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ahartman
24th April 2000, 09:29
Last nite, there was a story on 60 Minutes (a TV news magazine for non-US folks) about the governor from New Mexico who wants to legalize drug use. His attorney general is opposed to it. They had a debate and both quoted opposing facts centering around the Netherlands policy of legal drug use.

Since we have a goodly number of folks from that part of the world, I'm interested in their thoughts.

My girlfriend and I have discussed this quite a bit and I'm opposed to legalization of drugs, she thinks it could have positive effects.

BTW, the Governor wants to legalize & control ALL drugs (cocaine, heroin, etc), not just marijuana.

Does the legalization of drugs in your country have a negative or positive effect on crime in your opinion?

I'm not talking about crime going down because you can't get arrested for the crime of buying or using drugs, either.

[This message has been edited by ahartman (edited 24 April 2000).]

Hunsow
24th April 2000, 09:52
I can see 60 minutes, didn't watch it though. It has a positive effect, not only the crime goes down, but also the number of drug users. Forbidding it doesn't make it go away, it will only get worse. The problem is that almost all people refuse to see that.

ahartman
24th April 2000, 10:06
I don't follow your logic. Why does simply making drug use legal make less people use drugs?

I think right now, there are fewer drug users because of the (relative) difficulty of obtaining drugs and the high cost of buying them.

It seems to me that if the government steps in and regulates it, drugs become more obtainable and cheaper. Why would numbers go down?

What am I missing?

ALBPM
24th April 2000, 10:49
Yup, that's my Govenor alright http://forums.murc.ws/ubb/wink.gif

A lot of violent crimes, robberies and burglaries are motivated by people trying to get their drug money or are related to drug smuggling or selling activities. I think Gov. Johnson's main motivation is why do we continue to waste billions of dollars of taxpayers money every year to fight a battle we can't win. Of course the main opposition is from law Enforcement who would ultimately loose funding if drugs were legalized.

Prohibition did little good. It created higher crime rates and opportunities for Organized Crime, just as the illegal drug trade does now. Maybe, it's time for the Government to legalize, control and Tax drugs. I guess, I'd rather see my tax money spent on more constructive things than fighting a battle that we can't win.

And also part of what Hunsow said about drug use declining may be that it looses it's appeal if it legal. Maybe some one else can expand more on this.

Paul

Hunsow
24th April 2000, 10:49
It's really simple, if you forbid something it only makes it more interesting to try it out. It will become a luxury article. People have been using drugs for as long as they exist, and it became a problem right after they forbid using it.

BTW I never have used any sort of drug.

Helevitia
24th April 2000, 12:33
ahartman,

I think that some crime would be siginifcantly reduced although there would still be the addict that would steal to get his/her money for there addiction. There is also the drug user that could kill someone via drunk driving or losing control of one's ability to be rational. The latter could lead to many criminal situations. The bottom line is, there will still be the meth lab cooker, the coke plant, the pot grower, the dealer, the middle man, the buyer, the thief, th addict, blah blah blah...and as you can see, even if we legalize 'drugs' we will still see crime from all of the areas. The beneficial part is that we will now get taxes from the sell of drugs, and I mean LOTS of taxes since many, many people do drugs. This could help pay for many things such as education, poverty, etc...I could go on all day re: this subject but I think you get my point. And just to set the record straight, I'm speaking from experience. I've used lots of drugs in the past, I grew up around drugs being sold, made, smoked, injected, stolen, lost, snorted and I've seen a lot of the crime to go with it. There is no winning solution at this time so you might as well use it to your advantage and make it legal to benefit from the tax dollars alone. People will always do drugs and there is nothing anybody can do about it.

Oh yeah, forgot to mention that your statment about drugs being more attainable is absolutely false. Drugs are so easy to get it's scary. I and anyone else can get any kind of drug they want without much of an effort.

Dave

ahartman
24th April 2000, 14:30
I guess what I mean by 'more attainable' was that cheaper=more people can afford it.

I live in Chicago and I can get a hamburger, an 8-ball, a crack whore, and a room by the hour all within a block of each other. But I make good money...

Regulate it, someone buys it from the gov't for x dollars and sells it on the street for x+1 dollars (or whatever, it's still cheaper than it is now). All of a sudden, income isn't a limiting factor.

Anyway, do we have anyone from Malaysia here? I'd be interested in THEIR thoughts.

Don't tell me you can't stop drugs. I concede that as a people, Americans don't have the STOMACH to stop it.

I don't buy the argument that the majority of people try drugs because they're "not supposed to". I believe people try drugs because of peer pressure or because they're curious. People get hooked because they're too stupid to realize the consequences of their actions.

Paul, please don't tell me you think the law enforcement community is opposing legalization of drugs because they'll lose money...

And to fess up, I was a recreational drug user (several kinds) but when I had my daughter, that all stopped as I couldn't justify doing them but telling her they were wrong.

Good thoughts, people! Keep them coming.

Andy

ALBPM
24th April 2000, 16:58
Hi Andy,

I hate to say this but there is big money at stake for some agencies and for some countries in Central and South America. And what's worse is some of these officials are more corrupt than the criminals they put behind bars. I don't mean this as an insult to Law Enforcement but there are those few bad seeds who line there pockets with our Tax money and drug money. There are a lot of people making careers out of a winless War on Drugs. And it always seems that the "little Guy" is the one put behind bars instead of the big "Drug Lords". Heck, even our Government was suspected of selling cocaine to get money to supply the Contras with weapons.
It just seems like one big nasty waste of time, money and lives. We definitely need a change of some kind.

Maybe some more members in Europe could share more of their observations with us.

Did it really make a positive difference to legalize drugs??

Paul

Himself
24th April 2000, 17:36
First off, the people dependent on drugs have my deepest sympathy, life can be screwed up enough without drugs enforcing it, I am amazed that anybody does make it out of it.

Is there a good solution? I think time has proved that nobody has come up with one or is likely to. As long as there is poverty, emotional abuse, etc, people will abuse something to escape from it. Also, nothing is going to get other people to get involved in other people's problems outside of religion and fewer people are willing to get involved in religion to the degree where it would matter.

What would legal drugs do?

For the drug user? It would enforce their habbit, they would get to the bottom faster and likely die sooner from drug overdose. They would probably still be involved in crime to pay for the drugs, unless the price of them were extremely low and restrictions on sale were unlimited. Making it easier to buy drugs won't help them in any way. Making it harder for them to buy drugs is just about impossible to enforce, the populations are just too large for effective policing.

For kids? They would not be affected, they would still get into drugs for the rebel factor and peer pressure. I don't imagine any govenment making it easy for kids to get drugs. Legal drugs would just be cheaper.

For the drug pusher? A lot less profit to be made, they can be undercut by just about anyone, a supplier can be found anywhere. Too much competition, low margins. They are in it solely for the money, this would hit them the hardest. Less incentive to pursue the drug trade for profit, more use of drugs to get young people into prostitution. Less cash, less power to throw around, less influence, the motivation for assembling in gangs would change.

For Law Enforcement? No law to enforce, fewer incidents of drug/gang related gun play perhaps, more prostitution, but that seems to me to be easier to control in a lot of ways, the market is more public, the customer more exposed and the market is not self increasing in nature. Less smuggling of drugs across the border perhaps. On the other hand, having to watch people kill themselves and not being able to act, would be lead to more burnout. Domestic violence would probably increase, if alchohol causes as much as it does, just think what junkies en masse would do.

For the Government? They get more money from both drug sales and spending a tiny bit less on drug enforcement and "say no" advertising.
Could solve the nation debt problems in a few years, but who'd be left to applaud it?

I am of two minds over the whole thing, I don't think it's a good thing, but I wonder if it would improve matters in other areas a bit. Everything else has been tried and has failed and the problem will not go awayI wouldn't want it tried here, but if other places are doing it, I would be interested in how it turned out.

Gurm
24th April 2000, 18:30
>As long as there is poverty, emotional >abuse, etc, people will abuse something to >escape from it.

This is too true. However, you must consider the fact that there is a massive difference between use and abuse. We could get into the SPEED with which someone can move from one to the other, but alcohol is addictive as well. Cigarettes are as addictive as crack. Yet these things are legal and regulated. Cigarettes kill more people each year than ALL OTHER ILLEGAL DRUGS COMBINED.

>What would legal drugs do?

Lots.

>For the drug user? It would enforce their >habbit, they would get to the bottom faster >and likely die sooner from drug overdose.

Wrong. For the drug ADDICT, you are correct. But it would keep them safer while they did it. I know that sounds harsh. But there will always be winos, drunks, and junkies. It is a sad truth. It will ALWAYS happen. If you take away drugs they will use shoe polish and cleaning fluid. If you give them cheap drugs from a clean, government regulated source, they would at least be marginally safer and healthier.

Drug USERS, on the other hand, would simply benefit economically, as their recreational habit would no longer be prohibitively expensive - not to mention dangerously illegal.

>They would probably still be involved in >crime to pay for the drugs, unless the >price of them were extremely low and >restrictions on sale were unlimited.

DUH, that's what we're talking about. If the feds regulate drug sales, drugs will be MUCH MUCH MUCH cheaper.

>Making it easier to buy drugs won't help >them in any way.

I think I've just addressed this.

>Making it harder for them to buy drugs is >just about impossible to enforce, the >populations are just too large for >effective policing.

Bingo. This is the problem. Without creating a police state, you can't effectively eliminate crimes that essentially happen behind closed doors. See the earlier posting on prohibition. It was just a silly idea.

>For the drug pusher? A lot less profit to >be made, they can be undercut by just about >anyone, a supplier can be found anywhere.

Correct. They would be eliminated - taking a large element of crime out of drugs.

>Less incentive to pursue >the drug trade >for profit, more use of drugs to get young >people into prostitution.

Umm... you mean LESS use of drugs to get the youth into hooking, right?

>For Law Enforcement? No law to enforce, >fewer incidents of drug/gang related gun >play perhaps,

ABSOLUTELY. Nobody would kill anybody over drugs any more. Well, almost nobody. There will always be the small percentage of people who will kill one another over anything. However, if drugs cost as much as cigarettes, almost nobody would kill anybody over them.

>more prostitution, but that seems to me to >be easier to control in a lot of ways, the

I still don't see why you feel legalizing drugs would increase the amount of prostitution. Please explain this twisted logic.

>Less smuggling of drugs across the border >perhaps.

NO smuggling. Where would the profit be in smuggling? GONE. Nonexistant.

>On the other hand, having to watch people >kill themselves and not being able to act, >would be lead to more burnout.

Oh, come on. This happens already. Drinking, cigarettes, Nutrasweet, you name it. I know a dozen people who WILL die an early death, and I can't do a friggin' thing about it. The cops know a lot more - habitual drunks, junkies, etc. It won't get any worse.

>Domestic violence would probably increase, >if alchohol causes as much as it does, just >think what junkies en masse would do.

You are presuming that EVERYONE who does drugs becomes a junkie. This is a dangerous assumption. Not everyone who drinks becomes an alcoholic. Not everyone who smokes pot becomes a stoner.

>For the Government? They get more money >from both drug sales and spending a tiny >bit less on drug enforcement and "say no" >advertising.

HAHAHA. A "tiny bit"? Do you have any idea how much money the government THROWS AWAY each year on "drug enforcement"? WAY TOO FRIGGIN MUCH.

>Could solve the nation debt problems in a >few years, but who'd be left to applaud it?

Once again, you are being fatalistic. Many many many people use drugs and do not abuse drugs. And I mean drugs of all types.

I'm not saying that there wouldn't be an UGLY period. Honestly, there would be a several-year period where people went nutty.

"WOOHOO! Cocaine at the corner drugstore! YAHOOOOOOIE!"

It's like the drinking age. If we didn't HAVE a drinking age, we wouldn't HAVE an underage drinking problem. If you got wine with dinner like you do in much of Europe, you wouldn't see wine as something you COULDN'T HAVE.

But of course nobody wants to accept this. All they see is that if there is no drinking age, all of a sudden you'll have a generation of teenagers drunk all the time. This is true. However, the NEXT generation won't have as much of a problem.

However, there's also the problem of American mixed morality. Nowhere else in the world will you find a group of people that so violently speaks out against something while doing it themselves behind closed doors.

Me? I'm all for legalization of drugs.

- Gurm

------------------
Listen up, you primitive screwheads! See this? This is my BOOMSTICK! Etc. etc.

ahartman
24th April 2000, 20:55
Interesting. I still don't buy the argument that if you make it legal, it's not a big deal and people won't do it.

In the prohibition thread, I said if someone wants to drink themselves to death in their own home, I don't care. Likewise with drugs. If someone wants to get geeked out of their gourd AT HOME, let 'em do whatever they want, provided they harm no one else but themselves.

Very simplistic since you never do anything that affects just you.

Compton
24th April 2000, 21:59
I'd rather see the deregulation of prescription drugs than the legalization of illegal drugs. I don't want cocaine or heroin, I want prozac!

HollyBerri
24th April 2000, 23:24
I still don't buy the argument that if you make it legal, it's not a big deal and people won't do it.

Check your assumptions at the door, please: I for one would rather that people who feel that they need drugs to handle the problems of their life and psychology have those drugs, than that they <u>not</u> have them...

... because if you think things stink with people doing all the hideous things described above.... imagine all those people unwillingly and unendingly sober, face to face with what they're so desperately trying to avoid.

I gotta go with Gurm, Paul and Hunsow.

It'll be ugly, yeah. But then again, I've seen enough 12-step programs to know the deep and lasting value of 'bottoming out', to both the individual and the polity--- so 'ugly' doesn't scare me as much as it used to.

"Bring it on," I say... (actually, more like "Let's get on with it, already!!!")

----------------------------
Holly

Hunsow
25th April 2000, 00:14
I still don't buy the argument that if you make it legal, it's not a big deal and people won't do it.

Statistics prove otherwise, of all western countries the Netherlands has the lowest percentage of drug users. Also noone made the argument that people won't do it, just less people.

paulcs
25th April 2000, 00:44
I suspect deregulating antibiotics would cause *far* more harm than legalizing marijuana and some of the other halucinagens.

I'm not a user, but I think we should legalize and tax the snot out of certain drugs, as we do with cigarettes.

Paul
paulcs@flashcom.net

HollyBerri
25th April 2000, 02:23
Speaking of taxing the snot out of cigarettes... Here in NYC, they're running between $4.39 - $4.95 a pack at the moment, prices having increased by more than a dollar over the past quarter-year.

The interesting twist is... about the only way to get cigs at some kind of affordable price is to buy them from... the Indians...

Apparently one of the concessions designed to recompense Native Americans for having stolen their land and killed a lot of them and imprisoned the rest on reservations is that they can buy cigarettes very cheap... so they resell them.

Don't quite know how this relates, except that it reminds me of homeless people retrieving hundreds of deposit bottles (we pay a nickle for the 'use' of the bottle many drinks come in... if we return the bottle to the store, we get the nickle back. Many people just throw the bottles in the recycling) from public and private garbage receptacles to make a few bucks a nickle at a time... which manages again to provide a service to everyone from a basis of oppression and humiliation.

It tells us something about the cleverness born of true (financial, in this case) desperation and desire to survive.

Don't forget, water finds its own level, and people generally work things out... so don't let's be too sure we even know what would happen if such legalization became fact.

----------------------
Holly

[This message has been edited by HollyBerri (edited 25 April 2000).]

merchant2112
25th April 2000, 03:20
i tryed drugs , i don't like them, but i am for makeing them legal. leagal drugs would solve 80% of drug problems.

Himself
25th April 2000, 06:57
Are we talking all drugs or just pot? For some drugs, all it's takes is one dose and you are an effective addict already. I can't imagine the US Government legalising all types of drugs, or allowing them to be sold for dirt with no say in who gets them.
Crack for $5 at your corner store, I don't think so. You have to consider the current situation and the society involved.

As for prostitution, well, I was just brainstorming on the topic, I have no idea how all that works on the street. But if it costs $100 to get drugs to enslave someone or $20, I think it would happen a lot more at $20. It's just safer for the pimp to obtain them, they make more money with cheaper drugs as well. It's not like alchohol, certain drugs can have an immediate and devastating effect. Pot may be relatively harmless compared to some drugs, but there are real nasty things out there that shouldn't be legal, no matter what.

As for Government advertising, does legal tobacco mean less "no smoking" advertising?
How about drinking and driving, that's not legal, yet there is plenty of advertising against that, would making it legal mean less?

Border enforcement? As long as there are illegal substances there will have to be border enforcement, if it's not one drug then it will be another. Unless ALL drugs are made legal, this paticular problem will still be around. And even if it were, you now have all these criminal types without a market, you know they will just find another one. People can't switch additions, if they are hooked on crack that means they want crack, not pot.

Here in Canada, cigarettes in a few provinces were made tax free, to curb smuggling of cigarettes and the violence surrounding it, all that happened was the smuggling was added to the internal borders as well as international. Break ins and theft of cigarettes from stores didn't decrease at all.

I just think it's a very complicated subject and simplistic solutions never give you simplistic results.



[This message has been edited by Himself (edited 25 April 2000).]

Gurm
25th April 2000, 07:28
Are we talking all drugs or just pot? For some drugs, all it's takes is one dose and you are an effective addict already. I can't imagine the US Government legalising all types of drugs, or allowing them to be sold for dirt with no say in who gets them.
Crack for $5 at your corner store, I don't think so.

Why? Things would get really ugly, and then really good. Simple.


You have to consider the current situation and the society involved.

Ahhhh. Now you've hit the nail on the head. The problem isn't the issue at hand, it's how to deal with the issue at hand when you're talking about American Society (largely an oxymoron). We are the most hypocritical nation on earth.


As for prostitution, well, I was just brainstorming on the topic, I have no idea how all that works on the street. But if it costs $100 to get drugs to enslave someone or $20, I think it would happen a lot more at $20. It's just safer for the pimp to obtain them, they make more money with cheaper drugs as well.

No, your logic falls apart. The reason pimps can enslave youngsters now is that the drugs are illegal. So they shoot up the little girlie, she has to put out in order to get more heroin, right? Well, not if heroin is available at home... she just goes home to mommy and daddy, tells them about the bad pervert, and gets some heroin from the corner store. The pimp has no more power, since he can't control the drug habit any more.


It's not like alchohol, certain drugs can have an immediate and devastating effect. Pot may be relatively harmless compared to some drugs, but there are real nasty things out there that shouldn't be legal, no matter what.

Ahh... the old fallback... DRUGS ARE BAD, MMMKAY? Look, there are really nasty legal things. It is LEGAL to jump out of an airplane without a parachute. People have done it. Smart? No. Legal? Yes.

It's LEGAL to skydive. Skydiving kills more people yearly than many drugs. It's LEGAL to wrestle alligators. It's LEGAL to get a thousand deadly cobras and put them in your shower with you. It's LEGAL to do all kinds of extremely dangerous things, because they give you a RUSH. Nobody thinks it's smart, but they don't dare impinge your right to do these dangerous things.


As for Government advertising, does legal tobacco mean less "no smoking" advertising?

Tobacco has never been illegal. Bad analogy.


How about drinking and driving, that's not legal, yet there is plenty of advertising against that, would making it legal mean less?

Umm... this is also a bad analogy. Drinking and driving is a totally different thing. And yes, legalizing alcohol after prohibition caused an immediate drop, across the board, in law enforcement costs. No more organized crime in the liquor industry. No more crackdowns on speakeasies. It was a golden boon for the police and FBI.


Border enforcement? As long as there are illegal substances there will have to be border enforcement, if it's not one drug then it will be another. Unless ALL drugs are made legal, this paticular problem will still be around. And even if it were, you now have all these criminal types without a market, you know they will just find another one.

RIGHT NOW, it is 100 times more profitable to smuggle Freon into Miami than it is to smuggle cocaine into Miami. And less illegal. However, there is a guaranteed easy market for cocaine. I agree that criminals will always be criminals - let them find something open to do that's wrong. If they're selling crack, it happens in a crackhouse, or in an alley. If they're robbing a bank, they are easier to catch. Let them rob banks.


People can't switch additions, if they are hooked on crack that means they want crack, not pot.

Nobody is saying they can. What we're saying is that if they're gonna abuse, they're gonna abuse, legal or not. If it's legal it no longer carries all the ancillary problems.


Here in Canada, cigarettes in a few provinces were made tax free, to curb smuggling of cigarettes and the violence surrounding it, all that happened was the smuggling was added to the internal borders as well as international. Break ins and theft of cigarettes from stores didn't decrease at all.

I'm not saying decrease the cost by a dollar a pack. That's small change. I'm saying decrease the cost from $500 for a little bit of blow to $5. Smuggling will DISAPPEAR.


I just think it's a very complicated subject and simplistic solutions never give you simplistic results.

I disagree. Simple solutions ALWAYS have simple results, in the long term. I admit there will be short-term chaos. But it will be worth it.

------------------
Listen up, you primitive screwheads! See this? This is my BOOMSTICK! Etc. etc.

Himself
25th April 2000, 09:14
Why? Things would get really ugly, and then really good. Simple.

Sure, kill all the drug users and the drug dealers, alao a simple solution that's ugly at first but then is really good. It doesn't solve the problem of why they were there in the first place.

quote:
No, your logic falls apart.

It's not about pure logic, if that were the case nobody would do drugs to start with.

The reason pimps can enslave youngsters now is that the drugs are illegal. So they shoot up the little girlie, she has to put out in order to get more heroin, right? Well, not if heroin is available at home... she just goes home to mommy and daddy, tells them about the bad pervert, and gets some heroin from the corner store. The pimp has no more power, since he can't control the drug habit any more.

For most prostitutes there is no option of turning to mommy or daddy. Most are runaways to start with. Dependence is not just about having the money to pay for something, it gets psychological as well.

Ahh... the old fallback... DRUGS ARE BAD, MMMKAY? Look, there are really nasty legal things.

You can kill yourself many ways, but putting knives in the hands of babies and setting up booby traps in stores isn't justified because of it. Some drugs are not as deadly as others, but where do you draw the line or legislate how bad they have to be to be illegal? I wouldn't have a problem with legalized pot, people on pot are just stupid, not crazed maniacs out of control. But then again, why don't people just drink instead of do drugs? It's safer and costs less, why not? It would be the logical way to go, wouldn't it? Thing is, it's not about logic, it's about human behaviour, people with the kind of problems that result in drug abuse gravitate to the worst thing they can do to themselves out of depression.

As for Government advertising, does legal tobacco mean less "no smoking" advertising?


Tobacco has never been illegal. Bad analogy.

Better than comparing leathal drugs to sky diving.

How about drinking and driving, that's not legal, yet there is plenty of advertising against that, would making it legal mean less?

Umm... this is also a bad analogy. Drinking and driving is a totally different thing.

And yet, sky diving is exactly the same as drug use, right? It is advertising to prevent behaviour you want to control, exact same thing, it wouldn't go away just because the means is now legal.

And yes, legalizing alcohol after prohibition caused an immediate drop, across the board, in law enforcement costs. No more organized crime in the liquor industry. No more crackdowns on speakeasies. It was a golden boon for the police and FBI.

It didn't stop drunk driving or domestic violence related to alcoholism. And it's not like the sale of beer could kill you if you took too many in the space of a minute.
Drugs are more like a loaded gun whereas alhohol is more like a club, you can kill yourself either way, but at least with alchohol you have time to change your mind.

According to your way of thinking, everybody should be allowed to build their own atomic weapons in their basement.

RIGHT NOW, it is 100 times more profitable to smuggle Freon into Miami than it is to smuggle cocaine into Miami. And less illegal.

And where do they get the Freon? It's not like growing poppies by the field for practically nothing.

However, there is a guaranteed easy market for cocaine. I agree that criminals will always be criminals - let them find something open to do that's wrong. If they're selling crack, it happens in a crackhouse, or in an alley. If they're robbing a bank, they are easier to catch. Let them rob banks.

That's not a simple result, now is it? You wanted fewer drug problems, now you have more problems elsewhere.

People can't switch additions, if they are hooked on crack that means they want crack, not pot.

Nobody is saying they can. What we're saying is that if they're gonna abuse, they're gonna abuse, legal or not. If it's legal it no longer carries all the ancillary problems.

I think it would get rid of some problems and create different ones. The problem is the society, without fixing that, the rest is just a side effect, you are just moving the problem around. Instead of gun related violence you could have people on the street in comas or dying of exposure because they were too whacked out of their skulls to come in out of the cold.

If a government legalizes pot but not heroin, nothing will change for existing users of heroin. It's not a solution for existing problems, it could mean that future dependency driven people choose pot instead of heroin, but people intent on killing themselves by inches tend to gravitate to the worst that's out there. They could choise booze instead but for their own reasons they chose drugs.

I'm not saying decrease the cost by a dollar a pack. That's small change. I'm saying decrease the cost from $500 for a little bit of blow to $5. Smuggling will DISAPPEAR.

It was more like by half actually. It would have to be sold legally for less than the costs of the people selling it illegally.
We are talking about Goverment taxing things, there is smuggling involved today is just avoiding the difference between taxed and untaxed items. Locally, that applies to cigarettes and alhohol, at least that's what gets reported on the news.

I just think it's a very complicated subject and simplistic solutions never give you simplistic results.

I disagree. Simple solutions ALWAYS have simple results, in the long term. I admit there will be short-term chaos. But it will be worth it.

Well, simple could be true, give away drugs like candy and the simple result could be more drug addicts, not necessarily a good result, but simple. You can also kill all babies with birth defects you don't like, or let aids patients die, that would solve the problems of handicapped parking and paying for aids medication, a simple solution as well.

Compton
25th April 2000, 15:49
You can also kill all babies with birth defects you don't like, or let aids patients die, that would solve the problems of handicapped parking and paying for aids medication, a simple solution as well.

sounds good to me

cancer
25th April 2000, 16:06
It seems the ‘drug legalisation question’ is an issue that just about every developed country has a problem with and it isn’t about to go away any time soon…
I guess where drugs are concerned, one must keep the whole thing in perspective. This is incredibly difficult if one is a mother, father, sister, brother, lover & friend alike. Wether we like it or not we are one of these things & to see someone close destroy themselves on these things is soul wrenching. I’m with Himself on this one, life can be a goddamn mess sometimes and escapism is a viable solution to people with little to hope for. One could go as far to say that in a modern day utopia drugs won’t be necessary because everyone’s got their shit together, however I don’t think our lives is going to turn out like a episode of star trek any time soon either…
So here we all are in an imperfect world where drugs are reality. What do we to curb the problem? Do we as a community condemn our fellow man/women because they are shit out of luck? Do we capture them and send them through the courts/prison system where they come out more screwed than when they went in? Do spend tax money and train specialist individuals like police, lawyers, psychologists, psychiatrists, social workers, teachers, prison guards, doctor’s etc to go into damage control mode?
Why throw good money after bad? Why persecute drug users & pushers alike. You punish the user and often the ‘instituted’ solution is worse than the affliction or at least the good that is done is far out weighed by the bad. You punish the pusher/seller/supplier and the price goes up & socioeconomic boundaries come into play.
Enter drug-related crime, users gotta foot the high cost of the end product because their supplier got busted and all their gear was confiscated. So now our ‘shit out luck, out of a local dealer’ user gotta go to his suppliers competitor who has just jacked up the prices because Snow White Harry on the next block is doing five to seven in D bloc. Out outta luck loser user gotta find a way to make up the difference for the gear he hooked on. The only job he can get is minium wage shit shovelling at the local quickie mart because they lost that good money job due to poor performance because their brain is wired on bad speed and their paranoid has hell that everyone is going to get ‘em. Money’s real tight because he’s gotta feed three kids at home and he’s three months overdue on car payments & the two story redbrick house is about to be repossessed by the bank. The market in a constant state of flux due to old suppliers being pruned by the feds and new suppliers moving in to take their place. Demand is high so it a sellers market so the cost hike for poor pleb Phil forced his hand to short change the till at the quickie mart but he gets caught because Abdul installed security cameras last week. Now Phil got a sore arse and a bad case of withdrawal shivers in the local pen but that’s ok because he sees Snow White Harry up to old tricks in D bloc. Phil gets out for good behaviour and has to move to a housing commission. His kids are now local gang bangers and his wife is turning tricks to feed her sadly misaligned kids and feed her own growing drug habit. Phil’s pissed cause he can’t find a job & his wife’s a harlot and his kid’s marks at school suck. The wife OD’s and one of the kids has gone missing and latter found in a dumpster riddled with 7.62mm rounds from an AK. And so the serpent eats it tail.
Granted this is an over exaggerated figment of my imagination but pushing the realms of impossibility it is not. Our society condones cigarettes & booze, which kills more people worldwide than sad story Ods. The only things we are helping in this instance are drug growers, labs, distributors & sellers. They reap from the mistakes of the shortsighted goals of government administrators sensitive to voters fears. Public officials want to hang on to two terms in office so they can qualify for that six-figure pension. Forcing the drug industry underground only makes druglord fat cats rich. With this financial power they corrupt at will to get their product on the market. So why are we helping these pricks? Prohibiting the supply & use of drugs only aids the monopoly of neighbourhood drug stores and doesn’t stop people from getting the ‘goods’. Deregulating the market won’t stop it either but at least the government can recoup some of that dead money poured in ill-conceived schemes to prevent it.
The only problem is it can’t be half-arsed. Giving one state the privilege allows it to rake in money shipping elsewhere.
This is the exact scenario we have observed in Australia. In the state of South Australia people are allowed to grow three plants of marijuana per household (it used to be was ten plants/ personal use only). Which is great, people don’t get busted for bullshit possession and money spent on local crime prevention is better used somewhere else, however there is a big industry in moving the stuff to other states. I know people who have been doing this for years and own their house fully decked out plus two fully owned imported cars and they are in their mid twenties. They aren’t brain surgeons by trade or particularly bright naturally. They have average paid jobs and clean up on good harvests (granted they grow a few more than three plants) tax-free. Sure if you legalise the industry some problems might arise however as time passes and education becomes better on the subject this usage will subside to less problematic numbers. Look at smoking now (in Australia at least) less people are talking it up as the affects are becoming very well known.
I say let the ship sink and get snorkels. I think the saliva is beginning to dry on my chin now, best stop ranting.
Cheers.


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Aopen HX08 full tower case, Asus P3V4X bios 1.03, P!!! FC-PGA 550e @733, 160M pc100 sdram, Matrox G400MAX bios 1.4 PDesk 5.52.015, Seagate 28.5G Ultra ATA66 7200rpm HD, Pioneer 103s DVD 6X/32X drive, SB AWE64 Gold ISA sound card, SMC pci ethernet adaptor, Castlewood Orb 2.2G media drive, Nortel 100 cable modem, Mitsubishi 1995 19in monitor, occasionally use dualhead for dvd on a Sony 80cm Wega TV, MS natural keyboard, MS Intellimouse Explorer,
Win98SE 4.10.2222A, DX7a.



[This message has been edited by cancer (edited 25 April 2000).]

Gurm
25th April 2000, 16:27
I think the thing that the nay-sayers refuse to realise is that PEOPLE WILL ALWAYS DO BAD THINGS.

If you told people it was illegal to use corrugated cardboard as underwear, there would be a group of people, mostly teenagers, who would be walking around feeling clandestinely rebellious with their corrugated cardboard panties.

That's just how it is. You can't change it. There will always be drunks. There will always be stoners. There will always be junkies.

However, it seems a bit illogical that in a country where the people are (in theory... let's not get into actualities) trusted to "run the government" and "elect their leaders", and "make informed decisions"; in this same country, these same people are regarded as too stupid to regulate their own intake of intoxicating substances.

How foolish is that? VERY.

There are so many arguments FOR legalization, and the only arguments I ever hear AGAINST it are:


...But, drugs are BAD. Mmmmkay?

...But, then everyone would be a druggie! And that's BAD - Mmmmkay?

...But if drugs were legal, then ANYONE could get the BAD DRUGS, and that would be BAD - Mmmmkay?

I'm not picking on anyone, I'm just saying that the anti-legalization people need some better arguments. On the pro-legalization side we have positive statistics, and actual cost-benefits to ALL areas of the populace and political establishment.

On their side they say "CRIME WILL GO UP!", where on our side we have countries with proven track records where crime is some of the lowest in the world.

On their side they say "EVERYONE WILL BE AN ABUSER!", and on our side we have the majority of Europe, where children are free to imbibe to excess - but don't.

So, failing all else, they fall back on "BUT DRUGS ARE BAAAAAAAAD". Well, who are they to judge?

- Gurm

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Listen up, you primitive screwheads! See this? This is my BOOMSTICK! Etc. etc.

Rags
25th April 2000, 18:39
In the US, I would like to believe that we have a constitution, a Bill of Rights, and Declaration of Independence that were written with many liberties in mind, one of them being that an adult US citizen has full right over his/her body, and (s)he can do with his/her body whatever they damn well please to. If one wants to mess their brain/body up with drugs, well let it be their problem. You can sit here and argue that the government can't allow us to do everything with our bodies we want, and I agree. I agree that we have an understanding that if one abuses the individual freedoms/well-being of another individual, it should be a crime...PERIOD. Legalization of drugs would be the constitutional thing to do with this philosophy. Why, when all these drug users go out and steal, drive while intoxicated, and neglect their children because of their addiction? Because all of these things are ALREADY illegal. And I believe that these crimes should carry more punishment, but no one will ever convince me that I should not be able to do to my body what I want to do to my body, so long as it doesn't interfere with another's freedom/well-being.

Rags

cancer
25th April 2000, 19:00
i'm not saying there is a moral high ground to preach down from. people are intitled to their opinions etc. i think we need a more common sense approach to the whole issue.
Why are we making a niche for the drug industry to exploit. Legalise it, tax it and control its quality & its output. Finally state its affects on the human body.
Educate educate educate… people who shot up heroin/speed etc were sharing needles, people were having unprotected sex when aids was in its infancy. Suddenly aids hits us, bang everyone’s scared, people start being cautious. People start using sterilised /disposable needles & blokes start wearing dingers.
People are generally not blatantly stupid, careless/foolish yes(exceptions, darwin awards (http://www.compclass.com/~vincent/humor/darwin.html)
& people with extremely low intelligence quotas..same thing is guess). We are human and we have evolved over thousands of years to become a sentient species, however we are still an animal therefore instinct still drives us. Basic animal instinct gives us a strong survival mechanism, despite how shitty things become, we still have the will/pull to live.
Himself, when you mentioned that giving away drugs would cause a heath issue with unborn infants, look what living in a developed country does. We all live in first world/developed counties yes? Living in this society has its own issues. Due to worldwide pollution the sperm count in the average male over the last fifty years has dropped below half it originally was.
I’m getting tired of this subject, we are so blind to a myriad of things going on in our lives but a ‘no tolerance’ to this issue isn’t going to make it go away.
Cheers.



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Aopen HX08 full tower case, Asus P3V4X bios 1.03, P!!! FC-PGA 550e @733, 160M pc100 sdram, Matrox G400MAX bios 1.4 PDesk 5.52.015, Seagate 28.5G Ultra ATA66 7200rpm HD, Pioneer 103s DVD 6X/32X drive, SB AWE64 Gold ISA sound card, SMC pci ethernet adaptor, Castlewood Orb 2.2G media drive, Nortel 100 cable modem, Mitsubishi 1995 19in monitor, occasionally use dualhead for dvd on a Sony 80cm Wega TV, MS natural keyboard, MS Intellimouse Explorer,
Win98SE 4.10.2222A, DX7a.