All drugs should be legal

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Wilson
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Re: All drugs should be legal

Post by Wilson » October 13th, 2014, 4:15 pm

Finvaara, would you penalize importers of heroin or manufacturers of meth who operated off the reservation? How would a non-addict get access to heroin or meth? What sort of prices would you anticipate?

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Finvaara
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Re: All drugs should be legal

Post by Finvaara » October 13th, 2014, 5:13 pm

A licensed manufacturer of herion, after their product passed inspection, would probably import the poppies rather than the drug. The dues on imported heroin would be higher, because the money spent wouldn't be staying as solidly within the local economy.

Recreational use would require either consumption in a facility designed for such purposes, rather like a bar, but with some more strict health standards, or purchase from a licensed retailer or manufacturer and consumption in a private location.

Addicts would primarily be self-identified. They could choose to have their IDs flagged as "no sell" if they wanted, but most of the focus would be on treatment, not denial of service.

I couldn't really guess at prices in general, but the price of most drugs is heavily inflated by the risk of illegal activity and the small scale of operation. My suspicion is that price would drop drastically compared to "street" value.

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Hog Rider
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Re: All drugs should be legal

Post by Hog Rider » October 13th, 2014, 5:24 pm

Finvaara wrote:A licensed manufacturer of herion, after their product passed inspection, would probably import the poppies rather than the drug. The dues on imported heroin would be higher, because the money spent wouldn't be staying as solidly within the local economy.

Recreational use would require either consumption in a facility designed for such purposes, rather like a bar, but with some more strict health standards, or purchase from a licensed retailer or manufacturer and consumption in a private location.

Addicts would primarily be self-identified. They could choose to have their IDs flagged as "no sell" if they wanted, but most of the focus would be on treatment, not denial of service.

I couldn't really guess at prices in general, but the price of most drugs is heavily inflated by the risk of illegal activity and the small scale of operation. My suspicion is that price would drop drastically compared to "street" value.
It would be pointless importing the poppies. That would not work. You need to harvest the resin by scraping the seed pods over several days, keeping the plant alive as you do it. You'd import the raw poppy resin (opium), and refine it under controlled conditions. Hell - why not just smoke the raw O, - that's how Sherlock did it.

-- Updated October 13th, 2014, 4:27 pm to add the following --
Finvaara wrote:A licensed manufacturer of herion, after their product passed inspection, would probably import the poppies rather than the drug. The dues on imported heroin would be higher, because the money spent wouldn't be staying as solidly within the local economy.

Recreational use would require either consumption in a facility designed for such purposes, rather like a bar, but with some more strict health standards, or purchase from a licensed retailer or manufacturer and consumption in a private location.

Addicts would primarily be self-identified. They could choose to have their IDs flagged as "no sell" if they wanted, but most of the focus would be on treatment, not denial of service.

I couldn't really guess at prices in general, but the price of most drugs is heavily inflated by the risk of illegal activity and the small scale of operation. My suspicion is that price would drop drastically compared to "street" value.
Importing Opium would also ease tension in Afghanistan too. At the moment idiot Americans keep killing the traditional poppy harvests alienating the growers only source of income, thus recruiting new generations of terrorists. By importing their product you would provide them with an income and keep the warlords happy.
"I'm blaming the horrors of Islamic fundamentalism on unrestrained sexuality." Radar.

Wilson
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Re: All drugs should be legal

Post by Wilson » October 13th, 2014, 5:47 pm

Finvaara, you envision recreational heroin and meth facilities, rather like the opium dens of old? And also the availability of liscened stores for meth and heroin and other drugs? So anyone would be allowed to try meth or heroin, just for fun, to see how good it would make them feel? Sounds to me like that would result in an explosion of new addicts. So on the one hand, decreased costs of police enforcement; on the other, more addicts. If the costs were kept low, that would probably curtail illegal drug dealers but would encourage use, and decrease the need for addicts to steal to supply themselves, and reduce the costs of incarceration. But if the costs were kept high, it would probably result in the persistence of an illegal drug trade and most likely a certain level of criminal activity to feed their habit, and increased jail costs.

I'm all for experimenting, and if an experiment reduced jail costs and crime while resulting in only a small increase in addicts, go for it. Certainly the current system isn't ideal. But trying to predict how a previously untried program would work out is an exercise in uncertainty. You all seem to discount the possibility that such programs would result in more addiction, and I think that's naive.

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Finvaara
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Re: All drugs should be legal

Post by Finvaara » October 13th, 2014, 10:07 pm

You might simply misunderstand if you think that I discount the possibility of folks who expose themselves to drugs becoming addicts.

The point here is education and safety. You treat it like a gun, and you introduce your child to it in a safe situation that you control so that they learn how to handle a gun when they don't need to. You teach them to understand the gun and you teach them the dangers, and you teach them how to avoid the dangers.

So, too, you would likely have minors trying to get ahold of drugs before they were legally old enough, and you would have people that get in over their heads, but that's why you have a system there to help them deal with it. Being addicted to cigarettes and alcohol is more socially acceptable because it's legal, but it's not morally more right.

People get addicted to things, addictive behavior is something that happens in almost all of us. I don't smoke because I'm addicted to nicotine, and when I smoke it rules me. I don't take sleeping pills because I fear them, because some members of my family had other substance abuse problems and I don't want to make the mistakes they did.

The bottom line here is that we want to improve the lives of everyone living them. That means we make drugs safe and we control them. We tax them and we regulate them and we import opium resin or exotic breeds of marijuana or peruvian torch and we introduce health controls into the production of everything, all so that nobody gets pushed to using crocodile and meth. I don't know a single meth addict that wouldn't rather do cocaine or speedballs, and I do know meth addicts. Health controls and price controls and decriminalization mean that they can do their favorite drug once a week, and not need to get blitzed on their third favorite drug every day.

Right now the primary lobbies against marijuana legalization are lobbyists from drug companies like Pfizer and, (stop me if I shock you here), owners of for-profit prisons. State and federal prisons would just as soon there be legalization and state/federal taxes on the stuff to keep the lights on.

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Re: All drugs should be legal

Post by Wilson » October 14th, 2014, 1:47 am

Finvaara, once again I ask, don't you think it's possible that legalizing heroin and meth would result in more addicts? I'm not saying that I know that it would be a huge increase, but you don't know that it wouldn't, either. I think that removing some of the stigma of being a user of meth or heroin might tempt a fair number of people to try stuff that they then get into trouble with. We just don't know at this point.

I'm all for legalizing marijuana, by the way. That's the easy one. Cocaine, meth, heroin - let's try limited experiments before we draw any firm conclusions.

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Re: All drugs should be legal

Post by Finvaara » October 14th, 2014, 6:48 am

Most Addicts are already addicted to something. Smoking, Drinking, Gambling, thrillseeking, illegal drugs, sex, there is no shortage of things for people with addictive disorders to obsess over. What's important is that by making a safe place to address these issues, we can improve our record of managing addiction as a species.

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Re: All drugs should be legal

Post by Wilson » October 14th, 2014, 12:49 pm

Finvaara, I'm used to politicians dodging questions. But I repeat, do you discount the possibility that legalizing drugs might increase the number of addicts?

Even if it does, which I think is likely, that doesn't mean that the good of legalization couldn't outweigh the bad of increased addicts. That's a conversation the nation should have. But be honest enough to admit that there are possible downsides of legalization.

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Finvaara
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Re: All drugs should be legal

Post by Finvaara » October 14th, 2014, 1:25 pm

Wilson wrote:Finvaara, I'm used to politicians dodging questions. But I repeat, do you discount the possibility that legalizing drugs might increase the number of addicts?

Even if it does, which I think is likely, that doesn't mean that the good of legalization couldn't outweigh the bad of increased addicts. That's a conversation the nation should have. But be honest enough to admit that there are possible downsides of legalization.
I appear to have not been clear enough before. I apologize.

I think that legalizing drugs will decrease the number of addicts. I believe there may be an initial spike as some people who are addicted to other things switch over to legal drugs, but the most important part of the program, proper education and treatment for addiction, will see that the numbers of people addicted will drop below what it is currently, not increase.

EDIT: Again, of course, I'm basing most of this conjecture on the real-world example in Portugal. I think that we will, furthermore, see a decrease in obesity incidence and other addiction-related diseases. I also expect the rate of drug-related crimes (including muggings, burglaries, and a great deal of gang violence) to drop SHARPLY.

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Re: All drugs should be legal

Post by Wilson » October 14th, 2014, 2:57 pm

I know that you believe that the number of addicts would decrease, but I would suggest that you consider the possibility that you may be wrong. A little modesty in our certainty is advisable when sailing in uncharted waters.

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Finvaara
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Re: All drugs should be legal

Post by Finvaara » October 14th, 2014, 3:19 pm

Wilson wrote:I know that you believe that the number of addicts would decrease, but I would suggest that you consider the possibility that you may be wrong. A little modesty in our certainty is advisable when sailing in uncharted waters.
That would be the case if these waters were uncharted. Portugal has gone before us. We can also look at our own history. Alcohol related deaths sharply declined after the prohibition was repealed.

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Re: All drugs should be legal

Post by Siphersh » October 14th, 2014, 4:57 pm

Wilson wrote:But don't simply remove all drug laws and let loose the barbarians.
That doesn't happen. That's not legalization. These drugs were not unregulated before the prohibition, and the legalizations since then didn't bring about an unregulated market, be it cannabis or heroin.

Legalization is bringing the production, trade and selling under legally regulated control. It's prohibition that lets the barbarians loose.
Wilson wrote:A little modesty in our certainty is advisable when sailing in uncharted waters.
You haven't read the Nick Davies article that I showed you, have you. It's not uncharted waters. Heroin was legal before it became illegal. It was ending the legal regulation that was sailing uncharted waters, and the results have been disastrous. And heroin legalization shows that it can be reversed. As I've mentioned the example of Zurich, the number of new heroin users fell to one fifths in ten years. No violent persecution could ever come even close to that result.

You're saying that you would try heroin if it was illegal? Okay, but that's just a statistical sample of one. I wouldn't. It's been tried in many places, and what happens is that the rebellious coolness goes away, and what remains are poor addicts, who need the help of the medical program. And that's not so cool at all.

As far as I know, heroin was never an over-the-counter medicine. That would really be "uncharted waters". But we don't have to worry about that now, because it's not neccessary for bringing most of the market under legal control. As experience shows, reinstating the medical control will bring the entire heroin problem back to pre-prohibition levels, and maybe the remaining black market will be so small, that extending the legalization further will not be neccessary at all. We don't know that yet, but it's not a question of the immediate future.

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Re: All drugs should be legal

Post by Hog Rider » October 14th, 2014, 5:58 pm

Wilson wrote:Finvaara, I'm used to politicians dodging questions. But I repeat, do you discount the possibility that legalizing drugs might increase the number of addicts?

Even if it does, which I think is likely, that doesn't mean that the good of legalization couldn't outweigh the bad of increased addicts. That's a conversation the nation should have. But be honest enough to admit that there are possible downsides of legalization.
Drugs don't cause addiction. Drugs are the vehicle, not the driver.
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Re: All drugs should be legal

Post by prodygi » October 29th, 2014, 10:46 pm

I believe drugs shouldn't be illegal, but not simply because people have the right to put whatever they want in their bodies, although that plays a part. To start with, what we're doing isn't working and doesn't have any very good reasoning behind it. Some type of legalization with regulation is needed. But I have no workable solution in mind.

Drugs are bad, I believe that most would agree, and they definitely harm to more than just the user. But drugs aren't going anywhere. Our current prohibition has caused 1 a loss of moral authority of our law enforcement (to say nothing of the cost and waste of man hours that could have been spent more effectively), 2 they've caused the cost of drugs to rise with the money going to a mostly undesirable group of people, 3 the quality of the drugs is hit or miss, one can't be sure what they're getting, 4 the cost and uncertain availability causes people to turn to cheaply made dope, such as the bathroom meth, which if there was access to 'real' methamphetamine probably wouldn't have been such a problem, or the Crack 'epidemic' in the 80s had there been reliable access to decent coke.

Most crimes come from the search for the dope, not just being high. Drugs are not a good thing. Nobody wants their children to grow up and become a junkie. But what we are doing is not working, and in my opinion they are making old problems possibly worse and definitely creating new problems that are definitely getting worse. Other than barbaric penalties for drug offences, I would prefer legalization and sensible regulation along with truthful education. Education and regulation have helped with tobacco use.
He so buried himself in his books that he spent the nights...and the days...[reading]; and so, from little sleep and much reading, his brains dried up and he lost his wits. ~~~Don Quixote

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Re:

Post by Pattern-chaser » September 24th, 2019, 7:14 am

Belinda wrote:
August 13th, 2008, 3:49 am
Not quite. People who make themselves ill are a drain on society.
Indeed. 👍 But rock-climbers injure themselves all the time. And so on, for many human pastimes. Drug use is just one of them. If we're moving in the direction of prohibition, how many drains on society will we wish to prohibit...? There are a lot to choose from.

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