Drugs in America, the War on Drugs, and What Should Change

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Drugs in America, the War on Drugs, and What Should Change

Postby TheBeeCeeEmm » Sun Nov 16, 2008 8:33 am UTC

For reference in this thread: This post contains links to a number of studies concerning drug use.

~CM


Preface: I searched and couldn't find any topic similar to this barring the Marijuana one. This is about ALL drugs; if I missed the topic, then I'll feel really dumb and I'm sure there will be jokes about potheads and this topic will get locked. The beginning is about weed, but it evolves as it goes on. I really can't do a tl;dr to this, but in one sentence: Drugs should be legal if they do not cause harm to anyone but the user. It's more than that, though.
-----

Why do drugs get so much hate? I just don't understand it. Sure, people are finally beginning to realize, on a massive scale, how good cannabis is. It's a plant that is almost exclusively good; slightly less if smoked, since smoke is naturally harmful to the lungs, because it is smoke. I mean, here's a plant that is completely non-addictive (inb4 figures showing large numbers of people in rehab for it, that's the DEA twisting numbers. About 98% of them are caught for possession and are there because they are given the choice between jail and rehab. Hur hurr, I wonder which they'll choose.) and could be so beneficial to mankind, both in medical and recreational senses; that is 9 times out of 10 better than the pharmaceutical alternatives (the side effects of which are generally much worse than anything THC or burning plant matter could ever do to you) and much safer than alcohol for fun - the list goes on and on of its benefits, which I won't continue here since it's fairly easy to look up.

And it's taken this long (next year, cross your fingers in California that the prop actually gets on the ballot this time; if it does, I'm fairly sure it will pass) for it to become legal. Some people think it still might take another decade for the feds to pull their heads out of their asses and make it legal nation-wide.

And yet there are movements going on right now to ban salvia - you know salvia, it's the drug that you smoke that gives intense to very intense hallucinations for about five minutes. And for what? Are there any wide-spread cases of its abuse? It's certainly not chemically addictive, and as for mentally, well...If you have ANY experience with it, you would know that it's not something you get "addicted to the feeling of". I hear that something like half the people who do it the first time don't even like it and never go back to it. And there haven't been mass suicides because of it; in fact, I've only heard of one case of someone committing suicide, and that was only "allegedly" because of salvia. The kid hadn't even been ON salvia at the time, but of course, salvia HAD to be the thing that caused it. Anyway, this clearly hasn't been a problem, either.

But we're trying to outlaw it. Why? The answer is that people go "IT'S A DRUG!!!!" and therefore, it must be illegal. I use salvia because it is a prime example of the current view on drugs. How many illegal drugs are there right now that are not as harmful as we've been led to believe? As someone who has recently done LSD, I can tell you that it's not the insane psychopath-creator that the DEA wants you to believe. If certain drugs were as bad as people claim, don't you think that they would be parading the statistics throughout every media outlet? Instead of relying on old urban myths and DARE-style scare-tactics? Ohhhh, ohhh, acid stays in your spine forever!! Oooo, cannabis will somehow ruin your life because it is bad, be afraid...

On the topic of addictiveness, anything can be addictive. McDonald's can be addictive, harmful, and ruin lives - but for every guy who went from healthy to 500lbs and 2 heart-attacks a month, there's a million people who stop there once a week when they are short on time, or, heck, just want a quick burger. Should we ban McDonald's? Clearly not.

What does it say about our society that in order for something to become legal, it must be beneficial to medicine? Why can it not just be fun? Why is that a bad thing? And if they do kill your brain cells over a long period of time, why should we care? If the drug doesn't cause you to go into a murdering frenzy, why should it be illegal, regardless of what it does to the user? If I want to shove a pencil into my eye, I should be able to. It is my body. It is my life. And assuming what I do does not harm others, it should be my choice. If you believe in freedom, the idea that the government should interfere because they know what is better for you is absurd, in my opinion.

There are so many facets to why the current policy on drugs is just wrong that it's hard to articulate every single one. I could write a whole other tirade on why the "War on Drugs" is an utter failure, and maybe I will, later - the loss of revenue due to it, the increase in prison populations, the loss of freedom is causes, and the utter failure of its effectiveness are just a small part - but this is about more than just the Drug War alone. What I want to hear, from you here in Serious Business, filled with many intelligent individuals, is what you think about drugs, why I'm wrong, why I'm right, and what you think should be done.

My position is this: I believe that many of the studies done on various drugs are outdated, biased, and incomplete; there needs to be a completely new set of studies done on all of them that are thorough and accurate without social bias. I believe that these tests will show that many drugs, if taken in moderation - like all things in life - are not very harmful at worst, and enhance your life as a whole at best. I believe that when these tests are complete, the policy on drugs will need to have a complete overhaul, and I believe that the hundreds of thousands in jail for little more than possession need to be let go.

I believe that cannabis should be regulated like alcohol, legal at 18 (I think alcohol should be at 18 as well...another topic.); salvia should be available to those only over 18. I believe that LSD and mushrooms, as well as other strong hallucinogens should be regulated and provided to individuals who pass mental-health exams and who have no previous history of mental illness. I'm hesitant to say that these should be available only to those over 18; I believe a better age would be something like 13, when a child becomes a teenager - barring, of course, the discovery that it has effects on the development of the brain at young ages(I don't, by the way, expect this position - them being available at anything under 18 - to be very widely accepted. I can drop it if that is what becomes necessary. Compromises and all that).The untapped medicinal purposes of these should also be explored.

My knowledge of other drugs is sparse at best; ecstasy (MDMA) needs to undergo many tests to put to either put to rest or prove the claims of its harmfulness, and should be regulated somewhere in between cannabis and hallucinogens. 18+. Cocaine, heroin...heroin is dangerous in its addictiveness, but if tests show that those under its influence are no more of a danger to others than other drugs, rehab should be made easily available to those who desire it, without overtones of failure and such - though, that should be a staple of all rehab clinics.

Highly addictive drugs, however, are like a rock in the shoe of my argument, and I recognize this. As I'm sure some of you are planning to argue, these do in fact have the opportunity to ruin lives when the user is forced to obtain them with money that was supposed to be used to keep themself housed or fed, or their family housed/fed. Any suggestions would be good, since I don't really know how to resolve this. I believe that, perhaps before someone wishes to obtain them, they must go through "training" or something, to make sure they fully understand what it is they are getting into. Help me out here, as you can see my position on them is weak.

The list goes on, but those are the ones that jump out in my mind.

Now, a point I'd like to make very clear is this: I believe that tests will show that some substances, when taken, do pose significant risk to others; this includes dissociatives such as PCP. I will not propose, however, the banning of such substances if tests are inconclusive or fail to demonstrate proper risk.

As much as I would like to say "LET ALL DRUGS LOOSE!", as some do, I feel such a position is juvenile at best when studies have never properly been done on so many substances.

Feel free to tear me apart, as I'm sure some of you will attempt.
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Re: Drugs in America, the War on Drugs, and What Should Change

Postby Mzyxptlk » Sun Nov 16, 2008 10:54 am UTC

TheBeeCeeEmm wrote:Feel free to tear me apart, as I'm sure some of you will attempt.

It is generally not a good idea to encourage people to flame you.

It was an encouragement for dissenting thought. Please use the "report post" function if you take issue with someone else's post, rather than responding in the thread.

Carry on.

~CM
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Re: Drugs in America, the War on Drugs, and What Should Change

Postby TheBeeCeeEmm » Sun Nov 16, 2008 11:49 am UTC

I'm not encouraging flaming, I'm encouraging debate and saying that I won't get pissy at ideas that go against mine.
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Re: Drugs in America, the War on Drugs, and What Should Change

Postby Gunfingers » Sun Nov 16, 2008 3:56 pm UTC

Much as i disagree with their legislation, it's not hard to understand why people want drugs to be illegal. Using them is bad for you. Yes, even cannabis. But the big thing is cultural. It's the same reason we try to criminalize gay marriage, we have moral and cultural problems with it. I'm sure i don't have to tell you that's BS.

Myself, i'm a libertarian, and a states' rights libertarian at that. Even if i believed there were a justification for criminalizing drugs i'd be pissed that there's any such thing as the ONDCP and DEA. But there isn't a real justification. No matter how bad they are for you, they don't hurt anyone but you. Usually not even you. I'm actually retrospectively surprised Roe V. Wade didn't have the side effect striking down drug laws. It upheld the individual right to bodily autonomy, which means i have the right to put whatever i want into my body.

As an amusing side note, i have never tried, nor shall i ever try, pot, crack, heroine, meth, coke, alcohol, coffee, or any other behavior altering substance.

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Re: Drugs in America, the War on Drugs, and What Should Change

Postby TheStranger » Sun Nov 16, 2008 4:38 pm UTC

The whole "War on Drugs" seems like a monumental waste of time / resources for the government. Restrictions on use are fine by me (as there are some dangerous drugs out there... acid / meth / pcp come to mind), but the current total ban policies only serve to fill our jails with people (addicts, casual users) who do not belong there and feed money into criminal organizations.
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Re: Drugs in America, the War on Drugs, and What Should Change

Postby a thing » Sun Nov 16, 2008 7:08 pm UTC

Reasons why to end the War on Drugs:
1. PEOPLE ARE DYING because of it.
2. The government oversteps its boundaries when it tells us what we can do with ourselves.
3. It is a failure. How many experienced illegal drug users are worried because they have a good chance of being arrested? Also, when Columbian smugglers are caught with massive amounts of cocaine, what happens to the street price or availability? Nothing. See the first link in point #1.
4. It is a major outlet for law enforcement racism. A disproportionate amount of minorities are imprisoned for illegal drug use.
5. It is expensive. This includes the cost of law enforcement, imprisonment, and all those overseas military operations (especially Columbia and Afghanistan).
6. People are being denied medicine. Many know of the medical uses of cannabis, but there are more medical uses of illegal drugs (notably MDMA for PTSD).
7. Illegal drugs can be fun and/or assist in incredible life-changing experiences.

http://www.alternet.org/drugreporter/10 ... age=entire
http://www.dancesafe.org/documents/druginfo/pma_faq.php
http://leap.cc/cms/index.php?name=Content&pid=2
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HmgeCeGk--I
http://thedea.org/EcstasyRising.html
http://maps.org/

What should be done instead?
All drugs should be legal with the exception of smoking (any substance) in a publicly accessible building not specifically for that purpose since that affects more than just the user. There should be regulation of the purity of drugs. Factual drug education should be a part of every high school health class so people can make decisions for themselves. If people are still stupid enough to get addicted to heroin, well that is their own damn fault. Rehab should be covered by health insurance (reforming that is another issue).

Marketing of harmful or addictive drugs (alcohol, cocaine, heroin, methamphetamine, ketamine...) should be forbidden except for publications specifically designed for that purpose (football on TV was not specifically designed for alcohol advertisement).

Regarding age, it should be illegal to sell or market drugs to anyone under 13 years of age. Obviously I do not want to see an ignorant 5-year-old purchasing cocaine. However, drawing a line is too slippery of a slope. Parents should be left with that decision.
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Re: Drugs in America, the War on Drugs, and What Should Change

Postby Malice » Sun Nov 16, 2008 8:42 pm UTC

a thing wrote:What should be done instead?
All drugs should be legal with the exception of smoking (any substance) in a publicly accessible building not specifically for that purpose since that affects more than just the user. There should be regulation of the purity of drugs. Factual drug education should be a part of every high school health class so people can make decisions for themselves. If people are still stupid enough to get addicted to heroin, well that is their own damn fault.


Unfortunately, other drugs (besides just smoking) end up affecting other people. A heroin addict, for example, will turn to crime in order to pay for his drugs. Somebody who does PCP can go out and hurt people. Etc. And that's besides the fact that society as a whole is hurt by people who do drugs instead of being productive citizens. There are negative externalities here which at the least must be weighed against the benefits of legalization.
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Re: Drugs in America, the War on Drugs, and What Should Change

Postby TheBeeCeeEmm » Sun Nov 16, 2008 8:52 pm UTC

TheStranger wrote:The whole "War on Drugs" seems like a monumental waste of time / resources for the government. Restrictions on use are fine by me (as there are some dangerous drugs out there... acid / meth / pcp come to mind), but the current total ban policies only serve to fill our jails with people (addicts, casual users) who do not belong there and feed money into criminal organizations.


You should take acid off that list. It's in no way comparable to the other two, in fact all three you mentioned are different classes of drugs with wildly different effects. Please do not generalize, as while I might agree on the second two (provided that full testing is done, as I said), acid is not "dangerous", at least not in the way the other two can be.
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Re: Drugs in America, the War on Drugs, and What Should Change

Postby Green9090 » Sun Nov 16, 2008 9:00 pm UTC

Malice wrote:Unfortunately, other drugs (besides just smoking) end up affecting other people. A heroin addict, for example, will turn to crime in order to pay for his drugs.

I'd be willing to bet that the fact that a person has already broken the law by taking the drug makes them more willing to break MORE laws than somebody who lawfully used heroin. There's a mentality there of "well I'm already an outlaw, how much could a few more broken laws hurt?"
Malice wrote:And that's besides the fact that society as a whole is hurt by people who do drugs instead of being productive citizens.

You're right- let's go ahead and outlaw alcohol right now; we already have the exact problem you described with alcohol. And TV- that's not helping anyone be productive. Video games too. Maybe playing cards.

Outlawing something because it makes people less productive is a very, very scary precedent to me.
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Re: Drugs in America, the War on Drugs, and What Should Change

Postby a thing » Sun Nov 16, 2008 9:11 pm UTC

Malice wrote:Unfortunately, other drugs (besides just smoking) end up affecting other people. A heroin addict, for example, will turn to crime in order to pay for his drugs. Somebody who does PCP can go out and hurt people. Etc. And that's besides the fact that society as a whole is hurt by people who do drugs instead of being productive citizens. There are negative externalities here which at the least must be weighed against the benefits of legalization.


The above post by Green9090: ++

Also, turning to crime to get drugs is already a crime. Going out and hurting people is already a crime. Adding a drug into the situation does not change what the crime does to other people.
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Re: Drugs in America, the War on Drugs, and What Should Change

Postby Bubbles McCoy » Sun Nov 16, 2008 9:38 pm UTC

Also, the theft already exists on top of crimes commited by drug organization, so the net decrease in crime will probably be substantial. The legalization of something like heroin will probably decrease it's cost too, (probably more then half it, even with very substantial taxation) leading to fairly steep dropoff in amount of theft needed to support the habit. Unless legalization of heroin somehow quadruples the number of users, crime will drop as a result of its legalization.

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Re: Drugs in America, the War on Drugs, and What Should Change

Postby tantalum » Sun Nov 16, 2008 11:07 pm UTC

point #1: Pushing the market underground causes prices to rise. Pharmaceutical companies could probably provide the entire U.S. demand for LSD for less than a million dollars (probably as low as 10,000$). This in turn, fuels illegal drug production by gangs, Afghanistan, North Korea, etc. Legalizing drugs could potentially fuck up North Korea's income. What would they say, "you guys should make drugs illegal so we can continue to make money off of your addicts"?

point #2: "We should allow drugs since they only harm the user himself and noone else" This sounds like a very libertarian/freedom from government intervention point of view. The last time I checked, the Republicans were simultaneously laissez-faire and in favor of illegalizing drugs. can someone explain this to me? o.O

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Re: Drugs in America, the War on Drugs, and What Should Change

Postby Gunfingers » Sun Nov 16, 2008 11:23 pm UTC

Easy explanation: republicans aren't laissez-faire.

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Re: Drugs in America, the War on Drugs, and What Should Change

Postby DrProfessorPhD » Sun Nov 16, 2008 11:30 pm UTC

Indeed, both of the parties seem to be contradictory. Republicans want a free economy but not civil freedom. Democrats want a more regulated economy but favors more civil freedom. Very paradoxical.

To remain on topic: I agree with the OP. Most drugs are as safe as or safer than currently legal ones. Plus, the impossibility of regulation because of it being a black market means that quality is lowered and prices raised compared to if it was legalized. Many or all of the concerns about many of the drugs would be relieved if they were made legal. It might also help if misinformation stopped being spread around...
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Re: Drugs in America, the War on Drugs, and What Should Change

Postby Malice » Sun Nov 16, 2008 11:46 pm UTC

Green9090 wrote:
Malice wrote:Unfortunately, other drugs (besides just smoking) end up affecting other people. A heroin addict, for example, will turn to crime in order to pay for his drugs.

I'd be willing to bet that the fact that a person has already broken the law by taking the drug makes them more willing to break MORE laws than somebody who lawfully used heroin. There's a mentality there of "well I'm already an outlaw, how much could a few more broken laws hurt?"


I'm willing to bet 99% of the mentality is "I will do whatever the fuck I have to in order to buy more happy juice." Addiction leads to bad things. Which leads to the next point...

Malice wrote:And that's besides the fact that society as a whole is hurt by people who do drugs instead of being productive citizens.

You're right- let's go ahead and outlaw alcohol right now; we already have the exact problem you described with alcohol. And TV- that's not helping anyone be productive. Video games too. Maybe playing cards.


None of those things are generally addictive. Some drugs are, however. Those drugs will tend to destroy the lives of anyone on them, anyone those addicts are related to, anyone they're friends with, etc. The issue is not as simple as "Well, it only hurts myself." The external effects of drugs are physical, emotional, and economical (for example, hospital costs from treating addicts and ODs), and that cannot be entirely ignored in the pursuit of the freedom to be a selfish destructive fuckwit.

---

On the other side of things.... while I am ideologically opposed to legalizing drugs, I am practically speaking all for it. Outlawing drugs simply doesn't work, and creates a lot of nasty problems. I'd much rather legalize, tax, and regulate. Although I'm not sure it would be any better for large corporations to be selling addictive drugs versus low-level dealers.
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Re: Drugs in America, the War on Drugs, and What Should Change

Postby DarkKnightJared » Mon Nov 17, 2008 1:12 am UTC

I have to agree with the OP--the War on Drugs really doesn't do a whole lot then waste money, put more people in jail then necessary, and limits our freedom. I'm not too sure about the harder drugs, like meth or crack and that kind of stuff--perhaps decriminalizing the substance and offering help to those who either want it or are caught commiting a crime with the drug in their system--but something like pot, for example, should be legal, sold, with a nifty little tax for good measure.

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Re: Drugs in America, the War on Drugs, and What Should Change

Postby Green9090 » Mon Nov 17, 2008 1:16 am UTC

Malice wrote:I'm willing to bet 99% of the mentality is "I will do whatever the fuck I have to in order to buy more happy juice."

I could respond with another nuh-uh, but I don't think either of us have actual studies to back up our hunches. We'll call it a draw.

Malice wrote:
Green9090 wrote:
Malice wrote:And that's besides the fact that society as a whole is hurt by people who do drugs instead of being productive citizens.

You're right- let's go ahead and outlaw alcohol right now; we already have the exact problem you described with alcohol. And TV- that's not helping anyone be productive. Video games too. Maybe playing cards.


None of those things are generally addictive. Some drugs are, however. Those drugs will tend to destroy the lives of anyone on them, anyone those addicts are related to, anyone they're friends with, etc. The issue is not as simple as "Well, it only hurts myself." The external effects of drugs are physical, emotional, and economical (for example, hospital costs from treating addicts and ODs), and that cannot be entirely ignored in the pursuit of the freedom to be a selfish destructive fuckwit.

Alcohol is all of those things. It's a pretty terrible drug when abused; MUCH worse than, for example, marijuana. I know, having lived with both alcohol addicts and habitual marijuana users (I'm hesitant to say addicts since marijuana isn't an addictive drug). Indeed, the only thing that makes marijuana a potentially worse habit is the fact that it costs ten times what it ought to simply by being illegal.

Malice wrote:On the other side of things.... while I am ideologically opposed to legalizing drugs, I am practically speaking all for it. Outlawing drugs simply doesn't work, and creates a lot of nasty problems. I'd much rather legalize, tax, and regulate. Although I'm not sure it would be any better for large corporations to be selling addictive drugs versus low-level dealers.

It seems to me that you're not so much in favor of making drugs illegal as you are in favor of making them non-existent. I'm also anti-the existence of drugs (I don't do any except the occasional bit of caffeine, by the way), but making them illegal just compounds the problem by adding in a whole underground crime organization centered around their production and sale.
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Re: Drugs in America, the War on Drugs, and What Should Change

Postby paora42 » Mon Nov 17, 2008 2:27 am UTC

I don't have time to read the entire thread...

I just wanted to point out that I had to re-read the thread title!

I immediately thought that this post was about prescription drugs, and then I had to re-read it and then I realized that it was about the "war on drugs"

lol, which is worse?

Reading the thread, especially one this short, is a prerequisite for positive contribution to the discussion. Please do so before posting.

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Re: Drugs in America, the War on Drugs, and What Should Change

Postby TheBeeCeeEmm » Mon Nov 17, 2008 2:35 am UTC

paora42 wrote:I don't have time to read the entire thread...


Then don't post. Thanks. Isn't this the kind of shit that the new rules are meant to enforce?

Yes. The report button is your friend ;)

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On-topic, I'm surprised to find so little dissent to most of my opinions, and I believe some of the ones that are dissenting are (not meant to be patronizing here) due to the standard drug-prejudices; those talking about the dangers of certain drugs - what would your opinion be if studies showed them to not be as dangerous as is commonly believed?
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Re: Drugs in America, the War on Drugs, and What Should Change

Postby jimrandomh » Mon Nov 17, 2008 3:02 am UTC

I think the problem is that there are a lot of people who only think in sound bites, who can't understand that crack (which seriously harms its users and causes crime) is not the same thing as marijuana (which doesn't). All Americans from my generation received extensive anti-drug propaganda in grade school, which we then find out is full of lies. Less intelligent people may then assume that since the government falsely claimed that marijuana was addictive and harmful, it must have also lied about meth, crack and the rest. Since some of those drugs really are harmful and addictive, they end up in real trouble.

From what I've observed, the main reason people try new drugs is when they can't get what they're used to, usually because of temporary supply shortages caused by the war on drugs. There are a lot of drugs which are so bad that the only reason anyone would use them is because they're addicted to something they can't get, and desperate for a substitute. If all drugs were legalized, the worst ones would soon disappear.

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Re: Drugs in America, the War on Drugs, and What Should Change

Postby Malice » Mon Nov 17, 2008 3:17 am UTC

Green9090 wrote:
None of those things are generally addictive. Some drugs are, however. Those drugs will tend to destroy the lives of anyone on them, anyone those addicts are related to, anyone they're friends with, etc. The issue is not as simple as "Well, it only hurts myself." The external effects of drugs are physical, emotional, and economical (for example, hospital costs from treating addicts and ODs), and that cannot be entirely ignored in the pursuit of the freedom to be a selfish destructive fuckwit.

Alcohol is all of those things. It's a pretty terrible drug when abused; MUCH worse than, for example, marijuana. I know, having lived with both alcohol addicts and habitual marijuana users (I'm hesitant to say addicts since marijuana isn't an addictive drug). Indeed, the only thing that makes marijuana a potentially worse habit is the fact that it costs ten times what it ought to simply by being illegal.


Alcohol isn't nearly as addictive as some drugs. In fact, I'm not sure that it's addictive at all--no more so than chocolate or sex or anything else that a naturally addictive personality latches onto. It's definitely not as bad as say, heroin. The vast majority of people use it in moderation, which is something you can't really say for hard drugs like heroin or cocaine.
As an aside, using alcohol as an exception to anything I argue doesn't tend to work, because I lump it in with the rest of the drugs. It has just as many negative externalities as some drugs, and happens to be more popular. Just because the government is hypocritical about it doesn't mean I agree with them. I'd be happier if it didn't exist, or at least wasn't as pervasive as it currently is.

Malice wrote:On the other side of things.... while I am ideologically opposed to legalizing drugs, I am practically speaking all for it. Outlawing drugs simply doesn't work, and creates a lot of nasty problems. I'd much rather legalize, tax, and regulate. Although I'm not sure it would be any better for large corporations to be selling addictive drugs versus low-level dealers.

It seems to me that you're not so much in favor of making drugs illegal as you are in favor of making them non-existent. I'm also anti-the existence of drugs (I don't do any except the occasional bit of caffeine, by the way), but making them illegal just compounds the problem by adding in a whole underground crime organization centered around their production and sale.


I agree. I'm not entirely sure if that problem is more important than the problems that come with legalizing drugs, but until somebody in this thread changes my mind I'll continue to assume it is.
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Re: Drugs in America, the War on Drugs, and What Should Change

Postby Green9090 » Mon Nov 17, 2008 3:23 am UTC

Malice wrote:As an aside, using alcohol as an exception to anything I argue doesn't tend to work, because I lump it in with the rest of the drugs. It has just as many negative externalities as some drugs, and happens to be more popular. Just because the government is hypocritical about it doesn't mean I agree with them.

So I take this to mean that you are all for a second prohibition? Because, I mean, we saw how well that worked out.

If you're not pro-prohibition, then I'm afraid using alcohol as an exception to what you argue is perfectly valid, since the same logic applies.

Malice wrote:I agree. I'm not entirely sure if that problem is more important than the problems that come with legalizing drugs, but until somebody in this thread changes my mind I'll continue to assume it is.

Not to be patronizing, but it seems that your response to many of the very good reasons to legalize drugs put forth here has been "nuh-uh." And unless somebody has a really really good reason to make something illegal, it should be legal. Period. That's what freedom is. You're trying to flip that and say that only those things which have a very good reason to be legal ought to be, and everything else should be illegal.
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Re: Drugs in America, the War on Drugs, and What Should Change

Postby TheBeeCeeEmm » Mon Nov 17, 2008 3:44 am UTC

jimrandomh wrote:I think the problem is that there are a lot of people who only think in sound bites, who can't understand that crack (which seriously harms its users and causes crime) is not the same thing as marijuana (which doesn't). All Americans from my generation received extensive anti-drug propaganda in grade school, which we then find out is full of lies. Less intelligent people may then assume that since the government falsely claimed that marijuana was addictive and harmful, it must have also lied about meth, crack and the rest. Since some of those drugs really are harmful and addictive, they end up in real trouble.

From what I've observed, the main reason people try new drugs is when they can't get what they're used to, usually because of temporary supply shortages caused by the war on drugs. There are a lot of drugs which are so bad that the only reason anyone would use them is because they're addicted to something they can't get, and desperate for a substitute. If all drugs were legalized, the worst ones would soon disappear.


I strongly agree with everything you said, and I'm not pro-all-drugs. On a personal level, I only want cannabis, acid, and shrooms (and Ecstasy if it can be proven whether or not it damages the pleasure-centers in your brain). I don't drink, and I don't smoke tobacco, I'm not interested in cocaine, heroin, PCP, etc etc, but I don't think they should be ruled out as strictly illegal until tests are done - however, I agree that the demand will go down.

One of the most ironically funny things involving the War on Drugs to me is that so many supporters of it cite the "gateway effect". What they don't take into account is that most people don't go, "This weed is fun, I want to try cocaine", they enjoy weed, and since they're forced to go to a dealer for it, he likely also sells cocaine and says, "Hey, you want some coke?". So, yes, in a sense, the gateway effect is real, but it is caused by prohibition and the War on Drugs.
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Re: Drugs in America, the War on Drugs, and What Should Change

Postby a thing » Mon Nov 17, 2008 3:49 am UTC

jimrandomh wrote:From what I've observed, the main reason people try new drugs is when they can't get what they're used to, usually because of temporary supply shortages caused by the war on drugs. There are a lot of drugs which are so bad that the only reason anyone would use them is because they're addicted to something they can't get, and desperate for a substitute. If all drugs were legalized, the worst ones would soon disappear.


What? Then how do people get started with drugs? Some (or most) people want to try something new that they heard was fun or enlightening.

Malice wrote:Alcohol isn't nearly as addictive as some drugs. In fact, I'm not sure that it's addictive at all--no more so than chocolate or sex or anything else that a naturally addictive personality latches onto. It's definitely not as bad as say, heroin. The vast majority of people use it in moderation, which is something you can't really say for hard drugs like heroin or cocaine.
As an aside, using alcohol as an exception to anything I argue doesn't tend to work, because I lump it in with the rest of the drugs. It has just as many negative externalities as some drugs, and happens to be more popular. Just because the government is hypocritical about it doesn't mean I agree with them. I'd be happier if it didn't exist, or at least wasn't as pervasive as it currently is.


Wrong. Alcohol is addictive.

What evidence is there that most heroin and cocaine users do or do not use in moderation?

Btw, I would also rather alcohol not be so prevalent.

TheBeeCeeEmm wrote:Ecstasy if it can be proven whether or not it damages the pleasure-centers in your brain


MDMA does do long-term damage if abused (that is, use more than once every several weeks). l have not heard any evidence of responsible use (spacing out rolls, pre/post-loading with vitamins and 5HTP) causing negative effects.


I would like to see more discussion regarding age restrictions.
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Re: Drugs in America, the War on Drugs, and What Should Change

Postby Malice » Mon Nov 17, 2008 4:01 am UTC

Green9090 wrote:
Malice wrote:As an aside, using alcohol as an exception to anything I argue doesn't tend to work, because I lump it in with the rest of the drugs. It has just as many negative externalities as some drugs, and happens to be more popular. Just because the government is hypocritical about it doesn't mean I agree with them.

So I take this to mean that you are all for a second prohibition? Because, I mean, we saw how well that worked out.


See, personally, I believe everybody deserves a second chance. Specifically, you deserve a second chance to read my post. Allow me to quote:

Malice wrote:On the other side of things.... while I am ideologically opposed to legalizing drugs, I am practically speaking all for it. Outlawing drugs simply doesn't work, and creates a lot of nasty problems. I'd much rather legalize, tax, and regulate.


If you're not pro-prohibition, then I'm afraid using alcohol as an exception to what you argue is perfectly valid, since the same logic applies.

I would rather drugs didn't exist. Since they do exist, I would rather they be illegal. Since we can't effectively do that, I would rather they be legal and strictly regulated. I don't make an exception for alcohol. Is there a hole in my logic?

Malice wrote:I agree. I'm not entirely sure if that problem is more important than the problems that come with legalizing drugs, but until somebody in this thread changes my mind I'll continue to assume it is.

Not to be patronizing, but it seems that your response to many of the very good reasons to legalize drugs put forth here has been "nuh-uh." And unless somebody has a really really good reason to make something illegal, it should be legal. Period. That's what freedom is. You're trying to flip that and say that only those things which have a very good reason to be legal ought to be, and everything else should be illegal.


No, actually, that's not what I'm saying. I'm saying the same thing you are--that an overriding necessity must be present in order for us to criminalize something. I happen to think that the negative effects of drugs constitute an overriding necessity--that the expansion (or protection, if you prefer) of freedom here is greatly detrimental to society--great enough that it outweighs the benefit of individual freedom. However, I also think that we cannot effectively police drugs, and that this failure leads to negative effects possibly greater than the original overriding necessity. Hence my position: I wish we could properly criminalize drugs, but we can't at this time in the real world, so I am in favor of legalizing them.
The only caveat to that is that I'm not sure whether that balance works for certain drugs with powerful addictive qualities. It's possible that the positive effects of outlawing drugs like crack and heroin outweigh the negative ones. I'm not sure.
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Re: Drugs in America, the War on Drugs, and What Should Change

Postby Green9090 » Mon Nov 17, 2008 4:11 am UTC

a thing wrote:I would like to see more discussion regarding age restrictions.

18 for the more dangerous drugs (heroin, cocaine, PCP, etc.) and unrestricted use and purchase of less dangerous drugs; 16 with parental consent and restrictions on amount for the less dangerous ones (alcohol, marijuana, tobacco).

My reasoning is that, at 18, you're allowed to live on your own. You're allowed to join the army, get a job, vote, get married... there is no valid reason to say "you're a full adult EXCEPT you can't take some drugs until you're older."

Light drinking at 16 would greatly reduce stupid 17-21 year olds at college killing themselves by drinking excessively. You don't learn how to drink while you're with your parents, and then when you do drink it's around a bunch of peer pressure from kids who likely have been drinking much longer than you and thus have a higher alcohol tolerance. Gee, I wonder what's going to happen? This would also eliminate the big mystery behind alcohol, which makes it much less cool.

@Malice: I guess you're agreeing with me then? I'd prefer not to argue with you about which fantasy world it would be cool to live in; I'm arguing about what we should do, in the real world, about drugs. We can't effectively criminalize them, so it's infinitely better to legalize and regulate them, as you said. The end?
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Re: Drugs in America, the War on Drugs, and What Should Change

Postby a thing » Mon Nov 17, 2008 4:25 am UTC

TheBeeCeeEmm wrote:I believe that LSD and mushrooms, as well as other strong hallucinogens should be regulated and provided to individuals who pass mental-health exams and who have no previous history of mental illness.


I agree that only people in good mental health should use psychedelics. However, denying their use to those in poor mental health is too subjective and too slippery of a slope. It is like deciding who gets to vote based on intelligence.

Green9090 wrote:18 for the more dangerous drugs (heroin, cocaine, PCP, etc.) and unrestricted use and purchase of less dangerous drugs; 16 with parental consent and restrictions on amount for the less dangerous ones (alcohol, marijuana, tobacco).


Alcohol and tobacco are some of the more dangerous drugs.

Green9090 wrote:My reasoning is that, at 18, you're allowed to live on your own. You're allowed to join the army, get a job, vote, get married... there is no valid reason to say "you're a full adult EXCEPT you can't take some drugs until you're older."

Light drinking at 16 would greatly reduce stupid 17-21 year olds at college killing themselves by drinking excessively. You don't learn how to drink while you're with your parents, and then when you do drink it's around a bunch of peer pressure from kids who likely have been drinking much longer than you and thus have a higher alcohol tolerance. Gee, I wonder what's going to happen? This would also eliminate the big mystery behind alcohol, which makes it much less cool.


Good point if you put any age restrictions on use.
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Re: Drugs in America, the War on Drugs, and What Should Change

Postby Green9090 » Mon Nov 17, 2008 4:32 am UTC

a thing wrote:Alcohol and tobacco are some of the more dangerous drugs.

I strongly disagree. All of the drugs I listed as more dangerous are both more addictive and more damaging. Tobacco is relatively harmless in that most of what's wrong with it is just the smoke tearing up the lungs. Plenty of people smoke their whole lives and live past 80, which seems pretty good to me. Alcohol, if one learns responsible use (which is hard when you can't legally drink until 21), is also fairly harmless.

Another reason for this categorization is just social conditioning. Alcohol is prevalent because it's one of the few legal drugs. As such, people are GOING to use it, and it's best if they learn how with parental supervision. The same can't be said about cocaine- parents are not likely to be teaching their kids how to snort coke.
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Re: Drugs in America, the War on Drugs, and What Should Change

Postby a thing » Mon Nov 17, 2008 4:44 am UTC

Green9090 wrote:
a thing wrote:Alcohol and tobacco are some of the more dangerous drugs.

I strongly disagree. All of the drugs I listed as more dangerous are both more addictive and more damaging. Tobacco is relatively harmless in that most of what's wrong with it is just the smoke tearing up the lungs. Plenty of people smoke their whole lives and live past 80, which seems pretty good to me.


Actually, American-grown non-organic tobacco contains radioactive Polonium-210, which sits in your lungs slowly giving off radiation. This gives plenty of people lung cancer.
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Green9090 wrote:Alcohol, if one learns responsible use (which is hard when you can't legally drink until 21), is also fairly harmless.


The same could be said about just about any drug (saying it for PMA would be a stretch). Doing heroin once will not kill you. Sure, it is possible to overdose on heroin, but it is possible to overdose on alcohol too. People do both.

Green9090 wrote:Another reason for this categorization is just social conditioning. Alcohol is prevalent because it's one of the few legal drugs. As such, people are GOING to use it, and it's best if they learn how with parental supervision. The same can't be said about cocaine- parents are not likely to be teaching their kids how to snort coke.


I agree that alcohol should be treated specially because of its prevalence. However, people are also going to use cocaine, methamphetamine, and oxycodone. It is best that they be given the resources to harm themselves the least: facts, clean needles, pure drugs, freedom from fear of the law (especially in emergencies such as overdosing).
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Re: Drugs in America, the War on Drugs, and What Should Change

Postby dabigkid » Mon Nov 17, 2008 5:12 am UTC

Malice wrote:Although I'm not sure it would be any better for large corporations to be selling addictive drugs versus low-level dealers.

Better, more balanced comparisons (in terms of scale) would be "large corporations vs. crime-promoting gangs," or "businesspeople who own drug-selling stores vs. low-level dealers."
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Re: Drugs in America, the War on Drugs, and What Should Change

Postby Malice » Mon Nov 17, 2008 5:20 am UTC

Green9090 wrote:Light drinking at 16 would greatly reduce stupid 17-21 year olds at college killing themselves by drinking excessively. You don't learn how to drink while you're with your parents, and then when you do drink it's around a bunch of peer pressure from kids who likely have been drinking much longer than you and thus have a higher alcohol tolerance. Gee, I wonder what's going to happen? This would also eliminate the big mystery behind alcohol, which makes it much less cool.


Explain to me how these two statements make sense together:
1) Kids don't learn how to drink before college.
2) When a kid does get to college, everybody else has been drinking before college.

Drinking at 16 would lead to stupid 12-16 year olds in high school killing themselves by drinking excessively. Lowering the age won't eliminate any of the problems of underage drinking; it'll just move them onto younger people. Which doesn't sound like a good idea to me.

We could try just enforcing the laws more strongly, cracking down on underage drinking. Especially in college, where campus cops tend to look the other way unless you're being hugely disruptive.

@Malice: I guess you're agreeing with me then? I'd prefer not to argue with you about which fantasy world it would be cool to live in; I'm arguing about what we should do, in the real world, about drugs. We can't effectively criminalize them, so it's infinitely better to legalize and regulate them, as you said. The end?


Pretty much. Unless you'd like to argue that we should be legalizing hard drugs, the ones that are really addicting and damaging, on which I am quite open to discussion.

edit:

dabigkid wrote:
Malice wrote:Although I'm not sure it would be any better for large corporations to be selling addictive drugs versus low-level dealers.

Better, more balanced comparisons (in terms of scale) would be "large corporations vs. crime-promoting gangs," or "businesspeople who own drug-selling stores vs. low-level dealers."


I think what I actually meant was "large corporations vs. organized crime".
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Re: Drugs in America, the War on Drugs, and What Should Change

Postby Princess Marzipan » Mon Nov 17, 2008 5:33 am UTC

Malice wrote:
Green9090 wrote:Light drinking at 16 would greatly reduce stupid 17-21 year olds at college killing themselves by drinking excessively. You don't learn how to drink while you're with your parents, and then when you do drink it's around a bunch of peer pressure from kids who likely have been drinking much longer than you and thus have a higher alcohol tolerance. Gee, I wonder what's going to happen? This would also eliminate the big mystery behind alcohol, which makes it much less cool.


Explain to me how these two statements make sense together:
1) Kids don't learn how to drink before college.
2) When a kid does get to college, everybody else has been drinking before college.


Your peers at college include your upperclassmen, some of whom can legally drink. Your freshman friends aren't immediately liquor masters, but the sophomores, juniors, and seniors you'll find at parties are more likely to be.

Malice wrote:We could try just enforcing the laws more strongly, cracking down on underage drinking. Especially in college, where campus cops tend to look the other way unless you're being hugely disruptive.

Or we could not bother with laws that create more problems than they solve, including the one problem they purport to solve.
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Re: Drugs in America, the War on Drugs, and What Should Change

Postby Green9090 » Mon Nov 17, 2008 5:34 am UTC

Malice wrote:
Green9090 wrote:Light drinking at 16 would greatly reduce stupid 17-21 year olds at college killing themselves by drinking excessively. You don't learn how to drink while you're with your parents, and then when you do drink it's around a bunch of peer pressure from kids who likely have been drinking much longer than you and thus have a higher alcohol tolerance. Gee, I wonder what's going to happen? This would also eliminate the big mystery behind alcohol, which makes it much less cool.


Explain to me how these two statements make sense together:
1) Kids don't learn how to drink before college.
2) When a kid does get to college, everybody else has been drinking before college.

Stunningly enough, not all kids have the exact same upbringing. Some kids have less attentive parents and are able to drink in high school, others aren't ever allowed to drink until they move away for college. Kids from set one get kids from set two to drink more than they ought to, and alcohol poisoning ensues.

Malice wrote:Drinking at 16 would lead to stupid 12-16 year olds in high school killing themselves by drinking excessively. Lowering the age won't eliminate any of the problems of underage drinking; it'll just move them onto younger people. Which doesn't sound like a good idea to me.

I doubt it- as kids get older they become more willing and able to defy their parents. At 16 kids can drive, which makes it much easier to make it to the parties where other kids have alcohol. I'm not going to pretend that nobody under 16 is going to drink, but I am going to tell you that no MORE kids under 16 are going to drink than already do. Keep in mind that you still need to be 18 to purchase alcohol- anything consumed by 16 year olds is (legally speaking, of course) going to have to come from the parents.

Malice wrote:We could try just enforcing the laws more strongly, cracking down on underage drinking. Especially in college, where campus cops tend to look the other way unless you're being hugely disruptive.

So, where's the justification for denying legal adults their right to drink? What harm is caused by 18 year olds in college drinking that isn't caused by 21 year olds in college drinking?
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Re: Drugs in America, the War on Drugs, and What Should Change

Postby Libertine » Mon Nov 17, 2008 5:59 am UTC

I also think drugs should be legalized, especially the soft drugs. Here are some of my thoughts:

I don't believe everything I read about drugs. There's a ton of propaganda. I suspect the problems of drug use are exaggerated, the numbers skewed. Us 'normals' don't go around making trouble or publicizing what we do at parties or at home. It seems like alot of normal people even take supposedly addictive drugs like cocaine and such without commiting crimes, without becoming a stereotypical addict, without dying young or losing their minds. Alot of great things in this world were made by drug users and alot of extremely successful people in this world are drug users. The idea of a street junkie who mugs old ladies is a stereotype. You don't see Kate Moss robbing liquor stores or going on drug-addled killing sprees, ya know? I suspect most people are (or would be) fairly responsible drug users, and are (or would be) casual users. How many people are users who don't do anything bad, who don't fit the stereotypes, who keep quiet about it? What are the real numbers of casual users versus true addicts for each drug? How many of those addicts are people with an addictive personality that get addicted to pretty much anything? What are the real numbers of people in the population who have used drugs? I reckon just about everyone has used some illegal drug at sometime or another, at which point there's really no good reason to outlaw what everyone does anyway.

Addiction is one of those things that varies greatly from person to person. If you're an addict and you're not hurting anybody, then so be it. The general public should not have to pay for cushy rehab stays though. Alot of cigarette smokers are like that now -- extremely addicted, but only hurting themselves and their wallets. If they need help quitting, they buy gum or self-help tapes or whatever and just deal with their problem themselves. If real research was done and certain drugs were found to be truly addictive to a majority of people, or very easy to overdose on, I could understand restricting them but so many drugs are obviously not like this -- marijuana, ecstasy, salvia, LSD, etc. I really hate to see entheogens outlawed.

If you do something illegal while using drugs, or because of drug use, the drug use should not be a factor in your punishment -- in other words, if for some reason you decide to kill someone while you're using cocaine, you should be punished to the fullest extent under the law and not get leniency because you were "under the influence." Part of using drugs is being responsible and always using them in a safe place with a sitter. Similarly, if you kill someone while driving drunk, as far as I'm concerned you should never be allowed in a car again, or allowed to buy alcohol again. I'm just mean like that. With freedom comes responsibility, and there will always be some folks who just refuse to be responsible.

One of the reasons I'm for legalizing all drugs is that I believe people have the right to self-medicate, and to not pay some doctor hundreds of dollars to get a prescription, which also costs hundreds of dollars, for something that cost 10 cents to make and is derived from a plant that can be grown in your backyard.

I think the real drug problem comes from the crimes committed by the cartels and the small-time ghetto gangs. So much 'drug related' crime is NOT people who are using drugs and commiting crimes, but people who are selling drugs and who are raking in a ton of cash, and competing amongst one another for huge sums of money. And by 'competing' I mean murdering their competition and/or stealing their competition's money.

Legalize it, regulate it, tax it -- you'll eliminate a big source of gang income, you'll keep drugs clean, you'll keep users educated about safe usage and proper dosage, you'll get alot of people out of jail who didn't commit any real crimes. And you'll make people happier (which is probably the real reason why they're illegal).
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Re: Drugs in America, the War on Drugs, and What Should Change

Postby Malice » Mon Nov 17, 2008 6:14 am UTC

Nougatrocity wrote:
Malice wrote:We could try just enforcing the laws more strongly, cracking down on underage drinking. Especially in college, where campus cops tend to look the other way unless you're being hugely disruptive.

Or we could not bother with laws that create more problems than they solve, including the one problem they purport to solve.


Which problems do laws against underage drinking cause?

--

Green9090 wrote:
Malice wrote:Drinking at 16 would lead to stupid 12-16 year olds in high school killing themselves by drinking excessively. Lowering the age won't eliminate any of the problems of underage drinking; it'll just move them onto younger people. Which doesn't sound like a good idea to me.

I doubt it- as kids get older they become more willing and able to defy their parents. At 16 kids can drive, which makes it much easier to make it to the parties where other kids have alcohol. I'm not going to pretend that nobody under 16 is going to drink, but I am going to tell you that no MORE kids under 16 are going to drink than already do. Keep in mind that you still need to be 18 to purchase alcohol- anything consumed by 16 year olds is (legally speaking, of course) going to have to come from the parents.


Speaking illegally, it is just as or more likely to come from older high school students.
As well, it's probably significantly easier to "pass" for 18 at 16 than it is to pass for 21 at 18.

Malice wrote:We could try just enforcing the laws more strongly, cracking down on underage drinking. Especially in college, where campus cops tend to look the other way unless you're being hugely disruptive.

So, where's the justification for denying legal adults their right to drink? What harm is caused by 18 year olds in college drinking that isn't caused by 21 year olds in college drinking?


As I've said, I would prefer alcohol to be illegal. The justification for denying it to everybody is that it's a dangerous drug with many negative consequences for both themselves and others. I recognize that widespread prohibition is currently untenable; but I don't think that's been proven for underage drinking yet, because the laws are so poorly enforced.

What's the difference between 18 and 21, then? Only a matter of degree. 21-year-olds are more mature and better able to deal with drugs/alcohol. They're also at least halfway through college, and are therefore more skilled at dealing with school (and hence, balancing that with drinking).
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Re: Drugs in America, the War on Drugs, and What Should Change

Postby Princess Marzipan » Mon Nov 17, 2008 12:46 pm UTC

Malice wrote:
Nougatrocity wrote:
Malice wrote:We could try just enforcing the laws more strongly, cracking down on underage drinking. Especially in college, where campus cops tend to look the other way unless you're being hugely disruptive.

Or we could not bother with laws that create more problems than they solve, including the one problem they purport to solve.


Which problems do laws against underage drinking cause?

Laws against underage drinking cause underage drinking to be a problem. If it weren't illegal, we wouldn't have to worry about how to stop it! This goes for other drugs like marijuana and LSD salvia and etc etc etc. They're wrong because they're illegal and they're illegal because they're wrong.

What's the difference between 18 and 21, then? Only a matter of degree. 21-year-olds are more mature and better able to deal with drugs/alcohol. They're also at least halfway through college, and are therefore more skilled at dealing with school (and hence, balancing that with drinking).

What's the difference between 21 and 24, then? A different matter of degree. Let's raise the drinking age to 24. 24 year olds will be DONE with college, and therefore no longer in an environment that glorifies drinking. And there won't be drinking on college campuses anymore because it would be illegal for most students.
Regarding your other point - 16 year olds are much more closely scrutinized throughout their daily routines than 18 year olds are. I think you are vastly overestimating the amount of drinking they could accomplish.
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Re: Drugs in America, the War on Drugs, and What Should Change

Postby TheBeeCeeEmm » Mon Nov 17, 2008 4:47 pm UTC

As for alcohol, you can go to war at 18, but not drink. That's just insulting. That's the difference.
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Re: Drugs in America, the War on Drugs, and What Should Change

Postby Indon » Mon Nov 17, 2008 5:03 pm UTC

Green9090 wrote:You're right- let's go ahead and outlaw alcohol right now; we already have the exact problem you described with alcohol.

We've* tried, remember? Too many people drank for it to work.

TheBeeCeeEmm wrote:One of the most ironically funny things involving the War on Drugs to me is that so many supporters of it cite the "gateway effect". What they don't take into account is that most people don't go, "This weed is fun, I want to try cocaine", they enjoy weed, and since they're forced to go to a dealer for it, he likely also sells cocaine and says, "Hey, you want some coke?". So, yes, in a sense, the gateway effect is real, but it is caused by prohibition and the War on Drugs.


So when I go to McDonalds and they say, "Would you like to SuperSize your meal for only 59 cents", is that because having my Value Meal supersized is illegal?

Or would the gateway effect not only exist with legitimate drug peddlers, but be aggressively pursued with the realization that with drugs, you can literally get people addicted to your product, removing their ability to make good judgements in regard to that product.

Modern corporate culture and the science of advertising have done absolutely frightening things without access to strongly addictive drugs. Legalizing hard drugs gives corporations the means to, basically, turn off their consumer's brains, basically letting them do whatever they want legally.

Capitalism requires sobriety to function.

*-Americans.
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Malice
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Re: Drugs in America, the War on Drugs, and What Should Change

Postby Malice » Mon Nov 17, 2008 5:24 pm UTC

Nougatrocity wrote:Which problems do laws against underage drinking cause?

Laws against underage drinking cause underage drinking to be a problem. If it weren't illegal, we wouldn't have to worry about how to stop it! This goes for other drugs like marijuana and LSD salvia and etc etc etc. They're wrong because they're illegal and they're illegal because they're wrong.[/quote]

Underage drinking is a problem because the younger you are, the less you're able to handle choices about alcohol, and the worse the damage you can do to yourself (hurting a developed brain, screwing up your life at a critical moment). If drinking at age 12 were legal, it would still be a problem. If drinking at 12 were illegal (as it is now), doing it anyway would be a problem besides the fact that it's a crime.

Also, I'm not sure that laws against underage drinking cause any sizable problem, the way that laws against possessing minor amounts of other drugs do; because underage drinking laws simply aren't enforced on a wide basis.

What's the difference between 18 and 21, then? Only a matter of degree. 21-year-olds are more mature and better able to deal with drugs/alcohol. They're also at least halfway through college, and are therefore more skilled at dealing with school (and hence, balancing that with drinking).

What's the difference between 21 and 24, then? A different matter of degree. Let's raise the drinking age to 24. 24 year olds will be DONE with college, and therefore no longer in an environment that glorifies drinking. And there won't be drinking on college campuses anymore because it would be illegal for most students.[/quote]

Sounds good to me!
Really I am coming at this from this direction: alcohol should be illegal. Making it illegal for the entire populace doesn't work. Making it illegal for part of the populace might work. So I'd rather make it illegal for as large a part as possible. To my mind, once they're out of college, they can drink; because it's easier for a college campus to police their small area for illegal underage drinking than it is for cops at large to do it.

Regarding your other point - 16 year olds are much more closely scrutinized throughout their daily routines than 18 year olds are. I think you are vastly overestimating the amount of drinking they could accomplish.


I think you're vastly overestimating how much parents know about what their teenage children are doing.
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Gunfingers
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Re: Drugs in America, the War on Drugs, and What Should Change

Postby Gunfingers » Mon Nov 17, 2008 5:50 pm UTC

Indon wrote:
Green9090 wrote:You're right- let's go ahead and outlaw alcohol right now; we already have the exact problem you described with alcohol.

We've* tried, remember? Too many people drank for it to work.

In any given year 12.6% of americans use cannabis (link). We're one of the world's leading consumers. I think the same logic should apply.


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