The Economist: the "least bad" way to deal with drug problem is to legalize them

Discuss

194 Responses to “The Economist: the "least bad" way to deal with drug problem is to legalize them”

  1. TroofSeeker says:

    “Two of my favorite things are sitting on my front porch smoking a pipe of sweet hemp, and playing my Hohner harmonica.”
    Abraham Lincoln
    (from a letter written by Lincoln during his presidency to the head of the Hohner Harmonica Company in Germany)

    Mindpowered, is that right?! Is that verifiable?
    ‘Cause that is the coolest thing I ever heard!

    Really! I’m gonna take off Gandhi’s loincloth, take three Viagra, and hang Lincoln’s tophat from my weener. Really.
    …And ya know, doesn’t he look suspiciously like the Zig-Zag man!

  2. zuzu says:

    A lot of liquor commercials are saying “drink responsibly” these days. No such thing.

    I drink responsibly.

    Maybe you’re thinking “there’s no such thing as drinking and driving responsibly”?

  3. Ugly Canuck says:

    Marijuana is not opium nor is it tobacco: the analogies do not hold, at all.
    The Law is well capable of making the necessary distinctions between these substances and their effects: making distinctions, after all, is what the Law does (and very well it does it, too). If you don’t believe me, read some of the Tax Codes.
    That some would conflate marijuana with heroin, or opium , or tobacco, betrays a lack of sensitivity to differences, that actually do make a difference.
    Or , perhaps, the use of this analogy betrays a hidden contempt for the ability of the Law to see differences, and to act accordingly.
    And as the Law is created and enforced by people, perhaps the use of such an inapt analogy – that marijuana is (like) opium, heroin, or tobacco, for the purposes of enforcement – shows a contempt for the ability of those people to spot differences: a contempt, in other words, for their intelligence.

  4. Auto Parts for Brains says:

    Legalizing drugs may prove to be a logical short term solution to an ongoing problem. Still, to exhibit no care for its potential threat to society in the future may spell a very grave tragedy in the years to come.

    Once drugs becomes legalized, society as we know it will surely begin its sad descent to decay.

  5. Gilgongo says:

    The Economist has been consistently pro narcotics legalisation for many, many years. This isn’t surprising. In about 2003, they did a fairly serious analysis on the worldwide drug trade, in the same way they do for other industries on a periodic basis. As part of their research, they estimated the industry to be worth about the same as the global oil industry, and marvelled at how well run and generally efficient it was. That gives you a clue as to why they would support legalisation – it would make very sound economic sense.

  6. Anonymous says:

    OMG! im taking an ethics class right now. I had to review an opinion piece on how ending the drug war would dramatically reduce drug related crime and violence. The author was using a utilitarian view on the topic.. that legalizing drugs would do more good for more people. I totally could have used this article to emphasize my point!

  7. Ugly Canuck says:

    Finally, a “war on drugs” shares the same fault as all wars: people die….
    “War” itself ought to be illegal. link:
    http://www.war-is-illegal.org/

    peace out!

  8. Tweeker says:

    Only moderate taxes on marijuana are tenable, otherwise your back to a black market, as seen with NY, NY tobacco.

  9. Wingo says:

    TroofSeeker:

    Really! I’m gonna take off Gandhi’s loincloth, take three Viagra, and hang Lincoln’s tophat from my weener. Really.

    You just won the internet for today, my friend.

  10. error404 says:

    the bullsh*t arguments proffered by so many who oppose the legalisation of drugs are frankly hilarious.

    If it was YOUR KID BUYING CRACK!!!!

    All that sort of nonsense. As if legalising drugs would mean they were available in vending machines.

    The same restrictions would apply to weed and coke as apply to cars and cigarettes and booze.

    You could even add a secondary level to this like they have in Sweden at the systembladet the state booze shop.

    You can buy weak beak (3%ABV)in the supermarket but have to go to the state shop to get anything stronger, and it is not open all day and all night.

    Drugs , be they cananbis, coke or even heroin are not expensive. They are expensive because they are in the hands of criminals.

    There was a move in the UK several years ago to supply junkies with al the H they need on the NHS.

    The usual clowns at the Daily Mail wrote the usual crazed headlines, but the actual number involved were tiny.

    If we had H’d up the state registered Junkies it would have literally put money into the public’s pockets.

    Car insurance,and home and content insurance premiums would have gone down dramatically as the scrabble for money from crime was lifted.

    It makes economic sense no matter how you look at it.

    Oh and if junkies have the choice they’ll smoke the stuff, they only shoot up to get the maximum out of the tiny amounts of stepped on rubbish they can buy.

  11. robulus says:

    There always seems to be a real disconnect in this debate. People who are for prohibition seem to believe that people against prohibition want drug use to increase, and actually forsee that happening.

    I really don’t think that’s the case. I’m sure plenty of people who use drugs that are currently illegal would like to be able to indulge their habit legally, but by far the majority of people I know who are pro-reform believe that:
    1. Social harm from drug abuse will be drastically reduced.
    2. Drug use will not be significantly changed and will quite possibly decrease.
    3. It would have a positive effect on issues like road safety because users are more likely to seek medical help for their abuse issues, which are medical issues, after all.

  12. jmnugent says:

    #81 Gato:
    I couldnt agree more. For far to long the education side of the drug-war has been dominated by anti-drug factions who present misguided (dis)information, basically: “here’s why you should never ever do this _____ substance.” (or sometimes, no information at all, simply “dont ever do this, forget it exists.”) That kind of approach is just asinine. Treating citizens like children and withholding information is the type of approach that got us where we are today. I’m inclined to believe that if we legalized, regulated, taxed, gave education programs (that presented fair equal-sided information).. we would have far less problems than we have today (and far less problems than the critics think we would).

  13. techdeviant says:

    I look forward to a bold and ambitious US government that can intelligently design some reasonable drug laws. I don’t know if its going to happen anytime soon though.

  14. Moriarty says:

    “A lot of liquor commercials are saying “drink responsibly” these days. No such thing.”

    For that statement to be true, I think you’d have to set the bar for “responsible” pretty ridiculously high.

  15. Machineintheghost says:

    I think this has been the editorial position of the Economist for a long time know. The late William F. Buckley also opposed the war on drugs for quite some time too. It never was just the suits and the establishment versus the happy mutants, at least not on the issue of the expensive, ineffective federal “war on drugs.”

  16. failix says:

    @Troofseeker

    It’s ok, I didn’t take it bad at all, I know what you mean.
    But while I’m still a kid, and will be considered a kid for still at least 3 more years, I’m just a few months away from being legally considered an adult (in Germany, you’re legally an adult with 18, not 21). Just so that things are clear, it’s not as if I had not enough experience (with all sorts of drugs) to talk about the subject.

    Now since you already know I’m minor, I can add an interesting argument to the legalization and taxation of cannabis. I smoke more pot than I drink beer, and again, I live in Germany :). So if cannabis was as hard for me to get as cigarettes are (it’s just harder not impossible of course), would youth be protected more efficiently (considering there is something to be protected from (in the case of cannabis, I don’t think there is))?

    Maybe I should mention that in Germany, you are allowed to drink alcohol way sooner (with 16) than in the USA. So unlike many young Americans older than me, I “went there” already. But nevermind, I love anecdotes like these. ^^

  17. Takuan says:

    very well there, Auto Parts, defend your thesis.

  18. Ugly Canuck says:

    As to changing the Laws, it ought to be pointed out that one need not change the Law to get at its evils: simple non-enforcement of the existing Laws (taken as an executive-administrative decision, ie Denver, no doubt other places too) would suffice. But it would not be the most honorable way of doing it, and selective enforcement has a very powerful bad smell attached to it.
    Nevertheless, non-enforcement, broadly enough adopted, would (over time) serve the same purpose as legalization: better than the current ‘war’, but it would still be a very poor choice compared with simply expunging or striking the marijuana laws.

  19. urshrew says:

    @#9 “Once drugs becomes legalized, society as we know it will surely begin its sad descent to decay.”

    What’s your evidence for that? No, seriously, what does someone toking up in their garage have to do with society decaying sadly?

  20. RyanMcFitz says:

    @Takuan & Others

    My attitudes towards decriminalization are formed but untested. I don’t have a great deal of education on the issue and, frankly, it was here on BoingBoing that I learned about the group “Law Enforcement Against Prohibition.” This is one of the reasons why I keep reading threads in which my views are obviously vastly outnumbered and undefended.

    I’ll keep reading, expect to learn a thing or two but don’t expect my opinions to be easily swayed anymore than I expect to ever hear a drug-user say, “Huh. Never thought of it that way. I guess I better stop.”

    Two ideas to consider, even if they’re just thought experiments to try on like a goofy hat:

    1. I don’t actually *like* telling people my views on this subject because then I risk people painting me with the teetotalitarian xenophobic small-minded red-state asshole brush who does most of the preachin’ on this subject. So why do the civil, articulate, responsible pot-smokers of the world let dippy, idiotic stoner dudes be their spokespeople for organised pro-legalisation groups? They earn the moderates’ contempt and polarise the idea that pro-legalisation will create a nation of permanently eighteen year-old morons.

    2. The waltz should be banned because it will speed moral decay. Jazz should be banned. Alcohol should be banned. Rock ‘n’ roll should be banned. Hell, Dungeons & Dragons should be banned. (When this last came out, my parents immediately adopted hysteria and suspected I was going to kill my sister with an axe because apparently that’s what D&D players do.) What if — just consider — what if it’s true? No, I don’t believe it but I think about it. Yes, I know the relativists in this thread are always quick to adopt the “what a person does to himself should be of no consequence to anyone else” opinion, which only tells me that they have never had a familiar member in AA or NA. But here’s the essential ingredient in this little thought experiment: Just as a family that perpetuates a cycle of violence can adopt an attitude of “my daddy beat me and I turned out okay so I’m going to beat my son,” is it possible that we *are* sliding downhill in moral decay but because it’s cultural over such a long span of time, that we are within the system and therefore incapable of seeing any metrics for the defining of change?

    But then again, I wish men wore hats.

  21. TroofSeeker says:

    You’re a bright young failix, my friend.
    Observe drinkers. They poison themseves and it damages their lives, and the lives of others.
    Stoned, hammered, fu#ked up, wasted… none of these are things we really want to do to our life.
    Remember that knowledge is great, but wisdom is better.
    Be young, go experience, absorb life and experiences, but don’t be first to dive into unknown waters- see what happens first. There’s always some dummy willing to jump first.
    Live long and prosper, young padwan.

  22. failix says:

    I will… master Yoda.

  23. chris says:

    It’s a money thing. People make way to much money from the drug “war”. Jails, lawyers, cops, government… in the end the people lose.

    Laws should protect people from harming other people, and I can’t remember the last time I was attacked by a rabid marijuana user. If anything our current drug policies harm MORE people by enabling crime and this black market to exist.

    Drug addicts don’t need jail time, they need help from the community to kick the habit.

    What’s even stranger is PRESIDENTS have admitted to doing illegal drugs! So we also have a double standard. Imagine if Obama was caught with cocaine early on… he would NOT be the president right now. Clinton smoked but didn’t inhale (yea right). And GW admitted he smoked to a friend, but didn’t want the public to know cause kids might think its ok. DOUBLE STANDARD. Throw them in jail… put them through what ordinary citizens have to go through.

  24. echonomist says:

    This isn’t really news but dare I comment?

    Smoking weed causes tons of cancer and other diseases. Anyone who tells you filling your lungs with THC, carbon and lord(embalming fluid anyone?) knows what else isn’t as bad for you as smoking cigarettes is lying. Either eat your greens or use a vaporizer, kids. That’s an argument in favor of taxation with taxes going to health care.

    The bottom will fall out of the unskilled and semiskilled labor markets if everyone convicted of cannabis related offenses is pardoned and it hardly seems fair to keep people in prison for committing what is no longer a crime. Unless prisoners need to complete degrees in order to get out of jail. Which I am entirely in favor of.

    Legalizing cannabis farming will almost definitely result in the unemployment of domestic farmers and middlemen due to competition from corporate farms and retail. So if you think cannabis will be legalized in the US, now is a great time to buy stock in ADM and and Phillip Morris(and to start a headshop).

    Focusing on current events a bit more, Tom Ammiano is greedy and ambitious and is willing to sell California’s future economic and bodily health for some tax revenue today. Weed is basically decriminalized in California already and the consequences of legalization are worse than promoting lenient decriminalization.

    I’m surprised no one mentioned decriminalization, actually.

  25. echonomist says:

    ack, sorry, meant Ammiano instead of decriminalization in that last sentence. Sorry, it was the legal drugs typing there, not me.

  26. God45 says:

    I’m not sure about the harder stuff, but marijuana should be legalized (and taxed the heck out of). It’d not only bring down the price, but people who can take a natural herb instead of some weird chemical cocktail when they have aches and pains.

  27. Anonymous says:

    LETS BREAK IT DOWN TO ITS SIMPLEST FORM TO GAIN SOME CLARITY.

    1. No law should ever cause more harm than the original “crime.
    2. There should never be a law against a person doing things to themselves, in the privacy of their own home/property.
    3. 1 million aka 1,000,000 NON-VIOLENT drug offenders go to jail every year. That means every year roughly 500,000 jobs are lost, roughly 200,000 children go without a father or monetary support, and roughly 300,000 women that no longer have their spouse.
    4.Good Honest and Nice people, once placed into jail, turn into totally different people. More often then not they are literally indoctrinated into real crime or at the very least educated on how to commit crimes and usually they gain contacts for committing those crime once released.
    5. The list of pros to cons is very clear in this instance. But the list of people who profit off of the illegal war on drugs is much much longer. Ill start it off but wont finish…
    FDA
    CIA
    POLICE
    GOVERNMENT
    JUDGES, COURTS, JAILS, JAILERS, POLITICIANS, LAWYERS, ETC.
    YOUR LOCAL DRUG DEALER
    HIS BIG TIME CONNECTION
    THE GUY WHO IMPORTS IT TO THE BIG TIME CONNECTION
    THE GUY WHO GROWS/PACKAGES IT
    THE DRUG COMPANIES
    PAPER COMPANIES
    OIL COMPANIES(YOU CAN RUN YOUR CAR ON HEMP)
    RUBBER COMPANIES
    CLOTHING AND TEXTILE COMPANIES(HEMP IS 10X STRONGER AND LAST MUCH LONGER)
    LUMBER AND LOGGING COMPANIES
    AND ANY COVERT COMPANY BLACK OPS ETC.
    6.
    LAST BUT NOT LEAST. If the police spent more time on crimes that didnt make them money the world would be a safer place. The focus, even more so in current times, has gone towards what makes CENTS and not what makes SENSE. So you may notice more street cops giving tickets(the state is broke also) More city inspectors finding faults, more neighborhood preservation city worker posting notices on your door. etc. Focusing their investigating and resources on some silly old man growing weed in his attic to self treat glaucoma, takes valuable resources and man power away from actual crimes like Rape and Murder.

  28. Brainspore says:

    @ Auto Parts for Brains #66:

    Brainspore, I don’t drink alcohol, so I am not really the best person to ask on that. As for how the government regulates it, I must admit my knowledge is as far as knowing it is prohibited in some states and prohibited to be sold to minors. I think the existing laws are okay. Allows freedom of choice while respecting people to use their wisdom on the matter.

    Great, I think we’re coming to some consensus on the matter, because that’s exactly how I feel both alcohol and cannabis should be treated. (FYI: alcohol has been legal in all 50 states since 1966).

    America’s early 20th century experiment in alcohol prohibition is as good a precedent as we could hope for in the “to ban or not to ban” debate on drugs. Instead of stopping people from drinking, prohibition simply ensured that the only people to profit from alcohol were bootleggers and violent criminals.

  29. TroofSeeker says:

    @Wingo: “…You just won the internet for today, my friend.”

    Oh, geez, I can’t take that home… the wife hates the internet. Can we disquise it as a squid?

    But I have been meaning to say that
    The Highest Honor of all for bloggers (IMHO)is

    “You just made me blow coffee out of my nose all over the keyboard!”

    Thanks, Wingo. I’ll always cherish this. First I’d like to thank- (click. Buzz) Hello?

  30. Antinous / Moderator says:

    Tom Ammiano is greedy and ambitious

    Care to prove that one?

  31. Anonymous says:

    And why would society’s decay be a sad event?

  32. knappa says:

    “Once drugs becomes legalized, society as we know it will surely begin its sad descent to decay.”

    They were legal during Victorian England. That’s hardly a period that a conservative would call full of “moral decay”.

  33. Takuan says:

    a good deal of good reading here, from people a little more credible than “stoner dudes”
    http://www.cannabisculture.com/

    As to moral decay, no one likes to grow old and die, me especially. And that is the source of the “moral decay” panic. Or if not panic, lingering, unstated , vague fear and disquiet that things are not as they were before. Best cure is reading lots of history and seeing that people were just like you five thousand years ago and haven’t really changed since.

  34. Modusoperandi says:

    RyanMcFitz “I don’t actually *like* telling people my views on this subject because then I risk people painting me with the teetotalitarian xenophobic small-minded red-state asshole brush who does most of the preachin’ on this subject.”
    Let me apologize for anyone who confused you for “them”. “They” are the loudest, sort of like the way that the Neocons and Christian Right make it appear that there are no Moderate Republicans anymore.

    “So why do the civil, articulate, responsible pot-smokers of the world let dippy, idiotic stoner dudes be their spokespeople for organised pro-legalisation groups?”
    Dude. That’s perilously close to ad hominem (maybe the genetic fallacy, too). Try not to confuse the person with the message (or the rhetoric for the facts). That the spokespeople for decriminalize are typically people who freak out the squares shouldn’t come as a surprise, as it’s the freaks, in general, that are most for it and the squares that are most against it. The upright, suit-wearing spokesmen for decriminalization get even less screen time than the hippies (who get far less than the “War on Drugs” people), because they, like the hippies, are sticking it to the Man, man. And the Man likes the status quo. That’s why he only puts the hippies on TV (to freak out the squares, man).
    Stick to the facts.
    *Harm: pot isn’t that bad. It’s less bad than alcohol. Alcohol is legal and regulated. Ergo, either alcohol should be illegal, or pot should be legal. (Note than I’m less gung-ho for other drugs. Some of them will fuck you right up. As such, I’m for taking on each on their own merits)
    *Liberty: the Law is to protect you from the other guy, not you from yourself. No politician, no cop and no Court can prevent you from being stupid. That one is up to you. (On a side note, the Right is big on “personal responsibility” when it involves kicking the legs out from under poor people, but not when it involves actual personal responsibility. They’re also against Big Government when it comes to regulating their lives, but for it when it comes to regulating everybody else’s)

    “…is it possible that we *are* sliding downhill in moral decay but because it’s cultural over such a long span of time, that we are within the system and therefore incapable of seeing any metrics for the defining of change?”
    Try to keep in mind that people have been saying stuff like that ever since there was something new. “The kids these days…” have always been worse than they were “…back in my day”.
    When they say that, what they really mean is:

    “I used to have it, but then they changed what ‘it’ was. Now, what I have isn’t ‘it’, and what’s ‘it’ seems weird and scary to me.” ~Grampa Simpson

    …and yet, even with this constant moral decay, I’m far less likely to be murdered than I was at any time in the past. Seriously, I have yet to be murdered. Yes, I’m just as surprised as you are.

    That said, yes it is possible. Emotionally, it is happening right now (and, as illustrated above, has always been happening). Factually, not so much. Emotions are a terrible foundation for Law.

  35. mdh says:

    echonomist, skiing is a common cause of broken legs. Should it be criminalized? Boxing and football lead to neurological changes. Should they be criminalized? Grilled meat contains benzopyrenes, should open flame cooking be criminalized?

    seriously man, you need newer canards.

  36. noah says:

    What does it tell you when the bloody Economist is coming down on the side of abandoning prohibition?

    That it’s the late 80s? They have been advocating this for twenty years.

  37. Tweeker says:

    [i]“Once drugs becomes legalized, society as we know it will surely begin its sad descent to decay.”[/i]

    The Waltz is corrupting our youth.

  38. Teller says:

    1. Legalizing heroin, cocaine, meth, glue, pot acid, ice, crack, peyote and hash generates good taxes and makes economic sense.

    2. Drug legalization will clear up the courts and clean out the prisons because there won’t be any more crimes to obtain money for drugs.

    3. Letting the government regulate the public’s means of getting high by controlling drug distribution, cost and availability guarantees a strong, steady, affordable supply.

    4. The money drugs generate will be put directly into health coverage and better hospitals to treat those who may be adversely affected.

    5. Legalization puts the black market out of business permanently.

  39. Brainspore says:

    The good news is we now have a president who doesn’t seem as inclined to veto legislation that would decriminalize pot. The problem is the lack of will in the legislature.

  40. nehpetsE says:

    Eating 10 cloves of fresh garlic quickly puts me in a hazy opiate-like trance.

    The next day while sitting on the toilet, i get high all over again from the halo of garlic fumes rising up around me.

    You can take my garlic away when you pry my cold dead fingers off it.

    and that goes double for bacon

  41. Takuan says:

    whoa, looks like the capos at the DEA Cartel are flexing a little muscle:
    http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la-me-medpot7-2009mar07,0,5710770.story

  42. Takuan says:

    I’ll have to go through all the back issues.

  43. echonomist says:

    @91 Antinous

    Whether Ammiano is or isn’t, he should be included on the topic because he is one of the most prominent US politicians advocating legalization of cannabis. Greed is difficult to qualify but his short term political goal, returning California to solvency by taxing cannabis, is very ambitious and I see a lot of problems with it.

    @MDH The question I was addressing was decriminalization, not whether or not something should be criminalized.

    Accusing me of needing a new duck is offtopic and bizarre…

  44. Gilbert Wham says:

    #91
    Tom Ammiano is greedy and ambitious

    Care to prove that one?

    Is he an elected official? Well, then.

  45. WalterBillington says:

    The Ecnomonist … I haven’t been able to stomach their witterings ever since there overt support for Bush 2′s Iraq policies, and journalistic blindness turned towards the WMD chat.

    Nonetheless, I know that they’ve harped on about this legalisation idea for decades now, and in theory, they’re right. Undercut the dealers, stop the flow of money into crime.

    But then, people seem to think drugs are lovely, and take too much.

    Hmm – where can it possible end?

    The thing is, if only one locale legalises, all the drop-outs from the surrounding area / county / country / continent come and hang out.

    So – I think this idea should be applied EU wide. Let’s see what happens for a year. It’s not like the supply of drugs is hard to access.

    But then – how do we stop unscrupulous chemists dealing coke to 10 year olds?

    Ach.

  46. noah says:

    I’ll have to go through all the back issues.

    There’s a link to their original decriminalization editorial in the article that is the subject of this post.

  47. Takuan says:

    I think he meant petard

  48. MisterM65 says:

    #9 Once drugs becomes legalized, society as we know it will surely begin its sad descent to decay.

    I think we have been on this slippery slope for a while now. Besides all great societies have a beginning middle and end none have ever lasted for ever.

    Didn’t the U.S. try to prohibit alcohol at one point and time and wasn’t that a complete miserable failure?

    Laws keep law abiding citizens law abiding, criminals could care less about laws. People are going to do what they want to do if they want something bad enough or don’t think they will get caught.
    Have the current laws stopped, lessened or done anything to stop the flow of drugs into the US? Put one dealer in jail another one pops up to take that persons place.

    Has legislating morality ever worked?

  49. nutbastard says:

    I am a grown adult. I will do as I please and I will suffer the INHERENT consequences of whatever mistakes i may make. That there are laws prohibiting drugs has no effect whatsoever on my rights. My rights supersede the law. My rights are inherent in my existence – no piece of paper grants them to me, and no piece of paper can take them away. And I, as well as many others, are more than prepared to defend those rights with our very lives if need be. We are willing to take the lives of those who would attempt to violate our rights. The right to own my body is granted by GOD, and no mortal being or earthly governing body can righteously attempt to subvert those rights. END. OF. STORY.The negative health effects of drug use are irrelevant.Just like my right to arm myself, no legislation will prevent me from doing so with whatever armament i deem necessary, and anyone attempting to subvert that right by enforcing unjust laws will have their life put in serious danger.

  50. kaosmonkey says:

    auto parts … tell me that was dry humor. You don’t honestly believe what you wrote, do you?

  51. TroofSeeker says:

    As Regards Marijuana As a “Gateway Drug”:

    I suppose you could say I was quite an activist in local drug culture- I worked at the head shop, and was quite the partier for quite a while.

    I’ve lived in this area since 1961. I have a lot of old friends, and many of them have been smoking dope for 30 or 40 years. Or more. most of them never did heroin.

    How long does it take for someone smoking pot to upgrade to heroin?

    Of course, I’ve known some skanky junkies along the way. And some tweekers. I lost a few friends to the needle, and a few friends lost their brains to the crack pipe. But I don’t think it’s even one in twenty. It ain’t the pot that got them there; it’s their social affiliations. Most people disassociate when their friends go too far.

    The culture has changed. In the sixties, if someone said “No more for me”, he’d get jibed for “punking out”. Not so much any more. “No. I don’t do that” or “I’m good. Thanks.” works fine now.

    Crystal meth is more addicting than heroin. This I know. I’ve known some very bright and competent people that lost eveything to the tweek. I could never endorse the legalization of it.

    Lumping pot in with hard drugs just ain’t right. It’s a frickin’ bush, for crap’s sake.

    I’ve told both my sons that if something is going to prevent them from reaching their potential in life, it will most likely be alcohol. Neither of them drinks, thank goodness.

    My inital post stated that if the people drinking tonight were smoking pot instead, there were be far fewer casualties tonight, especially innocent victims. That’s my stand and I’m sticking to it.

  52. Takuan says:

    what we should be turning our eyes to is the yet undiscovered profit-taking area that organized crime will move to once the inevitable happens. Traditionally the areas have been drugs, prostitution, gambling and large scale graft/extortion. I see limited room for expansion of gambling and prostitution (I guess the mob is a another casualty of the web too). It would be nice to predict where they will shift their former drugs-related attention to and be ready for a change. Massive identity theft? It won’t be credit card fraud since everyone will soon be too broke to have credit cards. Prescription drugs people need to live? Counterfeit drugs? Hijacked legitimate drugs? Organ legging? Web-presence protection rackets? Kidnapping for gold-farming slavery? Come on folks, think, how will they take up the slack once legalization comes?

  53. Mindpowered says:

    See Takuan, we never saw that.

    “It was illegal to ship Freak Brothers into Canada for a number of years. They had a law against any material that proselytized or did not attack marijuana in print. That law got overturned fortunately, so Canadians are safe to read comic books again. ”

    http://sonic.net/~goblin/fbros.html

  54. TomSaysLegalizeDrugs says:

    You know change is coming when even more and more cops, judges and prosecutors who have fought on the front lines of the “war on drugs” are standing up and saying we need to legalize and regulate all drugs to solve our economic, crime, and public health problems: http://www.CopsSayLegalizeDrugs.com

  55. minTphresh says:

    well, a friend with weed is a friend indeed! after all, it’s only a weed which turns to a flower in your mind. my two favorite f.b. quotes.

  56. Uncle_Max says:

    One thing I always wondered about the theory of “legalize marijuana and then tax the hell out of it, we’ll make millions!” is that marijuana is pretty easily grown. Not in large quantities of course, but certainly for the use of one person. The major reason we make so much money off of alcohol is that having a still in your backyard is pretty dangerous, and not something most people would try. But I really see no reason to think that if marijuana is legalized, that it wouldn’t just start showing up in people’s gardens, thus giving no need for people to pay taxes for the stuff sold in stores (unless it was incredibly better quality).

    There are quite a lot of responses to this article, and I did my best to read them all, but if my point was already mentioned, I apologize.

  57. Takuan says:

    Canada had Harold Hedd (RIP Rand Holmes)
    http://lambiek.net/artists/h/holmes_rand.htm

  58. walleye says:

    Most people don’t remember when the war on marijuana started. Was 1937 right after the war on alcohol ended. The head commissioner of prohibition was immediately made commissioner for the war on Hemp.

    The winner was Dupont Chemicals and the patent on nylon and plastics using good old crude oil for petroleum base.

    The title marijuana fooled most congressmen , who like present days lay abouts, did not rightly know what it was they where voting against.

    With that bill the thousands of years old hemp pratices where swept clean of harming our proud productive manufacturing sectors , or once proud manufacturing sections of being bothered by low inexpensive hemp products that make rope, cloth, paper, textiles and so on not to mention the higher strains that induce intoxication.

    NO the world is safe and our oil dependancy is in tact to cripple us, so do not think hemp is going to fix anything you hippie nuts.

  59. arkizzle says:

    Uncle Max,

    You’re right, that weed can be easily grown, but not necessarily good weed. In the same way everyone can make homebrew, but only Jack Daniels/ Dom Perignon/ Mr Smirnoff can make their respective qualities of booze.

    To make excellent weed takes attention and investment. A few stalks in a plant pot, sitting on your window-sill isn’t going to compare to the same plant in an artificially lit environment; which isn’t going to compare to a beautifully crafted strain of plant, well-matched, timed-light, fans and nutrients.

    When it comes to weed, it’s all about your level of interest.. casual growing doesn’t compare to hobby-pro or industrial-pro. So there will always be a commercial, taxable product – just like homebrew doesn’t tip Big Alcohol off the top spot.

  60. Mindpowered says:

    #9 – I thought racial mixing was supposed to lead our society to ruin.

    Or was it rock and roll?

    Or… I know…..it was when we stopped lynching people. Yeah that’s when society began its long decent into decline and decadence.

  61. Filekutter says:

    My last two cents just for kicks.
    Oh, and very fun to read discussion! Hats off to you all, yup yup.

    Anyway.

    I have two rules in life:
    1) Never frack with anyone.
    2) Never frack with their sh*t

    All else is legal.

    If someone wants to do heroin, no matter the consequences its THEIR right to make that choice and live that choice. No one has the right to force them to do, or stop doing, anything.

    Unfortunately the current ideologies in the US consist of imposing religion, life-styles, and morality choices on citizens. Even our gov’t is tainted this way, just look at our gov’t at work… every day starts with a christian prayer. There is no altruism, there’s just controlling of our environment, information, and lives.
    Legalize living as you damned please, and if anyone tries to force you to do anything… Put a bullet thru their tiny brain.

  62. Modusoperandi says:

    TroofSeeker “My inital post stated that if the people drinking tonight were smoking pot instead, there were be far fewer casualties tonight, especially innocent victims.”
    I’ve hung around with both stoners and drinkers. I’ve never been to a stoner party where I had to break up a fight (or had the cops come to break it up).

    The worst thing that happens around stoners is that no one can remember who already pitched in for pizza (versus drinkers, who all disappear when it’s time to pay).
    Oh, and acoustic guitar.

  63. TroofSeeker says:

    @ZUZU >”…I drink responsibly.
    Maybe you’re thinking “there’s no such thing as drinking and driving responsibly”?

    When you abuse and alienate your wife, children and friends, your drinking will be responsible when you find yourself very, very alone.

  64. Takuan says:

    what if every public official got a doobie mailed to him or her? Every, single one? Make them all guilty of possession. Turn on the few that actually haven’t already. Make the simple presence of pot so ubiquitous that the reality can’t be denied. Send a joint to very preacher, every cop, every poor benighted fool who still swallows the near century old lies.

  65. jmnugent says:

    #87 Echonomist: “Smoking weed causes tons of cancer and other diseases.”

    Citation needed.

    “Anyone who tells you filling your lungs with THC, carbon and lord(embalming fluid anyone?) knows what else isn’t as bad for you as smoking cigarettes is lying.”

    I dont know where you’re getting your weed,..but you should try a different dealer. (i mean seriously, if marijuana was THAT bad for you, how would we have ever gotten to having medicinal clinics? or various studies that show benefit to glaucoma patients,etc?… I agree with you, vaporization/eating are better options. (and if you smoked an entire pack of ANY substance regularly, of course its going to be bad for you) but to say MJ is worse than cigarettes is a fallacy. How many people die of lung cancer every year?… how many of those are tobacco smokers?…how many are exclusively MJ smokers?….

  66. minTphresh says:

    hey, ryanmcfitz, not only have i friends in aa and na, i have lost some very dear friends and family members to : dui, killed by drunk driver, hepatitis, aids ( from infected needles), and overdose. and i still feel that if the drugs had been legal and regulated, perhaps a few of them would still be alive. maybe not, but that is still beyond the point. the point is: if it is not harming anyone else, then why should these people spend time in prison/ jail? why should they be dragged thru our justice (?) system, and publically hung out to dry? it makes no sense to me to take otherwise law abiding citizens, and making criminals out of them for simply indulging in what humans have indulged in since the dawn of humanity.

  67. TroofSeeker says:

    >”…I’ve hung around with both stoners and drinkers. I’ve never been to a stoner party where I had to break up a fight (or had the cops come to break it up).”

    Thanks, Modus! Excellent point. In all my many parties, I don’t ever remember a fight. I did have the sheriffs show up in full riot gear once. Man, that was cool!

    I recall an anti-drug film where some hop-heads smoked a reefer. They went out to steal a car, and one guy takes a wine bottle, breaks off the end on the curb, and drinks broken glass. Right.
    That’s the kind of gov’t propaganda that caused my (our?) generation to rebel against the machine. We just couldn’t swallow that much B.S.

  68. nehpetsE says:

    We ALL live in a decaying empire.
    Substance abuse is common amongst social groups that have been rendered superfluousness, and conditioned to believe they have no future.

    At least 50 percent of the U.S. population has been gradually forced into that category.

    The main determining factor of whether an addict will stop abusing drugs is whether they have anything else to live for.

    Pot is not a gateway drug.
    but the kids get sent to jail for smoking pot,
    came out of jail hooked on heroin.

    Jail destroys people and conditions them to be psychopaths.

    Most people who are put in jail are released eventually, and come out in worse shape than they went in.

    unless you want to institute instant automatic death penalty for all potsmokers, decriminalization and regulation is the only rational option.

  69. echonomist says:

    http://www.sciam.com/article.cfm?id=large-study-finds-no-link

    “The smoke from burning marijuana leaves contains several known carcinogens and the tar it creates contains 50 percent more of some of the chemicals linked to lung cancer than tobacco smoke. A marijuana cigarette also deposits four times as much of that tar as an equivalent tobacco one.”

    The study goes on to claim that marijuana doesn’t cause lung cancer because of a statistically tiny(compared to the number of people smoking and the number of people they asked who were terminally ill or however you want to imagine it may have been skewed) sample.

    http://www.cnn.com/HEALTH/9610/17/nfm/smoking.gun/index.html

    At the same time, the study cited in this article states that depositing tar into your lungs causes cancer, pulmonary disease, respiratory failure and other unpleasant conditions.

    There are a ton of studies that argue that lung cancer isn’t caused by cigarettes. The information compiled to date is too distorted, especially since it is easier to get cigarettes than it is to get greens(for people over the age of 18).

    Don’t risk it: vaporize it or eat it.

    I think its ridiculous that I was called a petard without that shit being moderated out, unless petard means anything other than a contraction of pedophile and retard. Which it doesn’t.

  70. Takuan says:

    The Fabulous Furry Freak Brothers anti-drug PSA was the best.

  71. J France says:

    Lumping pot in with hard drugs just ain’t right. It’s a frickin’ bush, for crap’s sake.

    Opium is a flower.

    While troofseeker has a point about lumping “hard drugs” with pot, they’re also missing a point.

    Yes, one needs to be wary of addictive qualities in anything, but the quality and depth of social conditioning regarding our attitudes to “good” “bad” or “dangerous” drugs can’t be ignored. It takes a lot of hard work and exposure to be able to see past all those lines in the sand – it’s not something I think I can do with absolute clarity, that’s for sure.

    But I think it is worth stopping to question what a “hard” drug is, and why it’s classified as such, and why we are with assuming certain drugs are. I’ve heard acid mentioned a few times as possibly being OK to decriminalise or include under a banner of “safer” drugs. But if you stop and examine the effects it doesn’t make alot of sense.

    Ugly Canuk #129: There are great differences, but what you don’t mention is that those differences are not just based on effects, but have also been shaped by prohibition itself – the playing field for perceiving all these substances has never really been level. Now i’m not saying that they are comparable, not on such a simplistic level, but I don’t think they are such worlds apart.

  72. RyanMcFitz says:

    Not a friendly arena for anyone who actually, you know, thinks drugs are bad. I’m also surprised this thread doesn’t have blinking red “hypocrite alert” icon at the top. I didn’t see anyone demanding Teller cite his source like everyone immediately jumped on Auto Parts.

    Full disclosure: I used to be a cop and I’ve spent many hours in myriad hospitals holding hands of friends who’ve had their faces carved off their skulls from automobile accidents with drunk drivers (who always walk away just fine, o’ course) or were mugged for their money but addicts. So I’ve pretty much made up my mind on the subject, just like everyone else. I think Auto Parts has been incredibly decent and civil considering the number of Boingers who resorted to name-calling just because he dissented.

    Thanks Takuan and others for the links — they are the best and most dependable sources debating the issues. I read ‘em.

    What I don’t understand is this: cigarettes are bad for you. Alcohol invites irresponsible behaviour. But neither is a bell that can be unrung. Prohibition didn’t work for a couple reasons but I suspect it’s because everyone knew what they were missing. (Yes, I say “suspect” before a dozen pro-legalisation posters jump on me with “citation please” notes.)

    Part of my anti-legalisation stance may be because of the fallacious arguments I *usually* hear, like those of #94 Teller:

    “2. Drug legalization will clear up the courts and clean out the prisons because there won’t be any more crimes to obtain money for drugs.”

    I say “pardon?” How does this work? Once heroin is legalised, no one will ever steal to go legally buy more of this incredibly addictive drug? Heroin will become as accessible as running water! Neat-o!

    “4. The money drugs generate will be put directly into health coverage and better hospitals to treat those who may be adversely affected.”

    Oh well isn’t that precious — this fresh source of tax revenue will immediately go to help pay for the medical bills of the people who just exercised their newly-legal freedom to engage in behaviours that everyone swears is completely healthy. They’ll get tax-funded health coverage, despite the fact that one of the first questions asked by an insurance company is “do you smoke?” and if the answer is “yes,” then the applicant is either disqualified or pays an arm and a leg for increased premiums.

    No, I’m not trolling — there just seems to be an incredible scarcity of those of us who disagree with legalisation and we get hammered down by those who don’t hammer down the sillier voices. And all the venom in this thread makes it hard for a lurker to raise his voice.

  73. Takuan says:

    well, you can’t very well be hoisted with a waterfowl now, can you?

  74. Kay the Complainer says:

    Christ on a cracker, Troofseeker, project much?

    And there are, you know, human activities that don’t involve cars. Just saying.

  75. Takuan says:

    OK Ryan, what about decriminialzation for starters?

  76. Egypt Urnash says:

    Um, Troofseeker, there is such a thing as drinking responsibly.

    My boyfriend brought home a bottle of wine for this weekend. I plan to use it for the purpose of getting a little bit silly and chatty. We ain’t gonna be driving, we ain’t gonna be beating each other up non-consensually (and we ain’t gonna be doing any serious BDSM while drunk either). We will probably cuddle; perhaps we will play one of our innumerable German board or card games.

    Sounds pretty responsible to me.

    It’s the same thing with any mind-altering chemical. You can use it wisely or unwisely.

  77. failix says:

    @Troofseeker:

    “Hey, kid, go back to MySpace!”

    I promise, if I had a Myspace account, I’d follow your advice/order!

    Want another?

    Yep…please?

  78. Modusoperandi says:

    Ours are better. I don’t know if you weirdos in the USA will understand but we, here in whatever country I am in, have a series of anti-drug PSAs where a stoner will go to do something dumb (like drive high), then the cartoon man on his pack of Zigzags or the tiki mask on his wall will tell him not to.
    The last American one I saw had two kids get high, then they played with their dad’s gun…leading to one shooting the other, obviously. (I was confused when I saw it, because it looked like a gun control ad)
    Two different countries. Two very different takes on “the drugs”. Unless, of course you get the ones that we get, in which case, kudos for your nation’s step toward rational harm reduction.

  79. hassan-i-sabbah says:

    ….nothing is true…..everything is permitted……………I did have the sheriffs show up in full riot gear once. Man, that was cool!…And then we got the party really FUCKIN ROCKIN!!
    heh!

  80. Purly says:

    With Obama’s plans we’re going to need a ton of tax revenue. Legalizing and taxing would be a quick way to bring in a bit more money.

  81. kmpmilano says:

    If we can accept alcohol and cigarettes as legal, than I can’t for the life of me think of an argument for keeping pot illegal. The moral argument is a crock, the same one “they” use against gay marriage (Society as we know it will end!) but then refuse to describe how and why that will happen.

    At the very least, if drugs were legalised, it would be easier to oversee and control them.

  82. kaosmonkey says:

    troofseeker is really saying:

    “when I abused and alienated my wife, children and friends, my drinking was responsible when I found myself very, very alone.”

  83. gATO says:

    Funny, we were having this conversation today at lunch, here at work.

    As I see it, there are two sets of drug-related problem: one very real, which is health issues, and one purely artificial, all the violence and crime which stem from prohibition and the war on (some) drugs. Short version of the plan: legalize, tax and regulate every recreational drug, and put all that money being wasted today on fighting them to good use, educating the public about the very real health problems which can arise from use and abuse. Toughen up laws regarding crimes commited under the influence, and let responsible ADULTS enjoy whatever substance they want to enjoy.

  84. Mindpowered says:

    Oh Troofseeker, you wouldn’t be Irish would you?

    “An Irishman went to Rome, he got so drunk he kissed his wife and beat the pope’s foot with coal shovel.””

  85. Auto Parts for Brains says:

    For those asking me to defend my stand, I honestly want to say I don’t find any reason to. The premise that the failure of the government to impose proper and effective drug related legislation makes the scrapping of it altogether towards legalization; just does not stand.

    Let me put it this way. For those who are in disagreement, what would you think will happen if I make pot or some other drug as easy for your kids to buy as say Marlboro. What if I make that available say on Walmart or your nearby gas stop shop? I will let you answer that one. Maybe I am naive, but the success of a nation rests a lot on the morality that nation upholds. Lose the basic tenets that keep it together and we fall apart.

  86. J France says:

    RyanMcFitz: You are under the assumption that it is the drugs that cause people to become unwell, and place more of a burden on hospitals and doctors.

    It surprises many people to find out that as a drug Alcohol is most probably the most harmful one out there. Ultra-pure amphetamines being a close contender. And in this thread it’s mainly pot that is being discussed – the most benign of them all. But you can apply the same principles to all substances and drugs.

    Illicit and illegal drugs cause the most harms because of their black market prices, not so much their effects. The other factor is routes of administration – it’s not the heroin, it’s the dirty needle and all that comes with it.

    The research – worldwide – supports legalisation and harm minimisation outfits (ie: Clean Needle Programs) as the two things that will undercut the harm to the health of users, and essentially 99.9% of all criminal activity revolving around drugs, or procuring drugs.

    Takuan: You ask what black-market money making schemes the people producing drugs would move onto. Heroin trials in Europe have shown that once the market drops out alot of people simply drop out of illegal activity all together.

    Now bikies and “non-using” distributors are another thing, but the reality is they stop having so much power within society, and are put back in a position where theft and petty robbery is often where the money is. Reselling stolen fuel or precious metals (pipes from houses) is one of the few last black market activites that have a good turnaround. People smuggling, too.

    It all comes back to the simple fact that legal drugs = massive drop in crime, increase in the mean quality of life for a society.

    AutoPartsforBrains: Sorry buddy, but you are confusing drug taking with being immoral. It may be from your POV, but that’s about the only relevance the debate of morality has. Drugs are not for you, that’s okay, move along. I wouldn’t want my personal views on morality to cause others’ to suffer. Prolongs suffering so you can… what? Feel morally sound in the world you live?

    It’s the same logic (if you want to call it that) that makes the catholic church want to pack heaven to the rafters with Africans dead from HIV/AIDS. ‘Cause at they’re not going to hell because they used contraception.

    Equally: The US gov’t hasn’t cared that 40% of PWID/IV users are HIV positive because morally – well, they’re deserving. Zero tolerance.

    Drug law reform (or not) has so many complex facets, but when you sit down and look at the studies and apply brute-force logic and compassion that pushes aside ‘traditional’ morals – it’s pretty clear that all the bad things that happen to people and families because of drug use are spawned from prohibition. The exception: alcohol.

    But people mistakenly think that legal = less dangerous. That’s just misplaced and misinformed faith in government and legislation.

    The law needs to actually work out what drugs are physically harmful (PMA, refined amphetamine, alcohol, extremely potent hallucinogens) and work from there. My fingers are still crossed.

  87. Brainspore says:

    We should legalize prostitution while we’re at it. If you’re allowed to give something away for free then you should be allowed to sell it also.

  88. Ugly Canuck says:

    Legalizing reefer would be like achieving peace between Israel & Palestine: very much would change for the better, and some of those changes are not so obvious to us, where we stand now.
    It is a line in the sand, the crossing of which is crucial: without the “war on drugs”, much less justification for intrusive surveillance & for no-knock warrants, or for the prison-industrial complex, or for the constant portrayal of social life as being constantly on a “war” footing, needing violence for defense, the treating your fellow-citizens as the “enemy” and the police as your best friends: and so more resources for welfare & health-care funding, less for publicly-owned weapons of all kinds: this is where the crypto-nazis will draw the line.
    They would rather engage in violent armed revolt than see the reefer legalized.
    The media routinely “links” drugs and violence now, and will intensify those “links” (hi Mexico! hi, Vancouver!) as a counter to the spreading acceptance of legalization as a valid and desirable outcome. Regardless of the nexus between prohibition, money and violence….

  89. Anonymous says:

    I always thought drugs were illegal so they could have the war on drugs and turn countries into police states.

  90. Takuan says:

    Oh, I don’t doubt a massive drop in crimes by users immediately follows legalization (no joke intended). I was referring to the professional, full time criminals at the top of the pyramid, you know, the ones that work hand in glove with the DEA Cartel and other “enforcement” bodies. Like whoever stuffed that CIA jet with three tonnes of coke and crashed it in Mexico.

  91. slamorte says:

    “Once drugs becomes legalized, society as we know it will surely begin its sad descent to decay.”

    but drugs *are* legalized. for every illegal drug on the market (pot, heroin, coke, and speed, to name the most common) there is a legalized pharmaceutical analog.

    the big difference between the two is that the legalized analogs are somewhat more regulated, certainly far more profitable to a corporation, and somewhat less abused as there is often (though not always) nominal oversight by a doctor.

    the legal analogs are also almost impossible to obtain to the lower classes. i believe the philosophy here is “drugs are bad for most people, but not for people of *our* class, because we know how to use them responsibly.” i can certainly see that as the mentality of rush limbaugh as he pops his illegally-purchased oxycodone instead of smoking a bowl for his “back pain,” and then ranting on the air about how drug offenders need more jail time.

    class certainly affects how offensive and therefore punishable drug use is. consider the 10x-20x difference in jail time and fines between the use of cocaine in two forms: crack (primarily used by the poor and black and heavily punished) and powder (primarily used by the white and rich and less heavily punished).

  92. ackpht says:

    I sometimes think that the most powerful force in the universe is the human need to rationalize our actions.

  93. J France says:

    Some trials to keep an eye on:

    NAOMI (North American Opiate Medication initiative) will take 600 Canadian citizens who have been addicted to and on OMT therapies for 5+ years and give them supervised heroin injections once daily.

    Similar trials in the Netherlands have been amazingly successful, allowing people to work, reunite with their families and integrate back into mainstream society.

    http://www.naomistudy.ca/

    Ryan:

    “2. Drug legalization will clear up the courts and clean out the prisons because there won’t be any more crimes to obtain money for drugs.”

    I say “pardon?” How does this work? Once heroin is legalised, no one will ever steal to go legally buy more of this incredibly addictive drug? Heroin will become as accessible as running water! Neat-o!

    Paying $25/week or $10/day as opposed to $100/hit (once, twice, three times a day) doesn’t really require anyone to break and enter.

    If i manage to dig up the discussion paper on the dutch trials you’ll see evidence that absolute availability and low prices results in alot of dependant users being able to relax and go without, because it’s always there if they really “need” it.

    Same for legalised pot in the Netherlands: greater availability does not mean larger user base. I mean: You can now go get smack from the local chemist, cheaply… does that mean you’re running out to get some? Do you think all your friends would? Cigarettes are legally available, but the hordes aren’t dropping everything to get them, right?

    Just because you can, doesn’t mean you will. It’s not the biggest leap of logic.

  94. J France says:

    The simple fact is they will lose their power, influence and wealth. There simply isn’t another industry to move into should the bottom drop out of trafficking. That’s why I’m (sadly) confident it’ll never really happen.

  95. Takuan says:

    you must study, Auto Parts, you are holding opinions contrary to observed facts. For instance: in the the Netherlands the incidence of teenagers smoking pot actually fell after more liberal policies were adopted. I’m also curious what you mean by “morality”?

  96. Brainspore says:

    @ Auto Parts for Brains #35:

    Let me put it this way. For those who are in disagreement, what would you think will happen if I make pot or some other drug as easy for your kids to buy as say Marlboro. What if I make that available say on Walmart or your nearby gas stop shop? I will let you answer that one.

    OK, here’s my answer: I would punish my child severely for buying weed just as I would if they bought a pack of cigarettes or a bottle of Vodka. Then I’d call the cops on the convenience store that illegally sold weed to a minor. That’s all a no-brainer, really.

    Now here’s a direct question for you: do you think we should try outlawing alcohol again? If not, why not?

  97. dainel says:

    I’m with the legalization camp, but I have doubts. What about China during the Opium Wars era?

  98. Auto Parts for Brains says:

    Just an idea, lets say there is a guy called Mr. X. Now, all those who wants drugs legalized, Mr. X doesn’t really care about that. But it will really make it easy for him to peddle his stuff not to mention make him richer. So Mr. x wisens up. He likes people taking his stand on this one. Now, Mr. X wants to reward you guys.

    He wants your addresses. You just have to sign up and all your kids will have an access to whatever drug they want at a fraction of a price. Heck, Mr. X will even give the first few hits free. He will see to it that they do not get a hard time getting whatever they want, the strongest pot, the purest cocaine. Special discounts to those in high school and college. Mr. X will also see to it no one bothers your kids so they can go with this vice without a hitch.

    So.. who signs up? This will definitely be good for the country in the future. Children who knows what freedom means, unrestrained by morality that society puts on their shoulders. (sarcasm)

  99. Brainspore says:

    @ RyanMcFitz #103:

    I’m still not clear on why you think alcohol prohibition couldn’t work but marijuana prohibition can. It seems to me like any reasonable person should either want both banned or both tolerated.

  100. failix says:

    @ryanmcfitz

    “What if — just consider — what if it’s true? No, I don’t believe it but I think about it.”

    I think about it too… for fun. I don’t get your point. And you compare drug use to someone beating up somebody else?

    @Troofseeker

    I worked at the head shop, and was quite the partier for quite a while.

    Man, when I finish school, my dream is to work in a head shop, or in a comic book store. How did they take you?

  101. Takuan says:

    you are not making sense , please try again.

  102. Takuan says:

    expand please, what about China and opium?

  103. Auto Parts for Brains says:

    @#37 come on, its pretty obvious we are talking about the illegal drugs here. Not the ones made illegal by their use or dose or source. just sayin.

    @#39 you cant report the convenience store. That is a hypothetical question assuming it is already legalized.

    Look guys. I am entitled to my opinion as much as you all are. I guess you should try living in a household where drugs are so easily obtainable and see how things are.

    For those saying I am ignorant, maybe I am. I just believe that a fight is not lost until we quit. Have seen so much loss from vice that I am just tired of it. So hold your opinions, I will hold mine. Let’s keep it at that.

  104. TarlSS says:

    Why can’t you “Legalize Drugs” people be more specific?

    There’s a significant difference between legalizing crack, cocaine and heroin and legalizing marajauna.

    We’ve already seen the ramification of legalized opium; economic downspiral, loss of national prestige: see Imperial China, the Opium war and the subsequent collapse of a government into warlordism. Few people realize that before the early 1800s, China was pretty much in the situation the US is in now. Intellectual mecca, center of science, world economic leader.

    Doesn’t ANYONE remember the Opium Wars? We already know the affect of what legalizing hard drugs does. I’m not sure repeating history is the greatest idea here.

    I would saying legalizing anything harder than opium would be a pretty terrible idea. We already have a massive trade deficit. Hemoraging money to countries like Afghanistan and Columbia isn’t going to help anyone, and there’s the issue of handing drug companies more and more money to make drugs we simply don’t need.

    Pot? Fine. Mushrooms? Okay.

    I would say no to Meth,Crack,Speed and Opium derivitives.

  105. kaosmonkey says:

    you really do have rusty metal parts rattling around in your brain-pan, don’t you?

  106. Teller says:

    Ryanmcfitz: Regret posting #94. Was stupid. Wanted to see in b&w the alleged ‘benefits’ of legalizing narcotics. There are none I can see that are worth the misery. Pot, fine. Acid, I guess if someone can tell me the two-beer equivalent in mikes.

    On a brighter note, I’ve followed Tom Ammiano’s successful political career since he left stand-up comedy. Nothing would please me more than to hear him conduct all of his interviews on helium.

  107. Tenn says:

    I’m not in my most lucid state right now, so I’ve been edging around this topic, but I’d like to be the nth anecdote of “Of all the evils I’ve seen, alcohol has been the ’cause’ of more of them than pot.”

    And the other day I came home from a friend’s house, smelling like I fell face first into a bong, (other roomie lit up while I was there) and my mother was hugging me as I got home. She caught a whiff of Purple Haze and said slowly- “You smell odd.” Panic sets in. “Uhhh, Justin smokes Camels?” “No! Not bad… good. Familiar.” “Oh. Bryche’s incense,” I excused. Which was also burning.

    I want to buy from him for my grandma. She suffers chronic pain, and the only drugs she can take to make it better make her loopy and out of control. They don’t even work that well.

    She’s not willing to take the risk, though. Texas needs to legalize at LEAST for medicinal purposes. Hopefully that will put us on that God-forbidden slippery slope to true legalization.

  108. Phikus says:

    I saw an article to the effect that a lot of banks in CA were saved recently by cash deposits made by pot farmers growing for legal dispensaries. I can’t seem to find the article online right now, but it seemed to be changing a lot of minds about marijuana in the current climate, especially since it is by far the largest cash crop in CA. Anyone else see this article I’m pretty sure I found originally on Google News?

  109. zuzu says:

    The Sword of Osiris… I once possessed the entire collection… Then I sold them all for opium. Oh, how I wish I had them back… to sell for more opium!

    Mr. Burns

    p.s. Is anyone else convinced by the Rat Park experiment?

    Alexander’s hypothesis was that drugs do not cause addiction, and that the apparent addiction to morphine commonly observed in laboratory rats exposed to it is attributable to their living conditions, and not to any addictive property of the drug itself. He told the Canadian Senate in 2001 that experiments in which laboratory rats are kept isolated in cramped metal cages, tethered to self-injection apparatus, show only that “severely distressed animals, like severely distressed people, will relieve their distress pharmacologically if they can.”

  110. minTphresh says:

    takuan, it’s true about snake women.

  111. jjasper says:

    Anything that’s a ceaseless net loss for taxpayers, that takes employable people out of the economy (prisoners) and creates more criminals that it rehabilitates isn’t a growth industry – it’s a transfer of wealth from all of the people to a wealthy few and a net loss for society.

    Prisons, criminalizing drugs, and punitive sentencing laws are a loss for *everyone* except for wealthy prison industrialists and drug cartels.

  112. Takuan says:

    they are all liars

  113. urshrew says:

    @AUTO PARTS FOR BUTTS

    “The premise that the failure of the government to impose proper and effective drug related legislation makes the scrapping of it altogether towards legalization; just does not stand.”

    Actually, the failure of a policy to do anything beneficial is exactly why you scrap the policy. Would you continue to bail out a sinking ship if the option to safely abandon the ship was there?

    “Maybe I am naive, but the success of a nation rests a lot on the morality that nation upholds. Lose the basic tenets that keep it together and we fall apart.”

    False choice. Whose morality are you talking about? And what are these basic tenets you are just assuming we all share?

    And as for your last argument: huh?

  114. Takuan says:

    I sympathize with your sorrows and hardships brought about by irresponsible use of drugs, but can you consider the possibility that if these drugs had been legal and controlled and people properly educated, many of these bad things might not have happened?

  115. Amsterdaam says:

    @35 Who is to day it would be available at walmart? Why wouldn’t they deal with it the tried and true “coffeshop” way? You can only get it in certain places that would not be frequented by youngsters.

    You choose to take it to the extreme instead of being rational. I don’t blame you for it though, I blame D.A.R.E. and those after-school specials you were subjected to.

  116. Brainspore says:

    @ Auto Parts for Brains #42:

    Your hypothetical situation (where it’s legal to sell weed to a minor) is different than what the Economist, and probably every “pro-legalization” person here, is advocating. We want pot to be treated like alcohol, not given out as trick-or-treats.

    Speaking of which, you never answered my direct question: should we bring back alcohol prohibition? If not, why not?

  117. fyodordos says:

    “all your kids will have an access to whatever drug they want at a fraction of a price. Heck, Mr. X will even give the first few hits free.”

    Sounds like Mr. X doesn’t run a profitable business.

  118. Takuan says:

    have him bake some cookies.

  119. Auto Parts for Brains says:

    Hey not fair. I may be mistaken, misguided, misinformed. But shouldn’t you guys want to teach me instead of dishing out how “dumb” I am.

    Peace out guys. Let the old stupid man live his ideals. You all are better off with your intelligence and grasp of things. Good for you.

    Ho name calling. :P Hahaha. this is not kindergarten.

  120. urshrew says:

    Actually, I should apologize, I did, sincerely, mean to remove the “AUTO PARTS FOR BUTTS” part in the last post, yet forgot to. Its funny to me, but unnecessary provocation.

  121. wolfiesma says:

    goo balls

  122. jjasper says:

    Hey troofseeker, I’ll bet you $1,000 (or the equivalent, given inflation) that I won’t do any of those things, and I’ll still drink on occasion. Go on, set a time-line.

    Auto Parts for Brains- Look guys. I am entitled to my opinion as much as you all are.

    You’re entitled to think that gravity is caused by Satan driving base matter towards hell too. No one here will tall you you’re not *entitled* to have an incorrect opinion. What you’re not entitled to is to be right about that opinion. Opinions can be wrong even if you’re entitled to hold them

    Or didn’t you know that? Did you think that just because you hold an opinion, people are obligated to respect it? Nonsense!

  123. Roast Beef says:

    In re. the claim above that maijuana causes lung cancer: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/05/25/AR2006052501729_pf.html

    Granted, it is merely one study. But interesting, no?

    And re. “think of the children buying pot at a gas station and ruining their lives”, I will reiterate the point made above that for many kids, illegal drugs are already easier to get ahold of than the legal, regulated sort. (There is research supporting this conclusion, but I can’t find it at the moment because I’m impaired on drugs.)

  124. Anonymous says:

    I am a chronic pain sufferer. I drink too much (at great expense even though I am on disability) because getting opiates (especially unadulterated with poisonous acetominophen) is like pulling hen’s teeth. I’d rather have an opiate ‘addiction’ than an alcohol one, but this is where my physical defects have led me.

    In short, *when* my liver cuts out (if is no longer a possibility) it will be later than a Tylenol patient, but earlier than a heroin addict.

  125. Auto Parts for Brains says:

    Its all cool man. This is all good conversation. I am actually learning a lot. Which is cool.

  126. dainel says:

    Britain had a deficit in it’s trade with China. The solution was to sell opium in China. China had a ban on the import of opium, but it was forced to legalize as a result of it’s loss of the two Opium Wars (1839 and 1860).

    By the early 1900s, opium addicts numbered up to 1/4 of all males in China. (It seemed that there were few female addicts. Lack of opportunity, I suppose). By then, most of the opium was produced domestically. Nevertheless, the Chinese government initiated a campaign to eliminate opium use which was largely successful. If all was fine, why did they do this?

    Opium addicts have a reputation of being useless parasites on society who do not work, spend all possible waking ours smoking opium, and steal from their own families to pay for it. I do not know how accurate this image is. But talk to your parents and grandparents (if you’re of Chinese descend) and they’ll give you this picture. However, by their time (mid 20th century), there are few opium addicts, so this is probably not first hand knowledge of how things were in the late 19th century. More likely, it came from old TV shows.

    The point is, if the recreational drugs are easily available, would we found most of our working population “recreationing”. From what I hear, if the drug is marijuana, probably not. What about the other drugs?

  127. Mindpowered says:

    APFB,

    Mr. X does exist and has existed for many years, he’s not hypothetical. I know many people who can get me whatever I want( and assume most people where I live do as well).

    The question before us is does Mr. X get a nice mark up for his wares or does he fall under regulation by a public body, and have his mark up removed?

    Do you honestly think that by removing drugs from an unregulated market, to a regulated market we see an explosion of use because Mr. X can stand outside elementary school doors and peddle to little Billy?

    I can assure you that it will be quite the opposite.

    I fact I will make a bet of $1000 USD with anyone that by moving the drug market from a unregulated criminalized market to regulated market akin to alcohol or tobacco, that there will be a net gain in safety, and moral tone (less interpersonal violence, less degradation of human beings, more high minded charitable behaviour).

  128. Dark Cloud says:

    It’s worth mentioning that if you are white and not a hulking giant and go to prison YOU WILL BE RAPED. Seems a little harsh to be brutalized like that for any reason, let alone getting high. WTF?

  129. arkizzle says:

    Stoned, hammered, fu#ked up, wasted… none of these are things we really want to do to our life.

    Disagreement.

  130. mdh says:

    what would you think will happen if I make pot or some other drug as easy for your kids to buy as say Marlboro.

    Actually, where I live, in scary liberal MA, I’d be psyched. The local boards of health run age-check stings constantly, and will a) take the cigarettes from the store b) fine the clerk, and c) fine the store owner heavily if they sell to kids.

    It works. Kids need a willing accomplice to get their Marlboro’s. But kids like that can probably get weed already, if they wanted it.

  131. Mindpowered says:

    Whoa.

    A lot of $1000 bets here.

    I’ll make mine $2000.

  132. Brainspore says:

    OK Auto, I haven’t called you any names or insulted your intelligence. But you really do owe me an answer on the alcohol prohibition question if you want me to take your position seriously.

  133. Auto Parts for Brains says:

    Okay, I like to get more details about regulation. Now it is getting more interesting. :)

    @mindpowered

  134. Tenn says:

    Oh, my lack of lucidity has nothing to do with pot. It’s entirely legal drugs, here.

    He probably would. All three of the men at that house cook amazingly well.

  135. TroofSeeker says:

    “Lumping pot in with hard drugs just ain’t right. It’s a frickin’ bush, for crap’s sake.”
    Says I.

    “Opium is a flower.” says J France.

    Frenchie- stick that in your pipe and smoke it. I have; it’s long been done in the Orient. I have no problem with that. But when you refine and concentrate it, then I would call it drug, rather than a plant, and it becomes very dangerous. I have OD’d many times on pot, but it didn’t kill me.
    OD on pot = fall asleep.
    OD on heroin = fall over dead. See the difference?

  136. Takuan says:

    an Australian proposal:

    A Model Of Regulated Availability.

    It would be legal to consume Cannabis and to possess [Cannabis] for personal use. It would be legal to grow up to 10 plants for personal use and [gratuitous distribution]. Commercial growers would be licensed to supply Cannabis to Cannabis “Kafes” or shops. These shops would be established for retail sales of cannabis, both for consumption on the premises and for take-away consumption to adults. A range of products from rolled cigarettes to biscuits might be available, together with smoking implements designed to reduce the level of harm associated with smoking cannabis products (eg bongs or vaporisers)”

    Other retailers would be licensed to sell take-away products. Cannabis seeds and information about home cultivation would also be available. Commercial suppliers would be required to label their products with consumer information concerning weight, THC content, recommended dosage and approved health warnings.

    Profits earned from the commercial manufacture or supply of cannabis would be taxed.

    Revenues from taxes and licences would be used to administer the regulatory system and to provide education and treatment services through services funded by the Health Department.

    Sales to people under 18 and unlicensed (ie untaxed) sales would be illegal.

    Advertising and marketing of Cannabis products would be restricted to a minimum necessary (eg brand identification). It might include a statement inside and outside that “Cannabis is sold here”.

    Cannabis smoking would be banned in places where tobacco smoking is banned.

    A realistic education campaign about the hazards of using Cannabis and concentrating on safe Cannabis use, “dope-driving”. the effects of both short term and chronic use, and the use of Cannabis and alcohol together, would be carried out at regular intervals.

    It would remain an offence to drive whilst impaired by Cannabis and/or other drugs including alcohol.

    (Redfern Legal Centre, 1996, pp32-33)

  137. Takuan says:

    perhaps she can bake her own cookies?

  138. Takuan says:

    there is a world of difference between opium and marijuana. I also suspect there is a great difference between the life of a peasant farmer in century-ago-China as opposed to the most indigent of the poorest in this modern world. Certainly in “developed” countries. I’m not surprised women weren’t opium addicts since they were doing all the work in the first place.

    You have to look at what the current reality is. The plain fact is that many people use marijuana responsibly already, even though it is illegal. Making it legal can only make things better from the user`s point of view and impact on society. Repeal of prohibition still means everyone has to get up and go to work every day. It still means sensible people don`t drive their cars if stoned. Even parents who smoke pot occasionally will still make sure their children are in the care of someone stone sober before indulging. As they already do with alcohol.

  139. tgjerusalem says:

    Auto parts – Beyond dubious claims that legal recreational marijuana will lead to the decay of civilization, you appear to be very concerned with the fear that legalized marijuana is synonymous with the death of ideals, morality, and social constraint.

    Why is this? We’re hardly suggesting the abolition of the rule of law in general, or hedonism unrestrained by conscience or the rights and needs of other people. What do you take us for?

    One doesn’t have to be a teetotaler to still see value and necessity in laws and social mores that prohibit and punish irresponsible, dangerous or abusive alcohol-related behavior. For an adult, to drink is legal, but to drive drunk is not. If someone is prone to drunken violence or other anti-social behavior, this will eventually find them alienated and ostracized, in therapy, the hospital, rehab, or jail.

    Why are you regarding marijuana use in general to be by definition immoral? And do you regard all other mind-altering substances (recreational or psychopharmaceutical) similarly?

  140. marijuanalobby says:

    See how much your City, State, Country and household could save on taxes if Marijuana were decriminalized, then sign the petition:
    http://www.marijuanalobby.org

    MarijuanaLobby.org: Change we can engage in…

    We are going to have to pay off these bailouts somehow!

  141. Ito Kagehisa says:

    The designer drug called whiskey kills more people than terrorism, I bet.

    I can tell you from personal knowledge that legally produced whiskey is fundamentally less damaging to humans than West Virginia White Lightning.

  142. DWittSF says:

    What’s that old saying? Ah, yes, ‘morality cannot be legislated.’

  143. Takuan says:

    the “other” drugs: opiates are an entirely different affair. They have to managed for what they are and not confused with things like marijuana, ecstasy and psychedelics. Heroin addicts have been observed to actually improve in functionality and health when given legal, clean and controlled supply in a dignified environment. Obviously, opiate dependency is nothing to be strived for and contributes nothing to society in a positive way. But keeping it illegal has not managed to extinguish it yet. Education is the main defense against abuse here. I can also tell you unequivocally that the suffering of terminal cancer patients that could be alleviated by heroin is also reason enough to make it legal and available for those in such need.

  144. Auto Parts for Brains says:

    Brainspore, I don’t drink alcohol, so I am not really the best person to ask on that. As for how the government regulates it, I must admit my knowledge is as far as knowing it is prohibited in some states and prohibited to be sold to minors. I think the existing laws are okay. Allows freedom of choice while respecting people to use their wisdom on the matter.

    I must admit that I have been on the extreme in my mindset when I see people saying that drugs should be “legalized”. I guess that is still open for definition. I like putting regulation with that though. When I think about it more, its all just a change in players and definitions. The government and maybe some companies will replace the mafia or the gangs currently leading the industry. I am just afraid of putting the law as a weapon these guys can exploit in their pursuit of this commercial opportunity.

    Makes me wonder where that puts average Joe Schmo.

  145. Takuan says:

    read the letter from the DEA Cartel (partway down)

    http://www.cannabisculture.com/articles/4639.html

  146. Frank W says:

    I live in Amsterdam, Europe somewhere.

    Whenever I want to see a society in sad decay, I watch the USA go down the drain on the TV news.

  147. Mindpowered says:

    It’s very simple.

    With regulation you get Pfizer, Philip Morris and Segrams.

    With criminalization you get the Sinaloa Cartel, Al Capone and the Taliban.

    But let’s look at case study.

    London circa 1750

    http://www.penwith.co.uk/artofeurope/hogarth-gin-lane.jpg

    Cheap, homemade, unregulated, gin floods the market but

    “The government then started controls on the quality of alcoholic drinks, licensing of outlets and taxation to divert demand to less harmful intoxicants. British drunkenness has since been a nuisance, not a scourge.”

    http://www.economist.com/opinion/displaystory.cfm?story_id=13251312

  148. gATO says:

    Auto Parts, I think I can see what you mean, but take it easy, I think most people around here would agree that just legalizing drugs, without an effective educational campaign and some regulation, is a stupid idea as well. Anything that might potentially harm yourself or other people should be legally available only to those who can take all the responsabilities implied, and be held accountable for misuse. That’s why no country lets minor drive cars or buy guns.

  149. minTphresh says:

    echonomist@#102, that ‘study’ was complete bullshit. who smokes the leaves? no one i know. we all smoke the flowering tops which contain several of the most potent cancer fighting agents in the known universe: cannabinoids. also, petard: |piˈtärd|
    noun historical
    a small bomb made of a metal or wooden box filled with powder, used to blast down a door or to make a hole in a wall.
    • a kind of firework that explodes with a sharp report.
    PHRASES
    hoist with (or by) one’s own petard have one’s plans to cause trouble for others backfire on one. [ORIGIN: from Shakespeare's Hamlet ( iii. iv. 207); hoist is in the sense [lifted and removed,] past participle of dialect hoise (see hoist ).]
    ORIGIN mid 16th cent.: from French pétard, from péter ‘break wind.

  150. torenc says:

    Why is all the discussion here focusing on legalizing marijuana? The Economist article seemed to be pretty clear about meaning most or all currently prohibited drugs, and specifically mentioned cocaine and heroin.

    I’m assuming it’s because marijuana legalization seems more likely than blanket removal of prohibition, but I’d love to see some discussion of the issues surrounding that.

    Would lifting current drug prohibition imply access not only to marijuana, but basically any mind altering substance not available OTC? What about prescription drugs?

  151. thekevinmonster says:

    So, what will happen if we legalize marijuana? Can someone give me an example of what things will happen to society? I’ve never seen arguments that go beyond, “moral decay”. What is moral decay? How is it something that we are not already experiencing?

  152. minTphresh says:

    even though i have no use for drugs, alcohol, or tobacco, i feel that every adult human being deserves to decide for his/herself, hopefully after becoming edjumacated in the subject, what they wish to do with their own bodies/lives. if it harm none, then do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the law. the declaration of independence puts it right on the money when it says that we are endowed with 3 inalienable rights: life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. as long as what someone does doesn’t interfere with someone else’s ability to pursue those 3 things, WTF is the problem? by removing the illegality, we take drugs out of the hands of the underground, where it can be taxed, regulated, and the people can be better educated on the subject then the standard:” drugs are bad, mmmmkay.”

  153. glimmerbee says:

    Legalize it, decriminalize it.
    Restrict it,
    Have places to do it.
    Sell it cheaply–tax it if you can–
    because people can grow it,
    make it,
    trade it,
    sell it.
    stop the insanity of putting people behind bars because of it.
    Morality is subjective.
    if its wrong for you don’t do it.
    if you can’t stop get help–no need to worry about the law ruining your life.
    if its right for you and you do it well hooray!

  154. TroofSeeker says:

    Failix wants another hophead story.
    [By the way, Failix, I didn't mean to be rude. I was just taken back to find a kid in an otherwise adult conversation. Sorry.]
    Okay, here’s a short one:
    I went to a small party at some buddies’ home. My usual “weapon of choice” was a Colt 45- the 40 ounce bottle. I brought two. Met a cute chick there. The bong went round and round, and near the end of the second Colt, Cute Chick asks for a ride home.
    I volunteered. “Are you sure you can drive?” She asks.
    “Sure! I’m just getting warmed up!”
    We walked out to the car, I got in and exclaimed “Hey, we’ve been robbed! Someone stole the steering wheel and dashboard!”
    I don’t know how she got home, but I woke up the next afternoon laying on a car seat- the back seat.
    Failix, I could easily have killed us both.
    Alcohol is the most dangerous and stupid drug. Don’t go there. Look at the face of an old rummy. He’s not as old as he looks. He’s lost some important years / friends / opportunities / brain cells. Hang on to those things.

  155. Anonymous says:

    #87 Echonomist: “Smoking weed causes tons of cancer and other diseases.”

    Citation needed. (Agreed)

    “Anyone who tells you filling your lungs with THC, carbon and lord(embalming fluid anyone?) knows what else isn’t as bad for you as smoking cigarettes is lying.”

    embalming fluid??? have you been talking to the scare-mongers again?

    I said it like this to my friend the other day: On a messy night an average smoker can easily put away 2 packs. If ANY weed smoker was to try to even smoke 1 pack worth of weed, not spun of course, (Thats 25, hard-packed, cigarette-thick joints, people!!) they would green out long before they got close to finishing the pack.

    Yes, smoking anything will have negative health effects, but it is about how much can feasibly be consumed. Also I am tired of people trying to tell me that weed is just as bad as, or worse than tobacco for your health. This is simply not true and has been disproved by countless studies;

    From the interweb: “Unlike heavy tobacco smokers, heavy marijuana smokers exhibit no obstruction of the lung’s small airway. That indicates that people will not develop emphysema from smoking marijuana.” Ref: http://www.drugpolicy.org/marijuana/factsmyths/#tobacco

    We will toke (and pop) our way to freedom! I love how people maintain that we should continue along the failed path we have been on instead of trying something new. This reluctance to at least TRY something new is what is holding our world back. I would take great satisfaction in watching all the foot-soldiers of the DEA lined up and shot for destroying the lives of so many – and enjoying it in the process!

    It is OK, though, because one day they will live in a world where personal actions, supported by personal responsibility, are tolerated – and DEA agents will realize that they spent their whole lives in the pursuit of nothing. You cant get back your time and we all only get 1 shot in life. Glad I spend mine toking instead of busting people for exercising personal choice.

    Can I PLEASE just take a moment to mention Marc Emery – He is being held up as a scapegoat by the DEA and we need to do all we can to help him and the B3. The next extradition hearing is scheduled for June 1-5th, 2009 – Make calls – Write letters and BE LOUD. So many people have benefited from his hard work and we need to show the DEA that they cannot police the world and shape public opinion with arrests to silence their vocal opponents.

    If you don’t know anything about Marc Emery, it’s time to find out:
    http://www.cannabisculture.com/v2/articles/4639.html

  156. Auto Parts for Brains says:

    Gato, you got it dude. This is why there are discussion like this for these kind of stuff. If the government does the same thing we do here where people listen to everybody and try to see all the points taken to consideration, I think we’d have better laws in this land.

    I am even willing to allow the name calling every now and then for some comedic relief. :p

    Honestly though, the guys handling these topics in the government and lawmakers should spend a few minutes everyday looking at what people are saying in places like these. Make more organized research about it and shape their stand on informed opinion.

  157. TroofSeeker says:

    Kaos Monkey, and other drinkers,

    I’m not trying to slap the martinis out of your hands. My point was that people are a lot less dangerous to others when they’re high compared to drunk. You gotta agree with that. And that alcohol can destroy relationships.

    “troofseeker is really saying:
    “when I abused and alienated my wife, children and friends, my drinking was responsible when I found myself very, very alone.”

    Not so, my fuzzy friend. My dear and beloved wife is sitting right here beside me, 32 years now. She’s got her soap opera on, and I’m chatting with you.

    Sure, I did my share of drinking. But I didn’t quit to save my marriage or for religious reasons. I quit drinking because it’s a stupid thing to do. Period.

  158. arkizzle says:

    Knappa,

    They were legal during Victorian England. That’s hardly a period that a conservative would call full of ‘moral decay’.

    Oh, no. Victoria England was a cesspool of vice and moral decay. Really, check it out.

  159. FPF422 says:

    It’s about time to end that stupid prohibition.

    My sister has MS and marijuana is one of the only things that can reduces the pains without making her even sicker.
    Myself, I have to take morphine to be able to function with my back pains (broken back and neck) and my joints pains and, again, marijuana could let me reduce my morphine intake drastically… but we have to be outlaws and take risks to have something that simply would help us to live a better life.

    Fed up with a prohibition started by the Dupont co. to sell their nylon….

  160. J France says:

    Mintphresh & Takuan: Education is key, and nicotine / tobacco products are a good example of that. Fewer kids take up smoking than ever, even though they are legal and easy enough to procure – if it’s over the counter ’cause you look years older than you should (how I started) or getting someone to buy them for you.

    But everyone has been educated as to the effects and side effects of smoking, perhaps in a way that’s too heavy handed and hysterical, but society at large knows the dangers and decide if they’re worth risking for whatever pleasure they get from cigarettes.

    Drug education is a great tool in combating teenage use and uptake of illicits, and misuse of Ritalin n whatnot. Delivering information in a calm, honest way gives kids – people – the opportunity to take on the decision and responsibility themselves. Showing a chick beating on an egg with a frying pan won’t cut it – because for most people drugs are fun the first few times round.

    Does anyone remember drug education from school? Did anyone receive any? As someone who left secondary school in 1999 I know I didn’t, and that was a “senior college” that was a lot more progressive than an average high school… unusual. Is it just too much of a minefield, considering the debacle that can be sex ed?

  161. Anonymous says:

    legalize pot, tax the hell out it, and get us out of this economic funk!

  162. TroofSeeker says:

    @ryanmcfitz:

    @Troofseeker

    “I worked at the head shop, and was quite the partier for quite a while.

    Man, when I finish school, my dream is to work in a head shop, or in a comic book store. How did they take you?”

    Hey, kid, go back to MySpace!
    And what do you mean, “How did they take you?”?
    How could you know about that?

    One of my favorite things at the head shop: late night, bored, a car pulls up, a guy runs in the store and says “I need a pack of Zig-Zags!”
    “I’ll tell ya what, man,” I’d reply, “I’ll GIVE you these Zig-Zags if you’ll drive around the block, roll a dubie, and throw it at me as you drive by.”
    Worked every time! 25-cent papers!
    Want another?

  163. Takuan says:

    heh! What doe it tell you when the bloody Economist is coming down on the side of abandoning prohibition? Who is left really on the Waronsomedrugs Industry side? The DEA Cartel, some lunatic priests, who?

  164. jmnugent says:

    #69 Gato: “Anything that might potentially harm yourself or other people should be legally available only to those who can take all the responsabilities implied, and be held accountable for misuse. That’s why no country lets minor drive cars or buy guns.”

    I’m a huge proponent of personal responsibility, but there’s no way to enforce what you are suggesting. I could “potentially harm” myself with any number of things found just wandering through my local hardware store. Do you think we should have to go through some kind of educational course before we can obtain a “license to ingest drugs” ?.. (would we then have to do that for alcohol too?… having a computer?.. having children?)

    Here’s the root truth: Personal responsibility is just that: PERSONAL. In order to have a free society, you have to give people the FREEDOM to do whatever they want, but punish them when they make a wrong decision which ends up harming others or infringing on the rights of others.

    Example: if i want to become a hermit inside my apartment and become a hardcore heroin junkie. I should have the freedom to do that. I’m not harming anyone else, and I’m not infringing upon the rights of anyone else. How is that a crime?.. its not.

    Example #2: If I am in a non-sober state (doesnt matter what drug caused it) and go out and run over a innocent family – the drugs are not the problem. The lack of personal responsibility is the problem. (there are plenty of people who responsibly use drugs). I should be penalized to the fullest extent of the law because of the LAWS I broke (driving while intoxicated, vehicular homicide), NOT for ingesting whatever substance made me non-sober.

  165. Phikus says:

    Auto Parts: Since you seem to now be in a receptive mood, let me enlighten you further:

    In most areas of the country right now, cannabis is more readily available to minors than cigarettes or alcohol, specifically because it is unregulated.

    Drug related crimes rarely occur when there is no shortage. Put another way: turf wars do not take place when everyone is making money. Remove a bunch of drugs from the market via mass drug busts and watch the crime rate in that area go up every time. Decriminalization takes organized crime out of the equation, and the profits made from it no longer fund wars and other unsavory activities. Do you know anybody still making alcohol with a still or in a bathtub?

    Marijuana was legal until 1933. The founding fathers of this country grew and enjoyed it. Much of what you enjoy about this country was put into place by dope-smokers. Are you trying to say they lacked morality?

    I could go all day, but it is time for me to start my long commute home from work. here is a useful source of further information for your perusal. Enjoy!

  166. J France says:

    dainel @ 115: I think you’d be shocked at how many “white collar” addicts there are, often using prescribed medications. Dexamphetamine, methamphetamine are both available by prescription and are doled out to kids. With tired, busy professional parents. Of the many naturally occurring opiate alkaloids in Opium, at least 3 or 4 are available on prescription. Pure, without all that pesky plant matter. Available to those with a good job and a good health plan. The right doctor, too.

    My point is – a lot of people take drugs more than on the weekend or after work and function fine, if not better, on them. Personally I use opiates where a psych would give me antidepressants and xanax (and they have!), I don’t obliterate myself. It’s responsible self medication. I work part-time in a community clinic and freelance design work on the side, as I want / need to.

    This “reputation” you speak of, whilst true to an extent, might also be called a stereotype.

    *takes breath*

    …and @117 Tak, Why Heroin isn’t available to those most in need of it, in a clinical environment? Is it such a…sin? crisis? if a terminal cancer patient might possibly enjoy the drug, not just have it help to slightly make them more comfortable. Because that is what it comes down to.

    In my home state of South Australia, the body responsible for Methadone/Buprenorphine and Clean Needle Programs have just been handed the Drugs of Dependence authority, and have taken it upon themselves to start shifting people with ongoing pain problems from OxyCodone and morphine to Methadone, and in some cases Buprenorphine, which is a partial antagonist of opiates, that renders other opiate pain relievers useless. It is abhorrent, and pivots on the notion that yes: people may enjoy or feel good whilst alleviating their hardcore, debilitating pain. There is no medical evidence in their favour, just a fear that a 60 year old woman with a permanently shattered pelvis might sell her meds on the black market, or get off on them. Grrr.

  167. gATO says:

    Good point, Torenc. Prescription drugs are already regulated, so there’s not exactly a “prohibition” on them. Most offer little recreational value, and serve very specific purposes, so, in any case, if they’re available freely, I don’t believe there would be a huge “market” for them. Of course, there are those that fall in a grey area between prescription and recreational, such as opiod painkillers; I truly don’t know what would be the wisest course of action, but I think that keeping them the way they are now should be enough, since lifting the ban on recreational substances would make available alternatives to those “gray area” drugs.

  168. Telecustard says:

    People might go for it this time around if we use the UK spelling of legalise. There’s something about the letter Z that makes people irrational and freaked out.

  169. Filekutter says:

    I agree totally and have for many years now, legalize drugs. We’ll have less ppl in prison which will seriously tick off CCA, but tuff nuggets. DEA will have to find new things to get us scared of, and the Senate will have the same problem. The money we would save would probably be enough to buy up all the foreclosed houses and house the homeless. Pity capitalism needs poor people.

  170. kaosmonkey says:

    Hey troofy

    “My point was that people are a lot less dangerous to others when they’re high compared to drunk.”

    I had NO IDEA that was what you were trying to get across. Point:yours

  171. Mindpowered says:

    From the comments section of the Economist article.

    sidential Takes on Tokes

    “Two of my favorite things are sitting on my front porch smoking a pipe of sweet hemp, and playing my Hohner harmonica.”

    Abraham Lincoln
    (from a letter written by Lincoln during his presidency to the head of the Hohner Harmonica Company in Germany)

    “I inhaled frequently. That was the point.”

    Barack Obama

    “Penalties against possession of a drug should not be more damaging to an individual than the use of the drug itself…”

    Jimmy Carter

    “I now have absolute proof that smoking even one marijuana cigarette is equal in brain damage to being on Bikini Island during an H-bomb blast”

    Ronald Reagan

  172. Mindpowered says:

    “Law Enforcement Against Prohibition”

    http://www.leap.cc/cms/index.php

  173. DWittSF says:

    This reminds me of a sign that I saw last weekend:

    US Out of Humboldt County!

  174. urshrew says:

    Better yet, stop putting people in jail for what they do to themselves. It goes against all concepts of justice.

    Oh, and putting people in jail for using drugs doesn’t prevent crime. The first person who mention that piss poor argument needs to read Smoke and Mirrors, one of the best deconstructions the failed idea of prohibition I have ever read.

  175. Roast Beef says:

    J France 121: Does anyone remember drug education from school? Did anyone receive any? As someone who left secondary school in 1999 I know I didn’t, and that was a “senior college” that was a lot more progressive than an average high school… unusual. Is it just too much of a minefield, considering the debacle that can be sex ed?

    I do! I had drug education in fifth grade (age 10-11), and give my teachers at least a B. Of course, the entire thing was covered in “drugs are bad, you’ll ruin your life” rhetoric, but hidden under the editorial was good, real information about the effects and risks of many different chemicals. It was a solid foundation for my own continuing drug education later in my teens and twenties, and has kept me and mine safer than otherwise on numerous occasions.

    My “progressive” high school lowered the bar. We probably had some kind of drug module in ninth-grade (age 14-15) health class, but I don’t remember it because I was too busy rolling my eyes. What I do remember was the “Theater Troupe” that came and performed in front of the whole school that year. The plot was basic: Parents out of town. Older sister throws a party. Younger sister wants to “be cool” and “fit in”. Unscrupulous dealer comes to party, offers younger sister a joint. Younger sis immediately hallucinates that she is covered in spiders, is melting. Younger sis collapses (and DIES?! It is left open). You know, just an average Friday night! :D I think even the actors were embarassed. The one good bit of info in there (i.e., don’t smoke up with just anybody because your sh*t might be laced with something you don’t expect) was lost in the bogusness of it all.

  176. gATO says:

    Another good point, Jmnugent. Yes, there are a lot of things that can harm you around the house, and you don’t need a license to use them. That’s why I used the analogy of cars and guns: Sure, you can hop into a car and try to drive without even knowing which one is the brake and which one’s the accelerator, but most probably, that won’t turn out very good, wouldn’t it? I’m all for personal freedom and responsability, too, but I also defend educated choice. If you want to do, let’s say, cocaine, go ahead, but at least understand the very basics about what it does to your body and the potential harms, as well as the good stuff. That’s why I talk about educating, as in open and frank discussions, and sure, why not, school programs, community programs. Anything that takes the fear and ignorance away.

  177. nutbastard says:

    @TARLSS

    “Why can’t you “Legalize Drugs” people be more specific?

    There’s a significant difference between legalizing crack, cocaine and heroin and legalizing marajauna.”

    No, there isn’t. It’s an issue of personal freedom. Paint thinner is legal, will get you high, and will fuck up your body. We don’t have a paint thinner epidemic. Why? Most people know better, and such it is with hard drugs.

    “Hemoraging money to countries like Afghanistan and Columbia isn’t going to help anyone”

    *FACEPALM*

    WE’RE ALREADY HEMORRHAGING MONEY TO THOSE COUNTRIES, UNTAXED, AND UNDOCUMENTED. We’d be paying LESS money to acquire raw drugs in a legal setting than we do now – smuggling is expensive and dangerous, and it’s transport alone that constitutes 80% of a drugs price. Coke in Columbia is under a dollar / gram for really pure stuff.

  178. TroofSeeker says:

    If we traded our liquor laws for our marijuana laws today, a lot of young drivers wouldn’t die tonight, and a lot of innocent victims would make it home safely.
    A lot of liquor commercials are saying “drink responsibly” these days. No such thing.

    It wouldn’t impact my life, unless some drunk bass turd rams my car tonight. I hate driving on Friday night. They’re everywhere.

  179. arkizzle says:

    Troof, somehow when weed is involved, favours can be really meaningful :)

    I’ve gone well out of my way, on many occasions, to pay back a miniature weed-related favour. And gotten plenty of love back too. Like trading enough-for-a-joint for a big festival-burger or something.. I’ve got a whole big bag here dude, fill me up!

    Having weed on-site can definitely make you suddenly very fortunate!

  180. failix says:

    @RyanMcFitz:

    “Not a friendly arena for anyone who actually, you know, thinks drugs are bad.”

    What do you mean, “you think” drugs are bad?! Some may be unhealthy, very addictive, but even that doesn’t make them bad, and cannabis isn’t even one of those. On top of it, it doesn’t really matter what people “think”, only facts matter. And who are you to judge what’s good or bad for others anyway?

    @Echonomist:

    Smoking weed causes tons of cancer and other diseases. Anyone who tells you filling your lungs with THC, carbon and lord(embalming fluid anyone?) knows what else isn’t as bad for you as smoking cigarettes is lying.

    Well…the THC part isn’t exactly true… here the wikipedia thc article. Even the article you linked to didn’t say that THC causes cancer. So I assume you just didn’t know, that inhaling THC will probably cause nothing but the same thing as anandimde depending on the dose.

    As for the carcinogens you fill your lungs with when you smoke, their quantity may vary depending on what you smoke, cannabis smoke happens to contain more than tobacco smoke, but like you said, there is more than one way to let THC access your CB1 and CB2 receptors.

  181. Ugly Canuck says:

    They don’t ‘educate” about drugs because the truth is that reefer is harmless and ought not to be prohibited; and that prohibition in its current form is obviously unjust and harmful. And because even children can see this, once the facts are known.
    Prohibitionists had been funding “research” for decades, with the aim and intention to “prove” the harmfulness of reefer use; but they’ve only proved cancer- and disease-fighting and amelioration of symptoms. Did not the brits have to cut short their research on the medicinal properties of marijuana, because it became too apparent during the trials, that it would be unethical to continue to deny people the use of this medicine; and that to continue using a placebo for those taking part, would be to deny those participants the obvious benefits? They pretty well immediately changed the scheduling of the reefer: but were not so upfront as to what those trials revealed.
    There is a reason Ronald Reagan banned all research into medical properties of marijuana in 1980, a ban that holds to this day. The stuff is simply too good for people: the research not allowed would have proven that there is no “health-based” argument for prohibition: so, no research allowed – only pre-1980 science , frozen , without further research, shall determine the question in the USA. Actually, politicians will determine the question, for their gangster buddy’s profits, and for all the cops on the take.
    Truth shall set you free: so, no drug “education”, only pro-prohibition FUD propaganda.

    PS Derivation of ‘Petard’ from Old French “peter=to break wind”…gives “hoist by one’s own petard” a whole new (or should I say old?), smellier, meaning.

  182. Ugly Canuck says:

    Marijuana is less harmful to health than trans-fats or diesel particulate exhaust or alcohol or tobacco.
    But some think its bad, so off to prison you go…
    Others adopt the strange and specious reasoning, that if the judge does not actively punish a behavior, that the judge therefore shares the “guilt” of such behavior, and is thereby involved in it, should he fail to act by punishing the behavior.
    This was the reasoning behind all religious persecutions by State actors throughout history, and has been adapted for use by the prohibitionists.
    I think we’ve had enough of these religious “arguments”, not manifested in discussion or debate, but carried out through the means of the violent actions of the police forces.
    And in light of the science as to the “harmfulness” ( that is, the lack thereof) of marijuana use, a religious, faith-based argument is all that the prohibitionists have left.
    But that was enough for the Spanish Inquisition, too. Or the SS, for that matter.

  183. nutbastard says:

    @Walterbillington

    ‘But then – how do we stop unscrupulous chemists dealing coke to 10 year olds?’

    By making it unprofitable.

  184. Bob says:

    Auto Parts- unfortunately, from what I’ve seen over the years, those in charge of making laws really don’t care what we think.

    I do think these discussions are a good thing, and I also agree it would be good for the lawmakers to see what we’re talking about. But I’m afraid that even if they did they would just dismiss it out of hand because we’re not ‘experts’ or participants in a govt. funded research project.

  185. failix says:

    Un pétard is a firecracker. Never heard it used as an insult, you firecrackers!

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