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[P]
Is the Drug War working?

By BLU ICE in Culture
Mon Dec 09, 2002 at 01:51:14 PM EST
Tags: Culture (all tags)
Culture

 One often hears about the problems of illegal drugs in the news such as a shooting over a drug deal in the ghettos or a busted drug lord in Colombia. A raging debate nowadays is how we should deal with these and other drug problems. This issue has two opposing viewpoints: We can either legalize or decriminalize drugs or impose harsher regulation.


    Drug use is as old as humanity itself. People have always used psychoactive substances, but widespread abuse began as late as the 19th century. Freely available cocaine and heroin in pharmacies in the late 19th and early 20th centuries led to widespread abuse of these drugs. This lead to the Harrison Act of 1914, which prohibited opium and cocaine unless prescribed by a doctor. Marijuana was effectively criminalized with the Marijuana Tax Act of 1937. Since then, many new recreational drugs and derivatives have popped up, most of which are quickly banned (Parascope).

       First of all, we have the question, "Has the drug war been a success so far?"  Some think that the drug war has been an utter failure and has not brought any reduction in crime or drug use. However, others think it has been a success.  According to Robert E. Peterson, the drug war is a great success:

In a point of fact, as enforcement increased in the 1980's there were dramatic declines in overall drug use. There is at least some evidence, then, as reflected in drug use or health care statistics, to suggest that law enforcement can reduce drug use and addiction rates (29).


    According to Peterson and other drug control supporters, strong drug enforcement has had an effect on drug use rates.  In 1960, according to many pro-drug control advocates, drug use was very low due to stringent enforcement of drug laws. However, they contend, through the course of the later 60's and 70's, lax enforcement and experiments with decriminalization greatly increased drug use. For example, according to Peterson, between 1975 and 1980, only 20 in 1000 drug criminals were incarcerated (Peterson 31). This, according to Peterson, coincides with studies that showed one in ten high school students smoked pot daily (Peterson 29).  Then in the 1980's, drug use dropped significantly, according to Peterson, corresponding with a lower rate of murder, robbery, and violent crime.

    However, not everyone agrees with that viewpoint. Many contend that the drug war has been an utter failure, with little or no effect on crime or drug use.  According to many anti-prohibitionists, our current drug policy is exactly what is causing our crime problems. Ethan A. Nadelman shares this viewpoint, saying, "Our prohibitionist approach to drug control is responsible for most of the ills commonly associated with America's 'drug problem'"(23).  According to Ethan and many others, the proponents of the drug war focus on one thing: The large decline in the 1980's of pot and cocaine use.  While on the surface, this may seem like a success of the drug war, it really is just a semi-random fluctuation. The decline during the 1980's occurred well before the federal government intensified its war on drugs in 1986, with Nancy Reagan's famous "Just Say No" slogan (Peterson 32). In addition, they contend the drug war may even be causing a problem. Sky-high prices for illegal drugs cause addicts to turn to theft and prostitution as a means to obtain their next fix.

   Marijuana legalization is a complicated topic. The legalization of marijuana is enjoying widespread support these days, with many states legalizing it for medical purposes. Nevada is considering complete decriminalization. Marijuana is the least dangerous illegal drug. Even with heavy use, it has been shown to cause no permanent neurological damage; and the dangers of overdose are non-existent.  In addition, contrary to drugs such as cocaine, it does not often cause the user to become excessively edgy or paranoid, or cause addiction (Gray 176).

    Many vehemently support legalized or decriminalized marijuana. They argue that the fears have been overblown by anti-marijuana propaganda, such as DARE, and the "Anti-Drug" media campaign. For example, xxdr_zombiexx argues that the current marijuana propaganda misinforms the public in order to stir up anti-marijuana sentiment:



Cannabis prohibition is built upon and maintained by lies, emotionally manipulative news stories, and media censorship. It is a propaganda campaign aimed at disinforming everybody about what is an easily verifiable reality. This is specifically why a lot of people outside cannabis culture know nothing about what's going on all around them. They are getting sandbagged by their government, plain and simple.


In addition, they argue that the health threats of marijuana have been overblown. For example, marijuana is often portrayed in ad campaigns as addictive. Also, recent ad campaigns have graphically tried to show how money spent on marijuana goes to drug lords. Many pro-legalization activists think this is utterly ludicrous (Gray 176, 177). The vast majority of marijuana is either grown by the smokers themselves or by small growing operations-- not smuggled at great expense from Colombia. In addition, they argue, marijuana is not so expensive that users have to resort to crime to support their usage. Also, the problem of gang violence caused by marijuana dealing would be eliminated if it were legal to grow and distribute the drug. The arguments for the legalization of marijuana are pretty solid, but the concerns of the other side need to be considered.

    While a large slice of the U.S. population supports legalization of marijuana, most politicians, government agencies, and some health organizations do not.  Many groups believe that marijuana usage has adverse physical and mental effects. Glen R. Hanson, acting director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse, sees marijuana as having serious consequences to one's mental and physical health, "The use of marijuana can produce adverse physical, mental, emotional, and behavioral changes, and - contrary to popular belief - it can be addictive."  Many heavy users can have impaired judgment and memory skills. Secondly, the usage of marijuana is argued quite often to have negative social ramifications. Gangs fight to control their marijuana-dealing "turf," causing rampant gang violence and crime. Users may skip out on work or school to smoke pot. The arguments against marijuana legalization are indeed convincing.

    While it looks like marijuana might be decriminalized in most states in the next few years, the future of  "hard" drugs such as cocaine and heroin is more iffy. The opponents of drug legalization operate on a pretty simple assumption: If drugs were legalized, more people would use them.   Cheap drugs and no threat of prosecution would mean more people would use drugs. This would translate to more addiction, greater crime rates, and increased reliance on welfare. They often use the case of the Netherlands, where, according to their figures, drug addiction and crime have risen greatly in areas like Amsterdam's red light district since legalization (Peterson 31). Legalization would bring cheap drugs without the threat of prosecution, greatly increasing drug use.

    On the other side of the spectrum, drug decriminalization activists argue that the basis of drug-related crime is not crimes committed by people under the influence of drugs, but crimes committed to obtain or sell the drugs. They contend that drug users commit crimes such as theft or prostitution in order to obtain the money to get drugs whose prices have been artificially inflated by prohibition. If drugs were legalized, drug prices would plummet to a small fraction of today's prices, putting the drug lords and gangs out of business. According to Steven B. Duke, the high cost of drugs is the root cause of a good deal of our crimes.

The more effective are law-enforcement efforts against drug distribution, the more costly the drugs become to their consumers. After a generation of escalating drug war efforts, the costs of marijuana, cocaine and heroin are about 100 times what they would be in a free market. The inevitable effect of jacking up the cost of drugs is the commission of crime by drug users to obtain money to buy drugs.

    Duke also points out that when prices of illicit drugs fall, crime committed by addicts usually falls as well. The example of the alcohol prohibition is often cited. During the prohibition, the price of alcohol rose significantly. It became profitable for gangsters to make and sell alcohol on the black market, causing large amounts of crime and violence. When the ban was lifted, alcohol no longer had the artificially inflated high price it did during the prohibition. The gangsters went out of business or moved on to other things. It was no longer profitable to sell alcohol. Would illicit drugs be the same way?

Drug policy is a complicated issue. Drug use is here to stay. We have to find some way to live with drugs, either by minimizing drug use through prohibition, or legalizing drugs to eliminate some of the social problems of drug use. It's a moral dilemma much like that of Jim on the Patna. There is no clear choice. At any rate, we can't "win the war on drugs."

Fun links:
Erowid

D.A.R.E

NORML

Works Cited

Glen R. Hanson, PhD., D.D.S. "NIDA-Research Report Series-Marijuana Abuse."

National Institute on Drug Abuse. December 2, 2002. <http://www.drugabuse.gov/ResearchReports/Marijuana/default.html>

xxdr_zombiexx "Marijuana.com"  Marijuana.com December 2, 2002 http://my.marijuana.com/print.php?sid=3815.

Stephen P. Thompson, ed.  "The War on Drugs." San Diego, California. Greenhaven Press.

1998.

Robert E. Peterson. "Drug Enforcement Works!" Vestal, NY. O'Grady Press, 1997.

Ethan A. Nadelman. "The War on Drugs is Lost." National Reviw, February 12, 1996.

Steven B. Duke. "How Drug Legalization Would Cut Crime."  Schaffer Library of Drug Policy. December 5, 2002. <http://www.druglibrary.org/schaffer/Misc/media2.htm>

Mike Gray. "Drug Crazy." New York. Random House. 1998.

"Marijuana Timeline" Parascope. December 5, 2002. <http://www.a1b2c3.com/drugs/mj004.htm>

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Poll
Pot
o Legalize it! 60%
o Death sentence for possesion! 7%
o Decriminalize it. 26%
o Um, what was the question? 5%

Votes: 290
Results | Other Polls

Related Links
o Erowid
o D.A.R.E
o NORML
o http://www .drugabuse.gov/ResearchReports/Marijuana/default.html
o http://my. marijuana.com/print.php?sid=3815
o http://www .druglibrary.org/schaffer/Misc/media2.htm
o http://www .a1b2c3.com/drugs/mj004.htm
o Also by BLU ICE


Display: Sort:
Is the Drug War working? | 452 comments (431 topical, 21 editorial, 0 hidden)
I mostly want to agree with legalization, mostly (4.30 / 10) (#2)
by nsgnfcnt1 on Mon Dec 09, 2002 at 01:14:00 AM EST

Even with heavy use, it has been shown to cause no permanent neurological damage

My lack of professional grade research on this subject aside, I would like to add my two cents to this. In college I had a friend who, through our years there, started and ended up smoking a lot of pot. I personally witnessed first-hand his mind deteriorate. The last time I saw him (he dropped out our junior year) he seemed almost permanently stoned, though he wasn't, and hadn't been, smoking recently. And to the subject of addiction, it can be just as psychologically addictive as any other drug or habit.

I personally don't smoke. But, in the end, I can see little difference between using pot recreationally and drinking alcohol. So, while I'm not an activist, I would just assume it was legalized. Or at least pseudo-decriminalized, like in my home city of San Francisco.

On another note, I know The Economist did a spread on the drug war. Does anyone have a summary of their findings?

Are you sure pot was the only drug he did? (nt) (3.00 / 1) (#3)
by BLU ICE on Mon Dec 09, 2002 at 01:22:08 AM EST


"Is the quality of this cocaine satisfactory, Mr. Delorean?"
"As good as gold."

-- I am become Troll, destroyer of threads.
It's like an encyclopedia...sorta: Everything2

[ Parent ]

Could be (none / 0) (#18)
by wiredog on Mon Dec 09, 2002 at 07:57:08 AM EST

I've known people who only did alcohol and pot and ended up like that. The classic 'burn out' cases.

More Math! Less Pr0n! K5 For K5ers!
--Rusty

[ Parent ]
Pretty sure (4.00 / 1) (#81)
by nsgnfcnt1 on Mon Dec 09, 2002 at 04:26:27 PM EST

I was good friends with him up until about the point where it seemed his reality started to differ from mine. And all through that time he only used pot and alcohol. But, then, if he had started doing other things like LSD or speed or cocaine, that would only have reinforced the notion that pot is a gateway drug. I don't believe this now, nor do I ever think I did.

In the end it's only one data point; but I know the point personally so it sticks out.

[ Parent ]
That you (1.50 / 2) (#146)
by tonedevil05 on Tue Dec 10, 2002 at 02:52:24 AM EST

are even dipwad enough to bring up the "GATEWAY DRUG" amazes even me. I am sure you will try for the 99.999% of people using <fill in the blank with your own favorite = "whaterver"> started out on marijuana. Problem, what percent use marijuana and never move on to "whatever". Unless you can show that a majority of people who use marijuana go on to "whatever" then your gateway drug is not relevant and might as well be breast milk.

[ Parent ]
That you (none / 0) (#314)
by nsgnfcnt1 on Tue Dec 10, 2002 at 06:38:51 PM EST

home in on specific phrases and neglect to read the rest of the post doesn't amaze me at all.

But, then, if he had started doing other things like LSD or speed or cocaine, that would only have reinforced the notion that pot is a gateway drug. I don't believe this now, nor do I ever think I did.

The implication being that I don't believe in the gateway drug myth. Perhaps next time I'll put flame worthy phrases in BLINK tags so you can pick them out more easily.

[ Parent ]
mea culpa (none / 0) (#351)
by tonedevil05 on Tue Dec 10, 2002 at 09:28:52 PM EST

I admit that when I went back and read your post, after I posted, your words indicate that you don't believe in the "Gateway Drug Theory". What you accuse me of is true and I apologize when I first read your post, coupled with the top of the thread I felt you were saying that your former college friend was proof that mj made the user disfunctional and that if he had used something else it provided proof of that infamous theory. Now I will admit I don't have a clue what you were trying to say.

[ Parent ]
"gateway drug" myth, take 2 (none / 0) (#270)
by Shpongle Spore on Tue Dec 10, 2002 at 04:04:32 PM EST

The "gateway drug" idea is wrong on a number of levels. The best argument against it (and against many other popular misconceptions) is that correlation does not imply causation. Nobody will deny that hard drug use is often preceded by marijuana use, but there are many possible explanations you must rule out first before you can conclude that the marijuana use causes the hard drug use.

Personally I think that people who use either marijuana or hard drugs are the ones who are willing to experiment even when it involves breaking laws and ignoring warnings. The fact that marijuana is much more widely available means that it's usually the first thing a potential drug user encounters. It's also widely regarded as safe, so someone who's not yet sure they want to be doing drugs will be much more comfortable with marijuana than with any other substance.
__
I wish I was in Austin, at the Chili Parlor bar,
drinking 'Mad Dog' margaritas and not caring where you are
[ Parent ]

economist survey (4.00 / 2) (#4)
by cronian on Mon Dec 09, 2002 at 02:22:06 AM EST

I believe you are reffering to the economist's survey in its July 2001 issue. I would link to it, but it appears the Economist is now charging. I don't quite recall all of the detail, but the basically looked at the massive cost of the whole drug war. It is really expensive to pay for prisons, police, and wars in Columbia which are all part of the drug war. It would do much more good to spend this money helping people. Besides, even the potential increased medical costs would be less than the war on drugs. Besides, legalizing drugs would bring stability to Latin America.

We perfect it; Congress kills it; They make it; We Import it; It must be anti-Americanism
[ Parent ]
other good artilces as well (4.66 / 3) (#73)
by misanthrope112 on Mon Dec 09, 2002 at 03:22:14 PM EST

There have been a lot of good articles advocating an end to the war on drugs.  The British medical journal the Lancet had an article a few years ago, as did the New England Journal of Medicine (or perhaps it was the Journal of the AMA, but I'm not sure).  I think it's funny that people insist that marijuana is addictive and dangerous, despite the fact that the world's premier medical journals have come out in favor of ending the war on drugs, saying that jail causes more problems than the drug use.  Even the National Review had an issue dedicated to ending the war on drugs.  

I've stopped evangelizing about it, because no one cares.  You can beat them in an argument because pretty much all of the scientific data, plus the basic arguments of compassion and common sense,  are on the side of decriminilization, and they'll shut up, but they still believe what they want to believe because, at least in the U.S., most people base most of their opinions on gut feeling (i.e. their preconceived notions and prejudices)and have very little respect for rational thought.  If the image they have in their mind of a typical pot user is a young (primarily male) black or latino (or, secondarily, any young male, of any race), than they'll probably favor continued criminilization.  Only when anti-war-on-drug propaganda changes that image to one of a benign old grandma knitting a scarf while taking a little marijuana medicinally "for her eyes, sweetheart, and would you like a fresh-baked cookie?" will the public opinion slowly change over and start to think that the war on drugs is morally questionable.  Race isn't the only issue, but I'd bet it's the biggest subliminal issue, though I doubt anyone has any idea that they base their opinion on so repugnant of a consideration.  Logic and evidience have no power on a opinion formed by propaganda -- only counter-propaganda is going to change anything.  

[ Parent ]

re: economist survey (5.00 / 1) (#213)
by Fons Govaert on Tue Dec 10, 2002 at 10:34:03 AM EST

Is it this survey about illegal drugs?

[ Parent ]
He could have been a Math major (nt) (2.00 / 1) (#83)
by Ghost Shrew on Mon Dec 09, 2002 at 04:56:54 PM EST


Free tabletop RPG!! Grey Lotus
[ Parent ]
Why do Universities have math departments? (none / 0) (#441)
by Eccles on Fri Dec 13, 2002 at 10:07:13 AM EST

Because it's cheaper than institutionalizing all those people.

[ Parent ]
No war on drugs (4.66 / 15) (#8)
by William Franklin Rothman on Mon Dec 09, 2002 at 05:12:33 AM EST

The phrase "war on drugs" has always been a useful piece of political rhetoric, which doesn't really reflect the reality of drug enforcement. American politicians are fond of declaring war on problems no sane person would defend, such as poverty (LBJ), terrorism (GWB) and Iraq (Bush and son). They feel that it makes them seem tough, and since the tide of public opinion usually agrees with them, it's a hazard-free statement. Accepting the view that what is taking place is a war leads to a lot of confused assumptions about the situation. In reality, if it were a war, the military would be involved, and several South and Central American nations would be undergoing some fairly forceful regime change. The US military isn't even employed in guarding the Mexican border. The problem with using this kind of rhetoric is that it leads people to believe that the war on drugs is a win/lose situation. In reality, it is no different from any other kind of enforcement. The fact that houses are still being robbed does not imply that the criminalisation of theft has failed.

That's one side of the fence. Over on the other side you'll find all the hand-wringing over certain fairly contestable statements regarding the unwinnability of the drug enforcement problem, along with all manner of drug propaganda at least as dubious as that offered by the government. America's drug problems are not insoluble. Considering the effect that the draconian penalties for crack possession have had on its usage, it's quite clear that the drug problem could be solved by similar kinds of extreme policing. Ridiculously vehement enforcement has been proven to reduce the drug problem in the last decade.

Alternate methods exist of course. Bio-control is one of my personal favourites, and it is apparently being trialed in Peru, although that may just be a rumour. If it works, then the cocaine trade will be put on the defensive for the first time in two centuries.

The claim of drug activists that crime is only related to drug prices as a result of prohibition is dubious. In England, a cocaine binge is currently cheaper than a night out drinking. This, despite the fact that England is a country thousands of miles from the source of the product, with none of the easy methods of smuggling large quantities of the drug that afflict America. Presumably, the cause of drug related crime is more complex than the issue of price. It's also quite uncertain whether prosecution causes a significant price rise at all. Rises in price caused by enforcement usually entice more dealers onto the market, which brings the price back down. Up to a point, this just causes more drugs to enter the market as more people start dealing. Eventually the penalties escalate beyond the point at which people would be willing to risk imprisonment, and this discourages people from entering the drug market. After you've watched half of your neighbourhood go to jail, you tend to think twice about whether or not you want to follow them. (Observing the results of crack use in their contemporaries has probably also been responsible for dampening people's enthusiasm for the drug. Freebase can really screw you up.)

While support for marijuana legalisation has some merits, the claims made by either side regarding the safety of the drug are often little more than propaganda. Using any drug entails some level of risk. Marijuana is approximately as carcinogenic as cigarette smoke. It has been known to trigger schizophrenia in susceptible individuals. The question is, do we really want to establish another tobacco industry?

As for harder drugs, your discussion is incomplete without including statistics regarding the negative effects of cocaine and heroin. These are drugs that addict you more forcefully than any other substance on the planet. In pure form cocaine is more fatal than tobacco, and prolonged usage does result in serious psychological disorders. Heroin use also carries dangers, though pure heroin is not nearly as damaging as cocaine. Pretending that decriminalisation of these drugs does not entail health risks is simply dishonest.

Claiming that marijuana is not grown by organised criminals is also quite dishonest. While you may be able to get your weed from the neighbourhood hippy, it takes more than flower power to cultivate the quantities of dope that are being sold in America today. The claims made about sources of marijuana fly in the face of the evidence from the agencies who have first hand experience of arresting the people involved in pot cultivation. Believing that all your dope comes from peace loving beatniks is the definition of a pipe dream.

In general, I found the article more even-handed than I expected it to be, but it still contains some glaring flaws. I'm forced to wonder what the point of it was. It exposes very little in the way of information that hasn't already been internalised by your audience. It's hardly challenging anyone's preconceptions, and it simply doesn't provide any solid answers to the question in the title. Is the drug war working? Kinda...

Louisiana (3.00 / 1) (#11)
by gibichung on Mon Dec 09, 2002 at 06:01:21 AM EST

Used to have the strongest anti-heroin-distribution laws in the nation: mandatory life sentences for distribution.

In June 2001, the state repealed the law and lowered its mandatory sentences for many drug offenses -- for "fiscal" reasons.

The fact is, the laws worked. Yes, there was heroin in New Orleans, but it was nearly impossible to buy large quantities in-state. In a recent presentation which I had the pleasure of attending, a New Orleans-based DEA Agent estimated that the amount of heroin seized in Louisiana in the past year was more than ten times that during the previous fifteen.

There doesn't seem to be any solid statistics for 2002 yet, but I can point to this story at WWLTV.com for another anecodte:

According to New Orleans Police one in four inmates at the Orleans Parish Prison has tested positive for heroin.


-----
"No man is above the law and no man is below it; nor do we ask any man's permission when we require him to obey it." -- Theodore Roosevelt
[ Parent ]
Far out. (nt) (none / 0) (#36)
by William Franklin Rothman on Mon Dec 09, 2002 at 10:27:17 AM EST



[ Parent ]
draconian (none / 0) (#114)
by pyro9 on Mon Dec 09, 2002 at 07:02:37 PM EST

So heroine was nearly gone from Loisiana. Somehow, all of the problems said to be caused by heroine (violence, poverty, etc.) remained.


The future isn't what it used to be
[ Parent ]
New Orleans (none / 0) (#121)
by gibichung on Mon Dec 09, 2002 at 07:41:25 PM EST

Is less than an hour's drive from the Mississippi border. There was always some heroin in New Orleans, but where do you think it came from?

-----
"No man is above the law and no man is below it; nor do we ask any man's permission when we require him to obey it." -- Theodore Roosevelt
[ Parent ]
Ummm (none / 0) (#154)
by Greyshade on Tue Dec 10, 2002 at 03:27:02 AM EST

If they are seizing more heroin, would it not stand to reason that more heroin is getting in and distributed? How does this indicate that the 'laws worked'?

[ Parent ]
From my post: (none / 0) (#170)
by gibichung on Tue Dec 10, 2002 at 05:58:50 AM EST

In June 2001, the state repealed the law and lowered its mandatory sentences for many drug offenses -- for "fiscal" reasons.


-----
"No man is above the law and no man is below it; nor do we ask any man's permission when we require him to obey it." -- Theodore Roosevelt
[ Parent ]
In other words... (none / 0) (#172)
by Greyshade on Tue Dec 10, 2002 at 06:21:03 AM EST

We're spending too much money and not acheiving shit?

or is it.... The supply of heroin users and dealers appears to be approaching infinity? The more we catch, the more we find, and with every arrest we reduce our funding base by removing tax-paying citizens from the community? We are deciding that since we can't catch them all we'll just prosecute a couple when we feel like it and need to fill a few more jail cells or scare people with rocketing crime statistics?

I'm trying to figure out what exactly they you are implying. Your point just doesn't seem clear to me for some reason. If you are siting the quoted source as proof that 'the laws worked', I would have to ask you what their aim was and how they acheived that aim. If the aim was to rid New Orleans of heroin, the law seems to have been a dismal and very expensive failure.

I'm not trying to be obtuse; but the war on drugs is a fiscal failure in every state of the union, Louisiana is in no way unique in that respect.

[ Parent ]

It's simple, (none / 0) (#173)
by gibichung on Tue Dec 10, 2002 at 06:28:29 AM EST

the laws worked to an extent, but they were circumvented by the fact that New Orleans is less than an hour's drive from the Louisiana/Mississippi state line.

As for "not acheiving shit," you should be aware that 1 in 4 adult male Chinese was addicted to opium 100 years ago -- a time when there was no government safety net to keep your habit from causing you to starve to death. The potential for abuse in a welfare state is much greater.

-----
"No man is above the law and no man is below it; nor do we ask any man's permission when we require him to obey it." -- Theodore Roosevelt
[ Parent ]

I understand now! (none / 0) (#176)
by Greyshade on Tue Dec 10, 2002 at 07:02:45 AM EST

The war on drugs failed in New Orleans because of it's proximity to the border with Mississippi! I'm such a fool for not seeing it sooner! So, why is the war on drugs failing elsewhere?

It wouldn't have anything to do with the people using the drugs acutally WANTING to use the drugs, would it?

Naaah, you know what's best for everyone. If I don't act in a way you see as proper you really should jail me and try to 'rehabilitate' me. When do I get to jail you because I think people who watch Der Ring are all deranged lunatics who can't be trusted to live their own lives?

[ Parent ]

do what yu want. (none / 0) (#450)
by /dev/trash on Wed Dec 18, 2002 at 11:26:14 PM EST

But please lock yourself in a room and avoid other people while you do heroin/crack/whatever else.
Oh wait, we have a place for that already.  It's called prison.

---
Updated 02/20/2004
New Site
[ Parent ]
England (3.00 / 2) (#17)
by Mr Dyqik on Mon Dec 09, 2002 at 07:56:37 AM EST

A cocaine binge may be cheaper than a drinking binge, but I know where to go and buy booze (even after licencing hours), and I don't know who to ask for coke.  Once 24 hour licencing finally comes in some time next year, the convenience will become greater.  I actually wonder if that will reduce soft drug usage a little.  Those I know who use pot tend to do so after a night out drinking, and the most prolific users I have known were under 18 at the time.

Anyway, is a night's worth of coke really cheaper than a bottle of spirits (say 8 GBP for a dodgy vodka, rising to 15 GBP for the good stuff (mmmm Bison Grass vodka)).  Obviously this ignores the social aspects and the cost of alcohol in places with an on-licence, but if you're using coke, then you're probably in a fairly private place, so I don't think that counts for much.

[ Parent ]

Coke vs booze (none / 0) (#35)
by William Franklin Rothman on Mon Dec 09, 2002 at 10:26:15 AM EST

Well, the argument that people don't take coke and go out is flawed. Most people consider toilets a sufficiently private place to take drugs, after all. Depending on where you are, you can get cocaine for as less than twenty pounds, although it won't be particularly high in quality. There's about fifty hits in a gram. Your bottle of dodgy vodka would probably be cheaper, but it wouldn't make for a very good night out, really.

[ Parent ]
How much does your gramme weigh? (5.00 / 1) (#72)
by FeersumAsura on Mon Dec 09, 2002 at 03:20:38 PM EST

50 hits in a gramme. Hell I hardly ever do coke and I can clear a gramme in a night without trying. I'm paying £40 a gramme for reasonable quality so I can't see any reason why your gramme is 25~50 times more potent.

I'm so pre-emptive I'd nuke America to save time.
[ Parent ]
How big is a hit? (none / 0) (#108)
by William Franklin Rothman on Mon Dec 09, 2002 at 06:39:14 PM EST

I can't find it in the system internationale. Is it an imperial measurement, do you think?

I'm taking people's word here. Just out of interest, where in England are you, and is coke cheaper for you than booze?

[ Parent ]

A hit (5.00 / 1) (#390)
by FeersumAsura on Wed Dec 11, 2002 at 06:52:11 AM EST

A hit is hard to define, but with coke you could probably call a hit "a line large enough for you to feel the effects". Coke is most defineatley not cheaper than booze for me, I could proabbly spend £100 in a night on coke and if I was out I'd probably spend an extra £30 on booze at the same time. Night out just drinking £20, I drink in cheap places 1 pint of beer £1.65 x10. That's in Birmingham.

I'm so pre-emptive I'd nuke America to save time.
[ Parent ]
I don't know where you go out... (none / 0) (#187)
by Mr Dyqik on Tue Dec 10, 2002 at 08:45:31 AM EST

but the toilets in any of the clubs in Cambridge wouldn't do due to stench of vomit and piss by 11:30 at night.  You certainly wouldn't want to be sniffing in there.  Do you need a flat surface (I've never done coke, so I'm working from film depictions), or can you pre-prepare (tautology!) the stuff?  

Maybe I don't frequent high class enough establishments, but then I don't particularly want to.  Most of the pubs I know and like wouldn't help much here either.

[ Parent ]

Well, (none / 0) (#199)
by William Franklin Rothman on Tue Dec 10, 2002 at 09:29:42 AM EST

You can snort it pretty well of a stripper's tits, I'm told. All you really need is some way to make the cocaine go up inside your nose.

[ Parent ]
pipe dream (4.00 / 2) (#19)
by wiredog on Mon Dec 09, 2002 at 08:00:49 AM EST

That phrase comes from opium addicts in the 1800s. Smoking opium (from a hookah) leads to "pipe dreams".

Cocaine withdrawal is nasty. From what I've heard, opiate withdrawal is worse.

Alcohol withdrawal can include seizures, which can be fatal.

More Math! Less Pr0n! K5 For K5ers!
--Rusty

[ Parent ]

Umm, do you want a prize for that one, sport? (4.50 / 2) (#33)
by William Franklin Rothman on Mon Dec 09, 2002 at 10:17:11 AM EST

Or were you just providing the Cliff's Notes for my comment?

The thing with comparing cocaine withdrawal to alcohol and tobacco is, cocaine's mechanism of addiction is entirely psychological. Basically, the way cocaine messes up your dopamine levels results in a massive re-prioritisation within your neurological reward system. Your body learns to consider cocaine to be the absolute most important thing in the world. Everything else gets the volume turned down. Getting off cocaine is hard, not just because there's a nasty comedown. After having been a dedicated cocaine abuser, nothing else in the world feels as good as it did before you started using the drug. Heroin withdrawal is more like a nasty bout of the flu. Not that I've actually talked to any addicts about this.

[ Parent ]

entirely psychological? (3.00 / 1) (#45)
by wiredog on Mon Dec 09, 2002 at 11:54:41 AM EST

Ummm. No. It's a physical addiction.

More Math! Less Pr0n! K5 For K5ers!
--Rusty

[ Parent ]
No (3.00 / 1) (#106)
by William Franklin Rothman on Mon Dec 09, 2002 at 06:36:08 PM EST

Look it up. Nobody has ever claimed that cocaine is physically addictive.

[ Parent ]
Ahem (3.00 / 1) (#126)
by wiredog on Mon Dec 09, 2002 at 08:24:05 PM EST

Basically, the way cocaine messes up your dopamine levels results in a massive re-prioritisation within your neurological reward system. Your body learns to consider cocaine to be the absolute most important thing in the world.

That's a physical effect, not a psychological one.

More Math! Less Pr0n! K5 For K5ers!
--Rusty

[ Parent ]

Is there something wrong with you? (3.00 / 1) (#153)
by William Franklin Rothman on Tue Dec 10, 2002 at 03:25:40 AM EST

Go and examine the literature. You can't seriously be this thick. Everywhere cocaine addiction is discussed, it is classified as a psychological addiction.

[ Parent ]
Sorry (3.00 / 1) (#178)
by wiredog on Tue Dec 10, 2002 at 07:29:54 AM EST

All the symptoms I experienced going through withdrawal, and the literature that talked about the physical effects on dopamine receptors, etc, must have addled my brains. Obviously, the permanent changes to dopamine receptors caused by cocaine are completely psychological, with no physical cause or effect.

More Math! Less Pr0n! K5 For K5ers!
--Rusty

[ Parent ]
Well, OK (3.00 / 1) (#186)
by William Franklin Rothman on Tue Dec 10, 2002 at 08:45:09 AM EST

Just list the physical withdrawal symptoms of cocaine and I'll be on my way.

All psychologically addictive drugs form their addiction through physical processes. They are chemicals, after all.

[ Parent ]

I think you're confused (none / 0) (#229)
by priestess on Tue Dec 10, 2002 at 11:49:09 AM EST

I suspect you're trying to say physiological not psychological. People talk about marijuana being psychologically addictive, opiates and cocaine are physiologically addictive.

       Pre..........
----
My Mobile Phone Comic-books business
Robots!
[ Parent ]
No (4.00 / 1) (#231)
by William Franklin Rothman on Tue Dec 10, 2002 at 11:53:45 AM EST

But it really is just a pointless argument of nomencalture. The problem you have is that you think "psychologically addictive" is synonymous with "habit forming". The phrases have become conflated, so people generally think psychological addiction is trivial. It isn't.

[ Parent ]
It isn't trivial (none / 0) (#245)
by priestess on Tue Dec 10, 2002 at 12:45:32 PM EST

But it's also not the way cocaine addiction works. It is the way gambling addiction works though.

       Pre..........
----
My Mobile Phone Comic-books business
Robots!
[ Parent ]
definitions (none / 0) (#318)
by aphrael on Tue Dec 10, 2002 at 06:44:16 PM EST

habit forming: you reflexively do it without thinking about it because it's just the thing you do.

psychologically addictive: you are unable emotionally to function without it.

physiologically addictive: your body's biochemical processes do not function correctly without it.

Cocaine is physiologically addictive. Marijuana is psychologically addictive in some people. Reading the newspaper is habit-forming.

[ Parent ]

Odd (none / 0) (#335)
by William Franklin Rothman on Tue Dec 10, 2002 at 07:41:44 PM EST

Your bodies biochemical processes function fine without cocaine. There are no physiological withdrawal effects.

[ Parent ]
Some good points, (4.90 / 11) (#25)
by FunkMasterK on Mon Dec 09, 2002 at 08:57:29 AM EST

You make some good points, and raise some very valid concerns, but I fear you are falling victim to the same propaganda you despise.

Ridiculously vehement enforcement has been proven to reduce the drug problem in the last decade.

Marijuana use is now as prevalent as it was in the 70s, and cocaine use is on the rise.  Ecstasy is nearing marijuana in its popularity among high school students.  All this in the face of drastically increased federal drug interdiction budgets.

When the Reagans started their "just say no" campaign, they doubled the number of prisoners.  Bush Sr. doubled it again.  Clinton doubled it yet again.  We now have the highest per-capita incarceration rate in the WORLD, bar none.  We put people in prison FIVE TIMES FASTER than even our closest cultural allies, like Canada and the EU.  You would expect that with all that missing enforcement, those other countries would have crime wave after crime wave, but they don't.  In fact, crime rates are relatively the same in Canada as they are here.

Alternate methods exist of course. Bio-control is one of my personal favourites, and it is apparently being trialed in Peru, although that may just be a rumour. If it works, then the cocaine trade will be put on the defensive for the first time in two centuries.

You do bring up an interesting point: "bio-control" (I don't like the sound of that).  There is some interesting research on addiction, and several new anti-addiction drugs are being researched.  One of the most promising is ibogaine, which can completely kill the opiate withdrawal syndrome with a single dose.  But since ibogaine is a hallucinogen (actually a kappa opioid receptor agonist, but I digress), it's illegal.  Look to the EU for news on ibogaine's success.

The claim of drug activists that crime is only related to drug prices as a result of prohibition is dubious.

No, crime is related to prohibition, period.  Fluctuating prices don't affect crime that much.  But since the black market is by definition operated by criminals, there is an unavoidable proclivity for violence in the system.  Take away the black market and those gun-toting drug dealers at your corner will have to find another job.

Nice try, though.  Reduce the argument to one easily-refutable fact ("crime is only related to drug prices") and then throw in a convenient anecdote ("a cocaine binge is cheaper than drinking"), thereby destroying the entire factual basis of your enemy (the "drug activists").

Eventually the penalties escalate beyond the point at which people would be willing to risk imprisonment, and this discourages people from entering the drug market.

And what point is that?  When are the penalties severe enough?  I'll fill you in: NEVER.  Put one inner-city kid in prison for possession with intent to distribute, and I promise you there are dozens more waiting in line to take his place, no matter how severe the penalties are.  The drug was has had one interesting effect on the tactics of the dealers: they recruit children, since children cannot be prosecuted to the same extent.  The fact is that prohibition provides insane profits (as much as a 10,000 percent markup from colombia to columbia).  The prices are so high that the threat of going to jail, even for extended periods, has never worked as a deterrant.  See the reagan/bush/clinton cycle above.  Why not double the number of prisoners again?  Bush is well on his way.

Marijuana is approximately as carcinogenic as cigarette smoke. It has been known to trigger schizophrenia in susceptible individuals. The question is, do we really want to establish another tobacco industry?

First, marijuana is not nearly as carcinogenic as tobacco.  Inhaling burning carbon compounds is doubtless bad for you, but tobacco has many well-known carcinogens added in by the tobacco companies.  Marijuana is not carcinogenic by itself, and indeed, there has not been a single study to show a causal link between marijuana smoking and lung cancer.  There's even a growing body of evidence that shows THC may have anti-neoplastic abilities.

Yes, THC triggers schizoid psychosis.  Alcohol triggers alcoholism.  Better ban that them, just in case.  Any emotional experience can trigger schizoid psychosis as well, so we'd better ban those too.

No, I don't want another tobacco industry, but I do want another liquor-like industry for cannabis.  You're much less likely to get shot buying a handle of rum than an dime bag.

As for harder drugs, your discussion is incomplete without including statistics regarding the negative effects of cocaine and heroin. These are drugs that addict you more forcefully than any other substance on the planet.

Oh really?  I bet you didn't know that nicotine is more deadly (15mg would kill a person of normal weight dead) and much more addictive than cocaine or heroin.  Yet tobocco doesn't cause the same problems as heroin or cocaine precisely because it's legal.

Claiming that marijuana is not grown by organised criminals is also quite dishonest.

Of course it's grown by organized crime.  It's a black market, which must be run by criminals.  Any distribution network for contraband is organized crime, by definition.

Is the drug war working? Kinda...

Exactly.  And it's been "kinda" working for sixty years, with no end in sight.  I would urge you to read this page for more information (and the sources more most of the claims I've made above).  The site includes original sources for every statement.  Then go to theantidrug.com and see how many claims are cited there.


[ Parent ]

Response (4.60 / 5) (#31)
by William Franklin Rothman on Mon Dec 09, 2002 at 10:08:08 AM EST

Marijuana use is now as prevalent as it was in the 70s, and cocaine use is on the rise.  Ecstasy is nearing marijuana in its popularity among high school students.  All this in the face of drastically increased federal drug interdiction budgets.

I was referring to the specific example of crack in this instance. Penalties for crack use were ludicrously high, mostly due to media hype surrounding the drug. With sentences for possession of crack being set at the same level as sentences for possession of one hundred times the amount of cocaine, despite the fact that 1 kilogram cocaine equals 1 kilogram of crack, with the addition of baking powder water and heat, people rapidly decided that crack was not worth the risk. Nowadays, crack has fallen completely out of favour. Presumably if sentences for other drugs ever reach the same level, a similar effect would be achieved. Another poster has indicated that this situation has been demonstrated in Louisiana, which previously had very severe penalties for heroin possession. Don't make the mistake of thinking I support any of this. I just think it's important to point out that, despite all the hand-waving from drug activists, the current policies of the US government, if pursued far enough, will "win" the drug war. At enormous cost, of course. In my opinion, drugs are America's problem, but the solution is in South America. Money within America's borders would be better placed alleviating poverty in the inner cities.

You do bring up an interesting point: "bio-control" (I don't like the sound of that).  There is some interesting research on addiction, and several new anti-addiction drugs are being researched.  One of the most promising is ibogaine, which can completely kill the opiate withdrawal syndrome with a single dose.  But since ibogaine is a hallucinogen (actually a kappa opioid receptor agonist, but I digress), it's illegal.  Look to the EU for news on ibogaine's success.

Bio-control is the deliberate release of crop blights of various kinds, to eliminate the target plant. It's essentially the same thing as the Australian use of the cactoblastus insect to destroy the prickly pear cactus problem. In that case, it was completely effective. Apparently there was a fungus discovered in Hawaii which destroyed the entire Hawaiian coca crop. Think of the possibilities here! Wiping out the coca plant itself with a naturally occurring pest or even a genetically engineered one -- that would solve the cocaine problem once and for all. If I were America's drug czar, I know exactly what I'd be doing right now.

Not that there aren't serious dangers to using biological plagues to accomplish your goals. But there are also serious problems to having a growing cocaine problem in your own nation. Historical fact: the only thing that has ever halted the increase in cocaine use in the past was the second world war. It is a drug so addictive, rats will take it in preference of all other activities, until they starve to death. That isn't hype. That's from serious addiction studies. I think bio-control is justified.

As for your comments on ibogaine, I think it's an interesting point, but I also think that treatment has proven to be a failure. No matter how effectively you cure someone of their addiction, the circumstances which made them become an addict will probably still remain.

First, marijuana is not nearly as carcinogenic as tobacco.

That's subject to debate.

Oh really?  I bet you didn't know that nicotine is more deadly (15mg would kill a person of normal weight dead) and much more addictive than cocaine or heroin.

Judging the threat to life of a drug based on the dose at which it becomes instantly fatal is misleading. It's verging on an outright statistical lie. What's the standard dose of tobacco, compared to the standard dose of cocaine? 15mg is a meaningless number. Besides that, cigarette smokers don't die of nicotine poisoning, they die of cancer. So your point is irrelevant. Nobody has ever overdosed on nicotine.

It would be better to compare the drugs according to number of deaths / number of users. On this scale, cocaine and heroin win hands down. And forget triggering schizophrenia. Cocaine can send you straight off into hallucinatory psychosis whether you're susceptible or not.

No drug in the world is more addictive than cocaine. In one addiction study, a number of monkeys were given the ability to have various drugs administered to them by pushing a bar. Every time the bar was pushed, the number of times it would need to be pushed to administer the next dose was increased. The monkey who got the cocaine pushed the bar thirteen thousand times for a single dose. Nothing even comes close.

Exactly.  And it's been "kinda" working for sixty years, with no end in sight.

And doctors have been searching for a cure for cancer for how long? When should they give up, do you think?

[ Parent ]

Marijuana (5.00 / 5) (#54)
by truth versus death on Mon Dec 09, 2002 at 01:09:22 PM EST

Marijuana is a drug which does not have to smoked to be enjoyed. It can be eaten, thus reducing the carcinogenic effect to nil. It can also be vaporized, which the scientific studies to date have not studied. As for other issues related to this drug, the The Merck Manual of Diagnosis and Therapy sums it up:

Chronic or periodic use of cannabis producing some psychologic dependence but no physical dependence.

Any drug that causes euphoria and diminishes anxiety can cause dependence, and cannabis is no exception. However, heavy use and complaints of inability to stop are unusual. Cannabis can be used episodically without evidence of social or psychologic dysfunction. The term dependence probably is misapplied to many users. No withdrawal syndrome occurs when the drug is discontinued, but some heavy users report disrupted sleep and nervousness when they stop.

[...]

Smoked cannabis produces a dreamy state of consciousness in which ideas seem disconnected, unanticipated, and free-flowing. Time, color, and spatial perceptions may be altered. In general, a feeling of well-being and relaxation (a "high") results. These effects last 2 to 3 h after inhalation. There is no persuasive evidence of a prolonged or hangover effect. Tachycardia, conjunctival injection, and dry mouth occur regularly. Many of the psychologic effects seem to be related to the setting in which the drug is taken. Panic reactions have occurred, particularly in naive users, but have become unusual as the culture has become more familiar with the drug. Communicative and motor abilities are decreased, depth perception and tracking are impaired, and the sense of timing is altered--all hazardous in certain situations (eg, driving, operating heavy equipment). Schizophrenic symptoms may be exacerbated by marijuana, even in patients being treated with antipsychotic drugs (eg, chlorpromazine). Appetite often increases.

Critics of marijuana cite much scientific data regarding adverse effects, but most of the claims regarding severe biologic impact are unsubstantiated, even among relatively heavy users and in areas intensively investigated, such as immunologic and reproductive function. However, high-dose smokers of marijuana develop pulmonary symptoms (episodes of acute bronchitis, wheezing, coughing, and increased phlegm), and pulmonary function may be altered. This is manifested by large airway changes of unknown significance. Even daily smokers do not develop obstructive airway disease. Pulmonary carcinoma has not been reported in persons who smoke only marijuana, possibly because less smoke is inhaled than during cigarette smoking. However, biopsies of bronchial tissue sometimes show precancerous changes, so carcinoma may occur. In a few case-control studies, some tests detected diminished cognitive function in small samples of long-term high-dose users; this finding awaits confirmation. Studies in newborns have not found evidence of fetal harm due to maternal use of cannabis. Decreased fetal weight has been reported, but when all factors (eg, maternal alcohol and tobacco use) are accounted for, the effect on fetal weight disappears. -9-Tetrahydrocannabinol is secreted in breast milk. Although no harm to breastfed babies has been shown, breastfeeding mothers, like pregnant women, are advised to avoid using cannabis.




"any erection implies consent"-fae
[ Trim your Bush ]
[ Parent ]
As I said (2.00 / 1) (#103)
by William Franklin Rothman on Mon Dec 09, 2002 at 06:33:29 PM EST

Its clearly subject to debate. You quote one reference that indicates limited negative effects. I quote a recent study that claims the marijuana may be three times as carcinogenic as smoking. We aren't going to resolve this here, so lets not pretend. I'll accept that my study is possibly untrue, if you'll accept that it is still valid to suspect marijuana of having a carcinogenic effect. OK?

[ Parent ]
No, you are an idiot. (4.66 / 3) (#119)
by newellm on Mon Dec 09, 2002 at 07:36:18 PM EST

Let's take a look at this study.

Well, after reading the "study", I can surely say that it is no study at all, it is an article. Not only is it just an article, but there are NO links to any studies, or any other articles.

OK, let's assume for the sake of discussion, that there is a valid study behind this article.

Dr Ammenheuser said: "We can't actually make statements about cause and effect from our study,"

OK, up front she says that they have no evidence that the alleged malformed DNA causes cancer.

"but we can say that marijuana smoking probably increases your risk of getting things like lung cancer, in much the same way that we know that tobacco smoking increases this risk."

Wait, they say that the alleged malformed DNA can't be linked to lung cancer, then they say that marijuana probably increases your risk of lung cancer, based on the fact that tobacco does. What the fuck, this bitch should be kicked in the teeth for spreading FUD.

"My research indicates that smoking just a few marijuana joints seems to cause as much DNA damage as ten or more cigarettes.

Up front they say that the people that participated in the test were only mothers that smoked pot. They don't say anything about a control group of people that smoke nothing, or a control group of people that smoke cigarettes. She knows that without a control group the study means nothing, that is why she uses "seems to cause". Real scientists that publish real studies don't say things like maybe, probably, I think, and seems to. They show the data collected, and examine possible theories to explain the data. Something that she fails to do. Shit, they can't even remember the trailing quote.

"I think it is because marijuana smokers hold the smoke in their lungs for longer and do not use low tar, filtered marijuana joints.

Hmm, there she goes again, this time with "I think." Oh, and they forgot the quote again.

"And they generallly smoke the joints down to a very small butt, which increases their exposure to the cancer causing chemicals."

Huh, which cancer causing chemicals?

Dr Ammenheuser admitted that proviing marijuana causes cancer is difficult because most smokers also use cigarettes, or use tobacco as an ingredient in a joint.

ROFL.

Now, I thought I would do a little research on this study and I could go on for pages explaining why the actual study is full of shit, but that would be redundant.



[ Parent ]
Shut up, peewee (1.50 / 6) (#188)
by William Franklin Rothman on Tue Dec 10, 2002 at 08:49:42 AM EST

Clearly the article discusses an actual study. Clearly the researchers involved have PhDs in their fields. Clearly you don't have a high school diploma. You'd have to be pretty dumb to assume that something that causes three times the amount of DNA mutation as cigarette smoke isn't a carcinogen. What's your theory here? There's some other kind of DNA mutation that doesn't involve cancer risk?

[ Parent ]
Kaiser-Permanente (3.00 / 1) (#375)
by knobmaker on Wed Dec 11, 2002 at 02:50:09 AM EST

Google Kaiser-Permanente and marijuana.

You'll find links to a longitudinal 65,000 patient epidemiological study which makes it pretty hard to argue that pot causes lung cancer. Published in the American Journal of Public Health.

The End.

[ Parent ]

Well, not really (4.00 / 1) (#379)
by William Franklin Rothman on Wed Dec 11, 2002 at 04:08:51 AM EST

See, the average rate of usage reported in the Kaiser-Permanente study was around 10 joints per week over a period of five years. This usage level might be low enough to alleviate any increased risk of lung cancer from marijuana use. This doesn't defeat the arguments that marijuana is carcinogenic at all.

This article from NORML, no less, cites two studies that show evidence for an increased lung cancer risk associated with marijuana. So claims that marijuana isn't carcinogenic are completely wrong. It just isn't dangerous if your use is moderate.

In any case, I've never said at any point that I oppose marijuana legalisation. Read my first comment. I said it is approximately as carcinogenic as cigarette smoke, which is reflected in the studies cited in the NORML article and in the Ammenheuser study.

[ Parent ]

Excuse me (none / 0) (#123)
by truth versus death on Mon Dec 09, 2002 at 08:11:59 PM EST

For laughing outloud at your pathetic reply. I quote:

The Merck Manual of Diagnosis and Therapy, Seventeenth Edition was published in 1999 (the centenary of the publication). This book is used by more medical professionals worldwide than any other general medical textbook and has been continuously published longer than any other English language general medical textbook. [bold mine]

Furthermore:

The version of The Merck Manual of Diagnosis and Therapy, 17th Edition, that we offer here represents the most up-to-date version and includes material that the latest print version (second printing) does not. [bold mine]

Please go troll another board, William Franklin Rothman. You still want to debate this issue. Maybe you should get a medical degree first, rather than posting links to newspaper articles.

"any erection implies consent"-fae
[ Trim your Bush ]
[ Parent ]
Sure, sport (1.50 / 6) (#151)
by William Franklin Rothman on Tue Dec 10, 2002 at 03:21:52 AM EST

You proabably know more about this than a doctor who works in the field. Pardon me for ever doubting you. Armed with your medical dictionary, you have a level of knowledge equivalent to someone with a PhD in medicine. You're perfectly qualified to contest any medical research that happens to cast doubt upon your preconceptions. Fucking imbecile.

[ Parent ]
pot...kettle (none / 0) (#444)
by Malenfant on Fri Dec 13, 2002 at 03:00:26 PM EST

You proabably know more about this than a doctor who works in the field. Pardon me for ever doubting you. Armed with your medical dictionary, you have a level of knowledge equivalent to someone with a PhD in medicine. You're perfectly qualified to contest any medical research that happens to cast doubt upon your preconceptions. Fucking imbecile.

Anyone who is for releasing genetically engineered plagues really isn't in a position to call someone else an imbecile.

[ Parent ]
Eh? (5.00 / 1) (#298)
by FunkMasterK on Tue Dec 10, 2002 at 05:55:07 PM EST

You're arguing against the Merck Manual of Diagnosis and Therapy with a newspaper clipping that very clearly says no conclusions can be drawn from it.

Merck is an official standard agreed upon by doctors across the medical spectrum.  Your article says pot may be more carcinogenic, that it probably contributes to lung disease.  Further, these halfhearted claims are based on a single, small study.

And you have the gall to say your article stands on equal footing with your opponents?  Sheesh!

There's no doubt smoking cannabis is bad for you.  Smoking cotton is probably bad for you too.  Eating burnt barbeque increases your cancer risk as well, for the same reason: combustion byproducts cause DNA damage.

Finding damaged DNA isn't so special.  Your DNA is being damaged all the time: by the sun, by bad foods, by random mutations, by viral or bacterial means.  Your cells are designed to fix the damage.  Your body is also designed to kill the cells, forcefully if needed, if the damage can't be undone.  So, finding DNA damage in lung tissue, while significant, is not concrete evidence that cancer can result.

Combine that with the fact that your study is not meant to be taken as evidence of ANYTHING, and you're left with nothing but a lot of handwaving.

Okay, I'll stop feeding the troll(s).  Seriously.

[ Parent ]

What are you doing down here? (none / 0) (#308)
by William Franklin Rothman on Tue Dec 10, 2002 at 06:28:05 PM EST

Look, all I'm saying is that the claim that marijuana is perfectly non-carcinogenic is not a closed subject. And I think only an idiot would make the case that medical research can be refuted simply by referring to a passage from the existing medical literature. And not the researh literature, not the journals. You're debunking new research based on passages found in a medical dictionary.

Finding damaged DNA isn't significant, no. Finding DNA that is being damaged at three times the rate associated with tobacco is, though, and it is stupidity to suggest otherwise.

Not only do I think my argument in this case is reasonable, I'm pretty certain that my opponents are idiots. I've got two chimps who think that all medical research is invalid if it contradicts their little black book of doctoring, and one teenager who thinks all scientific studies have to be conducted as double-blind tests.

[ Parent ]

Your study is invalid (none / 0) (#342)
by FunkMasterK on Tue Dec 10, 2002 at 08:33:01 PM EST

I've done some research on the article you indicate.  It was performed by Ammenheuser et al at UT in 1995.  The article is available in the journal Environmental and Molecular Mutagenesis.  This journal is not well-known, much less respected.  The article itself is not available on PubMed, nor does the journal provide articles online prior to 1996, so we're forced to debate the merits of this article based on second hand reports of it.

The BBC article leaves out many interesting points about the study.  The study went like this: 17 pregnant women who admitted to smoking pot and 17 who did not admit to smoking pot were sampled.  The hprt gene was the only gene tested for damage.  When this gene is damaged, it usually indicates damage elsewhere in the genome.

Ammenheuser found that the women who admitted to smoking pot had three times as many DNA mutations as the women who did not.  Note, however, no blood tests were done to verify that the "clean" women did not have other drugs in their system, nor were tests done to determine if the pot-smoking mothers had any other drugs in their systems that might have skewed the results.

I'll even skip the "correlation is not causation" arguments, since Ammenheuser herself says at the end of your BBC article that no causal claim can be made based on the study.  Instead, I can attack the study on purely statistical bases:  17 samples does not provide enough sample space to make any kind of correlation claim.  Even granted the 3-times difference, marijuana smokers ingest far less than one third the volume of smoke an average tobacco smoker ingests per day.  The heaviest marijuana smokers will smoke upwards of 10 unfiltered joints per day.  That's the equivalent of about half a pack of cigarettes.  Four packs a day is not unheard of for tobacco addicts.

The study does not measure the damage caused by filtered joints, or vaporized THC, or orally-administred THC, or water-filtered cannabis, only whether the mothers admitted to smoking marijuana.  The study, therefore, accounts to nothing more than a tiny survey with a single gene test.  For all we know, the 17 women who had gene damage might have all been from the same geographical area with high smog.

Based on these facts, I can claim with near certainty that your study is not evidence of anything.
 

[ Parent ]

It's a good thing you skipped... (none / 0) (#370)
by William Franklin Rothman on Wed Dec 11, 2002 at 12:56:54 AM EST

...the correlation is not causation argument. There is no correlation involved here. It isn't a statistical study, of the sort linking to lung cancer deaths to incidence of smoking.

At this point the state of your overwhelmingly convincing argument against the veracity of the study amounts to them saying "Maybe it does" and you saying "Maybe it doesn't". I guess if you're a zealot you can convince yourself of anything with near certainty.

As for sample sizes, it really depends on how many of the marijuana smoking women manifested the symptoms. If every single woman had elevated levels of mutation, then there is certainly cause for suspicion. If it wasn't the pot, what was it? And why was it not manifest in the other women?

And four packs a day is excessive among tobacco addicts. Even Russians usually only make it through a pack and a half. If you want to attack people for statistical dishonesty, you probably shouldn't make statements which introduce anomolously high levels of use as if they are some indication of average levels of usage.

Which leaves us with your rather bizarre opening paragraph, which I interpret as some sort of statement by you that peer-reviewed journals who do not publish their articles for free online are not well respected among the communities of researchers they serve or among the wider population. I therefore challenge you to show me where the ACM publishes their various domain-specific journals online. In short, your first paragraph is an ugly slander from someone who appears completely  unfamiliar with the nature of academic literature. The journal is no more obscure than any other academic journal that covers a narrow area of research, and it is not "poorly respected", either.

[ Parent ]

Junk science, pure and simple (5.00 / 1) (#398)
by FunkMasterK on Wed Dec 11, 2002 at 08:33:27 AM EST

There's no link here, causal or otherwise.  Ammenheuser says so.  She simply asked the women if they'd smoked cannabis.  She didn't control for any environmental factors.  She didn't ask them if they'd smoked tobacco before (though they did claim to not have smoked recently, but tobacco damages DNA for years).  She didn't control for genetic predisposition for DNA damage.  There are any number of factors that can contribute.  We don't know if these women were chosen randomly.

As for sample sizes, it really depends on how many of the marijuana smoking women manifested the symptoms....If it wasn't the pot, what was it? And why was it not manifest in the other women?

We can't answer these questions, but we can postulate.  Maybe the control group came from an affluent area and the test group came from a poor area.  Maybe the test group were chain-smoking, BBQ-munching, chemotherapy patients.

In short, your first paragraph is an ugly slander from someone who appears completely  unfamiliar with the nature of academic literature. The journal is no more obscure than any other academic journal that covers a narrow area of research, and it is not "poorly respected", either.

If Ammenheuser published her study in, say, Mutagenesis or Nature, I would lend it more credibility.  Another good measure of a study is how many other studies reference it.  I couldn't find one.  It's 8 years after the study; don't you think if cannabis had been "proven" to cause three times the DNA damage, it would have been shouted from the highest treetops by our government?  Yet all you can find is a BBC article.

The field of mutagenesis is an obscure field, eh?  That's one of the premier research areas right now.  The journal publishing this article is not listed on PubMed.  PubMed is an archive of articles from nearly every journal out there.  Unsurprisingly, your favorite journal is not there.

Sure, you can pick apart each argument by itself, but when combined, they paint a very clear picture:

  1) no controls for other drugs
  2) no controls for environmental factors
  3) no controls for genotype
  4) useless sample size
  5) unknown journal
  6) no known references to said study
  7) equivocal claims ("maybe", "probably", "we think")
  ==> BUNK

and this is the best study you can find that shows cannabis might cause DNA damage.  There are studies that show THC has antineoplasticity (ant-tumor) properties.  There are studies that show THC is 20% effective in curing brain tumors in rats.  There are studies that show cannabis causes axe murders.  There are studies that show cannabis is more addictive than cocaine.

In short, there are studies that show everything.  Only the smallest minority are accepted by the community; the rest are thrown out or ignored as junk science.  This study was one of the latter.

[ Parent ]

Actually people have died from nicotine poisoning (none / 0) (#55)
by PowerPimp on Mon Dec 09, 2002 at 01:15:37 PM EST

The man who went for the world record for the most cigarettes smoked in a certain unit of tim (he aimed to smoke like twenty packs) died of nicotine poisoning.


You'd better take care of me God; otherwise, you'll have me on your hands...
[ Parent ]
Did he win a Darwin award? (n/t) (none / 0) (#88)
by RevLoveJoy on Mon Dec 09, 2002 at 05:43:13 PM EST


Every political force in the U.S. that seeks to get past the Constitution by sophistry or technicality is little more than a wannabe king. -- pyro9
[ Parent ]

Flavour country (none / 0) (#113)
by William Franklin Rothman on Mon Dec 09, 2002 at 06:52:34 PM EST

It's a big country.

[ Parent ]
What?! (none / 0) (#85)
by hershmire on Mon Dec 09, 2002 at 05:01:46 PM EST

Penalties for crack use were ludicrously high, mostly due to media hype surrounding the drug.

First off, you mention that the penalties are "ludicrously high", but advocate these exact methods to stop drug use...

With sentences for possession of crack being set at the same level as sentences for possession of one hundred times the amount of cocaine, despite the fact that 1 kilogram cocaine equals 1 kilogram of crack, with the addition of baking powder water and heat, people rapidly decided that crack was not worth the risk. Nowadays, crack has fallen completely out of favour.

The thing is, people use crack because it's so much cheaper than coke, as it's cut with baking soda. If the penalties are insane, like they were, people will just start using coke, because the cheap price is completely unbalanced by the possibility of hard prison time. Since there is a viable alternative, of course crack use is going to drop.

Not that there aren't serious dangers to using biological plagues to accomplish your goals. But there are also serious problems to having a growing cocaine problem in your own nation. Historical fact: the only thing that has ever halted the increase in cocaine use in the past was the second world war.

Source, please.

It is a drug so addictive, rats will take it in preference of all other activities, until they starve to death. That isn't hype. That's from serious addiction studies.

But so is nicoteen. I've seen smokers who would rather finish a cig than relieve themselves. Should we make tobacco possession a 10 year offense?

I think bio-control is justified.

Wow. If nothing, bio-control is a fiction. You cannot control nature like this without really fucking it up. Say we engineer a virus that wipes out the coca plant (which would destroy the world's chocolate supply, but I digress), and it turns out it also kills the corn plant, or some other staple crop? That'd suck. Oh, well. At least some guy isn't trying to escape reality for a half-hour somewhere in New York.

As for your comments on ibogaine, I think it's an interesting point, but I also think that treatment has proven to be a failure. No matter how effectively you cure someone of their addiction, the circumstances which made them become an addict will probably still remain.

The obvious problem is, then, to fix the societal problems that cause people to want to escape it in the first place. Even if bio-control worked, and there were absolutely none of the drugs available that are available now, people will still find a way to get fucked up, either by huff whip-cream cans or gas fumes. Cure the disease, not the symptoms.

Judging the threat to life of a drug based on the dose at which it becomes instantly fatal is misleading. It's verging on an outright statistical lie. What's the standard dose of tobacco, compared to the standard dose of cocaine? 15mg is a meaningless number. Besides that, cigarette smokers don't die of nicotine poisoning, they die of cancer.

15 mg is not meaningless. It's the amount of nicotine that can kill someone. To put it into perspective, one cigarette (based on a call to the Camel company) contains .9 mg of nicotine per (Camel light regular) cigarette. So you'd have to smoke 15-16 cigarettes in very quick succession in order to OD (assuming the 15 mg is correct). This is really hard to do, but possible if you really want to try.

It would be better to compare the drugs according to number of deaths / number of users. On this scale, cocaine and heroin win hands down.

Sources, please.

Cocaine can send you straight off into hallucinatory psychosis whether you're susceptible or not.

Well, people take it for a reason, you know. It is a drug.

No drug in the world is more addictive than cocaine. In one addiction study, a number of monkeys were given the ability to have various drugs administered to them by pushing a bar. Every time the bar was pushed, the number of times it would need to be pushed to administer the next dose was increased. The monkey who got the cocaine pushed the bar thirteen thousand times for a single dose. Nothing even comes close.

Sources, please.

And doctors have been searching for a cure for cancer for how long? When should they give up, do you think?

Ah, yes, but you make one major flaw: cancer research has progressed in the last 60 years.
FIXME: Insert quote about procrastination
[ Parent ]
You don't know what you're talking about (2.50 / 2) (#101)
by William Franklin Rothman on Mon Dec 09, 2002 at 06:28:54 PM EST

First off, you mention that the penalties are "ludicrously high", but advocate these exact methods to stop drug use...

And I specifically said that I don't support harsh penalties. In the exact same paragraph, no less. Did you read to the end of it?

The thing is, people use crack because it's so much cheaper than coke, as it's cut with baking soda.

No it isn't. You're are just plain wrong here. Crack is just a cheap method for manufacturing freebase. Baking soda is used in the process, but it doesn't end up in the product. It's purpose is to extract the hydroxide from the cocaine alkaloid, leaving crystalline cocaine. Any impurities in the product are added later. So it isn't actually any cheaper. You're probably just responding to media hype here.

Source please...second world war

That statement stems from my recollection of a quote from Harry Anslinger, America's first drug commissioner, which he made just after the war. Basically, he said that they'd been unable to find any cocaine outside of occasional horse doping. It is a bit suspect to attribute the whole thing to WW2. Drug enforcement under Anslinger had locked up so many addicts that one third of the people in prison were there for drug related crimes. By comparison, the current fraction of the US prison population who have been incarcerated for drug offenses is closer to 25%. This all hinges on your definition of "drug offense", though. Killing someone for their crack probably doesn't count as a drug offense in this figure.

Your comment on smokers is irrelevant. Are the smokers failing to take steps to ensure their own basic needs are met because they'd rather smoke? Anyway, we're talking about addiction studies carried out on rats, not people.

Wow. If nothing, bio-control is a fiction. You cannot control nature like this without really fucking it up. Say we engineer a virus that wipes out the coca plant (which would destroy the world's chocolate supply, but I digress), and it turns out it also kills the corn plant, or some other staple crop? That'd suck.

Yes. I said that there were dangers involved. In point of fact, bio-control isn't fictional. It is being pursued, and there have been reports of its use on cocaine fields in Peru. And the Peruvians claim that it impacts their other crops. But so what? Cocaine impacts the inner cities in America, too.

But hey, you shouldn't worry about that, really. People who grow cocaine aren't usually growing other crops nearby. Why would they? Coke is insanely profitable, and yields three crops per year. The conditions in which it grows don't support many other plants particularly well, and the farmers who grow it often have no experience with growing traditional crops.

15 mg is not meaningless. It's the amount of nicotine that can kill someone.

No, it is meaningless. It tells you absolutely nothing about the hazards of smoking. Smokers don't die of nicotine overdoses. Nicotine simply isn't the lethal component of cigarettes. It's highly specious to talk about it as if it were.

Sources, please. (comparitive dangers of smoking versus drugs)

I shouldn't need one. These drugs are spectacularly fatal to otherwise healthy young people while they are taking them. The lethal effects of smoking tend not to manifest until several decades have passed since the user started smoking.

Well, people take it for a reason, you know. It is a drug.

I don't think you understand what hallucinatory psychosis means. We're talking about intense paranoia, and really nasty hallucinations. Coke addicts often suffer from "coke bugs", which is the hallucination that bugs are crawling around under their skin. In extreme cases, people have been known to attack themselves to get the bugs out. I don't think people take drugs to experience these effects.

Ah, yes, but you make one major flaw: cancer research has progressed in the last 60 years.

Despite the dogma of drug advocates, so has the drug war.

[ Parent ]

Outnumbered and outgunned (5.00 / 4) (#130)
by FunkMasterK on Mon Dec 09, 2002 at 08:46:50 PM EST

Crack is just a cheap method for manufacturing freebase. Baking soda is used in the process, but it doesn't end up in the product. It's purpose is to extract the hydroxide from the cocaine alkaloid, leaving crystalline cocaine. Any impurities in the product are added later. So it isn't actually any cheaper.

Actually, one reason to use crack is that it's impossible to "cut" it with anything, since the creation of crack ensures that the only chemical in the huge crack cocaine crystals is cocaine.  It's easy to sneak in sugar or some other white crystalline powder into cocaine, itself a white crystalline powder.  But try that when your crystals are large enough to be visible with the naked eye, and it becomes infinitely harder to sell something as "crack" when it's been adulterated.

That statement stems from my recollection of a quote from Harry Anslinger, America's first drug commissioner, which he made just after the war. Basically, he said that they'd been unable to find any cocaine outside of occasional horse doping.

Ah, Henry J. Anslinger.  It's hilarious that you paraphrase a quote from him, since he's infamous for inventing pure lies to further his cause.  You've no doubt heard of "Reefer Madness" propaganda about cannabis in the 30s.  That was courtesy of Mr. Anslinger.  I will categorily deny your claim based on the sole fact that it came from Mr. Anslinger's mouth (and second-hand no less).


Your comment on smokers is irrelevant. Are the smokers failing to take steps to ensure their own basic needs are met because they'd rather smoke? Anyway, we're talking about addiction studies carried out on rats, not people.

You can measure addiction in any number of ways.  The common ones are: dependance, withdrawal, reinforcement, tolerance, and intoxication.  When comparing nicotine, cocaine, heroin, alcohol, caffeine, and marijuana, cocaine actually ties nicotine as 3rd most addictive drug.  Based on a weighted average, from most- to least-addictive, they are ranked as follows: heroin, alcohol, nicotine/cocaine, caffeine/marijuana.  Based on the study you're referring to, which measures only reinforcement (the self-administration of drugs), cocaine is the winner, but it's clearly middle-of-the-pack in regard to the other hallmarks of addiction.  Refer to this graph for a better explanation, including colorful graphs for the slower types.


And the Peruvians claim that it impacts their other crops. But so what? Cocaine impacts the inner cities in America, too.
But hey, you shouldn't worry about that, really. People who grow cocaine aren't usually growing other crops nearby. Why would they?

You're completely misinformed.  Coca farmers are P-O-O-R.  They can't buy food, so they grow their own.  They usually reserve an acre or two of farmland behind their house to grow so-called "sustinence crops": pure food crops like bananas, corn, etc., that are used to feed the family.  One of the biggest problems with coca fumigation today is that the planes indiscriminately fumigate the sustinence crops along with the coca, rendering the family even poorer and without food to boot.

But hey, their coca is causing problems for inner-city folks, so it's okay if a few farmers lose a child or three, right?  I'm sure you'd like to think the ends justify the means, but in this case, the fumigation is killing rain forests, poisoning water supplies, and giving unheard-of diseases to indigenous peoples in the areas being fumigated.  Note: the US is sponsoring the fumigation of these coca fields with a solution of Roundup that's ten times as potent as is legal to sell here.  I dare you to make that solution up and pour it on your skin or drink it.


No, it is meaningless. It tells you absolutely nothing about the hazards of smoking. Smokers don't die of nicotine overdoses. Nicotine simply isn't the lethal component of cigarettes.

I provide 15mg as an example.  Merck lists the LD50 of pure nicotine hydrocloride as 0.3 mg/kg injected (there is no listing for smoked form, but smoking a substance and injecting it provide similar dosage curves).  That means about 20mg of the drug will kill the average human.  But that requires extracting the nicotine from the cigarettes first (a single pack would provide enough nicotine); the reason we don't see people dying from smoking is that the burning destroys the hugest portion of nicotine.  Only a small fraction makes it into the lungs.

Why do you think smoking cigarettes causes pulmonary and heart disease?  Because nicotine is an extremely powerful vasoconstrictor, reducing the blood supply to pretty much everything it touches.  It's not just the smoke that contributes to the health problems, it's the drug itself.  That's not even considering the carcinogenesis of the chemicals produced in a burning cigarette.  Nicotine is extremely bad for you.

On a side note, THC is a powerful vasodialator.  In the early 20th century, pharmacies would sell joints to asthmatics for precisely this reason.  The negative effects of smoke inhalation are offset by the beneficial effects of the drug.


I shouldn't need one. These drugs are spectacularly fatal to otherwise healthy young people while they are taking them. The lethal effects of smoking tend not to manifest until several decades have passed since the user started smoking.

Actually, I would argue this point.  Fatal, yes.  "Spectacularly" fatal, hell no.  Heroin, for example, would be almost completely safe to take ad infinitum, were in not adulterated with other substances, and were users able to administer it safely.  I doubt most users would inject the drug if it were as cheap as cigarettes (no one injects nicotine, even though it's about as addictive as heroin).  It's much easier to overdose on alcohol than on heroin; indeed, 75% of heroin overdoses involve another depressant, such as barbituates or alcohol.

Over 400,000 people die every year of tobacco-related causes.  Less than 15,000 die of illicit drug-related causes (that's ALL illicit drugs, not just heroin or cocaine).  If you work the numbers out, cigarettes are much more likely to kill you than any illicit drug.

I don't think you understand what hallucinatory psychosis means. We're talking about intense paranoia, and really nasty hallucinations. Coke addicts often suffer from "coke bugs", which is the hallucination that bugs are crawling around under their skin. In extreme cases, people have been known to attack themselves to get the bugs out. I don't think people take drugs to experience these effects.

You're referring to a phenomenon called cocaine psychosis, and it is very real.  But it's probably very treatable with anti-psychotic drugs like nalaxone, but we'll probably never know since it's illegal to research much of neuropharmacology without the DEA's explicit permission.


Ah, yes, but you make one major flaw: cancer research has progressed in the last 60 years.

Despite the dogma of drug advocates, so has the drug war.

I challenge you to point to a single indicator that shows we've made ANY progress in the drug war.  Are drugs cheaper?  Nope.  Is use lower?  No (though it does follow general up- and down-tending trends that the government is quick to show as either "evidence that we need to give the DEA more money" or "evidence that we're winning the drug war".  Is drug-related crime down?  Nope.  Are drug-related deaths down?  Nope.

I'm really sorry for you if you believe that prohibition can work.  It never has, and never will.  We learned our lesson with alcohol in the 20s.  No one would dare trying to make alcohol illegal nation-wide again.  Yet we're making exactly the same mistake with the drug war today, but our leaders are content to watch whole generations of young men and women become violent (ex-)criminals with no job prospects, no chance to vote, and few job skills except how to make money on the black market.  No wonder recidivism rates are so high!

There is an direct correlation between money spent on drug enforcement (as opposed to treatment) and drug-related crime, poverty, and death.  According to RAND, every dollar spent on drug treatment saves society seven dollars of drug enforcement.  Yet drug enforcement accounts for nearly 80% of the national drug war budget.

Luckily, the Associated Press and CNN are no longer our sole sources of news.  When information can be freely researched by any one, anywhere, it becomes much more difficult to lie (sorry, propagandize) and get away with it.  We're in the midst of a cultural revolution, and you're part of it.  Thanks for elucidating all the reasons we should end the drug war.

[ Parent ]

I valiantly continue to wage pointless argument (3.00 / 1) (#162)
by William Franklin Rothman on Tue Dec 10, 2002 at 05:03:41 AM EST

Actually, one reason to use crack is that it's impossible to "cut" it with anything, since the creation of crack ensures that the only chemical in the huge crack cocaine crystals is cocaine.

Actually, the crack cocaine that is currently sold typically has about one third the purity of the crack sold at the beginning of its era. Crystals don't have to be pure.

Ah, Henry J. Anslinger.

The quote was something to the tune of, "We have not been able to find any cocaine in the United States." While he does have a reputation for lying, why would he claim that there were no more drugs around for him to clean up? That's absurd. Unless you have evidence that post-war America was awash in cocaine, as it was in the 1920s, you're flying in the face of established historical fact without any basis at all.

Refer to this graph for a better explanation, including colorful graphs for the slower types.

That sure is a pretty graph. I'm dubious about the nicotine figures. I've gone cold turkey from a pack a day of 16mg cigarettes. It isn't all that hard. Their figures for withdrawal cannot be correct. I certainly wasn't anywhere near climbing the walls. Of course, that's just my experience.

You're completely misinformed.  Coca farmers are P-O-O-R.  They can't buy food, so they grow their own.

That entire paragraph is pure fantasy. If they aren't making money from farming cocaine, why are they doing it in preference to growing food? And if they are making money (which they are), why wouldn't they just use the money to buy food from elsewhere (which they do). Yes, they are poor. No, they don't grow bananas. And they certainly don't grow corn. Coca sells for about two and a half thousand dollars per hectare. Fruit sells for about six hundred. And you can sell cocaine three times a year, compared to once for fruit. Cocaine farmers do not waste space on unprofitable crops. If you wanted them to grow legal crops, you would have to subsidise them extremely heavily, and you would probably have to teach them how to do it

I provide 15mg as an example.  Merck lists the LD50 of pure nicotine hydrocloride as 0.3 mg/kg injected (there is no listing for smoked form, but smoking a substance and injecting it provide similar dosage curves).  That means about 20mg of the drug will kill the average human.  But that requires extracting the nicotine from the cigarettes first (a single pack would provide enough nicotine); the reason we don't see people dying from smoking is that the burning destroys the hugest portion of nicotine.  Only a small fraction makes it into the lungs.

Why do you think smoking cigarettes causes pulmonary and heart disease?  Because nicotine is an extremely powerful vasoconstrictor, reducing the blood supply to pretty much everything it touches.  It's not just the smoke that contributes to the health problems, it's the drug itself.  That's not even considering the carcinogenesis of the chemicals produced in a burning cigarette.  Nicotine is extremely bad for you.

On a side note, THC is a powerful vasodialator.  In the early 20th century, pharmacies would sell joints to asthmatics for precisely this reason.  The negative effects of smoke inhalation are offset by the beneficial effects of the drug.

Translation: My 15mg figure was a complete waste of time. (On the subject of heart disease: Unlike tobacco, cocaine doesn't just cause heart disease. It causes heart attacks. Ask George Jung.)

Actually, I would argue this point.  Fatal, yes.  "Spectacularly" fatal, hell no.  Heroin, for example, would be almost completely safe to take ad infinitum, were in not adulterated with other substances, and were users able to administer it safely.  I doubt most users would inject the drug if it were as cheap as cigarettes (no one injects nicotine, even though it's about as addictive as heroin).  It's much easier to overdose on alcohol than on heroin; indeed, 75% of heroin overdoses involve another depressant, such as barbituates or alcohol.

Over 400,000 people die every year of tobacco-related causes.  Less than 15,000 die of illicit drug-related causes (that's ALL illicit drugs, not just heroin or cocaine).  If you work the numbers out, cigarettes are much more likely to kill you than any illicit drug.

Yes, cigarettes are more likely to kill you. Cigarettes are more likely to kill you at the age of fifty to sixty. Cocaine and heroin are more likely to kill you at the age of twenty to thirty.

I refer you to section 5 of the Global Burden of Disease study, in particular the table on page two. I assume your figures were for America only, because the global figures are showing a slightly different ratio. 100,000 deaths from illicit drugs compared to 3 million from smoking. The study shows tobacco causes 6% of total deaths compared to only 0.2% for illicit drugs, which would appear to put illicit drugs at  parity with smoking in terms of lethality. Of course, that sort of extrapolation excludes a lot of factors which would be introduced by legal use of drugs. In particular, usage would not merely be more widespread, it would also be heavier in individual cases, and periods of usage would tend to last longer, resulting in more long term effects. But you can dismiss that as speculation, if you like.

Now, have a look at the column for percentage of years of life lost. Smoking accounts for only 2.9%, while illicit drugs account for 1.3%, despite their much lower usage rate. The disability adjusted value for illicit drugs is  0.6%, but that still reflects a much closer ratio between DALYs for smoking and DALYs for drugs. These statistic cannot be neglected in a discussion of which drug is deadlier. The obvious conclusion is that illicit drugs kill people at a much younger age, and it would only take a quadrupling  of the number of people who use them to put the DALY figure at a similar level to that of tobacco. How do you think the figures would look if drugs were used as widely as tobacco? I think the phrase "spectacularly fatal" was justified.

Of course, we haven't discussed what proportion of drug deaths are attributable to heroin and cocaine, but unless you want to make the claim that marijuana is causing significant loss of life, I'm afraid I'm going to have to assume that cocaine and heroin account for all illicit drug deaths that aren't caused by amphetamines.

On injection: One of the things that made cocaine popular is that it is snorted rather than injected, which most people find unpalatable. The fact remains however, that most heroin addicts move fairly rapidly from chasing the dragon to shooting up, because it is so much more effective.

You're referring to a phenomenon called cocaine psychosis, and it is very real.  But it's probably very treatable with anti-psychotic drugs like nalaxone, but we'll probably never know since it's illegal to research much of neuropharmacology without the DEA's explicit permission.

Yeah. I was responding to the previous poster, who seemed to think people take cocaine to experience those marvellous effects.

I challenge you to point to a single indicator that shows we've made ANY progress in the drug war.

In the mid-eighties, 3% of America was using cocaine. Currently, only 1% (and rising) is. My point is that it is pure dogma and nothing more, to state that the drug war is not having and can not have an effect. However, as I have said at least twice so far, I believe that the money spent on drug enforcement within the US would be better spent fighting poverty. How many times do I have to repeat myself?


[ Parent ]

You'll never take me alive! (5.00 / 2) (#184)
by FunkMasterK on Tue Dec 10, 2002 at 08:26:12 AM EST

The quote was something to the tune of, "We have not been able to find any cocaine in the United States." While he does have a reputation for lying, why would he claim that there were no more drugs around for him to clean up? That's absurd. Unless you have evidence that post-war America was awash in cocaine, as it was in the 1920s, you're flying in the face of established historical fact without any basis at all.

Since you can't provide any evidence except your faded memory of a line from a known propagandist, your whole rhetorical basis falls.  You admit he's a liar, but say, "Why would he lie about THIS?".  That's specious at best.

That sure is a pretty graph. I'm dubious about the nicotine figures. I've gone cold turkey from a pack a day of 16mg cigarettes. It isn't all that hard. Their figures for withdrawal cannot be correct. I certainly wasn't anywhere near climbing the walls. Of course, that's just my experience.

Oh, many apologies.  I didn't know your experience was the de facto standard of addiction research.  Look at that source.  Does your name have a PhD after it?  Did you write a column on tobacco addiction for the New York Times?  I didn't think so.

You're right; quitting cigarettes is possible.  But the point is that nicotine is more addictive than heroin in many ways.  If heroin addicts didn't have to give up their lives to pursue their addictions, instead of just taking a "smoke break" every 15 minutes, I bet it'd be a helluva lot easier to quit taking heroin.  Environment factors play as much a role in addiction as psychological and psyical factors.

That entire paragraph is pure fantasy. If they aren't making money from farming cocaine, why are they doing it in preference to growing food? And if they are making money (which they are), why wouldn't they just use the money to buy food from elsewhere (which they do).

No, read my paragraph again.  They don't dedicate any large portion of their field to food...they just use a small back plot behind their house for food, maybe 1% of the total land area.  Read up on fumigationg efforts in Colombia.  Every time a farmer starts growing corn or some other food crop, their new crop gets killed because their neighbor is growing coca (the cropdusters aren't very accurate).  

Translation: My 15mg figure was a complete waste of time. (On the subject of heart disease: Unlike tobacco, cocaine doesn't just cause heart disease. It causes heart attacks. Ask George Jung.)

15mg was an educated guess, 20mg is from Merck.  You can take that one to the bank.  You're wrong about nicotine again; it can and does cause heart attacks, but not in the doses available in cigarettes.  Any stimulant can cause a heart attack in susceptible individuals.


I assume your figures were for America only, because the global figures are showing a slightly different ratio. 100,000 deaths from illicit drugs compared to 3 million from smoking.

How many of those drug-related deaths were completely, easily avoidable?  Most of them, likely.  But since many users are afraid to take their OD'ing friends to the hospital for fear of prosecution, they often leave their friend to die on the floor while someone calls 911 from a payphone.  That's the grim reality of prohibition.


On injection: One of the things that made cocaine popular is that it is snorted rather than injected, which most people find unpalatable. The fact remains however, that most heroin addicts move fairly rapidly from chasing the dragon to shooting up, because it is so much more effective.

I'd say the only reason people inject heroin is that it's too expensive to do otherwise.  Look to the middle east, where opiate addiction is rampant and heroin is cheap.  Most addicts smoke it there for this reason.

In the mid-eighties, 3% of America was using cocaine. Currently, only 1% (and rising) is. My point is that it is pure dogma and nothing more, to state that the drug war is not having and can not have an effect.

If cocaine use falls, but methamphetamine, marijuana, and heroin use increases, does that mean we're still winning?  Because that's exactly what's happening now.  General trends in one drug cannot accurately reflect overall trends for drug use and morbidity.

Look at the "drug problem" as it is now, and look at it circa 1900, when drug laws did not exist.  Sure, there were addicts (so-called "soldier's disease" affected many Union civil war troops who were given morphine while having their appendages amputated; the southern doctors used whiskey and their veterans only became alcoholics).  There's no doubt the problems associated with drugs are worse now than they were a century ago, and we're doing nothing to make the situation better.

You're right about enforcement dollars being wasted.  Poverty is only one variable in the equation, though; the rich are not immune to addiction.  I'd rather see enforcement dollars go into treatment centers and harm-reduction strategies that actually offer a chance to ameliorate the "spectacularly fatal" drug problem.

[ Parent ]

Pulling teeth (3.00 / 1) (#197)
by William Franklin Rothman on Tue Dec 10, 2002 at 09:26:43 AM EST

Since you can't provide any evidence except your faded memory of a line from a known propagandist, your whole rhetorical basis falls.  You admit he's a liar, but say, "Why would he lie about THIS?".  That's specious at best.

OK. Fine. Prove me wrong. Find some evidence that cocaine use in 1948 was at anywhere near the levels it had achieved in 1929. You haven't even tried to do this, and since this is the point which you were trying to refute, I'm going to assume you don't have any basis for disputing me or nice Mr. Anslinger.


Oh, many apologies.  I didn't know your experience was the de facto standard of addiction research.  Look at that source.  Does your name have a PhD after it?  Did you write a column on tobacco addiction for the New York Times?  I didn't think so.

You're right; quitting cigarettes is possible.  But the point is that nicotine is more addictive than heroin in many ways.  If heroin addicts didn't have to give up their lives to pursue their addictions, instead of just taking a "smoke break" every 15 minutes, I bet it'd be a helluva lot easier to quit taking heroin.  Environment factors play as much a role in addiction as psychological and psyical factors.

Seen anyone checking into the Betty Ford clinic to overcome nicotine addiction? Didn't think so.

Physical withdrawal from heroin is horrific. Physical withdrawal from cigarettes is trivial by comparison, yet the graph you linked shows nicotine at one step down from heroin. Explanation?

15mg was an educated guess, 20mg is from Merck.  You can take that one to the bank.  You're wrong about nicotine again; it can and does cause heart attacks, but not in the doses available in cigarettes.  Any stimulant can cause a heart attack in susceptible individuals.

Would you please give this one a rest? You're gabbling about the lethality of a dosage that is never used. How many people are dying of nicotine poisoning? We've heard about exactly one guy who has. The point is irrelevant. 15mg? 20mg? Who gives a damn?

How many of those drug-related deaths were completely, easily avoidable?  Most of them, likely.  But since many users are afraid to take their OD'ing friends to the hospital for fear of prosecution, they often leave their friend to die on the floor while someone calls 911 from a payphone.  That's the grim reality of prohibition.

Translation: All my quibbling over the comparitive lethality of heroin and cocaine versus nicotine was a complete waste of time. That's the grim reality of arguing from insipid drug advocacy dogma.

I'd say the only reason people inject heroin is that it's too expensive to do otherwise.  Look to the middle east, where opiate addiction is rampant and heroin is cheap.  Most addicts smoke it there for this reason.

Or maybe because needles and syringes are less common? Just a thought. Don't really care about injection versus inhalation.

If cocaine use falls, but methamphetamine, marijuana, and heroin use increases, does that mean we're still winning?  Because that's exactly what's happening now.  General trends in one drug cannot accurately reflect overall trends for drug use and morbidity.

You asked for one indicator. You have one indicator. Precisely one, as requested.

Look at the "drug problem" as it is now, and look at it circa 1900, when drug laws did not exist.  Sure, there were addicts (so-called "soldier's disease" affected many Union civil war troops who were given morphine while having their appendages amputated; the southern doctors used whiskey and their veterans only became alcoholics).  There's no doubt the problems associated with drugs are worse now than they were a century ago, and we're doing nothing to make the situation better.

I'm trying to find an argument in this paragraph. Are you suggesting that the current drug policies of the US government are responsible for the worsening of the drug problem between 1900 and today?

You're right about enforcement dollars being wasted.  Poverty is only one variable in the equation, though; the rich are not immune to addiction.  I'd rather see enforcement dollars go into treatment centers and harm-reduction strategies that actually offer a chance to ameliorate the "spectacularly fatal" drug problem.

Yeah, but the rich can quit drugs. They have a support structure, and they have reasons not to do drugs. The poor tend to lack these things. Treatment is always going to fail when the people you treat have to deal with life in the slums every single day. Sadly, the rhetoric of the drug war has clouded this issue as well, with the idea that people are poor because they do drugs. In reality, the drug problem is a symptom of poverty and poverty in the United States is usually a symptom of Hispanic or African-American parentage.

[ Parent ]

Missed one (none / 0) (#208)
by William Franklin Rothman on Tue Dec 10, 2002 at 10:06:29 AM EST

No, read my paragraph again.  They don't dedicate any large portion of their field to food...they just use a small back plot behind their house for food, maybe 1% of the total land area.  Read up on fumigationg efforts in Colombia.  Every time a farmer starts growing corn or some other food crop, their new crop gets killed because their neighbor is growing coca (the cropdusters aren't very accurate).

I maintain that this entire line of reasoning is absurd. I've read about coca farmers in Colombia and Bolivia. They don't bother with food crops. Bolivian cocaine farmers don't even know how to grow other crops.

[ Parent ]

This one was nice in particular: (5.00 / 2) (#225)
by amarodeeps on Tue Dec 10, 2002 at 11:25:17 AM EST

Since you can't provide any evidence except your faded memory of a line from a known propagandist, your whole rhetorical basis falls. You admit he's a liar, but say, "Why would he lie about THIS?". That's specious at best.

OK. Fine. Prove me wrong. Find some evidence that cocaine use in 1948 was at anywhere near the levels it had achieved in 1929. You haven't even tried to do this, and since this is the point which you were trying to refute, I'm going to assume you don't have any basis for disputing me or nice Mr. Anslinger.

You bring up a point that you can't defend, and when challenged on it, you assert that the burden of proof is actually on the other person for not giving you the facts. I love that bullshit technique, see it all the time. Nice work!



[ Parent ]
Ummm (none / 0) (#226)
by William Franklin Rothman on Tue Dec 10, 2002 at 11:28:54 AM EST

No. Unless you think cocaine use was widespread in the fifties. If you did, you'd be an idiot. It's historical fact. If I'm wrong it should be easy to find evidence to refute me. If I'm wrong, for instance, why did America need George Jung, Carlos Lehder and Pablo Escobar to build the cocaine trade in the seventies and eighties? According to you, it already existed.

[ Parent ]
Re-read my post, missed the point this time around (none / 0) (#232)
by amarodeeps on Tue Dec 10, 2002 at 11:57:02 AM EST

But who's to say you're going to get it the fifth or even twentieth time?



[ Parent ]
No, I didn't (none / 0) (#300)
by William Franklin Rothman on Tue Dec 10, 2002 at 06:09:27 PM EST

I made the claim that the cocaine use that was prevalent in the 1920s in America was eliminated by 1948. This is in agreement with the common understanding of American history, since we didn't see a growing cocaine problem continuing through the second world war, the fifties and the sixties. America went from selling cocaine in pharmacies to completely forgetting about it until the seventies. So I think it's up to you to defend a view of history that makes no sense, and is at complete odds with statements made by the drug administration of America as it existed in the first half of the century. All I've seen so far is some ad hominem statements regarding Anslinger. I am not required to waste my time disproving an argument that has not successfully been made. Not when my opponent clearly hasn't bothered to familiarize himself with the historical documents that would prevent him from making such an absurd argument in the first place.

[ Parent ]
blah blah blah blah blah blah (none / 0) (#338)
by amarodeeps on Tue Dec 10, 2002 at 08:06:55 PM EST

blah blah blah blah blah...



[ Parent ]
Nicotine > Heroin > Cocaine (5.00 / 1) (#309)
by FunkMasterK on Tue Dec 10, 2002 at 06:28:28 PM EST

Perhaps you'll trust The Economist, which quotes from the USA's own government surveys, showing cocaine as a distant 3rd to heroin and nicotine in the addiction race.  80% of nicotine users are addicted, compared to 35% for heroin and 20% for cocaine.

[ Parent ]
The Economist? (none / 0) (#313)
by William Franklin Rothman on Tue Dec 10, 2002 at 06:37:53 PM EST

What about that post way down there, where you were deriding me for referring to research from newspapers?

In any case, that statistic is quite obviously a result of that fact that cocaine users mostly only use cocaine intermittently, while smokers smoke a pack of cigarettes every day of their life. The statistic for heroin is higher only because heroin users tend to be more dedicated abusers. You're using a statistic that is a product of various sociological factors besides the addictiveness of the various drugs to prove that one drug is more addictive.

[ Parent ]

Read the article (5.00 / 1) (#321)
by FunkMasterK on Tue Dec 10, 2002 at 06:55:13 PM EST

The Economist is the source, but the study was done by the FDA and SAMHSA, so you can be assured it's very thorough and about as complete as you can get (nationwide).

Cocaine addiction usually follows a 7-day cycle (a 2-day binge, followed by 2 days of no cravings, followed by 3 days of steadily increasing cravings, leading to another binge).

The study measures the percentage of users who are addicts.  Obviously, the definiton of addiction is different for each drug (using cocaine in the 7-day cycle would qualify you as an addict, but smoking a cigarette only 2 days a week would probably not qualify).

You've make a baseless claim on the methodology of the study, then refute the study based on your own claim.  The study clearly shows nicotine users are the most "dedicated abusers".

[ Parent ]

Huh? (none / 0) (#330)
by William Franklin Rothman on Tue Dec 10, 2002 at 07:17:22 PM EST

Your saying the study in my article was conducted by the BBC or what?

You've make a baseless claim on the methodology of the study, then refute the study based on your own claim.  The study clearly shows nicotine users are the most "dedicated abusers"

No, I'm making a claim based upon the understood nature of the way the drugs are used, some of which is reflected in the article. And I wholeheartedly agree that nicotine users are the most dedicated, but I wonder if maybe that might just be because their drug of choice is legally available and carries no risk of imprisonment. You are trying to measure addictiveness based on data that doesn't measure addictiveness alone. Of course, even considering this possiblity would cause your entire drug war argument to collapse, since you believe that the drug war has had no effect at all.

[ Parent ]

Dogma (none / 0) (#412)
by knobmaker on Wed Dec 11, 2002 at 03:23:48 PM EST

"In the mid-eighties, 3% of America was using cocaine. Currently, only 1% (and rising) is. My point is that it is pure dogma and nothing more, to state that the drug war is not having and can not have an effect."

It's also pure dogma to assert that the drug war is having an effect.

Can you offer any evidence, beyond a nebulous correlation between ferocious prosecution and slightly lowered drug rates?  If the drug war is working, as you assert, then why is the rate of tobacco use falling faster than illicit drug usage rates?  If your theory were correct, wouldn't drug  usage targeted by both education and enforcement decline more than a drug targeted only with education and some fairly mild legal age strictures?

Here's an interesting thing.  Prohibitionists are fond of saying that we can't legalize drugs, because of course use would skyrocket.  When asked if they'd go out and buy an eightball next weekend, were it legal to do so, they say "no, of course not."  But they're pretty sure their degenerate neighbors would.

[ Parent ]

More complex than that (5.00 / 1) (#105)
by pyro9 on Mon Dec 09, 2002 at 06:34:38 PM EST

While I will readily agree that evidence shows a decrease in crack usage after a drastic increase in penelties and enforcement effort, I doubt very much that all of those former crack users are now 'clean'. It is quite likely that they simply switched to another drug or drug combination (perhaps cocaine, or meth). Cocaine is reported to be cheaper now than in the '80s (can't say that I've priced it myself).

Unless that scenerio can be disproven, it cannot be shown that increased enforcement and penelties for other drugs will curb drug use. In fact, if that scenerio is true, it just mesns that we'd spend a bunch of money, and jail a lot of people just to move the problem around a bit, until the last drug on the list is targeted (at which point, the problem will just spread back out and the stats will tend towards the pre-enforcement levels).

Part of the problem is that penelties and enforcement as a deterrant presupposes that the potential cocaine and heroine users have a good grasp of cause and effect. Considering the harmful effects of those drugs, I suspect that they do NOT have a good grasp on cause and effect.

Of course, if we spent the drug war funds on solving the problems that contribute to drug use and dealing instead (for example, poverty and long term un/under-employment leading to a sense of hopelessness and the temptation of making big bucks fast), we might or might not solve the drug problem, but we will have at least improved something.

That (sort of) leads to the question of just how much our drug laws are actually helping society. Clearly, we aqre not improving the lives of people who use drugs by throwing them into overcrowded violent prisons (where drug abuse is rampant) and then dumping them back onto the street with even less prospects that they had before.

It is also clear that alcohol related violence is considerably less serious than for other drugs (probably because it's legal). Alcohol prohibition was probably the best thing to happen to organized crime. Alcohol related violence during prohibition resembled drug related violence today. With prohibition repealed, we went from tommy guns and barroom brawls to just the brawls.

Sadly, it's hard to have a real public discourse on the war on drugs since the truth was an early casualty. For example, though there is no doubt that heroine addiction is harmful, there have been many involentary addicts (the result of recieving morphine after a war wound) who bear little resemblence to the common portrail of the heroine addict. Perhaps it's just a matter of willfully ignoring the fact that most of the addicts we know about were dysfunctional long before they were addicted.

That's natural enough. Any reasonable person will hide an addiction to avoid the social and legal stigma. Only dysfunctional people will fail.

PArdon the semi-organized ramble.


The future isn't what it used to be
[ Parent ]
Absolutely (none / 0) (#112)
by William Franklin Rothman on Mon Dec 09, 2002 at 06:48:04 PM EST

I totally agree. Money spent on enforcement in America is wasted. They should be addressing the root causes of drug use, which largely involve poverty. Of course, that would involve America taking a good hard look at the race problem, and America don' wanna do that.

As for enforcement merely shifting the drug of choice around, I'm uncertain. The Louisiana example is probably more illustrative than the crack example, but I'm not really familiar with it.

Coke prices have definitely plummetted, though. In the eighties, cocaine was a drug of the affluent minority. In the nineties, cocaine and crack flooded the market, and the price went straight down.

[ Parent ]

Nicotine examined a bit more closely. (4.00 / 1) (#307)
by Back Spaced on Tue Dec 10, 2002 at 06:27:22 PM EST

Judging the threat to life of a drug based on the dose at which it becomes instantly fatal is misleading. It's verging on an outright statistical lie. What's the standard dose of tobacco, compared to the standard dose of cocaine? 15mg is a meaningless number. Besides that, cigarette smokers don't die of nicotine poisoning, they die of cancer. So your point is irrelevant. Nobody has ever overdosed on nicotine.
You would have found the dosing information posted by the previous poster to be wrong if you had looked it up. The material safety data sheet for nicotine lists the LD50 at around 33mg/kg orally in mice, 50 mg/kg orally in rats and 50 mg/kg orally in rabbits. The cutaneous dosages are several times higher. Apparently, someone got their mg/kg's mixed up with straight mgs. The average person would need to consume more than a few grams of nicotine before it killed him or her. Comparatively, a nice, strong cigarette would probably have around a milligram or two of nicotine in it. That being said, people overdose on nicotine all the time. Look up "green tobacco sickness" on the internet. A friend of mine had it once. It didn't kill him, but he said that at the time, he wished it would. Toddlers are also notorious for OD'ing on nicotine after eating daddy's chewing tobacco. Probably not fatal, but highly unpleasant for all involved.
It would be better to compare the drugs according to number of deaths / number of users. On this scale, cocaine and heroin win hands down. And forget triggering schizophrenia. Cocaine can send you straight off into hallucinatory psychosis whether you're susceptible or not.
Actually, tobacco probably wins hands down, considering that everyone who smokes for a signficant amount of time (and most do) gets some degree of morbidity. Also, cocaine and amphetamine psychosis are reversible symptoms of chronic use. I don't think that was particularly clear in your statement.
No drug in the world is more addictive than cocaine. In one addiction study, a number of monkeys were given the ability to have various drugs administered to them by pushing a bar. Every time the bar was pushed, the number of times it would need to be pushed to administer the next dose was increased. The monkey who got the cocaine pushed the bar thirteen thousand times for a single dose. Nothing even comes close.
There is not always a direct correlation between these kinds of studies and the real world. Many people, for example, have made the point that although withdrawl from cocaine and opiates is more acutely painful (although, it should be noted, neither approaches the danger of alcohol withdrawl), people generally have greater success quitting cocaine than cigarettes. Why? Because although the withdrawl is physiologically less severe, it is also much, much more prolonged. You may be able to keep someone in the drug ward for a week to detox him from heroin, but it's hard to keep someone sealed up for the months and months it takes to withdraw from nicotine. Put such a prolonged withdrawl together with the ubiquitous availability of cigarettes and lifelong pschological addiction, and you get a substance that's much easier to relapse on. Only around 10% of smokers are successful in quitting in the long term - rates that are much worse than those for either heroin or cocaine.

Bluto: My advice to you is to start drinking heavily.
Otter: Better listen to him, Flounder. He's pre-med.
[ Parent ]

Smoked vs. injected LD50 (5.00 / 1) (#319)
by FunkMasterK on Tue Dec 10, 2002 at 06:44:50 PM EST


You would have found the dosing information posted by the previous poster to be wrong if you had looked it up. The material safety data sheet for nicotine lists the LD50 at around 33mg/kg orally in mice, 50 mg/kg orally in rats and 50 mg/kg orally in rabbits. The cutaneous dosages are several times higher.

I mixed up nothing.  50 mg/kg is for ORAL administration, meaning eaten.  Smoking provides a direct path to the bloodstream.  Look at the dosage curves for smoked vs. injected drugs and you'll note they're extremely similar.  Injecting a drug and smoking it produce identical onsets and durations, but smoking produces about 50% the peak intensity of injection.  In the absence of smoked-form LD50, we can only extrapolate, using injected form as the upper limit of toxicity.

I'd love to see some figures of smoked vs. injected LD50s for the same dosage.

[ Parent ]

Can we get over this, pretty please? (none / 0) (#327)
by William Franklin Rothman on Tue Dec 10, 2002 at 07:10:05 PM EST

You would have found the dosing information posted by the previous poster to be wrong if you had looked it up. The material safety data sheet for nicotine lists the LD50 at around 33mg/kg orally in mice, 50 mg/kg orally in rats and 50 mg/kg orally in rabbits. The cutaneous dosages are several times higher. Apparently, someone got their mg/kg's mixed up with straight mgs. The average person would need to consume more than a few grams of nicotine before it killed him or her. Comparatively, a nice, strong cigarette would probably have around a milligram or two of nicotine in it. That being said, people overdose on nicotine all the time. Look up "green tobacco sickness" on the internet. A friend of mine had it once. It didn't kill him, but he said that at the time, he wished it would. Toddlers are also notorious for OD'ing on nicotine after eating daddy's chewing tobacco. Probably not fatal, but highly unpleasant for all involved.

Well fantastic. When it starts killing people, we can start talking about the mg/kgs again.

Actually, tobacco probably wins hands down, considering that everyone who smokes for a signficant amount of time (and most do) gets some degree of morbidity. Also, cocaine and amphetamine psychosis are reversible symptoms of chronic use. I don't think that was particularly clear in your statement.

Disproved that according to UN/Harvard study on global burden of disease in comment entitle "I valiantly continue..." Feel free to respond to my arguments there, but according to years of life lost statistics, illicit drugs have an impact much higher that smoking compared to the number of people who use the drugs. I forgot to include any usage statistics. Usage of nicotine is around 30%,  regular usage of illicit drugs is a little over 1% (we're talking globally here) if you exclude marijuana which doesn't kill people, except possibly through long-term effects which are difficult to measure, and which I do not really want to have an argument about, since I don't give damn about marijuana legalisation. But if you do want to join the argument, get out your medical dictionary and join the queue further down.

There is not always a direct correlation between these kinds of studies and the real world. Many people, for example, have made the point that although withdrawl from cocaine and opiates is more acutely painful (although, it should be noted, neither approaches the danger of alcohol withdrawl), people generally have greater success quitting cocaine than cigarettes. Why? Because although the withdrawl is physiologically less severe, it is also much, much more prolonged. You may be able to keep someone in the drug ward for a week to detox him from heroin, but it's hard to keep someone sealed up for the months and months it takes to withdraw from nicotine. Put such a prolonged withdrawl together with the ubiquitous availability of cigarettes and lifelong pschological addiction, and you get a substance that's much easier to relapse on. Only around 10% of smokers are successful in quitting in the long term - rates that are much worse than those for either heroin or cocaine.

There's probably a number of social factors which make it easier to relapse on smoking. I concede this wholeheartedly. The people I'm arguing with here believe that all drugs should be made legal however, so presumably several of those social factors will be present for cocaine if their demands are met, so I think it is better to rely on addictiveness studies as a comparitive measure of the addictive power of drugs, rather than introducing outside factors for whose impact no statistical measure is provided.

[ Parent ]

Getting tough on drugs (none / 0) (#374)
by knobmaker on Wed Dec 11, 2002 at 02:39:14 AM EST

"I just think it's important to point out that, despite all the hand-waving from drug activists, the current policies of the US government, if pursued far enough, will "win" the drug war."

Well, it might be important, if it were true.

There are a thousand examples of failure in drug wars: Prohibition in America, capital punishment for tobacco smokers in Japan and Russia, and so forth. I'm aware of only one "success."  Mao eliminated opium addicts in China.  Guess how he did it.  Unfortunately, this was only a temporary "win."  With the current changes in China, drug addiction is again a growing problem, despite mass public executions of drug traffickers.

Of course, some folks believe executing drug offenders will cure the problem.  Judging by the results in China, they're wrong.

[ Parent ]

Eliminated? (none / 0) (#381)
by William Franklin Rothman on Wed Dec 11, 2002 at 04:53:31 AM EST

You mean drug use was reduced to zero? Are you sure this is the aim of America's drug policies? Is this how you are judging success?

This idea that drug enforcement is about eradicating the problem completely is a result of the "war" on drugs rhetoric that I was talking about in my first comment. In war, you must destroy your enemy. That just isn't the point of enforcement.

In reality, America is interested in reducing the drug trade, not eliminating it. Unfortunately, I see no possibility of this being achieved through enforcement within America, as I've said in a number of places, due to the immense cost such enforcement would require.

Despite this, others have mentioned the example of Louisiana's once draconian drug legislation as a demonstration of the success which ridiculously high penalties can have in reducing the drug problem.

Anyway, as I said, I favour scourging the source of the problem from the face of the Earth with genetically engineered plagues.

[ Parent ]

Good god man (none / 0) (#400)
by priestess on Wed Dec 11, 2002 at 08:52:08 AM EST

Plagues that run out of prey quite often mutate you know. Do you want to kill off the cocca plant as well as the coca plant? Narrowing down the species the plague can attack is not only very hard, it can all be undone when you have billions of these things floating around mutating and evolving.

I really worry when the false-moral-superiority of some people leads them to think it's okay to attempt specicide and extintion just to stop a few people feeling nice without working hard, risking not only the target but other entire cash-crops in the process.

I love government's attitude to this too: Cannabis MAY be harmfull, so we better ban it but GM Food MAY be harmfull so we better force it upon everyone without any labeling. And if GM food maybe harmfull, what about GM plagues? They're bound to be safer than a dose of coke.

Pah.

       Pre..........
----
My Mobile Phone Comic-books business
Robots!
[ Parent ]
Just going by what they say (none / 0) (#410)
by knobmaker on Wed Dec 11, 2002 at 03:02:14 PM EST

"You mean drug use was reduced to zero? Are you sure this is the aim of America's drug policies? Is this how you are judging success?"

That was the claim, and I'm not aware of any evidence to the contrary.  Are you saying that the drug warriors are lying when they claim their goal is a "Drug-Free America?" But in any case, the evidence is against your hypothesis.  If you were correct, harsh penalties would usually correlate with lower drug abuse rates.  In fact, this is not the case.  In Western Europe, where drug penalties are generally less harsh than in America, drug abuse rates are generally lower than in America.  In the Netherlands, where marijuana is essentially legal, marijuana use rates are well below use rates in the United States.  In this country, studies have shown that states which have decriminalized marijuana do not have higher rates of use than states with harsher penalties.  

"Despite this, others have mentioned the example of Louisiana's once draconian drug legislation as a demonstration of the success which ridiculously high penalties can have in reducing the drug problem."

I think you misunderstood.  No one is claiming that heroin disappeared from New Orleans.  It just got a lot more expensive, thus increasing the incentive for people to figure out a way to get away with selling it.  This involved a lot of police corruption, from which the N.O.P.D. has never recovered.  However, it may have reduced the overdose deaths, because of the lowered purity of the heroin that was available.  On the other hand, it increased property crime, as addicts had to steal more to pay for their drugs.  So, junkies died less, citizens got their stuff stolen more.  Another big win for draconian drug policies.  

[ Parent ]

Overzealous enforcement (none / 0) (#385)
by kcbrown on Wed Dec 11, 2002 at 05:17:15 AM EST

I was referring to the specific example of crack in this instance. Penalties for crack use were ludicrously high, mostly due to media hype surrounding the drug. With sentences for possession of crack being set at the same level as sentences for possession of one hundred times the amount of cocaine, despite the fact that 1 kilogram cocaine equals 1 kilogram of crack, with the addition of baking powder water and heat, people rapidly decided that crack was not worth the risk.
And it never occurred to you that the reason people dropped crack is that they had a number of alternatives, like cocaine??

As long as alternatives exist, people will switch to them when the risk of something new becomes too high. The new thing has to be enough better than the old to justify additional risk.

So in that game, relative risk versus reward is what matters, not absolute.

The only thing on the enforcement side that has any chance of truly stopping drugs is instant death upon discovery of possession.

[ Parent ]

Of course not (none / 0) (#396)
by William Franklin Rothman on Wed Dec 11, 2002 at 08:26:05 AM EST

Cocaine was always present as an alternative to crack. It's what it's made out of, after all.

[ Parent ]
Bio Control (5.00 / 1) (#87)
by pnadeau on Mon Dec 09, 2002 at 05:37:40 PM EST

Alternate methods exist of course. Bio-control is one of my personal favourites, and it is apparently being trialed in Peru, although that may just be a rumour. If it works, then the cocaine trade will be put on the defensive for the first time in two centuries.

I heard that Bio Control can take the form of using agent orange on the coca growing areas of latin american countries.

Needless to say it has a very negative effect on the health of the local people not to mention that they sometimes defoliate entire valleys along with the coca plants they are targeting.


"Can't buy what I want because it's free, can't be what they want because I'm..."  Eddie Vedder


[ Parent ]
True (none / 0) (#91)
by William Franklin Rothman on Mon Dec 09, 2002 at 05:49:09 PM EST

Ideally, bio-control is a little more selective than that. Releasing pests which target only the coca plants would be preferable to fumigation, but pests can still mutate in the world, so it isn't perfect.

[ Parent ]
Agent orange (none / 0) (#337)
by Gully Foyle on Tue Dec 10, 2002 at 07:59:31 PM EST

My understanding was that agent orange was poisonous because the manufacturing process leaked PCBs into the final product? So you could manufacture a version that doesn't give kids chloracne/cancer. Not that that reduces the psychological effect that the brand name now has,

If you weren't picked on in school you were doing something wrong - kableh
[ Parent ]

Crack and BioControl (none / 0) (#237)
by priestess on Tue Dec 10, 2002 at 12:15:19 PM EST

While government around the world meet to discuss bio-diversity and how we can stop the seemingly endless train of speicies going extinct, you're saying that adding another one to the extinct list is a good idea just becasue, what, some people like to put it up their noses.

Then you say that draconian policies reduced crack use, without even mentioning that the draconian policies pretty much was the neccesity that was the mother of the invention of crack cocaine in the first place. That's right, prohibition invented crack cocaine, just as during alcohol prohibition folks switched from beer to spirits, so during the drug war folks switch to whatever is concentrated and easy to smuggle.

The trouble with the arguments about prohibition is it's almost imposible to tell a troll from the usual uninformed dupe or moral-cruisade brigade.

       Pre...........
----
My Mobile Phone Comic-books business
Robots!
[ Parent ]
If I could choose one plant to make extinct (none / 0) (#303)
by William Franklin Rothman on Tue Dec 10, 2002 at 06:19:21 PM EST

I would choose cocaine. Do you disagree with the eradication of smallpox? Should Jenner have considered biodiversity?

Your understanding of the invention of crack is confused. Are you a troll? Crack isn't smuggled, it's cooked up in the USA. It isn't more concentrated, either. It's just cocaine hydroxide minus the hydroxide. It's freebase. It was invented purely so people could get higher, and its invention had absolutely nothing to do with the drug laws.

[ Parent ]

If the coca plant were eradicated... (4.00 / 1) (#311)
by Back Spaced on Tue Dec 10, 2002 at 06:34:21 PM EST

...production would simply shift from the farm to the lab. You don't need an MDMA bush to get ecstasy and you don't need a coca plant to make cocaine. I don't think that the synthesis of one is any more difficult than the other, although I'm not an organic chemist.

Bluto: My advice to you is to start drinking heavily.
Otter: Better listen to him, Flounder. He's pre-med.
[ Parent ]

Eradicating Smallpox (none / 0) (#324)
by priestess on Tue Dec 10, 2002 at 07:01:17 PM EST

Firstly, smallpox doens't appear to produce a psysiologically active compound which might turn out to be useful one day like coca does. Even 'dangerous' drugs could turn out to be medically useful. Coca also certainly doesn't hurt anybody who doesn't chew it's leaves or refine it and snort the powder, or cook that for a while with baking soda and smoke the crystals.

Smallpox also hasn't been eradicated of course, there's some in the labs still and quite possibly some hiding in the polar ice-caps, which are melting worryingly enough. I don't advocate killing off the samples we still have in the lab. They'll come in useful if there's a smallpox terror attack, or if those icecaps melt and there's some in there too. If you must kill the last known samples then for god's sake sequence their genes first.

Crack is easier to transport around the streets, you don't need to be crossing a border these days to face oppresive police searching and, for the Americans, 4th Amendment violations. Yet another wonderful result of the phoney war on people's privacy and rights. Even if this weren't the case, the lies told about marijuana to support the bogus war on some drugs remove all credibility from official sources on the dangers of drugs. This makes it impossible to warn people about the probably genuine dangers of freebase cocaine. I say probably becasue I don't trust the authorites on this matter either, they lie too obviously when it suits them about cannabis.

You say that people take crack over cocaine to 'get higher', which sounds like 'more concentrated' to me. If I can get higher, I don't need as much! If a certain amount of cocaine will get me less high than the same amout converted into freebase, then it's prohibition that drives the move to freebase since otherwise I'd just buy more. It's practically as cheep to make as sugar.

I don't personally like cocaine, it doesn't suit my personality, makes me jittery and agitated rather than my usual relaxed slackfull self — not something I enjoy. It seems to undo all the good work I've been doing drinking too. I know some who do like it though, and I certainly wouldn't want to arrest and jail them for liking something I don't. I'd sooner arrest "reality TV" fans, but really I'd leave them alone too. I Haven't tried crack, but I guess that'd make me uncomfortable too, so I probably won't.

       Pre.......
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My Mobile Phone Comic-books business
Robots!
[ Parent ]
Reply (none / 0) (#332)
by William Franklin Rothman on Tue Dec 10, 2002 at 07:34:51 PM EST

Firstly, smallpox doens't appear to produce a psysiologically active compound which might turn out to be useful one day like coca does. Even 'dangerous' drugs could turn out to be medically useful. Coca also certainly doesn't hurt anybody who doesn't chew it's leaves or refine it and snort the powder, or cook that for a while with baking soda and smoke the crystals.

Cocaine is going to turn out to be useful some day, huh? Despite the fact that it is perfectly well understood now. This is worse than the usual biodiversity phantom usefulness argument.

mallpox also hasn't been eradicated of course, there's some in the labs still and quite possibly some hiding in the polar ice-caps, which are melting worryingly enough. I don't advocate killing off the samples we still have in the lab. They'll come in useful if there's a smallpox terror attack, or if those icecaps melt and there's some in there too. If you must kill the last known samples then for god's sake sequence their genes first.

Presumably we would.

Crack is easier to transport around the streets, you don't need to be crossing a border these days to face oppresive police searching and, for the Americans, 4th Amendment violations. Yet another wonderful result of the phoney war on people's privacy and rights. Even if this weren't the case, the lies told about marijuana to support the bogus war on some drugs remove all credibility from official sources on the dangers of drugs. This makes it impossible to warn people about the probably genuine dangers of freebase cocaine. I say probably becasue I don't trust the authorites on this matter either, they lie too obviously when it suits them about cannabis.

Crack occupies space comparable to that occupied by cocaine. At best, the only benefit is that you can carry crack rocks loose in your pocket and if you think you might be about to be searched you can throw them on the ground and they'll look pretty much like little white rocks.

And I could say exactly the same thing about drug advocacy sources. There are lies from both sides. That's why you need to look so hard to find the truth. For instance, you should endeavour to understand the drugs you are discussing before you   start discussing them.

You say that people take crack over cocaine to 'get higher', which sounds like 'more concentrated' to me. If I can get higher, I don't need as much! If a certain amount of cocaine will get me less high than the same amout converted into freebase, then it's prohibition that drives the move to freebase since otherwise I'd just buy more. It's practically as cheep to make as sugar.

The improved high from crack is a result of its method of absorption into the body. The alveoli of the lungs have a huge surface area compared to the olfactory membrane. The attendant higher rate of absorption causes the drug to hit faster and impart a greater higher over a shorter time. Twenty minutes down to two, I think. And your statement regarding prohibition doesn't make a shred of sense.

I don't personally like cocaine, it doesn't suit my personality, makes me jittery and agitated rather than my usual relaxed slackfull self -- not something I enjoy. It seems to undo all the good work I've been doing drinking too. I know some who do like it though, and I certainly wouldn't want to arrest and jail them for liking something I don't. I'd sooner arrest "reality TV" fans, but really I'd leave them alone too. I Haven't tried crack, but I guess that'd make me uncomfortable too, so I probably won't.

I don't care.

[ Parent ]

Local anesthetic's are useless? (none / 0) (#344)
by priestess on Tue Dec 10, 2002 at 08:48:32 PM EST

Cocaine is going to turn out to be useful some day, huh? Despite the fact that it is perfectly well understood now. This is worse than the usual biodiversity phantom usefulness argument.
I find it moraly repulsive to deliberately exterminate a whole species, the more complex the species the more repulsive the act. This is becasue something potentially useful may be lost. We never know what may become useful in the future. We may understand cocaine faily well, but we don't understand human physioligy perfectly for sure. Anyway, "Cocaine is still used as a local anesthetic", as I'm sure you knew since you're such an expert.

There are lies from both sides. That's why you need to look so hard to find the truth..
Hey, we get to agree on something.

The improved high from crack is a result of...
Doesn't matter what it's a result of, it's an improved high for the same amount of cocaine. With cocaine's availability resticted by prohibition there is a clear insentive to use the improved high.

I don't care.
Clearly not about the suffering of otherwise-innocent incarerated drug users at least. I try to care about people personally.
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My Mobile Phone Comic-books business
Robots!
[ Parent ]
When they kill you, they are (none / 0) (#347)
by William Franklin Rothman on Tue Dec 10, 2002 at 09:20:14 PM EST

Cocaine was used as a local anaesthetic. Nowadays we have novocaine, which neither addicts nor kills you.

Doesn't matter what it's a result of, it's an improved high for the same amount of cocaine. With cocaine's availability resticted by prohibition there is a clear insentive to use the improved high.

Well, not really. Crack users use the drug at an increased rate, because the high only lasts for two minutes, and is followed by a comedown which is worse than that of cocaine, and isn't any shorter. Like I said, you should read about the drug instead of engaging in this sort of idle speculation.

And it isn't that I don't care about the suffering of drug users. I just don't care about your personal history.


[ Parent ]

Wrong (none / 0) (#354)
by FunkMasterK on Tue Dec 10, 2002 at 09:57:21 PM EST

Every ambulance in the USA has liquid cocaine in a little bottle.  Novocaine, benzocaine, cocaine, get it?

Get this straight: every single drug in existence can kill you.  Aspirin kills thousands every year.  Hundreds die from drinking too much water (water intoxication or hyponatremia).  Remember this mantra: the only difference between poison and medicine is dosage.

[ Parent ]

We don't need cocaine for anything. (none / 0) (#362)
by William Franklin Rothman on Tue Dec 10, 2002 at 11:40:36 PM EST

I can find no support for your claim that all ambulances carry cocaine. And yes, all their names sound the same. They're all local anaesthetics. What are you trying to trying to impart here?

Get this straight: every single drug in existence can kill you.  Aspirin kills thousands every year.  Hundreds die from drinking too much water (water intoxication or hyponatremia).  Remember this mantra: the only difference between poison and medicine is dosage.

Yes, novocaine can kill you as well. It still doesn't addict you, and it has nothing like the history of killing people in surgery that cocaine had. Instead of making useless points about barely relevant things everyone already knows, you should take some time to address the relative risks involved.

[ Parent ]

Unlike marijuana, cocaine is not a Schedule 1 drug (none / 0) (#373)
by knobmaker on Wed Dec 11, 2002 at 02:29:04 AM EST

"Cocaine was used as a local anaesthetic."

It's still in the pharmacopeia.  Try to keep up.


[ Parent ]

Sure (none / 0) (#382)
by William Franklin Rothman on Wed Dec 11, 2002 at 04:58:16 AM EST

We'd easily get by without it, though. If not, we've known how to synthesize it for years. Medical usage isn't an argument against cocaine eradication. The only real problem is that we'd all have to drink New Coke.

[ Parent ]
Synthesize (none / 0) (#399)
by priestess on Wed Dec 11, 2002 at 08:34:53 AM EST

Firstly, I thought it was synthesized FROM the coca leaf, though I'll admit I may well be wrong. More importantly, it if can be made in a lab without the plant, what good does eradicating the plant do?

Many people are alergic to Novocaine, these people presumably don't deserve anethetic? Alergies are on the increase too, perhaps we'll all be alergic one day, who knows what the future will bring. Deliberately exterminating a whole species is very short sighted indeed.

        Pre.........
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My Mobile Phone Comic-books business
Robots!
[ Parent ]
Well, (none / 0) (#401)
by William Franklin Rothman on Wed Dec 11, 2002 at 09:07:36 AM EST

Synthesizing cocaine is expensive and complicated. It requires a little more chemistry than merely extracting the alkaloid from coca leaves, which you can do in a shack in Colombia with benzene. You need to check your definition of "synthesized", by the way.

Many people are alergic to Novocaine, these people presumably don't deserve anethetic? Alergies are on the increase too, perhaps we'll all be alergic one day, who knows what the future will bring. Deliberately exterminating a whole species is very short sighted indeed.

Yes, but we can synthesize cocaine.

The rise in allergies is related more to increased environmental exposure to indoor allergens resulting from our increasingly insulated and poorly ventilated houses. It isn't really a case of rising susceptibility to allergens as it is a case of being around allergens more. Additionally, more people are aware of their allergy problem now, so this causes the numbers to rise, both from real and imagined allergies. We aren't all going to end up allergic.

[ Parent ]

Which leads me to ask again (none / 0) (#402)
by priestess on Wed Dec 11, 2002 at 09:40:39 AM EST

Yes, but we can synthesize cocaine.
So again, other than driving the price up yet more and probably therefore pushing more coke users onto the 'higher high' of crack, what good would eradicating the plant do?

And is the risk that your bio-plague would mutate and also erradicate or at least seriously decimate other plants (cocca for instance) worth it for this price rise? Please bear in mind that the price rise would probably be fairly small since most of the cost of cocaine is from the prohibition rather than the extraction process anyway.

       Pre........
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My Mobile Phone Comic-books business
Robots!
[ Parent ]
Cocaine Synthesis (none / 0) (#403)
by TheSleeper on Wed Dec 11, 2002 at 09:53:02 AM EST

Firstly, I thought it was synthesized FROM the coca leaf, though I'll admit I may well be wrong. More importantly, it if can be made in a lab without the plant, what good does eradicating the plant do?

Presumably, the OP believes that 'lab' synthesis is sufficiently tricky and expensive that it won't be tenable for illicit production.

I wouldn't be so sure of that, though. Eliminating the coca plant will sharply increase the relative value of a cheap, easy synthetic production process in the eyes of the drug barons. They've shown a fair amount of technological sophistication in the past, and I wouldn't be too shocked to see this leading to the development of increasingly 'accessible' synthesis processes.

So eliminating the coca plant could actually be counterproductive: It could lead to a situation where cocaine production can easily be done just about anywhere, and isn't dependent on any particular geographical location. Certainly that won't help efforts to control the substance. It would have the nice benefit of destroying FARC's financial foundation, htough.

And even if it doesn't pan out that way, and eliminating the coca plant really does knock cocaine use down near nothing, the likely result will be a shift to other stimulants like meth, instead. I'm not sure that's an improvement, at least from a drugs-are-destroying-our-society perspective. Colombia would probably be pretty happy with the new situation.

[ Parent ]

Too late (none / 0) (#391)
by zakalwe on Wed Dec 11, 2002 at 06:57:11 AM EST

Smallpox also hasn't been eradicated of course, there's some in the labs still and quite possibly some hiding in the polar ice-caps
Actually, I believe the remaining samples of smallpox were recently destroyed. I remember reading an article about the decision - and many were protesting this because there may indeed be much to learn from smallpox. Last I heard though, the final appeal had been rejected.

[ Parent ]
smallpox can rather useful (none / 0) (#433)
by cp on Thu Dec 12, 2002 at 01:21:37 PM EST

Viruses are incredibly useful in genome therapy as a delivery mechanism for modified genes. Some exploration has been done with a modified smallpox virus for this purpose, though that's probably a dead end now that so many more people will be getting vaccinated against smallpox.

[ Parent ]
Whack-a-mole (none / 0) (#326)
by FunkMasterK on Tue Dec 10, 2002 at 07:04:17 PM EST

Let's say, tomorrow, all cocaine was eliminated.  What, then, would be the effect?

In areas where cocaine is harder to get, methamphetamine is more popular.  When the DEA cracks down on cocaine importation, methamphetamine production skyrockets.

This isn't a coincidence.  Unfortunately, methamphetamine can be made with over-the-counter products.  It's at least as addictive as cocaine, it's MUCH longer-lasting, and it can be made in a sink.  Meth is worse than cocaine, hands down.

The government estimates that we catch only about 20% of the drugs going over our borders.  Even if we increased drug interdiction efforts tenfold, all we'd succeed in doing is replacing imported drugs like cocaine with domestically-produced drugs like methamphetamine.

[ Parent ]

Can you consolidate your responses somewhere? (none / 0) (#334)
by William Franklin Rothman on Tue Dec 10, 2002 at 07:40:04 PM EST

"Drug enforcement is hard, so we shouldn't bother trying" isn't a particularly compelling argument.

[ Parent ]
Yup (none / 0) (#336)
by FunkMasterK on Tue Dec 10, 2002 at 07:50:17 PM EST

Alcohol prohibition enforcement was hard, which is why we stopped prohibition.  The prohibition of alcohol never worked, and the adverse effects it created offset the benefit of the prohibition.

[ Parent ]
Seems compelling to me. (5.00 / 1) (#395)
by zakalwe on Wed Dec 11, 2002 at 07:14:50 AM EST

Are these arguments compelling?

"Imposing world peace by conquering the world is hard, so we shouldn't bother trying"

"Climbing down the outside wall of my building is hard (compared to stairs/lift) to I shouldn't bother trying"

"Creating a perfect government is hard, so we shouldn't bother having a revolution and trying"

If something is so hard that you are unlikely to be successful, and failure is going to cost a huge price in lives and money then it seems to me to be a pretty good reason not to do it. It doesn't matter how beneficial the goals might be - the fact is that Eliminating drugs is not within our current power. The choice is not between legalisation and a world free of drugs - its a choice between legalisation and this world, where the war on drugs causes death or jail for thousands, corruption of public officials, profit for criminals and terrorists and restriction of liberties.

[ Parent ]

I'm tired of replying to the same points (none / 0) (#397)
by William Franklin Rothman on Wed Dec 11, 2002 at 08:30:44 AM EST

I've dealt with these statements elsewhere. You're arguing against a position I don't hold, and you're holding America's drug policy to a standard of success -- total elimination -- which nobody has ever seriously expected. And you're spouting dogma.

[ Parent ]
Comparative propaganda (none / 0) (#372)
by knobmaker on Wed Dec 11, 2002 at 02:18:42 AM EST

"Over on the other side you'll find all the hand-wringing over certain fairly contestable statements regarding the unwinnability of the drug enforcement problem, along with all manner of drug propaganda at least as dubious as that offered by the government."

Nonsense.  Anyone with access to the web can quickly  debunk this statement.  Anti-war sites are for some reason not afraid to include links to drug warrior sites and various government propaganda organs.  Try to find links to anti-war sites on DEA or NIDA or ONDCP web sites.  This one-sided situation is transparently because all the logic and fact-based arguments belong to the anti-war side.  The anti-war sites are not afraid of the truth, because it serves their cause.

BTW, the "harmfulness" of illegal drugs is not relevant to any discussion of legalization, so long as alcohol and nicotine are legal.  And yeah, "another tobacco industry" would be vastly preferable to the crime and violence and social decay caused by the drug war.  At least the tobacco companies pay taxes on their dangerous drug, and can be sued by those injured by their product.  

"Claiming that marijuana is not grown by organised criminals is also quite dishonest."  And whose fault is it that illegal drugs are distributed by criminals?  Isn't it just as dishonest to ignore the indisputable fact that organized crime will have to get out of the drug business as soon as legitimate business can take over distribution?

[ Parent ]

Try and reply in context. (none / 0) (#384)
by William Franklin Rothman on Wed Dec 11, 2002 at 05:10:34 AM EST

A lot of that comment was in response to the original article, which amongst other things, claimed that marijuana was not grown by organised crime.

Nonsense.  Anyone with access to the web can quickly  debunk this statement.  Anti-war sites are for some reason not afraid to include links to drug warrior sites and various government propaganda organs.  Try to find links to anti-war sites on DEA or NIDA or ONDCP web sites.  This one-sided situation is transparently because all the logic and fact-based arguments belong to the anti-war side.  The anti-war sites are not afraid of the truth, because it serves their cause.

No propaganda from drug activists? Then why do they keep telling me things which are provably  untrue?

BTW, the "harmfulness" of illegal drugs is not relevant to any discussion of legalization, so long as alcohol and nicotine are legal.  And yeah, "another tobacco industry" would be vastly preferable to the crime and violence and social decay caused by the drug war.  At least the tobacco companies pay taxes on their dangerous drug, and can be sued by those injured by their product

Of course the harmfulness of the drugs is an issue in the debate. They fact that there are two evil genies out of the bottle doesn't mean you should crack open their meaner, nastier, uglier big brother.

Social decay isn't a direct result of the drug war, but it's causes are masked by it. Poverty and racism are the causes of most of the social decay in America. Claiming that the drug war is causing social decay is as much a piece of propaganda as claiming that drugs are causing it.

[ Parent ]

Let's all try to pay attention (none / 0) (#408)
by knobmaker on Wed Dec 11, 2002 at 02:44:28 PM EST

"No propaganda from drug activists? Then why do they keep telling me things which are provably  untrue?"

What things are these and who told them to you?  I hope you're not one of those gullible folks who buy the drug czar's malarkey about the great pro-drug conspiracy.  You know, those evil folk, who for reasons that are never specified, want to turn America into a drug-besotted liberal homosexual feminist race-mixing third-rate country? You know, the ones that get together and decide which commie pinko lies they're going to feed to the all-too-trusting public this week?

Sure, some drug-reform activists get carried away and say things they wish were true.  But as a long-time student of the drug war, I must tell you that on the whole, reform activists rely on the truth and logical argument, because they do not have the billions of dollars and armies of agents with guns that their opponents have to enforce their views.  They're underfinanced and outnumbered, and the only reason the movement has gained momentum is that truth and rationality are on its side.

Do some research.  Really, I'm not trying to be snarky.  You sound like an intelligent person.  The record of lying by drug warriors is far more egregious than the record of lying by reformers.

 I'll give you two blatant examples of the former.  Clinton's drug czar, Gen. McCaffrey went to the Netherlands on a "fact-finding" expedition, and thereafter gave a speech in which he castigated their drug policy.  Lot of stuff about human wreckage lying about the public squares, which is fine, because it's clearly his opinion.  However then he claimed that the Dutch murder rate was much worse than the rate in the United States.  In fact, the Dutch murder rate is less than a quarter the rate here.  He never acknowledged this lie, despite a letter of protest from the Dutch ambassador.

More recently, Bush's czar, John Walters, spent a good bit of time in Nevada, campaigning to defeat the legalization initiative there.  One of his oft-repeated themes was that there had been a catastrophic increase in young people seeking treatment for marijuana addiction.  In a rather twisted sense this is true, but the intended implication is entirely false.  Walters would have us believe that these people needed treatment for some medical or psychological reason, but in fact the surge in admissions is due entirely to the surge in judicial system compulsion.  Kids get arrested for possession and are given a choice between a conviction and treatment.  Most of them will choose treatment.  (By the way, this is not just my opinion-- the facts are easily confirmable by anyone who  can google.)

"Of course the harmfulness of the drugs is an issue in the debate. They fact that there are two evil genies out of the bottle doesn't mean you should crack open their meaner, nastier, uglier big brother."

Here the problem is your assumptions.  The more serious logical problem is that you implicitly assume that the "genie" is still in its bottle.  Since marijuana is easier for kids to get than booze and cigarettes (dealers don't ask for i.d.) I'd have to say the bottle's already cracked open.  The issue now is how best to deal with it.  In other words, let's start from reality, not wishful thinking.  Returning to my theme of lying drug warriors, have you seen that commercial where the stoned kid at the concert gets arrested, and the screen splash is MARIJUANA:HARMLESS?  So, our current policy is to take drugs we don't approve of, and to whatever harm the drug itself causes, we add the additional harms of arrest, incarceration, blighted educational and job prospects.  And then the drug warriors have the nerve to blame the drug for harms that they themselves have perpetrated.

The second problematic assumption is that marijuana is a "meaner, nastier, uglier big brother" to booze and cigarettes.  Check out any reputable medical diagnostic manual (I have the Merck Manual) and compare the effects of alcohol and nicotine abuse to cannabis abuse.  It would appear the marijuana, though not harmless, is the more civilized, less violent, and less destructive little brother to our two favorite dangerous substances.  You might find it interesting to look into the work done on a drug use phenomenon called "substitution," which puts forward the rational view that those who use one drug more use other drugs less.  Some researchers feel that more pot smoking would mean less drinking, which would be a win for society and individual users, since marijuana is a less destructive drug, physically and mentally.

"Social decay isn't a direct result of the drug war, but it's causes are masked by it. Poverty and racism are the causes of most of the social decay in America."

This doesn't really make much sense.  In fact, your contention doesn't withstand even the most cursory application of logic.  50 years ago, when I was a child, racism and poverty were far more prevalent than they are now, but I lived in a relatively stable society.  What has changed?  If you're a racist, you might claim that the breakdown of traditional values started with the civil rights movement, since it's an indisputable fact that despite the many injustices of the Jim Crow era, blacks were safer from violent crime, black families were more stable, and other unhappy indicators, such as infant mortality and drug abuse rates were lower in those bad old days.  I don't think these social disasters have anything to do with the emancipation of blacks.  I think the drug war is responsible.  And I think the evidence is overwhelming.  

Consider that 50 years ago, a young black man who wanted to escape the grinding poverty of our American apartheid had only one way to do it-- hard work, academic achievement, the old strive and grind that made this a great country.  Nowadays, the same guy sees his friendly neighborhood drug dealer driving a Lexus.  He has a very attractive role model now, and it's one that the drug warriors have created.  So, in the entrepreneurial spirit, the guy starts selling drugs.  Pretty soon, he gets popped and goes to prison, where he gets to associate with hardened criminals for a year or two, just long enough that he comes back to the community with lots of new job skills, all of them destructive to his neighbors.  And while he's gone upstate, another kid has taken over his business.  And so it goes.  The fact is that in many communities, a large majority of the young men have been through this educational system.  Is it any wonder that matters get worse as the community is more and more influenced by prison values?

This is only one small facet of the general social devastation visited on us by the drug war.  Take the police as another example.  Almost daily another dirty cop is exposed for taking kickbacks from dealers and acting on other temptations provided by the drug war.  Nothing new about this.  Police corruption was epidemic during alcohol Prohibition.

Even the Consitution, our best bulwark against social decay, has suffered serious damage at the hands of the drug war.  The 4th Amendment is essentially meaningless now, because the war cannot credibly be prosecuted if the 4th is in effect.  Drug crimes, being consensual crimes, have no victims who are willing to complain that they have been victimized.  In other words, they won't talk to the police, and there are surprisingly few bodies to account for.  Therefore informers and warrantless searches are necessary, or very few drug criminals would be arrested.  And lest you think that only drug users should fear the compromising of the Constitution, you should understand that bad law metastasizes.  The RICO statutes, intended primarily to prosecute mobsters and drug kingpins, are now being used to persecute anti-abortionists, for example.  The forfeiture laws, originally aimed at drug dealers, are now being used to deprive innocent owners of their property.  Examples: a woman who was convicted of stealing a UPS package from a neighbor's porch had her home confiscated.  Her husband and children were also left homeless.  A recent Supreme Court decision confirmed the state of Michigan's right to seize the car of a woman whose husband had been caught soliciting a hooker.  A hotel was seized, on the theory that the hotel had not done enough to prevent drug-dealing and prostitution on their property.  And so forth.

I could go on for a while, but I doubt there's much point.  It's like religion, isn't it?  For a lot of people, drugs are like Satan.  You may not be able to defeat the Prince of Lies, but just fighting the fight is an act of virtue.  A Holy War.  I just wish my tax dollars weren't being pounded down this particular rathole.

[ Parent ]

why do we need to establish an industry? (none / 0) (#442)
by mlybarger on Fri Dec 13, 2002 at 10:24:02 AM EST

The question is, do we really want to establish another tobacco industry?

first off, we don't need to establish it. an industry should create itself out of consumer demand. from my understanding, the reason anything is regulated or prohibited is because its deemed by the elected officials to infringe anothers constitutional rights. you can't kill someone because they have a right to live. drug use in and of itself does not infringe any others constitutional rights. a major argument for proponents of marijuana legalization and decriminalization is that this drug is less dangerous than alcohol. it doesn't take much alcohol to induce coma, and not much more to kill a person. the amt of marijuana to cause death is enormous (even gross over-consumption of water can kill someone). yes there are side effects, but everything has side effects. there's side effects to drinking a cup of coffee in the morning. and there's more severe side effects to drinking 10 cups in the morning. it's not the business of citizens to impose morality laws on others because the action could harm them, the law needs to be there to protect the rights of the others.

[ Parent ]
Eminent advice: End the drug war. (3.00 / 2) (#9)
by medusa on Mon Dec 09, 2002 at 05:31:44 AM EST

The so-called "War on Drugs" according to 800 philosophers, scientists and statesmen (apology to the copyright owner): here. And according to Colombians (especially the natives): here.



is it working? (3.85 / 7) (#16)
by Trevor OLeary on Mon Dec 09, 2002 at 07:16:28 AM EST

It's making normal people criminals, helping entrench poverty and crime and adding to the culture of fear and paranoia. Not to mention increasing the prevalence of taxable, but no less harmful, addictions such as tobacco, alcohol and gambling. You bet it's working.

My personal rule is if a war is declared on an abstract idea rather than a sovereign nation, then it's bullshit.

But recent developments may make this entire debate obsolete. Researchers have developed ways to vaccinate people against drugs, apparently. So you could just get a "heroin" shot as a kid and then forever be numb to it.

Now THAT may be an interesting topic to discuss. Would you give your kid a vaccination against heroin? What about marijuana or cocaine? What about nicotine?

One Vaccined for Heroin couldn't use painkillers (none / 0) (#128)
by PowerPimp on Mon Dec 09, 2002 at 08:28:32 PM EST

Almost all of the painkillers we use today are opium-based. Vaccinating someone against all chemicals that act upon those receptors would make for trouble when the vaccinee wanted to get rid of a headache or have his teeth pulled
You'd better take care of me God; otherwise, you'll have me on your hands...
[ Parent ]
Yay, let's vaccinate (none / 0) (#448)
by prolixity on Mon Dec 16, 2002 at 04:13:53 AM EST

Since these vaccinations work by receptor blockade (I assume), we'd effectively be shutting down many essential processes.

Yes, lets permanently block opiate receptors, let's keep those damn anandamide receptors shut.  Why do we need serotonin.. we could keep our kids from using psychedelics by blocking it.  

Want to play God?

Before we begin fucking with biological processes in the heads of others (forced vaccination on drug-addicts is a disturbing future), we should probably learn how the human mind works.  

Funny how psychedelic drugs offer the greatest utility in that quest.  

::Goes back to smoking DMT::
Bah!
[ Parent ]

Sigh. (4.69 / 13) (#27)
by porkchop_d_clown on Mon Dec 09, 2002 at 09:21:16 AM EST

do { twitching = beat(horse); } while (twitching);

--
Once one sock is sucked, the other sock will remain forever unsucked.


It's not twitching anymore (5.00 / 3) (#29)
by Profane Motherfucker on Mon Dec 09, 2002 at 09:27:07 AM EST

Those are just thumps of the stick into cold, dead, flesh.

[ Parent ]
fortunately (none / 0) (#220)
by criquet on Tue Dec 10, 2002 at 10:52:57 AM EST

do { unjust = beat(horse); } while (unjust);

until people feel that the problems have been reasonably resolved people will want to discuss and debate it.

this turns out to be a serious and basic rights issue that is severely impacting peoples lives. no one has the right to tell me what i can and can not ingest. trying to do so is destroying people's lives.

if you don't like it, vote it down and let it go. personally, i don't care how often i see this issue brought up. it needs to continue to be discussed until it is resolved.

here's an idea. let's make all drugs legal and then we can debate why they should be illegal. i tend to think that such debates would be much less frequent.

[ Parent ]

Absolutely correct (4.76 / 21) (#30)
by Quila on Mon Dec 09, 2002 at 09:40:01 AM EST

Cannabis prohibition is built upon and maintained by lies, emotionally manipulative news stories, and media censorship. It

Cruise the Web for various quotes from Anslinger (the man who started the pot ban) and William Randolph Hearst. The puritan Hearst faked stories in his newspapers to provide the ammunition for Anslinger to push his tax act through Congress, with lies and indeed a very large amount of racism, pushing it through.

The whole history of pot prohibition in America is grounded in racism:

"There are 100,000 total marijuana smokers in the US, and most are Negroes, Hispanics, Filipinos and entertainers. Their Satanic music, jazz and swing, result from marijuana usage. This marijuana causes white women to seek sexual relations with Negroes, entertainers and any others."
   --Harry J. Anslinger, testimony to Congress, 1937
Anslinger, with Hearst's help, also manufactured drug crimes all over the country. His testimony apparently only had a 1% truth rate in this area.

Interestingly enough, opium was perfectly legal and very popular among whites until the first laws curtailing Chinese opium dens (apparently, they were luring our white daughters too).

Okay, I'll admit racism wasn't the only motivating factor. The alcohol industry apparently funded Reefer Madness (get rid of the competition) and other textile industries lobbied for prohibition because hemp was becoming competition.

Does anyone really think the War on Drugs has anything to do with promoting public health?

Politics of Hemp production... (4.88 / 9) (#49)
by Hatamoto on Mon Dec 09, 2002 at 12:22:47 PM EST

Don't forget that hemp was soon to be a competitor to the oil industry (hemp seed oil as a cleaner, more efficient diesel alternative) and the bulk newspaper industry (hemp-based paper being resistant to the 'yellowing' effect that wood-pulp paper is). Mass-farming techniques were coming into effect that would have provided substantial competition in the oil, paper and textile industries, and that definately made people scared... people who had the appropriate connections to make it all just go away.

Mix into the idea that many of the now illegal drugs were being used by visible minorities which, in the minds of right thinking americans, were just foreigners coming from other countries to take up all the jobs and put other (white) people out of work during the depression. A little finger-pointing and willful ignorance during tough times and sho' nuff big business got what it was after.

All of these reasons are totally orthogonal to the idea of weed being 'good' or 'bad', of course... the effect on the consumer was totally irrelevant except as a tool for propoganda in the supression of the manufacture and distribution of hemp.

Of course nowadays people are more aware of their health and factors affecting it, there might be a more intelligent and reasoned debate about it... if not for the incredibly emotional extremists on both sides of the usage debate.

Personally, I like the idea of my government regulating it and using it as a revenue stream, reducing the effects of organized crime by decriminalization, and letting adults be treated like adults instead of grubby little children who need to have thier proverbial asses wiped for them by a dubiously benevolent parent-by-proxy.

--
"Innocence is no defense." - Federal District Judge William H. Yohn (People v. Mumia Abu-Jamal)
[ Parent ]

Didn't the government (3.00 / 1) (#152)
by Quila on Tue Dec 10, 2002 at 03:23:26 AM EST

push hemp production during WWII since Cotton and other textiles couldn't meet the demands in quantity or quality for rope and sandbags. Apparently for a short time it was patriotic to grow hemp (IIRC, we even produced pro-hemp films), and we had over 100,000 acres going.

Of course, hemp was evil again after the war.

[ Parent ]

Hm, interesting! (3.00 / 1) (#202)
by Hatamoto on Tue Dec 10, 2002 at 09:37:04 AM EST

I'd never heard of that, but I wouldn't be at all suprised... do you have any links for it? It'd add an interesting wrinkle to the story, especially if there's an examination of why, after hemp helped win the war, that people went back to a 'weed is evil' mentality.

--
"Innocence is no defense." - Federal District Judge William H. Yohn (People v. Mumia Abu-Jamal)
[ Parent ]
google (4.00 / 1) (#215)
by Quila on Tue Dec 10, 2002 at 10:37:37 AM EST

I saw it referenced a few places a while ago, even with a screenshot of the patriotic promo film that the government denied having produced for a long time. Apparently you can order a tape of it.

Google "hemp for victory WWII patriotic" or some variation and you can pick from your sources. You'll have to scroll a page or two to get past the standard drug legalization sites.

[ Parent ]

it's really easy (none / 0) (#282)
by uniball vision micro on Tue Dec 10, 2002 at 04:29:55 PM EST

"I'd never heard of that, but I wouldn't be at all suprised... do you have any links for it?"

No but I have read such things. The Nazis also made synthetic gasoline out of coal as well.

"It'd add an interesting wrinkle to the story, especially if there's an examination of why, after hemp helped win the war, that people went back to a 'weed is evil' mentality."

Ahhhhh hemp (the fiber) yes. Cannibas (the leaf) no.

Really simple GIs didn't win the war tokeing up on reefers and getting high.
"So far as the record goes, no lover of drinking has yet gone out into the night and shot himself as a gesture of protest" Gilbert Seldes, The Future of Drinking 1930
[ Parent ]

Hemp For Victory! (none / 0) (#263)
by phliar on Tue Dec 10, 2002 at 03:49:02 PM EST

Yes indeed; I have a T-shirt with the "Grow Hemp For Victory" slogan. I also have tin signs about how marijuana is the "smoke of the devil" (excellent drawing of a green Mephistopheles) and how its horrible effects include "feeble-mindedness."


Faster, faster, until the thrill of...
[ Parent ]

misuse that's why (1.00 / 1) (#277)
by uniball vision micro on Tue Dec 10, 2002 at 04:22:07 PM EST

"push hemp production during WWII since Cotton and other textiles couldn't meet the demands in quantity or quality for rope and sandbags."

nothing wrong there

"Apparently for a short time it was patriotic to grow hemp (IIRC, we even produced pro-hemp films), and we had over 100,000 acres going. "

Ok so.

"Of course, hemp was evil again after the war."

Well that was when people tried to use different parts of plant to do different things. The government wouldn't have a problem with using the fiber but the leaves are the problem. Of course I did hear about the genetically engineered THC-less cannibas plants. Get the druggies where it hurts.

Of course my favorite solution a nice little genetically engineered, highly contageous virus based on the tobacco mosaic virus. Kill all hemp.
"So far as the record goes, no lover of drinking has yet gone out into the night and shot himself as a gesture of protest" Gilbert Seldes, The Future of Drinking 1930
[ Parent ]

So... (none / 0) (#380)
by Hatamoto on Wed Dec 11, 2002 at 04:43:34 AM EST

... so what you're saying is that people only tolerated hemp because it made useful clothing and sandbags when it was a dire necessity, but as soon as it tried to break out of that usage by *gasp* letting people enjoy themselves it became 'evil'?

While I've never understood the american right-wingers' overweening need to remove as many sources of entertainment from the public as possible, I highly doubt that was the primary motivation for continuing the bans in post ww2. More likely it was a continuation of what got it banned in the first place: A little too much potential competition to people with deep pockets and an intense dislike of competition.

--
"Innocence is no defense." - Federal District Judge William H. Yohn (People v. Mumia Abu-Jamal)
[ Parent ]

Prior "misuse" (none / 0) (#387)
by Quila on Wed Dec 11, 2002 at 06:11:04 AM EST

People were using marijuana to get high well before WWII, and it was prohibited in 1937. Marijuana and hemp were outlawed at the same time, marijuana because of racist, power-hungry puritans and hemp because of competing industrial powers (paper/oil/cotton/textiles).

Hemp was legalized in WWII because the government had to admit that it was the best crop for the job, temporarily overriding corporate interests. After the war, corporate interest took over again.

BTW, hemp and smokable marijuana are two entirely different plants, not two parts of one plant. Hemp has only trace amounts of THC. As one hemp farmer put it on a sign to discourage kids from stealing his crop, "You'd have to smoke a joint the size of a telegraph pole to get high."

The ostensible reasoning in current days for hemp still being illegal is that the crop looks just like marijuana, and therefore people could use legal hemp to hide illegal marijuana. To that I say we need to outlaw baby powder because it looks too much like cocaine, and rock candy has to go too because it looks like crack.

The real reasoning, of course, is that it is still a danger to other industries.

[ Parent ]

the what if game (2.00 / 1) (#286)
by uniball vision micro on Tue Dec 10, 2002 at 04:49:20 PM EST

"Don't forget that hemp was soon to be a competitor to the oil industry (hemp seed oil as a cleaner, more efficient diesel alternative) and the bulk newspaper industry (hemp-based paper being resistant to the 'yellowing' effect that wood-pulp paper is)."

Ohh whatever I don't believe that oil was even remotely in danger but if you have objective proof than that might change.

"Mass-farming techniques were coming into effect that would have provided substantial competition
in the oil, paper and textile industries, and that definately made people scared... people who had the appropriate connections to make it all just go away."

Or maybe all the addicts you never know. Of course ecconomic considerations and social are not necessarily congruent.

"Mix into the idea that many of the now illegal drugs were being used by visible minorities which, in the minds of right thinking americans, were
just foreigners coming from other countries to take up all the jobs and put other (white) people out of work during the depression."

Well hate to brake your bubble but just because a group is singled out for having a certain trait dosn't mean that it isn't the truth on some level. The insurance industry has massively inflated rates for teenagers as drivers. This is based on statistical analyses that show that yes indeed (pretty scary "profiling" a group) they do have more accidents than most of the rest of the population when age is considered.

Also if you do look at the figures minorities have, are, and will be used to depress wages if not but hiring people who will work for less but moving factories when minimum wage dosn't apply. Think NAFTA and Mexico.

"A little finger-pointing and willful ignorance during tough times and sho' nuff big business got what it was after."

And here is where the capitalist interpretation of history rubs me the wrong way.

This is *wrong* how do you assume that everything is a profit argument. The war related oil industry was *increasing* and *expanding* I doubt that some hippie related movement was really that much of a problem for the likes of Standard Oil (read Exxon).

Maybe people see a social ill and want to correct it.

Next I assume you have some massive ulterior movement for prohibition.

"All of these reasons are totally orthogonal to the idea of weed being 'good' or 'bad', of course... the effect on the consumer was totally
irrelevant except as a tool for propoganda in the supression of the manufacture and distribution of hemp."

Again anyone could make hemp as a useful substance if only the drug usage of the plant would dissappear. In fact once the drug usage is gone it would be eccentric but I assume still possible.

"Of course nowadays people are more aware of their health and factors affecting it, there might be a more intelligent and reasoned debate about it... if not for the incredibly emotional extremists on both sides of the usage debate."

Hmmm my health. Well let me put is this way. I know for a fact that there are *no* benefits from using THC and THC related products for me *health* neither physical or mental. Getting high will not make me live longer or cure disease or really do *anything* for me in *any* way. Even *IF* (big if) it could be demonostrated to be neutral to health.

However there is enough evidence that people can tell you about drug usage in society, and in families that makes the 'lack of harm' theory suspect.

"Personally, I like the idea of my government regulating it and using it as a revenue stream, reducing the effects of organized crime by
decriminalization, and letting adults be treated like adults instead of grubby little children who need to have thier proverbial asses wiped for
them by a dubiously benevolent parent-by-proxy."

Oh vitrol my favorite treat.

Firstly I could care less what the government could tax. Plenty of more ways to make money. I don't want to live in a society that is comfortably numb to problems (remember Steven King's "The Running Man" rich folks smoke dopes) by getting high.

Gangs and organized crime are totally different. Punk minority (read Hispanic and black) kiddies who like to hold their guns sideways do not constitute organized crime for that the best way for most people to understand what organized crime is in a simply AOLish way would be Tony Sopprano.

And the government dosn't *have* to help you it's just that people durring the progressive era thought that you didn't deserve to shoot yourself in the foot and act like a crass individual without thinking of others. I like the concept of a careing society instead of a cruel indifferent world.
"So far as the record goes, no lover of drinking has yet gone out into the night and shot himself as a gesture of protest" Gilbert Seldes, The Future of Drinking 1930
[ Parent ]

Non-constructive deconstructionism (5.00 / 1) (#393)
by Hatamoto on Wed Dec 11, 2002 at 07:00:05 AM EST

If you'd bother to inform yourself, you'd see that some of this conjecture is a matter of public record:

First of all, check out the Virginia Law Review which states, in no uncertain terms, that marijuana prohibition (and by extension, hemp prohibition) was pushed through congress on the most specious of information sources. Analysis and transcription of interesting tidbits can be found here. In fact, the page cited above is one of a larger body of work studying the legality (tenuous as it is) of the US policy on drugs stretching back to the anti-narcotics legislation of 1914. The root page can be perused here.

Additionally, it is a matter of public record that substantially improved techniques in the harvesting and cultivation of hemp commercially were coming on board, as described here in a transcription from Mechanical Engineering Magazine (Feb 1937) and here in a transcription from Popular Mechanics (Feb 1938). A new billion dollar industry, in direct competition to existing textile and paper industries, would have caused a lot of consternation by people who would have liked to keep the status quo. DuPont was coming on the scene with a new wonder-invention called Nylon, too, which would have had major competition in the same arena. Oil may not have been directly threatened at that point, but oil barons were also known to move quickly and decisively against anything that might threaten their monopoly power in the future, which hempseed certainly had the ability to (after all, hempseed oil was used as a fuel for a loooong time before coal became widespread in the 1800s). Search around for some information on Standard Oil if you need any expansion on that topic.

And now, on to the point by point...

Or maybe all the addicts you never know. Of course ecconomic considerations and social are not necessarily congruent.

Addiction to marijuana, indeed, the knowledge of the ability to smoke a cannibus leaf and cop a buzz was virtually nonexistant in the US at the time of prohibition. See the above link from virginia law review in which they mention several times the total non-issue marijuana use was amongst constituents, even after extensive public relations efforts. All this is completely orthogonal to the prohibition on hemp, anyways.

And here is where the capitalist interpretation of history rubs me the wrong way.

Cope.

This is *wrong* how do you assume that everything is a profit argument. The war related oil industry was *increasing* and *expanding* I doubt that some hippie related movement was really that much of a problem for the likes of Standard Oil (read Exxon).

War related oil industry? There was no war on when this legislation was being drafted, unless you're talking about US oil going to help Italy invade Ethiopia in 1935 (which it did... Germany and US provided coal and oil to italy in that period when the league of nations had declared an embargo). I doubt those profits would have been extensive, although I have a difficult time finding exact export numbers at this point.

Keep in mind that the BIG war that would use LOTS of oil was from 1938-1945, and US involvement came late. There may have been some oil being shipped for mobilization efforts in other countries (like italy), but they would be minor in the Great Scheme of Things.

Additionally, it's only wrong if you view profit motive exclusively in the context of clear and present dangers to the oil industry. At the time, there was a distant danger to oil, but a clear and present danger to textiles and paper.

Perhaps you're a little young to realize this, but there wasn't any "hippies" back in 1937, either... unless, of course, you're engaging in the tired old scheme of labelling ideas you don't like in derogatory terms so you can more conveniently dismiss them, in which case temporal continuity is a meaningless point. This was a movement that would have been carried out by Maw and Paw Farmer, in the fields and valleys of tenable farmland everywhere. It doesn't get any less 'hippie'.

Maybe people see a social ill and want to correct it.

So it's easier to believe a conspiracy of religious and temperance extremists managed to railroad this through on zealotry alone, as opposed to a profit motive? I'm sure there were some 'right thinking people' of the once-mighty temperance movement who were all pissy of the failure to prohibit alcohol looking for a new patsy, but to dismiss profit motive outright is ludicrous, especially when only a decade prior Coolidge proclaimed to the world (in it's traditionally misquoted form): "The Business of America is Business". It makes me all the more incredulous when you suggest that congress would allow a potentially enormous cash crop be blown away on the basis of that zealotry.

Next I assume you have some massive ulterior movement for prohibition.

Quite frankly, as alcohol is now legal, motivations of the day are largely moot aside from entertaining legal trivia. Thus, I've never bothered to get as intimately familiar with the motivations behind them. Marijuana isn't currently legal, and the fact that it isn't generates a lot of controversy, piques my interest and urges me to get informed. You should try it.

Again anyone could make hemp as a useful substance if only the drug usage of the plant would dissappear. In fact once the drug usage is gone it would be eccentric but I assume still possible.

Why 'eccentric'? Hemp remains a plant of extraordinary versatility. Oh, here's a 411 for you, hemp is *not marijuana*. It never has been and never will be. While there are some trace levels of THC in industrial hemp, the hassle involved in the refining and extraction of that THC would be extremely impractical compared to simply growing high-potency THC cannibus. You could, I suppose, smoke some of the castoffs of hemp plants, but you probably wouldn't get much psychoactive effects off of it aside from a headache due to carbon monoxide ingestion.

Hmmm my health. Well let me put is this way. I know for a fact that there are *no* benefits from using THC and THC related products for me *health* neither physical or mental. Getting high will not make me live longer or cure disease or really do *anything* for me in *any* way. Even *IF* (big if) it could be demonostrated to be neutral to health.

Oh, you know it for a fact, do you? Strange how so many medical practicioners "know" it to be otherwise. You may believe it to be factual, and you may take it on faith that those who tell you it's entirely devoid of medicinal benefit are speaking the truth in an unbiased fashion, but there's too much evidence to the contrary to allow myself and many, many others to accept any "fact" as to medicinal use at face value.

And while *you* may not get any benefit out of it in *your* life there's plenty of people who *are* getting benefit, if not directly medical, then in simply making them happier, less stressed out people. When was the last time you saw anyone look stressed out when stoned?

BTW - "demonostrated"? Freudian slip, there?

However there is enough evidence that people can tell you about drug usage in society, and in families that makes the 'lack of harm' theory suspect.

You'll have to look pretty hard to find a resonable person that says ingesting marijuana lacks harm. You're breathing in combusted materials in a way your body wasn't originally designed to handle. Anything of that nature will harm you, in some small fashion. Sadly, almost everything in this life will harm you. The air we breathe is filled with poisons both natural and man-made. Our food, our water, the UV from the sun.

The point that many are making today is not one that weed is harmless, it's that its use is less harmful than other legalized drugs used for recreation, and that the so-called 'war on drugs' is a far greater blight on society than this particular drug ever could be.

Oh vitrol my favorite treat.

Eat it all up, junior. There's a good lad.

And it's vitriol. Sarcasm loses a lot of potency when it's mangled by poor spelling and punctuation.

Firstly I could care less what the government could tax. Plenty of more ways to make money. I don't want to live in a society that is comfortably numb to problems (remember Steven King's "The Running Man" rich folks smoke dopes) by getting high.

You should care. Voter apathy is largely responsible for the continuously eroding rights of the average citizen... and don't kid yourself, most people ARE comfortably numb to the problems of the world by taking heavy doses of whatever their drug of choice is, be it weed, alcohol, or televalium.

Gangs and organized crime are totally different. Punk minority (read Hispanic and black) kiddies who like to hold their guns sideways do not constitute organized crime for that the best way for most people to understand what organized crime is in a simply AOLish way would be Tony Sopprano.

By definition, any group of sufficient size conspiring to commit an illegal act is a criminal organization, ie: ORGANIZED CRIME. Organized crime comes in many flavors, and of varying degrees of organization, but it's still organized crime. The fact that you like to think of the cosa nostra or yakuza as 'real' o.c. and the rest as 'poseur' o.c. doesn't change the fact that the law considers it so by definition. Here is the definition according to the latest legislation on the matter:

"criminal organization" means any group, association or other body consisting of five or more persons, whether formally or informally organized, having as one of its primary activities the commission of an indictable offence under the Criminal Code or any other Act of Parliament for which the maximum punishment is imprisonment for five years or more and any or all of the members of which engage in or have, within the preceding five years, engaged in the commission of a series of such offences
That about covers it.

And the government dosn't *have* to help you it's just that people durring the progressive era thought that you didn't deserve to shoot yourself in the foot and act like a crass individual without thinking of others. I like the concept of a careing society instead of a cruel indifferent world.

I think your ideas of what a government is supposed to do are skewed. Here's a direct quote from the Constitution of the US. You might have heard of it:

We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.

"Establish Justice", "Insure Domestic Tranquility", "Provide for the Common Defense", etc... you see those? That's what a government is supposed to do. Help it's populace by providing common services that all people need in order to survive and function. Not only is it a government's requirement to help it's populace, it should be ITS SOLE PURPOSE. The fact that it is not, of course, is a tragedy to be examined in another set of postings.

As for the rest of your sentence, it doesn't make much sense. I *assume* it's some additional drivvel about "hippie leftists" without point, so I'll leave it at that, except for this bit:

I like the concept of a careing society instead of a cruel indifferent world.

Ah, there is something we can agree on. So why then does society throw away people who posess vanishingly small amounts of marijuana, locking them up for decades amongst rapists and murderers? I guess the caring society thing is really more a concept than a fact. I wouldn't consider what's in place now 'cruel and indifferent' though, I think of it more as unenlightened self-interest.

Oh, little tidbit for you... In 1998, Canada finally saw the light and re-established hemp as a legal crop. With any luck marijuana decriminalization will soon happen, with attendant drop in prison populations and enforcement costs.

--
"Innocence is no defense." - Federal District Judge William H. Yohn (People v. Mumia Abu-Jamal)
[ Parent ]

points (1.50 / 2) (#423)
by uniball vision micro on Thu Dec 12, 2002 at 06:46:16 AM EST

"If you'd bother to inform yourself, you'd see that some of this conjecture is a matter of public record:"

I looked at some of this but I have a rather dismal assesment of the WWW most of the time not even the most of rudimentary library materials are found in an acceptable manner on the web and hence I think that sometimes it's almost better not to try. But hey I have been suprised.

"First of all, check out the Virginia Law Review which states, in no uncertain terms, that marijuana prohibition (and by extension, hemp prohibition) was pushed through congress on the most specious of information sources."

So I assume that they picked Virginia because it was a nice place to grow tobacco related crops?

" Analysis and transcription of interesting tidbits can be found here."

Ok

" In fact, the page cited above is one of a larger body of work studying the legality (tenuous as it is) of the US policy on drugs stretching back to the anti-narcotics legislation of 1914."

So let me get this straight are you saying that there has to be some sort of precedent to take an action?

You do realize that most of the time it's ok to say make a law that states

If you have a zebra that eats genetically modified corn it has to stay out of your living room, or something like that right?

It sounds like people are trying to find some reason why other people in the past didn't come after others faster than they did and hence give some justification for their current behaviour.

" The root page can be perused here."

Thanks.

"Additionally, it is a matter of public record that substantially improved techniques in the harvesting and cultivation of hemp commercially were coming on board, as described here in a transcription from Mechanical Engineering Magazine (Feb 1937) and here in a transcription from Popular Mechanics (Feb 1938)."

How is such a thing different from say harvesting any other crop. I mean the basics are all there no wonder we have an easy time with things say like banannas and mangos.

" A new billion dollar industry, in direct competition to existing textile and paper industries, would have caused a lot of consternation by people who would have liked to keep the status quo."

Yeah but it does seem quite odd. I might beleive that it could be used for a number of things but wouldn't people want to use what they want and not bother to change? I for one would rather continue to use things like cotton. It made up a great deal of the ecconomy of the south at the time and there are certain properties (feel, touch, density that people prefer). In this respect it works the same way as silk, it's been around a while and people are still using it.

" DuPont was coming on the scene with a new wonder-invention called Nylon, too, which would have had major competition in the same arena."

I don't see anyone (who isn't eccentric mind you I am sure some stoner has a hemp shirt) wearing a shirt or pants made of the stuff. Also how would anyone want to have pantyhose made of hemp?

Personally I know that ropes and the like are prone to rotting and falling apart (in the old days they had to have tar covering them), Nylon does not how is this even fair competition.

" Oil may not have been directly threatened at that point, but oil barons were also known to move quickly and decisively against anything that might threaten their monopoly power in the future, which hempseed certainly had the ability to (after all, hempseed oil was used as a fuel for a loooong time before coal became widespread in the 1800s)."

And yet for some odd reason in all the years of reading any really prominent history I see nothing mentioning any of this.

I assume you are talking about America here right? Even less of a chance of much *widespread* and *significant* use of such or many more books would have it discussed.

Steam engines in America were the first major industrial application of machinery and that machinery ran on coal. The only other sources of power I really heard of was whale oil and various fish oils in the British Isles but that was for the most part not really there.

" Search around for some information on Standard Oil if you need any expansion on that topic."

Well Rockefeller was a paranoid man but that can be explained by secureing your position.

"And now, on to the point by point..."

good show

"Addiction to marijuana, indeed, the knowledge of the ability to smoke a cannibus leaf and cop a buzz was virtually nonexistant in the US at the time of prohibition."

Really? Then why was it supposedly sited as being 'used' by minorities. Now come it couldn't have been their use of ropes, paper, and clotheing right?

Or it this wasn't the case and it was banned then dosn't it seem interesting that people are trying to make a case to do something unprecedented. It makes that act of smokeing cannibas to be less historically supported and also less legitimate.

" See the above link from virginia law review in which they mention several times the total non-issue marijuana use was amongst constituents, even after extensive public relations efforts. "

Ok I think that we understand that maybe people as a whole (the rational ones) didn't even consider getting drugged up at that time.

"All this is completely orthogonal to the prohibition on hemp, anyways."

And I think I understand that it refers to different plants but why all the pro drug rants for hemp? If hemp has *nothing* to do with cannibas why bother with getting that particular plant allowed?

Since they appear to be visually similar I can understand but other than that I see little problem with that.

"Cope."

Well it's not just the capitalist interpretation of history but the Marxist one as well. Money isn't the only motivating factor. The crusades are a nice little example of such not being the only motivations, not to mention other things.

"War related oil industry?"

That was actually to illustrate that there was little chance of die off within the absolute value of the years surrounding period (say 5 years).

" There was no war on when this legislation was being drafted, unless you're talking about US oil going to help Italy invade Ethiopia in 1935 (which it did... Germany and US provided coal and oil to italy in that period when the league of nations had declared an embargo)."

And the League sucked.

Of course the US is always evil and all. I have also seen the 'wonderful' quotes of the American ambassador in Italy cheering on Mousolini. Personally I have to believe that using presentism in history is that problem I have. All sorts of revisionism is what the world is good for nowadays.

" I doubt those profits would have been extensive, although I have a difficult time finding exact export numbers at this point."

And I wasn't considering this as I really didn't read much on that.

"Keep in mind that the BIG war that would use LOTS of oil was from 1938-1945, and US involvement came late."

Hmmm actually I believe that there was a US gunboat (some sort of reconissance craft) which was sunk in the Yangtzee by the Japanese in China in 1933, but that didn't get anyone involved.

" There may have been some oil being shipped for mobilization efforts in other countries (like italy), but they would be minor in the Great Scheme of Things."

Ok I would have that wrong but there was plenty of other places that needed oil. Industry in the US and other countries not involved with killing. The New Deal and the WPA would have needed some.

"Additionally, it's only wrong if you view profit motive exclusively in the context of clear and present dangers to the oil industry."

I try not to but you did bring up the oil industry and I really doubted that the insane experiment of biodisel really went that far back so that's why I reacted the way I did.

" At the time, there was a distant danger to oil, but a clear and present danger to textiles and paper."

And I believe that people would have to have it demostrated to them that such a change would be necessary.

"Perhaps you're a little young to realize this, but there wasn't any "hippies" back in 1937, either... unless, of course, you're engaging in the tired old scheme of labelling ideas you don't like in derogatory terms so you can more conveniently dismiss them, in which case temporal continuity is a meaningless point."

No it's actually like a little but of presentism on my part (I appologize for this but sometimes it happens to the best of us but there are few political labels that effectively convey they expression of some radical person who dresses strangely, has strange exotic 'religious' beliefs and in general tries to force radical changes to people who are totally baffled and amused).

" This was a movement that would have been carried out by Maw and Paw Farmer, in the fields and valleys of tenable farmland everywhere."

Interesting I personally don't know of any massive part of anyone to farm hemp.

" It doesn't get any less 'hippie'."

Point taken on the score of producing crops.

"So it's easier to believe a conspiracy of religious and temperance extremists managed to railroad this through on zealotry alone, as opposed to a profit motive?"

Hey it worked for the 18th ammendment why not hemp/cannibas.

" I'm sure there were some 'right thinking people' of the once-mighty temperance movement who were all pissy of the failure to prohibit alcohol looking for a new patsy, but to dismiss profit motive outright is ludicrous, especially when only a decade prior Coolidge proclaimed to the world (in it's traditionally misquoted form): "The Business of America is Business"."

Two questions:

1. What is the right quote?

and

2. How does this offhand quote specifically relate to the hemp problem? Just because there is a pro-business orientation to the government dosn't mean that there is a business motive to the problem at hand. Look at the terrorist problem. I guarantee that profit is not the main motive but of world order and maybe a little revenge.

" It makes me all the more incredulous when you suggest that congress would allow a potentially enormous cash crop be blown away on the basis of that zealotry."

One again that people may not have wanted or needed. What was it going to be so good to get people out of the depression. How does a farmer get ahead with some freaking hemp and not on say corn or soy beans or even tobacco.

"Quite frankly, as alcohol is now legal, motivations of the day are largely moot aside from entertaining legal trivia."

And (not to insult your on your scholarship here) but hemp isn't? I mean there are more interesting debated I could be having but the drug one gets my dander. I read too many arguments spooled off on paper from kuroshin (the 5 is really silly) that rise my dander.

" Thus, I've never bothered to get as intimately familiar with the motivations behind them."

Well they happened to have nearly 100 or so years of social movements behind them and 2 constitutional ammendments in the US constitution but I guess that dosn't do anything for you does it?

" Marijuana isn't currently legal,"

As well as not wearing my seatbelt in my state the highway patrol (not on a highway but on a surface street) 'informed' me of this (via traffic sitations) does it have to matter.

" and the fact that it isn't generates a lot of controversy,"

namely by people who really, really, really, really, want to get high for the most part. Frankly hemp can be used for the next super fuel, or in cheapy paper (I mean really it would have to be some supper paper and get a nice look I have gone paper shopping often), or even to make garrish clothing for political and social extremists who have non-mainstream religious views (not mentioning hippies here at least in this post).

" piques my interest and urges me to get informed."

Ok if you want but how about all the other more pressing problems. Seems like there are some people who will sell their soul to get pot sold in vending machines in McDonalds or something in the future to merit all this investigating.

" You should try it."

Seems that that is the idea of the month.

"Why 'eccentric'?"

Because hemp really isn't used. Seems that the only people who have a desire to deal with hemp are the people who are going to want to force people to make cannibas legal.

" Hemp remains a plant of extraordinary versatility."

So are many other things if you think about it. Tofu and swiss army knives for instince.

" Oh, here's a 411 for you, hemp is *not marijuana*."

Ok an unfortunate snafu on my part not being a pot activist I didn't really make the distinction but they *are* related.

" It never has been and never will be."

Silly me I integrated this fact into my post you are reading now. Still a bunch of shrill pot heads getting in your face about their 'right' to get stoned get's annoying.

" While there are some trace levels of THC in industrial hemp, the hassle involved in the refining and extraction of that THC would be extremely impractical compared to simply growing high-potency THC cannibus."

But not necessarily a barrier to deserpate THC addicts.

" You could, I suppose, smoke some of the castoffs of hemp plants, but you probably wouldn't get much psychoactive effects off of it aside from a headache due to carbon monoxide ingestion."

Hey people made tobacco from bark before because of the addictive nature of repetitive smokeing.

"Oh, you know it for a fact, do you?"

" Strange how so many medical practicioners "know" it to be otherwise."

Because I don't have a single reputable article in any major medical journal saying such.

There are no miracle plants. I mean how many cures for cancer make you "happy" (ie high)?

How do you know eating your own feces for a week, or say someone's elses won't give you medical benfits unless you really try?

" You may believe it to be factual, and you may take it on faith that those who tell you it's entirely devoid of medicinal benefit are speaking the truth in an unbiased fashion, but there's too much evidence to the contrary to allow myself and many, many others to accept any "fact" as to medicinal use at face value."

And prove some really necessary broad spectrum medical benefit. I heard some silly applications to anti-nausea affects of chemothearpies and something to do with glaucoma but those are pittiful levels of the population and that can be handled with restricted pharmecuticals.

As for the evil conspiracy I doubt that there is any truth to it.

Again stoners giving Baal rivers of blood to get high and they think that there is a conspiracy to prevent getting high.

"And while *you* may not get any benefit out of it in *your* life there's plenty of people who *are* getting benefit,"

from what destroying their minds pretending the world dosn't apply to them?

" if not directly medical,"

Which is my point.

" then in simply making them happier,"

Is being in la la land by tradeing your brain and body true happiness. I have a bhuddist therapist I know who would have a trade at this.

" less stressed out people."

Maybe until they get down off their high or are in jail.

" When was the last time you saw anyone look stressed out when stoned?"

Personally I don't actually get in those situations. Lack of associations with and bad types in my past and a general lack of trust in stoners, coupled with a lack of interest in illegal activity.

"BTW - "demonostrated"? Freudian slip, there?"

actually a bad application of phonics from my youth (you get it 'hooked on phonics' har har har ok I'll stop makeing jokes for now) applied to spelling

"You'll have to look pretty hard to find a resonable person that says ingesting marijuana lacks harm."

Now hey wait a minute I thought I remembered some debates that stated that it *wasn't* harmful. Wow which is it harmful or not. Seems like there is a lack of proper scientific consensus.

" You're breathing in combusted materials in a way your body wasn't originally designed to handle."

What about other ways? I can easily attack smokeing because it damages aveoli in the lungs.

" Anything of that nature will harm you, in some small fashion."

Only small if you don't mind chokeing on your own fluids.

" Sadly, almost everything in this life will harm you."

To a small degree. I however draw the line about (to take a metaphor from Pinocchio) going to 'Pleasure Island' only to become a donkey.

" The air we breathe is filled with poisons both natural and man-made."

I know that but we *have* to breathe or the game is up in 4 minutes without brain damage and 5 for absolute death. Seems steep on principle.

" Our food, our water, the UV from the sun."

Again death from lack of food (usually a month, water maybe 2-4 days), and well I guess you can hide from the sun hut that isn't always practical but then there is sunscreen for the paranoid.

"The point that many are making today is not one that weed is harmless, it's that its use is less harmful than other legalized drugs used for recreation,"

The only two I know of are Tobacco and Alchol. Tobacco will eventually dissapear with the intense medical, scientific, and media campaign (sadly the media one seems to work better saying it's 'uncool' to smoke rather than it's deadly or waiting for objectivity) arrayed against it (the companies are wiseing up check who really owns Kraft foods for example). Alchol is a toughie but that's been tried and found that some people really like getting souced but you can't get 'high' off alchol as you can from other drugs.

" and that the so-called 'war on drugs' is a far greater blight on society than this particular drug ever could be."

What about all the fools doing anything they can for a hit of some addictive drug. What of the ethics versus morality of that.

"Eat it all up, junior. There's a good lad."

I have come to realize that kuroshin is mostly like this.

"And it's vitriol."

Thanks for correcting me.

" Sarcasm loses a lot of potency when it's mangled by poor spelling and punctuation."

A silly mistake to be sure. That's why erasers are on pencils.

"You should care."

I try but issues of ecconomics are not my forte since I don't go for the obcession of money that business majors have, hence I don't really bother with most of these little problems. Usage taxes are especially of little importance when dealing with things of elastic demand (if it were a gasoline tax which is on an inelastic commodity I would came much more).

" Voter apathy is largely responsible for the continuously eroding rights of the average citizen... and don't kid yourself, most people ARE comfortably numb to the problems of the world by taking heavy doses of whatever their drug of choice is, be it weed, alcohol,

Maybe because people talk of things like every day is going to be their last one on earth. *EVERY* issue is of life and death imporatnce. Add to this pot advocates pratically *forceing* the world to get their pet guilty pleasure into the realm of acceptance and you get people getting tired of dealing with hearing it.

" or televalium."

Bastard anyone who kills pbs and The Simpsons needs to drug out into the street and shot.

Come on you know you like Frontline admit it. When do you have the time to talk to say Mullah Omar about the issues?

"By definition, any group of sufficient size conspiring to commit an illegal act is a criminal organization, ie: ORGANIZED CRIME."

Oh good lord I remember this from one of my debates with my sister and the proper definition of 'have' to. I maintained that 'have' is less rigorous and referrs to a secussful prosection of a particular task rather than life and death problem.

" Organized crime comes in many flavors, and of varying degrees of organization, but it's still organized crime.

Alright I get the point if you are pedantic but I still am using the popular idea.

" The fact that you like to think of the cosa nostra or yakuza as 'real' o.c. and the rest as 'poseur' o.c. doesn't change the fact that the law considers it so by definition."

Which law enforcement group?

" Here is the definition according to the latest legislation on the matter: "

ok

""criminal organization" means any group, association or other body consisting of five or more persons, whether formally or informally organized, having as one of its primary activities the commission of an indictable offence under the Criminal Code or any other Act of Parliament for which the maximum punishment is imprisonment for five years or more and any or all of the members of which engage in or have, within the preceding five years, engaged in the commission of a series of such offences"

Hmmm this sounds like either the UN or the British Isles.

So You have to have a group of people with a felony conviction within 5 years to be an organized crime syndicate right?

"That about covers it."

Hmmm it sounds fishy and since we are talking about the USA here (at least I thought we were) we have to consider that street gangs are dealt with differently from mafia members. I mean I havn't seen any FBI people busting gang members.

"I think your ideas of what a government is supposed to do are skewed."

Probably an opinion. Many people fought for the welfare state and I happen to like it.

" Here's a direct quote from the Constitution of the US."

Ok

" You might have heard of it:"

Being a student of history especially American I think I have.

""Establish Justice", "Insure Domestic Tranquility", "Provide for the Common Defense", etc... you see those?"

Yes I do indeed.

" That's what a government is supposed to do."

Correction the US government it's also the preamble and I think there is some debate as to the legal applicibality.

" Help it's populace by providing common services that all people need in order to survive and function."

Maybe that falls under protecting them from debilitating addictions from dangerous substances as well right? I mean common services to survive and function, right?

" Not only is it a government's requirement to help it's populace, it should be ITS SOLE PURPOSE."

Sounds like it also applies in the help department.

" The fact that it is not, of course, is a tragedy to be examined in another set of postings."

I don't see why it isn't even in this specific circumstance.

"As for the rest of your sentence, it doesn't make much sense. I *assume* it's some additional drivvel about "hippie leftists" without point, so I'll leave it at that, except for this bit:"

Well I doubt I write drivel on purpose but there is chance for rectification.

"Ah, there is something we can agree on."

Ahh that's nice.

" So why then does society throw away people who posess vanishingly small amounts of marijuana, locking them up for decades amongst rapists and murderers?"

Maybe a slight exageration about decades, and I could think that there is a chance for a good cause for sentence reduction and such but there is a nice legal and social theory here. Some part of the supply chain has to be attacked. The distributors have to be attacked but then a great number get away, so therefore there is also an attack on the people who want and this gives the buyers a problem.

" I guess the caring society thing is really more a concept than a fact."

Not totally careing all the time I will admit but still trying to keep society nonfractured.

" I wouldn't consider what's in place now 'cruel and indifferent' though, I think of it more as unenlightened self-interest."

Well there is a tendency to have people not care about others because of an idea in which people have to expend as little as possible because they have a 'right' to make off like bandits regardless of the social contract and mutual welfare. That is what bugs me.

"Oh, little tidbit for you... In 1998, Canada finally saw the light and re-established hemp as a legal crop."

So there should be a whole lot of rich hemp planters right? Maybe some good links?

" With any luck marijuana decriminalization will soon happen, with attendant drop in prison populations and enforcement costs."

And a rapid rise of silly mass addictions and social problems.

"So far as the record goes, no lover of drinking has yet gone out into the night and shot himself as a gesture of protest" Gilbert Seldes, The Future of Drinking 1930
[ Parent ]

I'm not getting my share! (none / 0) (#262)
by phliar on Tue Dec 10, 2002 at 03:46:15 PM EST

"There are 100,000 total marijuana smokers in the US, and most are Negroes, Hispanics, Filipinos and entertainers. Their Satanic music, jazz and swing, result from marijuana usage. This marijuana causes white women to seek sexual relations with Negroes, entertainers and any others."
      --Harry J. Anslinger, testimony to Congress, 1937
I'm pissed off. I've been listening to and playing that Satanic Jazz Music for years now, and smoking pot; I also know lots of "white women" who smoke pot. Why are they not all "seeking sexual relations" with me?

I want my money back.


Faster, faster, until the thrill of...
[ Parent ]

so fucking what (1.00 / 1) (#274)
by uniball vision micro on Tue Dec 10, 2002 at 04:12:37 PM EST

"Cruise the Web for various quotes from Anslinger (the man who started the pot ban) and William Randolph Hearst."

So some poeple had bad motives and said nasty things...next.

"The puritan Hearst faked stories in his newspapers to provide the ammunition for Anslinger to push his tax act through Congress, with lies and indeed a very large amount of racism, pushing it through."

And for the most part this is meaningless 'taxes' aren't the same thing as a prohibition. If you tax something it's still legal and not necessarily prohibited and you would have what you had with Capone simply a bunch of guys in supermax for not paying taxes.

"The whole history of pot prohibition in America is grounded in racism:"

Maybe but at that time there was not the experience of the drug problem with it then that it is now. Experience has shown a different tactic.

""There are 100,000 total marijuana smokers in the US, and most are
Negroes, Hispanics, Filipinos and entertainers. Their Satanic music,
jazz and swing, result from marijuana usage. This marijuana causes white
women to seek sexual relations with Negroes, entertainers and any
others."
   --Harry J. Anslinger, testimony to Congress, 1937 "

Yeah some racist guy who lived in 1937 for crying out loud hates minorities and their culture and talks about it. News at 11.

"Anslinger, with Hearst's help, also manufactured drug crimes all over the country."

The source for this? Come on you game the little raceist fool's quote maybe one here would be nice until I actually see this I will be sceptical.

"His testimony apparently only had a 1% truth rate in this area."

Again empty mathmetical figures and even then does it matter? Does it matter if a crusade harms something that dosn't benefit anyone who has a sound mind?
"So far as the record goes, no lover of drinking has yet gone out into the night and shot himself as a gesture of protest" Gilbert Seldes, The Future of Drinking 1930
[ Parent ]

Hmm.. (none / 0) (#292)
by FunkMasterK on Tue Dec 10, 2002 at 05:25:11 PM EST

And for the most part this is meaningless 'taxes' aren't the same thing as a prohibition. If you tax something it's still legal and not necessarily prohibited and you would have what you had with Capone simply a bunch of guys in supermax for not paying taxes.

No, the tax was in effect prohibition.  The Marihuana Tax Act of 1937 specified that marijuana could not cross state borders without a tax stamp.  A limited number of these stamps were produced, but none were distributed, meaning in effect no one could transport marijuana across state borders, rendering it illegal.

The Controlled Substances Act made the drug officially illegal in the modern sense.

""There are 100,000 total marijuana smokers in the US, and most are
Negroes, Hispanics, Filipinos and entertainers. Their Satanic music,
jazz and swing, result from marijuana usage. This marijuana causes white
women to seek sexual relations with Negroes, entertainers and any
others."
   --Harry J. Anslinger, testimony to Congress, 1937 "

Yeah some racist guy who lived in 1937 for crying out loud hates minorities and their culture and talks about it. News at 11.

You missed the point.  The racist rants were one of the only reasons Congress acted to make cannabis illegal.  The US was a very racist place in that time, and Anslinger used that to his advantage to make a mostly harmless plant into Public Enemy #1.


"His testimony apparently only had a 1% truth rate in this area."

Again empty mathmetical figures and even then does it matter? Does it matter if a crusade harms something that dosn't benefit anyone who has a sound mind?

You must be joking.  70 million americans have smoked pot in their lifetine.  Are you implying that half of the voting public is no longer of sound mind simply because they've ingested a burning plant?

[ Parent ]

Answers (none / 0) (#389)
by Quila on Wed Dec 11, 2002 at 06:30:44 AM EST

FunkMasterK answered most of this for me, but here's the rest.

The specific lie I was thinking of was Anslinger's famous kid who murdered his family with an axe because he smoked pot. The truth is the kid was a psycho even before he smoked a few joints. Most stories had this level of veracity.

Does it matter if a crusade harms something that dosn't benefit anyone who has a sound mind?

Yes, it diminishes my rights. What you like to do may be next. If the tree huggers had their way, fur, meat, cars, etc., would fall under this.

[ Parent ]

Anti-legalisation arguments are senseless. (4.58 / 17) (#32)
by kitten on Mon Dec 09, 2002 at 10:15:17 AM EST

While a large slice of the U.S. population supports legalization of marijuana, most politicians, government agencies, and some health organizations do not.

This is true, but we have to look at the motives here. The health organizations may have a point, and few would argue that drug use is a wise health decision. However, politicians are against it for political reasons, which translates to "bullshit". It would be political suicide for a politician to suggest - to the mainstream public - that drugs should be legalized. The hue and cry of "Won't someone think of the children!" would be deafening; the media would slay him as would his opponents.

If a government agency has any credibility to make a statement on the War On Drugs, they certainly aren't going to denounce it - it's a major source of funding and budget justifications. To say "This isn't working" means slashing the hell out of their operating budget, letting go of thousands of (mostly useless anyway) government workers, etc.

We also get into the "legislation of morality" issue here. While statements like "Glen R. Hanson, acting director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse, sees marijuana as having serious consequences to one's mental and physical health" may be entirely accurate, they are also irrelevant as far as the law should be concerned. (Note I said 'should be', not 'is'.) It is of absolutely no concern to me if some clown down the street wants to blast his mind out on psychotropics all day and night. Let him. As long as he doesn't bother me or anyone else, he's more than welcome to. It is not my job, or the government's job, to save us from ourselves.

Gangs fight to control their marijuana-dealing "turf," causing rampant gang violence and crime.

True. Legalize it and this will disappear overnight. Why fight over who gets to deal on what turf, when we can buy it at the convenience store?

The opponents of drug legalization operate on a pretty simple assumption: If drugs were legalized, more people would use them.

Simple-minded is more like it. The argument could be made very well that making it illegal invites more usage, sort of putting into the 'forbidden fruit' category.
When I was 19, getting hold of some alcohol was just so cool, and it was something of a thrill, you know, trying to bribe someone to buy it, or trying to make fake IDs, sneaking it into the house without your parents noticing, waiting for them to leave town or stay out for the night, to invite your friends over for an evening of idiotic debauchery. Woo hoo! Most of us who went through high school, went though this.

The day after I turned 21, that went away. I still enjoy a few drinks now and then, but it just isn't a big deal. The pleasant sensation of alcohol and the flavor of the drinks is still enjoyable, but the intrigue and danger is gone - and with it, much of the desire to drink.

Furthermore, I still find the argument objectionable. Let's say I'm wrong, and more people would use drugs if it were illegal. So what? How is this anyone's concern?

On a dim level I can understand the argument that drug use breeds crime, but that hinges carefully on the drug use itself being illegal. If I could walk into a supermarket and pick up my drug of choice, I wouldn't need to resort to petty theft, violence, or other crimes. And as an added bonus, if I could pick it up at the supermarket, I'd know exactly what I was getting and what potency, since of course the FDA would regulate it (and collect a handsome tax). There is no reason I would have to victimize someone else in this scenario.

Contrast this to current street drugs, which are so astronomical in price due to being a black market commodity, that my only way to get that kind of money is to resort to crime - stealing, say, or pimping and prostitution.
And even then, maybe the stuff I'm getting isn't great, or is cut with something, or the dealer stiffs me, or put something in there that fucked me up in ways I wasn't expecting. Now I'm mad, and I'm going to go administer a good old-fashioned beat-down, or maybe let my good friend Mr. 9mm have a "discussion" with him. You're worried about violent crime? I'm about to dish out more violent crime than you'll know what to do with. And that's the legacy of criminalized drug use and the breeding of violent crime.

My solution is to make drug use essentially like alcohol use: Tightly controlled, regulated, inspected, and taxed - but legal, within certain requirements (such as age). This would bring the price of drugs down, putting kingpins and dealers out of business. It would provide consumers with a known product instead of a risky one (relatively speaking). It would allow the government to take in money from drugs instead of spending money to eliminate them. It would allow control over who gets the drugs - a dealer on the street will sell to a 13 year old as quickly as to a 25 year old. He'd get in trouble if caught either way, so why not? But by controlling it, it would be like alcohol - "Can I see your ID?" says the friendly clerk behind the desk, under threat of losing the profitable license to sell.

As for crime, treat it the way we treat alcohol. If I'm in my car and I hit someone in the road, I'm in trouble - but if I was drinking before I did this, then I'm in a fuckload of trouble. The possession of, or use of, alcohol is not a crime; it becomes a serious crime when I use it irresponsibly and put other's property or lives at risk. Why should it be any different with drugs?
mirrorshades radio - darkwave, synthpop, industrial, futurepop.
Age Restriction (5.00 / 4) (#37)
by Sloppy on Mon Dec 09, 2002 at 10:36:24 AM EST

My solution is to make drug use essentially like alcohol use: Tightly controlled, regulated, inspected, and taxed - but legal, within certain requirements (such as age).
Won't someone think of the children!? ;-)

How do you reconcile an age restriction, with your alcohol exploits at age 19? Wouldn't an age restriction keep marijuana "cool" for young people?
"RSA, 2048, seeks sexy young entropic lover, for several clock cycles of prime passion..."
[ Parent ]

Possibly. (5.00 / 5) (#38)
by kitten on Mon Dec 09, 2002 at 10:50:58 AM EST

And that's a fine line to walk. On the one hand, I find age restrictions on alcohol to be incredibly idiotic - the US seems to have such a huge problem with teenagers getting smashed and getting themselves in trouble. Naturally, the response is to get "tough" on it.

Contrast that to many European countries where the laws regarding alcohol are exceedingly relaxed. When you've been allowed to have a glass of wine now and then since you were young, drinking just isn't as big a deal - and moreover, you know your limits and how to control yourself.

So, you're right - and it's something I'll have to think about. Maybe I'll get back to you on that. :)
My initial suggestion was based on the public outcry I foresaw, as well as demonstrating just one of the myriad ways that drug use could be controlled if it the were legal, as opposed to the current and completely uncontrolled situation.
mirrorshades radio - darkwave, synthpop, industrial, futurepop.
[ Parent ]
Get Tough (5.00 / 1) (#53)
by anaesthetica on Mon Dec 09, 2002 at 01:06:18 PM EST

Perhaps you're right that European kids know their limits better, but that hasn't been my experience. I'm doing a year-abroad right now at the London School of Economics, and the students here get just as disgustingly drunk as they did back at Georgetown. Just because they grew up being able to get a pint if they wanted one doesn't mean that they have a more mature view toward drinking or getting drunk. They may know their limits earlier, but they're still as willing to go far beyond those limits.

In fact it seems more dangerous here, because their parties aren't confined to frats or apartment keggers. Since they can legally get alcohol in clubs and bars they all get drunk far away from their dorms and friends. The clubs and bars are all in areas that are frequented by criminals who prey on drunken college kids. So at 2am when we leave a club there's still a half-hour walk home at least. Of course, the cabs that operate at night are illegal cabs (mini-cabs, not the licensed black cabs) which are famously dodgy and dangerous to take.

The forbidden fruit argument is really baseless because just as many people smoke up here as in the states, and they can do it more openly because marijuana is largely decriminalized. The forbidden fruit aspect isn't really why people do drugs--people do drugs because they feel fucking awesome. You just realize what you're getting into.

If kids in the US have a harder time getting fucked up, good.


—I'm the little engine that didn't.
k5: our trolls go to eleven
[A]S FAR AS A PERSON'S ACTIONS ARE CONCERNED, IT IS NOT TRUE THAT NOTHING BUT GOOD COMES FROM GOOD AND NOTHING BUT EVIL COMES FROM EVIL, BUT RATHER QUITE FREQUENTLY THE OPPOSITE IS THE CASE. ANYONE WHO DOES NOT REALIZE THIS IS IN FACT A MERE CHILD IN POLITICAL MATTERS. max weber, politics as a vocation


[ Parent ]
How many people die... (5.00 / 1) (#62)
by steveftoth on Mon Dec 09, 2002 at 02:28:59 PM EST

from over-drinking in Europe as compared to the US.  I don't know numbers, but I would be intrigued to know how many people die each year because they drink too much and die from poisioning.  In the US, it seems like whenever a college freshman who has never drank before gets into a situation where they are forced (through peer pressure) to drink a lot, they end up in the hospital or dead.

What about in other parts of the world?

[ Parent ]

In Sweden.. (4.50 / 2) (#414)
by mikael_j on Wed Dec 11, 2002 at 03:38:14 PM EST

I don't know about the rest of Europe, or even the southern parts of Sweden, but I do know that in the northern parts of Sweden binge drinking is pretty much the only kind of drinking, myself I started drinking at age 13. And AFAIK we don't have a lot of problems with people drinking themselves to death, I know that there are some issues with people drinking "too much" but you rarely hear of someone dying from it..

This probably is because of the fact that that if you start drinking at 13-14 you get pretty good at knowing when it's too much (as in, stop drinking if you start to feel like passing out..). Also, I suspect most people learn how to keep people from suffocating on their own vomit and such when they are young and don't want their parents to find out about them drinking, always good to know how to keep your friends from killing themselves without having to call 112 (Swedish equivalent of 911).

/Mikael
We give a bad name to the internet in general. - Rusty
[ Parent ]

12 a month in UK (none / 0) (#443)
by Alan Crowe on Fri Dec 13, 2002 at 11:07:09 AM EST

I think the binge drinking death toll in the UK is about 12 a month. It gets very little publicity, just a sad few column inches in the local newspaper.

[ Parent ]
Prohibition (4.00 / 1) (#185)
by Dyolf Knip on Tue Dec 10, 2002 at 08:40:14 AM EST

If a government agency has any credibility to make a statement on the War On Drugs, they certainly aren't going to denounce it - it's a major source of funding and budget justifications

I've often wondered about how this same problem got resolved back in the 20's. What could possibly have convinced Congress and the state legislatures to write in big bold eternal letters in the Constitution, "We fucked up"? How utterly obvious must it's failure have been? The history books tend to gloss over this and I've never been able to find a good account of the politics repealing Prohibition. I find it hard to believe that we haven't passed the equivalent political "fess up" point. Yet the WoD continues unabated. It's kind of terrifying to think about. How much worse do the DEA's antics have to get, how many more people have to be tossed in jail, how many more freedoms do we have to surrender before The Powers That Be give it up as a lost cause?

You know, I can't actually recall the last time the news mentioned a SWAT team going in on a raid for something that _wasn't_ a drug bust? Just how much of our law enforcement is entirely given over to protecting us from ourselves?

---
If you can't learn to do something well, learn to enjoy doing it poorly.

Dyolf Knip
[ Parent ]

You're right. (none / 0) (#194)
by kitten on Tue Dec 10, 2002 at 09:15:49 AM EST

And I think the Prohibition example is a good one. At some point, someone decided that alcohol is bad for you and makes you do stupid things - which is true - so they outlawed it entirely.

And what was the immediate result? People making moonshine, with no regulation to the content or purity. Like people growing their own pot or cutting their own heroin.

Gangsters like Al Capone becoming huge crimelords, running enormously profitable businesses to cater to a market that wanted something but wasn't allowed to have it. Like today's druglords, Mr. Capone and others would wage turf wars, killing each other off in an attempt to corner the market. When Prohibition was repealed, the gangsters went away or found something else to do.

The war on drugs causes more violence and crime than it prevents. Decriminalize it, and just like Prohibition, the uproar goes away, the violence goes away, the black market kingpins making thousands or millions all go away.

And you raise a good point - we're wasting our money and our resources by charging law enforcement with this idiotic task. Instead of catching robbers, rapists, arsonists, and murderers, they're spreading themselves more and more thin trying to make sure nobody - gasp! does something unhealthy. End the war on drugs, and we could either scale back law enforcement - saving precious tax dollars and putting money back into the hands of the citizens - or maintain the same level, and have them catch, you know, the bad guys, instead of people who are quite literally minding their own business.

Sickening.
mirrorshades radio - darkwave, synthpop, industrial, futurepop.
[ Parent ]
Price of marijuana (2.50 / 2) (#34)
by hesk on Mon Dec 09, 2002 at 10:24:27 AM EST

Being from Germany I wonder about the cost of Marijuana in the States. So my question is: What does one gramm of Marijuana cost in the US?

--
Sticking to the rules (red lights etc.) doesn't improve your safety, relyi

prices (none / 0) (#40)
by Zara2 on Mon Dec 09, 2002 at 11:21:40 AM EST

It depends on the quality. Your average field weed goes for 50-60$ an ounce with deep discounts for high quantity. If your talking some sinsminella grown in a hydroponics garden from some seed stock from Amsterdam you are looking at about 20$ a gram.

[ Parent ]
uh where are you from? (none / 0) (#74)
by Fett on Mon Dec 09, 2002 at 03:25:34 PM EST

$50-60 an ounce? Im guessing you live near a pipeline or something for pot. ;) Near my domain, an ounce goes for $90-100. Probably since I'm in a state that doesn't really have good growing conditions year round. Ah well.
"He's no good to me dead."
[ Parent ]
try living in an urban area (none / 0) (#100)
by jcolter on Mon Dec 09, 2002 at 06:24:44 PM EST

In NYC the pot prices I have seen tend to be between $45-70 a 1/8th of an oz.  

[ Parent ]
I just don't get it (none / 0) (#107)
by newellm on Mon Dec 09, 2002 at 06:38:05 PM EST

I am from Corvallis, Oregon, and I can't ever get an ounce for less than $200.  However, all of the pot available is always nice buds, with some really dank stuff available if you know the right people.  I just can't understand why I can't find ounces for cheaper than $200 though, since Oregon, California, and BC are all fairly large pot growing areas.

I'm moving to California soon(West of LA), does anyone have any info on prices there?

[ Parent ]

Yow, Bargain Basement! (none / 0) (#265)
by phliar on Tue Dec 10, 2002 at 03:57:32 PM EST

Your average field weed goes for 50-60$ an ounce ....
Yikes! Where? In San Francisco (which is very close to Humboldt County in northern California where huge quantities of excellent weed are grown), weed is closer to $50 for an eighth of an ounce, or about $200 for an ounce -- which works out to about $7 a gram. If you have a reliable friendly source it's usually about the same but of higher quality.


Faster, faster, until the thrill of...
[ Parent ]

different pot (none / 0) (#79)
by anotherda5id on Mon Dec 09, 2002 at 04:25:35 PM EST

it is important to note that the marijuana sold and consumed on the US is not the same as people use in europe. in the US, you roll joints completely from marijuana (leaves and blooms), in europe only the bloom (sorry, don't know the "correct" terms) is used. so 1 gram of european weed is not the same as 1 gram of american weed.

[ Parent ]
You are misinformed (none / 0) (#93)
by spacegrass on Mon Dec 09, 2002 at 05:53:38 PM EST

As a regular pot smoker from the United States, I can tell you that we most certainly do NOT smoke pot leaf. We smoke the buds only, exactly the same as they do in Europe, with the possible exception that Europeans often mix tobacco with the cannabis in their joints. 1 gram of Amsterdam pot tends to be better quality than the typical American fare, but it's the same part of the plant.
--
We'll get us some spacegrass
Lay low watch the universe expand
[ Parent ]
might be wrong, however... (none / 0) (#252)
by anotherda5id on Tue Dec 10, 2002 at 02:08:18 PM EST

i admit it has been a while, and i was wrong about the leaves. still, the main point was that you cannot equate 1 gram of european pot to 1 gram of american pot. if you bought one ounce of weed over here it would last much longer. one ounce (28 grams) would cost you about 200 euros or a little more. we mix it with tobacco, because it would be almost suicidal to make joints purely out of pot, and to get a nice sized joint, you need the tobacco. since i haven't smoked weed in the US for more than 4 years things might have changed, but if i recall correctly, what we smoke over here was called crippy (sp?) in the us.

[ Parent ]
Your main point is also wrong (none / 0) (#256)
by spacegrass on Tue Dec 10, 2002 at 02:50:50 PM EST

I just got back from a week in Amsterdam, and the pot there is no stronger than the typical american kind bud. It's nicer looking, and it tastes a lot better, but it doesn't get you any higher.

You don't need the tobacco to make a nice sized joint, and it's far from suicidal to make joints completely from european pot. I did it for an entire week. Sure, you might not want to smoke the whole thing yourself, but that's what friends are for.
--
We'll get us some spacegrass
Lay low watch the universe expand
[ Parent ]

The most usual form of pot in Europe (none / 0) (#171)
by bob6 on Tue Dec 10, 2002 at 05:59:58 AM EST

Haschich. Usually Marocco.
And you have to mix it with tobacco in order to smoke it. As a result, joints are even more offensive for health than cigarettes.

Cheers.
[ Parent ]
haschisch... (none / 0) (#253)
by anotherda5id on Tue Dec 10, 2002 at 02:10:47 PM EST

is not that common as it used to be anymore. back in the days, all we had was haschisch, but in the meantime, you usually get that highly concentrated weed from the netherlands.

[ Parent ]
Legalisation, yes - open distribution, no (3.00 / 4) (#39)
by KiTaSuMbA on Mon Dec 09, 2002 at 11:01:11 AM EST

I do agree that marijuana is not that big malice of society that the prohibitionist propaganda tries to picture. I also agree that the actual malice comes from the very illegal nature of consuming cannabis. However I do not agree with the opinion that not only should marijuana be legal but also freely distributable by home-growers. People, wether you like it or not, cannabinoids have pharmaceutical action... that means that to actually distribute it you should need FDA (or the analogous institute in your country) authorization. In most countries tobbaco distribution is legal, yes, but not uncontrolled. What's the essential formal difference between nicotine and THC? Would you smoke a sigarette that is not checked for dangerous byproducts of the coltivation and production processes? Both marijuana producers and retailers should have proper license to do so.
Age limits (similar to tobbaco and alcohol consumption) are also a proper thought, although I would argue that 21yrs is just too late by today's standards. You will only make people eager to have it as a symbol of being "grown ups." Unfortunately there is a very strong pattern in modern western societies of what is normally parental duty being relied upon laws. IMHO, there is nothing wrong with a teenager sharing a couple of beers with his friends. What is wrong is becoming a constant drunk, but it's up to the parents to keep an eye on their kids... not the law. Same rules apply to sigarettes and pot in my book, as it is essentially the same issue: uptake of psychoactive substances for recreational purposes.

There is no Dopaminergic Pepperoni Kabal!
Nope (4.50 / 2) (#42)
by dipierro on Mon Dec 09, 2002 at 11:37:43 AM EST

People, wether you like it or not, cannabinoids have pharmaceutical action... that means that to actually distribute it you should need FDA (or the analogous institute in your country) authorization.

Only if you advertise it for medical purposes. Otherwise, as a naturally growing dietary supplement it's perfectly legal to distribute. That's how you get SAM-e, which most certainly has pharmaceutical action, over the counter.

Now you could argue it's not safe, but that's only if you smoke it, right?



[ Parent ]
you didn't get it... (none / 0) (#64)
by KiTaSuMbA on Mon Dec 09, 2002 at 02:43:41 PM EST

Apart from the noxious effects of smoking I think I made pretty clear referencies (with the sigarette example) on byproducts, adiuvants and conservants that should be controlled. That goes for the FDA issue.
As long as the license is concerned... do you think that it's wrong to have license-controlled retailers of alcohol or tobacco? If not, why is marijuana any different?
If I guess corrected, you thought I was arguing a license is necessary to coltivate your own stuff. I just said that a license should be required for commercial production and distribution...
 
There is no Dopaminergic Pepperoni Kabal!
[ Parent ]
I did get it (none / 0) (#233)
by dipierro on Tue Dec 10, 2002 at 11:58:52 AM EST

Apart from the noxious effects of smoking I think I made pretty clear referencies (with the sigarette example) on byproducts, adiuvants and conservants that should be controlled. That goes for the FDA issue.

Cigarettes are specifically excluded from the definition of dietary suppliment.

As long as the license is concerned... do you think that it's wrong to have license-controlled retailers of alcohol or tobacco?

Federally? Yes, it's unconstitutionally wrong for the federal government to restrict intrastate commerce. But the Supreme Court has ruled otherwise, so I'll live with it.

If not, why is marijuana any different?

Did they have to pass an amendment to the constitution to ban alcohol? Why is marijuana any different?

If I guess corrected, you thought I was arguing a license is necessary to coltivate your own stuff.

No, I thought you said you needed FDA approval, which you don't.



[ Parent ]
let's try again (none / 0) (#240)
by KiTaSuMbA on Tue Dec 10, 2002 at 12:18:57 PM EST

I don't know what are the legal intricacies in the US (the FDA was just an example being one of the most known agencies controlling products' suitability for pharmaceutical and dietary purposes). What I'm saying is that you shouldn't be able to exploit commercially marijuana without a license and specific controls (done by the federal government in the US or by state agencies is not something that interests me... I don't know the whys and the why nots).

There is no Dopaminergic Pepperoni Kabal!
[ Parent ]
Let me clarify (none / 0) (#242)
by dipierro on Tue Dec 10, 2002 at 12:36:17 PM EST

What I'm saying is that you shouldn't be able to exploit commercially marijuana without a license and specific controls (done by the federal government in the US or by state agencies is not something that interests me... I don't know the whys and the why nots).


I disagree.



[ Parent ]
Which is why we (the Dutch) have coffee shops, (none / 0) (#224)
by L Satyl on Tue Dec 10, 2002 at 11:23:55 AM EST

if there ever was a misnomer it's coffee shops :-). Anyhoo, the coffee shops are intended for the distribution of marihuana. No alcohol, no hard drugs, just marihuana, tea, coffee and soda. You have to be over 18 to enter.

Works like a charm.

[ Parent ]
I was recently in Amsterdam (none / 0) (#266)
by spacegrass on Tue Dec 10, 2002 at 03:59:00 PM EST

Anyhoo, the coffee shops are intended for the distribution of marihuana. No alcohol, no hard drugs, just marihuana, tea, coffee and soda.

That was the impression I had before I went, but it seems more complicated in truth. Some of the coffeeshops I went into sold beer. Some didn't actually sell coffee, though they were still called coffeeshops. The Leidseplein(sp?) Bulldog sells coffee and cannabis downstairs and has a bar selling alcohol upstairs.. You can smoke pot in the upstairs bar even though you have to go downstairs to buy it.

I don't really know what the actual rules are, I think as long as you don't bother anyone it's all good. Isn't that the way it should be? We could all learn a lot from the Dutch.. :)
--
We'll get us some spacegrass
Lay low watch the universe expand
[ Parent ]

The strategic objective is maximum health, right? (4.20 / 10) (#44)
by Sloppy on Mon Dec 09, 2002 at 11:49:54 AM EST

I don't think it's even worth talking about waging a war, unless you are explicit about what you intend to get out of it.

The main objection to marijuana is that it is bad for you. The reason to wage the war against it, is to improve peoples' health.

If you accept the liberal idea that government should use force against people for their own good, then you have to also outlaw tobacco, and enforce a healthy diet (close down McDonalds), and enact other policies to prevent people from doing dangerous or unhealthy things. People have an obligation to society, no man is an island, your life is not 100% your own, yaddayaddayadda. The current policy of just banning this one narrow category of unhealthy things, is ridiculously short-sighted. It is not a serious attempt to win the strategic objective.

If you're conservative and say that peoples' health is their own responsibility instead of government's, then drugs are outside the scope of what is appropriate to regulate. People should be allowed to kill themselves with tobacco, heroin, or skiing into a tree while drinking Mountain Dew. The current policy of banning some drugs, does not serve the strategic objective (people being Free).

Which is the goal: compulsory health or freedom? We should pick one and be consistent.

If we don't have a well-defined objective, then we won't have a well-defined policy for attaining it. This inconsistency results in some drugs (e.g. marijuana) arbitrarily on the banned list, while others (tobacco, greasy french fries) aren't. You can't have this kind of inconsistency, and expect consistent popular support. No wonder the "war" isn't winnable: the people know that we're not really fighting to win anything.
"RSA, 2048, seeks sexy young entropic lover, for several clock cycles of prime passion..."

What's this "liberal"/"conservative (2.50 / 2) (#51)
by Pikachu with an Axe in his Head on Mon Dec 09, 2002 at 12:52:04 PM EST

Very cute. So all those dope-smoking hippie Democrats are "conservatives" and all those fascist anti-drug Republicans are "liberals". Try again without the bogus loaded labels.

[ Parent ]
Bogus? (2.00 / 1) (#59)
by Sloppy on Mon Dec 09, 2002 at 02:02:08 PM EST

I was using the terms in their laissez-faire vs micromanaged-by-The-everexpanding-State sense. It's unfortunate if years of abuse has made them inaccurately associated with certain stereotypes or parties (such as that "conservative=republican, liberal=democrat" nonsense). But maybe using those terms in the classical sense, will help not only to take thems back so that they can mean something again, but also could help expose some hypocrisy.
"RSA, 2048, seeks sexy young entropic lover, for several clock cycles of prime passion..."
[ Parent ]
Loaded words can't be taken back. (none / 0) (#67)
by Pikachu with an Axe in his Head on Mon Dec 09, 2002 at 02:57:58 PM EST

It's too late. They've spoilt.

[ Parent ]
Classical? (none / 0) (#84)
by psicE on Mon Dec 09, 2002 at 05:00:41 PM EST

You, my friend, have very clearly never read a history book.

Our country has had a long history of liberals. Foremost among them was the great Thomas Jefferson. While he had a conservative stance in the form of his views on slavery, he was liberal on every other issue.

Liberalism is classically defined as acceptance of change and mistrust in centralized authority. Conservatism is the exact opposite: inertia, acceptance of the status quo, and trust in centralized authority, whether that centralized authority be big government or big business.

Alexander Hamilton was the most prominent of the early conservatives, and he fit the description perfectly; he wanted to model the US after everything he knew in Britain, up to and including keeping as much distance between average American citizens and their government as possible. Jefferson, on the other hand, barely wanted the federal government to exist, and even wanted states to be able to pass decrees declaring federal acts to be unconstitutional. If it wasn't for archconservative John Adams' appointment of John Marshall as chief justice of the Supreme Courut, states might be doing that all the time now - and the 9th and 10th amendments would actually be enforced.

Get your facts straight. The Republicans are liberal in that they want change in how government handles the economy, but conservative in that they want centralized authority in the form of big business. The Democrats are liberal in that they want the government, at least in part, out of people's private lives, but conservative in that they accept the status quo with regards to the economy. It is possible to be both a liberal and a Republican (though you'd be better off voting Libertarian). But if you are mistrustful of central authority, and you are not afraid of change, *you are a liberal*.

[ Parent ]

Decentralization-another alternative (4.00 / 6) (#47)
by nomoreh1b on Mon Dec 09, 2002 at 12:15:21 PM EST

There is another major alternative that wasn't considered in this article:
Radical decentralization of drug policy in the US.

According to some constitutional scholars, the federal government really shouldn't be involved in drug policy at all. If this were the case, some states like Oregon and Alaska would most likely opt for legalization(those states have had past legalization efforts that fell under intense federal pressure including threats to remove federal highway funds). Other states(Utah comes to mind) might most likely opt for much stricter drug possession/use penalties than they have now. I can imagine some states requiring drug tests for virtually any job or drivers license. Still others, might opt for something else.

The "laboratory of the states" was meant to allow states to figure out what works and what doesn't. There is at least some correlation between use of cocaine and large state government expenses. It is quite possible that states that permit some drugs in their jurisdiction just won't be financially stable over time. This is all a question the market could sort out though.

Asia has something similar in operation. Singapore has very strict drug laws-while if you go next door to Thailand, there are resorts that cater to tourists where marijuan, opium and mushrooms are readily available.



This is already basically the case (4.00 / 2) (#65)
by gengis on Mon Dec 09, 2002 at 02:56:07 PM EST

The Federal Government can only concern itself with interstate transportation of drugs.  It's a murky issue, because it's very, very hard to prove your drugs didn't come from a neighboring state (And in the current climate, the courts are content to let drug dealers remain guilty until proven inncocent).

States already univesally outlaw drugs.  Some already are stricter that others.

I'd go so far as to opine that the Federal Government does not even have the right to regulate interstate drug use (Or interstate anything).  They hijacked the right.  The constitution grants congress the power to "regulate commerce with foreign nations, and among the several states..."  It seems glaringly obvious, to me at least, that the intent was never to regulate drug use.  The list of Congress' powers is an enumerated list.  Exclusive, detailed and finite.  It does not take a consitituitional scholar to see this.  After all, the constituition was written for the average man to understand entirely.  If it ever intended to give Congress the authority to regulate the posession of narcotics, you can bet your life it would have said "Congress shall have the power to regulate the posession of narcotics."

It doesn't say any such thing, therefore all Federal drug laws are unconstitutional, and hence, no law at all.

[ Parent ]

Expansion of Commerce Clause Powers (none / 0) (#111)
by quackus on Mon Dec 09, 2002 at 06:47:51 PM EST

The powers bestowed upon Congress in the commerce clause of the Constitution were expanded in the 60's in order to maintain the constitutionality of federal civil rights legislation (i.e. Katzenbach v. McClung). Without this expansion, segregation would most likely still be legally enforced in the southern US. So, its a tradeoff that the Supreme Court et al. decided to make.

[ Parent ]
Yes, but (4.50 / 2) (#132)
by gengis on Mon Dec 09, 2002 at 08:58:31 PM EST

The point is they never had the authority to make the tradeoff.  The proper venue was a constitutional ammendment (e.g.,  the 15th ammendmend, explicitly granting the right to vote to all citizens, regardless of race or color).

Thomas Jefferson wrote that any unconstituitional law, despite anything that any branch of the government claims, should never be enforced.  Thus, the last defense of a democracy - jury nullification.  This is precisely why the constituition is written in a manner that the average citizen can understand.

Isn't it interesting that the government now instructs juries that they MUST follow the law as it is told to them?  That lawyers are NOT allowed to argue jury nullification?  This mode of justice flies in the face of 400 years of jurisprudence.  (Not to mention the case in Texas, I believe, of a woman being sent to prison for excercising her right of jury nullification).

Indeed, Jefferson wrote in the Kentucky Resolutions that the Federal Government has the power to punish only *4* crimes: 1) treason, 2) counterfeiting the securities and current coin of the United States, 3) piracies and 4) offenses against the law of nations.  (Under no circumstance, whatever the crime, whatever the time, NO MATTER WHAT, does the Federal Government have the authority to punish ANYTHING else).

It does not matter, and it never has mattered, what the Supreme Court says.  Ultimately, the power rests with the people.

[ Parent ]

Question (none / 0) (#142)
by nomoreh1b on Tue Dec 10, 2002 at 02:37:42 AM EST

Indeed, Jefferson wrote in the Kentucky Resolutions that the Federal Government has the power to punish only *4* crimes: 1) treason, 2) counterfeiting the securities and current coin of the United States, 3) piracies and 4) offenses against the law of nations. (Under no circumstance, whatever the crime, whatever the time, NO MATTER WHAT, does the Federal Government have the authority to punish ANYTHING else).

Question: given that the constitution gives the federal government authority over immigration issues, how do you think Jefferson would have handled those? Personally, I'd love for states to have more latitude in this area-but I'm not familiar with this specific area of scholarship.

[ Parent ]

IANA Scholar (none / 0) (#156)
by gengis on Tue Dec 10, 2002 at 03:59:34 AM EST

Hmm.  I'm probably as much in the dark as you are.  (Why am I posting again?).  I couldn't even guess what Jefferson's opinion may have been.

In the early 1800's, the U.S. still had no uniform code of citizenship (Despite the power to create one being vested in Congress by the Constitution).  The law, as I understand it, was that a citizen of any individual state was a citizen of the United States.  So states were free to not allow citizenships to people of color, etc.

IMHO, the states should not have a say in immigration.  I'm all for state's rights...But the citizen of any individual state is guaranteed the rights of the citizens of all other states.  Since the other states are affected by the naturalization, it should be a Federal matter.

[ Parent ]

Supreme Court shouldn't change Constitution (none / 0) (#145)
by nomoreh1b on Tue Dec 10, 2002 at 02:48:26 AM EST

In playing God this way, they've created a serious mess. In getting rid of segregation, they also got rid of the ability of states to create laws that might protect their citizens in this current immigration mess the US has gotten itself into.

[ Parent ]
not quite. (4.00 / 1) (#312)
by aphrael on Tue Dec 10, 2002 at 06:36:44 PM EST

The large-scale expansion of the commerce clause came in the 30s, as a justification for state intervention in the economy during the depression, and the "New Deal".

The use of the commerce clause in civil rights legislation came later, after the precedent had already been set --- if Congress can prohibit child labor under the guise of regulating interstate commerce, then it can prohibit racial discrimination under the same theory.

[ Parent ]

Wickard v. Filburn (none / 0) (#323)
by gengis on Tue Dec 10, 2002 at 06:58:56 PM EST

It all started with United States v. Darby... but the flood gates opened in 1946, with Wickard v. Filburn.

W v F held that the Federal government had the right, under the Commerce Clause, to regulate the amount of wheat a farmer could grow on his own farm, on his own land - despite the distribution of the wheat.  In the case of Wickard, he grew 239 busshels of wheat more than the allotment given to him by the Federal government allowed.  He intended, and indeed did, use the wheat only on his farm (For the feeding of livestock, the production of flour for his household, and seed for the next year's crop).  The court held however, that the Commerce Clause allowed the Federal government to fine him $0.49/busshel, or $117.11.

One of the most egregious Supreme Court decisions in the history of the U.S., if you ask me.  It's also a good reason to keep liberals off the Supreme Court...

[ Parent ]

conservatives were no better. (5.00 / 1) (#325)
by aphrael on Tue Dec 10, 2002 at 07:03:59 PM EST

The 1920s in particular, but in general the entire 50 years before the New Deal, were rife with court decisions which denied state governments the right to pass minimum wage laws, prohibit child labor, enact workplace safety rules or maximum workday laws, etc, because doing any of these things would violate the right of free people to negotiate their own contracts (a "right" not explicitly protected in the constitution at all).

[ Parent ]
Agree on non-constitutionality of fed. drug laws (none / 0) (#129)
by nomoreh1b on Mon Dec 09, 2002 at 08:30:32 PM EST

Thing is, since these days the federal government controls the purse strings. The federal government has reduced the ability of the states to affect immigration the ways they did in the days when the constitution was taken more seriously(i.e. although feds always controlled immigration law, states originally had a lot more say in who could live in their boundaries and do business there).

These days, Oregon considers legalization of pot-and their governor gets harrassed by the president and threatened with having federal highway funds cut off. In the present climate, the constitution doesn't mean much any more. It is something like the Royal Family in Britain-it is kept around to preserve a sense of continuity, but it just isn't taken all that seriously any more.



[ Parent ]

Sort of (4.00 / 2) (#147)
by gengis on Tue Dec 10, 2002 at 02:54:23 AM EST

I agree to a certain extent.  I could rave for hours about the Commerce Clause and the centralization of government in general for hours.  However, I think the backbone of the constitutiton is still very strong.  Ammendments 1-9 of the Bill of Rights are still taken very seriously.  It's nearly impossible for the government to usurp them in today's climate (Though quite a bit easier since 9/11).  

(Ammendment 10, of course, is completely non-enforced, and is the subject of this thread - "The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the states respectively, or to the people."  How much clearer could is possibly be?)

Despite my strong disgust with the Federal Government, I can hardly fault it.  Power begets power.  You give an inch and they'll take a mile.  In the end, there is noone to blame but the People.

If the People were to look at the case of Oregon, at John Ashcroft's crusade against medical marijuana and the right to die, and were to collectively understand that it was fundamentally wrong, that it may be their state next losing (Their rightly owed) Federal dollars, there would not be a problem.  And if there still were, it would quickly be settled come elections. (We still have those don't we?)

The problem is that the people won't realize that.  The People are in favor of the War on Drugs (And the War on Guns, the War on Gangsters, the War on Terrorism, the War on Saddam, or any other "War on..." a politician can dream up).

Americans are by and large happy with their country the way it is.  In a country where being poor means you only have one 16" color T.V. with basic cable, who can blame them?

[ Parent ]

Few things (4.00 / 1) (#139)
by strlen on Mon Dec 09, 2002 at 10:42:39 PM EST

I think your correlation, shows exact opposite. Higher drug use means more government money is spent to combat it (the drug war DOES cost money), hence instead those who make drug use illegal, are the ones who go broke. There's also the money being spent on welfare though, including on welfare on drugs users -- but in my opinion, people who conciensously choose to be taxed at a ridiculous ammount and have their money redistributed and believe they have a right to the money of other individuals, won't vote for drug legalization either (except for perhaps a tiny hippie minority.. but those people won't go on welfare in any case).

As for Thailand vs. Singapore, Thailand too has very strict drug laws: death penalty for weapons trafficing and all. I believe the difference between Thailand and Singapore is the lesser respect and enforcement of law in Thailand, vs. Singapore.

I do agree with you that states should be able to set their own drug laws; that's just how the constitution works. The same constitution that it theory gives the federal government no right to ban drugs, in theory would also let the states decide their own drug laws.  Which means there'd be medical marijuana laws in DC, and medical marijuana patients/suppliers wouldn't be arrestd in California, etc.. Of course infrigement on first, and 14th ammendment as well as due process by the states shouldn't be tolerated as well, but that's regardless of drug laws.


--
[T]he strongest man in the world is he who stands most alone. - Henrik Ibsen.
[ Parent ]

Supplemental: Links about cannabis (3.00 / 2) (#50)
by klykken on Mon Dec 09, 2002 at 12:39:53 PM EST

Suggestions for recommended links of further study:



seems obvious (4.57 / 7) (#52)
by tps12 on Mon Dec 09, 2002 at 01:05:01 PM EST

Of course it's working. It's without question more difficult for an average American adult to purchase illicit drugs than alcohol or nicotine. The question is not whether the WoD is working (unless you truly believe it possible that legalization would decrease drug use), but whether it's worth its cost to taxpayers and whether decreasing drug use is even something we should care about in the first place.

Not necessarily (none / 0) (#56)
by Vygramul on Mon Dec 09, 2002 at 01:23:50 PM EST

It depends on the Blue Laws in your area, but it might actually be easier to buy drugs than alcohol on Sundays.


If Brute Force isn't working, you're not using enough.
[ Parent ]

for adults but (none / 0) (#58)
by cronian on Mon Dec 09, 2002 at 01:56:49 PM EST

It probably is easier to purchase alchohol or nicotine than marijuana. However, is one really better than the other. For teenagers however, it is easier in many cases to get marijuana than cigaretes.

We perfect it; Congress kills it; They make it; We Import it; It must be anti-Americanism
[ Parent ]
that may be (none / 0) (#63)
by tps12 on Mon Dec 09, 2002 at 02:36:05 PM EST

Even if that is the case (and I tend to think that that frequently-stated "truth" is exaggerated), it's not very useful information. There are all sorts of explanations for why that might be the case. At the very least, you should agree that if marijuana were sold in every drug store to anyone over the age of 18, and possession of it was decriminalized for everyone, then it wouldn't make the drug more difficult for teenagers to obtain.

[ Parent ]
disagree (none / 0) (#97)
by cronian on Mon Dec 09, 2002 at 06:08:24 PM EST

"National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse (CASA) at Columbia University indicates that 60 percent of high school students and 30 percent of middle school students report that drugs are used, kept, or sold at their schools." http://www.usdoj.gov/ndic/pubs/798/ Do you think a drug store is more convenient then school for children? Besides, if drugs were legal only for adults, it might at least require some extra inconvenience to buy them underage which would also probably be more risky.

We perfect it; Congress kills it; They make it; We Import it; It must be anti-Americanism
[ Parent ]
It WOULD be more difficult (none / 0) (#122)
by pyro9 on Mon Dec 09, 2002 at 07:42:55 PM EST

Currently, the entire supply chain for pot consists of people who don't mind breaking the law and do business informally where it can't be adequately policed. Once the corner store is selling it, that network will be replaced by one that cares very much about staying within the law (to avoid losing their license) and operates at fixed places of business where it may be monitored.

Naturally, that won't make it impossable, but it might actually be harder.

I do know that I've neverheard of anyone not being able to get weed on Sunday here, but beer on Sunday is nigh impossible no matter how old you are.


The future isn't what it used to be
[ Parent ]
it would be more difficult (none / 0) (#317)
by werner on Tue Dec 10, 2002 at 06:43:31 PM EST

to get drugs if they were legalized and restricted to those over 18 or 21. i don't personally know how difficult it is to get alcohol when you are underage in america, though friends tell me it is much harder than in europe. i can say, however, that it is very difficult to get alcohol in england after 11pm - law dictates that pubs and any shops selling alcohol must cease to do so at 11pm, 10.30pm on sundays. it can be difficult for kids under 16 to get alcohol - the legal drinking age is 18, but there are relatively many shops and pubs who will serve you if you look vaguely old enough. drug dealers, naturally, do not feel obliged to observe such restrictions. there is, of course, no such thing as an alcohol dealer, because there's no business in selling alcohol illegally to children or after hours.

similary, legalizing drugs would marginalize the illegal dealer, making it more difficult for children to get drugs, because there just aren't any dealers any more. back to asking the older brother.

[ Parent ]

Hmm... (4.00 / 1) (#71)
by Danse on Mon Dec 09, 2002 at 03:19:44 PM EST

My brother orders pot like he's ordering a pizza. And it usually shows up faster too. It's not that tough.






An honest debate between Bush and Kerry
[ Parent ]
yes (4.00 / 1) (#75)
by tps12 on Mon Dec 09, 2002 at 03:36:51 PM EST

I am going to go out on a limb and propose that your brother is not representative of the "average American adult" I was discussing. AFAIK, most places don't have delivery services for marijuana. Even in those that do, it's not like you can find them by dialling 411 or looking in the yellow pages.

[ Parent ]
Ok (4.66 / 3) (#89)
by Danse on Mon Dec 09, 2002 at 05:44:11 PM EST

Perhaps if you aren't a regular pot smoker and don't know anyone who is, you might have a tougher than usual time getting your first hit. But once you know somebody that can get it, it becomes quite easy, even to the point of being able to call them up and have it dropped off to you. I've never been a pot smoker (or any other drug really, aside from alcohol), but I've known where to buy pot since I was about 15. I find it incredibly hard to believe that an adult would have a tough time getting ahold of some.






An honest debate between Bush and Kerry
[ Parent ]
no (none / 0) (#278)
by phliar on Tue Dec 10, 2002 at 04:22:39 PM EST

Anyone who's at a university in the US and wants to smoke pot, can. Find the stereotypical pot-head person -- you know, the media portrayal of ethnic clothes and dreadlocks -- that person probably doesn't but knows the people who do. From that point as long as you have cash you can buy it whenever you want. Or befriend the musicians, they'll tell you.

Things may be a little harder if you're a "responsible adult" and don't know anyone who looks unafraid to be thought outside the mainstream -- I imagine if you're a forty-something adult in a small midwestern town, parent of kids, you may be hesitant about finding these people. But hey, just wait till your kids grow up and ask them! (Another good reason to be on good terms with your kids and to treat them with the same respect you'd give to a friend.)

The one situation I've been in that made it hard to find pot was being a professor at a small university in a small western town. You definitely can't ask your students to set you up with their supplier.


Faster, faster, until the thrill of...
[ Parent ]

uh (4.00 / 1) (#285)
by tps12 on Tue Dec 10, 2002 at 04:38:35 PM EST

Once more, I'm going to have to repeat myself (hm, funny how people seem to be having short-term memory problems in this thread). I'm talking about the "average American adult" here, not "anyone who's at a university," or "my brother," or anyone else.

I'm well aware that there are large segments of the population who can obtain marijuana with little to moderate effort. But for the vast majority of American adults, purchasing any illicit substance is more difficult (that is, more time intensive and/or riskier) than purchasing alcohol or nicotine products.

Even your example is no good; sure, all you have to do is find some musicians, rastas, or hippies, get a phone number, and make the deal. But to buy a six pack or a carton of smokes, you just need to open the yellow pages or look around for a gas station or magazine store.

In this, as in all else,—
Y'r obd't s'v't.
tps12.—
[ Parent ]

it's not a question of average (none / 0) (#305)
by werner on Tue Dec 10, 2002 at 06:25:29 PM EST

you say "average american adult", and everyone else replies from the point of view of the "average american pot smoker".

you are quite right to say that it is more difficult for the majority of people to get illicit substances than alcohol or tobacco. it is equally true that anyone who regularly smokes pot can get it just as easily as almost anything else.

compare it rather to getting tobacco or alcohol when you are underage - everyone manages it, it just takes a bit of effort to find out where and from whom you can get it.

i can say for a fact, it is often easier to get drugs than alcohol in britain, because dealers have longer hours than pubs, the majority of which are legally obliged to close at 11pm.

[ Parent ]

Funny... (2.00 / 1) (#377)
by Danse on Wed Dec 11, 2002 at 03:00:37 AM EST

I'm talking about the "average American adult" here, not "anyone who's at a university," or "my brother," or anyone else.

I thought I was an average American adult. Why do you think I'm not? I live in a mid-sized city. I have a brother who smokes pot. I make an average living and live in an average apartment. What criteria do I have to meet to be considered an average American adult by you? Maybe that would clear some things up.






An honest debate between Bush and Kerry
[ Parent ]
you got me (none / 0) (#388)
by tps12 on Wed Dec 11, 2002 at 06:23:31 AM EST

Proof by example.

[ Parent ]
My problem with the drug war (4.00 / 3) (#57)
by dasunt on Mon Dec 09, 2002 at 01:27:02 PM EST

My problem with the drug war is that we keep locking people up.

We only have a limited capacity in our prisons. When we sentence a drug dealer to 2 years in prison, what happens is that a rapist, murderer, or criminal convicted of assault is released 2 years early.

I have never used illegal drugs, and I'm not really fond of the way that some illegal drugs interfere with the neurological process. There is also the issues of purity with illegal drugs bought on the street. However, the average pot smoker doesn't scare me as much as the average violent criminal. This does not require a decriminalization of drugs: we could switch to fines - which results in more money in the state's coffers, and more space in the prisons for violent offenders. Its a win-win situation.

Just remember: If we are asking for increased prison time for drug offenses, we are asking for decreased prison time for other offenses, including violent offenses. From what little first-hand information that I've seen, most pot smokers aren't a threat to other people. If we are going to punish them for breaking society's laws, lets use a fiscal punishment. Usually they aren't a threat to society if they are left on the streets. Sure, some addicts might resort to theft or other illegal acts for money, but imprison them for those offenses, and not for drugs. Lets save prison time for those who hurt others if they are left on the streets.

Just my $.02



In my observations (3.77 / 9) (#60)
by coryking on Mon Dec 09, 2002 at 02:04:17 PM EST

After watching the TV show COPS, I have came to a conclusion: The war on drugs is a way for police/government to oppress & harass minorities (read: blacks). Cop pulls over black guy, searches car, finds a 20 sack of weed; homeboy gets arrested. That is about 50% of COPS. Same thing /w cocaine and other "hard" drugs.

The best thing we as a society can do is end this ridiculous "war" and move on - it's a waste of taxpayer money (as it ridding the world of pot will NEVER happen) and ending the "war" will significantly reduce crime. Why reduce crime? If you can buy a pack of weed from 7-11 for cheaper then your local dealer, then your local dealer would go out of business. Thus ends gang wars, turf wars, etc.

Hey dude. (2.62 / 8) (#61)
by tkatchev on Mon Dec 09, 2002 at 02:19:43 PM EST

I have a solution: maybe if the said minorities weren't using drugs in the first place, they wouldn't have such a problem. It's not that hard.

Also, if you think that gangs do not go to war with each other over alcohol and cigarette markets, you are incredibly mistaken. The alcohol & nicotine business is probably more dangerous and violent than the illegal drug business.

   -- Signed, Lev Andropoff, cosmonaut.
[ Parent ]

you need to rethink your 'logic' (5.00 / 1) (#109)
by professor bikey bike on Mon Dec 09, 2002 at 06:40:42 PM EST

I have a solution: maybe if the said minorities weren't using drugs in the first place, they wouldn't have such a problem. It's not that hard.

You should take a look at the statistics of who actually uses more drugs (predominantly white, middle class) compared to who gets more jail time (guess).

[ Parent ]
You should look.... (none / 0) (#189)
by duffbeer703 on Tue Dec 10, 2002 at 08:55:22 AM EST

...at who the drug suppliers are and where they conduct business. Most inner-cities are corrupt sewers that make it easier to ply the trade.

Violence generally comes from those who SELL drugs, not who uses them. The victims are the people trying to live their lives in those neighborhoods.

[ Parent ]

No, I think you're mistaken (none / 0) (#297)
by rantweasel on Tue Dec 10, 2002 at 05:50:44 PM EST

There are plenty of drug dealers in the suburbs, there are plenty of drug users in the suburbs.  The drug enforcement occurs in poorer neighborhoods.  Look at the differences in penalties for crack vs coke.  Coke is used by white collar workers, crack is used by blue collar workers (or the unemployed).  The violence would seem more correlated with the poverty than the drugs, as far as I can tell.  I've known plenty of crackheads who went no further than petty theft and hustling to feed their monkeys, and I've known plenty of people whose frustrations over money troubles lead them to stupid acts of violence...

mathias

[ Parent ]

that's right (none / 0) (#302)
by werner on Tue Dec 10, 2002 at 06:16:07 PM EST

the violence associated with drugs is mostly perpetrated by the vendors. decriminalizing drugs would move the point of sale to legitimate sources - coffee shops etc. few people would choose to deal with criminals rather than with a legitimate business.

taking the drugs trade out of the underworld cuts out the criminal elements (to a large extent) and affords the drug user more safety because they know that the drugs they buy are pure.

history shows that people will take drugs (including alcohol and tobacco) regardless of legislation. it's high time legislators recognized this fact, and worked to minimize the harm to the individual and society, in a country where most people indulge in one drug or another regularly, treating the drugs and their users according to their nature, not some arbitrary legal status.

[ Parent ]

There will be no decriminalization. (3.50 / 2) (#424)
by tkatchev on Thu Dec 12, 2002 at 07:55:09 AM EST

Alcohol has been legal for ever, and still hasn't become decriminalized. Alcohol distribution is either monopolized by the government or tightly controlled by organized crime.

Sorry to say, but there is no easy solution.

   -- Signed, Lev Andropoff, cosmonaut.
[ Parent ]

Keep it illegal (3.00 / 6) (#66)
by krek on Mon Dec 09, 2002 at 02:57:13 PM EST

Anyone who thinks that pot will become cheaper after legalisation is fooling themselves, there is no way that governments would reduce the price that the end user would pay, they would just set taxes at just above current street prices so as to maximise tax revenues.

Another thing to think about is; Who is likely to snatch up the majority of the pot market? Answer: the tobacco companies. If you think that pot will remain non-addictive once Phillip-Morris is selling it, you are deluding yourself.

Being where I am I do not really want pot to become legalised, and thus, come under government control. I like my pot the way it is, I dial "the number", wait 45 minutes, and voila! A 'seven' shows up at my door. Can someone please explain to me again how my life will become better once I am forced to trudge down to the pharmacy and pay exorbitant taxes on top of an inflated price to get 'controlled crystal content' weed?



Are you prepared to go to jail? (4.00 / 1) (#70)
by FeersumAsura on Mon Dec 09, 2002 at 03:16:27 PM EST

Anyone who thinks that pot will become cheaper after legalisation is fooling themselves
Cannabis is extremely simple to grow, once legal I'm suer many epopel will grow it themselves. The other thing that could result is colelctive grow-ops where the inital cost is shared and the plants grown equally distributed for free.

If you think that pot will remain non-addictive once Phillip-Morris is selling it, you are deluding yourself.
As if anyone would by altered addictive weed. If you can grow yourself or know someone who does you'll just get good pure weed.

like my pot the way it is, I dial "the number", wait 45 minutes, and voila! A 'seven Exactly a 45 minute wait to meet some guy. I mean yif you're using lame codenames that impies some risk. Are you really prepared to go to jail for smoking weed?

my life will become better once I am forced to trudge down to the pharmacy and pay exorbitant taxes on top of an inflated price
You won't, dealers will still exist as will friendly people. Hell weed is illegal and still I know plenty of peopel growing, they''re not going to stop just 'cos it's legal.

I'm so pre-emptive I'd nuke America to save time.
[ Parent ]
Response (none / 0) (#76)
by krek on Mon Dec 09, 2002 at 03:46:17 PM EST

Sure you could grow it yourself, but, have you? Growing pot is a very smelly business, even if you enjoy the smell of some bud, being in the same house as a grow room is almost too much, when I tried, you could smell it two blocks away. Besides, that is only good for personal use, do you think that the govenment will actually allow you to sell pot? Do they allow you to brew and sell your own beer? Didn't think so.

Most people would be far too lazy to grow their own, thus you are stuck with whatever is on the market. I am not saying that four days after legalisation, Phillip-Morris will have addictive joints on the shelves, I would say that they would slowly phase it in so that nobody notices over the next ten to twenty years or so.

Lame codenames??? I don't think that that is pot you're smoking, friend. I am lying in bed watching Star Trek or whatever, roll over, grab my cell-phone, dial 'the number', wait 45 minutes (sometimes less, sometimes more, 'they' usually say), hear doorbell, get ass out of bed, answer door, pay dealer, go back to bed and roll a spliff. Total distance travelled: approximately 10 meters. Who the hell said anything about jail?

And, just for the record, I have grown my own before, and would do so again if legalised.

[ Parent ]
addictive joints (4.00 / 1) (#90)
by coffee17 on Mon Dec 09, 2002 at 05:47:11 PM EST

Well, the tobac companies would probably lable them as "UK stile joints" mixed about equally of tobacco and weed ... bleh. ... They'd also probably cost about the same as a pack of sigs, which if I examine my prices $100 for the last ounce I bought, I'm willing to be is quite the savings...

But, just as one can get quality tobacco, I'd find it not hard to not believe that there would be some small growers who'd get licensed, and sell just pure weed... Even if it was the same price as what I'm paying it would be more than worth it if weed was actually legal...

Also, I probably would grow my own personal weed, I'd started to once a while ago before I embarked upon my (hopefully neverending) trip to canada ... and while I had to stop well short of harvestable weed (because of leaving for the trip), a) there are different strains of pot, some which are still potent but smell much weeker, b) if it's legal, I can deal with a house smelling of pot. It was really fun to watch/help the plants grow, and would definatley want to grow my own pot/shrooms/what not...

-coffee


[ Parent ]

Organic pot? (4.00 / 1) (#131)
by grahamsz on Mon Dec 09, 2002 at 08:55:10 PM EST

Just a thought but if weed were legalised then I wouldn't be too surprised to see organic weed sales.

After all, it'll only take a current grower with a bit of capital and some imagination to make the connection. <stereotyping> I reckon a fair few pot smokers/growers are the organic hippy types</stereotyping>

I suspect the reason it costs so much is that any decent quantity of it can be smelled from quite a distance. Hence people grow smaller quantities, and the supply/demand thing kicks in.
--
Sell your digital photos - I've made enough to buy a taco today
[ Parent ]

brewing (none / 0) (#148)
by Greyshade on Tue Dec 10, 2002 at 02:56:19 AM EST

It is perfectly legal to brew your own alcohol.

[ Parent ]
Yeah (none / 0) (#201)
by krek on Tue Dec 10, 2002 at 09:32:12 AM EST

But you cannot sell it! I imagine that they even frown upon giving it away... but, I admit, they would be hard pressed to catch you giving it to your friends.

[ Parent ]
Most certainly (5.00 / 1) (#392)
by FeersumAsura on Wed Dec 11, 2002 at 06:59:19 AM EST

Sure you could grow it yourself, but, have you?

Well dave my plant is sitting next to the terrarium full of shrooms so yes.

I have it in an attic space filtering off into teh atmosphere through an activated carbon filter and the door to the area is sealed.

I also brew my own beer, make my own wine and repair my car myself. Being a student I have to do things cheaply and I enjoy it.

Lame codenames??? I don't think that that is pot you're smoking, friend
Yep it's pot alright. You call your dealer "Seven", I call my dealers by their first names.

I am lying in bed watching Star Trek or whatever, roll over, grab my cell-phone, dial 'the number', wait 45 minutes
Wow. That's so much better than what I do, I can get some out of my stash, walk to a friends and get some or call someone. I go out meet people and have fun, when I get bored or short of cash I can sell excess to friends and others.

Who the hell said anything about jail?
When you're driving to a party/rave and the polcie pull you over and search your car, walking down teh road with a spliff and the police stop you, getting moaned at in pubs "can you not smoke that in here".
I enjoy wandering around the city smoking and I don't enjoy having to keep an eye out for teh police.

I'm so pre-emptive I'd nuke America to save time.
[ Parent ]

Sure (none / 0) (#427)
by krek on Thu Dec 12, 2002 at 09:24:16 AM EST

I do not call my dealer 'seven' I call seven grams of weed a 'seven'... 'tard!

If you have your own house, then, fine, grow your own. It becomes kinda hard when you live in an apartment. And, I have never even spoken to a cop, not one on duty anyway, let alone pulled over and searched, and I can walk down the street, busiest one in the city, even, with a joint and very few problems... in the middle of the day if I want. Unfortunately, it would be the selling that would get me into trouble, and not due to the police either. Chances are, shortly after starting to sell, word would spread and I would receive a visit from our local Hell's Angels representative and told to stop or die.



[ Parent ]
Oops. (5.00 / 1) (#430)
by FeersumAsura on Thu Dec 12, 2002 at 09:50:04 AM EST

I do not call my dealer 'seven'
Sorry, didn't notice the A in front.

Although you still haven't given one good argument for keeping weed illegal.
==
It didn't work the first time.
[ Parent ]

I am not trying to convince anyone (none / 0) (#431)
by krek on Thu Dec 12, 2002 at 10:46:12 AM EST

I am merely stating that legalisation holds no real benefits for me, I am already satisfied with my marijuana situation, as long as it does not get worse, for me, in my city, then I do not really need legalisation.

And, at the same time, I am not saying that I am against legalisation, I am, in fact, very much for it, but not for practical reasons as I have no practical needs in this area, but for philosophical reasons, no one should even be allowed to regulate what I do to myself when it does no one else any direct harm.

Long -> Short: There are no good reasons for keeping weed illegal, I also have no pressing need to have weed legalised.

[ Parent ]
Set prices (none / 0) (#204)
by Quila on Tue Dec 10, 2002 at 09:41:00 AM EST

there is no way that governments would reduce the price that the end user would pay, they would just set taxes at just above current street prices so as to maximise tax revenues.

That's stupid if they have the intent of legalizing. And it's the same thing they originally did with the initial tax act, setting a tax of $1 an ounce on something that sold for $.36 a pound. This made sure all transactions were on the illegal market and therefore generated no tax revenues.

The pot that gets to your door has been marked up due to losses from seizures, bribes and the extremely high profit margins of any illegal trade. Open market pot would be extremely cheap (hell, it's hard to get the stuff not to grow anywhere), and a sizable tax could be instated and still be below current market value.

Plus, you could just grow it yourself.

[ Parent ]

Tobacco companies ??? (none / 0) (#209)
by Chakotay on Tue Dec 10, 2002 at 10:20:55 AM EST

Who is likely to snatch up the majority of the pot market? Answer: the tobacco companies.

I'd hate to burst your bubble here, but evidence is against you. In countries where Marijuana has been legalised (The Netherlands, Belgium, various states of Germany, Austria, et al) the tobacco industry has not picked up on marijuana production and distribution. True, some of the largest tobacco producers are based in the US, and Marlboro or Camel would not make good publicity in the US if they were to go sell marijuana in the Netherlands, but the Netherlands also has a very flourishing tobacco industry (mainly cigars, and self-rolling tobacco - not pre-made cigarettes), and they didn't insert themselves into the marijuana market in any way whatsoever.

--
Linux like wigwam. No windows, no gates, Apache inside.

[ Parent ]
OK, fair enough. (none / 0) (#218)
by krek on Tue Dec 10, 2002 at 10:45:41 AM EST

I must have had the p-noids yesterday, went off the deep end a bit. But I still like it just fine illegal, I can't see me, personally, gaining anything from legalisation, Montréal is already very slack in enforcing the drug laws against users.

I am quite sure that pot is very much illegal in Austria, the last time I was in Vienna, buying pot was a very hair raising experience, sketchy bars, sketchy dealers... speaking german! Ein Seiben, Schnell! Schnell! And Germany is almost as uptight about drugs, I don't know for a fact, but I just find it hard to believe that either Germany or especially Austria would legalise pot. Belgium.... I can't say, The Netherlands, oh yeah, they got it right.... waitaminit.. I take it back, what I said about not wanting it legalised, I just had a moment of nostalgia and came to the realisation that I very much want pot legalised. In fact, I might just open my own Coffee Shop! That has to be better than the shitty job I have now.

[ Parent ]
german drugs policy (none / 0) (#296)
by werner on Tue Dec 10, 2002 at 05:50:36 PM EST

you can't generalize regarding german drugs laws, at least not regarding cannabis.

it differs wildly from state to state - it is decriminalized in hamburg, northrhine-westfalia has a relatively mature attitude towards cannabis, being on the dutch border, while bavaria (which both bavarians and germans see as a different country) is much stricter. having said that, many bavarian companies have beer vending machines on the premises, and it is perfectly normal to drink a beer in your lunch break, even a one litre "Maß".

[ Parent ]

Opening your own coffee shop. (none / 0) (#425)
by tkatchev on Thu Dec 12, 2002 at 08:00:48 AM EST

Sorry little dude, but that requires a brain.

   -- Signed, Lev Andropoff, cosmonaut.
[ Parent ]

Hrumpf! (none / 0) (#428)
by krek on Thu Dec 12, 2002 at 09:25:50 AM EST

Were you trying to be offensive?

[ Parent ]
Actually, (none / 0) (#223)
by jforan on Tue Dec 10, 2002 at 11:18:32 AM EST

Selling marijuana in Amsterdam (and probably the other mentioned states) is technically illegal; it is just overlooked.  If it were legal, there would definitely be large companies producing and selling it.

Jeff

I hops to be barley workin'.
[ Parent ]

To clarify.. (none / 0) (#271)
by spacegrass on Tue Dec 10, 2002 at 04:07:15 PM EST

Selling small amounts of pot (5 grams or less) is legal in Amsterdam, which is what the coffeeshops do. What isn't technically legal is growing it and buying or selling larger amounts. It's overlooked though, because where else would the coffeeshops get their supply? That probably does keep large companies out of the wholesale business though..
--
We'll get us some spacegrass
Lay low watch the universe expand
[ Parent ]
growing / selling / taking pot is not legal (none / 0) (#294)
by werner on Tue Dec 10, 2002 at 05:33:21 PM EST

in europe, it has merely been decriminalized in some places. in practice, this means that the police tolerate growing, selling and consumption of cannabis to certain extents. it's legally far too grey for any major company to get involved.

as a result of decriminalisation, prices generally stay the same, but quality and availability increase.

[ Parent ]

'Columbia' == 'Colombia' (2.66 / 3) (#68)
by Jizzbug on Mon Dec 09, 2002 at 02:59:35 PM EST

The author and many people replying to this article have spelled 'Colombia' as 'Columbia'. I just thought I'd offer the correction: 'Colombia' is how the name o' particularly large country in South America is spelled.

By the way, free the weed.

I say unto you: one must still have chaos in oneself to be able to give birth to a dancing star. I say unto you: you still have chaos in yourselves.
 -- Friedrich Nietzsche, Thus Spoke Zarathustra: A Book for All and None

shouldn't it be (2.00 / 1) (#98)
by thekubrix on Mon Dec 09, 2002 at 06:12:37 PM EST

'columbia' != 'colombia' ??? Columbia, for gringos, is mainly referred to the District of Columbia, ie the capitol. Whereas Colombia is a souther american country. Big difference, especially when this mistake is done over and over and over and over......

[ Parent ]
Yeah (3.66 / 3) (#118)
by mindstrm on Mon Dec 09, 2002 at 07:28:09 PM EST

First, let's not dumb all english speakers into the "gringo" category. How'd you like it if we all went around calling you a spic?

Secondly...

Columbia does NOT mean "district of columbia". That is known as "DC".

The Columbia river.. British Columbia, District of Columbia...

All these refer, directly or indirectly to COLUMBUS, just as the name of your country does.

Guess what. When a mistake is made over and over and over, it becomes normal. That's how language evolves dude.

Go to Spain. Look on a map. Is it called Seville or Sevilla? Which is correct? In what language?  Who decides?

[ Parent ]

beautiful (3.00 / 2) (#228)
by thekubrix on Tue Dec 10, 2002 at 11:36:50 AM EST

First off, gringo isn't offensive, while spic is. Don't think a white man can understand that. Second,....ok, so if its mispelled over and over, then it becomes right? What in the sweet mutherfuck are you smoking pale boy? He mispelled it, thats that, no debate, no "thats how evolution works dewd". It's fucken WRONG, and offensive.

[ Parent ]
Gringo a bad word? (5.00 / 1) (#235)
by mikael_j on Tue Dec 10, 2002 at 12:07:59 PM EST

Isn't that a bit like "negro", due to people's attitudes it has become a bad word despite it just meaning that you're black. I'm not sure what gringo means but I know that every time I've heard someone being called gringo the word has had the implied meaning of "dumb fucking tourist"..

/Mikael
We give a bad name to the internet in general. - Rusty
[ Parent ]

so (3.00 / 2) (#236)
by thekubrix on Tue Dec 10, 2002 at 12:12:40 PM EST

negro & gringo are on the same level? woah

[ Parent ]
You sound surprised.... (none / 0) (#417)
by Kintanon on Wed Dec 11, 2002 at 04:27:08 PM EST

Negro = Someone who has dark skin, specifically of African descent.

Gringo = Non-hispanic (?), usually American.

Both of those are perfectly valid words with normal definitions that are not offensive to anyone.
However the usage of the words has been attached to offensive connotations, as was mentioned earlier.

Kintanon

[ Parent ]

you don't think "gringo" is offensive? (none / 0) (#293)
by werner on Tue Dec 10, 2002 at 05:25:46 PM EST

being a white, male, heterosexual only-child, i find "spik", "nigger", "faggot", "split-arse" and "sister fucker" all completely inoffensive.

so, it's okay for me to call you a "sister-fucking pinko spik", then.

it's a sad fact that the most racist people i have ever known belonged to ethnic minorities. the assertion, "it's because i am black/indian/welsh", was common at school, as was the response, "no, it's because you're a wanker".

i hear far too many foreigners running round here, saying "shit germany, shit germans", yet if a german dares to say "shit immigrants", he's branded a neo-nazi. it happened to me, too. i was saying, "bloody germans, bloody germany", and a german friend said, "why don't you fuck off back home then?". and he was right. of course, if he had been saying similar things to me, i could have gone straight to the local "foreigners' officer" - Ausländerbeauftragter - and had his arse dragged before the court.

[ Parent ]

Really? (none / 0) (#435)
by mindstrm on Thu Dec 12, 2002 at 07:44:15 PM EST

Yeah, obviously you know a lot more about language than I do.. I defer to your greatness.

[ Parent ]
Uhh (none / 0) (#436)
by mindstrm on Thu Dec 12, 2002 at 08:01:23 PM EST


"A white guy can't understand that it's not offensive."

Yeah... so you would know if we find gringo offensive or not. I get it.

And, by the way, that IS HOW THE ENGLISH LANGUAGE WORKS.  What, do you think God made english and it never changes?

[ Parent ]

Into the Buzzsaw (3.00 / 2) (#69)
by Argel on Mon Dec 09, 2002 at 03:09:29 PM EST

The book Into the Buzzsaw has a couple chapters devoted to this topic, though perhaps not in the way you may expect. Both allege heavy CIA involvment in drug trafficking.

and the why would be (none / 0) (#264)
by uniball vision micro on Tue Dec 10, 2002 at 03:51:40 PM EST

"The book Into the Buzzsaw has a couple chapters devoted to this topic,
though perhaps not in the way you may expect. Both allege heavy CIA
involvment in drug trafficking."

Yeah I've heard about this allegation. However not many people have a plausible reason why a government agency would be doing such a thing.
"So far as the record goes, no lover of drinking has yet gone out into the night and shot himself as a gesture of protest" Gilbert Seldes, The Future of Drinking 1930
[ Parent ]

Plausible reason??? (none / 0) (#333)
by Argel on Tue Dec 10, 2002 at 07:37:13 PM EST

Yeah I've heard about this allegation. However not many people have a plausible reason why a government agency would be doing such a thing.
Plausible reasons are easy, whether you believe the allegations or not: Money and power. An independant source of money means the government (e.g. Congress) has much less control over them. I do not think I need to comment on power....

[ Parent ]
glaring problem (4.00 / 3) (#77)
by FourDegreez on Mon Dec 09, 2002 at 04:03:04 PM EST

"While it looks like marijuana might be decriminalized in most states in the next few years"

Really? In the election I followed last November, the decriminalization effort saw major setbacks. (more)

I agree, but (3.50 / 2) (#86)
by br14n on Mon Dec 09, 2002 at 05:20:54 PM EST

drug decriminalization measures never would have made it onto the ballot even ten years ago. I'd say support for the drug war is crumbling rapidly.

[ Parent ]
Major setbacks? (5.00 / 4) (#133)
by FunkMasterK on Mon Dec 09, 2002 at 08:59:07 PM EST

Four out of ten voters in Nevada voted to legalize possession of 3 oz. of pot.  That's nearly a plurality, and on a far-reaching goal.  It may very well have won if the limit was much lower (say, half an oz.).  Hell, it probably would have won if our Drug Tsar hadn't campaigned on our dollar to beat the initiative.

I think it's a good sign that our revered DEA and ONDCP leaders are forced to campaign against public referenda.  It shows just how corrupt the status quo is, and it provides free advertising to the causes.  The fact that Walters even had to go to Nevada shows just how scared he was that it might have won.

What's even more heartening is that the federal government has no constitution leg to stand on in a Nevada-like system.  If a state produces its own drugs, and sells them to state citizens, and doesn't allow the drugs to leave the state, then the federal government has no justification for intervening (they can only control INTER-state commerce, not intrastate).  But that probably won't stop the DEA from raiding the stores.  I just want to see how long it takes before one of the store owners takes their case all the way to the Supreme Court, who are currently all very wary of messing with the 10th amendment.

[ Parent ]

Precisely (none / 0) (#267)
by gengis on Tue Dec 10, 2002 at 03:59:05 PM EST

Even interstate sale of narcotics is not covered by a1s8 - It's exactly the same as United States v. Lopez in 1995.  The Supreme Court overturned the "no fireamrms within 1000 feet of a school" federal law on the same argument.  The right of congress to control guns is NOT enumerated in a1s8, therefore the 10th Ammendment specifically prohibits Congress from regulating it.  5 Federal courts have overturned the Brady Law (Registration of hand guns) on the same argument.  The Supreme Court will likely follow, and overturn it as well.

The only thing that a1s8 DOES allow congress to control would be something like Nevada taxing marijuana from California.  The Supreme Court is 100% aware that current Federal anti-drug laws are unconstitutional.  Whether they'll strike then down is another question.

[ Parent ]

I dunno... (none / 0) (#304)
by Dyolf Knip on Tue Dec 10, 2002 at 06:19:24 PM EST

The Supreme Court is 100% aware that current Federal anti-drug laws are unconstitutional. Whether they'll strike then down is another question.

Given that there are several hundred thousand American citizens sitting in prisons on Federal drug-related charges, you'd think that the SCOTUS, if they really did frown on them, would have smacked many of the laws down by now. Or made it very clear that any new and disgusting laws (Methamphetamine Anti-Proliferation Act anyone?) would be nullified by the first person who asked the justices to.

---
If you can't learn to do something well, learn to enjoy doing it poorly.

Dyolf Knip
[ Parent ]

Yeah (2.00 / 1) (#316)
by gengis on Tue Dec 10, 2002 at 06:42:47 PM EST

That's kind of what I was driving at, but didn't make it clear.

They *do* know the laws are unconstitutional.  As proof, read Thomas' (Majority) opinion in U.S. v. Lopez:

"After all, if Congress may regulate all matters that substantially affect commerce, there is no need for the Constitution to specify that Congress may enact bankruptcy laws, cl. 4, or coin money and fix the standard of weights and measures, cl. 5, or punish counterfeiters of United States coin and securities.... Put simply, much if not all of Art. I, Sec. 8 (including portions of the Commerce Clause itself (would be surplusage if Congress had been given authority over matters that substantially affect interstate commerce. An interpretation of cl. 3 that makes the rest of Sect. 8 superfluous simply cannot be correct."

In other words, everything Congress does under the auspices of the commerce clause is unconstitutional.

What I was driving at though, was that though they know very well the laws are unconstituitonal, they almost certainly would not strike them down.  The very justices (The strict constructionist right) who would be most inclined to agree with a 10th ammendment challenge, are the same justices who would be most adamantly opposed (as a matter of public policy) to reverse federal drug laws.

[ Parent ]

This too makes sense (4.37 / 8) (#78)
by pr0t0plasm on Mon Dec 09, 2002 at 04:10:27 PM EST

As best I can tell, keeping a large fraction of the its population imprisoned is the primary policy goal of the present US drug politic. A sizeable industry, complete with lobbyists, has arisen to make sure that the between 1 and 2 million Americans behind bars stay there, and if that population shrinks for any reason, revenues fall, and people lose their jobs. It's the same basic idea behind the military industrial complex: a large, vocal group of people has a vested interest in assuring that the threat they're paid to contain does not go away. Criminalizing compulsive behavior while denying funding and real estate to treatment programs is a very efficient way indeed to ensure that the threat of drug-related crime doesn't go the way of the Soviets.

- - - - - Patent applied for and deliver us from evil.

the 'straight dope' :) (none / 0) (#268)
by uniball vision micro on Tue Dec 10, 2002 at 04:01:04 PM EST

"As best I can tell, keeping a large fraction of the its population imprisoned is the primary policy goal of the present US drug politic."

No it's called a deterrent ever heard of it? We have laws about speeding becuase we want to make sure the concept of staying within the speed limit and keeping others safe (essentially allowing for brakeing distance to be kept down to disallow for accidents in certain population zones). What happens is that you think (usually) twice about speeding or else you get a ticket.

Same with drugs. Most people think 'hey I could get screwed with this shit and end up in prison for a while maybe getting a non-natural high isn't worth it'. Now just because some poeple are risk takers dosn't mean that it isn't worth enforceing.

"A sizeable industry, complete with lobbyists, has arisen to make sure that the between 1 and 2 million Americans behind bars stay there, and if
that population shrinks for any reason, revenues fall, and people lose their jobs."

Which industry is that the prison system? Hate to tell you this but in most states which don't have silly rules like 'three random convictions for felonies and you get to spend the same sentence that say Mohamed 'what's-his-face-arab' does for terrorism or a murderer does' kind of places any 'prison lobby' is really more moot than most. It might be a problem in wonderful places like California but not for most places.

"It's the same basic idea behind the military industrial complex: a large, vocal group of people has a vested interest in assuring that the threat they're paid to contain does not go away."

They could just more vigorously prosecute other crimes and fill their coffers that way. Last I heard people were even getting turned away from jails (at least in my western state in the US) at various times.

"Criminalizing compulsive behavior while denying funding and real estate to treatment programs is a very efficient way indeed to ensure that the
threat of drug-related crime doesn't go the way of the Soviets."

Treating the effects of the problem isn't that effective you need to cure it. Trust me drug problems would still be here even with lack of enforcement just look at domestic violence convictions.
"So far as the record goes, no lover of drinking has yet gone out into the night and shot himself as a gesture of protest" Gilbert Seldes, The Future of Drinking 1930
[ Parent ]

Asset forfeiture laws (none / 0) (#275)
by spacegrass on Tue Dec 10, 2002 at 04:19:10 PM EST

Don't forget about the contribution that asset forfeiture laws make to the situation.. Cops can raise money for their department by busting drug users and confiscating their cars and houses to sell at auction. The money goes directly into the police budget, where it ends up hiring more cops. The result of this is that now the police themselves have a vested financial interest in propping up the drug war..

It;s not just about putting people in jail, it's about taking their stuff as well.. It's even more insidious in that at least you're presumed innocent when they try to jail you. When they take your property you're deemed guilty and the burden of proof is on the victim to show that his possessions weren't bought with drug money.. Even if you aren't charged with a crime or the charges are dropped, you don't get your stuff back without a fight, and to win you have to prove a negative.

ACLU Asset Forfeiture press release
--
We'll get us some spacegrass
Lay low watch the universe expand
[ Parent ]

and it sucks (none / 0) (#279)
by uniball vision micro on Tue Dec 10, 2002 at 04:26:17 PM EST

"Don't forget about the contribution that asset forfeiture laws make to
the situation.. Cops can raise money for their department by busting
drug users and confiscating their cars and houses to sell at auction.
The money goes directly into the police budget, where it ends up hiring
more cops. The result of this is that now the police themselves have a
vested financial interest in propping up the drug war.. "

Hmmm I thought it was more federal but I beleive it.

"It;s not just about putting people in jail, it's about taking their
stuff as well.. It's even more insidious in that at least you're
presumed innocent when they try to jail you. When they take your
property you're deemed guilty and the burden of proof is on the victim
to show that his possessions weren't bought with drug money.. Even if
you aren't charged with a crime or the charges are dropped, you don't
get your stuff back without a fight, and to win you have to prove a
negative."

And I have personally dealt with legal problems in my life (not from drugs) and it does suck to be almost presumed guilty (what do you call detaining you in a cell for up to 180 days or more durring the whole process of a trial until you can leave).

I do however think that a little basic law makeing can fix this. I still feel that drug use and sales are in the wrong for a variety of reasons.
"So far as the record goes, no lover of drinking has yet gone out into the night and shot himself as a gesture of protest" Gilbert Seldes, The Future of Drinking 1930
[ Parent ]

The Drug War is about economics and restriction. (2.66 / 3) (#80)
by Dialup on Mon Dec 09, 2002 at 04:25:38 PM EST

In my opinion, anyway.  But then, I'm probably more entitled to have one on the subject than your average individual, as I've been a drug user in the past.  What I've been doing lately isn't relavent to the discussion.

User.  I stress that term- "power user" might be more accurate, in the computing sense of the term.  Many people use drugs as a parking lot- to get off, have fun, or get high.  A percentage of these people become addicts and abusers.  I'm quite a bit more economical, considerate, picky, and intelligent about the drugs I enjoy.  

As long as there are chemicals and compounds that produce a desired mind-altering affect, there will be a percentage of the population that desires access to these substances.  As long as there is a demand, there WILL be a supply.    The Drug War seeks to elliminate the supply and miseducate the masses with unbelievable amounts of FUD- to the point where the only legitimate source of information on a drug is from someone that has done it- intelligently- in the past.  

The social issue here isn't one of "drugs are bad", but one of "why does the government think they have the right to restrict the will of the populace" ?

When it comes to personal taste, I'm mildly annoyed that marijuana is literally everywhere- smoked freely and openly at many, many, *many* social gatherings, on the street, and sold openly... at least around here- whereas those screaming to have it legalized treat people who feel the same way about cocaine as third class citizens.   Proof that their mentality is, in essence, no different than those who criminalized it to begin with.

The Drug War is a result of people with influence thinking a certain kind of behaviour is wrong- a mindset that just about every member of the human race wields against some form of ideology that is not their own.  It's a problem with the people in power, as well as with the people that actually *use* these criminalized substances- the attitude of the drug advocate is one of the biggest arguments in favor of keeping the substance controlled- these people lack the maturity to argue the case in favor of legalization in a fashion that those in charge are willing to hear.  

And until something comes along to replace "drug users" as a reason for boosting local economies with the prison-industrial complex, until legalizing or lobbying in favor of it is economically and politically VIABLE, there are a good many influential ears that will remain stone deaf.

nice spelling (2.83 / 6) (#92)
by thekubrix on Mon Dec 09, 2002 at 05:50:02 PM EST

You MUST be a "gringo".........almost all the times I see colombia spelled wrong its some ignorant white guy........its not columbia, its colombia, get it right moron.

before people think I'm being a spelling nazi..... (3.00 / 2) (#99)
by thekubrix on Mon Dec 09, 2002 at 06:15:14 PM EST

I happen to be Colombian, as well as my wife, and I've seen this "simple error" so many times, even in major newspapers and sites. Are you all that arrogant that you can't spell the correct word? Do you see me mispelling Amerika? over and over and over? no...........

[ Parent ]
Partly due to language. (4.00 / 2) (#116)
by mindstrm on Mon Dec 09, 2002 at 07:21:28 PM EST

Yes, the proper American spelling of your country is Colombia.  However.

Many equate Colombia with Christopher Columbus (correctly so) and spell the name accordingly, by mistake.  They aren't aware that he was known as Cristóbal Colón to the Spanish.

[ Parent ]

that's americans for you... (none / 0) (#288)
by werner on Tue Dec 10, 2002 at 04:58:11 PM EST

my geography isn't the best, but it only took me a second to realize that CNN were showing a map of Europe with Austria clearly labelled "Switzerland". If CNN can't get it right, how do you expect average Joe to?

While we're on the subject, a Chilean colleague of mine goes loopy whenever anyone refers to the US as "America". Kind of like Scots when others use "England" when they mean "Britain".

[ Parent ]

Of course it is, the left looses the right to vote (4.00 / 6) (#94)
by jester69 on Mon Dec 09, 2002 at 05:54:44 PM EST

Think about it, most drug users are probably liberal or at least blue collar leaning. Largely they are minorities as well. I would bet these people tend to vote Democrat... I dont know the exact rules on loss of suffrage, but I believe any felony is permanent removal of the right to vote, and i'm pretty sure they don't allow non-felony inmates to vote while incarcerated. I seriously doubt having plenty of left leaning types, poor, marginalized & minorities & etc. loosing their right to vote either temporarily or permanently has upset the republicans that always wave the "drug war" flag high. These people weren't likely to vote republican so they were the enemy anyhow... Just a thought, Jester
Its a lemming thing, Jeep owners would understand.
Varies from state-to-state (4.00 / 1) (#281)
by FlipFlop on Tue Dec 10, 2002 at 04:27:50 PM EST

The law varies from state-to-state.

In Main, Massachusetts, Utah, and Vermont, convicted felons can vote even while they're in prison.

In over 1/4 of the states, convicted felons can't vote, even after they have finished serving their sentences.

In states that allow felons to regain their right to vote, convicts often have to jump through hoops to reinstate their voting rights.

According to the above link, there are 3.9 million Americans who aren't allowed to vote.

AdTI - The think tank that didn't
[ Parent ]

treatment (3.33 / 3) (#95)
by turmeric on Mon Dec 09, 2002 at 05:58:47 PM EST

our drug policy is akin to locking up syphillitics and smallpoxers in prisons. welcome to the dark ages, USA! oh well, at least you have quad clustering ghz mobile linux bluetooth enabled web toaster oven cameras

"I don't approve of something"="jai (4.50 / 12) (#96)
by misanthrope112 on Mon Dec 09, 2002 at 06:07:19 PM EST

I don't think the issue is really about whether or not you or I or Bob or Jane consider marijuana or cocaine "safe,"  or "addictive," or whether or not we would really prefer people to be doing it.  I think the entire debate should be re-phrased following the model below:

Is jaywalking safe?  Can you really present data showing that it is safe?  Do you want your kids jaywalking?  The answer to these questions is probably "no."  Does it follow from this that you would think it morally sound to lock people in jail, where they could be gang-raped, contract AIDS and Hepatitis A/B/C, and die, because of the war on jaywalking?  If what you're proposing would have horrible consequences, does it matter that you thought your intentions were noble?  Also, if some politicians managed to pass a law jailing jaywalkers, and someone later wanted to decriminalize it so people would stop going to jail for it, would you say "whoa, hold on,  we need to study this to make sure it's safe before we legalize this."?  No, because the burden of proof should be on those who want people to go to jail, not on those who want people to be free to do what they want.  

No, jaywalking is not crack or marijuana.  But neither is it safe - in fact it causes accidents and, I'm sure, quite a few fatalities.  The point is that it would be stupid to say someone has to prove jaywalking is totally safe before we would consider it immoral to lock someone in jail for 20 years, where, as above, they could (and probably would) be repeatedly gang-raped and possibly contract one or more life-threatening diseases.

The debate should NOT boil down to whether or not you or I "approve" of marijuana or cocaine, or whether or not taking these drugs is "safe," but on whether or not we consider it moral and justifiable to take these people and lock them in jail.  As noted in other comments, there have been multiple articles in well-respected medical journals that concluded that the war on drugs should be ended, because JAIL CAUSES MORE PROBLEMS THAN THE DRUG USE.   So when I hear someone say that they oppose legalizing marijuana because they're "just not sure it's safe," I ask them if they personally want to send people to jail for marijuana use.  An uncomfortable silence usually follows, because juxtaposing that question to the ambivalence of their safety concerns usually clarifies the fact that the "jail 'em" response is far out of proportion to the actual drug use.  In brief, "I don't approve of 'insert something here'" should not automatically mean "jail the bastards."

great analogy (none / 0) (#102)
by professor bikey bike on Mon Dec 09, 2002 at 06:32:04 PM EST



[ Parent ]
Jaywalking safety (none / 0) (#104)
by blackwizard on Mon Dec 09, 2002 at 06:33:52 PM EST

I know the jwalking point was just an analogy (and I pretty good one, IMHO), but interestingly enough, I remember reading awhile ago (this was probably 5-10 years ago, and I unfortunately can't find a reference) that in large cities, jaywalking can actually be safer than crossinng at a crosswalk. I suppose this is due in part to the fact that a person who is jaywalking will generally be more cautious than a person who is crossing at a crosswalk. Secondly, people usually jaywalk in the middle of a street, i.e. not close to a crosswalk. A crosswalk is ususally placed near an intersection -- and a driver is more likely to not see a pedestrian while making a turn that ends tangent to a crosswalk than while going down the middle of a straight road.

[ Parent ]
The Effectiveness of Prohibition (3.80 / 5) (#110)
by Alethes on Mon Dec 09, 2002 at 06:43:04 PM EST

Prohibition of drugs has the exact same effects as Prohibition did in the 1920s. So, find out all the reasons that Prohibition was repealed from the US Constitution, and that's all the reasons the War on Drugs is a failure. "Prohibition will work great injury to the cause of temperance. It is a species of intemperance within itself, for it goes beyond the bounds of reason in that it attempts to control a man's appetite by legislation, and makes a crime out of things that are not crimes. A Prohibition law strikes a blow at the very principles upon which our government was founded." Abraham Lincoln (1809-65), U.S. President. Speech, 18 Dec. 1840, to Illinois House of Representatives

No Way! (2.33 / 3) (#115)
by nitroburn on Mon Dec 09, 2002 at 07:16:24 PM EST

In 2000, 46.5 percent of the 1,579,566 total arrests for drug abuse violations were for marijuana -- a total of 734,497. Of those, 646,042 people were arrested for possession alone. This is an increase over 1999, when a total of 704,812 Americans were arrested for marijuana offenses, of which 620,541 were for possession alone. Sources: Federal Bureau of Investigation, Uniform Crime Reports for the United States 2000 (Washington DC: US Government Printing Office, 2001), pp. 215-216, Tables 29 and 4.1; Uniform Crime Reports for the United States 1999 (Washington DC: US Government Printing Office, 2000), pp. 211-212; Federal Bureau of Investigation, Uniform Crime Reports for the United States 1998 (Washington DC: US Government Printing Office, 1999), pp. 209-210; FBI, UCR for the US 1995 (Washington, DC: US Government Printing Office, 1996), pp. 207-208; FBI, UCR for the US 1990 (Washington, DC: US Government Printing Office, 1991), pp. 173-174; FBI, UCR for the US 1980 (Washington, DC: US Government Printing Office, 1981), pp. 189-191. "Tetrahydrocannabinol is a very safe drug. Laboratory animals (rats, mice, dogs, monkeys) can tolerate doses of up to 1,000 mg/kg (milligrams per kilogram). This would be equivalent to a 70 kg person swallowing 70 grams of the drug -- about 5,000 times more than is required to produce a high. Despite the widespread illicit use of cannabis there are very few if any instances of people dying from an overdose. In Britain, official government statistics listed five deaths from cannabis in the period 1993-1995 but on closer examination these proved to have been deaths due to inhalation of vomit that could not be directly attributed to cannabis (House of Lords Report, 1998). By comparison with other commonly used recreational drugs these statistics are impressive." Source: Iversen, Leslie L., PhD, FRS, "The Science of Marijuana" (London, England: Oxford University Press, 2000), p. 178, citing House of Lords, Select Committee on Science and Technology, "Cannabis -- The Scientific and Medical Evidence" (London, England: The Stationery Office, Parliament, 1998). A Johns Hopkins study published in May 1999, examined marijuana's effects on cognition on 1,318 participants over a 15 year period. Researchers reported "no significant differences in cognitive decline between heavy users, light users, and nonusers of cannabis." They also found "no male-female differences in cognitive decline in relation to cannabis use." "These results ... seem to provide strong evidence of the absence of a long-term residual effect of cannabis use on cognition," they concluded. Source: Constantine G. Lyketsos, Elizabeth Garrett, Kung-Yee Liang, and James C. Anthony. (1999). "Cannabis Use and Cognitive Decline in Persons under 65 Years of Age," American Journal of Epidemiology, Vol. 149, No. 9. From 1972 to 1978, eleven states decriminalized marijuana possession (covering one-third of the US population) and 33 other states reduced punishment to probation with record erased after six months to one year. Yet, after 1978 marijuana use steadily declined for over a decade. Decriminalization did not increase marijuana use. [National Research Council, "Informing America's Policy On Illegal Drugs: What We Don't Know Keeps Hurting Us" (Washington, DC: National Academy Press, 2001), pp. 192-193.] The Netherlands decriminalized possession and allowed small scale sales of marijuana beginning in 1976. Yet, marijuana use in Holland is half the rate of use in the USA. It is also lower than the United Kingdom which had continued to treat possession as a crime. The UK is now moving toward decriminalization. [Center for Drug Research, "Licit and Illicit Drug Use in The Netherlands 1997" (University of Amsterdam, The Netherlands: CEDRO, 1999; Netherlands Ministry of Health, Welfare and Sport, "Drug Policy in the Netherlands: Progress Report Sept. 1997-Sept. 1999 (The Hague, The Netherlands: Ministry of Health, Welfare and Sport, Nov. 1999); US Dept. of Health and Human Services, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, National Household Survey on Drug Abuse 1998, 1999, and 2000 (Washington, DC: SAMHSA). According to the Center for Drug Research in its report Licit and Illicit Drug Use in The Netherlands 1997, past-year cannabis use in The Netherlands is estimated at 4.5% for the entire population; past-month use is 2.5%. In the United States, according to NIDA's National Household Survey on Drug Abuse for 2000, past-year cannabis use is 8.3% of the US population 12 and older, and past-month use is 4.8%.] If there is an increase in the reported rate of drug use after the end of prohibition, it may be due to an increased willingness to admit to being a drug user. Currently, such an admission means admitting to breaking the law, which social scientists point out discourages honesty. [National Research Council, "Informing America's Policy On Illegal Drugs" (Washington, DC: National Academy Press, 2001): "It is widely thought that nonresponse and inaccurate response may cause surveys such as the NHSDA and MTF to underestimate the prevalence of drug use in the surveyed populations (Caspar, 1992)." (p. 93)]

No Way! (4.00 / 1) (#127)
by OldCoder on Mon Dec 09, 2002 at 08:24:53 PM EST

Learn to use the HTML. Your garantuan blob of text is unreadable.

--
By reading this signature, you have agreed.
Copyright © 2004 OldCoder
[ Parent ]
Colombian Journalist Gets Applause, But No Coverag (1.75 / 4) (#117)
by nitroburn on Mon Dec 09, 2002 at 07:23:24 PM EST

Spin of the Week PR Watch, December 6, 2002 Colombian Journalist Gets Applause, But No Coverage "Colombian journalist Ignacio Gomez told a roomful of America's most influential journalists Tuesday how Washington-supported Colombian president Alvaro Uribe is connected to drug traffickers and how U.S. military trainers helped organize a massacre in his country," reports Lucy Komisar. "Among the 1,000 guests at the Committee to Protect Journalists' annual dinner at the Waldorf-Astoria grand ballroom were NBC's Tom Brokaw, CBS's Dan Rather, Time-Warner's Walter Isaacson, Reuters CEO Thomas Glocer and executives and reporters from the nation's major TV networks, newspapers and newsmagazines. Gomez, 40, has twice gone into exile after death threats. The media 'stars' applauded him for his courage. But did they put his revelations into print or on air? If you didn't see the stories he recounted in the American press, don't be surprised." Source: American Reporter, December 2, 2002 http://www.american-reporter.com/1986/4.html ---------------- http://www.guerrillanews.com/crack/ "Tracking the covert history of CIA drug smuggling from Nicaragua to Arkansas and South Central Los Angeles, GNN sheds light on the darkest secret of the Agency's operational directorate. Cut to the ambient Hip Hop loops of DJ Trek-e, Crack The CIA features explosive footage of Mike Ruppert's historical televised confrontation with CIA Director John Deutch. " Very good video ;) OH BTW.. Bill to decriminalize pot could come early in new year, Cauchon says (CANADA) OTTAWA (CP) - The federal government may introduce legislation early in the new year to decriminalize the use of marijuana, says Justice Minister Martin Cauchon. "If we're talking about that question of decriminalizing marijuana, we may move ahead quickly as a government," he said Monday outside the House of Commons. "I don't like to give you a date or a time frame, but let's say the beginning of next year, the four first months of next year." http://www.canada.com/vancouver/story.asp?id={C7B870FE-593F-4EE3-AAB1-4155ACA005 64}

the drug war does one thing well (3.85 / 7) (#120)
by jvcoleman on Mon Dec 09, 2002 at 07:40:23 PM EST

It makes inner city neighborhoods cheap enough for corporations to buy out wholesale. Then the "unwanted element" can be kicked out, townhomes can be built and sold at outrageous profit, and the yuppies can live 2.5 minutes closer to their urban workplaces! Oh yeah, and there's this near-genocidial effect on minorities and the poor, but oh well, HEY DORIS, WE'RE SLUMMING WITH OUR RANGE ROVER AND BANG & OLUFSEN IN SKID ROW! OH ARTHUR, I LOVE IT WHEN YOU TALK DIRTY! LET'S MAKE LOVE WITH THE LIGHTS TURNED OFF!

Different Laws for Different Drugs (4.37 / 8) (#124)
by OldCoder on Mon Dec 09, 2002 at 08:15:50 PM EST

Goals
Rational discussion CANNOT proceed without first agreeing on goals. The real goals of the citizenry are:
  1. Prevent my child from becoming a user or addict. You may think this unreasonable, but drug users like you will be outvoted.
  2. Prevent me from being mugged or robbed.
  3. Preserve or maximize my personal freedoms.
  4. Keep my taxes down.
  5. Prolong the life of me and my family.
  6. Give me drug information so I don't poison myself.
External Harm
Downers like Heroin and Marijuana tend to make users quiet and peaceful, and are inherently less of a social problem. Stimulants like PCP, Cocaine, Crack, and Crystal Meth actually "stimulate" harmful behavior such as rape or assault, and should be regulated more harshly. We should establish behavioral laboratory tests for evaluating newly invented drugs and discriminating between Stimulants and Soporifics.

Synthetic External Harm
If we outlaw Orange Soda, we will create a new class of criminals (those who persist in drinking Orange Soda). Then we could hold up these new crime statistics as a reason to keep Orange Soda illegal. Crimes created by a law aren't a reason to keep a law.

Addiction
Addiction has been the criterion for illegalization. This is absurd. Oxygen is addicting. The drive for oxygen is stronger than the drive for sex or food. Since it is both legal and free, oxygen doesn't cause a drug problem. Commercial tobacco is more addicting than marijuana. Interestingly, the official definition of the word "Addiction" was changed in the 1970's to enable them to describe cocaine as addicting.

Internal Harm
Amateurish self-medication (with heroin, alcohol, tobacco, ...) causes liver trouble, cancer, depression, loss of income, and so on. This is a problem, but not a problem relevant to putting people in the penitentiary. Drugs that are both addictive and cause internal harm (tobacco, heroin) should be fought outside the correctional institutions. Perhaps some new series of civil commitments to work communities, where heroin addicts could be paid, and either treated, or sold real heroin, would be appropriate. Treatment facilities would be separate from maintenance facilities. It takes the profit out of heroin and removes the "icky people" away from the public, which currently doesn't like them. After that, you can run documentaries about how orderly life is in the heroin town, and adjust the law as the people wish. We used to have Tuberculosis commitment and treatment facilities, why not heroin?

Slavery
The specter of huge cities filled with heroin addicts, all working for General Motors, and paid peanuts, could be prevented by paying union or market wages inside the facilities. We'd still save money (and lives).

Conclusion
We could maintain public order, increase personal morality and reduce our tax bill all at the same time. If we only want to.

--
By reading this signature, you have agreed.
Copyright © 2004 OldCoder

Different Laws for Different Drugs -- addendum (none / 0) (#125)
by OldCoder on Mon Dec 09, 2002 at 08:22:59 PM EST

AIDS as an External and Internal Harm
Injected drugs are spreading deadly viral epidemics. The injecting drug addicts need to be kept "Inside the tent" of society, without offending society, to fight the epidemics. A new civil commitment for heroin covers this problem.

--
By reading this signature, you have agreed.
Copyright © 2004 OldCoder
[ Parent ]
Singapore did something like this (none / 0) (#155)
by nomoreh1b on Tue Dec 10, 2002 at 03:31:59 AM EST

They had a huge opiate problem immediately after independence. They put in place very strict possession penalties and made sure the existing addict population had access to drugs-and a place to live where they were unlikely to share drugs with newbies. The program seems to haved worked fairly well.



[ Parent ]

addiction (5.00 / 1) (#219)
by tgibbs on Tue Dec 10, 2002 at 10:48:04 AM EST

Addiction has been the criterion for illegalization. This is absurd. Oxygen is addicting. The drive for oxygen is stronger than the drive for sex or food. Since it is both legal and free, oxygen doesn't cause a drug problem. Commercial tobacco is more addicting than marijuana. Interestingly, the official definition of the word "Addiction" was changed in the 1970's to enable them to describe cocaine as addicting.
Actually, the cocaine epidemic was important because it changed our understanding of what "addiction" means. Before cocaine, there was a common belief that addiction was mainly driven by withdrawal--i.e., people continued to take a drug to avoid the symptoms of withdrawal. There were some facts that didn't quite fit--heroin users often went right back to the drug after getting past withdrawal--but this was kind of ignored. But with cocaine, we had a drug with patterns of use that were as compulsive as any drug known, and yet its withdrawal symptoms seemed fairly mild.

This has led to a new understanding of the neurochemistry of abused drugs. What is now clear is that abused drugs alter the brain in a lasting, and probably permanent manner, and it is suspected that this alteration is responsible for the drug craving exhibited by users who are trying to quit.

A common factor with drugs that are most strongly associated with patterns of abuse is that they short-circuit the brain's reward circuitry, directly activating dopamine pathways that the brain uses to reinforce crucial survival/reproduction related behaviors. I think that breathing is controlled by different neural mechanisms, however.

[ Parent ]

Regulatory Mechanisms (none / 0) (#248)
by The Solitaire on Tue Dec 10, 2002 at 12:55:41 PM EST

Actually, many of the same pathways are re-used for any number of motivational processes. The critical areas involved in regulation (i.e. temperature regulation, hunger and satiety, etc) are the limbic system and hypothalamus. Drugs that are considered addictive typically have an effect on the limbic system (I believe that the particular area that has been focused on is the Nucleus Accumbens, but I'm really not an expert).

I need a new sig.
[ Parent ]

Neurological definition of addiction (none / 0) (#422)
by OldCoder on Thu Dec 12, 2002 at 06:30:49 AM EST

The contribution of neuroscience to the understanding of addiction and crime is welcomed. It still doesn't mean that it is sensible to base illegality or penalties on degree of addiction, or degree of compulsion to use. The degree of external harm is more important.

--
By reading this signature, you have agreed.
Copyright © 2004 OldCoder
[ Parent ]
You people never fail to amaze me.. (1.63 / 30) (#134)
by Keeteel on Mon Dec 09, 2002 at 09:29:46 PM EST

What in the Lord's name is this liberal hippie "Let us smoke our country's productivity stupid and become as weak an international force as Canada or the UK." You people never fail to amaze me by quoting and using sources that the U.S Government who's responsibility is to accurately SERVE the people of this country has denounced as being propaganda and misinformation. I will present my argument that marijuana should NEVER be legalized, and that further we need to push for HARSHER punishments of its users which we now have the ability to track with the new tools law enforcement has been given on the war on terrorism. Considering marijuana is both a threat to the productivity of the United States and is funding our enemies you damn well better believe those resources fall in to the scoop of the new government powers. For example, you can count that I will be forwarding this discussion to the Drug Enforcement Agency who will hopefully investigate you punks who openly admit to using it and argue for its legalization. It is clear marijuana serves no medical purpose, serves as a gateway drug, destroys families, is dangerous to those who smoke it, is dangerous to people around those who smoke it, and the fight against it benefits our economy.

The problem with your argument and your views is that you expect me to take the word of die-hard liberal organizations who are so blinded by their politics like NORML and the Drug Policy Foundation over GORVERNMENT organizations. These organizations have established histories and the funding to present the truth to the American people such as The Food and Drug Administration, The Drug Enforcement Agency, American Medical Association, and the wide array of medical experts who have argued on behalf of the government. It is representative of your reasoning and why you illogically support marijuana when one considers you actually believe and argue with sources such as NORML. The American Medical Association stated on September 16th of this year by joining a coalition against marijuana(1):

"The AMA adopted a policy in 1969 declaring that marijuana is 'a dangerous drug and as such is a public health concern,'" said AMA Immediate Past President Richard F. Corlin, MD. "Although much has changed in American culture and in medical research since we made that statement 33 years ago, the AMA's view on marijuana use remains exactly the same - it is mind-altering, it can be addictive and it can lead to destructive behavior."

Marijuana use has serious and far-reaching health consequences that go far beyond the short-term high. It can cause mental health problems, such as increased anxiety, panic attacks, depression and lung damage. In addition, marijuana can lead to impaired judgement and, as a result, risky behaviors such as dangerous driving, unprotected sex and increased delinquent behavior.


The most reputable organizations in the country have stated marijuana is a threat to both children and adults alike. Nothing you say will make me trust an organization of liberals like NORML over the honorable American Medical Association. When considering the validity of the sources for your arguments a rational person will come to the conclusion that every one of your pro-marijuana arguments has no basis other than your opinion. Which is in direct contrast to the realities of the drug and its effects in reality. The first argument that tends to be used to justify marijuana usage is for medical purposes, using liberal pothead doctors as a source it is understandable how one would believe the drug is beneficial. Using established rational Doctors as a source one can see there are absolutely no medical benefits. If there truly were benefits then let's make synthetic pills that give the same effects, without the high. Yet, that's the catch, medical marijuana is truly just a fallacious excuse to get high and dope up.

Medical Analysis:

HIV Weight Gain Myth: It is often argued that those with HIV who were stupid enough to either engage in unprotected sex unable to control their instinctual urges or were drug heads themselves sharing needles suffer from 10% or more weight loss along with various other unpleasant symptoms. The myth is that marijuana assists these poor people by allowing them to get high and enjoy the "munchies."

Reality: Smoked marijuana stimulates appetite and increases caloric intake in normal subjects.71-76 Because of the limitations associated with dronabinol and megestrol, the use of smoked marijuana to stimulate appetite has appealed to individual HIV-infected patients. In a prospective, randomized, placebo-controlled safety study reported recently, adult inpatients with a stable viral load on a stable antiviral regimen received marijuana cigarettes (3.95% THC), dronabinol (2.5 mg), or placebo 3 times daily for 3 weeks. All patients gained weight, with disproportionate increases in % body fat. Smoked marijuana had no deleterious effects on HIV RNA load or CD4+ cell counts, and caused clinically minor effects on the disposition kinetics of 1 of the protease inhibitors used (indinivar but not nelfinavir). Serum testosterone was slightly, but not significantly lower in marijuana or dronabinol recipients.77-79 (2)

There you have it, ignoring the fact for the moment that the people with HIV suffer from a disease in many cases that is entirely their fault- Marijuana serves no purpose in helping these people other than letting them get high. Which in that case it's no different from when they were likely getting high before they had the disease.

Glaucoma Myth: Pro-marijuana people argue that the drug assists in the pressure felt on the eyes by those suffering from glaucoma. That indeed may be true but it's ignoring the duration of the effects of marijuana and the reality that there's MANY other valid treatments possible for the condition that come without allowing the person infected to get high.

Reality: Although smoked marijuana reduces intraocular pressure, its clinical utility in glaucoma is compromised by its short duration of action and accompanying central side effects. Furthermore, the cardiovascular, pulmonary, and CNS effects of marijuana are of great concern given that glaucoma is a chronic illness and a large number of patients are elderly. Additionally, the ability of marijuana or THC to protect the optic nerve has not been studied. However, at least one patient who acquired marijuana from the federally administered compassionate-use program in 1988 when other agents were ineffective has apparently continued to benefit from the drug without systemic hypotensive complications.129 Neither smoked marijuana nor THC is a viable approach in the treatment of glaucoma, but research on their mechanism of action may be important in developing new agents that act in an additive or synergistic manner with currently available therapies. (2)

Proven Danger of marijuana:

This is one of my favorite since pro-marijuana liberals tend to argue that marijuana isn't dangerous to their body. A load of rubbish, as a society we cannot allow you to destroy your body when you owe a debt, a social contract to this country for choosing to remain here and abide by our laws. It is your responsibility to be healthy enough to remain productive and benefit the economy and your family.

Acutely, marijuana increases heart rate, and blood pressure may decrease on standing. Intoxication is associated with impairment of short-term memory, attention, motor skills, reaction time, and the organization and integration of complex information.187,188 Although dependent on the setting, marijuana can cause relaxation and enhance mood. Ordinary sensory experiences may be intensified, with increased talkativeness, perceptual alterations, and distortion in time sense followed by drowsiness and lethargy. These effects appear to be mediated by CB1 receptors because they are diminished by selective antagonism of the CB1 receptor.189 However, some individuals experience acute anxiety or panic reactions, confusion, dysphoria, paranoia, and psychotic symptoms (eg, delusions, hallucinations).188

Heavy users may experience apathy, lowered motivation, and impaired cognitive performance.188 Chronic marijuana use is associated with development of tolerance to some effects and the appearance of withdrawal symptoms (restlessness, irritability, mild agitation, insomnia, sleep disturbances, nausea, cramping) with the onset of abstinence. Depending on the measures and age group studied, 4% to 9% of marijuana users fulfill diagnostic criteria for substance dependence. Although some marijuana users develop dependence, they appear to be less likely to do so than users of alcohol and nicotine, and the abstinence syndrome is less severe.4,188,190 Like other drugs, dependence is more likely to occur in individuals with co-morbid psychiatric conditions.


Social Behavior Issues:

This is one I'm sure you're all familiar with. We all know the liberal moron pot smokers that started smoking in high school. Because of their marijuana use at the age when socialization is essential they unfortunately are locked in to a psychological age of when they began smoking marijuana. It is proven that short-term memory is affected and becomes non-functional when one smokes marijuana. This is devastating to a child in his or her teens which involuntarily forces them to take for granted the best damn education this world has at the American School system. With the lack of short-term memory these students retain neither the educational material, nor the socialization/behavior based lessons of life. It's common to see a pot head behave as if he is still 16, the age when he first started smoking simply on the merits that he was unable to retain any of the experiences he went through when growing up. As a society it is our responsibility to ensure the future to our economic power and global dominance is not destroyed by our future generations of productive citizens to be saturated with incompetence and irrationality sparked by marijuana.

Effects : (3)

Depression(19), anxiety(20), and personality disturbances(21) are all associated with marijuana use. Research clearly demonstrates that marijuana use has potential to cause problems in daily life or make a person's existing problems worse. Because marijuana compromises the ability to learn and remember information, the more a person uses marijuana the more he or she is likely to fall behind in accumulating intellectual, job, or social skills. Moreover, research has shown that marijuana's adverse impact on memory and learning can last for days or weeks after the acute effects of the drug wear off(22,23).

Workers who smoke marijuana are more likely than their coworkers to have problems on the job. Several studies associate workers' marijuana smoking with increased absences, tardiness, accidents, workers' compensation claims, and job turnover. A study of municipal workers found that those who used marijuana on or off the job reported more "withdrawal behaviors"--such as leaving work without permission, daydreaming, spending work time on personal matters, and shirking tasks--that adversely affect productivity and morale(31).


The issue is that while the short-term memory incompetence will eventually pass, the lessons and material learned during that period is not retained by the mind. This is why users who abuse the drug at an early age never grow out of their youth. Their minds did not retain the socialization nor the experiences they went through when becoming an adult. Though I'm not surprised considering the intelligence of most liberals, their pot smoking shines through their lack of critical reasoning and intelligence. The fact is those who used marijuana are NOT as intelligent as those of us who've stayed away from the drug. You can try to deny it all you want, but if you smoked pot, you're never going to be as smart as those of us who were intelligent enough to keep our rationality. Therefore your opinions should not even be contemplated or considered when dealing with marijuana, you serve the purpose only to continue your addiction to continue getting high. By all means I think it is fair when society deems you as a second rate citizen, for that's what you are. Since I know you're thinking but "beer" is legal, let's dig in to why that should be illegal too.

The Social Issues:

A favorite argument is why are alcohol and other substances legal but marijuana isn't? Which is truly an excellent point that I've been pursuing with an aggressive analysis lately at work. Not only should marijuana remain illegal - Beer, cigarettes, gambling, isolation, anything unproductive to society SHOULD be made illegal and have harsher penalties imposed. As I went in to above, when you choose to live in a society you abide by a social contract to benefit the country. Generally whether you mean to or not, when you're productive and making money you're benefiting the country. When an individual decides to smoke marijuana, drink beer, gamble, isolation, etc which are self-destructive behaviors it makes it acceptable for that individual to think it's fine to be "bored." Under those conditions the individual is not producing the same results as an otherwise sober, rational person would in regards to benefiting the economy. Now the typical liberal response is to use countries that have legalized or decriminalized pot as an example that society can go on and maintain its productivity. Indeed they can, but brain dead hippie idiots cannot sustain their country as a superpower. It is essential to America's future that we maintain our status as a superpower, as the superpower rather. The countries who've taken acceptable approaches to marijuana will never be able to compete with the mighty and glory of that which is America.

*My BIGGEST problem with these activities*

As a country we do not WANT people who have no social skills who find it acceptable to sit in their rooms alone smoking pot. Especially when considering the issue that some of these people have families. A person who uses drugs, drinks, gambles, or tends to isolate his or her self socially wrecks havoc on the family, an involuntary victim to this psychopaths habits. For example, people who gamble their families savings away make it unfair on the children and spouse just as bad as a person who smokes marijuana and is not as productive as a sober person. Just like you owe a responsibility to your country, you owe one to your family. If you're going to neglect your family and let them suffer for your idiotic indulgences you deserve to be FORCED in to a productive role by the government.

Not one of you liberal punks can tell me it's acceptable for some dope head or an alcoholic to put his family through the pain associated with these activities. One gains NOTHING BUT apathetic delusional pleasure but the pain his family has to endure for that stupidity in itself should keep marijuana ILLEGAL through out every country on earth. Of course you pro-pot people wouldn't understand this because your behavioral skills are so pathetically distorted and your critical reasoning is absent that the chances of you developing a family are unlikely. But nothing you say will ever convince me or normal Americans that Marijuana should be made legal BECAUSE OF THIS ISSUE ALONE.

It's NEVER fair to put some little kids through a idiotic punk potsmoking parent who's been fired, or gets demoted, or is arrested and sets a terrible example as a parent. This is why government intervention with families is essential, drug users and addictive individuals cannot be trusted to properly raise productive individuals.

What does marijuana really do for you? ABSOLUTELY NOTHING. It changes your perception of reality so you can sit around believing you're God when the fact is you're a moron. What does alcohol do for you? It changes your reality and makes you an obnoxious idiot. What does gambling do for you? It trashes your families savings and their future. What does isolation do for you? It allows you to feel secure in being alone because you're too much of a freak to get out in the world and fix your problems. Instead you sit in your room crying and going to therapy but justify it as yourself being "an intellectual who ponders issues" that have NO RELEVANCE TO ANYTHING IN THE REAL WORLD. Get out of the house and contribute to this country.

In conclusion I hope with the new policies and authority the government has been given all eleven million pot users are tracked down, arrested and forced in to productive labor. Try all you want to justify it with your "thinking skills" or whatever bullshit you liberals pretend you have, you need a kick in the ass with some good old fashion hard labor. The government has these powers and I expect them to use them against people like you on this board posting in support of marijuana. What you're attempting to do is unwind the social fabric and contract of America and make us a second rate country like France, Canada, or England. I would rather get punks like you in prison, out of the country, or forced in to hard labor than let you run amuck destroying my country.

Marijuana does nothing for you but allow you to escape the real world. God you people make me sick.

1. http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/article/2403-6719.html

2. http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/article/2036-6124.html#major_proposed_medical_us es

3. http://www.nida.nih.gov/Infofax/marijuana.html


Troll? (5.00 / 5) (#136)
by harryh on Mon Dec 09, 2002 at 09:47:19 PM EST

This is a troll right?
It has to be a troll.

A social contract "to be healthy enough to remain productive and benefit the economy and your family." You've got to be kidding?

Even ignoring for the moment the fact that citizens have no responsibility to remain "productive", I can't even begin to count the number of friends I have who are happy, healthy, friendly, productively employed people who just happen to smoke up a couple of times a month (or more!).

Please, please tell me this is a troll.

-Harry

[ Parent ]
Social Contracts are the basis of America's power. (1.37 / 8) (#138)
by Keeteel on Mon Dec 09, 2002 at 10:39:09 PM EST

In order for America to exist as a superpower there is an inherit social contract between the citizens and state. In free nations the social contract exists that for your freedom you exchange productivity to the state. An unproductive citizen is a burden on the state, which will degrade the quality and eventually degrade the freedoms and power that makes America so great. I'm under no illusion or concern in regards to what the rest of the world thinks of my country, but it's essential that we remain the superpower of earth and have the ability to impose our way of life which has been shown to be the most progressive and best environment for the prosperity of a nation. It's like the laws, potheads don't like marijuana laws and denounce them by smoking up anyway. Yet if you choose to remain in the country, you choose to abide and accept the rules (and consequences to them.)

[ Parent ]
The Social Contract (4.50 / 2) (#150)
by harryh on Tue Dec 10, 2002 at 03:12:18 AM EST

You say: "In free nations the social contract exists that for your freedom you exchange productivity to the state."

Please justify this statement. Traditioanlly the social contract (as definied by Locke, Rousseau, etc.) states that man gives up certain private rights in order to secure the protection and stability of an effective social organization or government.(1) Basically the individual agrees not to interfere in the lives of others in return for protection from others interfering in his own life. I have never heard someone claim a social contract that requires the individual to be "productive." And for that matter, how do you define productive? Must I earn a certain ammount of money or produce a certain ammount of goods to avoid being thrown in jail?

Last April I decided that I didn't really like my job very much, so I quit and took the summer off. I traveled a bit, hung out a lot with friends, and spent a lot of time sitting on my ass producing very little for "the state." It seems to me that by your standard I should have been thrown in jail for such a choice even though I was harming no one. Is this what you think should have happened?

-Harry

(1) http://www.philosophypages.com/dy/s7.htm

PS: I am ignoring for the moment the fact that I know many many people who smoke pot, and yet remain very productice citizens. Why should these people be thrown in jail?

[ Parent ]
Hmm.. (none / 0) (#163)
by nitroburn on Tue Dec 10, 2002 at 05:04:35 AM EST

They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.
Benjamin Franklin (1706 - 1790)
oh.. but i guess he was a pothead too.

Patterning your life around other's opinions is nothing more than slavery.
Lawana Blackwell


[ Parent ]
America's power my ass (5.00 / 1) (#165)
by kalamon on Tue Dec 10, 2002 at 05:08:32 AM EST

it's essential that we remain the superpower of earth and have the ability to impose our way of life which has been shown to be the most progressive and best environment for the prosperity of a nation.

What the fuck makes you think that your goddamn country is the best in the world? This kind of talk makes me puke every fucking time. How dare you put yourself above any othe nation and claim that your "way of life" is somehow the best possible? Fucking imperialist. You have absolutely no position to impose your "way of life" on any other culture. Go back to your cage and only come back after your "way of life" manages to survive at least a couple of centuries.

[ Parent ]

Fascism, socialism (3.66 / 3) (#200)
by Quila on Tue Dec 10, 2002 at 09:30:50 AM EST

An unproductive citizen is a burden on the state,

And now communism. Would you please decide which of the three you want America to become?

[ Parent ]

Screw that. (none / 0) (#227)
by Rande on Tue Dec 10, 2002 at 11:31:21 AM EST

I much rather my 25 days paid leave, the public transport system which means I don't have to drive to work, and the air that I can breath without chewing 10 times first.

As stated above, the state _removes_ certain of your freedoms in return for a certain amount of security and benefits.

If I don't want to lose my freedoms, then I can head for the hills/forest and not receive any of the security or benefits of society. That's not a common choice these days, but it's not unheard of.

[ Parent ]

Ok smartypants... (3.50 / 2) (#137)
by QuietRiot on Mon Dec 09, 2002 at 10:14:01 PM EST

Though I'm not surprised considering the intelligence of most liberals, their pot smoking shines through their lack of critical reasoning and intelligence. The fact is those who used marijuana are NOT as intelligent as those of us who've stayed away from the drug. You can try to deny it all you want, but if you smoked pot, you're never going to be as smart as those of us who were intelligent enough to keep our rationality.

Who the fuck is this guy???

So. Are you against pot, or liberals?

As we all can see, you know very little about either. Live your life how you want; just don't tell me how I should live mine. My health is my business.

Speaking of health issues.... It seems to me like you may have something stuck up your ass. You should really get that checked out. Perhaps you should find a more repressive government to live under. That may make you more comfortable. Give up your freedoms, be controlled. I might be retaining some of the freedoms I once enjoyed in this country if it weren't for people like you.

Chill out or get out.

[ Parent ]

I'm against both (1.10 / 10) (#140)
by Keeteel on Mon Dec 09, 2002 at 10:44:04 PM EST

I'm primarly against marijuana (and other destructive substances andactivivies like alcohol, isolation, all drugs) but it just so happens that the biggest users and abusers of these happen to be liberals. Liberals believe they have progressive open minded views that should embrace things such as drugs, creativity, isolationism, absurd freedoms that are completely unnceccesary and unrealistic. Freedoms in America should only go so far that they benefit the country and the invididuals in it as a whole. I love my country, that's why I'm tired of seeing liberals destroy it with their idealogies of drug use, unquestionable personal freedoms (such as they feel we should not take the measures Bush has to prevent terrorism in the country because in their conspiracy nut minds they believe they government is out to get them.)

I happen to like my country and think it is the best on earth with the most freedoms. I don't need to find another place, the drug users and liberals need to either be assimilated in to productive members of society or find another country. The burden is on them, not me to shape up or ship out.

[ Parent ]
most freedoms? (5.00 / 2) (#144)
by Greyshade on Tue Dec 10, 2002 at 02:46:19 AM EST

I have to live my life the way *YOU* tell me to or get the fuck out of Dodge? That an interesting definition of freedom.

[ Parent ]
OK. Um. What? (none / 0) (#168)
by scruffyMark on Tue Dec 10, 2002 at 05:37:28 AM EST

I realize I'm probably feeding a troll, but either way the response, if you do respond, should be amusing... ...destructive substances andactivivies like alcohol, isolation, all drugs...

So, if I interpret you correctly here, you are saying that being left alone is a destructive behaviour that should be banned? That would mean banning the practice of being a hermit, which would take some doing, since you'd have to fight your way through the Catholic Church. And anyway, I would estimate that the destructive behaviour that is avoided (in my case) by my going off by myself (into isolation, like) for a few hours a day with a good book is far worse than whatever damage this period sinfully not yammering idiocies to all and sundry might inflict on my (soul? health? political wellbeing?)

I happen to like my country and think it is the best on earth with the most freedoms.

And there I thought you were all against freedom - that's surely what the last paragraph looks like.

[ Parent ]

you might just think if you are alone (none / 0) (#169)
by nitroburn on Tue Dec 10, 2002 at 05:55:30 AM EST

you might just think if you are alone!

GASP!!!

[ Parent ]
Uh, I'm generally conservative (none / 0) (#196)
by Quila on Tue Dec 10, 2002 at 09:26:23 AM EST

And I'm against drugs. I'm also against Monday Night Football, but you don't see me pushing for its prohibition.

Freedoms in America should only go so far that they benefit the country and the invididuals in it as a whole.

You haven't read the Constitution lately, have you?

  • We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice: Justice is getting thrown in jail for 20 years for having the same crop Thomas Jefferson had?
  • insure domestic Tranquillity: Gang wars and busting down doors are not tranquil. A pothead is tranquil.
  • provide for the common defence: Billions more for the WOD, billions less for defense.
  • promote the general Welfare: A small percentage of the small percentage of people on drugs are ruining themselves vs. the damage to the general welfare the WOD has wrought.
  • and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity: Liberty is being able to do what you want without government interference unless you are directly hurting someone else. No liberty in the WOD.
America was not created as a socialist or fascist nanny state, which is what your dream describes.

I don't need to find another place

Yes you do. May I suggest resurrecting the Third Reich? Hitler was prohibitionist too, and even banned smoking in offices and waiting rooms.

[ Parent ]

Your prejudicial nature is the downfall of us all (4.50 / 2) (#206)
by QuietRiot on Tue Dec 10, 2002 at 09:45:18 AM EST

You sir excel at making broad overgeneralizations about people. You sure seem "productive" in your ability to prejudge.

I love my country, that's why I'm tired of seeing liberals destroy it with their idealogies of drug use...

"idealogies of drug use..." Yep. All liberals. You hit the nail on the head. Very observant sir.

I happen to like my country and think it is the best on earth with the most freedoms. ... Freedoms in America should only go so far that they benefit the country and the invididuals in it as a whole.

Freedoms like being told what to do and not do by people like you? I hope you're kidding.

    free·dom
    Pronunciation: 'frE-d&m Function: noun Date: before 12th century 1 : the quality or state of being free: as a : the absence of necessity, coercion, or constraint in choice or action b : liberation from slavery or restraint or from the power of another : INDEPENDENCE c : the quality or state of being exempt or released usually from something onerous..."

I don't need to find another place, the drug users and liberals need to either be assimilated in to productive members of society or find another country.

Assimilation. Submission. Ignorance. The elite. All of which are American dreams. All of which are American dreams. All of which are American dreams. [Rage Against the Machine]

Remember this. The people you're after are everyone you depend on. We're the people who do your laundry and cook your food and serve your dinner. We guard you while you sleep. We drive the ambulances. We process your insurance claims. We control every part of your life. So don't fuck with us. [Tyler Durden: Fight Club]

We're also lawyers, judges, mathemeticians, scientists, farmers, technicians, teachers, firemen, police officers, congressmen, and stock brokers. We use small amounts of a god-given plant for insight, relaxation, and medication. We're of no harm or threat to you. The drug war has caused the negative effects you associate with drug use. The government is at fault here. Save me from nuclear threats, save me from gun-weilding criminals. Don't save me from myself.

Parent has probably never seen the movie, nor heard the song. The drug war has caused more problems than it has solved. It will never be won. Conservative? Fine. Be conservative. Just don't go around passing judgement on those that aren't and trying to convince yourself that more laws are a sane concept of "freedom." I worry about the children that grow up in homes with figures like yourself. You can't keep someone down without staying down yourself. Get on with your life and stop worrying about mine. I'll do my part. You do yours.

[ Parent ]

Alcohol? (none / 0) (#254)
by hstink on Tue Dec 10, 2002 at 02:13:50 PM EST

You're against alcohol?  Jesus and his disciples held wine as an important part of life, and religion.  Wine is also noted many times troughout the Bible as a blessing from God.  Jesus even created 160 gallons of wine to be freely distributed to his followers!

Please clarify your position.  The Bible appears to hold that drug use is an individual choice, and it is only excessive use that is looked down upon.  In addition, several hallucinogens are mentioned as being used in anointment oils and being burned for inhalation, often with recipes given by God himself.

-h

[ Parent ]

The New Americans (none / 0) (#269)
by deadplant on Tue Dec 10, 2002 at 04:02:32 PM EST

I think KeeTeel here is a great (perhaps slightly exagerated) example of the "New American".
The days of freedom and individuality are numbered.  It seems every day that the USA's citizens are less and less interested in individual liberty.  Power, control and economic efficiency are the new pillars of the USA.

it's too bad... I rather liked "Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness"

oh well... i guess there's not much I can do about it... just watch the body-count rise and try to stay out of their line of sight.

-ross


[ Parent ]

curious world view (none / 0) (#272)
by werner on Tue Dec 10, 2002 at 04:10:54 PM EST

you, sir, are a loony. i bet you live in the mountains with enough food for many years and a LOT of guns.

[ Parent ]
So (none / 0) (#141)
by tonedevil05 on Tue Dec 10, 2002 at 02:30:07 AM EST

We are supposed to listen to someone like you? You speak of people not being relevant, your particular lack in that area is singularly glaring. You make pronouncements as though you had power, as though what you say makes a difference. This answer is all that you can do, gig some excitable person like me into typeing a few words at you. Silly little biter dimwit do you yell at the kids to get off your lawn too? I can only hope we can finally make you sick enough to die.

[ Parent ]
I love this guy (4.00 / 2) (#143)
by YelM3 on Tue Dec 10, 2002 at 02:44:01 AM EST

Unbelievable.

This dick can't make a single post without using the phrase "liberal hippie punks" in the first paragraph.

Luckily, I'm beginning to realize that this is, in fact, a rather hilarious troll.

You're saying the government should use anti-terror legislation to track down stoner kids in your neighborhood, and put them to work doing hard labor. Why? Because they're not healthy enough. Ah yes, America, where we value personal health above all else.

You write the DEA, I'm writing to the writers of SNL.

This is clever, really. There are too many "liberals" on k5. We do need to mix it up a bit. I know that, for me, reading this Keeteel BS has done wonders to reaffirm my liberal, sane lifestyle.

[ Parent ]

I fear not (none / 0) (#149)
by tonedevil05 on Tue Dec 10, 2002 at 02:59:01 AM EST

Luckily, I'm beginning to realize that this is, in fact, a rather hilarious troll.

This doesn't seem trollish to me. In order to be a troll he isn't supposed to believe what he writes, but instead writes to inflame. I believe that we are privy to this fellow's innermost thoughts and I take him as sincere.

[ Parent ]

Disagree with you but (none / 0) (#157)
by cronian on Tue Dec 10, 2002 at 04:03:33 AM EST

While I pretty much disagree it is great that you are posting on K5 and I suggest you get others of similar persuasion to post to K5. You claim "the best damn education this world has at the American School system." Why do you think America has the best educational system? What criteria are you using? Personally I would never smoke Marijuana and I don't believe in encouraging people to use Marijuanna, but prohibition doesn't work. You claim drug use reduces productivity, but in the July, 2001 issue of The Economist they make a strong argument that legalization would solve more problems than prohibition. You can find the links to the articles here althought The Economist is now charging.

We perfect it; Congress kills it; They make it; We Import it; It must be anti-Americanism
[ Parent ]
Article Actually Available (none / 0) (#217)
by cronian on Tue Dec 10, 2002 at 10:43:37 AM EST

The survey is actually available at http://www.economist.com/surveys/showsurvey.cfm?issue=20010728

We perfect it; Congress kills it; They make it; We Import it; It must be anti-Americanism
[ Parent ]
I don't know if this is a troll... (none / 0) (#179)
by pgdn on Tue Dec 10, 2002 at 07:47:36 AM EST

I hope so, anyway. But assuming that it is, you lost me here:

You people never fail to amaze me by quoting and using sources that the U.S Government who's responsibility is to accurately SERVE the people of this country has denounced as being propaganda and misinformation.

Seems like you put too much work into this to ruin it by suggesting in the second sentence that the US government doesn't spout propaganda and misinformation. Better luck next time. :)

[ Parent ]
satire,troll, or new style of fascism (4.00 / 1) (#183)
by pantagruel on Tue Dec 10, 2002 at 08:14:17 AM EST

I am not sure which of the three this is, as a satire it's a little too wordy, and has too leaden a rhythm to be really funny. As a troll it's perhaps too articulate and also just too damn long to expect anyone to go through the whole thing. The new style of fascism is represented by the lines: "anything unproductive to society SHOULD be made illegal and have harsher penalties imposed. As I went in to above, when you choose to live in a society you abide by a social contract to benefit the country" which of course represents a fascist philosophy (or one of the more humorous parts) although more total than any yet implemented in the history of humanity. Which is it?

[ Parent ]
If you're supposed to be working right now... (4.50 / 2) (#193)
by Quila on Tue Dec 10, 2002 at 09:12:10 AM EST

Considering marijuana is both a threat to the productivity of the United States and is funding our enemies

Being on K5 instead of working is a threat to our productivity. So is lunch and coffee breaks.

And please tell me how growing pot in your own backyard (which would be widespread were it legal) would contribute to terrorism? Any more than buying oil from countries that fund terrorism? The "terrorism" that South American pot purchases funds is civil war, not terrorism.

As soon as 9/11 happened and the WOD disappeared from the headlines, I started wondering what the drug warriors would do to keep themselves relevant in a society that suddenly had higher priorities, like protecting us from foreign attack rather than from ourselves. I should have seen the simple solution that appeared a little later: hitch the WOD to the war on terrorism. It's so simple, Goebbels would have been proud.

You know how drugs help fight terrorism? How does Joe Addict know the herion he got wasn't from the Northern Alliance that defeated the Taliban with our help? He directly funded anti-terrorist activities by shooting up!

[ Parent ]

this would've been even funnier... (5.00 / 1) (#198)
by aderusha on Tue Dec 10, 2002 at 09:28:51 AM EST

...if you had managed to inject the phrase "commie pinko faggots".  try it next time, you'll like it.

[ Parent ]
Guess we need to ban computer usage too.. (none / 0) (#222)
by awpti on Tue Dec 10, 2002 at 11:15:20 AM EST

We geeks become anti-social...hide out in dark caves, avoiding human contact so we can get our fix.

How about that?

:)

-Geoff W.
awpti@awpti.org
http://www.awpti.org/

[ Parent ]

Another question answered! (none / 0) (#251)
by davelog on Tue Dec 10, 2002 at 02:02:56 PM EST

I always wondered what Ed Anger did in his off-time, when not writing his column for the Weekly World News.

-davelog

[ Parent ]

What about ALCOHOL, brainiac? (5.00 / 2) (#280)
by Wolf Keeper on Tue Dec 10, 2002 at 04:27:45 PM EST

Are you brain dead?

Alcohol is more addictive than pot.  It has more deleterious long term effects with use (colon cancer, liver problems, impaired thinking).  It is more likely to kill the user directly (alcohol poisoning).  Alcohol has closer links to fat gain (80+ calories per can of beer) than the 'munchies' from pot.  Alcohol has been directly linked to a not insifignificant portion of all violent crimes, including murder and rape. Drunk driver is, rightfully, a serious crime that kills thousands every year.  I've never heard of a 'baked driving accident', have you?

But see, they tried to ban alcohol.  Prohibition, ever hear of it?  It was a disastrous failure.  Crime rates skyrocketed, and they just couldn't stop it from being made.  So they gave up and relegalized it.  Alcohol's still a problem, but alcoholics can get help without being thrown into prison.  Alcoholics can take their ailments to a hospital without being thrown into prison.  Casual drinkers can go about their daily business without fear of government crackdowns.

Doesn't it make sense that the same would be true for drugs?  Crime rates would drop because hard drugs would cease to be a $300+ a day habit.  Millions (literally, millions) of productive workers would be released from prison to work in the economy.  People that had addictions could seek help.  People that have health problems from drugs could go to a hospital without being sent to prison.  People who are casual users could continue to go about their daily business, now without fear of having their house broken into and seized some day.

I think any drug use: alcohol, nicotine, marijuana, or cocaine is really stupid.  I think it's a waste of time and money.  But I don't think banning it is the answer.  It just increases the problem.

 

[ Parent ]

Wow (5.00 / 3) (#310)
by swanky on Tue Dec 10, 2002 at 06:34:03 PM EST

Keeteel, you've got to be the first honest to goodness modern fascist I've ever seen. I don't mean that as an insult, I simply mean that your last post sounds like a speach you'd hear in 1930's Italy.

"All within the state, nothing outside the state, nothing against the state." ~Benito Mussolini

[ Parent ]

Jesus, Mary and Joseph... (4.00 / 1) (#340)
by BOredAtWork on Tue Dec 10, 2002 at 08:25:58 PM EST

Just to play Devil's Advocate for a minute:

"What does religion really do for you? ABSOLUTELY NOTHING. It changes your perception of reality so you can sit around believing you're divine when the fact is you're a moron. What does witnessing for Jesus do for you? It changes your reality and makes you an obnoxious idiot. What does tithing do for you? It trashes your families savings and their future. What does prayer do for you? It allows you to feel secure in being alone because you're too much of a freak to get out in the world and fix your problems. Instead you sit in your room crying and going to church but justify it as yourself being "faithful" [to a God that has] NO RELEVANCE TO ANYTHING IN THE REAL WORLD. Get out of the house and contribute to this country.

In conclusion I hope with the new policies and authority the government has been given all two hundred million [Anyone know how many Christians in the US?] Christians are tracked down, arrested and forced in to productive labor. Try all you want to justify it with your "prayer" or "faith" or whatever bullshit you conservatives pretend you have, you need a kick in the ass with some good old fashion hard labor. The government has these powers and I expect them to use them against people like you on this board posting in support of Jesus. What you're attempting to do is unwind the social fabric and contract of America and make us a second rate country like France, Canada, or England. I would rather get punks like you in prison, out of the country, or forced in to hard labor than let you run amuck destroying my country.

To each their own, my friend. To each their own.

(A quick note to the satire impared: I'm a practicing Catholic. Don't bother trying to "save" me or some such nonsense. I highly doubt that God is going smite me for having a sense of humor and a sharp tongue.)

[ Parent ]

Damned Nationalist. (none / 0) (#355)
by Mike Hunt on Tue Dec 10, 2002 at 09:57:30 PM EST

Are you really blind enough to believe that 'It is essential to America's future that we maintain our status as a superpower, as the superpower rather. The countries who've taken acceptable approaches to marijuana will never be able to compete with the mighty (sic) and glory of that which is America.'

Ask yourself this: 'what does America being a "superpower" do for me, personally?'  I don't live in America.  I'm not bothered by this, either.  Neither am I (as) subject to the abject violation of my rights as a human being here in Australia as those in the 'States, post September 11.

As far as I can see, the concept of 'superpower' is becoming increasingly irrelevant.  Does the fact that you live in America give you a better standard of living than that of somebody who lives in England, or Australia, or New Zealand?  France?  As ideas become globalized and the intellectuo-social barriers which nationalism built are destroyed by the Internet, America will become as irrelevant as the British Commonwealth.

Further, what in the name of Bob does your nationalist crap have to do with smoking pot, anyhow?  How, exactly, does whether a section of the population decide to sit on their arse and get stoned change America's standing in the eyes of the world?  Sure, the reactionary religious nutbags might be a bit shocked, but odds are it does nothing to America's GDP, global standing, or anything else you might value about your country.  Unless, of course, this section of the population decides not to work, and sits on welfare.  In which case it is (again) America's fault for having a broken welfare system.  I'll give you a clue.  Most pot smokers i've encountered, (certainly, all those whom I know well) have jobs and are not reliant on the state for anything other than a tax bill.

Which leads to your bizarre and unnatural pseudo-hobbesian argument that it is every individual's responsibility to not only not sit on welfare and actually have a job, but actually perform at 100% of their potential all the time (I think you used the term 'contribute to society.')

This 'from each according to his abilities, to each according to his needs' doctrine is reminiscent of communism.  There is absolutely NO OBLIGATION upon any of us under modern democracy to do anything other than stay off welfare.  Since everything is privatized, you only hurt your employer by under-performance, not this mythical state.

Let me repeat that.  Your only obligation as a member of society is to STAY OFF WELFARE.

In closure, you are one scary bastard and I hope you never become the President of America.  You aren't GWB in disguise, are you?
I used to have a .sig, but the government told me it would cause cancer.
[ Parent ]

Decent Troll. (none / 0) (#367)
by Count Zero on Wed Dec 11, 2002 at 12:44:26 AM EST

Let's see, you managed to piss off liberals with ad hominems, strawman examples of liberal arguments, and complete misunderstanding of the social contract which anyone with even minor knowledge of the concept can refute.

But, you also managed to piss off the libertarians by equating a popular libertarian viewpoint (drug legalization) with liberalism and using the most twisted definition of the word "freedom" I've ever seen by managing to redfine it as "fascism". Congrats, in one post, you've managed to piss off the two largest political demographics on the site.

Even so, I can only give you a 4/5 on the troll scale, as it's really waaaay longer than it needed to be.




[ Parent ]
We're doomed (none / 0) (#371)
by knobmaker on Wed Dec 11, 2002 at 01:10:08 AM EST

The first reaction of any rational person is that this is a frothing troll.  Unfortunately, the guy's opinion is representative of many American voters.  And that's why we're doomed.  There will never be a rational drug policy as long as culture warriors believe that use of drugs other than those they like, such as alcohol and tobacco, will mean the end of America-as-it-should-be.  It's a conviction of religious intensity, and can't be countered by any amount of facts.  You could refute him point by point, and he wouldn't change his mind.

So get used to the crime, violence, and institutional decay caused by the drug war.  It's here to stay.

[ Parent ]

So what??? CRIMINALIZATION SUPPORTS CRIME (none / 0) (#411)
by BuddasEvilTwin on Wed Dec 11, 2002 at 03:23:21 PM EST

Call me a hippie liberal all you want, but you're the one who wants to continue funding criminals, corruption and terrorism with drug money.

While some of these extreme Marijuana adovcates will deny any harmful effects of Marijuana, the rest of us understand the REAL effects.  We know it's worse on your lungs than cigarettes, and that smoking it all the time slows you down, and may even contribute to mental health problems.

...but does that justfy all of the horrible effects of criminalization?  Do you realize that the criminalization of drugs has done more harm than the effects of drugs?

We're just beginning to get a handle on cigarettes by finally regulating it's distribution (Not allowing 14 year olds to buy them, like I did 12 years ago), education, and taxing it enough to detour smoking, but not enough to create a huge black market.  

Now, if we could finally get Tobacco, Alcohol, AND illegal drugs under the control of the FDA.  MAYBE, we could regulate these harmful substances with SCIENCE and not politics and speculation.

So far, your complicit support for the status quo approach has created nothing but misery, both inside AND outside our borders.

[ Parent ]

Marijuana is a monstrous commie plot! (none / 0) (#437)
by suntzu on Thu Dec 12, 2002 at 09:15:03 PM EST

We cannot stand idly by, as marijuana continues to sap and impurify our precious bodily fluids.

[ Parent ]
HAW (none / 0) (#440)
by LocalH on Fri Dec 13, 2002 at 06:16:13 AM EST

Good troll. You actually got me to dredge up my old k5 account and post with it. Bravo.

[ Parent ]
.....free america (none / 0) (#447)
by davidcopperfield on Sun Dec 15, 2002 at 10:48:59 AM EST

When I read this I really wanted to plug it to you, You know in 'Defense of truth'. However, truth really needs no defense and nothing I could probably say could fix your already twisted sense of freedom and America..... However, some people could probably do it better than me: " .....government of the people, by the people, for the people......" I wonder If Lincoln, JFK or MLK ever came into the argument over social debt and contract? Our days will be filled with sorrow when we find it acceptable to 'hunt' our brothers and sisters down for personal freedom. Indeed, It is an increasingly insular view of america that poisons it and it's people. So, dance for me 'Goebbels' America is bigger than just the puritan ethic. David Copperfield~

[ Parent ]
New study. (4.00 / 2) (#135)
by Rot 26 on Mon Dec 09, 2002 at 09:43:17 PM EST

it does not often cause the user to become excessively edgy or paranoid, or cause addiction
Actually was a psychological study that I believe came out last August (August 2001, not 2002) showing that Marijuana is in fact addicting and that we have receptors for it hardwired into our system, just like heroin/morphine/et al. use the endorphin receptors in our body. I think these receptors were called "Cannaboidal" receptors (I nominate Cannaboidal for the top ten drug related words that are fun to say by the way), so you will probably be able to find information about this on Google using that term as a starting point.

So now you know how to put the smack down on the potheads trying to convince you to legalize pot because "like, it's not addictive". I'm just going to throw my own views into the mix here though, I think that drugs like marijuana, cocain, heroin, ecstasy and alcohol (ahem...) are bad and I don't really think anyone should use them, HOWEVER, I definitely think that people should be able to use them. It shouldn't be the government's choice about what stupid things you want to do. There are plenty of other things in this world that people shouldn't do that are almost universally harmful to themselves and other people that aren't restricted.
1: OPERATION: HAMMERTIME!
2: A website affiliate program that doesn't suck!
interesting (none / 0) (#160)
by Greyshade on Tue Dec 10, 2002 at 04:28:10 AM EST

It would be nice if you could point us to said study.

I find it interesting that psychologists would try to form a causal like with brain physiology. Wouldn't that task be best left to someone with a medical degree?

[ Parent ]

lkaj (none / 0) (#243)
by Rot 26 on Tue Dec 10, 2002 at 12:40:17 PM EST

I find it interesting that psychologists would try to form a causal like with brain physiology. Wouldn't that task be best left to someone with a medical degree?
What about biopsychologists and psychphysicians? Both of those professions are fields considered within the realm of Psychology, but also have to do with the the physical workings of your body. Also, I would bet that a lot of people in this field don't have medical degrees.
1: OPERATION: HAMMERTIME!
2: A website affiliate program that doesn't suck!
[ Parent ]
Half-True (4.66 / 3) (#166)
by nitroburn on Tue Dec 10, 2002 at 05:30:24 AM EST

Cannabinoid Receptors have been known about for quite a while and have been said to comprise almost 75% of the brain. Keep in mind just because something acts on a receptor, doesn't mean its addicting. For example, dextromethorphan works on opitoid receptors but is non-addictive. That is not proof of it being addictive.

I read what you are speaking of:

"Research has now established that marijuana is in fact addictive. Of the
4.3 million Americans who meet the diagnostic criteria for needing drug
treatment (criteria developed by the American Psychiatric Association, not
police departments or prosecutors) two-thirds are dependent on marijuana,
according to HHS. Sixty percent of teens in drug treatment have a primary
marijuana diagnosis. "

was how one article put it. Sadly this is a half-truth. What it doesn't tell you is that most of these teens and such in 'treatment', were given TWO options. Treatment or Jail. TREATment or jail. Can you see what I am getting at? Mr. John walters tried to use that excuse recently here in canada. It didn't fly by the mayor, or anyone else for that matter. If you Read This (canada.com) you will see, as with many other countrys, we have realized the fallacy of your 'new report from John Walters'.

Here is a great newspaper responce to that 'report' you were talking about.

[ Parent ]

Dextromethorphan (DXM) (none / 0) (#177)
by Canar on Tue Dec 10, 2002 at 07:18:56 AM EST

DXM works on 5 different neuroreceptors simultaneously. DXM has also proven to be addictive to some recreational users.

On the other hand, mushrooms, which act on the serotonin receptors, are not addictive. Just helping set examples right. =)

[ Parent ]

Mushrooms kick ass (5.00 / 1) (#216)
by Snowman2k1 on Tue Dec 10, 2002 at 10:39:45 AM EST

Just thought I'd mention that.

[ Parent ]
Receptors (5.00 / 2) (#214)
by tgibbs on Tue Dec 10, 2002 at 10:37:35 AM EST

Actually was a psychological study that I believe came out last August (August 2001, not 2002) showing that Marijuana is in fact addicting and that we have receptors for it hardwired into our system
Any drug that affects the brain or mind has to act on neuronal receptors--that's elementary neuropharmacology. The only news (which is pretty old news by now) is that cannabinoid receptors have been identified, and turn out to be a separate class of receptors. The suggestion that cannabis is addictive relates to evidence that dopamine receptors are also involved. It does seem that drugs of abuse--even nicotine--pretty much all affect dopamine receptors directly or indirectly. But so does just about anything that people like to do.

[ Parent ]
How odd... (5.00 / 1) (#409)
by Kintanon on Wed Dec 11, 2002 at 02:46:06 PM EST

Back in highschool I had a lot to do with my highschool drugtrade, and I knew a lot of pot smokers. Plenty of them would go 10, 12, 15 days between doses. Sometimes one of them would be broke for a couple of months and not smoke any. None of them showed any nasty affects, or any affects at all really. My sample size is only about 70 people of course, but that's enough for me to form an opinion.
I don't know a single smoker who can go a full day without a cigarette without getting REALLY pissy and irritated. So if Marijuana is addictive it's less addictive by FAR than cigarettes.

Kintanon

[ Parent ]

Game Over (2.33 / 3) (#158)
by Nesian on Tue Dec 10, 2002 at 04:20:44 AM EST

No its not working its failed miserably. For kids today banned substances are easier to obtain than say alcohol and ciggarettes (which I might add have killed more people than any other drug on the planet ). And since governments are unable to tax them they lose out even more. So the war on drugs is over.Its failed to protect those that need protecting the most. The war on drugs is a lost battle.
~After all, if you stockpile a massive nuclear arsenal, it's only natural that people are going to want to go in and have a look around, maybe see what all those buttons marked 'detonate' and 'code red' mean.~
killed so many because it's legal (none / 0) (#181)
by pakje on Tue Dec 10, 2002 at 07:58:15 AM EST

Hmmm, the chicken and egg story: Couldn't it be that because alcohol and ciggarettes are legalized, so many deaths occur because of those goods... I think that there should be more control on the time and locations where all of these goods are used. (like don't sell under 16, no drunk driving) What would save more lives: $1 bilion extra on war or $1 bilion on traffic control. About the subject marijuana, I think it shouldn't treated like harddrugs, only thing is that it stinks and has very strong halucinating effects.

[ Parent ]
Halucinating effects??? (none / 0) (#203)
by BuddasEvilTwin on Tue Dec 10, 2002 at 09:40:18 AM EST

Umm...  Marijuana doesn't have halucinating effect, let alone VERY STRONG halucinating effects.

I know...  I know...  You or your uncle used to halucinate when he smoked pot.  (Probably has nothing to do with all the LCD he tool in Vietnam)  I've heard the stories before, and I call bullshit...

[ Parent ]

From a previous post: (none / 0) (#230)
by phuzz on Tue Dec 10, 2002 at 11:50:43 AM EST

In Britain, official government statistics listed five deaths from cannabis in the period 1993-1995 but on closer examination these proved to have been deaths due to inhalation of vomit that could not be directly attributed to cannabis (House of Lords Report, 1998). By comparison with other commonly used recreational drugs these statistics are impressive."

Although I do agree with you, if weed was legalsised, then yes, I'm sure more people would suffer adverse effects. (If only from trying to drive whilst out of their tree or such). On the other hand, how many people would beifit from the medical uses of marijuana? The answer is, probably some, and reaserch into medical uses can only benifit from decresed restrictions.
Also, legaliseation would loosen the influence of large criminal gangs on the drug trade, although this is less of a concern with pot.

And lastly, halucinations? To use a cliche, what have you been smoking? Because it sure wasn't weed.

[ Parent ]

Why is death so bad? (5.00 / 1) (#255)
by nicodaemos on Tue Dec 10, 2002 at 02:24:26 PM EST

What is it about our society that we will let people live in the street with nothing to eat, but not let them enjoy a few moments of escapism on a drug high?  You say, because of the risk they might die.

Mmmm .... last time I checked most people in society were religious.  And most of those religions preached that our life here on earth is a mere blip of our time in eternity.  Each religion says that the material world is inconsequential.  Well if people really believed that rhetoric then they shouldn't have an issue with people dying ... now should they?  After all, the person is going off to meet their maker and live in the hereafter.

Stop trying to control one another.  Let people live and die their own lives.


[ Parent ]

agreed (none / 0) (#360)
by Nesian on Tue Dec 10, 2002 at 10:44:04 PM EST


~After all, if you stockpile a massive nuclear arsenal, it's only natural that people are going to want to go in and have a look around, maybe see what all those buttons marked 'detonate' and 'code red' mean.~
[ Parent ]
Is that a rhetorical question? (3.33 / 3) (#159)
by YelM3 on Tue Dec 10, 2002 at 04:21:11 AM EST

I laughed out loud when I read the topic. Are there actually people who still believe the drug war is a success?

Let's see.

  • Illicit drug use has been going up for years. So, if you think that the purpose of the WOD is to reduce drug abuse, it has failed.
  • Billions upon billions have been spent on this failure, so far.
  • Gang violence due to drug trade has destroyed countless thousands of families and neighborhoods all over America.
  • Nearly a million people are arrested and jailed yearly for marijuana charges alone. This includes many people who were otherwise law-abiding, productive members of society. In decades past, people were sentenced to over 20 years for possession of small amounts of pot.
  • The United States jails a larger percentage of it's population than nearly any other country, mostly for drug-related offenses.
  • The American military has become involved in other countries in order to combat drug trade. Bush Sr. burned whole neighborhoods in the capital of Panama and killed hundreds. Clinton spent $1.5B on Colombia's civil war because of cocaine trafficking. (Meanwhile, how many people live below the poverty line in the US?)
  • The US gave $40 Million to the Taliban in 2001 as a reward for reducing opium production.
  • It was reported several years ago that children who participated in the DARE anti-drug programs in middle school were actually more likely to use drugs later on. (DARE's response was to increase their efforts and reach more children.)
  • Research on many illicit drugs has all but ceased due to drug laws. Accurate and important information about psychedelic drugs and their effects is difficult to come by. Any kid can recite that "LSD will fry your brain," but real information on how to avoid bad experiences with LSD is absent from official anti-drug literature.

The War on Drugs will go down in history as one of the most expensive, harmful, irresponsible, and corrupt fiascos to ever be undertaken.

Countless thousands? (3.00 / 1) (#164)
by William Franklin Rothman on Tue Dec 10, 2002 at 05:06:28 AM EST

Are you sure they're countless?

[ Parent ]
He's not sure how many thousands there are (nt) (none / 0) (#341)
by qslack on Tue Dec 10, 2002 at 08:30:25 PM EST



[ Parent ]
Everything that you said made sense until.. (none / 0) (#182)
by duffbeer703 on Tue Dec 10, 2002 at 08:03:34 AM EST

"Any kid can recite that "LSD will fry your brain," but real information on how to avoid bad experiences with LSD is absent from official anti-drug literature."

Lots of things can handled safely with training. Guns, professional fireworks, chemicals, perscription drugs, etc.

Telling us that the government is irresponsible after complaining that drug education does not teach children how to have a good acid trip is absurd. There is no question that the drug war is out of hand.

The reason that the drug war is so out of hand is that monied interests who form and influence policy benefit from it. The DEA writes alot of federal regulations and congressional bills, and state police & corrections officers unions advocate "tougher" laws and sentencing all the time.

[ Parent ]

It's really quite logical (none / 0) (#419)
by YelM3 on Thu Dec 12, 2002 at 01:27:54 AM EST

I'm sure many people who have taken acid have had these thoughts.

You learn as a kid in America many untruths and exaggerations about the dangers of drugs. This has a long and well-known history going back to before "Reefer Madness."

When I was subjected to the DARE program in sixth grade, my police officer / teacher told the class that LSD would "fry your brain," possibly make you legally insane, jump out of a window, etc etc. Never once did he mention that LSD should especially not be used at, say, a frat party. That taking it in on a sunny day in a secluded meadow might not be so horrible. He never said that bad trips almost always occur when the user is in a bad mental state before the trip, or is in a bad environment during. He never said that the chances for having a bad trip are greatly reduced if one trips with a sober close friend or guide at hand.

All of these things any experienced acid tripper will tell you. If DARE wants to keep kids safe, they should tell them this too. The problem is, of course, that you can't teach kids how to be safe with drugs when you are telling them to Just Say No(tm). This is kind of like telling someone, "Murder is wrong, but if you're going to shoot someone, wear safety goggles!" Just Say No implies: don't try to learn about drugs, or think for yourself, just don't do it. Take our word for it. Well that's great, until you actually do it, (which many (most?) kids eventually will, DARE or not) and find yourself possibly totally unprepared.

Think of it this way. Which is more likely to stop some kid from taking LSD? "LSD will fry your brain" ... or a first-hand description of a bad trip: three hours in a literal Hell. We might as well be honest.

[ Parent ]

It's logical, really... (4.00 / 1) (#420)
by YelM3 on Thu Dec 12, 2002 at 01:30:40 AM EST

A clarification. I'm sure many people who have taken acid have had these thoughts.

You learn as a kid in America many untruths and exaggerations about the dangers of drugs. This has a long and well-known history going back to before "Reefer Madness."

When I was subjected to the DARE program in sixth grade, my police officer / teacher told the class that LSD would "fry your brain," possibly make you legally insane, jump out of a window, etc etc. Never once did he mention that LSD should especially not be used at, say, a frat party. That taking it in on a sunny day in a secluded meadow might not be so horrible. He never said that bad trips almost always occur when the user is in a bad mental state before the trip, or is in a bad environment during. He never said that the chances for having a bad trip are greatly reduced if one trips with a sober close friend or guide at hand.

All of these things any experienced acid tripper will tell you. If DARE wants to keep kids safe, they should tell them this too. The problem is, of course, that you can't teach kids how to be safe with drugs when you are telling them to Just Say No(tm). This is kind of like telling someone, "Murder is wrong, but if you're going to shoot someone, wear safety goggles!" Just Say No implies: don't try to learn about drugs, or think for yourself, just don't do it. Take our word for it. Well that's great, until you actually do it, (which many (most?) kids eventually will, DARE or not) and find yourself possibly totally unprepared.

Think of it this way. Which is more likely to stop some kid from taking LSD? "LSD will fry your brain" ... or a first-hand description of a bad trip: three hours in a literal Hell. We might as well be honest.

[ Parent ]

A point that's been touched on (none / 0) (#191)
by Quila on Tue Dec 10, 2002 at 09:04:41 AM EST

In relative harmfulness, both pot and LSD are quite safe. In both, there is a very wide gap between the effective dose and the LD50, larger than caffeine and alcohol. This makes it almost impossible to overdose. The gap in LSD is so large and the effective dose so small that adverse physical effects (where many horror stories come from) are invariably caused by impurities in the illegal distribution.

[ Parent ]
Facts. (4.80 / 20) (#161)
by nitroburn on Tue Dec 10, 2002 at 04:53:56 AM EST

  1. In 2000, 46.5 percent of the 1,579,566 total arrests for drug abuse violations were for marijuana -- a total of 734,497. Of those, 646,042 people were arrested for possession alone. This is an increase over 1999, when a total of 704,812 Americans were arrested for marijuana offenses, of which 620,541 were for possession alone.

    Sources: Federal Bureau of Investigation, Uniform Crime Reports for the United States 2000 (Washington DC: US Government Printing Office, 2001), pp. 215-216, Tables 29 and 4.1; Uniform Crime Reports for the United States 1999 (Washington DC: US Government Printing Office, 2000), pp. 211-212; Federal Bureau of Investigation, Uniform Crime Reports for the United States 1998 (Washington DC: US Government Printing Office, 1999), pp. 209-210; FBI, UCR for the US 1995 (Washington, DC: US Government Printing Office, 1996), pp. 207-208; FBI, UCR for the US 1990 (Washington, DC: US Government Printing Office, 1991), pp. 173-174; FBI, UCR for the US 1980 (Washington, DC: US Government Printing Office, 1981), pp. 189-191.

  2. According to the UN's estimate, 141 million people around the world use marijuana. This represents about 2.5 percent of the world population.

    Source: United Nations Office for Drug Control and Crime Prevention, Global Illicit Drug Trends 1999 (New York, NY: UNODCCP, 1999), p. 91.

  3. Marijuana was first federally prohibited in 1937. Today, more than 83 million Americans admit to having tried it.

    Sources: Marihuana Tax Act of 1937; Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, Summary of Findings from the 2001 National Household Survey on Drug Abuse (Rockville, MD: Department of Health and Human Services, 2002), Table H.1, from the web at http:://www.samhsa.gov/oas/NHSDA/2k1NHSDA 7;vol2/appendixh_1.htm, last accessed Sept. 16, 2002.

  4. "Tetrahydrocannabinol is a very safe drug. Laboratory animals (rats, mice, dogs, monkeys) can tolerate doses of up to 1,000 mg/kg (milligrams per kilogram). This would be equivalent to a 70 kg person swallowing 70 grams of the drug -- about 5,000 times more than is required to produce a high. Despite the widespread illicit use of cannabis there are very few if any instances of people dying from an overdose. In Britain, official government statistics listed five deaths from cannabis in the period 1993-1995 but on closer examination these proved to have been deaths due to inhalation of vomit that could not be directly attributed to cannabis (House of Lords Report, 1998). By comparison with other commonly used recreational drugs these statistics are impressive."

    Source:  Iversen, Leslie L., PhD, FRS, "The Science of Marijuana" (London, England: Oxford University Press, 2000), p. 178, citing House of Lords, Select Committee on Science and Technology, "Cannabis -- The Scientific and Medical Evidence" (London, England: The Stationery Office, Parliament, 1998).

  5. A Johns Hopkins study published in May 1999, examined marijuana's effects on cognition on 1,318 participants over a 15 year period. Researchers reported "no significant differences in cognitive decline between heavy users, light users, and nonusers of cannabis." They also found "no male-female differences in cognitive decline in relation to cannabis use." "These results ... seem to provide strong evidence of the absence of a long-term residual effect of cannabis use on cognition," they concluded.

    Source: Constantine G. Lyketsos, Elizabeth Garrett, Kung-Yee Liang, and James C. Anthony. (1999). "Cannabis Use and Cognitive Decline in Persons under 65 Years of Age," American Journal of Epidemiology, Vol. 149, No. 9.

  6. "Current marijuana use had a negative effect on global IQ score only in subjects who smoked 5 or more joints per week. A negative effect was not observed among subjects who had previously been heavy users but were no longer using the substance. We conclude that marijuana does not have a long-term negative impact on global intelligence. Whether the absence of a residual marijuana effect would also be evident in more specific cognitive domains such as memory and attention remains to be ascertained."

    Source:  Fried, Peter, Barbara Watkinson, Deborah James, and Robert Gray, "Current and former marijuana use: preliminary findings of a longitudinal study of effects on IQ in young adults," Canadian Medical Association Journal, April 2, 2002, 166(7), p. 887.

  7. "Although the heavy current users experienced a decrease in IQ score, their scores were still above average at the young adult assessment (mean 105.1). If we had not assessed preteen IQ, these subjects would have appeared to be functioning normally. Only with knowledge of the change in IQ score does the negative impact of current heavy use become apparent."

    Source:  Fried, Peter, Barbara Watkinson, Deborah James, and Robert Gray, "Current and former marijuana use: preliminary findings of a longitudinal study of effects on IQ in young adults," Canadian Medical Association Journal, April 2, 2002, 166(7), p. 890.

  8. In March 1999, the Institute of Medicine issued a report on various aspects of marijuana, including the so-called Gateway Theory (the theory that using marijuana leads people to use harder drugs like cocaine and heroin). The IOM stated, "There is no conclusive evidence that the drug effects of marijuana are causally linked to the subsequent abuse of other illicit drugs."

    Source: Janet E. Joy, Stanley J. Watson, Jr., and John A Benson, Jr., "Marijuana and Medicine: Assessing the Science Base," Division of Neuroscience and Behavioral Research, Institute of Medicine (Washington, DC: National Academy Press, 1999).

  9. The Institute of Medicine's 1999 report on marijuana explained that marijuana has been mistaken for a gateway drug in the past because "Patterns in progression of drug use from adolescence to adulthood are strikingly regular. Because it is the most widely used illicit drug, marijuana is predictably the first illicit drug most people encounter. Not surprisingly, most users of other illicit drugs have used marijuana first. In fact, most drug users begin with alcohol and nicotine before marijuana, usually before they are of legal age."

    Source: Janet E. Joy, Stanley J. Watson, Jr., and John A Benson, Jr., "Marijuana and Medicine: Assessing the Science Base," Division of Neuroscience and Behavioral Research, Institute of Medicine (Washington, DC: National Academy Press, 1999).

  10. A 1999 federal report conducted by the Institute of Medicine found that, "For most people, the primary adverse effect of acute marijuana use is diminished psychomotor performance. It is, therefore, inadvisable to operate any vehicle or potentially dangerous equipment while under the influence of marijuana, THC, or any cannabinoid drug with comparable effects."

    Source: Janet E. Joy, Stanley J. Watson, Jr., and John A Benson, Jr., "Marijuana and Medicine: Assessing the Science Base," Division of Neuroscience and Behavioral Research, Institute of Medicine (Washington, DC: National Academy Press, 1999).

  11. The DEA's Administrative Law Judge, Francis Young concluded: "In strict medical terms marijuana is far safer than many foods we commonly consume. For example, eating 10 raw potatoes can result in a toxic response. By comparison, it is physically impossible to eat enough marijuana to induce death. Marijuana in its natural form is one of the safest therapeutically active substances known to man. By any measure of rational analysis marijuana can be safely used within the supervised routine of medical care.:

    Source: US Department of Justice, Drug Enforcement Agency, "In the Matter of Marijuana Rescheduling Petition," [Docket #86-22], (September 6, 1988), p. 57.

  12. Commissioned by President Nixon in 1972, the National Commission on Marihuana and Drug Abuse concluded that "Marihuana's relative potential for harm to the vast majority of individual users and its actual impact on society does not justify a social policy designed to seek out and firmly punish those who use it. This judgment is based on prevalent use patterns, on behavior exhibited by the vast majority of users and on our interpretations of existing medical and scientific data. This position also is consistent with the estimate by law enforcement personnel that the elimination of use is unattainable."

    Source: Shafer, Raymond P., et al, Marihuana: A Signal of Misunderstanding, Ch. V, (Washington DC: National Commission on Marihuana and Drug Abuse, 1972).

  13. When examining the relationship between marijuana use and violent crime, the National Commission on Marihuana and Drug Abuse concluded, "Rather than inducing violent or aggressive behavior through its purported effects of lowering inhibitions, weakening impulse control and heightening aggressive tendencies, marihuana was usually found to inhibit the expression of aggressive impulses by pacifying the user, interfering with muscular coordination, reducing psychomotor activities and generally producing states of drowsiness lethargy, timidity and passivity."

    Source: Shafer, Raymond P., et al, Marihuana: A Signal of Misunderstanding, Ch. III, (Washington DC: National Commission on Marihuana and Drug Abuse, 1972).

  14. When examining the medical affects of marijuana use, the National Commission on Marihuana and Drug Abuse concluded, "A careful search of the literature and testimony of the nation's health officials has not revealed a single human fatality in the United States proven to have resulted solely from ingestion of marihuana. Experiments with the drug in monkeys demonstrated that the dose required for overdose death was enormous and for all practical purposes unachievable by humans smoking marihuana. This is in marked contrast to other substances in common use, most notably alcohol and barbiturate sleeping pills. The WHO reached the same conclusion in 1995.

    Source: Shafer, Raymond P., et al, Marihuana: A Signal of Misunderstanding, Ch. III, (Washington DC: National Commission on Marihuana and Drug Abuse, 1972); Hall, W., Room, R. & Bondy, S., WHO Project on Health Implications of Cannabis Use: A Comparative Appraisal of the Health and Psychological Consequences of Alcohol, Cannabis, Nicotine and Opiate Use, August 28, 1995, (Geneva, Switzerland: World Health Organization, March 1998).

  15. The World Health Organization released a study in March 1998 that states: "there are good reasons for saying that [the risks from cannabis] would be unlikely to seriously [compare to] the public health risks of alcohol and tobacco even if as many people used cannabis as now drink alcohol or smoke tobacco."

    Source: Hall, W., Room, R. & Bondy, S., WHO Project on Health Implications of Cannabis Use: A Comparative Appraisal of the Health and Psychological Consequences of Alcohol, Cannabis, Nicotine and Opiate Use, August 28, 1995, (contained in original version, but deleted from official version) (Geneva, Switzerland: World Health Organization, March 1998).

  16. The authors of a 1998 World Health Organization report comparing marijuana, alcohol, nicotine and opiates quote the Institute of Medicine's 1982 report stating that there is no evidence that smoking marijuana "exerts a permanently deleterious effect on the normal cardiovascular system."

    Source: Hall, W., Room, R. & Bondy, S., WHO Project on Health Implications of Cannabis Use: A Comparative Appraisal of the Health and Psychological Consequences of Alcohol, Cannabis, Nicotine and Opiate Use, August 28, 1995 (Geneva, Switzerland: World Health Organization, March 1998).

  17. Some claim that cannabis use leads to "adult amotivation." The World Health Organization report addresses the issue and states, "it is doubtful that cannabis use produces a well defined amotivational syndrome." The report also notes that the value of studies which support the "adult amotivation" theory are "limited by their small sample sizes" and lack of representative social/cultural groups.

    Source: Hall, W., Room, R. & Bondy, S., WHO Project on Health Implications of Cannabis Use: A Comparative Appraisal of the Health and Psychological Consequences of Alcohol, Cannabis, Nicotine and Opiate Use, August 28, 1995 (Geneva, Switzerland: World Health Organization, March 1998).

  18. Australian researchers found that regions giving on-the-spot fines to marijuana users rather than harsher criminal penalties did not cause marijuana use to increase.

    Source: Ali, Robert, et al., The Social Impacts of the Cannabis Expiation Notice Scheme in South Australia: Summary Report (Canberra, Australia: Department of Health and Aged Care, 1999), p. 44.

  19. Since 1969, government-appointed commissions in the United States, Canada, England, Australia, and the Netherlands concluded, after reviewing the scientific evidence, that marijuana's dangers had previously been greatly exaggerated, and urged lawmakers to drastically reduce or eliminate penalties for marijuana possession.

    Source: Advisory Committee on Drug Dependence, Cannabis (London, England: Her Majesty's Stationery Office, 1969); Canadian Government Commission of Inquiry, The Non-Medical Use of Drugs (Ottawa, Canada: Information Canada, 1970); The National Commission on Marihuana and Drug Abuse, Marihuana: A Signal of Misunderstanding, (Nixon-Shafer Report) (Washington, DC: USGPO, 1972); Werkgroep Verdovende Middelen, Background and Risks of Drug Use (The Hague, The Netherlands: Staatsuigeverij, 1972); Senate Standing Committee on Social Welfare, Drug Problems in Australia-An Intoxicated Society (Canberra, Australia: Australian Government Publishing Service, 1977); Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs, "The classification of cannabis under the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971" (London, England, UK: Home Office, March 2002), available on the web from http://www.drugs.gov.uk/ReportsandPublications/Communities/HO_drugsadvice.pdf ; House of Commons Home Affairs Committee Third Report, "The Government's Drugs Policy: Is It Working?" (London, England, UK: Parliament, May 9, 2002), from the web at http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm200102/cmselect/cmhaff/318/31802.htm and "Cannabis: Our Position for a Canadian Public Policy," report of the Canadian Senate Special Committee on Illegal Drugs (Ottawa, Canada: Senate of Canada, September 2002).

  20. The Canadian Senate's Special Committee on Illegal Drugs recommended in its 2002 final report on cannabis policy that "the Government of Canada amend the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act to create a criminal exemption scheme. This legislation should stipulate the conditions for obtaining licenses as well as for producing and selling cannabis; criminal penalties for illegal trafficking and export; and the preservation of criminal penalties for all activities falling outside the scope of the exemption scheme."

    Source:  "Cannabis: Our Position for a Canadian Public Policy," report of the Canadian Senate Special Committee on Illegal Drugs (Ottawa, Canada: Senate of Canada, September 2002), p. 46.

  21. UK Home Secretary David Blunkett announced in July 2002 that "We must concentrate our efforts on the drugs that cause the most harm, while sending a credible message to young people. I will therefore ask Parliament to reclassify cannabis from Class B to Class C. I have considered the recommendations of the Home Affairs Committee, and the advice given me by the ACMD medical experts that the current classification of cannabis is disproportionate in relation to the harm that it causes."

    Source:  "'All Controlled Drugs Harmful, All Will Remain Illegal' - Home Secretary," News Release, Office of the Home Secretary, Government of the United Kingdom, July 10, 2002, from the web at http://213.219.10.30/n_story.asp?item_id=143 last accessed July 31, 2002.

  22. In May of 1998, the Canadian Centre on Substance Abuse, National Working Group on Addictions Policy released policy a discussion document which recommended, "The severity of punishment for a cannabis possession charge should be reduced. Specifically, cannabis possession should be converted to a civil violation under the Contraventions Act." The paper further noted that, "The available evidence indicates that removal of jail as a sentencing option would lead to considerable cost savings without leading to increases in rates of cannabis use."

    Source: Single, Eric, Cannabis Control in Canada: Options Regarding Possession (Ottawa, Canada: Canadian Centre on Substance Abuse, May 1998).

  23. "Our conclusion is that the present law on cannabis produces more harm than it prevents. It is very expensive of the time and resources of the criminal justice system and especially of the police. It inevitably bears more heavily on young people in the streets of inner cities, who are also more likely to be from minority ethnic communities, and as such is inimical to police-community relations. It criminalizes large numbers of otherwise law-abiding, mainly young, people to the detriment of their futures. It has become a proxy for the control of public order; and it inhibits accurate education about the relative risks of different drugs including the risks of cannabis itself."

    Source: Police Foundation of the United Kingdom, "Drugs and the Law: Report of the Independent Inquiry into the Misuse of Drugs Act of 1971", April 4, 2000. The Police Foundation, based in London, England, is a nonprofit organization presided over by Charles, Crown Prince of Wales, which promotes research, debate and publication to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of policing in the UK.

  24. According to the federal Potency Monitoring Project, the average potency of marijuana has increased very little since the 1980s. The Project reports that in 1985, the average THC content of commercial-grade marijuana was 2.84%, and the average for high-grade sinsemilla in 1985 was 7.17%. In 1995, the potency of commercial-grade marijuana averaged 3.73%, while the potency of sinsemilla in 1995 averaged 7.51%. In 2001, commercial-grade marijuana averaged 4.72% THC, and the potency of sinsemilla in 2001 averaged 9.03%.

    Source:  Quarterly Report #76, Nov. 9, 2001-Feb. 8, 2002, Table 3, p. 8, University of Mississippi Potency Monitoring Project (Oxford, MS: National Center for the Development of Natural Products, Research Institute of Pharmaceutical Sciences, 2002), Mahmoud A. ElSohly, PhD, Director, NIDA Marijuana Project (NIDA Contract #N01DA-0-7707).

  1. "The data are quite consistent with the view that Prohibition at the state level inhibited alcohol consumption, and an attempt to explain correlated residuals by including omitted variables revealed that enforcement of Prohibitionist legislation had a significant inhibiting effect as well. Moreover, both hypotheses about the effects of alcohol and Prohibition are supported by the analysis. Despite the fact that alcohol consumption is a positive correlate of homicide (as expected), Prohibition and its enforcement increased the homicide rate."

    Source: Jensen, Gary F., "Prohibition, Alcohol, and Murder: Untangling Countervailing Mechanisms," Homicide Studies, Vol. 4, No. 1 (Sage Publications: Thousand Oaks, CA, February 2000), p. 31.

  2. "Generalizing from the findings on Prohibition, we can hypothesize that decriminalization would increase the use of the previously criminalized drug, but would decrease violence associated with attempts to control illicit markets and as resolutions to disputes between buyers and sellers. Moreover, because the perception of violence associated with the drug market can lead people who are not directly involved to be prepared for violent self-defense, there could be additional reductions in peripheral settings when disputes arise (see Blumstein & Cork, 1997; Sheley & Wright, 1996)."

    Source:  Jensen, Gary F., "Prohibition, Alcohol, and Murder: Untangling Countervailing Mechanisms," Homicide Studies, Vol. 4, No. 1 (Sage Publications: Thousand Oaks, CA, February 2000), pp. 33-4.

  3. "Since the definition of homicide is similar in most countries, absolute comparisons of rates are possible. For the period 1998 to 2000, the average rate (the number of homicides per 100,000 population) was 1.7 in EU Member States with the highest rates in Northern Ireland (3.1), Spain (2.8) Finland (2.6), Scotland (2.2) and Sweden (2.1). The rate in England & Wales (1.5) was below the average. For the other countries, the highest rates were found in South Africa (54.3), Estonia (11.4), Lithuania (8.9), Latvia (6.5) and the USA (5.9)."

    Source:  Barclay, Gordon & Cynthia Tavares, "International Comparisons of Criminal Justice Statistics 2000," Home Office Bulletin 05/02 (London, England, UK: Home Office Research, Development, and Statistics Directorate, July 12, 2002), p. 3, from the web at http://www.homeoffice.gov.uk/rds/pdfs2/hosb502.pdf, last accessed Oct. 12, 2002.

  4. In 1988 in New York City, 85% of crack-related crimes were caused by the market culture associated with illicit crack sales, primarily territorial disputes between rival crack dealers.

    Source: Goldstein, P.J., Brownstein, H.H., Ryan, P.J. & Bellucci, P.A., "Crack and Homicide in New York City: A Case Study in the Epidemiology of Violence," in Reinarman, C. and Levine, H. (eds.), Crack in America: Demon Drugs and Social Justice (Berkeley, CA: University of California Press, 1997), pp. 113-130.

  5. The average "dealer" holds a low-wage job and sells part-time to obtain drugs for his or her own use.

    Source: Reuter, P., MacCoun, R., & Murphy, P., Money from Crime: A Study of the Economics of Drug Dealing in Washington DC (Santa Monica, CA: The RAND Corporation, 1990), pp. 49-50.

  6. In 1973, there were 328,670 arrests logged in the FBI's Uniform Crime Reports (UCR) for drug law violations. In 2001, that number rose to 1,586,902 arrests for drug law violations logged in the UCR. Also in 2001, there were a reported 627,132 arrests for all violent crimes, out of a total 13,699,254 arrests for all offenses.

    Source: FBI Uniform Crime Reports 1973. Note: 1973 data supplied by the National Criminal Justice Reference Service. Crime in America: FBI Uniform Crime Reports 2001 (Washington, DC: US Government Printing Office, 2002), p. 233, Table 29.

  7. Of the 1,586,902 arrests for drug law violations in 2001, 80.6% (1,279,043) were for possession of a controlled substance. Only 19.4% (307,859) were for the sale or manufacture of a drug.

    Source: Crime in America: FBI Uniform Crime Reports 2001 (Washington, DC: US Government Printing Office, 2002), p. 232, Table 4.1 & and p. 233, Table 29.

  8. Although people may think that the Drug War targets drug smugglers and 'King Pins,' in 2001, 45.6 percent of the 1,586,902 total arrests for drug abuse violations were for marijuana -- a total of 723,628. Of those, 641,109 people were arrested for marijuana possession alone. This is a slight decrease from 2000, when a total of 734,497 Americans were arrested for marijuana offenses, of which 646,042 were for possession alone.

    Sources: Federal Bureau of Investigation, Crime in America: FBI Uniform Crime Reports 2001 (Washington, DC: US Government Printing Office, 2002), p. 232, Table 4.1 & and p. 233, Table 29; Uniform Crime Reports for the United States 2000 (Washington DC: US Government Printing Office, 2001), pp. 215-216, Tables 29 and 4.1; Uniform Crime Reports for the United States 1999 (Washington DC: US Government Printing Office, 2000), pp. 211-212; Federal Bureau of Investigation, Uniform Crime Reports for the United States 1998 (Washington DC: US Government Printing Office, 1999), pp. 209-210; FBI, UCR for the US 1995 (Washington, DC: US Government Printing Office, 1996), pp. 207-208; FBI, UCR for the US 1990 (Washington, DC: US Government Printing Office, 1991), pp. 173-174; FBI, UCR for the US 1980 (Washington, DC: US Government Printing Office, 1981), pp. 189-191.

  9. According to the FBI, "In the UCR Program, a reporting law enforcement agency clears, or solves, an offense only when all of the following conditions are met. At least one person must be: Arrested; Charged with the commission of an offense; Turned over to the court for prosecution." The UCR for 2001 reports that "Law enforcement agencies nationwide recorded a 19.6-percent Crime Index clearance rate .... in 2001 with 46.2 percent of violent crimes cleared compared to 16.2 percent of property crimes cleared ( excluding arson)."

    Source: Crime in America: FBI Uniform Crime Reports 2001 (Washington, DC: US Government Printing Office, 2002), p. 220.

  10. A study by the National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse at Columbia University confirms what many criminologists have long known: alcohol is associated with more violent crime than any illegal drug, including crack, cocaine, and heroin. Twenty-one percent of violent felons in state prisons committed their crimes while under the influence of alcohol alone. Only 3% were high on crack or powder cocaine alone and only 1% were using heroin alone.

    Source: Califano, Joseph, Behind Bars: Substance Abuse and America's Prison Population, Forward by Joseph Califano, The National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse at Columbia University (1998).

  11. Federal statistics show that a large percentage of criminal offenders were under the influence of alcohol alone when they committed their crimes (36.3%, or a total of 1,919,251 offenders). Federal research also shows for more than 40% of convicted murderers being held in either jail or State prison, alcohol use was a factor in the crime.

    Source: Greenfield, Lawrence A., Alcohol and Crime: An Analysis of National Data on the Prevalence of Alcohol Involvement in Crime (Washington, DC: US Department of Justice, April 1998), pp. 20-21.

  12. To put these numbers in perspective, see also other Factbook sections on Alcohol, Civil Rights, Prisons, Race and Prisons. (linked at bottom)


May I suggest Keeteel reads a little more.
For those intrested in reading more about the lies, with many sources including the loved NIDA, click here
we all know war is dirty.

Facts. (4.00 / 3) (#195)
by gibichung on Tue Dec 10, 2002 at 09:19:41 AM EST

"Among juvenile arrestees tested in six of the CEWG/ADAM areas in 1998, the percentages testing marijuana-positive ranged from a low of 40.3 percent in St. Louis to a high of 63.7 percent in Phoenix. More than 50 percent of the juveniles in Los Angeles, Washington, D.C., and Denver tested positive for marijuana, as did 48.9 percent of the juvenile arrestees in San Diego."
Source: drugabuse.gov.
"68 percent of male adults arrested in New York City for commiting a violent crime tested positive for drug use. The report also showed that in smaller cities like Albuquerque, New Mexico, and Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, These figures ranged as high as 65 percent."
Source: ADAM. It also points out that an average of 64% of adult males in all 35 cities tested positive for at least one illegal drug after being arrested in 1999 [up from 59% in 1990].

-----
"No man is above the law and no man is below it; nor do we ask any man's permission when we require him to obey it." -- Theodore Roosevelt
[ Parent ]
And the point is? (none / 0) (#244)
by The Solitaire on Tue Dec 10, 2002 at 12:43:52 PM EST

100% of arrestees are known to have inhaled air in the last 24 hours, too. This isn't even a worthwhile correlation unless you show some base rates of use. Furthermore, even if you did show the base rates as being significantly lower, all you've done is show that people that get arrested (not necessarily criminals) like to do drugs. Combine this with the lack of information on what number of those people were arrested for drug possession and the like, and you've got one hell of a worthless statistic.

I need a new sig.
[ Parent ]

Speculation (none / 0) (#247)
by CaptainSuperBoy on Tue Dec 10, 2002 at 12:50:52 PM EST

Mere correlations. No proof of causation here. So, it could easily be the case that marijuana's illegal status is what causes it to be associated with delinquency and crime. If you turn a class of law-abiding people into criminals chances are they are not going to respect the law when it comes to theft and violent crime.

--
jimmysquid.com - I take pictures.
[ Parent ]
tested marijuana-positive? (4.00 / 1) (#250)
by werner on Tue Dec 10, 2002 at 01:56:11 PM EST

My understanding is that tests for cannabis consumption detect usage within the last 30 days or more, and that tests for other drugs equally detect usage within a given timeframe.

Testing positive for drugs is not the same as being over the legal alcohol limit - in the latter instance, you would be under the influence of drugs, in the former, this is not necessarily the case.

You may be quoting facts, but they say nothing about the relationship between crime and "highness".

[ Parent ]

Urine tests (none / 0) (#378)
by gibichung on Wed Dec 11, 2002 at 03:47:29 AM EST

Vary between the testing method used, the time the person has been using, the size and frequency of doses, their weight/metablism/eating habits/etc. Generally:
  • Marijuana: long-term use may be detected up to 9 weeks; first time users 7 days.
  • Cocaine/crack: 2-4 days.
  • Heroin: 2-4 days.
  • PCP: up to 2 weeks.


-----
"No man is above the law and no man is below it; nor do we ask any man's permission when we require him to obey it." -- Theodore Roosevelt
[ Parent ]
clearly... (none / 0) (#295)
by Shpongle Spore on Tue Dec 10, 2002 at 05:50:34 PM EST

Violent crimes and juvenile delinquency are leading causes of marijuana abuse. We must all band together to eliminate this threat to the health of our nation's violent criminals and juvenile delinquents, lest they all become victims of drug addiction.

(Yes, this is sarcasm designed to point out the weakness of your implied argument.)
__
I wish I was in Austin, at the Chili Parlor bar,
drinking 'Mad Dog' margaritas and not caring where you are
[ Parent ]

that's statistically backwards. (5.00 / 1) (#306)
by aphrael on Tue Dec 10, 2002 at 06:26:15 PM EST

You've proven that people who commit crimes are statistically more likely than the average person to be drug users. You have not demonstrated that drug usres are statistically more likely than the average person to be criminals. Nor have you demonstrated a causal link.

[ Parent ]
Not true (1.00 / 1) (#315)
by gibichung on Tue Dec 10, 2002 at 06:42:30 PM EST

You have not demonstrated that drug usres are statistically more likely than the average person to be criminals.
I don't think that I need to point out that 100% of drug users are criminals.

-----
"No man is above the law and no man is below it; nor do we ask any man's permission when we require him to obey it." -- Theodore Roosevelt
[ Parent ]
i misspoke, obviously. (none / 0) (#320)
by aphrael on Tue Dec 10, 2002 at 06:47:32 PM EST

100% of drug users are criminals.

Not true: there are countries where use of certain drugs is not a crime.

Besides my pedantic point, though, your argument misses the thrust of mine: the statistics that show that people who commit crimes other than drug use are far more likely than the average citizen to be drug users do not constitute an argument that people who use drugs are statistically more likely to commit crimes other than drug use.

I will grant that I was sloppy with my wording.

However, the post to which I was responding seems to be using the following syllogism:

X (violent crime) implies Y (drug use).

X is bad.

Therefore Y is bad.

Which is a totally illogical argument.

[ Parent ]

The question of causation (2.00 / 1) (#339)
by gibichung on Tue Dec 10, 2002 at 08:20:14 PM EST

is too complex for any single statistic to address. But I did not intend it so; your assumptions are the fallacy here.

But now that the issue is on the table, I must point out the same could easily be said for most of the "Facts." presented by the parent to this post. And unless you mean to argue that more than 68% of New York males are drug users, there is an obvious correlation between drug use and violent crime in NYC.

-----
"No man is above the law and no man is below it; nor do we ask any man's permission when we require him to obey it." -- Theodore Roosevelt
[ Parent ]

Inane. (5.00 / 1) (#366)
by kitten on Wed Dec 11, 2002 at 12:33:54 AM EST

I don't think that I need to point out that 100% of drug users are criminals.

In case you missed it, that's what we're meant to be discussing here - whether they should or should not be considered criminals.

As it stands, they are criminals, because of a law. We're here to discuss whether that law is just or meaningful.

Outlaw candy canes, and 100% of people who eat candy canes will suddenly be criminals. Your point is completely inane.
mirrorshades radio - darkwave, synthpop, industrial, futurepop.
[ Parent ]
Oops (none / 0) (#369)
by knobmaker on Wed Dec 11, 2002 at 12:55:01 AM EST

If you did point it out, you'd be wrong.

Alcohol is a drug.  Nicotine is a drug.  Caffeine is a drug.

Oh, you meant _illegal_ drugs?  Maybe you should have said so, if you're going to be making shallow semantic arguments.

[ Parent ]

go away (none / 0) (#376)
by nickco on Wed Dec 11, 2002 at 02:59:50 AM EST

perhaps you mean 100% of illicit drug users. if you did, you are still wrong. in a few states, including my own, marijuana is NOT a criminal act. it's equivalent to speeding and is punishable with a fine.

[ Parent ]
You don't need to point out that (none / 0) (#438)
by michaelp on Thu Dec 12, 2002 at 10:49:35 PM EST

that 100% of drug users are criminals.

Is not true? Gee, thanks...

Heck, not even all cocaine users are criminals, not to mention that favorite of evildoers everwhere: caffeine.


"Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired, signifies in the final sense a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and are not clothed."

[ Parent ]
Bayes' theorem. (none / 0) (#451)
by awgsilyari on Tue Dec 24, 2002 at 12:55:33 AM EST

P(Criminal|Drugs) = P(Criminal)*P(Drugs|Criminal)/P(Drugs).

What they measured was P(Drugs|Criminal), i.e., given that someone is a criminal (they were arrested), what is the probability that they use drugs.

Now, you are trying to "prove" that P(Criminal|Drugs) > P(Criminal) -- i.e., using drugs makes it more likely for someone to be a criminal. Well, by some substitution, that leads to:

P(Drugs|Criminal) > P(Drugs).

So, in order for your argument to even be self-consistent, you're going to have to show that being a criminal increases the probability of being a drug user. And that still wouldn't imply a necessary causal relationship between drug use and criminal behavior.

Don't try to abuse statistics, you will be called on it...

--------
Please direct SPAM to john@neuralnw.com
[ Parent ]

Fact (3.33 / 3) (#167)
by john priest on Tue Dec 10, 2002 at 05:36:21 AM EST

I was going to post some well thought out well written copy of all known facts about drugs,
but I'm too stoned; so I won't.

No it doesn't work (2.00 / 4) (#174)
by 0xA on Tue Dec 10, 2002 at 06:30:17 AM EST

I don't have any real _data_ to base this on but if you go by the baggie of weed in my kitchen, the baggie of weed in my neighbor's apartment, the baggie of weed in my upstairs neighbor's apartment, the baggie of weed in my friend's place up the street, the baggie of weed I bought for my buddy yesterday, the baggie of weed in my brother's apartment, the baggies of weed I buy for my upstanding yuppie co-workers all the time, the baggie of weed...

I'd say no, not really, it's everywhere you look. Everyone I mention here are good people, none of them belong in jail. I imagine that there are far more people that get into legal trouble with pot possesion than people who "ruin" thier lives with it.

Yeah (4.00 / 2) (#175)
by john priest on Tue Dec 10, 2002 at 06:51:20 AM EST

I've yet to see anyone I know who smokes 'ruin their lives' because of pot. The most trouble you get from a pot smoker is "ugh, sorry - I couldn't be assed". and maybe a giggle caused by something unfunny, but hey what the fuck - anything that makes you happy is a crime so why the hell not keep it illegal? It won't make the slightest bit of difference either way anyhow.

[ Parent ]
Grow up... (1.70 / 10) (#180)
by duffbeer703 on Tue Dec 10, 2002 at 07:54:38 AM EST

You're no different than a drunk.

Grow up and fix the problems in your life. Maybe then you won't need mood-altering drugs to ignore them.

[ Parent ]

You dumb shit (2.00 / 2) (#190)
by john priest on Tue Dec 10, 2002 at 09:00:47 AM EST

was their any mention of any 'Problems' in that post? no, it's you with a nick name that includes "duff beer" that has the problems. Their is such a thing as 'recreational drugs' aka - fun, that thing you don't seem to get much of.

[ Parent ]
Yeah... I'm the dumb shit (2.66 / 3) (#234)
by duffbeer703 on Tue Dec 10, 2002 at 11:59:44 AM EST

You are the one who needs to resort to name-calling.

There comes a time where you grow up, and don't need recreational drugs to enjoy themselves. Sitting with a bunch of people getting high is not a 'fun' adult activity.

If your desire to use a recreational drug (ie pot) is so strong that the risk of being arrested or even ruining your career, then you have a problem.

Shouldn't you be in class? Your teacher probaly wouldn't be pleased that you were goofing off on the compute.

[ Parent ]

Strangely enough... (5.00 / 4) (#241)
by Hatamoto on Tue Dec 10, 2002 at 12:25:14 PM EST

There's a bunch of business establishments dedicated to the sole purpose of getting a bunch of people high. They go by various different names such as "pub", "bar", and "tavern". They're frequently visited by the highest echeleons of our socities, people we count on to maintain our health, our public works, our governmental machinery. I guess we're a society of children, by that reasoning.

The implication you're making is that only immature people use mood-altering substances to enjoy themselves, and that they are incapable of enjoying themselves in any other way. That's just fallicious nonsense. Alcohol, weed, and any other substances you care to name are all part of a wide pantheon of available choices, none of which are especially harmful if done in moderation. The ability to make a reasoned decision to inget those substances (or not), and the ability to control your intake if you do, is more definitive of maturity.

The "Just Say No" mentality is, to my view, the more immature one. We can't think of a way to deal with the problem like an adult, so lets just make it all go away, and anyone who doesn't is a criminal. Just like any other 'zero-tolerance' plan, it removes the requirement to think and judge individual cases in a reasonable fashion and merely requires complete adherence and the ability to thump a bible/lawbook/rulebook.

--
"Innocence is no defense." - Federal District Judge William H. Yohn (People v. Mumia Abu-Jamal)
[ Parent ]

Laws can be stupid too (none / 0) (#249)
by nnod on Tue Dec 10, 2002 at 12:58:43 PM EST

If your desire to use a recreational drug (ie pot) is so strong that the risk of being arrested or even ruining your career, then you have a problem.

I think that if you run the risk of being arrested or ruining your career for smoking a little pot now and then, it's the ridiculous laws that are the problem. If everyone followed laws blindly we'd be in an entirely different world.

I'm glad I don't have to worry about that kind of thing, living up here in beautiful BC.

[ Parent ]
Good troll dude. (none / 0) (#260)
by mindstrm on Tue Dec 10, 2002 at 03:42:59 PM EST

Very good troll.


[ Parent ]
Yeah whatever (none / 0) (#301)
by john priest on Tue Dec 10, 2002 at 06:15:47 PM EST

You ain't no 'saint' in this 'debate' either. fucktard.

[ Parent ]
Do you have beer in your fridge? (2.00 / 1) (#192)
by CokeFiend on Tue Dec 10, 2002 at 09:06:10 AM EST

Got any beer in your refrigerator? Does that make you a drunk?

He didn't say that they all smoke every day, or that it interferes with their lives. It's no different than having a couple of beers on a Friday night or Sunday afternoon during a football game (except that it's illegal and they all risk going to jail for peacefully indulging in their substance of choice in the privacy of their own homes).

[ Parent ]

I guess irony can be pretty ironic sometimes (none / 0) (#210)
by Scott Marlowe on Tue Dec 10, 2002 at 10:28:23 AM EST

Duff Beer guy is preaching about how bad using a drug is? That sir, is the worst post ever. Duff man's 401k has been mismanaged. Some people work for Montgomery burns and must laugh, how do you propose they do so without some weed? huh? Think of poor Waylan.

[ Parent ]
It depends on how you define "working" (3.00 / 1) (#205)
by gr00vey on Tue Dec 10, 2002 at 09:41:31 AM EST

If you mean is it fair and just, NO. If you mean is it putting your tax monies into peoples pockets who don't deserve it, YES. I recommend this site http://www.mapinc.org/ . I am in favor of legalization and taxation of ALL drugs. Look how rich the pharmecutical companies get with exteneded patents, etc. We could use the revenue, instead of wasting tax monies.

Crime, Addicts (1.50 / 2) (#207)
by ingsoc747 on Tue Dec 10, 2002 at 09:54:34 AM EST

I don't know what that guy Peterson is on, but in the 80s there was an increasing amount of people doing coke and crack (that's when crack actually became popular--it's cheaper, because it's not as pure, and during Reagan's presidency the economy wasn't doing so hot). There was, additionally, almost epidemic crime levels, especially in New York City. So this guy is wrong two times now. The government should start with the addicts--treat them, get them off the junk, etc. Only once the addicts are clean will the trade collapse, since the are the irreplaceable factor in the drug industry. (And no, I'm not talking about people who smoke pot here.) People who are addicted NEED the drug, just as you NEED to eat, sleep, and drink. (I recommend interested persons to read <u>Naked Lunch</u> by William S Burroughs.) There is no easy solution to the drug problem, and throwing our own citizens into jail only exacerbates it, not alleviates it.

Also read Junky (none / 0) (#211)
by Snowman2k1 on Tue Dec 10, 2002 at 10:29:19 AM EST

I think Junky, also by Burroughs, is a better book if you're looking to understand heroin addiction. It's a little shorter and comes with a glossary of "hip talk" so you can start using 50's slang in your day to day life.

[ Parent ]
crack (none / 0) (#212)
by tgibbs on Tue Dec 10, 2002 at 10:29:37 AM EST

I don't know what that guy Peterson is on, but in the 80s there was an increasing amount of people doing coke and crack (that's when crack actually became popular--it's cheaper, because it's not as pure
No, actually crack is more pure. The crack on the street these days is nearly pure cocaine. Crack is absorbed faster, because as the free base it passes readily through membranes, so a lower dose is required to get high. This is what made it cheaper. Although it is actually cheaper only in the short run, because the effect also doesn't last as long.

As with so much else, there are fashions in drug use. Changes in illegal drug usage typically have more to do with what drugs are in fashion than with enforcement.

[ Parent ]

RE: CRACK (none / 0) (#246)
by ingsoc747 on Tue Dec 10, 2002 at 12:50:44 PM EST

Sorry, I was a bit off--this should clarify things:
" By the early 80's the use of freebase cocaine became popular among those searching for the "highest" high. Freebase is a form of cocaine produced when the user takes cocaine hydrochloride and mixes it with a liquid base such as baking soda or ammonia to remove the hydrochloric acid and then dissolving the resultant alkaloidal cocaine in a solvent, such as ether and heating it to evaporate the liquid. The result is pure smokable cocaine.

Although this seemed to be a way of getting the most out of cocaine, users were uncomfortable with the volatile process of cooking down the solvent mixture. Around 1985 the drug dealers got wise to the idea of a more potent form of cocaine. The conversion process in freebasing was dangerous and time consuming and was not suitable for mass production. This was when Crack became the option. In the conversion process of Crack, the drug is similarly cooked down to a smokeable substance, but the risky process of removing the impurities and hydrochloric acid is taken out. So all that is required is baking soda, water and a heat source, often a home oven. As this process allowed a person to essentially get more bang out of their buck, by delivering the drug more efficiently, we saw cocaine become available to the lower socioeconomic stratum. This gave rise to the "Crack epidemic" and all classes from low to high became affected by the scourge of cocaine use spreading across the US."


--from http://www.cocaineabuse.net/cocaine_crack.html

[ Parent ]
crack vs freebase (none / 0) (#416)
by tgibbs on Wed Dec 11, 2002 at 04:15:30 PM EST

I'd take issue only with the implication that crack is different from freebase. Before freebase, cocaine was only available in a charged acideic form--i.e. as a salt, usually the hydrochloride. Salts do not volatilize readily, and are poorly absorbed through membranes. It can be converted into the "free base" (a chemical term for the uncharged basic form resulting from stripping off the losely attached hydrogen ion) by using a base to strip off the extra hydrogen, leaving the cocaine in an uncharged form that volatilizes readily and passes rapidly across cell membranes. Initially, this was done rapidly, using a strong base such as sodium hydroxide in an organic (and typically dangerously flammable) solvent. Later, people realized that they could do the same thing more slowly, but more safely, with a weak base in an aqueous medium.

Subsequently, cocaine in its free base became available on the street under the name of crack. the more rapid absorbtion of the free base resulted in a much higher, if briefer, spike of cocaine concentration in the blood and brain, resulting in an intense effect previously experienced only by people who injected the hydrochloride. It also reduced the amount of drug required for a "high," making an intoxicating dose dramatically cheaper. As a side effect, the once-common practice of adulterating cocaine to increase profits has largely faded away.

The nearly universal sentiment of drug abuse scientists is that people get into trouble much more rapidly with the freebase than from snorting the HCl. This led to laws that treated crack more harshly, although such laws have been criticized as racist, because as a cheaper form, crack is more commonly used/sold by minorities. Since there are no controlled studies to validate the impression of drug abuse professionals that crack is more dangerous (because such a study would be unethical), the laws are hard to defend.

Crack is probably the most difficult challenge for those who oppose regulation of intoxicating drugs. Oddly enough, most illegal drugs actually do little direct damage to the body. But cocaine is the exception--it may well be as harmful to the body as alcohol or tobacco. In particular, cocaine produces direct toxicity to the heart and causes strokes and convulsuions. And its dependence liability is very high--indeed, it has become the "gold standard" for animal studies of drug dependence and craving.

[ Parent ]

no (2.00 / 1) (#221)
by criquet on Tue Dec 10, 2002 at 10:54:32 AM EST

and it never will.

It's ColOmbia, not ColUmbia (4.50 / 4) (#238)
by danmermel on Tue Dec 10, 2002 at 12:16:18 PM EST

Could you please change it? As a ColOmbian, I always find that mistake very irritating.

Also irritating for... (none / 0) (#329)
by chocoTaco on Tue Dec 10, 2002 at 07:13:29 PM EST

us Columbians as well ;)

[ Parent ]
The mistake... (4.00 / 1) (#239)
by jd on Tue Dec 10, 2002 at 12:18:50 PM EST

...is to assume that a symptom can always be treated. The underlying cause of the use of any mind-altering substance is simple enough - there are people who just don't like the state their mind is in, otherwise.

(If people enjoyed life, had a great time, blah blah blah, etc, etc, ad nausium, without the use of any substance, you really think they'd pay a small fortune for a chemically-simulated version?)

IMHO, a real "war on drugs" would determine why so many people's lives are so utterly miserable as to require a dependency on chemicals which (especially for the nastier ones) may very well kill them, or at best leave their brains so mangled that death might be preferable.

IMHO, a real "war on drugs" doesn't target those who reach such a state of misery that a chemical solution seems the only way out, it targets sweat-shops (yes, the US has plenty), below minimum wage jobs, slum-creation, slavery (the US has plenty of that, too), long-term abuse of any group that (for whatever reason) can't fight back.

You eliminate even a small percent of the underlying issues, you eliminate a large percent of the need for brain-bending, and thereby eliminate a large percent of the problem.

Of course, this isn't going to actually happen. It's cheaper to smother the effects than remove the causes. What does it matter that the causes are creating severe misery, and that smothering one symptom is just going to shift how people cope to some other method?

Like it or not, when people reach an intolerable state, they will react. Now, you can shift how they react, to make it more socially invisible, or you can work to reduce the number of people who reach that kind of point.

It's just my view, but I firmly believe that an invisible problem still exists and is still a problem, even though you can't see it. It follows, necessarily, that I believe that the underlying causes HAVE to be what you aim at. Once you reject plastering over the cracks as a real answer, the only answer left is to fix the foundations.

Cost and Availability (none / 0) (#261)
by gengis on Tue Dec 10, 2002 at 03:43:26 PM EST

I'll go out on a limb and suggest that (The majority) of people who take the 'nastier' drugs (PCP, Crack, Ice) do so because of either a) The cost of an alternative substance, or b) the availability of an alternative substance.

If someone using PCP had ecstacy and/or LSD readily available to them, I suspect they'd take it over PCP.  I'm generally inclined to believe people don't like waking up in strange places covered with wounds they're unable to account for.

If someone using crack/ice had cocaine (Or any number of other stimulants) readily available to them, I suspect they'd take it over crack.  I'm inclined to believe people don't like the uncontrollable anger that can be provoked in them while under the influence of crack/ice.

Your average drug user isn't taking drugs because they hate their life.  Sure, there'll always be crackwhores.  But most drug users use drugs in the same manner as people drink alcohol - as a pastime.

[ Parent ]

missing the point (none / 0) (#273)
by MikeWarren on Tue Dec 10, 2002 at 04:11:57 PM EST

I think you're missing the point (although the issues
you bring up are issues).

Do you drink? Ever?

Marijuana is far less ``mind-altering'' than
alcohol, and I think lots of people drink and
smoke marijuana simply for recreation. Certainly
there are users of both drugs who may have some
situation they are using the drug to escape from,
and fixing those root problems would certainly
help the ``abusers'' of drugs (of all sorts, legal
or not).
-- mike warren
[ Parent ]

I used to drink. (none / 0) (#446)
by jd on Sat Dec 14, 2002 at 04:27:28 PM EST

I used to home-brew, too. And it's easy to build a still with a saucepan, caulendar, a couple of rounded bowls and some ice.

The reasons for stopping aren't too important. It became necessary, and I've not touched alchohol in over 6 years.

[ Parent ]

Answer. (4.00 / 1) (#257)
by mindstrm on Tue Dec 10, 2002 at 03:14:17 PM EST

No. It's not working.

The amount of money spent -vs- the benefit is rediculous. The money would be far, far more beneficial spent treating the disease rather than fighting the symptoms.

This isn't about legaization, or whether drugs are good or not, but the simple fact that far more benefit would be realized from spending that money on treatment and social programs than fighting the drug war they way it's being fought now.

Yeah sure...not! (1.50 / 2) (#259)
by uniball vision micro on Tue Dec 10, 2002 at 03:36:45 PM EST

"No. It's not working."

Hey that's the spirit of trite banal and extremely terse statements dubbing in for fact.

"The amount of money spent -vs- the benefit is rediculous."

Depends. I see drugs as the worst ill in terms of what people think of them and what is really going on in the first place. Living in a fantasy land all your life isn't the way to go. Also not being your own master is not a nice thing either. You have to understand that even if you don't use drugs you are still a slave to other things mentally (various mental thoughts and patterns for example) to have drugs in the mix.

"The money would be far, far more beneficial spent treating the disease rather than
fighting the symptoms."

What disease would that be? Idiots getting addicted and wooed into thinking that this is how life is supposed to be.

"This isn't about legaization, or whether drugs are good or not, but the simple fact that far more benefit would be realized from spending that
money on treatment and social programs than fighting the drug war they way it's being fought now."

Not to make too much of a pun but it seems that you are the 'smokeing crack' here. How in the hell is it possible with a straight face to assume that treating the problems of a populace which thinks escapeism through durgs is the best thing for them. Ever heard 'an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure'?
"So far as the record goes, no lover of drinking has yet gone out into the night and shot himself as a gesture of protest" Gilbert Seldes, The Future of Drinking 1930
[ Parent ]

Cheesburgers and Bacon next! (5.00 / 1) (#283)
by Kintanon on Tue Dec 10, 2002 at 04:31:46 PM EST

Everyone knows that eatting too much red meat will kill you! And it makes you more aggressive! We should ban those too!
Get off it, it's a personal responsibility issue. If you want to throw yourself off of a cliff that's your business, if you want to smoke crack, drink beer, or have a cigarette, same thing. You want to eat a 16oz steak every night for dinner until you die of heart disease that's not MY business. And it's not YOUR business if someone else decides to light up a joint after work instead of a beer.
Speaking of which, people are much more likely to fuck themselves up on Alcohol than on pot.

Kintanon

[ Parent ]

social responsibility (1.50 / 2) (#289)
by uniball vision micro on Tue Dec 10, 2002 at 05:01:07 PM EST

"Everyone knows that eatting too much red meat will kill you!"

I figured this would be the type of response but I do agree that eating all sorts of meat without proper excercise can increase syrum cholestrol.

" And it makes you more aggressive!"

Prove it. I guess 'aggression' counts if you mean not totally emaciated and without strength to fight back because you don't have enough protein from that vegan diet.

"We should ban those too!"

There is no decent scientifically correlated consensus that there is anything wrong with at least *some* red meat.

"Get off it, it's a personal responsibility issue."

Up to a point.

"If you want to throw yourself off of a cliff that's your business, if you want to smoke
crack, drink beer, or have a cigarette, same thing."

Hmmm maybe I was asleep when I heard of people being incracerated into mental institutions for acts of comission of suicide or jail time for failed suicide in prison. How about clean air acts or drunk driving. I have even heard of people being arrested for being drunk in their own homes.

"You want to eat a 16oz steak every night for dinner until you die of heart disease that's
not MY business."

Typical libertarian attitude. Let's just ignore some social maliase until it's too late and then just ignore suffering and problems. Individuality is nice up to a point. No we can't ban these things like eating badly but we can assist in people having a chance or assistance in those choices.

"And it's not YOUR business if someone else decides to light up a joint after work instead of a beer."

Because of the effects of free access to drugs give society. Drugs are harmful to health and cause escapeism.

Speaking of which, people are much more likely to fuck themselves up on
Alcohol than on pot. "
"So far as the record goes, no lover of drinking has yet gone out into the night and shot himself as a gesture of protest" Gilbert Seldes, The Future of Drinking 1930
[ Parent ]

Typical puritanist bullshit (5.00 / 1) (#322)
by Dyolf Knip on Tue Dec 10, 2002 at 06:56:25 PM EST

Prove it.

Since when do I have to prove that something is good for me to be allowed to do it? Don't you have to prove that it's bad, and not only bad for me but bad to others, before you can even think about arresting people for it? And since you're so enamored with proof, isn't it interesting that Marijuana was banned with absolutely no proof that it was harmful in any way, shape, or form? And what research has actually been done on it wavers between 'Not bad at all' and 'Not as bad as a lot of other stuff we already do'?

There is no decent scientifically correlated consensus that there is anything wrong with at least *some* red meat.

There is no decent scientifically correlated consensus that there is anything wrong with at least *some* pot.

Hmmm maybe I was asleep when I heard of people being incracerated into mental institutions for acts of comission of suicide or jail time for failed suicide in prison. I have even heard of people being arrested for being drunk in their own homes.

And you approve of that? I suppose you're gung ho for the panoply of laws that dictate what people, even married couples, do in their own bedrooms as well? No? Well why are laws about sex bad but laws about drugs and suicide good?

Individuality is nice up to a point. No we can't ban these things like eating badly but we can assist in people having a chance or assistance in those choices.

Assistance? How in the hell do you go from 'assistance in choice' for red meat to 'years and years of jail time' for marijuana? What's the difference?

Typical libertarian attitude. Let's just ignore some social maliase until it's too late and then just ignore suffering and problems.

Typical authoritarian attitude. I know what's best for everyone and could make a perfect utopia if everyone just did what I wanted them to and nothing more. I would call a few hundred thousand people languishing in prison for possession of drugs a pretty serious social maliase, but oddly enough it's entirely due to their illegality, not any inherent feature of the item in question. You could make coffee or tea or choclate illegal and you'd have the exact same effect.

Drugs are harmful to health

And what of it? Alcohol is harmful. Sausage and eggs are harmful. Caffeine is harmful. Driving cars and flying commercial planes are harmful, to say nothing of motorcycles and hang gliders. Attempts to climb Mount Everest kill a third of all who try, why aren't we waging a war on Nepal? Getting out of bed in the morning is harmful, but then so is staying in for too long. Who the fuck are you to tell me that I cannot do anything that might harm myself but will not affect nobody else?

Face it. There is no conceivable argument you can make for banning drugs that is not either stupid or hypocritical or both. There is absolutely no reason why the government should be wasting its time, my money, and our freedom punishing victimless crimes.

the death of one man is a tragedy the death of a million is a statistic Joseph Stalin

Hmmm, quoting a paranoid genocidal dictator. What a great way to help out your pathetic argument.

---
If you can't learn to do something well, learn to enjoy doing it poorly.

Dyolf Knip
[ Parent ]

Come on (none / 0) (#352)
by CaptainSuperBoy on Tue Dec 10, 2002 at 09:34:36 PM EST

Come on.. your arguments have left you without a leg to stand on. All you did was attack red meat as an example. Fine, let's attack one of the top ten causes of death: car accidents. Clearly people shouldn't be driving cars at all, according to your logic. Defend this or stop arguing.

--
jimmysquid.com - I take pictures.
[ Parent ]
might not be responded to but... (1.50 / 2) (#421)
by uniball vision micro on Thu Dec 12, 2002 at 04:43:40 AM EST

"Come on.. your arguments have left you without a leg to stand on."

Funny I didn't think so but maybe.

"All you did was attack red meat as an example."

Because it was in the post I was refuting it. Sorry I didn't expand I shall try to here.

"Fine, let's attack one of the top ten causes of death: car accidents."

Sure thing. Personally I don't think that risking my life in a car is too terribly bad thing indeed.

Ever basically been without a car for any lenghty period of time? Ok now try that with an area even an urban one with public transportation system in the United States. Then try to deal with normal life without a chance to do things durring normal hours of operation for the public transportation system to operate and you get a really nice picture.

Personally risking my life would seem a much better chance than just dicking around with this kind of problem.

Next add loads. Ever tried to carry a heavy backpack and say 7 nifty books in your arms while dealing with the problem. I can personally attest to the body enhancing vigors of using such a system in this condition (last week for the most recent example) really fun.

This creates a great deal of appoplectic rage which is usually channeled into rather inappropriate level of hatred for the situation and you see why perhaps cars are important.

"Clearly people shouldn't be driving cars at all, according to your logic."

I think I have adequately. Level of acceptable risk for having something that is vastly important to be a human without massively infalted stress.

"Defend this or stop arguing."

I think I have now.
"So far as the record goes, no lover of drinking has yet gone out into the night and shot himself as a gesture of protest" Gilbert Seldes, The Future of Drinking 1930
[ Parent ]

Level of acceptable risk (5.00 / 1) (#426)
by zakalwe on Thu Dec 12, 2002 at 09:15:17 AM EST

Do you ever use your car to travel to interesting places, go to movies/theatres/shopping for non-essentials? If walking was an option if you left behind those 7 nifty books and all non-essential luxurys in your backpack, would you do it? Would you accept a low-paying job, and reduce the luxuries in your life if you could also cut down on the car journeys you make?

If not then you are (marginally) increasing the risk to your life for reasons solely concerned with leisure. There are hundreds of uses of a car you make which are not "vastly important to be a human" which people nevertheless feel worth the risk. This is exactly the same choice drug users make. Most probably feel the enjoyment they gain from using the drugs is a "Level of acceptable risk" even with the massive artificial inflation of the risk that the War on Drugs imposes. Why are some leisure pastimes acceptable and others not? What about activities whose "level of risk" is even higher : Climbing Everest, dangerous sports etc. should these also be banned?

[ Parent ]

walking versus car (1.00 / 1) (#432)
by uniball vision micro on Thu Dec 12, 2002 at 11:15:52 AM EST

"Do you ever use your car to travel to interesting places, go to movies/theatres/shopping for non-essentials?"

Not really all that much.

"If walking was an option if you left behind those 7 nifty books and all non-essential luxurys in your backpack, would you do it?"

If it wasn't so terribly far then perhaps. I have some wonderful walking memories. Try walking the equivelent of 40 US blocks or more to get home now that brings memories.

"Would you accept a low-paying job, and reduce the luxuries in your life if you could also cut down on the car journeys you make?"

I'm not that green and as I will point out getting more money is part of a theoretical outlook about future presumed possibilities.

"If not then you are (marginally) increasing the risk to your life for reasons solely concerned with leisure."

In your previous example the use of the car to get around his detinite health and psychological benefits in terms of the lack of physical fatigure (rather high) which I would incur.

You also mentioned that the car would allow for an increase in income. In my theory minimum would have to be put out for upkeep over the time in which I would become to infirm and feeble to continue to work in said job or in the employment field in general. So therefore I would need to use the car in this instince most likely, plus walking would increase in difficulty as I age.

sorry got to run.
"So far as the record goes, no lover of drinking has yet gone out into the night and shot himself as a gesture of protest" Gilbert Seldes, The Future of Drinking 1930
[ Parent ]

Here we go (5.00 / 1) (#434)
by CaptainSuperBoy on Thu Dec 12, 2002 at 02:59:06 PM EST

Here we go, you've opened up the door to a dangerous idea: The idea that people should have to justify their need to do something in order to keep it legal. Cars are dangerous, but since we need them we'll keep them legal. Anything that is the least bit dangerous, according to some, should be banned if you can't demonstrate a legitimate use for it. Let's look at gun control as an example. Anti-gun activists often say things like "There is no legitimate reason to own an automatic weapon." In their mind it doesn't matter that only a tiny percentage of gun violence involves automatic weapons. It doesn't matter because to them, the burden of proof is upon those who want to keep them legal.

This is the thought process that has led to the ban on automatic weapons and drugs, and that keeps cars legal. People should not have to justify their reasons in order to keep their freedom!

--
jimmysquid.com - I take pictures.
[ Parent ]

control (4.50 / 2) (#331)
by werner on Tue Dec 10, 2002 at 07:25:28 PM EST

not being your own master is not a nice thing

this is opinion. this is only valid if you are a control freak. it's not a bad thing, you just have to recognise that many people do like being under the influence. intoxication is many things to many people: some prefer crystal clear reality, some prefer being off their heads to reality, and some just like to get away from reality at the weekend - it's a lot cheaper than a weekend away.

i think the main point regarding prevention is that is hasn't worked. prohibition showed that criminalizing alcohol did not decrease usage significantly, but did encourage the criminal element. as i said, a lot of people really do like drugs, whether alcohol, nicotine or something more exotic, and will seemingly continue to take them regardless of legislation: how can you convince someone that getting high is wrong, in the same way that stealing or killing is wrong? it's like saying, "you shall not masturbate". most people would probably understand if you said, "don't wank on my towel", after all, it's your towel, but i don't think they would listen if you told them not to wank on their towel.

[ Parent ]

The point.. (5.00 / 1) (#418)
by mindstrm on Wed Dec 11, 2002 at 10:57:16 PM EST

is that we should be dealing with WHY kids want to get hooked on crack, and helping them get OFF the crack, and dealing with sociological issues, rather than trying to stem the flow of drugs.

How much does the war on drugs spend trying to stop the import of drugs?
What percentage of imported illegal drugs is stopped?

Look that up, then tell me how much it's going to cost us to actually stop it. cause as it stands, you can buy whatever drugs you want pretty much wherever you want in the US.

Oh, and if oyu think the raised cost due to prohibtion stops people from doing it...well.. that's simply not true.

As for what disease I'm talking about, I'm talking about addiction. If you think everyone who gets hooked is "Stupid" and "Weak"... you are part of the problem.

Go attend an AA meeting. Have a look around. You'll be damn surprised what you see.

I'm not talking about drugs being "good" or "legal". I'm not saying people should escape through drugs.

I'm saying that fighting it the way we are now is a WASTE OF MONEY, and that we could go orders of magnitude further in treating the problem by approaching it in a totally differnet manner.

[ Parent ]

Yes, it worked quite well, (4.33 / 3) (#258)
by fhotg on Tue Dec 10, 2002 at 03:29:51 PM EST

that's the reason we expanded the concept and invented the "war on terrorism".

Canada gets ready to decriminalize pot (3.00 / 3) (#276)
by deadplant on Tue Dec 10, 2002 at 04:20:54 PM EST

The Globe and Mail this morning quotes our Justice minister Martin Cauchon as saying that within the first 4 months or so of the new year they will introduce legislation to decriminalize marijuana!

There's also another 'all-party' parlimentary report on the subject due out this thursday.

Canada sees some sense (none / 0) (#299)
by DodgyGeezer on Tue Dec 10, 2002 at 05:55:26 PM EST

And the National Post version.  It will be interesting to see how the US reacts to this.  They've been making threatening noises for some time, especially with respect (or lack of) to cross-border trade.  Aside: has anybody tried asking Americans who they think their biggest trading partner is?  When we tried this in D.C. two years ago, 7 out of 70 people in some bars we were in got the answer right... 3 more than the number who knew the name of the Canadian Prime Minister.  I remember listening to CBC's Cross-country Checkup a few months ago, and some American from a university in Indiana called in and started making the typical veiled threats in amongst all the BS like how it's a gateway drug and how it destroys so many lives.  Grrr.

I don't smoke the stuff anymore as I don't like smoking.  I can feel the effect on my lungs for days, especially when I run.  I presume that smoking joints will go the way of cigarettes in the future, especially considering they are much more unhealthy.  Openess will surely bring more knowledge on the subject, and perhaps we will find that the recent studies are correct and cost society too much.  Perhaps we won't, but at least we're freer and our police (and tax dollars) will be able to focus on more important issues.

[ Parent ]

anti-American buzz (3.66 / 3) (#284)
by Jim Tour on Tue Dec 10, 2002 at 04:32:35 PM EST

I never hear or see discussion of what I consider the core of this whole issue: what is it about the drug-induced high that the majority of Americans find so inimical? What is it about the high produced by alcohol that renders it culturally approved in the US? It is definitely the nature of the intoxication that is in back of the legislation. I think I've found part of the answer: with alcohol, one can drink such small amounts in one sitting, or larger amounts that are very diluted, and get an extremely mild background sort of buzz-- just enough to loosen up and be social; with drugs, you're there to get wasted. Who takes one hit from a joint or 1/4 snort of coke? People have always been weird this way-- they're always coming up with little misdirections and group fake-outs. Women in our culture cover their breasts out of an ingrained sort of modesty. Then they slap on bras that lift and shape the breasts under the clothing, soliciting response from the male libido almost as much as if they'd gone topless. With alcohol, they need this fig leaf of "the social drinker" to cover for all the times they chuck it and get shit-faced. Yet, there is a sort of logic to it. Millions of people do use alcohol in tiny amounts in any one session, almost as a kind of tonic. I think it strikes most Americans as wrong to outlaw something that so many people use as a pleasant little social lubricant. A drug user on the other hand can make no pretense-- he's in the game to get f***ed-up. The majority of Americans don't want a lot of f***ed-up people lurching about, and that's that.

Pot Lite (TM) (5.00 / 2) (#287)
by JyZude on Tue Dec 10, 2002 at 04:51:50 PM EST

It's not true that all drug use intends that the user get completely screwed up. Yes, it happens often enough, and I have a hard time believing it is possible to have a mild hit of cocaine, but for good old Pot, it can be had in a milder form.

A rather liberal show on CBC Radio up here in Canada talked about the potency of pot. Police labs see that current pot is on average six times as strong as it was in the mid 1960's. As well, many pot users in the 1960's have sworn off the stuff because its potency is too much. Old pot was about a mild, "spiritual" experience, they said, whereas new pot is all about getting completely screwed.

Pot potency is usually seen as a positive thing, (i.e. the stronger it is, the less you need to carry) but for some, it's far too strong. There is a market for Pot Lite(TM), but not with the market completely criminalized.

-----
k5 is not the new Adequacy k thnx bye


[ Parent ]
buzz and high (5.00 / 2) (#328)
by werner on Tue Dec 10, 2002 at 07:10:49 PM EST

it's true that it's possible to have one drink and get a little buzz. two is my limit for an afternoon - more than that and i get a headache as i sober up. i can also share a joint with a friend, which for a heavy smoker is also only a mild buzz. or i can smoke a whole joint and get high.

many people do share a joint, for a buzz, or have a little line in the office to see them through the presentation or just to get them going in the morning. i know a few people who smoke a bong or joint immediately before work, to calm them down. i know fewer who have a little line to get them going. everyone else i know pours half a litre of coffee down their throat in a morning, to get their little buzz. except me. i drink strong black tea.

just as many people get their little buzz from a morning coffee or a lunchtime beer, others have a different drug of choice. a joint may help a pot smoker stay calm talking to idiots all day in a call centre, and a little line may help the coke-snorting marketing exec sell that product a bit more convincingly.

[ Parent ]

the high? (4.33 / 3) (#365)
by nickco on Wed Dec 11, 2002 at 12:23:26 AM EST

so how is someone using alcohol not a drug user? why does this false distinction exist between alcohol and 'drugs'? '1/4 snort of coke'.. not sure what you mean by that, but coca is commonly used as a stimulant much like caffeine. the reason people get fucked up on cocaine is because of it's reputation as a euphoriant. millions of children are taking ritalin and amphetamines for ADHD.. are they drug users trying to catch a buzz?

lots of people would consider one hit from a joint a sufficient amount of weed. no one's trying to get fucked up on weed, it doesn't do that. after the first joint you don't get any higher. so what exactly are you basing your assumptions on?

'fucked up people lurching about'.. lol. i only see those people exiting bars. in fact, whenever i hear someone saying they want to get fucked up they are talking about getting drunk.

[ Parent ]
Tolerances vary (4.33 / 3) (#394)
by FeersumAsura on Wed Dec 11, 2002 at 07:05:45 AM EST

with alcohol, one can drink such small amounts in one sitting, or larger amounts that are very diluted, and get an extremely mild background sort of buzz-- just enough to loosen up and be social; with drugs, you're there to get wasted.

That's nonsense I frequently smoke and entire spliff before... anything actually. If you're used to smoking a spliff isn't really that much, people who don't smoke will get high off a few tokes, I don't.

I'm so pre-emptive I'd nuke America to save time.
[ Parent ]

Heheh (5.00 / 1) (#405)
by spiralx on Wed Dec 11, 2002 at 12:57:46 PM EST

... with drugs, you're there to get wasted.

I'm reading this after having done a small hit of ketamine for the light, relaxing buzz it provides, and it made me laugh :)

"I am unfamiliar with your rituals and culture, but I have brought my own fire in case we slay a mammoth." - Parent ]

come come now (1.33 / 3) (#413)
by Jim Tour on Wed Dec 11, 2002 at 03:30:24 PM EST

how many people do as you do? Couple dozen nationwide?

[ Parent ]
I don't think so (5.00 / 1) (#429)
by spiralx on Thu Dec 12, 2002 at 09:48:11 AM EST

Plenty of people take other drugs recreationally and in small doses when they're not going out. And if you consider dope smokers, then it's a huge number. Your assertion of taking drugs only to get fucked is wrong... it's no different from alcohol for many chemicals.

Of course for things like acid it is different... it's hard to take just enough of that for a "mild buzz" :)

"I am unfamiliar with your rituals and culture, but I have brought my own fire in case we slay a mammoth." - Parent ]

Fantastic oversimplifications on the topic (4.25 / 4) (#290)
by stpna5 on Tue Dec 10, 2002 at 05:06:13 PM EST

here. But very big money is left out of the equation only at one's own peril. The complexities of it however have been thoroughly documented for over three decades in numerous, more-refined research and writings aside from those of official government institutes and some opposing lobbies. There are historically always grand connections between civil wars, terrorism, guerilla campaigns and colonial empires when it comes to(anti)drug legislation. Whether in the Golden Triangle of Asia, the Bekaa Valley, Afghanistan or Colombia and now NAFTA-approved Mexico, the nuevo over-land jumping off point for even more narco-produce, and all manner of sordid contraband, soon to suddenly be allowed on the taxpayer-maintained highways of the US thanks to the Bush Adminstration and Vicente Fox. Sic Semper Homeland Security. The largest, richest agricultural/chemical-industrial subsidy that has ever existed on earth is the continued bogus "war" on drugs through legislative and bureaucratic mandates which guarantee an enormous windfall of illicit cash from hyped, black market-inflated street prices. It has been the largest source of corruption from the humble cop on the beat to the very top of the judiciary, to the halls of the legislature. Murderous kleptocracies thereby thrive. It virtually built the Mafia in the US thanks to "Prohibition" in a previous era.(Just look at our borders for one week.)

War on drugs? Or war against the FARC? (none / 0) (#291)
by broken77 on Tue Dec 10, 2002 at 05:10:52 PM EST

After seeing the documentary Plan Colombia, I'm not convinced that what we're doing in Colombia has anything to do with stopping the flow of drugs at all. If anyone wants a greater understanding of the climate in that country, I strongly encourage you to keep a lookout for that film when it comes out for real (it's still in production).

Points from the movie:

  • Most of the budget assigned to Plan Colombia was used for purchasing military goods (guns, helicopters, planes, etc). A pittance was given to local farmers, which were supposed to get aid for growing other crops besides coca.
  • The crop spraying is done ineffectively for the purposes of killing coca plants, mostly at higher altitudes.
  • The spraying is only done in areas where there are FARC guerillas living.
  • Coca production has actually increased 10% since they've started the spraying.

I'm starting to doubt all this happy propaganda about Islam being a religion of peace. Heck, it's just as bad as Christianity. -- Dphitz

Marijuana (2.25 / 4) (#343)
by goodwine on Tue Dec 10, 2002 at 08:47:56 PM EST

Marijuana legalization is a complicated topic. The legalization of marijuana is enjoying widespread support these days, with many states legalizing it for medical purposes. Nevada is considering complete decriminalization. Marijuana is the least dangerous illegal drug. Even with heavy use, it has been shown to cause no permanent neurological damage; and the dangers of overdose are non-existent. In addition, contrary to drugs such as cocaine, it does not often cause the user to become excessively edgy or paranoid, or cause addiction (Gray 176).

Addiction and medicinal purposes aside, marijuana is clearly, at least temporarily, cognitively destructive and therefore dangerous. Anyone with any acquaintances that regularly use it know that it makes them slow, or less politically correct, come across as somewhat stupid. The fact that there is a common stereotype of the stoned surfer dude is a consequence of the universality of such an observation. I've read (can't find the any handy link) that this may be partially due to a side effect of frequent marijuana use, which is suppressed dreaming (i.e., REM sleep), which is apparently important for cognitive well-being.

Regardless, the legalization debate is important, and I can see both sides of it, but to assert that there is no serious penalty to regular marijuana usage is a clear denial of common observation.

Clearly? (4.75 / 4) (#345)
by FunkMasterK on Tue Dec 10, 2002 at 09:09:25 PM EST

THC does not suppress REM sleep.  It causes your pineal gland to release its reserve of melatonin, which regulates your sleep cycle.  This, by the way, is why cannabis smokers get "burned out" the next day, and is why smokers get tired after smoking.  However, this is easily offset by taking melatonin supplements at bedtime.  As for the stupidity claim, I'll let Johns Hopkins do the talking:

# A Johns Hopkins study published in May 1999, examined marijuana's effects on cognition on 1,318 participants over a 15 year period. Researchers reported "no significant differences in cognitive decline between heavy users, light users, and nonusers of cannabis." They also found "no male-female differences in cognitive decline in relation to cannabis use." "These results ... seem to provide strong evidence of the absence of a long-term residual effect of cannabis use on cognition," they concluded.

Source: Constantine G. Lyketsos, Elizabeth Garrett, Kung-Yee Liang, and James C. Anthony. (1999). "Cannabis Use and Cognitive Decline in Persons under 65 Years of Age," American Journal of Epidemiology, Vol. 149, No. 9.

(from drugwarfacts.

[ Parent ]

ahaha (3.00 / 1) (#346)
by nickco on Tue Dec 10, 2002 at 09:10:24 PM EST

caffeine suppresses REM sleep. alcohol suppresses REM sleep. antidepressants suppress REM sleep. get the picture? the purpose of REM sleep is largely unknown.. so where did you get the idea that it is necessary for cognitive well-being?

it's obvious you don't personally know any marijuana smokers, otherwise your 'observations' would not be what they are. one can use marijuana everyday without it adversly effecting cognition, just as one can drink alcohol every day without it adversely effecting cognition. you need to take into account the amount used, even on a daily basis, before you try to justify idiotic stereotypes. of course smoking 13 joints a day can make you a bit slower.. duh. that's what marijuana does.

'serious penalty'? like? marijuana is EXTREMELY safe. i could smoke literally all day long and wake up feeling refreshed the next morning.. try that with alcohol. or heroin. or methamphetamine. or countless other drugs. a safer recreational drug does not exist, period.

[ Parent ]
ahaha (4.00 / 2) (#350)
by goodwine on Tue Dec 10, 2002 at 09:25:11 PM EST

it's obvious you don't personally know any marijuana smokers,

As a matter of fact, I have and I do.

i could smoke literally all day long and wake up feeling refreshed the next morning.

Go for it, dude!

'serious penalty'? like? marijuana is EXTREMELY safe. i could smoke literally all day long and wake up feeling refreshed the next morning.. try that with alcohol. or heroin. or methamphetamine. or countless other drugs. a safer recreational drug does not exist, period.

New observation: it also affects one's ability to find the "Shift" key and construct complete sentences.

I completely agree that it's a "safer" drug. My point was that it is not without consequences.

[ Parent ]

no.. (none / 0) (#356)
by nickco on Tue Dec 10, 2002 at 10:07:01 PM EST

you don't know anyone who smokes marijuana. don't lie. if you did you would not perpetuate the stoner mythology. why? because it's not true.

breathing is not without consequences. the act of taking in air generates free radicals. free radicals are implicated in just about every chronic disease and drug related sequela. marijuana is not merely a 'safer' substance, it is one of the safest.

feel free to resort to insulting me, it obviously makes you feel better than us slow and non politically-correct stoners.

[ Parent ]
no.. (none / 0) (#358)
by goodwine on Tue Dec 10, 2002 at 10:24:50 PM EST

you don't know anyone who smokes marijuana.

Yes I do.

breathing is not without consequences.

True, the oxygen in the atmosphere bonds with the hemoglobin in our blood to sustain our bodily functions on the cellular level.

free radicals are implicated in just about every chronic disease and drug related sequela. marijuana is not merely a 'safer' substance, it is one of the safest.

Are you actually suggesting that smoking marijuana is safer than breathing?

feel free to resort to insulting me, it obviously makes you feel better than us slow and non politically-correct stoners.

I apologize. It was a cheap shot that I couldn't resist.

[ Parent ]

ok (none / 0) (#361)
by nickco on Tue Dec 10, 2002 at 11:25:29 PM EST

i am suggesting that everything has consequences, including breathing.

laws that attempt to restrict people from harming themselves are contrary to freedom. putting a person in jail because he's a heroin addict doesn't help. all it does is make that person angry and more likely to commit actual crime. arresting drug dealers and seizing drug shipments do nothing but raise drug prices which in turn creates more drug dealers. the more lucrative drug dealing gets the more people will want to do it. the illicit nature of drugs makes it something that is cool to do, something dangerous. that attracts a lot of people, it's probably the main reason some people deal or use drugs.

back on the topic.. if your only contact with marijuana users is the 'addicts' then hey, your conclusions are undeniable. marijuana is sedating and anyone consuming large amounts of it is going to be slow and tired. i'm just saying that while that is an effect of the drug, the reason these people are smoking such ridiculous amounts of it is not because it's addictive or particularly pleasurable, it's because they have some seperate psychological issues. they in no way represent the majority of marijuana smokers just as alcoholics don't represent the majority of alcohol drinkers.

[ Parent ]
ok (none / 0) (#363)
by goodwine on Wed Dec 11, 2002 at 12:17:25 AM EST

I was in the middle of composing a long, insightful and intricate response when my Microsoft Windows 98 crashed when it was only running Microsoft Internet Explorer. Nice :-(

Having rebooted into a more stable OS and browser, I only have the energy to say that I essentially agree. Most of the responses to my comment seem to conclude to that I'm opposed to legalization. This may be a consequence of sloppy composition on my part, but my point was essentially that drug use is not inconsequential. As a matter of degree, some substances and some use patterns may not have a very large impact on a person and/or society, but no use is inconsequential, either to the user or the people with whom he interacts.

If a particular conduct has no impact on other individuals or society, then there is absolutely no reason for it to be prohibited. If there is an impact, however, then it becomes a matter of balancing the importance of the freedom of such behavior against others' interests.

[ Parent ]

yeah (4.00 / 2) (#368)
by nickco on Wed Dec 11, 2002 at 12:46:50 AM EST

i'm not advocating drug addiction or anything.. i know drug addicts and they are not happy people. not as a result of the drugs because i think their drug use is a symptom, not the root of the problem. still, drug addiction can only hurt them more. that doesn't mean it's a good idea to make consuming a drug a criminal activity. all that does is fuel the black market for drugs which makes a lot of people a lot of money. if the U.S. government was truly committed to fighting drug use they could easily strike a large blow to the dealers and cartels if they legalized or decriminilized. they aren't though, so they won't. drugs are a powerful political tool and the government is making money off of the users, the dealers, and the cartels. so the people involved will fight this until the public realizes the advantage of harm reduction versus throwing users in jail.

i understand that you aren't necessarily for the drug war, it's just that unlike you i cannot fathom the other side of the issue. i consider anything from about the 'harms' of drugs to be propaganda. in this country the DEA and various politicians have lied about drugs from the beginning and continue to lie. my country's drug 'czar', John Walters, is testament to that.

[ Parent ]
Even if it were absolutely true... (5.00 / 2) (#348)
by Dyolf Knip on Tue Dec 10, 2002 at 09:20:39 PM EST

..beyond any shadow of a doubt, so what? There are a shitload of dangerous, psychologically or physically addictive, and just plain unsafe activities and chemicals that we already partake of that are perfectly legal. Why the difference? Why is a drug that kills you (nicotine comes to mind) OK but one that merely alters your behavior requires government intervention and imprisonment? These and many other questions have never been answered in any coherent way.

Besides, marijuana wasn't criminalized because it was physically dangerous. It was banned, and I quote, "to prevent violent effects in the degenerate races" and to keep white women from socializing with same. As far as I can tell, this sort of half-baked lunacy pretty much describes the entire War On Some Chemicals.

---
If you can't learn to do something well, learn to enjoy doing it poorly.

Dyolf Knip
[ Parent ]

Even if it were absolutely true... (none / 0) (#357)
by goodwine on Tue Dec 10, 2002 at 10:14:12 PM EST

See my responses to other comments with regard to stereotyping and the legalization debate (I actually really do see both sides of the legalization argument).

My (admittedly not clearly formulated point) was that regular use is not without its consequences. Legalization, which was really the point of the article, is another matter.

[ Parent ]

Opinions (5.00 / 3) (#349)
by CaptainSuperBoy on Tue Dec 10, 2002 at 09:21:08 PM EST

In your opinion, there is a serious penalty to marijuana use. Other people may not feel that way.. some may not mind being potheads, others may not experience the effects that you describe. My point is that it's ludicrous to decide whether to legalize drugs based on whether they cause people to part with social norms. It is a way of enforcing a way of life on someone, and there is no proof that it is the best way of life. In fact, there's no such thing as the 'best way of life.'

Also I wouldn't agree that common stereotypes are rooted in truth. There is a long history of stereotyping drug users, people of certain races, and sometimes both together. For example the lazy stoner may be an extension, or a modern revision, of the stereotype of the lazy Mexican cannabis-smoker. Another popular one nowadays is the 'redneck on meth.' All stereotypes are exaggerations - the lazy stereotype is certainly exaggerated. Of course some pot smokers are lazy - some nonsmokers are lazy too!

--
jimmysquid.com - I take pictures.
[ Parent ]

Opinions (none / 0) (#353)
by goodwine on Tue Dec 10, 2002 at 09:52:42 PM EST

In your opinion, there is a serious penalty to marijuana use. Other people may not feel that way.

Actually, this was really my only point, and would agree that in the context of the whole article my post could be misleading. I personally see the general point that legalization has many benefits and furthermore consider myself leaning to the libertarian side of the argument.

The point I was attempting to make was that many feel that pot is harmless (and it's a common argument put forth by the legalization advocates) when in fact, for some (many?) it's not.

With regard to stereotypes: racial stereotypes are "clearly" abhorrent and baseless (I only put clearly in quotation marks since some responses are harping on my "clearly" language in the original post). In my experience, however, there is a correlation between those that I know regularly use marijuana and those with the sort of attributes that I described in my original post.

Perhaps my experience has been only limited to addicts who regularly abuse it, but I still contend that there are clearly recognizable negative consequences to regular use (or abuse).

I can hit myself on the head with a hammer every day if I want and it's perfectly legal; however, it's not perfectly advisable, and it's not in society's best interest. The legalization debate is not what I was not the target of my comment, however. It was simply that regular (over) use is not without it's consequences and I consider those that say otherwise to be either naive or in denial.

[ Parent ]

Agreed, mostly (5.00 / 1) (#359)
by CaptainSuperBoy on Tue Dec 10, 2002 at 10:31:21 PM EST

I guess I misunderstood. In the libertarian's mind, where the law leaves off personal responsibility takes over. Certainly I'm not in favor of people spending their whole lives smoking pot, or hitting themselves in the head with hammers. It's just that I abhore the concept that we need to legislate these things. I agree with you that there are many things that seem harmful to me, but I realize two things: One, that's just my opinion - they shouldn't be banned. And two, there are many utilitarian ways to define society's best interest. Many of these definitions have led to the worst atrocities ever committed.

--
jimmysquid.com - I take pictures.
[ Parent ]
Correlation != Causation (5.00 / 1) (#404)
by jynx on Wed Dec 11, 2002 at 10:09:18 AM EST

I'm sure you know this already, but I feel it needs to be pointed out. Correlation is not the same as causation. Do we have a stereotype of "stoned surfer dudes" because smoking pot turns you into a surfer dude, or (IMHO) more likely because surfer dudes are more likely to smoke pot because of their lifestyle/culture?

--

[ Parent ]

suppression of REM (none / 0) (#415)
by mikelist on Wed Dec 11, 2002 at 03:44:39 PM EST

An acquaintance did a sleep study to assess if he had apnea. Despite going in with more of a glow than he should have, he went into five REM periods during the approximate six and a half hours of sleep. This individual was diagnosed as having no sleep abnormalities aside from a life-threateningly loud snore.
 This implies that the duration and frequency of the REM periods were in the normal range. Admittedly this is anecdotal, and doesn't address a potential slight tendency to suppress REM, don't know if his REM periods were in the upper or marginal ranges.

IANAD.

 

[ Parent ]

This just in from the front! (4.00 / 4) (#364)
by Calledor on Wed Dec 11, 2002 at 12:22:41 AM EST

No.

-Calledor
"I've never been able to argue with anyone who believes the Nazis didn't invade Russia, or anyone who associates the Holocaust with the meat industry. It's like talking to someone from another planet. A planet of fuckwits."- Jos
"War on drugs" is another propaganda mec (4.25 / 4) (#383)
by the77x42 on Wed Dec 11, 2002 at 05:08:53 AM EST

My guess is that the "war on drugs" is similar to the "war on terrorism", the war on the Nazis, the war on Vietnam, the soon to be war on Saddam -- the U.S. Government needs some sort of publicized enemy, humanoid or not.

I don't mean to trivialize the issue, or promote drug use; it's undeniable that there are side effects to any drug, and those who say weed has no long term side effects are either smoking shake or live outside of BC, or both. However, I don't think that drug side effects and consequences should be the main issue. If Dave wants to smoke a joint when he's out with his friends and Blake wants to drop his E when he hits a rave a couple times a year, let them, as long as they aren't hurting anyone and they know what they are doing. I think this is the general consensus that many people (at least Canadians) share.

How does this current view tie in with the "war on drugs" that's been going on for the past couple decades? It's simple: education. Throughout the 80's and 90's, the public school system did a lot of work cramming it into our brains that drugs are bad (something that does not mean anything at all), but more importantly, what each drug actually is and does.

I'm convinced that public education of drugs is what is leading to less overdoses and less addictions. When people know they have to do something in moderation because of the adverse effects, they will come calm down their drug use. Throwing dealers and pushers in jail is not going to solve anything because you aren't hitting the source of the drug problem -- the brain. The knowledge has to be there so you know what you are taking, and knowing is half the battle.

I'm sure the first stream of comments against this is going to carry some sort of "but there are addicts and people who don't know what they are taking, and we have to protect them" argument. Believe me, no one knows this more than me. Having lived with a heroin addict for 15 years, I'm aware of this problem, however, I cannot offer up a solution, only to say that whatever is in place at the moment is not working. I think education of drugs, not portraying them as a forbidden fruit, would do more in the long run than pushing a negative connotation on them. Let's face it, people are more interested in the negative, forbidden pleasures.

To summarize, "the war on drugs" is just words and euphemisms -- what is really working is the education of the public, and something that needs to continue and be adapted to today's masses.




"We're not here to educate. We're here to point and laugh." - creature
"You have some pretty stupid ideas." - indubitable ‮

Clear and simple (5.00 / 2) (#386)
by DigDug on Wed Dec 11, 2002 at 05:28:32 AM EST

All ethical and moral arguments aside, it is important to understand that:
  1. There will always be a demand for drugs, including alcohol, tobacco, marijuana, and others.
  2. Since there will always be a demand, this means that there will always be people willing to go through some risk to fill that demand for profit.
I'll let others build from here... ;)

--
Yavista - if you haven't found a nice homepage yet.

Throwback (5.00 / 2) (#406)
by CENGEL3 on Wed Dec 11, 2002 at 01:38:21 PM EST

Not only is the "War on Drugs" ineffective, it's unamerican.

The U.S. was founded upon the principles that one persons rights stop where anothers begin. It was founded on the principle that individuals rights and freedoms were sacrisanct and that the only place where a government had legitimate authority to abridge those rights were where they came into conflict with the rights of others.

The framers of the Constitution would have been scandalized by the degree which our current laws illegitimately intrude into the private affairs of our citizens.

Narcotics and vice laws are a throwback to a much earlier America... One that had already been examined and rejected as tyrannical by the days of Washington and Jefferson. They are a throwback to the days of the Massachusetts Bay Colony... where it was illegal to practice any other religion save the official one of the colony.

The salient question in my mind is not whether the War on Drugs is effective or not... but whether it is the legitimate purview of government to intrude itself into the private lives of indiviual citizens and place arbitrary restrictions upon said citizens actions when those actions effect no one but the individual themself.

It hurts some people for benefit of others (5.00 / 2) (#407)
by Big Sexxy Joe on Wed Dec 11, 2002 at 01:52:03 PM EST

Or I should say the war on drugs hurts some people in a naive attempt to protect other people from themselves.<P. The important thing to remember is that the gangs are all supported by drug money. Legalize drugs and the gangs go away. Gangs terrorize the hell out of the bad neighborhoods in American inner cities. Why? Because we are trying to protect people (read:naive subruban teenagers with rich parents who don't even have enough of a clue to watch out for themselves) themselves. To protect people from themselves is game you will never win.<P> Even if the war on drugs did something useful, (Statistics show it has reduced casual use, but not habitual use.) it is still a grossly unfair thing to do to the lower class people who have to live in crime infested neighborhoods.

The children in these neighborhoods (who already don't have access to a good education) are threatened into joining gangs. Then they have records and can't go anywhere in life.

All we have to do is legalize drugs and take other approches to prevention...

I'm like Jesus, only better.
Democracy Now! - your daily, uncensored, corporate-free grassroots news hour

It's a business. (5.00 / 1) (#439)
by YelM3 on Fri Dec 13, 2002 at 12:16:35 AM EST

    "Covert government by defense contractor means corrupt wars of conquest, government by dope dealer. When the world's traditional inebriative herbs become illegal commodities, they become worth as much as precious metal, precious metal that can be farmed. ... Illegal drugs, solely because of the artificial value given them by Prohibition, have become the basis of military power anywhere they can be grown and delivered in quantity. ... To this day American defense contractors are the biggest drug-money launderers in the world."
--Dan Russel, Drug War: Covert Money, Power and Policy, p.318.
    By the end of the 1980's it was calculated that the illegal use of drugs in the United States now netted its controllers over $110 billion a year.
--Modern Times, p.782.

Simple economics (4.33 / 3) (#445)
by ryanamos on Fri Dec 13, 2002 at 06:40:09 PM EST

Any first year economics student could tell you why the war on drugs is futile. Basically, if there is demand, there will be supply. Drugs, in fact, have a more or less level demand curve because of the chemical addiction. In other words, people will buy the same amount of drugs at any price. Thus, even at $500 a gram for cocaine, people would buy it, and probably buy about the same amount.

Why is this important? Because all the war on drugs really does is makes drugs more expensive. I loved the commercials during the last super bowl about how "buying drugs is supporting terrorists." Well, the war on drugs is the terrorists best friend. Drugs are cheap to produce if you have a friendly environment in which to do it. So if half the drugs they make are seized, they make twice as much, double the price (for risk taken) and make more money than they had before.

The real solution is not to attack the supply end of the drug trade, but the demand. Have the US Govt sell drugs cheap (undercut the dealers; make the profit margins disappear and so will the drug dealers) but with the stipulation that in order to buy drugs, you must be in some sort of rehab program. No, this will not end the problem of drug use. But it will all but wipe out drug-related crime, as drugs will be cheap and they won't be sold by street level thugs, plus the drug supply will be cleaner.

I know this is not the total answer. But the current war on drugs is an offshoot of prohibitionist ideals that are based on "feel good" sentiments, not what would actually work. All it serves to do is make drugs more expensive, and thus it just gets the cartels, distributors and street dealers richer. Whether they realize it or not, the federal government is basically just funnelling money into the dealers pockets.

If there really existed a war on drugs (4.50 / 2) (#449)
by stpna5 on Tue Dec 17, 2002 at 12:23:19 AM EST

why would a narcotic--like beer--be so relentlessly advertised even on television, along with numerous, much-abused prescription drugs? The only solution is to eliminate all the prohibitions on all drugs for anyone of majority age, and allow even those who want to kill themselves with drugs the freedom to do so without government-(taxpayer)subsidized, black market price supports. Nobody will any longer have an incentive to rob or burglarize to finance their drug habit, greater police assets will be freed to fight violent crimes (which will diminish), and if there are massive overdose fatalities(as now daily)with cell-phoning motorists, subwoofer-deafened drivers, and drunken snowmobilers the gene pool will be thusly improved. But it won't happen because organized religion, and the pharmaceuticals and liquor cartels have lobbied to ensure and maintain the status quo.

State Protects Drug Dealers' Monopoly Rents (5.00 / 2) (#452)
by raps on Thu Dec 26, 2002 at 03:58:11 PM EST

Just a short economic note: If supply is reduced artificially (e.g. through public enforcement of drug policy) the price goes up and the quantity bought goes down. This tipically increases the seller's profit (monopoly rent) at the expense of the consumer and often society at large. That's the reason we have antitrust law in many countries (trust = cartel).

In the drug market we have the unlikely picture of huge sums of public money being spent on protecting the rents of illegal and socially, economically and politically damaging cartels.

Is the Drug War working? | 452 comments (431 topical, 21 editorial, 0 hidden)
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