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Old 03-01-2007, 11:22 PM   #76
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But that's just it: these items had much lower levels of acceptance and were nowhere near as mainstream as alcohol and tobacco have been. Also, the production of alcohol and smoking of various plants goes back much further in just about every culture, whereas the production of opiates, coacaine and chemical drugs as used today are relatively modern. They drank mead in Beowulf and beer and wine in the Bible.

~U2Alabama
If legalised today the levels of social acceptance would still be low; the same portion that abuses the drugs would abuse them if legal, more people may experiment in a safer environment and we would be more free.
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Old 03-01-2007, 11:32 PM   #77
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Quote:
Originally posted by A_Wanderer
If legalised today the levels of social acceptance would still be low; the same portion that abuses the drugs would abuse them if legal, more people may experiment in a safer environment and we would be more free.
You are speculating here so I hope that BonoVoxSuperStar will allow me to speculate here as well:

"More people" will very likely take being "more free" too far. If more innocent bystanders are harmed because of it, it has gone too far and it is not a benefit to society.

P.S. The helicopter is flying over my house again, same time as last night, 10:30 pm.

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Old 03-01-2007, 11:37 PM   #78
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Originally posted by U2Bama


I am a bit confused as to this analogy. I think the ones who would have turned to the illegal version would have run their course with the legal retail versions, whereas beer drinkers may taper off their consumption after awhile (I certainly have).

~U2Alabama
Now you're confusing me.

My whole point is that if the item is illegal there's more illegal activity surrounding beyond just the pocession itself.

That's why I used 20 and 21 year olds, there's only 1 year more of "experience" yet the driving accidents, violent crimes, etc were exponentially greater in the illegal crowd. It was interesting study, I'll try to find it, it's been years.

And yes I've known drug users who have tapered off their consumption almost to 0 since college, and I also know drinkers who still think they are in college...and it's now 10 years later.
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Old 03-01-2007, 11:39 PM   #79
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You are speculating here so I hope that BonoVoxSuperStar will allow me to speculate here as well:

Touche...
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Old 03-02-2007, 12:57 AM   #80
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Originally posted by A_Wanderer
If legalised today the levels of social acceptance would still be low; the same portion that abuses the drugs would abuse them if legal, more people may experiment in a safer environment and we would be more free.
How people do not see this logic is beyond me.
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Old 03-02-2007, 01:32 AM   #81
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Originally posted by U2Bama


You are speculating here so I hope that BonoVoxSuperStar will allow me to speculate here as well:

"More people" will very likely take being "more free" too far. If more innocent bystanders are harmed because of it, it has gone too far and it is not a benefit to society.

P.S. The helicopter is flying over my house again, same time as last night, 10:30 pm.

~U2Alabama
If we judge things on the basis of benefit to society instead of individual liberty people will have less freedom, I will err on the side of freedom.

urglary and violence are violations of other peoples rights in themselves: of course we could just means test the right to use drugs, so that only those that aren't going to infringe upon the rights and liberties of others can buy them.

As far as speculation goes I am not making the case for legalisation on the basis of benefit to society, it is one of liberty, even if legalisation meant all those problems it would be pro-freedom to allow it; but freedom and civil society are very often at odds.
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Old 03-02-2007, 02:20 AM   #82
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Where is a safe enough environment to freely experiment with crack and heroin?
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Old 03-02-2007, 02:55 AM   #83
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Originally posted by U2Bama
I will say that the pro-legalization crowd makes some good arguments that are worthy of consideration.

If we are admitting that the drugs can and/or do lead to problems for some people, then who should this burden be on in the legalized drug world? Should all of society, including those who do not use the drugs nor support their use in society, bear this burden in their taxes? I think that tax money would be much better spent on paying public educators and improving the quality of education in Lowndes County, Alabama rather than subsidizing a safety net recovery program for for more people who choose to get their thrills via dangerous chemicals.

What about the additional dangers created by the behavior of additional persons who are "under the influence" of drugs/chemicals which they can readily and legally purchase in their neighborhood stores? There will undoubtedly be some people who do not do drugs while they are illegal but would choose to experiment if they were legalized. This would mean more people on the roads, in our communities, who could negatively be affected by their new hobbies and pose dangers to other members of their community.
As other have already pointed out, the drug cost is already borne by society. Taxpayers already pay for these human costs (ie to treat addictions and ODs etc) and we also pay for the useless and ultimately futile "war on drugs." However, if drugs were legalised and taxed, those taxes and part of the savings gained from no longer having to pay for this huge infrastructure currently in place to fight drugs would be able to be used to treat addictions and other various medical costs (ie ODs, etc). The rest of the money currently spent on the "war on drugs" could be spent not by going after people merely buying, selling, or using drugs, but those who are driving under the influence for example. And because I, like A Wanderer, foresee that drug use will not have the social acceptance that drinking does for quite a long time, people won't treat driving under the influence of drugs as nonchalantly as we do driving under the influence of alcohol.

I also strongly believe that the problems for society caused by additional users (of which I believe there will be far fewer than you estimate) will be more than offset by the decrease in problems cause to society by the illegality of drugs. Furthermore, I believe the dangers caused by casual users will be much easier to curb than those caused by the current crop of ruthless distributors (pushers and their suppliers) and people desperate for their next fix and desperate not to get caught. Because most of the street price of illegal drugs is due to the cost of possibly getting caught, if that threat is taken away they will be much more affordable (even with a hefty tax) for those who use a lot (addicts). This would make theft crimes to pay for drugs less likely. So yes there will still be problems caused by people who use drugs, but I believe the problems would be substantially reduced both in severity and in numbers if drugs were legalised.


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I realize these legalized drugs would be "more controlled" in their production and distribution, but those weaker versions may not be enough for addictive users who want more, more, more.

I enjoy a Tecate with my meal at a Mexican restaurant; but a few shots of Jaegermeister would be more fun if I were up for an adventurous evening. Which is more dangerous to me and people whom I may encounter? Obviously, a few shots of Jaeger. I was at a lake party once where jetskis were present. A guy said, "We ought to get smashed and drive these things around the lake all day." He and everyone else were sober when he said that, but you do see the risk that he would have posed to people all over the lake if he were under the influence of alcohol (or any other drug for that matter) and piloting any type of watercraft.
I don't consider "more controlled" to mean weaker versions. The properties of the drugs would be more known though and if you expected to get a certain strength/purity of heroin for example, you would get that strength/purity, not something greater or lesser. Plus it wouldn't have other additives (unless that also was known and labeled as such) which would also help the user to avoid medical problems. I can see having varying strengths/purities of drugs being offered by their manufacturers (which could be subsidiaries of pharmaceutical companies even -- their profits from formerly illegal drugs could help keep prices down on medical use drugs). Pot and mushrooms wouldn't need elaborate production and distribution systems at all. Growing those at home or in coops or the like would work just fine.

I have a question for you. When you are out at dinner at that Mexican restaurant why do you only drink that Tecate? Jagermeister is legal isn't it? So why don't you drink it if it would be more fun? I am interested in your answer, but because I'm on a roll now I'm going to guess at it. And my guess is that it will be something along the line of "I know that a few shots of Jagermeister would render me unable to safely drive home whereas a beer with dinner will not. " (that beer, even with dinner, would render me less safe as a driver, which is why if I'm driving within 6-8 hours at the very least, I don't drink.) So if that's your thinking behind not having the Jagermeisters, why do you assume people who ould use drugs would go for the most powerful ones before driving etc? I've never driven while high or drunk, and that wouldn't change no matter what drugs were legal.

As for the guy at the party -- I really don't see what his comment has to do with keeping currently illegal drugs illegal. The man was stupid. If he was on a public waterway isn't what he was proposing illegal? If so, and if he in fact did it, he should be arrested, even if the intoxicant he used was legal to consume. Same would apply if he did it under the influence of any other drug. Now if we could make stupid people illegal....


Quote:
As it is today with currently illegal drugs being illegal, even in my low-crime community we have problems with burglaries commited by meth addicts. Just two weeks ago, a string of burglaries were commited in peoples' private homes by two twenty-something women; eight of these burglaries occured in my neighborhood alone. The two women would go to the front doors of houses, knock, and if no one answered,they would break into the homes and take things that did not belong to them. What would/should have happened if they encountered a frightened resident and someone, be it the intruder or the resident, had gotten hurt? The two women were caught and are believed to be addicts. Do we really want to introduce more people to meth, opiates, cocaine, etc. so that they run the risk of posing such dangers to themselves and society, including innocent people?

~U2Alabama
See I believe for the most part that people who have the tendency to be addicts will be addicts, whether drugs are legal or not, and people who don't have that tendency won't become addicts. So I really do not see any great surge in number of addicts if drugs were legalised. Plus, with them legal the prices would be far lower (the reason the prices are high is not because the ingredients are so costly or that they are so difficult to make, but that the cost of getting caught is high, so the high price is to offset the risk), so there would be less reason to steal to feed one's habit in the first place.

Unlike several others here I would legalise even meth, as I feel it is one of the most dangerous in it's illegal forms. It is very dangerous to the user as it varies wildly from maker to maker and even batch to batch. Plus cooking meth is very dangerous to all in the vicinity, and often makes houses where it has been manufactured unfit to be inhabited again. By manufacturing it in safe, controlled environments the danger to many communities would immediatly be reduced. Plus, standardising the formula and having various strengths would even make the user more safe and would give him or her a better shot at deciding to try to kick the habit. And because there wouldn't be the fear of being arrested, those who wanted to try to kick it (or any other drug) would be more likely to seek the help they need.
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Old 03-02-2007, 03:13 AM   #84
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I agree with everything indra so eloquently stated. This is how I view the whole situation. The reallocation of resources used to fight the illegal drugs, combined with the reduction in crime committed to get the funding for the drugs and gain of taxable revenue would easily offset the costs or risks of any possible, albeit I think slight, increase in drug use.

Would anyone here run out and start sampling cocaine, heroin, and so on if it was available legally? I don't advocate making it easily available to the point you could just walk into a supermarket and grab a bag of hash though. It would have to be available at certain designated places IMO.
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Old 03-02-2007, 04:29 AM   #85
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Originally posted by AEON
Where is a safe enough environment to freely experiment with crack and heroin?
When you are Sherlock Holmes without any interesting cases;

I have an interest in hallucinogenic drugs and the nature of conciousness, and I would probably buy such drugs legally; there can be responsible drug use even for recreational purposes.
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Old 03-03-2007, 02:48 AM   #86
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If they legalized every drug and if everyone went out and started doing lots of coke, crack and heroin, it sure would get rid of a lot stupid people. But seriously, if the US legalized drugs, Uncle Sam sure would piss off a lot of drug dealers.
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Old 03-03-2007, 04:58 AM   #87
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Originally posted by BonoVoxSupastar
Yeah a little education would show you that a natural plant is much healthier than booze and cigarettes anyday of the week.

Coming in fashionably late here...

I agree with the overall sentiments, but in fairness, booze is made from plants, and so are cigarettes (and yes, the big tobacco companies add a lot of stuff to their product, but the organic brands do not).

Just my little squeaky-wheel moment.

In general I concur with those who say legalise-and-regulate. The criminal industry is the problem.
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Old 03-03-2007, 05:03 AM   #88
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Coming in fashionably late here...

I agree with the overall sentiments, but in fairness, booze is made from plants, and so are cigarettes (and yes, the big tobacco companies add a lot of stuff to their product, but the organic brands do not).

Just my little squeaky-wheel moment.

In general I concur with those who say legalise-and-regulate. The criminal industry is the problem.
Yes, but as I have found out as of late, being a smoker of American Spirits, there is no such thing as a pure cigarette.

And booze compared to pot, which one is more natural...

Overall, none of this really matters to me, except that certain crowds tend to ignore this, and it should be pointed out to them.
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Old 03-03-2007, 05:55 AM   #89
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Fair enough.
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Old 04-06-2007, 12:55 AM   #90
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Originally posted by indra


As other have already pointed out, the drug cost is already borne by society. Taxpayers already pay for these human costs (ie to treat addictions and ODs etc) and we also pay for the useless and ultimately futile "war on drugs." However, if drugs were legalised and taxed, those taxes and part of the savings gained from no longer having to pay for this huge infrastructure currently in place to fight drugs would be able to be used to treat addictions and other various medical costs (ie ODs, etc). The rest of the money currently spent on the "war on drugs" could be spent not by going after people merely buying, selling, or using drugs, but those who are driving under the influence for example. And because I, like A Wanderer, foresee that drug use will not have the social acceptance that drinking does for quite a long time, people won't treat driving under the influence of drugs as nonchalantly as we do driving under the influence of alcohol.

I also strongly believe that the problems for society caused by additional users (of which I believe there will be far fewer than you estimate) will be more than offset by the decrease in problems cause to society by the illegality of drugs. Furthermore, I believe the dangers caused by casual users will be much easier to curb than those caused by the current crop of ruthless distributors (pushers and their suppliers) and people desperate for their next fix and desperate not to get caught. Because most of the street price of illegal drugs is due to the cost of possibly getting caught, if that threat is taken away they will be much more affordable (even with a hefty tax) for those who use a lot (addicts). This would make theft crimes to pay for drugs less likely. So yes there will still be problems caused by people who use drugs, but I believe the problems would be substantially reduced both in severity and in numbers if drugs were legalised.

I don't consider "more controlled" to mean weaker versions. The properties of the drugs would be more known though and if you expected to get a certain strength/purity of heroin for example, you would get that strength/purity, not something greater or lesser. Plus it wouldn't have other additives (unless that also was known and labeled as such) which would also help the user to avoid medical problems. I can see having varying strengths/purities of drugs being offered by their manufacturers (which could be subsidiaries of pharmaceutical companies even -- their profits from formerly illegal drugs could help keep prices down on medical use drugs). Pot and mushrooms wouldn't need elaborate production and distribution systems at all. Growing those at home or in coops or the like would work just fine.

Again, I'll admit that this is speculation, but pretty much anything that either side states "would happen" is just that...speculation...

A black market of cheaper, dirtier and more dangerous drugs will remain for those who do not want to purchase the "safer," highly taxed retail versions. You will still have people that want the rush and risk of meth manufactured from the chemicals under my kitchen sink and the cold and allergy medicine which I now have to register for each time I purchase them. They will be more fun, just as a shot of Jaeger is more fun than a glass of Chardonnay.

And I remain concerned that the number of "casual users" will increase, and more of them will become habitual users of drugs. Just as we can say today that fast food chains and soft drink manufacturers market to the potential addictions of children and teens to their products, tobacco companies were doing this just over a decade ago (remember Joe Camel?). The criminal drug dealers of today are predators, nothing better. The future corporate manufacturers and distributors/retailers of these legalized versions of drugs will be corporate predators with much more money and resources, and a more openly curious target market.

Quote:
Originally posted by indra



I have a question for you. When you are out at dinner at that Mexican restaurant why do you only drink that Tecate? Jagermeister is legal isn't it? So why don't you drink it if it would be more fun? I am interested in your answer, but because I'm on a roll now I'm going to guess at it. And my guess is that it will be something along the line of "I know that a few shots of Jagermeister would render me unable to safely drive home whereas a beer with dinner will not. " (that beer, even with dinner, would render me less safe as a driver, which is why if I'm driving within 6-8 hours at the very least, I don't drink.) So if that's your thinking behind not having the Jagermeisters, why do you assume people who ould use drugs would go for the most powerful ones before driving etc? I've never driven while high or drunk, and that wouldn't change no matter what drugs were legal.

As for the guy at the party -- I really don't see what his comment has to do with keeping currently illegal drugs illegal. The man was stupid. If he was on a public waterway isn't what he was proposing illegal? If so, and if he in fact did it, he should be arrested, even if the intoxicant he used was legal to consume. Same would apply if he did it under the influence of any other drug. Now if we could make stupid people illegal....

There are different classes of liquor licenses in Alabama and Florida; some restaurants have a class 1, which allows the sale of beer & wine (usually at "fast casual" restaurants such as Moe's Southwestern Grill or barbecue joints), while a Class 2 allows the sale of drinks containing hard liquor. In Alabama, grocery stores can not sell hard liquor, only beer and wine, but in Florida, grocery stores and drug stores can have an attached "liquor store" with a separate entrance that sells hard liquor. But neither of those are what I was talking about...

I drink a Tecate (or a Carta Blanca) with my tamales, burrito, enchilada, etc. because I enjoy the taste of a Cerveza with that food as I feel the flavors compliment one another. At the age of 34, having fun going out to dinner means enjoying my meal with my family and possibly with friends, and alcohol is by no means a necessity for the "fun" part. To be honest, I have been on perscription medications for bronchitis over the past few weeks, and the drying effect of these drugs makes a beer unrefreshing and unappealing (plus the unmentionable digestive side effects I experienced in Orange Beach two weeks ago when I had a Jimmy Buffet Landshark Lager with my fried flounder sandwich --- in between taking 3 of the 4 meds I was on). I've been much more content with diet Coke at the Mexican restaurant and Gatorade while sitting on the beach.

I do understand that alcoholic beverages have varying effects on individuals. The general rule recommended by local law enforcement is that more than two beers can render a person impaired and/or push their blood/alcohol content level above Alabama's minimum. For me, personally, one beer does not push me to or over the legal limit, nor does it impair any of my functions.

As to what drug users would do, in a legalized world, prior to driving, I'm only speculating (again) based on some of the known and observed side effects of recreational drugs and the delusions the users may experience. And another, parallel observation of this comes from the evolutionary descent of wisdom and judgement I have seen people go through by simply drinking large amounts of alcohol in a day.


The guy at the lake party was just an illustration of what stupid people envision as being much more fun when they are under the influence of something...




Quote:
Originally posted by indra

See I believe for the most part that people who have the tendency to be addicts will be addicts, whether drugs are legal or not, and people who don't have that tendency won't become addicts. So I really do not see any great surge in number of addicts if drugs were legalised. Plus, with them legal the prices would be far lower (the reason the prices are high is not because the ingredients are so costly or that they are so difficult to make, but that the cost of getting caught is high, so the high price is to offset the risk), so there would be less reason to steal to feed one's habit in the first place.

Unlike several others here I would legalise even meth, as I feel it is one of the most dangerous in it's illegal forms. It is very dangerous to the user as it varies wildly from maker to maker and even batch to batch. Plus cooking meth is very dangerous to all in the vicinity, and often makes houses where it has been manufactured unfit to be inhabited again. By manufacturing it in safe, controlled environments the danger to many communities would immediatly be reduced. Plus, standardising the formula and having various strengths would even make the user more safe and would give him or her a better shot at deciding to try to kick the habit. And because there wouldn't be the fear of being arrested, those who wanted to try to kick it (or any other drug) would be more likely to seek the help they need.
You mention the drugs being less expensive if legal, but earlier you envisioned high taxation to cover the cost of addiction and overdose recovery, and also higher prices to subsidize the cost of medical pharmaceuticals. Which is it? I can go out and get meth, crack or ecstacy pretty cheap by my standards.

For meth to be as "fun" as it is, the legal version would need to retain the hazardous addictive qualities of today's illegal street version. The cost of addiction would still be beyond the means of many users, and they would still break in to my neighbor's houses to take things that do not belong to them. The aggresive behavior side effects would still accompany the thrills, so the users would still be a threat to my wife and daughter and me after they have taken their dose. If we tell society that these drugs and their side effects are okay, then I say that the people who use them, the people who support them being readily available to everyone, and the corporate predators who manufacture, distribute and sell them to the users should be responsible for every victim whom the users rob, harm, rape, terrorize or kill. All I'm saying is that I have a right to politically fight the legalization of harmful chemical and/or narcotic drugs, and I will fight it.

~U2Alabama
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