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Canofceleri

The Big Drug Thread

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Canofceleri

THE BIG DRUG THREAD

 

 

What for? For intelligent, insightful discussion on psychoactive substances, their use and abuse, the laws pertaining to them, and harm reduction. This is a thread where you can ask questions and seek advice on how to make safe choices. Knowledge is power, and with drugs what you don't know might kill you.

 

 

user posted image

 

user posted image

 

 

INTERESTING & HELPFUL LINKS

 

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Psychoactive_substance

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Recreational_drug_use

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Harm_reduction

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Responsible_drug_use

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Overdose

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Toxidrome

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/War_on_drugs

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_Un...rug_prohibition

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/CIA_and_Contr...cking_in_the_US

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nicotine

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alcohol

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stimulants (Caffeine)

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cannabis

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Opioid

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cocaine

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Benzodiazepine

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Inhalants

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anabolic_steroid

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Psychedelics,..._and_deliriants

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mdma

 

http://www.erowid.org/

 

 

 

user posted image

 

 

user posted image

 

 

"The drug war has nothing to do with making communities livable or creating a decent future for black kids. On the contrary, prohibition is directly responsible for the power of crack dealers to terrorize whole neighborhoods. And every cent spent on the cops, investigators, bureaucrats, courts, jails, weapons, and tests required to feed the drug-war machine is a cent not spent on reversing the social policies that have destroyed the cities, nourished racism, and laid the groundwork for crack culture."

-Ellen Willis

 

"A drug is not bad. A drug is a chemical compound. The problem comes in when people who take drugs treat them like a license to behave like an asshole."

-Frank Zappa

 

 

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jimmy.

user posted image

 

I've been reading this book, and I highly recommend it, though it may be on the harder end to procure. It's all about the start of the drug war beginning under Nixon, as a distraction from other issues like the Vietnam War, and the book covers through to the 1990s. The sheer numbers cited in this book, like the 8 or 9-fold increase in the prison population over the span of 30 years, or the amounts thrown at law enforcement compared to treatment, to the absolutely unfathomable amount of racial discrepancies in enforcement are enough alone to buy this book. Not many other books cite these stats or make such a strong, impassioned case against the drug war.

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Canofceleri

American Drug War: The Last White Hope

The War on Drugs has become the longest and most costly war in American history, the question has become, how much more can the country endure?

 

I got a chance to watch this and thought it was the most informative documentary I'd seen on the issue, and I've seen many and know a lot about the subject. It highlighted deftly the motives of the drug war, it produced many "aha!" moments in me when I saw it.

 

One thing is for sure, the drug war isn't for our protection. What purpose does it serve then?

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BrownBear

I know a fair bit about the drug trade and the gangs behind it, not so much about the drugs.

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Katalix

I myself am an avid Marijuana smoker. There are two sides two every story. I live in New York, and the police here will try and snatch you for whatever they can.

 

They will try and say that marijuana is bad, blah blah blah. So far, it has taken no negative tolls on my lifestyle.

 

I have ODD/CD [Oppositional Defiant Disorder/Conduct Disorder], and have been hospitalized for it many times, and put on many medications.

 

The only 'medication' that seems to work for me is *Marijuana*.

It keeps me calm, mellow, and quiet, if only for a little while.

The THC remains in your body for some time, and I can remain in a peaceful state for a week or so after I smoke.

 

Now, I'm not saying that when I get angry I turn into the Hulk or anything, but I do have anger management problems, and *marijuana* seems to keep me cool.

 

 

The only other 'drug' I have tried is cocaine. It too, relaxes me. Which is odd, the 'normal' effect of cocaine is: Anxiety, euphoria, and a wave of energy.

 

Am I addicted? Not really.

 

The only negative affect that has come from both of these 'drugs' is an empty wallet for me! Though, I can survive. It's not like I go out with $100 bills in my hand and buy pounds and pounds of cocaine and marijuana, either.

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Canofceleri

Considering your age and that you've already started smoking weed regularly and experimenting with profoundly habit forming drugs like cocaine, I'd be questioning if complacency was in your interest. It doesn't take much time for a person's drug use to become out of control and once you're there it can prove extremely difficult to pull yourself out.

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leeg1931
I myself am an avid Marijuana smoker. There are two sides two every story. I live in New York, and the police here will try and snatch you for whatever they can...

You sound like Dave Chappelle.

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Robinski

There's a pretty big war on "softer" drugs going on in the UK at the moment. There have been many recent bans on previously legal highs such as methadrone and other such drugs. I've known it for many, many years now but it's still surprising to me just how high up on the danger scale alcohol is when compared to other less-conventional drugs.

 

I've explained to many people how there is a lot less danger in smoking marijuana than in drinking alcohol who'll just flat out ignore me because it's illegal and drugs are bad. Personally, I'm not a user of anything except alcohol (because I tend not to move in those circles, and don't want to deal with the legality) but I'm certainly not against those who can do so responsibly and sensibly. Hell, I'd be really surprised if I went the next few years without engaging in some more illicit substances. Control is the key I reckon, if you know it's becoming a problem it needs to be nipped in the butt before it can really do some damage.

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vinnygorgeous

Its funny to think that about a hundred years ago the British royal family had what are now classified as class A drugs delivered to Balmoral.

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Tom Toole

So like... as always the debate is pre-structured to fit the mainstream debate - when I at least have no interest in repeating a mainstream debate.

 

Has anybody here read Castaneda? Drugs can "open your mind" or make you "sensitive" to certain things - and no drug in particular will do that - and maybe the best one is that one called a "placebo". So like - yeah - why use alcohol? what's the point of cofee? what is the so called crazyness that marijuana supposedly causes? Cocaine and crack cocaine are really so dangerous? How expensive are drugs compared to other forms of entertainment or education?

 

Frankly the graph-porn didn't convince me - but in a way I'm already convinced, and in a way graphs don't mean sh*t.

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Canofceleri

I don't quite understand what you're saying, Tom, your writing is fragmented. Are you on drugs?

 

To engage you on some of your sentences... what's the point of coffee? It's a stimulant and people like how it makes them feel and how it tastes? Cocaine and crack, how dangerous do you think they are? Doing drugs can be an expensive habit, really as expensive as you let it be. There are pills that fetch a dollar a milligram, and some addicts have such a tolerance that they need over a hundred milligrams to get where they want to be (this is severe).

 

Thanks for checking out the graphs.

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shaboobala

The only drugs I really enjoy or find any use for anymore are mushrooms and MDMA. I still drink sometimes and smoke the odd bit of kush though. Mushrooms I like to take pretty much whenever. But for the most part, I take em alone, for "therapy" reasons. They are great for partying too, and taken with MDMA, it can be an unbelievable experience. However, you really have to know how to maintain or things can get "weird". tounge.gif Also, it's not something I do often.

 

I find there is a lot of mis-information on the street about shrooms. I keep hearing people talking about "how it makes your brain swell up" or "bleed" or that you can OD when none of it is true. And yet, people will still eat some shrooms or snort a line of ambiguous white powder for the first time based solely on what a "nigga name Deshawn" told them. Go figure.

 

 

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Canofceleri

Yeah, or shrooms poison your brain, that's a good one. Psilocybin mushrooms are less toxic than aspirin. And for the record, E pills are never "heroin-based". lol

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Tom Toole
I don't quite understand what you're saying, Tom, your writing is fragmented. Are you on drugs?

 

To engage you on some of your sentences... what's the point of coffee? It's a stimulant and people like how it makes them feel and how it tastes? Cocaine and crack, how dangerous do you think they are? Doing drugs can be an expensive habit, really as expensive as you let it be. There are pills that fetch a dollar a milligram, and some addicts have such a tolerance that they need over a hundred milligrams to get where they want to be (this is severe).

 

Thanks for checking out the graphs.

GREAT - the self-declared ruler of the thread doesn't like me and thinks my writing is "fragmented". AND it seems people respect the right to self-declare oneself the ruler of a topic. FINE. I can work with this.

 

No drug is dangerous other than maybe causing death. There is no point to any drug because there is no point to life. Tolerance doesn't exist because drugs are used because people can't tolerate life, not because they can tolerate a lot of drugs.

 

Candarelli - I quite understand what you're saying - you're writing repeats what the media says over and over and over again. Are you on drugs - why does it seem that you think you're being original?

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Canofceleri

Don't have a freak out. If you're a total nihilist why even comment?

 

 

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vinnygorgeous

No drug is dangerous other than maybe causing death, is this an attempt to redefine the English language, cos an activity that may result in death is usually termed dangerous in our language.

I suspect the argument you were looking for is what makes the majority of drugs dangerous is prohibition, heroin for instance is no more harmful to the body than sugar unless of course you allow a bunch of capitalist swine to have free run over preparations, then its likely to be as dangerous as injecting brick dust. It would be cost effective for governments to hand out free heroin to anyone who wants it, it is not only viable it is more sensible than the status quo.

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Saggy
No drug is dangerous other than maybe causing death. There is no point to any drug because there is no point to life. Tolerance doesn't exist because drugs are used because people can't tolerate life, not because they can tolerate a lot of drugs.

What in the hell are you talking about? :confused: I'm not sure if you're talking about tolerance to a chemical or tolerance as in society's disposition on narcotics.

 

@vinny

 

I'm not sure what you're angling at, but there are certain inherent dangers that some drugs present. For example, heroin may be many times safer if done with sterile equpiment and even with trained medical staff on hand (there are clinics in Vancouver, BC doing this right now ) but there are still the inherent risks of infection, clotting, injecint your vein with air, or any other dangers associated with using a drug intravenously. I mean, we don't often pay attention to these dangers beacuse it is thought as something that exists because the drug is illegal, but in all reality the cleanest and most safe precautions still leaves a relatively risky delivery method for heroin. You can paralell some of the health problems with some of the ones people with diabetes encounter which are mostly issues with infection and clotting, but there are dangers.

 

I guess a better example would be inhalant. Most of these inhalants are completley legal, yet it doesn't remove from their inherent dangers i.e. asphyxiation and suffocation. There are a certain number of drugs that even though criminalization exacerbates their risks, will still be dangerous even if fully legal.

 

I think what we have to consider is whether or not they will be safer legal than illegal, and I think they would be. That clinic I mentioned in Vancouver, B.C. allows heroin users to shoot up inside of the building, in front of a mirror so they can see what they're doing, and they have staff on site to help with various things. Now what amazed me about it was while I was watching the show that documented it, a man overdosed right on camera, a woman said, "If this would have happened in the street, he would have been dead," and they revealed there have been over 1000 overdoses in this clinic, and none of them have resulted in fatality, most likely because they were able to receive immediate medical attention. Many of the people that OD go on to a rehab program sponosred by the very clinic.

 

When I think about this, I think that it shows that a different model to treat addiction would be better in getting addicts off of the junk. However, in the same instant, I wonder if that clinic enables some of them to fall even deeper down their hole, use higher doses, with no consequences. In essence, could it be making their "rock bottom" even further down than it was before?

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Tom Toole

 

Don't have a freak out. If you're a total nihilist why even comment?

Why indeed... Why indeed.

 

Redefining the english language? no... dangerous means danger of something - danger of learning for example doesn't seem to exist in GTAForums - at least for some of the people who frequent D&D - maybe nobody can learn nothing and that's a fact of life.

 

But if it isn't - which is the only case in which D&D even matters - if people can learn and can change - then...

 

well...

 

well then let's continue the debate shall we?

 

 

I'm not sure if you're talking about tolerance to a chemical or tolerance as in society's disposition on narcotics.

both are tolerance I guess... why should my comment be only interpretable as one of the two?

 

I read your comments KJB and I commend them.

 

 

I think what we have to consider is whether or not they will be safer legal than illegal
very very nice try to get out of the unoriginal vein that this thread had.

 

 

I wonder if that clinic enables some of them to fall even deeper down their hole, use higher doses, with no consequences. In essence, could it be making their "rock bottom" even further down than it was before?
very very well.

 

The idea of "rock bottom" - why do they even want to reach rock bottom in the first place? why does our society produce people who want to go to rock bottom? (I want to touch bottoms and rock and roll, but not go to rock bottom... hehe)

 

Also - alcohol is a drug - I propose that it be defended that it should be illegalized. In the style of prohibition. What would be the result? - It is not very well accepted in muslim countries - it is against muslim law I believe. And if it is not against the letter of christian law, it is certainly against the spirit of it (to drink spririts hehehe).

 

Does capitalism like having alcoholics on the health-system or does it prefer having them as consumers of software or different types of petroleum-derivatives?

 

What about the economic effect the legalization of cocaine would have on Bolivia, Peru, Colombia, Mexico and whether this would be prejudicial or beneficial to the United States and European economies? The legalization of opium and the effect on countries in the area of vietnam, laos, cambodia, myanmar? The end of war and the effect on the economies of producers of weapons like the USA, Russia...?

 

These are interesting questions to me. Maybe only to me. Maybe, who knows.

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Saggy

 

Don't have a freak out. If you're a total nihilist why even comment?

Why indeed... Why indeed.

 

Redefining the english language? no... dangerous means danger of something - danger of learning for example doesn't seem to exist in GTAForums - at least for some of the people who frequent D&D - maybe nobody can learn nothing and that's a fact of life.

 

But if it isn't - which is the only case in which D&D even matters - if people can learn and can change - then...

 

well...

 

well then let's continue the debate shall we?

 

 

I'm not sure if you're talking about tolerance to a chemical or tolerance as in society's disposition on narcotics.

both are tolerance I guess... why should my comment be only interpretable as one of the two?

 

I read your comments KJB and I commend them.

 

 

I think what we have to consider is whether or not they will be safer legal than illegal
very very nice try to get out of the unoriginal vein that this thread had.

 

 

I wonder if that clinic enables some of them to fall even deeper down their hole, use higher doses, with no consequences. In essence, could it be making their "rock bottom" even further down than it was before?
very very well.

 

The idea of "rock bottom" - why do they even want to reach rock bottom in the first place? why does our society produce people who want to go to rock bottom? (I want to touch bottoms and rock and roll, but not go to rock bottom... hehe)

 

Also - alcohol is a drug - I propose that it be defended that it should be illegalized. In the style of prohibition. What would be the result? - It is not very well accepted in muslim countries - it is against muslim law I believe. And if it is not against the letter of christian law, it is certainly against the spirit of it (to drink spririts hehehe).

 

Does capitalism like having alcoholics on the health-system or does it prefer having them as consumers of software or different types of petroleum-derivatives?

 

What about the economic effect the legalization of cocaine would have on Bolivia, Peru, Colombia, Mexico and whether this would be prejudicial or beneficial to the United States and European economies? The legalization of opium and the effect on countries in the area of vietnam, laos, cambodia, myanmar? The end of war and the effect on the economies of producers of weapons like the USA, Russia...?

 

These are interesting questions to me. Maybe only to me. Maybe, who knows.

No, I find them refreshing ideas given most people's stance on drugs.

 

I want to touch on them out of order though by saying that alcohol prohibition was first initialized in the U.S. for much of the same reasons we still prohibit other drugs, and then we decided to strike down the amendment which criminalize it when it became clear that the majority of the public didn't want it to be prohibited and it was contributing so much to the black market.

 

When I say that most of the public didn't want it prohibited, I don't mean they went and took polls on it or whatever, I mean that society as a whole did so much to skirt the prohibition laws and still consume alcohol that it became obvious it was a law that, "the people do not want". I can never find the actual speech, but Fiorello LaGuardia said something along those lines of, "We cannot enforce a law, that the majority of people do not want, and will not follow."

 

To me I think that situation parallels with the situation marijuana is in today. It's becoming so common that many people are smoking it, there's an actual legal market that exists around it in various merchandise, and now you have the medical community prescribing it as medicine and "medical marijuana". I don't want to dispute the medicinal value of marijuana, but we have to recognize that the medical community in the 1930s also produced "medical whiskey" which undoubtedly did not have the same medicinal values that marijuana did, but nevertheless it does show the same dynamic starting to happen and I wonder if it will lead to the same conclusion that we have to regulate and market it.

 

I believe the government benefits more from the legal sales of alcohol and other markets that develop around it than it is burdened by the cost on health care and crime, and I think to some extent the government actually allows a certain amount of crime to be caused by alcohol in low-income neighborhoods. The idea being that if you force all the liquor stores into this area, that the people will stay in that area and that opens up the rest of the city for development. I mean, it's basically the idea of opening up low-income housing projects, then putting a gun store and a liquor store every two blocks away from it that they talk about in "Boyz in Da Hood" but it actually happens a lot. So in a way, while alcohol may have its cost on health-care and crime, in many ways it's used as its very own mechanism in respect to civic planning. In the end it's simply more cost-effective to mitigate the areas where alcohol has a negative effect than it is to prohibit it, and many suspect it may even have its benefits, such as, making the poor poorer and the rich richer.

 

The interesting question is what happens to the places where the supply and the demand comes from. I think the question of Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia is interesting, because over the last few years most of the world's opium supply has actually been coming from Afghanistan, which has lead to quite a bit of poverty in the other countries where that was one of the only ways people had to make money. In the same respect though, it is the only source of money for the Afghanis as well.

 

What would happen if it instantly became legal or wasn't prohibited? My best prediction is that prices would drop and local production would increase, meaning that these people that were supplying the trade no longer have any demand, but a lot of supply. That makes me think that in those countries where their income rests largely on supplying the U.S. drug consumption, we would see either an explosion of violence and civil strife, or you would see a local drug trade develope. You must remember that there are also many other places in the world that do not allow drugs, so in some respects, instead of being paid $5,000 to smuggle something into America, you may be paid $50,000 to make the riskier trip into Singapore.

 

The question about weapons is also a very interesting one, because while it's not heavily talked about like the black market for drugs is, Mexico and other countries around the world have their problem with guns being imported illegal from the U.S. This is most noticeable in modern times in the Cartel wars emerging in Mexico, because it is such a convenient relationship. Drug cartels ship drugs up here, they need guns, we have lots of them, so we ship them down to Mexico. So what would happen if we were not selling those guns to Mexico? We would either sell more of them locally here, or find some other place to export them to.

 

What I thin is more interesting to think about than any of that though, is what would happen to law enforcement officers trained to enforce drug laws. I mean, what would happen to all of the people employed by the DEA, or state agencies that deal specifically with drug enforcement?

 

Well, I'm not going to speculate on that, we can once again look back in history and see a time that draws a parallel to that. Because after alcohol prohibition ended, we had exactly that situation on our hands: A surplus of law enforcement officers but not enough laws to need that much enforcement. It's many people's belief and mine as well, that about this time that the "powers to be" (Harry J. Anslinger and his uncle in the Treasurey department) decided that was a good thing to capitalize on, and went around the country scaring school teachers and parent associate meetings about "reefer madness" and "Negroes on cocaine". So "coincidentally" cocaine and marijuana were quickly criminalized shortly after alcohol prohibition was struck down.

 

Now there's a bit of history involved in my final conclusion, and that is that the DEA is actually what has evolved from what Harry J. Anslinger created and use to be a part of the treausery department. So in essence, the DEA was created and gave jobs to law enforcement officers. Not necessarily its intent, but that's what happened. When you realize this you realize that, if we were to end drug prohibition and do away with the need for a DEA, then we will be left once again with many law enforcement officers, and a sudden shortage on laws to enforce. In other words, we'd need something else to prohibit.

 

Personally I think it will be the guns. Not that I want to turn this into a debate about gun control, but if the government wanted to find something to replace drugs in every way--something to enforce, something to generate millions on in the black market--then firearms would be it. With the recent ramping up on gun control, it would also be an easy sell to make, and it would even come with its own line of misinformation and scare tactics such as, "Oh, now that the drug dealers don't have a way to make money, they're resorting to violent crime, so we must get the guns off the streets!"

 

 

Anyway, that's my thoughts on that, as inconclusive as they may be, but the thing about "rock bottom". It's not something that anyone wants to reach, it is actually just kind of an idiom that is used to relate to a point everyone has when they've had enough of a certain drug, but the underlying belief is that this point may be different for every person, so it is expressed as "rock bottom". Whereas one person's "rock bottom" may be sucking dick for a fix, the next perons' may be hawking their kids stuff for drugs.

 

What I meant was that many people's "rock bottoms" are the situations that that clinic actively participates in preventing. Such as barely surviving an overdose, or shooting up with bacteria filled substances. I mean, one of the people on the show was relating how, "We use to use anything to shoot up. You see that puddle you're standing in? I'd call that clean for shooting water," and would comment on how something like a tiny bit of oil in it could cause serious problems. So he said, "I stared back at my reflection in this dirty puddle and realized I'd hit rock bottom."

 

The only thing is, now he's sitting in front of a nice clean mirror with sterile saline water shooting up, and his "rock bottom" just got pushed up to a more dangerous level where he's probably going to need to overdose before he realizes he needs to quit. Then, how many overdoses does a person have to go through to hit "rock bottom". If it weren't for this clinic, maybe the first one? Maybe a stay in the hospital, unsure of how many drugs they did, other toxicants from the source they used to mix the drug, infections, etc... All of that stuff that might cause them to hit that "rock bottom" and finally decide they need to quit might actually be taken up to a higher level where in order for them to reach that "rock bottom" stage they've got to have a massive overdose in this clinic.

 

Is that a good or a bad thing? On one hand, you have people using their drugs in a cleaner environment in a way that they can do it safely, but the question is whether that saftey can be abused. They people at the clinic don't regulate how large of a dose a person takes, so what is to stop an addict from going, "Hmm, on the street I could do this tiny bit, but if I drop out here they'll save me so who cares." Problem is that, it necessitates there being an even more severe consequence for this person to consider quitting. Whereas one person may OD, wake up in an alley, thank their lucky stars they're alive and move on, one of these people at the clinic could give themselves a large enough dose to cause brain damage from asphyxiation or screw up their heart rythym... Things that have serious, long-term effects.

 

While it's true that, if they did that same dose on the streets the outcome may be even worse, you eventually have to ask yourself if they would even be doing that if it weren't for the fact that the clinic is enabling them to. In essence, even though the clinic is enabling them to do their drugs safely and without harm, in a way it's also creating a false sense of security which can enable an addict to cause even more harm to themselves.

 

I mean, let's pain this scenario. This clinic doesn't monitor what drugs they bring in, how much they do, or anything like that. So because of this, what happens if a heroin addict decides, "Well, I'm going to shoot my speed up here today," and ODs on amphetamine. Does anyone know that it was amphetamines and not heroin? Will they treat for heroin instead of amphetamine? What kind of complications will that cause? I mean, even when you try to control it in a safe environment, it enables the addict to cause more harm to themselves in a way that is unpredictable.

 

To me I think it is still a better alternative for society because there will be less people dying in the streets, there will be less transmission of HIV or other STDs beacuse they'll be using clean sterile needles, and in a way there may even be less cost on healthcare because the people might not have so many adverse health effects if they're doing it safely. For an example, whether a person develops an infection or not which will drain resources from the health care system, provided a heroin addict probably won't be able to pay for their own healthcare.

 

For the individual addict though, I think there should be a bit more regulation. I mean, they should know how much drugs the person usually shoots up, which drugs they're using, etc. That way if the guy decides, "Hey, I can handle a way bigger dose since they'll take care of me," they'll know how much he did, how much he usually does, etc. That kind of information would make it possible for most of the increased dangers of this to be addressed, but it is tantamount to legalizing it by keeping a watchful eye on the quantities given and everything. The model that the clinic in BC is centered on is more of an amnesty situation where the just give them a clean safe way of shooting up, and then "turn a blind eye" to the rest.

 

To me I think the only clear way of addressing the problem with drugs in an effective way is to either completely prohibit drugs and impose very harsh penalties--which doesn't seem to work 100% for most of the countries that do that. Or you can fully legalize drugs, and deal with the actual problems the drugs cause, instead of treating the drugs themselves as a problem. This would be far more efficient and beneficial, because while you can focus on the one part of society that actually does want to get help and doesn't need to hit "rock bottom" before they stop, you can also provide a safe means for the other people do continue doing so, while keeping others in society safe and even benefiting from the sales of the narcotics to them.

 

In the end I think that there's really no way to prohibit drugs or intoxicants 100%, because people will find a way to become intoxicated with legal substances that aren't prohibited if need be. So then when you try to enforce these "drug laws" what you do is simply create more problems by imposing one particular solution. Now I'm not saying that any other solution wouldn't come with its own set of problems, I personally just believe that the solution to legalize all drugs would put us in a position to be more effective at addressing the problems that solution causes. In other words, if we spend a hundred billion dollars a year to fight a particular drug, but it still makes it into the country and we have millions of addicts, we have now failed our goal and also have a hundred billion less dollars to address the addiction problem. On the other hand, if you m ake a hundred billion dollars on legal drugs, you now have much more money to address the addiction problem. The only catch to that is that your addiction problem may become bigger until you find more effective means at minimizing it.

 

However we just need to ask ourselves: Would it be easier to come up with effective solutions to the problem of addiction if we were focusing on addiction alone, instead of on how to keep the drugs out and then how to address the addicts? Clearly it's not working out very well for us so far.

 

Ultimately it just depends on to what extents we are willing to go to execute which solutions we have chosen. Singapore seems to have an effective plan of deterrence, but the means they use are not favorable to most people in America. However, we can see that our current strategy is leading to over-spending on drug enforcement budgets, prisons filled with non-violent offenders, and a huge loss of money to foreign countries because of the huge price these drugs fetch. I don't think that we could be making money off of them because as the risk of obtaining the drugs goes down so does the price, but we could be minimizing the amount of money we're losing by keeping with an ineffective strategy ( fighting the War on Drugs ), filling up our prisons with non-violent offenders and watching money flow into the hands of foreign drug cartels by the billions.

 

Really though I think it should be obvious to anyone that the DEA is unjust. I don't mean that just because I like to smoke pot either. The DEA has rule on which drugs or legal or illegal when it comes right down to it (The FDA has some say but not enough), they can monopolize the research that is done on various drugs, monopolize the supply of which drugs are available to the medical community, and they are purely a conflict of interest. You cannot have legal drugs and a DEA, and therefore I think it's obvious we should not have a DEA, and it should be even more obvious why the DEA monopolizes research on things like pot to maintain them as a Schedule I narcotic.. Couldn't have anything to do with their multi-billion dollar a year budget to enforce pot laws could it?

 

When it comes right down to it there's even a lot of question of whether the government wants it to stay illegal because they can't make any money off of it otherwise just as it would be for the dealers. Not only would they not recieve funding for it, but you've got to wonder if an agency that basically controls everything there is to do with drugs with no real supvervision is really doing what they're supposed to be doing with the drugs when they seize them. I mean, not to insinuate that the entire DEA is some huge drug campaign, but I think it's very unlikely that there hasn't been at least one or two branches of the DEA that have packaged the sh*t up and sold it on the streets themselves. I mean, who is going to police the friggin' DEA? All they have to do is sell it to some chump drug dealer. Hell they can even raid him and steal it right back.

 

Now it's not that I'm saying the DEA does do this, I'm saying that they can and there really wouldn't be a lot for us to do to stop them. Combine that with the conflict of interest, and in my opinion the biggest opposition to legal drugs you'll see in the U.S. will come from government and not from the people, and that is exactly what we're seeing today when a state of people decides they want medical marijuana, but the federal government comes in and says, "Nope, we said you can't." Everyone wants to focus on the political aspect of that, with state versus federal law and all that mumbo jumbo, but when it comes right down to it the basic dynamic of that situation was: The people said, "We want pot," and the government said no. Very clearly this is not a government for the people or by the people.

 

We need to look at using drugs as behaviors and ask ourselves if they are behaviors that should be criminalized. I think it's one thing to say, "Well, a person that uses this drug doesn't look after their kids so it harms them, so it's a behavior that negatively effects other people," but that is quite ridiculous beacuse then what should we do when a person takes drugs and records a classic musical album or something of that nature? Not feeding your kids and making music are themselves to very separate behaviors that should not be associated with using the drug. I mean, a woman could just as easily spend all of her kid's money on manicures and texting on her cell phone; should press-on nails and cell phones be made illegal? The more people allow themselves to be convinced that these victimless crimes do indeed have victims the more it obscures the fact that using drugs is a personal choice that we as Americans are supposed to be able to exercise freely. That someone tries to convince us that this choice to use drugs makes a victim out of someone else should not make us suspect ignorance or a need for awareness, it should make us suspect an agenda to keep drugs illegal. I'm sure that seems like an obvious thing, but until people start asking, "Why would someone have an agenda to keep drugs illegal?" then the truths of how harmful one drug is, or how addictive another is are never going to become common knowledge. If people just simply accept, "Drugs are bad, drugs cause victims," and don't think about it, drugs remain illegal and certain people benefit from that. For that reason, I believe whatever agenda there is behind keeping drugs illegal has nothing at all to do with the social well being and everything to do with money and whose pockets it rests in.

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Tom Toole

You know - that was a huge post KJB - and too long DID read - if you can believe me... but dang was that long. I was like feeling very lazy when I saw the size of that post.

 

I like what you said about DEA and conflict of interest and so on. I wanted to note that the CIA has allegedly sold drugs and guns to fund itself I think it was called the Iran-Contra scandal. Also I wanted to note that Legal and Illegal is important for some people, not so much for others - a big company that wants to research marijuana - whether montesanto or with another name... It will if it wants to and no law in the world will stop it.

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Canofceleri

Very well thought out post, Sag, as always. Where you were talking about legalizing all drugs having its own set of problems, albeit problems perhaps more manageable, it made me think of something I read on NORML's website awhile back that struck me as a very reasonable argument. The percentage of people in the US who smoke cigarettes has plummeted over the last 40-50 years through mere education and taxation. I don't think I really have to write much more about what NORML's point was.

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Tom Toole

Sag sounds wrong - like calling someone saggy - kindof funny though.

 

NORML?

 

I think it a bit sad that cigarettes are being shut out of business because there's quite a lot of tobacco farmers that really depend on it for survival.

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Tyler

I do believe legalizing Heroine and Cocain(I thought those were the 'Big Drugs" you were talking of) would spark alot of tension, but over time it could effectively reduce the percentage of people using those products (Especially if they tax the f*ck out of them like they do with Cigarettes).

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vinnygorgeous

The war on drugs was just the smokescreen between the war on communism and the war on terror, it had very little to do with the actual drugs themselves. it’s a pretty safe bet that another bogeyman will follow on from Islamic terrorism and the process will continue through the 21st century.

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