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jaytheredwizard



Joined: 18 Jan 2007
Posts: 86
Location: South Carolina, USA

PostPosted: Sun Sep 23, 2007 3:35 pm
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I have been pondering the subject of drug use in America for a while now, and I am sorry to say I haven't gotten anywhere in my own mind on what I believe to be the issues. I have decided that I am going to shamelessly use this board to bounce my ideas off of and just get everyone's opinion. I, also, don't know too much about drug use in other countries, so I could also learn some new perspectives from our friends across the ocean and the ones up north as well.

Being a college student gives a certain perspective on drugs that is confusing. We all know how some of them are horrible for us (cigarettes, cocaine, alcohol, marijuana, methamphetamines....), but some of us still see our friends using them. I personally will smoke a cigar occasionally, and I drink a good bit. I tend to stay away from the more illegal and harmful drugs; however, I have tried MJ more than once. I know people that have and do more serious drugs.

I, also, wonder why the government draws the line for drug use where it does. Why are cigarettes legal at 18 and alcohol at 21? Why are cigarettes legal at all when MJ isn't? I understand why some of the more powerful destructive drugs are illegal, but why do we allow some and not others?

These are just some thoughts I have had over the years while being on the front lines to America's Culture Wars. Let me know what you have to say.
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TamAlthor
The Zeppo


Joined: 09 Nov 2006
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Location: Alberta Canada

PostPosted: Mon Sep 24, 2007 9:50 am
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‘Tis not a shameless aim. This is what the Hot Hot Hot board is all about. I am really a believer in Freedom of choice. However depending on the person who chooses to use narcotic substances their freedom to choose may impact another’s freedom/ability to choose. For Ex the dumb@55 who chooses to drink/toke and drive and crashes into some other person.

For me it really boils down to a matter of consequences. Someone drinks or smokes or tokes etc in designated areas or at home where they can’t hurt anyone that is great. Their actions may hurt themselves and cause emotional distress for their loved ones, whatever, but they are responsible enough to make sure no one else is physically hurt. However at the same time if they are working for me they had better be able to make it into work, do a quality job and be someone I can depend on.

Problem is some/many people are not so considerate. Some/most people are not that responsible. And some/many people are not capable of seeing the consequences of their actions ie children(yeah sure just children).

As for where it gov draws the lines? Not sure about the states but the Canadian government makes a ton off of the taxes on sales of cigarettes and alcohol. A fairly smart move on their part. People really want those things they’ll pay for them. The higher prices due to taxes I’m sure discourages some people from buying but not many. So might as well make some coin right? As for what substances are legal? Quite funny sometimes. Nearly any expert on fetal alcohol spectrum disorder will tell you they will that all liquor was banned. Where as there are many ‘studies’ into the benefits of MJ. I abstain from both but on many occasions I am the designated driver for those who do. Age limits are funny, we let 16 year olds drive, and 17 year olds join the military, and I think 14 year olds can be licensed to own, operate, and buy ammo for firearms. But 18 is the legal age for cigarettes and alcohol. At the same time I am curious as to the average age of drunk drivers in fatal collisions. Regardless though these teenagers have passed at least an exam of some sort that shows they have some knowledge about what they are doing with these dangerous items. I don’t know that it is realistic to take a drinking license test. Rather an absurd thought really.

What is more practical are the punishments that could be in place for those who chose to put others at risk. Suspension and/or life time bans on driver’s licenses would be a better deterrent I would think.

People need their escapes; liquor and smokes have been around and culturally acceptable in North America forever. So I assume the regulation on these substances was only natural to protect children while an outright prohibition just not practical to the culture that has developed. Other substances being added to the legal list would, to a point, potentially create a change in culture that may not be desirable. There are certain health benefits to MJ and in many ways is easier on one’s body than cigarettes. However MJ is also acknowledged to be a gateway drug and I am fairly certain that making it legal would not change that fact.

What I find funny is that I can choose to go to the bar and get blitzed outta my mind, but some cities are talking about banning trans fats and hydrogenated oils from the food I order at restaurants. I know that a lot of these foods are not good for me. Let me have the choice to eat them. If I wanna get fat and clog my arteries let me do it. I have the choice to go elsewhere and eat healthier.

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Megaret



Joined: 07 Nov 2006
Posts: 275

PostPosted: Mon Sep 24, 2007 5:57 pm
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To steal from the great Dr. Denis Leary: What we need to do is legalize all drugs.. and give them to the right f*****g people
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Jade
Seven of Jade


Joined: 05 Nov 2006
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Location: Santa Barbara, CA

PostPosted: Mon Sep 24, 2007 7:55 pm
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I'm not totally sure I agree with legalizing everything, for the same reason I believe in laws about wearing seatbelts and stuff. Some times I think there need to be a few laws trying to keep people from doing really stupid things, even if they only harm themselves. Because too many people are too stupid not to hurt themselves.

But I do think that MJ should be on par with alcohol. It should be illegal to drive on MJ, just like alcohol (and frankly, I think they should make worse penalties for that), but I see it as being a drug not much better or worse one way or another. Many people use it too much, and I personally don't like the cumulative effects of it - I've smoked it on occasion, but it definitely affects memory and brain power in general. I view complete pot-heads as similar to alcoholics. Using anything to excess is bad. If you feel like you need to smoke it every day, you probably have a problem. In moderation, though, I don't see too much of a big deal.

I think of the "gateway drug" issue as being linked to its illegal status, though. Obviously it's more complex than just any one thing, but I don't believe that it's just an effect of people trying one drug and wanting more. Because it's illegal, you get it from dealers or other users, who may also have access to other things.

All that being said, I can see some merit in both sides of the arguments about MJ. I feel that most other drugs are far more dangerous, however - either because they're highly addictive, or because even one or two uses can sometimes cause serious permanent damage, as with ecstasy.

The one issue I feel very strongly about, though, is the way the system goes after users. Whether you're a hopelessly-addicted junkie, or an experimenting teenager, you don't need a criminal record. It's obviously not a strong enough deterrent for most people, and a criminal record affects your job prospects, your future, or sends you to jail if you're a repeat offender.... And in my opinion, all of that is only going to make a person less likely to clean up their act.

Jade
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julie
Wicked Wisdom


Joined: 04 Nov 2006
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 25, 2007 9:21 am
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This is always an interesting topic. It's tied up with so many other issues that it's probably never going to be adequately addressed in this country - it's about personal freedoms (which we take very seriously in the US when they're things we want to be able to do), economics, health care issues, law enforcement and public safety issues, and government control issues.

I saw a really surprising piece on the morning news today about a drug called Salvia. I said to my husband "Isn't that a flower???" And in fact, it is a flower. But it's also apparently a potent herb that's being smoked by teens all over the country for recreational purposes. According to the news piece, its effects are very similar to LSD - hallucinogenic, mind altering. And it has an immediate effect when smoked. And it's legal in this country. Five states have made it illegal to sell (mostly Bible belt states and one New England state where a teen's suicide is being blamed on the drug - it may cause depression when used habitually). There are apparently lots of videos on You Tube of teens smoking it and tripping.

I fully believe that it doesn't matter how many substances get classified as illegal drugs, the people who have that risk seeking behavior will always find a new way to get the high. It's amazing to me how many drugs have become readily available since I was a teen.


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I, also, wonder why the government draws the line for drug use where it does. Why are cigarettes legal at 18 and alcohol at 21? Why are cigarettes legal at all when MJ isn't? I understand why some of the more powerful destructive drugs are illegal, but why do we allow some and not others?


When I was in high school, cigarettes, beer and wine were legal when you were 18, but you had to be 21 to legally get hard liquor. At that point, it was pretty easy to get whatever you wanted as long as you were in high school. The Mothers Against Drunk Driving were just starting to become a force at that time and they managed to get the US congress to enact some legislation tying federal funding of state highways to age of legal alcohol consumption laws - which were controlled by the states. After that it was only a matter of a few years before every state had changed their legal age for alcohol to 21. If the MADD crowd could have their druthers, there would be no legal age of consumption. But we tried that in the early 1900's - it was called Prohibition and it didn't work. It's way too easy to produce your own alcohol and organized crime was making all the money importing the good stuff and selling it to finance their shady businesses.

Raising the age for all alcohol to 21 made it much harder for high school kids to get access (I realize that they still can, and do, but I could legally buy it for all my friends by the fall of my senior year of high school, and despite the fact that I was president of my hs chapter of the Nat'l Honor Society and third in my class, I still had the judgment skills of a teenager, which are quite limited due to lack of experience). Teens need to be able to drive so that they can get to and from jobs and schools and after school activities. It really is a wise plan to limit their access to substances that impair their already limited (inexperienced) judgment. Keeping them away from alcohol and mj is rational in the same way that keeping sharp objects out of the hands of toddlers is rational.

Cigarettes, while every bit as bad (if not worse) than alcohol and mj on an individual's long term health, do not have an immediate impairment effect on motor skills and judgment. In fact, I believe nicotine sharpens mental acuity for a brief period, like caffeine. Cigarettes are regulated to an age where, hopefully, the average person can make an informed judgment about whether he or she wants to be addicted to something disgusting and potentially fatal. Obviously, they are even easier to get than alcohol - and easier to hide.

I really like the point Jade made about mj as a gateway drug. I agree that its potential to get teens involved in other drugs mainly stems from its illegality. If you have to sneak and get comfortable making contact with people who can supply mj, then it's not much of a leap to try the next thing out there.

I also agree that mj should be legal and regulated the same way alcohol is. And that the people who produce and distribute controlled substances illegally should have extremely harsh penalties enforced upon them, while the ones who merely purchase and use should be doing some serious community service and effective education programs to learn better ways to spend their time.

Finally, two reasons cigarettes are legal and mj isn't - one: cigarettes, as I mentioned earlier, don't cause the immediate impairment that mj does, and two: there isn't a cannibis growers industry already established in the US like the tobacco industry has been for a couple of centuries. Economics. Same with alcohol on the economics. Also, alcohol has always been a part of western culture (and pretty much every other culture in the world in one form or another - it was a lot safer than drinking plain water for much of human history.) whereas mj was a late comer and import from another culture.
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Patrick
Sleepless Sonneteer


Joined: 05 Nov 2006
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Location: Arkansas, USA

PostPosted: Tue Sep 25, 2007 10:16 am
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Longer reply coming soon. :P
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Louis
Ard Ri


Joined: 05 Nov 2006
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Location: West Cork, Ireland

PostPosted: Tue Sep 25, 2007 1:20 pm
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I have lots of opinions on this topic but way too much to do to dedicate the time to expressing them. The one thing I did want to say though was that there is a lot of concern around at the minute relating to links between cannabis use and mental illness. It's not a very clear picture but there is the suggestion that using it, especially chronically, may increase likelihood of e.g. schizophrenia.

The legal age for alcohol here is 18 and I think that's fine personally. I've always thought 21 was too old. The legal age for smoking is currently 16 but will rise to 18 within the next couple of months I think. We also have a ban on smoking in public places all across the UK. Scotland has had theirs for the longest but England finally came into line in July.
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Jade
Seven of Jade


Joined: 05 Nov 2006
Posts: 1000
Location: Santa Barbara, CA

PostPosted: Wed Sep 26, 2007 12:42 am
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I agree with Louis - the higher age for drinking in the US only encourages binge-drinking. When teenagers get their hands on alcohol - and they always will, no matter the laws - they drink more heavily because it's prohibited and thus exciting. I also think having a separate beer age isn't a bad idea. It's much harder to binge heavily on beer, and if you can drink beer for a few years before you start on the hard stuff, the novelty has worn off somewhat, so you're less likely to go crazy.

(oh, and on a side note, I ~love~ the ban on smoking in public places. Love love love it *g* Sorry for you smokers out there, but it is a huge joy and pleasure for me to be able to go out to clubs and pubs etc and not feel nauseous because of the smoke, and not come home feeling like I need to scrub the stink off before I can crawl into my sheets.... *lol*)

And yes, there is evidence of a connection between mj use and mental illness. That's one of the reasons I can see both sides of the argument for legalizing it. I'd be curious to read up on the research some time - what I don't really know is whether the link is primarily for heavy users, or if even the more "recreational" mj-smokers have a higher likelihood of mental illness.

Jade
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DragonQueen
Defying time with hair dye


Joined: 05 Nov 2006
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Location: Maryland

PostPosted: Wed Sep 26, 2007 11:06 pm
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I really almost never chime in on controversial subjects but I have something to actually add and I saw it on South Park so that makes it ok! They did an episode a while back about smoking pot and the kids at the end said basically the main thing wrong with it is it makes you complacent. As in non motivated.

I am no angel but when I was younger and the gang got drunk at least we all tended to do something ( play quaters, go out dancing, go cow tipping... ) My hubby, who admits to being a teenaged pot head, said all they did when they got stoned was sit around and listen to music or watch tv. I can't say from experience because I honestly never tried the stuff but stereotypically this seems to ring true. The biggest shame is all the time wasted. (no pun intended).
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Jade
Seven of Jade


Joined: 05 Nov 2006
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Location: Santa Barbara, CA

PostPosted: Thu Sep 27, 2007 2:33 am
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I agree; I smoke it on occasion, but that's one of the reasons I never do it more than one day consecutively - and also why I would usually only do it in the evening at a party or something, and not early in the day like a lot of people do. I definitely lose both motivation and energy; it also leaves me feeling a little bit foggy for at least a day afterwards.

For some people though, mellowing out is really what they want/need.

Jade
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Patrick
Sleepless Sonneteer


Joined: 05 Nov 2006
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Location: Arkansas, USA

PostPosted: Thu Sep 27, 2007 10:29 am
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Okay, I have half an hour before class and I just finishing writing a 10-page polisci paper at the last minute (anyone want a copy?), so we'll see how much I get down here. *l*

Personally, I don't smoke anything for obvious reasons, nor have I ever tried any illicit drugs. If I did, no matter the medium, it'd likely either kill me outright or at the very least land me in the ER. Trust me, the legal drugs are bad enough. Having spent my entire life as a half-mad, stimulant-laced, oxygen-deprived insomniac, I cherish any lucidity I can get. Also, having spent two weeks completely zonked-out on narcotic painkillers (two weeks I don't really remember, mind you), I don't fancy repeating the experience unless absolutely necessary.

That having been said, I personally don't care what people do to themselves with regards to drugs, and I don't believe it's the government's business to dictate what its citizenry can and cannot do to itself (as long as no one else is being hurt). If someone wants to talk about crime or deaths, I would point out that alcohol kills more people per year in the form of drunken driving and alcoholism-related illnesses than any so-called hard drug. I come from a family rife with full-blown and borderline alcoholics, and I've seen it do a great deal of damage to individuals and families. Note, however, that alcohol is perfectly legal.

A lot of my friends and classmates are complete potheads, and apart from their being somewhat ditzy on Monday mornings I haven't seen much evidence that it has seriously and adversely affected their lives (apart from Monday-morning exams, that is). I have however, seen the effects of addiction to harder drugs. Heroin killed one of my cousins, and my late friend David's life was made shorter and harder by a crack-cocaine problem and associated time spent in prison. My sister knows several people who have serious cocaine problems which are severely impacting their daily lives.

So, basically, I don't have a personal problem with people smoking pot (as long as they don't smoke it with me in the room), or with hard drug use, although I think the latter is manifestly idiotic and dangerous. There is a house on our block that is boarded up and listed as unfit for human occupation due to its having once been a meth lab where some seriously bad stuff went down. The city won't even go near it to demolish it, due to the contamination on the lot. Thanks a lot, meth-heads.

Instead of wasting taxpayer money in prosecuting and incarcerating drug users, most of whom have never been involved in serious violence, the government, if it does anything, should focus instead on providing care and rehabilitation for drug addicts. The problem with criminalizing drugs is that it has created an entire underground economy, which has ruined many more lives and caused much more violence than if, conceivably, the drugs had not been made illegal; the same thing happened with the prohibition of alcohol in the United States which, you may note, was rescinded once the consequences had run the course of a decade. Our War on Drugs has lasted for two generations, and has caused a great deal of suffering, as well as having had a massive deleterious effect on the American judicial system, in addition to wasting untold billions of dollars. Like the War on Poverty, it has been an utter and complete failure.

It will always be, and it needs to be stopped. Not only for reasons of smaller government (that's the libertarian in me speaking), but for simple reasons of law enforcement and maintenance of the penal system, which in many areas is positively inundated with nonviolent drug offenders. Prohibition of alcohol proved impossible, and made possible widespread organized crime. Prohibition of drugs has done the same, but for many more years. It's stupid, fruitless, and it's about time that the American people and their government woke up to that fact.
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Louis
Ard Ri


Joined: 05 Nov 2006
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Location: West Cork, Ireland

PostPosted: Sat Sep 29, 2007 5:18 pm
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Quite unsurprisingly, I disagree with Patrick fundamentally on a few points. The main thing being that we are completely poles apart on is the whole role of government. In fact, I am quite amused at this becomes an issue when discussing so many topics. My impression is that this is a mainly American obsession but I could be wrong. In this country there is plenty of discussion around what the government should do about the issue of drugs and indeed there are plenty of voices calling for legalisation (of cannabis at least). I don't recall anyone ever disputing that dealing with drugs is an area where the government has a large responsibility. It's easy for us to say in our insulated, intelligent group that people should be left alone to do whatever the hell they like as long as they don't harm anyone else but since when does the world work like that? You can't legislate (or rather, avoid legislating) for an ideal world where everyone has good intentions and never does anything malicious.

If you legalise all drugs you give many many people access to them who would not otherwise have that access. It's certainly not beyond the scope of most people to get hold of an illegal recreational drug should they want to but it's not _easy_. Also, a lot of people will not even consider it or will be put off it by the very fact that it is illegal. By making the current batch of illegal drugs widely accessible you expose a lot of people to them who should not be so. It is a fact that most, if not all, illegal drugs are harmful in one way or another. Why should society decide to expose people to that harm if it is not necessary? A lot of them are used medically in cases where the benefits of using the drug outweigh the risks. For instance, heroin (diamorphine) is very often used in palliative care as an effective pain killer and amphetamines are used for ADHD and people with sleep disorders. If those risks were small enough to enable them to be used recreationally in a wholly safe way I have no doubt that they would be on the open market as such. It's not a case of governments wanting to stop people using them to be a spoilsport and stop them 'having fun'. Drugs kill and they ruin lives.

There is also often a discussion about how alcohol and tobacco are also harmful yet these are legal and widely available. I fail to see the logic in this being an argument for legalisation of other drugs. Two wrongs do not make a right. Just because these harmful substances are legal, this does not mean other ones should be afforded the same status. I think the world would probably be better in a lot of ways if alcohol and especially tobacco didn't exist or were as widely controlled as narcotics as an example. Having said that, I love alcohol, used to smoke tobacco on nights out and have had marijuana a few times (not that I found it very effective but it was only small amounts). Alcohol can be very dangerous if abused but in moderate amounts it can even be good for you. Tobacco is never good for you and it does do damage no matter how little you smoke or even passively. Like I mentioned previously, the evidence around marijuana is somewhat more ambiguous. The thing is though, an awful lot of the main illicit drugs are extremely dangerous and not in the way that smoking will give you lung cancer in 20-30 years or alcohol will ruin your liver and wreck your marriage. Ecstasy can kill after a single dose, heroin users are very prone to overdose and death, speed can give you heart attacks unless i'm very much mistaken and the list goes on. Why should people be exposed to those risks more than they already are?

That's not even thinking about the issue of actual addiction and how it takes over people's lives. This is not even just a problem to do with hard drugs. There are drugs that are already widely available that cause major problems for people who get addicted to them. I have come across many people who are addicts. That includes people on a methadone treatment program, some of whom are serious about trying to get clean and some not so much. That also includes people just using a needle exchange service which provides clean needles, syringes, swabs and other paraphernalia for free as a harm reduction measure. I have also dealt with people who are more respectable and less honest about their habit. These people usually take things like sleeping tablets and over the counter painkillers and most of them either don't think they have a problem or won't admit to it. I have had to discuss their use with some of these people and on occasion had to refuse to sell things any more. Indeed, one of the people I refused sales to in the past and who had stopped coming to our shop for months was back today and bought the same two things she used to from a new girl who didn't know to refer her to me. This article was in a UK newspaper recently http://www.dailymail.co.uk/pages/live/articles/health/healthmain.html?in_article_id=435796&in_page_id=1774 It gives an impression of the way things are for these people. If this is what can happen with small doses of legal drugs, imagine what the effect of legalising much harder drugs might be. This is a particularly telling quote I think - ''Although I knew in the back of my mind that I shouldn't be taking that many pills, somehow, because I could buy them over the counter and they came in a pharmaceutical package, it felt respectable."

One other interesting point is that prohibition of narcotics esp. opium was only really put in place in the early twentieth century, after long years of it being freely available. It's not as if legal use of hard drugs has not been tried before then. It wasn't banned by almost the whole world by consensus at the same time that world wars were going on due to somebody's whim. It was for very good reasons that have only become more and more convincing in the intervening years with more effective, more dangerous drugs, other additional risks like HIV and hepatitis and increased evidence of the harm drugs do to communities. Does anyone really believe that legalising drugs will eliminate the criminal element? I don't. We still have massive organised crime operations around smuggled alcohol and tobacco products and it's not as if heroin or other hard drugs allow people to function as productive members of society who can earn money with which to buy them legally.

I will admit that cannabis is mostly different. I still don't necessarily think it should be legalised either but there isn't quite such a strong case against it.

I guess I let myself get caught up in this topic about which I do know a bit and which I find very interesting. I should mention that my pharmacy provides both methadone dispensing and supervision and a needle exchange program currently. We also have quite a few people who are addicted to more conventional drugs and get their prescriptions dispensed on a weekly basis to control their intake. So, it's not as if I don't see the rehabilitation side too. I won't go into that just now though as I think I have probably gone on long enough.
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coldbeer



Joined: 12 Jun 2008
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 12, 2008 10:37 pm
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I think the Government should continue to make laws that protect 1 person from another person, but when they make laws that protect that person from him/her self, that denies freedom.
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Akihiko



Joined: 05 Oct 2008
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Location: Germany

PostPosted: Sun Oct 05, 2008 12:39 pm
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The dosis makes the poision
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Xinpheld
Bird Man of Alka-Seltzer


Joined: 24 Jan 2007
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 05, 2008 11:22 pm
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@ Akihiko's avatar - wow, people still know who The Residents are? Excellent. Used to love listening to Duck Stab stoned way back in the day.
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AeneasGemini



Joined: 05 Oct 2008
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Location: London UK

PostPosted: Mon Oct 06, 2008 6:57 am
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The problem is not whether any laws place restrictions on freedom but whether they transgress acceptable levels control, every country in the world has laws that limit the actions of it's populace and a sweeping generalisation like legalise every drug is either the veiw of a hopeful addict, an enterprising dealer or someone who does not realise the full consequences of the legalisation of all drugs without restrictions. However Having said that I think an enlightened approach is the best one, across the pond here in europe some countries (one in particular) has taken up an interesting position of legalising cannabis, this of course is Holland. Interestingly enough they have a much harsher approach towards tabbaco use and in the mindset of the population it would be inconceivable to make the use of cannabis illiegal, they do take a mature stance in its use limiting it to certain bars and cafe's thus making the consequences less dire and easier to control proving that under the right circumstances drugs can be legalised, this has not, however, been tested with more dangerous substances. However the one major benefit in legalisation would be the weaking of organised crime who bring the stuff into countries as they would lose a large source of revenue. [/i]
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Skarla



Joined: 08 Jun 2008
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Location: Portsmouth, UK

PostPosted: Mon Oct 06, 2008 9:28 am
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Agreeing on the whole 'illegal drugs bad' thing, I think that there isn't enough awareness of the dangers of over the counter drugs. If you get something on prescription you get specific instructions, but medicines like paracetamol or ibuprofen or aspirin are avaliable in newsagents and supermarkets.

Take paracetamol too often, for example, and you can permanently damage your liver. Take ibuprofen on an empty stomach and stomach ulcers will develop. Not totally sure the exact dangers of aspirin, but asthmatics and children shouldn't take it. I know it's a blood thinner, so anyone who is likely to get cut for whatever reason should avoid. Not obvious issues, but people are living more and more hectic lives. Some people don't like going to the doctor and would prefer to self medicate. The over the counter drugs have potential health issues attached, but because it is so easy to buy them, people think of them as 'safe'. There's a law out that you cannot buy more than two boxes of paracetamol at a time, but I can think of six places within a ten minute walk that sell it.

Right now the dangers of smoking cigarettes are being pushed into people's heads. 'smoking when pregnant hurts your baby' 'smoking kills' 'smoking is highly addictive: don't start'. But people are buying cigarettes every day. Also, a scary amount of people come in for a cheap 10 pack and a pack of rizzla. No prizes for guessing what those are for. There's no law about prohibiting selling smoking paraphernalia.

And to finish off, my opinion of alcohol laws: They're dumb. Completely idiotic. Tell a teenager they cannot do something, what are they going to try and do? My parents let me drink alcohol with dinner from the age of 12. I have rewarded their trust by only getting completely hammered once. (that is, there has only been one occasion where I have been drunk enough to throw up). True, that was a particularly spectacular night and I am not proud of it, but it was a one-off. I can think of students at uni whose parents might have not been so lax, who get drunk enough to puke at least once a week. Not pretty. If alcohol wasn't such a big bad thing, then I honestly think that issues like drunk driving wouldn't be as bad, because no-one wants to be the one who isn't in on the illicit drinking party in the woods. Everyone drinks and then there is no-one sober to drive home, because everyone wants in as they don't know when they'll next get their hands on some alcohol. Of course, young kids shouldn't be drinking... but some teenagers are more mature than others. Shouldn't it be up to the parents who know the kids? America's driving at 16, alcohol at 21 laws are asking for trouble, in my opinion. They also mean that Europe has to put up with the occasional party of drunk Americans who have no tolerance.

Ok, rant over...
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 19, 2009 2:36 pm
Post subject: drug legalization
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The son of a friend mine was recently mugged at night in a large American city. Stolen were his wallet and a few nearly worthless possessions, like a cell phone.

Okay, the thief needed a little dough in his own pocket so he could get loaded. From my point of view, the thief wouldn't have bothered with the mugging if drugs were cheap. Cheap=legal.
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Dudde
The Monster at the end of this Post


Joined: 26 Nov 2008
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 19, 2009 7:34 pm
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=\

No offense, but that's hardly an argument. People who have the laziness and gall to steal from other people are going to do it regardless of cost of their daily lives. One could argue, however, that if you decriminalize MJ and tax the heck out of it like regular tobacco, it would save vast sums of money to help fight the more dangerous stuff, as well as funding for law enforcement.

Despite all the evidence that it would be most logical to legalize it however, I find myself still voting no..
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Xinpheld
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 21, 2009 7:56 am
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I for one have grown quite tired of the manufactured stigma concerning cannabis. Yes, some people have a problem, but those by and large people with addictive personalities that would find some other route to self-destruction. I've known many pot smokers in my time, from the lowly quiet guy who sits in the corner of your apartment playing guitar to grandmothers. I haven't smoked in many many years, and 95% of the reason is because I want to keep my job. And I am not someone who imbibes any kind of intoxicant on a regular basis. You'd be lucky to see me with a drink in my hand more than once a month.

The problem I have is with the reasons behind the demonizing of pot, which involve people like William Randolph Hearst in the early parts of the 20th century laying waste to the hemp industry because it interfered with his investments in corn and oil, and using his might in the newspaper world to change the minds of millions of Americans about one of the more beneficial cash crops there are. There was a reason why, in early America, farmers were required by law to grow at least one acre of hemp on their land. Apart from the drug aspect of cannabis, the industrial benefits of the reintroduction of hemp into mainstream textiles would be enormous. Take a good look, and you'll find that the people (or, really, entities) who lobby most against marijuana reform laws are those who stand to lose the most from textile changes caused by hemp. That, and the prison industry, which is making a killing off of imprisoning all the small-time pot dealers and users that overfill our jail cells.

In short, I have nothing to say on the matter.

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