All drugs should be legal

Discuss morality and ethics in this message board.
Featured Article: Philosophical Analysis of Abortion, The Right to Life, and Murder
User avatar
Sculptor1
Posts: 2142
Joined: May 16th, 2019, 5:35 am

Re: All drugs should be legal

Post by Sculptor1 » June 19th, 2020, 4:44 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.
Smokers will tell you that revenues taken in health levies and sales tax more than cover all the cancer treatment smoking related diseases cost.
A packet of fags in the UK attracts as much as 90% taxation. What costs £2 in eastern Europe costs £8 in the UK.
It's worth about £12 billion per year. Probably 11% of the NHS budget. ANd we are all going to die of something and cost the NHS lots of money as we go.

User avatar
Terrapin Station
Posts: 3458
Joined: August 23rd, 2016, 3:00 pm
Favorite Philosopher: Bertrand Russell and WVO Quine
Location: NYC Man

Re: All drugs should be legal

Post by Terrapin Station » June 19th, 2020, 5:22 pm

Sculptor1 wrote:
June 19th, 2020, 4:44 pm
Terrapin Station wrote:
June 19th, 2020, 10:51 am


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.
Smokers will tell you that revenues taken in health levies and sales tax more than cover all the cancer treatment smoking related diseases cost.
A packet of fags in the UK attracts as much as 90% taxation. What costs £2 in eastern Europe costs £8 in the UK.
It's worth about £12 billion per year. Probably 11% of the NHS budget. ANd we are all going to die of something and cost the NHS lots of money as we go.
Sure. Although if folks want to still argue for smokers opting themselves out of tax-funded healthcare, that's a good reason to also eliminate the tax on cigarettes.

User avatar
Terrapin Station
Posts: 3458
Joined: August 23rd, 2016, 3:00 pm
Favorite Philosopher: Bertrand Russell and WVO Quine
Location: NYC Man

Re: All drugs should be legal

Post by Terrapin Station » June 19th, 2020, 5:29 pm

LuckyR wrote:
June 19th, 2020, 3:57 pm
Terrapin Station wrote:
June 19th, 2020, 10:51 am


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.
It would take a book to explain it in detail, but the basic idea is to abolish traditional money-based systems and move to socialized (so government-supervised) economy where competitive access to scarce resources is based on doing the most (via a combo of hard work and efficient/innovative techniques) to provide both the 'basics" (shelter, healthcare, education, etc.) and the other things that people want, the latter of which would be learned via regular, literal polling. So basically the competition becomes helping others out/providing the things they want, whatever imaginable they might want (though where we're still talking consensual activities), and where making moves to block or squelch others' success results in penalties. You'd be able to do any work you'd like (though some things would require training periods obviously), you'd be able to call whatever hours/work days versus off days you want, you'd be able to change vocations whenever you like, etc.

Ecurb
Posts: 493
Joined: May 9th, 2012, 3:13 pm

Re: All drugs should be legal

Post by Ecurb » June 19th, 2020, 6:26 pm

I doubt that smokers cost the health care system (and even more the general ledgers) more than non-smokers. Why would they? As Sculptor points out, we all incur health care costs in the last year of our life (I forget the percentage, but it's generally well more than 50% of lifetime costs). If smokers die at age 65, that's ideal (from a cost perspective). They've paid their taxes, and won't get Social Security. There's no way someone who lives to be 90 would cost less than the smoker. (It is true that people who die before retirement age might cost the system, but I'll bet most smokers make it to 60, at least.) I have nothing against taxing tobacco, or other luxury items (the money has to come from somewhere), but the "greater health care costs" argument is a red herring.

User avatar
Steve3007
Posts: 7754
Joined: June 15th, 2011, 5:53 pm
Favorite Philosopher: Eratosthenes of Cyrene
Location: UK

Re: All drugs should be legal

Post by Steve3007 » June 20th, 2020, 3:50 am

I'm not in favour, in all circumstances, of making people live with the long term consequences of their short term decisions, particularly where addiction is involved. I started smoking at the age of 15, when you could buy 10 B&H for 50p from a vending machine in the local amusement arcade while playing Pacman and listening to Howard Jones. I don't think my teenage self should have been given the option to sign away his right to healthcare in later life.


(There may be some clues to my cultural background in the above post.)

User avatar
Greta
Site Admin
Posts: 9290
Joined: December 16th, 2013, 9:05 pm

Re: All drugs should be legal

Post by Greta » June 20th, 2020, 7:53 am

I think that, in this crowded world, people should be allowed to salve themselves with a range of chemicals. Nicotine, alcohol and caffeine clearly don't "scratch the itch" for many. A number of other chemicals could be reasonably legalised.

There should also be realistic - not nannying - health-related information so people can make informed decisions about their own personal welfare. With 7.8 billion people and the wild dying out at a record rate, does it make sense to try to squeeze every last drop of life out of people? Machines are ever more capable of doing just about everything, so high levels of human productivity from the Average Joe and Josephine will not be as necessary in the past.

User avatar
Steve3007
Posts: 7754
Joined: June 15th, 2011, 5:53 pm
Favorite Philosopher: Eratosthenes of Cyrene
Location: UK

Re: All drugs should be legal

Post by Steve3007 » June 20th, 2020, 12:20 pm

Greta wrote:There should also be realistic - not nannying - health-related information so people can make informed decisions about their own personal welfare.
Information on cigarette and food packaging, and suchlike. There are questions as to what constitutes purely factual information, and how it's presented (cancer statistics or pictures of oozing, pus-filled body parts?), but I think that's a side issue.

As a general rule, do you think there is any case for using things like taxation policy to attempt to influence behaviour? Or would you see the purpose of taxation being purely to raise money to fund public services?

Where I live, cigarettes are highly taxed partly to try to discourage smoking. I quite like that. I don't think I'd like it if, when a teenager is about to start their smoking career but is a bit short of cash, a lawyer comes up and says: "Do you want to pay less for your smokes? Just sign this document irreversibly waiving your rights to future healthcare (deemed necessary as a result of smoking) and you'll get a hefty tax reduction!". If heroin was legal, and heavily taxed, I wouldn't want that to happen in that case either.

User avatar
Greta
Site Admin
Posts: 9290
Joined: December 16th, 2013, 9:05 pm

Re: All drugs should be legal

Post by Greta » June 20th, 2020, 5:31 pm

Steve3007 wrote:
June 20th, 2020, 12:20 pm
Greta wrote:There should also be realistic - not nannying - health-related information so people can make informed decisions about their own personal welfare.
Information on cigarette and food packaging, and suchlike. There are questions as to what constitutes purely factual information, and how it's presented (cancer statistics or pictures of oozing, pus-filled body parts?), but I think that's a side issue.

As a general rule, do you think there is any case for using things like taxation policy to attempt to influence behaviour? Or would you see the purpose of taxation being purely to raise money to fund public services?

Where I live, cigarettes are highly taxed partly to try to discourage smoking. I quite like that. I don't think I'd like it if, when a teenager is about to start their smoking career but is a bit short of cash, a lawyer comes up and says: "Do you want to pay less for your smokes? Just sign this document irreversibly waiving your rights to future healthcare (deemed necessary as a result of smoking) and you'll get a hefty tax reduction!". If heroin was legal, and heavily taxed, I wouldn't want that to happen in that case either.
Re: info. Consider the weird teeth of "Male smoker aged 50" on cig pack warnings, but you have seen and known numerous older smokers whose teeth are nothing like that. The image will only impact you by its manipulativeness. Information is invariably slanted with an implied "Just say no" view. That is the best possible way to not get through. It's like Dad lecturing me about "people injecting marijuana and smoking heroin" at an age when I knew enough to not admit that I knew better. Obvious nonsense is not a great way to boost the credibility of one's case.

We need calm, informed health advice and realistic strategies for users to minimise health risks rather than withholding such information with a subtext of "Well, if you're going to take the risk ...". The current approach is unsophisticated to the point of obtuseness.

Tax is a better option than many others. However, today countries have taxed cigs so heavily that they have created a huge cigarette smuggling industry. When tax is used, market forces will determine their effectiveness.

I think the option of letting people who are so inclined take enough stuff to kill themselves is a good one globally. Life is for living, not just grim existence. Still, that approach cannot be implemented because it could lead to competitive disadvantages with stricter nations.

The key point is that governments refuse to ask the simple question, "Why do so many people feel the need to take strong painkillers and stimulants to the point of addiction?". Morally and ethically, this question must be asked and taken seriously.

Politicians won't ask because they know that fixing the causal issues would involve surrendering the benefits of their corrupt relationships with corporations. That is, they would have to tax their friends and stop giving them billions in grants to free up enough wealth to properly educate the masses. The more educated people are, the better they can look after themselves and their bonded others.

However, there is no way in high hell that politicians or their media partners would consider educating people to the point where they would be better able to notice their corruption and gaslighting. It's much easier to leave people ignorant and killing themselves, easily divided by "dog whistle politics", and controlled by a police state. It's vastly more costly and results in great suffering and injustice, but the expense is worth it to politicians to remain in power and keep their billionaire boosters on side.

User avatar
LuckyR
Moderator
Posts: 4215
Joined: January 18th, 2015, 1:16 am

Re: All drugs should be legal

Post by LuckyR » June 21st, 2020, 3:19 am

Terrapin Station wrote:
June 19th, 2020, 5:29 pm
LuckyR wrote:
June 19th, 2020, 3:57 pm


Please explain this non-stupid economic system.
It would take a book to explain it in detail, but the basic idea is to abolish traditional money-based systems and move to socialized (so government-supervised) economy where competitive access to scarce resources is based on doing the most (via a combo of hard work and efficient/innovative techniques) to provide both the 'basics" (shelter, healthcare, education, etc.) and the other things that people want, the latter of which would be learned via regular, literal polling. So basically the competition becomes helping others out/providing the things they want, whatever imaginable they might want (though where we're still talking consensual activities), and where making moves to block or squelch others' success results in penalties. You'd be able to do any work you'd like (though some things would require training periods obviously), you'd be able to call whatever hours/work days versus off days you want, you'd be able to change vocations whenever you like, etc.
Oh, I see. Well since this stuff is completely unrealistic and will never happen, I wouldn't be so quick to criticize other systems.
"As usual... it depends."

User avatar
Sculptor1
Posts: 2142
Joined: May 16th, 2019, 5:35 am

Re: All drugs should be legal

Post by Sculptor1 » June 21st, 2020, 6:35 am

Terrapin Station wrote:
June 19th, 2020, 5:22 pm
Sculptor1 wrote:
June 19th, 2020, 4:44 pm

Smokers will tell you that revenues taken in health levies and sales tax more than cover all the cancer treatment smoking related diseases cost.
A packet of fags in the UK attracts as much as 90% taxation. What costs £2 in eastern Europe costs £8 in the UK.
It's worth about £12 billion per year. Probably 11% of the NHS budget. ANd we are all going to die of something and cost the NHS lots of money as we go.
Sure. Although if folks want to still argue for smokers opting themselves out of tax-funded healthcare, that's a good reason to also eliminate the tax on cigarettes.
Absurd, obviously.
Let's look at the deal.
I get to pay £2 instead of £8 for my fags. In return I'm never allowed to visit the Doctor for the rest of my life.
And when I start dying of lung cancer, the hospital is not allowed to treat me.
That's going to work, eh!

User avatar
Terrapin Station
Posts: 3458
Joined: August 23rd, 2016, 3:00 pm
Favorite Philosopher: Bertrand Russell and WVO Quine
Location: NYC Man

Re: All drugs should be legal

Post by Terrapin Station » June 21st, 2020, 9:04 am

Sculptor1 wrote:
June 21st, 2020, 6:35 am
Terrapin Station wrote:
June 19th, 2020, 5:22 pm


Sure. Although if folks want to still argue for smokers opting themselves out of tax-funded healthcare, that's a good reason to also eliminate the tax on cigarettes.
Absurd, obviously.
Let's look at the deal.
I get to pay £2 instead of £8 for my fags. In return I'm never allowed to visit the Doctor for the rest of my life.
And when I start dying of lung cancer, the hospital is not allowed to treat me.
That's going to work, eh!
You'd not make it so that you can't visit the doctor. The option would be that you can't receive taxpayer-funded healthcare for illnesses that are clearly smoking-related. That wouldn't rule out non taxpayer-funded healthcare or taxpayer-funded healthcare for other issues.

It's simply an option for discarding the objection that smoking isn't only "your problem" when you decide to smoke because other people wind up having to pay for your (smoking-related) healthcare (with the assumption that we're talking about things that wouldn't be a problem whether you chose to smoke or not). If we offered that option and people still had an issue with you smoking, then clearly their objection was a red herring and it's not really the problem they have with allowing people to smoke.

The idea is that we're making chess moves (and in doing so, we're also clarifying whether the other folks' chess moves were actually honest).

User avatar
Terrapin Station
Posts: 3458
Joined: August 23rd, 2016, 3:00 pm
Favorite Philosopher: Bertrand Russell and WVO Quine
Location: NYC Man

Re: All drugs should be legal

Post by Terrapin Station » June 21st, 2020, 9:08 am

LuckyR wrote:
June 21st, 2020, 3:19 am
Terrapin Station wrote:
June 19th, 2020, 5:29 pm


It would take a book to explain it in detail, but the basic idea is to abolish traditional money-based systems and move to socialized (so government-supervised) economy where competitive access to scarce resources is based on doing the most (via a combo of hard work and efficient/innovative techniques) to provide both the 'basics" (shelter, healthcare, education, etc.) and the other things that people want, the latter of which would be learned via regular, literal polling. So basically the competition becomes helping others out/providing the things they want, whatever imaginable they might want (though where we're still talking consensual activities), and where making moves to block or squelch others' success results in penalties. You'd be able to do any work you'd like (though some things would require training periods obviously), you'd be able to call whatever hours/work days versus off days you want, you'd be able to change vocations whenever you like, etc.
Oh, I see. Well since this stuff is completely unrealistic and will never happen, I wouldn't be so quick to criticize other systems.
Unrealistic in the sense that people would be unlikely to try it any time soon. People are typically resistant to too much change.

Unfortunately, that doesn't make the system(s) we have in place any better. And slight modifications of them aren't going to be an improvement, either. But that's all we're going to get due to the fact that people are resistant to too much change, too much difference.

User avatar
Sculptor1
Posts: 2142
Joined: May 16th, 2019, 5:35 am

Re: All drugs should be legal

Post by Sculptor1 » June 21st, 2020, 10:29 am

Terrapin Station wrote:
June 21st, 2020, 9:04 am
Sculptor1 wrote:
June 21st, 2020, 6:35 am

Absurd, obviously.
Let's look at the deal.
I get to pay £2 instead of £8 for my fags. In return I'm never allowed to visit the Doctor for the rest of my life.
And when I start dying of lung cancer, the hospital is not allowed to treat me.
That's going to work, eh!
You'd not make it so that you can't visit the doctor. The option would be that you can't receive taxpayer-funded healthcare for illnesses that are clearly smoking-related. That wouldn't rule out non taxpayer-funded healthcare or taxpayer-funded healthcare for other issues.
No you are taking it to even more absurd lengths. Potentially smoking can have varying effects
on all aspects of heath, they say. How would you know where to draw the line?
How would you be able to trace who was a smoker and not paying tax; who was a smoker bt paying tax? What if you decided to opt into paying tax on smoking products later in life, would you then get the benefits; what if you go another person to supply you with tax free smokes whilst receiving care?
It's simply an option for discarding the objection that smoking isn't only "your problem" when you decide to smoke because other people wind up having to pay for your (smoking-related) healthcare (with the assumption that we're talking about things that wouldn't be a problem whether you chose to smoke or not). If we offered that option and people still had an issue with you smoking, then clearly their objection was a red herring and it's not really the problem they have with allowing people to smoke.
Do you drink alcohol?
What about people who pursue sports? Why should I pay for their injuries?
What about people who do dangerous jobs?
Why should the tax payer supply them with health care?
I'm sure if you actually thought before you started to write down these ideas you'd have your answer before you put them on the Forum.
At least smokers and drinkers PAY health tax on their habits, whilst horse riders, skateboarders, and skydivers get their stupid self inflicted injuries paid without objection

The idea is that we're making chess moves (and in doing so, we're also clarifying whether the other folks' chess moves were actually honest).
??

User avatar
Greta
Site Admin
Posts: 9290
Joined: December 16th, 2013, 9:05 pm

Re: All drugs should be legal

Post by Greta » June 21st, 2020, 5:15 pm

Terrapin Station wrote:
June 21st, 2020, 9:04 am
It's simply an option for discarding the objection that smoking isn't only "your problem" when you decide to smoke because other people wind up having to pay for your (smoking-related) healthcare (with the assumption that we're talking about things that wouldn't be a problem whether you chose to smoke or not).
Aside from the fact that smokers effectively pay for non-smokers living so long, this is an awful system.

That's smoking. What about:
- drinking
- eating too much
- eating unhealthy foods
- not getting exercise
- being needlessly stressed
- addiction to gambling or porn?

Not to mention all the others ways that humans choose gratification over health and longevity. I would also add lack of interest in philosophical thinking.

All of the above cause serious issues in people's lives that impinge on the taxpayer, including lengthy hospital stays. Have we noticed how much diabetes and obesity are costing health systems compared with smoking?

The current insurance system is already unbalanced and unfair, punishing some unhealthy acts while ignoring others. As things stand, some illegal drugs incur far fewer problems and deaths that those listed above. Alas, reason and logic are our of fashion today it's hard to imagine the issue being dealt with maturely by any governments I can think of aside from New Zealand.

User avatar
Terrapin Station
Posts: 3458
Joined: August 23rd, 2016, 3:00 pm
Favorite Philosopher: Bertrand Russell and WVO Quine
Location: NYC Man

Re: All drugs should be legal

Post by Terrapin Station » June 21st, 2020, 5:40 pm

Greta wrote:
June 21st, 2020, 5:15 pm
Terrapin Station wrote:
June 21st, 2020, 9:04 am
It's simply an option for discarding the objection that smoking isn't only "your problem" when you decide to smoke because other people wind up having to pay for your (smoking-related) healthcare (with the assumption that we're talking about things that wouldn't be a problem whether you chose to smoke or not).
Aside from the fact that smokers effectively pay for non-smokers living so long, this is an awful system.

That's smoking. What about:
- drinking
- eating too much
- eating unhealthy foods
- not getting exercise
- being needlessly stressed
- addiction to gambling or porn?

Not to mention all the others ways that humans choose gratification over health and longevity. I would also add lack of interest in philosophical thinking.

All of the above cause serious issues in people's lives that impinge on the taxpayer, including lengthy hospital stays. Have we noticed how much diabetes and obesity are costing health systems compared with smoking?

The current insurance system is already unbalanced and unfair, punishing some unhealthy acts while ignoring others. As things stand, some illegal drugs incur far fewer problems and deaths that those listed above. Alas, reason and logic are our of fashion today it's hard to imagine the issue being dealt with maturely by any governments I can think of aside from New Zealand.
Again, I'm not agreeing with the position. It's just a way of pulling the rug out from beneath the objection. People who actually object to letting people smoke due to taxpayer healthcare funding for smoking-related health issues can chime in as to whether they'd be fine with letting people smoke so long as they opt out of taxpayer-funded healthcare for those issues--and if they'd not be fine with that in that case, they should explain why not.

Post Reply