All drugs should be legal

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Hog Rider
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Re: All drugs should be legal

Post by Hog Rider » January 23rd, 2014, 6:16 pm

MogulPhil wrote:taxes should pay for Public services that are included in all people and Not to spend individual cases.
What you are suggesting is impossible. Not everyone can use the roads equally. Not everyone can use the schools equally. The services that axes provide must be for those that have need of them.. Such as... Unemployment benefit is available to all who need it.

In a world of individuals, all cases are individual.
"I'm blaming the horrors of Islamic fundamentalism on unrestrained sexuality." Radar.

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Re: All drugs should be legal

Post by GreenBow » October 7th, 2014, 3:06 am

In a "profound" perspective of logic and ethics we come to these simple facts which should answer your question.

1. Drugs, all drugs including Psychiatric, street, legal are mind altering and cause actions and thoughts which risk your life and the lives of others.

2. An abundant of these drugs result in death, either over time or overdose.

3. In general you yourself want to live, others care about you and want you to live and the leaders of the country desire you and others to persist. This would be cause enough to make laws promoting the prevention of you inflicting harm on yourself either by physically doing so under the influence of drugs or by overdosing. Also the increased aggression and crime a person commits to get more drugs or just for the fun of it.

4. Any person who is taking drugs is doing so because: A. he is ignorant on the cause physically of these drugs. B. His "friends" push him into drugs. C. He has life problems and turns to drugs instead of real help. D. They were prescribed drugs due to a mental disorder. E. They are idiots and just want to try drugs for the fun of it.

5. Drugs take away feeling and cause depression which is only "cured" by taking more that last time etc. Which results in death.

I hope these are reason enough, otherwise if they aren't then suicide should be legalized, because it is essentially the same thing.

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Siphersh
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Re: All drugs should be legal

Post by Siphersh » October 10th, 2014, 7:26 am

"Ultimately the most effective way to reduce the extensive harms of the global drug prohibition regime and advance the goals of public health and safety is to get drugs under control through responsible legal regulation."

Global Commission on Drug Policy, September 2014 http://www.gcdpsummary2014.com

"Based on a thorough review of the evidence, we believe that legalization combined with strict regulation of cannabis is the most effective means of reducing the harms associated with its use."

Cannabis Policy Framework, The Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (Canada), October 2014

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Finvaara
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Re: All drugs should be legal

Post by Finvaara » October 10th, 2014, 11:03 am

"All research on successful drug policy shows that treatment should be increased and law enforcement decreased while abolishing mandatory minimum sentencing." -S.O.D.

A substance is a thing, not an entity, and can never be moral or immoral. Right or wrong isn't a question here, because it is action, not an object, that is judged right or wrong.

Legality as a "should" is a question of the advisability of legislature, and so there can be morality ascribed to the act of legislating controlled substances.

Looking at the circumstances surrounding controlled substances, I would say that every controlled substance on the list should be regulated, but none should be flatly illegal. Alcohol and Tobacco should be more heavily regulated in their use than they already are. No one should ever go to jail for partaking of a drug unless they caused harm to someone else as a result. "I thought it was covered with spiders" should never be a valid excuse in the eyes of the law.

So, too, with decriminalization of controlled substances, treatment for addiction and other forms of substance abuse should be made easier to access and increased in scope to fully suit the needs of the addicted. No one should lose control of their life at the will of a pill or a pipe.

Wilson
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Re: All drugs should be legal

Post by Wilson » October 10th, 2014, 7:34 pm

Drugs, including alcohol and cigarettes, all have the potential for causing increased medical costs to the nation. All illegal drugs and alcohol have the potential for increasing automobile accidents. Alcohol and most illegal drugs have the potential for causing increased criminality, including assaults, robbery, and violence associated with the business of it. Some illegal drugs and alcohol have the potential for ruining the lives of those who become addicted. So the availability and use of drugs is not harmless, either to the individual or society.

On the other hand, enforcement of drug laws is expensive for the general public because of increased taxes. And we don't want to take away people's right to do whatever they want without really good reasons.

In my opinion, there are no God-given rights. We in America want to give our citizens as many rights as possible as long as they don't negatively impact the community overall, but there's nothing absolute about rights; it's up to the government to grant rights according to the constitution and the wishes of the public.

And let's not lump all drugs together. Marijuana is almost certainly less harmful than alcohol and probably causes less aggression than other drugs. So in my opinion there's no logical reason to make alcohol legal and marijuana illegal. There may be other drugs whose danger in no more than alcohol and marijuana. Ecstasy, perhaps?

The idea that legalizing all drugs will increase drug use is almost certainly true. If legal, some people would try meth or heroin because it feels so good and get hooked and their lives destroyed. Anyone who doubts that is not being honest.

So the question comes down to whether the state has the right to make certain drug use illegal in order to protect people from themselves (as well as to protect the general public). I think yes, but it's purely a personal decision. There's no moral absolute here, just individual opinions.

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Siphersh
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Re: All drugs should be legal

Post by Siphersh » October 10th, 2014, 10:48 pm

Wilson wrote:Drugs, including alcohol and cigarettes, all have the potential for causing increased medical costs to the nation. All illegal drugs and alcohol have the potential for increasing automobile accidents. Alcohol and most illegal drugs have the potential for causing increased criminality, including assaults, robbery, and violence associated with the business of it. Some illegal drugs and alcohol have the potential for ruining the lives of those who become addicted. So the availability and use of drugs is not harmless, either to the individual or society.
That's no reason to exacerbate those problems by perpetuating a vastly counter-productive strategy like drug prohibition.
Wilson wrote:Marijuana is almost certainly less harmful than alcohol and probably causes less aggression than other drugs. So in my opinion there's no logical reason to make alcohol legal and marijuana illegal.
The prohibition of a more harmful drug is not less detrimental to society than the prohibition of a less harmful drug. Alcohol prohibition was just as damaging as any other drug prohibition, if not more.

http://www.cato.org/publications/policy ... as-failure
Wilson wrote:The idea that legalizing all drugs will increase drug use is almost certainly true. If legal, some people would try meth or heroin because it feels so good and get hooked and their lives destroyed. Anyone who doubts that is not being honest.
That's not a question of honesty, it's a question of empirical facts. Heroin prohibition didn't decrease heroin use. In the contrary: it caused an explosion of heroin addiction. And when Zurich established a legal heroin program for addicts who couldn't quit, along with other progressive methods, the number of new heroin users fell by 82 percent in 10 years.

http://www.iprt.ie/contents/501
Wilson wrote:So the question comes down to whether the state has the right to make certain drug use illegal in order to protect people from themselves (as well as to protect the general public).
No. The question is if the state has the right to endanger people and severely increase the harms associated with drugs by maintaining a strategy that worsens the harms, dangers and problems in literally every way. Including mental and physical health, including crime, violence, corruption, medical costs, in every single way that's related to drugs in any way.

The question is if we should rely on the empirical facts about the actual consequences of drug prohibition, or we should rather rely on the speculative, delusional fantasy that violent persecution must certainly ameliorate a health issue such as the drug problem.

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Re: All drugs should be legal

Post by Wilson » October 11th, 2014, 1:14 am

Siphersh, it sounds to me that you find it difficult to accept that certain drugs can actually ruin the lives of people who get hooked on them. You minimize the damage they can do. You've decided that all drugs should be legal without restrictions and are blind to their dangers. You want us to accept what you've decided are the empirical facts but like all zealots have cherry-picked the facts you accept as gospel.

No country I know of has actually legalized drugs other than marijuana in Holland. Switzerland strictly controls the availability of heroin and has heavy penalties for illegally importing it. That's a long way from allowing unlimited legal use of heroin so it has no relevance for your idea that there should be no restrictions and no government interference.

Of course making drugs legal would cause a lot of people to try them. Coincidentally, my wife and I are traveling by motorhome through Washington state. We hadn't smoked dope for decades but because it's legal here, we googled a list of local stores and went to one. Pretty interesting talking with a nice lady who was the manager in the recreational store (right next door to the medical marijuana store). We made a couple of purchases. I'm pretty sure I wouldn't try heroin or crank, but the fact that we didn't buy any marijuana for years until it was legal is instructive for this discussion. A lot of people are more reckless than we are and would try heroin or meth just once, maybe twice, and they'd be in big trouble.

I'm all for more enlightened drug laws but the idea that simply legalizing all drugs would have no downside is ridiculous.

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Re: All drugs should be legal

Post by Hog Rider » October 11th, 2014, 1:36 am

Wilson wrote:Siphersh, it sounds to me that you find it difficult to accept that certain drugs can actually ruin the lives of people who get hooked on them. You minimize the damage they can do. You've decided that all drugs should be legal without restrictions and are blind to their dangers. I'm all for more enlightened drug laws but the idea that simply legalizing all drugs would have no downside is ridiculous.
It's not ridiculous at all. 90% of crime is due to the prohibition of drugs. The war on drugs is a complete and utter failure. Law enforcement does not restrict the supply of drugs.

If you were to legalise drugs, you could turn a crime wave into a money maker. Providing prescription drugs to users and better drug education in schools would reduce crime dramatically; it would end people being poisoned with rugs by ensuring purity, and stop the crime wave of addict who mug and rob to pay exaggerated prices for dangerously impure drugs. Prisons would start to empty, and the money used to improve social programs.

The problem with heroin is due to impurity. That's what causes illness and death. Pure heroin is cheap as chips. You can keep an addict quiescent for about $2 a day. In the hands of criminal suppliers the addict has to murder, mug, and rob to pay the criminal gangs $100 per day to keep his habit.

Compare what happened in the 1930s when alcohol prohibition ended.

-- Updated October 11th, 2014, 12:37 am to add the following --
Hog Rider wrote:
Wilson wrote:Siphersh, it sounds to me that you find it difficult to accept that certain drugs can actually ruin the lives of people who get hooked on them. You minimize the damage they can do. You've decided that all drugs should be legal without restrictions and are blind to their dangers. I'm all for more enlightened drug laws but the idea that simply legalizing all drugs would have no downside is ridiculous.
It's not ridiculous at all. 90% of crime is due to the prohibition of drugs. The war on drugs is a complete and utter failure. Law enforcement does not restrict the supply of drugs.

If you were to legalise drugs, you could turn a crime wave into a money maker. Providing prescription drugs to users and better drug education in schools would reduce crime dramatically; it would end people being poisoned with rugs by ensuring purity, and stop the crime wave of addict who mug and rob to pay exaggerated prices for dangerously impure drugs. Prisons would start to empty, and the money used to improve social programs.

The problem with heroin is due to impurity. That's what causes illness and death. Pure heroin is cheap as chips. You can keep an addict quiescent for about $2 a day. In the hands of criminal suppliers the addict has to murder, mug, and rob to pay the criminal gangs $100 per day to keep his habit going with heroine cut with baking powder or worst.

Compare what happened in the 1930s when alcohol prohibition ended.
"I'm blaming the horrors of Islamic fundamentalism on unrestrained sexuality." Radar.

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Siphersh
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Re: All drugs should be legal

Post by Siphersh » October 11th, 2014, 5:21 am

Wilson wrote:it sounds to me that you find it difficult to accept that certain drugs can actually ruin the lives of people who get hooked on them. [...] You've decided that all drugs should be legal without restrictions [...] allowing unlimited legal use [...] your idea that there should be no restrictions and no government interference
I don't know where you get that from. I didn't say or imply anything like that. What I'm pointing out is that drug prohibition makes things much, much worse. Strict regulation is not prohibition. Drug prohibition is when most or all of the selling and trade happens in a completely unregulated, black market setting.

Your argument is speculation based on anecdotal evidence, and saying things like "of course" and "ridiculous". That's no real argument.

Look at the actual research! In #213 I quoted and linked two very recent reports, both based on extensive research into the effects of drug policy. They don't say that drugs are harmless and they don't recommend that there should be no restrictions. In the contrary. They find that drugs are dangerous, and they recommend strictly regulated legalization.

Look at the actual research about the effects of the Dutch cannabis legalization on prevalence:

"We found no evidence to support claims that criminalization reduces use or that decriminalization increases use."

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1448346/

It's true that our experiences with repealing this prohibition are somewhat limited. But the experiences that we do have show that the horrific, disastrous consequeces of drug prohibition can be reversed by reinstating the actual legal regulation of drugs.

"We believe that drug prohibition is the true cause of much of the social and personal damage that has historically been attributed to drug use."

http://www.leap.cc/about/why-legalize-drugs/

"If ever there is a war crimes trial to punish the generals who have gloried in this slaughter of the innocent, the culprits should be made to carve out in stone: "There is no drug known to man which becomes safer when its production and distribution are handed over to criminals.""

http://www.theguardian.com/politics/200 ... alsciences

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Re: All drugs should be legal

Post by Wilson » October 11th, 2014, 2:39 pm

"We found no evidence to support claims that criminalization reduces use or that decriminalization increases use." That quote has to do with marijuana in Holland and not "hard" drugs. As I mentioned, we are currently in Washington state and bought marijuana legally after abstaining for many years because it was illegal in our home state of California. So it just seems logical that a lot of people would try drugs of all types if they were made legal. Now if you could get meth or heroin legally but only by registering your name, that would stop most. Nobody wants it on his record that he's a heroin or meth addict. Of course under such a system there would still be an incentive to go outside the legal system.

Well, enough of the general and vague argument about the legalization of drugs, where one can take a theoretical position without dealing with the messy real world. Please lay out your vision of how such a system should be set up. Would you allow entrepreneurs to set up heroin and meth clinics regulated by the government, as is the case for marijuana in Colorado and Washington? Or would government be the exclusive supplier, and run state stores? Would heroin and meth users have to register with the government in order to obtain product? What kind of prices would you anticipate - cheaper or more expensive than the current illegal trade? What would be done with producers and importers and sellers of black market drugs?

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Re: All drugs should be legal

Post by Siphersh » October 11th, 2014, 4:44 pm

Wilson wrote:Please lay out your vision of how such a system should be set up.
The fundamental question is if we should rely on a speculative "just seems logical" mentality, and some kind of an idological approach, or we should rather rely on an empirical, rational, evidence-based approach.

I didn't come up with the implementation details of the legal heroin programs of Switzerland, Germany, Belgium, the Netherlands, Canada and the UK. And I couldn't have come up with them, because I am not an expert. I don't even know all the details, but typically the addicts get their heroin for free, and it's only for addicts who had taken part in other kinds of treatment, but still couldn't quit.

It's the professionals' job to develop, evaluate and improve the specific systems of implementation. What we need to decide is if we want to bring as much of the market under legal regulation as reasonably possible, or rather leave it to the unregulated black market.

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Re: All drugs should be legal

Post by Wilson » October 11th, 2014, 5:24 pm

Evidence? What evidence? As far as I know, no country has made heroin or meth legal - except for the treatment programs you mentioned. If indeed those programs are successful in Europe, I have no objection to that sort of solution for addicts, might support it, although the idea of giving people unlimited heroin isn't appealing. And if you try to limit their supply, or try to force them to go to Methadone, wouldn't they be tempted to go off program? And I don't see how that kind of program would do anything to lessen the number of people who try heroin.

My main point is that it's easy to say that we should make all drugs legal. It's hard to design programs that would actually do the job without increasing the number of addicts. For a drug like marijuana, it's a relatively easy decision, for me at least. For the others, let's lay out the details of the proposed programs, and they we can discuss whether we'd be better off or worse off.

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Re: All drugs should be legal

Post by Siphersh » October 11th, 2014, 6:20 pm

Wilson wrote:My main point is that it's easy to say that we should make all drugs legal. It's hard to design programs that would actually do the job without increasing the number of addicts.
Obviously, whoever decides, when the decision comes, there is always a specific implementation plan on the table. When the voters decided in those states in the USA, there were reasonably specific details about the implementation. When those legal heroin programs were decided upon, there was a specific plan. And then, experts and decision makers can discuss it, and make an informed decision. And then, we can evaluate the results, see if it makes things better in general, and see what direction to take as the next step.

The question is if we want to go in that direction. If we want to experiment. If we believe that there are probably possible regulatory systems that are much better than prohibition, and so it's worth trying.

Have you read the recommendations of the Global Commission on Drug Policy? I personally take those guys pretty seriously, it's Kofi Annan, the former secretary general of the UN, the former presidents of Switzerland, Chile, Portugal, Brazil, Mexico, Colombia and Poland, and other high-level dignitaries, and I pretty much trust that they're motivated by a sense of responsibility.

And what they recommend, among others is to "allow and encourage diverse experiments in legally regulating markets in currently illicit drugs". Allow and encourage. Because right now much of this promising experientation is de facto disallowed by international treaties and state plitics, and it is actively discouraged by a political atmosphere that's not informed by rational thinking, but rather by fear-mongering and disinformation.

That's the question. If we as a global society want to allow ourselves the possibility of an exit strategy from this destructive, counter-productive war.

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Re: All drugs should be legal

Post by Wilson » October 11th, 2014, 7:02 pm

I'd also be in favor of such experiments. If they work, extend them; if they make things worse, dump them. That would be evidence we could use. But don't simply remove all drug laws and let loose the barbarians.

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Re: All drugs should be legal

Post by Finvaara » October 13th, 2014, 1:38 pm

Here I'll reference a comparison between Portugal's success in drug policy and Brazil's lack of the same.

The drug policy of Portugal was put in place in 2000, and was legally effective from July 2001. The new law maintained the status of illegality for using or possessing any drug for personal use without authorization. However, the offense was changed from a criminal one, with prison a possible punishment, to an administrative one if the amount possessed was no more than ten days' supply of that substance. In 1999, Portugal had the highest rate of HIV amongst injecting drug users in the European Union. The number of newly diagnosed HIV cases among drug users has decreased to 13.4 cases per million in 2009 but that is still high above the European average of 2.85 cases per million.

There were 2000 new cases a year, in a country of 10 million people. 45% of HI reported AIDS cases recorded in 1997 originated among IV drug users, so targeting drug use was seen as an effective avenue of HIV prevention. The number of heroin users was estimated to be between 50,000 and 100,000 at the end of the 1990s. This led to the adoption of The National Strategy for the Fight Against Drugs in 1999. A vast expansion of harm reduction efforts, doubling the investment of public funds in drug treatment and drug prevention services, and changing the legal framework dealing with minor drug offences were the main elements of the policy thrust.

The needle exchange program, "Say NO! to a used syringe," is a nationwide syringe exchange program which has been ongoing since October 1993, involving some 2,500 pharmacies throughout Portugal. It is run by the National Committee against AIDS - set up by the Ministry of Health and the National Association of Pharmacies - a nongovernmental organisation representing the majority of Portuguese pharmacies. All drug users can exchange used syringes at pharmacy counters across the country. They get a kit with clean needle syringes, a condom, rubbing alcohol and a written message motivating for AIDS prevention and addiction treatment. From 1994 to 1999, pharmacies delivered around 3 million syringes annually.

Healthcare for drug users in Portugal is organised mainly through the public network services of treatment for illicit substance dependence, under the Institute on Drugs and Drug Addiction, and the Ministry of Health. In addition to public services, certification and protocols between NGOs and other public or private treatment services ensure a wide access to quality-controlled services encompassing several treatment modalities. The public services provided are free of charge and accessible to all drug users who seek treatment.

There are 73 specialised treatment facilities (public and certified private therapeutic communities), 14 detoxification units, 70 public outpatient facilities and 13 accredited day centres. Portugal is divided into 18 districts. There is full coverage of drug outpatient treatment across all but four districts (districts not covered are located in the north of the country: Viana do Castelo, Bragança, Viseu and Guarda).

After-care and social re-integration of drug users in Portugal is organised through three major programmes targeting different regions in Portugal (Programa Vida Emprego, Programa Quadro Reinserir and the PIDDAC incentives for re-integration). All three programmes finance different initiatives and projects supporting drug users through training opportunities, employment support, and/or housing.

Successful drug policy exists in Portugal, and If you compare that to the tragedy of Brazillian drug policy, you can see a distinct dichotomy. This isn't a situation that requires further "experiments."

Ultimately, the only way to win "the war on drugs," is to stop prohibiting them, stop stigmatizing them, and increase treatment for the addicted.

1.) Decriminalize
2.) Regulate
3.) Tax
4.) Assist

The steps, in order, that have worked, and that will work in the future.

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