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

For the serious discussion of weighty matters and worldly issues. No off-topic posts allowed.

Moderators: Azrael, Moderators General, Prelates

User avatar
sophyturtle
I'll go put my shirt back on for this kind of shock. No I won't. I'll get my purse.
Posts: 3474
Joined: Thu Mar 20, 2008 4:19 pm UTC
Location: it's turtles all the way down, even in the suburbs
Contact:

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

Postby sophyturtle » Wed Nov 19, 2008 5:03 am UTC

TheBeeCeeEmm wrote:
Malice wrote:drugs can make it difficult for you to hold a job, or even perform that job to the best of your ability (plenty of drugs kill brain cells, and/or weaken you physically).


Citation needed.

Indeed.

I hold a job, and for a while I was smoking a half once a week. While working 9-5. I still have this job.
I want to get to a place where I am neither conforming nor rebelling but simply being.

Princess Marzipan
Posts: 7717
Joined: Sun May 27, 2007 5:28 am UTC
Location: neither a road, nor an island

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

Postby Princess Marzipan » Wed Nov 19, 2008 5:06 am UTC

Malice wrote:Which doesn't help if, like most of the pot-heads I know, you're almost constantly high.


Most of the people I know who smoke pot do not, in fact, do it every day, nor is smoking pot in any way their highest calling.

It is a thing that they do sometimes. It has no adverse effects on the rest of their lives.

It honestly aggravates the hell out of me that someone who is clearly not a complete fucking idiot can have these preconceived notions of drugs and drug users and think that the laws in place are perfectly acceptable, and that there should be even MORE laws that include alcohol as well.

drugs can make it difficult for you to hold a job, or even perform that job to the best of your ability (plenty of drugs kill brain cells, and/or weaken you physically).
The only reason drugs make keeping a job hard is that a lot of companies run bullshit drug testing that can throw up positive results for something you did that weekend, which has not effected your work performance in the slightest. It is understandable if a company does not want you chemically influenced in manner x y or z while you are on their property or on their time, but think about this: if the only way it is known that you're doing drugs is if it's specifically tested for...then clearly performance can't be affected too much, or there wouldn't be a need for random drug screenings.
Last edited by Princess Marzipan on Wed Nov 19, 2008 5:09 am UTC, edited 1 time in total.
"It's Saturday night. I've got no date, a two-liter of Shasta, and my all-Rush mixtape. Let's rock!"
"I am just about to be brilliant!"
General_Norris, on feminism, wrote:If you lose your six Pokémon, you lost.

User avatar
Bubbles McCoy
Posts: 1106
Joined: Wed Jul 09, 2008 12:49 am UTC
Location: California

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

Postby Bubbles McCoy » Wed Nov 19, 2008 5:08 am UTC

Malice wrote:Secondly, there's a lot of depth you're covering over with the phrase, "productivity is a potential means to happiness not an ends in and of itself." Whose happiness are we talking about here? What's more important, the ability of the middle class to kick back and get high (happiness!), or the ability of the lower class and impoverished to eat (a different form of happiness)? When the economy goes down, it's the people on the bottom who feel it the most, and the same for when it goes up. Essentially, increased productivity helps everybody in society by a certain amount, while increased drug use "helps" you by a certain amount. It's wrong to assume those amounts balance each other out.

Thirdly, I object to this... "the government has no business trying to force people to maximize their own productivity." The government is by, for, and of the people; if the people democratically express the wish that in this piece of land we will all move forward together, what's wrong with that? Don't they have that right?


So, you want the comfort of the lower class to depend on the productivity of the middle? If the middle class chooses to waste their minds and money on drugs, poorer people have chance aplenty to fill the positions the potheads just left. People have a right to pursue their own happiness, and if the loss of economic activity results in a less funded welfare program, so be it. The government does not have the right to mandate people hold jobs and work to their fullest potential as individual's should have the right to spend their lives doing whatever makes them happy; if I want to be a teacher despite the fact that I could command a substantially higher salary in a different line of work, should the government interfere? The clear answer is no, maximizing economic activity is not a mandate for the government to control people's lives; it's a mandate to help those who need and want it.

Malice wrote:
But once we decide to to start limiting citizens freedoms on account of health expenses, we have effectively turned the government into a monopolistic corporation that uses the law to ensure its expenses stay minimized. By accepting this as a moral function of government, there's no telling how far its reach may go.


Ah, the slippery slope argument again. It's the same deadly decline that brought us seatbelt and helmet laws, the FDA, anti-prostitution laws, warning labels on products, gun licenses, and anti-smoking ads. The horror. Wait, let me say that again, like Marlon Brando: the horror... Ah, there we go.


My argument does not depend on the slippery slope; this is a matter of direct implications of adopting a moral code. Should the government choose to prohibit actions of its citizens based purely on whether or not such actions may result in an increased cost to business sectors the government controls (in this case, health care), then the exact same reasoning towards drugs applies to unhealthy food.

Malice wrote:
Crime is a fair argument, as society does have the right to limit someone's activities if their activities inevitably lead to infringing upon other's freedoms. However, as I think you've admitted yourself, legalizing some drugs does reduce overall crime.


I'm not sure if it does. I'd like to see some facts on this.


Al Capone? The Prohibition has clear parallels to the current ban on drugs, as the demand for alcohol in the absense of legal sources led to the rise of very powerful gangs that eventually went away when it became legal (or transitioned to dealing in the newly black drug markets).

Malice wrote:Won't the reduction in drug dealers make heroin much, much more profitable, leading to an increased amount of heroin being smuggled past the border?


Heroin cost as supply drops will likely go up and make its trafficking more appealing, but there is a large expense involved in finding and exploiting a means of smuggling. When the involved expense yields a reduced resultant profit, motive will go down. And since there are now plenty of legal, cheaper alternatives to heroin, there's a good chance the whole market might just disappear.

Malice wrote:If it's too unsavory for politicians to deal with coke producers, it's too unsavory for them to vote to legalize coke. (And have you ever known a politician to refuse a donation?

And the tobacco lobby reigned for decades. And cigarettes are much less addictive than some of the other drugs out there.

If the tobacco lobby reigns, then there would be no taxes or limitations on cigarette sales. Also, the tobacco lobby is an old mainstay in politics from days it was not such an abhorred substance so people are used to the idea of it funding politicians, coke lobbyists would not have that luxury.

a thing
Posts: 182
Joined: Wed Feb 28, 2007 4:18 pm UTC
Location: Chicago

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

Postby a thing » Wed Nov 19, 2008 5:22 am UTC

Malice wrote:
a thing wrote:You greatly overestimate the long-term negative effects of most recreational drugs. Cannabis does impair short-term memory, but only while high (and for several days afterward if a large enough dose was taken).


Which doesn't help if, like most of the pot-heads I know, you're almost constantly high.


Do you really think people that are always high would not be lazy if they could not be high? Obviously they are not motivated enough to put themselves in a state of mind in which they can be productive (although one can be very productive artistically while on drugs if art can be considered productive), so why would they be motivated enough if they could only be sober?

Malice wrote:
a thing wrote:I do not have numbers, although no numbers could really be reliable because many would not admit to illegal action, but I do not think the long-term harmful drugs (opioids, cocaine, ketamine, PCP) are very popular recreationally, certainly much less so than cannabis.


Long-term harmful drugs aren't popular recreationally because there's nothing recreational about a long-term habit.


There is a recreational element before the long-term negative effects set in. Otherwise, no one would get to that point.

Malice wrote:
a thing wrote:Quarter-pounders are a MUCH bigger problem than cocaine.


Even if that's true, they're MUCH easier to quit.


I would like to see a real study done on this...

TheBeeCeeEmm wrote:
Malice wrote:It's not a matter of "You're wasting time," it's a matter of "You're hurting yourself in a way that makes you useless to the rest of us," which is why drugs are a problem and, say, video games aren't.


That is a ridiculous double-standard. Video games can do exactly, exactly the same thing in the same situation.


No, it is not. Thinking about video games at work does not compare to spending two weeks barfing over the toilet with very little sleep.

It is a double standard if the kind of drugs referred to are safer, non-addictive ones.

TheBeeCeeEmm wrote:I also think you're [Malice] massively underestimating the amount of revenue the drug trade brings in to illegal groups. What else can gangs make money doing? The same goes for the mafia, which, I think you're also greatly overestimating the amount of other ways it brings in money. The drug business is HUGE.


Corn, the largest legal cash crop in the USA, is only about 65% of the value of cannabis, the largest cash crop in the USA.
http://abcnews.go.com/business/story?id=2735017

An estimated 4 to 12 billion dollars is the value of Australian illegal drug imports. And Australia has about 7% of the population of the USA.
http://www.theage.com.au/national/drugs ... -4ovf.html

Bubbles McCoy wrote:Al Capone? The Prohibition has clear parallels to the current ban on drugs


The current ban on many recreational drugs is prohibition.
Disclaimer: My posts may change (dramatically) within the first 15 minutes they're posted.

User avatar
Malice
Posts: 3894
Joined: Sat Jul 21, 2007 5:37 am UTC
Location: Los Angeles, CA
Contact:

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

Postby Malice » Wed Nov 19, 2008 6:11 am UTC

TheBeeCeeEmm wrote:
Malice wrote:drugs can make it difficult for you to hold a job, or even perform that job to the best of your ability (plenty of drugs kill brain cells, and/or weaken you physically).


Citation needed.


Which part? Do you disbelieve that drugs can weaken you mentally or physically; or do you disbelieve that being weakened mentally/physically can make it harder to do your job properly?

Malice wrote:It's not a matter of "You're wasting time," it's a matter of "You're hurting yourself in a way that makes you useless to the rest of us," which is why drugs are a problem and, say, video games aren't.


That is a ridiculous double-standard. Video games can do exactly, exactly the same thing in the same situation.


Can. Anything can, to someone with a predisposition toward addiction. That's not the same as drugs.

Malice wrote:Won't the reduction in drug dealers make heroin much, much more profitable, leading to an increased amount of heroin being smuggled past the border?


That's not how supply and demand works, the only way heroin would go way up would be if the demand went up, or if the supply went down, and if more is being supplied, as you suggest, the supply won't be going down...


I agree that cracking down on some non-heroin drugs are going to contract the illegal drug industry as a whole, because many dealers/organizations diversify, and so rely on income from other drugs besides heroin in order to function. However, that contraction, resulting in some people going out of business, will result in lowering the supply. Lowering the supply increases the price. A price increase stimulates people to expand existing (remaining) operations and encourages new people to enter the business. Thus, equilibrium is regained.

I also think you're massively underestimating the amount of revenue the drug trade brings in to illegal groups. What else can gangs make money doing? The same goes for the mafia, which, I think you're also greatly overestimating the amount of other ways it brings in money. The drug business is HUGE.


As I said, I would rather deal with this problem by prosecuting people who break the law, as opposed to legalizing their efforts.

---

sophyturtle wrote:
TheBeeCeeEmm wrote:
Malice wrote:drugs can make it difficult for you to hold a job, or even perform that job to the best of your ability (plenty of drugs kill brain cells, and/or weaken you physically).


Citation needed.

Indeed.

I hold a job, and for a while I was smoking a half once a week. While working 9-5. I still have this job.


Your anecdotal evidence is irrelevant. I speak in general terms, not absolutes.
(Half an ounce of weed, you mean?)

---

Nougatrocity wrote:It honestly aggravates the hell out of me that someone who is clearly not a complete fucking idiot can have these preconceived notions of drugs and drug users and think that the laws in place are perfectly acceptable, and that there should be even MORE laws that include alcohol as well.


I don't think that the laws in place are perfectly acceptable. I wrote earlier about changes I'd be in favor of. In particular I think the harsh penalties for users are worse than useless.
I know of two types of drug users. Ones who do a little sometimes (or maybe a little most of the time), and ones who descend into addiction and self-destruction. I weigh the pleasure and freedom of the former against the lives and effects of the latter, and my instinct is to help the latter. I'm trying to keep an open mind, though.

---

Bubbles McCoy wrote:
Malice wrote:Secondly, there's a lot of depth you're covering over with the phrase, "productivity is a potential means to happiness not an ends in and of itself." Whose happiness are we talking about here? What's more important, the ability of the middle class to kick back and get high (happiness!), or the ability of the lower class and impoverished to eat (a different form of happiness)? When the economy goes down, it's the people on the bottom who feel it the most, and the same for when it goes up. Essentially, increased productivity helps everybody in society by a certain amount, while increased drug use "helps" you by a certain amount. It's wrong to assume those amounts balance each other out.


So, you want the comfort of the lower class to depend on the productivity of the middle?


It's not a matter of what I want. The survival (not comfort) of the lower class depends upon the productivity of the middle, because the middle class drives our economy.

If the middle class chooses to waste their minds and money on drugs, poorer people have chance aplenty to fill the positions the potheads just left.


They might, if general over-employment was their main problem. It isn't, though.

People have a right to pursue their own happiness, and if the loss of economic activity results in a less funded welfare program, so be it.


I think the right to pursue happiness comes second after the right to live. But really they're two sides of the same coin, aren't they? You've gotta have life if you're going to try for a happy life. So I would say the right to live is the foundation, and the freedom to use recreational drugs is pretty far above the foundation. To me, that makes them less important.

The government does not have the right to mandate people hold jobs and work to their fullest potential as individual's should have the right to spend their lives doing whatever makes them happy; if I want to be a teacher despite the fact that I could command a substantially higher salary in a different line of work, should the government interfere? The clear answer is no, maximizing economic activity is not a mandate for the government to control people's lives; it's a mandate to help those who need and want it.


Well, considering the government employs teachers, that's a bit of a different question. But as I said earlier, the government has the right to mandate whatever it wants, because what it wants is what the people want. That's democracy for ya.

My argument does not depend on the slippery slope; this is a matter of direct implications of adopting a moral code. Should the government choose to prohibit actions of its citizens based purely on whether or not such actions may result in an increased cost to business sectors the government controls (in this case, health care), then the exact same reasoning towards drugs applies to unhealthy food.


Perhaps. But drugs are much more extreme than unhealthy food in terms of effects and the speed thereof, and therefore warrant much more extreme measures. That specific hamburger you're drooling over is significantly less of a problem than that specific hit of heroin.

Malice wrote:
Crime is a fair argument, as society does have the right to limit someone's activities if their activities inevitably lead to infringing upon other's freedoms. However, as I think you've admitted yourself, legalizing some drugs does reduce overall crime.


I'm not sure if it does. I'd like to see some facts on this.


Al Capone? The Prohibition has clear parallels to the current ban on drugs, as the demand for alcohol in the absense of legal sources led to the rise of very powerful gangs that eventually went away when it became legal (or transitioned to dealing in the newly black drug markets).


What I meant is that, I'm aware legalizing drugs hurts organized crime. But increasing drug use helps disorganized crime--people stealing to pay for their fix, that sort of thing. So I'd be interested to see some numbers on which crime would change more, and which is more important. Essentially it's the "overall" part of your statement that I'm not sure about.

Heroin cost as supply drops will likely go up and make its trafficking more appealing, but there is a large expense involved in finding and exploiting a means of smuggling. When the involved expense yields a reduced resultant profit, motive will go down. And since there are now plenty of legal, cheaper alternatives to heroin, there's a good chance the whole market might just disappear.


Legal, cheaper alternatives to illegal drugs already exist--alcohol and cigarettes, for instance. Hasn't made the illegal drug market disappear.
For the rest, see the response earlier in this long, long post.

Malice wrote:If it's too unsavory for politicians to deal with coke producers, it's too unsavory for them to vote to legalize coke. (And have you ever known a politician to refuse a donation?

And the tobacco lobby reigned for decades. And cigarettes are much less addictive than some of the other drugs out there.

If the tobacco lobby reigns, then there would be no taxes or limitations on cigarette sales.


Reigned. Past tense.

Also, the tobacco lobby is an old mainstay in politics from days it was not such an abhorred substance so people are used to the idea of it funding politicians, coke lobbyists would not have that luxury.


Eventually they would, right?

---

a thing wrote:
Malice wrote:Which doesn't help if, like most of the pot-heads I know, you're almost constantly high.


Do you really think people that are always high would not be lazy if they could not be high? Obviously they are not motivated enough to put themselves in a state of mind in which they can be productive (although one can be very productive artistically while on drugs if art can be considered productive), so why would they be motivated enough if they could only be sober?


I honestly don't know. It's hard to tell what's the cause and what's the effect here, and whether or not the effect becomes the cause.

Malice wrote:
a thing wrote:I do not have numbers, although no numbers could really be reliable because many would not admit to illegal action, but I do not think the long-term harmful drugs (opioids, cocaine, ketamine, PCP) are very popular recreationally, certainly much less so than cannabis.


Long-term harmful drugs aren't popular recreationally because there's nothing recreational about a long-term habit.


There is a recreational element before the long-term negative effects set in. Otherwise, no one would get to that point.


Ah. Then they are certainly popular enough, given the amount of people having long-term negative effects on them.

Malice wrote:
a thing wrote:Quarter-pounders are a MUCH bigger problem than cocaine.


Even if that's true, they're MUCH easier to quit.


I would like to see a real study done on this...


So would I. But, seriously. Look at the account of withdrawal you posted. You don't get illness, insomnia, and depression because you haven't had a hamburger lately.
Image

User avatar
Ian35
Posts: 28
Joined: Tue Oct 07, 2008 8:39 am UTC

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

Postby Ian35 » Wed Nov 19, 2008 6:21 am UTC

Al Capone? The Prohibition has clear parallels to the current ban on drugs, as the demand for alcohol in the absense of legal sources led to the rise of very powerful gangs that eventually went away when it became legal (or transitioned to dealing in the newly black drug markets).

Alcohol doesn't screw people up as much as cocaine or other hard drugs does though..if you have a drink of alcohol its not going to get you hooked for life. The real problem with hard drugs is just how addictive they are, and the kinds of psychological effects they can have on you after long term use. Alcohol doesn't even compare. And who says the drug gangs would just go away? Assuming thats your implication here. With Alcohol they went away because all of a sudden anyone could buy it for cheap. Unless you want cocaine to be so easily available that anyone can buy it for cheap then the drug gangs aren't going anywhere. If hard drugs like cocaine were made cheap enough and easily obtainable enough to stop drug gangs then the violence caused by the gangs themselves would be the least of your problems..you'd have an entire society addicted to drugs, and that would bring all the problems that drug addiction brings not the least of which being violent behavior.

User avatar
VannA
White
Posts: 1446
Joined: Thu Sep 21, 2006 1:57 am UTC
Location: Sydney, Australia
Contact:

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

Postby VannA » Wed Nov 19, 2008 6:30 am UTC

Absolute wrote:As far as real-world change goes, I'd be satisfied if the government legalized all drugs except for opium derivatives, with the usually-proposed regulations and vice taxes. That way I could go the supermarket and pick up a gram of kush whenever I feel like just spending the rest of the night laughing at stupid things. I exempted opiates simply because they're the most destructive, and therefore the hardest sell politically.


I would disagree that opiates are the most destructive. Physiologically, I believe they are the some of the least harmful.
Very addictive, but I hold personally that addiction is least destructive than say, heavy use of cocaine or other 'heavy' amphetamines.
Last edited by VannA on Wed Nov 19, 2008 7:12 am UTC, edited 1 time in total.
Jealousy is a disease, love is a healthy condition. The immature mind often mistakes one for the other, or assumes that the greater the love, the greater the jealousy.

User avatar
Bubbles McCoy
Posts: 1106
Joined: Wed Jul 09, 2008 12:49 am UTC
Location: California

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

Postby Bubbles McCoy » Wed Nov 19, 2008 7:05 am UTC

I think you'll be hard pressed to prove that legalizing drugs will somehow increase their consumption- we have twice the experimentation rate then the Netherlands of cannabis, despite it's (relative) legality there. Also, random drug users are much easier to deal with than an organized group trying to peddle them. But seeing as we already have plenty of random drug users, the net decrease in crime would probably be considerable. Pot users aren't exactly prone to theft to support there habit (I suppose it probably happens, but I doubt it's common), and perhaps some crack users will but again there's no evidence really to support that cocaine being legalized will cause people to run out in droves and try it; the opposite could just as easily happen.

The lower class may be dependent on the middle, but that doesn't mean the government should force people to work, does it? If people start retiring too early and costing too much in tax revenues, shall we ban that too? Maximizing your countries economic output isn't the duty of a citizen, nor should it; if you want more money, you can work hard. If you don't, then don't. The government doesn't need to exist to ensure that people pursue money, capitalism exists for a reason. The rest of your argument regarding my distaste for the government becoming involved with rights on this particular issue doesn't really make sense. I argue that the government shouldn't restrict rights based off of how it wants people to behave, and your response is it can anyway if it feels like it. I'm aware; I'm questioning whether it should.

Pot usage is unlikely to result in higher medical bills or addictiveness then a hamburger, and it's usage is less widespread than obesity. Granted, heroin can be quite bad, but I'm not arguing that. But if you were to compare medical costs of obesity and poor diet to that of drugs, something tells me obesity costs blow drugs out of the park. This still doesn't really answer the question of why the government should restrict it's citizens actions to reduce its own costs in sectors it has come to control.

Equilibrium still will not be easily reached with heroin should cocaine and pot become legal; smuggling will continue but there's a good chance it will be less than what it once was. True, it's unlikely to go away entirely especially considering how inelastic the demand is for current users, but with so many other drugs becoming legal many might question why they'd try heroin when they can pick up cocaine for less and legally. Right now, so many drugs are illegal there is little regard for laws towards them. By reducing the amount marginalized by the law, more might try to stay within it.

Since the tobacco lobby has already lost all presence due to voters apprehensions of industry's who sell addictive substances funding politicans, what makes you think that a new lobby selling addictive substances could come even close to acheiving political legitimacy?

@Ian- my Prohibition argument was specific to whether or not crime would decrease with the legalization of drugs; if you want to argue health and addiction I've already given arugments that regard that

User avatar
VannA
White
Posts: 1446
Joined: Thu Sep 21, 2006 1:57 am UTC
Location: Sydney, Australia
Contact:

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

Postby VannA » Wed Nov 19, 2008 7:15 am UTC

Bubbles McCoy wrote:. The rest of your argument regarding my distaste for the government becoming involved with rights on this particular issue doesn't really make sense. I argue that the government shouldn't restrict rights based off of how it wants people to behave, and your response is it can anyway if it feels like it. I'm aware; I'm questioning whether it should.


As much as I may disagree with Malice, I believe you misunderstanding his argument, with regards to government behaviour.

The government is the will of the people, as the people have the power to change and alter it. Malice is claiming that governmental action is then the execution of the will of the people.

This kind of ideal means politically-apathetic people are simply *not* included in the will-gestalt of society. I'm not sure about that, but its a seperate thread.
Jealousy is a disease, love is a healthy condition. The immature mind often mistakes one for the other, or assumes that the greater the love, the greater the jealousy.

User avatar
Malice
Posts: 3894
Joined: Sat Jul 21, 2007 5:37 am UTC
Location: Los Angeles, CA
Contact:

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

Postby Malice » Wed Nov 19, 2008 7:44 am UTC

Bubbles McCoy wrote:I think you'll be hard pressed to prove that legalizing drugs will somehow increase their consumption- we have twice the experimentation rate then the Netherlands of cannabis, despite it's (relative) legality there.


Legalizing drugs will make them safer, lower their cost, and make them widely available, in a hypothetical future where there is significantly less social stigma toward users. How would that not increase their consumption?

Also, random drug users are much easier to deal with than an organized group trying to peddle them.

Are they? I would imagine it is much more difficult to police random, unconnected criminals who behave irrationally and act unexpectedly than it is to police smart, small, regularly-communicating groups who operate rationally and on a consistent/constant basis.

The lower class may be dependent on the middle, but that doesn't mean the government should force people to work, does it?

I'm not suggesting that the government force people to work. I'm suggesting that the government prevent people from doing something which prevents them from working. That's a very different thing.

If people start retiring too early and costing too much in tax revenues, shall we ban that too?


I imagine we'd attempt to discourage it.

The rest of your argument regarding my distaste for the government becoming involved with rights on this particular issue doesn't really make sense. I argue that the government shouldn't restrict rights based off of how it wants people to behave, and your response is it can anyway if it feels like it. I'm aware; I'm questioning whether it should.


I'm telling you whether it should. I'm talking about the right of the people to govern themselves. In this sense of "should", of morals or whatever, there is no large difference between a person saying, "I think I will give up drugs and focus on my work, for my own sake," and a bunch of people together saying, "We think we will give up drugs and focus on our work, for our own sake." Collectively we have the right to restrict ourselves if we wish.

Pot usage is unlikely to result in higher medical bills or addictiveness then a hamburger, and it's usage is less widespread than obesity. Granted, heroin can be quite bad, but I'm not arguing that.


Of all the drugs out there, pot is one of the least troublesome. I'm arguing more toward other, harder drugs.
But now that you mention it, again, the fact that it's usage is less widespread than obesity is, in part, because hamburgers cost pennies and can be found on every street in America, as opposed to weed, which is illegal, comparatively expensive, comparatively difficult to find, and relatively socially unaccepted. It's a false comparison.

But if you were to compare medical costs of obesity and poor diet to that of drugs, something tells me obesity costs blow drugs out of the park. This still doesn't really answer the question of why the government should restrict it's citizens actions to reduce its own costs in sectors it has come to control.


Obesity is due to a number of factors which are notoriously difficult to control. Genetic predisposition, upbringing, illness, the amount of food, the type of food, the amount and type of exercise... I'm not sure how I feel ideologically about the idea, but pragmatically it would be very difficult to work.

Since the tobacco lobby has already lost all presence due to voters apprehensions of industry's who sell addictive substances funding politicans, what makes you think that a new lobby selling addictive substances could come even close to acheiving political legitimacy?


For one thing, they would have a lot of money. For another, they'd have a wide enough user base that that alone would create a measure of political weight in their favor.
Image

User avatar
Ian35
Posts: 28
Joined: Tue Oct 07, 2008 8:39 am UTC

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

Postby Ian35 » Wed Nov 19, 2008 8:21 am UTC

By eliminating cocaine and marijuana as drugs to be smuggled, the amount of potential financial gains lost by smugglers will be enormous.

I think theres a flaw in your argument here. Your assuming that without a doubt if you legalize drugs like cocaine and heroin then they will stop being smuggled over and sold as a source of income. I think thats false, unless you legalize them to the point where anyone can buy them and make them incredibly cheap. If the federal government took an approach similiar to alcohol and put age limits on it etc, taxed it it a ton and made it expensive, then there would still be a market for cheap stuff that was sold to anyone. The gangs would already be set up to do it, so why wouldn't they want to continue? If I'm not wrong I believe the markup for drugs like crack cocaine is something like 2000%. Aka you can turn 50$ into 1000$. So if the feds wanted to be responsible and make it somewhat expensive, all they would do is fuel the problem. On the flip side if it was easy to obtain with no restrictions then I very much believe that would lead to increased use just because you only need to try hard drugs once to get hooked.

I think you'll be hard pressed to prove that legalizing drugs will somehow increase their consumption
Well I'd say its the common belief that when it comes to hard drugs legalizing them will increase their consumption. Your examples of cannabis don't really apply because thats not nearly as addictive. Furthermore, given that your arguing the minority position on the issue of whether consumption would be increased or not isn't it your responsibility to provide the evidence proving your point as opposed to the other way around? But to illustrate my point consider this: In certain ghettos where the police do not have much presence, drugs like cocaine can be common. In these places you will find that there are much much higher incidences of drug addiction and abuse then in places where the laws are regularly enforced. I don't see how lack of law enforcement is really any different then having the substance legalized, and if hard drugs become epidemic in these communities then I'd say its a safe bet legalization would have the same effect on usage levels elsewhere.

Heres an example of how someone might become addicted to a hard drug:
"I saw a guy using it and asked him to give me some," says Jerimias, who
has gone three and a half months without the drug. "When I smoked it my
body took control. I had to have it. I started selling everything I had."

When did this person come to their sense? When they had nothing left to lose!
"It was when I had nothing left to sell," he says. "That's when I asked for
help."

This kind of phenomenon is not at all uncommon when it comes to hard drugs. Whether its from the feds or from somewhere else people will sacrifice everything else just for that dopamine rush, and they will require more and more of the drug to please themselves the longer they are on it. And, the longer they are on it the more the ugly psychology effects of hard drugs will become apparent. People that use cocaine for long periods of time can become erratic, delusional, paranoid, violent and psychotic.

But overall by assuming that legalization of hard drugs would not increase their usage I think your essentially arguing that people will employ critical thinking skills enough to avoid trying it even one time. History has shown this to be untrue, most people believe addiction will somehow be different for them, that they are stronger. They don't understand what it does to you until they try it, and by then its to late. Furthermore you can't expect children or teenagers, people who's brains have not even fully developed, not to make impulsive choices. The part of the brain thats responsible for making sound decisions does not fully develop until a person is around 21 years of age. By putting hard drugs on the street your inevitably going increase usage, its not comparable to alcohol or cannabis at all. Stuff like cocaine is simply far more virulent and theres plenty of facts and figures to back me up on that.

User avatar
qinwamascot
Posts: 688
Joined: Sat Oct 04, 2008 8:50 am UTC
Location: Oklahoma, U.S.A.

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

Postby qinwamascot » Wed Nov 19, 2008 9:33 am UTC

I'm not sure if this has been brought up already (I didn't see it anywhere after reading the posts quickly) so I'll just write it. It assumes a little basic economic knowledge.

Firstly, we need to realize that to combat drugs, there are 2 methods we can use: decrease the supply of drugs, or decrease the demand.

Our current policy is some hybrid of the 2, but for convenience we'll say it's more about decreasing supply. This includes policies like police action and putting people in jail. This increases the cost of the drugs, because they take more effort and risk to supply. The price thus increases, and quantity decreases. But drugs, being addictive, have a highly inelastic demand. So even though drug traders are selling less, their revenue is increased.

Instead, an education-based policy works like this: we lower demand, which lowers both price and quantity. revenue drops downwards, and we don't have to even illegalize anything.

Based on this, I think the best policy is legalizing all drugs, but also educating (not the laughable policies we already have) people as to the effects.

Malice wrote:Collectively we have the right to restrict ourselves if we wish.


Perhaps I should point out the overwhelming number of people who feel the current drug policies are too restrictive. If we have the right to restrict ourselves, but don't want to, we aren't exercising that right; it's being flaunted in our faces.
Quiznos>Subway

Princess Marzipan
Posts: 7717
Joined: Sun May 27, 2007 5:28 am UTC
Location: neither a road, nor an island

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

Postby Princess Marzipan » Wed Nov 19, 2008 12:38 pm UTC

qinwamascot wrote:Instead, an education-based policy works like this: we lower demand, which lowers both price and quantity. revenue drops downwards, and we don't have to even illegalize anything.

Based on this, I think the best policy is legalizing all drugs, but also educating (not the laughable policies we already have) people as to the effects.

Education that is completely truthful as to what various drugs will do, why they may be bad for you, and why some might not be.


Malice wrote:
sophyturtle wrote:I hold a job, and for a while I was smoking a half once a week. While working 9-5. I still have this job.


Your anecdotal evidence is irrelevant. I speak in general terms, not absolutes.
(Half an ounce of weed, you mean?)

It's actually incredibly relevant given that it's not "some guy I know did weed and went crazy," it's "I actually did this much pot for a while and turns out it doesn't automatically make you crazy; therefore it's possible to use this drug (and perhaps others) responsibly while still performing a job as required."


Malice wrote:
Heroin cost as supply drops will likely go up and make its trafficking more appealing, but there is a large expense involved in finding and exploiting a means of smuggling. When the involved expense yields a reduced resultant profit, motive will go down. And since there are now plenty of legal, cheaper alternatives to heroin, there's a good chance the whole market might just disappear.


Legal, cheaper alternatives to illegal drugs already exist--alcohol and cigarettes, for instance. Hasn't made the illegal drug market disappear.
For the rest, see the response earlier in this long, long post.

...but...but you want alcohol to ALSO be illegal...
"It's Saturday night. I've got no date, a two-liter of Shasta, and my all-Rush mixtape. Let's rock!"
"I am just about to be brilliant!"
General_Norris, on feminism, wrote:If you lose your six Pokémon, you lost.

User avatar
Bubbles McCoy
Posts: 1106
Joined: Wed Jul 09, 2008 12:49 am UTC
Location: California

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

Postby Bubbles McCoy » Wed Nov 19, 2008 1:54 pm UTC

Malice (and Ian to a similar effect) wrote:Legalizing drugs will make them safer, lower their cost, and make them widely available, in a hypothetical future where there is significantly less social stigma toward users. How would that not increase their consumption?


All drugs were legal in the 1800's, yet by and large there were no widespread addiction endemics (with the possible exception of opium) even though the populace wasn't nearly as educated on the negative effects of such substances. History has not proved drugs legality to be a substantial issue in terms of addiction any more than they are today; I'm afraid the burden of proof lies on you to prove the contrary on this one.

Ian35 wrote:I think theres a flaw in your argument here. Your assuming that without a doubt if you legalize drugs like cocaine and heroin then they will stop being smuggled over and sold as a source of income. I think thats false, unless you legalize them to the point where anyone can buy them and make them incredibly cheap. If the federal government took an approach similiar to alcohol and put age limits on it etc, taxed it it a ton and made it expensive, then there would still be a market for cheap stuff that was sold to anyone. The gangs would already be set up to do it, so why wouldn't they want to continue?

I suppose in the short term, heroin supply would probably increase as the gang structure will still exist to smuggle huge volumes of drugs without nearly as much to smuggle. However, the new market will not be able to sustain the current size of gangs and the old ones will collapse with only a fraction of the user base. As old ways of smuggling are uncovered by our government and are rendered unusable, there will be increasingly less profit in finding new ones as the total value of items to smuggle has been substantially reduced. With reduced potential for profit, smuggling will be less attractive. I suppose there will be enough demand our side of the border for some to always get through, but not in the same volume as before (for example, I doubt heroin alone could buy submarines).

Malice wrote:Are they? I would imagine it is much more difficult to police random, unconnected criminals who behave irrationally and act unexpectedly than it is to police smart, small, regularly-communicating groups who operate rationally and on a consistent/constant basis.

If I were a cop, I'd much rather deal with a random man who's supporting a habit through theft then a clandestine organization that for all I know will kill me and my family for interfering with them. Random hobos may be hard to track, but they are unintelligent and not vindictive in their behavior towards law enforcement compared to organized crime; the lack of organization removes a rather substantial layer of challenge to the equation. And this still isn't counting that these random miscreants still exist today, the question is whether the possible marginal increase in theft will match the overall drop in crime with the removal of gangs.

Malice wrote:I'm not suggesting that the government force people to work. I'm suggesting that the government prevent people from doing something which prevents them from working. That's a very different thing.

I'm telling you whether it should. I'm talking about the right of the people to govern themselves. In this sense of "should", of morals or whatever, there is no large difference between a person saying, "I think I will give up drugs and focus on my work, for my own sake," and a bunch of people together saying, "We think we will give up drugs and focus on our work, for our own sake." Collectively we have the right to restrict ourselves if we wish.


I don't see how there is a substantial difference between making an activity the government views as counterproductive towards a workers efficiency differs from any other means of trying to maximize a workers economic efficiency. As to your second point here, there is a distinct difference within the "we" as a certain portion of that we does not wish to give up what the rest wants them to. Perhaps the majority "we" can indeed enforce its laws on the minority, but that doesn't make it right; force is force. You're making rather grand assumptions here, believing that the individuals right to pursue happiness is completely irrelevant to how the majority wants him to behave.* Come to think of it, your argument would fit perfectly for someone trying to ban homosexual activity in a time without possible overpopulation pressures; the restricting of private activity and pleasure in the hopes of increasing net societal progress.

Malice wrote:But now that you mention it, again, the fact that it's usage is less widespread than obesity is, in part, because hamburgers cost pennies and can be found on every street in America, as opposed to weed, which is illegal, comparatively expensive, comparatively difficult to find, and relatively socially unaccepted. It's a false comparison.

The original comparison was purely in the context of the government regulating our behavior in an attempt to minimize its expenses, its only a false comparison when you take it out of that context.

Malice wrote:Obesity is due to a number of factors which are notoriously difficult to control. Genetic predisposition, upbringing, illness, the amount of food, the type of food, the amount and type of exercise... I'm not sure how I feel ideologically about the idea, but pragmatically it would be very difficult to work.


...kinda like enforcing anti-drug laws? You're still kinda dodging the original question though.

Malice wrote:
Since the tobacco lobby has already lost all presence due to voters apprehensions of industry's who sell addictive substances funding politicans, what makes you think that a new lobby selling addictive substances could come even close to acheiving political legitimacy?


For one thing, they would have a lot of money. For another, they'd have a wide enough user base that that alone would create a measure of political weight in their favor.

The user base already exists, yet they are powerless. Craploads of money have a fairly diminishing return eventually, and so long as the tobacco lobby can't even gain a substantial foothold anymore I don't see cocaine corporations running Washington (and since much of the profit margin would be dimished on account of the substances legality, their monetary reserves wouldn't be that substantial).

*I smell an argument arising using taxes here, so I'll go ahead and respond to it now - taxes are placed on a market that relies on a society for its function as to ensure the stability of that society, and are as such a necessary if distasteful burden to bear. The freedom to not engage this market to your fullest potential is not analogous to freedom from taxes

User avatar
22/7
I'm pretty sure I have "The Slavery In My Asshole" on DVD.
Posts: 6475
Joined: Fri Jul 06, 2007 3:30 pm UTC
Location: 127.0.0.1

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

Postby 22/7 » Wed Nov 19, 2008 3:25 pm UTC

Bubbles McCoy wrote:
Malice wrote:Are they? I would imagine it is much more difficult to police random, unconnected criminals who behave irrationally and act unexpectedly than it is to police smart, small, regularly-communicating groups who operate rationally and on a consistent/constant basis.
If I were a cop, I'd much rather deal with a random man who's supporting a habit through theft then a clandestine organization that for all I know will kill me and my family for interfering with them. Random hobos may be hard to track, but they are unintelligent and not vindictive in their behavior towards law enforcement compared to organized crime; the lack of organization removes a rather substantial layer of challenge to the equation. And this still isn't counting that these random miscreants still exist today, the question is whether the possible marginal increase in theft will match the overall drop in crime with the removal of gangs.
I'm almost positive that he was saying that, were they legalized, it would be easier to deal with the shops, etc., than it currently is to handle individual dealers, etc. I think.
qinwamascot wrote:Perhaps I should point out the overwhelming number of people who feel the current drug policies are too restrictive. If we have the right to restrict ourselves, but don't want to, we aren't exercising that right; it's being flaunted in our faces.
If the number of people who feel the current drug policies are too restrictive was truly "overwhelming", one would think that there would be a number of states in which those restrictive drug policies no longer existed.
Totally not a hypothetical...

Steroid wrote:
bigglesworth wrote:If your economic reality is a choice, then why are you not as rich as Bill Gates?
Don't want to be.
I want to be!

User avatar
Indon
Posts: 4433
Joined: Thu Oct 18, 2007 5:21 pm UTC
Location: Alabama :(
Contact:

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

Postby Indon » Wed Nov 19, 2008 4:28 pm UTC

qinwamascot wrote:Instead, an education-based policy works like this: we lower demand, which lowers both price and quantity. revenue drops downwards, and we don't have to even illegalize anything.

Unless you want to make absolutely all advertisement of drugs illegal, legalizing them will increase demand, because it will allow for advertisement.
So, I like talking. So if you want to talk about something with me, feel free to send me a PM.

My blog, now rarely updated.

Image

User avatar
22/7
I'm pretty sure I have "The Slavery In My Asshole" on DVD.
Posts: 6475
Joined: Fri Jul 06, 2007 3:30 pm UTC
Location: 127.0.0.1

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

Postby 22/7 » Wed Nov 19, 2008 5:14 pm UTC

I'd imagine that, were they to be legalized, you could put restrictions on them similar to what tobacco companies work with.
Totally not a hypothetical...

Steroid wrote:
bigglesworth wrote:If your economic reality is a choice, then why are you not as rich as Bill Gates?
Don't want to be.
I want to be!

User avatar
Indon
Posts: 4433
Joined: Thu Oct 18, 2007 5:21 pm UTC
Location: Alabama :(
Contact:

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

Postby Indon » Wed Nov 19, 2008 5:21 pm UTC

22/7 wrote:I'd imagine that, were they to be legalized, you could put restrictions on them similar to what tobacco companies work with.


Tobacco still advertises, so demand would go up if those regulations were used as guidelines for presently illegal drugs.

Also, education? It's taken decades of it, and an actively hostile legal system, to even slow the Tobacco industry down. And they show no signs of stopping or dying out, so really all those heavy regulations and massive liability lawsuits are doing is preventing them from expanding.
So, I like talking. So if you want to talk about something with me, feel free to send me a PM.

My blog, now rarely updated.

Image

Green9090
Posts: 516
Joined: Mon Jun 18, 2007 8:40 pm UTC
Location: California

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

Postby Green9090 » Wed Nov 19, 2008 6:39 pm UTC

Indon wrote:
22/7 wrote:I'd imagine that, were they to be legalized, you could put restrictions on them similar to what tobacco companies work with.


Tobacco still advertises, so demand would go up if those regulations were used as guidelines for presently illegal drugs.

Also, education? It's taken decades of it, and an actively hostile legal system, to even slow the Tobacco industry down. And they show no signs of stopping or dying out, so really all those heavy regulations and massive liability lawsuits are doing is preventing them from expanding.

The difference being that a new drug market would NOT be a huge company with a lot of momentum, and society is ALREADY brainwashed to think that it's ten times worse than it is (see: people in this thread arguing against legalization). Correct me if I'm wrong, but if you stop a small market from expanding... doesn't that mean it remains a small market?
Belial wrote:A man with more arms than the entire hindu pantheon and thirty goddamn dicks has no time for logic! He must consume ever more bacon to fuel his incalculable manhood!

User avatar
Indon
Posts: 4433
Joined: Thu Oct 18, 2007 5:21 pm UTC
Location: Alabama :(
Contact:

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

Postby Indon » Wed Nov 19, 2008 6:58 pm UTC

Green9090 wrote:The difference being that a new drug market would NOT be a huge company with a lot of momentum, and society is ALREADY brainwashed to think that it's ten times worse than it is (see: people in this thread arguing against legalization). Correct me if I'm wrong, but if you stop a small market from expanding... doesn't that mean it remains a small market?


It's not just a new drug market, though. It's also new drugs being given to all existing markets.

If you thought cigarettes were bad now, just wait until there's more than one addictant in them.
So, I like talking. So if you want to talk about something with me, feel free to send me a PM.

My blog, now rarely updated.

Image

User avatar
22/7
I'm pretty sure I have "The Slavery In My Asshole" on DVD.
Posts: 6475
Joined: Fri Jul 06, 2007 3:30 pm UTC
Location: 127.0.0.1

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

Postby 22/7 » Wed Nov 19, 2008 7:01 pm UTC

Green9090 wrote:The difference being that a new drug market would NOT be a huge company with a lot of momentum, and society is ALREADY brainwashed to think that it's ten times worse than it is (see: people in this thread arguing against legalization).
Just so we're clear, people in this thread arguing against legalization are not, by and large, arguing against it because they've been "brainwashed to think that it's ten times worse than it is". A number of different, legitimate reasons have been given why they are against legalization. Malice, for instance, would prefer they didn't exist at all, but since they do, he'd prefer they all be illegal, but since that's not particularly realistic, he'd prefer they be heavily regulated but legal across the board (as my understanding of his position goes, at least). You and he take the same basic set of information of the pros and cons of drugs and weigh them against each other and come to different results. That is by no means him being "brainwashed". You may not have meant it that way, but calling someone who disagrees with you brainwashed is kind of insulting.

Indeed. And it doesn't belong in SB.

~CM
Totally not a hypothetical...

Steroid wrote:
bigglesworth wrote:If your economic reality is a choice, then why are you not as rich as Bill Gates?
Don't want to be.
I want to be!

User avatar
sophyturtle
I'll go put my shirt back on for this kind of shock. No I won't. I'll get my purse.
Posts: 3474
Joined: Thu Mar 20, 2008 4:19 pm UTC
Location: it's turtles all the way down, even in the suburbs
Contact:

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

Postby sophyturtle » Wed Nov 19, 2008 7:06 pm UTC

Malice wrote:Your anecdotal evidence is irrelevant. I speak in general terms, not absolutes.
(Half an ounce of weed, you mean?)


Yes, I mean weed.

And my anecdotal evidence is one example of a fairly standard experience. My roommate smokes weed every day (or as close to it ah he can). He worked 2 jobs until he got a promotion at one, allowing him to work only one job. My best friend smokes close to every day, and she does great at the 8:30-4:30. I know people who work in offices, construction sites, and most things in between who smoke weed not just at parties but more than 4 times a week. Some of these people smoke before work. Of all the people I know who smoke weed, 1 does not have a job. Being 21, I think that may just be excusable.

The idea that drugs ruin your life is a flawed one. Yes, more people who do drugs are likely to have mental illness, but people with mental illness are more likely to be looking for the things drugs can provide.

I was more productive when I smoked weed regularly. It helped me manage my PTSD. Since I have lost my connection (I had to get my weed from someone who I do not want to be around. when drugs are illegal only criminals sell drugs.) my productivity has gone down. I miss work more often.

Some drugs ruin lives. Crack is a good example of that. For some people acid is another. Of course, for some alcohol ruins lives.
Legality and good regulatory measures will benefit society more than prohibition.

(also, not all drugs are chemically addictive. Just sayin)
I want to get to a place where I am neither conforming nor rebelling but simply being.

User avatar
Malice
Posts: 3894
Joined: Sat Jul 21, 2007 5:37 am UTC
Location: Los Angeles, CA
Contact:

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

Postby Malice » Wed Nov 19, 2008 7:20 pm UTC

qinwamascot wrote:
Malice wrote:Collectively we have the right to restrict ourselves if we wish.


Perhaps I should point out the overwhelming number of people who feel the current drug policies are too restrictive. If we have the right to restrict ourselves, but don't want to, we aren't exercising that right; it's being flaunted in our faces.


A couple of people have said this. My argument is more comfortable if you assume an overwhelming majority is in favor of it. Which... I dunno. I'd call pot the most widely-used drug, and it has only 12% of the population. That's pretty small.
Also... the borders are open. You can leave; you can vote against drug laws; and you can prove that they're unconstitutional. If you can't do the latter two (and I don't think you can, successfully), then you can still do the former. I don't mean that to sound harsh or anything. It's the same as, like, Israel's compulsory military service. Israel decided collectively that it wanted to do that, and if you disagree, maybe you should find a country that thinks the way you do.
Bubbles McCoy wrote:
Malice (and Ian to a similar effect) wrote:Legalizing drugs will make them safer, lower their cost, and make them widely available, in a hypothetical future where there is significantly less social stigma toward users. How would that not increase their consumption?


All drugs were legal in the 1800's, yet by and large there were no widespread addiction endemics (with the possible exception of opium) even though the populace wasn't nearly as educated on the negative effects of such substances. History has not proved drugs legality to be a substantial issue in terms of addiction any more than they are today; I'm afraid the burden of proof lies on you to prove the contrary on this one.


Alcohol and tobacco use was widespread, and I'm positive that many were addicted to one or the other. And not educated? That's an understatement. Patent medicines were made of opium. Doctors were proscribing morphine left, right, and center.

http://www.a1b2c3.com/drugs/gen003a.htm wrote:Morphine was used commonly as a pain killer during the Civil War. So large a number of soldiers became addicted as a result of the opiate given them for battle injuries that the post-war morphine addiction prevalent among veterans came to be known as Soldier's Disease.

Late in the 1800s, morphine was prescribed commonly as a substitute for alcohol addiction; the practice continued until late in the 1930s. Dr. J. R. Black, in a paper entitled Advantages of Substituting the Morphia Habit for the Incurably Alcoholic, published in the Cincinnati Lancet-Clinic in 1889, had the following praise for morphine in the alcoholic treatment regimen:

[Morphine] is less inimical to healthy life than alcohol... [It] calms in place of exciting the baser passions, and hence is less productive of acts of violence and crime; in short-the use of morphine in place of alcohol is but a choice of evils, and by far the lesser-On the score of economy the morphine habit is by far the better.


You're also begging the question. History may or may not have proved drugs legality to be an issue in terms of addiction but that has no bearing on whether or not it is an issue in terms of consumption. Logic and common sense tells me that any good, made cheaper and more widely available, will be consumed in greater quantities and by more people.

Malice wrote:Are they? I would imagine it is much more difficult to police random, unconnected criminals who behave irrationally and act unexpectedly than it is to police smart, small, regularly-communicating groups who operate rationally and on a consistent/constant basis.

If I were a cop, I'd much rather deal with a random man who's supporting a habit through theft then a clandestine organization that for all I know will kill me and my family for interfering with them.


True. Still might be more of an impact on the crime rate, though.

I don't see how there is a substantial difference between making an activity the government views as counterproductive towards a workers efficiency differs from any other means of trying to maximize a workers economic efficiency.


No? You don't think there's a difference between the government saying "no more of this" and it saying "you must work now"? I think it's the difference between giving up a little bit of freedom and a lot. I wouldn't want to live in a world where working was mandatory. But I have no problem living in a world where working is encouraged.

You're making rather grand assumptions here, believing that the individuals right to pursue happiness is completely irrelevant to how the majority wants him to behave.*


No, not completely irrelevant. Just outweighed in this one particular case.

Come to think of it, your argument would fit perfectly for someone trying to ban homosexual activity in a time without possible overpopulation pressures; the restricting of private activity and pleasure in the hopes of increasing net societal progress.


Thankfully, that argument doesn't hold any water. Now, if you were banning all non-procreative sex, that would be a different thing.
Also, this argument is different from mine, in that it bans something with falls into the realm of video games--activities which aren't productive, but are not actively counter-productive, as drugs are.

Malice wrote:Obesity is due to a number of factors which are notoriously difficult to control. Genetic predisposition, upbringing, illness, the amount of food, the type of food, the amount and type of exercise... I'm not sure how I feel ideologically about the idea, but pragmatically it would be very difficult to work.


...kinda like enforcing anti-drug laws? You're still kinda dodging the original question though.


I am, a little. I guess what I'd say is that if you wanted to discourage obesity itself, that would be one thing; but if you tried to do it on a micro-level, outlawing that hamburger or whatever, then it would be wrongheaded. If the population decided that it would no longer tolerate people who were drastically overweight, I'm not sure I could argue against it.

Malice wrote:
Since the tobacco lobby has already lost all presence due to voters apprehensions of industry's who sell addictive substances funding politicans, what makes you think that a new lobby selling addictive substances could come even close to acheiving political legitimacy?


For one thing, they would have a lot of money. For another, they'd have a wide enough user base that that alone would create a measure of political weight in their favor.

The user base already exists, yet they are powerless. Craploads of money have a fairly diminishing return eventually, and so long as the tobacco lobby can't even gain a substantial foothold anymore I don't see cocaine corporations running Washington (and since much of the profit margin would be dimished on account of the substances legality, their monetary reserves wouldn't be that substantial).


Their user base would expand (and expand, and expand), and part of the reason they're powerless is that they have no leaders. A corporation will be able to lead them.
Profit margins are currently huge. 2000%, somebody quoted earlier. Reducing those profit margins by some, yet massively increasing volume, is going to leave corporations with the most lucrative business around. McDonald's is a juggernaut, with profit margins on their burgers of only about 20%. And again, drugs are a business where your customers go into withdrawal if they haven't given you money lately. Hell, you don't have to bribe a Senator--just get him addicted.

---

Malice wrote:
sophyturtle wrote:I hold a job, and for a while I was smoking a half once a week. While working 9-5. I still have this job.


Your anecdotal evidence is irrelevant. I speak in general terms, not absolutes.
(Half an ounce of weed, you mean?)

It's actually incredibly relevant given that it's not "some guy I know did weed and went crazy," it's "I actually did this much pot for a while and turns out it doesn't automatically make you crazy; therefore it's possible to use this drug (and perhaps others) responsibly while still performing a job as required."


It's irrelevant because what I said was "Drugs can make it more difficult to hold a job," not "Drugs must always make it more difficult to hold a job." The fact that you, yourself, held a job while on drugs does not refute my point. There are other people who couldn't.

Malice wrote:
Heroin cost as supply drops will likely go up and make its trafficking more appealing, but there is a large expense involved in finding and exploiting a means of smuggling. When the involved expense yields a reduced resultant profit, motive will go down. And since there are now plenty of legal, cheaper alternatives to heroin, there's a good chance the whole market might just disappear.


Legal, cheaper alternatives to illegal drugs already exist--alcohol and cigarettes, for instance. Hasn't made the illegal drug market disappear.
For the rest, see the response earlier in this long, long post.

...but...but you want alcohol to ALSO be illegal...


That has absolutely no bearing on my point. You argue that legal, cheaper alternatives to certain drugs will lead to their markets disappearing; but that's not what happens now in the exact same situation. If you, say, outlawed alcohol and legalized pot, the market for alcohol wouldn't just disappear.

---

22/7 wrote:
Bubbles McCoy wrote:
Malice wrote:Are they? I would imagine it is much more difficult to police random, unconnected criminals who behave irrationally and act unexpectedly than it is to police smart, small, regularly-communicating groups who operate rationally and on a consistent/constant basis.
If I were a cop, I'd much rather deal with a random man who's supporting a habit through theft then a clandestine organization that for all I know will kill me and my family for interfering with them. Random hobos may be hard to track, but they are unintelligent and not vindictive in their behavior towards law enforcement compared to organized crime; the lack of organization removes a rather substantial layer of challenge to the equation. And this still isn't counting that these random miscreants still exist today, the question is whether the possible marginal increase in theft will match the overall drop in crime with the removal of gangs.
I'm almost positive that he was saying that, were they legalized, it would be easier to deal with the shops, etc., than it currently is to handle individual dealers, etc. I think.


No... but it's an interesting point.

---

Edit: Arrg, so ninja'd!

---

Green9090 wrote:The difference being that a new drug market would NOT be a huge company with a lot of momentum, and society is ALREADY brainwashed to think that it's ten times worse than it is (see: people in this thread arguing against legalization). Correct me if I'm wrong, but if you stop a small market from expanding... doesn't that mean it remains a small market?


A new drug company would quickly become a huge company with a lot of momentum. It doesn't take long.

Aside from the insult, which has already been addressed, remember that we're talking about a hypothetical future in which society's attitudes towards drugs have changed, enough so that they're actually legalizing them.

How exactly do you keep the drug market small? The more strictly you regulate it, the more you make the whole thing worthless because people will find it easier to turn to illegal sources anyway.

---

sophyturtle wrote:Some drugs ruin lives. Crack is a good example of that. For some people acid is another. Of course, for some alcohol ruins lives.
Legality and good regulatory measures will benefit society more than prohibition.

(also, not all drugs are chemically addictive. Just sayin)


You're misinterpreting my argument. If I were to legalize any single drug, it would probably be pot, because it's the least problematic (much less so than alcohol). So when I say "Drugs can be harmful" and you go, "Nu-uh, all my friends smoke pot and are fine," you're basically avoiding the issue. There are plenty of drugs out there (not all) which are chemically addictive and life-ruining (not always). Do you disagree?
Image

User avatar
Izawwlgood
WINNING
Posts: 18686
Joined: Mon Nov 19, 2007 3:55 pm UTC
Location: There may be lovelier lovelies...

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

Postby Izawwlgood » Wed Nov 19, 2008 7:46 pm UTC

Hallucinogens. A complete rethinking of what constitutes DRUG.

Caffeine, Alcohol and Nicotine are legal?

But hey, it's not like much is going to change, Biden is one of the original proponents of the war on drugs.
... with gigantic melancholies and gigantic mirth, to tread the jeweled thrones of the Earth under his sandalled feet.

User avatar
sophyturtle
I'll go put my shirt back on for this kind of shock. No I won't. I'll get my purse.
Posts: 3474
Joined: Thu Mar 20, 2008 4:19 pm UTC
Location: it's turtles all the way down, even in the suburbs
Contact:

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

Postby sophyturtle » Wed Nov 19, 2008 8:23 pm UTC

Malice wrote: So when I say "Drugs can be harmful" and you go, "Nu-uh, all my friends smoke pot and are fine," you're basically avoiding the issue. There are plenty of drugs out there (not all) which are chemically addictive and life-ruining (not always). Do you disagree?


First off, don't be condescending. When I start talking baby talk or nonsense you can start, until then I deserve respect. Since I pointed to examples of drugs that are chemically addictive stating that they have ruined lives this sort of behavior shows you would rather not read the entirety of my short post but take a small part of it an run from there.

You were arguing that drugs can ruin people's lives, I was offering examples that they don't. Cars ruin people's lives. Kids ruin people's lives. People have the ability to ruin their lives with just about anything (including WoW). We do not make these things illegal, and take them away from the people who can use them responsibly or use them to enrich their lives. Being personally against something means you don't have to do it, and you have every right to tell other people your opinion in hopes that you can stop them from doing it too.
However, limiting things that can add to one's life simply because someone else would abuse it is not okay with me. Especially since for many of the problems addressed in this thread education and personal responsibility would be the clear solution (some of the problems stated here I would argue would not be problems at all if legalization itself took place in a responsible manner).
I want to get to a place where I am neither conforming nor rebelling but simply being.

User avatar
22/7
I'm pretty sure I have "The Slavery In My Asshole" on DVD.
Posts: 6475
Joined: Fri Jul 06, 2007 3:30 pm UTC
Location: 127.0.0.1

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

Postby 22/7 » Wed Nov 19, 2008 8:29 pm UTC

sophy, Malice, I think the misunderstanding comes here.
sophyturtle wrote:You were arguing that drugs can ruin people's lives, I was offering examples that they don't.
sophy, it looked to me like Malice was taking issue with you offering a handful of opposing examples to counter his assertion that they can ruin lives. This, of course, does not disprove what Malice said, but it does prove your point that many drugs, when used responsibly, do not have to ruin the lives of those using them. The problem is that you're essentially both saying the same thing ("they can" and "they don't have to"), but in a different way and then, it appears, taking issue with each other for it.
Last edited by 22/7 on Wed Nov 19, 2008 8:30 pm UTC, edited 1 time in total.
Totally not a hypothetical...

Steroid wrote:
bigglesworth wrote:If your economic reality is a choice, then why are you not as rich as Bill Gates?
Don't want to be.
I want to be!

User avatar
Bubbles McCoy
Posts: 1106
Joined: Wed Jul 09, 2008 12:49 am UTC
Location: California

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

Postby Bubbles McCoy » Wed Nov 19, 2008 8:29 pm UTC

Drug consumption is determined by factors beyond cost of said drugs, I think the fact that when it was legal to uncrate cocaine in Boston consumption was not outrageous attests to this. I'm still not arguing heroin, it's extreme level of addictiveness was a problem in the 19th century. Alcohol consumption rose in the twenties despite reduced and lower quality supply; I'd maintain that history is on the side of legality and consumption being completely seperate factors.

Gay sex is completely irrelevant for the sake of furthering the species, you can at least argue that heterosexual sex before marriage prepares people for it and doesn't significantly decrease the appeal of eventually settling down and makin' babies. Should "we" morally decide that drugs do not further "our" goals as you originally stated, there's no reason homosexuality should be spared the same treatment.

And the profit margins would virtually disappear, cocaine producers like most other industries would drop to some 8% profit margin as with your average company. The 2000% (I'm pretty sure it's more like 1000%, but I suppose it doesn't really matter) figure is completely dependent on the drugs illegality. The question still comes down to this: tobacco companies have completely lost favor due to public opposition to their influence, and they will never regain it. How can cocaine producers possibly gain it in the first place when the public is so firmly against letting addictive businesses into our political system?

User avatar
Izawwlgood
WINNING
Posts: 18686
Joined: Mon Nov 19, 2007 3:55 pm UTC
Location: There may be lovelier lovelies...

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

Postby Izawwlgood » Wed Nov 19, 2008 8:31 pm UTC

I think the notion of criminalizing drug use as a means to 'protect' people is a small step away from criminalizing having children, or mountain biking, or hiking, or riding a bicycle in the city.
If drug laws are meant to protect citizens, then we need to criminalize alcohol, cigarettes, and impose heavy fines on those who are addicted to caffeine. After all, those drug addicts are costing the rest of us uncounted millions in medical care (lung cancers), vehicular damage and car accidents, and stress.
That is of course ridiculous.

Fine, regulate the amount of drug accessibility children have, criminalize the trafficking of drugs to children or around children, or increase penalties of being under the influence while doing things that can result in the harming of others. But don't randomly assign areas of peoples lives designed to 'protect' them, it's hypocritical.
... with gigantic melancholies and gigantic mirth, to tread the jeweled thrones of the Earth under his sandalled feet.

User avatar
Malice
Posts: 3894
Joined: Sat Jul 21, 2007 5:37 am UTC
Location: Los Angeles, CA
Contact:

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

Postby Malice » Wed Nov 19, 2008 10:30 pm UTC

sophyturtle wrote:
Malice wrote: So when I say "Drugs can be harmful" and you go, "Nu-uh, all my friends smoke pot and are fine," you're basically avoiding the issue. There are plenty of drugs out there (not all) which are chemically addictive and life-ruining (not always). Do you disagree?


First off, don't be condescending. When I start talking baby talk or nonsense you can start, until then I deserve respect. Since I pointed to examples of drugs that are chemically addictive stating that they have ruined lives this sort of behavior shows you would rather not read the entirety of my short post but take a small part of it an run from there.


No, I read your entire post. You said: "Pot is fine, here are some examples. Other drugs can be harmful. I don't think that's grounds to ban them, though."
My argument is "Other drugs can be harmful." So, as 22/7 says, we agree.

You were arguing that drugs can ruin people's lives, I was offering examples that they don't. Cars ruin people's lives. Kids ruin people's lives. People have the ability to ruin their lives with just about anything (including WoW). We do not make these things illegal, and take them away from the people who can use them responsibly or use them to enrich their lives.


Neither cars, nor children, nor WoW are more or less likely to ruin lives than just about anything else. However, drugs are not like that; drugs alter your mind and make you physically addicted; in other words, drugs by their very nature make it more difficult for you to use further drugs responsibly. When the object in question automatically stacks the deck against personal responsibility, it is dangerous above and beyond the normal, acceptable risks associated with things like driving and childbearing.

---

Bubbles McCoy wrote:Gay sex is completely irrelevant for the sake of furthering the species, you can at least argue that heterosexual sex before marriage prepares people for it and doesn't significantly decrease the appeal of eventually settling down and makin' babies. Should "we" morally decide that drugs do not further "our" goals as you originally stated, there's no reason homosexuality should be spared the same treatment.


As I said, homosexuality doesn't further our goals, but it doesn't harm them, either. Drugs do.

The question still comes down to this: tobacco companies have completely lost favor due to public opposition to their influence, and they will never regain it. How can cocaine producers possibly gain it in the first place when the public is so firmly against letting addictive businesses into our political system?


Is the public against letting addictive businesses into our political system?
Image

User avatar
sophyturtle
I'll go put my shirt back on for this kind of shock. No I won't. I'll get my purse.
Posts: 3474
Joined: Thu Mar 20, 2008 4:19 pm UTC
Location: it's turtles all the way down, even in the suburbs
Contact:

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

Postby sophyturtle » Wed Nov 19, 2008 10:41 pm UTC

Sugar alters your mind. Sleep alters your mind. And having children *does* alter your mind. Brain chemistry is not static, and reproduction changes it (for some people it does so permanently). it changes how you interact with other people, and your decision making process. While intoxicated some drugs effect your prefrontal cortex and therefore your judgment. Not all do.
And while some drugs are addictive all are not. My problem is when you lump all drugs together when it is not that simple. Each effect people differently. Different people are effected differently. My problem is blanket statements.
I want to get to a place where I am neither conforming nor rebelling but simply being.

User avatar
Bubbles McCoy
Posts: 1106
Joined: Wed Jul 09, 2008 12:49 am UTC
Location: California

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

Postby Bubbles McCoy » Wed Nov 19, 2008 11:18 pm UTC

Reproduction is a rather key element of humanity's goals, I'd say operating outside of it contradicts our societies goals. But we're digressing, lets return to your original statement:

Malice wrote:I'm telling you whether it should. I'm talking about the right of the people to govern themselves. In this sense of "should", of morals or whatever, there is no large difference between a person saying, "I think I will give up drugs and focus on my work, for my own sake," and a bunch of people together saying, "We think we will give up drugs and focus on our work, for our own sake." Collectively we have the right to restrict ourselves if we wish.

"Restrict ourselves if we wish" covers any activity, whether or not there's any logical reason for doing so.

And yes the public is against letting tobacco into Washington largely on grounds of addictiveness and health side effects... why wouldn't they feel the same towards cocaine?

User avatar
Malice
Posts: 3894
Joined: Sat Jul 21, 2007 5:37 am UTC
Location: Los Angeles, CA
Contact:

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

Postby Malice » Thu Nov 20, 2008 1:28 am UTC

Bubbles McCoy wrote:Reproduction is a rather key element of humanity's goals, I'd say operating outside of it contradicts our societies goals.


The idea that every moment we don't spend fucking fertile women is a moment wasted to society is ridiculous.
The idea that spending time in activities that, say, make us infertile, is counter to society's goals is not.

And yes the public is against letting tobacco into Washington largely on grounds of addictiveness and health side effects... why wouldn't they feel the same towards cocaine?


Perhaps I don't understand the concept. Could you provide an example?
Image

User avatar
Ian35
Posts: 28
Joined: Tue Oct 07, 2008 8:39 am UTC

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

Postby Ian35 » Thu Nov 20, 2008 2:40 am UTC

All drugs were legal in the 1800's

I don't think pointing to the 1800's as a reference point today is particularly accurate, just because the drugs of today are far far more potent then they were back then. Marijuana for example is about 3x stronger then it was in the 1960s. For hard drugs especially the vastly increased/ever increasing potency of the drugs combined with availability really makes them much different drugs then they were in the 1800s. That being said I think my example of how modern drugs can destroy whole communities is more relevant to todays world then looking to the drugs of the 1800s, and more indicative on how legalizing hard drugs would effect communities in general.

cocaine producers like most other industries would drop to some 8% profit margin as with your average company. The 2000% (I'm pretty sure it's more like 1000%, but I suppose it doesn't really matter) figure is completely dependent on the drugs illegality.

I really don't think that figure has as much to do with the drugs illegality as much as the desperation people have for it. The average company sells people wants and desires, people addicted to coke and other hard drugs aren't buying wants they are buying a need. Right after air, food, and water they feel they need their drugs to live. Thats why the markup is so ridiculous and its why I don't think you could compare it to traditional business. Also I got the 2000% number from a former dealer I talked to. I've sure it varies from place to place..all depends how much someone has to lose how much they will pay for their fix at any given time.



As for educating people to be smart with it well..I think the only education to stop someone from trying hard drugs is seeing what its done to others around them, and by the time you get to that point its probably already to late for the community. People just can't imagine how addictive it is until they try it. I mean we've all heard how hard drugs are bad for you, but that doesn't stop the tens of thousands of people getting addicted each year. Maybe if your education policy was really really good it could prevent people from trying it even one time..but I don't think thats a good gamble to take when it comes to hard drugs. I think some people just have personalities that cause them to want instant gratification above all else, and to disregard warnings about things until they try it themselves. Plus, like I said before young kids brain's aren't fully developed so for most of their teenage years they will be prone to impulsive decisions.

Per this post, attributing quotes is Serious Business. Please let us know who you're quoting.

~CM

a thing
Posts: 182
Joined: Wed Feb 28, 2007 4:18 pm UTC
Location: Chicago

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

Postby a thing » Thu Nov 20, 2008 3:28 am UTC

About earlier remarks that alcohol and tobacco are currently legal alternatives: No, alcohol and tobacco do not compare to the variety of illegal drugs. A depressant is way different from a psychedelic, which is way different from an amphetamine, which is way different from cannabis, which is way different from opioids...

Ian35 wrote:As for educating people to be smart with it well..I think the only education to stop someone from trying hard drugs is seeing what its done to others around them, and by the time you get to that point its probably already to late for the community. People just can't imagine how addictive it is until they try it. I mean we've all heard how hard drugs are bad for you, but that doesn't stop the tens of thousands of people getting addicted each year. Maybe if your education policy was really really good it could prevent people from trying it even one time..but I don't think that[']s a good gamble to take when it comes to hard drugs. I think some people just have personalities that cause them to want instant gratification above all else, and to disregard warnings about things until they try it themselves. Plus, like I said before young kids brain's aren't fully developed so for most of their teenage years they will be prone to impulsive decisions.


Show them an opioid abuser that started out just doing it on the weekends. I think that will be enough for most people.

That refutes your earlier claim that just one dose of a hard drug will get you hooked by the way.
Disclaimer: My posts may change (dramatically) within the first 15 minutes they're posted.

User avatar
Ian35
Posts: 28
Joined: Tue Oct 07, 2008 8:39 am UTC

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

Postby Ian35 » Thu Nov 20, 2008 4:41 am UTC

I was never implying it was a guaranteed thing, just that for most people once they experience the high they develop that psychological dependence right away. Theres always going to be exceptions to the rule, on pretty much any rule you want to make about people. I was simply speaking about the majority. That however does not weaken my position that hard drugs are extremely easy to get hooked on, which by and large the people in that thread seem to agree about.

User avatar
TheBeeCeeEmm
Posts: 76
Joined: Wed Feb 27, 2008 8:13 am UTC
Location: Here and there.
Contact:

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

Postby TheBeeCeeEmm » Thu Nov 20, 2008 5:11 am UTC

If I hear about how weed these days is stronger than it was 40 years ago ONE MORE TIME, I'm gonna flip shit. Those "tests" were done on shitty weed. The dirtiest Mexican schwag - which was the most common as it was cheapest - was always crap compared to some dank Columbian. The difference is just that now we regularly cultivate the good stuff instead of shitty stuff. The idea that we somehow tripled the strength of a plant that has been used for over 2000 years in just under 50 years is just a boost to our own ego and, as I said, has no founding in facts. It is a "fact". Not a fact.

Also, I think it's going to be too difficult at present to attempt to legalize anything incredibly addictive - this is mostly opiates. I think any debate about them is just going in circles and has for the last 2 pages...so maybe we should focus on ones we can reach a middle ground on? Hallucinogens, and assorted other non-addictive substances, perhaps?
There is no certainty, only opportunity.
http://www.counterorder.com
Belial wrote:You're basically saying that my computer is nonfunctional because it doesn't make waffles.

Avatar is Copyright of Freydis.

User avatar
Bubbles McCoy
Posts: 1106
Joined: Wed Jul 09, 2008 12:49 am UTC
Location: California

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

Postby Bubbles McCoy » Thu Nov 20, 2008 5:24 am UTC

Malice wrote:
Bubbles McCoy wrote:Reproduction is a rather key element of humanity's goals, I'd say operating outside of it contradicts our societies goals.


The idea that every moment we don't spend fucking fertile women is a moment wasted to society is ridiculous.
The idea that spending time in activities that, say, make us infertile, is counter to society's goals is not.

Legitimizing homosexual relationships will reduce the number of heterosexual relationships with children in the long run. But the specifics here don't matter too much, your original statement said the society can collectively "decide" to stop doing something if the majority doesn't like it. I don't agree with that logic, but taking your words literaly you think that society at large has every right to restrict other's rights based off of what it feels like best suits its interests, whether it be drugs or gay sex.

Malice wrote:
And yes the public is against letting tobacco into Washington largely on grounds of addictiveness and health side effects... why wouldn't they feel the same towards cocaine?


Perhaps I don't understand the concept. Could you provide an example?

Tobacco, as you already admitted, no longer has a significant lobby; Congress has made many laws that go against tobacco companies wishes. Why would cocaine be any different?

Ian35 wrote:I don't think pointing to the 1800's as a reference point today is particularly accurate, just because the drugs of today are far far more potent then they were back then. Marijuana for example is about 3x stronger then it was in the 1960s. For hard drugs especially the vastly increased/ever increasing potency of the drugs combined with availability really makes them much different drugs then they were in the 1800s. That being said I think my example of how modern drugs can destroy whole communities is more relevant to todays world then looking to the drugs of the 1800s, and more indicative on how legalizing hard drugs would effect communities in general.

Your example was something you made up on the spot, a hypothetical senario has no relevance in comparison to analysis based off of historical trends and observations. People still did these drugs and enjoyed them in the 1800's, yet society was not consumed by cocaine addiction despite the fact that for most of the century it was considered healthy and there was no markup on account of it's illegality.

Ian35 wrote:
cocaine producers like most other industries would drop to some 8% profit margin as with your average company. The 2000% (I'm pretty sure it's more like 1000%, but I suppose it doesn't really matter) figure is completely dependent on the drugs illegality.

I really don't think that figure has as much to do with the drugs illegality as much as the desperation people have for it. The average company sells people wants and desires, people addicted to coke and other hard drugs aren't buying wants they are buying a need. Right after air, food, and water they feel they need their drugs to live. Thats why the markup is so ridiculous and its why I don't think you could compare it to traditional business.

Desperation is irrelevant in a free market system unless someone holds patent rights to cocaine. There will be multiple producers competing with each other and prices will stay low.

User avatar
Ian35
Posts: 28
Joined: Tue Oct 07, 2008 8:39 am UTC

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

Postby Ian35 » Thu Nov 20, 2008 7:02 am UTC

My example wasn't so much as made up as it was based on reality as told to me by others who had been personally effected by drugs like coke in their communities. You can take it how you will but it would be a mistake to assume it has no basis on fact.

Bubbles Mccoy wrote:Legitimizing homosexual relationships will reduce the number of heterosexual relationships with children in the long run.

Why? Could you explain this further?

Bubbles Mccoy wrote:Tobacco, as you already admitted, no longer has a significant lobby; Congress has made many laws that go against tobacco companies wishes. Why would cocaine be any different?

Congress represents the will of their constituents..maybe its an extreme scenario, but if half the countries hooked on hard drugs they will feel differently about them then if they weren't.

Bubbles McCoy wrote:Unless legalization of heroin somehow quadruples the number of users, crime will drop as a result of its legalization.

Where are you getting these statistics?

Furthermore, just what kind of crimes are you envisioning that will drop so much by legalizing drugs? Wouldn't you say that organized crimes tend to target their rivals more then anyone else, and that the average citizen shouldn't have much to worry about just in general? If drugs were legalized all the big organized crime gangs would still exist, just that they'd be legal. They might not make as much money as before but the end result would still be a drug addicted society, which would lower the quality of life for everyone. Since like I said before, the hard drugs of the 1800s are just not as potent as the ones we have today. Its not a good comparison. When the side effects for these kinds of drugs can manifest in the form of psychotic behavior amongst other things I wouldn't say it was a good idea to have rampant hard drug usage in society.

User avatar
Malice
Posts: 3894
Joined: Sat Jul 21, 2007 5:37 am UTC
Location: Los Angeles, CA
Contact:

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

Postby Malice » Thu Nov 20, 2008 7:47 am UTC

Bubbles McCoy wrote:Legitimizing homosexual relationships will reduce the number of heterosexual relationships with children in the long run.


Only if you assume that gays will choose straight sex over abstinence. Which I don't think is a good assumption.

BM wrote:But the specifics here don't matter too much, your original statement said the society can collectively "decide" to stop doing something if the majority doesn't like it. I don't agree with that logic, but taking your words literaly you think that society at large has every right to restrict other's rights based off of what it feels like best suits its interests, whether it be drugs or gay sex.


I think there are restrictions on that, though. There are rightful protections that the minority has against the majority. But I think those protections can only be predicated on things that are innate and essentially unchangeable, like race, gender, sexuality, ethnicity, disability... Drugs don't fall under that protection. Outlawing gay sex is wrong because a) it won't solve your problem and b) it's unfair. Outlawing drugs might solve your drug problem, and it isn't unfair to a segment of the population that needs protecting against majority rule.

Malice wrote:
And yes the public is against letting tobacco into Washington largely on grounds of addictiveness and health side effects... why wouldn't they feel the same towards cocaine?


Perhaps I don't understand the concept. Could you provide an example?

Tobacco, as you already admitted, no longer has a significant lobby; Congress has made many laws that go against tobacco companies wishes. Why would cocaine be any different?


Okay. Look.
Tobacco was extremely powerful in Congress for decades. There are three reasons why it is less powerful now:
1. Fewer people smoke. (Smaller base, and less money.)
2. Anti-corporate sentiment in general has risen.
3. Tobacco companies were caught lying about cigarettes, and using Congress in order to protect that lie.

I don't think the fact that it is less powerful now has anything to do specifically with the fact that they put out an addictive product. It doesn't seem logical for me to worry about the makers of an addictive product buying Congressmen; it only seems logical to me to worry about the makers of any product buying Congressmen.

Anti-corporate sentiment doesn't prevent companies from buying influence today with donations. Companies that sell addictive drugs legally and cheaply will have a huge customer base (and profits). And until they get caught abusing that influence, I don't think public opinion will be strongly against them--or at least not strongly enough to stop them from doing it.

Your example was something you made up on the spot, a hypothetical senario has no relevance in comparison to analysis based off of historical trends and observations. People still did these drugs and enjoyed them in the 1800's, yet society was not consumed by cocaine addiction despite the fact that for most of the century it was considered healthy and there was no markup on account of it's illegality.


Do you have any actual numbers on cocaine addiction (or other drug problems) during the 1800s? Saying "society wasn't consumed by it" isn't enough to convince me that it wasn't a significant problem. Society today isn't consumed by drugs, so to speak, but drugs are still a big problem.

BM wrote:Desperation is irrelevant in a free market system unless someone holds patent rights to cocaine. There will be multiple producers competing with each other and prices will stay low.


Theoretically, yes. But life doesn't always follow economic theory; corporations fight each other on more than just price, and they've gotten pretty good at actually winning. There are numerous ways one corporation could attain a monopoly. Wider distribution. More addictive product. Better marketing. Selling at a loss. Giving out free samples. Etc.
Image

User avatar
Bubbles McCoy
Posts: 1106
Joined: Wed Jul 09, 2008 12:49 am UTC
Location: California

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

Postby Bubbles McCoy » Thu Nov 20, 2008 9:25 am UTC

Malice wrote:
Bubbles McCoy wrote:Legitimizing homosexual relationships will reduce the number of heterosexual relationships with children in the long run.


Only if you assume that gays will choose straight sex over abstinence. Which I don't think is a good assumption.

Assuming people won't take drugs without laws to prohibit it is? The question is whether an act that doesn't meet the common good should be banned.

Malice wrote:I think there are restrictions on that, though. There are rightful protections that the minority has against the majority. But I think those protections can only be predicated on things that are innate and essentially unchangeable, like race, gender, sexuality, ethnicity, disability... Drugs don't fall under that protection. Outlawing gay sex is wrong because a) it won't solve your problem and b) it's unfair. Outlawing drugs might solve your drug problem, and it isn't unfair to a segment of the population that needs protecting against majority rule.

So just criminalizing the segment of the population that wants to take drugs isn't unfair? Both of these are instances of the majority exerting its will on the minority because it feels it knows better. If others start deciding what's best for me and making it law, then I do need protection against majority rule.


Malice wrote:Do you have any actual numbers on cocaine addiction (or other drug problems) during the 1800s? Saying "society wasn't consumed by it" isn't enough to convince me that it wasn't a significant problem. Society today isn't consumed by drugs, so to speak, but drugs are still a big problem.

Drugs were legal in the 1800's, and there is no evidence I've seen to support the idea that cocaine use was widespread. Shouldn't the burden of evidence to prove that drugs illegality has reduced consumption lie on your shoulders? America had the most powerful economy at the turn at the century after a period of rapid growth; hardly a sign of a nation consumed by drugs.

I'm dropping any discusssion of corporatism as we were making no progress on that front, and the truth of the matter is that keeping drugs illegal out of fear of the resultant corporations' lobbyists is just plain silly.

Ian35 wrote:Furthermore, just what kind of crimes are you envisioning that will drop so much by legalizing drugs? Wouldn't you say that organized crimes tend to target their rivals more then anyone else, and that the average citizen shouldn't have much to worry about just in general? If drugs were legalized all the big organized crime gangs would still exist, just that they'd be legal. They might not make as much money as before but the end result would still be a drug addicted society, which would lower the quality of life for everyone. Since like I said before, the hard drugs of the 1800s are just not as potent as the ones we have today. Its not a good comparison. When the side effects for these kinds of drugs can manifest in the form of psychotic behavior amongst other things I wouldn't say it was a good idea to have rampant hard drug usage in society.

Without gangs homicide rates would significantly drop, and for the most part younger people won't be forced to join gangs in bad areas or really even be able to as most gangs will not have a viable source of income to sutain them. I doubt a theives guild will somehow come outta Compton, so although theft itself might stay relatively constant in the short term violence would be reduced. In the long term, there's a good chance the reduction of gangs will lead to more stability in poorer areas and drugs and theft could become less appealing.

Big gangs won't somehow be legal now, as the only reason they exist is to sustain illicit trade and markets. Legal drugs will just enter the market from producers of the drugs in accordance to normal means; a cocaine grower will just ship to a buyer in a America on a normal train or ship. With so much less to sell (I couldn't find any good numbers with regard to annual heroin consumption, but around 300,000 use heroin annnually compared to 25 million on pot and 6 million on cocaine (link) ), conventional gangs will almost completely, if not completely, collapse.


Return to “Serious Business”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 10 guests