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[P]
More cluelessness in the war on drugs

By enterfornone in News
Wed Mar 28, 2001 at 04:49:46 AM EST
Tags: Freedom (all tags)
Freedom

According to this article, police in the Australian state of New South Wales will now have the power to seize houses suspected of being used for dealing drugs. How these "drug houses" will be defined is not mentioned, however the article states that houses can be confiscated by the state "regardless of whether drugs have been found on the property".

People found entering or leaving suspected drug houses will have to prove their innocence to avoid being jailed. According to Assistant Police Commissioner Clive Small, "the new laws essentially shift the burden of proof from police to people detained for entering suspected drug houses, who will have to prove their lawful purpose for being there".

New South Wales Premier Bob Carr states "It is reasonable to expect these changes may swell prison numbers," and has said he will build more jails if needed.


In addition to the new laws, recently on Sydney television advertisements have appeared supposedly to educate children and parents on the dangers of drugs. The advertisements feature voiceovers of young children discussing their dreams for the future (I want to be a fireman etc) with visuals depicting drug addicts.

The visuals include a young prostitute collecting money from a client, a youth emptying a handbag he has just stolen and a corpse being zipped into a bodybag. These advertisements and other materials from the government's "education" campaign can be found here.

Obviously the implication is that all drug addicts become prostitutes (which of course, is always a bad thing) and thieves and are eventually killed by their addiction. This ridiculous generalisation of drug users is laughable and any children seeing this are obviously going to ignore the scare tactics the government is pushing on ignorant parents.

There is a real drug problem. In part it is due to the governments drug war forcing up drug prices and the fact that drug dealers have no obligation to supply a quality product. If drugs were legalised and regulated it would reduce the price and ensure a safer product, negating the need for drug users to take to crime and prostitution and reducing the chances of drug deaths. The problems depicted in the government's advertisements are actually being caused by the government.

Also by pouring money into the drug war the government is taking much needed funds away from the health system.

I have a brother who suffers from psychosis, bought about by use of marijuana and LSD during his teens (depending on which doctor you ask the psychosis may or may not be directly related to drug use, however that is what caused the initial episodes). Him and others in his situation (as well as those suffering non-drug related mental illnesses) are forced into the community with minimal care because the hospital system simply cannot afford to treat them. If the money being poured into the police and prisons was instead put towards mental health and drug rehabilitation many of the problems caused by drugs (as well as legal addictions such as alcohol) could be solved.

We also need education, but not the scare campaigns that the government calls education. We need real education on the health issues surrounding drugs. Since many will use drugs regardless of how much we tell them not to, we also need to educate those people on how to use drugs safely. People also need to be education on the damage that prohibition causes.

In short, while the governments policies may have the support of ignorant voters, it does nothing to solve the problems caused by drugs, it only serves to make it worse. Drugs need to be treated as a health issue not a legal issue.

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More cluelessness in the war on drugs | 200 comments (199 topical, 1 editorial, 0 hidden)
heh... (2.25 / 4) (#1)
by rebelcool on Tue Mar 27, 2001 at 09:12:15 PM EST

reminds me of america. Remember this though: The government is there because the people put them there. Regardless of the money donated by corporations and lobbyists, they still have to get elected.

COG. Build your own community. Free, easy, powerful. Demo site

the problem (3.50 / 2) (#2)
by enterfornone on Tue Mar 27, 2001 at 09:17:13 PM EST

I think part of the problem is that most voters are fooled into believing that there is something inherantly bad about illegal drugs. They think that gang violence, mugging, break and enter etc. are link to drugs and these problems will go away if we can remove drugs from the street. Of course you can't get rid of drugs completely and reducing the supply only makes these problems worse. Sadly few people understand this.

--
efn 26/m/syd
Will sponsor new accounts for porn.
[ Parent ]
drug opposition (4.00 / 2) (#4)
by Delirium on Tue Mar 27, 2001 at 09:38:31 PM EST

While that may be part of it, a great deal of people think the drugs themselves are a bad thing, and that anything putting "those goddamn potheads, crack fiends, and hippies" into jail is a good thing.

Now while I'm personally opposed to drug use, I think they should be treated like alcohol is - legalized and regulated (possibly with an age limit; that's a separate debate). Then all the negative side-effects of drug use should be legislated against and prosecuted if they occur, but not drug use in and of itself (i.e. driving while on crack or something should be illegal, but if you sit in your house and don't bother people you can smoke whatever the hell you want to smoke).

[ Parent ]

Drug war and disinformation (4.33 / 24) (#5)
by pope nihil on Tue Mar 27, 2001 at 09:40:24 PM EST

Damnit this sort of topic is why we need Anonymous Hero back :(

Ok...

I have a friend. He tells me that a large part of the reason he got into drugs as a teen was because he was sick of the obvious disinformation campaign waged by his government. Sometime around 14 he started discovering that lots of people were lying to him. The government and his school was lying to him about some things related to drugs and sex. His parents were lying to him about some things related to religion, drugs, and sex. Since they lied about some things, they couldn't be trusted to tell the truth about any of it. So, my friend started trying drugs. He was meticulous to avoid being caught, and to this day never has been. Although he still occaisionally uses marijuana and alcohol to relax, drugs aren't a big part of his life anymore. My friend is smart and has a huge amount of willpower: enough willpower that drugs have never really interfered in a negative way in his life. However, he understands that drugs could negatively impact some people's lives, and so doesn't recommend them to most people.

Anyway, what I'm trying to say is that if the government was honest in the first place about drugs we wouldn't have a war on drugs. You know why? Because if they were honest, people wouldn't see drugs as some life-destroying demon in the form of a syringe and they wouldn't see all drug users as deranged lunatics who steal to pay for their habit.

But hey, the war on drugs gives people a cause. "The reason our society is fucked is because of drugs!" Plus, it pays for a lot of government jobs hunting down those horrible "druggies"... They're not even people, they're druggies, dope dealers, and criminals to boot.

First the gun thing, and now this. Australia has definitely moved down on my list of countries to an even worse place to live than the US. The essential problem is the same though. They think they can solve their problems by legislating them away.


I voted.

Ok, I'll bite. (2.80 / 5) (#59)
by duxup on Wed Mar 28, 2001 at 07:02:29 AM EST

Lets say the government was honest about drugs, what would they say?

[ Parent ]
oh i dunno (3.75 / 8) (#71)
by el_guapo on Wed Mar 28, 2001 at 08:18:28 AM EST

That drugs, while not necessarily a Good Thing(tm), aren't worthy of locking nonviolent users up, or confiscating someone's property simply because they're SUSPECTED of dealing/carrying. Or maybe that we're completely hypocritical when it comes to legislating them: alchohol has caused way more troubles that pot ever did - unless you consider the problems that the government MADE pot cause (the aforementioned locaking up/confiscating). Do I think smoking pot is a good idea? No. Do I think YOU should be banned from smoking it because of that? Also no.
mas cerveza, por favor mirrors, manifestos, etc.
[ Parent ]
Truth = ? (2.33 / 6) (#81)
by duxup on Wed Mar 28, 2001 at 09:23:29 AM EST

So the truth the government should tell = your opinion?

[ Parent ]
not sure where you got that from (4.50 / 2) (#107)
by el_guapo on Wed Mar 28, 2001 at 11:37:26 AM EST

i'm not sure where you infered that from (or even really what it means, i think you're asking if i think the government should be telling what i consider to be the truth - which is, well, not true;-)- imo the government should practice "least common denominator" type legislation. they should be doing their best to make sure punishment-style laws are based on one person violating another person's rights. what a person does to themselves or what 2 consenting people (of age, of course)do to themselves is nobody's business (referring to the laws still on the books outlawing homosexuality in some states (ok, not specifically, but you get the point)).
mas cerveza, por favor mirrors, manifestos, etc.
[ Parent ]
I can suggest things they shouldn't say... (4.50 / 8) (#96)
by Karmakaze on Wed Mar 28, 2001 at 10:24:21 AM EST

You will become addicted to marijuana after one puff of one cigarette, and you will experience extreme and traumatic hallucinations after that one puff.
Why do I bring this up? - because that is exactly what the animated 30-minute Saturday morning special the government sponsored in the late 80's claimed. Or...
Anyone who smokes (or wants to smoke) marijuana is a criminal, and is likely to be a violent criminal at that.
This one pops up in government propoganda all the time. How about...
Anyone who smokes marijuana in any quantity will in short order move on to cocaine and heroin.
I was told this one in high school and it's statistically provable to be untrue.
Anyone who takes illegal drugs will try to force you to do the same.
This one is also provably untrue, at least in my personal experience
I could go on, but I don't think I need to.

For the record, I have never taken any illegal drug. I did try marijuana once, but it was legal in the country I was in at the time. Nothing happened. Like, literally nothing. I've been told you usually need to try a few times before you get a noticable effect. I don't smoke tobacco and I rarely drink alcohol. I am a caffeine addict, though.

I went to a college known for recreational drug use (in retrospect, I don't think recreational drug use was more widespread than in other schools - it was just a repuatation). I had a number of friends who took recreational drugs. One of them developed a serious problem. Some of them did not. The two pages of genuine, medical textbook information I got from our student handbook was more useful in helping my friend with the problem than the reams of government propoganda.

All in all, I'd rather not be lied to.


--
Karmakaze
[ Parent ]

From Chocolate to Morphine (4.00 / 1) (#136)
by broody on Wed Mar 28, 2001 at 03:56:31 PM EST

Perhaps this...

If I ever have a child, which is doubtful, this book will be beginning of our conversation about drugs. No bullshit, no scare tatics, just a frank assessment of the risks and a decent listing of alternatives.

It's not perfect but then again what is?


~~ Whatever it takes
[ Parent ]
Good for him (3.33 / 9) (#84)
by duxup on Wed Mar 28, 2001 at 09:33:12 AM EST

He tells me that a large part of the reason he got into drugs as a teen was because he was sick of the obvious disinformation campaign waged by his government.

Well thank goodness he did, because we all know that guy on the corner selling crack is spewing honesty and has your best interests in mind.

[ Parent ]
re: Good for him (4.66 / 3) (#124)
by pope nihil on Wed Mar 28, 2001 at 01:47:18 PM EST

I said my friend was smart and could see through the obvious lies. What makes you think that he would be able to see notice a huge government-sponsored disinformation campaign but would allow himself to be sweet-talked by street-corner crack-heads? Are you trying to tell me that the government doesn't lie as well as your average crack-head? Do you just think I'm stupid? Look, you're obviously a victim of the War on (some) Drugs propaganda, so let me break it down for you.

Not all illicit drug users are stupid. Not all illicit drugs are the same. Many illicit drugs are less harmful than legal ones. Example: marijuana and LSD are schedule ones narcotics. this means that the only legitimate use for them is through special government research projects. Medically, they can't be prescribed to anyone. These drugs have are quite safe and non-addictive (Like most drugs, LSD is significantly more dangerous when purchased through the black market) However, tobacco,caffeine, and alcohol are all perfectly legal and much more damaging in the long-term. Alcohol causes serious liver damage and is highly addictive. Caffeine causes serious heart problems and is highly addictive. Tobacco is extremely addictive (more so than heroin) and leads to cancer and other lung problems.

Anyway, try to be a little less judgemental about people who don't buy into government propaganda. We're still people.


I voted.

[ Parent ]
cluelessness on both sides (2.53 / 13) (#6)
by Speare on Tue Mar 27, 2001 at 10:50:27 PM EST

The Government's campaign is terribly deluded and offers nothing but disinformation.

Anyone who says, "make drugs like marijuana and lsd safer through regulation" is just as deluded and offers nothing but disinformation.

Whether you like it or not, drugs kill. Whether they're pure or regulated or legal or stolen or cut or homegrown or prescribed, drugs kill.

Alcohol is a legal, regulated, taxed, sanctioned and administered drug. Alcoholism is a rampant health risk, and an enabler for violence. Alcohol is a source of fatalities in immediate binge drinking, in excessive drinking over a period of years, in vehicular homicide, and in domestic homicide.

Do you think cocaine, whether it is crack or powder, is gonna be better? Do you think methamphetamines are gonna be better? Do you think high-density marijuana is gonna be better? Do you think GHB and other date-rape drugs are gonna be better?

Give us a break. If you want to destroy your brain cells, leave the rest of society out of it.


[ e d @ h a l l e y . c c ]
Don't paint all drugs with the same brush (4.83 / 6) (#10)
by Carnage4Life on Tue Mar 27, 2001 at 11:14:07 PM EST

Anyone who says, "make drugs like marijuana and lsd safer through regulation" is just as deluded and offers nothing but disinformation.

Whether you like it or not, drugs kill. Whether they're pure or regulated or legal or stolen or cut or homegrown or prescribed, drugs kill.


Yet another person who is venomously opposed to drugs without getting the facts. I don't know about LSD but I know for a fact that after decades of study the health risks of marijuana are still debatable and there are few if any documented fatalities related to marijuana abuse.

The same goes for MDMA which is the primary ingredient of Ecstacy which has practically no ill after effects either in the short term or in the long term. Ecstacy is one place where regulation can help because the major problem with it is that most sellers cut it with harmful drugs to either enhance its effects or to short change buyers. Pure MDMA is thus hard to find so the Ecstacy consumed by most of the raver culture is actually more harmful than it has to be.

Anyway, the War On Drugs is an acknowledged failure. As large a percentage of the U.S. population uses drugs as those in countries where the usage of certain drugs is not as frowned upon.

[ Parent ]
Decriminalization (4.14 / 7) (#30)
by CaptainSuperBoy on Wed Mar 28, 2001 at 01:17:58 AM EST

Anyone who says, "make drugs like marijuana and lsd safer through regulation" is just as deluded and offers nothing but disinformation.

How could decriminalization not make a drug safer? Drug users today have no way of knowing what they are getting, whether it is pure, or whether it is spiked. Plenty of kids buy ecstasy at raves having no clue what's actually in their pill. The most dangerous side effect of marijuana use is jail time.

drugs kill

What drugs? How? Breathing kills, eventually. Stress kills. Drinking too much water kills.

Alcohol is a source of fatalities

Alcohol is a BAD example to hold other drugs to, as it is much more dangerous and addictive than many of our most feared illegal drugs. Alcohol is a major factor in traffic accidents. Excessive use of alcohol over a long time WILL kill you. In contrast, the vast majority of LSD users don't "go crazy," or have horrible flashbacks, as we have been led to believe. If anything, LSD is the opposite of addictive; most users become less interested in it, and stop.

Do you think cocaine, whether it is crack or powder, is gonna be better?

Yes. The decriminalization of cocaine would free up billions of dollars that countries spend on controlling their borders and keeping drug users in jail. The US has tried for over 15 years to keep cocaine from flowing in from Central and South America, and for 15 years it has failed. The public would be much better served if the money would be used to treat addicts.



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

drugs kill.. (3.00 / 4) (#58)
by joto on Wed Mar 28, 2001 at 06:52:03 AM EST

Whether you like it or not, salt kills. Salt is (at least where I come from) defined as a toxic substance, because the amount you can eat before you die is so small. It is also vital to the functioning of the body, which should certainly be enough to define it as a "drug".

To avoid this hazard, we should all regulate, tax and administer salt distribution and usage. Every drug, including salt must be put under strict control to avoid having people abusing it.

[ Parent ]

More (3.71 / 7) (#7)
by enterfornone on Tue Mar 27, 2001 at 10:51:28 PM EST

According to this Excite article "Prime Minister John Howard was today assailed by callers to an Adelaide talkback radio program who demanded he introduce capital punishment or use the army to clear heroin traffickers from Sydney's western suburbs."

So yeah, it aint as if the government isn't giving the people what they want.

--
efn 26/m/syd
Will sponsor new accounts for porn.

Talkback radio != public (none / 0) (#148)
by Scrymarch on Wed Mar 28, 2001 at 09:43:49 PM EST

People appear to miss this point, especially in Australia, and especially of late. Talkback radio callers are carefully selected to create the most controversy and spit about whatever the presenter supports. They have little to do with the concept of the free press - in fact a few of the more popular presenters in Australia were found to be directly paid by the banks to do editorials saying how wonderful they were.

[ Parent ]
Is this libertarian enough? (2.33 / 3) (#8)
by skim123 on Tue Mar 27, 2001 at 10:56:40 PM EST

I'm all for legalization of drugs (if you want to put a chemical into your body who am I to stop you?) and I think the government should tax the hell out of such drugs so that they can reduce other taxes, namely income tax.

Sucks to live in Australia, I guess, unless you're all about the guilty until proven innocent thing. Not being from Australia I don't have any idea how serious the problem really is, but one would hope something could never get too serious to prompt such an attitude. Granted, America has mistreated its citizens a number of times in the past (Japenese Internment of WWII, the mistreatment of Italian-Americans during WWII, etc.).

Money is in some respects like fire; it is a very excellent servant but a terrible master.
PT Barnum


Not exactly Libertarian (3.33 / 3) (#29)
by weirdling on Wed Mar 28, 2001 at 01:07:24 AM EST

This is a moderate-conservative position; it still assumes that drug users should pay a disproportionate amount of the public load, which is a form of social engineering. It's important to note that this kind of social engineering is already at work, from liquor tax to cigarette tax to proposed ruinous ammunition taxes.
If the principle is freedom, and to a Libertarian, it is, then there can be no disproportion based on something the majority does not approve of.

I'm not doing this again; last time no one believed it.
[ Parent ]
Hah (3.00 / 3) (#36)
by skim123 on Wed Mar 28, 2001 at 01:34:40 AM EST

This is a moderate-conservative position; it still assumes that drug users should pay a disproportionate amount of the public load, which is a form of social engineering

I think it's more of a "tax whatever I don't do," position, which is, perhaps, everyone's position. :-) Personally I think all taxes should be removed, or those who pay more taxes should get more benefits, or something... I dunno, it's that time of year (tax season) and I always feel like I'm getting the short end of the stick when everything's said and done. And I hate those who say, "It's ok to pay more in taxes because you make more." No. Fuck that. If I pay twice as much in taxes as you do, I should get twice the benefits. The army should fight twice as hard to defend my freedom; I should enjoy the roads twice as much as you; my Congressman should listen to me twice as often. Of course all of those things are ludicrous to say they should be a right (i.e., that the rich get more political sway), therefore EVERYONE should pay the same tax bill, IMHO, regardless of how much you make. Of course I say that being well off, but still.

Money is in some respects like fire; it is a very excellent servant but a terrible master.
PT Barnum


[ Parent ]
re Taxes Freedom and stuff (4.00 / 1) (#152)
by Akaru on Thu Mar 29, 2001 at 04:20:01 AM EST

I sort of agree here, I've had big arguments with people which end up with me being called a tory. But why do people who make more money get charged more, its like having one rule for one lot and another rule for another.

Of course there are other things to think of, like do these people who have so much money/income deserve it. I expect not, but if we start taxing them on stuff like that it gets stupid.

I've never understood the way the world works, because its full of contradictions in the way i have to live.

Is it no wonder that I feel I have nothing to look forward to Nothing to live for, that I have no fear of Death because nothingness is a sheer certainty I can take away the pain of living everyday in this crazy world.

But i can't kill myself thats the easy way, so until i do die, I'll be smoking dope and snorting coke because i don't care anymore. getting drunk smoking cigareetes, anything to try and speed up the process.

I'm not alone in this self destructive attitude, and its because the same reason as mine. What is the point of living? doing what we are told to do?

In our capitalist the point is that we live and work to buy material items, by doing this we make someone else rich. Our society is a cycle of birth work and death.

If that isn't reason to take drugs i don't know what is.

So instead of remedying the situation what happens, we introduce more soul crushing initiatives, we persecute the people more and more.

But i can always take another gramme of Soma play some obstacle golf, and then call up the pnuematic lenina.


[ Parent ]
Why is it important to be libertarian? (4.00 / 2) (#61)
by Pseudonym on Wed Mar 28, 2001 at 07:18:41 AM EST

Can't you just be yourself?



sub f{($f)=@_;print"$f(q{$f});";}f(q{sub f{($f)=@_;print"$f(q{$f});";}f});
[ Parent ]
Well.... (5.00 / 1) (#106)
by nstenz on Wed Mar 28, 2001 at 11:36:53 AM EST

I prefer taking parts of the Libertarian philosophy and including them in myself.... Which is pretty much what everyone else does with everything. It's just a tad more convenient to say Republican / Democrat / Green / Libertarian / whatever so people have an easier time finding out how you feel about some things generally, without you having to blab for 5 minutes about what you think.

So it's not exactly bad to say, "I'm a Libertarian", right?



[ Parent ]
I guess so (none / 0) (#125)
by Pseudonym on Wed Mar 28, 2001 at 02:30:52 PM EST

If you fit in a pigeonhole, even if it's a pretty poor fit, yes, it does save on talking, and hence contributes less to the heat death of the universe.

I prefer taking parts of the Libertarian philosophy and including them in myself.... Which is pretty much what everyone else does with everything.

I prefer to pick-and-choose, but that's just me, I guess.

Each to their own. (A Libertarian sentiment if I ever saw one!)



sub f{($f)=@_;print"$f(q{$f});";}f(q{sub f{($f)=@_;print"$f(q{$f});";}f});
[ Parent ]
That's what I said! =) (none / 0) (#196)
by nstenz on Thu Apr 05, 2001 at 05:07:20 PM EST

You said:
I prefer to pick-and-choose, but that's just me, I guess.
I said:
I prefer taking parts of the...
Sooo I shall end this comment with- I think we were agreeing, yes?

[ Parent ]
The US (4.42 / 19) (#9)
by Seumas on Tue Mar 27, 2001 at 10:58:12 PM EST

This has been going on in the US for a long time. You don't even have to be convicted -- just arrested. You can have all of your posessions auctioned off by the government for drug or prostitution related charges. Again, charges -- not convictions.

Of course, a few people got upset over this in our state (Oregon) but not enough for it to really matter. After all, our own governor has defied state constitution and declared that he will not return extra funds collected from tax-payers back to the tax-payers each year (as is law). So basically, tax you as much as they want, keep what isn't needed. If only businesses could do that! "Yes, that bread box is only $5, but I'm not going to give you your change back on the $20 you gave me to purchase it".

Really, when people don't even get upset that their own govenrment is stealing from them and defying them and the law, what are they going to care about some drug dealers or sexual deviants (remember, whether you're convicted/guilty doesn't matter -- just whether or not you are accused), who get their stuff stolen?
--
I just read K5 for the articles.

Good deals? (3.00 / 3) (#119)
by MicroBerto on Wed Mar 28, 2001 at 01:09:02 PM EST

Where can I get involved in police auctions? Sounds like they have some nice stuff at good prices!

Berto
- GAIM: MicroBerto
Bertoline - My comic strip
[ Parent ]
paper (3.00 / 1) (#129)
by Seumas on Wed Mar 28, 2001 at 02:50:49 PM EST

They advertise everywhere. Usually in the classified section of your newspaper. Rarely on television or radio. They usually have a lot of different stuff. Everything from Corvettes (when they police don't keep them and turn them into D.A.R.E. propaganda-mobiles) to Hummers to property or bikes and other crap.
--
I just read K5 for the articles.
[ Parent ]
What about Oregon Measure 3 (4.00 / 2) (#139)
by johnzo on Wed Mar 28, 2001 at 04:39:49 PM EST

According to Oregon Measure 3, which passed 67% to 33% last year, Oregon authorities can't seize property until after conviction.

Granted, this doesn't help against the feds, but isn't it a step in the right direction? Or do I not have the whole story?

zo.

[ Parent ]

drugs are legal nowhere in the world (2.83 / 12) (#11)
by eLuddite on Tue Mar 27, 2001 at 11:25:47 PM EST

Nothing beyond this sentence should be construed as my approval for NSW's new policy (which is egregious) or as an offer to read into it evidence for my personal history of drug use.

If drugs were legalised and regulated it would reduce the price and ensure a safer product, negating the need for drug users to take to crime and prostitution and reducing the chances of drug deaths.

Many people will use this observation as evidence and justification for the legalization of drugs. It's not that simple.

The danger of drugs is that they can destroy the lives of even people with a seemingly endless supply of money to purchase them. Turning the drug market into a fair market with legal protections and commercial safeguards isnt going to prevent a cocaine abuser from abusing the trust of his family and friends, for example. In other words, the fundamental objection to drugs is that they can and that they will cause personal injury. That someone's daughter turns into a toothless crack whore because of a state imposed scarcity explains the whore part, but not the drug part. The state will argue that it is better to have a few drug addled whores than than many drug addled demure women. If you contest this arguement, you contest drug policy, not whether drugs should be legal.

The legalization of drugs is a tacit admission that society has no moral or practical obligations to protect individuals from themselves. It isnt a coincidence that no society on earth has legalized drugs.

---
God hates human rights.

Really? (3.00 / 3) (#12)
by pope nihil on Tue Mar 27, 2001 at 11:39:25 PM EST

I was talking to a man from Amsterdam just the other day who claimed that drugs were in fact legal there...


I voted.

[ Parent ]
Re: Really? (3.00 / 3) (#14)
by eLuddite on Tue Mar 27, 2001 at 11:50:47 PM EST

Soft drugs are not legal in the netherlands, they are merely tolerated.

---
God hates human rights.
[ Parent ]

Soft drugs not legal in the Netherlands (none / 0) (#99)
by Drone X on Wed Mar 28, 2001 at 10:58:27 AM EST

Hmm, why would it not be legal? You can sell them (with a license) and you may use them. That is, I believe there is a certain regulation concerning use in public.

Monkey sense
[ Parent ]

No, they're not legal (none / 0) (#101)
by spiralx on Wed Mar 28, 2001 at 11:05:00 AM EST

It's just that the police no longer prosecute anyone for posession or growing small amounts. Coffee shops are left alone as long as they keep within the "rules" - no harder drugs, keeping quiet and no sales to minors IIRC. Technically marijuana is still illegal though.

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

huh? (4.57 / 7) (#13)
by enterfornone on Tue Mar 27, 2001 at 11:42:56 PM EST

The legalization of drugs is a tacit admission that society has no moral or practical obligations to protect individuals from themselves. It isnt a coincidence that no society on earth has legalized drugs.
I'm not sure about that. Many countries have legalised certain drugs (including the US and Australia where alcohol and tobacco are legal), many have a somewhat more relaxed stance to illegal drug and many other societies have never created drug legislation.

Many people do drugs without it interfering with their daily life. Many have problems with drugs that are legal. The fact is the war on drugs does nothing to solve these problems and creates more problems than it solves.

--
efn 26/m/syd
Will sponsor new accounts for porn.
[ Parent ]

Re: huh? (2.80 / 5) (#22)
by eLuddite on Wed Mar 28, 2001 at 12:29:51 AM EST

Nothing you wrote is an arguement for (a) drugs are not harmful; (b) the state should not prevent its citizens from harming themselves. I never made a claim for unenlightened drug policies, only that arguements for outright legalization demonstrate a facile understanding for what underlies the rule of law in a state which has as its goal the welfare of its citizens.

Individual laws derive from fundamental legal precepts weighted according to such minutia as marijuana vs. heroin, privacy vs. disclosure, etc. One of those precepts is that you should be prevented from harming yourself. One of these minutia is that heroin will do serious harm to many of its users. Citing examples where justice fails or proves ineffective (eg, alcohol) merely demonstrates that the application of law will only get you so far and then no further. It doesnt demonstrate that legalization isnt a simplistic argument for a complex solution or that legislatures should emasculate themselves by rescinding volumes upon volumes of text from their law books.

---
God hates human rights.
[ Parent ]

Responsiblity (4.14 / 7) (#15)
by driph on Tue Mar 27, 2001 at 11:57:14 PM EST

I guess the issue is whether you believe that you are more capable of making judgement calls for others, or if they should have the right to make those calls themselves.



--
Vegas isn't a liberal stronghold. It's the place where the rich and powerful gamble away their company's pension fund and strangle call girls in their hotel rooms. - Psycho Dave
[ Parent ]
Re: Responsiblity (2.25 / 4) (#18)
by eLuddite on Wed Mar 28, 2001 at 12:14:09 AM EST

The state passes proactive legislation with the understanding that individual choices have effects beyond the individual making them. A society of one person has no use for law, that is understood. Justice consists of balancing your rights against mine. Justice does not consist of forgoing my rights to your judgement calls.

---
God hates human rights.
[ Parent ]

your rights (2.66 / 3) (#20)
by enterfornone on Wed Mar 28, 2001 at 12:22:26 AM EST

Exactly how does me doing drugs force you to forgo your rights?

--
efn 26/m/syd
Will sponsor new accounts for porn.
[ Parent ]
Re: your rights (3.00 / 4) (#28)
by eLuddite on Wed Mar 28, 2001 at 01:04:22 AM EST

I was replying specifically to the statement "the issue is whether you believe that you are more capable of making judgement calls for others, or if they should have the right to make those calls themselves," not that your drug use robs me of my rights. It's somewhat onerous to repeat all my previous posts with every reply but I'll do this for you this one time:

I said that individual choices have effects beyond the individual making them. I said that society is obliged to protect its citizens from themselves.

Every family rent apart by the consequences of its addicted sons and daughters, every employer whose bottom line has been affected by the boneheaded decisions of a cocaine addled employee will tell you that their rights were foregone, that drug use has consequences beyond its immediate effect on the drug user, and that society should protect itself from such users.

---
God hates human rights.
[ Parent ]

individual choices (2.75 / 4) (#31)
by enterfornone on Wed Mar 28, 2001 at 01:18:44 AM EST

I said that individual choices have effects beyond the individual making them.
Doing drugs, in itself, does not have any effects beyond the individual making them.
I said that society is obliged to protect its citizens from themselves.
And you think imprisoning people, forcing people to steal and prostitute themselves in order to pay grossly inflated prices for drugs and potentially killing people by forcing them to use drugs cut with dangerous substances or drugs whose potency cannot be detirmined as there is no labelling or regulation, is to be considered protection?

--
efn 26/m/syd
Will sponsor new accounts for porn.
[ Parent ]
Re: individual choices (2.75 / 4) (#33)
by eLuddite on Wed Mar 28, 2001 at 01:29:01 AM EST

I said that individual choices have effects beyond the individual making them.

Doing drugs, in itself, does not have any effects beyond the individual making them.

(a) The post you replied to contained two specific examples. (b) "society is obliged to protect its citizens from themselves."

Which of those do you disagree with? Again, the application of law is a balancing act, not carte blanche for your actions in a vacuum.

And you think imprisoning people, forcing people to steal and prostitute themselves in order to pay grossly inflated ...

And if you think the fact that you stopped beating your wife in any way excuses your current habit of torturing puppies, you have another fish coming to you.

Please show where I said anything even remotely like what you've just attributed to me.

---
God hates human rights.
[ Parent ]

Re: individual choices (3.25 / 4) (#38)
by enterfornone on Wed Mar 28, 2001 at 01:58:32 AM EST

The post you replied to contained two specific examples.
Families are rent apart by things other than drugs and drugs don't always rent apart families. Employees do dumb things when not on drugs and don't always do dumb things when on drugs. As I said "Doing drugs, in itself, does not have any effects beyond the individual making them." Give me an example that disproves this. In your world we may as well ban cars and knive too, since they have potential to cause harm to others.
"society is obliged to protect its citizens from themselves."
Even if this is true (and I don't see why it should be), making drugs illegal does not do anything to achieve this.
And if you think the fact that you stopped beating your wife in any way excuses your current habit of torturing puppies, you have another fish coming to you.
Please explain?
Please show where I said anything even remotely like what you've just attributed to me.
The blockquotes are quotes from your posts.

--
efn 26/m/syd
Will sponsor new accounts for porn.
[ Parent ]
Re: individual choices (3.40 / 5) (#41)
by eLuddite on Wed Mar 28, 2001 at 03:11:30 AM EST

Families are rent apart by things other than drugs and drugs don't always rent apart families.

Since a community can be destroyed by something other than spilling toxic waste into its drinking supply, it shouldnt be illegal to dump dump toxic waste into its drinking supply. Modulo scale, the state takes the position that introducing drugs into the community is like dumping toxic waste into its water supply.

You consistently argue your conclusions using the same conclusions reworded as propositions. That's a rhetorical device. Its fun to do and it will earn you some mojo but it wont win a debate.

Even if this is true (and I don't see why it should be), making drugs illegal does not do anything to achieve this.

"If A, then B because, like, I think so" isnt an arguement, its a statement. Compare it to "it should be because individual actions have consequences beyond the individual making them." And I'm not even entering into consideration the moral foundation for laws protecting individuals from themselves.

I'm not saying I have a impregnable arguement, but at least I've made the effort of arguing and not simply making declarations like "i dont see why it should be" or "does nothing to achieve this" or, elsewhere, "drugs arent necessarily harmful" and "there exists states without drug laws." Why does that mean that they are necessarily harmless? (I dont need the law to protect me from harmless situations.) Countries without drug laws are countries where drugs are legal. What are the names of those countries on a map.

Please explain?

It's simple, really. You are unable to extract meaning from text beyond a literal interpretation. I shall make it clearer for you: you are quilty of the fallacy of interrogation. In reply to your begging the question "And you think imprisoning people, forcing people to steal and prostitute themselves in order to pay grossly inflated ...?" I countered by begging my own so as to reveal the invalidity of such logic. I dont think you torture puppies, why do you think I'm of the opinion that people should be imprisoned and forced to prostitute themselves for drugs.

In fact, enterfornone, I never actually staked a personal position on drug laws at all. I questioned that they can be made legal without betraying the foundation of law, the concept, its nature and its purpose. Hence the claim that it is no accident that drug laws exist everywhere.

---
God hates human rights.
[ Parent ]

minor addendum (2.75 / 4) (#43)
by eLuddite on Wed Mar 28, 2001 at 03:21:26 AM EST

Hence the claim that it is no accident that drug laws exist everywhere.

And, in fact, contrary to your statemen in #13, both tobacco and alcohol are legislated substances in both the US and Australia. In some places, places where law is founded upon a different (but no less valid) moral foundation, alcohol is strictly illegal.

---
God hates human rights.
[ Parent ]

MMmmm... (2.75 / 4) (#23)
by dice on Wed Mar 28, 2001 at 12:29:56 AM EST

I really love the phrase "proactive legislation". You'd be simply amazed at how you could replace it with "crimethink laws" and the meaning would stay the same!

The simple fact is, if you have your trust in a person who then screws you over, it's your own fault. You made the choice to trust them.

The physical implications, ie theft or murder, all have laws against them and rightfuklly so. There should never be a law against "hurting someone's feelings". You choose exactly how someone's actions affect you emotionally. You choose exactly how much someone means to you. You got screwed, your fault.

[ Parent ]
Re: MMmmm... (2.25 / 4) (#25)
by eLuddite on Wed Mar 28, 2001 at 12:44:44 AM EST

I really love the phrase "proactive legislation". You'd be simply amazed at how you could replace it with "crimethink laws" and the meaning would stay the same!

Your love for simple minded interpretation makes you simple, not a judge.

The simple fact is, if you have your trust in a person who then screws you over, it's your own fault. You made the choice to trust them.

I dont even need to know you before your actions destroy my life. Nor am I concerned about you hurting my feelings.

---
God hates human rights.
[ Parent ]

Awww... (2.33 / 3) (#27)
by dice on Wed Mar 28, 2001 at 12:58:25 AM EST

You're hurting my feelings.

Anyway, on to the sparse content your post had.

"I dont even need to know you before your actions destroy my life."

Give an example for this which would be improved by drug legislation and not covered by common law?

[ Parent ]
Re: Awww (2.00 / 3) (#32)
by eLuddite on Wed Mar 28, 2001 at 01:19:10 AM EST

Give an example for this which would be improved by drug legislation and not covered by common law?

You write this as if drug legislation isnt an application of common law, as if it is disjoined from the normal affairs of law.

Anyway, reread the thread begining from where I make a point about proactive legislation. Please also remember that I have no wish to defend one drug policy for another, only to point out that legalization embodies consequences which are contrary to the very notion of law as a foundation for society as well as an instrument of social policy.

---
God hates human rights.
[ Parent ]

But they should be (4.25 / 4) (#42)
by DeHans on Wed Mar 28, 2001 at 03:18:31 AM EST

The legalization of drugs is a tacit admission that society has no moral or practical obligations to protect individuals from themselves. It isnt a coincidence that no society on earth has legalized drugs.
Who are you to judge what is right for me ??
I use drugs (both the legal alcohol and nicotine and the illegal THC (marihuana)), I do not abuse them. I have a job and a normal life, so why should I be "protected from myself". How am I morally less than you ???

Besides, the main argument not to legalize in the Netherlands is the international community, not some higher moral or a need to protect the citizenry (we are perfectly capable of protecting ourselves thank you very much, don't need no governemnet for that).
If our governement thought that the international community *would* accept the legalization of drugs in the Netherlands, it would have done so years ago. But since they expect (rightly so) an enormous amount of protest and perhaps even economical counter-measures (as the US has done to several mid-american countries), drug use is only tolerated.

[ Parent ]
Re: But they should be (3.50 / 4) (#45)
by eLuddite on Wed Mar 28, 2001 at 04:33:10 AM EST

Who are you to judge what is right for me ??

Your specific existence doesnt enter into the arguement. "You" represents an abstract vessel into which rights are given and taken away from. "You" (the individual) normally takes precedence when considering a law, but that precedence isnt exclusive.

I use drugs (both the legal alcohol and nicotine and the illegal THC (marihuana)), I do not abuse them. I have a job and a normal life, so why should I be "protected from myself". How am I morally less than you ???

I make no claims for your morality. Where did I make a moral claim against drug users?

I use drugs, I do not abuse them.

Good for you. Your specific existence is irrelevant. Your selfish requirement that I judge a law according to your circumstances would make me you. That would make sense if you were me but you are not. Can you try to imagine the existence of multiple people both like you and unlike you? If so can you try to imagine how the complex social interaction of all these people might create instances of tension requiring an impartial judgement? If so dont you think it's reasonable to have a codified set of laws from which those judgements can be derived?

Am I saying anything that is not obvious?

How does the the fact that you judge social policy according to your self interest invalidate mine? Because you use drugs? The only people I know who have ingested more hard drugs than myself are either dead or living in trashcans. The only reason I'm alive today is because I was fortunate enough to have a background of social privilege. I have hung out with bikers; I have been at cocaine auctions where everyone buys by the pound and no one uses a gram; I have lived in a crack house; I have slept on a tattered couch in a law office; I have spent innumerable hours on a prison bunk, staring at the ceiling. I think I have the right to be so immodest as to consider the personal experience of someone other than yourself regardless of his claim that

I use drugs, I do not abuse them.

Please dont be so presumptous as to think the law is at your service, alone. You only think that your personal interests dont resonate elsewhere. You drive fast, you get hurt, I pay your hospital bill. Apart from moral considerations which are fundamental to society and law, it is in society's practical self interest to protect you from yourself.

Besides, the main argument not to legalize in the Netherlands is the international community, not some higher moral or a need to protect the citizenry

Can you cite a _consensus_ of legal dutch opinion for the legalization of drugs or are you just repeating populist claims and editorial opinion? By drugs I mean harmful narcotic substances. It would surprise me considering the fact that the dutch cant even decide to make euthanasia legal.

---
God hates human rights.
[ Parent ]

Protect (3.66 / 3) (#53)
by kaemaril on Wed Mar 28, 2001 at 05:47:12 AM EST

...it is in society's practical self interest to protect you from yourself.

This is true only to a point. And that point is normally what people will stand for and whether or not the government can make a buck out of it. Ban alcohol and tobacco and the doctors are happy, but the public won't be too pleased and the government loses any revenue from taxation. Taken to ridiculous extremes, perhaps the government should ban people from playing sports? Sports injuries cost the health services money to treat, and businesses potentially lose money due to employee sick days. Ban amateur sports, they're bad for you and society! ;)


Why, yes, I am being sarcastic. Why do you ask?


[ Parent ]
Re: Protect (3.00 / 3) (#56)
by eLuddite on Wed Mar 28, 2001 at 06:16:20 AM EST

I certainly have no disagreement with any of this except to emphasize that outright legalization would turn "true but only to a point" into "false."

For practical considerations, not moral.

In any case, appreciation for the complexity of issues like this is quite different than "legalize it" or, worse, "legalize it and everything will be better." As much as people (and geeks, in particular, given similiar pronouncements about information yearning to be free, etc) love to hate their judges and their lawyers and their policy makers and to malign them as clueless suits, those people are in fact grappling with something considerably more complex than apache. Society certainly evolves, but before having an opinion as to its future direction, at least understand how it got to be the way it is now.

(Dont get me started.)

---
God hates human rights.
[ Parent ]

Re Re: (3.00 / 1) (#88)
by DeHans on Wed Mar 28, 2001 at 09:56:34 AM EST

Please bear with me. I think in dutch and then have to translate my thoughts, so it won't always come out as intended.
"You" (the individual) normally takes precedence when considering a law, but that precedence isnt exclusive.
At least we agree that when considering law the individual should take precedence. In that case (at least IMHO) it has to be *shown* that the actions of the individual constitute a danger for either an other individual or the state (= all individuals). In absence of such evidence the individual right should have precedence. Agreed ??

Where did I make a moral claim against drug users?
You didn't. I misread :(

Am I saying anything that is not obvious?
Well... I had some trouble reading and understanding that part, and I'm not sure if it is your writing or my limited understanding of Englsh :).
But I will try to answer, based on my understanding.
Good for you. Your specific existence is irrelevant. Your selfish requirement that I judge a law according to your circumstances would make me you.
Laws do not have to be based solely on my existence or cicumstances, but should take my existence and circumstances (as well as those of *all* other individuals for which the law is intended) into account. Only when rights of individuals conflict, there should a law to balance between those rights.
My right to imbibe whatever substance I like, should be balanced against possible damages to society. Since the only danger is to my health, the balance should be to tax the substances in question as alcohol and nicotine are taxed now. Those taxes should be related to the cost of health insurance etc. related to drug use.
Side question. How do you feel about alcohol and nicotine?

Can you cite a _consensus_ of legal dutch opinion for the legalization of drugs or are you just repeating populist claims and editorial opinion? By drugs I mean harmful narcotic substances. It would surprise me considering the fact that the dutch cant even decide to make euthanasia legal.
Not at this moment. I will try to get back to you on this though.

On the subject of euthanasia : on November 28 2000 a law was passed in the lower house of dutch parliament which removes euthanasia from criminal law. It still has to pass the upper house though. So you are partly right.

[ Parent ]
cigarettes and booze (none / 0) (#104)
by eLuddite on Wed Mar 28, 2001 at 11:26:59 AM EST

We appear to agree more violently than we disagree. Thank god, I may be combatively stubborn but I need sleep real bad, real now.

How do you feel about alcohol

I feel it presents a problem for my position :-)

Alcohol is one of those drugs whose casual use is benign - like pot - but which has the unusual property amongst drugs of also becoming extremely addictive. I dont know that there's another destructive drug which shares this property - certainly not heroin or coke which would destroy society at comparable levels of use. There are plenty of laws regulating alcohol in the books already and I wouldnt be opposed to stricter control over its production and distribution but that genie is definitely out of the bottle. But do read on, it gets better.

and nicotine?

The only way to become a hacker is to smoke a lot. (That probably doesnt translate well if you think in dutch; hack = cough.)

I actually believe that both alchool and nicotine should be illegal to produce and consume except under specific circumstances. Whether such laws are enforced is up to the society. Where they arent enforced they at least serve as moral censure and for public education. But there is nothing wrong with having such laws in the books out of principle.

Do you think that's strange? Not as strange as the reality of North America. I realize that in most of Europe No Smoking signs are merely suggestions but in North America you pretty much cannot smoke anywhere except in your home. An increasing number of cities here ban smoke in every place where people gather. And they enforce these rules. I'm a smoker, I should know. They also enforce laws against sale to minors and against advertising. Juries are awarding billions of dollars to smokers in class action suits against the tobacco companies which made them sick. Tobacco was not always thought harmful but now we know better and the law is catching up with that knowledge. Tobacco would have been illegal 200 years ago if we knew then what we know now.

Tobacco is a harmful, addictive drug. My arguements have never been against anything except harmful, addictive drugs. If it can happen to tobacco, an entrenched cultural artifact and an economic powerhouse, then clearly there must be some merit to what I've been saying in fact as well as theory. Remember, tobacco was not originally thought harmful.

It's all a matter of degree. Fundamental legal precepts dont change, societies and what they consider important do. The difference between Europe and North America is the level at which they hold cigarettes dangerous, not the idea that you shouldnt be protected from yourself.

---
God hates human rights.
[ Parent ]

few whores vs. many demure (3.66 / 3) (#46)
by ZanThrax on Wed Mar 28, 2001 at 04:40:05 AM EST

implies that you believe that the percentage of the population that uses would skyrocket if drugs were legalised. I've heard this arguement from anti-legalisation types before, and it still sounds like a scare tactic to me, with no research, or even reasonable logic to support it.

Before flying off the handle over the suggestion that your a cocksucker, be sure that you do not, in fact, have a cock in your mouth.
[ Parent ]

Re: few whores vs. many demure (2.00 / 2) (#50)
by eLuddite on Wed Mar 28, 2001 at 05:18:27 AM EST

I've heard this arguement from anti-legalisation types before, and it still sounds like a scare tactic to me, with no research, or even reasonable logic to support it.

The argument is no less logical than any other economic arguement. How is its rejection in favor of a contrary point of view which shares its lack of research and reasonableness more compelling? In order to refute a position, you have to present contrary evidence. Since drugs are illegal everywhere, no such evidence exists.

The best that you can do is propose enlightened, effective, drug policy. Where such policy exists on earth, drugs remain illegal and and addicts are medically treated instead of imprisoned. Such nations' drug policies are health centric, not punitive.

However, those nations are not so foolish as to make drugs legal. They continue to prosecute dealers. As I claim and have tried to argue elsewhere on this thread, making drugs legal relinquishes legal principles which are at the very foundation of society, that arguements for legalization are facile, immature, and counter productive in the long run.

---
God hates human rights.
[ Parent ]

Legalisation (4.00 / 4) (#54)
by spiralx on Wed Mar 28, 2001 at 06:00:55 AM EST

The argument is no less logical than any other economic arguement. How is its rejection in favor of a contrary point of view which shares its lack of research and reasonableness more compelling? In order to refute a position, you have to present contrary evidence. Since drugs are illegal everywhere, no such evidence exists.

True. The Dutch example is perhaps the closest, since they do not prosecute coffee shop owners for growing their own supply, so in that sense the entire supply chain is decriminalised. Also, in many parts of Switzerland marijuana has been legally available for years in the form of pot pourri IIRC. As a look at the statistics show, both of these nations have far fewer smokers than the US.

Of course, you can argue that's not legalisation per se, only tacit approval of one method of production and sale. Still, it is indicative in that there is a lack of social stigma for use of marijuana in these cases, and a freely available product.

Even in the US, 100 million people have smoked marijuana at one point in their lives according to government statistics. There certainly doesn't seem to be any problem in finding a source there... So your argument relies on saying that out of the remaining 150 million Americans, many of them have never been able to obtain marijuana but wanted do.

Do you think this is realistic?

However, those nations are not so foolish as to make drugs legal.

Of course not. Many cannot due to the US's carrot and stick of foreign aid and sanctions; others are bound by international treaties, many of which were practically forced upon them after the Second World War. Have a read of this article, especially US strongarm tactics in Austrailia.

As I claim and have tried to argue elsewhere on this thread, making drugs legal relinquishes legal principles which are at the very foundation of society, that arguements for legalization are facile, immature, and counter productive in the long run.

What legal principles? That the government knows best? Please enlighten us.

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

Re: Legalisation (2.00 / 2) (#62)
by eLuddite on Wed Mar 28, 2001 at 07:26:56 AM EST

Do you think this is realistic?

Do you think it fair that I should defend failed drug policies for which I have presented no arguement for or against? Throughout this thread I have argued against the legalization of drugs on basis of legal principle. I have no intention of doing any of the following:

(a) Defend the persecution of even the most militant pot head. Marijuana is neither harmful, nor addictive. Given that, and given your own willingness to change the subject of the thread, how is the existence of injustice a reason for no justice? I mean, as long as we are allowed to change the subject on each other.

(b) Defending the American war on drugs and, indeed, any other law enforcement failure or success. I do not judge the moral or legal basis for a law according to its enforcement. The existence of incompetent, unenlightened enforcement will make a mockery of any law. How about you? Do you judge a law according to Columbia's urgent requirement to exchange cash for crop? Do you judge economics according to margaret thatcher? Is the incidence of potholes a reason to eliminate taxation since the damn things arent being filled as fast as new ones are being opened up, anyway?

(c) Arguing for or against one or another country's drug policy. Especially (c).

What legal principles?

"The legalization of drugs is a tacit admission that society has no moral or practical obligations to protect individuals from themselves." First post of this thread, elaborated in sub posts. In order to defend the idea I also assume the existence of harmful addictive drugs.

That the government knows best? Please enlighten us.

Not just any govenment, spiralx, certainly not a government of the people representing the people to the best of the representatives' abilities, even when those abilities are beyond the peoples' understanding, hence the requirement for government in the first place. Certainly not. I meant the Interplanetary Governing Council of Tau Centurians. Trust me, they know what is best for Earth.

---
God hates human rights.
[ Parent ]

You still haven't answered my question (2.50 / 2) (#68)
by ZanThrax on Wed Mar 28, 2001 at 07:40:48 AM EST

or SpiralX's. Do you really believe that the only thing stopping people who do not currently engage in drug use is the illegality of use, and if so, why do you believe this?

As far as asking me to prove the negative, as I understand it, that's not actually possible...

Before flying off the handle over the suggestion that your a cocksucker, be sure that you do not, in fact, have a cock in your mouth.
[ Parent ]

Re: You still haven't answered my question (1.50 / 2) (#69)
by eLuddite on Wed Mar 28, 2001 at 07:59:57 AM EST

Do you really believe that the only thing stopping people who do not currently engage in drug use is the illegality of use

I absolutely do not believe that. Nor do I find the question any more interesting than the existence of drugs. Its not something I set out to answer one way or the other. I make a distinction between drug use (which I condone, on a good day encourage), drug policy and drug law. I am a drug user who thinks legalization is a bad idea and who would like to see some enlightened drug policies for people who are under the control of drugs.

I shouldnt have had to say any of this, none of it is germane to my arguement for whatever it was worth.

---
God hates human rights.
[ Parent ]

Well then (4.50 / 2) (#75)
by spiralx on Wed Mar 28, 2001 at 08:45:40 AM EST

Maybe you should have made your earlier post clearer in order to clear up confusion... it certainly seems as though you believe drug use would increase if it was legalised.

But to your main point...

"The legalization of drugs is a tacit admission that society has no moral or practical obligations to protect individuals from themselves."

I'm not a rabid libertarian so I won't argue your point doesn't have any merit, but where do you apply this limit? There has to be a cutoff point, otherwise it would then be the government's responsibility to outlaw any kind of risky behaviour - driving, taking Aspirin, lifting, DIY, etc etc. You can see how absurd it gets...

But the main costs of drug abuse are to the abuser, and many of these are exacerbated due to the illegality of drugs. Throughout history people have taken drugs and continued to function as productive members of society - Queen Elizabeth, William Gladstone, Florence Nightingale and Arthur Conan Doyle for example. If this is the case, then how would the legalisation of drugs represent a major risk to their users?

Sure there may be additional health costs involved, but again less so if a pure and regulated supply is involved. And in places with privitised health such as the US, increased medical insurance costs for users will offset such costs, in much the same way that smokers pay more today.

I think you need to prove that legalisation will lead to some kind of major breakdown for many people, or indicate that you believe that society doesn't do enough to protect people from themselves.

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

Re: Well then (2.50 / 2) (#86)
by eLuddite on Wed Mar 28, 2001 at 09:45:48 AM EST

I'm not a rabid libertarian so I won't argue your point doesn't have any merit, but where do you apply this limit?

I dont know. I like to think of the idea as a model of absolute truth for the way society should conduct itself but I'm not prepared to burn all bridges in pursuit of a moral philosophy. I certainly dont think of drugs as its make or break issue, either.

I think you need to prove that legalisation will lead to some kind of major breakdown for many people, or indicate that you believe that society doesn't do enough to protect people from themselves.

Bingo, the latter. I wont concede that the law should abrogate responsibility to its citizens, only that society (which is more than just the law) has done a piss poor job with drugs to date. I maintain that 90% of the people who argue for legalization are actually arguing for the same ends as myself: (1) better social conditions conducive to lower drug abuse; (2) sane sanction and punishment at the supply end; (3) humane medical treatment on the consumption end. I dont think legalization accomplishes any of this. Why would it?

To date the combination of the 3 policies (social conditions, enforcement, treatment, each of them poorly implemented) has had a multiplier effect on the ineffectiveness of each considered in isolation. The complexity of each issue is such as to induce people to an overarching conclusion about law. Note that law isnt even one of the 3 clauses. Its an intellectual cop out, the low road seen from a high horse.

Of course its an extraordinarily difficult problem, possibly intractable, but that doesnt mean that law should abrogate yadda yadda yadda. In particular, look at the effects in places such as Switzerland where the evidence suggests not legalization (drugs are still illegal) but some or all of the above 3 policies (given that is how Switzerland differs from the US or GB.)

---
God hates human rights.
[ Parent ]

i dont think i made this part clear enough (2.50 / 2) (#91)
by eLuddite on Wed Mar 28, 2001 at 10:09:53 AM EST

Note that I only specify sanction and punishment at the supply end. As a matter of personal opinion, I dont think casual use should be punished at all and that addicts should be treated. This isnt a requirement for what I believe, only my opinion of good policy in support of that belief.

People are reading into my original position (#11) so much more than is present. Some schmuch rated it worth a 0?! Please, it wouldnt be nearly so complex a post if people unloaded less of their intellectual and emotional baggage between the lines. This is not even a controversial opinion.

---
God hates human rights.
[ Parent ]

Not quite there yet... (4.00 / 1) (#94)
by spiralx on Wed Mar 28, 2001 at 10:21:19 AM EST

Bingo, the latter. I wont concede that the law should abrogate responsibility to its citizens, only that society (which is more than just the law) has done a piss poor job with drugs to date. I maintain that 90% of the people who argue for legalization are actually arguing for the same ends as myself: (1) better social conditions conducive to lower drug abuse; (2) sane sanction and punishment at the supply end; (3) humane medical treatment on the consumption end. I dont think legalization accomplishes any of this. Why would it?

We're getting there, but I think you've still got some flaws in your argument...

1) Abuse is a tricky term to use without definition. Assuming you mean drug use to an extent which causes serious negative consequences for the user, then legalisation means that abuse becomes rarer. For one thing the lack of criminalisation means that these people can continue to hold down jobs, and being able to buy pure, known quantities of drugs would mean less medical costs. Not having to engage the underworld to obtain drugs would be safer as well...

Of course, there are always those that will spiral down into chronic abuse no matter what the situation. Legalisation would lessen the amount this happens to though.

2) Well since by definition legalisation means drugs would be legal, then it would obviously create sane sanction and punishment at the supply end - it would be legal to make and supply drugs :)

3) Humane medical treatment is largely a matter of social stigma caused by making drug use a criminal act, so in a legalised situation more resources would be moved from interdiction to treatment. Look at Holland - the average age of heroin users is going up at the moment, because there are less young starters and the older ones are getting the treatment they need.

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

Re: Not quite there yet... (none / 0) (#110)
by eLuddite on Wed Mar 28, 2001 at 11:50:44 AM EST

1) Abuse is a tricky term to use without definition.

Physiological (eg heroin) or psychological (eg coke) addiction. Users usually know when they're addicted regardless of their protestations to the contrary; clinical evaluation can remove all doubt.

the lack of criminalisation means that these people can continue to hold down jobs

Making drugs illegal doesnt necessarily have to mean making criminals of users. I believe that the state sells addicts in Britain cigarettes laced with heroin as part of a treatment program that includes work.

2) Well since by definition legalisation means drugs would be legal, then it would obviously create sane sanction and punishment at the supply end - it would be legal to make and supply drugs :)

Right. Less in the way of jail time, more in the way of fines as per civil cases, more confiscation of property. These are examples of what I would consider sane punishment. I dont know what kind dealers you have experience with but the ones I've known are really cheap, venal bastards who respect the $ a lot more than an overburdened, ineffective criminal prosecutor.

3) Humane medical treatment is largely a matter of social stigma caused by making drug use a criminal act, so in a legalised situation more resources would be moved from interdiction to treatment.

I really think this is a problem of will, a matter than can be overcome in two generations, maximum. The stigma involves thinking of users as criminals rather than victims. All crimes have victims, why not drugs? Casual users wont be victimized, dealers will still sell drugs at a premium, and my sacred legal cow will live another day :-) With any luck, we'll also have a more tolerant, more attractive society.

---
God hates human rights.
[ Parent ]

Category error (none / 0) (#111)
by spiralx on Wed Mar 28, 2001 at 12:00:30 PM EST

We're talking about legalisation, not decriminalisation here... there wouldn't be any dealers any more, supply would be through legal outlets. So some of your points aren't valid...

I dont know what kind dealers you have experience with but the ones I've known are really cheap, venal bastards who respect the $ a lot more than an overburdened, ineffective criminal prosecutor.

I've always got through people I'm friends with, even the fairly large scale dealers. Generally this means reasonable prices and decent quality stuff... then again, I've never bought anything harder than coke, so maybe that's where the divergence of opinion is coming from.

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

Re: Category error (none / 0) (#115)
by eLuddite on Wed Mar 28, 2001 at 12:30:53 PM EST

We're talking about legalisation, not decriminalisation here...

Oh, I missed that. I dont want that :-) I want decriminalization for consumers and the status quo for suppliers except that they are also levied civil fines. In other words, a criminal record, vacation time according on how closely you identify with Texas, big bucks. There is already a movement to enact laws calling for seizure against the proceeds of drug crime.

I wouldnt have a problem with fines levied against users, either, any more than I have a problem with parking fines. These are details that I dont really care about. The only thing I dont want is for the state to say drugs are legal. I wouldnt want to raise a child in such a libertine, permissive society. There should be consequences for the destruction of life, your own or the unfortunate slob you sell to. If someone is providing drugs to a junky, I dont want to make sure they feel a measure of moral qualm doing so. Legalization is just vaguely evil.

---
God hates human rights.
[ Parent ]

Factoid (none / 0) (#153)
by spiralx on Thu Mar 29, 2001 at 04:29:55 AM EST

Police in Brixton, South London, will no longer be even bothering to caution people caught with cannabis from now on - instead they will give a warning and confisticate the drugs...

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

Europe (3.50 / 2) (#63)
by pallex on Wed Mar 28, 2001 at 07:27:03 AM EST

"True. The Dutch example is perhaps the closest, since they do not prosecute coffee shop owners for growing their own supply, so in that sense the entire supply chain is decriminalised. Also, in many parts of Switzerland marijuana has been legally available for years in the form of pot pourri IIRC. As a look at the statistics show, both of these nations have far fewer smokers than the US. "

In Holland, the average age of Heroin users is slowly rising, reflecting the fact that people continue to use it, but there is less of an uptake amongst younger people.
Cannabis is tolerated much more in europe than other parts of the world, from what i`ve read. Germany/belgium/italy are all pretty laid back about it. Historically its been France and England which have been more uptight, but things are changing, in England at least. In fact, the police in parts of London are considering just confiscating small amounts of cannabis from people if they sign for it - not even a caution!


[ Parent ]
And another thing. (4.50 / 4) (#47)
by ZanThrax on Wed Mar 28, 2001 at 04:46:15 AM EST

The legalization of drugs is a tacit admission that society has no moral or practical obligations to protect individuals from themselves. It isnt a coincidence that no society on earth has legalized drugs.
And how is this a bad thing? I don't think that society, and thus government, has any business protecting individuals from themselves. (assuming competency; children and those not mentally capable of worrying about their own safety are a special case) We can reasonably protect individuals from each other. (including harm from neglect)

Not that that matters though. If a society is willing to let the individuals engage in one form of harmful behaviour (e.g. alcoholism), it has no business preventing individuals from engaging in a lesser form of harmful behaviour. (e.g. marijuana, not using a seat belt or bike helmet)


Before flying off the handle over the suggestion that your a cocksucker, be sure that you do not, in fact, have a cock in your mouth.
[ Parent ]

Re: And another thing (3.00 / 3) (#52)
by eLuddite on Wed Mar 28, 2001 at 05:45:05 AM EST

The legalization of drugs is a tacit admission that society has no moral or practical obligations to protect individuals from themselves.

And how is this a bad thing?

There are practical reasons for protecting you from yourself. Your misfortune is rarely felt by you alone and often exacts an economic cost defrayed by complete strangers. The price of living in a society is that you have to share it with other people.

As for the moral reasons, it's a philosophical question which would be interesting to debate in light of its existence in each of the societies of every person reading and responding to this article. Short answer: I dont know why any more than I can define right and wrong or give you an accurate estimate for the number of angels which can be squeezed onto the head of a pin.

Not that that matters though. If a society is willing to let the individuals engage in one form of harmful behaviour (e.g. alcoholism), it has no business preventing individuals from engaging in a lesser form of harmful behaviour. (e.g. marijuana, not using a seat belt or bike helmet)

Er, no. Surprisingly enough, two wrongs do not make a right in either a truth table or in public policy.

---
God hates human rights.
[ Parent ]

Hrm. (4.42 / 7) (#66)
by Cuthalion on Wed Mar 28, 2001 at 07:39:48 AM EST

The legalization of drugs is a tacit admission that society has no moral or practical obligations to protect individuals from themselves.

I will treat your two categories of obligations separately.

Society has a moral obligation to protect me from myself.

I counter that society has a moral obligation to leave me the fuck alone. I feel that a moral society is one that grants its constituents as much freedom as possible. I think that society has a moral obligation to, where practical, accommodate dissenting moral viewpoints. Which brings me to:

Society has a practical obligation to protect me from myself.

Certainly no behavior is totally localalized in it's effects. We live in an interconnected world, and if I decide to blow my brains out, somebody's got to clean up the resulting mess, whether that's with a gun, or through sustained heavy use of (for instance) MDMA (aka ecstacy).

Even discounting all the implications of trading my freedoms for a more efficient drug-free society (like we have now, what with drugs being illegal and all), do the numbers add up? Would it be cheaper (in terms of both money and lives) to care for the extra people who destroyed themselves with drugs because it was legal than it would to care for everyone the War On Drugs has in jail right now? Even if you didn't have to also pay for a War On Drugs, and drugs themselves were safer because they were well regulated?

I do not tacitly admit it, I emphatically declare that society has no moral and limited practical obligation to protect me from my self.

And BTW: I will not hear "lost productivity" counted among the cost of drugs, any more than I will accept it as a reason why owning pets, reading k5, or falling in love should be outlawed. (Though if you want to get down to the brass tacks, a lot of the people in jail aren't being very productive right now.)

[ Parent ]
Re: Hrm (3.00 / 3) (#79)
by eLuddite on Wed Mar 28, 2001 at 09:03:06 AM EST

I counter that society has a moral obligation to leave me the fuck alone.

That's a nice pithy summation of a popular opinion, my own included. Its not quite the same as "Society has a moral obligation to protect me from myself" but its close enough. Unfortunately, its existence on a fundamental level is so pervasive that unravelling it from the social tapestry would leave us threadbare. It's not going to happen within several lifetimes, if ever. On a practical level, you dont actually have the luxury of choosing to live in such a society simultaneously with choosing to live on Earth.

Would it be cheaper (in terms of both money and lives) to care for the extra people who destroyed themselves with drugs because it was legal than it would to care for everyone the War On Drugs has in jail right now?

Cheaper? Depends on the value you place on the lives of "the extra people who destroyed themselves with drugs." Note that I said nothing about a War on Drugs or any other enforcement policy, good or bad. When I say that the law has a moral and practical obligation to keep harmful, illicit drugs illegal in order to protect you from yourself, I am not making a statement about enforcement or treatment.

It is entirely possible that the combination of better social conditions conducive to a lower incidence of abuse, humane and reasonable punishment on the supply end and medical treatment for addicts will more effective than legalization. Legalization is wrong on a fundamental level for me, not a policy one.

---
God hates human rights.
[ Parent ]

Flamebait (none / 0) (#169)
by mathematician on Thu Mar 29, 2001 at 01:34:34 PM EST

You are plain wrong

The danger of drugs is that they can destroy the lives of even people with a seemingly endless supply of money to purchase them

a) Their cost is inflated because of the artificial scarcity created by the US's war on drugs (a war that generates billions in dollars in revenue)

b) The drugs you are talking about are not all drugs. Extremely addictive drugs are a bad idea and if the person were informed as to the dangers involving those drugs, maybe he'd hesitate. It would certainly change today's statistics. Don't count on reliable information to be available to the average citizen (without personal research)

Turning the drug market into a fair market with legal protections and commercial safeguards isnt going to prevent a cocaine abuser from abusing the trust of his family and friends, for example.

You're right... So if there is no effect either way, why keep it illegal? The war on drugs is detracting important social funding from more important areas.

The legalization of drugs is a tacit admission that society has no moral or practical obligations to protect individuals from themselves.

I agree. Enforcing morals only leads to problems... Ones that cause anger, war, death and all those bad things... I'd bring up a metaphore to kissing, but I think somebody alerady has...

It isnt a coincidence that no society on earth has legalized drugs.

Either you are lying are you do not know. You are so plainly wrong here, I am frustrated beyond words. You are replicating viciously wrong memes! They are destructive and without base. The drug policies of most powers in this world are directly related to the United States' war on drugs! That doesn't mean all countries... just those who receive anti-drug funding from the US and the UN. Do a little research...

[ Parent ]

Re: Flamebait (none / 0) (#180)
by eLuddite on Fri Mar 30, 2001 at 01:42:10 PM EST

Extremely addictive drugs are a bad idea and if the person were informed as to the dangers involving those drugs, maybe he'd hesitate.

Do you realize how self serving that sounds?

The drug policies of most powers of most powers ...

I'm not arguing policy or law enforcement one way or the other. The existence or inexistence of America's war on drugs is not relevant to my arguement. Like most other people on this thread, you read with more bias than attention.

The legalization of drugs is a tacit admission that society has no moral or practical obligations to protect individuals from themselves.

_That_ is what I argue and I commend you for the scathing refutation.

---
God hates human rights.
[ Parent ]

Subject? (none / 0) (#188)
by marc987 on Sun Apr 01, 2001 at 09:05:37 PM EST

The state will argue that it is better to have a few drug addled whores than many drug addled demure women

Is it possible the state is not considering option c) which creates "a few drug addled demure women"

The legalization of drugs is a tacit admission that society has no moral or practical obligations to protect individuals from themselves.

The legalization of illegal drugs is a tacit admission that society has no moral or practical obligations to protect individuals from themselves.

Either way i'm not convinced.

[ Parent ]

Drugs kill, even the legal ones (4.09 / 21) (#16)
by Sheepdot on Tue Mar 27, 2001 at 11:58:26 PM EST

Heroin addicts will rob from little old ladies to get their does. Crack addicts kill people in their psychotic states. LSD makes people do dangerous stupid stuff.

Think I'm done? Not even close.

Alcohol impairs driving ability and many thugs resort to stealing from the same little old ladies that Heroin users would. This drug is more addictive than Heroin.

Nicotine causes addictiveness to cigarettes which in turn bring about lung cancer. Second-hand smoke is reported to be just as dangerous. This drug is more addictive than marijuana.

Caffeine gives jitters to those deprived of it, it enslaves the body and mind into thinking that a particular dose is needed at a particular time. Intake has been reported to cause heart attacks and various forms of cancer. This drug is more addictive than LSD.

So my approach to the problem is this: Until politicians start asking real doctors to get up and defend laws that regulate drug usage, I will continue to believe the whole thing is a sham. You can't tell me that legalizing drugs is going to wreck havoc on the country when we already legalize 3 of the most addictive drugs available.

I'd highly suggest those of you who believe the danger of a drug is based upon its addictiveness look into the dangers of caffeine. I've yet to see anyone not be a hypocrite in their heralding of the "war on drugs". This includes anyone in the FDA, AHA, and DEA.

I drink Cherry Coke in the privacy of my own home. You too can drink Cherry Coke in the privacy of your own home. Welcome to a new world, one where people aren't told what they can and cannot do by an authority that consistently tries to.

"My teacher says you can't judge a book by its cover. Apparently that saying doesn't apply to drugs, since they are simply bad for me regardless of whether I have experienced them or not." - Unknown


LSD (3.71 / 7) (#57)
by ba421 on Wed Mar 28, 2001 at 06:48:42 AM EST

I am sorry, but I have never heard of anyone who has been addicted to LSD. Do you have any proof behind that statment.

[ Parent ]
Some counterpoints. (4.20 / 5) (#65)
by mindstrm on Wed Mar 28, 2001 at 07:36:28 AM EST

And I'm being serious here.

>Heroin addicts will rob from little old ladies >to get their does. Crack addicts kill people in >their psychotic states. LSD makes people do >dangerous stupid stuff.

Heroin addicts, yes, will do just about anything to get their drug. It's the most important thing in life for them. Do you know that many heroin addicts also know that what they are doing is fucked up and out of control? Do you know that many of them would also give just about ANYTHING to not be addicted anymore? And did you know that society offers, basically, NO HELP WHATSOEVER to help these people kick the habit. And it's not a matter of willpower. Only one in a hundred or a thousand could quit cold-turkey. So their only choice is to continue to use, by whatever means possible.

Now.. crack. Crack is bad. Really bad. Psychotic states? True. Crack is just plain bad. No arguments there.. but the real danger with crack, again, isn't what the crackhead will do, but what it does to their lives. The destruction of society by crack is the real problem.. not what individuals do.


On your other points.. I agree. As long as there are addicts, there is a demand for dealers (unless the government stops this silly war and starts treating the disease instead of the symptoms.). As long as there are dealers, many of the hard drugs will continue to attract new addicts (no regulation).

And to add a point, as long as we treat some drugs (alcohol) as legal, safer drugs (pot) as narcotics on the same level as Heroin/Crack, and sieze people's houses for it, the madness will never end.




[ Parent ]
Hmm (4.00 / 6) (#72)
by Unless on Wed Mar 28, 2001 at 08:26:40 AM EST

While I generally agree with the point that you're making (some dangerous drugs being more socially acceptable than others), I have a few bones to pick:

Heroin addicts will rob from little old ladies to get their does.

As addressed in this editorial, this would be far less of an issue if heroin were legal.

LSD makes people do dangerous stupid stuff.

Like most people need any help ;->

Nicotine causes addictiveness to cigarettes which in turn bring about lung cancer. Second-hand smoke is reported to be just as dangerous. This drug is more addictive than marijuana.

Second-hand smoke, while dangerous, is not AS dangerous as the kind a smoker breathes, if only because you don't get nearly as much of it. And of course nicotine is more addictive than marijuana. *Sugar* is more addictive than marijuana.

I drink Cherry Coke in the privacy of my own home. You too can drink Cherry Coke in the privacy of your own home. Welcome to a new world, one where people aren't told what they can and cannot do by an authority that consistently tries to.

What planet are you living on? It sounds nice.

Something that is often overlooked is the fact that, to many people, the war on drugs isn't about the harm that drugs can cause, but the pleasure that drugs can bring. Certainly this is not always the case, but this country is still full of Puritans. You can believe whatever you want as far as I'm concerned, but when you start intentionally trying to prevent me from being happy, then I get mad.

Apologies for any grammatical errors, I'm tired.

Full disclosure: I drink alcohol, smoke cigarettes, and consume caffiene. Other than thet, it's mostly just Ibuprofin.

Unless
how can this mean anything to me
if i really don't feel a thing at all?


Unless..
[ Parent ]
I don't see what the problem is (1.72 / 18) (#17)
by qpt on Wed Mar 28, 2001 at 12:08:13 AM EST

Surely if these people have legal reason for entering a house, they will be able to provide evidence for it. I doubt this law will result in the mass jailing of innocent people. Instead, it will provide a valuable asset for capturing law-breaking drug abusers.

Additionally, it is paranoid to think that the Australian government will seize houses randomly and at whim. They are trying to fight drug abuse, not steal houses. Like all law enforcement agencies, the Australian police force is undermanned and under funded. They cannot afford to waste time and manpower on non drug-houses.

Finally, I am disturbed by the tone of many other respondents. Individual rights are important, but not at the expense of the state. It is unreasonable to expect the government to allow individuals to harm or destroy the peace and prosperity that has been commonly achieved. It cannot be denied that most if not all users of hard drugs are criminals. Flagrant violation of the law tears at a society's foundation, and thus it is clear that drug users contribute to the decay of society.

Domine Deus, creator coeli et terrae respice humilitatem nostram.

the problem (3.66 / 3) (#19)
by enterfornone on Wed Mar 28, 2001 at 12:18:46 AM EST

Surely if these people have legal reason for entering a house, they will be able to provide evidence for it. I doubt this law will result in the mass jailing of innocent people. Instead, it will provide a valuable asset for capturing law-breaking drug abusers.
"I was visiting my friend"

"Bullshit, you were buying drugs off your 'friend'"

Finally, I am disturbed by the tone of many other respondents. Individual rights are important, but not at the expense of the state.
And here I was thinking that the state was there to protect our freedoms?
It cannot be denied that most if not all users of hard drugs are criminals.
Well hard drugs are illegal, so duh.

--
efn 26/m/syd
Will sponsor new accounts for porn.
[ Parent ]
Not "duh" at all (3.00 / 3) (#21)
by qpt on Wed Mar 28, 2001 at 12:26:20 AM EST

No, the state is not here to protect your freedom. The state exists to infringe on your freedoms for the purpose of fostering cooperative endeavors. If the pinnacle of human existence was the ability to do anything one wished, a state would not be necessary at all.

Drugs are illegal because their widespread use leads to a degradation of the quality of life for non-users. Legalization will not prevent addiction and its accompanying destructive behavior. The addictiveness of drugs is due to the drugs themselves, not to their illegality.

As things stand, drugs are (thankfully) illegal. Violating the law just to get high undermines the principles on which law is founded. Law becomes meaningless if it is violated at will.

Domine Deus, creator coeli et terrae respice humilitatem nostram.
[ Parent ]

addictiveness (none / 0) (#26)
by enterfornone on Wed Mar 28, 2001 at 12:46:22 AM EST

Tobacco is just as addictive as many illegal drugs, but it doesn't cause the problem at $5 a pack that drugs at $50 a hit cause. It's fairly obvious that drugs would be less of a problem if they were cheap and easy to obtain.

--
efn 26/m/syd
Will sponsor new accounts for porn.
[ Parent ]
Much different (2.00 / 1) (#34)
by qpt on Wed Mar 28, 2001 at 01:30:02 AM EST

Tobacco has long-term health effects, but one can still function normally while using it. The same cannot be said of many currently illegal drugs.

Domine Deus, creator coeli et terrae respice humilitatem nostram.
[ Parent ]

Misleading (5.00 / 1) (#37)
by KnightStalker on Wed Mar 28, 2001 at 01:41:14 AM EST

I don't think there are any drugs in common use that seriously impair casual users when they are not under the influence. Furthermore, there are many illegal drugs, such as marijuana, psilocybin, cocaine, and others, that, if taken sparingly, don't impair the user enough to keep them from functioning normally. How often have you heard of someone taking speed or cocaine to get them through their school or work day?

[ Parent ]
Re: Much different (5.00 / 3) (#40)
by Anonymous 6522 on Wed Mar 28, 2001 at 02:15:59 AM EST

Alchohol has long-term heath effects, and depending on dosage one cannot function normally while using it. Also, while using it, some people have the tendancy to drive cars at high speed and hit things. The same can be said of many currently illegal drugs.

[ Parent ]
Wrong! (4.00 / 1) (#60)
by deefer on Wed Mar 28, 2001 at 07:18:11 AM EST

Tobacco has long-term health effects, but one can still function normally while using it

Really? Ever seen a heavy smoker getting off a plane after not being able to smoke for 12 hours? At the expense of being first in line through luggage retrieval/passport control, they'll head straight for the smoking area. Just you try and obstruct them in this, and see how "normally" they function...


Kill the baddies.
Get the girl.
And save the entire planet.

[ Parent ]
Not to insult your intelligence... (1.00 / 1) (#67)
by qpt on Wed Mar 28, 2001 at 07:40:15 AM EST

...but your example if of when they are not using it. I said that one could function normally while using it.

Thank-you for noting the obvious difference.

Domine Deus, creator coeli et terrae respice humilitatem nostram.
[ Parent ]

IHBT. IHNL. IWHANDA. (4.50 / 4) (#74)
by deefer on Wed Mar 28, 2001 at 08:42:24 AM EST

No - they are still users of the drug. Whether they are actually smoking a ciggy at the time does not make any difference; they are still nicotine users. Unless your definition of "using" is limited to when the drug is actually taken (ie smoking a cigarette). Taken to the logical conclusion, someone eating a dose of LSD is still functioning normally; only until the drug is absorbed will any differences in behaviour manifest - so when are they "using" it according to your bizarre definition? Nicotine stays in the body at least 48 hours, so you are *still* under the influence of it in the just-got-off-the-plane scenario above... Just the influence is to crave more.

And if they are a light smoker and try to smoke really heavy cigarettes (like unfiltered Gitanes), they *will* get a buzz on whilst they are smoking, to fit your narrow definition which you are still pathetically trying to cling to.

Leave it, trollboy.


Kill the baddies.
Get the girl.
And save the entire planet.

[ Parent ]
Stop, pay, etc. (5.00 / 1) (#113)
by synaesthesia on Wed Mar 28, 2001 at 12:12:47 PM EST

Drugs are illegal because their widespread use leads to a degradation of the quality of life for non-users.

As things stand, drugs are (thankfully) illegal.

Either you're a troll, or you've completely missed the "Some" in the War On Some Drugs

Ah, a little research later: you are a troll.



Sausages or cheese?
[ Parent ]
Research.. it's a wonderful thing. (5.00 / 2) (#146)
by botono9 on Wed Mar 28, 2001 at 07:06:32 PM EST

Drugs are illegal because their widespread use leads to a degradation of the quality of life for non-users.
Wrong. Drugs are usually made illegal because a possible danger is perceived and we automatically think that way to make people stop doing something we don't like (nevermind that we think we need to stop people from doing things that don't affect anyone but themselves) is through negative reinforcement. Or, in the cases of marijuana and opium, we make a drug illegal because an ethnic minority has an affinity to it and we would like an easy way to single them out for persecution (Mexicans and Chinese respectively).

If you had actually researched this before making such bold statements, you would find that in countries that are actually looking at the drug problem scientifically (e.g.: the Netherlands) there is a reduction in addiction rates and an aging of the addict population, meaning that more people are kicking the habit (treatment is more widely available) and fewer people are picking up the habit (better education and open discussion of the dangers associated with use). I'm speaking specifically of heroin here.

The other problem with prohibition is it leads high quantities of pure drugs in the market. Look at alcohol prohibition in the US in the 1920's. The criminals didn't run beer, they ran pure methyl alcohol (they would put in their gas tanks and out-run the cops). Why should they risk their necks for a diluted product? So now that you've made drugs illegal, not only have you placed all control of the market into the hands of people with questionable judgement and compassion, but you've also given them an incentive to push concentrated product on the users. Alcohol is a great example of why this is a problem because we've been using it for so long. When did alcohol become a real problem for the human race? We've been drinking it since ancient Egypt, but only when we figured out how to distill liquor did we see what we now call alcoholism. (Thanks a lot for that, Brits.. :)

Legalization will not prevent addiction and its accompanying destructive behavior. The addictiveness of drugs is due to the drugs themselves, not to their illegality.
Correct, but the amount of people who become addicted to a drug has more to do with the social climate than to the drug itself. If heroin use was as acceptable as cigarette smoking, it would be more popular than it is now (but not NEARLY as popular because it is more difficult to function in public while high on smack). But there is a social stigma on shooting up heroin. There is a social stigma on snorting methamphetamine. There is a social stigma (in the US at least) on smoking marijuana. Oh, but alcohol? We can't even imagine making alcohol illegal. It's part of who we are. Some anthropologists think that one of reasons we started moving into an agricultural society was so we could grow hops and brew beer. And because of that, 50% of all automobile accidents are alcohol related.

The United States has never taken a serious look at legalization (we send General Mcaffrey to the Netherlands and he comes back and lies through his teeth to the point that the government of the Netherlands felt obligated to respond.), so we cannot know if it is a better solution than what we have. Right now, I think just about anything is a better solution. We have come to the point where we must seriously consider attempting some sort of legalization. To do otherwise is arrogant, stupid and immoral.

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

Er... ethyl.. ;) (none / 0) (#150)
by botono9 on Thu Mar 29, 2001 at 12:26:12 AM EST

I hate to be anal, but I meant ethyl alcohol.

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

Welcome to the Earth (3.66 / 3) (#24)
by Wah on Wed Mar 28, 2001 at 12:33:18 AM EST

ever been here? It cannot be denied that most if not all users of hard drugs are criminals.

You could be a troll, so whatever, but...have you ever been to Hollywood?

Actually I'm pretty sure you are a troll, so whatever. Please go away.
--
Fail to Obey?
[ Parent ]

What are you saying? (none / 0) (#35)
by qpt on Wed Mar 28, 2001 at 01:32:14 AM EST

Are you suggesting that most hard drug users are not criminals?

Domine Deus, creator coeli et terrae respice humilitatem nostram.
[ Parent ]

It's a stupid statement (4.00 / 2) (#39)
by enterfornone on Wed Mar 28, 2001 at 02:11:04 AM EST

Of course most of them are criminals, because hard drugs are illegal. However if hard drugs were legal the majority would not be criminals.

--
efn 26/m/syd
Will sponsor new accounts for porn.
[ Parent ]
Go, Netherlands, Go (3.00 / 2) (#44)
by DeHans on Wed Mar 28, 2001 at 03:26:55 AM EST

It cannot be denied that most if not all users of hard drugs are criminals.
Perhaps if you live in the US. Under dutch law however, drug use is an offence, while drug trafficking is a crime.

Question
How do you feel about alcohol ?? Remember, alcohol is a *hard* drug.
How do you feel about nictine ?? Remember Nicotine is a *hard* drug with addictive capabilities higher than heroine.

[ Parent ]
I don't need to prove my reasons (2.00 / 2) (#48)
by Peeteriz on Wed Mar 28, 2001 at 05:05:05 AM EST

.. for going somewhere.
I do not need to tell anyone my reasons, also.
The court has to prove beyound any doubt that I was doing something illegal there to convict me.
Until now.
Remember tha basis of any legislation system in any civilised country - It is far more important that noone innocent is not punished, than that all the criminals are punished.
THe fact that the police has not enough funding to arrest all drug dealers is not a valid reason (either legally or morally) to infringe the rights and liberties of innocent people.
And innocent means 'not proven guilty', not 'able to prove a valid reason to be there'.


[ Parent ]
Ask Hugo Nanofsky if that's paranoia (2.75 / 4) (#49)
by Mawbid on Wed Mar 28, 2001 at 05:09:37 AM EST

Additionally, it is paranoid to think that the Australian government will seize houses randomly and at whim.
I'd like to think that no-one will have their house taken away unfairly because of this (whether it's randomly or on a whim doesn't matter so much), but this, taken from http://kurellian.tripod.com/vigil.html shows how that could happen (only the first five paragraphs are relevant here, but the rest is interesting):
Want to see the future of civil disobedience? A Florida university professor and biochemist (Hugo Nanofsky) was angered in 1984 when police permanently confiscated the family minivan being driven by his 16 year old son, after discovering NO drugs in a search, but a homemade pipe construed to be "drug paraphenalia", during a routine traffic stop.

So what did Nanofsky do? For weeks he wrote letters to the police chief, his City Council, the State District Attorney, and local newspapers.

But it did no good.

The family lawyer advised the professor's son to plead guilty to possession of paraphenalia to get a suspended sentence and his record sealed. But this meant the family van was lost forever, as an accessory to crime.

Nanofsky tried various legal avenues to get the van back, but it was all in vain.

Nanofsky decided he'd try to dissolve the drug bureaucracy his own way after that.

How? Over the next 14 years Nanofsky genetically engineered orange trees to create THC, the active ingredient in marijuana-- as a hobby.

Then Nanofsky posted messages to internet newsgroups that he was offering FREE "cannabis-equivalent orange tree seeds" by way of the U.S. mail.

It took the U.S. Justice Department a few weeks to arrive at his campus office in response. They persuaded him to stop distributing the seeds. But they may have been too late, as several hundred packages of seeds had already been sent out by then, and current law does not require Nanofsky to turn over his mailing list, or even classify what he did to be a crime.

Plus, others armed with similar expertise and equipment can reproduce the seeds themselves from scratch.

-- "Oranges that get you high A Florida Biochemist designs a citrus tree with THC", San Francisco Bay Guardian, 11-9-98]

I don't think anyone in the Australian legislature or police force wants to take away innocent people's houses. They just want to shut down crack houses. But the California incident shows that it is dangerous to give the police such broad powers.

[ Parent ]
I wish (5.00 / 1) (#112)
by synaesthesia on Wed Mar 28, 2001 at 12:06:05 PM EST

Unfortunately I think this turned out to be a hoax.



Sausages or cheese?
[ Parent ]
Awww (none / 0) (#133)
by Mawbid on Wed Mar 28, 2001 at 03:47:03 PM EST

Damn. It was such a cool story. Oh well, that doesn't really mean I have to stop telling it :-)

[ Parent ]
Well, duh (1.50 / 2) (#51)
by kaemaril on Wed Mar 28, 2001 at 05:36:42 AM EST

It cannot be denied that most if not all users of hard drugs are criminals

In a country where it's illegal to use hard drugs (i.e., most of them) I'd say that figure must be very damn close to 100%...


Why, yes, I am being sarcastic. Why do you ask?


[ Parent ]
Damn... (1.00 / 1) (#55)
by B'Trey on Wed Mar 28, 2001 at 06:08:27 AM EST

If you judge by the amount of takers, this has to be one of the best trolls I've seen recently. Congrats.

[ Parent ]
Fascism (2.00 / 2) (#78)
by Ray Chason on Wed Mar 28, 2001 at 08:57:16 AM EST

Individual rights are important, but not at the expense of the state.

This is precisely the argument of the fascist. Last time I checked, Australia was supposed to be a democratic republic, in which the purpose of the state is to secure the rights of its citizens.

We do not owe our liberties to the government. The government owes our liberties to us.
--
The War on Terra is not meant to be won.
Delendae sunt RIAA, MPAA et Windoze
[ Parent ]

Is this original material? (2.50 / 2) (#103)
by leonbrooks on Wed Mar 28, 2001 at 11:16:51 AM EST

Individual rights are important, but not at the expense of the state.

Sorry, but I have to ask: are you reading that out of Mein Kampf? It sounds so familiar. The reason I ask is because this cure has often been demonstrated to be worse than the purported disease.

The rights of the nebulous State are never more important than the rights of the individuals of which it is made. The rights of many other individuals may be collectively more important than a single individual, or a few individuals, but the State itself has no rights at all.

``He that would make his own liberty secure, must guard even his enemy from oppression; for if he violates this duty, he establishes a precedent which will reach to himself.'' - Thomas Pain
-- If at first you don't succeed, try a shorter bungee
[ Parent ]

Welcome to K5 (none / 0) (#171)
by GreenCrackBaby on Thu Mar 29, 2001 at 06:56:08 PM EST

Home of the libertarian. Where only their views are important, and where anything to the contrary is blasphemous.

[ Parent ]
drug war = the war on <yourcountryhere> citi (4.00 / 11) (#64)
by mattc on Wed Mar 28, 2001 at 07:33:36 AM EST

The drug war industry (cops, swat teams, prisons, prison builders, atf, judges, etc) will NEVER allow the "war on drugs" to end. Their jobs depend on it's existence. The drug war bugaboo is laughable at best, but it will never end because these peoples' paychecks demand it continues.

Our government just keeps getting larger and larger and our taxes just keep increasing. Someday it will reach a breaking point.

I'm talking about the US here, but imagine the situation is similar in AU.

Addiction (3.66 / 6) (#70)
by leonbrooks on Wed Mar 28, 2001 at 08:11:25 AM EST

People are addicted to legal drugs as well as illegal. Should we legalise the harder drugs, or illegalise the softer ones? My view is: neither.
``Mind-altering drugs... are not inherently anti-social - but it's hard to observe all the niceties of etiquette when you're being chased down the street by a nine-headed cactus demon.'' - P. J. O'Rourke

Alcohol-related deaths are pretty extreme. Half of all fatal road accidents in Oz involve a drunk driver. The cost of a drinking habit can break families and, yes, cause crime.

Smoking-related deaths are also pretty extreme, something like one third. But worse: the dole here in Oz is about $Oz200 a week, $Oz10,400 a year. The average smoker says that they smoke about a pack a day. The average smoker's consumption is actually two packs a day. A typical pack of cigarettes is about $Oz8; * two packs a day * 365 days/year = $Oz5,840 per year. That's more than half of your money burnt for nothing. Throw in a small drinking or gambling habit and where does rent, food, clothing, transport come from? Six grand a year would buy quite a nice car.

Burswood Casino can reputedly lose the whole floor every third night and still pay their staff. They aren't there to lose money!

Can anyone see why someone in this situation - addicted to booze, fags or gambling - would steal?

Does anyone else get the feeling that the problem is not in the method of addiction, but that the person concerned has so little self-control, so little purpose to lead them that they would rather live a degrading life - perhaps involving theft, violence or prostitution, perhaps just quiet misery - than seriously fight their habit?

Two words that I often hear about addicts are ``lazy'' and ``hopeless''. Each has a grain of truth in it.

Lazy is generally not right, as such. Some very hard-working people I know spend a lot of their income on very stupid things (and making those things cheaper or more easily accessible would not help them, they would just indulge in more). But yet there is something to it. A couple of weeks of directed effort could save them a short, painful and eventually tragic life.

Hopeless is closer to the mark. Nothing to live for, not a great deal to lose in dying.

Let me tell you a story. One day, my father and mother were walking across a park here in Perth, and they noticed two groups of people in the park: a pair of TIs (Torres Strait Islanders) strolling confidently across the park in the latest $200 jeans and Nike footwear, Bolle sunglasses and all, one of them lofting a sizeable ghetto blaster; and a group of Aboriginals sitting under a tree, children and all, with empty wine flagons scattered around and starting to get stuck into the Methylated Spirits. Over much protest from Mum, Dad intercepted the two TIs and asked them if they minded him putting a personal question to them. They exchanged glances and told him to go ahead.

Dad said, ``See you guys, dressed in the latest gear, happy and confident; see those guys lying around drunk and grumpy. I don't understand it: what makes the difference?''

``Well...'' one of them responded, ``they won't work.'' His friend nodded and added, ``That's right: won't work. That's all.'' End of conversation. Dad thanked them, and they parted company.

Hey, I'm in storyteller mode: sit still for another one. When I was postman in Mount Barker, roaring around on a little motorcycle delivering stuff to 600 mailboxes in a 30km round, I noticed three groups of Aboriginals in town - and some of the members of these groups were whiter than I am! They lived in Western houses, wore Western clothes, drove Western cars, listened to rock music and did Western drugs.

Firstly, there were the Krakouers, and secondly, there were the Colbungs. Not all C were C, not all K were K, but that was the general idea. There was also Des Miniter, who didn't have a mailbox, so I would save up his letters, each with their MOJ set of scales in the corner, and deliver them to toy prams, cars parked on the front lawn, whatever I could. It was easier than stamping and returning ten a day, and he didn't seem to care either way. I don't know which team, if any, he belonged to.

But I digress. Regularly, every few months, these guys would have wars, smash up each others' houses and cars, put each other into hospital. All would be quiet for a month or so, then business as usual, and eventually another battle. When they move out, the houses often have to be demolished and rebuilt, although the builder in town who drove his old Ford Transit van and trailer around to do all of the Homeswest work was a permanently busy man. I remember him installing a letterbox at a Homeswest house one day so that I could legally deliver a summons to it. Boy, the law sure is a useful thing. )-:

One of the tragicomedy letters that I delivered was in an envelope so thin it may as well have been made of cellophane. I delivered it as addressed, knowing that Teressa, the addressee, had moved on six weeks beforehand. It was from a lawyer in Albany, and wanted to know why she hadn't paid them after they defended her on a stealing charge. D'oh! On Court day, there would be a K camp on one side of the street outside court, and a C camp on the other.

For a while, Barker had a lovely Inuit policewoman named Brenda who did her level best to help. She knew every kid in town by name, where they lived, what their parents were like, everything. I would find a lost item of clothing on my early round, drop it off to the Police Station on my way back to do my later round, and see it on a child later that day. Eventually the despair and trauma that she soaked up broke Brenda, and she had to move on. When an 8-year-old hoiks his 5-year-old brother in through windows to steal things, who do you arrest? Who do you charge?

Regular drug parties happened. I remember riding past one at about 10AM, the street filling with people as they weaved their way out of Merv's house: most dazed, one laughing, laughing, laughing fit to split her sides, several crying miserably, one screaming and having to be restrained. On average, a major loser. Why do they do it?

I mentioned three groups. The other group were as Aboriginal as the first two, maybe more so, but lived happy, neat, tidy, clean, reasonable, pleasant-mannered and pleasant-smelling lives. Except for the immense amount of dumping they had to live through because of what people who looked similar to them habitually did.

What made the difference?

A sense of purpose, a sense of place.

The first two groups were what full-blood Aboriginals call ``coconuts'' or ``rainbows'' because they're only dark on the outside, or because they're not sure what colour they are. Very telling labels applied from a very telling direction.

The third group didn't care what colour they were, didn't think the world owed them a living, weren't resentful when that living wasn't delivered to their door, gift-wrapped. These people all had a sense of purpose, a sense of belonging where they were, a sense that what they were doing was important and made a difference. Many of them were members of the local Baptist church, most of them worked, and took care with their work - instead of forming political action groups to complain about high Aboriginal unemployment rates.

So what led to the differences? I leave that as an exercise for the critics. (-:

  • PS, for those concerned about ``racism'', I get on well with people of all races, and Barker had its share of Caucasian rowdies and criminals as well.
  • PPS, The twits are very much a minority. Plantagenet Shire is a lovely bucolic place, full of breathtaking views, lovely rolling farmland and honest, hardworking people. Five years' crime for us (30km out of town by road) was Bobbie Colbung coming out drunk in his red Commodore sedan with all of the fibreglass and the Collie numberplates on it, and shooting at 'roos with nobody's permission. He put a small hole in someone's house. We currently live in a quiet Perth suburb and witness about that much crime every month.

-- If at first you don't succeed, try a shorter bungee
( ot )Inuit in Oz? (none / 0) (#126)
by misterluke on Wed Mar 28, 2001 at 02:36:24 PM EST

Are we talking about the aboriginal people from northern Russia / Canada / Greenland? If so, I bet that policewoman has an interesting story to tell.

[ Parent ]
Yes, a genuine ``Canuck'' Inuit (none / 0) (#161)
by leonbrooks on Thu Mar 29, 2001 at 10:37:43 AM EST

...and no doubt with scores of interesting stories to tell...
-- If at first you don't succeed, try a shorter bungee
[ Parent ]
A sense of purpose, a sense of place... (none / 0) (#149)
by driptray on Wed Mar 28, 2001 at 10:56:50 PM EST

...might be a fairly good summary of the reasons why people don't fall into crime.

Aboriginal Australians are incarcerated at many times the rate of non-Aboriginal Australians (something like 28x from memory). Maybe this is from lacking a sense of purpose and place.

What do you think caused them to lack a sense of purpose and place at such a greater rate than the non-Aboriginal population?


--
We brought the disasters. The alcohol. We committed the murders. - Paul Keating
[ Parent ]
Several suggestions for reasons (none / 0) (#162)
by leonbrooks on Thu Mar 29, 2001 at 10:47:51 AM EST

What do you think caused them to lack a sense of purpose and place at such a greater rate than the non-Aboriginal population?

Some educated guesses (all and any may contribute):

  • Being told you're an Aboriginal, when you're living in a White Man's world; and/or
  • Being told that you're a semi-evolved sub-human, never quite as good as a Caucasian (putting your ancestors into zoos and museums doesn't help here); and/or
  • Being told that the world owes you a living; and/or
  • Getting enough handouts that you don't have any real pride left; and/or
  • Getting enough handouts that nothing is really important any more; and/or
  • Being part Caucasian and part Aboriginal (originally a mix including a lot of Phoenecian blood) - which way do you face? and/or
  • Having most of your employment opportunities closed by attitudes and behaviours instilled before you were old enough to reason about them; and/or
  • Having effectively free legal support to prevent any consequences from reaching you (BTW, the ALS typically under-services areas featuring many full-blood Aboriginals in preference to areas dominated by half-caste people).
This is not an exhaustive list.
-- If at first you don't succeed, try a shorter bungee
[ Parent ]
In the privacy of your own home (2.50 / 4) (#73)
by leonbrooks on Wed Mar 28, 2001 at 08:33:20 AM EST

If drugs were legalised and regulated it would reduce the price and ensure a safer product, negating the need for drug users to take to crime and prostitution and reducing the chances of drug deaths.
And you got your stats from... where?

The only improvements I've seen have been temporary. Like computing, the habit expands to consume all available resources, no matter how cheap the necessaries are.

OTOH, the government reaction really misses the point, and doesn't help as much as they'd like to think. Drug use is a symptom, not a cause. Crime and health effects are a secondary symptom.

The steps government takes should be directed toward making it possible for more people to find a positive, outwardly-directed purpose in their life. Such people don't need drugs, and not only have greater strength of will in cases where drugs are a problem for them (pressure or addiction), but also have more important things to do.

Another problem, which I've seen counted and documented for cigarettes but not for what most people call drugs, is that it costs the Oz public health care system an average of three times as much as the addict spent on cigarettes during their entire life, to repair the addict or console them (``palliative care'') on their way to an early grave. Six grand a year (see article below)...

If the gummint spends X million dollars frightening people away from drugs, and saves 5*X million dollars in health care costs, they avoid getting sued by their shareholders. Oh, wait, this isn't the US I live in...

Finally, there isn't any such thing as the privacy of your own home. If you are a private drug user, it impacts your whole life in some degree. Unless you manage to defeat the habit (and the odds are against you), it will eventually impact other members of the public as well.

This is not an invitation for Big Brother to invade your home. Loss of privacy, loss of choices rarely helps and often hinders. But it needs to be said that the ``privacy'' argument is a pious-sounding lie. No man is an island.
-- If at first you don't succeed, try a shorter bungee

I don't agree (4.66 / 6) (#76)
by spiralx on Wed Mar 28, 2001 at 08:53:03 AM EST

The steps government takes should be directed toward making it possible for more people to find a positive, outwardly-directed purpose in their life. Such people don't need drugs, and not only have greater strength of will in cases where drugs are a problem for them (pressure or addiction), but also have more important things to do.

Excuse the phrase, but bollocks.

You are indicating (whether you intend to or not), that drug taking is a symptom of some kind of lack of moral fibre, rather than as a personal choice made by an educated person.

If the gummint spends X million dollars frightening people away from drugs, and saves 5*X million dollars in health care costs, they avoid getting sued by their shareholders. Oh, wait, this isn't the US I live in...

How many hospital cases are due to overdoses and negative effects due to users taking unknown doses or drugs which aren't what they think they are? People don't want to overdose in the vast majority of cases, but because they can't be sure what they are getting the risk is always there. Witness the recent deaths from PMA, caused by dealers saving some cash by using a cheaper but far more dangerous drug and selling it as MDMA. In a legalised environment drugs would be checked in the same way other medicines are, and this wouldn't happen.

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

The known doses are the bigger problem (none / 0) (#166)
by leonbrooks on Thu Mar 29, 2001 at 11:04:53 AM EST

You are indicating (whether you intend to or not), that drug taking is a symptom of some kind of lack of moral fibre, rather than as a personal choice made by an educated person.

Like it or not, the reality is that purposelessness is a major common denominator in drug habits, particularly terminal ones. Whether on not it indicates a lack of moral fibre. ``Methinks m'lud protesteth overmuch.''

How many hospital cases are due to overdoses and negative effects due to users taking unknown doses or drugs which aren't what they think they are?

Not as many as are due either to people setting up a fix while they're still smashed from the last one or a different one, or to people setting out to escape their living hell, or to people who know that ``it won't happen to me, I've had nearly this much before.''

And why do you need to take drugs in the first place? Are they necessary, like food or clothing? Or is ennui a stronger force than you're prepared to admit?
-- If at first you don't succeed, try a shorter bungee
[ Parent ]

Ok, I felt that it was time for me to jump in :) (none / 0) (#175)
by LocalH on Thu Mar 29, 2001 at 08:45:23 PM EST

    Like it or not, the reality is that purposelessness is a major common denominator in drug habits, particularly terminal ones. Whether on not it indicates a lack of moral fibre. ``Methinks m'lud protesteth overmuch.''
So why do these people feel purposeless? Not because they take drugs. People usually turn to drugs after they stop feeling they have a purpose.

    Not as many as are due either to people setting up a fix while they're still smashed from the last one or a different one, or to people setting out to escape their living hell, or to people who know that ``it won't happen to me, I've had nearly this much before.''
Not true of cannabis. With other drugs, it's definitely a possibility. Cannabis has been the killer of 0 people.

    And why do you need to take drugs in the first place? Are they necessary, like food or clothing? Or is ennui a stronger force than you're prepared to admit?
I don't need to smoke cannabis

[ Parent ]
Ok, I felt that it was time for me to jump in :) (none / 0) (#176)
by LocalH on Thu Mar 29, 2001 at 08:47:41 PM EST

Argh, it munged my post. Take 2:

    Like it or not, the reality is that purposelessness is a major common denominator in drug habits, particularly terminal ones. Whether on not it indicates a lack of moral fibre. ``Methinks m'lud protesteth overmuch.''
So why do these people feel purposeless? Not because they take drugs. People usually turn to drugs after they stop feeling they have a purpose.

    Not as many as are due either to people setting up a fix while they're still smashed from the last one or a different one, or to people setting out to escape their living hell, or to people who know that ``it won't happen to me, I've had nearly this much before.''
Not true of cannabis. With other drugs, it's definitely a possibility. Cannabis has been the killer of 0 people.

    And why do you need to take drugs in the first place? Are they necessary, like food or clothing? Or is ennui a stronger force than you're

    [ Parent ]
I used to be apathetic, but now I just don't care (none / 0) (#186)
by leonbrooks on Sun Apr 01, 2001 at 12:01:55 AM EST

So why do these people feel purposeless? Not because they take drugs. People usually turn to drugs after they stop feeling they have a purpose.

My point exactly.

Now... why do they feel purposeless?
-- If at first you don't succeed, try a shorter bungee
[ Parent ]

Ok, I felt that it was time for me to jump in :) (none / 0) (#177)
by LocalH on Thu Mar 29, 2001 at 08:48:38 PM EST

Argh, it munged my post again. Take 3 (shortened to avoid clipping):

    Not as many as are due either to people setting up a fix while they're still smashed from the last one or a different one, or to people setting out to escape their living hell, or to people who know that ``it won't happen to me, I've had nearly this much before.''
Not true of cannabis. With other drugs, it's definitely a possibility. Cannabis has been the killer of 0 people.

    And why do you need to take drugs in the first place? Are they necessary, like food or clothing? Or is ennui a stronger force than you're prepared to admit?
I don't need to smoke cannabis. I choose to because it has a very relaxing, mellow effect on me. If I can't buy any when I run out, none the worse. If I run out of cigarettes, I go nuts until I can buy some and will scrape change out of the couch.

[ Parent ]
Three strikes, priorities (none / 0) (#185)
by leonbrooks on Sun Apr 01, 2001 at 12:00:06 AM EST

Cannabis has been the killer of 0 people.

Really? I can name two, and know of another, personally. One rode his motorcycle off a corner into a tree in Lesmurdie Road, Lesmurdie. One took far too long to duck in a sawmill, and had his head and shoulders fatally smashed in by a flying board (his sober workmate ducked in time and was not injured). The one whose name I don't know tried while stoned to shoot another bikie (not a hope), and consequentially got in the way of some shotgun exhaust a few days later.

If I run out of cigarettes, I go nuts until I can buy some and will scrape change out of the couch.

Aye. I had a friend once who would light fags made of ashtray scrapings rolled into notepaper, by dint of squatting next to an electric stove and trying to light the fag (and not his face) from a hotplate. From time to time I see sick people buying fags at supermarkets, and hear those same people whining to their friends about being hungry or not being able to afford clothes for their kids.

So you think cigarettes should be outlawed as well?
-- If at first you don't succeed, try a shorter bungee
[ Parent ]

Cannabis deaths and fags/cigarettes (none / 0) (#194)
by LocalH on Wed Apr 04, 2001 at 07:43:33 PM EST

<ul><i>Really? I can name two, and know of another, personally. One rode his motorcycle off a corner into a tree in Lesmurdie Road, Lesmurdie. One took far too long to duck in a sawmill, and had his head and shoulders fatally smashed in by a flying board (his sober workmate ducked in time and was not injured). The one whose name I don't know tried while stoned to shoot another bikie (not a hope), and consequentially got in the way of some shotgun exhaust a few days later.</i></ul>
I see that I need to restate that. <b>Responsible cannabis use</b> has been the killer of 0 people. Those people would have died in those situations under the influence of any inebriating substance, including alcohol, which is legal.<br><br>
<ul><i>Aye. I had a friend once who would light fags made of ashtray scrapings rolled into notepaper, by dint of squatting next to an electric stove and trying to light the fag (and not his face) from a hotplate. From time to time I see sick people buying fags at supermarkets, and hear those same people whining to their friends about being hungry or not being able to afford clothes for their kids.<br><br>
So you think cigarettes should be outlawed as well?</i></ul>
Under the prohibition logic, yes they should. But should people be able to tell you that you can't fuck your own life up if you want? It's your life after all, you're the one living it.


[ Parent ]
Cannabis deaths and fags/cigarettes (none / 0) (#195)
by LocalH on Wed Apr 04, 2001 at 07:43:48 PM EST

    Really? I can name two, and know of another, personally. One rode his motorcycle off a corner into a tree in Lesmurdie Road, Lesmurdie. One took far too long to duck in a sawmill, and had his head and shoulders fatally smashed in by a flying board (his sober workmate ducked in time and was not injured). The one whose name I don't know tried while stoned to shoot another bikie (not a hope), and consequentially got in the way of some shotgun exhaust a few days later.
I see that I need to restate that. Responsible cannabis use has been the killer of 0 people. Those people would have died in those situations under the influence of any inebriating substance, including alcohol, which is legal.

    Aye. I had a friend once who would light fags made of ashtray scrapings rolled into notepaper, by dint of squatting next to an electric stove and trying to light the fag (and not his face) from a hotplate. From time to time I see sick people buying fags at supermarkets, and hear those same people whining to their friends about being hungry or not being able to afford clothes for their kids.

    So you think cigarettes should be outlawed as well?
Under the prohibition logic, yes they should. But should people be able to tell you that you can't fuck your own life up if you want? It's your life after all, you're the one living it.

[ Parent ]
whatever (5.00 / 5) (#77)
by synaesthesia on Wed Mar 28, 2001 at 08:53:35 AM EST

The only improvements I've seen have been temporary. Like computing, the habit expands to consume all available resources, no matter how cheap the necessaries are.

Just like no-one is truly able to enjoy a glass of wine with their meal without eventually ending up living in the gutter.



Sausages or cheese?
[ Parent ]
Some do, some don't (none / 0) (#164)
by leonbrooks on Thu Mar 29, 2001 at 10:59:22 AM EST

Just like no-one is truly able to enjoy a glass of wine with their meal without eventually ending up living in the gutter.

Sarcasm is not a replacement for brains. Wine with a meal is a choice for you. For others, it is not.

Stress will turn an occasional innocent drink into a problem - and problem habits are what we're discussing here. Problem habits do expand to consume all that the person is or has.

Incidentally, a person with borderline food intolerance may lose the plot completely on a few glasses of a specific beverage but not on others. Do you know people who can sink gallons of beer without much effect, but a shot of malt whiskey makes instant opera stars out of them?
-- If at first you don't succeed, try a shorter bungee
[ Parent ]

A replacement for brains? (none / 0) (#190)
by synaesthesia on Mon Apr 02, 2001 at 04:11:15 AM EST

Sarcasm is not a replacement for brains. Wine with a meal is a choice for you. For others, it is not.

Pointing out sarcasm is not a replacement for a convincing argument. I do not deny that different people have different tendencies to addiction.

Stress will turn an occasional innocent drink into a problem -

Stress will turn a normal human being into a murderer. Go and join the anti-knife lobby.

- and problem habits are what we're discussing here.

And I thought we were talking about the systematic removal of civil liberties in the name of tackling said problem. Here is the phrase you quoted from enterfornone:

"If drugs were legalised and regulated it would reduce the price and ensure a safer product, negating the need for drug users to take to crime and prostitution and reducing the chances of drug deaths."

Where in this phrase does it suggest that people won't ruin their lives over drugs? Nowhere. It's about damage limitation, and the sooner people like you realise it the better.

Do you know people who can sink gallons of beer without much effect, but a shot of malt whiskey makes instant opera stars out of them?

I know people for whom specific types of beer make them aggressive wheras they are perfectly charming after other brands. Are you suggesting a return to prohibition?



Sausages or cheese?
[ Parent ]
No! (3.83 / 6) (#90)
by jynx on Wed Mar 28, 2001 at 10:08:50 AM EST

If you are a private drug user,

Which most people are. (Everyone I know uses at least one of alcohol, nicotine and caffeine.)

it impacts your whole life in some degree. Unless you manage to defeat the habit (and the odds are against you), it will eventually impact other members of the public as well.

Nonsense!

How does someone who uses alchohol or cannabis in a moderated manner in their own home going to impact other members of the public?

--

[ Parent ]

Impact... eerily perfect word choice (none / 0) (#163)
by leonbrooks on Thu Mar 29, 2001 at 10:54:30 AM EST

How does someone who uses alchohol or cannabis in a moderated manner in their own home going to impact other members of the public?

Driving afterwards and making someone moderately dead or moderately crippled thereby certainly ``impacts'' their life.

Your children will copy what you do without as much understanding. They will typically use harder substances and use them less moderately.

You personally may draw a limit, now, but what about others less self-controlled, and will you still be the same during/after a crisis?

...and so on...

SURGEON GENERAL'S WARNING

Consumption of alcohol tends to make you think that others are laughing with you.


-- If at first you don't succeed, try a shorter bungee
[ Parent ]
This will sound callous but... (3.00 / 1) (#80)
by retinaburn on Wed Mar 28, 2001 at 09:23:01 AM EST

I always hear the argument here against welfare: "Why should MY tax dollars pay for people on welfare ...<ramblings>".
I disagree with this statement but why do these same people not say "Why should MY tax dollars be spent treating drug addicts ...I'm not a drug addict."

Somehow people draw the line between someone who cannot survive without care, and someone who cannot survive without care.


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


This will definitely sound callous. (3.00 / 2) (#92)
by Kugyou on Wed Mar 28, 2001 at 10:10:27 AM EST

I'm one of those people who doesn't see 'those who cannot survive without care' when I think of welfare. Yes, I will admit that the system is used legitimately by tons of people, but what I refuse to believe is that there are no abuses. Fine, there are a few, you say. A few? I'm - in my spare time - 'The IT guy' for a local post-secondary school, where approximately 60% of the student body is on welfare. And from the talk going around those students - their own admissions, mind you, not my best guesses from other knowledge - at least 75% of the students that are on welfare could quite easily support themselves without it. But that would require going to work, holding down a job, actually doing something. I heard one young lady talk about how happy she was that she was having another child because she would be getting a welfare increase. Nevermind that she didn't know the father of the child, was barely supporting the children she already had, et cetera - this was a cash opportunity. This exact girl, IIRC, dropped school for maternity 'leave' and never returned - apparently her welfare was now above what she would be making as a Medical Assistant - never mind the fact that she was a straight-A student, was being considered for the single absolute *best* externship site, and was just about perfect in the clinicals. Now, before anyone starts talking about racism, et cetera, this girl was whiter than the driven snow. She lived in a HUD home, drew welfare, got her education free of charge - and then did nothing about it. This is the kind of abuse that really...irks me. I don't have the magical solution trapped in my pocket, nor do I want to have it - killing the messenger is oft the best way to silence the message. What I *am* trying to say - and yes, I digressed a bit - is that yeah, I'm willing to subsidize someone's living - but I don't feel I owe anyone that money. Not welfare moms, not drug addicts, not even my own cousin (recently deceased heroin addict, killed by a batch cut with cyanide).
-----------------------------------------
Dust in the wind bores holes in mountains
[ Parent ]
Bad welfare system (none / 0) (#127)
by Pseudonym on Wed Mar 28, 2001 at 02:37:31 PM EST

The US welfare system was designed for the Great Depression and hasn't been overhauled to keep up with the times. The problem is not that the US has a welfare system, but rather that it has the wrong welfare system for the current era.

As you so eloquently point out, the current US system is basically completely fscked. They could do far better.



sub f{($f)=@_;print"$f(q{$f});";}f(q{sub f{($f)=@_;print"$f(q{$f});";}f});
[ Parent ]
Not the Great Depression... (none / 0) (#131)
by beergut on Wed Mar 28, 2001 at 03:09:32 PM EST

The U.S. welfare system was enacted in 1965, as part of a "Great Society" initiative. It was signed into law by Lyndon Baines Johnson, a quarter-century after the end of the Great Depression.

I live in a bad neighborhood, where welfare dependency is rampant. I choose to live there, because the architecture is enticing, and because I believe (and work toward) the time is coming when this beautiful old neighborhood will be rejuvenated, filled with people who own the houses and work for a living.

It is interesting to look back across history and chart out exactly when this neighborhood started sliding downhill. It was when HUD (with their Section 8 program) began paying people's rent.

Here's how the program works, in a lot of cases:

  • Section 8-approved tenant moves into Section-8 housing.
  • Tenant pays no rent, and therefore has no incentive to maintain their rental unit.
  • Tenant trashes housing, putting holes in walls, stealing copper plumbing, burning, stealing plumbing fixtures, etc.
  • Tenant complains to Uncle Sam that housing is not liveable.
  • Uncle Sam pays tenant's moving expenses, and establishes tenant in another Section 8 housing unit.
  • Landlord is now responsible for cleaning and repairing rental unit for further use by HUD tenants (over whom they have no say in choosing which ones are allowed in).
  • In all cases, the landlord has signed contract with HUD making said property available to HUD tenants for a number of years, keeping them from collecting higher rent on the property if the area improves for other reasons, keeping them from improving the property to attract better tenants, keeping them tied to a government program that only serves to destroy entire neighborhoods. These landlords, who want the rent paid on time, are forced to endure the destruction of, and enact the rebuilding of, their rental properties. It is hardly a bargain, especially when I pay for the destruction.

    I have seen this with my own eyes, and have witnessed the process with members of my own family. It is a disgusting waste of tax dollars, especially when these people are generally collecting other government benefits, and use them for such noble goals as staying drunk all day, every day, whilst perching on the stoop in front of their housing units yelling and screaming at the tops of their lungs at others who live there, passers-by, and visitors, playing loud music until (or, sometimes, beginning at) 4:00am, utterly ignoring (or actively encouraging!) their children as the little varmints wreak havoc and destruction on the rental property and on neighbors' properties, throwing trash out the windows of their apartments where it can collect in the garden lot maintained by a neighbor.

    Waste, waste, waste.

    No, the proble really is that the U.S. has a welfare system at all. The Welfare State is an unmitigated disaster, laughable if it were not so damned expensive and destructive.


    i don't see any nanorobots or jet engines or laser holography or orbiting death satellites.
    i just see some orangutan throwing code-feces at a computer screen.

    -- indubitable
    [ Parent ]

    Then the problem lies with the US (none / 0) (#137)
    by Pseudonym on Wed Mar 28, 2001 at 04:15:00 PM EST

    Thanks for the correction on the welfare system. My wife (who was born in the US) was wrong. :-)

    >No, the proble really is that the U.S. has a welfare system at all.

    Every other industrialised country in the world has managed to implement an imperfect (as everything is in this imperfect world) but workable system of social programmes, universal health cover, unemployment benefits etc etc... Why is the USA the odd one out? Is it the sprawl over such a large area? The population density in large cities? The two party system?



    sub f{($f)=@_;print"$f(q{$f});";}f(q{sub f{($f)=@_;print"$f(q{$f});";}f});
    [ Parent ]
    The problem is... (1.00 / 1) (#172)
    by Kugyou on Thu Mar 29, 2001 at 07:09:13 PM EST

    Why is the USA the odd one out? Is it the sprawl over such a large area? The population density in large cities? The two party system?

    The fear of looking 'socialist'. [Note: 'we' is being used to mean the US here] We're more than happy to implement a system of handouts to those who refuse to work as well as those who legitimately can't, but the idea of actually *helping* these people would somehow be construed as being a socialist republic. And Lord knows that we wouldn't want to tear down the perfect democracy we have...
    -----------------------------------------
    Dust in the wind bores holes in mountains
    [ Parent ]
    Interesting, but wrong (at least, in my case) (none / 0) (#191)
    by beergut on Mon Apr 02, 2001 at 02:06:29 PM EST

    We're more than happy to implement a system of handouts to those who refuse to work as well as those who legitimately can't,

    In fact, I'm all for helping people who legitimately need help. To that end, I help my less-fortunate neighbors haul things (I have a truck), and I have occasionally given them food for their kids. I, personally, try to help those who are legitimately making an effort to make a living and improve themselves. I would gladly do more, if more than half my money weren't already being stolen from me at gunpoint to help and enrich those who have the guns.

    but the idea of actually *helping* these people would somehow be construed as being a socialist republic.

    Quite the contrary. Actually helping people is what happened in this country privately before the advent of the Social Security system and the Welfare State. You see, people will give to charities to help those less fortunate, when they can be reasonably assured that the resources they give will be used to that end, and when they have a reasonable chance of seeing results for themselves. People are less willing to fund programs which they can plainly see do not work, and that resentment (added to the fact that they now have less money to donate), makes them loath to give anything at all. At least, that's how it works for me.

    And Lord knows that we wouldn't want to tear down the perfect democracy we have...

    You must be living in dream-land. The government of this country is far, far from perfect. It's not even a Democracy (which is a good thing, and brings it closer to being workable).


    i don't see any nanorobots or jet engines or laser holography or orbiting death satellites.
    i just see some orangutan throwing code-feces at a computer screen.

    -- indubitable
    [ Parent ]

    *Blink* (none / 0) (#192)
    by Kugyou on Mon Apr 02, 2001 at 04:58:08 PM EST

    Okay, let me be more specific. 'We', then, refers to the US government. A couple of nitpicks here...

    Actually helping people is what happened in this country privately before the advent of the Social Security system and the Welfare State.

    Allow me to emphasize 'privately'. My whole point began as a bit about government programs and why things like government-instituted rehab would never be implemented. As to your 'dream-land' comment, please tell me that you, as well, were being sarcastic. Am I going to have to enclose every single snide remark in sarcasm tags so people don't seriously think I'm praising the US government? The point here is not what citizens do - I'm all for helping those that need it, but the government will, as well, help those who will not help themselves. Yet, in the light of this, government health-care and rehabilitation programs are shot down under fear (and accusations) of being labeled 'Socialist', 'Communist', what have you. I hate to say this, but it appears you've taken my entire post out of context...

    -----------------------------------------
    Dust in the wind bores holes in mountains
    [ Parent ]
    better spent on jail? (3.00 / 1) (#128)
    by dabadab on Wed Mar 28, 2001 at 02:42:47 PM EST

    Perhaps they just ask:
    Why should MY tax dollars be spent to go after drug users?
    Why should MY tax dollars be spent on jailing drug users?
    Why should MY tax dollars be spent to force drug users' money be spent to support the mafia? I am NOT a member of the mafia. Are you?
    --
    Real life is overrated.
    [ Parent ]
    Why (none / 0) (#145)
    by enterfornone on Wed Mar 28, 2001 at 06:08:37 PM EST

    should my tax dollar be spent "protecting people from themselves".

    --
    efn 26/m/syd
    Will sponsor new accounts for porn.
    [ Parent ]
    Overdoing it... (3.50 / 6) (#83)
    by jynx on Wed Mar 28, 2001 at 09:23:51 AM EST

    I think governments need to be very carefully when they overexaggerate messages like this.

    Many governments put out messages that essentially say that drug use leads to addiction, which leads to prostitution, robbery and eventually death.

    However, when teenagers realise "Wait a sec, Jo Bloggs down the road smokes the occasional spliff and she never robbed anyone, or prostituted herself or lost her job, or died", it's very easy for them to discard the entire anti-drugs message as a lie.

    There are some drugs, for example heroin, which do often lead to serious addiction and then crime. If we want to protect our children from these substances we need to be honest: If we lie, tell them that any drug use will ruin their lives, we may protect them when they are naive, but we lose out when they become a bit more streetwise.

    --

    Drug argument with a twist... (2.42 / 7) (#85)
    by retinaburn on Wed Mar 28, 2001 at 09:41:45 AM EST

    A large percentage of people that are commiting violent crimes are going to jail. But why should society dictate how I live my life. If someone pisses me off why can I not retaliate ?

    If we decriminalized the killing of people then our jails would be barren landscapes. We wouldn't spend all this money prosecuting murderers in long drawn out trials. We wouldn't have to pay for them to sit in a jail, eating, bathing, earning money. We could use this money to educate would-be assasins, show them the right and wrong about killings, be honest with them. Anger-management classes for everyone.

    Heck why not even tax it. We could charge a flat rate fee for each murder, if you can't pay then maybe you go to jail. If you do pay then you get a wave and a "See ya later Johnny :)"

    Why surely if it was no longer illegal to kill then the number of people who did so would be drastically reduced. The hitman-for-hire business would take a hit, but they can find work in other associated fields, perhaps working at the GAP, or McDonalds.


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


    I know your not that stupid (3.50 / 4) (#87)
    by codemonkey_uk on Wed Mar 28, 2001 at 09:49:28 AM EST

    You well know that killing someone infringes on their civil liberties, where as drug taking does not.

    Now stop beeing a flame warrior and play nice.
    ---
    Thad
    "The most savage controversies are those about matters as to which there is no good evidence either way." - Bertrand Russell
    [ Parent ]

    Someone has faith in me (3.33 / 3) (#89)
    by retinaburn on Wed Mar 28, 2001 at 09:59:15 AM EST

    I just got ticked off at yet another pro drug story. People spouting beliefs as facts and facts as devout scripture from on high.

    I have no problem with drug users. But everyone I know that has partaked in the use of drugs on a regular basis (ranging from every weekend to every day) has in my humble opinion tanked their life. Some have managed to pull themselves up after a few years, some have resigned themselves to a life on menial labour to support a drug habit with nary a blip on the thinking radar. Each one of them has had to steal to feed their addiction at some point in time. Some of them have gotten into accidents while high. Some of seriously harmed others while on a drug-rage. Their actions affect others. That in turn affects me. What right do they have to infringe on my rights ?

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


    [ Parent ]
    Its all rides on the definition (4.00 / 2) (#93)
    by codemonkey_uk on Wed Mar 28, 2001 at 10:20:11 AM EST

    What is a drug? People banndy around the phrase like an axe, but few stop to consider what they are saying.

    All of what you said could be applied to "alcohol" buy how much of it could be applied to "THC" (the active ingredient in pot) or MDMA (the active ingrediant in 'X')?

    My father helps run a youth center, and described an out of control lad as "on drugs" when I asked which one(s) he said he didn't know, and went on to describe typical drunken behaviour. I decided not to continue the conversation and let it lie ...
    ---
    Thad
    "The most savage controversies are those about matters as to which there is no good evidence either way." - Bertrand Russell
    [ Parent ]

    Cause and effect... (2.33 / 3) (#97)
    by jynx on Wed Mar 28, 2001 at 10:28:09 AM EST

    Perhaps this says more about the people you know that drugs users.

    I know at least 20 people who use drugs. Most of them are of the highest character. None have ever stolen anything to buy drugs. Most of them are either already educated to degree level, or are currently taking their degrees.

    You talk about people spouting beliefs as facts etc. By far the most overused and inaccurate dogma in this debate is that people cannot use drugs and lead a normal life.

    The stupidity of this astonishes me. No-one would claim that a person cannot drink alcohol in moderation and lead a normal life, why are "drugs" different just because they are "drugs"?

    The statistics are overwhelmingly against this. 1/3 of the adult population[1] of the UK have used illegal drugs. The vast majority of these people lead a normal life, are never hospitalised as a result of drug use and never arrested as a a result of drug use.

    [1] This figure is from the Drugscope Drug Use 2000 report.

    --

    [ Parent ]

    Hi (2.50 / 2) (#98)
    by spiralx on Wed Mar 28, 2001 at 10:45:24 AM EST

    I take drugs, pretty much every weekend... and yet I manage to hold down a job, girlfriend, social life etc. Most of my friends also take drugs on a regular basis, and they do as well.

    Who are these people you know, and what are they taking? Not all drugs are the same, despite what the government would like you to believe.

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

    Congrats I guess (none / 0) (#100)
    by retinaburn on Wed Mar 28, 2001 at 11:03:02 AM EST

    These people take everything from meth, coke, weed, hash, oil, whatever they can get. I know that not all drugs are the same.

    They all have some occupation and a social life. Of course their social life mainly consists of getting together, doing some drug and passing out.

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


    [ Parent ]
    There you go (none / 0) (#102)
    by spiralx on Wed Mar 28, 2001 at 11:07:19 AM EST

    Meth and coke are both extremely addictive, so there's the problem. Having been through a period of speed addiction myself (although I managed to hold it together somewhat better by the sounds of it) I know how it can be...

    Some drugs are addictive, some aren't. Anyone taking meth and coke regularly should be aware of how addictive they are...

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

    I agree (none / 0) (#105)
    by retinaburn on Wed Mar 28, 2001 at 11:28:09 AM EST

    They also started on the 'intro' drugs of weed I guess. Or even further back Alcohol and cigarettes. I think that pot is far more addictive than some people realize. Like cigarretes in the beginning. If I do smoke weed then the next day I WANT more ...its a slippery slope I guess.

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


    [ Parent ]
    Hmmm (4.00 / 1) (#108)
    by spiralx on Wed Mar 28, 2001 at 11:37:28 AM EST

    If I do smoke weed then the next day I WANT more ...its a slippery slope I guess.

    I think that's all you... if weed is physically addictive (can't remember off the top of my head) then it would only be after extreme use for prolonged periods. Psychological addiction is possible, but not after a single session.

    Sounds to me like you enjoyed it :)

    And slippery slope/gateway drug theories are fallacious. Sure most people who have tried heroin smoked weed first, but most people who try weed don't end up taking heroin. Weed is just usually the first drug people can get, and the one they're most likely to try first due to its perception as being relatively harmless.

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

    Hrmmm (none / 0) (#122)
    by retinaburn on Wed Mar 28, 2001 at 01:26:37 PM EST

    First I commend you for trying to have a rational discussion with me, I knew there had to be someone out there.

    I think that's all you... if weed is physically addictive (can't remember off the top of my head) then it would only be after extreme use for prolonged periods. Psychological addiction is possible, but not after a single session

    I was under the impression from other people I talk to that they also feel this 'physical addiction' in the morning. It doesn't last very long, perhaps only a couple hours for me. From what I have seen and and heard from talking to people the physical addiction to cannabis is in fact very weak, even after extended use.

    I used to enjoy it, not only the smoking, but the entire surrounding culture. Then it just started to put me to sleep, much the way beer does now. So I figured why bother, I am tired enought ;)

    As far as the 'gateway drugs' I was under the impression that it was simply a way of describing that if you try drug A then you are more inclined to try drug B. If thats because it's easy to get..then so be it.

    How many people try heroin right off the bat ? I'd say alcohol and cigarretes are far easier to obtain than weed (at least here). Most people tried those, then started with weed, then other cannabis derivatives. Some went on to try LSD, cocaine, E, etc.

    Thats not to say that some people don't follow the pattern, but I would say there is some merit to the theory. I would guess that most people that have tried weed smoke or drank before. Most people that tried LSD did some other 'substance' before. It seems logical to me. Even if say 30% of the people who use E did some other so called 'gateway' drug before hand suggests the theory is accurate.


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


    [ Parent ]
    Gateway drugs are a statistical myth (none / 0) (#135)
    by trhurler on Wed Mar 28, 2001 at 03:53:46 PM EST

    Look at it this way. Sure, maybe 90% of crack users have smoked dope. Nevertheless, probably only a tenth of a percent of dope smokers have ever tried crack. The statistic is being worked only one way in order to make it look compelling. Here's another version of the same "logic" that may be less compelling and might show you the error involved more clearly:

    "It was discovered in results published today by government yes-men in lab coats that 100% of the people who have injected heroin have also taken a stinky shit. Congress is now considering a bill to make taking a stinky shit a felony punishable by three to five years in prison."

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

    [ Parent ]
    Statistics (none / 0) (#140)
    by retinaburn on Wed Mar 28, 2001 at 04:51:02 PM EST

    Look at it this way. Sure, maybe 90% of crack users have smoked dope. Nevertheless, probably only a tenth of a percent of dope smokers have ever tried crack. The statistic is being worked only one way in order to make it look compelling.

    Hang on a second. 90% of the people in my office arrived by first coming through the door. The rest came in through magical teleportation. That would lead me to believe that the door is a 'gateway' to the office.

    Using the small user base of the people I know. Say 90% have tried weed. 75% of those then tried another cannabis derivative, while only 2% of those who didnt smoke weed tried a derivative. 50% of the 75 then tried musrooms or LSD. While maybe 0.5% of the 'puritans' tried musrooms or LSD for their first drug. And so on.

    Now this may only show those that are likely to try drugs are likely to try other drugs. But 'gateway drug' is a theory not a law right.

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


    [ Parent ]
    Actually, (none / 0) (#141)
    by trhurler on Wed Mar 28, 2001 at 05:19:28 PM EST

    "Gateway drug" is not a law, but it IS the primary argument the governments of many regions use to justify banning marijuana. Of course, they don't mention that almost all drug users also drink and/or smoke tobacco, that practically every one of them has consumed a cup of coffee at some point in life, and a can or two of Pepsi, and so on.

    The thing is, yes, most crackheads have done pot - but all that means, as you noticed yourself, is that most people willing to try crack are also willing to try pot. It does not mean that trying pot is going to magically make you want to go buy a glass pipe and a propane torch.

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

    [ Parent ]
    Agreed misuse of statistics (none / 0) (#147)
    by retinaburn on Wed Mar 28, 2001 at 07:25:32 PM EST

    I agree that the misuse of the 'gateway drug' statistic by the government. The insane are running the asylum. Personally I see it as an acurate theory but by no means conclusive.

    "It was discovered in results published today by government yes-men in lab coats that 100% of the people who have injected heroin have also taken a stinky shit. Congress is now considering a bill to make taking a stinky shit a felony punishable by three to five years in prison."

    Wouldn't an accurate conclusion from this data instead be "Congress is now considering a bill to make it mandatory for all heroin users to use 1000 flushes."...

    If 100% of all stinky shitters were found to shoot heroin than maybe your conclusion would happen.


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


    [ Parent ]
    Well, yes. (none / 0) (#165)
    by trhurler on Thu Mar 29, 2001 at 11:04:08 AM EST

    If 100% of all stinky shitters were found to shoot heroin than maybe your conclusion would happen.
    And if 100% of marijuana users were found to shoot heroin then maybe it would make sense to restrict the use of marijuana, presuming you think heroin should be illegal.

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

    [ Parent ]
    Misuse of terms (none / 0) (#158)
    by Nezumi on Thu Mar 29, 2001 at 09:39:03 AM EST

    As far as the 'gateway drugs' I was under the impression that it was simply a way of describing that if you try drug A then you are more inclined to try drug B.

    Actually, "gateway drug" is a deliberately loaded media buzzword. Just as saying "communist" to most people in North America will still conjure up images of KGB enforcers and evil Soviet dictators, despite the fact that it had little to do with actual communism, "gateway drug" has become a phrase closely associated with the media-created "seductive" element of drugs.

    Regardless of the fact that "gateway" actually means only "entrance", the term "gateway drug" has become closely associated with the (likely false, as demonstrated in other posts) concept that if you take this drug, for which there may be very little evidence of it being otherwise harmful such as marijuana, you will be mysteriously drawn to "hard" drugs such as heroin, etc.

    So you may intend the use the term in its most basic, unladen sense, but the fact is you must be aware that the actual use is not as you intend by any means.



    [ Parent ]
    Thats not addiction... (2.00 / 1) (#109)
    by pallex on Wed Mar 28, 2001 at 11:41:50 AM EST

    ...any more than i`m addicted to sex!

    You shouldnt be running around using words you dont understand. Pot (its called `Cannabis` actually) is NOT addictive, it really is as simple as that. Perhaps theres a word which means `something you want to do again because you like it`. Oh, there is - its called a `hobby`. Some people do nothing but smoke and talk about cannabis. Seems harmless enough to me - leave them alone! But if you`re usage of the word `intro` is related to the `gateway` idea - that you take drugs because you were led astray by cannabis, then i have 2 questions.
    1) seeing that most people have tried cannabis at some point, and most people havent tried heroin, doesnt that suggest the theory is bollocks? (ie i`d guess that all of those apparantly going from cannabis to heroin have had a beer, cigarette, mineral water, hot dog etc etc).
    2) Why are they going from cannabis to heroin? Are you saying people want a `stronger buzz`? If so, dont people go from strong beer or wine to heroin? Or are they supposedly trying heroin because they get it from the same `evil pushers of death` that sell cannabis? If so, wouldnt legalizing cannabis put at end to that problem (if indeed it exists)?


    [ Parent ]
    First (none / 0) (#118)
    by retinaburn on Wed Mar 28, 2001 at 01:04:54 PM EST

    Your use of 'big words' does little to impress me.

    A weak psycological or physical addiction can manifest itself as I described. When you quit smoking the physical addiction does not take anywhere near as long to get over as the psycological addiction.

    I understand that some people smoke CANNABIS and talk about cannibis. I wasn't bothering them merely discussing friends of mine that have no life outside of drugs. I find that sad. Live with it.

    'Gateway drug' does not imply: You do drug A, please proceed to drug B. 'Gateway' merely implies that if you do drug A then you are more likely to do drug B. How many people jump straight into Heroin from taking no drugs (legal or illegal) ..I'd say very little.

    Why are they going from cannabis to heroin?
    Who are they ? If you are talking about friends of mine they did not make a jump from cannabis to heroin. I didn't realize a complete chronological listing of the drugs they had taken was in order. The rest of your question make astounding leaps of logic from what I had previously said.

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


    [ Parent ]
    Downvoting (1.00 / 1) (#132)
    by CaptainSuperBoy on Wed Mar 28, 2001 at 03:32:08 PM EST

    I make a sincere effort not to downvote comments I do not agree with. I'd appreciate it if you'd extend me the same courtesy.

    --
    jimmysquid.com - I take pictures.
    [ Parent ]
    Where (none / 0) (#134)
    by retinaburn on Wed Mar 28, 2001 at 03:53:25 PM EST

    I have not down voted comments I do not agree with. If you think I have simply show me where and I'll explain why I voted they way I did.

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


    [ Parent ]
    Here (1.00 / 1) (#138)
    by CaptainSuperBoy on Wed Mar 28, 2001 at 04:21:50 PM EST

    I hate to take this so far off topic, but here is the comment.

    --
    jimmysquid.com - I take pictures.
    [ Parent ]
    We don't need more laws for the same crimes (none / 0) (#143)
    by botono9 on Wed Mar 28, 2001 at 05:24:14 PM EST

    Some of them have gotten into accidents while high. Some of seriously harmed others while on a drug-rage. Their actions affect others.
    There are already laws in place to take care of these kinds of actions. It doesn't matter if the person was high or not, if you injure another person, you are responsible for that. We don't need to pass harsh drug laws because "druggies steal". Rich people have also been known to steal, and steal quite a bit I might add, but do we pass laws against being rich in order to lower the embezzlement rate? I think not. We have laws against stealing and assault. It is not the place of law enforcement to restrict personal rights and choices because those choices might lead a person to commit a crime. It is the place of law enforcement to punish someone who has committed a crime. This is why the police cannot arrest a man for beating his wife unless a) she presses charges or b) they see him strike her. Even though the woman may be black and blue, if she doesn't make the decision to press charges then no crime has officially been committed. Is it sad? Yes, but it is necessary to protect personal liberty.

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

    re Someone has faith in me (1.00 / 1) (#151)
    by Akaru on Thu Mar 29, 2001 at 03:28:27 AM EST

    Sound like you should get to know nicer people. You can try and blame your problems on other people, but they won't go away. Accept your problems and solve them, its easier.

    Sure there are always going to be people who are thoughtless who would take away everything you worked so hard for. But thats life and if you can't live a life like that then the only option is suicide.

    So I guess your options are Live and let live, or Die and let live.

    Generalizing the whole of drugs under one banner is wrong. I know a lot of people who smoke weed for recreation they buy they're drugs with there own money. I know people who are on cocaine (half the BBC for instance) who have normal jobs and pay for there addiction. They are just normal people, who feel the need to take drugs. But the Governments and people like you want to turn them into criminals.

    Ironically at the same time, you ignore the criminals who take legal drugs.

    In the way people who take drugs these days are seen as criminals surely anyone who drinks is a criminal as well, they're every bit as guilty as the drink driver who kills a family of four in a car crash.

    See how stupid it seems when you hold it up to a standard model thought the world today. Drugs are only bad because they are portrayed as bad. drugs have no good press going for them. And only bad people and Bad drugs are told to people to exist.
    As in the case's of most things, Its a minority that ruins it for the majority.

    And what happens is that laws are introduced to criminalise and lock away the normal people whose only crime is smoking a spliff to chill out after work. and not the professionals, who do the damage.


    [ Parent ]
    Huh (none / 0) (#156)
    by retinaburn on Thu Mar 29, 2001 at 09:26:46 AM EST

    Sound like you should get to know nicer people. You can try and blame your problems on other people, but they won't go away. Accept your problems and solve them, its easier. Sure there are always going to be people who are thoughtless who would take away everything you worked so hard for. But thats life and if you can't live a life like that then the only option is suicide. So I guess your options are Live and let live, or Die and let live.

    I can't for the life of me decipher what you are talking about. What people..doing what ?...Maybe its because its early ..please clarify.

    Generalizing the whole of drugs under one banner is wrong. I know a lot of people who smoke weed for recreation they buy they're drugs with there own money. I know people who are on cocaine (half the BBC for instance) who have normal jobs and pay for there addiction. They are just normal people, who feel the need to take drugs. But the Governments and people like you want to turn them into criminals.

    I know people who have normal jobs and pay for their addiction as well. I never said I didn't. I also never gereralized all drugs under one banner.

    I don't want to turn them into criminals. They are criminals, right or wrong the law says if you do illegal drugs you are a criminal. Drinking a beer does not make you a criminal. Drinking is legal. Killing someone in a car accident is a punishable offense.

    If you don't like the laws then try to get them changed. Thats why its a democracy. But preaching that 'Hey i'm not hurting anyone so I'm not a criminal' is crap.

    Drugs are only bad because they are portrayed as bad. drugs have no good press going for them. And only bad people and Bad drugs are told to people to exist. As in the case's of most things, Its a minority that ruins it for the majority.

    How many people do you know that spend more money on tylenol than food. Illegal or controlled drugs have plenty of good press going for them. In fact cannabis, cocaine, heroin, methadone are controlled substances because they do have actual beneficial uses, but under controlled circumstances, perscribed by someone who knows what they are doing.

    The majority of people do not do controlled/illegal substances. I'd say the majority of people in N.A. have tried some cannabis derivative but the majority of people do not use a controlled/illegal substance even monthly. Maybe the majority of people you know do, but not the majority.

    And what happens is that laws are introduced to criminalise and lock away the normal people whose only crime is smoking a spliff to chill out after work. and not the professionals, who do the damage.

    I agree that marajuana should be decriminalized. But the problem I have is where do you draw the line.

    You decriminalize or even legalise cannabis products. So a 16 yr old can carry around a pound of weed in his backpack and smoke up between classes, and give some to his friends. Ok. But what about a 14 yr old, or a 12 yr old, or a 6 yr old. Do you make it legal for some but not all ? At what point do you draw the line. Do you make it the same age as beer ? Does each state decide for themselves.

    Say you follow the argument 'Hey what I do to my body is my right.' So you legalize all drugs good and bad. You fund all that money into education. Suppose it doesn't work. People say 'put the money into education and treatment'. So they don't trust the government to wage a successful 'War on Drugs' against their citizens and outside forces ut they do trust them to use the money on a successful treatment and education program, thats sounds silly. So what do you do if they education and treatment programs fail for some of the newly legalized drugs. So now all drugs are legalized AND you have parents blaiming the government for not teaching their kids right from wrong. We don't have parents now that monitor what their kids do on the internet, or watch on TV. What do you think the odds are they will be able to do better than 'No Timmy, thats mommies coke.'

    People have been saying that if you legalize and control something the price will go down, and the quality will be ensured. I have seen or heard no evidence to back this up. I would be glad to see some. If you legalize it in the country do you stop people who are trying to transport it into your country. How do you stop some guy in Columbia who has a huge quantity of weed from bringing it by some means into your country, selling it and using the profits as he does today. You've cut funding on the 'WAR' so you aren't trying to stop it as your normally would. So more gets through, so they Columbian can afford to lower his price. He may even cut a deal with a legal company in the states that buys his product in bulk, it saves both of them money.

    If I saw a decent well thought out plan for the decriminalization of cannabis, or any drug then I would back it with no qualms. Saying your government doesn't teach kids now effectivley about drugs (alcohol and cigarretes included) what makes you think they will be any more successful later on.

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


    [ Parent ]
    What an effing troll (none / 0) (#181)
    by phuzzie on Fri Mar 30, 2001 at 03:19:45 PM EST

    And yes, I'm stupid enough to bite. The very simple difference between legalizing MURDER as you sarcastically suggest and legalizing personal drug use is that in the former case one is infringing on the rights of another, and in the latter is simply doing what one wishes with one's own body. The Government is there to protect us from others infringing on our rights, to to dictate morality to us. If one is not infringing on the rights of others one should be free to do as one wishes. And yes, this means legalizing drugs, legalizing prostitution, legalizing gay marriage, repeeling safety belt laws, legalizing suicide etc. The Government's purpose is not to infringe upon my liberty, but to protect it, and laws which criminalize consensual activities go against this basic concept of a free society. If you're not angry at the Government you're not paying attention, you're just being the perfect little sheeple they want.

    "Liberty means responsibility. That is why most men dread it." - Locke

    phuzzie

    [ Parent ]
    Stupid Australian Laws, stupefying bank rules (4.14 / 7) (#95)
    by leonbrooks on Wed Mar 28, 2001 at 10:21:54 AM EST

    Ah, well, it seems to be ``rambling story day'' today, apologies if this is not your scene...

    police in the Australian state of New South Wales will now have the power to seize houses suspected of being used for dealing drugs. How these "drug houses" will be defined is not mentioned, however [...] houses can be confiscated [...] whether drugs have been found on the property.

    Before I start in, bear in mind that the USA already has similar (in fact, more far-reaching) legislation either in place or mooted.

    ``A government big enough to give you everything you want is big enough to take from you everything you have.'' - Gerald R. Ford

    Today, one of these lovely laws bit me. A week ago, I got a letter from the CSA (Child Support Agency, and branch of the ATO - Australia Taxation Office) explaining that they'd just (two weeks earlier) ordered my bank (NAB, the National Australia Bank) to remove over $500 from an account owned by an incorporated business of which I am proprietor. This is actually illegal, because I don't own that money, and have a duty under corporate law to protect it. The bank is between a rock and a hard place because it also has a legal obligation to obey the CSA order (a Form 72A, for the curious).

    On that day (22March), I paid my rent by cheque, being sure to leave the required amount of money in the account.

    Today, a week later, my real estate agent rang me to say that the cheque had bounced, and could they have some cash please because they'd written out and sent another cheque from that trust account to the owners, which would also bounce.

    So I ring the NAB. No problems with the account, it has well over a grand in it cleared, also more than a grand waiting to clear, and no record of any cheques being presented, and no stops. A supervisor checks again, and lo and behold, there is a special debit stop (named, what a coincidence, F72A) on the account after all! What can the bank do about it? Nothing, they say. It's illegal, I say. So is disobeying the ATO, we are following policy, they say. They won't even give me a direct telephone number for the branch concerned.

    It seems fairly clear by this point that the bank staff have no room to manouvre, no authority, no backbone and are as acclimatised to their situation as a sheep would be to being herded.

    So, ring the CSA. CSA officer (one with brains, hoorah!) explains that they did not order a stop, they ordered a withdrawal. Rings NAB, talks to NAB, sends fax telling them to stop being stupid. NAB rings me, says stop is off account.

    So far, so good. Off to local bank branch to withdraw cash for real estate agent. Sorry, account has a funny stop on it, can't give you cash until confirm with head office in Melbourne (Eastern States, two hours ahead, long gone home by now). [whack forehead]

    NAB now has a please-explain fax from CSA and will shortly have a bill from me for three, possibly four cheque bounces, time, stress, loss of financial reputation, yadda yadda. If we're all lucky, not a bill for finding me a new house and moving me into it.

    But what started this circus? The CSA (any branch of the ATO) can effectively (never mind what laws are involved) remove money from accounts not owned by their clients and without notice. The NAB (any bank) can turn accounts off without notice and in a pinch claim legal justification for so doing. Does that make you feel safe?

    -- part 2 --

    While we're examining stupid laws, when the CSA first stuck their collective nose in I was earning about $Oz9,000 a year. Big bikkies... not! CSA decided that I was earning $82,000 a year and started billing me for $38,000 a year (!) in child support fees. And could not be dissuaded. It was the law.

    At the time, I was doing about 25,000km a year to exercise my daughter's access (now ``contact'') rights. The cars I used weren't too flash, but if you budgeted at the then-standard rate of 37c/km, that's, oh, let me see... $9,200 a year in travel costs (there are others), which CSA weren't interested in factoring in. I'm glad my vehicles weren't interested in budgets.

    My ex wife subsequently took me to the Family Court to get the contact cut down even further, supposedly because it was interfering with said daughter's schooling. They succeeded, and said daughter's school results have promptly gone downhill. Now that was really worthwhile, why don't we undo it? Fat chance.

    But in the process they spent well over $10,000 in legal fees, possibly as much as $20,000. I had to represent myself. If they can waste that much money, why do they need my support?

    But wait, there's more! My ex-wife has now re-married, and so have I. She has a new child, and I have two. The CSA's motto is ``Helping parents manage their responsibilities''. Ex-wife now has zero dependents - being a dependent herself - and I have four (wife, daughter and 2x new children). How does ripping $500 out of a business account without warning help me to manage my four responsibilities?

    In the Australian Family Courts, after a separation (also without warning, need I add?) physical possession of the children is nine tenths of the law, in practice if not in theory. The other tenth appears to be the possession of breasts. This despite what the law says, and what the Court officially says. On the other hand, there's no getting out of your ``responsibilities'' if CSA reckons you owe them. So in practice, fathers usually have their children taken from them, and are then fined for it.

    The Family Court officially has a policy of not assigning blame in separations. Think about that. You can be as much of an asshole as you like and it doesn't matter. The ex-wife thought that 2 hours on a Saturday afternoon once a month was ``reasonable'' contact. The Magistrates's Court could see that this was lunacy, and acted accordingly, but it didn't count for anything to a Family Court Judge.

    I could go on and on, bore you to tears with the messy details, but you don't have to look very hard to find a massive separation between the law as she are wrote, the law as she are officially interpreted, the law as she are actually interpreted - and the reality to which these three different bodies of law supposedly apply.

    -- conclusion --

    However, this new style of law is special. This new class of laws will make the practice of Family Law seem downright reasonable and rational, because they are unfair up front. You don't have to work on them at all to create abuse, it's practically built right in. All for the good of ``the State.'' And what is ``the State?'' In theory, you and I. Not in practice.

    There is never a clear mandate for putting the State ahead of any individual. There is always a mandate for putting many individuals ahead of one individual (``The liberty of the individual must be thus far limited; he must not make a nuisance of himself to other people.'' - John Stuart Mill), but not in general, and never a State, only other people - and only if nothing else works.

    Which leads me to the reasons given for doing these things, for making these stupid laws.

    The first reason is almost always because the crime that the law is overtly aimed at is so dreadful and widespread. The second is almost always that criminals cheat on the laws, so we have to do something to catch up. The summary is that ``the end justifies the means.''

    Sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but it doesn't.

    Outlaws, by definition, don't obey laws. It's the old, tried and true ``if guns are outlawed, only outlaws will have guns.''

    That's a cliche, but absolutely correct, and proven so many times. One example: when Hitler invaded parts of Europe that had gan laws, the invaders simply took a copy of the gun register and went around asking for the weapons by serial number. If they weren't produced, the family's children were shot, one by one, then the wife, and if there were still weapons missing, the husband was shot and the house burned to the ground. The end really justified the means there, didn't it?

    If you sieze drug houses, the dealers will simply rent them from unsuspecting landlords. All the criminal loses is the bond, and what's a few hundred dollars against the cost of a house?

    And if you hate someone, plant drugs on their porch and then ring up and dob them in. Let your fingers do the porking.

    The chosen means just caused more problems. But even if it worked often, you could not fight injustice with injustice. The best way to fight injustice is to remove the reason for it and let it die a natural death.

    The tougher and more arbitrary you make the laws, the more collateral damage you're going to cause. It may catch or hurt a few more criminals, it may not. But it will certainly make victims of a lot more innocent people.
    -- If at first you don't succeed, try a shorter bungee

    Just like in America. (2.00 / 1) (#114)
    by jet_silver on Wed Mar 28, 2001 at 12:17:15 PM EST

    What a terribly sad state of affairs.

    The Aussie government, having been able to -meet the people and see the causes- behind the miserable failure of the American war on some-drugs and the consequent increase in risk of life and expense to all Americans, now enact duplicate legislation.

    Leaving aside the question of a hellacious trampling of liberties and logic (people caught -entering and leaving- the house have to prove a negative), does no one see that the truly nasty bastards will not be affected by such legislation? This is true in the US: they are too much infiltrated into the power structure to be dislodged. It's getting true even faster in Russia. The tougher the laws - to a point, that of Singapore, where they simply execute everyone caught in some-drug transactions - the greater the loot to be made by successful circumvention.

    As the legal barriers go up, the tougher criminals rise to the top of the black market business pyramid. Australia will be breeding or importing some really nasty people - the kind who Richard Pryor meant when he said "Thank God for penitentiaries".

    My entire objection to some-drug laws is that they shift the burden of drug use onto too much of society. I'm all for people taking drugs if they want to - as long as the effect of their choices belongs to them and not me. Instead of addicts dying, which is tolerable to me, innocents are going to be caught up in this. Shot as collateral damage in gun battles. Buggered in prison. Harassed by police. Robbed blind by addicts who now have a higher price to pay for the drugs that aren't getting controlled. Just like in America.

    So in exchange for breeding a criminal class fully equivalent to that in the US, the Aussies in Cabramatta will be treated to the same hail of bullets for which some American cities are becoming well known. At the same time, the rights of -all- citizens are degraded, and the drugs still move.

    Councillor Thang Ngo is the only one in the entire article with any sense. Long may s/he prosper.
    "What they really fear is machine-gunning politicians becoming a popular sport, like skate-boarding." -Nicolas Freeling

    Neat.. now even innocent people can go to jail! (4.25 / 8) (#116)
    by botono9 on Wed Mar 28, 2001 at 12:53:04 PM EST

    From the linked article:
    New police powers to charge people associated with so-called drug houses were designed to fix a legal loophole that prevented police from laying charges unless they found drugs on the premises, Mr Carr said.
    So now it is a legal loophole to have to commit a crime before the police can lock you up? Is no one paying any attention to this? They have basically passed laws that allow them to confiscate personal property for any reason whatsoever. They don't even have to be able to prove you did anything "wrong".

    I think the worst part is that your average Joe is not going to have a problem with this because he's already been brainwashed into thinking "well, they're druggies and they don't deserve to be treated fairly. They're scum!". The authorities only have to point and say "look, drug addicts" and the general populous froths at the mouth like some giant, rabid Pavlov's dog!

    In order to get people to see that this is a Bad Thing we need to pull away the drug facade and show them that this kind of legislation affects more than just druggies. If you really are in favor of liberty and justice for all, then you have to support liberty and justice for all, not just for you and your's. It's not easy to defend the rights of people you don't like or agree with, but you must in order to protect the rights themselves from destruction by those blinded by power.

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

    Well Said (4.00 / 1) (#130)
    by mudrat on Wed Mar 28, 2001 at 02:57:12 PM EST

    Well Said, this is probably the most disturbing thing that I have heard in a long time. Sure, it might work in countries like Australia where everybody is so law abiding anyway but my greatest fear is that it will catch on in other places.

    Even in countries like the USA and South Africa where crooked cops are plenty a law like this could mean the end of civilisation. Damn, you cut a cop off during his morning commute, next thing you know you have been jailed on some hidden Guilty till proven innocent clause.

    [ Parent ]
    Monsanto (none / 0) (#184)
    by leonbrooks on Sat Mar 31, 2001 at 11:48:44 PM EST

    In Germany, managers of explosives factories have to live on the premises, by law.

    Monsanto should not have to vouchsafe the safety of biotech food.

    I propose a law which states that any persons working for a gengineering firm producing food products should have to eat those products - to the tune of 5% of the diet for random employees, and 20% of the diet for a member of the board, their families, assistants and secretaries.

    How say you?
    -- If at first you don't succeed, try a shorter bungee
    [ Parent ]

    Goes well with search and seizure laws (none / 0) (#199)
    by QuantumG on Sat Apr 07, 2001 at 06:38:08 PM EST

    In Australia the police dont need a warrent to search if they believe there are drugs or firearms on the premises. I can see it now: "We thought there were drugs in there so we kicked down his door. We didn't find any, but we arrested him anyway."

    Gun fire is the sound of freedom.
    [ Parent ]
    Drugs Are a Problem Too (3.85 / 7) (#117)
    by dagoski on Wed Mar 28, 2001 at 01:00:46 PM EST

    I'm going to play devil's advocate a little here. Yeah, many government drug policies are misguided and off target, but there is a very real drug problem. To a lot of people in the affulent American suburbs, drugs seem like a harmless recreational activity. And, when you talk about marijuana and maybe even LSD, I'm inclined to meet the perception halfway. When you step into an inner city environment with entrenched poverty and a a very unequal distribution of wealth, things get a bit bleaker. I remeber when crack started appearing on the West Coast(of America). That drug did a lot of damage, and it did it over night. There was a lot violence, a lot of people became addicts, and because they were lower income to begin with, they slipped into crime a lot faster. Towards the tail end of that trend, we also saw a very cheap form of heroin hit the streets and the same downward spiral associated with crack. Granted some of the downward spiral arises from the criminalization of the drugs, but not all drugs are created equal. I've had to deal with people on pot, LSD, Crack, Crank, and PCP. People on pot are easy to deal with; they're relaxed and happy. Wouldn't want 'em driving, but potheads are much easier to deal with than drunks because they have very little aggression. LSD can be problematic depending on what kind of trip they person's having. Crack makes people very unpredictible in my experience. And, I've seen stimulants make people very agressive, while PCP takes 'em straight out of their heads. The point is that not all drugs are equal, and many are dangerous inherently. So, yeah, I think some things ought be criminalized, but here in the West, we need to get a grip on our fears, take a good look at what's out there and criminalize things based on their affect.

    Another side of the drug problem is fundamentally societal. Why are people doing drugs in the first place? And, who's doing drugs? For people stuck in some neighborhoods and situations, I understand all too well. I mean if getting high was my only escape from a persistently bad situation, then I'd be getting high too. What can we do to change these situations? Answering that question would make a big, big dent in the US drug problem. If you're talking about young people in the burbs doing weed, ectasy, and LSD, I don't wonder why they're doing it. For the most part the suburbs are sterile places with little for the imagination and even less connection with aything creative. Not to mention, as one poster puts it, their parents are lying to them, about almost everything. Given all of this, I guess the real drug problem is a fundamental disconnect with reality and the unwillingness to confront the social problems which lead to drug abuse.



    Not solely an escape (4.00 / 1) (#121)
    by Nezumi on Wed Mar 28, 2001 at 01:15:04 PM EST

    You seem to be of the opinion that although all drugs are not equal in terms of effect, they are all equal in terms of why a person does them. If you think about that for a moment, you'll see how wrong that is.

    My only drug experiences are with weed/hash and alcohol, and I have never used either as an escape. My circle of friends has always been a creative one, and even in times where I have been repressed, I have never turned to substances (drugs or otherwise) as a release.

    The fact is, my situation probably mirrors that of a lot of people. I have used alcohol and weed as a social lubricant, a pleasant recreational activity and occasionally as a way to experience states of mind not accessible when sober. But none of these reflect dissatisfaction with my environment. Simply that they are fun to do.

    I appreciate your efforts at fairness, but please extend that fairness to all aspects of the drugs, not simply the behavioural effects.



    [ Parent ]
    Walking blindfolded across a freeway (none / 0) (#159)
    by leonbrooks on Thu Mar 29, 2001 at 10:20:33 AM EST

    I have used alcohol and weed as a social lubricant, a pleasant recreational activity and occasionally as a way to experience states of mind not accessible when sober.

    If you had a bit more stress in your life, you might be familiar with the term ``anodyne''. I don't see any hurting in your words, I don't see that you understand ``escape'' at all. Can a blind man understand blue? Can a eunuch understand rape?

    Even if there is no serious stress - and your genetic or chemical luck runs out - you might suddenly realise that another toke or another shot is the only thing that really matters. Or not, but need it anyway. Just because you've walked across a freeway blindfolded and earplugged doesn't mean that playing on freeways is safe.
    -- If at first you don't succeed, try a shorter bungee
    [ Parent ]

    A little off base, but a nice try (none / 0) (#168)
    by Nezumi on Thu Mar 29, 2001 at 01:06:58 PM EST

    If you had a bit more stress in your life, you might be familiar with the term ``anodyne ''. I don't see any hurting in your words, I don't see that you understand ``escape'' at all. Can a blind man understand blue? Can a eunuch understand rape?

    Can a troll understand conversation? Can someone with an agenda understand an opposing viewpoint?

    FWIW, I've had a hell of a lot of stress in my life. The fact that stress is not reflected in my posts has more to do with the fact that my life has turned around since my more stressful days. The term "anodyne" really seems irrelevant.

    Even if there is no serious stress - and your genetic or chemical luck runs out - you might suddenly realise that another toke or another shot is the only thing that really matters. Or not, but need it anyway.

    Lessee...an extensive period of some pretty heavy marijuana use, accompanied by a hell of a lot of beers. And I just decided to quit, so I did. Occasional doses since, whenever the (quite infrequent) occasion arises, but no particular craving. And there have been some pretty bad times in the interim, some driving me to the edge of nervous breakdowns. But at no time have I been tempted to alleviate my worries by drinking or toking, nor any real need.

    Most of your post seems to miss the mark rather widely, by my experience and that of friends who toke. Care to actually say something lucid and/or relevant?



    [ Parent ]
    Lucky you... (none / 0) (#183)
    by leonbrooks on Sat Mar 31, 2001 at 11:45:12 PM EST

    there have been some pretty bad times in the interim, some driving me to the edge of nervous breakdowns. But at no time have I been tempted to alleviate my worries by drinking or toking, nor any real need.

    Exceptional. Now if you could replicate this performance widely, you'd have a case. One data point doth not a trend make.

    Care to actually say something lucid and/or relevant?

    Here in Oz, there are 28 convicted murderers for each first-prize Lotto winner. It wouldn't surprise me to find similar ratios for Junikes:Nezumioids.
    -- If at first you don't succeed, try a shorter bungee
    [ Parent ]

    Lies and damn lies aren't enough (none / 0) (#198)
    by Nezumi on Fri Apr 06, 2001 at 08:49:56 AM EST

    Exceptional. Now if you could replicate this performance widely, you'd have a case. One data point doth not a trend make.

    True. But then, statistics are made up of an awful lot of personal stories, aren't they? Of all the people I have known well enough to be familiar with their personal histories, almost all of those who have experience with cannabis and/or alcohol have similar experiences in that sense.

    However, it's interesting to note that in the few cases where I've seen someone try to escape reality through substances, it has been alcohol, not cannabis or other drugs, to which they turn. And for coping with stress, nicotine seems to be the drug of choice, even when weed is available.

    Just personal observation, of course, and by no means a trend. But significant nonetheless.

    Here in Oz, there are 28 convicted murderers for each first-prize Lotto winner. It wouldn't surprise me to find similar ratios for Junikes:Nezumioids.

    Nezumioids, I like that. =)

    But I must, at the risk of being tacky, request that you take up your own challenge. One statistic doesn't necessarily have anything to do with another, so as fascinating as your murder/lotto data is, it has nothing to do with whether the main use of drugs, cannabis in this case, is for an escape from reality or not.



    [ Parent ]
    The Drug WAR (none / 0) (#142)
    by kyaiyo on Wed Mar 28, 2001 at 05:20:08 PM EST

    Please read "Whiteout: The CIA, Drugs and the Press" http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/1859841392/002-9901777-8459246 Alexander Cockburn and Jeffrey St. Clair take the revelations of the links between the Central Intelligence Agency, the Nicaraguan Contras, and the Los Angeles crack market that journalist Gary Webb exposed in 1996--revelations that are the basis of Webb's book Dark Alliance--and use them as a springboard for a tale of the U.S. government's involvement with the illegal drug trade that extends much further back than Webb's tale. The specific revelations are not, perhaps, entirely new; many know, for example, that even before there was a CIA, the WWII-era Office of Strategic Services enlisted the aid of gangster "Lucky" Luciano in arranging support among the Sicilian Mafia for the American invasion of Italy, or that the CIA was actively involved in the Southeast Asian opium trade during the Vietnam War. But Cockburn and St. Clair persuasively argue that the traditional explanation for such events--"rogue elements"--is deliberately misleading, and that the mainstream "liberal" press plays an active role in this obfuscation (noting, for example, that Webb's three biggest attackers were the New York Times, Los Angeles Times, and Washington Post). By providing an overarching narrative rather than treating these incidents as isolated, the authors present a damning indictment of the CIA--but one that fully admits that the agency was not acting on its own, but was merely fulfilling the mandates of the American government. --Ron Hogan

    [ Parent ]
    youre taking it too seriously. (none / 0) (#155)
    by pallex on Thu Mar 29, 2001 at 07:22:43 AM EST

    "Why are people doing drugs in the first place? "

    e - make music better at a club, nice(r) sex
    acid/mushrooms- self exploration
    cannabis - relax after work, or when doing creative stuff

    this idea that you take drugs when you are in a dead end is just retarded.
    Some people take drugs like heroin when they have nothing to do, nothing to lose etc, but they are the minority. In the u.k. 3% of drug users have a problem with them. The rest dont, they just use them when they feel like it, and the biggest risk is getting caught.

    Portugal is the latest country to have a sensible policy about drugs (ie all drugs are apparantly now legal (in terms of posession)).


    [ Parent ]
    Yes! But what makes them sterile? (none / 0) (#160)
    by leonbrooks on Thu Mar 29, 2001 at 10:35:17 AM EST

    Another side of the drug problem is fundamentally societal. Why are people doing drugs in the first place?

    A pivotal question. And not just drugs - why do people break things and hurt each other for no good reason? What about our society leads to jobs in which you must follow policy even when it's inhumane? What leads us to so regiment our children for 10-12 years? Why do we spend all day working so we can afford the houses and cars that we're never in because we're too busy working? Why do we warehouse our elderly brain trust? Why do we warehouse our precious babies (those that we don't murder in utero) until they're old enough to shuffle off to a decade of regimentation? Why do we wonder that this leads to social problems such as drug-taking?

    For the most part the suburbs are sterile places with little for the imagination and even less connection with a[n]ything creative.

    Or anything important, or even anything purposeful... why not? What in our lives is convincing us that we have no purpose, we're just another cog in a random machine, we can't really make a difference, we're just another accident in the big crapshoot of life? And so on?

    if getting high was my only escape from a persistently bad situation, then I'd be getting high too

    And the important thing is not that the situation be bad (although God knows there are lots of people in essentially permanent situations that you and I wouldn't wish on a dog) but that the user sees them as bad.

    Find out what dehumanises us, and the rest is relatively simple. Not easy, but simple.
    -- If at first you don't succeed, try a shorter bungee
    [ Parent ]

    Sounds like the US (4.00 / 2) (#120)
    by TheSpiritOf1776 on Wed Mar 28, 2001 at 01:12:31 PM EST

    This has been happening for quite some time here in the US. There has been some attempts at reform. I remember Rep. Hyde's (R-Illinois, same guy involved with the Clinton impeachment) bill a few years ago that tried to shift the burden of proof to the government, i.e. the government would have to prove that the property was used as part of a crime that the owner has been convicted of, instead of the property owner having to go to court AFTER the government has seized the property (usually on an accusation) and prove that the property was involved in no criminal activity. I don't remember what happened to the bill, anyone out there know?

    And speaking of the War on (some) Drugs, when I lived in Pennsylvania (USA) I was much more active in my opposition to the War on (some) Drugs (once I had been converted to the cause). I helped out with a handful (three or so) of Dr. Julian Heicklin's (sp?) marijuana smoke outs (his web page is at www.personal.psu.edu/~jph13). I remember the people who were most vocal about their support for the drug war were college aged people. Yes there were those that opposed the drug war, but those that supported it were quite vocal about it. And do you know who we discovered was most supportive of completely re-legalizing marijuana? And I do mean completely re-legalizing marijuana, no taxes, no nothing. The elderly. Pennsylvania did not get into marijuana regulation until after the Federal Government got involved with the Marijuana Tax Stamp Act of 1937. By the way, Utah was the first state in the USA to ban marijuana; their law was passed in 1914. All we had to do with the elderly, if we had to do anything, was remind them that when they were kids, alcohol was illegal but marijuana was perfectly legal. And then ask when did the problems start? After prohibition! And this was in a very conservative portion of the state (Centre County).

    In fact, I remember briefly discussing this with my grandfather. The guy is pushing 90 if he's not 90 already. Even he, a staunchly conservative religious person even agreed that there were fewer problems with marijuana before prohibition. Same with alcohol.

    My grandfather told me this story of a childhood incident. He and his mother were out in Philadelphia. He grew up in West Philadelphia in what was once a neighborhood where no one locked their front doors, and today barred and boarded up windows are the norm. They were going through the city, and amnesia struck her. He told me how it happened, but I can't remember. She is now wandering through the city, dragging him along, and can't remember who she is, who he is (except that he is her son), and where they live. My grandfather knew where they lived, but in his family, children are seen and not heard (literally), so he doesn't say anything. They wander into a tavern. This is during alcohol prohibition, so there's no alcohol. However, there's a couple of guys smoking hashish and marijuana (perfectly legal at the time). My grandfather and his mother walk into the tavern, stay there for a bit, and then go out again. No one had bothered them while they were in the tavern. They ran into a city police officer, and the officer starts talking to his mother. Eventually, he hits on something that jars her memory, and she remembers where they live. The officer walks the two of them back to their home, and when they arrive, the father is worried sick. The whole story comes out, and the father is astounded, it turns out they were wandering through the worst part of the city, and no one bothered them!

    ObTasteless Joke (2.50 / 8) (#123)
    by fluffy grue on Wed Mar 28, 2001 at 01:27:52 PM EST

    Well, this makes sense. I mean, Australia started out as a prison colony - they're just returning to their roots!
    --
    "Is not a quine" is not a quine.
    I have a master's degree in science!

    [ Hug Your Trikuare ]

    Actually.. (none / 0) (#157)
    by moosh on Thu Mar 29, 2001 at 09:31:59 AM EST

    This is only partly true. Sending convicts to Australia was only one of the reasons Britain decided to colonise Australia. Others include Australia's strategical importance to Britain at the time as it provided a base for the Royal Navy in the eastern sea. Also, Australia was seen as an entry point to take advantage of economic opportunities in the region.

    I realise this is quite off topic, but I am irritated at the moment and I get pretty sick of reading uneducated jokes/comments about this aspect of Australia. The joke in itself too was fairly offtopic to the issue of cluelessness in the war on drugs.

    [ Parent ]
    We were a prison colony, first and foremost (none / 0) (#179)
    by pig bodine on Fri Mar 30, 2001 at 05:55:03 AM EST

    From what I know of England's policies regarding foreign expansion, and the early history of Australia, it seems unlikely that Australia, and in particular the East coast of Australia, would be particularly attractive to the British for economic or strategic reasons. Considering that most of Britain's efforts were centred almost exclusively around India and China, the East coast of Australia has very little significance from a geographic viewpoint. Economically, Australia was at best a bad risk. Very little was known about the continent, and there were no known resources here of any use to England.

    I've noticed a recent jingoistic tendency among my countrymen to be in denial about our nation's heritage. Perhaps this is brought about by increased contact with foreigners, and their perception of Australia, on the internet. Maybe it's just another manifestation of the "cultural cringe". In any case, early New South Wales was not a naval base. It was not economically useful. It was a penal colony for thirty years before anything more worthwhile happened here.

    "Australia is the arse-end of the world!" -- Paul Keating

    [ Parent ]

    The WAR on Drugs.... HA! (2.00 / 2) (#144)
    by kyaiyo on Wed Mar 28, 2001 at 05:28:39 PM EST

    Please read Whiteout: The CIA, Drugs and the Press

    Alexander Cockburn and Jeffrey St. Clair take the revelations of the links between the Central Intelligence Agency, the Nicaraguan Contras, and the Los Angeles crack market that journalist Gary Webb exposed in 1996--revelations that are the basis of Webb's book Dark Alliance--and use them as a springboard for a tale of the U.S. government's involvement with the illegal drug trade that extends much further back than Webb's tale.

    The specific revelations are not, perhaps, entirely new; many know, for example, that even before there was a CIA, the WWII-era Office of Strategic Services enlisted the aid of gangster "Lucky" Luciano in arranging support among the Sicilian Mafia for the American invasion of Italy, or that the CIA was actively involved in the Southeast Asian opium trade during the Vietnam War.

    Cockburn and St. Clair persuasively argue that the traditional explanation for such events--"rogue elements"--is deliberately misleading, and that the mainstream "liberal" press plays an active role in this obfuscation (noting, for example, that Webb's three biggest attackers were the New York Times, Los Angeles Times, and Washington Post).

    By providing an overarching narrative rather than treating these incidents as isolated, the authors present a damning indictment of the CIA--but one that fully admits that the agency was not acting on its own, but was merely fulfilling the mandates of the American government. --Ron Hogan

    After reading.... follow the money and remember what WAR is..... it's big business!

    The Ultimate Proof (3.00 / 1) (#154)
    by Akaru on Thu Mar 29, 2001 at 04:31:44 AM EST

    For the ultimate proof of Drug legislation look no further than the UK, in a recent survey it came out with the highest percentage of drug takers in the world.

    Interestingly enough the Netherlands weren't when they have decriminalised Canabis.

    Now lets look at the correlation uk = high drug usage, drugs illegal.

    Netherlands = Canabis Decriminalised, Lower Drug usage.

    I dunno but maybe the more you repress people and take away there liberty instead of fighting back they just take drugs, after all if your governments turned your life to shit, who gives a damn if you get caught taking drugs.

    And from there, you either get addicted, or you like the sensation of the drugs so you do it again.

    And the beat goes on. But we all should know that we need reform. Trying to govern a country using principles that have been in force for hundreds of years doesn't work, despite how hard they try. Things have changed the sooner people recognise that and change too. the better.

    Since the dawn of humanity... (5.00 / 1) (#167)
    by mathematician on Thu Mar 29, 2001 at 01:01:25 PM EST

    Humans have been taking drugs for our entire history. Taking drugs is as natural as eating food (in some cases it IS eating food) and having sex. Somehow we've all been brought up under propagandist governments who've, for some reason or another, decided drugs were not good.

    I've been brain washed into believing drugs are bad. I was terrified of drugs! I remember seeing my classmates in high school do BTs and smoke joints... I was so worried that they'd try and pressure me into it. Then when they never did, I wondered why not... I understad now they just wanted it all for themselves ;)

    It took me 19 years before I touched my first joint, 20 years before I tried mush, I'm about to try hawaiian woodrose seeds. Don't worry though. I always do ample research before trying drugs like these. I think you should too...

    INFORM YOURSELF:

    Erowid's psychoactive vaults. Scientific and non-scientific data on all types of psychoactive drugs.

    UNINFORM YOURSELF:

    Some more US propaganda aimed at teens Notice the complete lack of any chemical measurements, lack of a public forum... It stinks of disinformation

    You can solve the drug problem pretty easily with freely accessible, peer-reviewed scientific data and decriminalization. But you don't have to take my word for it, learn for yourself :) Just load up your favorite search engine...



    Potential crime is treated in the same way... (1.20 / 5) (#170)
    by Magnanimity on Thu Mar 29, 2001 at 06:35:25 PM EST

    Frankly, a great majority of drugs (including marijuana) decrease mental capacity and overall intelligence. (For those who think otherwise, look at the general intelligence of someone who smokes marijuana daily, and then at a person who has never smoked it. See the difference? If not, put out the joint next to you.) This bothers me for one very important reason: users' votes count just as much as mine. In America, each voter is treated equally, and if an avid drug user goes to the polls with half a brain left, something is wrong. I believe legalizing drugs would only perpetuate this problem.

    Also, a lot of individuals seem to believe that if I just do something to my body, no one should be able to stop me. Wrong again. If I choose to drink alcohol and then choose to drive under the influence of it, I'm harming no one but myself; however, once I meet another driver on the road, I am potentially infringing upon the rights of others. So, assuming that you take drugs to get high (or for any sort of mental stimulation), you pose a large threat to those around you., especially when driving. Yes, alcohol falls under the same circumstances, and is legal, but, for as long as I've been around, it provides FAR FAR FAR less mental disruption than any drug. So, let's keep drugs banned as they are harbingers of serious POTENIAL crimes. Better safe than sorry, they always say...



    why the two? (5.00 / 1) (#173)
    by johnzo on Thu Mar 29, 2001 at 07:27:10 PM EST

    Your argument is badly constructed. In attempting to refute this statement:

    ...if I just do something to my body, no one should be able to stop me....If I choose to drink alcohol and then choose to drive under the influence of it...
    The first choice is purely personal. The second is not, since you pose a heightened risk to your fellow drivers when you exercise it. Can you see the difference? Can you see which choice is the relevant one in the argument as to whether drugs should be liberalized?

    Then...

    let's keep drugs banned as they are harbingers of serious POTENIAL crimes. Better safe than sorry, they always say...
    Yeah. Let's do that. And, while we're at it, let's jail all those bright, tech-savvy kids that might become crackers or music pirates somewhere down the line. Better safe than sorry, eh?



    [ Parent ]

    Way to keep the disinformation alive. (5.00 / 3) (#174)
    by mathematician on Thu Mar 29, 2001 at 08:24:02 PM EST

    So, let's keep drugs banned as they are harbingers of serious POTENIAL crimes. Better safe than sorry, they always say..

    They are as ignorant as you! You are peddling propaganda as fact. And you are wrong.

    Are these your sources, you disinformation replicator?

    Drug Watch Oregon. Hint: Read the titles.

    Marijuana: Facts for Teens. Hint: Read the answers to "can a person become addicted to marijuana?", "what if a person wants to quit using the drug?", "Does marijuana affect school, sports, or other activities". This is targetted propaganda

    The war on drugs is about WAY more than drug prohibition:

    I was affected by the same memes as you and it took my own research to debunk the lies drilled into my basic value system. Because of that, I am aware the information I presented to you will not even dent the hard shell of your belief structure. Hopefully this post will awaken certain people as to the consequences of a global drug war and how it is used as a reason to steal freedoms from you under the guise of good intentions. Is the drug war really worth all this?

    [ Parent ]

    Ad hoc, ergo propter hoc; logic error... (4.33 / 3) (#178)
    by core on Fri Mar 30, 2001 at 02:43:59 AM EST

    "Frankly, a great majority of drugs (including marijuana) decrease mental capacity and overall intelligence. (For those who think
    otherwise, look at the general intelligence of someone who smokes marijuana daily, and then at a person who has never smoked it. See
    the difference?"

    Your argument is:

    People who smoke marijuana regularly are less intelligent than those who don't, therefore marijuana caused this reduction in intelligence.

    This is arguing that just because a perceived trait follows an action, that trait is caused by the action. This is not a valid argument. Here's an alternative your argument misses: people who smoke pot are less intelligent than those who do not to begin with.

    Or, you could be guilty of the fallacy of confusing a perceived correlation with actual causality. Just because certain traits accompany actions or other traits, it does not follow necessarily that one has caused the other.

    Additionally, your attestation of your premise that pot smokers are less intelligent is specious, at best. Where is your data? Oh, it is just anecdotes from a small, statistically insignificant sample size? Sorry, but one or many anecdotes do not constitute data...

    -core

    [ Parent ]
    There is a drug... (4.66 / 3) (#187)
    by ansel on Sun Apr 01, 2001 at 06:47:11 PM EST

    There's a drug associated with over half the deaths and major injuries suffered in automobile accidents each year. It's associated with about 50% of all murders, 40% of all assaults, over 50% of all rapes, and 30% of all suicides.

    The drug? Alcohol. So much for "less mental disruption". According to the college Abnormal Psychology textbook (published in 2000) that I'm reading from, Alcohol is far more dangerous than marijuana. If you're actually sincere, you'd better get out there and start campaigning for the reinstatement of prohibition. We all know how well that worked last time. About as well as the War on Drugs is working now.


    [ Parent ]
    It's all true, but in defense (none / 0) (#182)
    by daani on Sat Mar 31, 2001 at 07:41:16 AM EST

    It's pretty much true, we have one of the stupidest governments in the western world as far as drug policy goes. Just recently the government marched a bunch of sniffer dogs thru Byron Bay and arrested people on the streets for possesion of pot. As anyone who lives or has ever visited down under knows, in Byron Bay this is a fucking ludicrous thing to do.

    But in our defense, most of this is fairly recent and is the last pitch of a conservative government which is very clearly on the way out.

    The labor party (traditionally socialist but not really anymore) has an appalling record on drug policy also. But rather recently they seem to be trying to turn that around, this policy paper is pretty good. It endorses harm-minimization for "heroin and other hard drugs" and leaves the door wide open for decriminalized pot.

    In the current climate it's hard to see either party taking power away from the police though. The population is aging and paranoid. But I'm from Queensland anyway, so the prospect of a police state feels like coming home...

    last pitch of a conservative government (none / 0) (#189)
    by enterfornone on Mon Apr 02, 2001 at 02:31:16 AM EST

    Actually I believe that most of this is the result of the state Labor government, not the federal Liberal (actually a conservative party) government.

    --
    efn 26/m/syd
    Will sponsor new accounts for porn.
    [ Parent ]
    OK. (none / 0) (#193)
    by daani on Tue Apr 03, 2001 at 07:57:37 AM EST

    OK. That's kind of fucks up to this particular conspiracy theory, but that's OK, I have stacks more.

    And the policy paper on the labor web site is a surprisingly decent drug policy, even if they don't seem to be playing fair.

    [ Parent ]
    The brother's psychosis (3.00 / 1) (#197)
    by contec on Thu Apr 05, 2001 at 06:30:56 PM EST

    I find the story of the brother who has a psychosis interesting.

    The author is assuming that LSD and marijuana use sparked their brother's psychosis, since the psychosis appeared during the time when the brother was using these drugs.

    It has been fairly well proven that neither LSD nor marijuana have ANY lasting effects on the brain. Therefore any lasting psychoses must be examined independent of information regarding the patient's LSD or pot usage.

    It has been determined that LSD use CAN exacerbate a pre-existing mental illness. Perhaps the doctors involved were 'blinded' by the information regarding the drugs, and misdiagnosed the author's brother. In any case, I am highly skeptical of the claim that the psychosis was caused in any way by these generally harmless drugs.

    As a side note, I should let it be known that I've used marijuana at least five hundred times, and have taken high doses of LSD at least one hundred times. No ill effects here. I've got an education and a full-time job.

    a View from the coal face (none / 0) (#200)
    by hellorob on Tue Apr 10, 2001 at 07:20:27 PM EST

    Im not going to argue the pros and cons of drug use. This has been bounced around enough. What I will give you are two case studies of two heroin addicts and let you decide. case 1: female age 29 This women has been an addict for over 10 years She has had a number of casual jobs, and generally stolen from family, friends, and work to support her habit. her own estimates of the amount of goods stolen would amount to over a million Australian dollars. She has been arrested and charges many times , and has undergone many rehabilitation programs. case2: Male Journalist 39 an addict for over 10 years. with an income of over 100k he has been able to purchase good qualiity heroin for years he has never stolen or commited a crime apart from the use of heroin. he has won a number of awards and continues to be balance his addiction with a succesful career. over the last 10 years the street price of heroin has dropped by approx 90% the level of use has increased dramatically. My question to you all is this Is it a greater crime to force addicts to commit major crimes and hurt hundreds of others, to supply a heavy addiction, than to allow them a guaranteed supply of government regulated heroin ? To me this allows the possibility of people living rather than surviving.

    More cluelessness in the war on drugs | 200 comments (199 topical, 1 editorial, 0 hidden)
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