Don’t mention the war

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152 Responses to Don’t mention the war

  1. And the fact that nations with a similar “war on drugs” approach manage a much lower rate of incarceration means what?

    It means it is not about the war on drugs per se.

    I doubt that anyone who is broadly against liberalisation of drugs thinks that America does not have an obvious social problem with how it deals with sentencing and other issues related to crime.

  2. jtfsoon says:

    no steve in practice Australia’s approach is already a mix of policing and health based approaches. plus it is much softer on pot compared to most states in the US where people get put away for ridiculous periods of time for possession.

  3. daddy dave says:

    You’ve got a point there, Steve. For instance, the chart covers the prohibition era, which was also a ‘war on drugs’. So the problem might not be which laws are on the books but how they are enforced.

  4. jtfsoon says:

    do Australia and other states which do not fully legalise have anything comparable to the ridiculous asset forfeiture laws and para military style DEA operations for their prohibition based approaches? i think it is mostly explained by the ‘war’

  5. Adrien says:

    Such a waste of time and money and life innit?

    Ca’rn Rococo where re you. Step up to th’ mat laddie n’ defend ye’re position.

  6. Philip Crowley says:

    Steve, the percentage of Australians incarcerated on drug related matters is also quite high. If one includes those convicted of property offences, violent crime such as armed robbery, committed to obtain money to feed illicit drug addictions, the rate climbs much higher still. Naturally, many of these same people are also suffering quite severe mental illness which was the reason they began to self medicate to begin with.

    While illicit drugs remain the domain of organised crime, the problem is always going to be growing, and impossible to deal with. To continue on the path of prohibition is a very expensive ‘non-fix’ to a serious problem.

  7. Infidel Tiger says:

    OTOH outside of areas with large black populations, the US has never been safer.

  8. The problem is, you would have to see a State by State breakdown to see what’s going on. On the one extreme you have California’s medical marijuana laws, which seem to mean you can get it for having an ingrown toenail. I don’t know which are the more extreme States for locking up for marijuana possession, but I am guessing that if it is a small amount, it is probably “3 strikes” laws lead to compulsory incarceration.

    What I suspect the problem nationally is mainly about is a combination of sentencing laws with bad effects, and the social problems of the (mainly black) underclass.

  9. . says:

    Shameful.

  10. . says:

    The Federal drug king pin law which sees you get ol’ squirty if you harvest so much marijuana is the most ridiculous and oppressive law in the US.

    If a drug baron murders someone, execute them. Until then…don’t.

  11. . says:

    The really dumb bit about this is that it creates an organised crime culture in gaol and these groups expand into non drug areas.

    It helps to create more crime.

  12. dover_beach says:

    Aren’t half of current incarcerations for drug-related crimes? How does that compare with 1950? If the protion is the same then it also means that there have been significant increases in non-drug related crimes too. I’m torn by this issue, partly because I think that legalising drug use is too simplistic, even though I think the converse is too simplistc as well.

  13. Dandy Warhol says:

    “I’m torn by this issue, partly because I think that legalising drug use is too simplistic”

    Why?

    Drug use is legal. What do you think alcohol and tobacco are?

    The problem is that certain drugs that initially weren’t used by society’s ‘moral guardians’ were outlawed by them.

    Just legalise everything, regulate dosage and minimum quality standards if necessary, let society develop norms around acceptable use as it has with everything else – caveat emptor, anyone? – and deal with any adverse health problems through the medical system.

  14. . says:

    It’s not too simplistic.

    The costs of the drug war are 16 times the benefits. Taxation of tobacco leads to crime. So will anything short of legalisation.

  15. jtfsoon says:

    WWOT? (what would Oakeshott think?)

    how does his vision of the role of the State as a civil association not an enterprise association have anything to do with regulating use of mind altering substances?

    why would re-legalisation be too simplistic?

    strong highly conservative Victorian England basically had legalised drugs. As someone who really is quite conservative in personal habits I would be happy to return to that kind of small government society.

  16. dover_beach says:

    Just legalise everything, regulate dosage and minimum quality standards if necessary, let society develop norms around acceptable use as it has with everything else – caveat emptor, anyone? – and deal with any adverse health problems through the medical system.

    I think therapeutic jurisprudence will just see a diversion of resources from the criminal justice system to health professionals so if you’re worried about the size of government this alternative approach isn’t a panacea.

    WWOT? (what would Oakeshott think?)

    Indeed, a very good question. I think he would say that the answer very much depends upon current circumstances and their affects upon public order. A “highly conservative Victorian England” could afford to have “basically …legalised drugs” precisely because they had on the whole “quite conservative personal habits”. Currently, we don’t. It’s not hard to imagine that the problems associated currently with drinking would be magnified by having other drugs more easily and cheaply available. Also, Victorian England, lets not forget, and 19th C and early 20th C America, had serious and widespread alcohol problems. The temperance movement for all its faults did not emerge in order to address non-existent problems.

  17. Adrien says:

    I think he would say that the answer very much depends upon current circumstances and their affects upon public order.

    This is true. But I most sincerely doubt that the legal status of certain substances has anything to do with their consumption rate. Victorian Englishmen would probably considered low-level alcoholics most them by today’s standards. So would a lot of modern Australians.

    Illegal drug use seems to’ve lost any ritual moderation. In my dance party daze, drinking booze and popping pills did not go together. Likewise doing this stuff was not something undertaken every week-end for years. There standards of use with drugs like marijuana, ecstasy and LSD analogous to the don’t drink before 6pm rule.

    Legal drug use also appears to’ve lost any ritual moderation, it’s perfectly acceptable to get the cheapest mix and retire to some niche of public space in order to get blotto.

    The legality or otherwise of intoxicants isn’t really the issue, the issue is why is inebriation such a prime pastime?

    Legalizing it isn’t necessarily a solution. What would Philip Morris do to dope?

  18. jtfsoon says:

    Too true, Adrien, whatever happened to having a nice time? What’s with this Dionysian attitude to consumption? Why do people enjoy throwing up?

    My attitude to drug use as it is to homosexuality is go ahead but for goodness sakes, try to be a little discreet and relaxed about it.

  19. Adrien says:

    Why do people enjoy throwing up?

    Group of young dudes cheering and applauding one of their number at 9pm on Friday night outside 24-7 Hungry Jacks Melb CBD.

    And I was thinking: is it really such a good idea? Such hearty approval of a friend emptying his stomach on the doorstep of the busiest fast food joint first thing on Friday evening?

    True story. This guy threw up right where you go in, 9pm, Friday. His mates think he’s a hero. These were undergrad types not troglodytes. And this is not weird behaviour.

  20. Bingo Bango Boingo says:

    The bottom line is that state simply lacks the moral authority (not to mention the competence) to dictate to me what I do and do not put into my own body. And it can by no means attain such moral authority, since it is incompatible with basic individual freedom. Only statists / big government / authoritarian types are into prohibiting the citizenry from making their own choices about what they themselves ingest. Why do Tories have this huge nanny-state blind spot?

    BBB

  21. . says:

    True story. This guy threw up right where you go in, 9pm, Friday. His mates think he’s a hero. These were undergrad types not troglodytes. And this is not weird behaviour.

    It’s bonding thing and a sign of strength and trust. You can be that vulnerable. It’s also economic signalling. Plus a discovery process of social skills – if you screw up and can get out of it, you’re fairly useful.

  22. Myrddin Seren says:

    Speed boozing does seem the fad amongst Gen Y ?

  23. Infidel Tiger says:

    Back in my day, we used to cut the blokes who couldn’t handle their piss from the herd. Nothing ruins a night faster than some bloke staggering around parking tigers on the footpath.

    Getting drunk is one of the finest things a man can do. Spewing is openly admitting you have a vagina.

  24. Adrien says:

    It’s bonding thing and a sign of strength and trust. You can be that vulnerable. It’s also economic signalling. Plus a discovery process of social skills – if you screw up and can get out of it, you’re fairly useful.

    Um, well that’s one way of putting it. My way is that the dude and his friends are a pack of apes and should be locked in a zoo. 🙂

    Spewing is openly admitting you have a vagina.

    Gentlemen spew Tiger, ladies throw up. 🙂

  25. dover_beach says:

    Adrien:
    Illegal/ legal drug use seems to’ve lost any ritual moderation.

    I agree.

    BBB:
    The bottom line is that state simply lacks the moral authority (not to mention the competence) to dictate to me what I do and do not put into my own body. And it can by no means attain such moral authority, since it is incompatible with basic individual freedom. Only statists / big government / authoritarian types are into prohibiting the citizenry from making their own choices about what they themselves ingest. Why do Tories have this huge nanny-state blind spot?

    Because its not simply a matter of your right to ‘ingest’ whatever you want; if your right to ingest whatever you like becomes a threat to public order/ safety then the state has every right to enact rules to qualify this or that activity. Or are you saying that the state lacks the ‘moral authority’ to restrict the sale of drugs to minors, or to prevent those on speed from driving, etc.?

  26. John H. says:

    The legality or otherwise of intoxicants isn’t really the issue, the issue is why is inebriation such a prime pastime?

    A classic on that issue is Intoxication by Ronald Seigel, though now dated. Many animals actively seek intoxication. The typical idea that people seek intoxication for some pathological reason is too generalised. There is widespread self medication going on but that does not necessarily mean psycho pathology. Don’t ask me to explain that, I still don’t understand the nature of intoxication drive. Seigel asserts it effectively constitutes a forth biological drive.

    I don’t favour unmitigated legalisation. DB is right, there is history to indicate that is not such a good idea. Nor should we assume that cultural regulation is going to work. The issue cannot be resolved by holistic ideas because peoples’ response to drugs and the risk of addiction are highly variable. That is partly genetic, partly personal history, partly current circumstances. So in a environment with widespread deprivation widespread addiction and subsequent problems are a real possibility. I suggest you look up “Rat Park”, a much neglected aspect of drug addiction.

  27. . says:

    Because its not simply a matter of your right to ‘ingest’ whatever you want; if your right to ingest whatever you like becomes a threat to public order/ safety then the state has every right to enact rules to qualify this or that activity.

    How on earth does this mean we actually need drug laws? Alcohol, is legal, same problem.

    I don’t favour unmitigated legalisation.

    There are always drug problems. That is precisely the point. The cohort size of addicts tends not to increase in any significant way. In Portugal, it went down.

  28. . says:

    Rat Park? Depression plays a key. Just a hunch.

  29. . says:

    So in a environment with widespread deprivation widespread addiction and subsequent problems are a real possibility. I suggest you look up “Rat Park”, a much neglected aspect of drug addiction.

    Explain Charlie Harper/Sheen.

    He has to have a pre-existing condition.

  30. John H. says:

    http://edition.cnn.com/2006/WORLD/europe/11/02/cocaine.feature/

    U.N. Drugs Chief Antonio Maria Costa told the drugs meeting that a global stabilization and even drop in cocaine use was being undercut by an upward trend in Europe, particularly Italy, Spain and the UK. Figures from the European Monitoring Center for Drugs and Drug Addiction in Portugal also show cocaine use among young adults in Spain and Britain has doubled in the last decade.

    Charlie Sheen

    Wrong and wrong. You don’t know, I don’t know. Don’t guess, you’re smarter than that.

  31. dover_beach says:

    How on earth does this mean we actually need drug laws? Alcohol, is legal, same problem.

    Because I can drink a beer and still drive home without hindering public safety while if I have some speed I would. Do you imagine that drugs laws only involve the extremities (prohibition and legalisation) and nothing in between?

  32. Infidel Tiger says:

    Because I can drink a beer and still drive home without hindering public safety while if I have some speed I would.

    Actually you’d probably be a better driver with speed in your system as long as you hadn’t been up for 6 days.

  33. Bingo Bango Boingo says:

    dover_beach:

    That is very wooly and imprecise way of thinking. Only when my actual conduct – whether drug-induced or not – does actual harm or becomes an actual threat to public safety is it appropriate for the state to step in via the criminal law.

    If I consume alcohol and harm/threaten to harm only myself, then it is wrong to punish that behaviour. If I consume tobacco and harm/threaten to harm only myself, then it is wrong to punish that behaviour. If I consume heroin and harm/threaten to harm only myself, then it is wrong to punish that behaviour. The fact is that we criminalise behaviour that harms no one but the person who engages in that behaviour, which to my mind is not only stupid and counter-productive, but also plainly immoral and an unjustified intrusion of the state into the lives the citizenry.

    Why the quotes around the word ingest and the phrase moral authority? Are these concepts of which you are unsure, or with which you need some help?

    You are right to point out provisions for minors, but that applies across huge swathes of the law (including, as it happens, in relation to the supply of perfectly legal drugs like alcohol and tobacco). The point around driving whilst intoxicated is covered by my second paragraph above.

    Finally, a state cannot have a right. Those are for people. You sound – inadvertently I’m sure – like some hack commie or fascist when you talk about the rights of the state.

    BBB

  34. . says:

    Bravo bravo bravo!

  35. Troy says:

    Why do people enjoy throwing up?

    If I didn’t drink every now and then I’m certain that I would be a worse person. I know I act like a dickhead when I am drunk but if I didn’t let off the pressure valve from time to time it would be much worse overall.

  36. Peter Patton says:

    The bottom line is that state simply lacks the moral authority (not to mention the competence) to dictate to me what I do and do not put into my own body. And it can by no means attain such moral authority, since it is incompatible with basic individual freedom.

    This is what I imagine 16 year old American teenagers were writing in their book reviews of Atlas Shrugged in the 1970/80s.

  37. John H. says:

    Actually you’d probably be a better driver with speed in your system as long as you hadn’t been up for 6 days.

    Yeah, that’s a real possibility. Remember Jason’s little tale about a heavy night and deciding to use a little helper prior to his martial arts training, his trainer then commenting it was one of Jason’s best sessions. There is an obvious reason amphetamines are regarded as performance enhancing.

    Even with the marijuana smoking, the tests they did were on naive people. Take someone who has been smoking and driving for a while and the only thing you might notice is that they are driving rather slowly. I know from personal experience that when I did that my biggest concerns was keeping up to the speed limit(slow driving is a dead giveaway to coppers) and the cops. I never worried about an accident, never came close to an accident, and I know plenty of other people who smoke and drive with excellent driving records. When I had a motorcycle every Sunday morning(early enough so those slow cars don’t hinder you) I would get ripped off my face and tackle Mt. Tamborine and surrounding roads at full pelt. Stopped on the top, another a joint, and down I went. Great fun. Never fell off. Miss those days.

    BTW, Portugal didn’t just decriminalise, that was only part of the package. The odd thing about drug use is that no-one has a clear idea on why patterns of use change over time.

    http://www.idpc.net/php-bin/documents/BFDPP_BP_14_EffectsOfDecriminalisation_EN.pdf.pdf

  38. Peter Patton says:

    A lot of the aggro out there is definitely fuelled by more than booze. What do you call someone with 8 beers and three lines of speed down their gullet? A drunk with energy.

  39. Tillman says:

    What I don’t get is why you go to jail for growing some flowers while a bludging tax cheat like S von B is free to wander the streets.

  40. Tal says:

    Steve is AWOL Tillman maybe he is seeing his CPA

  41. dover_beach says:

    That is very wooly and imprecise way of thinking. Only when my actual conduct – whether drug-induced or not – does actual harm or becomes an actual threat to public safety is it appropriate for the state to step in via the criminal law.

    It’s not wooly or imprecise, its simply sensitive to the circumstances one is confronted with.

    If I consume alcohol and harm/threaten to harm only myself, then it is wrong to punish that behaviour. If I consume tobacco and harm/threaten to harm only myself, then it is wrong to punish that behaviour. If I consume heroin and harm/threaten to harm only myself, then it is wrong to punish that behaviour. The fact is that we criminalise behaviour that harms no one but the person who engages in that behaviour, which to my mind is not only stupid and counter-productive, but also plainly immoral and an unjustified intrusion of the state into the lives the citizenry.

    This is too simplistic even for Mill. If you consume a drug that can threaten the well-being of those in your care (like children) or those with whom you share a public space (like when driving) then the state is entitled to enact laws that qualify in some way that right in order to preserve public order/ safety. Now, this is not a justification for a blanket prohibition since some drugs could be treated in a similar manner to alcohol while others don’t lend themselves readily to this same treatment.

    Why the quotes around the word ingest and the phrase moral authority? Are these concepts of which you are unsure, or with which you need some help?

    Because some drugs are not ‘ingested’ through the mouth although I see I was being a little too narrow in my definition of that word. So far as the second is concerned, only because governments don’t depend upon moral authority when they enact laws.

    You are right to point out provisions for minors, but that applies across huge swathes of the law (including, as it happens, in relation to the supply of perfectly legal drugs like alcohol and tobacco). The point around driving whilst intoxicated is covered by my second paragraph above.

    Yes, but as I said in response to dot, drugs laws are not exhausted by the extremities. If, in fact, drugs only threatened the lives of those that ingest them then you’d be right; as they don’t things are more complicated.

    Finally, a state cannot have a right. Those are for people. You sound – inadvertently I’m sure – like some hack commie or fascist when you talk about the rights of the state.

    I think you’re being rather juvenile here. Do the head of powers enumerated in the Constitution entitle the Federal government to enact laws in certain areas? Yes. Could we refer to these entitlements as rights. Of course we could since rights are entitlements, and reference to this sounding as if we’re hack commies or fascists can be filed under ridiculous.

  42. Dandy Warhol says:

    “Because I can drink a beer and still drive home without hindering public safety while if I have some speed I would. Do you imagine that drugs laws only involve the extremities (prohibition and legalisation) and nothing in between?”

    Dover you can only drive legally with a certain level of alcohol in your blood. Over that level and you are said to be ‘driving under the influence’. Why not do the same for speed, just setting the level at zero?

    Then all those people who want to use speed and not drive – and therefore not be a threat to their fellows – can do so legally.

    The present laws don’t work at all. At present, anyone who wants to take a drug can take it whenever and wherever they like, for not much cost and with little chance of being caught by the coppers.

    The only differences under legalisation would be: people would have much better knowledge about what they were ingesting, as with any other ingestible product; and governments would save a hell of a lot of the money they are currently wasting on the ‘war on drugs’.

  43. Dandy Warhol says:

    Troy, try taking up a martial art. You’ll feel much better, certainly much calmer because you’ll be getting all that pressure out in a focussed way, and you’ll be a whole lot more careful about acting like a dickhead.

  44. Bingo Bango Boingo says:

    Peter Patton – by their thousands, I’m sure. And a lot of Australian adults, too. They were all right.

    It’s always amusing to watch the prohibitionists contort themselves to explain why alcohol and tobacco are different. At the same time it’s a little tragic how they demean themselves in doing so. So I’m torn.

    BBB

  45. Peter Patton says:

    “moral authority”!!?? Whattha?

  46. Bingo Bango Boingo says:

    “So far as the second is concerned, only because governments don’t depend upon moral authority when they enact laws.”

    Ain’t that the truth!

    BBB

  47. John H. says:

    A lot of the aggro out there is definitely fuelled by more than booze. What do you call someone with 8 beers and three lines of speed down their gullet? A drunk with energy.

    YES! I have been thinking that for a long time Peter. Especially with the emergence of binge drinking. Need the uppers to keep going. Dopamine up, serotonin and GABA crash after hours of drinking(low serotonin consistently associated with violence).

    No longer a couple of beers after work each day(which doesn’t do any real harm anyways and current research suggests may even be beneficial) but rather one big hit during the week.

    Criminalising drug use has done nothing to curb it. A study some months ago found that the USA had the most draconian drug laws and the most prevalent drug use. On a Frontline documentary recently they asserted that half of all the pseudo eph imported into Mexico was being used for metha. Mad.

  48. Adrien says:

    Because its not simply a matter of your right to ‘ingest’ whatever you want; if your right to ingest whatever you like becomes a threat to public order/ safety then the state has every right to enact rules to qualify this or that activity.

    You might also mention the cost to the state incurred by health disasters. Like when some slack jawed yokel of a B-Boy drug dealer leaves a clear liquid horse tranquilizer in a water bottle next to a zapped-out girl E’ing off her nuts!!

    The public order threat case however speaks not for criminalization or decriminalization rather for a different order of prohibition.

  49. Infidel Tiger says:

    It’s always amusing to watch the prohibitionists contort themselves to explain why alcohol and tobacco are different. At the same time it’s a little tragic how they demean themselves in doing so.

    I don’t see them getting all twisted. Many of the prohibitionists want cigarettes, alcohol and hamburgers to be treated just like heroin. Within the next two decades I guarantee cigarettes will be available from clinics only, and then the blitzkrieg on booze will be on in earnest.

    P.S How do those that want drugs legalised see them being distributed?

  50. Peter Patton says:

    It’s always amusing to watch the prohibitionists contort themselves to explain why alcohol and tobacco are different. At the same time it’s a little tragic how they demean themselves in doing so

    What an odd thing to say. Where do you hang out that there is such a supply of amusement?

  51. Adrien says:

    I still don’t understand the nature of intoxication drive. Seigel asserts it effectively constitutes a forth biological drive.

    It’s a sacred gift listen to the preacher, man.

  52. Infidel Tiger says:

    Criminalising drug use has done nothing to curb it. A study some months ago found that the USA had the most draconian drug laws and the most prevalent drug use.

    Is that right? I’d read that drug use in the US was way down on its peak.

  53. Dandy Warhol says:

    Why not like alcohol and tobacco?

  54. Peter Patton says:

    DW

    Are you saying to legally ban tobacco and alcohol? Good luck with that!

  55. Adrien says:

    PP – The odd thing about drug use is that no-one has a clear idea on why patterns of use change over time.

    I think there’s a cycle, probably associated with pop music and the economy, there’s a period of conventional behaviour the mid-late 80s say or the the late 50s and early 60s, and then the culture swings the other way and there’s suddenly permissiveness. These examples of mine also correspond to certain psychadelics being widely available for the first time but I reckon the theory is still pertinent.

    Anyway there’s permissiveness, this draws people in. Then there’s excess, exploitation. Noticeably a bunch of people go bananas and stroll down heroin alley or maybe just move to Stonerville.

    Then there’s a conservative backlash against this palava by subsequent mini-generations and it goes back to being uptight again.

  56. FDB says:

    Any approach to enforcing laws against drug posession or use which removes police officers’ ability to use their discretion (i.e. anything that even smells like a zero-tolerance approach) is self-evidently retarded IMHO.

    You end up with a police force that excludes thoughtful, intelligent people.

    You end up with some kid with a joint getting slugged with a fine they can’t afford to pay, who gets in further and bigger trouble as a result.

    I’ve been let off in posession situations where there was more than enough evidence to prosecute many times. 5 I reckon.

    So any crude comparison in terms of black letter law between the US and here misses one important point. Our cops (with many exceptions, before you jump in Yobbo) are far more empowered and trained to let people off who in their judgement are a threat to nobody but themselves.

    It’s a good thing, but not as good as relaxing the laws further as well.

  57. Bingo Bango Boingo says:

    “How do those that want drugs legalised see them being distributed?”

    It’s a fair question. Through licensed premises under a regime broadly similar to that which currently applies to alcohol and tobacco.

    BBB

  58. John H. says:

    s that right? I’d read that drug use in the US was way down on its peak.

    If it is declining it may have something to do with the increased availability of marijuana. Some former addicts seem to benefit from pot, the high aint the same but it is better than being sober. Shit, who would want to spend their entire life being sober? People who are scared to “lose control”? “Losing control” is great fun and can be very illuminating! There is now research showing that LSD and MDMA may have powerful therapeutic potential for alcoholics and those with PTSD.

    If you factor that in marijuana availability I wonder if “illicit” drug use has declined.

  59. Adrien says:

    It’s always amusing to watch the prohibitionists contort themselves to explain why alcohol and tobacco are different. At the same time it’s a little tragic how they demean themselves in doing so.

    It fills me with the urge to take a long bath but Ann Coulter has the toughest line here. Her take is that alcohol and cigarettes are already a problem and legalizing other drugs will just create more trouble.

    She’s also a prohibitionist and’s got a good line on Prohibition Works, she cites the improving health statistics of the period.

    Yuck. I feel so dirty.

  60. . says:

    She’s also a prohibitionist and’s got a good line on Prohibition Works, she cites the improving health statistics of the period.

    That doesn’t account for being murdered.

  61. Peter Patton says:

    Adrien, I don’t know if you’re experience is similar, but I’ve noticed a strong negative correlation between one’s hand-on experience with the produce question. The hard-core “Legalize Now” are much, much, MUCH more likely to have never broken the law on this issue themselves. 😉

  62. Dandy Warhol says:

    Peter I was answering IT’s question about distribution. I pretty much agree with BBB.

  63. Infidel Tiger says:

    Why not like alcohol and tobacco?

    So not prescription based distribution from a chemist? Also, where will the goods be sourced from?

  64. Peter Patton says:

    FDB

    You end up with a police force that excludes thoughtful, intelligent people

    And/or a large number of police who will not investigate in the first place, which hides a lot more information that police find valuable.

  65. Adrien says:

    I’ve noticed a strong negative correlation between one’s hand-on experience with the produce question

    There’s always a nuanced attitude anyway. 🙂

    Experience with drugs inevitably gives you experience of people who’ve lost it. My favourite was a graphic designer who took about a million tabs of acid and ended up being unemployable. He started his own ‘business’. The calling card was hilarious. It was a chaotic melange of coloured tubes, like a rainbow plate of spaghetti. If you stared really hard into it you’d see his name embedded in it somewhere, phone number somewhere else and down, the bottom, the slogan ‘Corporation of One’. Hahahaha – what a berk!

    Making it illegal doesn’t stop dudes like this tho’. In my opinion it’d be better to make it legal so people who’ve used drugs and function can tell the kids things like don’t take it very often or you’ll cook your brain.

    Thing is the kids these days have that information anyway. They’re still cookin’ those brains. Those brains are barb-b-q’d and pickled good.

  66. Adrien says:

    That doesn’t account for being murdered.

    Ann Coulter was murdered? Who do it? I’d like to buy ’em a drink. 🙂

    You end up with a police force that excludes thoughtful, intelligent people

    Um…perhaps FDB was issuing forth some subtle and dry humour.

  67. Peter Patton says:

    Adrien

    But my experience is that illegality DOES stop from using drugs. I remember back in my party days, there was one particular old friend who come out with us but never imbibe. Years later, we happened to be on the same group holiday in Ibiza, where she imbibed with much gusto. When I asked why she had refused all those years, she replied simply, “because it was illegal”. I teased, “and you think its legal here [Ibiza]”? Typical of the substance in questions effects, she throw one in the arm in the air, and yelled “fuck the law, let’s dance”!

  68. Adrien says:

    Sounds like the law was only a little more persuasive in Ibiza. Her reaction probably goes a lot further to explaining the real reason certain drugs are illegal.

  69. daddy dave says:

    But my experience is that illegality DOES stop from using drugs.

    Yes, or at least it should.

    I’m in favour of decriminalisation. But this argument that “the laws don’t work therefore let’s drop them” is dodgy. If the law doesn’t work it’s not being enforced properly.

    The fact that people break laws is not an argument against laws. People commit rape and murder too, but we don’t agonise about whether to change the law to reduce the prison population of rapists.

  70. Peter Patton says:

    It is a very tough one. I’m relaxed out legalizing a lot, but less so about some. Heroin is a completely, completely, completely kettle of fish to drugs even as disparate as pot and ecstasy.

  71. Peter Patton says:

    The fact that people break laws is not an argument against laws

    Except if that number reaches a certain size.

  72. Peter Patton says:

    And then, there is the different legal positioning – at present anyway – of the supplier vs. user.

  73. . says:

    Except if that number reaches a certain size.

    Or if the costs exceed the benefits…

  74. Peter Patton says:

    Yep.

  75. John H. says:

    But my experience is that illegality DOES stop from using drugs.

    People who argue that the illegality doesn’t prevent drug use need to explain why we have any laws at all. Laws change behavior.

    Maybe the day will come when a person can consult the relevant professional who will advise … you know, you might benefit from using this drug x times a week or month. That won’t surprise me, in fact I think it is the future. I will be surprised if it happens in next 50 years.

    As for people who think that getting intoxicated is intrinsically bad – you can all go take a fucking walk(Lou Reed, Heroin, live version).

  76. . says:

    I was damned sure monkeys basically farmed fruit to let it go rotten and so they could get blotto.

    It’s natural. Just don’t fall off your perch.

  77. Dandy Warhol says:

    “So not prescription based distribution from a chemist? Also, where will the goods be sourced from?”

    You need permission from your doctor to buy ecstasy and a joint?

    Beer and tobacco are sourced from factories which manufacture with quite strict quality controls. I can’t see why it would be any different for other drugs.

    “Heroin is a completely, completely, completely kettle of fish to drugs even as disparate as pot and ecstasy.”

    In the days before illegality, British doctors (I read somewhere, years ago) used to administer heroin to addicts, once or twice a week. This meant that the addicts were seen regularly by medicos, their health was likely checked, and their addiction at least kept under control and at best removed.

    A treatment-based approach, rather than a prohibition-based approach.

  78. Dandy Warhol says:

    “People who argue that the illegality doesn’t prevent drug use need to explain why we have any laws at all. Laws change behavior.”

    Most certainly. This is absolutely correct.

    Think of all those Afghani farmers who would rather grow poppies than foodstuffs.

    Or all the Mexicans who, rather than create value in the mainstream economy, seek to make a living (or a fortune) in the drug-shipment industry.

    Last I heard the estimate of the number of people killed as a result of the wars between Mexican drug gangs for control of drug shipments to the US was around 30,000 since 2006. And no end in sight.

  79. Peter Patton says:

    Dandy Warhol

    What drugs have you taken? Which are your most and least favourite?

  80. Dandy Warhol says:

    Looking for evidence for your theory, yes Peter?

    My argument is sound or it isn’t, regardless of my history with drugs.

  81. Adrien says:

    People who argue that the illegality doesn’t prevent drug use need to explain why we have any laws at all. Laws change behavior.

    Actually they only change behaviour when society fundamentally agrees with the laws. There are a lot of people here who disregard drug laws but are not exactly habitual criminals in the commons sense of the term.

    What drugs does Dandy Warhol like? We know what he doesn’t like

  82. dover_beach says:

    Dandy Warhol:
    Dover you can only drive legally with a certain level of alcohol in your blood. Over that level and you are said to be ‘driving under the influence’. Why not do the same for speed, just setting the level at zero?
    Then all those people who want to use speed and not drive – and therefore not be a threat to their fellows – can do so legally.

    Yes, as I say in my response to BBB, some drugs do offer this sort of possibility but some don’t which means at least to me that we can’t have a blanket policy re drugs.

    The present laws don’t work at all.

    I agree.

    BBB:
    It’s always amusing to watch the prohibitionists contort themselves to explain why alcohol and tobacco are different. At the same time it’s a little tragic how they demean themselves in doing so. So I’m torn.

    I’m not a prohibitionist; and strictly speaking, you don’t wish for a laissez-faire policy re drugs since you admit that the government is entitled to prevent the sale of these drugs to minors, etc. And even from a Millian perspective, which you enunciated yesterday, the state would be entitled to restrict the use of alcohol, tobacco, and other drugs by pregnant women, for instance. So, what is and what isn’t allowed is a little more complicated then the principles you raised yesterday indicate (note, I’m not promoting such a law since we have other reasons beyond those Millian principles for abjuring such a law).

    It’s a fair question. Through licensed premises under a regime broadly similar to that which currently applies to alcohol and tobacco.

    Do those who what currently illegal drugs distributed as above also want prescription drugs treated similarly? If as they say the right to ingest whatever one likes holds true their seems no good reason to restrict the distribution of prescription drugs either.

  83. Peter Patton says:

    Dandy

    In the days before illegality, British doctors (I read somewhere, years ago) used to administer heroin to addicts, once or twice a week. This meant that the addicts were seen regularly by medicos, their health was likely checked, and their addiction at least kept under control and at best removed.

    A treatment-based approach, rather than a prohibition-based approach

    This is irrelevant. We are talking about legalizing drug use, not medical treatments for illnesses. What you have described is not legalization of drugs, but the methadone program, which we currently use in Australia.

  84. . says:

    Err, um, but it was legal then…

  85. Peter Patton says:

    What was? Medical treatment? It’s legal now, too.

  86. . says:

    You didn’t describe the methadone system at all, Peter.

  87. daddy dave says:

    Peter’s right for once. The fact that doctors used it as a painkiller once upon a time doesn’t mean much. Doctors use morphine and pethidine as well but good luck buying those drugs for your own personal use.

  88. . says:

    That’s not exactly a hell of an argument for prohibition either…

  89. daddy dave says:

    It’s not an argument either way.

  90. daddy dave says:

    ps couldn’t resist the snark, sorry Peter.

  91. Peter Patton says:

    dot

    No-one is saying it is an argument for prohibition. What we’re trying to do is clarify what exactly is Dandy Warhol’s argument that it requires adding that doctors once upon a time somewhere gave heroin addicts shots of heroin?

    Even today, doctors – depending on their level of authorization – are permitted to prescribe all sorts of drugs, which are otherwise illegal. As for my comparison of the current methadone program in Australia, where have I erred? Maybe it has changed recently, or something. I must admit, keeping up with the latest goss on junkie treatment practices is not on my daily MUST DO list! 🙂

  92. John H. says:

    That’s not exactly a hell of an argument for prohibition either…

    A different way to approach this problem. Determining drug use as a crime or illegal act is simplistic and obviously not working. We need a more comprehensive approach to drug use. So let’s say Johnny is using some drug. The test should not be the use of the drug but the measured impairment of the drug use. Is Johnny working? If not is it because of the drug use or is the drug use because of unemployment? Are there biomarkers to indicate the drug use is impairing his health? For example, many people think pure heroin has no health impacts. Not true, impairs immune response. Can Johnny perform a series of neuro-psych tests to indicate his cognitive functioning is within normal ranges? If not, is the impairment a result of the drug use or vice versa? Does Johnny fulfil his obligations to care for himself and his children? Does he have an underlying condition that predisposes towards the particular drug in question? Johnny has an option, if he is found to be using the drug “responsibly” and he can then source the drugs from govt approved sources. It must be cheaper than on the street and be pharmaceutical grade.

    Essentially a utilitarian approach. It would cost a lot of money but savings would be made in prohibition cost reduction. It would identify individuals at risk from their habit and institute the appropriate interventions, which may or may not involve cessation of the habit. It would be more just, the test is not drug use but the functionality of the person. It would educate the user about their habit, what warning signs of damage to be alert for, it would allow the authorities to provide an objective frame of reference for that individual.

    Problems:

    Current drug treatments are very poor.
    Neuropsych testing really needs baselines to be effective. This is not intractable but the concept of “averages” is problematic in individuals.
    It will be very expensive.
    The public will hate it.
    Politicians will be too gutless to support it.
    It would take many years for benefits to the public to accrue. However I think many people would be surprised at how many regular drug users will avail themselves the opportunity to obtain assistance from the govt and medical establishment in relation to their drug use. Note though that this will not happen as long as there is ANY threat of punitive responses.

  93. Peter Patton says:

    John

    I’d be interested in your opinion of the reservations I expressed above about heroin.

  94. John H. says:

    Peter,

    Yeah, one reason I am wary of complete legalisation is that some drugs are just very destructive. Heroin is in that list. Heroin really does fuck people up at very high rates.

    People need to stop talking about “drugs” in the generic sense. Those who do this are engaging in a nonsense generalisation.

    The big problem with my earlier argument is that measuring damage can be extremely difficult. Just two days ago a report came out suggesting that amphetamine use can predispose towards Parkinsons. Similiar issues in relation to metha and cocaine are probable. The underlying neurobiology supports such a probability. But there is no way to determine who is at risk, the degeneration occurs over decades not months. In relation to drugs and risk there is rarely decent information and because of individual variance perfect information is impossible.

    People need to keep in mind that allowing a free for all will result in the creation of various psycho active compounds that will be far more potent and potentially far more damaging than naturally derived compounds. That is already happening. So governments will be foolish to adopt a “purist libertarian” stance because if we allow a free for all that will at some point end up creating massive social problems and zombies in need of lifelong care walking the streets.

    Any drug can wreck a person’s life. Even antidepressants carry some risk of tardive dyskinesia(movement disorders). Anti-psychotic drugs carry a number of risks, from heart failure to TDs. We accept these risks because of the benefits from the drugs. There will be no one size fits all approach.

    I’ve known heroin addicts but only for very short periods of time. Walk away, heroin addicts too often get too desperate and it is dangerous to trust them. One very odd thing I heard from a psychiatrist about heroin addicts: often they were criminals before they were addicts. I did find a study which supported that observation.

  95. Peter Patton says:

    John

    The big problem with my earlier argument is that measuring damage can be extremely difficult. Just two days ago a report came out suggesting that amphetamine use can predispose towards Parkinsons

    I would not consider this any justification whatsoever for proscription. All sorts of human behaviour is risky, with the risks well known. These risks are probably better managed in a more open society than closed one. I would be prepared to wager that those who go on to suffer drug-induced damage of this kind, are probably the least likely to be perturbed by legal proscriptions.

    Heroin, OTOH, is much more highly likely to destroy even the most sensible, risk-averse, and resilient of people, like my Ibiza friend. While I would not be surprised if she has rarely dabbled again after Ibiza, if it had been heroin she was messing with…

  96. jtfsoon says:

    JohnH
    just finished re-reading Miles Davis’ autobiography. A surprising number of brilliant jazz musicians, especially from the bop era were lost to heroin or on the verge of being so, including the pioneer of bop himself Bird (i.e. Charlie Parker, not our avian) who when he died was mistaken for 30 years older by the coroner,

    Miles himself kicked the habit many times and then went on it again. You really have to wonder about the obsessiveness of many of these musicians in pursuing it whether there was something biochemical allied with their particular gifts in discerning strange rhythms. Of course the other part of it was many aspiring jazz musicians did heroin because they wanted to ‘play like Bird’.

  97. Peter Patton says:

    jason, it is just such a megapowerful overwhelming drug, which can is conquer people within a week. It is unlike any other in that respect. People do not steal their mother’s TV for ecstasy or pot.

  98. Infidel Tiger says:

    Crack cocaine I’m lead to believe is even more addictive and damaging.

  99. Peter Patton says:

    IT

    Yeah, you’re right there. I’ve read about the pharmokinetic differences with cocaine to explain why. I’ve never looked into comparing heroin and crack. But they’re both bad! One horrible irony is that because you get so much bang for your buck with crack than coke, of course the poorer drug user will be attracted disproportionately to crack, which in the US, of course, expressed itself racially….

  100. badm0f0 says:

    … it is just such a megapowerful overwhelming drug, which can is conquer people within a week.

    Nonsense, physical addiction to heroin takes prolonged & reasonably constant use to establish.

  101. Infidel Tiger says:

    Nonsense, physical addiction to heroin takes prolonged & reasonably constant use to establish.

    I’ve read Theodore Dalrymple’s take on heroin addicition and he considers it mostly bullshit.

    http://www.spectator.co.uk/essays/all/3212846/withdrawal-from-heroin-is-a-trivial-matter.thtml

  102. jtfsoon says:

    In his autobiography, Miles Davis related how he once got off heroin by returning to his hometown and locking himself in his father’s farmhouse until he was cured.

    Of course he then later got back into it again.

  103. badm0f0 says:

    He is correct in a medical sense, heroin withdrawal on it’s own is not going to kill anyone.

    The major risk to life (aside from disease) is relapse after physical withdrawal, when the body’s tolerance to it has plummeted back to near-normal but the user still expects to need to use the same amount to get off.

  104. dover_beach says:

    I would be quite happy to consider broad liberalisation of drugs if we also did what Dalrymple recommends in his last paragraph:

    Addiction [drug use] should be treated as an aggravating circumstance, and an automatic additional five or ten years ought to be added to addicts’ [drug users’] sentences: that is, if the peace of the poor, who are the primary victims of crime, is to be protected by the government and the criminal justice system.

  105. Peter Patton says:

    IT

    Withdrawal is quick, if uncomfortable. That’s once you either can drag yourself into detox, or be lucky enough to get locked up!

  106. Infidel Tiger says:

    The major risk to life (aside from disease) is relapse after physical withdrawal, when the body’s tolerance to it has plummeted back to near-normal but the user still expects to need to use the same amount to get off.

    Keith Richard’s talks a lot of this in his book. Keef would be an excellent drug tzar. For all the myths that surround him, he was very clued up on what he was doing.

  107. Peter Patton says:

    From the outside, one addiction that looks awful to me, is cigarettes!

  108. Oh come on says:

    The danger of heroin is being overstated. The problem with heroin is that you don’t know what you’re getting, and the price is ridiculously high. If it was legalised and sold at a consistent quality and strength, at a price that reflected the cost of (legal) production, the vast majority of heroin addiction-related problems such as crime, overdosing, negative health impacts etc would disappear.

    Actually, regular, controlled use of clean heroin has very few negative long term impacts. The negative outcomes that result from heroin addiction stem from the fact that it’s criminalised.

    Whilst I am broadly for decriminalising drugs, there is a drug in which a strong case can be made for its criminalisation – and I’m surprised no one’s mentioned it – methamphetamine. That’s a really, really nasty one with profound and awful long term implications for regular users.

  109. Oh come on says:

    I should also mention that diamorphine (the medical term for heroin) is an extremely useful painkiller that is unfortunately unavailable because of our irrational fear of heroin. There are places that morphine just can’t reach that diamorphine can – eg bone cancer.

  110. John H. says:

    The danger of heroin is being overstated.

    Hmmm, let’s look at some data:

    I won’t bother with anymore. All the below relates to regulated use or experiments, not street use.

    ——

    Patients prescribed morphine for the management of chronic pain, and chronic heroin abusers, often present with complications such as increased susceptibility to opportunistic infections and inadequate healing of wounds.

    PMCID: PMC2808085

    Analyses using real-time RT-PCR indicated that inactivation of the BLA blocked the suppressive effect of heroin-associated environmental stimuli on iNOS induction and on the expression of the proinflammatory cytokines TNF-alpha and IL-1beta in spleen and liver tissue. This study is important because it is the first to demonstrate that heroin’s conditioned effects on proinflammatory mediators require the BLA. These findings may have significant implications for the treatment of heroin users.

    PMCID: PMC2603072
    The present data suggested that individuals using heroin or treated with morphine derivatives might be at high risk for listeriosis, especially those who are immunocompromised. Recent increasing consumption of morphine may propose the necessity for further epidemiological surveillance on infectious diseases.

    PMID: 16858145 [PubMed – indexed for MEDLINE]

    T lymphocytes from animals that had self-administered heroin showed a profoundly reduced ability to proliferate in response to concanavalin A (50% and 48% compared with YH and YS controls, respectively; Fig. 1A), or a monoclonal antibody (R73) to the CD3/T-cell receptor complex (anti-TCR) plus IL-2 (55% and 59% compared with YH and YS controls, respectively; Fig. 1B). Self-administration of heroin selectively alters T lymphocyte function, as no effects on natural killer cell activity or macrophage functions were observed. These findings may have relevance to the acquisition and documented increased incidence of infectious diseases, including HIV, in heroin addicts, due to a pre-existing T-cell immunodeficient state.

  111. Peter Patton says:

    Oh Come On

    I have to ask you, which drugs have you taken, and which were your favorites?

  112. . says:

    What the fuck does that prove?

  113. daddy dave says:

    The danger of heroin is being overstated. The problem with heroin is that you don’t know what you’re getting, and the price is ridiculously high.

    A big danger with heroin is overdose. It operates differently to most other drugs in that if you’re a regular user, the dosage you need to get ‘high’ creeps up until the minimum ‘high’ dosage is higher than overdose level.

    The only thing that’s protecting the regular user from death is tolerance. This indroduces miscalculation risk.

  114. Peter Patton says:

    It will not prove anything, but it will provide a very accurate indication as to how much we can even bother with this.

    The danger of heroin is being overstated. The problem with heroin is that you don’t know what you’re getting, and the price is ridiculously high. If it was legalised and sold at a consistent quality and strength, at a price that reflected the cost of (legal) production, the vast majority of heroin addiction-related problems such as crime, overdosing, negative health impacts etc would disappear.

    Actually, regular, controlled use of clean heroin has very few negative long term impacts. The negative outcomes that result from heroin addiction stem from the fact that it’s criminalised

  115. Oh come on says:

    A lot of “mights” and “mays” in that research, John.

    PP: a point of order, on relevance?

  116. Peter Patton says:

    dot

    I am afraid that when it comes to this issue, the further you are away from the action, the more you have no idea.

  117. Peter Patton says:

    You have made a number of claims and assertions of the facts of drug use. We need to know what your qualifications are to make those claims and assertions.

  118. . says:

    That’s how we get those neo puritans at the Australian Drug Foudnation, PP.

    Dude. I am not taking ANY public policy advice from Charlie Sheen.

  119. . says:

    You have made a number of claims and assertions of the facts of drug use.

    I’ve only talked about the economics of it.

    I’ve seen alcoholism first hand. If you must know.

  120. Peter Patton says:

    Really? I would listen to 100 hours of Charlie Sheen on the issue over 5 minutes of somebody who does not take illegal drugs. And I will always discount what anybody says about liberalizing drug laws, who has never broken a law themselves. In fact, the spotlight needs to be shone on such a person. Why the fuck are you a drug virgin?

  121. Oh come on says:

    PP: no, you don’t.

    I’m not going to go into this in great detail. There is a far, far stronger case for criminalising methamphetamine (which, with long term use, causes massive irreversible psychological damage) than heroin – the negative effects of which stem mostly from its criminalisation. In fact, heroin absolutely should be decriminalised.

  122. Peter Patton says:

    dot

    That was to Oh Come on.

  123. Peter Patton says:

    Oh Come On

    You don’t imbibe in illegal drugs, do you? In which case, you should stop making a goose of yourself; as on these issues, you would not know if your ass was on fire.

  124. . says:

    Peter,

    By your measure, I should be lobbying for the prohibition of homosexual intercourse.

    I can’t approve of it as I’ve never tried.

  125. John H. says:

    There is a far, far stronger case for criminalising methamphetamine

    In some animal studies a single dose produced measurable brain damage.

    The research I cited was to dispel the idea that heroin is harmless or carries little risk. That it clearly affects immunological function is not just relevant to infection risk, it could also have much wider relevance.

    I favour heroin decriminalisation but not legalisation. Given the high Hep C infection rates in Aussie prisons the last thing we should do is lock them up, though there is a very high risk they already have hep C.

  126. Oh come on says:

    Actually, I do somewhat agree with PP. Much of the anti-heroin hysteria comes from people who know nothing about the drug.

    However, in this case my specific experience is irrelevant, as heroin has never been legally available in the manner in which I described above in my lifetime. Whether or not I’ve stuck dirty or not-so-dirty smack into my veins at some point in my life is immaterial. This is a matter of physiological facts rather than experience.

  127. Oh come on says:

    Patton: no, you are a goose. I’m not going to humour your ridiculous line of questioning.

  128. Peter Patton says:

    Much of the anti-heroin hysteria comes from people who know nothing about the drug

    What hysteria? Which people? How long did you take heroin for? Do you still take it?

  129. Peter Patton says:

    Actually, meth is available on prescription in the US.

  130. Infidel Tiger says:

    Patton took an E on his 50th birthday and danced to Crocdile Rock and now he thinks he’s a drug expert.

  131. Oh come on says:

    So, by Patton’s sterling logic, I can only comment on the effects of pharmacological-grade heroin – which can be measured empirically – as long as I’ve taken dirty, illegally manufactured smack that’s cut with god-knows-what at some point or points in the past. Brilliant deduction, PP.

  132. Peter Patton says:

    You can comment all you want. But so far, there is no evidence that your comment is informed.

    IT

    It was actually a Quaalude on my fortieth birthday under the big moon at Studio-54, and it was to Garry Glitter’s Rock and Roll. 🙂

  133. Oh come on says:

    “But so far, there is no evidence that your comment is informed.”

    Based on your dopey standards, perhaps that is so.

  134. Peter Patton says:

    You clearly have nothing to add. Your comments show you have no insight, experience, or data about this issue, as you have never been part of the drug-taking set. You’ve probably never run a red light either, and always recycle.

  135. Oh come on says:

    Fuck off Patton. You know nothing. There’s plenty I could say, but, as I said, I’m not going to humour your irrational and foolish line of questioning. When you actually have a cogent and relevant response to the points I made above, get back to me.

  136. sdfc says:

    Peter

    Do you disagree with OCOs comment that there are good reasons for meth being criminalised?

  137. Yobbo says:

    One of my best mates was a smack addict for years, PP.

    What would you like to know?

  138. Peter Patton says:

    sdfc

    I am not even interested in wasting my time on what he says, unless he can indicate he has done the hard yards required to have a clue on these issues. I am not going to reduce the issue of drug law liberalization to a first year exercise in Aristotelian syllogisms. The deabte is about what goes on in the street.

  139. sdfc says:

    Well Peter if you had half a clue what goes on “in the street” you would know speed is dangerous shit to not only the user but to society as a whole.

    Just what benefit do we get from having a load of speed freaks walking around?

  140. Peter Patton says:

    Yobbo

    Ah, I don’t need any data, or testimonials from others. I have that by the truckload. All I am asking is that those who swashbuckle about “Free Drugs Now” indicate they have the experiences, insight, knowledge, and data to appreciate and respect what a minefield we are walking in here.

    I’m sorry, but those who are not, or never have been, part of the drug/party set are unlikely to have anything worthwhile to add; unless, of course they are a neurologist/GP/social worker attached to a major city hospital, and so on.

  141. Adrien says:

    I’m sorry, but those who are not, or never have been, part of the drug/party set are unlikely to have anything worthwhile to add;

    I’m sorry I don;t agree. You have a point about the experiences of those who’ve been experienced but OCO’s point comparing heroin and meth seems valid. I’ve known people who’ve throttled both and I tend to agree that hyper-speed is worse than smack. I think if smack was legal it would be less of a problem than cigarettes. Heroin doesn’t turn people into psychotic wolverines, meth does.

    Tho’ again I reckon the salient point is that laws don’t stop people doing it.

  142. sdfc says:

    Laws don’t stop some people using drugs Adrien but it does stop others.

    The last thing we need to do is send a message that meth is okay by sanctioning its use.

    Or heroin for that matter.

  143. John H. says:

    Just what benefit do we get from having a load of speed freaks walking around?

    Even worse than that, the trading floor. Now we know what caused the GFC. Too much cocaine(a stimulant) and speed. Thus:

    http://www.physorg.com/news/2011-03-sleep-deprived-people-risky-decisions-based.html

    Rudd made a big deal out of needing little sleep. Stupid little shit.

  144. daddy dave says:

    I’m really on the fence on this. I’m all for decriminalisation, but when the question becomes
    “what about meth and smack?” it gives me pause.

  145. John H. says:

    it gives me pause.

    Try some meth and no time to pause. Now if you’ll excuse me I just lost an entire strike force and didn’t wipe out the Russian base. Must try again, be back in a few hours.

  146. Oh come on says:

    OK, it’s clear that Patton’s talking out his arse.

    I think if smack was legal it would be less of a problem than cigarettes.

    This is absolutely correct. There is no good reason for heroin to be criminalised. The vast majority of horror stories we hear about smack addiction and the crimes related to this arise precisely because smack is illegal.

  147. Oh come on says:

    Meth, however, is a nasty nasty drug – especially when smoked.

  148. Fran Barlow says:

    Personally I’m for a free regime in recreational substances providing there is quality control, accurate labelling, secure packaging etc. If someone can shoiw that some particular substance is radically unsafe at very low doses I might make an exception but such instances aside I see no serious problems with a legal regime — and certainly — whatever problems might arise are utterly dwarfed by the problems created by the war on drugs regime.

    A number of the substances people have concerns about are really the result of other less harmful substances being unavailable or more risky to transport, more difficult to produce under illegality etc.

  149. . says:

    It was actually a Quaalude on my fortieth birthday under the big moon at Studio-54, and it was to Garry Glitter’s Rock and Roll.

    Roll over Denis Leary…

    Big N, little y, BIG FUCKIN Q!

  150. Oh come on says:

    Fran: them’s fightin’ words. We’re all for the War on Drugs here, we are.

  151. John H. says:

    A number of the substances people have concerns about are really the result of other less harmful substances being unavailable or more risky to transport, more difficult to produce under illegality etc.

    Oh crap. Consider morphine\heroin. You wanna know who are amongst the biggest users of the same: medical staff. They obtain pharma grade from the hospitals(it can be done). I have seen a number of very fucked up nurses using the highest quality product. It wasn’t the law that fucked them up, it was the pure drug. One nurse I knew got caught because a doctor walked into the washroom to see him trying to reach for the towels that were at the other side of the room. This nurse, on duty, was completely off his face.

    MethA, principle benefit over ordinary speed is it much more easily crosses the blood brain barrier. Does serious damage to dopaminergic neurons, the very neurons we have so few of and tend to lose with age anyway. That is why it carries a later developing Parkinsons risk because that is all about death of dopaminergic neurons in the SNc(much more complicated than that but kiddy steps for now). It is a pure product and is very good at wrecking peoples’ lives irrespective of the law. Even long term marijuana use can cause problems. It causes receptor loss in the endocannabinoid system which may not recover, the consequence being physical dependence. I have read one study on rats which found a direct correlation between receptor loss and dependency. It is fat soluble so can build up to quite high levels in the body, there is research suggesting it can induce compromised immunity but only at the margins. It also is powerfully neuroprotective and both THC and CBD have antioxidant capacity in excess of vitamins C and E. Via a cb 2 receptor process CBD can have potent anti-inflammatory properties. That may be good but it can be bad. Cannabinoids have also demonstrated potent anti-cancer properties, especially in relation to brain cancers and we have had no progress in treating those over the last 20 years. So marijuana is a mixed bag(though I only like pure heads of the highest quality so as to reduce bronchial impact) but frequent users should have time out periods to prevent receptor loss. But in my experience regular pot smokers make bad parents and certainly don’t perform at their peak(the latter is value judgement and doesn’t really concern me , people are entitled to that choice). The former though does concern me, encountered too many regular smokers who were bad parents.

    Look, I hate the war on drugs but don’t delude yourselves, drugs do damage. The war on drugs is driven by idiot politicians who don’t have the guts and\or brains to adopt strategies that many European countries have adopted. It is a truism that when a country allows hard core addicts access to treatment, which is aimed at getting them off the drugs, not managing their addiction, which is a laughable concept anyway, that burglary rates fall through the floor. But don’t delude yourselves into thinking that the problem with drugs is simply about the war on drugs. As Adrien previously stated, anyone with significant exposure to drug culture invariably encounters people whose lives who have been wrecked by the drug, not the law.

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