Zeev Vinokurov: The ‘lawyer X case’ shows how drug laws undermine the justice system

An outrageous injustice is currently being investigated before a Royal Commission in Melbourne – the case of Lawyer X, now revealed as Nicola Gobbo, who represented many of the most infamous figures in the city’s gangland wars of the nineties and noughties while also informing on those very same clients to the police. But what the Royal Commission most likely won’t do is look at the deeper causes of the entire affair – our prohibitive drug laws.

Ms Gobbo’s conduct – what the High Court said

Here is how the High Court of Australia has described Ms Gobbo’s behaviour and that of the police:

[Ms Gobbo’s] actions in purporting to act as counsel for the Convicted Persons while covertly informing against them were fundamental and appalling breaches of [her] obligations as counsel to her clients and of [her] duties to the court. Likewise, Victoria Police were guilty of reprehensible conduct in knowingly encouraging [Ms Gobbo] to do as she did and were involved in sanctioning atrocious breaches of the sworn duty of every police officer to discharge all duties imposed on them faithfully and according to law without favour or affection, malice or ill-will.

As a result of the High Court’s ruling, the Victorian Director of Public Prosecutions has written to Mokbel and 19 other criminals convicted of serious crimes to inform them that their convictions could be appealed, which could lead to their release.

The impact of Ms Gobbo’s behaviour

Ms Gobbo’s alleged behaviour, and that of the police, has dealt a serious blow to the criminal justice system. If people cannot trust lawyers to keep their instructions secret, no one will trust them or seek their advice. The entire legal system depends on people trusting their lawyers to give them legal advice so they can prepare for court. If people can’t turn to lawyers, they won’t know how to defend themselves or prepare their cases, resulting in waste, delay and injustice as innocent people or minor offenders end up in jail.

How our drug laws caused it

But this scandal unfolded, at least in part, because the police had become frustrated with the criminal justice system that seemingly let drug traffickers like Mokbel get away with it for years. But why were such traffickers escaping punishment? Astounding as it may seem, the answer lies in our drug laws.

Unlike laws against theft or murder, when people sell drugs there is usually no victim who complains to the police. There is simply a willing buyer and a willing seller. Drug networks grow and become profitable for this simple reason. As long as no one informs on them to the police, the network grows – unless someone gets caught.

That’s how people like Mokbel or Carl Williams get away with it for so long. Police may have had information about their wrongdoings, but information alone is not enough to convict people of crimes. Proof beyond reasonable doubt was required, and the police rarely have it unless someone is willing to testify.

So police have incentives to cut corners to catch drug dealers because they often don’t have witnesses to testify – and therefore a lack of evidence with which to prosecute suspects. It wouldn’t be the first time – there are reportedly seven other informers who have allegedly disclosed confidential information to police, including at least one other lawyer, Joseph Acquaro. Sadly – but unsurprisingly – Acquaro was shot dead in 2016. When police cut corners, they put lives at risk.

The fact is that none of this would be happening if drugs were manufactured safely and legally. There would be no gangs and no criminals to sell them if drugs were simply sold at pharmacies and manufactured by qualified technicians.

Instead, our drug laws make the drug trade more dangerous. Banning the lawful sale of drugs means only criminals, like Mokbel, sell them. As the penalty for selling drugs increases, so do the risks. Illegal drugs aren’t expensive to make, but because only criminals manufacture them, traffickers can increase their prices. Our drug laws make criminals very wealthy.

What’s worse is that drug dealers can’t turn to the law if someone breaks the rules – meaning they’re more likely to turn violent if a deal goes wrong. Moreover, illegal drugs are sometimes manufactured with dangerous impurities. In effect, our drug laws are empowering hardened criminals to sell dangerous drugs to the public.

Every attempt to clamp down on drug use has failed. Despite the fact that some 6700 drug offenders were in prison in 2018, the number of people who have used drugs in the last year has remained stable at about 15 per cent of the population for the last three decades. Penalties have increased, major traffickers were jailed, and police and a few lawyers have repeatedly broken the law. But nothing has changed.

If anything, arresting Mokbel and other drug dealers made their competitors who were still at large far wealthier, as prices increased in the short term after his operations came to a halt.

It’s time to reconsider our drug laws – they’re clearly not working. Instead of prohibiting drugs, we should consider a system that permits them to be legally and safely manufactured and sold. It’s worked without issues for Canada, Uruguay and ten American states including California. Why not here?

Vladimir “Zeev” Vinokurov is a solicitor. The views expressed here are his own. This po-ed was first published at Online Opinion

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188 Responses to Zeev Vinokurov: The ‘lawyer X case’ shows how drug laws undermine the justice system

  1. Arky

    Try having a drug house next door, then come back and tell us about victimless crime.
    It is not a victimless crime just because both perpetrators collude in fucking up the amenity for everyone else.

  2. Richard Stacpoole

    I have a few issues this this article. Just because both prime parties agree to the deal doesn’t make it a victimless crime. What about all the property theft that funds the crime? The loss of public amenity as Arky says. The violence of addicts off their heads?The increased rates of car and other accidents? The increased medical bills from treating acquired diseases and medical issues from side effects of the drugs?

    It is also extremely superficial to believe that making it legal and safe will fix these issues. Involve the government and they will stuff it up. Just look at California. To be safe there has to be testing in production. That means QA departments. No doubt there will be burdensome regulations about store placement, opening hours, treatment of overdoses etc. By the time the state is fully involved the safe and cheap will be unsafe and expensive. Then wait for the first lawsuit over an unjust death from a poor quality product or an overdose. It would be an intolerable risk for business to be exposed to that in this field. That means a government scheme to redress it. More taxes to pay for it.

    Then there are all the issues of how to deal with drug affected people driving, walking around and being active members of society. What will be considered safe levels for use? How will it be tested? Who will be responsible? I assume there will need to be a safe serving of drugs course developed, taught and regulated.

    Far easier to break into a store, steal the drugs and sell them on the street. More crime.

    This scheme of safe and legal just seems to be one of those cases of a solution being simple, obvious and wrong.

  3. I have a few issues this this article. Just because both prime parties agree to the deal doesn’t make it a victimless crime.

    Yes it does.

    ‘Prime parties’ – weasel words.

    What about all the property theft that funds the crime?

    What if a thief buys a sandwich? What if you are a baker and a “well known racing identity” orders a cake through your shop for his daughter’s wedding? Is the bloke you buy sugar from in turn responsible for any murders or assaults the mob boss ordered?

    The crime sought after to seek funds to make said purchases is because of inelastic demand and illegality.

    The violence of addicts off their heads?

    What about drunks in a pub?

    The increased rates of car and other accidents?

    No.

    The increased medical bills from treating acquired diseases and medical issues from side effects of the drugs?

    Socialism can be used to justify almost anything from an ever descending series of second-best arguments.

    It is also extremely superficial to believe that making it legal and safe will fix these issues.

    No it isn’t.

    https://www.cato.org/policy-analysis/thinking-about-drug-legalization

    That means QA departments.

    You can buy breathalysers, drug detec tion kits and pill testing kits at chemists. No government involved.

    Then wait for the first lawsuit over an unjust death from a poor quality product or an overdose.

    Better than having organised crime break your arm if you complain.

    It would be an intolerable risk for business to be exposed to that in this field.

    Then have a laissez faire economy and entrepreneurs can choose their risk profile they are comfortable with.

    That means a government scheme to redress it.

    This is insane. Anything but communism needs a redress scheme, so we need to be communist to prevent this?

    Then there are all the issues of how to deal with drug affected people driving, walking around and being active members of society.

    Probably like how they are dealt with now. Do you know anyone who doesn’t use drugs because of the legislation? No? I didn’t think so.

    What will be considered safe levels for use? How will it be tested?

    That’s actually a fair question. Drug testing on NSW roads can catch people when they’re sober but have residual metabolites. Which is just stupid.

    I assume there will need to be a safe serving of drugs course developed, taught and regulated.

    We didn’t have this before the 1920s or 1920s when prohibition came into existence and you’re simply presuming government licensed dispensaries: Portugal did not go down this path.

    Far easier to break into a store, steal the drugs and sell them on the street. More crime.

    No ts not, the relative costs of the incentives and prices change. Totally different.

    This scheme of safe and legal just seems to be one of those cases of a solution being simple, obvious and wrong.

    Drugs are actually far safer than they are made out to be; more so than alcohol. Both would be cheaper if the government just butt out of either field.

  4. Tim Neilson

    Despite the fact that some 6700 drug offenders were in prison in 2018, the number of people who have used drugs in the last year has remained stable at about 15 per cent of the population for the last three decades.

    So 85% haven’t.
    And how many of the 85% are only very occasional users because of difficulty of supply? That is, how many are actual problem users?
    You’re not necessarily describing a situation that would be improved by legalisation.

    As for California I understand that it’s estimated that about 80% of the cannabis trade is still illegal. Legal but high priced (because high taxed) doesn’t appeal to stoners.

    So unless you’re prepared to allow legal and low taxed drugs you’re wasting your time.

    Actually that might work for some drugs (e.g. nicotine and alcohol) but unless you can ensure that all the iceheads live in your neighbourhood, not mine, forget it.

  5. You’re not necessarily describing a situation that would be improved by legalisation.

    Explain how problem users and the rest of us are better off by keeping drugs illegal.

  6. John Constantine

    Everything you learned about marijuana at university may be wrong.

    We don’t have to guess anymore, just watch the canadians become lab rats in their real life, real time legalisation experiment.

    If they can make it work there, it can work anywhere.

    No dramatic headlines either way so far.

    Predictions on the federal level are more optimistic when it comes to research — especially when it comes to CBD and cannabis as a pain-relieving substitute for opioids. Dr. Adie Poe, a neuroscientist at Washington University in St. Louis, says she’s thrilled about two major developments in 2019: the consequences of the 2018 Farm Bill having effectively legalized CBD and other promising compounds, and the National Institute of Health’s HEAL initiative, which is focused on solutions to the opioid epidemic.

    The money from NIH, in particular, could be game-changing, Poe says.

    “The last time we had a funding boom like this was for HIV research in the Nineties,” she explains. “This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to find out what is the role of cannabis in the opioid crisis, and how can we use it as a first-line analgesic, rather than as a last resort.”

    https://www.rollingstone.com/culture/culture-features/2019-weed-marijuana-cannabis-what-to-expect-774035/

  7. Behind Enemy Lines

    Zeev Vinokurov: The ‘lawyer X case’ shows how drug laws undermine the justice system
    Posted on 8:25 pm, April 3, 2019 by Guest Author

    Don’t be ridiculous.

    The ‘lawyer X case’ shows how the police undermine the justice system.

  8. BorisG

    I generally agree with this article, but there is one inconsistency. The examples of drug legalization around the world are exclusively about marijuana. Most of these lucrative drug networks and drug lords are it dealing with this stuff. They are into ice, heroin, cocain and such stuff.

    I think legalization of marijuana, which is almost harmless, is no brained. I don’t like it’s smell but that is not a good reason to ban other people’s taste. It is hard drugs that are more difficult.

  9. BorisG

    Actually the relationship between x-lawyer case and drug laws is rather tangential. I would not be surprised if the police used informers in all sorts of other cases such as racketeering etc., if not terrorism.

    What I don’t hear is sackings and criminal prosecution of police officials.

  10. Chris M

    Drug dealing is mass murder of the worst kind (purely for greed) and requires hanging.

    when people sell drugs there is usually no victim

    Incredible the cr_p people will try to convince themselves of. Delusional doesn’t begin to describe it.

  11. Drug dealing is mass murder of the worst kind

    No. This is just a bizarre statement. Utterly bizarre. Forgetting the horrors of the Holodomor or Shoah;

    How many people have been “mass murdered” in Portugal since wholesale decrminalisation?

    How many people in the US do you think have died from the “War on Drugs”?

    Since in Australia, the total of alcohol deaths is roughly equal to all other drug deaths excluding tobacco combined; do you think each publican is a “mass murderer”?

  12. BorisG

    I have been following this Lawyer X case for some time. It is so bizarre that I would not be surprised if I live to see a Hollywood movie about it (with everything distorted as usual).

    I hope former and current police officials will go to jail over this but I think my hope is vain.

  13. C.L.

    Boris has a point. I think it’s being a tad unrealistic to expect heroin shops and cocaine shops to be opened in every high street. People are generally thinking of weed when they discuss legalisation. Having said that, I agree entirely with Vladimir that the war on drugs is a total failure that has done no measurable preponderance of good over harm. Rigging prosecutions is far more damaging to Australian society than all the cocaine snorted in a month. The attitude behind VicPol’s brazen willingness to commit crimes – to get even with its enemies – may also have infected policing more generally; causing them to rig the prosecution of a public figure accused of child sexual abuse, say.

  14. BorisG

    And I agree with CL. Some years ago I heard on the radio a fascinating debate about this topic between a former drug addict (and probably dealer – I don’t remember) and a former US drug czar, responsible for prosecution of the war on drugs. The fascinating aspect was that the former offficial was advocating for drug legalization because of enormous harm and no results from the war on drugs, while the former addict was against – I don’t remember his arguments.

    Yes it is unrealistic to expect cocaine and heroin sold in supermarkets but there is no compelling reason to restrict sale of these between consenting adults.

    Another nanny state policy aimed at preventing people from harming themselves, and having no effect.

  15. Howard Hill

    It’s time to reconsider our drug laws – they’re clearly not working. Instead of prohibiting drugs, we should consider a system that permits them to be legally and safely manufactured and sold.

    What a load of shit. The grubiment controls tobacco, I still buy it from peddlers because it’s sooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo much cheaper, like a 1100% cheaper!

    Just get out of peoples lives and mind your own damn business. The more people try to control others, the more this world turns to shit. If you have bad neighbours then damn well move! If you don’t want to move then shut the fck up.

    It creeps me to no end how people on a libertarian website have so much to say about controlling others.

  16. None

    There is no such thing as a victimless crime. There should be a law against stupid people being lawyers

  17. None

    I think legalization of marijuana, which is almost harmless, is no brained. I don’t like it’s smell but that is not a good reason to ban other people’s taste. It is hard drugs that are more difficult.

    Marijuana is not harmless. It kills your fucken brain cells. In induced psychosis. I wouldn’t let anyone operate a f****** forklift if they were stoned. I don’t want to be on a road with drivers who are stoned and I certainly doubt you’d board an airplane piloted by someone who’s just had a bong. I’m convinced that 90% of catallaxy readers are f****** dope heads. They certainly think like dope heads i. e. not at all.

  18. BorisG

    Marijuana is not harmless but is less harmful than alcohol and tobacco. Of Coode people on dope should not be allowed to drive etc. same as alcohol. No brainer.

  19. rickw

    What people should be most concerned about is the fact that this fundamentally corrupt police force now has 800 Assault Rifles at their disposal.

    People should also comprehend that there is a natural tendency for police forces to descend into corruption, the concept of delegating lethal force solely to them is completely flawed.

  20. Chris M

    the war on drugs is a total failure

    Because there never has been a ‘war on drugs’ in Australia.

    In the Philippines – where the people suffered so much from junkies and actually had a war on drugs – they have very significantly reduced the number of dealers and users. Other Asian countries similar, works well.

  21. Behind Enemy Lines

    Chris M
    #2979006, posted on April 4, 2019 at 8:02 am
    ‘the war on drugs is a total failure’

    Because there never has been a ‘war on drugs’ in Australia.

    In the Philippines – where the people suffered so much from junkies and actually had a war on drugs – they have very significantly reduced the number of dealers and users. Other Asian countries similar, works well.

    That’s the truth. I’ll know we’re serious about this when we deal with drugs like Singapore does. Instead, we in the West have ended up with the usual political compromise: decades of idiot bluster, billions down the toilet, all of the easily-predictable downside, and few if any of the supposed benefits of these policies. We might as well have a war on poverty. Or a war on aboriginal disadvantage. Or a war on homelessness. Or a war on inequality.

    Oh, wait.

  22. Shy Ted

    But if you ever have a test positive for illicits you lose all gummint benefits. Seems fair.

  23. bollux

    I only know two ex? users of marijuana. Both now in their 50’s, neither has been able to work since their 30’s due to significant mental issues, [paranoia, delusions etc.] both still on disability pensions [paid of course by youandme]. both receive extensive medical treatment [at our cost]. Multiply this by 200,000 and tell me this is victimless. Society is the victim. If all these parasites were left to rot in the hell they deserve at their own expense, there may be a case for legalisation. This will never happen of course, as the living of so many people depends on it.

  24. Tim Neilson

    Explain how problem users and the rest of us are better off by keeping drugs illegal.

    Problem users may not be.

    The rest of us are better off to the extent that people who might otherwise have become iceheads don’t through lack of opportunity.

    And that’s no small thing. Parents whose kids haven’t (yet) been killed or permanently disabled by random assault from an icehead are way better off.

  25. Buccaneer

    Just because drug users don’t know they’re victims, doesn’t mean they are not. Most Aussies haven’t woken up to the idea that they are victims in the scam of renewable energy yet either.

  26. PB

    “I think legalization of marijuana, which is almost harmless, is no brained.”

    A walk through the Cairns Hospital psychiatric unit may change your mind on that.

  27. In the Philippines – where the people suffered so much from junkies and actually had a war on drugs – they have very significantly reduced the number of dealers and users. Other Asian countries similar, works well.

    They are ruled by a tin pot dictator who doesn’t give a shit about collateral damage caused by police and his paramilitary thugs.

    Do you really know what you are wishing for?

    https://www.amnesty.org.uk/philippines-president-duterte-war-on-drugs-thousands-killed

    More than 7,000 people were killed in the brutal ‘war on drugs’ in the Philippines between July 2016 and January 2017, under instruction from the country’s president, Rodrigo Duterte. Duterte ordered Philippines’ police forces to kill anyone they believe to be connected to the drugs trade when he assumed office in June 2016. State forces and vigilante groups have followed through these orders ruthlessly.

    This is insane.

    When he took office, Duterte gave the police ‘shoot to kill’ orders against organised criminals and those who resisted arrest. His calls seemingly gave the police a free reign. ‘Kill lists’– names of people allegedly associated with using or trading drugs – dictate who the police are rounding up or hunting down.

    The police have been running a so-called ‘knock and plead’ campaign based on hunting down those allegedly involved in the drugs trade, finding people on unverified lists and storming their homes.

    There are reports that cases of mistaken identification have led to people with no connection to the drugs trade being murdered. We have heard reports of the police shooting dead unarmed people, including those prepared to surrender.

    There have been deaths in police custody. In some cases, police officers have colluded with paid killers and killed for financial incentives. Families of killed victims have been stolen from by police, or found police officers to have planted evidence relating to their loved one

    “Works very well…”

    Insane. This has nothing to do with being safe, let alone free.

  28. C.L.
    #2978915, posted on April 4, 2019 at 1:29 am

    Boris has a point. I think it’s being a tad unrealistic to expect heroin shops and cocaine shops to be opened in every high street. People are generally thinking of weed when they discuss legalisation. Having said that, I agree entirely with Vladimir that the war on drugs is a total failure that has done no measurable preponderance of good over harm. Rigging prosecutions is far more damaging to Australian society than all the cocaine snorted in a month.

    Hear hear. Rule of law is still valued by some conservatives who don’t want the police terrorising the public.

  29. There is no such thing as a victimless crime.

    Yes there is. A “crime” is simply what the government thinks ought to be illegal.

    You know, like a 91 year old Swedish woman being fined for saying untoward comments to unruly refugees in Sweden.

    Marijuana is not harmless. It kills your fucken brain cells.

    So does alcohol. Do you even care about the concept of self-ownership?

  30. bollux
    #2979062, posted on April 4, 2019 at 9:10 am

    I only know two ex? users of marijuana. Both now in their 50’s, neither has been able to work since their 30’s due to significant mental issues, [paranoia, delusions etc.] both still on disability pensions [paid of course by youandme]. both receive extensive medical treatment [at our cost]. Multiply this by 200,000 and tell me this is victimless.

    There are not 200,000 Australians on the DSP because of marijuana induced psychosis. EVEN IF there was, then having drugs illegal has been ineffective. You’ve got to understand the DSP is used to get lifelong welfare for the chronically unemployed. The system needs a reason.

    From an apparently respectable drug awareness group:

    Cannabis can cause psychotic symptoms even at low doses.

    This is just a lie. “One puff and you’re a psychotic…”. No drug can possibly work like this. It is not possible. At all. It is simply not pharmacologically possible. NOT UNLESS YOU ARE GENETICALLY PREDISPOSED AND HAVE OTHERWISE BEEN A HEAVY DRUG USER BEFORE…and one low dose won’t do that anyway.

    People who are predisposed to psychosis should not self medicate and take recreational drugs. This is somewhat obvious. They shouldn’t drink either; really they should smoke tobacco and what their doc gives them .

    Then again there is a correlation and causation issue. You might conclude that being a nurse, a chef or a schizophrenic is caused by smoking tobacco.

  31. Arky

    Elitist scum are worse than the dirty junkies they enable.
    Go fuck yourselves, drug dealing scumbags.

  32. Arky

    The de-industrialised, morality- free, aborting millions of babies, nihilistic shitstorm, hoovering up the resultant human detritus, nightmare we now live in is the result of many, many small decisions over many decades.
    You are not going to de-criminalise your way out.
    I have some sympathy for libertarian thought, when it is strictly about bringing xunts face to face with the consequences of their actions.
    But in some cases, like this, the gruesome truth is that we are too damn far gone.

  33. Would you be so angry Arky if people could grow their own marijuana, tobacco, salvia and so on and not pay stupid taxes on owning a still or growing your own tobacco* and so on?

    The opioid crisis arguably wouldn’t exist if we didn’t impose rules on the above in the first instance.

    People wouldn’t need drug dealers and synthetic drugs would also be far less attractive. You might even see a drop in the abuse of alcohol.

    The people forced to live under the laws we currently have are not elitist.

    *Arguably, some cancer is caused by commercial tobacco because rock phosphate fertiliser contains Po-210 and it bio accumulates – backyard stuff with proper drying (slow) is much better for you.

  34. 132andBush

    Shy Ted

    #2979051, posted on April 4, 2019 at 8:56 am

    But if you ever have a test positive for illicits you lose all gummint benefits. Seems fair.

    I’d add new tatts to that as well.

  35. 132andBush

    Dot,
    Need to get this straight, are you advocating for the legalization of ice, heroin, meth etc?

  36. Arky

    Would you be so angry Arky if people could grow their own marijuana, tobacco, salvia and so on and not pay stupid taxes on owning a still or growing your own tobacco* and so on?

    ..
    Could not give a shit.
    But there is a reason people around the world, for a long, long time put criminal sanctions around opium.
    A long history.
    And you cannot ignore the history of states using opium as a weapon against their enemies.
    This, for me, trumps any personal sovereignty you may wish to claimThat the communist bloc promoted drug use as it, and everyone else, knows this leads to social and moral decay, which we are now living through the end stages of.
    Do what the hell you want with your body, but leave the sovereign state, which we need to survive and to live with some say over our lives, and my amenity out of it.
    The drug culture does not just impact those that partake.
    It impacts those living in working class suburbs, it effects me when I am required to go through the bloody inconvenience and stupidity of having to take regular piss tests that keep junkies off work sites, it effects your taxes when the do-gooders spend it cleaning up after these filthy vermin.
    Keeping heroin on the criminal codes is required to set a standard for those who won’t set them for themselves.
    I don’t care what the penalty is, I prefer the death sentence, but make it a small fine. Whatever.
    But make it clear that we recognise that both peddling heroin, and deliberately making yourself a useless, parasitical zombie, are CRIMES.

  37. Yes, absolutely. It is the safest option for society.

    Prohibition always causes more crime than it prevents.

    https://www.econlib.org/archives/2017/12/is_portugals_dr.html

    In terms of “drug only” harm prevention:

    The number of Portuguese dying from overdoses plunged more than 85 per cent, before rising a bit in the aftermath of the European economic crisis of recent years. Even so, Portugal’s drug mortality rate is the lowest in Western Europe – one-tenth the rate of Britain or Denmark – and about one-fiftieth of the latest number in the US. . . .

  38. Pyrmonter

    I demur.

    This is police inducement of corruption. It’s connected to drug law, but could equally have been connected to tax law or any other area of non-violent criminality (it probably would be tied to general anti-corruption work if our general anti-corruption laws were actually enforced).

    The problem is not the policy of drug law (where my sympathies tend toward Zeev’s, but which are positive pronouncements of a sovereign parliament), but the affront to the procedural elements of the rule of law. The police involved should end up in gaol.

  39. Arky

    There is also something to be said for keeping weed on the criminal books, in that it engages the criminal class on a less destructive field of battle than other crimes, such as heroin, organised prostitution and the people smuggling and visa fraud and other very serious crimes that go along with that side of vice.
    That a society should have some grey areas around slightly naughty behaviour, where those of a criminal disposition are drawn in and eliminated from society, but ordinary people can learn a lesson and move on, used to be understood by those who paid attention to human behaviour.

  40. Arky
    #2979165, posted on April 4, 2019 at 11:14 am

    There is also something to be said for keeping weed on the criminal books, in that it engages the criminal class on a less destructive field of battle than other crimes

    Except for Donald Mackay, right?

  41. Arky

    There is a reverse argument to that I made above, that keeping those grey areas criminal actually funds criminal networks, and increases lawlessness, and also brings the law into disrepute by outlawing things that many see as harmless pleasures.
    This is probably correct with alcohol, tobacco, and possibly weed.
    As these things now have long histories of accepted use.
    And the drug situation is compounded by decades of Soviet- induced mainstream propaganda devised to undermine our free society.
    They looked for the keys to unravel us, and in three things they found them: drugs, pornography and abortion.

  42. Arky

    Do you have a child Frank?

  43. You just argued that the mafia dealing marijuana was a good thing until I pointed out that Donald Mackay was murdered over that issue.

    You then asked if I post on Essential Baby as a shit test to determine my eligibility for an opinion.

    Keep on rambling, you silly old fool.

  44. Buccaneer

    Looks like Frank will be taking restrictions of all prescription drugs too, no consequences with that too hey. They’re not restricted because they can harm people when used incorrectly, oh no, it’s all a conspiracy I tells you. Drugs never hurt anyone.

  45. Arky

    Of course, that the communist bloc had a hand in promoting this degenerate culture is documented in the Soviet archives.

    But that they were the determining factor is unknowable. A theory.
    That we could well have come to our present circumstances on our own is quite possible.

  46. You did notice the bit:

    The number of Portuguese dying from overdoses plunged more than 85 per cent, before rising a bit in the aftermath of the European economic crisis of recent years. Even so, Portugal’s drug mortality rate is the lowest in Western Europe – one-tenth the rate of Britain or Denmark – and about one-fiftieth of the latest number in the US.

    So no, people won’t start taking prescription drugs simply because they can.

    it’s all a conspiracy I tells you. Drugs never hurt anyone.

    Jesus christ that is idiotic and irrelevant.

  47. notafan

    There are many examples of so called victimless crimes

    Some have been around as long as humanity has

  48. Arky

    Dot has no children, and little imagination, so does not have to face what he would do if someone was selling heroin to his son or daughter, legally or not.
    None of my posts above are in response to yours, except the 11:02 one, Dot, I have just been cogitating and posting until reading back a bit just now.
    Don’t know who McKay is?
    Some NSW thing?
    Don’t really care either. One case is irrelevant the broader themes I am looking at.
    But go on, you turd.

  49. Arky

    ..

    The drug policy of Portugal was put in place in 2001, and was legally effective from July 2001. The new law maintained the status of illegality for using or possessing any drug for personal use without authorization.
    ..

  50. Don’t know who McKay is?
    Some NSW thing?

    Facepalm.

  51. notafan

    The law in Portugal changed in 2001, in how it treats addicts not the drug trade itself

    Portugal story at the Guardian

  52. Arky

    But go on, you turd.

    ..
    Sorry, I meant: You elitist turd.

  53. notafan

    Seems Portugal might have exchanged sudden death rates for slow death rates

    incidentally overdose rates in France and Italy are similar to that of Portugal

    the stats

  54. So saying people should have personal sovereignty and make their own decisions and not lose that because of a very vauge existential “national security” reason is “elitist”?

    No it is not. You are butchering our language to make your argument Arky.

  55. Arky

    Facepalm.

    Whatever, dude.
    I don’t make a hobby of studying Australian crime history, or whatever you are on about.
    You do know that other people have different backgrounds to you. right?
    Like you don’t knoe everything I know and vice versa?
    Most people realise this around age four.

  56. Arky

    I have made my arguments, they stand there for everyone to read, poor as they are in comparison to what others can do. But I have no interest in a debate Dot. One we have done over and over again without moving the other a even a little bit.
    Wise up and understand that your libertarian philosophy will not overcome my life experience.
    And I don’t expect to convince you either.

  57. Arky

    Libertarians and their fart- smoking, theory- based policies will eventually be the death of us all.

  58. 132andBush

    From the comments under your link to Portugal, Dot.

    Having grown up in Portugal, I know a bit about this.

    Heroin usage would most likely have fallen in Portugal independently of the policy changes. This is not a contrarian view. João Goulão (perhaps the person most associated with the law decriminalizing drugs and a spokesperson for it) says as much.

    Falling heroin usage was a European-wide trend at the time after a peak in the 1970/80s. I also remember growing up hearing about the horrors of “Bahnhof Zoo” [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Christiane_F._–_We_Children_from_Bahnhof_Zoo] which is now a perfectly normal subway stop in Berlin.

    The issue in Portugal was perhaps more extreme than in the rest of Europe given the history of the dictatorship, but some of it is just the cyclical nature of trends.

    After the transition to democracy in 1974, drug usage grew very fast in Portugal (from a baseline of almost zero) and cocaine/heroin usage was widespread (across economic and social class, rural and urban divisions). By the time I was coming of age (late 1990’s, when the law changed), drugs (especially hard drugs) were not associated with cool rebellion, but with the HIV-positive homeless person shooting up in public (an unfortunately common sight in cities). Thus, my generation was somewhat immune to the temptation of heroin. The recent uptick may just be due to the fact that younger kids didn’t grow up with these cautionary examples on the street (like how it seems that since kindergarten, I was hearing about HIV and condom usage, but for younger kids, it’s not as pressing of a concern and, thus, condom usage is falling among younger kids).

    Thus, the argument for decriminalization leading to lower usage is weak (note that it was not a _legalization_: you still need to buy your drugs in a shady part of town, with no quality control so that you may end up shooting chalk into your veins; you can still get fined for having drugs; it’s just not a crime, more akin to get a parking ticket).

    There is, however, a strong argument for it leading to less unnecessary deaths. There is another strong argument for cost effectiveness of harm reduction. Perhaps not as strong, there is an argument that it leads to less crime. These are arguments enough for the policy.

    How about the descriptor “unnecessary” be removed from deaths.
    Death is inevitable with these drugs. Or at the very least psychosis and a shortened life as well as hardship for the rest of society.
    You are saying lets remove the social unacceptability of this behavior ? Yes?

  59. These are arguments enough for the policy.

    I’ll take their word for it.

  60. 132andBush

    Can you answer my question?

    You are saying lets remove the social unacceptability of this behavior ?

  61. It isn’t socially unacceptable to smoke weed or own a still [over a certain size] yet they are illegal.

    I predict that heroin use will always be socially unacceptable, as will turning up to junior football games pissed as a slab a day drinker (and yes, I think it is a good thing these are frowned upon).

    Using the law to regulate social behaviour beyond prohibition of coercion or fraud is generally a bad idea.

    Do you want to explain your spicy memes or unpopular opinion to a police officer or magistrate?

  62. Chris M

    Australia can save a lot of money by outsourcing our junkies and dealers to Singapore, Malaysia and Philippines. Pay them a few thousand to take each one.

  63. RacerX

    “Drug dealing is mass murder of the worst kind”

    All drugs are not created equal.

  64. Rococo Liberal

    The best article I have seen on this matter was written by the great Dr Theodore Dalrymple. He of course was a doctor working amongst the lowest socio-economic groups and criminals. So he knows of what he speaks.

  65. DD

    Frank,

    Is this a fascist site now?

    Please define fascist.

  66. notafan

    Portugalt is not a good example to use for so called ‘decriminalization’

  67. Rabid Koala

    All the lawyer X case shows is how we are too soft on drugs. You can always spot the upper class (like dot) who have no real life exposure to drug addicts and certainly don’t live around them by their foolish support for legalising drugs

  68. Tiny dancer

    a system that permits them to be legally and safely manufactured and sold

    Might work for cannabis and ecstacy and is probably worth a go. However if you think that there is any benefit in doing that with heroin or methylamphetamine you are seriously deluded.

  69. Rabid Koala
    #2979274, posted on April 4, 2019 at 1:26 pm

    All the lawyer X case shows is how we are too soft on drugs. You can always spot the upper class (like dot) who have no real life exposure to drug addicts and certainly don’t live around them by their foolish support for legalising drugs

    If we are “too soft” on drugs, then why do serious drug convictions get the longest sentences besides murder?

  70. Please define fascist.

    Paying Wahhabi kowtowing authoritarian states (Malaysia) to shoot our entire population of drug addicts and drug dealers on the cheap, on the basis of “costs” that are imposed by prohibition itself, because “drugs are bad, m’kay”.

    An utterly silly idea.

    Supporting the scumbag Duterte’s lawless murder of 7000 of his own countrymen, to “protect society”.

    *We will protect you by killing you*
    *The beatings will continue until morale improves*

  71. 132andBush

    Is this a fascist site now?

    In other words…
    Some commenters : Dot, we disagree with you on a couple of things.
    Dot: NA%IS!!!

  72. Arky

    Drug overdose deaths have reached unprecedented levels in the United States. Over the past two decades, drug overdoses have more than tripled to become the leading cause of injury deaths in the US. They now outnumber deaths from motor vehicle accidents and homicides, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) / National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS) Compressed Mortality File and Cause of Death Files. Sadly, the epidemic shows no signs of leveling off: drug overdose mortality continued to rise through 2017, amounting to over 70,000 deaths in that year and increasing by 16 percent per year between 2014 and 2017 (Hedegaard, Warner, and Miniño 2018).

    Ho writes, that prior to the 1980s, the prevailing belief in the medical community was that few safe and effective methods to manage pain existed, and that opioid painkillers were too dangerously addictive to be prescribed except to terminally‐ill cancer patients. “However, by the 1990s, a fundamental change took place in the American medical establishment (Chiarello 2018; Meier 2003; Wailoo 2014). A new narrative dominated: millions of Americans were suffering needlessly from untreated pain; freedom from pain should be considered a universal human right (Brennan, Carr, and Cousins 2016; Cousins, Brennan, and Carr 2004; International Association for the Study of Pain 2018; Lohman, Schleifer, and Amon 2010) and pain should be accorded the status of the “fifth vital sign”; safe, non‐addictive, and effective painkillers had been developed to treat pain; and doctors had a moral obligation to treat pain using these painkillers. Not only did the assessment, management, and treatment of pain become areas of increased and intense focus for medical practitioners, but also, using prescription opioids to treat many different types of non‐cancer pain became common.”

    ..’
    Legal or illegal, opioids are killers.

  73. Read what I wrote and tell me if it is wrong.

    Wanting to kill a few thousand people here and there “for their own good” certainly qualifies as totalitarian, if not fascist; I did not say “Nazi” furthermore my characterisation of such a stupid idea is indeed correct.

  74. bollux

    To have a society, you have to have rules that govern it. Removing the age of consent for sex would wipe out pedophilia overnight, but it doesn’t make it right. We accept that some people cannot tell right from wrong and lack a moral compass. These people need to be governed by the rest or else we move closer to the Lefts goal of anarchy.

  75. How on earth can you equate arguably the worst form of child abuse (harming others) to drug use (the mere potential self harm)?

    Why aren’t you advocating for prohibition of foul language, infidelity, smoking, unfair prices, tattoos, piercings, tobacco, gambling, pre-marital sex, pornography and alcohol, eating trans frats or sugar or anything else that causes hurt feelings or possible self harm? What about banning headers in soccer? Banning contact sports and martial arts? Guns? Owning a car and a garden hose?

    You are also missing the point. Drug laws create more crime than they prevent. Making sexual abuse and grooming of children illegal does not create more of it.

    Drug prohibition is simply counterproductive. Having a law against coercion or fraud is not.

  76. Arky:

    I have some sympathy for libertarian thought, when it is strictly about bringing xunts face to face with the consequences of their actions.
    But in some cases, like this, the gruesome truth is that we are too damn far gone.

    You have a point.
    The problem can be solved, but to do so, our society has to be leveled and rebuilt.
    We are in the same position as the butcher with his fingers halfway through the mincing machine – whichever way we go, it’s going to bloody hurt.

  77. 132andBush

    I did not say “Nazi” furthermore my characterisation of such a stupid idea is indeed correct.

    Agreed, it’s a stupid idea but lets face it, do you think Chris M was serious?

    Arkys point is valid, opioids kill.
    Yes, so does alcohol but alcohol in moderation is socially acceptable and relatively safe.
    In my and by the sounds of it a few others here experiences there’s no safe lower limit WRT hard drugs.
    Legalizing them and therefore making them less of a taboo isn’t going to help society as a whole.

  78. Agreed, it’s a stupid idea but lets face it, do you think Chris M was serious?

    He keeps on repeating it, he also said that drug dealing was “mass murder” and pointed out Duterte as a positive role model.

    Legalizing them and therefore making them less of a taboo isn’t going to help society as a whole.

    The US experience [with alcohol prohibition and abolition] shows a definite decrease in violent crime rates and the Portuguese data shows that it also helps in harm reduction.

  79. 132andBush

    I’ve no doubt there’s great arguments for your position, Dot.
    There are also many in this vein Link

    I’d be happy to see it happen so long as all the crackheads, junkies and stoners pissed off to your part of the world and left mine in relative peace. (I live in the Griffith area)
    Give me a couple of pissed idiots at the local pub on a Friday night anytime.

  80. That link is full of lies and other rhetorical nonsense.

  81. I’d be happy to see it happen so long as all the crackheads, junkies and stoners pissed off to your part of the world and left mine in relative peace.

    Well that’s not very nice, but addiction rates tend to decrease where there is legalisation.

  82. Buccaneer

    What are the short-term dangers of smoking marijuana?
    ◦Impaired memory and inability to learn
    ◦Difficulties in thinking and problem solving
    ◦Distorted Perception
    ◦Anxiety attacks or feelings of paranoia
    ◦Impaired muscle coordination and judgment
    ◦Increased susceptibility to infections
    ◦Burning and stinging of mouth and throat
    ◦Impairment in driving skills
    ◦Increases the heart rate in normal people and worsens heart rate in with heart disease or high blood pressure.

    It seems clear we might be seeing some of those here…

  83. J.H.

    So make Smuggling legal too?… and tax evasion?
    You cannot have a Welfare state and legalized Drugs…. The Welfare state would simply end up financing the Drug industry and it would be a dire society. Utterly dire.

    As long as the population cannot engage in free enterprise, truly free of the tyranny of Government oversight. As long as they are compelled to provide a political class with extorted tax money. As long as they are without the right to bare arms and a legal right to protect life and property with deadly force….. It would be an utter mistake to allow the Welfare state to “Medicate” the population with legalized drugs.

  84. The Welfare state would simply end up financing the Drug industry and it would be a dire society.

    It already is. There is less profit in a legal situation.

    and tax evasion?

    Tax is theft, but you already know that.

  85. Buccaneer
    #2979390, posted on April 4, 2019 at 3:39 pm

    What are the short-term dangers of smoking marijuana?

    I don’t smoke marijuana.

    I am paranoid of real things, like civil forfeiture and police corruption; largely facilitated by or caused by the epically failed “war on drugs”.

    The search and asset seizure powers in every State of the Commonwealth mean that the police or crime commission can apply to make an order in the supreme court to seize the property of a landlord who is genuinely not connected to his tenants in the drug trade.

    The government can accuse you of financing the drug trade or terrorism, and take the money if you go to buy a second hand car for cash.

    Drug users, especially in legalised situations mostly harm themselves, whereas we know that the more absolute power becomes, the more it tends to corrupt – or like the great Cato said, “more laws, less justice”.

  86. Arky

    Drug users, especially in legalised situations mostly harm themselves,

    ..
    Bullshit

  87. No. You’re wrong. Given 40% of the population have used illicit substances, if drug users mostly harmed others, we’d have a shockingly high violent crime rate.

    Not to mention alcohol and tobacco.

  88. notafan

    Legal and free, obviously

    I don’t understand the demand to legalise ‘hard’ drugs

    off your face is off your face

    Which means you cannot function in a normal capacity

    I certainly don’t want to be around people high on ice, very aggressive

    used to have one coming in to the shop, very scary guy

  89. notafan

    Given 40% of the population have used illicit substances

    what rot dot

    that is not the same thing at all

    smoking dope a couple of times a few decades ago doesn’t cut the statistical mustard

  90. Not rot at all.

    Drug users, especially in legalised situations mostly harm themselves,

    To which “bullshit”, was the reply.

    The fact that you know there is a difference proves my point.

    I too don’t understand how methamphetamine, crack cocaine or heroin have any appeal – but what we know is that drug laws are counterproductive as an attempt to prevent crime; and that the war on drugs creates a raft of liberty destroying laws and powers that invariably become abused by the government and their delegates.

  91. Buccaneer

    What are the long-term dangers of smoking marijuana?
    ◦Studies shows that the potential chemical -THC, present in marijuana adversely affect human brain and mental health.
    ◦Regular use of marijuana or K2 shows the same respiratory problems as cigarette smoking. Persistent coughing, symptoms of bronchitis and more frequent chest colds are possible symptoms.
    ◦Studies shows that long-term use of marijuana suppresses the production of hormones that help regulate the reproductive system both in men and women.
    ◦Highly increases the risk of heart attack in regular users.
    ◦Smoking marijuana on regular basis increases the likelihood of developing cancer of the head or neck.
    ◦It has the potential to promote cancer of the lungs and other parts of the respiratory tract because of the various carcinogens present in it.
    ◦It may badly affect the immune system’s ability to fight disease.
    ◦Chronic marijuana use causes high levels of depression, anxiety.
    ◦Adversely affects the power of memory and learning.

    Frank, admitting you have a problem is the first step. Kudos to you. Dragging others into your world to make you feel better about it, that’s less healthy. Perhaps we should steer clear of that.

    I picked on Marijuana to highlight that your argument that drugs are relatively harmless is basically bullshit. Moral equivalence with other legal drugs is bullshit too. People with drug addiction are some of the most vulnerable people in our society. Legalising these substances has all sorts of consequences including exposing these people to the idea that their habit is normal, along with making it easier to convince otherwise unlikely candidates to join in the habit. But I suspect you know that already.

  92. You are also ignoring the benefits of smoking marijuana, you’re also being an impudent git.

    Reducing stress, CBD benefits (lowering BP and reducing metabolic syndrome aetiology) as well as calmative, anti convulsive, anti nausea and somnolence effects. Active ingredients are also antineoplastic.

    I picked on Marijuana to highlight that your argument that drugs are relatively harmless is basically bullshit

    No, it is true. You don’t prove a food or medicine is dangerous by rattling off what the side effects are, particularly for short and long term overuse.

    Moral equivalence with other legal drugs is bullshit too.

    Not for adults, not unless you claim these people should have never of had agency. Who do you propose decides for others who is and is not an adult?

    People with drug addiction are some of the most vulnerable people in our society.

    Sure, but how does turning them into criminals, making them deal with criminals, raising the price and so on help them? Look at Portugal – they were patently better off. Someone made a rather silly claim that Duterte did the right thing and they should be shot. I’m glad that you have more compassion and common sense than this.

    Legalising these substances has all sorts of consequences including exposing these people to the idea that their habit is normal

    Plenty of legal things are abnormal – playing tabletop miniatures, being an electronics enthusiast. Plenty of legal things which are damaging are already normalised – like generational welfare. Being a heroin addict will never be normal. Legalised drugs will be cheaper and addicts will not have to steal to feed their habit. The rate of drug use is independent of prohibition or not (as some Portuguese note in comments to the article I posted).

    But I suspect you know that already.

    I don’t know what this means really, but:

    If I wanted to make money from drugs, I would WANT prohibition.

    A hit of heroin in Australia right now, roughly costs the end user 100 times the cost of production.

  93. DD

    Q: Frank, Please define fascist.
    A: meaningless emu feathers.

    Frank is a troll., stop feeding him.

  94. Cannabinoids as anti-neoplastic (anti-cancer) agents

    Fairly recent research (2016)

    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4791144/

    Curr Oncol. 2016 Mar; 23(Suppl 2): S23–S32.
    Published online 2016 Mar 16. doi: 10.3747/co.23.3080
    PMCID: PMC4791144
    PMID: 27022311
    Anticancer mechanisms of cannabinoids
    G. Velasco, PhD,*†‡ C. Sánchez, PhD,*§ and M. Guzmán, PhD*†‖

    Abstract

    In addition to the well-known palliative effects of cannabinoids on some cancer-associated symptoms, a large body of evidence shows that these molecules can decrease tumour growth in animal models of cancer. They do so by modulating key cell signalling pathways involved in the control of cancer cell proliferation and survival. In addition, cannabinoids inhibit angiogenesis and decrease metastasis in various tumour types in laboratory animals. In this review, we discuss the current understanding of cannabinoids as antitumour agents, focusing on recent discoveries about their molecular mechanisms of action, including resistance mechanisms and opportunities for their use in combination therapy. Those observations have already contributed to the foundation for the development of the first clinical studies that will analyze the safety and potential clinical benefit of cannabinoids as anticancer agents.

  95. I’m not sure how it is “trolling” to point out how laws such as these “unexplained wealth laws”, have been facilitated largely by the failed and counterproductive war on drugs:

    https://www.cla.asn.au/News/governments-to-seize-even-more-assets/

    The review “found that the unexplained wealth laws have been used to recover amounts of as little as $3,000,”

    You can’t even buy a non-shitbox 2nd hand car for that price. The government is literally robbing people now and this is okay because *you* don’t like drugs?

    Most kids going to uni these days spend more on their vehicle. Maybe they should be subject to a seizure order, for their own good.

  96. Buccaneer

    You are also ignoring the benefits of smoking marijuana, you’re also being an impudent git.

    Self awareness is not a long suit is it Frank, re read your own thread, your dismissal of others here is poor. That you claim lung cancer, heart attacks, stroke in young adults and mental health issues are side effects just shows how truly callow you really are.

    Moral equivalence with prohibition of legal drugs is bullshit because the effects of alcohol and tobacco were not well enough known before they were normalised. It’s also bullshit because other legal drugs that create problems are mostly restricted in dosage or useage to limit harmful effects. It’s got nothing to do with being an adult. Adults follow the guidelines to use legal drug properly so they manage their own risks appropriately. Diluting what is appropriate and what is not appropriate is reckless and dangerous.

    Ultimately, your assertion that drugs should be legalised because organised crime wont be part of the drug scene anymore is simplistic and flawed. Criminals by definition are looking to do something outside the law for their own gain. All you are doing is pushing them to find other ways to make a quid, not fixing the problem. Then using the state to legitimise harmful drug use.

  97. Arky

    It is the repeated dishonesty in these debates using Portugal in support of decriminalisation.
    Every time.
    And every time it has to be pointed out to these thickies that isn’t the case.
    Every time.
    Portugal goes against your argument. They throw tonnes of taxpayers money at “harm minimisation”, and still have legal sanctions.

  98. Cats – I thought the opiates and therefore morphine/opium were legal up to the twentieth century in our society?

  99. Moral equivalence with prohibition of legal drugs is bullshit because the effects of alcohol and tobacco were not well enough known before they were normalised.

    “So you do deny the title…”

    You’re saying they should stay legal because they’re “normalised” but ideally you’d ban them?

    Newsflash, marijuana is normalised. It was legal in the West until we followed US and League of Nation’s lead and banned it. Before then, it was normal. It was normal in Australia before the 1920s and 1930s.

    That you claim lung cancer, heart attacks, stroke in young adults and mental health issues are side effects just shows how truly callow you really are.

    Show me young people with lung cancer, stroke and heart attacks who don’t smoke copious amounts and aren’t obese tubs of lard. Or who aren’t very unlucky. The youngest person I knew who had a stroke was 41 and he was overweight and did not smoke and did not drink much.

    Marijuana will not cause heart attacks any more than cigarettes. The idea that you’re not just grabbing factoids at random is laughable.

    Marijuana is simply not addictive and no one has ever died from it (alone).

    https://www.ahajournals.org/doi/10.1161/STROKEAHA.112.671347

    Those who had strokes were unfit, smoked tobacco as well and drank before they had a stroke. Notice they searched research articles in four languages and could only get a sample of 59 from billions of people; some of which were considered coincidental, predisposed aetiologies were not discussed.

    The way the stats are collected for “smoking” deaths makes one suspicious too, with that dataset smoking related deaths can be a smoker who dies from non-smoking related illnesses. The entire sample from a population of billions is dubious.

    It’s also bullshit because other legal drugs that create problems are mostly restricted in dosage or useage to limit harmful effects. It’s got nothing to do with being an adult.

    It’s entirely to do with being an adult, otherwise we would want to drink under the supervision of doctors.

    Diluting what is appropriate and what is not appropriate is reckless and dangerous.

    It is almost like you want to ban the sale of alcohol outside of licensed venues.

    Ultimately, your assertion that drugs should be legalised because organised crime wont be part of the drug scene anymore is simplistic and flawed.

    No, that is a misguided criticism and a non-sequitur. Orgnaised crime used to have a racket in selling vegetables. Do you want to ban lettuce? The point is that it reduces (net) violent crime, whereas prohibition increases (net) violent crime .

    All you are doing is pushing them to find other ways to make a quid, not fixing the problem.

    I’m doing something wrong by putting organised crime out of work?

    Then using the state to legitimise harmful drug use.

    If you get your moral guidance from the state, you better hope that democracy works all the time, not just on a long timescale.

  100. 133andBush

    You are also ignoring the benefits of smoking marijuana, you’re also being an impudent git.

    Reduction of stress ?

    All pilots should be steady choofers.

  101. So does drinking, but no one is asking for pissed on duty coppers either.

  102. Arky
    #2979528, posted on April 4, 2019 at 5:55 pm

    No. I want legalisation, I also know the difference. It was a good natural experiment with plenty of good or better outcomes than prohibition. Decriminalisation is not as good and I agree that harm minimisation programmes are mostly a waste of money.

  103. Robber Baron

    Does anyone trust police here?

    Does anyone think police do their job properly?

    Why anyone would cooperate with them is beyond my comprehension.

    Police in a police state are your enemy because they are the enforcers of policies to control you. Treat them as such and avoid having anything to do with them.

    I used to report crimes to them but after a while when they failed to solve any crimes or do the most basic of investigations such as knock on a few doors and ask questions l knew they were not interested in protecting the public.

    Even a copper l know told me that they dont bother investigating most crimes. He tells me that most of them are there to collect their wages.

  104. Tel

    If you get your moral guidance from the state, you better hope that democracy works all the time, not just on a long timescale.

    As it turns out, part of the definition of Fascism is that all moral guidance comes exactly from the state, and nowhere else.

    In Fascism the State is not a night-watchman, only occupied with the personal safety of the citizens, nor is it an organisation with purely material aims, such as that of assuring a certain well-being and a comparatively easy social cohabitation. A board of directors would be quite sufficient to deal with this. It is not a purely political creation, either, detached from the complex material realities of the life of individuals and of peoples. The State as conceived and enacted by Fascism, is a spiritual and moral fact since it gives concrete form to the political, juridical and economical organisation of the country. Furthermore this organisation as it rises and develops, is a manifestation of the spirit. The State is a safeguard of interior and exterior safety but it is also the keeper and the transmitter of the spirit of the people, as it was elaborated throughout the ages, in its language, customs and beliefs. The State is not only the present, but it is also the past and above all the future. The State, inasmuch as it transcends the short limits of individual lives, represents the immanent conscience of the nation. The forms in which the State expresses itself are subject to changes, but the necessity for the State remains. It is the State which educates the citizens in civic virtues, gives them a consciousness of their mission, presses them towards unity; the State harmonizes their interests through justice, transmits to prosperity the attainments of thoughts, in science, in art, in laws, in the solidarity of mankind. The State leads men from primitive tribal life to that highest expression of human power which is Empire; links up through the centuries the names of those who died to preserve its integrity or to obey its laws; holds up the memory of the leaders who increased its territory, and of the geniuses who cast the light of glory upon it, as an example for future generations to follow. When the conception of the State declines and disintegrating or centrifugal tendencies prevail, whether of individuals or groups, then the national society is about to set.

    Words of the Duce himself. http://www.gutenberg.org/cache/epub/14058/pg14058.txt

  105. Buccaneer

    Frank, Fraaank, we were doing so well by getting you to admit your paranoia. But you’ve relapsed.

    Seriously, how can you assert that you’re not a marijuana user and the tell us so confidently that marijuana use is normalised? I suppose to a user it seems normal.

    Then you’re accusing me of using non sequiturs, when your arguments are almost exclusively so. Even your use of academic research is either out of context or simply does not prove what you think it does.

    Do you have it on absolute authority that organised crime is not still involved in selling vegetables?

    Then building a straw man by taking my argument that legalisation legitimises drug use and drawing it into a statement that the state is the only source of moral authority.

  106. Pickles

    That so far it appears that through the whole saga not one copper said yeah nar fuck this for a joke is about all you need to know.

  107. Why are you so smug when you are so ill-informed?

    You are calling this paranoia when there are legitimate reasons to fear state powers such as unexplained wealth and civil/criminal forfeiture laws. You are actually paranoid, you are overstating the health issues and ignoring the benefits.

    Seriously, how can you assert that you’re not a marijuana user and the tell us so confidently that marijuana use is normalised?

    It is normal. Get over it.

    Then you’re accusing me of using non sequiturs, when your arguments are almost exclusively so.

    No. Now you’re just making slurs like a Pavlovian Dog now. There is nothing I said above that is a non-sequitur.

    Even your use of academic research is either out of context or simply does not prove what you think it does.

    That’s not true at all. I backed up an assertion and disproved another.

    Do you have it on absolute authority that organised crime is not still involved in selling vegetables?

    Organised crime is in many things. It tends to exist and indeed it is engendered more often from where there is very high taxes or prohibition on specific products. You previously implied that it was a bad idea to deny organized crime of opportunities.

    Then building a straw man by taking my argument that legalisation legitimises drug use and drawing it into a statement that the state is the only source of moral authority.

    It is not a straw man because that is the argument that you relied upon. I am not responsible for your own words.

    If the comment is made to the effect that legalising something makes it legitimate; either society does get its morals from the government, or someone is advocating that is what happens or ought to happen.

  108. Pickles
    #2979584, posted on April 4, 2019 at 7:25 pm

    That so far it appears that through the whole saga not one copper said yeah nar fuck this for a joke is about all you need to know.

    But they were fucking Nicola, weren’t they?

    If 600+ serious convictions are overturned, then it is not an exaggeration to say that VicPol ought to be disbanded and start again.

  109. Knuckle Dragger

    Just finished reading the article from Dennis Denuto above. It is a plea to decriminalise drugs, nothing else.

    The Gobbo (and she is aptly named) thing does not undermine the justice system because she was informing on drug traffickers. The justice system was undermined because some idiot higher up police had a thought bubble that she could and should inform on her clients, thus throwing a cloud over the entire legal profession it wasn’t entitled to. Her apparent intelligence as a barrister is irrelevant, and her first couple of years were spent tattling on her employer for deception offences, not drugs.

    In respect of decriminalisation generally:

    There is a reasonable argument to make that drugs, including the abuse of prescription drugs, is a public health issue rather than a criminal one, and alcohol is regularly wheeled out as a ‘for example’. I see some problems with this concept.

    It is an offence to serve people who have had too much alcohol, an offence to be drunk in a public place, an offence to be sufficiently (back to that in a sec) drunk and driving a motor vehicle, and depending on where you are an offence to be drunk in possession of, or discharging a firearm. All these things are, in my view, reasonable because each and every one of them is much more likely to cause harm to the average punter in the street than if the person in question had drunk a couple of beers and was on his/her way home.

    They use the 0.05 BAC standard for drivers. In the other circumstances courts are reliant on either admissions, or from people who regularly come into contact with intoxicated people, ie police and bar staff/publicans. These people can provide ‘expert’ evidence to that effect because of their experience with intoxication like it or not.

    There is no such standard, nor has one been developed for cannabis, heroin, meth and the like, and this is one of the hurdles to decriminalisation. If there were, and using drivers as an example, if someone had packed a bong recently or had a teeny rock and were tested – immediately and on the spot as they do with grog – if you’re under, no issue. For all the other circumstances I mentioned, it’s much more difficult because it’s very hard to what people are on, and how much they’ve had.

    Maybe if our betters in government spent truckloads of our money on scientists to develop these type of things instead of climate change we’d all be better off. Dunno.

    People also rarely use their welfare money solely for drugs, as they don’t get enough of it. And because those people are almost invariably useless, braindead cretins, they turn to stealing things from Mr Average to pay for them. This is why when there’s a heroin drought on and prices are higher, these morons will do four burglaries instead of two to steal enough things to trade for enough cash to buy the same hit. A hit might cost the end user 100 times the original production cost, but it costs society 100 times more than that in the end.

    I have no argument with medicinal cannabis, although I note that most of not all the benefits associated with it relate to the use of cannabis oil rather than the leaf. And yes, smoking too much of it will make you paranoid and psychotic. I know this because I have frequently seen the results. That said, I don’t necessarily believe that it’s a gateway drug to heroin and so on – but is certainly is to prescription drug abuse, where people use stimulants and sleepers to balance their psychoses out during the course of a day.

    As for decriminalisation driving crime down – well, if you make legal the possession and use of these drugs, then there’s won’t be any arrests for those offences. So in that respect, yes. But users will still need to pay for the drugs, and the vast majority will still use criminal means to obtain them – so I would expect crimes such as burglary, chop shop car theft and street robberies to stay roughly the same.

    Look, I’m not necessarily as passionate as some here are on the subject, and I don’t have a dog directly in the fight. I neither gain nor lose if drug possession and use becomes a free for all, but I see some issues that need to be resolved before the argument goes further.

  110. Knuckle Dragger

    On a strictly personal note, and not representative of anything else, I would have no problems at all if you pumped yourself up with whatever you like and wandered around and/or drove the streets to your heart’s content.

    I would also reserve the right, if you then start damaging my property or I perceive you as a threat to myself or my family, to shoot you where you stood with my legal handgun, with my concealed carry permit in my pocket.

    Manners cost nothing. Sadly, though, we don’t live in that world.

  111. As for decriminalisation driving crime down – well, if you make legal the possession and use of these drugs, then there’s won’t be any arrests for those offences. So in that respect, yes. But users will still need to pay for the drugs, and the vast majority will still use criminal means to obtain them – so I would expect crimes such as burglary, chop shop car theft and street robberies to stay roughly the same.

    The benefits come largely from not having a black market. That far outweighs the crimes that drug taking may contribute to in the form of risk taking behaviour increasing. The ratio of the costs of prohibition creating black market related crimes to the hypothecated proportion of increased crimes due to increased risky behaviour and abuse from drug use is very large. The trade off is that there are less costs to society without prohibition.

    I posted this before.

    https://www.cato.org/policy-analysis/thinking-about-drug-legalization

    Demand is indeed inelastic. Supply is not and it is currently truncated. There will be an insignificant increase in use and a very significant decrease in price.

    That is a repeatable and well observed prediction and occurs in market where contraban or usuriously taxed commodities have highly inelastic demand.

  112. C.L.

    I would also reserve the right, if you then start damaging my property or I perceive you as a threat to myself or my family, to shoot you where you stood with my legal handgun, with my concealed carry permit in my pocket.

    You’d only end up shooting drunken teenagers stealing your garden gnome.
    Let’s not be ridiculous.

  113. Arky

    The benefits come largely from not having a black market.

    ..
    You are against an unregulated market? What kind of libertarian are you?
    The black market is the only good part of the drug trade.
    It demonstrates that the bastards can’t control everything, and must, at least partly, govern by the consent of the people.

  114. Knuckle Dragger

    Thought I wouldn’t have to say this, C.L.;

    The ‘reasonable man’ test would apply in those circumstances. Naturally.

  115. Arky

    You will be thankful of the black market once the progressive, communist, globalist arseholes, who libertarians so keenly have done the spade work for on social issues, come to govern everywhere.
    It’s the only place you will find any food.

  116. You are against an unregulated market? What kind of libertarian are you?
    The black market is the only good part of the drug trade.
    It demonstrates that the bastards can’t control everything, and must, at least partly, govern by the consent of the people.

    No, that’s why supply is truncated.

  117. Knuckle Dragger

    Yeah, fair point Frank.

    I suppose chop chop would fit right into that scenario.

    The other thing to consider, which you indirectly pointed out would be how much to charge for said drugs if they were available at the servo. Tax them too much (entirely probable, I would imagine, as they do smokes) and the black market would still exist – rendering the whole exercise pointless.

  118. Buccaneer

    Frank, you can’t be honest with others until you are honest with yourself.

  119. Arky

    The black market delivers drugs, tobacco, prostitution and alcohol at a lower price than the retail supply chain regulated by government.
    As such, it will always exist.

  120. Arky

    A criminal element is a designed in part of humanity.
    In times of war and tyranny it has it’s function.

  121. Arky that is just hyperbole about Leyonhjelm, Spender, Quilty & Stonehouse digging the foundations for Venezuela Mk II because they don’t agree 100% with cultural conservatives. The Liberal party for example hasn’t exactly served conservatives either (they’ve done worse all up).

    The only thing that libertarians “agree” with the left is on drugs and SSM and only superficially.

    Leyonhjelm got spewed on by nasty little lefties for trying to put in protections in his bill (but s 28A of the SDA 1984 (Cth) kind of made them redundant).

    https://www.pedestrian.tv/news/professor-ballbag-rides-again/

    As for drugs, the Greens want Medicare heroin. We don’t.

    Guns – hell no.
    Free speech – hell no.

    As for the police state, the ALP and LNP (“uniparty”) have legislated since the late 1980s to obliterate our common law civil and criminal procedure rights – just look at asset & civil forfeiture/”unexplained wealth” laws alone.

    Thank god they were idealistic in the early 1980s and signed up to the ICCPR.

    This is the LDP policy:

    https://www.ldp.org.au/drug_reform

    The truth is the LNP and ALP have imposed most of the cultural Marxism and socialism that Australia currently suffers under. Morrison & Turnbull surrendered on the economic front; now we face a 1 trillion dollar public sector debt.

  122. The other thing to consider, which you indirectly pointed out would be how much to charge for said drugs if they were available at the servo. Tax them too much (entirely probable, I would imagine, as they do smokes) and the black market would still exist – rendering the whole exercise pointless.

    That’s a big reason why I don’t like the “legalise and tax” point of view, moreso because it legitimises the current policy on tobacco (you can’t grow your own) which is authoritarian, greedy and immoral.

  123. Buccaneer
    #2979638, posted on April 4, 2019 at 8:38 pm

    Frank, you can’t be honest with others until you are honest with yourself.

    What on earth are you talking about? I am having a polite conversation with KD and a snarky one with Arky, but you’re being a passive aggressive dickhead.

  124. TBH

    For me there are two separate, but important, issues.

    The first and actually most important is the gobsmacking conduct of both Gobbo and the Vic Police. This is a very troubling development for the justice system and people need to go to jail for this, especially the officers involved. I saw a snippet of an interview with Graham Ashton and I was just astonished at how cavalier he was about this. He needs to be sacked and possibly prosecuted. This is outright corruption on the part of cops and the lawyer involved.

    The second part is the legality or otherwise of the drug trade. I’m not in favour of recreational drug use, but I’m also enough of a realist to know that people will continue to use them regardless of their legality. I think we need to relax the laws around this, starting with weed. I’m not convinced that the public good will be best served by legalising smack or other hard drugs, but I’m willing to entertain arguments or evidence to the contrary.

    But let the full force of the law rain down on the wrongdoers first. That is the bigger societal problem.

  125. Arky
    #2979639, posted on April 4, 2019 at 8:41 pm

    The black market delivers drugs, tobacco, prostitution and alcohol at a lower price than the retail supply chain regulated by government.
    As such, it will always exist.

    You are confused. Alcohol in the US was significantly more expensive during prohibition. Our “legalise and tax” regime creates illegal tobacco markets precisely because of the tax. You can make your own beer at home for $10 a carton.

    Prohibition in the US raised alcohol prices by more than 3 times from pre prohibition in 1921 by prohibition era 1930.

    http://www.nber.org/papers/w3675.pdf

  126. Arky

    You are confused. Alcohol in the US was significantly more expensive during prohibition.

    ..
    You are confused.
    You are confusing the cost during prohibition of black market alcohol with the cost of black market alcohol after prohibition.
    Do you see the error?
    I hope you do.
    Obviously, prohibition changes the market and eliminates a legal market to compare with the efficiency of the black market product.

  127. Arky

    A better comparison is legal tobacco and chop chop.

  128. No.

    I did not make the error you think I made Arky.

    The data was pre-prohibition prices (late 1919/early 1920, I said 1921 before, this was incorrect), and prohibition era prices (1930, prohibition ended in 1933). The price increase was three-fold. This is stated on p 9 of the PDF (p 7 of the research paper proper).

    You are confusing the cost during prohibition of black market alcohol with the cost of black market alcohol after prohibition.

    Sorry old mate, that is complete nonsense, even taking into consideration my prior error.

  129. Arky

    that is complete nonsense

    ..
    No, but poorly expressed.
    You cannot compare how the black market performs in the face of a competing, legal product to how it behaves in prohibition.
    You are confusing two entirely different market conditions and picking the bits that make your argument.
    Use chop chop and you can’t do that.
    Also, without going to the bother of again looking it up, prohibition went through at least three distinct phases, the first was pretty much unenforced, then there was a lot of political pressure to enforce, then a third phase of realisation by most pollies that it was not popular.
    Also geographically different markets.
    Near Canada where it was about smuggling, compared to other interior regions where it was bootleg from illegal stills.
    Each marker with different demands, costs and risks.
    I doubt your figures are accurate, but even if they are, they are beside the point because there WAS NO LEGAL MARKET.

  130. Arky

    In other words:
    When there is a legal market, the black market outcompetes it on price.
    When there is no legal market, the black market outcompetes it BECAUSE THERE IS NO LEGAL MARKET.

  131. Arky I don’t know why this is so difficult for you to understand. I am showing you the data. Please stop theorising and then assaulting the data when it doesn’t fit your preconceived ideas.

    1919/early 1920 – LEGAL MARKET

    1930 – PROHIBITION

    The book which the researchers source their data from was written in 1932. IT COULD NOT show a post-prohibition price.

    The research paper is:

    Alcohol Consumption During Prohibition
    Jeffrey A. Miron, Jeffrey Zwiebel

    NBER Working Paper No. 3675 (Also Reprint No. r1563)
    Issued in April 1991

    https://www.nber.org/papers/w3675

    I linked the PDF file before.

    See page 7.

    “A careful consideration of price quotes in newspapers by Warburton suggests that prices in 1930 were approximately three times as high as pre-Prohibition prices”

    They quote:

    Warburton, 1932, pp. 113, 116 and 166.

    Warburton’s book was:

    Warburton, Clark., The Economic Results of Prohibition, New York, Columbia University Press, 1932.

    ————————————————————————————————————————

    Another paper by Miron:

    https://www.nber.org/papers/w9689

    The Effect of Drug Prohibition on Drug Prices: Evidence from the Markets for Cocaine and Heroin
    Jeffrey A. Miron

    NBER Working Paper No. 9689
    Issued in May 2003
    NBER Program(s):Health Economics

    This paper examines the effect of drug prohibition on the black market prices of cocaine and heroin. The paper examines the ratio of retail to farmgate price for cocaine, heroin, and several legal goods, and it compares legal versus black market prices for cocaine and heroin. The results suggest that cocaine and heroin are substantially more expensive than they would be in a legalized market, but to a lesser degree than suggested in previous research.

  132. Arky

    Arky I don’t know why this is so difficult for you to understand.

    ..
    I don’t get why you can’t understand that prohibition changes the market and my arguments are NOT ABOUT THE FUNCTIONING OF THE BLACK MARKET DURING ALCOHOL PROHIBITION.
    ..

    You will be thankful of the black market once the progressive, communist, globalist arseholes, who libertarians so keenly have done the spade work for on social issues, come to govern everywhere.
    It’s the only place you will find any food.

    NOT ABOUT PROHIBITION.
    GET IT????

  133. Arky

    Food from a black market = superior to empty supermarkets under your communist overlords.
    Understand?

  134. Arky

    No one besides you has advocated for a “legalise and tax” proposition, which you actually oppose.

    You will be thankful of the black market once the progressive, communist, globalist arseholes, who libertarians so keenly have done the spade work for on social issues, come to govern everywhere.
    It’s the only place you will find any food.

    I’ve thoroughly explained why that is bullshit (you can blame the ALP and LNP even more than the Greens; think Graham Richardson and Malcolm Turnbull), but you’re not interested.

  135. Arky
    #2979704, posted on April 4, 2019 at 10:02 pm

    Food from a black market = superior to empty supermarkets under your communist overlords.
    Understand?

    What on earth are you talking about? This thread is about drug prohibition and the rule of law being eroded as excessive and heavy handed laws are enforced.

  136. Arky

    Let us summarise.
    You said the problem with prohibition was
    FUCK I cant believe I got sucked into another one of these with you..
    You said the problem with drug dealing was the black market.
    I said I could not believe a libertarian’s main problem was the unregulated black market.
    I then mentioned drugs, alcohol, tobacco and prostitution.
    You said:
    You are confused. Alcohol in the US blah blah prohibition…
    ..
    Out of those examples, you,
    Deliberately choosing the one case, alcohol, in the one instance of time, prohibition, where there is no legal market to compete with it.
    I see what you did. Do you?
    Fuck, why do I bother, you won’t read this with any care or respond honestly.

  137. I can’t believe you ruined a thread with your squirrels that had nothing to do with the original post or anything that anyone else said, and miraculously appeared when some data gainsaid your argument.

  138. Arky

    Look, I don’t give a fuck anymore, inject your ass with a cocktail of bootleg and smack and party on.
    FUCK.

  139. I said I could not believe a libertarian’s main problem was the unregulated black market.

    No, the problem is if/that the black market exists because of prohibition or high taxes.

  140. Arky

    You, and you alone fucked this thread Dot.
    You bloody lunatic.

  141. Arky

    What on earth are you talking about? This thread is about drug prohibition and the rule of law being eroded as excessive and heavy handed laws are enforced.

    ..
    You said the problem was the black market.
    YOU said that.
    Stupid beyond belief from someone trying to propound some bloody theoretical libertarian philosophy to solve absolutely everything from marriage to drug policy.

  142. Stimpson J. Cat

    People who are predisposed to psychosis should not self medicate and take recreational drugs.

    Ah but how would they know?
    How would anyone know?
    Most people with mental illness self medicate with drugs LONG before they are diagnosed with any conditions, if in fact they ever are.
    There are no easy solutions to this issue.

  143. Deliberately choosing the one case, alcohol, in the one instance of time, prohibition, where there is no legal market to compete with it.

    Isn’t this thread about drug prohibition in the context of government overreach, not an existential argument about the scarcity of food during hockey mask time? (An argument built on complete bullshit, to wit, the LDP, like half of the LNP, voted for SSM. That was thoroughly fisked at 8.46 pm).

    You made some weird presumptions about what libertarians think. “I said I could not believe a libertarian’s main problem was the unregulated black market.”

    I just told you: “No, the problem is if/that the black market exists because of prohibition or high taxes.”

    I certainly have a problem with black markets that exist because of coercion of private citizens as well.

    You are truly mangling any praise for black markets Rothbard and Hayek had. The praise was that it resources allocated – it isn’t praising coercive products (e.g illegal sexual servitude, high taxes or prohibition).

    The other thing is, your argument was over a “legalise and tax it” proposition. Zeev, myself, nor anyone here besides you brought this up.

    As for ruining threads, I got smeared as a pot addict for half of the thread. By the same logic given I’m opposed to unexplained wealth laws, I’m also a cashed up drug baron. I have tried to be very polite. Some people like KD responded in kind.

    Now, on the other hand Arky, it doesn’t worry you at all that if the cops find 3k of cash on you; the police can/will confiscate it with little chance of legal recourse for you?

    3k would not even buy a half decent beater car. I remember buying a few of my earlier cars with wads of cash. Because of paranoia about drugs, if I did that today, it could have been simply stolen off me, with an agent of the executive government acting with the same impunity as a tyrant like Richard II.

    If I did the same thing it would be armed robbery and I’d get up to 25 years.

  144. BorisG

    It is interesting to see that on the thread about police corrupting the justice system some so called conservatives advocate that mass murder is a better way to fight drugs.

  145. BorisG

    I mentioned above that I hope to see this Laywer X scandal made into a movie. Today I read:

    Foxtel, reportedly, has gone as far as commissioning an eight-part series about Ms Gobbo’s life, with Nicole Kidman and Margot Robbie rumoured to play the titular role.

  146. Arky

    I’m not reading that.
    I got to sentence 2 and though, can’t be bothered.
    This is you:

    As for decriminalisation driving crime down…
    ..
    The benefits come largely from not having a black market.

    ..
    That’s you.
    Libertarians see the benefits of not having black (i.e outside government regulation) markets.

  147. BorisG
    #2979727, posted on April 4, 2019 at 10:39 pm

    It is interesting to see that on the thread about police corrupting the justice system some so called conservatives advocate that mass murder is a better way to fight drugs.

    Yeah I know. It is literally insane; I called it out as fascism and I got called a troll.

    Amazing that so many people not only like the death penalty with no recourse for appeal or mercy, but will do mental gymnastics for convictions without trial (en masse) and equating risky behaviour of two consenting parties with actual murder.

    If we can have that for drug use and drug dealing, what happens when the rule of law has broken down and the (far) left get in power (if the current government isn’t leftist anyway)?

    “You own too much property, your rents are literally the worst form of mass murder…”

    So I guess they won’t care about the police stealing 3k of some kid going to buy a crappy old Mazda 3.

  148. As for decriminalisation driving crime down…
    ..
    The benefits come largely from not having a black market.

    I quoted two papers from the US; alcohol prohibition (1991) and more recent cocaine prohibition to near the millennium (2003).

    You are playing some stupid left wing rhetorical game where the only free market is a black market. Not true at all. eBay is a free market. It is virtually unregulated by government; rule of law still applies.

  149. I’m not reading that.

    This is just stupid and dishonest.

  150. Overburdened

    I’d like to do some in vivo research.

    If all contributors could shout me a bit of what they take and give me a few weeks to work through it, I’ll get back to you re whether it turns you into a criminal or not, other than for the actual possession before I bump it.

    Mainly coz this thread looks like a good place to score.

  151. Stimpson J. Cat

    If all contributors could shout me a bit of what they take and give me a few weeks to work through it, I’ll get back to you re whether it turns you into a criminal or not, other than for the actual possession before I bump it.

    You ever burned a Bowtie and snorted the ashes bro?
    Gets you high as f$ck let me tell you.

  152. Another perspective:

    https://reason.com/blog/2016/07/20/republicans-against-marijuana-prohibitio

    Lee is a staunch pro-life social conservative who had her come-to-Jesus moment in when it came to marijuana prohibition after her son suffered a devastating accident in 1990. While recovering, he told his mother that unlike synthetic painkillers and other drugs, marijuana actually provided him physical relief. Lee, who grew up in Jim Crow-era Louisiana, says she grew up living under bad racist laws that needed to be changed. She argues that drug prohibition is the modern-day version of Jim Crow and also needs to be changed.

    RAMP’s treasurer Bonnie Lugo tells Reason that she was also a staunch drug warrior until she met Lee while running against her for a spot on Texas’s Republican Executive Committee. Lugo’s first impression of Lee was that “she was this crazy lady” advocating for drug legalization but that the “tenacious” Lee ultimately convinced her to do her own research on the subject. When Lugo learned about how much safer marijuana is than alcohol or cigarettes, combined with the fact that people’s lives were being ruined in myriad ways because of its criminalization, she did a 180 on the issue. Lugo says, “Once you figure out that your government has lied to you, it’s easy to figure out all the rest.”

    Lugo laments that too many of her fellow Republicans have bought into “60 years of indoctrination by our government that marijuana is a gateway drug, that it leads to harmful acts.” Lee adds, “it’s very hypocritical” of her fellow Republicans to be “pro-life and anti-medical marijuana.”

  153. This is a good article from an Aussie perspective:

    https://www.cla.asn.au/News/drug-prohibition-causes-the-harm/

    Drug prohibition causes the harm
    24 November 2018

    By Paul Gregoire

    There’s a rising awareness that the century-old system of drug prohibition is failing. It’s evident in the global moves to legalise cannabis, the internationally-lauded Portuguese drug decriminalisation model and the widespread calls to start treating drug use as a health issue, not a criminal one.

    The close to 50 years of the war on drugs has seen an intensification of the law enforcement approach to illegal drug use. And this has led to a rise in the consumption of outlawed substances, mass incarceration and the growth of huge criminal networks.

    The first casualties of the drug war are the people who use illicit substances. They’re forced to buy their drugs on the black market, where no quality control exists. This leaves them unaware of what the drugs contain, the strength of them or their potential toxicity.

    Indeed, with the threat of criminal sanctions, people who use drugs are pushed into the dark corners, where the harms associated increase and their ability to seek help is reduced.

  154. C.L.

    But let the full force of the law rain down on the wrongdoers first. That is the bigger societal problem.

    Indeed.

    I saw a snippet of an interview with Graham Ashton and I was just astonished at how cavalier he was about this.

    That’s because he knows he’s above the law in Victoria.

  155. Arky

    This is just stupid and dishonest.

    ..
    No. It’s honest. I didn’t read it.
    Saying Portugal says anything about legalisation is dishonest.

  156. I never said Portugal had legalisation. I said it was decriminalisation from the outset. Were you being obtuse or mendacious?

    Portugal was brought up, because as a strawman, a conservative wrongly presumed that Zeev was advocating a government run dispensary system.

    Portugal and the US data for many examples show that prohibition has failed. Portugal had significant benefits in decriminalisation without dispensaries. I contend legalisation is better.

    You didn’t read it, how convenient. It destroyed your strawman positions; ergo I don’t believe you.

  157. 133andBush

    Don’t know about gateway drug but do know I can pick a stoner within an hour of working with them.
    My working life has always involved large to small machinery in both mining/civil earth moving and broad acre agriculture.
    With only one exception from around 15 examples the dope smokers were always “out to lunch”, “not there”, vacant. Now maybe that was their underlying persona or (dare I say it) IQ but I don’t think so.
    The growing acceptance of dope as “harmless” will be to the overall detriment of our society.
    Real mental issues aside, looking each day at the sunrise should be enough “feel good”, when you really think about, for anyone.
    Feeling you have to top this up with drugs because it’s not good enough for you means you’re a fuckwit.

  158. Arky

    I never said Portugal had legalisation. I said it was decriminalisation from the outset. Were you being obtuse or mendacious?

    ..
    No you lying sack of shit.
    You used Portugal in support of an argument for legalisation. Read the damn post:
    ..

    The fact is that none of this would be happening if drugs were manufactured safely and legally
    ..

    You dishonest and umitigated cockhead.

  159. You used Portugal in support of an argument for legalisation

    That was obvious and I never made out otherwise. I’ve also used the costs of prohibition as an argument. Does that mean I am arguing for prohibition? Of course not. Argument by comparison is a valid way to argue.

    The fact is that none of this would be happening if drugs were manufactured safely and legally

    Which if you read the papers by Miron, did not happen in prohibition era America and by the comments of actual Portuguese people that Notafan quoted; is not a sure thing still even with decriminalisation (but the results are still obviously and far and away better than prohibition/criminalisation)

  160. BorisG

    I happen to know a number of people who regularly used dope (but never driving or working while on it). I can guarantee 100% that you won’t distonguish them from any people who never have taken drugs (it sure if there are many). Based on this relatively small sample I conclude that there are many more regular dope users around.

  161. Arky

    What a bloody stupid way to spend an evening.
    Damn you for drawing me into your stupid arguments again. Dot you are a deadset hopeless case.
    I hope you get and bloody choke on your libertarian paradise.

  162. 132andBush

    Have you actually worked WITH them, Boris.
    By that I mean in a situation where their actions/attention (or lack there of) would effect your physical well being?

  163. BorisG

    Real mental issues aside, looking each day at the sunrise should be enough “feel good”, when you really think about, for anyone.
    Feeling you have to top this up with drugs because it’s not good enough for you means you’re a fuckwit.

    What about people with clinical depression? With constant pain?

  164. 132andBush

    I said “real mental issues aside” for a reason. Or are you being deliberately obtuse?
    And I’ve nothing against using it for pain.

  165. BorisG

    Have you actually worked WITH them, Boris.

    I don’t want to disclose details but I know 100% you wouldn’t have a clue. One guy in particular is my age, Obviously none of his coworkers or superiors ever did in his very distinguished career.

    Obvuosiy depends on frequency and amount. Just like with alcohol (but less violence).

  166. BorisG

    Bush then I tend to agree with you. I never needed it. But it is not my business what pleases other people.

  167. 132andBush

    And your line of work is?

  168. Overburdened

    The people I find are most vehemently opposed to drugs are rampant pisspots.

  169. BorisG

    And your line of work is?

    None of your business sorry.

  170. BorisG

    Arky, I am unashamedly against black market. Black market is bad for everyone: dangerous for users, leading to periodic deadly conflict between rival market participants etc. Free market is only possible within a strict legal framework.

    I am against ridiculously high taxes on tobacco, but this doesn’t mean I support black market of contraband tobacco. I support reduction of taxes to drive out contraband.

  171. 132andBush


    Have you actually worked WITH them, Boris.

    I don’t want to disclose details but I know 100% you wouldn’t have a clue.


    And your line of work is?

    None of your business sorry.

    Right.
    How very presumptuous and elitist of you.

  172. Not wanting to be doxxed is not elitist. In your line of work there is a good reason not to put up with stoners and drunks.

  173. notafan

    When you say ‘dope’ what do you mean heroin?

    I know heroin users can be functional but the ice and heroin users that hang around my place of business are definitely not.

    Herion users drooping on the park benches, scab covered ice addicts openly dealing none of them work, that is for sure.

  174. 132andBush

    Not wanting to be doxxed is not elitist. In your line of work there is a good reason not to put up with stoners and drunks.

    Yep, whatever.

    Thanks for the condescension.
    You two must be a hoot at parties.

  175. Can you explain to me why you think people have acted with elitism or condescension to you? I am thoroughly baffled by this.

  176. bollux

    Frank, stop chuffing and it will all become clear.

  177. Thanks bollux but I don’t smoke marijuana and I haven’t had a beer in over a week. I’m not sure what your banging on about.

  178. BorisG

    When I say dope I mean marijuana.

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