Debate and Discussion

Drug prohibition
ozoneocean at 1:48AM, Dec. 25, 2006
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There are a lot of problems with illegal narcotics in many countries. Personally I think most of the trouble exists simply because they're illegal. Just like Prohibition in the United States in the 1920's: these well meaning fools thought it'd stop problems with alcoholism, but what resulted was a massive increase in violence from organised crime. When you make things that people want illegal, organised crime atomically takes over: Such is the way with narcotics. I contend that more lives are ruined through the criminal nature of the problem, than the actual nature of the drugs themselves. It means that the economies of places like Columbia, Burma, and Afghanistan are distorted so that they can not cope without the drugs trade, poor farmers simply couldn't live if it was taken away. And drug addicts find it so much harder to get treatment and support because of the illegality of their problem.

Removing prohibition on alcohol in the United states didn't stop alcoholism, but it DID take away a major source of revenue for organised crime, the same would probably happen with narcotics. You have to remember that the problems go all down the line… As an example; at the recent trial where I was on the jury, two of the women involved in the case were prostitutes. They both became prostitutes because they had to support extremely expensive drug habits and that was the only way these poor girls could do it. One of the girls even turned to armed robbery and stabbed someone with a screwdriver!

Now, if narcotics were legal and regulated, prices would be at levels where people could afford them without having to turn to crime, there could be safer methods of administering them developed commercially, Support clinics and groups would be easier to set up; suffering less stigma and find it a lot easier to get funds -they could even be funded directly from drug profits! People who were so inclined could take drugs recreationally (like many do already), just like alcohol, and not have to worry about organised crime, police, prison etc.

I think we'd STILL have problems with drug addicts, but we'd be able to cope with them SO much easier. Organised crime would find it that much more difficult to cope (once again). Prostitution would be less of a problem, as would a LOT of petty and violent crime, house breakings… and stuff. :(


So, what do you think? Reasoned stuff please, I DO NOT CARE if you don't like drugs, they're not my thing either: all I want to discuss are the problems surrounding them, not weather you “don't need drugs because you're high of life \^_^/”, or if “drugs are only for sad losers who can't cope”, -that's irrelevant.
 
last edited on July 14, 2011 2:25PM
lothar at 11:13AM, Dec. 25, 2006
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All drugs are different, have different effects on peoples lives n such . i wouldn't think heroin should be legal ever! although it is interesting that at one time in the US you could order a set of needles and some H from the sears catalog ! But i deffinetly think they need to legalize weed so they can put rescources into fighting the more serious ones. it's kinda like Iraq, it's like the gov just likes to go after easy targets ! so they can look tough to stupid voters !
and regarding its impact on the producer countries -
Industrialized nations peoples are Addicted to EVERYTHING, not just drugs; their addiction to oil is causing bloodshed all over the mideast , addiction to cheap clothes, shoes , toys etc. is the root of slave labor conditions in mainland asia; their desire for cheap and seedless fruits is ruining local agriculture in south america and all over the place; choclate, diamonds, coffee ! And ALL of these things are LEGAL !!! so i think if you legalize cocain, heroin, whatever else - its not going to do much good. on the other hand it has the potential to do a lot of harm .
in Japan, i dont think illegal drugs are much of a problem and EVERYTHING is illegal. But there is still organized crime. they are mostly involved with construction and real estate .

What they need to do in places like the US , is legalize weed ( let people grow it in their front yards , in fact, they should plant it alont the sides of highways ) that way everyone can have at it and it will be completely worthless !!!
then they need to get MIDEVAL on all the other drug traders !
last edited on July 14, 2011 1:45PM
ozoneocean at 10:14PM, Dec. 25, 2006
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Why shouldn't heroin be legal? Legalising it would help to remove a lot of the terrible problems that surround it. You simply cannot kill off the illegal trade, and women won't sell themselves for cannabis! -but they DO for heroin, and a lot of petty and violent crime exists simply because of addiction when the addicts can't receive proper support and the prices are such that the addicts HAVE to turn to crime.

The trouble with having the economies of countries dependant on narcotics as opposed to diamonds, coffee, or chocolate is obvious Lothar. Governments simply can not control drug growing or the drug trade in any useful way or they face ostracisation by all the other major developed countries as well as crippling sanctions, no aid, and possibly invasion! They can't raise revenue through taxes, there can be no regulations, warlords and drug barons, anti government rebel movements, and terrorists are easily able to take advantage of the illegal status. That's right; by making those sorts of narcotics illegal, the United States directly supports terrorism.

As for Japan, the drug trade might be more hidden, but if they haven't got much problem with it there may be many other factors involved: Cultural differences are very important, not being part of the main trade routes, low visibility of the problem, etc. The thing is, if they don't have a big problem, then there's not much point entering them into the equation. -because we just don't know enough about why.
 
last edited on July 14, 2011 2:25PM
Ronson at 9:22AM, Dec. 26, 2006
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In theory, I think all drugs should be legal but regulated.

That is, the FDA should be involved in making sure that the things that are considered “illegal street drugs” today need to be repackaged so that they (a) contain what they say they do and nothing more and (b) have accurate warnings for the effects.

That being said, there are drawbacks. There are drugs flooding the market from pharmaceutical corporations that have, on occasion, proven to kill people. Even when following FDA regulations, some drugs get through and have disastrous side effects. Herbal medicine isn't monitored by the FDA at all, and that has also caused health problems.

Imagine a similar thing when someone develops some highly addictive drug in their basement by mixing a few other drugs together. Drugs like crack or exstacy do a lot of damage that those taking it might not even be aware of (e-tardation, tooth loss, hair loss … whatever). Just legalizing it seems irresponsible.

I think we have to have a reasonable amount of safety with drugs…or a reasonably informed public about specific drugs and what they do.

Now, imagine a world where drugs are legal and corporations are trying to pitch their drug over the competition. The drug equivalents to beer ads. Use would inevitably increase. Addiction would increase. Healthcare problems would increase.

If you legalize drugs, you would HAVE TO include a very heavy taxation of them.
last edited on July 14, 2011 3:10PM
ozoneocean at 11:26AM, Dec. 26, 2006
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Ronson
Imagine a similar thing when someone develops some highly addictive drug in their basement by mixing a few other drugs together. Drugs like crack or exstacy do a lot of damage that those taking it might not even be aware of (e-tardation, tooth loss, hair loss … whatever). Just legalizing it seems irresponsible.
Think of it like alcohol. In all countries some people brew up nasty stuff in their basements and it causes blidness, and metal damage and death, but they don't have much of a market share. Most people will always buy their booze from a proper shop: booze that has been made so that it won't kill you (not right away), booze that's taxed etc.
-Ecstasy doesn't do much damage at all. It can cause dehydration though, and there have been cases where ravers have drunk extreme amounts of water to combat their feeling of dryness, and that has led to their deaths- a mixture of dryness, too much water and stupidity. Meth amphetamines are what you're thinking of in relation to tooth and hair loss etc. I don't know about crack, but I think it has similar results to Meth amphetamines. I believe that a lot of these negative side effects are related to the impurities in the drugs, additives put in to increase yields (like antifreeze in booze, which has very similar results ;)).

The taxation would have to be even handed and NOT too heavy, or you risk making the illegal alternative more favourable. But yes, they would have to be taxed, just the same as tobacco and alcohol. You can completely ban advertising from the start: in many countries all forms of cigarette advertising are banned.

I seriously doubt that healthcare problems would increase. They thought the same way about alcohol at the end of prohibition. I think that's based on the idea that if it's legal, suddenly everyone will want them and rush out to buy heroine and cocaine. That just doesn't tend to happen. Or maybe there'd be a gradual increase in usage? Looking at the way smoking levels have decreased in countries where they've taken measures to stop tobacco advertising and banned people from smoking in public or work places I'd tend to think narcotic use might follow a similar pattern: Those that really wanted them would still get them of course, but treatment would be so much easier to come by.
 
last edited on July 14, 2011 2:25PM
LIZARD_B1TE at 12:53PM, Dec. 26, 2006
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Really, the whole drugs issue is a double edged sword. Illegal? Organized Crime boom. Legal? Masses of idiots unknowingly commiting suicide. Personally, I think they should be illegal, at least you can fight organized crime.
last edited on July 14, 2011 1:36PM
ozoneocean at 1:38PM, Dec. 26, 2006
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LIZARD_B1TE
Legal? Masses of idiots unknowingly commiting suicide.
Why? That doesn't make any sense. Could you explain why that would happen? Why, if the narcotics were produced in regulated, commercial labs, under sterile conditions, sold in forms that are easy to administer with proper instructions etc, with easily available support: One would logically assume you would have less drug deaths than ever before! Where as now, users don't know WHAT they're buying, they have no proper training as to how to use the stuff and what methods they do have are primitive anyway, the people they buy it from can gouge whatever price they want from the addicts and could even rob or kill them… If they need support to get off of the drugs they either have to be rich, have extremely supportive families and friends or somehow manage to find a place in one of those rare drug support clinics that look after people for free.
Explain how that is better, because I don't understand.
 
last edited on July 14, 2011 2:25PM
Ronson at 1:44PM, Dec. 26, 2006
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LIZARD_B1TE
Really, the whole drugs issue is a double edged sword. Illegal? Organized Crime boom. Legal? Masses of idiots unknowingly commiting suicide. Personally, I think they should be illegal, at least you can fight organized crime.

See, I think ultimately I come down on the other side. Letting idiots make their own stupid choices seems to be the definition of freedom and liberty.

The problem is that I think the actual repurcussions of leisure drug use will be understated if there's corporate profit to be made.

(I also disagree with ozone about ecstacy. I heard that there was actually some smoothing of the brain that resulted from constant use. The result is to lose comprehension. The affect is referred to in slang as becoming an ‘e-tard’. I will allow that it could be anti-drug propaganda. I'm not an illegal drug user, and my social circles don't include any.)
last edited on July 14, 2011 3:10PM
lothar at 5:03PM, Dec. 26, 2006
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Yea ! E-tardation is real , i've know a few people who suffer from cronic depression as a result of using E too much. i believe it is because ecsasy somehow skrews up the bodys natural production of seratonin . Acid, NOx , meth - all have lasting effects on the brain . people who can still walk around and somewhat function , but whos brains are permanently fried! all you have to do is look to george bush for proof of that !
Anyway the leagalization of so called “street” drugs would just add another layer onto the drug-pie that is western civilzation ! Just look at the massive increase in pharmacuetical drugs and advertising that has hit in the past ten years . pluss all the crazy chemicals that are already put into the food (many of wich i believe have brain numbing side effects)
this is prolly why bush was able to “win” 2 elections !!!

DRUGS are bad for DEMOCRACY !!!!!!! why?

if the US(or whoever)government REALY wanted to stop drugs from getting into the country i think it wouldn't be to hard for them to do! but clearly , allowing the drugs in serves a 3 fold advantage to these facists !

1 - Drugs are a great tool for hindering social change and preserving the status quo, just look what they did in the 70s . whoever said “religion is the opium of the people” should have said "Opium is the Opium of the people !!
2 - it causes an increase in domestic crime , gang violence etc. - This allows for More police and more crazy laws and more people in prison, (most prisoners in the US are there for drug violations) with the population worried more about the dangers in their own neighborhoods you can get away with doing all kinds of crazy stuff without anybody noticing !
3 - it funds terrorism, THEY need the terrorists and they can't just go and fund them directly with US tax dollars(or can they?)

last edited on July 14, 2011 1:45PM
hat at 8:33PM, Dec. 26, 2006
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Ok drugs should remain illegal.
It would ruin any country's society.


For example:
PCP - Damn I wouldn't be caught dead with that stuff. It does horrible things to you. For example, Would-be rap star Big Lurch was under the influence of PCP one day. He decided to go visit his girlfriend, He mistaked her for the devil and ripped open her chest with a blade and ate part of her lung. She died of course, and later he was found outside, butt-naked staring at the sky. R&B Star Houston tried to commit suicide while under the influence of PCP, failed, and so then gouged out his eye. Really, do you want this in your country?

Cocaine - Highly addictive, damages your body and would destroy the economy.

Heroin - Can kill in a heartbeat, no thx.

Meth - Really screws your body over and on top of that, ya look ugly as hell… ‘nuff said.

This goes for hard drugs, For soft drugs, I dunno, that may be debatable. I don’t think weed does much harm.
last edited on July 14, 2011 12:45PM
ozoneocean at 10:25PM, Dec. 26, 2006
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I have no idea about this “e-tardation” thing, but I've never heard about it. All the studies on E that I've heard of were pretty positive. SOme people though have pres dispositions toward certain things anyway: like Cannabis, if you are genetically prone to schizophrenia, cannabis WILL help bring that to the surface, the younger you take it the worse it is because it affects your brain development. But this is a minority. Most of these genetic predisposition's are minority things, just like a few people find peanuts fatal, should we BAN peanuts because a few people might die from them?
lothar
2 - it causes an increase in domestic crime , gang violence etc. - This allows for More police and more crazy laws and more people in prison, (most prisoners in the US are there for drug violations) with the population worried more about the dangers in their own neighborhoods you can get away with doing all kinds of crazy stuff without anybody noticing !
3 - it funds terrorism, THEY need the terrorists and they can't just go and fund them directly with US tax dollars(or can they?)
Those two points are in reverse Lothar. Those things happen BECAUSE drugs are ilegal. The very illegality causes those situations to exist.

As for Hat's points, I thought I addressed that already. If the narcotics were made legal, then safer methods of administering them would HAVE to be developed or the sellers would be sued and face criminal charges (among other things). It's so freaking obvious. Drugs like Meth only exist as a substitute for heroine, You're just not thinking this through: Delete any drugs that are substitutes for the real thing, since the real thing will become cheaper and safer and totally remove the market for the more dangerous, poorly made crapy synthetic drugs.

Cars kill, guns kill, knives kill, alcohol causes people to kill and does kill etc. Put it into perspective.

I'm not arguing this position because I want to take illegal narcotics or because I have any friends that do, I don't! I'm arguing this position because I've thought about it and considered it after listening to addicts, reading about studies, reading and listening to news reports on the situation and drug producing countries. It's a exercise in changing your perceptions about things, just think about the drug problem and realise who much of it is really related to it's black market, taboo, illegal nature.
You could have said that homosexuality should have stayed banned and illegal because gay men catch aids a lot more readily than straight people, they tended towards depression and killing themselves more than straights. How many of those problems existed simply because of taboo and illegality? People thought that legalising homosexuality would make everyone gay and encourage peadophillia!

Ah well, it's just that there's always more to things… When considering an alternative you can't just simply extrapolate from a few simple knowns that only exist because of the current system. You have to think about how fundamental the changes can be, work it out all the way down the line, look for obvious analogues, and consider the bad, neutral, and good sides.
 
last edited on July 14, 2011 2:25PM
lothar at 12:35AM, Dec. 27, 2006
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The problem Ozone is - there is no real analogy to the drug thing. drugs are a mindfuck pure and simple! i would venture to guess that anybody with a little past drug experience, i'm not talking current users here , would be more on the side of outlawing them (especialy the more harsh ones)
Many drugs WERE legal in the US prior to the 20th century . Actually i think they had NO laws regarding drugs; and what did you have ? - a large percentage of the population was doped ! there were housewives adicted to “cough” medicines because they contained heroin or something similar, heroin and cocain were in common use. Wasn't Freud a cocain addict ?
So , this idea that somehow these drugs will be made more safe after they are leagalized is flawed because they were made illegal precisely because they were dangerouse in their original forms .

PCP -i know exactly what hat is talking about here , its sounds crazy if you've never done it but its true . i know first hand, it seriously f*cks reality!!! i consider myself lucky to be alive !

Btw- Meth(methamphetemine) is a subsistute for cocain , not heroin
unless your talking about Methadone , wich IS a substitute for Heroin and is Sort of legal in the states , i think you might have to be a recovering heroin addict to get a hold of it though

and regarding my previous comment , i guess that was related more to guverment konspiracies than the component drug issue , and i dont wanna go down that road anyway !
last edited on July 14, 2011 1:45PM
hat at 3:01PM, Dec. 27, 2006
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There are no safe ways of taking drugs. Needle, insufflation/snorting, oral, either way it's not doing your body any good.

I can see where you're going with this ‘real thing’ as far as meth goes. It's easy and cheap to make. Not to mention here you can buy the ingredients over-the-counter and you don't need to be a rocket scientist to set up a meth lab. But not for other drugs, GHB, PCP, cocaine or any other hard drug are not subsitutions for heroin. They are different, and may produce different effects. I mean heroin itself is just a semi-synthetic opioid (meaning still synthetic). Heroin isn't the ‘real thing’, nor is any other drug. They're all mixed into the same group.
last edited on July 14, 2011 12:45PM
mapaghimagsik at 3:16PM, Dec. 27, 2006
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This “drug” thing you speak of.

I'm a drug user. I take asprin and other pain relievers. I regularly imbibe caffine.

There are no drugs. There is only chemistry. Some good, some bad, and some that leave you curled up in a fetal ball under the television set hoping the leprechauns go away.

last edited on July 14, 2011 1:51PM
Abby Greenwald at 11:37AM, Dec. 30, 2006
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I smoke a ton of weed but that's because I like to relax in my downtime and i don't drink or take any kind of pills. I usually focus on about a dozen things at once but if I'm baked, then I only focus on two or three things at once. It's really weird, thinking linear like that.

Ummm…drugs shouldn't all be legalized at once. Start off with pot and regulate it. Throw some taxes in and chances are since the government would grow it in bulk, we'd end up paying the same amount as if we'd bought it off the street but it would actually be safer and even be offered in different “flavors” and grades like Amsterdam. If the populace doesn't smoke itself into a stupor and cause Frito Lay to run out of stock, try another harder drug that isn't any worse than prescription drugs like oxycotin and methodone. Show that's it's not the drug or the legality, it's just the actions of the dumbass using it.
last edited on July 14, 2011 10:44AM

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