All drugs should be legal

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Sculptor1
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Re: All drugs should be legal

Post by Sculptor1 » May 31st, 2020, 6:05 pm

Frank Pray wrote:
May 31st, 2020, 5:03 pm
"Oxy Doc" Martin Tesher, M.D., was convicted by a federal jury in 2018 of prescribing Oxycotin and Fentynal to a patient who died from an overdose. Tesher faced up to 20 years imprisonment for reckless indifference to life. I cite this misuse of a legal drug prescription as evidence that the unrestricted distribution of dangerous substances based on greed, misinformation, or sociopathic indifference can lead to serious loss of life or long term damage to health and basic functioning.

The dilemma of all governmental regulation is that a majoritarian authority must compel a resistant minority to give up certain freedoms of choice.
This is not evidence of a problem with the legalisation of drugs.
This is an example of a country in which everything, and I mean everything is based on MONEY.

Over prescription of dangerous synthetic opioids is a major problem in the USA. A string of doctors have been found to be handing out prescriptions for large consultancy fees of several 100s of $$$. Queues of addicts at late night surgeries; selling half the prescriptions, on the street, to recover the exorbitant consultation fees, and taking the rest themselves.
Lack of regulation and scrutiny in a privatised health system, exacerbated by an ideology of small government and the money motive, is where the faults lie.

You have to ask why this does not happen in the UK and in other country's health systems.
In 2007 27,000 died of prescription OD; Now the number has nearly doubled and is rising.

https://www.hhs.gov/opioids/about-the-e ... index.html

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Terrapin Station
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Re: All drugs should be legal

Post by Terrapin Station » June 18th, 2020, 10:45 am

Not sure if I've ever commented on this one:
pjkeeley wrote:
August 12th, 2008, 11:05 pm
All drugs should be legal. There are many reasons, but ultimately it comes down to this: nobody should be able to decide what we put into our own bodies except us. It is that simple.
I agree.
Belinda wrote:
August 13th, 2008, 3:49 am
Not quite. People who make themselves ill are a drain on society.
The problem there is that we've structured society so that this would be a drain on it. The answer to that isn't to institute yet another bad policy. The answer is to fix the way we've structured society.

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Steve3007
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Re: All drugs should be legal

Post by Steve3007 » June 18th, 2020, 11:30 am

From the OP and a following post:
pjkeeley wrote:There are many reasons, but ultimately it comes down to this: nobody should be able to decide what we put into our own bodies except us. It is that simple....

...it is my belief that as a general rule, we have the right to do as we please so long as our actions don't intefere with the ability of other people to do the same...

...A further point is that if we do not wish to be burdened by people who "make themselves ill", then it would make more sense to disallow drug users access to public healthcare...
This is a Libertarian position. The gist is "my body, my choice". I disagree.

The idea that, in an absolute sense, it is your body only works in a minimum-possible-government Libertarian ideal society where people are regarded as disconnected individuals. I don't want to live in such a society. I want to live in what Libertarians would call a Nanny State. One of the costs of that is that "this is my body" is not 100% true. I don't entirely own myself, and neither does anyone else.

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Re: All drugs should be legal

Post by Terrapin Station » June 18th, 2020, 11:33 am

Steve3007 wrote:
June 18th, 2020, 11:30 am
From the OP and a following post:
pjkeeley wrote:There are many reasons, but ultimately it comes down to this: nobody should be able to decide what we put into our own bodies except us. It is that simple....

...it is my belief that as a general rule, we have the right to do as we please so long as our actions don't intefere with the ability of other people to do the same...

...A further point is that if we do not wish to be burdened by people who "make themselves ill", then it would make more sense to disallow drug users access to public healthcare...
This is a Libertarian position. The gist is "my body, my choice". I disagree.

The idea that, in an absolute sense, it is your body only works in a minimum-possible-government Libertarian ideal society where people are regarded as disconnected individuals. I don't want to live in such a society. I want to live in what Libertarians would call a Nanny State. One of the costs of that is that "this is my body" is not 100% true. I don't entirely own myself, and neither does anyone else.
Why do you want to live in a society where others can tell you what you're consensually allowed to do?

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Re: All drugs should be legal

Post by Steve3007 » June 18th, 2020, 12:25 pm

Terrapin Station wrote:Why do you want to live in a society where others can tell you what you're consensually allowed to do?
Because an act which is consensual when taken in isolation over a short timescale can have non-consensual wider consequences. It's the same as my general objection to Libertarianism: that it takes a simplistic and ideal view of societies as collections of individuals who are only ever connected to each other by deliberate acts. Life is messier than that.

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Re: All drugs should be legal

Post by Terrapin Station » June 18th, 2020, 5:24 pm

Steve3007 wrote:
June 18th, 2020, 12:25 pm
Terrapin Station wrote:Why do you want to live in a society where others can tell you what you're consensually allowed to do?
Because an act which is consensual when taken in isolation over a short timescale can have non-consensual wider consequences. It's the same as my general objection to Libertarianism: that it takes a simplistic and ideal view of societies as collections of individuals who are only ever connected to each other by deliberate acts. Life is messier than that.
What would be an example of the nonconsensual wider consequence in this case? It seems like you'd be defining acts or actions re consensual versus nonconsensual acts/actions in what I'd consider to be an unusual way.

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Re: All drugs should be legal

Post by Steve3007 » June 19th, 2020, 4:58 am

Terrapin Station wrote:What would be an example of the nonconsensual wider consequence in this case?
The consequences of tobacco smoking to the people who work to fund the healthcare system.

I want to live in a society which confers rights on people to a greater extent than is advocated by strict Libertarianism. All rights imply obligations. One of the rights I want to confer is free-at-the-point-of-delivery healthcare. That automatically means that I want to non-consensually oblige some people to work to fund that healthcare, whether via taxation or whatever. i.e. I don't want to give them a free choice as to whether they pay those taxes such that the consequences to them of paying/not paying are equal; I want to put in place consequences which strongly motivate them to pay. If my aim is realized then I've put in place a system which means that a consequence of tobacco smoking is non-consensual tax paying - i.e. taxpaying in which a strong incentive to pay is put in place.

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Re: All drugs should be legal

Post by Wossname » June 19th, 2020, 8:11 am

Steve3007 wrote:
June 18th, 2020, 11:30 am
y Steve3007 » Yesterday, 4:30 pm

I want to live in what Libertarians would call a Nanny State. One of the costs of that is that "this is my body" is not 100% true. I don't entirely own myself, and neither does anyone else.
Steve3007 wrote:
June 19th, 2020, 4:58 am
Steve3007 » Today, 9:58 am

Terrapin Station wrote:
What would be an example of the nonconsensual wider consequence in this case?
The consequences of tobacco smoking to the people who work to fund the healthcare system.

I want to live in a society which confers rights on people to a greater extent than is advocated by strict Libertarianism. All rights imply obligations. One of the rights I want to confer is free-at-the-point-of-delivery healthcare. That automatically means that I want to non-consensually oblige some people to work to fund that healthcare, whether via taxation or whatever. i.e. I don't want to give them a free choice as to whether they pay those taxes such that the consequences to them of paying/not paying are equal; I want to put in place consequences which strongly motivate them to pay. If my aim is realized then I've put in place a system which means that a consequence of tobacco smoking is non-consensual tax paying - i.e. taxpaying in which a strong incentive to pay is put in place.

Steve I do not disagree with you, but I am not sure of your position on drug use or just how nannying you want the state to be. Would high taxes on potentially harmful “recreational” drugs be an answer? Clearly we don’t want them so high that it drives most drug use back underground.

It seems that moral and economic issues are intertwined to some extent, there are few truly entirely self-regarding actions, and we must limit some freedoms to allow others. But the case has been presented that decriminalising and regulating drugs would actually decrease social and economic costs. I think a number of contributors have presented that case with some force.

The truth of the matter is clearly open to debate, but the arguments for decriminalisation, regulation and education do not, to me, seem trivial. It is fair enough if people do not accept them (Steve I do not know your position here). If such assessments are right, am I right in thinking you would not be against decriminalisation? Just how big do the economic and social costs need to be before others can claim the right to limit my behaviour? I would think they should be quite high (that’s my kind of libertarianism) and this debate arises at least in part because it is not clear, at least to many here, that they are, or at any rate, that the alternative (decriminalisation) is not in fact less costly.

I do not know the truth of it, but current policy does seem to leave a lot to be desired. There has been a good debate on this board and I have learned from it. The mainstream media do not entirely ignore the issue, but I get the feeling they have largely opted for the status quo and so, while more prominent and open debate might be useful it may not be easy to come by. Is there a risk that, currently, people are claiming ownership of my body and actions for narrow political gain or to support personal and social prejudices? I suspect that only the braver politicians are willing to stick their necks out and argue for decriminalising all recreational drug use, which may partly explain why so few are.

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Re: All drugs should be legal

Post by Steve3007 » June 19th, 2020, 8:23 am

Wossname wrote:Steve I do not disagree with you, but I am not sure of your position on drug use or just how nannying you want the state to be....
I haven't taken a position on the specifics of drug use. I'm not really interested in down-in-the-weeds, technical, political discussions about such things as the ineffectiveness of the "war on drugs", although obviously others are, and that's fine. I'm interested in broad philosophical principles.

The only position I've taken on "nannying" is that I want to live in a society that is more "nannying" than the strict Libertarians want to live in. I restated that as "I want to live in a society which confers rights on people to a greater extent than is advocated by strict Libertarianism". I gave one example of one of those rights.

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Re: All drugs should be legal

Post by Wossname » June 19th, 2020, 8:34 am

Steve3007 wrote:
June 19th, 2020, 8:23 am
y Steve3007 » 9 minutes ago

Wossname wrote:
Steve I do not disagree with you, but I am not sure of your position on drug use or just how nannying you want the state to be....
I haven't taken a position on the specifics of drug use. I'm not really interested in down-in-the-weeds, technical, political discussions about such things as the ineffectiveness of the "war on drugs", although obviously others are, and that's fine. I'm interested in broad philosophical principles.

The only position I've taken on "nannying" is that I want to live in a society that is more "nannying" than the strict Libertarians want to live in. I restated that as "I want to live in a society which confers rights on people to a greater extent than is advocated by strict Libertarianism". I gave one example of one of those rights.

Gotcha. I don’t think we are far apart on this.

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Re: All drugs should be legal

Post by Terrapin Station » June 19th, 2020, 10:51 am

Steve3007 wrote:
June 19th, 2020, 4:58 am
Terrapin Station wrote:What would be an example of the nonconsensual wider consequence in this case?
The consequences of tobacco smoking to the people who work to fund the healthcare system.

I want to live in a society which confers rights on people to a greater extent than is advocated by strict Libertarianism. All rights imply obligations. One of the rights I want to confer is free-at-the-point-of-delivery healthcare. That automatically means that I want to non-consensually oblige some people to work to fund that healthcare, whether via taxation or whatever. i.e. I don't want to give them a free choice as to whether they pay those taxes such that the consequences to them of paying/not paying are equal; I want to put in place consequences which strongly motivate them to pay. If my aim is realized then I've put in place a system which means that a consequence of tobacco smoking is non-consensual tax paying - i.e. taxpaying in which a strong incentive to pay is put in place.
One simple solution is to simply allow people to opt out of taxpayer-funded healthcare related to their smoking. Why wouldn't that be acceptable? That way you don't get to tell them that they can't smoke, and no one is required to pay taxes for healthcare for people who choose to smoke (healthcare for issues that are related to their smoking).

That's not an ideal solution--the ideal solution is to not have such a stupid economic system in place, but that is a simple solution for not wanting to pay for healthcare for people who do things that we know can easily damage health in particular ways, in a situation where we're still paying taxes, etc.

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Re: All drugs should be legal

Post by Ecurb » June 19th, 2020, 11:14 am

IN the U.S., most drugs were legal until about 1920 (the same time as Prohibition). The 1800s were an era of traveling medicine shows, patent medicines, fraud and deception. Back in the days when drugs were not effective at curing disease, this wasn't as much of a problem as it might be today.

Of course a huge factor in the regulation of drugs and medical care in general is economic. Doctors, dentists and nurses protect their economic status by promoting laws that make it illegal to practice medicine without a license. Drug companies promote laws allowing patents. These laws may impinge upon freedom, but they probably protect the public health. Perhaps fraud could be stamped out through law suits, but would any parent want to sue a company who sold fake penicillin after his child had dies of Strep Throat? Regulation clearly includes quality control.


Another public health risk would be that overuse of drugs might lead to resistant strains of bacteria or viruses. If antibiotics were available over the counter, some people would take them for every cold or flu, despite the fact that the drugs would be useless, and that they using them might lead to dangerous eventualities.

I've read only the last page of this long thread, so I might be repeating what other posters have said. I also recognize that some people are talking about recreational drugs. However, many recreational drugs are also medical drugs (opiates, for example, and even marijuana). Deregulation of drugs would include deregulation of the quality control inspections with which drug companies are currently required to comply. This control includes not only the manufacture of drugs, but a paper trail which would allow companies to recall drugs if they prove to be tainted or dangerous (as sometimes happens).

Why libertarians despise the lack of freedom involved in drug regulation, but laud the lack of freedom involved in property ownership is a mystery to me. Perhaps decriminalization (rather than deregulation) would be a better approach to regulating drugs.

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Re: All drugs should be legal

Post by Terrapin Station » June 19th, 2020, 1:53 pm

Ecurb wrote:
June 19th, 2020, 11:14 am
If antibiotics were available over the counter, some people would take them for every cold or flu, despite the fact that the drugs would be useless, and that they using them might lead to dangerous eventualities.
Bizarrely, in the U.S., doctors way over-prescribe antibiotics as things are. There are a lot of doctors who seem to prescribe antibiotics for everything. I can't tell you how many times I've known family and friends who had a flu or some other virus and had antibiotics prescribed. They're prescribed almost as if the doctors were getting a kickback on the prescriptions. That's probably not the case. I think it's more likely a combo of doctors feeling pressured by patients, who seem to think that the doctor is doing something by giving them an antibiotic, and unfortunately ignorance from some doctors.

At any rate, as a libertarian in these respects, I'm not actually in favor of requiring prescriptions (or of doctors needing to be licensed), and partially because I think it's worth developing a population that isn't ignorant and that takes responsibility for itself.

I'm not a libertarian wholesale, though. I don't agree with libertarian economic approaches. I'm actually a socialist when it comes to economic (and overall "social structure") issues.

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Re: All drugs should be legal

Post by Terrapin Station » June 19th, 2020, 1:55 pm

What I'm really not in favor of is having an economy where it can cost anyone 30k per month for a prescription or where it can cost anyone a million dollars for a couple months in the hospital. We've really gone off the tracks when that's the case in my opinion.

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Re: All drugs should be legal

Post by LuckyR » June 19th, 2020, 3:57 pm

Terrapin Station wrote:
June 19th, 2020, 10:51 am
Steve3007 wrote:
June 19th, 2020, 4:58 am


The consequences of tobacco smoking to the people who work to fund the healthcare system.

I want to live in a society which confers rights on people to a greater extent than is advocated by strict Libertarianism. All rights imply obligations. One of the rights I want to confer is free-at-the-point-of-delivery healthcare. That automatically means that I want to non-consensually oblige some people to work to fund that healthcare, whether via taxation or whatever. i.e. I don't want to give them a free choice as to whether they pay those taxes such that the consequences to them of paying/not paying are equal; I want to put in place consequences which strongly motivate them to pay. If my aim is realized then I've put in place a system which means that a consequence of tobacco smoking is non-consensual tax paying - i.e. taxpaying in which a strong incentive to pay is put in place.
One simple solution is to simply allow people to opt out of taxpayer-funded healthcare related to their smoking. Why wouldn't that be acceptable? That way you don't get to tell them that they can't smoke, and no one is required to pay taxes for healthcare for people who choose to smoke (healthcare for issues that are related to their smoking).

That's not an ideal solution--the ideal solution is to not have such a stupid economic system in place, but that is a simple solution for not wanting to pay for healthcare for people who do things that we know can easily damage health in particular ways, in a situation where we're still paying taxes, etc.
Please explain this non-stupid economic system.
"As usual... it depends."

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