Legalising drugs?

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osiris32
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Re: Legalising drugs?

Postby osiris32 » Fri Dec 24, 2010 8:24 am UTC

I cannot condone the legalization of drugs for a number of reasons. Remember, I used to be in law enforcement, and had direct interaction with people under the influence of narcotics:

First off, I'll state that I would prefer the legalization of marijuana. The reasons that it was criminalized years ago were misleading at best, and there have been numerous, repeatable studies that have shown the medical benefits of marijuana use. So I'm basically not going to discuss that as an issue.

Harder drugs, however, I cannot condone in any way. Have you ever actually TRIED to deal with someone strung out on crack? I'd say, from personal experience, that maybe 1 or 2 out of ever 10 subjects I dealt with were controllable with my voice. The rest, upon seeing a form of authority (because I was an investigator I was not necessarily in uniform) would lash out physically. If we go with the idea of licensed places dolling out the various narcotics, how would the staff control these people? The average high for a hit of crack may only be 15-20 minutes, but the crash afterward can last for much longer periods of time, sometimes as long as 12 hours ( http://www.cocaine.org/ ) For a real-life example, I was involved as backup for a call involving a subject who was just starting to crash. It took 5 officers to get the subject under control and in custody. Five large, well trained, well equipped officers. The subject in this case was a 16-year-old female. I can't give out details about that situation, since it's still an on-going investigation, even though I'm no longer in law enforcement.

If these licensed locations are going to offer "safe havens" for hardcore drug use, you are going to have to have a staff that is 500-800% larger than your clientele. Since, according to the FBI, millions of Americans have used illicit drugs (I don't have an accurate number, but the stats for individual narcotics are available at http://www.drugabuse.gov/infofacts/nationtrends.html ) you are talking about millions more employed at these centers if everyone went there. Even if you cut that number in half, saying that half of drug users will remain on the streets and use illicitly, you are still talking about millions working in these locations. This is infeasible, even if you cut it down to just smaller "drug centers" in major metropolitan areas. The logistics involved with building, securing, administering, and maintaining such places would be astronomical.

Secondly, the health issue. If these people are going to be under your watch and care, then you have a responsibility for not just their safety, but well being as well. All of the harder drugs have health risks involved, from carcinogens to brain damage to heart/lung/live/kidney failure and so on. That means you now have to provide medically trained staff to deal with just that. Now you are talking about MASSIVE healthcare costs. If you want an idea of what you will need to be treating, this site was founded by one of my local sheriff's departments: http://www.facesofmeth.us/main.htm As you can see, that's just the skin damage done by meth usage. Continued usage of any of these drugs causes all sorts of mental conditions, and dependency/tolerance is something you cannot ignore. Even with a doctor's supervision, patients can become tolerant and addicted to painkillers in hospital settings. Also, while yes, having these substances governed would make their manufacture safer and less "polluted," this would not really diminish the health effects that much, and would create, even if diluted, very strong variations that would have nastier dependency and tolerance issues.

Thirdly, the issue of economics. It's no question that billions are raked in every year by drug cartels and terrorist groups, and to be able to cut them off from that source of income would be a boon to all civilization. However, trying to "compete" with them would be folly. Their cost/profit margin is huge, so they can afford to undercut anything offered legally by a government. Also, with narcotics that can be easily manufactured like meth, individuals can still make the substances and sell them cheaply and quietly. Also, this will not reduce crime rates on such things as burglary, robbery, and theft, since the addicts will still need the money to buy these narcotics, and the majority of hardcore drug users cannot sustain employment (*sigh* I cannot find my old data sheets that had the source material for this) so they have to turn to other means of income in order to sustain their habit. Unless we subsidize the narcotics, they will continue to steal, burgle, rob, and prostitute themselves in order to maintain their habits.

Now, I'll end with the caveat that I have been up for a while and had a stressful day, so this post may not have been formated exactly the way I want, and I know that I need more sources. So if you want to rebut or refute what I say, please do so, and I will try to answer in kind.
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Re: Legalising drugs?

Postby Sockmonkey » Sat Dec 25, 2010 6:29 am UTC

Can't really refute most of what you've said, if any. Since it's unworkable to provide safe places to get high. People would have to buy the stuff and go home. Doing it that way, the heath problems and other issues will still exist, but they already do anyhow so that's not a point against it. With the savings from no longer fighting a drug war, the gov probably could afford to sell the stuff at competitive prices. Won't turn a profit that way but if the point is to make it pointless for gangs to go to war over drug territory and reduce the number of bystanders getting mowed down it's still less expensive than keeping them illegal.

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Re: Legalising drugs?

Postby osiris32 » Sat Dec 25, 2010 7:07 am UTC

Sockmonkey wrote:Can't really refute most of what you've said, if any. Since it's unworkable to provide safe places to get high. People would have to buy the stuff and go home. Doing it that way, the heath problems and other issues will still exist, but they already do anyhow so that's not a point against it. With the savings from no longer fighting a drug war, the gov probably could afford to sell the stuff at competitive prices. Won't turn a profit that way but if the point is to make it pointless for gangs to go to war over drug territory and reduce the number of bystanders getting mowed down it's still less expensive than keeping them illegal.


I disagree. While we would probable save MONEY when you compare the price of enforcing drug and import laws vs. distributing narcotics through government sanctioned dispensaries, you would not, in fact, have that much impact on the illegal drug market. The drug cartels would be able to lower their prices because they would no longer have to spend as much money to get their merchandise into the united states (I'm talking more about covert smuggling and loss-through-interdiction costs) so they would be able to undercut the government. This is because, in order to manufacture such materials, it would have to go through government-supervised factories, which cost money to build and maintain, be transported by government vehicles (more expense) and sold/cared for by government employees (who would have to be paid government hourly wages)

Also, this would not make "drug turf" less violent. In fact, it would make the areas around these dispensaries MORE violent, as you would have users either in the middle of their high or in their crash acting out, plus various drug cartels would see them as direct competition, and could potentially attack them. If that were to happen, the government would then have to respond with security, accruing yet another cost.

Also, your statement "innocent bystanders getting mowed down" is an exaggeration at best. Few murder victims are "innocent bystanders." Most murder victims know their attacker, approximately 54% ( http://bjs.ojp.usdoj.gov ) and of the rest, approximately 80% are victims of direct assault (where the murder is committed with intent, say, during a robbery) That leaves just 9% of all murder victims to be killed by some sort of random event where the victim was not the intended target. According to the FBI, there were 13,636 murders reported last year. That means that 1,227 murder victims in 2009 were not the intended target of the offender. Out of a national population of about 308,000,000. So your chances of being killed on the streets through a random act of violence NOT targeted at you were about 1 in 251,000 for the entire year. Yes, that's greater than winning the lottery, but less than getting killed in a car accident, dying of cancer, or committing suicide.

(NOTE: For the purposes of their studies, the FBI included murder and manslaughter together to tabulate these data. Justifiable homicide and non-negligent manslaughter were tabulated separately. These are legal distinctions here, so I thought I should clarify)

So, in effect, yes, we may save some money, but would it actually help the situation? No. It would not. We would still have drug related violence and crime on the streets, the only difference is that the DEA would loose funding and some of the narcotics would have a tax stamp.
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Re: Legalising drugs?

Postby engr » Mon Dec 27, 2010 2:03 am UTC

Another thing to consider.
If legalization of drugs will make illegal drug trade unprofitable, what will gang members do - stop committing crimes and find a job, or look for a different illegal source of income? I think the second one is more likely. And if that happens, there will probably be a whole new series of gang wars to fight for control over whatever the new illegal activity of choice will be.
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Re: Legalising drugs?

Postby cjmcjmcjmcjm » Mon Dec 27, 2010 5:11 am UTC

engr wrote:Another thing to consider.
If legalization of drugs will make illegal drug trade unprofitable, what will gang members do - stop committing crimes and find a job, or look for a different illegal source of income? I think the second one is more likely. And if that happens, there will probably be a whole new series of gang wars to fight for control over whatever the new illegal activity of choice will be.

Who knows? What would be important to politicians is that the change in crime stats won't come until a few years after legalization, so they won't have to worry about being in office when it happens.
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Re: Legalising drugs?

Postby osiris32 » Mon Dec 27, 2010 7:20 am UTC

engr wrote:Another thing to consider.
If legalization of drugs will make illegal drug trade unprofitable, what will gang members do - stop committing crimes and find a job, or look for a different illegal source of income? I think the second one is more likely. And if that happens, there will probably be a whole new series of gang wars to fight for control over whatever the new illegal activity of choice will be.


::Sarcasm on:: Well, they do have good salesmanship skills, maybe they could work retail... ::Sarcasm off::

This is actually very true. It's been proven time and again to be VERY difficult to get out of that lifestyle. If you simply cut off their sources for narcotics, well, I'm not exactly sure what would happen. My guess, and this is just an educated guess based on my work experience, is that property crimes would skyrocket as the drug pushers went looking for new sources of income. But that's only a guess. I would also guess that the homicide rate amongst drug pushers would skyrocket, as they fought over the dwindling suppliers and customers.
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Re: Legalising drugs?

Postby mmmcannibalism » Mon Dec 27, 2010 7:36 am UTC

osiris32 wrote:
engr wrote:Another thing to consider.
If legalization of drugs will make illegal drug trade unprofitable, what will gang members do - stop committing crimes and find a job, or look for a different illegal source of income? I think the second one is more likely. And if that happens, there will probably be a whole new series of gang wars to fight for control over whatever the new illegal activity of choice will be.


::Sarcasm on:: Well, they do have good salesmanship skills, maybe they could work retail... ::Sarcasm off::

This is actually very true. It's been proven time and again to be VERY difficult to get out of that lifestyle. If you simply cut off their sources for narcotics, well, I'm not exactly sure what would happen. My guess, and this is just an educated guess based on my work experience, is that property crimes would skyrocket as the drug pushers went looking for new sources of income. But that's only a guess. I would also guess that the homicide rate amongst drug pushers would skyrocket, as they fought over the dwindling suppliers and customers.


I think part of this depends on what is leading people into the drug trade.

If people are going into the drug trade because it seems like the best route out of poverty, the availability of legal jobs in the same business will dry up the supply of new illegal traders.
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Re: Legalising drugs?

Postby osiris32 » Mon Dec 27, 2010 7:47 am UTC

mmmcannibalism wrote:I think part of this depends on what is leading people into the drug trade.

If people are going into the drug trade because it seems like the best route out of poverty, the availability of legal jobs in the same business will dry up the supply of new illegal traders.


In the long run, yes. But in the short term (10 years or so) the crime rate would spike precipitously. As in Marshal Law and Curfews kinda spike.
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Re: Legalising drugs?

Postby Sharlos » Wed Dec 29, 2010 1:34 am UTC

osiris32 wrote:
mmmcannibalism wrote:I think part of this depends on what is leading people into the drug trade.

If people are going into the drug trade because it seems like the best route out of poverty, the availability of legal jobs in the same business will dry up the supply of new illegal traders.


In the long run, yes. But in the short term (10 years or so) the crime rate would spike precipitously. As in Marshal Law and Curfews kinda spike.

I think you need some sort of evidence for such an extreme claim like that.

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Re: Legalising drugs?

Postby osiris32 » Wed Dec 29, 2010 2:04 am UTC

Sharlos wrote:
osiris32 wrote:
mmmcannibalism wrote:I think part of this depends on what is leading people into the drug trade.

If people are going into the drug trade because it seems like the best route out of poverty, the availability of legal jobs in the same business will dry up the supply of new illegal traders.


In the long run, yes. But in the short term (10 years or so) the crime rate would spike precipitously. As in Marshal Law and Curfews kinda spike.

I think you need some sort of evidence for such an extreme claim like that.


Well, I can't give you evidence, just a reasonable possibility based on my own knowledge of law, experience at work, and a certain amount of educated guesswork.

There is a large number of people for whom illegal drug sales are their only source of income (or, at the very least, their major source of income) If that source were to dry up, they would, by their very human nature, begin to compete harder amongst themselves for the few remaining suppliers. Given that this sort of competition in the criminal world usually leads to violence, increased competition would lead to increased violence. In areas where drugs are major problems, namely inner-city and low-income areas, that violence could easily spread out to start harming the citizenry. The more citizens are harmed, the more that local government will be pressed for action to combat the issue. Since these competitors are at constant odds with police, AND are in an already-heightened state of stress due to lack of supplies, they would last out that much harder at local authority. Since actions like this in the past have lead to riots (Watts, Rodney King, Chicago West Side) we can gauge an approximation of the response from governmental authority, which would be the imposition of curfews, and, depending on the level of violence, Marshal Law.

This is all just guess work, but I happen to know that the Portland Police Bureau, whom I worked with on a couple cases, has a contingency plan in place for massive-scale rioting and looting, which was created after the 1992 Rodney King riots. It does have plans in it for imposing curfews and contacting the National Guard if the riots last longer than 2 days or cover more than a certain area of the downtown core (I can't remember off the top of my head what that was) Because of my position as a fire investigator, I had to read through this plan, because of the prevalence of Molotov Cocktails and other improvised incendiary devices that are commonly used during clashes with law enforcement.

While I can't give you a hard-and-fast piece of evidence, I can tell you what I know the law enforcement response to rioting is, and that if you cut off drug dealers supplies, I'm pretty sure you'd have a big riot on your hands.

Now, re-reading this, I kinda sound like I'm advocating leaving the drug dealers in place. I'm not. I would prefer to see them locked up or given the tools to allow themselves to enter the workforce and maintain legitimate employment. Education is the best place to start from, and we, as a society, need to start educating out children in a manner that connects with them, so they understand the inherent dangers that drugs cause.
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Re: Legalising drugs?

Postby krazykomrade » Sun Jan 02, 2011 4:51 am UTC

osiris32, How do you respond to the argument that regardless of the harms involved, a person has a fundamental right to their own body and mind, and to do what they want with these?

Rights violations aside, I think you have greatly miscalculated the harms.

The drug cartels would be able to lower their prices because they would no longer have to spend as much money to get their merchandise into the united states (I'm talking more about covert smuggling and loss-through-interdiction costs) so they would be able to undercut the government. This is because, in order to manufacture such materials, it would have to go through government-supervised factories, which cost money to build and maintain, be transported by government vehicles (more expense) and sold/cared for by government employees (who would have to be paid government hourly wages)

I disagree. Black markets for drugs have the significant additional costs of covert production and transportation, as well as increased hazard pay, driving up the costs. Legal markets have the advantage of economies of scale, producing things for a tiny fraction of the cost of smaller illegal operations. I find it wildly unrealistic that increased costs of government regulation would offset such significant production and distribution costs. Alcohol and Tobacco are both taxed to death right now in the US, and yet that is still not enough to where there is any money to be made via black markets for these goods (beyond tax evasion across state lines, but that's not really what we are talking about).

There's a sizable amount of economists who are opposed to the continued prohibition of drugs simply on efficiency grounds. That is, the costs are so overwhelmingly great with black markets that people as a whole (not just drug users) are being deprived of satisfying their preferences due to wasted resources in inefficient transactions. In any case, I don't think you could find a credible economist who would agree that black markets would be able to compete with, let alone out-compete, legal markets, even with government costs as high as 50%-100% as they are for many legal drugs.

I think this in fact dovetails with the issues of health care and what might be called social health. Rather than having an obligation to produce and distribute drugs as cheaply as possible, the production of legal drugs (whether done directly by the government or merely regulated) should be done with the aim of net harm minimization as extensive as possible while keeping prices low enough to prevent significant black markets. Given that the market for illegal drugs is in the hundreds of billions, I think a level of harm minimization could be accomplished which would provide health care to addicts, as well as education campaigns, addiction assistance for recovering addicts. This seems even more reasonable when you consider that not only would billions of dollars in revenue be generated by the sale of these drugs, but that the USFG would be saving hundreds of billions of dollars by ending the "war on drugs". The amount of money we spend annually imprisoning non-violent drug offenders and policing costs dedicated to drugs would probably alone be enough to pay for the most critical harm reduction programs, such as healthcare.

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Re: Legalising drugs?

Postby osiris32 » Sun Jan 02, 2011 6:40 am UTC

krazykomrade wrote:osiris32, How do you respond to the argument that regardless of the harms involved, a person has a fundamental right to their own body and mind, and to do what they want with these?

Rights violations aside, I think you have greatly miscalculated the harms.


Yes, you have the rights to body and mind, HOWEVER, with many of these narcotics you lose the ability of self control, and put others in danger. Don't argue with me on this one, I have BEEN THERE when a crack head has gone off the deep end and tried to harm others. I have seen the case notes on dozens of incidents where law enforcement was required to arrive after someone became violent. Marijuana, yes, does not do this very often, and I am in fact a proponent of legalization for that very fact and the economic/prison room issues that you describe below.

osiris32 wrote:The drug cartels would be able to lower their prices because they would no longer have to spend as much money to get their merchandise into the united states (I'm talking more about covert smuggling and loss-through-interdiction costs) so they would be able to undercut the government. This is because, in order to manufacture such materials, it would have to go through government-supervised factories, which cost money to build and maintain, be transported by government vehicles (more expense) and sold/cared for by government employees (who would have to be paid government hourly wages)

I disagree. Black markets for drugs have the significant additional costs of covert production and transportation, as well as increased hazard pay, driving up the costs. Legal markets have the advantage of economies of scale, producing things for a tiny fraction of the cost of smaller illegal operations. I find it wildly unrealistic that increased costs of government regulation would offset such significant production and distribution costs. Alcohol and Tobacco are both taxed to death right now in the US, and yet that is still not enough to where there is any money to be made via black markets for these goods (beyond tax evasion across state lines, but that's not really what we are talking about).


For many of the larger cartels they also have the economy of scale. Some cartels are producing hundreds of metric tons per year of cocaine in order to supply the illegal drug trade. They are not regulated in any way, so things like hazard pay and work safety regs do not apply. Their workers are paid pittance. Also, if we stop trying to interdict these shipments, then the covert smuggling and production costs GO AWAY. It is no longer necessary for them to pay as much to get things into the US, so their costs go down even more.

There's a sizable amount of economists who are opposed to the continued prohibition of drugs simply on efficiency grounds. That is, the costs are so overwhelmingly great with black markets that people as a whole (not just drug users) are being deprived of satisfying their preferences due to wasted resources in inefficient transactions. In any case, I don't think you could find a credible economist who would agree that black markets would be able to compete with, let alone out-compete, legal markets, even with government costs as high as 50%-100% as they are for many legal drugs.

I think this in fact dovetails with the issues of health care and what might be called social health. Rather than having an obligation to produce and distribute drugs as cheaply as possible, the production of legal drugs (whether done directly by the government or merely regulated) should be done with the aim of net harm minimization as extensive as possible while keeping prices low enough to prevent significant black markets. Given that the market for illegal drugs is in the hundreds of billions, I think a level of harm minimization could be accomplished which would provide health care to addicts, as well as education campaigns, addiction assistance for recovering addicts. This seems even more reasonable when you consider that not only would billions of dollars in revenue be generated by the sale of these drugs, but that the USFG would be saving hundreds of billions of dollars by ending the "war on drugs". The amount of money we spend annually imprisoning non-violent drug offenders and policing costs dedicated to drugs would probably alone be enough to pay for the most critical harm reduction programs, such as healthcare.


I disagree with this in part. Yes the amount that goes into investigation, prosecution, and incarceration of non-violent drug offenders is very, very high. Legalization of marijuana would go a LONG way towards removing that. However if you legalize the drug trade, there are many, many other aspects that would be prohibitively costly. How would drug distributors be paid and taxed? How would that money be collected? Who would regulate the manufacturers and distributors? What regulations would be put in places? What other laws about sales would be involved? Who would enforce that? Would this be at the state/local level, or the federal level? If it was state/local, what kind of jurisdictional impacts would take place? In order to accomplish this, and entire new Department of the USFG would have to be created, with all of the bureaucracy and red.-tape that exists with a large government entity, and that costs inordinate amounts of money.

Also, as I understand it, even in places with socialized medicine, self destructive behavior is not covered. Even in the US, private insurance companies will restrict or deny benefits based on past behaviors, such as drug use, smoking, drinking, etc. How would that be approached? Would insurance companies/government healthcare be forced to pay for the health care of these individuals? How much would that cost? If this is to be a government healthcare-based system, will the tax payers as a whole support paying for the healthcare of people with a self-destructive habit?

As for the education aspect, I WHOLEHEARTEDLY agree. We need much better education about narcotics and dangerous drugs, it needs to start very early in childhood, and it needs to be much more widespread. A lot of issues with juvenile drug use could and would be prevented through early education and informational programs. I would also like to see a social change that no longer glorifies drug use. I think this leads to a lot of the problems that we face, as youth see drug use in various media formats and emulate them.
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Re: Legalising drugs?

Postby The Great Hippo » Sun Jan 02, 2011 7:54 am UTC

osiris32 wrote:Yes, you have the rights to body and mind, HOWEVER, with many of these narcotics you lose the ability of self control, and put others in danger. Don't argue with me on this one, I have BEEN THERE when a crack head has gone off the deep end and tried to harm others.
While I'm more than willing to respect your experiences on this issue, presenting your case with the condition that we aren't allowed to argue to the contrary seems a little unfair. I'm willing to accept some danger to guarantee the freedom of others to do as they please to their bodies and minds; it's just a question of risk assessment. At what point does your right to inject whatever you want in your body impinge on my rights? It's a difficult question, and I don't think there's a very clear answer.
osiris32 wrote:For many of the larger cartels they also have the economy of scale. Some cartels are producing hundreds of metric tons per year of cocaine in order to supply the illegal drug trade. They are not regulated in any way, so things like hazard pay and work safety regs do not apply. Their workers are paid pittance. Also, if we stop trying to interdict these shipments, then the covert smuggling and production costs GO AWAY. It is no longer necessary for them to pay as much to get things into the US, so their costs go down even more.
But wouldn't those costs be replaced with the costs of legally shipping cocaine? I don't think this would be the smartest idea in the world (legalizing cocaine), but I'm not sure if your assessment here is accurate.
osiris32 wrote:I disagree with this in part. Yes the amount that goes into investigation, prosecution, and incarceration of non-violent drug offenders is very, very high. Legalization of marijuana would go a LONG way towards removing that. However if you legalize the drug trade, there are many, many other aspects that would be prohibitively costly. How would drug distributors be paid and taxed? How would that money be collected? Who would regulate the manufacturers and distributors? What regulations would be put in places? What other laws about sales would be involved? Who would enforce that? Would this be at the state/local level, or the federal level? If it was state/local, what kind of jurisdictional impacts would take place? In order to accomplish this, and entire new Department of the USFG would have to be created, with all of the bureaucracy and red.-tape that exists with a large government entity, and that costs inordinate amounts of money.
Didn't you just answer your queston with your very first statement? "Yes, legalizing drugs would free up tons of funds we have tied up in the investigation and prosecution of drug-use, but where would we get all the funds we'd need to regulate it?" - The only relevant economic question is which would be cheaper--fighting the drug industry or organizing and taxing it? I think the answer is pretty clear.

I oppose completely legalizing drugs like cocaine for ethical reasons (and support legalizing drugs like marijuana for those very same reasons), but from a purely economic perspective, I can see the allure.

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Re: Legalising drugs?

Postby osiris32 » Sun Jan 02, 2011 8:22 am UTC

The Great Hippo wrote:
osiris32 wrote:Yes, you have the rights to body and mind, HOWEVER, with many of these narcotics you lose the ability of self control, and put others in danger. Don't argue with me on this one, I have BEEN THERE when a crack head has gone off the deep end and tried to harm others.
While I'm more than willing to respect your experiences on this issue, presenting your case with the condition that we aren't allowed to argue to the contrary seems a little unfair. I'm willing to accept some danger to guarantee the freedom of others to do as they please to their bodies and minds; it's just a question of risk assessment. At what point does your right to inject whatever you want in your body impinge on my rights? It's a difficult question, and I don't think there's a very clear answer.


Sorry, I guess I was being a bit glib. It's just that I've seen the negative effects of drug use so many times that I can no longer believe that the positives outweigh the negatives. Meth is a huge problem in my community, and has torn apart family after family after family for years now.


The Great Hippo wrote:
osiris32 wrote:For many of the larger cartels they also have the economy of scale. Some cartels are producing hundreds of metric tons per year of cocaine in order to supply the illegal drug trade. They are not regulated in any way, so things like hazard pay and work safety regs do not apply. Their workers are paid pittance. Also, if we stop trying to interdict these shipments, then the covert smuggling and production costs GO AWAY. It is no longer necessary for them to pay as much to get things into the US, so their costs go down even more.
But wouldn't those costs be replaced with the costs of legally shipping cocaine? I don't think this would be the smartest idea in the world (legalizing cocaine), but I'm not sure if your assessment here is accurate.


Even if it's legalized, I doubt that the cartels are going to readily hand over transportation of their material to the government. They would keep doing the same thing, just with less risk and therefore less time, money and effort to prepare each shipment.

The Great Hippo wrote:
osiris32 wrote:I disagree with this in part. Yes the amount that goes into investigation, prosecution, and incarceration of non-violent drug offenders is very, very high. Legalization of marijuana would go a LONG way towards removing that. However if you legalize the drug trade, there are many, many other aspects that would be prohibitively costly. How would drug distributors be paid and taxed? How would that money be collected? Who would regulate the manufacturers and distributors? What regulations would be put in places? What other laws about sales would be involved? Who would enforce that? Would this be at the state/local level, or the federal level? If it was state/local, what kind of jurisdictional impacts would take place? In order to accomplish this, and entire new Department of the USFG would have to be created, with all of the bureaucracy and red.-tape that exists with a large government entity, and that costs inordinate amounts of money.
Didn't you just answer your queston with your very first statement? "Yes, legalizing drugs would free up tons of funds we have tied up in the investigation and prosecution of drug-use, but where would we get all the funds we'd need to regulate it?" - The only relevant economic question is which would be cheaper--fighting the drug industry or organizing and taxing it? I think the answer is pretty clear.

I oppose completely legalizing drugs like cocaine for ethical reasons (and support legalizing drugs like marijuana for those very same reasons), but from a purely economic perspective, I can see the allure.


The difference here is in what is pursued, how much is spent, and where it's spent. Marijuana has become a joke-crime in some states, but is a felony in others. Here in Oregon, possession of less than an ounce is a ticket. Not an arrestable offense. You go to court and pay a fine. However, in Texas or Florida, less than 20grams is a misdemeanor, anything above that is a felony, and they are rigorous in their prosecution. That's at the state level, however. Marijuana does not get a lot of attention at the Federal level, with the exception of traffickers who are bringing in large amounts, pretty much anything over a ton. The DEA, FBI, and various federal narcotic taskforces are focused much more on the harder drugs, such as cocaine, heroin, meth, etc. Legalizing marijuana would free up a lot of JAIL beds, not PRISON beds. There is a big distinction between those two. JAIL is where you go when you have a sentence of less than a year. PRISON is where you go when you have a longer stay. Jail is where you usually see the first- or second-time, non-violent marijuana offenders. NOT in prison. Prison is where you see the repeat narcotics pushers, the traffickers, and the violent drug offenders. Legalization would free up the small-time stuff, allowing for more room for more serious issues, like DUII, theft, assault, etc to be housed.
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Re: Legalising drugs?

Postby The Great Hippo » Sun Jan 02, 2011 8:39 am UTC

osiris32 wrote:Sorry, I guess I was being a bit glib. It's just that I've seen the negative effects of drug use so many times that I can no longer believe that the positives outweigh the negatives. Meth is a huge problem in my community, and has torn apart family after family after family for years now.
Not at all; I didn't mean to come off as accusatory--and I do think the opinion of someone with actual experience dealing with drug abuse is of great value in a discussion concerning the legalization of drugs. And as for meth, yeah--I have no personal experience, but what I've heard (and what family members around me have heard and seen) is enough to convince me that its legalization would be a moral catastrophe.
osiris32 wrote:Even if it's legalized, I doubt that the cartels are going to readily hand over transportation of their material to the government. They would keep doing the same thing, just with less risk and therefore less time, money and effort to prepare each shipment.
But there's the taxation of shipments that would bring in a constant influx of funding--not only that, but an end to drug-smuggling could greatly reduce the security risks America faces south of the border (and could deal a huge blow to the illegal trafficking industry--suddenly, a big percentage of their revenue has just disappeared--without drug money to support their business model, we might see a serious decline on other forms of illegal trafficking). Simultaneously, one huge drawback--our government would now be doing business with cartels (well, openly). This would create legitimacy, and possibly help entrench them even deeper in their positions of power.

Ultimately this strikes me as a bad idea; I'm just not quite sure what all the short-term and long-term consequences might be. I think legalization could be of use toward the end of securing our borders; however, there are serious ethical dilemmas involved (do we really want to be doing business with some of the most evil mother-fuckers around?) and probably a fuckton of economic and logistic issues I'm just not seeing.

At the very least, I wholly agree that the prohibition on marijuana is incredibly stupid and needs to go.

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Re: Legalising drugs?

Postby osiris32 » Sun Jan 02, 2011 8:54 am UTC

The Great Hippo wrote:But there's the taxation of shipments that would bring in a constant influx of funding--not only that, but an end to drug-smuggling could greatly reduce the security risks America faces south of the border (and could deal a huge blow to the illegal trafficking industry--suddenly, a big percentage of their revenue has just disappeared--without drug money to support their business model, we might see a serious decline on other forms of illegal trafficking). Simultaneously, one huge drawback--our government would now be doing business with cartels (well, openly). This would create legitimacy, and possibly help entrench them even deeper in their positions of power.


But WHY would the cartels allow their stuff to be taxed? What incentive would they have to hand over their goods to border agents? I doubt that any of the cartels would do this, stemming from decades of mistrust in our government and outright paranoia, plus, my guess here, just a little bit of plain contrariness.

They have been going quite successfully for years now smuggling their stuff across the border in a myriad of ways (things like THESE) and I doubt that if we simply tell them we're not gonna just take it away, but resell it later on after we tax it, they'd buy it. They'd laugh in our faces and continue to just send it through their existing pipelines, and once they realized that we weren't trying to stop them, would simply drop off the number of enforcers and start being more brazen about it. No more nacro subs means a leaner bottom line for the cartels.
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Re: Legalising drugs?

Postby The Great Hippo » Sun Jan 02, 2011 8:02 pm UTC

osiris32 wrote:But WHY would the cartels allow their stuff to be taxed? What incentive would they have to hand over their goods to border agents? I doubt that any of the cartels would do this, stemming from decades of mistrust in our government and outright paranoia, plus, my guess here, just a little bit of plain contrariness.

They have been going quite successfully for years now smuggling their stuff across the border in a myriad of ways (things like THESE) and I doubt that if we simply tell them we're not gonna just take it away, but resell it later on after we tax it, they'd buy it. They'd laugh in our faces and continue to just send it through their existing pipelines, and once they realized that we weren't trying to stop them, would simply drop off the number of enforcers and start being more brazen about it. No more nacro subs means a leaner bottom line for the cartels.
I have a backyard; when kids try to sneak into it to cut across my lawn, I shoot them (otherwise they'll trample my azalias!). Eventually, I get sick of how many kids manage to get across my lawn and trample my azalias anyway, so I build a nice stone path going from one end to the other with a gate.

Some kids are pretty mean (or suspect that the stone path is a trap), so they ignore what I've done and still just cut across my lawn the old fashion way, still trampling my azalias. I still shoot them; I haven't reduced my security or stopped protecting the boundaries of my backyard. I've just created an alternate route for the children who want to behave. One that involves no chance of getting shot, and may in fact be much more comfortable and quicker than the old way.

Eventually, some of the children notice the stone path, and risk it. When they get across without even being shot at, they realize this is way easier and better. It isn't long before all the kids are going across the stone path--the dumb ones who don't still get shot at, and eventually disappear as a result (the cartels who aren't using legal channels to accomplish their businesses are out-competed by the ones who are, and who are making way more money at doing it).

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Re: Legalising drugs?

Postby krazykomrade » Sun Jan 02, 2011 10:49 pm UTC

Yes, you have the rights to body and mind, HOWEVER, with many of these narcotics you lose the ability of self control, and put others in danger.

Then the harm you do to other should be illegal, which it is. Due to your career, most of you experience seems to be with the worst-case scenario of drug users; the police rarely show up and make reports when people are doing drugs in private and not bothering anybody. Your experience is hardly a random or fair sampling, and isn't good evidence of the harms of drug use as a whole. Many people can responsibly use drugs in their own home, and not harm others. If they are not harming others, why should they be punished? Alcohol causes a loss of self-control as much as many other drugs. Thousands of people are killed due to drunk driving, date rape almost always involves alcohol, and fights/murders are often instigated by being drunk; we make those rights violations illegal, not the use of alcohol itself. In order to deprive me of the right to my own body/mind, you would have to show that not only do rights violations sometimes follow the particular alteration to my body/mind, but that they almost always or almost certainly will, that there is little or no other legitimate purpose, and/or that the rights violations are qualitatively or quantitatively overwhelming. For example, filling my stomach with plastic explosives, or injecting myself with a contagious disease. You need better evidence than non-random personal experience to argue that this is the case with the use of many illegal drugs.

For many of the larger cartels they also have the economy of scale. Some cartels are producing hundreds of metric tons per year of cocaine in order to supply the illegal drug trade. They are not regulated in any way, so things like hazard pay and work safety regs do not apply. Their workers are paid pittance. Also, if we stop trying to interdict these shipments, then the covert smuggling and production costs GO AWAY. It is no longer necessary for them to pay as much to get things into the US, so their costs go down even more.


I suppose that term is a misnomer. Yes, cartels are economies of scale in the sense that there are massive amounts of drugs being produced. However, they lack the benefits that would be afforded to legal organizations. For example, professional engineers to design factories and specific machinery, custom tailored industrial technology, the use of more efficient professional systems of transportation and distribution, expert chemists to devise more efficient methods of production, increased buying power for all involved goods due to fewer, larger purchases, legal (cheaper) access to raw materials needed for production, etc.

Hazard pay is one of the reasons there is such high profit in black markets, it is the bread and butter of them! Would you choose job A, where you make x amount of money, or job B, where you make x amount of money and risk 5 years in prison? The only way you would choose job B, is if they pay was not x, but (x+y), where y is an additional amount of money deemed to be enough to justify the additional risk over job A. People who sell and produce drugs, from suppliers to truck drivers to plane pilots to people who sell it out of their basement, are all taking significant risks by doing so, which is why most people are reluctant to engage in these activities, morals aside. By shrinking the supply of labor by adding the cost of risk of imprisonment (or death, threats, etc), the cost of labor goes up.

You seem to believe that if drugs were legalized, then cartels would still try to operate, make minor changes, and then would try to compete with legal operations. That isn't how it would work. Massive corporations with tens or hundreds of times the amount of capital as even the most powerful drug cartels would use all their skill and expertise in economies of scale to immediately jump into this new market, and very quickly produce and distribute drugs so much more efficiently that cartels would cease to exist. The Chicago Outfit did not go into the liquor business when the 21st amendment was passed. It went OUT of the liquor business! This is what happens when black markets turn white. History is ripe with examples. People don't buy illegally grown tobacco and illegally produced cigarettes because even though doing so would avoid taxes, labor-laws, and regulation, is is still vastly cheaper for cigarettes to be legally produced by corporations using economies of scale, even after those things are factored in. There is a consensus about this sort of conclusion amongst economists.

Also, as I understand it, even in places with socialized medicine, self destructive behavior is not covered. Even in the US, private insurance companies will restrict or deny benefits based on past behaviors, such as drug use, smoking, drinking, etc. How would that be approached? Would insurance companies/government healthcare be forced to pay for the health care of these individuals? How much would that cost? If this is to be a government healthcare-based system, will the tax payers as a whole support paying for the healthcare of people with a self-destructive habit?


I was suggesting that the costs of healthcare of drug-users would be paid for by the sale of those drugs. That is, cocaine would be taxed such that the healthcare for cocaine users (or at least the additional cost of their healthcare over the average non-user) would be paid for by taxes on the sale of cocaine, or something to that effect. Non-users would not have to pay for users. Right now, non-users DO have to pay for the healthcare of users, both in private market insurance and in countries of socialized healthcare. Legalizing drugs and implementing such a system would actually improve the "justice" of healthcare costs.

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Re: Legalising drugs?

Postby name99 » Tue Jan 11, 2011 1:55 pm UTC

osiris32 wrote:Harder drugs, however, I cannot condone in any way. Have you ever actually TRIED to deal with someone strung out on crack? I'd say, from personal experience, that maybe 1 or 2 out of ever 10 subjects I dealt with were controllable with my voice. The rest, upon seeing a form of authority (because I was an investigator I was not necessarily in uniform) would lash out physically. If we go with the idea of licensed places dolling out the various narcotics, how would the staff control these people? The average high for a hit of crack may only be 15-20 minutes, but the crash afterward can last for much longer periods of time, sometimes as long as 12 hours ( http://www.cocaine.org/ ) For a real-life example, I was involved as backup for a call involving a subject who was just starting to crash. It took 5 officers to get the subject under control and in custody. Five large, well trained, well equipped officers. The subject in this case was a 16-year-old female. I can't give out details about that situation, since it's still an on-going investigation, even though I'm no longer in law enforcement.


It seems like there wouldn't be as much of a problem if cocaine users didn't feel threatened by you. "1.5 in 10 were controllable with my voice" If you didn't need to control them, and they weren't a threat to anyone, would it be a problem? "It took 5 officers to get the subject under control" What would have happened if you hadn't tried to arrest her?

If these licensed locations are going to offer "safe havens" for hardcore drug use, you are going to have to have a staff that is 500-800% larger than your clientele. Since, according to the FBI, millions of Americans have used illicit drugs (I don't have an accurate number, but the stats for individual narcotics are available at http://www.drugabuse.gov/infofacts/nationtrends.html ) you are talking about millions more employed at these centers if everyone went there. Even if you cut that number in half, saying that half of drug users will remain on the streets and use illicitly, you are still talking about millions working in these locations. This is infeasible, even if you cut it down to just smaller "drug centers" in major metropolitan areas. The logistics involved with building, securing, administering, and maintaining such places would be astronomical.


Since the point of these havens is that it's a place users can go to be safe, relatively uncontrolled, and free from the threat of life-ruining criminal charges, I don't think this would be a significant problem.

Secondly, the health issue. If these people are going to be under your watch and care, then you have a responsibility for not just their safety, but well being as well. All of the harder drugs have health risks involved, from carcinogens to brain damage to heart/lung/live/kidney failure and so on. That means you now have to provide medically trained staff to deal with just that. Now you are talking about MASSIVE healthcare costs. If you want an idea of what you will need to be treating, this site was founded by one of my local sheriff's departments: http://www.facesofmeth.us/main.htm As you can see, that's just the skin damage done by meth usage. Continued usage of any of these drugs causes all sorts of mental conditions, and dependency/tolerance is something you cannot ignore. Even with a doctor's supervision, patients can become tolerant and addicted to painkillers in hospital settings. Also, while yes, having these substances governed would make their manufacture safer and less "polluted," this would not really diminish the health effects that much, and would create, even if diluted, very strong variations that would have nastier dependency and tolerance issues.


If anything, safe havens and moderation of drug use would decrease the current healthcare costs. Assuming you don't need a hospital in every safe haven, just a car to get to a hospital, there would be less problems from irresponsible drug use.

Thirdly, the issue of economics. It's no question that billions are raked in every year by drug cartels and terrorist groups, and to be able to cut them off from that source of income would be a boon to all civilization. However, trying to "compete" with them would be folly. Their cost/profit margin is huge, so they can afford to undercut anything offered legally by a government. Also, with narcotics that can be easily manufactured like meth, individuals can still make the substances and sell them cheaply and quietly. Also, this will not reduce crime rates on such things as burglary, robbery, and theft, since the addicts will still need the money to buy these narcotics, and the majority of hardcore drug users cannot sustain employment (*sigh* I cannot find my old data sheets that had the source material for this) so they have to turn to other means of income in order to sustain their habit. Unless we subsidize the narcotics, they will continue to steal, burgle, rob, and prostitute themselves in order to maintain their habits.


I doubt the economic issue would get worse.

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Re: Legalising drugs?

Postby osiris32 » Tue Jan 11, 2011 5:12 pm UTC

name99 wrote:It seems like there wouldn't be as much of a problem if cocaine users didn't feel threatened by you. "1.5 in 10 were controllable with my voice" If you didn't need to control them, and they weren't a threat to anyone, would it be a problem? "It took 5 officers to get the subject under control" What would have happened if you hadn't tried to arrest her?


We didn't have much choice in trying to arrest her, since she had stabbed her sister with a knife prior to us arriving. All of the incidents that I refer to involved the drug user becoming violent and assaulting someone or putting someone in danger BEFORE law enforcement arrives. This is what I am arguing against. My experience is that marijuana does NOT does this, but harder drugs like Crack, Cocaine and Meth DO put a person into a more volatile and hostile state, where very small things can be perceived as threats, and their responses are way out of proportion to what someone not under the influence would give. In the case of the 16-year-old, she stabbed her sister because she believed the sister took her hairspray. Not that she actually HAD, just that she believed it.

Since the point of these havens is that it's a place users can go to be safe, relatively uncontrolled, and free from the threat of life-ruining criminal charges, I don't think this would be a significant problem.


My argument is that in order to maintain them AS safe havens, you would need massive staff to that incidents, like the one I describe above, would not cause injury to the users. Since this would be a government-run facility, those users would therefore be under the care of the government, and would therefore be the RESPONSIBILITY of the government. If a user were to get hurt by another user, the government would be liable.

If anything, safe havens and moderation of drug use would decrease the current healthcare costs. Assuming you don't need a hospital in every safe haven, just a car to get to a hospital, there would be less problems from irresponsible drug use.


Who would make sure that moderation happened? How would you make sure that the user wasn't irresponsible? I'm sorry, but exactly how many responsible Crackheads do you know? Hardcore drugs take away the ability to be rational and responsible while under the influence, which is kind of the point.

I doubt the economic issue would get worse.


Can you back that up with data or a reasoned argument like I have?
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Re: Legalising drugs?

Postby name99 » Thu Jan 13, 2011 1:40 am UTC

osiris32 wrote:Quote osiris32
We didn't have much choice in trying to arrest her, since she had stabbed her sister with a knife prior to us arriving. All of the incidents that I refer to involved the drug user becoming violent and assaulting someone or putting someone in danger BEFORE law enforcement arrives. This is what I am arguing against. My experience is that marijuana does NOT does this, but harder drugs like Crack, Cocaine and Meth DO put a person into a more volatile and hostile state, where very small things can be perceived as threats, and their responses are way out of proportion to what someone not under the influence would give. In the case of the 16-year-old, she stabbed her sister because she believed the sister took her hairspray. Not that she actually HAD, just that she believed it.


I appreciate the consideration, but I CAN understand sentences WITHOUT certain words being needlessly capitalized.

It would have been nice if you'd provided the supporting background in the first place, avoiding the need to feel frustrated (I'm guessing, based on your tone) when someone responds. Quoth wikipedia: "Crack cocaine is a substance that affects the brain chemistry of the user: causing blank blank... and potential paranoia." "Use of cocaine in a binge (however), during which the drug is taken repeatedly and at increasingly high doses, leads to a state of increasing irritability, restlessness, and paranoia. This may result in a full-blown paranoid psychosis, in which the individual loses touch with reality and experiences auditory hallucinations." It seems unlikely the 16 year old in your example stabbed her sister after responsible, moderated use.

osiris32 wrote:My argument is that in order to maintain them AS safe havens, you would need massive staff (s)o that incidents, like the one I describe above, would not cause injury to the users. Since this would be a government-run facility, those users would therefore be under the care of the government, and would therefore be the RESPONSIBILITY of the government. If a user were to get hurt by another user, the government would be liable.


You agree that you wouldn't need a massive staff if incidents like this wouldn't happen, right? Psychosis can be avoided if the users are only given crack responsibly, making a huge staff unnecessary. A staff is necessary, but not to the degree you imply. One person with a tranquilizer would be enough to prevent physical harm in the event of a psychotic attack and another certified to responsibly moderate drug use seem sufficient for several regular customers. I can't say that for certain, obviously though, since I've never tried it myself. "Since this would be a government-run facility" says who? I'll make an analogy to Chuck-E-Cheese's. Correct me if I'm wrong, but kids go there to have fun, parents watch to make sure they're safe, and the government makes sure it's safe when it's built. If something goes wrong, a kid breaks his neck when a tube breaks with him in it, maybe, the government makes sure everything is running how it should, otherwise it would be shut down. I would think safe houses could operate more or less the same way, independent to a point.

Who would make sure that moderation happened? How would you make sure that the user wasn't irresponsible? I'm sorry, but exactly how many responsible Crackheads do you know? Hardcore drugs take away the ability to be rational and responsible while under the influence, which is kind of the point.


In that order:
The owners. Science. I don't know any crack users personally, but your argument is evidence that the current system doesn't work anyway. Yes, that is the point, safe house owners ought to be responsible for them.

Can you back that up with data or a reasoned argument like I have?


Class ended and I had to put the laptop I was using away.

The amount of middlemen between growers or cooks and sellers makes me doubt your argument. Low-level sellers reduce quality to make more money. Selling drugs based on how expensive it is to make would be significantly cheaper than the price most people buy it at now. If another supplier, a professional, government supervised seller, offered products that were significantly cheaper and better quality than the products that are currently on the market, I think many would get a lot less from the inferior supplier.

My point, however, is that I still doubt it would get worse. Part of your argument was that the number of people who commit illegal acts to pay for drugs would not decrease. If it doesn't get worse, what's the problem?

For crack dealers, the priority is to get people addicted and keep them addicted. New users get top-quality stuff so they come back for more, then crap for the same price once they're addicted. If they say they're really short on money, give them high-quality stuff. Make them desperate for more. If another supplier is introduced, where addiction is not the priority, who sell for lower costs, with good stuff, who offer a safe environment to use, I doubt the crime rate wouldn't decrease. Their buyers would be less desperate, and wouldn't lose as much money to the addiction.

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Re: Legalising drugs?

Postby osiris32 » Thu Jan 13, 2011 2:47 am UTC

name99 wrote:I appreciate the consideration, but I CAN understand sentences WITHOUT certain words being needlessly capitalized.

It would have been nice if you'd provided the supporting background in the first place, avoiding the need to feel frustrated (I'm guessing, based on your tone) when someone responds. Quoth wikipedia: "Crack cocaine is a substance that affects the brain chemistry of the user: causing blank blank... and potential paranoia." "Use of cocaine in a binge (however), during which the drug is taken repeatedly and at increasingly high doses, leads to a state of increasing irritability, restlessness, and paranoia. This may result in a full-blown paranoid psychosis, in which the individual loses touch with reality and experiences auditory hallucinations." It seems unlikely the 16 year old in your example stabbed her sister after responsible, moderated use.

You agree that you wouldn't need a massive staff if incidents like this wouldn't happen, right? Psychosis can be avoided if the users are only given crack responsibly, making a huge staff unnecessary. A staff is necessary, but not to the degree you imply. One person with a tranquilizer would be enough to prevent physical harm in the event of a psychotic attack and another certified to responsibly moderate drug use seem sufficient for several regular customers. I can't say that for certain, obviously though, since I've never tried it myself. "Since this would be a government-run facility" says who? I'll make an analogy to Chuck-E-Cheese's. Correct me if I'm wrong, but kids go there to have fun, parents watch to make sure they're safe, and the government makes sure it's safe when it's built. If something goes wrong, a kid breaks his neck when a tube breaks with him in it, maybe, the government makes sure everything is running how it should, otherwise it would be shut down. I would think safe houses could operate more or less the same way, independent to a point.


To counter point your argument:

Again, who is going to maintain what a "safe, moderated dose" is? And how will this be enforced? If an addict starts demanding more, because tolerance to a drug does exist, how will the staff make sure this happens? And are you certain that one individual with a tranq can actually stop someone who's on a war-path for more, drug-induced or not?

Secondly, your analogy to Chuck E Cheese is flawed. If a child falls, that's an accident. What does the government do when two children start fighting? Or begin to break stuff? At that point, security and law enforcement are called for. What bothers me is not the issues with people falling or accidentally hurting themselves, but the intentional acts of those who would harm other or destroy property. At that point, you must have trained, equipped personnel to respond to such incidents. Can you honestly say that these incidents will not occur? That injury, damage, and even death won't happen? I understand that there are always risks in the world, and those who would abuse systems simply for the fun of it. But it seems to me, based on my experiences and the experiences of the Vice officers whom I worked with, that centers like these would be powder kegs for potential major issues. What would happen if a center were to run out of product for some plausible reason? Or one person games the system, gets more than they should be allowed, and goes on a killing spree? These two examples are not that far fetched, as there are hundreds if not thousands of cases where medications don't get delivered to hospitals, or of patients who get double dosed by lying on forms. Is the risk of great harm and damage worth it? All it would take would be one person, one act, to bring the whole crumbling down.

In that order:
The owners. Science. I don't know any crack users personally, but your argument is evidence that the current system doesn't work anyway. Yes, that is the point, safe house owners ought to be responsible for them.


Ok, the owners now have control over distribution. I'll give that point. How, exactly, does science make sure the user isn't irresponsible? You are going to have a bureaucracy, just like any hospital, and that system can always be gamed. Someone, probably several someones, will eventually get around whatever safeguards are put in place. And since the owners are now responsible, are they going to be able to stand up against the lawsuits leveled at them from families of users who game that very system, and end up hurt or dead?

Class ended and I had to put the laptop I was using away.


I hate that, you get on a roll and suddenly you have to stop. Very frustrating. My apologies.

The amount of middlemen between growers or cooks and sellers makes me doubt your argument. Low-level sellers reduce quality to make more money. Selling drugs based on how expensive it is to make would be significantly cheaper than the price most people buy it at now. If another supplier, a professional, government supervised seller, offered products that were significantly cheaper and better quality than the products that are currently on the market, I think many would get a lot less from the inferior supplier.

My point, however, is that I still doubt it would get worse. Part of your argument was that the number of people who commit illegal acts to pay for drugs would not decrease. If it doesn't get worse, what's the problem?

For crack dealers, the priority is to get people addicted and keep them addicted. New users get top-quality stuff so they come back for more, then crap for the same price once they're addicted. If they say they're really short on money, give them high-quality stuff. Make them desperate for more. If another supplier is introduced, where addiction is not the priority, who sell for lower costs, with good stuff, who offer a safe environment to use, I doubt the crime rate wouldn't decrease. Their buyers would be less desperate, and wouldn't lose as much money to the addiction.


I have a really hard time with this, since those same sellers are going to be fighting the whole way. And if they're simply pushed out of the market, what will they do for income? They have to make money to live, and since they have no skills that would work in any other setting (I doubt that the owners/controlling government agencies of these facilities will be willing to hire ex-drug sellers) what will you have? A population of individuals who are desperate for money, who are used to being on the other side of the law, and aren't necessarily afraid of hurting others to make a few bucks. This is where I see the crime rate increasing.

Most of what I have used as examples comes from my professional life. This is because it's all relatively recent and can be verified through court documents. But in my private life, I've had friends, in high school and early college, who experimented with stuff other than pot. I had one friend die from Heroin, on his second use. Wandered into traffic and was struck by a truck. Another nearly died while tripping on Psilocybin, because he became convinced he could fly, and tried to dive off a 5th-story fire escape. Three old friends from high school are currently living on the streets, with long rap sheets of petty crimes, addicted to meth or heroin. I have seen, in my admittedly small sampling, no individual who has used hardcore narcotics who's lives have been better, or even remained at the state they were prior to using. Everyone of them have lost jobs, families, been in trouble with the law, been hurt, or died. I may have known of someone who habitually used and was ok, but off the top of my head I cannot think of any. The stage hands that I currently work with have many drug users among them, and they are all tired, haggard, used-up people, who constantly worry about getting in trouble or getting hurt. One died of a heart attack at 39, because of long-term cocaine usage. Nothing good comes of this stuff. And the wave of pain and suffering is not limited to the user, but to family, friends, co-workers, and innocent bystanders.
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Re: Legalising drugs?

Postby name99 » Thu Jan 13, 2011 5:19 pm UTC

osiris32 wrote:To counter point your argument:

Again, who is going to maintain what a "safe, moderated dose" is? And how will this be enforced? If an addict starts demanding more, because tolerance to a drug does exist, how will the staff make sure this happens? And are you certain that one individual with a tranq can actually stop someone who's on a war-path for more, drug-induced or not?

Secondly, your analogy to Chuck E Cheese is flawed. If a child falls, that's an accident. What does the government do when two children start fighting? Or begin to break stuff? At that point, security and law enforcement are called for. What bothers me is not the issues with people falling or accidentally hurting themselves, but the intentional acts of those who would harm other or destroy property. At that point, you must have trained, equipped personnel to respond to such incidents. Can you honestly say that these incidents will not occur? That injury, damage, and even death won't happen? I understand that there are always risks in the world, and those who would abuse systems simply for the fun of it. But it seems to me, based on my experiences and the experiences of the Vice officers whom I worked with, that centers like these would be powder kegs for potential major issues. What would happen if a center were to run out of product for some plausible reason? Or one person games the system, gets more than they should be allowed, and goes on a killing spree? These two examples are not that far fetched, as there are hundreds if not thousands of cases where medications don't get delivered to hospitals, or of patients who get double dosed by lying on forms. Is the risk of great harm and damage worth it? All it would take would be one person, one act, to bring the whole crumbling down.


I think it's very possible to reduce addiction, dependency, and tolerance to a formula based on weight, previous patterns of behavior, and so on. Who would do the research? Private companies, possibly sponsored by the government? I don't know how that would work. The point is, there's no reason to think it's impossible at this point. "If an addict demands more" The point is to not let them become addicted. If a customer somehow becomes addicted, I'd say they should readjust their formulas and cut the guy off for a certain amount of time. Of course I'm not certain one guy with a tranq would be sufficient, you'd obviously have to play it by ear how much security is required.

"Can you honestly say these incidents will not occur" Actually I said the opposite, that they would inevitably occur, but at a lower rate than they do now. "What if they run out of product" The idea is to avoid addiction. "A killing spree." I don't know about you, but drug induced killing sprees don't seem to happen that often. "One person to bring it tumbling down" Again, I'm not trying to say that security is unnecessary. I don't know what is required, and neither do you until there's some plausible research done on it.

Ok, the owners now have control over distribution. I'll give that point. How, exactly, does science make sure the user isn't irresponsible? You are going to have a bureaucracy, just like any hospital, and that system can always be gamed. Someone, probably several someones, will eventually get around whatever safeguards are put in place. And since the owners are now responsible, are they going to be able to stand up against the lawsuits leveled at them from families of users who game that very system, and end up hurt or dead?


You're listing off these potential problems, and I don't really have any perfect answers. Neither of us can say anything worthwhile right now, since neither of us have tested this concept. This reminds me of evolution/creationism debates. "You can't explain this" "What about that" This concept has obviously not been perfected yet, and there are some things to work around, but these aren't inherent flaws, just roadblocks.

I have a really hard time with this, since those same sellers are going to be fighting the whole way. And if they're simply pushed out of the market, what will they do for income? They have to make money to live, and since they have no skills that would work in any other setting (I doubt that the owners/controlling government agencies of these facilities will be willing to hire ex-drug sellers) what will you have? A population of individuals who are desperate for money, who are used to being on the other side of the law, and aren't necessarily afraid of hurting others to make a few bucks. This is where I see the crime rate increasing.


Are you arguing that the illegal sale of drugs is a good thing because it gives drug dealers jobs?!? The problem is the individuals themselves, who, like you said, have no problem breaking some necessary laws. They commit crimes now, they'll commit crimes later. That doesn't really mean safe houses shouldn't be given a shot (haha). If this is the only place where you see crime rate increasing, then (I'm assuming you agree with me on this one, since you didn't mention it) then the decreased crime rate from users would offset that and then some, I would think. That's why I'm still not convinced this issue would get worse.

Most of what I have used as examples comes from my professional life. This is because it's all relatively recent and can be verified through court documents. But in my private life, I've had friends, in high school and early college, who experimented with stuff other than pot. I had one friend die from Heroin, on his second use. Wandered into traffic and was struck by a truck. Another nearly died while tripping on Psilocybin, because he became convinced he could fly, and tried to dive off a 5th-story fire escape. Three old friends from high school are currently living on the streets, with long rap sheets of petty crimes, addicted to meth or heroin. I have seen, in my admittedly small sampling, no individual who has used hardcore narcotics who's lives have been better, or even remained at the state they were prior to using. Everyone of them have lost jobs, families, been in trouble with the law, been hurt, or died. I may have known of someone who habitually used and was ok, but off the top of my head I cannot think of any. The stage hands that I currently work with have many drug users among them, and they are all tired, haggard, used-up people, who constantly worry about getting in trouble or getting hurt. One died of a heart attack at 39, because of long-term cocaine usage. Nothing good comes of this stuff. And the wave of pain and suffering is not limited to the user, but to family, friends, co-workers, and innocent bystanders.


There's a reason drugs are continually used despite laws, costs and health threats. I don't have any experience yet with anything besides cannabis, but I know that it's because they feel amazing. LSD gives you a completely different perception of reality and yourself with mind-blowing hallucinations. Cocaine is pure euphoria. Same with heroin, opium, XTC and so on. Removing addiction, potential health problems, and the flaws with the current system would be a change for the better. These problems can't be addressed correctly because of criminalization.

"I've seen no individual who's lives have been better because of illegal narcotics." Do you ever hear about the guys that don't almost die? It seems like you don't hear that because you wouldn't. "Nothing good comes of this stuff" I disagree. Without the risks associated, on the short term drugs seem really great. On the long term, sure there are issues, but these issues need to be fixed, instead of what's going on now.

Just a quick gripe. "One friend died from Heroin, he was struck by a truck." Hilarious rhymes aside, he didn't die from heroin, he died from a truck. You can argue that he died as a result of heroin use, but the heroin itself did not kill him.

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Re: Legalising drugs?

Postby HungryHobo » Fri Jan 14, 2011 3:17 am UTC

osiris32 wrote:Harder drugs, however, I cannot condone in any way. Have you ever actually TRIED to deal with someone strung out on crack?


The problem is that there's a sampling bias there you only ever see the cases where it all goes to shit.
Hell you talk about needing to have 5 times as many staff as customers: ie that every single crack user would turn psycho violent every single time.
I've seen 5+ trained bouncers restraining one spindly little guy on nothing more than alcohol and by your logic every club would need 5 bouncers for every person they're serving drinks to along with having unlimited expenses dealing with all the liver failure cases years down the line.... yet this isn't the case

your attitude reminds me somewhat of an aunt who works in public health, she only ever sees the cases where things go wrong while at the same time being in a position where she could reasonably be said to know more about the problems much like you are more familiar with the problems first hand.
Because she only ever sees the rare worst case scenarios where people have reacted really badly or suffered food poisoning etc etc etc she has completely unrealistic attitudes.
Any eggs cooked in her presence have to be boiled for 20 minutes or more, never eats out in any kind of restaurant because almost every restaurant kitchen she's ever been called out to has been a deathtrap, her opinions on unpasteurised cheese are somewhat less than sane: she's convinced that it's only slightly less dangerous than arsenic.

Their cost/profit margin is huge, so they can afford to undercut anything offered legally by a government.


right.... like how the mob is making a fortune off the granulated sugar trade since of course they can undercut anything offered legally by a government.

I disagree. While we would probable save MONEY when you compare the price of enforcing drug and import laws vs. distributing narcotics through government sanctioned dispensaries, you would not, in fact, have that much impact on the illegal drug market. The drug cartels would be able to lower their prices because they would no longer have to spend as much money to get their merchandise into the united states (I'm talking more about covert smuggling and loss-through-interdiction costs) so they would be able to undercut the government. This is because, in order to manufacture such materials, it would have to go through government-supervised factories, which cost money to build and maintain, be transported by government vehicles (more expense) and sold/cared for by government employees (who would have to be paid government hourly wages)

Also, this would not make "drug turf" less violent. In fact, it would make the areas around these dispensaries MORE violent, as you would have users either in the middle of their high or in their crash acting out, plus various drug cartels would see them as direct competition, and could potentially attack them. If that were to happen, the government would then have to respond with security, accruing yet another cost.


And this is utterly utterly insane.
The alcohol trade used to be controlled by the mob yet after prohibition bars weren't attacked by the mob as competition.
We no longer see speakeasies because contrary to your.... exceptionally odd claims legitimate businesses operating above board have a massive advantage over criminal organisations and can simply push them out of the market.


Criminals can't defy the rules of economics, with the added expense of operating bellow the radar they can be easily beaten by legal above board traders unless sales taxes are exceptionally high.

I think this video has some nice insights leading from the question of why crack dealers live with their moms. Turns out it's because they can't afford to move out.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5UGC2nLnaes
The gangs can be set up as a franchise with some remarkable similarities to McDonalds.
Local gangs buy into a franchise, get access to drugs under a particular brand name and are then responsible for local promotion and sales.
Most of the gang members make slightly less than a burger flipper at McDonalds while working a job which at it's worst was more dangerous than serving as a soldier in iraq or sitting on death row.
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Re: Legalising drugs?

Postby Arabascan » Sat Jan 15, 2011 10:47 am UTC

I have another reason why drugs should be legalized.

One of the biggest problems with drug addicts is that they are pushed into criminality. They take more and more drugs. If the employer notices that, the employee gets fired. They loose their family. Their situation gets worse, so they take more drugs, but can't afford them. They commit crimes to get them and go to prison. The siuation gets worse and worst.

If drugs would be legal in the way I imagine, they have to register as an addict. They get a daily (or weekly or whatever) dose of their needed drug for free under controlled conditions, so they wouldn't go rampage or something. So they can't get more addicted. Their emloyer will be informed and if they get fired, there will be companys who get subsidies if they employ addicts, so they don't loose job and family. They have a problem but are in a stable and controlled situation. And they have a bigger chance to recover.

And the other side effects: less criminality, less money put into drug wars and police... I think that the idea is very good.
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Re: Legalising drugs?

Postby HungryHobo » Sat Jan 15, 2011 1:27 pm UTC

Arabascan wrote:And the other side effects: less criminality, less money put into drug wars and police... I think that the idea is very good.


that ones a pretty classic argument: a few doses of legally produced heroin are orders of magnitude cheaper than a line of broken car windows and new car stereos and the police time to try to catch the guy, the sting operations to try to catch the dealers and the medical care of the officers hurt in the sting operation so just go with the cheaper option since opiate addicts who have plentiful supply of opiates tend to be fairly peaceful and reasonably functional.
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Re: Legalising drugs?

Postby Arabascan » Sat Jan 15, 2011 1:46 pm UTC

I didn't say that they should get plentiful supplies. They should get enough to avoid the withdrawl. And they should get the drug under controlled circumstances, for example in a hospital. They are watched so they wouldn't hurt themselves or others. Then they go home and can continue having a life.

Oh, I forgot another reason: Lots of addicts die because dealers blend drugs with stuff like dirt or rat posion. Some get HIV because they use used needles, or get infections. If drugs are legal, that can be controlled so that addicts are safer and wouldn't get sick or die.
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Re: Legalising drugs?

Postby The Unworthy Gentleman » Mon Jan 31, 2011 5:48 pm UTC

I say this every time this thread comes up on sites, and it's usually about marijuana so I'll use that here too.

To legalise drugs the government would have to make an excuse for why they suddenly changed their mind. Whatever they say is irrelevant however, the real reason will always be that they can tax them. I assume you take recreational drugs from your first post. By taxing them, governments would increase the current price by the same amount they tax alcohol and cigarettes by. Question: do you want to pay more for that small bit of security you'll get from the legalisation. In addition by putting drugs into private control you'll get less of a high from all the other crap put into the drugs, with an increase in price. That increase in price will then have the tax added on drastically increasing the price for less drugs. You stand to

Then there are the other economic arguments. Now, I haven't researched every drug and it's side uses, however one person has tried to say that marijuana can be used for other things and could take the part of some industries like paper production, allowing for a greener society. The problem with this is that the government rely on most businesses to get most of it's money, if these businesses were to be removed, the economy could take a massive hit, even for a short while. I don't know the actual amounts though, so I can't make an accurate judgement of how it would affect any specific country so it is just an educated prediction.

Actually all this is educated prediction. However, the point still stands... barely.

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Re: Legalising drugs?

Postby DSenette » Mon Jan 31, 2011 5:57 pm UTC

The Unworthy Gentleman wrote:I say this every time this thread comes up on sites, and it's usually about marijuana so I'll use that here too.

To legalise drugs the government would have to make an excuse for why they suddenly changed their mind. Whatever they say is irrelevant however, the real reason will always be that they can tax them. I assume you take recreational drugs from your first post. By taxing them, governments would increase the current price by the same amount they tax alcohol and cigarettes by. Question: do you want to pay more for that small bit of security you'll get from the legalisation. In addition by putting drugs into private control you'll get less of a high from all the other crap put into the drugs, with an increase in price. That increase in price will then have the tax added on drastically increasing the price for less drugs. You stand to
uh, what?
governments would increase the current price, which is fine. that's kind of the point of a tax.

it's not actually a "small bit of security". not only would you be secure in the knowledge that you won't go to jail for having a small amount of pot on you, but you'll also have the security of knowing that the product itself is regulated and you're not getting stuff laced with formaldehyde.

i don't know where you get YOUR pot from, but i get mine from where i do because it DOESN'T have any other crap in it. so, no i won't be paying more for less, i'd be paying more for the same

The Unworthy Gentleman wrote:Then there are the other economic arguments. Now, I haven't researched every drug and it's side uses, however one person has tried to say that marijuana can be used for other things and could take the part of some industries like paper production, allowing for a greener society. The problem with this is that the government rely on most businesses to get most of it's money, if these businesses were to be removed, the economy could take a massive hit, even for a short while. I don't know the actual amounts though, so I can't make an accurate judgement of how it would affect any specific country so it is just an educated prediction.

Actually all this is educated prediction. However, the point still stands... barely.

a LOT of paper manufacturers already (and have for quite some time....like, since the inception of the country) produce part of their products from hemp. that wouldn't change. even if hemp is more available (as a byproduct of pot production) then it wouldn't put anyone out of business, a paper mill can make paper out of just about anything without retooling, they just need to pulpify a product, soak it in some goo, and strain it into paper.
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Re: Legalising drugs?

Postby Wodashin » Mon Jan 31, 2011 9:44 pm UTC

Legalizing all drugs would be pure idiocy. Perhaps the lighter ones, but aside from that, as said, pure idiocy. CIA agents would kill themselves because of LSD, and seriously believing that legalizing even harder drugs like PCP would require such a skewed view of drugs it wouldn't even be funny. It's crazy how black and white people see this subject. Either all drugs, or no drugs. How about legalizing recreational drugs that don't have a chance of killing you just from using it, or causing you to burrow into your own intestines with your bare hands? Not too much to ask, I'd think, and I don't know why anyone would want to legalize drugs like that, or keep the more harmless drugs illegal.

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Re: Legalising drugs?

Postby Izawwlgood » Mon Jan 31, 2011 10:30 pm UTC

Hey look, some more people anti-drug propaganda worked on!
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Re: Legalising drugs?

Postby omgryebread » Mon Jan 31, 2011 11:12 pm UTC

Wodashin wrote:Legalizing all drugs would be pure idiocy. Perhaps the lighter ones, but aside from that, as said, pure idiocy. CIA agents would kill themselves because of LSD, and seriously believing that legalizing even harder drugs like PCP would require such a skewed view of drugs it wouldn't even be funny. It's crazy how black and white people see this subject. Either all drugs, or no drugs. How about legalizing recreational drugs that don't have a chance of killing you just from using it, or causing you to burrow into your own intestines with your bare hands? Not too much to ask, I'd think, and I don't know why anyone would want to legalize drugs like that, or keep the more harmless drugs illegal.
Because not everyone takes a totally hyperbolic view of drugs? I've been at plenty of parties where people taking PCP don't do anything approaching harming themselves. And presumably, CIA agents wouldn't be taking LSD even if it were legal. And just as most people on PCP don't rip out their intestines, not everyone can take marijuana without severe side effects. Marijuana can cause relapses in schizophrenics, or worsen symptoms, for example.

In general, I think use and possession of a small amount with intent to use should be legal for all drugs. Manufacture, distribution and possession with intent to distribute, or possession over a certain amount, should be illegal for harder drugs. I'd say at the least, marijuana and cocaine should be fully legal (marijuana because it's a very soft drug, and cocaine for economic reasons), though cocaine more highly regulated. That way, you can go after drug dealers and cartels, with actual efficacy in driving down supply, which brings up the price, which in turn drives down demand. Going after drug users does little to drive down demand, nothing to drive down supply, and costs a lot.

Legalizing drug use, even for amphetamines, would mean that we could actively pursue it as a public health problem. Provide needle swaps to reduce Hepatitis C and AIDS transmission, provide counseling without arrests, allow people to seek out help without worrying about being arrested, etc.
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Re: Legalising drugs?

Postby Wodashin » Tue Feb 01, 2011 2:18 am UTC

By CIA agents taking LSD, I meant the period of time when the CIA was trying to create some sort of mind control, or whatever MKULTRA was. From what I know, PCP is one of the harder drugs. Obviously not everyone will do something drastic, but saying that, because you went to 'plenty of parties' doesn't mean it can't. I've seen people drinking and nothing happened. Therefore, drinking does nothing to harm you in anyway. You can't just extrapolate from your experiences.

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Re: Legalising drugs?

Postby HungryHobo » Tue Feb 01, 2011 12:56 pm UTC

The problem with the argument is that different precepts lead to utterly different conclusions.

If you start from the direction of egalitarianism/liberalism then banning drugs makes absolute sense and the only argument is about exactly which ones are bad enough to warrent it.
Your right to live your life how you want and possibly screw it up is secondary to the fuzzy concept of "the greater good".
This way of thinking lies Sin Taxes on junk food and prohibition.But that's ok because it's for your own good and on average people may be happier if they're forced to not do things which are bad for them and punished for trying to do things which are bad for them.

If you start from the direction of individualism/libertarianism then banning drugs in and of itself makes little sense and the only argument is about people doing harm to others while on those drugs.
It isn't the governments job to stop you from jumping off a cliff. It isn't the governments job to stop you from drinking the stuff from under the kitchen sink, that's your mothers job.
It isn't the governments job to stop you from slitting your wrists or taking heroin. Only you can run your own life.

Both points of view are completely consistent with their own starting precepts so nobody is going to change views unless they change their worldview to swap the priority they give to individualism and egalitarianism.

There is of course some fuzzy stuff in the middle where people try to balance the 2 and also the far right religious viewpoint which doesn't care about egalitarianism or individualism but just wants the sinners to be punished for doing sinful things like taking drugs which is pretty much what shapes current policy.
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Re: Legalising drugs?

Postby DSenette » Tue Feb 01, 2011 1:20 pm UTC

Wodashin wrote:By CIA agents taking LSD, I meant the period of time when the CIA was trying to create some sort of mind control, or whatever MKULTRA was. From what I know, PCP is one of the harder drugs. Obviously not everyone will do something drastic, but saying that, because you went to 'plenty of parties' doesn't mean it can't. I've seen people drinking and nothing happened. Therefore, drinking does nothing to harm you in anyway. You can't just extrapolate from your experiences.

ah, so what you were saying is that if we legalize a drug today, then a bunch of guys in fedoras in the 40's and 50's would start taking more of it?

you can't extrapolate from your lack of experience. if your only experience with something is the hyperbolic news reports there of, then you can't project what you know onto the whole group either.

also, so what if someone takes a hit of PCP and then runs through a plate glass window? as long as they don't throw anyone else through the window it's their own fault for taking PCP. the government's place is not to protect us from ourselves
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Re: Legalising drugs?

Postby HungryHobo » Tue Feb 01, 2011 1:47 pm UTC

causing you to burrow into your own intestines with your bare hands?


as long as they don't throw anyone else through the window it's their own fault for taking PCP.


as mentioned above... these 2 really seem to represent the 2 positions.
*But you have to be protected from yourself* and *Screw it, it's your own life*

there can't really be much reconciliation between these 2 views since they represent 2 very different ways of looking at the world and 2 very different sets of goals.
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Re: Legalising drugs?

Postby DSenette » Tue Feb 01, 2011 1:53 pm UTC

HungryHobo wrote:
causing you to burrow into your own intestines with your bare hands?


as long as they don't throw anyone else through the window it's their own fault for taking PCP.


as mentioned above... these 2 really seem to represent the 2 positions.
*But you have to be protected from yourself* and *Screw it, it's your own life*

there can't really be much reconciliation between these 2 views since they represent 2 very different ways of looking at the world and 2 very different sets of goals.

again, the statement about protection from ourselves is with regards to the U.S. Government. in no way has the government been constructed with the purpose of protecting us from ourselves. the laws are there to protect you from me and me from you but not me from me. there are no laws against self harm.

there are laws about me doing something in the stock market that fucks up your stock portfolio without your consent/knowledge, there are no laws protecting me from investing in lycos.
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Re: Legalising drugs?

Postby HungryHobo » Tue Feb 01, 2011 2:19 pm UTC

DSenette wrote:again, the statement about protection from ourselves is with regards to the U.S. Government. in no way has the government been constructed with the purpose of protecting us from ourselves. the laws are there to protect you from me and me from you but not me from me. there are no laws against self harm.

there are laws about me doing something in the stock market that fucks up your stock portfolio without your consent/knowledge, there are no laws protecting me from investing in lycos.


Oh but that's not the view that a lot of people take.
You and I are squarly on the libertarian side of the issue but many people are not.

suicide used to be illegal and many people don't consider you to own yourself: the argument goes that if you kill yourself or harm yourself then people who care about you will be sad/hurt and....*missing argumet*... hence you don't own yourself and instead belong to the people who love you or know you and so you should be banned from hurting yourself and punished if you try.

most drug policy revolves around criminalising self harm and as the argument goes: in a democracy if enough people want the government to be their mommy then that becomes the governments job.

Lots of people absolutely love the idea of a government which is as protective as a parent and equally controlling. They believe that it's the governments job to take care of us all and hence it's only fair that it punish you if you make that job harder by using drugs or slitting your wrists.
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Re: Legalising drugs?

Postby Deep_Thought » Tue Feb 01, 2011 3:39 pm UTC

osiris32 wrote:Their cost/profit margin is huge, so they can afford to undercut anything offered legally by a government.

Apologies for weighing in without having read the entire thread, but this is one small point I'd like to pick up on. Do you really think the cartels can out-compete Roche, Pfizer, GSK, and any other large drug manufacturer you care to mention? I doubt any of them would have a problem, either economically or ethically, with producing large quantities of high-grade cocaine and heroin. Hell, they do already, just in small quantities*. If you'll permit a brief moment of levity I have a funny image in my head of a big-Pharma rep standing on the street corner in a suit offering to undercut the local dealer. Apart from that I actually agree with much of what osiris said.

*Well, I assume they do. I've read research papers where people have fed rats cocaine intravenously. I am assuming that came from a legitimate source. And no, I'm not googling for 'medicinal cocaine supplies' while I'm at work.

c0lors
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Re: Legalising drugs?

Postby c0lors » Tue Feb 01, 2011 5:18 pm UTC

Ugh, I can't imagine what possible benefit there could be to legalizing drugs. They're illegal for a reason. The government has an interest in limiting the things people can do to harm themselves (hence gun control, FDA, etc). I guess I could support medicinal marijuana for cancer patients, but I cannot support legalization of things that are proven to make you dumber, lazier, less productive, and less able to take care of yourself. The USA should be building a nation of adults, not fat lazy pot smoking man children.


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