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Opinion Anti-Legalization Recreational Drug Users Unite

aemetha

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May 7, 2017
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Do you have a rebuttal or anything of substance to add?
Just what I already posted
I think the US alcohol prohibition period is probably a bad example to make your case given how many people died from drinking bootleg methanol during that period. The social harm from those deaths, which likely would not have occurred without prohibition, alone is astronomical.

 

Skorpio

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Just what I already posted
So, I'm not arguing that prohibition was a net good, just that it net decreased drinking (by 70% at its peak, and this effect dissapated with drinking reaching pre prohibition levels in the 1970).

The high estimate of methanol deaths was the tens of thousands with the conservative estimate being the thousands (from the source you posted). While this is tragic, the population of the US was 117.4 million

I do think the specter of tainted alcohol does map perfectly to the specter of tainted drugs with modern prohibition.

I think the calculus would be:

if (scale of prohibition effect) >
(harm from prohibition) then it works

if (scale of prohibition effect) < (harm from prohibition) then it has failed.

The scale of prohibition effects would be quantified as follows

(percent of population that abstains due to prohibition) * (social benefits of abstainence)

Harms would be harder to measure as things like organized crime, once started will exist even after prohibition ends due to the leadership structures and connections forged due to trafficking the prohibited substance.

For harms like tainted substances or people experiencing loss of quality of life based I feel like you could sum them (as each value represents a number of lives negatively impacted.

So I would define harms as:

(sum of all immediate deaths due to tainted supply/forced abstinence) + (deaths from violence due to trafficking) + (some value that represents the longer term social harms of formation of organized crime)


For what it's worth, I do feel like if tainted substances were the only issue, both drug and alcohol prohibition would be considered a success in terms of reducing social harm.

I am deeply unsure of the balance once the effects of crime are factored in though. My gut says it is likely not worthwhile.

If there are any obvious flaws to this model please do point them out.
 

Burnt Offerings

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Fuck prohibition. I’d rather have the streets flooded with drunks and junkies than give the state the requisite tools and authority to make such dictates “effective”.
 

Xorkoth

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The point of prohibition was to reduce the damage drugs do to society, not to eliminate drugs. It's impossible to say how much or little this has worked without access to the multiverse. You might as well say: people still drive over the speed limit, so clearly speed limits don't work... but wouldn't more people drive dangerously fast if there were no legal consequences? I don't see how anyone can sensibly argue that drug usage is unaffected by legality.

Of course drug use is affected by prohibition. But my point is that I believe the societal harms inflicted through prohibitions, from organized crime, tainted drugs, wildly varying potency in dangerous drugs, and damage to the lives of users through legal punishment is worse than the harm that would result from easier access to pure drugs of known dosage produced through legal means that do not necessitate the formation of violent criminal organizations. At this point it's a harm reduction game and trying to figure out what path forward results in the smallest amount of harm to society and peoples' lives. Would there be people who are exposed to dangerous drugs who would not have been had they remained illegal? Surely, there would be some at least, though I don't buy that suddenly everyone would become drug addicts. That's what they said about legalizing weed, but for the most people people that wanted to try weed already did and legalization just allowed them to acquire it like civilized human beings and not have to risk arrest. I don't know a single person who started smoking weed once it became legal. Because they'd all been doing it since they were 14-18 years old despite weed prohibition. Do tbhose people exist? yeah I'm sure they do, but how many are there? I don't think it's a very large percentage. On the flip side, nobody's buying cartel shit weed anymore. But they're stull buying cartel heroin (fentanyl), cocaine, meth, etc. And look at the situation in central America, shit is insane. People are fleeing by the thousands to sneak into America and we have a border crisis and it's large because of drug prohibition. They're fleeing their kids being press ganged into cartels, people decapitated in the streets, being killed in gang wars, being kidnapped by narcos for random money. That is because of drug prohibition. As is the huge number of accidental overdose deaths from fentanyl contaminated heroin, black market pills, and even sometimes cocaine.

I'm just weighing the pros and cons. I'd rather have it easier for people who want to try drugs, even dangerous ones (which is their right anyway as free individuals), to be able to acquire them, than I would have countless lives destroyed and entire countries brought near to collapse, because of an insistence on prohibition.

Also when I say it isn't working, what I mean is, millions and millions of people are still easily getting and using dangerous drugs, despite decades upon decades of extreme efforts to stop it. In fact it is easier than ever to get drugs. At least in America (which is all I can speak to). To me, that means it's not working.
 

dalpat077

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Oct 14, 2019
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So, I'm not arguing that prohibition was a net good, just that it net decreased drinking (by 70% at its peak, and this effect dissapated with drinking reaching pre prohibition levels in the 1970).

The high estimate of methanol deaths was the tens of thousands with the conservative estimate being the thousands (from the source you posted). While this is tragic, the population of the US was 117.4 million

I do think the specter of tainted alcohol does map perfectly to the specter of tainted drugs with modern prohibition.

I think the calculus would be:

if (scale of prohibition effect) >
(harm from prohibition) then it works

if (scale of prohibition effect) < (harm from prohibition) then it has failed.

The scale of prohibition effects would be quantified as follows

(percent of population that abstains due to prohibition) * (social benefits of abstainence)

Harms would be harder to measure as things like organized crime, once started will exist even after prohibition ends due to the leadership structures and connections forged due to trafficking the prohibited substance.

For harms like tainted substances or people experiencing loss of quality of life based I feel like you could sum them (as each value represents a number of lives negatively impacted.

So I would define harms as:

(sum of all immediate deaths due to tainted supply/forced abstinence) + (deaths from violence due to trafficking) + (some value that represents the longer term social harms of formation of organized crime)


For what it's worth, I do feel like if tainted substances were the only issue, both drug and alcohol prohibition would be considered a success in terms of reducing social harm.

I am deeply unsure of the balance once the effects of crime are factored in though. My gut says it is likely not worthwhile.

If there are any obvious flaws to this model please do point them out.
No offense is meant to anyone by this. But the above post is one of the best I've seen on the topic. And warrants more than a mere "Heart" like. Hence this post.

There's a few things I'd now like to contribute. But I've decided to address them on a post-per-topic basis. Makes it easier to read of course and keeps me from going off at tangents.

For what my contributions are worth of course i.e. it's not outside of the realms of possibilities that I overestimate the importance of my input here! 🤣

Anyway. I shall work my way back in the thread until I reach my first post on this thread.

I suppose it's prudent to note where I stand on this once and for all. Full legalization of psychoactive and habit forming drugs would not be on the cards for me. I do not see it working as intended or hoped. Decriminalization for possession, in whatever form that comes e.g. limited amounts for personal use, I'm onboard. Subject to one or two balancing factors.

So let's see where this goes.
 

dalpat077

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So working backwards and my starter for ten points!

In all of these legalization debates I see many common reasons given for legalization. One of the favorites is that legalization will reduce, or even remove, the criminal element and violence from the business.

Does anybody here really care? And before you answer in a knee jerk fashion ask yourself the below:

By a show of hands (figure of speech i.e. not literally obviously): how many of you have not scored because of this? Knowing full well that a few characters may have met their demise in bringing that stash to within your reach: has that stopped you from scoring? I'm guessing that the answer to this would be a unanimous "no" and that's if I was able to get every single member here to vote honestly (and I mean every single member i.e. currently it's 448 402). So this doesn't fly with me personally.

I mean to say there's reference made to people getting offed in the streets and beheaded and whatever else and the poor Coca farmers (obviously my only frame of reference and that I believe I'm qualified to use as a reference) and so the list goes on. Has that stopped anybody from scoring? Ever?

In addition: as to why this notion even exists is beyond me. I think the criminal element is being VASTLY underestimated. We're not talking about a business, in general, that makes chump change. And the people in charge and at the top are not just going to simply walk away and say oh well: that's it. It's all legal now so we're fucked. May as well retire and go live on our islands and yachts. It's just not going to happen. One way or the other: they will figure a way to stay in business and remain profitable at all and any cost. The Mafia did (in reference to prohibition). All that happened is they changed their business model when prohibition was lifted. Nothing different to what's happened in the Cocaine business after the demise of the likes of Pablo Escobar for instance. I suppose I could bash on at length here but I think my point is made.
 

dalpat077

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Next on the agenda is tainted drugs (and there's an overlap I guess to my previous post on the criminal element involved).

Answer me this question:

There is an oversupply of Cocaine in the world right now. And there is record production both in farming output of Coca Leaf and Cocaine. Yet, and from all of my research, and not to mention that which I read here on the topic on an almost daily basis: the quality and the purity of Cocaine isn't any better. It seems to be getting worse so far as I can tell. Anybody care to offer up an explanation for this? Because something doesn't add up. The only given is the said increase in production. Seizures have not increased dramatically by any means. So something isn't right. Could it simply be that in spite of said record production that the demand has increased so that in spite of said record production there's still not enough to go around? I don't have that answer hence my throwing this open for debate. I have a suspicion though that the greed factor (back to criminal element), on the part of middlemen and street dealers, is playing a role. And I don't see how legalization is going to change that. Obviously I'm just using Cocaine as an example (for the reason given in my previous post). But it's a good example nevertheless.

On the other hand: there's a decrease in Poppy farming and production and output. But Afghanistan has found an alternative. Could this be the reason for Heroin being the most tainted narcotic (with Fentanyl for example)? What would legalization change? It's a question. More Heroin available and of better quality and with no need to cut it? Maybe. But then see above.

And unpalatable as it may be: on a statistical basis how many people actually die, year-on-year, from tainted narcotics? In the bigger scheme of things I mean and as a proportion of the total number of user and addicts. Don't react or respond in knee jerk fashion before you read my next post to follow re: the failure of the so-called war on drugs...

For what it's worth: the above but one of the reasons why I engross myself in these drug reports (to name but one source) that come out from time to time. The data presented therein tells a story particularly when you try and connect up the dots between these reports and the real world.
 

dalpat077

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Next on the agenda: the failure of the so-called war on drugs.

This seems to be a generally accepted notion that the so-called war on drugs is a failure.

Is it REALLY a failure? And this ties back nicely, in my opinion, to @Skorpio's outstanding post and analysis.

Or is it only a failure because users and addicts cannot go down to their local pharmacy and score? Sorry for my being so blunt.

While I realize I have more time on my hands than most: I do indeed spend a lot of time on this and I try to give pro-legalization pundits as well as the various anti-drug organizations and agencies a fair swing at things (as to the extent of my fairness I cannot comment as even I'm not entirely sure if the truth be told).

I put it to you that before making assumptions and simply regurgitating the same old same old notions: research first. And if you still are of the same opinion then so be it.

My point being (and just using the United Stated and the DEA as an example):

You'd be hard pressed to find anybody on these forums that'd support the DEA and its efforts. But how many have actually gone to the trouble to read all of their reports etc. Take some little bit of time one day and dedicate that day to reading what they do and what they actually do accomplish. I think you'd be very surprised to find at just how much shit they actually keep OFF of the streets and out of your lounge e.g. Fentanyl and other harmful, even deadly, substances. And that's just where they've been able to intervene. And sadly: I put it to you that it's probably the tip of the iceberg. But as a direct result of their efforts: how many people do you think are still alive and kicking BECAUSE of their efforts? Some of their Fentanyl (for example) seizures are enough to kill tens of thousands of users and addicts alike. Not to mention fake and tainted pills, criminals and gangs being nailed, the list goes on. Were there no war on drugs and no DEA: that shit WOULD have ended up in a pipe, on a piece of foil, or down somebody's throat in a place near you. So legalize everything, do away with the DEA, and see what happens. Those few thousand that everyone is concerned about will multiply in numbers I assure you.

And of course there is the elephant in the room question and the unknown (or unproven) factor i.e. were there no war on drugs would there be an increase in drug use, abuse, and addiction? And would it eliminate the criminal element and ensure safe supply?

For the record though and before any pulls this card (because it too is, in my opinion, being overblown out of all proportion): the apparent success stories of Italy and Spain. Here I can only postulate and theorize. But are they REALLY success stories? It is true, from what I've read and researched, that there is better treatment available for addicts. And it also true that there are more addicts in rehab. now than ever before. And the numbers in rehab. are on the increase. What is NOT clear and has not been MADE clear: is this because there are more addicts or is it simply due to the fact that these facilities are available and there is less stigmatization in these two countries? And I as postulated on another thread: is it a mere coincidence that Marbella, given its proximity to Spain and Portugal, is a "magnet for gangsters" (link below) or is it simply because of its location in relation to other producers and trafficking routes? The real answer to this question may be interesting (I don't know it) (but if it's got anything to do with my references to Spain and Portugal well then we're right back to the criminal element having being given a gap albeit a small one).

 
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dalpat077

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Moving on. There is a another particular noteworthy post on this thread (quoted below). And please note: ya'll should know me well enough by now to know that I consider ALL contributions valuable. But sometimes something comes up in a post that simply strikes a chord. And I read this particular post when it was posted, wanted to comment, but as noted, figured I'd give this thread room to breathe.

I think you're rather missing the point that many advocates of legalisation make. The point isn't that drugs are good, or that drug use will be lessened by legalisation. The point is that illegalisation doesn't help. The harms of drugs are obvious. Addiction, and accidental death being the most serious and prolific. Making drugs illegal doesn't address those. It doesn't provide for quality control of the substance (fentanyl in the heroin). Also, if you assume that a belief that one can change one's behaviour is an essential element to that change (and you should, because there have been a lot of studies that support it), punishing someone through the criminal justice system is literally doing the opposite of what you need to do to help someone battling addiction. Instead of encouraging someone to self-efficacy, the criminal justice system removes choice and freedom entirely. People offer the trite "you can't help them unless they want to change" up all the time when discussing addiction. Why would anyone want to change when they don't feel like they have the control, the ability to make that change?

So basically, it shouldn't be a question of "Why should we legalise it?" it should be a question of "Is keeping it illegal helping anybody?". Legalisation, while offering support for people when they need it without judgement or repercussions, puts choice and the ability to exercise ones self-efficacy back in the hands of the afflicted.
I've emboldened three very important statements and/or questions (those that captured my interest and had me thinking hard).

Excellent. And as I say: struck a chord with me i.e. I'd never thought about this legalization issue in those terms. So well done to you.

I honestly don't have the answer. Although it's obvious to which side I lean of course. Honest opinion: I don't see legalization being of any benefit. I do see decriminalization being of huge benefit though. As noted: subject to certain terms and conditions (a sort of quid pro quo arrangement between users and addicts and authorities etc. alike) (but I'll get to that statement shortly).

Here now I am merely pondering upon those statements and/or questions for the sake of further thought and debate.

Narcotics (the usual suspects anyway) being illegal doesn't help. I don't know if that's entirely true given my earlier posts of today. Put another way: it may not help. But it may be keeping things from becoming worse no?

Would legalization ensure quality control? I'm not convinced. Especially given what I've posted in my earlier posts and my reasons given.

But now (and in reference to some other posts on this thread) there is a valid argument insofar as EXACTLY what legalization would mean. In one post: it's purported and/or suggested that there should be no government involvement at all and it should be an almost "closed circuit" type of scenario where there is a particular organization (or whatever you want to call it) that would be in charge. And said organization would be responsible for imports, quality control, distribution and sales, and would ENSURE that the proceeds would be plowed back into addiction centers and help for those that have gotten themselves in trouble with addiction.

In THEORY I can see the logic to the above and it could work. But I don't see it happening. Given the amount of money involved: there is no government on the planet that is going to allow that to happen. That aside: it could work IF you make the assumption that there would no NO corruption involved and everything was above board. And in a perfect world: maybe. So let's just assume for a minute that while the theory is great: in practice it's not going to happen.

So let's now make the case that inevitably government IS going to be involved and fulfill the same function. As has been noted on this thread (and something I used to believe in): make it all legal, control it, tax it, and use those proceeds to benefit those in need of treatment when the time comes. A noble concept. But is it going to happen that way? Call me jaded but I don't think so. Think about this. The government is, in essence, the source now. And they're making a killing on the tax and sales and whatever else. Sounds great. But what it's saying in effect is this: the government is supplying and is then going to use those funds to put addicts in five start treatment centers when the need arises. Well here's a question: why isn't this happening anyway? It's not due to lack of funds that's for sure. It's because they don't give a shit and the problem just isn't big enough. Sure: they talk the PC talk (and that I'm going to finish up with). But will they walk the walk with this money? I don't think so. A clear demonstration of this is the homeless. You only have to look at @mr peabody's thread that he expends much time in keeping up-to-date on this issue. Why is it being left to private and well meaning and caring individuals to address the problem? And the same applies here. The number of posts here in just the last year or so (since I've been posting) where there is a waiting list for somebody, who is serious about getting clean, is so long that they cannot get in and inevitably relapse. And of course: no option for private facilities because those are for the rich and famous and well-to-do only. Same as with harm reduction centers. How many of those are as a result of the efforts of well meaning and caring individuals and organizations and how many of them are government funded? This just food for thought i.e. THOSE statistics I do not have and have not found anywhere.

One COULD make the argument that, well, now the government WILL have the funding to provide decent treatment facilities, harm reduction facilities, the list goes on. The question is: in reality will that REALLY happen? Or will that extra money be the FIRST money to be usurped for some or the other pointless purpose? I think my basic point here (and as I said: call me jaded if you like): to think that legalization is going to result in your being able to lay your hands on good and clean drugs and cheap drugs and then, if you end up in trouble, you're going to whisked off to some decent and functioning rehabilitation center, funded by government, at your pleasure, is folly. And not to mention: rinse and repeat at your pleasure.

In closing (this post): there is a post here on this thread that alludes to the fact that all legalization is going accomplish, at least insofar as the financial aspect is concerned, is that big pharma. will be the beneficiaries. I believe that this will be the case. You will end up with big companies being in control of these various substances and making and absolute fortune. And that's where it will end. To put it into perspective (on a less grand scale): can you think of or name ONE alcohol manufacturer or ONE tobacco company that has set up health and treatment facilities for those who have ended up in less than ideal circumstances as a result of their customers using their very own products? I cannot. But as usual: I stand to be corrected. I know I don't know of one here in my country anyway. And the so-called sin tax on these products doesn't go into treatment facilities etc. I can tell you that (although I suppose one could argue that some of said sin tax trickles into public healthcare but that's pretty much fucked here).

Sorry for the long post. Evidently splitting this up isn't working out quite as well as intended! 🤣
 
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dalpat077

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You asked what legalisation with regulation might look like. Here's an example. Imagine a tightly regulated heroin bar. Conditions of operating such a bar would include guaranteeing the purity of the supply, having Narcan and a trained paramedic on staff, having a trained social worker or counselor on staff who is identified to each customer as they come in. First time customers must go through an induction process where their needs in terms of addiction and safety are assessed by the paramedic and counselor. The drug must be used on site and the patient must remain on site for one hour after using. The site could be set up just like a regular bar, with a warm, inviting atmosphere - a place people want to relax in, and where they can have a conversation with the counselor or social worker if they choose to. R18.

Surely such a scenario is an improvement on the current situation?
I'm almost done! I promise! And I'm certainly not picking on you! For better or for worse (for you): you make good statements!

Just a short comment: I'm not QUITE sure what you meant in the part that I've emboldened. And the word "regulation" has been bandied about by a few here on this thread.

Just food for thought: be careful with this (or these) ideas. All I'm trying to get at is this: legalization, but with a whole bunch of regulation and prerequisites and other different now requirements to access, could take you back right to square one. In other words: good ideas. But the last thing that you need is legalization but with a whole bunch of other stuff that excludes wannabe user from being able to participate and that such decision is left to social workers or medical professionals and the rest of them. End result? Somebody who wants to try Heroin is not deemed a suitable candidate for said safe supply etc. And the next logical step? The street. And we're right back where we started from. Or using your example (I realize it was just a hypothesis): what if you're a user or addict but wants to use at home and isn't interested in being confined to certain designated places? But your only source of safe supply is indeed said designated places but they will not sell to you unless the stuff is consumed or used on the premises? Back to the street we go.
 

dalpat077

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After this I'm done. I'm sure many will be pleased to read that statement!

As noted: I spend a lot of time on this shit. And here's what I'm seeing...

There is a lot of talk coming from organizations and governments worldwide on this topic of legalization. A lot of speeches and publications and rhetoric. And I've even gone into proposals made by governments in certain countries and new laws passed or trying to get passed. That type of thing.

The impression I'm getting: legalization (at least when it comes to the usual suspects) is not on the cards. Not anywhere. They can talk and flannel and dress it up any way they like. But at the end of the day and when it comes down to it: all are striving for a drug free world while at the same time having honorable intentions of reducing and eventually eliminating drug addiction and use. Decriminalization for sure is happening slowly but surely. But it's a means to the end and such end being a drug free world and a world free of use and dependence. That's what I'm seeing anyway.

Exactly how the above is to be accomplished: I know not given that said aims, to me, appear to be diametrically opposed to each other. And if not diametrically opposed: at least in conflict with each other.

And that's it my fellow forum members. If you've read all of my shit posted this morning: I thank you. If I'm way off of the mark on any or all: I'm sure I'll be taken to task. Absolute bullshit or no: I hope it at least provides some further talking points on the issue. :)
 

aemetha

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May 7, 2017
Messages
183
Just a short comment: I'm not QUITE sure what you meant in the part that I've emboldened. And the word "regulation" has been bandied about by a few here on this thread.
The paramedic and the counselor, in that scenario, wouldn't require anything other than a bit of information about a persons use. Their role would be to introduce themselves, assess if there were any pre-existing medical conditions of concern that should be noted, advise the individual on harm reduction and safer dosing, and make sure that when and if a person decides they want to quit, they are available for them to talk to, or about any other concerns they might have. Their job isn't to turn anyone away or make the process too difficult. It's just to make the person as safe as possible and empower them to make their own choices about when they want to stop.

In response to your other comments. Please don't take this as being dismissive at all, but isn't that the slippery slope argument? That argument gets trotted out a lot, most often to justify not trying something at all for the first time. That just doesn't wash with me. We're intelligent people who can see the downsides of the tobacco, alcohol and pharmaceutical industries. We're not looking to repeat those mistakes and we're more than capable of putting in place safeguards to ensure they aren't repeated. The issue here isn't a lack of practicality, it's a lack of political will, from both the electorate and their representatives.
 

dalpat077

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Again. Lovely post.

The paramedic and the counselor, in that scenario, wouldn't require anything other than a bit of information about a persons use. Their role would be to introduce themselves, assess if there were any pre-existing medical conditions of concern that should be noted, advise the individual on harm reduction and safer dosing, and make sure that when and if a person decides they want to quit, they are available for them to talk to, or about any other concerns they might have. Their job isn't to turn anyone away or make the process too difficult. It's just to make the person as safe as possible and empower them to make their own choices about when they want to stop.
Noted. As I said: I wasn't QUITE sure what you were getting at is all. But now I am. And I agree.


In response to your other comments. Please don't take this as being dismissive at all, but isn't that the slippery slope argument? That argument gets trotted out a lot, most often to justify not trying something at all for the first time. That just doesn't wash with me. We're intelligent people who can see the downsides of the tobacco, alcohol and pharmaceutical industries. We're not looking to repeat those mistakes and we're more than capable of putting in place safeguards to ensure they aren't repeated. The issue here isn't a lack of practicality, it's a lack of political will, from both the electorate and their representatives.
I never take anything as being dismissive nor do I ever take offense (although sometimes I have to dig deep depending on the source! 🤣 ).

Once again: agreed. That was pretty much the point of one of my earlier points. Why hasn't more ALREADY been done. And I think that's the answer right there.

You know what really fucking got to me the other day (and yeah: I know people will argue with me and say that it's his money and he can do with it what he wants but fuck me what happened to human decency):

That fucking little excuse for a helicopter that they put on Mars the other day and all of the celebrations and glee. I'm listening to this shit on the radio the other day and all I can think of is how many tens of, if not hundreds of, millions of USD it took to get that thing on Mars. Yet on planet earth (in the fucking real world): we have homeless people, people without jobs, addicts in trouble, and we're celebrating that shit?

Sorry. That was a bit of a rant. But it had to come out somewhere and sometime and so it did (obviously). And that's just my fellow countryman Elon Musk (well this is where he was born anyway i.e. just up the drag from me ironically). But it's not just him. There's something really wrong with all of this. And it doesn't, or shouldn't, take the legalization of, let's be honest, harmful and potentially addictive substances to sort these problems out. You know: Warren Buffet is well known for his taking the piss in saying that he pays LESS in taxes than his secretary. And I guess that's why I have no faith in the notion that if said substances were legalized and taxed and whatever else that all of a sudden things would improve and be better for all concerned.

And while I agree with you that we're more than capable of putting in place safeguards etc. etc. etc. Well maybe you and me and some other members of these forums are (go figure). But politicians? I wouldn't be so sure. Something seems to go "tilt" the moment somebody is elected to public office. Exactly why this happens I know not. But seems to be something that just happens as if by magic. Must be that subsonic shit that Russia is accused of putting out there! 🤣

Anyway. I suppose this is all a different argument altogether (or is it).
 

4meSM

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I don't think there's an universal model when it comes to drug policy. I just can't support the (current) prohibitionist model, it's not the kind of world I want, and I also believe it has been and continues to be net negative for humanity.

I think it's undeniable that the prohibitionist policies of the US have had a profound global impact. We probably wouldn't be asking for legalization if things had been done differently.
Many decades have passed so what are the results?
For starters: drug use is still very prevalent despite being taboo, there's now a huge selection to choose from, overdose deaths have risen and continue to do so, many jails are full of non-violent drug offenders, the trade is controlled by violent criminal organizations operating on a global scale, the fact that drugs are illegal&taboo makes them difficult to study, etc...

Another thing to keep in mind is that some countries and/or communities have paid a higher price, one could argue that the most developed ones have been relatively spared, besides overdoses and other public health issues (which are still a pretty big deal). Yet many producing/transit countries have had tens of thousands of casualties that are directly related to the war on drugs, and that's in addition to all the other issues.

We humans have been using drugs for millennia and there has always been a small percentage of users who become badly addicted (though addictive behavior is much bigger than drug use).
People often focus on the bad sides of recreational drugs, yet we tend to forget that many of them have led us to many great scientific discoveries. I don't think anyone would enjoy having surgery without anesthetics, painkillers and sadatives.
What if no one had ever been allowed to explore and study morphine, cocaine, cannabis and many others? Maybe we should have arrested Sigmund Freud for being a bit too enthusiastic about cocaine.
How many drugs have been made illegal over the last 10-20 years ? I don't have the numbers but I know it's A LOT, more than ever before. We're stuck in a prohibitionist mindset where psychoactivity is a good enough reason to outlaw and often demonize any substance... That's not science or logic, it's ideology.

The war has caused the price of illegal drugs to skyrocket compared to what it was before, thus making it an attractive business for criminal organizations. It has created an extremely competitive underground market where only the strongest and most intelligent/resourceful criminals survive.
Is that the right way to go about it?
 
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dalpat077

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I don't think there's an universal model when it comes to drug policy. I just can't support the (current) prohibitionist model, it's not the kind of world I want, and I also believe it has been and continues to be net negative for humanity.

I think it's undeniable that the prohibitionist policies of the US have had a profound global impact. We probably wouldn't be asking for legalization if things had been done differently.
Many decades have passed so what are the results?
For starters: drug use is still very prevalent despite being taboo, there's now a huge selection to choose from, overdose deaths have risen and continue to do so, many jails are full of non-violent drug offenders, the trade is controlled by violent criminal organizations operating on a global scale, the fact that drugs are illegal&taboo makes them difficult to study, etc...

Another thing to keep in mind is that some countries and/or communities have paid a higher price, one could argue that the most developed ones have been relatively spared, besides overdoses and other public health issues (which are still a pretty big deal). Yet many producing/transit countries have had tens of thousands of casualties that are directly related to the war on drugs, and that's in addition to all the other issues.

We humans have been using drugs for millennia and there has always been a small percentage of users who become badly addicted (though addictive behavior is much bigger than drug use).
People often focus on the bad sides of recreational drugs, yet we tend to forget that many of them have led us to many great scientific discoveries. I don't think anyone would enjoy having surgery without anesthetics, painkillers and sadatives.
What if no one had ever been allowed to explore and study morphine, cocaine, cannabis and many others? Maybe we should have arrested Sigmund Freud for being a bit too enthusiastic about cocaine.
How many drugs have been made illegal over the last 10-20 years ? I don't have the numbers but I know it's A LOT, more than ever before. We're stuck in a prohibitionist mindset where psychoactivity is a good enough reason to outlaw and often demonize any substance... That's not science or logic, it's ideology.

The war has caused the price of illegal drugs to skyrocket compared to what it was before, thus making it an attractive business for criminal organizations. It has created an extremely competitive underground market where only the strongest and most intelligent/resourceful criminals survive.
Is that the right way to go about it?
Well to be sure: another great and insightful post.

And for better or for worse and in spite of my own arguments made: not much I could disagree with either (seeing it from a different angle yet again).

Interesting that you mention the scientific side of things. Here's some food for thought and debate though (nothing more than that so all hold your fire if responding):

You know that most of these substances were legal at one stage of their careers of course. So the question that comes to mind: why was it deemed necessary to make them illegal substances (or at very least scheduling them to make them almost totally inaccessible legally to Joe Public), eventually, in the first place? I cannot see this as being done just to create employment opportunities in law enforcement.

Mind you and as a counter argument: why was alcohol not banned outright and forever.

And then in just thinking: why is weed, all of a sudden, being cut some slack?

Could it be that both of the above markets just grew to biblical proportions and to a point where it was just totally impossible to keep the lid on any longer (due to many factors not least of which is the relative ease of production)?

If the above be the case: well the answer is pretty obvious as to how you go about ensuring the legalization of something!

Moving slightly away from the above but something I ponder upon often enough:

I hope that whatever happens that those that are behind all of the pro-legalization organizations and the like are people with experience in these matters and have a deep understanding of them and of behavior and of addiction patterns etc. And by that I don't mean something that they've just studied and have a PhD in and that's the sole source of their knowledge and their motivation. Hopefully they have both (type of thing) is my point. There's been many discussions on all of this in just the short time I've been around here. And it's pretty evident to me that this isn't the easiest or most straightforward of issues to address and resolve. And the theory and the practice may be two very different things.
 

alasdairm

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it (marijuana specifically) was made illegal in the 1930s during an influx of mexican immigrants in the aftermath of the mexican revolution.

but illegalization as we know it happened in the 1970s when pot was placed in schedule i ("no currently accepted medical use and a high potential for abuse.")

in 1972 the schafer commission report (appointed by then president richard nixon) recommended the decriminalization of marijuana possession but nixon ignored the recommendation of the commission.

alasdair
 
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