The politics of drug use

Possibly the most ho hum news story of the past year has been the change in the drug laws of the state of Colorado to legalise the use of marijuana which can now be bought off the shelf. A more sinister sign of America going to seed would be hard to find. Lives are routinely ruined and at a young age by their use but these mind altering drugs are utterly acceptable. Smoking tobacco will also ruin your life by cutting it short at its end. The psychotropic drugs will tune you out but at a young age, and can make a normal life impossible. Many young lives are ruined by these various drugs which are not to be messed with.

I have followed the Nigella Lawson story particularly closely because it has almost overlapped the Rob Ford story in Toronto. Ford smoked crack cocaine but is an exemplary mayor of Toronto, or at least he is from a more conservative perspective, but has been continuously hassled by the usual suspects because of his cocaine use. Nigella is an icon of the modern age, famous for being beautiful and a celebrity chef. But she also took cocaine herself. But let us see from the way this is reported whether you can pick up even the tiniest hint of a campaign to have her disgraced and out of the public eye. The quotes are from her estranged husband, Charles Saatchi:

‘The truth is that she was taking illegal drugs secretly throughout the last few years of our marriage, often with her own child when she was far too young to even smoke or drink.’

He claimed that this ‘took place at an alarmingly frequent rate’ and continued. ‘That this practice seems to be considered acceptable behaviour in sections of the press is deeply disturbing, as is the notion that you can teach your children that drugs are a justifiable way to make “an unbearable situation bearable”,’ he said.

So just how much has all this damaged Nigella?

Ms Lawson is on holiday in Spain after the UK debut of her latest television show, The Taste, and press attention over claims at a recent fraud trial had died down.

The ratings, I forecast, will be higher than ever.

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159 Responses to The politics of drug use

  1. ar

    Elected officials are foisted upon people who didn’t vote for them… celebrity chefs can be ignored if you aren’t interested… maybe that’s the difference… or part of it…

  2. ar

    Nice try, Baldrick… :)

    One of the those victims was 29-year-old Jesse Bruce Pinkman, a former methamphetamine dealer from Albuquerque who had recently moved to Boulder to establish a legal marijuana dispensary.

  3. Pickles

    Tiny Dancer has been hanging out in Colorado for weeks. Coincidence? I think not.

  4. cuckoo

    America is now the country where you can legally buy marijuana, but you can’t legally buy an incandescent light bulb.

  5. Baldrick

    Nice try ar …

    “Pinkman was partying with friends when he suffered several seizures and a massive heart attack which ultimately proved to be fatal. Toxicology reports revealed that marijuana was the only drug present in his system.” ;)

  6. Nick Ferrett

    A few disparate things:

    Nigella isn’t running for anything. I don’t think the comparison between her and Rob Ford is apt. A better one is between Ford and Obama, who has admitted drug use. Also, the Ford case is pretty unique because, whatever his conservative pedigree, his public persona is that of a buffoon who invites the kind of coverage he has gotten.

    Charles Saatchi has, by the quotes extracted in your post, demonstrated himself to be a perjurer given his testimony in the recent court proceedings. He also held his wife in a chokehold at a restaurant. He’s a grub.

    The most interesting thing about the newly legalised drug businesses in the US is that Federal anti-drug laws are making it nigh impossible for these businesses to get banking services. The whole thing will descend into a shitstorm once the armed robberies of all these cash businesses start. That’s before the IRS moves in.

  7. adrian

    Nice try ar …

    “Pinkman was partying with friends when he suffered several seizures and a massive heart attack which ultimately proved to be fatal. Toxicology reports revealed that marijuana was the only drug present in his system.”

    imagine having to live next to that.

  8. Ubique

    The Colorado link is supposed to be satire. It’s in poor taste.

  9. coz

    Why hasn’t the sky fallen in in WA, SA and ACT then? Why aren’t the streets littered with corpses of those who ha, ‘overdose’ on weed?

  10. John Mc

    There are many signs America is going to seed but legalisation of marijuana isn’t one of them. There are also many significant contributions the US has made to humanity and establishing a new, more functional, relationship between mainstream society and certain drugs may yet be another one they chalk up.

    The US did some experiments with alcohol and chose the right path, the drinking age at 21 is probably not a bad thing. Same thing may be happening here.

  11. Ant

    The Left hate “big tobacco” and demonise it and everyone associated in even the remotest ways with it.

    Tobacco maims and kills, it can make you toes gangrene and your eyeballs fall out. It harms children and anyone within cooee of a smoker. Its marketing has to be banned from our eyesight.

    When it comes to weed, though, it’s a different story. They can’t get enough of the stuff.

    These people have serious issues with their brains.

  12. coz

    I want TAS to legalise it for da weekend tourist trade and to reduce alcohol related violence. Also decriminalising weed means that people don’t need to associate with drug dealers and will therefore not be exposed to or offered ‘hard’ drugs via that channel. If Nigella could have grown some or bought a bit in a shop, perhaps she wouldn’t have been offered coke.

  13. Empire Strikes Back

    A more sinister sign of America going to seed would be hard to find.

    Milton is laughing at you from the grave.

  14. .

    “Marijuana overdoses…”

    I think you’ve been had, mate. Try the Daily Currant, or the Swedish Justice Minister who got stooged over the spoof.

    Marijuana is a miracle drug.

    Cancer, neuropathic pain, epilepsy.

    Few drugs share the efficacy or cost.

    Cancer. Epilepsy. Painmanagement. Anorexia. Cachexia.

  15. .

    That’s what happens when you have a coffee and rewrite you comment.

  16. jupes

    … the drinking age at 21 is probably not a bad thing

    Wowser.

  17. jupes

    A simple formula:

    A society benefits from a couple of legal recreational drugs, after that the more drugs – the more fucked the society.

  18. James B

    Drug prohibition is nothing more than aggressive state over-reach.

    If you don’t like drugs then don’t do drugs. Get your filthy fucking hands off other people’s bodies, though.

  19. gnome

    Stop it folx- it’s too hard to work out who is engaging in sarcasm and who isn’t.

    Is this a genuine defence of the insane drug laws which make hemp illegal?

    Are there really people contributing here who think (against all the medical evidence) you can overdose lethally on hemp?

  20. Leigh Lowe

    I am not sure of the wisdom of quoting Mr Saatchi on these matters as he is desperately trying to:-
    (a) minimise his divorce settlement payout; and
    (b) justify to the London social set that he is not a complete and utter, Olympic standard prick.

  21. .

    Once again gnome, people of a middling intelligence such as myself are finding it hard these days to delineate between fact and parody on the cat.

  22. Spiro

    Lives are routinely ruined and at a young age by their use

    I would say lives are routinely ruined at a young age by the efforts to interdict its use. Young people become drawn to a lifestyle that promises money, women, …, but often ends up with a prison sentence. Laws that remove prohibitions would decrease the ‘cost’ of breaking the law both in its supply and use. Prices would fall making the trade less lucrative, taking money out of the hands of gangsters. Of course, there are harder drugs that gangsters can get their hands on to generate profits. Since these are unlikely to become legalised or decriminalised, we will always hear of people deploring their use and demanding that the authorities crack down hard so that these substances are kept away from their children as if it were not their responsibility to ensure the wellbeing of their children.

  23. Robert Crew

    Baldrick, you clearly missed Breaking Bad (or satire is not your strong suit). Jesse Pinkman is a fictional character. Also, the LD50 for cannabis is higher than for broccoli or potatoes.

  24. Grumbles

    Never took you for a totalitarian Steve! Why do you even post articles here? This is a Libertarian website. The amount of posts here from people that are clearly wish they could run the dictatorship because they know better. A libertarian can give advise to someone as to how to treat their own body, but to make laws against it is absurd. Most young lives you refer to are ruined by crime, not recreation. At what point in life do people get freedom of choice and freedom of consequence? Not in this country.

  25. Nato

    Some powerful people’s young are harmed by use or users. The next ones aren’t. The cycle will revolve with the next majority, no doubt.

  26. jupes

    Prices would fall making the trade less lucrative …

    … and much easier for kiddies to purchase.

  27. Jannie

    Every time there is a discussion on drug usage, the authoritarian tendencies of so called libertarians are outed. No matter how bad drugs are for people and individuals, the harm done by the prohibition model is much greater. We have around 150 years of observable evidence for Coke, Opium and Cannabis, but we still take our cue from the prohibitionist nannies.

    And even if drugs are bad for you, so what? Its my fucking life OK? If you are worried about your children, then teach them your morals yourself, or they WILL become dependant on things much worse than drugs.

  28. Spiro

    … and much easier for kiddies to purchase.

    Bad parents.

  29. Paul

    “Its my fucking life OK? ”

    Fine. We’ll remember that when you’re screaming the ED down because you’re coming down, and the shattering of your mind means you need sedation and time-out in the psych ward, hopefully before you lose it and punch out an innocent 21 year-old nurse that you think for certain is coming to kill you, even though she’s just bringing you a drink or something. This is often the reality. Enjoy your fucking life OK?

  30. cynical1

    “And even if drugs are bad for you, so what? Its my fucking life OK”?

    Well, don’t drive your fucking car when out of it, or leave fucking syringes on the beach or call an call an ambulance when you OD. Or start king hitting people on the street.Or steal to feed the habit.

    Your fucking life.

    Fine.

    Don’t affect mine.

  31. Baldrick

    Ubique
    #1150561, posted on January 14, 2014 at 4:30 pm
    The Colorado link is supposed to be satire. It’s in poor taste.

    Hallelujah the penny dropped ;)

  32. jupes

    Bad parents.

    Yeah because no kid with good parents ever took drugs.

  33. Pedro

    “A more sinister sign of America going to seed would be hard to find. Lives are routinely ruined and at a young age by their use but these mind altering drugs are utterly acceptable. ”

    Crap. Lives are ruined by the stupid criminalisation of drug use. Evidence for lives ruined by grass is pretty thin on the ground.

  34. Jannie

    Cynical1, that sounds fair enough to me, drug users should be responsible for their actions, sober or stoned. And most of your quoted bad behaviours are already illegal anyway. Now (figuratively speaking) will you leave me alone?

  35. Aristogeiton

    It is the responsibility of the state to protect the citizen from themselves for the good of the collective. This is particularly where the behaviour of the individual has no direct effect on the liberty of others, for the citizenry are then less likely to interdict. The responsibility exists because the state owes a duty of care both to the individual citizen, and to all his fellows as members of the polis. This duty and its exercise does not arise from the consent of the citizen any more than does the relation between paterfamilias and servus arise from the will of the servii. The best way for the state to discharge its duties is to raise almost complete taxation to limit discretionary spending and to prohibit intoxicating substances like Gin, fast food and illicit drugs. This is the entire point of J. S. Mill’s ‘On Liberty’.

  36. Infidel Tiger

    Cocaine is the most terrible drug. It can turn you into a ravishingly beautiful woman with a multinational media/publishing/retail empire, with two beautiful kids who adore you.

  37. Infidel Tiger

    It is the responsibility of the state to protect the citizen from themselves for the good of the collective.

    No it’s not.

    Sod off commie.

  38. Aristogeiton

    Infidel Tiger
    #1150673, posted on January 14, 2014 at 5:52 pm
    It is the responsibility of the state to protect the citizen from themselves for the good of the collective.

    No it’s not.

    Sod off commie.

    Come on IT. Do I really need to add a /sarc to that?

  39. Infidel Tiger

    There sure are a lot of Catallaxy commentators whose only knowledge of drugs seems to have come from 1960′s era prohibition films. Clueless would be a mild under statement.

  40. Infidel Tiger

    Do I really need to add a /sarc to that?

    Sorry, I’m usually much more perceptive than that. Must be all the drugs I’m on.

  41. JC

    IT
    He sounds more like an old style fascist posing as a third way zombie.

  42. RCon

    Wow, so many people shouting about how others should lead their lives I feel like I just stepped on the The Drum.

  43. Jannie

    It is the responsibility of the state to protect the citizen from themselves for the good of the collective.

    Um, this is parody/sarc right? The drugs make it hard to tell. What friggin website is this?

  44. Aristogeiton

    Jannie
    #1150692, posted on January 14, 2014 at 6:01 pm
    It is the responsibility of the state to protect the citizen from themselves for the good of the collective.

    Um, this is parody/sarc right? The drugs make it hard to tell. What friggin website is this?

    This is the comments section for a Mungo McCallum article on The Drum.

  45. Leigh Lowe

    I don’t give a shit what people smoke really.
    Just don’t expect me to fund a DSP for them when they are an unemployable paranoid couch-potato at the age of 35.
    Oh, and no “diminished responsibility” for criminal acts performed because of and/or in support of their habit.

  46. Jannie

    I have Lost The Plot. And the only drugs I take in Australia are legal painkillers.

  47. Spiro

    Yeah because no kid with good parents ever took drugs.

    Stupid jupes! If you allow your kids to take drugs, your ARE a shit parent!

  48. JimD

    JC , Still not and never have been but half the fuckwits above must be on it and oughta be in gaol.

  49. JC

    There sure are a lot of Catallaxy commentators whose only knowledge of drugs seems to have come from 1960′s era prohibition films. Clueless would be a mild under statement.

    That would be me. I never did coke for a really good reason. I knew I would like it too much. There was literally pounds of the stuff in the old Wall street hey days. Fuckers would go outside or in the loo and then come out fully pumped on coke. They didn’t even hide it because in most cases the boss was doing it too.

    Recall that bullshit Clinton spun that he once smoked weed and never inhaled?
    An older boss of mine worked for a US bank’s London office in the early 80′s. The US embassy rounded up a posse from the American community because the then young governor Bill Clinton was in town. The dude reckoned that the party ended up at Clinton’s hotel room and the coke came out. Bill was the biggest snorter since that scene in Scarface when Al PAcino dunked his nose in a table topped with coke.

  50. JC

    I wasn’t referring to you JimmyD this time. I was talking about that babbling Ari or whatever his name is.

  51. Jazza

    I don’t give a fig what adults do for their thrills when it doesn’t affect me and mine.
    However, I worry that s children will see adults in their homes taking more and more drugs and trying to tell them “Don’t do as I do, do as I say and Don’t do it!” which has long been the case for many with alcohol and tobacco, and doesn’t work 99% of the time!
    MJ has been shown in an Australian study( watched the ABC doco of it in 2011) to have caused mental illness forms eg Schzophrenia in people who smoked MJ in their very early teens-,13-16-link to it was beyond the expected % affected.
    This young age is when lots of teens are beginning to “revolt” and are vulnerable
    All in all I’m not in favour of multiple drugs being legalised, but I don’t see why MJ cannot be universally available with doctor’s prescription in a similar way that Protos for one example is available to those of OAP age who have been tested for Osteoporosis and have sustained a bone break in the past,because there is sufficient medical evidence instantly available to any authority requiring it.I have a nephew a quad who was dobbed in(in Victoria) by a disgruntled applicant for a carer’s role in his home, cos he grew ONE plant in a hothouse for his own use.
    The local court and police knew about him but had to apply the law so the policeman came to destroy his “crop”, was very apologetic about it all, but had to fine him $100. My nephew’s pain is very real and to deny him something to really ease it when prescriptions drugs no longer can after his physical imprisonment in a chair for over 29 years, is a tantamount to bureaucratic torture!

  52. face ache

    Everyone should take drugs and drink as much as they like. When it becomes life threatening to yourself and destructive of those around you, you join a 12 step group and get clean (like I did, 10 yrs sober) and discover how bloody wonderful life is without any of that crap.

  53. Infidel Tiger

    Decriminalization doesn’t mean you condone its use and abuse. Light beer isn’t allowed in my house and that shit is freely available.

  54. Gab

    (like I did, 10 yrs sober)

    That’s bloody marvelous. Congratulations!

  55. Spiro

    I worry that s children will see adults in their homes taking more and more drugs and trying to tell them “Don’t do as I do, do as I say and Don’t do it!” which has long been the case for many with alcohol and tobacco, and doesn’t work 99% of the time!

    Jazza, its not the responsibility of the state to take care of peoples kids, its the parents. If people take drugs in front of kids, then it is this behaviour which should be sanctioned. Its not against the law to have sex, but the cops would like to have a word with you if you were to do it in front of your kids.

  56. I am the Walrus, koo koo k'choo

    Looks like Steve K. was scarred for life by watching Reefer Madness in year eight social studies class.

    More Tory bedwetting infesting our libertarian blog.

    The odd thing is, the unstated presumption is that prohibition is working, when any 14 year old could point you to the neighbourhood dealer, and the stuff is cheaper than beer.

    The Tories don’t seem to get this.

    It’s taking an awful long time to sink in.

  57. Joe

    “Think of it as evolution in action.”

    Louis Wu (nee Larry Niven)

  58. Rabz

    Light beer isn’t allowed in my house and that shit is freely available.

    Life’s too short to drink light beer.

  59. JimD

    JC, I wasn’t referring to any comment in particular simply pointing out that a good proportion of commenters oughta be where you purport I’ve been but never have.:)

  60. Baldrick

    10 yrs sober – and discover how bloody wonderful life is without any of that crap.

    Not wishing to sound patronising but good for you face ache.

  61. Aristogeiton

    Infidel Tiger
    #1150711, posted on January 14, 2014 at 6:16 pm
    Decriminalization doesn’t mean you condone its use and abuse. Light beer isn’t allowed in my house and that shit is freely available.

    Yes it does. True libertarians, in acknowledging the liberty of the individual, acknowledge that individuals should be free from the judgment of their compatriots. To do otherwise transgresses the harm principle; studies show that criticism has a negative effect on self-esteem. We are safer criminalising drug use and avoiding the harm that the exercise of critical judgement about the behaviour of others causes.

  62. jupes

    Stupid jupes! If you allow your kids to take drugs, your ARE a shit parent!

    Yeah because no kid ever took drugs against their parents wishes.

  63. Gab

    I hope I didn’t sound patronizing, face ache becuase that certainly was not my intention.

  64. I am the Walrus, koo koo k'choo

    Good on you face ache.

  65. Spiro

    Yeah because no kid ever took drugs against their parents wishes.

    Yeah, bad parenting.

  66. C.L.

    Wow, so many people shouting about how others should lead their lives I feel like I just stepped on the The Drum.

    Yeah, the intro par threw me?

    Steve is going Roxonian now?

    Charles Saatchi has, by the quotes extracted in your post, demonstrated himself to be a perjurer given his testimony in the recent court proceedings. He also held his wife in a chokehold at a restaurant. He’s a grub.

    Hear hear.

  67. C.L.

    Meant:

    Yeah, the intro par threw me.

    Steve is going Roxonian now?

  68. H B Bear

    Two guys I know who committed suicide in their 30s were both heavy users of marijuana from high school onwards. Clearly if you have a predisposition to schizophrenia or a number of other mental health conditions, using marijuana before the brain is fully developed in your early 2os is just asking for trouble. I also lived with a couple of South Africans in the UK who would have a smoke every night after dinner with absolutely no ill effects whatsoever.

    Like most drugs, people will have a range of experiences on it – the problem is you just don’t know in advance who will be adversely affected by it. The Colorado experiment will be interesting to watch. I fully expect it to get unwound some time down the track.

  69. Infidel Tiger

    The Colorado experiment will be interesting to watch. I fully expect it to get unwound some time down the track.

    Only difference between the new system and the old is that now the State of Colorado will get tax revenue. Every single person who wanted to smoke pot already was.

  70. candy

    A more sinister sign of America going to seed would be hard to find.

    I’m not sure about sinister but it’s very troubling, marijuana can sap people of motivation and they lead lives of nothing, a waste of young lives.

  71. H B Bear

    True – the biggest addicts are the State and their taxation revenue. Look at the pokies.

  72. Aristogeiton

    candy
    #1150760, posted on January 14, 2014 at 7:04 pm
    A more sinister sign of America going to seed would be hard to find.

    I’m not sure about sinister but it’s very troubling, marijuana can sap people of motivation and they lead lives of nothing, a waste of young lives.

    Quite right! If it wasn’t for the Opium Exclusion Act of 1909, America’s Gilded Age would never have occurred.

  73. Tardell G

    I’m all for state sanctioned drugs like heroin and cocaine.
    I’d be on them like a fat kid on smarties.

  74. To the dopophiles, I have never known anyone to drink before getting out of bed in the morning. Sure, some alcoholics might, but such people are considered pariahs in society.

  75. jupes

    Yeah, bad parenting.

    So Spiro, as a kid you never did anything against your parents wishes? And you are a male?

    Or did you have bad parents?

  76. Like most drugs, people will have a range of experiences on it – the problem is you just don’t know in advance who will be adversely affected by it.

    True. But we are starting to get some data now from a large population-based study.

    The Colorado experiment will be interesting to watch. I fully expect it to get unwound some time down the track

    This is how I think about the parents using medical-grade liquid cannabis for their epileptic children. It’s fine that it’s working now. But what about in six months, two years and then ten years (if the child lives that long)? What about potential long-term side-effects?

    People who complain about ‘restrictions’ on their ‘right’ to access these products are usually also the first ones to complain when their experiments go wrong, and when they discover they weren’t ‘protected’ enough by the gummint.

  77. Aristogeiton

    “The Scythians then take the seed of this hemp (κάνναβις; cannabis) and, crawling in under the mats, throw it on the red-hot stones, where it smoulders and sends forth such fumes that no Greek vapor-bath could surpass it.

    The Scythians howl in their joy at the vapor-bath. This serves them instead of bathing, for they never wash their bodies with water.”
    (Herodotus, Historiae, 4.75, tr. A. D. Godley)

    This was written in the 5th century B. C. For the wowsers, Herodotus also reports that the Scythians’ custom was to drink the blood of the first man they killed. Their civilization was, however, prosperous at the time Herodotus wrote this.

  78. Everyone should take drugs and drink as much as they like. When it becomes life threatening to yourself and destructive of those around you, you join a 12 step group and get clean (like I did, 10 yrs sober) and discover how bloody wonderful life is without any of that crap.

    Pity about those people you killed on that drunken high-speed drive home that time.

    Or that friend at uni that committed suicide on a bad trip.

    Or that girl you knew who injected some absolutely capital-grade horse you scored, that turned out to be rather too capital for her small frame and already-suffering respiratory system, and the paramedics didn’t get there in time with the shot.

    Unfortunately for some people, this is how they make the amazing discovery that doing this kind of thing is life threatening to yourself and destructive of those around you.

  79. Aristogeiton

    Philippa Martyr
    #1150794, posted on January 14, 2014 at 7:35 pm
    [...]
    This is how I think about the parents using medical-grade liquid cannabis for their epileptic children. It’s fine that it’s working now. But what about in six months, two years and then ten years (if the child lives that long)? What about potential long-term side-effects?

    The “medicinal marijuana” argument is a furphy. My understanding is that in California marijuana is basically legalised; one just has to go to a compliant doctor, complain about ‘anxiety’, and nudge-nudge, wink-wink.

    I support the legalisation and taxation of marijuana, but would much prefer that advocates were honest about their aims. In the same vein, I would prefer advocates of gay marriage admit that they want to redefine the institution of marriage, rather than asserting falsely that it is already so defined.

  80. JC

    Babbling Ari says

    Yes it does. True libertarians, in acknowledging the liberty of the individual, acknowledge that individuals should be free from the judgment of their compatriots.

    To do otherwise transgresses the harm principle; studies show that criticism has a negative effect on self-esteem.

    Ari, you have a sophomore’s understanding of what libertarianism actually is and means. There’s nothing in libertarian philosophy that discusses issues to do with self esteem. You’ve obviously confused that with some tawdry junk learnt in the women’s studies subject at the TAFE you went to. The consequentialist principle integral to libertarianism would be worth shit if your pathetic interpretation were correct.

    We are safer criminalising drug use and avoiding the harm that the exercise of critical judgement about the behaviour of others causes.

    Okay, lets put up the tab.

    The number of people that haven’t done drugs, because they are illegal, number three in the entire world. The number of people dead in Mexico alone as a result of the northern drug trade over the past decade numbers over 100,000. The number of people dead as a result of taking bad dope with no quality control is very high too. In other words you are talking shit. Go away or apologize you dope.

  81. JC

    Ari says:

    I support the legalisation and taxation of marijuana, but would much prefer that advocates were honest about their aims.

    Huh?

    Earlier Ari says

    We are safer criminalising drug use and avoiding the harm that the exercise of critical judgement about the behaviour of others causes.

    anyone see the movie Memento? It’s about a dude without any short term memory.

    One last thing Ari.

    True libertarians, in acknowledging the liberty of the individual, acknowledge that individuals should be free from the judgment of their compatriots.

    You can’t be human if you don’t have opinions.

    You’re a pompous twat ari. This site has been going for about a decade. We don’t need any lessons from you about what libertarianism means.

  82. Snoopy

    The State should have no right to control what I ingest by whatever means.

  83. Aristogeiton

    JC
    #1150825, posted on January 14, 2014 at 7:53 pm

    JC, you have a seriously underdeveloped sense of humour.

    I also earlier asserted that:

    “[T]he responsibility of the state to protect the citizen from themselves for the good of the collective [...] is the entire point of J. S. Mill’s ‘On Liberty’.”

    In case you can’t tell, I’m taking the piss out of the so-called libertarians here who turn into raging fascists when discussing issues like drugs or criminal procedure.

    Poe’s law in action I suppose.

  84. jupes

    In case you can’t tell, I’m taking the piss out of the so-called libertarians here who turn into raging fascists when discussing issues like drugs or criminal procedure.

    Not everyone here considers themselves a libertarian. Just sayin’.

  85. Aristogeiton

    jupes
    #1150843, posted on January 14, 2014 at 8:11 pm
    [...]
    Not everyone here considers themselves a libertarian. Just sayin’.

    Well, I don’t see how you could with a straight face.

  86. Spiro

    a kid you never did anything against your parents wishes

    Never, only as an adult.

  87. Aristogeiton

    Spiro
    #1150846, posted on January 14, 2014 at 8:13 pm
    a kid you never did anything against your parents wishes

    Never, only as an adult.

    That’s good parenting.

  88. JC

    So all those monologues are all humorous, Ari? You’re just taking the piss every time you post a comment?

  89. Aristogeiton

    JC
    #1150848, posted on January 14, 2014 at 8:14 pm
    So all those monologues are all humorous, Ari? You’re just taking the piss every time you post a comment?

    Just where it’s patently ridiculous JC:

    If it wasn’t for the Opium Exclusion Act of 1909, America’s Gilded Age would never have occurred.

    We are safer criminalising drug use and avoiding the harm that the exercise of critical judgement about the behaviour of others causes.

    This is the comments section for a Mungo McCallum article on The Drum.

    The best way for the state to discharge its duties is to raise almost complete taxation to limit discretionary spending and to prohibit intoxicating substances like Gin, fast food and illicit drugs.

    I am a classical liberal.

  90. .

    This is how I think about the parents using medical-grade liquid cannabis for their epileptic children. It’s fine that it’s working now. But what about in six months, two years and then ten years (if the child lives that long)? What about potential long-term side-effects?

    They won’t die of epilepsy in their childhood. That’s how that works.

    People who complain about ‘restrictions’ on their ‘right’ to access these products are usually also the first ones to complain when their experiments go wrong, and when they discover they weren’t ‘protected’ enough by the gummint.

    Everyone who breaks the current rules is a airheaded lefty grub on the dole and DSP under three names?

    Come on now.

  91. Leigh Lowe

    I am not against drug-taking per se, just that I don’t want to pick up the pieces (directly or indirectly). I know of several people who are drawing a DSP solely due to drug abuse. That’s something I don’t want to pay for.
    Oh, and not to mention the juiced up fucker who took out three people on Dandenong Road on Sunday night.
    Who wants to explain the relative benefits of liberalised drug use to the bereaved families?

  92. JC

    Just where it’s patently ridiculous JC:

    Okay, fair enough. We have people here like Captn Spuds, Monster, Stepford and Kero boy and assorted blowins like that little varmint, Alfie, who always post ridiculous things, so it’s very hard to tell.

  93. .

    JC

    Aristos is a good guy. He just babbles. We all have our faults like my recovering and hopefully defeated troll bashing addiction.

  94. jupes
    Never, only as an adult.

    That’s good parenting.

    Are you Spiro’s dad Ari?

  95. .

    Who wants to explain the relative benefits of liberalised drug use to the bereaved families?

    Even the lowest levels of prohibition and control have unacceptable costs.

    Want to explain to the families of murdered tobacco farmers the benefits of high excise?

  96. .

    …and I’m Uncle Zorba the Great.

  97. Aristogeiton

    JC
    #1150871, posted on January 14, 2014 at 8:27 pm
    Just where it’s patently ridiculous JC:

    Okay, fair enough. We have people here like Captn Spuds, Monster, Stepford and Kero boy and assorted blowins like that little varmint, Alfie, who always post ridiculous things, so it’s very hard to tell.

    NP. In my defence, I did just today accuse numbers of being a draft dodger, and have frequently abused fatboy.

  98. jupes

    We all have our faults like my recovering and hopefully defeated troll bashing addiction statement that there are only 200 Muslim terrorists in the world.

    With the Aussie Al-Qaeda chick now in paradise, I think there’s only 171 left now Dot.

  99. JC

    Aristos is a good guy. He just babbles. We all have our faults like my recovering and hopefully defeated troll bashing addiction.

    Oaky, no probs. It’s hard to know from the newbies as the last several have been shockers.

  100. JC

    NP. In my defence, I did just today accuse numbers of being a draft dodger, and have frequently abused fatboy.

    Okay, Okay. Jeepers everyone is jumping down my throat this evening for some reason.

  101. jupes
    So Spiro, as a kid you never did anything against your parents wishes

    Never, only as an adult.

    So you never got a smack, were grounded or sent to bed early?

    No wonder Ari is so up himself.

  102. C.L.

    … marijuana can sap people of motivation …

    So can working in the public sector. So why don’t they ban that?

  103. .

    jupes
    #1150888, posted on January 14, 2014 at 8:31 pm

    We all have our faults like my recovering and hopefully defeated troll bashing addiction statement that there are only 200 Muslim terrorists in the world.

    With the Aussie Al-Qaeda chick now in paradise, I think there’s only 171 left now Dot.

    Christ almighty. Did I ever say that?

    No.

    I challenged your idea that there are literally millions of Muslim terrorists in the world and you squibbed when you were asked to break down/quantify/verify this.

  104. C.L.

    Philippa, I’m pretty sure the parents of the severe epileptic girl would regard “long term side effects” as a kind of Godsend given that her prognosis was imminent death.

  105. Aristogeiton

    jupes
    #1150895, posted on January 14, 2014 at 8:35 pm
    So Spiro, as a kid you never did anything against your parents wishes
    Never, only as an adult.

    So you never got a smack, were grounded or sent to bed early?

    No wonder Ari is so up himself.

    Quite the opposite. It was a constant battle with my poor parents. They were so stupid when I was young, and always wrong about everything. As time has gone on they have gotten retrospectively smarter, and the values they taught me have somehow become more estimable. I don’t know what happened, but I have learned to forgive them :)

  106. C.L.

    We all have our faults like my recovering and hopefully defeated troll bashing addiction.

    I have called Dot the Sonny Corleone of Catallaxy.

    Come ere, come ere, come ere, come ere!

  107. Infidel Tiger

    I have called Dot the Sonny Corleone of Catallaxy.

    Better than Fredo.

  108. jumpnmcar

    I have a big problem with people being ” under the influence ” of drugs be it weed, grog or prescribed on a work site or in a car.
    On your own property in private time , go as hard as you want.
    But your ” freedom ” isn’t allowed on my work site if it endangers others.

  109. tomix

    I have a big problem with people being ” under the influence ” of drugs be it weed, grog or prescribed on a work site or in a car.

    Unless you’re a smoker you couldn’t tell. All I know about speed is that it is way more popular than weed with factory and construction workers and always has been.

  110. Aristogeiton

    All I know about speed is that I can’t taste it in my morning OJ.

  111. jumpnmcar

    tomix

    All I know about speed is that it is way more popular than weed with factory and construction workers and always has been

    .
    Where you live maybe, and in factories maybe.
    But in construction up here weed is no 1.
    The big trouble is a test for ” under the influence ” ( not that i can’t tell ) for it rather than ” has consumed in the last 6 months”

  112. .

    That is such bullshit.

    You could smoke weed many days before you’re back at work, site with the tools on the job…

    …and get fired for it.

    What a load of fascist claptrap.

    Yes, I know it is the prerogative of private employers…but I suspect there is a O&HS directive pushing this.

  113. Jessie

    Philippa @7.25

    YLDs and DALYs attributed to regular cannabis use as a risk factor for schizophrenia were also estimated.
    Our estimates suggest that cannabis use as a risk factor for schizophrenia is not a major contributor to population-level disease burden.

  114. coz

    So, why aren’t SA, WA and ACT awash with damaged people whose motivation was sapped by the debbil weed in their teenage years leading to a miserable life of blah blah blah? Why hasn’t the sky fallen in there?

  115. coz

    One wurld fascist gubbmint is strongly opposed to marijuana, all the more reason to support it, yeah? If they’re agin it, i’m fur it.

  116. flyingduk

    I really don’t care if my neighbour smokes himself into a de-motivated wreck on weed provided I don’t suffer for it, and the ways I can suffer for it are twofold
    1) I pay for it by way of subsidising his health care, pension etc : this can be easily avoided by not providing such benefits
    2) he causes me direct harm by his actions in an impaired state : this too can be dealt with by criminalising the direct harm, not the behaviour that precipitated it.

    If we saved all the dollars spent inefficiently on prohibition and directed it instead on criminalising direct harm, I would be much the happier

  117. Why the fuck does Steve Kates even post here?

    If only his mum had smoked more weed, she might have been too stoned and fuck and then another totalitarian asshole would never have been born.

  118. Steve Kates is not Australian, and not a Libertarian or classical liberal of any stripe. Why is he one of the most prolific posters on “Australia’s leading libertarian and centre-right blog”.

    Go suck Rick Santorum’s cock, Steve Kates.

  119. coz

    Has Steve been assimilated by the Borg?

  120. coz

    They all speak with the one mouth, you know, the borgpeople, many people, one mouth.

  121. Aristogeiton

    Yobbo
    #1151124, posted on January 14, 2014 at 10:24 pm
    [...]
    Why is he one of the most prolific posters on “Australia’s leading libertarian and centre-right blog”.

    Answered your own question, dipshit.

  122. Sinclair Davidson

    A bit grumpy tonight Yobbo?

  123. JC

    Go suck Rick Santorum’s cock, Steve Kates.

    Hey Yobbo, aren’t sorta adding the gay slurring you were bitterly complaining about the other day, that supposedly occurs here?

  124. Mick Gold Coast QLD

    What an extraordinarily primitive way to express oneself! One trusts he doesn’t expect to enjoy a hearing.

  125. coz

    There’s gayslurring here?

  126. JC, only if you consider to begin with that suggesting a gay relationship is a slur. Steve Kates does not have a libertarian bone in his body. His only purpose here is to parrot talking points of the right of the US republican party, something which has literally nothing to do with either libertarianism or centre-right Australian politics.

    All of his posts are utter shit and completely worthless to non-Americans.

  127. .

    His economics stuff is very good. The other stuff is right from an unenlightened part of the world where the light of reason burns dimly.

  128. dd

    The psychotropic drugs will tune you out but at a young age, and can make a normal life impossible. Many young lives are ruined by these various drugs which are not to be messed with.

    Steve, you are absolutely correct. Drugs are unhealthy and dangerous, and psychotropic drugs can really mess up people’s brains.

    Even so I encourage you to rethink your position. Enlisting the police to lock people away for doing this is the wrong way to go from a pro-freedom perspective. If we go down that path, then all bad, risky, and unhealthy choices will be outlawed. I read a statistic once that for every six people who climb Mount Everest, there is one person who dies in the attempt. That’s one hell of a risky behavior – but should we ban mountain climbing? If we do then we should certainly ban hang-gliding, paragliding, caving, around the world yacht expeditions, surfboard riding, and many other dangerous pursuits.

    The fact is that, like drugs, people do these things because they are fun. They spice up what is for some an otherwise boring existence. It’s their choice to play roulette with their health – or life – if they so choose.

  129. coz

    I liked it when he was dabbling in conspiracy theory, it seemed to suit him.

  130. Sinclair Davidson

    Can I just say that dd’s approach is more valuable than Yobbo’s approach.

  131. candy


    borgpeople?

    huh?

    Coz above says: They all speak with the one mouth, you know, the borgpeople, many people, one mouth.

  132. candy

    Steve Kates sounds very charming and smart.

  133. Jessie – thanks for the link.

    I read the actual article, not just the abstract, and the article couldn’t be clearer, right there in the introduction:

    In the intervening years, there has been a steady increase in the quantity and quality of research on cannabis use and psychosis (or schizophrenia)[16-18]. Overall, these studies indicate that chance is an unlikely explanation of their association[16-18]. Recent reviews of prospective general population studies of associations between cannabis use and later psychosis[17,18] concluded that although control for confounding reduced the size of the association, there was an increased risk of psychotic outcomes in individuals who used cannabis, with the greatest risk among those who used cannabis most frequently. It is useful to distinguish two primary ways in which cannabis use could be a “cause” of psychosis[19]. The strongest form of causal link is that heavy cannabis use causes a psychosis that would not otherwise have occurred. A second hypothesis is that cannabis use is a contributory cause: it might precipitate psychosis in vulnerable individuals – that it is one factor among many (including genetic predisposition and other unknown causes) that act together to cause psychotic disorders.

    The evidence suggests that it is more likely than not that cannabis use precipitates schizophrenia in vulnerable persons[20-24]. This is consistent with other lines of evidence suggesting that there is a complex constellation of factors leading to the development of psychosis (the stress-diathesis model of schizophrenia) and with studies suggesting that gene-environment interactions may provide some explanation of the association [20]. It is also consistent with conflicting evidence to date on whether changes in cannabis use have been associated with changes in the incidence of psychotic disorders in the general population[21-23]. There is also some evidence that cannabis use is associated with increased likelihood of relapse to psychosis among those who have developed a psychotic disorder [25], although the quality of control for confounding in these studies is poor [25]. In some studies cannabis use has also been associated with a younger age of onset of psychosis [26], although control for confounding variables in these has also been poor.

  134. coz

    So why isn’t SA, WA and the ACT awash with ruined lived, people driven to the edge of madness by weed? This reefer madness hysteria is just NWO drivel, not born out of reality.

  135. dd

    So why isn’t SA, WA and the ACT awash with ruined lived, people driven to the edge of madness by weed?

    let’s not get carried away here…. it is possible for pot to ruin lives, just as it is with any drug (including alcohol as we all know). Pot’s unhealthy. That’s not even up for debate.

    This is where pro-legalisation people always trip up. They want to deny there’s a tradeoff. They want to deny there’s a cost.

  136. coz

    Apply the same argument to sodomy.

  137. Apply the same argument to sodomy.

    I did this once. I rendered a fashionably bisexual and opinionated university lecturer/doctor speechless.

    I was off outside to have a smoke, and he told me off for smoking – health risks, bad for me, etc.

    I said, ‘I do not tell you what to do with your penis, so kindly don’t tell me what to do with my lungs.’

    Collapse of stout party.

  138. Mick Gold Coast QLD

    I know not much about marihuana. Forty plus years ago the habit was in its infancy and most of us had other things to do.

    There are a couple of former school mates, male and female, and a bloke who failed to complete his professional cadetship or capitalise on his sporting ability (cos’ the party beckoned and mum was rich and a local mayor) who reckoned it was the way to go.

    They cannot put two consecutive thoughts together now, or stop their hands and body shaking, or do anything about their faces looking 30 years too old. They were pretty much on the skids before they turned 30.

  139. dan

    Steve are you aware that drug prohibition has been attempted in a few places and hasn’t been very effective?
    It seems there might be a few unintended consequences too, I have heard criminals have become involved in the supply of outlawed drugs.

  140. .

    You are right DD, but on that basis, the Greens would have their way and everything post stone age would be banned because of the precautionary principle.

  141. jupes

    Christ almighty. Did I ever say that?

    No.

    Oh dear, your memory isn’t what it used to be:

    Billions of Muslims, a couple of hundred terrorists.

    At 10:18 at the link.

  142. .

    I was flippant jupes, I was wrong and inaccurate. However you are taking liberty with my flipppant remark, quantifying that in paticular.

    Referring to the West I’m probably close to the mark. Even since the PLO hijacking airliners, how many Islamists have committed a terrorist attack against the West. If it is over 1,000, I’ll be shocked.

    Carpe noted there was 22,617 terrorist attacks since 9/11.

    Somehow you think this means there are millions of Islamic terrorists, the exact number you don’t want to quantify.

    How you front run my flippant remark but don’t want to quantify yours is a bit rich.

    In orders of magnitude, you are further from the data than I am.

  143. jupes

    However you are taking liberty with my flipppantstupid remark.

    Bloody oath I am.

    In orders of magnitude, you are further from the data than I am.

    No way. I have quantified my remarks to a degree. I have named terrorist groups who have membership in the thousands, if not tens of thousands. Some like the Muslim Brotherhood probably have membership in the hundreds of thousands.

    Unfortunately most of these terrorist organisations don’t post their nominal rolls on line, however you can be sure there are millions of the fuckers.

  144. Gab

    Yiu two are hilarious, Dot and Jupes. Statler and Waldorf appear at the Cat each day :)

  145. .

    I have named terrorist groups who have membership in the thousands, if not tens of thousands. Some like the Muslim Brotherhood probably have membership in the hundreds of thousands.

    I’m still closer to the mark.

    you can be sure there are millions of the fuckers

    No I can’t!

  146. jupes

    I’m still closer to the mark.

    If you say so Dot. 200 171 Muslim terrorists in the world. Accurate as fuck.

  147. Elephant Stone

    “A more sinister sign of America going to seed would be hard to find”

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  148. Helen

    estnranged husband, Charles Saatchi:

    FIFY

  149. Oh come on

    Fine. We’ll remember that when you’re screaming the ED down because you’re coming down, and the shattering of your mind means you need sedation and time-out in the psych ward, hopefully before you lose it and punch out an innocent 21 year-old nurse that you think for certain is coming to kill you, even though she’s just bringing you a drink or something. This is often the reality.

    ………………….

    Enjoy your fucking life OK? Well, don’t drive your fucking car when out of it, or leave fucking syringes on the beach or call an call an ambulance when you OD. Or start king hitting people on the street.Or steal to feed the habit.

    Your fucking life.

    Fine.

    Don’t affect mine.

    Unless you are advocating that a defendant should be able to claim “I was drunk/high” to successfully avoid conviction, I don’t see what on earth this has to do with anything.

  150. Abu Chowdah

    JC, only if you consider to begin with that suggesting a gay relationship is a slur.

    It is well known that instructing someone to do something repulsive is a classic insult. For you to pretend that your injunction to go suck someone’s cock wasn’t meant to hinge on the fact that most heterosexual men find homosexual fellatio repulsive is both disingenuous and cowardly.

  151. Oh come on

    Abu is right, Yobs. You’re looking like a bit of a hypocrite.

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