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Post Reply Should we legalize all drugs
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Posted 2/17/16 , edited 2/17/16
Anything that is physiologically harmless would be an obvious yes. No one with the slightest understanding of the pharmacology of cannabis, LSD, DMT, psilocybin mushrooms, or MDMA (to name the more widely-used ones) would argue that the prohibition of these makes a shred of sense, especially given that most of these have demonstrated medical uses in addition to causing no damage. Plus, none of them have any association with gang culture, aside from cannabis to some extent* (much less of an extent, be it said, than is often imagined by sheltered types clinging to their D.A.R.E.-inspired horror stories). These facts lie at the root of the distinction between "hard" and "soft" drugs in the policy-parlance of certain European states when it comes to prohibition laws.
*EDIT: Actually, MDMA to a small extent as well, I guess, in a select few places.

"Hard" drugs — heroin, methamphetamine, and cocaine being the three most discussed — are a bit trickier. Physiologically, there are sound arguments to be made about why these things ought to be kept away from humans, but the arguments come off as a bit insincere in a society where daily use of alcohol and commercial-grade tobacco is considered totally acceptable.

I'd say there's no good reason I can see why meth ever ought to be legalized. It is the only one of the three hard drugs mentioned in the paragraph above which is unequivocally more harmful than alcohol. Frankly, if the War on Drugs generally came to an end tomorrow, it's extremely unlikely that anyone would be still want to be cooking/using it a generation down the line, anyway, and there are no real advantages that using it seems to provide.

Cocaine is far less dangerous than most imagine, although there's definitely a gradient from "Coca plant = obviously should be legal"; to "Cocaine-as-isolated-chemical = eh, fine, I guess, as long as you're not a total retard"; to "Crack cocaine = nah, I don't think so". Cocaine was openly used as a lecture-room stimulant by university professors until just a century or so ago, you can't really make the argument that it's impossible or even difficult to use it responsibly. It has much less potential for addiction than nicotine, and much less potential to lead to decadent behavior than alcohol. But the low LD50 on cocaine (at least relative to the way it's usually taken by people) raises some issues. Contrary to what they tell you growing up, there are a fairly small number of people who've ever unintentionally overdosed on cocaine, virtually all such deaths are deliberate suicides (this sentence applies equally to heroin). But I can definitely see it as "an easy way out" for someone in a suicidal state of mind who may otherwise not have done it (heroin having rather more potential to be misused in this way). Not sure how you'd go about precisely assessing that risk, but overall, I see no reason why it should remain illegal, especially considering how much its prohibition has fucked up whole states in South America.

Heroin honestly would be of less concern if it wasn't for that gross needle-sharing shit those people do. Seems to have more physical addiction potential than nicotine, but not by very much. Kind of weird, although typical of the historical behavior of pharmaceutical companies, that heroin was actually first manufactured and sold as a cure for morphine addiction. There are now far more dangerous drugs (dangerous in the sense of low LD50) in the same class (opiates) which are given out as prescriptions (and, therefore, wind up all over the streets anyway), so again, if wasn't for the unhygienic way that heroin's used, there would probably be no real argument for its illegality. There's little doubt that the prohibition of it does more harm than good, but legalizing this one would probably have to come with some pretty realistic plans for widespread rehabilitation programs, in ways that would cut use of it down to an utter minimum in a generation. Also not sure that corporate manufacture and sale should be sanctioned; let them sell opium, and eventually people will start using that instead with far less problems. Just more "legalizing" it to the point of not throwing people in jail for possessing it would be preferred.
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Von_Goethe wrote:

Anything that is physiologically harmless would be an obvious yes. No one with the slightest understanding of the pharmacology of cannabis, LSD, DMT, psilocybin mushrooms, or MDMA (to name the more widely-used ones) would argue that the prohibition of these makes a shred of sense, especially given that most of these have demonstrated medical uses in addition to causing no damage. Plus, none of them have any association with gang culture, aside from cannabis to some extent* (much less of an extent, be it said, than is often imagined by sheltered types clinging to their D.A.R.E.-inspired horror stories). These facts lie at the root of the distinction between "hard" and "soft" drugs in the policy-parlance of certain European states when it comes to prohibition laws.
*EDIT: Actually, MDMA to a small extent as well, I guess, in a select few places.

"Hard" drugs — heroin, methamphetamine, and cocaine being the three most discussed — are a bit trickier. Physiologically, there are sound arguments to be made about why these things ought to be kept away from humans, but the arguments come off as a bit insincere in a society where daily use of alcohol and commercial-grade tobacco is considered totally acceptable.

I'd say there's no good reason I can see why meth ever ought to be legalized. It is the only one of the three hard drugs mentioned in the paragraph above which is unequivocally more harmful than alcohol. Frankly, if the War on Drugs generally came to an end tomorrow, it's extremely unlikely that anyone would be still want to be cooking/using it a generation down the line, anyway, and there are no real advantages that using it seems to provide.

Cocaine is far less dangerous than most imagine, although there's definitely a gradient from "Coca plant = obviously should be legal"; to "Cocaine-as-isolated-chemical = eh, fine, I guess, as long as you're not a total retard"; to "Crack cocaine = nah, I don't think so". Cocaine was openly used as a lecture-room stimulant by university professors until just a century or so ago, you can't really make the argument that it's impossible or even difficult to use it responsibly. It has much less potential for addiction than nicotine, and much less potential to lead to decadent behavior than alcohol. But the low LD50 on cocaine (at least relative to the way it's usually taken by people) raises some issues. Contrary to what they tell you growing up, there are a fairly small number of people who've ever unintentionally overdosed on cocaine, virtually all such deaths are deliberate suicides (this sentence applies equally to heroin). But I can definitely see it as "an easy way out" for someone in a suicidal state of mind who may otherwise not have done it (heroin having rather more potential to be misused in this way). Not sure how you'd go about precisely assessing that risk, but overall, I see no reason why it should remain illegal, especially considering how much its prohibition has fucked up whole states in South America.

Heroin honestly would be of less concern if it wasn't for that gross needle-sharing shit those people do. Seems to have more physical addiction potential than nicotine, but not by very much. Kind of weird, although typical of the historical behavior of pharmaceutical companies, that heroin was actually first manufactured and sold as a cure for morphine addiction. There are now far more dangerous drugs (dangerous in the sense of low LD50) in the same class (opiates) which are given out as prescriptions (and, therefore, wind up all over the streets anyway), so again, if wasn't for the unhygienic way that heroin's used, there would probably be no real argument for its illegality. There's little doubt that the prohibition of it does more harm than good, but legalizing this one would probably have to come with some pretty realistic plans for widespread rehabilitation programs, in ways that would cut use of it down to an utter minimum in a generation. Also not sure that corporate manufacture and sale should be sanctioned; let them sell opium, and eventually people will start using that instead with far less problems. Just more "legalizing" it to the point of not throwing people in jail for possessing it would be preferred.


As for heroin I think we can use the Netherlands example of having the government make it but having those places in isolated events where addicts only shoot up heroin in said buildings where normal people won't be invited to do drugs and the addicts won't have to steal in order to feed their addiction.
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reminds me of the seiyuu who got jailed for drugs
Ejanss 
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Posted 2/17/16 , edited 2/17/16

PapaGregory wrote:


Ejanss wrote:
Just goes to show ya, you can usually tell a legalizationist by his utter and complete misunderstanding of why Prohibition happened and why it was ended.
They usually get as far as "There were too many gangsters, so we gave up!", and leave it at that. Errrrmmm...............not quite.


Okay I have no idea what you quoted from me so I don't know what you are talking about in the first paragraph, also while gangsters weren't the only factor they were still a huge problem and I like how you didn't give an answer why the Prohibition was uplifted.


Well, I thought it would have been pointless, because you were determined to have a stubborn answer for everything, if anyone else even suggested it was wrong.

So, for everyone else's benefit, and for whatever folly of futility it's worth, here's your amusement: Prohibition ended because regular mainstream people VOTED it out.
Drinking, even "responsibly" as the ads say, had support among mainstream lower and middle class people who just wanted a beer after work, and with the rich politicians who wanted their champagne in public again. The drunks themselves didn't do much voting.

Prohibition wasn't started to "get rid of liquor", the main rhetoric being thrown about was to rid our fair cities of the source of where you could get it--The corner den-of-sin Saloon. Beer wasn't in bottles until the early 20th century, so if you just wanted one 5 o'clock brewski after a days' work in the factory in 1890, you had to get a stein slid down the rail by your local tapster. And, of course, once you wandered into Happy Hour, it was that much more difficult to leave it. Saloons were predominantly a "guy" thing before women's rights, and most local old-boys' business in a small town or a city block would find its way there.
(Which was the source of much turn-of-the-century melodrama--Think of 1900's Snidely-Whiplash melodrama, and you think of "The Drunkard", which itself was produced as an anti-saloon propaganda piece by the temperance supporters.)
Prohibition took too sweeping a solution, attacked the supply rather than the source, it turned average citizens into "scofflaws" if they wanted to indulge themselves anyway, the message of why it was prohibited got lost among the frustration of trying to get it, and like drugs, ended up selling the message not that liquor was bad, but that it was bad to get caught.

Which is the big stumbling block for legalizationists: YOU DON'T HAVE A MAJORITY to make it seem "normal" to the average mainstream. You don't have nice suburban middle-class heroin users frustrated that they can't get a simple supply like they used to, and you don't see rich lawmakers trading secret tips for where to find the best Acapulco Gold.
Not to mince words, but in conventional wisdom, you're the freaks.
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Posted 2/17/16 , edited 2/17/16

Ejanss wrote:


PapaGregory wrote:


Ejanss wrote:
Just goes to show ya, you can usually tell a legalizationist by his utter and complete misunderstanding of why Prohibition happened and why it was ended.
They usually get as far as "There were too many gangsters, so we gave up!", and leave it at that. Errrrmmm...............not quite.


Okay I have no idea what you quoted from me so I don't know what you are talking about in the first paragraph, also while gangsters weren't the only factor they were still a huge problem and I like how you didn't give an answer why the Prohibition was uplifted.


Well, I thought it would have been pointless, because you were determined to have a stubborn answer for everything, if anyone else even suggested it was wrong.

So, for everyone else's benefit, and for whatever folly of futility it's worth, here's your amusement: Prohibition ended because regular mainstream people VOTED it out.
Drinking, even "responsibly" as the ads say, had support among mainstream lower and middle class people who just wanted a beer after work, and with the rich politicians who wanted their champagne in public again. The drunks themselves didn't do much voting.

Prohibition wasn't started to "get rid of liquor", the main rhetoric being thrown about was to rid our fair cities of the source of where you could get it--The corner den-of-sin Saloon. Beer wasn't in bottles until the early 20th century, so if you just wanted one 5 o'clock brewski after a days' work in the factory in 1890, you had to get a stein slid down the rail by your local tapster. And, of course, once you wandered into Happy Hour, it was that much more difficult to leave it. Saloons were predominantly a "guy" thing before women's rights, and most local old-boys' business in a small town or a city block would find its way there.
(Which was the source of much turn-of-the-century melodrama--Think of 1900's melodrama, and you think of "The Drunkard", which itself was produced as an anti-saloon propaganda piece by the temperance supporters.)
Prohibition took too sweeping a solution, attacked the supply rather than the source, it turned average citizens into "scofflaws" if they wanted to indulge themselves anyway, the message of why it was prohibited got lost among the frustration of trying to get it, and like drugs, ended up selling the message not that liquor was bad, but that it was bad to get caught.

Which is the big stumbling block for legalizationists: YOU DON'T HAVE A MAJORITY to make it seem "normal" to the average mainstream. You don't have nice suburban middle-class heroin users frustrated that they can't get a simple supply like they used to, and you don't see rich lawmakers trading secret tips for where to find the best Acapulco Gold.
Not to mince words, but in conventional wisdom, you're the freaks.



Actually there is a herion epidemic thats sweeping middle class America.
http://www.nytimes.com/2015/10/31/us/heroin-war-on-drugs-parents.html

Also I'm a freak because my opinion isn't mainstream like are you high.
Ejanss 
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Posted 2/17/16 , edited 2/17/16

PapaGregory wrote:


Ejanss wrote:
Prohibition took too sweeping a solution, attacked the supply rather than the source, it turned average citizens into "scofflaws" if they wanted to indulge themselves anyway, the message of why it was prohibited got lost among the frustration of trying to get it, and like drugs, ended up selling the message not that liquor was bad, but that it was bad to get caught.

Which is the big stumbling block for legalizationists: YOU DON'T HAVE A MAJORITY to make it seem "normal" to the average mainstream. You don't have nice suburban middle-class heroin users frustrated that they can't get a simple supply like they used to, and you don't see rich lawmakers trading secret tips for where to find the best Acapulco Gold.
Not to mince words, but in conventional wisdom, you're the freaks.



Actually there is a herion epidemic thats sweeping middle class America.
http://www.nytimes.com/2015/10/31/us/heroin-war-on-drugs-parents.html


And here's the point you just stumbled into: It's not seen as a GOOD thing.
We don't have the nudge-nudge-wink-wink assumption that we had during Prohibition that everyone was secretly carrying a whiskey flask or had a bottle hidden in their bookcase, and to quickly hide it when the meddling local cop happened to see you.
If the news gets out you're doing heroin, your social life is over, and indeed, much of the rest of it is on its way. Nobody's nudging you in the ribs, "Hey, doesn't everybody?" Why no, as a matter of fact, they don't.

Guess that's the problem with wishful comparisons, ain't it?....Oh, look, folks, our friend's got another stubborn response already!:
Posted 2/17/16
I believe we should electronically finger print and track everyone if we're going to legalize all drugs. Then the world will be a better place again!
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Von_Goethe wrote:

Anything that is physiologically harmless would be an obvious yes. No one with the slightest understanding of the pharmacology of cannabis, LSD, DMT, psilocybin mushrooms, or MDMA (to name the more widely-used ones) would argue that the prohibition of these makes a shred of sense, especially given that most of these have demonstrated medical uses in addition to causing no damage.


You're not wrong to point to things like LSD and THC as relatively "safe" substances. Their therapeutic indices are quite high, and honestly if I had to pick a poster child for "least dangerous drug of all" LSD would be a strong contender. Certainly THC and CBD have no business being in the highest restriction category for drugs from a pharmacological standpoint, and excessive restrictions on THC and CBD are ultimately particularly troublesome for cannabinoid research. Looking at recreational use of marijuana, there are few concerns that I'd point to as being particularly attention-grabbing. At least not to the extent that the substance shouldn't be available for recreational use at all.

That's not to say there aren't any things people should stay aware of when considering using marijuana recreationally, however, as there is evidence that suggests marijuana use is a risk factor in populations vulnerable to schizophrenia and people with heart conditions. Anywhere marijuana was available for recreational use I'd want sensible, informative warnings (possibly on package labels) about those issues. There are also indications that marijuana use negatively impacts neurodevelopment, so a minimum age of purchase/use would need to be put into place. Still, by and large recreational marijuana use is fairly benign, and in the US it's so culturally significant and pervasive that I'd even risk comparing it to alcohol and say that its legalisation nationwide is an inevitability.


Plus, none of them have any association with gang culture, aside from cannabis to some extent* (much less of an extent, be it said, than is often imagined by sheltered types clinging to their D.A.R.E.-inspired horror stories). These facts lie at the root of the distinction between "hard" and "soft" drugs in the policy-parlance of certain European states when it comes to prohibition laws.
*EDIT: Actually, MDMA to a small extent as well, I guess, in a select few places.


Even if the criminal syndicate angle is completely ignored there are reasons to push against drugs being sold in black market transactions. At the very least if things like marijuana and MDMA should be made available for recreational use, therapeutic use, or both will be coming from regulated and accountable sources and provided in packaging that reliably reports dosing information, contents, and information about potential contraindications and drug interactions. When you buy things off the street you have no idea under what conditions the product was made, what the contents of the tablets, cigarettes, powders, or gels you're consuming really are, and so on.

Of course, that sort of reasoning can quickly become deceptive in a very bad way. MDMA, despite having potential value as a therapeutic substance for patients with autism and a nice therapeutic index, has a pretty nasty side effect profile. The intense increase in thirst is an object of potential concern, but the big one is the drug's potential effects on the cardiovascular system. Even drugs manufactured and distributed by legitimate, vetted sellers who are held to product quality and safety standards still carry risks.

At the end of the day it's a balancing act that depends on the substance, I think.


"Hard" drugs — heroin, methamphetamine, and cocaine being the three most discussed — are a bit trickier. Physiologically, there are sound arguments to be made about why these things ought to be kept away from humans, but the arguments come off as a bit insincere in a society where daily use of alcohol and commercial-grade tobacco is considered totally acceptable.


That's technically true, but I'm loathe to appeal to the danger of alcohol consumption as a reason to explain why other substances should be legally available for recreational use. Alcohol is, from a clinical perspective, an extraordinarily dangerous drug that would never pass muster in drug testing today, that's definitely true. Alcohol's therapeutic index is among the lowest I've ever seen, it has horrendous long-term effects on the liver with chronic, heavy use, and it has a terrible record for abuse potential while offering only very limited therapeutic value (it has some anxiolytic effects and facilitates social interaction). Still, the reason alcohol is commercially available in the US despite being so dangerous is that it (like marijuana and tobacco) is culturally significant and pervasively used. It's not as much that alcohol shouldn't be banned as it is that alcohol cannot be banned. That's true for much of the world, really, but this is a US-based site so I'm focused on a US perspective.


I'd say there's no good reason I can see why meth ever ought to be legalized. It is the only one of the three hard drugs mentioned in the paragraph above which is unequivocally more harmful than alcohol. Frankly, if the War on Drugs generally came to an end tomorrow, it's extremely unlikely that anyone would be still want to be cooking/using it a generation down the line, anyway, and there are no real advantages that using it seems to provide.


The principal benefit of methamphetamine is that the components for its manufacture are relatively inexpensive and widely available, and there's also that the process for its synthesis isn't particularly complicated even if it is dangerous outside proper laboratory conditions. Of course, as you've noted there is a laundry list of problems with methamphetamine. It damages dental health, accelerates aging, and causes sores. The big one that I tend to point to when discussing the deleterious effects of methamphetamine, however, is that chronic use thereof can result in development of a schizophrenia-like syndrome complete with psychotic symptoms. It's just a terrible drug that wreaks havoc on its consumers. I'd never support its availability for recreational use, and even the medical uses it was once put to (particularly for weight loss) now have infinitely superior alternatives.


Cocaine is far less dangerous than most imagine, although there's definitely a gradient from "Coca plant = obviously should be legal"; to "Cocaine-as-isolated-chemical = eh, fine, I guess, as long as you're not a total retard"; to "Crack cocaine = nah, I don't think so". Cocaine was openly used as a lecture-room stimulant by university professors until just a century or so ago, you can't really make the argument that it's impossible or even difficult to use it responsibly. It has much less potential for addiction than nicotine, and much less potential to lead to decadent behavior than alcohol. But the low LD50 on cocaine (at least relative to the way it's usually taken by people) raises some issues. Contrary to what they tell you growing up, there are a fairly small number of people who've ever unintentionally overdosed on cocaine, virtually all such deaths are deliberate suicides (this sentence applies equally to heroin). But I can definitely see it as "an easy way out" for someone in a suicidal state of mind who may otherwise not have done it (heroin having rather more potential to be misused in this way). Not sure how you'd go about precisely assessing that risk, but overall, I see no reason why it should remain illegal, especially considering how much its prohibition has fucked up whole states in South America.


The big problems with cocaine that come to my mind right away are that it is an astoundingly rewarding substance, so I'm not fully convinced its abuse potential is quite as low as you're estimating. The limitation to cocaine spreading as a major drug of abuse is that it's bloody expensive, which is why people turn to crack cocaine to begin with. I also worry about damage to the septum and the potential impact on the portion of the population suffering from bipolar disorder. It would be a terrible thing to see people in manic episodes suddenly able to get their hands on a substance that will make them even more easily agitated, but then again they go for it anyway and we're back to whether one wants them to get it from a regulated or unregulated vendor.

I'm just not sold on cocaine being available for recreational use, though the point about South America strikes me as a particularly salient one.


Heroin honestly would be of less concern if it wasn't for that gross needle-sharing shit those people do. Seems to have more physical addiction potential than nicotine, but not by very much. Kind of weird, although typical of the historical behavior of pharmaceutical companies, that heroin was actually first manufactured and sold as a cure for morphine addiction. There are now far more dangerous drugs (dangerous in the sense of low LD50) in the same class (opiates) which are given out as prescriptions (and, therefore, wind up all over the streets anyway), so again, if wasn't for the unhygienic way that heroin's used, there would probably be no real argument for its illegality. There's little doubt that the prohibition of it does more harm than good, but legalizing this one would probably have to come with some pretty realistic plans for widespread rehabilitation programs, in ways that would cut use of it down to an utter minimum in a generation. Also not sure that corporate manufacture and sale should be sanctioned; let them sell opium, and eventually people will start using that instead with far less problems. Just more "legalizing" it to the point of not throwing people in jail for possessing it would be preferred.


The trouble with opioids (which you rightly note that heroin is) is that when they're abused they're administered intravenously. It's true that needle-sharing is a problem, but that's not really the big problem with intravenous administration. The big one is that administering a drug by injection straight into the bloodstream is pretty much a point of no return sort of prospect. Instead of giving yourself time to correct if your dosing is off you're already within minutes of the substance reaching the blood brain barrier, so you better not have screwed up. Unfortunately, when people have been off of opioids for a while and are in withdrawal they forego the ritualistic manner in which they typically administer the drug once they get their hands on it and try to do things quickly, which is why you find a lot of people dead from respiratory depression. Add in that most people abusing opioids to get high don't have the proper training to measure doses and safely administer drugs intravenously and the reasons for not making opioids available for recreational use become a lot clearer. They have enormous abuse potential and are extremely dangerous if misused.

Medicinally, though, they're a double-edged sword. On the one hand, there's still that abuse potential and the risk of overdose. Legitimately manufactured and distributed opioids are actually an enormous public health issue in the United States right now, and the clinical community has had to respond to what can only be described as a crisis of prescription opioid misuse/overdose. On the other hand, there simply is no superior class of painkiller in our arsenal. They're the strongest weapon against pain we (the big "we", humanity) have, so medicinally they're invaluable.

All told, yours was a very nice post.
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Posted 2/17/16
There is an old saying that in a perfect society all drugs would be legalised and in the perfect society no-one would want them.
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Posted 2/17/16
If we legalize drugs we would get more use/abuse ...so no; if we institute the death penalty for all drug related crimes, I might consider it.
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Posted 2/18/16
No.
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The Devils Lettuce..... i too hate Cabages
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Posted 2/18/16
I say legalize it all, but over a span of 15 or so years so theres not just a huge change to the every day life just move each drugs classifications on a legal scale down a level every 6ish years to have the general population be able to adjust to the change. Drug fiends will be drug fiends regardless of the laws keep drug awareness programs and I ultimately think that day to day life wont even see a difference. Well obviously doing drugs in public should still be illegal
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