the war on drugs


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Re: the war on drugs

Postby preston » Wed Oct 24, 2012 6:36 pm

lonewolf wrote:...I don't think the state should protect adults from themselves but should have draconian penalties for those who hurt/affect/influence innocent others by their selfish actions.

That is about as simple/succinct as I can sum up my instincts.

Do you stop at drugs and guns? Why not include money and intelligence in your qualifier for those who hurt "innocent" others by their selfish acts?
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Re: the war on drugs

Postby gh » Wed Oct 24, 2012 6:38 pm

Marlow wrote:
gh wrote:as a teetotaler, you just don't get it.

As a teetotaler by intellectual choice (not moral), I may have a LESS biased perspective.


Nothing grates on me more to hear somebody say, "you can't write about football/whatever because you never played it."

But this is not one of those situations. "Perspective" has nothing to do with it. You've either been there or you haven't.

All the outside observation in the world is worth bupkus if you've never felt the tug of looking for more after your pleasure centers have been stimulated, or knowing what happens when you combine two (or worse, more) disparate substances.

Or, most of all, have done something truly crazy and the next day said, "Oh shit, why did I do that?!"

If you've never been there and heard the siren song, I'm afraid you have absolutely no idea—and I can't stress this enough, no idea—how the thing works, and all the observation in the world won't do anything to change that.
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Re: the war on drugs

Postby jazzcyclist » Wed Oct 24, 2012 7:06 pm

Marlow wrote:In re:

agreement - succinctly state what it is that you think you all agree on and I'll tell you whether I agree or disagree. I very much doubt we do disagree in principle.

Stick to your guns. Your principles are more important than winning a popularity contest.
Marlow wrote:2nd Amendment. As a rhetorician, I feel on safe ground to say the 2nd amendment does NOT grant everyone the right to bear arms. It ONLY grants that right to properly authorized militia, which today is called the National Guard and Reserves.

You're definitely not a libertarian.
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Re: the war on drugs

Postby lonewolf » Wed Oct 24, 2012 8:47 pm

Marlow wrote:2nd Amendment. As a rhetorician, I feel on safe ground to say the 2nd amendment does NOT grant everyone the right to bear arms. It ONLY grants that right to properly authorized militia, which today is called the National Guard and Reserves.


Not being a rhetorician ( I don't think, whatever that is. :)) I was prompted to do a little research brushing up on and confirming my fuzzy recollection/understanding of the 2nd Amendment.

Books have been written debating and attempting to define the meaning and intent of a "well regulated militia." The jury is still out.

The right to "keep and bear arms" is rooted in English common law as defense against tyranny and has been well-tested and contested in US history.

The meaning and intent of a "well regulated militia", non-controversial in 1791, has been the subject of numerous state law suits and two US Supreme Court decisions, none of which resulted in decisions as narrow as our friend Marlow's interpretation.

There was no standing "militia" in 1791 equivalent to today's National Guard or Reserve, therefore the people had to be armed before called to militia duty.

While the several states had the authority to call able bodied white males between 18 and 45 to service, they were expected to report armed and supplied.. In fact a 1792 directive stipulated in detail the type firearm and kind and quantity of munitions with which every man over 18 was expected to equip himself prior to reporting for militia duty. It is interesting to note that when reporting for drills, they were not required to bring their knapsacks.

Pre-equipped may no longer be necessary but I cannot find where it was ever discarded as a tenet of preparedness for resistance to tyranny, an armed constituency being the greatest deterrant to government or dictatorial subjugation.
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Re: the war on drugs

Postby lonewolf » Wed Oct 24, 2012 8:56 pm

preston wrote:
lonewolf wrote:...I don't think the state should protect adults from themselves but should have draconian penalties for those who hurt/affect/influence innocent others by their selfish actions.

That is about as simple/succinct as I can sum up my instincts.

Do you stop at drugs and guns? Why not include money and intelligence in your qualifier for those who hurt "innocent" others by their selfish acts?


Nope. I don't see where I limited my opinion to drugs and guns. I would drop a heavy hammer on all malfactors whose actions victimized others.
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Re: the war on drugs

Postby Marlow » Thu Oct 25, 2012 3:48 am

gh wrote:All the outside observation in the world is worth bupkus if you've never felt the tug of looking for more after your pleasure centers have been stimulated, or knowing what happens when you combine two (or worse, more) disparate substances. Or, most of all, have done something truly crazy and the next day said, "Oh shit, why did I do that?!" If you've never been there and heard the siren song, I'm afraid you have absolutely no idea—and I can't stress this enough, no idea—how the thing works, and all the observation in the world won't do anything to change that.

All this makes me think you totally agree with me on the 'problems' with drugs. And I fervently disagree on the 'ya gotta be there to get it aspect' I have first-hand (too many times) witnessed the effects of drugs on people, i.e., ruining their lives, because they sought that little extra rush in their lives. Drugs are an enabler, without which (very often - my opinion) people would NOT make the mistakes they do were they not 'allowed' (by their own desire, peer pressure, the Law) to partake. I would say OK to pot (extremely reluctantly) if I though that would somehow rein in the other drugs, but I feel just the opposite, it would encourage their use. Just my own little (but very informed, by my 20 years in the Navy, where drugs were always a huge problem) perspective on reality. (so much for recusing myself from the discussion - I guess it still hits a raw nerve)
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Re: the war on drugs

Postby Pego » Thu Oct 25, 2012 3:48 am

Marlow wrote:agreement - succinctly state what it is that you think you all agree on and I'll tell you whether I agree or disagree. I very much doubt we do disagree in principle.


Well, let's see. What the above named individuals seem to agree on is that it is nuts to criminalize use of drugs, but acts of malice by those individuals to be prosecuted regardless whether they were committed under the influence or not. Succinct enough?
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Re: the war on drugs

Postby Marlow » Thu Oct 25, 2012 4:20 am

Pego wrote:What the above named individuals seem to agree on is that it is nuts to criminalize use of drugs, but acts of malice by those individuals to be prosecuted regardless whether they were committed under the influence or not. Succinct enough?

What?! . . . decriminalize drugs . . . heroin, cocaine, PCP, LSD . . . and then just deal with the (guaranteed horrific) after-effects later? That's what you all agree on? Yeah, count me out.
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Re: the war on drugs

Postby Pego » Thu Oct 25, 2012 4:30 am

Marlow wrote:
Pego wrote:What the above named individuals seem to agree on is that it is nuts to criminalize use of drugs, but acts of malice by those individuals to be prosecuted regardless whether they were committed under the influence or not. Succinct enough?

What?! . . . decriminalize drugs . . . heroin, cocaine, PCP, LSD . . . and then just deal with the (guaranteed horrific) after-effects later? That's what you all agree on? Yeah, count me out.


1. There is zero evidence that criminalizing use decreases demand.
2. Treatment/prevention is guaranteed to achieve more than imprisonment.

Your position is entirely emotional with no basis in reality.
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Re: the war on drugs

Postby preston » Thu Oct 25, 2012 5:08 am

Pego wrote:1. There is zero evidence that criminalizing use decreases demand.
2. Treatment/prevention is guaranteed to achieve more than imprisonment.

I understand Marlow, and being the mean s.o.b that I am I have no problem with punishment, but I think we've veered off course here. The "problem" with the war on drugs is NOT the criminalization of use, but the criminilization of sale and distribution. Is there a way to address that without running afoul of gh's "no politics" edict for the thread?
lonewolf wrote:
preston wrote:
lonewolf wrote:...I don't think the state should protect adults from themselves but should have draconian penalties for those who hurt/affect/influence innocent others by their selfish actions.

That is about as simple/succinct as I can sum up my instincts.

Do you stop at drugs and guns? Why not include money and intelligence in your qualifier for those who hurt "innocent" others by their selfish acts?


Nope. I don't see where I limited my opinion to drugs and guns. I would drop a heavy hammer on all malfactors whose actions victimized others.

So, let me see if I get your views: you believe that anyone should be able to do whatever they want but only to their "peers". If they take advantage/hurt relative innocents, or "lessers", than they should be punished? I can see some of the libertarianism of your views, but it is very high-minded as well. "lonewolf" has a heart. Who knew? :wink: :lol:
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Re: the war on drugs

Postby Pego » Thu Oct 25, 2012 5:21 am

preston wrote:The "problem" with the war on drugs is NOT the criminalization of use, but the criminilization of sale and distribution.


The two are sides of the same coin. Decriminalization/legalization (the degree may be debatable regarding different substances) of the use in essence eliminates the need for pushers. If you can buy marijuana in the supermarket next to cigarettes, you have eliminated the underground. That is what happened with alcohol. No more business for the mob, they had to move to other illegal profitable activities (other drugs, prostitution...).
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Re: the war on drugs

Postby preston » Thu Oct 25, 2012 5:30 am

Pego wrote:
preston wrote:The "problem" with the war on drugs is NOT the criminalization of use, but the criminilization of sale and distribution.


The two are sides of the same coin. Decriminalization/legalization (the degree may be debatable regarding different substances) of the use in essence eliminates the need for pushers. If you can buy marijuana in the supermarket next to cigarettes, you have eliminated the underground. That is what happened with alcohol. No more business for the mob, they had to move to other illegal profitable activities (other drugs, prostitution...).

Obviously, I understand that part; what I'm saying is that use has never been seriously criminalized, though POSSESSION has (mostly for weed and rock cocaine). The "war" was on the "pushers" not the users. I'll stop there as it's difficult to get deeper into this without breaking the mandate.
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Re: the war on drugs

Postby Marlow » Thu Oct 25, 2012 6:13 am

Pego wrote:1. There is zero evidence that criminalizing use decreases demand.
2. Treatment/prevention is guaranteed to achieve more than imprisonment.

Your position is entirely emotional with no basis in reality.

As you know, I have the utmost respect for your opinion, and you may even be right, but I cannot in good conscience agree. And, as an aside, my opinions are rarely colored with emotion; that never works out well.
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Re: the war on drugs

Postby j-a-m » Thu Oct 25, 2012 6:15 am

Pego wrote:1. There is zero evidence that criminalizing use decreases demand.
2. Treatment/prevention is guaranteed to achieve more than imprisonment.

I do agree in good conscience.
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Re: the war on drugs

Postby preston » Thu Oct 25, 2012 6:56 am

Pego wrote:1. There is zero evidence that criminalizing use decreases demand.
2. Treatment/prevention is guaranteed to achieve more than imprisonment.

1. I'm with Marlow here. There may be zero evidence that criminilizing use ELIMINATES demand but I'm certain that it decreases it and does so significantly. What is left, what constitutes the lionshare of "users", is a extremely small slice of the population known as the addict. But, I also agree with Pego: Criminlization just doesn't solve the problem that treatment/prevention would. Basically, it's more complicated than just one or the other, imo.
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Re: the war on drugs

Postby Cooter Brown » Thu Oct 25, 2012 7:33 am

This graphs sums up the failure of the war on drugs...

http://24.media.tumblr.com/tumblr_mcawz ... o1_500.png
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Re: the war on drugs

Postby gh » Fri Oct 26, 2012 4:26 am

Marlow wrote:
gh wrote:All the outside observation in the world is worth bupkus if you've never felt the tug of looking for more after your pleasure centers have been stimulated, or knowing what happens when you combine two (or worse, more) disparate substances. Or, most of all, have done something truly crazy and the next day said, "Oh shit, why did I do that?!" If you've never been there and heard the siren song, I'm afraid you have absolutely no idea—and I can't stress this enough, no idea—how the thing works, and all the observation in the world won't do anything to change that.

All this makes me think you totally agree with me on the 'problems' with drugs. ....


not remotely.
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Re: the war on drugs

Postby Marlow » Fri Oct 26, 2012 5:21 am

gh wrote:
Marlow wrote:
gh wrote:* knowing what happens when you combine two (or worse, more) disparate substances.
* have done something truly crazy and the next day said, "Oh shit, why did I do that?!"

All this makes me think you totally agree with me on the 'problems' with drugs. ....

not remotely.

So those are good things that people enjoy . . . not able to control their own (destructive) desires.
I'm guessing that the Honey Badger (busted again yesterday) wishes drugs didn't exist.
my point has always been that in a perfect libertarian world, all drugs SHOULD be legal, because in a perfect libertarian world we are the only ones who have to pay the penalty for our mistakes. But in my world MANY other people's lives are ruined by drugs, and a free and easy access to that would horrendously exacerbate the tragedy.
Last edited by Marlow on Fri Oct 26, 2012 5:48 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: the war on drugs

Postby jazzcyclist » Fri Oct 26, 2012 5:45 am

Marlow wrote:So those are good things that people enjoy . . . not able to control their own (destructive) desires.

I know you're a teetotaler, but have you ever had a drink?
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Re: the war on drugs

Postby Marlow » Fri Oct 26, 2012 5:56 am

jazzcyclist wrote:
Marlow wrote:So those are good things that people enjoy . . . not able to control their own (destructive) desires.

I know you're a teetotaler, but have you ever had a drink?

When I was an exchange midshipmen in the German Navy, I was asked to partake in a long-standing beer-drinking tradition (involving one's first detachment to sea). In respect to their custom, I drank lots of beer. It confirmed my own 'fears'; while the drunken state of euphoria was 'great fun', the altering of my consciousness - to one I could not wholly control - was so unpleasant that I knew it was not something that would be of benefit to me . . . ever . . . in any way.
People (including me) doing plenty of stupid stuff when we're sober. Why would anyone intentionally put themselves (and others!) MORE in "harm's way" (not necessarily physical)?
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Re: the war on drugs

Postby jazzcyclist » Fri Oct 26, 2012 6:02 am

Marlow wrote:When I was an exchange midshipmen in the German Navy, I was asked to partake in a long-standing beer-drinking tradition (involving one's first detachment to sea). In respect to their custom, I drank lots of beer. It confirmed my own 'fears'; while the drunken state of euphoria was 'great fun', the altering of my consciousness - to one I could not wholly control - was so unpleasant that I knew it was not something that would be of benefit to me . . . ever . . . in any way.
People (including me) doing plenty of stupid stuff when we're sober. Why would anyone intentionally put themselves (and others!) MORE in "harm's way" (not necessarily physical)?

So despite what gh said, you have been there and done that.
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Re: the war on drugs

Postby Marlow » Fri Oct 26, 2012 6:19 am

jazzcyclist wrote:So despite what gh said, you have been there and done that.

Not to the degree that most others do, but yes, I have experienced the 'high', which, though pleasant, is definitely not worth the risks that sense impairment brings. I am not a 'control freak', but what faculties I do have, I would rather keep in full working condition. I have never had 'less fun' than others because I wasn't high. In many ways I'm having more fun, because I am fully able to appreciate whatever environment I'm in, AND I can enjoy the 'show' of others' foolishness. It was always assumed that I was just as drunk as others at parties, because I can act pretty silly all by myself. But . . . having my mind clear has ALWAYS been a high priority to me.
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Re: the war on drugs

Postby Pego » Fri Oct 26, 2012 6:22 am

Marlow wrote:But in my world MANY other people's lives are ruined by drugs, and a free and easy access to that would horrendously exacerbate the tragedy.


You just don't get it. Most users (alcohol or marijuana primarily) do not "ruin their lives" by enjoying themselves. Some do and that is their choice and not for you to prohibit it. If they ruin somebody else's life, we have laws for it, whether drugs were involved or not.

Finally, "having your mind always clear" maybe a high priority for you, but not necessarily for everybody else. You would not want to impose your sets of priorities on me now, would you?
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Re: the war on drugs

Postby Marlow » Fri Oct 26, 2012 6:46 am

Pego wrote:If they ruin somebody else's life, we have laws for it, whether drugs were involved or not.

I guess it comes down the "seatbelt, motorcycle helmet law" idea. You want that to be self-determined, because you think that they will be the only ones harmed if they don't. I want these laws because SOME people (not you) won't do it it unless they are told to do it, but when they get hurt (preventably so), it's not just their own lives that are ruined; their families' lives are too. I need 'reminding' of what's good for me; I'm glad that I have laws that remind me (speeding, much?) of my responsibilities.

Why DO we have speed limits? We have laws against vehicular manslaughter and the like. Why should there be laws to prevent us from doing what we choose to do. Most people drive reasonably. I can go safely 100mph on the interstate. Why are my RIGHTS being restricted so unfairly?! :wink:
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Re: the war on drugs

Postby j-a-m » Fri Oct 26, 2012 7:15 am

Marlow, if someone wants to make pole vaulting illegal because it's so dangerous, and he uses the exact same argument you just used, what's your response?
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Re: the war on drugs

Postby Marlow » Fri Oct 26, 2012 7:38 am

j-a-m wrote:Marlow, if someone wants to make pole vaulting illegal because it's so dangerous, and he uses the exact same argument you just used, what's your response?

Right after they outlaw cheerleading and football (high injury-rate sports), I'd be willing to seriously entertain the idea (i.e., apples and oranges in terms of context).
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Re: the war on drugs

Postby j-a-m » Fri Oct 26, 2012 7:48 am

And by the way, more people die from overdosing prescription drugs than from overdosing illegal drugs:

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB1000087 ... 66700.html
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Re: the war on drugs

Postby j-a-m » Fri Oct 26, 2012 7:49 am

Pego wrote:Most users (alcohol or marijuana primarily) do not "ruin their lives" by enjoying themselves. Some do and that is their choice and not for you to prohibit it. If they ruin somebody else's life, we have laws for it, whether drugs were involved or not.

Exactly.
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Re: the war on drugs

Postby jazzcyclist » Fri Oct 26, 2012 7:50 am

Marlow wrote:I need 'reminding' of what's good for me; I'm glad that I have laws that remind me (speeding, much?) of my responsibilities.

This is the essence of the nanny state mindset.
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Re: the war on drugs

Postby Marlow » Fri Oct 26, 2012 7:53 am

j-a-m wrote:And by the way, more people die from overdosing prescription drugs than from overdosing illegal drugs:

Yes, because there's so many more people using legal ones rather than illegal ones, so we should continue to restrict illegal ones, the easy access to which would only add to increased use and abuse, leading to more deaths.
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Re: the war on drugs

Postby Marlow » Fri Oct 26, 2012 7:59 am

jazzcyclist wrote:
Marlow wrote:I need 'reminding' of what's good for me; I'm glad that I have laws that remind me (speeding, much?) of my responsibilities.

This is the essence of the nanny state mindset.

When people start acting responsibly on a regular basis then talk to me about letting people do whatever they want, whenever they want. I would like to PREVENT tragedy, rather than have to clean up its preventable mess. I have no problem with a government that tells me to obey the speed limit, wear my seat-belt, etc., etc. because even though it restricts my 'rights and freedoms' (which I do NOT like), I love the idea that IDIOTS can't hurt me or my family as easily now, WITH the restrictions put on them. I trust most people to act responsibly, but there's a large percentage that will only behave themselves when Nanny IS around.
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Re: the war on drugs

Postby j-a-m » Fri Oct 26, 2012 8:08 am

Marlow wrote: I need 'reminding' of what's good for me; I'm glad that I have laws that remind me (speeding, much?) of my responsibilities.

If you need reminding of what's good for you, just go ahead and hire a personal assistant; don't try to impose your views on others via coercive laws.
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Re: the war on drugs

Postby Pego » Fri Oct 26, 2012 8:36 am

Marlow wrote:I need 'reminding' of what's good for me; I'm glad that I have laws that remind me (speeding, much?) of my responsibilities.


That is fine. Some of us do not. Why should we be restrained by such laws just because you need them?
I do buckle up not because it is the law, I do it because it is sensible. I do speed at times on an open, clearly visible dry highway in spite of the law, because it is going too fast for conditions rather than exceeding the arbitrary speed limit that causes tragedies. I drink alcohol and do not smoke marijuana not because one is legal and the other one is not, but because I like one and do not care that much about the other.
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Re: the war on drugs

Postby Marlow » Fri Oct 26, 2012 8:48 am

Pego wrote:
Marlow wrote:I need 'reminding' of what's good for me; I'm glad that I have laws that remind me (speeding, much?) of my responsibilities.

That is fine. Some of us do not. Why should we be restrained by such laws just because you need them?

You just answered your own question: "some of us do not [need laws]." Which means that some DO need laws to curtail themselves. So you (and others above) have NEVER gotten ANY kind of traffic ticket?! If you have, then you do NOT know how to always behave yourself. If you haven't, then you one of the few! (meaning that most of us DO need a 'Nanny State').
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Re: the war on drugs

Postby Pego » Fri Oct 26, 2012 9:13 am

Marlow wrote:So you (and others above) have NEVER gotten ANY kind of traffic ticket?! If you have, then you do NOT know how to always behave yourself.


I answered this in advance in my previous post, the part you conveniently chose to ignore. We are not getting anywhere, you have your mind made up that drugs should be unlawful and that is it. I am sure you would vote to outlaw alcohol and cigarettes, too (most certainly socially the two most dangerous ones).
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Re: the war on drugs

Postby Conor Dary » Fri Oct 26, 2012 9:24 am

Pego wrote:
Marlow wrote:So you (and others above) have NEVER gotten ANY kind of traffic ticket?! If you have, then you do NOT know how to always behave yourself.


I answered this in advance in my previous post, the part you conveniently chose to ignore. We are not getting anywhere, you have your mind made up that drugs should be unlawful and that is it. I am sure you would vote to outlaw alcohol and cigarettes, too (most certainly socially the two most dangerous ones).


Yes, bring back Prohibition. That worked so well.
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Re: the war on drugs

Postby kuha » Fri Oct 26, 2012 9:35 am

My (much) earlier comments on this thread stand. I will say, however, that I give Marlow credit for arguing a slightly less-than-intuitive case. Few would argue that there is a need for reasonable laws applied equally to everyone. The obvious issue is defining what is "reasonable"--and thus finding the "proper" balance between individual rights/autonomy and the health/safety of the social entity as a whole. It's not a new problem.
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Re: the war on drugs

Postby Marlow » Fri Oct 26, 2012 9:59 am

Pego wrote:We are not getting anywhere, you have your mind made up that drugs should be unlawful and that is it.

If your position is that heroin, cocaine, PCP, LSD, meth, etc. should be LEGAL, then yes, we will never see eye-to-eye. May I suggest that I have already won this debate, because these drugs will never be legalized, because most people see them as dangerous?
I get the impression that you see your world as populated with like-minded individuals as yourself, who can control their urges and can take responsibility for their actions. I agree that these people do NOT need Nanny-state laws. Unfortunately I live in a world where many people can NOT control themselves and take responsibility for themselves. When these people do drugs, they often create great tragedy for OTHER people, so just punishing them for their abuses is a too-little-too-late scenario - their harm to others is already done. :(
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Re: the war on drugs

Postby Pego » Fri Oct 26, 2012 11:26 am

Marlow wrote:these drugs will never be legalized, because most people see them as dangerous?


Certainly not in our lifetime, with that I agree. That would require political will with high risk of not being re-elected that few politicians will undertake :( .
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Re: the war on drugs

Postby bambam » Fri Oct 26, 2012 11:45 am

As Pego intimated, most doctors would say that tobacco is the worst of all drugs, in terms of it having caused more morbidity and mortality in the history of the world, probably than all other drugs combined. I have amputated legs in my orthopaedic career only for 3 conditions 1) diabetic infections, 2) major trauma (rare), and 3) dysvascular legs from smoking. So if tobacco remains legal, it shows that Pego is likely correct that this is really a political argument, as why should it remain legal when the others are not?

In which case, EGH is about to ban all of us.
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