to make that choice? Pot and LSD have been the most influential forces in my life during recent years - should I be forced to give that up because other people think it's wrong?

~DJBongHit

--
GNU GPL: Free as in herpes.

[ Parent ]
Influences (2.66 / 3) (#108)
by wiredog on Mon Feb 19, 2001 at 10:11:28 AM EST

Pot and LSD have been the most influential forces in my life during recent years

Man, you need to get a life. Pot and LSD are more influential than your SO? Your family? Your friends? Wait a minute, sounds like me and booze before I joined AA.

The idea of a global village is wrong, it's more like a gazillion pub bars.
Phage
[ Parent ]

Look (2.00 / 1) (#121)
by DJBongHit on Mon Feb 19, 2001 at 11:05:38 AM EST

Look, no need to take that tone... flamewars suck. Can we please try to keep the discussion cool and collected?

Pot and LSD are more influential than your SO?
I'm single at the moment. But my last girlfriend was fairly influential on my life at the time, but not in the long run. I haven't done LSD in more than 2 years, but the changes in my outlook have persisted. It made me more emotionally healthy (before I did LSD I repressed all my emotions, which was very hard on my relationships with my girlfriend and my parents. LSD changed all that, and I've never had a better relationship with my family, and I realized that the girl I was with simply wasn't the girl for me). It also let me sort out my priorities in life - before LSD my main priorities in life were basically to have fun and party all the time.

Your family?
Like I said, before I did LSD my relationship with my family was strained, at best. Now it's much better, because LSD made me realize that the petty arguments I got into with my parents simply weren't worth it.

Your friends?
My friends are important to me - and they share my taste in drugs. I also have friends who don't share my taste in drugs, but my drug use doesn't come in the way of our friendships.

Wait a minute, sounds like me and booze before I joined AA.
Yeah. There's a reason I don't drink.

~DJBongHit

--
GNU GPL: Free as in herpes.

[ Parent ]
Look again (2.00 / 2) (#131)
by wiredog on Mon Feb 19, 2001 at 12:28:23 PM EST

You said "Pot and LSD have been the most influential forces in my life during recent years". Most influential. If they were not the most influential, perhaps you shouldn't say they were? Believe me, I know what it's like when drugs are the most influential thing in your life, and it's not good.

The idea of a global village is wrong, it's more like a gazillion pub bars.
Phage
[ Parent ]

And Again (2.50 / 2) (#173)
by cobain on Mon Feb 19, 2001 at 07:22:13 PM EST

You said "Pot and LSD have been the most influential forces in my life during recent years". Most influential. If they were not the most influential, perhaps you shouldn't say they were? Believe me, I know what it's like when drugs are the most influential thing in your life, and it's not good.
Being influential and controling are two completely different things, me being BongHit's sidekick and all I'm going to have to interject. When he states that they are "influential" he means that they have had some good impacts on his life, unlike alcohol which inhibts your actions and thoughts, marijuana, lsd, and most of the other psychedelics for that matter allow you to view your life in a different perspective, they open your mind up to new ways of thinking, allowing you to help yourself out.

So to sum all that up, alcohol controls, psychedelics influence. What DJ is talking about by influencing is not them controling him, but them helping him.

[ Parent ]
an AA truism (5.00 / 3) (#100)
by anonymous cowerd on Mon Feb 19, 2001 at 09:29:20 AM EST

If you choose not to smoke pot, you are not a drug user. If I choose not to have sex with other men, if I'm celibate my entire life, or even if I choose to have sex with women instead, I am still a homosexual.

It's an AA truism, take it for what you will, that a "drug addict" is still an addict even decades after he swears off actually using the drug.

Anyway, it's not binary but instead a matter of degree, and it varies from person to person. I have personally known a couple of people who were quite hopelessly addicted to drugs - in the one case, opiates, in the other, alcohol. They're both dead. Whenever the alcoholic guy had had exactly one drink, it was absolutely guaranteed that from that moment onward he would stop eating food and he wouldn't stop drinking, from fewer than two minutes after he got out of bed to only moments before he crawled back in to bed, for weeks on end until he underwent epileptic convulsions amidst delirium tremens and had to be transported to the hospital in an ambulance. This happened at least once a year for decades until it finally killed him.

I'm a fairly horny guy, I guess, but his drug compulsion was far stronger than I can conceive my sexual compulsion ever to be. Leave aside the fact that my sexual drive never got me into trouble like his drive to drink did him - after all it is possible I suppose, say, for someone more compulsive than I to contract AIDS from obsessive promiscuity (het, homo or both) or even worse to rape someone and end up in jail. The fact remains that it would be far easier, I think, for me to resign myself to celibacy for years and years, and I'd bet it would be easier for you too, than it was for this poor bastard to stay away from the bottle for as long.

What I'm saying is, it appears to me by his behavior over a lifetime, that he was more essentially a drunk than you are a homosexual.

As far as I can see the link that was the subject of the article, the point of similarity between your sexual preference and DJBongHit's preference in smoking material, is just that gays and potsmokers suffer a similarly radically overly-violent opposition from society, or rather from that small-minded and self-righteous fraction of society that in the U.S.A. styles itself "conservative." The obvious problem is, that opposition is a thousand times greater than sane judgment would allow.

Society applies various degrees of compulsion in response to individuals's various acts. We put armed robbers behind bars. Very well, considering the grossly antisocial nature of armed robbery, that seems reasonable. Society (well, the Tampa Police Department) fines parking meter violators $11. You can hardly say that that little fine is unjust, unreasonable, Draconian.

Now some people find both homosexuality and potsmoking distressingly distasteful. I wouldn't want to legislate tastes, this is their privilege, I suppose. But that they elevate their petty distastes to the level of widespread gay-bashing and universal corporate piss-testing, of "anti-sodomy" statutes and the hideous prison-stuffing "drug war," that is abominable. As we all know, society persecutes and abuses, both in and out of courtrooms, both gays and potsmokers as though they were freely abusable pariahs and real live dangerous criminals, which clearly they are not. There's DJBongHit's analogy, and that's all.

Yours WDK - WKiernan@concentric.net

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

Discrimination a misnomer? (4.63 / 22) (#64)
by protozoa on Mon Feb 19, 2001 at 12:51:48 AM EST

I'm a pot smoker and user of psychedelic drugs. I'm also queer and female. I've experienced negative stigma attached to drug users, and I've experienced discrimination, and they're different things.

I can decide whether or not I'm a pot smoker. It's a conscious choice. I also don't see it as something I am; it's just something I do. I can't even begin to compare the depth and breadth of my experience as a pot smoker to that of, say, a black man who deals with prejudice and discrimination in this society.

Certainly a lot of people carry around what I consider to be an unenlightened viewpoint when it comes to recreational or exploratory drug use. But can I really call their negativity discrimination in light of other aspects of the social climate I live in?

I'm opposed to drug testing; I don't even bother interviewing for jobs that require it. (The way I see it, I'm not going to let my boss search my car or my home, why would I let her search my urine?) That's a choice I make; I value my personal privacy more than I value money. If I had to, though, or if I wanted to, I could change my mind, give up the weed, take a pee test and land a job paying big bucks as a defense contractor.

However, I can't give up my status as a female and go apply for a job with the Navy SEALS, nor can I take for granted that I will earn the same amount of money as my male colleagues in any job I take. That's what discrimination is really all about.

I'm certainly not denying that there are folks out there with bad attitudes when it comes to potheads, nor am I saying that there should have to be a tradeoff at work. Consider, though, the disparities in income, health care and educational opportunities between whites and blacks, or between whites and latinos. Then we can talk about discrimination.

I also think we can gain more ground in both the short- and long-term future by looking at pothead stigma as a policy issue, and not a social issue. Frankly it's the government's attitude that has to change about my drug use, not my mom's. My mom can make her own value judgements about whether drugs are good or bad and she and I can deal with that accordingly through discourse. The government can take away my home and throw me in jail, do not pass go, do not collect $200.



I disagree with your argument (2.00 / 9) (#66)
by semis on Mon Feb 19, 2001 at 01:50:31 AM EST

I don't like the fact that it [alchohol] greatly increases your chances of doing something stupid, I don't like the way it makes me feel, and I don't like the fact that it's extremely easy to overdose or become addicted.

Ok, that's fair enough to not like the way it makes you feel. But as far as easy to get addicted? And overdosing? The worst you can do with alchohol is pass out, and need to have your stomach pumped, and feel ill for a few days. As for addiction, alchohol itself is not addictive - but for some the lifestyle of alchohol, coupled with depression or other personal problems can cause addiction.

Pot on the other hand, is PHYSICALLY addictive. You claim that you smoke on a daily basis for the last two years. That is a clear sign that you are addicted to pot, so I'm afraid you have contradicted yourself.

And as for LSD, if you take that on a regular basis you are really going to screw yourself. Large amounts of LSD can induce drug psychosis, give you flashbacks, and generally screw with your head. I know people who have smoked pot and tripped constantly for many years, and let me tell you that they are pretty f*cked up people.

Perhaps you are sensible with your habit and only take moderate amounts, but I think the proposition that alchohol is easy to overdose on and is addictive is completely proposterous when comparing it to pot and LSD.



Excuse me? (4.50 / 4) (#68)
by DJBongHit on Mon Feb 19, 2001 at 02:07:05 AM EST

You're clearly either misinformed on the effects of drugs, or you're trolling. I'll assume the former and clear up a few things.

But as far as easy to get addicted? And overdosing? The worst you can do with alchohol is pass out, and need to have your stomach pumped, and feel ill for a few days.
Excuse me? People die all the time as a result of overdosing on alcohol - it's very easy to drink yourself to death. Didn't you hear about that kid at MIT a few years back who joined a frat and promptly died of alcohol poisoning? And the only reason that was newsworthy was because it happened at a school like MIT - it happens all the time at college campuses across the nation.

As for addiction, alchohol itself is not addictive - but for some the lifestyle of alchohol, coupled with depression or other personal problems can cause addiction.
Alcohol is very addictive. It takes a long time for the addiction to develop, but once it does, it hits hard. Alcohol is one of the few drugs for which the physical withdrawal symptoms can easily kill you - heroin's can't. Sure, your chance of alcoholism is increased due to genetic and social factors, but those factors cause you to drink more and hence become dependant on it.

Pot on the other hand, is PHYSICALLY addictive. You claim that you smoke on a daily basis for the last two years. That is a clear sign that you are addicted to pot, so I'm afraid you have contradicted yourself.
Pot is not at all physically addictive. I've experienced physical addiction - as I mentioned in the article, I'm a cigarette smoker and very addicted to nicotine. I smoke pot every day because I enjoy it, not because I need it. 2 weeks ago I didn't smoke pot for more than a week, and I didn't have a single problem. If you'd read the article (which it doesn't really appear you've done), you'd see that I already addressed this - if I go 2 *hours* without a cigarette I get shaky and irritable. THAT is an addiction.

And nobody, in recorded history, has died as a result of a marijuana overdose. Only one person has died as a direct result of marijuana, and he was a big-time drug trafficker. A huge shipment of marijuana came loose and fell on him.

And as for LSD, if you take that on a regular basis you are really going to screw yourself. Large amounts of LSD can induce drug psychosis, give you flashbacks, and generally screw with your head. I know people who have smoked pot and tripped constantly for many years, and let me tell you that they are pretty f*cked up people.
Yes, LSD is a very dangerous drug if you're not careful with it. It's not a "party drug," and too many people tend to treat it like one. It's more of a spiritual and philosophical drug, and if you take it with that mindset and make sure you don't take too much, you won't have any problems.



~DJBongHit

--
GNU GPL: Free as in herpes.

[ Parent ]
Whoops (3.50 / 2) (#69)
by DJBongHit on Mon Feb 19, 2001 at 02:10:50 AM EST

Sorry, I made the reference to my nicotine addiction vs. marijuana addiction in this comment, not in the article.

~DJBongHit

--
GNU GPL: Free as in herpes.

[ Parent ]
denial (2.00 / 2) (#83)
by semis on Mon Feb 19, 2001 at 04:26:23 AM EST

Pot is not at all physically addictive... I smoke pot every day because I enjoy it, not because I need it. 2 weeks ago I didn't smoke pot for more than a week, and I didn't have a single problem.

I'm sorry but I honestly do not believe you. I have many friends who have smoked pot every day for lengthy periods of time (6 months - 4 years), and they all told me the same thing "I smoke because I enjoy it - I'm not addicted". They were completely addicted. Pot would be No. 1. on the agenda - first thing whenever they returned home. Now, the funny thing is that by this stage, when they coned they really didn't change much - they had built up tolerance to THC, and would have to have at least a few tightly packed buckets to even remotely become stoned - which in most cases they just fell asleep.

Now I ask you this - were they coning because they enjoyed the experience? - it certainly didn't change the way they behaved or acted. It is from this experience that I find it very difficult to believe you when you tell me that you aren't addicted.

[ Parent ]
"Denial" (5.00 / 1) (#86)
by DJBongHit on Mon Feb 19, 2001 at 04:59:27 AM EST

I'm sorry but I honestly do not believe you. I have many friends who have smoked pot every day for lengthy periods of time (6 months - 4 years), and they all told me the same thing "I smoke because I enjoy it - I'm not addicted". They were completely addicted. Pot would be No. 1. on the agenda - first thing whenever they returned home. Now, the funny thing is that by this stage, when they coned they really didn't change much - they had built up tolerance to THC, and would have to have at least a few tightly packed buckets to even remotely become stoned - which in most cases they just fell asleep.
Well, you don't have to believe me - doesn't matter to me either way. And there isn't really much to do to refute the "denial" claim. And I act fairly normal when I'm stoned, but I certainly don't *feel* normal (by the way, pot has a documented "reverse tolerance" effect in that many regular users, me included, need less to get high the longer they've been smoking. One bong hit and I'm toasted.) And smoking pot may be number one on my agenda when I get home if I don't have anything important to do - but is that a problem? For many people, number one on the agenda when they get home is to sit on the couch and watch TV.

Now I ask you this - were they coning because they enjoyed the experience? - it certainly didn't change the way they behaved or acted. It is from this experience that I find it very difficult to believe you when you tell me that you aren't addicted.
Just because they aren't acting different doesn't mean that they aren't feeling different - maybe they've just learned to control the effects.

As CrazyD pointed out in this comment, you have an error in your logic here - you assume that people smoke weed every day because they need to. Have you ever considered that we may smoke weed every day because we *want* to?

~DJBongHit

--
GNU GPL: Free as in herpes.

[ Parent ]
yes, but (3.00 / 1) (#89)
by semis on Mon Feb 19, 2001 at 05:44:36 AM EST

As CrazyD pointed out in this comment, you have an error in your logic here - you assume that people smoke weed every day because they need to. Have you ever considered that we may smoke weed every day because we *want* to?


A recreational user smokes because they want to. I'm sure most people would call "every day" an addiction, and not class it as recreational use. You seem to be terribly offended at the slightest comment that you might actually be addicted to smoking pot.

I'm addicted to caffiene - I drink a fair few cans of coke each day. I enjoy having my coke. I can stop for a few days, but I really like having it. That's an addiction - I'm not afraid to mention that.

Just because something is an addiction doesn't mean its bad - I'm not making any arguments about whether pot is good/bad or whatever. I'm merely stating that in all honesty it appears (from what you have said) that you are addicted to pot. I think this weakens your claim that alchohol is addictive as an argument for your cause.

[ Parent ]
Not afraid, it's just not the problem (4.00 / 1) (#91)
by DJBongHit on Mon Feb 19, 2001 at 07:06:03 AM EST

A recreational user smokes because they want to. I'm sure most people would call "every day" an addiction, and not class it as recreational use. You seem to be terribly offended at the slightest comment that you might actually be addicted to smoking pot.
I get offended at comments that I'm addicted to smoking pot because it's simply not true. In other comments here I made a point to note that I've experienced addiction with nicotine (I'm smoking a cigarette as I'm typing this) and it's horrible. I can't stand being forced to do something, and cigarettes do just that.

On the other hand, I smoke pot because I like it, not because I'm addicted. I don't have any pot right now and I haven't smoked at all today (as in, I haven't smoked in more than 24 hours) - but I'm not feeling any urge to smoke any. In fact, I haven't felt the urge to smoke all day.

I'm addicted to caffiene - I drink a fair few cans of coke each day. I enjoy having my coke. I can stop for a few days, but I really like having it. That's an addiction - I'm not afraid to mention that.
I'm not afraid to admit my addictions either... also, as I mentioned in this comment, I experienced withdrawal symptoms from caffeine (although I didn't realize at the time that that's what was causing the headache). I've never experienced any physical withdrawal symptoms from pot, and only rarely have I craved it (after being stoned every day for 6 months, I had occasional cravings for the first day of not smoking. But that hasn't happened since, and went away by that evening).

The craving that I mention is also entirely different than the cravings I get for cigarettes - the craving for weed only happened when I was sitting around being bored, thinking "man, I'm bored, I wish I had some weed." But when I don't have any cigarettes, it's completely overtaking - I can't concentrate on ANYTHING, and all I can think about is getting more cigarettes. I *really* need to quit these goddamn things :P

Let me tell you the story of the second time I smoked opium (I've only done it twice, and the first time I was so drunk I don't remember much of it). I smoked it, and it was a lot of fun, but the next day, all I could think about was finding and smoking more opium. That is, without a doubt, an addictive drug, and I was feeling the effects of the addiction after smoking it only once (I'm not counting the first time, since it was nearly 2 years earlier). I have the impression that I get addicted to stuff easily, since it's happened with cigarettes, caffeine, and would have happened with opium had the situation made itself available (I don't know anybody who sells opium, which is probably a good thing). But I've had no problems with marijuana addiction, though, which makes me believe that it really is not addictive.

~DJBongHit

--
GNU GPL: Free as in herpes.

[ Parent ]
AMEN BRO! (3.00 / 1) (#93)
by LocalH on Mon Feb 19, 2001 at 07:35:36 AM EST

This comment flies in the face of the typical 'pothead' stereotype - most people think pot makes you lazy, which if you smoke a lot of brick it does, but the truth is that if you get a 1/4 or even 1/8 of some good green fluffy nugs, it wakes you up and makes you more alert. Also, 99% of the graphics I have devised for on-air use (I'm the only graphic designer in the building) were conceived while high.

Kinda makes you think about it for a while...

[ Parent ]
Addiction (5.00 / 1) (#144)
by Xenophon Fenderson, the Carbon(d)ated on Mon Feb 19, 2001 at 02:59:25 PM EST

Addiction is not "I can stop for a few days, but I really like having it". The medical condition called addiction is a "compulsive need for and use of a habit-forming substance (as heroin, nicotine, or alcohol) characterized by tolerance and by well-defined physiological symptoms upon withdrawal". Note the phrase "well-defined physiological symptoms". If you can skip a few days of cola-swigging and not get deathly ill, then you are not addicted, as defined by the medical community. This is why so-called diseases like "Internet addiction" are ridiculed by most scientists in the medical/psych community - no tolerance, no withdrawl, no addiction.

So if you're going to argue, use medical terminology correctly. There's a Real Big Difference between "oh my God, I need a glass of wine to unwind" after work and "for the love of God, please give me a drink because I feel so horrible, oh God, help, please, just one shot" as the poor sot pukes his guts over the floor and his liver hemorrage's his life away. Addiction is a horrible, bad, awful, no-good thing, but a glass of wine after a hard day's work is hardly a medical condition.

Now, is marajuana addictive? Is is more or less addictive than, for the sake of argument, alcohol? I don't know, but I'm sure the question has been taken up in a peer-reviewed medical journal, awaiting some alert reader to post the citation.

(For all the hard-core geeks and scientist-wannabees floating around here, there sure is a lot of imprecision and irrationality floating around. Check the facts. Be precise in what you assert. Have rational arguments and be prepared to enumerate your suppositions. Isn't this pretty basic when it comes to having a rational discussion?)



--
Rev. Dr. Xenophon Fenderson, the Carbon(d)ated, KSC, mhm21x16, and the Patron Saint of All Things Plastic fnord
I'm proud of my Northern Tibetian heritage!
[ Parent ]
Typical... (4.00 / 1) (#92)
by LocalH on Mon Feb 19, 2001 at 07:29:56 AM EST

Somebody says, in all truthfulness, 'I'm not addicted to MJ' and people say they are in 'denial'. Typical UncSam©-induced reaction.

I have to concur with DJBonghit on this issue. I've been a regular MJ smoker for about 3 years, and not once have I gotten cranky or shown any other withdrawal symptoms. Sure smoking a jay after work makes you feel good, so does eating a big steak when you're hungry after work. I guess now steak is the next threat to our nation...

[ Parent ]
Well, actually, (4.00 / 1) (#170)
by Happy Monkey on Mon Feb 19, 2001 at 06:44:30 PM EST

Steak is similar in some ways to alcohol. It's unhealthy, unnecessary, non-PC, and so ingrained in society that prohibition would be doomed to failure in the forseeable future, but that doesn't stop some people from trying.
___
Length 17, Width 3
[ Parent ]
logical fallacy (3.66 / 3) (#73)
by CrazyD on Mon Feb 19, 2001 at 02:37:55 AM EST

You claim that you smoke on a daily basis for the last two years. That is a clear sign that you are addicted to pot, so I'm afraid you have contradicted yourself.

Not neccessarily. Perhaps he smokes because he choses too, instead of due to an addicition?

After all, if I told you that I drank a can of soda every day for the past two years, would you accuse me of being addicted to carbonation? Doubtful; it would be obvious that I simply enjoy soda. In the same way, perhaps DJBongHit simply enjoys pot.

[ Parent ]

If you drank a can of soda every day... (5.00 / 1) (#80)
by Anonymous 6522 on Mon Feb 19, 2001 at 04:00:32 AM EST

You would be addicted to caffiene not carbonation. It wouldn't be that big of a deal though; you would just have a headache for a day or two once you stopped drinking caffiene, but you may keep drinking it just to avoid the headache.

As for pot, I don't know if it is really addictive or not, but I've heard that it takes a month for your body to flush the THC out of your system, so it might be harder to detect any effects of withdrawl.

Also, he might not be addicted physically, but psychologically.

[ Parent ]

Caffeine (none / 0) (#85)
by DJBongHit on Mon Feb 19, 2001 at 04:51:49 AM EST

You would be addicted to caffiene not carbonation. It wouldn't be that big of a deal though; you would just have a headache for a day or two once you stopped drinking caffiene, but you may keep drinking it just to avoid the headache.
Heh, yeah, this actually happened to me recently - I'd been drinking 6-8 cans of soda per day (hey, you need it when you work as a sysadmin/perl guy :) Then I ran out of soda and didn't bother to go get more, and the next 2 days I had one HELL of a headache. I actually didn't put the two together, though, but it makes sense :)

As for pot, I don't know if it is really addictive or not, but I've heard that it takes a month for your body to flush the THC out of your system, so it might be harder to detect any effects of withdrawl.
Doesn't that imply that it's not addictive? If you stop smoking and don't have withdrawal symptoms because your body handles that on its own (by gradually taking you off the drug), isn't that basically the same as it not being addictive in the first place?

~DJBongHit

--
GNU GPL: Free as in herpes.

[ Parent ]
Re: If you drank a can of soda every day... (none / 0) (#129)
by CrazyD on Mon Feb 19, 2001 at 12:04:50 PM EST

You would be addicted to caffiene not carbonation. Maybe, for the sake of arguement, I'm drinking 7-Up or A&W Root Beer, which has no caffeine.

[ Parent ]
Gross Factual Errors (5.00 / 1) (#146)
by r00r on Mon Feb 19, 2001 at 03:15:31 PM EST

The worst you can do with alchohol is pass out

This is wrong. It is very easy to die from a single drinking session. For you to claim otherwise is uneducated and worst of all, irresponsible. Some poor fool may actually believe you.

Second, pot is not physically addictive. And the fact that some people smoke daily does not provide the slightest evidence for this. Correlation does not equal causation: there are people that have a beer or two every day for 20 years and exhibit no ill effects or withdrawal. The same thing applies for pot.

LSD can be dangerous for the wrong individuals. It is an extremely powerful drug that can have long-lasting psychological effects. But taken responsibly, in moderation, and in the right environment it can be a positive experience. But back to my real concern...

Alchohol and pot are not even in the same ballpark when it comes to toxicity. You can go to the store and buy enough alcohol to kill yourself quickly, whereas it's physically impossible to consume enough pot to cause a toxic overdose.

[ Parent ]

Death by alcoho (4.00 / 2) (#218)
by aphrael on Tue Feb 20, 2001 at 02:31:44 AM EST

The worst you can do with alcohol is pass out, and need to have your stomach pumped, and feel ill for a few days

Sorry ---- people drink themselves to death all the time. Acute alcohol poisining is deadly; death by strangling yourself with your own vomit is also pretty easy.

[ Parent ]

I probably would've voted against this. (3.00 / 8) (#67)
by transiit on Mon Feb 19, 2001 at 01:54:28 AM EST

The thing that I see when I'm perusing through old k5 stories isn't so much an attitude towards anti-anything, I tend to see a lot of examples of persecution envy. I can't speak on whether homosexuality is a choice or not, so I'll assume it isn't. Recreational drug use is a choice. Religion is a choice. Serial murder is a choice. If you make a choice to do something, be prepared for whatever comes along with it, good and bad. Just don't whine about how nobody understands your plight, I have no pity for you.

The constant complaining about how people aren't sensitive enough to each other's differences is also growing rather old. Screw how we "should" act, the majority of modern society tends to change only when it's the path of least resistance. On second thought, go ahead and keep on bemoaning your treatment, maybe you'll change a few people's minds...but in the meantime, accept what comes along with your choice.

-transiit

(And just to make sure this does cover the topic, my opinion on marijuana use: Pot makes you boring. Regular use only makes people talk about pot more. It's a shame that we can live in such a vast universe and it's all they ever seem interested in.)

culturally relative (3.80 / 5) (#71)
by cybin on Mon Feb 19, 2001 at 02:15:53 AM EST

an interesting question here, but i think this is something of an excuse to promote the anti-anti-marijuana movement... however:

i did research last semester on genetics & homosexuality, and at the same time i was studying anthropology. what i came to realize through reading the works of Margaret Mead and other anthropologists is that homosexuality (and sexuality in general) is a cultural phenomenon -- and it has nothing to do with gender, or sex (in the sense of male/female). what we in western culture consider 'fopish' or 'homosexual' behaviour might, in another society, be considered masculine. or it may be considered a part of everyday life.

the point of both the work of the geneticists and the social scientists boils down to a simple idea: sexuality is not black and white, it is a continuum. that continuum has no black or white, and the way our sexual selves manifest themselves has a lot to do with upbringing and the culture in which you live. it is very biased to even pose the question that people have a natural aversion to homosexuality.

as for the persecution issue, i think it has to do with another cultural phenominon -- we are socialized to feel that if you are male you should be "manly" and if you are female you are supposed to be "feminine". cultures define these terms in different ways, but nonetheless when a person does not fit into the percieved mold they are something of a outcast. this attitude may be changing in our culture but the sad fact of it is that people's ways of thinking are hard to change.

a good example of this was tonight, when i told my friend's girlfriend that i read an article that said PMS was cultural. she was appalled that i, a male, was making this assertion. i don't know one way or another if it is or not, but from what i read it seems plausible. we seem to think all women have PMS across the globe, but this isn't true -- since menstruating itself is influenced by many variables like diet, athleticism, and body fat percentage. in some cultures the menstrual cycle is not considered 'dirty' or pollutive as it is in ours, where we have come to force women to hide their monthly cycle. some peoples don't feel that hiding it is necessary.... kind of like homosexuals feeling they have to hide their sexuality.

This is very true... (4.00 / 1) (#125)
by CyberQuog on Mon Feb 19, 2001 at 11:36:31 AM EST

homosexuality (and sexuality in general) is a cultural phenomenon -- and it has nothing to do with gender, or sex (in the sense of male/female). what we in western culture consider 'fopish' or 'homosexual' behaviour might, in another society, be considered masculine. or it may be considered a part of everyday life.

This reminds me of how dogs in the wild will have male to male sex in order to bond and show dominance in the group. It is a perfectly normal thing for this to happen. I'm pretty sure it also happens in other animal groups such as gorillas. I think that everyone is a little bisexual.


-...-
[ Parent ]
You what? :) (2.00 / 1) (#165)
by donky on Mon Feb 19, 2001 at 05:18:01 PM EST

I think that everyone is a little bisexual.

Based on your assumption that everyone else shares your own worldview and outlook on life perhaps. Its so interesting how some people expect others to be like themselves and for life to work for everyone like it does for them. Any chance you can do an article on this? :) As its offtopic here :(



[ Parent ]
That would be cool. :) (none / 0) (#217)
by aphrael on Tue Feb 20, 2001 at 02:28:59 AM EST

This reminds me of how dogs in the wild will have male to male sex in order to bond and show dominance in the group. It is a perfectly normal thing for this to happen. I'm pretty sure it also happens in other animal groups such as gorillas.

That would be cool. :)

[ Parent ]

Margaret Mead eh? I'm sorry to disappoint you... (none / 0) (#180)
by SIGFPE on Mon Feb 19, 2001 at 09:25:56 PM EST

...but her work on Samoan sexuality has largely been discredited as a hoax. Check out the work of Derek Freeman.

To be fair I should add that the debunking also has its critics so you might like to read the book on that by Martin Orans - I haven't looked at that yet.
SIGFPE
[ Parent ]

I know that... (none / 0) (#203)
by cybin on Tue Feb 20, 2001 at 01:00:54 AM EST

I have read Freeman, and Mead, and I've discussed at length with a lot of people the Mead/Freeman debate. this is old news. Mead's methods were poor, her research shoddy, and she didn't even bother to learn the language of the people she was studying many time (not just Samoa). however, if you READ what she wrote, she is difficult to argue with. i was more referring to the book "Sex and Temperament" anyway.

"Hoax" is no way to describe it BTW, Mead is considered one of the most influential anthropologists of the past century, just like Freeman. Part of anthropology is dialogue, which seems to be sorely lacking on K5 recently... but i digress. i have not read the Orans, but i will check it out.

[ Parent ]
Good (none / 0) (#237)
by SIGFPE on Tue Feb 20, 2001 at 11:26:13 AM EST

Mead is considered one of the most influential anthropologists of the past century
Well Freeman has a lot to say about that too. But I'll put Sex and Temperament on my 'to read' list anyway.
SIGFPE
[ Parent ]
Addictive? (2.71 / 7) (#76)
by SwampGas on Mon Feb 19, 2001 at 03:19:11 AM EST

One point that popped out at me was the fact that you ADMIT the pot could be contaminated and you pay an inflated price, yet you STILL buy it. That sounds exactly like a person who's addicted...willing to take the risk of dying and going bankrupt over something.

As far as it being legalized...even though I don't smoke ANYTHING (including cigarettes), I'd have to agree that it should not be illegal. Marijuana kills your lungs. Alcohol kills your liver. Alcohol is legal.

...and before someone gives the "we're all gonna die someday" excuse to us non-smokers, let me say this: at least I'm not going to die coughing and asphyxiating on my own mucus and phelgm in a hospital bed.

Not addictive (4.50 / 2) (#79)
by DJBongHit on Mon Feb 19, 2001 at 03:56:53 AM EST

One point that popped out at me was the fact that you ADMIT the pot could be contaminated and you pay an inflated price, yet you STILL buy it. That sounds exactly like a person who's addicted...willing to take the risk of dying and going bankrupt over something.
No, I'm not addicted to marijuana. I just like it a whole lot. It's worth the risk. But when I don't have it, I don't sweat it. I can easily go 2 or 3 weeks without smoking weed and not have a problem, and I do it fairly often. Even when I don't smoke for just a day, if I was addicted I would be flipping out all day, but instead I choose not to smoke because I have something important to do.

~DJBongHit

--
GNU GPL: Free as in herpes.

[ Parent ]
re: not addictive (3.50 / 2) (#99)
by tongue on Mon Feb 19, 2001 at 09:12:01 AM EST

Pot is psychologically addictive in the same way that alcohol is generally psychologically addictive. It is possible to become chemically addicted to both, but only after prolonged periods of exposure.

The test of psychological addiction is very different than that of chemical:

Even when I don't smoke for just a day, if I was addicted I would be flipping out all day

This is a sign of a chemical addiction. Your body chemistry adjusts to and compensates for the presence of the chemical in your body; when it is not present it continues to compensate for effects that are no longer present, which is where the withdrawal symptoms come from. anyone who has smoked a lot of pot or been around a lot of it knows that this is pretty uncommon for your average pot smoker.

A psychological addiction, on the other hand, is much more insidious because it is easy to dismiss. The tests for a pyschological addiction to pot are the same as alcohol.

Do you ever find yourself stoned while on the job or in class or some other place where it is inappropriate?
Do you ever miss work or class to get stoned, either by yourself or with friends?
Do you regularly find yourself forgoing bill payment in favor of your pot smoking?
Have you ever been cited for driving under the influence of pot?
Have you ever been arrested for possesion of pot? (One could argue that this is a question of philosophy, but the fact remains, if you answer yes and still smoke, you're prioritizing pot ahead of what are normally considered important facets of your life, namely, a clean criminal record.)

There are many other questions like these, but they are all aimed at one thing: is your pot use truly recreational, or has it become a central tenet of your existence?

I don't use pot myself, nor do i have a problem with its recreational use. I do not believe our current laws on it are consistent with those pertaining to cigarettes and alcohol. However, it IS still a mind-altering substance, like alcohol, and should be treated as such. You seem to equate pot with cigarettes in its effect on your life, when in fact it is much closer to alcohol. Alcoholics can and often do go weeks or months without the use of alcohol, but this doesn't make them any less an alcoholic.

Bottom-line: no one here is truly going to be able to tell you you're addicted to pot, but I think that you're naive to dismiss the possibility out-of-hand.

[ Parent ]

Psychological addiction (none / 0) (#101)
by DJBongHit on Mon Feb 19, 2001 at 09:29:51 AM EST

Yes, nobody is arguing that it is impossible to become psychologically addicted to pot - it's possible to become psychologically addicted to anything that you enjoy doing.

This is a sign of a chemical addiction. Your body chemistry adjusts to and compensates for the presence of the chemical in your body; when it is not present it continues to compensate for effects that are no longer present, which is where the withdrawal symptoms come from. anyone who has smoked a lot of pot or been around a lot of it knows that this is pretty uncommon for your average pot smoker.
Ok, fair enough. I was equating psychological addiction with the physical addiction of cigarettes.

Now let's see how I do on your psychological addiction test...

Do you ever find yourself stoned while on the job or in class or some other place where it is inappropriate?

I write code while stoned. Just as it helps with analyzing my life from different angles, it helps analyze code and algorithms from another point of view. I know I'm far from the only person who writes code while stoned.

Do you ever miss work or class to get stoned, either by yourself or with friends?

No, I missed class because I slept through it. But I missed class far more often before I started smoking pot on a regular basis.

Do you regularly find yourself forgoing bill payment in favor of your pot smoking?

Absolutely not.

Have you ever been cited for driving under the influence of pot?

Nope

Have you ever been arrested for possesion of pot? (One could argue that this is a question of philosophy, but the fact remains, if you answer yes and still smoke, you're prioritizing pot ahead of what are normally considered important facets of your life, namely, a clean criminal record.)

No, I've never been arrested for possession of pot. But this isn't a fair test - if somebody (over 21) goes to the liquor store and buys a case of beer and then gets pulled over on the way home, he or she has just gotten caught with alcohol. Since alcohol is legal, there's no problem, but if this were the case with pot, they'd be arrested. How does this indicate a drug problem?

Now my old roommate DID have a problem with marijuana. He got arrested for possession and was faced with random drug testing as a punishment. If I was in that position, I wouldn't even go into the same room as somebody smoking weed until the probation period is over - but he kept smoking, as much as I chastised him about it.
However, it IS still a mind-altering substance, like alcohol, and should be treated as such. You seem to equate pot with cigarettes in its effect on your life, when in fact it is much closer to alcohol.
Yeah, I should have compared it to alcohol, but we were discussing addictions - I don't have a problem with alcohol (rarely touch the stuff, actually), but I do have a problem with cigarettes. I can't quit, as much as I want to.

Alcoholics can and often do go weeks or months without the use of alcohol, but this doesn't make them any less an alcoholic.
Not a true alcoholic - a true alcoholic would face severe withdrawal symptoms if they went weeks with a drink, including delerium tremens (not sure if I have that name right) and the possibility of death. Alcohol is rare in the drug world in the the withdrawal symptoms can, and often do, kill the addict. Heroin's withdrawal symptoms, as horrible as they are, do not result in death, except in EXTREMELY rare cases.

~DJBongHit

--
GNU GPL: Free as in herpes.

[ Parent ]
Heh, whoops. Hit post instead of preview :) (none / 0) (#102)
by DJBongHit on Mon Feb 19, 2001 at 09:36:03 AM EST

Accidentally hit post instead of preview, so this is a continuation of the last comment.

And I realized that my last paragraph is factually incorrect - yes, alcoholics can go a long time without a drink, but they have withdrawal problems, and can kill the user. But if they then have another drink, they usually relapse into addiction.

When I go for 2 weeks without pot, I don't really even notice much. And if I smoke a bowl again at a party or something, I don't suddenly start craving lots of weed again - I can go another 2 weeks without pot without a problem.

Anyway, I can tell that my posts are starting to get more and more incoherent, so I think it's about bedtime :)

~DJBongHit

--
GNU GPL: Free as in herpes.

[ Parent ]
Inflation v. addiction? (4.00 / 2) (#216)
by aphrael on Tue Feb 20, 2001 at 02:26:31 AM EST

you pay an inflated price, yet you STILL buy it

I pay an inflated price for english-language books when i'm in eastern european countries. Does that mean i'm addicted to books?

[ Parent ]

Interesting, but, um. No. (2.72 / 11) (#78)
by rabbit on Mon Feb 19, 2001 at 03:55:11 AM EST

Sorry. Discrimination that is earned by your *choice* of activity is *not* the same as discrimination because of the color of your skin.

Not even close. What are you smoking?

Oh wait. You already told us. Pot.

See, I discriminate against "goddamned potheads" in my everyday life because well....all the potheads I know are damned idiots. However intelligent and clear and lucid and interesting they may be, the minute they toke up, they turn into blathering nincompoops. During those times - which are increasingly frequent - I chose not to hang around them.

Sorry, gotta mod it down.

--rabbit

-- I have desires that are not in accord with the status quo.
Please re-read the article (4.00 / 1) (#94)
by DJBongHit on Mon Feb 19, 2001 at 07:54:10 AM EST

Sorry. Discrimination that is earned by your *choice* of activity is *not* the same as discrimination because of the color of your skin.
Please re-read the article, as you are making comments about things that I have clearly explained in the article.

In the article, I made a point to draw the parallel to homosexuality and not to race, because homosexuality is something that can be hidden and repressed if desired. Just as I could hide my pot smoking or repress my desire to do so. But, like I've said countless times in the comments here, marijuana has had a hugely positive effect in my life and my outlook, and I don't want to give that up. My life would be very different (and IMHO, worse) if I had never started smoking pot.

See, I discriminate against "goddamned potheads" in my everyday life because well....all the potheads I know are damned idiots.
That sounds like discrimination to me - you're taking a few personal samples and extending it to represent and entire group of millions of people. And that's not a fair leap of logic.

However intelligent and clear and lucid and interesting they may be, the minute they toke up, they turn into blathering nincompoops.
Maybe so, but that's not how all pot users react to the drug. Your friends obviously treat pot as a party drug, and it's actually a pretty good party drug. But that's not how I treat it - I use it as a mentally and spritually stimulating drug, which is how people have used it for thousands of years. That's one thing that draws me to psychedelics - I'm not a religious person in the conventional sense of the word, but psychedelics have a very spiritual effect on me.

~DJBongHit

--
GNU GPL: Free as in herpes.

[ Parent ]
I still have to disagree... (2.50 / 2) (#133)
by rabbit on Mon Feb 19, 2001 at 01:16:28 PM EST

I still have to disagree. Even if a gay person can "respress" or "hide" who they are, they still don't have a choice in the matter. It's not like they get up one morning and say "hey, today, I think I'll go gay". They're born with it, at least, that's the conventional wisdom on the matter.

You weren't born with a pipe in your hand any more than I was born with a cigarette in mine. It's just not the same. I agree that passing judgements on people without knowing anything else about them is wrong, though. To a limited extent, smokers get some of the same crap. At least, in California they do. California is way more uptight than most people give it credit for.

As for pre-judging potheads: I don't. I give each and every pothead I know several opportunities to prove me wrong, but it never happens. And I came to this attitude after years of having to put up with stoned people, and I've just gotten really sick and tired of it. I don't actually care if someone likes to "smoke", but usually, after a while, I end up wondering to myself "why is this person just not understanding me?" and the answer to that often turns out to be "oh, because they're stoned out of their mind". I happen to have exactly the same problem with people that are drunk.

Perhaps you're right, perhaps they're using it as a party drug as opposed to using it as a "tool for enlightenment". But: I have a hard time believing that daily use falls into that category. It's sounds like rationalizing to me. It's power as a spiritual tool is weakened when you smoke it every single day. And to be quite frank, my stoner friends make the exact same claim as you: that it's not just about gettig high, it's about bringing themselves to a different state of consciousness or whatever blah blah. But, what ends up happening is that while they "getting spiritually stimulated" they turn into happy-go-lucky-hippyish-tards that couldn't multiply 9x9 if their next bong hit depended on it.

Perhaps, instead of trying to convince people to not "discriminate" against potheads, you should try to convince potheads to stop acting like such tards. That way, we wouldn't have a reason to....

--rabbit

-- I have desires that are not in accord with the status quo.
[ Parent ]
why your argument is wrong, rabbit (5.00 / 2) (#193)
by r00r on Mon Feb 19, 2001 at 11:18:47 PM EST

you should try to convince potheads to stop acting like such tards. That way, we wouldn't have a reason to....

i can only draw two possible conclusions from your statement:

1) You are a very prejudicial person who has had a few unpleasant interactions with potheads, and you are making an assumption about a group based on a few innacurate examples.

2) Your friends are all idiots. pot doesn't make you smarter or dumber. if your so-called stoner friends are "tards" (revealing word choice, my friend) it's not because they smoke weed. maybe they're a bit challenged to start with.

some of my stoner friends have 3.8 and 4.0 gpa's, and are top in their class at some of the best universities in the nation. others hold responsible, well-paying jobs at high-profile corporations. and yes, i've got friends that do nothing but smoke weed.

the fact is that all different types of people smoke pot: its use has been accepted in many cultures around the world for thousands of years. your application of this general label to such a diverse group only showcases your ignorance on the subject.



[ Parent ]

Oh geez (3.50 / 2) (#202)
by rabbit on Tue Feb 20, 2001 at 12:59:02 AM EST

Actually, most of my friends are quite intelligent, most of the time. It's when they get inebriated that they get dumb. Maybe they're just unlucky in that it *only* happens to them. But I doubt it.

I don't discriminate against anyone. I may chose not to hang around them if they become insufferable, but I don't really care what they do with their brains. If I discriminated against them, they wouldn't still be my friends. I simply find them to be intolerable when they're high. In retrospect, when I used to get high, I was pretty intolerable. Probably still am. Hah.

I've also known several people over the years who's memories, math and speech functions have all been severely impaired by smoking too much pot - permanently. And by too much, I mean daily. They still do it, of course, and while they're high, it get's even worse.

I probably shouldn't have gotten personal with this one. Anyway: I think your overall point is mistaken. It's just not the same as homosexuality. You can stop. Gays can't. If you don't like the stigma - don't tell anyone. A gay, sort of well, has to tell someone to be a "practicing" gay...so they don't even have that option. To deny and repress it is go against a fundamental biological function. There is not, to my knowledge, a biological necesity in getting high. It's not the same.

I have a question: How does anyone *know* that you're a "goddamned pothead"? Since it's well, illegal, I'm going to guess you do it primarily in some privacy. If that's the case, then how does anyone even *know* that you're a pothead? Do you announce it? Is it that obvious? Perhaps it affects you more than you think. How can anyone possibly discriminate against you for something you're supposed to be doing in the privacy of your own home?

-rabbit
-- I have desires that are not in accord with the status quo.
[ Parent ]
prove me wrong. (3.00 / 1) (#261)
by r00r on Tue Feb 20, 2001 at 02:42:43 PM EST

if you really can't stand potheads and you refuse to be around them, then you must do this:

take every music album, book, and piece of artwork you own that was created by somebody that used drugs, and dispose of them. i'm sure the creators would agree-- they'd have no respect for your provincial viewpoint anyhow. if you need any help determining which pieces of art these are, i'd be more than glad to help. personally, i don' t think you deserve to experience them.



[ Parent ]

Give me a break. (none / 0) (#270)
by rabbit on Tue Feb 20, 2001 at 05:45:06 PM EST

There's a difference, in my opinion, between someone who smokes pot or drops acid *occasionally* to benefit from the mind-expansion provided therein and someone who loads up on a daily basis.

One of the benefits of dropping acid or smoking pot (or whatever) is that it provides you with an entirely different outlook on life - and part of it's power is the comparison of the one perception to the other. This advantage turns to a disadvantage when you spend all of your time high. You no longer have the "normal" viewpoint to compare it to. And so the power of the drug is lost. Instead of having on myopic view of the world (the "normal" one) you have a different, but equally myopic view of the world.

When someone is so baked that they can't even hold a conversation, I don't think it's a particularly "provincial" of me to not want to hang around them. I happen to be straight-edge for medical reasons, but before those reasons cropped up in my life, I occasionally partook, so to speak. But never on a daily basis, because quite frankly, I found it impossible to get anything done. And that's another problem I have with people that smoke all the time - most people would never even consider coming to work or driving a car drunk, but lots of potheads do both, which is just stupid.

I don't have a problem with, and in fact support, occasional, meaningful and intelligent usage of psychotropics in general. I do have a problem with people that abuse them, as well as those that define their entire lifestyle with them. Seriously, if pot is one of the most defining characteristics of "who you are" or your "lifestyle" then you need help. Use it as a tool, not as a crutch.

And I'll say it again - it's not a damned bit like being gay.

--rabbit
-- I have desires that are not in accord with the status quo.
[ Parent ]
Discrimination (4.50 / 2) (#95)
by Tal on Mon Feb 19, 2001 at 08:29:59 AM EST

I think the point that the original poster is making, and which the above reply misses, is that the problem lies in the existence of discrimination in general. Whatever the chosen focus for the discrimination is relatively unimportant and just obscures the issue.

I don't know whether homosexuality is a choice or genetic or dependent on a whole range of factors, but that's really too simplistic a way of looking at it. Another poster pointed out that homosexuality as it is normally used is a fairly modern, Western construct. The same argument can be applied to a whole range of discriminated-against categories, including race (depends on how you define self/other, white/black, etc) and drug-use (what is a drug? Assuming the ideas are valid and are again this simplistic, are genetic-basis alcoholics 'less bad' than "choice"-based alcoholics??). Tackling any kind of discrimination needs to be a more general attempt to teach people that it is bad in and of itself, not that they were just mistaken about which particular group they were discriminating against. --- Tal (who fully acknowledges that some of the above opinions are the result of many hours of dedicated indoctrination by his partner :) )

[ Parent ]

Idiocy ... (4.00 / 2) (#215)
by aphrael on Tue Feb 20, 2001 at 02:24:22 AM EST

See, I discriminate against "goddamned potheads" in my everyday life because well....all the potheads I know are damned idiots.

Yet a not insignificant number of K5 regulars smoke pot or use other drugs fairly frequently, and you read and post here --- that suggests that either (a) you ignore the posts from everyone you know to be a drug user, or (b) you concede that pot smokers can occasionally say something intelligent or insightful.

[ Parent ]

Sure, I'll concede that point (none / 0) (#293)
by rabbit on Wed Feb 21, 2001 at 04:57:44 AM EST

Actually, I think I did further down, but just for the record, I'll concede that I don't find it impossible that someone could be coherent and interesting while on pot. I find that it is not, in fact, the norm, but sure, yeah.

But how many people smoke up, and then decide to go post on K5 while they're still high? That is such a complete *waste* of a buzz, if you ask me.

But hey, what do I know? I quit all that years ago.


-rabbit
-- I have desires that are not in accord with the status quo.
[ Parent ]
compulsory trolling accusation (2.50 / 8) (#84)
by axxeman on Mon Feb 19, 2001 at 04:32:39 AM EST

Wow, DJ BongHit, you've landed a nice one here.
You claim to be discriminated against, and BANG - the discriminators come along and call you names :). Sweetest troll I've seen in a while - but that's not all. No-one yet has said that if one's very familiar with a subject (in your case, weedin' out), one can draw parallels to it from nearly ANYTHING else - I sure as fuck do it with computers.

You're being prosecuted for something which is not hurting others. Discrimination is a nice euphemism for it. Balkanisation's another (I'm from there, I should know :P).

So your point's valid, but the very nice message (peace, man :P) is not going to get across to this species any time soon, I'm afraid.

Oh and if anyone wants to remark on me not making sense & drawing lame conclusions deliberately (trolling maybe? :P), think a bit more laterally. But wait, if you could, you probably would. Sorry.

Being or not being married isn't going to stop bestiality or incest. --- FlightTest

private concerns (4.00 / 7) (#87)
by chale on Mon Feb 19, 2001 at 05:20:01 AM EST

intolerance of private beliefs and activities that do not directly harm anyone is unwarranted. several posters have stated that the analogy between drug users and homosexuals is wrong. i think it is valid in that it shows both groups of individuals are targets of discrimination for private, consensual activity. this validity holds up for a wide range of activities that are considered to be bad. in this case, we are discussing drug and sexual preference. sexual preference and drug use are personal matters. where there is no harm to others, there should be no interference from anyone. this means not only the general population but also the political population. (should have been in bed hours ago, so this post may not be all that i wanted to say)[seems nutscrape won't let me use html again]
When one tugs at a single thing in nature, he finds it attached to the rest of the world. -John Muir
When was the last time (1.50 / 4) (#96)
by retinaburn on Mon Feb 19, 2001 at 09:01:41 AM EST

A homosexual/bi person was low on cash so broke into a residence to get money to score ?

When was the last time it took 10 cops to take down a perp crazed out on being homosexual ?

Drug use hurts many other besides the user. Thinking it doesn't is narrow minded and selfish.

I think that we are a young species that often fucks with things we don't know how to unfuck. -- Tycho


[ Parent ]
These are effects of the War on Drugs... (4.00 / 3) (#98)
by DJBongHit on Mon Feb 19, 2001 at 09:11:54 AM EST

... not the drugs themselves. The War on Drugs pushes the drug trade (a very profitable trade, BTW) into the black market, where prices are artificially inflated. This causes the need for an addict to break into people's houses to get money to support their addiction. Nicotine is the most addictive substance known to mankind - when was the last time you heard of somebody breaking into somebody else's house to get money for smokes? Never, because cigarettes are cheap because they're legal.

As to your comment about needing 10 cops to take down a crazed drug user... that doesn't happen very often, and when it does... well, it's fucked up. But that person needs to take responsibility for their actions - actions committed while under the influence of drugs should be treated no differently than actions committed while sober. Drug use isn't a crime, but stealing money or killing people is. So punish the real crimes, not the alleged causes.

~DJBongHit

--
GNU GPL: Free as in herpes.

[ Parent ]
not that simple (2.66 / 3) (#103)
by streetlawyer on Mon Feb 19, 2001 at 09:38:55 AM EST

when was the last time you heard of somebody breaking into somebody else's house to get money for smokes?

WHen was the last time you heard of someone breaking into somebody else's house to get money for booze .... not long ago, actually. And that's another one of those "not physically addictive" drugs.

--
Just because things have been nonergodic so far, doesn't mean that they'll be nonergodic forever
[ Parent ]

Alcohol (2.66 / 3) (#109)
by DJBongHit on Mon Feb 19, 2001 at 10:12:20 AM EST

WHen was the last time you heard of someone breaking into somebody else's house to get money for booze .... not long ago, actually. And that's another one of those "not physically addictive" drugs.
Well, it certainly doesn't happen as much as people stealing money for crack or heroin. There are exceptions to every rule.

And no, alcohol is most definitely a physically addictive drug. Nobody who knows what they're talking about would claim otherwise.

~DJBongHit

--
GNU GPL: Free as in herpes.

[ Parent ]
Alcohol (2.00 / 4) (#106)
by retinaburn on Mon Feb 19, 2001 at 10:02:20 AM EST

Is legalized and people drink anti-freeze, mouthwash, moon-shine ...why ?? Because it's just not cheap enough.

So to curb this problem why not make all drugs legal AND free wouldnt that be great ....no drug related crimes, and the government could just charge people to 'cure' or 'rehabilitate' them.

If the war on drugs was ended and say cocaine was legalized. Then the government controls the quality. What if the quality isn't high enough *BOOM* black market, then the gov. increases the purity, still not enough *BOOM* black market.

Not to mention the problem of the 'underselling' the criminal organizations could do, and distinguishing between 'imported' and legal cocaine.

Legalizing something does not end all problems, it just creates a whole slew of new ones.

I think that we are a young species that often fucks with things we don't know how to unfuck. -- Tycho


[ Parent ]
Black market (5.00 / 2) (#110)
by DJBongHit on Mon Feb 19, 2001 at 10:22:15 AM EST

Is legalized and people drink anti-freeze, mouthwash, moon-shine ...why ?? Because it's just not cheap enough.
Nothing will ever be cheap enough for a homeless addict. But as the price gets lower, the incidents of theft and murder to get money for dope will decrease. The war on drugs has the opposite effect - with the efforts in Colombia to eradicate coca crops, the prices of crack and cocaine will go up (law of supply and demand) which will cause people to need to steal more.

So to curb this problem why not make all drugs legal AND free wouldnt that be great ....no drug related crimes, and the government could just charge people to 'cure' or 'rehabilitate' them.
I didn't say there would be NO drug related crimes... just less. And why the hell would they make drugs free? The government could tax them like any other product and make money off of them. This money could be used to pay for rehabilitation and treatment, as could the billions of dollars spent each year arresting and incarcerating nonviolent drug users.

If the war on drugs was ended and say cocaine was legalized. Then the government controls the quality. What if the quality isn't high enough *BOOM* black market, then the gov. increases the purity, still not enough *BOOM* black market.
Why do you think that this will be a problem? Legalized drugs could be grown and produced in high quality labs and growing rooms, the same way legal medication is produced today. This will certainly lead to a higher quality product than a basement lab.

Not to mention the problem of the 'underselling' the criminal organizations could do, and distinguishing between 'imported' and legal cocaine.
Do you see any criminal organizations supporting themselves these days on moonshine? No. Did they during Prohibition? Yes. Black market sale of drugs will always be more expensive than legally sold drugs (unless the Government does something stupid and taxes the hell out of the drugs, thus defeating the entire purpose of legalization) because the criminal dealers have to charge extra to compensate for the huge legal risk they are taking.

Legalizing something does not end all problems, it just creates a whole slew of new ones.
I encourage you to take another look at the mess that was Prohibition of alcohol in America. All the same problems which are today associated with illegal drugs (gang wars, hugely rich criminal organizations, dangerous and often deadly products, etc...) were then associated with illegal production of alcohol. It's the exact same scenario, all over again.

~DJBongHit

--
GNU GPL: Free as in herpes.

[ Parent ]
When is it enough (1.00 / 3) (#118)
by retinaburn on Mon Feb 19, 2001 at 10:49:40 AM EST

But as the price gets lower, the incidents of theft and murder to get money for dope will decrease.

So when is a crime-rate low enough ?? How cheap do you make something to ensure the 'right level' of related crimes ??

Legalized drugs could be grown and produced in high quality labs and growing rooms, the same way legal medication is produced today. This will certainly lead to a higher quality product than a basement lab.

I was referring to the Columbian labs for cocaine and the like. They may produce a more pure product than what the government is offering. And then you have a black market. What do you do then ?? Have the government offer a more pure form ??

It's the exact same scenario, all over again.

Its NOT the exactly same situation. Alcohol was legal, then illegal and then legal again. Last time I checked pot has never been legal in any North American country. We have never 'legalized' a hard drug for wide-spread use. Hard drugs are legally used within hospitals but only under controlled cirumstances...why...because they are dangerous.

I think that we are a young species that often fucks with things we don't know how to unfuck. -- Tycho


[ Parent ]
True, it's never enough for some people... (4.50 / 2) (#123)
by DJBongHit on Mon Feb 19, 2001 at 11:18:04 AM EST

... but it would certainly be better than what we have now.

So when is a crime-rate low enough ?? How cheap do you make something to ensure the 'right level' of related crimes ??
Legalize it and sell it at a reasonable price - drug-related crime would certainly decrease from its current levels. This doesn't even take into account the fact that, by freeing the more than 400,000 non-violent drug offenders in prison, you make room for the real criminals, rather than paroling rapists and murderers to make room for a crack addict who doesn't commit any other crimes. It happens every day.

I was referring to the Columbian labs for cocaine and the like. They may produce a more pure product than what the government is offering. And then you have a black market. What do you do then ?? Have the government offer a more pure form ??
So allow them to import their product and sell it in the marketplace, regulated by the government, in the same manner alcohol can be imported and sold (French wine, Russian vodka, German beer, etc...)

Its NOT the exactly same situation. Alcohol was legal, then illegal and then legal again. Last time I checked pot has never been legal in any North American country. We have never 'legalized' a hard drug for wide-spread use. Hard drugs are legally used within hospitals but only under controlled cirumstances...why...because they are dangerous.
You are quite incorrect. All drugs were legal until this century. Marijuana was legal until the passing of the "Marihuana Tax Act of 1937." (and even then, the government knew they had no legal authority to criminalize it and instead required the purchase of a marijuana tax stamp to be able to sell marijuana - and they simply didn't give anybody any of these stamps). Later drug laws were passed through loopholes in interstate commerce acts. And if you had read the article, you would have see that I addressed this issue, and that politicians have always exploited people's racial fears to make drug use illegal - they used peoples' prejudices towards Mexicans (who like to smoke weed) to make pot illegal, peoples' prejudices towards the Chinese (who like to smoke or drink opium) to make opiates illegal, and peoples' prejudices towards blacks (who liked to use cocaine) to make cocaine illegal.

Even after these drug laws were passed, there wasn't a real problem with drugs until the War on Drugs got into full force and the Government started prosecuting drug users. The issue of drug abuse is like a Chinese finger trap - the more you try to pull away from it, the more stuck you get. We need to accept the fact that there will always be people who want to do drugs, and rather than incarcerate them, tax their drug purchases and use the money to fund substance abuse recovery programs, should the need arise.

~DJBongHit

--
GNU GPL: Free as in herpes.

[ Parent ]
At what point does the trade off become worth it? (4.00 / 3) (#126)
by Anonymous 242 on Mon Feb 19, 2001 at 11:42:38 AM EST

Almost inarguably the two drugs that do the most damage to society are tobacco and alchohol. Arguably this is because these two drugs are inexpensive and easy to acquire.

Currently the social cost of using illicit drugs appears to be tremendously low in comparisson to tobacco and alcohol. If currently illicit drugs became cheaper, more socially accepted, and easier to obtain, it seems to me that the impact on society would begin to approach the impact of tobacco and alcohol.

Which leads to a hard to answer question. Given that the current war on drugs leads to unacceptable consequences, to what extent are the consequences of making drugs legal a good trade off? Legalization might make very many situations much, much better. It is also not a panacea and will lead to its own bevy of ill consequences.

Never, never underestimate the power of the law of unintended consequences.

[ Parent ]

Experiment and judge the results (4.00 / 3) (#143)
by botono9 on Mon Feb 19, 2001 at 02:43:07 PM EST

If currently illicit drugs became cheaper, more socially accepted, and easier to obtain, it seems to me that the impact on society would begin to approach the impact of tobacco and alcohol.
Do you really think the same number of people who use alcohol and/or tobacco today would really start sticking needles in their arms if heroin were just cheaper and available at the corner store? The idea that there are millions of people just waiting around for the laws to change so they can do new drugs is unfounded. The Netherlands have legalized the use (sale is very limited) of hard drugs, and they are seeing an aging of the heroin-using population, meaning there are fewer new users of the drug every year. Why? Because they educate better and remove rebellious aspect of drug use. They are seeing similar results with marijuana as well. Fewer young people are experimenting because it is just not rebellious do smoke pot anymore.

On the flip-side, the Netherlands are finding new problems because they are the only country in the European Union with such a relaxed stance to drug use and so have become a sort of "drug haven", which is unfortunate. If we really wanted to lower the impact that tobacco and alcohol have in this country (US), we would not allow companies that produce these products to advertise at all. A person will see many thousands of alcohol ads by the time they are old enough to drink. I am not saying that legalization will cure all of our problems, but we cannot know what will work until we try it. Legalization has never been tried in the United States.

"Guns are real. Blue uniforms are real. Cops are social fiction."
--Robert Anton Wilson
[ Parent ]

Gee, how false can you get? (4.00 / 3) (#153)
by trhurler on Mon Feb 19, 2001 at 04:27:16 PM EST

Most drugs were legal until relatively recently in history. Only in the last hundred years have we been in the business of criminalizing them. Do you think opiates, coca derivatives, and so on just magically appeared this century?

There are some drugs that are dangerous. There are a lot more drugs that, while less harmful than tobacco or alcohol, are illegal. Then there are quite a few more whose effects we just don't know enough about to judge yet. Guess what? The government bans them all, without regard to truth or even LIKELY truth. Why? Because the underlying movement is puritanical disdain rather than any real problem they cause.

There are side motives, of course. Hemp was banned in the US long before most US people ever knew to smoke it - because it competed with the lumber and cotton industries. Ecstacy was banned in the US, after being a legitimate medication for awhile, precisely BECAUSE people enjoyed taking it, which made it harder to control dosages for medical use. They claimed it was ineffective, but this is in stark contrast to what the numbers from varoius studies show.

I don't use and never have used any illegal substance. However, to presume that the motives of those who have banned drugs are noble is a real stretch. They've sold themselves and all of us down the river for this and that cause, and ultimately for puritanism. A lot of my friends use drugs. Most of them are perfectly fine. A few drugs ARE really bad news - but guess what? Most drug users aren't using them. They account for a tiny percentage of use, and a tiny percentage of busts. Most busts are innocent people enjoying themselves harmlessly. And the few that remain - if they commit some other crime, they can be busted for it, and if not, why is it my business whether they ruin their lives or not?

That's the fucking crime in drugs. Too many goddamned puritans out to save the world. Which, of course, is why liberals support prohibition - it fits in with their "we'll tell you how to live right" mentality, even moreso than opposing it fits in with their "you should be free to do as you please" surface dogma.

--
'God dammit, your posts make me hard.' --LilDebbie

[ Parent ]
Ahh Repetition (2.00 / 3) (#160)
by retinaburn on Mon Feb 19, 2001 at 04:53:31 PM EST

There are some drugs that are dangerous. There are a lot more drugs that, while less harmful than tobacco or alcohol, are illegal. Then there are quite a few more whose effects we just don't know enough about to judge yet. Guess what? The government bans them all, without regard to truth or even LIKELY truth. Why? Because the underlying movement is puritanical disdain rather than any real problem they cause.

Uh oh the government bans the use of drugs because they don't know the full effects that using them may cause!!! It would have been nice to know that Asbestos was harmful before we used it. Or how about X-rays, smokes, alcohol, cocaine, mercury, Uranium. There are thousands of examples of a product being used before the side-effects and long-term use effects were known. I would rather have them banned as 'potentially dangerous' rather than exposing millions to the damaging effects then saying "oops hey guess what this causes cancer". And besides that "Truth" is not so cut and dry with regards to the medical community. Studies will conclude opposite points of view time and time again.

However, to presume that the motives of those who have banned drugs are noble is a real stretch.

I have never said that I disagree with the legalising of some/all drugs. I have never said that the motives of the government was noble. I believe it started off as a good idea, with faulty implementation. But guess what everybody including government officials makes mistakes. And the goverment has a hell of a lot of interia to change.

I simply don't buy the 'average joes' reasonings, which include "Hey X is legal and its dangerous"

Oh and with regards to my mistaken 'drugs were illegal' I didnt mean all drugs, and the comment posted previous covered that...but thanks for more repetition.

I think that we are a young species that often fucks with things we don't know how to unfuck. -- Tycho


[ Parent ]
Well, if we follow this through... (4.33 / 3) (#164)
by trhurler on Mon Feb 19, 2001 at 05:15:44 PM EST

to its logical conclusion...
Uh oh the government bans the use of drugs because they don't know the full effects that using them may cause!!!
We don't know the full effects that ANYTHING causes, including consuming water in various amounts. Let's ban that too!
It would have been nice to know that Asbestos was harmful before we used it. Or how about X-rays, smokes, alcohol, cocaine, mercury, Uranium.
You do realize that the dangers associated with these things would NEVER have been known had they not been used for various purposes first, right? I mean, where do you think this data comes from?!? (Also, just what horrible effects are you ascribing to xrays and alcohol? Properly used, they're both rather harmless, and have benefits. Same with uranium, mercury, and even asbestos for that matter.)
And besides that "Truth" is not so cut and dry with regards to the medical community. Studies will conclude opposite points of view time and time again.
And yet you want to ban things. "We don't really know shit about this, but we're banning it because we know what's best for you. You should never be allowed to make up your own mind, after all!"

Utopian fascists are so cute when they're angry!

--
'God dammit, your posts make me hard.' --LilDebbie

[ Parent ]
Holy Moly (2.66 / 3) (#174)
by retinaburn on Mon Feb 19, 2001 at 07:42:10 PM EST

We don't know the full effects that ANYTHING causes, including consuming water in various amounts. Let's ban that too!

In fact we do know that long term use of water in moderation is benificial thats why its recommended we consume 6-8 glasses a day. And we know if you consume to much it thins your blood and you die.

You do realize that the dangers associated with these things would NEVER have been known had they not been used for various purposes first, right? I mean, where do you think this data comes from?!? (Also, just what horrible effects are you ascribing to xrays and alcohol? Properly used, they're both rather harmless, and have benefits. Same with uranium, mercury, and even asbestos for that matter.)

Well we could do something called RESEARCH on these fantastic new ideas instead of throwing them into the market place. Kinda like you have with the FDA, I just recommend a longer term testing procedure.

I would rather have something banned (or tightly controlled) until they have data on say 30 years of X, or Cocaine usage, heck even weed. Get some people get them to do it every day and watch.

Or we could go with your solution and do away with all testing and let the public decide mmmm *Chocolate Milk now with Asbestos flavouring*

With regards to Xrays, so you think it was a good thing to have travelling circus's bombarding people with Xrays, giving them cancer ...heck its certainly cheaper than having the goverment study something.

I think that we are a young species that often fucks with things we don't know how to unfuck. -- Tycho


[ Parent ]
So then... (3.66 / 3) (#176)
by trhurler on Mon Feb 19, 2001 at 07:57:57 PM EST

And we know if you consume to much it thins your blood and you die.
I am fairly certain you'd die before blood thinning got you.
Well we could do something called RESEARCH on these fantastic new ideas instead of throwing them into the market place. Kinda like you have with the FDA, I just recommend a longer term testing procedure.
Ah, yes, the FDA. The organization that stands by and lets people die in droves rather than let them try an experimental new therapy. A great example you've picked of how the government can fuck up a good thing with regulation. I'm sorry, but there is no ethical authority possessed by government which gives it the right to decide whether something is safe enough for me - that role belongs to ME.
I would rather have something banned (or tightly controlled) until they have data on say 30 years of X, or Cocaine usage, heck even weed. Get some people get them to do it every day and watch.
Thirty years, eh? So in your utopia, people are still dying of smallpox. That's really nifty. Hell, if you had your way, 30 years after we finally find effective treatment and prevention for AIDS, there will still be people suffering and dying. What a humanitarian you are!
Or we could go with your solution and do away with all testing and let the public decide mmmm *Chocolate Milk now with Asbestos flavouring*
Do you really believe there wouldn't be any testing? If so, are you stupid, or have you simply never thought about it for fifteen seconds?
With regards to Xrays, so you think it was a good thing to have travelling circus's bombarding people with Xrays, giving them cancer ...heck its certainly cheaper than having the goverment study something.
A "good thing?" No. Do I think anyone was being even mildly unscrupulous? Not really. There was no good reason to believe there was a danger to be avoided, and moreover, contrary to popular myth, there simply were not huge numbers of people dying of radiation related illnesses from circuses. I know this myth gets repeated all the time, but if you can't show some evidence, then please quit repeating it here. (And don't ask me to prove a negative; that would be the height of human stupidity.)

Let me ask you: why shouldn't people be free to do stupid things to themselves? Do you think some people are better than others and deserve to rule over them because of this? Do you think some people are simply too stupid to take care of themselves(and if so, why do you think they deserve protection, rather than to be left to rot as they will?) Do you honestly believe government regulation has improved health, even in the face of mounting evidence that it makes medicine unaffordable and kills many people by denying them access to the latest treatments?

Let's say I want to do X. Give me one good reason why anyone has any right to stop me. I can think of reasons why I might not do this, but why should anyone be allowed to STOP me? That's a tougher condition than merely "what harm might come to me from doing X?"

--
'God dammit, your posts make me hard.' --LilDebbie

[ Parent ]
simple-- you can't trust the corps. (4.33 / 3) (#184)
by Estanislao Martínez on Mon Feb 19, 2001 at 09:52:17 PM EST

Ah, yes, the FDA. The organization that stands by and lets people die in droves rather than let them try an experimental new therapy. A great example you've picked of how the government can fuck up a good thing with regulation. I'm sorry, but there is no ethical authority possessed by government which gives it the right to decide whether something is safe enough for me - that role belongs to ME.

Well, you will have to make an extremely hard effort in order to do this (and I'm quite pessimistic about your prospects for actually pulling it off), but imagine for a few moments that, instead of being you, you were like pretty much the rest of us, far from being bloody geniuses with all-encompassing minds capable of understanding the deep intricacies of pharmaceuticals and medicine, nor with the money to pay a panel of experts to evaluate the new miracle pill some huge powerful corporation is pushing.

How could you decide whether the pill is safe at all, whether it can do what it is claimed to, and whether it will be of any help?

Unless you do the unlikely thing, and acquire all the relevant knowledge, equipment and resources (which probably even includes access to test subjects), you have to trust some third party. But the corps. have all sorts of resources to make it in the third party's best interest to serve them instead of you.

So, sure, in theory, the "let each person decide" principle sounds grand. But once you put into the picture big corporations with enormous resources to push their interests even at the cost of damaging people, the picture changes.

--em
[ Parent ]

Each person should be able to decide (2.66 / 3) (#192)
by toolj23 on Mon Feb 19, 2001 at 11:04:01 PM EST

There needs to be studies done. That is certain. We don't need to ban products just because they may cause harm to someone. Perhaps we should ban all guns then? Maybe we should ban crowbars because they can cause damage in certain situation. We need to educate the public about certain products so they can make an informed decision. We need an impartial 3rd party who studies the affects and publishes what they find. If they find that it is unsafe or unhealthy then we should let everyone know. Maybe it's unsafe, but maybe it could help save someone's life. Just like a gun can be used to save your own life. I know smoking cigarettes is bad for me. I have made the decision not to smoke them because I value my health more than a quick nicotine buzz. The point is that it should be MY choice.

[ Parent ]
Ooh! Evil corps! Film at 11! (2.00 / 2) (#236)
by trhurler on Tue Feb 20, 2001 at 10:48:23 AM EST

This argument is attacking a straw man. Yes, it is true: corporations might try to get me to use dangerous products. Guess what? I don't have to DO it. A perfectly reasonable response from me is,"Well, I want to see adequate testing done first." That doesn't require any banning of anything. But, it also doesn't fit well with the statist or more specifically the leftist tendency to want to be in control of other peoples' lives, so I know you won't actually recognize this distinction.

Of course, even if we accept your theory, which I flat out do not, your solution does not fit your problem. The solution is to make it illegal for corporations to promote or sell the product - not illegal for private citizens to possess or use it. The latter punishes individuals for the alleged crimes of corporations. But that's what you're advocating, which shows that either your thinking is phenomenally sloppy or else you have ulterior motives. Which is it?

--
'God dammit, your posts make me hard.' --LilDebbie

[ Parent ]
how can you miss the point like that? (5.00 / 1) (#304)
by Estanislao Martínez on Wed Feb 21, 2001 at 03:36:20 PM EST

Yes, it is true: corporations might try to get me to use dangerous products. Guess what? I don't have to DO it.

How do you decide?

A perfectly reasonable response from me is,"Well, I want to see adequate testing done first."

How do you decide if the testing you are presented is adequate?

But, it also doesn't fit well with the statist or more specifically the leftist tendency to want to be in control of other peoples' lives, so I know you won't actually recognize this distinction.

Blah blah. I put a simple question forwards for you; don't avoid it by sinking into baseless ad hominem "statist" namecalling. How do you decide whether a treatment being promoted by a drug company does what it's claimed to, and nothing more?

But that's what you're advocating, which shows that either your thinking is phenomenally sloppy or else you have ulterior motives. Which is it?

Oh, yeah, I forgot to mention that I'm a communist and I intend to kill you. Still, I'd like to know: how do you decide if what a drug does is what the company claims it does?

--em
[ Parent ]

Well.... (3.00 / 2) (#234)
by retinaburn on Tue Feb 20, 2001 at 09:50:47 AM EST

I am fairly certain you'd die before blood thinning got you.

I found this :What can happen, is as MDMA cuts your livers production about in half while you are high, your body cannot process as much water and it will be transferred directly into the blood stream. This causes the cerebral tissue around your brain to collapse as a result of the thinning blood, and effectively killing you.

Ah, yes, the FDA. The organization that stands by and lets people die in droves rather than let them try an experimental new therapy. A great example you've picked of how the government can fuck up a good thing with regulation.

Physicians are not supposed to do harm. By allowing an experimental therapy loose on the public you are risking endangering their lives more. This is what doctors, and the government are designed to prevent. I'll agree they have made mistakes in the past, and guess what they will continue to do so. But I think we are better armed with their knowledge rather than relying on the hype of a drug company pushing a new cancer therapy that involves a revolver.

But I guess you don't go to doctors. You have all the time in the world to determine on a personal case by case basis which drug you can obtain to treat yourself. Taking into account body weight, drug interactions. Heck you don't even have to go to medical school to do this ...congrats.

Thirty years, eh? So in your utopia, people are still dying of smallpox. That's really nifty. Hell, if you had your way, 30 years after we finally find effective treatment and prevention for AIDS, there will still be people suffering and dying. What a humanitarian you are!

I did not mention a thirty year limit (which was just a number grab) for any vaccine or AIDS treatment. Lumping these types of medicine in with Cocaine, Weed and X is moronic. But congratulations on twisting my words around into a ridiculous statement, it can only serve to help your argument. They do test these drugs on the public, but in small controlled studies. But hey lets drop the FDA put every new crackpot therapy in a pill and ship them to everyones house. Then if they get more sick we can just say .."Hey try this new pill it might help", What a humanitarian you are.

Let me ask you: why shouldn't people be free to do stupid things to themselves? Do you think some people are better than others and deserve to rule over them because of this? Do you think some people are simply too stupid to take care of themselves(and if so, why do you think they deserve protection, rather than to be left to rot as they will?) Do you honestly believe government regulation has improved health, even in the face of mounting evidence that it makes medicine unaffordable and kills many people by denying them access to the latest treatments?

People are free to do stupid things. We don't control the thoughts of the guy that drinks and gets behind the wheel. We don't prosecute somebody because we think he "may" go and kill thousands of people without evidence. Somebody can drop out of high school and go onto welfare and sit watching tv all day. There is a veritable endless supply of stupid things one can do to ones self without harming other people.

And yes some people are better to decide what is best for the public...we call them doctors, lawyers, educated people that have an informed opinion. Who would you rather have to treat your liver cancer ? Somebody with a medical degree or a farmer in Idaho.

People are not necessarily too stupid to care for themselves, just uninformed or misinformed. I would rather have a group of professionals checking new things that come out to see if they are safe for me (radiation levels, carcinogens, swallow hazards for children, unfounded claims) then having to perform years of personal time researching which products on the market are safe for me.

Every child in Canada must be vaccinated against Polio, Measels and a few other killers, and why ?? Because of Government Regulatation (I can hear the shudder). This has saved countless lives. Has this not saved lives ? Are we not better off with this regulation ?

Do you honestly believe government regulation has improved health, even in the face of mounting evidence that it makes medicine unaffordable and kills many people by denying them access to the latest treatments?

I live in Canada and yes I do believe this.

I think that we are a young species that often fucks with things we don't know how to unfuck. -- Tycho


[ Parent ]
Why? (3.00 / 2) (#238)
by spiralx on Tue Feb 20, 2001 at 11:28:58 AM EST

I did not mention a thirty year limit (which was just a number grab) for any vaccine or AIDS treatment. Lumping these types of medicine in with Cocaine, Weed and X is moronic.

Why? Marijuana has legitimate medical properties, cocaine is a great anaesthetic and ecstacy was being used by psychiatrists with great effect before it became illegal. Why shouldn't they be lumped in together?

Why is heroin illegal and morphine (more addictive BTW) not? What about Ritalin (an amphetamine) or OxyCotin (a heroin derivative)? They're legal. There's a drug out there (fluroxamine or something, sorry can't remember off the top of my head) that is almost identical to MDMA, and yet it has been licensed by the FDA despite warnings.

And what about all of the people that die every year from legal drugs? There's been a lot of concern recently over whether Zyban causes strokes and whether Prozac can lead to suicidal behaviour. Why should these be alright whilst some drugs are branded "evil"?

The only non-hypocritical positions to take are that either all chemicals that can harm you are bad and should be banned and suppressed, or that people should be free to make their own decisions. Any other position is either ignorance or hypocracy.

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

You jumped in (2.50 / 2) (#247)
by retinaburn on Tue Feb 20, 2001 at 12:28:25 PM EST

Why? Marijuana has legitimate medical properties, cocaine is a great anaesthetic and ecstacy was being used by psychiatrists with great effect before it became illegal. Why shouldn't they be lumped in together?

I am aware of all these things. I would not lump them together with vaccines for extensive testing purposes. Vaccines were designed and tested. They were then used (and it some cases widely used). They are generally a one time deal. However the three mentioned drugs could be used multiple times on a given patient. Resistances, addictions, increased risks in cancer, etc. are a greater risk for any drug used more than once.

I know there are legal medications out there that can cause harm. I know there are illegal drugs out there with benifits. I have no problem with illegal/controlled substances being used for legitimate purposes. However I do not agree with the legalizing of all drugs because they may have some medicinal benefit.

BTW I believe Heroin, cocaine are all controlled substances in Canada and can be used under controlled circumstances.

Derivatives of drugs are used for safety of the user.

And what about all of the people that die every year from legal drugs? There's been a lot of concern recently over whether Zyban causes strokes and whether Prozac can lead to suicidal behaviour. Why should these be alright whilst some drugs are branded "evil"?

First I don't brand them evil, simply illegal/controlled. So your saying that because adequate long-term testing was not done on a control group there should be no illegal drugs ???

This is the same ridiculous arguement as "Hey knives are legal to carry, why not guns, assult rifles"

I think that we are a young species that often fucks with things we don't know how to unfuck. -- Tycho


[ Parent ]
Yes I did (3.00 / 1) (#269)
by spiralx on Tue Feb 20, 2001 at 05:24:47 PM EST

I have no problem with illegal/controlled substances being used for legitimate purposes. However I do not agree with the legalizing of all drugs because they may have some medicinal benefit.

You haven't answered my question yet. What is the justification for certain drugs with medicinal benefit being legal to prescribe, and others deemed of no use and made illegal.

The drug I was thinking of it called denfenfluramine BTW. According to studies it has a similar effect on axons in the brain to MDMA, except it seems to be even more toxic to the serotinogenic system. And yet the FDA has licensed it to be taken every day, 2 or 3 times a day for long periods at a time to control obesity! The only major difference is that d-fenfluramine was developed by a pharmaceutical company and wasn't surrounded by so much hype.

First I don't brand them evil, simply illegal/controlled. So your saying that because adequate long-term testing was not done on a control group there should be no illegal drugs ??

Strawman. What I said was that illegal drugs should be held to exactly the same standards as other drugs. Adeuqate and unbiased testing should be done on all drugs, but it seems as though drugs developed by pharmaceutical companies get away with lower standards than those applied to illegal drugs.

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

What can I say ? (2.00 / 1) (#281)
by retinaburn on Tue Feb 20, 2001 at 07:28:46 PM EST

I agree that the FDA makes mistakes.

I agree that illegal drugs should be held to the same standards as 'legal' drugs or vice-versa.

I never said anything to disagree with either of these statements.

I think that we are a young species that often fucks with things we don't know how to unfuck. -- Tycho


[ Parent ]
Wow (2.50 / 2) (#242)
by trhurler on Tue Feb 20, 2001 at 11:55:12 AM EST

I wrote a long reply, which got wasted when Netscape crashed on me. Here's a shorter one that condenses my reply and avoids some repetition.

You are arguing, in essence, that we need to ban people from possessing and using certain things because we don't know if they're safe. You argue that companies will push unsafe products if this is not done. The solution to that is to hold companies liable for their actions - maybe also to hold their directors, officers, and owners liable for certain kinds of actions. Your solution, banning things, does not punish or harm corporations - it punishes and harms innocent individuals who haven't harmed anyone. Why should it be illegal for me to take MDMA? Sure, I could die - theoretically - although I'm as likely by statistics to die from over the counter cough medicine. So what? That's MY choice, and as long as you can't claim it was coerced, what difference does it make? As it happens, I'm not taking MDMA because of concerns over long term brain damage it might cause, but lets just say I was. Why would this be ANYONE else's business?

You are also arguing that regulation is good because I'd rather have a doctor take care of me than some yokel - but you fail to tell me why I need the government to ban things for me in order that I may see a doctor when I'm sick. It is as though you think there were no medical doctors before government started taking over. Believe me, there were.

The only interesting remaining point is about government run health care. I suggest you investigate what it was like in the US prior to medicare and medicaide. We had health care for virtually everyone. We had house calls. We had reasonable prices. Then medicare, medicaide, and tort law came into their own, and now the US is a great place to live IF you have a good job, and otherwise, pretty much, you're fucked. Thanks, government. As for your Canadian scheme, do you think it could even carry on without the work of foriegn drug companies and foriegn doctors? It does virtually no research and development, you know. Can't afford to. Hell, some places, you've got a month long or more wait just to get an MRI, and while Canadians don't want to talk about it, that's getting worse, not better, as time goes on.

By the way, the argument we were having over toxicity properties, when I mentioned water, did not include anything about MDMA. It was purely about the toxic effects of consuming too much water. I'm not sure where the MDMA thing came from.

--
'God dammit, your posts make me hard.' --LilDebbie

[ Parent ]
LOL (2.50 / 2) (#252)
by retinaburn on Tue Feb 20, 2001 at 01:28:08 PM EST

I wrote a long reply, which got wasted when Netscape crashed on me. Here's a shorter one that condenses my reply and avoids some repetition.
That has been happening to me lately, or I loose my connection so resubmit and I get duplicate posts.

The solution to that is to hold companies liable for their actions - maybe also to hold their directors, officers, and owners liable for certain kinds of actions.

This does happen when a product is found to be unsafe.

Your solution, banning things, does not punish or harm corporations - it punishes and harms innocent individuals who haven't harmed anyone.

It does harm corporations. If they have spent million/billions of dollars producing drug X that happens to fail government testing (focus-groups, animail testing) then the company cannot release the drug. It saves innocent individuals.

Now those that die as a result of lengthy testing, I feel bad for but its a necessary evil of the process. Having a (hopefully) safe drug put on the market will save more lives than putting unsafe/untested drugs on the market.

Sure, I could die - theoretically - although I'm as likely by statistics to die from over the counter cough medicine.

I find this incredibly hard to believe, what evidence can you show ? This does show however that even with regulational control people are too stupid to read the directions and take care with medications. It would have been better to see an MD and get a perscription for something that fit the person more.

You are also arguing that regulation is good because I'd rather have a doctor take care of me than some yokel - but you fail to tell me why I need the government to ban things for me in order that I may see a doctor when I'm sick. It is as though you think there were no medical doctors before government started taking over. Believe me, there were.

Regulatory bodies (FDA) control access to drugs. They determine which drugs are safe over-the-counter, which can be prescribed, which can be used under controlled circumstances and which cannot be used. This allows for a controlled point-of-access which should be a trained, intelligent and well-informed doctor. This prevents people from taking antibiotics when they have the flu, which can cause 'super-bugs'. It also prevents corrupt doctors from prescribing heroin for the common cold. Its a heirarchy of security.

As for your Canadian scheme, do you think it could even carry on without the work of foriegn drug companies and foriegn doctors? It does virtually no research and development, you know. Can't afford to. Hell, some places, you've got a month long or more wait just to get an MRI, and while Canadians don't want to talk about it, that's getting worse, not better, as time goes on.

Actually I have seen and read of alot of medical research going on. We have many medical research facilities in Canada, including a massive one being built in Montreal. Yes the lines for special treatment and diagnosing equipment are growing. However we were speaking of drugs were we not. More money is now being funded back into local hospitals so that they can begin replacing and purchasing equipment.

The government makes mistakes, its not easy running a country. They are human. If you don't like the way things are going, vote for a different candidate. If you cannot find one you like, get one to run or run yourself. Just because it may not work for perfectly (at all) for certain things doesn't mean we should just trash it all and go for a complete free system.

WRT the American system. I don't know the motivations for going toward Medicare/Medicade. I assume there was many motivations/reasons, including of course companies looking to make a profit were lobbying for it somewhere along the line. And rich people that were looking for 'better' care as well. But I really don't want to get into that discussion :)

I think that we are a young species that often fucks with things we don't know how to unfuck. -- Tycho


[ Parent ]
Well, (3.00 / 2) (#257)
by trhurler on Tue Feb 20, 2001 at 01:55:40 PM EST

My core assertion seems not to have come up in your reply: there is no need to criminalize possession and/or use of any substance in order to prevent companies from marketing that substance. There is no need to put people who are not what you characterize as the problem in prison. Even if I accept your position on corporations unconditionally, which I don't, but if I did, I'm still left wondering: why not punish and/or police the corporations instead of the end users? Put simply, it is not corporations who are selling marijuana. There is no corporate marijuana threat. And yet, users are ending up in prison. Why? Who is this helping?

As for Medicare and Medicaid, there's a long story there, but mostly it was legislation passed by liberals in order to buy votes from their constituents. As far as I'm aware, doctors at the time were against it, and many still are. Drug companies and so on certainly were and are. But, when you're out to purchase the votes of a bunch of poor people who don't know any better, telling them you'll give them something for nothing is awfully tempting. Some of us know better - you NEVER get something for nothing, all the moreso when you're getting from the government.

Finally, this "if you don't like the policy, elect your own guy!" thing. Well, you see, that's what I work towards, although in the US, not Canada. My guy would eliminate all government health care provision and regulation, because he knows the system cannot be "fixed." :)

--
'God dammit, your posts make me hard.' --LilDebbie

[ Parent ]
Your main assertion (2.00 / 1) (#266)
by retinaburn on Tue Feb 20, 2001 at 04:25:27 PM EST

I must have missed or misread your core assertion.

What I said (or meant to say) is that the government controls the access (specifically relating to drugs). They decide which are safe for which levels of access. They do this because companies cannot be trusted to always produce a product which is safe for their consumers. The consumer and the gov. can prosectute the company for a dangerous product (consumer can also prosecute the government for failure on its part). (People can be prosecuted for the misuse of these products (driving under the influence after too much tylenol 3's etc.)

This punishes the company for not producing a safe product. The consumer may be hurt if a drug is in the testing stages of a new therapy and it is not available to them. This is a con of the current process.

I would not relate the illegal drug market with this example...it doesn't work the same way. There are only a finite number of companies that produce drug X, there are an infinite that will produce 'illegal' drug Y. You can't get rid of them. And I agree that the War On Drugs is a failure.

I also agree that incarcerating those who are charged with possession/using illegal drugs is useless, as there is no way to detox within jail, there is just as many drugs as out here.

But I do not see either of these things as a reason to legalize all currently illegal drugs.

[Curious Question: So the American health-care system has been privatized but still has a measure of government control ?]

I think that we are a young species that often fucks with things we don't know how to unfuck. -- Tycho


[ Parent ]
Health care (2.00 / 1) (#267)
by trhurler on Tue Feb 20, 2001 at 04:48:29 PM EST

The American system was never government run. Over the course of the last century, many laws were passed and/or amended in order to slowly bring parts of it under government control. As this has happened, service for those who do not make much money, who were the intended beneficiaries of all this governmental takeover action, went to hell. At one time, it was good, but not great. Now, it is quite bad. Of course, people who seek to get ahead can do so, and then can buy better insurance, but this is beside the point I'm making: government's increasing influence in health care in the US has been tied to a decrease in the actual quality of care provided to those who are poor. At this point, there are politicians trying to make us a Canadian style system, except that it would be illegal to buy any health care from anyone who wasn't part of the government plan. Essentially, they're trying to support the system by leeching off the richest people and giving to everyone else, despite increasing evidence in other areas of the US tax system that this does not work over the long haul. If they succeed, I'll be moving somewhere where at least it is still legal for me to buy better care.

--
'God dammit, your posts make me hard.' --LilDebbie

[ Parent ]
Prior to 1937 (4.00 / 3) (#214)
by aphrael on Tue Feb 20, 2001 at 02:20:34 AM EST

Marijuana use was legal in most of the western world prior to the 1930s. Use of a less purified form of cocaine was common throughout the US and Europe in the Victorian Era. Samuel Taylor Coleridge was a heavy opium user, as was Arthur Conan Doyle.

[ Parent ]
Im just curious (1.50 / 2) (#232)
by retinaburn on Tue Feb 20, 2001 at 08:51:27 AM EST

As to whether is was legal, or simply had no law pertaining to it, or classifying it as a 'narcotic'. Looking back at my statement I can't believe I even made it, never write just before lunch.

I think that we are a young species that often fucks with things we don't know how to unfuck. -- Tycho


[ Parent ]
it's not that they were explicitly legal (4.00 / 2) (#246)
by aphrael on Tue Feb 20, 2001 at 12:17:47 PM EST

there just were no laws that applied. But, at the same time, isn't it true as a matter of philosophy that anything which is not illegal is legal? Ie., the default state is legality and something must be explicitly prohibited?

[ Parent ]
Hmmm (2.00 / 2) (#253)
by retinaburn on Tue Feb 20, 2001 at 01:32:20 PM EST

I tend to believe that when you make something legal you condone it. You are allowed to drive a car if you have your license. You are allowed 'freedom of expression'. I tend to think that when the government (through regulartory bodies) allows something to be used they are saying "Well we checked this as much as we could, it looks safe. Here ya go."

What got this started was Prohibition. I was under the impression that Alcohol was 'legal and condoned' then made 'illegal' then made legal again.

I think that we are a young species that often fucks with things we don't know how to unfuck. -- Tycho


[ Parent ]
In the US, at least (4.00 / 2) (#260)
by aphrael on Tue Feb 20, 2001 at 02:10:41 PM EST

the default state is legal --- you have the right to do whatever is not explicitly prohibited. The act of making something illegal deprives you of that right.

Prior to prohibition, in many places, there were no laws relating to alcohol at all. (Note, too, that 'prohibition' spread out in some places for longer periods than others, and there are still dry precincts in many states).

Thus, with respect to drugs, they were all legal in the sense that they weren't prohibited and were therefore legal until some particular point in time, and they they were banned.

There is a procedure with artificial drugs where they cannot be sold for medical purposes until they have been approved by the FDA. But that's making it illegal to *sell*; possession is never illegal unless explicitly prohibited.

[ Parent ]

Government-produced marijuana? (2.00 / 1) (#282)
by Asperity on Tue Feb 20, 2001 at 08:11:24 PM EST

I was referring to the Columbian labs for cocaine and the like. They may produce a more pure product than what the government is offering. And then you have a black market. What do you do then ?? Have the government offer a more pure form ??
Egad, having the government provide any sort of drug would be the worst thing we could possibly do. They're actually in the business already in limited form: the one legal marijuana farm in the US is located on the University of Mississippi campus in Oxford, Mississippi. The pot grown there is standardized for a very low THC level. You would feel cheated if someone sold you this stuff.

Unfortunately, I don't know much about where the marijuana actually goes. I've heard that maybe seven people with various diseases get shipments, a holdover from some experiment. The rest is used for government tests of some sort. The university offers summer jobs harvesting the fields at $6 an hour, but they require a background check. Um, that's all I know about it, but from what I can tell, government marijuana is a complete waste of tax money.

[ Parent ]

re: private concerns (3.66 / 3) (#221)
by chale on Tue Feb 20, 2001 at 05:34:48 AM EST

drug abuse hurts many others. the private use of drugs is of no concern to anyone else. people must bear the responsibility for all of their actions, even those performed under the influence of any drug.

where society errs is in criminalizing private, consensual action. we are free to do as we please with our own bodies; except, it seems, where a minority[politicians with agendas and the power to make bad laws] imposes their will on the majority.

and that is what this discussion all comes down to. fear, ignorance, intolerance, hatred, et cetera.....


When one tugs at a single thing in nature, he finds it attached to the rest of the world. -John Muir
[ Parent ]

Lack of understanding..... (4.41 / 17) (#97)
by Phizzy on Mon Feb 19, 2001 at 09:02:45 AM EST

..reading through the posts the most common thread I see is the propensity for peoplle to say something along the lines of "You say that Pot isn't addictive, but you use it every day. I know people who smoke pot and they are boring, and I don't want to be boring, so I'm not going to smoke pot, and _you shouldn't either_." These seem to be the most common responses.. besides bashing the homosexual/drug user comparison, which I find very appropriate, but which has been discussed at length already.

I simply don't beleive how people can claim that Pot is addictive when they have no personal experience with it, as they obviously do not. Do you see anyone posting in K5 saying "I used to smoke pot, and it ruined my life.. I lost my house, my car, my kids.. don't smoke pot".. no.. I haven't seen a single post saying something like that, or ever _heard_ anyone say that, because it doesn't happen (exccept people who are arrested for drug charges, and that's the government ruining your life, not the drug). The only people who are claiming that Pot is addictive are people who have seen their friends be high, and don't understand. It's somewhat like being a designated driver.. everyone has had to do it at some point, and you end up and the end of the night with a bunch of drunk friends in the back of your car, drooling on each other and being loud and obnoxious.. but you understand that because you've been in their situation before. So why doesn't the same attitude apply to potheads? Because people don't understand the effects of the drug when they haven't experienced it. They see their friends sitting on a couch, not saying much, starting at the wall, listening to music very intently, etc, and they don't understand! They can't relate to them much in the same way they can't relate to their drunk friends in the back of the car. So please don't judge things you don't understand.

On addiction, I think most people have missed the most obvious comparison.. Television. I grew up, more or less, with out TV.. for all of my HS years, my family decided not to get cable.. to save the money and the mindspace. I know people who spend almost all of their time away from school/work in front of the TV, staring, not saying anything, not thinking about anything.. but are they viewed as 'addicts', 'junkies', 'losers'? Nooo.. they're consumers.. good little consumers.. watch our commercials.. buy our products. I don't see hwo this comparison isn't made more.

Anyway.. getting to my point. Marijuana has been proven to be basically physically harmless, definitely less so than Tobacco and Alcohol, it is _not_ physically addictive, which has been proven time and time again, and though it can be mentally addicting, so can almost anything. The point is, What right do you or anyone have to tell me what I should put into my body or do with my time, so long as I do not cause harm to anyone else while doing it. The Christian heritage/Moral Majority in America has taken it upon themselves to condemn things which they feel are morally wrong, and to enforce their morality by law, despite attempts by the framers to stop that very thing from happening. The 'opiate of the masses' has decided that they should be the only drug dealer in town, and they have the political clout to eliminate their competition, and stop honest, hard-working people from expanding their horizons and perhaps finding other answers to the questions in their minds than the answers provided by scripture.

This is stated far more elequently and completely than I ever could Here, in "Ain't nobody's business if you do". Please read it, and consider the points made.

Sorry for being a bit high-handed here.. the intolerance shown by the rest of the comments in this article got under my skin to some extent.. I apologise if I offend anyone. I just want to spread understanding.

//Phizzy

boredom (2.28 / 7) (#104)
by streetlawyer on Mon Feb 19, 2001 at 09:40:46 AM EST

The thing which has struck me about this thread, on the other hand (other than the fact that the article gives no indication whatever in its summary of the fact that it is not about homophobia at all, which is a pretty disreputable game of bait-and-switch), is the length and tediousness of the posts by dope-smokers insisting that dope doesn't make you boring ....

--
Just because things have been nonergodic so far, doesn't mean that they'll be nonergodic forever
[ Parent ]
Yeah (3.00 / 4) (#107)
by DJBongHit on Mon Feb 19, 2001 at 10:08:52 AM EST

the article gives no indication whatever in its summary of the fact that it is not about homophobia at all, which is a pretty disreputable game of bait-and-switch
That wasn't intentional - I only realized after the story had been submitted that the first paragraph, which is all that shows up on the front page, is misleading about what the article is really about. Sorry about that.

the length and tediousness of the posts by dope-smokers insisting that dope doesn't make you boring
What you find boring may be what other people find interesting. Not trying to start a flamewar here, but I've found some of your posts rather wordy and uninteresting, and I'm sure people feel the same way about my posts (actually, some of my posts were probably what you were referring to). If it doesn't interest you, don't read it.

~DJBongHit

--
GNU GPL: Free as in herpes.

[ Parent ]
There is room on the Net for everyone (3.00 / 3) (#134)
by try2break on Mon Feb 19, 2001 at 01:48:13 PM EST

The nice thing about being online is that there is enuff room for everyone. We are all part of a new understanding in life I think. The young generation is finally realizing that pretty much everything that people do that doesn't do harm to others is OK. As soon as it starts to interfere with other people's lives is when it stops being OK. Tolerance is what it is all about. The only people I know that really have a problem with my lifestyle (pot smoking) are old people. Anyone under (dare I say) 35 pretty much 'gets it' much more clearly that the holdovers from WWII and the Vietnam War. Perhaps that may have something to do with it. We have yet to suffer thru a pointless war that drags out long after it should. Sure we had a bit of that with the Gulf War, but it was too short lived and one sided to really count. It was always Us v. Them and now it is more and more just Us (as in the world).

[ Parent ]
Pot not harmful? (2.50 / 4) (#105)
by wiredog on Mon Feb 19, 2001 at 09:57:48 AM EST

Do you see anyone posting in K5 saying "I used to smoke pot, and it ruined my life.. I lost my house, my car, my kids.. don't smoke pot"

I've posted comments like that here, and other places. It certainly applies to me. Didn't lose everything, in terms of material goods, but lost most of my friends. I've been in AA and NA for several years.

The idea of a global village is wrong, it's more like a gazillion pub bars.
Phage
[ Parent ]

I sympathize with you... (4.00 / 3) (#112)
by DJBongHit on Mon Feb 19, 2001 at 10:25:14 AM EST

... I really do. But that doesn't happen to the majority of marijuana users, just as it doesn't happen to the majority of alcohol users. With any mind-altering substance there is the possibility of abuse, and some people have a real problem with it. You're the exception, though, and not the rule.

~DJBongHit

--
GNU GPL: Free as in herpes.

[ Parent ]
It's not the pots fault though. (4.00 / 3) (#127)
by CyberQuog on Mon Feb 19, 2001 at 11:45:47 AM EST

As was posted in other comments, anything that is enjoyable can be "addictive" and abused. Gambling, eating, pot, sex, porn, the internet, hell even love; none of these things are physically addictive (except for maybe food, but that doesnt really count), but everyday people abuse them and overuse them.


-...-
[ Parent ]
addictive personalities (4.33 / 3) (#119)
by Phizzy on Mon Feb 19, 2001 at 10:59:15 AM EST

Addictive personalities can become dependant on nearly anything.. chocolate, TV, as I said before, alcohol, and yes, marijuana. The fact that you are in both NA and AA seems to reinforce this. Not to condemn you in any way, I am glad that you are getting help and hope that you find new friends or re-unite with your old friends, but while pot itself is not addicting physically, it can be mentally, especially in the hands of an addictive personality. I know from personal experience that pot isn't for everybody, but it shouldn't be for _nobody_. //Phizzy

[ Parent ]
Argument cannot hold (3.00 / 4) (#136)
by Anonymous 7324 on Mon Feb 19, 2001 at 02:02:07 PM EST

I simply don't beleive how people can claim that Pot is addictive when they have no personal experience with it, as they obviously do not.

Um, dude? If you are going to experience everything first hand, you're going to be a drooling wreck Real Soon(tm). As for me, I know for a fact that dousing myself with gasoline and then setting myself on fire is Painful, even though I have never actually performed this action, or even seen anyone else do so.

[ Parent ]
Duh.... (2.33 / 3) (#141)
by makaera on Mon Feb 19, 2001 at 02:36:50 PM EST

The reason you don't see posts from people who lost their job, car, life, etc. Is that these people probably don't have compters, internet access, or both!! How the hell do you expect them to post if they can't access this forum?

<humor>Maybe the pot has gone to your head <*grin>. </humor>

Seriously, the war on drugs is just another attempt by the socialist leaders of this country to force conformity upon us all. While I don't use drugs, I protest against the decline in privacy and rights that often goes along with the war on drugs.

"Ninety rounds in there," Joel Andrews said. "If you can't take it down with 90 rounds, you better turn in your badge!" -- from Washington Post
[ Parent ]

Yet more pro-drug propaganda from a user.. (1.66 / 3) (#142)
by donky on Mon Feb 19, 2001 at 02:38:21 PM EST

Please. As an obvious proponent of freedom to use drugs, you do others with the same intention no favour by not knowing what you are talking about.

Marijuana has been proven to be basically physically harmless, definitely less so than Tobacco and Alcohol,

On tobacco and marijuana use:
Does smoking marijuana cause lung cancer?
When it comes to health problems related to breathing and their lungs, heavy smokers of either substance have more difficulty than nonsmokers. These include chronic cough, phlegm, wheezing, and bronchitis. Recent studies have indicated that people who smoke both marijuana and tobacco may be more likely to develop lung cancer, and at an earlier age, than smokers of tobacco alone.
And:
Marijuana causes cancer.
``Many people may think marijuana is harmless, but it's not,'' Zhang said in a statement. ``The carcinogens in marijuana are much stronger than those in tobacco. The big message here is that marijuana, like tobacco, can cause cancer.''

There are umpteen articles like this around. It has been published in newspapers, even in New Zealand.

I for one would love to see references to your studies.. otherwise its just more proof drug use damages the brain (and there are studies I can provide for that too :P).



[ Parent ]
Yes, and tobacco is LEGAL (3.00 / 3) (#145)
by Phizzy on Mon Feb 19, 2001 at 03:01:04 PM EST

You are further proving my point. Marijuana has a similar harmfulness, as far as carcinogens in the lungs/blood supply as Tobacco, and Tobacco is LEGAL. Plus, marijuana 'users' as you would like to label us, often take steps, such as water-filtering, vaporizing, etc to reduce this harm, and few people smoke as much pot as they do cigarettes.

I don't need any more studies.. yours are enough.

//Phizzy


[ Parent ]
Has your drug use affected your eyes? (1.33 / 3) (#156)
by donky on Mon Feb 19, 2001 at 04:40:58 PM EST

What you said:

Marijuana has a similar harmfulness

What I said:

The carcinogens in marijuana are much stronger than those in tobacco

Why are you so desperate to prove your point, if only to yourself, that you grasp at straws as valid argument?



[ Parent ]
eyes? (4.66 / 3) (#187)
by NNland on Mon Feb 19, 2001 at 10:26:59 PM EST

Um...

Since you brought it up...
The medical benefits to marijuana (the ones I can think of) -
Relieves pressure in the eyes due to glaucoma (the blind can see)
Gives cancer victims on chemo an appetite again as well as relieving their pain (the drugs usually cause extreme nausia and other such things)
Relieves arthritic pain better than most any other medications (if it still hurts, smoke/eat more, it's functionally impossible to OD on non-laced weed)
(there are more, but I'm not a pre-med bio major)

Remember something...if someone who can't keep food down physically (the cancer victim on chemo), is able to put something down after a bong hit...imagine the additional theraputic use for anorexic people.
"Damn I've never seen that girl eat anything more than a few sprigs of lettuce...that was half a 'za. Damn..." - No one you would know.


And to answer the question that I know is in your head (like it matters anyway), no, I do not smoke pot. Nor do I smoke tobacco...or drink alcohol....etc.

There many things on this planet that can be used for good if given the opportunity (pot, nuclear power, love...yeah, a drug, a power source and an emotion can all be used for good or bad), the trick is that some people like to see the bad (or potential bad), rather than the good in things. Shit man, smoke a bowl.

So gramms likes to hit the bong so her wrists don't make her want to die.
So your neighbor likes to smoke a bowl cause his job is a bit stressful.
So the fuck what.

Live and let live yo.
I don't tell you how to live your life, neither does the pothead. Or to extend what this posting was about...judging is not what anyone should be doing. None of us are nearly experienced enough to judge anyone. We're all in this world for an indeterminate time, looking for happiness and acceptance. If someone isn't accepting...well, you see the problem.

You don't have to accept everyone, but at least don't belittle the dude for trying to say that the stuff won't kill you any faster than any other currently legal substances, and has much better positive ones.


[ Parent ]
rock on (2.33 / 3) (#254)
by r00r on Tue Feb 20, 2001 at 01:42:45 PM EST

hell yes. i respect the fact that while you choose to not use drugs (i ain't got no beef with that) you are big enough to respect other peoples' right to do as they choose.

[ Parent ]
Genetic programming for discrimination ??? (4.14 / 7) (#111)
by redelm on Mon Feb 19, 2001 at 10:24:37 AM EST

FWIW I don't use illegal drugs. By choice, not compulsion. I hope that can be respected :) But I also think this "War on Drugs" is egregiously counterproductive. It is a second Prohibition, and it mostly benefits the underworld elements by elevating margins on the trafficing. I expect some well-laundered trafficer money is contributed to anti-drug politicians and campaigns.

I now seriously wonder if there isn't some genetic code/programming in H.sapiens that facilitates or favors discrimination. One fact is that H.sapiens has less genetic variation between individuals than virtually any other species. Dangerously monoculture. Another is that our competitor H.neanderthalis apparently went extinct very rapidly. I figure we wiped'em out because they were different. And continue to do so, whence the intraspecies uniformity.

You can also observe it in human behaviours. There is a strong tendency to polarize: "us" versus "them". "them" are seldom considered as individuals, but more as stereotypes. "Us" are usually considered as individuals, but with differences possibly leading to further polarization. For all our individualistic posturing (rights for ourselves), we don't see others as individuals (just allies or enemies).

But for conscious species like H.sapiens, genetics is not necessarily destiny. There may well be some genetic code predisposing us to prejudice. Fine -- best recognize it so we can consciously counter it. If we don't face our d[a]emons, we can't fight them.



You get it (3.50 / 2) (#116)
by DJBongHit on Mon Feb 19, 2001 at 10:33:37 AM EST

Thank you, you are one of the very few people who have posted to this article that actually understood what the article was about. I didn't want to start another flamewar about legalization or the harmfulness of marijuana. I just used the drug user example as someone who is discriminated against because that's the position that I am in.

Now, to address your comment...

FWIW I don't use illegal drugs. By choice, not compulsion. I hope that can be respected :)
Heh, of course that can be respected. Drug users don't want everybody to use drugs - we want everybody to have the CHOICE to use drugs if they want to, and not to be treated differently from the rest of society because of this.

One fact is that H.sapiens has less genetic variation between individuals than virtually any other species. Dangerously monoculture. Another is that our competitor H.neanderthalis apparently went extinct very rapidly.
Wow, I didn't know either of those facts - that's interesting. And it certainly is a possible explanation for the still-prevalent discrimination in our culture.

If we don't face our d[a]emons, we can't fight them.
LOL, I've been facing my daemon all night (in between posting comments here, of course :). FreeBSD was leaking shared memory segments until, after about 8 hours of uptime, there would be none left, and I couldn't reclaim them without rebooting. Finally tracked it down to a bug in X-Chat's transparency feature :)

~DJBongHit

--
GNU GPL: Free as in herpes.

[ Parent ]
Hmm (2.33 / 3) (#162)
by donky on Mon Feb 19, 2001 at 05:03:53 PM EST

Thank you, you are one of the very few people who have posted to this article that actually understood what the article was about. I didn't want to start another flamewar about legalization or the harmfulness of marijuana. I just used the drug user example as someone who is discriminated against because that's the position that I am in.

Well, the impression I got was that the discriminations were just there to give some backing to unjustness of the discrimination against drug use. The article was not put across as well as it could have been. Believe it or not, I am for freedom to use drugs to at least the degree youuse, I just disagree with:

  1. People who say "I should be able to do what I want because my american god given right to freedom implies that I should!". Seems like an argument of desperation to a non-American like me rather than some real logic.
  2. People who use bad reasoning to justify it. To me its the same as if someone argued for euthanasia on the grounds that it would save the health system money as compared to arguing for it because it would save the potential users from going through a whole lot of pointless pain.
Give the right reasons and I'm for it. But I'm not going to back something I am potentially for just because someone puts it out there without justifying it substantially.



[ Parent ]
Hmm (2.50 / 2) (#191)
by DJBongHit on Mon Feb 19, 2001 at 10:54:16 PM EST

Well, the impression I got was that the discriminations were just there to give some backing to unjustness of the discrimination against drug use.
Nah, I meant it the other way around - the drug use was an put in as an example of unjust discrimination, and I used drugs as an example because that's what I'm most familiar with.

The article was not put across as well as it could have been.
Well, hell, I wrote the article at 7am after being up all night writing Perl code... can you really blame me? :)

People who say "I should be able to do what I want because my american god given right to freedom implies that I should!". Seems like an argument of desperation to a non-American like me rather than some real logic.
How is this an argument of desperation? It's the same argument that homosexuals used - namely, the right to do whatever the hell you want with your own body.

People who use bad reasoning to justify it. To me its the same as if someone argued for euthanasia on the grounds that it would save the health system money as compared to arguing for it because it would save the potential users from going through a whole lot of pointless pain.
I think that euthanasia should be legal, but not on the grounds that it would save the health care system. If somebody doesn't want to live anymore, they shouldn't have to (it's the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, not the requirement of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness). And allowing people to end their own life with the assistance of a doctor reduces the chance of screwing up their suicide and ending up brain-damaged rather than dead.

But that's getting further away from the topic.

~DJBongHit

--
GNU GPL: Free as in herpes.

[ Parent ]
This is why I consider it desperation. (2.50 / 2) (#227)
by donky on Tue Feb 20, 2001 at 07:28:52 AM EST

People who say "I should be able to do what I want because my american god given right to freedom implies that I should!". Seems like an argument of desperation to a non-American like me rather than some real logic.
How is this an argument of desperation? It's the same argument that homosexuals used - namely, the right to do whatever the hell you want with your own body.
No, its a generality that cannot sanely be considered to be a truth. It implies a feeling of unrighteous repression and evokes sympathy with the arguer based on that. If other more substantial reason is given its presence (to me) waters down the value of that as well - because your other reason should be enough to stand alone. Its also an american warcry that rallies the troups whether they are for or against the issue at hand based on its own merits. Put simply, it is an argument of desperation. Nowhere have I seen it justified as a truth, and to consider the repercussions should it actually be taken as sufficient reason to grant all its users their freedoms, scares me to say the least.

It is not the same argument that the homosexuals use. It is a general argument that alot falls within because of its generality - this does not give equivalence. Homosexuality and the right of someone to use their body for that purpose has no relation to drug use. Homosexuality between consenting partners has no effect on anyone besides the involved parties should it be done in hiding. Drug use however, has an effect on society no matter how privately it is conducted - unless the user makes their own in which case this is not true if they do not sell or give away any. This (that drug use no matter how legal will always have a substantial illegal market) has been argued elsewhere in the topic - refer to the person who argued well that drug use could never be legalised in the same way as other things.



[ Parent ]
Yea it is a sign of desperation. (1.00 / 1) (#277)
by toolj23 on Tue Feb 20, 2001 at 06:29:20 PM EST

He is desperate for you to let him live his life the way he wants and get people like you out of his life. Go save someone who cares.

[ Parent ]
Natural, isn't it? (4.00 / 3) (#213)
by aphrael on Tue Feb 20, 2001 at 02:15:19 AM EST

You can also observe it in human behaviours. There is a strong tendency to polarize: "us" versus "them". "them" are seldom considered as individuals, but more as stereotypes.

I suspect this is natural, for a couple of reasons. We can't possibly know everyone; we have to be able to draw broad generalizations about people in the aggregate in order to comprehend the sheer numbers of people that are out there.

Then, too, it's hard to emotionally attach to more than a certain number of people; anything beyond that is too large.

[ Parent ]

_Shadows of Forgotten Ancestors_ (none / 0) (#346)
by fsh on Sun Feb 25, 2001 at 03:54:53 PM EST

I now seriously wonder if there isn't some genetic code/programming in H.sapiens that facilitates or favors discrimination.
Yes, this diviseness is genetic. It's rather complex, but very well illustrated is Ann Druyan & Carl Sagan's Shadows of Forgotten Ancestors. Incredibly good read. Here's the basic poop: The species can survive longer if there are many individual groups. This way, any genetic advances that are beneficial can be eventually spread out through cross breeding, whereas any genetic drawbacks will simply wipe out the individual culture.

This also means that cross-breeding is genetic; ie, the desire for man and woman to go out and spread wild oats.


-fsh
[ Parent ]

The Demise of K5 came faster than /. (1.56 / 16) (#113)
by PacketMaster on Mon Feb 19, 2001 at 10:28:09 AM EST

I'm not going to comment on this post at all directly. I just think it's sad that a relatively good website that used to be "TECHNOLOGY AND CULTURE FROM THE TRENCHES" has degreaded into Slashdot socalesqe commentary and crying about the oppression of the diffrent and misunderstood. This Op-Ed piece has nothing to do about technology or culture surrounding technology yet this is the highest-rated post on K5 in days?? Looks like I'm off again to find another technology news site. I don't care if you think you're oppressed becuase you use illegal drugs or think that gays are oppressed. What I care about are the latest issues in Open Source, Linux, Microsoft, Privacy and other technology areas. Thanks but no thanks.

If you don't like it... (4.50 / 4) (#117)
by DJBongHit on Mon Feb 19, 2001 at 10:49:13 AM EST

... don't read it. The demise of Slashdot came from the fact that everybody was constantly bitching about the fact that Slashdot was going down the tubes. Your comment doesn't provide any useful input, and things like that are what bring down a site.

As for Kuro5hin changing its focus, it's not. Kuro5hin has always been about technical discussion as well as non-techincal political and cultural discussion. If all you want is "the latest issues in Open Source, Linux, Microsoft, Privacy and other technology areas," you're in the wrong place. Please take your business elsewhere.

And just so you don't think I'm talking out of my ass, the first story I ever posted here, Bill Threatens Privacy, Free Speech of Americans, was a story about a bill which would outlaw drug-related discussion on the internet and was posted on May 18, 2000. That was less than 6 months after Kuro5hin was created, and I had been reading the site for nearly 2 months before that.

~DJBongHit

--
GNU GPL: Free as in herpes.

[ Parent ]
Not a technology website (4.00 / 3) (#128)
by Simon Kinahan on Mon Feb 19, 2001 at 12:03:25 PM EST

K5 is not, and never has been, a website about technology and the culture around technology. Its about both technology and culture. This article is about culture. K% has always had straight culture articles, rather more than /., in fatc. Its not a particularly bad article - easily up the standards of the Sunday colour supplement.

Quite naturally, when you have widely read media that accept submissions from anyone who cares to make one, people who feel misunderstood will talk about it, and people who agree will vote the articles up. Most stuff about "Open Source, Linux, Microsoft and Privacy" has been hashed and rehashed a thousand times already. This subject has been done rather less, and this guy has made a valid, though not especially sharp, observation.

Simon

If you disagree, post, don't moderate
[ Parent ]
K5: Technology and culture, from the trenches (3.00 / 2) (#135)
by redelm on Mon Feb 19, 2001 at 01:49:02 PM EST

Please read the masthead. "Technology and culture,..." and the FAQ. You might personally view this as too cultural and not technical enough for your tastes. That is your right. I have posted on how more technology (genetic programing for discrimination) may be involved.

As for the alleged demise of K5, I beg to disagree. IMHO SlashDot has suffered from capricious story rejection, and irresponsible moderation. These have alienated most knowledgable posters and left behind a rump of zealots. K5 is substantially different in these areas, and we may hope will prove to be robust in the face of onslaughts from the trolls. Voluntarism has a darker side.



[ Parent ]

The key difference (2.85 / 7) (#115)
by deanc on Mon Feb 19, 2001 at 10:32:10 AM EST

Yes, I do smell a whiff of persecution envy here. :)

We can debate for years upon years whether "homosexuality", per se, is a "choice" or not. IMHO, the roots of homosexual desires, genetic or not, is deeply ingrained in the psyche of the homosexual. I don't believe it's a "choice" that someone can turn around and make.

However, homosexual _acts_ are most surely a choice, as surely as any heterosexual chooses to have sex or not or chooses which sexual acts to engage in.

Likewise, "DJBongHit" is making a daily choice whether to get stoned or not to get stoned. Given his options, over the past two years, he has made a conscious decision, each day, to get stoned. Do I feel justified in making judgements about him in regards to his personal choices? Sure... as surely as I'd have a different opinion of someone if he decided to get drunk every day, decided to express his sexuality via S&M each day, etc.

We all make different decisions about what we want to do in any given moment. One person decided to have sex with his or her choice of partner. You decided to get yourself stoned. I feel OK about evaluating a person based on the decisions he or she makes, so there you go.

-Dean


war on drugs, intolerance and discrimination (3.90 / 10) (#124)
by Anonymous 242 on Mon Feb 19, 2001 at 11:30:30 AM EST

First off, I think DJBonghit's analysis of the war on drugs is mostly correct. At best its misguided. At worst it is profiteering and totalitarian movement.

That said I think think DJ has confused some very important issues. In attempting to equate intolerence of, discrimination against and prejudice of drug users with intolerance of, discrimination against and prejudice of people of same sex orientation, he misses some key points.

There is absolutely nothing wrong with discrimination. Nada. To discriminate is to simply make choices based on criteria. There is only a problem with discrimination when it is based on criteria that is inappropriately injurous to someone or some group. Discrimination against a person due to protected rights (here in Ohio gender, marital status, ethinic background, state of disability and age number among the attributes protected against discrimination) is a problem only because it involves prejudice.

An employer that discriminates against someone simply because of that person's sexual orientation is making a decision based upon an attribute that has little or no bearing on the ability of person to competently fill a job. An employer has every right to discriminate against a user of illicit drugs because (at minimum) they know that that individual is willing to break the law of the land. This by itself, says something of the nature of the individual.

Perhaps the solution is to make drugs legal (perhaps not). However, as drugs are currently illegal and currently drug legalization proponents have nothing approaching the moral arguments of equal rights proponents or proponents of gay rights, an employer has a justified reason to discriminate against drug users.

This is what makes discrimination against people who use illicit drugs qualitatively different than discrimination against people of homosexual orientation.

Now as for the societal mores of drug use, taking one movie that portrays a drug user in a certain context as being representative of hollywood at large is a pretty boneheaded move in terms of being persuasive. A tremendous number of movies portray drug use in an even-handed or even laudatory fashion. I don't see movies very frequently, but the movies I recall from when I was in high school such as Robocop, River's Edge, Less than Zero, etc. portrayed many people using illicit drugs in a pretty realistic fashion without overly moralizing.

A change of criteria (5.00 / 2) (#161)
by elenchos on Mon Feb 19, 2001 at 05:01:07 PM EST

This is all true using given the principles that are usually assumed and the way these arguments are framed, but what if you start from different principles? This would in some way put drug use, and many other things, in the same category as sexual behavior.

A few years ago gay rights activists were really big into finding the "gay gene" and proving once and for all that being gay was NOT a choice. Conservatives of course moved to the opposite pole and insisted that it was nothing but a choice. Since the subsequent scientific evidence has been conflicting and confusing (and included math), the whole debate seems to have petered out for lack of fuel.

I always thought it was foolish to try to base gay rights on some hoped-for proof that sexual orientation was pre-determined at birth. It leaves aside so many issues closely related to gay rights: the right to experiment sexually regardless of what some genetic test says you are "supposed" to want to do, the right to freely associate, to express yourself through speech or art, to get a tattoo or a brand on your ass. There is not going to be a gene that determines your desire to pierce your eyebrow or wear platform shoes. So much of the activities certain people want to control entirely about choice, recreational drug use included.

For me it all comes down to the right to own your own body and do what you will with it. The right to stick whatever you want into it, without having to justify that choice to some authority. If I want to bungee jump or go down on my girlfriend or buy a lava lamp, why should the burden be on me to prove that this desire has some biological basis, that it is hard-wired into who I am, and therefore has to be respected on that basis? Why can't my choices be respected on the basis that if it doesn't harm anyone else, it is nobody's business? So it is just besides the point whether sexual orientation is a choice or not, same with smoking pot or praying to Jesus.

Your point about an employer wanting to avoid scofflaws is well taken, because it at least uses the criterion of asking if others could be harmed by the behavior. I would counter that in the US at least, we have a de facto precedent for civil disobedience, from the criminal act that was the Revolutionary War to practiacally every civil rights movement since then. In the US the rule of law is a slippery thing, which is both good and bad for us.

The point is whether we have to answer to someone who wants to be in control, by defining "right" and "wrong" behavior without reference to public and private behavior. If someone wants to make rules that regulate any kind of private behavior, the burden of proof should be entirely on them to show that someone else is harmed by it. Saying something is "unclean" or "unholy" or "unnatural" or "just a personal choice" is irrelevant. What matters is if it impinges on another person's rights or not, nothing else.

Adequacy.org
[ Parent ]

interesting thoughts (3.50 / 2) (#175)
by Anonymous 242 on Mon Feb 19, 2001 at 07:49:05 PM EST

You have some good points. I am especially indebted for you in drawing out what DJBonghit likely meant to build his argument on, individual rights as the foundation for law in the US. I don't know that this is what was intended by the framers of the US constitution, nor do I know that it is a workable model for a society. Individual rights of some will always trample on the rights of others. Until someone can think of a system that can resolve the tension between competing rights of disparate individuals, individual rights will be a flawed cornerstone to build a society on. What we are left with is the model that has been used (more or less successfully) in the US and in many other countries, the social compact. We, as a society, agree that certain laws are useful and enact them. We, as a society, agree that certain behaviors are harmful and ban them. This model is not perfect. It certainly has its flaws, but the idea at its core, a general consensus of the citizens is open to change and flux as the mores of a society change over time. As the populace of the US grows increasingly libertarian (and some would argue libertine), society can adjust its set of acceptable/inacceptaible behaviors. Currently, the social compact in the US leans toward the prohibition of most types of mind-altering substances. This can change. This is changing in many places in the US. (IIRC, posession of small amounts of marijuana for personal use is not illegal in Oregan and Alaska.) So to limited extent, I'll concede your comparisson of persons who choose to use drugs and persons who are sexually oriented toward persons of the same gender. This comparisson, though, is very limited and DJBonghit went well past the boundaries of a valid comparisson. Once one begins speaking of discrimination, the doctrine of individual rights falls on its face. The attributes of an individual need to be able to be discriminated upon in order for people to be able to make useful choices about life. Some aspects (aspects that are traditionally protected areas like gender, age, marital status, etc.) have little or no bearing on the decisions to be made. The distinction between public and private behavior means little because in certain choices (like who to hire for a job) the distinction between public and private behavior is often blurred. And when people such as DJBonghit start complaining about discrimination (and give very poor supporting examples to back up their complaints) my bull-dookey meter pegs itself. Regards, -l

[ Parent ]
Yeah, discrimination just won't fly. (5.00 / 2) (#198)
by elenchos on Tue Feb 20, 2001 at 12:12:15 AM EST

This is how it has gone with gay rights: put it in the same category as race and get protection based on the equal treatment doctrine, that is, no discrimination based on the usual list of benign, non-behavioral, non-chosen characteristics like sex, race, age, etc. The anomaly on that list of course, is religion, unless you expect everyone to want to believe that we simply inherit a set of fairy tales from our parents, just like a regional accent or taste for soul food or meat loaf, and thus no choice is involved. I don't think many religions want to be thought of this way. This leads us in search of a firmer foundation for the idea of giving people the due respect they deserve to, y'know, do their thang; no skin off my nose so why start tweakin?

There exists in the Western tradition the idea of not prying into one's family business. The design of many Mediterranean and middle-eastern houses with no outside windows, especially on the ground floor, and an interior courtyard is one illustration of this. It goes back to before classical times. The Romans had a legal respect for the boundary of a family as well. I think there is no shortage of examples of the existence of privacy as a core value, so I'll skip a bit, and go up to the right to privacy in the bill of rights, based on the 9th amendment's allowance for additional rights, and strongly implied to in the 1st, 3rd, 4th, and 5th amendments. I think the recent Supreme Court decision on Miranda rights is important too. Because in the US today we are so used to the idea of "read 'em his rights" from a million TV shows and movies (the Supremes actually said this), it has become a de facto right, whether or not it really was valid before the idea of Miranda rights became entrenched in our culture. Privacy has become entrenched as well, even if you have trouble reading it into the constitution or in the tradition that it rests on.

So I am comfortable asserting that in the heart of nearly all Americans today is something like the belief that if I want to tell you not to do something, I ought to provide a reason beyond "it's just wrong/abnormal/sick/etc." If there is no victim, there is no crime, and the moral consequences, if any, are between you and $DEITY.

I disagree that it is not a sound basis for a society to build on, provided that you have other cornerstones as well. Privacy and individual rights are only one part of the foundation. While it doesn't give an immediate final answer to the all of really hard questions, abortion and capitol punishment, for example, I think it works pretty good for the easier ones. I propose restricting activity X and you ask me to show you what bystander is harmed by X and in what way. I have a neighbor who stinks up the hall with pot smoke, or else the cigars or perfume he uses to hide the smell. I say that is a violation of my rights. Not what he puts into his body, but what he puts into my air. If the dummy can go one day without getting baked, he might just be lucid enough to get some proper ventilation. This is an example of excess, but you can't go restricting every pleasure in life that can be abused through excess. It is an aspect of letting people live fully as humans to give them the opportunity to fail. In employment, if getting high on my own time hurts my company, they have the right to restrict it. But if there is no evidence for that it does, then we have a private matter that they have no say in.

This is not a magic moral formula, but as I say, I don't think sexual behavior amongst adults, or their use of soft drugs, or similar activity are tough issues. When it comes to adolescents (and obviously children), or the harder drugs, or a lot of other things, then other moral cornerstones come into play, but I feel pretty good about using individual privacy in these easier cases.

Keep on truckin', D.

Adequacy.org
[ Parent ]

excellent (none / 0) (#258)
by r00r on Tue Feb 20, 2001 at 02:06:23 PM EST

while i don't necessarily agree with everything that's been said here, congratulations for being the most on-topic thread this discussion has generated. i think you got the point of DJ's argument, and although you may not agree with his personal motivations, yours is the kind of input that i wish everybody would bring to the table more often.

thank you for respecting my choices. i respect yours.

[ Parent ]

for the record.. (none / 0) (#320)
by Zero Whitefur on Thu Feb 22, 2001 at 10:27:43 PM EST

I see your point, Mr. Malatesta, but keep in mind that homosexuality is still illegal in the following states:

Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Florida, Idaho, Kansas, Louisiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Texas, Utah, and Virginia.

If you were an employer in one of these states, and I had an interview with your company, and you knew beforehand that I was openly gay..would you discriminate against me for performing illegal activities, as you would against a drug user?

source: http://www.actwin.com/eatonohio/gay/sodomy.html

[ Parent ]

I'll jump in... (4.16 / 18) (#130)
by Electric Angst on Mon Feb 19, 2001 at 12:24:53 PM EST

Well, I just wanted to clear up a catagory error that was made in this article. I don't want to come out one way or another right now.

  • Homosexuality is a form of sexuality.
  • Drug use is a form of recreation.

In other words, being homosexual (or heterosexual, or bisexual) is a form of sexuality, and sexuality is something that is hard-wired into our brains to exercise, or else we'd be extinct by now. Using drugs is recreation, and thusly any analogies comparing the two are worthless without taking into account the many social and genetic differences between the two catagories themselves before comparing the two items of each catagory.


--
"Hell, at least [Mailbox Pipebombing suspect Lucas Helder's] argument makes sense, which is more than I can say for the vast majority of people." - trhurler
Groups: different; Treatment: similar (4.00 / 3) (#138)
by botono9 on Mon Feb 19, 2001 at 02:11:20 PM EST

any analogies comparing the two are worthless without taking into account the many social and genetic differences between the two catagories themselves before comparing the two items of each catagory.
Yes homosexuality and drug use are in very different categories, but the way that members of each group are treated by people outside of those groups is not very different at all. I think this article is comparing the treatment of minority groups rather than the groups themselves. And he makes a good point.

"Guns are real. Blue uniforms are real. Cops are social fiction."
--Robert Anton Wilson
[ Parent ]

So? (2.00 / 3) (#139)
by Electric Angst on Mon Feb 19, 2001 at 02:26:08 PM EST

Well, if the group doesn't matter, only the treatment, then I could easily say that a toy and a house cat are similar, because they are both objects of affection treated similarly, residing in similar enviornments.

Catagory does matter.


--
"Hell, at least [Mailbox Pipebombing suspect Lucas Helder's] argument makes sense, which is more than I can say for the vast majority of people." - trhurler
[ Parent ]
YOU miss the point. (2.00 / 4) (#154)
by donky on Mon Feb 19, 2001 at 04:28:13 PM EST

The point isn't just that three minority groups are all treated in a vaguely similar way, its also that drug use isn't bad - supposedly its better for you than alcohol. What is missing is actual justification for this stance.

And anyone can make a good point, but whether it is substantial is irrelevant. What makes a point good? That most of the people that read it are too blind to see how badly argued it is - therefore similarily badly argued support crawls out of the woodworks. And you know whats ironic, it doesn't do the cause any good to have ignorant people arguing for it.

By the way, anyone can make a bad analogy. Heres one that lives up to your "Groups: different; Treatment: similar ". Lots of people spank their monkey and lots of other people spank their children. So we have Monkey Spankers and Child Spankers.

What do drug use and racism/sexual preference have in common?

  • All three groups are discriminated on.
  • What do Monkey Spankers and Child Spankers have in common?

  • Discrimination against both groups.
  • Why don't we see the Monkey Spankers and Child Spankers joining into this fight against discrimination? It could just be because they aren't drug addled and they know a badly argued case that clearly doesn't apply to them ;) And on a serious note I stand by in support of not discriminating against both of those groups, assuming they do it in moderation.. When I am so up for personal freedoms, there must be a reason why I am not up for drug use as one of them. Wonder why? :P



    [ Parent ]
    No (4.00 / 2) (#189)
    by DJBongHit on Mon Feb 19, 2001 at 10:44:36 PM EST

    The point isn't just that three minority groups are all treated in a vaguely similar way, its also that drug use isn't bad - supposedly its better for you than alcohol.
    No, botono9 had it right, you had it wrong. My article was not about drug use, that was simply an example for a discriminated-against minority (and I used it as an example simply because that's the group I belong to and have to deal with it every day)... there is no other minority for whom the government pays for constant TV ads (both commercials and hidden messages in TV shows) saying how wrong our lifestyle is. I'm not trying to justify my drug use (although I do feel it is justified, I just don't really feel a strong urge to convince the rest of k5 that it' justified).

    ~DJBongHit

    --
    GNU GPL: Free as in herpes.

    [ Parent ]
    Again (1.00 / 2) (#225)
    by donky on Tue Feb 20, 2001 at 06:53:22 AM EST

    What it "is about" as defined by the author and what it reads as being about are different things. I can post on the anal seepage caused by my overconsumption of sugar-free chewing-gum and how the gum companies are proliferating this affliction. But what it really comes down to is that if I don't argue it right its a whinge about how I'm a sad bastard with anal seepage.



    [ Parent ]
    Enough (2.50 / 2) (#233)
    by DJBongHit on Tue Feb 20, 2001 at 09:12:00 AM EST

    What it "is about" as defined by the author and what it reads as being about are different things. I can post on the anal seepage caused by my overconsumption of sugar-free chewing-gum and how the gum companies are proliferating this affliction. But what it really comes down to is that if I don't argue it right its a whinge about how I'm a sad bastard with anal seepage.
    Your examples make no sense and are irrelevant. You choose to ignore what people say to you and instead only hear what you want to hear. You make things up off the top of your head. Either think more carefully about what you are going to say before you say it, or simply don't bother posting at all. Until you post a comment that is worth replying to, I'm through conversing with you.

    ~DJBongHit

    --
    GNU GPL: Free as in herpes.

    [ Parent ]
    sexuality is recreation (4.66 / 3) (#256)
    by r00r on Tue Feb 20, 2001 at 01:47:12 PM EST

    most people i know fuck to have fun, not to reproduce. especially the gay ones.

    [ Parent ]
    More to sexuality than just sex. (2.00 / 1) (#295)
    by Electric Angst on Wed Feb 21, 2001 at 10:20:14 AM EST

    There's a whole lot more to sexuality than just sex. It is a very serious part of human interaction, and the way that we relate to other human beings. Also, it happens to have a profound effect on who you love, which is far more complex than simple recreation.
    --
    "Hell, at least [Mailbox Pipebombing suspect Lucas Helder's] argument makes sense, which is more than I can say for the vast majority of people." - trhurler
    [ Parent ]
    His point is... (4.00 / 8) (#137)
    by toolj23 on Mon Feb 19, 2001 at 02:10:24 PM EST

    Drug users have rights too! These rights should not be taken away just because they use drugs! He is standing up for his right to make his own personal decisions.

    The only time we should be taking away rights of drug users is when they cause physical harm to someone or property. Also if someone is driving under the influence and unable to control their vehicle something should be done. Otherwise there is no victim. The only "victim" is the person commiting this so called crime. The criminal is the victim by thier OWN choice. They are only a criminal b/c the government has taken away their rights.

    Now don't try to say that drugs are illegal so someone's rights should be taken away and they should be discriminated against. You, I, and everyone else in this world has a right to put whatever they want to put into their body. It is a personal choice... not a choice of the government, society, or you to make for an individual. Of course there are going to be addicts but we should NOT be throwing these people in jail and ruining their lifes even more because they are sick.

    Likewise, homosexuals should not have their rights taken away just because they choose to be with a same sex partner. I say "choose" because no one is forcing them to do it. Maybe they feel strong urges to do it... but maybe DJBongHit has strong urges to do drugs b/c he enjoys the feeling. Sex with the same gender can only be done out of emotions and physical sensation. No baby will ever be made. That main goal of sex is of course to reproduce.

    Why aren't the people who go to the bar everynight or sit at home and drink everynight getting discriminated against like illegal drug users are? How many employers screen for alcohol use? Why is this different for pot? The only reason I can see is that the governemt propaganda and misinformation about drugs overall has caused our society to deem them bad. Alcohol is bad, everyone knows this... yet society says it's "ok" to consume.

    If you can't respect the right for someone to choose what they want do with their own body because you think you know better then maybe you should read Ain't Nobody's Business If You Do. It is free and fully published online for your enlightenment. DJ just wants everyone to stand up for their rights so we can stop unfair discrimination.

    But he doesn't actually succeed in arguing that (1.00 / 2) (#150)
    by donky on Mon Feb 19, 2001 at 04:09:52 PM EST

    Does he actually provide any real argument that drug users have rights? No. His "health benefits" claim have been proven wrong. His "alcohol is bad therefore marijuana which is comparatively bad is therefore as acceptable if not more so than alcohol" claim has definitely been proven invalid. And given that evidence dictates that drugs are bad for you, not to mention the negative effect they have on society, then discrimination against drug users is a positive thing. So, it has no basis for comparison with negative discrimination, like race and homosexuality.

    And as for you.. given that you don't understand that someone has to use facts in place of fantasy (read other comments for proof of my statements above) before you should hold it up as a valid argument, well.. theres no point in reading your equally invalid pro-drug speal. Get out of drugs and into life - theres a real world that you and your peers appear to be missing - and theres also a grasp of reality that also appears to be missing. You and DJBongHit are arguably proof in your delusional postings that drugs affect the mind. Prove me wrong, the proof of what I say exists in this thread. All either of you have to do is give a well thought out, substantial, well reasoned argument why drug use discrimination is comparable. Thats all I ask, is it that hard? Well, obviously it must be.



    [ Parent ]

    Strong claims (3.50 / 2) (#158)
    by aphrael on Mon Feb 19, 2001 at 04:43:41 PM EST

    His "alcohol is bad therefore marijuana which is comparatively bad is therefore as acceptable if not more so than alcohol" claim has definitely been proven invalid.

    Are you speaking scientifically or culturally? If you're speaking scientifically, can you provide a citation? If you're speaking culturally --- well, that depends on what culture you're part of. Where I live, marijuana is just as acceptable socially as alcohol is.

    [ Parent ]

    Scientifically (with links) (2.50 / 2) (#159)
    by donky on Mon Feb 19, 2001 at 04:50:26 PM EST

    Heres two links:
    Drug use affects brain in adverse ways
    And another comment with marijuana causes cancer links.



    [ Parent ]
    Link responses (5.00 / 1) (#272)
    by aphrael on Tue Feb 20, 2001 at 05:55:04 PM EST

    As for marijuana causing lung cancer, you'll get no argument from me --- smoking anything can have that effect. There's an interesting side argument about whether it's more or less dangerous than tobacco smoking, and whether or not amount smoked and frequency are relevant, but anyone who claims that marijuana can't cause lung cancer isn't paying attention.

    With respect to the other link --- that seems to be demonstrating that long-term heavy users have changes in brain chemistry which are detectable while they are using and shortly thereafter. The link itself says these aren't structural changes, so whether or not they are permanent changes or fade away over time is unclear.

    In any event, neither disprove the allegation that marijuana use is not substantially more harmful than alcohol or tobacco use. I think it's an open question.

    [ Parent ]

    Legalize marijuana, huh? (2.25 / 4) (#152)
    by extrasolar on Mon Feb 19, 2001 at 04:20:39 PM EST

    Legalize marijuana, huh?

    I ask you, what happens if an entire country become pot users...in fact, lets look at the ethical consequences of legalizing Marijuana.

    First of all, there will be more use of Marijuana. Perhaps a lot more use of Marijuanna. Especially during the early teenage years when teenagers usually have to deal with depression and remorse, who often feel like the outcasts of society. But if a drug can relieve them of this burden, how will they learn to deal with these emotions? This age is a time of maturing and dealing with depression is an important part of this. It is perhaps the worst time for the use of drugs.

    Second, there are always problems of dependency. Look at caffeine. There are many people I know who have dependency on caffeine. They need it and are always willing to shove dollars into their habit-craving vending machines at highly inflated prices. Ever thought of what companies can do with the selling of marijuana? What they can do to the drug they sell *just* to sell more?

    Third, the concept of a *recreational drug* is one of the most evil things I can think of. The idea is to inject a chemical to change your body's functions in a way to mimick mental illness. This is known as a high. Your body is quite healthy the way it is not (I hope), don't screw with it.

    So lastly, we come upon the question that the Libretarian agenda answers for us. Is the government responsible for the social well-being of the state? I think it does. If people lived in isolation then I would perhaps agree that the answer is no. But people do not live in isolation. Libretarians often complain about the government telling them what to do. What they neglect to mention is that the government gains its authority from the people in a democracy, its called a social contract. Note the word *social*. In fact, the United States has had these ideas from its inseption. What are them words in the Constitution? "To promote the common welfare"

    Now the real question is whether the illegalization of drugs "promotes the common welfare". This is a question best left to the experts. But my 8-ball says 'no'.

    [ Parent ]
    The counterpoint is (5.00 / 2) (#157)
    by aphrael on Mon Feb 19, 2001 at 04:41:46 PM EST

    that the fact that marijuana is illegal means that the government is saying that people like me --- a happy, well-adjusted, ecomically productive computer programmer who smokes pot but is otherwise law-abiding --- should be in jail, and that society is better off paying to keep me in jail than it is letting me live my life.

    I don't understand this argument --- that my not being in jail hurts society seems like an insane proposition to me.

    [ Parent ]

    Yes, Decriminalize or Legalize Marijuana (4.66 / 3) (#179)
    by toolj23 on Mon Feb 19, 2001 at 09:14:44 PM EST

    I ask you, what happens if an entire country become pot users...in fact, lets look at the ethical consequences of legalizing Marijuana.

    Are you serious? "an entire country become pot users" What are YOU smoking? Where in the world did you get the idea that if we legalize marijuana that everyone is going to use it and be worthless druggies? Oh, I shouldn't have to ask... probably D.A.R.E, the government, and possibly your parents.

    I think you should do a little bit of homework before you start spouting off crap like that. Take for instance cigarettes. They are physically addictive. It is legal. Pot is not physically addictive. If I use your thinking everyone in this country would be smoking cigarettes. You are exagerating I know, but that exageration shows just how out of touch you are with this issue. This exageration has, in my mind, debunked the rest of your points. But since you probably still think you're right I'll try to argue them further.

    First of all, there will be more use of Marijuana. Perhaps a lot more use of Marijuanna. Especially during the early teenage years when teenagers usually have to deal with depression and remorse, who often feel like the outcasts of society.

    I would agree that use in the country would increase slightly. I do not agree that many more teens who have depression problems will turn to drugs if they are availible. MJ would still be treated like alohol or cigaretts. Must be 18 or 21. Why aren't they all drinking to deal with their problems?

    In fact, drugs are already availible to practically anyone who goes to highschool. If someone is depressed why would they care that it's against the law? They will stop caring and do what they want. Even if they aren't depressed kids are going to do what they want. It's their life, they make their OWN choice. I'm sure you can name atleast five people you know(not necessarily personally) in your highschool that you could probably get drugs from.

    All of this is seeing into the future anyway. It's kind of funny though. In the Netherlands pot is decriminalized and you can buy it in pot bars or cafes. You must be 18 to buy it. Did you know that they have a lower usage rate among teens than the Unites States does? The US is #1 on the list I believe. Even after 30 years of war against its own people.

    Second, there are always problems of dependency. Look at caffeine. They need it and are always willing to shove dollars into their habit-craving vending machines at highly inflated prices. Ever thought of what companies can do with the selling of marijuana? What they can do to the drug they sell *just* to sell more?

    OK so what exactly is your point here? You say there are always going to be problems with dependancy. "Always" means legal or illegal. So what are you trying to say here? Plus, I see people cramming dollar bills into vending machines just to get caffeine-free soda at highly inflated prices too. I guess they must be addicted to the soda then. I am willing to shove money into a vending machine every other day or so to get a soda. I am not addicted to caffeine and I get soda with caffeine in it. There is such a thing as responsible use. Either way, like you said there is dependance. Putting people in jail because of a dependance problem is not helping the problem.

    Your scare tactic about companies putting bad stuff in what they sell may have some merit, but in a regulated industry this would be checked. Plus, you can just grow your own. It is a weed and not very hard to grow. That way you know exactly what you get. Plus the fact that the underground market is not regulated makes the chances of junk getting into your pot even greater.

    Third, the concept of a *recreational drug* is one of the most evil things I can think of. The idea is to inject a chemical to change your body's functions in a way to mimick mental illness. This is known as a high. Your body is quite healthy the way it is not (I hope), don't screw with it.

    Just because you happen to think drugs are evil does not make it so. This is only your opinion and isn't even worth discussing.

    As for you last comment on the Constitution, I strongly urge you to read this book. It will help you better understand the situation.

    [ Parent ]
    Re: Yes, Decriminalize or Legalize Marijuana (2.00 / 2) (#205)
    by extrasolar on Tue Feb 20, 2001 at 01:02:43 AM EST

    "Are you serious? "an entire country become pot users" What are YOU smoking? Where in the world did you get the idea that if we legalize marijuana that everyone is going to use it and be worthless druggies? Oh, I shouldn't have to ask... probably D.A.R.E, the government, and possibly your parents."

    You completely misinterpreted my statement. I mean to say that...when another smokes pot, that is one more person who smokes pot. So then consider an entire country of pot smokers and then ask yourself if it is a positive trend.

    "I think you should do a little bit of homework before you start spouting off crap like that. Take for instance cigarettes. They are physically addictive. It is legal. Pot is not physically addictive. If I use your thinking everyone in this country would be smoking cigarettes. You are exagerating I know, but that exageration shows just how out of touch you are with this issue. This exageration has, in my mind, debunked the rest of your points. But since you probably still think you're right I'll try to argue them further."

    Won't respond since it is all based upon jumping to concusions.

    "I would agree that use in the country would increase slightly. I do not agree that many more teens who have depression problems will turn to drugs if they are availible. MJ would still be treated like alohol or cigaretts. Must be 18 or 21. Why aren't they all drinking to deal with their problems?"

    They are.

    "In fact, drugs are already availible to practically anyone who goes to highschool. If someone is depressed why would they care that it's against the law? They will stop caring and do what they want. Even if they aren't depressed kids are going to do what they want. It's their life, they make their OWN choice. I'm sure you can name atleast five people you know(not necessarily personally) in your highschool that you could probably get drugs from."

    That is what is behind the whole "war on drugs". Successful or not, the idea is for it not to be available to kids...or anyone. And sure they can make their own choice...if they will live their life in isolation. But they won't. We exist with others. A family member of mine used use marijuana, during them fragile teenage years. Her grades went down, she became obsessed with it, she was approaching dependency. And the only reason she quit is because the cops caught her. That is why I am against the legalization of drugs.

    "All of this is seeing into the future anyway. It's kind of funny though. In the Netherlands pot is decriminalized and you can buy it in pot bars or cafes. You must be 18 to buy it. Did you know that they have a lower usage rate among teens than the Unites States does? The US is #1 on the list I believe. Even after 30 years of war against its own people."

    I would like to see the statistics. Is this based on number of individuals or population? Also, the culture is rather different here.

    "OK so what exactly is your point here? You say there are always going to be problems with dependancy. "Always" means legal or illegal. So what are you trying to say here? Plus, I see people cramming dollar bills into vending machines just to get caffeine-free soda at highly inflated prices too. I guess they must be addicted to the soda then. I am willing to shove money into a vending machine every other day or so to get a soda. I am not addicted to caffeine and I get soda with caffeine in it. There is such a thing as responsible use. Either way, like you said there is dependance. Putting people in jail because of a dependance problem is not helping the problem."

    illegal != put in jail

    My point was that there is a difference in scale. When you legalize a drug, you invent a market. Then you get the commercialization of marijuana, advertisements, conveniant marketing...research and development "if marijuana is slightly addictive, how can we make more addictive?".

    That was my point.

    "Just because you happen to think drugs are evil does not make it so. This is only your opinion and isn't even worth discussing."

    I don't think drugs are evil. I think taking drugs for recreation is evil. And if opinions don't matter, then why the heck do we have such things such as kuro5hin in the first place? I posted a reply *because* I have a disenting opinion!

    As far as defining what makes something evil...I don't know. Probably someone has an accurate definition. But if everyone agreed with it, then this discussion would probably be obsolete.

    [ Parent ]
    You are blind! (5.00 / 1) (#235)
    by toolj23 on Tue Feb 20, 2001 at 10:41:34 AM EST

    "I mean to say that...when another smokes pot, that is one more person who smokes pot. So then consider an entire country of pot smokers and then ask yourself if it is a positive trend. "

    In NO way am I going to consider an entire country of pot smokers. I don't care if 2 million more people start smoking pot after legalization. An entire country is NOT going to start smoking pot! The trend will stop somewhere. Some will start, some will stop, some will die. You still make no valid point.

    "I would like to see the statistics. "

    here is a quote from this article.

    He also was told that the incidence of cannabis use in the Netherlands was 4.6 percent of the total population vs. 6 percent in the United States and that the incidence of youth drug use in the Netherlands was almost 50 percent less than in the United States in recent years. In fact, U.S. government data show that in 1995, almost 50 percent of high school seniors had tried an illegal substance, which is much higher than the 30.2 percent attributed to the Netherlands.

    and again...

    According to the 1996 annual survey data compiled by the University of Michigan's Monitoring the Future project, 45 percent of American high school seniors admit they have tried marijuana - not 9.1 percent, as Gen. McCaffrey claims. This percentage is far greater than the number of Dutch 12th graders who admit to having tried marijuana. Gen. McCaffrey's data misleads the public by comparing the percentage of American teens who use marijuana monthly to the percentage of Dutch teen-agers who have ever tried marijuana.

    "illegal != put in jail"

    Ha, you try telling that to the millions of non-violent drug using Americans who have been put in jail and had their lives ruined. And they were probably ruined far worse than any drug would have done. Again, there IS such a thing as responsible drug use. I support decriminalization. Keep pot semi-illegal but don't keep throwing people in jail. See my subject of my previous post.

    "My point was that there is a difference in scale. When you legalize a drug, you invent a market. Then you get the commercialization of marijuana, advertisements, conveniant marketing...research and development "if marijuana is slightly addictive, how can we make more addictive?"

    There IS a complete difference in scale. When you prohibit something in demand you invent a BLACK market. An underground market that is unregulated, untaxed, and is full of violence and corruption which spills over to our open markets and causes the system to become corrupt. Right now there is a HUGE market for drugs. A much worse one than there would be if it was legal and regulated. Wake up! Which would you rather have? A Black market full of violence, gangs, corruption, illegal money... etc. Or a regulated market that the government can make money off of to pay for all of the ill effects drugs have on our society?

    MJ would most likely be regulated like alcohol and cigarettes. Would you like to go back to alcohol prohibition? Go do some research and read why it was prohibited and why it stopped. Right now we are in the same boat as alcohol prohibition was.

    And your opinion that recreational drug use is evil is still YOUR opinion. Just becaue YOU think it's evil, or even 51% of the US thinks it's evil doesn't give anyone the right to tell anyone they can't do something that harms no one but themselves.

    [ Parent ]
    In your own words, explain. (5.00 / 4) (#204)
    by communista on Tue Feb 20, 2001 at 01:01:03 AM EST

    Where would you get the idea that the whole nation would become pot smokers?

    It's sad we live in a world that someone who peacefully sits at home and smokes a joint gets 15 years, but the drunkards who are stupid enough to get in their cars and kill someone gets 6 months, a week off in the joke they call traffic school and a slap on the wrist.

    "The idea is to inject a chemical to change your body's functions in a way to mimick mental illness"

    So is it justified when someone mimicks mental illness through a shot of tequila? Sure it's okay to go get trashed and kill a total stranger, beause it's legal right? Count for me the number of deaths in newspapers around the nation that are caused by someone getting high and getting in their car, and compare it to the number of people killed by a drunk driver. Show me that the numbers are even remotely significant and I'll see your point.

    The point is, people who smoke pot will do it regardless of its legality. Those who choose not to won't. Think of the prohibition....did it stop people from drinking? No. Will the fact that pot is currently illegal stop people from smoking it? No. I understand your concern, but the Mr. Mackey approach of "Marajuana is bad....mmhkay?" Isn't a very good selling point. Throw something at us besides political stereotypes and psychobabble and tell me what you really think.
    /me fucks shit up!!!!
    [ Parent ]
    Alexander Shulgin (4.28 / 7) (#140)
    by Knight on Mon Feb 19, 2001 at 02:35:20 PM EST

    Paraphrased: "From the skin in, I am the sovereign. I am the police, I am the border patrol, and I am the customs agent; and I will protect these borders with more vigor than the borders of any nation-state."

    What I do to me is not the business of anyone else. In fact, the day that my own treatment of myself is regulated by the government, all semblance of living in freedom has been lost.

    You're among friends here. (1.00 / 5) (#148)
    by donky on Mon Feb 19, 2001 at 03:50:50 PM EST

    Thats so sad.

    I know someone just like you. While hes not letting life pass him by just because he doesn't get what he wants, it passes him by as he lets it none the less. Its time for you to start living, and I'd like to be the first to tell you that you are among friends here.

    That is, unless you're one of those sad losers who posts vague rubbishy statements in the hope of getting attention. Heres hoping you're not and you are open to help to improve your empty life.

    And remember, Jesus loves you.



    [ Parent ]
    huh? (4.00 / 4) (#177)
    by Knight on Mon Feb 19, 2001 at 08:03:19 PM EST

    I find your complete inability to reply in context completely staggering. I don't use drugs. My statement was regarding societal control of personal decisions. I argue that society holds no right to regulate the actions of its members so long as such actions to not affect other members of society. Remember, if you will, that the only reasons that civilizations exist are for the mutual or collective benefit of their members. When a persons actions do not affect any other members of the society, they are not the business of the society.

    Then, in rebuttal, you call my life empty and completely twist the conversation into one about moral issues, which by definition are not societal or governmental issues. While you were busy being brainwashed, I was conducting independent research on drugs. I'll let you in on a little secret: I hate drugs. I can't stand what people do to themselves on hard drugs, but I would be a fool to stand here, knowing what I know, claiming that it is anyone's business what another person does to himself. Judge not, lest ye also be judged.

    [ Parent ]
    What context? (1.00 / 2) (#224)
    by donky on Tue Feb 20, 2001 at 06:49:37 AM EST

    Your lack of clarity is your own fault. If you leave general statements which serve no purpose and indicate as far as the reader is concerned that your lack of personal freedom means that you lead an empty life - then you have no one else to blame for the obvious interpretation.

    You made no statement. But you provided two. Theres a difference.



    [ Parent ]
    Clearly, I am wasting my time (1.00 / 1) (#264)
    by Knight on Tue Feb 20, 2001 at 04:11:53 PM EST

    If you cannot deduce context from my statements, you are most definitely not worth my time. Please don't waste my time, or at least provide an email address. You are just another blinded sheep with an inability to comprehend that with which you have been trained to disagree. Surely, you'll respond to this post with yet more, "this doesn't make sense" hogwash, but I really don't care. Go crash someone else's rights. I think China would love you.

    [ Parent ]
    Jesus loves you (2.00 / 1) (#317)
    by flash91 on Thu Feb 22, 2001 at 05:29:15 PM EST

    But, like the poster, acknowledges your right to decide your own fate. His post was about what territory is his (his body). Your post was a value judgement about how he should use his time.

    Unfortunately, the prevailing attitude in the US is that your body and time are property of the state. This is the exact opposite of how things were set up to be here. We are supposed to have liberty with our own bodies.

    {example state ownership of people}
    We have seatbelts laws where I am, and everybody obeys them without question. The state says that I must minimize damage to myself, expenses for my (or another's) insurance. Nuts! I pay for that stuff. My premiums didn't go down when seatbelt laws became mandatory, so either my insurance company is ripping me off, or seatbelts don't reduce their costs.

    We have become a nation of sheep. It is only a matter of time before nationaly scheduled bathroom breaks are mandated. Thank goodness I'm not at the END of the alphabet.


    [ Parent ]
    Your drug use and my rights (3.40 / 5) (#151)
    by DoomGerbil on Mon Feb 19, 2001 at 04:20:20 PM EST

    I don't have a problem if someone wants to get stoned off their ass in the comfort of their own home. However, and this is a big caveat, the second they mleave their home, they become a threat to my life. I was recently in a car accident with someone under the influence of marijuana. Both cars were totalled and they had to airlift both occupants of the other car, because the driver was stoned and ran a stop sign (and yes, the two were founf to be connected in the investigation). The instant someone leaves their house while under the influence of anything, be it drugs or alcohol, I feel they become a threat to me, and I have a huge issue with that.

    I agree (3.00 / 2) (#167)
    by baberg on Mon Feb 19, 2001 at 05:41:41 PM EST

    Just wanted to say "me too" to that sentiment. I think that's something that gets overlooked all too often. There's a quote I heard once... "Your right to swing your fists ends at my face". I can't remember where or who said it, and I'm too lazy to look it up.

    I've become annoyed at people who are obviously stoned and being complete morons, but, truth be known, they're morons even without being stoned (and I'm not saying all drug users are morons. I just happen to come from a town where 95% of the people are morons, and some use drugs).

    I was wondering... How did the influence of marijuana and running the stop sign become connected? What was their reasoning behind it? Was the driver passing a joint to the backseat, or what?

    [ Parent ]

    Show a little tolerance! (3.66 / 3) (#171)
    by jynx on Mon Feb 19, 2001 at 06:45:16 PM EST

    Driving around in 2 tonnes of metal you are incapable of controlling is obviously stupid and dangerous.

    But it is rediculous (and astonishingly paranoid) to claim that anyone who has taken a drug and is outside their home is endangering your life.

    Think about this logically for a moment: A stoned person wandering around there local park (or whatever) is clearly far far less likely to kill someone than a totally sober person driving a car. Do you think your workmates driving to work in the morning are threatening your life? Of course they are, but the threat is tiny.

    You are guilty of exactly the prejudice the article talks about by claiming that someone under the influence of a drug somehow represents a far greater danger than they actually do.

    --

    [ Parent ]

    Good point, but (4.00 / 2) (#172)
    by fluxrad on Mon Feb 19, 2001 at 06:45:33 PM EST

    I would argue that simply leaving one's own home under the influence of a substance (fuck,even extreme anger) does not actually constitute a signifigant risk to any other individual.

    I do, however, fervently agree that people under the influence of marijuana, alcohol, fatigue, excessive ammounts of caffeine, or in any state that impairs their reaction times and senses, should absolutely not be allowed to drive. And, in fact, should be dealt with in the harshest manner possible when caught driving while impaired.

    --
    "It is seldom liberty of any kind that is lost all at once."
    -David Hume
    [ Parent ]
    DUIs, etc. (4.50 / 2) (#178)
    by Asperity on Mon Feb 19, 2001 at 08:58:44 PM EST

    What I find odd is the great disparity between punishments for driving under the influence of alcohol and those for other forms of reckless driving (like being tired, stoned, wired, or having a bunch of screaming kids in the back seat).

    I think the penalties for all of these things should probably be more or less the same, but I'm not sure whether sentences ought to be raised to the same level drunk-driving laws require now, or whether drunk-driving penalties ought to be lowered to the same level as comparable crimes. Obviously I don't want people driving drunk on the same highways I am, but I think it's probably unfair to penalize them so much more than we do people who are equally impaired in different ways.

    Driving while tired can be every bit as dangerous as driving while drunk, and it's a shame the laws don't reflect this. We see admonitions about the evils of drunk driving (which are real, duh) but very few warnings about other ways drivers can be negligent and kill a bunch of people.

    I think that's enough pointless rambling for now. :)

    [ Parent ]

    true words (4.00 / 2) (#183)
    by fluxrad on Mon Feb 19, 2001 at 09:45:24 PM EST

    agreed.

    i don't agree, however, that drunk driving should be "less" of a crime that it already is. that is to say, we should not lessen the punishment. My advice: make marijuana legal, but hold it's users to the same standards as you would for those who use alcohol. You must be at least 18-21, you can't drive while intoxicated, and for christ's sake, let's educate our kids about it instead of the stereotypical Mr. Mackey representation: "Now, um, son....drugs are baaad, mmmmkay!"

    BTW - there is currently a DWAI law in every state i've ever heard of that does, in fact, cover anything and everything that would cause you to be unable to drive (e.g. stoned, pissed off, extremely tired).

    Oh well, i suppose that fundamentally it comes down to this: If one's driving capabilities are not at 100% then they should not be on the road, period. Too tired? Too angry? Too drunk? Too Stoned? Too happy? - it doesn't matter what the reason is, just don't do it.

    --
    "It is seldom liberty of any kind that is lost all at once."
    -David Hume
    [ Parent ]
    Hurrah for responsible driving! (none / 0) (#284)
    by Asperity on Tue Feb 20, 2001 at 08:45:52 PM EST

    I hadn't heard about any laws covering other sorts of dangerous, stupid driving except for the generic reckless driving laws. Those are definitely a good thing.

    I wholeheartedly support legalization of marijuana and anything else people want to do with their bodies. I don't buy this loopy "social harm" nonsense that the government uses as an excuse to intrude into my personal life. There's nothing nebulous about physical harm resulting from impaired idiots steering two-ton death machines around the roads, though, and keeping dangerous driving illegal is okay in my book.

    I don't really approve of age restrictions, at least not the absurdly high ones we have today, but I'm sure they'd be just as strict as those for alcohol. Depressing thought.

    [ Parent ]

    Bah! (2.80 / 10) (#155)
    by TigerBaer on Mon Feb 19, 2001 at 04:40:45 PM EST

    I can't believe you can compare racism and homophobia to criticism of people and their drug use!

    Racism and Sexual Orientation are issues that seriously need to be addressed. Your need to get stoned is Not a serious issue. How about smokers, should we begin opening up public buildings to smokers, i mean, we dont want to discriminate, right? Bah! thats what i say.

    Just for you information, i am an opponent of the drug war, and think it is a big waste of time, but i have no pity for drug users who think they are being discriminated against. Drunks are not arrested, but they are looked down upon, and for good reason. They are attempting to escape reality. Cannabis users are attempting to do the same thing.

    Anyway, a more interesting issue is the government's ridiculous persecution of hemp growers. To find out more go to abouthemp.com

    How much weed have you smoked? (5.00 / 3) (#169)
    by fluxrad on Mon Feb 19, 2001 at 06:38:26 PM EST

    They are attempting to escape reality. Cannabis users are attempting to do the same thing.

    On occasion, i have smoked marijuana to relax myself, to wind down from a hard day at work, or to just kick back and relax. And i agree, this is a kind of escape. However, you assumption that many adults choose marijuana as an escape is both misinformed, and stereotypical.

    I would agree with you had you alluded to more of a correlation between under-age marijuana use and an "escape" - up to about a year after i started smoking pot, this escape was a signifigant factor in my usage. Not any more. These days (i am now 21) i use marijuana to alter my reality, not escape from it. If you'd like to read a relatively comprehensive explanation of why i smoke pot, you might check DJBongHit's essay on smokedot. It would be a waste of time for me to reiterate what he has already said.

    And what, exactly, are the signifigant differences between the fight for freedom of (most) drug use, and the freedom to be gay? Regardless of which traits are genetic and which are "nurtured" - the parallels are the same: people should be allowed to make a personal choice that harms no one but themselves, if even themselves.

    --
    "It is seldom liberty of any kind that is lost all at once."
    -David Hume
    [ Parent ]
    Escaping reality? (4.50 / 2) (#212)
    by aphrael on Tue Feb 20, 2001 at 02:07:03 AM EST

    Drunks are not arrested, but they are looked down upon, and for good reason. They are attempting to escape reality. Cannabis users are attempting to do the same thing.

    Ah, but what's the difference between drinking a glass of wine or a beer at dinner, and smoking a joint when you get home from work? Why should one be illegal and the other not? Why should one have all sorts of negative social sanctions and the other not?

    [ Parent ]

    I find it silly (2.25 / 4) (#181)
    by jeanlucpikachu on Mon Feb 19, 2001 at 09:35:36 PM EST

    that the article started talking about homophobia and then went into recreational drug use. *whoosh* my favorite is the standard that, if you're a user of recreational drugs, you have an enlightened view, if not, you're in the dark ages. riiiiiight...

    back on topic:
    Changing the focus of the fight against discrimination away from individual examples of discriminated groups and toward discrimination and stereotyping in general will, in the short run, help all minorities who are unfairly discriminated against or stereotyped, and in the long run, help society in general by promoting a tolerance for new ideas, whether or not you agree with them. So why don't such groups do this? After all... don't they all want the same thing?

    Not at all. Each minority wants only to not be discriminated against. Why? Because they're not the majority. Each one hates the other minorities (along with the 'majority') because *dundunDUUUUUN* they're different. Why else would anyone hate anyone else? There's no good reason. If you try to focus the fight on discrimination in general, you're lumping all minorities together, and they'd hate that... Where'd their identity go? The identity is important, that's why they don't want to be discriminated against.

    and stuff...

    --
    Peace,
    Capt. Jean-Luc Pikachu AIM: jeanlucpikachu
    Please! (4.00 / 1) (#186)
    by toolj23 on Mon Feb 19, 2001 at 10:06:45 PM EST

    Not at all. Each minority wants only to not be discriminated against. Why? Because they're not the majority. Each one hates the other minorities (along with the 'majority') because *dundunDUUUUUN* they're different . Why else would anyone hate anyone else? There's no good reason. If you try to focus the fight on discrimination in general, you're lumping all minorities together, and they'd hate that... Where'd their identity go? The identity is important, that's why they don't want to be discriminated against.

    What? What world do you live in? Each minority hates every other minority and the majority? That is an overgeneralization to the extreme. Please!

    The only people I hate are the ones who think they can tell you what you can and cannot do to your own body in the privacy of your own home.

    Plus there are plenty of good reasons to hate someone other than because they are different. Maybe because of their actions against you or someone else.

    [ Parent ]
    well (2.00 / 2) (#188)
    by jeanlucpikachu on Mon Feb 19, 2001 at 10:31:51 PM EST

    you're clearly different from me, so I hate you. But that aside, where do you live that this isn't the case? Is housing affordable and are IT jobs with reasonable range of the public transportation system? And how's the air quality? (horrible asthma, i hate people who can breathe normally)

    --
    Peace,
    Capt. Jean-Luc Pikachu AIM: jeanlucpikachu
    [ Parent ]
    Enlightenment. (4.00 / 1) (#248)
    by r00r on Tue Feb 20, 2001 at 12:30:42 PM EST

    One thing I know for sure is that people who have explored the possibilities of drugs are certainly more enlightened as to their uses and effects, and are therefore more qualified to speak on the subject matter.

    I agree that merely consuming drugs does not provide a quick ticket to enlightenment. When they are used as an aid to self-exploration, however, they can help encourage you to look at both yourself and others in new ways.

    [ Parent ]

    erf (4.00 / 1) (#301)
    by jeanlucpikachu on Wed Feb 21, 2001 at 02:40:17 PM EST

    Don't sniff markers, don't eat paint chips, don't jump off the fucking bridge, don't grab a cat by it's tail. Do you have to relearn everything or isn't it enough to take the advice of older people who've been there before you?

    --
    Peace,
    Capt. Jean-Luc Pikachu AIM: jeanlucpikachu
    [ Parent ]
    Hypocrisy in our society. (4.40 / 5) (#185)
    by bored on Mon Feb 19, 2001 at 09:57:46 PM EST

    Everyone knows its there, I just felt motivated to comment on the link about the supreme court hearing the case of the guy who was arrested because the police "passively detected and recorded heat that escaped from the house." Its ok for the police to detect heat I'm spewing from my house, but its not ok for me to detect the RF the cable company is spewing all over my neighborhood. Its not ok for the police to 'detect' conversations I'm having over the telephone by putting a coil near my telephone cable but it is ok for them to drive by and point an IR sensitive CCD at my house to detect if i'm doing anything that might be illegal.


    I think this case would be pretty open an shut if it weren't for the fact that its a drug charge.



    The legal debate (3.66 / 3) (#211)
    by aphrael on Tue Feb 20, 2001 at 02:05:20 AM EST

    on that one is interesting. It's pretty established as a legal matter that if a policeman hears a conversation on the other side of the room, it's admissable as probable cause or other evidence --- it's an open, public statement. But it takes a court order to wiretap someone's phone. So ...

    Is infrared radiation coming out of a house more like a police conversation --- public information, say --- or like a phone conversation which requires a wiretap?

    [ Parent ]

    Diffrences? (2.00 / 1) (#299)
    by bored on Wed Feb 21, 2001 at 01:11:59 PM EST

    What immediately comes to mind is.. Does it take special equipment to detect? In the case of the public conversation it is public because it doesn't require any equipment. What happens if the cop uses one of those laser mic's that detect vibrations on glass to spy on your conversations? I think it has something to do with the assumption that the conversation is private.

    [ Parent ]
    whats special (2.00 / 1) (#316)
    by alprazolam on Thu Feb 22, 2001 at 05:22:40 PM EST

    is a thermometer special equipment? if the cops stood outside your house holding a thermometer against the wall are they less invasive then when using the imaging device? what if they use a strip of the temperature sensitive paper? (anyway imo since the imaging device could show people it should require a warrant)

    [ Parent ]
    My God...(insert other diety as appropriate) (3.66 / 9) (#190)
    by yuckster on Mon Feb 19, 2001 at 10:50:56 PM EST

    Here I go again. My God. Is this what we're coming to? Is this for real? Is this not a joke? Can you seriously stand up there on that pulpit provided to you by these K5 admins and even *remotely* compare the persecution you bring upon yourself by being a drug user with that that is put upon homosexuals? Well, move over Holocaust, move over slavery - we've got ourselves some kid here who can't get through a tough day without his weed and his LSD. The horror. Where's Sally Struthers when you need her? Just a dollar a day would keep this boy high and happy. Won't you give? I do not care what clouded logic you grasp to make this connection - you are just so wrong. Go ahead. Ask that guy who was killed on a fence because he was gay if he sympathizes with you. Ask my friend's grandpa whether or not those DEA agents making your "mind opening experience" harder to obtain reminds him of the Nazis guarding his concentration camp. Let me know next time you can't use the same bathroom as I or sit where you want on the bus because you're a pot smoker. Get over yourself. You're not the next Buddha because you have this chemically induced clarity. You deserve no extra rights. You deserve none of the collective sympathy of the human race. You deserve much, much less - because you've compared something that may mean *death* to people in the wrong place at the wrong time with your ability to do strange things to your brain. You are *not* special because you do drugs. Before you step out of your cloud with these deep thoughts you collect in your open-minded state, please, take a deep breath, and think about what you're saying. Think about those people who have died because they were different. Think about those people who have died defending those different people. Think about those people who are different now, facing this cold, hard world, trying to survive - while you sit in your room smoking a joint and whining about the unfairness of it all. You're no victim of anyone but yourself. t_y

    He's not asking for extra rights! (3.75 / 4) (#195)
    by toolj23 on Mon Feb 19, 2001 at 11:24:01 PM EST

    He's asking for the right to put what he wants into his body when he wants in the privacy of his own home. That is HIS right. His choice. That choice is being infringed apon.

    Consider the millions of non-violent responsible drug users who did no harm to anyone else but themselves that have been put in jail or killed while being raided. Consider their friends and family. Consider the countless number of lives destroyed by the War on Drugs. The WOD causes more problems than good. Why do you think alcohol prohibition ended? It's exactly the same thing!

    It is your kind of attitude that his whole article is about. You discriminate against him because he is a drug user. You are just as bad as the rest of them.

    And if you think he isn't a victim of anyone but himself why does he go to jail for harming no one but himself?

    [ Parent ]
    Let's go through it again. (3.00 / 3) (#251)
    by yuckster on Tue Feb 20, 2001 at 01:21:00 PM EST

    Here is my specific arguument: he compares his self-inflicted persecution as a drug user to that given to gays, blacks, et. al.

    Yes, his choice is being infringed upon. My choice to not wear a motorcycle helmet is infringed upon by helmet laws. Unfortunately, we create laws to keep the less intelligent members of our species from doing something stupid to themselves. Well damn.

    Do you really believe that the laws against drug use and the enforcement of said laws really rise to the level of that put against gays?

    And yes, I will discriminate against him because he his a drug user. The same way I discriminate against shoplifters, burglars, rapists, murders, child molestors, embezzlers, inside stock traders, racketeers, monopolists, traitors, drunk drivers, perjurers, etc, etc.

    Cause they're breaking the law and doing something damn stupid in the process.

    I've got a question for those assembled:

    If you're so damned pissed and worried about getting thrown in jail for harming yourself....WHY THE HECK DO YOU STILL DO IT?

    I mean, hello? It's not like someone can stop being black or jewish or gay. You can stop doing what will screw you over later. That goes for all your "millions of people who have been ruined by the war on drugs".

    For Christ's sake, get a grip. Quit. Stop living in fear. The less of you doing drugs is the less people that the war on drugs will efffect. Wanna stop the war on drugs? Stop doing drugs.

    Duh.

    t_y

    [ Parent ]
    Why should we stop? (4.00 / 2) (#263)
    by toolj23 on Tue Feb 20, 2001 at 03:22:01 PM EST

    Because you said so? Because the government thinks it's bad for me? I'm sorry but no one has any right to tell me what I can do as long as I'm not harming another person or property. Reread that last sentence. YOU DON'T SEEM TO UNDERSTAND IT!

    And motorcycle helmet laws don't infringe upon your rights. Usually they're only for people under 18. If there are laws that always require you to wear one then they are infringing on your rights. Or possibly because you use public roads to use your motorcycle they can make it the law. Growing a plant in the privacy of my home is not anyone's business but mine. Same goes for putting stuff into my body.

    Please don't even compare drug use to crimes such as... "shoplifters, burglars, rapists, murders, child molestors, embezzlers, inside stock traders, racketeers, monopolists, traitors, drunk drivers, perjurers"

    Drug use is a victimless crime. It harms no one but the user. Maybe if the user needs more drugs and goes to steal somethig to get some... then you can prosecute them. Then and only then have they commited a true crime. Otherwise you are just telling people what they can and cannot do because you don't agree with it.

    You are the one who needs to get a grip. Stop thinking you are all high and mighty and know what is good for someone else. That is best left to the individual so long as they are not infringing upon someone elses rights.





    [ Parent ]
    I'm not high and mighty...it's the law. (5.00 / 1) (#271)
    by yuckster on Tue Feb 20, 2001 at 05:48:39 PM EST

    Motorcycle helmet laws, seatbelt laws...the law that makes suicide a crime. Being a danger to yourself is no less a crime than being a danger to others - you're a citizen of this country either way, and those types of laws are there to provide a barrier to you doing silly things to yourself - just as murder is against the law, driving recklessly is against the law, and selling drugs is against the law.

    The laws are not there to throw you in jail for doing what you want to your body. They're there to provide a deterrent to you starting in the first place.

    And really....drug use is not a victimless crime. Have you ever bought weed as opposed to growing it? Where did you get your seeds? Well, welcome to economics - you've just handed money up a big long chain - and some of those links are very bad people.

    Go out and send an apology to the family of every police officer who has died in a raid on an organized drug facility. It's partly your fault.

    t_y

    [ Parent ]
    This is hopeless. (none / 0) (#286)
    by toolj23 on Tue Feb 20, 2001 at 10:30:51 PM EST

    You have it all backwards and you don't even know it. Read my reply to the other person who also replied to my former message in this thread. It will point you to a link that will explain everything. Thanks for you time. Now stop spouting off shit and do some research.

    [ Parent ]
    Well, as we'll never agree, let's do this: (none / 0) (#287)
    by yuckster on Tue Feb 20, 2001 at 11:20:11 PM EST

    I poked around a bit, yea, grand, prohibition, yeay. This is hardly prohibition, it's been illegal for a good deal longer. Hell, at least the mobs employed Americans, we weren't funneling millions to some fat cat in Columbia. (that's sarcasm, in case you're high right now (and my "you're afraid of jail"==>"stop doing pot, duh" was logic, not shit.))

    You been watching what's been going on with tobacco companies? Yea? Well thank your lucky stars weed isn't legal. As soon as it's legalized, there will be companies. Companies invite lawsuits. Lawsuits invite goverment action. Government action requires taxes.

    So your $60 dollar eighth of an ounce (I think that's what DJ-whatever said...I mean, is that how much you really have to pay for that crap? Jesus Christ. Find a cheaper hobby.) will suddenly be taxed up to $120 an eighth. Then you'll be real happy, eh?

    In fact, what the hell. I'm going to go along with ya'll just for that purpose. Legalize pot, whatever else you want. I'm due for kids in a few years, we'll waste an entire generation of kids that think, wow, cool, legal drugs, fry themselves, so that'll make more job opportunities for my kids who should have some sense in their brains will be at the good jobs as they see your progeny working in the drive-thru window at McDonald's, plus the added bonus of you having to quit smoking anyway because the government will go and tax the everliving hell out of your drugs!

    Goddamn. That's a hell of an idea. We both win! Where do I sign up for NORML?

    Put that in yer pipe and smoke it :) :) :)

    the yuckster

    [ Parent ]
    Legalized weed (3.71 / 7) (#292)
    by DJBongHit on Wed Feb 21, 2001 at 04:48:51 AM EST

    I poked around a bit, yea, grand, prohibition, yeay. This is hardly prohibition, it's been illegal for a good deal longer. Hell, at least the mobs employed Americans, we weren't funneling millions to some fat cat in Columbia.
    It's exactly the same as prohibition - regardless of where the money finally ends up, the societal effects are still the same.

    So your $60 dollar eighth of an ounce (I think that's what DJ-whatever said...I mean, is that how much you really have to pay for that crap? Jesus Christ. Find a cheaper hobby.) will suddenly be taxed up to $120 an eighth. Then you'll be real happy, eh?
    First of all, an 1/8th of an ounce will last me a week. $60 for a week is not very expensive. Second of all, if I don't want to pay that much, I can always buy lower-quality weed, which is usually $20-$30 for an 1/8th. Third of all, if I were legalized, I would give a shit was the companies charged for it - unlike tobacco, weed is extremely easy to grow (there's a reason it's called "weed" - it really is a weed.) I could grow 3 or 4 plants in my living room window for personal use and not pay a dime.

    In fact, what the hell. I'm going to go along with ya'll just for that purpose. Legalize pot, whatever else you want. I'm due for kids in a few years, we'll waste an entire generation of kids that think, wow, cool, legal drugs, fry themselves, so that'll make more job opportunities for my kids who should have some sense in their brains will be at the good jobs as they see your progeny working in the drive-thru window at McDonald's, plus the added bonus of you having to quit smoking anyway because the government will go and tax the everliving hell out of your drugs!
    On the contrary - kids now are like "wow, cool, ILLEGAL drugs." Teenagers are drawn to the rebellious aspect of drug use. Take a look at Amsterdam's statistics - they have legalized marijuana for personal use and hard drugs are legal to use but very tightly controlled. They have a FAR lower incidence of teenage drug use.

    That doesn't even bring up the point that, by taking drugs off the black market, you greatly reduce the access that children have to these drugs. Do you really think a black market dealer is going to have a problem selling weed to a 12 year old? No way. But if the dealer was licensed, like a liquor store today, they could lose their license by selling to somebody underage - and so they won't.

    It wasn't so long ago that I was in high school - and guess which was easier to get, weed or alcohol? Yep - weed. By a long shot. This is why the "WON'T SOMEBODY PLEASE THINK OF THE CHILDREN!?!?" argument falls apart when you analyze it - because, while logical on first sight, it doesn't hold up.

    ~DJBongHit

    --
    GNU GPL: Free as in herpes.

    [ Parent ]
    Why should we stop? (none / 0) (#275)
    by Lenny on Tue Feb 20, 2001 at 06:16:42 PM EST

    Drug use is a victimless crime. It harms no one but the user. Hmmmm... Victimless crime? Drug use is not a victimless crime. Go to any area that has heavy drug activity (ghetto). Ask around for people who live in the area and do not participate in illegal drug use. Ask them how illegal drug use effects their lives. You might even be lucky and find an upset mother that has died due to illegal drug use. You will certainly find people that would like their neighborhood more without the illegal drug use. If you think this country has a problem with drinking and driving, try adding legalized drugs and driving... It is a bad idea and that's why it is against the law.
    "Hate the USA? Boycott everything American. Particularly its websites..."
    -Me
    [ Parent ]
    You're not looking at the whole picture. (none / 0) (#285)
    by toolj23 on Tue Feb 20, 2001 at 09:12:56 PM EST

    I suggest you take a look at the cause of prohibiting something in demand. Here is a link. It very clearly explains why prohibtion is not only futile but dangerous. Please if you are in anyway going to learn about this topic you need to read both sides.

    [ Parent ]
    The whole picture (none / 0) (#308)
    by Lenny on Wed Feb 21, 2001 at 06:49:26 PM EST

    I fully understand prohibition. The issue should be examined as more of a "where" and "when" does it begin and end. Prohibit the maunfacturing of VX gas in your basement? Yes. Prohibit the manufacture and consumption of strawberries? No. What's in the middle is what we should examine. Which countries do not prohibit the manufacture and consumption of controlled substances? None. Is it just that all the leaders of the world have not read the document you linked? Why are controlled substances controlled? Education. The more "civilized" the country, the harder it is to acquire illegal substances. Also, generally, there are stiffer penalties for violating such laws in the more "civilized" countries. There must be a reason that does not include collective brainwashing.
    "Hate the USA? Boycott everything American. Particularly its websites..."
    -Me
    [ Parent ]
    You consider... (none / 0) (#319)
    by toolj23 on Thu Feb 22, 2001 at 06:24:39 PM EST

    ...a country that is having a war against it's own people to be civilized? A country that ruins countless lives each day because someone chose to put a chemical into their own body is civilized? A country who allows for a huge blackmarket to continue to grow with all of the violece, gangs, and corruption involved is civilized? The only people the war on drugs is good for is the one's who make money off of it. That would be the corrupt officials and drug dealers. It's not stopping people from using drugs, can't you realize that? Alcohol use shot up dramatically over the time it was prohibited.

    "The more "civilized" the country, the harder it is to acquire illegal substances."

    Assuming you consider the USA one of the more "civilized" countries... How hard do you think it is to actually get drugs? You must be a retard. We probably have the biggest market for drugs in the world. And anyone who wants them can surely find them.

    " Also, generally, there are stiffer penalties for violating such laws in the more "civilized" countries"

    I would consider the Netherlands a very civilized country. Look at the laws they have. I would also say that any country that kills drug users/dealers(and surely there are some) are an uncivilized bunch of people.

    Plus there is a big difference from prohibting the manufacture of say a dangerous chemical which is not in demand to a drug that is addictive or non-addictive and in high demand.





    [ Parent ]
    persecution (4.00 / 2) (#245)
    by r00r on Tue Feb 20, 2001 at 12:17:33 PM EST

    Look. Gay people don't go to jail for being gay. Pot smokers go to jail for smoking pot. I agree that they're different things, but get down off your high and mighty horse before you assume that potheads are not persecuted.

    And unless you're a black Jewish lesbian woman who managed to live through both the Holocaust and the civil rights movement, stop using the word "I" where it's inappropriate.

    [ Parent ]

    Two things. (3.33 / 3) (#250)
    by yuckster on Tue Feb 20, 2001 at 12:55:57 PM EST

    I never assumed potheads were not "persecuted" (as far as persecution can stretch to doing something illegal) - my arguement was with Mr. BongHit as to thinking his "persecution" rose to the levels of that suffered by gays, et. al. I think that's a relatively proper high horse to stand on. Secondly, I used the word "I" three times. Here there are: > Here I go again : in reference to a post I did a while ago. > I do not care what clouded logic....: Personal opinion, I do not reference myself as one who is persecuted here. > next time you can't use the same bathroom as I.. Clearly here I am presenting him as the persecuted minority who cannot use the same restroom as I am, therefore casting myself as the "white anglosaxon male", which I am.

    At no point did I cast myself as the black Jewish lesbian woman.

    So unless you're a black Jewish lesbian english teacher, don't make comments on my grammar unless you've read it three times. (*grin*)

    t_y

    [ Parent ]
    oops sorry (none / 0) (#300)
    by r00r on Wed Feb 21, 2001 at 01:58:36 PM EST

    heh. i apologize for the off-topic foul-mouthed rant there.. I'm just pissed off from reading all these arguments that go round in circles.

    but seriously: there are many thousands of people in jail for drug use as we speak, and millions are arrested each year for marijuana possession. i doubt there's been a single instance in this country in many, many years where a person has been prosecuted by the authorities for being homosexual.

    i understand that gays face a lot of social discrimination and rejection, but that's still a long shot from being vilified by one's own government...the very people that are supposed to protect our rights!! granted, there are issues such as same-sex marriage and adoption issues that have still not been resolved in many states, but the government doesn't pay billions of dollars a year to track down, incarcerate, and ruin the lives of homosexuals.

    [ Parent ]

    This whole article is subsumed by Libertarianism (3.20 / 5) (#196)
    by PipTigger on Mon Feb 19, 2001 at 11:39:48 PM EST

    I thinq DJBongHit needs to run to the Libertarian Party Website (LP.org) to see what the Libertarian Party is all about. Maybe buy Harry Browne's book (I know the name sounds bad but it's not much worse than 'Bush' || 'Gore') && appreciate it's rich nectar.

    I was quite recently compelled to look for something I agreed with more. The whole better-of-two-evils thing wasn't cutting it for me as last year's elections approached. I'm a proud gun-owning, pot-smoking, converting-to-Judaism, raised-by-loving-lesbians, (outa-breath) nerd who appreciates personal freedom. The NRA was all hypocritically promoting "Freedom First!" last year (with a subtext of supporting Republican quo) but I decided that I really wanted to vote "Freedom First!". Right before the second Presidential election I was allowed to participate in, I recognized that voting for a "third-party" wouldn't be "wasting my vote". I would be wasting my vote if I didn't educate myself && vote for the party && candidate with whom I agree most! Maybe it's all part of the whole subversive digital-pirate, Hiro Protagonist delusions I personally harbor (&& it seems I'm far from alone) but even though I may personally choose to be "mostly" conservative && even line up with McCain or Bush closely, I don't want to continue playing that game of whichever popular party makes life miserable for the other half of the nation unendingly. Let people make their own choices. Let the Gov't do what it's supposed to. Stay out of personal freedoms... out of bedrooms && closets && cars && computers && bank accounts && checkbooks && bodies.

    Maybe I missed some but I'm convinced (&& hope that others will be too) that Libertarianism is the answer to all this. Don't bicker about whether drugs usage is not similar enough to homosexuality... whether one is biological or one is a choice or one is "just" a stigma && but "X"-ism actually illicits violence (|| diminished salaries on average || whatever)... the issue is deeper && so is the call to unity && tolerance. Let other people make their personal choices && you will be free to as well. Don't legislate morality (even if you believe it's right or more safe or for the common good) because people will resent it. Even the religious issues... forced baptisms && stuff the hideous crusades (as far as Jews && Muslims are concerned) were examples of extreme force unto death if "Jesus name" wasn't asked for forgiveness. That shit wasn't meaningful. If G-d really exists (I happen to believe strongly that He does), could He possibly appreciate people choosing to "follow" Him or His purported "Son" or whatever when they're not even free to choose not to? It seems most unlikely. Abortion is admittedly a much trickier issue (since it can be killing a viable human who given the opportunity would demonstrate a personal desire to live) but gay marriage || racial distinctions || gun ownership / carryability || financial class || gender || hair color || shoe size || creative jewelry placement || helmets && seatbelts || the billion other personal things that go here too... (sorry I"m so long-winded) let people choose whatever they want for themself that doesn't infringe on other people's choise to do the same for themself.

    I thinq it can be sufficiently summed up as: Let me protect myself!
    However I want to protect my being, let me do so (because frankly, I'm going to anyway... ) && you do the same. I hope I haven't wasted too much of your time belaboring the examples. I'll shut up. TTFN.

    p.p.s. There isn't really a K5 Kabal... Is there?


    -PipTigger
    Libertarianism (4.00 / 4) (#199)
    by DJBongHit on Tue Feb 20, 2001 at 12:28:42 AM EST

    I thinq DJBongHit needs to run to the Libertarian Party Website (LP.org) to see what the Libertarian Party is all about. Maybe buy Harry Browne's book (I know the name sounds bad but it's not much worse than 'Bush' || 'Gore') && appreciate it's rich nectar.
    I was going to vote for Browne but I didn't get my absentee ballot in time (I'm an MA resident but I live in MD). My old roommate (Ghostface on Smokedot) voted for him, though, and I'm a registered member of the Libertarian party.

    Maybe I missed some but I'm convinced (&& hope that others will be too) that Libertarianism is the answer to all this. Don't bicker about whether drugs usage is not similar enough to homosexuality... whether one is biological or one is a choice or one is "just" a stigma && but "X"-ism actually illicits violence (|| diminished salaries on average || whatever)... the issue is deeper && so is the call to unity && tolerance. Let other people make their personal choices && you will be free to as well. Don't legislate morality (even if you believe it's right or more safe or for the common good) because people will resent it.
    That was exactly what I was going for in my article, but too many people assumed I was saying that homosexuality and drug use were the same thing.

    p.p.s. There isn't really a K5 Kabal... Is there?
    No. But I'm the official Director of Drug Policy anyway :)

    ~DJBongHit

    --
    GNU GPL: Free as in herpes.

    [ Parent ]
    "director" (none / 0) (#315)
    by alprazolam on Thu Feb 22, 2001 at 05:19:32 PM EST

    i wish you'd direct some of your official drugs my way

    [ Parent ]
    Your "Libertarian Party" is racist. (2.00 / 4) (#209)
    by Estanislao Martínez on Tue Feb 20, 2001 at 01:37:26 AM EST

    I thinq DJBongHit needs to run to the Libertarian Party Website (LP.org) to see what the Libertarian Party is all about. Maybe buy Harry Browne's book (I know the name sounds bad but it's not much worse than 'Bush' || 'Gore') && appreciate it's rich nectar.

    Good old Harry Browne, whose presidential "pro-immigration" platform contained very serious, racist and trivially falsifiable anti-immigrant statements about immigrants coming to the US "to get a free lunch". Which is utterly false, just by looking at any reasoable (e.g. not funded by right wing cranks) study on immigration.

    Thus, the LP presidential candidate exploits false white supremacist propaganda about immigrants to support his plot to remove essential social services. This inflicts immesurable damage on immigrants, legal or otherwise. And you think such people can be trusted to run the US? You are crazy.

    --em
    [ Parent ]

    Browne != Libertarian Party. (4.00 / 3) (#241)
    by broody on Tue Feb 20, 2001 at 11:55:09 AM EST

    Whatever Harry Browne may or may not be, he is not the Libratarian party. He is one man, alibet a very visable one. Similar arugments could be made about any political party.


    ~~ Whatever it takes
    [ Parent ]
    Oh, yeah, he's "just" the presidential c (none / 0) (#273)
    by Estanislao Martínez on Tue Feb 20, 2001 at 06:05:00 PM EST

    He is the most visible figure of the party, upon which the rest of the party has deposited a lot of authority and trust. He was, I presume, elected to that position by a majority of the party's members. What does it say about the party that a racist gets elected to be presidential candidate?

    --em
    [ Parent ]

    True and False. (none / 0) (#294)
    by broody on Wed Feb 21, 2001 at 08:58:36 AM EST

    There are several notions in your postings that I find questionable. Please consider these musings friendly discussion, they are intended that way despite how they may appear.

    To label any group of people by a single member is foolish; no matter how vocal or visable they may be to the public. Just as I would dispute Harry Browne's two kinds of immigrants, I dispute your contention that Libertarians are racists. Reality is too diverse and there is an implied permanance in your statements that does not exist. There seem to be several of the fallacies noted here in your musings on Libertarians.

    I would also challange the notion that nominees represent "a majority of the party's members". If my understanding is correct, affiliate Libertarian parties name their delegates to the nominating convention by their own process and these delegates then vote for nominees. From my experience most alternative parties select delegates at a state meeting, which are attended by those who drive half way across the state to attend. Even after election the delegates do not always hold to their stated positions. This hardly represents the majority and is not isolated to Libertarians.

    There is a major reform faction of the Libertarian party; amoung other smaller factions. I have met several Libertarians who are quite "anti-browne". There is much more to the Libertarians then Harry Browne.

    Lastly if the presence of a single racist individual in a party makes an entire party racist, would you name a party you don't consider racist by this criteria?


    ~~ Whatever it takes
    [ Parent ]
    LP is still racist. (none / 0) (#302)
    by Estanislao Martínez on Wed Feb 21, 2001 at 03:20:35 PM EST

    To label any group of people by a single member is foolish; no matter how vocal or visable they may be to the public.

    Strawman: these are not at all exhaustive of the criteria I used. It's not a matter of just "visibility" or "being vocal"-- it's a matter of said individual occupying an institutional elective position of great power.

    Just as I would dispute Harry Browne's two kinds of immigrants, I dispute your contention that Libertarians are racists. Reality is too diverse and there is an implied permanance in your statements that does not exist. There seem to be several of the fallacies noted here in your musings on Libertarians.

    Strawman. The only person I've called a racist is Harry Browne. What I said is that the Libertarian Party is racist. This is so different from what you attribute me as saying, that, depending on your definition of "racist", it's even logically consistent for an institution to be racist, despite none of it's members being so! (Which I don't believe to be true, but it's a logical possibility.)

    Also, the article you quote has no occurences of "generic statement" or "general statement". I must thus conclude that the author doesn't know as much about natural language meaning as you think he does. (e.g. "Birds are animals that fly" doesn't mean all birds fly. It means, rougly, that in general, birds fly.)

    The point is a simple one: the LP has chosen as its presidential candidate a person who spreads racist anti-immigrant propaganda in its presidential platform. And not just once. If the LP, as an institution, is constituted in such a way that somebody with clearly racist convictions repeatedly occupies the top chair, then the institution is racist, simply because racist statements and proposals are part of its presidential program.

    If my understanding is correct, affiliate Libertarian parties name their delegates to the nominating convention by their own process and these delegates then vote for nominees.

    Of course, this is terribly inconsistent with LP ideology-- shouldn't party members vote with their almighty dollar votes?

    Anyway, let us suppose the vast majority of the members of the LP don't consider themselves racist. Even more, that they express in their conventions that they would very much like a presidential candidate not to be a racist, or at least not to incorporate false racist assumptions into policy. But then, because of the nomination process, the same racist candidate keeps getting elected.

    In this case, you have to conclude indeed that the party itself, because of the way it's structured, is racist-- the racism is not a result of individual convictions, but institutionalized. Period. So your argument only further supports my claims.

    Lastly if the presence of a single racist individual in a party makes an entire party racist, would you name a party you don't consider racist by this criteria?

    Strawman. You've made yourself look like a supreme idiot for saying this.

    --em
    [ Parent ]

    Not A Strawman. (none / 0) (#305)
    by broody on Wed Feb 21, 2001 at 04:20:23 PM EST

    The possessive on the original subject and comments about "such people" lead me astray your intention of focusing on institutional racism.

    Strawman: these are not at all exhaustive of the criteriaI used. It's not a matter of just "visibility" or "being vocal"-- it's a matter of said individual occupying an institutional elective position of great power.

    Harry Browne is not a member of the Libertarian National Commitee which is the government recognized leadership of the Libertarian party. What institutional position are you talking about? Presidential Candidate? If you look at the bylaws such a postion does not hold institutional power. Review each poltical party and you will find a stranglehold of power in the hands of it's central commitee. This is one of the major challenges faces progressive political reform, the legal structure of a political party is by law undemocratic.

    The point is a simple one: the LP has chosen as its presidential candidate a person who spreads racist anti-immigrant propaganda in its presidential platform.

    Where? The original link that you pointed to was from Harry Browne's book "The Great Libertarian Offer" which despite the title is not the Libertarian Platform. In fact if you read the platform it disavows Harry Browne's stereotypes specificly. I can understand your objection to the writings that you referenced but that is not in any Libertarian platform that I have seen.

    This conversation is rapidly going nowhere. Your venom for the Libertarian party is clear and your arguments about it are self-referential and muddled if you realize it or not.

    All hail! The supreme idoit has spoken.


    ~~ Whatever it takes
    [ Parent ]
    Not quite. (4.33 / 3) (#259)
    by Robert Hutchinson on Tue Feb 20, 2001 at 02:07:55 PM EST

    The site seems to not be responding at the moment, but I pulled this up from Google cache:
    People are drawn to America by one of two motives.

    The first type of immigrant sees America as the land of opportunity where hard work is rewarded. ... All he wants is a chance to prove himself. The other type sees America as the land of the big free lunch ...

    The opportunity seeker is a boon to America ... [t]he welfare seeker is a different story.

    If we put the Welcome Wagon out of business by shutting down the welfare state, the welfare-seekers will stop coming, while the opportunity-seekers will continue to arrive with their energy and talent.

    Browne was pointing out that freeloading immigrants (which do exist, even if their numbers are small) are used as a justification to keep all immigrants out, good or bad. Browne then points out that the answer is not to punish the innocent, but to remove the welfare that caused the problem in the first place.

    That doesn't sound quite as catchy as handwringing over wealth redistribution and perceived racism does, of course.

    Robert Hutchinson
    No bomb-throwing required.

    [ Parent ]

    Oh yes it is racist. (3.00 / 2) (#276)
    by Estanislao Martínez on Tue Feb 20, 2001 at 06:27:14 PM EST

    Browne was pointing out that freeloading immigrants (which do exist, even if their numbers are small) are used as a justification to keep all immigrants out, good or bad.

    Oh, yeah, of course! How could I have missed that! I must be absolutely stupid! The freeloading immigrants are small in number, but they do exist! I remain eternally grateful to your superior reading skills!

    Ok, now seriously: Browne says nothing anywhere about the numbers of immigrants of each caricature (I refuse to elevate these to "kinds"). By using the second of his racist categories without giving any numbers as to how many people are like that, he implies that it has a large constituency, large enough that it should be an issue on a presidential platform.

    Of course, the whole idea that immigrants come to the US to get welfare, and even more, that they get it in any significant numbers, is ludicruous, and study after study on immigrants shows this.

    And look at what else he says on his same page (my emphasis):

    "The welfare-seeker is a different story. He is here to get on the gravy train. And he won't be disappointed. The Welcome Wagon will be waiting for him at the border, offering a basket of goodies."

    "We really have only two alternatives. Either we:
    1. Spend our energy trying to dismantle the welfare state and repeal the income tax, so you no longer will be forced to buy lunch for every immigrant, or [...]"

    Note his use of "every" there.

    And some grand quotes from the "Culture" section:

    "It is true that in some parts of the country the culture seems to be changing. Large segments of the population fail to learn English, for example."
    Horribly misleading, if not outright false; it depends on your definition of "large segments". The fact that he avoids is that the percent of the US population that speaks English is at an all-time high.
    And fewer and fewer immigrants seem determined to become Americanized in the way most immigrants used to do.
    He's turning subjective xenophobic talk into a component of proposed presidential policy? How would one even support or falsify this statement empirically?

    So, again, I have to ask: Why is your presidential candidate parroting disproven anti-immigrant propaganda, whose spread causes damage to immigrants? Why is such a person presidential candidate? What does this say about the party which nominated him?

    --em
    [ Parent ]

    Please learn the meaning of racism. (4.00 / 1) (#359)
    by robm on Tue Mar 06, 2001 at 12:00:47 PM EST

    You might be right that his statements are anti-immigration. You might be right that they're xenophobic. I'll pass judgement on neither, but will only say I can at least understand where you might reach that conclusion. However I will say that at no point in any of the material you quote does he mention race. I can only infer that he's equally opposed to freeloading immigrants of any race. Personally, I find those who have the courage to emigrate and start a new, hopefully better life for themselves and their family to be commended (and I'm a Libertarian). After all, its exactly such people who built this country. Those who come to sign up for welfare or other Democrat sponsored free-luch-to-buy-votes programs, however, can get out and not let the door hit them in the a$$ on the way out (regardless of what race they happen to be).

    [ Parent ]
    ...or the Green Party. (3.00 / 1) (#243)
    by broody on Tue Feb 20, 2001 at 12:00:27 PM EST

    The ASGP Green Party Platform would also be potential match.


    ~~ Whatever it takes
    [ Parent ]
    Oops...wrong Green Party. (4.00 / 1) (#244)
    by broody on Tue Feb 20, 2001 at 12:12:27 PM EST

    I should have sent you to GPUSA. GPUSA wants decriminalization but treatment freely available on request, funded by taxing drug sales.


    ~~ Whatever it takes
    [ Parent ]
    my two bits... (4.00 / 5) (#206)
    by r00r on Tue Feb 20, 2001 at 01:12:16 AM EST

    I believe that DJ's comparision was valid, and a general failure to perceive this appalls me. Also, there are a few issues that I could not let stand uncorrected.

    1) I'm sorry all you whining faggots (*) , but when was the last time you got arrested for having sex?!? Having been arrested (and heavily fined) twice for simple possession of pot, I have experienced a persecution far greater than simple name-calling. Perhaps you face social stigma, but you're still allowed to do it if you so choose.

    2) People who haven't smoked pot and talk shit about it are like people who have never been behind the wheel telling you how to drive. Smoking it a few times doesn't count either...I don't want you telling me how to drive until you've driven 30k miles without an accident. Then I'll trust your judgement.

    3) Pot is about as physically harmful as Vitamin C. Smoking anything is dangerous (duh) but many people who don't smoke weed simply don't educate themselves on this issue at all. There are other many other effective ways to consume pot, and just because it is smoked doesn't necessarily mean it's anywhere near as dangerous as tobacco. Different plants, different quantities, different techniques....different drugs.

    (*) disclaimer: i'm bi, i smoke weed, fuck off.

    You live in a fantasy world (1.50 / 2) (#223)
    by donky on Tue Feb 20, 2001 at 06:43:06 AM EST

    3) Pot is about as physically harmful as Vitamin C.

    Why is it you druggies seem to love fantasy more than fact. Vitamin C isn't like your harmless weed, it can harden the arteries if not taken in moderation. Vitamin C does not cause cancer, harmless weed does. The two are not comparable unless you are living in a fantasy world. Which you obviously are.



    [ Parent ]
    I'm trying not to get into personal attacks... (5.00 / 2) (#226)
    by DJBongHit on Tue Feb 20, 2001 at 07:20:01 AM EST

    ... but I just can't help myself anymore. You, sir, are an idiot. You need to, at the very least, read the comment you are replying to before mouthing off. And it would be preferable if you knew what you were talking about as well.

    Let's see what r00r has to say, and your reply to him, shall we?

    Pot is about as physically harmful as Vitamin C. Smoking anything is dangerous (duh) but many people who don't smoke weed simply don't educate themselves on this issue at all. There are other many other effective ways to consume pot, and just because it is smoked doesn't necessarily mean it's anywhere near as dangerous as tobacco. Different plants, different quantities, different techniques....different drugs.
    And now for your well thought-out, well written, and oh-so-informative reply.

    Why is it you druggies seem to love fantasy more than fact.
    "We druggies" do not love fantasy more than fact - "we druggies" (or at least I have, and I know that r00r has as well) have researched the drugs we do and know what it is we're putting into our bodies. There's a reason I won't touch Ecstacy - I don't know what I'm getting in that little pill. With weed, you can usually tell by smelling it or by visual analysis if there's an adulterant in it. If not, you'll know the second you taste it, and can avoid inhaling it. With LSD (on blotter paper... I won't touch a pill which claims to be LSD, for the same reason), it is the only psychoactive substance which is active in doses small enough to fit on that tiny little square of paper. So nobody is going to be selling PCP on paper and claiming it's LSD - the worst that can happen is that you get a blank piece of paper and you lost $3.

    Vitamin C isn't like your harmless weed, it can harden the arteries if not taken in moderation.
    Vitamin C hardens arteries if not taken in moderation? How does this help your argument? And if you meant to say it the other way around, no, weed does not harden your arteries. The inhaling of hot smoke is obviously unhealthy, and maybe that's what you were referring to. But as r00r said, "There are other many other effective ways to consume pot." You can make a peanut butter, pot, and honey sandwich. You can soak it in melted butter and then use the butter to make any variety of foods. You can make tea with it. It does not have to be smoked.

    Vitamin C does not cause cancer, harmless weed does.
    Weed does not cause cancer. Once again, this is a by-product of the act of smoking. You can eat it, or if that doesn't appeal to you use a vaporizer. A vaporizer is a device which heats the pot to just above the boiling point of THC (the active ingredient in marijuana), which then is released into the air as a cool, piney-smelling vapor. It's not hot enough to burn the weed, so you get none of the by-products of combustion (which are what may cause cancer [by the way, reliable well-conducted studies have not proven that smoking marijuana causes cancer. The often-cited studies which claim to prove this have been discredited by many other studies. On the other hand, reliable studies have not shown that it does NOT cause cancer either.])

    The two are not comparable unless you are living in a fantasy world. Which you obviously are.
    The two are not comparable, that is true. They are entirely different substances (one is a chemical found in some plants, the other is a plant in and of itself). But he didn't compare them - he compared their levels of danger.

    ~DJBongHit

    --
    GNU GPL: Free as in herpes.

    [ Parent ]
    You prove my point. (2.50 / 2) (#228)
    by donky on Tue Feb 20, 2001 at 07:44:06 AM EST

    Pot is about as physically harmful as Vitamin C.

    You ignore facts that have been stated and you read in what you want into what is said.

    The physical harm caused by pot IS NOT comparable to that caused by Vitamin-C. Pot has been proven to damage the brain and cause cancer worse than cigarettes (links provided in earlier comments and summarily ignored). Vitamin C hardens your arteries. The only thing in common is that they physically damage you in some way - so does water, if you don't drink enough or you drink too much - so what? Pot taken even in moderation is bad for you, vitamin-C is good for you in moderation.

    That was my point. That the harm they cause is incomparable. Now.. wait, this seems familiar, we had this EXACT SAME ARGUMENT OVER ALCOHOL :)



    [ Parent ]
    I still don't see your point... (4.50 / 2) (#230)
    by Phizzy on Tue Feb 20, 2001 at 08:05:00 AM EST

    lemme see if we can run through this one more time, and maybe I can understand you...

    The physical harm caused by pot IS NOT comparable to that caused by Vitamin-C. Pot has been proven to damage the brain and cause cancer worse than cigarettes (links provided in earlier comments and summarily ignored). Vitamin C hardens your arteries.

    Ok.. no one said that Pot and Vitamin C cause similar physical harm. R00r said that Pot and Vitamic C are capable of causing similar levels of physical harm if abused. Pot, used in the same relative levels as Cigarettes, does have more carcinogens per unit of smoke, I beleive. I have seen studies which seem reputable which support this. I have no problem with this claim. The problem is that nearly NO ONE uses Pot and Cigarettes in the same levels... do you know anyone who smokes 2 packs of joints a day? Furthermore, you totally ignored DJ's comment regarding eating pot, vaporizers, and other ways of ingesting THC besides smoking pot.

    The overwhelming similarity of the arguments presented here alarms me.. it seems that everyone ignores the spirit of the comments being made and argues over small details in statistics, testing methods, etc, or resorts to personal attacks. I have been forced to delve into detail to defend r00r.. but can we move on past quibbling over details and try to talk about the actual subject matter brough up by the article, rather than discussing similarities and differences in Pot and Vitamin C?

    //Phizzy

    [ Parent ]
    You're misunderstanding (4.66 / 3) (#231)
    by DJBongHit on Tue Feb 20, 2001 at 08:19:04 AM EST

    The physical harm caused by pot IS NOT comparable to that caused by Vitamin-C. Pot has been proven to damage the brain and cause cancer worse than cigarettes (links provided in earlier comments and summarily ignored).
    Did you read my reply to that? Those studies have been disproven by the medical community. As a matter of fact, the American Medical Association testified during the hearing in 1937 which would make pot illegal, and they said it should not be illegal and is not harmful - a position they hold to this very day.

    Vitamin C hardens your arteries.
    Ok, that's something I didn't know.

    The only thing in common is that they physically damage you in some way - so does water, if you don't drink enough or you drink too much - so what? Pot taken even in moderation is bad for you, vitamin-C is good for you in moderation.
    Pot taken in moderation is not bad for you - taken in moderation it's not physically good or bad - unless you have a disease (and there are many) for which pot has proven medical benefits. And pot has not been proven to damage the brain - the oft-quoted study which "proved" this soaked neurons in a petri dish in ENOURMOUS amounts of THC, and only then did they exhibit any damage whatsoever - but they showed damage with far far lower doses of table salt. Just something to think about.

    That the harm they cause is incomparable. Now.. wait, this seems familiar, we had this EXACT SAME ARGUMENT OVER ALCOHOL :)
    He was comparing them quantitively, not qualitively. Qualitively, they're incomparible, of course. That's because they're entirely different.

    About alcohol, where was this argument we had? You mean the one where you claim that alcohol has many merits while recreational drugs have none? Right, that was pretty insightful of you. Alcohol is no different than any other recreational drug other than the fact that it's legal and as (if not more) dangerous than most.

    ~DJBongHit

    --
    GNU GPL: Free as in herpes.

    [ Parent ]
    I'll see you in 20 years... (none / 0) (#290)
    by Old Man Sam on Wed Feb 21, 2001 at 12:38:10 AM EST

    and if you are still as fit, healthy, energetic and don't have any medical conditions, i might consider taking drugs, till then, i'll pass. The benefits of fun do not outway the side affects that MAY occur in later life - whether these are known or unknown at this point in time.

    Its my choice not to do drugs (Alcohol, Tabacco, "illicit", whatever). I also don't wish to be killed by someone using drugs who is driving a car (why do you get stoned/drunk/high? - please don't say you are safe to drive). Oh, and its much easier to tell someone who has been smoking pot compared to someone who has been smoking tobacco.

    And while i'm at it, smoking should not occur any place that is not signed or a private premisis. I was out in a rainforest on the weekend, i smelt the guy smoking coming down the track at 100m - theres reasons people go to the walking in the rainforest, and now this guy knows all about it (no, i did not raise my voice, i don't wish to disturb the wildlife - though he needed reminding of this aswell)

    Old Man Sam

    [ Parent ]
    Great (none / 0) (#291)
    by DJBongHit on Wed Feb 21, 2001 at 04:38:19 AM EST

    and if you are still as fit, healthy, energetic and don't have any medical conditions, i might consider taking drugs, till then, i'll pass. The benefits of fun do not outway the side affects that MAY occur in later life - whether these are known or unknown at this point in time.
    Great, that's your choice. I don't want you to be taking drugs if you don't want to be taking drugs - I support everybody's ability to make that choice for themselves.

    Its my choice not to do drugs (Alcohol, Tabacco, "illicit", whatever). I also don't wish to be killed by someone using drugs who is driving a car (why do you get stoned/drunk/high? - please don't say you are safe to drive).
    Yeah, driving under the influence is, in my opinion, the biggest problem which stems from drug use (legal or illegal). People shouldn't do it, but some people still do it no matter what the consequences - my old roommate used to drive drunk all the time, and I'd constantly bitch at him about it. Then he got arrested for DUI and he KEPT DOING IT! It just boggles my mind.

    Oh, and its much easier to tell someone who has been smoking pot compared to someone who has been smoking tobacco
    Well, yeah - pot is an intoxicating substance, tobacco isn't. Well, at least not in the levels of nicotine typically consumed.

    ~DJBongHit

    --
    GNU GPL: Free as in herpes.

    [ Parent ]
    works both ways (none / 0) (#314)
    by alprazolam on Thu Feb 22, 2001 at 05:09:40 PM EST

    what right do you have to prevent me from smoking (cigarettes) on public lands that belong just as much to me as they do to you.

    [ Parent ]
    x (none / 0) (#313)
    by alprazolam on Thu Feb 22, 2001 at 05:08:03 PM EST

    there is a group that goes to raves and provided free testing of pills for something other than mdma. i would reccomend doing this if possible, or getting some from somebody who has already done part of the batch and knows what mdma really is.

    [ Parent ]
    X (none / 0) (#318)
    by DJBongHit on Thu Feb 22, 2001 at 06:22:47 PM EST

    there is a group that goes to raves and provided free testing of pills for something other than mdma. i would reccomend doing this if possible, or getting some from somebody who has already done part of the batch and knows what mdma really is.
    You're referring to DanceSafe, which is IMHO a very worthwhile group. Even so, from the few experiences I've had with X, I didn't like it, and I don't plan on doing it again. It's just not my drug.

    Plus I can't stand that goddamn music.

    ~DJBongHit

    --
    GNU GPL: Free as in herpes.

    [ Parent ]
    what didn't you like about it? (none / 0) (#321)
    by alprazolam on Thu Feb 22, 2001 at 10:59:06 PM EST

    i haven't done it yet, it was never popular until like my senior year of college and i had to take drug tests and stuff. still i've heard lots of people tell me how great it is. anyway i was just wondering since i've never heard anybody say what they don't like about it

    [ Parent ]
    Why I don't like it (none / 0) (#326)
    by DJBongHit on Fri Feb 23, 2001 at 09:19:46 AM EST

    i haven't done it yet, it was never popular until like my senior year of college and i had to take drug tests and stuff. still i've heard lots of people tell me how great it is. anyway i was just wondering since i've never heard anybody say what they don't like about it
    Ecstacy's main effects are an energizing effect and a series of headrushes (this is known as the "roll"). The energizing effect is why people take it to help them dance all night. But the roll effect is very uncomfortable to me, and makes me nauseous (last time I did it I spent an hour throwing up outside of a rave). I've always been sensitive to motion sickness, and rolling seems to trigger this.

    Plus, at least for me (but I've heard people say otherwise for them), X is a very "physical" drug, and I'm not a big fan of physical drugs (which is why I don't like alcohol). That's also why I'm a huge fan of pot and psychedelics - they're very mental and spritual drugs, and that's the type of thing that interests me.

    ~DJBongHit

    --
    GNU GPL: Free as in herpes.

    [ Parent ]
    body trips (none / 0) (#330)
    by alprazolam on Fri Feb 23, 2001 at 12:01:47 PM EST

    actually i get a body trip out of mushrooms, along with the hallucinations, which i wouldn't call spiritual. you definately wouldn't like dxm anyway.

    [ Parent ]
    Really? (2.00 / 1) (#348)
    by DJBongHit on Sun Feb 25, 2001 at 08:55:37 PM EST

    actually i get a body trip out of mushrooms, along with the hallucinations, which i wouldn't call spiritual.
    Really? I get the opposite effect - very little body trip and a good deal of spiritual-type stuff. Well, maybe not quite spritual (I get that more with LSD) but more of a sense of being on an adventure :)

    you definately wouldn't like dxm anyway.
    I don't like DXM at all. I liked it the first time I tried it (it was the fourth drug I've tried, the first 3 being pot, nicotine, and alcohol), but when I tried it again after doing LSD, it just didn't compare.

    ~DJBongHit

    --
    GNU GPL: Free as in herpes.

    [ Parent ]
    You live in a scientific vacuum (4.00 / 2) (#239)
    by r00r on Tue Feb 20, 2001 at 11:39:56 AM EST

    You make claims about the medical and scientific aspects of marijuana usage with total disregard to the current consensus of the medical community. The "studies" that you refer to have been largely discredited: if you really don't believe this, please cite them and I will provide you with concrete, updated modern medical evidence to the contrary.

    In the meantime, I highly recommend that you read this article by Dr. Lester Grinspoon before you continue to make presumptuous ill-informed generalizations about a topic which you obviously don't understand.

    [ Parent ]

    Load of crap... (none / 0) (#274)
    by ranessin on Tue Feb 20, 2001 at 06:12:10 PM EST

    "I'm sorry all you whining faggots (*) , but when was the last time you got arrested for having sex?!? Having been arrested (and heavily fined) twice for simple possession of pot, I have experienced a persecution far greater than simple name-calling. Perhaps you face social stigma, but you're still allowed to do it if you so choose. "

    And I've been beat up for being gay. How does that compare to being arrested and fined? Your life wasn't in danger... BTW, in case you didn't know, according to the Supreme Court, laws against sodomy are perfectly constitutional, so in many states you *can* be arrested and prosecuted for it.

    "People who haven't smoked pot and talk shit about it are like people who have never been behind the wheel telling you how to drive. Smoking it a few times doesn't count either...I don't want you telling me how to drive until you've driven 30k miles without an accident. Then I'll trust your judgement. "

    It doesn't take someone who's been behind the wheel of a car to know that you should keep both hands on the wheel while driving.

    Ranessin

    [ Parent ]
    example (none / 0) (#312)
    by alprazolam on Thu Feb 22, 2001 at 05:05:12 PM EST

    there are about 15 (at least) states with anti sodomy laws. in arkansas, in particular, it's illegal to have sex in any position other than missionary.

    [ Parent ]
    Bah (2.66 / 3) (#357)
    by maarken on Sun Mar 04, 2001 at 10:36:13 PM EST

    Invoking blue laws to support a position (no pun intended) should be the same as using Nazi in a thread. ie, the thread dies. You also can't throw snowballs in a certain city. Or have sex on sunday in another. It's all silliness.

    --Maarken
    Flip the symbols in my email.
    [ Parent ]
    It's NOT silliness (none / 0) (#358)
    by moreon on Mon Mar 05, 2001 at 01:45:15 AM EST

    Laws criminalizing sodomy have been enforced on homosexuals, and even worse, are used to support other anti-gay laws. In a case involving Amendment 2 (Colorado's amendment to their constitution passed by voters that would repeal all anti-discrimination laws for homosexuals) the justices of the US Supreme Court, in their dissenting opinion, said:
    "If it is constitutionally permissible for a State to make homosexual conduct criminal, surely it is constitutionally permissible for a State to enact other laws merely disfavoring homosexual conduct."

    If you want to read more about that case you can read it here.

    [ Parent ]
    what is addiction? (4.87 / 8) (#207)
    by Justinfinity on Tue Feb 20, 2001 at 01:21:03 AM EST

    some of us where talking in #kuro5hin and theR brought up the point that some people don't quite understand the distinction between physical addiction and psychological addiction. i'll explain as i understand it.

    a physical addiction is when your body becomes chemically dependent on the used substance. removing the substance abrubtly can have serious side effects, ranging from constant nausea to siezures to death. it would be like being deprived from a certain vitamin. the process in your bosy have become used to the substance being present. without it they get confused. this is bad.

    a psychological addiction is when you only think you need the substance. your mind has become used to experiencing the world through the altered state the substance provides. my dad once told me he literally had to relearn how to fall asleep sober because he had been going to bed drunk all the time for the past however many years. (he's since been sober for over 15 years. go dad!). you become dependant on this altered experience to the point where the "normal" world doesn't seem right. this is only a perception though, and can be more easily changed than the chemical processes of the body


    -justin
    And... (2.50 / 2) (#255)
    by CyberQuog on Tue Feb 20, 2001 at 01:44:35 PM EST

    Marijuana is NOT physically addictive...


    -...-
    [ Parent ]
    cravings (3.33 / 3) (#278)
    by G Neric on Tue Feb 20, 2001 at 06:44:50 PM EST

    ok as far as you go, but I don't think it's so black and white, and you haven't qualified the strength of the desire in any way.

    Psychological craving can be a very strong influence on behavior, e.g. the sex drive. "Sex happens" in groups of people though it is not an addiction. The compulsion to have sex in some people is quite strong, child molesters for instance are often completely rational people who understand it's a crime and feel guilty about doing it, but do it anyway.

    On the other hand, physically addicted people can often stop themselves cold-turkey even though it is painful.

    So, while it is interesting to understand the biological mechanism behind addiction, we also need to pay attention to social data and what it indicates is true. One example would be that people will do just about anything to get heroin, a lot to get alcohol and under the influence of alcohol, and not much to get marijuana. But, since heroin users almost invariably start with marijuana, we need to be open to the possibility that there is a "gateway/slippery slope" progression, though we should not accept that hypothesis without reliable research.

    [ Parent ]

    Gateway drugs/slippery slope (2.00 / 1) (#296)
    by theR on Wed Feb 21, 2001 at 11:02:55 AM EST

    I agree in part, but also have some disagreement with your comment (surprise!). Psychological addiction can, of course, strongly influence behavior. After all, it is an addiction. Correct me if I'm wrong, but you seem to imply that psychological addiction is as bad or worse than physical addiction. I do not believe this. I think the biggest problem with psychological addiction is that it will often compound a physical addiction, like one to nicotine or heroin. Of course, psychological addictions and their gravity largely depend on the person. Some people are very unlikely to become psychologically addicted to things, while others have a huge tendency to do so.

    Also, I am not sure if a compulsion to have sex with children could qualify as a psychological addiction, and I think some doctors might argue that many pedophiles have a physical problem in their brain that helps cause this behavior. This is probably irrelevant to what we're talking about, though.

    I'm not going looking for links or support on my next bit, but I'm sure you can if you want. I do not think marijuana is as widely accepted in the medical community as a gateway drug as cigarettes. I believe (I don't remember for sure, so check me on this) that being a tobacco smoker is a larger indicator of going on to harder drugs than marijuana use.



    [ Parent ]
    clarification (2.66 / 3) (#306)
    by G Neric on Wed Feb 21, 2001 at 05:27:08 PM EST

    Correct me if I'm wrong, but you seem to imply that psychological addiction is as bad or worse than physical addiction.

    You got the wrong impression. I'm trying to say that neither can be said to be worse without exactly specifying what you mean by worse, and without controlled study as proof, and that some things that are not addictions at all seem to be equally bad and hard to stop. I was not attempting to be comprehensive but to give counterexamples to (1) the idea that physical addiction is worse than psychological, and to (2) the idea that addictions are worse than non-addictions.

    I believe ... that being a tobacco smoker is a larger indicator of going on to harder drugs than marijuana use.

    I don't know either. I feel that if any good studies had been performed that I would know about them, so I'm betting that the jury is still out.

    [ Parent ]

    Marijuana and Insanity: The Connection Exposed (4.70 / 10) (#208)
    by Malicose on Tue Feb 20, 2001 at 01:23:12 AM EST

    At the request of some in #Kuro5hin, "Marijuana and Insanity: The Connection Exposed" from the premiere issue of The Libertarian Communicator is below.

    • Number of annual U.S. deaths due to marijuana overdose: 0. (1)
    • Total number of people in world history to die of marijuana overdose: 0. (1)
    • Number of arrests made in 1998 in U.S. for marijuana offenses: 682,885. (2)
    • Percentage of those 1998 arrests that were for personal possession of marijuana: 88%. (2)
    • Total number of American citizens arrested for personal possession of marijuana during administration of President Bill "I didn't inhale" Clinton: over 3.5 million (and growing). (3)
    • Approximate number of U.S. arrests for marijuana possession every minute: one. (3)
    • Percentage of all 1998 U.S. criminal arrests that were for marijuana possession: 38.4%. (4)
    • Number of Americans currently serving time for possession of marijuana: over 15,000. (5)
    Sources: 1 U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services. 2 Federal Bureau of Investigation, Uniform Crime Reports for the United States 1998. 3 NORML. 4 White House 2000 Drug Policy. 5 Federation of American Scientists.


    Re: Marijuana and Insanity: The Connection Exposed (3.75 / 4) (#249)
    by pixel on Tue Feb 20, 2001 at 12:45:32 PM EST

    it would be interesting to see the same statistics for alcohol and tobacco, eh?
    - eric - people see the world not as it is, but as they are.
    [ Parent ]
    Comparisons (3.50 / 2) (#268)
    by RadiantMatrix on Tue Feb 20, 2001 at 05:15:37 PM EST

    • Number of annual U.S. deaths due to marijuana overdose: 0.

    An interesting comparison: alcohol is quite legal in the US, but according to this site, about 1,000 people die annually from alcohol overdose. Fascinating, isn't it?

    I don't have a source handy, but I remember someone of consequence saying 'if alcohol consumption were not so much a part of our culture, alcohol would be on the Controlled Substances List right next to cocaine'. The lack of consistency in governmental regulation never ceases to amaze and bemuse me.
    --
    I'm not going out with a "meh". I plan to live, dammit. [ZorbaTHut]

    [ Parent ]

    Category error (4.53 / 15) (#210)
    by aphrael on Tue Feb 20, 2001 at 02:00:33 AM EST

    DJ --- I can sort of see what you're saying, but I pretty strongly disagree; my experience says it's a category error, based on two problems: the difference in nature between drug use and homosexuality, and the different ways in which public distaste for both are expressed. I can see some similarities, i that I think the underlying reason for popular distaste for both is the same, but that's not sufficient.

    -----------

    I'm gay. I'm also a pot smoker. I can't speak for others, but the nature of my desire to have sex with other men and my desire to smoke pot or eat mushrooms or take other hallucinogens is massively different. Drug use is something I tried and discovered that I enjoyed, and kept doing; sex with men is something that I wanted to do well before the first time I tried it; it is innate, intrinsic to the way I interact with the world. I have no choice; I can no more turn the desire off than most men can turn off their desire for other women; it is a constant, always there. A desire to get high comes and goes, and is situational, and more akin to the desire to read a good book or ride a skateboard down the sidewalk or watch the beautiful flames of a fire. It's something I enjoy, and a lot of the way I think about my relation to the world is the result of insights i've had while stoned, or thoughts that have occurred on hallucinogens --- and it's an incredible amount of fun, especially when combined with something else I already enjoy doing --- but it's an overlay; it's a learned behavior, and a learned desire, and not an innate, central part of my being.

    That's not to say that I don't identify with it; for years, being a pot smoker was one of the most important parts of my self image and self definition. But, for all that I identify with it, it's a good deal less essential than, say, having access to a good collection of books.

    -----------

    In a way, public disapproval of the two are the same; they both derive from the same thing --- fear of that which is not understood. Most people who have never taken a particular drug can't comprehend what it is like to be under the influence of that drug (I can't comprehend what it's like to be under the influence of cocaine, for example), and all they can go on is their observation of the people they know who have been under the influence, and what they hear in the media. In an atmosphere like that, lack of comprehension and lack of experience combined with rumor-mongering leads easily down the path to fear --- fear of the state of being high, fear of what people who are high might do (as an example: they might break into my house and steal my television to sell it for drugs!). And fear combined with rumor easily turns into disdain and dislike.

    Public disapproval of homosexuality stems, in many cases, from something similar: most men can't understand what it is like to be attracted to other men. (There's a whole religious aspect, but i'm for the most part ignoring that right now; religion is tangential). As an example --- I had a conversation with someone last summer, before I came out to anyone, who was talking about how they would never let a gay person babysit their children. When asked why, he explained that he couldn't be sure a gay person wouldn't molest his children. I probed him for a while, and it quickly became clear that because he couldn't comprehend homosexuality, he couldn't tell what the limits of behavior would be --- homosexuality was as beyond his comprehension as child molestation, and he couldn't tell where the line was. This is remarkably like the inability of non-drug users to comprehend the stoned state, and to predict what stoned people might or might not do.

    In that sense, they stem from the same thing. But their expression is different; drug use is illegal, and homosexuality in most modern countries. But, in general, for people that aren't open to it, homosexuality engenders a much stronger reaction: because it is innate, the level of incomprehension is for most people stronger, and so is the resultant level of fear.

    ------------

    That's not to say that I approve of hatred of either stoners or gays; doing that would entail self-hatred, and i'm not particularly into that any more. But there's a distinction: smoking pot and other drug use are things I choose to do despite the fact that there are people who disapprove, with full knowledge of their disapproval; being attracted to men is soemthing that for half my life I didn't want to do, and did anyway, becdause I had no control over it. No matter how much the reasons for public disapproval of the two stem from the same thing, the difference in their nature, in my mind at least, makes the discrimination practiced against drug users and the discrimination practiced against gays completely different beasts.

    You're right (4.20 / 10) (#229)
    by DJBongHit on Tue Feb 20, 2001 at 07:56:01 AM EST

    I can sort of see what you're saying, but I pretty strongly disagree; my experience says it's a category error, based on two problems: the difference in nature between drug use and homosexuality, and the different ways in which public distaste for both are expressed. I can see some similarities, i that I think the underlying reason for popular distaste for both is the same, but that's not sufficient.
    You're right - comparing drug use and homosexuality is a category error. Upon re-reading the article, I see that I made a mistake in the way I explained myself. I did not mean that these two were the same - but the discrimination against them is. In both cases, people are discriminating against somebody simply because of something that they are doing with their own bodies. I think, in retrospect, that the comparison would have been more appropriate between religious preferences and drug use.

    sex with men is something that I wanted to do well before the first time I tried it; it is innate, intrinsic to the way I interact with the world. I have no choice; I can no more turn the desire off than most men can turn off their desire for other women; it is a constant, always there. A desire to get high comes and goes, and is situational, and more akin to the desire to read a good book or ride a skateboard down the sidewalk or watch the beautiful flames of a fire. It's something I enjoy, and a lot of the way I think about my relation to the world is the result of insights i've had while stoned, or thoughts that have occurred on hallucinogens --- and it's an incredible amount of fun, especially when combined with something else I already enjoy doing --- but it's an overlay; it's a learned behavior, and a learned desire, and not an innate, central part of my being.
    Fair enough. But you say that "sex with men is something that I wanted to do well before the first time I tried it; it is innate, intrinsic to the way I interact with the world. I have no choice" - it's the same way with me and psychedelics. I've mentioned this in a few other comments, but it applies here as well. For as long as I can remember, I've been fascinated by altered states of consciousness - dreaming, drug use, hypnotism, and the like. During high school, I wrote a paper on the history and effects of LSD (got a score of 100% on the paper, too, the only one in the class). At the time, I had never smoked weed, I had never tried LSD, and I have never drank alcohol. I was simply always interested in these things, and always wanted to do them. When I did them, I wasn't disappointed (well, I was with alcohol).

    Public disapproval of homosexuality stems, in many cases, from something similar: most men can't understand what it is like to be attracted to other men. (There's a whole religious aspect, but i'm for the most part ignoring that right now; religion is tangential).
    I'm not sure it's so much misunderstanding of homosexuality - as a straight person, I don't understand the attraction to men either, but homosexuality doesn't bother me in the slightest; a few of my friends are openly gay (or bi) and I don't even think about it. I think it stems more from the fact that the people who are the most vocally homophobic are also the same people who are most unsure of their own sexuality, and it scares them.

    As an example --- I had a conversation with someone last summer, before I came out to anyone, who was talking about how they would never let a gay person babysit their children. When asked why, he explained that he couldn't be sure a gay person wouldn't molest his children. I probed him for a while, and it quickly became clear that because he couldn't comprehend homosexuality, he couldn't tell what the limits of behavior would be --- homosexuality was as beyond his comprehension as child molestation, and he couldn't tell where the line was. This is remarkably like the inability of non-drug users to comprehend the stoned state, and to predict what stoned people might or might not do.
    Ok, that makes sense, and I'm sure that's the case in a lot of instances. But I'm also sure fear, rather than or in addition to misunderstanding, is equally a factor.

    But, in general, for people that aren't open to it, homosexuality engenders a much stronger reaction: because it is innate, the level of incomprehension is for most people stronger, and so is the resultant level of fear.
    True - almost never, if someone finds out that somebody smokes pot, do they respond by kicking the shit out of the pothead. This does happen fairly frequently to homosexuals. However, when this happens to homosexuals, there is often public outcry and the perpetrator is subject to all kinds of hate-crime laws (which I don't agree with, by the way - I think it's wrong to beat the hell out of a gay person, but I don't think it's any more wrong than it is to beat the hell out of a straight person). Drug users are subject to violence and persecution by the U.S. Government, which is legally entitled to the use of force. And then this use of force is videotaped and played on national TV for the amusement of the American public. Have you watched "Cops" recently? Nearly every scene involves the police busting in on a drug dealer or drug user who wasn't really bothering anybody. Then once they chase the guy down and throw him to the ground, the police brag about it. Those that don't involve drugs usually involve prostitution or some other consentual "crime." Only rarely do they show a real criminal being arrested.

    ~DJBongHit

    --
    GNU GPL: Free as in herpes.

    [ Parent ]
    "Blame Gays" (3.00 / 5) (#262)
    by Eccles on Tue Feb 20, 2001 at 03:20:07 PM EST

    I think it stems more from the fact that the people who are the most vocally homophobic are also the same people who are most unsure of their own sexuality, and it scares them.

    That's often a motivation, but for others it's a way to transfer blame to others. Instead of blaming the problems of this world on the most deadly sins of greed, selfishness, and vanity, just blame it on the gay people. (Anyone for a rendition of "Blame Canada"?)

    [ Parent ]

    Reflections (3.33 / 3) (#265)
    by aphrael on Tue Feb 20, 2001 at 04:25:14 PM EST

    I think, in retrospect, that the comparison would have been more appropriate between religious preferences and drug use

    Especially since drug use and religious beliefs are intimately tied in many of the world's religious traditions; they often go hand in hand. Drug use as a road to spirituality is a well-established tradition, even in Christianity.

    you say that "sex with men is something that I wanted to do well before the first time I tried it; it is innate, intrinsic to the way I interact with the world. I have no choice" - it's the same way with me and psychedelics. I've mentioned this in a few other comments, but it applies here as well.

    Interesting. I don't think i've ever interacted with someone who has said that before ... it interested me before I tried it, but it wasn't innate in the way that sexual desire is. *shrug* I did notice, coming down from shrooms, an intense feeling that I had done that before --- that I was selecting a world to enter into and that this was a perfectly normal and common thing to do, and that if i really wanted to I could choose a different world, and that this was perfectly normal. But that's a different discussion I suspect.

    Have you watched "Cops" recently?

    No. But I suspect that shows like that are a big part of the problem --- if you're a middle-class american in a quiet neighborhood whose only view of the life of the inner city is that provided by Cops and other such shows, how can you not be afraid of evil drug users?

    [ Parent ]

    Yeah (2.80 / 5) (#280)
    by DJBongHit on Tue Feb 20, 2001 at 07:20:43 PM EST

    Especially since drug use and religious beliefs are intimately tied in many of the world's religious traditions; they often go hand in hand. Drug use as a road to spirituality is a well-established tradition, even in Christianity.
    Yeah. If that type of stuff interests you, check out this page - it's a breakdown of drug references in the Bible. Cool reading :)

    Interesting. I don't think i've ever interacted with someone who has said that before ... it interested me before I tried it, but it wasn't innate in the way that sexual desire is. *shrug* I did notice, coming down from shrooms, an intense feeling that I had done that before --- that I was selecting a world to enter into and that this was a perfectly normal and common thing to do, and that if i really wanted to I could choose a different world, and that this was perfectly normal. But that's a different discussion I suspect.
    Yeah, that type of thing belongs more on Smokedot than Kuro5hin :)

    No. But I suspect that shows like that are a big part of the problem --- if you're a middle-class american in a quiet neighborhood whose only view of the life of the inner city is that provided by Cops and other such shows, how can you not be afraid of evil drug users?
    Yeah. I can't watching that damn show :P

    ~DJBongHit

    --
    GNU GPL: Free as in herpes.

    [ Parent ]
    yikes! (3.60 / 5) (#279)
    by G Neric on Tue Feb 20, 2001 at 06:59:38 PM EST

    I probed him for a while

    dude! you probed him for awhile?

    OK, now please don't rate this into oblivion. Yes it is an example of off-color humor, and it exploits psychological associations often termed "homophobic", but note that the same joke could have been "I probed her for awhile" without being particularly misogynist: it's more just a joke about dominance, and as we see in animals with mounting behavior that is often expressed in mammals through sex. The same struggle for dominance among heterosexual males is what I think is the root cause of "homophobia" (I'll always put it in quotes because I'll never accept it as a valid word. "Homopathy" (hatred) if you want; but I think "homophobia" is more a term intended to be simply a pejorative, propagandizing through labelling.)

    So I could go gussying up my post with more intellectual analysis, but I will admit that I really wanted to make the joke more. I'm responding to the sentiment that I've seen in some K5 discussions lately that, while /. has a lot of noise, it also has a lot of humor while K5 stays too darn dry.

    If you find my post too darn dry, please don't probe too deep ;)

    [ Parent ]

    Pthbbt. (2.00 / 1) (#283)
    by aphrael on Tue Feb 20, 2001 at 08:42:43 PM EST

    :)

    I meant 'probe' in the sense of 'asked probing questions trying to figure out what he meant and why'. But you knew that. And the joke is funny. :)

    but I think "homophobia" is more a term intended to be simply a pejorative

    The way it's used, possibly. But I think there is a legitimate distinction between hatred-of-homosexuals and fear-of-homosexuals, and so there is a use for a word that covers the latter space without covering the space between.

    [ Parent ]

    Pithy but... (2.66 / 3) (#288)
    by G Neric on Tue Feb 20, 2001 at 11:32:48 PM EST

    But I think there is a legitimate distinction between hatred-of-homosexuals and fear-of-homosexuals

    Sure, but that's not how it is used. Plus "phobia" in every other case refers to a recognized psychological condition of extreme agitation accompanied by hyperventilating, sweating, etc. So-called "homophobia" is no such thing. It's as bogus as calling gay-erections "homoitis" for "same-swelling"

    [ Parent ]

    The issue of choice (3.00 / 1) (#297)
    by ciole on Wed Feb 21, 2001 at 12:04:46 PM EST

    I sympathise strongly with this article, finding myself in the same position (albeit with different substances). But when I make the oft-inflammatory comparison between drug users and other oppressed and/or stereotyped groups, I treat the issue of choice (discussed above regarding homosexuality) differently. There's been a lot of noise concerning possible genetic "causes" of certain behaviours, especially contrasting such "causes" with an individual's choice. Does anyone else think there's some polemic here? That a lifestyle may be considered unacceptable as a choice but acceptable as a genetic imperative? It seems to me to imply that this lifestyle diverges from a norm, and may only be accepted or explained by stressing the individual's helplessness in the face of this imperative. A "You know, they just can't help it" mentality. That's why i feel the issue of choice isn't worth addressing - There's no need to defend describing drug users as an oppressed group against this attack - anyone who would use it obviously has biased thinking.

    Wow! (4.71 / 7) (#298)
    by theR on Wed Feb 21, 2001 at 12:36:49 PM EST

    I didn't really know what thread to post this to, some I'll just make it a direct reply to the story. I have mostly refrained from posting to this story because people holding all views have pretty well argued their viewpoints. That is not to say, however, that everybody has presented sensible and intelligent arguments. Now I would like to add a few things that may or may not have been addressed in previous comments.

    The US War on Drugs is an utter and complete failure. Billions and billions of dollars are spent on law enforcement, anti-drug advertisements, foreign aid, drug treatment, and whatever else they use the money for. Yet, when I was under the age of 21, it was as easy or usually much easier for me to purchase marijuana than it was to purchase alcohol.

    There are some things the War on Drugs has accomplished quite well, though. The foremost is marginalizing a huge group of people in the US through the use of propaganda depicting all illegal drug users as dumb, unthinking, uncaring individuals who are bringing down our whole society. Looking at some of the responses from the anti-drug crowd here, it is obvious that the government's depiction of drug users has had a great effect in making some people think that all drug users are reckless and can not be trusted to care for themselves and others, or make intelligent decisions. While the War on Drugs has not had the same effect on everybody, to many it has made any admitted drug user or legalization advocate a pariah.

    People throughout the comments to this story have lambasted DJBongHit for comparing the persecution of drug users to that of homosexuals or others. Well, DJBongHit has said repeatedly that he made a mistake by using that example and I would agree that it is two seperate things. There is a relationship between prejudice and drug use, though. The War on Drugs has allowed the US Government to imprison those of color under the guise of protecting our society from the scum they consider drug users to be. For instance, as seen in the Human Rights Watch report entitled Punishment and Prejudice: Racial Disparities in the War on Drugs, the nationwide incarceration rates for blacks in the US is 8.2 times higher than that of whites and the primary reason is the impact of the War on Drugs. In addition (I have not included the links to the sources of the following statistics from the Human Rights Watch report, but they can be found in the actual text of this report):

    The disproportionate representation of black Americans in the U.S. criminal justice system is well documented. Blacks comprise percent of the national population, but percent of people arrested, percent of people in jail, and percent of those in prison. Nine percent of all black adults are under some form of correctional supervision (in jail or prison, on probation or parole), compared to two percent of white adults. One in three black men between the ages of and was either in jail or prison, or on parole or probation in 1995. One in ten black men in their twenties and early thirties is in prison or jail. Thirteen percent of the black adult male population has lost the right to vote because of felony disenfranchisement laws.
    Even the venerable D.A.R.E. program, as reported in this Newsweek article, has seen the ineffectiveness of current philosophies, which for them pretty much amounted to a bunch of people coming in and telling kids, "Drugs are bad, mmmkay." They now realize that kids aren't stupid and need to be informed of the facts so that they can make educated decisions on their own, instead of finding out later that they have been fed some disingenuous crap saying all drugs are equally bad.

    I don't dispute that drugs can and do have negative effects on people, but the biggest negative effects I have seen has been the result of the War on Drugs and the fact that only a narrow, specific group of accepted drugs are legal. If George W. Bush had been locked up when he was an illegal drug user, would his life be better now? I don't see how it would be possible to have anything but a negative effect. Would he or Clinton have become President of the US if they had done time for drug offenses? Of course not.

    The current system contributes and exacerbates the problems of drug use and allows the government to practice racism under the guise of law enforcement while doing nothing to solve the problems, which are actually fewer in number than the government would have us believe. Take away the War on Drugs, the messages that all drug users are incompetent, constantly high nitwits, legalize drugs and provide government controls like alcohol, and put some of the billions of dollars spent on drug law enforcement towards treatment of users who actually have problems and want help, and the US would, in my opinion, be much better off.



    Blockquote with missing percentages (none / 0) (#327)
    by theR on Fri Feb 23, 2001 at 10:16:36 AM EST

    Here is how it should read. I somehow erased the percentages.

    The disproportionate representation of black Americans in the U.S. criminal justice system is well documented. Blacks comprise 13 percent of the national population, but 30 percent of people arrested, 41 percent of people in jail, and 49 percent of those in prison. Nine percent of all black adults are under some form of correctional supervision (in jail or prison, on probation or parole), compared to two percent of white adults. One in three black men between the ages of 20 and 29 was either in jail or prison, or on parole or probation in 1995. One in ten black men in their twenties and early thirties is in prison or jail. Thirteen percent of the black adult male population has lost the right to vote because of felony disenfranchisement laws.


    [ Parent ]
    "I smoke weed, I'm a victim!" (4.25 / 4) (#309)
    by kitten on Thu Feb 22, 2001 at 07:35:41 AM EST

    I (and apparently I'm not alone here) read this article and see "I'm an innocent victim of The Man", rather than an expose on "fear of anyone different".

    I've got issues with a number of the points raised in here, and doubtless, some of them have already been raised by others, but I'll address them anyway. My two cents and all that.

    Right now you may be thinking to yourself, "How can this goddamn stoner compare that to racism or homophobia? Drug use is clearly a personal choice, not something you are born with." I beg to differ -- homosexuality was long considered to be also a personal choice, hence the fact that homosexuality is still illegal in most states.

    Homosexuality is now thought to be largely genetic, which is part of your point here.
    Are you saying that smoking pot is genetic as well? Because that's what I'm hearing when I read this, which basically says "We used to think being gay was all a matter of choice, but now we think it's something you're born with. So it is with marijuana."
    I'm sorry, I don't buy it.

    Likewise, I don't enjoy the effects of alcohol -- I don't like the fact that it greatly increases your chances of doing something stupid,

    And being stoned out of your mind doesn't?
    How about tripping on acid (which you also mentioned) and "seeing fucked up shit, man"? No, nobody has ever done anything stupid while on LSD.
    Any substance that fundamentally alters your perception of your environment will "greatly increase your chances of doing something stupid".

    I don't like the way it [alcohol] makes me feel, and I don't like the fact that it's extremely easy to overdose or become addicted [which isn't the case with pot].

    In the strictest sense, this is correct. Marijuana, to the best of anyone's knowledge, is not a physically addictive substance; that is to say, once used, the body does not physically require it's continued use in order to function properly. But, this applies to alcohol as well.
    It is, however, a savage psychological dependancy. Most of us have observed the great and often ridiculous lengths that users will go through just to obtain enough marijuana to "get high". Users expend large amounts of time - and even larger amounts of money - for this "nonaddictive" drug habit. The simple fact that a pot smoker is willing to throw away sixty or more dollars for *one ounce* of marijuana speaks volumes to the dependancy factor.
    Habitual users - if they haven't "smoked up" in a while - will often bemoan their lack of weed for hours, spewing out comments like "I just want a little," or "I really need to get stoned" ad infinitum.
    How anyone can claim pot isn't psychologically addictive is entirely beyond me.

    ...few people have any qualms with calling somebody a "goddamn pothead," while those same people would get offended if they heard somebody call a black person a "goddamn nigger."

    Er.
    Smoking pot is a choice. Being black is not.
    Smoking pot is illegal. Being black is not.
    Smoking pot alters your sense of reality (hence, 'being high') and makes many people do irrational or downright stupid things. Being black does not.
    I don't feel you have the right to play the "victim" card for making a concious decision to use an illegal mind-altering substance.

    All of these problems stem from the fact that, as much as people claim otherwise, they make judgments about people based on unfair criteria and society as a whole suffers as a result.

    I agree, it is unfair that people look down on others for minor genetic traits - like being black - that have nothing to do with the person's ability to function, or even their personality. To form an opinion about someone based on something like that is, indeed, using "unfair criteria".
    However, as noted, a person who uses drugs is making a concious choice - an effort, even - to deliberately place themselves in a situation where they will be looked down upon. Regardless of whether the criteria here is "fair", I do not understand how anyone who uses drugs can gripe that they're being "unfairly targeted". To use a trite cliche: You play with fire, you get burned. Don't act surprised.
    As for whether or not it's "fair", well, the choice to habitually use drugs implies a lot of negative things about a person. It says that they're willing to bend or break the law whenever it suits their fancy. It implies that this person has a difficult time dealing with the stress of daily life without retreating into a drug-induced Happy World. It implies that this person is not concerned with their own well-being. It carries a few other abjectly negative connotations.
    To me, and most others, the personal choices you make, whatever they may be, say a lot about you, and are therefore "fair" criteria to use when forming opinions.
    Let me draw an example here. Where I live - Atlanta - it is legal to carry a weapon as long as it is not concealed (in which case you need a special permit, but that isn't the point here). This means that I am within my rights to carry a shotgun around with me in full view (and I've actually seen this on more than one occasion).
    If I purchase a shotgun and carry it around with me on the streets in full view, that's my choice. But I'm aware that many people are going to give me weird looks, or run away, or treat me like some sort of nutcase. I'm also asking - begging, practically - to be hassled by the cops a lot (even though it's legal they're still going to wonder what the hell I'm doing). I placed myself in that situation and I would have no right to gripe that I'm being "discriminated against" or that people are treating me "unfairly".
    The upshot of your argument seems to be "Don't judge me on the choices I make." What else is there?

    I am forced to live my life in secrecy, while people are free to go to a bar and get dangerously drunk without any such hassles.

    That's because you're doing something illegal. I do understand the point you're making here, and it isn't entirely without merit, but really, what you're saying here is "Just because I do something against the law, I have to be secretive about it. What's that all about?"
    Besides, people who are "dangerously drunk" DO get hassled (and looked down upon).

    The underlying argument for this entire article seems to hinge on the assumption that using mind-altering, illegal, and sometimes dangerous drugs isn't any different from, say, being black or gay, and I think it's a faulty and demonstrably erroneous assumption.
    You knew what you were doing when you started using drugs, and you knew the social stigma it would carry, yet you chose to do it anyway.. then you complain that you're being "discriminated against" for your deliberate choice to break the law and screw with your brainwaves for hours at a time.
    I'm sorry, but I just don't see the parallel between that and being a genetic minority.


    mirrorshades radio - darkwave, synthpop, industrial, futurepop.
    Just some notes. (3.00 / 1) (#310)
    by Mashx on Thu Feb 22, 2001 at 09:31:20 AM EST

    Marijuana, to the best of anyone's knowledge, is not a physically addictive substance; that is to say, once used, the body does not physically require it's continued use in order to function properly. But, this applies to alcohol as well. It is, however, a savage psychological dependancy.
    Firstly, I think that perhaps you should educate yourself about alcohol. Alcohol's addictive properties are very much physical. Secondly, Savage pschological dependence? No. Sorry, but no, it is not 'savage'. I mentioned in this comment that there are different levels of pschological addiction, and this is true for all people to all drugs.
    Most of us have observed the great and often ridiculous lengths that users will go through just to obtain enough marijuana to "get high".
    I think you are confusing Marijuana with Heroin, which is understandable as the American government is all in favour of this. This just isn't true. Think about it: most smokers just get to the point where they can't be bothered, let alone going to ridiculous lengths you speak of. You != Most. Speak for yourself not for everyone else.
    Users expend large amounts of time - and even larger amounts of money - for this "nonaddictive" drug habit. The simple fact that a pot smoker is willing to throw away sixty or more dollars for *one ounce* of marijuana speaks volumes to the dependancy factor.
    You show your ignorance of the subject you talk about. Do you know how much an ounce is? Do you know how many spliffs this will make? One ounce =! One 'hit'. It speaks nothing of the dependency factor. I spend a lot of time finding records, and spend a lot of money on them: would you say I must therefore be addicted to records?

    Elsewhere you write:

    the choice to habitually use drugs implies a lot of negative things about a person. It says that they're willing to bend or break the law whenever it suits their fancy. It implies that this person has a difficult time dealing with the stress of daily life without retreating into a drug-induced Happy World. It implies that this person is not concerned with their own well-being. It carries a few other abjectly negative connotations.
    I note from your bio on your website that you list 'chainsmoking' as one of your mutant powers. Or did you mean to say that illegal drugs say things about a person that legal drugs don't? In which case, I'll just point you to another comment of mine to read. Especially the links towards the end.

    Lastly:

    Besides, people who are "dangerously drunk" DO get hassled (and looked down upon).
    Do people who have one beer get hassled and looked down upon? Really? Strange that...

    Think about how much of what you said is your own personal knowledge and not what you have seen on TV, in films, or just has been fed to you as propoganda from a young age. You'll note I said elsewhere that I am not on a crusade, I realise there are dangers, nor will I tell people they should try, but I am not willing to accept statements that are just a government diatribe being regurgitated left unanswered. Think for yourself, and don't let others do it for you.
    Woodside!
    [ Parent ]

    re (1.00 / 1) (#311)
    by alprazolam on Thu Feb 22, 2001 at 04:53:25 PM EST

    "Life moves pretty fast... If you don't stop and look around once in a while... ...You could miss it."--ferris bueller. also quoted in a great ltj bukem song. although your post is pretty much right, it is off topic from the perspective that the original article is a load of bs. smoking dope is not the same as being gay. there are federal laws against drug which makes discrimination legal. it is not a 'protected class' or whatever the business word is for it. it is personal choice. however it is unfortunate that politicians suck and the laws are the way they are regarding drugs. oh well, you can always move to mendicino county california.

    [ Parent ]
    Just a minute, now. (4.66 / 3) (#322)
    by kitten on Fri Feb 23, 2001 at 02:39:57 AM EST

    I think you are confusing Marijuana with Heroin, which is understandable as the American government is all in favour of this. This just isn't true.

    Kindly do not paint a picture of me as a government-controlled, media-fed sheep. I have a mind and I make use of it. The comment to which you refer to here is where I stated that pot smokers often go to great lengths in order to obtain their weed. This is not 'opinion', nor is it based on what I've seen on television. This is a fact. Marijuana is a black-market substance. Unless one has a specific supplier to go to each time, users must discreetly inquire around to find out where some can be purchased, haggle over price, worry about the quality of the substance, etc etc.
    I've seen it happen too many times to count, and I'd be willing to bet that you have too: People making endless phone calls, paging each other nonstop, waiting around coffee shops or whatever for long periods of time waiting for the seller to show up, whatever.
    I'm not saying that it's a major cloak-and-dagger operation, but it does get ridiculous.
    And no, I'm not confusing it with heroin. I'm not as stupid as I look.. wait, that's not what I meant. Er.

    You show your ignorance of the subject you talk about. Do you know how much an ounce is? Do you know how many spliffs this will make? One ounce =! One 'hit'.

    Thank you, I'm aware of that. I never said an ounce equals a hit. I was merely pointing out that users expend a lot of money for a small amount of a substance they don't need, risking both their health and criminal record.. and for who? for what?
    They're willing to throw large sums of money at this habit repeatedly, despite the risks.. that, to me, suggests a psychological dependancy.

    I note from your bio on your website that you list 'chainsmoking' as one of your mutant powers. Or did you mean to say that illegal drugs say things about a person that legal drugs don't?

    Yes. That's what I meant to say, and that's exactly what I did say: "It says that they're willing to bend or break the law whenever it suits their fancy."
    I also stated (regarding stigmas attached to pot): "It implies that this person has a difficult time dealing with the stress of daily life without retreating into a drug-induced Happy World." You ask me to reconcile this comment with my admittedly stupid habit of cigarettes.
    I'm sorry for not understanding, but exactly what are you implying here? That my cigarette habit is analogous to smoking pot? If so, you're in error: Cigarettes do not get you "high"; they do not alter your perception of reality. Pot does.
    Yes, I smoke cigarettes. No, I do not chainsmoke. That bio was written by the co-host of the site, who seems to have great misconceptions about the amount of nicotine I actually use. And yes, he's been hassling me to write my own damn bio for several weeks now.
    I realize that's beside the point. Anyway.
    Smoking cigarettes does carry a stigma as well. Some people who see me smoking view me as some sort of juvenile deliquent (I'm 21). There are many people who say smoking looks "trashy" or "low-class", and perhaps it does. Nonsmokers often make loud exaggerated coughing fits in my direction to mock me, and quite honestly I've heard "smoking will kill you, man" from random strangers far more many times than I am capable of counting.
    Additionally, it's a poor health decision, and I'm aware of that. But I'll admit it: I'm addicted. Quitting is very hard, and when I go for long periods of time without cigarettes, my lungs hurt a little, and I crave a cigarette like a drowning man wants air.
    My habit costs money, too. At a pack a day, around ninety dollars a month. I'm aware that it's stupid.
    However, I don't bitch that I'm being "unfairly targeted" because I smoke. True, the social stigma that cigarettes carry pales in comparison to that of marijuana, but it's still present. Also, I do not extoll the virtues of cigarettes and neither does anyone else. You don't see legions of smokers going on about what a wonderful drug nicotine is, but you will find this with pot.
    But most importantly, and this is key: When I smoke a cigarette, I don't get stoned or high. Cigarettes do not alter one's state of mind; pot does. There's a world of difference - don't try to compare the two.
    I want to go back to the original point of my first comment (to which you were referring to), and the point was this: People who gripe about being treated "differently", "unfairly", or even "discriminated" against because of a choice they made, make no sense. In essence, they are saying "Don't judge me merely by the choices I make." What should we be judging you on, then?
    Think about how much of what you said is your own personal knowledge and not what you have seen on TV, in films, or just has been fed to you as propoganda from a young age.

    What do you know about my "personal knowledge"? You have absolutely no idea who I am. For all you know I could be a person who used to smoke pot on a daily basis. I'm not, incidentially, but I will tell you this: I know more than I wish to about marijuana, for reasons which I see no need to disclose here.
    My views have little to do with television, movies, or other "propaganda". Quite honestly I'm not sure how you even arrived at this conclusion.

    >>Besides, people who are "dangerously drunk" DO get hassled (and looked down upon).<< Do people who have one beer get hassled and looked down upon? Really? Strange that...

    I said "dangerously drunk", not "one beer", and I was referring to a specific comment in the article.
    Go back and look at which comment I was referring to, and please do not take my quotes out of their context.
    But in response to your comment: Okay, so I have one beer, and nobody looks down on me for it. John Q Random has a small joint, nothing much, just a little - and he is looked down upon for that. "Where's the justice?" you say. "Why is he a pariah and you are accepted?"
    Among other reasons: He's breaking the law. I'm not. QED.

    mirrorshades radio - darkwave, synthpop, industrial, futurepop.
    [ Parent ]
    Okay, condescending... (5.00 / 2) (#324)
    by Mashx on Fri Feb 23, 2001 at 04:06:04 AM EST

    ..so first off I apologise for that. My opinion came from reading the comment which to me sounded like the crap that is constantly 'explained' by government and media. Thus my comment about Heroin. It still does sound like it, but as you say this is not the case, I accept that. I don't think you are stupid either: you are able to argue your case, otherwise I wouldn't have responded.

    When you say:

    I've seen it happen too many times to count, and I'd be willing to bet that you have too
    I can only disagree. Even when I was at school it just didn't happen, and this is ten years ago. Maybe it's different in your part of the world. Have you ever seen anyone go cold-turkey from Marijuana? Even a psychological dependence would induce this. You would have lost if you made that bet. :)

    If you have seen people go to these great lengths then it does suggest a pschological dependency, but that does not necessarily mean it is a savage dependency for everyone. This was the point I was trying to make. Not all marijuana users, and I would contend not many users go to these lengths. I have never known anyone be that pschologically addicted in over ten years of knowing marijauna smokers. Say for example I spend a lot of money on clothes, and spend hours looking around for the right clothes when shopping. I don't have to go shopping every day or every week, but I spend a lot of money and a lot of time when I do. Wearing these new clothes makes me feel good, it alters how I feel: does that make me pschologically addicted to clothes shopping? My point is some people do go to lengths for some things, but this doesn't necessarily make them addicted.

    When imbibing a drug, no matter whether it is alcohol, nicotine or THC, it alters the way the brain works, and thus gets you 'high'. It enters the brain some eight seconds after inhalation, acting on the nerves that control respiration, and alters heart rate and blood pressure. For more information, here is a National Institute On Drug Abuse page about how how Nicotine acts on the brain. Note the line: "Nicotine also activates areas of the brain that are involved in producing feelings of pleasure and reward." Now I hope you see why I asked you to reconcile your 'Happy World' statement.

    People who gripe about being treated "differently", "unfairly", or even "discriminated" against because of a choice they made, make no sense.
    Fair point. I don't think that I have complained about this, and I agree with you that making pot smoking analogous to homosexuality is just plain wrong. But it is analogous to cigarette smoking, excluding the legality of the two. For example: don't smoke for a day. Then the next day smoke a cigarette at lunchtime: feel that light headed feeling? That is the high. It might be shortlived, but it is still a high. Just because the length of the high is different does not make it not a high. Cocaine lasts for twenty minutes, LSD can last up to eight hours. The ratios are similar for nicotine and THC iirc. Cigarettes are much more damaging to the health than marijuana, but they can help you deal with the stresses of daily life. Note I say 'can' and not 'do' because it is not always the case. No, no-one does go around saying how great cigarettes are, although nicotine is supposed to reduce the risk of Parkinsons disease believe it or not!

    As you rightly point out, I know nothing of your personal knowledge, but I didn't need to be told that you have not smoked marijuana on a daily basis: I have a lot of friends that used to but don't any more and would not agree with the comments that you have put forth. As I said at the top, I apologise for the assumptions I made, but the way I came to the conclusion was simply because it sounds like propoganda.

    "Why is he a pariah and you are accepted?"

    Among other reasons: He's breaking the law. I'm not. QED.

    I didn't ask this, I am not moaning about his pariah status. My whole post was about your view of marijuana, and how I views them as incorrect. I am not extolling the virtues of marijuana smoking. It is not just about the fact that it is against the law: are jay-walkers seen as pariahs? No, but they are breaking the law. And they could do a lot of damage to themselves as well. But it was their choice.
    Woodside!
    [ Parent ]
    You have your facts all wrong (3.00 / 3) (#325)
    by DJBongHit on Fri Feb 23, 2001 at 09:11:32 AM EST

    Kindly do not paint a picture of me as a government-controlled, media-fed sheep. I have a mind and I make use of it.
    But you're also either grossly misinformed or you're making stuff up off the top of your head. First of all, an ounce of marijuana is a LOT of marijuana. It costs a great deal more than $60. An ounce of good weed will cost around $400. It'll also last a smoker like me several months. I usually buy an 1/8th of an ounce at a time, which lasts me a week. That costs $60.

    The comment to which you refer to here is where I stated that pot smokers often go to great lengths in order to obtain their weed. This is not 'opinion', nor is it based on what I've seen on television. This is a fact. Marijuana is a black-market substance. Unless one has a specific supplier to go to each time, users must discreetly inquire around to find out where some can be purchased, haggle over price, worry about the quality of the substance, etc etc. I've seen it happen too many times to count, and I'd be willing to bet that you have too: People making endless phone calls, paging each other nonstop, waiting around coffee shops or whatever for long periods of time waiting for the seller to show up, whatever. I'm not saying that it's a major cloak-and-dagger operation, but it does get ridiculous.
    This is because we enjoy smoking it, and that's oftentimes the only way we can get our hands on it. That's not our fault, it's the fault of the Government's ill-conceived War on Drugs.

    Thank you, I'm aware of that. I never said an ounce equals a hit. I was merely pointing out that users expend a lot of money for a small amount of a substance they don't need, risking both their health and criminal record.. and for who? for what? They're willing to throw large sums of money at this habit repeatedly, despite the risks.. that, to me, suggests a psychological dependancy.
    No, that suggests that it's worth the risk to use, because the benefits outweigh the risks. And as for your "psychological dependancy" theory, how's this - I haven't even seen weed since a few hours before I wrote the article we're all discussing. And I haven't had a problem. If there was a psychological dependancy at work, this wouldn't be the case.

    "It implies that this person has a difficult time dealing with the stress of daily life without retreating into a drug-induced Happy World."
    Not only is that exactly the biased and intolerant viewpoint I had in mind when I originally wrote the article, but it's not true. I can deal fine with daily life without weed, and I do. Just because somebody smokes weed, or uses any substance at all, doesn't mean that they're using it as an escape from daily life - many people, myself included, use it to *complement* daily life.

    Yes, I smoke cigarettes. No, I do not chainsmoke. That bio was written by the co-host of the site, who seems to have great misconceptions about the amount of nicotine I actually use.
    Just as you have great misconceptions about the lifestyle of a pot smoker, the amount of weed that we smoke, and the motivations we have for smoking it.

    Also, I do not extoll the virtues of cigarettes and neither does anyone else. You don't see legions of smokers going on about what a wonderful drug nicotine is, but you will find this with pot.
    And why do you think this is? People do talk about how wonderful marijuana and psychedelic drugs are, but when was the last time you heard somebody say the same regarding crack or crystal meth?

    I know more than I wish to about marijuana, for reasons which I see no need to disclose here.
    But you don't know as much as you think you do, as made perfectly clear by this comment: "The simple fact that a pot smoker is willing to throw away sixty or more dollars for *one ounce* of marijuana speaks volumes to the dependancy factor." If you did, you'd know that an ounce of marijuana is like a truckload of beer - it's a LOT of pot and costs a lot more than $60. An ounce is damn near a ziplock bag packed full.

    John Q Random has a small joint, nothing much, just a little - and he is looked down upon for that. "Where's the justice?" you say. "Why is he a pariah and you are accepted?" Among other reasons: He's breaking the law. I'm not.
    There's a difference between something being illegal and something being immoral. It used to be illegal for a black person to sit at certain tables in a restaurant. Did that mean it was wrong of them to sit there, even though it was illegal? (no, I'm not saying being a pot smoker is the same as being black, so don't take this out of context.) If people didn't break that law, it could possible still be the law today (civil disobedience is a great way to change the law).

    When you talk about something as though you know what you're talking about, at least check the facts first. Otherwise you just look foolish.

    ~DJBongHit

    --
    GNU GPL: Free as in herpes.

    [ Parent ]
    All your freebase are belong to us. (3.33 / 3) (#328)
    by kitten on Fri Feb 23, 2001 at 10:39:43 AM EST

    An ounce of good weed will cost around $400. It'll also last a smoker like me several months. I usually buy an 1/8th of an ounce at a time, which lasts me a week. That costs $60.

    Then I was misinformed. But your comment here makes my point look even better. Christ, four hundred dollars for one ounce? You're willing to pay that, repeatedly (the increment which you buy is irrelevant), and yet you claim it isn't a dependency?

    I can deal fine with daily life without weed, and I do.

    Then what are you complaining about? If you hate all the stigma that goes along with weed, and you can do without it, QUIT.
    There've been a few articles here on K5 recently involving people who have problems at work that they can't stand. The response is almost always "If you don't like it, quit." Same thing applies here.
    Don't stand next to the oven and complain about the heat. If you don't like the heat, get away from the damn oven.

    Just because somebody smokes weed, or uses any substance at all, doesn't mean that they're using it as an escape from daily life

    Pot is a psychotropic. It alters the way you perceive reality.. filters it through chemicals. You defend yourself by saying "it's not escape, it's a way to *compliment* daily life".. whatever. The point is that you're deliberately using a substance because an unfiltered reality doesn't suit you. That is escapsim.

    >>That bio was written by the co-host of the site, who seems to have great misconceptions about the amount of nicotine I actually use.<<
    Just as you have great misconceptions about the lifestyle of a pot smoker, the amount of weed that we smoke, and the motivations we have for smoking it.

    Taken out of context, and utterly irrelevant besides. Smoking cigarettes is not analogous to smoking pot. One is a psychedelic, and one is not.
    Another major difference is that I spent a few paragraphs admitting that my cigarette smoking habit is lethal, a waste of money, etc, and that I continue because I'm addicted (psychologically, at least).
    What does that mean? It means that I can go without a cigarette for hours, even days at a time.. but I really hate doing so.
    I've yet to hear one pot smoker, even one that smokes on a *daily basis* or more, admit the same.

    People do talk about how wonderful marijuana and psychedelic drugs are, but when was the last time you heard somebody say the same regarding crack or crystal meth?

    In order to answer that, I'd have to hang around crack addicts, which I don't.
    Besides, a person who uses crack isn't going to publicly advertise that fact, because the social stigma and legal repercussions are much more severe than for pot.

    many people, myself included, use it [weed] to *complement* daily life.

    I'm trying hard to come up with something intelligent to say here, but all I can think of is some stoner sitting around obsessing over Wheat Thins, Ritz crackers, and Oreos. This is what you call a *complement* to daily life?
    Despite every claim of pot making one "enlightened", letting one "see things from a new perspective", and all the other metaphysical New-Age claptrap, I don't buy it.
    I find attempts to speak to someone under the influence of weed finds the task exceedingly difficult if not impossible: wild, random, and abrubt changes in topic; utter lack of linear thought; short-term memory loss ("Dude, what was I just talking about?"); and of course those moments when the "stoner" stops talking for minutes at a time and stares off into space with bloodshot, dilated eyes - a dull-witted expression which reveals no spark of intelligence whatsoever.
    Even the users themselves make fun of the way they and other stoners behave while intoxicated. Endless giggling, aimless babbling, "seeing fucked-up shit", and all the other "mind expanding" experiences associated with marijuana use.
    Mind expanding, indeed.
    "dude, i got the munchies!!" *shakes his head*

    There's a difference between something being illegal and something being immoral. It used to be illegal for a black person to sit at certain tables in a restaurant. Did that mean it was wrong of them to sit there, even though it was illegal? (no, I'm not saying being a pot smoker is the same as being black, so don't take this out of context.)

    I hope I pasted enough of that so it won't appear I'm "taking this out of context".
    I fail to understand why you continue to insist upon drawing a comparison between minor genetic differences (like being black), which has nothing to do with a person's personality, and a deliberate choice and effort to use a mind-altering substance.

    If people didn't break that law, it could possible still be the law today (civil disobedience is a great way to change the law).

    So, you're saying that it doesn't matter which law is in question - all that matters is that if you don't like it, you should ignore it, and maybe it will change.
    Great. Let's all beat our children, then maybe they'll legalize child abuse.
    Let's all shoot heroin! Maybe they'll legalize it!
    And what the hell is with those traffic lights? I hate traffic lights! Maybe if we all ignore them and just run through red lights, they'll take traffic signals down!

    You are not Martin Luther King, okay? You are not leading some grand and noble crusade against unfair and unwarrented oppression. You choose to intake mind-altering substances on a daily basis, and you choose to make that fact as public as you can without getting in trouble.
    Every comparison you've drawn to other forms of discrimination have absolutely no bearing on your gripe. You've mentioned blacks, Japanese-Americans, and gays. Then you claim that you're being "discriminated" against just like they were.
    I'm sorry, this simply isn't the case. You're being disciminated against because people disagree with the personal choices you have made for yourself.
    If you really think civil disobedience is the answer, then perhaps you should do what all those other groups did. They went out and defied the law right in front of cops, got arrested, beaten, had firehoses turned on them, etc, and still came back to do it again.
    When I see legions of teenage stoners tear themselves away from their Snickers bars and other "munchies" long enough to openly defy the law, instead of just sulking about it, that's when I'll be convinced that you have the courage of your convictions. I won't think what you're fighting for is right, but I'll believe that YOU think it's right. As it stands now, all I see is a whiny teenager crying "help help I'm being repressed!"

    I've said this in each one of my comments so far, and I'll say it again, but this time I'm going to use obnoxious bold face, because I don't think my messege is getting through:
    All you're saying is "Don't judge me by the choices I make." Then what, pray tell, should we judge you on?
    mirrorshades radio - darkwave, synthpop, industrial, futurepop.
    [ Parent ]
    Poor responses (3.50 / 2) (#331)
    by theR on Fri Feb 23, 2001 at 12:26:09 PM EST

    kitten, I really think most of the points you are attempting to make have been talked about previously in the comments to this story, and you are doing a far worse job than some who are arguing against DJBongHit's point of view. I find myself wondering if you have even read any of the other comments about this story. Nevertheless, I will make a couple arguments.

    If you hate all the stigma that goes along with weed, and you can do without it, QUIT.

    He doesn't want to quit, nor should he have to. He is partaking in an activity which, when done responsibly, has no negative effect on anybody but himself. As I pointed out in my comment here, it is ridiculous that the government and US citizens choose to make the consequences of his drug use much more dire than they need be.

    Pot is a psychotropic. It alters the way you perceive reality.. filters it through chemicals. You defend yourself by saying "it's not escape, it's a way to *compliment* daily life".. whatever. The point is that you're deliberately using a substance because an unfiltered reality doesn't suit you. That is escapsim.

    That assertation is pointless and proves nothing. It is his life. It doesn't matter if his drug use is complimenting his everyday life or helping him escape. People put a vast number of chemicals into their bodies every day. They're in the food we eat, medicines we use, and the legal drugs people use. Our brains and bodies are effected by all of them. Maybe I think ingesting caffeine is escapist because it masks the signals of fatigue your body is sending you when you ingest it. Should caffeine be outlawed?

    I hope I pasted enough of that so it won't appear I'm "taking this out of context". I fail to understand why you continue to insist upon drawing a comparison between minor genetic differences (like being black), which has nothing to do with a person's personality, and a deliberate choice and effort to use a mind-altering substance.

    He is comparing the treatment blacks used to (and I would add that they still) receive to the treatment that drug users receive, not minor genetic differences and making a deliberate choice and effort to use a mind-altering substance. Drug users are marginalized in the US, like blacks and others of color were and continue to be. That statement does not mean being black is equal to being a drug user in terms of treatment by others. It just means they are both treated poorly for no logical reason.

    So, you're saying that it doesn't matter which law is in question - all that matters is that if you don't like it, you should ignore it, and maybe it will change.

    You are the one saying that, not him. He is saying what I basically said in my previous comment, which is that the current War on Drugs and drug laws are unjust, a direct attack on our rights, and needlessly persecute a huge portion of our society.

    You are not Martin Luther King, okay? You are not leading some grand and noble crusade against unfair and unwarrented oppression.

    Way to overinflate what DJBongHit thinks he is doing and representing. He obviously has no designs on comparing himself to Martin Luther King, Jr. He is also not leading some grand and noble crusade against unfair and unwarranted oppresion. He is, however, trying to be a part of a grand and noble crusade against unfair and unwarranted oppression. (If you haven't checked yet, see the report I linked to in my previous comment to see just what kind of oppression I'm talking about and read the comment to see why I think it is unwarranted oppression.)

    All you're saying is "Don't judge me by the choices I make." Then what, pray tell, should we judge you on?

    No, it's fine to judge him on the choices he makes, but not fine to use preconceived judgements and notions when you do this.

    I don't care if someone hates drugs, thinks all drug use is bad, or hates people who use drugs. Disliking something that would be relatively harmless to society if legalized is not a reason to make it or keep it illegal. If not for the War on Drugs and draconian drug laws, the negative effects of drug use would be much more confined to the actual drug user and have little effect on the rest of the public.

    [ Parent ]

    Insert subject here. (none / 0) (#334)
    by kitten on Fri Feb 23, 2001 at 07:51:35 PM EST

    He doesn't want to quit, nor should he have to. He is partaking in an activity which, when done responsibly, has no negative effect on anybody but himself.

    I'll repeat myself. Do not stand next to an oven and then complain about the heat. You aren't hurting anyone but yourself by being near it, but if you really hate the heat, get away from the oven.

    That statement does not mean being black is equal to being a drug user in terms of treatment by others. It just means they are both treated poorly for no logical reason.

    There's plenty of logical reasons I can look down on a drug user. Among several other reasons I could find, he voluntarly fucks around with his brain by ingesting a chemical which, despite all his claims to know everything about how it works, he really has no idea. All he really knows is that he likes it.
    Same thing doesn't apply to being black. One is a simple, insignificant genetic variation which has no bearing on the individual, and the other is a deliberate choice to imbibe a substance of questionable use and obvious hazards. The comparison makes no sense whatsoever.

    Way to overinflate what DJBongHit thinks he is doing and representing. He obviously has no designs on comparing himself to Martin Luther King, Jr.

    DJBongHit was the one comparing his "crusade" to that of oppressed blacks sitting at "white only" tables. Hence, my comment. I believe it is HE who was "overinflating" the cause. Please go back and read carefully.

    I'll say it one more time, and I'll continue to say it if necessary: All I'm getting out of this is a stoner sitting in his room with a "bowl" crying "help help, I'm being repressed.. ooh, Doritos!"


    mirrorshades radio - darkwave, synthpop, industrial, futurepop.
    [ Parent ]
    Different Analogy (1.00 / 1) (#336)
    by DJBongHit on Sat Feb 24, 2001 at 10:55:03 AM EST

    I understand what you're trying to say with your oven analogy, but let me put it a different way.

    Say you're standing on your balcony, enjoying the sunset and the late summer evening. But every time you go out on your balcony, some kid down below starts throwing rocks at you. If you don't like getting rocks thrown at you, you shouldn't stand on your balcony, right?

    Among several other reasons I could find, he voluntarly fucks around with his brain by ingesting a chemical which, despite all his claims to know everything about how it works, he really has no idea. All he really knows is that he likes it.
    Marijuana has chemicals knowns as "cannabinoids," the most common and well-known of which is THC (tetrahydrocannabinol), which interface with cannabinoid receptors in the human brain (the brain also makes natural cannabinoids). The effects of cannabinoids on consciousness include visual and aural distortion, slight time dilation, and sometimes either euphoria or paranoia. The effects of cannabinoids on the physical body include lowered blood pressure (which the heart responds to by increasing output. This is why many users feel their heart pounding for a few minutes after they smoke), relaxed muscles, and sometimes drowsiness. At high doses the user may to experience disorientation, loss of balance, confusion, and may have a panic attack.

    Cannabinoids are not physically toxic in any significant doses, and they do not cause permanent brain damage. They are not physically addictive, although psychological addiction is not uncommon. The amount of cannabinoids which would be required to physically overdose is absurd - you'd need to smoke approximately 4,000 pounds of marijuana in under 15 minutes - obviously, you'd die of smoke inhalation far sooner.

    The irritation to the throat and lungs from smoking marijuana is slightly higher than that of tobacco, but the average marijuana smoker smokes far less marijuana in a given time period than a tobacco smoker does.

    Don't tell me I don't know about the effects of marijuana - I know far more about it than you do, because I'm not stupid - I research a substance before putting it into my body. Don't pretend you know me, because you don't.

    I'll say it one more time, and I'll continue to say it if necessary: All I'm getting out of this is a stoner sitting in his room with a "bowl" crying "help help, I'm being repressed.. ooh, Doritos!"
    Fuck you. That's the only response I'm going to dignify that with.

    ~DJBongHit

    --
    GNU GPL: Free as in herpes.

    [ Parent ]
    Calmness. (4.00 / 1) (#338)
    by kitten on Sat Feb 24, 2001 at 09:56:25 PM EST

    Fuck you. That's the only response I'm going to dignify that with.

    First, let's get this cleared up, because I didn't intend to start some personal grudgematch here. This comment from you was in response to where I said "all I can envision is a stoner sitting in his room with doritos".
    This was not meant to be a personal attack. I was simply pointing out one of the major stigmas attached to pot use, and perhaps one of the reasons pot users are looked down upon.
    If I was not clear about that, I apologize, and wish to make it clear now.

    Now then. I see you know a great deal about how THC interfaces with your brain and how it works to make you "high". All well and good indeed, but what I was driving at with my comment ("you don't really know that much about it") wasn't the "how it works" factor. My comment was more geared towards these questions:
    1. What happens to your brain when you smoke weed? What are your brainwaves like. Are you killing off neurotransmitters? If so, how many and to what end?
    2. What are the long-term effects of daily consumption? By long-term, I mean "How will this person be affected in 20 years, if he smokes pot daily now?"

    There's others. I'm tired. I'll think of them later.

    Since everyone seems to love to compare pot to alcohol, I'll go ahead and say that I don't find that analogy half-bad. Most of the arguments you can make for one, apply to the other equally as well.
    Now, you state that you have been smoking pot for four years, and for the last two of those, you toke on a regular basis. You go out of your way to make everyone around you aware of this (at least in the virtual world. I assume everyone in real life is also aware. correct me if wrong).
    You try to say you're "discriminated" against for this.
    Here's where I have another problem with the argument. If I get stupid drunk on a daily basis for two years straight, and make sure everyone knows about it, I'd damn well expect people to treat me like some sort of mentally unbalanced escapist. I'd expect to be called a drunkard and an alcoholic. I could defend myself by saying "But I enjoy it, and I'm not hurting anyone." I could also argue that I'm not addicted, even though the direct evidence seems to indicate otherwise.
    I'm sorry, but I would have no right to get drunk daily, for two years, letting everyone know about it, and then complain that people treat me differently from someone who doesn't do that. And when people start to treat me differently, or I'm not favored well in the job market, who can I blame?
    Only myself.
    Again: Others have no way to judge you except on the choices you make.

    mirrorshades radio - darkwave, synthpop, industrial, futurepop.
    [ Parent ]
    good (none / 0) (#356)
    by use strict on Fri Mar 02, 2001 at 03:14:03 PM EST

    -----
    Since everyone seems to love to compare pot to alcohol, I'll go ahead and say that I don't find that analogy half-bad. Most of the arguments you can make for one, apply to the other equally as well.

    Now, you state that you have been smoking pot for four years, and for the last two of those, you toke on a regular basis. You go out of your way to make everyone around you aware of this (at least in the virtual world. I assume everyone in real life is also aware. correct me if wrong).
    You try to say you're "discriminated" against for this.
    -----

    This is really the first really sound argument that I think I've heard in opposition from you and others, and I wholeheartedly agree with you.

    Marijuana usage may be a culture, but it really ins't a lifestyle. People are called lushes and winos for a reason, the same should apply to all drugs.

    If you perhaps were a professional grower not unlike one who grows hops or brews beer, that's understandable... But I really think the only advantage to 'promoting pot' in today's day and age is to make others aware and to push for legalization. Any other reason is pointless, and overuse of promotion, just like linux over at slashdot, overblows the issue and associates further stigmas with the culture.

    [ Parent ]
    boy oh boy (none / 0) (#332)
    by toolj23 on Fri Feb 23, 2001 at 01:14:55 PM EST

    "It means that I can go without a cigarette for hours, even days at a time.. but I really hate doing so. I've yet to hear one pot smoker, even one that smokes on a *daily basis* or more, admit the same."

    That's funny because I'd bet my life that most pot smokers could go longer without smoking pot than you can without taking a drag off a cigarette. Nicotine is one of the most physically addictive chemicals known to man.

    "Another major difference is that I spent a few paragraphs admitting that my cigarette smoking habit is lethal, a waste of money, etc, and that I continue because I'm addicted (psychologically, at least). "

    You claim cigarettes do nothing for your mind... they do not alter it in any way. You claim to know all the bad side-effects from smoking them. If smoking is so bad for you and it doesn't get you high or anything like that then why do you continue to do it? Oh, probably because you're physically addicted. Don't fool yourself.

    "I find attempts to speak to someone under the influence of weed finds the task exceedingly difficult if not impossible: ...blah blah blah"

    You are generalizing so much that it shows just how little you actually know about pot smokers. Yes there are pot smokers that are hard to converse with. They're probably just as hard to converse with while not high. On the other hand there have probably been countless times that you've spoken to someone stoned and had not one single problem... and for what it's worth you probably didnt even know they were stoned. Please don't attempt to say that everyone who smokes pot cannot talk normally. That is again showing your lack of knowledge on the subject and makes one tend to think that you have fallen victim to the government's propaganda machine.

    "So, you're saying that it doesn't matter which law is in question - all that matters is that if you don't like it, you should ignore it, and maybe it will change.
    Great. Let's all beat our children, then maybe they'll legalize child abuse."

    Yea, lets legalize child abuse. Good arguement. There is a difference between consensual crimes(aka: victimless crimes) and crimes which have a victim. DJ is not harming anyone but himself if he chooses to sit in his home and smoke pot 24/7. That's his choice(or should be). Once he steps out of his house and starts driving like a maniac he can be arrested. I'm sure he'd agree on that. Don't try to compare smoking pot to beating a child. If that's the case then I'd like to know why alcohol isn't illegal? Surely pot is much safer than alcohol yet it is legal. I don't get it. Please explain it to me, ok?

    "All you're saying is "Don't judge me by the choices I make." Then what, pray tell, should we judge you on?"

    OK, you are a bit mixed up. I don't think DJ cares if you judge him. Judge all you want. He will happily allow you to have your own opinion on the matter. It's when people unfairly discriminate against him that he is concerned about. Tell him to high-heaven that you don't aprove of his smoking and going to hell for it. However, don't discriminate against him because he chooses to put a chemical into his body which doesn't even affect you. And don't give me any bullshit about how drugs affect you b/c he might go and rob you for drug money. Once you have been damaged by the robbery then you can call the cops and book his ass in jail, otherwise leave him alone, and he'll leave you alone.

    A little bit more off subject but... I'd like to know why you do not support the prohibition of alcohol. It is a mind-altering substance. I tend to have trouble speaking to people who are drunk off their asses. I fail to understand why you insist on keeping marijuana, which is safer than alcohol, illegal. Please, tell me why this does not make you the biggest hypocrite in the world. Thank you. Have a nice day. :)


    [ Parent ]
    Quickly. (none / 0) (#333)
    by kitten on Fri Feb 23, 2001 at 07:33:50 PM EST

    I'm doing this quickly, because I have somewhere to go, but I couldn't resist. If you wish, I'll come back and flesh this out some.

    That's funny because I'd bet my life that most pot smokers could go longer without smoking pot than you can without taking a drag off a cigarette. Nicotine is one of the most physically addictive chemicals known to man..

    Irrelevant.
    And I've already admitted that I'm addicted. So what's your point? All I asked was for a pot smoker to admit the same, instead of hiding behind "pot is good for you" rhetoric.

    You are generalizing so much that it shows just how little you actually know about pot smokers. Yes there are pot smokers that are hard to converse with.

    It was indeed a generalization, but there a great deal of weed users who are totally coherent when sober, and utterly incomprehensible while high. Do you deny this? If you do not, then my point stands.

    That is again showing your lack of knowledge on the subject and makes one tend to think that you have fallen victim to the government's propaganda machine.

    Please note the careful way in which I stated "I find.." etc. You can infer from this that I am speaking from experience.

    There is a difference between consensual crimes(aka: victimless crimes) and crimes which have a victim. DJ is not harming anyone but himself if he chooses to sit in his home and smoke pot 24/7. That's his choice(or should be).

    First, this is not about DJ. I believe I went out of my way to assert that this was the collective "you", not directed at a specific person. Second, you are utterly missing the main point, instead choosing to seize upon trivial asides.
    However, the "victimless crime" argument does hold merit. It's probably the *only* decent argument I've seen put forth by anyone, anywhere, for the legalization of marijuana: "No victim, no crime." Fair enough.
    But the article is asserting that he is being "unfairly targeted" and even "discriminated" against for his choice to partake in a crime with "no victim".
    Let's suppose there's a straight, level, dry road. You're driving along this road late at night, with no other cars around. Speed limit on this road is 40mph, but you're doing 70mph. Your car is capable of doing this with no problems at all, and you're a competant enough driver that your abilities aren't being taxed at all. Who are you hurting, right?
    A cop nails you with a radar gun, pulls you over, and tickets you. Sucks, I know. But do you really think you were being "singled out" and "discriminated against" here?
    And while you're at it, let's legalize crack, too, eh? The crack user, as long as he doesn't steal or rob people to get his money, isn't hurting anyone. Let's legalize heroin and crystal meth too.
    All this is besides the point anyway. Here's what I actually said: "So, you're saying that it doesn't matter which law is in question - all that matters is that if you don't like it, you should ignore it, and maybe it will change."
    "..doesn't matter what law is in question." That's what I had a problem with, and in that context, my other examples still stand.

    I don't think DJ cares if you judge him. Judge all you want. He will happily allow you to have your own opinion on the matter. It's when people unfairly discriminate against him that he is concerned about.

    I'm not judging DJBonghit. I don't even know him.
    All I'm saying is that it's patently absurd to ask people not to judge you on the choices you make.. that's ALL they should be judging you on.

    I'd like to know why you do not support the prohibition of alcohol. It is a mind-altering substance. I tend to have trouble speaking to people who are drunk off their asses.

    So you look down on someone who is drunk "off his ass", but not on someone who is stoned out of his mind and "so blazed, man"?

    I fail to understand why you insist on keeping marijuana, which is safer than alcohol, illegal. Please, tell me why this does not make you the biggest hypocrite in the world.

    The article wasn't about alcohol. The article was about pot (despite every claim to be an expose about discrimination, all I heard was a whiny teenager bitching about a drug habit).
    Second, I never said alcohol was the greatest decision someone can make either, healthwise.
    I'll use DJBonghit as an example, who stated that he is a daily user of pot and has been for the past two years. If I got drunk off my ass every single day for two years, you'd call me an alcoholic, a drunkard, and treat me very differently ("discrimination!"), right?

    Now I'll sum myself up with my catchphrases again:
    You're judged on the decisions you make.
    Don't stand next to the oven and then complain about the heat.

    mirrorshades radio - darkwave, synthpop, industrial, futurepop.
    [ Parent ]
    Hmm (2.00 / 1) (#335)
    by DJBongHit on Sat Feb 24, 2001 at 10:30:34 AM EST

    And I've already admitted that I'm addicted. So what's your point? All I asked was for a pot smoker to admit the same, instead of hiding behind "pot is good for you" rhetoric.
    And I've already admitted that *I'm* addicted to cigarettes as well. But not pot - there isn't even the tiniest _shadow_ of an addiction with my pot habit, but I can't for the life of me quit cigarettes. Big difference.

    It was indeed a generalization, but there a great deal of weed users who are totally coherent when sober, and utterly incomprehensible while high. Do you deny this? If you do not, then my point stands.
    No, I don't deny this. I'm not denying that there are a lot of pot smokers who turn into braindead idiots when they smoke pot. But not all of us are like that. (although sometimes, when I smoke after not smoking for a few days, I get fairly incoherent, as anyone who was on IRC last night will tell you - even so, as much as I couldn't express myself with words, I could express myself fine with perl :).
    Let's suppose there's a straight, level, dry road. You're driving along this road late at night, with no other cars around. Speed limit on this road is 40mph, but you're doing 70mph. Your car is capable of doing this with no problems at all, and you're a competant enough driver that your abilities aren't being taxed at all. Who are you hurting, right? A cop nails you with a radar gun, pulls you over, and tickets you. Sucks, I know. But do you really think you were being "singled out" and "discriminated against" here?
    No, speeding is an entirely different matter. I _always_ drive at or below the speed limit because the speed limit is there for a reason. If something unexpected happens, you need time to react. And something unexpected can always happen. Anytime you're on the road, you run the possibility of endangering other people's lives, so it's your responsibility to do it as safely as possible.

    And while you're at it, let's legalize crack, too, eh? The crack user, as long as he doesn't steal or rob people to get his money, isn't hurting anyone. Let's legalize heroin and crystal meth too.
    Absolutely. We need to make the distinction between use and abuse. If somebody can responsibly use a substance (and I've known a few people who have responsibly used heroin during my high school years and never had a problem with it), they should be allowed to do so. You can't make something illegal because a user of the substance *may* go out and rob somebody to pay for their addiction - what ever happened to "innocent until proven guilty?"

    All I'm saying is that it's patently absurd to ask people not to judge you on the choices you make.. that's ALL they should be judging you on.
    This is a good point, and is the main reason I regret using the homosexuality example - I should have used religious preference.

    The article was about pot (despite every claim to be an expose about discrimination, all I heard was a whiny teenager bitching about a drug habit).
    What makes you think I'm a teenager?

    I'll use DJBonghit as an example, who stated that he is a daily user of pot and has been for the past two years. If I got drunk off my ass every single day for two years, you'd call me an alcoholic, a drunkard, and treat me very differently ("discrimination!"), right?
    I would absolutely treat you differently - after getting sloshy every night for 2 years, you'd be in very poor health and be certainly addicted to alcohol - I watched this happen with my now-ex-girlfriend when she first got to college. But I wouldn't discriminate against you - I'd suggest that you cut down on the drinking and possibly get some treatment for your problem. I wouldn't suggest that you get thrown in jail for it.

    Alcohol and pot may both be mind-altering substances, but the similarity ends there.

    ~DJBongHit

    --
    GNU GPL: Free as in herpes.

    [ Parent ]
    WinAmp really whips the llama's ass!&#@$* (none / 0) (#339)
    by kitten on Sat Feb 24, 2001 at 10:27:53 PM EST

    No, speeding is an entirely different matter. I _always_ drive at or below the speed limit because the speed limit is there for a reason. If something unexpected happens, you need time to react. And something unexpected can always happen. Anytime you're on the road, you run the possibility of endangering other people's lives, so it's your responsibility to do it as safely as possible.

    In my example, I stated that the road was level, straight, dry, and that you could see far in front of you. No other cars are on this road. In my example, you were not placing anyone at risk, and the "crime" of speeding on this "hypothetical" road is a victimless one.
    Incidentially, I say "hypothetical" with quotes because this road exists and I got pulled over for doing exactly that. You can see at least a mile ahead of you on this road on a clear night, and there was nobody around. I was irritated at having been pulled over, but really, I had nobody to blame but myself.
    Returning now to the issue at hand..

    You can't make something illegal because a user of the substance *may* go out and rob somebody to pay for their addiction - what ever happened to "innocent until proven guilty?"

    I never used the "they may rob someone for money" argument, because I know it's idiotic. But then again, a drunk driver may cause a car crash .. and he may not. In fact, he probably won't. Are you saying we shouldn't pull over drunk drivers until it's too late?
    No, the analogy isn't great, but I think you see what I'm saying: To lawmakers (and really, to me also), drugs serve little constructive purpose, and have the potential to cause problems. "Hey," say the legislators, "why not just try to remove the cause of these potential problems?"
    It's not entirely a bad idea, even though they go about it all wrong.

    ::All I'm saying is that it's patently absurd to ask people not to judge you on the choices you make.. that's ALL they should be judging you on. ::
    This is a good point, and is the main reason I regret using the homosexuality example - I should have used religious preference.

    Fine, but I think you misunderstand me. What I meant to say is that you choose to smoke pot, and then you ask people not to factor that choice into their opinion of you. Hence, "you are judged on the choices you make".

    What makes you think I'm a teenager?

    Who knows what evil lurks in the hearts of men?
    The Shadow knows. *insert maniacal laughter*
    No, seriously, in one of your other articles (about how great jobs that geeks have), you stated that you were 19. Unless I misread the date (which is entirely possible), you still are.

    I would absolutely treat you differently - after getting sloshy every night for 2 years, you'd be in very poor health...

    Which, in this hypothetical scenario, isn't your concern.

    ...and be certainly addicted to alcohol - I watched this happen with my now-ex-girlfriend when she first got to college.

    And I've watched some of my friends - one in particular - who have utterly destroyed their once-brilliant minds with massive intake of pot. It both sickens and saddens me.

    But I wouldn't discriminate against you - I'd suggest that you cut down on the drinking and possibly get some treatment for your problem. [of drinking]

    "treat differently" is the same as "discriminate".
    And since you would advise me of that, why don't you do it yourself? Cut down on the pot, and get some treatment for the problem.
    I realize you'd say "But my pot isn't a problem," but then, that's what alcoholics say, too, isn't it: "I don't have a problem."

    I wouldn't suggest that you get thrown in jail for it.

    Fair enough. Maybe smoking up in your own house should be legal. I still say it's stupid.
    But that isn't the point. "getting thrown in jail" is only one small part of the "discrimination" you're complaining about. You're basically saying that you get looked down upon by people for your choice to smoke weed, yet you admit that you'd look down on someone who gets drunk as often as you toke.

    Alcohol and pot may both be mind-altering substances, but the similarity ends there.

    I disagree - almost all arguments you can make for or against one applies to the other.
    But if you really think they share that little in common, then quit comparing the two.

    mirrorshades radio - darkwave, synthpop, industrial, futurepop.
    [ Parent ]
    Hmm (none / 0) (#342)
    by DJBongHit on Sun Feb 25, 2001 at 08:49:01 AM EST

    In my example, I stated that the road was level, straight, dry, and that you could see far in front of you. No other cars are on this road. In my example, you were not placing anyone at risk, and the "crime" of speeding on this "hypothetical" road is a victimless one.
    The issue I take with this statement is the fact that when you're hurtling down the road at 70mph in 2 tons of steel, something can go wrong (see what happened to Stephen King as an example - he was walking his dog on the side of a road at night, and somebody who apparently thought the road was dry and clear hit him without seeing him [yeah, there was some other distraction involved, and I don't remember specifics, but you see what I'm saying]).

    I never used the "they may rob someone for money" argument, because I know it's idiotic.
    Fair enough.

    But then again, a drunk driver may cause a car crash .. and he may not. In fact, he probably won't. Are you saying we shouldn't pull over drunk drivers until it's too late?
    But he has no control over whether or not he's going to cause a car crash - the simple fact that he's driving a car and not in the proper state of mind to be in control of it makes him a danger to others on the road. A drug user isn't going to steal money to pay for his habit - that's the area of expertise for drug abusers and addicts. Being a user doesn't automatically make you an addict or an abuser.

    Who knows what evil lurks in the hearts of men? The Shadow knows. *insert maniacal laughter* No, seriously, in one of your other articles (about how great jobs that geeks have), you stated that you were 19. Unless I misread the date (which is entirely possible), you still are.
    LOL, ok. But I've got you on a technicality - I turned 20 in December :) But back to your point, I'm not a stoner sitting in his room with a bowl and some munchies - I'm a professional sysadmin/programmer (preferably programmer, but work's been kinda tight recently). Just because I smoke weed doesn't make me a stoned teenager with nothing else on my mind. Ask anybody who hangs out in the #kuro5hin IRC channel who they come to for perl help - they'll probably answer either me or hurstdog.

    And I've watched some of my friends - one in particular - who have utterly destroyed their once-brilliant minds with massive intake of pot. It both sickens and saddens me.
    I'm not saying that this doesn't happen - it certainly does with some people. But you simply can't make a judgement about all users of a particular substance because some people took it too far and fried their brains.

    And since you would advise me of that, why don't you do it yourself? Cut down on the pot, and get some treatment for the problem.
    I have been cutting down on the pot. I've decided to only rarely smoke during the week, and if I do to only smoke a bit and not get completely blazed. I have other things that I need to do at this point. But I don't need treatment to help me do this - it's as easy for me as cutting down on my sugar intake or something.

    I realize you'd say "But my pot isn't a problem," but then, that's what alcoholics say, too, isn't it: "I don't have a problem."
    That's a cheap shot. Just because somebody says they're not addicted, doesn't mean that they're just in denial. But it's an accusation that's all too easy to make and all too difficult to refute.

    You're basically saying that you get looked down upon by people for your choice to smoke weed, yet you admit that you'd look down on someone who gets drunk as often as you toke.
    I already said I wouldn't look down upon them, but I'd try to get help for them. The physiological and psychological effects of the two drugs on the human body and mind are entirely different, as are the effects of regular consumption, and the frequency of use as related to abuse and addiction simply cannot be compared.

    I disagree - almost all arguments you can make for or against one applies to the other. But if you really think they share that little in common, then quit comparing the two.
    I didn't compare the 2 in the original article - all comparisons have stemmed from other people's comments. All I said in the original article was that I didn't like the effects (positive or negative) of alcohol and chose to use a different substance which didn't have these effects.

    ~DJBongHit

    --
    GNU GPL: Free as in herpes.

    [ Parent ]
    is government a voice of morality? (none / 0) (#352)
    by zhuang on Tue Feb 27, 2001 at 01:44:52 PM EST

    The comment to which you refer to here is where I stated that pot smokers often go to great lengths in order to obtain their weed. This is not 'opinion', nor is it based on what I've seen on television. This is a fact. Marijuana is a black-market substance. Unless one has a specific supplier to go to each time, users must discreetly inquire around to find out where some can be purchased, haggle over price, worry about the quality of the substance, etc etc.

    I could be wrong but if it were legal then none of the above would be true.

    Since when does the government decide the morality of anything. How can a corrupt institution get to decide what is moral and what isn't? Since the government is in the business of legislating morality, whose morality is being legislated? I can tell you that it's not mine.

    Cigarettes do not alter one's state of mind...Quitting is very hard...I crave a cigarette like a drowning man wants air.

    If cigarettes don't alter your state of mind, then why is it so hard to quit. How can you crave something like a drowning man wants air, if your perceptions haven't been altered. Are you saying that you want a cigarette like a drowning man wants to live? I used to smoke, b/c it would help me relax. Do cigarettes help you relax? Isn't this altering your perceptions? All drugs have a measurable effect on the body, that's part of what makes them drugs. If you have been altered then how can you claim to have unaltered perceptions? Would you know if your perceptions have been altered? How? If you can tell then why can't another drug-user?

    Interestingly food alters your perceptions, should we make that illegal too? Food is an addiction, b/c you need it to live. Air is an addiction too, if you can't get it you die. Much worse than heroin, most people don't die when they go through heroin withdrawel. Although the air withdrawel fatality rate is 100%. If we weren't addicted to these things we would have a higher quality of life. Think about how much you spend on food, wouldn't it be better to use that money to pay bills?

    This is, of course, sarcasm. I think that the US would be a nicer place to live if people would just mind their own business. I can assure you that you would be up in arms if I forced you to live by my moral code. And I feel the same way about your moral code. Neither code is better, just different. There are no winners in life, only participants. Life is not a game.

    [ Parent ]

    experiences speaks like a book (none / 0) (#355)
    by use strict on Fri Mar 02, 2001 at 03:01:52 PM EST

    Perhaps you should know just a little more of what you're talking about.

    For starters -- buy marijuana in a place where it's not illegal, where you can buy it on the shelves. You'll never pay that much or actually have to work for it at all.

    This has to do with a *black market economy*, which is required if you wnat to smoke pot in the united states.

    As for all the work, follow around a couple of high schoolers on a friday night trying to get a party started -- see how they spend all that time making the fake id's, see how they spend all that time hitting stores over and over and over again until they get the alcohol they want.

    Of course, some don't even bother to go to all of that, and just do what's called a 'beer run', and steal it.

    Hmm. Of course, that's *different*, right? The same bullshit that I've heard from the people that try and believe this sputum you're pandering.

    I pay $270 or so for an ounce of high quality northwest US marijuana. This lasts about, a month and a half.

    Now, if you are a casual drinker, add up those bi/tri weekly bar tabs and if you're a smoker, add that in too.

    You'll find that you're spending a LOT more on your habit than I am. :)

    As for the illegal argument, the whole point here is that it should not be illegal. The fact that there is no logical ground for it's illegal base is what drives a lot of marijuana smokers nuts, and then deficient critical thinkers like yourself seem to not quite understand that point.

    I don't think his parallel is perfect, but the main point is that gays, like marijuana smokers, have had highly unfounded stereotypes and prejudice applied upon them.

    And as for anyone's doubt of the EXTREMELY addictive nature of alcohol, go visit a drug treatment center. After you spend the day looking for marijuana users and find nobody, ask them in there what users give them the most problems.

    I knew a drug counselor at one of these places, this is what he told me (and it rung home), "Heroin, Crack, doesn't matter, they sit in the padded rooms and just wind down. Sometimes they stir back up, thinking they're going to die from the pain they're going through. However, only the ALCOHOLICS literally will die if they don't get their booze".

    Think about that the next time you go to a bar.

    [ Parent ]
    Being != Doing (4.00 / 1) (#329)
    by keyeto on Fri Feb 23, 2001 at 10:52:01 AM EST

    Given this has been such a large debate, it's probably a bit late for this, but here goes...

    There is something to comparing the stigmatisation of gay folk to the stigmatisation of drug takers. There is a problem in making it a clear comparison though. There are four topics actually being debated here, and many of them work at cross purposes. The main one, is trying to compare states of being, like being gay, or being a drug addict, to activites, like taking part in gay sex, or taking drugs. You can be gay, without taking part in gay sex. You can have gay sex and still insist that you're straight. That's called being in denial. If you're a drug addict, then you'll definately be taking the drugs, but those who insist that they are not addicted are also in denial. This doesn't detract from the fact that it is possible to take drugs, without being addicted to them. We live in a society full of people who drink alcohol, but only a tiny proportion of them are addicts. The same can be said for many illegal drugs. Cannabis is one of them.

    The real issue here, is that of consensual crimes. You don't consent to being gay, but in many places, including where I live, you can get sent to prison for consensual gay sex. Sex without consent is rape, and totally wrong. You can also get sent to prison for taking drugs, another consensual crime. Spiking somebody elses drink with a drug, is non-consensual, and totally wrong.


    --
    "This is the Space Age, and we are Here To Go"
    William S. Burroughs
    Drug Use Related to Society (3.00 / 2) (#337)
    by fsh on Sat Feb 24, 2001 at 07:44:12 PM EST

    Wanted to say that I love the discussion so far. There were a few issues that were never brought up, however, and if the discussion is still going, perhaps you'd like to hear them. Or, if not, you can put it in your pipe and smoke it. :P

    Okay, lets start with the quick and easy gedankenexperiments: (That's German borrowed from Einstein, means thought-experiment)

    1) The point is brought up on several occasions that homosexuality is (probably) not a choice, and thus is not a good comparison to drug use. Well, let's turn it around. Does this mean that if I, a heterosexual, engage in a homosexual act, then it's wrong, while for my friend, who is homosexual by birth, it's right?

    Okay, now on to the more meaty stuff:

    2) This one is a bit off topic, but it's pretty close. I have a theory as to why it's so hard to argue that drug legalization is a good thing to your average citizen. I read about a biologist, Edward O. Wilson, from Harvard University, who speculated about the Darwinist origin of religion. Admittedly, I read about him from a third party, but the third party is Dr. Michio Kaku, a theoretical physicist, and so I assume the source to be valid. Kaku was explaining why so many theoretical physicists invoke the concept of God at some time or other, but then notes that the average physicist's idea of God is vastly different from Western church beliefs. (Einstein and Hawking have both made odd God-related statements: Einstein said "God is subtle, but not malicious"; Hawking wrote "[we must unify the fundamental forces] - for then we would know the mind of God").

    Here's the interesting quote (taken from Kaku's book _Hyperspace_, about the current trends in superstring theory. Unfortunately, he did not provide a reference for this work; I would love to read the original.

    ***begin QUOTE
    "Religion, Wilson theorizes, is so prevalent because it provided a definite evolutionary advantage for those early humans who adopted it. Wilson noted that animals that hunt in packs obey the leader because a pecking order has been established. But roughly 1 million years ago, when our apelike ancestors gradually became more intelligent, individuals could rationally begin to question the power of their leader. Intelligence, by its very nature, questions authority by reason, and hence could be a dangerous, dissipative force on the tribe. Unless there was a force to counteract this spreading chaos, intelligent individuals would leave the tribe, the tribe would fall apart, and all individuals would eventually die. Thus, according to Wilson, a selection pressure was placed on intelligent apes to suspend reason and blindly obey the leader and his myths, since doing otherwise would challenge the tribe's cohesion. Survival favored the intelligent ape who could reason rationally about tools and food gathering, but also favored the one who could suspend that reason when it threatened the tribe's integrity. A mythology was needed to define and preserve the tribe.
       To Wilson, religion was a very powerful, life-preserving force for apes gradually becoming more intelligent, and formed a 'glue' that held them together. If correct, this theory would explain why so many religions rely on 'faith' over common sense, and why the flock is asked to suspend reason. It would also help to explain the inhuman ferocity of religious wars, and why the God of Miracles always seems to favor the victor in a bloody war."
    ***end QUOTE

    Assuming that his theory is correct, this evolutionary development explains a great deal. It basically means that the alpha male of any group to a large extent sets the mythos of that culture. This would explain why our government can so easily tell us that all illegal drugs are bad. The rational mind asks Why are legal drugs good and illegal drugs bad? This societal pressure keeps us from fully analyzing the facts.

    And keep in mind that when discussing Darwinism, while it may seem like we're suggesting a principle can somehow force someone to do something, that's just shorthand. It actually means that given an exponential growth curve (which all population growth curves are), any trait that provides *any* advantage, however slight, will completely win out over lesser traits over a long period of time (thousands of years).

    3) The idea that drugs are somehow dangerous to society is provably false. If it were dangerous to society, then some society would have perished from it by now. Marijuana is extremely ancient in origin. The same can be said for many other drugs. In fact, I've heard a lot of people speculate about where the Computer Industry would be without Uppers. Let's face it; you can't work 18 hour days without some sort of help. They've also found traces of cocaine in some mummified Egyptian remains (which was interesting because it showed there was trade between South America and the Mediterranean or Africa during the pyramid age). Speaking of cocaine, if it were such a bad influence then Columbia wouldn't even exist now. Opium derivatives have also not destroyed any Eastern societies that I know of.

    4) Of course, the problem of how to fix the problem is much larger. Here I quote Joseph Campbell, from The Hero With a Thousand Faces:
    ***begin QUOTE
    "As Professor Arnold J. Toybee indicates in his six-volume study of the laws of the rise and disintegration of civilizations, ... schism in the body social will not be resolved by any scheme of return to the good old days (archaism), or by programs guaranteed to render an ideal projected future (futurism), or even by the most realistic, hardheaded work to weld together again the deteriorating elements. Only birth can conquer death - the birth, not of the old thing again, but of something new. Within the soul, within the body social, there must be - if we are to experience long survival-a continuous 'recurrence of birth' (palingenesia) to nullify the unremitting recurrences of death."
    ***end QUOTE
    Campbell is quoting Arnold J. Toynbee, _A Study of History_(Oxford U Press, 1934, Vol VI, pp169-175). There's another book I'd love to lay hands on.
    So, when confronted with a problem that society can't agree on (drug legalization) the only long-term option is to start over.

    5) Why would we want to 'fix' the drug problem? Many of the worlds most creative geniuses used extensive amounts of illegal drugs. Opiates, Narcotics, Psychotropics, Hallucinogens, you name it, they tried it. Just to throw out a couple of names in case someone needs proof: Edgar Allan Poe founded two new forms of literature, the short story and the detective story (used and abused opiates and alcohol); Hemingway (absinthe, a liquor made with hallucinogens); Samuel Coleridge Taylor (In Xanadu did Kublai Khan/wake up from a killah poppy binge). The Grateful Dead wrote some beautiful music (Uncle John's Band, Sugar Magnolia). I can't think of any names, but a few of our modern art movements were started right after LSD became widely available, and many current artists completely fessed up to it. The question, of course, is whether society would be better off with these people in jail.
       But seriously; show me 10 completely sober people, and I'll show you ten completely boring people. Many of our celebrated historical figures had some sort of problem. Opiates were a common prescription for pain in the Colonial Era. And many very successful people, who are 100% sober today, used drugs when they were kids. *Cough* Clinton/Bush *Cough* Therefore, the idiom that using drugs will turn you into a loser is provably false.
    Think Clockwork Orange: you do stupid shit when you're young, but maturity comes to even the most hardened youths. To those of you who read Clockwork Orange and don't have the slightest idea what I'm talking about, make sure your book has 21 chapters. The American publisher cut out the last chapter because they didn't think it was appropriate. (Which is an interesting psychological discussion in and of itself....)


    Lastly, a little bit about myself. I am obviously a disturbed young man, but I can't afford to rent a psychologist. I use pot, and I consider myself a very smart person. I am intrinsically incredibly shy (ever see any of those advertisements for Paxil? I'm the social anxiety disorder poster boy). Reefer helps me to loosen up and actually maintain friendships, while before I was a loner who never talked to anyone. I also love drinking alcohol, but refrain as much as possible since there is a history of dependency in my family. Cigarettes give me ridiculous headaches, (although I think it's psychological). I've tried X and love it, for the exact same reason. X opens up a whole new world to me. I would *never* walk up to someone at a bar and strike up a conversation unless I was under the influence of ecstasy. And lastly, 'shrooms were pretty cool, and I haven't tried LSD yet (although it's certainly on the short list). But before I try any drug, I research its effects. Researching the effects requires two steps. #1 - check out the pro-drug pages. #2 - check out the anti-drug pages. For every drug I've seen, I've been able to find good sources from both of these view points.
    As far as my political leanings, I agree with much of the Libertarian platform, although I'm much more an Anarchist than anything else.

    -Fsh

    -fsh
    Almost... (5.00 / 1) (#340)
    by jtdubs on Sun Feb 25, 2001 at 04:12:02 AM EST

    Man, this comment was great... right up until point #3.

    "The idea that drugs are somehow dangerous to society is provably false."

    Columbia is not a first world country, if you haven't noticed. Parts of it are pretty much run by drug cartels. There are MANY MANY murders. They are, obviously, drug related.

    Remember the Boxer Rebellion in China. They were all doing Opium over there. There was a clan of them that, via Opium, stumbled across the belief that they were impervious to bullets. Many of them were shot and killed. :-).

    No, drugs haven't killed any societies. But they have kiled lots of people.

    Also, the vague statement in #5 really kinda killed it for me.

    "But seriously; show me 10 completely sober people, and I'll show you ten completely boring people."

    Oh, come on now. You don't seriously believe that it is required that you do some manner of mind-altering substance to be interesting do you? If you do, than wouldn't that be reverse-descrimination. "We" think all drug users are losers and you think all non-drug-users are boring. Sounds like it breaks even. I've had alcohol once in my life, about five years ago. I've never done drugs. I've never even considered feeling the need to think about trying drugs. Nor have I considered ever drinking alcohol again. I fail to see the point.

    I, personally, view ALL drugs as a form of escapism. If you aren't happy enough with your life before then you will find someway to make you think it's better. It'd hard to be unhappy about your life when you are busy being high and/or drunk. I am way to happy with the way I feel and act when I am sober and non-high to consider being in the opposite state.

    Justin Dubs

    [ Parent ]
    Yeah, that was a stupid joke.... (none / 0) (#345)
    by fsh on Sun Feb 25, 2001 at 02:37:51 PM EST

    WRT to the drugs as dangeruous to society, please keep in mind I was speaking from a darwinistic perspective. Since drugs have been around since the dawn of humanity, drug use would have been bred out of society if it offered only detriment and no benefit. The fact that it is so deeply ingrained in every culture seems to argue that it is beneficial to society in some way, probably in the same way that religion is beneficial to society.
    You argue here against escapism, but drugs are only one form of escapism. I also read sci-fi and fantasy books and watch TV to escape. I don't know enough psychology to be sure, but I don't think escapism is necessarily bad. I think it's even necessary in some circumstances. Escapism is the foundation of religion; what is baptism but an escape from the real world to the world of the almighty, followed by the ritual rebirth?
    And yes, the 10 sober people was a stupid joke. The first time I used it was in this fashion: "Show me ten perfectly sane people, and I'll show you ten boring people." This was said to my brother, a psych major. It is, however, a joke, and not meant to be taken seriously (even though it has the words "Seriously, though" in front of it, this is also a famous comic lead-in line.) But I get the picture. Next time I'll stay away from the jokes (which I'm not that good at) and stick with rational discourse. -fsh
    -fsh
    [ Parent ]
    Cry havoc! and let slip the dogs of war! (4.00 / 1) (#349)
    by kitten on Mon Feb 26, 2001 at 04:26:35 AM EST

    I was speaking from a darwinistic perspective. Since drugs have been around since the dawn of humanity, drug use would have been bred out of society if it offered only detriment and no benefit.

    I've got to disagree with this, on a number of levels.
    First, human society is not based on natural selection, even though it should be *grumble*. This applies to ancient cultures as well, though to a lesser extent.
    One of many reasons for this is that human civilizations are usually composed of staggeringly large numbers of people. Even if some of those people are doing something obviously malicious and antisocial (say, serial killers), the society as a whole will continue.
    I could rewrite your paragraph so:

    ::Since killers have been around since the dawn of humanity, murder would have been bred out of society if it offered only detriment and no benefit.::


    Escapism is the foundation of religion; what is baptism but an escape from the real world to the world of the almighty, followed by the ritual rebirth?

    Yes, I agree: Religion is a form of escape for most of its followers.. an escape from that which they do not wish to hear. For example, Church of England did not wish to hear that Earth wasn't the center of the universe (meaning humans aren't as special as they think they are). Incidentially, they would jail anyone who disagreed (Galileo, for one), holding astronomical science back for centuries.
    Anytime the fundamentalists are confronted with an unpleasant truth (like "We are descended from animals" or "We are not the center of creation"), they retreat and escape into Scripture for comfort against these thoughts.
    By the way, if we want to bring religion into this: I seem to remember Jesus encouraging others to partake of alcohol (turning water into wine, etc), but I can't seem to find any cases where he turned leaves into marijuana. And yes, that was only meant to be taken half-seriously.
    Anyway.

    I also read sci-fi and fantasy books and watch TV to escape.

    Come on.. you're not seriously trying to compare reading literature to using drugs, now are you?
    For one thing, when someone is reading, their perception of their environment is not altered. Well, they may factor the book's ideas into their own thought processes, but that isn't the same thing. We all know what I'm trying to say here.
    Pardon me for being inarticulate this evening.
    A person who reads is not having his brainwave patterns fucked around with; a person who reads can put the book down and "return to reality" the millisecond he does so; a person who reads is just as aware of his environment as he is when not reading; etc.
    I can imagine a cop pulling over a driver: "You been doing any reading tonight, son?" "Well, yes sir..I read a few chapters of $book about an hour ago." "*sigh* Step out of the car, please."
    Same goes for television, though I don't necessarily agree with people that sit in front of it for hours on end on a daily basis.. seems fairly unhealthy. Get out of the house once in a while, eh?

    I think I want some Snapple now.

    mirrorshades radio - darkwave, synthpop, industrial, futurepop.
    [ Parent ]
    murder and darwinism (none / 0) (#350)
    by fsh on Mon Feb 26, 2001 at 12:26:48 PM EST

    Actually, murder is both beneficial and detrimental to a society. Not only is murder a basic outcome of an overcrowded population (murder rates increase with population density), it also helps the spread of the society. Remember, Darwinism cares nothing for the morals of the society; or rather, the morals we have are a direct result of evolution. IE, while murder is generally a very bad thing, it also has its place in society. Murder is practiced by our government to keep the criminal element in line. Whenever society deems a citizen too dangerous, they are justified in murdering him. Murder has also been one of the primary means of societal propogation throughout history. While smallpox and other viruses did most of the job for us, we were well on our way to wiping out the populations of South America and North America so that we could live here. So yes, I completely agree with what you've said. Murder unquestionably has huge benefits to a society, even though it is morally wrong. Please don't argue that I'm advocating that we go out and kill everyone we see. Just as there are cells in my body that aren't conscious of my thought, I am a cell in a society that has its own consciousness. While I personally have never killed a Native American, I belong to a society which has.

    Now, as far as biblical marijuana goes, I'm not terribly knowledgeable about it. However, incense is typically seen as a 'safe' replacement for smoked drugs, just as many churches now give out grape juice for the sacrament instead of wine. Incense burning is a part of many catholic rituals, and the burning of frankincense & myrrh is similar. Obviously, while marijuana is one of the more potent smoked drugs, many ordinary herbs & spices have small amounts of 'active ingredients' in them. Of course, this is completely ignoring the many other religions where drugs of many sorts played an integral part. The poppy figures into many Eastern myths; certain native americans tribes as well as the rastafarians used marijuana. [aside] As far as the Jesus/water/wine myth, many fundamentalists are quick to point out that jesus didn't partake here, and will use this parable to teach the evils of drinking. (Just as God put x on the earth to tempt us, so did jesus turn the water into wine.)[/aside]

    And yes, I'm saying that drugs are exactly the same sort of escapism that results from other forms of entertainment. Psychologists have shown that large portions of a person's brain shuts down when watching TV for long periods of time. Zen masters can alter their brain waves to incredible extent by conscious thought control. Of course, the obvious comparison to getting a little high once in a while (and altering your brain waves) is with getting slightly tipsy every once in a while (and altering your brain waves). So just changing the wave function of your brain doesn't mean anything. And even if it did, as soon as the drug wears off, you're back to normal. You may argue that you don't get drunk, ever, but this still puts you in the minority of the population at large. And don't even get me started about the way people drink (& smoke)in some parts of Europe. The simple fact is, reefer is the exact same sort of recreational drug that alcohol is.

    Now, whether or not you want to agree that marijuana is harmless recreation is entirely immaterial. You seem to have made up your mind about reefer without ever trying it. Good for you. I've done the same thing about cocaine and crack. I've never tried it, and never will. However, I certainly don't want to push my beliefs on you. I hope you can extend the same courtesy to me. And that's really what this topic is all about; the freedom to make your own choices. I beleive that marijuana is harmless in small quantities, and I thoroughly enjoy using, to the exact same extent I recreate in other fashions (books, movies, tv, music, entertainment).

    The issue is basically just if you have the right to determine how I recreate. Prohibition certainly showed that (up to a point) the american public will not tolerate meddling, however well intentioned, by the government. Comparing the recent sentences of citizens who committed consensual crimes with the sentences given for violent crimes shows that our government in many cases thinks growing marijuana in personal quantities is at an equivalent moral level with 2nd degree manslaughter. The line has been crossed again. Many drug users are apparently so bad for society that they let violent criminals on the streets early to free up room. This is obviously a backwards situation.


    -fsh
    [ Parent ]

    wow. you have no idea what you're talking about. (none / 0) (#360)
    by sayke on Fri Mar 09, 2001 at 08:40:36 PM EST

    silly anthropomorphic kitten.

    human society is, indeed, "based off of" natural selection. you seem to subscribe to the fallicy that humanity, and the things humans do, make, and become, are unnatural. sheeeiiit, of course societal change occurs via natural selection! need i remind you that poodles evolved from what were basically wolves? remember, "survival of the fittest" is redundant. who are the fit? the survivors, of course.

    from this, of course, it follows directly that "fit" (in the evolutionary sense) has nothing to do with your definition of optimal. you may not like murderers, but the fact that they exist means that the genetic traits that contribute to their actions were not naturally selected out of existance. indeed, it's quite safe to say that, since killers have been around since the dawn of humanity, murder would have been bred out of society if it offered only detriment and no benefit. remember, evolution doesn't have society's benefit in mind. it doesn't have your benefit in mind, either. in fact, it doesn't have a mind to have benefit in. silly kitten.

    reading and literature have quite a bit in common with psychoactives. they both can wildly alter your opinions, values, and raw perception of the world. and, ya know, the way that happens isn't too different. awe is awe, regardless of whether it's triggered by reading greg egan's "diaspora", or by sitting, with no shirt, in a mud puddle, under the drenching washington rain, on 4 hits of liquid lsd, meditating on the raw, beyond-a-shadow-of-doubt primacy of sensory experience.

    not that you'd know anything about that, though... hell, you still think of reality as a place to come back to. your total ignorance of neuroscience ("a person who reads is not having his brainwave patterns fucked around with"), though, is the kicker. well, that, and your cop/driver/book example, which really illustrates the commonalities between banned books lists and banned substances lists: some people are threatened by other people having certain private, non-coercive experiences.

    not that that's what you intended... it never occured to you. why? i couldn't say, but i think it's fairly clear that you're irrationally biased against the use of psychoactives. i can guess about the why, of course. i've seen plenty of people who hold similar fervent convictions, and generally, those convictions have to do with distinguishing "us" from "them". "we don't use that kind of language", "we don't eat that kind of food", "we don't wear that kind of clothes", "we don't do that kind of drug"... identity derivation taboos... most people need tribal characteristics to identify with, and tribal characteristics to look down on...

    not that this necessarily has anything to do with you. but, i think it's quite interesting how often people insist on ontologically seperating themselves from the "drug-using lowlifes", throwing around blanket generalizations like there's no tomarrow, all the while completely ignoring the massive body of empirical evidence surrounding the use of psychoactives... unless it happens to support their preconcieved ideas, of course. shrug. so it goes... silly, silly kitten.

    [arrr, no time to proofread]


    sayke, v2.3.1 /* i am the middle finger of the invisible hand */
    [ Parent ]

    I strongly disagree (4.00 / 1) (#351)
    by PoBoy123 on Mon Feb 26, 2001 at 07:30:45 PM EST

    There are several things that you said which I disagree with. First of all:

    Columbia is not a first world country, if you haven't noticed. Parts of it are pretty much run by drug cartels. There are MANY MANY murders. They are, obviously, drug related.

    This is kind of a chicken or the egg question. Columbia is right now in deep political turmoil, and has been for quite some time. The fact that the government is horribly corrupt is the reason that it is such a hotbed for illegal activity is because it is easy to grow and export illegal drugs.

    There was a clan of them that, via Opium, stumbled across the belief that they were impervious to bullets. Many of them were shot and killed.

    The first thing that is misleading about this statement is that it wasn't the drugs that killed them. It was the fact that these people were stupid enough to fight a war on drugs. No one is saying that there aren't times that when you shouldn't use drugs (such as when you're driving, or operating heavy machinery), but that certainly doesn't mean that people shoudln't be able to use drugs in the confines of their own homes.

    I'm sure that you realize that I'm very anti-war on drugs. I have smoked marijuana, although I haven't in quite some time. If I can summarize my feelings into one sentence, it would be: A person should have the right to do to their body whatever they choose, regardless of what negative effects it would have on their body, as long as it won't affect the lives of others.

    [ Parent ]
    Since you left me, I've been dead inside. (3.66 / 3) (#341)
    by kitten on Sun Feb 25, 2001 at 06:24:05 AM EST

    The idea that drugs are somehow dangerous to society is provably false. If it were dangerous to society, then some society would have perished from it by now. Marijuana is extremely ancient in origin.

    So, because people have been doing it for a long time, it's obviously not bad for society?
    People have been commiting murder and rape since the dawn of mankind. Are you saying that, since no culture has actually died from rape, that it "isn't dangerous to society"?

    But seriously; show me 10 completely sober people, and I'll show you ten completely boring people. Many of our celebrated historical figures had some sort of problem.

    That's nice.
    But then again.. show me one person who has abused drugs ("had some sort of problem") and still managed to lead a productive life, and I can show you twenty other drug users who haven't.
    And show me one person who did something productive even though he used drugs, and I can imagine all the *even better* things he could have done without fucking his brainwaves over.
    Finding a few minor examples of drug users who accomplished something isn't convincing me. They represent a small percentage, and are obviously anomolies. It's like saying "Hitler was a vegetarian" (which he was), therefore being a vegetarian makes you a bad person.
    Furthermore: Show me one person who did something productive with his life and used drugs, and I'll show you ten others that did something equally as productive and didn't use drugs.

    Therefore, the idiom that using drugs will turn you into a loser is provably false.

    I'm repeating myself but I wanted to make this point clear: A small handful of drug users/abusers who made something of themselves is totally insignificant next to the thousands of other drug users that have ended up being idiots.

    Speaking of cocaine, if it were such a bad influence then Columbia wouldn't even exist now.

    I had to read this twice to make sure I read correctly.
    First off, Columbia has a number of other cash crops besides drugs. The amount of money they gain from coffee sales alone boggles the mind.
    Second: Columbia makes money of cocaine because addicts are willing to pay for it. This has nothing to do with the question of whether or not it's a "good influence". By your logic, if murder were such a bad thing, professional hitmen wouldn't exist, right?

    Opium derivatives have also not destroyed any Eastern societies that I know of.

    Rape hasn't "destroyed" any societies that I can think of.. doesn't mean it's a good thing.
    There are millions of things that won't actually destroy a civilization, but that doesn't mean they're good.

    Opiates were a common prescription for pain in the Colonial Era.

    And you consider the peoples of the Colonial era to be enlightened, by and large? These are the same people that burned innocents at the stake for being witches.
    Furthermore: Merely because a remedy was widely used, doesn't mean it's wise. People used to drill holes in their heads to let out "evil spirits" and "bad humors" when they were ill. I suppose we should continue to do that, since it used to be a "common prescription".

    I am obviously a disturbed young man, but I can't afford to rent a psychologist. I use pot, and I consider myself a very smart person. I am intrinsically incredibly shy (ever see any of those advertisements for Paxil? I'm the social anxiety disorder poster boy). Reefer helps me to loosen up and actually maintain friendships, while before I was a loner who never talked to anyone.

    Alright. I don't know you, and so I'm not going to try to psychoanalyze you here, but honestly, what this seems to say here is someone who has mental issues of some form or another, can't cope with them well, and uses drugs instead. Again, I'm not trying to judge or sound condenscending, since I don't know you at all, but uh.. this doesn't sound like the mark of a mentally healthy individual (which you yourself admit).
    Presription drugs? Eh. I'm rather against those too, for very personal reasons, but I can think of at least one good thing about them that doesn't apply to illegal drugs: They are tested under controlled conditions, must meet rigourous FDA approval (the guidelines are strict beyond belief), etc etc.
    I've also got to wonder about the "friendships" that you "maintain" only through using pot or whatever. You freely admit that while intoxicated, you behave totally differently from your sober self: Reefer helps me to loosen up and actually maintain friendships, while before I was a loner who never talked to anyone.
    I would *never* walk up to someone at a bar and strike up a conversation unless I was under the influence of ecstasy.

    Again: I don't know you. I may be totally off-base here. I'm making pure speculations, based soley on what you've written here.. and your comments suggest that the people you interact with don't meet the *real* you.. only the intoxicated you.
    What that means, well.. that isn't my place to say. But perhaps you should consider it.
    Then again, it's entirely possible that I don't know what I'm talking about.

    mirrorshades radio - darkwave, synthpop, industrial, futurepop.
    [ Parent ]
    freak on a leash (5.00 / 1) (#344)
    by fsh on Sun Feb 25, 2001 at 02:24:30 PM EST

    So, because people have been doing it for a long time, it's obviously not bad for society? People have been commiting murder and rape since the dawn of mankind. Are you saying that, since no culture has actually died from rape, that it "isn't dangerous to society"?
    Well, I was actually referring to the host of victimless crimes. But to answer your question, rape was the primary method that many conquering nations subsumed the conquered. This is vividly shown in Robert Graves' The Greek Myths. Basically, the original Greek Civilization was matriarchal, and the pantheon was filled with godesses (all of the sets of three are from this time). When a conquering nation took over, there was a glut of rape myths, where the new male pantheon raped and subdued the older female pantheon. The main Greek Gods that we think of today (Zeus, Apollo, etc.) are actually the Gods of the conquerers. Athena and Geia were some of the originals. Rape was also the favorite prescription of the Romans, and Carthage received a great deal of that (As well as slavery, death, and a salting of the ground). The vikings, as well, were very found of raping the women and killing the men and children during their raids into England. And while the Englsih language is has many vocabulary words from the romance languages, the core grammar structure is German by way of Scandinavian Vikings.

    And you're right, of course. The statement about 10 sober people was a joke, and it obviously fails to marry with the serious tone of the rest of the post. My point was that the overall nature of the anti-drug culture today seems to be that if you take drugs, you're doomed, when this couldn't be farther from the case. I know several very successful businessmen who smoke pot everyday. Two people I know run their own business. While they may have been 'more successful' if they didn't smoke pot, It's hard to argue with their lifestyle: One of my friends does construction. He typically works for about 2-3 weeks out of the month, and spends the rest of his time vacationing, either to the beach or to the mountains for skiing. He has a great family, and gets to spend a great deal of time with them. My point here is not that everyone should do pot because you'll be successful, my point is that recreational drug use, when done responsibly, makes no difference to your overall life. This is the problem I have with the anti-drug campaign. The lumping together of all forms of drug use as bad. I see reefer as an escape, sure. I also see sci-fi books as an escape, and movies as an escape. What I do for recreation is nobody's business but my own. I'm not saying everyone should smoke pot for recreation, I'm simply saying that's why I do it. And I don't even own a car; I live close enough to work that I can walk there.

    And yeah, the Columbia reference shouldn't necessarily be in there. Although, from a purely capitalist perspective (ie, non-moral), they're practically essential to the marketplace.

    And you consider the peoples of the Colonial era to be enlightened, by and large? These are the same people that burned innocents at the stake for being witches.
    I consider them to be no more enlightened than we are. Look at the McCarthy hearings if you really think we're so enlightened. If that wasn't a witch hunt, I don't know what is, and it was straight from the top. Do you honestly think that in another 200 years, the population won't look back on us as primitives? Here's how I imagine it ("These are the same people that burned cancers out of people with radiation!")

    I'm repeating myself but I wanted to make this point clear: A small handful of drug users/abusers who made something of themselves is totally insignificant next to the thousands of other drug users that have ended up being idiots.
    Well, there's also hundreds of thousands of people who are idiots in their own right without using drugs. My point is that there's no causation between the two. There are stupid people, stupid people who use drugs, smart people, and smart people who use drugs. Confusing the issue between smart & stupid and drug use/non-drug use doesn't show a clear cut causation between the two. While drugs have certainly ruined some peoples lives, people's lives are just as easily ruined by a multitude of other factors (getting into a fight with the boss' son, for instance, just got my Dad 'laid off'.) In many cases, the drug use comes *after* the ruination, but they are still causally linked together. My only point here is that the one doesn't cause the other.

    The thing that surprised me most about the drug culture after I first started smoking (which, BTW, wasn't until *after* college) was how prevalent it is. My brother told me that for a fact he knew of only 4 people in his high school graduation who hadn't smoked pot. This doesn't mean that they necessarily didn't, just that my brother never smoked with them. Many of these people are in prominent positions in the town, now, some went to the military, some went on to college, and have come back as lawyers and accountants. While I doubt they still use it (most people give it up just before or right after marriage), it certainly had no detrimental effects to their careers as a whole. I know of one lawyer in town who has some incredible coke parties; I was at the dealers house when he came to pick up his order, and it was pretty damn hefty.

    By the way, my statement about drug use ruining civilisations is a Darwinist statement. Since it's very likely that cultivatible drugs have been around since humans starting cultivating, drug use would very likely have been bred out of the society if it were actually damaging (see my earlier reference to population growth curves).

    Thanks for the suggestions at the end. I fully plan to hire a psycologist as soon as I make my money. We've just opened a computer shop here in town, and hopefully it will work out.

    I'm making pure speculations, based soley on what you've written here.. and your comments suggest that the people you interact with don't meet the *real* you.. only the intoxicated you.
    Absolutely true. However, the real me has no interest in meeting other people, regardless the damage it does to my psyche. Human conversation is a necessity from time to time.

    -fsh
    -fsh
    [ Parent ]

    I just can't take it anymore... (4.33 / 3) (#343)
    by 3than on Sun Feb 25, 2001 at 12:41:07 PM EST

    So it seems like there are a few camps on this subject, and one of them thinks this: DJBonghit is addicted, so therefore, not only is marijuana addictive and therefore bad, Mr. Bonghit's reasoning is no longer valid.
    Well, ok. Maybe pot is addictive. Sure, I haven't missed a day in awhile...but isn't an important part of addiction and abuse INTERFERENCE? When something interferes with your schedule and life? Sure, marijuana might change patterns, but it's not hard to maintain your activities. And isn't another part a difficulty with stopping? Sure, it's hard to stop when people are packing bowls, but when one goes without, there's no danger of death, like there is with alcohol. You get depressed for a few days, but it's really not too bad.
    People assume, or seem to, that addiction is the same for all substances...and people seem to be divided along a line...people who have smoked, and people who haven't. Most people who have done pot consider it to be harmless...as do most people who haven't, I think...I saw someone complain about the argument that drug users are enlightened, while those who haven't tried to are not. Well...the only way to truly understand a drug is to try it. Many people who attack drugs do not understand them.
    And here's my two cents on the issue at hand...life is tough for homosexuals...but the government does not spend billions to oppress them...they can't go to jail for their actions, either. And there are far less of them than there are drug users...nor will the drug users stop any sooner than the homosexuals. It seems to me that DJBonghit has raised some interesting points here, and people's reactions to them show really well what the attitudes are. There is a lot of bias and prejudice on all sides...and I'm afraid that bias will disappear about as quickly as the drug war.
    Too bad I don't really see anything changing.

    What morality? (5.00 / 2) (#347)
    by Inoshiro on Sun Feb 25, 2001 at 08:43:01 PM EST

    ".life is tough for homosexuals...but the government does not spend billions to oppress them...they can't go to jail for their actions, either. And there are far less of them than there are drug users..."

    You much rather prefer the societal pressure of thousands of red necks who would willingly beat the shit out of you until you died of your own internal hemoraging? Eh? There are plenty of laws on the books against homosexuals -- they can't get married, and can be jailed for sodomy that's reported. 1 in 10 of a sample of same sex people is homosexual. If you consider that there are 290 million people in the US, this means that there are 29 million homosexuals -- more than the population of Canada by a million. Using "there are more" excuses doesn't work. These are people we're talking about.



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