Discussion in 'Serious' started by acron^, 31 Oct 2009.
Also see Greece as an example.
They are a massive contributor to all sorts of rather expensive to manage health problems however. Heart disease, diabetes, artherosclerotic dementia, various cancers...
The Prohibition in the US should give you a decent idea of that: alcohol was pushed into the criminal domain; people kept drinking, gangsters made big bucks. There should be a lesson in there somewhere about banning drugs.
Only alcohol really causes major problems in terms of behaviour and public safety. The problems that drugs cause are associated with their being illegal, hence uncontrolled in their pharmaceutical strength and purity and in the criminal sphere of influence.
Portugal spent money on drug rehab programmes. The reason they work is because drug users are encouraged to apply to these rather than being arrested and dragged to prison. It is a common psychological principle that undesireable behaviour can only be modified if you make available an alternative desireable behaviour that serves the same function or meets the same end. Something few governments have yet grasped.
You need to separate the unavoidable costs (i.e. those associated with drug use) from the avoidable costs (i.e. those associated with making drug use illegal). Most illegal drugs are costly to the government only because they have been made illegal, and hence need a massive infrastructure to control, battle, enforce and prosecute. War is costly that way. And the War on Drugs™ is one we have already thoroughly lost.
I don't know too much about various drugs, but I know that alcohol really rips up families and has the ability to screw over entire generations of people who would've otherwise led healthy lives.
I have a friend whose grandfather was an alcoholic who abused his children and wife. His mother had a child at age 19 with a guy who eventually ran off.
My friend's mother has no college degree because she dropped out to have the baby. Having five children to take care of, she doesn't have the time or money to keep feeding and mothering the family and take classes for a degree at the same time, as they barely make ends-meat. She is bipolar and frequently has emotionally abusive fits, which have somewhat scarred the kids and left them with social and emotional issues.
My friend's mother has had these mental problems since she was young, and as a result, she ended up not making the correct decisions and becoming pregnant at 19. She didn't get her degree after the first divorce, and married someone else.
Her second husband (my friend's dad) was a major alcoholic who was verbally, mentally, emotionally, and physically abusive to her. The mental and emotional trauma from her childhood has shaped her attraction to other men, and as a result, landed the abusive alcoholic second husband (notice that her father was the same way).
It is apparent that all these issues are a result of her abusive and majorly alcoholic father. The statuses of some of her siblings and half-siblings (and the fact that she even has half-siblings) indicate similar emotional and mental trauma as a result of growing up in an unstable household with a father who became abusive as a result of being alcoholic.
Do you see this vicious cycle now? As a result, my friend and his family have struggled profusely over the years and he may not be able to attend certain colleges if he doesn't get certain scholarships. The financial burden of college (whatever isn't paid off by the scholarship) will be laid on the family, and they'll have to stretch even further. Only when my friend graduates and gets substantial pay from his career can we see the student loans and miscellaneous debt go away in anything less than a decade.
I'm not saying that the actions of individuals who happen to be from abusive families are excused simply because they have been traumatized, but you can't deny that there is certainly a predisposition to end up in awful situations as these.
Nexxo, i am sorry if i already asked you for a source, its because something is confusing me, our jails are full of people that were incarcerated because of drug related crimes, selling drugs is illegal, having and using drugs is legal only if you have some doses, enough for you, not for selling.
Greece has actually taken control of the problem. They acknowledged that drug addicts were a social, not a criminal problem. The instituted a system where you can declare yourself an addict, are issued an numeric ID, and can go to ANY medical clinic or hospital where you will be issued personal use amounts...for free. They removed the financial gain of the illicit trade, control the purity, and the amount you get. In 6 months, the drug dealers were basically out of business, ODs were almost gone, and drug crime dropped to levels that no one would believe at first. Combined with a massive PR campaign to show the seedy and sad lives of addicts, they managed a massive drop in the numbers of new addicts. All the addicts had to do is agree to attempt a rehab program in the next 2 years.
Now it's a maintenance program that will wean society as the addict die, and keep the numbers of new addicts low enough to be acceptable.
That is amazing! What is the cost of all those drugs? What is the source of those drugs?
What's the cost of those drugs relative to the amount the government would/should/could save on medical treatment for long-term illness or injury caused by their abuse?
De-criminalisation is a no-brainer. But it'll never happen in the UK. Drug policies are too much of a chess-piece.
You sir, expert! Give us your expert opinion - but if we don't like what we hear, we'll ruin your career. No pressure!
Beyond a joke. I have this Independent editorial pinned to my board from the paper a week back. Part of me just likes seeing the words "Legalise Drugs and Society Would Benefit" in a newspaper headline.
This is easy. Just ban alcohol and tobacco. Nobody needs any of those. They want but doesn't need.
This will make alcohol and tobacco exciting again, and people forget about other drugs.
I honestly wish alcohol were illegal and unavailable, not least because I get fiendish spirits cravings and it totally destroys my ability to work, sleep, manage my temper, relax or concentrate for any length of time if I indulge it.
If I were a rare, exceptionally weak case, it'd be cool, but I don't know anyone who isn't turned into half the person they would otherwise be, in every sense, by alcohol. It's just not good news. And the reasons for keeping it are pretty slim once you pick them apart - it basically boils down to "a lot of people really enjoy it, and it helps them relax after a long week's work."
Countering that argument, I point to opium consumption in China in the early 20th century, which could be defended by precisely the same argument and yet, in retrospect, was gradually destroying their culture and workforce. I would argue alcohol is doing the same to ours now.
Junkie logic, sorry. Self-control starts with the self (the clue is in the name). You cannot ban temptation --that is abdicating personal responsibility. I mean, what are we going to do about fat people (of which there are plenty too, after all; just look at the rates of heart disease and the burden this places on the NHS)? Ban food? What are we going to do about sex offenders? Make women wear burka's?
May I remind you of the Prohibition in the US? All these people suffering the fiendish cravings for alcohol should have been relieved to be freed from the tempting presence of alcohol. Instead they just found alterantive and creative ways to get their fix. It was never a greater time for the home-brew entrepeneur...
No. People need to take responsibility and learn to control their own weaknesses.
If pushing something does not work then try pulling.
This is the position I want to hold on the issue, but after seeing what people do to themselves when given the choice, I just can't. It seems like a denial of responsibility and a violation of rights to ban virtually everything, but the alternative is that people degenerate into obese addicts. I'm not saying I like it, but I consider banning everything to be the lesser of two evils.
And as pointed out earlier, we may distinguish between what people need and what they want. People need food, so we allow the few indulgent morons to go overboard (both literally and metaphorically in certain Holiday Cruise scenarios).
Alcohol and other drugs just aren't needed in any way, shape or form. At all. They're an insulative escapist measure that people use to avoid the personal responsibility you rightly champion. Banning them would only engender strengths of character in the long-term: without the option of drowning their day-to-day problems, God knows, people might actually deal with them instead.
Also it's somewhat insulting that you termed my thinking 'junkie logic' since I'm proposing the illegalization of drugs for the sake of people with poor self-control. And also because I'm not a junkie, despite how much I play devil's advocate.
The problem with that argument is that there is a demand for mind altering substances, and where there is a demand there WILL be a supply. Better to have it legal and regulated than illicit.
I agree, but it's a catch-22: when you legalize it, as much as I wish this weren't the case, you condone it in the public mind. There's no good reason why every youth in the country should be vomiting onto pavements every weekend, but they are - and ultimately, we have to admit that that's our fault for legalizing it and making it so accessible. Granted, people would drink anyway, but we made the problem worse when we turned it into a readily available consumer product.
I'm not saying banning it is a solution, or denying that there are good reasons to legalize it. I'm saying neither quite works. I don't know what the ideal solution would be, but you can't ignore that both efforts have failed miserably. You ban it, people feel their rights are violated, and do it underground whilst losing faith in the law's ability to reflect the needs of the people; you legalize it, it gets hijacked by capitalists and everyone goes ****ing nuts on it without any kind of restraint.
I can't even imagine a plausible middle ground, either. So many units per week? So much volume per bar? Impossible to enforce and reeks of the nanny state. Raise the drinking age? Ineffectual. People drink as young as 10 as it is; the legal ages are universally flouted, without it even being considered a moral issue by most offenders. Earlier closing times? Irrelevant. The 2003 revision to closing times had virtually no effect one way or another. (Thankyou, Criminology minor: you paid for yourself.)
So what the hell do we do with light drugs? Any ideas? I can't think of a solution that would work, and our current situation is even further down the list than some options. (I still think banning it would be better than this shitstorm of abandon we have now.)
WAIT A MINUTE
Not all drug users are rampant fiends who cant say no. I indulge in a little bit of herbal relaxation every once and a while, also some chemical alteration of my brain with other substances has been known. As i get older, my urge to experiment with certain substances has dropped as i currently work 14 hours a day and all i want to do is go home, have a beer, watch **** tv and go to bed.
Herbal remedies in the form of a massive joint are a couple a times a week occurrence. Now, as a law abiding citizen, with a large amount of moral responsibility on my shoulders not to kill people with my designs, i find it a good way of unwinding every now and again. And it leads to some pretty bad side effects. Fits of giggling, cravings for fresh decent food and cartoons.
Self control is the key, some people have it, some don't. Some form of government regulation is needed here, the same if you were too drunk in a pub, you would get thrown out. Moderation is needed whenever dabbling, and we are giving our children teh wrong message. They all will end up in a university some where, with a mate smoking weed like a chimney and want to experiment. Teach them moderation, tell them the truth and don't LET POLITICS RUIN SCIENCE AS THIS ISNT THE 1600'S WHERE WHAT ANOTHER MAN SAYS INFLUENCES AN ENTIRE SOCIETY WITH NO SCIENTIFIC GROUNDING, ITS AKIN TO CREATIONIST IDEALS IN "SCIENCE" BOOKS.
rant over. Moderation guys.
Incredibly unlikely that they would go to prison since only 1000 are actually sentanced for usage of all drugs out of over 100,000 caught each year.
He meant more dangerous in the dying sense and but yes that is a logical fallacy
Yes but with smoking normal tobbaco the marginal social costs are more than covered in taxation since it is legal however there are just as many cannabis users now as there would be if were legal and regualted (probably more) somarginal social costs could be paid for in the difference between the growing price and the former street price.
Well at worst dog crap of the grass cuttings in the back yard since the NO.1 rule of business don't kill the demand for what your supplying.
What people forget that drug dealers are businessmen scummy people who do thier best to expliot them for thier own personal profit. When you drive business for drugs from licenced premises underground you lose all control of the substances, thier supply, demand and regulation unless you throw the entire drug market into prison.
The cost of tobacco and alcohol to health in the UK is far outstripped by thier contribution to the government coffers.
Too much police time is spent getting drug dealers that wouldn't exist if it were sold at licenced chemists, aresting people for drug use and dealing with the organised crime funded by drugs that wouldn't be funded in a regualated legal system where the gov't controls supply and therefore price. police time could be spent on dealin with those who are twats when they consume it.
And the main problem with drug awareness in schools is that they are taught it is bad, wrong and forbidden to consume drugs, but thats stupid in terms of educating people drug consumption is promoted by such arguement however if it were to be stupid, idiotic and foolish to consume how many people will do something they'll be called an idiot for.
Paint the roses red or off with your head, the advisor and labourland aproach to drug legislation.
Thats why you don't commercialise it you have it regualated and suplied by the government and use government distribution infrastructure (costs with be covered in the old profit margin in the street price)
Neither did 24 hour drinking.
People consuming alcohol at the age of ten is more a social matter than one that can be solved criminally. Currently there are more under 18s able to consume any drug as a result of the illegal market than there are under 18s able to in the legal regulated market of alcohol.
Difference is that banning accross all ages means you are dealing with the entire demand for drugs at all ages making it cost inneffective to deal with the youth consumption.
The two problems exist in both scenarios however it is worse in one.
I've said too much.
Unions used to be a good thing when there wasnt many federal laws against companies for employees. Now they are just a bunch of ******** that in some cases, tears companies apart.
I appreciate the sentiment: if you have a heart at all it is difficult to watch people destroying themselves --particularly when it is because they are messed-up to start with rather than because it was an informed choice. But fundamentally, you cannot legislate against stupidity (much). Either you infantilise adults or you let them experience the consequences of their actions.
The Prohibition is a nice example of how that doesn't work. People actually do need ways to alter their mood and thinking --whether it is though drugs, alcohol, caffeine, sex, extreme experiences or, say, religion. Are we going to ban sex? Or religion? Again we know from history how well that works out.
Apologies. I should have made the term clear. "Junkie logic" does not suggest that you are a junkie, but that you are applying the logic that people use to justify their behaviour: it is always someone (or something) else's fault; they were forced into it by circumstance or conspiracy, they have no control. There is no personal responsibility. Challenging it is futile since it has an elaborate defensive beliefs system that twists all such challenges into confirming proof (religion and psycho-analytical theory can work the same way).
everytime I see this subject.. keep thinking of a professor with a nutsack stretched over his face
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