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[P]
John Gilmore's take on mind altering drugs

By QuantumG in Culture
Thu Oct 09, 2003 at 12:17:26 PM EST
Tags: Politics (all tags)
Politics

John Gilmore, probably most well known as "that dude that started the alt.* newsgroups" is one of the founders of the Electronic Frontier Foundation, a foundation dedicated to civil rights and civic responsibilities online. As a life member of the Libertarian Party he is , not surprisingly, in favour of drug policy reform. Unlike others, Gilmore holds a unique perspective on why "illegal" drugs should not be banned: The right to speak freely is irrelevant if the citizenry does not have the right to think freely.


John Gilmore is a citizen of the United States of America, but what he says of his government can easily be applied to many of our governments. He states:
Our government's control of drugs is really intended to control our citizens' mental states. The substances themselves are not important unless they affect human minds (and some, such as nitrous oxide, are freely sold for non-mind-altering uses, but controlled when people wish to influence their own mental states).
He is not making the claim that these drugs are controlled for the better good of our citizens, something that is often given as an argument for drug control. He is instead, making a broader claim: that our government wishes to control our speech by controlling our thoughts. He goes on to say:
These drugs appear to be prohibited by the government because they permit users to see that the world is not composed of a single point of view, a single concrete reality shared by all. The way each of us interacts with the world is a function of our internal brain chemistry, which is unique to each of us, and can be altered by our own choice or by imposed choices. The government seeks to impose its answer to the choice of whether or not to view reality in certain ways. These altered ways have clearly been useful in religion, art, music, medicine, and recreation for millennia. These government attempts to control the minds of its citizens are a direct violation of the basic Constitutional freedoms that the government is designed to secure for ourselves and our posterity.
Being a Libertarian, Gilmore relates the government's control of drugs to freedom, this is not surprising, what is surprising is the reasoning that Gilmore assigns to his government's control of mind altering drugs. When debating the "drug issue" it is almost forgotten what effect these drugs have on the individual. The addicitive aspects of drugs are argued endlessly, along with the effects of addicition on society, but the actual desirable effects of these drugs is hardly ever mentioned. Perhaps this is because the majority of people who argue about drug reform are unwilling to admit that they have used drugs, or simply havn't.

The closest most participants get to recognising the use of these drugs in the term "recreation". Gilmore also uses the term, but almost as an afterthought. It is not often that one hears an argument for drug reform that includes "religion, art, music, [and] medicine". As far as a unique point of view goes, Gilmore appears to practice what he preaches. But what of drug abuse? Gilmore has this to say:

Just as adults keep immature children away from matches and hot objects, though there is no law prohibiting the possession of matches by children, parents and social feedback should be used to teach children how to handle drugs responsibly. The War on Drugs has certainly not kept children from being able to get drugs! By eliminating the black market and the threat of prison, and allowing straightforward talk from people who know the dangers first-hand, children can learn the real reasons why some drugs are best avoided, and learn the line between use and abuse of other drugs. Today's situation teaches children that it's best to sneak and lie about what they're doing -- both because they are afraid of prosecution, and because they see drug-using parents doing the same thing.
You may think this is a pretty grandiose proposal, but I remind you, Gilmore is a Libertarian. He believes that the only laws that should exist are those which reinforce social culture, not fight against it. But if drugs are to be legalised, who will sell them, the government?
I believe that mind-altering drugs should be usable and sellable under the same rules and the same taxes that apply to substances like flour, sugar and coffee. If the label says it's pure Humboldt County marijuana of 18% THC content, then it had better really contain that, or the seller is in legal trouble. Otherwise, no restrictions, no special taxes, no more black markets. If someone consumes a drug in a way that damages people around them (or seriously threatens to), they should be held responsible -- whether the drug is coffee, alcohol, or cocaine.
Gilmore believes the market should be free and open, but at the same time he calls for government regulation. Some may see this as strange: a libertarian calling for government regulation. But as Gilmore states, this is no more regulation than one would expect for flour or sugar. By labelling a product, the seller has defined a contract with the buyer. The government has the obligation to enforce contracts, even in a libertarian state, so this really isn't too strange.

Finally, Gilmore calls for each of us to stop lying about drugs in our society, and in doing so, hopefully we can find a satisfactory way to live with it:

No matter who you are, you know someone who uses illegal drugs. Talk with these people about the real effects and the real dangers of the drugs they use, compare what they tell you to what the government tells you, and ask them about how the current drug laws and policies affect their life. If you think you don't know any drug users, think again of who you know. Are you really sure about all of them? If you still can't think of anyone, ask your friends in private whether they have ever used illegal drugs. You'll be surprised at what some of them have been afraid to tell you. Learn from what they know, but learn especially from the paranoia and fear they have had to live in. Then work with me for a peaceful end to the Drug War and a sane policy for how to treat our fellow citizens.

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Poll
The government control drugs..
o for the greater good 13%
o to maintain the status quo 59%
o to control people's thoughts 26%

Votes: 166
Results | Other Polls

Related Links
o John Gilmore
o Electronic Frontier Foundation
o Libertaria n Party
o drug policy reform
o Also by QuantumG


Display: Sort:
John Gilmore's take on mind altering drugs | 359 comments (340 topical, 19 editorial, 6 hidden)
Grematikal eroor's and bad speling? (1.25 / 32) (#6)
by Lincoln on Thu Oct 09, 2003 at 12:14:26 AM EST

I thought K5 was all about passing out information? Information that individuals ( and as a group of individual people ) would like to read about. We like it, we vote for it. I think K5 has gotten way way way out of control with peopole slamming perfectly good displays of showing off information because they have a grammatical error. Bugger that. I know what they are trying to say, i'm interested in the topic, i'm giving it a + 1.

Let's get off our high horse and look to this information and stories for what they are...a peice of work that someone has taken the time to comment on because they think we might be interested.
-= Only dead fish go with the flow =-
then why even have an edit queue? (1.06 / 16) (#12)
by kpaul on Thu Oct 09, 2003 at 12:32:49 AM EST

edit queue good.


2014 Halloween Costumes
[ Parent ]
Apparently for no reason.. (1.08 / 12) (#13)
by QuantumG on Thu Oct 09, 2003 at 12:34:19 AM EST

as people just ignore stories in the edit queue and then get upset when you move them to voting before they get a chance to hit the "move to vote" button for themselves. I'd move it back to the edit queue, but that would probably piss off more people.

Gun fire is the sound of freedom.
[ Parent ]
at this point, probably... (1.20 / 10) (#15)
by kpaul on Thu Oct 09, 2003 at 12:50:52 AM EST

not all users are the same here, though. from what i've been able to tell with my limited experience here, always throw it to the edit queue for at least two hours to give the few people who will pick the nits out for you to do so (if indeed there are any...)

another no-no is submitting more than one piece at a time.

also, a lot of people loathe fiction section. ;)

ymmv...


2014 Halloween Costumes
[ Parent ]

corrections (1.14 / 14) (#24)
by felixrayman on Thu Oct 09, 2003 at 02:07:14 AM EST

I thought K5 was all about passing out information? Not a question, drop the question mark.
Information that individuals ( and as a group of individual people ) would like to read about. Sentence fragment. Please fix.
peopole people
Bugger that Fuck that
i'm I'm
high horse horse interested in alternate perceptions of reality
peice piece
+ 1 -5


Call Donald Rumsfeld and tell him our sorry asses are ready to go home. Tell him to come spend a night in our building. - Pfc. Matthew C. O'Dell

[ Parent ]
Spelling, grammar and presentation are important (1.11 / 9) (#74)
by rujith on Thu Oct 09, 2003 at 01:07:18 PM EST

beleve it or not its easier to read understand text that doesn't have distrcting error and well thought-out and present. That's why proof-reading is impotant.

Believe it or not, it's easier to read and understand text that doesn't have distracting errors, and is well thought-out and presented. That's why proof-reading is important.

- Rujith.

[ Parent ]

quite incorrect sire (1.00 / 7) (#163)
by truchisoft on Thu Oct 09, 2003 at 09:59:39 PM EST

<pre>
if you check slashdot, a few days before it was discussed EXACTLY what you are saying, and several tests showed that it is AS EASY to read bad written text than perfectly written text.

The trick is that the brain "reads" by forming shapes, thus recognizing letters from its shape...

(sorry i did not provide the link, i will dig it up latter)
</pre>
--- Saludos de Argentina.
[ Parent ]

deep thoughts (2.21 / 46) (#10)
by scatbubba on Thu Oct 09, 2003 at 12:24:41 AM EST

This makes a lot of sense, except for the basic premise ;) I just can't see any of the elected officials in the US to be that smart. They ban drugs for the same reason they ban child pornography; because there is a large segment of the population that won't vote for a pro-drug president.

As someone who has a prescription for drugs (1.32 / 25) (#14)
by richarj on Thu Oct 09, 2003 at 12:36:52 AM EST

I say that this is totally going about it the wrong way. Go see a doctor and get a prescription. If the doctor won't give you one then you probably don't need the drugs anyway. It is legal fast and cheap(depends on drug). You can get anything from Amphetemines, Heroin, Valium, Marijuana(depends on location) even drugs that make you mispell words.

"if you are uncool, don't worry, K5 is still the place for you!" -- rusty
Hmmm (1.16 / 18) (#23)
by felixrayman on Thu Oct 09, 2003 at 01:58:35 AM EST

Is that you Rush?

Call Donald Rumsfeld and tell him our sorry asses are ready to go home. Tell him to come spend a night in our building. - Pfc. Matthew C. O'Dell

[ Parent ]
Conspiracy theory about schedule I (1.25 / 8) (#154)
by pin0cchio on Thu Oct 09, 2003 at 08:26:05 PM EST

Go see a doctor and get a prescription.

This would actually work, except of course for schedule 1 drugs, which not even the most renowned MD can prescribe for a patient. Liber{al|tarian} conspiracy theorists such as myself claim that controlled substances schedule I (drugs for which the FDA has not recognized medical value) exists primarily because the major patent drug companies such as lilly, novartis, and gsk have paid the FDA to keep them out of schedule II (drugs with high potential for addiction and abuse such as methylphenidate) because they compete with patented drugs. Evidence: gamma hydroxybutyrate (GHB), which is on schedule III (ZYREM® brand) but schedule I (all other brands).


lj65
[ Parent ]
A weak argument. (2.35 / 51) (#18)
by kitten on Thu Oct 09, 2003 at 01:15:25 AM EST

While I favor the legalization of most drugs, the argument he presents is weak.
These drugs appear to be prohibited by the government because they permit users to see that the world is not composed of a single point of view, a single concrete reality shared by all.
That sounds like something some stoner wrote in his notebook while high as a kite, thinking it was really deep and meaningful at the time, but it isn't.

Instead he could focus on how illegalizing drugs creates a black market, which in turn creates crime, drug lords, theft, murder, gangs. These arguments make sense to the average (non-drug-using) citizen. Blithering about "alternate realities" immediately makes him a crackpot to be ignored.

Furthermore many drugs do not fall into that classification. Heroin and cocaine just to name a few, so far as I am aware, do not "expand the mind" or "open the eyes" or whatever claptrap phrase people like to use when extolling the virtues of drug use.

mirrorshades radio - darkwave, synthpop, industrial, futurepop.
weakness (1.03 / 33) (#28)
by felixrayman on Thu Oct 09, 2003 at 02:49:48 AM EST

And I should give a fuck about the "average (non-drug-using)" coffee drinking beer drinking citizen because....?

And favoring the legalization of "most" drugs makes you a pussy, not a kitten.

Call Donald Rumsfeld and tell him our sorry asses are ready to go home. Tell him to come spend a night in our building. - Pfc. Matthew C. O'Dell

[ Parent ]
Quite simple. (2.15 / 20) (#34)
by kitten on Thu Oct 09, 2003 at 03:43:20 AM EST

And I should give a fuck about the "average (non-drug-using)" coffee drinking beer drinking citizen because....?

Because they're the ones going to the polls and voting for the politicians who make laws, that's why.

Moron.
mirrorshades radio - darkwave, synthpop, industrial, futurepop.
[ Parent ]
Not at all! (2.19 / 21) (#86)
by gabban on Thu Oct 09, 2003 at 02:53:54 PM EST

The argument is one of the stronger ones, he's just bad at selling it. And since every drug related story here on k5 must have a quote from Bill Hicks, I'm going to choose one that presents the argument a bit better:

"If you don't believe drugs have done good things for us, then go home and burn all your records, all your tapes, and all your CDs because every one of those artists who have made brilliant music and enhanced your lives? REAL fucking high on drugs. The Beatles were so fucking high they let Ringo sing a few songs."

[ Parent ]
That doesn't really prove anything though (1.30 / 13) (#162)
by ZorbaTHut on Thu Oct 09, 2003 at 09:55:28 PM EST

"If you don't believe your appendix has done good things for us, then go home and burn all your records, all your tapes, and all your CDs because every one of those artists who have made brilliant music and enhanced your lives? EACH ONE OF THEM HAD AN APPENDIX."

At the risk of sounding blindingly trite, it's correlation, not causation.

Note that I actually *agree* with you - but just saying "Hey! They were high! And they did cool stuff!" really doesn't say anything other than "drugs aren't an instant death." Which is a valid point in itself, but if you want to prove they're *good*, you'll have to work at it a bit harder.

[ Parent ]

except.. (2.09 / 11) (#191)
by QuantumG on Fri Oct 10, 2003 at 02:27:25 AM EST

that they wrote a large number of their songs whilst wasted, and consistently those songs were better than the songs they wrote whilst straight. Don't be so quick to discard correlation, it's one of the best scientific methods we have to imply causation. In this case, I see John Lennon's attribution of drug use to the greation of his great songs as a pretty good indicator (and if you're not down with John Lennon, then how about Jim Morrison, or one of the others on the long list of songs writers who take drugs specifically for that purpose).

Gun fire is the sound of freedom.
[ Parent ]
Causation (1.85 / 7) (#307)
by Steeleye on Sat Oct 11, 2003 at 04:24:41 PM EST

And just when you think "correlation does not imply causation" is the biggest cliche in science...

[ Parent ]
never-the-less (1.90 / 10) (#178)
by dh003i on Thu Oct 09, 2003 at 11:42:21 PM EST

illegalizing drugs clearly has the effect of the government trying to *control people's minds*. If you can't even control your own mind, if the government can regulate your own mind, then we're really fucked.

Social Security is a pyramid scam.
[ Parent ]

A few examples (2.33 / 15) (#182)
by scruffyMark on Thu Oct 09, 2003 at 11:56:27 PM EST

You might think it sounds like claptrap, but a South American shaman (of any of a good hundred different religions) wouldn't, nor would a Navajo of the Church of North America, nor a Rastafarian , nor a Hindu Sadhu, to name but a few.

We don't hear much about legitimate spiritual use of entheogens (a word that doesn't even get used much), I would guess because any religious group using sacred plants in the Western world is going to keep things pretty quiet, understandably enough.

Of course, heroin and meth and the like don't fall into the same category at all, but that's no reason to dismiss the spiritual use of any drugs.

[ Parent ]

it IS deep, just cliche (1.30 / 10) (#192)
by auraslip on Fri Oct 10, 2003 at 02:28:10 AM EST


___-___
[ Parent ]
John Gilmore needs to lay off the crack. (1.37 / 51) (#19)
by jjayson on Thu Oct 09, 2003 at 01:19:33 AM EST

What a bunch of paranoid, hippy bullshit. What is that thing about not contributing to malice what can be attributed to stupidity. Well, I wouldn't necessarily call it stuypidity, but more like seeing a problem that doesn't necessarily exist. His paranoia is bordering on dementia. The government bans drugs out of a legitimate fear of it fucking up society. Given what we see, it is easy to extrapolate the bad into societal crumbles (however, that probably isn't the case).

These drugs appear to be prohibited by the government because they permit users to see that the world is not composed of a single point of view, a single concrete reality shared by all.
Does he have any real proof or analysis why this is the case, or is it just the ramblings of somebody who hasn't slept in a week? Prescription pain killers, the most widely abused drug are not prohibited because of some alternate view of the universe they impart on you. Later when he talks about nitrous, that doesn't change your perceptions either. It just feels cool for a couple seconds. Neither does coke or crystal. Heroin doesn't make you see weird shit and think differently either.

In the end, this rhetoric just harms those that want to see drug reform and aren't permalit like Gimore. When he believe that these people stopping you from doing drugs are doing it for some nefarious purpose, intent on keeping you in this reality (whatever that lost in the '70s crap means), then you will not be able to communicate with them. All that paranoia will just convince them even more that drugs fuck you up beyond repair. I now that if somebody came in muttering something about "holding him back and not letting him find alternative realities" because I didn't want him "to know the truth, man," I would the guys fucking insane, and it would justify my anti-drug position. Just look at the fucking idiot that drugs turn somebody into, I would say to myself.

_______
Smile =)
Given the culinary lineage of its former colonial masters, America's "theft" of other nation's cuisines is considered by mo

you need to lay off the normal (1.86 / 30) (#22)
by felixrayman on Thu Oct 09, 2003 at 01:39:37 AM EST

The government bans drugs out of a legitimate fear of it fucking up society.

Yeah the government tries to keep a monopoly on that particular action.

Given what we see, it is easy to extrapolate the bad into societal crumbles

Oh I get it, its a troll, you are actually on fucking quaaludes.

Later when he talks about nitrous, that doesn't change your perceptions either.

If nitrous doesn't give you a view of an alternate reality, you aren't taking the damn shit right, that is unless you currently live on "Planet Nintendo" in which case nitrous probably won't be much of a change.

All the drugs you listed give a different view of the world, no doubt about it. They are all skins for the program called the world. Not that I agree with the analysis above, back in the day when I did drugs, I did them because I fucking felt like it and because no one could stop me.

I now that if somebody came in muttering something about "holding him back and not letting him find alternative realities" because I didn't want him "to know the truth, man," I would the guys fucking insane, and it would justify my anti-drug position

Non-Euclidean geometries? Not in my county!

Just look at the fucking idiot that drugs turn somebody into, I would say to myself.

Look at the fucking idiot an office job turns someone into, lets ban that shit.



Call Donald Rumsfeld and tell him our sorry asses are ready to go home. Tell him to come spend a night in our building. - Pfc. Matthew C. O'Dell

[ Parent ]
Problems, people? (1.04 / 24) (#25)
by jjayson on Thu Oct 09, 2003 at 02:27:49 AM EST

Do people have problems with my comment? Maybe you would like to actually respond. Remember, "Hide" is not a 1 rating. Maybe you should actually post a comment instead of just silencing opinions that you don't like.
_______
Smile =)
Given the culinary lineage of its former colonial masters, America's "theft" of other nation's cuisines is considered by mo
[ Parent ]
Why I gave it -1 (1.08 / 35) (#32)
by kardis314 on Thu Oct 09, 2003 at 03:36:36 AM EST

"What a bunch of paranoid, hippy bullshit."
I found this comment to be nonproductive, some would find it offensive.  If you can't have a civil discussion I will hide your comments. Feel free to hide this comment in retaliation


[ Parent ]
Mistaken vs. unhelpful comments (1.40 / 15) (#67)
by rujith on Thu Oct 09, 2003 at 12:31:04 PM EST

My interpretation is that mistaken comments deserve 1 ("Gray Davis was not recalled."), while unhelpful comments, that don't advance the discussion, deserve -1 ("Gray Davis is a fucking child molester - ask Chelsea."). - Rujith.

[ Parent ]
You Sir, (1.57 / 19) (#36)
by fhotg on Thu Oct 09, 2003 at 05:13:37 AM EST

are an excellent example for the fact that entheogeneous drugs cause paranoia, albeit only in people who don't take them.

You comment just is proof that you talk about things you don't understand. Well you can't, as a law obeying citizen your most interesting choice of drug obviously are painkillers, so you can't really be blamed for the belief that by an "alternate view of the universe" we are talking about the state of inhibited perception induced by those legal drugs, but about pretty much the opposite.

Neither are coke, crystal or heroin the drugs we are interested in, demanding their legalization is just a side-effect of the libertarian ideology.

Types of these drugs (speedy stuff, opiates), physically dangerous and addictive, are obtainable via prescription.

E, LSD, Mescalin, Psylocibin, DMA which are much less dangerous than for example alcohol are totally banned, and those are the ones that actually give you glimpse of a different reality. Unless you try, you'll never know. You won't, because you're scared to loose your little neaty view of the world you've grown to so much. You are scared that too much other people do, because they then might question your little safe and comfy reality. You are scared to meet yourself, because you might not like what you find one you travel inside. You probably have good reasons, so better don't try it out. And stay away from meditation too, it's evil.
~~~
Gitarren für die Mädchen -- Champagner für die Jungs

[ Parent ]

Question reality? Ha HAH..........HAH! (1.19 / 21) (#38)
by Dinner Is Served on Thu Oct 09, 2003 at 05:59:58 AM EST

Why must all drug users chide the sober ones on the basis that they are uptight and don't want to experience "alternate realities." The "alernate reality," of course consisting of thinking about mundane objects and giggling about them.

Honestly, you "open-minded" drug users are nothing more than run-of-the-mill opinionated fucks. You think that because something is fun for you, it must be fun for EVERYONE. But some people don't need to get their creativity from a dangerous looking black man, so stfu already.
--
While I appreciate being able to defend against would-be rapists who might suddenly drop in from the sky, I don't appreciate not being able to see the Northern Lights. -- mfk
[ Parent ]
Bad shroom trip????? (1.00 / 13) (#47)
by morkeleb on Thu Oct 09, 2003 at 06:59:06 AM EST

Honestly, you "open-minded" drug users are nothing more than run-of-the-mill opinionated fucks. You think that because something is fun for you, it must be fun for EVERYONE. But some people don't need to get their creativity from a dangerous looking black man, so stfu already.

Or did some dead heads give you the brush-off in college because you were a science major. *sigh* - I speak from bitter experience. Still - that's no excuse to go off sounding like a mouthpiece for the MAN!
"If I read a book and it makes my whole body so cold no fire can ever warm me, I know that is poetry." - Emily Dickinson
[ Parent ]
the funniest part (1.40 / 10) (#89)
by jjayson on Thu Oct 09, 2003 at 02:55:11 PM EST

I've probably taken more substances -- from simple coke to things like dmt and 2cb -- (especially in the last couple years) than everybody who has responded to me combined.
_______
Smile =)
Given the culinary lineage of its former colonial masters, America's "theft" of other nation's cuisines is considered by mo
[ Parent ]
na (1.37 / 8) (#195)
by fhotg on Fri Oct 10, 2003 at 02:51:25 AM EST

we're just too grown up now to brag in public about how much and what huge quantities of illegal substances we've consumed.
~~~
Gitarren für die Mädchen -- Champagner für die Jungs

[ Parent ]
It's just another dick size war. (1.00 / 9) (#203)
by jjayson on Fri Oct 10, 2003 at 04:11:06 AM EST

"I've taken more than you have."
"Nu-yu"
"Yes, I have."
"Have not. I've taken more."

whatever...
_______
Smile =)
Given the culinary lineage of its former colonial masters, America's "theft" of other nation's cuisines is considered by mo
[ Parent ]

We're all very proud of you (1.00 / 9) (#269)
by needless on Fri Oct 10, 2003 at 06:57:15 PM EST

Now stop wanking in public.

[ Parent ]
Opiates (1.21 / 14) (#71)
by theperfectelement on Thu Oct 09, 2003 at 12:43:00 PM EST

Actually, opiates are quite safe when they're not being cut with all manner of adulterants as they make their way through the black market.

[ Parent ]
It's a supportable view (2.22 / 18) (#39)
by pyramid termite on Thu Oct 09, 2003 at 06:00:16 AM EST

Does he have any real proof or analysis why this is the case, or is it just the ramblings of somebody who hasn't slept in a week?

There's plenty of historical and anthropological evidence to show that there are many cultures that regarded drugs as consciousness expanding and religious tools. There's also a good deal of evidence to show that drug prohibition is based partially on cultural intolerance. One can find plenty of references to traditional cultures, shamanism, etc. in which drugs were important. One can also find plenty of scare stories in the early part of the last century about "drug-crazed" minorities running wild in the street with axes and stuff.

Of course, a lot of our traditional, mainstream views are based upon motivations and reasoning that haven't been examined. I don't think the average anti-drug crusader is aware of the historical and cultural baggage that comes with the Drug War. Nonetheless, it exists.

On the Internet, anyone can accuse you of being a dog.
[ Parent ]
Ancient Beliefs (1.33 / 15) (#56)
by Weembles on Thu Oct 09, 2003 at 10:20:22 AM EST

Ancient cultures believed in all sorts of weird things. Slavery, cannibalism, human sacrifice, totalitarian government, and a heap of other practices were held mystically important by peole at some point in history.

The question with drugs isn't whether someone at some point in history aproved of them, but whether in the light of modern experience they are good for society.

Toting out old chestnuts like 'ancient peoples used drugs for spiritual purposes' makes you sound like you just want to get high but don't want to admit it.

[ Parent ]

Hmmmm ... ancient cultures? (2.00 / 11) (#115)
by pyramid termite on Thu Oct 09, 2003 at 04:28:55 PM EST

Slavery,

The US 150 years ago believed in it. Does that make our Constitution invalid?

cannibalism, human sacrifice,

"This is my flesh, this is my blood." "He died for our sins ..." Are you sure that it's just ancient cultures that believe in (symbolic) cannibalism and human sacrifice?

totalitarian government,

I think you'd find that a significant minority in the US would be glad to see one here. Not to mention that there are other countries that currently have one and are considered modern ...

and a heap of other practices were held mystically important by peole at some point in history.

I would be interested to hear what the people of 3,000 would have to say about our primitive barbaric times.

The question with drugs isn't whether someone at some point in history aproved of them, but whether in the light of modern experience they are good for society.

I suggest you ask the medical and pharmacutical industries about that, then. And I'm not talking about purely medicinal drugs, but pscyhopharmalogical ones. It's interesting that drugs that "expand" consciousness (which isn't always such a great idea), like LSD, marijuana, and mescaline are illegal, yet drugs that constrict it, like Ritalin, Valium, Xanax, etc. etc. are so popular. And legal.

Toting out old chestnuts like 'ancient peoples used drugs for spiritual purposes' makes you sound like you just want to get high but don't want to admit it.

Yeah, those pitiful ancient people, using drugs for spiritual purposes, when they could have been using them to deny our shitty reality, or just get plain blotto instead. Who needs peyote rituals and the Eleusian Mysteries when you can just get a couple of kegs from the liquor store and get smashed, instead? Then you can run shrieking through the town and tear shit up. Wait a minute - hmmm, the ancient Greeks did that, too ... Just ask Euripides.

And, no, I don't want to get high. But thanks for asking.

On the Internet, anyone can accuse you of being a dog.
[ Parent ]
Ohhhhh, I'm a lumberjack. (1.10 / 10) (#129)
by FieryTaco on Thu Oct 09, 2003 at 06:13:12 PM EST

Slavery,

The US 150 years ago believed in it. Does that make our Constitution invalid?

Yes, which is why they updated it with the 13th Amendment in 1865. Except for the dumb fucks in Kentucky who waited until 1976 to ratify it, and the extra dumb fucks in Mississippi who still haven't ratified it.

[ Parent ]
That would be a better argument ... (2.00 / 7) (#136)
by pyramid termite on Thu Oct 09, 2003 at 06:42:17 PM EST

... if the 13th Amendment actually outlawed slavery. Read it carefully ...

On the Internet, anyone can accuse you of being a dog.
[ Parent ]
I don't get your point. (1.28 / 7) (#219)
by Weembles on Fri Oct 10, 2003 at 08:46:06 AM EST

I say that we shouldn't use random facts from the past as an infalible guide to the future... and you respond with a string of snide remarks implying that I support slavery and keg parties?

Are you sure you aren't already high?

[ Parent ]

How many drugs have you tried? (1.00 / 11) (#48)
by morkeleb on Thu Oct 09, 2003 at 07:33:23 AM EST

Later when he talks about nitrous, that doesn't change your perceptions either. It just feels cool for a couple seconds. Neither does coke or crystal. Heroin doesn't make you see weird shit and think differently either.

I've just experimented with the hippy shit, and don't have any experience with the other. Perhaps you could expand a little more on your wider experiences =)


"If I read a book and it makes my whole body so cold no fire can ever warm me, I know that is poetry." - Emily Dickinson
[ Parent ]
Spoken like someone whos never tried it... (1.33 / 9) (#66)
by kcidx on Thu Oct 09, 2003 at 12:01:20 PM EST

Later when he talks about nitrous, that doesn't change your perceptions either. It just feels cool for a couple seconds.

Um...obviously you have never done it.

Nitrous does a whole hell of a lot more than just "feel cool" for a couple of seconds.

Of course, if you have only tried it once, and barely got anything from it, thats understandable. Or maybe if you took a diluted dose at the dentist...but otherwise, you just don't know what you're talking about.

[ Parent ]

Maybe you tried something else... (none / 4) (#268)
by needless on Fri Oct 10, 2003 at 06:48:29 PM EST

Nitrous only lasts for about 30 seconds after you stop inhaling.  If you inhale pure nitrous for an extended amount of time, you'll eventually pass out and possibly twitch a bit afterwards.

In comparison to other drugs, I would say "feel cool" is a pretty accurate description.  Nitrous is pleasant, but far from a mind blowing experience.

[ Parent ]

Well.. (none / 0) (#375)
by kcidx on Wed Oct 22, 2003 at 03:13:12 PM EST

Just because it only lasts about 30 seconds, doesn't mean it's not mind blowing if you do it right. Obviously you haven't.

[ Parent ]
Perception vs. senses. (1.36 / 11) (#90)
by FieryTaco on Thu Oct 09, 2003 at 02:58:30 PM EST

Later when he talks about nitrous, that doesn't change your perceptions either. It just feels cool for a couple seconds. Neither does coke or crystal. Heroin doesn't make you see weird shit and think differently either.
One's perception is different than one's senses. Coke, meth, crack, etc. all change your perception without affecting your senses. Even alcohol changes your perceptions.

[ Parent ]
By his own argument (1.45 / 37) (#30)
by NaCh0 on Thu Oct 09, 2003 at 03:16:08 AM EST

He believes that the only laws that should exist are those which reinforce social culture

Me too.

And I happen to believe that an intoxicated and addicted culture is a bad one. That's why drugs should remain illegal.

--
K5: Your daily dose of socialism.

By your own argument (2.08 / 24) (#31)
by felixrayman on Thu Oct 09, 2003 at 03:21:03 AM EST

So of course you believe alcohol should be illegal, since that worked out so well the last time.

Call Donald Rumsfeld and tell him our sorry asses are ready to go home. Tell him to come spend a night in our building. - Pfc. Matthew C. O'Dell

[ Parent ]
The right thing vs. enforcability (1.06 / 29) (#33)
by NaCh0 on Thu Oct 09, 2003 at 03:41:57 AM EST

How clever of you. Let me try...

Murder is illegal and we all see how well that's working out.

--
K5: Your daily dose of socialism.
[ Parent ]

OK, you tried... (1.52 / 19) (#55)
by fn0rd on Thu Oct 09, 2003 at 10:02:12 AM EST

...and failed, in fairly pathetic fashion I might add. Try again?

--------------------------------------------------------------
This fatwa brought to you by the Agnostic Jihad
Death to the fidels!

[ Parent ]
Addiction, ok, Intoxicated, why? (1.55 / 18) (#45)
by SlashDread on Thu Oct 09, 2003 at 06:39:22 AM EST

Addiction can be seen as bad for social fabric. I say its a stretch really, but he.

Intoxication is merely another form of escapism or entertainment if you will.
Whats wrong with that?

"/Dread"

[ Parent ]

dear retard NaChO (1.04 / 24) (#62)
by phred on Thu Oct 09, 2003 at 11:02:57 AM EST

I'm not here on this planet just to be a part of your "culture." I don't even like your stupid ass. Go away.

[ Parent ]
Shit like this pisses me off (1.40 / 35) (#35)
by Log Off on Thu Oct 09, 2003 at 04:12:00 AM EST

What fucking idiot. Drug laws need to be changed, but fuckwits like this make pro-drugs people a laughing stock. Almost everything he says reads like it came straight out the mouth of a 14 year-old stoner who thinks that by listening to Linkin Park and wearing black eye shadow he is 'fighting the system'.

So the government wants to control our minds by banning drugs. Whatever dude.

Perhaps... (1.73 / 15) (#40)
by SamBC on Thu Oct 09, 2003 at 06:05:38 AM EST

But you have to take such comments in context. The fact they are usually made my weirdo teenage wannabes doesn't make the points invalid - just when they make them. It's good that this point of view is expressed by a more respected individual, as otherwise it would be ignored, and all points of view are useful when forming a balanced opinion,

Sam

[ Parent ]

> Whatever dude. (1.00 / 11) (#44)
by Xiol on Thu Oct 09, 2003 at 06:36:19 AM EST

But that's what the government want you to think.


-- The Quote Machine
[ Parent ]
Hooray! (1.17 / 29) (#41)
by Dinner Is Served on Thu Oct 09, 2003 at 06:20:27 AM EST

More paranoid, pro-drug citizens who argue legalization while they're finishing up the last of that quarter. "Yeah, man, it's all about Alternate Realities. I'm tellin' you, dude. Take George Washington for example..."

It's really sad to see someone of such prominent standing degrade over time, and then to finally churn out such idiotic ramblings. What he said will definitely bring about the reverse of his intentions, because it just confirms that most stoners can't make a sound logical argument that exists in this "dimension." It almost makes you think whether we should really be allowing people to smoke this.
--
While I appreciate being able to defend against would-be rapists who might suddenly drop in from the sky, I don't appreciate not being able to see the Northern Lights. -- mfk
He probably started those alt.* groups high..... (1.00 / 12) (#46)
by morkeleb on Thu Oct 09, 2003 at 06:53:58 AM EST

I don't think he's changed any. Government conspiracy freak that is also a computer geek and a stoner....hmmmm....that's not a combination that happens a lot now, is it ;) .


"If I read a book and it makes my whole body so cold no fire can ever warm me, I know that is poetry." - Emily Dickinson
[ Parent ]
Actually I think it's a stereotype (NT) (1.71 / 7) (#49)
by omghax on Thu Oct 09, 2003 at 07:56:15 AM EST



[ Parent ]
what bullshit (1.93 / 46) (#50)
by circletimessquare on Thu Oct 09, 2003 at 08:09:51 AM EST

i'm all for marijuana legalization... it's narcotic effects are similar to alcohol and it actually strikes me as somewhat racist our drug policies: how many young black men are languishing in prison because of a simple nonviolent drug conviction? the rich white kids just buy their way out with lawyers and connections.

however, you are smoking something a lot more powerful than weed if you believe that hard drugs- meth, cocaine, heroin, etc. are problems whose solutions lies in their becoming completely free of government intrusion.

wow. that's some cold, uncaring, oversimplification there.

look, folks, these hard drugs rot minds, steal lives, destroy families and communities.

i don't know why you cannot see this. with or without government intrusion/ societal demonification of these substances, this is what these substances have done, do right now, and will do, period. argue your way around that rock of gibraltar.

no, i am not spouting propaganda, i've seen it with my own 2 eyes. i used to work with heroin addicts and needle programs and drug education on the lower east side of manhattan in the early 1990s.

what amazes me is that you can probably say that most people posting and reading here on kuro5hin are usually affluent, upper middle class geeks. you have the free time to waste hours on a novel luxury like the internet and this site. not a balanced cross section of society here. i mean, just look at all the selfish upper middle class libertarian fucks who post here. what assholes!

a lot of you live in a world that is sheltered. you make up your moral worldview based on a complete ignorance of poverty and what it does to the human mind. drugs are an outlet for people who are in pain, who view their existence as pointless. it's a form of suicide on small degrees. this is not ecstacy raving i'm talking about or a great orgy by band members after a concert. for a lot of you upper middle class fucks, that's your idea of drug use. and you make your decisions based on that: "the man is just trying to keep us down and happy little sheep! fight the power dude! let us be free!"

if that is what it was really all about it would be that simple and you would be right.

but it's not, and you're not.

the real world effect of your attitude is that instead of helping people out of poverty, you are condoning their suicide by degrees with hard drugs. some understanding of human nature. some responsible morality you have there. more like teenage-level naivete about the reality of drugs.

explain to me the opium wars between england and china if something like heroin is just a harmless drug. if you don't see how a highly addictive and narcotic drug like heroin can destroy's people's lives, you really are suspending your disbelief in radical fashion.

hard drugs are "evil," and by that i mean dangerous to society, just like something like anthrax or plutonium is "evil." we can talk about mindless propaganda and the demonification of things like soft drugs and casual sex by the moralizing right wing assholes out there all you like, but that is not where i am coming from. the moral hypocrits out there demonify a lot of things which are perfectly ok in society, but i am not with them, and i am not talking about what they are talking about. i am talking abtou SPECIFICALLY hard drugs, so don't group me with them.

this is the truth dudes: hard drugs are "evil" in every sense of the word if you REALLY understand their full-specturm effects on society, not just what some upper midle class suburban teenage white fucks want to do with them when they party on the weekend.

face it folks: you can't just let everything be free in the world and let things just sort themselves out just because government intrusion in some things that smell like personal privacy gives you a headache. human nature is what it is. it's not pretty. some things really must be fought for the health of society, and to keep you away from a soul-stealing evil addiction.

none of you proposing a rosy world view about hard drugs has probably dealt with a giant monkey on your back like heroin addiction. what that monkey can be used for by evil people in the world who are not interested in your party hardy care free lifestyle. people who wish to turn you into worse slaves and zombies than the joy-killing right wing overmoralizers and ubercapitalists could ever do to you with their credit cards and crushing work days.

if you don't believe government should at least attempt to separate the "evil" things from the assholes in this world, then you are just irresponsible. simple as that. if you aren't actually an inexperienced teenager in the ways of the world if you believe hard drugs should be unregulated, then you certainly think like a teenager.

go ahead, find my position odious. i just think it's common sense if you have a real understanding of what these substances can do to real human beings in real human society, not in some fucking rosey thought experiment in your head.


The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

You're wrong (1.43 / 16) (#53)
by CaptainSuperBoy on Thu Oct 09, 2003 at 09:39:52 AM EST

Prohibition causes more damage than "hard" drugs.

--
jimmysquid.com - I take pictures.
[ Parent ]
wrong (1.57 / 14) (#54)
by circletimessquare on Thu Oct 09, 2003 at 09:43:33 AM EST

prohibition of soft drugs causes more damage than soft drugs

prohibition of hard drugs causes less damage than hard drugs


The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]

He's right, you know (1.56 / 16) (#57)
by banffbug on Thu Oct 09, 2003 at 10:21:41 AM EST

Have you ever seen how quickly someone can fall into a coke or heroin habit? Have you?

Have you ever seen how it deteriorates them, eats them?

However, not everyone falls. Some can indeed be recreational users, not addicts. Want to test your will? Purchase an 8-ball of coke and spread it out over one week. Now quit.

The article's argument touched on this - why completely ban a substance just because some fuck-ups can't handle it? There's plenty of other ppl who can, why ruin their party? It's your personal choice, right? Now, whatever you answer, ask the same questions about cigarettes, how they are not illegal.

Drug users know how damn good drugs can be. Chances are, they also know how bad they can be better than a non-user. Once all substances become a social - not a criminal - concern, uhmm.. shit .. things will be good.



[ Parent ]

Another aspect... (1.71 / 14) (#68)
by bgalehouse on Thu Oct 09, 2003 at 12:32:36 PM EST

So long as people want drugs of a certain type, there will be a market. So long as there is a market, there will be a supply.

It is perhaps impossible for to reach a state where nobody has any interest in hard drugs.

However, even today, nobody wants to be a drug addict, and if drug addicts were more common it seems entirely possible that society would develop even stronger personal aversions to such things. For example, an article a few months back in the Economist claimed that herion is out of style with the youth of the Netherlands - the herion addicts seem to be of an earlier generation.

The general principle, which I think applies to both people and societies, is that they will learn the fastest if they get to make their own mistakes. However, governments sometimes seem slow to get the picture, and one of their most common errors is to try to turn a tide of human activity by legislation. Unless you resort to extremely authoritarian methods, this tends to fail rather spectacularly.

[ Parent ]

thought experiment (2.30 / 26) (#58)
by fhotg on Thu Oct 09, 2003 at 10:26:14 AM EST

Only talking about heroin now. Right now, I can go three blocks further, wave with a 50 euro note and have a pack of H in a matter of minutes. I do not know exactly with what it is diluted, harmless or deadly toxic. I do not know it's actual quality, if it's better than I think, and I'm an addict who doesn't bother approching the right doage from below, it will kill me too.

There is a black market only for two reasons: A market, because there are addicts, and it's black because it's illegal.

Assume, I could go to the doc and tell him I am an H addict. Doc can verify this and objectively determine how much I need to function in society. That's right, H addicts can function perfectly well in society, work etc... as long as there are no supply problems. Most of those morphinists are doctors, of course. I get a prescription and buy for a reasonable price H of standartized quality in pharmacy. I am no burden on society, can work for my living and do not need to rob people or protitute myself.

Yes, H is EVIL, and my soul is dying, but that's also the case under the current scenario.

The black market of course collapses. Mafia makes less money. Nobody has any intention anymore to turn on non-addicts, b/c there is no money in it anymore.

Decriminalization doesn't mean to put up vending machines ! If the state really understands how evil these drugs are, I am expecting a more intelligent strategy to cut down on use and mitigate its effects than to chase homless little pushers with scarred veins.

Honestly, I can't help to consider that the law-makers cooperate with the drug-mafia, given their decisions.
~~~
Gitarren für die Mädchen -- Champagner für die Jungs

[ Parent ]

you're honest (1.68 / 16) (#64)
by circletimessquare on Thu Oct 09, 2003 at 11:15:21 AM EST

i cannot fault you for that

i think, much like the religious types talk about (and rarely deliver on) distinguishing between the sinner and the sin, it is of utmost importance in any drug policy- from the most liberal to the most conservative, to distinguish between the drug and the drug user.

the hard drug must be fought. the hard drug user must be cured. the drug user is a health problem, not a criminal problem. the drug is a criminal problem, not a health problem.

the problem i see with the decriminalization problem is that it seeks to solve a nonexistent problem: an end to the drug war.

there is no end to the drug war. it will wage forever. when/ if all drugs, even the hard ones, become decriminalized, the common paranoid delusions of society will be that the status quo powers use drugs to control the populace... much as we talk about credit cards and religion as opiates in socety and means to control the masses.

drugs? drugs are not freedom. if they are legalized, they merely become a stronger tool for control of people- far more powerful than anything out there right now you can point to as used to control people.

why people don't see that, i don't know.

i think what motivates the legalize drug problems is that it will solve the problem once and for all.

it will never solve the problem. drug use is a problem that was always with humanity, is with humanity, and will always be with humanity. you must always fight addiction, addiction to anything: money, video games, sex, and chemical drugs. you must fight for your mind to swim a few inches above it all, to have a meaning in existence, above the puruist of the profane. that is human existence: sacred and profane. good, bad, and ugly. you will never, ever, solve the problem of drugs. it is like fighting pedohilia: pedophilies will always be born and created through psychological variations in human development. and so they must always be fought. same with drugs.

the war on drugs is about MAINTENANCE OF SOCIETY. not something that will ever end, or ever be anything but a sad story of wasted human lives, whether drugs are legal, or illegal, it will always be a war, by government, or individuals.

how anyone can think of drugs as freedom is beyond me. it is a prison of the mind whose bars are thicker than any other evil in soceity you can imagine.

i have no idea why this escapes people.

i think it is hopeful naive teenage idealism about the war on drugs.

it will never end. it will always be sad. whether it is legal or not.

that's the truth folks.

The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]

Ideal worlds, etc. (1.18 / 11) (#80)
by nutate on Thu Oct 09, 2003 at 02:00:57 PM EST

I've known some addicts and have myself had troubles with substances, it's hard. But I've never thought the very real incarceration penalties that can and are brought about against users help anyone.

I'm not a tax-evading libertarian, and I recognize that hard drugs are in your words "evil" towards society. Yet I feel that a more hippocratically guided method of dealing with the menace of drugs would benefit society. It would stem the tide of persons (mainly young and poor) flowing into prison. Which in my eyes would be a positive thing. Laid off prison guards could work as rehab mentors, helping people out of the trouble they'd been in.

Sure, it'd be nice conceptually to have the FDA handle everything instead of the FDA, ATF, and DEA handling things that can go into our bodies. But you can't expect any society go from 0 to 1000 legal drug options on the market with any success. Reform is all about pacing and scheduling. Funneling current non-violent drug possession (w/o intent to distribute) offenders into treatment instead of prison would be a positive first start. One that is already being taken in some states.

The anger you have is rather palbable (or you're a good fiction writer) so I know you have strong opinions. I'd be interested to know what you feel about rollback of the Rockefeller Drug Laws for example? Is it that removing them without a support structure in place would be analgous to the globalization issue of removing trade restrictions before a country has a proper regulatory structure? Thanks for reading.

-Rich

[ Parent ]

well said ;-) (1.22 / 9) (#273)
by circletimessquare on Fri Oct 10, 2003 at 07:57:49 PM EST

you are 100% correct- we need more sympathy for the drug addicts... and less sympathy for the drugs themselves (dealers, growers, etc.)

The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]
wtf? (1.37 / 8) (#288)
by QuantumG on Fri Oct 10, 2003 at 11:05:30 PM EST

and less sympathy for the drugs themselves (dealers, growers, etc.)

Last time I looked it wasn't a dealer or a grower who was being cut up in a bowl and rolled into a joint. If you're going to post, at least make it intelligible.

Gun fire is the sound of freedom.
[ Parent ]

you know exactly what i am trying to say (nt) (1.22 / 9) (#291)
by circletimessquare on Fri Oct 10, 2003 at 11:21:33 PM EST



The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]
no, I don't (1.11 / 9) (#293)
by QuantumG on Sat Oct 11, 2003 at 12:19:35 AM EST

and I think that goes for everyone and, for that matter, everything that you say. We can't read your mind man, think about what you type before you hit the "Post" button.

Gun fire is the sound of freedom.
[ Parent ]
does that explain the score on my top level post? (1.00 / 9) (#297)
by circletimessquare on Sat Oct 11, 2003 at 03:17:15 AM EST

you can very well understand what i was trying to say, and if not, that reflects on your intelligence, not my typing


The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]
you're such a monkey (1.75 / 3) (#315)
by QuantumG on Sat Oct 11, 2003 at 06:58:23 PM EST

get a job.

Gun fire is the sound of freedom.
[ Parent ]
i'm not a monkey, i'm a troll (1.75 / 3) (#316)
by circletimessquare on Sat Oct 11, 2003 at 07:38:01 PM EST

and apparently, by the way you follow me around, you're my bitch

smooches honeybuns! xoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxox

LOL

The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]

follow you around.. (2.25 / 3) (#317)
by QuantumG on Sat Oct 11, 2003 at 07:44:16 PM EST

pfft, who's story are you posting in? You're my bitch.

Gun fire is the sound of freedom.
[ Parent ]
welcome to my world ;-) (none / 2) (#331)
by circletimessquare on Sun Oct 12, 2003 at 12:27:59 PM EST

http://www.kuro5hin.org/story/2003/9/12/34758/2640

The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]
Take a breath (1.20 / 5) (#222)
by spasticfraggle on Fri Oct 10, 2003 at 09:14:30 AM EST

how anyone can think of drugs as freedom is beyond me

Most people don't. Perhaps you are thinking of the freedom to take drugs.

If you don't have the freedom to make the wrong choice, you don't have any freedom at all.

--
I'm the straw that broke the camel's back!
[ Parent ]

a rational argument for legalization (2.10 / 20) (#61)
by calimehtar on Thu Oct 09, 2003 at 10:52:19 AM EST

I do agree with you, and that's why I'm posting a reply and not starting my own thread. A big problem is that people on neither side of the debate are telling the truth.

Users of ecstacy claim it's harmless, we know that it has been used with some success in psychotherapy. The government, with the assistance of a flawed scientific study, claimed that it causes Parkinson's. We know that's not true but we do know that people die on ecstacy quite a bit.

It's worth noting that caffeine and alcohol can also kill you if you overdose.

A rational argument in favour of legalization goes something like this: The cost, in both lives and dollars, does not excuse the war on drugs particularly since it hasn't had a noticeable effect on drug use.

It's plausible that the illegal nature of the drug trade is precisely the origin of social problems, especially gang violence, related to drugs. If drugs were legal, they could be regulated and the price would go down. Inner city youth would have find other tickets out of the slum... like education and basketball.

If you want to hurt yourself, that should be your own problem. As far as I know cars, guns, oven cleaner, bridges, and other leading causes of death are all still legal in most states.

The most ration argument against legalization is that be legalizing, say, ecstacy the government is tacitly encouraging it's use. And furthermore, all recreational drugs feel so good that a lot of people would suddenly find them impossible to resist. I believe this is not true, that education about the risks of drug use, regulation of their sale, and above all common sense would prevail. Unfortunately the few places we can point to (Amsterdam's Red Light District) as examples are so rare and condensed that they can be demonstrated to be huge draws for drug users and can therefore not be expected to illustrate the effects of legalization on a normal society.

+++

Let heaven exist, though my place be in hell. Let me be outraged and annihilated, but for one instant, in one being, let Your enormous [ Parent ]

the war on drugs (1.88 / 17) (#65)
by circletimessquare on Thu Oct 09, 2003 at 11:39:30 AM EST

the problem i see with the decriminalization problem is that it seeks to solve a nonexistent problem: an end to the drug war.

there is no end to the drug war. it will wage forever. when/ if all drugs, even the hard ones, become decriminalized, then the common paranoid delusions of society will come to see drugs as  the status quo tool that the powers-that-be use to control the populace... much as we talk about credit cards and religion and television as opiates in society and means to control the masses.

personal freedom is about freedom FROM drugs. not freedom to DO drugs. just because society says "drugs are bad" doesn't mean you should embrace them in common kneejerk fashion. it is simple teenage reverse psychology: if your parents say "don't jump off that cliff" most teenagers will see jumping off the cliff as a point of pride. teenage psychology. jumping off the cliff is still bad for you teenager. duh. same with drugs. teenage psychology drives the whole war on drugs argument.

drugs? drugs are not freedom. if they are legalized, they merely become a stronger tool for control of people- far more powerful than anything out there right now you can point to as used to control people. credit cards. the opiate of money. religion. the opiate of cheapened whorish spirituality. television. visual opiate you can lose hours of your life vegetating in front of.

why people don't see drugs as just a stronger potential for control by the haves over the havenots, i don't know.

i think what motivates the legalize drug people is that they think legalizing drugs will solve the drug problem once and for all.

bullshit.

the problem just gets shifted around, from societal fight, to a personal fight. evil people will push opiates on you, addict you, and control you like a slave. that's what y'all talk about when you talk about tv, money, religion right now, right? how come you don't see that if drugs are legalized the same language will be used then about drugs?! duh!

society makes drugs illegal because it ACTUALLY CARES ABOUT YOUR HEALTH.

imagine that! but of course, this flies against the tired party line of society trying to control you. whatever. drugs are the most powerful tool for control ever, and they are made illegal by a freedom loving society, and you don't see it. amazing.

ending the SOCIETAL war on drugs will never solve the problem, it will just shift it to a PERSONAL war on drugs, and the weak amongst us will immediately succumb. and this is superior to a society-wide war on drugs? i thought us strong were supposed to care for the weak, no? don't you care about drug addicts? do you deny they exist? do you walk over them in the street? their existence is solely the province of the governmental ban on drugs? that if they are legalized, the addict on the street will suddenly disappear? ARE YOU SERIOUS???

drug use is a problem that was always with humanity, is with humanity right now, and will always be with humanity. you must always fight addiction, addiction to anything: money, video games, pornography, television, the internet, food, and chemical drugs. of course you indulge in life! life is not the life of an ascetic monk. but neither is life the life of a street addict. i love my porn! but am i going to wank off all day in my room to porn and have no life outside that? woudl you not then view me as an addict? how about an arguemnt for a life of balance? life is in between addiction and meaning. addiciton is meaningless, a trap, a prison. life is moderation between the sacred and the profane. we all fight with demons of addiction to one thing or another. the war is always fought, on a society level and a personal level. it is just that when it comes to addiction to chemical drugs, it makes more sense ot wage the war on a society level than a personal level because the stakes are greater and more tragic and depressing on a personal level. better we stand together and fight the HUGELY addicting things out there, than have that HUGELY addiciting chemical substances bear down on us individually, one by one, with no support, until we succumb to it's weight.

you must fight for your mind to swim a few inches above it all, to have a meaning in existence, above the pursuit of the profane. that is human existence: sacred and profane. good, bad, and ugly. how you somehow marry the fight to free drugs as something noble, and not what it is: letting a huge evil do it's damage on the weak amongst us, is beyond me. you are not fighting for freedom when you fight for an end to the society-level war on drugs, you merely shift it to a personal-level war on drugs, and make more people less free! the fight for freedom is a fight AGAINST the prison of drugs, not for them to be free to do their ravaging on the weak amongst us! where is your heart!?

you will never, ever, solve the problem of drugs. it is like fighting pedophilia: pedophiles will always be born and created through psychological variations in human development. and so they must always be fought. it's simple statistical background noise: pedophiles will pop into existence in low percentages and must be extinguished for their evil. but because we will ALWAYS be fighting pedophiles should not fill your heart with sorrow. it doesn't mean you legalize NAMBLA. what it means is you grow the fuck up and realize that in the REAL world, some wars, some acts of maintenance in society will ALWAYS rage to maintain civilization. the war on pedophilia? the same with drugs. why can't you see that? life is good bad and ugly. you see the ugliness of societ'ys making drugs illegal. you see the crime it creates. but you are blind to the greater ugliness and crime against ourselves in our hearts that will exist if drugs are legalized. the war doesn't go awya, it just shifts, to greater tragic effect if drugs are legalized.

the war on drugs is about MAINTENANCE OF SOCIETY. not something that will ever end, or ever be anything but a sad story of wasted human lives, whether drugs are legal, or illegal, it will always be a war, by government, or individuals.

how anyone can think of drugs as freedom is beyond me. it is a prison of the mind whose bars are thicker than any other evil in society you can imagine, and if legalized, becomes a mechanism of social control stronger than any other usual suspects you can point to: religion, television, money, etc. look at the assholes who get drunk every day. look at them and their wasted lives. and you want to let free the more addicting harder drugs on society? so you want less freedom? more wasted lives?

i just don't get it.

i have no idea why this escapes people.

i think what drives the legalize hard drugs brigade is nothing but hopeful naive teenage idealism about true human nature. it's as if you guys somehow see human nature as nicer than what it really is.

the war on drugs?

it will never end. it will always be sad. whether it is legal or not, just means it will be on a society-wide or personal level.

that's the truth folks, sorry to tell you. don't shoot the messenger.


The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]

naive idealism (1.64 / 14) (#70)
by calimehtar on Thu Oct 09, 2003 at 12:42:21 PM EST

i think what drives the legalize hard drugs brigade is nothing but hopeful naive teenage idealism about true human nature. it's as if you guys somehow see human nature as nicer than what it really is.

The alternative you seem to be pushing is the naive belief that humans are incurably evil. I'm willing to tolerate a little destructive addiction if it means that my government isn't spending billions to kill people, destroy crops etc on the other side of the world, and continuing to lock away a larger and larger purportion of the population in prisons.

Sure, it's choosing the lesser of two evils... drugs kill people and ruin lives but so do overzealous cops and criminal records. We're already victims of a government-sponsored propaganda war, and maybe legalizing drugs won't change that.

But you have yet to show me any significant way life is better with a war on drugs. Yeah, I don't like hanging out on Toronto 'bad side of town' where all the crack whores are. I've been to Amsterdam's Red Light district and, frankly, it's just as seedy (probably seedier, if there's any absolute scale of seediness) but feels a lot safer. The cops in the Red Light District (and there are a lot of them) are clearly there to protect, not as one side in an escalating war.

+++

Let heaven exist, though my place be in hell. Let me be outraged and annihilated, but for one instant, in one being, let Your enormous [ Parent ]

this is the truth (1.45 / 11) (#120)
by circletimessquare on Thu Oct 09, 2003 at 05:31:30 PM EST

the negative side effects of the war on hard drugs are less potent and evil than the negative side effects of legalizing hard drugs

i'm talk crank, crack, dope

not weed, weed should be legal

but you cannot with good conscience allow people to get their hands on something like heroin with no constraints

that is without a doubt completely irresponsible and stupid

i do not know why you cannot appreciate the need to fight hard drugs- forever

that is less evil than any other alternative

The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]

Too late (1.71 / 7) (#167)
by scruffyMark on Thu Oct 09, 2003 at 11:05:16 PM EST

you cannot with good conscience allow people to get their hands on something like heroin with no constraints

They already are, and will be no matter what. Until they put a cop in every single house in the country (an incorruptible cop, mind, one free from temptation and himself impervious to addiction), that will not change.

Legalizing drugs would likely make it harder for children to get them, but junkies will get heroin no matter what.

do not know why you cannot appreciate the need to fight hard drugs- forever

Hooray for fighting hard drugs! Now, let's take addicts, and put them in an environment of concentrated violence and nastiness and drug abuse for a few years, where conditions are so miserable that it's even more difficult than ever to quit drugs. Then, let's put people who haven't yet fallen to drugs, and put them in there with the junkies and submit them to the same misery (they'd never take up drugs themselves, would they?)

Yeah, that'll do it, sure...

[ Parent ]

Whatever (1.11 / 9) (#170)
by felixrayman on Thu Oct 09, 2003 at 11:13:31 PM EST

Take a fucking valium dude, you talk too much. Jesus Christ. Where's the fucking ignore button.

Call Donald Rumsfeld and tell him our sorry asses are ready to go home. Tell him to come spend a night in our building. - Pfc. Matthew C. O'Dell

[ Parent ]
hey asshole (1.00 / 5) (#173)
by circletimessquare on Thu Oct 09, 2003 at 11:27:50 PM EST

you don't have to read me

you dislike me? fine! no problem! DON'T FUCKING READ MY COMMENTS

yet you go out of your way to respond to me

how pathetic

you obviously have some sort of psychological need to be an asshole which is more important to you than ignoring me

the ignore button? it's right next to the "let me type insults instead of ignoring circletimessquare" button you keep pushing in your brain instead

you're such a fucking asswipe


The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]

Whoa (1.00 / 6) (#174)
by felixrayman on Thu Oct 09, 2003 at 11:29:55 PM EST

Better make it two valiums, freak-boy.

Call Donald Rumsfeld and tell him our sorry asses are ready to go home. Tell him to come spend a night in our building. - Pfc. Matthew C. O'Dell

[ Parent ]
sure thing fan boy (1.12 / 8) (#176)
by circletimessquare on Thu Oct 09, 2003 at 11:40:00 PM EST

are you enjoying the jerk off i'm giving you tonight honey?

anything else you feel the need to ejaculate all over sweet buns?

xoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxox


The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]

Good work, Smeagol (1.00 / 6) (#183)
by felixrayman on Fri Oct 10, 2003 at 12:05:07 AM EST

Any time I can write a post that keeps your response under four lines, I consider it a victory. That's about as close as anyone comes to shutting the shit-spewing hole that is your mouth.

Call Donald Rumsfeld and tell him our sorry asses are ready to go home. Tell him to come spend a night in our building. - Pfc. Matthew C. O'Dell

[ Parent ]
you love me (none / 3) (#198)
by circletimessquare on Fri Oct 10, 2003 at 03:23:31 AM EST

you really love me, the way you follow me around

keep it up bitch, every troll needs a fan base

smooches! ;-) xoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxox


The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]

You almost had me convinced... (1.20 / 5) (#292)
by causticmtl on Fri Oct 10, 2003 at 11:49:29 PM EST

... until you made that comment, and I quote:

look at the assholes who get drunk every day

You see, I am an asshole who gets drunk every day. I have a job, a girlfriend, a cat, I play in two bands and I use Linux. I have travelled all of North America numerous times on tour. I am well-paid and although I may not have many friends the ones that I have (I can count them on two hands) I have kept for over fifteen years. I can think of *a lot* of lives that I would consider "wasted" besides my own.

What's my point? Stop with the ones and zeroes, the black and white. Life simply isn't like that. Anyone who sits there with a straight face and starts going on about some hard and fast rule that they're applying to the world around them like "drugs are bad" or "drunks are assholes" is an idiot.

Everything must be judged on a case-by-case basis. If you haven't got the time to get the facts to make an informed judgement, shut the fuck up. Your lame-assed dogma only furthers your ignorance and I'm not particularly interested in reading your bile - in fact neither are are most of the "drunk assholes" or pot-smoking assholes, I am sure.

[ Parent ]
I realize this is feeding the troll, but... (1.42 / 14) (#77)
by Matadon on Thu Oct 09, 2003 at 01:25:50 PM EST


look, folks, these hard drugs rot minds, steal lives, destroy families and communities.

The problem is, you can't prove this assertion; we don't know what the social effects of hard-drug use are, because we've never studied the use of said drugs when they weren't illegal.  Sure, you can point to all kinds of wonderful government-sponsored statistics that say ninety percent of heroin users get AIDS, but this doesn't prove that heroin is responsible for the problem, because this type of statistic completely ignores several important factors, like the fact that it is quite difficult to obtain clean needles for the purpose of self-injection without a prescription.  This, of course, promotes the spread of blood-bourne pathogens among those that choose to share needles.

I don't know of one study on illegal drug use that the government has ever conducted and released to the public that wasn't grossly biased or misleading in some fashion.  If you can point me to one which uses quantitative measurements and proper scientific process (e.g., a control group and removal of spurious dependent factors), I'd be most appreciative.

Until that time, your claim is simply invalid, because you have no evidence to back it.


i don't know why you cannot see this. with or without government intrusion/ societal demonification of these substances, this is what these substances have done, do right now, and will do, period. argue your way around that rock of gibraltar.

Again, evidence, ma petit.  


no, i am not spouting propaganda, i've seen it with my own 2 eyes. i used to work with heroin addicts and needle programs and drug education on the lower east side of manhattan in the early 1990s.

Your personal experience is not evidence, for the same reason that my experiene with a few rude Russians does not justify the labling of all Russians as being rude.  Second, you are overlooking the fact that the problems which you observed may, and likely do, have a seperate cause, one which is at best orthogonally related to hard drug use.


the real world effect of your attitude is that instead of helping people out of poverty, you are condoning their suicide by degrees with hard drugs. some understanding of human nature. some responsible morality you have there. more like teenage-level naivete about the reality of drugs.

Come, come, ad hominem is valid only in the sixth grade.


explain to me the opium wars between england and china if something like heroin is just a harmless drug. if you don't see how a highly addictive and narcotic drug like heroin can destroy's people's lives, you really are suspending your disbelief in radical fashion.

The Opium wars occurred because the British wanted in on a very lucrative trade.  Sure, the trade was lucrative because the substance involved was highly addictive, but don't lay the blame for the war upon the feet of a mere chemical; lay the blame on those who wanted to use it to exploit others (the British).  Economic exploitation is often the reason for a war; look at the American Revolution, World War II, and our own little Iraq war for similar examples.


face it folks: you can't just let everything be free in the world and let things just sort themselves out just because government intrusion in some things that smell like personal privacy gives you a headache. human nature is what it is. it's not pretty. some things really must be fought for the health of society, and to keep you away from a soul-stealing evil addiction.

Everything except the last sentence in that paragraph is completely correct.  No rules equates to total freedom, which equates to anarchy; rules are required to make a society function.  Note that second-to-last word: society.  Why?

A society is a group of individuals.  If we didn't need to interact with other humans at all, then we'd have no need for rules, either.  We could do something stupid and Darwinize ourselves, or spend all our time having sex with trees, and it wouldn't matter, because the only person we'd be affecting would be ourselves.  Since we don't all live in our own little worlds, though, we have to make rules that govern how people interact, and concordantly, these rules should have absolutely no bearing on the actions of an individual that have no direct consequences to other members of a society.  Doubly so when that society calls itself, 'free'.

In short: I can't shoot other people, but I can shoot myself if I so choose.  That's the barest definition of a free society; there are certainly rules and limits, but they do not apply to what I do to myself.

Ok, done feeding the troll, back to work.

--
"There's this thing called being so open-minded your brains drop out." — Richard Dawkins.
[ Parent ]

You don't get it (1.18 / 11) (#98)
by ph317 on Thu Oct 09, 2003 at 03:35:50 PM EST


While I'm generally on the side of legalization, the guy you're responding to is more correct than you are.  Until you've actually been addicted to a very hard drug, or been very close with someone as they fell down that path, it's hard to understand what he's trying to convey.  It's not just about AIDS rates, criminal records for use that lead to not having a job, etc...   Those types of things you can of course argue are a legalization problem rather than a direct drug problem.  It's the other issues that make the drug inherently bad.  Even if it were legal, even if there were no crime surrounding it.

When you take something like crystal meth, or heroine, it's not like smoking pot or any other relatively harmless drug.  Hell, even straight Cocaine is recreational and easy-going other than the addictive part.  The truly hard drugs are extremely self-destructive to the user.  People doing meth are killing themselves peice by peice and they know it.  People with IQs of 140 become clinical morons in a matter of months on meth, I've seen it happen.  They stop using for a month and they still can't even coherently form thoughts.  And it's not some shocking thing.  Deep down inside the people taking these drugs know what they're doing - it's just suicide for those to weak to pull a trigger.  It's their escape method from whatever they feel is their unwinnable life situation.

In short, you do need to seperate hard from soft.  You do need to seperate recreational fun drug usage from hardcore self destruction.  They are very different things.

[ Parent ]

On the contrary. (1.20 / 10) (#110)
by Matadon on Thu Oct 09, 2003 at 04:22:23 PM EST

I think I do get it.  I think I've known more drug addicts than you ever will, and although I'm completely clean now, I went on quite the bender when I was an angst-filled teenager; and I do mean quite the bender -- at least five of my good friends were dealers, and always managed to find some 'overstock' which they could give me for free.  So I was, more-or-less, a junkie for about a year when I was sixteen.

Courtesey of all of that, as well as my odd ability to make some bizarre friends, I've known quite a number of drug addicts throughout the years. Probably half of these have destroyed their lives through their addictions to various substances, from herion, to methamphetamines, to good old-fashioned alcohol. On the flip side, I know an equally large number of people who have drug habits of dubious legality, while at the same time being productive, happy members of society.  We're talking doctors and lawyers here; not burger-flippers and janitors.  Hell, the few DEA agents I used to know indulged on a more-than-regular basis, and I got the impression that a very large percentage of those dedicated to fighting the "war on drugs" are themselves users of the more nefarious substances listed on Schedule-I.

Too much hypocrisy and inconsistency for my tastes, thank you.

If someone is out to destroy themselves through addiction, than no law can stop them; you can't protect people from themselves.  Sure, you can educate people on the dangers of doing $FOO, but there will always be those who find new and interesting ways to hit rock bottom as fast as they possibly can.  It's as moronic to blame the chemicals themselves as it is to blame handguns for murders; look at the people, not at the tools they use.

--
"There's this thing called being so open-minded your brains drop out." — Richard Dawkins.
[ Parent ]

personal differences (none / 5) (#299)
by m a r c on Sat Oct 11, 2003 at 04:35:21 AM EST

Courtesey of all of that, as well as my odd ability to make some bizarre friends, I've known quite a number of drug addicts throughout the years. Probably half of these have destroyed their lives through their addictions to various substances, from herion, to methamphetamines, to good old-fashioned alcohol. On the flip side, I know an equally large number of people who have drug habits of dubious legality, while at the same time being productive, happy members of society.

I think an important point to be made is that individuals react to drugs differently. Even considering hard drugs such as heroin, not every user becomes an abuser. With drugs its just as important how a person comes to the drug as the drug to the person. Drugs have a powerful effect on the human psych, one which every individaul cannot handle. To blame the drug is to blame the catalyst of their reaction.

To me the importance of the whole drug issue is because of its complete control over perceived reality. Your truth is determined by your perception and in turn your perception by your brain chemistry. The fact that your perception can be altered so drastically by drugs and the realisation that we experience relative truths in existence strikes at the heart of whatever initial assumption we may make about life.

Oh you think that what you perceive without drugs is some form of true reality? On the contrary you are viewing reality with brain chemicals that nature has determined give you the best chance of survival. This is only one set of glasses through which to view the world.
I got a dog and named him "Stay". Now, I go "Come here, Stay!". After a while, the dog went insane and wouldn't move at all.
[ Parent ]

not every user becomes an abuser (none / 2) (#314)
by QuantumG on Sat Oct 11, 2003 at 06:57:47 PM EST

That's your government supplied education talking. People in other parts of the world don't immediately associate drug use with abuse. The vast majority of drug users don't become abusers.

Gun fire is the sound of freedom.
[ Parent ]
Don't put words in my mouth (none / 0) (#367)
by ph317 on Wed Oct 22, 2003 at 11:03:30 AM EST


I never said I supported the war on drugs.  I'm just combatting the notion that they are recreational and funloving.  Some are, some aren't.  I'm liberterian though, I think you have the right to destroy yourself.  

[ Parent ]
No delusions here (1.76 / 17) (#101)
by pyro9 on Thu Oct 09, 2003 at 03:41:51 PM EST

Your primary argument is that 'hard' drugs are bad because they destroy lives. They are used by the poor to anestitize themselves for a time from the suffering and hopelessness that poverty brings. That they in effect commit suicide in small doses.

That much is true. However, I fail to see how locking them up in prison, bruitalizing them a bit, then tossing them back into the streets where they'll never get a decent job (in part due to the 'scarlet letter' of a felony conviction) substantially improves their situation. Wouldn't they be better off with counciling, medical care, and a job program (substantially cheaper than jailing them anyway).

In addition, if ALL drugs were legal FOR ADULTS, availability to kids would be substantially reduced. As it stands, just selling at all is a felony, there's little additional deterrance for selling to minors.

For any ill effect of drugs on a person you can point out, it's simple logic to see that that effect PLUS the ill effects of going to jail will be worse for the person rather than better.

At least with the war on drugs called off, we can see an end to drug wars, and dealers recruiting minors to man the street corners. With the legal stigma removed, perhaps some of the people caught up a detrimental dependance on drugs can seek help.

As a side note, I must also point out that because of the illegal nature of drugs, we tend to only see the most dysfunctional drug users. A drug user who isn't dysfunctional will be able to successfully hide their use. It seems quite likely that like alcohol and gambling, the vast majority who partake come out of it reletivly unharmed and so, unnotioced.


The future isn't what it used to be
[ Parent ]
True (1.63 / 11) (#114)
by epepke on Thu Oct 09, 2003 at 04:25:36 PM EST

However, herion and other opiates and cocaine and amphetamines are not usually described as mind-altering drugs. They're mood-altering. That's one of the reasons that they are so addictive: they are anaologues for brain chemicals that regulate mood, and after a while, the brain cuts back on making its own chemicals due to regulatory mechanisms.

Some drugs, such as marijuana and alcohol and nicotine, do both. Marijuana, however, does not appear to work like an analogue drug. Alcohol is physically addictive for a quite different reason, because the presence of alcohol interferes with glucose metabolism. You do need an awful lot, but for a serious alcoholic undergoing withdrawal, ingesting any carbohydrates can cause irreversible nerve damage unless massive amounts of B vitamins are given first. Nicotine appears to improve cognitive function, but it also affects dopamine. Hallucinogenic mushrooms appear to induce "serotonin sickness," much like an overdose of Prozac. But serotonin is also involved in visual perception.

Not that I buy any of this stuff about mind-expanding drugs; that's just so much 60's bullshit. If you want to expand your mind, study relativity and quantum mechanics, experience a lot of art, music, and theatre, and read a lot.


The truth may be out there, but lies are inside your head.--Terry Pratchett


[ Parent ]
hrm (1.37 / 8) (#157)
by Wah on Thu Oct 09, 2003 at 08:55:25 PM EST

Not that I buy any of this stuff about mind-expanding drugs; that's just so much 60's bullshit.

Not if you are from the 50's.

Seriously.  Much of that argument comes from  the fact that the "60's" was the first time people gathered in large groups, did drugs, and had a frickin' blast.

It's been happening in this country since that time.  The mind was expanded, and our country's culture is better for it.    

IMHO.
--
kewpie
[ Parent ]

Let's examine this bullshit first (2.18 / 16) (#121)
by pyramid termite on Thu Oct 09, 2003 at 05:37:15 PM EST

however, you are smoking something a lot more powerful than weed if you believe that hard drugs- meth, cocaine, heroin, etc. are problems whose solutions lies in their becoming completely free of government intrusion.

Well, if government intrusion was effective, why do we still have this problem then? Just in the next county over from mine, Allegan, the Sheriff's Dept. has taken to calling people at random and asking if they smell anything funny near their house or know any meth users. (Like, I'm sure, the average meth user is going to answer those questions honestly.) This reeks of desperation to me - they can't patrol down every county road effectively enough to pin down all the cooking sheds, especially with the budget crunch, they can't get enough people calling the tip line, undercover work's damn near impossible in small towns and townships because all the users KNOW each other from high school and so they're reduced to calling names out of the phone book and asking, "Hey, seen any meth labs?"

And if they catch a cooker, all his customers pony up the bail. Can't imagine why, can you?

Meanwhile, here in Kalamazoo County the Sheriff says he's going to reduce bed space due to the inability of the county to afford adequate staffing. His orders to the deputies? "No more looking for people with bench warrants. We don't take wanted people in from other jurisdictions. If they're driving on a suspended license, we'll have to release them. If they're violent, we'll keep them - otherwise ..." So, your average meth or coke head or dealer's got a free hand as long as he can make bail. The cops aren't going to look for him - they can't afford it and don't have a place to put them anyway.

The only way we'll be able to afford prohibition is if we increase taxes. That roar you just heard was thousands and thousands of taxpayers saying, "HELL, NO!!" It ain't going to happen - so what we're stuck with is half-assed prohibition, half-assed enforcement and full-assed addiction and misery.

It's time to try something else. Get the cops out of the drug business and get someone else into the treatment business.

look, folks, these hard drugs rot minds, steal lives, destroy families and communities.

Sure. So does that nice shiny rack of liquor bottles at the local bar and that flashing neon sign at your local Indian Reservation Casino, not to mention all the pretty pieces of paper in the plastic rack on the C-store counter that you can WIN WIN WIN BIG with. Addiction is big business, guy, and government's into it with both grubby hands. And get this - with the illegal drugs like heroin, they can help fund their pals in Afghanistan who don't like the puritanical, anti-drug Taliban AND they can import the drugs here to keep the lower class riff-raff too stoned to start real social strife. Same thing goes for coke.

They really hate meth and pot, though - no way for the government to make money and influence foreign affairs with it.

what amazes me is that you can probably say that most people posting and reading here on kuro5hin are usually affluent, upper middle class geeks.

Yeah, well, you're now being replied to by a Midwestern factory rat who lives in a trailer park. I know the score, friend.

the real world effect of your attitude is that instead of helping people out of poverty, you are condoning their suicide by degrees with hard drugs.

Come on, circle, who's responsible here? The addict is, isn't he? You've treated them, I've lived with and known them. You know as well as I do that the only way an addict is going to quit is if he makes up his mind that, "Today, damn it, I'm not going to use". And if they don't, then neither you or I are going to stop them - and you could tomorrow wave a magic wand and get rid of all the hard drugs in the country forever and many of them would end up drinking themselves into the gutter instead. Yeah, lock them up then - and watch as the guards look the other way as drugs are smuggled into the prison and watch as they get out, tell themselves "I ain't doing that crack no more" and get shit-faced drunk instead.

No, circle, the government can't fix it for us by prohibition - the only way it can be fixed is by going to one addict at a time, persuading them that they ARE addicts and persuading them and teaching them how not to use. Yeah, that's impossibly hard, but it's the only way. No short cuts here - looking for short cuts is how people get addicted in the first place. Including those sleazy control addicts in our government.

if you don't believe government should at least attempt to separate the "evil" things from the assholes in this world, then you are just irresponsible. simple as that.

And if you don't believe that an overzealous and wrongheaded government can't be one of the evil things we need to be seperated from, then you are dangerously naive. Who introduced LSD to Ken Kesey? Who was well connected with the Golden Triangle opium growers in the 60s and 70s and the Afghans in the 80s and 90s? Who was well connected with the coke cartels of Colombia? Sections of our government, that's who.

The sooner you realize that the government's fighting on BOTH sides of the drug war, the sooner you'll realize what a foolish tragedy it really is.

On the Internet, anyone can accuse you of being a dog.
[ Parent ]
meth is a hard drug? (1.10 / 10) (#193)
by auraslip on Fri Oct 10, 2003 at 02:33:13 AM EST

then your a pussy.
we feed that shit to school children.
herion?
my step dad has a bottle of it downstairs for his "pains".
___-___
[ Parent ]
No, we don't. (none / 5) (#202)
by jjayson on Fri Oct 10, 2003 at 04:08:36 AM EST

We give Ritalin to kids; that's methylphenidate. There is also Dexedrine -- dextroamphetamine. Neither one has quite the same effect as methamphetamine, and they are both noticably weaker.
_______
Smile =)
Given the culinary lineage of its former colonial masters, America's "theft" of other nation's cuisines is considered by mo
[ Parent ]
Yes we do (none / 5) (#255)
by Danzig on Fri Oct 10, 2003 at 02:15:20 PM EST

It is not nearly as common as Ritalin, Dexedrine, or Adderall, but methamphetamine is occasionally prescribed to ADD kids. Desoxyn is one of the brand names, but I do not know if that is the one they give to kids or not. According to one of the reports on Erowid it is, but Erowid is noticeably lax in verifying everything in a submitted report. The minimum age I have no idea; 16 is of course vastly different than 8. Still, it is prescribed in some cases to minors.

You are not a fucking Fight Club quotation.
rmg for editor!
If you disagree, moderate, don't post.
Kill whitey.
[ Parent ]
I also work in a needle exchange... (1.71 / 7) (#244)
by Space on Fri Oct 10, 2003 at 10:37:43 AM EST

I also work in a needle exchange and it's my opinion that a lot of the problems you described are symptoms of drug policies rather than the drugs inheriantly destructive nature. A lot of the problems you describe are symptoms of poverty rather than the drugs pharmacological effects. If drugs were legal one could reasonably expect them to be vastly cheaper and within the financial means of honest people irrespective of class.

Furthermore I believe even drug users with high volume habits are employable in low responsibility jobs.

It seems to me that the most irresponsible thing the government can do is what it's presently doing. Funneling unfathomable amounts of money into the pockets of the "evil" people you described by sustaining a lucrative black market while drug users and honest citizens suffer the panorama of social ills that accompany this black market.

I am adament that the present misguided and paternalistic drug policies are causing more harm to drug users and the wider community than the drugs themselves would if used responsibly.
<recycle your pets>
[ Parent ]

Why don't the victims sue the government? (none / 5) (#287)
by QuantumG on Fri Oct 10, 2003 at 11:03:01 PM EST

You get your VCR stolen by a junkie. The junkie trades it for some of his drug of choice and the dealer sells the VCR to a fence. The fence gets busted in a police sting operation and the VCR is returned to its owner (4 years later). It's the government's fault that the junkie stole his VCR. If the junkie's drug of choice were legal then it would be a reasonable price and he wouldn't be out breaking into people's homes to fund his habit. Why doesn't the owner of the VCR sue the government?

Gun fire is the sound of freedom.
[ Parent ]
Why not? (none / 1) (#321)
by pyramid termite on Sun Oct 12, 2003 at 12:17:44 AM EST

There have been several cases where various courts have ruled that the government is under no obligation to protect the people from criminal acts. Of course, that raises the question of what the purpose of our government is, doesn't it?

On the Internet, anyone can accuse you of being a dog.
[ Parent ]
uhhh.. it has nothing to do with protection.. (none / 0) (#348)
by QuantumG on Mon Oct 13, 2003 at 09:35:45 PM EST

it's that they caused the crime. They're just as responsible for it as the person who perpetrated it.

Gun fire is the sound of freedom.
[ Parent ]
OMG OMG OMG. (1.15 / 33) (#51)
by tkatchev on Thu Oct 09, 2003 at 08:22:52 AM EST

Resident geek and open-source libertarian thinks that drugs should be legal!

OMG!

Breaking news at eleven, or something.


   -- Signed, Lev Andropoff, cosmonaut.

Indeed (1.52 / 17) (#59)
by jmzero on Thu Oct 09, 2003 at 10:30:14 AM EST

And Rush Limbaugh - who uses OxyContin only to inspire his art - can be the new champion of the movement.

Honestly, I don't know what happens to society when "constant artificial pleasure" becomes a real, legal possibility.  Whether via a legalized drug or some sort of direct magnetic stimulation (or whatever else), this will come.  

What do I think of legalization now?  I think marijuana and LSD are a different story than cocaine and heroin.  Legalization may be right for the former set, it's a real gamble for the latter.
.
"Let's not stir that bag of worms." - my lovely wife

And your proof is??? (1.12 / 8) (#72)
by porkchop_d_clown on Thu Oct 09, 2003 at 01:02:43 PM EST

So far, the only evidence that Rush takes or deals OxyContin is a woman who sold her story to the Enquirer. When questioned, the local DA said that there was no evidence to prosecute. So, basically, what you just did was commit libel.

--
Heinz was quoted as saying: "But the sheep are so soft and wooley," immediately before he was put into custody.


[ Parent ]
Heh (none / 5) (#78)
by Politburo on Thu Oct 09, 2003 at 01:27:14 PM EST

Did you catch O'Reilly on Fresh Air yesterday and pick up some tips? While he may be incorrect, there's no need to go accusing anyone of anything. I'm sure you wouldn't have done the same if he said OJ killed his wife.

[ Parent ]
OJ was found guilty of wrongful death. (n/t) (none / 5) (#84)
by jjayson on Thu Oct 09, 2003 at 02:44:02 PM EST


_______
Smile =)
Given the culinary lineage of its former colonial masters, America's "theft" of other nation's cuisines is considered by mo
[ Parent ]
Wrong again. (1.33 / 9) (#87)
by ti dave on Thu Oct 09, 2003 at 02:54:46 PM EST

O.J. was found liable for a wrongful death. Get it right.

I'm almost drunk enough to go on IRC. ~Herring
[ Parent ]

Do you ever post anything useful? (n/t) (1.00 / 9) (#93)
by jjayson on Thu Oct 09, 2003 at 03:13:45 PM EST


_______
Smile =)
Given the culinary lineage of its former colonial masters, America's "theft" of other nation's cuisines is considered by mo
[ Parent ]
Yes. (1.41 / 12) (#102)
by ti dave on Thu Oct 09, 2003 at 03:52:22 PM EST

If you didn't learn the difference between a criminal verdict and a civil finding from my comment, then you're beyond help, you ignorant fucker.

I'm almost drunk enough to go on IRC. ~Herring
[ Parent ]

yeah (none / 5) (#88)
by Politburo on Thu Oct 09, 2003 at 02:55:04 PM EST

a civil charge, without reasonable doubt provisions.

[ Parent ]
Well (none / 3) (#169)
by felixrayman on Thu Oct 09, 2003 at 11:09:27 PM EST

Thank god OJ is free, maybe now he can help Bush track down the people who leaked that CIA agents name...

Call Donald Rumsfeld and tell him our sorry asses are ready to go home. Tell him to come spend a night in our building. - Pfc. Matthew C. O'Dell

[ Parent ]
Actually, I figure 12 people decided (none / 2) (#220)
by porkchop_d_clown on Fri Oct 10, 2003 at 08:52:59 AM EST

OJ didn't kill his wife, and they had access to more details than I did so... Yeah, I figure there's no reason to believe OJ was guilty.

--
Heinz was quoted as saying: "But the sheep are so soft and wooley," immediately before he was put into custody.


[ Parent ]
a guilty verdict would have caused a riot.. (none / 2) (#286)
by QuantumG on Fri Oct 10, 2003 at 10:58:43 PM EST

but I guess that's just a co-incidence.

Gun fire is the sound of freedom.
[ Parent ]
So, you're saying (none / 0) (#308)
by porkchop_d_clown on Sat Oct 11, 2003 at 05:08:14 PM EST

the government bought off the jury to prevent riots?

Any evidence?

--
Heinz was quoted as saying: "But the sheep are so soft and wooley," immediately before he was put into custody.


[ Parent ]
They didn't need to buy em off.. (none / 0) (#313)
by QuantumG on Sat Oct 11, 2003 at 06:55:57 PM EST

the people of LA knew what would happen if a "set up by the police" black man was let loose. The jury made the selfish decision.

Gun fire is the sound of freedom.
[ Parent ]
And you base this conclusion on.... what? (none / 0) (#319)
by porkchop_d_clown on Sat Oct 11, 2003 at 09:45:19 PM EST

What evidence do you have that the jury didn't?

--
Heinz was quoted as saying: "But the sheep are so soft and wooley," immediately before he was put into custody.


[ Parent ]
As a Canadian... (1.16 / 6) (#81)
by jmzero on Thu Oct 09, 2003 at 02:18:08 PM EST

...I don't ever see or hear Rush.  I really know little about him and not much of this affair.

Mostly I just thought it funny that Rush is being savaged now by the many of the same liberal-media-pundit-types that would like to legalize his alleged behavior.
.
"Let's not stir that bag of worms." - my lovely wife
[ Parent ]

No denial (none / 4) (#168)
by felixrayman on Thu Oct 09, 2003 at 11:07:49 PM EST

Has Rush denied being a fat fucking drug addicted sniveling fascist hypocritical piece of shit? I have yet to see him deny this charge. Use some common sense here, dude.

Call Donald Rumsfeld and tell him our sorry asses are ready to go home. Tell him to come spend a night in our building. - Pfc. Matthew C. O'Dell

[ Parent ]
Still libel now, asshole? (nt) (none / 2) (#267)
by Politburo on Fri Oct 10, 2003 at 05:49:29 PM EST



[ Parent ]
Reverse argument (2.07 / 27) (#60)
by GenerationY on Thu Oct 09, 2003 at 10:44:24 AM EST

Well this is nothing new as an argument. Every teenager has stumbled across this one. Casting aside real world concerns, a problem intrinsic to this view is that the converse is also true: Our government's control of drugs is really intended to control our citizens' mental states. If drugs were freely available, no doubt Gilmore (or others like him) would then pop up and say that the Government is controlling our mental states by allowing us to consume the drugs they tax and thus become apathetic, unlikely to avail themselves of their opportunities toward free speech and expression etc. There would be complaints that the government had finally struck upon a way of strongly restricting the actions of the majority. Theres been more than one bad science fiction novel taking this situation as a premise.

Not all the sci fi novels were bad (1.64 / 14) (#69)
by hawkestein on Thu Oct 09, 2003 at 12:37:18 PM EST

There's at least one good sci-fi novel on that topic: Brave New World. The population is kept sedated and happy on soma. Apparently, Huxley's view of drugs changed somewhat after writing Brave New World, once he got exposed to some that he liked. I have heard that his book "Island" portrays drug use in a more positive light, but I haven't read it. (My source for this info is "Rational Mysticism" by John Horgan).

[ Parent ]
Don't forget "Doors of Perception" (1.30 / 10) (#73)
by waxmop on Thu Oct 09, 2003 at 01:07:16 PM EST

Huxley recognized that psychoactive drugs are a powerful tool that can be used for enriching lives or for social control.
--
We are a monoculture of horsecock. Liar
[ Parent ]

not equivalent (none / 2) (#332)
by kubalaa on Sun Oct 12, 2003 at 12:50:24 PM EST

The converse would be a government that forbade non-drug-use. Freedom means maximizing your choices -- to choose to use or not use drugs as you desire.

[ Parent ]
Think about the causes for prohibition (2.46 / 39) (#63)
by CaptainSuperBoy on Thu Oct 09, 2003 at 11:11:18 AM EST

Just look at the poll. I know most people here are in favor of legalization to some extent, so why is nobody posting? All we have are a few fascist reactionaries and some wishy-washy "ehhhhh, well, maybe sooome drugs but certainly not craaaaack..." Post already, people.

Here you go: Gilmore is right, and other arguments are right too. If you think that drugs are strictly a public health question just look at the propaganda and racism that went into their prohibition. The turn of the century tyrants who made drugs illegal were wildly successful. Even today millions of people believe that any drug that affects your mind is inherently harmful.

Gilmore has a point about the positive effects of drugs. If all you read was government propaganda you'd be left thinking, why on earth would anybody use drugs in the first place? Just look at the government's list of short term effects of marijuana: problems with memory and learning, distorted perception (sights, sounds, time, touch), trouble with thinking and problemsolving, loss of motor coordination, and increased heart rate.

Gee, sounds great doesn't it? The question of whether drugs can be recreational or beneficial doesn't even enter into the debate - it's all about public health and harm. Then some kid tries marijuana and says "wait, nobody told me this is actually fun."

And you can't separate drugs by legalizing the less harmful ones and keeping the harder ones illegal. We've seen how well that one works right now. People can't be trusted to make this decision for everyone else. Alcohol and tobacco are legal. The alcohol lobby succeeded where the cannabis lobby failed. And alcohol and tobacco are much more dangerous than cannabis - this isn't even open to debate, folks. We call it the war on some drugs, and there's a reason why we don't want to continue that policy whether or not it is liberalized.

Why did alcohol win? This is Gilmore's piece of the argument, the part that people here are ignoring. The government can't accept people removing themselves from society so easily. Marijuana shifts your priorities, it turns your world on its side. You care about different things when you're high. Alcohol pretty much makes you dumb and sociable - two things that are perfectly acceptable. But as soon as you smoke a bowl or drop a tab of LSD you change the way you think, at least for the time being. Nobody can tell me why the default, sober state of mind is the best possible state of mind. Nobody can tell me why I should be locked up if I choose to enter a different state of mind.

It's my responsiblity to support myself in this world, but it's my right to choose how I accomplish that goal. Regulating someone's leisure time in the name of productivity or public health is tyrranical.

Prohibiting things that aren't necessary to basic survival is also ludicrous, yet I've heard people suggest this. "Nobody needs drugs to survive." Well technically all we need to survive are water, some basic proteins and sugars, and reproductive partners. You don't see anyone trying to ban boats, or paintball, or rock climbing, or gourmet foods.

Gilmore's right. The sooner we realize the underlying causes for prohibition, the sooner we can correct the massive damage that has been done by the war on drugs.

--
jimmysquid.com - I take pictures.

Those damn commercials (2.41 / 17) (#128)
by willj on Thu Oct 09, 2003 at 06:12:31 PM EST

Just look at the government's list of short term effects of marijuana: problems with memory and learning, distorted perception (sights, sounds, time, touch), trouble with thinking and problemsolving, loss of motor coordination, and increased heart rate.

You forgot that it makes young girls get pregnant and young boys shoot each other.</sarcasm>

[ Parent ]
the largest... (2.33 / 15) (#152)
by Wah on Thu Oct 09, 2003 at 08:06:53 PM EST

...slaughter of straw men I've ever seen.  You don't have a radio show and a bottle of painkillers on your side, do you?

For someone so worried about how other people spend their time....

Boil it down to one or two strawmen and I'd be happy to engage with you.

On weed.
--
kewpie
[ Parent ]

Wow (1.75 / 12) (#159)
by CaptainSuperBoy on Thu Oct 09, 2003 at 09:32:26 PM EST

Damn you wrote a lot. Does it make you angry that I didn't even read it?

--
jimmysquid.com - I take pictures.
[ Parent ]
Bravo (2.36 / 11) (#221)
by Space on Fri Oct 10, 2003 at 09:11:41 AM EST

I honestly loved your post! I have never endured such a long post but the sheer hilarity made it worth it! The self-righteous anger contained within it is sheer spectacle and very entertaining.
<recycle your pets>
[ Parent ]
I have a simple question for you. (3.00 / 5) (#346)
by newellm on Mon Oct 13, 2003 at 09:21:10 PM EST

Why do you respond to each sentence individually?  

[ Parent ]
Thanks for not letting me down! (2.22 / 9) (#239)
by gbd on Fri Oct 10, 2003 at 10:22:54 AM EST

I have to admit that the primary reason I voted for this story was that I was hoping for a long-winded and humorous drug rant from "uniball vision micro." (Seriously.) Which is not to say that the story is without merit, but I find your rantings to be among the more entertaining offerings of Kuro5hin.

--
Gunter glieben glauchen globen.
[ Parent ]
What is your issue? (2.33 / 9) (#259)
by WorLord on Fri Oct 10, 2003 at 03:32:44 PM EST

"What horse shit. Give me objective proof that there is something anything that a drug user has over me (a non drug user) in terms of their baseline "experience of the world" and you might have some slight basis upon which to argue."

How about the ability to properly spell "Mary Jane".

What do I win?

"You don't randomly loose bain cells when you engage in these activities."

But you DO when drinking (which is legal).  But NOT when toking up (which is not).  

You may want to work the hypocrisy out of this particular point of contention before you take it for a test drive.

"Most normal people don't have these activities interfere with their real life to the extent that if the government passed a law that paintball was suddenly punished with a felony that people would do it anyway never mind the logic or the eventual cost."

It seems you've never laid eyes on any historical writings about a little movement called "Prohibition", in which a whole lot of normal people "did it anyway" never mind the logic or eventual cost.  I would suggest doing so, because once you read it I think you would obviously be very surprised at what normal people actually do.  

"There is no conspiracy. There is no limiting of your supposed "rights"."

If that were true, nobody would care what I grew in my back yard, or what I did with it.  There would be no difference between a tomato bush and a pot plant.  

And yet, there is.

Now, I don't think there is a conspiracy, but I sure as hell know a limiting of my rights when I see one.

While I'm posting here, you'll note that I never once addressed your red herring of an argument about "name something a druggie can do that I can't".  That's because it is indeed a red herring, and completely beside the point.  If I enjoy getting drunk, I should be allowed to do it, despite the well-known negative effects and no known positive ones.  Ditto, tobacco.  Ditto, MJ, or whatever else, including playing quake or walking down the street.  You, or anyone else, don't have to like my recreational activities.  You, or anyone else, doesn't have to agree with why I might like a certain activity, or what props are involved in that activity.  I don't care if you like drugs, loathe them, or masturbate screaming their name, because how you feel about drugs and their effects on one's body is not grounds for making laws.  

Some people claim some mental enlightenment from some substances, and I tentatively agree with this claim (not personally having experimented very much with illegal substances, but I'm open to the possibility).  But, I believe the claim to be beside the point.  The point is that no one should have to have a reason explaining WHY they enjoy something.

All you have to care about is how drugs and drug-users affect your rights.  And frankly, every piece of literature I've ever read on the topic strongly suggests that any negative effects YOU (a non-user) experience as a result of users only exist because some substances remain needlessly illegal - NOT because of the effects those drugs actually have on the people who use them.

And frankly, I don't see why you're so against this in the first place.  If everything suddenly became legal tomorrow, and you are right about what it would do to people, then most of the drug users would do themselves in (overdose, drop out of higher end jobs with responsibilities, et cetera) within a few years, while you and the sober clan would prosper.  After a relatively insignificant span of time, you and the rest of the sober crowd would be the only ones left, and according to what you've written, life would be golden for you.  

You would, basically, never have to worry about drugs or their users raining on your parade ever again, because the people who love drugs would all be dead or completely out of your way.  

So... where's your beef with legalization, again?

"Kill two birds with one stone: Feed the Homeless to the Hungry." --WorLord
[ Parent ]

Rush? (3.00 / 5) (#357)
by hershmire on Tue Oct 14, 2003 at 09:38:43 PM EST

Is that you?
How's quitting the painkillers going?
FIXME: Insert quote about procrastination
[ Parent ]
I for one... (3.00 / 5) (#358)
by Gregoyle on Tue Oct 14, 2003 at 09:52:12 PM EST

I for one welcome our benevolent, protecting, prohibitionist overlords!

Please, I need someone to take care of me!

Help! I forgot how to make my own decision about what to do with my body! Given the slightest chance I might shoot myself in the head, fall off a log into oncoming traffic, or imbibe potentially ::gasp:: *harmful* substances into my body! Maybe all at once!

I might not wear a seat belt for God's sake, and THEN what will happen?!?!

But then, I'm from New Hampshire, so I must be an idiot. Please help me; tell me what to think because I forgot.
-------

He's more machine now than man, twisted and evil.
[ Parent ]

a response to one of your paragraphs (3.00 / 5) (#376)
by caca phony on Wed Oct 22, 2003 at 10:26:32 PM EST

What "alchol lobby"? Dear god. Consdiering that alchol isn't the killer of so many brain cells in responsible concentrations or the inducer of idiotic levels of auditory and visual hallucinations that makes it less harmful. Also add to it that it has been around *much* longer than pot you have to think that there is some legitimate usage there.

Pot has been around for a long time, or are you just hypothesizing that drinkable alchohol must have been formed some time before the Cannabis plant evolved? Either way both happened before there were any humans around, as far as I know.

Pot makes you hallucinate? it just makes my brain feel kind of fuzzy, I don't like it actually, so I do not do it. Also, as far as I know, the brain cell lossage is on par with reducing oxygen intake by the same degree for any reason.

[ Parent ]

just stop talking (3.00 / 5) (#377)
by caca phony on Wed Oct 22, 2003 at 10:47:47 PM EST

I am 100% clean, I do not even do caffiene, cigarettes were my last habit to quit. I do not use any drugs illegal or legal psychoactive or just medicinal and your post makes me wanna start doing crack, just on principle.

Man, please, get a grip, you are convincing non drug users to take up drugs, that is how fucking stupid you sound.

[ Parent ]

Libertarians in general are retarded (1.20 / 25) (#75)
by Run4YourLives on Thu Oct 09, 2003 at 01:14:49 PM EST

Their flawed viewpoint on markets seems to carry on into a flawed viewpoint on everything it seems...

These government attempts to control the minds of its citizens are a direct violation of the basic Constitutional freedoms that the government is designed to secure for ourselves and our posterity.

Sometimes, life is simple. Is there a vast government conspiracy to control the minds of citizens by denying them drug use? Or is it that most of those citizens feel a little bit safer in the knowledge that crazed psychotic crackheads are for the most part, limited to the fringes of society? Don't know about you, but I tend to go with the latter.

There are some valid points regarding the legalization of all drugs, but this guy doesn't make any.


It's slightly Japanese, but without all of that fanatical devotion to the workplace. - CheeseburgerBrown

gov't (1.71 / 7) (#113)
by phred on Thu Oct 09, 2003 at 04:24:03 PM EST

The government is invested heavily in how its citizenry think, _especially_ around election time. I could counter your post by saying you can't be paranoid _enough_. Witness the nixon years for some raving departures from common sense, and you could take from this a decent amount of doubt regarding the governments benevolence.

[ Parent ]
well (1.11 / 9) (#132)
by Run4YourLives on Thu Oct 09, 2003 at 06:32:11 PM EST

I could counter your post by saying you can't be paranoid enough.

Sure, you could, but you'd sound like the dopehead in the article.

It's slightly Japanese, but without all of that fanatical devotion to the workplace. - CheeseburgerBrown
[ Parent ]

Everybody knows or is a criminal.. (1.50 / 6) (#190)
by QuantumG on Fri Oct 10, 2003 at 01:57:21 AM EST

and you don't think the libertarians have a point.

Gun fire is the sound of freedom.
[ Parent ]
Huh? (none / 4) (#251)
by Run4YourLives on Fri Oct 10, 2003 at 12:49:58 PM EST

I'm not a criminal... I've never broken any criminal law, nor have most people I know.

Civil law is another matter, but there is an important difference.

It's slightly Japanese, but without all of that fanatical devotion to the workplace. - CheeseburgerBrown
[ Parent ]

Absolute bullshit (none / 4) (#283)
by QuantumG on Fri Oct 10, 2003 at 10:41:38 PM EST

You've never j-walked. You've never drove the same speed as the rest of the traffic, or driven a car without a license. You've never paid a kid to cut your lawn.

Gun fire is the sound of freedom.
[ Parent ]
like I said... (none / 0) (#352)
by Run4YourLives on Tue Oct 14, 2003 at 11:40:50 AM EST

None of those are criminal offenses.

Do some research, please.

It's slightly Japanese, but without all of that fanatical devotion to the workplace. - CheeseburgerBrown
[ Parent ]

They're all criminal offenses.. (none / 0) (#356)
by QuantumG on Tue Oct 14, 2003 at 07:51:14 PM EST

god you americans are morons. Just because the usual punishment is a fine doesn't mean its not a crime. The judge can sentence you to jail time if he so chooses. Idiot.

Gun fire is the sound of freedom.
[ Parent ]
Not a chance (none / 1) (#324)
by Dyolf Knip on Sun Oct 12, 2003 at 01:09:52 AM EST

There is not the slightest chance that you or I or anyone who has so much as left their house at any point in their entire lifetime is not a felon. Kindly remember that premarital sex was a felony in a dozen states up until a few months ago. Now think on all the "Stupid Laws" books you've seen or read; most of the crap in those is still on the books. Consider how much else is there that nobody ever sees before saying that there's no law somewhere a determined cop or prosecutor couldn't hang you out to dry on if they knew about it and felt like making an example.

The libertarian policy is that laws in general are easy to abuse and the best defense is to have only ones that are absolutely necessary and not a single one more. Making huge swaths of human behavior illegal with unenforcable laws based on lies, unproven assumptions, wildly inaccurate opinions, and blatant racism (you really should read up on the early years of the Drug War) are generally at the top of the list of laws that should be dumped like a bad habit.

---
If you can't learn to do something well, learn to enjoy doing it poorly.

Dyolf Knip
[ Parent ]

stupid american. (none / 0) (#353)
by Run4YourLives on Tue Oct 14, 2003 at 11:48:00 AM EST

Kindly remember that premarital sex was a felony in a dozen states up until a few months ago

Thank god I don't live in the wonderful US then.

Now think on all the "Stupid Laws" books you've seen or read;

You'd have to be convicted first, and that's unlikely. Where I come from, judges are throwing out pot possession charges.

The libertarian policy is that laws in general are easy to abuse and the best defense is to have only ones that are absolutely necessary and not a single one more

The libertarian policy is idiotic and naive. The "free market" is one of the most legislated ideas ever, how removing that legislation would better the market is beyond me... the market only exists because of goverment, it is not a natual occurance. Don't believe me? Read up on the economic history of medieval England, and see how "natural" the free market was.

Just because I think this, however, does not mean I support keeping drugs illegal.

It's slightly Japanese, but without all of that fanatical devotion to the workplace. - CheeseburgerBrown
[ Parent ]

Kindly keep your insults to youself (none / 0) (#366)
by Dyolf Knip on Mon Oct 20, 2003 at 10:32:08 AM EST

Thank god I don't live in the wonderful US then.

Tell me about it. Two cases of this sort that come to mind were the gay pair in Georgia that took it to the supreme court (and so got all these kinds of laws declared unconstitutional) and a woman who used an anti-sodomy law against her husband in their divorce (getting head from your wife was technically illegal).

You'd have to be convicted first, and that's unlikely

Spoken like someone who's never been accused of a felony in this country. So what if the charge is bogus and no jury in the world would convict you? It's still on your record and it will still come back to haunt you. Furthermore, juries are often told by the DA that they are required to convict based on the law, no matter how stupid it is, when in fact this is entirely untrue. Juries can return with 'not guilty' for whatever reason they want, but defense attorneys are not allowed to tell them that.

judges are throwing out pot possession charges.

Good. Let's hope they can share some of that sanity with their counterparts over here. Because not only do the DEA and the attroney general fully support continuing the War on Drugs, they actually think they're winning it.

The "free market" is one of the most legislated ideas ever, how removing that legislation would better the market is beyond me

I was referring to social and criminal law, not economic. And at what point did I say that getting rid of the various anti-trust and pro-competition laws and all the rest that try to keep corporations from abusing the rest of us would be a good idea? I said, "keep the ones we need". Keeping monopolies from forming and maintaining some sembelance of free market is something we need. Ergo...

---
If you can't learn to do something well, learn to enjoy doing it poorly.

Dyolf Knip
[ Parent ]

No kidding... (none / 4) (#253)
by Yanks Rule on Fri Oct 10, 2003 at 01:29:25 PM EST

In college, I once went with a group to grab a few guys on our way to a party. We opened the door to the dorm room they were in...4 guys sitting in the dark staring at a lava lim, and the smell of pot in the air. Last month in Kona, Hawaii, a guy iced out on crystal meth was walking down the street with his girlfriend begging tourists for change one night, saying he was from the other side of the island and ran out of gas. The next morning he was he was hanging out with a bunch of locals a block away.

THAT is freeing your mind from government oppression? Those are the enlightened ones? No thanks, I'd rather be a brainswashed zombie government stooge.

"I do think we live in dangerous times, and anybody who looks at the world and says this is the time to be a wuss--I can't buy that anymore. " -- Dennis Miller
[ Parent ]

Drugs? Schmugs. (1.22 / 18) (#76)
by FieryTaco on Thu Oct 09, 2003 at 01:19:38 PM EST

I'm in favor of legalization. However I have absolutely no obligation to support a drug user or addict. I, personally, think that two things need to be done to go along with it.

First, there needs to be a simple, inexpensive and trivial way to sever ties between people in the event that one of them (or even both I suppose) are using drugs. Drug addiction causes major problems in relationships. If you have never been in a relationship with a drug addict, or have a family member, a child or a parent, who is addicted, you don't know what it's like. Watching a loved one repeatedly make exceptionally bad choices in order as a result of, or to support, their addiction is one of the hardest things a person can have to deal with. There needs to be a mechanism in place where a person can go to the city/government/whatever and say "So-and-so is no longer a part of my life. There are no longer any ties between us, they have to get out of my house, out of my bank account, etc." And then have societal support to enforce the decision. I'm not saying that any whim should allow this, but if drugs can be detected in their system by one of the standard tests, it should be easy, so that people who have an attachment to drug users can sever the conventional ties and then they only have to deal with the emotional ties.

Secondly, drug addiction should not be a protected state of being, ie. being an addict is not a disability. It shouldn't be a defense. If someone commits a crime, they can't come to court and get off on the basis that they weren't in their right mind or that their inhibitions have been lowered or their perspectives on the world have been changed by drug use. In fact, given that it's impossible to really determine to what extent a particular amount of drugs effects a person, the presence of drugs should be an automatic negative indicator in criminal prosecution. Someone who does something, while a detectable amount of drugs is in their system, that results in the death of another should automatically receive the death penalty, no appeals. You rob a Seven-Eleven while fucked up, well, not only do you get the normal penalties for robbery, but you get the additional penalties for engaging in an activity that knowingly results in a loss of self control.

The non-protection of drug use extends beyond criminal situations. If an employer wants to fire someone because they use drugs, they should be allowed.

OK, this isn't really a clear indication of my thinking, but it should be enough to give the idea.



Your first idea... (1.11 / 9) (#79)
by n0mj121 on Thu Oct 09, 2003 at 01:58:29 PM EST

...is disgusting. But the problem is, it makes perfect sense. Hmm.

[ Parent ]
Your views are immature (1.58 / 12) (#92)
by CaptainSuperBoy on Thu Oct 09, 2003 at 03:10:42 PM EST

Translation: If you test positive for drugs then the 4th, 5th, 6th, 8th, and 14th amendments no longer apply to you.

Your views are immature and they single out drugs for no special reason. You are saying that as soon as you test positive for drugs, due process no longer applies to you. You are saying that defendants who may have drugs in their system have less rights than anyone else under our criminal justice system. What on earth do appeals have to do with drugs? Even those who support awful shit like mandatory minimums will disagree with you. You are suggesting a hideous solution to a nonexistent problem.

given that it's impossible to really determine to what extent a particular amount of drugs effects a person, the presence of drugs should be an automatic negative indicator in criminal prosecution

Apparently you haven't heard of the phrase "reasonable doubt." That's the standard for a conviction. If we genuinely don't know whether drugs played a part in someone's crime then we give them the benefit of the doubt.

--
jimmysquid.com - I take pictures.
[ Parent ]

Not immature, just cold. (1.09 / 11) (#116)
by FieryTaco on Thu Oct 09, 2003 at 04:31:06 PM EST

You must have a reading comprehension problem. Nothing I wrote shows that I recommend or support the revocation of the 4th (unreasonable search and seizure), 5th (indictment by grand jury/double jeopardy/self incrimination), 6th (fair trial), 8th (excessive bail/cruel and unusual punishment), or the 14th (citizenship).

As far as appeals and drugs go, well I'd actually like to apply the same thing to alcohol. I don't believe that a person who chooses to impair themselves and then accidently runs someone over, drives their car into a school bus, etc. really is any different than a person who intentionally does those things.

Quite often appeals are the result, not of new evidence, but because of mistake in the process. People getting off on technicalities is stupid. Why should an improper filing of a motion invalidate the act of commiting a crime?

Apparently you haven't heard of the phrase "reasonable doubt." That's the standard for a conviction. If we genuinely don't know whether drugs played a part in someone's crime then we give them the benefit of the doubt.
Actually, you aren't describing reasonable doubt, you are describing "innocent until proven guilty". Regardless of what you are saying, I never even posited that the presence of drugs indicates guilty. I said it is negative. I've never met a responsible, hardworking, addict. They don't exist and I see absolutely no reason society should bear the burdens of the behaviour of drug users. If you never commit a detectable crime, I don't give a shit what you do. If you want you can have an IV drip of heroin going. Just don't let your intentional impairment affect my life.

I guess what I'm saying isn't legalize drugs, instead don't enforce them unless it's in conjunction with another crime.

[ Parent ]

Due process (2.57 / 7) (#126)
by CaptainSuperBoy on Thu Oct 09, 2003 at 06:06:39 PM EST

What you're saying goes against due process. You are saying we shouldn't allow drug users to appeal any conviction. That violates the equal protection clause of the 14th amendment and the due process clauses of the 5th and 14th amendments. Look up Griffin v. Illinois if you want.

"People getting off on technicalities is stupid" is not a valid reason to destroy our justice system. Would you prefer secret courts and a bullet in the back of the head for those evil drug users?

I'm not talking about addiction. Whatever your personal experience may be (and I can tell you have baggage here) you may be surprised to learn that not all drug users are uncontrollable addicts.

--
jimmysquid.com - I take pictures.
[ Parent ]

Woop (1.50 / 6) (#184)
by FieryTaco on Fri Oct 10, 2003 at 12:23:13 AM EST

What you're saying goes against due process. You are saying we shouldn't allow drug users to appeal any conviction.
No, I said that someone who kills someone else while under the influence of drugs should get the death penalty and there should be no appeal. In many states there is a mandatory appeal for any conviction that results in a death sentence. But, if you want, I'll go ahead and back down from my position. I do believe that if someone intentionally hampers their ability to think, and they do something that results in another's death, then they deserve the death penalty. Whether it's alcohol, drugs, or just a self inflicted lobotomy, same punishment.

My feelings on the legalization of drugs are basically this: You can do whatever you want as long as it doesn't affect people who aren't involved.

I view drug use as one of the stupid choices among many stupid choices people make. I don't want to bear the burden of other people's stupid choices.

"People getting off on technicalities is stupid" is not a valid reason to destroy our justice system. Would you prefer secret courts and a bullet in the back of the head for those evil drug users?
No, I don't think that destroying the justice system is a good idea. But I do think that lawbreakers should be punished. If it's illegal for a cop to search a car/house without probable cause and they do it anyway, then punish them. But you don't let a person off on the idea that they would have gotten away with it if the cop hadn't broken the law.

[ Parent ]
The 4th Ammendment (2.25 / 4) (#201)
by MorningAfter on Fri Oct 10, 2003 at 04:00:20 AM EST

But you don't let a person off on the idea that they would have gotten away with it if the cop hadn't broken the law.

This proposal can be refuted by simple Maciavellian logic (i.e. The ends justify the means). One of a police officer's vital statistics is his or her conviction rate. If half the people a cop arrests never get convicted of a crime, he's in trouble. Therefore, the best way to punish a cop for performing an illegal search is to bar the evidence obtained in that search from court. Cops--and a lot of other people for that matter--hate to see criminals who everyone knows are guilty walk free. By preventing illegally obtained evidence from being used in court, you remove the very motive for the crime of an illegal search.

So, letting a few criminals walk by barring evidence from court that would otherwise result in a conviction, you get more thorough, more lawful law enforcement from your cops.

----
If you wanna live like a Republican, you gotta vote for the Democrats --Dick Gephardt
[ Parent ]

nothing of the sort (1.12 / 8) (#254)
by Hakamadare on Fri Oct 10, 2003 at 01:48:16 PM EST

Your views are immature and they single out drugs for no special reason.

on the contrary - they single out drugs for very good reasons.

here's an example: i, on occasion, like to drink alcohol.  i also like to eat pizza.  from time to time, i get together with friends and consume alcohol and pizza in a convivial atmosphere, and my friends partake as well.  given my past experiences, i foresee that the alcohol will have a certain influence on my body; among the effects will be an impairment of my judgment and motor skills.

therefore, i make plans to ensure that i will not be called upon to do anything important while under the influence, like drive a car, converse with authority figures, do work, and so forth.  these plans sometimes include designating a driver, or making sure that we have all necessary supplies at hand, or deciding ahead of time to stay inside a house with closed windows even if i might prefer to be outdoors.

if i should happen to drive a car while intoxicated, and i were to hit someone and injured them, i would receive an additional penalty because of my intoxicated state.  this is appropriate and good - this gives me yet another incentive to keep myself safely at home, where i have less capability to injure innocent strangers, while i am intoxicated.

in essence, i am temporarily trading some of my rights (freedom of motion and action) for the privilege of enjoying and intoxicated state.  these rights will be returned to me when i sober up, as they should.  personally, i give up these rights voluntarily when i drink, because i have good enough judgment to know how alcohol affects me, but if i didn't have sufficiently good judgment, i would need the legal incentive.

what's more, the law does not "single out drugs for no special reason".  if i hit someone with my car, the justice system doesn't care whether or not i have pizza in me, because pizza doesn't have an intoxicating effect.  it does, and should, care whether or not i have alcohol in me.

frankly, complying with a law like this would be very easy: if you plan to do something risky, like driving a car or robbing a 7-11, just wait until you've sobered up before doing it.  how difficult is that?  then "reasonable doubt" doesn't even enter into the picture.

-steve
---
Schopenhauer is not featuring heavily on the "Review Hidden Comments" page at the moment. - Herring
[ Parent ]

You didn't read the article (none / 2) (#325)
by DavidTC on Sun Oct 12, 2003 at 01:25:27 AM EST

Gilmore makes a valid claim that drug using is a right, not any sort of priviledge. If we have the right to any beliefs we want (which is implied by freedom of religion and freedom of speech.), then we have the right to alter our brain in any way to cause ourselves to believe these things.

-David T. C.
Yes, my email address is real.
[ Parent ]
you spend more money on the war on drugs (1.09 / 11) (#96)
by gr00vey on Thu Oct 09, 2003 at 03:33:03 PM EST

If you are US citizen, than you ever would on rehabs....

[ Parent ]
So uh (1.11 / 9) (#105)
by Wah on Thu Oct 09, 2003 at 04:11:09 PM EST

you're pretty happy with the way things are now, but you want to kill more people?

Someone who does something, while a detectable amount of drugs is in their system, that results in the death of another should automatically receive the death penalty, no appeals.

Yea, that's going to go over real well.  Death penalties for DUI's.  In addition, we should cut off the hands of shoplifters.

Also, stoning women who cheat will help to curb the rampant sassiness invading our society.

Man, I can only wonder why anyone hasn't come up with these ideas already.  They would be living in paradise by now, having solved all these problems.
--
kewpie
[ Parent ]

Oh give me a home.... (1.00 / 7) (#117)
by FieryTaco on Thu Oct 09, 2003 at 04:39:12 PM EST

Death penalties for DUI's.
No, actualy, it's death penalties for people who kill people while under the influence. You see there are different kinds of people in the world. On one hand you have people who'll kill people for whatever reason. On the other you have people who won't kill people, and they'll go out of their way to act in a safe manner. Then you have people who are just like the second group, except they intentionally undermine their ability to function and reason, by drinking, using drugs, or whatever, and are incapable of doing certain things in a safe manner, yet they still go ahead and do them.

I'm not even going to continue with the rest of your post, because sarcasm based on a misunderstanding really isn't answerable.

[ Parent ]

...where the manslaughter roams (none / 5) (#153)
by Wah on Thu Oct 09, 2003 at 08:14:53 PM EST

On one hand you have people who'll kill people for whatever reason.

One hand, psychopaths.

On the other you have people who won't kill people, and they'll go out of their way to act in a safe manner.

Other hand, normal people.

Then you have people who are just like the second group, except they intentionally undermine their ability to function and reason, by drinking, using drugs, or whatever, and are incapable of doing certain things in a safe manner, yet they still go ahead and do them.

Other hand, the thumb.  Do people that are naturally unable to function and reason also fit in this group?  What is your 'whatever' that leads to the death penalty?  It would probably be nice to be specific, at this point.  Ya'know for the death stuff and all.

Example, someone who talks on a cellphone while driving 'intentionally undermines their ability to function', so if they kill someone, they should be summarily executed.  Is this your position?

I'm not even going to continue with the rest of your post, because sarcasm based on a misunderstanding really isn't answerable.

Very true, thanks for that.
--
kewpie
[ Parent ]

Yep. (none / 4) (#181)
by FieryTaco on Thu Oct 09, 2003 at 11:53:58 PM EST

You're right. Psychopaths, normal people, and normal people with their judgement voluntarily dicked up. If you choose to do something that fucks up my life, don't expect much leinency. And yes I am too lazy to look up how to spell that.

Example, someone who talks on a cellphone while driving 'intentionally undermines their ability to function', so if they kill someone, they should be summarily executed. Is this your position?
If that is what society chose, then I'd abide by that. It's not something I would specifically advocate because one study showed that cellphone users were four times more likely to be in an accident than non-cellphone users. Another study found that hands free kits didn't change that. So it's not the cellphones that are the problem as much as it is people having a conversation. I'm not going to try and

[ Parent ]
Drugs are a red herring in your arguments (1.14 / 7) (#140)
by jynx on Thu Oct 09, 2003 at 06:54:15 PM EST

The problem with your entire line of thought on the effect of drugs on relationships, is that it is in no way specific to drugs.

There needs to be a way for people to get out of bad relationships, no matter what the cause is.  That could be addiction to drugs, a gambling problem, violent behaviour, child abuse, or any number of things.

Your second argument no different.  The damage caused by a crime relates to the harm that crime does to other people.  Robbing a store is wrong.  It's not any more or less wrong if you are under the influence of, or addicted to drugs.  Why should the penalty be any different?

--

[ Parent ]

Pardon me, do you have any grey poop? (1.14 / 7) (#179)
by FieryTaco on Thu Oct 09, 2003 at 11:45:48 PM EST

The problem with your entire line of thought on the effect of drugs on relationships, is that it is in no way specific to drugs.
I think what you mean is that relationship problems are not unique to drugs. Which is true. But, I'm not talking about abusive situations. I'm talking a couple gets married, they have all sorts of goals and dreams for the future. One of the partners becomes a heavy meth user. You can kiss your dreams good-bye. A person should be able to go before a court, says "My partner is using drugs." The court orders a piss test/hair test to verify the truth of the statement. If it's true, then community property is split 50/50 and the two people go their seperate ways. There's no jeopardy of going to jail because you're a drug user, it's just that your ex-partner, if they choose to do so, can go their own way without having to go through the hardship of addiction.

A parent should be able to go before a court, says "My teenager is smoking dope. We don't want to support that behaviour." The test is done. The kid is now legally an adult and responsible for their own welfare. The parents have no legal obligation to support the kid, provide shelter, food, etc.

Keep in mind that both my examples are in a world where drugs are legalized for general use.

A person who uses drugs, when they are on a trip or an addict anticipating their next hit, have a lower level of self-mediation on their behaviour. People do lots of things while under the influence of drugs and alcohol that they would never do sober. If someone intentionally reduces their inhibitions and then commits a crime (again presuming that drugs are legal or not enforced) then the drug use is a compounding factor in the commission of that crime.

There's already laws on the books for negligence vs. reasonable care. Codifying up front that using drugs is going to be considered intentional negligence seems like a good idea to me.

None of my ideas are meant as punishments, they're meant as deterents. People under the influence of drugs and alcohol are more likely to do something stupid/without thinking than people who aren't. Before they make the choice to degrade the ability to function, they should be aware that there are going to be significant consequences if their choice to be an idiot affects other people.

[ Parent ]

Muppet! (1.87 / 8) (#212)
by Nursie on Fri Oct 10, 2003 at 06:48:11 AM EST

. I'm talking a couple gets married, they have all sorts of goals and dreams for the future. One of the partners becomes a heavy meth user. You can kiss your dreams good-bye.......people go their seperate ways.

Erm....
1) Why do you have to kiss happiness goodbye? I use various things, meth, hash, coke, X, acid. My Gf doesn't. No problem!
2) Imagine the same situation. Except instead of:

One of the partners becomes a heavy meth user.

You have the following:

One of the partners changes radically and becomes abusive.

Or:

One of the partners becomes a sports addict and no longer spends any time with the other

Is this any different? Why should they receive any special treatment because drugs were involved? It could be coffee making someone irritable, everquest making them distant and giving up normal life, anything!
Also, once again you are immediately jumping to the worst case scenario. Not all drug users are drug abusers, like not everyone who goes into starbucks is a caffeine crazed coffee junkie. You do understand that doncha?


Next Situation:

My teenager is smoking dope. We don't want to support that behaviour.

Stop giving the kid money! Educate your child! Pass on your values. Unless of course your values are there without reason. It's no different from alcohol. Can a parent currently say:

My teenager is drinking beer. We don't want to support that behaviour.

Or even:

My teenager is masturbating. We don't want to support that behaviour.

And make the child a legal adult/divorced from the family?
Also, just how callous are you? Why would you throw a child out on the street for smoking dope? Aren't kids allowed to screw up once in a while and still be loved and looked after by their parents?
Now if they were smoking dope and stealing from you then fine. But the the kid is stealing from you Whether they are on dope or not doesn't matter at all.

So, if you're gonna reply to this, I really would like you to answer the question "Why do drugs make these circumstances special?" because I can't see that they do.

Disclaimer: Drunk (or drug) driving, and other such activities, are just plain stupid. There do need to laws about being under the influence of anything at all when operating heavy machinery or in other situations where you could harm someone else, simply because this is reckless endangerment. I'm just disagreeing about the extent in law to which drug use needs to be singled out.
P.S. I have a steady and well payed tech job, no problems in relationships with my family, friends or partner, no health problems........ and a lot of the time I'm really really happy :o)

Meta Sigs suck.

[ Parent ]
Lost in reality (none / 5) (#217)
by Space on Fri Oct 10, 2003 at 08:26:24 AM EST

Great slip a synth-ephedrine based allergy supressent into your partners meal and they test positive for amphetamines, procede to court for generous imbursement courtesy of your late partner and watch them lose their job because it's rumored they are a junky. Watch them lapse into severe depression, self medicate and feel vindicated.

This is really a pretty weak argument because people can already file for divorce on grounds their husband is a drunk. Furthermore in the UK people recieve less severe sentences if they were drunk while they commited some offences; as often occurs in domestic violence cases.

If you care to explore the complex delima of intent one could argue that it's a greater crime for somebody to premeditate a crime and commit it upon their own will while sobre because that type of behaviour is consistent with their character while sombody who commits the same crime under the influence may have experienced a deviation from their otherwise moral character.

Also, research shows that even people who are very intoxicated (under the influence of alcohol) can restrain themselves from otherwise unsociable behaviour when offered a mild incentive (in the case of the study it was a polite thank you).

To top it off; I myself work in a needle exchange and can vouch from my own experience that the most dangerous people to deal with are drunks and not drug users. The most uncomfortable thing I have had to endure from drug users is unwanted attention such as flirting (often turns out to be more humiliating for the perpetrator) and self-indulgent grandstanding (people talking at length about unimportant things while your busy and clamouring for attention). On the otherhand drunk clients cause no end of problems, causing fights and being aggressive. Almost everybody I work with agrees alcohol is the dirtiest drug and dreads dealing with drunk clients.
<recycle your pets>
[ Parent ]

spiritual reasons for drugs - and fear response. (1.26 / 19) (#82)
by phlux on Thu Oct 09, 2003 at 02:19:44 PM EST

This is something I posted on another forum - where people were talking about the spiritual implications of taking drugs to open their minds...

I think its apropriate to this topic:

With regards to taking these "Correctly" - the answer here is to be Doing from a spiritual basis - and not a fear based mentality. The problem is that due to the mass re-programming of humanity regarding emotions, it is difficult for one to operate from a perspective of self that is not based on fear.

We are having fear based control responses so far driven into us that our first and primary response to information is a fearful "what if"

There is something very powerful and wicked about this - naturally, Humans are extrordinarily (sp?) creative beings - and their abilities are tuned to the creation of the reality that is experienced through conscious perception. For example - I Think, Therefore I Am - this is really a formula for manifestation - not a complete statement. This phrase should Read:

I think [though pattern]; Therefore I Am [thought pattern]

However this knowledge is screened from us so as to minimize our connection with our true innate ability to create via manifestation of thought.

How does this relate to the imbibing of substances which may or mat not open us up to our spiritual selves.

Well - in order to control a being of tremendous freewill - one needs to imprison the freewill of the being THROUGH the freewill of the being. This means that the only way for Humans to be controlled and spiritually and emotionally enslaved is for them to enslave themselves by agreeing with creating certain limiting thoughts and emotions. These would all be based on fear.

We are continually made to be fearful of ourselves, our environ and our fellow Man. This leads us into the reality of fear. In this reality that we find ourselves, it is difficult to re-connect with atrophied aspects of Self because we are so immersed into the limiting constructs we have internally agreed to bind our Will in.

This is why it becomes necessary for some to experience a release of fear to the point where they can see once again True Self within.... but depending on how deeply embedded your agreements with your own fear based limitations are - this may be a successful or dangerous of an endeavor.

Additionally there is another avenue of control that can be used to ensure that even when Humans seek Inner Understanding through the use of anything - be it tobacco, alcohol or psychedelics or whatever - that they get lost on this path... Addiction. Through addiction and improper use of substances - like using them too much for recreational use, the focus and *intent* behind the action is tainted. Thereby allowing the opportunity of Self awareness to become a limiting vice. This is induced in the mind by placing these actions into an area of societal stigma. If you once had the taking of mind altering drugs held in the place of sacredness where it was wise elders who, on rare occasions, would take them in order to seek answers to difficult questions - it would be a respected and revered ritual with appropriate and healthy intent behind it.

However - if you ensure that any and all that take any sort of "illicit drug" first have the "What if I am caught by the Cops" (or some similar) fear phrase run through their mind consciously or sub-consciously - then you have just shifted the intent behind the ritual to begin in Fear - thereby changing the nature of the experience and energy produced within the creative being.

Lastly - the other control method is to create mimic-experience where a drug will be a chemically effective substance not based on natural creation which already carries a negative energy about it.

holy buttfuckin' satan (1.00 / 22) (#85)
by Dirty Sanchez on Thu Oct 09, 2003 at 02:44:37 PM EST

if this kind of pretentious trash is caused by drugs, I'm all for banning them.

[ Parent ]
Put away your TFH (2.30 / 40) (#83)
by karlandtanya on Thu Oct 09, 2003 at 02:21:57 PM EST

Nobody wants to control your mind by prohibiting drug use. The marketing industry is doing a fairly decent job of that already.

You can see the same attitude towards drugs directed at sex for the purpose of pleasure. The attitude is puritanism, and it's alive and well in these United States, well after all the buckled hats have rotted on the ground.

The dominant culture believes that pleasure, in and of itself, is BAD.

Sex for the purpose of simple pleasure is abhorrent to most zoning authorities. These are your local governments. Can you go to your local shopping mall, walk into a store, and buy a decent dildo? Does the concept make you snicker?

Recreational drugs are perceived as decadent--serving no purpose other than to provide pleasure.

I acknowledge that some people use them to "gain a deeper insight" into something or other. Doesn't matter. To a lawmaker, you're getting high because it feels good.

Puritan ethics assess the value of anything on the basis of its direct contribution to production. When assessing a plan of action, the question is "What's the bottom line?". Not, "What will we learn?, Will this be fun?" Work is good. Play is a waste of time. Art for the sake of art is something that freaks fund, and the state should not support it. Pleasure is "indulgent". Hedonism is a decadent way of life, and the cause of the fall of Rome.

These are the dominant attitudes to pleasure for the sake of pleasure.

The puritan ethic holds that anything which exists solely for the purpose of pleasure is evil. Per that ethic, such a thing should be ignored. If people insist on pursuing such a thing, its legitimacy will be denied from a position of authority. Let the Feminists speak on that stance as it applies to sex in our culture.

Guess the k5 folks need the /. sig.

Thought you were smarter than that.

Oh, well.

If all you can complain about is the spelling, everyone assumes you support the content.

Snicker. (2.12 / 16) (#104)
by Easyas123 on Thu Oct 09, 2003 at 04:05:35 PM EST

I get what you were saying. I agree with a good bit of it but:
decent dildo?
Is the puritanical nature of our country preventing large strides in auto erotic technology?

Are we forced to use sub standard dildoes made from splintery wood?

Is all our dildo know how being consumed by the cheaper labor force in Korea?

This is not at all a slam, it just struck me as funny.

***********************
As the wise men fortold.
[ Parent ]

john gilmore is misinformed (1.13 / 22) (#91)
by suicidal ideation on Thu Oct 09, 2003 at 03:03:16 PM EST

Drugs are not controlled because of what they cause you to think; they are controlled because of what they cause you to do.

Ever try driving while on LSD? Ever try walking? A person under the influence of a psychotropic drug doesn't have full control over their body's function. They're unsafe.

"Repetitive guitar growing increasingly louder followed by pause." -- Trent Reznor
So (1.78 / 14) (#94)
by CaptainSuperBoy on Thu Oct 09, 2003 at 03:22:30 PM EST

Heavens, no! We can't have people being unsafe. Good thing everyone who doesn't do drugs acts in a completely safe manner all the time. Otherwise we'd really have something to worry about. You know if this unsafety thing persists maybe we should think about requiring everyone to wear helmets.

--
jimmysquid.com - I take pictures.
[ Parent ]
maybe he's just not living in your world (1.42 / 14) (#97)
by gabban on Thu Oct 09, 2003 at 03:34:53 PM EST

I feel safer at a party filled with acid heads than at a nightclub where people are smashed on alcohol. And stoners have been shown to be some of the more law abiding citizens in our society.

Psychedelics makes people unsafe? Stress makes people unsafe!

[ Parent ]
Not to be a pain, but... (none / 4) (#166)
by AngelKnight on Thu Oct 09, 2003 at 11:05:02 PM EST

So, do you feel safer at a *nightclub* with acid heads than a nightclub with drunks?  How about a part filled with acid heads compared to a party filled with *drunks*?

[ Parent ]
Still works (1.50 / 6) (#171)
by scruffyMark on Thu Oct 09, 2003 at 11:19:50 PM EST

This is just my own experience, of course, so I'm not attempting to make this universally applicable, but...

Night clubs full of acid heads (and, both as cause and effect, that appeal to acid heads) tend to be peaceful and friendly. Night clubs full of drunks, of course, consitute about 98% of night clubs, so it's kind of hard to generalize there

House parties full of drunks are the ones with fights and people getting cut up with beer bottles; house parties full of acid heads are the ones with drum jams and good food

[ Parent ]

I highly doubt that one (1.50 / 14) (#106)
by scruffyMark on Thu Oct 09, 2003 at 04:12:26 PM EST

Ever try driving while on alcohol? Ever try walking? What about when you're half asleep? You don't have full control over your body then either, but neither drunkenness nor tiredness is forbidden.

Lacking full control over your body is hardly a reason to forbid something. Carrying a heavy load or being tired or sick with fever or drunk or distracted by loud music or a cellular phone all reduce your control over your body. This is why there are laws against driving while impaired - not just drunk, but impaired by anything. If you were to drive blindfolded with one hand tied behind your back, you would be breaking exactly the same law.

Alcohol makes walking even harder than LSD does, so why is it allowed when LSD isn't? One argument, consistent with Gilmore's thesis, is that LSD makes you think differently (hence ungovernably), whereas alcohol merely numbs your thoughts. Governments like a numb populace, this is why Napoleon liked the church so much (opium for the masses, a good century before Marx coined the phrase), why the Soviet government subsidized vodka, etc.

[ Parent ]

They tried to legislate away alcohol. (1.10 / 10) (#109)
by suicidal ideation on Thu Oct 09, 2003 at 04:19:23 PM EST

But the heathen masses wouldn't have it. Same with drugs, it seems. One day, they will be legal. Even thought they shouldn't be.

"Repetitive guitar growing increasingly louder followed by pause." -- Trent Reznor
[ Parent ]
Re: They tried to legislate away alcohol. (none / 5) (#156)
by drsmithy on Thu Oct 09, 2003 at 08:33:48 PM EST

One day, they will be legal. Even thought they shouldn't be.

Is there anything that should be legal, or should we just get Judge Death involved right now ?

[ Parent ]

wrong (1.33 / 9) (#108)
by phred on Thu Oct 09, 2003 at 04:19:05 PM EST

look at the DUI problem. (You could try not posting wrong stuff too, but thats just a hint)

[ Parent ]
Read my above post. (1.00 / 13) (#112)
by suicidal ideation on Thu Oct 09, 2003 at 04:23:36 PM EST

Alcohol should also be illegal. And that illegality should be enforced the the fullest extent possible.

"Repetitive guitar growing increasingly louder followed by pause." -- Trent Reznor
[ Parent ]
then of course (2.12 / 8) (#118)
by phred on Thu Oct 09, 2003 at 04:44:02 PM EST

we bring back the miserable failure that prohibition turned out to be.

Now granted, full enforcement of a consistant code of absolute morality could be the way to go, but then you'd have to trust the government with issuing a correct set of morals, and I'm against this.

If its purely about ability to navigate through time and space, you'd have to put any of the physically infirm away in institutions to prevent them from causing harm, and then you'd have the government being the arbitrator to "who is sound enough to be free", or in other words, you'd have to pass a detailed physical and mental exam before you'd be allowed to walk free outside of an institution.

I don't think I like the world you propose.

[ Parent ]

I like the world I propose. (1.00 / 13) (#134)
by suicidal ideation on Thu Oct 09, 2003 at 06:38:39 PM EST

And the only reason you don't is because you know you're detrimental to society - so one where detriments are eliminated would be free from your presence.

Did I mention I like the world I propose?

"Repetitive guitar growing increasingly louder followed by pause." -- Trent Reznor
[ Parent ]
nasty path you like (none / 3) (#216)
by phred on Fri Oct 10, 2003 at 08:15:41 AM EST

where those who don't measure up to your standards of fitness are institutionalized. If someone is a burden to society, maybe disabled, elderly, or in anyway a spec from fully functional, it doesn't matter to you, maybe genetically inferior, perhaps a persons skin color isn't to your liking, or a person isn't part of the master race, away to the concentration camps they go.

Well most of society disagrees with you, so have fun on the lunatic fringe!

[ Parent ]

So ban driving while stoned (1.70 / 10) (#125)
by itsbruce on Thu Oct 09, 2003 at 06:03:54 PM EST

After all, driving while too tired is a crime in many places but nobody has made being tired a crime in itself. Is this too complex a concept for you? Getting tired doesn't hurt anybody. Driving while exhausted can kill. Getting stoned doesn't hurt anyone. Driving while stoned can kill. See the pattern?

Really, it's tiring to keep having to give lessons in logic 101 to people like you every time this topic is raised.


--It is impolite to tell a man who is carrying you on his shoulders that his head smells.
[ Parent ]

So why make anything illegal? (1.00 / 10) (#135)
by suicidal ideation on Thu Oct 09, 2003 at 06:39:27 PM EST

Automatic weapons don't kill people; firing them does. Anthrax doesn't kill people; unloading it into the water supply does. I can go on. Your argument is flawed as soon as one attempts to apply it to any sufficiently rigorous logical spectrum.

People on alcohol beat their wives and children. People on alcohol are a danger besides driving. That's why alcohol should be illegal. Everyone gets tired. It's natural. Ingesting alcohol is not.

"Repetitive guitar growing increasingly louder followed by pause." -- Trent Reznor
[ Parent ]
Can you not read? (2.00 / 10) (#139)
by itsbruce on Thu Oct 09, 2003 at 06:54:01 PM EST

I just said that driving while stoned should be illegal. Hey, it already is! Great!

In general, things that seriously harm other people should be illegal. The idea is that you should try and stop people from harming other people. However, someone getting stoned in his bedroom is harming nobody. That is why it should not be illegal.

This isn't a hard concept. Why is it causing you so much trouble?

People on alcohol beat their wives and children.

Mo. Some people who drink beat their wives and children. Many people who drink do not. People who abuse their spouses and families tend to do it when they are sober as well. It's the abuse that's wrong.

I lived with an alcholic for several years and it wasn't fun. I have no interest in downplaying the effects. But many people use alchohol responsably.

Hey, here's a thought: did you know that people who drive cars kill people? Even when sober? We should ban driving. It isn't natural.


--It is impolite to tell a man who is carrying you on his shoulders that his head smells.
[ Parent ]

libertarianism is fun! (1.57 / 7) (#150)
by celeriac on Thu Oct 09, 2003 at 07:58:41 PM EST

Automatic weapons don't kill people; firing them does.

Yup. Possession of automatic weapons should be legal.

Anthrax doesn't kill people; unloading it into the water supply does.

And posession of anthrax spores should be legal.

Your argument is flawed as soon as one attempts to apply it to any sufficiently rigorous logical spectrum.

Everything is perfectly self-consistent so far, what's your problem?

[ Parent ]

Re: So why make anything illegal? (1.57 / 7) (#155)
by drsmithy on Thu Oct 09, 2003 at 08:31:46 PM EST

People on alcohol beat their wives and children.

People not on alcohol beat their wives and children as well.

People on alcohol are a danger besides driving.

So are people who aren't.

That's why alcohol should be illegal.

Just because you can't control yourself after drinking does not mean that applies to everyone.

Ingesting alcohol is not.

It's no less natural than ingesting anything else. If you want to talk about "natural", most things you ingest every day aren't "natural".

[ Parent ]

I will accept this take on drugs (1.10 / 19) (#95)
by Easyas123 on Thu Oct 09, 2003 at 03:29:20 PM EST

The moment someone who is on them can explain the concepts their "expanded mind" envisions coherently.

Honestly, haven't most of us seen these guys in college? Do the have the ability to say anything useful? I would be all for altered visions and such, if ever it got past "Man I am really hungry right now" and " Have you ever really looked at your hand?"

The best bet foe the anti-prohibition crowd is to drop all the " expanded mind" and "thought control" nonsense.

***********************
As the wise men fortold.

well, HAVE you ever really looked at you hand? (1.20 / 10) (#99)
by gr00vey on Thu Oct 09, 2003 at 03:38:48 PM EST

;)

[ Parent ]
It's so smooth and supple (1.00 / 8) (#138)
by jt on Thu Oct 09, 2003 at 06:49:36 PM EST



[ Parent ]
Well.. (2.16 / 12) (#107)
by Magnetic North on Thu Oct 09, 2003 at 04:13:05 PM EST

I'm guessing that you're talking about marijuana. Mariujana is mildly intoxicating, not "mind expanding". At least not any more than alcohol. This is just my experience of it though.

Chemicals like Psilocybin and DMT on the other hand.. wow.. "mind expanding" can't even begin to describe their effects. Take the wildest thing you can imagine, and multiply it by the largest number you know, and you're still nowehere near understanding how profoundly these substances affect the brain.

And I'm not talking about feelings of bliss or about just letting go of everything. If your life is crap, these substances are not going to let you forget that, rather the opposite. They are not opiates that will drug you down and sedate your brain, and they are not addictive as in instantly making you want to do them again when you come "back".

Exactly how they are "mind expanding" is very hard to explain. We just don't have any reference points in our day to day lives that will suffice. The first time I went on a trip, one of my first thoughts was "How can I ever understand this when I come back?"

One way to describe it, is that the way we perceive the world is very filtered. There is something clouding our vision and understanding of things. Taking an entheogen for the first time, is like removing a blanket that's always been over your head. I'm not in any way religious, but an experience like that is so breathtaking that "religious experience" is one of the few ways I can describe it.

It's difficult to explain something like this, and I'm neither good at expressing myself nor writing english, so if you're interested in the subject, take a look at for example erowid.org where you can find far more poetic descriptions of this "mind expansion".

Depending on where you are in the world, aquisition and usage of such substances might even be legal (it is here, to some extent). If you get the chance, go for it. But don't forget that knowledge and education is important. Don't do anything like this unprepared.



--
<33333
[ Parent ]
Actually (1.00 / 13) (#111)
by Easyas123 on Thu Oct 09, 2003 at 04:23:35 PM EST

I am talking about all drugs. I have yet to see where anyone "came back" with anything useful.

The way I see it, if it is impossible to relate the experience in a "normal" state then the whole thing is kind of useless. I would have to get high to understand ,(mabye), or I have to dismiss it because no -one can explain it to me.

Add to that the whole question of did i just have my mind expanded or is that just a feeling aI get from drug interaction. Since these drugs alter your brain chemistry, how can I be sure that the deep insights are nothing more than that?

***********************
As the wise men fortold.
[ Parent ]

Art, music (1.55 / 9) (#122)
by celeriac on Thu Oct 09, 2003 at 05:47:43 PM EST

I am talking about all drugs. I have yet to see where anyone "came back" with anything useful.

You can certainly find instances of worthwhile things created due to drugs.

Miles Davis's "Bitches Brew" for instance was created mostly under the influence of LSD and cocaine. It is one of the seminal musical works of the 20th century.

[ Parent ]

The notes (none / 4) (#242)
by Easyas123 on Fri Oct 10, 2003 at 10:27:26 AM EST

Were there. The musical theory was there. The talent was damn sure there. So many pieces of exellent music were written without drugs that I hesitate to say that Mr. davis would not have written such a great piece of music without it.

What I want to see is the guy with no talent, no knowledge of music theory, take some cocaine and impress someione due to "mind expansion". I know that was over the top, but I do not see even mediocre talents becoming better due to drugs.

***********************
As the wise men fortold.
[ Parent ]

I guess you're not a fan of The Doors then [nt] (1.28 / 7) (#189)
by QuantumG on Fri Oct 10, 2003 at 01:51:01 AM EST



Gun fire is the sound of freedom.
[ Parent ]
You mean (none / 4) (#245)
by Easyas123 on Fri Oct 10, 2003 at 10:41:24 AM EST

the same Doors who readily admit that they did their worst work when they were bombed? The Doors that admit that they let drugs get in the way of their musical talent? Those Doors?

***********************
As the wise men fortold.
[ Parent ]

Sure (none / 4) (#248)
by Dphitz on Fri Oct 10, 2003 at 11:32:32 AM EST

The band said that but certainly not Jim Morrison.  And that's probably a PC answer at best.  They did their worst stage performances and recording sessions while they were bombed but Jim was under some heavy influence when he wrote those amazing lyrics, which was the basis of the band.  Why do you think the band is named The Doors?  


God, please save me . . . from your followers

[ Parent ]
Altered States (1.50 / 6) (#199)
by kraant on Fri Oct 10, 2003 at 03:48:53 AM EST

I can't relate to you how I feel when I'm playing music either, it's just too hard to explain.

But I can assure you that at least a couple of people I know feel, I hesitate to use the word useful, but they definitely enjoy what I play.
--
"kraant, open source guru" -- tumeric
Never In Our Names...
[ Parent ]

Personal discovery (1.87 / 8) (#215)
by Space on Fri Oct 10, 2003 at 07:31:44 AM EST

This isn't always true. Some wild hallucinations may seem real and important at the time and just turn out to be fluff when you regain your composure but many people I know have made significant personal discoveries about themselves while tripping. I once broke down in tears and wept on a LSD trip because I realised how egotistical I was and how bad that made other people feel about themselves. I would never have came to this conclusion any way else. A female friend of mine while on esctacy realised how vampy she was and how selfish and hurtful the way she treated her boyfriend was. Another friend of mine on hashish oil realised how superficial some of his longest friendships were because he could only think of the same topics to discuss whenever they spent time together.
<recycle your pets>
[ Parent ]
It sounds (none / 4) (#230)
by Easyas123 on Fri Oct 10, 2003 at 10:08:09 AM EST

Like they were just shallow people. I do not see anything that a good talking to, therapy or maturity couldn't have cured.

***********************
As the wise men fortold.
[ Parent ]

Alternative methods (none / 4) (#294)
by bigpianist on Sat Oct 11, 2003 at 01:16:32 AM EST

Therapy does not facilitate immediate realization; it's a long process. Therapy only works if someone wants to talk. Not everyone is mature. Most people are not mature enough to recognize that a problem exists let alone seek help for it.

Shallow people or not, on these substances, in a matter of hours or perhaps minutes, Space and his friends were able to realize and confront some of their problems. I think that's very positive.

Why do you think that therapy or a good talking too is a better solution? Because it doesn't involve drugs? Because it is more "natural" or "traditional"? Because it is socially acceptable or grounded in some psychological theory-de-jour?

If so, I have to disagree with you. These substances are not panacea for personal issues but if they are effective, there is something there that cannot be denied.

[ Parent ]
Pot (1.14 / 7) (#146)
by jynx on Thu Oct 09, 2003 at 07:46:42 PM EST

I'm guessing that you're talking about marijuana. Mariujana is mildly intoxicating, not "mind expanding". At least not any more than alcohol. This is just my experience of it though.

I disagree with this. Cannabis is more mind expanding that alcohol. Not by huge amount, admittedly, but I definately find there is a difference. (Although, it depends hugely on how you define "mind-expanding".)

As people are demanding specific examples, I'll give one. Try coding after smoking a small amount of pot. I won't go as far as saying that it makes me a better programmer, but I do find that it makes subtle changes to the way I think about problems. I'll often find very different ways to decompose problems, that I would not have thought of while straight.

My (admittedly unscientific and anecdotaly based) explanation of this that cannabis causes your train of thought to go off at odd angles. When coding (or doing other creative activities which require inspirational leaps) this can be an advantage.

Obviously the advantages of this effect disappear beyond a certain point. If you get stoned, your train of thought becomes too random to be able to program usefully.

I'm sure there are benefits in other areas. I'm think that if I was into creative writing or poetry, cannabis would be a very useful tool. I find that I'm much more imaginative and introspective after smoking.

I can see why people think that cannabis is universally bad and deny that it can have any benefits. To start with there is the stereotype of "a stoner", which I'll admit is quite applicable to some people who misuse cannabis. But it not universally applicable, just like not all people who drink are drunkards. Secondly, a lot of people have experienced cannabis, usually at some party where they had already been drinking, which is really not the best wayt to explore it's effects. Just like drinking, smoking pot requires some practice to preperly appreciate. How many people misused alchohol when they became old enough to use it? Should it be banned because teenagers get drunk?

--

[ Parent ]

I can (none / 4) (#229)
by Easyas123 on Fri Oct 10, 2003 at 10:04:24 AM EST

See what you are saying, but I find a few points of disagreement. Let me first say that I use coffee and alcohol in a casual way. I am by no means a "drugs are evil" guy but anyway:
  1. What amount and strength of pot would you need to enter that state? I am betting it can vary wildly from time to time.
  2. I've done some inventive stuff writing on alcohol, but it was nothing that I feel that I could not have come up with in a normal state. Plus for every magic turn of phrase I have written, there have been 10 pieces of crap.
  3. is your inventive leap something that was not there before? I would doubt it. If you write some elegant code, and show it to some one else is their reaction more "This is new!" or " Good job, that was nice work." If it is more of the second I would assume that a person in a normal stste could have done the same just through dilligence and intelligence.

I am wishy wasy on the "dangers" of drugs but I feel fairly confident that the "feeling " of mind expansion is nothing more than that. A feeling.

***********************
As the wise men fortold.
[ Parent ]

Coding whilst drunk (none / 4) (#285)
by QuantumG on Fri Oct 10, 2003 at 10:47:54 PM EST

It's great fun and I seem to do a heck a lot more work as a result of it. Compilers and test sets are great things because they give you straight yes/no answers.. there's no arguing with them. So when you're drunk you go about programming in a completely different way and you just don't stop until that compiler says yes.

Gun fire is the sound of freedom.
[ Parent ]
Right on! (none / 5) (#218)
by trezor on Fri Oct 10, 2003 at 08:28:55 AM EST

    One way to describe it, is that the way we perceive the world is very filtered. There is something clouding our vision and understanding of things. Taking an entheogen for the first time, is like removing a blanket that's always been over your head.

Right on! I remember how everything around me all of sudden were beatifull, how I felt peace and understanding (and all those hippie cliches anyway).

The way our minds work, is simplifing what we see and experience, so that usual or casual stuff gets more or less removed from our attention. It gets graded "unimportant".

Taking mind-expanding drugs, takes away all these filters your mind has built up, and let's you see the world for what it really is.

And that's an awesome experience, which really can't be described properly. Sure, some guys get close, but to actually explain how things are and feels to someone who hans't tried halunating drugs... I can't really see how that should be done.


--
Richard Dean Anderson porn? - Now spread the news

[ Parent ]
That is part (none / 4) (#225)
by Easyas123 on Fri Oct 10, 2003 at 09:43:07 AM EST

Of my point. The term you used is hallucinating drugs. People who hallucinate are not seing anything that is real. Be it butterflies or monsters, it is not real. Perhaps it is real to them but if they see a bird or are attacked by a monster neither people in "normal" states or other hallucinators will see what they see.

Therefore I have to ask, what if the feeling you have is just another form of hallucination with no basis in reality? If I come up with a new approach to writing, or art or even programming, I can explain my logic to you and codify it. I have yet to see that from a mind that has bee "expanded" by drugs.

***********************
As the wise men fortold.
[ Parent ]

Wow, an objective realist (none / 4) (#284)
by QuantumG on Fri Oct 10, 2003 at 10:45:30 PM EST

Havn't seen one of those in a while.

Gun fire is the sound of freedom.
[ Parent ]
Yes folks. (none / 1) (#326)
by DavidTC on Sun Oct 12, 2003 at 01:25:32 AM EST

It's once again time for that little know 1st amendment exception, where, while you have the right to think anything you want, it has to 'make sense'!

Luckily, the government has this handy dandy chart to tell you exactly what thoughts make sense, and hence what you are allowed to think.

Get over yourself, dude. Just because you think someone is factually wrong doesn't give the government the right to make it where they cannot think that. Even if someone is provably wrong the government doesn't have the right to alter their thoughts against their will, or the right to stop them from altering their own thoughts.

(In fact, I don't even think the government has the right to even attempt to alter our opinions, and to do so is extreme hubris...we control them, they do not control us. They shouldn't be giving out any sort of moral or any other opinions. But that's not really relevent, except in that the DEA seems to like to try to influence how we think about drug legalization.)

-David T. C.
Yes, my email address is real.
[ Parent ]

Precisely. (none / 4) (#257)
by CoolSpot on Fri Oct 10, 2003 at 03:15:58 PM EST

The way our minds work, is simplifing what we see and experience, so that usual or casual stuff gets more or less removed from our attention. It gets graded "unimportant".

Taking mind-expanding drugs, takes away all these filters your mind has built up, and let's you see the world for what it really is.

Yes! Someone else thinks the way I do. are on some drugs, you become acutely aware of how much information you mind filters out as "unimportant" during any situation. The mind blowing part is how well the mind functions while dealing with a staggering amount of stimulae. That is the cool part of being high, being aware of everything, including the stuff that would normally be filtered out.

[ Parent ]

You're a moron (1.21 / 14) (#130)
by CaptainSuperBoy on Thu Oct 09, 2003 at 06:24:46 PM EST

With deep-rooted prejudices. And you have no business deciding what other people get to do with their minds.

--
jimmysquid.com - I take pictures.
[ Parent ]
I don't do this usually. (none / 5) (#224)
by Easyas123 on Fri Oct 10, 2003 at 09:35:01 AM EST

But you are an idiot and a fool. If you cannot contribute to the discussion, go away. If you have a point to make that is on topic, please speak up. Otherwise, STFU.

***********************
As the wise men fortold.
[ Parent ]

OK (1.75 / 12) (#148)
by freality on Thu Oct 09, 2003 at 07:54:26 PM EST

They help us contemplate God:

"Beer is living proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy." -- Benjamin Franklin

"If I cannot smoke cigars in Heaven, I shall not go." -- Mark Twain

They help us see objective truth:

"I believe that pipe smoking contributes to a somewhat calm and objective judgment in all human affairs." -- Albert Einstein

Ourselves:

"I don't do drugs.  I am drugs." -- Salvador Dali

Freedom:

"If a man wishes to rid himself of a feeling of unbearable oppression, he may have to take to Hashish." -- Friedrich Nietzsche

And these are just the easy ones.  Try talking to a south-western native about peyote.

[ Parent ]

As Bill Hicks once said (a paraphrase) (1.76 / 13) (#151)
by Dphitz on Thu Oct 09, 2003 at 08:06:49 PM EST

If you really believe drugs haven't expanded anyone's mind or helped create anything then take all your good music, books, art etc and throw them in the trash.  Because the people who made that stuff that you love so much were rrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrreal fuckin high.

Being an artist I can relate.  After using certain drugs (psilocybin and even some good pot) my artwork took a turn for the better.  You think of things you normally would not and your mind works in ways in normally does not.  And never underestimate the power of a good hallucination.  As Magnetic stated, it's hard to explain "mind expanding".  Try explainging the sensation of an orgasm to someone who hasn't had one.  You can't really.  Sure there are plenty of those "I'm hungry" types but drugs will affect people in different ways.  Creative types may become more creative.

Excuse me, I must go spark a bowl.


God, please save me . . . from your followers

[ Parent ]

I guess (none / 0) (#345)
by epepke on Mon Oct 13, 2003 at 09:03:32 PM EST

Maybe that's why I always preferred Frank Zappa over the other sixties and seventies detritus.


The truth may be out there, but lies are inside your head.--Terry Pratchett


[ Parent ]
It's called "satori" [n/t] (none / 5) (#180)
by felixrayman on Thu Oct 09, 2003 at 11:47:30 PM EST



Call Donald Rumsfeld and tell him our sorry asses are ready to go home. Tell him to come spend a night in our building. - Pfc. Matthew C. O'Dell

[ Parent ]
Entheogens (1.60 / 15) (#100)
by Magnetic North on Thu Oct 09, 2003 at 03:39:40 PM EST

He might sound like a naive drug crazed teen, but I firmly believe that if more people tried, and used, entheogens our societies would benefit from it. That's not to say that there is some worldwide conspiracy to keep us down, but people are, as always, afraid of what they don't know. Other explanations are that such substances are lumped together with "narcotics" like heroin and cocaine, even though it has very little in common with these.

Just try some. Psilocybin will change how you view the world.



--
<33333
Entheogens (1.00 / 9) (#124)
by celeriac on Thu Oct 09, 2003 at 05:54:02 PM EST

People who seriously use the word "Entheogen" will be first against the wall when the revolution comes.

[ Parent ]
Better than.. (none / 4) (#213)
by Magnetic North on Fri Oct 10, 2003 at 06:55:04 AM EST

hallucinogens.. which makes it sound like they're all causing hallucinations, which they don't (I know.. some, like DMT, do).



--
<33333
[ Parent ]
Simple Creatures (1.00 / 23) (#103)
by Steeleye on Thu Oct 09, 2003 at 03:54:47 PM EST

People like Mr. Gilmore are not so complex as they try to appear. They tend to go to great lengths to justify their addiction(s). This viewpoint he is espousing is obviously one such "great length." In the past, many substances were sold under the guise of being "cure-alls." These substances were of course nothing more than snake oil with a little heroine mixed in sold by unscrupulous people. True your ulcer was still bleeding, but you didnt care anymore. True you still had the flu, but you didnt care anymore. So here we are with something like 80% of the populace addicted to heroine. What a paradise it must have been. Seriously, this was a dangerous situation because the symptoms are not being treated, and more importantly, people DIDNT CARE anymore, thus the "tyrants," as I have seen them called in this forum, took control of such substances (and we have the beginnings of the evil FDA, well evil if you want to sell herbs that do nothing..at least the snake oil salesmen had heroine in their junk). Further back in history, we have India, who legalized hashish. Given that the greatest percentage of the populace was reliant on WORK in their fields to survive. This was a very bad move and the legalization was recinded. Why? because people didnt care anymore and wouldnt work hard enough to feed themselves. Survival requires people to take an active role in their lives. Any such "opening of mind" provided by addictive drugs is apparently not too terribly useful if all you want to do is lay around and get more of your chosen drug. We really are just simple creatures. At the risk of opening an entirely new can of worms, people here beg for hard evidence to refute their claims that drugs are harmful to society and that they open up ones spiritual being. I think the obvious amotivational factors are easily hard evidence for the first, so Where is the hard evidence of any "spiritual being"? Ill tell you where..nowhere. Humans are really just simple creatures. Just like your basic lab rats. You want more of what makes you feel good. Success equals dopamine release equals feel good. People who get addicted to drugs are those who are not getting their little dopamine fix from positive things happening to them in their lives, so they get it the "old fashioned way," they smoke it. The absolute strongest argument for the use of drugs is this "whats wrong with just wanting to feel good?" A very simple statement, and very hard to refute. Nothing in it about government plots that I can see. And frankly thats what all arguments for the use of such amotivational dopamine releasing illegal drugs boil down to. Which brings me back to "Mr. Gilmore is going to extravagant lengths to justify something." Key word is extravagant. He is not to be taken seriously in such a position.

distinctions (1.85 / 7) (#127)
by MX5 on Thu Oct 09, 2003 at 06:06:42 PM EST

Can't disagree with anything you've written, but it applies to pretty well anything - and really the realisation that drugs are shite is like the realisation that TV programme X is shite: we all have to find out these things for ourselves.

Mr Gilmore might be "extravagant" in his arguments, but the core point is perhaps still valid: if he wants to screw up his life, who is anyone to stop him? Sure we can tell him what we think, someone might be able to persuade him to quit his negative behaviours (or even to deal with the underlying cause), but for me the key question is, "does making substance x illegal make any difference to the effectiveness of such persuasion?".

I don't know the answer to that question.

-M

[ Parent ]

Heroin (2.33 / 6) (#131)
by CaptainSuperBoy on Thu Oct 09, 2003 at 06:29:13 PM EST

It's spelled heroin and there is no point in time when 80% of people in the US or elsewhere were addicted to it.

--
jimmysquid.com - I take pictures.
[ Parent ]
Agreed (none / 1) (#339)
by sleepyhead on Mon Oct 13, 2003 at 03:07:21 PM EST

I have to agree with you on this. If drug use is so inspiring and enlightening, where or how does this manifest itself? I've seen the results of people who THINK they're more enlightened because of their drug use, but this delusion is all part of the package. It's almost like witnessing someone's drunken foolishness- the fool is blissfully unaware.

Let's not forget- drug proponents (especially those pushing for the legalization of marajuana) often try to paint a picture of complete (or relative) harmlessness. What I never see mentioned is the very real effect that it has one's ability to think clearly and rationally. The lowering of inhibitions (as with alcohol) and the kinds of decisions that follow, have very real consequences.

[ Parent ]

That's sort of the point.. (none / 1) (#343)
by QuantumG on Mon Oct 13, 2003 at 06:52:01 PM EST

rational thought is not the placenta of human existence.

Gun fire is the sound of freedom.
[ Parent ]
psuedoscience (none / 0) (#374)
by knobmaker on Wed Oct 22, 2003 at 03:13:04 PM EST

This psuedoscientific rant suffers from a serious deficiency in factual content.

The historic events he cites do not support his argument. It was not prohibition of opiates that saved people from being opiate addicts in the early 20th century. It was truth-in-labelling laws, which revealed to users that they were addicted to laudanum (not heroin). Addiction rates had dropped to low levels before the prohibition of over-the-counter opiates, which was not complete for many decades after. (I can remember when paregoric was available without a prescription. Not that long ago, chirren.)

The amotivational mythology has long been dismissed by all serious researchers, including the Institute of Medicine in the report commissioned by Clinton's drug czar. One need only consider the "amotivational" effects of cocaine and methamphetamine, to see through the whole "it's so simple" nonsense.

[ Parent ]

A new low in K5 history... (1.61 / 21) (#119)
by esq on Thu Oct 09, 2003 at 05:28:57 PM EST

Ok, perhaps a little melodramatic, but the quality of comments so far is definitely below K5's normal quality

RANT ON

One of the things I've noticed during my time in the US us that very few people think about their world and their relationship to it, especially where governments are concerned, preferring the soundbite "just say no" approach. This possibly explains why the US government gets away with as much as it does.

Freedom (why start with a little topic?)

I would put the point differently than John Gilmore did.

The right to speak is only as good as the right to act.

In a law-abiding society we accept that there is a need to accept restrictions on action, but that these restrictions are the exception and not the rule and are imposed with good reason.

It's a trade off, but I think I can find a few hundred million people who think it's a good tradeoff.

The failure of the war on drugs implies that the reasons for the limitation of this particular freedom are not well accepted.

Like everything in the world, it's all about tradeoffs. Absolute rights and wrongs only have a place in religion.

If you find an absolute you are wrong. (If you see Budda on the road, kill him :-)

Drugs

All drugs - legal, illegal, ignored are a trade off between cost and benefit.

Coffee is accepted by most to be good drug because it's benefits (including the enjoyment of the user) outweight the costs.

Cigarettes less so, but they're generally accepted by society

Every drug has costs. Drugs that have no benefits (including user enjoyment) don't sell. Thus we must conclude that all the drugs used have some benefit.

If you down believe this, feel free to look at at http://www.lamisil.com/info/product.jsp to see what people will risk to get better looking toe-nails!

Managing Risk and Benefit

I always look at why people look at illicit drugs as such a special problem.

Society has mechanisms that classify and appropriately handle a variety of risk / benefit tradeoffs

  • drugs with small risks (such as chocolate and coffee) are distributed without formal restriction, but children are expected to be protected to some degree by their parents.
  • drugs with significant benefits (remember user enjoyment is a benefit) but long-term risks are somewhat controlled by the government, but in a fairly non-discriminatory way
Drugs in this category include alchol, cigarettes, and OTC drugs. Any adult within some limits has access. Children are protected by requiring the vendor to adhere to some standard, such as age or quantity.

- drugs with significant immediate risks are formally evaluated and only allowed to be taken is circumstances where a qualified professional feels that the benefits for an individual outweigh the risks.

It's not a perfect system, but it does give the right result most of the time.

More to the point, it would seem to be perfectly capable of handing almost all of the illicit drugs, especially the more common ones such as pot, ecstacy, cocaine etc.

Putting them in this framework also allows us to sensibly evaluate the risk / benefit tradeoff, something which is actively discouraged in the US because it's easier just to call them bad.

The govenment

Why have one? People seem to treat it as one of life's evils, unknown unjustified and best ignored.

Why do you want a government?

I want a govenment to gain the benefits of collective action (I'll never have enough money to build a road system or build a rocket to go to mars or to stop millions of children from starving but I want these things to happen), but without placing undue restrictions on it's people without a cause.

The rest of it (police, taxes etc) flow from that.

So what moral right does the government have to control the use and distribution of drugs?

None!

But I would argue only in cases where the risks can, scientifically, be demonstrated to be far greater than the potential perceived benefits for people without particular medical or pschylogical needs it is to everybodies benefit to have some control.

Because it's not about right and wrong, but about risk and benefit. If I screw up that decision that that's may personal choice and I promise not to blame you.

Whose risk? Whose benefit? (1.71 / 7) (#197)
by Julian Morrison on Fri Oct 10, 2003 at 03:18:32 AM EST

But I would argue only in cases where the risks can, scientifically, be demonstrated to be far greater than the potential perceived benefits for people without particular medical or psychlogical needs it is to everybodies benefit to have some control.
No, I disagree. The idea that a "scientist" can decide the risk/benefit ratio is a conceptual mistake. Specifically, you are mistakenly detaching value from a valuer. Goodness and badness of outcomes relates not to some external "objective" standard, but to subjective preference rankings. If I say something is good for me, I mean it serves my goals. Bad, and it hinders them.

Who else could possibly judge such a thing? Nobody else knows my goals, my situation, or my unique nature. If I were in need of energy, sugar would be good for me. If I became diabetic, bad for me. If I remained diabetic but sought suicide, good for me again. Who else can judge?

Thus the downfall of "the wise knowing technocrat", "scientific communism", and all forms of central planning, economic or, as in this case, pharmaceutical.

[ Parent ]
Illegal Drugs Suck but so Does Prison America (1.25 / 16) (#133)
by CoolName on Thu Oct 09, 2003 at 06:33:33 PM EST

The United States is a happier country with liberalized drug laws. People are now being raped in prison and have had their lives permanently derailed because of marijuana use. Prison costs are enormous and released felons are a drag on the econony because of the difficulty of finding jobs. One can go on from drug abuse and lead a productive life. Witness George Bush. Okay bad example, but the point stands putting people in the criminal justice system for non-violent soft drug abuse when one is young is a drag on economic growth and immoral to boot.

"What does your conscience say? -- 'You shall become the person you are.'" Friedrich Nietzsche


Yeah, no (1.72 / 11) (#137)
by American Jesus on Thu Oct 09, 2003 at 06:48:50 PM EST

Using brain damaging drugs does not give you some sort of extra freedom in your mind.

Actually, it does. But don't let me get in the way of your complete ignorance.



Hypocrite (1.72 / 11) (#165)
by felixrayman on Thu Oct 09, 2003 at 10:38:16 PM EST

The proof of your comment, one must assume, is lodged firmly up your ass. You have as much of a burden of proof as the other guy, you provided precisely jack shit in the way of proof of your comment, then had a major league hissy fit about the lack of proof of the other guy's comment.

What a fucktard.

Call Donald Rumsfeld and tell him our sorry asses are ready to go home. Tell him to come spend a night in our building. - Pfc. Matthew C. O'Dell

[ Parent ]
Technically, the fish is freer ouside the bowl (2.42 / 7) (#186)
by fenix down on Fri Oct 10, 2003 at 01:09:41 AM EST

It' still gonna die. Whether or not taking drugs is a good plan, you have to admit that they clearly create events, in your brain, that your brain wasn't able to do without them. Godspeed if your limbic has the freedom to flood your system with dopamine on command, but the rest of us are a bit impaired in that area.

[ Parent ]
Maybe just legalize marajuana? (1.15 / 13) (#141)
by A synx on Thu Oct 09, 2003 at 06:58:20 PM EST

So Libertarians only want laws that enforce social mores?  I would say far the opposite is needed: our legal system is notorious for passing laws on social problems and missing the point entirely.  Take for instance anti-drug laws.  If only drugs that are harmful, tobacco for instance, were made illegal, then all of a sudden the ponderous amount of marajuana prisoners would evaporate!  Harmful is a hard word to define though, some people even get damaged by caffeine or asparitame.  Some drugs aren't directly harmful but addict you so bad you end up taking harmful quantities, or use it for a prolonged amount of time, like tobacco for instance.  

Of course laws will always be influenced by society,  gay marraiges anyone?  People won't vote for laws that disturb the status quo and they will vote for laws that do nothing except harm the counterculture and minorities.  The law to illegalize marajuana for instance.  Or how about those exotic pets?  In my state the domestic ferret is classified alongside cougars and wolverines as a dangerous wild animal.  Laws are easy prey to societal pressure: all someone (*cough*NRA*cough*) has to do is scream loud enough and the law will be passed, rational or not.  Also rich people influence laws, obviously because otherwise they would be paying taxes.

Therefore, I don't predict an easy solution to emptying out our jails of good people.  Thoreau once said that when good men are sent to prison there is something wrong with the law, but until we figure out a way to make laws that don't cater to the rich, destroy the free market, oppress the citizens, and blame minorities, we won't be able to legalize proper recereational drugs.

NRA? (1.00 / 7) (#158)
by CaptainSuperBoy on Thu Oct 09, 2003 at 09:25:06 PM EST

When was the last time the NRA lobbied to get a law passed?

--
jimmysquid.com - I take pictures.
[ Parent ]
Enforcing social mores? (1.71 / 7) (#200)
by Handyman on Fri Oct 10, 2003 at 03:50:34 AM EST

So Libertarians only want laws that enforce social mores?  I would say far the opposite is needed: our legal system is notorious for passing laws on social problems and missing the point entirely.

The what, now? I may not be a hardcore Libertarian, but I was under the distinct impression that they severely disdain laws that enforce social mores. As in, it encumbers our freedom for there to be an arbitrary law against X (where X is a social taboo such as drugs, gambling, prostitution, etc.). Your second sentence seems to agree with this viewpoint, which confuses me.

I agree with the conclusion you reach, that of needing a better way to make laws, as a practical solution; however, I would much rather see a world where such laws were not needed (i.e. prohibitions of social mores, or anything really that's none of the government's business).

--
Never be afraid to be the first one on the dance floor.
[ Parent ]

uh (none / 3) (#306)
by zorander on Sat Oct 11, 2003 at 03:36:45 PM EST

What's this about the rich people paying no taxes? The top 5% in income pay 55% of income taxes. The top 50% in income pay 96% of income taxes. I'm not neccesarily complaining, but you can't say that rich people aren't paying taxes unless you're pulling the words from your rear orifice. In fact, percentagewise their tax brackets are significantly more confiscatory than those for the poor. What would happen to the already dirt-poor in our society if they were subjected to 38% income tax like the more wealthy people are? How about property taxes--the wealthy pay significant amounts (20+% where i'm from) and the less wealthy don't pay any because they tend to rent (which is a problem in its own right...but thats out of context of the discussion)... Even the sales tax where i'm from is ridiculous...8.25%....and most items neccesary for getting by in life are exempt are taxes much less, making it the luxury items that incur the most sales tax. Should the rich pay more percentagewise? I could generally argue either side on that one, but it is simply irresponsible to imply that the rich have changed the laws around to prevent themselves from being taxed... Brian
---- Want to get into Linux? Cheap systems available now at eLinuxBox.com.
[ Parent ]
In a time of such prosperity as this.. (none / 1) (#312)
by QuantumG on Sat Oct 11, 2003 at 06:53:40 PM EST

we should all be paying no more than 1% of our income, and we should be paying it voluntarily.

Gun fire is the sound of freedom.
[ Parent ]
I agree (1.13 / 15) (#145)
by freality on Thu Oct 09, 2003 at 07:34:30 PM EST

He's right.

I haven't heard the point pushed this far before, but the logic is sound.  Drugs are yet another way to express one's self, for better or worse.

The real test is harm.  The closest analogy is drinking and driving.  It's clear that pot smoking on your couch should, by this analogy, be legal and free as the trees.  Driving while smoking pot?  Ask the actuaries.  It's that simple.

So, we've got to stop this, but yes, by focusing on the good of drugs.  How?  Perhaps an Apple-like campaign.. "Think Different" along with known drug users using their drug of choice. Like Gilmore says, make a good argument to those around you.

Next, get the votes.  California will be ready after Arnie.  After California, maybe most of the West can follow.  I imagine the "I'm not doing anyone harm" argument goes over best in sparsely populated, tollerant areas.

They already did that one.. (1.00 / 7) (#149)
by Magnetic North on Thu Oct 09, 2003 at 07:57:38 PM EST

Think different



--
<33333
[ Parent ]
yeah but... (1.50 / 6) (#223)
by jolt rush soon on Fri Oct 10, 2003 at 09:15:47 AM EST

... she was on legal drugs:
The funny thing was, I was on drugs! I was on Benedryl, my allergy medication, so I was really out of it anyway. That's why my eyes were all red, because I have seasonal allergies. But no one believes me.

--
Subosc — free electronic music.
[ Parent ]
The real test is harm (none / 4) (#272)
by Dwonis on Fri Oct 10, 2003 at 07:15:39 PM EST

The real test is harm.

Exactly.

The closest analogy is drinking and driving. It's clear that pot smoking on your couch should, by this analogy, be legal and free as the trees.

What about the young children in the house, whose development will be adversely affected by their parents' second-hand pot smoke or drug-induced irresponsibility?

[ Parent ]

Cigs (none / 3) (#295)
by kraant on Sat Oct 11, 2003 at 02:04:24 AM EST

So when are you going to start campaigning for the banning of tobacco?
--
"kraant, open source guru" -- tumeric
Never In Our Names...
[ Parent ]
it is actually more likely that we'll go this way (none / 1) (#311)
by QuantumG on Sat Oct 11, 2003 at 06:51:51 PM EST

along with sugar and high fat foods.

Gun fire is the sound of freedom.
[ Parent ]
Damn. (none / 1) (#323)
by DavidTC on Sun Oct 12, 2003 at 12:59:05 AM EST

If only we had some sort of law under which it was illegal to harm your own children, or to neglect them!

-David T. C.
Yes, my email address is real.
[ Parent ]
Every time you use drugs.... (1.06 / 16) (#172)
by felixrayman on Thu Oct 09, 2003 at 11:26:32 PM EST

God kills a puppy.

Call Donald Rumsfeld and tell him our sorry asses are ready to go home. Tell him to come spend a night in our building. - Pfc. Matthew C. O'Dell

I was always more of a cat person anyway. [nt] (1.87 / 8) (#185)
by fenix down on Fri Oct 10, 2003 at 12:55:58 AM EST



[ Parent ]
OK (none / 0) (#350)
by TheOnlyCoolTim on Tue Oct 14, 2003 at 04:56:55 AM EST

Smoke up all you want but you better not jack it.

Tim
"We are trapped in the belly of this horrible machine, and the machine is bleeding to death."
[ Parent ]

A bit paranoid (1.64 / 14) (#175)
by bodrius on Thu Oct 09, 2003 at 11:39:35 PM EST

Or maybe he's just anthropomorphizing the government too much.

Drug-control laws are not instituted, enforced, or even suggested through some great plan to control the mind states of the citizens.

If they were, you would see a lot of prohibited substances being freely traded, and a perhaps some freely traded substances would be illegal.

Marijuana, for example, does not serve the purpose of the Big Brother government Gilmore implies. While there is use of marijuana in the counterculture, the only "countercultural" aspect of it is the fact that it's currently prohibited. As a matter of fact, the only real link a lot of potheads have with any counterculture is the acquisition and use of marijuana. If it were distributed and used legally, however, it would be much more effective at relaxing and pacifying the general public than, say, alcohol.

Governments do prohibit certain types of intoxication for the good of the citizens. They do this not because of the kindness of their hearts, but because their selfish, non-intoxicated citizens request it: they form groups, send letters, march and complain, and consistently vote for politicians that are "anti-drugs".

Democracy in action.

The dull, uninformed, sober and unenlightened citizen that represents this political force is not concerned with the safety or health of the drug-using citizen. He's concerned with his own, and his childrens'. He's worried about intoxicated people hurting them, and about those people getting the progeny intoxicated.

As Gilmore says, the control methods are not working. They don't protect the non-drug-using demographic as they expect, and they certainly put the drug-using population at risk. However, there's a big logic gap before we can envision the paradise of enlightened and safe drug-use held together by social rules that "pro-drugs" activists like to envision. After millenia of experience, social rules and feedback controlling the consumption of alcohol, we still run great risks and as a society sometimes pay the price. That's a drug that's still far more restricted than his unfortunate analogy of matches... and I certainly would be less worried about the effect a burn from a match on a child, or even a couple of beers, than that of a line of cocaine.

Maybe he's right. Maybe if all of society were educated on the real effects of drugs, their consequences, etc. it would be both easier to use drugs responsibly and to protect people from irresponsible users without strict regulation.

However, as long as the "pro-drug" camp ignores the legitimate concerns of the rest of the population, they will (and should) lose that battle. But that would require them to stop pretending their opponents are some sort of left-over conspiracy from the 60s that's out to get them because of their political ideas. Rather, they should be making a compelling case to Soccer Mom about why letting them play with their body chemistry does not pose a danger to Little Jimmy, or his chances of getting into college.

 
Freedom is the freedom to say 2+2=4, everything else follows...

Marijuana and mind altering (2.00 / 10) (#188)
by QuantumG on Fri Oct 10, 2003 at 01:46:05 AM EST

I really do think Marijuana is a mind altering drug. In particular, it makes you feel ok with being bored . It doesn't alleviate boredom, but it makes you less proactive about fixing your boredom. That's exactly the kind of mind altering that the government has an interest in stopping. Many people complete lose their minds when they stop working. They can't even take a holiday without feeling like they've gotta get back to work. That mentality has been breed into our society by a government which reduces the minumum number of holidays that have to be given to workers. A drug like Marijuana poses a greater threat to the economy than allowing people to go on 6 week holidays, because it makes some people feel ok about not going to work at all (or at least, only as much as they need to get by).

Gun fire is the sound of freedom.
[ Parent ]
Simple but complex looking (none / 1) (#329)
by Dyolf Knip on Sun Oct 12, 2003 at 02:33:07 AM EST

Politicians seeking office have long since learned that if you want to win a public office, there's no better way than to pick some public saftey issue and claim to do more about it than the other guy.

It generally gets to be a bigger problem, though, since each succeeding office-seeker must be seen to be harder and harder on drugs than the previous one. Once posession is illegal and the punishments have long since passed beyond all reason, you're left with talking and thinking about it. Methamphetamine Antiproliferation Act, anyone?

The important thing to notice is that none of the politicians who push for 'life imprisonment to drug users' need actually believe the crap they spout (no doubt many do, though). It's just the best course of action for their own career at the moment. But multiply this by several thousand careers across a multitude of agencies over the course of a couple decades combined with a populace willing to accept any kind of wild-eyed and fanciful claim, and you find yourself with such a quantity of stupid and draconian laws apparently designed to herd people like sheep you can't help but imagine there was a secret cabal at work.

Sighhh. As you said, Democracy in action. "People in a democracy usually get exactly the government deserve", right?

---
If you can't learn to do something well, learn to enjoy doing it poorly.

Dyolf Knip
[ Parent ]

Huh ? (1.46 / 15) (#194)
by bugmaster on Fri Oct 10, 2003 at 02:48:43 AM EST

How does "I can't buy crack over the counter" translates into "the government is telling me what to think" ? That looks to me like a gigantic leap of faith, not a reasonable argument.

Now, don't get me wrong, I actually believe that drugs should be legalized and regulated, in the same way that alcohol is legalized and regulated (only with tougher controls for stuff like crack). The War on Drugs has clearly failed; and I agree with nearly everything else that Gilmore says on the subject.

However, his main premise is simply ridiculous. Is he trying to say that the human brain requires a daily dose of psychotropic drugs to function normally ? Or that maybe the evil government drones are putting Nancy-grade anti-drug mind-control devices into our heads ? The bottom line is, you can't build a convincing case on such a ridiculous foundation, even if your cause is just.
>|<*:=

it is perfectly clear what he was saying.. (1.87 / 8) (#205)
by QuantumG on Fri Oct 10, 2003 at 04:15:07 AM EST

In the US I have the right to say whatever I want. You can't regulate what I can and cannot say. The same cannot be said about how I think. I don't have the right to think any way I want to think in the US. The government does regulate how I can and cannot think. It is prohibited for me to alter the state of my mind using drugs. So what good is having the right to speak freely if the way I think can be regulated?

It might not be a good argument, but at least understand what his argument is.

Gun fire is the sound of freedom.
[ Parent ]

Clear but still ridiculous (1.00 / 6) (#208)
by bugmaster on Fri Oct 10, 2003 at 05:16:32 AM EST

The US government does not regulate what you're thinking -- it regulates what you ingest (or inhale or inject or whatever). This is an important difference. Virtually anything you do has some sort of an effect on your mental state; does this mean that prohibiting any kind of activity is an affront to your freedom of thought ?
>|<*:=
[ Parent ]
errr.. what do they regulate it for? (1.71 / 7) (#209)
by QuantumG on Fri Oct 10, 2003 at 05:22:04 AM EST

If you buy the same thing (nitrous oxide) to put it in your car, they don't regulate it. But if you buy it to alter your mental state then they do regulate it. To me that says they are regulating whether or not you can alter your mental state.

Gun fire is the sound of freedom.
[ Parent ]
Slippery Slope (1.50 / 6) (#246)
by Richard Henry Lee on Fri Oct 10, 2003 at 10:41:55 AM EST

The US government does not regulate what you're thinking -- it regulates what you ingest (or inhale or inject or whatever).

It's the whatever part that matters. Ideas, written down on paper, can influence how you think. Today they regulate changing your brain chemistry to change your thought patterns. Tomorrow it could be the ideas you ingest through the written or spoken word. What is the difference?

Virtually anything you do has some sort of an effect on your mental state; does this mean that prohibiting any kind of activity is an affront to your freedom of thought ?

Not any type of activity. Only those activities that actively seek to change your thought patterns into something unnacceptable to the institutions making the rules. In this case, anything that causes people to question the values that society has planted through the schools, the media and government propaganda. We are taught from the time we are toddlers to want more things, that money is all that matters and selfishness is the norm that we are to strive for. Life is cheap. Owning things is what really matters. People don't matter. Profit is where it is at. Lay them off, demonize them, put them in prison. Keep people living in fear and you will always have more money for more men with guns and more prison walls. Do not allow them to question the system. Damn that free speech thing is annoying, let's get rid of it altogether.

None of this is to advocate drug use, it is simply to point out that freedom of speech is a useless freedom if we do not have freedom of thought.


Let this happy day give birth to an American republic. Let her arise, not to devastate and to conquer, but to reestablish the reign of peace and of law. - June 7, 1776

[ Parent ]
Well perhaps... (2.18 / 11) (#211)
by Space on Fri Oct 10, 2003 at 06:33:47 AM EST

To really appreciate what he is saying you need to have actually taken drugs before. Most people really don't realise how intoxicating sobriety is. Drug use brings on altered states of mind that make people realise things about themselves, others or society at large they otherwise don't notice or accept as "normal". You really can't appreciate how little freedom of will you have until you take a psychoactive substance and realise how many decisions you make without even thinking. Very existentialist.

From what I understand the authors words are founded on the premise that the status quo is founded on the concensus of the masses and that in order to challenge the status quo, people must realise and persue a viable alternative.

The author then goes on to infer that government has a vested interest in preserving the status quo and controls mind altering substances for fear that people will scruitinise the consensus of the status quo and nobody will buy brand name clothing anymore because they realised on their last LSD trip that it was a pitiful attempt at self actualisation while sustaining fear of non-conformity in a semi-destructive, materialist downward spiral of self hatred fueled egoism.

Perhaps if legislators tried some drugs they would realise how futile and destructive the drug war is :)
<recycle your pets>
[ Parent ]

Ummm (1.00 / 11) (#196)
by the77x42 on Fri Oct 10, 2003 at 02:54:46 AM EST

I thought certain drugs were illegal because they were harmful and being addicted to them can lead to criminal behaviour. While I think they should all be legalized, let's not sugar-coat the shit.


"We're not here to educate. We're here to point and laugh." - creature
"You have some pretty stupid ideas." - indubitable ‮

sugar-coat vs glossing-over (2.66 / 9) (#204)
by QuantumG on Fri Oct 10, 2003 at 04:11:06 AM EST

I thought that being addicted to them alone was considered "criminal behaviour" and that the criminal behaviour that is caused by the person's desire for the drug was a result of the drug being so damn expensive that they can't afford to be addicted to it. Please don't gloss over this by saying "lead to" as if addicts would be stealing my VCR three times a week if we were to suddenly legalize drugs. Because even if legalizing drugs were to increase the number of addicts tenfold (and I'm not saying that's likely), the reduced cost of the drugs would mean that they could all support their habit and none of them would be stealing my VCR. That's why I want drugs legalized, because criminalizing them completely fucks up my society.

Gun fire is the sound of freedom.
[ Parent ]
What about LSD? -nt- (1.75 / 4) (#206)
by proles on Fri Oct 10, 2003 at 04:18:27 AM EST


If there is hope, it lies in the proles.
[ Parent ]
Funny, (2.40 / 5) (#271)
by handslikesnakes on Fri Oct 10, 2003 at 07:07:52 PM EST

I thought we already had laws against criminal behaviour.

[ Parent ]
logic (none / 0) (#371)
by knobmaker on Wed Oct 22, 2003 at 02:39:35 PM EST

I thought certain drugs were illegal because they were harmful and being addicted to them can lead to criminal behaviour.

Then why isn't alcohol illegal?

[ Parent ]

The scale of drug use.. (2.31 / 22) (#207)
by QuantumG on Fri Oct 10, 2003 at 05:10:35 AM EST

There seems to be a lot of comments either explicitly or implicitly making the claim that only junkies use drugs. That makes about as much sense as saying that the only people who drink are alcoholics or the only people who smoke are cancer patients. There's a scale to all use of drugs:
  1. Abstinence
  2. Occasional use
  3. Casual use
  4. Regular use
  5. Addiction
  6. Abuse
The last two are usually a difference only as a result of class.. i.e., if you can afford a $500 a day habit then you're a drug addict, not a junkie. The vast majority of people who use drugs today fall into the first 3 categories. The 4th category is difficult in today's society as the stuff is so damn expensive, and the last two are in a very very small minority.

I'm personally in category 1 for all illegal drugs. I'm in category 3 for alcohol (if it's available I'll drink it, sometimes) and I'm in category 5 for caffeine (I've tried to quit and failed). If caffeine cost as much as speed I'd be a category 6. If tommorrow all drugs became legalized I'd likely not change my participation in any of these categories. I've made my choices for drug participation, and a change in the law wouldn't make any change to those choices.

The percentages of our society that break down into these six categories doesn't tell us anything about what the break down would be in a totally free society where drug use was not illegal. Would everyone be a junkie? Would there be more people who abstained from use? We don't know and we can't know until we try it. I think the real question is, why do we care?

So why do I support drug law reforms? Because the people in category 6 cause me serious harm. They hurt people in my society and there's a slim chance that they could harm me. The people in all the other categories help them to do that. Either by funding the black market for which they're stealing my shit to sell on or by burying their head in the sand and supporting the rediculous laws that make category 6 a reality. It's the cost of the stuff that makes people category 6. If these drugs were as cheap as caffeine they would all be category 5 and would never interfere with my life.

So please, if you're not a drug user, at least consider your own self interest and let's get rid of these stupid laws.

Gun fire is the sound of freedom.

Air is not solid (2.08 / 12) (#256)
by WorLord on Fri Oct 10, 2003 at 02:49:14 PM EST

And that's pretty much the bulk of this post, all hot air, little to no substantiation.  

"Personally I don't class things like caffeine and alcohol as in the same class as illegal drugs."

Which shows the ignorance of your arguments, and the fact that you've either not read or completely ignored how relatively benign Marijuana is compared to, say, Alcohol.  And possibly caffeine.

"Kind of like 'I don't know what taking a bottle of sleeping pills will do to me until I try it.'"

Straw men abound.

"Because of the problems and human misery associated with it."

...most of which only exist because of the legal status of some of the drugs in question.

"Oh really, maybe you should look at all the wonderful effects of widespread opium use amongst the Chinese in the 19th century. That would change your tune."

Of course, half the problem with this discussion is doubtless the idea that all illegal drugs are equal to each other in strength and/or effects.  Which is ludicrous, IMO.  Crack Cocaine and MJ, for example, are as much like each other as Aspirin is to Morphine.

"My self interest precludes letting a small minority get away with something that would have a vast negative impact."

It is sad that your self-interest is so undereducated and uninformed.  

But in this, I do not think you are at all unique, so I guess you can pride yourself with being a member of a very large herd, as it were.

"Kill two birds with one stone: Feed the Homeless to the Hungry." --WorLord
[ Parent ]

You are a stupid person. (1.63 / 11) (#277)
by causticmtl on Fri Oct 10, 2003 at 08:31:24 PM EST

I bet you got slapped around a lot as a child. It's the only thing that I can think of that would explain the combination of poor reasoning skills and blind obedience to "Daddy's law".

... WHACK!

[ Parent ]
drink -> become alcoholic (1.71 / 7) (#282)
by QuantumG on Fri Oct 10, 2003 at 10:37:17 PM EST

what upsets me the most is that so many of your fellow countrymen think just like you (especially in California, where you can't even touch a drink without 12 people pouncing for an intevention).

Gun fire is the sound of freedom.
[ Parent ]
not in my country (3.00 / 4) (#342)
by QuantumG on Mon Oct 13, 2003 at 06:50:54 PM EST

closest we ever got to prohibition was to stop people from using rum as a currency.

Gun fire is the sound of freedom.
[ Parent ]
Addiction after abuse (none / 2) (#363)
by Sesquipundalian on Fri Oct 17, 2003 at 11:06:17 AM EST

Addiction should come after Abuse in your scale, since it takes repeated abuse to form an addition.


Did you know that gullible is not actually an english word?
[ Parent ]
Prove it (1.20 / 5) (#210)
by snatmandu on Fri Oct 10, 2003 at 06:21:38 AM EST

I suppose you've discovered, in secret, the causal details of the mind-brain connection?  You've solved the ancient mind-body problem, and haven't bothered to get your work published?  I'm sorry if I'm skeptical.

Further, you're correct that using drugs is not a democratic right.  The reason you're correct is because a (theoretical) majority of citizens decided to forfeit the sovreignty of their body.   Look into Locke a bit and understand his connection to the founders of this particular democracy, which is evident in our constitution.  The state rules by the consent of the governed.  The right to take drugs is a NATURAL right, which we've empowered the government to suspend, ostensibly through democratic processes.

But I digress.  Unless you can produce some evidence that "Using brain damaging drugs does not give you some sort of extra freedom in your mind", I'll pass and go on the best evidence I have, namely my personal experience and observation.  
 

Reference to Locke! (none / 4) (#214)
by QuantumG on Fri Oct 10, 2003 at 06:59:14 AM EST

My god, all the people with half a brain are coming out of the woodwork. Cool!

Gun fire is the sound of freedom.
[ Parent ]
What's it to you? (none / 0) (#355)
by azurensis on Tue Oct 14, 2003 at 01:30:15 PM EST

How has this rather unlikely but still unusual event really given you more freedom? How is experiencing something that is completely off the wall and has little bearing on what you normally do terribly special if it's chemically induced?
The fact that a person can make the choice to put themseves into such a state means that they have more freedom than someone who is kept from making that decision. Just where do you think you get the right to dictate what state of mind someone else should experience?

[ Parent ]
inept (none / 0) (#373)
by knobmaker on Wed Oct 22, 2003 at 03:01:01 PM EST

Your metaphor is embarassingly inept. You are attempting to equate damage done by terrorists against your will to a voluntarily-accepted state of altered consciousness. You might as well attempt to compare getting drunk with getting hit over the head with a tire iron. The results may be similar, but the moral implications of these events are quite dissimilar.

[ Parent ]
not quite on the mark, though I'll agree. (1.50 / 6) (#249)
by CAIMLAS on Fri Oct 10, 2003 at 11:48:46 AM EST

I think Canada has a pretty good policy (from what I recall). Pot is legal to grow for own peronsonal use, as long as it's not sold. I don't know about harder drugs, though.

Possession of hard stuff shouldn't be illigal, either. It should be no different than trying to kill yourself. Sure, killing yourself is harmful to yourself, but it doesn't have a prison time associated with it. It doesn't harm the rest of society. However, it should be illigal to sell such substances or give them away.

Pot should be legally sold just as tobacco is.

Control is different than regulating it and making a profit. I can't believe that the government hasn't done this yet. I have no doubt that a lot of people would jump at the opportunity to legally buy, say, 4 high-quality joints from 7-11 for 10 bucks or so (or whatever the going price is, minus a bit). Then the gov't gets its tax, and people get their fix, and we don't have to "support terrorists".
--

Socialism and communism better explained by a psychologist than a political theorist.

not really (1.71 / 7) (#252)
by Run4YourLives on Fri Oct 10, 2003 at 12:57:26 PM EST

I think Canada has a pretty good policy (from what I recall). Pot is legal to grow for own peronsonal use, as long as it's not sold.

Um, no, not really. Pot is in legal limbo at the moment; it is officially a controlled substance, but courts in serveral provinces have refused to prosecute possession charges...

The gov't is tabling legislation that will de-criminalize possession of small amounts, but it won't be legal. (Thanks to the interferance from our neighbours to the south, and old bible-thumping consevatives - we have a few up here as well.)

Possession of pot will carry a $250 fine. The same way a speeding ticket will set you back $50 or so.

I think this is the right thing to do for harder drugs, but they should have gone further for pot.


It's slightly Japanese, but without all of that fanatical devotion to the workplace. - CheeseburgerBrown
[ Parent ]

That's what I'm worried about (none / 5) (#270)
by handslikesnakes on Fri Oct 10, 2003 at 07:00:56 PM EST

I'd rather drugs are never fully legal.
Why?

I don't relish the prospect of having to go to the corner store to buy a pack of joints made by Phillip Morris. Unpleasant history, additives, dubious child companies, etc.

I'm not sure if it's legal to grow tobacco for personal use, but I don't know of anybody who does it. I imagine things would work out similarly for marijuana.


And though prohibition has inflated the price of the drug, I suspect it would go up shortly after legalisation, due to taxation, corporate gouging and such.

[ Parent ]
Peronsonal is my favorite drug... (none / 3) (#274)
by causticmtl on Fri Oct 10, 2003 at 08:13:10 PM EST

Thank god the Canadian government hasn't criminalized.

:)

[ Parent ]
...that. (none / 3) (#276)
by causticmtl on Fri Oct 10, 2003 at 08:14:33 PM EST

... goddam peronsonal... forgetting ...words

[ Parent ]
To Uniball: Get a clue (2.58 / 24) (#250)
by jeh on Fri Oct 10, 2003 at 12:49:33 PM EST

I'm familiar with your viewpoint. I used to espouse it. When I was 16. Which is about how old you appear to be. As you get older you'll hopefully come to realize the limitations of being so judgmental and narrow-minded. (if you're a full grown adult my apologies, both on my under-estimation of your age, and your lack of mental maturity.)

A couple facts for you. And by facts I mean backed by scientific evidence. Marijuana is  the #1 illegal drug in terms of volume of use. It's LD50 (Lethal Dose of 50% of its sample size.) is about 3 orders of magnitude higher than it's effective dose. That means it's pretty much physically impossible to overdose short of getting your hands on pure chemical extracts (which is unheard of.) There is no strong consensus on its long-term negative effects, and there is also no strong indicator that it is highly addictive. I can quote studies and research articles if need be.

I'll ignore political issues, as they exist and are fairly extensive. It's clear, however, that you are unfamiliar with the history of Prohibition and also the history behind how MJ became illegal. I recommend further reading.

I'm not sure why you don't think alcohol, tobacco and caffeine aren't drugs. Every single DARE lecture in HS said so, and by every chemical, biological, physiological and legal standpoint they are. The only difference is their legality. All three are drugs of use and abuse, are addictive, pleasurable, and have long-term side effects that range from mild to lethal. Alcohol has a high potential for overdose, and is socially dangerous in large doses. (increased aggression, decreased motor co-ordination, increased ego.)

I'm not a big advocate of your "hard drugs", but many of them (excluding purity factors particular to the black market) have similar risk profiles to alcohol and tobacco. I'm guessing you probably have never gotten extraordinarily drunk, but trust me that's a seriously reality distorting experience. (And not a fun one.)

In general, your arguments appear pretty weak, and ill-informed. I could write volumes about your inacuracies but, unlike you, I'm unwilling to fill K5 with stupidity and excrement. You're welcome to email me. I'll happily take your arguments apart where necessary.
--jeh

LD50 and MJ (1.93 / 16) (#261)
by Back Spaced on Fri Oct 10, 2003 at 04:50:08 PM EST

Um, no. And LD50:ED50 dose of 3:1 is extremely bad, approaching that of the drugs used to treat cancer. Cannabanoids have no known LD50 (although this is not for lack of trying to find one), and thus the ration of LD50:ED50 approaches infinity, making them far safer than aspirin, tylenol, etc. In fact, making them safer, physiologically speaking, than pretty much anything I can think of.

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

you must be drug-addled (2.25 / 12) (#275)
by celeriac on Fri Oct 10, 2003 at 08:13:22 PM EST

if you can't tell the difference between "three" and "at least three orders of magnitude."

[ Parent ]
eh (2.18 / 11) (#298)
by ShooterNeo on Sat Oct 11, 2003 at 03:35:35 AM EST

Three orders of magnitude means the LD50 dose is about one THOUSAND times (10x10x10) the normal dosage.  Compare that to ethanol, which can easily kill somone by depressing their vitals too far with just a few times a "drunk" dosage.

[ Parent ]
This Article Got Me High. (1.37 / 8) (#258)
by Pluto on Fri Oct 10, 2003 at 03:26:56 PM EST

Having spent a lifetime (in a relativistic sense) experiencing all sides of the argument (in an anthropological sense), I was surprised by some of the comments from this group, which kicked me into a higher electron shell than the one I normally orbit, expanding my view.

There is nothing casual in the palpable fear-factor and near hysteria coming off those who have no personal experience with drugs. Nor is there anything casual in their desperation and determination to control what other humans do with their own minds inside their own heads.

This FEAR is so unbelievably PROFOUND that it can only lead to one, mind-expanding conclusion --->

Humans are but single cells in a multi-celled organism called human consciousness.

Those who who are freaked at the idea of others altering their consciousnesses, not only believe -- but they know -- that when you get high, so does the entire organism.

(We, as a species, are not consciously evolved to a degree where we can address the question of whether is this a good thing or a bad thing. So let's put that aside, for now.)

As an apologist for the half who wish to control the consciousness of the other half, I would like to point out that this is nothing unique or original. It is part of a never-ending cycle of social engineering as it exists, here, on the planet of the apes.

Indeed, over a period of 5,000 years, the Chinese have enacted and repealed prohibition 41 times. That's once every 120 years or so. Thus, in the US at least, human nature is right on schedule.
_______________________________________
Burgeoning technologies require outlaw zones... deliberately unsupervised playgrounds for technology itself. -- William Gibson

Yay! (1.50 / 6) (#260)
by gyan on Fri Oct 10, 2003 at 04:03:01 PM EST

This article got posted just in time before my next acid-trip. Although, I am confused over the applicability of his argument to all drugs: These drugs appear to be prohibited by the government because they permit users to see that the world is not composed of a single point of view, a single concrete reality shared by all. I've never had a different 'view of reality' on Speed or Coke or even Pot for that matter. The only drugs that opens up new cognitive perceptions and sensations (for me, atleast) are hallucinogens(LSD,Mesc,shrooms...) and dissociatives(Ketamine,Salvia...), not stimulants(Speed, coke, X) or depressants(alcohol). Sure, the other categories make you different, but they don't spur critical apprasial of reality like the former categories do. So, I'm not sure his argument applies to these other categories. Or do they?

********************************

Sort of (none / 4) (#263)
by CaptainSuperBoy on Fri Oct 10, 2003 at 05:01:22 PM EST

I understand what you're saying. First off marijuana and mdma have hallucinogenic properties but that's beside the point. I don't just think of this in a 'mind-expanding' way, I think that even if marijuana isn't enlightening or religious or anything it does change your priorities. I think something about the drug turns people away from consumerism. There are a lot of things that you have no desire to do while you're high, such as buy cars and covet stuff and drop bombs on people who are stiffing you on gasoline. I'm not saying that your priorities are better when you're high but they are priorities that frighten a lot of people. And this was a big part of the hippie movement - people who for a very brief moment were unconcerned with two cars in garage, buying useless crap, and living an empty suburban life. As soon as being a hippie was the cool thing to do, well, it kind of lost steam. But anyway - that is what scared 'the man,' millions of youths turning on and dropping out.

--
jimmysquid.com - I take pictures.
[ Parent ]
Then, I guess (none / 4) (#266)
by gyan on Fri Oct 10, 2003 at 05:45:38 PM EST

they better ban religions like Buddhism as well.

********************************

[ Parent ]
Ooops. (none / 4) (#262)
by Back Spaced on Fri Oct 10, 2003 at 04:53:14 PM EST

Three orders of magnitude. My fault. Too quick to the trigger was I. Yes, that's much more in-line.

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

... yeah... (1.22 / 9) (#264)
by rmg on Fri Oct 10, 2003 at 05:04:14 PM EST

... like... dude...

_____ intellectual tiddlywinks

Some sources for *good* drug information (1.87 / 8) (#265)
by gyan on Fri Oct 10, 2003 at 05:10:15 PM EST

Erowid's Psychoactive Vaults

and Lycaeum for technical and utilitarian data

********************************

What about (none / 4) (#278)
by fluxrad on Fri Oct 10, 2003 at 08:39:32 PM EST

Alcohol, nicotine, caffeine, sugar?

To be honest, I don't buy the whole "drugs are illegal because the government wants to control our thought, man!" From what I've seen and heard on any place other than the internet, most people want drugs to be illegal because they've been taught that drugs are bad. Why do you think Nevada citizens voted down the legalization of Marijuana? The proposal even lost in Storey County, arguably one of the most liberal counties in the country.

What mister Gilmore doesn't understand is that we don't need the government to turn people into moronic lemmings...genetics does that for us.

--
"It is seldom liberty of any kind that is lost all at once."
-David Hume
In this case (none / 4) (#279)
by gyan on Fri Oct 10, 2003 at 08:46:08 PM EST

The proposal even lost in Storey County, arguably one of the most liberal counties in the country.

 I would assume that the Feds encouraged the voters and promised them all the er.. support if they voted to legalise it.

********************************

[ Parent ]

Why do you care? (none / 1) (#281)
by QuantumG on Fri Oct 10, 2003 at 10:34:30 PM EST

If you don't like the experience of drugs, don't use them, I don't. Why do you have to ban everything you don't enjoy?

Gun fire is the sound of freedom.
sorry but I don't buy nonsence... (1.00 / 10) (#296)
by chanio on Sat Oct 11, 2003 at 02:51:28 AM EST

Drugs have been the patch to all injustices of the governments that the world has allways had...

What the church did with inquisition was copied by mediocre US government rulers to impose to the world. The have the microphone and say all this nonsence.

During the western films' times, opium was legally sold in US. When rulers started controlling drugs, mafias appeared in the game. Seems that people couldn'd manage to live without alcohol and other drugs and created their own black marquet.

But as long as drugs become legalized, people is going to bear more all the injusticies and be more creative: By using lateral thinking and a more positive thinking.

Imagine who is going to benefit of all this creativity?

It is said that creation comes from doing crazy things...
________________
Farenheit Binman:
This worlds culture is throwing away-burning thousands of useful concepts because they don't fit in their commercial frame.
My chance of becoming intelligent!

mafias existed before (none / 0) (#379)
by Rhodes on Tue May 10, 2005 at 06:31:46 PM EST

to control prostitution and gambling. mafias in the us got huge with alcohol prohibition, not narcotic prohibition.

[ Parent ]
The Economist on legalization... (2.25 / 12) (#300)
by taiwanjohn on Sat Oct 11, 2003 at 04:58:52 AM EST

A few years ago, the Economist did a pretty comprehensive survey on the issue of legalization. It's still one of the best arguments in favor of legalization I've found. It does a good job covering the salient points in every area of this large and complex issue, and manages to do so in the space of only 8 or 9 articles.

I can see Gilmore's point here, but I think it's rather weak. As the Economist shows, the other arguments for legalization are far more compelling.

Where I think Gilmore's point is more useful is in understanding the mindset and motivation behind prohibition, though I think the point is somewhat confused in its presentation here. Gilmore is not so much accusing the government of mind control as he is asserting the right of individuals to control their own mental state through the use of chemicals. We are allowed this freedom for some substances (coffee, chocolate, alcohol, tobacco) but not others. The main determining factor in whether a mind-altering substance is legal is how "far out" it takes the mind.

One of the most basic instincts in humans (or any social animal) is the desire for rapport. When we feel on the same wavelength with someone, we do not feel threatened. We all know how difficult it can be for the stoned and straight to communicate with each other, whereas either one might achieve deep rapport with someone in the same state (stoned or straight), without even exchanging many words.

So one motivation behind prohibition is simple fear of the unfamiliar. The other one is fear of the loss of control.

Up until the last half-century or so, traditional beliefs held that people are inherently wicked, evil, impure, or whatever, depending on the cultures and religions involved. Once we leave behind the powerlessness (and thus the "innocence") of infancy, we must be trained to be "good" so that we do not pose a hazard to others. There is a fundamental disconnect here, between ends and means: ends == avoid harming others; means == "be good". There is also a conflation of "moral good" with conformant behavior.

All of this leads to a cultural undercurrent of fundamental mistrust of others, of an apparent need for rules and laws to enforce "good" behavior. And I would argue that for many people, especially those raised in strict, authoritarian environments, what's really being expressed here is mistrust of the self. (If you believe that you are fundamentally flawed from birth, and that you need rules and laws to follow in order to feel "good" about yourself or reassure yourself that you are not harming others, then it is natural to assume that other people are "wicked" too, like you.)

Whatever the reasons for it, this mistrust of humans (oneself or others) is what fuels the fear of loss of control behind prohibition. By using a substance to induce an altered state of mind, drug users effectively hand over control of a portion of their mental activity to that substance, for some minutes or hours, depending on drug and dosage. People who have little or no experience with drugs misinterpret this as a loss of will, or rather willpower to obey the rules.

The loss of rapport between the stoned and straight reinforces this notion. In my experience, straight people who have experienced geting high in the past tend to be far more comfortable around stoned people than those who have not. Although they are straight at the moment, they at least have a similar experience which helps them understand someone who is stoned. Those without such experience have no way to resolve the discomfort of not having rapport, so they tend to ignore or dismiss anyone who is stoned.

There's nothing wrong with ignoring or dismissing people who, for whatever reason, don't make you comfortable. But it is a very slippery slope when you start using the force of law to prevent others from doing anything you find discomfiting. The purpose of rules and laws is to protect us from harm, not discomfort.

This is the root of Gilmore's "protected speech" argument, that we have a fundamental right to do things which might make some people uncomfortable if they choose to pay heed. Seeing photos of starving children might make me uncomfortable, but it might also motivate me to make a donation to charity. Whereas the intense discomfort I feel when I see Pat Robertson or Jerry Fallwell on TV merely motivates me to change the channel.

The proper place for legal force to be applied is where a particular behavior threatens harm to others, not just discomfort. And whether drugs are involved or not, the mere fact that my neighbor chooses to temporarily alter his mental state poses no inherent risk of harm to me.

That, to me, is the basis of Gilmore's claim.

--jrd

Well-said, but... (1.50 / 6) (#301)
by gyan on Sat Oct 11, 2003 at 05:54:44 AM EST

And whether drugs are involved or not, the mere fact that my neighbor chooses to temporarily alter his mental state poses no inherent risk of harm to me.

 It may, or may not. I wouldn't want to be near a guy on the comedown from a 3-day speed-run.

********************************

[ Parent ]

Not whether, but how... (1.87 / 8) (#302)
by taiwanjohn on Sat Oct 11, 2003 at 07:33:31 AM EST

It may, or may not. I wouldn't want to be near a guy on the comedown from a 3-day speed-run.

Neither would I. Then again, you're far more statistically likely to have a neighbor who merely disappears into a haze of MJ smoke and Led Zeppelin every weekend, since cannabis is the most popular illicit drug. That's why it's important to look at the issue differently for each drug, tailoring policy and legislation to their individual hazards.

There is a whole range of options for varying degrees of regulation or restriction of distribution, based on age and condition of the user, known hazards of the substance, and the degree of ease with which it can be used safely and responsibly. For crank or meth, I'd say the known hazards argue that these drugs are much more difficult to use safely and responsibly than cannabis or ecstasy.

But that's just an impression, since I've never tried meth, and have no direct experience to form an opinion. But having seen people on meth (and on the comedown), I can say that I never want to try it.

That is the way We The People learn about how to deal with drugs, through experience. And experience tells us that although it's possible to produce some truly psychosis-inducing drugs (like PCP), for the most part, the market shies away from these in favor of more low-voltage substances. By liberalizing restrictions soonest and farthest for these "soft" drugs, you shift the majority of casual drug users out of the "criminal" category, removing a huge burden on resources which can be better spent on regulating the legal distribution of the more hazardous drugs, perhaps through supervised clinics for the worst ones.

Our current (US) government policy is to lump all drugs and all users into one category: dangerous. This category must have an amazingly complex definition if it can encompass such disparate substances as LSD, cannabis, MDMA, methamphetamine, heroin, and cocaine. We apply the same zero-tolerance policy to all of these drugs, which clearly have vast differences in their affects on both users and society.

I don't know how difficult it would be to use meth responsibly, and I don't want to find out. But clearly there are lots of people who do, though I'm sure their numbers will decrease as we collectively gain experience. In the meantime, I think the best solution would be to treat addicts like patients instead of criminals, sensibly regulate or restrict production and sales, and invest heavily in honest drug-related education and research.

In short, it's time to start talking seriously about legalization. Not whether, but how.

--jrd

[ Parent ]

Well (1.33 / 6) (#304)
by gyan on Sat Oct 11, 2003 at 09:31:16 AM EST

For crank or meth, I'd say the known hazards argue that these drugs are much more difficult to use safely and responsibly than cannabis or ecstasy.

 Safe, you might be right. Responsible, not necessarily.

But clearly there are lots of people who do, though I'm sure their numbers will decrease as we collectively gain experience.

 Actually, they'll increase. Meth, unlike LSD or even pot, will get you a good experience (from my experience) irrespective of your psychological mindset.

 To be honest, this discussion is pointless. There has to be a breaking point of some point for legalization to come up and get seriously discussed. And a bunch of liberals aren't going to create that momentum.

********************************

[ Parent ]

A bunch of liberals? (1.71 / 7) (#305)
by taiwanjohn on Sat Oct 11, 2003 at 11:04:12 AM EST

Safe, you might be right. Responsible, not necessarily.

What do you mean? Right/wrong for which things? Two binary choices (safe, responsible) across three elements (cannabis, ecstasy, meth) gives a result set with 64 possibilities, no?

Meth, unlike LSD or even pot, will get you a good experience (from my experience) irrespective of your psychological mindset.

Except for the comedown, right? That's part of the experience too. And it clearly has some very negative effects, otherwise you wouldn't mention it as something to avoid. And no matter how hard a user tries to beat it, that comedown is eventually going to snowball into a crash, isn't it. Maybe not for all users, but for those who have a problem regulating their intake, something will eventually "snap" and force a change.

The question is, how can we structure policy to minimize the likelihood of this all-too-predictable scenario taking place, and minimize the damage when it does? I would argue that after 30 years of the War On Drugs, with virtually ZERO progress, it's time for a radical shift in our approach.

In any case, just because meth may be particularly hazardous ought not to have any bearing on the availability of other drugs. I don't know any figures on the addiction rate for meth, but general info leads me to believe that it's pretty high.

Regardless, prohibition only exacerbates whatever problems are associated with meth, by discouraging study of its effects and pushing abusers in need of help away from seeking it.

Do you have some compelling, logical argument in favor of keeping meth illegal? Or is this just your emotional reaction to a bad personal experience? I mean seriously, is prohibition the best solution you can think up for the challenge of this "good experience" that meth gave you?

To be honest, this discussion is pointless. There has to be a breaking point of some point for legalization to come up and get seriously discussed. And a bunch of liberals aren't going to create that momentum.

So say you. I happen to disagree. Given the steady growth in support for drug-law reform over the last decade or so, and the gradual changes in Europe, Canada, and elsewhere, I believe that change is inevitable. (Heh, and if you classify the editors of the Economist as "a bunch of liberals", I'd like to know what you're smoking.;-)

--jrd

[ Parent ]

Huh? (none / 3) (#309)
by gyan on Sat Oct 11, 2003 at 06:49:09 PM EST

o you have some compelling, logical argument in favor of keeping meth illegal?

 I never said I wanted to keep it illegal. Just that, even after legalization and regulation, meth will still be a dangerous substance for those nearby. It might relapse from its legal status.

I believe that change is inevitable.

 I don't dispute this. But, I think the timeframe is like 20-25 years. There is no serious momentum right now towards change.

 and if you classify the editors of the Economist as "a bunch of liberals"

 I don't. In general, those who advocate legalizations tend to be liberals.

********************************

[ Parent ]

Closer than you think... (2.75 / 4) (#337)
by taiwanjohn on Mon Oct 13, 2003 at 07:51:26 AM EST

I never said I wanted to keep it illegal.

Sorry, I was preaching... ;-)

Just that, even after legalization and regulation, meth will still be a dangerous substance for those nearby. It might relapse from its legal status.

I agree. I don't particularly "like" the idea of making the more dangerous drugs (like meth) legal, but I'm convinced that keeping them illegal only exacerbates whatever ills are associated with them. In fact, I'd argue that the WOD is one of the chief reasons why meth exists in the first place. (It's a sort of "arms race" between drug laws and drug designers.)

In general, those who advocate legalizations tend to be liberals.

I know what you're talking about, but I think this is a misconception. The issue cuts across traditional liberal/conservative lines. (Pro-Legalization: ACLU, Economist, William F. Buckley. Anti-Legalization: Democratic Party, NAACP, Moral Majority.)

the timeframe is like 20-25 years. There is no serious momentum right now towards change.

I make it 5~10 years. I've been following the issue closely for about 10 years, and the momentum is clearly building. Even George W. Bush campaigned on a "less prison, more treatment" platform (which he immediately discarded upon taking office). Look at the number of voter initiatives fielded, and the number which have passed in the last several years.

What will make the difference is when the "invisible majority" of drug users (ie: the ones who don't seem like "druggies") start to come out of the closet and demand fairer treatment from their friends and families. Have you, for example, ever argued the case for legalization to your parents? It is challenging, but it can be done.

Only the 65+ age group has little experience with illicit drugs. About half of the rest of us (Baby-Boomers and younger) have actually tried them. It won't be too much longer before about half of the population will be technically "guilty" of breaking the drug laws at some point in their lives. We are already at the point where virtually everybody has a loved one who is culpable under the current drug laws.

But of course, that sort of thing only happens to "other people"...

--jrd



[ Parent ]
liberals (none / 1) (#370)
by knobmaker on Wed Oct 22, 2003 at 02:27:04 PM EST

In general, those who advocate legalizations tend to be liberals.

I fear this is incorrect. Most self-identified "liberal" politicians support the war on drugs. Howard Dean, for example, killed a medical marijuana bill in Vermont, and supporting medical marijuana is about as politically safe as any drug war issue. Both Senators Boxer and Feinstein opposed the medical marijuana initiative in California.

It seems to me that the most credible and widely disseminated push for drug law reform is coming from conservatives: Buckley, Friedman, and so forth.

[ Parent ]

Alternatives (none / 3) (#330)
by dipipanone on Sun Oct 12, 2003 at 06:29:53 AM EST

It may, or may not. I wouldn't want to be near a guy on the comedown from a 3-day speed-run.

Having spent a lot of time with people in such states in the past, I can honestly say that I feel much more safer and secure with them than I do in any city centre after the bars let out on a Saturday night.

--
Suck my .sig
[ Parent ]
A couple of points (2.75 / 4) (#334)
by lamontg on Sun Oct 12, 2003 at 03:29:26 PM EST

I take some issue with this:

By using a substance to induce an altered state of mind, drug users effectively hand over control of a portion of their mental activity to that substance, for some minutes or hours, depending on drug and dosage.

I don't view drugs much differently from the biochemical underpinnings of stress, tiredness, anger, personality, depression, anxiety, etc. We're constantly buffetted by chemicals influencing what we think and how we behave. The user of a chemical has actually gone out and _selected_ a chemical to be buffetted by for a period of time, which I think can display a considerably higher degree of conconscious control than most people display when they're sober (obviously when this selection of a chemical leads to addiction, then this argument no longer applies very well).

Also, I think that Gilmore's argument is a lot simpler than what you describe. I think that Gilmore would like to believe that its all about the government trying to control how people think, when in reality I believe the drug laws are more about simple racism. Since black people used marijuana they made marijuana illegal. Since hippies used LSD they made LSD illegal. Since wall street brokers use prozac and ativan you can buy them with your health insurance. It is fear of the unknown and uncontrolled, but I think its displays a lot less subtlety on the part of the policy makers than you and Gilmore believe.

What Gilmore is trying to do is trying to invent a first amendment objection to the drug war. I view it as a noble cause, but I don't think its a useful tool to deconstruct the drug war, and also doesn't seem to have as much utility as other arguments in pursuading non-drug users. Its primarily preaching to the choir about what we'd put in the constitution if the anti-war-on-drugs activists got to write it.



[ Parent ]

Good points... (none / 3) (#336)
by taiwanjohn on Mon Oct 13, 2003 at 06:35:09 AM EST

I don't view drugs much differently from the biochemical underpinnings of stress, tiredness, anger, personality, depression, anxiety, etc.

I know what you mean, but I think there's a qualitative difference between the "natural" onslaught of stress-related chemicals and the artificially induced version. If I come home stressed out after a long day at the office, I can alter the chemical balance in my brain by relaxing and doing a bit of deep breathing or meditation. If I smoke a bowl of bad-ass buds, I will remain under the influence of THC until the stuff is metabolized, whether I want to or not. Sure, I can have some influence if I "act straight", but I won't actually be straight until the drug is metabolized.

Since wall street brokers use prozac and ativan you can buy them with your health insurance.

Actually, the percentage of Wall Street "suits" who use illicit drugs is probably about the same as it is for the rest of the caucasian population, which is about the same as it is for the minority populations. The widespread misconception to the contrary is one of the Big Lies used by the gubmint to perpetuate the War On Drugs. The recent book Saying Yes addresses this point specifically.

No doubt racism has always been at the heart of the WOD. But you don't hear the NAACP clamoring for an end to the WOD, only for an end to its unfair targeting of minorities. Why is that? I blame the notion of fear of loss of control.

[Gilmore's argument] doesn't seem to have as much utility as other arguments in pursuading non-drug users. Its primarily preaching to the choir

I agree. But asking why it is unconvincing to non-drug users leads back to the "fear factors" I've noted.

Ultimately, the biggest lie of the WOD is that only "druggies" use drugs. As Saying Yes emphasizes, the vast majority of drug users are just plain folks like everyone else.

--jrd



[ Parent ]
origin of pot laws (none / 1) (#359)
by ashkar on Wed Oct 15, 2003 at 05:10:23 AM EST

...in reality I believe the drug laws are more about simple racism. Since black people used marijuana they made marijuana illegal.
I wish that I could find a link, but unfortunately I'm coming up empty. I believe that the original pot laws were aimed at Mexicans in Texas. Any links to prove or disprove this would be most welcome.

[ Parent ]
Anti-WOD Linkage... (none / 3) (#360)
by taiwanjohn on Thu Oct 16, 2003 at 02:30:52 AM EST

Enjoy!

--jrd

[ Parent ]

Thanks (none / 1) (#361)
by ashkar on Thu Oct 16, 2003 at 03:51:39 AM EST

Thank you.

[ Parent ]
controlling drunk people (none / 2) (#318)
by melia on Sat Oct 11, 2003 at 09:10:07 PM EST

If you are a drug addict, are you freer than someone who is prohibited from taking drugs? Is a choice that makes you choiceless freedom?

Surely, if the US government was seeking to control people, it would be better if they were as far away from reality as possible. It's an interesting idea that it's easier to influence a sober person. It is very difficult to convince drunk people to get in taxis, that's true.

If you still can't think of anyone, ask your friends in private whether they have ever used illegal drugs

Is this fellow just talking about marijuana? this is equally as bad as a high-school/middle class drugs education program. I don't think Glaswegian (no offense to glaswegians) heroin addicts living down the sink estate would say "yeah man, it's really given me the chance to see the world is not composed of a single point of view", and I don't think the paramedics who bail out the same overdosees every week would vote for a relaxation of drug laws.
Disclaimer: All of the above is probably wrong

You miss his point completely (none / 2) (#333)
by lamontg on Sun Oct 12, 2003 at 03:08:29 PM EST

If you still can't think of anyone, ask your friends in private whether they have ever used illegal drugs

Is this fellow just talking about marijuana? this is equally as bad as a high-school/middle class drugs education program. I don't think Glaswegian (no offense to glaswegians) heroin addicts living down the sink estate would say "yeah man, it's really given me the chance to see the world is not composed of a single point of view", and I don't think the paramedics who bail out the same overdosees every week would vote for a relaxation of drug laws.

You just did a stunningly good job of missing the entire point. The point is that you know and interact with a surprising number of marijuana, LSD, MDMA and probably even Heroin and Cocaine users and never know about it. You never know about it because those are not the people who the paramedics are seeing every weekend, because those drug users are actually in the minority (even among cocaine and heroin users, those people are in the minority).

I'll start out your education by admitting that I've tried crystal meth before. And, yes, those few experiences were part of drugs giving me the chance to see that the world is not composed of a single point of view. Granted I found the point of view that crystal meth offered to be completely unappealing, but the point is that I experienced it and came to that conclusion myself -- I didn't need laws telling me what to think and how to behave.



[ Parent ]

Ahh (none / 1) (#362)
by melia on Fri Oct 17, 2003 at 09:58:27 AM EST

Well I don't think I really did miss the point. The arguments for anti-drug laws (the ones I consider to be sensible) focus on how they can protect the poor and weak who use drugs to escape their poverty. And although I hear you shout "legalisation would save us" I beg you to consider all those mothers ruined by gin.

Now, whether I agree with arguments for or against legalisation is a different issue, but it seems to me that you're ignoring the fact that drugs can be very bad for both you and the people around you. Driving fast can expand your life experience too, does that mean you should be free to choose to do so?

Incidentally, it seems to me that recreational drug use is nowhere near as hidden in my part of society as you think. Of course, when it's not so hidden, the painfully large downside becomes a lot more obvious.
Disclaimer: All of the above is probably wrong
[ Parent ]

Doesn't work. (none / 0) (#364)
by gyan on Sat Oct 18, 2003 at 05:01:21 AM EST

The arguments for anti-drug laws (the ones I consider to be sensible) focus on how they can protect the poor and weak who use drugs to escape their poverty.

 The only way to do that is by eliminating supply. If you have read the Economist survey on illicit drugs, you'll know that's not going to happen.

The vast majority of drug users aren't physically dependent as compared to the legally available  nicotine or alcohol which certainly causes more deaths(per annum in US, ~450000 for nicotine, ~81000 for alcohol, ~14000 for illicit drugs combined). As for addiction, Health magazine has this chart.  The hard but unavoidable fact to come to terms with is that you can't eliminate drug use, only control it. Best way to control it is to legalize it, so 1)quality-control is assured. No more harmful adulterants or unknown purity dosages. 2)Much cheaper on the taxpayer and the drug user

********************************

[ Parent ]

Ah, the white man's burden (none / 0) (#369)
by knobmaker on Wed Oct 22, 2003 at 02:13:33 PM EST

...protect the poor and weak who use drugs to escape their poverty

Except the "poor and weak" can get all the drugs they want, they just have to pay a hundred times what it costs to produce those drugs. So the drug laws make them poorer and the criminals who prey on them richer. Isn't it wonderful?

BTW, you might want to look into the British attempt to prohibit gin. They didn't ban wine or brandy, just gin, because gin was the tipple of the "lower classes," who of course must be protected from themselves.

This is nothing but bigotry masquerading as social conscience.

[ Parent ]

Similar to Paul Hager's ideas (none / 2) (#320)
by ip4noman on Sat Oct 11, 2003 at 10:15:26 PM EST

Paul Hager has some similar ideas, but quite unique and useful, IMHO: http://www.cs.indiana.edu/~hagerp/drug_con.html

``It's time to boldly go where no Constitutional interpreter has gone before. Speculative areas. The 1st Amendment, which protects religion and speech, I think also by extension protects thought and belief.

Well, what is the seat of religion, thought and belief? The brain, right?

In fact, speech and belief are manifestations of the internal state of a person's brain. Science is beginning to inform us as to how chemicals and neurotransmitters, indeed the physical "wiring" of our brain defines who we are and how we think. Unless we get involved in metaphysics I think we have to recognize that there is physical basis for belief. If it is the case that your physical brain state determines whether you are a methodist, or an agnostic, then clearly the state of your brain is protected in some sense. So if it is the case that the 1st Amendment allows a person to alter his or her cognitive system by reading "Mein Kapf" -- which might well alter it permanently, as you might become a Nazi for the rest of your life -- then how is it possible for the government to step in and say that a person may not temporarily alter his or her cognitive system for two or three hours by smoking a marijuana joint? ''

Perhaps marijuana produces mental states which are good for a society, like thoughtful, peaceful bliss, for example.

``And what is the rationale for saying that programming your brain across the visual or aural pathways is OK but programming your brain chemically across the blood-brain barrier is not?

And consider this: if a state government can come up to you and can say, you may not pass delta-9-THC (the principal intoxicant in marijuana) across your blood-brain barrier, what is to prevent them from saying at some point in the future, that you must pass drug X (e.g., soma like in Huxley's Brave New World) across your blood-brain barrier?

With the War on Drugs, the government has intruded into our biochemical and physiological brain and in principle, once the government can do this, then in principle the government can control any part of our bodies. ''

And in the most intimate ways imaginable...

--
Breaking Blue / Cognitive Liberty Airwaves

So what? (none / 2) (#327)
by Dyolf Knip on Sun Oct 12, 2003 at 01:49:18 AM EST

Using drugs isn't a democratic right.

So what? Neither is skydiving or mountain climbing or bunjee jumping, which kill way more people than marijuana (deaths in the entirety of medical history from complications of using pot: 0). And yet there's no law against them.

Citizens aren't _given_ rights by the Constitution. Those rights are, as the Declaration of Independence says, inalienable. As far as the Founding Fathers were concerned, they exist regardless of any government body or piece of parchment. Read the exact wording of the First Ammendment. Congress shall make no law... This is not saying, "The People are allowed to do X", it says "The Government is not allowed to prohibit the People from doing X". A fine distinction which makes all the difference in the world. Ammendment 10: Powers not specifically delegated to Congress are given to the states and the people. I no more have to justify my wanting to get high than I have to justify my favorite foods or my taste in women. It is entirely up to the government to prove to my satisfaction, or at least a the satisfaction of a jury of my peers, that some particular action should not be allowed.

I've read the justification for and history of the War on Drugs. And you know what? It's a crock of sewage from start to finish. It was started on lies, made popular by racist fearmongering, and is run today with bureaucratic inertia and bogus reasoning by people who stand to lose a lot if cops have to stop arresting a million people a year for pot.

---
If you can't learn to do something well, learn to enjoy doing it poorly.

Dyolf Knip

drugs don't expand consciousness (none / 1) (#340)
by circletimessquare on Mon Oct 13, 2003 at 06:19:29 PM EST

they shrink it

if you write a poem or paint a picture while you are on a mind-altering substance, you may think you are channeling the will of god, but when your trip ends, you often find that your word of god scirbblings are unintelligible or something along the lines of "must buy cat litter for the police"

likewise with paintings

i guess sex can be improved though

but if you don't believe me about any of this, just ask a spider:

http://www.cannabis.net/weblife.html


The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

You're that asshole (none / 0) (#341)
by QuantumG on Mon Oct 13, 2003 at 06:47:28 PM EST

that has to have four posts for everyone else's one. We know your opinion, shut up!

Gun fire is the sound of freedom.
[ Parent ]
welcome to my world (none / 1) (#344)
by circletimessquare on Mon Oct 13, 2003 at 07:03:58 PM EST

http://www.kuro5hin.org/story/2003/9/12/34758/2640

"Seriously though, when you write a story for K5 what's better - not posting and being impartial, or diving into the fray and arguing? "

you can hate me for any reason you want, quantumg, except for one reason: behaving exactly the same way YOU do... that just makes you a big hypocrite

now suck my troll dick, bitch ;-)

xoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxox


The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]

its all perspective (none / 0) (#365)
by crazynate236 on Mon Oct 20, 2003 at 09:09:38 AM EST

how can you say that those spider webs are wrong? i personally think that some of the webs are better than the sober spiderwebs. try not to think so narrow. Plus, we are talking about the effects of drugs on our brains and how we think and perceive. drugs are not a good idea to increase physical abilities, but if taken in attempt to think in different manners it can be very acceptable.
Who can say there is but one truth? Do what is true to you.
[ Parent ]
shrinking (none / 0) (#368)
by knobmaker on Wed Oct 22, 2003 at 02:01:18 PM EST

Just because drugs shrank your consciousness to such a tiny remnant, don't assume that it works that way for everyone.

BTW, judging from the spiderwebs, caffeine is the most dangerous drug. Could be.

[ Parent ]

The Netherlands (none / 1) (#351)
by redelm on Tue Oct 14, 2003 at 09:12:34 AM EST

An interesting thesis the drug prohibition is to create a uniform national identity. Consistant with the Netherlands being tolerant of soft-drugs.

My impressions of the Netherlands (having lived there 2 years and learning Dutch), is the country is a patchwork and everyone recognises it. There is alot of uniformity in dress, language, housing, schools, work, but these conceal large differences in thought and private behaviours. There is a national identity, but it only comes into play with foreigners, rather like the "ugly American" comes out when a USian feels threatened by foreigners.

Mostly, the Dutch try to avoid the [few] busybodies ("klikkers"). There certainly is no sense of coercive internal behaviours like you would find in France or Bavaria.

The Dutch don't especially like drugs, but they tolerate them because they don't want their individualities squashed either. Perhaps a native could confirm/deny.



The New Prohibition (none / 1) (#372)
by knobmaker on Wed Oct 22, 2003 at 02:54:55 PM EST

Using brain damaging drugs does not give you some sort of extra freedom in your mind.

It's surprising how many people would regard the prohibition of alcohol as a restriction of their freedom. And as anyone who can open a medical dictionary should know, alcohol is the most brain-damaging drug. Goose Sauce Gander.

Hidden Dangers (none / 0) (#378)
by elpapa on Fri Nov 21, 2003 at 01:18:36 PM EST

While a number of people agree that every person should be free to do whatever he/she likes to , rarely in my experience
do the same people recognize, agree and publicize that freedom is not without responsability ; the first and only responsability
being that of not actually interfering with other people choices and freedom.

Gilmore should be able to consume whatever drugs/food/whatever he likes, but when it comes to taking responsability of
actions he says If someone consumes a drug in a way that damages people around them (or seriously threatens to),
they should be held responsible -- whether the drug is coffee, alcohol, or cocaine
. Well that's totally obvious, but
he doesn't say how does he suppose to 1) prosecute the abusers 2)contain and repair the damages done by abusers.

Maybe he thinks government should to that ? Experiences has teached us goverments rarely are succesful in containing widespread behaviors even by the means of brutal repression ; rohibitionism experience suggested us that governments can't stop millions  of people from doing whatever they want. Hell even he doesn't want government to interfere in people choices.

Maybe he thinks that adequate perpetual education will prevent people from abusing drugs ? Maybe, but I think this is delusional. People still keep violating government imposed and self imposed rules all the time they want, often showing (even if temporarily) irrational behaviors.

Maybe he thinks people should defend themselves from abuses caused by drug abusers ? Yes, ok, but how ? For instance by shooting the drug abuser to death ? What if I forgot to bring the weaponry with me or it jams ? What if I'm taken by suprise ? Will you come flying Gilmore and save my ass !?!? Will you pay the damages Gilmore, assuming I'm still alive ?!

Of course I'm referring to abusers of drug that cause dependency AND violent behaviors , because of dependency you can't easily quit the habit (I'm a tobacco smoker myself, I know how it feels when you run out of cigarettes , it's not devastating but it's painful) and because of the need to get more drug you're almost physically pushed into doing something you wouldn't normally do like for instance robbing people to buy yourself more drug or beating people that disagree with your habit.

Also he doesn't seem to care about the fact that drugs that induce dependency also induce a continuous expense of money ; I can foresee companies like PhilMorris jumping in this racket , it doesn't even require expensive advertising as it is a self sustained business ; and once the "market forces" are unleashed in the drug business, you will NOT be able to produce your own drugs for "your own good" (you can't purify drugs as biochemical labs can) ..or some complicated excuse will be found to prevent you from producing your addicting drugs of choice. One may argue "BUt I can grow my own tobacco !" I don't know if you can, have you checked the law ? (remember that laws change, your addiction doesn't as easily). AND even if it's legal to make your drug, powerful companies will be able to exploit economies of scale by producing tons of drugs for miserable costs, selling you the drug at the price so comparatively low that you'll tell yourself "hell I'll just buy it at supermarket".

I don't think the drug liberalization will actually do good, but to powerful multinationals. I'd rather suggest depenalization of personal use and production with harsh punishment for abuses and mass production/sale.

John Gilmore's take on mind altering drugs | 359 comments (340 topical, 19 editorial, 6 hidden)
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